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Everyone says I have trauma,
But they don’t know a thing.
I always thought I didn’t do things by halves,
But I only do the last end of suffering.

There is no trauma there,
Should I hate to disappoint you?
(I don’t.)
Everyone thinks I have trauma.

And when I feel strong,
Is it ever good enough,
Or too much, too healthy?
Must I be faking,
Or am I just dissociating?
Everyone believes I have trauma.

There is no trauma back there.
I feel as if I am trapped in this box,
Where everyone else has put me
But I know I don’t belong.

Suffocated - they make me feel it,
I can’t stand existing inside this bubble:
The walls are thick, there’s no way out,
It’s the home of the unfound,
Where they put people like me who they can’t make sense of,
Patients they can’t diagnose unless it’s with the term “functional.”
I know there are others,
But I feel so alone,
Isolated from being understood
By the only people who are able to help me.

They won’t help me,
I try to fight back, I try to scream
Either no one hears me, or they take it as a mark of insanity.

It’s hard to speak up,
When you know the process all too well,
You walk in, they repeat things that hurt you (psychosomatic), and then you walk out,
Though you don’t know how,
Because inside you’re torn down again,
Answers aren’t found and each time is worse,
You’re still struggling but they insist
That you’re as healthy as you’ve ever been,
So once again you’ve been missed,
By professionals trained to catch out illness.

Every time your reality trips you down again,
You repeat the words they told you:
“You’re fine,”
You tell yourself you can do it
-But not out of encouragement,
Instead of disdain, because when no one acknowledges you
Why should you not question yourself?
We are taught from a young age these are the people you should depend on and treat with respect,
So even when they toss you aside:
Remember to say “thank you” and walk out with a smile,
Seeing as they believe that you really are wasting their time.

This is what nightmares are made of,
Except when you’re both asleep and awake
It’s always still there.
It’s hard enough passing each day this way,
But without an ounce of recognition,
I wonder why I should even stay.

I don’t want to do this anymore,
But still I have to knock on doors,
Basically asking people to reject what I live,
Constantly trying to prove that I’m sick,
To countless people who don’t give a ****.
It’s already too much effort existing like this,
Yet I have to get out of my bed to prove it,
Even though each time they write an essay about me being fine,
Or maybe a few words because I’m such a waste of time.
I face what I fear everyday because my health’s at fault,
Yet they say it’s not really at all.
It’s been a year and they still have the audacity to tell me,
It’s because I’m not coping mentally.

Maybe I am a mess psychologically,
But I want you to know, it’s only because of them.
I would be stable, I’d be perfectly fine,
If they didn’t keep coming around telling me my efforts are wasted,
That I just can’t deal with my mind no matter how much I already put in,
So clearly I will just never be fixed.
It’s what they’ve told me though, it’s all of their responses and words,
That made me question my sanity,
That dredge up all of my anger for them,
Because not one bit of acknowledgement did they spread.

So here I lay,
Stuck in this box where no one can see me,
I can’t fix myself because - it wasn’t my state of mind that was broken.
I’ve been here for four-hundred-and-seventeen days,
Where I try to imagine a future where I’ll be safe,
But the trauma of looking for a diagnosis I know will stay,
Because they told me it was only caused my trauma in the first place,
But the only kind I’ve experienced
Is the kind they inflicted whilst I was already suffering.
Who is this young girl,
Thinking she has the right to be in my office?
I pretend to be nice,
I do all the tests,
After all, I can’t risk her suing for neglect.

I comfort her, by telling her it’s stress,
Indeed yes, this is all in her head.
I let her tell me all of her symptoms,
She must be a hypochondriac because how else would she have come up with all of that?
Nevertheless, so she can’t say I haven’t done my job,
I send her for an MRI and EEG,
I also use my favourite words:
I tell her it’s nothing sinister.

I can’t believe she’s wasting my time,
She has anxiety, her brain is all fine!
Now that I’ve ridden her off of my list,
I can move onto to patients, who are actually sick.
She walks in looking young and healthy,
Does she really expect me to believe her?
She’s too young to be sick, and all her tests say are that she needs a psychiatrist, not a neurologist.
I give the advice I’ve learnt from my medical degree, “just get on with life and do whatever you were doing. Go to university, you’ll be just fine! You can’t keep relying on your family forever.”
Poor them, they must be really fed up of her,
She’s just too lazy to make her own food, to get out of bed, to go alone to the toilet unaided.
Yeah, she can still go to university, it’s not like she needs 24/7 care in case she falls down the stairs!

I tell her she doesn’t need those crutches that she uses,
I tell her she’s wrong about social anxiety, although she says it’s much better and I’ve only known her five minutes,
She’s just stressed, her diagnosis is functional.

Six months later her MRI and EEG are normal,
But I already knew it would be,
I advise her doctor to sort her out with a psychiatrist, even though she’s already seen one because I don’t get paid to actually listen to people.
A year later and she’s trying to get another neurologist appointment?
We can’t be having that, let’s make her referral disappear!
She’s told an ophthalmologist she’s having temporary loss of vision, flashes of light?
Who even cares? It’s just in her mind.
She’s chased up how her urgent referral hasn’t be fulfilled in a month,
I guess I’ll have to write her doctor a letter then,
I’ll say it’s just migraine auras because when I saw her she was fine.
She’s only pretending to be disabled,
After all it’s functional so she must be pretty messed up inside.

I’m a doctor so people know I’m smart,
So I get good money,
I don’t need to actually believe my patients and look for things that are not obvious to see.
I’ll make sure she feels like she’s going crazy and will never be helped or believed.
Oskar Erikson Apr 2019
this space
filled with placeholders
like mannequins
like first drafts
like sketches
that weightless non-committal
holding together of not
there was no space for something substantial
no space for something
People think you should be optimistic,
They think you should give yourself goals to try to ascertain
To try and make yourself better.
These things though can be detrimental,
Because where I am
You have to get used to not being able to do things,
But then people say that you should make your goals small and attainable,
Yet they don’t understand that what is reachable one day,
Can be out of sight the next,
No matter how simple.
I am so much
Than you would have me believe,
And each time you do this
I stand taller than you think I can

But I am exhausted
Of being stronger than they all believe,
When it doesn’t get me anywhere.
Anger is starting to quell and fill up my head along with the misery,
I don’t see the point of stopping it.
They give me no reason to conquer anything.

You have no idea
What all of this amounts to,
It actually makes me feel a bit hysterical
About how many things are wrong with this,
How many thoughts and feelings have been conjured from the impact;
The impact,
That you, of course, deny is even happening.

Maybe one day this will all just end,
At least a thousand years from now I must definitely be dead
And then it will be over.
If only I could wake up one day
And pretend this isn’t happening,
And eventually it could actually be convincing.
Maybe there won’t be so many
Filling my head like a poison to myself and others and
It could all just be
And it never would have happened.

Even if I could get over it,
And pretend it hasn’t changed me,
Pretend it hasn’t caused an ounce of impact:
That would be too much like what you’ve been wanting.
So whatever I do it hurts me
With acceptance or denial
When I can never
Deny any of it.
But you do.
And I’m the last person to go around blaming people,
But oh Hell and Heaven do you tempt me.

I don’t want to have to think about this everyday,
I’m sure it will always be there though
And I wish I wouldn’t have to worry about this,
But every reaction you make causes more damage
And you’re not even slightly important,
It must be good there’s hardly anyone else
Who is actually in my life,
To risk having a similar reaction.

Everywhere they all say,
That’s the thing, all you have to do
Is not to care and then it can’t hurt you.
I must agree I’ve said that too sometimes,
But I don’t care for them at all
I don’t really care what they think
But it won’t ease the tension or aggravation that’s building up inside of me.
Absolutely insane,
You’re pushing me past my limits
And making me deranged.
It kills me to know
All this agony you’re indulging me into
Is helping you shove me away,
And prove that it is only my mental state.
I could laugh at the amount of therapy,
This could force me to need.
I’ve had so much
Why would you make me feel this way?
Everyday I doubt myself,
I’m not sure how many times it’s from my symptoms
Or from what you tell me about them.
I know though,
I want everything to go away.
There’s no point of existing like this,
Acknowledgement probably wouldn’t be enough for me now,
But no one’s letting me have just that anyway.
While you throw your words at me
Like bombs whilst expecting me to think they’re bandages
Maybe you should just finish the job,
Because each breath I take becomes more forced, more tired, more hateful
Except none of you who think you’re doing your job
Notice a thing.
And that’s how I know
I would’ve been a **** good nurse,
Because I would have cared, I would have worked for people
And now you’ve made me not want to see any,
Perhaps even more than I did before.
I’m not sorry I don’t feel sorry anymore,
You’ve shown me how to feel like this,
I can’t believe I ever trusted,
When all I get is betrayed, ignored or shoved aside
And I’m done now.
I don’t want to listen to humanity anymore:
I don’t think there is any left.
How are you?
But I've been saying it
Since the beginning.
Are the whispers inside true,
That maybe I can finally start to believe it?

What did it take,
Some may innocently wonder.
With every single breath I make.
I've been half trying to ignore the improvement,
Fearing one moments notice will
Surely steal it all back.
"No," I whisper alone, "I want to be better."

The other half
I try to be proud for the little things now,
So really I should feel

I swear I do very much venerate all of my achievements,
It was the only way,
That I could continue to survive.

Unequivocally honestly,
I'm afraid.
Scared of it all going wrong again.
Waiting to feel the terror of all the endless times I've tried,
Getting thrown right back in my face again.
Because isn't that what's been destined to happen
From the very start?

I've been having an almost
Two month long rest,
A complete break of everything.
It was only meant to last a month, but after that month had been and gone,
It started to actually feel
A little better, brighter,
Less dark.

I'll admit it,
I'm guilty,
Guilty of getting comfortable with how it started to feel.
I didn't want it ripped away from me,
I know once it's gone it will be hard as Hell to get back,
I've already been through all that,
I am still.

I want to get back to pushing myself.
(Like this)
I never wanted to stop,
But I had to listen,
My body was screaming at me, for me
To stop.
And this evidence is telling me why I had to listen.
It seems you can't beat your body,
Ever, but especially not when it's fighting for you and against you.

And the symptoms yelled
Please stop, please be still,
Like they wanted me to sleep all day,
But still it will take half-a-year for there to be any difference.
But I waited.
I didn't get any choices.

So now, I'm sorry
It just terrifies me that trying,
When I finally let it be,
Might tear me back down, to where I used to be.
I'm not foolish enough to expect this is the end.
Surely when I try again my symptoms will join in too.
They only started to improve
The more I tried to rest.
Yes, eventually - After a lot of effort I got here,
But you have no idea how I tried.
How I limited my actions,
So in a month maybe it won't be so hard.
Now I'm here, I'm worried my efforts will send me back.
Don't make me go,
I don't want to be useless anymore,
I'm still bad but so much better,
Please don't
Stop me,
Hurt me,
Trip me,
Trap me,
Lose me to my own body.
Not anymore.
I'm still here
I don't feel like I can,
What's the use?
They all want me to admit I'm broken,
So I keep refusing.
The few times I believe I'm suffering I can't admit,
Because they'll see it as proving them right,
And I need them to understand they've got it all wrong.
I want them to hurt like they've hurt me by their dismissal.
I don't want to see another psychiatrist I just want them to leave me alone,
It's not like they're ever going to help me.
Then there are times I know I just need to keep pushing,
To keep trying to find someone who will believe me,
Someone who won't just say it's because of my anxiety,
Except then my social anxiety comes back,
Because they keep proving to me that there's no way they'll think I'm not just mental.
And maybe sometimes they actually think they're being nice,
But seriously? Are they blind? They would never put up with that themselves.
They push me to my limit,
If it's evident I'm going insane then they should know,
That it's all because of them!
It would drive any emotionally/mentally stable person close to the edge,
But then by wandering over to it, they're proving themselves right,
And I don't want to help them.
They're not helping me.

I just want someone to hear what I'm saying,
And not immediately see "social anxiety"
After all, their labels of "needing psychiatric help" were never there when I needed them,
And I took it like the deepest stab back then,
And now, instead I can't push them away when I don't need them,
I can't escape the "should probably see a psychiatrist", "would probably benefit from counselling" and "symptoms are dissociative and functional"
I can't run fast enough from it -
God knows I can't even run at all,
But professionals tell me that "I can do it" as if I'm making it up,
Or should just try harder.
Do you really think I don't want to be capable of feeding myself food and drink?
At points I could try a thousand percent a thousand times to pick myself up from the floor again,
Will power doesn't work!
It doesn't get rid of physical barriers that everyone else is telling me are some result of trauma, stress or anxiety.

I feel like I've been beaten down so many times already,
I want to find out the truth but I'm too scared of being laughed at,
But I got over that fear that my social anxiety taught me when I first sought help,
I've tried so many times though,
And each time I've guessed the same negative outcome.
It's as if someone really is planning and plotting against me,
Will they not stop till they've gotten me admitted to somewhere I don't belong right now?
Even my reactions would serve as proof to them,
I must just be insane, completely deranged.
"Not normal"
Come on, I won't pretend to miss the meaning of that,
What they really meant was: that's not a mentally healthy person's reaction. Maybe she really is making it up.
The truth is you can't make stuff like this up!
You can't fake shaking the way I do,
Not even more than enough diazepam would cure it.

I know this doesn't help prove my sanity,
And this doubtfully sounds like anything poetic,
It's just I didn't feel like writing, and when I feel sad I can get angry,
I'm just trying to vent and tell the truth,
Because maybe one day, someone who feels as alone and disheartened as me,
Won't feel as bad as I feel.

It's really not glamorous,
And I don't know where I am finding the strength to share this from,
I need to get it out though,
And if anyone who needs to hear this, like me, to find out they are not really all alone reads this and finally feels a glimpse of safety,
Or even to open the eyes of people who wouldn't otherwise understand,
Then maybe this had a purpose.

And if anyone who ever reads this,
Happens to be a doctor,
Or mental health professional:
Please listen.
Please listen to your patients without judgements,
Without immediately linking physical symptoms that sound out of sorts, or that don't make sense, to what it says in their notes about their mental health.
The thing is a lot of people pick and choose what to listen to and when,
And in my experience it always seems to be the wrong choice at the wrong time.
If you have a patient who tells you they desperately need your help,
Or even the ones who are too afraid to ask but are despairingly trying to make you notice, to make you understand what they put up with day by day,
Please, please help them.
And don't you dare tell them, like one told me, to "throw away your crutches, I don't like you using them"
Because you are killing every shred of dignity that they are trying to cling onto.
All we want is to be taken seriously,
WE are trying to get better,
But are you really trying to help us?
You may think you are but perhaps you're probably not.
Please realise, that you're in such a respectful position that it's important how you handle what you say, your responses.
Please understand how you have the power to break vulnerable genuinely sick people.
Please believe people like me and listen when they say they don't think it's psychological.
Please listen.
I know this is basically just a load of venting and ramblings but, please listen.
It's psychological,
That's what they said.
It's all to do with,
What's in her head.
Naturally taken as an insult, instead.
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