I read an article this morning about a teacher who asked her class to complete the sentence #IWishMyTeacherKnew. Some of the replies were powerful and heartbreaking. The article is here http://ind.pn/1b4wkvb. It got me thinking about what I would have written when I was I child, and what I would write now. As I don’t have a teacher I came up with #IWishMyFriendsKnew…

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I wear a “mask” a lot of the time.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m scared if they really knew me they wouldn’t want to be my friend.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m lonely.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I feel broken.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I feel like a failure at life, especially since I lost my job.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m scared I’ll never be able to work again. 

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I believe my mental health will fuck up the life of my daughter.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I was sexually abused by my brother for 10 years and that I still suffer from trauma.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that the abuse I suffered means I don’t trust easily, so if you are my friend that means a huge amount to me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as I’m scared they will judge me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as I’m scared they won’t believe me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as I’m scared they will leave me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as they will want me to report it.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as they won’t understand why I won’t report it. 

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t tell them about my abuse as I think they will think I was complicit-especially as my abuser was younger than me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that my CPN wants me to contact a charity who provide counselling and support for victims of sexual abuse but I’m too scared to call them.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m scared that if I have counselling I will open Pandora’s box and will never recover from it.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that whilst I look like I have a good relationship with my parents I actually feel very betrayed by them because despite knowing about my abuse they still have my brother in their lives.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m not sure my parents believe I was abused.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I am scared I am a bad mother and that my daughter will grow up into a “not nice” human being and that it will be all my fault.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that every time my daughter has a tantrum I get triggered into believing she will turn out like my brother.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m scared that when my ex moves in with his girlfriend (and it’s only a matter of time) that my daughter won’t want to live with me anymore and that she will love her step-mum more than me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I worry every day that my daughter doesn’t love me.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can seem functional even when very unwell as I have hidden my inner pain for my whole life.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I believe I am unloveable.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I believe I will be alone for the rest of my life.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I am disgusted with what I see when I look in the mirror.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I attempted suicide in December and really wanted to die.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I can’t see a future.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I don’t believe I will reach old age.

#IWishMyFriendsKnew…that I’m scared of them finding and reading my Twitter account because then they will know the truth about me.


Self Portrait of Depression

Today I decided to do some drawing. Apart from the doodles that I do while I’m on long phone calls or in the margins of notebooks, I haven’t drawn properly since I was in art lessons at school aged about 14. I am NOT an artist! But I ended up with a self-portrait depicting my depression. Somehow it has felt therapeutic to get all the feelings in my head out on paper-I guess that’s why people do art therapy.

I feel a little exposed to share it here (like I said, I’m far from being an artist), but I know seeing other people’s art-whether it is drawing, writing or poetry has made me feel less alone- so maybe this will help someone too.