in between the 'i love you' and 'i hate you'

I guess you'll find me

Growing

There are times when you are forced to grow as a person. Often times, you grow apart or away from something that once used to be so familiar to you — second nature if you will. I recently went through this experience on my own and it was both demanding, heartbreaking and enlightening. Without going into much detail of what actually transpired, I’ll try to write something about it because it shifted something in me and changed me as a human being forever.

I recently parted ways with my best friend. It was a very abrupt situation, it was messy and in its own way contrived. It made me open my eyes to my errors as a human being and helped me receive a better understanding of how people around me see me. We parted ways after I got married because of different interests and different places in life, but it was enlightening to me, I got to hear how my actions and my attitude affects other human beings in a way that I had never thought it would.

To be frank, I don’t divulge into my mental health issues much with my real life friends, because I come off completely insane, with little control over my emotions. I live in a place where emotions are a negative thing to display, where mental health is very much on the down low and not spoken about. Even though I am a huge advocate for speaking out about mental health, there are just some situations and relationships where I have hidden the issue because I don’t want to be different. But I let my emotions control a big part of my life, much bigger than I want. The last year has been fucking rough. Between planning a wedding, deaths, personal stuff, friendships being worn down to the bones – it’s just been a lot in 2016. I must say that I haven’t been as stable as I have wanted, I fell into a several month long depression and really struggled to get out. I didn’t want to inconvenience my friends or those around me seeing as I kind of felt obligated to feel happier than ever because I got married. So I kept to myself and let my thoughts shred a gaping hole in my chest, ever growing and consuming me until I was nothing but a ball of stress, depression and anxiety. This went on for most of 2016 and culminated in a breakdown before our wedding day, I almost called it off because my anxiety was so bad.

During this time, I did not act like myself nor did I recognise myself in my actions or my erratic mind. I was also terminated from therapy because I had initially done very well and there’s a limit to how much therapy one can stand. Seeing as I struggled with some stress in my personal relationship with my then fiancé, I unwillingly let it bleed all over my other relationships. I let it push me further into the dark place where all I can do is drown in my own negative thinking. My friends noticed that something was up, but never asked me what was wrong, all I know is that there has been some talk about me in some settings where I have seemed unattainable or not really “there”. Looking back I completely agree and there are many things I should have done, many things I should have said or left unsaid but it’s sadly over and done with. The aftermath as of recent months is that I have lost my network. I don’t have the friends I used to, I don’t have the social network I once had. And it’s really saddening when you lose something you have been taking for granted, when there are so many regrets and painful things you should have said. But, there is the element of closure which I am giving myself as of this month. I have struggled with coming to terms with the loss of my friends, grieving it because I can never get it back. We’re just too different and if it wasn’t this that drove us apart, it would have been something else. At least it’s a comfort knowing that it would probably have ended some way or another, seeing as they had a view of me as a very dull and unenthusiastic person and our gatherings all had one element in common; drinking alcohol. I have, as I have stated before, a very complicated relationship to alcohol. I either drink for the wrong reasons and in abhorrent amounts, which affects everything negatively.

Closing a chapter that I have known all my life, that I have grown with and knowing what I know now about life I see now how easy it is to form a friendship – but also how fast one can grow apart. I’m not saying it’s been easy to accept this, but there is a certain comfort in the storm, knowing that we parted ways in a civil manner and that we’re not filled with animosity. At least I’m not.

So that was my short comeback to this blog. To be completely honest, I want to delete all of this sometimes. But in another way, it’s the only rendition of my life that is so concise, sometimes I scroll through this for hours and can’t remember writing these posts, but I appreciate them so immensely because it’s the diary written while I went through the hardest times in my life, and serve as a way for me to reflect on what it used to be like, to see how much I have grown as a person and an adult.

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X DAYS

It is now x days until we get married.

As I have previously mentioned, the road has not been easy. To be frank, it’s been quite the hell, and for a moment I wasn’t really sure that there would even BE a wedding. But everything came together, we spent our savings on a lovely honeymoon.

On Sunday I met my mother in law for the first time since the ‘incident’ where she basically told me I was a selfish and mean person, who treated her son like shit. It went good, I didn’t really want to be much around her, but she is a part of the family now and is very helpful with the practical stuff, so of course she needed to be there on Sunday. My parents had made some sample food that they will make for the wedding (herb and lemon marinated trout, with salad and bread), and we went over the details. I met her today while running errands at a fabric shop, and she was like she used to be before she attacked me, she was the person I though I knew, and hope that she really, deep in her heart is.

Things between me and my fiancé were really bad for a while, we almost went our separate ways because of all the stress, and we’ve been trying to have a baby which has proven to be unsuccessful time and time again, so it adds to the pressure and stress. Not to mention all the things that have gone wrong during our wedding planning, it’s a freaking wonder that we even got to put it all together. The tension between us was so extreme because of all the stress and my resentment towards his mother, and then I got really physically sick which often happens if I am in emotional distress and I needed him so much, but he isolated himself. So there we were, sitting in our separate rooms, both depressed and trying to make our relationship work. We went to a wedding in the beginning of the summer and I kept feeling that we would never look that happy or feel like that on our wedding day, because we had a huge fight the night before that wedding. However, we’re doing better now, and despite the fact that we are kind of broke, nervous and don’t know what the future has in store for us, family wise or economically – I think we’ll make it because we are still very much in love. The wedding planning became so much for me and the negativity from everyone was so overwhelming a month ago that we went on a hiking trip, we camped there for one night and spent the other at a hotel. It was a much needed break, and worth every penny. I have so many pictures from that trip, but I won’t share any to keep my shred of anonymity.

Anyway – I don’t know if anyone is still reading my blog or what’s up, but I like coming back here from time to time to read my old entries and empty my head and mind of the things that worry me, scare me and keep this online journal for me to look back at some day.

I have come a really long way since I started writing here in 2011, and for the better too, I must say. Sure, I have had my episodes of relapses both in my eating disorder and self injury, depression and suicidal thoughts, but I made it and I am still here.

If you’re still out there, reading my entries, thank you. I know that this isn’t as exciting as when I was severely delusional and ill, but I am growing up and becoming myself, I have let go of a lot of stuff that only held me back, and I try to look forward. Thank you for those still reading, and I hope you are all doing good.

I Should be Over the Moon

It’s 8 months to my wedding. I should be over the moon. But I am not. I feel incredible guilty for my mental illness, and even though my fiance says that he doesn’t mind; that he’s seen the imperfections and my downfalls, I’m.. I’m not sure that he will love me forever, like we are going to promise each other. It stems from my abandonment issues – when he gets a job and is a great productive member of society, I’ll be unable to work for at least 5 years (which is the deal I have with my psychiatrist so I can take some time for myself and not be entangled in the web of doctors, checkups, psychiatrists and medication.)

I have a dress, but I’m not happy with it. The truth of the matter is that nothing about my wedding has been like I thought it would be. My parents won’t hold a speech for me on my wedding day, I basically had to beg my father to walk me down the isle, we have a very small budget and a lot of guests (60+), and that excludes most of the people I wanted to be there. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t want children attending, I just don’t think that it’s appropriate to have children around drinking etc. If I were to have it my way, there would only be immediate family and my bestest of friends attending, but since my parents are paying for a big part of it, I had to succumb to their wishes and invite a ton of family that I honestly only see every two-three years. I had to make extra space for the guests that I wanted to be there, and it turns out that many of them might not even be able to attend since they are starting their family. And I totally get that, who wants to have an infant screaming at a wedding in the heat of the summer?  I know a lot of my friends are thinking of not coming because of that, which is okay, but kind of saddens me at the same time, since I attended their wedding. But I will certainly not make anyone feel guilty for starting their family or extending it. You don’t stop your whole life because your friend is getting married.

I thought of sewing my own dress, it’s a simple gown, I know that I would be able to do it. I paid in cash or my own gown I have now, which is an A-line lace bodice dress with laces and pearls trailing down, it’s much too big for me, and has not yet been altered, so I would probably be able to sell it for the same price I got it for, since it has never been used and stored at a non-smoke place, in a dress bag. The one I really want costs around $1000 and has to be imported from the US, and it was the one I first saw and researched when he proposed. I haven’t even made the invitations yet. I keep telling myself that there’s time, but with our budget I won’t be able to handmake every single invitation which I wanted to do. So what I will do is paint splashes of our wedding colors (sage, gold and grey/blue), edit them in Photoshop with the invitation on them, and send them to a photo printer. I don’t have the money to handmake each one as I said, but… It’s just an invitation, right?

In addition to all the wedding stress, there are other things too. My husband to be is done with his Master’s degree this summer, and we don’t know where he’ll work when his education is finished. There has been a dip down here in his field of work, so we might be looking at moving 5+ hours away from where we live. We don’t want to move, but we’ll go where the work is of course. And since the engagement we have been arguing, I have noticed a flare up in my PTSD and eating disorder which is not good on any account. I walk like a ghost through our apartment every day, basically just waiting until I can go back to bed because there is nothing for me to do. I was going to get a new camera so I could start my photography career, but that has been put on the backburner due to some economical difficulties regarding my welfare. Basically, I am now paying my part of the rent with the money I had saved up for our wedding. And it stings. It stings so hard, because it is a great deal of money – and I have to spend it on rent, in stead of my dream dress or anything to do with the wedding. We never had much money to start with when we got together, and it would be hard for us to find a new place now that we have two cats. It’s just been hard the last 6 months, us arguing, me closing off and becoming less and less social day by day, and to be quite frank, a little bitter that my life turned out like it did. I am 27, and I am nowhere where I thought I would be by now.

But that’s life, right? Unpredictable and unstable. You never know what’s around the corner. Hopefully something good will come our way, and soon. Because as it is right now at this moment? It’s hard for me to keep my head over the water.

Just Plain Hate

It’s been quite a while since I have been here. To be honest, I had really laid this blog to rest, only to discover that I do need it sometimes, after all.

Only a few months ago I went to visit my big sister in the big city, and contacted my ex boyfriend who now resides there. We have been friends for 12 years, and I was asking around for a good place to eat, because I was going to meet one of my best long-distance friends in the city, and I have no idea where anything is. My knowledge basically remains around the train and bus-station, because I am so paralyzed by fear of all the people and the hectic environment around me. So I asked my ex who gave me some nice suggestions and then he invited me to come to his office at his new job. I didn’t really want to, so I politely declined, but we continued to have a convo by text for a few minutes. It was nice. He is the nicest ex boyfriend I have ever had, he was always so respectful even in times when my life impacted his because my eating disorder and my depression was at the worst while we were together. Sure, we had our bad times too, especially when I was hospitalized, but we made it through and then split up a year later. The tone between us has been generally nice and calm, and we have always been able to talk to each other (he suffers from Bipolar Type II, so we relate a lot), and joke around.

So time passes like it has a tendency of doing, and things happen and we get into a tiny fight online because I don’t want him to talk badly of a friend of mine, especially when it’s untrue. So I might come off a bit stern and tell him to back off. And then, all of the sudden – it’s like a bomb going off, he cusses me out and tells me all kinds of stuff about me and our relationship that I had no idea he felt. He said that we weren’t really friends and that I should leave him alone, that he never wanted to see me and that he was so sick of me contacting him. I can understand that not all people are cut out to be friends with their ex, but this was a massive explosion, not to mention that it was very strange seeing as we have been on good terms for the last 7-8 years. He said that he didn’t want to be reminded of our relationship, and I said that I was sorry, I could back off, disconnect from the internet pages and places we collide and leave him alone, but then he said that it didn’t really matter any way, he didn’t give a fuck about me anyways, and that people could think whatever they wanted. 

In essence, it was basically a big blowout coming from nowhere, but it seemed like he had been thinking about it for a while. I was not prepared for it, so it came as quite the shock. At first I got really mad and resentful because we are grown up human beings and should be able to speak and relate to each other in such a way, but then I just got sad. Really sad, because I had thought that we were friends for 7 years, when he apparently didn’t want anything to do with me, and that he can’t stand being around me, but then he changed his tone and said that he didn’t give a damn about whether I stayed his friend or not. I tried calling him because I felt it was kind of immature of us to be arguing online, but he said he was busy, and that he would let me know when he was available.

It’s been two weeks.

The whole thing just shocked me so much and made me so sad and made me relapse into destructive behavior again. I also heard that he had made fun of the fact that I am getting married in 10 months, and that it was “fucking weird that I wanted to get married, when I never wanted to get married to him.” 
I took the whole thing a bit hard, I guess, because I cried and relapsed into eating disordered behavior, and I even stopped speaking for two days. I just had no words to utter to my friends, my fiancé or my ex. I was just silent, and I sat in my bed for two whole days, just staring out in the open air.

My fiancé eventually managed to get the story out of me, and said that I should let it go, that he was clearly damaged in some way and that it wasn’t my fault – but the thing that strikes me as odd is that he pretended to be my friend for so long. He could have just asked me to stay away, not to contact me, he could have said no to helping me out when we were in the same class in college, or stopped the contact with me. I don’t understand why he did what he did, and I certainly do not understand what I have done to make him so angry with me. I am over the whole ordeal now, I severed all ties with him and some of our mutual friends, but there are some friends that I will always hang on to, and he’s my best guy friend, as well as my ex’s best friend too. It’s complicated.

So down, down, down I spiraled again. I became a selective mute for two days, didn’t answer my phone or anything, I remained in contact with some of my confidants online because I just had to make some kind of sense of it. It’s.. strange, really.

I told my mom what had happened because she too saw that I was distraught, and she said that I had never said a bad word about him even though we have had our problems. I have never made fun of him to anyone with malicious intent, but I guess he thinks I have. My mother said that it seemed to her like he was jealous that I was finally getting married, and that I was getting married to someone else but him. But still – I can’t fully get over his massive explosion. It came out of the blue. Apparently he hates me so much that he can’t stand being reminded of me, or our relationship, so I am going to honor that and stay away as much as I can. I have blocked his number on my phone and will delete him on Facebook now.

It’s just.. Really sad when you lose someone you thought were your friend. Even mid fight, he said “well, I’m done talking about this, but anyway how are you, how are you doing with your meds and stuff?” I am beyond confused, but I know one thing; some people just aren’t your friend. And now I know that some people might even hate your guts, but will pretend to be your friend.

I have no idea why, though. All I know is that cutting him out of my life actually gave me a lot more than I thought it would. I am no longer obligated to stay his friend, and we can go our separate ways and never have to wonder if we would have worked out or not. All in all, it was something that I think we both needed in the end, but I just never saw it.

Thank god I didn’t invite him to our wedding…

In the Good times and The Bad

wedding-rings

So this weekend we went to a wedding. We – as an engaged couple went to a wedding. I know the bride because of my fiancé – he’s childhood friends with the groom and former roommates with the bride – and we have become good friends in the last three years. She’s been as excited as I was about my proposal and we’ve hashed out wedding details together (get this, we both planned to have the same color scheme and the same dress.. I guess great minds thinks alike.) I knew that they wanted money to get a new kitchen for their new house, and I took polaroids of her bachelorette party and their wedding as a little fun gift as well. The bride hugged me in tears and thanked me for the pictures, because I am always one to bring a polaroid camera with me, so I have given them photos of them together for two years, and now the pictures of her big day.

While they got married and the ceremony was going down, I cried a lot. Because marriage is a huge commitment. And to be honest, things at home with my hubs to be has not been the best the last few months. They have been much worse than this – believe me, but with a wife to be on welfare because of PTSD and severe depression, my resurfacing trauma and anxiety from being punched at the bachelorette party and seeing my abuser several times, and a hubs to be working on his degree; it speaks for itself. We don’t have much money. We don’t have much of anything, to be honest. And there is the fact that there is so much pressure on our wedding, the guests, the food, the budget. Something shifted when I got this ring on my finger. We were no longer playing around, we were visibly in it for life – which, do not get me wrong, we both want. But with sun comes the rain, and in the end I feel guilty. I am a woman who has waded through hospitals, diagnoses, medication, severe depression, self mutilation, abuse from several men because “I’m sure I can change him, it’s just a phase”. And it has made my heart grown cold.

Very, very cold. I say things during our arguments that I would never have said unless I had experienced abuse from previous domestic partners. One of the classics are “I don’t NEED to be with you. There is nothing within me that tells me that I NEED to be with you. I NEED to be with someone who understands and doesn’t undermine me. I don’t take any bullshit from anyone, so you can just stop whatever game you are playing – because I don’t need it.”

And that – my friends, is my brain trying to protect me. Of course I need him. I would be lost and probably dead without the man. He sat down on my bedside tonight and said that we have been trough a lot, from the time I stood in my pajamas on the bridge, to my relapse into Anorexia last summer and my self mutilation. But the thing is though… This is different. He doesn’t try to be my nurse, therapist or sow pillows under my arms. He says it like it is. He says “Yeah, we’re in a shitty place right now. We have gone through a lot, we’ve said and done things out of anger that were childish –  I have been mean to you, and there were times I should have put US first and not work as much while getting my degree.” And I think the fact that he knows all this is what has kept me from running out the door. I am a natural runner. I ran when I was almost kicked to death on the kitchen floor, I ran when my other dimwit tried to undermine me. I don’t want to take any more shit from men, and I have gigantic trust issues that probably would fill our entire apartment.

So there we were. At a wedding. And people told us all the time that we are so good together. We have this humor to us, a type of banter that makes people around us laugh. But right now, it’s not just only banter and happy days. There are days where I am unsure of what is happening. Getting married and staying committed for life is a big fucking deal. He comes from a broken home with a 50% chance to develop substance abuse issues or alcoholism, I come from a home where my father was an alcoholic for a large part of my childhood – but none the less, they are together and has been for almost 45 years now. And there are no guarantees in life. You are never guaranteed to be happy.

What it really comes down to is my own insecurity; the feeling that he deserves someone who’s not as damaged as me. He does not know the full extent of abuse I have gone through, an I will never tell him either. He’s my fiancé, my best friend, my lover – not my therapist. And he tells me all the time that he knew from the first night he spent the night that I had scars on my body. He knew that my life had been rough. But he chose to be with me, and he chose to ask me to marry him despite my flaws, my past and my disease. He commends me for being this strong, and he shares my victories. He holds my hand when I am scared, and lies next to me when I am afraid of the outside. But he doesn’t let it cripple him. He still lives his life, and I live mine. And I think that is one of the things that makes our relationship so good – we’re able to be together in the same room, but not all over each other. Silence speaks louder than words. And the man would die for me, as would I for him.

The only doubt I have about us getting married; is the ceremony, the party and the whole hoopla we are basically forced to have because of family and tradition etc. The thing is though; I don’t really look forward to it. I won’t be wearing a $5000 gown. I will be wearing a cheap, elegant gown. I won’t blow our budget on the party. I will blow the budget on the traveling afterwards the party. I look forward to be married, the marriage, being united – not so much the party. The party is just one detail that we are doing for our families and our friends. I’m sure I’ll feel different about it when I actually have my dress and I have drawn up the sketches for our garden wedding by the sea, with tapas and small dishes served on planks, running down the entire table, getting ready in the room I grew up in and having my father walk be down the isle. But when I have been trying on wedding dresses that are in fact $5000-$7000 dresses, I think that yeah, sure, these are beautiful. But I would much rather spend our money on a vacation. I look at the dresses – I try them on, I think yes, sure, this makes me feel like a bride, the hand stitched lace is gorgeous – but it’s just not… It’s not me. Not even when they pop a veil on my head and shove a bouquet of flowers and I stand on the podium – only then do I realize that I have forgot to take the sunglasses off my head. That’s not an super-omg-my-dress-will-make-the-day-bride. That is a “ok, this looks good – I think I’ll wait until the wedding season is over and see if I can’t get a second hand dress for my wedding-bride.”  And I am perfectly fine with it; we have the money to buy an expensive dress, but to be honest – I don’t feel like I need it. I will order a dress on Etsy and be done with it. So what if the lace is not hand stitched in Milan (Lies, all lies, they are all made in China, it says so on the label inside the dress), so what if I don’t get the most expensive and poofy dress on the rack. Chances are that it will be ruined anyway because of all the grass and that I will spend so much on alterations anyway. And the day will be just as memorable no matter if I wore a dress from H&M. I would love to show you the dresses I tried, but I won’t because I want and NEED to keep my anonymity because of work and nosy friends.

So even though things are hard right now and tomorrow he’s leaving for 4 days on a boys only trip where they hike on a mountain, things have been so hard that I know that the easiest option would for me to run away. But that’s the thing.. He’s able to accept me for me, when I’m not. He’s 100% certain that I am the woman he wants to start a family with and marry, buy a house and build a cat fort outside in the garden. He wants me for me. And my brain just doesn’t understand. And that is really, really sad.

But somehow I know that we will make it. I wouldn’t have stayed for over three years if I didn’t. And it’s not desperation – I am not afraid to be single and alone. I am just a woman in love, going through a rough patch with my fiancé. And I expect there to be many more.

We will be fine. After the rain, comes the sun.

Laugh! And a Rambly Post..

I am in general, a happy person. To the extent where I can laugh so hard at something small or silly that I almost pee myself and fall down on the floor. This has always been the “good” side of me, because for so many years the laughter was gone from my life. I was shuttled from hospital to my parents home, back to the hospital again, and to be honest, for some time I think that my parents were prepared to lose me. And I was sure as hell prepared to die; I never planned to make it to 20. I was very sensitive towards things that my parents said and I was also bullied my whole life, so I was sure that people were always messing with me. I think that is why I am so suspicious and such a hardass to this day.

I remember in kindergarten hiding away from the other kids to take a breather. I would lock myself in the supply closet – yes, lock myself in because it was the early 90’s, and just stand against the wall and have a breather. I remember doing this every day I was there, and my mother stayed home with me twice a week, I think, because there was of course some concern because I wasn’t “socializing with the other kids” – aka smacking them in the head with my toys.

Anyway. Now that I am nearly off all my medication, (I only use benzos to sleep and in case of major anxiety, and painkillers still, which all of them are supposed to be tapered off during the fall). But of course, something shitty just had to happen; the punch I got in the head when I was out celebrating a bachelorette party. As a woman who endured domestic abuse for some time, it’s bound to set you back a little. I was afraid to go outside for about two weeks, my fiancé – bless his heart – had to accompany me to the grocery store, and I was so ridden with anxiety that I actually hid behind a shelf just because a man walked by. So there’s that. My psychiatrist upped my dosage on the medication and said that if I felt the need to take it during the day, I could. But as many people suffering from anxiety will tell you, just the fact that you know you have medication at home or in your purse is a security in itself. I didn’t make it to work either, but that was OK, I got the work done when I got back, so no hard feelings there.

So. Laughter. I was watching some show, just a random one on Hulu about two women who were on the show “The Jersey Shore”. I loved that show because of its dysfunctionality, so I have seen all of it, including the sequel with the two women. One of them goes on to become a mother and her relationship doesn’t seem to be going that well because her fiancé calls  her names and is a proper jerk towards her, but in the second and third season they are doing so good and they are so funny so I lie in bed laughing LOUDLY while my man is sleeping and snoring. He doesn’t notice at all. And it got me thinking to what a happy person I really am, and how people say that I’m funny. I was out with several friends this week, and they all said to me that I was one of the funniest people they know.

It saddens me gravely that I was never able to develop into the person I was supposed to be, and I hope that I one day will be able to let go of the sorrow and grief. I feel resentful for having my childhood and teens and then, my early twenties taken away from me, to be drugged down half my life so I would never feel anything so I wouldn’t hurt myself or take my own life. Looking at it from a far away perspective which I am able to do now, I am not really satisfied with the misdiagnosis I received at an early age, the snide comments doctors and nurses have made towards me, and in general the treatment I got for being mentally ill. I was never allowed to be myself in those years, and when I was, I got scolded like some kid when I was in fact an adult and just wanted to lighten the mood.

But now that I haven’t been in the hospital for 7 years (!) for my mental illness or my afflictions, other than the emergency room for stitches or emergency medication, I find myself developing into a person that I actually like. Sure, I could work out more to look better, or I could do more housework, but the one thing that has come back to me after years of medication is my ability to read books again. During the last months I have read 6-7 books and I am currently picking up on a series I started but had to stop because of the meds that caused short time memory loss, the series “A song of Ice and Fire” – or Game of Thrones if you will. The books are insanely long, over 1000 pages, but I am so glad that I can just sit down and read and not have to go back several chapters because my memory was so terrible.

And I am grateful that I am able to laugh so much that my face hurts from smiling, or that my boyfriend makes me laugh so hard that I almost pee myself. Sometimes I take a look at my life and think “How the hell did I get through all of it, how am I alive, how did I survive?“, and then I look at the life I have now, a stable life with my man, we’re getting married, we’re applying for loans to buy a house, we have our cats, we have our hobbies – we both play a great deal of computer games which I have youtube channel for, and life is just good. It’s good. And I laugh more now than I have ever done, even if love is challenging and we are bound to butt heads, the thing that has always kept me and my man together is the laughter and the banter between us, it’s what attracted us to each other, and now three years later, even in the dark period when I was over medicated and started self mutilating again and all hope seemed lost, he never gave up on making me laugh.

It’s an important part of life and of our relationship, and I am so glad to be able to laugh so much that my entire body shakes and I can’t even utter a single word. Life is as of now, good. And I am so excited to see how our life will turn out a year – two years from now.

What is my life.

It was about two years ago or so that my therapist told me that people who are suffering from Bipolar disorder are:
a) Likely to pass it down to their children (30-50% chance, in the higher range if it is a girl) and
b) That the CPS and a team of doctors and psychiatrists would have to monitor the pregnancy and the first years of the child’s life because of the medication I was on for such a long time which is very poisonous, even deadly for a fetus, and to keep an eye out for post-partum depression and neglect from the mother’s part.

I was diagnosed at 22 with Bipolar Disorder type II, the “milder” version. I have not suffered any psychosis related to the disease, and as time has gone on, the symptoms have gradually disappeared. I have written about this before, but my illness is most likely not Bipolar Disorder after all, but a combination of the abuse I endured as a child and later in my life. There have been a lot of things that has contributed to this, things that I cannot take to court because it happened so long ago – but the memories are still there. The nightmares, the anxiety, the terror and fear – it’s all there.

I had an appointment with her two days ago where she told me that in her expert opinion, it was highly unlikely that I was Bipolar, but that I was suffering from PTSD and anxiety to the degree where it has made permanent damage in my life, brain and personality. Let’s face it, I never really got to be a normal teenager, I never got to have a summer job and do all those things that “normal” teenagers do. I spent my teens locked in my room, staring out the window or cutting myself. Even though I work now, I don’t get paid because it is part of a program that combines mental health and the welfare system so we can see how much work I am able to do, and then move on from there. My internship ends in September, but we will continue searching for a job in the local government because it suits me, and it’s a very flexible place to work.

Anyway; the good news is that she said that I had made so much progress and been so stable for so long that she saw no reason to even consider contacting the CPS if I were to get pregnant now (we are not trying, just for the record), and that I had so many good qualities in me that I would make a great mother.

Even though it has been long over a decade since I was first abused and I can hardly remember it, my body remembers it all too well. My body remembers everything that has happened to me, and unfortunately – my body had to suffer the consequences when I started starving myself to rid myself of the memories. Many people think that an eating disorder is about the looks, and about dieting. It might be for some, but for me, it was a way for me to disappear, in my mind I would be able to walk the halls of my school unnoticed so that nobody could see me or hurt me again. A way for me to stay untouchable. I was obviously wrong, and to this day I suffer from the aftermath of what I did to myself. I have a very low metabolism which I have to take medication for, my vitamin D levels are dangerously low so I take medication for that too, and I have a mild form of osteoporosis, or brittle bones if you will, and I have problems with digestion. I’m only 26 years old and my body feels like it’s 70. And of course, I have scars from self injury that I can’t get rid of unless I try laser treatment, but I’ve written about my horrible experience with the doctor about that before so I just live with it, no matter how uncomfortable it is to have gaping scars on my wrists after the most serious suicide attempt at 19. And now it’s summer, I might weigh a decent amount, but I could stand to do some situps now and then, so I am really self conscious of my body and the whole bikini situation.

But despite all this – I count myself lucky. I am going to be evaluated again after I calm down from being punched two weeks ago (read my previous post), and then we’ll see. It saddens me too, that something that was so out of my control, that people walk free from to this day, still hurts me so much and makes me unable to keep a stable 9-5 job. It saddens me because I will never really get to know the person I would have become if I had not been abused at such a young age. My teens were filled with rage, depression and despair, and poor decisions – my early twenties, filled with alcohol, drugs and men that were bad for me. It really makes me wonder if the people who abused me knows what they did to me, or if they know that they took something from me that night it happened. Because to be honest, I never really felt whole again.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep at all, I sit by the kitchen table by the window and look at the people walking by in the morning, people heading to work and to the University nearby and I wonder what they are like. I wonder; could I have turned out like them? I look at my friends who haven’t experienced or lived through what I have, and I wonder if my life could be like that too? If I could have had a stable job for years, the money to buy an apartment, a ‘normal’ life without Valium, nightmares and anxiety and the freedom to just go out the door whenever I wanted to?
But then I look down at my engagement ring and smile, sneak back into the bedroom and crawl under the sheets and hold my fiancé tight against my body, because he has seen the worst parts of me – and he still wants me to be the mother of his children and his wife. And I can’t think of anything that gives me more sense of worth and honor than that.

Beatdown

Two weeks ago I was attending a bachelorette party. I was hesitant to go because I don’t handle alcohol well (as we all know), and because there would be girls that I didn’t know at all coming, and one girl that I do know, who acts kind of holier than thou towards me. I’ve known her for about ten years, and she still treats me like trash. However, I went because I knew that it would mean a great deal to the bride, she even told me so herself later on that night and thanked me for coming out and attending for over 12 hours. To be honest, I had a really good time. As a present to her, I took a lot of polaroid pictures during the day that she got to keep, and I am going to make a movie out of the pictures, clips and films we all took that day. Anyways, when we hit the town after over 12 hours of activities and dinner, I went to the bathroom, which was a co-ed bathroom so we had to share sinks with the guys. The place we went to is a sports pub by day and a really wild club by night so I only had a glass of wine, and I drank a little during the day, but I was still coherent and not drunk at all. When I tried to make my way to the sink, a guy pushed me. So naturally, I got mad and tried to get to the sink yet again, but he kept on pushing me, so I pushed him back. I was so overwhelmed by everything that day and I had only slept a few hours before the bachelorette party began at 8 in the morning, so I was getting pretty damn tired and I just wanted to go home. And before I knew it, the guy punched my lights out, and when I came to it, some random guy was holding me down while the guy who hit me ran away. I didn’t tell the bride because I didn’t want to upset her, I just gathered my things and called my fiancé to come meet me because he was on his way home from work.

I don’t see myself as a physical threat. I am 5’2″ and I weigh somewhere around 95-100lbs naturally, so I’m not a big girl. The fact that the guy had someone to hold me down as he escaped just… It baffles me, to be honest. I told the guards about what happened, but unfortunately he was already long gone – but they were really nice and went looking for him, but the guy was really generic looking and was wearing a blue shirt and khakis – which 30 other guys were wearing that night, but they said they would be on the lookout. I started on my walk/run home, when I ran into the police.

The embarrassing part is that one of the men on duty that night is a friend of me and my fiancé. I walked a couple of metres, and then there he was, the douchebag who punched me. I asked him nicely if he was the one who had punched me, and he didn’t deny it. He kept on saying that I could hit him back all I wanted, and I tried to calmly explain that I didn’t want to punch him – I just wanted to know if it was him, and if I could get his name. At that point, three officers had gathered around us because the guy was so drunk, and he tried to escape so I am pretty sure it was the guy who hit me. It’s so typical – I just want to have a good time with my friends and I get sucker punched for no reason other than the fact that I tried to wash my hands. Sure; I could have been more careful and not pushed him back, but I was afraid and I kept getting flashbacks from my violent ex so I acted on impulse to protect myself.

I am so embarrassed about the entire incident, but the worst part is that the nightmares that literally JUST had disappeared, are now back. I wake up every half hour, drenched in my own sweat and tears, and need to remind myself where I am and who I am and how old I am, and that I am in the same bed as my fiancé and not people that have hurt me before. I spoke to my therapist about it who recommended that I stayed away from places like that, which frankly baffled me a little. I understand what she’s saying and that the situation would be less likely to happen if we were at a more grown up place, but still. I felt kind of hurt, like it was my fault that he started shoving me against the wall and punched me. I took pictures of my head because I got a huge bump and bruise near my temple, and the police got his name in case I want to take it to court, which I don’t want to.

I am pretty pissed off about the entire incident. It’s so unfair that women have to endure such abuse and violence when I was just trying to have fun with my friends and enjoy her bachelorette party. Needless to say, it’ll be a while before I go out to a club or pub again.

Down, Down, and Then it Gets Better.

I sit here in my bed at 1:56AM at night. I look at my engagement ring, I smile and then I get a little sad. Sad because the few last weeks have been anything but good. I have been out sick from work again on Monday, and for personal reasons I could not attend work yesterday. Let me just say this about my current life and situation in general. It is not ideal.

My fiancé and I have hit a few road blocks the last couple of weeks. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to air the dirty laundry out here on my blog, but it has been detrimental to my health, as well as his. It all started when I went looking around our apartment for the key to our storage space, across the garden from our apartment complex. The last time I had it, I gave it to my fiancé because he got me a new bike for Christmas. My previous bike was 15 years old, rusty, the gears didn’t work, but it got stolen from outside our apartment anyway. So he got me a new bike, which I loved, and he stored it in our unit. I keep a lot of my old stuff in there, including a huge crate of shoes. I walk to and from work two days a week. That’s usually 5-6 kilometres both ways, including all the walking I do at work. So I searched for the key – but it’s gone. I need my other pair of trainers because my Nike Air shoes are worn out.

Me receiving financial aid and him being a student, there’s no secret that money is tight right now, so I can’t afford new shoes. We’re also in the process of obtaining a loan so we can buy our own place, so tension is high. The wedding is in a year and a half, but it still needs planning and stuff. And for some reason I cannot fathom, my fiancé thinks that it is his responsibility to keep me happy and go lucky all the time. I have never EVER told him that it is his responsibility, it is just something he has concluded himself.

It is my belief and my truth that only you are responsible for your own happiness. Sure, other people can contribute towards it, but in the end – you have to do the work. And I have been happy, even though working two days a week exhausts me, so I sleep more than usual. I need to lay down after work because I am constantly on my feet, running around with files that need sorting etc. But somehow, my fiancé got it in his head that I was unhappy and spent a lot of energy trying to make my life better, when he really should be concentrating on his own happiness and wellbeing. He’s a really really nice guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly – but it got to the point were we were arguing so much that I had to ask him why he was so angry and kept poking the bear (me). He told me that he did all he could to make me happy, but it didn’t work. I told him on multiple occasions that I was in fact happy, but he didn’t seem to believe me, so he burnt himself out on trying to make me happy (which I already was), focusing on school, work and his social life. And now, he has collapsed. And so have I. Right now, we are at a crossroad. We cannot continue living like this, arguing over a stupid key and other small things as well. We need to take care of ourselves first, and then each other.

But today, I was running some errands in town, and suddenly I found myself standing in the middle of the street crying. This is not how our engagement was supposed to be. This is not how our future was supposed to start. And then, I found myself growing bitter – which we all know is poisonous in a relationship, because we have put off getting married and starting a family until he’s finished with his degree. I felt bitter because I have worked so damn hard to get to a place where I can feel okay and not depressed or manic, only to discover that my biggest source of unhappiness is my fiancé and the fact that he wouldn’t even consider getting married this summer, even though I asked him to, and he said he’d think about it. I called him up and he came to pick me up minutes later, bought me dinner and then we just sat in the car for minutes and agreed that unless things change between us, we cannot get married next year. I refuse to enter a marriage unhappy.

But then, he took my hand and said “I’ll do anything to make you happy. Even if it means us not getting married. I don’t want for you to grow bitter at me, I don’t want for you to marry me unless we are both happy and in love. All I want for you is to be happy, even if it means us not being together. I’ll sacrifice our relationship for you to be happy.”

And with those words, I knew that I had to let go of the resentment and bitterness and start working on our relationship again. Work on the little things we used to do, like watch movies and go out to dinner when our savings would allow us. After all, marriage is during the good times and the bad. And for now, I think things are going to get better for the two of us. Because he is the one I want to spend all my days with – good or bad, and I refuse to let him slip through my fingers over something as dumb as a key.

Surprise Wedding!

I know I don’t disclose much of my private life on here for obvious reasons – I don’t want anyone I know personally to find this blog or its content. But yesterday I traveled for five hours to my sister and her fiancé. They have been engaged for six years and have three kids. I see them rather often because they love to come visit our parents by the sea, and my sister has taken some time off from work to stay at home with the twins. Today they got baptized but yesterday and the day before that – I was feeling really sick. Splitting headache, stomach issues and nausea and fever. I called my mom to ask if I should still come, because I am one of the godparents to the twins and she said that if I was sick I should maybe stay home, as not to contaminate an entire family of five + guests at the baptism. So I called my sister to tell her that I was feeling sick, and that I wouldn’t want anyone to get sick on my account, but she was so adamant on me coming and said that I was a godparent and that I had to come because I am usually the photographer and videographer of our family events. Also, she would need a lot of help with the kidlings which I am happy to do, so I got on the train that morning and slept through the entire ride.

When I got there I was feeling much better, I blame the whole thing on sleep deprivation and the fact that my fiancé hasn’t been feeling all that well, and he had to sleep on the couch not to get me sick. Sadly, he could not attend because of work, and my sister got really sad and upset about that.

And now I know why.
Traditionally, baptisms are held on sundays, with plenty of kids and a sermon beforehand. But today, the church was just filled with family. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But then the preacher said “Saturdays are usually reserved for weddings and the uniting of couples”, and all of a sudden, the doors opened and there my sister stood, in a ivory silk dress, with her oldest child in a beautiful dress, and her fiancé by her side. Turns out, they had planned to get married and baptize the twins all along, and that is why she got so sad that my man couldn’t make it, and why she was so strict and adamant on me coming even if I was sick. I didn’t realize it was them until they were halfway down the isle, but I got the whole ceremony on tape, pictures of the reception, the gifts for the kids (there were no wedding gifts because of the secret wedding), pictures of the guests and the twins and the eldest daughter and the married couple at the church, which my sister really appreciated.

Now, my family has never been the marrying kind, despite our parents whom recently celebrated 42 years of marriage. She said she’d never do it, I said I’d never get married or have kids, my brother is single as well. But there she was, getting married. I cried of course, because she was so beautiful, as were her children and the ceremony was really their style. No muss, no fuss, just simple and elegant as my sister is. I am so happy for her, and my brother held a speech and made a point of the four things my sister said she would NEVER do, get married, have children, get an iPhone and get a Volvo. She now has done all four. It turns out I have been helping her putting together her wedding for months without knowing it! I helped her pick out the shoes, and she looked at dresses when I went to try on dresses etc., we looked at flowers, prices and she used my wedding as a cover. She got three dresses for the price of a new one; our family has always been thrifty, and the baby girl twin and her sister wore these adorable dresses in tulle with butterflies on them and a bow on the back – which cost more than all my sister’s three wedding dresses combined.

It was such a happy occasion and I am glad I filmed and took photographs of it all. We headed to a fancy hotel and had dinner and cake, and it really was a surprise, my mother didn’t even know, and she cried and cried because she was so happy. I went home early because I was falling asleep at the reception – turns out, watching after three kids, feeding them, changing them, bathing them and dressing them – two of them whom are still infants, and helping my sister do her hair at eight in the morning is quite exhausting. When they got home, I woke up and went down to congratulate her and she said that she was so happy I did her hair and helped out. She was really moved by the fact that I came, and she even insisted on me trying on the wedding dress she didn’t use. It’s white – not ivory, but it has beautiful beadwork and lace, and buttons down the back, The skirt itself is in several layers of tulle, so it’s a bit poofy for my taste, but she said I could have it if I wanted to. It’s bought from a much criticized website (alixpress.com), but the lace and beadwork was as good as the dresses I have tried on in the shops, which cost ten times more.

My sister and I might have had our fights and our indifferences and even years of not talking, but seeing her walk down the isle got me thinking of how important family really is. And I’m just so happy for her, her husband and the three kids, because now they are a complete family. 

On our way to the hotel I called my fiancé and told him he missed out on a huge thing today and he said “Yes, yes, I know, I wanted to see the twins as well.” But when I told him they had gotten married as well he said “Whaaaaaaat oh man I really missed out…” 

Yes, my dear. You really, really did.