Under Pressure

The creepy mug has been retired and I bought a new one.

I was on a date last night. It went well but I am pretty sure I was crap company because of how tired I was. I am under a lot of pressure at work. Aside from the tiredness, I found myself talking shop a few times and I made myself cringe.

For me, this entire month of May will be one of the busiest and most tiring months. But this was by design and I don’t deserve any sympathy.

I did it to myself.

I am heading up a number of high profile technology projects that involve changing the way the company operates. There is a lot at stake.

My last 3 years of employment was spent planning what exactly needs to happen this year. I have been engineering and shaping the environment and getting all of my proverbial “ducks in a row”, before being able to start the work.

The project deadlines are aggressive. I will have to drive the projects, lead the people, steer the meetings, manage expectations and argue the toss with other decision makers, every step of the way. This is also by design.

I have a really intelligent boss who is supportive but my team is incomplete. The projects have started but people have jumped ship, so I am still recruiting and adding new people to the team. I have had to take massive risks to keep things moving.

I need to finish what I started and I can’t fuck it up.

I am now in a state of paranoia and obsessing over ways I could fuck things up. I need to find ways to offload some of the pressure and at the very least, not create new problems for myself.

Not fucking up equals working harder.

I need to be prepared to work longer hours and sacrifice my social life. I am asking myself if I should even be dating anyone at the moment. I can only be partially invested in starting a new relationship and don’t know if it is wise to start something that I can’t maintain.

Not fucking up equals staying SAFE, in every sense of the word.

The elephant in the room is my PTSD and whether or not I should even be dating whilst still in recovery from domestic abuse. Can I trust myself to make better decisions and keep myself safe?

Don’t get me wrong – going on dates has been a massive milestone in my recovery journey. I feel much better than I did when I started the blog but I am still a shadow of my former self. I am still scared of men.

These projects have been 3 years in the making but I did not plan to start my projects whilst smack-bang in the middle of the most traumatic phase of my adult life.

Not fucking up equals, being scared but not showing it.

What makes all of this worse is the years of trying to earn credibility at work going down the drain. My boss and many of my colleagues know about the abuse. He made sure of that when he sent an angry email to my colleagues.

They know what he is, that he is known to the police as a danger to women. They also know I was too scared to bring him to justice and I dropped the charges.

Everyone has been supportive but the inevitable consequence of his actions is how they now perceive me.

Knowing what they know, how can they not think that I am damaged and incapable of handling the challenges ahead of us this year.

No wonder my boss has been pissed off with me. I feel like he is concerned and all this is causing him stress. Or was he? Am I just paranoid? I don’t know.

I can’t stop obsessing about this stuff.

I have to be focused. I can’t make mistakes. Everyone is watching me now.

Shit it’s 7pm and I am still at the office.

Tired and sore

img_2149This picture was taken last week, shortly after we reached the top of Cadair Idris and I cried. Tears of sadness and release. My sister in law was respectful about it and kept it to herself.

I haven’t posted in a while as I was out and about for most of my trip in Snowdonia. I went with my brother and his wife with a friend tagging along as well for a couple of days. We stayed in a gorgeous cottage on the coast of South Snowdonia.

The trip was a success. The weather was gorgeous, I climbed the biggest mountains, explored forests, ate yummy food and even managed to squeeze in some mountain biking. I was impressed by my sister in law who was able to keep up with me and my shenanigans for the majority of the trip.

I smoked weed on one of the nights and it reminded me why I don’t smoke anymore. It was nice and relaxing to begin with but then I just felt tired and hazy and it felt like it didn’t wear off for a few days. It makes my ADHD worse thats for sure – definately not worth it. I wont be touching it again any time soon.

I got back home last night. I unpacked, went food shopping and re-organised my life.

Today I am sore, tired and I look like I have been hit by a bus.

I am going rock climbing with my friend this morning, and then I have a couple of dates lined up over the weekend.

I shouldn’t go on the dates because I promised myself that I would use this weekend to build the Ikea furniture (to replace what my ex smashed up).

On Monday I have a 2-day training course and then I have to go back to work on Wednesday.

Busy.

Anxiety is slowly creeping in.

Back to reality.

An escape from reality

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This is my home for the next week, a gorgeous little cottage in a coastal village in Snowdonia National Park, Wales.  I took this picture as soon as we arrived on Friday – I tried to write an update but I was too tired from driving.

Yesterday I climbed the famous Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.  I have wanted to climb it for years but never got round to it. I should feel proud of myself as it is the biggest mountain in Wales at over 1000m but I don’t really.

Truth be told, I feel really shit about myself. I feel so fat and ugly right now that the whole time I was climbing the mountain, I was cursing and punishing myself. I was so hungry at times but I only allowed myself some fruit and the water.

This morning I woke up feeling a little bit of sadness and I think it is because my ex was supposed to be on this holiday with us. I caught myself wondering if he would’ve liked the bedroom and if the bed was comfortable enough for him so he could get a good nights sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.  There’s a part of me that really misses him. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad he isn’t here because the trip would have been utterly stressful and exhausting.

My therapist told me that I am grieving still, which makes sense – but still a total headfuck. Right now in this moment I have 100 reasons to be really, really happy but I am not.

My life is much easier now.  I have more freedom and I don’t have to worry about doing or saying the wrong thing. No-one is going to get upset or pissed off with me.

I look around me and I everything I see is beautiful. The cottage is surrounded by plush gardens and just stones throw away from the sea.

It’s Easter Sunday, I woke up to birdsong and pancakes on the table for breakfast.  My brother and sister in law are lovely, gentle and kind and they make me feel loved. Also a couple of my friends will be joining us later on in the week.

I have nothing to worry about.

I should be happy.

This week was supposed to be an esape for me but instead I have come face to face with the reality that:

  1. I am full of self loathing and I hate my appearance
  2. I am still greiving about the end of the relationship.

What if this week can be about purging and cleansing myself of all the shit? I wish.

Anyways, today is going to be another hot day. I am going to sign off now – get my hiking kit on and venture out to do another mountain, a big one.

All I can think to do now is climb and climb until eventually, the pain in my legs is greater than the pain in my heart.

 

 

 

Paranoid that I am pregnant

I took a pregnancy test this morning and thankfully, the result was negative. Last night before bed I noticed that my tummy was really bloated and rock solid. I started worrying I was pregnant and ended up having horrible nightmares that his baby was growing inside me and I was trapped and alone, unable to decide what to do.

The problem I am having is that my period is late and the last two have have been abnormally light, like nearly non-existent. I am really bloated, tired, tearful and constantly craving sweet things. I do not have much of a sweet tooth and this is not how I normally experience PMS.

I know that I am paranoid and that I’m not in my right might at the moment.

I know that my paranoia is completely irrational because I am on the pill. Ironically, he is the reason I am on the pill. He pressured me to start taking it. I explained to him that the pill doesn’t agree with me and I really didn’t like messing with my hormones, but he was having none of it.

Apparently, orgasms hurt when wearing a condom so I gave in.

It has been just over two months since the police removed him from my house so I am wondering if the stress and PTSD is not only affecting my reasoning but also my menstrual cycle? I don’t think it is the pill because I started taking it in December. I don’t know…I mean, I don’t want to stop the pill now and mess up my hormones again.

I need to sort out my anxiety.

I am catastrophising and hyper vigilant at the moment which explains the nightmares and poor quality of sleep.

I need to sleep more.

I just really need my body (and brain) to start behaving itself.

I am taking my brother and sister-in-law on holiday and I am trying really hard to make it special and for everyone to have a nice time. I know I am putting pressure on myself but this is something that needs to happen because my last holiday with him was traumatic.

I need to get better and I need to make new holiday memories, happy memories.

I don’t know who to trust

I recently got involved with an adventure activity company. I have been on a few trips so far and I can sincerely say that they are a lovely bunch. I was asked by the owner to help out as a volunteer and in return I can come along to all of his events for free.

I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

This is such good news for me because I don’t have many friends who enjoy outdoorsy activities. Normally I do things on my own which is risky and I am prone to taking unnecessary risks and getting lost. I have’t had anything awful happen (a couple of near misses) but this way, I will get to do what I love and meet new people, in a much safer environment.

As I spend more time with the group, I’ll be getting to know them better and at some point someone will want to know more about me. At some point some of the icky things about my life will come up in conversation. If they ask about my relationship status I’ll be struggling to find an answer that is authentic and appropriate.

I don’t want to talk about surviving domestic abuse, or how I’ve been spending my time with the various health professionals, victim support providers and the criminal justice system (which is taking up a lot of time and head space at the moment).

People are trying really hard to get to know me and I’m struggling to gloss over all the shit that I’m going through. It’s getting harder to avoid the icky topics, in a way that is kind and friendly.

Also I’m worried about “oversharing”. Ever since I can remember, people have pointed out that when I get talking about myself I tend to over-share, which is a bad thing. I am told that it can be inappropriate or awkward for other people.

Getting this feedback from people is really embarrassing for me.

Oversharing also leaves me vulnerable, I’ve been told.

Apparently I have weak boundaries.

It is common knowledge that over-sharing of personal information is a classic ADHD thing (AKA impulse control issues). And we know that for people on the Autism spectrum, it’s down to having under-developed social skills.

So as an Autistic ADHDer, it is extra difficult for me to say the right things at the right time. I’m high functioning and reasonably self-aware, so I’ve found ways to rein it in, but it takes ALOT of effort and only works to a point.

It is much easier if I just avoid talking about myself. The best way I can describe how I do this is, I build this invisible wall around me and I don’t open up to anyone outside the wall. This feels safe but it doesn’t really work because once the seal is broken then all the icky stuff pours out and I don’t know where to draw the line.

I’m not sure what is “too much information”.

In my current place of work, it took me about a year to have an honest conversation about my personal life with my colleagues. It was a really big deal to them that I opened up finally. Now I wish I hadn’t shared some things because people use your icky stuff to make fun of you.

“We know all about your track record with men, ha ha ha!”

It really hurts when they do that – but they tell you it’s harmless fun. But it still hurts.

I have to say that as I get older, I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable talking about myself to strangers. It’s even worse when someone shows a genuine interest in me. If someone I don’t know starts asking personal questions I actually find myself freaking out a bit.

I know, in theory, that there is a balance to be had – especially with people that you work with.

I say too much. I don’t say enough.

I just can’t get the balance right. I don’t know how to be social and share little bits about myself in a way that’s friendly and appropriate (i.e. how humans should behave).

On the other extreme, if I really like the person (which equates to, we have similar traits and vulnerabilities) then I will open them straight away – usually because I want to make them feel understood, accepted and supported.

Usually it’s because I want to help.

I know, in theory about bad people masked as victims or tortured souls.

I know in theory, that I shouldn’t open up and trust people, purely on the basis that they are nice to me.

The reality is, I don’t have any reliable measures to keep myself safe. I don’t know who to trust.

I let the wrong ones in.

I don’t know how to fix this.