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.

PTSD & struggling with basic life skills

I finally went food shopping this week!

 I’ve been living in absolute chaos since the night the police took him. Due to PTSD I’m struggling more than usual with everyday activities like driving and shopping. So, the fact that I finally went food shopping this week feels like a major turning point in my recovery. My fridge and cupboards are no longer depressingly bare.

I still haven’t cooked myself a meal from scratch but I have a choice of nourishing foods as well as treats for me to nibble on whilst I am gaming and pottering around the house this weekend, which makes me much happier.

At some point I need to assemble the replacement furniture that he’s smashed up – but I’m doing a good job ignoring the IKEA boxes stacked up in my hallway for now.

One of my glaringly autistic traits is my rigidity and dependency on routines and organising my life in a certain way. However, my mental health has been so poor that I have been really disorganised and scatty. I haven’t done any cleaning in weeks and the mess is giving me anxiety but the worst part of this is how things are affecting the people I care about.

I forgot my sister-in-law’s birthday last weekend and I only realised because Facebook told me. I honestly thought I had plenty of time that day to find a gift, buy a cake, drive an hour over the border to surprise her with lit candles and a sing-along to “Happy Birthday”.

Instead I wasted the whole day wandering about the house not doing much.

After numerous cups of coffee I was anxious enough to notice that time is escaping I should get my shit together. I hopped in the shower only to realise that my boiler had broke down so I stubbornly spent 2 hours trying to get my boiler to work (failed).

I ended up arriving really late, like after 9pm at night and because of this we had a very late and rushed meal in a crappy restaurant chain at the nearby shopping mall. We then went to the last showing of Dumbo at the cinema where I spent the whole movie crying and then ruined the atmosphere for the rest of the night.

I’ve tried to forgive myself for last weekend but of course I’m ashamed about making things shitty for the people who care about me.

There’s so much more shit that’s hitting the fan like getting caught for a driving offense and performance issues at work. My boss has been permanently pissed off with me the last couple of weeks. So I know I’m letting people down but I am not sure that I can do anything about it other than avoidance and try to minimise the fuck-ups at work but I don’t think I’ll succeed right now.

I think the only thing I can do right now is try to focus on myself. I don’t know really. I’m just winging it here .

I wrote a list of all the things that will help me look after myself better. These are all simple things that I was very used to doing and I know they work for me, so I thought I should try to do as many as I can this week.

Here’s the list and you can see what I’ve ticked off:

  • Go shopping for ingredient to cook meals – done
  • Eat nourishing foods (e.g. fruit and veg) – done
  • Go for a run – done 3.8k
  • Go to the gym x 3 – done 2 (missed 1)
  • Drink more water – nope
  • Clean the house – nope
  • Change the bed linen – done
  • Don’t drink coffee after 12pm – nope
  • Home admin, bills, etc – nope
  • Go to bed early – nope
  • Go for a swim – nope
  • Stay away from alcohol – done

When I wrote this list I realised just how different (and damaging) my lifestyle became through being in a relationship with him. In a nutshell, I stopped looking after myself as soon as our relationship became serious.

For example, I used to subscribe to a weekly recipe box. This was something that added so much value to my life because it was a way of working on my (autistic) rigidity as it helped me vary my diet and try different foods. His first reaction to the recipe box thingy was to mock me for it. I couldn’t understand why because I was cooking all these really interesting meals for us – but he thought that living on microwave meals and delivery food was a better idea as it “less stressful”.

My therapist explained that his response to this was that by disrupting my routines and breaking down my “systems” of living, he would have more control.

I can see what she is saying and I can think of so many other examples to support this theory. I mean, I used hate microwave meals and tried to stay away from them but because of him I find myself having them nearly every day.

One scenario that I recall as I write this was that Friday nights with him became our “delivery food night” and eventually, towards the end of the relationship he would just order the food without even asking me what I wanted.

So I found myself in a place where I didn’t even have a say in what I was eating and I was eating mostly crap.

Then there’s the alcohol issue. I’ll am going to leave that topic for another day because I am doing OK today, and I am worried that I’ll get really upset if I start remember things as I try to write about it.

I wanted to jump to my death

Towards the end of the relationship I had thoughts about killing myself. This was the first time in over a decade that something like this had crossed my mind.

My brother and his wife asked me to organise a 7 day trip for the four of us to stay in a cottage, somewhere rugged and beautiful.

As I sifted through the hundreds of properties on AirBnB, some of them had some pictures of the surrounding landscape so I could visualise the experience. The property we went for is coastal and the listing included gorgeous pictures of the nearby beaches and cliffs.

I started imagining the inevitable that either one of us, myself or my brother or his wife would end up pushing his buttons and the trip would turn sour. I imagined a scenario whereby after an awkward confrontation, he and I would have to go outside for a “time out”. We find ourselves walking along one of the nearby cliff edges. My thoughts then moved on to the tears and feelings of despair that he’s upset my family and there would be no way of reconciling. I imagined how I would feel if this happened. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself so there was no option other than for me to die so I jumped off the cliff.

I was suddenly fantasizing about suicide which absolutely terrified me. I told him about it – not fully – just the jumping part.

He didn’t bat an eyelid.

At the time, I think I told myself that perhaps he thought I was lying or something…I don’t know. When I think about it now, about his blank stare, I try to remember if there was ever a time he showed any kind of genuine regard or concern for me. I tried to remember any relevant facial expressions, body language or words. I am finding it difficult, he rarely ever made eye contact with me.

I always ached for him to look into my eyes so I could see that he loved me but he wouldn’t.

I do however remember some actions that showed me he really cared – on a couple of occasions, when I was sick.

There was one time when I was really sick with a nasty nasty cold. I was in so much pain and I started weeping. He immediately stood up, put his shoes on and drove to the shop and returned with a bag full of medication, vitamins and chocolate. I saw the shopping and wept even harder, this time from gratitude. The fact that he did something utterly caring and nurturing for was something I craved so badly and in that moment it was there.

The time before that I was sick with a UTI and he behaved in a similar way. It was when I was at my weakest physically that he really showed up for me. He was tender and he genuinely made me feel protected, looked after, like he really did loved me.

I miss that guy.

Nearly two months on from the breakup and my feelings about him are still so very complex. At night my dreams about him are sweet and loving but during the day the intrusive thoughts run wild with his nasty words, the mindgames, manipulations, his unpredictable outbursts.

My complex feelings are confusing and draining my energy. I’m so tired.

How is it possible that the traumatic events are persistently and uncontrollably playing back in my mind, yet-a big part of me is still deeply in love with him?

Why does that part of me see nothing wrong with letting him tear down my world, until the only thing left for me to do is to take my own life?

Target hardening

Today I had a spy-hole and chain installed.

It was the Women’s Aid who introduced the word Target Hardening to me. They arranged for a specialist to inspect my home and advise on how to make my property more difficult for an offender to break in.

They advised that I change my locks and install a spy-hole, chain, CCTV and security lights. These things cost money. So far I have afforded the locks and today I had the spy-hole and chain installed.

Next up I’ll get the security lights done.

It wasn’t a terrible day today. Probably because I was distracted with work. I was panicking about an important meeting with the CEO and his Exec team. I had to present a Business Case and a Project proposal to replace some IT systems. I had to take a Propanolol to get through it – but it did go well. All approved and signed off and I am so relieved.

My cupboards and fridge are bare but I don’t have the will to go shopping now. Even though it would be a fairly simple task as I’ve been living on diet of eggs for breakfast, soup, pitta bread and humous for lunch and a microwave meal for dinner. I don’t know why I’m struggling to keep up with that.

I have been productive today. I did well so screw it – I’ll order in tonight.