Shatter.

It finally happened.  I finally reached breaking point. The last few months have built up and built up and the pressure inside my chest has increased. I thought that by telling someone the pain would ease, like a valve slowly releasing the pressure.  But instead it made it even more real.  Once it was ‘out’ there was no going back.  And so it all came out.  Like a huge, swirling, all-consuming shit storm.

The moment has arrived.  It’s time to sink or swim.

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Sanctuary.

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This page is my sanctuary.  The only place in the world where I can say the words that I cannot speak. You may wonder why I choose to put them out there for all to see.  But they are hidden in plain sight.  Only 1 person from my real-life has permission to read these words and they generally choose not to, it hurts them too much; makes them feel too much.  That, I understand.

But to all others, I am anonymous.  Just a girl on a page, in a country far from most of my readers’ homes.  It find it staggering that as I sit here in the dark, in the silence of my spare bedroom – just the gentle click, click of my fingers across the keys, the moment I click ‘publish’ it will reach you.  If it weren’t for the stats/internet searches page, I would have no idea that people in Indonesia read this.  I have readers in India, U.S.A, Great Britain and Italy to name but a few.  I am even informed whether this blog has been searched on an iPhone or android! The internet is an insanely powerful thing.

This is the place where I can breathe.  Where it doesn’t hurt quite so much.  No need to hold the mask firmly in place.  Here I am alone. Here I am safe. Don’t get me wrong, I have some incredible friends but no-one should know everything.  The only person that I am happy to know everything, chooses not to know and that’s ok. I get it. But they are welcome here anytime.  They want to understand me and my illness – here it is in all its ugly yet beautiful glory.

Here I can reflect on who I am.  Here I can establish that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.  Here, I can think through all of the thoughts and experiences that generally go unsaid.  As a child I used to keep a diary – I always have done in one form or another but the problem with diaries is that people can find them.  People can read them.  They could read your innermost thoughts and you’d not have a clue.  That’s the beauty of blogging.  It’s out there but you have to know where to look.  If no-one reads it, I know.  And if lots of people read it, I know.

There is no unknown with blogging. No hiding it in your underwear drawer when you hear someone coming. No packing it up when it comes to move house and then wondering “Where the fuck did my diary go?” Hidden in plain sight is so simple.  My husband has  asked to read this blog so many times.  Each time I have said no.  I have a right to privacy and he needs to respect that.  He has no right to read this blog – if I wanted to say these things to him, I would.  I’m sure that he must have searched for it.  Thank fuck he’s never found it – there are a million and one bipolar blogs out there, the chances of finding mine are slim.  I let the ugly and disturbing thoughts tumble from my brain onto the pristine white page, justify the text (I’m oh so OCD) click ‘publish’ and then delete history. Simple.

It’s amazing how something so simple can have such great value.  This is my outlet.  Without it, who knows what state I’d be in…

 

 

Peace at Last…

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And breathe.

As if my current home situation hasn’t been pushing me to my limits, I’ve had my Canadian cousin staying with me for the last week. Lovely, you think.  Wrong, I say.  Now here’s the thing; she is a lot of fun.  We laugh so hard when we’re together that the tears stream down my face.  She’s blood, so of course I love her but my God is she hard work.  She’s hard to imagine, until you actually meet her.  You think, “Oh she can’t be that bad?” She is.  And then some.  Those of my friends who’ve had the pleasure of meeting her when she was my bridesmaid 6 years ago, know all too well.  I’ll get 2x daily WhatsApp messages of support, “How is it?” or “Have you killed her yet?”  She needs to be seen to be believed. She makes Kim Kardashian look super-laidback.

Oh, and she’s a pathological liar.

She informed me that she would be leaving on Friday morning and flying to Belgium before heading back home on Monday morning.  I should have known that this, like everything else that she says, was a lie.

I went into work on Friday morning ready to scream.  I had reached my limit of her.  I had reached the point where going into work to teach 5 severely autistic children had become ‘a break’ in comparison to being around her.  My colleagues were fully aware of the ‘C Chronicles’ and were finding the whole thing pretty fucking hilarious (so would I if it weren’t happening to me)  I explained to my assistant ‘T’ that in theory she would be gone by the time I finished work, but I needed to establish that she would actually be gone as my husband was going nuts at me asking if she’d left yet.  “How do I message her to find out without sounding rude?”

One of the things I love about ‘T’ is she says it just how it is (maybe it’s her Carribbean roots).  “Here’s what you put…Hey! Lovely to see you, shame we missed each other this morning, if I don’t see you before you go, have a safe flight back!”

I clicked send.

Imagine my fucking horror delight when I received this back…

“Oh you’ll see me alright!  My friend in Belgium has caught Mono (how fucking convenient) so I’ll be staying until my flight back…”

‘T’ roared with laughter as I wordlessly held the phone in front of her (no words were needed, my face said it all).  Needless to say, my husband went nuts.  As if it were my fault!  I should have known that the flight to Belgium was bullshit – everything she says is bullshit.  This is the same woman who told me prior to my wedding that “Just you wait till you see me – I’m tiny now!  I’ve lost 90 lbs!”  Turned up to my wedding bigger than ever.

I don’t get it.  I really don’t get it.  I hate people lying to me.  It is the biggest turn off in the world for me.  But bull-shitting to such extremes where there is absolutely no way you will ever get away with it? I mean, why?  All I can assume is that she has some serious issues that have created such a deep-rooted insecurity that she feels the need to lie about everything.  But even so.

I have been at breaking point for as long as I can remember.  I really needed my husband’s support during this week.  I needed him to ‘take one for the team’ and shoulder the load.

Did he fuck.

I was ready to kill him.  This is a guy who never leaves the house.  If he isn’t at work, he is at home watching sport.  He has countless friends but chooses not to socialise.  I barely saw him this week.  He made damn sure that he was out of the house from 7am til late Every. Single. Night.  He went to the gym at 9pm on Friday night just to avoid being around her – he hasn’t been to the gym in close to 2 years.

I was ready to throttle him.  He knows that I can’t stand her either but there’s a thing called common courtesy.  He started a fight with her on Thursday and I just wanted the ground to swallow me whole.  He was so rude to her, I didn’t know what to do with myself.  “Wow, he’s really changed!” she commented the next day.  As much as she drives me crazy, he had been completely unreasonable and rude to her but I’m not the sort to air my dirty laundry in public.  I could hardly say, “Yeah that fun-loving guy you met all those years ago doesn’t exist anymore – he’s been replaced by an asshole!”

But now she is gone. Thank fuck.  And he has returned to work.  Thank. Fuck.  I have the next 7 days off from my day job (it’s the school holidays) so my life can return to my regular brand of chaos and craziness.  Just me and the kid.  Bliss.

Coming undone…

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I hurt so much.  There is so much going on in my life right now that I feel like I am about to  shatter into a million little pieces.  I have been holding it together for so long now behind this facade and the mask is finally beginning to slip.

This evening, we took our daughter to one of her best friends’ 6th Birthday party.  I get on really well with his mum – she is the only ‘mum’ from ‘school life’ that I actually find genuine and have anything in common with (funnily enough she’s not British – I’ve had enough of British women to last me a lifetime) but it goes without saying that there were countless other mums from ‘The Click’ there.  Usually I’m a pretty tough cookie and don’t give a fuck that they look at me with disdain, judging my pink hair and general inability to conform to what a mum ‘should’ look like.  I have no interest in their bullshit ‘wild nights out’ down the local pub – getting shit-faced on prosecco (obviously) and causing ‘chaos’.  Crazy bitches.  Wild as fuck. Yawn.

So no, I don’t want to be in their gang.  I would rather remove my own teeth with pliers than stoop to that level of socialisation, however, no-one likes to feel like a freak.  Like I said, usually I don’t give a fuck but at the moment I am feeling so damn delicate that the smallest breeze could send this house of cards crashing down.

I hadn’t realised that ‘Kate’ would be there.  There was a period when Kate and I would walk our babies out in their strollers every day, drink coffee and generally get through the chaos of early motherhood together.  It was good to have someone who understood.  Someone who was experiencing exactly what I was, at exactly the same time.  We got on great.

And then it stopped.

Just like that (approximately the time when she discovered I had 3 heads bipolar disorder.)

I’d like to say there was some huge, dramatic scenario that resulted in her ‘cutting me off‘ but no.  There is nothing.  It just stopped.  Just like that.  Awkwardly, she is also very close with my best female friend in the whole world.  Can you imagine how awkward that is for her?

So in strolled Kate like the Queen of Fucking Sheba, surrounded by her cronies.  She removed her coat and sat herself down a couple of tables in front of us.  Within minutes she had realised I was there and had moved herself over to the other side of the seating area, all whilst managing to avoid acknowledging my existence.  You want to know the real kicker? Whilst I was in the toilets, she attempted to acknowledge my husband. In his defence, he gave her The Death Stare.

I normally wouldn’t let something like this bother me.  She hates me. Big deal.  She and all her Bitches of Eastwick friends think I’m a freak.  So what?  But tonight, I had reached breaking point.  I feel so unsafe in my life right now and am so desperate to escape, that this was just too much for me.  I felt my chest tighten as the sounds around me began to increase.  Fuck.  I pretended to be looking for my daughter and took myself off to the toilets to be alone.  “I cannot have an anxiety attack here.  They think I’m a total weirdo as it is.

I made my way back to our table, passing Kate and her ‘nonchalant’ glances and picked up my husband’s car keys, telling him I needed to be out of here so to just come to the car with ‘The Kid’ when the party was finished.  I sat in the car and tried desperately to hold it together.

I am exhausted.  Emotionally exhausted.  My entire life seems to be a front these days and I don’t know how much longer I can keep up the act.  I need to cry.  I feel so much tension and am on the verge of tears frequently at the moment, with everything that is going on in my home life, but I am so scared that if I start to really cry, I won’t be able to stop.

The only place that I can let down my guard fully, is with my friend.  He knows 90% of the shit that is going on in my life – I can’t tell anyone the other 10% but when I am with him, I can breathe.  He doesn’t judge me, he just listens.  He tries to play Devil’s Advocate and although he doesn’t in any way agree with the way my husband is treating me; he at least tries to defend his actions and find a reasoning for them.

We had arranged to go out next weekend.  It meant that I just had to get through 1 more week before I could breathe and just let all the crap that is suffocating me, off my chest.  I put it on the calendar.  It was happening.  And then the inevitable happened.  My husband.

Needless to say,  it’s been scrubbed off the calendar.

 

 

Asphyxiate…

The last few weeks have sucked.  Big time.

And now we have gone away as a family which is even worse.  I cannot escape him.  I cannot escape the constant scrutiny.  Last night, I was laying in bed reading my book, which is what I always do to relax and help me fall asleep.  He had been in the lounge area watching television.  Next thing I knew he was laying in the bed, just watching me read.  I mean, seriously?  Are you fucking kidding me.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, my husband is not a bad guy.  He is a truly lovely person (with a lot of faults but none of us are perfect) He’s an incredible father – thinking about it, I think is the root of our problem.

Months ago, I blogged about how for years I had become virtually invisible to him and how he had used up all of his annual leave to spend with our daughter, yet had not used any of his time to spend with me.  When it reached the school holidays (I’m a teacher, I can’t choose my annual leave) he had none left to take because he had used it all up on The Super Bowl, NFL draft etc and spending it with The Kid.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love what an incredible father he is – it melts my heart.  But as far as our relationship goes, the flame has gone out.  There is only 1 person in the world that knows the extend of my relationship problems – other friends just know that things are rocky.  They don’t know quite how serious things have become.  One friend said to me, “All passion fades after a while, of course it does.”  But the thing is, sex isn’t the problem.  Sex never was the problem.  Our sex life was incredible but I am the kind of person who cannot have sex with someone if I don’t feel connected to them.  And I just don’t.

Is my husband attractive? Yes, very. He wouldn’t have been cast in a film by Paramount (whilst ultimately fell through) if he wasn’t.  Am I attracted to him? No.  Does that make sense?  I just feel no sense of connection to him like I used to – I haven’t in so long.  And he’s trying; God he’s trying but in the words of Nelly Fetado, “I can’t tell you something that ain’t real…”

He knows all of this. I have told him.  Many times. I cannot lie; I find it virtually impossible.  But he’s a ‘fixer’ and what he’s been trying to fix, has now merged into obsession. It’s scaring me.  He doesn’t mean to but now he can’t stop.  I have told him how this makes me feel but he just can’t help himself.  It has now become easier to say nothing at all.  He can now no longer see that what he is doing is weird and verging on abusive.  That his behaviour is obsessive and controlling.  The constant, “Who is that you’re talking to?” “You took your time.  Why’s that?”  I feel like I can’t even breathe anymore.

I am currently sat at poolside whilst he and The Kid practise their dance routines in the water.  I hate swimming so I am able to ‘escape’ by saying I’ll sit poolside and get some work done.  This blog is the only place I can find comfort.  This blog is the only place I can get it out.  I have nowhere else to turn.  My chest physically hurts; I feel like I’m suffocating.

 How did I end up here?

 

Friend or Foe?

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Women.  I don’t understand them one little bit.  I am a very simple person.  Very black and white.  If I like you, you’ll know it.  If I don’t, I’ll be civil to you but I’m not going to pretend like we’re best friends.  Now the thing is, I’m bisexual.  I am waaaay more attracted to women than I am to men.  You have to be a pretty fucking special guy to grab my attention – and no I’m not just referring to looks.  I notice women a LOT.  I notice men, rarely.

But my God, women are odd!  I don’t understand them one little bit.  I hate that you can think someone is great and then you discover the enormous knife they’ve plunged into your back when your attention was diverted. What the fuck?  This is why I am predominantly friends with men.  I feel safe with men.  I feel I can be exactly who I am without being judged, or sized up, or compared.  Sure, they’ll occasionally slip into the conversation that they’d really love to fuck me but once they’re aware that’s never gonna happen, all is good and they generally turn out to be a hell of a lot more reliable and trustworthy than the majority of women.  Plus they’re insanely protective and as loyal as a person can be, in my experience.

Now I’m sorry if you’re a woman and you’re thinking, “Hold the fuck on here! How dare she – I’m a great person who never bitches or backstabs!”  Well if that’s the case then I am truly sorry and I would love to meet you, ha! But in all honesty there are 3 female friends in my life who I hand-on-heart trust.  Who I honestly believe wouldn’t stab me in the back, wouldn’t talk about me just for the sake of gossip and who wouldn’t fuck me over given half the chance.  You may think I’m a cynical bitch but I speak from experience.

I can tolerate assholes but I need to know they’re assholes. Nothing makes me feel ickier than trusting someone only to find out they’ve got more faces than a highly cut diamond.  To say it makes me feel uneasy is an understatement.  The problem is, I always think the best of everyone and I like to think that everyone thinks like me.  They don’t.

This week I have been royally fucked over but not 1, but 2 women who really need to get over themselves and their insecurities.  I’ve never understood those who try to take others down in order to elevate themselves.  Particularly when it is done on the sly.  As far as they’re aware, I have no idea what they’ve been up to.  Believe me I know.

Why are some women just so damn insecure?  Take for example the lovely, very attractive receptionist girl I met the other day when I was getting my car MOT’d.  Now my car has needed a LOT of work doing over the last month or so, which has required several trips to the garage.  There just so happens to be an insanely hot guy who works there (tall, tattooed, ripped, model looks) who is also completely lovely and we’ve hit it off.  He has done work on my car unofficially and free of charge and every time I’m there he comes out for his break and we chat about all sorts.  During my numerous visits to this garage, I have also become friendly with ‘lovely receptionist’ girl.  I’m a friendly, outgoing person generally and we would chat about stuff to help pass the time while this guy fixed my car.

I sat chatting with ‘lovely receptionist’ girl while I did some work on my laptop waiting for my car when ‘Mr Tats’ came in from the servicing area to behind the reception desk.  He called me over and continued our earlier ‘non car-related’ conversation from where we had left off.  He handed me a piece of paper so that I could write down some information he had asked for.  He was leaning over the desk watching me write it down and in a flash ‘super lovely receptionist’ girl turned.

She was next to him in a heartbeat.  “What’s that? What are you doing?” I think perhaps ‘lovely receptionist’ girl may have a bit of a thing for ‘Mr Tats.’ She then got as close as she could, without physically draping herself over him (if she was a dog she would have lifted her leg!)  It was cringey.  Now I know for a fact that they are not together.  He has told me all about his current situation.  Maybe he’d fucked this girl after a Christmas party once, who knows, but her message was clear, “Back the fuck off!”

Was I flirting with him? No.  Was I twirling my hair and fluttering my eyelashes? No.  Was I being suggestive in any way, shape or form? No.  I was being me.  Exactly me.  Friendly, chatty and full of banter.  Another guy from the garage came out to reception and realised he recognised me and started talking to me too – we finally discovered that he lived in the village I grew up in and even though we were different ages, he recognised me from mutual friends etc.  Again, was I flirting with this guy? No.  Was I playing the damsel in distress who knows nothing about cars? No.  Just being super-sarcastic, taking-the-piss-out-of-myself me.

Super-friendly receptionist suddenly seemed not quite so friendly.  The mechanics who I had been talking with disappeared back out onto the forecourt and I was left alone with ‘lovely receptionist’ girl.  I paid my bill and then turned back to finish the coffee I’d made, gather up my laptop, bag and folders that I’d had with me – bear in mind, just 5 minutes previous to this, super-friendly receptionist and I had been sharing clothing tips – and called out loudly, “Take care! Thanks for all of your help – have a great day won’t you!” I was met with silence and the face of thunder.  What. The. Actual. Fuck?

Now I don’t claim to be God’s gift.  Sure I’ve lost a lot of weight and for the first time in my life I don’t sigh with despair every time I look in the mirror.  For the first time, I walk with my head up, my shoulders back and my DD boobs out.  But am I all that? No.

However, I’ve noticed in recent months that men love a woman who is confident in her own skin and personality.

Women not so much.  Jeez.

Silent scream.

I have never felt so alone. Here I find myself, yet again, finding solace on the blank white page as the fireworks in my mind ricochet and tumble out.

I class myself as a *insert cliche* strong and independent woman and always found it so sad when I discovered that friends or colleagues were in, or had been in, controlling or abusive relationships. I always asked myself, “How did they find themselves there? Why would they have married someone like him?” But here’s the thing. Rarely does someone intentionally gets into a relationship with someone like that. It’s a slow drip, drip effect. That starts off as small and insignificant but then you look. You really look and before you know it, there’s a growing puddle at your feet.

The thing is, it’s such a grey area. Where does ‘normal’ married life and dialogue -“Where are you going? and “Who will you be with? (in case of childcare emergencies etc) end and obsessive controlling behaviour begin?

What started off as normal, has now become pretty fucking scary if I’m honest. He watches me. All the time. Like a piece of abstract art at the Tate Modern. He sighs. He squints. He tilts his head.

Now that I work reduced hours, I have several days off a week, which are spent cleaning the house, doing choreography for my fitness classes and lesson planning. He calls me. All the time. “Where are you? What are you doing? You sound out of breath? It sounds like you’re outside. Are you sure you’re at home?” Yes I’m pretty fucking sure.

As a parent you learn to treasure the few moments peace and privacy that you get to yourself. I will be in the bathroom and then ‘click’ the lock pops open and in he strides, “What are you doing?” What the fuck does it look like? So yeah these things were mild annoyances but I didn’t think too much of it.

Now he has started adding my friends on Facebook. Even the ones he knows are out-out gay. “I see you’ve been on social media a lot – what’s that Instagram picture supposed to mean?” He’s even started requesting 1:1 nights out with my male friends, despite acting like a totally rude prick on the occasions I have tried to introduce them. Here’s the thing, at first I thought he was lonely but then I woke up and remembered, he’s the most popular person I know, with an abundance of friends and colleagues to socialise with.

He has started randomly ‘popping home’ on my days off. “I was just passing and thought I’d pop in for coffee” *coughs bullshit* This is the person who used his annual leave up outside of my school holidays on things like the NFL Draft and The Super Bowl. Yet now he’s turning up unannounced at home for coffee. He’s trying to catch me out. But here’s the thing. He’s ‘catching me out’ making a cup of tea. He’s ‘catching me out’ doing Zumba choreography. He’s ‘catching me out’ having a shower. There are so many bizarre and pretty freaking creepy things that he’s done that alone may not seem like a big deal but the cumulative effect makes me feel really uneasy. I have told him a thousand times over to stop. That it makes me feel uncomfortable. That by smothering me in this way only pushes me further away.

But he cannot stop.

Don’t get me wrong. He is a great guy. He is the best father I could ever wish for to my daughter. They absolutely idolise each other. As a child, my father was ’emotionally absent’ until he died, the day after my 12th Birthday. I was not wanted by him and my presence was merely an inconvenience to his bachelor life idealogy. I know this because my mum made sure from a young age that I knew it. I am so grateful that my daughter has a wonderful relationship with her father; it melts my heart to see them together.

But what about me? Do I tolerate this because he’s a wonderful father? On 2 separate occasions in recent days something much, much worse has happened. I can’t even bring myself to write about it – it makes me feel sick to my stomach.

And this right here is where I look and think, “That’s how they got there…” As I watch the drip, drip of insignificant occurrences, I cast my eyes down and for the first time I notice a fucking lake at my feet.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so scared and alone.