Acting all the time

I’m acting all the time

So people think I’m fine

They can’t see the pain

I’m acting all the time

This face isn’t mine

Smiling til I wain

I’m acting all the time

But that’s fine

It chases away the pain

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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.

#metoo

Since the #metoo hit the news, I’ve read and heard so many amazing things. Men who have hidden the abuse from themselves and their loved ones.

Finally our voices are being heard and believed. Yes it’s been a tough time having to listen and see triggering things. But I’ve come to see that, it’s part of my journey and sometimes you have go back and face what happened. Then just say yes it happened and make a point of facing my trauma.

I can see that you have to face the darkest moment, to experience the dawn of a new day. So for me this means, need to finally deal with my trauma and get on with my life.

Morning motivation

So my morning motivation is this, in 2016 I won an award for acting. Well not quite, you see I was stage managing a one act play.

Also I had to do the sound effect for “Tinkerbell”, yes the fairy. So the part called for me to run around tinkling a small bell in response to lines from the other fairies in this play. I wasn’t seen, but I was heard.

At the end of the performance, the adjudicator asked how we did Tinkerbell. At this point, I shied away and kept quiet. Only for the rest of the cast to point in my direction.

So I didn’t fancy going to the awards ceremony on the Saturday evening. But I got a call from a friend saying I have won the adjudicator’s award for Tinkerbell.

I have put the certificate in a place where it is the first thing I see in the morning. That is my morning motivation.

Taking charge

So I’ve realised that I need to finally take charge of my journey. Over the last few months I’ve made some positive progress, but there’s so much more I can do.

Seven years ago I had my breakdown and I have lived in that moment all this time. I’ve not tried as hard as I could. However now I have to take the bull by the horns and draw a line under my past. I realise the reporting it to the police was only one step. As the process is moving forward, I need to be strong and start to become a voice for all the survivors who for one reason or another can’t speak out.

When I started this, I had ideas of starting a charity or support group. This ambition is still there, but I need to put all of this to bed finally.

So 2018 hopefully I will at least start the process of dealing with my trauma.