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Friday, 4 January 2013

Scared to shut my eyes!

I have sat here staring at the blank page for so long now I can almost see you all sat at the foot of my bed shouting "For God's sake get on with it"!

The trouble is my friends, is that so much has happened since I last filled your minds with my woes that I really don't know where to start!

Perhaps I will begin with now, right now, this very minute!

Right now, I'm propped up in bed nursing a chest infection with my lap top in front of me trying to convince my fingers to dance joyfully across the keyboard tapping out all the words I believe people want to read in the week following Christmas!

Don't misunderstand me, I love Christmas, it's my favorite time of the year!
Christmas is my favorite.
I love the lead up to Christmas, I delight in the fairy lights and decorations which fill almost every corner of my home. I anticipate with butterfly tummy and skipping heart my children's squeals of delight on Christmas morning. I love the chaos - the mess that out does all messes - the 'pringle' crumb carpet - the tripping over the long and short legs sprawled out into the middle of my very small dinning room as I attempt to get to the back door for a quick cigarette break - the five a.m stumble along the landing to be greeted by a wide awake 'Littlie' with stocking in hand shouting "he's been mummy, he's been".
I love it all, and indeed, despite the terrible few weeks leading up to Christmas, and the equally terrible week following; I did, as always, enjoy Christmas morning with my gorgeous ones!

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a bit of a fear filled blur to be honest, 'Littlie', who is disabled, was extremely ill, my insomnia was at it's worst due to an exacerbation of OCD symptoms (intrusive death thoughts) and in the hours I might normally have managed some exhaustion induced sleep I found I was too scared to shut my eyes in case 'Littlie' stopped breathing while I slept!

In the weeks following 'Littlies' birth and subsequent diagnoses we were given a lot of information about her condition (Prada Willi Syndrome) I read it all, and understood that any given symptom may or may not affect my child, that everything on the long list of symptoms varied in severity from one sufferer to the next. However, jumping from the page to be well and truly etched across my OCD mind forever, were the words 'sudden unexplained death'!

Now in addition to my fearing that my grey, wheezing child might die in the night if I dared to sleep there was as always in the weeks leading up to Christmas my ongoing fear of my own death! When I say 'as always' I mean as always, every day, for as long as I can remember, I have endured overwhelming fear and panic tied into thoughts of death!
These are not passing thoughts, these are intrusive thoughts, detailed imagery that invades my mind without warning, While going about everyday activities I actually see my own death in as much detail as I might see in a vivid nightmare, or in a film scene!

Another time I will go into more detail on these thoughts and how debilitating they can be, doing so will not help me in the long term, you see I have written and spoken about these intrusive images for years and, though cathartic at the time, it does not serve to stop them,
I am conscious that at the very least my writing about these thoughts here on the blog may help other sufferers realize that they are not alone, and for that reason I will come back to them.

Not today though, they would take up too much blog space, and today my mind is somewhere else. I hear you all breath a sigh of relief but don't get too excited friends, I haven't quite finished with you yet!

If I can ask you to follow me for a bit and bring your imaginations with you, I'll take you to where my mind is today....

We are now in a little upstairs council house toilet, the walls are 'apple white', there's a little frosted window to the left of us, the lino flooring is cold beneath our feet, the door is painted white, and there is a little round safety lock just below the door handle. On the floor is a pyjama clad child, she has long dark brown hair which half covers her face, she is crouched sobbing just behind the door, her left hand stretched out holding the little lock in position. The child is afraid and on the other side of the door her mother is ranting, shouting and swearing, banging on the door, "YOU LITTLE GIT" she shouts "OPEN THIS DOOR"!

I can see her so clearly, 'the child' from where I'm standing, I want to reach out and touch her, pull her into my arms and tell her it's okay, I want to hold her until she falls asleep and then carry her from the cold lino floor, past her screaming mother, and into her bed, I want to sit by her bed until morning and stroke her gently back to sleep if she should wake.

I want to tell her that it's all in her head, that no one will come into the room with a bread knife while she sleeps and cut her pretty head off, that there is no man in the wardrobe, no monsters at the window. I want to reassure her that the pillow her tear stained face is turned into will not suffocate her while she sleeps.

I want to say "come now child, you don't need to lock yourself in the toilet night after night for fear of dying while you sleep", "this will pass child, as you grow this WILL pass!"
If this were possible would she be comforted do you think or would she see through my lies, would she see into my mind as I can hers and know the worst is yet to come!

I'm still stood on the cold lino to the right of the little frosted window, and if you haven't yet gone back to what you were doing before I dragged you into a little 'apple white' council house toilet, then you're still stood beside me, on the floor in front of us the child still cries and on the other side of the door her mother still rages!

There is nothing I can say or do, the child can neither see nor hear me, I am her future, and she is my past.
If you came with me, I thank you, because I didn't want to go alone.

Lord, I'm blessed within my shadows of dreams of all that I could be, I pray through your 'Amazing Grace' I will one day be free. Amen

I guess my positive thought today has to be all of you friends, Thank you for following my blog and offering such kind support both here in the comments section and via twitter, I honestly don't know how I used to managed without you all!

God bless you and all those you love

Kimmie x                                            Copyright©2013kimmie All Rights Reserved

Scared to shut my eyes. mental health. mental illness


  1. Dear Kimmie,how my heart grieves with you for the frightened child within. You are far from alone. Though the reasons may differ, many of us remember the fears and terrors of an alien, hostile adult world at a time when we were meant to be protected from its dark secrets and kept safe. We carry the child within with us always. Our hope is for God to heal the broken places, restore faith, hope and courage to our fearful minds and so surround us with His love and grace that we can face the future with confidence.
    All is there for us as we see with the eyes of faith and co-operate with Him to walk through the past, reclaim the lost and stolen ground and know that we remain forever His beloved child.
    Thinking of you as you make your journey, become reconciled to those things that took place, learn to let go, forgive and be restored and made whole again.
    Sending love, support and prayers to you, my friend. :) xxx

  2. Thank you Joy, and Thank you also for your own blog, your words are helping me and I am sure others too! Keep writing Joy, you have a wonderful God given gift!

    Love and blessing my friend

    Kimmie x

  3. Dear Kimmie,
    I read your tweets and blogs frequently and to some extent understand how you feel, I suffer depression which has got worse as I've got older so much so that I have been on antidepressant's for the past 20 years and now rely on sleeping pills to sleep, I can't remember a time when I wasn't expected to look after someone, it began when I had to look after for my siblings, then my mother in law, then my husband and now my parents, all along I worked full time, raised 2 son's. I have spent so long now living inside my head with my dreams and daydreams it's the only way I can survive, inside my head I am safe, secure, warm, free and at peace, outside I am angry, resentful, jealous, cold and bitter,as I've watched myself deteriorate, I feel helpless to do anything, we are what our parent's make us and I hope and pray that I have not passed to my children what I had passed to me, but I fear that I may have done so already, I hate my life, I have little peace, I merely exist, so when I read your blogs I don't feel quite alone, thank you. Peggy x

  4. Thank you Peggy, for joining me here and for taking the time to connect with me! I am so sorry that you have struggled for so long!
    One of the worst consequences of mental illness IMO is the terrible isolation so I am touched and encouraged by your comments! I don't have the answers because I am still looking for them and it's for that reason I put off starting this blog but in the end it was the isolation that pushed me to share! I figured that if I felt so desperately alone because of my mental illness that there must be others out there who felt the same!

    I know how you feel with regard to your children as I too worry that I have let mine down in the past, I love them all so much as I am sure you do yours! We can't change the past hun but we can be open to any questions or resentment they may have and let them know that it is okay for them to come to us with both!

    You are obviously a caring mum otherwise you wouldn't be so concerned about their feelings now!

    You can chat to me anytime Peggy here or on twitter and though I may not have a solution to your problems, I will listen!

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

    1. Dear Klimmie,

      Thanks for replying, I've spent today reading all your blogs, you are a caring, kind person and I wish there were more like you in this cruel, selfish, uncaring world, I look forward to reading your future blogs.

      Blessed Be

      Peggy x

  5. Thank you Peggy,
    It means so much to know that here at least I am not alone! I have my hubby of course and my kids but I often have to hide behind a mask for their sakes! here I can be honest and know that people like you know exactly what I'm talking about! It means a lot to me that you have taken the time to join me here and that you empathize with my muddle and I hope you will feel able to pop over anytime you need a friend!

    I check everyday, so I will hear you :O)

    God bless

    Kimmie x

  6. Kimmie I am moved by your blog which reads very easily due to your ability to put your thoughts into words that we can 'feel' and empathise with. This particular blog post, is very poignant to me because I too felt very afraid and confused as a child, although not in the same way. But I had OCD traits from a very young age. I felt lost. And the abuse I saw from my mother to father was part of that, together with her very sad, lonely existence with schizophrenia, in and out of hospital. I loved and hated her at the same time. When I think about myself as a child, it is like she is a stranger now and I also want to comfort her and help her through her troubles. Yet, at the same time, although that child is long gone and like a stranger to me, I find I may well hold her inside me as well. When I am happy in particular, it is like I become a child again and maybe I am being ‘her’ in order to give her happiness. When I find myself, at 39 jumping round the room when something good has happened, I guess it might be like I am being a happy 'her'. I have not even thought about this reason before for being such an irresponsible and excitable child at times. Definitely food for though. Hope that makes sense! :-)

  7. It makes a lot of sense Amanda! At 47 I am always very aware of how child like I still am! My reactions to many experiences are child like!
    I too hold my child self inside me and yet see her as a separate being, I feel sad for her and a protectiveness similar to that which I feel towards my own children and indeed toward all children!
    My mum in someway now separated into two people, The person she is now is so far removed from the person she was then it seems almost impossible that she is one and the same!
    Back then I loved, hated and feared her all at the same time, she was a powerful presence!
    Today she is old, weak and desperately sorry for her reactions to me as a child!
    So how do I feel about her now?
    Well I know I forgive her, my adult self recognizes that she was ill and because of her own inner turmoil found me challenging to cope with!
    I also know that because she is my mum (and like i said a very different person these days)that I feel disloyal when writing about how confused and fearful she made me feel as a child!
    She now tries very hard to reach out to me and I push her away, I cannot let her in! I forgive her and resent her all at the same time, if she puts her arms around me I feel vulnerable, the trust is not there! I love her (at least I think I do) I can't trust her with my feelings! I no longer feel hate towards her but resent is still a problem!
    Knowing how much she regrets her mistakes during my childhood and how desperate she now is for me to embrace her as a loving caring parent (which indeed she now is) only serves to increase my guilt, self loathing!
    My mum has recently (In the past year or so) approached me openly and acknowledged finally that her actions during my childhood were at least in part responsible for my problems today!
    She has told me I can say anything and she will accept, talk about, attempt to explain and work through with me!
    I guess the rest is up to me, I have to learn to trust her!
    I have had one or two tentative conversations with her but we still have a long way to go before any real healing takes place!
    I pray that through letting my inner child out through my writing I will one day feel able to expose that child to her mother again!

    Thank you for reading and commenting and indeed for your friendship outside of 'bloggy world' It means an awful lot to me!

    God bless you and yours

    Kimmie x

  8. Kimmie, you are on the right track of the path of healing. I hold a lot of resentment still for a few people, and it hurts me more than them as most of them don't know anything about it! So for that reason, it is for US that we must find ways to overcome our resentments, so that they leave our minds alone! Keep going, these things take time, and remember you are never alone... So glad to be your friend :-)

  9. Dear Kimmie, I've only just read this blog today. Now I understand your fear of violence and that you may have inherited it. It wouldn't be your fault if you had would it. No-one should suffer such violence as a child. You should have been loved and protected but your mother must have been ill.

    I hope you feel better as time goes by. You deserve to feel safe and calm and loved.
    I send you my love and best wishes for you and those you love. X

    1. Thank you Jan - yes my mum was ill when I was a child.

      Today she doesn't resemble the mother I grew up with at all - she is now so different she could almost be a different person.
      unfortunately this adds to my own shame/guilt because I'm unable to let her in despite her trying so hard to reach out to me.
      I have forgiven her because my adult self recognizes that she was unwell years ago but I'm not comfortable in her presence. She (despite being gentle and loving now) makes me feel agitated and vulnerable.

      God bless you and yours Jan

      Kimmie x

    2. I feel I should add to my last comment.
      My mum wasn't always raging or lashing out. She wasn't a monster (tho at times she did a good impression of one) she was unwell.
      I do have good as well as bad memories *mum memories* unfortunately I struggle (perhaps because of the nature of my own illness) to remember the good as clearly as I do the bad.

      Kimmie x

  10. Kimmie, I understand this so well. My Mum was poorly too. She had OCD amongst other things & also frightened & agitated me. Although never violent, she did transfer alot of her faulty thinking on to me. I forgive my Mum too, because her love & care & the good memories she worked hard to create outweigh the bad. I did sort of run away from her in my late teens though, trying to detach myself from her faulty thinking. Sadly, my Mum died when I was in my twenties, so I missed the opportunity to re-build my relationship with her.
    I flattered myself that I had learned from her mistakes in my relationships, but, on reflection, I just have my own problems. I think, however, this is life & I feel blessed.

    Take good care my kind and gentle friend.

    Jan x

  11. Kimmie, this is so beautifully and compassionately written. I can see you clearly, past & future, which I could never have done if you were not capable of being fully present in the here and now. You're a very strong person and courageous person - whether you feel like one (ever) or not. ;-)

  12. Thank you Paula,
    It's lovely of you to take time to read/comment. Your words are always supportive/encouraging - I really appreciate that :o)
    Hope all's well your end.

    God bless

    Kimmie x

  13. Awww I read this and just wanted to give you the biggest hug! You are such a strong inspirational person.

    R x

    1. Hi Ruebi, thanks for taking the time to read me, and for such lovely comments :)

      All the best to you and yours, Kimmie x

  14. Oh Kimmie. "I (too) can see her so clearly, 'the child' from where I'm standing, I (too) want to reach out and touch her, pull her into my arms and tell her it's okay, I (too) want to hold her until she falls asleep and then carry her from the cold lino floor, past her screaming mother, and into her bed, I (too) want to sit by her bed until morning and stroke her gently back to sleep if she should wake."
    You express your feelings with such honesty and raw emotion. They are extremely moving. I understand, a little, of your inability to let go of the resentment for your mother. She was meant to be your safety net, your protector, to love you unconditionally. But she didn't. It is difficult for others of us who haven't been treated as harshly as you were, but who weren't given that unconditional love that should be every child's right, to accept ourselves and love ourselves. Fear of death is a dreadful thing. It stops us from being truly alive. Perhaps that's part of the reason why we fear it so much. We haven't had a proper chance at life, at the way it should be. I wish you peace and acceptance, Kimmie. You are a beautiful person. I hope you can find a way to release that terrified, troubled and tormented child and let the beautiful, peaceful, loving child shine through. She is there in your words, in the beauty of your poetry and the kindness of your heart.The poem you have shared here is very poignant.You are a wonderful writer.Thank you for linking back to this post. Hugs across the water.

    1. Oh gosh, Norah... your words made me cry...perhaps because I'm so emotional at the moment anyway...perhaps because your own beauty (compassion) is always so clear to me...maybe a bit of both.

      I don't believe there was any wickedness in my Mum, Norah. I didn't know it when I was a child of course, but I know now that she was ill for years, she struggled (suffered terribly) with her own mental health conditions, and though i didn't believe so when I was a child, I know now that she loves me. Our relationship is a long way from healed (though for her sake I hide that truth as far as possible)... but there is progress...we're working on it, and we are getting there.

      Thank you so much for hopping through to this post, after already taking the time to read and comment on the other :)

      God bless, Kimmie x