She got up early and painted her face
to cover the shame and her falling from grace
She dyed her hair ginger and put blue on her eyes
She thought she’d catch all her friends by surprise
She smacked on red lips and looked into the glass
Outside the window, she watched people pass
Nobody noticed this sad tired stranger
Nor that she was in imminent danger
She pulled on her face and forced out a smile
and held the expression for quite a while
She easily feigned joy; could have earned first prize
for kidding them all with her perfect disguise
Exhausted and weary, she started yawning
and time slipped by, ‘though it was still morning
She pulled down her hat to cover her frown
No one would know her, dressed up as a clown
She’d tried so hard but things were so tough
She decided that enough was enough
What a sham, what a game; she picked up the knife
Could she pluck up the courage to take her own life?
An ear to listen, a hand to hold
My story’s been told a hundred-fold
About my abuse, about my pain
And my mental health that fucks with my brain
I’ve told of my struggles, I’ve told of my fight
Whatever I do, I can’t get it right
My body is tired; my mind’s been stricken
With thoughts that make my heartbeat quicken
My mind is a jumble, just word upon word
My thinking is such that the lines become blurred
When will my world stop spinning around?
My head craves silence, please, not a sound
Yet, the thunder continues; there is no rest
And bedlam moved in as a permanent guest
Is there no respite for one such as me
While chaos reigns but no one can see
I sit and ponder these thoughts of mine
And watching the clock, eating the time
The mornings are better; not so afternoons
Bedtime can’t come a minute too soon.
Sitting here blankly, staring at the wall
Asking myself why I’m still here at all
Only two days ago, laughing and joking
Anguish has returned, prodding and poking
I’ve been making such effort all day today
Holding in misery and fearful to say
Just when I thought it’ll all be okay
Depression decided to come out to play
Keep my head in the clouds, feet on the floor
Hoping joy will return to knock on the door
Fighting the sadness, I’m not giving in
Not knowing how or where to begin
Tired though I am; I’ve got to keep running
Fighting off memories; keep the good coming
Therapy fading and slipping away
Making the most of each session, each day
I’m trying so hard again not to lose hope
Nearly evening now, and it’s tough to cope
How do I start to cut me some slack?
Come on, start climbing; no looking back.
Let my fears float away
in a hot air balloon
above the dark clouds
and up to the moon
All my pain and the anger
sent up to the sky
the winds blow them gently
as I watch them fly by
Rip up scarred words
and burn them with sage
watch them all wither
and releasing the rage
Try punching a pillow
or let out a scream
digging for gold
or my lost self-esteem
Bang on a drum
play music so loud
don’t need permission
it’s fine; it’s allowed
Write down my thoughts
draw out a sketch
pin them up on the wall
and take a deep breath
Let your grievances lapse
write a gratitude list
swaddle the hurting
while angels are kissed.
I’ve had a more positive day today, so it’s made a nice change and was quite some relief, too. I hope it lasts, but even if it’s just a little taster of how life could be, it’s been good to be able to write something a bit more upbeat.
I wrote this after having a conversation with my counsellor yesterday. She asked me, totally out of the blue, what I’d like to do with all my pain, trauma and nightmarish memories. On the spur of the moment, without giving it much thought, I just came out with, ‘I’d like to put them in a hot air balloon and let them float up to the sky until the balloon is completely out of view.’
(I’ve also just started reading a book by a WP blogging friend, Tamara. If you’re reading this, Tamara, thank you for all your support and for letting me know about your books. I can see so much of myself in them. If you’d like me to link you to this post, just contact me, and I’ll be more than happy to do so.)
I’ve just started to draw a sketch of my imaginary balloon. It’s too late to finish and post it here tonight, but if I get it finished by tomorrow, I’ll add it to this post then.
Not exactly a sketch, but a very amateur attempt at drawing/colouring a picture of a hot air balloon. As you can see, I’m not an expert at art!Ellie Thompson
There’s nothing clever or even vaguely intelligent about this poem. I wrote it on the spur of the moment. It’s not one of my better pieces, but it expresses how I feel, as does all my poetry. This isn’t a ‘work of art’ by any stretch of the imagination. It’s merely a ditty …
I realise my blog posts
have been sad and sombre of late
I know it’s been hard to bear with me
I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling great
My doctor has given me tablets
Both Valium and Zopiclone
The latter should help me sleep
Plus a crisis number to phone
I’m trying to appear cheerful
but I doubt that I’m kidding you
I’m painting a broad smile on my face
but you can’t see that’s what I do
My poetry is brutally honest
Every word, every space, every line
Perhaps, if I painted landscapes
the results would be more sublime
My dear friends, I want to thank you
for sticking close to my side
And also, I’m eternally grateful
for mopping each tear that I’ve cried
So, I beg for a little more time
And please don’t desert me yet
I’ve really got so much to live for
though I’m playing Russian roulette
A message here to each one of you
from my tender and delicate heart
I’m doing my best, so please hold my hand
I don’t want to blow us all apart.
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
Trying to be more upbeat
But just so full of grief
Wanting to be hopeful
My joy stolen by the thief
Started off my journal now
Complete with gratitude
Trying to turn a corner
While battling low mood
Firing all my engines
In the hope of rising up
In a half-empty cup
Try smiling in the mirror
No one grinning back
Seeing all the wretchedness
While watching life unpack
Searching out life’s colours
Standing in the sun
It’s dark before its time
Again the night has come
It’s hard to keep on going
A battle just to cope
Is there really any point
Holding on to the rope?
Tie it up in little boxes with a ribbon and a bow
Tuck it all away inside, so nothing is on show
What to do with all the trauma creeping through my brain
Without support, where can I stuff down this amount of pain?
Secure those feelings firmly behind closed cupboard doors
Hide away from peeping eyes; they’re not wanted anymore
I thought I might be winning; I’d almost passed the post
Having to lock it up again while I haven’t got a host*
C* said the time has come now for me to put it all away
Leave sleeping dogs to lie rather than come out to play
Waiting for the next in line could be a year or more
Counting down the days while my brain keeps the score
The bonds we built between us were kind but very strong
Boundaries as they should be, respectful; nothing wrong
I should be feeling tougher, but my heart and soul cry out
I should have trust in myself, but no, I’m full of doubt
She said I could leave notes for the one who’s coming next
Just in case my mind’s in hiding and my memories repressed
I’m dreading the goodbye day; I mustn’t make a fuss
I’ll just be left with me alone and not the both of us.
NOTE: This poem is about a conversation I had with my counsellor this week in reference to my counselling coming to an end. She was suggesting that I try not to explore my childhood trauma too deeply in the few weeks we have left for fear of it becoming overwhelming again, and then having no one to process this with. She described it as putting all the trauma memories in a box until I see the next counsellor, whoever that is going to be. The waiting time could be up to a year. I can’t lie and say I’m not terrified because I am.
I’m so very grateful for all the support I’ve had from my blogging and real-life friends regarding alternative ways of finding low-cost therapy. I’m still searching this out, but at the same time, the thought of starting all over again with someone new is extremely daunting. Time will tell …
Love Ellie xx 💙
(* C and host refer to my counsellor)
(Image source – Pexels Free Images)
A sense of numbness resides in my brain.
protecting me from the constant, repeating pain
of losing not a loved one but someone I treasure
whose help and support have been words I could measure
Six weeks of sessions left may sound like a lot
but from my side of the fence, it feels like it’s not
as my mind takes over and makes all the rules
I still dissociate and find myself staring at walls
I go elsewhere in my head to escape the trauma
that exists in my core with me trapped in the corner
with him calling the shots; the bastard, the shit
I’m rarely foul-mouthed, but he deserves all of it
I must try my best with the short time I have left
Try not to melt or disappear when feeling bereft
The time will go quickly; then, they’ll be no more C*
I wonder and worry how much they’ll be left of me
If I find someone new; if I get on the long list
I’ll still wish I was with C*; she’ll be so sorely missed
It won’t be the same as when I first started out
Will I be able to trust again? Right now, I’m in doubt
Now I’m counting the minutes, the hours and the days
like a kindergarten game or a new nursery craze
There’s so much of me still needing to mend
Who will I finally be if I ever get to the end?
*C – Counsellor
Yesterday, I wrote a post called, ‘The Day Before‘. So many of you (my friends and blogging buddies) were encouraging, kind, thoughtful, and caring, sending me your love and best wishes. I can’t tell you how much that support and love from you meant to me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. However, as I had feared …
I got home at about 3.30 pm (it’s now 8.15 pm), but I’ve been trying to get myself back into a space where I can communicate without breaking down again. I could hardly see the screen on my laptop through my tears. I feel totally exhausted from crying so much.
The counselling with my lovely counsellor, C., is definitely ending on 21st December, and there is absolutely no chance of continuing to see her again after that date. I’m devastated and heartbroken 💔. I have been through so much despair and heartache with her trying to come to terms with the frequent child sexual abuse and rape that I suffered from the age of eight until I was twelve. I haven’t said those exact words on my blog before, apart from the odd mention in my poetry, but, there it is – in black and white, as that is the truth of what happened to me.
I’m only part of the way through working on this awful trauma, and now I will be completely alone and without my counsellor. We spoke, in between my tears, about going onto the waiting list for general counselling, which I would have to pay for. Up until now, I’ve been treated under the Eating Disorders’ umbrella, which has been free. General counselling would be less specific and, although, my eating habits aren’t as bad as they were, I definitely can’t say that I’ve recovered from those issues.
C said she would speak to the organisation’s manager to see whether they would even accept me under the general team. She said, as I feared, there is a long waiting list. As it is, the counselling offices are closed from the 21st of December until the middle of January 2023. So, I know I’m in for a long wait. I feel panic-stricken at the thought of going it all alone until a place comes up (that’s if they accept me). I really don’t know how to cope with this situation. If I’m accepted (and I won’t know this till December), I’ve got to find the funds to pay for it. As I said in my last post, I can’t afford to heat my home this winter (I appreciate the ideas that people have suggested that might help). Something is going to have to give. It’s a case of whether I heat my home or eat decent food.
Assuming I am accepted, it will mean starting all over again with a completely new and unfamiliar counsellor. I don’t know if I can face going over all those painful memories once again. I feel despairing. My doctor is phoning me on Friday; I will have to update her. There is nothing else she can do. I’m exhausted with all the emotion and will have an early night accompanied by two Diazepam to attempt to give me some respite from what feels like being in the hall of crazy, distorted mirrors at the funfair. It just sums up how my life feels today – crazy and distorted.
Please forgive me if I missed reading your blogs today. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I will catch up with some, or I may have to miss today’s blogs and start afresh tomorrow. Thank you for listening. Until tomorrow … Love Ellie Xx 🖤
TODAY IS THE DAY BEFORE. It’s the day before I see my counsellor (C). She was away last week, so I’ve had to wait two long, painful weeks for an answer. Tomorrow is the day C tells me whether I can continue to see her after my last session, which is due on the 21st of December this year. Up until now, my therapy has been free under the council-funded Eating Disorders service, where I got six months of treatment, for which I’m very grateful.
However, now I cannot get any funding to continue seeing C under the general health team at that counselling organisation. It’s not just that, but there is a waiting list of ten months to even be considered. I can afford a little, but not the average fee for counselling, which is in the region of £50 – £60 per session. On the improbable off chance that C can continue with me without the ten-month wait, I will have to find the money. As it is, I struggle to make ends meet, and because of the UK cost of living crisis, I can’t even afford to have any heating on this winter. Being cold is miserable, but I’ll put up with it if it means I can continue to see C. I’m counting the hours and minutes until I go for my session tomorrow. I feel absolutely sick with worry.
All that aside, I have also lost three people this week (not through deaths, thankfully.) Their losses have been a blow, nevertheless. I had a Befriender from the Hospice who had phoned me every Friday – we’ve been chatting for nearly a year – just day-to-day stuff, like friends. She called me on Friday to say this was her last call as she was leaving the service to work with her daughter.
The same day, I had a call from my lovely pharmacy assistant, who’s been dispensing my medication for the last ten years, and whom I got to know on first-name terms and almost like friends. She always had time for a quick chat.
Finally, I had a call from Amy, who works for the NHS Wellbeing Team. She told me, very kindly, that because my mental health has deteriorated, she can no longer work with me. I just can’t figure that one out.
I’ve seen images on Google that say something along the lines of the picture below. Sadly, it’s no consolation to me right now. Please, wish me luck for tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed that the decision goes in my favour. I will update my situation either tomorrow or within a few days depending on the outcome.
Thank you to all my amazing and beautiful friends and readers who have been there for me on every step of my recent painful journey. Love Ellie Xx 🖤
(Image source – main photo – Photo by Liza Summer: https://www.pexels.com)