This blog started as a semi private writing project in the summer of 2017. I wanted to try and reconnect with my Mum Etti who died when I was 18 years old. We had a few scores to settle and some stuff to catch up with. I have enjoyed and hated writing it. Enjoyed because writing is something I love and I found a whole different voice here. Hated it because at times I have felt it was too open, too raw, too painful and saddening even for me, let alone others.
Over the past two years – and longer – I have been experiencing a series of symptoms and problems which I now understand to be cPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I am seeking and hopefully soon getting treatment. I’m not going to stop writing. 2 reasons: I like it and it likes me and also, I want to try and use my writing to raise money for my treatment. You can donate via this link http://paypal.me/lettersetti
In the longer term – as I write about my experience of treatment and I hope, my recovery, perhaps it can give others some insight into this condition – and how it is possible to feel better.
There is no particular order in which to read most of the blog posts. But if you are able to consider offering me some financial support for my treatment you might want to start with the post which explains what that treatment is and why I need it.
If you only read – thankyou. If you can donate – thankyou. Like the song says – I love you all the same.
Update January 2020
I started treatment in November. I shook the first day I went in. The second session saw me tasked with drawing a map of the trauma and abuse I had experienced. I bought myself a small scrapbook. I had every intention of doing stuff the way I used to when I was working. Mapping it out and then extrapolating the information and presenting it back to myself chronologically. I had different coloured pencils and stickers and it was going to be a work of art.
I started as I’d been told. I put myself in the centre and around me the significant relationships in my life. Then on each of the lines that connected me to people I would mark out the incidents – and where they were clusters of incidents, map them separately.
After 4 days I had managed only to document the first few years. I was sick when I looked at it. Vomited sick – not just felt a bit queasy. My hands shook. The coloured pencils went first, then the stickers. By “went” I mean – what the fuck was I thinking? Coloured bloody pencils and stickers. I could have got some glitter too. And perhaps baked some commemorative cakes?
I emailed the therapist and said “Do you really intend me to do this. It is killing me.” He sent me back a message that said “good on you – you know it has to come out”. At that point I decided he was a complete charlatan. I wanted to never go again.
But I took a deep breath and carried on. Eventually I had something that looked complete. It also looked like a dogs breakfast. If, that is, a dog breakfasted on a nest of spiders. Hand on heart it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And there was no great feeling of achievement. Just a huge sadness. This was my life expressed as pain. This was me. I saw the failure and the inadequacy, the worthlessness of all that I had done. This was the closest I think I have ever come to suicide. But with that a resignation. A complete surrender.
When I went to my next session my intention was to say “I can’t do this”. My intention was to walk away and stop this process and leave myself in this half life. But that week we began what he called ‘the work’. I’m going to detail what that work involves at some point, but just for now I don’t want to break the magic. I don’t want to blight it or disturb it or change it in anyway. Because it is changing me and it is both glorious and painful.
I am filled with grief. Grief for the child I was when I was first abused. Grief for the young woman whose virginity was sold at the rock disco. Grief for the beaten woman and later the woman who made the decision to stand by her abuser when their psychopathy became too big to be hidden any longer. I stood by her because she was my sister and no one else would. It wrecked my life. Over the ten years since I made that decision I became so disassociative I stopped being able to complete my own thoughts. My broken thoughts made up the barricade that kept the grief from me.
So here I am now. I’m not fixed. I’m not even close to fixed. But I can join some stuff up again. My chronology is starting to peep out and I can remember more things. Of course remembering things is not always good and my days at the moment are a cycling through grief and remembering. But the panic and anxiety is less. My memories cause me no less pain but a few are starting to feel more distant now and as I process I am finding myself more connected to myself. Or should I say more associated.
I’ve had a long break over Christmas and new year – but I start treatment again in a weeks time. I’m scared of it but I want to get it done. I still need your help. If you can help support me through treatment, anything you give will be appreciated. But if you cannot that’s fine too. I’ll find away.
I’m happier now as well for you to share this. So please if you feel you’d like to, I’d like you to as well.
I still love you.