Phoenix Fights

"The only thing we have to fear is fear it'self – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2014….


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The Daily Post ‘To-Do? Done!’ – SOMEWHERE THAT’S GREEN (Updated)

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‘Quickly list five things you’d like to change in your life. Now, write a post about a day in your life once all five have been crossed off your to-do list.’

Of late the majority of my posts have been about the dire stuff that has been happening in my life, hence I’ve been less and less inspired to write, so I thought ‘I know!  I’ll shut up whinging about my shit (yes I do whinge, CD!) and do a “Daily Post” challenge to take my mind of it!’.

And here we are.

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Ahem.

WTF, I’ll do it anyway.

My five things, sorry, five OF my things are:

1. Get out of this shitstorm, sell up and find somewhere affordable to live where I don’t keep waking up in a cold sweat (and no it’s not down to the menopause) in the dead of night waiting for the bailiffs/debt collectors to come get me.

2. Find a way to manage my illness with or without the help of professionals, as right now it’s looking like I’ll have to forgo my two years of schema therapy if I move out of this borough. And I can no longer afford to live here.

3. Find some gainful employment that I can tolerate/cope with, so that I don’t keep waking up, covered in sweat, in the blah, blah, blah….

4. Sort out my body, i.e. stop treating it like shite by comfort eating, staying in 24/7 and deliberately depriving it of exercise, and look after it as least as well as I do my car.

5. Find some way of forgiving, accepting and even loving myself so that I can love and be loveable to others and have/keep people in my life.

Pretty fundamental stuff eh?  None of this ‘buy a pair of Louboutins’, ‘pull that hot guy at the gym’ or ‘have a closest clean out’ trivia pour moi.  Such stuff does not even register on my radar right now. Survival is the name of the game.

And how might things look should I achieve the impossible?

Perhaps a little like this:

To clarify, I’m not physically injured and don’t have a ‘semi sadist’ boyfriend; I sometimes wish I did, as I’d be able to justifiably beat the crap out of him, which would be a great exercise in stress relief.  ;-)

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It’s just that I have no idea what a ‘normal life’ would look like for someone like me, so this is as good an illustration as any, and as cringe makingly embarrassing as it is, like Audrey, I do yearn to be away from the city and reside ‘somewhere that’s green’.

But I’m copping out here, because I’m scared to paint the picture.  Because in my heart I daren’t believe it might come true.

But OK, challenges are challenges, so I’ll take a punt at it.

No picket fence, no shrink wrapped furniture (no plastic has been invented that my cats can’t annihilate) and no Howdy frigging Doody who/whatever that is.

But yes, I’m living in that ultimate cliche, a cottage near the sea.

I cook a darn sight better than Betty Crocker and now have a dining room so I can have friends around for BBQ’s, parties and big Sunday lunches.  

I’m living closer to my friends.  I’m close enough to my family that it’s not a five hour journey to get to them, but not so close that it makes either of us twitchy.  

I’m walking distance (or I’ll settle for a short drive) away from the water/beach so I know I can go there and watch the waves when the mind monkeys are driving me ape shit.

I’m walking distance (OK, a short drive) from my part time job which is challenging but not too demanding, leaving me enough energy to pursue the kind of work I love, and yes I have a baking business on the side.

I have the energy to write and make even be embarking on a novel.  At the very least I’m in a writing group and mixing with like minded folk.  

I do yoga. I dance.  I have a social life.  That would be kind of wonderful.

And the biggest thing of all, NO ONE knows about my shit, and whilst I might never pass for normal (quirky/eccentric has been attributed to me in the past), I am accepted and embraced for who I am.  There is no point of me moving to the sticks if the townsfolk know that there’s a (albeit innocent looking) little monster planted in their midst.

If I can have all of that I won’t even need a ‘Seymour'; not yet anyway.  But I live in hope that one day I’ll know what it’s like to be held by a man again, cherished and maybe even enjoy walks on the beach with a strong silent soul.

Control freak dentists of the Shires should, however, watch where they put their implements ‘cos I’m nothing like as sweet as Audrey.

I’m much more of an Audrey 2 really.

With much bigger teeth. :-)

If I ever achieve all of these things on this list, you’ll be the first to know.  just don’t hold your breath, OK?

Namaste x

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/to-do-done/


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OPTIMISTIC MIX TRACK 16 – Jam Jam Jam (All Night Long) – People’s Choice

So, anyway…things got worse!  And my ass hangs in the balance big time now.  Cue muchos sleepless nights and teeth grinding.

But I’m not going to bore you with any more of my whiny shit.

I’m going to try and focus on the positive.

So, a lovely lady gave me a big bag of gorgeous green goosegogs today.

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So I made Gooseberry and Elderflower jam.

And hot damn it’s good!

Not exactly scintillating news I know, but it’s the most optimistic thing I have for you today, so to make up for the sheer banality of my life right now, here’s the kind of ‘Jam’ that got my spirits soaring back in the day.

Ah, great memories….

Namaste x


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AS SAFE AS HOUSES

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It’s ironic that after all of these years of hiding away at every given opportunity in this little burrow, I’m now being forced to leave it for good.  But it’s hardly surprising and I’m being ejected at my own hand really.

To my eternal shame, I do get benefits from the government, but they do not cover my mortgage, which I totally understand.  Why should they buy part of my property for me?  But it’s some other humungous charges that are to be my downfall.  On top of my repeatedly sticking my head back in the sand, pretending that my payout/savings would last forever.

Then came the day when I realised that not only did I have but a couple of grand left, but a massive bill would be winging its way to me in a matter of days, and I felt all the blood drain from my face and head to my bowels where it sloshed and churned miserably, and still does to this day.

Being penniless and on the street has always been my worst nightmare.  It was my mother’s before me too, and I seem to have inherited that from her.  Along with bad eyesight and goofy teeth.

Thanks for that, mum.

So why have I brought my own horror story to life?

Well for a start, in the past when one door closed (job wise) something else tended to creak open so I’d always, if not land on my feet, manage to stagger to them with a couple of grazed knees and a mild case of concussion.  Nothing amazing or career enhancing you understand, but I’d put my feelers out and something would come up on my radar and save my financial bacon.

Not this time.  In all fairness, as most of you know, I did deliberately eschew the corporate world for the last 2 years, and of course my EUPD (BPD) diagnosis did nothing to stabilise my condition or confidence, but I have applied for other jobs. One or two of similar seniority, some mid range, but mostly pretty lowly ones, that paid a fraction of what I used to earn.  Jobs i could do blindfolded, with one arm tied behind my back.  

Did I even get a callback?  

Not one single one.

I’ve done odd days of ad hoc work.  I’ve tried to sell my baking.  And above all, I’ve been constantly on the alert for a sign from God whom I thought, given that I’m watching and listening so intently, might give me a clue as to what my purpose should be on this earth and perhaps open a door for me. Even the tiniest crack in some some shitty, splintered, graffiti festooned door somewhere would do.

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Is that too much to ask?

But if he’s sent me any messages, my network must be playing up as I’m still no further on when it comes to figuring out what my next steps are with regard to this predicament and indeed the rest of my life.

And I constantly mull and ponder and question myself.  Have I been making this all up? Is there a God?  Does he/she/it have a plan for me?  Or is it all random and I have no more of a destiny than that little grey mouth pounding it silly head against the hot bulb of my reading lamp?  My cat is watching it very intently so I don’t fancy it’s chances once it gets bored of doing that either….

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So I’m meant to live, eat, shit, fuck, sleep, die and decompose and it’s no more complicated than that?

Or I am burning up some horrible karma from a previous life where I’ve been a total biatch, and that’s why I’m getting the silent treatment?

Maybe God is just thinking ‘Lazy, cocky little mare, who does she think she is?  Who said I have a plan for her anyway?  Slog away aimlessly little insect until I decide to acknowledge and give you something useful to do.  If you’re lucky.’

Boy I’ve done a number on myself, make no mistake about it.  Because if, no let’s be honest, WHEN I leave here, I’ll be unable to do the 2 year Schema Therapy trial as I’ll be living in outside London so not entitled to it.

The only thing that would rectify this situation would be if I got a full time job here and was able to fully support myself.  And let’s face it, that ain’t looking too hopeful.

But maybe this is meant to be.  Maybe I’m meant to move.  And if I’m able to buy a little place outright with what I get from this place, that would be a load of my mind.  I could get a tiny house with a little garden for my mogs somewhere in the sticks.

What if I can’t get a job in Newfoundtown?  Well I can’t get one here, so what’s the difference?!  And whilst I might be super broke, the bailiffs might take my TV (ARRGHH!), and my leccy and gas might get cut off, I’d still own the place and no one will be able to repossess it.

As for the Schema, I’m due to get a proper written diagnosis so maybe that will help me get some alternative therapy in the new borough/city/county.

Oh God, the thoughts just keep whirling around in my head.  And after the shit that’s come from living in it to date, I still want to shrink back into my brick shell and not do anything bar trembling under my duvet.

Aunty C (my counsellor) is being wonderful and supportive and optimistic. But I know she’s afraid for me too.

As for my family, I’ve pretty much told them that I’ve run out of money and have to sell, and that message was met with complete silence before my sister changed the subject and wanted to catch up on some gossip about a mutual friend.

No offers of support or help.  I think she’s worried I’ll ask for money or ask to stay with her but I’d rather slice my tongue out than do that, as the last time I did that, many years ago, she presented me with an invoice the day I left.  The bill was calculated as if I were lodger renting a room, there was a charge for the food I imbibed per day, a share of the energy bill, TV licence, council tax etc., and came complete with a date that it must be paid by.

I walked away in shock.  I hadn’t even started my new job and felt about as loved as a dose of herpes.

Then a week later she demanded a contribution toward a very expensive gift for a family member when I didn’t have a penny to my name, and when I told her I didn’t have it, she threatened to stop me seeing her kids if i didn’t comply.

I forgave her many years ago. But some things you never forget.

What I would have appreciated was a call asking if I was OK, maybe some advice and a bit of sisterly support, but she can stick it now.

One thing’s for sure, I won’t be moving anywhere near her as many have advised.  Anyway I don’t have to worry about being lonely in the new town, because that’s always with me, wherever I go.

So I just need to get on with it so that I can walk out of here with my head held high and not tweezed out, wriggling all the way like a winkle on the end of a pin.

That’s a good point!  I could live at the seaside!

OK so this might be a good thing, but I’m going to do a three pronged approach.

1.  Get this place valued, start looking for somewhere and figure out how much money I need to facilitate the entire operation.

2.  Doctor/dumb down my CV with a view to getting secretarial/admin work.  A EPA/Miss Moneypenny kind of role ideally.

3.  Write to my lenders and explain the situation, ask them what they can do for me, and if nothing else assure them that I’ll be paying them off in full so they have nothing to fear and don’t need to repossess.

Lord I’m scared.  But I’m going to bite the bullet and get on with it.

I have Clara and my friends, and I also remember that I always feel stronger when i look after my body and diet. In fact the Lent period was the healthiest I’d ever been so I guess i should get back on that too.

I think this is a quite good plan.  Unless stuff goes wrong.  And there’s so much that can go wrong. Especially with my karma.

Fuck, STOP THAT SISTA!

This fucking FEAR rules my ass big time.

I just want to find a place I can call home.  As I’ve never felt that I belong anywhere.

And it occurs to me that if I can conquer this SHIT and feel a sense of belonging within myself then I could feel at home anywhere like those little molluscs, adrift in a vast, all encompassing ocean, but perfectly happy in their self sufficient shells.

That’s quite a way off though.  

And even they have to look out for the pricks….

Please pray for me.

Namaste xx

 

 

 


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BY GUM

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Over the years, and especially in the last two, holing up on the sofa and watching TV has always been how I’ve taken refuge from the world.

Until recently.

Of late, I’m actually frightened to turn the damn thing on as pretty much everything seems to bring out some kind of negative emotion in me.

This afternoon I got lucky though.

After coming home for a long walk in one of our beautiful parks on the first of hopefully many Indian summer days, I sat down with a mug of tea and just caught the beginning of David Lean’s 1954 comedy film, ‘Hobson’s Choice’.

It’s the kind of thing I would have watched with my mum on a Sunday afternoon after our roast lunch back in the day.  One of those ancient, crackly, black and white jobbies that we’d sit through time and time again, enjoying it’s old fashioned values and predictable endings, laughing occasionally and listening to my parents remark on how times had changed.

Essentially it’s the story of a drunken, selfish tyrannical old bootmaker Henry Horatio Hobson, his three daughters Maggie, Alice and Vicky, and poor old Will Mossop, Hobson’s uneducated, unappreciated, browbeaten employee. The girls are essentially his unpaid staff and want to get married to escape him but whilst he’s willing to let two of them go, he wants to hold onto the eldest and most savvy, Maggie, dismissing her as an old maid at 30.  Maggie taking great exception to this, persuades innocent Will to marry her, steals him away and goes into business with him, and essentially drives the old man out of business.  Will thrives under Maggie’s tutelage, and at great surprise to both of them, they fall in love.  It ends with Will going into partnership with old Hobson, providing he takes a back seat and that they rename it ‘Mossop & Hobson’, giving Henry (and a protesting Maggie) ‘Hobson’s Choice’, aka none at all, and they both acquiesce, Maggie finally letting Will wear the trousers.

Cheesy right? But in that couple of hours, I felt warm and safe inside.  

An hour later when the news of yet another US journalist being murdered by the heinous Jihadi John, I shuddered, shrank back into the cushions, felt unshed tears stirring inside and wished to be anywhere any time other than here in 2014.

So much has changed over the last 60 years that the world we live in now is virtually unrecognisable, and whilst I would concur that we have achieved a lot (by way of medical, technological and cultural advancement), we have also in some cases, taken things too far, and/or completely in the wrong direction.

We have so much and yet so little.

More money, less time.

More access to information but more corruption.

More stuff but a devastated, polluted planet.

More food, but more chronic obesity, starving millions and exploited peoples around the world.

More freedom of choice, but too much to choose from.

More freedom of movement but at the cost of the family unit.

And I wonder if the bogey man that has been hovering at my shoulder (just out of sight, natch) and cavorting gleefully through my dreams all these years might finally be showing his fuck ugly face.  

As I am dancing on a knife’s edge of financial disaster and have to move so will be losing my home, security and my promised 4 years schema therapy which I’ll only get if I stay in this area of London. And I can’t.

But it’s not just about my personal stuff, as death, ugliness, cruelty and disaster in so many forms seems to be swirling all around us all in 2014.

And I’m afraid.  For everyone.

And right now I’d do anything to go back to a world where you at least had a fighting chance.

Wars were fought fairly.  Or so it seemed in the movies anyway.

There was a patriotic sense of community.

People looked at each other in the street and not at their iPhone.

TV was innocently entertaining, and not dominated by reality TV where people are pitted against one another, humiliated and pushed to the point of breakdown.

Bullying consisted of being pushed over in the playground, and not being pressured to kill yourself over social media.

There were Stars as opposed to celebrities.

Reporters knew their place, and that was to report the news and not stalk innocent people, root through their bins and try and take photos of young female’s vaginas.

No one felt guilty about ageing.  It was what happened.

No one felt guilty about being pleasantly plump, hence no one ended up so big they had to be removed from their bedroom via a crane and airlifted to hospital.

Sex was precious and intimate instead of the combination of an aerobic exercise class, a beauty contest and a mutual genital sneeze.

No one would dream of sharing their sex life with anyone other than their wife/husband, let along make a sex tape.

And no one would ever, EVER want to watch a video of some fanatical, cowardly, sadistic bastard decapitate an innocent, handcuffed, helpless journalist with a crude, rusty knife.

For the record, I’m not naive.  I reiterate I know some things have changed for the better.  But right now I’d love to live in a world were you could trust the person sat next to you on the bus not to blow you to smithereens, you could love your curves and wrinkles, families looked out for one another, and the food you put in your mouth was made a few days ago, and wasn’t filled with stuff you couldn’t even pronounce. 

A world where you were told that there was someone for everyone, and people worked at their marriages instead of upgrading and trading in their partner every 5 years or so as if she/he were a car.

A long long time ago lived a little girl who believed all that.  It didn’t last of course, she’s a cynical old cow nowadays. But today just for a moment she longed for her very own kind, dim, loyal Will Mossop who would partner up with her, look after her, work along side her, and the morning after their wedding night, look into her eyes as if she were some kind of miracle, uttering the immortal line ‘By gum!’.

But it’s Hobson’s Choice isn’t it?  In other words there’s no going back.  Or as Maggie might say ‘All you can do dear, is keep your chin up, put your best foot forward and hope for the best’.

Fuck me.  I never thought I’d be taking my inspiration from a fictional Northern spinster.

I must be getting old.

Please be careful out there x

 

 

 

 


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I AM THE ONE WHO KNOCKS #BPD #EUPD

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The last couple of months or so have been tough.

Apart from the looming financial issues, I’m starting to realise that Aunty C (my counsellor as opposed to my shrink) may have been right about my not being formally being diagnosed (and hence labelled) and just pushing forward and trying to make things work. The trouble is that when you keep trying and keep landing on your arse time and time again, you come to realise that you’re not getting anywhere, and you’re not getting something that you need in order to progress.

And I’ve always been a truth seeker.

The trouble is that sometimes that truth is so frightening and overwhelming that you lose faith in ever being a fully functioning member of society again.

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Given that only Aunty C (and you lot) know the extent of my condition, there have been times of late that I have come very close to confiding in a family member or friend, especially given that ‘the book’ encourages the recruitment of ever loving, uber supportive cheerleaders who shake their pom poms, and chant encouragingly as you tackle life head on, whilst simultaneously battling your demons on the job.  Probably locked in the office loo reading mantras feverishly off a sweaty, creased flashcard whilst praying no one hears you talking to yourself.

But I can’t bring myself to do it, and have to carry the burden alone.  Damn my suspicion, lack of trust and faith in mankind!

But the last week or so has proved that I am right to be so trepidatious, as I have heard casual, damning prejudices slip out of the mouths of, if not my chosen confidantes, people not to dissimilar to them.

The first was at a BBQ where I was chatting to an old family friend who was warning me off a couple that he and some others had fallen out with.

‘Honestly Sista’ he said earnestly ‘stay away from him, he’s a twat and has shafted people more savvy than you.’

‘Really?’ I replied, not wanting to get involved in some willy waving turf war that was really none of my business.  Hell I get myself into shit on a regular basis without even trying. Did Ross really think I needed him dragging me into his personal spats?

‘Really,’ he asserts, drunkenly taking a big swig of warm Pimms, the wet shaft of celery nearly taking his eye out, ‘as for that wife of his, I’d only known her an evening and she tells me she has a personality disorder!  As if she was telling me her star sign!  Or her job!  Seriously, it beggars belief….’

And he does it.  He rolls his eyes and twirls his index finger at his head.  

The universal shorthand for ‘Looney Alert’.

‘Really?’ I murmur trying to bite down the urge to shriek ‘SNAP!’ in his face and watch him redden, squirm and struggle for a response.

But I was saved from my naughty mind monkeys by the host calling us over for hot burgers and chicken.

This same person, I’ll have you know, hardly let’s a day go by without plastering a lovely meme on his Facebook page about supporting people with mental health issues and chiding those who judge ‘em, this being one of his favourites:

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What a hypocritical knob, eh?

So I kept schtum.  Mainly because this prick isn’t someone I encounter very often, so doesn’t really matter, but his blatant masquerading as someone who did not judge others less fortunate than him makes me sick to the stomach.  It also disgusts me that a vulnerable individual, like this girl, might have shared her condition with him because of this bullshit propaganda, and he’s now spitefully spreading her secret far and wide.

The utter COCK.

The next encounter took place on Facebook itself, where an ex colleague was having a heated but entirely rational exchange with a female, and when he could not finish the argument he himself had picked, he told her to ‘Leave it!  Fucking bunny boiler.  Have you had your medication today?’

The woman did not reply.  I don’t know whether she has a history of mental health issues or was just disgusted that he had dismissed her thus (or indeed both), but I bet he wouldn’t have spoken to her that way if she had been a man.  And if he did use that forum to ‘out’ and deliberately shame her because she was intellectually out of his league, then I’m really glad that we no longer work together anymore.

The final straw was today when I opened an emailed blog from someone having a go at a ‘sick stalker’ who has allegedly being harassing him and others bloggers, the final line/parting shot being ‘Personality disorders can be so bothersome’.

No.  Shit.

My first thought was ‘I can’t believe he sent me this’ because he only knows me from this blog, but of course the mail out was sent to all of his followers so it wasn’t a personal attack.  It stung though.  And ultimately made me feel sad.  And resigned to my secret shame.

And in many ways I can’t blame him.  As you can see from this earlier post, I had the very same impression of BPD sufferers myself:

http://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/name-that-disorder-in-one/

But it finally made my mind up that I’ll never share my condition with anyone now.  Because people do judge whether they like it or not, whether they want to or not. And anything outside of depression (BDP, bipolar, schizophrenia etc) is still very unacceptable to the majority, whether it’s politically incorrect to admit it or not.

And whilst I admit to having trust issues, people, even those you love, do use your condition against you.

When I confronted someone over something she did, even though others had witnessed it, she immediately adapted a sickly ‘poor you’ expression, only just stopping short of doing the ‘twirly finger to head’ to those nearby when she thought I wasn’t looking, implying that I was being irrational.

When someone tried manipulate me to do her dirty work and I politely called her out on it, she pulled a similar face, implying that it was all in my imagination.  OMG she didn’t know it was that big a job!  No, of course she didn’t expect me to do it all!  I had totally misunderstood her!

And when someone asked me for a favour/money or to do something I was not comfortable with and I explained why I couldn’t help him, I got the ‘Excuse moi? You’re refusing me?!’ look, the disappointed sigh, and was blanked for about 3 months, just to make the point that he’s normal, I’m loopy and as far as he was concerned, I need his friendship more than he needed mine.  Hey, I should count myself lucky that he hasn’t had me sectioned for my audacity in optimising my free will!

So in sum, in being an out BPD/EUPD, I would be forgoing respect, credibility, my power and pretty much offering my throat to any passing predator, let alone showing them the whites of my eyes.

Fuck that.

So as lonely as it is to deal will this without the help of ‘cheerleaders’, I’m gonna pop my cojones out, man the fuck up and deal with it on my own.

Because I’m not one of you.  I’m one of them.

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And you know what?  If you met me, you’d never even guess.

So that means that me and my kind could be in your vicinity now.  Stalking you, cooking your cottontail and sharpening your biggest, best Sabatier whilst you prepare for a nice soak in your steaming hot tub….

Be afraid bitches; be every afraid.  The blatantly crazy aren’t the ones you should be wary of.

But that’s not the scariest thing of all.

Because when the shit comes down, you know that instinctively it’ll be me you want to turn to.  Because you know I’ve stared rejection, humiliation, isolation and financial ruin in the face, the very things you yourself dread, and I’m still standing.  And when you’re in that dark desolate public hell, who will show up to guide you back out towards the light?  Not your lovely, popular, social climbing compadres that’s for sure.  And you’ll be praying for my unacceptable scary ass to show up.  Whether I do or not remains to be seen.

You see?  Bothersome ain’t the half of it.

Namaste y’all ;-)


5 Comments

‘AVE A WORD WITH YOURSELF…..

Floundering, floundering, floundering….finally, after superhuman resistance, it’s time to speak to my better ‘alf, wish me luck….

“The Cave”

It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

‘Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker’s land

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

 


18 Comments

SEVERANCE

bullied-alamy

It seems to me that going past the dreaded 50th birthday landmark makes people want to start digging around in their past to find out what has happened to whom, on a far too regular basis.

And if I were to hazard a guess why this phenomenon takes place, I would say that the unfulfilled, regretful and bored empty nesters tend to do this because they want to either compare themselves with their old schoolmates, hook up with some old boyfriend/girlfriend, or simply try and recapture their long lost youth by reminiscing about the old days.

Those of you who know me may have gathered that I’m not a fan of anything or anyone from my past re-emerging into MY present, uninvited.  They’d be about as welcome as one of my forty odd year old stools popping up in the loo, Mr Hanky stylee shouting ‘Howdy ho!  Guess who?’  

Ever the bridge burner, cutter offer and drawer of lines under the past, I like to past lovers/friends/employers to remain in the parallel universe they occupy and stay the hell outta Sistaville.

They have their country, I have mine.

They have their county, I have mine.

They have their borough, I have mine,

They have their street, I have mine.

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OK, so I do know that I’m rapidly running out Sista only territory (hence my fondness of pseudonyms), and I don’t have any lifelong friends so I’m pretty lonely hence it might not have been the best life coping strategy to adopt, but it’s a bit late for this old bitch to learn new tricks.

Well, that’s debatable I guess as ‘networking’ <shudders> is something I’m going to need to embrace moving forward according to the dreaded ‘book’, but what I didn’t welcome or accept is an unwelcome blast from the past knocking on my cyber door the other day.

Some woman whose name I’d never heard of tried to ‘friend’ me on Facebook.

I didn’t recognise her face, we didn’t have friends in common, so I was about to reject her and move on, when I noticed that she used to go to the same school as me.

Curious I had a look at her profile with something akin to dread churning in my stomach.  Of course I recognised the Christian name, but this was 40 years ago, so how was I supposed to know if it was her or not?

Then I saw the old 70’s photo of her family that she must have scanned and uploaded, and immediately knew it was Sally B.

The only close friend I had in my childhood.

The very same friend who fucked me off when I started getting bullied and picked on at senior school.

Well she actually picked a fight with me over a necklace but we both knew that she manufactured it as an excuse to break away from me, or only see me when her popular new friends weren’t around.  What she didn’t bank on though was my uncanny ability to totally cut off from people and, if encountering them again in public, being able to look through them as if they were a pane of glass and/or a piece of shit in the street.  And given that I was geeky and she was cool, Sal was very indignant about my coldness, so sent her younger brother out to beat me up, and he kicked the hell out of me.

We had been friends since we were about 6, which is pretty much a lifetime when you are 12 years old, so the break up felt like the end of the world, as it was the ultimate betrayal and indeed full confirmation to me that no one, but NO ONE could be trusted.

Over the years I got my own back.

I got contact lens and bleached my hair.  I became skinny, sexy and cool.  I had a very hot boyfriend.  I hung out with a band.  I moved to London.  I brought home an even hotter boyfriend.  I had expensive clothes.  I went to all the best clubs in London.  I travelled the world.  Well I got beyond Costa del Chipshop which is probably more than she ever did.

And whilst I don’t remember her seeing me in all my punky/new romantic, trendy, hot other half glory, Shitsville was a small town and I’m pretty damn sure she got to hear about it all.   Especially when I turned up to mass one Easter, Siouxie Sue’d up to the eyeballs, in leathers with my hot Italian Catholic BF (his idea, not mine) and stunned the entire congregation.

So fuck her and market stall clothes, her chavvy boyfriend, her lame job and predictable, shitty small town life.

As the years have gone by, whilst I still have some family oop North, I rarely find myself in that neck of the woods, so I pretty much forgot all about her.

Until now.

And before you say it, I KNOW.

We were only kids.  And kids are horrible.

But being a fucked up, BPD, revenge loving bitch, I find to my surprise that I still hate her.  And her horrible family.  Just looking at that photo makes my lip curl with contempt.

And as I scrutinise her profile I see she is friends with a few of the other thuggish bitches that made my life an utter misery all those years ago.  And I smile cruelly to myself at the way they look, the clothes they are wearing, the jobs they are (or mainly are not) doing, and inwardly jeer at their appalling grammar, shit taste in music, middle aged outlook and the fact that yes, they are still living in Shitsville and probably will for the rest of their days.

And I wonder what the fuck she thinks we have to say to one another after all these years.  Does she remember what she did? Is she sorry?  What she couldn’t possibly know is that she was my first ever severance.  And whilst over the years, I could do it with nary a flicker of emotion, as we all know, the first cut is the deepest, and losing the only person on the same wavelength as me at such a tender age was like losing a limb.

Severance Leg

So, to be perfectly honest, whilst I’d like to say I’d rise above it, I don’t know if I’d be able to stop myself from being horrible to her if we did enter into some kind of dialogue.

So much for my Tutu approved Forgiveness course.  Sorry Des :-(  It is pretty apparent to me now, like diet and exercise, I am going to have to work on this deeply challenging skill for the rest of my life, because I hate how this ugly emotion makes me feel inside.

So for now, I think it best to ignore her and move on, as, if I can only look back in anger, it’s best not to look back at all.

‘And so, Sally can wait….’

Sorry…couldn’t resist that…. ;-)

Namaste x

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