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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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.

 

 

 

 

Taking Life by the Horns Part 1

Taking Life by the Horns Part 1

We so often wish we had better lives, that things would work out better for us. Why do we have so many things going wrong in our lives and it never seems to change. We work hard and diligently but it’s always the same day in, day out.

Part of making a change in our lives is to realise our part in how it turns out. We can blame a myriad of things. My parents are to blame for how I turned out, I was abused, I am justified in my actions because everyone else does the same, or no one cares. Too much competition. People taking advantage of my kindness and need to help others. You name it. We come up with so many excuses for what is wrong with our lives.

But has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe, we brought this all on ourselves. And I can hear you all objecting as I type, hey, I was one of those who said I didn’t ask for this, it’s not my fault. And it isn’t all our fault. Circumstances lead to a particular outcome and outside influences do affect what happens. But we make choices and decisions every day that affect what happens in our lives. And our thoughts and self beliefs have a profound affect on what we choose or decide to do.

I will try to put a different perspective on this, in the hope I can get my point across.

How many times have you hear this saying? What you put out to the universe comes back to you” Or variants of this same sentiment.

It’s true.

If you believe you are going to fail, you will and all your actions and decisions will gear you towards that outcome. And often we don’t even realise we have these beliefs about ourselves.

For years I believed I was worthless and had the thought that as long as I was useful and worked hard, and kept my head down and not made trouble I had value. But once my health and age slowed me down and I wasn’t able to do what I used to, I thought it was my time to die  because I had outlived my usefulness. What I didn’t realise was our usefulness, for want of a better word, changes throughout life. And life has a funny way of showing you how wrong you can be and letting you know when something isn’t working for you.

How many of you have debt and not matter what you seem to do, it just never seems to get sorted or paid off? Have you been known to take out more debt to pay for car repairs, or to make payments on the debts you already have? Do you just make the minimum payments and do you have redraw facilities on loans and mortgages? And how many of you use this redraw facility when things go pear-shaped and you can’t pay your rent or bills. Please understand that taking out more debt to pay for life’s expenses and to cover other debts is senseless, you just dig yourself in deeper, and this adds more stress to your already stressful financial situation.

How many of you have said, “I’ll just earn more money or take a second job”. But you soon find you are no better off than you were before.

Have any of you thought about looking at why you got into debt in the first place?

Why did you need to have that $20,000 car when you could have easily done just as well with a $10,000 car? Did you really need to go on that overseas holiday you needed to borrow $5,000 for? Or did you really need to buy that new dress for that party or did you already have some really great dresses sitting in your wardrobe that would have done just fine. And it’s not just the women. Did you really need to get that top of range Drill when you only ever go into your man shed once in a while and that new drill is just sitting in it’s box collecting dust because you only manage to use it a couple of times a year.

Do you see where I am going here?

I remember years ago I had to have this $150 pair of Italian handmade leather shoes. Spent weeks paying them off via a layaway plan. I could have paid two weeks rent with that money. And you know what, I never wore them, because as I realised they weren’t that comfortable, so they sat in my closet for about 10 years until I gave them away to charity.

We make a choice to spend money we don’t have in order to feel like we are part of something. We get ourselves into situations that we really don’t consider fully before we make a decision. And that is why we find ourselves in situations like being in so much debt we don’t know how to get out.

It is the same with life’s little ups and downs.

We need to begin to look at how we think and what we believe about ourselves and consider the consequences more fully before we makes choices.

In my next blog I will look more closely at why we think as we do and make the choices and decisions we do. Why we make mistakes and can’t seem to understand why things happen as they do. So till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Mental Disorders and Recovery.

Mental Disorders and Recovery.

Having a Personality Disorder myself I know only too well how much it can affect your life. Living with Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder is a daily struggle. I know as I have grown older, I look back and see the behaviour that is atypical of BPD, in a lot of my decisions, how I related to people, my relationships.

Maybe, being older wisdom helps you to look back and see with clarity. It also helps you to accept responsibility for your actions and to understand why, given the life skills you had, why you did what you did, why you were the way you were.

I can remember as a child, always trying to gain acceptance and love from my mother and always striving for perfection, always trying to be better to have her feel I wasn’t the biggest mistake in her life. One thing I have realised is, that striving to become better has driven me to become a better person. An ideal of which I set for myself, an ideal that was created based on what my mother didn’t want from me. I formed this ideal by eliminating all that she consider bad or unacceptable.

The beauty of this is, it gave me a sense of purpose, to become the best I can possibly be.

Now, whilst with my mother I was never able to become the ideal daughter, the kind of daughter she could love unconditionally, it set a plan in motion for me to be a kind, gentle, loving person, working with what I was given, and making the most of life and myself.

I remember in my 20’s I began to search for answers. I didn’t know where to look but I was first drawn to Philosophy. It taught me to look at my beliefs and decide whether they were right for me, it gave me the skills to search for information to base my decisions on. Educate myself so I could continue my search for the answers I needed.

I often talk with other people who have BPD, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety and other mental disorders. And I can see the ones who wish to make a difference in their own lives and the ones who use their challenges as an excuse to behave the way they do. It appears to me that they like being damaged and want to continue as they are, most probably because it is what works for them. Dysfunctional as it is.

My philosophy has always been if something doesn’t work, do something different.

Back in my 20’s I knew there was something that wasn’t right about my life. Feeling like I didn’t belong at all, was not how I should be feeling. It took me a long time, more than 20 years in fact, but I found the answers I needed and it came in the form of my diagnosis. Reading the symptoms of Borderline, made so much sense to me, I was reading an accurate description of me on that website. I felt like I had come home. The emptiness  inside me was filled up.

I was very lucky, to have found a psychologist who worked with me to learn coping skills, and the most important part here, is I was prepared to do what ever it took to make a difference. Before I attended my first appointment, I made a decision to be honest and be open to whatever the psychologist said. I did the homework and as difficult as it was I asked for the truth. My biggest peeve in life is lying and liars, I would rather the hard cold truth than to be lied to.

I work on myself everyday, and have learned to forgive myself. I never failed anyone, I never failed my mother, she failed me. And I have forgiven her and my child molester brother, but not so they can feel better about themselves. I have forgiven them so I can heal.

I can be thankful for my mother being who she was, because it taught me to be resilient and resourceful, I strive to be a better person because of her. But I don’t do it for her anymore, haven’t for a very long time. I do it for me. I know I can look at myself now and see someone who didn’t stop fighting, didn’t stop looking for answers and someone who my mother could never be, because I was willing to look at the truth for what it was.

We can live a lie and continue on the path we have chosen for ourselves, based on what we believe about ourselves or we can decide to find a better truth for us and work towards it. Besides there is nothing worse than being stuck in a rut, if your life isn’t working for you, find out why and do something about it. Help isn’t going to be handed to you on a silver platter and THERE IS NO MIRACLE CURE FOR MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. IT TAKES HARD WORK, GUTS AND DETERMINATION, AND ABOVE ALL BEING TRUTHFUL TO YOURSELF.

No matter what our challenges are in life, we were all put on this earth as angels, we have within each of us the ability to overcome anything. IT IS UP TO YOU.

 

Family – Who’d have them?

Today I chose to message my nephew via Facebook. Having not spoken to him or seen him or his sisters in years, it was like talking to a complete stranger. A few months ago I did message him to wish him congratulations on his new house and recent engagement. I got a message back via his fiancée’s page that he wasn’t interested in contact with me as, to quote him, “I have made my choice now I have to live with it.”

The back story is I had chosen to walk away from his father and the only family I have left because I had always been confronted by judgement and ridicule. Imagine meeting your brother’s closest friends of more than 10 yrs and it was news to them that he even had a sister. And you were 40 years old.

Apart from the usual sibling arguments and petty jealousies, there is nothing really that I have ever done to my brother that could even justify his behaviour towards me. But the same could not be said for him. Truth is he molested me when I was 8, he was 14. According to the psychological field, He can’t be called a paedophile because he was under 16.

My mother caught him, so he can’t deny it happened. And as was the case back in the 60’s it was never reported. And no help was sought to deal with the emotional repercussions of this kind of abuse.

I always felt like I was not wanted in my brother’s life and he made an extra effort to keep me away from his children, his wife was the same. Any time I was in their company I felt compelled to defend myself and my behaviour, my choices in life and the men I became involved with. Or he showed intense jealousy when my life was going well. They even accused my ex-husband of being a child molester.  The only time I can think of was, when our mother was rushed to hospital and passed away and he hadn’t been notified but that was due to my father being so busy between the hospital and our family business it slipped his mind. I asked my father if he wanted me to call my brother but dad reassured me he would call. If I had suspected he would forget I would have called straight away. My mother had been fighting cancer for over 2 years.

I have never been perfect and have made my fair share of mistakes, but I have never put the responsibility of my decisions on to anyone else.

So fast forward to today.

I shared a few home truths with my nephew and gave him a piece of my mind. My choice to finally walk away was a forgone conclusion, that decision was made for me a long time ago. And he now knows that. I also told him what his father did to me. Some people might consider what I said about his father was cruel and shouldn’t have been said. But his entire life he was told lies about me. And he and his sisters made a choice never to get to know me. And all three of them know their parents have lied to them in the past.

I felt bad that I had upset him months before by contacting my nephew but realised that this whole situation has come about because of a life time of lies and dishonesty on my brother’s part. I tried to do the right thing, and all I got was ridicule and judgement.

How can someone judge you when they don’t even know you? These people are my blood but they were always strangers to me. My nephew may not believe what I told him, but he will never be able to look at his father in the same way and the doubt will always be there. If this keeps his future children from their child molester of a grandfather, then I have save some precious lives today. I was too late for my nieces and their children but I can save some of them.

On a personal note I am now able to put all this to rest. I have done everything I can to save future generations, I have finally been able to let go of all the pain, guilt and fear. Closure is a magical creature that helps you to find peace. You may hurt people along the way but sometimes it has to be done.

Some will judge my actions today, but I am at peace with what I have done. If I have done the wrong thing, a higher power will be my judge, jury and executioner.