Memories in a jar

At the beginning of the year, I wrote that I was going to write a happy memory each day and put them all in a jar.

If I am being honest, I did not really think I would stick to it, but I have. I have barely missed a day, and have even taken squares of paper when I have been away from home so I can still write down a memory each day.

Sometimes it’s bloody hard to find something. Sometimes it’s really easy. There have been good days and bad days.

I filled up my first jar. Managed to cram in memories from January until June. I’ve bought another jar the same for the second half of the year. One jar is full of memories, another is empty – full of possibilities.

Love,

Ellie xx

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Again

I wrote a poem, haven’t written anything in ages. I want to get back into writing. Here goes…!

*trigger warning: it’s about an abusive relationship*

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I said the wrong thing

I’m stupid, I’m sorry

Shouting

Flying through the air in slow motion

Using my hands as brakes on the concrete

Crying

My new coat is broken

A lady enquiries what happened

“I’m fine” said with a smile

“Just clumsy, I tripped”

She leaves convinced enough

Pathetic. I’m pathetic

Dry the tears

Wash the grit out of my bleeding hands

Plaster a smile on my face

Brush down my clothes

Go home, don’t mention it

Worrying the coat will give me away

Mum sees, mum asks

“I’m so clumsy” I say again

Go upstairs, shut the door to my room

A sigh of relief

They’re all convinced, again.

A night feeling “normal”

I went out at the weekend. I drank cocktails and shots. I danced and sang (*ahem* shouted) and got home at 3:30 in the morning. The club was packed and I knew I should feel anxious, but I didn’t (thank you alcohol).

It was weird because that night (until the very end when I got a bit upset and overwhelmed once the alcohol started wearing off), I felt like a “normal” person. For so long I have avoided situations like that, or have tried but have been overcome by anxiety or fatigue. It was nice to be able to do something that most people probably don’t think twice about, but I usually do.

It’s now Wednesday and admittedly I am probably still feeling the effects (because it takes days for my energy levels to recover from things like this. Things I used to take for granted) but it was worth it. It was a good night and I won’t even let the end of it ruin that memory.

On another happy note, I mentioned that I was planning on writing a happy memory about each day to put in a jar, and I am proud to say that’s still going strong. Month one, done, in the jar. I also bought a pretty jar to use (although now that I’ve got it home and put 31 pieces of paper in, I’m pretty sure 365 won’t fit but oh well!)

Jar of memories

Love,

Ellie xx

I can breathe 

This morning I woke up, I stayed at my boyfriend’s house last night. I woke up and said “I don’t feel anxious”, it was such a surprise that I had to say it! 

After he went to work I took my dog for a walk, my family are at a university open day as my brother is hopefully going next year so it was just me and the doggo. 

I took him to a lovely park that has a river and a wooded area. The colours are beautiful, I love autumn. It’s a bit windy, what with storm Brian on it’s way, so the leaves were blowing about and it was lovely. I walked through the woods while my dog ran around happily and I realised – I can breathe again. I felt at peace with the world, earphones in, leaves blowing about and not another soul around except me and doggo. 

I thought about taking photos because I wanted to capture the moment, but I realised I wanted to BE in the moment. Create the memory in my mind instead of on my phone, just take it all in. Besides, I don’t think a photo would’ve been able to get it quite right. 

It’s not a feeling I’ve experienced for a long time and it felt great. I don’t know how well I have explained the feeling or whether anyone else knows the feeling, but just wanted to share a positive post! (For a change!) 

I have a social event tonight so anxiety has reappeared a little bit, but it’s nowhere near how bad it has been for the last few weeks so I’m enjoying this time.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend, don’t get blown away! 

Love,

Ellie xx

Memories and places

I know I am rubbish at keeping up with blogging now. I have too much going on so maybe I should just stop altogether. But today I have something to say, so I’ll say it.

It’s strange how memories can have such a strong hold.

Sometimes when I walk down a certain road, or I’m in a certain place I get flashbacks, just because of the place.

But in Germany I don’t. In Germany I rarely have flashbacks at all, because there are no places to associate with bad memories here. Here I feel safe, I don’t have to be completely on guard all the time. It’s strange but moving away has been the most liberating thing. And now I don’t want to go back to my old life (but I will have to.)

At Christmas when I was feeling worse again I realised it has to be to do with the place. Even as I was on the train from the airport in Germany, I felt more relaxed than I had at home. It’s such a contradiction: the place where my whole life is, where my family, boyfriend and many of my friends are, is also the place where I feel the worst. Best and worst. It’s like an oxymoron.

I am making the most of feeling free here, feeling happy. But at the same time I’m scared, scared of what happens when I go back. Will it open everything up again? I’m too tired to fight it all again, I just want to live my life and leave those memories behind.

I need to make home safe again in my mind. Or maybe I need to move away as soon as I can. (But does running away really help? Sometimes it does…)

No words

I want to write but I don’t know what to write. I am feeling very low, on edge. It’s like being in limbo. S is coming to Germany tomorrow so we’ll see what happens. Random memories pop into my mind. LEAVE ME ALONE. There’s so much to say but there’s no words.

So instead I’ll post a video of something else I have “no words” for (even if it’s in a completely different way.)

All I have to say about that is WHAT?!

Stuck in the past

I know I’m stuck in the past. I know it’s over now. I know I should leave it behind me. I know it’s not helpful. I know all of that.

But I can’t.

I can’t control my dreams or the flashbacks. I can’t choose where my mind wanders off to. I can’t make myself forget all of the past. I can’t just get over it.

Just because I’ve been much better over the last few months doesn’t mean I’m not still ill. It doesn’t mean all of this has gone away. It doesn’t mean I can suddenly trust people and put everything from the past away.

I’m stuck and I don’t know how to move forward.

Freedom

It’s nearly 2 and a half years since my relationship with the ex ended, yet I still didn’t feel free from him for a long time. Sometimes even now I don’t.

I felt like I was always looking over my shoulder, waiting for him to be there, for a message or something, waiting for him to cause more pain. But it’s over, it’s really over now.

Now I’m in Germany I finally feel safe. He’s not going to hurt me here, he’s not going to hurt me ever again because I won’t let him.

Unfortunately I have a strange ability to remember dates (whether voluntarily or involuntarily!) so I knew it was his birthday recently. And I didn’t think it would affect me – why should it? But everytime it gets to a time of year that I relate to him, I start having these dreams (nightmares) about him.

Why won’t he stop haunting me? It’s over now.

And every time I think, that’s it – I never need to think about anything to do with him again, there are these triggers. Stupid things, tiny things. Like dates and places and smells and things.

I went to the funfair, something I have memories of doing with the ex. And they weren’t bad memories, yet I have been hesitant to do anything that reminds me of anything to do with the ex. But I went to the funfair, it was fun and I made new memories. And it hit me…

Not all of my memories of the ex are bad. And that’s ok.

A lot of my memories of him are horrible, and demonise him. I’ve never written here about the good times, because they aren’t the things that are still affecting me. But once upon a time, we were ok. Before everything went wrong, he made me happy. And that’s ok.

I have been trying for so long to forget everything about him, but I can’t – it’s impossible. It’s over 3 years of my life at an important time in my life, and I can’t erase 3 years of memories, I can’t pretend they never happened. And I’m finally starting to realise that they are memories, they are in the past, some of them are good, lots of them are bad, but they’re just memories and it’s not going to happen again.

Sometimes it’s better not to know

What you don’t know can’t hurt you…

Right?

Sometimes knowing can help, sometimes it can make it worse, always it makes things different.

I found out in May that the ex is having a baby with his current girlfriend. It shook me up a bit, and definitely made my path to recovery a bit bumpier, a bit harder.

But that was all I knew. I didn’t know who she is. I didn’t know how many months, or when the baby was due. I didn’t know if it was going to be a girl or boy. And I didn’t want to know.

All I wanted to know is why now? Why is she good enough and I wasn’t?

But I didn’t speak to him about it. I didn’t speak to him at all.

And it’s been in the back of my mind since then. But I didn’t know any details so it wasn’t real (to me.) And I didn’t want to know any more about him or his life now. I had cut him off, severed all ties. I don’t have him on facebook, I don’t talk to him, I don’t text him. I won’t send him a text on his birthday, christmas or new year. Nothing.

And then today I got a text from Artist. She said: Did you know your ex has just had a baby?

And now I know when, and now I know it’s real. And now I know that it’s a girl and was born a few days ago.

I still feel like I don’t deserve that: the relationship, the happy family. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it now, but one day. And I feel like I’ll never be able to. I’ll never deserve it, I’ll never be good enough.

And he gets it all. He gets to play happy families and ignore all of the stuff that happened in the past. But me, I’m stuck in the past. And one day I’m going to end up losing S because of it. Because I can’t get over what happened with me and the ex, the whole thing was just a toxic mess that I couldn’t escape from. And even now I haven’t fully escaped… in my dreams (nightmares) and in my mind it’s still real (sometimes.) It still scares me.

And then it makes me question whether it all happened at all. Whether it really was “that bad” or whether I’ve gone crazy and imagined it all. Maybe my hatred of him twisted my memories. Maybe the arguments were because I was always doing things wrong… Maybe, maybe, maybe.

All of these thoughts, these questions have been opened up again. All of the memories I have fought so hard to keep away come flooding back.

I am angry and I am hurting. I hate him and I hate myself. I want to speak to him and I don’t. I want to know and at the same time I don’t at all. I want to ask him why I wasn’t good enough, why he treated me like he did, why someone else is good enough to have a baby with and I wasn’t.

But I’m not going to ask him. Because starting contact with him again would never end well. He would try to manipulate me again, try to make me believe he’s a different person now and that things weren’t that bad, that I’m exaggerating. And he’s had enough chances, and he always proved me right. He is not someone I want in my life (again.)

And that’s why sometimes it’s better not to know.

Strange happenings & arguments

It seems like every time I post something on my blog, something strange happens!

One time, I wrote about the ex, and the next day I received a message from him (despite not having heard from him for months before that!)

Yesterday, I wrote a cheerful post about things being a lot better… And then last night got very upset and ended up arguing with S, and today I’ve spent most of the day in bed and feeling down. 

It’s all very strange.

I know it’s not because I’ve written it. But it does seem that everytime I write that things are feeling a bit better, I end up feeling worse afterwards. 

Last night’s argument made me realise I still have a very long way to go before I’m “better”. I am insecure, scared and worry about everything. I read far too deeply into situations and I expect S to understand how I feel all the time, when of course he can’t. I struggle to keep up with it myself!

During this argument, it came to light that there are lots of underlying issues. And they are not issues with our relationship, but more about me (because of the ex). I am ridiculously insecure, and trust is very difficult. Even though S has never given me a reason not to trust him, I always imagine these “what if” scenarios, and I expect him to find someone else (like the ex did). 

He went out with his friends while I was away, and it was something he was planning to do when everyone was home, but he did it while I was away. I can’t help but see it as him not wanting me to be there. No matter how much he tells me that’s not true. Then it comes down to me thinking he’s embarrassed and ashamed to be with me, and that’s why he doesn’t want me there. The more I think about this, the more it snowballs until I’ve convinced myself that S is just going to hurt me (just like the ex did). 

They are not the same. They are completely different people. I need to remember that.

Not everyone treats people the way the ex did.

I find it very difficult not to blame myself for everything, and not to over-analyse every detail of everything. 

Recently S has said things that he hasn’t said before. Nice things, about wanting a future for us, and being in love with me. But for some reason it scares me. Because you can say the right words but it doesn’t make things work. The ex said all the right things, and treated me like crap. He made me feel like I was nothing, like I was lucky that he put up with me, and now that’s how I feel about myself. 

In my previous relationship, sex was a given. I guess I thought I had to, that it was his (the ex’s) right in a way. And sex was something I could give him, to make up for all the crap he had to put up with by being with me. Sex was how I learned to show love (that’s what my relationship with the ex taught me, anyway). But he didn’t love me. He said all the right things, but he hurt me and he used me. He made me into this mess, and I’m still trying to pick up the pieces, even though we split up nearly 2 years ago now…

S still says sex is not important, that it doesn’t matter and he doesn’t mind that I’m not ready. I just see it as me letting him down again and again. I am ashamed of myself for not being able to give him that, the one thing that he could get out of being with me (the way I see it anyway). 

I hate arguing with S. It makes me so sad. It hurts too much. We don’t argue much, but when we do it’s because of me being insecure, me over-thinking everything, me over-reacting. I want to stop. I want to be “normal”, whatever that is.

I wish I could have a normal relationship, where past memories don’t affect the present, where I’m not scared of being left behind, and where S doesn’t have to make all these allowances for me. He never complains, ever. He just takes it, he just puts up with all the crazy ways I react.

I know he loves me, I know I’m lucky to have him. He makes me happy, or happier than I’ve been in a long time anyway. So why don’t I let myself trust him? Why don’t I let myself believe the things he says? Why do I question his motives all the time? I just wish I could get over the past, then maybe I could live in the present.