I started this blog mostly just because it helps me to write and reflect on things. If someone reads it and it helps them then that’s great too of course. I try to write unedited and unfiltered but I find that harder at times. The further I get with my degree and the more I am building up a sense of the kinds of jobs I’d like to do after it, the less I want to be seen as the ‘mentally ill person on the internet sharing all their thoughts and feelings’. But it is so hard to manage that, because that is and probably will always be a part of me. The trauma that I’ve been through, experiences I’ve had and how unwell it can make me at times is a part of who I am and it’s not something I want to be ashamed of or try to hide, but I do still try to hide it a lot. We are always encouraging people to talk about mental health, but I don’t think we live in a world where that is always possible or even always helpful if we don’t get the right responses and understanding, especially when it comes to the messy parts which of course mental illness and trauma definitely is.
I often feel pressure to turn my story in to some sort of inspiring positive story, but it is definitely not always positive or inspiring. The thing I am starting to struggle with more in this lockdown, which is the same feeling that has consumed so much of my life, is anger. The anger I feel about my past has taken over my entire life at times. It is destructive and messy, and not something people want to hear about or see. It’s not something I can turn into some sort of inspiring and positive story. It is full of explosive and ugly bitterness. But I’m not going to say it’s an unhelpful or damaging emotion either, because it is just how I feel and unfortunately with CPTSD it’s not something we can just get rid of. I can’t just ‘let it all go’, or else I wouldn’t have CPTSD in the first place. And it is not just a feeling that will be ‘better tomorrow’ because it is always there, underneath the surface. Bubbling away, ready for some space and time to come exploding out of me. I am not really sure what to do with it.
I am definitely less angry than I used to be at least, or I know better ways of releasing it and coping with it (sometimes). Sometimes I can run, do some art, cry instead. But other times all I can do is get into an unhealthy rant to someone where I go round in circles about how angry and hurt I am about everything until I am shaking, in tears and overwhelmed. At least I never drink or do anything more destructive these days. But it is still difficult for myself and others to cope with, especially with being stuck in a lockdown. The reason I am writing this is just to get all these thoughts out. I don’t have any helpful things to say or positive way to round this up. I don’t know the way forward, but I know I don’t want to spend more of this lockdown keeping everything to myself and hiding all of this just to try and be only one part of me; the Community Education student. Because that isn’t all of me. I’m still this person too, the one who has been through the trauma and still struggles to cope with it sometimes. That doesn’t take away my other skills and strengths. It doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do the kind of job I want to do after graduating. No-one else out there is perfect and I know from my own experiences if they pretended to be I would see right through it anyway. We are all just human, with all the trauma and difficult angry emotions that go with that.