Finding peace…hitting the limit…no holding back now..

When I started to write this it was a beautiful bright sunny morning, only 14 degrees Celsius and lovely. To sit and recognise something as simple as the sunshine and to stop and appreciate it keeps you in the moment. And that is imperative when you are trying to mend a mind that tends to ruminate and is recovering from deep depression amongst other things.

I had taken some bad steps back in the last week or so but it was necessary and understandable and I am going to write about it because this blog is about my journey to inner peace, moving forward, overcoming life’s obstacles and living authentically and maybe it may resonate with someone out there as I have said before. And it helps to write. I can’t talk to people here, friends, about it they have reached their limit of care and I don’t want to burden them anyway. Most don’t give a toss and that is fair enough.

I slept well last night, I went to bed satisfied for a change. I watched my Aussie rules football team absolutely kick arse. They are now 2nd on the ladder and in the finals yipppeee.  I am a mad keen West Coast Eagles fan, have been from the start win or lose. I am no fair-weather fan! My sons would take a wide berth if the game was on TV, they would laugh and say ‘mum you are crazy, they can’t hear you through the TV screen!’

I realised last night if I could apply that same passion for my footy team towards many other things I would be out of the hole by now. What a dichotomous thing. But in fairness to myself (and I am trying to do that regularly, be fair to myself) there have been bloody good reasons why I haven’t. And now I am fully aware of it and working on it.

I went to the gym yesterday. I was finally well enough to after the flu and I was so glad I did. The experience was different because this time I enjoyed it knowing it was for me..not trying to get myself all gorgeous for ‘him’, it was for me and my mind and health and when that demon tried to intrude in my thoughts I politely told him to f#%k off and I upped my pace!

My Psych session Friday was draining. I hadn’t seen her for a little while and there was a lot to discuss. I had more recently had flashbacks of some pretty disgusting repressed memories from childhood and that had floored me for days and I found myself clinging to the memory of him and the ridiculous idealisation of that classless blood sucking vampire because as they say ‘better the devil you know’, clinging to false memories of him was safer than to deal with the visions of my repressed memories.

I now realise how he managed to get into my brain, I was ripe for the picking and he knew it. I shared with him things I had never with anyone and he used it and played it well but I am on to him now, really onto him and I no longer want to  play. The game is over. He is as good as dead to me.  I have hit my limit.

I have decided that I can not forgive certain people for the pain they have caused me and I am so fed up with the bullshit that you must. You don’t and it is this realisation that has brought me some peace finally. I may or may not ever and THAT IS OK. People expect you to forgive because it makes them feel good, all rainbows, unicorns and butterflies, they feel as if they have seen you heal right before their eyes…but you need to do what works for you…it is hard for many to understand and these days care factor has a time limit. We are bombarded by so much despair and bad images we desensitize and try to keep away from it for our own peace of mind.

Let me put it this way; would you forgive the snake that bites you and fills you with the poison that just may kill you? (Forgive me Dalai Lama, there are times when you just can’t).

She (my psych) told me she thought I was actually doing quite well and that my backwards steps were understandable especially as I was forced into psycho prison again, bedridden from my flu and that unfortunately gave my mind far too much time to wander and ruminate, my energy was down very low.

She also said that I needed to keep very active if I was going to stave off further depressions without medication and I accept that you must keep active, it is a no brainer but I also feel that it is not as simplistic as that and as time goes on I am starting to see just exactly what is needed and it is daunting but necessary. No one can categorize depression specifically there are many causes and it can incorporate other issues like anxiety and trauma and therefore the approach to protecting yourself from it can be complex and take time to realise. No one size fits all as I have said before.

This time has taught me alot. I won’t shy from saying things that need to be said just because other people feel discomfort. I don’t fear abandonment anymore because I have felt it all my life and it has caused about as many wounds as it can….no more. I have shouldered far too much of that discomfort internally and refuse to do it any longer. It is one thing to say it, now I must follow through. These wounds run deep and the internalisation and self disgust have been part of the landscape for so long it is impossibly hard to be rid of in two seconds. It involves changing an entire belief system and setting up boundaries where there were none and that is not easy the older you get.

For now, its a beautiful day. Too beautiful to stay inside….

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I need a lobotomy….or a good stiff..drink..diary of a madwoman…

Finally the damned flu that floored me for what feels like two weeks…can’t be bothered counting, is going. I’ve been holed up in my psycho prison again and just when I thought everything was getting better and I was moving forward my brain has latched on to the one thing I should totally forget…for posterity…forever.

I’ve avoided writing because I felt it would go within a day or so I believed it would.  I am being light about it at present but I feel a despair about why I can not seem to let this thing go for any semblance of time. Why all of a sudden am I back thinking constantly about him, wanting so desperately to hear from him, wondering how he is. IT IS PATHETIC. It is soul destroying and I feel like I am losing my mind.

What made it infinitely worse is that I wrote to him, after managing no contact for a reasonable period of time. It has been four months since he wrote to me and since I left him. The catalyst who brought me to my knees, physically and psychologically, what did I expect; a declaration of undying love and an apology for the pain and suffering caused.

I am considering self admittance to a psych ward at the very least or a partial lobotomy…but fuck it maybe I will have to settle for a good stiff drink….

I can have a good…stiff….the younger man I have just started to see now and then is wanting to catch up. I don’t want him right now I want ‘HIM’ but the ironic thing is I know he could not give me what I hold as a fantasy in my brain…he is just not capable on so many levels. Loving him is painful.  I have seen it first hand…experienced it. What is this that is going on in my head?

How can there be so many good steps forward and then a million back? Why did I ever look back in his direction over a year ago….why did I? Why did he? And what is it about him that I can’t let go of…..I’m losing it…..it hurts…

Through the looking glass…things are not always as they seem…

As per usual I am finding that my patience with this flu is non existent, I hate being sick, it is a colossal waste of time. If I have to be horizontal it needs to be for the right reasons! I’m sounding like a man, they usually are ten times more whiny when they have flu or some other affliction..haha.

So what do you do when you are forced into lock-down when you have only just started to re-engage in life? Aside from sleep which is a necessary side effect of this blasted thing, you read. Well I do because daytime television sucks, there is only so much Dr Phil and mid day movie you can watch before you become even more depressed. I shouldn’t joke, depression is a serious thing, I’ve just had a guts-full of it.

So I picked up the second of a number of books I’m reading concurrently, two of which are by Susan Anderson; “The journey from abandonment to healing” and “Taming your outer child”.. She is an American Psychotherapist with over 30 years clinical and groundbreaking research experience in helping people overcome abandonment and the subsequent patterns of self sabotage.

You see, I have come to realise that whilst for many years I saw myself as a victim, the flow on effect of all the shite that happened within my life (and if you have read some of my old posts you will know what I have alluded to and some of it is pretty shitty but not detailed in public) was often due to choices I made such as the partners I chose to accept into my life often extremely poor choices that had the inevitable heartbreaking end whether due to mine or their actions. Depression and all the accompanying rubbish can be as a result of many things including heartbreak, a trigger.

Heartache after a breakup is normal you say, well, yes it is. It is part of life experience that most will come across at some stage of their lives. And as Susan A says it is not all bad. We can see it as an opportunity for growth and change. Each experience makes an imprint on us and it is how we react and what we do with it that matters. I have never handled it well.

The sum total of my many years of depression, abuse experiences and just sheer crap is what lead me to believe there had to be some other way of looking and responding to all this, why I can’t seem to function like most people or so it seems, and this time the overwhelming desire to weed out the rubbish once and for all, deal, learn and try to make what ever changes necessary to my life in order that the remainder of my life is not an unholy mess but an enjoyable experience, as best as it can be. Simply put, I truly have had enough of the shit. The past must remain the past and no longer affect my future.

I want to know why there are patterns that have repeated throughout my life including the depressive cycles and what I can do to break them. I want to help myself by using whatever resources there are available to me (except medication, been there done that, does not work for me). No offence to the psychologists here in Australia but I am almost certain there is a severe lack of knowledge, research and training into the myriad of mental illnesses out there growing in prevalence and occurrence. There is NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. I have said this before and it is a source of frustration for me, our government has not the capacity to realise that if we don’t deal with these issues (lack of knowledge, training and funding for mental health) it will become a crisis of epic proportions in time…if we do not have our sanity it effects our health and productivity and we then have nothing.

Anyway, off my soapbox. I digress, but this means alot to me. There are many people suffering out there, alot in silence and very much alone. It is incredibly sad. But I need to fix myself before I can help others.

So my take on this is to read the extraordinary wealth of experiences, research and theories we have access to via the internet and in print and take from each what resonates with my own set of circumstances, become aware of and try to apply what works, for me.

When I looked at the ‘what is abandonment’ list,  it is not always as it seems at face value and the examples are many and varied of our everyday life experiences but she describes  it as ” a wound at the heart of human experience”…a wound.  It is something that we bring into the way we handle things including a broken heart and how we recover from it. The most basic example is the birth process where we are all of a sudden wrenched out of a safe, warm, familiar, connected and encompassing environment into one filled with bright lights, noise, cold and foreign touch, for a time disconnected from the source of warmth and safety and that is just the start of our human experience.

It is impossible to really impart the wisdom she shares but I have to say it makes so much logical sense I only wish I had come across her books sooner. She offers some tools to use going forward but like anything you must put the work in and not expect a magic pill to fix you.  A New York Times best selling author John Bradshaw describes her work as “An enormous help to anyone looking to let go of past disappointments and self recrimination and get on with the essential work of healing, building boundaries, and acquiring the skill to reach your goals”.

Things through the looking glass are not always as they seem. I feel better right now, aside from this damned flu, better than I have in many months.

I did think of Joe when I woke this morning, first time in a while because for many months he was my first thought when I woke and my last at night. It was a very difficult thought habit to break.  I’m not sure why, I still sometimes wonder what the purpose of us reconnecting after 30 odd years was, and why did things happen the way they did. I guess that will always be there somewhere. I let it come when it does and then let it flow right out again and it doesn’t hurt anymore.

I recognise in me the need to try fix things, my relationships etc and that stems from childhood issues. But I have realised you can not fix that that does not want to be fixed. You can not control other people, you can only work on healing and loving yourself. And you should because you are well worth it irrespective of other’s opinions.

Ohhh damn, I need to have a really good cough up….YUK

Come to me, meet me halfway or don’t bother…mercy f#%k..

Ahhh. The sun is shining in the window, I look out at the day and smile (It’s a good day when I smile into the sunshine). I am in the middle of a text parry and thrust (comedic) with a man who seems keen to see me again although I haven’t seen him for a while. I haven’t seen anyone for a while, by choice. He was someone I tried as a distraction when I first got back from the States. I was so desperately heartbroken I tried everything to try relieve my mind of that blood sucking vampire including mercy fuck (Can I write that here? Too bad…outer child just had a tantrum).

He is a nice man. Nice is such an insipid word. But he is nice and funny. He wined and dined me, was a proper gentleman. But ultimately as seems to happen in this day and age (of tinder etc, swipe left, swipe right..not that I’m on tinder!) we did the horizontal mumbo far too soon. It was mutual believe me, after waiting 9 months (and some 30 years previous!!) for “I’ve got the body of a 35 year old (not) and I will make love to you all night (he wasn’t capable)” yada yada BS BS BS…delusional narcissistic freak).

Anyway. He made a mistake this time (the distraction). He said maybe I can find my way to his place (if I don’t want to meet for a meal and a night out) and I laughed and thought “there is no way on god’s great earth that I’m doing that shit again”.  So I messaged back and said “Re: ‘find my way’ to yours I don’t do that anymore. You come to me or meet me halfway or forget it, I’m worth more than that…”. I flew half way around the globe to see the Devil and look where that got me, not going there ever again…EVER.

To his credit, he laughed and joked about the mouthful I gave him first thing in the morning, because he knew where I was coming from, he wanted to talk about my trip etc in the days our friendship started even though I didn’t want to at the time and he was amazing, but I cut him off after a little while because I wasn’t well and I wasn’t ready. Still not. His first name is the same as the devil’s, and he is Sicilian as well and there are other similarities and that does my head in.

But something keeps telling me I have to get back on the horse, or I will never ride again.

I need to re-engage with the world. I need to start going out again and living. Force it, until it starts to come naturally again. I’ve been completely broken.

Funnily enough, I got a delivery today of a book I’d ordered a while back (one of a few). It had to come from the States because realistically there is a severe lack of good knowledge here about mental health, or maybe its just got to do with funding and research and the lack thereof here in Australia. And let’s face it, crazy is on a much larger scale in the U.S! DON’T get me wrong, I love America, I could live there and I definitely will return for holidays there on a regular basis because it is awesome in every way, so diverse. The people still say please and thank you there and ‘Yes, maaaam’…love it.

The book is by Susan Anderson. It’s called “Taming your outer child; overcoming self sabotage and healing from abandonment”. She is a psychotherapist with more than 30 years of clinical experience and research work with victims of trauma, abandonment, grief and loss and a host of other stuff. I have her other book coming “The journey from abandonment to healing” as well. She is based in Manhattan. I love Manhattan. I’ve walked the entire length of Manhattan, what an amazing melting pot of experiences……I digress.

I have been fighting many years of depression, and rotten experiences and circumstances. I found after hitting bottom this time I was the root cause of my problems because I have allowed myself to be led by my circumstances. No amount of psychotherapy by someone else will help if I don’t try to help myself and work from within. To wait for others to fix me I may as well get back on the antidepressants and wander around like a zombie for the rest of my life and stay mediocre and accept everything everyone else throws at me and don’t bother ducking for cover. Just give up. I can’t do that, I won’t.

I want to get to a place I know I can. Break down whatever barriers to entry there are and for fuck sake DO and LIVE and do it and live it well. There’s a girl, there is a fight in the belly again…now to keep it up..keep going forward. Thank god I have a psych appointment tomorrow haha….:)

She’s AWOL again….Commander Whack Job…grief

I am starting to think that I am kryptonite to psychologists…It seems like the last couple have gone AWOL right at crucial times and I find myself back in the quagmire I seem bogged in. There is no point denying it. I am still in a bad place hence I haven’t blogged for a week. I haven’t had it in me until today.

2 weeks now I haven’t seen my psych. She’s had to cancel two Fridays in a row, the last because she is sick. That is perfectly feasible. People get ill, particularly in winter (Australia..southern hemisphere…winter)..flu season etc. But the same thing happened with the previous psych but her illness was apparently longer so I had to seek out a another.

Being the paranoid, depressed person I am right now I keep thinking its me! Have I outpsyched the psych? I am having serious abandonment issues! No thanks most recently to ‘he who shall remain nameless’.

I’m joking about it at present, I’ve just had cake. I got out of bed and made a cake. Just a moment ago I ate a large slice so I am buzzing on sugar. It was a sultana cake (high fructose as well). Making cake was good for me. It was action in an otherwise inactive day. I haven’t worked out for 3 months almost. I have gained 2 kilos. I don’t care there are worse things.

I have been excessively inactive in the last two weeks. So much so I did not even go outside for almost the entire 2 weeks. I have been back to the black, the dark place where all I did was sleep, read stuff on psychological issues (trying to self help) and broken relationships and narcissists and cried all the time. I felt immense pain and disappointment and hopelessness. And fear. My sons keep me here, nothing else. Thank god they are with their father now and older, I talk to them when able but they have no idea how bad I have been and I don’t want them to know. I know they don’t read my blog.

I have still been thinking about everything to do with Commander Whack Job (I did not coin that phrase, it was in an issue of Psychology today, an article about ‘how to survive a manipulator’). Funny actually, the poor woman who wrote it was a Journalist who was married to a ‘Commander Whack Job’, she called him that because he was ex U.S Navy just like my shithead but this guy was secretly professing to have been a Navy Seal and a whole host of other things and was a complete nutter/lier/manipulator/narcissist and really did a number on her. She ignored the Red Flags too. Apparently even the smartest of people will go cognitive dissonance because they want to believe people are being truthful. The story was a relief to me in a sad way..it made me realise how many other whack jobs there are out there and yet others fall for them and are left hopelessly bereft for a time like I am…hopefully not all of them (the nut jobs) are Ex U.S Navy (I’m sure they aren’t there are lots of great servicemen) and working for Cisco like mine. At least Cisco are getting their money’s worth out of his propensity to be a BIG talker/Narc. I’ve heard him in action on the job, exceptionally convincing, it is something to see. I’d bet his ‘Team’ thinks he is a god.

I know many will say why is she still on about this, its been 3 months, I kick myself all the time about it. In 3 days it will be a year since that connect request I got from him on Linkedin (after not seeing him for 30 years), and now I bloody well wish I had never reconnected with him. The memory of him was perfect from back then (early 80’s), he was handsome, romantic, generous (in some ways I am so glad I no longer have the beautiful jewelry he sent me when I was 16 and 17), he wrote me beautiful letters for a number of years after the ship went out (wrote my guardians when he couldn’t find me as I moved without telling him both overseas and over east as time went on!! I was young and trying to enjoy my life, I wasn’t ready for him then) and he was a gentleman.( He wanted to come back to me and Perth, settle here). I still believe he was that wonderful, then. And then the 30 years happened. The person he was no longer exists and what is in place now…well that’s what I struggle with daily to reconcile, still, 3 months after I walked out of his house with a horrible feeling in my gut that I had to walk out and heartbroken knowing he would shut down on me.

What he wrote and how he spoke to me for hours on the phone in the beginning of the reconnect was almost like the old him. He was pretending to be everything I thought he was and more, he uttered the words ‘I love you’ in the second week of our reconnect when we were on a 2 hour phone conversation Australia to the States, and I should have known then something was off…I kinda did, but I chose to ignore it because I was being love hazed comprehensively and fast and that coupled with the beautiful memory of him from years ago and the fact I was coming out of 17 years of antidepressant medication and a bad depression I HAD NO HOPE. I’m almost certain he knew exactly what he was doing. And everything is consistent with the narcissist playbook, you could tick every box line for line in every heartbroken love hazed narcissist/sociopath survivor blog and website. AND STILL. I loved him. It still hurts like a bastard. I keep thinking maybe there are other reasons for the things that happened that compounded it all like his daughters mother, whom he never married but there is so much he never revealed, he was smart about it. But bit by bit as I continue to post mortem because my mind just won’t let it go for some bloody reason, it is playing detective, and bits of memory of conversations and actions and inactions comeback and haunt me and his comprehensive shutdown/discard has not allowed me the ability to heal at all. The final bit of uncaring cruelty.

I am obsessed it seems, its like he still has control ever me and is sitting back laughing at me and how stupidly I fell for his bullshit. I did it, I hurt myself. I can’t seem to forgive myself for it.

I’m losing it….this is why I stopped writing because I was trying to avoid dragging it up and putting it down because it is still so painful. But it is part of an even bigger picture, a history.

I know I literally have abandonment grief (amongst other things) and even though Joe caused it this time it goes way back. I am also frightened again now about my capacity to be able to handle things if my son starts going down hill again or if I lose him. I had after years finally thought I had come to a place of acceptance about his disease and then this has brought me crumbling down again…my mind….I need my strength back, I feel weak….