Its funny really…a lot of people say that they have childhood memories…but the earliest I can remember is from when I was about 9 years old and I was at junior school and my whole class wrote letters to my dad who was in the Falkland Isles in the army because I came into school upset because my daddy was going away for 2 years.
Let me tell you a bit about myself…. My name is Jodie I am 19 years old and I live in Swindon. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression about 4 months ago but ive lived with depression for 5 or so years. Life for me used to be hell…when I was 12 my dad came out of the army and Him and my mum split up. Me and mum only moved 2 miles away but it still took its toll on me. Dad became depressed and drunk and in a lot of debt from the divorce…. everything in their marriage was in his name and my mum being the way she is claimed she had nothing to do with any of it. She met Her new boyfriend through work…he also worked on a local radio station so was quite a celebrity so of course being young and innocent she taught me to love him and hate dad. School was a nightmare…I used to get shared between mum and dad I’d spend the weekend from Friday -Sun night with mum on 1 week then go to dad’s Monday night…. then to mum’s Tuesday…. dad’s Wednesday…. mum’s Thursday…then spend the weekend with dad then do the same till I spent the weekend with mum again so I was back and forth all the time….I was the only person in school that had 2 bus passes because I needed to get on 2 buses which made me feel CRAP because I wasn’t allowed 2 and it wasn’t normal to have 2. I used to get in so much trouble for forgetting books and homework because id left it at the other parents house and my mum and dad would never ever make it easier for me if I had forgotten stuff, baring in mind I was only 13 years old…clearly at the height of my responsibilities. I was a nightmare generally as well at school…I was cheeky and rude but not because I wanted to be…because it was how I felt and teachers were my only outlet of my anger…a few teachers picked up on this and I became friendly with them but others just had me moved class. I could never concentrate at school because I was too busy on planning where I was going after school (what house) and what I needed to take with me and I was never truly focused. It used to be embarrassing at my dad’s because I never had any clothes there so I used to have to wear my school uniform out to play because I refused to carry round a suitcase of clothes round at school all day. i also remember a day my dad picked me up from school and tried to kidnap me and take me to his mum’s in Yorkshire.
I must have been about 14 at my first time I cut myself. I was cutting some bread and my knife slipped and slashed open my wrist…at first I was scared but then I realized how good it felt and how I wasn’t crying but smiling…so I took the knife and did it to the other wrist. It was brilliant. I was happy for the first time in a long while, my friend heather saw when we were out playing and she said she had always wanted to cut herself and next thing I know she had started cutting herself too. After that I went down hill really…my dad used to physically and mentally abuse me and it was getting worse and worse so my cutting was the only thing in life I controlled. I started coloring my hair purple and spending all my time in my room when I was at both houses which made my parents more angry with me…they also used to slag each other off too me and make me pass on messages….my dad would purposely leave out letters from debt collectors saying that this was all my fault because I was here and if I wasn’t here he could just go away and leave Swindon and all his debts would go and whenever I said to my mum that I just wanted to spend time with her during the week to make things at school easier for me she said " I need a break from you sometimes…your too much hard work for me to handle and I cant let your dad get off easy without having you" So I got on with it…I was always unhappy and then one day at school I finally snapped…luckily a teacher was near by… and asked me to explain to her what was going on…I said how I was afraid to go to my dad’s tonight because im fed up of him being violent and told her that id slash my wrists open if I had to go there… A friend who lived near the school took me in…my dad went absolutely mental and phoned my mum and threatened to kill us all. The next day I got such a telling off from my mum and she asked me why I didn’t want to go to my dad’s so I finally plucked up the courage to tell her and she told me to stop being so mellow dramatic and I was just making it up…. that sent me on the down hill spiral. After that I decided to trust no-one…I started carrying a knife with me so I could cut whenever I needed too…I used to skip school so I could cut myself and then I’d go into school late but always said I missed the bus. When it came to staying at my dad’s I would drop my bag off after school and return back there at 10pm at night and go to bed…I would never be round him….in my vision that was the only way I could survive.
Luckily he decided to kick me out on my 16th birthday…it was like a god send …of course this caused more uproar because my mum didn’t want me either but she didn’t have much choice. By this time my mum and her boyfriend had got a house together… I was studying for my GCSE’s but not doing a very good job of it…me and my friends were getting drunk every night smoking every night and then I would go home and cut myself but my mum didn’t even care. Luckily my dad had disappeared out of my life and as I left school got a job and started college things looked up. Then my mum decided she wanted to buy a bigger house with her boyfriend 6 miles outside of Swindon…. I had just got my education, career and life sorted and she drops this on me…. I didn’t really think much of my mum’s boyfriend as it was and the fact that he was moving me and my mum away from our friends upset me….I was so upset I would have to get 2 buses to college because I lived so far away….the day after I moved I received a text message from my friend saying that our friend Paul had died. My heart crumbled….a member of my tight social circle had been killed in a car accident and there was nothing I could do…I had spent the last 2 years if my life in this social circle and had become the caring mother figure of our group and now someone important to us had died and I wasn’t there to help anyone and I couldn’t comfort anyone and my mum wouldn’t take me to see my group of friends because she had to watch Eastenders. That pretty much summed up how my mum always felt about it me….like I wasn’t important and she would never put herself out for me…because looking after me was too much of a strain…id never been arrested id never taken drugs but still I was the worst person to her in the world. I was helpless…stuck somewhere where I couldn’t get out of. I was too young to drive so it went back to the cutting and drinking again to be in control.
By this time I had quit college and worked as much as I could but spent the rest of the time in bed…mum just called me lazy and I took no notice. I was always traveling into Swindon on the bus and became involved with a bus driver…he was 32 and I had just turned 18 now….looking back on it now I was so stupid but I thought that he really loved me but it was just sex….rough dirty sex and I later found out it wasn’t just with me…but as soon as I told him about my cutting tendencies he left me. Even a sad old man didn’t want me…to make it worse I had just had a miscarriage on his bathroom floor and he just told me to clean it up so he could take me home. I took it as I normally took things and just dealt with it in my own way…cutting…by this time work had offered me a full time contract so that kept mum happy. I started to get the feeling that my mum’s boyfriend new too much about me and thought that maybe he was messing round with people (girls) on the internet but just got on with life….I met a lovely guy through a good friend at work and my mum excepted him and let him stay over with me (I was 18 and paying rent) but I ended up finishing with him on new years eve 2002 because he was too nice too me and I couldn’t deal with it. At this point I started sleeping around with men and women desperately trying to find myself… I was doing a really good job until Feb 03 when I found that my mum’s boyfriend had a hidden CCTV camera in my air vent in my bedroom and it was linked up to his TV Video and computer…I found this by going in the Study of my house and turning on the TV and seeing my bedroom. I was shocked…I felt so violated…I immediately rang my friends and ex’s that have ever stayed in my bedroom and apologized to them…and luckily a friend (who is now my boyfriend) put me up for the week and gave me a chance to calm down…I then made the decision too move out…I couldn’t stay in that house again…a friend new some lads that needed a house mate so in I moved…I told my mum that I needed to move back to Swindon for work commitments and that was final. there started another path of self destruction…mum rarely called…I had just turned 19 and had the world at my feet (and all the alcohol a full time wage can buy). The lads I lived with worked in a pub in town and drank lots and lived like animals…I wasn’t as bad as them but I wasn’t far off…I became dependant on alcohol and paracetemol and I went walking the streets at 2 am because I could and the fact that if I got killed no-one would no because there was no-one to care for me.
I started to see Paul (my current boyfriend) in May 2003...he knows everything about me and likes me for who I am and has tried to help me settle down and help myself. He gave me the courage to help me confront my mum’s boyfriend about the camera…he just came up with the excuse that he felt like I needed to be observed cos he thought I was on drugs and I had led him too it…and my mum believed him...well of course she would. I moved in with Paul because I wasn’t safe on my own and things were going really well between us…we were starting our own life together but my mum took it on herself to get involved… and to involve my dad as well. I became exhausted with everything going on and trying to please everyone and I ended up collapsing at work…. I was taken to hospital and kept in with stress related pelvic inflammatory disease…I was prescribed some pain killers and whilst my mum dad and Paul were arguing over what caused my collapse I became addicted to these pain killers and placed on anti-depressants…I had never really known too much about anti depressants so I did as I was told and fed myself these tablets (SEROXAT PARATOXINE)…but I didn’t see myself getting better…in fact I got worse and was taking overdoses on pain killers to make myself sleep. My doctor then referred me to the mental health team and now after 15 assessments…29 overdoses…..18 group therapy sessions…seeing 2 consultant psychiatrists , 2 clinical psychologists , with the help of 2 mental health teams and on my third set of anti depressants…this is me !!!! 5th March 2004