Amongst the merde….thank you Universe

It’s funny how in the midst of all that is going and just when you think things are just ‘merde’ (french for excrement) all of a sudden the universe steps in and says I really am on your side, you just need to have faith!

I’ve been busy looking after my mum, she is currently in ‘peel me a grape’ mode but I really don’t mind anymore, I have made my peace with the past and let it go, finally. I have been a bit frustrated and sad about the fact that my son’s illness is progressing and there is not a damn thing I can do about and it in itself threatened to derail me but with effort, exercise and other things I am feeling the best I have felt in quite a while.

And there is still a worry about trying to get work sorted or start this business I have been trying to for a while but I am starting to realise that things happen when they are meant to and sometimes it is not until you really open your eyes you can see the minor miracles you get in life, the times that make you smile like a Cheshire cat and you finally appreciate life’s journey.

I decided amongst all the crap to join a dating site, yes, even though I had chaos going on around me I thought why not? Just out of the blue. Not an altogether sane thing to do when life is a bit messy. Not your casual hook up site but a slightly more genuine one, if you can really say that about dating sites! Something needed to take me out of the ‘I think I still love that raving narcissist even though he hurt me bad’ holding pattern I was in in my mind, and I had worked hard to try purge myself of. And for a while now I have felt it would be lovely to have a nice man in my life even after what I went through with ‘the devil’, someone to share the journey with. So I joined with the mindset that if its meant to be it will be. No rush, no fuss.

So, I managed to talk to a number of fairly nice men, just talk, I wrote some pretty straight up things in my profile and thought ‘that will sort the wheat from the chaf!’ nutters, twats and arrogant arseholes need not apply kind of thing but in a more subtle way.

Blow me down, all of a sudden a good one came…someone who has made me see that there are really some decent men out there that know how to treat a woman, right down to opening the car door for her…chivalry is not dead thank f..ck!

We have gone on some marvelous dates and are really enjoying the getting to know one another, but it feels like and it is mutual we have both found a real connection. It is easy, not hard. It is how it should be, relationships should not be hard. And last night we finally crossed the threshold (!) and by god it was worth the wait! Both of us wanted to wait but our feelings were so strong (both of us, in unison not just one of us in our head!) and it is the most wonderful way to express your feelings for someone. I am smiling…like the Cheshire Cat!

Now I know it is early days, and I have made some really stupid choices in men in my life and my past was a very big reason why I got myself there but these months of working on myself have paid off and I was very prepared to take things incredibly slow and let it go if it wasn’t right. I still am, I have learnt my lessons and I will not ever allow someone into my life that doesn’t consider me and treat me right. I would rather be on my own than bother with that and that is a giant leap for me considering my past history….for my new found sense of self after all this time, I am grateful.

As I write this he has just sent me a text ‘Good morning xxxx’, simple but thoughtful. He is like that. I appreciate that so. He smiles a beautiful smile and it is genuine. It’s a feeling you get and you just know. I hadn’t REALLY felt it before but with him I can. With him I smile, really smile. And we laugh alot. Our conversations are open and honest and no subject is taboo. I have always been open and very honest (to a fault), but it is nice to have that reciprocated and know that it comes from a good place…a true place. After these many tough months there is a warmth and happiness in my life again and I am going to cherish it for how ever long it lasts.

I started writing this well over an hour ago and just after I wrote the above paragraph he called me and we have been on the phone  for a fair while. We are catching up again tomorrow, its soon and appears to be becoming regular which is bloody marvelous but also kind of scary too, but in a good way….I guess time will tell…..love and white light x

A time of change…moving beyond the crossroads

A crossroads is often thought about in the literal sense, like the point where two roads meet, but for me right now it is the point in my life where I have important decisions some of which will dictate a large part of what my future will look like.  It’s scary, especially since the last many months I worked my way through some pretty tough days. Getting over depression unmedicated, a broken heart and mind caused by a classic narcissist’s manipulations, dealing with ghosts of a past that had a profound effect on the decisions I’d made throughout my life so far and learning to accept that I can not control the outcome where my son’s degenerative disease is concerned as much as I wanted desperately to.

What a journey. It’s only been in these last few weeks that I am starting to handle all of that without daily tears, pain and frustration. I kept fighting, but I was fighting in the wrong way, often internalising my frustrations without realising it. Habits of a lifetime.

I think many of us don’t realise how damaging taking on pain and hurt that was given to us not caused by us and turning it inwards upon ourselves. Then we live in a state that is constantly heightened (our fight and flight response) because we harbour unknowingly so much rage and anger inside at what we have had no control over not realising that this exhausting and what the overall effect on our bodies this is having is.

We hear people say “you need to learn to love yourself” and often we lightly dismiss it thinking ‘of course I love myself, what a daft thing to say’ but not realising that the things we are not acknowledging or ‘dealing’ with, refusing to accept is having such a profoundly negative effect on our lives, minds and body. From where I stand now, and what I have learned I am completely baffled that we can live in such self ignorance, but we do and it is human. We make mistakes.

I have come to realise that this time in my life has been a watershed moment. That all things were leading up to this and I am very grateful for the lessons I have learned, some as my psych told me the other day is monumental stuff that usually takes people many years of therapy and work to move through.

There has been no magic bullet. Just a profound desire to change. A want to take control of my life’s direction a little more than I had and make things happen rather than allow life to hand me often some pretty shit cards and just say ‘ok’ let me have it! Shall I bend over?!

No more.

There will always be things we just can not control, it just is. But I think James Dean once said;

“I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”

and  Oscar Wilde;

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”

Well, I have adjusted my sails and I choose to live.

I had another meeting with my boss the other day and not unexpectedly they have decided to pay out the last part of my contract. It was due to end soon but the time I was ill was long and they had to make the crucial decisions they did and yet they afforded me the safety net of thinking I still had a job whilst I was ill. For that I am very grateful. Many companies would not have done that, as many do not view employees as human, they are just a means to an end. I have worked for some absolute arseholes but I must admit I have always been the type of person to say ‘you may shove your job up your arse, I will get another!’

In this time of my life it will not necessarily be as easy to go back to my current career because of the gap and how things are not as they were on the work landscape. Things have changed.

But I hold no fear. I know I can trust myself now and I have been given a marvelous opportunity..the gift of confidence in self and the freedom to choose. Many don’t have that, I know and I am thankful.

I will write about how I got to this point of learning and healing because I feel it important to share, it may help others it may not. But I do appreciate the knowledge that others pass on from their experiences etc, it has been invaluable.

Right now I need to visit my mother in hospital, it is funny, after the many things that happened years ago and finally her apology to me recently something happened a few days ago and now she needs me. I am happy now to help, our relationship is better, healed. I have let the poison that was sitting inside of me go.

I had a bit of an adventure yesterday, with my old ‘friend’ the Fin! I wrote about him many posts before, months ago, he is back and it was fun. But I am enjoying my new found sense of freedom and health and I intend on taking my time to enjoy it….

Love and white light x

The view from here….all in good time?

So all weekend I have been pretty much bed ridden again not in misery as such but because I somehow managed to catch a watered down version of the Flu (it felt like the flu but I did have a flu vaccination when I got back from the States so I’m quite baffled about that) and I have been spluttering from almost every orifice…YUK.

I am still unwell with the lurgy but I don’t feel sad or down anymore about things (I was in a clinical depression before but that started to change to just profound sadness and disappointment, there is a difference), pensive but not sad. It almost feels as if my body knew I just wanted to start running around like a crazy person doing stuff (!) and it said ‘no you don’t, you just need a tad longer to recover’! My work meeting is Thursday and I am going to be better by then…grrrhh

I have always operated with the switch on high when I am functioning, that has been a habit of a lifetime and when I look at things now I realise that you can not do that for long periods of time without the batteries needing a recharge or the body rebelling. I have asked all my psych’s if I am bi-polar and the answer was No, I don’t have the extreme’s that are classic and other markers that conclude a diagnosis of bi-polar. And up until my first case of post natal depression I had never suffered from depression either; 29 years without it (although I did keep buried a pandora’s box of crap that needed dealing with, eventually). Then they put me on the anti-depressant roundabout and things were never the same. I am still grateful I am off them now, for me it was the best thing to do.

This time has been a massive drain on my mind and body but the amazing thing is that I can see things now that I just couldn’t before.

I watched a Aussie show called One plus One the other day and they were interviewing Rick Springfield; Actor, singer, writer. He was actually Australian and then he moved to America in the early days of his career and had a reasonable amount of success. Songs like “jessie’s girl” and he was a long loved character on General Hospital that well known long running soap opera. I remember having a bit of a crush on him as a young girl, he was hot!!  He was asked questions about his past successes and his life in general and he disclosed that he had long suffered depression (he nicknamed it Mr D) throughout his life. Going through it with a sense that he was never really good enough and a profound sadness that rarely leaves him. I saw it in his eyes as he spoke, I felt what he was feeling as the words came, I understood. An incredible talent and a lovely human being but with little faith in himself or joy from the world around him. He felt that this was always going to be a part of his life, that he just needed to deal with as it comes.

It’s like that when you suffer depression. When you are in ‘it’ nothing gives you joy. You feel ‘why am I here. why can’t I feel the joy of life like those around me’, you feel as if you are failing as a human being, it is the worst feeling.

What I found so sad about what he said was the feeling that he would have to live with this as part of him for the rest of his life. I have heard many who suffer from it say the same thing and Doctors even. As if it is a disease that will always lay dormant and then activate at times and if you are lucky enough not to become suicidal and succeed in taking your life then you live to see another day and the roundabout will continue again at a later unknown date.

I have no idea about others, I see it, hear it, feel it however I do not wish to entertain the thought that that would be the case in my situation…I cannot speak for others…but right now the thought of ever going through another bout is just unacceptable to me. I will do whatever necessary to break this chain that has bound me for many years. Whatever work or practice is required I am prepared to do it because this insidious thing has already taken up so much of my life, has robbed me of joy for long periods of time and there is only so much of my life left…I WANT TO ENJOY IT, I INTEND ON ENJOYING IT, I WILL FIGHT TO ENJOY IT as much as I can.

There is a difference between sadness and feeling low and depression, it is a profound difference. There are different shades of sufferance, everyone has their own experience. There will always be times that we feel sadness and even things that may seem hopeless. It is NOT like the profound sense of hopelessness you feel depressed. But being sad is a part of life, to expect otherwise is ridiculous. How can we experience joy if we have never experienced sadness?

I do still at times at the moment feel, certain days a sense of “what now?”. I still struggle at certain times to be able to visualise a bright future…if I take into account my current circumstances, age and a number of other factors. I had a cab driver only last week tell me at my age I didn’t have alot of choices without a man in my life to love and support me! I just looked at him and felt sorry that he felt so capable of passing that judgement on someone he didn’t know (in the same breath he did tell me I was beautiful (smarmy bastard!)). Times like that, I would usually feel like retreating back into my isolation where it is safe. But I knew I was recovering based on my inner response to that ignorant bastard and I smiled to myself, quietly. The fight is back. The want to live is back. I don;t want to exist in fight mode all the time it is exhausting so I need to find much more inner peace and this journey has allowed me to start looking at that…putting things into practice. There is a long road ahead…but it’s worth it….x

Out of hibernation…moving on…the date

I can’t believe it’s been over 3 days since I last wrote. Finally, I am out of the hibernation. I’m not sure about the timing of it as I look back thinking about it, when the change came exactly but it has. And this time it feels more permanent than the few false starts I have had previously. It feels real.

This has been a bastard of a depression. Over 3 months of extreme black, misery and nothingness felt at full force because I did not have medication this time. I’ve been determined not to, it took alot to get over them after 17 years. I went from having my heart demolished to completely breaking down everything that has ever effected me in this life so far. There was work to be done. I am grateful that this time my strength is coming back in such a relatively short space of time, it’s a miracle really. I keep wondering if it will last…but that is self defeating talk…IT WILL LAST…

Only very recently did I finally get an apology from my mother for what she failed to protect me from as a young girl and for leaving me with my tormentor. That was a part of the way towards healing, I needed to hear it…sorry can sometimes be a very powerful word when it is heartfelt.

There have been many things I have been working through this time, things that were never properly dealt with but bit by bit I have been facing the demons, their strength dissipating slowly. There are things you will never forget but you can make the choice to not allow them to conquer you from now on. It’s hard but you can. Like anything, you have to want to, to find the strength in your core and not give in on the fight. I understand that for some that can be quite impossible. I think about some of the famous faces that have gone in the recent past like the marvelous Robin Williams and feel a terrible sadness that he felt compelled to just let go. But I do understand where you have to be to get there.

‘He’ (Joe) no longer has control of my mind either. Finally the chords that bound me to him and all that happened are severed. I have to mention him now because this has been a large part of what I went through. But as I write I feel nothing for him. I have detached. Finally. Hang on a minute…..nope, nothing. I hope it stays that way, I am still a little dubious about this new found sense of freedom I feel. It kinda feels like learning something for the first time.

Maybe it has a little to do with my date night Tuesday. I did accept the invitation of an evening out with my younger man. I am so glad I did. There is something to be said for dating a younger man (oh yes indeedy Demi had it right all along! Well at least for a while:P).

He has more class in his little finger than Joe will ever have and there was no facade (believe me after what I just went through my senses are on high alert for BS, but I will not let that ruin my ability to eventually let another man into my life, if the right one comes, in time, I’m in no rush).

Joe was all facade the tough seemingly successful outer was a cover for a weak, insipid and confused man underneath, quite sad really.

My date was wild and fun and just what I needed. He makes me smile and laugh. He’s quite intelligent, a good conversationalist, open and honest. Has a good career, but not over the top focused or obsessed. Quite an impressive young man, balanced. I know it won’t go anywhere because of our age difference, which is kind of sad but we agreed to enjoy each others company for a while. Even last night he messaged me to say ‘that was a very good night! Thank you’. Yes, It was. He had me thinking of the qualities I really admire in a man which funnily before all this I had never really thought about, really thought about. Strange at my age but true.

I had lunch yesterday with my youngest son for his birthday which is actually on Saturday. We had Japanese food, Sake was involved, well for me it was, my very responsible young son (I am so proud of him) said he was driving back to Uni so he just laughed at me whilst I got progressively Jolly! We always have the best and often animated conversations. I’ve decided that I am going to enjoy myself over the next week or so prior to having the meeting with my boss about a return to work. I only have  another 3 or so months left of my contract of which as I have said I am very surprised that they are looking at having me back for after these long months away. I am baffled, but thankful. And whilst I am finishing those last months I will work towards putting things in place again for the business I was about to start B.J (before Joe). All in good time.

I went on and had drinks with a friend after lunch yesterday and she told me I had to still be patient with and kind to myself. That had come after I commented that I’d hoped I had not had too adverse an effect on my sons over this period. I have always shielded them from the reality usually but this time it was there out in the open. It is hard not to feel selfish about it. I also think that life is very different now in that we get to see more of people’s reality ‘live and on air’ with the internet etc.

I do however feel there are many conversations that need to be had, issues in the open in order to de-stigmatise and bring more compassion and acceptance of the very real experiences that have for many years remained buried. I don’t think my recovery would be anywhere near as effective without the outlet and connect that this blog has afforded me. I admire so many of my fellow bloggers for their courage in sharing their experiences, how else can we really know and relate to one another. There is a strange kind of solidarity.

I did make it to the gym after the Doctor Monday and it felt so much better, not thinking about him so much. I will honor my commitment to continuing it. That and I have recently been adding a change in diet and adding vitamins and high strength fish oil of all things which I had read helps the brain function immensely. My eldest son has been on them for years as part of the ongoing trial of his health. I started them nearly 4 weeks ago, I am truly wondering if they have played their part in my minds recovery also, it seems as if they may have. You need to do whatever you can to move yourself forward, to help yourself.

Today I am feeling very grateful for the many blessing I have in my life…life beyond him…

It would be easy to standstill….stay away from the zone

So this morning after a very restless night and crazy dream filled sleep I’ve been thinking about how easy it would be to remain in this holding pattern because it feels safe and it’s pretty much what I have known for the last few months. After what turned out to be the best weekend I have had in a very long time (my Aussie rules football team had a great win late yesterday, I watched the game and overall the weekend had me feeling genuinely pleased about things for a change!! Sounds trite I guess but these months have been tough) I find I must keep away from the zone and try get out and make plans, move forward but that feeling in my gut is hovering. As much as it is discomfort you have to push out of it…when you can…

It is probably hard for many to understand, when you’ve been so low and depressed for a period of time and you become estranged and isolated from the real world only participating minimally the anxiety and fear you feel about re-engaging can be very real and debilitating. But what happened on the weekend was a grand step and a confirmation that I have turned that corner and I can do what I had feared I couldn’t; rejoin life properly with a future in sight. It’s important to remember there is no magic switch.

So the challenge is to keep moving. Today I have to see my Doctor anyway and I have decided to take my gym bag with me and visit the gym after my appointment. I know that exercise is important in my recovery and I must do it, regularly from this point on.

I emailed my boss this morning and told him we should meet soon, there was trepidation as I wrote it but I have to keep pushing forward. I have no idea after all this time what the meeting outcome will be, perhaps they have held off releasing me from the job because they did not want to make a bad situation worse and add to my situation. They have been amazing throughout this time, I am very blessed to have been associated with such an organisation.

No matter the outcome there will be a way forward I have to hold that in my mind. It feels like I may be trying to run instead of walk but I need to set achievable goals and take the steps now so that I don’t go backwards. Even if small steps.

Perhaps soon will be the time to start the business I was on the brink of starting when I met HIM again for the first time in years and things all changed and I put it all on hold after he initially was in such a rush for me to go to him….that was in the manic love bombing days (one day I will write more of his many words which now I realise were quite full on but I think need to be covered for sheer humour and ridiculousness…it can be related to by many who have ever had anything to do with a narcissist in the early days where they are hyper-vigilant and on some strange high about their new supply), I had come off anti-depressants and it all seemed like some beautiful gift from the gods.

In one conversation 3rd week in when he asked me if I knew he had always been there inside of me he said “I have imagined what I will say as your plane lands I will say to myself ‘my girl is home'”. At the time it was a romantic wonderful thing for him to say but months later when I did eventually arrive I am almost certain he was not thinking that….he had already started the cycles of devalue.

But I can’t re-visit that right now, I mustn’t. In time I will be able to perhaps but not now.

I have been asked out tomorrow night by someone I met the other night and I am seriously thinking about it. He has messaged me regularly since then, it has been a nice and flattering distraction. Perhaps too soon. But once again I need to just do things and keep moving until it all becomes natural.

It is my youngest sons birthday Saturday and I want to do something nice for him perhaps a dinner….

Oh wow…on cue he has just text me….I need to sign off for now….

Ohh dear…at least the sun is out and I’m smiling…

I did it. I got my sorry arse out of this place and went out. My first social gathering in a fair while. After how I felt when I last wrote yesterday I didn’t know if I could do it but a dear friend messaged me to say he was thinking of me and sent hugs and kisses and then he said ‘I hope you go to the party’. She is a mutual friend of ours and he is lives far away and plays in a band in the north of our huge state so couldn’t go. He said say Hi to her for me. I know he was saying’ you must go’. He and I were at high school together, two different ones over those years. I treasure our friendship. Just as I treasure my friend whose party it was last night and why I knew I had to take ‘myself out of the comfort zone’ to quote my psych.

After these last months, it wasn’t easy but I am so glad I did. My beautiful friend’s 50th at a Pub. There was a band playing (I happen to know the lead singer, not well, but my band was around when his old band was one of the best in Perth. He’s a great performer) lots of people were up dancing…including me.

It was very strange when I first got there. I got there early because transport from where I live at present is not good on the weekends and its a long way and I don’t drink drive. I thought I would have something to eat while waiting, in the restaurant and have a glass of wine. Then I sat in the bar area with my headphones on, the bar was pretty busy and it was very loud in there and when you are not used to it it takes a while to acclimatise.

I remember feeling kind of strange. I looked around and people were happy and chatting to each other it was like a lost world to me for a while.

Then two young men came over and wanted to share my table and I said sure. They started chatting to me. As I describe it it seems weird but it was really nice to engage like that again. They were funny and lively. One had only just that day got off a flight back from 6 weeks in Europe (Aussies love to travel). I could see he was still adjusting to the time difference and running on adrenaline. When you first arrive back from a long haul flight it also feels a bit surreal and it takes you a while to adjust. You still feel a bit ‘high’ from your trip. Although arriving home from the States a few months back was a sad affair for me it took me a while to adjust.

His friend kept looking at him and then look at me and shake his head. His friend was so animated. Cheekily he asked me for my phone number to catch up another time. I’m 20 years older than him! It was funny and flattering and kinda obvious. But I switched on. Finally, I engaged. I talked and laughed and bloody well enjoyed it. And all of the things that had me tied up in a sad..depressed ball faded away for a while. It was a good start.

Then I went over to my friends party. They had a special area designated with balloons etc, near the stage where the band was. My friend was so happy that I had made it, she kept hugging me and I her. It’s funny the warmth you feel in a hug from a good friend, its like a beautiful warm coat wrapping you up enveloping you from the cold.

It was a great night. Kinda crazy but really lovely and special. I’m a little tired and hungover today but I am still smiling. I am genuinely amazed at what I am feeling right now but I am glad and grateful.

I did think of him at certain times of the night. Especially when certain songs came on, great classic American songs. I still somehow relate so much to him but it didn’t hurt me this time, I just felt a tad sad, for a small moment. One of the girls at the party also went to our old high school and we chatted about mutual people we knew and wondered what they were doing now. I’m so glad I went.

So now I have to keep this up. Do what I can to stop sinking into that familiar place, build upon it. Today I feel like its impossible not to go forward. I just got a text from another friend. I’m going to answer back now….

The sun is out and I’m smiling…