Hey you! Hi there, hello! What’s your name? Mine is Will-oo Now you’re here and I have your attention Let me tell you a story I simply must mention I was born on a farm, but it wasn’t to be I was put up for adoption, which was safer for me
In this temporary home I made a new friend Knowing my stay here would someday end So until then I decided to kick back and relax Manipulating the humans, to the max I was on top of our cage, sleeping on my mate, Enjoying the life, which I thought was just great When one day, 6ft above the floor Where I was staying safe, away from the door Two strangers had arrived; they came for me I was awoken from my slumber on a cat called Wolf-e They weren’t dogs or cats but people see? Introducing themselves were Dad and Mum-ee
I knew before them that they’d take me home And when I got there I realised I wasn’t alone A new brother and sister were waiting for me Don’t know what they look like cause I’m blind you see My big bro, was a Rascal by name and nature I thought he was quite, an interesting creature And get this, it’s no joke When Misty vanishes just like smoke
I love to sit, on a warm lap Closing my eyes, drifting into a nap Mum tickles my head, just behind my ear Feeling safe, I have nothing to fear My Dad has a head, which I love to lick Using a tongue with bristles ever so thick One day I even followed him up a ladder Couldn’t understand why he was getting madder Turns out he was stuck up in the attic With me at the top he got into a panic A solution was found and this problem got solved You wouldn’t believe what this involved! And after this, dad was a lot more cautious He kept a closer eye on each and all of us
We have our own room, which is shared With places to hide if I feel scared After these events my true personality came out I get can my own way when loudly I shout But that’s ok because I am blind as a bat Simba I’m now called and I’m King Cat!
Then one day Mum and Dad went out I cried for them and we began to shout For they had gone to that same place From where we first met, face to face And when they came back they were not alone As they had brought another cat into my royal home! She was small and black and as feisty as can be We soon realised she was mad as a nutty Cook-ie!
Amid this expansion I’m sure you can see That it took us awhile to feel like a fam-il-ee With happiness reigning entirely in the house We were playing our favourite game of cat and mouse Then one day our parents went out again We don’t want this, it’s a total pain!
And from the CPA they came back With something tiny coloured white and black For home they brought the smallest kitten And after a while we were totally smitten Soon we realised what was in store For this small kitten had a purr like a roar Then one day, he felled dad like a tree Watched it happen we all did see “Tttiiimmmbbbeeerrr” we laughed as dad fell in the kitchen “You called?” whispered this newest addition Dad must’ve heard us cause shortly thereafter He changed the kittens name from ‘Timmy’ to ‘Tim-ber’ This cat said, “I can be quiet as a mouse, and quite sneaky” “I don’t cause all the mischief, yet they always blame me!”
Oh hey, sorry friend, look at the time The hour is late; it must be near nine, For now this tail I must briefly conclude So good day and goodnight, see ya later dude!
The Red Coats are coming! The Red Coats are coming! They’re on their way! I know I’m in trouble They gona make me pay
When I see them walking about With their little machines I love to yell at them and shout I know what that bloody sign means!
I needed to use the bank Told them 5 mins is all I’d be I know it was a taxi rank They still put a ticket on me!
I’ll yell in their faces And tell them where to go I’ll do it in public places To my red coated foe
And in car parks, they’re just as bad Sneaking around, it makes me mad Nasty gits, always looking mean Hiding around corners, too late to be seen
Look, I swear I bought a ticket and I hadn’t gone far When I turned around to see him, standing at my car Tried to say, the wind must’ve blown it down Got a “too late mate” from the red-coated clown!!!
I mean to say, it doesn’t make sense Getting such a large fine For the sake of a few pence The sneaky Red Coat swine!
I got booked again the other day Forgot to put the latest badge on display I said “here listen, sorry ‘bout that mate” “It’s my fault the badge was out of date”
Warden said “hey no sweat let’s see what I can do” And what he did next proved his word to be true For when I showed him the badge from my other car I won my appeal, thanks to my red-coated star
They even keep the loading bays free For cars and trucks, to unload Cause it really bothers me To carry heavy stuff up the road
They are professional and polite And very hard working They never rise to the fight That people are provoking
And here’s a little known fact That some may not know If the wardens failed to act Our town would not grow
For poor parking would quickly spread And the roads would start to clog Shops would soon be dead Because of the parking backlog
So listen up, and this is true They are under-appreciated Most people haven’t a clue Just how much they are truly needed!
I lost my dad at the age of eight, And this opened a secret gate. I went down this path of sorrow, Only to return the next day, tomorrow. If only people knew, Of thepain I’d gone through, They would think twice, And take my advice, To stand your ground and face the threat, Rather than run away and later regret, That you did not makethat vital stand And someday shake the hand That you once feared.
If I was to walk down the street with a bandage or a limb in a plaster cast or even in a wheelchair, I doubt very much that I would have taken as much verbal abuse as I have and I think any physical attacks would have been avoided in their entirety, though I am sure I would receive some sort of verbal attack.
I also seriously doubt that anyone that has ever attacked me in ****** would have done so had I had an arm in a plaster cast.
But with a mental disability, such as PTSD, no-one sees it. No-one sees, nor do I believe they would even care, the impact their words can have on me.
I keep telling myself it’s their opinion and I don’t have to listen to it…but it comes down to the following:
Are their words stronger than my own ability to ignore them? Sadly the answer is sometimes ‘yes’.
I fight to ignore them, but I’m also fighting not to self-harm as a result. I don’t want them to have that kind of power over me. But when I am in a vulnerable mood then my resolve is not strong enough and each word uttered strikes me as though it were a physical blow.
One of the things I have to remember is that my Disability is a hidden one. It is not on show for the public, nor most people, to see. For me it is a private issue as it involves disclosing a lot about my past.
However, I have learned that there are ways to disclose enough so that the listener has a good idea of my past, whilst withholding anything I do not wish them to know e.g. the extent of my self-harm or the emotional turmoil I live with daily.
Physical disabilities are understood by the public. They are, at times, easy to spot, and a Blue Badge is something they can instantly understand.
Mental disabilities can be hidden and, unless they are disclosed, are not easily spotted. Even if they are made known, I do not believe there is the awareness out there for people to understand the scope and weight and impact these disabilities can have on peoples’ lives.
What is it like to live with my Mental Disability?
It’s hard work…would be the simple answer. I’ve spent years working hard to keep my symptoms under control…trying to hone my thoughts so that I am completely aware of my emotions, especially my annoyance, frustration and anger*; which are 2 separate emotions.
I am ALWAYS 100% aware 24/7/365 of my anger. I am reflexively on the lookout for any warning signs that I am getting annoyed, frustrated or angry. I’ve maintained this heightened awareness for 20+ years now. It rarely takes me off guard. Though it can surprise me just how quickly I can get angry at times and I always catch it in time so that I remove myself from that situation before I do something I would enjoy at the time but later regret once the flames have died down.
On a normal day I can function quite normally. You would never know I have Mental Health issues. I would say I am quite an intelligent. I have a good heart and my intentions are always honourable.
My mood can swing quite dramatically from one day to the next. One day I can be highly functional where nothing can bother me no matter how much abuse or threats I get from the public.
Then the next I am living on a ‘hair trigger’, where it would take just a simple comment to send me on a downward spiral.
I feel I need to talk about this. If I were to give it a name; a form; I would describe it as a Dragon.
My Journey began
So many years ago
Where it will end
I do not know
The scars I have
You cannot see
They are not on my skin
But hidden inside me
The rage that was bottled
Has now begun to crack
Once it shatters
There’s no going back
The fight is on
The dragon has awoken
Now its container
Has finally broken
I will beat this anger
And I will thrive
I am now stronger
And I will survive
You will not kill me
That much is true
You’ve done your worst
And I say ‘Fuck off’ to you!
Whilst my Dragon slumbers there is peace in my heart and all is right with the world. But once he awakens…he just wants to watch the world burn. He is fire and fury at all the injustice I have ever experienced. He doesn’t care for others or their emotions. His pain, our pain, is too numb for the empathy of others.
My Dragon feels like raw power. I feel agony when he is fully awake. My body aches all over from holding back the pain and emotion I am feeling. I feel my legs give out from underneath me and I fall to the ground. And yet the fire doesn’t go out.
I cry. Fuck I cry. I let my dragons’ full fury out and feel him unleashed upon the universe. I cry silent tears and scream my loudest…silent scream. Not making a sound is my last and only remaining strand of control. A silent protest to my Dragon, telling him he has not bested me completely.
I HATE him and he hates me.
What is a bad day like?
On Monday 19th February 2018 I experienced, what I would describe as, ‘an episode’. This is what I call the results of a small events leading to a mental breakdown where all my defences fail and I am in a state of visible distress.
I think I slept OK the night before. I woke up several times during the night (this is normal) and didn’t feel tired. I think my cats wanted fed at 0400 and 0500 when they don’t get fed until around 0600.
I made a minor mistake this morning and it put me in a bad mood. But I was trying to keep it under control and was looking forward to a day working in ***** on my own so I can blow off some steam by going for a walk and pounding the pavement.
My mood worsened when I saw my colleague walking into my office. I was annoyed my solo day was ruined. I began my shift 10mins early and I kept my head down and my eyes looking only a few feet ahead of where I was walking. Actually I nearly bumped into a few people.
I felt very annoyed and recognised the warning signs and began to consciously do breathing exercises to calm my mood down. I knew I was in danger of having ‘an episode’.
I was OK at first; I was busy concentrating on my breathing and keeping a lid on my anger and listening to my music on a black earphone, which was helping immensely with my mood as it was giving me something else to focus on.
As I walked past the male he tried to get my attention. I thought nothing of it and continued on. Then I heard him again. I turned around and saw him giving me the finger and smiling.
That was it. That’s all it took. I felt my Dragon waking up. I knew now that I was in deep trouble. I could feel those angry flames rising and the tears threatening to spill out of my eyes.
Regardless, I fought those flames with every ounce of strength and will power I had. But it was too late. My Dragon had awoken and I knew I needed to return to my sanctuary.
Once I was there, I took a break; though I still didn’t feel safe to let loose in the way that I needed to as I knew my colleague could walk in at any moment.
Seeing me during a full blown ‘episode’ is every distressing. I don’t release all of my shackles; I never do as I am too scared to turn my Dragon loose. He just wants to destroy the world and see everything burn.
I finally began to cry as I felt the full might of the pain and fury I was trying to hold back. But I fight to stop every time a tear finds freedom. I went outside and grabbed the metal railings and just shook it hard. It swayed dangerously enough that I realised I was in danger of damaging more property.
I stood at the door and cursed the universe for giving me all this pain when I don’t deserve it. I feel my anger crystallise towards my dad and I feel furious with him for leaving me when I was 8 years old. I feel huge unimaginable guilt at feeling this emotion and my anger doubles and so does the pain.
I had terrible and distressing thoughts going through my head…feeding the fire I was trying so desperately to quench.
15mins later I rang ***** and explained what had happened. I rang again 15mins after that and following a conversation, during which time my previous fears were realised when my colleague came in and stood near me and heard more of my conversation than I wanted him to, it was decided that I was going home sick. I said I was throwing up and explained what he needed to do.
On the way home my anger was still strong. Those distressing thoughts, now made worse by the guilt I was feeling at having them, drove me to tears once again.
The drive home was dangerous. I was fighting a war; and sometimes winning, sometimes losing the battle that was raging within my own mind. A silent fight which only I was aware off. At times I was physically shaking with rage…whilst the entire time I was telling myself to calm down; focus on my breathing. Keep my mind clear and don’t think about anything.
When I finally got home I felt some relief to be somewhere safe and where I can fully express all the complex emotions and pain that were going through my head and manifesting physically through my body.
I made it into the kitchen and I just felt exhausted. I the strength I was using to keep my emotions in check was finally depleted. My legs gave out and I collapsed onto the kitchen floor.
Then the pain came…there was no holding it back. Emotional pain made physical. I felt like my entire body was in agony and I was screaming and crying as hard as my lungs would allow, but only a whisper escaped my lips as I did not want to alert anyone to my private torture.
Eventually the pain subsided enough for me to stand and compose myself; though it took several days for my anger to fully subside.
Sadly I know that this will happen again. It’s only a matter of time. It hasn’t been the first time this has happened and I know it will most definitely not be the last. It’s only a question of when…?