My Mental Health Journey · Random Thoughts and Ideas

Everything You Have Ever Heard About Bullies is Right

We all know the cliche sayings; “They are just bullying you because they are jealous of you”, “They only bully people because they have low self-esteem” etc.

How many of you have heard these, or similar, sayings? Probably most of you, if not all.. And how many of you that has had these sayings said to them thought “Yeah right, whatever”, accompanied by a roll of the eyes and possibly a shake of your head? Again, I am going to guess and say probably most of you, if not all.

But, I say this with 100% sincerity, they are both accurate, they are both correct. Again, I can almost hear the collective sigh as you read this. But bear with me on this, because I dont say it lightly; bullying is a real problem in society, across most age brackets and in all different forms and levels of severity.

I have, like most people unfortunately, been a victim of bullying. I am currently 28, and I honestly still get it at times.. Yes, at 28. If you are in your teen years reading this I with great sadness inform you that even though you age through years, not everyone matures and “grows up” with age. Whilst kids and teens can be cruel, adults can be just as cruel. I wish it werent the case, but in my experience, it is true.

By why would that bully be jealous of me? What do I have that they dont? They have everything in life and I dont. And on the list goes; they are prettier/skinnier/taller than me, they have nicer hair/eyes/skin tone/complexion, they are better than me at sports/maths/literature skills/people skills and popularity, they have more money than me/my family, they have a better job/house/car/spouse than me…. Human envy has no ending. But see how easy it is for your brain to point out how and why they are better/better off than you?

So is it really that much of a stretch to think that others have the same thought processes and journeys that you do? That you can look at them and see good things about them and their life, even if they have an “ugly” side, that they are currently displaying to you. Different people have different ways of dealing and coping with different things. Some people unfortunately use putting others down as a method of making themselves feel better. The theory behind this? If they make you feel like crap, its easier to make you feel even crappier (like wearing you down, the more they push you down the quicker and easier you go down), and when they cant pull themselves up they find it easier to push you down. And when your down, they are up, right?

Depending on the bully, and your relationship to/with them, you may or may not know what about their life isnt so perfect. And it could be any of the things I mentioned above. Or it may be something else entirely, something else I havent even thought of. But this is the important thing – you dont need to spread or increase the level of hatred that exists in the world by then feeding on what they are bullying you with, and responding to their bullying by bullying them back.

As well as being the important thing, its also the hardest thing. Believe me, I get it. It is all to easy for us to listen to what they are saying; we are our on worst enemy. Seeing our own flaws and imperfections and faults is second nature. So when others tell us that we are inadequate we just believe it. Whether its straight away, or whether it eats away at us.

We also have the fight or flight instinct. Which means that another natural response is to become angry. Which also then increases our chances of lashing back at them in a self defense move. But you know what? That makes it harder, makes it worse. Because you then activate their fight response, and around in circles it goes. And goes. But where does it end?

It will take practice, and I feel that it is easier when it is an ongoing issues (due to the re-occurrence), but you can let it go. You can let it not affect you. And once you get to that point, you will feel so at peace. And maybe you do this by recognizing that their life isnt perfect. That they have flaws. That they have things that are unhappy about with themselves. That they arent perfect beings. So long as in doing this you DONT then become the bully yourself. This isnt about doing to them what they are doing to you by throwing it back at them, but by reassuring yourself that whilst you arent perfect, neither are they. 

Or, maybe, when you are having a good moment, on a good day, you can sit and write yourself a reminder list of all the things you like about yourself, and all of your successes. Or start the list and build upon it as time progresses. And it could be anything. A physical attribute, and achievement, even how you felt when you helped someone else. And draw on that positivity in these times. Remind yourself what you are proud of, what makes you happy.

And let their negativity just float past you. Like cars on the other side of the road to you; it approaches you, you see it, and then it is behind you.

And remember, this will take practice to master. You wont get it the first time, but if you practice, you will get it.

On a last note – if you need help, ask for it. From friends, family, loved ones, professionals. There are so many resources available to those who need help. It is never ok for people to make you feel any less of how amazing you are.

My Mental Health Journey

Scars On Top Of Scars…

So, today… I have been thinking about this post all day, however now that I am sitting here to write it I am drawing a bit of a blank. On what to say. And how to say it. So I will just type and see what happens I guess………..

So, today, I met a girl. And her mother. I spoke to them for less than 5 minutes, probably. I was at work. The girl, at a guess, would have been 15-17 years old. And she was nice. And her mother was nice. Anyone reading this is probably thinking yeah ok whats so special about that?

This is where my breath catches. Where my stomach turns upside down and knots itself. And the more I think about it, it makes me want to throw up. It makes me sick and upsets me so. It makes me want to cry. I cant tell whether the urge to vomit or cry is stronger at this point.

You see, this beautiful girl has scars on top of scars. On every inch of her body/skin that I could see. Which was both of her arms from the mid-upper arm down, her neck/top of her chest that I could see from her shirt collar up, and even her face.

Not just any kind of scars. Most of them were pink or purple in colour. Thick. And layered and criss-crossed over the top of each other. As I said, on every inch of her skin that I could see. The cause of these scars? Self harm. Cut after slice after cut. Even on her face. She was wearing makeup, but you could still see the slices on her cheek….

The amount of pain that this girl is in to have inflicted herself so badly over time truly breaks my heart. A lot of people who cut (or I guess self-harm in general) will do it on parts of their body where no-one else can see it. I was like this when I was self harming years ago as well. Why? Because when you are truly in that amount of pain you are not doing it for “attention”. You are doing it because of the pain that you are in. And you want it to stop. And its stupid, but it does help. I dont know why. In the short term at least, anyway.

But this girl has obviously surpassed that level. By miles. And thats what hurts me. I have, dealing with the general public, over the past maybe 2-3 years seen an increase in the amount of people I have seen with self harm scars. And being a past self-harmer myself there is no judgement coming from me aimed towards these people. But these have all been past scars. This girl today. She has so many scars, but so many of them were fresh cuts too….

Now I am not going to judge this mother, I dont know their circumstances. But I can say, when I have children, I will do everything in my power to try to help my child/ren be happy and healthy. Obviously my first go-to would be to help them myself. But if that didnt work, I would seek outside sources. Whatever I needed to do. Counselling, medication, meditation, etc. And if that didnt work? Honestly, I would look at options to have them in housing with nurses and psychiatrists available around the clock. I would rather have my child hate me and be alive, than commit suicide and lose them forever. Even if they come out alive and recovered and still hated me, I could at least sleep at night knowing that I did what I could to give them a chance at a happy and healthy life.

All I can honestly say is I hope with my entire heart that this girl is getting the help that she needs.. My fear for her breaks my heart.

I'm a sperm-donor baby

Dear “Father”

This is a letter I have been wanting to write for awhile. And maybe after writing it and posting it on here I will get the courage to actually write it and give to you.

Dear “Father”,

I am going to start this by saying; how dare you think that this whole thing is because I finally know the truth. That you aren’t my biological father. How dare you think that I am that shallow that the fact you are not biologically related to you means I feel the hurt I do. Because that has nothing to do with the way I feel towards you anymore.

You want to know what is?

Your behavior. I just went to type my entire life. But, I will allow you that fairness. Lets say since I was 18 months old. When I was so sick in hospital I died four times. That I was so close to slipping into an irreversible coma. (The biggest thing that saved my life? My mother. Shouting at doctors that she knew there was something wrong, that they had to listen and look at me). And those months when I was hospital, and mum was practically living there too, where were you? You cheated on my mother. You left us both. When we needed you the most you left us both. And I want to know why. I will never ask you because I will never be able to trust that anything you say to me is the truth, But I want to know; was your thinking ever “not my child, not my problem?”

Once I was better mum moved us to another state. She never tried to stop you from seeing me; she told me that and I believe her. And yet you never made any attempts whatsoever to be in my life. And then mysteriously when we move back into the state all of a sudden you want to be father of the year? Wtf is that shit? Another question I want the answer to, that again I will never ask for fear of being lied to, did you just do it to look like a good father? So that people in your life who knew I existed, but not the truth, would think that you were a “good dad”?

Because I feel like if it was love, then you wouldn’t have treated me the way you have? Surely? Never showing up to spend time with me when you said you would when I was a kid. Letting me down time and again.

And then introducing the girlfriends, then one wife, as I grew older. Not that there were lots of girlfriends – only two, one of which you are married to now.. But. They always came first right? It was never what I wanted or needed, it was what they wanted or needed. The first girlfriend, the only time you “stood up for me” or was “on my side” was when we were going camping, and I left my pillow inside by accident. We had to go back, thankfully only like 2mins after we left, and in my haste to get it I ran inside, tripped, and had to get stitches in my leg. I was 10. The gf and her kids were complaining about the camping trip getting cancelled, but you said no that I couldn’t go so it would get post-poned until I was fully healed. Not when she hit me. Not when she starved me. Not when she verbally abused me or excluded me. But when I needed stitches because I fell over.

And the wife. We’ll just stick to the worst. As prior to that she was wonderful to me. She kicked me out of home when I was 15. Because she had been told a lie about me. And rather than asking me she assumed it was the truth. We went through a week of being screamed at or being ignored, before it was a mutual kick-out/I had my bags packed to leave.. She forbid me from having any form of contact with my step sisters for like 8 months. Over christmas. Over birthdays. And did you stick up for me? Of course you didn’t. Even though you knew what was said wasn’t true, that what was happening wasn’t right. You did nothing.

And not that I am that shallow type the materialistic side of this matters; but I dont remember the last birthday or christmas present you gave me was that cost more than say $20. In her naivety my youngest step sister, that is 10yrs younger than me, told me one christmas you stopped at a petrol station to get cash out at an ATM because you had forgotten to buy me a present..

That was obviously before I actually stopped getting invited to christmas and family lunches/dinners. After everything I think thats what hurts the most; the fact that I was never thought of. That I was forgotten about. That I was so far off your radar that you could hold a family gathering and I wasn’t even a blip.

And the cincher? The icing on the cake for both my intolerance of the way you treated me, and the tip over for mum to finally tell me the truth about my own existence? You, coming into mine and my girlfriends home, asking ignorant and homophobic questions about our life and relationship. Asking which of us was the “guy” in the relationship. Which of us “wore the pants”. Or “made all the decisions”. The fact that you couldn’t understand that we are in a relationship, that we are in love, that we are partners – which seems to say a lot to me; that you dont understand what it means to be partners, to be equals.

And what do you even know about my life? The amount of times I have had to tell you where I work. What I am studying. Foods I dont eat. The list goes on. I bet you don’t even know what my favourite colour is?

But yes. Please. Continue to think and say that I have pulled away from you because I am shallow. Because I am the one at fault. That you are the victim.

My Mental Health Journey

I Cant Tell You What It Really Is, I Can Only Tell You What It Feels Like…

Some of you will recognize this line from Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” song. For me however, it is the best description of my anxiety that I have ever heard.

My anxiety isn’t rational. It isn’t logical. It isn’t “sane”. Therefore; I cant always see a situation for what it truly is. I can only see it through what my anxiety makes me feel. I have used this term on here before, but my anxiety is a living, breathing thing. It is like a shadow that floats over me all the time. No matter where I am, or what I am doing, it is there. And sometimes it just hovers and whilst I know it is there it otherwise leaves me alone.

And then there are other times that it doesn’t leave me alone. It whispers hurtful things. It throws fuel onto the fire that is my paranoia. It tells me that no-one likes me. That no-one would miss me if I wasn’t there. That I am useless. That everything I do is wrong. That no matter how hard I try whatever I do will never be right. It will never be enough. I will never be enough.

From the outside I may seem… I don’t even know. I can’t even say “perfect” or “happy” or “together” or any other good adjectives to describe myself. But sometimes I feel so overwhelmed it isn’t funny. That logically I can think “All I have to do is fix one thing/get one thing off my plate and everything will be fine”, but it isn’t always that simple….

Book Reviews

Ewan Pendle And The White Wraith, by Shaun Hume

Enter the world of Ewan Pendle, and discover his heritage along side him as he learns his life as an orphan getting passed from home to home is over. Ewan enters a world he never could have imagined, and gets a fresh start to life.

You see, Ewan was never what anyone would call as normal. Ewan, from an early age, could see things that nobody else could. This made Ewan a bit of an outsider, and made life hard for him. Ewan struggled to make friends, and couldnt “fit in” with any of the foster families he was placed with.

This all changes however when he gets collected to go to a special school, called Firedrake. Here Ewan learns that he is not abnormal, or alone, for the things he has been seeing. He is what is called a Lenitnes, and it is his life duty to fight these Creatures he has been seeing most of his life.

This book follows Ewans first year at Firedrake as he learns about his true world and life, makes friends, and causes a little bit of mischief along the way!

The story introduces and centers on several characters, who are different but all relate-able in their own ways.  The characters also evolve nicely as the plot proceeds.

My only constructive criticism on this book, and whether it was just the copy I was provided, there were a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes, which was at times distracting from the story.  The author was also very descriptive, which is good as it really helps to build the story and construct the image in your mind. (However, constant repetition of the same descriptive terms were used).

All in all I rate the book 3.5 out of 5 stars, and I hope the the author brings out the next book soon – it is left open for a sequel and there is a story building quite nicely! This is available in eBook format on Amazon.com for $3, or hardback option is available aswell if you dont like eBooks.

Thanks again also to Shaun for sending me this book to review!

My Mental Health Journey

What is Real Wisdom? What is Real Strength?

I once read that real wisdom and strength was knowing the difference between when to fight, and when to give up. And knowing that you weren’t “giving up”, but making the right choice? The best choice, for yourself; for your health, your happiness, your stability, your future?

Sometimes it can seem easier to see what is best for someone else, but not what is best for yourself. 

So what is that point? How do you find it? When do you respect yourself enough, to tell yourself enough is enough. To move on with your life and let go? 

But then there’s that fear, underneath your “fuck you” strength. That fear telling you that darkness it deepest before dawn. That nothing easy is worth having. All of the “what ifs” – maybe if I hold on a little longer that person will change/ I will change/ things will get better/ that person will recognise me/ I will get that promotion/ I will get that grade/ I will get that payrise, and on and on and never ending is that list of what may happen if you keep holding on. 

But when do you know? When do you accept the fact that nothing is going to change, and that the only change you can make is to remove yourself?

My Mental Health Journey

Dont Let ANYONE Dull Your Sparkle!

I dont know how long this post will be, but I still want to share 🙂

So, as I have been for the past 1-2 weeks since my brain storm, I have been waking up mostly happy and content; tired, but still in a good mood. Today, I get to work, determined to review my stats for the past week and set myself up for the day.. And as usual, when dealing with the general public, you come across people in less than optimistic moods/mind-frames.

And its so hard to not let these kind of people get to you, and bring you down, and affect your mood. I know this all too well. I used to work with a guy who was so hard-pressed to view things positively instead of negatively; and as much as you would try to fight it it was hard to repel it on a constant level.

But today I made it my mission to, in the words of Taylor Swift lol, “Shake It Off!”. And I was pretty successful I have to say! I happen to know abit about this particular person, but regardless, you know what realization struck me? It was very close to sympathy for that person; I am actively trying to control my thoughts and actions to become a better, happier person. But not everyone has reached this point. And whilst I cannot control the thoughts and actions of others, I can control (mostly – and I am getting better with practice!) my thoughts and actions. And why does this matter in relation to others? I can control how others’ behavior does, or doesnt, affect me. I can wallow in their negativity, or I can “Shake It Off’ and move on with my day.

Today when I practiced this, it was hard at first. But honestly, only for like 5-10mins. Then I pushed all the negativity out, with the knowledge that although the other person wasnt able to interact positively with themselves or others, I was capable of feeling joy and I actively wanted to share that joy with others.