*Trigger Warning. In this post I will be talking about my own mental health “issues” and experiences, including depression and anxiety. If anyone is triggered by the mention of things that come along with depression then please move away from this post. Look after yourselves x
Welcome to the long winded – multiple part story of my mental health.
I’ve always had a turbulent relationship with my own mental health. For a long time I was in some form of denial that there were any problems.
It’s as I’ve gotten older that I’ve realised there is more going on in my brain than I originally thought.
Here’s a list:
Anxiety ( diagnosed with social anxiety and mild agoraphobia)
OCPD tendencies (Obsessive compulsive personality disorder)*
BPD tendencies (borderline personality disorder)*
Internalised homophobia (to the point i convinced myself I was trans for 10 years)
APD tendencies (Avoidant personality disorder)*
*currently un-diagnosed by a professional, but has been mentioned in previous therapy sessions. I’m currently looking into going back into therapy to discuss these issues.
So what makes me like this?
Obviously I’m not a Dr or a therapist, nor am I formerly trained in psychology but over the last few years and more so the last few months, I’ve been delving into my past to try and figure out the circumstances that make me the way I am. As usual it all starts from my childhood, in particular my infant years (0-5).
I was unfortunate to be born to a mother who 1. Didn’t know what she was doing, 2. Was in a bad place. 3. Had no maternal instinct and 4. Who neglected me for the entire time I was in her care. Which only followed on throughout my childhood and adolescent years.
Up until the age of 18 months old I was repeatedly neglected. Left on my own in a house for extended periods of time whilst she went shopping, there were different men/people in and out of the house on a daily basis (alleged substance abuse), I was left unfed, or fed on biscuits.
I was generally mistreated in terms of my basic needs, I was left in a playpen unattended to for most of my time there so I didn’t attach myself to my “primary caregiver” during the time that is highly significant.
Had to look this up because I didn’t think it counted but it does and it suggests that I experienced a form of repeated childhood trauma.
At 18 months (or 2 years – there’s discrepancies in the stories from both sides) old my grandparents “rescued” me. I went to live with them, and whilst my childhood dramatically improved, the relationship with my mother became more turbulent.
She went on to have 4 other children and barely bothered with me, which from my memory and self reflection left me feeling abandoned and unwanted. I remember significantly how that felt, even thinking about that still upsets me. She would promise to come and see me and then leave me looking out of the window for her, waiting. This happened repeatedly, nearly every time she said she was coming to see me.
I’d often think there was something wrong with me, that it was my fault, after all my brothers lived with her (at the time I didn’t know but also being neglected) and I didn’t so there must be something wrong with me for her not to want me.
She never fought for me, she never came back for me, even when she got married and started having other children there was no mention or suggestion of me going back to live with her (which I’m grateful for now…. but at the time it bloody hurt)
Coming back to present day, I believe these experiences have led me to have abandonment issues, issues with familial and other relationships, and APD tendencies (avoidant personality disorder). I’ve never considered myself to have a bad childhood (thanks to my Nan and Grandad…. although that’s a bit rocky too) but looking back and being brutally honest, I didn’t have a great start.
I’m breaking this topic down to a few segments so I can dedicate my time and attention to each post properly. I also want to document what I will call my “recovery” when that begins to happen.
I hope you’re well. Stay safe.
James. aka Anothermaleblogger