Trauma – Emma’s Story

I’ve had mental health issues for as long as I can remember, more so once I hit 18 and tried to take my own life. Since then I had Postnatal depression after the birth of my daughter. Then a full nervous breakdown at the age of 32.

This nervous breakdown was caused in part by me not being able to deal with emotional trauma and rejection. Throughout my life, I’ve constantly lived in fight or flight mode. It brings out aggression (I’m not that kind of person) I think it’s my way of coping with stress.

I have had many different forms of counselling over the years, all to no avail. I’ve always worried that I would be sectioned under the mental health act so I’ve always worked and made sure I didn’t lose my job as it would impact on my child’s wellbeing and I would lose my home.

I’ve spent years hiding in my house afraid of everything and used to sleep as a recovery tool in order to go to work.

I’ve had lots of negative influences in my life but just got on with life thinking they didn’t or wouldn’t impact me. I’m always the ‘go-to girl’ when people are in trouble. I’m great at fixing everyone else whilst avoiding looking after me.

I didn’t realise that all these things impacted my daughter also. She successfully went through psychotherapy to deal with living with a mentally ill mum and also other issues.

After feeling finally secure in my current job, I finally felt able to push for a solution for my mental health. I contacted my doctor, who then referred me once again to counselling. Unfortunately, I was once again ditched as they thought along with depression and anxiety I had Complex PTSD. I felt suicidal. I was going to throw myself under a train, luckily the crisis team picked me up, amended my medication and yet again, I found myself on a waiting list for PTSD treatment.

When I saw an advert for the Speakman’s workshop, I signed up even though I couldn’t really afford it. (I couldn’t afford death either). The day was fantastic, supportive, filled with love and advice from all around me. Listening to the talks, opened a door that I wasn’t able to deal with or close regarding violence from a parent during my childhood. I asked if I could speak to Nik in the interval. He did some work with me, I started to cry as the feeling of fear was so overwhelming. He insisted I keep looking at him whilst he did whatever treatment it’s called, after he finished speaking the fear was completely gone.

I’ve been a prisoner within my own mind and body for over 22 years. I had not left the house at night or weekends for 5 years. I wouldn’t let anyone get close to me for over 30 years.

Nik and Eva have given me a different thought process and new lease of life on how to move forward. Up until this moment, no one had any idea how emotionally frightened I had been for years. I just existed not lived. Now at 55, I am living for the first time since the age of 18. I’m going to make sure I keep moving forward by going to workshops and doing the work because I’m actually worth it.