The Dark Cloud

26 Aug

Firstly I would like to apologise that I haven't written anything in a while, I have been suffering hard with my depression over these last few days. It's difficult to explain but I will try my best. So for the last 3 or 4 nights I've been having a recurring nightmare about my abuser, it's another constant reminder of what I was put through, and it's the part I hate the most. I'm unable to wake up, it's as though I'm being forced to watch these horrors unfold before me; paralysed within the dark cloud of my memory, longing to be saved, willing it to be over. But it's not over, it can't be. I'll always carry it with me wherever I go, hidden beneath the surface it bubbles away and eats at me, my mind unable to block it out. When I do wake up from these nightmares, that's when the struggle begins. I want to hide away from everyone, I want to be on my own and not think about my past, about the nightmares and the effect it has on me, but then when I do sit on my own my mind is consumed by my illness. I feel worthless and cheap, that's how he made me feel; cheap and unloved. I feel so low that I have no energy to move at all, I just sit or lie there watching my life fluttering away before my eyes. I distance myself from the people I love, it's too painful to be around them, and I just can't let them know; I'm scared. I'm scared that it will happen again, that he will come back for me somehow, but mostly I'm terrified that he's going to try to hurt the people I love the most, my husband and our children. I worry most about our daughter, she's so young and innocent, what if he got to her? What would i do then? The possible scenarios rush through my mind like an out of control train, it won't stop, it just keeps going round and round, I can't see what's going on, all I see are my loved ones being hurt by this monster, me unable to stop him, unable to save them from his demon hands. His laugh is deafening. I close my eyes tightly but that just makes it worse. He's everywhere, he's all around me and there's nothing I can do to escape his clutches. I scream...

My heart rate is high, I'm breathing heavily. I feel dizzy as though I'm about to faint. It's another panic attack. I've had plenty of them, but they still seem to catch me off guard, and it doesn't feel that they are getting any easier to handle. I try to remember my exercises, take a deep breath in and try to picture my grandmothers' smiling face. That's my happy memory you see, no matter how I felt, if I was severely low or hurt she could always bring a smile to my face, it was a gift of hers, and it's just one of the reasons why I love her so much. Finally, after a few more deep breaths my heart resumes it's normal rhythm again and I no longer feel faint. I hate panic attacks, I feel so vulnerable and so out of control when they happen, which is a major issue for me. Ever since I was able to break free from that evil monster I have to make sure that I am always aware of my surroundings and I'm in control, otherwise I get very agitated and it sets off my panic attacks. That was one of the main reasons why I didn't go to see my GP to discuss my mental health issues, I was afraid that she would put me on tablets that would "zonk me out" as it were, and there was no way I was going to place myself in such a vulnerable state. I had to stay in control of everything around me, which of course is virtually impossible, but that's the state of mind I was in at the time. I felt that if I wasn't in control and fully aware of everything that was going on around me then I was more susceptible to attack. This is why I put up my shield, or my "front" as I saw it. If I portrayed myself to be confident and outgoing then no one would see that deep inside I was just a frightened young girl with nowhere to run to. And for years that is what I did. I would laugh and make jokes with anyone that I met, I was radiating confidence, and portrayed myself as a no nonsense, not to be messed with young woman. That couldn't have been any further from the truth. I was a complete mess. Behind closed doors I was drinking heavily, I was partying hard with my friends, and I would stay away from home for long periods of time just driving around with my mates, going on random drinking sessions, getting myself into all sorts of stupid and sometimes dangerous situations. I was in self-destruct mode. I didn't think I was worthy of love, I thought that all I was in any mans eyes was just a piece of meat. Something they could have their fun with, then discard without any care or thought when they felt like it. That's how insignificant I felt. He had made me feel so worthless, had beaten and abused my body so much that I no longer had any pride in myself. I didn't care about myself, and in all honesty, I was waking up every day hoping it would be my last. It may sound strange, but it wasn't exactly feeling that I wanted to kill myself, it was more hoping that I would die. I got a very real wake up call on a very rainy night; it was actually my mothers' birthday, I had just got a new car that I had bought from my best friend (okay my mum paid for it, and I paid her back every month. Thank you mum x), she had gone to Ireland the day before with her partner, and I decided to go over to my mates house. We were going to have a few drinks so decided to drive down to the shop in the nearest town to get everything we needed for the night, and to get an Indian takeaway. I remember it was bucketing it down and I got in my nice new (to me) Renault Clio and followed my bestie down to the town. Before anyone starts thinking that we were drink driving I would like to point out that we were all, even our passengers, completely sober. I never have and never will condone drink driving, there is no excuse for it, and it wrecks so many peoples' lives. As we headed down the familiar country road that I knew like the back of my hand, the music blaring, and all of us in a great mood the car suddenly veered out of control and smashed into a wall before bouncing out back into the road, spinning wildly like a waltzer car, and ended up back in the wall where it finally came to a stop. I asked my passengers if they were ok and if they were able to get out of the car, thankfully they weren't badly hurt so they got out the car, and I opened my door and tried to get out. The second I put my foot on the ground I felt an overwhelming pain in my back and fell straight on to the hard, wet tarmac. I couldn't feel my leg at all it was completely numb but the pain in the bottom of my back was excruciating. My friends called for an ambulance and as it happened a local doctor was travelling home along the same road, who stopped to assist until the paramedics arrived. As luck would have it, I escaped with a hairline fracture to the bottom of my spine, but the main thing that caused me to change my life around was discovering that I was pregnant. The moment I found out, I knew that it wasn't just about me anymore. I was carrying something so precious inside me that I had to change my ways and be responsible, I would need to take better care of my mental health, because I was going to be a mother. 

Although I was struggling, I was determined to do it. I had been given the greatest gift of all, a child, and after the heartbreak of loosing a baby through miscarriage previously and my own experiences of trauma I was going to make sure that my daughter was going to get the best life I could give her. And because of her and the support I had off my boyfriend (now husband) I took the first step to get help and went to see my GP. I can honestly say that she has been amazing in helping me, she has helped me see that I have a future worth fighting for, she organised the correct help for me and got me in touch with a brilliant Psychologist who I see every fortnight. At last I felt the dark cloud surrounding me was starting to shift, I could see a future again. I'm not going to say that it's exactly been an easy journey, I've had some very bad down periods, I still have them now, and the cloud still follows me around, but I am seeing things a bit clearer now than I have done in a long time. I still struggle with my illness, I'm still trying to deal with the trauma I suffered in the past, but at least I can see that there is a reason to live.  I am not an insignificant being like my abusers made me feel, I am worthy, and I have a family who love me, and I love them with all my heart. You see, even when you feel that the dark cloud will always surround you, when you've been hurt by others, when you feel that the whole world is against you the important thing to remember is how important you are. You're someone's son or daughter, you may be a husband or a wife, a sister a brother, nephew, niece, grandson, cousin, friend. You see there are people in your life who care about you, and that is the crucial thing to remember. When you feel down or you feel that you are all alone there is always someone who will be there to listen and to help. My dark cloud is getting smaller with every little battle I win, and I know it can for you as well. When those days seem dark, and you feel alone, just remember how special and important you are. Take care x

* The email will not be published on the website.