June 14, 2021 I need to have a heart-to-heart with you all. Recently I was befriended by a stranger, a mental health professional who was drawn to my page. He was new to the area in which I lived, and soon after, began following several of my friends. At 1st, I saw red flags and I was hesitant to interact with him, but he patiently planted little seeds. When he explained that he was a safe person, I believed him, which made way for some deeper conversations. He showed concern over my healing journey. Because of his patience, the seeds he planted, and his damn credentials, I was too trusting. It felt like the moment I let my guard down, he began to break me apart and break me down from all the work that I put in this past year. He criticised my entire essence and integrity and calling. In the meantime, he was also getting close with a long time dear friend of mine. ‘Dear friend’ hardly does justice to how much she has meant to me over the years. In order to protect my friend, I was not going to share this story, but since both she and he have unfriended me, here it is. It is no longer my responsibility to protect those who do not protect me.
The ‘mental health professional’ began to have such a huge, unknown, personal issue with me that he turned ‘my friend’ against me and I didn’t/don’t have a voice to ask “why?” or to defend myself. I have been a hot mess. My number one trigger in life is to not have a voice. What makes it even worse is that he calls himself a “voice for the voiceless.” He stole my line, he lied, and stole my friend. No explanation from either.
I felt like I couldn’t begin to process if I wanted to because I don’t understand what happened. Excuse my language here but as I told my therapist, this was the ultimate cluster-mind-*#@*. It was the perfect storm to derail me and end my beautiful, productive, transparent, healing reign of personal testimony.
Mental illness, trauma, etc., can happen to any one of us at any time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been overlooked, brushed off, ignored, picked apart, bullied, and let’s face it, unloved, simply because I struggle with symptoms of complex trauma. I believe that my saving grace is Jesus, but many would correct me to say that had I been fearless enough to dabble in drugs, even Jesus may not have been in a place to stop me. I know I would be dead. I wouldn’t be here to write this and plead with you all to be kinder, be gentler to others, ESPECIALLY those who you don’t understand. My kids would be without a mom. With all my heart, I’m writing this.
I am sensitive to the fact that my personal blog of sorts here on social media is going to make some people uncomfortable. My hope is that we, you and me, push through that discomfort and listen. “When a survivor speaks up, they are speaking from a place that has altered their nervous system. They are speaking from a place that has changed the lens on how they see the world and those in it. They are speaking from a place of extreme vulnerability and pain. Believe them. ” -Nate Postlethwait
If the conversation is awkward for you, ask God to help make it less awkward. If you have stigma, do the research, sit with the feelings that come up, and fight back against that conditioning. Just because I have Jesus and I’ve said many times that I will keep fighting for my own life, does not mean that I’m always OK, that I’m not terrified. When someone is actively suicidal, they usually have the dark thought patterns and a method in mind. The crisis is that most of these people have already gone through all of the pain and the shame and are now disassociated by numbness. Do you honestly think that they skipped 2 steps and the ending action was for lack of searching for a way out? I assure you, it was not.
To be honest with you, I don’t know all of the things that have kept me alive. But I do know that the pain, the shame I carry over the stigma and judgement from people like everyone here, is enough to drown me into a passively suicidal state at times (no plan of action, but same feelings and same darkness.) I am putting in the work to overcome all of the trauma that others did to me. This may just be the hardest thing for people to hear, I am responsible for my healing, but in no way was I responsible for the things I am forced to heal from. IT IS ROYALLY SCREWED UP THAT I SHOULD FEEL SO ASHAMED TO REACH OUT FOR HELP.
I am begging you, please do not hear all of this as a cry to feel sorry for me. I am just one out of the 5 people you know. This crisis is hurting most of us here. Our hearts break each time we lose someone we love to this horrific disease. We can prevent that tragedy, but only if we put in the effort to break the cycle.
Since I began my healing journey last year, I can testify that VALIDATION of my pain and suffering, and being “allowed” to sit in that with my therapist, which I had never before in 40 years felt safe to do, was the 1st step in being able to heal anything! I am asking you personally to stop shushing, judging, rolling eyes, avoiding the conversations, gossiping about the people you care about.
Not one of us has walked in anyone else’s shoes, but our own. I just need us, me and all of my people, to do better. Please do better. 💓🙏
P.S. please feel free to comment with the name of someone you love and lost to mental illness. Say their name.
P.S. Feel free to share all or part of this message