I feel like I’m drowning again

Im having a PTSD episode as I write this. I don’t know what happened. I was doing so well but but the last three days have been awful.

The most visible physical symptom is that I’m crying all the time.

I’m having waves of anxiety where it’s hard to breathe and it feels like my heart is going to explode.

I’ve just messaged my friend (my guardian angel). I hate worrying him, he’s stressed enough as it is as he is touring at the moment and it’s been a rough one for him.

He’s going to ring me back in an hour or so. I just have to wait.

Breathe.

Calm down.

He’s just sent me a link to a song On YouTube, Lola by the Kinks , because we would listen to that song when we were sixteen and it always makes me smile.

I’m calming down a little bit but the tears are still streaming down my face as I write. I don’t think it’s helping but I’m going to keep writing.

I look over to my little man, Leo who is sleeping beside me on the sofa. He’s making funny noises and I think he’s having a nightmare.

Apart from Leo and I, the house is empty.

As I sit here weeping uncontrollably, I’m recognising that yes I have PTSD but I’m also depressed and feeling so alone right now. I wish I had a boyfriend who loves me and cares for me.

I want to be in love with someone with the security that nothing bad is going to happen.

I want to feel safe but I’m asking too much because for me, feeling safe is to be in a loving relationship. Maybe this is part of my Iranian upbringing but I want to be held every night, to feel cherished and looked after by a man who loves me, and I love him back.

All I feel now is emotional turmoil, anguish and heart ache from what is missing from my life.

What’s worse is the that deep down I think I’m going to be alone forever.

I’m remortgaging my house to pay for cosmetic work to be done on my teeth and face. Im doing this because the last time I was in a committed relationship, I was made to feel like I was ugly and worthless.

If I’m honest, I really don’t think I will ever find what I’m looking for. I’ll never be truly happy and in love.

I can distract myself with appointments and forking out to fix my teeth and my face. I can lose more weight and feel prettier than I do right now but what does it matter?

I’ve been broken far too many times.

I’m damaged beyond repair.

I didn’t go to Paris

I have complex feelings about this T-shirt. First of all – I love this T-shirt because it is a gift from one of my dearest friends.

Around January this year my friend wanted me to go to Paris with him (and I should have went) but I just couldn’t do it.

At the time it felt impossible for me to break away from the situation I was in. I was in an abusive relationship with a very disturbed man. I was emotionally and psychologically trapped and I could see no way out.

It’s worth saying that my lovely friend is actually an ex-boyfriend from back in the day when we were kids. We were about 16-17 years old at the time.

He was my first love.

He knew I was in an abusive relationship because he is the person I called, each time I was in tears, falling apart and on the verge of a break down.

Inviting me to Paris was one of the many ways he tried to rescue me. I didn’t run away to Paris with him but I can sincerely say that in so many ways, he totally did rescue me.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about all the things he has done for me – because it’s private – but what I will say is that he really showed up for me.

For all the harm that was done to me, he was the one who went out of his way to help me heal from it all.

He helped me pick up the pieces, cared for me and made me feel special. One result from all the things he did, was that he helped me recognise that I didn’t deserve any of what happened to me.

I have complex feelings about the T-shirt because it reminds me of a painful time in my life but also it’s symbolic of my friends heroism.

The T-shirt reminds me of how trapped I was. It reminds me that I had a chance to escape the abusive relationship but I was too weak at the time.

The T-shirt reminds me of friendship and kindness. It reminds me that my dear friend was there for me when I really needed it.

The T-shirt reminds me of my first love. It reminds me of a time before heartbreak, before I was damaged and broken.

The T-shirt reminds me of my own self-worth. It reminds me that I might be broken but I am still lovable.

The T-shirt reminds me to be aware of dangerous people but to have faith that there are good people too.

The T-shirt reminds me not to be afraid because one of the good ones is my guardian angel.

I can’t procrastinate this weekend

Here in the UK it is officially “May-day” bank holiday weekend. I have had to cancel my camping trip so I can deal with everything that I have neglected at home. I haven’t been keeping up with any housework and there is a mountain of odd jobs that I have been putting off since January.

I still haven’t build the Ikea furniture to replace what my ex smashed up over Xmas and New Year.

The biggest motivator for me now is that someone will be visiting my house to make sure I am worthy of adopting a rescue cat (i.e. I am not a complete savage and there are no other pets in the household).

The lady from the cat rescue charity will visit 1pm on Monday and I don’t want her to see my house in this state. I look around and this not who I am but I haven’t had the strength or will to keep on top of things.

So anyways, I am going to do it this weekend and have put together a massive to do list to finish for before she arrives.

Here’s my to do list:

  • Build ikea wardrobe and drawers (to replace what my ex smashed up)
  • Clear the front driveway of weeds and rubbish
  • Clear the back garden of weeds and rubbish
  • Remove mould and mildew from the bathroom ceiling and tiles
  • Deep clean and vacumm the rest of the house
  • Take all waste (including broken furniture) to the recycling center / local skip

Someone has offered to help me with building the Ikea stuff. This is the guy I went on a couple of dates with. I told him why I have cancelled my camping trip this weekend and since then he has become determined to, in his own words, be “alpha male” and just come over and help me.

I’ve turned down his offer. I have been truthful about it and my reasoning is, my ex is the reason why my life has ended up in such a mess and I should really fix it myself.

It doesn’t feel right for me to let another man, a man who I hardly know – swoop-in and clean up the mess left by the shit-head that abused me.

I am so overwhelmed by how much I need to get done this weekend but I need to take my power back.

I need to do this alone.

 

 

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.

Yesterday.

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Yesterday I did three really cool things that made me happy. I went surfing, met some new friends and went on a date.

How the date transpired was kind of unexpected but in a good way. It wasn’t through a dating app or website. In a nutshell, he had been following me on social media for some time, we didn’t really talk or anything. Last week he messaged me and asked me out on a date.

He is definitely my type so I said yes. My type is outdoorsy, athletic, English (don’t ask me why my men have mostly been English – I think it’s the accent), intelligent, etc.

So we arranged to meet at Mountain Biking park. My dated wanted to cycle but I already planned to surf that day, so we agreed he would go ahead and cycle and I’ll meet him at the park after my surf session.

I surfed for a bit during the day. It was my first time back in the water since before the sea temperature dropped in November. It was fun.

I then decided to check out the local surf hire cafe. I was introduced to the crew and hung out with them for a while. They are such lovely people, gave me the warmest welcome and a free cappuccino because it was my first visit.

I bought a bar of handmade soap and a Sex Wax car freshener (of course), then hugged my new friends goodbye.

I drove to my date straight from the beach with my board still strapped to the roof. I hadn’t showered, sand everywhere, hair was still wet, no makeup – but it didn’t matter. I felt really good about myself.

I turned up on time-ish and as you would expect things were a bit awkward at first. I suddenly had an uncontrollable urge to pee, but it was late and the park toilets were locked. I had to drive out of the park and find a pub before we could resume our date.

I returned, put my walking shoes on and we headed into the park for a walk. The sun came out and the weather was mild.

Perfect.

After about an hour we headed back to our cars. It was quickly obvious that we wanted to continue the date because he asked me to go for food with him and I said yes.

After finishing our meal we decided to go to the cinema to see the new Avengers movie but it was so late that we missed the last show. We went to another bar for a while and agreed a second date in the week for us to see the movie.

He walked me back to my car and gave me a really nice hug.

In other news, today was day one of my two day course. I was out late last night so I was really tired today but the course is really hands on and interactive so I managed to stay awake.

On the way home, I thought I lost my keys and had a little bit of a melt down.

I am hungry but too tired to cook so I am going to have some toast and then get an early night.

Signing off.