This one comes with a huge trigger warning for intimate partner abuse. emotional blackmail, mental health stigma, suicide ideation, self harm, and using psychiatric drugs as a form of abuse.
This one also isn’t remotely sexy and is a stream of consciousness that hasn’t been proofed or edited. DO NOT GIVE ME MEDICAL ADVICE UNLESS YOU ARE A TRAINED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. I AM NOT KIDDING.
I never wanted to go onto psychiatric medication. I’d tried once when I was 18 and the side effects – insomnia, heartburn, inability to eat, inability to have sex, frequent and overwhelming desires to kill myself – were worse than the sadness the drugs were designed to treat. I took myself off cold turkey and decided never again.
Fast forward three years. Looking back now, I understand that I was being abused so badly that I no longer knew what was real and what wasn’t. I didn’t know which way was up, never mind being able to make reliable decisions and advocate for myself.
The “decision” (though it never was a decision for me) came after one night when he came to visit me. I don’t remember what perceived slight started it now, but I believe it was having asked him to come and see me – a pretty bad crime for a toy that was meant to sit quietly on the shelf until he was ready to empty his balls into it, then shut up and go away again. That night ended with him screaming at me in his car and then in my student flat, then ordering me to make up by bed for him and passing out in it – leaving me to slash fifteen lines into my leg with a razor blade then curl up beside him and cry all night while he slept soundly. The shouting was enough for my roommate to question what was going on, and she was understandably horrified when she found me sobbing on the bathroom floor with blood everywhere.
The next morning before he left, he told me that I needed to get myself on medication because he wasn’t going to have another “crazy” girlfriend (this was a year or so after he’d abused another woman into a near-breakdown then told everyone how crazy she was after she finally left him). Basically, I had to fix myself or he’d leave me.
“So why the fuck didn’t you just let him leave?” I can nearly hear you all asking. Because I was twenty-one. Because I was being abused. Because I was lonely and he occasionally made me feel loved when I was being a useful, quiet, decorative sex toy. Because we were openly poly and I HAD to convince my skeptical family and friends that poly could really work and be successful. Because he was much older and physically attractive and had an amazing job and a PhD and convinced me that I would never, in a million years, get anyone else even a tenth as good as him. Because I was convinced I was lucky that the youth and beauty I’d had on my side when we met had seduced him into my life, and that with every passing year I stopped being his trophy (ask me how many people he bragged to after he fucked the nineteen year old) and had to do more and more and more to keep him even peripherally interested.
BECAUSE I LOVED HIM AND HE DIDN’T LOVE ME AND I WANTED HIM TO LOVE ME.
So I tried harder to be good enough, and it became very clear to me that getting medicated was a big part of that. I had to dampen down my crazy. I had to numb myself to the point where I wouldn’t cry when he yelled at me, where I wouldn’t protest when he fucked me and then walked out, where I wouldn’t be so demanding and needy as to ask for respect and consideration. I had to become the dumb, unthinking object he wanted me to be, who would look pretty on his arm but never overstep her carefully marked box.
He forced me onto medication under pain of ending the relationship, which at the time was unthinkable to me. He bullied me onto medication before I’d had chance to even consider other options, such as counseling or telling him to go fuck himself. And like the silly, naive little idiot that I was, I did as I was told.
But now, suddenly, years have passed. And I’m dependent upon this bastard drug that I never really wanted to be on in the first place. I have absolutely no idea who I am without this stuff inside me. So I decided to wean myself off and find out who Amy is when she’s not medicated. Only the withdrawal is fucking killing me.
I have been crying for three days straight. I hate myself so much I want to put my fist through the mirror. I hate him so much I’m dreaming about all the ways I wish I could destroy him. I hate this drug so much I want to throw it all in the trash and never think of it again only I can’t because even cutting my dose by half is fucking killing me.
I need to get this evil substance out of my system. I don’t want to be medicated any more. I don’t want to be dampened and dulled by this poison in my veins. I want to be whole without it. But right now I’m in so much pain I feel like a fucking heroin addict – I’d do anything to feel the sweet relief of taking a full hit again.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to put myself through this hell when I’m not even sure I want to be the person who’s on the other side of it. Because I don’t know who that girl is.
I’m not sure I can do this.
I’m upping my counseling as a way of addressing the immense struggle I’m in the midst of right now. It’s very very expensive as I can’t access the type of therapy that works for me through the NHS. If you’d like to help me pay for it, you can buy me a coffee.