I’ve been offered a new course at college – it’s called ‘Telling Your Story’. At first I was keen….I wanted my story to be one of finding some positives from so many negatives in my life. The idea behind the course is that I would look back on where I’ve been (mentally and emotionally), through various ages and stages of my life and then work out what helped me to move on from the darkest places (where I still find myself on bad days) to the better place that I am in now, in general that is. I’m not saying that all my worries and gremlins from the past have disappeared, far from it. They will always be there. My past will always be a big part of my life…my past will always be my past – it’s just that I don’t choose to live there on a permanent basis anymore. I am in good therapy and that is where I deal with any gremlins and Grinches when they do arise. I don’t want to carry them round with me like a great big sack of potatoes.


I’ve thought carefully about doing this course and have spoken to my college tutor about it at some length. There is something about it that I find strangely attractive and yet, if I am honest with myself and after speaking with my therapist today, I have found myself thinking, do I really want to drag that old pile of skeletons out of the closet again? Do I really want to dig through all that sh*t again? Is it worth risking how far I’ve come just to prove something to others and to myself? And…..I think the conclusion that I have come to is no. There is just too much at stake.

Having said that, there is something to be said for making a neat little (or large in my case) package from my not very neat life, ‘telling my story‘ and sharing my feelings. Equally, there is also something to be said for not recounting my story or doing anything with it for that matter, other than letting sleeping dogs lie.

However, I am still very affected by what happened to me, mostly as a child or as a direct result of that, and I still have awful memories, flashbacks, nightmares, thoughts, reminders, triggers that I’d obviously rather not have. But I am a human being and that is just reality. Then, on talking with my Support Worker, we struck upon the idea of a black memory box. Sound strange?! It did to me at first but then the more I thought about it, the more things I thought of that I’d like to box up and put in there.

black box

Things like the first book I had published which I dedicated to my first therapist who turned out to be very dangerous and has since been ‘struck off’ the accredited list of counsellors in this country. I won’t go into detail about the content of this book other than to say it is morbid to the extreme. There are books and gifts she bought me at the time which are still kicking about my house. The song lyrics to REM’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ which I used to play over and over on repeat which just drove me further into my despair. A photo of my father who abused me for all of my childhood. A piece of classical music that reminds of my further abuse, an empty bottle of alcohol from my drinking days, a razor blade from when I used to self-harm (not that long ago) etc…..all things that I’d let to literally and metaphorically shove somewhere where they can’t hurt me anymore. I’d pack it up and put it somewhere like the attic or the back of the garage where it wasn’t on constant view. I just don’t want to live in that place any more. I want and intend to move on.

Author: Ellie Thompson

Writing my memoirs, musings, a little fiction and a lot of poetry as a way of exploring and making the most of my life ... ... Having had a break from writing my blog for more than three years, I decided to return to write my memoirs, some day-to-day observations, views and feelings. My passion is non-fiction poetry. I have a disability and use an electric powerchair called Alfie and let nothing get in the way of living life to the full. I believe that you can never do a kindness too soon and should give credit where credit is due. A smile or a kind word could make the difference between a good or bad day for a person - we never know what's going on for another soul. Those little things, perhaps, practised daily like a mantra, could mean so much to someone else. Thank you for visiting my blog and reading a little more about me. Please, make yourself at home here. You are very welcome. Ellie x 😊


  1. It sounds like you have given it a lot of serious thought. If its not for you then respect your decision on it. Perhaps ask your parts too what they’d like to do? Maybe they dont want to do it and are sending you a clear message. As for the black memory box, I love that idea. I think it sounds wonderful. XX

    1. Thanks, Carol anne. I spoke to my course tutor again this morning and have confirmed that this is what I want to do and it’s now been approved by my college. It’ll be like distance learning really. I’m eager to start filling that black box – glad you like the idea and thanks for your support xxx 🙂

  2. I support your decision Ellie. Only you truly know what it is you can manage and handle. And certainly others may benefit from shared stories etc., but if you already know how far you’ve come, how much progress you’ve made, and you are aware of the important aspects that have helped you, then hold on to that and let sleeping dogs lie. Sometimes it take years before we are ready to revisit some “black” aspect of our past – and there is nothing wrong with that. It takes strength, hope, faith and courage – every day – and if it’s not necessary, then why push yourself to “reclaim” something you have already managed, well enough, at this time. It’s a life-long process – unfortunately no quick fixes, but you seem to know exactly where you’re at and what’s right for you at this time. Honour that.

    As for the black box – it’s a great idea. It’s a form of de-cluttering and letting go of the nasty reminders. I’m sure it would be an absolutely empowering move for you.

    Cheers and hugs Ellie. xxx

    1. Hi Mj. Thanks for popping in and for your welcome comment. Thanks too for understanding where I’m ‘coming from’. My college have said if I want to do a positive ‘story’ of my recovery in mental health etc, I can do that at home with maybe the occasional visit to ‘check in’ with my tutor. I definitely want to emphasize the positive, at least that’s how I feel at the moment. I’m making the most of feeling positive as I know, quite honestly, that there are still going to be those down times so I’m going on my gut instinct.

      I’m really keen to find my black box somewhere and to start filling it with all the crap I don’t need surrounding me every day. I feel it will be empowering as you say and very therapeutic too. I won’t dispose of the stuff in my box because as you say, there might be times in the future where I need to revisit my past. Thanks so much for your encouragement. {{{Hugs}}}, Ellie xxx ❤ 🙂

      1. I think you’re definitely approaching this with the right frame of mind – and that is great. As for the box – it’s fine to hold on to the past “junk” – stored away – out of sight is a huge stepping stone in moving forwards – so good on you. And eventually, you’ll know exactly when you’ll be ready to sort through and toss the items that you really no longer need. So, as they say, (don’t as me who “they” is), cheers to you and always trust your instincts – especially when you are coming from a place of calm and relative peace and understanding. I’m so proud of you Ellie – great stuff – and yes, an inspiration to others, including me 🙂

        1. Thank you so Mj. It’s always good to hear your opinion and feelings. Your encouragement means a lot. Chucking out the contents of my black box seems very far off at the moment but I know that is ok – it’s just that I don’t want that stuff ‘under my nose’ everyday. I feel good at the moment but the shine has slightly dulled this morning but I know it will come back. However, I’m still that tiny bit afraid that I might ‘fall off my horse’ but then I know I’ve just got to work towards getting back on and if I’ve done it once, I know I can do it again. Isn’t it frustrating that our mood can alter so drastically in such a short period of time, but then I guess that’s one of the joys of having BPD! Take care and keep strong, Mj. Big {{{Hugs}}} xxx 🙂

          1. My thoughts are with you Ellie. It Can be so difficult to keep the light shining brightly – all we can do is the best we can, in each moment.
            As far as I know, I don’t have BPD -but hell, do I swing up and down like a yo-yo. Courage my friend – and one step, breathe and smile at a time. We are fighters – for what is worthy – and we are more than enough and worth the efforts.
            Hugs to you (((Ellie)))

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