Happy Happy Joy Joy

Or if not  Happy Happy Joy Joy at least mild to moderate pleasure.

Right now I am feeling okayish….the best I’ve felt in ages! So while I’m able I will try to think about/list some positive things. Fuck knows I need a break from all the depressing negative shite…!

I have to admit, this is hard. While there are “good” things around me that feeling doesnt stay long and the lies of depression make it difficult to recall any positive feelings, even if I think about something great, It’s hard to feel it. So far I’ve been avoiding this post for two days…. a couple of sentences a day, not bad! Lets just get to it.

Things to be proud of:

  • Completing an intense course of therapy
  • Getting out of bed most days
  • Trying and keeping going
  • Taking responsibility

Things to look forward to:

  • Seeing my sister and her family
  • Dream holiday coming up later in the year
  • Long term, having made greater steps towards life goals
  • Going to the gym
  • Walking, anywhere. Preferably without pain but thats a whole other matter
  • Gardening

Thing to be thankful for:

  • A (relatively) safe home, its not great but its mine for now
  • Healthcare. It might be fucked and going down the drain but its mostly been there
  • Clean running water. And all the other piped in utilities and luxuries ie: internet!
  • Friends
  • Some family I adore and who are still alive
  • Benefits. Again, being ruined and stigmatised by govt, but without anything….

I might on occasion return to this and update it. It seems like a nice idea to keep me grounded in some positivity. Only time will tell if I do.

 

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#MeToo

TW/CW sexual assault

I wrote this last night, please excuse any spelling mistakes.

Well this is a difficult but overdue ramble.

Part 1.) in the last few months I have been struggling to come to terms with a long history of sexual assault, abuse and rape. Getting my head out of the programmed self blame bullshit. Allowing myself to be angry, at ALL of the people who hurt and abused me. Including my mother for mind fully putting me in situations where I could be assaulted. Whilst simaltainiously accusing probable innocents of abuse and denying me the right to know certain family members, permanently ruining that relationship for her gain. Not for my sake, for her so she could get attention.
I was 8 the first time a fully grown man many times my age touched me in ways I really didn’t like. One of her boyfriends, the first in a pattern of partners who were more interested in me and my younger sisters than her. She was so obsessed with paedophiles that she was drawn towards them, married one of them, but wilfully blind and obstinantly disbelieving of my claims. Nothing new there.
She made me afraid of men particularly my uncles. When they had never shown the slightest hint of being interested in me sexually, she literally jumped at the chance to accuse other men of assaulting me while watching her boyfriend grope me. One day I came home from primary school upset by something that the deputy head had said/done.
She asked what was wrong, a small miracle in itself, as soon as I mentioned his name
THE FIRST THING OUT OF HER MOUTH was did he touch you inappropriately?? Not, Are you okay? Not, can I help? Not anything that would imply she gave a fuck about me. I hadn’t even finished what I was saying before she jumped in with that all too eager question. As soon as I did say what had happened she lost all interest. The epitome of the loving caring parent that she was.
This was just the beginning of approximately 30 years of abuse, manipulation, internalised misogyny, casual assaults and rapes. Every time that I dared to tell someone I was told I was over reacting, that id provoked it, that I deserved it or that I’d simply made it up. Such as when a “friend” assaulted me while I was blind drunk and trying to sleep, my boyfriend and several friends were in the next room. He later claimed to my bf that I had fantasised it, because obviously everyone with a diagnosed mental health condition is never to be trusted and Id clearly imagined it, halucinated it. My arsehole boyfriend chose to believe him, convinced me not to discuss it with anyone else, lied to me about the deal they’d made between themselves and basically treated me like shit, nothing new there… Picking up on the pattern yet? It was a couple of years later I found out about the lies and my friends found out about the sexual assault and cover up pact.
Or the time I was raped on holiday. The friend I was traveling with did and said nothing to comfort or help me, obviously it was my fault. It ruined what had been a fun holiday and being my last night there it tainted the whole thing. No matter my age, the situation etc I was expected to shut up and be grateful. Not to cause trouble or was simply not believed.
Even when I was believed there was “nothing that could be done to prove it” a favoured line of the police, even with evidence.

Thats not even to mention the countless times in my life a man has touched or groped me without consent, to then get pissy at me for being displeased, usually outright denying what they had very clearly just done. Because of course, its them who’ll be believed, its them who have a “right” to mine and any other feminine body, its them who have old society and the law on their side. And of course every time I was assaulted or raped by a partner I told nobody, because, well I’m sure you can work out why.
Obviosly this stuff has been with me my whole life, but the #MeToo movement brought up a lot of buried memories and feelings. And I’ve been having yet more nightmares of late, whole days of laying on my bed staring at the wall, weeks of isolating myself unable to communicate with anyone.
It’s not the only thing going on inside my head, it’s a cluster fuck of demons up in there. But it’s front and centre most of the time.

The recent accusations against a certain “Nerd mogul” hit me hard. I don’t want to but totally do believe it. I’ve been extremely uncomfortable feeling like I’ve allowed myself to be duped again. I had been drifting away from their podcast due to some red flags that I was picking up mostly subconsiously. I’ve been betrayed and so has everyone else.
I’m not a big crier, even when I need to I can’t. In the last couple weeks ive cried three times. Make that four. Which brings me to
Part 2.) I have just watched the 1990 adaptation of The Handmaiden.
I’ve not watched the Hulu show (yet) as I didn’t feel able to deal with it, nor have I read the book. So even though I knew I was in for a rough night, I knew the basics, I was not familiar with the story itself.
Fucking hell its ptsd city here right now. I’ve just had an alcoholic drink, which I feel guilty about, not for the drink itself but because I chose to still have a drink and carry on with my plans instead of getting myself away and home. and have started punishing myself for doing that. Alcohol is Not the answer, neither is punishment. And I’m not home. I can feel an angry manic period coming on and am worried about my typical coping mechanisms (such as drinking)
This stuff clearly needs facing and embracing as my truth.
I did at times put myself into risky situations, those rarely resulted in sexual assault even if I did things I regretted. Its nearly always a partner, lover or so called friend that will claim their right. It was the “safe” people who needed to beware of, not the randoms I met while doing stupid or risky things. I did this because I grew up having been put into risky situations, with no self esteem and a belief that I was worthless.
I ended up in abusive relation after abusive relationship, repeating patterns until, with help, I could start moving away from allowing abusers to torment and manipulate me.
Right now I am all kinds of angry and hurt. Blaming my mother but not wanting to as is does me no good and she was/is clearly very unwell herself. Not that that excuses her behaviour as she would have me believe. My mind is full of memories that are so horribly familiar within that film, I feel sick, I want to tare my heart out.
I now believe that I am worth more, that I have power and choices. And that someone else saying that my experience is nothing to complain about does not invalidate it.
There is a huge amount of survivors guilt, self blame for letting it happen and for not always pushing for recognition or justice. For allowing these people to continue to hurt other people. For not protecting my sisters despite not having been in a situation to do so safely.
However, there is a small feeling of progress at having felt able to go watch a film that I knew would be difficult. I do have a habit of deliberately triggering myself though historically that would lead to various forms of self harm. Hopefully this will be cathartic. And while I’m under no impression that this rambling is going to save somebody else, I do hope that my post will contribute to the growing confidence of survivors to speak out and be believed. Without shame or doubt.

It was not my fault, ever. I can’t heal until I accept that. Though I expect a lot more nightmares while I process, here’s to the beginning of a life free from the pain I’m currently in.

If anyone is experiencing abuse, has been assaulted, there are options. Get help if you can. Talk to someone. Decide how you want to progress, keep yourself safe by looking after your needs and know that I believe you.

Why so difficult?

If you’re a Farscape fan that question will be familiar to you, if you remember the episode. In it are a couple of bumbling characters that ask that, a lot, and it annoyed me loads. Though mainly because an arsehole ex and their sex pest flatmate took to saying it, Fucking Loads, after seeing the episode in question. Urgh, I wanted to punch the pair of them (and not just because of that!)

Recently its been popping into my head periodically. Life is difficult, its always been difficult. I perhaps naively thought that things would ease off the further I got with my therapy and self improvement. But no, it just changes into a different flavour of difficult. People are still fucking horrible, the government still lies cheats and steals from those that need help, age insists on proceeding and making its presence known by affecting the health of both oneself and loved ones. Habits and patterns are hard to break, and even with the greatest will and honest desire it can be tortuous to move away from unhealthy behaviours and thoughts. A huge desire to be different doesn’t automatically make one different. Old worn in behaviours, things that depress, anger, agitate and even harm remain strong and can after years of work still override new, healthier, choices.

If things were difficult before my word they’re sure as fuck difficult now. When you’re exhausted, you’re vulnerable, you’re tired of fighting, tired of feeling like a worthless piece of shit. Thats when those old habits just come sweeping in, wiping away any positive feelings. Making it so very hard to practice ones newer more caring actions, the things you know have the power to improve mood, self caring self loving self affirming actions that can stop a depressive slump in its tracks. Or blocking that pathway that allows you to recognise and appreciate the positive things and achievements.

Why, why is the self destructing bullshit so fucking strong despite all the hard work and determination to move into a ‘better’ way of living. Why does depression come along and remove all impetus to do that one thing that would make things feel less awful, or at the least stop things from getting worse. But no, depression loves itself and encourages everything that feeds it. Anger feeds it, ill health feeds it, relentless outside forces feed it. Repeating old patters, despite so much effort to change….  but why? It really cant only be because even though life has been hellish, its what i’ve always known and therefore a ‘safe’ if extremely painful place to be. It cant be just because I was conditioned to hate and disrespect myself. So why is it so hard to see, recognise and be proud of my achievements. Why do I cling onto things that make my chest tight with stress, my jaw hurt and migraines aplenty. Things that I fixate on because I feel powerless to deal with them. Other things that I cant deal with because I haven’t had a good nights sleep in over 30 years (slight exaggeration, I’ve had about 3 or 4 good nights since around 1984) There are things i can do to help, that will ease off some of the stress, that will help me to cope. There are ways of thinking that would improve my mood and make it easier to handle those lovely little surprises life likes to throw our way. Small things. Big things. Easy things. Except they’re not easy when you’re wired to suffer. Its not easy to feel the contentment of success, or love and friendship, or reached goals. And with the literal years of therapy and commitment to becoming my own person, its still fucking difficult to just be a human being let alone a productive and happy one.

How many times can life kick me down before I just stop getting up again? And will I ever discover my raison d’etre? Because without that all this hard work is utterly worthless. I would really like to be making long blog posts about happy things, about things that I have succeeded in, about goals that I’ve reached or surpassed. Its not like those things dont exist, they do, but i’m stuck dwelling on the things that didnt work out. The stuff that I wish I could stop doing, things I wish I could forget, feelings I dont want to feel anymore. It just wont go away. Where is my peace? where is my reward for steering away from what I could have become? Where is that thing I dreamed of as a child, a life where I wasnt constantly afraid, angry, depressed and desperate for it all to simply stop. I still dont have a reason to keep going. I dont know why I am putting so much effort into changing myself. I dont understand why its all so fucking relentlessly difficult. Nor why I find it so hard to not be a miserable negative wanker.

Crawling ( Opening old wounds)

For a bit of background… I detested Linkin Park when they appeared on the scene. I was a hardcore music snob and hated all the new (short haired) nu and rap metal. I only bought Hybrid Theory this year thanks to a podcast called Thrash it Out, thanks guys! Now I’m annoyed at myself because this album is ABSOLUTELY my kind of music.

I’ve been listening to it obsessively over the last week or two.
I had a meltdown recently, you may have noticed. And I have been VERY depressed, withdrawn, unable to focus, spending hours just laying in bed staring at the wall. Not doing anything I didn’t have to do, with a couple of exceptions in attempts to perk myself up.

I did have a very lovely time with my occasional bitch (don’t look at me, they chose that title!) which gave me some much needed relief. A ‘sleep’ later and I’m back down in the clingy shit filled pit trying with all my energy to just get through one day and pushing myself into something I’d be content to withdraw from. Something that forces me to interact with other people and I do deliberately partly for that very reason.

anyway, I digress. Back to Hybrid Theory. I’m listening to it right now, for the 13 billionth time. I should stop and pick something else, less depressive music. But I can’t. I’m stuck. I’m inside myself screaming to get out and I can’t. I need to get out of my own head. It’s somewhat of a cliché but music saved my life. Music, dancing, going to clubs was the only way I was able to connect to and/or express the lifetime of feelings I had repressed. Over the years, cutting whilst listening to something that has connected emotionally has become a valid and useful coping mechanism. The pain became a way to release pent up rage and pain, partly because as a young child extreme pain was the only time I would cry in front of my abuser so it became a thing. It has developed into blood letting, the more blood the better, which mean lots more shallower wounds OR three deep ones. Usually it works like the valve on a pressure cooker, letting me pick up again and carry on, until the next build up. Usually. Sometimes I need to repeat the process, try the other option. Or it just doesnt work. If that happens I’m way more prone to becoming suicidal, if I’m not already.

desperate to do something, trying not to put myself into danger, I decided to cut into some old scars that had long faded. Something that would be seen but that I can also pass off as body mod stuff and thus not feel self-conscious or spend the next couple of months exclusively in long sleeves. Listening to Linkin Park on repeat, a decent amount of blood flowed.

It didnt work. No connection. Not a single fucking tear. The only thing I felt was a manic joy at the blood and endorphins. No emotional release.

It’s also really fucking depressing that this album came out 17 years ago, covering things around mental health and abuse and stuff. (There is a reason I called them the Little Angry Ones when they appeared!) So, recently Chester lost the fight with mental health problems, after all this time he still couldn’t make it. I’m really struggling with thoughts about my future, I can’t picture anything other than failure. And if he can’t continue after such a long time how am I going to manage. In my mind I have ‘failed’ so many times. I can’t see/feel any successes and thus can’t see the point in continuing now especially as in a years time I’ll likely be a total fuckup, again. Logically I could argue against that, even show proof to the contrary. But my abusive depressed brain would not be able to see or recognise anything other that what it keeps telling me. Which is that I may as well give up.

Gimme a break!

Dear body…. You have got to be kidding me!

Just about recovered from major surgery after having a large endo cyst removed. Doing my physio (yayy good me) and did a breast exam at the same time, efficiency ftw. And I found a lump *rolls eyes so hard* I am going to hope its something hormonal and will bugger off soon. Though it feels different to the usual transient lumps. The prospect of yet another round of hospital appointments, scans, possible surgery etc…. well, I’m sighing right now. I’ve worked SOOOOOOOO hard the last few years, with a billion* medical things going on. Gradually reducing the amount of clinics and appointments I need to attend, it has literally taken up a massive part of my life, so each one I’ve been discharged/graduated from has been a small but significant win. And with all the other stuff thats happened in the two years I was away from this blog, stuff that hasnt gone away. Goddammit I Need a holiday! A real loooooong holiday. With No hospital, clinic, doctor appointments. No therapy group. No restrictive medication routine (which reminds me, I wanted to write something up on that, made massive progress there) No family drama. No life drama. And no arsehole neighbours!

Right now, the prospect of yet more medical/body drama is rather depressing. So I’m gonna grab me some spoons, deal with the stuff on my plate right now, try to get some rest, and go enjoy the fuck out of something. Anything. Maybe a cuppa tea! 😀

*maybe a slightly exaggerated number

Ever feel defeated by life?

Been struggling through post surgical depression for three weeks. Complicated by my therapy sessions and aggravated by my horrendous neighbors. With all of my family distracted by my cousin passing away recently and the closest geographically now away on holiday. Plus my closest friends now totally subsumed by parenthood. The last three weeks have felt terribly lonely. I don’t suffer much with loneliness these days, it used to be a chronic and powerful force in my life, years ago. I removed it and learnt to be comfortable with my own company. But with everything that’s happened in the last two years, my mobile restrictions and heavy medication after surgery have left me feeling broken and alone. 

I have developed a good friendship with my neighbor who has been a wonderful help and the only person to regularly check in to see hoe I’m doing and if I need anything. Without them I could well have ended up in hospital to get the support I required. 

I’ve tried not being angry at friends and family for abandoning me. They generally and genuinely have other priorities. Many are burnt out and distraught after my cousins horrific battle with cancer. Me with my porely timed endometrial cyst and oopherectomy simply don’t compare. And I’m not the type to continually demand that people keep their promises of help. That kind of thing I can do when feeling strong, when I don’t nessescerily need it. And others have offered help but life some distance away so asking them to pop over seems rediculous. Though one has been good with Skype calls to try keep me sane. But the sad thing is its not enough. 

Recently I was discussing in therapy and questioning my decision to remain without any significant other(s) it’s been needed for me to be able to focus on me and my recovery/metamorphosis. I barely sleep, spend a large amount of my time and energy on medical/health commitments and have for the last year begun (re)building my social life with artistic classes. So I really haven’t had the time to persue romantic entanglements. Which I’ve been absolutely fine with, until recently. Even when friends and family haven’t been so distracted, it would have been ideal to have someone or someones with whom I could confide and seek guidance. Someone who’s shoulder I am comfortable crying on, somebody happy to watch my favourite tv and cuddle up with in silence. Someone who would know instinctively what I needed at any particular moment and who wanted to give their time for me. That all sounds terribly selfish now I see it written out, and maybe the guilt and conflict of wanting all that is wrapping itself around the loads I’m already carrying and squeezing tight. Suffocating me, making it hard to breathe or move. Just what I need when home-bound by the operation. 

Doing the right thing

More big changes come my way. Something I’ve been trying to avoid for years, today I agreed, nay asked, for.
Sorry to be so vague right now but I’m still trying to get my head around it and the shame I have around the whole situation.
At least I am doing the proper thing and if not fully taking responsibility at least owning the crap.

Yep. This is my mess.

Anybody got an enormous brush & pan to sweep it up with?!