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PTSD

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“Hi, I’m Pippa.

I have a lot of letters after my name. They’re not the kind to list on a letter head. There’s no real origin to my battle with mental illness, it’s just the way it has always been. PCOS, PMD, BPD, Bi-Polar, Depression. And my proudest CPTSD.

On June 6th, 2010, I was sexually assaulted by a stranger in the street. It was the most defining event of my life. In my head it was the tide of all the little bad things I had ever done coming back in a tsunami of karma shame, guilt, rage. I punished myself for it in the only way I knew how drink, sex, spending, stealing, starving, self-harm, suicide. In 2014 I received trauma-therapy and after 6 months, came out battered and bruised but strong. I was an arrow primed for firing into life. And I did. For 4 years I pursued my degree, work, my passion for helping others.

Little did I know that my arrow would be called upon again when I began the relationship with my ex-partner in 2017. For 2 years I experienced physical, emotional and mental abuse that unpicked every positive coping mechanism I had gained in trauma therapy. To the point where a sane alternative was jumping off a 3 story balcony. When the relationship ended in 2019, I couldn’t face the shame, guilt and trauma again. But eventually it came all by itself: Flashbacks, panic attacks, suicidal planning, unintentional self-harm, insomnia, night terrors. And yet as awful as the aftermath was, the powerful arrow that was my self-esteem, my strength, my resilience that arrow held its course.

Even though I still struggle daily, I use that arrow to power through stigma, to challenge domestic violence, to aid others in their own battle against poor mental health through writing, advocacy and volunteering. I sincerely believe that experience is a cornerstone of being able to provide support to others. And the teal arrowhead at the chest shows others I am ready for the next call to arms.” @the.borderline.kitty

PTSD

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