Shh… Fear!

Back again! Whew! The journey continues from here. Finally I begin to make sense of why I put myself into a long self-imposed isolation. This part has been intriguing to write, as I was having trouble with words. Fog type troubles. My initial draft was filled with ??? as my mind struggled with catching the words. I had to take a long break before continuing. Seems here begins the most difficult part of my journey to relive and understand…

So, 1992 rolled around. I was pregnant, living with my parents and began to battle the depression I was sliding into. I turned to my five brothers, my real brother and four of his friends who used to look out for me in Canberra. I would visit them in Sydney or Canberra. I also became friends again with R, his girlfriend (yes, the former neighbour) and their friends as well as reconnecting with some of the friends that I began to turn my back on while with S. There were a few rough patches such as this one and the first one described on the 29th…

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Between darkness and light

She stood at the center of the room, eyes closed, balanced between light and dark. There was no movement. Only silence. No garden today. she thought to herself. Even with her eyes closed she could feel the light to her left, shining softly. From the right, the darkness called to her. She sighed and taking a deep breath, she turned to her left before opening her eyes. Where is this place? she asked. She already knew. It was sound she needed to hear. Life. A voice.

She stood at the centre of a large room, the walls before her hidden by rows of bookcases. They beckoned, welcomed. She felt the darkness behind her calling again. Not yet. She replied. A table stood to the side, a sturdy, uncomfortable looking chair before it. I won’t be here long today. The light spilled across the books.

A soft smile touched her lips as she walked towards a bookcase, only half full. Fingers ran along the well-loved titles on the middle shelf, pausing at times to reflect on the contents. She knew them all. Some held pictures. Seemingly full of the secrets of life, even though old, grainy and colourless. Some held stories barely a page long. A word. A name. Some stories spread into multiple volumes. A touch, a title seen, the memory within flared into life.

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Good times

When I was four months pregnant I received a phone call. From the police. Asking for S…

I’m sorry, I don’t know where he is.

We need to question him in relation to missing property from ***. (The missing property turns out to be a shovel. Yes, a shovel)

Umm, honestly. I don’t know where he is.

You’re his fiance and carrying his child. Things would be much better if he spoke to us.

I’m four months pregnant! I’m not in a relationship with him anymore! I HAVEN’T seen him in months! I DON’T know where he is! Leave me ALONE! PLEASE! I have enough to worry about!

I was sitting in the downstairs office of my parent’s home. After the call ended I sat and stared out the window at nothing. Tears slid down my face. I felt nothing. Tears were sliding down my face and I could feel nothing.

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My daughter owes you nothing. Have you ever sent your child a birthday card? A Christmas card? Have you ever tried to see him? He’s a beautiful boy! You’re nothing!

Your daughter! Did your perfect daughter tell you that she was having an affair with a married man before she met me? Did She??!!

Part of a conversation between my mother and S when V was… hmm, around five years old I think. No, I didn’t have an affair with a married man. J2 was separated. My mother and S had a number of similar conversations. She’d call him nothing. He’d tell her my secrets. I died a little every time.

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We’re the ones who have to hold our heads up everyday through the shame while our daughter brings up YOUR CHILD!!

I think that one is probably one of my favourites. Although, you might like to check your sarcasm meter if you didn’t pick up on my sarcasm 😀

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This is Mari. Is S there?

No the F*** he isn’t! He’s run out, left all his junk. How about you tell me where the F*** he is!

Umm, this is the number he told me I could reach him on. I don’t have any other contact for him. It’s important that I talk to him. Are you sure he’s gone and not just away for a few days?

You tell that worthless Sh*t to come and collect his stuff! It’s not even worth selling!

Umm, honestly… (dial tone)

V was about age 3. It probably won’t make much sense until the Shh… posts continue. I had organised a mediation session. S never heard about it. He’d already gone.

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Yep, you guessed it. About to reenter the Shh… posts. Thought I’d throw a few memories in a pre-post. I am trying to watch length *nods head*

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Image: manostphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Putting it out there update

I posted a rant and decision about my son’s girlfriend the other day. Yes, I know it was a rant. I admit it. I could still do with another rant. Or two. Ouch. I’m angry and frustrated again, which I’ll work on once I update the situation here a little.

My son attended his first therapy session this morning *smiles* I’m proud of him. He wanted to begin therapy, as he wants to be stronger and be able to support himself without resorting to negative activities like cutting. Especially as she is making it impossible difficult for him to turn to anyone who used to help him. The only issue… She couldn’t even let him attend therapy alone! I felt like screaming in the middle of the waiting area… WTF! Can’t you even let him have therapy??!! Something has to be about him!! with a few extra choice expletives thrown in. Yeah, I was pretty stunned. I didn’t say anything. I walked outside to breath.

She has a session with a different therapist next week. I’d like to feel good about this. But. They both seemed to think my not wanting to live with her was some kind of ultimatum… get therapy or go home. It wasn’t an ultimatum. I don’t want to live with her. Besides. An ultimatum? With the way I feel about ultimatums? Yeah, right *rolls eyes* I have no idea how she feels about going to therapy. I suspect she feels forced to go, which will work wonders… not. So, not surprising I don’t feel good about it *shakes head*

My heart almost broke last night. My son cried in my arms that he didn’t want to live away from me and he doesn’t want her to go home. We clung to each other and we both cried our hearts out. Seeing my son in so much pain, I wanted to… relent. I can’t. I can’t live with her. I tried to let him know… he’s not losing me if he moves out with her. I’m not sure if he understood.

I woke up this morning feeling… surprisingly good. I sat outside to drink my morning coffee. There was a slight breeze, the sun wasn’t too hot yet. I stretched to the sun. I breathed. It was a wonderful feeling. Yes, I had a good sleep last night. I like good sleep. I even dreamed. I don’t remember anything beyond a memory of a peaceful, plant filled courtyard and a cup of coffee in a lilac mug. Yay, coffee! LOL!

Afterwards I checked my fb, twitter, mails, etc and felt like deleting it all. All of it. Skype, blog, the lot. There was nothing online that had upset me, but that’s not how the compulsion to withdraw works. I feel overloaded and the way I used to deal with overload is… withdraw from people and distract myself from my problems. Isolate myself.

No, I’m not going to run and hide. It’s why I posted on here the other day. It’s why I keep posting. Good thing I have here to get it out, lol. No extra guilt about overloading friends, even though I am talking about my state of mind more with friends now. I have to remind myself that I don’t feel it’s an imposition when they unload to me, so most of my friends would feel the same way. No more going silent. No more locking the words inside.

The compulsion to withdraw is a reaction. A behaviour I learned when I was young. So that thought about deleting everything? Just a thought. Habit. I was gentle with myself… reminded myself that there is a better way. Isolation isn’t the answer. It’s better to deal with things as they happen. Connection is better than disconnection. I was proud of myself.

Oooo… No writing errors were found. << doesn’t happen often enough. LOL. I want to keep hitting the spell check to see it! 😛

The questions…

QuestionsThere are two questions that I’ve been getting lately on Skype…

The first question… Did you finish that course in retail you were doing?

This one is easy. Yes! Only three of us passed… out of 17 starters! But. It reminded me that I never posted about it on the blog.

What now? Yesterday was the last day of my short course! I passed and received my certificate… one of only three that did pass, out of seventeen starters. Ouch, not a big pass rate. Even so, I’m pleased with my achievement.

I was so excited that afternoon when I had been told I’d made it. I had to tell someone. My mother was the only one around, so I told her. She responded that she knew I would, that she’d seen the work I was putting into the course. Granted, I’m never quite sure what reaction I’ll receive from her, but she can be positive and supportive. This was one of those times. I guess having had our big blow out a week ago we can afford to be kind.

I find myself wondering about the future. What it holds and where will it take me? or I should say where will I take me? The whole Begin With the End in Sight thing running through my head. I really don’t know what End in Sight I have now.

I just know I’m free to choose. Kind of. I do need to keep my son and his girlfriend in mind with any decisions.

Unpublished post 17 December 2010

I didn’t post it. I had to look at my responses to #reverb10 to see what was going on… nothing showed a reason that I couldn’t post it.

I wrote it. Saved it. Left it.

The second question… Are you well now? You quit because of some health issue?

Oh. This one I avoid answering if I can. Almost every single time. I have no idea how to answer it. If I’m pushed, then I say… I’m doing well, fine now, or some other crappy platitude. I hate it. I want… honesty? I want… something. I’m not really sure what I want. Yes, I’m doing better. Am I past it? Not really. Am I better? I’m better. Am I well? No.

Of course, the third question I expect and never get is… How is Chris? They must already know. Maybe that’s why I have problems with the second question. I can’t seem to lose the thought… these are His friends.

I realise I have two totally different reactions to the second question, depending on who asked. From one server I have no problems answering, but then most of those people don’t even know his name. I had a silent dual. The other server… these are His friends. I freeze. I can’t answer.

I’m not sure what to do about my reaction. One part of me says… they wouldn’t ask if they didn’t want to know. They care about what happens to you too. Another part says… these are His friends. Why are they asking?

Of course, having finished yesterday’s post on my sleep battle, I realise this battle began around the same time the questions began. Connection. It’s fear of connecting with these people? Something to think on… or dream on. If I can sleep. I see no solution, although it’s probably staring me in the face. Jump in if you have some insight. I rarely bite.

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Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Putting it somewhere.

I’m going to put this all out there. It needs to go somewhere.

I’m afraid. I know it was the only good choice left to me, but I’m afraid now. Very afraid. I’m second guessing myself. I’ve spoken before in part about my son’s girlfriend. She’s troubled. Understatement. I let go of her issues earlier this month. The responsibility for her. She then said she wanted to find the way to change.

She doesn’t want to change. She likes the chaos she creates in her life. The chaos she creates in my son’s life. The chaos she tries to create in my life. The ex who was the recipient of all her anger earlier? She now contacts him as a friend… when she fights with V. This month she has driven away all my son’s friends. They will no longer visit while she is here.

My son has begun cutting again. We had this under control. Between his friends and myself he felt he was receiving enough support. He no longer felt out of control. He felt he had direction in his life again. The urge to hurt himself was gone. The friends aren’t here anymore. I’m now the recipient of her anger and disappointment in life. He felt he couldn’t come to me while her anger is directed at me.

She’s killing my son. That’s what it feels like.

Like. She’s. Killing. Him.

The more chaos she creates around herself, around him, the less he can cope. It’s almost like she thrives on this chaos. Like she gets power from having this effect on the lives around her.

She left in the middle of the night saying she wouldn’t be back. She sent him a message asking if she should walk out into traffic or should she wait so he can watch. shakes head. He told me he had begun cutting again. He told me he wants to begin therapy. He doesn’t want to hurt himself. He told me he can’t cope anymore, but he doesn’t want to let go of her.

Three hours ago I told my son she needs to go. She needs to go back to Sydney and get help. I told him she needs to want to get help. She needs to want to change.

I told him she doesn’t want to change. I also told him I can’t live with her.

My son told me he understands what I mean. He sees she needs help. He understands that he can’t help her, but he still doesn’t want to let her go.

You see. The ex-boyfriend? Let’s call him M in this post. He was my son’s best friend. They had already fallen out. J approached my son while she was still dating M. It was during this time that my son began cutting himself. The ‘falling out’ escalated. My son supported her when M almost drove her to suicide.  Hmm, if I’m remembering correctly, something about J making friends with the enemy, or M seeing someone else. Sigh. My son feels responsible for her well-being. He said her approaching him was dumb luck. Yeah right. Turning to the enemy of your boyfriend? Kind of sounds like what she’s doing now, doesn’t it?

I don’t hate her. I feel for the life she’s had. My concerns are selfish. For my son’s state of mind. For my own state of mind. I can’t help her and I can’t watch what she’s doing to my son.

Now I’m afraid. I’ve told him I won’t live with her, that she has to go home. He’s gone to talk to her. She’ll have him under her spell again. She won’t change. She does this every time. Drives him over the edge, then begs forgiveness and promises change. Will she go back to Sydney? Or will they move out alone? I’m afraid she’ll drive him to kill himself if they do. They shouldn’t be together, but I can’t tell them that.

Yes. I’m afraid for my son. And yes. I’m terrified I’ve made a mistake.

There’s no ultimatum. There never was. It’s final. I won’t live with her. I’m afraid. I also know it will be as it’s meant to be. I know the future is bright. Strange to feel frightened and hopeful at the same time. Did I make a mistake? Sigh. Doubts. Second guessing. Lack of sleep doesn’t help. Does she have a Mari Sleep Sensor? Mari hasn’t had enough sleep… time to go off about something.

Edit: Having put this out, and spent a couple of hours driving around, I understand now why I feel so strongly about living with her. Tiptoeing around moods, putting up with silences and pointed verbal jabs. It feels like I’m living with another version of my mother. Shakes head. Understood. Not going to happen. I haven’t fought this hard to break away from my parents to throw myself into the same situation with someone else.

Battlefield Sleep

Sooo tiredFor days I’ve been trying to figure out why I fight sleep. I do. I fight it tooth and nail. I’ll be exhausted, barely able to keep my eyes open and refuse to go to bed.

Sure, I have stages where I sleep well… going to bed at a reasonable time, sleeping through the night, waking up refreshed. Those stages are wonderful.

Those stages are also over too quickly. I barely get into a routine before I find myself kicking and screaming in my mind about going to bed. Sleep the battleground. Again.

Why??!! I just want to sleep!! Really!! I like sleep!!

Adrenaline?

I understand the adrenaline connection. That’s stress. I’ve been taking care to reduce my stress reactions lately and it’s working. I’m not waking up repeatedly during the night. I’m not staying up on nervous energy. Stress isn’t the cause of this battle.

This battlefield is the craven, almost desperate need I have to stay up, even if exhausted, fighting sleep at almost any cost… I almost wanted to call it habit until I began getting little messages everywhere that it might not be so simple as habit.

Alone time?

Lately I’ve read from people suffering sleep difficulties, or insomnia… staying up gives alone time. I always think… Exactly! It’s the only time I know I’ll be alone. That’s been true ever since I first began having sleep problems in my pre-teens. Although now with teenagers in the house you can be pretty damn certain that I’m more likely to get alone time getting up at 6am instead of being up in the middle of the night, so it doesn’t ring true anymore.

Alone time… I don’t even want to be alone. Not really. I’ll spend time talking to people online, playing games, reading, writing, all kinds of distractions. I can be totally exhausted and I’ll still fight going to sleep… distract me for five more minutes, please?!

Distraction… the great avoidance and disconnection

So, it’s not about being alone, it’s about distracting myself. Most of my behaviours learned while growing up were about avoidance and disconnection. So logically, my sleep difficulties, which began around the time I began wishing I could die, would be as well. Really, why stay up and distract myself if I can just sleep instead?

Dreaming

Here’s something I only ever told Chris… I don’t want to dream! Broken sleep pretty much ruins dreaming, or at least the ability to remember them. I dream, but usually I wake up with no more than the sense of a dream. Remembering is rare for me.

Think about it this way… dreams consolidate/strengthen memories and experiences. Successfully analysing our dreams gives us understanding and insight into ourselves. This is good when we’re journeying within as I’ve been doing. It isn’t good if you’re trying to disconnect, trying to avoid life.

There’s also something that I hadn’t considered before, connection to the world… Jeffrey Sumber wrote the other day concerning dream analysis

“Delving deeper into my unconscious self and creating a personal mythology effectively draws upon the wisdom of the collective unconscious and in so doing bridges the space between us in our waking life.”

Lightbulb moment! Do we feel less connected to others if we don’t work with our dreams? I stopped and thought about it… I guess it’s true. Actually, no guessing, I only need to look back at taking part in #reverb10 last month. Working within lets me feel connected to the world, it stops me disconnecting. Dream analysis is working within.

Memories and sleep

Sleep effects memories. Sure, the research never mentions what effect dreams have, but I guess that would make the research harder to quantify.

Dr Daniel Margoliash, one of the study authors, said: ‘Sleep consolidates memories, protecting them against subsequent interference or decay.

‘Sleep also appears to ‘recover’ or restore memories.’

He said: ‘If performance is reduced by decay, sleep might actively recover what has been lost.’

You can read the rest by clicking here

There’s a lot of research out there on the effect of sleep on memories. So, it’s pretty safe for me to say that 30 years of broken sleep patterns and 30 years of random memories are very likely connected.

Distraction… avoidance & disconnection. Sleep, dreams, memory and working within. Connection.

Another learned behaviour

A child is so unhappy that she wishes she could die. Subconsciously she learns staying up, interrupting her sleep effects the way she feels and remembers, in effect disconnecting her from the world that doesn’t love her.

Could that be what happened? It’s possible. Most of the behaviours I learned growing up were about avoiding and disconnecting from the world… survival mechanisms for a child who couldn’t cope.

The simple truth is I’m avoiding connection, which makes sense as I’ve begun writing my next post about… questions I’ve been getting lately. This sleep battle began around the same time. All begins to click into place. The bonus with this understanding… learned behaviours. It’s a matter of teaching myself new ways to behave instead.

I may still be missing pieces of the puzzle, actually I might be way off, but understanding why and where the sleep problems began has to help with changing the behaviour. Of course, distracting myself by staying up until the middle of the night to write this doesn’t. LOL.