“I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t give up” - littlestlady.com

Healing Head Trauma – A Series

TUESDAY 4th FEBRUARY 2020

Hello poppets,

I hope you’re all doing well!

I think it’s important to start this blog post by saying this is something of a different topic when it comes to my blog. I mean yes, this post will still be in relation to recovery but the difference is it may be a little more raw and real than usual and with that may be a little triggering.

Though i don’t actually agree with ‘trigger warnings’ as such i feel they are needed a little here as this post does feature parts of my abuse.

TRIGGER WARNING!

This post will also be the first time i am revealing this part of my life. You know, when i first started my blog i was so so excited. It was something that i had never done before and within such little time it empowered my very being. Though i was so excited i was also incredibly nervous as pressing that publish button on my first ever blog post meant i was telling the world about my abuse.

When i say world that means I was actually telling those closest to me for the first time that i was abused. It sent shockwaves through my group of friends and let me tell you i had a LOT of explaining to do. I now almost feel like I’m right back in that place HA HA. Oh my goodness me.

Okay, lets do this!

Last year i talked to you guys about a recovery journey i was on when it came to nutrition and looking after myself. I had developed or things had progressed more when it came to my health where i was quite achey and would click with every movement I made. As you know, I went on this journey of learning about where all that was rooted and learnt that it came from me having a bad diet growing up and a severe lack of nutrition during those key stages of development. It left me learning all about the importance of good food and exercise and I began eating well and going to the gym daily!

I am now on another journey and i think its really important to share this stuff with you guys. I remember when i was told recovery is a life long journey and it TERRIFIED me i felt like i was going to struggle for the rest of my life and always be in therapy. That definitely wasn’t the case and I now see it as more self discovery and self exploration one of the most important things we can explore and you know what I have loved every waking moment of it (Though at times its been tricky!)

Oh boy

Its funny because i continually bang on to you guys about working through things and taking the time to process things but this is something that’s sort of always been at the back of my mind, its something that I’ve known about but sadly has almost become a part of me and my personality.

I will go back a bit and explain where all this started and what lead me to this journey. Last year as you know, i took the year out to work on some projects that will be released this year. Whilst I have been finishing those and releasing them I have taken the time to go back to my work at littlestlady.com getting back into podcasts and radio and suchlike. With that I’ve been going through my inbox again and seeing what’s available. Looking through my inbox I saw an email from an organisation in the US asking me to go and speak for them. After much consideration (BELIEVE ME) I sadly had to decline it.

I used to do a little bit of public speaking in the UK before i moved to New Zealand but when i moved here i didn’t really push to continue it. I’ve very much just stayed online with my message because most of my audience is in the UK and US and thats not really been a problem for me.

When i was asked to do this speaking in the US i didn’t feel i could do it to the best of my ability. When it comes to my work I feel I am very much i either do something and do it properly or not bother. When i did my last talk even though I had great feedback from it I think that was from the message and not how i performed it. I basically had to read the whole thing from paper because i can’t ‘withhold’ information. If I took my eyes off that paper the whole thing would be gone. I would probably even forget where I am. Though i would obviously be talking about my story and my life which i know about, you need a bit of structure with public speaking and my head just can’t grasp that.

I guess it’s important to say at this point too that I didn’t believe the term ‘practice makes perfect’ was going to work with this and I knew that ‘practicing’ this as such wasn’t actually going to do much and that I needed further help.

THIS IS GOING TO TAKE SOME EXPLAINING!

I said before that this is something that’s almost become a part of me and my personality. Its something that friends joke about and i myself joke about. Theres probably someone that could explain this better than I can and if you know me personally I don’t need to describe it because YOU’LL KNOW! To me, I am just generally quite slow. It takes me a while to understand what’s happening, process information and i also have this problem of ‘withholding’ information.

Slow response time
Slow at understanding
Cant take in large chunks of information
Clumsy
Trouble retaining/withholding information
Brain fog (More when tired)

As i said at the start of this I don’t usually talk about aspects of my abuse unless i am educating people or i need it to explain things better. I will place another TRIGGER WARNING here.

My main abuse was both emotional and physical and during the physical aspects of it I suffered a lot of head injuries. One of the main things my abuser used to do was push me down the stairs. When i went to my final therapy i explained to my therapist that a lot of my physical abuse would almost always involve the stairs. I explained that I always thought it was a strange thing to do especially as I would even be dragged to the stairs to then be pushed down them. My therapist actually said to me that my main abuser may have a connection to stairs from her past but more than likely it was due to it being big impact on me but a small impact on her and her body as she was much smaller than me. Which I guess makes sense!

As a result of that I had a lot of head injuries. When I say to you guys I don’t know how i’m still here this is one of the reasons why. I am very very lucky that things aren’t a lot worse for me. I remember after certain incidents having intense head aches and almost like a pulsating feeling in my head. I was too young to think anything of it and at the time I probably just thought of it as a sore head. I now realise how dangerous all that was.

SO dangerous.

The last time anything happened to me I was told I had concussion. My main symptoms were that I was quite dizzy and had vision problems. I was put on to a physio therapist and things improved a lot in that sense. I guess I didn’t explore this side of things because again this has been made into a part of me.

The first person that ever told me that these certain problems may have been connected to my head injuries was my therapist. When it came to my OCD recovery i explained to her that i was frightened of not having OCD because i felt something would happened. She told me that that was a common fear but i explained to her that my fear was made stronger because I am actually the sort of person to leave something on. Wether than be the tap running, the oven on or the door unlocked.

I explained all this in the ‘ditsy Jessica’ sort of way but she explained that it may be attached to something more especially as she had noticed my long delays and pauses.

BELIEVE ME, YOU DON’T NEED TO FEEL BAD

I don’t want anyone that’s reading this and knows me personally to feel bad about joking about this and how i am. Its become so normal to take the mic out of me. Everyone does it, I even do it but yes there is actually a reason. I don’t believe its the whole reason but this stuff definitely plays a part.

It’s funny because a few people have said to me “its like you’ve been knocked on the head too many times” without having any idea of my background. Yes, thank you. Yes i have.

I do have all sorts of past memory troubles and what i call almost ‘black holes’ in my memory but in a different sense. That stuff was all part of the PTSD but i always knew this side of memory and the struggles I have was something different. I think its really easy to leave problems when they’re not continually effecting us and as i say its all become a part of me. I can hand on heart though I am calling this a ‘problem’ say that I have never felt it as a problem. Yes its frustrating being a little slow and not able to work things out but I guess its been with me longer than its not. Now it has effected me and my work and not being able to go the US i decided to look into things a bit more and find out if and how these things are all connected.

Lets do this!

I have spent a few weeks now going to see all sorts of different people and doing all sorts of tests and trying to pin point exactly what this is. The best description so far i’ve had and ties in to the problem with the public speaking is its ‘a difficulty with withholding information’ and thats where ive got that term from. So if I was to write a speech i couldn’t memorise it. Now i know that’s a difficulty for a lot of people and i don’t mean memorise in the word for word sense but that its long gone for me. I couldn’t even grasp what was on that paper as soon as I looked up from it. Its quite hard to explain and baring in mind I am still in the early stages of figuring out and pinpointing exactly what this is myself.

Another example and quite a random one is; In the winter i like to play board games and things with friends. If it’s something I have not played before and someone has to explain the game to me i can’t take that information in. Im not processing it as it goes and by the time they have finished explaining i haven’t grasped any part of it. It almost forms into one big block of information and I cant take it in. My brain doesn’t allow me to break things down to work it out and I end up lost, confused and not knowing what day it is by the time they have finished explaining. Its the same with me writing a speech reading it and by the time i look up, its gone. No part of it remains.

I am currently in the mindset that i was when i decided i was going to change my life and go into recovery from my mental health difficulties. This isn’t going to win. Im still going to be the same old Jessica but i want to get to a place where i can do my public speaking again and get a little better.

Moving forward …

As it stands I have a physio who will be working through almost ‘brain exercises’ with me and i have also enlisted the help of someone who is trained in public speaking but knows all sorts about the issues behind why people can’t do it and has experience with people that can’t memorise their speeches. She will be helping me find other ways of memorising my speech and the things I want to say.

I guess part of me wants to work towards other ways or easier ways for me to remember these things but i also want to essentially train my brain and improve my memory and other aspects of my life. Though my reaction times and things have become an inside joke over the years I cant have it effecting my work and life.

The journey of working through my nutrition and diet was just fascinating from the start but starting this one really took me back. Its that shock to the system of how I used to live and again a huge amount of gratitude for still being here. Its a really raw and real topic and though I guess my blog is quite a positive place its really important for me to show the real side and realties of child abuse and long term damage we can have. Still wont defeat me though! ha!

So, thats where I am now!


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THURSDAY 5th MARCH 2020 – UPDATE 1!

It is now Thursday 5th March and to be honest life needs to slow the HECK down! I have had a couple of sessions and can I say I am EXHAUSTED. I was told I would be especially with the physio aspects but it just seems to have taken it out of me!

The whole thing has been interesting so far and from both sides. I wouldn’t exactly say improvements as its really early days but i can see things are happening and can almost see a clearing in the path that things should get better. Apparently full recovery can be made from things like this but it depends on the individual and sadly the time frame that things have been left for which for me I guess is a case of wait and see!

I actually had a really interesting conversation with my physio last time I went to see her and explained that over the last year I actually felt like I had slowly been getting better and i wasn’t sure why. I was asked if i had got a more physical job or anything in the last year and i explained no but i had been GOING TO THE GYM! In that moment it clicked and I realised that the gym had been having a positive impact on this aspect of my life too. Even though i have always been active I’ve never really properly exercised like i have in the past year. Its so good to know that the gym is having a positive effect in lots of aspects of my life.

When it comes to the speaking coach we have been really taking time to define what i want to say and create key points so thats its not about memorising huge chunks of information. Creating almost signals for me to remind me what i am supposed to be talking about.

Something i have been doing in my own time is reading a few words out of books memorising them and reading them out and then gradually trying to increase that. I’ve had a few three steps forward and two steps back moments with that but im getting there and obviously its all really early days as i say.

I am going to really work hard to work through this. I just keep thinking if i can change all those thinking patterns that i had from a child about what i thought about the world and how i perceived it i can do this.

It’s a very different topic for me and a topic that i don’t know much about. Though I bang on about brains I barely know anything about the effects of trauma in the physical sense. It’s been so interesting to learn about that side of things and the impact that all that had on me.

I will be doing a few of these little updates between blog posts on how I am getting on and the things I’m learning and you never know one day i will hopefully be sharing with you a video of me in America or somewhere doing some public speaking!

(I will also be recording this journey via video though this post explains everything a little better!)


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