Bear with me with this one, i know i will be going past-present-past and everything in between!
Here’s a visual for you:
A young girl.. No older than 13, sits in front of the computer in her room until the early hours of the morning. She talks to her online “BF” of whom really turns out to be a girl “pretending” to be a super hot “scene” guy with a side fringe.
One night, for some odd reason she feels depressed and hates herself, probably something to do with the bullying, her insecurities and fears of having real relationships with people. She looks up on google what overdosing on panadol can do. She finds it can cause sickness or in severe cases, death. She knows she probably doesn’t have enough to kill herself, but she is determined to hurt herself in some way. She takes as many pills as she is brave enough to take.. Probably 5 or 6.
She waits.. While having a conversation with her online “BF”. She starts to feel quite ill and scared, so she confesses to her online friend of whom tells her to eat some white bread to soak up the pills. The bread works. She is ready for bed now.
What a terribly silly thing for a 13 year old girl to be doing. If i had been my own parent, i feel i would have done things differently.
Fast forward to 2017, i am reflecting on my life and my traumas and my issues – and how social media has “helped”.
The thing is, i thought it did, it gave me a place to be in contact with people, a place where i didn’t (always) feel scared to express my feelings. What i would conveniently forget is that it has caused me great anxiety. When i was in high school i remember wishing i was a “favorite” friend on Bebo and Myspace, only to feel dissapointed that i was almost always left out. I don’t blame every friend i had for not being “friendly” enough. Looking back i know i didn’t communicate well, i had no confidence and whenever i tried to fake my confidence i almost always felt embaressed.
When i did show who i was inside, a bubbly, weird, extremely passionate person, i felt people thought i came on too strong and if i didn’t get my desired reaction, i would immediately assume everyone thought i was weird. I manifested this myself, but it is all i knew and i had to learn it somewhere. I learnt this from my parents.
Don’t get me wrong, i love my mother and she has given me unconditional love. When she was 1 year old, her mother had a stroke and ended up in a wheelchair. Her older brother and sister has both experienced there mother in her happy, confident state, my mother only experienced her mother in a wheelchair, a lady once in control, now not. A traumatic event for anyone. My mother then was rarely allowed to leave the house other than to go to school and to see her closest family friend. My mother was and still is shy but passionate. We are similar in this way. When she began raising me at 28 years of age, she had no idea how to teach a child to be social, she was never taught much herself.
It was just me and mum most of the time, with the exception of boyfriends here and there, of which she would argue with regularly.
We were poor, as mum was working hard but as a single mother who gave up her work as an ambulance officer, things were challenging as she went on to commercial cookery and then nursing like her brother and sister, she studied hard, left everything to the last minute but almost always passed. What i could never understand is that when we could have had much more, she smoked weed. She had a lot of inner anger and insecurities, so it would have helped her cope, but it didn’t help me. I don’t remember doing much at all with my mother, she told me we went to the park as a baby but i don’t remember anything when i was school age, apart from special occasions like my birthday and visiting family for Christmas, but even those special times at Christmas i held dear, slipped away. As i grew older i found i didn’t feel as loved by my extended family and when the holidays around them dissipated it was even harder to connect with them.
My mum spent a lot of time in the computer room with her bong. I remember once i must have said something rude because she slapped me over the head and i accidentally banged my head on the dresser, it was an accident of course but all i wanted her to do was express how sorry she was and give me the most loving hug in the world, but instead she said in a very distressed voice “I didn’t mean to do that” and went and sat back on her computer. Although she was sorry and felt bad inside, which i knew even before we spoke about it just after Christmas in 2016, the child me just thought i was unworthy and unloved and that’s why i got hurt.
When i was in year 7, i actually had some friends, although one of them was a narcissist which made things hard as that caused her to bully and manipulate the shy and well-meaning people like me. If what happened next hadn’t of happened, i may have experienced much less trauma than i have.
My Papa died, my mothers father. We were all so upset, he was our backbone, so kind, generous and we loved him so much. 2 days earlier i had slept over at his house as was our regular ritual. My Nana lived in the nursing home next door to Papas! We all thought she would be the first to pass, as she was in a wheelchair and in a nursing home. It would have hit her the hardest as Papa used to visit her every single day and make her feel at home even though it would have been very hard for him to watch his love grow old and start to forget. She slowly gave up after that, and soon enough she passed also.
My mother did not cope well. As well as her weed addiction, she started to drink heavy, more than just one out of control “Thursday Spa Night” per week with her friends, every morning she would come home from night shift and start to drink, some days by midday she was passed out drunk on the couch. As a teenager, this made me very angry. I didn’t understand how she could live her live drunk, stoned and with a messy house. I loved my mum when she wasn’t slurring, why didn’t she see the person she could be? Mum was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression. Papa never got to meet Ruby, the youngest and i think that may have been the reason she spiraled so quickly. She got some anti-depressants and i think it helped. She still drank and smoked, but i think it was less emotional and more habitual, making it easier for her to control. I don’t remember where my cutting fell into this, but mums reaction was not good. “You’re a fucking idiot!!!!” made me feel much worse about my situation. Mum bought me boys board shorts for the pool to cover my legs, but never sent me to a doctor and i don’t know why. We were bulk billed so i don’t know why! She sent me to get something (i forget what it’s called) in my arm to prevent me getting pregnant when i was sexually active, but she didn’t get my mental health checked! I will note my hormones then went wild so i had to get it taken out.
I had no respect for my parents as a teenager, or myself either. All i saw was the weed, the alcohol, the messy house and the fighting between my long term step father and my mother.
After sneaking out many weekends and rebelling, my mother hit her wits end and sent me to my fathers over the holidays with the threat of me never coming back. My dad forced me to come to every Tae-kwon-do training session(6 days per week), which doesn’t sound bad to me now, but teenage me was feeling lazy and didn’t want to do anything that i didn’t want to do! I still don’t believe in forcing your child to do anything (within reason), this only caused resentment in my case, and for most other teenagers.
My dad also has depression, so he was hard to be around at times, he would never take anything out on another person, but was so hard on himself, but always did his best not to show it, but it was transparent.
I remember dad inviting some of his friends over, two adults and their 19 year old child from taekwondo, they were having a few drinks and dad allowed me to. When dad was in the toilet,the 19 year old was taking shots, and as someone who had drank as many weekends as possible as a 14 year old, i decided to challenge him by downing a shot without screwing up my face, the rest is a bit blurry until everyone was saying goodbye and me and the drunk 19 year old started making out while the adults were outside.
Annnyyywhooo…. Later i was vomiting drunk and told my father that i made out with said 19 year old. I remember him telling me i shouldn’t kiss anyone i don’t love. I remember thinking he was a prude, but kind of on to something, although i believe everyone should be able to have a little fun when they’re single, just maybe not how i did in my teen years.
Anywho… I’m was off track. After all this, when i was 15 i ran away into the arms if Gary, the narcissist who sexually, physically and emotionally abused me for around 3.5 straight years and severely manipulated me when we were separated. I remember my resurface on social media just after the birth of my beautiful daughter. My fitness pal. This site helped me eat more calories when i had anorexia and orthorexia, but once i hit the end of my calorie comfort zone, i didn’t go higher until me and Gary separated. I started to get into all of it again and the second time i left him i really got into the #FITSPO movement. The problem was, as someone who had struggled with severe insecurities, this gave me such an overload of information, instead of me sitting on google researching nutrition and health, there was a bunch of things all these bikini athletes and bodybuilders were doing to get their results, they were always almost more extreme than anything you would find on google that wasn’t “pro-ana” because i didn’t even know i HAD an eating disorder, i was just trying to find something to focus on other than the abuse that my mind was repressing. Social media i today realized was the kicker to my repression, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Social media had me try all of things all of these people i viewed as “better than me” were doing. I was barely a bodybuilder yet and i was trying to cycle the most extreme diets as a part of my desire to “fit in” somewhere. This fed my eating disorder, not a desire to hurt myself or make myself stick thin. But failing these diets and extreme training programs had me hating myself instead, i didn’t feel like i was good as them, once again.
I am not saying every post i have made was full of a desire to fit in.
I am saying that my mental illnesses fed off of it. It was an excuse to fulfill my need of communication and helping others, without having to go out and make friends who could help me, i’ve always been a giver and this decision will help me give to myself.
I am not always controlled by my disorders, much less in 2017 than i ever have been –
BUT if i want to fully recover, i need to step out and make real friends instead of relying on this crutch any longer.
Cue the irony of me posting this on a form of social media, but long ago i deleted facebook and just the other day i permanently deleted my instagram account.
When i need to unload my thoughts, i will write on here. Writing sometimes scares me so this blog will be a positive thing for me.
Much love and take care,