I’m intentionally not being specific about my past, because it is not important. The importance is that it is nobody’s fault.
Bad things can happen to people very early in life (when they are babies, or very young children). Sometimes the person may have, apparently, no memory of what happened, but normal psychological development is altered and the effects are long term. My parents were good hearted, intelligent professional people and if they had understood what was happening, things might have been very different. They were unaware of the facts and the dynamics of the situation; they did not intend any harm and they would have been horrified if they had realised.
Depression with psychiatric hospital admission became overt at age 17 and has been recurrent ever since. I have been hugely helped by Fluoxetine [Prozac] which gives me a degree of stability.
I live with an out-of-date set of coping strategies, something I’ve only just become aware of at the age of 62! These coping strategies worked as a child but are not appropriate for an adult.; respect for others but not for myself, over compensations for my faults, excessive submission and self sacrifice.
I am blessed with intelligence and high academic qualifications but I am unable to operate at my educational level. I have worked all my life but frequently had to leave a job due to the recurrence of depression. On recovery, finding a new job sometimes meant having to move and this has caused rootlessness and prevented the development of a supportive base of people to whom I could turn.
There have always been people who harm other people and there always will be. Humans are a predatory species. Some of us do not, or cannot, control the natural predatory instinct and it’s my strong belief that their behaviour is not malicious, but the result of trauma in their own development.
What I’ve written sounds over analytical. This is deliberate because its necessary for the communication of facts. My heart is filled with compassion for humans and the awful things that can happen to our minds – things far worse than have happened to me.
My situation is common, there are millions of us. But its still nobody’s fault.
On February the 11th 2018 we launched a crowdfunding campaign. We want to start a conversation about mental health that is powerful. No more treading on eggshells. We are not invisible, We do not want to be hidden away. Our work in the studio and shop is #SmashingStigma every day, and now we are going to be a little noisier.
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As part of the campaign we are also looking for more blogs about mental health stigma, so please get in touch if you have a story to share.