Catching Up

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I have an apology to make. I’ve neglected my blog over the past two months. I hope you’re all well and have had a great Summer. You’ll probably be pleased to hear that I’m in a slightly better place, than I was when I wrote my last post. Things have been hectic, but productive; here at Silent D And Me headquarters. We spent the Summer visiting museums, sitting in the sunshine and generally spending quality time as a family. Oh, and we had our garden re-landscaped. It isn’t quite finished yet, but when it is; it will be our new sanctuary.

I haven’t totally neglected my writing, over the Summer. I’ve been working on one of my many other writing projects, and I’m currently trying to commit myself to a realistic deadline for completion. I’m thinking either January or February. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading, recently. I finished two books, and I’m halfway through reading the third. One of the books was a mental health book, which I will be writing a review for on here soon.

On the Family From Hell front, they’ve had a very eventful Summer. News filtered through to us, that one of my uncles was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Just like my uncle Alex, he passed away very shortly after the diagnosis. Although we would have liked to have been there to pay our respects, we didn’t attend his funeral. The sad thing is, in the act of trying to pay our respects; the whole thing would’ve become disrespectful. The family wouldn’t have kept their distance, or allowed us a quiet, dignified presence. As it turned out, one particular family member misbehaved at the funeral; without us having to be there. It was a strange feeling, to be honest. The faint strands of connection to my uncle’s passing were there, but we were also disconnected from it. My Dad felt it more than we did. After all, he’d lost another brother. So we grieved and paid our respects, in our own way. We haven’t heard from the rest of the family, and hopefully it will stay that way.

When my blog was last live, I wrote about the need to insert damage limitation measures into my life. As everyone who lives with a mental illness knows, we are permanently sitting on a narrow ledge; and the slightest thing could potentially throw us from it. To prevent this from happening, I’ve been aiming to bungee myself to the cliff behind me. I do this, by building positive things into my life. It’s hard to plan your suicide, when there’s so much to wake up for. It goes without saying, that my children are the main reason I wake up and face another day. But lest we forget, that depression is a pathological liar. When things get particularly bad, depression tells me that my children would be better off without me. It tells me that I’m a terrible mother, and I’m making my children miserable. Then I look at all the negative things around me, and agree that depression’s case is stronger than mine.

By building positive things into  our lives, I’m strengthening my case against depression. My garden was a mess, my children couldn’t play in it and depression enjoyed rubbing it in my face. Now my garden is on track to be a beautiful haven, filled with the soundtrack of my childrens’ laughter and sizzling steak on the barbecue. Depression has had to strike that from her list. My husband and I are redecorating the kitchen, dining room and lounge. By the end of this week, depression will have to strike that from her list too. I resumed my exercise regime yesterday and each endorphin my brain is releasing, is another middle finger in depression’s face. I’m hoping to book a family holiday for next year and I haven’t yet found a holiday company, who will accommodate depression in their baggage allowance. She’ll have to stay at home and tend to my weeds, instead.

I’m signing off for now – I have to prepare another bungee, to add to my collection. Thank you for reading this, and for being so patient with me. I promise I won’t leave my next post as long as I left this one.

 

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin, courtesy of Unsplash

 

 

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Please Don’t Be Kind To Me

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Please don’t be kind to me -unless you have tissues. Whenever people show me any sort of kindness, I break. You see, I was brought up with a Mother who hated me and an extended family who put me in emotional debt, whenever they showed me any sort of compassion or kindness. The message I took from this, growing up was: I don’t deserve kindness. Kindness for me, was something I had to earn. It wasn’t a birth right, or even a basic human right. If someone was kind to me, it meant I had to be in their debt.

I view other peoples’ kindness as a commodity. Not in the sense that I can exploit it, or make a gain from it. I mean in the sense that other people have a limited supply of kindness, and they have to spend it wisely. Whenever anyone is kind to me, I view it as a waste of their kindness quota. They haven’t invested their kindness wisely. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll get a return on their kindness investment. It’s just that their return will include snot and tears – and lots of it.

As you probably already know, I’ve recently been through the mill. I cut off my extended family, who had a lot of influence in my life. In cutting them off, I and my immediate family have been subjected to abuse and harassment, on a worringly epic scale. I won’t lie to you. My recovery from depression has taken a nose dive, in the last 4 weeks. I’ve gone from the strong willed, middle-finger-flipping survivor of recent months, back to the broken mess of yesteryear.

The latest incident of harassment ( I wrote a post on it, entitled The Cold War), left me completely shattered. I had to face facts – my own family don’t love me. That’s a hard pill to swallow. And it’s an even harder pill to swallow, when you have depression. Depression brings an internal narrative with it, which tells you constantly that you’re a horrible person who deserves to die. Add to the mix a family who hates you, and you have the perfect storm.

Since the incident with my family, I’ve felt even more, that I don’t deserve kindness. I’m damaged goods – a flawed human being, who should be out cast from society. If even my family don’t love me or like me, then I’m an unlovable, unlikeable person. I felt that everyone knew how unlovable I am, and they believed the lies that have been spread about me and my husband, by my family.

Here’s an example of my emotional fragility, right now:

Last week at work, I had a rare emotional outburst. Our labourer brought me some work, as he always does; but on this occasion he said to me “I’ve brought you a good pallet. (he’d brought me a pallet of work, which would make hitting my target easier). You deserve an easy pallet.” As he said it, he winked at me in a “I’m on your side” kind of way. Well, that was it. I burst into tears. How ridiculous. What is the matter with me? The poor guy thought he’d upset me. I tried to explain that he hadn’t, but as English (mixed with bodily fluids) isn’t his first language, he didn’t get a word I tried to splutter to him. Poor bugger. He’ll probably keep the good work away from me now.

Whenever anyone has shown me any kindness over the past few weeks, they’ve been met with tears and all round pathetic -ness. What the hell is wrong with me? All I know is, I want to get back to the strong-willed, middle-finger-flipping woman, I once was. 

 

 

Photo by Evan Kirby, courtesy of Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

The Cold War

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When Silent D And Me was last live, I touched on the subject of my abusive family. I downplayed the situation, as I was still under the influence of their denial and minimisation (I’m not even sure that’s a real word, but it sounded OK in my head).

I decided to cut all contact from my abusive family members last year, after 30 years of the most cruel emotional and psychological abuse and torment. They’re my extended family on my Dad’s side, so cutting them off will be simple, right? Wrong. Over the past year, we’ve been stalked, harassed and subjected to further nasty attacks. The latest two incidents, have changed the direction of how we will deal with their behaviour, going forward. Continue reading