Day 10: How do you feel about your scars?
To put it simply…
I hate them.
Day 16: How many people are you “out” to with your mental illness(es)? Why?
But ask me if I’m always upfront with my employers and I will tell a different story. My employers know about my mental health issues but when they are the cause of me not being able to work I do lie and say that I am physically sick. I do not want to appear as if I’m not capable of doing my joblad that , especially since I work with children.
Day 9: Have you ever taken pictures of your wounds? Discuss.
I probably have taken pictures but then promptly deleted them. I did take pictures of my scars because I wanted to show you, my followers, the before and after of certain scar reducing/cover up products but ended up not publishing them.
I think that is the more important question; have I published pictures of my wounds? The answer is NO!
While everyone is entitled to do what they want I really hate it when people post pictures of their self harm wounds. It is so triggering for me to see and due to my experiences as a teen I associate such a public display as negative attention seeking.
A friend of mine shared a post on her Facebook page (which I have shared on this blog) about an advertisement on the subway in Toronto that advertises the company’s mock psych ward is a fun place to come and be scared for birthday parties. She expressed support and was met with comments telling her to not be so sensitive.
It has become a dirty word and a dirty thing to be. Sensitive. It wasn’t that long ago that sensitive used to be a positive. A sensitive person was someone who cared, they had a heart, they showed their feelings. Now, sensitive means that someone is overreacting, are annoying and should be dismissed.
Can people no longer see that many of the rights we have today are because people throughout history were sensitive?
I believe that sensitive is being used to shame people. Calling someone sensitive is to tell them that they should be quiet. Being quiet means that the dominant discourse is able to continue.
Keep being sensitive. I would hate to see what the world would look like if we lost it.
I snapped a picture of this ad when I saw it on the TTC with the intention of writing about it but then life caught up with me. Thanks for writing this post! A psych ward is scary but not for the reasons people think. You should be more afraid of the professionals than the patients…
Originally posted on The Belle Jar:
Dear Toronto Transit Commission,
I am writing with regards to the following poster found in some of your subway cars advertising “Mystery Room,” which is apparently a sort of spooky role-playing game where you have to escape scary situations.
As you can see, some of the frightening scenarios that you can participate in include “Satan’s Lair,” prison, something called The Mummy’s Curse and a psychiatric ward. All of them are problematic in one way or another, but one of them hits particularly close to home for me.
I am writing this because I am a person who has spent time on a psychiatric ward – in fact, I’ve been a patient at multiple mental hospitals. The first time was when I was sixteen – I saw a clinical psychologist to help figure out what medication would best manage my depression. The second time was when I was twenty one and suicidal –…
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8. What the most supportive thing anyone has said to you about self harm?
“Your scars are beautiful.”
Day 15: How has your life been effected by your illness(es)? (Some ideas are: relationships, career, school)
My self harm scars cause me to hide my body. I wore sweaters in the summer and still wear pants, leggings or tights. I am trying to become more comfortable with exposing more skin and have recently worn a bikini but being more covered up is also my style. I am slowly but surely becoming more comfortable with my scars.
I expose myself in my intimate relationships which can mean I let lose all my anger, sadness and “craziness” on the one I love. This has made it difficult to maintain relationships and has also put me in abusive relationships. The more I learn about self care and coping the easier relationships are becoming. Being with the right person is also a massive help.
I waited 4 months for an appointment at the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) just to hear the words, “I can’t help you.”
Last September/October I was slowly but surely becoming suicidal due to being on psych drugs. While my doctor knew my Borderline Traits diagnosis and knew I had difficulty with and wanted to control my anger when I became suicidal and scored high on depression tests my treatment because all about depression. I noticed that my file mentioned depression and never borderline and when I was switched to an antidepressant the idea that I was depressed became solidified. But I am not depressed and haven’t had traces of a mood disorder since I was 18 years old.
I pursued the appointment at CAMH because I wanted to know if I was on the right medication. I ignored the voice inside me that told me to speak out against the appointment being made with the hospitals Mood and Anxiety Clinic. But, I thought, maybe feeling suicidal like this means I have more going on then just borderline traits. I tried to hang on and wait for my August 6th appointment but I know that if I had stated on the psych drugs I would have attempted to end my life again. I went off of them and after withdrawal the suicidal thoughts and feelings went away and have not returned with that ferocity since.
I sit myself in the front of the CAMH psychiatrist and tell him that I stopped the psych drugs, am no longer suicidal , haven’t self harmed in 3 months and am happy. He already knows the basics about me because he has my emergency room intake form from January 2014 in front of him. I fill out the depression and anxiety questionnaire and know from my answers that it is obvious neither are my problem.
“I see no signs of a mood disorder.” he tells me. I knew that already. He tells me to look into DBT and I explain that I have tried and can’t find free or cheap programs. Of course, the woman who would be able to help me is in vacation. He wraps up our appointment quickly and tells me that he can’t help me but any information he finds on DBT he will send to my doctor. I left the appointment fuming.
The one good thing that came out of the appointment was he confirmed that psych drugs are not a path I should pursue. It was nice to hear a psychiatrist say that. Still, the pain of walking out with nothing to go off of that I didn’t already know or try was very strong. Even though I say I don’t care about it, I do.
I’ll put more thought into it when I have the time. I’m not at risk for anything bad. I just want there to be more good.