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…

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…

Reporting live from dumb-ass central…..

Yes, you’ve read correctly. Reporting live from dumb- arse central!

I am a dumb-arse! I am slightly smiling as I say it but a dumb-arse nevertheless. After a slightly worse day than others recently (it happens still but not as much or as bad now), I decided in all my wisdom to relax with a glass of Red and some music which is what I tend to do less frequently now because ultimately I know what the outcome will be and after so many months of struggle, learning lessons I don’t want to take the proverbial two steps back. I’ve done so well really?!

Nope. After a few glasses (it was, a nice Spanish Rioja) and not thinking about changing the Ipod from shuffle to the ‘No BS’ mix I specifically made for myself to steer myself away from songs that reminded me of ‘him’…inevitably the ‘him’ songs made their way through the speakers and I reminisced! Torturously, it was as a sneaky pleasure (!) I thought. It’s ok to think of the good things (what little there was) once in a while and fantasise about how things could have been (no chance they ever would have, but I have a vivid imagination particularly after mind-altering substances like alcohol…removes the boundaries..again I committed the ultimate act of self betrayal by emailing him.

Sad, so very sad, but true. He has to this very day stuck to his ‘no contact’ rule, so why couldn’t I? I’m only hurting myself. If he really is a Narc as I am almost certain he is and so is my Pysch then I have been succinctly relegated to the discard pile no longer part of the ‘supply’ chain. My ‘use by’ date long expired.

And by contacting him again I have shown myself to be even more damaged, neurotic and clingy than he told me I was “you need to work on yourself, let go of your dependencies, the past etc etc. I’m here, just don’t take another 30 years”.

I think the most painful part is that he was right. In the love bomb phase where I was bombarded with beautiful lines of care and pseudo love he managed to extract all that he needed to make these summary statements. His ability was astounding, or maybe not so he was playing with a very willing opponent. He told me everything I wanted to hear, and then eventually started the game of with-hold of contact and affection because he knew me so well. He would then come back for periods of a time and do it again “I can’t wait for our first night together. I will make love to you all night. I can’t wait to see you lying underneath me’.

I came to need him like I needed air. I trusted him wholeheartedly and I don’t trust easily.

Even now I can see that my actions only confirm his diagnosis. I can clearly see what I am doing wrong and yet I trip every now and then….no self control. All this therapy and back to almost square one? NOOOOO

NO WAY. Mindset.  And ‘CUE’ text from a concerned friend;

“Alcohol tends to be a catalyst for doing things you shouldn’t, r regressing of some kind.Don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re only human.  And its bound to happen now and then. But maybe getting boozy solo isn’t the best idea” (us Aussies are always to the point, and reasonably laid back! Part of our charm!)

My response “Ya reckon??!!!!” “No more solo endeavours” 😦  thanks my friend.

Now, to build that bridge and get over it!

LOVE AND WHITE LIGHT….the flawed one!

Time out….metamorphosis…from pain to joy..

It’s been quite freeing the last few days walking away from social media and even this blog. Friday I was going to throw caution to the wind and have a different type of time out..with wine and music. I didn’t. And I don’t regret it.

I am starting to see things in a different light, and I like what I see. It is no longer coloured by negativity but a perspective that in every thing which appears to be incredibly painful there is also a blessing. I am finally grateful for my pain because of the incredible joy I have found in the lessons learned. Seriously.

I spent time this weekend doing things I enjoy…true time out. Often laughter, often at myself. At times processing and making sense of things and realising that some things aren’t meant to make sense. It just is.

This will be the possibly the last time I will mention ‘him’ because he no longer matters. There is a much better life beyond him. But part of my necessary processing and final let go was about him.

For example, when I think of ‘him’ now I only feel pity. Pity can be seen as a word to recoil from or patronising but it means to see something through the eyes of compassion amongst other meanings.

He will never know the kind of unconditional love he may have had from someone who cared so deeply, he doesn’t trust it and does not know how to accept it.  Eventually he will know that people will realise how unwell and broken he is inside, including his daughter as she becomes a woman in her own right. She will question his inability to keep a normal relationship for any length of time and his actions. Why is there a trail of brokenness? I sincerely hope that she will come out of her attachment to him whole. I think of her often and feel sad for her.  People who seek to control and hurt others with their actions will always be exposed in the end. He is trapped in perpetual motion that must in itself be incredibly tiring and debilitating to his health as much as at present it is thrilling in what he sees as his’wins’. These wins will eventually become hollow reality. Hollow. You can not hide from your demons they will eventually rise to face you.

His behaviour is part of an illness and it is one that will never subside unless he comes to a place of awareness and want to change. Sadly the track record is fairly damning for narcissists. You may want to be there and help and love them but in a majority of cases there is no way for a narc to accept that help and love because they do not believe they need help. They are unable to see it, or admit to it if they do. Their solid exterior is that only, exterior, inside they are a chaotic mess. What a horrible way to live your life. Always seeking the thrill of your next conquest, your egotistical supply and it never really being enough.

They always find supply because unfortunately there are other ‘brokens’ out there who are easily manipulated by the charm and simply just want and need what is on offer initially. It is very hard to resist. But with a narc, it can’t be offered for a long period of time, the thrill dies off easily, its simply never enough.

It has taken me a while to accept this for what it is. And I feel sadness for him, and for a long time I wanted to help him because I remembered who I thought was a divine promising young man that I fell in love with many years ago, in a very short space of time. I saw something in him, felt it, even though I was very young…now I know what I saw may have existed then but does not now. When I walked out he knew he would never have control of me again so I had lost my appeal…he cut me off. I no longer exist, I am of no use. Narcissists are incapable of empathy. What a gift he gave me in letting me out of his circle of pain. I am grateful.

And it is not what I want for my life and deep inside I knew it at the time I walked out but it has taken all this time to really understand that I was following my instinct, my intuition and that I should always trust myself. Lesson learned, the hard way but learnt nevertheless!:)

The other stuff, things that have weighed me down for so long no longer hold the same type of power or significance. They are significant but now I know it is because it has taught me what I needed to know.

Over this sad time of depression and grief it feels as though I have gone through a metamorphisis; completely emptied myself of despair, felt pain so unbearable, fear of what might happen to me if I let go of these things that bind me and complete confusion. I’ve felt completely alone and yet I coveted the isolation. I needed it to get through this. Part of the change has been to discard what I kept because for a long time I thought without it I could not survive, whether consciously or not it is what I felt I needed…including friendships. I was completely fearful of being alone and therefore kept a hold on ties that never really helped me at all and if anything were toxic.

Admitting to yourself that you have perpetuated this circle of pain of your own volition is extremely tough (admitting your part in it all). But it is necessary in the healing process. You can’t without it.

I have forgiven those that have hurt me or have not been a positive part of my life and even thought they will no longer play a part in it I am grateful that they did in the past. I forgive myself, it is impossible to go through life making decisions that are always right, it’s not human.

I watched an incredibly inspiring movie last night called ‘Belle’. Based in the late 1700’s and on a true story it is about an illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a British admiral who plays an important role in the campaign to abolish slavery in England. It was amazing. It highlighted to me that you do not have to accept the will of others, who impose their own biases and prejudices and expectations. That if you remain true to you and combine it with action what an extraordinary difference you can make not only in your own life but in that of others…in good intention. With love, honesty, compassion and forgiveness.

Thought for the day….sometimes you have to laugh…

It’s a short post today. I may post later although that may be a bad idea because I have set Friday as my throw caution to the wind and just enjoy it day now. There is wine and music involved.

I have my psych appointment this morning, I have a number of sessions left before I re-commit to the real world. This has been my ‘deal with’ time, my ‘get better’ time and my ‘ask the surgeon for the missing part of your brain back that he took when you had the partial lobotomy of loving the wrong person’ time!

Should I joke? Depression, existential crisis and other stuff is not funny it’s serious, but I have had many weeks on the incredibly serious wagon and I’m getting real tired of that shit. And they say that laughter is the best medicine.

I know there is a process and time and patience is involved but I have expended an awful lot of time and energy being down in the dark hole, I deserve better…I’ve been working on better.

Realistically, the only person who can really pull you out that hole is you (and for some that is almost impossible, I acknowledge that, but not impossible). But I want out of it for good and whatever it takes I will do.

I’ve been reading some real funny stuff lately (one of my new approaches in distraction and healing…time with comedy, laughter) including a book by Greg and Amiira Behrendt called “It’s called a break up because it’s broken: the smart girls breakup buddy”.   I highly recommend this book co-authored by his wife. (Greg wrote ‘He’s just not that into you’ years ago.)

I love this pearl of wisdom she wrote in her intro apparently by her granny;

“Even with all the mayonnaise in the world, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit”….think about it!

Better out than in….how many times can a person bang their head against the wall?

Sometimes you have to say to yourself ‘how many times can you bang your head against the wall before it starts to hurt and you realise how futile it is?’. Well? Even though my psych thinks I am doing OK and progressing, I on the other hand struggle to find the sane person within me on a regular basis. This is a kind of Dear Diary entry today. I need a stern talking to and there is no-one around to do it but me….

Like yesterday. I was doing fine or so I thought. I was talking to a dear friend who is having a tough time right now (Yeh, I know, a bit like the blind leading the blind but how can you say no to a friend in need? Even if you are struggling yourself? I just can’t…say no easily…I care). But the conversation was tough, long and tough, trying to get them to see their way of thinking was not helping them and the biggest irony was that I am not thinking straight either.

I ended up drinking more than a bottle of red wine yesterday afternoon/night, something I rarely do anymore and I didn’t want to yesterday but I found myself there. I just did. There were tears. There was rebellion of thought. And then I did the worst thing I could possibly do after everything and that was to email him (Joe) late last night 9pm my time (Sunday night Perth WA) and would have been 6am Sunday morning in sunny Arizona. Bloody hell. Why? What did I hope to achieve?

My email was short, the title; ‘Still f…ed up…thank you very much’.  An then I pasted a YouTube song link, a Santana song ‘you know that I love you’ and under that I wrote ‘UP YURS;)’ in caps.

What the hell? Crazy is as crazy does…and now I find myself sitting and ruminating again. Back at crazy town, after some good days and good progress. Miserable. Yesterday morning I could see forward a bit. Today, nothing.

Is this meant to happen? I am a grown woman should I not have impulse control by now?  When will this form of self flagellation end. He is the anti-christ not a god, and I am just a dumb bird that fell for his BS. His cocaine hit for a period of time. His ego boost until he found another.  He was never going to respond, why would he? What we had was an illusion, he did not feel anything for me, he is not capable of it, he proved that by his actions but also his inaction.

What is this mad attachment I have to this man? Was my self esteem so shattered that the lies he told in the beginning, the crazy, full on ‘ you are coming to realise that I am your rock, your stability, you may never have had’, ‘your friends may care but not like I do’, “I love you’ within the first 2 weeks, ‘we need to come together for the rest of our lives and we need to do it now’ and many more manipulating, convincing words,  and when the flags warned me and I said ‘no, I need to slow this down a bit, we don’t have to do anything right now’ he said ‘sweetie, that’s not how I do things, I take life and live it, I don’t wait’, and then after his mania started to peter and I was ‘on the hook’ and started seeing things his way and no longer a challenge, when he realised I was questioning things, he started to disappear for periods at a time, throw the odd crumb. Classic Narc. I am still under that spell.

But, as I write…I have reminded myself…where I was…and where I had gotten to so far…before my conniption yesterday. Perhaps, if I step back and think more rationally, if possible with this hangover, maybe, just maybe this is part of the process of clearing.

Maybe, there will be these ‘bumps’ along the road and it is how I navigate them that matters? Come on girl, you have been fighting for so long..don’t give up now. Thought defusion. Remember, these things only have the power if you let them. IF YOU LET THEM….better out than in..

Why the fog still?…swings and roundabouts…no wonder…

I am really struggling today and I am so damn tired of it all.  No wonder psych told me to seriously consider going back on meds even if a low dose for a short time. I have been trying to fight this BS on my own, deal, unmedicated, I did so well to get off them after 17 years but I know they would temporarily lift this merde just enough to get my mind some relief. Today I am tempted for the first time.

It seems like I take steps forward and then go backwards again. (I was really starting to do OK, until the Joe debacle, why did the universe see fit to bring him back into my life after so many years…and a man that has had such a bad effect on me, why him?…all of the circumstances including the fact that he is half a world away, I don’t understand why, it would help but I know trying to get  answers to certain things is futile yet I still…its not just about him though, I know that but it was the catalyst and what happened was real). I need to accept, I need to accept…

Yesterday, I read about other disorders of the mind aside from Narcs like how you can self sabotage, masochism etc trying to find answers and it seems the more options of crazy I see they all seem to be relevant in some way but it still doesn’t help this horrible dark hole I am in. If anything it reveals more cracks and I’m on swings and roundabouts.  It’s almost like I am doing a psych degree by default.

My mind is slightly foggy today. I keep writing, not for sympathy but to get it out and open and some days even that is tough and I really don’t care right now what people think, truly, as I said the psych encourages it and I know there are days I am so grateful for this outlet. It is quite unorthodox to do it this way, or it was, for people to be open about depression and such but I think the more you can get the reality of it out there maybe people will understand. Not for me, but I know there are always people worse off.

I hit another bad point this morning when I spoke with my younger son, he is such a gorgeous young man, beautiful heart and soul and he loves his mum..he shows it regularly but when he is so wonderful I become so wracked again with an incredible guilt it is such a ridiculous cycle..you want them to be happy and have faith in you and then when they realise you are struggling they give you this unconditional love and then you feel you have let them down badly. IT IS AN AWFUL FEELING. And I am so glad that I never let them see me struggling until recently. It would have wrecked them as kids.

If I held it together then why can’t I now? Maybe that was an illusion, maybe I was not as together as I thought.

My younger son said how much his older brother misses me (I haven’t seen him since I before I left for the U.S. and there are ridiculously difficult reasons for that too) and it made me breakdown again, as I write this I am crying. I know I will get above this I have to. But I am confused in the true sense of the word. Today. I have to try limit this. I have to will myself out of thinking this way, give it its time and then put good thinking habits in practice…perhaps you really do need to completely deconstruct to reconstruct…

Can’t keep writing right now, not publicly. Maybe in my journal later with pen and paper…but I need to deal..to smile..somehow…

Bring on the straitjacket…. The more you know.. . Part two..

You really know something is wrong when you continue to bash your head against the wall. It’s a cliche but the old saying that ‘the definition of insanity is doing exactly the same thing and expecting a different outcome’ rings true here…

I spent a great deal of yesterday going over and over things, thinking and feeling the pain trying to find some order in the chaos. Predominantly him but also how it all relates to my childhood and the following years.  I realised my father was not only an alcoholic abusive he was a narc (there is a spectrum of narcissism) and my mother even though most would look at her and say oh she wouldn’t hurt  fly is a psych case and a very selfish person (the amount of times she told me how weak and useless I was..she is herself illiterate and made no attempt to fix that over the years she preferred people to help and feel sorry for her), and my narc relationships; colleagues, bosses, a teacher that told me I would only ever be a checkout chick at a supermarket (not that there is anything wrong with that..being a shop assistant, it is good honest work). What bloody hope did I have? When you’ve been hammered with it it is hard to see yourself through any other perspective. Then I look at me , I think about the resentment I carry; my parents, my relationships, my sons illness and other shit and it would be so much easier to say….I GIVE UP. I never have completely..but I’ve been so close…

My psych told me to write this list out as part of my homework. I haven’t done it yet because I thought I had forgotten alot of the things this list asks me to recall and put in columns. They have been buried in the chasm…now they are coming out. This is my ‘total recall’ but I ain’t hallucinating and they aren’t false memories.

It has to happen in order to really heal. To wipe the slate as clean as you can get it. Reality is you never forget completely, but you can and must forgive and let go.

My psych did say that I have shown a lot of courage in my willingness to deal with shit. Admitting your part in it everything as well..it’s a process and many prefer to assume they are good just how they are, never going forward.  Some live in ignorant bliss and I guess that is fine because that is their journey…their journey.

The real worrying aspect of the sum total of my learning and experiences, programming and patterns in all this is a paranoia that possibly I could actually be a narc myself?( Some of the criteria includes anxiousness and depression with some narcs and chronic underachievement and I have always thought of what I was capable of but never quite hit the mark although I have done things that many others would never do too! eeekk!) Would that be an incredible twist? Scary.

But then over time I start to think of all of the good things that have happened and then I find some relief. It is getting my mind to stop the replay, the rumination, when you are in this state its not easy to do. When you are tired of it all it is hard to find the strength for the mental battle. To practice good habits instead of bad. The saving grace in it all is that I am aware of all this shit and trying to do something about it. Bring on the straitjacket…just in case….

Some days titles are a pain in the arse!

I love writing my blog now. It has been a wonderful cathartic help over this dark period of my life. It has been a lifeline in some ways because when you are going through depression and life crisis it takes time and the way things are today and obviously everyone has their own life to live, responsibilities and what not there also comes a kind of empathy fatigue. Eventually people disappear. I understand it. No one wants to be around a depressed, mentally struggling person its a downer! It’s tiring.

The flip-side is some of them also assume you are getting better and probably getting on with your life, back at work, seeing other friends etcetera. It is hard for those who haven’t been through it to fathom the process and how long it can take. And some have always said ‘you know I am here for you when you need me, call me anytime’, but of course, I don’t. I don’t like to burden people.

Sometimes I still have what is like a guilt that people will be thinking ‘oh she’s a drama queen, wallowing in self pity’ and ‘oh no, not this shit still’. That is how the mind works when you have been mentally stuck for years, the needle stuck in the groove of the 45 (7 inch records made of vinyl, 45 rpm, old music reference for you youngsters out there!). Lack of self esteem and confidence.

I still get the odd message ‘how are you doing?’ and then there is Facebook and its messenger etc. Which I do tend to use on good days and keep in touch there. But I haven’t really been in a position to cement good friendships over the years for many reasons; my sons’ illness, my periods of depression, moving around interstate etc. Friendships are a two way street and I just couldn’t do it. Consequently, I have alot of ‘friends’ or acquaintances but not many that have been consistently there sadly. Hard to admit but true. And in depressed times you isolate anyway, you don’t want people to see you failing.

It’s OK though because I have always preferred to deal with things on my own, and in honesty I tend to go into self imposed isolation for periods of time when I am trying to deal with things. I prefer it. Whether good or bad. I had a lady at the fish and chip shop the other day,( she owns the shop, nice lady about my age and single too, we’ve had some great chats)…I shouted myself (bought for myself) some fish and chips after I had taken a walk..say to me ‘Hey, how are you? Where have you been? Did you go back over to America? Still going to the gym you look great’ (!), I said ‘no, things did not go well and I had a bit of breakdown actually, self imposed exile to try sort things’…and she said ‘Oh my god, not you, I don’t believe it you are always so amazingly friendly, bright and positive’..I smiled at that, I had forgotten that there was a time I was so incredibly happy (I thought) in the months reconnecting with and leading up to going to see Joe, I had managed to kick 17 years of anti depressants, I was in love, lost 15 kilos in weight I didn’t know I had. Had a great tan, fit and healthy. Even though the Narc roundabout was in full swing when it was good I was so high on life. He made me feel good. (And bad, but I never recognised it for what it was at that stage…)

I am starting to reflect again, but this time I find the change coming. The pain associated firstly with him is starting to dissipate. I think, I feel and let it run its course, if I shed a tear I shed a tear..there are far less than there was and the sting and ache does not come as much. I also reflect on past pain and am starting to do the same with it…a kind of compartmentalisation…trying to make order of the chaos..one issue at  a time.

This morning when I woke I felt lighter than I have felt in a long time, the techniques I am using are working and I am starting to feel proud of myself strangely…its a whole new realm.

At one stage I considered the lackey band ( Elastic band – Aussie’s tend to abbreviate everything to its shortest form!) treatment I had read about where a woman had been in a very painful relationship and was trying to get over and not go back even though he was trying to, so she got a lackey band and put it around her wrist. Every time she started to feel and think about the warm but false memories of her ex she would pull at the band and it would slap against her wrist obviously causing a stinging pain and much discomfort…over a short time it served to remind her of how her ex and the situation made her feel and she found herself over it! I laugh when I think of that, it still makes me giggle!

But this is what the marvelous world of blogging has brought. I’ve had people write to me, like my blog, follow etc, not many but it is starting to happen more and then I read their blogs and personal experiences and I am blown away by some of the amazing stories of mental toughness, growth and success that has stemmed from their journeys. Alot of inspiration and just a bit of craziness which helps me to realise I am not the only freak in this show of life!

Each day there are more good things to add to my gratefulness diary (psych is pleased with it’s progress too!). So, like yesterday I will continue the formula. Take a walk, write and just give myself the time I need. I am smiling today and it is coming naturally…..all in time…patience grasshopper…x