To say that this hasn’t been my favourite month ever would be a grave understatement; March has been seriously rough. But, then again, I always knew that part of this particular month would be a real challenge, as this happens to be the month in which one of my abusers’ birthdays falls, something which is always a big trigger for me. A truly awful day with masses and masses of flashbacks.
On top of that, I was sent one of those dreaded brown envelopes from the DWP that I mentioned in last month’s post, one which contained a form for me to fill out, relating to benefits. This is something that always sends me into a complete tailspin; the anxiety that these forms provoke is enormous, because they force me to have to think about all the things I can’t do, leaving me feeling like an utterly useless human being. Even at the best of times I find it hard to think myself worthy of any form of financial support (even though, in healthier times, I used to work crazy hours, and paid equally crazy amounts of income tax, earning national insurance aplenty) – but when I am already feeling low – well, those DWP forms seem to be designed to give one the experience of being kicked while already being on the ground..
I am very fortunate, I have a therapist, a care coordinator and a social worker who are all more than happy to help me with these forms and support me through the emotional turmoil they cause, but even so, my risk level increases incrementally with every page of questions on those forms. I spent a session with my care coordinator, filling out as much of it as possible, but even though – in all honesty – she did most of it, and even wrote on the form for the DWP to contact her if there were any questions – I was overcome with horrible thoughts of how the people at the DWP would rather I kill myself, than having to keep paying out money to me. Of course, the rational part of me understands that absolutely nothing about these forms is personal – that lots and lots of people are sent (read: tormented by) them every single day – they still have the power to reduce me to one giant suicidal self-harming mess. In the month and a half I needed to fill out that ruddy form, I lost count of the number of times I took it out – fully intending to manage at least a couple of questions that day – only to have to put it away again, as my urges to self-harm got too strong.
So, this, in combination with my abuser’s birthday, meant that I desperately needed the support of the crisis resolution team. I was having such strong urges to end my life – even though parts of me really wanted to live – that I was struggling to keep my Self safe from me. And, even though I was reluctant to work with them to start with, I know that the extra support that they offered this time around, is what kept me safe, kept me alive.
So, no, March 2018 hasn’t been a great one.
But, hopefully, April will treat me with the kindness I deserve.