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.

 

 

 

Evil is Afoot

Evil is Afoot

This beautiful big world of ours takes all kinds. Humanitarians, philanthropists, carers, capitalists, dictators, the spiritually minded, the diligent, criminals, murderers, the creative and artistic, the inventors, discoverers and explorers.

The best we can all hope to be, is kind and considerate, industrious, capable, successful in whatever we do, loved and loving and so many other things.

Unfortunately we come across people who can be cruel, judgemental, mean-spirited, manipulative and two-faced. They form an opinion about someone in the moment they meet or set eyes on them and act accordingly to bring them down.

They can even pretend to be friendly but away from you they spew their evil words and malign your character. They are resentful towards you because to them you seem to have your life together. Little do they know the truth, that we all have our secret heartache, our own crosses to bear. We are all the same in that respect, but those who seek to destroy you have no clue as to who you really are and how similar we all are in our pain and suffering.

Life can be a painful experience at times, we are robbed of loved ones and we can find ourselves in situations sent to destroy us and everything that we hold dear.

The difference is, some of us choose to learn from our experiences, try to be better humans and would never consider causing others the pain we have suffered. But then there are those who become bitter and cruel. They think the world owes them in some way. They can’t see their own part in what they do and how it affects themselves and others. They can’t see past their own pain and victimhood. They spew forth bile that decimate the hearts and souls of others. Their disregard for the feelings of others is non-existent.

The bullies of the world are great at this. I see pain when I look at a bully but that gives them no right to cruelly cause pain and suffering to others just to feel better about themselves.

Why do some people feel threatened by others? When the very person whom they feel great dislike for, may be the very person who can help them to heal their soul.

On a personal note I try not to disrespect others and consider their feelings, I help others when I can. But I find myself in a situation where I am being bullied by two women, and all I am trying to do is earn a meagre living selling my arts and crafts at a local market. I have never shown disrespect to either of these women or set out to deliberately undermine them or cause them ill. But it seems I am the target of all their pain. They are both so angry at the world, and one I know is very lonely and feels a need to be needed. And I have become the target for all their nastiness.

It physically causes me pain, when I find myself the target of their nastiness. One even told my partner that he needs to get rid of me because I am too controlling. The truth, my partner cannot be controlled, at least not by me. He is and always has been his own man.

All my life I have been the target of people like this. I am told I have a strong presence, but I am totally unaware of it. I don’t understand why people can be like this. If I had been disrespectful toward them or done them wrong, then I could understand. Maybe I am being naïve but I just don’t understand or get it. I have always treated people as I would like to be treated. I give a lot of myself but have learned that there is a limit to how much I can give.

All I can do is turn the cheek and hope that time will help them realise I will not be broken or driven away. While inside my heart is breaking and this only compounds the pain I already feel due to my current circumstances. It is situations like this that whittle away at who you are, you question everything about yourself and yet you are not the one at fault. I have moments where I just want to walk away from my life and start anew somewhere else, become a recluse and be that crazy lady who everyone fears because I don’t integrate.

I don’t want to feel this pain anymore. I am nothing to fear, I am no threat to anyone. I am just someone living their life and dealing with my pain in my own way. I seek help when I need it and I don’t make excuses for who I am. I mind my own business and try to see the best in everyone.

 

 

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.

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.

 

Good for Bad

Good for Bad

We all have good and bad in our lives, it is what we do with it that really defines our life’s course and who we become.

When a difficult situation arises as it often does, sometimes created by our own actions or of those around us, what do we do?, What are we supposed to do? That is down to the individual and their specific set of skills.

From birth we learn skills to be able to function in life, whether it be from our parents and those around us or, we learn through making mistakes, there could be many contributing factors. They can be as simple as learning to feed ourselves to the most complicated of skills, like building something from scratch. But it doesn’t just involve physical skills like the above mentioned. It includes life skills like coping with grief and those curve balls life has a habit of throwing at us, especially when we least expect it. Some of us learn dysfunctional skills, that may work at the time when we most needed them but in real life they just don’t work.

So a bad situation arises and all too often we tend to blame other people involved or situations that may be a contributing factor. Some people are able to accept their part in it without even thinking about it and change their behaviour, choices, tactics to fix the problem. We are all so good at focusing on the negative and complaining about it rather than finding a solution.

Many people seem to have a victim mentality and if that works for them well that is their choice. And believe me we all have it in us to play the victim. I have been guilty of it myself, and recently too.

I find myself in a bad situation at present, and on occasion I resort to the blame game, but I also look at the part I played in it. I know what I could have done different but I chose to take the easy way out. I can only control what I do from now on. There are certain factors I cannot change or even have an impact upon. I can only make my actions positive from here on in,and work toward an objective that I set for myself. Bad will happen, it is up to you as an individual to do your part and focus on what you could have done better or different and come up with a plan to solve the problem.

Sometimes I feel bitter and resentful that others involved, continue to behave in exactly the same way without dealing with the consequences, without accepting responsibility for their actions and decisions. But going down that road is detrimental to my mental health and well-being. I can only give so much of myself before I am depleted. I can’t change someone else. I can only work to ensure the vulnerability I feel, at this particular time in my life diminishes and eventually no longer exists.

Focusing on the bitterness and resentment, playing the blame game, only serves to keep me in a rut and not taking responsibility for my life and choices. I can’t fix someone else’s problems if they don’t want to fix them themselves. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. You can offer all the sound, experience based advice and opinions in the world but if someone isn’t listening, you are wasting your breath and energy.

It is so easy to fall into negative habits, but in the long run does it really serves us for the better, we may get sympathy for a while but it doesn’t change anything. And we end up focusing on all the bad that has happened to us and miss the wonderful opportunities that will so easily pass us by if we aren’t looking.

I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I will make a promise to myself to change my bad habits that take me to that negative place, and take responsibility for my actions, work to a more sound financial future. I will make sure I never put myself in the position where I literally don’t know whether I will still have a roof over my head tomorrow. I will stand up for myself, I will not give in to keep the peace and I will not allow anyone to manipulate me or disrespect me. I deserve a much better life, I have paid my price to the ferry man. I refuse to put myself in situations that I have no control over. And if I find I have no control, I will not allow the situation to eat away at the good in me.

Reflection of the Year that Was.

Reflection of the Year that Was.

Looking back on the last year, I realise this hasn’t been a good year. In fact, neither was 2015. Financial struggles that seem to be on going and multiplying, new health problems, one business in the throes of possibly failing, its fate still uncertain.

A myriad of excuses can be found and used, but it ultimately comes down to myself and my partner. We made choices and decisions that gives us the situation we have today. It is so easy to blame the other person involved and a hundred other possible causes, new competition opened up, another business at the same market gained a bad reputation and it had a profound effect on our business, we can’t anticipate the weather, there were other markets and fairs on the same day. But do you increase your buying and reduce your prices to compensate?

I fully accept my part in this, I spoke my opinion when it was asked but what I should have done was pushed it home. I should have stood firm when I said no, not giving in to keep the peace. I know and understand my part in all of this and I am now working on a number of solutions to help begin to fix the problem.

Selling everything we can do with out is the first move, it won’t get us in front but it will get us through the next couple of weeks. And there are local charities around that will help with food and groceries for a small fee. Pride has nothing to do with this right now. We are in a precarious position and if we have to give up everything to get back on our feet then so be it.

The difficulty in parting with cherished items that once belonged to loved ones who have died, is the price I have to pay for my lack of affirmative action. But one thing I realise is, I still have a few wonderful photos and a lifetime of memories with each and every one of them. A few things will remain but they have no monetary value. I have these people and animals in my heart and that is all that matters.

My partner and I are desperately in need of a fresh start and I can only do what I can to make this happen. I cannot control him or what he does or doesn’t do. It’s not about a big screen TV or the latest DVD or a dragon statue or wolf picture, it is about survival, and keeping a roof over our heads and food on our table.

Maybe we need to get rid of everything to earn the fresh start we so desperately need. This is our price, for a better life. Letting go of things that serve no real purpose in our lives and are just dust collectors, to have the life we deserve. Who is to say….

Either way I am working towards 2017 being a much better year, and leaving the painful, negative past behind.