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 💖

Dissociative Healing

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

The past came back to haunt me yesterday
I thought I was over all that
It suddenly came flooding back
When opposite my counsellor, I sat

I cried a river of tears
As I remembered the sickening pain
I didn’t want to go back to that place
To experience everything again

The adult within me departed
Although I was sat in my seat
I could feel myself drifting away
As my heart skipped its regular beat

My thoughts were transported elsewhere
To a time so long ago
The world seemed unreal as time transposed
My agony completely on show

I had gone somewhere else in my mind
Somewhere distant and safe
I couldn’t be touched from where I was hidden
As I became the child, the waif

Gradually soft words broke through
It’s okay, you’re secure, you’re here
The voice, far away, waited patiently
Till the muffled speech became clear

Her voice brought me back to the room
My head cleared as she reached out her hand
The fear left and the pain abated
As I began to understand

My adult returned; it was time to go
Slowly, I walked to the door
I thanked her and smiled as the sun shone in
For I knew I was healing for sure.

Please Be Careful Where You Tread

reach-for-the-stars be careful where you tread
Image source unknown

This is barely a poem; more of a ditty, so I hope you will excuse its simplicity. Despite spending the afternoon with a friend, I’ve been feeling rather low and introverted this evening, and my mind has been working overtime – probably too much time alone to think about my feelings.

If I want you to, would you love me true,
like it’s going out of fashion?
If I cry a tear, but you’re not aware,
do you think I’ve no compassion?
~~~
If I ask you to, would you stick like glue
and be there by my side?
If I don’t seem right, do you think I might
have died a little inside?
~~~
Do you seem nonplussed, I have issues with trust?
Do you know I’m not being rude?
If I’m slow to get going, I wonder if you’re knowing
I still like my solitude
~~~
If I can’t walk far and can’t reach the stars,
do you think that’s how I roll?
If I shiver and shake, don’t assume I’m fake,
and damn me with no parole
~~~
If it’s been a while since you saw me smile,
can you imagine what’s in my head?
Will you stop and think why I’m on the brink?
Please be careful where you tread.



Fragments

I will show you

fragments of me

myself

us

hesitantly

if you are kind

and have patience

to listen

and trust

~~~

I will open cupboard doors

that have been closed

for many years

and bring out

pieces of me

people

and truths

hidden

over my lifetime

~~~

Clumps

have been grabbed

thrown

to the ground

but I gathered them up

and tucked them away

in my mind

in my heart

carefully hidden

~~~

These pieces are me

if you see them

as superfluous,

say they are unimportant

are of no value

and without meaning

I will gradually

silently

hide them

once more

~~~

I will fold them

securely

in tissue paper

as if they were jewels

and place them

back into the cupboard

never to be seen again.

Beginning to write my memoirs …

3 Important Things You Need to Consider BEFORE You Write Your Story — Jevon  Bolden

It’s been more than eight years ago since I first joined WordPress and at least three years since I last wrote anything. Where do I pick up from? So much has happened between then and now that I scarcely know quite where to begin. Perhaps, I should start with the now, and, if necessary, fill in the gaps from ‘then’ as I go along.

I’ve been doing some amateur writing courses over the last year or so; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them and have learned a lot. Having spoken to my tutor earlier, I decided that I’d like to write my memoirs, but I don’t intend to rehash my often angst-ridden posts from several years ago. I’m going to try and write about my life as a series of personal experiences, but not necessarily in chronological order. Some of my memories will be serious or emotional, but equally, some will be events that, on looking back, are definitely amusing.

I don’t know how often I’m going to write at this moment. I think I will add to my repurposed blog as and when the fancy takes me. After all, when recording one’s memoirs, it’s important to do so when the time feels right, and not to try and write according to the day on the calendar. 

I’m also very open to ideas, feedback, and suggestions that anyone wishes to make because I realise that I’m in no way a professional writer, nor do I pretend to be. I’m eager to learn more, both from my readers and also from my own experiences of writing in a whole new way.

I’m going to leave it here for the time being. However, I’m hoping to publish my first piece in the next couple of days. I hope you’ll bear with me while I find my feet again on this platform. Looking forward to meeting some of you again, perhaps from a new perspective, and also meeting others for the first time. Thank you, Ellie.

THE BUSYNESS OF GRIEF

Image result for white poppies

The funeral was beautiful in as far as a funeral can be thought of as ‘beautiful’. White poppies adorned the wicker casket which was interwoven with daisies and wildflowers and not the sombre, traditional dark wooden coffin that many people have. Mum was a great lover of flowers and plants, and she tended her little patch of garden so carefully over her 86 years. It’s sad to think of it being so neglected now as is the old and empty house which was my home for many decades.

It’s been six weeks since my precious Mum passed away. The sadness and loss will never leave us all, but it’s strange how people differ so much in their ways of dealing with grief. My youngest sister is very tearful and is deeply mourning the loss of my Mum. She’s unable to concentrate on her studies, nor cope with her part-time job. My other sister has travelled home again and has thrown herself into her work. However, she is frequently prone to breaking down in racking sobs and is in need of much consolation from her colleagues.

As for me, it’s as if nothing has happened. I think, if anything, I only feel numb and apart from weeping briefly at the first news of my Mum’s death (and I haven’t cried since that day), I am carrying on with life much as usual. I’m keeping myself very occupied and haven’t really stopped since the funeral. My life is as busy as ever and with assistance, I’ve been concentrating on sorting my house out as much as I physically can.

In fact, over the last two weeks, the whole of the downstairs of my house has been decorated. The builders have only just left and there is a huge mountain of mess to clear up. The smell of paint is lingering and I haven’t quite got used the new colour scheme yet. The new curtains are being put up tomorrow along with the new ceiling lights. It’s been ‘all go’ for a few weeks now and I’ve felt quite excited by it all but somehow, also exhausted in equal measure.

I know in my heart that my frantic busyness is just a way of coping, or perhaps, rather a way of not coping or not wanting to face reality because it is all too painful. However, reality has a way of kicking us in the ribs when we try to avoid it. There are Mum’s possessions to deal with and the house to sell. There is so much of everything to be sorted into heaps of ‘deal with now’ or ‘deal with later’.

There are so many practical issues to deal with that I haven’t had time for emotions. Emotions are something of which I’ve had far too many of in my life and I’m not welcoming these new and painful feeling that are threatening to engulf me. I have been fighting them off for weeks but I know, or at least I think I know that as soon as I stop rushing around, those emotions will not only wash over me but quite possibly drown me.

Frighteningly, this seems a distinct possibility and I find myself desperately looking for the person that can ‘save’ me. But then, I realise that very person is the one no longer with me other than in spirit and spirit doesn’t seem enough now. I’m not a child anymore and yet right now, I need my Mum more than ever and she isn’t there, and I have to face the painful fact that she will never be here again. Rest in Peace, Mum. Rest in Peace.

 

 

 

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 ❤

SCREAMING THE INSIDE OUT

head screaming

I’ve seen my therapist today, and all sorts of thoughts are flooding my mind like a dam has burst inside my head. I just need to write out these thoughts to get them on paper rather than have them living rent-free in my head and taking up space for something more constructive.

This post isn’t going to be remotely witty or intellectual – it’s just me, Ellie – letting feelings out – trying to remember to breathe – breathing is crucial for survival – so is my writing. Please forgive me my self-indulgence.

I know my anger towards not only my recent assailant but also all my many other abusers in my life is currently turning inwards. I know that I am berating myself, belittling all the abuse I’ve been through and telling myself, “for goodness sake; pull yourself together!!” I have internal chatter running around my head. However, I am trying to fight these unhelpful and negative thoughts and attempting to replace them with more realistic and sensible ones.

I am beginning to recognize that over the years, I have well and truly had my boundaries smashed to pieces. With the downfall of those barriers and the lack of love shown to me in my life, is it any wonder I’m a sucker for affection. Is this what gets me into trouble? Am I too friendly? Do I give the wrong impression? Am I gullible? What the fuck am I doing so wrong?

(Excuse me why I quietly go and hide myself in a corner – and scream and shout and rant and rave! What? Do you mean I’ve done that already?)

I barely recognize my own emotions, and when I do, I give them no respect. “Why???”, I yell at the top of my voice! God – please let me off at the next stop.

“Calm down, Ellie; just calm it right down. Now, stop and … breathe …”. OK. I’m breathing. I’m shattered. I’m emotionally exhausted. I’m drained. I need sleep – restorative sleep; not nightmares running amuck inside my head – peaceful sleep – rest – quiet – repose – AND DON’T BLOODY WELL FORGET TO BREATHE!!

 

 

THE RIPPLE EFFECT

ripple effect

I don’t know how one twisted woman can be responsible for so much emotional damage to a family. This woman is at the centre of this pernicious ripple effect. Tides of toxic emotion are flowing outwards in ever-increasing circles reaching as far as myself, my eighty-year-old mother and many relatives who are caught up in the middle of this turmoil.

[Since my last post, (Justice Stinks), the situation concerning my son and my grandchildren has got progressively worse. There is to be another important court hearing this week because my daughter-in-law, *Kate and her family are being totally bloody-minded, making everything as difficult as possible for my son, *Tom. Also, they are poisoning a little girl’s mind by telling her lies about her daddy and will doubt start to coach my one-year-old grandchild before very long. Going back to court is costing *Tom another $2,500 in legal fees (taking the total up to $25,000), not that you can put a price on a child’s head.

In the meantime, my daughter, *Clare, has become involved as she is supporting my son. As a result of this, my daughter-in-law’s family are making life hell for *Clare and her two young children too. At the bottom of all this trouble is *PL, (Kate’s aunt) who is the linchpin of this nasty situation. She was the one who, (if you read my blog post ‘Abduction’), is the cause of all the trouble].

How does one sick mind impact on so many people and have the potential to harm the emotional well-being of four children and numerous adults? It’s beyond my comprehension why someone in their right mind would go out of their way to wreak such damage. But then I have to ask myself whether, in fact, she is in her ‘right mind’. Should I (in this case) have more compassion under these circumstances?

  

A TANGLE OF WORDS

learn me slowly

I am at a loss today. This isn’t going to be a clever piece of poetry or a blog as such; more a tangle of words because my head is muddied today. Love, compassion, charity, honesty and practising at least one random act of kindness every day are important to me. Friendship too….I have very few close friends but we know each other very well and that’s what matters. I also like my solitude; time to think, feel (not always desirable), dream, hope and more…

When I love, I love with passion in my soul; not a burning desire for sexual intimacy but more burning desire to understand other’s thoughts and feelings. My own, I trash! I’ve been told that I don’t give myself the respect that I give to others. I feel I am not deserving of that. I anger slowly with others, but rapidly and ferociously with myself.

I am confused; I am angry: I am hurting; I have had ‘the book’ thrown at me in this life that I do not desire today. I have been used and abused, beaten, yelled at, abandoned, trodden down, smashed to pieces but I bear no malice and I fear conflict with a very deep rooted fear.

Yet, I know that am, too, a survivor. I know that much although remembering it is not always simple and it is far too easy to slip into the victim role. I do not want to be there! I do not want to be that! I am a tough cookie, so they say.

But still I question, who am I though? Who am I really? I am a daughter who fears terribly the thought of one day soon, not being a daughter anymore because life gets snuffed out as is the order of nature. It is so unfair at times. I am a sister; I am an aunt; I am a mother (all be it unwanted by my children); I am a grandmother (all be it denied me). I am, however, forever blessed in that I am a daughter of God, my Father. I trust God; I’m just not sure I trust the rest of the world.

Am I making any sense? Am I being rational? I think not? Sometimes (like now) I seriously doubt my sanity…I feel so often that my life and my sanity are (in the words of Paul Simon, “Slip, Slidin’ Away”.

Sometimes I wish I was……..