Mental Health Check – How I’m Doing

This is another mental health awareness post.  This time I’m here to show you how my life has been recently, kind of like a general update so you know why my posts have been so sporadic recently.  It’s a relatively personal post but that’s not too different to usual.  As always, my life has been a roller-coaster of emotions, feelings and experiences and I’ve been facing the highest of highs but also the lowest of lows.  So, here’s a general update on how I’m doing.

TW// eating disorders, self-harm, PTSD, sexual assault.

Recently I have been struggling lots with an array of things.  I wish I could say that everything’s perfect, but things have been difficult and coming to terms with that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  Feeling like you should be feeling so much better than you are is something I’ve struggled with lots but recently I’ve found it near impossible.  There are loads of different reasons as to why I am struggling lots, all with different causes and triggers.  I can’t stay in lessons for the whole 75 minutes without taking some time out of the class just to collect my thoughts and calm down.  On the rare occasions where I can stay in the class, my focus just leaves me, and I am unable to do work.  Panic attacks are a daily occurrence and I can’t go a day without getting flashbacks or PTSD.  I’m getting constantly slut-shamed by people I don’t know and people who claim to be my friends and I can’t go anywhere alone as I am scared that I’ll get harassed as that has happened many times before.  My self-confidence deteriorates by the day and I’ve developed a toxic relationship with food.  I can’t stand people touching my stomach and only close friends and family members can hug me.  I struggle to sleep and when I do, I get nightmares and I can only go to sleep if there is some background noise like a YouTube video.  I accidentally end up in toxic friendships and find it harder to let people in and make friends then ever before.  Finally, I’ve lost friends who mean the world to me, who, before this year, I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  This may be a part of growing up, but it doesn’t make it any easier for you to let them go.

However, luckily for me, it’s not all doom and gloom.  He may be strong, but I am stronger.  Whatever he tries to throw at me, I can dodge it and it’ll bounce back or reflect onto him.  I’m honestly just very happy I have positives in my life which are what keep me going day in day out.  They can be small things like me managing to (mostly) keep on top of schoolwork.  Or one of my favourite compliments I’ve been receiving recently which is “But you seem so happy!   I’d never expect you to be depressed.”  I’m in a specialist therapy to help with the trauma – called EMDR – and it’s been working quick well! (I’ll write a blog article on it when I finally leave it) my anti-depressants are working well which is amazing – I may be 50mg away from the highest dosage but if it works it works.  I haven’t self-harmed since the 26th June 2019 no matter how close I’ve been to relapsing which is quite impressive.  I have a boyfriend who I really like and care about and it shows “I can trust another individual enough and let them into my life in a romantic way” – my therapists’ words.  My friends and family also like him (other than my big and little brother being slightly jealous that there’s another man in my life – sorry guys)  and he also reads this blog straight away and is supportive of everything I do – he’s a keeper, what more can I say.  I’m slowly getting better with physical contact and I don’t always freak out as much as I once did when people touch certain areas of my body.  I’m making a difference in my community and the people in it, helping people through things, raising awareness about what’s important to me etc.  I have an amazing tight-knit group of friends who – when we’re together – are all completely off the scale crazy but I wouldn’t have them any other way.  We have so many inside jokes and we’re all just one crazy mismatched family who support each other no matter what, no matter how crazy the idea is.  Speaking of families, my biological family have been – as always – the most supportive people you will ever meet.  My Grandparents read my blog and always message me about it, saying how good it is and how brave I am, my parents deal with my emotions day in day out and are always there for me when I need them most.  Even my aunts and uncles who – I think – don’t know what’s going on are still always so kind and loving (and they cook the best food, honestly, they do).  Finally, I’m mentally stronger than ever before.  Physically I may have the strength of a new-born baby who just got shoved out the womb but mentally I am Superman.  I may still have days which are my Kryptonite but overall, the good outweighs the bad and that’s all I have ever wanted.

So, there you have it!   That’s what’s been going on in my life for the past couple of months!

Thank you so much for reading, I love you all, stay safe and I’ll see you soon!

xo baby, Tati xoxo

Here’s a toast to my real friends that didn’t care about the he said she said

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Taylor Swift

Manipulation

Hey guys, welcome back to the second of my sexual assault awareness posts.  This will almost definitely be the most difficult to talk about as I have not spoken about it to anyone except for the police.  I’ve began this article on the 9th October 2019 and I guess we shall see when it’s done.  In this article, I’ll be going into the ways the individual manipulated me until the point of sexual assault.  As always, I’ll remind you that viewer discretion is advised, and I do not recommend reading if you are easily triggered buy any of the topics that come up in my other article: “An Overview of my Life Since 2018”.  Stay safe, I love you all and never forget you are not alone.

It began with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it things.  First there was the pushing and shoving.  That was never out of the ordinary – I had other friends who I played “rough and tumble” with.  But there was something about the way he did it, how he did it, which I felt was much more forceful and almost threatening.  It felt like a constant reminder that he was strong; he was powerful, and he easily could hurt me.  One day though, one day he very nearly could have killed me.  I still have nightmares and flashbacks to this day; I’m still scared to walk down the place it happened.  I was walking back from school with him one day and we were messing around, insulting one another, as friends do.  Then I said something, it wasn’t even anything that bad, but it angered him.  It angered him to the point that he shoved me in front of a moving lorry then laughed and said it was a shame it didn’t hit me.  I have a feeling some of you are wondering why I didn’t just ditch him as a friend then.  And honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t.  I guess it was because I’d been friends with him for so long, and I couldn’t bear to lose that.

Then came the not-so-subtle digs at me as a person. Now, for context, I’m not the smartest most academic person in the world.  I get by in my lessons, but I’m not top of the class and I’m mostly just average.  I’m overall quite happy with where I rank in English, could possibly manage to scrape a pass in Maths, Science if I put in the effort I could potentially pass, and the others will hopefully all fall into place behind that.  However, at the time, I felt as though I wasn’t smart at all (which is totally crazy looking back at it because I was in either top set or second set for everything and I was mostly average).  I once confided with him that I felt as though I would never be smart enough to pass my GCSE’s and so he used that to his advantage.  He’d constantly “poke fun” of me about it to my friends, making me feel inferior, insecure and unintelligent.  He also knew one of my dream professions as a child – still is now to be fair – was to become a lawyer and help others.  However, anyone who has investigated that career path will know it’s an extremely hard job to get into, and my grades did not show the right potential at that time.  He’d make snide comments about how I’d never amount to anything, never get the grades to do what I wished to and even said that the only way I’d be able to go up in the world is by sleeping around.  It still shocks me he said things like that because the most “sexual” thing I’d done was hold hands with someone!  (Sorry Mum and Dad – what can I say, I was a catch!)  It made me feel disgusted, self-conscious and just all around horrible.

Then he somehow turned so much worse and controlled me as though I was a puppet on a silver string.  He told me what I could and couldn’t wear because it could make me look like a “whore”, what I couldn’t do in public – small things such as walk around with other boys; it could only be him.  He decided who I could hang around with, when I could hang around with them.  Only now while I’m typing this can I see how horrific this was which baffles me.  He also put me down about the way I looked, my weight, my face, pretty much everything he said translated into “I’m not good enough” he said it so much that I began to believe him… And even therapy is struggling to change that.

His manipulative ways have affected me in ways I don’t even notice until concerned friends point them out to me.  I feel like I cannot say no to people, like even if I try, they just won’t listen as that is what happened with him.  If ever someone compliments me or is even a decent human being to me, I develop a crush on them very quickly – it’s honestly such an issue at this point it’s now a running joke between me and a good friend.  I guess it’s because I feel so deprived, so starved of love and confidence that anytime someone is nice I think they love me – this has been horrific because I’ve gotten into my fair share of toxic friendships/relationships which is crazy – I’m fifteen for crying out loud!  Finally, the worst effect of the manipulation is that I go through phases of refusing to speak to friends.  Anyone who knows me in real life will know all my closest friends are guys – with a few sporadically placed girls here and there.  Every so often, I get so paranoid they will turn out like him that I refuse to even look at my friends in the hallway.  Once this got so bad, I refused to speak to any of my friends for about a month and if they touched me, even accidentally, I’d have a panic attack.

I feel like this is quite a heavy topic and although it is, I do want to assure you there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  For me, I now have an amazing group of friends (a massive thanks to all my friends who have helped me through this and stuck by me – especially but not exclusively Thumper and my Big Bro.  You are both amazing, I love you and I doubt you’ll ever know how much you mean to me.)  I am now doing EMDR therapy which is quite effective – I will be explaining about all the ins and outs of it soon!

I’ve been asked by a friend of mine how to know if you’re being manipulated and, truth be told, I’m not sure.  All I can really say is look after yourself, if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable on more than one occasion, keep some distance and stay wary.  My friends are an extremely big help in this aspect, and they can normally see the red flags before I can so if you do get worried, speak to someone you trust about it.  Most of all though, no matter how long you’ve known them for, people change – and not always fore the better.  That’s one of the main ways he was able to manipulate and take advantage of me, I’d known him for so long!

Thank you so much for reading this.  My last post on sexual assault has gotten 110 views currently and I couldn’t be happier.  I finally feel like I am making a difference thanks to all of you!  So, thank you so much for taking the time to read an “angsty teenagers” blog, I feel as though I have a platform which I can – and will – use to my advantage.  This is the one thing in my life I feel as though I can control so it means tonnes you are all reading this!

I love you all so much, stay safe and remember:

“You can change the world when you change your mind”

Kinky Boots the Musical

xo baby, Tati xoxo