Forgiving my rapist

Okay so this is going to be blurted out how I’m thinking it. Today has been the most difficult and incredible day of my entire life so far. For the last few weeks my depression has hit absolute rock bottom, the worst it has been since I was diagnosed 4 years ago.

I never thought about seeking revenge from the person who sexually assaulted me because I was too caught up in my own self blame. I was too busy hurting myself or thinking I had done something wrong.

He seemed far more repairable than how I was left after the situation. No amount of hatred I had or loathing for vengeance would heal my mental scars.

I never once thought I would do what I did today, I never experienced any anger towards this man. Only sympathy, emptiness and guilt. The whole “wrong place, wrong time” saying.

My mind has been replaying these raw emotions in the back of my mind for a few weeks and it really hit the surface only a few days ago. I’d suppressed the memories so much due to how much trauma it caused me at such a young age. I have been barely a shadow of the person I was half a year ago. I’ve not recognised myself recently. 

I decided that the only way I would heal the wounds from what happened was forgiveness.

Today, I forgave my rapist.

I made him aware of the demons I have faced at the hands of what had happened. That my life spiralled out of control after December 24th 2011 at around 10:45pm.

I wanted acknowledgement for what had happened to me so I didn’t feel like I was another rape victim swept under the carpet. I got the apology I so truly deserved.

To many people, an apology would never even begin to heal the amount of suicide attempts, the self injury and the self hatred I had for over half a decade. But to me; it’s enough to move on.

To know I am a strong woman who has dealt with a traumatic experience, speaks reams about how far I have come in this time.

Forgiveness is not going to be everyone’s way to get closure. But it’s finally going to help me heal.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

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A second chance at life

To all of my readers – I’m sorry I’ve not posted anything in the last two months or so… I’ve not known what to write about!

This post is dedicated to it being one year on since my last suicide attempt and what’s changed in my life to know that I won’t ever attempt it again.

As many of you know, I was off my head on illegal drugs, I had a massive drinking problem and I couldn’t settle comfortably with anyone. I was a ticking time bomb for at least half of last year. 

Now, I’m barely drinking, I haven’t touched drugs in well over a year and I’m quite content with how everything is going for me right now!

So I bet you’re wondering what changed my entire life outlook and why I don’t get caught up in those situations anymore?

First off, group therapy sessions – months and months of it. I’d been through specific counselling with PARCS (Portsmouth Area Rape Crisis Service) with an amazing woman named Polly back in 2013. Now at the time, I didn’t have high hopes for counselling – assuming that talking about all the problems I had faced would just ingrain them into me more. To say I didn’t go in with the will to get better would be pretty accurate… but she wore down the walls I had built and made me experience raw feelings that I hadn’t felt since the few weeks after the sexual assault. I was angry, in denial, confused, frustrated, self blaming and I truly hated myself for “letting it happen to me”. But re-experiencing these raw emotions again helped me start to come to terms with what had happened so I could slowly leave it in my past. 

The group therapy sessions helped me deal with the remaining emotional issues that I’d been left with after what happened. I learnt to nip a situation in the bud before it turned explosive, or before I would react inappropriately. Group sessions aren’t for everyone, but being in a room with people who understood what it was like to react irrationally to certain things made me feel slightly more human.

Another hugeeee influencing factor has been my reduction in alcohol consumption. Over the past 7 months, I’ve been out maybe 10 times. Now, comparing that to 2-3 times a week last year  is quite unbelievable. It’s not just how often which I had reduced, but it’s also what I drink and how much of it I drink. I cannot drink rum because I get very angry and hostile while drinking it – so simple, I stay away from it.

The final thing was probably the hardest, but it was spending less time around people I deemed unhealthy towards my recovery. To the point where I’ve rid them out of my life completely. Frequent drug users and people who drink tons, the temptation used to be irresistible. So I removed myself out of situations which could cause my relapse into old habits. This was horrendous at the time, because they were the only people I really spent time with so I felt completely isolated when they were out of the picture. I just kept telling myself that I’d rather be alive and lonely than dead.

I want to focus on my dreams, I want to travel the world. I want to see my niece grow up and flourish. I want to be able to marry someone, I want to have children and own 4 French Bulldogs. I want to live a happy life.

The key to recovery is to want it, not because of your parents, friends or family wanting you to. But because you want to be alive another day, you want to be the one to say “I made it because I wanted to”.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you! 🙂

Disconsolation

These helpless scars that haunt my flesh, remind me of thin-skinned days.

When words and thoughts cut far deeper than any blade. 

Each cut, each scratch, each bite mark, leaving it’s own vicious story behind. 

Fathoming the disarray isn’t so easy right now, with a hurricane causing havoc in my mind.

Dysphoria screams down the empty, corrupt pathways of my brain. 

My eyes have glazed over, I’m forever mistaken for a china doll. Skin so delicate, so porcelain.

My skin is like a tiger’s, bold and bright.

Each cut, each scratch, each bite mark, showing that I fought the fight. 

So let me show you this, listen to me roar.

I fell victim to my mind once, but not anymore. 

Scars come and go like trains to a station.

But at somepoint they stop, so please be patient.

The past won’t ever change, so why wistfully wish.

You could be a newly growing wild flower that does nothing but flourish.


If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

After being awake all night watching stupid videos on YouTube and crying with laughter at memes on my news feed, I thought I’d go through my old photos and see if there were any hidden treasures I hadn’t seen in a while… (I usually find drunken photos of my friend’s boobs on my phone – standard)!

I got back to November (this is about 1,700 photos into my camera reel) and came across a photo I had never seen before. I remember it being taken, I also remember the guilt that consumed me right after.

You’re probably thinking it’s a bad photo with bad connotations. Surprisingly though, it isn’t. It’s of two people stood next to each other smiling. To most people, the photo wouldn’t bring up any immediate negative feelings… but the second I saw it I had what felt like a tidal wave of culpability crash into me. 

Over the last 3 years, I have tried to commit suicide off of the ‘Faithful Servant’ about 4 or 5 times. I’ve had about 10 people all together chip in to save my life each time. Including the man I only know as the ‘ferry guy’. 

I wish I knew his name so I could write him a letter thanking him for all the times he’s hauled me back from the edge of the boat kicking and screaming. For talking to me when I was in the depths of darkness. For assuring I have someone with me on the ferry whenever I were to get on it.

But above all.

For stopping me one night and saying to me “How are you doing? You look so much healthier and happier now… it’s nice to see”.

A man who didn’t even want a thankyou for the stuff he helped me through. He may see it as just a small thing, but his words have stuck with me for almost a year now.

It’s been almost a year since my last ever attempt at suicide. It was the first time I realised that life isn’t worth giving up on. That I deserve to be here, that no thoughts will ever detract from my true worth.

I need to let this man know how incredible he is and how much I appreciate what he said and did for me when he didn’t have to.


Never underestimate the kindness of strangers because one day, one might save your life.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

13 Reasons Why You Should Stay Alive

In light of the series ’13 Reasons Why’, I thought it’d be an idea to write a list of 13 reasons why you shouldn’t turn to suicide. In the last 365 days, I’ve tried committing suicide 5 times… each time regretting the last. 

I’m not going to sugar coat this blog post in anyway. I’ve been there, tried it multiple times and have come out the otherside. Trust me, it’s dumb. 

Death doesn’t relieve any pain

Once you’re gone, that’s it. Death won and you lost the battle. Your pain ends, but you pass your pain and a lot more onto every person around you. Your parents, siblings, work colleagues, friends and even acquaintances. You’ll leave them with sleepless nights, constant tears, guilty minds wondering what they could have done to stop you from being selfish.

You’ve survived up until now

Youve lived 100% of your life up until this moment, you’ve been alive every single second. You’ve been alive while people are out in space and people are at new depths of the Earth’s oceans. The people who made these things possible are just like you and I. Why don’t you achieve greatness too?

You become a statistic

When ONS publish their statistics on suicide, your name won’t get mentioned. You get shoved into a number of anonymous people who ‘were too weak to face life’. All the time you’re here on this planet, you can get your name spoken and your story heard. You can do anything if you stay here another day.

You will find people who are in a similar situation

I’m talking about you – ECS girls! Going through therapy, especially a group setting can really help you piece together your own mind. I met some mad hatters in my last therapy group, but they’re the best and I know they’re always there for me to talk to if I need to!

You owe it to youself to heal

You should allow yourself the chance to mend, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You may think that the end is nigh because right now is difficult. It won’t stay this way forever.

Everything is temporary

“This, too, shall pass”. 

This quote has many different connotations to religion and human history. Nothing will be the same in an hours time, after all… the darkest hour is only 60 minutes long right? Hang on in there for 60 minutes, I promise you’ll be grateful that you did.

The butterfly effect 

If you’re not familiar with this concept, it means that if a butterfly were to flap it’s wings one side of the world, that it could cause a hurricane over the opposite side – small things factor into larger consequences. So if you were to kill yourself, if a butterfly could cause a hurricane… what would your loss cause? Armageddon?

Desiderata

My dad showed me this poem only last night, but a particular section in it resonates with me so much.

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should”.

You were placed into this universe for a reason and you should not take that privilege lightly.

Things can’t get any worse 

You want to kill yourself, this is the worst it can be. Now it’s a steady climb back up, you have to hit rock bottom before you can start again.

Think about it

As my favourite author Matt Haig said in his book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’; “three in the morning is never the time to sort your life”. It’s also not the right time to think about ending it either. You should be in a blissful sleep, not aware of your surroundings.

Make a crisis plan

This was the best thing I’ve ever done, my psychiatrist has a copy of my crisis plan incase I ever try and do something stupid again. All I need to do is get someone to phone the MHT and they’ll be guided through what I put down would help me when I’m in distress. Crisis plans include what to say to you/not say to you. Who should be around you and who shouldn’t. Things that can calm you quickly, I have a particular song that zones me out in seconds. Trust me, a crisis plan is literally a life saver.

You are the only ‘you’

You’re made up of star dust, you walk the land that prehistoric creatures roamed hundreds of thousands of years ago. You breathe the same air as every animal on this planet. Heck! You share a large amount of DNA with a banana! You’re such a perfect array of atoms. There will never be another you.

I’ll miss you

I may not know you personally, I may not ever cross your path in life. But every day I take a moment out to mourn in some way to all of the people who are no longer around. Whether I know them or not, I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt to know that most of the people who have committed suicide would probably have regretted it if they had failed and survived. From how close I’ve been to death, regret was the only thing that surged through my body. Your soul is too beautiful to destroy.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂

Anxiety and I

The anxious mind is a vulnerable one, anxiety means manipulation and coercion are far easier to commit against people. Both the sufferer of anxiety and those who are around them feel the full force of just how difficult this illness is.

Anxiety causes huge stress over things that many people find simple. Having a conversation with someone over the phone, eating out in public or traveling on transport. Many things become arduous and make life feel like a living hell every waking moment. 

Anxiety is my alter ego… one moment I can be fine in a room full of people, the next my breathing is erratic as I frantically try and find the closest exit.

Here are some situations I have been in where I’ve been okay to start with and my anxiety has kicked in and made tasks a pain in the bloody arse!

Walking over 3 drains

Rational mind – “It’s only part of the ground, nothing will happen if I don’t walk over them”.

Anxious mind – “What happens if you get hit by a car on your way home, or if someone attacks you? It will be your fault for not walking over the drains… turn back around and walk over them. You NEED to turn around and walk over them, something bad is DEFINITELY going to happen if you don’t… WALK OVER THEM“.

This becomes really quite embarrassing when I’m having a mini argument with myself, especially in a public place.

When people say ” just ignore your anxiety”

Rational mind – “They’re right, I just have to not focus on the anxiety and it will go away”.

Anxious mind – “HEY! Hope you didn’t forget about me, I’m going to make this walk to the shops the worst experience of your life. Someone’s following you, make sure you look over your shoulder every 4 steps you take, tap your fingers together in a sequence of 4’s each time you take a step. Don’t mess it up though! Or you’ll have to start ALL OVER AGAIN! 1, 2, 3, 4… 1, 2, 3, 4… You just walked past a black cat… Make sure you do this all twice as quick or something bad is going to happen”.

The more you focus on not thinking about anxiety the more prominent and worse it becomes.

Public transport

Rational mind – “I’m just going to pop to x’s house for a coffee and a catch up, it’ll be a lovely surprise”.

Anxious mind – “Look at all these people talking, they’re obviously talking about you. Look! That woman’s laughing, I told you and now she’s laughing at you! There’s no empty seats so you have to stand! Everyone’s judging how fat you are, look at your fat legs… No wonder everyone’s looking… you look like something out of a freakshow”.
Anxiety is like having a bully taunting and ridiculing you 24/7, there’s no shutting yourself away from this bully though. 

Anxiety is a hard illness to deal with, especially when it stops people from being able to do normal daily tasks. If you know someone who suffers from anxiety… please, let them take their time to leave the house… hold their hand in the lift while they’re scrunching their eyes shut… Let them check, double check and triple check the front door is locked before going out. Be there for them like you would be there for someone with a visible disability.

If Kiwi can cope, so can you!

🙂

One Year On…

I’ve rewritten this post about 4 times in the past week. I’ve got so much to write but cannot find the words to describe exactly what I want to say.

16 months ago I was so low in myself, I put my body through things no one ever should. I was passing myself from man to man just to feel acknowledged and wanted. I wanted to try and convince myself I was loved and happy while abusing myself. 14 months ago I was addicted to taking Ecstasy and Cocaine, I was like a wild animal that had been let out of its cage for the first time. I had no concept on the damage I was causing my body while downing alcohol, creating a lethal concoction that should have killed me. 

Exactly one year ago to this day, my life could have ended. One year ago today, I was determined that my life would stop in its tracks. One year ago, I was put into a Psychiatric Unit for my own safety. I was so angry at the people who helped save my life. I thought of them as being selfish, that they didn’t understand my struggles and how ‘bad’ my life was. I felt such spite towards them for being so evil to make me carry on suffering. I wish that no one becomes as unwell as I was back then, I didn’t even know what the date was for weeks on end. I was signed off work for months because of how erratic my moods had been.

One year on…

I’m now working alongside people who suffer from acute mental health issues and I support them emotionally to make their lives easier. From being an inpatient in a ‘loony bin’ to a mental health support worker working alongside some of the people who helped me out in my time of need really shows just how well someone can recover if given the right help.

Please don’t give up on someone who wants to get better but seems to be stuck in a sink hole… Be there when they need you and stand back when they’re trying to get back on their own two feet. You wouldn’t stop helping a toddler who fell over after taking their first few steps… You’d encourage them to carry on trying. The same principal applies to everyone. 

If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂