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Cat

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  • #345600
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    How does anyone process a death like this? :'( She was SUCH a bright soul. So young, and sweet and pure. Not a bad bone in her body. SO passionate about music.

    Her Dad emailed me photo’s of the tree in London. Her friends there decorated it with guitar picks and other things she liked 🙁 That just made it feel too real. It’s awful. I think of her young sweet, smiling face, and I can’t believe I’ll never see or talk to her again :'( How does anyone get over that? It feels like she’s gone and there’s nothing we can do to save her.

    She was 1 in a million and I feel like we’ve missed out and lost so much. I still can’t believe it.

    Cat

    #345302
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I returned to work last week, but I felt too overwhelmed to make a decision about what to do with work. Especially with everything going on right now.

    I’m not too great. I found out on Monday that one of my old friends committed suicide :'( She was only 20. I met her when she was 17. She had such a big heart and was so smart. She took her life on the 17th, after 2 previous attempts. She hung herself in the woods :'(

    She was a trans woman. I met her as a boy, and watched her become Lucy. She fronted her own band, and her favourite band was Against Me.
    Yesterday I was empty and depressed and stayed inside. Last night I started crying.

    This morning I emailed all my memories to her Mum and family. And listened to Against Me and cried.
    This month has been the worst.

    Cat

    #343478
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I hope you read this message before I get in to work tomorrow.
    At the moment I work at the arts place Mon, Tues, weds, Fri 9-5 and care home on Thursdays.
    Last week the care home said they wanted me back because I’m good with the residents and because all the staff know me and want to support me.
    I am inclined to go back to the care home for many reasons. Since starting my new job, I’ve found it hard to find time to play guitar and write songs for my band. And also time to read. If I go back to the care home, it means each day I will have either the morning or afternoon free to be at home doing just that.

    If I go back to the care home, then I will need to work every other weekend. I will be starting therapy on Saturdays at 2pm. So it may well be a I need to work a long day every other Sunday. This isn’t ideal, but at the moment it seems like the most viable option.

    Some people may see this as a step back, but I need to put myself first. Right now in life, I honestly just want to be at peace with myself and to create. In the care home I will be allowed to have breaks when feeling stressed. At the moment running sessions is a lot more stress and pressure and also alot more paperwork.</p>
    Ideally I’d love to be off of work, as my mind feels like it’s going to Crack under responsibility and control. I hate feeling trapped.

    Cat

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Cat.
    #343290
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I started looking in to EMDR therapy last summer, although I didn’t feel strong enough to go through with it.

    I have sourced an EMDR therapist and I have an initial meeting with her next Saturday. Emotional times.

    Did I tell you that the care home want me back to work there full time?

    Cat

    #342992
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    This week has been quite intense.

    Last week I was on annual leave, and a couple things happened when I was away that gave me emotional feelings back to what happened in Amsterdam in 2016. (I was given rhohypnol and was still conscious when I saw 2 guys standing in front of me waiting to assault me). Two things happened when I was away, and last Friday I had a nightmare regarding being sedated, and I woke up in cold sweats. Since Friday, I have continued to have cold sweats.

    I went back to work on Tuesday, and my new art sessions job wasn’t that supportive, but I was allowed to spend my working hours in the care home. I spent some time in my old friends room and said my goodbye’s. When I came home on Tuesday evening, I had a nap and when I woke up I was in sweats again. I realised that my mental health really wasn’t normal, or good. I was reliving different traumatic events through my bandmates as well and being very untrusting of them.

    I spoke with the on-call GP today and she agreed with me, and believes I’m experiencing PTSD symptoms, and I do need to address this past trauma in my life. I am currently looking in to trauma therapy.

    Cat

    #342422
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s nearly 1pm here in Bristol. The weather outside is bland. The sky is white. I am sat in bed, still in my onesie. My room is a mess. My eyes are puffy from crying. I have been on annual leave for the past 2 weeks – and I was due back to work today. I got a phonecall from the nursing home, with the news that one of my lil old ladies passed away 🙁 She was 93, a feisty little thing, and v stubborn. I’ve supported her for over a year, and we developed a relationship that was so funny. Seeing her face light up on shift really made me feel like I was making a difference in my work. I felt like I meant something to someone.

    I did not go to work today, because I think I deserved time to grieve her passing. I wasn’t there for the final days, and I’ve been worrying that I could of done more. My colleagues have spoken to me on the phone, and they said that out of everyone, I gave her so much joy in the final years of her life. We joked, danced, played. She loved me, and I loved her.

    My new job is part of that same organisation – their building is across the road. I did talk to them and said I wouldn’t be in because I was grieving. They said that it wouldn’t come under grievance leave because she wasn’t family or next of kin. The care home are going to tell them how close we were, I think, and make them understand.

    I’ve been feeling a bit low the past couple of days. Mostly due to a lot of reasons. Sometimes I feel like I am stupid, or I am really unintelligent. Especially when I talk to people who I see as intelligent. Such as people who talk about things I don’t know, and people who I see achieving more than I am. – This is a conversation that needs its own explanatory post.

    In response to your questions:

    1. I had the blood test – and it turns out that I wasn’t anemic or gluten intolerant etc. But those problems have subsided.

    2. I wasn’t officially diagnosed with PMDD, but I tried going on microgynon contraceptive pill, which has really balanced out my hormones and has been working so far.

    3. No more changes to my anti-depressants, and I’ve actually been feeling ALOT less depressed!!! Spending way less time in bed, and I’ve been more pro-active in believing in myself and following  my dreams.

    4. The chronic headaches have stopped – and I had the eye check. I do have a lazy eye – but I do feel it strengthening on occasions!!!

     

    Cat

     

    #338580
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita.

    I still haven’t forgotten about you!!

    Happy New Year too 🙂

    How have you been?

    It’s 8pm in Bristol. There’s a storm outside, so I have spent today inside, reading and writing lyrics for a song I wrote.

    A lot has happened my end since we last spoke…All the people I mentioned in the last post are no longer in my life….

    Me and Angel had an on/off thing for a while. It was difficult because he lived in a different town to me, so I only got to see him every so often. He would be on/off and sometimes reply to my messages, and sometimes he wouldn’t. Also, when we hung out, he would refuse to be affectionate, like kiss me and things like that. It was weird, he said he wanted me but then he was always unattainable. The whole situation was really hard for me, and it triggered a lot of my emotional dysregulation as it would be on my mind alot.

    That finished the end of last year.

    In October last year, I also left the band I was in. This was partly my own fault but partly the reactions of others too.It’s a long story, but I have realised who my true friends are, and I’m currently starting a new project with people outside of that scene. I feel a lot better for it, as I want to connect with people who are just good, understanding people.

    I also have a new job, doing support work with deaf people but doing music, art, drama and card making sessions! I do that 4 days a week and the care job 1 day a week.

    Cat x

    #318865
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    On my journey of life & learning, I’ve been thinking of you alot. I haven’t forgotten!! I will write to you soon.

     

    Cat

    #285023
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    How are you?

    I wrote a reply to you earlier in the week… It was in depth…I clicked send and then my internet cut out!! So I lost it!! Typical!! xD

    But I am glad that I am writing to you today – as lot’s happening my end, and lot’s to tell you and talk to you about.

    Firstly, it’s 6.51pm here in Bristol. The sun has set, its Sunday and its fairly quiet outside. I am sat in my bed. Its been a busy day, so just sending a couple emails before preparing for work tomorrow.

    Wow, where to even begin….

    In response to your last message:

    When Georgia told me about her suffering…it’s almost like I felt the despair. Because I can relate so much, and know how it feels to be in that position. I think it triggers some emotion in me, that I’ve buried from a young age (like suppressed emotion). Which I realised recently that I have ALOT of…. So when I hear Georgia telling me about her suffering, it touches upon that reaction and pain that I’ve supressed, and therefore I feel like I am suffering too.

    Georgia came to stay with me a couple weekends ago. We had a lovely time together. On the second day, she arranged to meet with the guy… Whilst she was here, I accepted that she is an adult, and I am not responsible for her choices or happiness. She knew my opinion and advice. Before we went out on the 2nd night, she asked me, that if the guy was out, then for me not to say anything to him or start on him….. It was very difficult. As obviously I know all the awful things he’s done to her. But she said that if I did do or say anything, then she wouldn’t be my friend again. I had no choice but to respect this…. We got to the pub, and he was outside. (She had obviously arranged to meet him, which I suspected). I tried my best to keep out of any contact with him. She spent most of the night with him, whilst I was enjoying the gig and seeing other friends. I managed to control my anger…. Which is so hard for me, because when I feel like standing up for something, its so hard to hold back!!! But I did, by staying away from him. She seemed to have a good night. And she stayed at his that night, and stayed at his for the rest of her duration in Bristol. She said it was surprisingly calm, no physical abuse. But some verbal abuse before she left. As a friend, I can only be here as a calm ear, and to offer consistent advice.

    Ok, so about me:

    Wow. So much has happened, in this week alone!!

    But first. Long story short. In my band, it’s been me and my friend – I’ll call her Dolly. We’ve known each other through the punk scene for years… She’s a few years older than me and has kids. She’s already in a band with her husband, I’ll call him Skelli. They’ve been married for years. Very much in love, very inspiring couple to me.
    I’ve been hanging out with Dolly more, because of our band. It’s been really nice connecting with her and Skelli again.

    When I was at university, I met a guy in my first year. This must of been, 2011/2012. He didn’t go to uni, but was friends with people I was friends with. I’ll call him Angel. We knew each other and hung out a couple of times. Not sure how it came around, probably talking about punk, but I mentioned Skelli and he said that Skelli was his older brother.

    I haven’t seen Angel since 2011/12. But I’ve seen him more since hanging out with Dolly more. I went to Skelli’s birthday drinks in December, and saw him again. We hit it off, and both seemed to like each other. We are seeing each other/ talking/ hanging out etc. We talk about emotions and feelings and things like that. I know he’s been through alot, and going through alot right now. We talk about a lot of stuff. So yeah, this is something that I am trying to remain emotionally stable for as well.

    So this week……

    After the Georgia weekend, I was completely drained. And on the Sunday night I fell in to a state of depression. (Just to let you know, I came on my period the day before). This depression was the worst that I’ve ever had. I felt like I wasn’t myself, and I couldn’t see a future, could not see any hope for my life. I was in bed all week with severe depression, paranoia and anxiety.

    I’ve had this before, on my period. I lose a lot of blood in the first 3 days – I’m waiting for my blood test to see if I’m anemic. That’s on the 25th. But this week, I called the Doctors, because I’m quite certain that I have PMDD. Not sure if you’ve heard of it? Basically, it’s PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It’s the symptoms of PMS but MUCH more severe. The on-call doctor called me back, and she said that she relates as she had a similar thing. She said that the only way to stop PMDD is to stop my cycle all together, which means I would need to choose a contraception option – either pill or coil etc to stop my cycle completely, and so to stop the hormonal changes in my body. I have a telephone appointment booked for 2 weeks time, to start this process.

    The on-call Doctor suggested that I increase my anti-depressants, as they are meant to help balance the hormones in PMDD too. So they have been increased.

    The blood test on the 25th will show whether I’m anemic, and also whether I am gluten intolerant as well.

    I also realised this week, that I suffer from chronic headaches. These are something that I have had for a very long time, but always dismissed as depression. It was only when I couldn’t get to sleep AGAIN because of the headaches, that I realised that they might be separate from depression. Again, I spoke to the on-call doctor the next day, and he advised having an eye check and staying hydrated. I have an appointment with the doctor about this soon as well.

    So basically, this week, I’ve realised alot about my physical health. Really being self-aware about how I’m feeling in every moment. And realising that I’ve supressed a lot of this pain for quite a while, and this week it all came to the forefront. I realised that with the mental pain: I have been surpressing it, and so it manifests itself as negative thoughts about different aspects of my life.

    Last night:

    I had a dream. It was a bad dream, but there was one thing in it that helped me get through the dream. I woke up this morning, and I didn’t just wake up. I felt something, in my heart. It was like a warm wave, of warmth and happiness and security and it made me smile. I haven’t had that feeling in such a long time, that I actually cried. I actually released emotion. Usually I can never cry, and so I spent time allowing myself to feel and allowing myself to cry. It was this morning that I realised, this was my heart energy, and something that I have found hard to connect to for so long. It felt so good connecting to it. I was late for band practice, but when I did go, I wasn’t in my head like I usually was, and I felt like I was living from that heart space.

    I can’t explain it right now, but this is something life-changing for me. Something I am trying to be more aware of in every moment. Instead of living from my head, living from my heart.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this,

    Love,

    Cat

    #280717
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’ll reply properly to your previous message in a couple of days…

    Right now, my heart feels very heavy. And the one thing I can think to help with this is reaching out to you.

    I have a friend, who I’ll call Georgia, who lives in Ireland. I’ve known her for nearly 2 years. She’s really creative, in a band and a massive inspiration to me. All the time I’ve known her, she has had an abusive relationship with a guy. They’re always on/off. She opened up to me last night and told me how he treated her. Physically abusive. Telling her to commit suicide etc.

    It’s so so so awful. I’m trying to support her best I can. But hearing about it all last night has left me feeling sad, heavy heart and depressed this morning. It’s triggered memories of stuff I’ve seen/been through.

    Please could you think of a way that I can support her, but not experiencing this depression at the same time? It’s so hard. I have things to do today, but I feel guilty living such a good life, knowing what she’s going through.

     

    Cat

    #277843
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you 🙂 How did you injure your ankle?

    Cat

    #276791
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I do love London when I go there! There is something about how renowned it is that really appeals me and I love the way of life. I used to love it more when I was younger. But I know how expensive it is to live there!! The underground is my favourite 🙂 🙂

    At the moment I am still saving to pay back some debt, but I am getting there! At christmas the bank turned my overdraft in to loan credit, which means I am actually paying it back now! Small steps but progress is being made. Right now, my life is: Bristol, seeking stability in my job and coming to terms with the path that I am on – nursing care, developing my style – including punk patches and black lipstick, band practice and writing songs, practicing guitar, and seeing friends. Yes, I am Bristol-bound, but creating and building something is keeping me going.

    How are you? What have you been up to?

    Cat x

    #272509
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry this is late. MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

    How was your xmas/new years?
    <p dir=”ltr”>Yes, writing out long replies and losing them has happened to me MANY times!!! I feel the frustration. Now I tend to write the reply in a document then copy and paste it over.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>How many times have you been to the UK? And how did u find London??</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>That apple juice diet sounds mental!!! I still struggle with buying /cooking food but that is one of my goals for this year.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Cat xoxo</p>

    #270103
    Cat
    Participant

    My dear Anita,

    Apologies again that my replies have been far between. Still no laptop, and I am avoiding trying to use my housemate’s mac as much as possible. She doesn’t mind, but we borrowed it a lot over the past few months, and so now trying to not use it as much. There is a library down the road, so I am going to start using that!!

    In reply to your last message about thanksgiving: yes I am a vegetarian!! I was vegetarian from the age of twelve – my best friend did an insane job at converting us all!! I went vegan when I was 18 for a year. Although I was not a healthy vegan. Then, I went through a period where I did not want my identity to be so attached to my diet, so ate meat again (so I understand what you mean when you talk about the turkey and cranberry combination). I was then flexetarian for a few years, mainly eating vegetarian food, buying vegan but eating meat sandwiches when stressed…. And now I am back to being vegetarian now. I have also found out recently that I am gluten intolerant! So I am being more careful about what I eat.

    Today:
    It’s 12.39 here in Bristol, I’m in my pj’s, sat at my housemates desk writing this. We’ve had intense rain for the past few days, so the ground is wet but the sun has started to shine now. Her room is at the front of the house, so I can hear all the cars going past, and I can see the sunlight peeping in from under the blinds 🙂 I have my second coffee next to me. After I’ve written to you, I am going to have a shower/bath, get ready and then head in to town. I got paid yesterday so picking up some christmas presents and getting bits and bobs, and then meeting up with a friend later.

    In terms of how I’ve been. – Generally, well, better, growing.

    I realise that it must’ve been about a year since I first posted on here!! A year that we have been talking. And I’ve been thinking about how much has changed, how much my life has changed throughout that year, and the fact that our conversation has continued all throughout that. It’s beautiful. Thank you for always being there.

    Obviously you know where I’ve come from, and you’ve seen me on my journey, so I think you can understand me when I say: I continue to realise things about myself each day. Maybe this is normal? But I think, as people who were quite neglected from family, their personality goes unrecognised and undeveloped. Which is why now I think I am realising a lot of things about myself . -even small things like I don’t like tomatoes!!!!

    Not much has happened over the past few months. I have continued working, been organising viewings for a new housemate. Our first housemate moved out in October, we had a 2nd one move in to her room but then she moved out last weekend!! We have just picked a 3rd new housemate, so hopefully this is 3rd time lucky!!

    Work is going well, I am lucky to have a very very selfless manager who is 30, and extremely fair. He has been so supportive, and I feel like I am part of such an inclusive and welcoming team. We had a christmas party yesterday, for all the residents. It was lovely. So much effort went in to it, and we even had donkeys with reindeer antlers on!! Was lovely to see all the residents and their families there. Alot of care and love and great people in that place.

    I have more to say on the topic of love, families, closeness, trust, acceptance, friends, encouragement, motivation, belonging, goodness, expression, art, being in control of what I feel inside and what I communicate/express etc. But I feel like that’s a longer message we can discuss after this one 🙂 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts?

    How are you this festive season my friend? I would love to hear everything.

    Love Cat x

    #240323
    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s just gone for 4pm in Bristol. I’m using my housemates laptop to reply, coffee next to me and still in pjamas. I woke up around 10am today but was super super tired. I had some breakfast, coffee and spoke to my other housemate before she left to go to Spain (she’s gone for 3 days). I then went back to sleep, and woke up again around 3. Feeling very hungry, I ordered a veggie burger, chips, cake and milkshake online. Lazy, I know. But thought I’d do it as a one-off, just til I feel better. I am replying to you now, then having a bath, then doing some cleaning up and then practicing guitar.

    Yes, I do understand what you mean about suffering. I haven’t thought about it in that way before, but you are right…. And thinking about it, the people who inspire me to help end suffering, and to campaign against issues aren’t actually suffering. They are/ were people who were in a position to speak out and campaign against things because they could.

    I think this core belief comes from my upbringing for sure, as I watched my parents suffer. But because they were suffering, they made us believe that we had to suffer too (and ensured that we did) yet also feel sorry for them etc etc. And a lot of the time put the blame of their suffering on to us. Yes, this is definitely where this core belief comes from!!!

    Band practice last Friday went well!! We actually played the songs together, and well! We ran through both songs and nailed them in 40 minutes. Then spent the last hour and 20 minutes trying to record them on the 4-track. Although the recordings weren’t great due to the place it was positioned in the room… I got a recording on my phone, and this is keeping me inspired. The plan is to have another practice next Friday, and get some recordings done then. And then we can send them to the people interested in drumming. And then we will be sorting drummer try-outs!!

    It feels like this is a dream coming true (as lame as that sounds). But we have a strong image, name, sound, and I know that if I’m able to put alot of energy and effort in to this, then I think we will be great…. It’s a new feeling though. As I never thought I would be good enough to be in a band. Or ever have the ability or confidence to do it… I know to a lot of people it would be like “but thats so easy, why is that a dream”. As i know there are people doing things far more extravagant. I don’t know. I guess for me, I’ve been so used to not taking control of my life. Of just living to work, not eating properly, hiding away. But now I’m taking steps to build and live the life that I want to – and to feel like I deserve that. And for me to really believe in myself and to believe I deserve that…. Well. I think it’s the biggest mindset challenge/ core belief/ life perspective that I have had to challenge so far. Can’t describe it really…. Let me know if you can relate to this.

    British Columbia looks beautiful!! How is life for you Anita?

    I haven’t watched Bohemian Rhapsody yet but I have heard good things!

    Cat

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