Welcome to week 18.
It has been a while… Almost 2 months! What a wild 2 months it has been.
Today I will be writing about compassion for my abuser. Probably not in the way you’re thinking either.
But before that let me recap on the last 2 months. Like I said earlier, it was wild.
Everything was going well for my blog and social media profiles. More awareness was being spread, more people were opening up and telling their stories; even if it were just them confiding in me and not posting publicly. The support was enormous!
But as the saying goes, when you take 2 steps forward you take 5 steps back…
My recovery was on track, my relationship with family and friends doing well and work was great. I actually landed a really rewarding and challenging job (still in mental health) that I enjoyed very much so.
My psychiatrist finally took me off Quetiapine after 5 years which was a cause for celebration. Years of weight gain and a metabolism that slowed down and depression caused by the weight gain all finally finished.
A month later my psychiatrist took me off a second antipsychotic due to the side effects after being on it for 6 months. Leaving me with only 1 more antipsychotic prescribed. That’s right, I was on 3 different antipsychotics to be “well” on top of other mental health medication.
It was all well and good to take me off a second antipsychotic – until it wasn’t.
My partner and I celebrated for 2 reasons that night – because of the reduction in meds and because of me finishing my counselling qualifications.
And then it hit me.
The first 24 hours I was crying uncontrollably. I couldn’t regulate my emotions and kept thinking of my loved ones dying. And it felt real!
Seeing them in the flesh wasn’t enough; as soon as I would take my eyes off them the delusions would start and I couldn’t stop.
My partner would comfort me each time. Just thought I was a bit off from staying up all night but this was something else.
48 hours I started having psychotic episodes. They were terrifying. For all involved. I’d have only a few psychotic episodes.
72 hours after I stopped taking that antipsychotic and I was a completely different person. Falling in and out of psychosis constantly like a loop. It just wouldn’t stop. I had no grasp of reality. All over red rover. My partner would try to pull me out of psychosis, sometimes she was successful sometimes she wasn’t. I had completely lost my mind and there was no way out.
I was still going to work, no idea how but I’d make it and show up. During this time I had a great deal of cancellations. I saw maybe 2 clients when this happened. They were a great distraction. Kept me straight during the sessions. But as soon as the appointment finished I was back in Never Land in the worst way.
I had psychosis for 2 weeks straight. Two weeks with no identity, running from something that wasn’t real.
The was a man in my hotel bathroom with a knife waiting for me to come out of bed for 2 days to seriously harm me then kill me, there was a man in my kitchen at home raping me then stabbing me, there was a man in my bedroom attacking me, there was a man breaking in my house, there were so many things happening. So many attacks. And yet none were real? It was all in my head?
Driving was a trigger so my dad has to talk to me on the phone whenever I drove somewhere to help me focus on the road.
I tried getting an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist but there were none available.
I couldn’t go to any hospital within a 30km radius because I worked at them and needed to keep my job.
I finally gave up. Life was too tiring. I used up all of my chances. Who wants to be brutally attacked / killed or have their family repeatedly attacked and killed on a loop non stop for 2 weeks?
I wanted out. So I started looking at hospitals outside of my residence that would admit me into their mental health units.
And then I remembered… my psychiatrist advised of a PRN! She said if I had a psychotic episode to take an extra antipsychotic of the same prescription that I currently take! Genius! It only took 2 weeks worth of psychosis to fall out of it and remember. And so I took it as prescribed. Then I took it regularly.
For 24 hours it had no effect.
After 48 hours my psychosis lessened.
And after 72 hours it was gone. Finally.
It left me broken. Mentally I was well spent. I could barely piece together a conversation let alone feel something other than pain.
I stopped posting on social media, personal and ABD.
I stopped writing in my blog.
I stopped talking to my friends and family.
I needed time to heal.
After 3 weeks I finally got the help I needed.
My psychiatrist advised that my psychosis was bigger and badder than ever! Not just because of the reduction in medication but because it’s trauma induced – and if you’ve read weeks 1 – 10 of my blog you’d understand the trauma I endured for 21 years.
I saw my psychologist who pointed out that yes it is from trauma, and that we need to look at the perpetrators and have compassion for them. That doesn’t mean the psychosis will just go away but at least it will make the pain a bit easier.
Holy moly. No wonder I was so exhausted.
So that’s where I’ve started this weeks blog and this is what I am talking about today: compassion for my abusers.
How can you move on if you can’t accept what has happened to you?
I thought I did accept my past and trauma when I started this blog some months ago. I guess I was wrong.
Or maybe I did accept it to the degree that seemed standard but really I needed to heal some more.
I know that the trauma will always remain and that time makes it easier if you go the right way about things – I just thought that was over with – until my psychologist and I spoke about it.
The perpetrators in my life were not good men in any way shape or form. Some maybe disguised as good guys but deep down they were all pieces of shit. But if I have compassion for them, I can see past that.
I see that my uncle was a racist alcoholic that had a hold over me for being a minor and part of a minority group, I see the boys I met in my teenage years were selfish psychopaths looking to get their numbers up to look good in front of their peers so they raped me and groomed me, I see that my ex was abused and left to fend for himself so when he had the opportunity to pray on a young teenager and exercise power and torture he did and that my other ex was put on a pedestal too high for him to handle and he believed he was invincible and could do what he wanted so he raped me and believed it was okay because he would be “quick”. All of my abusers had their own story to tell and it wasn’t my right to take that away from them. Just like they had no right to silence me for so many years.
When I think of what has happened to me I remember all of the pain and suffering. After that session with my psychologist I acknowledged what has happened to them in their lives to shape the person they were in that moment that they abused me. Some are damaged like me, some are just psychopaths. But we all have a story to tell.
How can you see your abusers in a different light after they’ve caused you so much suffering? I guess after so many years in recovery you learn that you have to try different methods and see what works. Hating them doesn’t benefit you in any way – you just associate that feeling with that memory. What if you could separate those feelings from memories and just accept what was? Well what if you could? Wouldn’t you take it instead of suffering?
That was my exercise – to have compassion. That is what I’m now doing.
So, am I at peace? I hope I’m at least a few steps closer.
And if I’m starting to heal on a level of having compassion for my abusers that were men, does that mean I could get past that barrier of fear and have a romantic or sexual relationship with a man? Because if I had to be honest if I were single it would be easy enough to sleep with women. Men on the other end terrify me. I see too many risks and picture horrible things happening. Maybe that’s an exercise I’ll never have to do because I’m happily engaged but it’s still a thought.
Hopefully I’m back to posting weekly on my blog. I’m feeling much better than I was but we’ll see.
Maybe see you next week? Maybe see you next week!