Saturday, 31 December 2016

It is time to let go of so many things...

“I have learned that many people are not good for me.  No matter how hard I love them.” 

So where do I begin?
Maybe I should start with a question. “Why is it that at the end of every year, and for several years now, I always end up with feelings of such utter sadness, loneliness, and still feel that I have felt no real love in my life?”

There is a void in my life that has been filled with sad memories, disappointments and unhappy moments that have choked me up so much, there has been no room to let real life in. 

I have often said, “ I have had no time to grieve for the loss of my mother and my sister…”, and this now more recently includes my beloved dog.  But in truth, I have done nothing but mourn and grieve and ache for that and many other things that I cannot change.  No amount of tears, anguish or darkness will bring about a better resolution or a change in circumstances, but I have allowed it to completely envelop me, thereby imprisoning me with demons of my own making. 

Of course I miss them dearly, they left at a time when I needed them most.  The emptiness they left has been a part of me ever since.  Gone were the many daily conversations.  Gone were the sharing of woes and the laughter that followed as we saw the funny side of each dilemma.  Gone were the feelings of love I gained through a telephone line, when sickness on both parts prevented travel.  Just gone.  No second chances.  No more time.

Few actually appreciate what Christmas was like for me 8 years ago, but it was an extremely difficult time.  Two days before, I had sat with my ma in hospital while we received the news that cancer had spread into her liver, and that there was nothing more that could be done.  The next day I was driving up to Kent, to be with my sister for Christmas, for what we knew would inevitably be her last.  All the while doing video calls, so they could speak with each other from their beds. Two days later I was back with my mum at the hospital, and so it continued, until she passed away on the 29th January.  Little did I know that 2 months later, after sitting at my sister’s bedside for nearly a week, that I would say goodbye to her too.

I struggled with keeping my mums wishes by downplaying it to everyone, instead of speaking the truth, so that they were fully in the picture.  But I did my best to honour both sides.  At times it felt like they needed my permission to stay away, to not have to face it, as if their busy lives were more important. Trying to be rational while others around you are not is by no means easy, and I felt the full force of that from every direction as people looked to me for answers.  Endless phone calls, endless explanations, endless tears and endless sorrows.  Not one of them, even thinking about how the same loss was affectively silently killing me inside.  Naturally, I bore feelings of resentments, and I probably have never forgiven some of my family for their behaviour back then; while they took a back seat to participate in the grieving process.  I have often sensed that somehow they resented me, as I was the only one with my mum when she died.  As though some how I had left it to the last minute to tell them of her downward turn, which meant they had to rush to get to the hospital in time.  It’s a horrible thought, but it’s one that crosses my mind at times.

Again, I was with my sister when she took her final breath, and at that time and the days that preceded it, I felt there was no other place I was meant to be.  I had done the right thing for me, and the right thing by my darling sister. 
So I guess it’s not surprising that since then Christmas has never been the same…. 

After so many years of feeling this way, I am exhausted.  I have been trapped inside this darkness for so long that I am nearly blinded by it.  The sadness still overwhelms me, because only memories have taken their place, nothing real.  Getting my little dog was the best thing I could have done, unconditional love was mutual, and she had my heart in everyway.  A month ago she too was taken early, at just 7 years old I had to let her go.  It broke my heart.

But, it is now time to put those painful memories somewhere for safekeeping. It is time for me to say goodbye, to release the burden of this grief, the weight is far too heavy.  It is time for me to take a deep breath and move on.

It is time for me to let them go. 

It’s been two years since my divorce, the best, the most significant and most life-changing decision I have ever made, and followed through to the end.  There is no denying that little piece of joy that flickers in my heart, every time I think of my ‘lucky’ if not timely escape, from the beast that had devoured me.

I know now, that if I had let things go on as they were, today I would have absolutely nothing, probably not even my sanity.  Every day I am so grateful and thankful for my resilience, my inner resolve and my free spirit, that gave me the will and the strength to save myself and set me free.

‘It’s odd how when we think of erosion, we can imagine pictures of the sea stealing land back by gradually wearing down the cliffs.  But what’s not so easy to comprehend is how the same can happen in an abusive relationship, one person always gets worn down while the other continues to be relentless’.

Memories have flooded back, flashing up different events and situations that have been locked away like time capsules in my head.  Thousands of tiny fragments, made up of images, conversations, arguments and feelings of real discontent, burst like fireworks in front of my eyes; bringing on pangs of agony.  Each one, a reminder of how much and how deep I let him cut me, with his words and behaviour.  But now each little chink makes me question why I took on the responsibility of his actions, rather than blaming him.  Maybe, I thought it was easier to do this, just so that in my mind I could be free, but in actual fact, I have been punishing myself by taking on his army of demons. 

I see him now for what he really is, no more clouded ideas or fluffing up the rough bits, I accept that he was a master of disguise and I was drawn in.  I had nicknamed him Jekyll and Hyde as a joke, but in the end it was a very accurate description. I had enabled his capacity to feed, and I gave him a good supply, but that’s all I’m guilty of, I didn’t make him the person he was.  I didn’t make him do what he did or think the way he thought, he did that all on his own, driven by some incredible greed to swallow up anything that was good.  He didn’t want to fight for me, he knew he had lost me way back along the way, but he simply could not control his urges to hurt me more.  I foolishly let the blame rest at my door, not speaking out or publicising to anyone how he had driven me to that point of no return. 

How stupid I have been.  For ages I have been giving out the impression that I was ‘okay’ with this, but in fact I was churned up and incensed by the sheer fact, that someone would want to treat me so badly.  Someone, who was forever expressing his ‘love’ for me! 

Only now, do I really view that period of my life with real clarity, I thought I had done so before but now my eyes are really seeing things for what they were and are. Now I fully appreciate the damage that his constant chipping away has done to my confidence, my trust and my self-belief.  So much so, that I not only felt, but believed in my own unworthiness, instead of questioning his. 

This has got to end.  I am still allowing him to destroy me.  I am letting all those negative memories and images from that life invade my daily being.  It has soaked up so much of my time and energy, battling with negative thoughts and reliving bad experiences for more than just the second time.  I have continued to emotionally beat myself up on his behalf, and by opening that door, I have enabled others to think they can do the same thing. 

There is no doubt, that he has left me scarred with so many insecurities, weaknesses and fears deeply etched in my mind.  This last year I have forgotten how to celebrate and enjoy my newfound life and liberty.  I have stayed being caught up in the past, somehow I let his demons in and they took over and took a firm hold.  Of course, no good has come of doing this or being this way.  But at least now I can openly admit, that I have just successfully managed to further maim and cripple myself, with things that have no place in my present.  I must constantly remind myself to acknowledge that that was my old life, and I am a survivor and not a victim.

This mental and emotional intrusion of my past into my present day has got to stop.  It will always be where it is now and where it belongs… in the past.

Yes, I have been incredibly fucking stupid…!  I have been struggling with this pain for far too long, and now I need to let it go.

It is time to forgive myself. 

I have gone through this entire year feeling so little love.  It saddens me greatly when I think of all that I have so freely dispersed to friends (in particular) and family, and how little I have actually felt coming back.  It has left me feeling quite lonely and isolated, as I fear giving out anymore to anyone  who doesn’t appreciate it, for what it is. 

Knowing that I’ve been on someone’s mind, getting a quick message to check on how I’m doing, spending time just catching up, talking on the phone, being told that I’ve been missed by someone, makes me feel loved  All these little things don’t really need to take much time or effort at all, but somehow everyone’s been too busy, or they just want to talk about themselves.

I have felt quite hurt by the lack of that kind of love.  So much so, it has caused me to yet again go through the ‘life laundry’ process of re-evaluating some of the people in my life.  A process I seem to go through every few years, which has finally taught me that I am spending time, energy and effort on the wrong people. 

I am naturally a kind and giving person, it goes against the grain for me to standby and do or say nothing, when I recognise pain in someone, especially when I know I can be of help.  But, it would seem that’s just how I need to be, even though it’s going to be a hard habit to break. 

The lessons I have learned from this have broken my heart at times and left me completely confused, trying to understand why things had gone wrong.  It took a while before it hit me that it wasn’t even my problem, it was theirs and the way they chose to see things.  But one person’s discontented whispers can travel far, and I wonder to myself, ‘Was I like this at their age?’ and then I hope to God that I wasn’t.  Perhaps having reached the age of 51, I can see their insecurities and lack of confidence quite clearly; maybe that’s why they don’t get me.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through, to achieve that beauty.  Maya Angelou.

I often say to people that “The only reason we get hurt by other people, is because we care for them”.  Which is a very simple truth, so I guess the question I need to ask myself is: “Why do I care?”.  Why do I care or continue to show kindness to people, when they have systematically disrespected or abused me? Am I that desperate to be with them, that I will accept anything?  The answers to these questions are: ‘I have absolutely no idea, sub-consciously I hope they might change and fuck no’ respectively. 

Now I know the answers, I realise that I have been incredibly fucking stupid!

Stupid in the sense that I had been sucked into and absorbed by their bullshit antics and immaturity, just because I had foolishly made myself believe that they actually gave a shit about me. 

But I have distanced myself from all of them now, I really don’t want to play their silly games and I certainly don’t share my private life with them.  All they know, is that each time they see me now, I always look better in their eyes and they need to press me to know why.  To me, if they aren’t bothered to know about my everyday life, why should they be interested in my private life?  So fuck them, I’ll keep them guessing!

I am not afraid of removing or losing people from my life, if they have shown themselves to be unworthy.  I have made progress by stepping away because by not giving my time and love to them, it means I have more time and love to lavish on me, and it really has been quite liberating. 

I know I have been fucking stupid!  But not anymore, I have now drawn a heavy line underneath all that.

Such a small word that has a huge meaning!

Joy is something else I always strive for.  I find joy in the most simplest of things, whether it’s a pretty creation I’ve made, a piece art I have done, or just spending time doing anything that makes me feel uplifted.   Just doing the things that I enjoy, makes me feel good about myself, and it’s something I can’t get enough of, it makes me thrive.  Another thing I always say is that, 

“Out of my misery something beautiful is always produced”. 

Because it’s often at these times that I am at my most creative.

So I am going to promise myself that I will make more room in my life so that I have the proper time to follow my heart.

Admittedly, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom this last year, there have been moments when I have felt so happy, nothing could touch me.  That happiness has come from different areas of my life, and it has spurred me on.  It is what I am ultimately seeking, a life that is calm, peaceful, nurturing and relatively stress free.  I don’t think it’s really too much to ask for, but in order to achieve it, I know that I must address the balance and rid myself of the negative factors first. 

The first step to that, is to stop taking the responsibility or blame for other peoples actions, and to leave it where it belongs.  It is also fundamental that I don’t accept people disrespecting me, because it leads to my disrespecting myself, which is definitely wrong on all levels.  As they say, 

“Happiness is a state of mind, and not a destination”. 

So I am going to promise myself that each day, I do something that makes me ‘feel good in my soul’, which can’t be a bad thing!

I was blessed with this gift, and it has never let me down, if I‘ve made a bad choice it’s usually because I have ignored my gut instinct, and I should have known better. 

I have believed for a long time that not everything is worth fighting for, and I have spilt enough blood battling unwinnable causes.

I say this is a gift, because I have the uncanny ability to be able to see through other people’s problems, and guide them on what the real issues are.  I am able to explore different angles and perspectives, and untangle the real mysteries behind their problems.  I have people who lean on me for this, and it isn’t something I am always thanked for as not everyone has a stomach for my brutal candour, but it’s what they come for.  They come to come to me for truth, and that’s exactly what I give them, and somehow I manage to get right down to the roots and at least open their minds to reason.

I never speak ‘off the top of my head’ and I am always able to support what I say.  It’s as though I go deep into the recesses of my mind and can draw on an experience from somewhere in my past, that is relevant. 

Maybe that’s why I seldom confide in others, because somewhere I know the answer already exists in me, I just have to think it through.  I firmly believe that in my life, no matter what the situation is, I have already dealt with far worse and come through it.  This way of thinking has kept me positive, and made me feel so much stronger.  This is why writing is so important to me, this is my way of sorting through the muddle in my mind, and seeing it in black and white.  Writing gives me clarity, like solving a mathematical equation.  It allows me to explore my thoughts, and to be picked up and carried away with them, so I can deal with my demons and dilemmas.  From an early age it was a skill that gave me some form of expression, and it is one I cannot do without.

Intuition has protected me, prepared me and given me such an understanding of who I really am.  But at times, I have mistakenly given others the benefit of the doubt, and have got burnt fingers for the privilege. 

At least I now know to never disregard it again!

“Doing the right thing, even when no one is around to witness it”.

The quickest way to lose me, is to question my integrity or to show me that you have none!  It is way up there on my list of virtues, no ifs, no buts, no deviations, and no argument.

I have come across too many people that have lacked this quality, and spent far too much time in their company.  But it not something that I tolerate well, so from now on I would rather leave it well enough alone.  

Romance has been on the back burner for some time now.  There have however, been moments when I thought that maybe I was ready to take that particular leap of faith again, only to find myself hot-footing it back again. 

It’s obvious to me why there are still many fragile, newly-healed parts of me, that still feel raw and very vulnerable.  No one can leave an 18 years long relationship, and not have been left touched or scarred by it, especially if it was an unhappy one.  But to many, my beautiful face and smile, is enough to have hidden away all my heartache, as if that were enough.

I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, or broadcast that sadness, but it has made me into a very different woman, and I am not as accepting as I was before.  I don’t want to go through the motions just for the sake of being with someone, I need things to be real.  I don’t want to waste time being drained by the wrong people anymore, I am a grown up woman after all!

Time spent on dating sites, have been nothing but soul destroying and have further disillusioned me.  What does it really say about us, why we have to resort to sites like this to find companionship, love or whatever it is you might be looking for?  I have seen thousands of faces and read thousands of profiles, but only a handful have ever sparked my interest, and only a few have really turned my head.  But none of them have been who they say they were, they have all ended up being a bit wolfish in spite of their cute 'lamb' disguise. 

As for the brave ones, the ones who have taken a chance and actually connected, either they are rude, derogatory or haven’t read my profile beforehand.  Even though my profile would quite clearly indicate that they are unsuitable, because of height, age or location etc, they still the take the chance anyway.  Maybe they think they’ll catch me on a good day, when I might overlook such important details!

I have given dating sites a good go, but I have lost faith that I will find my true love on the internet.  To me, all my senses need to be fired up, and I won’t get that from a photograph or a few lines; I have to meet someone, size them up and feel their vibes, otherwise there is nothing.  When I first signed up on one these sites, I did so whole-heartedly, but it didn’t take long before disappointment set in.  I have to confess, I am not prepared to kiss any more toads, so for the moment I will leave things to chance and hope I meet someone the old fashioned way. 

It will happen, when it’s the right time for it to happen, and there’s no point in rushing or pushing myself to be ready, before I am ready.  So I will patiently wait for my Prince to come along…

I have been forced to re-evaluate some of the relationships and people in my life, as my integrity has been challenged many times by so-called friends of mine.  I have recoiled at the naivety and envy that has been displayed and demonstrated by people who are supposed to be close to me.  I have felt the brunt of being an innocent target, just because I didn’t ‘understand’ someone else’s idea of social or “group” etiquette. 

I have been left dumbstruck, by the efforts that have been made to reduce me at times.  I have been knocked back by comments made by people who should know better, they became green-eyed through envy just because of my own personal journey and subsequent freedom.  They have demonstrated their jealousy without abandon at times, not realizing that it only reflected badly on them.  And yes, I have been wounded by thoughtless and maybe sometimes callous words, to the point where yet again I have automatically blamed myself for whatever it was that had gone wrong.  Instead of celebrating my success with me, they have treated me like I’m a threat.  To what I don’t know and to be honest I no longer really care.

I am not even in the same league as them, I am way out ahead, but they are too naïve to understand this. I am a queen, compared to them but they envy my position, because they do not realise that it takes time and experience to reach this status.  It is not something that can be rushed, it happens to all women eventually when they finally wake up and see their own potential and worth. 

I am beyond competing and comparison at their level, but for a while I was dragged in and given a false sense of belonging to something I knew I was never really part of.  But for a moment I indulged myself in the idea that I was increasing my circle of ‘friends’, and that my genuine kindness and affection was actually appreciated, but how wrong I was.  Got my finger seriously burnt there, only because one person became too insecure and was not happy that I was being so easily accepted.  I have to say that I learnt a few unpleasant but very valuable lessons from this episode.  It crushed me at times and it bought tears at others, it send me on a time-wasting mission, soul-searching myself for answers that were not to be found in me, they laid and still remain entirely inside someone else. 

But it taught me, that I give of myself too easily, I am far too generous when sharing my kindness and love.  I should have remembered that many people are only too happy to drain the life from someone else, no matter what the cost.

I know I have been foolish, I fooled myself into thinking that these new formed friendships, would bare the same hallmarks of loyalty and sincerity that old friends offer.  But I was mistaken, and for a while I was willing to question my own integrity, looking for even more non-existent flaws over again. 

I know I have been incredibly fucking stupid.  I have turned the other cheek, instead of slapping that son of a bitch in the face.

It is time to stop taking on the responsibility of other peoples’ actions.  It is time to stop making excuses for other peoples’ behaviour.  It is time to stop allowing other people to disrespect me, and I must start with myself.  It is time to for me to see my real & actual worth, and the beauty that resides in me, because it has remained untouched and still pure.  I still possess my grace and my dignity, I will wear it like a suit of armour when I again arise from these ashes; and it will be untainted by their malice.  They no longer have the power to belittle or reduce me down to their level.  It is time to start believing in the good of myself and other people again, and reject any harmful forces that try to steal away my light. 

'It is time for me to shine again'.

I must accept the fact that my family, are who they are, and they are very unlikely to ever change. 

Therefore I must.

In closing, I had no idea that I had so much I needed to get out of my system before I enter into this new year.  All I do know is that I have to let my demons go, and leave them where they truly belong, in the past.  They have haunted me for too long, and they have no place in my plans or where I’m going next.

Tonight, I will toast myself at the last stroke of midnight, and kiss goodbye to those painful ghosts of the past. 

Tonight, I will be raising a glass to what a truly amazing and remarkable woman I am and have become.

Because tomorrow, is indeed a brand new day in a brand new life for me!  Sx

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Some things just need to be said...

I had started to write this as a letter to a dear friend, but it soon dawned on me that I was in fact ready to talk about a very difficult period of my life.  Somehow, now is the right time and I need to express my feelings, about some of things that I experienced toward the end of my marriage.  I am trying to bring about closure, because I am now ready to move on.

I hope this letter finds you in a good mood and in good health!  It has been a long time since we last had a proper chat, and we both have issues in our lives that absorb most of our time.  So I thought on this occasion I would take the time, and bit by bit write to you instead, because that’s what we always used to do, back in the day. 

I still remember drawing flowers and things all over my envelopes, because you were concerned that your mail was being tampered with.  It is something I still do today, and has become a trademark for me, as people automatically know who it is; but it’s hard to believe how that that’s where it all started, so many moons ago.  And I am so pleased that we are still in contact with each other, even though we haven’t been face to face for so many years.  But you’ll always be a part of me.

I know I have not been the best at keeping in touch over the last few years, and I feel I owe you an explanation as to what was going on in my life and why I seemed to disappear into the back ground.  You already know that I was sick with depression, but about 9 years ago, when Fibromyalgia really kicked in, it marked the beginning of the worst stage of my life.  It continued right up until 17th April 2015, the day I moved into my new home, and that is when I finally started to breathe again.

Up until that point, I never fully appreciated how much pressure and stress I was living with on a daily basis, and it was only then I started to acknowledge the full weight of what I’d been bearing.  Only because it was no longer a presence in my mind, sight, thoughts or life.  The true damage that he did or caused me goes so deep, but I will never openly admit how much he mentally and emotionally hurt me. 

The worst time, was when both my ma and sister were dying, I was doing everything I could to help and support them, in spite of being in absolute agony and not getting any support myself.  Instead I got constant arguments and screaming matches, virtually every night, he didn’t need any excuse, it was a very difficult and soul-destroying time, and I really saw his true colours and realised that he was definitely no longer the man for me.  I guess when my ma and sister passed away, it felt like a coming of age for me, I felt like I’d grown up, because I’d finally began to ‘stand up’.  I suppose for a long time I had ignored his manipulative ways, and dealt with his selfish self, but what I hadn’t bargained for, was the extent that that vein ran right through him.  And I, had allowed him to get away with so much bad behaviour at a real cost to myself.  He nearly took everything from me, my confidence, self-belief, self-esteem, self worth, and made me feel very much unloved.   He even uttered the words that I was pretending, and that there was nothing wrong with me, even though he was with me for each diagnosis.  I had been worn down, and I hadn’t even noticed, he had stopped caring, that I did notice.

There was no room in my life, for me to feel sorry for myself, or fall down and weep because of the severity of physical pain that was racking my body.  There was no time at all.  All I could do was focus my mind and will myself to be strong again, because I could not allow him to destroy what was left of my free spirit.  I become a “warrior instead or worrier”, because I knew in my heart that things would only get much worse, and I had to prepare myself to deal with it.

It was such a tragic time, when my mum and sister passed.  I was devastated I felt like someone had ripped out my insides, I felt so empty.  The love, kindness and support I had hoped to get from him, as my husband was nowhere to be seen.  At one point I bluntly asked him, if he would rather it were his mother and sister, because he seemed to be jealous of other people’s need of me. He didn’t like the fact that caring for them, and spending time with them in their final weeks and days, was more important than him.  He didn’t understand what it was to listen to other people’s tears and sadness, or how difficult it was not to express mine.  While I was being selfless, he was being selfish, any love I had had for him, was dissipating at a steady pace, never to return.  Parts of me died along with my ma and sis, that’s when I really understood the truth about the saying “Life is too short”, and I couldn’t stop saying it to myself.  I had no idea, that that was the person he had really become, but then I guess he had always been that way, and I had chosen to ignore it.

The anger that had steadily risen up within me was a force to be reckoned with.  Suddenly I realized just how dissatisfied and unhappy I really was, and had been for some time.  I felt truly sad, and that only deepened the more I saw how much of our relationship had fallen away.  I had become forever tolerant, always yielding and never complaining, and he had become a parasite, forever feeding on me.  I think he must have felt a sense of power over me, that maybe he’d got me where he wanted. 

What he didn’t see was that through my silence I had begun watching him.  I was well aware of the patterns that had developed over time, the ones that were a sure thing in his eyes.  I steeled myself, because in my heart I knew, that he knew no limits to how far he would go, short of physically hurting me just to get at me. There were many occasions, when in the depths of my depression, the wickedness and unkindness that he shown me was completely unforgivable.  I took it all, and though I hardly said anything back, his words burnt holes in me.

I am reminded of when we’d first met, a few weeks into our courtship I had said to him, “Don’t ever abuse my good nature, because one day it won’t be there”.  I can’t remember what had caused me to say that, that day, but my goodness those words stayed with me.  Maybe I was warning him, or maybe I was really warning myself; I see now that it was another marker I had planted in my life, something for me to later reflect on, sadly it is only one of many.

I guess I never really thought of it as abuse, but that is what it was pure and simple, mental abuse.  It’s only now, not even 18 months later that those words have come to mind, only because I have clarified what I was so tolerant of.  It’s only now, that I can openly say that he was not a nice man, and thank God that I was strong enough to get away from him. 

Visions of how my life would have panned out if I’d stayed with him, torment me on a frequent basis; because by now I would have surely ‘lost’ the home that I loved, rather than have sold it.   I would have absolutely no money to my name, let alone in a bank account, because I would be paying for everything just so I could exist.  I didn’t respond to the alarm bells, when I first discovered how many credit cards he had in his wallet, but it had made me feel uneasy.  When I asked him how much he owed, I was dumbstruck when he replied £35,000, I should have turned on the spot and walked away. 

I’d seen it as a man who was struggling and needed help, instead of recognising it as a man who was seriously living beyond his means.  But 2 years into our marriage enough was enough; I couldn’t deal with him constantly being in denial, and burying his head in the sand about what really going on.  I made him face up to the truth for what it was worth, and he of course wanted an easy way out, he wasn’t bothered how, or whether it affected me.  Simple truth is he didn’t care, he never admitted that it was his responsibility and he certainly had nothing to show for it, but in the end his entire debt came to over £140,000.00!  At that point, most of my family strongly told me to leave, to walk away but I couldn’t, saying that “I took my vows seriously” and that “I was not going to run away at the first sign of trouble”.  But truth is, trouble had been brewing for a long time.
Maybe at that time I foolishly believed that I had not done finished saving him, which had been my purpose on this particular part of my journey.  I can’t say that I regret my decision, it was the right one at the time, but there was no accolade, thanks or praise for standing by his side, not ever.  If anything, it was thrown back in my face, somehow I became partly responsible for his debt and the reasons why he wasn’t making any money.  He never thought for a moment that it was down to him not putting any effort into his business, or being careless and reckless with money he didn’t have; he had only envisaged a life of following his passions no matter what.  It was around this time that I stepped into his business, and began the process of sorting him out, there was nothing he could hide any more.

I think this was also when I truly became a “cash cow” in his life, meaning if he didn’t have the money to do something, somehow I always scraped it together.  In his head, I always had a secret stash of money that I had squirreled away; therefore he could squander his money on a weekend and then come to me saying he had no money for fuel for his next job.  He did that time and again, another favourite was emptying his bank account before bills were due, so he could go off for a few days boat racing.  It didn’t matter if I had money to put on the gas and electric meter, as long as he was happy.  He’d say on his return, that ‘as he wasn’t here, why should he pay for it?’ he had a very fickle way of looking at things, and changed his mind to suit his financial situation. 

I did nothing to deserve his attitude or behaviour, and I certainly didn’t retaliate in the same manner… I was not going down that low!  I just took things in my stride, while they quietly destroyed me on the inside.  I started our financial separation, as soon as I could, making sure he took on the responsibility for some bills, and I the others. Naturally he didn’t like that, it soon started to hit home that he couldn’t rely on me anymore, he was already feeling the pinch.  Nevertheless, he maintained his façade that all was well and ‘tickety-boo’, even though it couldn’t have been further from the truth.  It gradually dawned on him, that I was no longer going to play the supporting role and that’s when he turned to his mother for money, usually the last resort.  Throughout the years, I had constantly been reminded that only 'one' of us was working, which meant ‘he’ was under extra pressure.  ‘He’ obviously never informed them, that even though I wasn’t ‘working’, I was still bringing in more money than he was and I paid for more than my fair share within the household.  It was just a little detail that slipped his mind, just enough for them to look at me as though I was utterly worthless. 
And now?  I would not be in the least bit surprised if he’s made out to all his family and friends, that I was the one that ran up the huge credit, and that he did it to make me happy.   So far I have not heard anything negative come via him, but then he knows that if I did hear anything, I would rip him apart.  I would have no mercy on his ungrateful, selfish and conceited soul, I know his secrets. 

But he’s a man that can’t stop telling lies, he could never tell a simple truth, every tale was always suitable embellished.  He even told lies about me in front of me, he’d acquired a habit of speaking ‘for’ me on every possible occasion.  It had become so annoying that I eventually said out loud: “It’s seems I have lost my voice”, or “(whomever) is asking ‘me’ a question, so please have the courtesy to allow ‘me’ to answer”.  Worst still, I began to speak out about his ‘embellishments’, I got fed up of hearing the same crap repeatedly.   Next I stopped going out with him socially, I wasn’t going to play the ‘happy’ wife any more; and after a rather unpleasant situation at his parents’ home, I refused to visit them again.  Day by day, I took another step further away from him; I think he was completely surprised at how well I was actually managing… without him.  Something else he really didn’t like!

On the 2nd December 2013, I made a promise to myself and openly put it up on my “wall of inspiration”, along with many other powerful thoughts, words and mantras.  This one simply said:

“Today, is the day that I have taken control of my life again!  I hope and pray, that I am ready to handle whatever life has planned for me next.  As my REAL journey has only just begun”.

That day was a true turning point in my life.  It marked the day that I started to fight for myself, because I had finally realized that I was definitely worthwhile and therefore I was worth saving.  Sx

To be cont…

Stroking the hidden lioness...

I had written this awhile ago, but didn't realise I hadn't posted it!

I have found myself feeling very sad, low and angry just lately.  Not sure if it’s been brought on by an individual thing or a culmination of many, but I do know that unshed tears have finally been making an appearance.

Since the beginning of this year, I have done nothing but reflect on my life, the people in it, events that have happened, the struggles I’ve had to endure and the effect it is having on my ever deteriorating health. 

Please believe me when I say that I am not feeling sorry for myself, because never will the words “Why me?” ever tumble from my lips, that is not who I am.  I have learnt to accept, acceptance a long ago.  There is no room for make believe or false hope, I have accepted the facts for what they are.  But just lately, the burden of all of this has been too much to bear, and I simply don’t have the strength to shake off all the extra baggage that I have been laden with.
I suppose I am guilty of underplaying the effort it has taken to survive these last 15 months, I have sailed through this episode with a painted smile, kidding myself that I have been as competent and strong as I used to be.  But the ugly truth is that it has utterly and completely worn me out.

I have started to see someone, not a therapist as such, but it is a one-hour window every couple of weeks, when I can say ‘blah, blah blah’ and get things off my chest.  Though this is good, the flip side is that every time I have to talk about myself like that; it makes me stare in to the face of how bad things really are, which is not something that I truly want to admit, not for the moment anyway.  These ‘little windows’, are what usually brings on the tears, these occasions make me finally turn my compassion on myself, because I know I am on my own in this.

Every one seems to think that I have a huge support network around me, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.  My life is slowly and silently being stripped away from me, and I have no one’s shoulder to lean on.  There is only me, it has always been only me.

When I think of all the time, love, care and attention I have given to others, it saddens me how little I have actually receive back.  Yet some of these people want me to still keep unconditionally giving, they obviously see they own needs, as being much greater than mine own. 

But I have resolved to stop this.  I have promised myself that I will not give clear passage to anyone to abuse my good nature anymore.  I have been drained of everything, and only now do I see how much damage they were prepared to inflict. No more.  I am done.

I have fallen through weakness, I know, maybe I have an inherent need for punishment, why I don’t nip these things in the bud.  But maybe, it’s because I need to know for certain, that it’s something worth fighting for.  And the only way to do that is to let it run it’s course, and the answer will present itself.  There is no point in gearing up to do battle, if the prize is not worth it in the long run.  And if I’m made to fight, what would I be doing it for?  I certainly don’t need this kind of negativity in my life.

But each time I am knocked down, I rise again much stronger.  My mind is more powerful and my thoughts are very focused.  But it’s not easy to ‘un’ care for someone you once cared very much for; you can’t just flip a switch. 

There is a lesson in that, but I would rather continue looking for the good in people, before I seek the bad.  If I am hurt by anyone, through their actions or their words, then I will of course review that situation, and remove them from my life at speed, if that is what is ultimately required.

But for now anyone would be wise to step around me cautiously, for I am a weary and wounded lioness, filled with rage that is bubbling just under the surface.   Sx

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Becoming a stranger to a friend...

Why do I feel so lonely…?

I have come to realise and understand that some of the people I have chosen to spend time with, are neither good to me nor for me; which is a very sad place to find yourself.

I guess I have seen the signs for quite a while, there would be no point in denying this, but it doesn’t make it any easier or any less painful to deal with, just because I have partially prepared for it.  It’s true the saying, about nothing being worse than feeling lonely in a crowded room full of people you know.  I have been feeling that more and more just lately.

I am not sure if it is down to alienation or my stepping away, whether it’s feeling pushed or that I have grown.  Maybe it’s a bubbling pot full of all these things, and it’s just waiting to overheat and spill over the sides, something needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon.  It’s a fact that I have people in my life who are fine with me on a one to one, but get them with a few likeminded  friends, and suddenly I become almost a stranger.  To the extent that when in company some don’t even say, ‘hello’ let alone ‘goodbye’, and somehow I am supposed to be okay with this, okay with all this two-faced, shallow minded bullshit!  I am too old for all of this, I may have the face of a thirty-something woman, but my mind and maturity are so much more advanced.  And the more I witness this type of behaviour, the more I want to be apart from it.  The more bad mouthing and doubting that I hear, the more I question what is really motivating their change of attitude, and what it is they are seeking to gain by their actions.

Hypocrisy is such a delicious word.  However, unbeknown to them, even now they still rely on my very good nature to say nothing.  I have integrity, I know what the word means.  What good is trust and honesty, if you do not have integrity?  They are meaningless.

But it has struck me, that whenever I have been in their company, I always walk away feeling so low and negative, almost wishing I hadn’t bothered to make the effort to be with them.

And that’s not good…  No one should ever feel that way when they are surrounded by friends(?)

Friends are supposed to lift you up, not drag you down.  Friends show support when you need a boost, not suck the joy out of you because they’re not interested or have no time for anything you do.  Sadly time and again, I end up not ‘feeling the love’, but feeling empty instead as if some ‘thing’ has been permanently lost.  I guess the real questions I keep asking myself are, “What am I fighting for?” and “Is it worth it?”  The answers to these questions, are only other questions, “Am I fighting to save a relationship? and if so, “Who put it in jeopardy?” and finally, “Why I am the one fighting?”

Is saving something from doom always a good thing, because surely I will never feel the same about that person again.  If they were that intent on losing my friendship or making me question my place with them, then they are not people I want in my life, and they are definitely not people I want to spend my time with.

And so, I believe the answer is no, it is not worth fighting for, not any more.  If they want to be part of my life the door is open, if they don’t the door is still open.

I had thought that it was worth it, but I have since learnt otherwise, so therefore no more, I am done.  Sx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Now on the Mental movement site....

The silent years

Suffering with depression has changed me a great deal over the last 13 years.  Maybe not so much in the way that people would notice, but certainly within me something has grown.  I used to say to people that when I eventually came out of this darkness “I would be a newer, improved version of my former self”.  At the time I don’t think I realised how true that was actually going to be.

To read more please follow the link on the right or click here:

Just waiting to fall apart... again.

I have to say it has not been a great start to this year, even though we are now over four months into it.  But I was so grateful to be able to turn the page on 2015, a year that had witnessed many changes in my life. 

I had to be so driven last year, because it was the only way I could have made the transition from ending something old and painful, and embracing something new an unknown.

The saying:‘You don’t know how strong you are, until you put in a situation that tests you’, is so incredibly true.  There were many times, I thought I was so broken and had nothing left, but somehow, I kept up the fight to win through.  There were many times, when I really wanted to just fall apart, but each time, I reminded myself that I had dealt with far worse, so I saved myself instead. But of course, it has come at a heavy cost, but I cannot deny that it was worth it.

I had ended last year feeling thoroughly drained and exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally.  But now, I look at how far I have come in that time, and feel like I have performed nothing short of a miracle. 

What was once just a thought, has become a true reality, I parted company from my ex after 18 and half years together, (even though the last two years with him was a nightmare), having to be under the same roof with someone that no longer cares for you, is by no means easy.  He had always been a Jekyll and Hyde kind of man, I had seen the flip side of him so many times, but I don’t know what was hardest; whether it was watching the final transformation from Jekyll to Hyde, or knowing, that’s what he had in him.  But throughout this difficult period I always expected the worst from him, so I was left with no surprises.  However, I was still quite take aback at the depths he was prepared to go, just to hurt me.

He never lifted a hand to me, but then he knew what the consequences would be if he did – he would have definitely ended up being worse off.  Instead he took his physical aggression out on objects and things around the house, nothing that ever belonged to him mind, only my stuff.  There was always a quiet rage going on within his head that would erupt over the most ridiculous things.  Where once I would have taken the time to talk to him and calm him done, at the end I didn’t care, I let him rage. 

He spoke with such venomous words toward me, at times I even had to ask myself, what I could have possibly done to him to make him behave this way.  But the truth was, it wasn’t anything I had done or said, he was just so intent on hurting me, he hadn’t noticed he had been hurting himself.  Every little mean thing he tried to say or do, backfired on him, he thought he could crush me, but he had failed.  He was not a very nice man in the, but I accept that I allowed him to be that way with me, for far too long, and I shouldn’t have.  I should have stopped things so much sooner, I should have gone the moment I discovered the depth of the financial mire he was in, but instead, I stayed, I helped, I sorted it out, I put him back on his feet again, I gave him back his pride and dignity.  My big mistake, but that’s what marriage vows are for, aren’t they?

It was my first anniversary a couple of weeks back, a landmark I had almost overlooked.  But it’s been a whole year since I last saw him, or spoke to him.  It has been a whole year of off loading every aspect of him, eradicating him from my life and thoughts.  It has been a very cleansing experience, in my mind I am happier, and I feel lighter like I did 20 years ago before I met him.  It’s just sad that physically I am still feeling the pains that all that stress and anguish has brought on me, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

In my head I have taken all my time with him, boxed it up and shut it away, as though it never happened.  So even though he will always be a part of my life, he’ll never play an active role in it again, under any circumstances.

There has been no end of emotional and physical battles to fight these last few years, all in the name of ‘sorting’ my life out.  My health has declined mainly thanks to the car accident, and that I have pushed myself so hard to achieve things.  These last few months have been particularly hard, but it has given me the time to contemplate and reflect on both positive and negative issues that affect my life.  Everything has been reassessed, reevaluated, and a decision made about its relevance or importance to me.  Anything that is beyond my control has been discarded off the list of my worries, leaving me more time to focus on my own needs.

So one year on, I can celebrate success – I have found me a new place that I am slowly making into my home.  I am enjoying rediscovering and expressing my art and creativity, something that has for too long been repressed.  I am filling my head daily with music, new and old, I hadn’t appreciated just how music can be so good for the soul.  Thankfully I feel free, I feel happy and I do not want or need for anything, life is back to being tranquil, peaceful and simple.

I can say that I have now reached a point where I can relax my shoulders and breathe again.  Sx