To get there I need to tell you my story
Aged 5 – 13
My history is one of trauma. When I was five I fractured my skull to be taken to hospital. This episode was traumatic was not enough to set up PTSD in later life but more trauma was to come.
In the meantime I’ve sent an expensive private school where there was extreme pressure to succeed. All boys had to run 4 miles a day. If you failed in your tests which happened every three weeks you were punished if you couldn’t run of play sports you’re also punished.
The odd slap and beating was very common. I was assaulted by the headmaster beaten to such an extent that I couldn’t speak and urine ran down my legs.
However what followed at 13 was worse, I broke my neck
I did not feel any pain and walked around with a broken neck for three months before it was x-rayed.
Although I was unaware of the time this no doubt brought up the previous trauma. I was told that there was a good chance I could be paralysed and might not be again.
My parents were also told by a doctor with me sitting behind a curtained examination bed, that the operation they were going to attempt of not been attempted before and that already showing signs that my reflexes were slowing. I could be paralysed and I would never be able to play sport or run around again.
I was in hospital for 8 weeks, I have my head shaved and I left hospital scars on my face from an oxygen mask. I left hospital two months later feeling that my life has been turned upside down. I left hospital very angry young man.
On leaving hospital I went to boarding school. This was a top famous boarding school where they had gathered 700 of the brightest, most emotionally disturbed young men they could find.
Aged 13 – 18
Bullying with epidemic, everyone bullied someone. A number of teachers encourage homosexuality and adults acting sexually with children was common. It was a tough nasty environment where everyone hurt people in order to avoid being hurt themselves.
And I thrived. I already felt traumatised, I already fell old before my time. It was the perfect environment for a nasty angry young man and there were other fellow sufferers.
I started drinking and smoking in my second term and would spend every Saturday in a ditch getting drunk. I just wanted to feel OK. This was going to continue over the next 16 years with the episodes of drunkenness getting closer and closer together. I drank just so I could feel normal.
What I didn’t know the time was that those suffering from PTSD. When you are young and you have symptoms of mental illness it all feels normal, I assumed everyone had episode when things around me felt unreal or periods of the day which just past by unconsciously.
Aged 18 – 29
One of the problems with being drunk so often you walk around stamping on people’s feet and they retaliate. I was an excellent victim, always blaming others. I was full of shame anger and resentments.
After leaving school I was expelled from university being drunk. By then I started developing panic attacks and the first bouts of depression. I started experiencing panic attacks and uneasy when I was away from the car my home. I quite quickly developed agoraphobia.
I went to my first psychiatric hospital aged 21. There they diagnosed me and offered typing (think typewriter) as a solution. Typing did not work and now I felt I was the only person who is suffering like in the world and the medical world had no answers.
On any given day I cannot remember the traumas I have suffered. I remember that between the ages of 21 and 24 I was mugged and then run over.
I was also all in a car crash with a car ended up written off. And I can now see how I used denial and belittling to avoid trauma affecting.
At 25 depression started making it hard to get out of bed. I was running my own business that survived by defrauding the VAT man. Now I was in the period were trying to control my drinking, limiting the amount of times I could get drunk a week. There was a cut of point, normally three pints if I went beyond that I could not stop. I started taking drugs, in part so I could drink for longer.
At 26 went to my first AA meeting. All I heard was give up drinking you be fine. So I gave up drinking and properly got worse. The only way stay sober was through the GP’s prescription pad.
Soon I was drunk again, AA had lied. Now my agoraphobia was so bad that only leave the house if the car was park right outside. Going into supermarkets was impossible and I would rush in, grab anything and leave.
When I went places in my car I was paranoid that someone would steal the vehicle leaving me abandoned, stranded, living rooted to the ground where ever I happened to be. I knew I wasn’t doing very well. The booze stopped taking the edge off and started making things worse.
Then came another car crash.
This time I suffered appalling whiplash. My first response of getting out of the car was to stagger over to the pub. The next day I went to hospital and x-rayed my neck. They found a piece of wire in place there during my initial operation, they called in a specialist. I was kept waiting in traumatised panic, waiting for them to tell me I would need to be operated on. I was told them my neck was fine.
I went home and was imprisoned. I have no way of leaving as the car towed away. I started having nightmares. My neck was agony, part of me thought I was going to die. I couldn’t show these feelings with anyone and somehow get through the days counting down the hours till I could go to the pub.
I went to the doctor for help. He said as I had a history of drug and alcohol and could not give me anything other than some pills, they did not do anything.
Then the alcohol stop working. Instead of getting and staying drunk and calm it started making me feel panicky. When I drank the depression felt overwhelming.
Three weeks later I suffered a nervous breakdown.