On Wednesday, when I had my counselling/therapy session, I mentioned something that has become a bad habit.

When I’m anxious, stressed or just simply bored, I will sit and grab a clump of hair. From this clump, I will sift through and find a single strand, then pull that strand out. In a day, I can pull out 20-30 strands of hair, more if I’m really anxious. And then, the hair grows back, and it’s short and irritating so I pull it out again. It’s a never ending circle.

So, on Wednesday, I happened to mention it to see if Rob or Steph could help. I had no idea that it actually had a name, Trichotillomania.

Rob told me he had a client who did the same thing and that the only thing that stopped him was a Neocube. He showed me a YouTube video, and if you’ve never heard of one, the best thing is to watch a video; the only way I can describe it is a bunch of magnetic balls that you just play with. It keeps your hands busy.

The idea is, whenever I get the urge to pull out my hair, I play with the Neocube. Eventually it will change the message in my brain from “pull hair” to “play with cube”. I ordered one, I hope it arrives soon because I need to rescue my hair!

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The Reality That Is Cassie Harte

Cassie Harte is the person that, in my posts, is referred to as C. She is the person that upset and hurt, and although I hurting her wasn’t my intention, she is still out to punish me even more, without any regards to how it has/is/will effect me. She has posted many things on her blog about me, about what I’ve done, named me,  put my birth date, and my home town online – making it so easy for someone to look me up and find me. You can even google me, and it comes up with my sister’s name also. This is just becoming a war that I didn’t want to get into, but if she can name and shame me, then so can I! I didn’t want to, but it’s becoming clear that when she posts this book, it is going to be her word against mine; which due to her blog and social media posts has already happened. So, I am fighting back, telling my side of the story! I won’t be writing a book, like her, I don’t want some book deal, nor do I want sympathy as she so craves. I did want sympathy and attention, back in 2012. That’s why I contacted her in the first place. What I did was unforgivable, but I don’t see why Cassie has to keep bringing this up, keep slating my name when she had me arrested, sent to court because she didn’t want anything to do with me! So here is my side.

BEFORE CONTACTING CASSIE, I was feeling lonely. I was in a depression (which I didn’t realise at the time), I was becoming distant with my friends, and there has always been problems between me and my family, me feeling very much like the ‘Black Sheep’. I felt really low, lonely and in need of some kind of affection. I read Cassie’s book, and browsed through her website which also had her email address on. I wrote her an email, saying I understood her loneliness in her book as I felt the same within my family as she did. I stated how I felt low ect and that I felt connected to her in her book. I read this email over and over and thought “What are you doing? This woman has been abused. Her life was much worse than hers. She’s just going to think you’re pathetic!”    So, I deleted that message and wrote another one, wanting to get an answer, wanting to get someone to care about me. I wrote something along the lines of, ‘I’m Jade, I read your book and something similar is happening to me and I don’t know what to do’. This was the beginning of a caring friendship. Something I had never felt.

After a few emails back and forth, I stated that I had an aunt who could help me. I created another person with the intention that my ‘aunt’ would help me and I would no longer need Cassie’s help, that the lie would stop. I gave Cassie a fake email, pretending that my aunt was real and make the story seem a little more believable. I mean what harm could it do, I was going to end contact with her anyway. Then Cassie had asked ‘my aunt’ to let her know how I was doing, asked her if she wanted to deal with me on her own, or if she wanted her help. Cassie really cared for me, she wanted to know how I was. I actually cried a little at the thought of having someone care for me. I remember that night so well. I had a bath, and cried it the bath. It felt overwhelming that a stranger was making sure I was ok. So I replied, as the aunt, and said that her help would be great.

Cassie and I continued to talk, we became friends, and started to even talk on the phone. I loved the phone calls. When I was having a particularly low day, I would tell Cassie I wasn’t feeling good, that I felt like cutting (which was the truth – Self Harm has been a coping method of mine since I was 13/14 years old). Cassie would then ring me, she would give me the comfort I needed, tell me to pretend she was here hugging me, that I was allowed to cry. (Another truth – I’ve been brought up with believing crying was wrong. My Dad would always say “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about”). 

Everyday, I craved more and more of Cassie’s attention and comfort. When I had the slightest hint that she would not be available to me as much, I would create more lies, and they would get worse and worse each time. First, it started by saying I had been pregnant. (It wasn’t exactly a lie, there was a time with my ex but I don’t really want to get into that. 3 people + Doctors know – 2 friends and Steph – counsellor). I said that I lost the baby but that’s not all. Cassie said to me “I know there’s more that you’re not telling me.” There obviously wasn’t but she wanted more, so I gave her more knowing that she would be there to answer me still. To make these babies real, I stupidly went onto my friend’s facebook and take photos of their kids to show Cassie, to show her they were real. I didn’t think it was wrong to me, it was just like googling a picture. But now, I know that it was wrong. I didn’t do it in a sick a depreaved way, I just wanted Cassie to continue to believe me, to continue talking to me.

Then, things would quiet down, she wouldn’t be online, or ring me as much and I started to feel lonely again. I wanted her to talk with me on the phone more than emailing. It felt more personal. I could hear the care in her voice but I didn’t know how to get her to ring me. I then came up with another lie. That people would kidnap me. It seems so outrageous that I didn’t even think she would believe me, but after the first time she did, and she rung me, I kept doing it. I would pretend that someone had taken me, that she would need to ring me to find out where I was and she did ring. I was able to speak to her on the phone. She was like the Mum I wish I had. I loved her.

Just a note. All through this I regretted everything I was saying. She would say that she was tired, but I never knew just how much I was effecting her. I never knew that I was making her sick. If I had actually known, I don’t think I would have even sent the first email. I took her kindness and caring for granted, I never stopped and thought that I was doing any harm. During the court case, I was given a psychological test, and was told I had Munchausens syndrome – A mental disorder which makes the person need attention. People usually do it by going to the doctor pretending they’re sick. Mine was a slightly different case, but that’s what I apparently fall under. I don’t want to excuse what I did, but with this disorder it explains why I never stopped to think ‘ This is making Cassie upset’. My brain was craving the love and attention, and that is all it was thinking of.

In December 2012, Cassie decided to end our communications. She didn’t exactly say “Stop. I don’t want to talk with you.” Her words were “I think I need to back off a bit”. This to me, sounded like there would still be some kind of communication, just not as much. So, when I emailed her and had no reply, I got angry and upset. I still needed someone, and Cassie had said she would always be there for me. I sent her angry emails saying I hated her for just leaving me. I had no idea she found out I was lying, that she was going to the police. I tried the things that had previously worked, said I had been kidnapped again, but she never answered. Then I read something online, about not needing people to help me, that I could do this on my own. I sent an email to her saying I was sorry for saying I hated her, thanked her for her being there for me over the last 6 months, and copied the paragraph I found (None of this, may I add, was read out by police or at court!). I deleted Cassie’s emails, deleted her number and told myself to move on.

Then in January, just as I was getting used to not having Cassie around, I got arrested and charged with Harassment and Malicious Communications. I was sent to court, and from January – May 2013, appeared in court several times. My solicitor want the harassment charge dropped, because there was no cause for the charge – The communication was between both of us and Cassie never told me to stop at all. Me, I wanted to just get it over and done with whether the charge was dropped or not, but we got it dropped and I am pleased. Cassie wasn’t happy. At first, the not guilty plea of Harassment wasn’t accepted. It wasn’t until they said it would then be trialed and she would also have to attend, that it got accepted. So, I plead and got charged with just the malicious communications, given 12 months supervision (probation), given a fine, and a 10 year restricting order against Cassie (meaning no contact for 10 years). Further to this, I have lost friends, and due to the nature of what I was saying, am not allowed to work with children (which was my dream career). All of this has caused a massive depression, the self harm manifested and got out of control and I attempted suicide several times. I’m starting to get myself back on track, volunteering (and possibly starting a new job soon), I joined gymnastics and am becoming a little more confident. BUT Cassie is naming me in a book and has named me online (refer to 1st paragraph) and no matter how much I seem to move on, this brings me back way down! The situation has become her word against mine, and I’ve not yet been given an opportunity to say my side. All I wanted was a friend, I never aimed to hurt anyone. Her aim is to hurt me, she’s after my blood, and perhaps this post is giving her my blood on a plate, but I’m not this evil, perverted person she is making me out to be. I’m actually very caring and loving and haven’t had much care and love in return. I, myself was vulnerable, she wanted something and in return I got what I needed. I just went the wrong way to get it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Feel free to ask me questions, I’m not going to hide anymore.

Looking up

Yesterday was such a great day!

I had a job interview and was told, if I could find a way to get there by 7:30am, I could have a taster day. Once I had the taster day, we would see if I fit in for the job and if I liked it, then I would start.

Once I got back, I rung my advisor at a company called ShawTrust, (They help people who are unemployed, and provide you with money if you need transport or interview clothes, and put you on training courses). I don’t usually ask for much from my advisor, she looked at my CV, did me a template cover letter, and will send me suitable jobs which I can apply for. But, being desperate, me and B (my advisor), looked at train times and bus times, and found I could get there for 7:30 except on a Sunday which I could get a taxi. So we rung the interviewer up, told her it was possible and I have a taster day on Monday. 😀

At around lunch, me and my friend G went into a café and had a drink, then went around town for a little while to waste some time before I had counselling/therapy.

I see 2 people, my counsellor Steph, and her colleague, Rob. I found I was very Open with Steph, but Rob had more practical solutions being a therapist so I saw both at the same time. Yesterday, we had our last session. Rob didn’t want to completely close my file because I mentioned the family argument that caused me to Overdose. I didn’t expect his reaction, Steph was very laid back at that sort of thing, did a risk assessment and that was it. But Rob didn’t want to close my file 100%. So, he’s filled in a form, and if in the next 3 months, something similar happens, I ring up and he will refer me to stay in a non-clinical safe house thing. He explained it as a B&B without having to pay. And it does look like just an ordinary house where you can get away for a few days. Thing is I dont need it right now, and you can’t self-refer unless you have been referred once already. So this is why we have the 3 months of keeping my file open, them having my details so I can ring up, say I need to get away, and they will refer me there and then. All good!!

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Doctors, medication and a little more confidence

As ny previous post says, I went to the doctors on Monday. I was quite proud. Usually I’m too scared to mention anything about the medication, unless I think it’s not working. This time was different, I needed to tell her that I was becoming too tired on 30mg, and I did. There isn’t anything between 15mg and 30mg, but she prescribed me 15mg and told me to take 1 and a half instead. And in this week, I’ve actually felt the difference. I’m sleeping just as well most nights, and I’m able to wake up without feeling like crap. I still get tired as the day goes on, but who doesn’t? So, I think this is definitely a good thing.

Also mentioned in my previous post, I have been on a course all week. It’s customer service training, and employability added in as a bonus. We’ve learnt about positive customer service, but also about making good first impressions at an interview. Before this course, I’ve never been able to speak in front of a group, haunted my my old English teacher who, during a presentation I had to give at school, compared me to Stevie Wonder, made the class laugh at me and told me I’ve “failed horribly and sit back down”. I was always shy and so did my speaking thing with my eyes shut. It blocked out that people were there watching me, but he laughed, made fun of me by referring me as Stevie Wonder which also made the class laugh at me. Since then, I’ve refused to speak in front of people. So this week, we’ve been asked to show off our work a lot. Usually in pairs or groups, but I did it, and even spoke. Not saying that I would now quite happily volunteer, but it’s something I can now do! Also during the end of Thursday, we were each given a list of jobs to apply for. Within 1 hour of applying for a catering assistant job, I had a call to arrange an interview! So, hopefully, when I have this interview, it will be the last interview I need to have in a long time. I hope that I get this job. I will be sad to have to leave the place I volunteer for, but I do need a paid job. So, bring on my new found confidence and interview skills, and watch this space!

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Planning the week

Hello guys! Hope you’re well. Just thought I would keep you updated on life.

Last week and weekend I was feeling low, things seemed to just go downhill and so I turned to my Recovery Plan.
A couple of nights just picking out an activity such as drawing, listening to loud music ECT wasn’t working. It’d work for the duration of the activity, but then I’d be back to feeling low. So I turned to the next action plan.

The next action plan was to plan to do an hours activity each day. So, I planned it and to set in in stone, wrote it in my diary. This week, I was also luckily busy being on a course all week from 10am – 3pm, so that kept me busy, and actually has built my confidence a little (I had to present something in front of the group at least once a day!). So I planned to do something when I had finished.

Monday – I had Doctors appointment, but went to my 2nd family after, and spent a few hours there.
Tuesday – I went round my nans for stew (she makes the best stew). It wasn’t planned but I couldn’t do the original plan of going to the library as it closes early on Tuesdays, apparently.
Wednesday – I went town with my sister. I actually had a bad afternoon at the course. We had done a lot of speaking in the group, and the voices popped up, repeating everything my English teacher said to me at school. The course tutor picked up something wasn’t right, spoke to me at the end and that made me a little more anxious ECT. So shopping with my sister before going home was actually a nice plan.
Thursday – I woke up so anxious and felt sick, but once I was at the course I felt okay. My hours plan was gymnastics, which I do weekly anyway.
Friday – watch a movie with my friend, which we did and it was quite a relaxing night.

Planning the week has helped. I’m not sure why, but it gave my days purpose. Next week, I’m back at work where I volunteer, the hours are shorter than the course so I think that I’m going to plan again, even though I’m feeling better than I was last week. I just want to make sure I’m not going back down.

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Love Me, Please?

I drew this last night. It started off with the girl, then I added the guy, and then thought it kind of looked like a heart, so added the heart. Then, added the text.

I’m actually quite proud of it and it’s so fitting.

I feel quite lonely a lot of the time, and I see people my age having someone to love, having kids and getting married. It gets to me that I’ve not even found Mr Right. And this doubled on valentines day. So, right now I want this.

It’s not a great drawing, I struggle to draw freehand, and am much better when I have something to copy from like a photograph or cartoon ECT.

But, I am proud of this.

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Enjoying myself

Hey there Bloggers!

Well, although I have moments where I’m feeling down, low and still get times where I am suicidal, and these aren’t just an hour or day long, they can last a few days – a week.

But despite that, I am feeling so much better most of the time. I work voluntary, which gives me a sense of purpose and just before Christmas, I restarted gymnastics. When I first started back up, I couldn’t do a thing. I was really inflexible, and couldn’t even do a handstand. It had been about 8/9 months since doing anything and i had to retrain my body and muscles to stretch.

Today, a friend came with me and took a few pics. I look really fat in them and need to lose weight. (My medications puts on weight, and I’ve not exactly helped myself by watching what i eat lately). Despite the fatness, you can tell I’m enjoying myself. I’m actually really happy in the photos and videos. My life is becoming fun again. And I just want to share a couple photos.

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