A reflection on the prodigal son.

Through the last eight years I’ve found, that I’ve revisited this parable. It means so much to me.

I can see myself in each of the characters. Firstly the sone who stayed, for many years I asked the question “why me?” It ate at my very being, I was resentful and feeling abandoned. I felt that I was the only one, I’ve worked hard and found I had nothing to show.

As time has progressed, I identified with the second son, the one who thought the grass was greener. Having faced my lowest times and come through. I still feel at times I’m not worthy. I haven’t been the best brother, son and friend. The support I’ve had has always been the best.

Now I come to the father, this is more difficult, but I’ve had to forgive myself for blaming myself. I have accepted what has happened and yes it has affected me but I have a feeling of belonging.

Advertisements

Memory

So one of the things I’ve been working on, is how to bring my positive memories to the fore. So this evening I’ve made a point of looking at the positive thoughts and memories.

When I started my journey, all I thought was my childhood was ruined. It wasn’t, I have some awesome memories, small little things. Like spending time with my grandparents and family holidays.

One of the strongest positives, happened in my mid 20s. I was involved with The Prince’s Trust. I was fortunate enough to be selected for their volunteers program. Only now do I see how important it was for me.

It’s given me a special outlook on life, spending time with those less well off. Even though I knew then that I had to face this.

So was my childhood ruined, no but it was affected.

The last eight years

The last eight years have been so painful and dark. On many occasions I felt that the only way out was to either runaway from everything or worse end it all. There have been days where I just faked my smile and was crying inside.

During these years, I’ve only really experienced joy on a few occasions, this tested my strength. I thought that this nightmare would never end. All I could see was the negative things and thoughts. There was nothing I could do to lift my emotional state.

After many attempts with short term therapy, four in total. I had my twelve sessions, then discharged. Not once did anyone notice a pattern, this is mainly due to the poor funding for mental health.

In February 2018, I wrote to my MP. She received a letter from the local mental health services, they admitted that my needs were complex and required more detailed intervention. I have been in therapy since March this year, it been hard. There have been days when I have struggled. These were because I didn’t hide from my feelings.

Now, I’ve made so much progress, I’m now having less therapy and learning to accept what happened to me and acknowledge that it’s there but just like an unwanted visitor who pops by to say hello.

Whatever happened to me, I’m more than the sum of these memories.

I’m now moving in the right direction, living life to the fullest.

Emotional days

The last week I’ve been an emotional wreck, finally facing my feelings. I never thought that it would be so painful.

I feel that I’ve never been in a train crash, battered and bruised. Sleep has been at a premium. I know that I’m going to be better for going through this, but it seems like it’s going on forever.

For the first time I’ve not run from my feelings, actually feeling emotions and naming them. The anger and hurt has been at the centre of these issues. The positive thing is I’m able to say yes that happened and it’s in the past.

I’m now starting refocus, on my future, restarted my course and I told my therapist.

It’s ok to be, not ok

Even though I’m making good progress, there are some days that I struggle with. On the outside I look happy and well, on the inside It’s turmoil.

I feel that, at the moment I’m in a strange place. I feel that I need to know that I’m going to be.

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, it’s time to just take away the stigma of Mental illness. 1 in 4 people on this planet will struggle with mental health issues.

Whoever reads this, leave a positive comment. It’s time to say. It’s ok, to be not ok.

Energy levels

One thing I’ve not written about, how my energy levels fluctuate from day to day. I really struggle to manage my energy levels. There are some days that I’m so full of energy I feel like a live wire and the flip side is some days, I just have enough to get out of bed and go to work.

Sometimes, I just lose all my energy in a few moments. These day that are the most frustrating, as I thought it was a live wire day and by lunchtime I feel like something has drained everything from me.

One thing that does happen is that being around friends can be exhausting. It just saps the energy right out of me.

Struggling to open up

After 32 years of keeping my secret, I’m now struggling to open up. I’m afraid that I’m going to lose control.

The process is more complicated than I thought. I want to let go but I’m not sure how to. I thought that I would go to therapy and finally have the guts to open up. Things are so different when you sit and can’t find the words.

Maybe I should try another way of expressing myself, my therapist has suggested art therapy. Maybe I just need some time and some thought.

Progress

In the last eight months, I’ve made so much progress. In August last year I made a decision to live.

I had got to a point where I could only see one outcome, an outcome that would have hurt so many people. I made the choice to seek help, rather than not. Since then I’ve been on a double dose of medication, this isn’t a perfect solution but a necessary one.

For the first few months, I struggled with the side effects and getting used to the higher dose. Over these months I’ve found that my depression is under control. Not cured but under control.

I now have an opportunity to deal with the abuse and have no fear about discussing it in therapy. Now the police investigation is over, I can work on accepting what happened and integrate those memories with all the positive memories I have.

I’m still a work in progress.

Closing the chapter

This last week has been difficult, first my therapy appointment was cancelled at short notice and then I had confirmation that the police investigation was being closed due to not being able to locate my abuser.

Initially, I was very upset even though I knew it would be likely that it would be closed. After some reflection, I see that this is closure of a sort. I’m not sure how I would have coped with the court process.

So in hindsight, I see that is a positive outcome. I now know what I have to do in therapy. I know that someone has listened to me and validated my past. So ends this chapter of my life. There is a bright future for me now.

What a big difference in my life, after where I was in August last year.

Mental health services in England

After six months of waiting for an appointment fo therapy, I ended up having to write to my MP. Not for the first time, last August I had beg to see a psychiatrist.

I was then referred to the talking therapy team, my assessment for this was on 21 November. This lasted 30 minutes, I was then told that my case will be reviewed and then I was passed to the psychological team. So here I was in limbo with no support from the mental health services and still waiting.

In February I wrote to my MP complaining about the service and lack of help. When I received a response I was shocked. The letter from the mental health services said, that I should have been referred sooner.

The biggest shock came when my new therapist, thanked me for complaining. He said that things only get done when someone complains.

Is this right, in this day and age. It’s time mental health issues are treated the same as other health issues.