Monday, 23 November 2020

Piece of the Puzzle

So I was today years old when I found a rather large missing piece of me that has been bugging me for a really really long time.

My OCD has been playing up big time lately. Over the past year it has been creeping quietly back in but the past month or so it had been particularly bad. So I did what I always do.... Research. I took to YouTube and searched. The first thing that popped up was a video that was a therapists thoughts on how OCD is really PTSD. It kind of felt like something clicked in me. It made me start thinking about the possible link between my disorder and my (undiagnosed) PTSD and how it made a whole lot of sense to me that they could be connected. I let it steep in my mind for a couple of days and then we arrived at today.

Today was my second day off in a little while where I have spent time alone. I started my day as I begin most.... Watching Tiktok for an obscene amount of time

- trying to correct this habit as i'm not 12 and have adult responsibilities -__-

and I came across a video of someone talking about the 'fawning' response to trauma. A little while back I read up about different responses to trauma and I discovered that I fall under the fawning category. Seeing the Tiktok video made me pause. Could there be a link between my current OCD struggles and the trauma I have faced over the past year?

So this afternoon I pulled out my laptop, made a tea and grabbed some snacks and began further researching. I googled fawning and from there I learned a whole lot about myself. I read an article all about what fawning is and how it manifests and how it may project itself. With every sentence I read it was like reading my autobiography. Every word was like the writer was able to read my mind and had put it into words. Things that I have struggled for years to verbalise were right on front of me. For example, I used to think I was 'just' a people pleaser but it goes much further than that. I constantly ignore my own needs to conform to what I believe others expect of me.

What hit me was this: While I may react to trauma with the fawning response, I am always in the fawning state. It never stops. I believe it has woven itself into me. There are connections between my OCD and the fawning response.

Fawning is brought by the attempt to avoid conflict and trauma by appeasing people.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – compulsive behaviours can help you avoid difficult feelings. An obsessive-compulsive behaviour pattern can occur when your flight response becomes engaged.

So what now? A gigantic piece of my puzzle had just slotted in, but how do I adapt? How do I give myself the reassurance that I am safe. That it's okay for me to have a different opinion on things. That I no longer need to be living in a fawning state. I am not on this planet to conform to what I think is acceptable to everyone else. I need to give myself permission to be myself and accept who she is.

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it xo

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏💪💋💖


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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Abuse - My Comfort Blanket

|Trigger warning.|
The following contains adult content, my experience with mental, verbal and emotional abuse, mental health struggles. Reader discretion is advised.
🌱

At 18 years old I had decided what I was going to do. I was in love. Oh, so in love. Within two years I was a full time carer for my ex partner. It was a lot. To be honest it felt like the worlds easiest decision. Like, who wouldn't want to spend every waking hour with the person they love?

-hint of sarcasm, isnt hindsight fun?!

Fast forward to 2013 to when I was 23 and he ended our relationship. This was one of the most painful days of my entire life. I rang my mum – I don't remember this but I'm guessing it was pretty emosh. I had to ask my mum if it was okay for me to move back home, she was incredibly understanding and said yes in a heartbeat. Within a few hours I was on her front doorstep.

-would you believe me if i told you that i hung the washing out before i left? -__-

I was in so much pain, the type of pain that I was unable to describe. I remember I slept in my mums double bed that night. I left my phone downstairs so as not to be disturbed/not to be checking it every 6 seconds. When I got up the next day I looked at my phone. He had messaged me. He was full of regret and just wanted everything to be okay and to be together again. That he'd made a mistake. I felt a whirlwind of things which confused me. I was happy, we'd been together for about 5 ½ years and you don't just throw that away do you? But there was a small part of me that felt disappointed. It felt like I had been set free... and now re-captured.

Over the course of our relationship I was on the receiving end of mental, emotional and at times, verbal abuse. Not only from him but from his father. Now, let me be clear, this isn't a roast or an opportunity to 'spill tea', this is my life and this is what I went through. It wasn't like walking on eggshells, it was walking on Lego. Every step I took hurt me. While I looked after the two of them I did my best to make them happy and it came at the cost of me and my well being. I once described to a therapist that living in that house with my father in law (so to speak) was like living with a grenade. No matter what I did, how much I sweat, how many things I took on to lighten his load, it was always inevitable that he was going to explode. My partner and I often being the casualties. Each and every day was filled with fear. I tried to predict everything. Chores that needed to be done, dogs that needed to be walked, shopping that we would need etc.. Whatever I could think of to prevent a blow up. God, it was exhausting. Him having a good day meant that my partner would have a good day = mission accomplished.

Me? Who??

I kept it all inside. I never told a soul. Somehow I managed to keep my family in the dark. I kept them completely separate from my life there. Not once did my parents visit when the men of the house were home. I had tremendous anxiety about specifically my dad meeting my father in law. I knew he would be able to see right through and, as a result, he would see what I was living with. If my parents had had any idea of what was going on they would have been round like a shot packing my bags and bringing me home. There was a part of me that wanted that but there was an even bigger part that felt I deserved what my life was. The pain became familiar. The gut wrenching anxiety would eventually become just a part of daily life. There was always an undercurrent of me feeling like I wasn't good enough. Nothing I did was enough. I was wrapped up in a world where perfection was something that was seen as achievable and anything less was shit and unacceptable. The tears I shed in that house haunt me. I remember laying on my bedroom floor crying as quietly as possible

-because heaven forbid they did anything wrong or upsetting

praying that I would be taken away from that place. I couldn't understand why no matter what I did it was never enough.

My partner and I would have arguments, but nothing would ever come of it. Nothing changed. I loved him wholeheartedly and would have done anything for him. When the relationship ended I felt a sense of relief because I was free from them and their clutches. But when I woke up that morning and read the text he had sent me, I was being called home by the person I love. But I was also being called back to prison. How long would my sentence be this time? With every fibre of my being I couldn't fight the urge to go back. Their hold on me was stronger than my will to fight for my freedom. After a year he ended the relationship again, this time for good. Once again I was making that phone call to my mum asking if I could come back home. More pain. I wouldn't care to admit how long I waited for a text from him asking me to come back. Telling me that he'd made a mistake again. Saying me how much he missed me. Making more promises that things would be better. That message that never came.

Having not been in that situation for some years now, I can see it for what it was. It took me such a long time to be able to see the pair of them flawed in any way what so ever. For so long, I took full responsibility for everything and wouldn't hear a bad word said about them. Now? Not so much. How I was treated and what I went through wasn't acceptable. And that's putting it lightly. Out of everything, I feel anger towards myself for not leaving. Both times that I tasted freedom, it wasn't due to me recognizing my self worth or knowing that what was happening was wrong. I was pushed out. Thrown out like garbage. It well and truly cemented for me that to them, I wasn't enough. Never was, never would be. I didn't see it as abuse, I just thought that for someone you love, you'll put up with anything. When looking back, it isn't what they did that upsets me most, it's what I didn't do. I saw the warning signs, had multiple red flags but ran full steam ahead anyway.

A lot of who I am has been tied to what I am able to put up with. What pain I can withstand. How many times you push me away for me to still be willing to stand there when you come back. I wish I could say that after this relationship I am a changed woman but that would be a lie. I have gone on to be on the receiving end of abuse from others and I still don't quite understand why. It has gotten me into, some would say, more dangerous situations to still have the same outcome. Abused and alone. Heartbroken and depressed. Scared and empty. It almost feels like being abused in any way is some kind of a comfort blanket. It's familiar, it's known territory and I can play the role of the obliging servant very well. When it comes to other people and making sure their needs are met, I'm level 1000% but when it comes to me? Nah, why waste my time.

Out of everyone who has used and abused me, I am by far the worst culprit. Filling my head with everyone and everything else making sure there's no room left for me because God forbid I take care of myself. This is what it always comes down to. The root of it all. I don't see me. And if I can't see myself how can I be there and look after me? My lack of self worth has led me down a long and dark path. It has contributed to my mental health issues, my poor lifestyle choices and just all round bad decisions to be honest. By continuing to not be a priority in my life, I don't particularly have one. No idea what I want, where I want to be, who I want to see, what I feel is fair or unfair treatment, acceptable or unacceptable behaviour towards myself... It truly is life destroying.

Having recently left an incredibly abusive relationship I am trying to pick my life up. I would say 'back up' but I'm not sure I ever held it to begin with. I've always allowed others, whether family, friends or partners, to choose for me. With everything. I need to try and understand that at 30 years old I am capable of choosing the path myself. In 2018 I came the closest I ever have to building a relationship with myself but it slipped through my fingers, landed on the floor and has been being kicked around and gathering dust ever since. I am on a journey of self acceptance and forgiveness. I don't believe that I ever meant to hurt me, I just didn't particularly care if someone else or the consequences of my decisions did. I am realizing more and more often how short life really is and I don't want to take it for granted or treat myself like I am nothing. I put up with the abuse and what did it get me? It didn't make him love me more, it didn't make my father in laws respect for me grow. What I got from it was lessons. Lessons of what not to do perhaps.

Life is challenging enough, I don't need to weigh myself down even further by piling up things that aren't mine to carry. I hope that you won't either.

As always, sending you love and kickassery 😏💪💋💖

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

the familiar

Looking at my drafts, I have a butt load
- yes, thats a legit measurement 
of blog posts that are in the beginning stages but are left unfinished. 
For example : while writing those first three lines I got distracted, wandered around the Blogger settings and then somehow found my way back to typing this. Can I get a mutual 'ffs!!'?
My brain truly feels like scrambled egg at the moment. I say moment, it's felt like this for about a year now. My concentration is abysmal. I get these surges of motivation where I want to get my shit together and within hours, minutes, seconds... it vanishes. 
When it inevitably ends, I go back to feeling hopeless. I shut myself off from everyone - including myself. I honestly can't remember the last time I sat down with myself, assessed how I am feeling, what's going on in my noggin and what it is that I need.The only constant in my life is self neglect. 
- bravo
Sadly, it is something that I am a pro at. There are many things I am bad at but when we're talking medal worthy, gold star achieving, big fat certificate great? I'd win every time.

I tend to not give my all when I am not 100% sure I'm able to produce the best outcome possible.
Let's take my blog for example
- because talking about relationships feels a lil too raw right now
I have over 100 posts on my blog. Where are they I hear you ask? They are in my drafts. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself for all that I do to be cohesive so with regards to my blog, I need every post to be written in the same structure as the previous and those to follow. 
- its frickin impossible, k?
I set myself impossible tasks and when they are unsuccessful I think "See, I told you, you shouldn't even try to do shit". You'd think that because I am able to say all of this it means I am able to prevent it from re-occuring... nah. I can see the situation for what it is but am seemingly incapable of stopping the cycle. People say to make small changes in order to change your life in the way in which you want it to be, but I am more of a - I want it done RIGHT NOW kind a gal. So, when that doesn't work, cos trust me, it never does, I throw my towel in and give up all together. The bar I have set myself is unbelievably high and is impossible for anyone to reach. It feels like I set myself up to fail every time. 

It all boils down to what you believe, but I truly believe that there was once a version of me in a different time, where I was completely dedicated to caring for myself. And I feel that it is my mission in this lifetime to follow in my own previous footsteps. To retrace the successful steps I once took in the journey to accepting who I am and living my life whole-heartedly. I can't keep running into the same mistakes and getting depressed when they always end up in the same way. I really need to actually try and put my own findings into practice. I feel like I have reached the point in my journey where I am able to call bullshit on myself and this seems to be one of those moments.
Sis, you gotta allow yourself to grow slowly. You can't expect yourself to be an expert at everything the first time or the hundredth time you do it. Everything is a learning curve and putting pressure on just makes the whole experience far less enjoyable. Allow yourself the time and space it takes with every challenge in life, good and not so good. There's a reason all of this feels familiar, we've been here before and we made it through. Keep trying but give yourself room to breathe and to stumble. You will get where you need to be in the end.
This is where I'll leave it for now.
This is where I am currently at and I'm planning on checking back in real soon 🙏
Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it. Please take really good care of yourselves, you are so precious 💖
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Sunday, 5 April 2020

05-04-20

I learnt that a colleague of mine passed away this week. It was unexpected and a complete shock to all that I have spoken to. She was a lovely woman. Always happy to help, a hard worker and often laughing. I have fond memories of laughing with her, she seemed to enjoy my imitation of her lol. After working on the team for about a year one morning I saw her checking my name tag before calling me. I looked at her and burst out laughing, she giggled and I said "After a year you still don't know my name?!". We were both laughing and it became a small joke I'd remind her of. It's a strange thought knowing that I won't see her again. Where I work, unfortunately, people passing away isn't a rarity but you don't expect it to be a someone you work with. I don't really have a point to this post other than to mark the fact that a person who I thought highly of has passed away. I am sad at the thought that I won't hear her laugh or her stories anymore. My heart goes out to her family and all those closest to her as I cannot imagine what unbelievable pain they must be in. The world has lost a very bright light.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

him.

Since December I have been spending most of my time with myself. Which is probably close to the last person I would choose.
I wish that I had learnt self-love. Self-compassion. Some god damn self-respect. And, please believe me when I say that I'm not trying to be negative or exaggerate, this is just the reality of my life.

I look back at the last (nearly) four months and all I can think is "What a waste of time". I feel as though I have achieved nothing. Learnt nothing. Having more memories of the times spent crying than laughing. Mornings that have passed with me asleep. Messages that weren't responded to. Hobbies that have literally sat gathering dust - make up brushes, I'm talking to you. Days filled with more sighs expelled than words uttered. Blog posts written only to be almost finished, saved and then forgotten. Nights where I am filled with enthusiasm only to wake up feeling drained. Increased food intake to aid me in forcing down truths I can't bring myself to face. Knowing that remembering my 30th birthday will always cause a small sting in my heart.

Accomplishing any of the above would have been incredible but there was one thing that I wanted (and needed) to focus on during this time > Healing from him. Healing from what he did. Healing from what I put myself through, by choice.

Don't get me wrong, I've been trying. My god have I been trying. But in the past two weeks, I have shown myself that I haven't been successful. The thought of him standing in front of me makes me want to kiss him. Thinking about him being near me somehow makes me reach for the self destruct button with a smile on my face all over again. It feels inevitable. I once thought that it was that he had this power over me - which is still partly true - but it's me who willingly dives onto the grenade knowing it will only be hurting myself.


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Sunday, 19 January 2020

she.

my heart is heavy. my eyes are tired. my lungs feel empty. like i need to take a deep breath but cant. i feel low. i feel tired. i just want to sleep for three weeks. lock myself away. but i force a smile. i keep plodding on. im scared that work colleagues are going to notice that i never work more than two days in a row. im sure theyll ask why. its either that or i may crash would be an honest response but i am terrified to say it. i feel unappreciated. i feel stressed. i have begun to feel anxious again. dreaming about scary situations. waking up and having to think really hard whether my dream was real life of not. worrying has started to come back. overthinking. oversharing. overeating. running my mouth about things. i feel angry. i feel disappointed. i feel let down. insignificant. my motivation is long gone. just thinking about doing things is making me feel tired. my ms is playing up. its becoming something that i think about often and never in a good way. what if i lose my sight. what if i cant walk. what if my full sensation never comes back. i have become close with someone. it will never be anything more than it is in this moment. my heart hurts. my brain hurts and not just from the headaches. my body hurts. being me hurts. i feel like i have no direction. no certainty about anything. i think i am trying to be someone else. someone who isnt this damaged little creature. it isnt working. no matter what i am still broken. i can try to pretend im not me but when i am in my own company that me is still here. shes sad. lonely. all of the above. and so much more. i make people laugh to hide my pain. im jolly as someone called me this week. am i. maybe on the outside.



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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Losing You To Love Me.

On the 27th June 2018
- woah that's not even last year at this point
I uploaded a video to my YouTube channel titled “New Beginnings : A Heart to Heart”. In that video, I shared some struggles that I had been through over the last few years and a recent sense of freedom I had been feeling. I had been shutting off the past by not allowing myself to accept how it really was and by doing so, never had an outlet for those darker times.
At the time of that video, I had been full steam ahead with my recovery. I was watching Tony Robbins seminars and in doing so I learnt a whole bunch about myself and the mechanisms I have. I was really taking care of myself, mind, body
- not so much, but i was allowing myself to eat what my inner self was craving with some salad thrown in there
and soul. Regularly checking in with myself. Being more open with others. The middle part of 2018 was spent being the most scheduled I had (have) been on my channel since its creation in 2011. I was constantly thinking of new content and was in my element. I was seeing my friends more often and was allowing myself to be freer with speech. At this point, I had also beaten my OCD way back and I was able to do things that I had only ever dreamt about. Picking up my little sibling and playing with them. Reusing my teacup without having to scrub it to within an inch of its life. Touching door handles.
- yes really
I had come so very far. Being on that side of recovery felt amazing.

When I uploaded this video it was kind of a fresh start. I wasn't erasing what had come before but I was preparing my platform for what would be coming in the future. I re-branded and changed my name to FindingNoo. People that are close to me call me Noo and I also tie it a lot to my younger years and searching and connecting to my inner child has been and always will be a part of my journey. All of the things I had achieved up until that point were propelling me forward. I believe a large part of me was sick and tired of focusing and living in the past and wanted me to look to the future. I wasn't ignoring where I had been, I was just taking it for the lessons it taught me and moving on my path.

In August 2018 I got a job. Elated doesn't begin to cover it. For years in therapy when asked what I wanted for my future the answer was always the same: I want to be well enough to work. Getting that job made me feel like I was flying. I felt incredibly proud of myself and how hard I had worked on my journey. I couldn't wait to have my dream become a reality. Little did I know that what I thought would be a dream, became my nightmare. Looking back I can see all of the flags along the way. After just a month of working, I had decreased my hours quite substantially. I also noticed that I couldn't switch off. On my days off I would be thinking, talking and dreaming about work. Speaking of days off, I slept my way through them. I couldn't stay awake. So it never really felt like I had had time off because I had done nothing with my day(s) and then all of a sudden I was back at work. I think the over-sleeping somewhat helped with my physical tiredness but over time the exhaustion I felt on a soul level wasn't being catered to.

Sadly me being at work resulted in me doing very little work – on myself. Over the course of the year and a half of being employed, I got progressively worse and worse with regards to my mental health. All of the progress I had made was chipped at bit by bit. I'm not saying that I'm back to square one but let's say I've had several setbacks. By the time it came to my attention that working was having a detrimental effect on me it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I have been signed off by my doctor several times and currently, I have been off of work for 6 weeks at this time. As a Capricorn sun, I have a strong work ethic and am drawn to structure but in the hopes of achieving that outwardly, I sacrificed myself and my needs over and over again.

The thought of leaving has been something that has been spinning through my mind. It has literally been tormenting me. I have nightmares about it. It's as if even my subconscious has been screaming at me “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN PICK YOURSELF FOR ONCE!!”. I pride myself on my strength, my determination and my ability to roll with the punches. But running into fists is a completely different thing. I've had to stop and really think about what it is that I am doing. How does it make me feel? What am I gaining out of this? Could I be happier? I have taken my time to really find what I really want moving forwards. I am so incredibly happy to be working, to be working where I am and having achieved all that I have to date. I am choosing myself and am going to continue to while working.

I think when I began working I wasn't fully prepared for all that would be coming my way. While others may not even have to think about switching off when they get home from work, it is something that I find difficult. I struggle to differentiate between 'work life' and 'everything else life'. For *literal* years I have said that I need to prioritize myself, to choose myself and over the last year and a half, I have to be honest, I haven't really tried to. I never really have. But now that I know a million percent that this is the kind of life I want to be living - working while prioritizing myself and my mental health - I feel ready to  r e a l l y  try my hardest to make it a reality. 

When posting that video in June 2018 I was really looking forward to the next chapter in my life. It appears to be continuing to learn self-growth, healing and a crap tonne of love. I'm hoping as a result of this I will be back to connecting with myself which will mean returning to blogging and YouTube. Can I get a woohoo?
- inside im crazy happy right now
Trying to be everything for everyone else kinda left me out in the cold.
I'm now sitting inside with a cosy blanket and a nice warm cup of tea. I'm ready to patch things up and keep moving forwards.
I'll bring you along the journey with me 😊💖


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