Bastard

19th of November 1992

I

Despise

Need to cry

One big lie

No goodbye

I am shy

U are high

Love the sky

I deny

But fuck knows why

The Answer

19th of November 1992

Nowhere I found you

Nothing is safe

I hold on to my dreams

Which makes me a slave

Everywhere chaos

No conclusions at all

Where is the entrance into the brick wall

I ache for your warmth

But you don’t seem to notice

Inaccessible love

Like a white blueish lotus

What shall I do and where shall I go

All such questions I will never know

All I can do is just what I feel

At least I’m sure that that is real

Waste of time

No / Nee

19th of November 1992

NO, NO, NO

No man a woman

With a bald head

And not as you believed

Again a man

NEE, NEE, NEE

Geen man een vrouw

Met een kaal hoofd

En niet zoals jij hebt geloofd

Alweer een man

Dirty, Filthy Lyer / Vuile, Vieze Leugenaar

19th of November 1992

I whispered to me

The only one listening

My arm around my shoulder

Disconsolately colder

I dream about me

Who loves me

But I wake up and I

Let me cry cold tears

Next to my grave

The only one who cared about me

Was I

That dirty, filthy lyer

I yearn to

Gormandize your love

But not enough

I go too soon… death

Ik fluisterde tegen mij

De enige die luisterde

Mijn arm om mijn schouder

Troosteloos kouder

Ik droom over mij

Die van mij houdt

Maar ik wordt wakker en ik

Laat mij koude tranen huilen

Naast mijn graf

De enige die om mij gaf

Was ik

Die vuile vieze leugenaar

Ik hunker naar

Jou lieftde bunker ik naar binnen

Maar niet genoeg

Ga ik veel te vroeg dood

Untitled

19th of November 1992

I imagine U

Living where

I wanna dream

The navelstring I tied around

My wrist

On to the bed I lie in

Hurts me

But I’m still unborn

I imagine U

Dreaming where

I wanna live

Then I realise

My they will be

There anyway

Sad

I feel so very sad

First Covid-19 lockdown 2020 Cause I’m just sitting here

I feel so very bad

Cause I don’t let you near

I don’t go out to see the stars

Instead I battle my internal wars

I feel so very sad

Cause I’m just sitting here

I feel so very mad

So overwhelmed with fear

I don’t really live life fully

Cause when I do I get fucked truly

I feel so very sad

Cause I’m just sitting here

Borderline

After decades of chaos and self destruction, failed careers, sickness and substance abuse I finally got diagnosed in 2006. My diagnosis was Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder (formerly known as Borderline Personality Disorder) and Dysthymic Disorder.

EUPD is characterised by 9 features. If you experience 1-5 you have EUPD traits, if you have 7 or more you are likely to experience the full disorder. If you experience any of these symptoms please ask your GP to refer you to your local mental health team to get a proper diagnosis.

The following nine features are taken from Wikipedia:

Overall, the most distinguishing symptoms of BPD are marked sensitivity to minor rejection or criticism;[13] alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation, along with varying moods and difficulty regulating strong emotional reactions. Dangerous and impulsive behaviour are also correlated with the disorder.

Other symptoms may include feeling unsure of one’s personal identity, morals, and values; having paranoid thoughts when feeling stressed; depersonalization; and, in moderate to severe cases, stress-induced breaks with reality or psychotic episodes.

The above text was taken from the Wikipedia page about Borderline which you can visit here.

My second diagnosis is Dysthymic Disorder which is a mood disorder. It is also called Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) which manifests itself in the same symptoms as Depression but longer lasting. You can read more about it here.

It was a relief to me to finally know why my life was so chaotic and that there is a name to it. It felt like I got at least recognition and that there was something I could do to try and make my life a little more bearable. But as I was about to find out, there was a long way to go and it was bloody hard work!

The next 2 and a half years I spend doing therapy with the aim to get my day-to-day life back to a relatively ‘normal’ (I hate that word!) way. I mean at the start I couldn’t look after my son who was only 4, which meant he lived with my parents for 6 months. If you have read my second post you can imagine how hard that was! But I really didn’t have a choice, I barely could keep myself alive, let alone a young boy.

The dozen different faces of me

I learned a lot in that time, about myself and how to steer my mind away from the dark. But I think the best thing was that I recognised then that I had a disability. And that meant I needed to stick to a few very strict rules if I wanted to get healthier and more resilient. The rules I have set over the years for myself are:

  • No drugs or alcohol
  • No repeated late nights of reduced or no sleep
  • A routine
  • Exercise
  • No romantic relationships
  • No team work, care jobs or customer facing roles
  • Limited responsibility (don’t take on too much)
  • Say no
  • For big decisions, take your time and speak to trusted friend first
  • Take medication religiously

Since then I have refined those rules, and sometimes tighten them up a bit. In the last 2 years I have found my mental health deteriorate again, together with my chronic back pain. It got so bad that I got sacked from my job (I was a lorry mounted crane operator) and a few months later stopped working altogether because I could hardly get out of bed.

I got a MRI scan but except two worn discs in my spine they couldn’t see why I had such excruciating pain. So my conclusion is that it probably goes hand in hand with my mental health deteriorating and the stress of working 45 hours a week. After about a year of unemployment my back pain did subside somewhat, but I will always suffer when put under pressure and the lower back pain is chronic anyway.

Simultaneous offloading doing the job I loved

Whilst going through this process of searching I decided it was time I really started looking at all the underlying issues. So I got help. I thought I just try all angles and started with my GP. I asked for a referral to the mental health team who started me on a skills group, once a week. I did that, and it just got me thinking and gave me a new perspective also because of the input of the other group members. I have to add that this process took about a year before I actually got help, because at first they didn’t take me seriously, and there was a huge waiting list.

Then I looked for more psychological help to deal with the trauma and I am now getting 1 hr sessions (by phone) with a psychologist from a charity who deals with sexual abuse victims. Yes, a charity. I think this is outrageous, all mental health services should come under the NHS and should be properly funded in line with the demand.

Another point I want to make is that I have often been offered i-talk by my GP. This is in my opinion a way to fob people off, reduce costs and make them believe they should be helping themselves by practising well-being techniques and not clog up the proper mental health services. On their FAQ page though, you will find a line that says:

If you have been diagnosed with a severe and enduring mental health condition such as bipolar, schizophrenia or personality disorder, speak to your GP about your support options. IAPT services like i-talk are unable to treat patients with these conditions.

So to end I want to say, if you suffer, demand help and if you don’t feel able to ask a friend, a family member or loved one to do the talking and be by your side when you see your GP and mental health team.

By Gif – 17/10/2020

Mental Health

My mental health deteriorated rapidly as soon as I hit puberty. Looking back now I know the emotional neglect and witnessing constant physical abuse by my mother towards my sister has damaged me. In combination with taking up a parenting role for my mother as well as my sister even as a young child put enormous pressure on me I couldn’t deal with off course. My father was another source of incompetence. He told me and my sister 30 years on after he suddenly experienced really horrific nightmares that when my sister was a baby he tried to strangle her twice. He then advised my sister to go see a doctor in case she might have brain damage.

My reaction to this phone call was anger. He basically ‘forgot’ all about this for 30 years, suddenly started getting nightmares about it and remembered it. Then felt so guilty he didn’t know what to do with himself, told my mother who apparently also did not know. And then concluded he should tell us because we ‘had a right to know’. And then had the audacity to advise my sister to go see a doctor about it! Well, I think he just felt the need to offload his guilt on us, cause he couldn’t live with this guilt. I bet there was never a thought in his mind how this knowledge would impact us in any way and if it might possibly be more beneficial to us not to know. And also, if it might not be better to after 30 years finally step up as a father and protect us. No. He had to tell us.

You can imagine that the tiny slither of trust I had left in him was well and truly gone by then. Cause you might wonder where he was and what he did to prevent my mother from harming us when we were kids. Well, he was at work or playing tennis or volunteering for, I kid you not, a charity called Wereld Kinderen (Children of the World). Both my parents did development work in 3rd world countries and ran an adoption program. They were both heavily involved in this and went to India every year to pick up 10 kids to hand them over to their adoptive parents in the Netherlands.

Me and my sister age around 6 or 7 on our way to school

In the meantime they totally neglected and abused their own children. My father always sided with my mother. He never stood up for us, called the police, called children services or even just blamed my mother. And strangely enough none of my aunts or uncles, neighbours or school took action and saved us. I am convinced that if somebody had interfered we would be taken away from my parents and maybe the harm wouldn’t have been so great. So you can imagine my trust in people is minimal.

Recently I have cut off all contact with my parents after my sister told me my mother continuously verbally abuses her and my 12 year old niece. I decided I can’t have a relationship with them without betraying my sister and I want to take a stand in solidarity with her. Also, I want to build my relationship with her as for twenty years we lost contact. All the abuse has driven us apart and against each other because off course my parents called upon my loyalty towards them, and gave so many mixed messages.

I am going to leave it there for today, but tomorrow I will explain in more detail what EUPD and dysthymic disorder is, and what it means to me.

By Gif / Friday 16/10/2020

First Time

Welcome to the first post in my blog. Yes this is the first time that I seriously attempt to keep a blog and have a proper website featuring all my art work, photo’s, poetry and writings.

It really is about time. I am a very creative person but all my creativity has been locked away for decades. I used to paint and draw every day, I took art lessons and wrote my own lyrics and poetry. My biggest wish growing up was becoming an artist and going to art academy. But sadly my dreams were dashed by the time I was 18.

I suffered severe childhood trauma and by the time I was a teenager my life was in complete chaos. It has left me with a few serious mental health conditions; Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder (formerly know as Borderline Personality Disorder) and Dysthymic Disorder. I also suffer from psychotic episodes and chronic backpain.

When I was about 7 or 8 I had a very short haircut, only played with boys (but they never wanted to play with me, cause I was a girl) and really I wanted to be a boy. But then puberty hit me and I could no longer pretend I was a boy. I somehow had to conform. My breasts were very small and I grew a lot more hair than other girls. I also played water polo and trained 3-4 days a week so I was very muscular for a girl. I got mis-gendered a lot.

Me approximately 8 or 9 years old

I had a lot of shame about my body hair and did not have friends. I got bullied. I didn’t feel I belonged anywhere, and couldn’t relate to anyone around me. At home the situation got out of control, and I hated being home.

I started smoking weed and drinking a lot. I was maybe 15. I felt more and more depressed and hopeless. I started playing up at home, and at school.

Eventually I dropped out of school and walked away from home when I was 17. My younger adopted sister was already gone 2 years by then. From that moment on things really spiralled and I moved from squat to squat. I started using drugs, hard drugs. I started experiencing psychosis. Nobody had ever cared enough to help me, there was no help. I was very paranoid and aggressive. I tried to commit suicide.

During an eviction I got arrested and sentenced to 3 weeks in prison of which 2 suspended for 2 years. So now age 18 I had a criminal record.

Me around 20 years old in the window of an old police station we squatted in Amsterdam. Banner reads; ‘Squatting: no problem but a solution.
Photo from I believe the paper Het Parool

By Gif / Thursday 15/10/2020

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