fear

A sorry state of affairs

I’d been dating The Good Guy for a few months before introducing him here on my blog. Laura P. Shulman shared an insightful observation which I never forgot. Her honest words made me observant and helped guide me through the confusion of the conclusion that he really was a Trojan Horse. An alcohol-swilling, shamelessly-lying wolf in sheep’s clothing. A Good Guy gone bad.

Since ditching the lying, drinking Good Guy, I’ve existed on a diet of undereating and oversleeping. Trying to deny deep yearnings to contact him, I’ve plied my mind with Pinterest quotes…..


But with the roar of co-dependency in my ears, I admit defeat. Good love, bad love, I want him back. I contacted him, tossing away my dignity, and begged like a wounded animal. I’m ashamed. I know I’ve made the wrong choice, but I can’t seem to escape the vicious cycle of settling for bad love just to avoid being alone. And its weird. As with the others, I don’t even want to physically be around him at all. Maybe once in a while would be nice. But I prefer my solitude. Prefer them, distant, on the periphery of my life. I just don’t understand myself at all.

Turn it around

Since my dismal annual increase my thoughts have been in a fear-based loop. So I decided to change my current direction of thought. Its one of my coping skills – turn it around. It brings a shift in perspective. So I made a decision to…

… stop being driven by fear and bemoaning what I don’t have, and celebrate what I DO have. To turn it around. And I’m so grateful for the things I do have. I may not eat out at fancy restaurants. I may not fly to Mauritius on holiday, I may not have a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes and a fridge full of fancy foods. But hat I do have are luxuries a large population of South Africans don’t have…..

While most live in real poverty, I have a home with a beautiful view….

….I have running water

….and I have a flushing toilet

I have a washing machine and don’t have to do washing by hand…..

…..I have electricity which gives me lights, a TV to watch, a laptop to write and blog, a fridge with basic, healthy foods like vegetables…..

….. and I have a job and I earn a salary and, because I have a salary, I have a cell phone that can take these photos. Perspective – I am so grateful for all I have. Its more than most.

 

Aloe, ‘aloe

I did it! I left the house and went on a mild adventure. Granted I wasn’t alone. It was with V, but I’m not going to get technical about it. The main thing is I FINALLY ventured out the house! We drove to a small beach town close to home. So take a ride with me, there’s a sea view, the splendor of aloes, a railway line, a bicycle and more. Enjoy!

 

 

I want to feel good

It’s now my 5th week battling sciatica. It has proven to be debilitating, narrowing my access to the real world and destabilising my already unstable mental health. So my body and mind are not very happy places to be in right now.

Pain (any pain–emotional, physical, mental) has a message. The information it has about our life can be remarkably specific, but it usually falls into one of two categories: “We would be more alive if we did more of this,” and, “Life would be more lovely if we did less of that.” Once we get the pain’s message, and follow its advice, the pain goes away

– Peter McWilliams

I’ve always believed in the tie between the physical and the emotional. So I searched for the metaphysical meaning of sciatica:

Lower Back; The Lower Back represents support; financial support, emotional support of family and friends, and support of God or the Universe. The Kidneys are located in this area and Kidney dysfunction results in Fear/Fright/Phobias. A sore lower back may indicate that we have taken on more than we think we can handle. This is a dysfunction, only if it is not the Truth. If we have indeed taken on too much, that would be indicated by a physical trauma to the back and all we need to do is lighten the load [source

These past 12 months have been traumatic for this bipolar who feels everything so intensely. I need to lighten my load, my expectations and demands on myself. I need to stop, relax, let go, and learn to trust that I will always be safe and everything will be okay. I want to become unshackled from the past to make way for a better future. I have no plan except to gently roll with the punches. I suppose I’m going to let life happen, instead of always reacting and trying to control it. That’s the intent anyway.

In the words of our beloved Ulla – Healing is a long term investment in feeling good

I want to feel good! And when I feel weighed down by Life’s challenges, I’m going to let Mr Buble remind me – its a full world and I feel goooooood.

Its a new dawn
its a new day
its a new life
for me
and I’m feelin’ good
– Michael Buble

 

Access denied

too bad how sad
almost caught again
almost distraught again
from the web of lies
you use to try
to ply my affection
for your lazy errection
well from where I sit
there’s nothing in it
for me
money won’t make me your honey
so I ain’t interested
in your lonely predicament
I choose freedom not fear
just leave me unthethered
by your wandering weathered
ways of theiving displays

Shhhhh, it’s the silent treatment

This past week I did the unthinkable – I set a boundary with my father, and said ‘no’! Shock, horror, call the bad behaviour police! It was a boundary set to protect my mental health. I don’t do change well and let’s face it, I’ve got a lot on my plate with the move.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal, but it’s become a big deal. His retaliation when I don’t please him is ALWAYS a solid dose of silent treatment. Purely from my own experience, it ranks right up there as being one of the cruellest forms of punishment and manipulation because you are denied that which is intrinsically human.

All contact is withheld – written, verbal, even eye contact. You become invisible; the message that you don’t exist is very clear. If you are nothing and nobody, what value do you have? What self-worth do you carry? None. You have been damned, abandoned, and the message is ‘you have only yourself to blame‘. Deep shame combines with a compulsive need to please, conform, obey, comply. Anything to get that person to acknowledge and love you again. You don’t know what the rules are, but you live in constant fear of breaking them, and your fate is at the mercy of someone who is supposed to keep you safe. So you reshape yourself over and over again, you shamelessly grovel and beg to please in the hopes of forgiveness. Buy hey, if it allows you access back into the fold, you’ll sell your soul.

Well, I may be in the dog box, but this old bitch ain’t doin’ tricks no more! No more codependency. I’m building myself from the ground up and I won’t see my hard work go to waste. His displeasure frightens me and the urge to please and grovel is ingrained. But I’m doing things differently, and this time I’m going to protect the child that was never kept safe.

A long overdue fear conquered

I only need to say two words and you’ll understand:

LIBRARY BOOKS

Right!? Yes. But I’m talking seriously overdue library books – 3 years overdue. They have made two moves with me, and I was determined they would not make a third, into my Home Sweet Home.

You know how it is. The books were overdue and I kept putting off their return because I would forget, or be too depressed to make the effort, or procrastinate, and procrastinate, and procrastinate. Eventually, as more time went by, it became impossible to return them. Because they were soooo late. Ashamed and distraught, I began catastrophizing the event:

– there was a warrant out for my arrest

– I’d been summons and my ex didn’t tell me

– I’d have to pay a fine equivalent to the replacement value of the books

– I would be banned forever from the library and forced to wear a Scarlet Letter publicly shaming my negligent behaviour

It took courage yesterday, phoning to enquire if they had an upcoming “Amnesty Week”. They didn’t and my heart dropped into my ankles. I confessed my crime and surprisingly, it wasn’t a problem. The kind librarian explained I would only be charged a maximum fee totalling R12, and then she encouraged me to continue using the library.

What!! I’m not banned? I don’t have an outstanding arrest warrant? I don’t have a criminal record? All these years I’ve worried myself sick, hidden under the duvet, eaten alive by fear and guilt. I anticipated the worst. So I guess the moral of the story is, and always will be, our fears are often far bigger in our minds than they are in reality.

(And I get to tick this off my list of Things To Do. Since it was a big one, I’m due a reward for my efforts. So I’m off for a chocolate milkshake on Sunday)

I wish I were a saviour

Save his life? Save my life? Saving one life condemns the other life? The moral conflict is killing me. I can’t eat, can’t sleep, the guilt chokes me. When my mother was at the height of her mental illness, she asked for help and I refused her. She committed suicide 3 weeks later. Granted, she wanted me to help her die….. but if I had helped, she would not have suffered as she did. I didn’t help her and she died a terrible death.

His behaviour has become worse, a dark, rapidly downward spiral. And it is my fault. His blood will be on my hands. Expelling him from the home has added new impetus to his implosion. How do I turn my back to his silent screams?

drowning__by_magggggg-d2xzbuu.jpg - source deviantart

Is he drowning, or am I?

Every minute of every hour of the day and night I’m compelled to phone him and say – come home, I’m sorry, just come home….

But with great force of will, I have to remind myself – this ‘self‘ that is now filled with disgust and shame and loathing at the callous act I forced upon another sick human being; this ‘self‘ that wants nothing more than to reach out in compassion for her fellow sufferer and lift him from harms way. This self knows the simple fact. I can’t fix him, cure him, help him, change him, make him want to change. It’s completely out of my hands. I have no control.

her_hands_are_bound_by_jadelouisewinter-d53pry7.jpg - source deviantart

My hands are tied, I feel bound by helpless

My torment lies in how do I stand idly by watching his demise from my sheltered distance? As a human being, how do I do this? My conscience bears me no peace. I wake frequently in the night wanting to phone to check that he’s safe, still employed or on the streets? Is he still alive?

Alive, yes, for me, it is this precarious.

And then I weep endlessly in sorrow and in helplessness. In fear and in regret. I weep for him, so lost. I weep for me, so guilty. And then always, always when I weep, I weep for my mother. Another lost soul I didn’t help.

Sleeping with the enemy

If it looks like a duck, if it swims like a duck, if it quacks like a duck…..it’s a duck.

If he lies and denies like a politician, if he steals like a theif, if he manipulates like a conman, if he drinks like a fish….he’s dangerous and needs to go.

Despite my hard choice boundary – if you drink alcohol in any way, shape, or form, for whatever reason, our relationship is over and you will leave immediately – I’ve since discovered details about him from a reliable source. A source that introduced us and now feels so guilty because she too believed his lies and manipulation.

fear_by_darkixi - source deviatart-com

 

Bottom line, I am frightened of him. The person I met is not the person I’m discovering him to be. He’s not just an alcoholic. He’s a thief. He’s a conman. But are these traits merely a part of the drinking disease? Dunno…..

I’m scared to kick him out for fear of repercussions. Basically, I’m just scared of him. Scared to close my eyes and go to sleep. Scared he’ll break in, because he can. I can’t move – I’ve signed a 12 month lease. I feel conflicted, vulnerable, exposed and (ab)used. Do I just throw him out? Or do I give him the chance to find somewhere to stay first? Or do I wait out the whole sobriety process? Dunno…..

But I’m a fighter and I’m hoping I’m merely catastrophizing everything. That the outcome will not be as bad as I am imagining it to be. I will stand my ground, this is my home, my name on the lease. I’ve fought too long and too hard to get to where I am in my personal growth to have it fucked up by a liar, a drunk and a thief.

I don’t own much to steal. And material goods are replaceable. If he kills me, well, I’m suicidal half my life so I guess that’s a blessing in disguise. If he lays a hand on me, I’ll punch him in the throat and call my landlord who is ‘in’ with the cops. Help would arrive quickly.

I’m sad and disillusioned that what started as a dream come true, has turned into a nightmare.

Id10t errors, lies, and contagious crazy

I’m on my third day back at work. So yep, I’m still gainfully employed. And it wasn’t as bad as I had feared.

I may have my job, but I’ve lost all memory of how to do it! My first day back, I continued in the tradition of ‘village idiot’. The computer’s on but the screen’s not plugged in…. problem exists between chair and keyboard (PEBCAK alert)

*flashing screen

Id10t error – Id10t error – Id10t error – Id10t error

I work within a number of programmes and I hit blanks at every turn. I had no recollection of how to do my job. Patience is my boss’s virtue, note-taking is mine. And together we worked late and got the done. Day three, and I’m quite fluent in job performance.

I went in with a strategy of (1) deflect the question and (2) answer indirectly. The deflecting part worked well for me. Ask them about themselves to take the focus off me. Easy-peasy! But to answer indirectly is not in my makeup. I’m bipolar. Got no filters. So I turned to our stock in trade….. I LIED. I lied, I lied, I lied like my pants was on fire!!

horse face

Fiiiiiiiine thanks! Very well thank you. I’m great! Yes, I’m all good now. Well thanks! Excellent thanks, ready for the new year. You know there’s the smile, and then there’s the teeth-and-gums smile. Sure you can guess which one was mine.

I have always been open about my mental illness. In 2010 I had a rather public breakdown, or perhaps a dissolving would be more appropriate. Since then, I have been open about having bipolar. I blame the lack of filters, so if I was questioned, I answered honestly. Maybe too honestly sometimes but hey, if you don’t want to know the truth, don’t ask the questions. So mostly people welcomed me back warmly with few intrusive questions. Two people ignored me, brrrrr cold shoulders, and one lady backed out as I offered a ‘happy new year’ hug. Possibly she was concerned crazy could be contagious. I dunno…. and they say we’re strange.