Spiralling?

So, the ‘important’ days I’ve got through, with no more suicidal ideation.  But my mood remains lower than base.  Far lower than normal.  All I want to do is sleep and avoid everyone.

I felt so paranoid and such a sense of impending doom that I asked my ex husband if I could borrow a golf club.  I used to have one under the bed in times of panic.  I’ve not required anything like that, and my fear with a knife, is that in a moment of terrible gloom, I might self harm.  So now I have this golf club under my bed.  In my head I have considered all the different places for it, and when I might use it and how I might go about prioritising my phone over the club!  It probably all sounds crazy, but I want to be prepared for all possibilities.  And this time of year there are spontaneous criminals looking for some easy money.  ultimately I don’t feel safe.  I feel vulnerable, which I consider a weakness.  But it’s also this feeling of a dragging anchor, keeping me from reaching air.

Because S took the older girls to see a movie today, I’ve promised my youngest two a movie tomorrow, I even booked the tickets to stop myself from cancelling on them.  I’m not looking forward to it at all, but I’ve decided that after the movie, I will drop them back with S and then spend some time alone.  I’ve had the kids a lot or been up at the house, and I’m feeling really overwhelmed.  I thought S might interject today and help when I left, so that the kids wouldn’t beg to stay at mine again.  I feel powerless to their asking.  He’s more interested in his computer games.  I could feel my tension rising.  He’s made dinner a couple of times (nice dinner) and taken the kids out.  Now its like he’s done his bit and he’s switched off. I’m not having that, when he’s back to work, I have all the kids for the duration of their school summer holidays and without getting my mojo back ,it will be a struggle.  I need some support.  Not least because the depression is wrapping itself tightly around me.

I need to keep going, but everything feels so hard.  I can’t really think straight.  I’m finding myself easily confused and forgetful.  Even reading – my wonderful form of escapism is getting harder.  I feel like my brain is giving up on me and I don’t want that.  I don’t want to spiral lower.  I need to get over this.

 

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The thing (the truth)

You know what, I am just going to write about what’s been happening that has caused me so much stress.  No one has said that I can’t discuss it and I’m sick of carrying it around and being careful not to mention anything.  And again, I cannot be silenced.

So, I started by blog when I was back in NZ after my brief time in the UK (18 Months) because S got ‘the job’ that was going to ‘make’ him.  Yep, heard that before.  I was pregnant with our son and I really didn’t need that upheaval, when I had a good circle of friends and a good OB here.  But he was adamant, we were all going.  It was going to be good for us.

We were given two weeks to pack our lives and move out of the house, the house I’d loved overlooking the ocean.  Where friends had congregated for BBQs, and where the children went to school just down the road.  We had, like most accumulated so much stuff, alas, most of it became charity or tip fodder.  The whole thing felt like a nightmare.  I anticipated any second that S would change his mind.  Why would I want to return to the UK??

Back in the UK, we’d miss a Kiwi summer, and were in an English winter.  I can’t tell you how depressing, back to back winters are.  S was in the job straight away, so pregnant and leaving my kids with my parents, I trawled rental properties with an agent.  I was pregnant, tired and sick and eager to build a nest for my children.  I had no help, my parents bordered useless.  They were never good with the kids and as a wife/mother, it was obvious that I could juggle all the balls in the air, still look good and not complain.  We were temporarily in an apartment, a 2 bedroom apartment which was hellish with three small children, so S arranged for us to move into a four bedroom apartment near St Paul’s Cathedral.  The area was lovely, and perhaps in holiday mode, I could have enjoyed the history and architecture and atmosphere and I have done previously in London.

But not just a house, I needed to find an OB and hospital too.  This meant many taxi trips and appointments, squeezing the odd scan in where I could to make sure my baby was OK with all this stress.

I found a house, a lovely big home a short walk from shops, off the M25 so easy drive into London city (not incl traffic!) and a fast train into London.

Our furniture was continuously delayed, so we had small pieces of rental furniture.  That were neither homely nor barely functional.  But we got through it.  Despite morning sickness and tiredness and swollen ankles, I organised a school for the kids and started to make this town our home.

I could never shake my regret at not filing charges against the man who had attacked me all those years ago.  And I felt more vulnerable than ever.

I hired a PI initially, I had to KNOW my enemy, and then I decided to press charges.

S worked long hours in the bank.  I felt I barely had any support.  My parents of course delighting that I should be a bankers wife and concentrate on being a Stepford wife.

The whole thing was a horrible, long never-ending nightmare.  But that is a different story.

As I lived in a county away from where it happened, I pressed charges through the local constabulary and then they in turn communicated with the constabulary of the area where the attack occurred.

communication breakdowns, different people on shift, new people, disorganisation and the general disregard you’d expect for a hisotric case were all part of a journey that lead to multiple psychiatric treatments, in-house care, medications, etc. I also managed to parent three kids, give birth to my fourth, and manage my life back in Blighty.  Of what life I had.  The resentment that I had towards S slowly bubbled unde the surface.  Maybe this signalled the start of our breakdown.

Anyway, there was a ‘Specially Trained Officer’ in the local police office that always treated me with such compassion and kindness.  We had a lot in common, and he was great company, funny and attractive.  He always had time for me, he never saw me as victim, he always helped by giving me legal advice and I feel supported me through the whole process.  Even in times of panic and upset, I could get hold of him.  We text each other often and after a while, people started to think our communication was probably too much.  But I didn’t care, here was a man who understood my pain, but could make me laugh and be there to mop up the tears.  I’m not sure how the line was crossed, there is no clear moment, no recollection of comment misread, or a ‘moment’ but somehow we became flirtatious.  There was an attraction between us.  He was married as well, but he told me unhappily and keen to leave.  We bonded over so many commonalities, and he made me feel like a desirable woman.  Not a mother, nor wife, nor struggling mental health patient.  A woman with desires, smart, funny and tender too.

In essence he represented to me everything my husband was not.  He listened, he advised, he held me, he spoke to me for hours.  He was there.

Anyway, he knew ultimately I would return to NZ and he knew that I loved my husband.  But I genuinely believed that there was something special, a connection.

I’m not going to justify this, it was wrong.

Fast forward, maybe three or so years later.  I’m in NZ.  He texts occasionally.  Chatty, upbeat messages, but I keep my tone civil but wary.  I am focused on my family and my marriage and I’m home.  Then he tells me that there was some sort of protest and he and some other cops got involved, things got a bit gnarly and there’s been a complaint about him.  He wonders, if asked, if I  might be a reference for him.

I don’t think that a good idea at all, and say as much.  I asked some friends in the UK and they tell me about a protest that occurred, so I know that much to be true.

He asks a few more times, implies things are heating up.  I answer the same.  I haven’t been in the UK for ages, it would be strange and frankly I don’t know the charges or what happened.

Then I receive a letter, from his office, an official letter, asking for information about an investigation into an officer during years that women made were pressing charges for sexual assault related crimes.  Of course, it was during the year that I had made my complaint (about the offender).

I thought it an odd request.  I ignored it.  I wanted no part of it.  I did query though, with him, why this letter?  He claims that someone is suggesting he was inappropriate, but its all lies and it’s a witch hunt.  Of course, I believe this because initially it seemed to be about a protest.

Gradually as time wears on, his communication comes in spurts.  Mostly asking for a references, sometimes just random, vague messages.  Once telling me he was quitting the force, felt suicidal.  It all seemed surreal.  I didn’t reply because I didn’t understand.

Gradually I started to wonder if maybe he had done something.  Overstepped a mark with someone, and if so, I had effectively set the benchmark.  As my affection was mutual, could he have interpreted that to mean that it was OK to make moves on victims?  I felt horrendously guilty.  Had I started a behaviour?  A year went by, and I carried the weight of my guilt.  What had I done?  What had he done?

So I called and obtained the name of the investigating officer.  I spoke to her.  I had to know what was going on, and why.  Hoping it was something minor, something casual, a witch hunt.  The investigation was still on going.  And I learnt that he had been inappropriate with 10 women in total (that they knew of).  All survivors of sexual assault, all with some sort of mental health issues.  I felt my heart go to stone.  Immediately I explained it WAS MY FAULT, I had been equally attracted and so he must have thought that paved the way to be with other people.  I also asked why this started off the back of a protest.  It had nothing to do with a protest.  It was a woman, making a complaint about his conduct.  I was noted in the communication through emails.  They expected I had become involved but without talking to me, they didn’t know the extent of the communication.  I had to know – was it my fault?  What had I done?

I thought back to when I saw him, always on duty, always in a police car (unmarked), it added to the appearance of a professional meeting.  Yes, somethings had seemed or said that seemed inappropriate, but he was a man and we were friends now, so it didn’t matter did it?

Frankly the whole thing is confusing.  He’s apparently claiming to be very unwell (mentally) but the argument is whether that caused his behaviour or whether he’s simply using it as an excuse.  I guess that’s internal politics because I don’t know why a resignation wouldn’t be accepted.

I mentioned that his marriage was broken and it had been a difficult year for him – yeah well, apparently that’s not true either.

In fact, I am not really the wiser as to what is true and what isn’t anymore.  Maybe I wasn’t so special?  Was he attracted to damaged goods?  Did I really know him at all?  Could these women be wrong?  Was it wrong that he spent so much time with me?  I thought he genuinely liked me.  Or was I a challenge?  Was this a game?

I mentioned to the woman who I kept my phones, I always keep my cell phones, unless I upgrade.  I have a phone and handbag addiction.  I’m not even sure why it tumbled so forthcoming from my mouth.  Even at the time, she didn’t seem interested.  I guess I pictured that Blackberry in my draw, that had been my lifeline.  So many messages communicated.  Such an integral time in my life.  Later she asked for me to send it back.  But the thing has been long since reset.  I might keep my phones, but I don’t keep my data.  She wanted things I’d told her to be written down and for me to sign. A formality with record keeping.  That made sense.

Little did I know, its been a few weeks of complete hassle.  Emails come with statements – formal looking, I’ve had to go to the library and sign and scan.  NZ Police got involved to get the phone.  I have felt scared.  I have felt further violated.  And frankly I would like to speak to the person in question and ask all these questions, did I mean anything to you?  Whats a lie?  Whats the truth?  Is this all one big mistake?

I’m reminded of the reason we met in the first place, and that adds to the seediness of it all.  I feel dirty and crappy all over again.  I’m scared.  I feel used, but I feel so stupid.

I want to believe he’s the nicest cop I’ve met, that helped me through a traumatic time.  The alternative cannot be right.

So, this is why my life has taken an unusual and upsetting turn.  I probably shouldnt have called the UK police, but I had to know the truth.  Although I don’t feel much closer to it.

Again, I’m shouldering this alone.  But I have made an appointment with my therapist to discuss this.  I need to talk, and to think about it.  I need to find where to allocate my blame.  I need to consider what this means and what I’ve done wrong here.

I see dead people – maybe!

This isn’t going to be a fluff piece or an opinion piece, I just wanted to elaborate on my own feelings before explaining my day yesterday.

I believe everyone has the right to practice their own religious beliefs, I take an interest in all cultures and religions, hence why I’ve travelled extensively.  Personally I don’t believe in God, Christ and I don’t interpret the bible in any way to suit my intentions.  I do take issue when people use religious arguments in social issues like gay marriage or abortion for example.  Being religious and judging people is the ultimate in hypocrisy and I think people like that are responsible for causing a bad name to religious groups.  I think people should be able to live in peace, follow their faiths without living in fear of persecution as I believe people without faith should be able to live without religious propaganda.

I’d like to think there was more to life than flesh and bones. I’d like to think we have souls or an energy that is left behind when we die.  Just because I like to think it, doesn’t mean I profess to state it as a fact. I listen with an open mind when people talk about feeling someone close when they’ve died and let’s be honest, there’s too many people who have had other worldly experiences to be immediately dismissive.  That said, I will avoid seances and I wouldn’t dabble with a Ouija board.  I mean – who can say for sure, right?!

So, this being said I went to a fair in town yesterday for the ‘Mind Body and Spirit.’  There were psychics/clairvoyants there, I know there’s some correct reference but it depends on the person.  A guy was there that I’d been introduced to in the past a friend’s psychic and we bumped into each other by chance.  Or did we?!  I’d taken his business card, he’s on Facebook too – it’s the modern era people!  So he was there at this fair thing, I didn’t know he was going to be there.  I booked my 20 mins and paid my $15 and sat skeptively waiting for my turn.

He held my hands and I guess formed some opinions about me.  Some were clearly visible signs he read quickly – no wedding ring, child-bearing age, wet hair from a late morning start.  So I’m probably either married or recently single, seeking out a psychic means I’m clearly at a crossroads in my life and looking for some advice and the wet hair means I’m probably a late riser,it was a weekend day, so probably lying in because of early starts with the kids most mornings.  First he ascertained the child aspect, my emotional response to the reference, and then gauged my reaction to a relationship.  I’m not easily bought!  He went on to say that there was someone looking after me, a woman, motherly, possibly a Nan.  Unfortunately my poker face fell and I teared up because I was incredibly close to my nan.  He went with the nan thread but some of the things he said were undeniably close to the truth.  The things that really stood out was there my Nan is with me at night when I cry.  That my ex husband isn’t a bad guy but is immature, and that I need to make more of an effort to cut the emotional ties to him because I need to move on.

He also suggested that I was convenient for him, easy to be taken advantage of.  Which is exactly what my lawyer said, because I look after the kids all the time and I can drop everything at a moments notice to be there for them.  But I love my kids, I love being around them, so I can’t help that.

I did leave feeling emotional, the references to my Nan seeing my tears and the fairly blatant, that stage of your life is over was hard to hear. Although necessary and it won’t be the last time.

S asked about the fair and I mentioned a few things which of course he took the piss about.  He doesn’t believe in any of that stuff and thinks I’m just nuts to want anything to do with it.  Of course, if he was actually a nice guy he would have appreciated that I found comfort and knew that hearing my Nan’s reference was incredibly emotive to me.

I actually felt exhausted so had a quick nap before taking the kids out.  While I slept I dreamt about my ex and I.  Me begging for him back, feeling incomplete without him.  Feeling blame and a tidal wave of grief.  But when I woke up, the residual feelings were from the dream.  It was like I was being shown how I used to feel but now I simply don’t.  It was weird to wake up feeling the heartache as a memory but not a current sadness.  It weighed with me all evening, but I knew it was a memory and nothing more powerful.  I look at him now and hear some of the things he says and I see someone who if I met NOW, I wouldn’t be attracted too at all.  I feel like I need to be loved, and I miss affection, but I wouldn’t get that need fulfilled from him.  He’s too selfish for one.  I need a real connection.  The guy did say that I fear being alone forever – that’s true, I do, but I would meet someone and be happy once I was able to let go of all the separation baggage and open myself up to trusting again.

Frankly, irrespective of beliefs, I was given something to mull over.  And it would  be nice to know my Nan was there.

Next week is going to be another shitty week.  Tuesday I take my boy to try at school, he turns 5 in Jan, and that’s when they start school, then in the afternoon I see my lawyer because of S and this shitty house situation, then Weds is my hospital appointment.  Which I’ve decided to get a taxi back from, as I don’t want to rely on S.

I think hostility will grow between S and I because of this house thing, I wish it could be avoided, but the only way to avoid it would be to comply and sign the house over.

 

The lawyer

Seeing my lawyer this afternoon I decided to blog again.  I was feeling anxious and expected to leave feeling quite drained.  I had to take my son, but he was quite happy playing and colouring in with the receptionist.  I’m glad he didn’t have to sit in and listen to our chat.

I’m sure people who read this blog have opinions on my marital state and my own emotive reflections.  But the Lawyer sees everything objectively, well, of course there’s a bias, I am her client!  But sees the facts, she interprets actions and lays out her coarse and completely unrestrained opinion.  It doesn’t upset me though.  Last time, I started looking at things objectively.  Why wasn’t I considered with the house situation?  Why were there covert meetings and assumptions?  Why is the spousal maintenance situation seen as a favour as opposed to legal obligation?  And why is S nice and charming when he needs something, but bitter and angry when I don’t oblige him or called selfish and insinuated I’m nuts because I stand up for myself?

I also talked to her about the situation overseas.  She summed it up in about 2 minutes. Brutally accurately and made me realise that I was not at fault.  I needed that outlet.  I needed to talk to someone.

She’s taking control of the separation – and to be honest she’s the first person I’ve trusted in a LONG time.  Not because she’s legally obligated to maintain my confidence, not because she’s paid to help me, those are reasons that I’d be less inclined to trust her considering ‘the thing’ but because shes got integrity.  Because she’s honest.   Because she doesn’t have time for niceties for or bullshit.  Because when she talks to me, nothing in me questions her motives.  I’ve not had that in my life for such a long time.  Her actions denote trustworthiness.

My relationship with S was over a long time, but there’s been this dead air between us.  Me floating in and out of denial.  Me feeling afraid of the unknown.  But S has known.  He’s known his future, he’s brought in his family, he’s chatted to lawyers about finances and to me his actions haven’t been consistent.  I realise the only commonality we have now is the children.  I realise there is going to be a long battle ahead, but I think I’m learning to deal with things myself.  In fact, I don’t think I realised just how much I have achieved by myself and have managed alone.

I think I’ve been ready to confide in the lawyer and trust her opinion.  i think I’m ready to face this stuff overseas.  And in all of these changes, I’ve been doing it alone.

It flips and flops, I feel adulation and I feel contemplative, I feel anxious and I feel sad.

But above all, I feel confident that I have myself and I’m not ending one journey, I’m starting a new journey.

 

Regrouping

Group today, the monthly meeting for survivors. Tops off a long week of various workshops and groups. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. I’m also feeling fed up. Fed up with all the hard work it takes to work on myself and process knowledge that I’m acquiring. The changing, the grief, the confusion. I can’t talk to anyone, I don’t want to talk to anyone. 

Yesterday we had a family day out, we went to Martinborough which is just beautiful and had lunch at the James Murdoch winery 


I wanted to engage with my family, but I’m feeling so torn about the interaction with S. Physically I want to touch him, I miss affection, I miss our ‘inside’ jokes and being a ‘unit.’ But instead we’re just tolerating each other. It feels hard.

When we got home, or should I say, the house, I felt so tired. I wanted to stay in the light, the warmth, the chaos and love of my family but I knew I didn’t belong. I decided to leave for my house before I got too comfortable. I got down the road and broke into tears. I missed my family. I’d wanted to spend the weekend with them. I’d planned on spending the long weekend with them. I wanted the noise in the morning, the people around me. So I phoned S and asked if I could stay the night. He was a bit confused as I’d only just left! I explained I missed everyone and wanted to be there, he answered that I’d see everyone in the morning. I took that as an immediate rejection. Pride taking over, I wasn’t going to beg or plead my case. But he offered that I could stay if I wanted. 

I did return. Although S was getting a bit fed up with the kids, I didn’t mind the constant goings on. But I felt disconnected and unable to really partake. I hate feeling like a stranger in my own home.

By night I slept on the couch. Or tried to. My son was really upset and confused that I was on the sofa. He was still awake late into the night. He rushed back and forth between the bedroom and the living room. Confused, wanting to make sense of the situation. In the end I went into the bedroom. S was half asleep, I told him that Harry wouldn’t settle, so best we all slept in the same bed. Harry slept in my arms, which was painful for my shoulder but I absolutely adored his warmth and beautiful soundless sleep.

This morning I was very disconnected. I was, I suppose, preparing for the group. Usually I’d discuss my concerns and fears with S but that’s crossing a boundary. I realise that now. 

At the group I grew miserable with the depressing atmosphere. People stuck in the same situations. The sense of pity overwhelming. I know, I’m a total hypocrite. But my situation isn’t the same. I’m going through a painful separation, I’m feeling vulnerable, afraid, alone. And in my vulnerability are painful memories and unspoken truths. It’s confronting. So although my irritation manifested with others in the group, really I’m annoyed at my own weaknesses, my own shortcomings, my own anxieties, my own triggers. 

As its winter now, the evening drew in and the room was enveloped in darkness. Everyone liked it, except me. The dark is my enemy, it’s smothering, relentless and unsafe. I was in a corner too, so felt trapped. I picked up my phone and read through the news articles. Taking respite in the light and the distraction.

After the group, the facilitator and I had a quick debrief at my initiation. The facilitator is my therapist, that’s how I met her. She knew I’d disconnected. She also sensed my irritation. I asked, why do I feel like this? She explained that it’s ok, that I have a lot going on. That there’s safety is disconnecting and I’d chosen that and it just happens some time.

I drove home feeling like I was in a bubble. Part of me thought I should just head back to my house. Be alone with it. But I’d wanted to spend the long weekend with the kids. I got back to the light, the warmth and the chaos that I so desperately seek out. But I feel overwhelmed. S is moody because he’s sick of dealing with the kids. I suspect he feels fed up that they’re not at my house with me, giving him some time to rest. I understand that. 

I have so much going on with these workshops that he’s taking on more responsibility with the kids. This will ultimately lead towards more resentment to me.

Then I feel resentment because he’s so easily shut down and won’t talk to me about boundaries or his feelings.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes out in the couples therapy on Tuesday. I really hope he partakes in it. I think we can both learn a lot. And certainly we need to communicate with each other better.

I’m still feeling completely out of it. I’ve only just realised that I’m hungry. I’m only just conscience that I’m cold. Physically I’ve not been ‘in’ my body. My mind has retreated. I know there is such sadness in my disappointment from today, and disappointment that I can’t debrief with S about the group. About my feelings.

The journey continues….

Water and ghosts and all things transparent 

This course I’m doing, it’s tough. Having to look at things objectively. Identify my failings, acknowledge my need for time, prioritising things. In a case and point, at one period the facilitator read a short story to us. The group of women curled up on the sofas, all identical in our need to either keep busy or unable to self identify our need to wind down. They all dozed off. It was invited. That’s the warm, nurturing environment of the women’s centre. They looked so peaceful and tranquil after a lovely lunch. I hadn’t joined in the luncheon. No, I had hideously mis budgeted again for the month. My petrol was on near empty and I had been stressed about making it last until my student allowance. My petrol gauge is a little fickle and the thing had dropped to empty. Sometimes that means the car has lots of kms left, sometimes it mean a kilometre later and it’s dead. Not unlike myself! I was sure I’d timed it right and not made any unnecessary trips. But driving home from the course last night had inevitably left my car floundering – steep, twisting hills. I knew I had no choice but to call on S. I felt ashamed, stupid, embarrassed. An idiot that can’t even budget. Oh how I would prove my father right. Tail between my legs I’m calling on S for help. He obliged without incident and offered to put some gas in my car. So I drove back to the house at lunch. A pedestrian at every crossing, every light going red on the way. The whole world conspiring against me. I was emotional and tired. Such huge life changes. So much self learning and no one to support me, to share in my journey. I felt alone and vulnerable. 

By the time I got back to the course I was too sick to eat. To restless to rest. So I messaged friends I was worried about. Reached out. Thus completely missing the point of the entire course.

But I knew, this evening was for me. Yes, I fucked up with budgeting but I will learn. And yes I wasn’t able to relax in the course. But that’s ok. I planned myself a lovely evening. 

I have relaxed at the flat alone and I don’t feel guilty for that. I watched ‘the hunting ground’ just available now on Netflix. You see, good old NZ has banned VPNs, that’s software that tricks Netflix to thinking we’re overseas and getting to watch recent releases. Now we are back on NZ viewing alone, which sucks because we are last for all movie releases. But I watched this documentary and I cried. I cried for the victims and I cried for myself. I am not wallowing in self pity. I am identifying a hurt. I am relating to the stories. And I will allow myself that.

Most of my life I have felt angry and betrayed. Dismayed and confused. Why me? Why didn’t my parents love me? Why was I attacked? Why haven’t I been given love and support through this time? I NEEDED this, I WANTED this, how come OTHER people do this/receive that/got that etc. 

My reality is I was let down by my family and by the system. But rather than wish away time on things being different or lamenting on the immense betrayal I feel, I am grieving for myself and accepting things how they are. Because I can’t change the things that have happened. But I can change the way I deal with it. And I don’t need to apologise or make an issue for being sad. 

I am inviting growth and self reflection into my life. I don’t know what being separated is supposed to be like or how I’m supposed to feel, but I know that the majority of time isn’t supposed to be feeling sorry for myself, shutting down, drowning in the whys and how’s. Living in regrets and questions. It’s about accepting – this fucking hurts! This ist what I planned – but I’m going to survive it like everything else.

It is ‘baby steps’ – make no mistake. This morning I awoke in my cottage, there was no water. I decided to ask the landlady if it was an isolated problem or on the land (rural living, we don’t have mains!). I was in quest of an answer or to initiate a fix at some stage. But I wasn’t stressed. I didn’t care about the water. Yes I wanted coffee and a hot shower. But the shower could wait and the coffee would be provided at the centre. Now in normal course of events I would have felt the water was a BIG deal, ANOTHER stress to add to my bow. But, and only with restrospect when I look back I was concious of many other things this morning. How warm the morning autumn sunshine felt, how peaceful the land felt, how friendly my landlady was/is. I was basking in so many other observations at that ‘present’ time – the water wasn’t a big deal.

That’s a shift in my thinking. That was an ability to remain in the present despite a ‘stress’ and to see positives that would usually be blurred by my agonising drama.

I am becoming increasingly aware of the people around me. I’m listening and hearing, I’m acknowledging their comments/points, whereas previously – did I not know people that were so open? Or did I just not hear them? Did I chalk them up to ‘over sensitive’ as my father has always done. Have I dismissed so many people in life and lost quality? 

I begin to consider my words and statements. I begin to listen to those around me. And I must start listening to my soul, to my heart. 

The women’s Centre is reportedly house to a ghost. A female that comes and makes noises both vocally and physically (footsteps). Today I heard a woman sigh. We were all in the room and the sound was too close to be a neighbour. The sound came from a room behind the wall, and no, no one was in there. I didn’t state what I heard. Even though my entire being was terrified! My heart hammered and fear sat close to my heart. Instead I kept the sound I’d heard to myself. The experience locked in my personal vault (and this blog!) until I wonder if it was just my imagination. But the metaphor is with me. To express, to face fear, to acknowledge, to be heard, and to feel everything, hear everything and live every moment. To not judge, to not fearjudgement, to consider and to be open. 

I am both drained and disappointed, relieved and satisfied. And that’s ok. 

Clearing the air

Today was the much anticipated appointment with Anne. Where I would decide if I could move past all recent mistakes with the appointment times, if we could salvage our relationship of trust and if I felt able to confide further in her.

Truth is, I had pretty much decided. I am quick to anger, but I am also quick to forgive. We all make mistakes. In the bigger picture Anne and I have accomplished so much. I have confided in her so many things. It would be to my detriment I believe to walk away from that over what is essentially admin errors. Anne is honest, she is a good person, she has helped me and she knows me. I feel safe with her and I honestly don’t think I could start all over again with anyone else. It seemed so pointless to drone on about it. She apologised profusely. It was sincere. I explained how these mistakes have quite an inconvenience on me logistically and also impact me emotionally.

You see, my therapy appointments are my only source of relief. All my fears, my nightmares, my grief, my anger, my sorrow, my pain, my confusion, the dilemmas that I face, the emotions that need processing, all of it is reserved for that one hour per week. I don’t allow myself the luxury of crying when I need to, of sitting with emotions or discussing my fears with anyone. It took months to get to a point where I was able to do that with Anne. My barriers are so tall and so strong. A combination of the way I was raised, lack of trust and simply wanting to be on my own. I find it very hard to ‘feel.’ In therapy, often when it gets difficult, I disassociate, either I mentally disappear or I become physically too unwell to continue. This is so entrenched that it’s taking a long time to work through it. I find it incredibly frustrating and limitating. But to be honest, I’m fearful of what lies beneath it.

Once Anne and I had cleared the housekeeping issues, I filled her in the last few weeks. Namely my upset with some information I had learned, the topics I’d written about in my blog, a falling out, etc. we discussed my nightmares, my medication and mental health, how I was coping overall. Then I just felt light headed and exhausted. Anne pointed out that within the space of 40 minutes I’d shared some incredibly complex and painful information, but I’d rattled it off without giving it time to process any emotion. It was no wonder I was so tired and feeling lightheaded. She wanted me to take some time and feel some emotion.

But I couldn’t.

I’ve not seen her for a while now, I seem to have forgotten how to feel.

It’s just been my objective to function. That’s been my ultimate goal over the last few weeks. Get up, and keep going.

My brain is functioning as it should. It seems I can think with clarity. But my emotions seem raw, I know when I sat with Anne today I could have let a dam burst, but something inside didn’t want to let that happen. It might just be, as I say, the time between sessions. Most of life has been about containment. I can act like something doesn’t bother me so well that I even begin to believe it.

Therein lies the problem.