Pandora’s Story So Far
JANUARY 2012: THIS PAGE NEEDS TO BE UPDATED! SORRY FOR THE DELAY. STAY TUNED AND I’LL GET ROUND TO IT ASAP.
I never though I’d write one of these pages. I never figured that I’d even continue this blog for any length of time, nor did I suppose that it might actually be read by more than about five people. But I did continue, and it is read by more than about five people, and for new people happening upon it – well, it must be a bit of a labyrinth to navigate.
So, I figured it might be a good idea to add this page with some of the hitherto key posts for any new readers that may find themselves a wee bit lost. As ever, feel free to contact me if you need any help.
On every other page on this blog, you’ll find that internal links open in the same window, but for ease of navigation, any on this page only open separately.
You will probably want to start by reading the ‘About the Author‘ page, and since I talk about other people a lot, ‘The Ensemble‘ might be worth reading for contextual purposes. The ‘Alter Ego‘ pages and ‘Family Tree‘ can wait, but are always useful if you want more background information. Some of them are password-protected, thanks to my paranoia that my family may have found the blog.
If you don’t understand some of the terms and/or acronyms I use, ‘A Mentalist’s Glossary‘ tries to explain them. Feel free to leave a comment there if there’s something you think should be included.
- The Thursday Morning C Show – this briefly outlines my relationship with my former psychologist, C, who is a major player in most of my writing up to and including August 2010.
- Itchy Feet, Overthinking and Why I Cut Myself – in light of my recommencement of self-harming, I wrote about some of my reasons for engaging in that activity, falsely hoping I wouldn’t do it again.
- Am I Psychotic? My Attempt at Self-Diagnosis – I got fed up waiting for a psychiatric assessment and decided to do it myself. I was right in the end 😉
- Fun and Games and Psychiatrists’ Names – first meeting with my original consultant psychiatrist.
- Wills and Spills – Incensed and Need Advice – although this is really a bit of an angry rant, I include this as it provides context for later discussion on my father’s will.
- I Love Psychiatry! – my report of the appointment wherein I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder, type II. This was also the appointment wherein I was first prescribed the dreaded Venlafaxine.
- The Familial Idiocy Saga Continues – I cut off contact with my Aunt Georgie, the one primarily responsible for the trouble with V’s will.
- Self-Harm – a discussion about an elaborate act of same.
- Explaining Transference and the Therapeutic Dyad to the Layperson – frustrated at widespread misunderstandings of my obsession with C, I sought advice from the Madosphere as to how to explain the phenomenon of transference.
- Venlafaxine / Effexor – A Med of Dread? – a discussion of the potential side effects of Venlafaxine, which I had been initially prescribed in June 2009.
- A (Half-)Life in Therapy: The Fabled Posts of Therapists – beware with this one: it is very, very long. I discussed all the therapists and mental health professionals I’d ever seen, both in the NHS and the private sector.
- Hearing the Voice (and Other Psychoses) – my first experience of auditory hallucinations was a benign voice that I called Tom.
- I’ve Joined the Ranks of the Unemployed – a report on how I finally lost my most recent job after a 15 month absence.
- Signs of Childhood Sexual Abuse – perhaps the first use of the word ‘rape’ as applied to me, though in reference only to the most obvious incident in my mind at the time.
- What I Want in Therapy is Exactly What I Can’t Have – C: Week 27 – a post wherein I admitted that I wanted C to love and take care of me, and effectively fulfil the role of a father.
- The Malice of the Voices of ‘They’ – this details the arrival of the malevolent hallucinations, ‘They’.
- The Questions I Never Wanted to Face – C: Week 30 – I very carefully began discussing certain issues surrounding sexual abuse with C.
- Be Angry with the Filthy Whore – C: Week 31- C first discusses the possibility of a termination of therapy.
- Countdown to Abandonment – C: Week 33 – C offers me a mere 24 further sessions from the new year.
- The Advocacy Letter – the first in a long string of letters I wrote in an attempt to get my psychotherapy extended.
- Christmas…Revisited – Christmas was an appalling period, where ‘They’ went to town on my psyche. This is a brief review.
- First Major Blog Award – I was a runner-up in Mental Nurse‘s contest of the best Personality Disorder Blogs.
- Changing my Name – I changed my surname by deed poll to dissociate myself from my father and his family.
- Suicide Attempt Epic Fail – my analysis of a pathetic but serious attempt to do myself in.
- First Appointment with NewVCB – my first appointment with my new consultant psychiatrist, and my first prescription for Seroquel.
- Ranting About Mum, and Peace-Making with C – Week 41 – my first real look on the blog about the resentment I harbour towards my mother.
- Anonymities and New Identities – the transition from the nebulous ‘Serial Insomniac’ moniker to the pseudonym of Pandora.
- Hilariously and Predictably Shite Response Letter from the Trust – the first in a long string of ridiculous letters from the Trust fobbing me off regarding the end of therapy with C.
- BPD vs C-PTSD – an analysis of the differences and similarities between the two disorders, and another attempt at self-diagnosis from me.
- (Kind of) Discussing Child Sex Abuse with C – Week 43 – inching towards talking about the extent of the abuse with C, and admitting the extent of it to myself and my readers.
- Psychiatrist Appointment Win? – the official complex PTSD diagnosis.
- Latest Letter to the Trust, With a Giant Helping of ‘Screw You! – my latest diatribe against the Trust.
- Toxic, Tactless or Traumatised? On Being an Inadequate Daughter – further exploration of my relationship with my mother.
- Putting It Into Words – a graphic exploration of my experiences of child sexual abuse.
- Admitting the Extent of the Abuse – C: Week 46 – finally verbalising what happened to me in session with C.
- Watching Me, Watching You – On (Maybe) Being Found Out – an incident in which I thought my family had found this blog, and my perhaps surprising reaction to it.
- The Death of Sanity – this chronicles my experiences of flashbacks and hallucinatory psychoses in the wake of discussing the abuse with C.
- Happy Birthday, Blog! – Confessions‘ first birthday post 🙂
- Latest in the Ongoing Me v NHS Saga – MORE ADVICE NEEDED (and its follow-up, Revised Letter to Mr Director-Person) – the continuing war with the health Trust.
- How Will I Ever Deal With Paedo Again? – a discussion of how to face my abuser after all the experiences with which I am now familiar.
- The Three Scariest Letters in the English Language – C: Week 51 – my horror at the results of a scaling questionnaire I had done with C showing extreme levels of dissociation.
- Anxiety: Boxed Up and Triggered – not a hugely meaningful post per se, but important to demonstrate how many memories are still repressed in my mind, and how the most innocent of things can act as a trigger.
- Benefit Claim Win, Life Fail – a success story in terms of my Employment and Support Allowance claim. The background to the matter is explained in the post.
- Dear Mr Member of Parliament… – with the Trust’s failure to respond to my earlier letter, and their continued incompetence, I decided to involve my MP and other politicians in the matter.
- World War III – my mother has a massive fall-out with her sister, the wife of my childhood abuser, leading me to question whether or not I should tell her (my mother) about the abuse.
- Stunned Gratitude – my second major blog award.
- Mad Up – my account of the meeting of a large group of mental health bloggers, many of whom had been (and are) instrumental to my writing here, and many of whom are important friends in my life.
- The Final Countdown: The Eve of the End of Therapy – having failed in my battle to secure continued treatment with C – though not in my overall battle, which as of September is ongoing – I muse on the finality of the event.
- New “Counsellor”? – a surprisingly quick response from a local charity who offer counselling to those affected by sexual abuse.
- “Borderline? That’s Not a Diagnosis, That’s an Insult!” Obligatory Assessment Session Review Post – a discussion of my surprisingly encouraging assessment session with the counselling charity.
- Utterly Pathetic (But Utterly Predictable) Trust Bullshit – the Trust’s response to my MP and the Health Minister is little more than a tissue of lies and pointless management jargon.
- Furiously Determined Would-Be System Bashing – I continue the anti-Trust saga by pointing out to the politicans that the majority of claims made by the Trust in relation to my case are simply false.
- Failing and Winning at the Psychiatrist’s Casino – a psychiatric appointment in which it emerged that the Trust had at no point asked my consultant on her views about the end of therapy. She also believed that I was in the middle of a “delusional psychosis”, believing as I did at the time that I had made up my history of sexual abuse.
- Update on the Nexus Situation – I was offered ongoing counselling for my experiences of child sexual abuse with the Nexus Institute this day with the same therapist that had assessed me (see above), although attending the sessions would involve going against the immediate advice of my psychiatrist.
- The ‘Genius’ of Sex Abuse Survivors – Paul: Week One – my first session with my new therapist, Paul.
- Gang Rape – a brief discussion of the fragmented memories of this horrible experience.
- The Fourth of October Plan – A Date With Death – details on how I had planned to kill myself on 4 October 2010, and why, ultimately, I didn’t go through with it.
- Fear of the Dark – a quick look at how trauma therapy had messed with my head, bringing back dormant feelings of horror and abject terror.
- Functional Psychosis, Self-Harm and Depth Psychology – Paul: Week Three – a session in which Paul employed an unusual but effective model of therapy in order to draw out repressed memories.
- Child Minder – Paul: Week Four – a therapy session in which I was horrified to discover I had an alter personality, a child that I have taken to calling Aurora.
- Münchausen by Internet – a detailed discussion of how my first ‘proper’ romantic relationship traumatised me.
- Battling Mum and the Castle Battle With Paul – Week Six – a post in which I tried to convince myself that I, too, had Münchausen Syndrome, and how Paul viewed it as yet another elaborate coping mechanism.
- Dreams and Nightmares – exactly what it says, worthy of inclusion here because the dreams highlight a number of key issues in my life.
- Friday’s Frolics Through Psychosis – a discussion of a particularly vicious encounter with ‘They’, as well as Aurora’s first non-therapy manifestation.
- Early Christmas Presents – I was finally successful in arranging to meet a mental health advocate.
- Angrily Amputating Aurora – Paul: Week Nine – I made a dark, significant confession to Paul on an incident of psychological abuse that deeply traumatised me.
- Lovely Shiny Awards of Much Joy and Happiness – Confessions was the 2010 winner of Mental Nurse‘s TWIM Awards in both the ‘Personality Disorder’ and ‘Psychotherapy’ categories. The blog was also awarded a top 10 place for health blogging from Bloggers’ Choice Awards.
- Advocacy Meeting Non-Fail? – I finally met a mental health advocate to assist me in my quest for adequate therapy, over a year after seeking the services of such a person.
- Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics – an examination of just how severely depressed I still am well after having my most recent breakdown.
- Here We Go Again… – another whinge about NHS failings, this time their failure to issue my medical notes within the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
- Insert Witty Title Here – CPN and NewVCB Appointments – my first meeting with my CPN.
- The Sad Story – Paul: Week 18 – a review of a session where I went into detail about my parents’ relationship and my profound reaction to discussing it.
- Bye Bye, Borderline! – here I discussed how I can no longer be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
- It’s My Birthday, and I’ll Die if I Want Two – Confessions‘ second birthday.
- The Wrong Side of the Road – a post on how, thanks to both medication and therapy, I felt that I had made a good recovery.
- To BPD or not to BPD? – another post outlining my recovery from BPD, as noted by my CPN and psychiatrist both.
- Psychology vs Therapy, and Being Burgled (AGAIN) – in which I discuss C’s good and bad points, the same for Paul, and how I feel that the latter has been much more helpful to me. Also, a quick look at the nastiness of a second burglary of our house.
- “Why Do People Fuck Kids?” – Paul: Week 21 – a session in which Paul felt I had made great progress by recognising how much child sex abuse can ruin a person’s life.
- How Do You Work Full-Time When You’re a Mentally Ill Seroquel Gobbler? – a post in which I expressed my disappointment at the realisation that, if I continue taking Seroquel at 600+mg, I won’t be able to work full-time due to its horrific hangover effects.
- Writing for the Rockstar CPN – here I discussed my non-Confessions writing projects and my relationship with Christine, my CPN.
- Apropos of Nothing – I announced my intention to write a book in this post and, again, explored some of my writing projects.
- I Lied – the Mentalism is ‘Back’ – after having sounded positive prior to this post, I admitted here that I was actually becoming rather unwell again.
- Somebody Killed My Cat – a tribute to my little kitty, Ms Cat, who was killed on the road that day. Also a brief look at how her death had affected me.
- Mind Media Awards 2011 – to my utter astonishment, I was shortlisted for a prestigious Mind Media Award.
- Change of Diagnosis – an appointment in which Christine, my CPN, told me that she reckoned my consultant did not think I had BPD. Apparently, they’re “90%” sure that I have bipolar affective disorder with psychotic features (the dysphoric manic type I, though with predominately depressive features. There is a small question mark of schizoaffective disorder, too).
- World Mental Health Day 2011 – here I explore some of the positive reactions I’ve received to my openness about my mental health difficulties…
- The Darker Side of Speaking Up – …and here I examine some of the more hostile or uncomfortable reactions my mentalist-related disclosures have led to, but also acknowledge that awareness of mental illness is moving in the right direction.