treading water in stress

Don’t forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I will mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives.

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Every day I hear from readers who just can’t figure out what they feel, why they feel it, or even why it feels like a big deal even though it doesn’t seem like a big deal. One of the greatest examples of this is having doubts no matter how small that keep niggling, but that you just can’t put your finger on. Or even worse, having doubts that you can put your finger on but you keep ignoring or attributing to something else. In fact, you may not refer to them as doubts – you might call them ‘misgivings’, ‘insecurity’, low self-esteem, or even blame them on a past relationship or even a parent instead of on what is actually happening.

It then becomes ‘I’m not having these doubts because I’m making choices that work against me or am experiencing a current stress/have a current concern that I’m ignoring – it’s because I’m not good enough / they’re amazing and I’m just a very insecure person / my parents did X/Y/Z / I’m scared because of all of my previous relationships”.

The thing is, some of these may be true or may highlight things that you need to address, but the problem is that whatever you attribute the stress to (or insecurity, misgivings etc), it will remain a stress as long as you keep thinking about or putting it to the back of your mind but not actually addressing it.

It’s also important to note that if you’re actually denying the cause of the stress and blaming it on something else, the cause will remain a constant factor no matter what. Hence why if you keep playing down those niggling doubts about a partner and saying it’s your insecurity and a previous relationship, if they’re actually behaving in ways that give just cause for doubt, it will continue happening – you just won’t be addressing it and damaging yourself in the process.

What I do know after having the immune system disease sarcoidosis and then vertigo, tinnitus and TMJ is that when you get used to dealing with ‘stress’ whether it’s emotional, or work pressure, physical stress or whatever, you acclimatise to it. At it’s worst, like when I had sarcoidosis, you don’t even know where to begin when you have to figure out what is wrong because ‘everything’ seems to be wrong. It’s only when it becomes intolerable or you get a proverbial boot up the bum that you finally change.

That’s why I ended up addressing everything – health, work, family, relationships etc – which balanced me out and they all had a knock on effect on each other.

Much like when I wrote about the Broken Windows Theory applied to boundaries and relationships, where you’ll ignore one thing that you shouldn’t, it paves the way to ignoring another. Ignoring, delaying, rationalising, denying, minimising are habits, and habits can most certainly be broken.

If you’ve ever found yourself putting up with stuff in your relationships that on later reflection have you wondering if you were on crack, or even have you feeling like you practically have to learn a new (healthy) language post breakup, it’s because you normalised dodgy behaviour.

What you might not have realised is that you’ve also normalised treading water in stress instead of resolving it. In fact, it’s the fact that you may be used to stress and even numb to it that will have you failing to realise that you’re knee deep in an unhealthy relationship until you’re very immersed in it.

You’ll also find that it won’t take much to tip you over when you hit ‘capacity’.

I think there’s a certain amount of stress we can all manage with, after all we’d be wrecks otherwise, but after that we can become very sensitive to it. Then little things that genuinely aren’t that big a deal can throw a monkey wrench in the works and have you in a serious tailspin or you start seeing rejection, problems, ‘flaws’ in yourself, and a lack of options. You become indecisive, panicky, anxious, find it hard to articulate what you’re pissed off about or can articulate it but won’t action it, or you compare problems and try to identify which one is the ‘biggest’ one as if that will change the nature of the others. You may inflate the size of the wrong stress while still continuing to ignore the core stress that you really need to address.

While surfing Pinterest for wedding inspiration, I came across a factsheet on stress and the first line flicked a lightbulb in my mind: “Your body doesn’t care if it’s a big stress or a little stress.”

This was only a few days after writing about How I Learned To Listen To Myself where I explained how realising that bouts of tinnitus, vertigo and TMJ were triggered by not listening to myself and stress. That stress was a combination of some work stuff which in turn I was privately busting my proverbial balls about, some family clashes, and even at times child induced sleep deprivation.

Hours after reading the fact sheet, I spoke to a friend who was feeling panicked because she was experiencing what were clearly stress symptoms but was insisting she wasn’t stressed about anything big or ‘new’. I suggested that maybe it was a just some freakish thing and not to worry about it, but then I asked if there was anything she could possibly be stressed about – man that list couldn’t stop coming!

I think the way we live has us very ‘programmed’ to take stress in our stride and while this has its uses, we’re not supposed to take it so much in our stride that we become unable to really have a quality life or are unable to figure out what we feel.

You know that you’re too acclimatised to stress when you you find it hard to identify what’s bothering you or you reel off them off like your grocery shopping list. You get used to Staying/Talking and Complaining.

It’s like ‘Yeah, so I’m stressed! What am I supposed to do about it? It’s just groundhog day around here!’ You may even think ‘Well this is nothing compared to other stresses I’ve had. Hey ho, hey ho, it’s off to work or dodgy relationship I go!’

By being available and feeling out all of your feelings and taking your time to address stress in your life (whatever the source of it) rather than letting it run and run, you can differentiate between your sizes of stress.

Because our bodies don’t differentiate, it’s important not to let it pile up, because when you hit capacity, you will find that suddenly, even though you thought you just had a problem in your relationship, now you’re struggling to concentrate at work, have become sensitive to certain foods, or are feeling physical symptoms of stress.

If you’re feeling ‘stress’ or doubts, anxiety, or whatever you want to call it, and you can’t nail the source of it and basically keep going round and round in circles, you know that you’re too acclimatised to not listening to yourself. If you keep wondering “Is it them or is it me?”, aside from always looking at whether it’s internal or external fear talking, what you immediately know is that if you can’t figure out which one, it’s because you need to address both.

Our natural inclination is to put the focus on others or external factors because that puts action in an area that’s uncontrollable – it’s no wonder our stress increases. Learn to listen to yourself, keep a Feelings Diary, have an honest conversation with yourself, make decisions – take the focus off ‘them’ and bring it back to you.

Your thoughts?

Holiday Update

  • Awkward moment alert! Was slightly tipsy when I thought I saw Bradley Cooper sitting just across from me and basically froze and stared for a few seconds (oh the shame) and then I could hear my brain going, “Isn’t that the guy from Corrie (English soap opera) that flew off with Becky into the sunset?” and then I regained my composure. Turns out Jeremy Sheffield was also in Holby City.
  • I haven’t eaten quinoa in over a year and then I had it for breakfast yesterday morning with spinach, peas and poached egg (surprisingly yummy) and then we turned up for a barbecue and the hosts had made it for me as an alternative to cous cous (I don’t eat wheat), and then I also had it for lunch today. Looks like this will be my holiday buzz food. And chocolate buttons…
  • Went to a dinner party on Saturday night which turned into dancing around their apartment to 90s classics. We all attempted to pretend to swing our hair about like that woman in the Back To Life video and my neck is still paying for it now…
  • I’m off up t’north to Hull on Wednesday to visit one of my dearest friends Nac. It’s well overdue but it’s also to help her ‘birth’ her business. After I had my first daughter, she came down and stayed with us and this is my opportunity to help out with her ‘child’. There will be much dirty laughing and we may get out the ‘ole Sex and the City boxsets just like when we were living together at university.
  • The Girls series 2 boxset arrived today. I need to put aside some holiday time to absorb myself in it. I’ve had a mini break from Breaking Bad as I discovered that bloomin’ Netflix had finally put series 7 of The Office US.
  • We leave for Italy next week as we have a wedding over the bank holiday weekend and are driving via France. I’m determined to have my list written this week so that I’m not frazzled by the time we head off.
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141 Responses to Revisited: Can’t figure out what’s bothering you? You’ve normalised treading water in stress

  1. Sandy says:

    Isn’t it strange you can see that your body isn’t coping, in my case extreme eczema over my hands which used to get worse when I spent time with him and I had very bad heart palpitations.

    I knew deep down that things weren’t right, verbalising it didn’t help as he would just hear blah blah blah, say he would do better but then 3 days later would be back to the usual Mr AC. When ever things were very bad and there were a fair few of those he actually told me to bury it deep down, the only problem with that is that my body wasn’t handling that at all, it wanted to come out!!

    I thought it was normal to cry over him but since the final break I realise it’s actually not! And since I changed my phone number a month ago I haven’t cried at all.

    I am embarrassed for myself sometimes, good grief the things I used to ignore or if I didn’t ignore he would talk me around to accepting. I have no eczema anymore, no heart palpitations, I am sleeping well and finally I am feeling damn okay about it all.

    Big lesson learned though and I will never ever let a man treat me like that again.

    • Sandy says:

      Oh and just to add, I spent a fortune going backwards and forwards to the Doctors because I thought my depression and stess was hormonal ha also joined the gym..what a waste of money when all it took was to get rid of him!

    • Peanut says:

      Sandy,

      Weeeeeeird, you mention skin problems around your ex. One time I was over at my ex’s place, I got a pretty gnarly rash on my side within seconds of my arriving. When I left, it went away.

      I have seen and read about this; women who take up with men who are not contextually good for them end up with non contagious rashes/skin problems.

      Bad men are bad for our skin!!

      • Sandy says:

        Lol Peanut yes they are bad for our skin! And for our peace of mind, it’s nice not having the drama or the stress I must admit.

    • Enough says:

      Extremely happy for you sandy you are finally getting the rest and peace you deserve. Likewise my body told me from the start something was just not right about this AC. Oh but i did not listen for 9+ years. I shake my head at the thought of what i was thinking. The truth is i was not thinking at all and figured i was in love yea right!!!!. For some reason i could not connect with him sexually at all not once i could not physically let go with him. I blamed it on my past relationships and my childhood experiences that were not all to pretty. All along i knew i had dealt with my past and make peace with it. It was him and my body telling me he is not the one!!!!!. I have been threw so much and the stress was so normal i don’t know what it feels like not to have stress. I’m taking it one day at a time and each day the fog clears. I have tried NC but have failed time and time again. My strength and my self confidence is building. The Door is open i just need to walk threw it.

      • Sandy says:

        Enough,

        I spent 5 years trying to make it work and it’s taken 7 months for my body to finally wind down from all the stress it used to experience, I finally managed no contact by changing my phone number, although to be honest he was the one that kept the contact up not me.

        But yes I was actually thinking about things the other day and I realised it’s taken me all this time to recognise normal again, but you do get there :-) I kept on wondering what was missing and I realised it was the lack of drama!!

    • Lacy says:

      Thumbs up for you I’m late on your comment sorry.I’ve been at work mostly and usually view the site on my Galaxy note lbvs.Never let a man treat me that way again,those are very wise words somrthing to live by.

  2. Sue says:

    Great post, Nat. Your vacation is very busy, but sounds like a fun busy!!

    Looking back on my recent EUM thing, (was I on crack? LOL)I now see why I had a near break-down in January. It was because EUM was a basket case over the holidays, he was sick, and then he was stressed out and then he hates the holidays. I have to say I admire the amount of time, energy, caring and love I mustered for him during that time, although now I can see that my energies were wasted on him and I completely depleted myself. I am now putting all my time,energy and talents to use for myself and my child, where I will get actual rewards. I feel great.

    Online dating. Hahaha Its kind of fun. I gave a guy my cell phone number and he texted me. I’m not answering it. I no longer accept texts unless you are stuck in traffic when you are supposed to be meeting me or you have been captured by pirates and are being held for ransom. EUM was the first guy to text me all the time. I thought it was cute and fun at first. Now I know its an amber alert.

    I love that I have tools for living thanks to Natalie!!!

  3. Revolution says:

    Hello Miss Nat,

    Per your update, two things:

    Bradley Cooper. Am I the only female on earth that doesn’t find him attractive? Is it his “American accent” that you like (you Brit you)? ;)

    90’s party and whipping your neck around. Oh yes, girl. Yes, I can relate to that like nobody’s business. And “Back to Life”? Great song. Great video. ‘Nuff said.

    • Lilia says:

      Rev,
      I´m with you re Bradley Cooper. For some reason he reminds me of someone who spent too much time under water.

  4. Magnolia says:

    Still trying to figure this stuff out, though at least I’m more conscious about it than I was. I developed fibroids while being with the AC and they haven’t left me, so now I have the constant stress of loss of iron, bleeding, not to mention just carrying these masses around.

    I can’t tell you how I mix up the grief of not having kids with the physical drain and pain of these feminine issues. Often, and more often than ever lately, I just collapse from exhaustion. This weekend I slept about 18 hours for three days straight. I barely saw the sun.

    Mind you, I have been trying to boost/avoid/ignore the sadness by smoking half a j on my own in the evenings, which really just steals energy from the next two days to give me a little boost in the moment.

    Since age 35, the lack of partner to start a family with buzzed in the background of my life, a stressor for me (when can I fix that? when can I settle that?). Now that I approach 40, I feel like there’s an alarm ringing in my head that I cannot turn off; it’s announcing the urgency, the last minutes, the dying of the dream of my own family. And please don’t jump in with “you can adopt.”

    Unless you’ve been faced with the reality of not having your own babies when you wanted them, and then did adopt as a single woman, or didn’t and have grieved … I just don’t think one can understand.

    When I’m not drowned in workaholism, or getting high in my downtime, I’m soooooo sad. When I pull myself out of it, I do my best to take care of myself (ladies, I have paid off my car! I just got rid of a table I’ve been meaning to for months! I’ve cleaned up my bike! I’ve started walking again!), but I experience all these joys against a backdrop of sadness. I can’t help but think that constant backdrop is a constant stress …

    Anyway, I needed to vent. Next week I’ll have a couple weeks off before heading into the school term. I’m actually scared that I’ll ruin it because I can’t get out of feeling sad so I’ll just fill it up with work. But I’m trying: I got my blood work and another ultrasound done last week, seeing the gyno this week; at least I know my low energy isn’t just psychological (apparently my hemoglobin is at 80). I’ve allowed myself to sleep and sleep and get up only to putter around my apartment and organize things – I really like my space. I cry a lot lately, though. There have been years of my life where I cried every day and it was my normal; I’m kind of back there now and I just don’t think I have the hope, the trust in the future or in possibility, that I used to haul myself out of depression the last times.

    • Keetseel says:

      Magnolia, you haven’t mentioned talking to a therapist. You sound so, so low. Do you have someone that you could see? I wish I could mail my therapist to anyone who’s experiencing grief. I’m positive she saved my life.

      • Peanut says:

        Keetseel,

        Can you mail me yours? Mine isn’t working anymore.

        Joking. I have been in therapy for several years and am reaching a plateau.

        Sometimes I wonder if I need another. But, no, I need me.

        Actually, I tend to want to quit therapy when I’m on the brink of a breakthrough or difficult stuff.

        Tricky, tricky that mind of mine.

      • Sandy says:

        Magnolia,

        I agree with Keetseel, it truly sounds as if you have depression (been there, done that) and to be totally honest smoking does not help at all (been there, and done that as well) you need to be in a happy head space to not feel down when you smoke as it can make you feel worse. It also does not help with your energy levels as you realise…is there anybody you can talk to or be with at this time?

    • Lizzy says:

      Mags, I just had to say this because I I’m sad to think of you crying and I wish someone had said something like this to me… I do feel your pain. I’m 44 now but I remember all too well the run-up to 40, feeling like time was about to run out and I hadn’t done the big, important thing that was looming over me. Most of my friends and family were having or had had babies (which had changed our relationships in some cases) and I was scared I’d grow old and die without anyone even noticing.
      I felt the loss/absence at all times – a weekend wasn’t two whole days to do exactly what I liked but empty time I should have been spending with my family if I’d had one – like everyone else my age was doing, or so it seemed.
      But then I turned 40, the world didn’t end, I made a concerted effort to make/see friends who also didn’t have kids and do ‘grown-up’ things – cocktails, galleries, impromptu day trips. I got a non-AC boyfriend for the first time in my life. Baggage Reclaim helped immensely with my new outlook of course…
      I decided to train myself to look at the positive sides of being childless/childfree, starting with all the free time/sleep/quiet I could enjoy, and moving on to the main positive – that I wasn’t shackled to any of the ACs I could have quite easily have got pregnant by over the years! I had fertility problems (like it sounds you might have…? I may be wrong) but believe it or not, I now see that as a blessing as well – I think I’ve gone too far the other way!!
      Don’t get me wrong, I would still like to have had children at the right time with the right person but what I’m trying to say, not very coherently, is that there is life after 40 and without children and you’re far from being the only one who is going through this. I think it’s so important to find some female friends (or even just one) who is/are in the same boat, that was the turning point for me.
      … Anyway, sorry if I sound flippant. I do understand and just wanted to let you know it’s not all doom and gloom the other side of 40, actually quite a few of us are here having a good time. Good luck and big hugs to you xxxxxxx

      • Allie says:

        Lizi, I totally agree with you. I am 42 single and childless. I was married once but no children. As you said, there was a time I wanted a family but I didn’t happen, so now I look at the positives of my circumstances and enjoy my life as it is and don’t grieve for the could haves.

      • micheyl says:

        Lizzy, I don’t think you sound flippant. I think what you said is meant to be encouraging as it is your experience and you are looking at the positive.

    • Peanut says:

      Magnolia,

      Sometimes life fucking sucks. My heart hurts when I read your words.

      Of course adopting isn’t the same as carrying and birthing your own child with a man you love! Not having this is worth grieving.

      I get it. I get you. What you write resonates so deeply.

      I have my own horrible menses. Feels like I’m birthing ten children at once. Been to the gyno. Turns out my body doesn’t produce enough natural pain remedies on its own. Yoga, eating healthy, and moderate exercise are good for my condition and I choose to do just about none because I don’t care enough. Because I don’t like experiencing the pain of withdrawing from my vices.

      I do the fat kid equivalent of what you do with the J in the evenings: I eat donuts, sugary snacks and the like.

      And just today I was praying in my car to a God, Universe, higher power or whatever asking why I am here and when can I go home. (Even though I’m not sure there is such a thing. Maybe we as humans are the highest power. How fucking scary would that be?!)

      I feel sad and sick inside often. Hopeless, unmotivated, then manic for a few days.

      Life is really boring to me and the things that aren’t are really hard work and I choose render myself too tired for that.

      I don’t get it. Why the feck are we here?

      It’s all so random. No jobs sound good; everything is dreary, dim and bland.

      You know as far as getting a job, I’d probably get close to starving before I took something I didn’t think I’d get pleasure out of. I’m just at that place: nothing scares me.

      It’s a precarious place to be.

      I’ve realized I’ve never had a true friend in my life, beside my grandparents, my family cannot be trusted and are best avoided, and it is very likely that I will lose everything and everyone I have ever loved or cared about within the next few years or at least decade (my grandparents are elderly and sometimes quite ill; my beloved dog who is my best friend is elderly too!). Mum is already dead. Dad’s a scum bag.

      So, yep, I hate life often these days. I am so angry.

      Really, I know this may not be the healthiest place to be, but BR is what kept/keeps me going. And, yes, therapy, though I feel it’s reaching its plateau.

      I am glad you are crying though. That really is a gift. The worst is when you are numb. That’s like already being dead.

      BTW, I am not suicidal (that’s what took me mum). I am way too much a fighter for that, though I do respect my mother’s decision.

      Also, I know too very well that the feelings of despair will pass. And the depth to which I feel them, is the depth to which I will be rewarded with wisdom, spiritual growth and joy. But that too will pass.

      Magnolia, grieve that baby you never had with that man you don’t. You feel those feelings and hold them close to you and cry because those feeling and tears are beautiful and important.

      • Peanut says:

        *BR is a very healthy place to be, my feeling helpless without it? Meh, not sure.

      • MaryW says:

        Peanut, I wish you lived nearby so I could drag you along to my Monday night yoga classes (just call me Florence).
        I swear it eases more than menses pain … It extinguishes mental anguish without stopping thoughts and feelings (albeit temporarily, but a bit of respite is nice). It’s an anchor in my life, and I only rejoined the class 3 weeks ago! X

      • Peanut says:

        Oh my, Lord, I got a good laugh at rereading what I posted to you Magnolia.

        I had a good, good cry in the bowling alley parking lot afterward.

        I don’t exactly see things quite so dismal after the cry.

        I swear a good cry is so cleansing.

        But, I do stand by that your pain is worthy of grief, valid, and I feel for you.

        We go through our funks to get to the other side. ((((Hugs)))) And Lord knows I ain’t fully there, yet.

    • MaryW says:

      Magnolia I don’t know what to say to you to help soothe you. But I can tell you that you’re not on your own regarding the sadness of time running out for starting a family. It’s an incredibly sad thing to come to terms with, and it’s not even a yes or no issue to “get over”. It just hangs over your head the whole time.

      I think this is one of the reasons I have tried to make wrong relationships work – because I’ve so desperately wanted to get the process of a committed relationship, then marriage then a family started. But with the wrong people. I also don’t want to adopt, nor would I choose to be a single parent (for many reasons, and absolutely no offence meant if a single mother reads this).

      Can I just make one teeny suggestion, and I’m not judging you at all … but for the benefit of your low mood: a few times a week, how about swapping the half a J for a jog round the park, a class at the gym, a swim? The endorphins give you a high that’s better than drugs or booze, and they boost your mood, with no hangover. I say this as an adult who’s always fought depression, so I’m not being flippant and I know it’s not easy. I know you’re exhausted but gentle exercise might actually give you more energy.

      Thinking of you x

    • grace says:

      Magnolia
      I get it. I so wanted a baby with my ex. That’s why I’m ambivalent about our reconnection. I don’t want him to feel how I have been feeling, ever.
      It sucks and I understand how you feel about adoption too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it nor do I see it as second best. But there is a pull to have a baby with someone you love that can’t be rationalised away.

    • pinkpanther says:

      Hi Magnolia,
      For what it’s worth, I think you are a pretty cool woman. I’ve watched close friends go through the pain of not having kids as they approach 40, and I see how distressing this can be.

      All I can say to you is I hope lots of goodness comes your way soon. And I think you have a lot of peeps here pulling for you.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Mags,

      Don’t you think you’re in a transition period? Remember, you’ve been going to school forever and now you have the joy of having earned your PHD. DR. Magnolia. Now, you no longer have the regimen of attending classes, examinations, writing your thesis, etc. You’ve just finished a heap of work to achieve something that many cannot attain for a variety of reasons. Now, you are forced to use different life skills. I don’t know if you were attending full time or part time, but I do know that regardless you always have had some scholastic work to get done. You don’t have that now. I think that this change in your daily activities, meeting deadlines, and other stuff could have you feeling a bit sad. I don’t know if it’s actually depression, but certainly you may be sad. Then, too. Wasn’t there some employment issue after you’re having moved to a new environment? It’s only a vague recollection that I have of your story. Do you still see a therapist? You said on the last post that you feel BR is more helpful to you than therapy and I answered your post in agreement. Do you feel, possibly that while you’ve been attaining great advances professionally, that your social has been compromised? You say you’re sleeping quite a bit and long hours. It’s one of the first signs of depression, but I wouldn’t even think of that being the problem initially. You may be a bit bored. Rest assured if your body did not need the sleep/rest, you would not be able to continue. Hope, I’m not totally off base here. Your words resonated with me and I wanted to help. You are very intelligent and wise. You’ll work it out. All the best, Tink xx.

    • micheyl says:

      Magnolia,

      No I can’t say I can relate to you in the way you are suffering from never having a child. But maybe I can paint a picture of what might have been if you got pregnant with an EUM or AC.

      So at 29, my boyfriend and I were in NYC and decided to move in together. I gave my notice to my landlord and roommate. She found a new place. Landlord found a new tenant. Then boyfriend decided to break up with me so not only was I dumped but now homeless in NYC. Well, aside from that drama, we continued to see each other sexually of course even though we were broken up. At a suggestion from a friend, I started taking St. John’s Wort for my depression, not knowing it would make my pill ineffective (this was 1999, this news was not known yet, at least not to me). Then lo and behold, I became pregnant. I was not against abortion (I had one in early 20’s) but I just knew I would keep the baby regardless of AC’s decision to stay with me.

      Well, once he did the – is it mine, you did this on purpose – routine he told me he would stay with me for one year only and then I was on my own. Looking back I can’t believe I agreed. I guess I thought some help was better than none. Well, he was completely unsympathetic with any pregnancy sickness and treated me badly the whole time. My parents acted like it was 1959 and verbally abused me for not getting married. I was very stressed out my whole pregnancy. We moved to N. California where I found some support in other pregnant women, but it was hard. I went on medicare and had the baby. AC announced he was joining the military (went from working at whole foods to the army…) I told him either we get married or that’s it because I wasn’t going to follow him around the army unmarried. So he agreed (romantic huh??)

      We spent almost 4 years in the military. Pretty much the whole time he treated me badly. He was a horribly impatient dad. Everytime the baby cried he’d rush into the room and yell at me “what are you doing to it?” He said the crying was like nails on a chalkboard for him. He stressed me out more than the baby did. He would yell at me for feeling sleep deprived (you slept 8 hours he would say – not understanding they were not 8 straight hours as I nursed my baby every 2-3 hours).

      At one point I made a plan to leave. We were stationed in Florida and I got a waitressing job. I had made friends. I could put my child (2 years old) in day care and support us without his help. Since it was a realistic plan, he freaked out, promised we would be a real family. We got pregnant again, on purpose this time. He went to Iraq for the first 11 months of our second baby’s life. It was a blessing in that he wasn’t there to stress me out, but not so much in that I was alone with an infant and a toddler and no help.

      He came back from Iraq and got out of the Army 3 months early (couldn’t see it the whole 4 years… could never see anything to the end that one). Cheated on me when he went to see his relatives in NYC. Treated me like shit. We moved to Portland Oregon to start anew. He couldn’t get a job and got drunk and high every day. I got a part time job from 2AM to 7AM at a call center so I could buy diapers. Found out he cheated, left him to my parents house. My youngest wasn’t even 2.

      Well, nothing much has changed since then. He is not a father to these girls. He rarely comes up with the full share of child support. Many many months of no money at all. At this point he sees them maybe two days a month. He has missed birthdays and plays and games as he is very self centered and focused on himself. He has never been to one parent-teacher conference. 90% of the time he is ever at any activity is because I tell him and then remind him…

      I have cried so many tears that I have cheated my daughters out of a caring and loving father. They deserve to be cherished and this is the fucking clown they get stuck with. My daughters are now 13 and 10 and I would not change one thing about my horrible experience with that fuck head because I love them so much. But there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I had a true partner as their father. They are missing out on a good father, but I missed out too. I see my friends who have husbands who are involved and share the load. Even ex-husbands who are true co-parents. It has been a very hard and lonely journey, my experience of motherhood. I have had joys, hell yes, but also some misery as well.

      Anyway, sorry for the goddamn Lifetime special summary. I guess I just want to say, like Lizzy pointed out, yes you could have had a baby, but it might not have been the experience you deserved if you were with an AC or EUM. And yes grieve like Peanut says the experience you have not yet had.

      But don’t hold on too tight to that grief. You are not yet 40 and look at Haley Barry (yes I know we are not gorgeous movie stars) but she had marriages to AC’s too. And here she is pregnant at 46. It is not impossible. Just because society makes us feel like we have a best when used by date of 25 years old. If that is your dream, take care of you and you have no idea what is in store. You could meet an available man with children. You could be the mom those children need. You could end up adopting. You could end up with a biological baby. Please don’t give up. Maybe you could even mentor a pregnant teen. There are so many ways to be a loving and important person in a child’s life. I thank God for those people in my children’s lives because if it was only me that they had been exposed to, then my poor kids would’ve been cheated!

      I don’t know if my words will make you mad or make you feel better. But my intention I guess is to point out, maybe it would’ve been not great if you had a baby already. And it still could be great moving forward…

      • Sue says:

        Micheyl, I hear ya girlfirend. I too had the baby with the assclown. I really didn’t care, hoped, but didn’t care, whether he came along for the ride, because I was 36 years old and he was good looking (baby would be pretty) and I figured I was out of time. I have raised my daughter completely by myself. Thank God I had parents who helped me and had paid for my good education. I put my tiny infant in day care at 8 weeks old and went back to work. I worked as a legal secretary for people I had graduated from law school with, not friends, mind you, people who were snobby. You do whatever it takes when you have a kid. I spent my 40’s raising my child alone. I never got one penny from AC and he hasn’t seen her since she was a few weeks old. I I have never had a weekend to myself or anyone to share the work. I chose this, but it has been hell many times. Of course there are so many joys as well. I have grieved never having the two parent dream. I still feel sick to my stomach at every event where parents attend. I take my kid to horse shows and try to relate to the other mothers about horse care. They shrug and say, My husband does all that.” I die a little inside every time. My daughter is a wonderful child, who is so well behaved and seems to be so well balanced. I watch furtively for signs of emotional damage at having a depressed mother and no father figure (my dad, her grandfather, died when she was 5). So far she seems completely normal, better than a lot of her slutty little acquaintances, God blessed me with a good child. but I wonder what kind of damage has been done really. So that’s a picture from the other side of having a baby with an assclown. Thanks for letting me vent some of that.

        • micheyl says:

          Sue,
          (((((hugs))))) It is so hard being 24/7. Do you get women whose husbands go out of town on business and then say to you “I don’t know how you do it!!” I kindof want to slap them. You’re right! You have no idea lady!!! I don’t know why but it hits me hard when we go on vacation. I get so angry and frustrated sometimes – there is no partner to help find a restaurant, watch the kids in the waves so you can relax, stand in line with one while you take the other to the bathroom. It is all on you and it gets exhausting!

          I did not grow up religious by any means, but I remember once reading about the idea that your children come into the world to be your teachers. I really believe that. I know they have much more to teach me about the world than I can ever teach them. My reiki girl is kindof psychic/intuitive. Her belief is that as spirits (or whatever you believe we are before coming into this world), we make agreements with each other on what forms we will take and what relationships we will have with each other. So she said my daughters knew that I would be their solo care provider and I knew that too. But we made an agreement that is what would happen because it is what we need to work on whatever we need to work on in this lifetime. I know it sounds hokey, but I find it comforting too. Like we are together ultimately because of love and whatever my daughters spirits decided they needed to work on on Earth, they were okay with working on that with only me.

          So, it doesn’t sound like there’s any damage being done to your daughter. She has a dedicated and loving mom. There would probably be damage if AC were involved so it is probably better he is not. My older daughter is in therapy and my heart breaks when I go into sessions with her and she has so much anger and disappointment about her father. I know there is damage done there. But maybe that is what my purpose is, to help her through that and see that she doesn’t need him to feel validated. That she can find that in herself. Maybe that will save her from future relationships with EUMs and ACs like her mom has had! God, I hope so!!!

          Hang in there Sue. If we lived close we could help each other out. I always fantasize about a commune for single parents to help each other and help watch our children together. Sharing in tasks so we are not so alone.

          xoxox
          m

    • teachable says:

      Magnolia,

      I have a friend who lost her ability to ahve a child due to cancer as well as a relationship with a fellow to turned out to be a right ass. Her pain is palpable and I understand it completely.

      I had a child but in the most adverse of circumstances which mean he is in some ways not what I would have hoped for, (through no fault of his own at all, and all be it, that I love him no less, very deeply. It’s his ability to love me which is impaired and I must live with that for the rest of my life…)

      I don’t think anything anyone can say in circumstances such as yours can take the pain away and neither should we expect it to. Life is at times cruel, harsh and hurts like hell. Wanting a child is the most natural thing in the world, and feeling you may be denied this against your will, would be extraordinarily painful.

      As such, I just wanted to say I hear and feel your pain, all be it that I am affected somewhat differently. I also had another child which was willfully murdered in utero and I am in a country which does not have laws against this.

      I would say only this. Sometimes even those of us who were fortunate enough to have a child, find that ultimately, through no fault of our own, doing so did not bring us the happiness we expected. This is not only the case for people in adverse circumstances such as mine. Sometimes a child can instead be the cause of unfathomable life-long pain and suffering.

      If could rewind the clock, knowing now the pain my child would bring to my life, and that I would never, ever, for as long as I live be able to escape this, I would not have had him (at least not to the man I did).

      I would have preferred to be free and able to start life anew, far, far away from the terrible abuse which marred my childhood (I was 16 when my son was born), without feeling the need to stay in a particular state or country for the remainder of my life the sake of a child that will never love me (but because I had my son I will never do this, as one day he may just need me, even if he doesnt realise this now).

      I guess what I’m saying is that parenthood isn’t always the mythical fantastic thing it’s made out to be. Sometimes it’s sad, lonely, and deeply painful. And it can stay that way for a long time, the rest of ones life even. Who knows?

      I do hope that you are able to have a child one day if that is what you want. But if you don’t, always remember, it may not have turned out to be all you’d hoped for (and sacrficed EVERYTHING for, the part that hurts the most), anyway.

      Big love and hugs. Teach xx

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Magnolia,

      I would say that a proactive, concrete thing you can do re: pregnancy is to focus on resolving the fibroids. This is the first step.

      I, too, developed them in my late-to-mid thirties. I know the physical pain… it was so bad that all day I had to have a heating pad on my lap in my cubicle at work. Every two weeks, not four! It is both physically and mentally draining.

      I cannot give you medical advice, only tell you my experience. I had a 6 cm fibroid surgically removed (myomectomy). It is essentially a c-section but without the accompanying feel-good hormones. I had a pretty intense 2-month recovery period. BUT 4 months after removal, I was pregnant, almost without trying. This after trying unsuccessfully for six months beforehand.

      So, what I’m saying is that pursuing resolving the fibroid will give you a concrete way to help yourself feel better. You can take away the physical and emotional pain it causes and get your body in a state that it will be able to get pregnant should the correct circumstances for that arrive. I tell myself daily, you never know who/what is around the corner!

    • Chrysalis says:

      Magnolia, I can totally empathize with how you are feeling. I too had a chronically low iron count (to the point that the doctors were convinced there was a tumour somewhere feeding off my iron – tg there wasn’t) Anyhow, brain fog, depression, sadness, weepiness ALL go hand in hand with this condition. Looking back I don’t know HOW I managed to get through it before I was diagnosed and changed my diet and lifestyle. I still have rough days, but nothing like that awful pervasive sadness that seems to totally engulf you.

      And, please don’t get me started at the mindset that some folks have that adoption is the cure for childlessness. Adoption is a huge complex issue that affects adopters, adoptee s and natural parents – NOT a panacea for childlessness.

      Please try not to dwell on feeling hopeless. I know its so easy to say when you are on the outside looking in, sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and mutter the mantra “this too shall pass”.

      I really hope you are feeling better soon.

    • Wendy says:

      Hi Magnolia,

      I’m on the opposite side of the coin then you. I was married young, had children young, was divorced young, and have raised my two kids alone for 14 years. Although I don’t know what it’s like not to have children, I do know what it’s like to have children and raise them alone. Their father left them and my most recent ex-bf told me he couldn’t take everything on…It hurts going through parenthood alone…I just wish I’d meet someone that not only loved me, but my kids too…My kids aren’t little anymore either…Life can really suck sometimes…

  5. Emerlydeyez says:

    I understand the focus on the fear from the outside, and the mind spinning because it is something we can’t control.
    My AC and I have two court dates this month for occurences over a year ago. I will know Weds. if we go to trial. And my DA has told me we are probably going to trial end of month because my AC true to form accepts no responsibility for his actions. It has my stomach in knots, yes, heart palpitations, I’m not eating and some days the anxiety is more than I can take. WHEN I FOCUS OUT THERE ON HIM!!!! When I focus on me, and what I went through and that the police officer is testifying too, I feel stronger, not so out of control, and at peace that this is finally going to be behind me. So that is where I need to stay for the next couple of weeks. In the here and now, where I am safe, and put one foot in front of the other.

  6. Peanut says:

    Nat Lue: Loving mother ‘n wife, revolutionary, modern-day-blog-prophet, teacher, adventurer and BLOG ARTIST extraordinaire.

    NAT, I am so glad you got around to GIRLS. It’s such a fabulous show! I only watched Season 1. I might check out the second season when I make some time.

    Let us know how you find it!

    As I’ve said before, you make living look good.

    Now that I am emerging through the funk of an exorcism (a past year of brutal self introspection, and an intense devotion to BR materials, and getting back up when I’d knock myself down) I am getting to put BR tools in practice.

    I AM SINGLE AND SO GRATEFUL TO BE.

    I wear what I want, have let my hair down (Literally! I’ve let it run WILD, i.e., no hair dryer touches that shit, and it is certainly a frizzy maniacal mess, and I LOVE it). And, nope, none of this will change when I start dating and get into a respectful relationship: Take me as I am or don’t have me at all. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    I go about my day eager to sort all my shit out (okay some days more eager than others) and face whatever challenges are thrown my way.

    And you know what, no matter what I face, I get up with courage to fight again each and every day.

    NO ONE ELSE GETS THE FINAL VERDICT ON MY WORTH OR ACTIONS BUT ME. I AM THE ONE I LIVE WITH; I AM THE ONE I CONTEND WITH.

    ANDI AM CONTENT WITH MYSELF.

    I AM A MESSY HUMAN BEING, BUT THAT IS OKAY BECAUSE I AM LEARNING AND GROWING.

    IF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE ME, THAT IS OKAY BECAUSE I LIKE MYSELF.

    I see at least a few yummy men out and about each day, but who cares? So what? I’m still not ready to date and when I am, I know what I’ve been through, how hard it was to process it all, and what a quality person I’ve become.

    Whomever I choose to let in my life will be lucky.

    Ah, stress. Stress was the roaring tiger I needed to tame. I had to identify external and internal triggers. Once I did this, I was able to soothe myself in those moments.

    That is true self love: not beating yourself up in moments of stress and mistakes.

    The lion I am taming is my mind. It will roar with insanity unless I give it what it wants: Facing truths, finding solutions to problems, stimulation, and soothing it.

    Your mind is the most precious thing you will own next too your body; treat them well.

    • Maeve says:

      “Your mind is the most precious thing you will own next too your body; treat them well.”

      Well said, Peanut, so very true.

  7. Maeve says:

    Driving through France to get to an Italian wedding. That would be a stress reliever for me. lol!

    I’m making a concerted effort to kick stress out of my life…but yes, it’s been such a consistent part of my existence that I don’t know I’m stressed half the time. Sometimes others sense it in me more than I do in myself–which is disconcerting.

    Since starting your book and interacting on this blog, I’ve made it a point to verbalize over and over again (internally) that I need to take care of myself. Before that, I was getting better at checking in with my feelings. For me, like for many others, autopilot and stress mode are synonymous. Yet autopilot is my default.

  8. Mr. Able says:

    Capacity for handling stress is what got me. About a month ago my sister was diagnosed with cancer, and although we aren’t very close, I knew I’d be there to help and support her by asking questions about treatment plan options. I can keep a level head in that kind of a situation but it was about that time I reached threshold (or capacity) for bullshit. A shitty reminder life is short. I need to take care of myself so I can be there for my sister. I wonder what would have happened if she didn’t get sick? How long would I have put up with the now-ex’s nonsense?

    At work, I’m now more focused and able to tackle more complicated challenges.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Mr. Able,

      I agree. It’s not a coincidence. But don’t make the connection. It’s faulty. Your sister’s illness has nothing to do with your having reached the end of your rope with the female AC. You were gradually getting there anyway and it so happens that you’ve learned of your sister’s cancer around the same time. Yes, her situation forces you to remember life is short and you want to stay healthy for her, but you are doing it for YOU, too. You’ve had your fill of the witch and now you’re done. Give yourself credit for having accomplished that without any precipitation by your sister’s illness. You are a strong man. Now, you are free to use that inner strength to deal with this family issue. I do believe that sometimes life throws us another curve ball totally unrelated, but much more important, to handle which should and does take precedence over other nonsense that is not worthy of your time. Get more involved with your sis. Be there physically, when you can, and emotionally there to give her the support she requires at this time. You’ll be much less focused on your love life or lack thereof. I hope she can make some semblance of recovery.

      Glad to know you’re doing better.

  9. Sonja says:

    This was right on time. I have been stressed for years I do believe, but am just now getting to the point that I recognize it for what it is. You’re right it’s so easy to push it to the side because we get desensitized. We’re taught to be superwomen, and to be everything for everybody, but it’s an impossible expectation. Admitting that was the first step for me controlling stress. Thanks for the post!

  10. Peanut says:

    Also, anyone in their late twenties or beyond experiencing baby fever?

    Logically, I do not want a baby right now. Not going to happen anytime soon, as I am not even ready to date.

    But, just the other day I bought laundry detergent for the sole fact it was pink and had a smiling baby on the front. And my clothes have that light baby scent and I find myself smelling my laundered clothes a lot.

    And when I see cute baby pictures on Facebook, or babies out in public I have a strong desire to hold, cuddle and kiss them! (I don’t of course. I’m not looking to get backhanded by a momma bear).

    Anyway, it’s driving me mad. Maybe it’s just all in my mind?!

    I hope it goes away soon. Sort of ;)

  11. Lacy says:

    Thoughts are bouncing all over me for a few days now.The x sent a message on facebook he’s one of those people like me that has a page but isn’t on there actively. We were never facebook friends but he was able to send a message.

    He said he explained our situation to some people and no one can seem to understand why do I have such a problem with him.He said he never brung women around me, never hit me, and he tried to do everything I asked him to do, he said that I am crazy.

    He said that I need something to do and do o know why I’m crazy because I’m a B and that’s why I don’t have a lot of friends has anyone ever told me that I was a B he said he’d bet they have told me.

    I am busy with work and my kids I go out but not much.The friends I do have are married or in serious relationship and when they are not working most of the time they are catching up with their partner.

    But I do find time outside of my busy schedule to have fun and meet people I just have really connected to anyone yet He wasn’t around much to know or our conversation was usually about drama not about what I do when he’s not around.Maybe that B conversation was discussed between him and a mutual friend I don’t talk to her either because she is really close to his sister and they both gossip. So when I Nc the x I nc my friend too she woukd continue to bring info or ask have u seen your boo, I got sick of it and just lost the desire to remain friends with her.

    So I believe my x best friend and the x jerk may have had a convo about me nc them I could he wrong.But ifs mighty funny for him to call me a B and say that’s why u don’t have friends because your a B has any of your friends ever told u that, it kind hit a nerve.

    I responded back,and he said I guess u are right we were wasting each other time that I will never except him.I said that’s what I’ve been saying forever.He asked if he could come and get his card table that he was close by my house.I told him no that I would leave it next door with my neighbor that he can pick it up tomorrow. He said ok and since he around the corner from my house could he use my bathroom his stomach is messed up.I told him No.

    He said he didn’t want to pla my games that he is really sick and wtf is wrong with me.Then he said its too early in the f…..g morn for this bs that he is at my door so just open so he can use the bathroom and he’ll leave.

    So he knocked a few times and talked thru the door because I blocked him my friend text me info on how to be completely private on facebook.He said all he did was love me but I’m just too difficult.He asked me if I could look something up for him online a hotel rm book it and he could take me so we can talk and have drinks.This started at 7am at this point it was maybe 9am.

    I told him no to leave or else.He said this is exactly what I was talking about now I’m ready to talk to u face to face but u do stuff like get police involved.

    He went sat in his car for a few mins and left.I feel irritated my body feels tense and I am not sleeping good I was late for work and my mind is way off track.

    What hurt so much is he said I don’t have friends because I’m a b… and has anyone ever told me? Itbhad me thinking because I have lots of family I feel somewhat connected to them I have a few friends they have said anything my family has seen some of my bad days maybe even My x hest friend a few times.

    I said maybe he’s right and I cried a lot yesterday and today. I feel ugly and awkward,and I know one discussion with him makes my mood shift and I can’t think straight letting go of him out of my head is the best thing I can do for myself. I just feel angry and jittery today.

    • Magnolia says:

      Oh Lacy, he’s trying to hurt you back and of course it stings to hear such words but you’ve got to consider who is saying them.

      What kind of healthy guy runs after a woman to tell her she’s a bitch, saying he loves her in the same breath? (I have had this ex-bf situation too, and believe me, I know how the one who “only ever loved” you also knows how to use the most painful things to throw back in your face – mine called on my birthday to let me know his new gf was pregnant with his kid, and that I had been a bitch to him, and that he had really loved me.

      More importantly, he sounds vaguely volatile – showing up at your door like that and demanding to be let in (to pee, what-EV-er). Do not take anything he says to heart.

      Anyone who tries to get at you with “you know what people are saying about you?” is using grade-school tactics and isn’t worth the steam off your pee, as NML would say.

    • Poly says:

      Lacy, I felt completely stressed reading your story above, so I cannot imagine how you felt living through it. This behaviour of barging around to your house and demanding to be let in (to use the bathroom? because his stomach is upset?? WTF) is really not ok, & I know you’ve been advise before to get a restraining order.

      The very last lesson you should be taking from this is that perhaps you really are unlovable. Consider the source!

      And I say this as someone who is jittery and angry herself. This guy is off the charts bad news.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lacy,

      How old is this idiot? Don’t waste your time. Facebook is so overrated and is used inappropriately far too often. Don’t you value your privacy? Don’t tolerate another individual exposing your personal business on FB! So juvenile, to say the least.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Addendum. I should not have called FB overrated. I’m showing my age. It has it’s usefulness. I, myself, have a very interesting active timeline. Like anything else it all depends. You can use it wisely with discretion or insult, expose and take advantage of others. This guy is despicable.

    • micheyl says:

      Lacy,

      I don’t blame you for feeling angry and jittery! Dude, for not wanting to play games, that is all he seems to be doing!! Keep on your path, he is just trying to get you off it. Stay strong. You are not ugly and awkward, you are beautiful and strong!! It sounds like he doesn’t know you really and is verbally abusing you. And good for you to NC a friend who is toxic too. You are above that, refusing to gossip. You are not awkward, you write about meeting people and being social. Don’t let that douche bag drag you down to his level. He feels badly about himself so he wants you to feel badly too. I can relate to my moods being affected by others. It is hard not to, but really all that shit he said was HIS bull shit NOT yours. You didn’t let him shit in your house LITERALLY!! (awesome by the way, what a fucking tool to try to get in the door that way!) Don’t let him shit on your spirit!

      <<<<<33333

      • Sue says:

        Dear Lacy, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. You are so strong you did all the right things. I admire your getting through that awful situation. I say this for you and for myself, remember, your ego is still fragile right now because it was beat down for so long by the AD/EUM. It will not always be like this. We will get stronger every day and we will get to where when people criticize us it will fall off like rain because we know our own true worth. Sending love your way! Sue

  12. Peanut says:

    Mr. Able,

    Wishing you and your sister strength and peace of mind through what must be a terrifying experience for her and a very stressful one for you. Take care xx.

  13. Liz says:

    Having dated authentically for over 3 years, presenting myself as I truly am, fun, alive,real, compassionate, positive with a zest that many only wish for, I am still to find a good match… they simply all get cold feet and disappear. Perhaps it is not time for me to find a partner so I will continue to be the best that I can be,independent, self respecting and be all I can be to the people who matter most… family, close friends and me x

    • Tracy says:

      I have the same problem. It starts off swimmingly, but they freak out at the three/four month mark. Honestly, I don’t know why. I ask for nothing, I accept the fact that it’s hard to get together often when kids live at home, jobs get in the way, etc. The men I date claim they are looking for long-term, but I think they are fooling themselves. I think they like the legitimacy of a long-term, but in fact are just looking for a friend with benefits. My sister in law once said I am ‘unusual’. She meant that as a compliment in that I am quirky and a challenge to what men want. I won’t dress like or act like a typical trophy wife, I just don’t give a damn. I have finally accepted that if they don’t dig what I have to offer, fuck ‘em. I won’t shape shift to please a man, or anyone, for that matter.

  14. Maeve says:

    ((((Lacy))))) wow…that was dreadful. Take extra special care of yourself today. I don’t know your full story, so I don’t know if your ex has a tendency to make contact and try to harass you. If he does, I hope you let family members know. And definitely call the cops if he insists on knocking on your door.

    He’s trying to control you with words. If he was any kind of adult, he would’ve expressed his hurt and needs without bringing anybody else into it. That’s infantile behavior right there—and great proof that you are lucky to be rid of him.

    It really, really helps to counter that doubting voice in your head with a louder voice that says: I’m taking care of myself and am not going to let anyone tear me down for taking care of myself. His baggage is his, and he’s no longer my problem.

    As you can probably see, engaging him at all is a bad idea. He’s manipulative. Anyone who wants to go somewhere for drinks at 9 am is out of their farking minds.

    Don’t let a loser like that try to tell you what you are. He’s testing you and trying to make you doubt yourself. Remind yourself that he has a lot of work to do on himself and is in no position to be talking to you about your alleged problems.

    Take care. Lacy.

  15. teachable says:

    Thanks Nat. Timely for me. Sitting here in agony after another of treatment @ rehab hospital. Feel like I’ve just been run over by a Mack truck! Inbetween all this I’ve turned my efforts to trying to find work. No easy task with ‘horoshima’ behind me on tht front. In line with this post though, today I stopped myself from applying for a job which might be troublesome down the track. I had a gut feeling. I remembered all the other times I’ve tht same ‘cant put my finger on it but it’s a poisoned challice’ feeling about a job. And the times I ignored that, pushed it aside, convinced it was just imaginary fear talking. Every single time, I was RIGHT & those jobs were disasterous. Now I am DESPERATE for a job right now, so stopping myself proceeding with the application, after a ‘favourable sounding’ ph enquiry wasn’t easy. Everything now is riding on whether or not I can pull myself out of illness & back into the land of the living. But I did it. So I’m happy that I’m finally starting to learn. Hopefully the right job will come along soon…

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hey Teach,

      How’re you doing? Sure you are well enough to seriously search for a job, much less experience the physical demands of having one? Sweetheart, I’m rooting for you. I know how much you need the funds. A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do. Please continue on the road to optimal wellness. Luv 2 U.

  16. noquay says:

    Since I grew up in multiple highly stressful environments (being hit, going hungry, screaming, trashy, drunken drama, passive aggressive silent treatments) I have little idea what a “normal” life is. A lot of colleagues/friends seem to have routine, sedentary lives, sitting, watching TV, which to me seems dull. My extreme need to accomplish much does tire me out (Mags, I run on about 70% of normal rbcs) but I still like to look at something I accomplished solo knowing I made a positive change in the world. On the other hand, I wake up most early mornings with a pounding heart, short of breath because of all I have to get done. I dread the start of the school
    year because of the feeling of being physically and socially trapped, plus the specter of the AC. I am seriously pissed at Mr “I felt like pursuing you, flirting with you during the race series but I have a girlfriend that I didn’t bother telling you about” at this weekends 100 miler. I know full well I can and will turn my back on both of them, and one of them I will never have to see again except at the odd ultra. But both still cause me a lot of anger and stress nonetheless.

    • teachable says:

      Growing up in abusive or stressful environments, or even having a mother being stressed whilst a baby is still in the womb, impacts our brain development and alters the chemistry of how we perceive and respond to stress in later life. In the case of the former, being on ‘high alert’ in our formative years, causes the secretion of high levels of cortisol (and other hormones), to prepare us for a ‘fight /flight’ response. The problem is that cortisol (and the other hormones) are not supposed to pump around our systems in high levels for prolonged periods of time. When they do, for years on end, instead of just in short bursts as they are designed to do, when our brain is still developing in our formative years, it alters to neural pathways in the brain and also causes some parts of the brain to fail to grow to full capacity (as neuronal activity in the limbic system, the primitive part of the brain, is being overly strengthened leaving the pre-frontal cortex, responsible for executive functioning ie decision making reason, processing of emotion etc, less developed. The good news is that the pre frontal cortex continues to grow throughout the entire lifespan (this being a failry recent discovery, meaning that the brain impairment which results from childhood abuse and neglect can in fact be healed to some extent). In addition the brain is able to divert functioning which is supposed to occur in one area, to another (neuroplasticity). Again this offers great hope for healing the damage done to the brains of children exposed to neglect and abuse in the critical early years when the majority of brain development occurs. I have seen MRI brain scans of children with histories of abuse and neglect compared with scans of same aged children not abused or neglected and the difference in the size of the two groups brains, as well as the reduction of neuronal activity in those abused and neglected is very noticable. There is much more I could say about this but suffice to say there is a reason Noquay that it takes a extreme efforts to ‘excite’ neuronal activity for you that you consider to be ‘positivey stressful’ (ie ultra marathons for excample) as well as the effect that other more minor stressors (getting up for work to face a busy day) can elicit an elevated heart rate etc for you (ie greater stress perhaps than it might for someone not raised in a situation of chronic fear as a child). It is because your ‘baseline’ of a stressed state is likely to be quite different to a person who grew up in a loving and nurturing environement (so long as there was also sufficient nutrition etc) and so the way that your brain interprets these different types of stress if different for you that it is for others who grew up in less adverse circumstances. I hope that knowing you are completely normal and that there is a neurophysiological basis for what you are experiencing is somewhat comforting. Teach x

      • sushi says:

        Teachable,

        thank you, this explains a lot for me. Wow.

      • Sue says:

        Wow, that is good news, Teach and maybe helps explain why I’m starting to clue in at over 50 years old. Yay for continued brain growth!!!

        • LaPinturaBella says:

          Me too Sue. Teach thank you and I really hope you are feeling better and getting well very soon!

  17. 2Fearce says:

    Lacy,

    Bravo to u for not letting the big pissy wolf in!
    U shud celebrate…a diamond studded handle cover for ur banging self esteem axe…. Bedazzle ur red hooded coat.. I’m so proud over here I’m like crying mommies at high school graduations “that’s my baby!” except its more like there goes my kick ass friend!

    Take him calling u a b as a compliment… It translates to “u won’t let me walk all over u n get what I want. I mean how cud u dare think u deserve better”
    Cry if u need to… Just know ur saying goodbye to the doormat that would have put his pussy needs above ur desire for peace.

    Ur a bad b*! (Me too! )

    • Lacy says:

      2fearce Thk you so much yesterday my mind was fuzzy and I cried and ate alot of choclate,something I shouldn’tnhave done lol I have a pimple forming on my forehead. I can’t understand why does he want to hurt me? and thats the thing that hurts the most.How long is enough for him to let me be able to let go and start living because he has let go long ago,what he’s doing is a trick and I don’t want to be apart of his game anymore. This is hard I just will be glad when the nightmare is over.Thks to everyone for listening.

      • LaPinturaBella says:

        Lacy:

        HE is an assclown, as in —

        A (Arrogant)
        S (Self-Involved)
        S (Selfish)
        C (Contemptuous)
        L (Lazy)
        O (Over Inflated Ego)
        W (Worthless)
        N (Nincompoop)

        You are a bitch, as in —

        B (Babe)
        I (In)
        T (Total)
        C (Control)
        H (of Herself)

        Wear it proud! BTW, his eensy teeny tiny whiny little ego got bruised and rather than MAN UP, he threw a world class TEMPER TANTRUM.

        Glad you blocked him on Facebook. If he EVER texts you or anything else ever again, DO NOT RESPOND! Be a B.I.T.C.H. And if he is that controlling and inappropriate, consider a restraining order.

        • Lacy says:

          Lapinturabella you got me loving this B word now.Lol its hars for me to write it or say it out loud because he used to tell me don’t curse and for a long time I didn’t, but now with this phrase u came up with I’m gonna get back into the swing of things lbvs.

          • LaPinturaBella says:

            Lacy…I like the b word now too. It’s a much better meaning. LOL We are strong women…don’t let the assclown get you down. :-D

  18. Keetseel says:

    I’m one of those people who can reel off a zillion stressors, past and present, and who has physical and emotional symptoms that emerge from it. The thing is that most of the issues that stress me will never be resolved. At a group therapy workshop I met a woman from the Washoe tribe who said that in her culture these grief and stress causing memories are known as ghosts. Ghosts, she said, never leave you. The trick is to figure out how to live with them and not crumble.

    Pema Chodron has said similar things–it’s not about conquering our problems so much as riding them out with as much self-love as possible, and living with the knowledge that more problems are down the road.

    I’m not quite sure about the intermediary steps between acknowledging a stressor and learning to make peace with it, but it sounds like the most realistic way to live in our whacked-out society. I worry and think too much about my relationship, my family, things I haven’t accomplished that I really want to. All I have is now and I’m tired of not being present to enjoy it.

  19. Sanntay says:

    I’ve been in a few situations where my body was telling me that something wasn’t right. The most obvious signs for me are waking in the middle of the night, unshakable anxiety, darkened skin and thinning hair. I’ll never forget the feeling of nausea and sadness I would get after (and sometimes during) sex with my last boyfriend. I was with this guy off and on for 3 years, (looking back, it was 2 years and 11 months too long) and sometimes I would try to put off sex with him. When I did give in, I’d say that 8 out of 10 times I would feel like barfing afterwards. Why did I waste so much of my life with this fool, you ask? Just dumb, that’s all I can say. Feeling like having someone is better than having no one. I always try to see the good in people. He wasn’t a cheater or user, in fact he was a good guy for the most part, a great cook, and he always made me laugh, but he also had a really selfish, abusive, boorish side that I finally, finally, FINALLY tired of and gave his ass the boot.

    I’ve learned to listen to my body. My intuition has always been spot on, and sadly, ignoring my instincts has always resulted in me learning things the hard way. Always put yourself first. If you don’t take care of you, who will?

    • Sandy says:

      Sanntay,

      Wow, I too never realised I that my feelings of sadness and nausea were intuition after sex, I now realise I should have listened to my gut instinct because in the last few months he was actually seeing someone else! I always gave in when I didn’t really want to no matter what we were going through at the time hind sight is a pain up the bum isn’t it??!!

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Sanntay and Sandy. Never, never, never have sex with a man for his pleasure and YOU don’t even want it. You’re putting yourself down as a respectable, lovable woman who deserves better. He’s exploiting you big time and you’re merrily going along with the program. Stop!

        Sanntay. I know you’ve evolved past this. See my post on Nat’s previous.

        • Sanntay says:

          Sandy: It’s amazing how perceptive we are. If only we’d harness that power and use it to avoid the pitfalls of life and relationships.
          Tink: Yes, I have evolved past that nonsense. That was in 2009, so once it ended for good I’d kept my legs closed until the co-worker fiasco began last Fall, and this was a guy I COULD NOT keep my hands off of when we were alone. Strangely, even though I knew it wasn’t right and that we would never end up together, I didn’t have those feelings of nausea and sadness … well, until afterwards, when a nagging emptiness would sometimes creep in. No more. I’d rather deal with kitty cobwebs or have it grow over before I deal with someone else who wants to screw with my head and violate my body.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Amen. End of. xxx

            • Enough says:

              Sanntay

              Lol Love the kitty cobwebs I so needed to hear that. If only i would have listened to my body telling me this was not right. Stop immediately!!!!! All these years of wasted sex well on my part not his. Literally having to force my body and mind to even have sex with him. I often told myself It was me and not him. It didnt help with him bringing up my my past childhood experiences to make me feel guilty for not have sex with him. I really can’t wrap my head let alone finger why i stayed so long with this man. He really has treated me horrible,disrespect,lack or accountability for his actions etc all of the above. I’m trying to figure what is this hold he has over me that won’t let me leave. We haven’t been together for some time. I have tried NC but he is the one contacting me for the most part. If i go a week without contact he somehow shows up. His last surprise visit I asked him. Why are you here? He couldn’t even answer me completely. UPH!!!! Go figure He tried to ask a question with a question. “why do you think I’m here” Like Really!!!!! SMH please leave was my only reply. Now here comes the hard part I have let go. The healing part…… I have good days and bad days 9+ years together. Yea its rough!!!! But finding BR has helped me through a lot and is continuing to help me. Trust me I need it!!!!

              • Sanntay says:

                Enough:
                I totally understand. Been there, done that, and don’t want to EVER do that to myself again. If only I could get the years back that I wasted on unworthy, unavailable men … with my life experiences and BR knowledge … ah, if only. It’s difficult, and you have to fight those feelings of wanting to reach out or to respond to his contact. You can do it! You deserve so much better, and it’s out there for you, but this guy is in your way. I know how much it hurts when someone has pretty much conditioned you to accept their abuse, and you feel trapped and helpless. In these situations, I’m reminded of Al Pacino’s line in Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” You’re stronger than that. You’ve taken the first step by letting go. Stick with it, IGNORE HIM! If he shows up at your place, don’t answer, tell him to leave, CALL THE COPS if you have to so that he knows you’re serious. It can be done, and you’ll get through this. You have a lot of support here. BR has helped me tremendously. All the best to you.

  20. 2Fearce says:

    Uhm….that was supposed to say pissy.

  21. 2Fearce says:

    I’ve been having trouble sleeping n my ears have been ringing like crazy. Cut two selfish, insensitive ppl out of my life n today I was able to finally get sm rest. Now my left butt cheek hurts… trying to figure out what is literally a pain in my ass. Have a feeling someone else is about to get the axe… Maybe even one of my insecurities/fears. I’m trying to be in as little pain as possible, physically n emotionally

  22. Poly says:

    Oh ladies, what a raw topic this is for so many of us! And even when both our bodies and brains are screaming at us, with all gauges in the red, somehow it seems to take us so long to remove ourselves from the situation. The cultural training that encourages women to put everyone else first really has a lot to answer for.

    Here it is 4.30 am, & I woke up with stress adrenalin zinging through my veins. It has been like this since I opened the door a crack to the EUM again. While we were separated, I was calm, focused, my health improved. Since he’s been “back” it’s like a bomb went off in my life.

    Last week I gave him an ultimatum: make a serious commitment to rebuilding our relationship, and showing me I am a special part of his life, or sod off definitively. He cried and hugged me and promised, and of course you can guess . . . he has lifted not a finger since then and even disappeared for four days.

    For some insane reason, I just sent him an email reminding him what he promised me *just last week*, and telling him if he couldn’t put time or effort in in the very first week there was no point continuing.

    We will see each other at an event tonight, so I will get a chance to say in person: you lied to my face; what are you going to do about it?

    But we all know the blank cornered stare when we expect EUMs to act and feel like loving men.

    I am expecting to go NC tonight, but this was a long term relationship and it’s going to hurt like hell. Even though I know he has nothing to give me; that he is bringing nothing but stress into my life!

    If any of my girlfriends told me this story, I would think they were out of their minds. “I can’t let this man go, even though he has treated me so badly I no longer love him and it is making me ill.”

    “And I am aware of my heart: it opens and closes
    Its bowl of red blooms out of sheer love of me.
    The water I taste is warm and salt, like the sea,
    And comes from a country far away as health.”

  23. Lacy says:

    Hey Magnolia,Although I do have children I understand the feeling,a void in your life or like your missing something.Before I had my kids I felt that way and I rushed into it because it wasn’t my time.I love my kids but the man I had 2 of my kids he helps but half way.Doesn’t spend time with them at all.I have a little boy 5yrs old and his father died in a car accident.My older son is 13 and he really needs his Dad he is also disconected in the world.It is stuff I can’t show him. The thing is I kinda forced and rushed my time to have kids because I was lonley.The man I had my 2 older kids with were weren’t in a relationship I wouldn’t call it that he had several women at the time.I am a firm believer in everything happens in Gods plan and time.You will be blessed with a family in time.

  24. Lacy says:

    Magnolia hugggs and kisses !!! life has a way of shifting in your favor when u speak blessings upon your life.I read that somewhere so today on out we will speak blessings.I know we will come to some bad times but we will vent and be optimistic.

  25. Selkie says:

    When I’m buckling under the weight of stress and try to normalize it, it shows up in my dreams. When under stress or having doubts in a relationship, these dreams become very negative while playing out my fears and often my gut intuition in disturbing scenarios. They often become nightmares. I had a dream recently about trying to console a baby but was unable and it cried and cried and cried no matter what I did. A friend of mine suggested it was my inner child telling me it wanted to be heard and that maybe I try too hard to suppress it. Hence, not being authentic. It actually made a lot of sense. I’ve been having an internal struggle with being authentic and figuring out who I am in this world. Sometimes I feel I don’t know myself very well anymore and don’t know HOW to be authentic. I’ve hid inside so long, I’ve forgotten how to just be me. I get little moments of it, where I feel clarity, a sense of direction and a feeling of freedom but it fades out. I go back to feeling like I am naked and trying to cover myself, hiding behind my walls. I have an idea who I WANT to be, who I think my real self would be if I let go of the fears and baggage and just started living. I like that version of myself but get fearful that I will never live up to my own vision. My heart is too guarded. Until I can open my heart more I feel I can’t be authentic. I’m not referring to opening my heart to men or romantic partners exclusively, but in general to be more open to people, to feeling and to taking chances. Being vulnerable. To whoever it was on this blog who put a link to Brene Brown TED talk, Thank you! It put into words what I was feeling. I have a hard time articulating how I feel sometimes. I guess that’s one of the struggles of trying to be authentic. Censoring ourselves.

    “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief”
    ? Brené Brown

    • Peanut says:

      Selkie,

      God, I love that quote. I get freaky dreams about fears, too. Out of all the BR women’s friends, I think yours is the only one giving sound advice!

      The inner child stuff really gets me. My therapist is all about it. It annoys the hell out of me. I think, “But I’m not a child, and I don’t want to go back there; there’s nothing in me but my innards!”

      Perhaps, I am resisting. I don’t know; I’ve always been a tough nut to crack.

      That goes both ways.

      As far as being authentic, each time you feel the urge or need to express yourself without censor, do it.

      Though, I find I have so much pent up rage, I often want to backhand people. I don’t. But sometimes I flip them off. I don’t recommend that.

      But really if your expression comes from a respectful place even if it is controversial, opposing, negative, against the grain or whatever, let it flow and see what happens.

      It feels like shit. At first at least. But I wouldn’t go back to being impish.

      I’m still an authenticity newbie. I and the people around me are still adjusting to it.

      Though, if you have a desire to be authentic, there is a great possibility you will surprise yourself with being just that when you least expect it or where you wouldn’t have before.

      Chin up, Selkie, I don’t think this life was meant to be easy (not that I get that you expect that) but I do think the harder we fight for ourselves, the better it gets.

      I just need to learn the way of the peaceful, non violent, non obscene flipping people off spiritual warrior.

      Also, I have become aware that I encounter ongoing information that in order to be employable, datable, chosen and loved, you have to fit the X,Y,Z mold. We hear this from all ends in the western world.

      IT IS BULLSHIT. CHALLENGE IT.

      • micheyl says:

        Peanut – you seriously cracked me up with the image of you flipping people off. (I am that way in my car!! haha) I like the idea of a spiritual warrior flipping people off. The ideal shouldn’t be unattainable huh? haha.

        ahhh, Selkie, the authentic self…

        “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief”
        ? Brené Brown

        How long have I not been my authentic self?? I have experienced all of this to some degree. I started Reiki and interestingly my throat always gets really dry and tight. It is the throat chakra associated with communication. I have a problem with it needless to say. I have real issues speaking my truth – I suppress it and stay quiet to avoid confrontation.

        I think a step in the direction to authenticity is recognizing in yourself your limitations. You said you have an idea of who you’d like to be, but you have fear of opening your heart. Your recognizing that is huge! Self-reflection is necessary for being your authentic self. I think it is okay to know what you want to work on. That is being your authentic self, you are not denying that you have a hard time opening your heart and by even admitting it on this forum, you are opening your heart a little already. You are showing vulnerablity. I am recognizing what I need to work on. That is a step. A huge step not many people even take. You are doing the same. We should be proud of that. It doesn’t mean we will be changed anytime soon, we are works in progress, but it is progress isn’t it, just the recognition of true feelings and taking responsibility in our own healing.

        xoxo

        • Selkie says:

          Hi Micheyle. It does feel like a big step to finally know the root of the problem. I was so lost a few years ago, especially in the aftermath of being in an abusive relationship. I was dealing with the symptoms of low self esteem and twisted emotions but not getting at the root of it. The symptoms were up front and in my face, there was no way I could of worked out my inner shit until that calmed down. It has and now I have the clarity to see my unhealthy patterns and quirks. But I get impatient. Thanks for the encouragement. Let’s keep moving forward…..

          • micheyl says:

            Selkie – I know I get impatient too!! It is so hard to be patient. I just want to be normal with good self-esteem. My mom was (and is) in a very abusive relationship. She has no self-esteem left hardly. But she doesn’t recognize the things in her that she can change. She is literally defeated. I am so glad you got out of that.

        • Peanut says:

          Selkie,

          Yes! Progress is beautiful even if it is itty bitty.

          Ah!, I also was thinking of something else that might help in the forage for authenticity:

          MISTAKES. We have to make ‘em to find out who we are.

          And the tricky part is to NOT beat ourselves up or punish us for them.

          We must pay attention to them though so we can learn from them, grow and do better the next time!

      • Selkie says:

        Hi Peanut. I tend to get mad too and fight the urge to flip people off or tell they to ‘eff off’. It makes me feel out of control when I do that and that feels worse to me than whatever it was they did to push me. I get emotional easily, which is tough when you try to be yourself in a challenging crowd or try to be confident in how you feel when people are testing you, questioning your character, or pushing you. I need a thicker skin I think.
        Instead of flipping people off now I give them the peace sign. They still think I’m nuts but it makes ME feel calmer and in control of me, not letting them push my buttons. I still feel emotional but fake it until you make it, right? If I handle things that rattle me with grace, hopefully that grace will seep into my heart over time. That is my goal. I like your term ‘spiritual warrior’. I agree, challenge the bullshit. I’ve never been a follower but I came out stomping like a bull in a china shop which has not really worked either. I like to picture how Maya Angelou or some other strong self confident woman would handle someone taunting her and then try to learn from it. They didn’t run from the challenge but stood up in front of it with grace.

  26. Tracy says:

    Every time I started a relationship with an AC/EUM I ALWAYS developed a horrific cold sore on my chin or lip. Every time. I also had awful stomach pains, and if it wasn’t pain, it was an unsettled feeling. I remember last Christmas, playing what seemed like infinite rounds of “Solitaire” on my computer, stomach in knots, wondering why my current ‘mr. wonderful’ wasn’t responding to my text message (responding to his), knowing deep inside that he was EUM, but telling myself he was busy since he was a single dad raising his little girl. But, wait…I’m a single mom raising two kids with zero help from their dad. Why was my experience less valid than his? In other words, why was he allowed to use this excuse, but I wasn’t? But I think I finally learned that when the body talks, I must, must, must listen.

    • keetseel says:

      Oh man, Tracy, I never got the cold sores but the stomach upset YES YES YES. I tended to think it was just the excitement of meeting someone new but now I know it was a combination of my own fear of rejection, and the guy’s (sometimes subtly-manifested) unavailability reinforcing that fear. Yoiks.

  27. Lilia says:

    Ladies,
    I don´t know if this has been mentioned before but there is a book about a woman´s experience with being celibate that is a big hit in France (coming out in english soon). She says that she decided that having no sex was better than having bad sex, and this resonates with what we´ve been all talking and learning about on BR. I haven´t read it yet but I suppose it´s along the lines of learning to be true to yourself before embarking on dating and sex and relationships.

    It does make a lot of sense to me, and reading this post made me remember the physical ailments I had myself when I was in shady relationships. I´m figuring being alone for a while can never be any worse than that.
    Here are some links:

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/08/author-who-calls-celibacy-insubordination.html

    http://www.flare.com/celebrity/entertainment/sophie-fontanel/

    • Maeve says:

      hmmmm…I’m celibate by default. It’s the least of all evils. I simply can’t have sex unless I feel connected. And I can’t feel connected unless some trust is built. I’ve done it the other way a number of times and immediately end up freaking out and pulling away.

      I’m starting to wonder if there’s a subset of women here, who, like myself, are as EU as the day is long, but tend to be more avoidant in these romantic liaisons. Same issues, same bad choices, just a different way of engaging…

      I’m determined to break my pattern. It’s like a cancer that has spread into all areas of my life…

      • Maeve says:

        Just read the article. Interesting! I think I’ve been a lot like the author. However, she’s more at ease in her celibacy. It was a conscious choice for her. For me, it’s a circumstantial choice. I still yearn for a healthy relationship/connection.

      • Rosie says:

        Maeve–I’ve mentioned my story many times, not sure if you’ve read it or if you can relate to it but you are right–being EU DOES affect other aspects of our life, not just romantic relationships because EU is internal; wherever we are, so is our EU.

        I was a relationship avoidant. I don’t know when it started. As an introvert, I did what came naturally to me when I was in pain. I withdrew from human interaction. Because of a birth defect, I was teased a lot at school so played a lot by myself. My dad was gone a lot and when he was home, he wasn’t home mentally. He verbally and physically abused me. My mother was self-absorbed and emotionally immature, always looking for someone to take care of her emotionally so, in a lot of ways, I didn’t have parents, emotionally speaking. Since I couldn’t take my parents seriously, I shut them out too. It became easy and, over time, permanent to shut out everybody and I didn’t know that I was in so much pain because I even shut out myself.

        The boys I liked always liked somebody else and that became my pattern–choosing boys (and later men) who didn’t want me back. The extremely few “relationships” I’ve had were brief, maybe 3 months maximum. I was in a fwb situation for two years with an ex-bf (I was only his actual gf for about 3 months) and was in a LDR for a year and half (we met once for a week and that was it).

        The thing is, I chose jobs that didn’t require much human interaction so my social-emotional skills and general life skills are quite underdeveloped. What I’m now learning (I’m in my mid-40s) are what other people learn while in their 20s!

        Thankfully, through much, much therapy, I’m learning to take healthy risks. I now like jobs that require some human interaction and I moved to big city for more opportunities for singles (not just for romance but also friendship). I think my turning point was when I learned to take note of my feelings and didn’t try to run away when the pain and loneliness surfaced. I learned to lean into it (as Peanut worded it). By staying with it, I learned to respect it. I’ve learned how to make friends and have wonderful friends in different parts of the big city where I now live. I can be in a relationship but, because of priorities (job searching) and because of my personal value system, I’ll be alone for a long, long time, it seems. I don’t like it but I’m not scared of it. I am scared of becoming EU again. When I was EU, people thought I was so strong but I was weak. Now that I cry during a good movie, allow myself to be vulnerable, I am now strong because I am genuine. Authenticity is like water. It may seem to disappear when the heat of the sun beats down but it only changes form and reveals itself in drops of rain to give life to the earth.

        Again, I don’t know if you can relate to any of this but at least you know that you’re not the only relationship avoidant out there! :)

        • Maeve says:

          Rosie—omg—I related practically 100%. The part about your parents not really being there for you emotionally, liking guys who always liked someone else (this seemed to happen more in teenage, but it was an icky invalidating pattern that made its mark on my psyche), and especially what you said about withdrawing and not developing the social skills that people naturally develop as young adults. My therapist recently told me I had that problem. I tend to be very self aware and blunt with self–yet it never came under my radar that I was lacking certain social skills. In fact, I’ve prided myself on being grounded…ack!

          I’m not sure I even understand what being socially underdeveloped entails and what I need to work on to grow beyond it, but I’m certainly willing to work it if it will get me out of this hell…:-)!

          Thank you so much for your post. It really means a lot to read someone else’s experience and gain perspective on what’s REALLY going on.

          • Maeve says:

            P.S. interestingly, I knew for a long time that my life skills sucked and that my parents weren’t taught good life skills either and that’s something I’m going to have to overcome on my own….but I never made the connection with social skills. Never, never, never.

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Thank you I will have to read this as I recently came to the same conclusion myself. I’d rather no sex than mediocre sex. And I can have better sex with myself.

    • Peanut says:

      Lilia,

      YES!

      Having no sex is BETTER than having BAD sex.

      Yes, yes, yes my therapist and I were just discussing this today.

      I haven’t had any sex or BAD SEX in several years. And I stand by that!

      Yay! Thanks for sharing.

  28. Tinkerbell says:

    It’s got to be me. You guys are really cracking me up talking about all these physical ailments due to stress. And, they’re NOT FUNNY. I’m sad right now but not too much stress going on. I’ve definitely had my share of it. I let it out crying, laughing, singing, dancing, talking and spending WAY to much time on BR. I’m sure Kate or whoever is covering for Nat is well tired of me by now. Hahahahaha!

  29. mystic-artist says:

    Sandy, his last derailment-installation plan, which was extremely dehumanizing and passive aggressive violent with his fantasy invitations, made my middle finger,(lol) left immediately break out in a freakishly painful fire hot blister that oozed for a week. yep. the emotions cause dis-ease. & passive aggressive manipulations/slighting is the worst for inner turmoil. never again!

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      The AC had the same modus operandi. Fantasy invitations, passive-aggressive slighting.

  30. teachable says:

    I am so torn on all of this stress / something not right stuff right now. I have no idea whether I should be pushing myself to work or accepting my fate and allowing myself to focus on getting the medical attention I need with a couple of years of no stress on the work front at least, to recover properly before attempting to go back to work. Unfortunately, we need $ to survive in this world though, and growing up essentially homeless (using an academic definition of this, but also at times literally) I know all too well the horrors that can befall people who are in vulnerable positions. I am in a situation over which I am finding it quite difficult to exert control and I don’t like it one little bit. I leave you all now to complete a job application and pray it is the right thing to be doing… If it is not, perhaps I just wont be successful in getting the job? What will be, will be.

  31. Magnolia says:

    *** NAT! POST THIS ONE PLEASE! I’ve broken up the massive block of text ***

    Wow, you women rock.

    I keep going back to something Natalie said recently about her family not being the Brady bunch and fallout with her dad – something like, “is it painful? yeah, but the feeling passes and we move on … ” I’m at the stage in my Headspace meditations where we notice not just the arising of an emotion but we also notice when it goes away. The guy points out that we tend to notice feelings as they start up, but not when they leave (because we’re focused on the next one starting up). This can lead to experiencing emotions as permanent, because all we remember when a given feeling arises was the last time it was around. Yes, okay, the feeling passes, I thought. So. This feeling of endless grief is a feeling, it does pass.

    Nothing I can do can control whether children with an engaged father will be part of my future. I can do my best to make conditions fertile (ha) and go from there. I am getting better at knowing that the gripping fear and grief – the place I last wrote from – passes, and there are lots of times when I’m emotionally okay despite the situation, or even appreciating my situation, and then the grief will return.

    I have a tendency to label certain feelings as my “real” feelings and others as just my “social” feelings or “distracted” feelings that cover up the real ones. Like my real feeling is sad/mourning/recovering and everything else is a fiction or a denial. I’m working on changing that. Tonight I feel okay, for example. I need to really own it: I feel okay. It’s not fiction. I went to physio this morning and there is hope for my knees and capacity to run. Went to the walk-in doc (v hard to get an MD in this town) who shit a brick when he saw my hemoglobin: it’s going to be iron infusions at the hospital for me – but that’s hope that anemia won’t keep me in bed for the rest of my non-work hours.

    Keetseel, I’m going to look into doing a bit of therapy again. I’m fairly confident I can suss out someone who can offer the kind of short-term support that I could use. Sandy, I have to admit that at my age/with my health, a pot hangover lasts a lot longer and wipes me out much more than it did at 20! I’m not sure what’s worse, the next day feeling like I can’t walk up the stairs or the self-abuse for having gotten high alone like a stressed out crack whore. Lizzy, you don’t sound flippant; I need to hear from women who did have to go through a readjustment.

    Peanut! You sound better in your second post – after your cry. I felt better even after just writing out my feelings and seeing them as real. Then the support of everyone here helps a ton. I like a double chocolate doughnut myself, with a nice full milk latte and eaten with a nice gluten-cheese-carbfest spinach feta wrap or panini. And then, too many of those make me feel … like a stressed out crack whore. (Sugar is one of my favorite kinds of crack.) I can relate to waves of feeling life is boring / not worth the effort. Like you said, it passes. It all passes. It took months of self-loathing before I got back to doing even the most basic of outdoor walks and MaryW is right: even just a couple of walks a week is a big cushion for the self-esteem.

    Grace: how do I always seem to miss the latest with you? Reconnection? I remember you had a change of heart around wanting kids with your ex. It’s not a rational thing; that desire, if it’s there, just is. Still thinking about you a lot.

    Tink, you’re very right about having the opportunity now to exercise my entertain-myself muscle, which barely got any use when I was overloaded with work. Anemia + major life changes + job insecurity = some emotional instability and some zzz’s! And I really appreciate you remembering my long-term context, thank you! I’ve been watching your decision-making recently. You made a tough call, but sounds like the right one. ED may be a perfectly understandable reason for being EU, but it’s still EU and you couldn’t see any change coming.

    Pinkpanther thanks – I think you’re pretty cool too! And Micheyl, thanks for the vivid story. 1st: wtf? St. John’s Wort makes pills ineffective? I didn’t know that. 2nd: I so appreciate your Lifetime special! Your deadbeat ex sounds like a prize (Whole Foods to the Army??). This speaks to Lacy’s comment too: I did not want to do motherhood alone; I remind myself of that often, and thinking of what it would have been to have kids with the last ex (worries of pedophilia, anyone? seriously, I probably would got myself so sick with dread), does shine a very positive light on NOT having his kids.

    Finally, noquay: seriously, on 70% of red blood cells? Girl! It was that pounding heart and shortness of breath that made me say no to that last promotion. What about you: where are you at on that job thing? Did you apply?

    Lots of love and gratitude to you all. Nat, I could have bet money that your vacations would be full of tasks! But I can totally relate to the wonderful feeling of getting to do all the things you don’t have time for otherwise. Tarts’ wash is now part of my vocabulary. Enjoy Italy!

    • MaryW says:

      Magnolia,

      I read Tinkerbell’s response to you.

      So you’ve just finished a PhD? Magnolia, I finished my doctorate a few years ago, and I had been working on it part time for 8 long years (lots of procrastinating when it came to writing up). When I finished it, I was kind of lost. This ‘thing’ (that was a complete pain in the arse, I hated it) was no longer in my life and I felt a bit… empty. When I should have felt relieved I felt empty. I am still building up a proper life, and just recently started to make new friends, start up new hobbies, etc. It might be a factor in your low mood?

      Also, during those 8 years, if somebody asked me if I was still single or dating any special, I could use the PhD as an excuse (“I don’t have time”). It was an excuse. I did have time, I did have flings and relationships, but just with the wrong men, and I was mostly single. I also used it as an excuse to not really get out there and engage with the world (I see retrospectively). I’m not saying you’re the same, but completing a PhD and then dealing with the anticlimax was hard.

      Thanks for mentioning Headspace… I downloaded it, subscribed, but haven’t been making that time to actually DO it, even though it’s only ten minutes! I need to give myself a kick in the behind. I have plenty of time….

      Glad to hear you sounding more positive today x

    • Peanut says:

      Awh, Magnolia, you’re hangin’ in there like a boss. You got this life thing down more than you know ;)

      Wishing you well and recovery in your health.

  32. 2Fearce says:

    I have a general feeling of unease when interacting with this one woman. She’s selfish, stingy, insensitive n I’ve cut her from my life twice now. Only to have her come back w some sweet, supportive, endearing comment that makes me think perhaps there’s hope. Why can’t I just walk away, why can’t she just leave me alone? Y am I considering engaging with her again? Wtf is wrong with me?!

  33. MaryW says:

    Today I am feeling all angsty and irritable and I know why. Nothing to do with the recent EUM experience, which had me on a nasty high adrenalin “fight or flight” response (with loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and IBS), followed by total misery.

    So today I feel the “fight of flight” response and it’s because late last night I got a facebook message from an ex EUM, someone who I had a holiday romance with (well, 2 holiday romances over a space of 4 years with intermittent friendly contact in between). He sent one sentence informing me that he’ll be visiting my country soon and would like to catch up.

    I know that I cannot handle another casual fling with him and I won’t do it. This time I won’t. With what I know about myself now, it would be self abuse. And certainly no good for my self esteem.

    So I am listening to my gut, the feelings of anxiety, and I am going to keep my distance.

    It’s ridiculous that one lazy sentence from this person has had me in an anxious state all day, but now I know that it’s a warning sign.I’m going to respect myself, listen to my body and not get sucked in to any more drama with him. Oh and I’m going to the gym on the way home to get rid of this adrenalin and perhaps engage in some innocent window shopping ;)

    • Andee says:

      Mary! You’ve just named my favorite two healthy releases for that angsty adrenaline dump you get from hearing from/obsessing over or worrying about an ex!
      I discovered after my last breakup and TOO MY HORROR that I’d actually been involved with the same type of guy since my twenties. I have a policy of no exes now. No friendships, pseudo-relationships, no sexy time…nada. They are all EU and thinly veiled misogynists. No thanks.

      I put on 15lbs with my last ex. My body knew what that I wasn’t happy and that they he was retreating emotionally and probably cheating before my head would accept it. I was emotionally eating and telling myself things were fine. I’m so disappointed that it took me 15 lbs to recognize it.

      • MaryW says:

        Andee I also piled on the weight with my last real boyfriend (not recent EUM). But it’s because my life morphed into his, which revolved around eating and little else. When I’m unhappy and feeling anxious and insecure, my stomach closes off.

        I agree with your policy on exes. I am only in touch with two, Mr. Lazy (because he is a nice guy, did me no harm, and there are no love feelings left for him), and very vaguely in touch with the holiday romance guy because it ended on friendly terms with no hard feelings.

        But I don’t want to see him again (because I have changed) and never dreamed he’d suddenly announce a visit to my country. I’ll just flush.

        Re stress and health: I do think high stress levels can precipitate problems that are lurking away in the background.

        It is a sense of horror when the reality of who you’ve dated hits. I’m utterly embarrassed about my choices.

        • Andee says:

          I’m mortified too. Srsly. Maybe that’s what is making the being alone part feel so organic and safe. I clearly can’t be trusted to make the right decisions until I deeply assess my motivations and self-esteem. I feel like I’m getting there. Until then, my place feels like a safe haven where none with sketchy motivations may enter. :)

    • Andee says:

      Also, developed fibroids in my uterus and was in the ER three times with ovarian cyst ruptures when I had never had any problems before. Red flag? Or maybe just my age. Either way it was weird to all of a sudden be plagued with lady part problems.

  34. Magnolia says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Teach, SearchingForS, and MaryW.

    I just left the gynecologist’s office. My largest fibroid is 20cm (7.5 inches), distends me to about 4 months pregnant size. She says the risk to me (of infection, bleeding, not healing, etc) of a myomectomy to remove the fibroid is significant. She was great; she did say (jokingly) “I’m the most interesting person she’s seen this week” because the fibroid is so huge; apparently it’s rare to see them this big (yay me, always the attention-getter!). She also says there is a good chance of not being able to save the uterus even if she did try to remove the fibroid because it has basically taken over my whole uterus.

    Really she kept trying to break it to me that I’m not a great candidate for pregnancy even if I were actively trying right now, but the reality is I’m not. She also looked at my blood and told me how close I am to needing a transfusion. She said if I don’t have the uterus out I can expect to have these blood problems for the next 10 years (until I hit menopause) – that basically any iron treatment is like pouring water in a bucket with a hole in the bottom.

    I’m still reeling a bit. She wants to talk “decisions” with me in a couple weeks after I’ve had time to think. I didn’t get the vibe at all from her that she recommends hysterectomies lightly; she says in fact she usually spends her time talking people out of them. I mean, I thought I was prepared to hear “hysterectomy” from some crazed, knife-happy surgeon so that I could be like, no thanks.

    I don’t think I was prepared to hear that this thing I’ve got has grown more than two inches in diameter over the past year and is now larger than a cantaloupe in my gut, and for a nice lady to reluctantly tell me how serious the anemia is and to gently point out my options in a way that losing my uterus is now really upon me as a possibility.

    I want to ignore her and go on hoping for a nice guy to come along.

    Sorry, I know this is off topic and a lot of medical detail. Most of my friends/family are still at work right now; I’m sitting in a coffee shop and still reeling.

    • grace says:

      Mag
      Aw, sorry to hear this. Friend of mine in her v early thirties has gyno problems too and has to tell each new boyfriend that she may not be able to have children.
      So far it hasn’t been a problem but may not” is different from “never”.
      It’s not quite off topic, we have to live with these things and carry on as normal, but in our bodies, minds or spirits we carry the stress of it.
      My only recommendation is to allow yourself moments, hours, even days of happiness or just distraction. Healthy distraction! It doesn’t take away the seriousness or the sorrow but it gives you respite.

    • MaryW says:

      Oh Magnolia :(
      Sending urgent hugs to you. I’m so very sorry. I don’t know what to say. I’m thinking of you. I wish I could say something helpful.
      Please don’t be on your own just now. Lean on your friends and family as much as you need to xxx

    • Rosie says:

      Magnolia– I knew a 15 yr. old girl who had to have her ovaries removed due to cancer. 15 yrs. old. Wow!!! She’s grateful for her life, don’t know what she’ll go through when she’s an adult and the reality hits her that she won’t ever be a biological mom.

      Oh, Magnolia, I can’t imagine the shock and grief you’re in. I’m so very sorry!!! [Giving you a big bear hug]

    • A says:

      Magnolia,

      I’m sorry to hear this. Is freezing your eggs an option? Perhaps you could use a gestational carrier down the road?

    • Furry White Dogs says:

      *hugs* Magnolia

      I can totally sympathise with your medical issue. Ongoing gyno probs are a total pain in the bits! I’ve had the fibroids, anaemia, bleeding etc and that’s after I started the menopause process at 42. It totally saps your energy and leaves you feeling yuck all the time. Thankfully a procedure has pretty much resolved my issues but it took more than a year of blah to get to that point.

      I can confirm that hysterectomies are definitely only proposed as a last resort these days and the gyny I was seeing vehemently opposed my request for one.

      I had my one child at 20 so I didn’t have to face not having children but I chose to be sterilised at 35 and since then have had to state clearly early on in relationships that I can’t have children. Now I can’t even carry a child so any man getting involved with me has to not want children. It’s yet another limiting factor and ticklish subject to negotiate in the whole dating dance.

      You have a great deal to think about and process over the coming weeks so make space for it and be extra extra kind to yourself. Thankfully some of the skills and attitudes you’ll have learnt from here will stand you in good stead.

      Thinking of you. *hugs and more hugs*

      FWD

    • Maeve says:

      Magnolia

      I’m pretty new here and just starting to identify names with stories. Your last post sounded so stressed out. Just wanted to send warm thoughts. Please take extra extra care of yourself. I’m sorry you have to go through this. :(

    • LaPinturaBella says:

      Magnolia:

      There is nothing I can say that will make this better. What a bombshell to receive. Please know that we are all thinking of you and sending lots of love to surround you and comfort you. And please make sure you check in to let us know how you are doing.

    • Tulipa says:

      Magnolia,

      So sorry to hear your news.
      I’m sure you will face it with great courage.
      Thinking of you.

    • sushi says:

      Magnolia,

      So sorry to hear.

      Have you looked into alternative treatments? Homoeopathy helped me in near miraculous ways on a couple of hopeless occasions, granted ,not with fibroids but I just looked up and it`s rated very highly in treating fibroids. Please look up classical homoeopathy, I know that carefully chosen alternative treatments are really worth a try. Going to see my homoeopath tomorrow ( she is tops over here in UK )and can ask for info for you? Hugs x

  35. 2Fearce says:

    Mags,

    I’m so sorry! It’s one thing to think you might not get to have babies n another to hear such news. Please do what you need to to take care of yourself.

    Rubbing small circles on ur back from here.

  36. Sandy says:

    Magnolia,

    I am so sorry to read this, I don’t know you but I have been following your posts, big hugs from someone who lives on the other side of the world, I also wish I could say something helpful but just know that we are all on here thinking of you.

  37. Revolution says:

    Man. Can I just say, after reading all of you ladies’ heartbreaking stories, that I want to bake you all a quiche, and then tuck you into my bed with my white sheets (it feels like sleeping in the clouds!) as I putter around the house, while you sleep in? Effing Florence.

  38. teachable says:

    GrinZ @ Revvie & points to sheets, waiting to be tucked in ;)

    Phone at my ear to Mags…

    Magnolia, this is really big news & you are reeling b.c you are quite likely in shock (emotionally) at hearing it. So, let’s just slow down & take things nice n easy ok? I know you might be feeling a whole bunch of mixed emotions right now, & that’s totally normal & OK. I want you to really look after yourself right now. Just the simple things. Food, sleep, ect. If you need to, take some downtime to find out any information you might to follow up on before going bk to see yr Dr in 2 wks. That’s what this time is for. To adjust to some pretty big & possibly life changing news. When you go back to see yr Dr it sounds like she wants to next discuss decision making with you, but don’t worry about that today or now. For now be your own best friend & draw near at least one person in yr inner circle to help u get through the road ahead.

    We here at BR think yr awesome Mags. Hang on & be gentle with yrself. There’s time enough for rough waters in what may or may not lie ahead.

    Big squidgy hugs. Teach xxx

    ~shares choccie bikkies with Revvie & looks askance for a cup of tea~ LOL

  39. noquay says:

    Mags
    Read your latest and went out and put down tobacco for you. First, get another opinion and read all you can on the subject, which you may have done already. A lot of your feelings of hopelessness are related to the anemia and may resolve once your hematocrit approaches something close to normal. You are young enough that you may need the surgery. I deal with much the same thing but I am probably early stage menopause. If feasible, the freezing your eggs thing may be an option. Wish there was something I can do.

  40. Tinkerbell says:

    Mags,

    So sorry for this devastating news. I think your MD is right. The fibroid is quite large and mostly like does require complete removal of your uterus. But, try hard to think of the positives. Your health will be much improved, a blood transfusion will raise your hemoglobin level and you will have more energy to do the things you enjoy, thereby participating more fully in life, YOUR LIFE, with acceptance of your own reality. Once you’re back to health, you will be better able to make decisions for your future. I have to agree with someone’s post about the J and that exercise is an overall much better option. I, myself, have gotten myself into a regimen of walking 1 mile 5-6 times/week. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease More pervasive that “old age” arthritis. It is a huge accomplishment for me to have arrived at the point of being able to do this. The exercise alone does release endomorphins which give you a “high”. Coupled with my thankfulness that I’m now able to do this for myself, my low mood has been tempered so I’m able to get through each with a more positive outlook. Get into exercise, as rigorous as you can handle comfortably, and make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. I read a couple days ago about the harm refined sugar does to our bodies.

    Even though you may not be able to bear children normally, you will be able to see more clearly other options open to you in that vein, or just learn to enjoy being single and unencumbered.
    I wish the best for you, Magnolia. Nothing stays the same forever. Situations are not as clear cut as we may see them when we’re feeling depressed. I’m convinced you’ll experience much more happiness soon. Good luck. Tink. xxx

  41. Magnolia says:

    Ladies, thank you. I am waiting now at the walk-in clinic to get another referral to another gynecologist so I can get a second opinion, even though I really liked the gynecologist I just saw. I’m still sort of a zombie about the whole thing. Yesterday I got wrecked in the evening when I had already gone for a walk/run and talked to my family and didn’t know what to do with myself (Magnolia style, which meant another half J and strumming a guitar, drinking nettle tea and writing some shitty poems.) Don’t worry, I will pull myself out of that habit. It’s just a lot to suddenly process. My whole mental life always held the possibility of holding my own child some day.

    I managed to also blow up at my Dad yesterday [when he tried to poke his head in at the end of a two-hour Skype with my mom and sis (he had been watching TV) to say “I’m sure it will all be okay” and that my mom had “filled him in”] for being such an EU dad and told him he wasn’t there for me – oh, good times!

    Meanwhile, my sis is due in 6 weeks; she and my mom are being great. But this is really fucked and hasn’t totally sunk in.

  42. teachable says:

    Glad you found that info helpful Selkie. I’ve left out most the detail (ie technical stuff about brain functioning) but that’s a basic description of gist of things. It applies to anyone who endured abuse/neglect, especially in the eariest years of life as well as to ppl whose Mother’s were experoencing high level stress during pregnancy.

    Anyone seeking further info on stress & it’s impact on adult brain functioning as it relates to experiences of child abuse & neglect, as well as exp’s of domestic violences etc can learn more by looking up articles by the following:

    Dr Allen Shore (may be an a or e in allen, soz, not at desktop to check)

    Dr Bessell Van Der Kolk (again check spelling, google will correct this for you if I’m slightly out, if u include trauma, ptsd etc with name search)

    Alice Millar (or Miller) as per above re spelling.

    This will get you started. Cheers.

  43. teachable says:

    It’s understandable to have such an outburst with yr Dad Magnolia. Yr in shock & no doubt yr parents will realise this & make some allowances for it.

    The timing of yr sister’s baby must seem so ‘in yr face’. I’m glad yr mum & sis are being supportive, esp as you’ve talked abt yr mum tending to ‘gloss over’ the big issues in the past, & leaving them unacknowledged or not spoken about. A minor saving grace, although a saving grace nonetheless, given the enormity of what u r experiencing. Some ppl have no family at all to support them in life. I’m glad to know that you do, at least to some extent, even with the many complications I know this brings for you.

    Sitting here in spirit quietly beside you, just ‘being there’. We may be strangers on the internet, but I hope this helps you to feel a little less alone with it all.

    Teach. xxx

  44. teachable says:

    Feeling slightly less stressed today having submitted job application number two! Please hope for me I get this job folks! It’s only 3 days a week but would be perfect to give me the balance I need to have time to work & study at the same time! I’m still dealing with chronic illness but I just KNOW this job would be the perfect next right step for me, if only I can land it! Also, (Rev you might like to knoe this as u were RIGHT), in other news, I think it’s fair to now say I’VE SAVED MY HOUSE! In fact, it is now almost entirely paid off !!! WOW! What a trip this all has been!! Now if I can just get my health to rise up to the challenge of work I know I can turn this sinking ship around! Please send me good vibes fellow BR’ers. I need them! Teach xx

    • Revolution says:

      Of course I was right. ;)

      Teach, I’m so happy for you. Every victory I hear from you makes me feel like the underdog is kicking some serious “a” word (working on my language, folks). Hope you get the job!!!! I’m working on my own applications too! Trying to get out of Dodge with my sanity in check!

    • sushi says:

      Teachable, keeping all fingers (and toes) crossed for you !!!

  45. teachable says:

    Sorry, just taking a moment to process this fully. The amount I have ledt owing on my house is only 3/4 of what I was SAVING (& putting on the mortgage) per mth before I got sick, & things went to hell in a handbasket with my ex now deceased AC. I am now of course on a greatly reduced income but still, can you believe this because it hasn’t really registered until now! In a country where housing is 3rd most expensive in the world as compared to income levels, I ALMOST OWN MY PLACE LOCK STOCK & BARRELL!! Gosh, not bad seeing as I have managed to do this ENTIRELY ON MY OWN, without a skerrick of help to save for my deposit even, & I have almost paid the place off in less a decade!! Holy smokes!! You know what I’m thinking now don’t you? GET MY ASS BACK TO WORK PRONTO, & hurry up & finish my edctn SO I CAN BUY ANOTHER ONE!! (the plan being to soon now sell & buy a hillside property & decent car which will be my artistic retreat property & later to buy a little crash pad near the city so I can have the best of both worlds!) How dare a kid who grew up homeless dare to dream such big dreams, I can hear the voice of one of my abusers mocking me in my mind! Yes, well just because those horrible treated me so badly as a child when I never deserved any such thing is EXACTLY why I CAN & I WILL do these things! WATCH ME!!

  46. 2Fearce says:

    Congrats Teach!

  47. Revolution says:

    Nat,

    Kudos on the script, girl. It’s no surprise to me that your wisdom and your way with words has captured an audience outside of your already dedicated readers. Just please tread softly and carry a big stick in Hollywood, my dear. It’s a sinister town.

  48. teachable says:

    Chows down quiche like a famished person! Thanks Rev! I don’t really know if what I’m thinking of doing is all pie in the sky fantasy (ie buying another property would be more stress as would going bk to wrk before Im ready, esp if it came crashing down around my ears, but lets not go there yet, adas may not happen) or really what I will do yet, but still, isnt is amazing to think such CHOICES (pending health & landing a job) are tantalizingly within reach? I am absolutely flabbergasted! People like little old me are not supposed to be able to achieve these things, or so I was raised to believe! But look at me! DESPITE a massive FAIL & not working for the past 2 & 1/2 yrs!! I guess we all win some & lose some hey & I sure am glad I finally am winning at something! I needed this b.c after ex now deceased AC my self esteem, not to mention LIFE was in the toilet! ~does a little bum dance with my rikkety old body~ lol

  49. teachable says:

    Thanks 2Fearce! Not entirely back on track exactly here ie I still dont have a job yet, but I feel like im getting there. For a long time Ive felt like the most effed up contributer to BR in the sense that my dalliance with my ex now deceased AC left my entire life in a complete shambles. Nat is the only person I think who (maybe?) sunk as low as I did after what happened to me. I lost my job, my health, my social functioning, THE LOT. It has been THREE YEARS of hell, slowly going down, deeper & deeper, & nothing I could do to stop the decline (as it was all underpinned by my health). Now I am finally, in baby steps HOPEFULLY starting to come back up. Not sure if this is just an illusion yet, as so many one step forward, two step backwards moments along the way, but I am still fighting to keep it together, & thts what counts.

    Good luck with yr jobhunt Rev. Getting out before they destroy u is wise. That is where I made my mistake. I didnt get out of dysfuctional work envrnmnts quickly enough. I needed to stay as I was reliant on accruing annual leave for study purposes. If I left id lose this & have to start all over elsewhere. I couldnt keep deferring my studies all the time due to job changes as that would result in exceeding leave of absence allowance (which ended up happening) . it was a nightmare. I really hope u find something suitable soon. thinking of u. teach xxx

  50. sushi says:

    Natalie,

    I am realising that a majority of stress in my life comes from fear. It did when I was is relationships, still is now out of them. Fear of change? or unknown, or of prophecy turning out true dispite my efforts to change. Feeling stuck and fearful.

  51. 2Fearce says:

    Teach,

    I doubt there’s someone who is “winning” the worst award. Plus, I suspect that most ppl might not say everything that’s going on… I’ve been job hunting… with a couple temp jobs interspersed… for 2 years. Waiting on final word from another temp job right now. This one will hopefully last about 6 months. I hate not being to plan my life out further than that but there was a time (4yrs ago) that 24 hrs seemed impossible so I’ll take it.

  52. teachable says:

    Thanks Sushi & Magnolia. I’m starting to feel the difference in the stress level in my body. Before, when the house was at risk, due to my background & no family to support me, I felt as though I was facing serious sh*te. Now, it’s like, oh well, I have no spare money to actually do anything but who cares? At least I’m not going to end up homeless. As I pondered this watching the last,of my pennies carefuly go on food, I realised, this is the first time ever in my entire life, that I’ve felt like I am standing on solid ground, b.c I (almost) own my home & (hopefully) that is something no1 will ever be able to take away from me. I wonder if this is how kids who grow up in healthy families feel? I don’t know,of course. I do know the difference in knowing I have stability of housing to this extent is markedly different to anything I’ve ever exp’d in my life (I was 3 & 1/2 yo when I was removed frm my family by the state, for very good reason, but sadly in some ways, never to return or know anything remotely resembling a family or real home from then on) I think that’s what it is. I finally have a real HOME. I’m feeling wee bit overwhelmed with a funny feeling at this. Not sure what it is but I have a lump in my throat. I will ponder it a while. Gratitude perhaps..?

  53. teachable says:

    Good point 2Fearce. Plus I’ve been in such a bad way I had to choose between saving my face & my ass! LOL

    I wish you well with the 6 mth temp role. 6 mths is still a good stint. Hoping u are managing to save a little for a rainy day too seeing as.yr not sure what.the.future holds.

    Magnolia, how are YOU going w yr news? I hope the consult with the second opinion person is a little more postive. Either way, we’re all still here, sending you healing white light xx

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Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
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