Life in a Nutshell

It has been several months since my last post on here. And to be honest I really can’t say why? Not sure if I lost myself or just couldn’t be bothered. I really don’t know.

Life is just getting too hard. Where do I begin?

I am angry and frustrated that life is still a big shit pile of problems and debts. I am anxious because there is so much uncertainty. I have been working hard on myself and have realised I play the victim a lot of the time. Simply because I feel the need to justify why I feel the way I do. I feel I have to defend myself constantly and not sure if it is just old behavioural patterns so ingrained I can’t help falling back into old habits when things get tough, or just because it’s easier than doing the hard work and taking responsibility for my life.

Recently I spent a few days in hospital because of an antidepressant medication I was taking. I developed serotonin syndrome from taking Valium. The surprising part was I only ever took half the dose and only when I needed it. But leading up to my hospital stay a lot of stress was causing me to take it everyday. So now I have to live without it. And my other medication escitolapram isn’t enough to keep my anxiety  at bay so I can function. I am okay at home by myself and with my cat, until my partner comes home and then I am on edge all the time till he goes to bed.

My partner is a source of much of my stress and problems. He lives life by the seat of his pants, with finances and his own wellbeing. He had a prescribed medication addiction as well as over the counter medication. And had just recently been labelled a doctor shopper because of it. I knew this would eventually happen, so he is the one who has to live with the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately this has impacted on our financial situation and that affects me. He is unemployable because he is accident prone and too arrogant to listen to his employers. And his attitude to wards money is terrible. His spending habits are so haphazard and spontaneous with no consideration for how to pay for things. If money is in his account he spends it, not considering that maybe tomorrow he has to make a car payment or loan payment.

I have realised I have a co-dependency issue with my relationship. I live with a narcissist who had systematically stripped me of my independence and self-esteem. And it happened on such a subtle level I was totally unaware of what was happening. I have always been such an independent and strong individual but I fear for my welfare if I leave him, because he has instilled in me a sense of fear that has crippled me.

I thought this man was the answer to my prayers, he was so kind and considerate and caring, but now he might as well be my prison guard and abuser. Which he is actually. Imagine living in a perpetual world of doubt and uncertainty, this is what I live every day. I suffer from PTSD along with BPD, Anxiety and bouts of Depression. This person has preyed on my mental health issues and has used them against me. That is what narcissists and sociopath do.

I find myself on a long road to recovery yet again. Not just with my self-esteem but with my health, my income and financial stability, my whole life. I have to heal from the abuse, build my self esteem and recover my life. I have no family to depend on, no car to get me out of here, no money and I am on a sickness benefit. I struggle to keep my home business going, and have resorted to doing online surveys for a bit of extra cash. I hate the life I have to live and the fact that my escape is something I have to work towards but I have no choice.

And so the struggle begins……..

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The Black Dog is Yapping at My Heels

The Black Dog is Yapping at My Heels

Anyone who has had Depression knows what the Black Dog is. Another bout of Depression has snuck up on me. At this point I am not suicidal but I struggle to find any good in my day. I feel teary on some days out of the blue, getting out of bed is a struggle.

When I realised what was happening I decided in that moment to do something about it. I had an online assessment done and have signed up for a Wellbeing course run by professionals. I know of online counselling available so if I feel the need to talk to someone I know where to go.

My husband’s reaction wasn’t as supportive as I had hoped, He seemed to make it all about him when we had the conversation about how I have been feeling lately. I understand and appreciate he is right in this situation with me and I know it has taken its toll on him. But when your partner comes to you and tells you they are struggling with depression again, you don’t get angry.

We are at present in a very precarious financial position with regards to his business. Every day is about wondering if we are going to meet our bills and pay the huge debt, amassed as a result of his business, not to mention the other 8 debts we currently are trying to pay off, not to mention our day-to-day living expenses.

We are not in a position to consolidate our debts and reduce the repayments, because of his self-employed status. And moving to a smaller and cheaper rental is not possible as we have no savings with which to move. Stuck between a rock and a hard place comes to mind right now.

I accept my part in our circumstances, I know what I could have done differently but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Bankruptcy is the next step if we can’t get out of this funk.

Having taken over the reins of our personal bills and rent I am hoping we will improve our situation. It will take one step at a time.

As is the case with Depression.

If you are new to mental health issues, it is difficult to recognise the signs but once you have been there, you know when you are not right.

If you have a lot of days where you feel down and sad, where you struggle to even get out of bed, you find no joy in anything in life, you go about life like you are in a fog. You need to reach out. Talk to a friend or family. Seek out your Doctor, they can refer you on for counselling. There are so many Helplines that specialise in counselling people with mental health issues. With the internet we have access to so many websites that can offer help.

We are all worthwhile, we all deserve to live. Sometimes even the strongest of us can’t cope with life and all its ups and downs. It is okay to admit when you need help. Just reach out.

If you are being bullied at school or work, talk to your parents and teachers, bosses and co workers. You are not alone. Having been a part of a number of support groups I know for a fact we are not alone. So many suffer in silence and it shouldn’t be this way. Don’t feel shame or guilt. It is perfectly natural to have moments where you find you can’t cope. We all have them.

Mental health issues are not something to be ashamed of, just because society at large still believes in the stereotypical images of a mentally ill person. We are not all straight jacket material and we don’t all go round screaming and dribbling, babbling incoherently. So many of us are high functioning. We go to work, raise families, attend school, serve you at the store, walk by you in the street, sit next to you on the train or bus.

The media and movie industries have created an image of a person with mental health issues as someone who is dangerous to the community and that is certainly not the case in about 99% of cases.

Hold your head high and tell someone what you are feeling. Ask for help, but most of all be willing to accept that help. You will be so grateful you did.

 

 

 

Taking Life by the Horns Part 4

In summary, we need to listen to what we think about ourselves and what we believe about ourselves. Question whether this is valid or true and replace the negative thoughts and beliefs with more positive ones. Give yourself a break if you make a mistake, and realise it is human to make mistakes, that is how we are supposed to learn about life and how not to make the same mistake again.

If we put the blame on others, etc we will never accept responsibility for how we create the course of our lives. It’s not about blame it is about being aware of how we are perceived by others and the impressions we give off and contribute to the course our life takes.

Think about things a little more. If you are someone for whom things tend to go wrong no matter what you do, think about what you are about to do or commit yourself to. Taking out some form of credit, for instance, do you need that full amount that you are being offered or can you do with a smaller amount, it makes a big difference in the repayments and interest you pay.

If you tend to end up in abusive relationships or your relationships all seem to be the same. Then think about why this happens, question whether you have an unconscious belief that this is what you feel you deserve. How someone treats you is solely up to them, and often how they are with you can be a reflection of what they think and believe about themselves. Others will do what they do, you have to decide whether they are treating you with respect or not and then whether you want to be treated that way or not.

Parents make mistakes, as do teachers and other significant people who cross your path, accept this about them and realise you deserve better. It really is all about what we are willing to let into our lives and put up with.

Realising your part in everything that happens to you is half way to getting a better life. You can only change you and how you think, what you believe and how others treat you.

It is up to you not to put yourself in a position where everything falls apart. If you are going to take on a loan or mortgage, really think about the possible outcomes and consequences of what you are doing. The same works for relationships and life in general.

And if you want to be happy, then be happy, that is a conscious choice. Happiness can’t be found in things or jobs or relationships or the perfect house. It is found within you.

Make a decision to look for the positive and good in everything. Because there is always something good in everything. Mistakes are made and difficulties come about, to teach us something, or to make way for something so much better. Life is full of ups and downs, how you react and what you do is what matters most. Have an escape plan or a contingency plan for every situation you find yourself in. Play the What If game. Answer that question. What if I lose my job, what will I do? Answer those questions and then if something happens or goes wrong, you will know what to do.

Think smarter, take time when making decisions and realise what you have got going for you and what is great about your life. And be kind and gentle to yourself.

Taking Life by the Horns Part 2

Taking Life by the Horns Part 2

When I first started my blog post yesterday I didn’t realise it would become a series. So I apologise for the length. Maybe because this particular subject involves change over time and examining our thinking, beliefs and decision-making processes, that’s why this subject has taken on a life of its own.

In order to change our lives for the better, we really need to take a good, long, hard look at ourselves and work out how and in what ways, we contribute to how our lives evolve. I am not saying we are to blame for everything that has gone wrong with our lives, or the way we were treated as children or as adults. When someone treats you badly and they have no reason to, then the blame is squarely on the other person’s shoulders. It is how we react and if we continue to allow people to treat us that way, as well as letting it affect us over a long period.

How we are raised as children and how our parents, siblings and extended family acted around us, teaches us about the world. If our parents had only our best interests at heart and taught us the life lessons we needed to learn in a safe and loving environment, we tend to grow up as healthy adults and tend not to make bad decisions or take things too personally when things go wrong or people are unkind to us.

Every time someone treated you badly or called you names, put you down, criticized you, bullied you, disrespected you, it wrote on the slate of who you are (to quote my favourite Psychologist Dr Phil), and the younger you are the more damage it can do.

If we were raised to believe we were worthless, and were made to feel worthless often enough we began to believe it, to the point it became so ingrained in our psyche that we would automatically think it not realising we had actually had that thought.

I believe the first part of changing your life for the better is to change your thinking, and in order to do that, we have to catch ourselves out when we have these demeaning thoughts and question why we automatically think that way. What caused us to believe this about ourselves. Where did it come from. Was it your parent who told you, you were annoying or stupid or useless, every time you did something wrong in their eyes? Was it a school teacher or a sibling, that made you feel so stupid? Or were you bullied in school or even in a job by a co-worker or boss? It could be any number of situations that contributed to our beliefs about ourselves.

I found writing the thought on a piece  of paper and question whether that thought was valid, in my case, feelings of worthlessness, helped.  Think about moments when I felt this way, what event triggered this thought. I would question the thought’s validity. Is this true?  I would write down all the things about me that proved I wasn’t worthless, all the things I was good at, all my achievements. Think of instances when I was made to feel worthless and who was involved. Whatever came to mind I would write it down, no matter how strange or trivial it might seem at the time. And then once I understood why I had that thought in the first place and what the triggers were that caused this thought I would work out something that I could replace that thought with. Affirmations are a great way of changing your thought processes, Louise Hay is a great person to start with. She has a book that is all about this very subject. You Can Heal Your Life. And she also provides a lot of affirmations to help you change your thinking.  Dr Wayne W Dyer, is another person who used affirmations.

Changing how we think is a process, it can’t be changed overnight. But you have to want to change in the first place. You have to do the work, You have to catch yourself thinking these thoughts. And you need to question them.

It is the same with beliefs. Write down a list of beliefs you may have about yourself and others and life in general and question whether each belief is valid, or if it works for you. And if it doesn’t then brain storm about what you think would suit you better or is more positive.

One thing I want everyone to remember. Don’t apply absolutes to what you think and feel and believe. Don’t say to yourself, “That was a bad thought and I shouldn’t be thinking that way.” Because this is where we all go wrong. We tend to believe those thoughts that allow us to believe we are not a good person, or decisions that end up going pear-shaped are more a case of things not working for us and we all should consider something different. And come up with suitable replacements.

All too often, and we are all guilty of this at one time or another, think of people as being negative, or bad or toxic. And the same with thoughts and beliefs, and decisions. The spiritual/new age community can be terrible for it. As children maybe our parents scolded us for being angry or sad, and dismissed the feelings we were having, making us believe these emotions were not acceptable.

Our emotions are normal and a natural part of being human, we wouldn’t have them if we weren’t meant to. It is how we deal with them and process them and then let them go that is the important part. Don’t feel bad because you are angry about something, there is a reason why you feel that way. Acknowledge your anger and the reason behind it. And then let it go. Often we have emotions associated with certain thoughts and beliefs and they came feelings of guilty, anxiety etc. Take note of these emotions and consider why you feel this way.

It’s all about paying attention to this wonderful mind of ours.

Looks like there will be more parts to this Blog. Stay tuned for Part 3.

 

 

 

 

Misunderstood

Misunderstood

Do you ever feel like you are misunderstood? I get this frequently.

In fact most of my life. There is a certain percentage of people who have come into my  life as co workers and bosses, fellow market stall holders, friends  of friends, people you meet in passing, and for some reason they seem to sum me up in a micro second.

I have been labelled many things, a slut, a whore, a marriage wrecker, a cold bitch, rude, a liar, a thief, you name it. And this is all based on lies and impressions created by people who don’t know me.

At one job I was having sex with everything with a penis and this was according to one person who had spoken no more that a dozen words to me in the time we work in the same place. In truth, I was married at the time, admittedly the marriage was failing, but the last thing I wanted was to complicate it with having sex with anyone else. I had a reputation and I didn’t have to do anything to gain it. I never understood why this woman had it in for me, she hated me and that was that. I even tried to be friendly with her as I do with any one I work with, but she wouldn’t have it.

I have a stepdaughter, whose mother has a problem with me. I have always, always had my stepdaughter’s best interests at heart. From day one I made an effort not to bring my own personal feelings into the situation and respect this woman as the mother of my husband’s child. But after the a couple of interactions at pick up and drop off, her attitude towards me became disrespectful and rude. I have never spoken a bad word about this woman to her daughter and have on occasion explained to my step daughter why her mother sometimes does the things she does. I keep my personal feelings out of it. But her mother has not had the same respect or consideration for me. We have had nothing but problems with her from the beginning and had to go through the legal system twice to ensure my husband was able to have a relationship with his child, because her mother did her level best to stop visitation. My husband has always paid his share of support even when he was not required by law to do so.

About 4 years ago I was accused of sharing conversations that took place in a class I was taking at the time with other people who were associated with the teacher and her little clique of friends. It turns out this group of friends were having problems and a lot of bitchiness and backstabbing was going on. I apparently was a spy for the “Other side” and I instigated a lot of the trouble that went on. I only knew 5 members of this inner circle and I was friends with just one. Out of the other 4, one I know longer spoke to and hadn’t for 12 months and the other 3 were in the class I was attending, 1 being the teacher.

Until this one class when there was a mega bitch session between the teacher and two of my classmates, about the rift within this group of friends, I was totally unaware of the issues they were having. I was ostracised and eventually left the course as I just felt unwelcome. I wanted to finish the course but with another class later but the teacher sent me a message inferring I was unwelcome.

And now I face a situation where a woman I don’t know and haven’t been introduced to, who attends the same Markets as I do, doesn’t like to be situated near me. The very first time I attended the same market, she spoke to the organiser and was very unhappy about not being informed of my presence at the market. And the funny thing, yes we do sell two similar items but two, soy candles and incense. And even now she is still making it me that is the problem. I just don’t understand why she has a problem with me.

At school one of my friends was spreading rumours behind my back and yet was as nice as pie to my face. I caught shingles one time which is a form of Chicken Pox, and I just happened to have it in my throat as well as on my body. Everyone was told I had Venereal disease in my throat from giving too many head jobs.

All my life this has happened to me. I sometimes wonder if I have a tattoo on my forehead that tells people I am a patsy for their bitchiness, or I give off this scent that just irritates some people.

I am an introvert, I am innately shy and have been most of my life. I try to be friendly and respectful. I may not always run up to people and introduce myself and fawn all over them but I try to get to know people. Some say these people feel threatened but Why? What is so special about me that they need to feel this way?

I have Borderline Personality Disorder and I have issues with trusting people. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and try not to give off the impression of mistrust. Even if my instincts are telling me this person may not be what they seem, I get to know them.

There are many days when I just want to pack up everything and move somewhere remote when I don’t have to put up with this judgement. If these people have an issue with me say something, talk it out with me, don’t be a complete arsehole about it. Take the time to get to know me first before you go shooting your mouth off about me.

I just don’t understand it. And it just gets frustrating and old after a while. Just leave me alone, I am no harm or threat to you. I am just someone who wants to go about my way without it affecting or hurting too many people.

Some say it is more about the other person than it is about me, and maybe that is true but why is it okay for these people to judge me based on their own issues and problems. Why is it okay for them to say hurtful and disparaging things about me?

IN OTHER WORDS DON’T TAKE YOUR SHIT OUT ON ME, IT’S NOT MY FAULT.

 

Wilderness of Esoteria

Wilderness of Esoteria

Before my biggest challenge with mental health issues, I considered myself quite the spiritual person and had dreams of becoming a healer of some kind. I had begun studies of the Tarot, which unfortunately turned out to be not quite what I thought it would be. And by this I am not talking about the Tarot itself, it is more the teacher who failed to inspire me. None of what she taught seemed to make sense. It was sad really because I believe she had great potential to be a wonderful teacher of the Tarot. But my belief is she was too caught up in ego-centred pursuits and this ruined it for me.

I realised quickly that the money I was paying, of which would have been the sum total of around $1500 at the end of the twelve month course, was a needless waste. I did however, keep the book she insisted I buy and the set of cards that were necessary to the course.

Four years later I opened the book and began to read and all of a sudden it began to make sense. The Fool was the one that opened my eyes. Some of the other major arcana cards are a bit more complicated, but I believe with time and doing what the author of the book advises, research the Tarot and find out all I can and my understanding will increase.

This particular instance is quite typical of the world of Psychics and Mediums, they may start out with the best of intentions but often the ego will take over and it becomes about the material benefits and attention. The best readers and healers are often quite humble and don’t see themselves as anything special. There are charlatans in every industry but, the spiritual world is like the medical profession, you are playing with people’s lives. The damage that can be done by someone who has developed a  god complex, is far-reaching. Quite sensitive and fragile people go to Psychics, Healers and Mediums looking for answers to their problems, and in some cases beneath the fragility can be an underlying mental disorder that the reader/healer isn’t aware of and doesn’t have the skills to deal with.

During my healing time, I realised something about myself. I am an empath, but I am unable to use my ability as I tend to take on others emotions and find it difficult to deal with them. I have learned to cleanse myself and protect myself, but with my Borderline I am unable to deal with and process these alien emotions as a normal person would. I have shut down my empathy, and know that my ambitions to help people on a one on one basis is out of my reach.

So I write and I share my wisdom and what I have learned about life and my mental disorders, via various forms of social media. I sometimes miss being able to connect to people on such a personal level, but for my own sanity and well-being I choose to let it go.

A lot of what I clung to spiritually has now become less important to me. I still have my basic beliefs and practices, but I am nowhere near as involved as I used to be. It was like I was on a mission and I believe I was trying to find myself in this world.

I look back on my life and realise I have affected a lot of people and in a good way. Having had random meetings with strangers and they have walked away from our meeting feeling better about themselves and smiling. This is the key to happiness, to fulfilment, having a profound affect on people and they walk away feeling the better for it. And all it takes is one kind word or act, one selfless deed with no thought of reciprocation. The universe blesses you for your kindness.

I share my mental health issues with the world because it is time we, as a society, stopped looking at people as being not right or normal, because they don’t fit into a mould that was created by a small-minded majority. Stop buying into the stereotypes, open our eyes to the uniqueness of everyone, celebrate who we all are as we are. We all make mistakes, we all have our battles in life, just some of us have a few extra challenges along the way that we have to overcome.

 

A Narcissistic Mother

A Narcissistic Mother

In 2012 I found the many answers I searched for, for years. It took a few visits to ER with palpitations and other heart related symptoms and numerous tests later and I was advised to see a psychologist for evaluation. I am so glad I did. With the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder) I discovered who I was and the gaping black hole inside was finally filled. My severe Anxiety and bouts of Depression were finally explained.

The best day of my life was walking into that private room to meet my psychologist Damien, he was my second saviour. My first being my Dad. We sat and talked and questions were asked, he set me homework and got me to do some tests. It was at this point I was totally stunned by the diagnosis. It never occurred to me that I could have a mental health issue.

Living with a feeling of never fitting in or belonging, a mother who could never open her heart to me, the constant criticism, never enough, the feelings of worthlessness, the constant need to please, the emptiness that plagued much of my life. I believed I was no good. Damien taught me some fantastic skills that freed me from my crippling anxiety, today I am able to go pretty much any where and have little or no anxiety.

Being diagnosed Borderline was like coming home, to me. I finally belonged, I finally felt complete. But something niggled at me. I have always been someone who must have answers, to know the why’s and wherefores of everything. I knew there was just one missing link to my life puzzle. I had to understand why I drew certain people into my life and why I chose the men I do.

The day I walked into Damien’s office I had begun a journey I knew would take me to some painful and heartbreaking times in my life. My instinct was telling me I had to do whatever it was to find the answers.

About a week ago I saw an article in my Facebook news feed that really caught my attention. I had read several articles, etc on this particular subject because I had been drawn to it at every turn.

NARCISSISTIC MOTHER – DIVIDE AND CONQUER.

I clicked on the link and found myself reading about the very person who gave birth to me and raised me, for want of a better word. In that moment I knew my mother could never have loved me, because she was incapable of love.

Narcissists are incapable of genuine unconditional love, they act and emote solely out of selfishness and self-involvement. There are the Narcissists who are arrogant and seem to succeed in life, those who have delusions of grandeur. But the worst and most insidious of the narcissists are the ones who hate themselves and inflict pain on others, deny their victims feelings and needs all to feel superior and get off on destroying another person. They have no conscience, and are incapable of any genuine kindness or love. These narcissists wear a mask of being kind and caring and humanitarian, they are hard to spot. Charm and charisma is their weapon against their victims. And they suck their victims dry of every ounce of self-esteem, independence and energy. They are the chameleons of the human world, wearing whatever mask they need in order to get their narcissistic supply. To the outside world they seem quite genuine and will fool even the most astute person into believing the lie they live.

I could write volumes about the Narcissists of the world.

What I want to say here is, once I realised the truth about my mother, I was finally free. I knew I could never be enough for my mother but that is okay with me. I never hurt my mother or judged her, I was never cruel toward her, I loved her with all my heart and I spent so much of my life punishing myself for her sins. I don’t hate my mother because the one thing I realise is she was a very damaged and broken individual. And I forgave her.

I don’t for one second, condone her treatment of me but I understand it. We all make choices about how we live our lives and treat others. Every decision we make or action we take is a choice, and we make these choices, etc based on what we know at the time. I learned as a child to cope with my childhood, in a dysfunctional way because it worked to appease my mother. But as an adult I continued to live this way, and I couldn’t understand why my life was as it was. It is because I made choices based on my set of coping skills from my child hood. I made the choice to continue as I had always done, instead of finding a different way of being.

In the last few years I have learned and had to discover new ways of coping and living, it has been extremely hard, but it has so been worth it. My father apologised for the way my mother was, he apologised for taking the easy way when it came to dealing with my mother, but the good thing about my dad, he more than made up for it after my mother died.

Some of the surprising things I have discovered about my mother, was she had four children. I had two brothers and one sister. But none of them were to my father in spite of her passing off the brother, I knew existed, as my father’s son. My eldest cousin turned out to be my eldest brother and when he reached out to get to know me, he was stopped. The one regret I have is not getting to know him, as he died in 1994.

The brother I grew up with turned out to be a child molester as I was his first victim. Recently I was able to confront him and put his abuse squarely back on his shoulders.

Letting go of the past is cathartic, it saved my life. I don’t hate anyone, I am able to look back and realise everything that happened made me who I am today. I am the strongest person I know, and I don’t give up. I know my father loved me unconditionally and I will always love him for that. I know I was loved, and I never failed anyone or let anyone down.

Healing is key.