Raise (324)

Okay I kept thinking of the odd weird phrase…. “I take your five smarties and I raise you five smarties and 1 strawberry lace” (yes this is how you play cards)….”raise the roof”… I don’t even know what other weird sayings.

Then I just looked at this ridiculous word that for some reason one of us chose, and ironically raised my eyebrow. Or at least, I felt like I was raising my eyebrow, my eyebrows don’t like to work independently.

Receptive (323)

Safe to say, I am absolutely not a receptive person. Actually, perhaps that isn’t quite accurate – I’m absolutely not a receptive person when it comes to suggestions regarding myself. I am not receptive to things that could be done to “improve” the way I do things. Every suggestion feels like a slight, like a comment on what is wrong with me. It is taken on board as something to prove all of those voices that tell me I am inherently wrong because of X, Y and Z. And queue the instant shame. This of course isn’t something that I am happy with and want to maintain. I don’t think it would go down too well with future employers if I wrote I am a very receptive person provided the suggestions for improvement are not regarding myself. I suspect this is part of my trauma….the monumental shame, the way that a simple suggestion of something that might make something better/easier turns into a personal slight. A this is why you’re awful, see nobody likes you, nobody wants you here, you’re just wrong down to your core.  A spiral that happens fairly regularly actually, about all sorts of things.

The first thing that I thought of when I saw today’s word was being receptive to help. I’ve had the first therapy session after a 3 week break, and I finally went back and was receptive to the idea of seeking other outside help. Not wholly receptive – it’s totally making me panic tonight, and yet it’s an option. I’ve allowed it to be an option that we are going to look into. But for reference, this option was suggested to me over a month ago, and when it was I got extremely angry about it, rejected it, refused help, and was full of loud mixed feelings. I refused to even think about the possibility of accepting help. No effing way. Somebody internally screaming THIS IS NOT SAFE. THIS IS NOT SAFE. THIS IS NOT SAFE. Yes, that loud, and yes, with that much panic. It was a week or two full of panic.

I’m generally not receptive to anything ‘good’. It is a part of being closed off and holding myself in tight and staying safe. It took me a long time to come around to the idea of therapy or seeing somebody to talk to. A lot of calming parts that wanted to blare a red siren because our safety was being compromised by allowing somebody else into our world. And part of my attachment hurts mean that this crops up frequently. I haven’t actually had normal once a week on the designated day therapy with my therapist for several months. As soon as we get back into the swing of a couple of good sessions something goes wrong inside and I panic and it becomes unsafe. I spiral into this isn’t safe, she doesn’t care, who are you kidding, she wouldn’t care if you were even alive, she thinks you’re an idiot, she thinks you are making a big deal out of nothing, who the hell are you kidding?! And so hey presto, get ready for a session (or the next 4) of being closed off, refusing to talk, getting really angry and refusing to be receptive to care or help. Its not a fun cycle.

Something that is extra making me panic tonight about receiving outside help is that it will be free – on the NHS. And I don’t like that because that makes it feel all the more unsafe. I don’t know exactly why, maybe because it feels like they won’t be as conscious of confidentiality, maybe because they will be more likely to be annoyed and think that I’m there for no reason and that I’m making a big deal out of nothing. ugh.

Travel (315)

I haven’t ever travelled, really. I was born in the UK and have lived here almost all of my life. For a few years when I was very young we moved to a nearby European country. The extent of places I have visited are very narrow: skiing trips to France and Austria, a sailing holiday around the coast of northern spain and france, a couple of family holidays to spain or france.

I’ve never been outside of Europe, and the thought actually just terrifies me a bit. I could never have been one of those teenagers, off to travel and see far places after finishing their A-Levels. I would love to go to far away places, to experience different cultures and see amazing things. And yet I also really wouldn’t like to. I don’t know what it is…I don’t like flying but it isn’t even that. I think its maybe something to do with a total lack of routine, and not knowing what you are doing. I don’t know, and it’s so stupid, but it makes me so anxious the thought of it. And then mad at myself, for not being better than that.

I’m off to Canada really soon, and that’s as structured and safe as it could possibly be. Once I’m there I won’t have to worry about anything, and the getting there is simply one bus and one plane. Both direct. And yet ugh the panic of it. So so stupid. So stupid. Travelling clearly is not for me.

Written 11/08 and backdated

Iron (290)

Okay I just came back here to see what words I’ve not seen whilst I took a bit of a hiatus, and this immediately made me smile. I think mostly thinking about which one of us must’ve put this in our list of words (pocketcanadian, I’m looking at you).

You see, I am british and I iron things so that I don’t look unkempt. My canadian friend across the seas finds this literally painful. In particular when I show her my nice neat stacks of freshly ironed clothes on the kitchen table, (including bed sheets…cue canadian horror). One time I convinced her that I actually ironed my underwear and socks (freshly laundered knickers, why not?), and the horror it invoked…oh you should’ve seen it people.

Silence(d) (287)

Sometimes I feel like I’ve come absolutely nowhere. When I’m feeling low and it’s all terrible, I think that I’m doing nothing. I’m weak and had might as well be dead. I’m feeling a lot like that today.

A big pull for me is that nothing has changed and nothing ever will, and that my life isn’t worth living.

And that’s hard. Really hard. Difficult to counteract. Because lots has changed, when I look at all of the individual details, and that’s just about to keep me going, except looking at the big picture, what’s changed? Absolutely nothing.

I think it’s easy to overlook how things felt before though. When I’m not thinking about it, I don’t remember the terrible agony of always wondering if I should tell my parents, and the subsequent agony of but what would they do if I told. And what I forget these days is how I ruminated over that every single day. And I mean every single day. I would berate myself for being weak, for doing nothing, I’d question if it would all be better, or all be worse. I would go over and over a million what ifs. All the while the stone of silence sitting heavy in my gut.

That changed, not really because I was ready or wanted it to, but I absolutely don’t regret it. Not one bit. I needed to stop being silenced in that way. And I’m not now, the people I feared being told most in the world have been told.

The part that makes me crumble and feel so alone? They dont really care, nothing has really changed. Now we’re keeping the secret together from my brother. Because he’s the important one, he’s the one they can’t bear to lose.

Meeting (280)

Last September when we started this blog the idea of meeting each other was something that we were talking about, but hadn’t actually made proper plans for. Who would go to who? Or would it be better to meet somewhere completely different? Meet in the middle? (Though not literally, as that would be the middle of the ocean after all.)

It was something that scared me and excited me both. I asked to go over to Canada, as I thought that pocketcanadian’s family could provide some useful distraction. (Whilst we know each other very well neither of us are being blind to how difficult it could be, and strange it will be, to be sat face to face after all this time.) So what time of year? How long for? Would I stay in a hotel or at their house? Still lots of questions. Then pocketcanadian booked time off work, we talked about it some more, and then I just did it, booked the flights. In the ‘just do it and worry about it later’ way that helps with my anxiety. I’ve never travelled alone via airports, I don’t even like flying. I’m going to be a bag of sleep deprived nerves, anxiety and worry. But it’s booked. It’s been booked for 6 months now, and I’m excited. And nervous, and anxious, but really very excited. As in there is a list of things to pack already stuck on my fridge. There is a purse with canadian dollars and my passport, and a couple of clothes that I got which are ready and not going to be worn beforehand.

It’s going to be bizarre, landing in Canada, going through security, picking up my suitcase, and walking out to try to find my best friend that I’ve never even been in the same country as. What’s that meeting going to be like? Will we hug? Or will that feel too weird? Will I cry (with my lack of sleep, heightened anxiety, and unfortunately I think pms)? Probably. Will she cry? If I am, probably. Will we feel at ease? I doubt it, not right away. Will we just stare and smile at the other without really saying much, like we did the first time we video called each other? (Seriously people, it was goofy grins for hours. We’re ridiculous.)

My week after that first meeting is going to include a few more; meeting those people closest to pocketcanadian. Her family and her friend. Those meetings will scare me too, but they won’t be as important to me as that very first one. 💜