olaplex and thrill pre-halloween personal update

hi,

I don’t know how to go about writing this post. I am planning on making a new wordpress dot com account soon. That will be a more personal space. This space, sugarette dot net, I consider to be partly yours, too – if you are neurodivergent or chronically ill, or disabled.

TW SUICIDE in this post

It’s weird seeing that I wrote that I’m safe on september 9th, because two days later I made my most serious suicide attempt yet. I originally wrote “so far” but I don’t want to do that any more. I may want to, but I won’t, because after being intubated and unconscious for over 24 hours, and seeing how much I scared some people, and watching yet more people walk out of my life as a result, I don’t want to do that again. Not for myself, but so that I do not hurt others.

I don’t mean to hurt others. I don’t want to hurt others. To be selfish, I must admit it hurts me to hurt others. I am constantly hurting because of the hurt of others. I feel too hard.

I started making videos about mental health, like I’ve been meaning to for literal years.

Here are the first three of my Olaplex and Chill series, which are already published on my youtube. I have other videos, but for this blog, these three seem the most relevant, at least right now.

Olaplex and Chill 1:

Olaplex and Chill 2:

Olaplex and Chill 3:

It is the third one in the series in which I address my most recent suicide attempt. I put trigger warnings in all of my videos before triggering content.

The Olaplex and Chill concept is simple, I shower and apply olaplex to my hair (which you are welcome to subsidize the cost of by sending sephora.com e-giftcards to zelie at zelie dot co so that I can purchase olaplex for videos more easily), then while it repairs my hair I sit and talk to my camera. I “chill”. It’s obviously a play on “netflix and chill”, which I enjoy, because both first words end in X and both last words are “chill”…obviously.

I can’t afford the adobe suite right now, since my promotional intro period price ended, so I cancelled my subscription. I have a week long free trial to use to edit video footage, and then I have to find the best open source video editing software for me.

I’m not going to address that aforementioned suicide attempt in much detail in writing right now – I’m not ready.

I titled this blog post partially “olaplex and thrill” for halloween/samhain. I am taking my wicca more seriously, so to me it is samhain. My spirituality does a lot to help my mental health. I am taking steps to try to help my mental health get better. It is so bad! I am safe, but of course now, here, that means nothing.

Things are bad. The political climate is scary – terrifying, even. I have gone numb, despite my best efforts. I stopped looking at the news. I have not stopped caring, but for the most part (very much mostly but not entirely) the fire inside of me that burns to help others is being overshadowed by a great burdensome need to take care of myself and my body.

I have a new handle. @zeliethorn . I have a new twitter and the same instagram at a new link and the same thing applies to my tumblr page. I will be updating the links on this page momentarily to reflect any changes since they were last updated.

I hope to make videos about coping, soon. I hope to cope, myself, soon.

xoxo
Z

twenty eighteen

i am so so so scared
and i can’t cut/snip/bleach my hair
cause i did that to cope too many damn years in a row
(and i cried the next day every time)
i am so so so tired
caffeine as a food substitute
but i can’t let this or anything worse truly show
(because the hospital doesn’t let me see my cat)
my best reason to live
i feel hopeless and sad
i’m taking it minute by minute
(but this world is unfair and i’ve become far too bitter)
i see everything fall
how to help when i’m not standing myself
i try to fight but my face is streaked
(with tears and my blood)
i can’t move or talk at times but then who knows why i sure don’t
everyone would rather question my poor memory than trust i could do a thing right
and perhaps i could even survive all by myself one day
(i don’t know i don’t know)
what circumstance could possibly allow for such a thing to happen
i try not to die and i do that each and every day
most days i do sort of well but i’m still not okay

on needing help and it simply not being there

disclaimer 1: my disclaimers are a lot more casual than the rest of this post so maybe keep that in mind if you read it so that you aren’t startled when it gets dark

disclaimer 2: this is mostly not about trump, this is mostly about healthcare and resources in the US for disabled people even before trump’s inauguration. i am writing this because i want to explain why it is so vital in even one situation (mine) that things get better (lol, i know, they won’t, i fucking hate life right now) rather than worse. they must NOT repeal the ACA and the ADA, and there, now i only mention trump briefly one more time in this piece of writing.

disclaimer 3: i do know there are other issues that need to be addressed also – i don’t have the energy or expertise to write about them. if you do, feel free to link me to your writing, i will share it if i feel it is helpful for people to see after reading it.

disclaimer 4: trigger warnings for suicide, self harm, + rape mentions below

IF I END MY LIFE SOMETIME SOMEWHAT SOON, especially in the next four to eight years:

let it be known that i went to the ER three times since my last serious attempt on my life, which happened in february 2016, and which was preceded by another serious attempt on my life in january 2016, and that since that second post-suicide-attempt inpatient stay in february i went to the ER three (3) times presenting in need of immediate psychiatric hospitalization, and that each time i was sent home without so much as seeing a glance of a bed in a psych ward, let alone being assigned one of my own to sleep in for even a single night. one of those times i was decompensating, and the other two times i presented for suicidality and i told them i was going to kill myself and overdose if they sent me home (they were “willing to take that risk” and they sent me home, one time with a cab bill over $60 not including tip). i never thought, as a teenager, that i would long for the individually packaged saltines of the psych ward, the uncomfortable beds, and usually terrible roommates, and especially long for the feeling of security that comes with having had almost everything i could possibly use to hurt myself unavailable to me, to be surrounded by mental health professionals whose job is to keep their patients physically safe and as calm and okay as possible, among other things.

let it be known that before being discharged from the ER on one of those three occasions i was kept alone at almost all times for 36 continuous hours in a room with white walls so bare that they lacked even a single clock i could use to tell the passage of time, and that there was only loose paper, a pen and one pack of playing cards for entertainment (all three only offered upon request).

let it be known that the first time i was raped as an adult, it was by a man who met me as a patient in the psych ward he was a counselor in.

let it be known that i reported that man officially to another psychiatric counselor after it happened and that my rapist still worked there after i did that – i do not know if he currently works at my local hospital where i met him, i have not and would never go back to that ward, but i do know that he did still work there months after i reported him for raping me.

let it be known that i told a visiting nurse about a month ago that if she gave me access to all my meds again i would definitely kill myself with them and she replied “it’s not my job to worry about that” and walked out my door with my med box left unlocked and without calling crisis or 911 and alerting them to my state or to what i had just told her.

let it be known that i have been desperately trying to find a therapist since may 2016 and i have not successfully acquired even a single therapy appointment in that time.

let it be known that i am being provided with psychiatrist appointments that are only 15 minutes long and once every three months, which is not nearly enough in my current self-declared state of suicidality and other increasingly severe symptoms.

let it be known that the health care and welfare services i rely on as a person recognized as legally disabled by the US government are so minimal and underfunded that they are not adequate to treat me, that i cannot access the treatment i need, that i have been trying, and that many others who are also mentally ill or neurodivergent have access to even fewer resources. it is far from uncommon for people with mental illnesses end up in prison or homeless, or dead.

let it be known that i went out fighting daily, that i went out desperately fighting my mental illnesses and trying as hard as i could to live for as long as i could. that as i sit here and write this i have already been telling my constant intrusive thoughts for a very long time that i am not bad, i am enough, i am helping in the ways i am able, i do not take up too much space, i am not exclusively a burden, and that i should not end my own life or even harm my own body, some other things i do not believe too. i have been telling my brain again and again that it is wrong to think the things it does. telling it daily that i am capable of one day helping neurodivergent people in a significant way and that the world would not be “better if i was gone.” i take care of my cat xena, my legal emotional support animal, but i do not do a good job of feeding myself, or brushing my own teeth, or showering more than once every week or two, and that sleeping is a relief i rely on heavily because my brain usually stops trying to destroy me when i am asleep.

let it be known that i am so strong mentally, and so frantically determined to fight my symptoms and disorders, to claw my way out of the hell that lives in my own head, that attacks me in so many ways because of both genetic and environmental circumstances, and that yet i am determined to ultimately find happiness, though i do not really believe it is real for me to feel any more. i have already stayed alive for longer than i ever thought possible. i sit here, worried, but with ultimately no plan to overdose on my medications today or any day – but who knows, really. i have gone from okay to suicidal in under five minutes. this and other problems i am dealing with are largely due to the severity of my diagnoses that i have been actively seeking treatment for that i am not receiving.

let it be known, should i die by suicide or from any other medical problem before reaching an old age, especially if it is in the next several years, that while for transparency the US state and federal governments have admittedly helped me in some minor ways – they have provided me with a small income, subsidized housing, food stamps, and health insurance, but truly overall they have failed me as a struggling disabled person in more ways than i can possibly list, starting even far before donald trump became president of this country i live in, and that if government-funded health and disability services had not denied me access to so many resources and had not psychologically traumatized me so many times within the system, perhaps i would still feel capable of experiencing hope in my future again. perhaps i might have goals that i felt motivated about still, and quite possibly my life would hold worth to me. i know for a fact that i would not be writing this essay-thing if i had continuously received adequate care.

let it be known that if i do die young, i can say with certainty that i would not have and that i would still be a living person after that – probably not thriving, but alive – had i received adequate healthcare throughout my entire life… just please know that i was a fucking fighter, and i fought until the end, but that if i died young ultimately it was not enough in a system that obstructed my way every time and in every place i turned to look for help. i know things will only worsen for a low income disabled person like myself for a while now. and for so many others.

NOTE: This may read a little weird since it was originally a facebook post that I made. I decided I wanted it on this blog, too, so here we are.

xoxo,
Zélie

PS: One cool thing and piece of good news is that I got put back on an antidepressant again during my (15 minute) psychiatrist’s appointment recently.

sexual abuse

“Have you ever been sexually abused?”

Silence. Absolute lack of conversation, or “I don’t know.” At this point, I am 16 years old, and usually pouty and angsty enough that nobody really feels sorry for the suicidal pink haired girl, maybe. I don’t know, I’m biased, I was the suicidal 16 year old. I was the one answering every single question from mental health professionals with “I don’t know,” only not to be difficult, just because I didn’t know.

Fast forward for now.

I have one memory.

It shuts off part way through, like a corrupted video file. It shuts off like most of my childhood memories are shut off from the start, from before that. They all were really, until this February, now just most of them are.

I was 23 years old this February.

Another day, another month maybe, another mental health professional. “Your symptoms seem consistent with physical or sexual abuse, have you ever been abused by anyone as a child?” They eye my mom as an afterthought, “we can have this conversation alone, if you’d like.”

“I don’t know.”

So next we fast forward, I’m 17, older but still a teenager, losing mental functioning already but still hopeful that this brutally suicidal depressive episode will end soon – it has to, right? When the memories start, at age 13, when I moved to the USA. Well, technically six months or so before. When my dad moved out. When we started planning the move to another continent, setting up our dual citizenship, myself, my brother and my mother. When my dad wasn’t really around. When things were quieter.

My memory starts and stops. It’s hard to stay on task. To be “together”.

But there’s that question, “have you ever been sexually abused?” and that year, late 2009, when I was 17 and being asked that question and being asked that question and being asked that question.

Let’s write it out three times, for the three psychiatric hospitalizations within days of each other that I had where they asked it upon admission each time, for accuracy. I had to write a list of coping techniques 100 items long to be allowed home after that third hospitalization.

“Have you ever been physically or sexually abused?”

I don’t know. I don’t know.

“I don’t know.”

“That’s not an answer. I need to put yes or no.”

“I don’t know. No.”

“Have you ever been sexually abused?”

“I don’t know. No. I don’t think so.”

“Okay…” then they move onto the next question on the computer. “have you had thoughts of harming others, or only yourself?”

“Have you ever been sexually abused?”

“I…. no.”

So now it’s almost November 2016, and my memory has slipped into a state of “it probably has to be there a little bit still for me to even be alive, right?” but not caring at all about any effects ECT could have on me if they ever get around to that treatment, because memory loss doesn’t scare someone with little to no short term memory already.

I have this one memory. Big windows. My childhood home. Curtains? Embroidered darker green curtains. It comes and goes. Something happened, maybe. I shouldn’t have seen that. Then it cuts off. Why are his pants off? Why can’t I remember his face? Why is he approaching me like that, when I remember being young, too young for a memory like that. Is it even real? It shuts off.

I told my mom about it on the phone while in an ER earlier this year, after February. Her first reaction was that the brain can fabricate and alter memories, which while true, is the most invalidating thing you can say to someone who just told you they might have been sexually abused.

I dissociate a lot. I am hypersexual at times. You can trace my cPTSD easily to other abuse, to being raped, more than once. Of course I am a mess. I am such a mess my symptoms and traumas are hard to untangle. I have self harmed by having sex with people I knew I would hate myself for doing it with. I have self harmed in other ways. I have a brain that I can barely keep afloat on a day to day basis, I have monsters to slay every second of the day, but it plagues me in a different way that I don’t know.

I don’t know. I don’t know. I remember too much, I know things I shouldn’t, but there are other explanations for that. I don’t know. He would leave the tv on late and fall asleep with porn on in the bedroom we shared, that doesn’t mean he did anything.

I also can’t say nobody didn’t.

I guess this is less valid than a solid, real trauma I could pinpoint and take all the way to the legal system, if I wanted to. I have traumas I can pinpoint but this is not one of them. However, this also isn’t “was I touched in ways I shouldn’t have been?”

Instead it’s, “How inappropriately young was I when I was first touched in this one way? What about in this other way, without consent, a way that nobody should ever touch someone? How old was I the first time that happened?”

My lack of memories that are of my abuse aren’t evidence that it didn’t happen, I remember other things very clearly that are mostly gone but that I know happened enough times, and probably many more.

Trauma being “blacked out” in memory is a common response.

Why does this one memory start out this way? Why does it shut off?

Why does it shut off? I don’t know. I don’t know. It makes me angry, hurts, I stop thinking about it.

Usually, and in about five minutes, at least.

“Have you ever been sexually abused?” Nobody is asking me any more, partly because I am avoiding care, due to a mistrust of the system built on its deep flaws and glaringly bad history of taking care of me within the past few years. Nobody is asking, but I am asking myself in this blog post. Because:

I don’t know.