Back in the black stuff again
Posted by Hatlessslim
6th Jan 2014

Hi everyone,

Thank you for taking the time to read this, this forum means a lot to me.

My story started when myself, my brother and sister were caring for our terminally ill mum and that was nearly 4 years ago. I struggled with particularly as my mum was not the desmonstrative type and never cuddled, kissed or generally spoke nice to us. So for 5 weeks, biting our tongues and despite grieving already before the event, we never wavered until her death. 9 months later my brother in law died of a heart attack, leaving my sister alone. This was a particular shock to us all as it happened so suddenly and him and my sister were incredibly close, so much so that we used to say they were joined at the hip! My sister, understandably was devastated and because I'm the only one close enough, took the brunt and full force of her grief. Late night phone calls, early morning calls and pleas to try to help her. During this time, I had a breakdown, possibly from the trauma and stress of being the carer. It started with small anxiety, not wanting to talk to anyone, shaking all the time and sickness out of nowhere. During this, I was also struggling with visions that kept popping in front of me, anytime any place, these usually consisted of seeing either my mum or brother in law dead, but when I went to give them a final kiss, they woke up and hissed at me with teeth bared. I was incredibly scared and didn't know how to rid myself of these pictures. Then the nightmares started, always about people leaving, dying and even laughing at me. This then turned into a full breakdown. Despite this, I hid behind a wall and carried on at work. There were times that I didn't want to return home though, back to reality I guess. My boyfriend was massively supportive and he was the one who dragged me to the doctors in 2011 after seeing just how bad it was on holiday when he found me utterly panic stricken in the dining room of the hotel because I had lost sight of him. I spent two days in our room, with him just holding me while I was crying and me telling him to leave me when we got back home, "find yourself someone normal, someone who won't make your life worse like I'm doing".

After this I accepted therapy sessions to cure the anxiety first as that was the most prevalent. My counsellor was brilliant, I remember on my first session just crying, shredding a tissue and kept my arms folded all times. She set me some small homework, to fill out a form and I cried all the way home as I had forgotten to take the form home. It arrived in the post two days later, she had noticed and had made sure she fixed it. The sessions got easier after a time and when my course finished, I could deal with people again, I even spoke to the cashier in Morrisons, which was a massive step for me.

During this, I was still dealing with my sister who was rapidly going downhill and wouldn't accept help, it wouldn't bring her husband back so she didn't want to know. I tried, I really did, to help her, but despite this she took her own life 11 months after her husband had died. This actually wasn't a shock to me, she had said she was going to do it and we had spoken about it and I had told her that I understood why she felt like that but I would be very very angry if she did. She still did. The night she did it, she had been in bed all day and I live 60 miles from her so I was at work all day. She had rang me to basically tell me that she knew I was avoiding her and she mentioned something that she thought had happened two years previously but it hadn't. This made me mad and I got shirty with her. We parted on the phone call with me telling her I was trying to help her and just to give me until tomorrow dinner time to sort it out. I never got the chance to help her, she didn't want to know. I'm still very angry with her and have removed all pictures of her in my house. While she was grieving, she frequently told us that our grief wasn't as bad as hers as losing a husband was far far worse, this never allowed any of the family to grieve properly. I don't think I will ever not be angry with her, I hate her for outing us through 11 months of hell and causing a bucketload of pain after.

Despite this, I progressed to another counsellor who dealt with grief. For some reason I instantly took a dislike to her, she was very nice but I felt like she was the head teacher type, you know? But being depressed, you just suck it down and don't mention it. I used to struggle with appointments, timekeeping and such and once I turned up for a session at 9am and it was one of those places where you just waited and they came out to you at the allotted time. At 9.20 she still hadn't come out, so I hesitantly knocked on the office door and she said, yes and came out to set up. I told her I was unhappy about the time thing and she made me feel like that was a issue of mine and she would help me with it. Was it a test? If it was, it was incredibly rude as depressed as I was, rudeness still gets my goat! After that, I felt uneasy with her and was actually glad when she declared me cured. I just went with it and didn't go back. Maybe I should have said something at the time, but I was scared and vulnerable. I didn't feel ready to face the world but apparently I was no longer depressed, despite still having nightmares, despite still being upset at trivial things. Nope, I was cured! So, I pushed whatever feelings I had down and got on with bettering my life a little. Then in Feb 2013 my mother in law fell ill and died. Visiting in the hospital brought back horrific memories and as she was unhappy and sad a lot of the time and watching someone die slowly and painfully is utterly dreadful along with the additional stress of being the strong one for my boyfriend and visiting the hospital every night, this took its toll and I bit it down. On the day that she passed, my boyfriends brother and ex wife were in the room and the ex wife was driving me crazy because she's loud and not really my type of person, just a bit self centred. Well, at 4:00pm I couldn't listen to her anymore, I just wanted the room to be quiet, the woman was dying for gods sake but the ex kept on and on about having her legs waxed. I just got up and told my boyfriend I had to leave, I couldn't do it anymore. Despite wanting to be there, I just left. The additional pressure this just have created for him must have been huge and he called me at 5:00pm to say he was coming home for some tea and in reality I knew he was coming home to check I was alright. His brother rang him at 5.40pm to say that his mum had died. I can never ever forgive myself for him not being there for her at the last moment, he shouldn't have been at home with his needy girlfriend, he should have been with his mum at the end.

Skip forward to November last year. Had a few bad days, but nothing major in between, then suddenly out of nowhere, the panic attacks kicked back in. I know when they are about to start, I get a tingling in my right hand, but I can't remember how to stop it. This in turn makes me more anxious that it's all coming back and as I still remember how bad the bad times were, I can't let this happen again. Tonight, as I write this, I can't sleep, I'm terrified of the nightmares again and I've been crying. I've seen the doctor and am waiting for counselling again but I am honestly feeling massively low and am badly negative on myself. Again, I keep thinking my boyfriend would be better off without me? Everyone would be better off, I'm a bad person, I am a mess, I don't like myself and I feel like it's beating me. Have I let this happen to me? Did I let this take over again? I could have stopped it and I didn't.

I hope the counselling works this time, i just want to be well again.

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