Joshua Cole.

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Befuddled's Story

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Wow, I just read everyone else's stories, and I guess I can tell my own in full now. I have never ever told all to anyone, and I never thought I would. I don't know how this will turn out - I don't even remember a lot of things consistently. Some things come back to me and disappear again.

I was born in 52. I was a weak and sickly child, with the umbilical cord wrapped twice around my neck and deep cuts in my throat when finally born. I got whooping cough when I was 6 months old and stopped breathing one night. My dad yanked me out of the crib and held me by my legs and swung me around and I actually came back from that. I continued to catch every disease under the sun until I was 2 years old, then I physically rebounded and became a strong child.

This was all very disconcerting to my parents. I was an unwanted child - my brother was ten years older, and there were 4 children after him who died. So when I came along unexpectedly and was sick all the time, it was very hard on my parents. Perhaps they were afraid to bond with me.

When I was three my brother started to come into my room at night and showed me his penis and made me stick it in my mouth. I thought he was peeing in my mouth. He warned me that if I would ever tell he would punish me very hard and showed me how. He really hurt me. But he said, if I always did as told and never said a word, then he would protect me from all the bad boys out there.

Sometime later he would take me to one of his friends house and five boys were there. He told me it was ok, even though they were bad they would only touch me nicely when he was there to protect me. Then they paid him and I had to let them look me over and touch me everywhere and.....everything except penetration.

This went on for years, and the boys also tried to get me when my brother wasn't around but I would always run away....Guess I was well trained to protect his financial gain.

One of the reasons I react like I do to religion - he used to have me pray to him. It was one of his sick little games - hae came up with a lot of them over time but this one happened a lot.

It all stopped when I was 6. Then he wanted nothing to do with me and shushed me away, hit me and demeaned me whenever I tried to talk to him. He had been the center of my life up til then, and while he was often very mean and emotionally abusive, he had never physically hurt me before except that first time.

I went to school and studied and excelled. I went from 1st grade to 3rd grade to highschool. I didn't bind with the kids - no point anyway. I had problems at home - my parents fought a lot. However, whenever other people showed up we were the picture perfect family, the 4 of us. I have the photo albums to prove it - the sweetest smiling family you ever saw.

Mom was nice to me, but grew to be more and more of a tomboy - I think now in an attempt to be one of the boys and not a girl they would have interests in. Mom wanted me to be her little doll and I hated frilly things. We fought at department stores. She was so embarrassed - a cute little girl throwing tantrums because she did NOT want clothes...this went on for years.

Dad decided my brother was a useless and bad boy and took me under his wings. He taught me business and often would take me out of school for a week at a time to take me travelling to conventions. I would have my own briefcase and attend meetings with him and feel very important. To this day I love conventions and go to them and end up a speaker usually.

But I was troubled most of the time, not relating to other kids. And I ran away from home all the time. At first I would walk towards the countryside until I found some deserted building (lots of storage buildings out there) and I would stay there and head home when hungry. Then I learned to stockpile food and stay for as long as a week.

Later, as a teenager, I would stay away even longer, and there are a number of stories of men taking advantage of me. I would let them - sex was to me a way to keep the beasts at bay.

My parents got worried and sent me to boarding school. With nuns. Girls only. Guess what the girls did after lights were out? Crawl in each other's beds. After one week there, with all the praying sessions and girls in my bed, I ran away. I was now in my mid teens and I stayed away for about a year, then went home for a year, then left for good.

This was the time of hippies and there were a lot of us running around Europe. I fit right in. Sex, drugs and rock'n roll. I was used and abused much in those years but was too drugged to care. Actually, much of the time I had fun. I supported myself buying things in the east block and selling them in the west and vice versa.

At one point, now approaching 20, I decided to settle down and married my first husband and moved to the US. He ended up dying from a brain tumour 3 years later. Another desertion, but things were not going so well with us anyway. I stayed in California, concentrated on business and had lots of boyfriends, usually consecutive, but sometimes at the same time. I realized then I was addicted to sex. I also did well in business and ran my own business and soon bought a duplex. In the rear apartment lived a gay man - perfect for me. We became great friends and are close to this day. I go to visit him often. These were wild years with no personal attachments save the gay friend. Contact with my parents was spotty at best. Always the traveller, I went to visit them once in a while.

Well, I wrote aout the rest of the story elsewhere on this site, and I'll add it over here in a bit so the story is complete.

I sure have had a long journey, but compared to some of you it's probably not so bad.

Over the years I established more contact again with my confused parents. But not enough. I didn't realize my brother had returned to abuse my elderly parents the way he had abused me - well, in a different way.

He drove both of them to suicide, slowly and very calculatedly. He had NPD at its very worst. He just wanted the inheritance. He later focussed on me again - he wanted my part too.

I didn't remember what had happened to me until I called mom one day 10 years ago and he answered the phone - and was verbally extremely abusive without any type of reason. It all came back to me - every scary detail. At first I wanted to block it, and banished the thoughts, but the dreams were there and I could not stop them from happening. They were there every night, and there was no deep sleep, just these recurring movies playing in my head. It dang near drove me nuts (lol, like I wasn't already! )

But then I started realizing how it all fit - how my behaviors were logical, had been logical all along... how they were not necessary anymore .... but realizing that didn't allow me to stop them. Much work was needed to do that. And to this day I contradict myself all the time. When you follow my posts you will see it - I am not consistent. I think I may have an alter. I am not sure.

Allowing all the memories to flood my consciousness eventually allowed me to make more sense of myself. And that allowed me to start to replace the worst behaviors with new ones. That part has worked very well for me.

So what's the moral of the story? I think gaining distance for a time, detaching, and then looking again is what helped me there.

So when he drove dad to suicide 7 years ago I knew there was some odd thing going on - from my dad's last call to me - but I couldn't put my finger on it. By the time I figured out what was going on - 3 years ago - it was too late to save my mom. I did fly there and sat by her side while she passed. We had 5 days to talk - well, 4. She refused her kidney dialysis. She was old and frail and had been mentally severely abused and also physically but not as horribly. He plain drove her crazy, undermined her entire set of reference.

So I had to face him. And face him I did. I had so much anger towards him - all my rage bubbled up. When he showed up one day in the hospital he could feel it - oh, he was a huge man and he wordlessly turned on his heels and ran when he saw how I looked at him. Little girls and old women he could torture - the monstrous coward!

He persecuted me for two years after that - took me to court 7 times. He called every day in the middle of the night and filled my answering machine with talk. I had to get a second phone and just let him rant on the original machine.

I stood up to him, learned all about his disorder and finally stripped him in court. Stripped him so everyone could see exactly just what a pathetic shell of a man he really was. I was so strong - I don't know where it came from. Rage I am sure.

When I got back from the last confrontation I went into a bad state for several months - total inertia. I could do nothing at all. I had spent myself stripping him from all his covers.

I recovered. He did not. He killed himself a few months later at a Spanish resort. Not without placing one last devastating phone call to me, reliving my early abuse, making fun of it...making fun of that scared little girl...

That's my story. Its terrible, I know. I regret not having been closer to my parents - they were victims same as me.

The incredible self destructing family. I have 17 photo albums of smiling parents and children.... that's all there is left.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:25 )

Flippy's Story

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Not really sure why i am doing this probably because i am in the middle of hell right now.

I’ll just do the edited highlights.

i was born a month premature and nearly died, many times I go back to thinking how wonderful it would have been had that happened. I have 2 sisters one older and one younger and basically I was a replacement baby for my sister who died at birth in the same way I would have. My mother hates and has emotionally abused me all of my life whilst openly loving my siblings. it started when i was 4 at least that's when my memories begin, I was an intelligent child and my mother was threatened by me so telling my how stupid and unlovable i was pretty much a daily occurrences. I was the one who got smacked not my sisters my older sister is the perfect daughter and still is and my younger sister was a mistake that my mother tried to rectify and has been feeling guilty ever since and so my little sister could do no wrong. me however well I was always getting it wrong, I am dysphasic although it wasn’t heard of when I was a child and as such am very clumsy, this became another stick for my mother to beat me with. I could tell countless stories of abuse both emotional and physical but I don’t have the energy for that right now but it happened almost very day of my childhood.

my dad was pretty much non existent when I was a child but as an adult we grew close, he understood my depression because he himself suffered in silence, we talked for the first time a couple of weeks before he died, he had a massive heart attack no warning just went to sleep and never woke up. It’s been 10 years and I still haven’t come to terms with it and I don’t think I will.

i got diagnosed about 18 months ago but I had been in and out of the mental health system from being 16. i crashed at work physically, work was the only place where I knew who I was and was confident because I was exceptional at what I did, when I stepped into the office I became a different person, nothing phased me I had pressure coming out of my ears and thrived on it until after 9 years I burned out. I haven’t been back at work since, not for want of trying, they are bullying me to resign and an industrial tribunal is looming.

There is one person in my life who loves me for me, we met on another website about 17 months ago and although we had a rough time of it about a year ago, we came through it stronger. She is the one person who keeps me alive because I can’t bear the thought of not speaking or seeing her ever again. I worry my bpd will eventually drive her away and that scares me more than anything. We have a wonderful mutual friendship where we are there for each other, i am still learning how to be sometimes but she is patient. As a result i have been welcomed into her wonderful family, her kids are amazing and her husband has given me some amazingly thoughtful gifts, he has taught me so much and never makes me feel stupid for asking and that is just amazing to me.

I have a gorgeous 4 year old nephew who is the light of my life and soon i am to be an aunty again as my older sister is 27 weeks pregnant after 4 or 5 miscarriages.

My quest is for peace and I pray that that will come soon.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:26 )

Karen's Story

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I am just a normal mother trying to get on with my life.

My story is maybe not very exciting but I am just an ordinary woman trying to bring up a family and fight the depression I never really seem to get over properly.

I am 34 years old, married to a lovely man, I have 2 children and have a nice house, car, part-time job, most things a lot of people would love to have, but have been depressed on and off for years.

I think a lot of my problems started when I was young, everything I did was never good enough in my dad’s eyes, he left home when I was twelve, although we had contact with him and he has been a complete arsehole, I don’t have much contact with him. I had to grow up really quickly when he left, mum was often ill and in hospital and didn’t cope very well with the divorce, she also had loads of money problems.

I left school at 16 and didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I joined a training scheme and concentrated on office studies. I had a couple of boyfriends, then met my husband in 1989, we got engaged later that year and bought a house the following year, then married in 1991. I had times when I was maybe depressed but thought it was just part of life. In 1994, I was made redundant from my job, which in some ways changed my life, later that year I was pregnant with my daughter, she was born in the July after a very difficult pregnancy. I had to have an emergency caesarean section, we were both lucky they nearly lost both of us, this wasn’t a good start to parenthood, within days of coming home from hospital I was diagnosed with post-natal depression, put onto Prozac and got on with life or so I thought. I suffered a lot of pains which were never diagnosed as anything, I was made to feel I was just making it all up, but believe me they were real. Then in 1996 I fell pregnant again six weeks after a miscarriage, this time the pregnancy was easier until I was told at a routine scan one of his kidneys was larger than the other. Being told this put me straight into a depression again, I was already anxious about having to have another cesarean. After his birth I recovered well until a few weeks after, when the post-natal depression hit me again, I went straight to the doctors and was put on the Prozac again, and soon seemed to recover. It wasn’t until after Daniel was born that I felt as though I hadn’t bonded properly with Laura when she was born, I didn’t have the same feelings for her as I did him. It is a horrible thing to say I love her dearly but there is something missing between us, and I guess there always will be.

The last few years I have just plodded on with life trying to bring up the kids the best I can, I have always felt that motherhood just doesn’t come naturally to me and don’t think I should have had kids but its to late now. I have suffered different periods of depression over the years, which I realize now but have never been able to go to the doctors and admit it to him, although my husband has tried loads of times, it wasn’t until October 2002, when my husband had an operation on his knee which went wrong, my mother was ill, granddad had lung cancer. I was suffering really badly with endometriosis, which had been diagnosed the year before, (it turned out this was probably the same as I had after Laura was born, but was never diagnosed properly.) I was being treated for the endometriosis and at the time couldn’t cope with everything going on my life, I just collapsed in a big heap in the GPs room. He was very understanding and wanted me to go on antidepressants, which I wasn’t very happy about but agreed eventually. I started on Cipramil, and by Xmas that year I was feeling much better, I carried on taking it throughout last year, I had my ups and downs as we all do and was just starting to reduce the dose when Mum was taken into hospital with a stroke, this left her in a very confused state. My sister and I were very worried about her, and were told by the consultant she would not live to be an old woman, she is only 57 years old but with all her health problems she was much older. Later on that day, there was a phone call from my best friends husband to say that she had committed suicide.

My whole world just seemed to fall apart that day. Jane and I were best friends from the age of about 2 years, everything we did we did together, we were never apart, I was her bridesmaid, she was mine, I am god mother to her two girls, she was to my kids. She had suffered from depression over the years and tried to kill herself just before we got married, but would never let anyone help her, she wouldn’t go to doctors and she was frightened of being sectioned again. Over the last year or so we had slowly got further and further apart, and I hadn’t spoken to her for a while, so I didn’t know how she was so this was a total surprise. The times I had been around to see her I knew she was at home but she would never answer the phone or door, so I naturally thought she didn’t want to see me, so I stopped bothering. Apparently everyone she was close to she gradually pushed away from her. She always said to me that if anything happened to her I was to keep an eye on her two girls, and I will. My husband made me go to the doctors the Monday afterwards as I was in such a state, she upped my Cipramil which I was still taking. I don’t know how I got through her funeral and the next few weeks, but until after Xmas I wasn’t too bad, yes, I spent lots of time crying and thinking about her, why did she do it? She was such a good friend and I will never forget her. I am sure that when she died she took part of me with her. There have been many time I have thought of joining her but I cannot do to my kids and family what she did to hers, its just not fair.

About a month ago I hit a real low point in my life and went back to GP, I was changed onto Efexor xl , the first 2 weeks didn’t seem to make much difference so the dose was increased. I am only now starting to feel a little better, I know its going to be a long recovery but I cant let myself get the way Jane did.

This may not seem that I have depression very badly but to me it has affected my life in such a big way. There must be other people out there who feel like me that there story is not as important as other people’s but as I have said I am just an ordinary mum trying to survive.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:26 )

Kristy's Story

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I'm 23 years old now...i don't know where to start. Ok the basics: I was born in Houston, TX and I have an older sister who i love so dearly. My parents divorced when I was 5years old. I grew up with my reality of my family being my mother, my older sister, my grandparents (mom's parents) and my four maternal male cousins. We have all been so very very close and I owe my life to them. My mom moved the three of us (mom, sister and self) to San Marcos, TX; three hours away from Houston. I then only saw my Dad once a year, he disappeared and never once came to visit us.

I grew up always isolated, quite the loner. I started having extreme difficulty with moods and relationships with others as far back as 8 years old; although my mom says she noticed something when i was only 4 years old. Things got worse when i was 13. i began thinking of suicide, abusing drugs, and hurting myself. Since age 13, I’ve been on 16 different meds, 3 in-patient hospitalizations, and been on a quest to find a healthy and content way to live. I've also had every diagnosis you could think of, until it was for sure clarified a couple months ago that I have bpd, severe ptsd (from drug abuse and abuse from step-mother), generalized anxiety disorder, and it's still in question if I’m bipolar or not.

I moved to Seattle, Washington by myself when i was 19 after graduating high school at 16 years old. I did not know anyone up here. I needed a change of scenery, thinking that if I was around the mountains, the water and the fresh air that i could get better.

My dad remarried soon after my parents divorced. He then had two children (girls) with his 2nd wife. my older sister and I became very close with our two younger half-sisters and in turn became closer to my dad. The older of these two younger sisters, Shelby, passed away at 10 years old on June 4th 2003 from a brain tumour. I was at her side while she laid in her bed and passed away. I learned more about life and death in her last 4 days than i have in my entire life. My dad calls me everyday now, and we have a great relationship.

I've lived in Seattle now 4 years and I’ve gotten worse. However, strange to me that i ended up here where DBT was invented a mile away from my apartment. I'm now a research subject at the research facility where DBT was invented and I’m receiving DBT of free...interesting how things work out I guess. I've seen great progress some days and huge steps backwards other days. But I’ll get there.

I have found great compassion, inspiration and support from being a musician and from my friends (that includes everyone here), family and from working with other mentally ill patients for the past 5 years. I hope to get myself together enough to be able to finish college. I want to get a PhD in nursing and work with people with mental illnesses. I am now working my arse off and fighting so hard to get better. I've learned so much about life from having this disorder by having so much deep emotions, but I am past ready to live my life without so many interruptions.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:26 )

Not Right

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My story begins before I was born. The night I was conceived my mother had not wanted to sleep with my father, but she was forced to. The next morning she knew she was pregnant, but he didn’t believe her.

Over the following months my mother’s pregnancy grew increasingly difficult, much more difficult than that of my sister, who is 9 years older, and was born in India. By the time I was born I was 10 days late and blue. So you see, I had never wanted to live, perhaps sensing that I wasn’t wanted. Before I was born my father had tried to strangle my mother, in an attempt to make sure I didn’t live.

3 months later, I was diagnosed with meningitis, and by 6 months I had a hole in my head, and was fitted for life with a bit of plastic and a tube the length of my body that would leave me forever paranoid, and trapped in someone else's body having to deal with their fits, their surgery and their lifestyle- it's not mine, it's not me.

Until I was 7 we had lived in Leeds, but then we won the lottery. I won’t say how much, but enough. We moved down to Devon, where my step-dad had lived before moving up north. The village had a strange feeling to it. The house we bought had been empty for 10 years. Before that no one had lived in it for longer than a few years. We soon noticed its many ghosts, and pagan past, but we didn’t mind. Eventually, they grew tired of trying to drive us out, and learnt that we were here to stay.

From a very early age I knew I wasn’t "quite right", but everyone always assumed it was because of my condition and I was just attention seeking like an ordinary little girl. So when a guy living in the caravan in our garden began abusing me when I was 11, no one would believe me. So I kept it to myself.

In November of 2000 I was rushed back into hospital to have a new shunt fitted as the tube had snapped in my neck I spent the next few months in hospital, refusing to eat. By the time I had recovered and was back at school, I was a new completely paranoid, no self-confidence, self-harmer who refused to talk to anyone. So I began to write. I had always had an artistic background, from both my parents and step-dad, ranging from musicians, artists, and writers. But I soon got carried away, and my writing scared me. I realized I was writing the truth that I had never admitted to myself, and it wasn't pleasant. I did put it to some use though, I write poetry, send it to America, and get it published. I also perform on open mic sessions organized by my step-dad who is part of the arts group in our village, and a well respected guitar teacher.

I managed to keep all of my problems to myself until October of 2002 when I had to have another month long stay in hospital due to failure of my shunt. While I was in hospital some guy from my school that I didn’t remember ever meeting had become obsessed with me and was pestering my friends to find out if I was ok. Eventually he asked me out. All I could think was "here is someone who genuinely cares about me and what I’m going through, so why shouldn’t I just go along with it?" I wasn’t until 2 months in that I realized how controlling, and over protective he was. He wouldn’t leave me alone. If I didn’t turn up to school he’d be phoning me all day and night to see where I was. If I didn’t answer the phone, he panicked. When he panicked half the time he’d end up in hospital. I couldn’t cope with this but I thought it was easier to cope with him like this than if I dumped him and he threatened to commit suicide. I was used to feeling alone, with no one to talk to. I was used to having these voices in my head constantly telling me I was worthless and that I should have never survived. Having to slit my wrists every night didn’t seem like a big problem. No one knew so I wasn’t hurting anyone. But after I’d been with my boyfriend for 4 months, he begun raping me. Every Friday after school he would come back to mine. My parents knew I was sleeping with him (mothers intuition I guess), but they didn’t know that every time he left I was left in my room crying, shaking, and hurting myself. My biggest downfall was when I thought I was pregnant. This happened several times, but after the first two I didn’t care anymore. Technically I should be dead, but then technically I should have died before birth no logic doesn’t come into it.

I began talking to the 2nd of my two stepbrothers, who lives in Leeds, through text. I’d asked him what he thought of the name Rowan for a baby girl. He’d replied saying what if it’s a boy, and when’s it due? I’d said Rowan works for a girl or a boy, but I reckoned it was a girl, and was due by December. At this point he phoned me, freaking out. I told him everything. The next day my parents had a phone call from his mum, my step-dads ex wife, and a good friend of the family. My brother had told her having been concerned about me and she felt she had no choice. So, they knew I had been self-harming. What did they do? Nothing. It was another 3 months before I came into school with a massive cut across my neck and people finally noticed something was wrong. Still no one knows about my boyfriend, but my councilors started to pay attention when I told them about our lodger. I’m still not getting any help from the people who are paid to help me, but I don’t care. I’ve come this far on my own. It’s not up to me anymore. I used to wake up and be so afraid that I’d still be alive by the end of the day. Now I’m certain that I’m already dead. The real me is standing on the outside looking at my body being taken over by all those who ever hurt me and watching them steal my blood, my soul and my life. All I have left is one certainty- I’ll get my way eventually, and I’ll be dead, and it will be me in charge. I won’t let them kill me first.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 August 2009 18:27 )
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