Brave – Sara Bareilles

Nine years ago, I shared this video, ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles, because the words meant a lot to me. I also like the somewhat amusing performance that goes with the lyrics. Now, I find myself experiencing those same feelings. I have expressed these feelings in my recent poems.

I think this song might appeal to any of my readers who could be experiencing similar feelings, either now or in their past. If you can take the time to listen to it and really listen to the words (lyrics below), it will give you an understanding of how difficult it is to be brave and to write your heart out in your work and show your vulnerability, pain and courage. This is what I do. This is the only way I know how to be, how to express myself in my writing and work in my present counselling, which I wrote about in my last post, Dissociative Healing. I hope you enjoy this song – It means a lot to me.

Brave – Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you


Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave


I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
But don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave


I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave


I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

Thank you for reading, listening and for your interest – Much love – Ellie x 💖

DANCING WITH THE DEVIL … AND PRAYER

This post is dark … again. I tell you in advance as you may be so sick of hearing of my negativity that you wonder when there will be a respite from this torture and whether any experience of positivity is going to return? I wish I could let you into my world where I have secrets so deep, you couldn’t dig them out from the depths of hell. My shame has no end – I know that I’m dancing with the devil and now I have engaged in this dance, I can no longer pick the tune. I feel that I will spend the rest of my days terrifyingly and extremely reluctantly tied to this dance partner.

I listened to a sermon at church today (a place that I have no right to be as the bearer of my sins). It was about God loving each one of us despite what we have done. The first step would be to turn away from my sins which are, admittedly, not entirely of my own making, but they are now so great and I have sunk so low that I am too far down under the ocean to see any way back up to the surface.

I prayed so hard for God to show me a way out of the unfathomable mess I’m in, but there were no answers other than my knowing I will either spend my eternal days in hell if my sin remains only in my conscience or the alternative is for my sin to be exposed and I then spend my living days in damnation with my entire world having fallen apart around my ears until I die. And on that day, my feet will know no other way to tread than in the devil’s footsteps.

Dancing with the devil 2

“Father God, I praise You with all that I have and all that I am, deficient and insufficient though that might be. Forgive me, I beg, for my dreadful sin and please, Lord, free me from the captivity of the enabler and partner in crime who lives so closely alongside me emotionally yet they are not here in my existence now and I know that You already know this fact and were fully aware of this before I even put my pen to this paper.

I thank You for all the good that You have given me throughout my life. There have been many difficult and painful experiences along the way as there are in many people’s lives but I feel that, on the whole, I have learned from these and grown although evidently, not enough to right the wrong that I am doing currently and have been for some years.

My Father in Heaven, I plead with You to show me how to help myself to get out of this mess that I am in and in turn to become purer in thought and deed. I ask all this with all of my heart and everything I have in my soul, in Your Precious Name. Amen”

MY BPD – FROM THE INSIDE, OUT

 

BPD shattered glass masks

I know this image looks a bit melodramatic but for anyone who hasn’t experienced BPD – yes – it is this dramatic some of the time. I was going to write a post about BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) in more general terms but have instead decided that I would explain how I feel, being open and honest about what it’s like to be me. This is how I experience living with my condition; in other words – me from the inside, out as the title says. Although I may appear tough and more often than not, smiling; I am in fact emotionally very fragile and often experience severe distress.

I am an exceptionally sensitive person – it is said that an individual with borderline personality disorder is akin to an individual with third-degree burns so that means that I can feel the equivalent severity of pain, not physically but emotionally. I feel everything at a very much more intense level than most people. I get emotionally hurt, extremely quickly and the ensuing distress is almost intolerable at times. I’m not terribly good at handling it although at least I don’t replace my pain with self-harming tactics anymore. Self-harming, as you may have read elsewhere, is an attempt to distract myself from the huge amount of emotional pain I am in.

On the other hand, I also have a tremendous capacity for huge amounts of love and joy and compassion to share with the world and those around me and that is something I make the most of and feel as strongly about as I do the agony.

I am also what is sometimes known as a quiet borderline, meaning that (contrary to popular belief), I rarely have fits of rage although of course, I have anger like everyone else. I have never wanted to be the centre of attention – in fact, I wouldn’t be even remotely interested in being the life and soul of the party – I can’t think of anything I’d like less of on the social scale. Give me a cosy corner, a book and a blog to write and that’s more my idea of amusing myself although of course I enjoy the company of a few good friends to share coffee or a meal with. Neither, do I like to draw attention to my inadequacies in a public way.

As those of you who know me well will recognise, I am frequently apologetic or forever saying sorry for who I am or for what I have written. (My self-esteem isn’t the greatest because of my experiences of severe childhood trauma), and I’m often being ‘told off‘ for putting myself down which I find only too easy. I rarely feel ‘good‘ enough and will often need your reassurance and approval to make me feel ‘ok‘ or ‘acceptable,’ even when I think that I might just be alright. This probably explains why I often go to bed at night or wake up in the morning worrying whether anyone has read/liked/hated/ignored or commented on my blog, or why I have endlessly fretted about what my WordPress ‘stats’ are doing. This isn’t as pathetic as it may at first sound – it stems from a chronic fear of being rejected or abandoned which is classic in BPD.

I’m sorry if this sounds like a plea for more attention to my blog, (it definitely isn’t), which I feel is mediocre at best compared to most blogs I read. I feel inadequate and not good enough most of the time despite reassurances, and this isn’t particularly a nice place to be. Please, don’t believe, for one minute, that this is ‘attention-seeking‘ behaviour. I hate that phrase – it makes me feel like a spoilt child who is having a temper tantrum and stomping my feet because I can’t get my way.

I ‘mind read‘ a lot, attempting to guess what people are thinking of me because I always feel people are thinking the worse of me. I worry about what you might be thinking of me despite your reassurances. I cannot help it. It is the way my brain is wired as also goes for all my other BPD traits. I don’t choose to be this way. My physical disability is far the less debilitating than my emotional tolerances.

Impulsivity is a ‘biggy’ in my life. It gets me into endless amounts of trouble and is the thing I find most difficult to control. It can vary from something obvious like spending money I haven’t got (usually on Amazon) to saying yes or no to a demand before I’ve thought it through properly. I then worry that if I back-track, changing my mind, I am not going to be ‘liked’ very much which ties in with the fear of rejection or abandonment, as mentioned above. I have also been known to get into trouble, (usually by the poor, embarrassed friend I happen to be with) for suddenly doing something entirely unexpected, like hugging that kind lady on the bus (or the waiter in a restaurant) because they were kind and I feel honoured because I don’t feel worthy of their kindness or praise.

I have to say that I am also prone to quite sudden mood changes (and I don’t mean Jekyll & Hyde style). I can be feeling as happy as a pig in clover one minute to being so low that I am down in the depths of the basement the next, often without any apparent cause.  I can assure you, it is just as confusing for me as it is for you, especially when everything can be reversed and or is interchangeable within minutes and I swing from one mood to another so intensely and so quickly.

I found this great YouTube video that is very different to all the others that I have seen about BPD that make me sound like some odd species or alien. It shows some of the most interesting points of living with this condition. As with everything, there are ups, and there are downs. Please take the time to watch it …

However, I have come a long way in my recovery, which is an ongoing process. I count myself as very blessed when I think of how ill I once was and the fact that I took so many chances, gambling with my life with drugs and alcohol, self-harm, and numerous severe overdoses. I’ve not had a drink for nearly four years and I’ve not self-harmed in any way other than bingeing on food occasionally, for four-and-a-half months.

I now lead a very active and busy life despite my disabilities, with college, art, drama, University speaking, coffee with friends,  and getting out into town and church with Charlie (that’s my electric wheelchair, not my ballroom dancing partner for those of you who have not met me before)!

My next goal is to take a ‘do-it-yourself’ certificate in something called DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) which is a very effective method of learning to live and cope successfully with BPD. It’s usually studied, and practised in groups under the Health Authority but this has been axed because of government funding cuts. Once I’ve done that (although that is something I’ll need to practice for the rest of my life), I’d like to move on to do my Public Health degree at my local university.

So, when all is said and done, I fight a good battle against one of the most difficult to cope with mental health conditions that many psychiatrists don’t like dealing with because it can’t be treated or controlled by drugs. Yes, I still take medication, but that’s more about dealing with the often accompanying symptoms of anxiety, panic, depression, etc.

I know and am grateful that I get a lot of support from some of my family and friends, both real-life and cyber friends, from my mental health team, my GP, college and university. I do indeed, count myself as extremely blessed and very fortunate. Thank you to you, for your support and your time and patience in reading this far in what I am aware is probably one of my longest posts. I truly appreciate it. Ellie x ❀

‘IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS’

brusssels and christmas hats

If I could have a Christmas wish come true just for Christmas Day, it would be to be able to spend that day with all of my family; that’s my son and my two little ones; my daughter, husband and little *J and *B; my Mum and sisters and their families.

Given that this isn’t likely to happen … ever … I’ll quite happily settle for whatever I’m offered (within reason, of course). I do draw the line at hiking to the North Pole to celebrate the festive season with Santa, and an Eskimo in an igloo, even if he does promise to put the two-bar electric heater on and serve the line-caught Arctic Skate with roast parsnips and stuffing.

As you know, my family has always been … well, shall we say … a little dysfunctional thereby not making Christmas the easiest time of the year. We are all so far away from each other that we usually just do our ‘own thing’, which is for me, usually spent on my own which I’ve kind of got used to over the years. It does entail an oven-ready, chicken flavour ready-meal eaten on my lap, in front of my laptop watching a cheesy film in 14″ panoramic view with only the goldfish and my favourite bear for company. Hey ho! Things could be worse.

As it happens, although I’ve been a bit of a bah humbug character this year, suddenly, all that’s changed and if Michael Buble doesn’t mind me pinching his line, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.’

My son, Tom has decided he’s not going abroad as planned this year for the holiday period, (although he’s obviously devastated not to have his two little ones with him this year as they have been taken overseas by my son’s ex and her family). So, he’s invited me over to his house which entails a two-and-a-half journey each way by car with my wheelchair neatly folded in the back, having strapped both it and me into the car firmly as my son does have a habit of putting his foot down on the pedal rather too eagerly for my liking.

I’m so looking forward to spending Christmas with Tom for the first time since he married his ex-wife (and rather, unfortunately, her mother into the bargain). I’ll have to get my best Christmas jumper out of mothballs, polish up my fluffy red and white Santa hat and don a pair of flashing earrings. I’ll get practising peeling the Maris Piper’s, rush round to the Co-Op for a bottle of non-alcoholic punch and a kilo of Brussel sprouts. I’ll pick up a large box of mince pies, a box of assorted crackers and streamers, a Yule Log with the traditional plastic robin on the top …. and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, for once, at this time of year, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’, and my wish to all who may be reading this, a jubilant and blessed Christmas and may all the best things come to you in the New Year.

A STRONGER WOMAN (I WILL RISE)

For those of you who know me well, you will understand, I expect. For those of you who are not familiar with my story, it may be helpful to read a previous post at https://elliethompson.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-sting-the-toxin-within/

You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise – Maya Angelou.

 

You will not ‘trod me in the very dirt’ – I will not allow it – I am stronger than you gave me credit for, three years, nine months and eleven days ago, to be exact.

You left me that day, the day my father died. You left me, a whimpering, callow wreck, on the lowest storey – the basement of my life. You left me for dead.

Did you not think that I would survive? Did you honestly think I would perish without your permission to do even as so much as breathe? Honesty? You do not know the meaning of the word.

Well, I tell you now … you have not won; you have not destroyed me as you might have liked to have done. You will see that I mean it when I say ‘justice will be done’. You have no idea what I have in mind for your wicked mentality and your sick soul.

But, I am not a law-breaker, nor a criminal but I am strong. Strong enough now, (no thanks to you) to beat you down with the very authoritarian stick you used against me for those eight years of therapy at your abusive hands. Those hands should have been safe hands. I trusted you, and you betrayed me by almost taking my life.

I have decided to take action, legally and from a moral standpoint. I am lodging a formal complaint about the ‘therapeutic’ abuse that you inflicted on me back then. Do you think that I don’t know that you are still preying on other vulnerable lives – that you still hold your accreditation in your deceitful hands? This situation is so wrong, so very wrong and I will not stand by and see other innocent lives destroyed in your wake.

It will not be easy for me to stand and face you in a court of law and you would never have credited me with the strength to do so back then but I have become strong now. And although I have tears in my eyes, I may bend but I will not break. I will no longer cower in fear at your disapproval.

I claim back that power that you so willingly took from me. I claim it back as my own. I will not shatter like glass. I will not disintegrate in front of your very eyes. No way!

I AM A STRONG WOMAN AND I WILL RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES.

phoenix from the ashes

 

“RIGHT SAID FRED”!

This is just a very brief post to say sorry to any of my readers who are fed up with ‘watching this space’ while I’ve been faffing about (meaning messing about) over the last few days trying to find a new personality for my page.

Well, here I am, sort of established but still having ‘issues’ with my widgets!! I think it’s taken me two days of trial and error and even now, I’m not 100% satisfied with my new image so anyone with any suggestions (preferably polite and preferably helpful) will be welcomed. I’m a bit of a novice at getting blog pages just right although I have to say WordPress do try to make it fairly simple even for a simple soul such as me, to get it even halfway right! I’m still not sure I am satisfied so you will have to forgive me the possibility of a few more days ‘faffing about’!

This short, comic and very old YouTube video just about sums up my efforts!! 😀

Thank you for bearing with me to all of those who have done so. Love Ellie xxx 🙂

YOU RAISE ME UP

THANK YOU, MY TRUE FATHER IN HEAVEN

for getting me through the tough times.

PRAISE YOU!

I love You, Lord, from Your child, Ellie xxx

❀ ❀ ❀

(YouTube film taken from The Passion of the Christ)

(Also, thanks to Mj and Meghan for being there for me too, recently (you know who you are). God Bless xxx)