Overcoming PTSD

Walking on a spring evening in Golden Acre Park – Leeds

I have to do this. Releasing my thoughts onto the world like an eagle spreading its wings above a small stone, but at this moment in time my story has a beginning and no end. I am still in the process of understanding my story, my past and present. It haunts me day after day like a crazy killer on the loose repeatedly stabbing me in the back, in the chest, in my head and in my eyes.

I get up and get on. However for the past 2 years it has eaten me up and there is nothing left in me, I feel empty and numb, sometimes I like it numb, I can numb certain people out of my life, I am a pro at this. You see me and I give you the illusion of ‘I’m listening’.

Just as I gather myself it chases after me again. The killer is let loose.

Just imagine that for a second.

Now imagine this, I am ready to release this image, this symbol of pain and it’s acquaintances – they are;

Low self esteem

Low confidence

Extreme fear

Immense feelings of betrayal

Lifelong loneliness

and tears that never dry.

The stress is real and I am living it, the circumstances which made me a strong independent women are now breaking me, pounding in my face as a reminder of the bad experiences, what I have achieved despite the difficulties is not enough to erase those memories.

So I ask myself why now? Why now?

At least it’s now and not later, maybe?

Releasing all of this in writing is painful yet it is needed for me to overcome and understand my life and what it has made me.

Overcoming PTSD started at the age of 27, I said to a crowded room that I am a carer, economically and socially underprivileged and abused by those I cared for, experienced homelessness and witnessed terrifying violence and people in my life leaving the world too soon.

It has taken me 17 years to say this aloud, to accept and acknowledge this is what I am, I know this sounds insignificantly small to some people but it meant that I no longer pretended to be someone else. Of course I was encouraged to speak out by a supportive group of people around me at the time, fallen in to a group so supportive by chance and destiny, I felt their openness about their own struggles pushed me to do the same.

That small act of acknowledging the fact that I am a carer, that this is what I have done for the majority of my life unleashed the power within me, the power which enabled me to overcome. I then started to talk about all the other things that made me.

Still the trauma attempts to attach it self to me sometimes, in different ways and places and sometimes in peoples faces and actions. Maybe these snippets of trauma are there to show me that I am not superhuman and yes we have complex minds which our very beings will never understand.

Life’s complex situations and experiences has taught me that your past will catch up with you. I would now give advice to my younger self, I would say to my self – take your time, relax, play and be silly, do not carry the burden of the world on your shoulders if you don’t want too and most importantly you don’t have to.

I just wish someone was there to tell me this, but nobody really did. I imagined they were and comforted myself in the ‘adult’s’ presence. I know now as an adult that I would not do what they did.

So now as I sit as a 28 year old thinking, why did they not help me? I realised the comfort I found as a child was imaginary and I no longer have a child’s imagination, therefore I am struggling to comfort myself. The counsellor said imagine your younger self hugging you. This helped me, but strangely I turned on my younger self and questioned her. Maybe this was the snippet of trauma seeping in again – low self esteem or confidence, or the inability to love my self.

I have always used faith and religiosity to attempt healing but this is not enough now. I have used strangers, friends and cliché techniques such as self care tasks to help my self. I have run that hot bath and I have watched that famous soap opera, eaten so much chocolate its made me sick and used nearly every new face mask on the scene.

What has really helped is a connection with people, relating to those who have suffered and overcome, having a listening ear, a sympathetic face and a hug. A walk with no anxieties about getting home on time and daily, weekly or even monthly tasks that push me ever so slightly into changing. I don’t need people to tell me what to do, I need people to hold my hand and tell me I am true, I am right and I will be better someday.

9th January 2017.

Break me

Don’t smile at the stranger.

Don’t look at the women crossing the road, stepping towards us, we might know her. Don’t help them, don’t help her, don’t look, don’t be kind.

What have they done for you?

What has the care you have given, given back to you, a few pounds to spend but a few hours from your life taken away, you’ll never get them back. 

Make something of your life. What have you achieved in all these years.

What is the point. 

What is THE point. 


I don’t know, I’ve forgotten who I am, what I was, or was I EVEN ever A someone.

They said, 

Why is she always smiling like it’s her wedding, it’s annoying.

You have a beautiful smile, I want your teeth, just smile, you look good in a smile, pretty face.

Cant you stop talking. You’re mouth is a pair of scissors, going, going, going, on and on and on, JUST SHUT UP.

She’s a quiet girl, get’s on with it, very independent, she’s a little shy, I’ve moved her to another table. I think it’s helping, she’s coming out of her shell. 

Oh now you’re coming out of your shell.

No I prefer her back in her shell please, thank you.

I didn’t mean that, I was being sarcastic, I’ll just mind my own from now. 

I love you, you float in and out, do your job and go home, no hassle, no moans.

Thank you, you are a star, people like you go places you know, they love you. 

She said,

Why did you help her, what did I tell you.

Nobody listens to me. 



You fool.

I told you nobody listens to me, everyone’s done what you should have, look at you, it’s your fault.


Everything that is. 

You just carrying on getting old. Don’t make decisions for your self. 

What has the world done for you? 

Why are you so kind?

What has the care you give the work you do mean to you? 

I don’t know, I’ve forgotten who I am, what I was, or was I EVEN ever A someone. 

Orchids & Butterflies @teaatmine 

16 December 2015 22:45

Just another one seeking peace.

I was not ready two years ago. I realise now. Yet I have so much more to find, so they all say.

How many times have you heard this?

Where do I start…I created this blog and made 2 posts, forgot about it and now I am back. I realise it was something I tried to do to help me understand my life. However I was not ready. I am still only half way there. Every day can become a struggle (you have definitely heard this one before). It is true, we are all searching for the same thing. Just a little peace.

I am at times overwhelmed by the amount of support in the world from people going though issues in life. Just think about it, and the amount of people who appreciate, learn, find some contentment in the words of others is overwhelming.

When I reach out for some reassurance, I feel like the whole world is in a constant state of healing, and searching for some peace. This world is so difficult and I have never uttered these words to myself as much as I have this past year. Maybe peace is reserved for some in another world?

The search for peace offers one explanation for those wanting to end their lives. Peace from all the worries of this life. Yet that is not what they want. It is to end the pain and worries of this world, not their lives.

I have always written my thoughts down – at times when I really needed to make sense of what is going on in my head and around me. Writing is one tool, art, travelling, just being around those you love, or away from them are other tools in the search for peace.

One thing I have understood for sure is that peace in your heart and mind takes time. I understand time is precious, however this idea can force us to impose a super fast action plan upon ourselves. I have learnt that taking your time, exploring different therapies and who you are over time is much more beneficial. If one therapy does not work, then try another, focus on the changes and particularly the small changes, and the very fact that you recognise and are acting upon making a change, however long it may take.

Take solace in all those who are also seeking peace in their hearts and minds, seek solace with your soul for it is trying.

What is a man?

In the United Kingdom women have gained rights and freedoms miles different to the social status of 1901. However the cry for help, the emotion the fear and the braveness to help themselves using logic feels the same. How easy was it for you to see the doctor after that episode of darkness or during it. How easy was it for you to hug your child and tell them you love them more than anything in the world, you will protect them and help them. This seems a little easier for a women to do, am I right? Maybe I am wrong?

My own personal biases and life experience makes it hard to understand how a man can do the above. I have seen it portrayed in that movie and that advert in the newspaper, maybe in work I have caught a glimpse between father and daughter, another man opening up to me about his emotions.

That is why I ask my self what is a man? I know what a women is and I see it everyday, we bare our emotions for the public to like and criticise, we joke about our femininity and menstrual cycle, but a man, how does he truly feel. I feel for the man. Out of love.

Men are ridiculed for sharing their emotions among their fellow men. Are laughed at by their community if they cry and worse are seen as weak if they ask for help. I am scared that mental illness among men and more particularly young men is not given its due attention. I have found a website that shocked me with its statistics, that 4 in 5 suicides are by men, that is 78% and for men under 35 suicide is the biggest cause of death. You can find more statistics here:

The strong stereotypical roles that women were defined by have reversed, how long before it does for men. It is a fearful thought. Especially if you take into account the differing ethnic and racial chunks in our society. If men have to learn to ask for help and get help from society as a women did and is doing then all men need to participate not just a small section of society. Only then will it create a change.

On a organisational level just like the domestic abuse adverts for women, translated into all types of cultures and languages. The same needs to happen for men.

Things seem to be changing slowly. It is refreshing to see a high profile celebrity such as professor green talk and promote mental illness amongst his followers and mainstream media. He has used platforms such as bbc3 and The Guardian to raise awareness around mental health and men, this is the link to the article:

In the article Professor green talks about how he didn’t know and still doesn’t know what was going through his dads head when he committed suicide. Is this because men’s feelings and societal encouragement to be open is dismissed? Or just not encouraged?

There are organisations for example in Bradford West Yorkshire that are tirelessly supporting men and helping to make a difference:

  • Bradford Reducing Anger and Violent Emotions (BRAVE)
  • MIND in Bradford
  • Bradford Cyrenians working with men who suffer from domestic abuse

So what is a man? A human being, who needs due acknowledgement and support as a women would do.

In today’s multifaceted world we are all just humans. A man, a women, a man a women, you can go on all day, all your life but it will not make a difference. Everything a man can do a women can do better and vice versa. Largely defined roles or labels by which you would identify a man or a women have deteriorated. Thank fully!

We have to start somewhere and treat a man as a human with feelings and emotions which may be different in different circumstances but not a physically, socially or culturally defined man, just a human being who wants and needs help. Lastly I want to imagine a man to be emotional and full of empathy, I want my stereotypical ideas about a man changed, I want to see it portrayed in real life, so come on men start expressing and seeking change!

Bye for now…