Me: addressing … sadness?

I’ve been ruminating on this for a while … I’ve written about it a few times in the past; from my point of view of course.

I’m at it again, because there is a disturbance in the (my) Force and it’ll come tumbling out all slightly messed up as usual … but oh well 😉

We’ve had a few more suicide attempts within the family; a couple of deaths; couple near misses; the earth (Paptuanuku) has been flexing her muscles which sends unease throughout the masses;  … Theres grief and perplexity abounding all round. Not obvious; but it’s there.

So as the Suicide Hotline numbers are topic 1 on the family Newsfeeds at the moment, and there’s an outpouring of “I’m here if you want to talk … anytime” sentiment tagged onto these Hotline messages; and Topic 2 is Depression and what you should do if you think your depressed  … *not feel ashamed *talk to someone *get help … being the top 3 suggestions            …. I am left wondering the following:

  1. If we really gave a shit about people / family / those in grief / those struggling; why do we offer assistance only after the fact?
  2. Why is the go to anecdote have to do with how sad we once felt and how we ‘chinned’ up and ‘soldiered on’?
  3. Why is the reason to anything we don’t really understand, to do with sadness, have to be labelled as “Depression”?
  4. Does the title Depression make Us feel more comfortable, rather than Sadness?

Don’t get me wrong, Depressive Disorder / Depression in any sense of the word / label is a bitch, no doubt. I was raised around plenty of depressives … I get it.

What I wonder though .. is, were they really depressed? Or is that just the clinical term given to those who then have a legitimate reason to be drugged? By labelling them as such, do we then get to tuck them all neatly away in the corner, drugged up, still rocking … but labelled, so at least we know what ‘that’ is?

From my own groove; I’ve been given more drugs for Depression than I care to remember. No-one actually did a blood test and said … Yes, your whats’its are low and a good dose of this shit will increase those whats’its and you should be all tip top again in at least a decade. No, they questioned me. They ticked a few boxes and because I ticked the ‘depressive’ category, they prescribed.

The problem with questions, from one perspective, or an ‘anti-wholistic’ perspective – is they only ‘fit’ a generalised populace. And generally, that populace, depending on what it is … is white, mid age, mid class … not, indigenous, not sensitive, not artistic, not unique. Generalised, is just that. Unfortunately, generalised is not really the ‘norm’.

So, back to the drugging aspect of this all … the drugs ‘they’ have prescribed for me over the years include most on Wikipedias List of Antidepressants excluding those that aren’t available in NZ and Lithium.

Fast forward to 2016, and after nearly 2 decades on, some clever fucker decides to look a little wider, noticing that there might be more to this than meets the naked eye … that Me doesn’t display all the A Typical symptoms of Depression / Depressive Disorder …. Whoa … brilliant … we label this one with PTS(D) instead. Now lets try medicating this bitch with other shit …

Hold the fuck up I say … No more medication.

If they misdiagnosed, mis-medicated for nearly 2 decades; like fuck will I let them continue doing that! Because somehow they got brighter and smarter over the last 20 years?? Well, thats what the last lot said.

Now, I’m not bashing the medical System (well, not completely) … my point is …

I know ME … if I’m left to figure it out … I know ME. Therefore I know what I need.

Which brings me to where I’m at now.

But slightly of track with the rest of my ramble …

Back to the Newsfeed Depressives and Suicide peeps.

Whether they’re truly depressed or not, I’m uncertain. I know they’re sad; that much is clear. So they toodle off to the doctors who prescribes one of a trillion possible anti-depressants. ‘Go home, take these .. back to work Monday’. Couple years later, after a dozen or more ‘trials’ of medication have unfolded … but they’re still living a ‘productive’ life … they try and Top themselves … and we all sit back and go, Fuck … didn’t see that coming … ???!!!

Why? How? How did we not see that coming?

I believe medication isn’t designed to cure us, just placate us. If it placates us, where does everything that caused the sadness go??

It got me wondering, what my tipuna (ancestors) did, pre-colonial days, when someone was ‘sad’.

And heres what I found out:

When someone was deemed to be sad, or depressed … unable to engage or talk … they were taken into the whare or community house … where everyone worked and met and talked … the ‘sad’ person, was able to rest / sleep, on a mat in the centre … they were surrounded by their loved ones, who continued to go about their daily business … but would also feed the person, touch them, tell them stories, laugh, cry … love them. And this went on for as long as it needed to. It went on for as long as the ‘sad’ person needed it to.

And you know what … I dig that way of doing things! And i guess, it’s what I’m doing for myself now.

….. Lastly, the suicide topic … ….

Why?

I don’t think i agree with suicide, but I get it. Been there, done that and I get it. Is it preventable?

Fuck yes.

Most of Us want the fight to be over … we want the sadness to be over … we want acceptance … just to be left to be who and what we are … what ever that form may be.

The only way I can see for any of us to find that … is to create it for ourselves.

I’m still pissed at those that have left me; taken their own lives … but I get it! And those that have tried and been ‘unsuccessful’ and look like they are getting better but are just actually waiting for an opportunity to try again … I get that too … and I can see it on You.

To those that I love … If you do, I hope you find peace. For those that don’t, I hope you also find peace.

There … think I’m finished that for now …

For now 😉

addiction cloud…2010

Sometimes I wonder how the fuck I’m still here! But I am … and stronger for it I do believe 😉

meptsdandallthefuckedupshitinbetween

The BPPV didn’t go away, it got worse. I saw a neurologist and had a CT scan which showed up nuddah. The neurologist suggested I had some kind of CHVS, Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome, and sent me packing. I was having panic attacks 3-4 times a day, but at this stage they weren’t diagnosed as that. Brilliant doctors decided I had Major Depressive Disorder, and tried to medicate accordingly.

What was interesting about this turn of events is that I had spent about 10 years ‘clean’…not taking any mind altering substances; not drinking and maintaining a pretty descent diet. And their first thought was to pump me full of medication. By this time though, I was so wobbly on my feet, I think I would have kissed a frogs ass if they said it would help. I tried yoga and breathing exercises to help with the dizziness…aka undiagnosed anxiety! No one thought to…

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looking back…

I know I’m making personal progress even though most of the time I’m second guessing myself. I guess it’s one of those ‘flaws’ that I’ll figure how to make into something spectacular one day.

But just so I remember…how far it is that I have actually come…

March 2014 we moved to my beach heaven – the 3 years previous had been filled with unexplained anxiety, sickness, increased weight, depression, increasing medication, pain, emotional distress, very little sleep, nightmares, sensory overload, not driving, decreased travel in a car, not working and eventually not leaving the house.

The car ride to our beach was the first ‘long’ trip I had taken in a very long time. For the first 4 weeks I think it was, I didn’t leave the house at all. I freaked out when the neighbours tried to be neighbourly. I’d have a panic attack in the backyard because it was too far from the actual house and I didn’t venture past the mailbox without medication.

It took about 3 months to feel some kind of relaxed feeling. I started feeling more familiar with my surroundings and not so on edge. There is something quite peaceful about hearing the ocean roar all the time. It was soothing. For the mind and the soul. It still is.

I eventually got past the mailbox and tried to walk to the beach. I failed, lots; and freaked myself out numerous times. It was plenty discouraging!

I finally got a diagnosis of PTSD about 6 months after moving out here. While it was painful to hear; it made sense. Everything made more sense. But it pissed me off. I waited about another 6 months for any type of treatment…the wheels of ‘health’ move way to slowly in this country.

The first session with the psychologist was awful…for her and me. She ended up coming to me instead. We’ve had about 6 months of her coming to me.

Anything I did…the shop, the beach, family celebrations, family coming to visit…were hard work. It’d take days to recover.

I struggled with sleeping and the more I became anxious about it the harder it was to sleep. The nightmares were hell-a-scary for ages, and waking up sweating and shaking and crying, were pretty horribly normal.

We are now in November 2015…and I am not where I was five years ago; a couple years ago or even a few months ago. I have made progress.

More than anything, I’ve learnt…well learning, to accept my little quirks as just me. Not necessarily a part of PTSD…but just the way I’m wired. And as long as it’s not hurting me, then its OK.

I can socialise now…not like the partner does; but in my own funky way 🙂

I can talk on the phone now…I still don’t like it; but it doesn’t freak me out 🙂

I can walk to the shop…by myself…making sure I always return home with a brownie 🙂

I can do family…I love doing family…I love having the kids here; the mokos here…I don’t find them draining like I used too 🙂

I’ve figured size is just a number and don’t really give a shit about my weight…it’ll decrease when its ready I reckon…and I’m OK with it…so much so, I’m going to buy a bikini for summer 🙂

I can sleep up to 6 hours on a quarter sleeping tablet…there are less nightmares…and I know what to do when I do wake up from them 🙂

I have made progress…I need to remember that, and congratulate myself regularly. I know I’ve forgotten some of my mean achievements, but these will do for now 🙂

Rock on you funky thing you 😉 Let’s tick some more stuff off that list of yours…

medication irony

There’s been

Fluoxetine and Paroxetine

Citalopram and Clonazepam.

The Tricyclic, Notriptyline

And the Noradrenaline

Venlafaxine.

Then Naproxen and Nurofen

and Ibuprofen and Promethazine.

Don’t forget the Metoclopramide

and the Metamide.

The Diazepam and the Alprazolam,

the Lorazepam and the Oxazepam.

Then there’s the Dexamethasone and the Valdecoxib,

Meclofenamate and Metoclopramide Hydrochloride.

The Sertraline and the Parozetine,

The Benzodiazepine, Aprazolam

and Zopiclone.

Meclizine Hydrochloride, Antivert and Diphenhydramine,

not to mention Dopress too.

Then there’s Omeprazole and Paracetamol,

Varenicline and Allersooth.

Not forgetting the

Surmontil and Aropax.

And where I wonder are the things

I ‘self medicated’ with?

Well there’s abit of coke, and weed

Plenty of Tobacco and bourbon.

Beer, a few uppers and downers.

A couple of trips

And some red wine.

IRONY?

I thought so.

 

seasons for everything…2005

We started a new year in a new place, and a small town…me and my little girl; when I say little…11 years old :). She caught the bus into town, early in the morning and I’d drive 40 minutes south to catch the train, to travel another hour or so to University. I was doing my major papers by this time, and I’d switched my focus to Criminology. I also started a Security Course…being the ever practical me, Criminology in theory was all good…but how was that going to out work in the real world…and there was no way I was joining the police force…the poupou , along with most other government departments, weren’t my favourite types of establishments; and I wanted some practicality to what we were learning in Crim. However, there was no cross over really…Crim theory is just that. How it translates into real world is…well, unrealistic, I think. As far as research goes, its awesome. But research on its own is pointless if it doesn’t translate into the ‘doing’.

My little girl enjoyed her school…still doing the bilingual thing…and culturally she thrived in this type of environment. I was kind of dreading taking her out and putting her into a mainstream school, which I knew I needed to by the time she hit college. Because she wasn’t a fluent Maori speaker, and neither was I, she was unable to be integrated into an all Maori school. Those rules are changing slightly now…but for then, it sucked ass. But we did the best with what we had. I had decided to move her into a high decile school…not sure if that was a smart thing in hindsight…but at the time, the reasoning was that she had her culture down packed; her language was good and she would continue that in college…and then she could learn the Pakeha ways. I thought she needed too because this country is predominantly run as a Pakeha nation. They like to believe it is multi or bi cultural…but its not. It has a token element…but we are definitely not partners in the running of this nation, as was stipulated in the Treaty. So I thought it was important for her to learn…how to be Pakeha too. Or how to survive it anyway.

My little girl could quote the treaty in parts; I had made sure I taught them as much as I was learning. She knew her Articles and the essence of each. She came home one day, and a girl on the bus had said all the Maori should go back to where they came from, that this country was theirs (European). Apparently this midget of mine, stood up in the bus aisle and let rip the history of our nation…when Maori had migrated here, when Pakeha had come and what diseases they brought with them, annihilating over 2/3rds of our population…the articles of the treaty and that it was in fact her that should be going back to where she came from. Apparently all the Maori kids on the bus were grinning from ear to ear, hearing this half pint spit her history without a hiccup. Needless to say, her opponent didn’t have anything else to say other than…shut up…not the best come back.

I found studying our history had made me seething-ly angry. It’s hard to figure out what to do with that kind of anger…so I started painting. And I painted and painted. And the thing I discovered with art…is that its not only cathartic, but that its received better by the viewing public, than if I had delivered a speech on equality and righting the cultural genocide that Maori had endured. Instead peeps looked, tilted their heads a little…stood back, looked again, tilted the other way…hmmm ed…then would usually say…beautiful 🙂

I met my current partner during this year. It’s not often you feel…well I feel…a connection with someone almost immediately. But I did with him. That’s not to say we haven’t had conflict…but we’ve always gone back to when we met…just to see and feel, if that connection is still there. So far, it has been.

One devastating event occurred this year…that changed the face of our family…my Nan died.

Nan was old school…obviously. And she had a ton of flaws…but who doesn’t…I can say that now, that she’s gone…but there was a long time when I just didn’t get her. Now…I get her…and I wish I had showed her I loved her more, when she was here. But I guess, she knows now.

Nan had the most beautiful flower garden…it was the talk and admiration of the whole town :). She taught herself how to do flower arranging and she’d volunteer her services for virtually anyone who needed flowers to be done. She also taught herself how to do hairdressing and set up a salon at the back of their house and she’d see to the community’s hair needs. Quite the entrepreneur my Nan.

But that was the era too. Post World War 2…lived through the Depression…and just got on with shit. They were a hard old bunch. Their wounds seeped in a different way than ours presently do.

Her and Grandad married after the war and went on to have 3 living children. She carried 6 times though, I think.

Nan just had the most beautiful way about her…caring…empathetic…intuitive. She’d pat your hand as you spoke about what was ailing you…then she’d come up with some smart solution…or quote…followed by the cup of tea that ‘fixes everything’ and a piece of sponge cake.

Nan endured a pretty horrendous life of suffering…rape, neglect, incest, abandonment…and she worked hard…found solutions…ended up depressed, medicated, shock treatment…she worked hard…found solutions…watched us all make stupendous mistakes…cried, grieved, cried some more…worked hard…found solutions. She was, is, a truly beautiful soul.

And when she died…well…that era…it cracked. Nan and Grandad were, always there. Always the place to go…to sleep…to be heard…cuddled. For me it was some type of security. Sure there was other bad memories that came with their place…but I loved the 5am start…you’d hear Nan’s vacuum cleaner doing the rounds at half five and by the time we got up…8ish…the washing had been done, hung out and was on its way in 🙂 There was 1030am cup of tea and biscuit time, 12 noon lunch…on the dot. 330 afternoon tea time…5pm bath time, dinner time and then the news. You could set your watch to that routine…and I loved that.

When she died, Grandad carried on with that routine. I get now that he was grieving in his own way…but it seemed cold and callous. We weren’t allowed to take her home…to her bed…to her cat…so we stayed at the funeral home with her.

Where they were living at the time, the funeral home there, was used to Maori practice that sometimes doesn’t quite fit with Pakeha practice, so they were used to having people stay with the family at the funeral home. It had a kitchen and lounge room, similar to a Marae.

Someone stayed with Nan all the time.

And we cried…grieved…told storied…sang abit…grieved.

She’s still hugely missed. She was such, is such, an integral part of all our lives one way or another.

My big girl lived with her for a while, and while I had issues at the time with her not being with me…now, I can see that my girl is better…richer…for having lived with my Nan. She shares her caring and compassionate streak.

It was a heart-breaking time…and I remember the moment she left this earth. I was on my way back from University on the train. I didn’t usually fall asleep. This night I did. And when I was waking…I felt her go. Then my phone rang…and I didn’t answer. I knew she’d gone, but I hoped I was wrong.

When I got home, I rang my mother…who said Nan had been flown to the hospital in another town…and mid flight, she had died. Same time as I woke up.

What was cool…was Nan loved the thought of flying but had never been on a plane…it was her final ride 🙂

xxoo

a word or two of remembrance to you counselors

If the help line counts as counseling of any type

Then you sucked ass

I’m guessing you weren’t trained for not much more than answering a telephone

Maybe you should stick to that

 

Then there was little little lady, Blondie Jane

Your training included the then in thing, lets dig and recall

You seemed to know and like what you were doing

You dug, and you informed. Sweet

 

The free dude from the good will place

Used to working with more derelict types

Not to condescending, but definite boundary issues

And funding ran out, and I moved on

 

Then there was the fill in lady, brown hair, about 12 looking

You were on the soft and mushy tip

You asked for a poem to recollect my feelings

And then you howled your eyes out. You might need some more training

 

The dude, to fill in the fill in, Bruce Lee

Controlled and logical, methodical

I got your jist and understood your logic

You apparently felt uncomfortable and thought I should go somewhere else though

 

The Dutch catholic dude, child psychologist

You dug about and found Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, Depression

Oppositional Defiance Disorder for my girl

Full of knowledge, and way to ahead of your time

 

The psycho drama lady, that smelt funny

Big dolls and little dolls, to talk to

Think you were ahead of your time too

But you wanted to dig around far too much

 

Then the lady with the extremely hairy legs

With the tapping technique, more interested in marriage guidance

You said I was a runner, wanting to be there, but not

The essence of a sexual abuse victim, victim

 

Little pregnant lady from Germany I think

Nice disposition, not good at being blunt

You discovered the panic and anxiety though

Until you became to busy, and referred on to a Psychiatrist

 

Then came the short stumpy one

You didn’t like being questioned, as your night course certificate

You believed was all you needed

Your theories aren’t real world honey

 

Then the culturally appropriate lady, who turned down her ass music

thank you. You had no theories. No logic really

But you did realize you couldn’t help, and you were kind

You referred on, to a Psychiatrist or Psychologist

 

The Psychiatrist

Short and sharp and straight to the $500 an hour point

PTSD, post Borderline Personality Disorder, post Depression

Heres some pills

 

The Psychologist.

Your honest, as honest as your ethical centre will let you be

Your realistic, I can appreciate that

You get paid well for your knowledge.

 

You all added to my knowledge

You all added to my distrust in the mental health system

You all added to my experience

You all need some real, real world experience

 

Cheers though

 

in pain…1996

The thing about pain, internal, gnawing, soul tearing pain…is that no one can see it. Surprisingly enough too, no one really wants to talk about it, let alone acknowledge it. It makes people uncomfortable.

The unseen.

Now I’m not an expert on physical pain, but I have a partner who has had back issues, for the last 5 years. He tore something (angular tear I think they call it) while lifting concrete. He’s pretty stubborn and when he feels it twinge, he usually ignores it and carries on with what he’s doing. Anyway…I’ve watched him try to get help for the last few years, and it’s not that much different from my process. Except that when they prod him, they can see where it hurts. But ultimately they don’t listen to him and try to say its all in his head even though they can see him twitching like a itch…their latest hypothesis is that his ‘filter’ is broken…here take these pills.

And his can be seen. The pain anyway.

Our injuries are similar in that they can’t be seen. Not without further examination.

The thing about being drunk all the time, is that you really don’t give a fuck. Not about yourself, not about those around you, and not about your pain. They call it self medicating…pretty sure ‘they’ve’ never self medicated though.

I drank to keep from being angry. To keep from being upset. To keep from feeling irrational. To keep from feeling sad. To keep from…feeling.

I stayed out of it to keep from feeling the disappointment. To keep from facing my girls. To keep from feeling their disappointment, especially my eldest.

I stayed drunk and out of it to keep from feeling afraid. It’s amazing how brave you feel when you are filthy rotten drunk all the time. And I made a good drunk. I wasn’t a violent or crying drunk. I was a happy drunk. A free drunk. And a reasonably controlled drunk. I never really lost my sense of having to be alert and in control for quite a few years.

I stayed with my mother after I left the husband. Got the eldest girl settled in school…a Christian school. How ironic. I wanted her to be safe, and even though I didn’t really have any distinct idea on how to do that, it was a pressing motivator for how I parented her. The husband had wanted to keep my youngest girl, his biological daughter, and let me keep the eldest, my biological daughter, not his. But I wasn’t having a bar of that shit…they were sisters and as far as I was concerned they were not to separated or treated any differently. I tried to get a house but we had nothing at that stage. And it was extremely hard going from Mrs someone, to Ms waiting to be divorced. ‘Did he beat you? Did he screw around on you? Was he drunk? Was he drug fucked?’. If I had have replied to yes to any of those things, I might have received some help. But the fact that he was an employed, well spoken, tidy, creative fuckwit, just made me look like more of a bitch than ever. I applied for houses, but had no ‘security’ so was denied. I ended up on a benefit, which I detested, because short of having a pap smear in the office, they wanted to know everything…everything. An extremely humiliating experience which I had hoped I’d never have to face again, but found myself there…again.

Things at my mothers were becoming strained…our lives…beliefs…were at odds with each other again. I ended up going to live with my ‘showed up the day before I was due to kill myself’  friend. Me and my youngest went and my eldest stayed with her grandmother so she could stay at school. Again…I think I just wanted her to be alright and I figured not being with me was better than with me. Anyway, we went out to my friends to save some money for a house, furniture, clothes etc. I’m not sure how long we stayed there for, but I made some choices whilst living with her, that she didn’t like. And fair enough too…she is a dear friend and I lied to her…that hurt her…so she asked us to leave. I love her for being straight with me…but it left us hanging…but that’s the consequences of shit ay.

We finally got house. We all moved in. The husband was still playing his games…he’s coming at 7pm on a Friday night to pick up the girls and didn’t show up until Sunday afternoon. Those games. And in amongst all that he’d bail me up in the corner of my new house and whisper how the girls were going to hate me, they were going to find out what kind of person I was…what a slut I was…and they’d want to leave me and go and live with him…what a shit mother. I’d stand there and cry…should’ve just punched him in the mug and been done with it, but I didn’t have enough juice for that at that stage.

So, I drank…more.

My mother offered to take the girls for a year while ‘I got my shit together’…again. I figured they were better off with her and to tell truth…I didn’t really know how to get my shit together. Or what that even was. Everyone in my life had a different version and it didn’t look anything like the version I pictured.

My version still looked pretty. It looked happy and tidy and sweet. Where I was cared for and the girls were happy and cared for. And…and I didn’t really know what the rest should look like at all.

So I drank more…and more…and I fucked a little…and I drank some more.

Now this is the era that I have always felt guilty for. The time that I abandoned my children and went away to have a little nervous breakdown. I probably was depressed and suicidal and displaying borderline personality disorder and ptsd. Technically speaking, that’s what it was. Personally speaking, I was in pain. A whole wide world of pain. And I was over it. All. I would have never killed myself…I couldn’t protect my girls from hell. That was my reasoning.

I learnt fast, how to play the psychologist, counselor, doctor game. I show up at the appointments, they blabber on, I nod, I answer the questions, they give me the pills and sign me off…I leave, crush the pills, snort those bastards, sell the rest and drink!

While trying ‘to get my shit together’ I moved houses a few times and ended up with ‘unsavoury characters’. Your options kind of slim down when you have no money and no motivation for making money. I paid my child support and did what I was expected to, financially, for my girls. I wasn’t present for them though. But I hadn’t been present for a very long time, really.

I utilized my resources. Me. And I learnt how to hustle pretty fucking fast.

I fucked my way into a new place to live. Not prostitution. Maybe I should have, it would have been quicker. I flatted with what I affectionately called, ‘the critters’, for about a year or two. The critters were Cripps. Blue. Well that’s what they thought anyway. Compared to Americas version of the Cripps these guys would have been pussy. But they had what I needed. Lots of alcohol. Lots of drugs. Free money. And a place to live.

It’s here I learnt how to break and enter, kitty cat style. I learnt how to lift things and steal the gold out of your back teeth while you slept. I had morals still, surprisingly, and there was a code of ethics that I adhered to. Those idiots didn’t, which is why they always got caught. I liked crime. I liked the rush it gave me. I liked planning and analyzing situations, people. I was particularly good at revenge or pay backs. Usually for a slight against myself or those around me. I was also good at dealing. First rule of that, is don’t partake of the goods. That choice minimized my drug intake. Positive I thought.

I still had my girls on the weekends. And during that time, it was a critter free, alcohol free, drug free zone. I was still lucid enough to know what I didn’t want around those two precious souls.

My drinking was scheduled. I drank Tuesday through to Sunday, 2-3pm to 6-7am, or when I passed out. I didn’t want to sleep. When I did sleep I made sure I was drunk or out of it enough to not dream. My dreams were disturbing. Lots of puss filled blood drenched dreams around this era.

Near the end of this year, when I really realized ‘getting my shit together’ was not working, at all…I decided to ask the girl’s father if he wanted to take them. For good. My mother was getting tired. Which in hindsight, was fair e-fucking-nough. He said yes.

He came and got them on a Saturday afternoon. My eldest girl cried and cried. She was so heartbroken. She didn’t understand me. Neither did I. She was so hurt. My heart broke for her. And I was so ashamed and broken for her. I had failed her on every single level and felt like utter fucking shit. My poor girl. I just thought, with what was left of my mind, that she deserved so much better. They both did. And I couldn’t expect them to wait till ‘I had my shit together’. They deserved a life…a proper one. Away from me. And if their fuckwit father could provide that for them; then so be it. I’d suck it up, swallow what was left of my pride and let them go.

They left.

My heart cracked. I literally heard it crack.

And I drank. And cried. And smoked. And stopped eating. And drank.

And it kept cracking. And so did I.

and I’m out…1995

I had kept a diary for about 5 or 6 years…until it became part of the reason I left. And up until now, this blog, I had stopped documenting my feelings, or my goals, or my insights, or my recollections. I just stopped. I used to write all the time, poetry, stories, feelings…

I had been trying to get ‘us’ to work and it wasn’t working. We had moved houses, again. And I was drinking, and going out, and drinking, whenever I could. Whenever I could. I was still writing down what I was feeling, but I had mainly left it for the ‘biggies’.

On my ventures out to get blind drunk, I had met a guy…who liked me. Now I say that in the most loosest of terms. At the time…it seemed awesome…flowery and lovely…gave me warm fuzzys, just knowing someone was actually interested in me. Hmmmm. I know better now…but then, the desperate need for attention, something, warmth…that I was exuding…was picked up by this terd. He knew I was married, but it didn’t dissuade him from trying. And he promised warm hugs, and sunshine, and love, and walks along sandy beaches, and hand holding, and cuddles, and conversation…and all that other bullshit.

And there was another guy. The husbands friend…who picked up the scent of my desperation as well…but I didn’t like the way he leached on…I didn’t like the way he treated his wife and his kid…that was enough to put me off him…but he still tried…terd.

And then there was another guy. Another of the husbands friends…loser friends I might add…and he picked up the scent too…he was a bit more subtle…to me..but the husband picked it up. Him and I became great friends…he wasn’t much younger than me…and we had more in common than the husband and I. But that was all I was interested in…abit naïve of me really.

So I was getting attention alright…just not from where it was supposed to be coming from. And on my 23rd birthday…I decided I was out. I was over pleading and begging and whining and pleading some more. I was over scheduling conversations, and chats and conversations. I was over being a wife of someone who didn’t give a shit about me.

I announced my departure. And he announced he had read my diary and was kicking me out.

Oh Kay. What part did you read, I asked.

The part that talks about subject a), b) and c).

Alright…’did you happen to read the preceding bits’ I asked?…’or the proceeding bits’??

Apparently not.

This was all the evidence he needed to call his mother, the pastor and his wife, and tell them what a slut I was. They had come round and were evicting me from the home, without the children, without any money, without the car, without my clothes, without my shoes, without anything…

but have you read the rest? I lamely protested!! I haven’t done anything!

“You kissed one, you whore!”

…ahhh, no…he kissed me…I moved him away…came home and told you…you said I must have misunderstood his intentions!

But it was on from there…battle zone. I was forced out of the house…physically, and told to come back for a ‘meeting’ with him, his mother and the pastor and his wife, the following day. My kids were crying, I was crying…my oldest girl has told me about what she remembers from that day. She remembers more than me…she says, she kept saying, ‘that’s my mum’…and ‘mum where are you going’…but I didn’t reply. I walked into town and rang my mother collect. To her credit, she came pretty much straight away.

The following day I sat down with my accusers and tried to relay how I saw it. But they weren’t having a bar of it. Slut, whore, fornicator, back slider, bad mother, horrible wife…on it went. I stopped defending myself after a while and just nodded. They decided I should stay with the pastor and his wife for the week, and come back and look after the children from 730am till 530pm. During which time I’d clean up, make their food, do the washing etc and then go back to the pastors place when the husband had finished work. Sweet I said. I was allowed, yes allowed, to go and pack 1 bag of clothing for myself and say good-bye to my girls. I wiped my tears and went and did as I was told.

My mother took me to the pastors house. We had a very pleasant little dinner and he preached on about wifely duties and what I had ‘done’ to get myself to this place. That I’d have to repent and seek forgiveness from God and then from my husband. That if I left my husband I’d be doomed to hell so that wasn’t an option. I nodded…all the while watching his wife.

She was a little lady. Tiny frame. Tiny voice. Tiny movements. And as her twat of a husband waffled on, she’d look at the ground, then at me, then at the ground, then at him, then back at me. And every time her twatty husband talked about being ‘wifely’ and ‘subservient’ and ‘minding the wifely biblical duties’, there was a little flicky twitch in her eyes. She hated him! She hated the whole routine! She just wasn’t saying anything.

We stayed in their spare room. That night I told my mother that I couldn’t live like this…not at all. She actually agreed with me.

In the morning, we had breakfast, my mother got herself ready, so did I. I threw my 1 bag out the window and as we left at 725am to go the husband’s house, I picked it up from under the window and put it in the car. We got to my old home, the husband left, taking the car and the car seats with him. I gave my girls a cuddle. I rang my friend for a car seat. I took 2 rubbish bags and filled them with the girls clothes and blankets…we got in my mothers car, and we left. I left him a note to say we had gone to the park so he wouldn’t come looking for us until after 530pm. I’d be long gone by then.

For me…I was out. There was no way in hell I was putting up with anymore of that bullshit.

This was the end of that chapter for me. But it was the start of another…of being all-mighty-ly fucked off…with everyone and everything…and not giving a fuck about any type of consequence…at all.

It was also another chapter for my girls…as they watched me spiral into some sort of shitty dismal despair that I wasn’t able to pull myself out of for a long time. They wore the brunt of most of it…as children do in fucked up adult situations.

I spent months going to lawyers and councellors…begging their father, my now non-husband…to come and get them on time…to just come and see them…to let me get their stuff…and my stuff…

I get now that he was angry…hurt. And that hurt turned into bitterness and that bitterness turned into hatred…of me. And the girls wore that too…as they do in fucked up adult situations.

It was all fucked up.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Depression by the end of that year.

I didn’t give a fuck. I didn’t take my pills.

And I drank.

the beginning…1972

I’m not sure what time I was born, I must ask…but I arrived mid year, 1972. From what I remember being told, I was late…are we surprised? No! lol

I was born into a climate of change….revolution I guess. From what I can gather, this was the era that Maori were reinstating their rights and making a shit load of noise to be heard…their protests and cries changed history. My mother was part of this. Again…am I really surprised I am like I am then?

At home, once again from what I’ve been told, my mother was ‘sad’…she was married to my father, but not in a happily married sense. My father was mean to her. Which is a nice way to put it…he said he was cruel to her…she never really said anything. Just that she wasn’t happy with him.

She wasn’t happy at all though. She had glimmers of it, but not much. She said she thought about ending her life before I was born, but she didn’t because I was in her womb. I think that was supposed to be consolation at the time. I don’t know that I took it that way initially. It just made sense. My own sense of aloneness and unwantedness, made sense. I didn’t belong. I wasn’t looked forward too. Or so it seemed. It left a wound.

My mother left my father when I was about 7-9 months old I think. Grandad came and got her and me, and took us back to their place. I loved my Grandad :). Apparently, my father told me this, my Grandad decked my father when he came to see us at their home. Apparently it was the only response Grandad ever had to my father. My father didn’t come back. I don’t remember missing him. I don’t ever remember him till later on in life. So he was neither remembered of missed.

I think we lived with my Grandparents for a while. I love my Grandparents…I was a good baby….my Nan wanted me to stay with her and Grandad. But I didn’t, not all the time.

This is what I’ve been told. It feels about right…and of course I don’t recollect this period…but it feels right.

*

It’s so easy to remember what’s seared into the memory, the things that you’ve been told…the hard wired fear.

It’s not so easy to recollect the good things when they seem to be swamped with the negative. My life has always seemed a negative.

But, after finishing last night, I remembered other things id been told.

Both my Grandparents adored me….I was the first moko for my father’s side, from my father; his first child. I was named after my paternal Grandmother. They were from the east coast; Maori speaking, and a huge family. Indigenous peoples.

My paternal Grandfather, said to be a violent man, had died before I was born. Turns out he was also in WW1 and died upon return. My father was his name sake.

My maternal Grandparents were hearty old schoolers. 5 am start, garden, breakfast, washing out before 7am, in and folded before 10am. Lunch at 12, afternoon tea and 3, dinner at 5, the news at 6, bed at 830pm. Hard working, they both ran their own businesses; Nan a self-taught hairdresser, and Grandad a builder by trade after returning from WW2. They were healthy, not always happy, but healthy and strong. They were solid people, reliable people, giving and loving people.

My mother was the second of three live children. The only female. She was apparently quiet, reserved, pleasant and sweet. Super talented introvert.

Her older brother was outgoing, loud, a fighter and a lover. He was passionate. He was an alcoholic also. I remember his love and roar. A drummer, singer…super talented introvert disguised as an extrovert.

My mothers younger brother was an asshole. A sickly child and a tortured soul. He turned into a sick man.

My maternal Grandfather was indigenous, his family coming from the river. His was the era though, that being ‘white’ was encouraged. The native tongue was discouraged. His father was Scottish. And I think it was his father’s father who was French-Canadian; id have to double-check that though.

My maternal Grandmother was from a small town up the west coast, her parents immigrants from England I think. Her father was Irish or Scottish I think. I strong stroppy woman who had had her fair share of shit to deal with. She recounted stories of being treated unfairly, being unloved. But I think these were some of her darker times.

So I was born into a climate of depression, separation and anxiety. But I was also born into a climate of innovation, entrepreneurship, survival, hope, strength, talent, music and love. I came with deep indigenous roots, a soul that searched for meaning and justice. A multi layered, faceted and cultured heritage.

Love and light to me….as I unfold xo

my challenge

I’ve had lots of moments and memories in the last week or two. I seem to lose them as fast as I have them though. That’s whats partially led me to the following personal challenge…

I’ve decided to take a journey through my life….to retain and document my memory of me; to open up and then lay to rest what I need too.

Its not that I haven’t worked on me at all. I’ve done lots of talking, writing, research, soul searching, trial and era, meds, no meds, natural remedies, ‘alternative healing’, councelling, psychologists, education, focusing, meditating, breathing, CBT, tapping, diets, no diets, change in eating….the list goes on. Its all part of my discovery of who I am, what I am. And I guess this is just another part of that.

At my last ‘assessment’ I was told by the well meaning, reasonably pleasant psychiatrist, that my recollection of timelines, dates and events all revolve around my children’s life moments. Not a bad thing. But I have come to realise I’ve had my identity so wrapped up in them, I’ve hidden in it. I’ve forgotten who I am. And forgotten to develop me. I have a lot of difficulty remembering what I’ve done or who I am outside of them.

My children are my defining moments in life. They are why I’m still in the land of the living. They’ve always had my heart, not always my presence or emotion.

My survival has depended on being logical; clear cut; cold and simple. Living in ‘hypo arousal’ made this my normal. And even if you tag all the psychological titles to certain behaviours, its still my normal. I’ve tried to eradicate these behaviours, but they are part of my make up; my survival; they are who I am, with or without PTSD. They are my normal. Therefore I’ve tended to make logical decisions at times when I possibly needed to use my heart. My emotions? They are definitely unexercised and underutilised muscles that I am trying hard to get into shape.

What I do is, make a decision based on what information I have at hand and in its historical context. I analyse the possible outcomes of the decisions I need to make; eliminating the high risk and reducing the risk on the other possibilities. Decision made.

I do this system for just about everything I do. First I desensitise myself by repeating the thought or decision. Similar to playing a song over and over again….the first time may make you cry or laugh or something, because it touches something in your soul.  By the 50th time, you can just hear words. Hear it again in 2 years time and you will remember the feeling that it brought about but it won’t rock you like it did it at the start…well that’s the case for me anyways.  Sheer brilliance I thought! Shame it hasn’t worked instantly on ‘fixing’ PTSD…go figure!

But I have done/still do this for everything. I even have difficulty writing a blog – my personal cathartic vent vehicle! Dah! I have trouble unfolding. I edit, re edit, delete, clean it out, change it round. I simplify and throw parts out. I do the same thing in my home! Yes, I am a self confessed clean freak! I love white walls and clear spaces…minimal, minimal, minimal…funny though, that used to be called poverty, now its a thing!

Soooo, on this new challenge for myself…part of it will be, to NOT edit, NOT delete or eradicate what I write. NOT analyse and reanalyse what I think, reword and rehash. I will document (the word document makes me feel safe lol), my ramble and leave it alone. Well I may still organise it into categories…and then leave it the fuck alone…for a certain period of time anyway! Till I’m finished…yeah till I’m finished. Ohhh I feel anxious already lol!

I’ve always considered myself to be open and transparent, but somewhere along my path I think I started to fool myself into believing my own bullshit. The truth is…I WAS open and transparent, as open and transparent with what I knew at the time. Then there came a time when I decided to ‘leave it be’. Which in itself sounds healthy, but I haven’t really let it be at all. I’ve forgotten on purpose because it no longer seemed viable. And with the help of some serious sleep medication, I’ve lost my ‘mind’ and memories along with it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have never slept well. Well never slept as the ‘professionals’ say is ‘well’. And after a few hard out years I opted for meds so I could get some sleep! Some long, good, well needed sleep! Ahhh. Im now going through the agony of weaning off the ‘dependency making’ pills, without more dependency making pills! Turns out I should have only been taking them for 3-6 months, not 5+ years! – which, I might add, the doctor failed to mention, but google had all the info on!

This leads to the second part of why I need to do this. I was challenged after reading a fellow bloggers piece on her and her daughter. I realised I had cut my children, and my gender, out of my personal recollections to others; and myself. Partially to protect them, partially out of guilt. Partially for my own protection, partially because I hated being a woman. My children are my heart; but therefore my weakness; my Achilles heel so to speak. I need to recollect all parts, not just what’s comfortable and non-emotional.

In all of this, I’ve got to be myself. Evolve into the me I want to be. To accept who I am, in its entirety.

So for the next while, week by week, representing year by year; I will be documenting ME 😉

Welcome to my strange little world