Bullying and PTSD

Is it possible that we can suffer PTSD after being bullied for a decade? Or more, or less… however long the bullying lasts the effects last a lot longer.

I’m sure I suffer with PTSD as a result of being constantly bullied every day for many years. I’m sure I ended up in abusive relationships and situations as a result. I know I believed and very often still do that for some reason unknown to me everything about me deserves that abuse. I’m sure that my behaviour at times especially when I was younger was triggered by the agony of the constant physical and mental abuse. I know in my head it’s all bullshit and no one deserves that but it involves so much more than what your head knows.

For me, the constant wearing down I felt after being bullied for so many years has partly shaped how my life went. The destruction of the little self confidence I had and the things I was taught by these awful individuals, the things I did to get by, the results of all that have been pretty much catastrophic at times.

But. I’ve had some awesome times too actually. Things I can look back on that still make me feel the way I felt then, that I can smile over, feel proud of, that I can feel feed my soul.

So although the bullies did win back then, although they changed me and I have no clue where my journey would have been heading if they had left me alone I’m able to look back and say I’m still surviving, I’m still learning, it’s not all bad all of the time and just maybe some of those awesome times happened because of what I learned. Yeah, maybe I’ll win in the end…

Loss Of A Pet

Loss of a Pet

You amazed me with your honour

You gave me so much pride

Although my heart is broken

You’ll be always by my side

So wait for me,Beloved one

I know you’re always near

Although you’re lost from sight right now

You’re still with me, right here

This is a post about something that might divide opinion.

The loss of a pet.

Is that the loss of ‘a pet’ or is that the loss of a family member? To each person it’s going to mean something different but isn’t that true of every loss? We all feel an event differently, even the same event happening to the same family will result in different feelings for each concerned.

Some would wonder why it’s a big deal, some will think it’s a bit sad. Others will be devastated.

In my life, my animals are part of my family. Each one different, each one special, each offering different qualities that have helped me.

Having very nearly lost my own life after a brain injury the loss of my independence and control over my life among many other things led to yet another massive downward spiral.

I’ve always had animals and they have always been very important but the role they played in the long struggle to come back from this latest blow was immense. My immediate family all share the opinion that my animals saved my life.

The demands of looking after them as my family grew up gave me dignity. As I felt less and less important and less and less loveable, more of a burden, more as if I was pushing everyone away, that everyone would be better if I wasn’t here and the family inevitably went about living their lives leaving me behind, just as I felt I was on the scrap heap my wonderful animal family loved me more and more, gave me a very personal reason to look to the future.

Gave me successful milestones and daily unstinting love that would never move on into a future without me. I could laugh or cry, be immobile or want to dance, be deep in depression or singing and never once feel as if I was asking anything from them that wasn’t already naturally given.

The self esteem that has always been missing , the pride in any achievements ? I might not be able to find it in myself but I can see it daily in them.

To lose one of them recently, very suddenly has left me feeling sick.

But it has also left me feeling guilty. Very guilty. How can I justify feeling like this when others have things so much worse? This doesn’t compare to losing a family member, it’s after all ‘only a dog.’

I feel guilty for grieving for him. For feeling so depressed and bereft. How can I make a fuss over something so insignificant in the general scheme of life? Is it appropriate to still cry for his loss days later? After all, I obviously knew he would die at some point.

I don’t really expect anyone else to understand. I see it like this; it’s my world that has been impacted. I need to respect my own feelings.

Yes, it is different to losing a human. Of course it is. I think one reason is because you do know and expect that you will outlive your pet, whereas you expect a human to have a full and natural lifespan. Losing a human life is the loss of all of their future too. The future you should have shared.

Losing your animal is losing your own immediate now. It should be acceptable to me to grieve. There is nothing to feel guilty for.

Such a big change so suddenly, all the memories, all the support and love given totally unconditionally.

Is it acceptable to acknowledge these feelings, to have a time of mourning, to react the way I have?

Maybe not to some people but for me it’s left a huge hole in my life and I will give myself the respect of allowing and acknowledging my feelings. They are real to me and that’s what matters here and now.

In Loving Memory


Accept yourself

Accepting my own condition

In recent months helping out with @MHCrisisAngels Ihttps://twitter.com/MHCrisisAngels

I have been privileged to speak to people who have turned to MHCrisis Angels.

This is a Twitter based peer support group, who offer a safe confidential and compassionate place for people to come to when they just want someone to talk to, someone who will listen.

I have seen many people come to us. These people have often been desperate for someone to talk to, just to have someone listen to their worries and fears , about a huge variety of issues. Each person has had different ways of seeing the problems they face but one thing seems a constant.

They have no sense of self worth. To varying degrees people understand they have no sense of self worth. Some believe it’s their own fault , that they were born with no value. Others realise that their self confidence has been stripped away from them by callous, cruel treatment from others, often people who should be the very ones supporting them or people who have taken advantage of them when they were vulnerable .

There are many reasons people feel exposed, many reasons for fear, often mixed with a misplaced self loathing that is undeserved. Often people think their own issues are nothing compared with others problems , that they have no right to feel the way they do or that they shouldn’t be bothering anyone. That they don’t deserve care and compassion.

Let me say that anyone who struggles , for whatever reason has a right to be heard. No one is undeserving of care and compassion. Every problem has a valid basis. Everyone has the right to be heard and everyone deserves help.

You do matter. You do have a right to happiness. You do deserve to be heard by the people who’s job involves helping with health. Be that physical , mental or both .

I have been very lucky to recently meet online some incredible and inspirational people. It reminds me that the journey I am on is no less important than anyone else’s. The experience you yourself have can be used for good but also I am reminded that there is no obligation for everyone to use every experience they have had to be used for anything. The thing that matters is that we learn to accept we are who we are and that person is deserving of self compassion and kindness.

Maybe because of or inspite of our experiences we do deserve self acceptance and we deserve to process those experiences and put them away in our minds where they belong.

I am learning to find myself. It’s a long journey, every day is different and brings opportunities and difficulties.It doesn’t mean failure when a difficult period in life happens, getting through it is possible.

It is possible to learn to care for yourself and it’s your right to be heard. It’s hard not to give up but learning to put one foot in front of the other through these hard times is key to getting through and reaching a place that makes it all worthwhile.

Pilgrim x

Self Care with Susie – January: Jack in the Junk

Mental Health Crisis Angels have a new blog site!
Today guest blogger Susie gives us some great ideas for January.

MH Crisis Angels

So this is a 12 month continous block. I will be giving 12 examples of things we can do each month, that promote self care, self awareness and self motivation. I will be doing these tasks you can join me in this as you wish. I will put up the monthly ideas and follow them up with my progress at the end of the month. You can add your progress too.

January: Jack in the Junk

We all have stuff. Stuff that’s been forgotten, doesn’t fit or is just tucked away out of sight. Maybe during January you can join me in doing something useful with the junk. Whilst the winter days drag on and the days seem to be getting shorter not longer. It could be a way of making a bit of extra money. Or why not donate it to a charity of choice. Let someone else benefit…

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Domestic abuse

Something that has been on my mind a bit is the memories of domestic abuse .

I remarried in my early twenties to someone after a 2 year relationship. He was volatile, I knew that already. I knew he could be controlling but never in the sense of applying that to me. He was actually quite understanding of my wilder side, but any form of authority sent him into a blind rebellion, even if there was nothing to rebel against he would stubbornly take every tiny detail and squeeze it and turn it and reshape it until it fit his point exactly.

He lived with me , at that time we were in a local authorities housing. The officials who had to deal with him utterly detested him, I know this to be true as I knew someone who worked there… the police hated him, the parking officers hated him and everyone in between. You couldn’t tell what mood he would be in from morning to the afternoon to evening, he used to work usually quite late or overnight and it was impossible to guess his mood. We had our arguments on occasion but I excused his often unacceptable behaviour , the mental pressure and emotional dysfunction knowing that sometimes my behaviour was nothing to be proud of.

Then we married. Almost immediately his attitude towards me and my oldest daughter started to change. Within a few weeks we had our first physical fight – I was so shocked. He attacked me from behind , punching me in the head and yanking me around by my hair while I had my year old daughter in my arms, walking beside a busy road. The physical pain was nothing compared to the shock that he would risk our daughter in that way.

That signalled a pretty drastic change in our relationship. Broken bones, black eyes, split lips and a fair bit of hair pulled out followed, a small piece of one eye socket eventually worked its way out a couple of years later which was really quite weirdly fascinating… but I eventually couldn’t let the kids see this going on, he was getting increasingly nasty to them, especially my oldest and after he hit her on her birthday I had enough, but what made me kick him out was after he bit her then made her tell me what he’d done and show me the huge bruise his teeth had left . She was 9. The emotional abuse was worse than anything, my daughter hadn’t told me how nasty he was when I was out and as an extremely intelligent manipulator things were worse for us all than I realised

I will never forgive myself for trying to allow him to be a father to the kids after we split. I met someone else and although we didn’t enter a relationship for some months he was so supportive of me. This just made the abuse from my ex step up further. He broke into the house usually at least twice a week, sometimes more. My older daughter once woke me in a panic to say he had been in their room since 6 am. He was very drunk. When I ran downstairs to confront him I found him drinking tea and putting breakfast cereal in a bowl. Such a totally mundane action, it was shockingly bizarre. Whenever I called the police several always turned up in stab vests with truncheons ready. That day of the breakfast cereal it took 6 of them to get him on the floor and out into a squad car, this while I was trying to get the kids ready and on the school bus.

He tried to kill me a couple of times, stalked me, phoned me describing how he was self harming for hours on end, sometimes 6 hours on the phone, more than once a day. He kidnapped the kids telling them they would never see me again, driving off with them banging on the back window of the car screaming mummy mummy.

He took me to court every chance he could devise, often not turning up to defend his case

Many other things happened . He was sectioned but broke out of a secure ward, the police advised me to disappear until he was found again. There were many many other incidents . It went on for nearly 2 years before he was finally stopped by getting beaten up.

I will never forgive myself for trying to help him. For believing – at first – he had a right to see his children . That they had a right – at first -to see him and his family. That I broke the promise made in our marriage vows, In sickness and in health.

Was it my fault for sending mixed messages? Are my children’s mental health problems now my fault? What the fuck was I doing? I wasn’t a saint throughout, fighting back when he attacked me became normal.

There are countless stories like mine. I have never told his story publicly before , frankly I’m terrified that even now he will somehow find me out, use this to hurt us, that I have made a massive mistake writing this.

I’ve been over it again and again, for years. I’m trying to get it out of me, make sense of who created the heartbreaking problems, how I could have let this happen. How I could have failed so badly.

I know rationally it’s not ” my fault ”

Since when were feelings – be they of failure, of guilt or anything else – always rational.

Maybe finally taking control of the unease, fronting it, facing the fear and telling it where to go will be a step away from it.

There is someone there for you – MH Crisis Angels

Have you ever felt no one listens? Do you just want someone to talk to?

Over the last few weeks I have found myself involved with a group who offer fantastic peer support . We offer a friendly, non judgemental, confidential place for you to talk about your problems, no matter how big or how small they seem to you.

This group are called Mental Health Crisis Angels. They came about as a lovely lady https://twitter.com/My_SimpleMind had the idea of offering somewhere for people who are struggling in life to come to and talk to peers who have been through mental health issues themselves, to talk to people who have been in that place and understand. The Crisis Angels have already brought comfort to many people, just by being there and talking.

My Simple Mind also has a great blog https://mysimplemind.home.blog/ where you can find out more about her and the https://twitter.com/MHCrisisAngels MH Crisis Angels.

Please take a look, follow and if you or anyone you know needs a place to talk about anything at all this is a great place to go.

You are not a burden, you are not a problem. You do deserve care. Visit us. We will listen




Yesterday I was finishing off a blog post that I had put quite a bit of myself into.

Then I accidentally deleted the post. I was so upset . Wasted all that time writing then another 2 hours trying to get it back. I hate wasting time like that, because I tend to procrastinate anyway which just makes it worse.

It’s been a really hard week after the sudden death of someone close. Feeling upset about something so trivial after a huge emotional blow seems so disrespectful which is upsetting in itself. It’s hard to remember it’s not surprising that small things seem to take on a bigger impact than they deserve, it’s not surprising that my mind seems to be working in fits and starts .

The impact of this death on my family has been huge. It’s my job as a parent and family member to put the family and friends first, to be a support and sounding board, to listen and offer what small comfort is possible, to hold , to have understanding of each persons individual reactions, memories and feelings, each persons pain and guilt but also the laughs and recollection of the many happy times shared.

It’s normal for me to tend to my own self care last. That’s something that has been happening for many years. But at the moment it’s not helpful for me to neglect my own health – unfortunately I’m unable to change the habit of so many years. I know the cycle very well, the result of me giving everything to everyone is going to end in a crash for me and my trying to hide the extent of my failure to cope.

The balance of pain and anxiety, worthlessness and self loathing against positivity is out of proportion.

Being in a dark place again is becoming overwhelming, the inability to concentrate and focus, the feelings of failure when another day passes without managing to cope with the general things in life that build up if we don’t get them done. My coping mechanism is beginning to break again.

I’m trying to even out the scales of life a bit. The recent death has weighed heavily and joined with the weight of the normal problems in my life but I’m now trying to even things out a bit. I notice the storm clouds are dark but there is beauty and majesty there too. I see how the grass recovers to stand again after being bent, bruised, crushed against the cold hard ground, even after being broken . I see the beauty and future in the sunrise but also the richness and promise of change and moving forward in the sunset. The silent company and unconditional undemanding love I have around me from my animals has always been immensely important and such a comfort.

I hope to be able to cope with the latest challenge, I hope to be able to be the unending support at any hour of the day or night that I need to be. Mostly I hope to be able to accept this pain and uncertainty with strength to spare.


Feeling that soul sucking dark hole hovering around the edges of my awareness, following my every step, lurking , waiting to trap me . Making my anxiety burn brighter as I know it’s there, it’s going to suck at my steps as I pass. Trying to keep my head up and keep walking to the love of life I know I have but I’m scared.

It’s right there with me, matching my stride and even though I know it’s there it’s going to get me, catch up while I’m busy trying to live and pretend it’s not malignant.

I feel like I’m trying to appease it, feeding it bits of my brightness, smiling and laughing over the top of it – but when it gets me I know it’s going to hurt, it’s going to be bad and I can’t avoid it or pretend it’s finally my friend and isn’t going to smash my life and my dreams.


I’m not sure if I am going to be able to get up after this one, but I feel this way every time. I’m so tired of fighting, but I say that every time and tired or not the inevitability of it flooding me is dragging at my steps.

It’s going to wait until I have taken my eye off it and it’s going to drown me, like it always does.

This time I might have something to help me cling on. There maybe a circle of people who know this enemy. They might be able to help me keep my head above the foul stuff siphoning off my optimism, there may be a strength I can lean on a very little bit.

I have looked for some support online, I have found first one, then two, then a few more people who may have enough strength at the moment to lend me a little of theirs in bits and pieces. People that might care, a little.

Problem I have is in reaching out and asking for help. I can’t do it. I’m so worried about appearing weak – or vulnerable. Then it’s so tiring explaining how I feel, why I feel this way . Exhausting to reassure the people offering help that they have made a difference.

Meeting the expectations and hopes that the people that care have, that I’m feeling better,

Not worrying those that really love me is a very deep seated problem that I need therapy for, there’s a lot behind that and that in itself causes some terrible anxiety.

Hoping I can hide from it for a while longer, so I don’t have to face it at all. I know it’s not realistic but I can’t break the cycle.

I need to help myself and keep the real picture in my mind. I need to breathe.

I’ll go and look for techniques to practice to get me through the next few minutes, then that leads to hours and that on to days.

But I can’t hide forever and I just don’t know how to handle the malignant filth locked inside me that causes all this.

Writing helps me keep it contained but it’s spilling over , swelling and blurring the lines.

I hate this.

Today I am confused.

I know I wrote a bit already about living on medication, being easily distracted and the brain fog that comes with chronic pain , fatigue and medication.

Today, along with that I’m worried over issues that are very personal to me. I have a very sick horse who is like a member of my family in the vet hospital at the moment. It is hurting that there is nothing I can do, nothing at all that will make any difference. It really bothers me that I have no control over what happens to her now and I must rely on the vet. I have faith in the vet and trust them, it just hurts that I can’t do anything.

That is related to a deeper fear, loss of control…

Also on today’s menu we have fear of letting down the family because of brain fog interfering with normal housekeeping duties, a hearty main course of pain, served with fatigue and a side order of mess from not tidying enough. We will follow that with a fine dessert of the frustration of losing ideas and memories to brain damage and brain fog.

There is some relationship here with this lose of control thing, to not being self sufficient and losing interest in looking after myself, having no Me Time and taking pride in my appearance.

I’m losing impetus to getting started to enjoy my world . There’s always the guilt trip I take myself on and lack of compassion for myself because I feel I’m not making the most of what life has to offer. I have had near death experiences and I am frustrated with myself for not making every day count.

Procrastinating and not learning a lesson from my own ideas to beat it seriously annoys me!

I have been in a bad way mentally but am getting my act back together. Until the next time at least .

I have been spending some time in a place very very dear to me and allowing my surroundings to wash over me, bringing peace, tranquility, sense of self and appreciating what this place gives me.

I wonder if without that would I be able to cope with my present situation?

My thoughts are everywhere, spread wide and jumping from one thing to another without completion and it leaves me edgy, nervous with no real focus on what is the thing that needs addressing, where to start to smooth some of the jagged edges.

I want to reach out to make a connection somewhere but the same old soul sucking blanket creeps over me, am I worth anyone’s time?

When will I be found out I’m not anything, that I’m me? When do I stop checking around, behind, ahead for the next attack on my world, when I get exposed as not being good enough or having made a huge mistake somewhere that I didn’t realise about?

I know I’m not the only one that feels like this but it makes you feel lonely. Alone and looking in from the outside.

I hope to find some support , understanding and backup on this journey but I’m just going to keep trying to steadily push forward and gain some more understanding of what’s happening to me and so many others



Why do I compare myself, my abilities and my life to how others portray themselves…

How many times have I compared myself to others social media success stories? Those ones where you know the owner of those stories is bullshitting?

The constant bright shiny status updates that make me feel inadequate and less. Feel like giving up and I’m not sure what I should be giving up – give up some nameless unspoken competition? Why not in a good way, why more like there’s no point trying because no matter what I do it will never match up to those bright twinkling statuses. I’m not worth anyone’s time and I’m smaller, somehow less me and somehow dingy and dirty.

Even the ones that I know are a smooth featureless constant stream of false declarations “look at me, my life is most wondrous , sprinkled with fairy dust and pure gold glitter “ they still get to me somehow, even though I know they aren’t quite as blissfully happy as they project…

I still feel as though somehow they have achieved something I’ve missed, something I’ve looked at from the outside,something I’ve been reaching for but never quite grasped as it slips away again and I submerge under the wave of depression, waiting for the time I’ll roll back up again to thrash around frantically trying to grab that slippery glittery beast that is called Happiness. Success. Achievement. The admiration that others appear to expect, to bask in…

I didn’t want to be in any competition. Don’t want to compete with other’s loveliness , didn’t set out to best anyone else. I’m not interested in being someone else, in projecting a false impression of my life, pretending to be something I’m not.

So why do I still find myself sometimes comparing?

I want to work on acceptance of my good qualities as well as getting a grip on the bad. Balance and harmony are within reach, I just need to learn how to accept and allow them.