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.

 

Reviewing my friendships

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I previously wrote about how the PTSD from my abusive relationship has made me hyper vigilant and uncomfortable around men. Something else I have discovered is, I am now uncomfortable around a lot of people. Family, colleagues and people I call friends.

Men and women.

Therapy has helped me understand that I struggle to identify unreasonable behaviours and I can’t protect myself from them.

I have poor boundaries.

I am a people pleaser.

I am vulnerable to abuse.

I have learned that due to low self-esteem, I willingly accept and make excuses for unreasonable behaviours. I will work hard to try to appease the other person.

I have realised that some of my friendships are very unhealthy and I am partially to blame. I seem to have a knack for attracting and nurturing friendships with people who aren’t particularly nice to be around.

Although I am aware of it (and massively repulsed by it) I still don’t know how to deal with situations and people who are toxic.

When I say toxic, I mean controlling, full of anger, harsh and judgemental towards others. Some people are aggressive in their ways and some are passive aggressive but in essence, they are made of the same stuff.

I am now navigating life with a different lens.

I am being given all this new information but I don’t know what to do with it.

I have come as far as being able to feel that something is off with the other person and it isn’t me, I have done nothing wrong – BUT I still need time to think about what was done or said.

I am not sure what to do now.

My gut is telling me that I need to get better at identifying the behaviours and challenging them on the spot. This is terrifying. People like this were unreasonable to begin with so the thought of confronting them makes me feel sick to my stomach.

I feel like it would be easier and cleaner just to cut some people off but I know that actually, I need to grow and learn from this.

I need to be brave and to trust that in fighting back, I am doing the right thing.

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.