TW: Depression and mention of self-harm. PTSD. Medicines. I feel weird typing out a TW for this.
I’ve been contemplating about whether or not I should talk about my mental health on here but then I remembered that this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want. Fuck it.
I spent most of my teenage years feeling like a there’s a dark cloud looming over me. I never understood why and to be honest I thought I was just being emo (which was a thing back then). Here’s the thing, I thought everything that happened to me was normal, even if those experiences fucked with my mental health a lot. I thought parents were supposed to be like that, homes were supposed to feel like that, and that children were supposed to repress their emotions and fake happiness when they’re upset. I really thought that’s how things were supposed to be. Whew.
Of course, there’s this little voice telling me it’s wrong. Home felt suffocating; I felt like I had to tiptoe around the house as if there’s a ticking time bomb about to explode anytime. Eating at the dinner table was exhausting. Sleep was no good; I would wake up because of the smallest of noises, fearing for everyone’s safety. And when things got too rough, I would turn to self-harm. I went to school with secret cuts on my thighs and held on to that pain. As a teenager, it’s a hard thing to process when it’s your own parent verbally threatening your safety. (It still is, actually, I wrote these things down with a lump in my throat.)
But entertaining that little voice in my head felt like I was being ungrateful. I was being lavished with materialistic gifts. I had everything I wanted; a new phone every year, a camera, money, concert tickets, clothes… Surely, things aren’t so bad, right? And it’s only like that for 3 months every year anyway. Eventually, I learned to ignore that voice and went about my life pretending everything was okay. I “escaped” by reading lots of books and listening to music.
You see, it’s been years but I’m still being haunted by memories. I don’t sleep well. I get trauma-related nightmares. I constantly feel like something bad is about to happen. It’s hellish.
But now, it’s a different type of hellish. A somehow “better” one, I would say. I no longer feel trapped in my own home since my father left in December of 2016. I was 20. I don’t like admitting this, but I didn’t take it well. No one really tells you how to deal with a parent leaving at 20 (and an abusive parent, at that). I felt so lost and lonely. I took a break off social media, avoided friends, just kept to myself and contemplated about the “s” word a lot. There was this undeniable feeling of shame as if his mistakes were also my mistakes. It felt like my chest was the heaviest thing on earth.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t anticipate him leaving. In fact, when I was first told about it I didn’t cry, I was relieved. But naturally, being the sole provider of the family, his departure brought up a lot of problems that me and my family are still dealing with today.
On March 2020, I went to my first therapy session. It only really hit me that my childhood wasn’t that great after I told my life story to my therapist. Like, It’s that bad, huh. But for the first time, I felt validated. I was diagnosed with PTSD – ticked almost all the symptoms for it – but found it so hard to believe at first that I had to repeatedly ask my therapist to go through the symptoms with me over again, just to absorb it.
My mental health continued to dwindle so I decided to start seeing a Psychiatrist. I’ve been on anti-depressants for 10 months now and two other medicines that help with my mood, thinking, and sleep!
I’m glad that I found a doctor that’s open and doesn’t make me feel judged. Every session feels like a safe space to talk about anything that happened with me in the past and anything that’s bothering me in the present. After numerous sessions, it also came up that I’m exhibiting ADHD symptoms and will start medications for that soon. All in all, that would sum up my daily medications to 4, which saddens me a bit because medicines can be frikkin’ expensive. But I just want to be better and function normally.
My doctor also suggested that I tell my family about my medications. I still have no idea how to tell my mom directly (I feel like she already knows) or where to even start. But I was able to tell my older sister during one random car ride and she was so supportive. Baby steps, I guess!
Anyway, this is my online diary and I don’t really care about strangers reading about my life but please, if you know my family personally, don’t take the opportunity away from me to address this to them.
If you’ve read this far, thank you and be kind to yourself. I wrote this so I can look back on it in the future when I’m in a much better place mentally.
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P.S. Ideally, I should be both seeing my therapist and psychiatrist for my treatment but it’s too expensive for me at the moment! So I opted to take medicines for now. That being said, I do plan on going back to therapy someday!
P.P.S. I was told my anti-depressants won’t increase my appetite but I gained a substantial amount of weight after taking it. I’ve also read similar accounts of other people! Eeeek.