Finally it is Friday. Lots of parts of my body hurt. The longer I am awake the more I discover. Who knew that using long dormant muscles would be so painful!. At least I have cute undies!
Despite feeling like I have made progress with my mental health it seems I am still treading water. Words still won’t flow even though I actually have ideas and half started pieces all over the place. My mind is still bouncing around all over the place. So you all will be subjected to posts like this. Brain dumps and snippets of my life.
Enjoy your Friday. Remember You Never Walk Alone even if it feels like it. Sometimes help is in unlikely places.
Back in June I participated in Every Damned Day in June. I learned that I just need to sit at the key board and post, something. And then… Life. Or rather motivation waned. Too many things competing for my attention. Writing is something that requires focus, and the absence of other things, mostly people, verbally usually, competing for my attention. That seems to be something of a rarity in this house. A couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a melt down, at work until I could get a lid on it. Then later at home. I likened it to having a pimple that needed to be squeezed. Just a build up of junk that had to come out.
Reflecting I know some of the things I said to some people who genuinely care about me were probably hard to deal with. The whole time I was spewing out my feeling junk I was painfully aware that this wasn’t their fault and that I was unloading in an unhealthy way. In the aftermath I reflected. I considered my options with mental health care. I don’t have a regular therapist. I have mostly avoided them for a few reasons, cost being one, the idea of unloading to a perfect stranger another. I did once visit a psychologist and he was somewhat helpful but the reality of mental health is that fixing the problem requires effort. When people speak of “doing work” at therapy they are not wrong.
So I didn’t find a therapist but I did find some answers. My social life has been awesomely busy. The kind that teenage me dreamed of. Adult me has come to the realisation that I am socially awkward and while partying every weekend SEEMS like fun it takes its toll. And so I realised I have to also plan to NOT go out. I have to plan to stay home and NOT visit people or invite friends over. I am an introvert at heart and I need to have some down time.
So here is to the weekend. To quiet times and maybe some writing.
During the month of June I participated in EverydamneddayinJune. A meme that strongly encouraged daily posting or at the very least three times a week posting. I was successful and being involved helped to create some momentum that continued until recently. Over the last couple of weeks it has all gotten a bit much and even though I am having some ideas and even starting a couple of pieces they are still languishing in my drafts pile.
Deep down I know the reason why. I am an over achiever and currently have allowed myself to take on another hobby / project. This project is actually one The Unicorn is starting for herself but I am currently finding myself fascinated by shiny lycra and UV reactive mesh. Not to mention the cute and somewhat saucy prints from a particular Australian Manufacturer.
I am proud of my creations
But they are taking up a bit of my time and brain space. And so I think I need to bring my focus back to this baby. I will be turning 50 in mid September. Let us see if I can post most days until then.
In a recent TMI post I alluded to a fall out with a long term friend. Without going into to much detail this was probably one of the deepest friendships I had experienced in my life. As a result of the combination of the isolated location of my childhood home and my parent’s self absorption I grew up without learning exactly how to make a friend. I have never had a BFF or ever really a lot of friends. It is something that has always bothered me. I am very self conscious of not being cool or even feeling like people would actually like to be friends with me. So when a person comes along that does get past all of the layers and seems to get me it is a rare experience.
Over the years this friendship probably showed a lot of signs of not being all that healthy. Certainly my “friend” had her own childhood traumas which had left scars. But I chose to accept them and make allowances. Over the last few years we “drifted apart”. At least that is how she explained it. I more saw it as her finding other people who were more interesting to hang out with but po-ta-to / po-tah-to.
Then, as the universe tends to, we seemed to be pushed back together again. She started making overtures and I accepted them, cautiously. She insisted on telling everyone who would listen about our long term friendship and trying to make it up to me by telling other people how cool she thought I was. It felt a bit weird, if I am being honest, and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it.
It seemed like things were getting back to the way they used to be. But as our good friend Pandora knows, once the box is open you can’t close it again. I had lived my life and grown as a person. Likewise her life had gone on and she had changed slightly as well. The fit was never going to be the same.
While dealing with her traumas and life struggles she had said and done some things that caused some mutual friends to be, at best, wary of her. Some people she had downright ostracised. This caused issues. I had to negotiate social situations where I was basically forced to choose between groups of friends. It was frustrating. I wanted to be loyal to this person who had been in my life for so long but I also needed to take care of myself. I had grown and that meant I had a better sense of my value. I knew that I deserved to be treated better. A friend who treats you as something that can be picked up and dropped at their convenience is not really a friend.
I wasn’t sure how to deal with her. I had started to realise that just letting her drift in and out was not really going to work this time. I deserved better but the part of me that avoids confrontation mad me avoid addressing the issue. Until I found myself right up against it. I had seen some things that told me she was very unwell. She needed more than a good friend, she needed to see a professional. Somehow I found the courage to tell her my thoughts.
Her reaction was not entirely unexpected. I guess I should have realised that such a self centred person would not have considered that their actions and attitudes contributed to their life catastrophes. In her mind self help memes and feel good Facebook pages were all the counselling she needed.
She made the end of our friendship official on Facebook.
Because of our history I was surprised at how all of this affected me. I was forced to say out loud some things that had bothered me. To name some of her behaviour as abusive. Even now it seems weird to say it. She emotionally abused her husband and her children. She made them feel afraid to express themselves in their own house. She made them feel as if their ideas and needs were less than hers. I wondered if I had failed them by glossing over this stuff. As I looked around with more open eyes I saw how my opinion of people had been coloured by hers. How I had dismissed people because of her say so and “facts” she had provided. I felt duped and I questioned my integrity.
On a deeper level I mourned the loss of that friendship. At one time it had been a healthy one. Even if it hadn’t been for several years. It was once and I had lived in hope that it would be again sometime. This is where the self love comes in. Loving yourself sometimes requires you to push people away when you can see that they are harming you. Even when they are people you once loved. Even when you feel as if you don’t have a lot of friends. Self love is about making conscious choices to be your authentic self and not someone else’s play thing. In the long run you will become stronger and more self sufficient and you will attract the same type of people. Suddenly you will also have friends who will treat you like someone worth something.
This post is part of Wicked Wednesday’s final Bingo prompt. The square I have chosen for this post is “Self Love”
1. Does your smartphone have a grip on you? In one hour, how often do you check your phone? a. I am glued to my phone. I check it every 1-2 minutes; it is satisfying. b. I check it 1-2 times per hour. c. I check my phone only when I get notifications, and I don’t get many. d. I check at lunch time and at the end of the day mostly, unless I get a notification.
It is really a combination of b. and d. I don’t take my phone to class and so am not constantly checking it but I do check it more frequently when I am at my desk.
2. Israeli spyware Pegasus* marketed and sold to other governments is used to spy on activists, journalists, and political leaders. Do you believe hackers are monitoring your smartphone?
There have been too many times that I have been talking about something and then suddenly Facebook is showing me ads about that thing for me to NOT believe it. Do I sound like a conspiracy theorist? Probably, but there it is.
3. When in flight, on an airplane, do you put your phone in flight mode?
Yes. There isn’t a message on the planet that can’t wait until the plane lands. Plus it preserves the battery.
4. What is the lock on your smartphone? a. facial recognition b. fingerprint c. numerical code d. pattern e. I don’t lock my phone
Facial recognition has changed my life!!
5. Do mobile phones interfere with your relationship(s)? How?
I think one of the saddest things is seeing a couple out at dinner both sitting on their phones and not really being in the moment with each other. That has GOT to have an impact. For me if I am trying to give a “go away” vibe to Mr Jones I will have my phone in my hand. If I am having a proper conversation with him I will put away my screen so that I can focus on him.
Bonus: In line with the theme I am sharing the last three images on my phone.
1. Would you rather be attracted to for your body or your mind?
Hmmm tricky one. As women we are strongly conditioned to be ornamental and so feeling beautiful is important. So often my attention is attracted by someone commenting on my boobs or bum or general physical appearance.
That said if that is a s far as the conversation goes or if it keeps focussing on that I will get bored and move on quickly.
2. What would be more embarrassing for you out in public–to be seen tripping or adjusting your “package”?
I fall over in public from time to time. The most recent was a stack in a busy pub last weekend. Not because I am clumsy but because there was something spilled on the polished concrete floor! So tripping is not that embarrassing because I am used to it.
I don’t have a package to adjust. But if I did then I think this would be a more awkward option.
3. If you are going to be famous what is it for?
I already am famous for having awesome boobs!!!
4. Would you rather urinate in port-a-potty or nearest bush?
Definitely a bush. Port – a – potties are for emergencies only.
5. What new beginning are you excited about?
I don’t have any specific new beginnings happening right now but I have recently had a shift in my friendship circle. A long term friend has decided she didn’t really need me in her life. Up until this point I was remaining loyal to her even though it was causing me to become isolated from other people who I had a lot of time for. Now that she is gone it is like I have lost a lot of dead wood. Maybe it is for the best.
Bonus: Burrito or Tamale
Mexican is not a really common street / takeaway food in Australia so Tamale isn’t something I have come across. I do like a burrito on occasion though.
3. A big box is delivered to you. The address is correct but the name on the label is not you. Do you open the box?
Kind of tempting but I will admit I am too much of a goody two shoes to open it. I would probably try and return it to the sender.
4. How long have you held a grudge?
Until I don’t. Sometimes that can be a few hours, sometimes a lifetime. I recently had my first experience of having to block an ex-friend on social media. It didn’t sit well with me and while I would like to think I won’t be seeing her in my life again there is part of me that is not entirely convinced.
5. Does anyone have a grudge against you? Why?
See above! What the grudge exactly is for I am not entirely sure. A collection of things I think related to her twisted perception of the world.
Bonus: There is this one thing in my life I wish I had not done. I wish I had not _____ .
Let my mother take over my wedding. I was young, she had controlled my life mostly up to that point. I let her dictate most of the aspects of it and I regret it completely. So much so that I considered having a “do-over” on my 25th anniversary.
After so much serious stuff there has to be boobs!
I am continuing to complete Marie’s bingo card of menopause symptoms. If any readers out there read the card below and identify with any of the categories it would be great if you could share your story.
Once upon a time sleep was something I was able to enjoy in great quantities and at will. Then I had a baby. Suddenly sleep was something I didn’t really have the luxury of enjoying at my convenience. Sleeping came at the convenience of a small human that required feeding and being attended to at all hours of the night. It was an interesting time. The baby’s room was in the front of our house. We lived in a less than affluent neighbourhood. I have memories of sitting in the rocker of my baby’s bedroom looking out the window at the comings and goings of the drug house across the street from us.
My second child was even more unsettled at night. Without exaggerating I don’t believe she slept through the night with some regularity until she was about five!. At the same time Mr Jones’ sleep apnea was becoming more and more of an issue. There is something about sitting by the bedside of a fretting child while your husband snores away in another room. Sometimes my mind is blown by the thought that he survived those days.
Somewhere in there I become more of a friend with 3am from a tossing and turning and not being able to sleep perspective. Sometimes I would wake at 3am look at the time and then go back to sleep. Other times I would wake, the poultry would complain about a predator and then sleep was a lost cause. Or I would wake, check the time and then spend the next couple of hours tossing and turning while my mind thought every thought in the universe only to fall asleep half an hour before the alarm. Those nights did not make for a very coherent Mrs Jones the next day.
Somewhere around my mid 30’s depression became more of a feature of my life. I was prescribed Pristiq by my GP. While this didn’t seem to change my sleeping habits I did notice that if I spent time staring at the ceiling thinking the thoughts in the middle of the night I felt hungover the next day. This was frustrating, to say the least. What is worse than having a hangover without the previous party? I changed medications a few years ago. My sleeping didn’t change significantly. I still slept through on a good night and had other nights that involved staring at the ceiling. What had changed was that I didn’t seem to need the sleep. If I missed an hour or so in the middle of the night I was still able to deal with the next day. In fact I began to wonder if I actually needed all that much sleep
Like many things associated with menopause I was completely ignorant that my sleep patterns could be associated with menopause. Like so many peri-menopause symptoms they could be attributed to other things, stress, brain chemical imbalance, anxiety, poor diet, too much screen time. So did the onset of peri-menopause contribute? Who really knows. I am not really sure and now I guess I will never know.
Not a complete dialogue but the line from “A Few Good Men”
“You can’t handle the truth!”
2. Which show do you watch the most?
For a long time Dr Who was on high rotation in our house. Unlike Mr Jones and The Unicorn I didn’t spend a lot of time sitting and watching it but I was fairly familiar with the plots and culture of the show. One show that I did spend the best part of a year working through was Orange is the New Black. The rest of the family were not as into the show as I was but I still watched a few episodes when I got the chance. I loved it.
3. Do you get shy on camera?
It is weird. I don’t mind having my photo taken with my boobs out and when I am in control of the image being posted. Especially if it is of my body but not my face. I avoid being snapped at school as much as possible though.
4. How often do you take selfies? a. Once a week b. A few times a week c. Every day d. Never
Probably 1 – 2 times a week on average. Following the above rules of no face. And so Twitter is graced with #commutecleavage and #travellingboob.
5. Do you like being watched?
When I am having sex? Fuck Yes!!! The seeing people aroused buy watching me have sex is a major turn on.
Bonus: What’s the last thing you got in trouble for?
I am an adult we don’t really “get in trouble”. Last thing I did that made a lot of people shuffle their feet awkwardly because I SHOULD have been reprimanded? Not so subtly made a comment to the CEO of our company about the way he favours some campuses and their staff over others with his attention and support. For the record, while the other people in the room were aware of my intent, I think he was oblivious to my meaning.