Monthly Archives: October 2013
I had an extra-ordinary expericence of God’s Grace. I was around 5 or 6. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the figure of Jesus outside my bedroom window. I felt a presence looking upon me. At the time I was staring at the books on my book shelf and it was early morning. As you do when you are aware of someone looking at you, I turned to face the window but He had gone. I felt a tingle of excitement mixed with fear. I pushed the experience to the back of my mind. However it was an important experience to me. It reminded me that I am not alone. Jesus is my friend and He is beside me all the way. I may have been His lost sheep but everytime I went missing The Good Shepherd brought me back to His fold.
I lift up my eyes to the hills,
From whence does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who has made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved.
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper: the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from evil, he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth, and for evermore.
Have just re-read the last post I made dated October 27th. Considering how much emotions I was feeling when I wrote it ,it just comes across like I am an Automaton.
In the early part of 1997, my son and I moved back in with my mother. My divorce came through in 1998 and for some reason I felt unwell again. I asked my psychiatrist if I could have a short stay. He said yes. I had a new mobile phone. I only stayed in for 10 days. My mum found it hard coping with getting my son to school and at the same time going to the part-time job she had.
I started attending a support group for bipolar around 1998/99. This was helpful and I met some nice people.
In 1998 my brother left Uni.
My life was rolling along quite smoothly. I took my son to school and picked him up. I read him stories at night before he went to sleep. I took him to the cinema and often he had some friends come along. When he was younger we often went to the park. He got lots of party invitations from his friends. He in turn had parties that his friends were invited to. He had a slide in the back-garden. He had a go-cart, a bike. He had toys and books. He had disney videos. Later he liked Star Wars. I got the Star Wars lego for him. I spent time with him. When he was older I was happy for his friends to come round and play. I fed them at times. Later they had sleep-overs. He was loyal to his friends and still is. He is well liked.
Around 2001, 2002 my younger brother came back home to live with mother. I was still living at home with my son also and I think by then I had put my name on a housing list. I think around 2004 – I didn’t keep a diary at the time, there was another incident of domestic violence that affected me. My younger brother punched me on the nose. I was only asking him why he was upset. I had come downstairs for a drink of water in the middle of the night. I had been asleep for hours. My nose was pouring with blood. I got angry and told him I was going to show mum. My mother was not bothered about it too much. She said she didn’t see the incident therefore she wasn’t going to do or say anything.
I went to my mental health team for an appointment. I cannot remember what I said. I then visited a solicitor who was round the corner from them. I think I had already made an appointment. Eventually a letter was sent out to my brother. He went to see a solicitor paid for by my mother and with my mother. Finally he approached me in a distraught way. He said he was sorry and asked me not to take it any further. My mother probably could not afford the fees in any case.
After things happened at home with my brother I didn’t know who to turn to anymore. I visited a domestic violence charity. I was very nervous and shaky. Then I contacted Barnado’s. I went in for an appointment with them. I told them what had been happening most recently and I said i was worried what effect this was having on my son, who was still at school. They said they would look into it. Later they contacted me again. They said that no action needed to be taken because my son seemed to be doing fine at school.
From the time my younger brother came back to live with us, life was never the same. I was still waiting for accomodation from the housing list. In 2006, I was still fed up at living with my Mother and my brother.
Once again I was afraid of domestic violence and things getting heated at home. A lady from the mental health team came out to see me at my request. I said I needed the help of a psychiatric social worker to help me to get a new home. Just for a short while. I needed some support. I didn’t have a c.p.n. I was refused any help and that was that. I wanted to leave home but I just wanted a little help with that at first. I talked to a special part of the police that deals with domestic violence. I cannot remember what they said. They seemed sympathetic.
All this was building up to me leaving home for the first time since 1996.
I am going to tell you about something which I have experienced in my life.
As I am writing this I am still afraid. I am still afraid that the person who I am afraid of will read this blog.
That person is my younger brother.
He first used domestic violence against me when I was breastfeeding my son. I told no-one at the time. He was 17 years old when my son was born. I don’t know how old he was when that happened because I breastfed my son for a long while. My son and I were living with my father and mother. I think he wanted to borrow some money and I may have said no.
My brother went to college to study music for four years. He still visited to see my mother.
My father had early onset Alzheimers. He had to give up work in 1988 because of what we thought was memory loss brought on by stress. My mother told me he was ill in 1991.
At the end of the summer of 1992 my son was born. Having him filled me with joy. He made Mum happy too. She did not criticise me for having a child and not being married etc and she was thrilled. She called my son her little blessing. Tinged with happiness was the sadness of my dad’s deteriorating condition. Around six months after my son’s birth my dad was hospitalised. It was only supposed to be for two weeks. He never came home.
In 1988 the year my dad left work, my brother was 13 years old. I was 22. I had been lving with my boyfriend and when we split up I returned home. I started experiencing difficulties at work. Then my father’s father took ill, was hospitalised and died. So my father was only just sick off work. When Grandad died my father showed no compassion towards my Grandmother which was strange because it was so unlike him. He couldn’t help his sister, Mum and his brother-in-law with the funeral arrangements. It was very sad.
My mum was very stressed, undertandably.
There was alot going on in the following months so eventually I moved out and stayed in a hostel. I was hoping to get a flat and make a new start in my life.
Alone in my flat I got very depressed. I bought medicines to take all at once in the hope it would take me out of my misery and end my life. I felt worthless. I spoke to no-one about this. I tried swallowing a soluble mix of a certain drug. I couldn’t swallow it, I kept gagging.
I was disappointed with myself.
But also I was very frightened.
My oldest brother had been visiting me and tried to help me in his own way. He lived not far away and visited me on a weekly basis I think. Then he went abroad for two weeks.
When he returned I pretended I was not in.
Someone eventally called the police. They were going to break my door down so I opened it. I visited my Mother’s house because the police told me she was worried. I had no phone.
I stayed the night on one occasion around that time. Then I found some of my mother’s medication. I took it hoping to die once again. the next day I was still alive but I looked drowsy and my eyes looked strange. I was kept in hospital overnight and referred to a psychiatrist. A really nice psychiatric social worker at that time, filled me in on how painful it is to die with certain drugs and how it can take three days etc. I took this on board.
The family doctor told mum my suicide attempt was “a cry for help”. She told my mother not to let me live at home. I tried throwing myself down the stairs. I was too much of a chicken though.
Eventually I returned to live with my mother, father and younger brother.
I am giving you this background because I am also aware that my mental health issues have had an impact on my family.
The domestic violence with my brother only began after I had my baby. My younger brother was 17. He was also stealing off myself and my mother. At 19 he went to University/college to study music.
When I was 27 and my son was 1 years old I started attending a Pram Club run by the local church. The church was affiliated with an excellent primary school. The ladies there encouraged me to keep going and the bonus was my son would attend the local church school.
I became particularly close with three really nice women. Once a week we met up at each other’s houses with our children.
Then out of the blue my brother, who was home from College, one night he stood on my hand. The next day there was a big bruise on my hand of the inprint of his shoe which was ridged underneath. He had shouted at me and said I was recording over one of his video-tapes, which I wasn’t.
My close friends noticed this and were worried about me. I later passed him on the Lane and asked him why he did it. He said he didn’t know and seemed quite emotional.
I carried on as usual.
Moving on to 1995. I started college to try to achieve a-level standard in maths and english as I was interested in studying psychology. I met someone there and started dating for the first time in over four years. I went into a depression for various reasons after three months of college. I felt depressed partly because I couldn’t cope with the maths or the english. I had been in the top stream for both at secondary school so it was disappointing. I lacked confidence in those abilities which are so important for further education and for hopefully getting a job in which one is interested.
With this in mind my relationship with the man I met at college continued. Then I started taking S.S.R.I’s. I didn’t notice any improvement in my mood.
My relationship with my younger brother played in the background. He continued with his unpleasant attitude towards me. He called me nasty names.
I told my boyfriend and he said he would confront my brother. I asked him not to as I feared it might escalate and make things worse.
Though I found him controlling at times and I though I unsure in that relationship with my boyfriend – I married him. On our “honeymoon” he punched me on the nose. After two weeks I left him. During that time I asked my Mother for help and told her there were problems. She couldn’t cope. She didn’t want to help me. My brother was violent and aggressive towards me whilst my mother was at church. A neighbour saw him kicking me outside the house and she gave me a lift in her car to remove me from the situation. She is an occupational therapist.
I went back to the flat I shared with my husband and my son.
One day, not long after, in fact it was night-time, I phoned the Samaritans whilst my husband and my son were asleep. I talked for a long time in hushed tones. That Samaritan gave me the courage to find the keys (because the door was locked and my husband had them) pack a few essentials, and when morning came I slipped out of the house with my son. I went to the local office for the homeless. They housed myself and my son in a hostel.
My husband stalked me. He couldn’t accept that for me our relationship was over.
It was a few weeks later that I was assessed by a psychiatrist. I was having a breakdown. The anti-depressants might have had a role in that because they can make some people mmore manic. At the time I wasn’t taking them though. I think I saw the psychiatrist in the July of 1996. I was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder. My younger brother was still behaving violently and aggressively towards me during that time whenever I saw him.
I was sectioned in the September. I spent 10 weeks in hospital. I was on Lithium, also an anti-epelepsy drug and eventually chlorpromazine.
My mother’s mental health problems (I think it likely that most of her illness was anxiety and panic disorder- though I cannot be certain as I am not a psychiatrist) was treated discreetly by her G.P. who prescribed her with amitriptyline and another G.P. prescribed her with Ativan/Lorazepam to replace amitriptyline later on. I was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 30. Straightaway my mental health treatment lead to people outside the family home knowing about it.
Mother may have been protected from any consequences of having an official diagnosis however it may be that she had to suffer more because she was afraid to get help from more official sources such as counselling or psychiatric help.
This is what happened in my life recently.
My son is 19 years old and lives me in Liverpool, England. My daughter is four years old and lives with her father in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
I visit my daughter every 4 weeks and we have a great time together.
I am bipolar and was taken into hospital when Jenny was 9 months old. My Mum was ill at the time. I had very little support or help with my mental illness even though I kept saying that I needed help. Basically I was breastfeeding for nine months and I needed help to get my daughter onto a bottle.
There was no mother and baby unit in Liverpool or Merseyside at the time I was taken into the Psychiatric Hospital. the only one that was offered me was in Leeds, Yorkshire.
I suffered domestic abuse from a family member in Liverpool and as I hadn’t got a home in…
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