I remember my mom putting me in counseling when I was 11 years old. I don't remember why. I think it's that I was fighting with her and my step dad too much. They were in the beginning stages of a very nasty divorce.
I remember having my first panic attack sometime after I turned 12. I didn't know what it was. I even remember thinking to myself "Am I faking this?" "Am I doing this for attention?" and then the sudden realization of "Oh, fuck. I can't stop this."
I hate the term "cutter". I wasn't a "cutter". But I would dig and dig and dig at my skin until I bled. I forget how I got caught. I know it happened at school. I remember the police coming and having a woman teacher come in and watch as they asked me to lift my pant leg. I refused. They called my mother. I cried. I knew they knew. I knew something was going to change. Something big. I was either going to leave in an ambulance, tied to a stretcher and brought to 72 hr lock up or go with my mother to my counselor. I forget how my mom talked them into letting her take me. I was put into an intensive out patient group for suicidal, angry, depressed teenagers. I don't know if I hated being called suicidal, or if I thought it was hilarious. I do know that the IOP group made me realize that there were some crazy fucking kids out there - and I was not one of them. My issues didn't compare - by a long shot. I was in the group with girls who took blades to their arms. One girl had a line of scars. Like tallies on a score board. Another girl had talked of memories in a padded room where she did nothing but run and throw herself against the walls all day - for the fun of it. Another girl who swallowed a bottle of pills, for who knew what reason. A boy who had thoughts of throwing his grandmother down the stairs. It was scary. (Forget the fact that he became my best friend for a few years. Until he got real crazy.)
It just kept going from there. There is so much that I went through, I don't know where to begin. Or what is worth mentioning. I want to leave a lot of it for later posts. To give you a real idea of how these things effected me, rather than a list of my roller coaster life.
One time, when I was in counseling... somewhere around 17 years old... I had a counselor ask me to do a project. I refused, and I don't remember why. But that project has stuck in my head ever since. I still haven't done it... but I think this blog is - in it's own way - a part of this project.
She said that she wanted me to make a timeline of my life. From the day I was born to the present date. For every traumatic thing that had happened to me, she wanted me to mark the age and a title. Then she wanted me to write what had happened. At the end of it, I was to make a sort of "back pack" and decide what of that I wanted to keep with me and what I wanted to leave behind. What of it I thought was worth keeping, because of the ways it changed me. And what of it wasn't, because I didn't feel the changes were good or necessary ones.
I question these things all the time. What in life can you really regret?
Do you love yourself today??? Is it in spite of or because of the things that you've gone through?? They've all, in fact, made you who you are today. So, what would I take in that back pack??? I don't know. Maybe this blog will help me figure that out.
I can tell you that I have been diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder. I'm sure the diagnosis would be more exact if I could afford to see a professional. Sadly, all I can afford is a doctor who continues to want to push pills down my throat and another who doesn't think I'm "at that stage, yet."
If you ask Wikipedia - I've got generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. Gotta love wiki, right?
I can tell you that I know for a fact that I have been anxious since I was about 14 years old. It might have started before that, but that's when I remember having panic affect my day to day life.
I can tell you that I tried medication once, have been prescribed medication at least three times, and am currently trying to cope without medication.
Some things I can state, easily enough, because they would be known by any of my followers from Perfect Pen. Stories about them can be found on that blog.
I don't have either of my parents. I lost both before I turned 19 years old. I have no grandparents. I have some aunts and uncles, but none that I'm close with. I try to have a close relationship with some of my in laws, but we all know the twisted shit that goes into that. I have two younger brothers who I sometimes think are more of a headache then what our relationship is worth. (I know, that sounds awful, but I just am so exhausted by them.) One of them has an anxiety disorder, the other is diagnosed as being schizoaffective. Both are drug addicted alcoholics.
I have been with my husband since I was a child. I have two children. The three of them are the best things that could have ever happened to me in this life. I have a faith in God that hasn't always been strong, but that is growing stronger as I learn more about myself.
All of this takes some sort of roll in my anxiety and my healing process.