Sunday, 5 April 2020

Loneliness....lets all unite...

As I sit here listening to my Spotify playlist I made called "Champions Mardi" the tears start to fall down my cheek as I remember that warm feeling I was having only a few months ago. I made the playlist for someone extremely special to me. The songs all relate to how our "situation" was. 

It was the summer of 2019 and I'd had a pretty tough couple of years and as if out of nowhere someone walked into my life very unexpectedly, he showed me many things and for once in my life I actually experienced a real man. The relationship counsellor I saw actually said it was probably the most adult relationship I had ever had, as she is fully aware of all the failed relationships I have had over the years. 

We were never in a conventional relationship and only saw each other a couple of times a week but somehow it was just right. He made me feel like I had never felt before. He taught me that not all men are wankas and restored my faith.

In January we decided that we had no choice really in ending what ever we had for various reasons. One factor that obviously was a problem was that he lived across the channel in Paris. He was a born and bred Parisian with Portuguese blood, so was duel nationality. 

I am not going to bore you with the entire thing that we shared. As this post isn't directly about him. 

However, once we decided to terminate what we had life became pretty difficult for me as not only was I sad that things had worked out the way they had but I had injured my arthritic knee and it was getting worse. I had to stop my hobbies of the gym, spin had become a massive part in my life. I had to stop drumming as I couldn't bend my knee enough to hold the djembe drum. I had to cancel my salsa lessons and I couldn't work due to the pain. 

As you can imagine my life went from being extremely full, doing all the things I love and seeing someone regularly that complimented my life. To suddenly extremely isolated.

I tell people my knee hurts, but people don't really appreciate how much, simply because they cant see how bad it is. My friends and family are busy with their own lives so suddenly I found myself very alone with way too much time on my hands to think. I am sure you are all aware that is when I found my love for blog writing. 

Anyhow, In March I decided that I would return to work asap and perhaps test the water in terms of meeting the opposite sex. I wanted to try and get back on track despite still being in pain, I longed for normality again and thought it would be the next stage in moving forward with my life. I had started paying for private massage for my knee with a sports therapist and had seen my consultant that had referred me for hydrotherapy. Things seemed to be improving.

This as you can all imagine has taken a back seat as sadly the Coronavirus is a global pandemic. (That's for another post)

Once again I find myself, as well as the entire world in social isolation. You would think I would be used to it as I have spent the past couple of months being exactly that. But now I am finding it even more frustrating and lonely. 

I have actually found the past few years quite isolating as my friends are all settled and on different paths, I've worked from home alone and spent most weekends and evenings alone. But for some reason it just feels worse now.

I miss my life, I was ready to get back to normal. Now I know everyone is now in the same boat and I am extremely grateful I have food, a job and shelter in these uncertain times but I am more lonelier than ever. 

At first I thought people might be more engaging as they are now isolated but in actual fact I think people are busier, well certainly my friends as they are all desperately trying to maintain normality and entertain and home school their children and partners.

I am trying to remain positive and just ride the storm, God only knows I have been through worse, I suppose the selfish me is just thinking "Hang on a minute, I've just spent months being isolated, it's not fair". I have also started to believe that the universe is trying to tell me something. Perhaps I am just destined not to meet my soul mate and be stuck in these four walls! 

At times like this we all need to stick together, Its all over the media that we should all be looking after everyone's mental health at this isolating time but part of me thinks, "Why? I have been isolated for months and hardly anyone really reached out to me", I know selfish and negative of me but I can't help the way I have felt for months and now I feel like I am going through it again.

I miss my Portuguese/Parisian "friend" and the endless chats, laughs and intimacy that we had but am trying to remind myself that it is probably for the best that things ended as at this point of the pandemic I would be concerned as to when I might see him again. Perhaps it was destiny that it ended before all of this Corona virus problem? 

So where to go from here I ask myself, as I am sure the entire world is asking themselves this very question. It is a horrific battle for humanity now and if I am honest, feel quite guilty for the thoughts that I have as I know everyone else is feeling so awful. People are dying, people are loosing their jobs and financial security is unknown, it is a scary time for everyone I am no different.  

I guess my thoughts are to concentrate on work, as my mental health patients will need me more than ever, whether I have brain capacity for it all is debatable, but I am sure I will plod through with the rest of the keyworkers in the world. 

What do I plan to do to keep my sanity? Well as my knee is still injured I do hope that I can get a bit of exercise by gently walking around the block. (Do not under any circumstances attempt to buy a folding treadmill from a social media advertisement, as I did which has cost me money and turns out they are a bogus company. I know I am an idiot for believing it but hey if they are being advertised on a a reputable site like facebook you would think it was genuine. Hey ho, my money has been lost. I have reported them!)

So I will endeavour to start my now online drumming lessons and continue to practice and have french lessons, which is actually improving quite a lot! I will try to take advantage of this time to perhaps be more creative and finally finish knitting my scarf and my painting. I will continue to read and listen to my audible books and do all the things I have learnt to do having been isolated for some time already. These are all great practical things but I guess, for me the the main thing that I am missing and have missed for a while is human touch, contact and meaningful conversation. 

I miss having someone to hug, never have I so much longed for human touch or that special person to talk to. Hence why I am sobbing to my playlist, as it reminds me of special times where I felt comfort and warmth. 

I think in these uncertain times having someone by your side must feel easier, albeit I am sure couples all over the world are feeling annoyed having everyone around them 24/7! But I would take that for someone by my side any day of the week, but grass is always greener right? As I am sure some of my friends would do anything to be isolated without the kids and partner in tow right now. But for me I have been so lonely for so long, knowing that I have no idea when I might get the opportunity to meet someone to hug is ripping me apart. I am also not taking away from people who are in relationships and feel extremely lonely, we all feel it in different ways. I am just speaking of my experience and isolation and loneliness. I guess we all have to be kind to one another.

I cant even hug my parents or my dog, who is with my parents who are still my nuclear family. I know so many other people feel the same, which is why I write these blogs really, not only does it help me to express how I feel I hope that others might read it and can relate and not feel so alone.

I know I shouldn't feel so sorry for myself but sometimes I just wish obstacles would stop coming at me. Just as things begin to go right then wham knocked back down. I understand that life is like that, I am no different from anyone else but seriously someone please just give me a damn break!

Loneliness sucks massive dicks....

Be patient little one, your time will come..... Just have faith, trust and pixie dust....

I do hope that anyone feeling isolated and lonely can reach out, you can contact me, my details are provided on my first post "About me" 

We will all get through this together....  "We will all unite" One of the best speeches ever written!

Saturday, 4 April 2020

The importance of staying private in a world of Social Media

The concept of Social Media and how it is utilised now a days is a huge topic, one that I am only going to scratch the surface with my thoughts and opinions. 

I "generally" believe anyone born as a " Millenial" or "Generation Z" certainly deems social media in a very different light to those who are older. Of course there is always the exception to the rule and not all of these people within these dates see social media in the same generalised way.

So the term "Millenial" and "Generation Z" is deemed to be anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (Millenial) and 1997 - 2012 (Generation Z)

Having just skipped falling into the Millenial category by a few years, those 3 years make a huge difference in how I view social media and technology. I hear my parents generation sighing as they didn't even have telephones or television.  

I got my very first mobile phone at the age of 21, which in this day and age is classed as extremely old to be starting up in the world of mobiles. My mobile phone was basic, in comparison to what is available nowadays. I could call a person from the black and weird green coloured screen and send a basic text message by pressing the digits on the keypad several times before you reached the desired letter or number. Picture messages didn't exist, let alone cameras. 

Now a days, I know parents that are buying new age Smart Phones for children of ages as young as 12. When I was 12 years old I had a baby boy doll and a "Head" bag, which was a sports brand back then, that all the cool kids had to take their school books and lunch to school not a mobile phone in sight.

The Millenials and Generation Z have been using new age technology most of their lives. From Smart phones then came Social Media. These Social Media programmes allow you to publicise every ounce of your life open to the world to see pictures and comments of every day activities that you do.

People use the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more recently, I have seen advertised something called Tik Tok?  

I am on both Facebook and Instagram, however my facebook account only has a handful of close friends and the rest are my family members, this is purely to see what my nieces and nephews are up too as they generally use social media (Millennial's and Generation Z)!

I think social media can have its advantages to share pictures, jokes and videos with perhaps friends or family members you don't see very often. But what I really don't understand is the use of publicising everything you are doing to the world. I am talking about those people who virtually document their entire lives on social media and have their privacy settings set to public for the entire universe to see. I do not understand this concept. 

I am unsure why people have public accounts, unless of course it is promoting a business of some sort but people showing the world what they had for dinner, videos of your children, your relationship, where you are, and  generally pictures of every ounce of your life. In my opinion is a bizarre way of thinking. Sharing those things might be nice if kept to your limited amount of close friends or family but to absolutely anyone is down right weird in my opinion.

Is it that they like to make their lives look more interesting than there are? Wanting some kind of validation? A sense of gratification? To achieve "likes" to feel special or wanted? I am not sure quite why people have public profiles. If you are in fact one of those people, please enlighten me.

For me, if I am in a relationship or if I had children, I know for a fact I would not want the general public of the world staring at my private life. I mean you never know who is looking. Innocent videos of your children could be viewed by undesirables. Ex partners or friends might feel upset by seeing their ex in a new life. To me it seems quite dishonorable, needy behaviour. No body would know if I was in a relationship or not by viewing my social media on a private level let alone if I had it public. I like to keep my private life exactly that private. Of course the only people who know who I really am writing this blog are family and friends and not all of those even know. Anonymity is important to me.

I believe people no longer really live in the moment. I mean if I am having the time of my life and the best day in the best relationship you would never know because I am enjoying it that much that I simply do not have time to take pictures, let alone publicise them online for the world to see. 

How is it that people are in the heat of the moment in a passionate kiss or playing a game can take the time to pose for a picture? Surely if it is that great why are you able to pose? I know if I have been having a passionate kiss or in the middle of something exciting to stop and grab my phone to take a picture and to upload onto a public account for the world to see would be out of the question. I simply wouldn't do it. 

Perhaps we need to ask if what we view on social media is always accurate? I frequently say to my patients, that during therapy we could sit, hug and smile and make a picture to look like we are old friends catching up and having the best day, but the reality is we are sat in a therapy room, me the practitioner them the patient. Far from what could potentially be perceived to those strangers viewing the public social media profile.

Admittedly, I do share things on social media for my friends and family to view, mainly funny dog videos to make them smile. I might share the odd personal picture of an activity I am doing or a birthday party but I generally keep my audience private to my friends and family only. 

I guess the other exception to business is anonymous accounts. I have an account for Miss Snikpoh on both facebook and Instagram but it is anonymous No one knows my true identity (other than my close family and friends) The accounts are public but my aim is the same aim of this blog to enable the reader to feel that it is ok to not feel ok all of the time. I keep my anonymity to protect myself. 

These people who publicise their entire lives to the world on social media are not protecting themselves, their families or friends.For me it takes away my respect and they loose their dignity. It oozes a self esteem crisis covered up by the nonchalant attitude of "I don't give a fuck" but deep down it appears that they really do, but that's just my opinion.

I find it a sad state of affairs that people feel the desire to over share their lives and I am sure that it is not healthy to do so. Is it attention seeking behaviour? I have no idea. What I do know is that it is can be extremely dangerous. 

We are a nation of curious souls. We are presented with news and have access to endless amounts of unnecessary information. As curious human beings if things are available to us we undoubtedly will look. 

Life somehow seemed easier when we had less information. Less is more. I am a firm believer that knowledge is useful and helpful and helps us to explore and to grow but surely not all knowledge is useful. Too much knowledge is very unhelpful, particularly information that might not be a totally accurate reflection of the truth. Perception can be dangerous and can lead to the cycle of unhelpful thoughts.

For example. If you fall out with a friend, lover or family member wouldn't it be easier to get over that person from your life if you weren't able to access what they are doing in life now? Surely it can contribute to people never getting over the loss of people in their lives?

We are all capable of looking at ex partners, friends, colleagues, family etc Why do we do it?... because we can! This is why I think it is far healthier for people's social media accounts to remain private to discourage this type of behaviour.

Working in mental health I have endless amounts of patients feeling upset and stressed because they can openly view profiles on social media that is detrimental to their wellbeing. I have men and women saying they can see what their exes are up to, what their new partners are like and for youngsters at college and school feeling sad because they can see that their friends went out but they weren't invited. People naturally compare themselves to others, which in itself is undesirable and can cause countless problems.

I suggest for them not to look, but is it really that easy? If we know information is there and that we have access to it people will do it. It is like if you know there is cake in the cupboard it will drive you insane until you eat the damn cake, afterwards feeling guilty, sad and unhappy that you gave into temptation. Of course if we are busy and getting on living our own lives we have less chance of being part of social media, but if it is available people will continue to do it at some point.

A new aged saying is "social media stalking", but actually it is human curiosity. We all know if someone says don't do something we are more tempted.

I have asked many people about this both patients and friends and all say the same, that they all look at accounts if they are public out of boredom or curiosity. It doesn't actually mean they are desperately interested in the person or their lives it is just simple because it is available.

What social media platforms ideally need to do is only enable people to have private accounts and that you can only view if you are actively following the person/or "friends" to which they have agreed. 

It would take life back to easier times with far less drama and upset in the world. It would protect our children and vulnerable people from perpetrators, well at least reduce it.

So why do people feel a great need to make their private life public? Do we really need to know everything about everyone all of the time? Perhaps the world would be a nicer, kinder and more humble place to live if this was the case?

Sadly many of the Millennial's and Generation Z, can not see the destruction it can cause simply because they don't know a world without it. I hope that this will start to change. 

Social media can be fabulous, I mean at this current time the Corona Virus is a global pandemic and the having the ability to utilise social media to allow people to keep in touch is more important than ever but remember your private life is still your private life. Choose wisely on who you want to share it with. By all means keep connected and share videos, photos, food what ever but keep it to your select friends and family not the entire world!

I certainly know that I was bought up to believe that having an air of mystery is a positive trait. But then I was bought up by the older generation who were teenagers in the 1950s!

Social media is and can be really helpful and certainly has many benefits. But I think for general people who aren't using it for business purposes, keep it private, for you never really know who is watching you.....

Monday, 30 March 2020

Cheats and Overlappers - Is there ever any justification?

Having suffered to the hands of many cheaters and overlappers I can honestly say it is probably the one thing that I really do not condone. 

It is one of the many things that I can not get my head around. For me if you are in an unhappy relationship it is better to end it than to start a relationship with someone else, whether it be a long term affair or secret rendez vous with various people. Maybe I am narrow minded and should be more accepting of this behaviour, after all I don't know the circumstances of why the cheater hasn't left and I am sure there are thousands of excuses that they come up with. 

So what is cheating? For me I believe cheating is anything that encompasses deceit in the form of having to hide any form of communication with a potential romantic interest that you feel that you need to hide from a current partner. 

This could be meeting up and being intimate with someone else or sending text messages that if your partner found would feel hurt and upset. If you have to hide this type of behaviour from your partner, unless you are organising a surprise birthday party then you are more than likely guilty of cheating. If you have to hide and delete you are likely to be behaving badly and have zero respect for any one other than yourself.

Even if you have the worst partner in the world and dislike them, what do you gain by cheating on them? Is it not better to just get out and move forward with someone else? I appreciate it can be complicated with children, debt, financial responsibilities but surely it is better to do the honorable, respectful thing to end the relationship than to be a cheat and destroy a family or the trust of others in one foul swoop?

So what is an overlapper? Well this is a new term for me but totally rings sense if you have read my post "The Practice Wife" or "Time Alone or Rebound?.. The Red Flag of Grief". Overlapping is when someone starts chatting to someone, not necessarily being intimate with, but communicates in such a way that it potentially could as soon as the relationship ends with current partner. My understanding of this is that the overlapper is wishing to end the relationship but actually doesn't want to be alone so actively looks for a replacement to engage into a relationship with as soon as they ends theirs. Very similar to cheating but not quite at the destruction level, but none the less very sneaky behaviour.

I have experienced both of this type of behaviour and what I will say is that it is pretty shit to be in that situation. I know being in a rubbish relationship is bad enough but when the person you trust most does the dirty it hurts like hell.

It makes you question everything about yourself and doubt your own sanity. One particular relationship where I was being cheated on, he use to lie about everything. It became that bad that it felt quite like the gaslighting effect, where if I dared question his behaviour or where about's he would make it out like I was going crazy. 

Hindsight is a beautiful thing and now I can see that he was a prolific offender of cheating and overlapping behaviours. At the time he made me feel horrendous. In fact he lied so much about his "activity" it became very apparent that he had got him self a sexually transmitted disease whilst we were together! I know unreal really yet he gaslighted me so much that made me think that one of us had had it 4 years prior before we met, although at that time, when we first got together we both tested negative. I should have left at that moment but continued the relationship which he continued to lie and more than likely cheat until he at the end was having an affair. I eventually found out, but I believed his lies and extraordinary stories for so long. A coward of a man, if you can call him a man. But that relationship and how it ended is for another post. I might call it "Thank god we never made it"!

Would it be safe to say that Cheaters and Overlappers are selfish? That they are not actually regarding the feelings of anyone else? Are they thinking about the person sat at home, their children or even the person they are cheating with, if of course that person doesn't know. If they do, then they are just as guilty. I wonder what justification they have? 

Surely leading a double life would be extremely exhausting trying to maintain a lie. I am unsure why they do it? Is the grass always greener? And if it is why not gate the field the current grass is in give it a good mow and move. Then and only then should they be choosing a new plot of land with fresh grass.

Breakups are difficult at the best of times but surely it saves for even more hurt in the long run if they have affairs? I would rather my exes have left me before they had affairs that's for sure.

From my experience I believe anyone is capable of having an affair and I understand accidents can happen but how is jumping into bed with someone else an accident? Surely that is a choice? It comes down to morals and respect. 

Do people who cheat or overlap continue to maintain this behaviour? The age old saying "Once a cheat, always a cheat". Well from my experience and only mine I can say I do believe it is true. If a child can get away with taking the extra cookie in the hope of not being caught, many will.

The men that have cheated on me have either cheated on previous girlfriends before or gone on to cheat after cheating on me. Perhaps it comes down to whether you've been cheated on yourself, depends on whether you carry the same behaviour out or not. But then there are people out there who have been cheated on and continue to cheat themselves. So perhaps it comes down to genetic make up? Is it nature or nurture? I would suggest nurture but then I haven't enough evidence to suggest that this is true.

I generally don't think people change their behaviours and if they have the capability to cheat or overlap are likely to repeat that behaviour. It might not be every time but I think that potentially if unhappy they will seek it else where before getting out of the current relationship. I could call them cowards, would this be a fair word to use? Nobody likes to be the bad guy and end a relationship, but it takes a far more decent human being to end it than to cheat or overlap.

Perhaps these cheaters and overlappers are so unhappy with being single that they just move from one relationship to another with out any down time. 

For me being single is really important for growth, especially between breakups. Maybe people are incapable of having single time. Perhaps they aren't happy with themselves deep down and have no idea of how to be in their own company for long periods and that they constantly need and want reassurance and attention from someone else? 

Is there ever any justification? I generally think the answer to that is "No" People who cheat and overlap need to either stay in the relationship without seeking that missing something from someone else or end it. 

Generally people always get caught and people always find out and that's when innocent people get hurt and the destruction starts.

So before you cheat or overlap, think about how you would feel if you found out someone was doing it to you. 

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Love bombed by a functioning alcoholic

That moment in your life when you have lost all hope in finding the partner you only fantasize about when suddenly as if out of nowhere they appear. 

He appeared to me as a tall, dark, handsome and charismatic man who seemed to have his shit together. Full of fun and never stopped laughing. The first few dates were amazing and he seemed to be exactly what I had been waiting for my entire life.

You know that feeling when all of a sudden you go from single to a fully fledged relationship. It is like the world stops moving for a second and you are in some sort of dream world.

Within this dream world the first few weeks move super fast, faster than you could ever imagine, the dreams you long for are promised to you whole heartedly whilst the person stares into your eyes and say they would never hurt you and will give you everything you ever want from a relationship. 

The speed of the relationship moves rapidly and things that don't usually happen until further down the line start to be spoken about early on. Your head is on cloud nine and you really believe you've hit the relationship jack pot at last! You justify it by being a little older and that thought "No point in waiting at our age, we both know what we want, let's just go for it" is voiced.

For me the man was suggesting living together and having children and told me he loved me by about date 3-4, I had longed for this for so long that I went with it and wasn't aware at that point of any "red flags"

The weeks turn into months, and you gradually realise that this momentous whirl wind romance wasn't actually all it cracked up to be.  Only to be awoken several months later emotionally bruised and your self esteem at the lowest. Before I even knew such terminology existed I now realise I had been "Love Bombed". 

When we had first started dating he always seemed to have a drink. Dates always involved having an alcoholic drink, whether it be for a meal or a bar, the cinema. It never crossed my mind that the drink might actually be a problem. As many people drink socially especially on dates.

At first he was funny when he had a drink but I started to notice that his behaviour, words and actions all started to change somewhat the further into the relationship I went.

He started to become very erratic after having a drink until one day he broke down into tears and spoke of his past and the trauma of loosing both parents only a couple of years ago. His mother of cancer and his father of a massive stroke.

He soon disclosed that he drank to numb the pain. At one very low point he actually admitted he had an issue with drink, something he rarely admitted. He said that he couldn't handle the grief and the emotions it caused within him. At this point my heart sank for him and I felt the urge to protect this man, who seemed to be so kind and loving to me but driven to drink by grief. Perhaps we could get through this together?

Over the following and very short lived months of this turbulent relationship, I soon began to learn that it was impossible to be in a relationship with a functioning alcoholic. For the only real relationship he wanted was with a pint of lager.

What I mean by functioning alcoholic, is that he drank about 10 cans of lager once he finished work. He might finish work at 3pm and he would sink his first pint in the local pub, usually without any one actually knowing that he was there. He would skip meals and make excuses not to drive so that he could drink. Inevitably being extremely drunk and pass out by 8pm. Weekends I dread to think how much he actually drank. What I am certain of is that he would on average drink 3 pints to every usual man's 1. One saving grace is that he did attempt to only stick to lager as he and I both witnessed on a couple of occasions how mixing lager with wine or spirits turned him into an even worse abusive drunk.

His behaviour altered a lot. If we were out he would cause nothing but drama and react loudly and inappropriately and be centre of attention. It was extremely embarrassing and I frequently had stares of sympathy and "control your man" by public on lookers. If he didn't get his way, he would kick off and make a scene like a child having a tantrum in a shop when told he couldn't have any sweets or the latest toy.

He would frequently throw and slam things about sulking, blowing hot and cold and walking off. 

At one point he decided that he would reduce and stop his intake and I supported him with this, but at that point it was very early days and I don't think at that point I knew how badly not drinking would effect him. His abstinence did not last long. 

I have many examples of nights out that were ruined because of his drunken behaviour. He would verbally abuse me and one of the most common things he would shout on repeat like listening to a broken record player were the words; "F*****g boring you are, you're F*****g boring. I don't love you, you're f*****g boring".

One evening, I had misplaced his bank card, which he had given to me to put in my handbag for safe keeping, as he would loose countless wallets. I was genuinely sorry and desperately trying to look in my handbag to find it but he was shouting abuse at me, making a scene and eventually launched my handbag and contents across the floor in the street and that is the shortened edited version.The next day he couldn't remember a thing and the bank card was in a zipped compartment of my handbag, but he had flustered me so much I obviously didn't see it. I rarely got an apology, it was like I should know and accept his drunken antics. "You know what I'm like when I'm drunk" was his usual mitigating statement.

We went to restaurants but if he had to wait, he would walk out mid way through, he would leave me and get out of a taxi on the way home just to get to another pub. He was vile. Yet once he woke up he could barely remember anything that had occurred.

I celebrated New Years Eve sat alone crying in our room before midnight because he had threatened to knock an old man out following falling over a sofa and knocking glasses everywhere in a lovely country Coltswold pub. He was passed out on top of the bed  sheets horizontal, so I couldn't even get in. We had been asked to leave by the bar tender. That all too familiar look from people giving me sympathy of having to deal with an absolute dickhead.

If I wasn't available to him, like if I was at home doing something and he called and he was drunk he would blow hot and cold. He would demand I go up there, which was a 45 - 50 minute drive from my home) and say that I didn't love him if I didn't go. He would say I was boring and start to cry often. The times when I did go by the time I got up there he was even more drunk and then would pass out. He made me feel like a piece of shit. He would consistently end the relationship by text and then video call or text later on or the next day or 2 saying he loved me etc. 

He never wanted sex with me and blamed it on the booze or just not in the mood. Our relationship was no longer intimate.

I was forever in limbo. Unsure if he was going to love me or not love me that day.

So the million dollar question most people ask is why didn't I leave? Well, when he was sober or had only had a couple of drinks, he was actually a very caring thoughtful kind man. Hard to believe I know, but that is why I stayed. I could see the demon inside him that was the grief he was suffering from loosing his parents. On occasion he would say he needed help and I offered my heart and soul to him. I would listen to the sadness in his voice. I put up with the emotional abuse because I cared.

It came to a head following a weekend away when yet again he had drank way too much. What was supposed to be a romantic weekend turned out to be a living nightmare. He had drank too much and we hadn't eaten. I suggested that we get something to eat but wasn't much availability as it was getting late in a little village. We eventually found a bar that sold pizza, yet again another bar. He said I was being moody (I wonder why putting up with his alcoholic antics and comments, which he forgets about) I sat and was eating the pizza I actually didn't really want and he went on to say yet again "You're boring, I don't love you anymore" 

Now don't get me wrong I enjoy a drink from time to time and yes indeed can too get drunk but there is a time and place. I am also not a nasty drunk. This weekend was supposed to be about hiking, climbing mountains and enjoying the sea air". The night before our weekend, instead of getting the early night we had discussed because we wanted an early start, he decided we would go for a meal and a drink. But he could never just have one drink. By the time i had arrived with my weekend luggage he was drunk. Once out he kicked off being drunk and left me alone to walk home without even having a key to the house to get in. 

So that night right or wrongley of me I'd had enough. Following the last nasty comment I decided to go back to the room. He followed me calling me boring and unloveable all the way through the hotel to our room. Once in the room I retaliated and shouted back, I had suppressed this hurt and anger from the first couple of weeks into our relationship. He started to record me on his phone which just fueled my fire. Eventually I could not take any more and I knocked his phone from his hand and slapped him twice. I do not condone any form of physical abuse but I also do not condone any form of verbal and emotional abuse either. I had been subjected to verbal and emotional abuse for long enough and by slapping him it was in fact the only time he shut up. Things got considerably worse that evening and he disappeared for hours eventually coming back to the room in the early hours paralytic, he had ht the spirits as well as the lager, someone had to escort him back to the room. Prior to that he had come up and banged around shouting that yet again I was boring because I wouldn't go back down to the bar for a drink.

From that moment on I was the bad guy. He spoke to me like I had knocked the living daylights out of him every night for years. I slapped him twice. Not exactly my finest moment but I literally couldn't take anymore. It was through pure verbal and emotional abuse that I eventually snapped.

Needless to say that our relationship didn't last too much longer after that. He went on to become even more abusive and mean. He constantly blew hot and cold and made me feel like the devil for slapping him. The words that came out of his mouth were pure hatred and putting me down and destroying my self esteem inch by inch but by some how blaming me for being the unhinged person? He made me feel like I was a bad person and was mean and nasty.

Finally when we broke up after weeks of nasty messages I spoke with both his sisters who  were actually disgusted with what he had put me through. They bought me flowers and chocolates and offered me their shoulder for my tears. In fact the one sister said "I'd have given him more than a bloody slap".  Of course they are his flesh and blood and I sadly cut ties with them both following the split to enable me to move forward.

One sister sat with me for hours telling me of their childhood and how his dad was an alcoholic, (the sisters had different dads) and how badly that he treated their mum. She told me of how the parents had died and the guilt they had all felt and how my ex used to be a spoilt child. 

All of it made sense and listening to the untold story that I had never heard from my ex made me realise why I did stay and put up with his bad behaviour. He was a lost soul and deeply grieving for his parents. He had this demon inside him but the alcohol would always win. What I learnt is that you will always be second fiddle to alcohol and you can not reason with a very drunk alcoholic and I was never going to come first, not unless he sought professional help and made some changes. But I am unsure if he was ready to make those changes. 

What I did realise though was that despite the hurt and trauma he had and was suffering didn't give him the right to treat me badly. I noticed that he would blame everyone for his actions. He would blame me, his sisters, his friends (although he only had 2 friends) he would even blame his deceased parents. One thing I know is that no matter how bad you suffer, it does not give you the right to make someone else suffer too. For example, one of my closest friends mothers had passed away with cancer, but she didn't go around getting pissed and verbally and emotionally abusing me.

Should I have slapped him? Definitely not. Should he have emotionally and verbally abused me? Definitely not. This whirl wind love bomb, promised me the world and more in such a short space of time. I believed him. Did he want it? Perhaps deep inside. Was he able to do it?...Never.

Since we split he moved on to the next girl and from what I hear is now living with the one night stand he had a week after our break up. Perhaps he has now made changes and isn't drinking to excess anymore or perhaps my heart has to go out to his next love bomb victim. Functioning alcoholics don't change over night and I certainly know that he wont. I feel sorry for this new girl, or perhaps they both drink to excess and have a volatile relationship? 

I am glad that it never worked out with me and that I have well and truly moved on. God forbid if I ever find myself being love bombed again.

If a man wants to give me the world in such a short amount of time and deep inside he has issues. I am not the one to try and save him and give him the attention he wants and needs. For he needs to sort out his own loss and demons. He needs to rescue himself before promising me a thing. I am better off with out the heartache.

Can there really be a happily ever after?

For most of us girls we have grown up and made to believe in the fairy tale, and what I mean by that fairy tale is that the Princess gets swept off her feet by Prince Charming, they fall in love, get married and they live happily ever after.

This so called fairy tale is every where. It is the perfect story line in any Disney film and romantic comedy, hell even Julia Roberts in the film Pretty Women, which is actually a story about a prostitute gets the fairy tale ending.

It is drilled into all us little girls from a young age right up until the day we are peeing ourselves from laughing too much. Are we all being brainwashed into thinking that this is what we all have a burning desire to end up with?

Is each relationship we have striving for that happily ever after? Is it not possible to just enjoy the moment of the relationship and go with the flow instead of this obsessed feeling of this is the one I'm meant to be with....forever. Surely that pressure actually subconsciously puts pressure on any relationship?

I recently read a quote/meme saying:

" I may not be your first love, first kiss, first sight or first date but I just want to be your last everything".

At first, my initial thoughts were, 'Oh that is sweet'. But actually having read it several times over and over I actually felt quite freaked out by it. Why would I want one person to be my last of everything? Right there, I feel this sense of pressure. For me I would rather say something like:

"You are my present, my now and let's enjoy what time we have together".

For me, that sounds far healthier, but that's just me. I am beginning to think that perhaps there isn't such a thing as Mr/Mrs Right. Perhaps it is a case of Mr /Mrs Right now.

There are many chapters in our lives but does each chapter have to lead on from the next like a fictional story book that has an actual plot, theme, introduction, middle and a happily ever after ending? Or are each of our "chapters" actually a new book entirely?

Can we be entitled to plural happily ever afters? And no, when I say plural I mean with one person at one time, I am talking monogamy not polygamy! Just several endings at different times not just one?

Instead of a happily ever after ending, where we are supposed to meet the man of our dreams and then stay with them forever or at least until we are old and grey is it just possible to have a zero pressured ending that may or may not end happy?

Are we really supposed to be with one person for the rest of our lives and work towards the ideal of societies happily ever after? Or is it OK to  have many partners over the duration of life, some ending happily or others not so much. There is so much pressure on us all to meet one person who gives us everything and to make it work out forever.

Can we really get everything from one person in a relationship? I don't believe we can. I mean I get different things from different friends and different members of my family and different colleagues so someone please tell me how we are supposed to get everything from one single relationship called marriage which turns into our happily ever after?

That is not me being against marriage. I mean I have always thought it be romantic to pledge your love for one person but does just wanting that commitment lead to a happily ever after?

Many chose to marry for many reasons. Perhaps it is for religion, for romance for commitment, I am not sure maybe people chose to marry for other reasons.

Some weddings are so invested into the happily ever after, they spend a fortune in splashing out on the celebration which they share with friends and family but does this guarantee a happily ever after ending?

For me if I did get married, I would only want a very discreet, small affair, which does not involve me walking down an aisle and being the centre of attention. For me I wouldn't want that to be the start of my happily ever after. I dislike being the centre of attention and in fact would find it a bit of a circus.

This is not meant to be a negative post but perhaps do call me a cynic but maybe there isn't supposed to be one happily after after, perhaps there can be several happily ever afters through out our lives?

I mean people get divorced all the time and I am guessing that when they got married the first time that they thought it would be a happily ever after. But they go on to meet someone else and perhaps even marry again. But what is it they are looking for another happily ever after or something entirely different?

Perhaps relationships are not forever and we are not supposed to stay with one person for the rest of our lives, perhaps we are supposed to move from one relationship to another. It is just we have never been told that this is OK.

All journeys have to come to an end eventually. Time and space is consistently moving so why does it seem that we try are hardest to stay still and stagnant in one relationship? Are we choosing to fight a losing battle as the world we live in and the universe that it sits in are constantly moving. So why don't we move too?

When we suffer heart ache we become stuck into temporarily thinking that we will feel like this forever, but for those who have experienced heart ache we do learn to understand that it is a temporary feeling. So if heartache is temporary. Why cant the feelings of happily ever after be too?

We can experience so many emotions in one single day, in fact every day is a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from happy, angry, anxious, amused, perplexed and sadness and everything in between.

So baring this in mind that our emotions are not stagnant why do we believe that this "happily ever after" will be a constant. I think a happily ever after might be temporary feeling but really can it truly be a feeling that lasts forever in this ever moving and changing world we live?

Our society has evolved from when marriage was the be all and end all and religion was taken more seriously. Nowadays we are provided with not just religion but also spiritual ways now. We are provided with more choice, allowing us to grow and not be in one situation for the rest of our lives. We have more opportunities with more availability and different sets of societal values and norms.

So if those happily ever after values are changing, why are we not moving with the times. Is that why so many happily ever after endings fail now? Because we as a society have outgrown the values that were once deemed as the only way?

I think I might be content with several happily ever afters. It might make life more versatile and interesting perhaps?

Stephen King wrote a series of books one being called "The Dark Tower" It is a fantasy/horror science fiction type novel that looks at a quest to allow the king to survive. Within the story, sacrifice for love, defeating lies and grief come into play. A famous quote within the book is this:

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Time alone or rebound?...The red flag of grief...

Humans are not solitary creatures and we thrive when we have a network or community around us. This network might be made up of family, friends, acquaintances, partners, lovers or colleagues but none the less it is important not to isolate ourselves at all times.

However, I am a firm believer that we should embrace and encourage alone time. After all we are the the only person that really knows our thoughts and feelings. No matter how close you are to someone no one really knows what others are thinking or feeling. 

I guess it is fair to say we can be our own best friend and own worst enemy.

Since leaving home for the very first time at the tender age of 20, I have lived with a variety of different people. I have lived with parents, friends, prisoners, boyfriends, in a house share with dirty boys, who had no idea what a toilet brush was! and more recently I have had lodgers.

Between those times I have lived alone. I can be quite adaptable when I have to be. 

During the times of living alone, which has amounted to probably about 10 years. I can honestly say that it has been good for my soul. Admittedly it is far nicer living alone when you have other external things going on outside of the home so that when you do have time out you appreciate it. 

The times when I have felt the loneliest is when I haven't had many external factors outside of the home life causing me to feel quite isolated.

There has been times in my life when all I wished for was peace and quiet. For example, In my 20's I had a flat that was near the local pubs and I forever had someone knocking at my flat door, so the times I had alone I truly cherished. 

Nowadays, I really appreciate people visiting as due to my current situation I am finding myself quite isolated.

However, I do believe that time alone gives you time to reflect, grow and understand yourself and process life events.

I am alone most of the time. I live alone, I am single, I sit in an office alone at work (most of the time), I am not particularly close to my siblings, my parents are elderly so don't see them as often, my friends are in relationships or have children so they don't have as much spare time. You can read about that in the post "kids are like farts, I just about tolerate my own" So when all is said and done I spend an awful lot of time in my own company. 

I actually quite like it. I make myself laugh, cry and have the best ideas! and yes, I frequently talk to myself, my fish and my dog when I can!

Recently I have had to put some of my hobbies on hold due to physical problems I am having with my knees which has caused some isolated feelings and a low sense of mood, but I do know that this is a temporary feeling.

I am currently single following spending a significant amount of time with someone I truly cared for. Although it has been difficult and painful having to deal with negative emotions, I feel that my alone time has actually given me time to grieve the time I shared with him and process the loss of the relationship I had with him. So all is not lost and is actually a real healthly place to be. I am learning about myself and thinking about new ideas, concepts and doing things just for me! I have have seen a relationship counsellor who has been working in that sector for over 25 years who is extremely experienced in the relationship breakdown process. 

Alone time and rebound has been a topic frequently discussed and it always comes down to the same formulations of giving yourself time and not rushing into something new and to go through the process of loss and grief head on instead of finding the replacement to sooth our egos and self worth.

So although humans aren't solitary creatures and don't thrive for longer periods when alone. I do believe there is a real need to have alone time when dealing with a loss and relationship breakdown.

When we lose a relationship of any kind whether that be a friendship, romantic lover, husband/wife, colleague, parent what ever or who ever it is. I truly believe we need time alone to grieve. The loss might be through breakup, falling out or death but ultimately they are all loses and need to be grieved for.

We all deal with things very differently but having read a lot about loss, relationship breakdown and grief the cycle is still the same. We fluctuate between emotions of denial, anger, guilt, reconstruction, depression, bargaining and acceptance. In no particular order and can flit between these varying emotions periodically through out the days, weeks, months and sometimes even years.

I think the main thing is to have time to yourself to feel and really experience these emotions. Time for everyone is different but I think jumping into situations to make up for or to alleviate the grief initially is never a good idea. 

We all know if we rush into situations and replace the life we had with another so rapidly is not going to be healthy as we need to go through the process of grief to ultimately come to terms with the loss.

Yes, indeed it will be a varying amount of time from one individual to another but too soon is too soon. 

If you suddenly find yourself "replacing" the hurt you are feeling by masking it with trading it in by forming a connection with someone or something that makes you feel better short term it is unlikely that you will have processed the grief sufficiently to move on. 

The problem is with this replacement, it is just masking and not having that alone time will undoubtedly bite you in the ass later down the line as the new situation  or person might not actually be all it cracked up to be when replacing the old one.

A good example of this is rebound relationships!....

Most of us have experienced a rebound relationship, whether we are the person who attempts to move on trying to hide the symptoms of the pain we are experiencing by replacing them with someone new or the other party where we are taken in by someone looking to replace something that caused them pain.

During this time, after a relationship/marriage has ended. Starting a new relationship can feel like suddenly the world is a far better place. The hurt and loss that we have recently been experiencing can somewhat reduce or in fact disappear. We suddenly feel like the new situation is even better than the last. Who wouldn't want to feel this? I mean surely it feels better to be feel happy, content, to feel loved, sexy and appreciated than to feel sad, lonely, upset, anxious and depressed? Right???

For most people in this situation they are just craving the attention, sexual desire, peace and love that they weren't experiencing previously and then out of no where get it from someone or something else. Awesome! It is going to feel so good.

Sure, this is great because it can feel like it helps us in the emotional steps of grief. We have a new outlet to focus our emotions on and everything seems so much easier. 

But are we just putting a temporary fix or band aid on how we really feel? 

Most re-bounders are likely to say No to that question, purely because they are in denial! Because it feels so good, even better than the last. 

Most of the time it is lust disguised as love. It is because we are searching and longing for what was missing in the previous relationship but feel we need the security of a new relationship to replace what we have lost. We feel secure, loved and happy once more. So this way we don't feel alone, insecure, unloved and unwanted. 

But actually experiencing those negative feelings is key into moving on. 

We can fall into love or lust to something new with someone new once we have healed ourselves after a significant amount of alone time. Anything before that is just a quick fix.

People and situations are not replaceable but it seems that rebound relationships give us just that. Are we just sweeping things under the carpet and not actually dealing with those scary emotions?

How can we be with someone else so soon when really it might be more healthy to focus on alone time? 

I am not suggesting that we use this alone time to sit and wallow over the previous relationship, albeit I think this is allowed for a few days/weeks initially, but to focus on yourself. 

Starting new hobbies, making new friends etc. From this we are likely to experience those coping strategies of having to deal with grief but not by putting all of our energy into replacing the situation with someone new. 

This does seem a far healthier and reasonable thing to do. This way we are not isolating ourselves as we potentially are making new friends and starting new hobbies and having community and network based communications. We are growing independently, whilst processing grief positively but not isolating ourselves.

Distraction is great for overcoming certain levels of grief but to what detriment? .... Our own, potentially! For if we never really grab the bull by the horns and indulge in what can seem a scary place of alone time we are likely to suffer longer term.

People are scared of feelings and facing these painful emotions because they can make us feel quite depressed and anxious. 

But life isn't easy and part of life is experiencing the pain for sometime for us to successfully heal and move on to healthy relationships.

If this alone time is utilised well at the beginning of our grief I am sure that we will understand our own needs, thoughts and emotions far better than ignoring the emotion by rushing in to something new, no matter how good that feeling is.

Only by having alone time and experiencing a lot of grief am I able to say that I am able to think and process emotions in this way. Which makes me feel that in an adult relationship I am far more equipped to deal with difficulties if they arise than people who repeat the rebound cycle.

I have had 2 rebound relationships in my entire adult life and I can honestly say that long term they did not help. I liked the idea of that warm cosy feeling that I had lost and the excitement of a new partner but actually once that "honeymoon" phase had ended my emotions that I hadn't dealt with soon came back. 

You cant fix self esteem and confidence by using someone to fill the gap. You can only improve this by being alone and growing to love yourself ...singular.

I have been alone for some time and had many long periods of being alone and I know that I feel ok with myself. Sadly I have been unable to have a partner but I definitely know that jumping from relationship to relationship is a red flag for me and not helpful or healthy in the long run.

Perhaps that is why I am still single because the universe hasn't found anyone for me yet that isn't in rebound status?! 

For those in rebound relationships, well I hope for now it takes the pain away and it is replaced and soothed by those feelings of love and warmth but please be aware that people will struggle to be able to keep this act up for long before their own demons, lack of self esteem and self worth and confidence come creeping back which can cause great destruction in a relationship. 
Be your own anchor in your own storm, Don't rely upon someone else to be that for you. 

Take the time to indulge in self love, self soothing activities, some alone time. Do not rely on someone else to make you happy and to replace something so soon with out grieving for a sufficient amount of time. 

Yes, grief hurts and sucks and I know you want to do anything for the pain to go away and by being with someone else gives you that fix. But breaking that cycle is far more important for your own well being and the other persons well being and it will save it ending in tears further down the line. 

You will become a stronger and happier person.

Then and only then we can can move forward.