Saturday, May 23, 2015

Chaos is the New Calm

*trigger warning*

Last Saturday, I had a mental breakdown. That's the only way I can really describe it. Maybe paranoid and delusional self-harm episode is more accurate, but that's also a mouthful and people tend to get a bit twitchy concerning the words paranoid, delusional, and self-harm. But that's what happened. 

Saturday, May 16th, my last update to this blog. I managed to keep it together for most of the day. I had woken up feeling....wrong. I spent the whole week training on this new job, pushing myself way too hard, and pretending to be completely okay. I just couldn't keep up the charade anymore. My uncle, I guess, didn't know how to deal and so he ignored me all day instead of trying to engage me and get me talking about what was going on. So I felt isolated. I felt trapped. And after talking to my mom on the phone and letting her know that this wasn't working out so well...I made a plan to find a way back home.

It just didn't go down the way I had intended. 

Sunday morning was a little better. I went out to breakfast with my uncle and basically told him that I didn't think the job was working out for me and I was only pretending to like it and do well because I felt bad otherwise - he had gone out of his way to try and get me hired there that if I failed it felt like a let-down to him. And he seemed understanding. 

Then, later that evening, he did a 180 on me. And it stemmed from me asking what the status was on my resident application. See, in order to get county-funded healthcare, I had to prove I was living somewhere and unless he had turned in my tenant application, Anoka County would have no record of me living there. So that would mean no health care, no therapy, and no chance at medication. Which, I was beginning to realize, I needed. 

And he was really blase about the whole thing. Even went so far as to tell me not to take advice from "freaks on the internet" (that means all of you, isn't that nice?) and that I needed to keep track of that stuff and take care of myself. What the fuck did he think I was trying to do? And all of this insensitivity after a morning of "What can I do to help you, sweetie?"

Too much confusion and turmoil. I lost it. I retreated to my room and tried to clear my head and stop crying. It wasn't working. So I took the utility knife to my arm. And sliced and sliced. During this, I was confiding in Tyler and Mom over FB chat. Tyler made the life-altering decision to come get me. Mom agreed that I needed to be somewhere safe and I really didn't want to deal with police and hospitals at that junction. 

So I quietly packed up an overnight bag of stuff, wrote my uncle a note, and sneaked out at 11:30 pm when Tyler arrived. He brought me back to his parent's place and I remained there for about three days, avoiding the real world until I felt stable enough to deal again. Once I was ready to emerge, I found out that my uncle had flipped the fuck out, sent me some nasty text messages about how shameful I was and how disappointed my (dead) grandmother would be in me. That I was a traitor and all my stuff was on the front porch, I needed to come collect it. Oh, and of course I was fired from my job. Least of my worries really....

So that's what it took. One major anxiety attack coupled with self-mutilation and delusional thoughts - and I was kicked out and cut off. Nice, huh? That doing what felt right to save my life in the moment was worthy of being called a traitor and deceitful. Like I chose to feel this way and have this happen to me...

I could have easily taken my life that night and I did not, in my delusional haze, trust my uncle to do what was best. I did, however, trust Tyler. You know, the boy who's been through that stuff before and kind of knows the drill? Yeah, that felt like a better option and ultimately, it really was.

Tyler and I borrowed his dad's truck Wednesday afternoon and we picked up all my stuff at my uncle's. I couldn't fit my mattress or desk chair in the pickup, so I left that behind. Then we drove another hour or so back to my mom's place. She had agreed to take me back in provided I got myself some professional help. And I fully intend to. 

So that's the I'm back home and while I do feel a lot better in this environment, I know that I have a long way to go and a windy road to recovery. But at least now I know who I can trust to have my back in a sticky spot and who I can't. And that means a lot to me.


  1. I am so glad that you reached out to the people you could trust and you are still here with us. I have definitely had self destructive tendencies in the past and am lucky I now have a couple of people I can talk to. It is sad that your uncle reacted so badly, there is still so little understanding of mental illness among those who have never experienced it, it is frustrating how they seem to act like we can just get over it. I hope you can get a good counsellor and if the first one isn't good keep looking for another one.

    I sometimes wonder what my late ancestors would think of me, whether they would disapprove of me, but in the end it's a waste of thought, and not great to dwell on, so I hope you don't.


  2. Hope your mental health improves. Been through psych wards and hospitals, so I do understand how u feel. I wish you all the best. Love XOXO

  3. So sorry to hear you had to go through that. I'm really really glad you got away from your uncle's house amd I hope you feel better soon with the people you can love and trust. Sending you so much support and love!

  4. Good for you for getting away from a person who was just making things worse. (In my opinion, he's the shameful one.) I'm glad you had a safe place to go and people to look out for you. The advice from this "freak on the internet" is get professional help, as you're already planning to do. As Laura mentioned, if you don't like the first counselor, look for another. A good counselor that understands you can absolutely change your life. Best wishes!

  5. Advice from this "freak on the internet" who has now been free of self-harming for nearly 6 years is to find yourself a good counselor/therapist; someone that is good at listening but also is actually good at coming up with helpful coping-with-everyday strategies. Medication can help with symptoms, but talking therapies seem to be (in my experience at least) the best for helping with the actual problems that cause the symptoms. Also, if the medication is proving ineffective, counter-productive or has really bad side-effects, talk to whichever professional prescribed them, as those sorts of things can need fine-tuning.

    As far as self harm goes, the two most effective things I did was draw on myself/write on myself what I was feeling instead of self-harm when I felt like using pain/self-injury as coping mechanism/self-punishment mechanism and spending a lot of time singing out my feelings at the piano (I know that sounds like a complete cliche, but it genuinely worked).

  6. Thanks everyone, I'm really lucky to have you guys here to understand and commiserate. It definitely helps!