Every time I open a new blog post recently, one thought goes through my head and that’s “God, let this be something that means something to someone.”
I didn’t start this blog with the intention of doing that. I started it because I wanted to rant and feel some validation for how I was feeling. It was a way to seek out like minded individuals so I felt less alone in how I felt. Since then I’ve discussed things from gay marriage, to politics and most recently mental health and the importance of talking about it. And then I realised I’m a fraud. Because I talk on this blog about what we need to do, what needs to be done, and I don’t ever really take my own advice. I will spout out mental health awareness at the drop of a hat but I’ll rarely give my own experiences bar a couple of sentences and those will be euphemistically phrased to avoid shocking people.
But since June of last year I really started to pay attention to my demographic. I’m reaching people who are actively searching for what I was looking for when I started this blog. People are finding me by searching “how to cover self harm scars” or “i think i’m depressed what do i do” and most commonly “how to forgive your rapist.” If you’ve come across this post because you’ve searched that last one in particularly, I’d like to direct you to the post I wrote entitled “You Matter” because I wrote that for you.
That pressure to make a difference is something I’m struggling with right now. I feel like I no longer have the words that are required because somewhere along the line I stopped being honest about who I am and began to hide behind this loud-mouth exterior, pointing out mental health injustice and not really dealing with the fact that I, myself, have issues that need worked on and will most likely need worked on for the rest of my life.
So, if you’ll allow me, I’d like to be honest with you for the first time in a long time. My name is Rebecca Plenderleith. Next week I will be 22. I’m a first year archaeology student and I’m struggling with education as I’ve been out of it for a very long time. When I was a young child I was sexually abused and that has left me with trust issues. Two years ago someone close to me was jailed for pornographic images of children which caused a resurface in my issues surrounding my abuse. At the age of 10 or 11 I was taught to spot the symptoms of alcohol poisoning because someone I considered family – who has since passed away – was an alcoholic. I am a recovering self harm addict who has not cut in 2 and a half years but still feels the urge whenever stress hits, the difference now is I know I’m strong enough to not do it. I have depression and I have anxiety.
I’m also funny and I like to make people laugh. I’m creative. I’m intensely passionate about the topics that mean something to me. I will debate you on anything we have a different opinion on. I’m ridiculously stubborn. I often find myself wishing I could be a country singer because can those girls sing or what?! I once heard my dad quote someone (I’m terrible at remembering who actually said certain quotes) who said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” and for some reason that’s been the main thing that’s stuck with me out of anything he’s ever said. Although he probably wishes “Tidy your room!” is what I’d remember.
All those things plus a thousand more are what makes me who I am. Lately I feel like I’ve become an empty shell who couldn’t have a conversation that didn’t involve “Mental Health” and, as is only the way, that did nothing to benefit my own mental health.
I turned myself into a label and I hate that. I hope now to be able to get myself to a place where I can start helping to make a difference again.