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Old 31st March 2021, 15:44
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
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Default Stigma is dehumanising

I would like to share my story as free verse.
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Old 31st March 2021, 18:07
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
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Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising *trigger warning

I have made an attempt on my own life.
I don't tell the doctor the real reasons
Behind my desperation and despair.
I say my med's are not working.
The one tablet I'm taking to be precise.
Could I try a different medication?
They say I sound flat, deflated.
I say that my system is still flooded and
I will be OK once I have rested up.
I think I am just burnt out.
They do not admit me to the hospital.
They say: do you really want to
Spend time up there? No of course not.
Relieved, I agree that
Nobody does. Once is enough. It should
Be called ward thirteen. Not four.
I don't tell them the truth.
I don't feel like I have to.
I don't feel like I need to say the stigma
Of being in hospital three year's prior - bilbo baggins burdened with the one ring,
Has effectively ruined my life.
I am too scared to tell them
That I am miserable, about everything.
My bleak future, traumatic past
And unhappy present.
That after being
An inpatient in a mental ward
In the general hospital,
Everyone acted like my life
Was over before it had even began
And three years later,
Things feel like they haven't changed
And never will.
Everyone know's or find's out eventually.
I can't get away from it.
And I know what they think
And gossip about.
Why was I there? Was I abused?
Was it drug's or alcohol or both?
Was I damaged? Broken? What
Would ever drive someone to
Try and take their own life
When they are still young?
The doctor who discharged me
Shared the conclusion
Of my stay with me alone
Because they had figured out
That my parents were pushing
Too hard for the reason of
My breakdown to be hereditary
- from my estranged absent father
-in a vain attempt to block
The doctors questioning me about my upbringing
Or any failing or neglect on their part
Contributing to me being so messed up.
My childhood was far from ideal
And was hell at times.
Thankfully the doctors saw
Through their warped agenda and
Offered me art therapy
After my one month long inpatient stay
Hoping that it would
Be the first step on my road to recovery.
I was maybe not ready
At that moment in time
It was too soon, too fresh.
I should tell them about
My present situation
But maybe everyone is right in thinking,
Who will have me after
Being in that god forsaken place now?
I should tell them that he
Comes home every night
And says it is my fault
He has the life of a dog.
That he uses me as an emotional punchbag. Bullies me. Belittles me. Makes jokes about me.
Puts me down and threatens me.
That he lost it, the first week we moved in together
And was a fraction away
From pummelling me. I am terrified
Of his temper and his brute strength
Because he does not
Realise how strong he really is.
He treat's me as damaged goods
My family take the same view.
They believed the conspiracy theories
Over what the doctors told them.
My family ignored positive
Advice from the doctors.
My family did not stick up for me.
That is nothing new, they never have.
They essentially scapegoated me
My entire life and
After I got home from hospital
And was at a low ebb,
They told many people -
Friends and neighbours- that
I had something wrong with
Me that must come from my blood fathers side.
I don't feel like any doctor can
Help me to get out of this rutt.
They cannot change the
Draconian out dated views on
Mental health treatment.
I thought that bipolar was only
An affliction that famous artists had.
I was in the dark. I'm not now.
If I offload my chest will they
Think I am having an episode and admit me? If I open up the floodgates and reveal that the
Stigma has robbed me of my future,
I have nothing to look forward to
And I feel like I have
Barely any happy memories
And I hate my life and I feel trapped,
Will I be sectioned?
It I admit that I suspect my
Boyfriend is changing from
Possessive to downright abusive,
Will they alert the police?
What will my boyfriend do then,
Accuse me of lying and hit me?
He tells me if I leave,
I may as well put a noose around his neck.
I am at a loss and I don't know
Who to trust to help me.
I am a shadow of my former self.
It's like I am grieving
For the life I should have had
And I am being forced to accept it is gone
And all I can be is
Happy with my lot. But I won't cave in.
Why are those closest to me fine
With me being a shadow
Of my former self?
Where do I begin to
Unravel all the reasons?
My family thinks he is a saint
For standing by me through
A harrowing time.
We were together before
I had a breakdown and was in
Hospital for a month
And he didn't run to the hills.
They make me feel like I don't deserve him somehow
And that I owe him for not leaving.
Even though deep down
I know that I deserve someone
Who sees my worth.
The doctor knows I'm troubled.
They know I'm suffering inside.
But they know that I
Don't need to be admitted to the hospital.
I should never have needed another stay.

Last edited by Spideysenses; 31st March 2021 at 18:10. Reason: Spelling errors
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Old 31st March 2021, 18:59
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 99
Blog Entries: 11
Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising

Nb:This occurred 12 years ago.
I am in a much better place now.
It's like every time I revisit
This dark period of my life
I discover more and see how far I've come
From there to here.
The battle rages in the here and now.
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Old 3rd April 2021, 09:39
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 99
Blog Entries: 11
Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising

I will get every grievance off my chest
And let go of all the people
Who have hurt me in the past.
I blamed the stigma of
Being in hospital for
Ruining my life at eighteen years old
As well as my unsupportive family.
It was the hospital that
Made everyone think I had no future.
Some simply gave up on me
At the the drop of a hat.
Where others - my family and partner,
More or less said forget happy,
Be happy with your lot.
Forget about gaining a career
Forget about what you could have been
Before the breakdown.
Now you will never be anything.
That is what he said. Kept saying.
I couldn't forgive him for that.
The hospital, the nurses and doctors
Saved my life.
On the other side of the coin -
The stigma from being
In a mental health ward
Of the general hospital-
Had in effect changed
My life for the worse.
I would always have
This hanging over my head now.
One month and a lifetime of stigma
Was waiting for me.
An elephant in the room?
It was more like a dragon,
Breathing ice and freezing my life.
I was stuck. I accepted it had changed me
But it wasn't enough.
I couldn't slay this dragon alone.

Last edited by Spideysenses; 3rd April 2021 at 09:41. Reason: S
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Old 3rd April 2021, 10:19
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 99
Blog Entries: 11
Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising

I did not leave him
Because as long as I stayed
In my hometown it was
Looking less and less likely
I would be able to have
The coveted career I deserved.
Working over forty hours a week
Whilst studying too.
It did not press heavily on me.
It did not bring me
Down like he hoped it would.
I covered my back. I paid my way.
Paid a bigger percentage
Of my wages on bills than him.
I had nothing to thank him for.
My family and him enforced
That I was damaged goods
And that I owed him
For just being with me.
Like I did not deserve
A "normal" person now.
What did I want?
A peaceful loving home, free from violence and abuse.
Possessiveness turning to control.
Every trick in the book.
Free from his taunts, jokes, jibes, bullying,
Intentionally breaking me down and belittling me.
Pushing his weight around,
Threatening to hit me.
He did lean on my
Chest until I momentarily passed out
When he was drunk.
And he smashed up
The house warming presents
Proceeding to throw one at me.
He would push me over, trip me up,
Hold me against the wall and floor
So I knew how strong he was.
And on the other extreme,
He would say that if I left that I may
As well put a noose around his neck.
He knew he was stronger than me by hundred fold.
And that for a man, he was still very strong physically
Compared to a lot of others.
But he didn't realise quite how
Strong and out of control he
Would become when he flipped,
And he was capable of inflicting
Grievous damage without effort.

Last edited by Spideysenses; 3rd April 2021 at 11:22. Reason: Additional information
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Old 3rd April 2021, 10:59
Spideysenses Spideysenses is offline
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 99
Blog Entries: 11
Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising

He justified his violent and abusive behaviour
On the precarious, unstable grounds that
No one would believe a woman over him.
Especially one who had
Been admitted to the
Mental health wing of the
General hospital for a month in the past.
Thinking that everyone bought into
The conspiracy theories of small mindedness
That him and my family did.
Actions have consequences.
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Old 4th April 2021, 08:48
Consolida Consolida is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,284
Default Re: Stigma is dehumanising

It's clear from reading your story that you've been through some extremely tough times but I hope writing about it is proving to be a cathartic experience for you

I'm so glad that you are no longer with your physically and emotionally abusive ex and trust that you no longer believe any of the cruel things that were said to you by family members.

I can relate to some of the things that you write as I also stayed in a psychiatric hospital for a short while at the age of 19 after taking an overdose. This was many moons ago and although I totally understand the stigma that you felt, I like to think that we are now living in much more enlightened times when it comes to mental health issues and that period in your life hasn't and won't hold you back from achieving so many of your hopes and dreams x
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