I suppose this is the part where I take that first step and introduce myself. My name is DS , I'm in my early forties, I'm a surivor of extreme physical, sexual and psychological childhood abuse which covered pretty much all of the years between when I was four and when I was ten. Since my teen years – when I was diagnosed as being manic depressive- I've battled depression at intervals and have been plagued by violent, intrusive thoughts of either seriously harming or outright murdering people. In reality, I wouldn't hurt a single soul and have a very loving and sensitive nature, so – as you might imagine- these thoughts distress and disturb me.
How's that for a first hello? Probably pretty common, actually , if what I've been reading in the forums is any indication. But then, that's why we're here, isn't it? To reach out of the darkness and find the hands of others who struggle with a mental ilness like we do.
You might have noticed that I seem fairly atriculate by the style of my prose. Well, I'm not on meds of any sort and, for the most part, I have my illness under control. I hold a steady, full-time time job and can generally manage my stress. Despite having anger issues that I'll almost certainly be coping with to some degree my entire life, I've never assaulted anyone and I lead a quite, unassuming life with my cat Jason, trying to make the best of every day.
It's still there, y'know? Those days still come when I feel the mental switch in my head go off and the depression begins. The anger gets harder to control during these periods and the intrusive thoughts start. Someone does, says or writes something that offends me or hurts my feelings and I obssess over it. By the end of the day, I've got a head full of visions of them being out to get me and me retaliating with violence. The latter sometimes happen even without the anger kickstarting it. I hate it every time it happens and I end up feeling repulsed and distressed.
But I also pick myself up, get myself past each incident and get on with my life. I am not defined by my mental illness. I am defined by my ability to master it and my unwillingness to allow it to destroy my life. And I think that's why I wanted to write this and to be in this community. I might have something helpful to add to the conversation. Myabe someone can read my words and discover that, hey, there's someone else out there going through the same exact thing…and surviving. By the same token, I could also use support from time to time as well. Prick us, do we not bleed..and so forth.
Anyway, I'm DS and that's my story. I hope to contribute here regularly and get to know you. It's a good feeling to realize that a community exists where the people know what I've been going through and offer not merely sympathy, but empathy.