Monthly Archives: March 2016

Dear George and Mildred

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Dear George and Mildred,

I wasn’t really expecting you. You weren’t totally planned. But you are welcomed.

I promise to

  • look after you
  • keep you safe
  • feed and water you
  • take you for lovely walks
  • have lots of fun
  • give you opportunities to play with humans and other dogs
  • give you lots of cuddles
  • have adventures with you (we may well be travelling the length and breadth of the country)

But, YOU WILL NOT OWN ME. You come in to my house and my life on MY terms. I am in charge. I set the agenda not you. You may think you can sniff out my weakness and exploit it, but you won’t win. You may pull on every heart string I have, but you won’t win. Because, I can do this.

You will have a fantastic life with me, but I will work with every ounce in me, to make sure I have a fantastic life with you as well.

Here’s to the adventure.

Hepzibah.

catastrophizing and evidence

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I realised as I was writing my previous post that I am catastrophising (not sure how to spell it but I know it is a CBT term).

I am imagining the worse case scenario. I am replaying previous experiences and assuming they will happen again.

I am predicting the future, when I only have the present.

Unknown.pngBut I know how to deal with this. I am skilful. I have evidence that contradicts my fears. And I will just have to keep reciting the evidence until the anxiety lessens.

Evidence thus far: 

  1. They are not rescue dogs.
  2. They are a different breed.
  3. They are not Damien.
  4. They will have each other for company when I am not around.
  5. I am different  and will continue to change and grow.
  6. I can train them in my ways from the start.
  7. I am a skilled teacher, I can manage children, so I can train 2 docile puppies.
  8. These are so gorgeous friends will like them as opposed to dreading Damien coming round.
  9. If I have to, I can take them in to work. (I’m one of the bosses)
  10. They are dogs not humans.
  11. I have friendships where I am not enmeshed so I know how to remain separate.

And this list will grow.

Thanks for listening.

 

What have I gawn and done!

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I am in quite a high state of anxiety 😦 so may be a longer post than usual!

I used to have a dog. A dog called Damien. It was possibly one of themes unhealthy relationships I have ever had with human or animal! I was totally enmeshed with this dog. My separation anxiety was such that I paid people to sit with him and my life revolved around this dog. To top it all, he really was quite unpleasant… (which is very significant in terms of my relationship patterns interestingly).

When I came out of my last bout in hospital, 2012, Damien did not return home. It was a good call. It helped me recover. I was unbound from him and quite frankly after the initial harrowing separation, I didn’t hugely miss him.

But I do love dogs. I really do. Over the past few years I have flirted with trying with another dog- but I’ve never felt brave enough.

But to cut a long story short, yesterday I bought two puppies! And I’m now in a state of panic.

My fear is that it will be the same as it was with Damien. And to be frank I’m not sure I (or some of my friendships) can survive another Damien experience. I was so enmeshed it was horrific. But I know, I’ve been enmeshed with humans (always men).

Can I love something but remain separate? Can I manage my separation anxiety? Can I still function while loving something/ someone?

I am absolutely shaking in my boots. Penelope will be delighted I have done this. Currently, I am not. But it’s not because I don’t want the dogs. I do. I just don’t want to be like I was before and I have not a jot of confidence that I will be any different and that petrifies me. So the hard work has to start now.

I choose to feel the fear and do it anyway.

This is different.

I am different.

The dogs are different. They are not Damien.

I have 4 years of skills training under my belt. I am happier. I can do this. I will do this. I need to get my CBT books out again and get working. This has the potential to be delightful and healing. They are gorgeous. Other people can have pets and not crumble, so can I, it just may take me a little bit more work. I am going to do this.

Names are not yet decided, but here they are. I pick them up in 2 weeks. Time to plan!

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oh the irony

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Sometimes life is just weird! Plan weird!

Yesterday, I did pretty ok at staying on track. By the end of the day I was really upset- doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have done it… but on the whole facing things is more upsetting than ignoring things in the short term.

Unknown.jpegI spent some of the day reading “Reinvent Your Life” textbook again. I’ve blogged about it before and I can’t recommend it enough to those who are interested in schema therapy. I was focussing quite a bit on the sections on maternal deprivation and abandonment issues.

Then lo and behold my elderly neighbour next door, June, had a funny turn and was taken off to hospital.

I have blogged before about how difficult I find her at times. She has Alzheimers and Dementia and in some ways is the most stressful part of my life currently. She can be quite demanding of me and I find it incredibly hard to hold my boundaries with her. She is very critical of me and I am never quite good enough for her.

But last night when she was in hospital, I was bereft at not having her next door. I was proper upset. As I write now, the emptiness next door is massive. I know I should feel a bit of relief at the respite but I don’t. I think because of my thinking/ reflecting yesterday I’ve become a bit over-sensitive to female figures in my life again… and as ridiculous as it seems I am feeing really lost without her.

She may or may not return home. I am not party to those arrangements for her. Part of me really doesn’t want her to come back, as I don’t think it is the best place for her, but part of me is now also thinking, what am I going to do without her?

oh the irony…

 

George

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My brother, George, passed away in December. He was 49.

The day before he died, I was able to have the chat about dying with him. We will all know that conversation is not one of the most pleasant.

Through tears, I said to George, “if love could keep you alive, you would live for ever.” He replied, “I know”. And in that moment, I knew with clarity, he did know. He really knew he was loved. He was totally secure in our love for him. At the time, I remember thinking, wow, he really knows this. I also remember thinking, I don’t.

I can’t seem to believe anyone or feel love from others. I do have people say they love me. I do. I remain surprised when people agree to having me around. When people arrange to see me, I always think, I wonder why they are doing that. But the love doesn’t penetrate. I can’t seem to connect with those words. And it makes me very lonely.

Thankfully George did and could. I hope that one day, so will I. It will make life a lot more pleasant.images.jpeg

Thanks for listening.

out with the old…

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I am on a mission.

The mission to declutter. I’ve dabbled before. But I am being ruthless this time.

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My house is in chaos- which feels like a reflection of my life.

And thankfully, I’ve had enough. It’s got to change.

The difference this time- is that I’m going deep.

I know some people are happy with messy drawers and cupboards as long as it’s not on show. I can’t do that.The messy drawers sometimes aggravate me more than the overt stuff. So I’m going deep.

Drawers. Files. Boxes.

Things that I’ve struggled with giving away on previous de-clutters, are going. When I’m struggling to give away- that is the indication that I need to give it away. This is not a short term project- I have a lot of stuff!

The stuff just has to go!

I’m not naive, I know that once it’s gone the temptation will be to fill up again… where there’s an empty drawer- fill it up again. I will deal with that side of things when I get to it. At the moment, the current operation is to clear out. The stuff just has to go!

Thanks for listening.

Transition.

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Change. 

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people embrace it. Some people avoid it.

Transition. 

That process of moving from one place to another. One state to another. One phase to another.

I’m in one.

Usually, I love and embrace change. I can’t bear the thought of turning stagnant. Not keeping fresh. Not moving. I usually find change quite exciting.

Unknown-1.jpegBut in this phase of transition, I am finding it a bit more tricky than at other times. I have been trying to think as to why this might be. I think an idea is crystallising for me.

This time, I don’t know the end destination. I don’t know what it looks like, when it’s coming, and if I will ever get there. I’m in the dark. Because the potential other side is somewhere where I’ve never been before. And this is the new factor for me.

If I’m instituting change at work or in my home: I usually have a clear vision of what the new will look like. It often looks worse before it gets better, but I know where I’m going.

With this season of my life, I don’t. I’m clearing out. But it’s just feeling empty. I don’t know what, if anything is able to feel the hole. I do not nature abhors and vacuum and something will fill it… but quite what, I don’t know.

So I will just have to keep on keeping on. I want to hope for the best, not in that really pathetic way that people sometimes say… but rather with a bit of peace in my heart and fire in my belly that grits my teeth and says- change just ahead- but its hard in the dark isn’t it.

I need to look for some light!

Thanks for listening