Realisations and pain

I feel so broken. I’ve come to lots of realisations this week about my behaviour and my relationship with S.

I took him from granted. I relied on him way too much, to the point that I can’t regulate my emotions myself. I can’t self soothe because I never had to. And that dependency was something I learned from my previous relationship, the ex really broke me down so I lost all my confidence and ability to look after myself. That’s a long time ago now but it still has its effects. He wanted me to be dependent on him because that’s how he controlled me. Unfortunately I transferred this dependency onto S and I never realised until this week how serious and negative that was.

It’s hard for me to know what to do now; I feel lost. I don’t have a very good sense of self (another thing to thank the ex for!) I find it hard to know who I am and I tend to define myself by my relationships (a daughter, a sister, previously – a girlfriend) and my job, because I don’t know how else to do it. So now one of my major identities is gone, lost.

Unfortunately I think it’s one of “those too little too late” moments or “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone” type things. I would give anything to turn back time and deal with things differently, but I can’t so I am going to have to live with it and try and learn from it.

I know my faults – I am very emotional and not good at regulating emotions, I get angry and lose control of my temper, I overreact and I get carried away with my thoughts, making up explanations which are usually wildly wrong. I put myself down constantly and have no confidence, I rely on others for my happiness. I pushed S away, and yet pulled him back, over and over (my therapist described it as the “I hate you. Don’t leave me” phenomenon). And all of it makes sense given my history, but none of it is S’ fault. None of it can be changed by anyone but me.

There is so much work for me to do on myself. Work I was hoping to continue while in the relationship with S, but plans have changed and I’m on my own now to work it all out. I’m glad that I’m still having counselling as this is helpful. I need to work on myself so that I never end up in this ridiculous situation again.

Feeling quite reflective today. Now it’s time for bed.

Love, Ellie xx

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And Repeat

I seem to go round and round in circles. For a while things seem to have settled down, weeks, maybe a month. But it always comes back to this. The way my brain works is fundamentally negative. Sometimes I can ignore the negativity, put on a brave face and keep going. But it keeps building up and building up, and eventually I give in to it: All of the negative stuff is true and then I become paranoid, sad, insecure and self-hating. Again.

You would’ve thought by now I would come to expect this to happen. But every time it’s a surprise. Every time, I’m sad again, ruminating in my own negativity. What is this? Some kind of a cruel joke, trying to crush the happiness I’m working so hard to find?

And it all leads to more stuff. One small thing, one look or one comment can suddenly mean that I am a failure in life and no one loves me. It’s irrational and I know it. And somehow that makes it worse. I think This is irrational, I will ignore this stuff. But it comes right back with a painful blow: You’re irrational, out of control. You don’t deserve anything. All you do is mess things up.

And S tries to help, he always does. But it hurts him when I tell him I think he’s going to leave me, when I tell him I’m not good enough and he shouldn’t be with me. Sometimes I think I should just run away, escape from it because if I leave it can’t hurt me (right?) I’m so scared, petrified of being hurt again, being used and left again. But when I’m not in this mindset, when I have my rational brain in gear, I know this is stupid. He makes me happier than I’ve been in such a long time, he cares about me and he’s always there for me and he’s the only one I want to talk to when something happens (good or bad.) I know I don’t want to leave really, but sometimes I think it would be safer. Love isn’t safe, you let someone get so close to you and you know they could hurt you, really hurt you if they chose to. And that’s scary.

So let’s get this negativity out. Maybe if I see it written it will make more sense, maybe…

S was watching a film with a friend, he said that I don’t like the films he likes. It’s true, I’m not a massive fan of action films. But my brain twisted it:

He wants me to be different

I am boring

I’m not good enough

He’s going to leave me

I’ll be all alone

I’m unlovable

No one cares about me

Why should they? I’m disgusting.

I’m too fat, too ugly.

He is only with me because he feels sorry for me

I don’t deserve him

I don’t deserve to be treated right

The ex was right about me

I’m nothing.

And so you see, the thoughts spiral. This is the whole “don’t get on the train” thing from CBT, except I got on the train. Again. And I end up feeling worse and worse. And I get paranoid, because good things don’t happen to horrible people like me so that means something is going to go wrong.

S said there’s only one thing he doesn’t like about me, that I’m so negative all the time. But it’s not a choice. I try so hard to keep going even when I feel bad, I try to be positive but these thoughts, these negative thoughts fill up my mind and I can’t get them out. I’m stuck. I told him I’m still ill and I feel like he thinks I should be over it by now, he said he doesn’t think that. I can’t get it out of my head that the ex always said I’m seeking attention and (my) depression isn’t real. So maybe S thinks that too…

And every time this happens, I speak to S. He calms me down. He tells me he’s not going anywhere and that he loves me. And then some time later, it all repeats…

Extreme moods

My moods seem to be so extreme and I hate it.

Things have been really good with S and I have allowed myself to care, to rely on him, to love him. I have been so happy and even started feeling like things aren’t going to go wrong (a big thing when your thoughts are generally as negative as mine!) But it scares me, it’s dangerous. Because last time I got hurt, last time my love got abused (by the ex.) And I can’t do it again.

And knowing that I’m going to Germany in just over a week, far away from S, is scary. I know I’m going to miss him. I’m scared that he’s going to forget about me (as irrational as that is.) I’m scared that things won’t work out because we won’t have the time to put in the work that a relationship needs. Recently I’ve been feeling like we’ll be fine, and feeling like I know he loves me, he’s not going to hurt me etc etc. But it’s this panic.

It’s the self-destructing part of Ellie that comes out when I’m scared. I get irrationally angry over nothing/everything. I push people away from me because I don’t want them to leave me. I can’t help it, I just seem to do it. And as much as I try to tell myself it’s stupid, it’s irrational, it doesn’t stop it.

Last night I found myself so angry, so upset, with no reason. I felt like breaking up with S, again with no reason. Even though I don’t want us to split up, he makes me happy. It’s just a defence mechanism but it’s not helpful, and I don’t know how to switch it off.

A good day

After last night’s minor melt down, today has been a much better day. Although this morning was still a bit wobbly*, and I was in a stress (couldn’t find things!)

I went into work and they have agreed to give me a few days off so I can go on holiday with S (Yay!) And we did some research, we are thinking of going to Prague! 🙂

Then I went climbing with S, and had my first attempt at lead climbing (where you climb up with the rope and clip it in as you go up rather than having a rope that comes down from the top) so that was exciting (and a little bit scary!) I definitely think climbing is good for trust in a relationship… you are putting your life (or at least your unbroken limbs!) in your partners hands!

I’ve also had further information about my arrival to Germany, so have started looking at flights… This is when it gets really real! I will be flying out there with one of my course mates, so at least I won’t be on my own!!

And my other bit of good news, which is probably quite boring to most people, is that I am (finally) back to the weight (very nearly anyway) that I was before the Mirtazapine! (6 months after stopping that medication!!)

Now it’s time for spaghetti and meatballs for dinner… yum!

*To borrow WeeGee’s word 😛

Mammoth

MammothToday I was feeling pretty low. I have been feeling a bit funny physically for the last few days – lots of migraines/headaches, feeling a bit faint/light headed, feeling really really hot… that kind of thing. And a combination of feeling bad physically and mentally is never good.

So S said he would come over after work for a bit to see me and give me some cuddles to cheer me up. And he did.

We ate some strawberries and ice cream and had some cuddles and talked and it was really nice. It sounds pathetic but it’s the small things that mean the most. I love the fact that  S can just come round and he gets on with my family and it is relaxed and I don’t have to be on edge (like I was with the ex and my family).

And as you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I am now in possession of a new elephant (or more accurately – a mammoth!) S brought me it from work to cheer me up (as he knows how much I love elephants!) It is a little fluffy cuddly toy mammoth and I think he’s really cute! Only problem now is that I can’t think of a name (but I’ve decided it is a him), so feel free to give any name suggestions! 🙂

While we were cuddling and talking I said “Maybe you do actually love me”, because I’m finally starting to think maybe it’s true. Maybe not everyone will be like the ex, and maybe I’m not unlovable – maybe it wasn’t even my fault. And he laughed and said “At least it’s a maybe now.” I know it’s stupid that I am so scared of getting hurt and that I really find it so hard to believe that anyone could love and care about ME, but these are thoughts which have been programmed into my mind for a long time – with the ex, and even before that with the teasing/bullying (?)

I am feeling more determined than ever that I am going to get through this stuff, and I am not going to let the ex win or ruin any more of my life. I can and I will get through these problems. I can and I will succeed and be happy. I know I need to deal with the anger I still feel about everything that happened, but maybe I can use it positively, and use it as motivation and incentive to keep going and stay determined. I can and I will.**

I am so happy being with S, he makes me feel safe and loved and happy. And I love him, I really do and our relationship is so much better (now that I’ve finally allowed myself to feel that way instead of being too scared to get close.) I think my depression/anxiety/general craziness* definitely does affect our relationship but he copes pretty well, and he is very understanding and helping me get through my issues.

Time for bed now, but tonight I am going to bed feeling happy and safe, instead of anxious and scared and paranoid (like last night).

Good night,
Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

P.S. Here is another picture of my (nameless) mammoth!

Mammoth toy

* I hope this doesn’t offend anyone – here I am referring to my irrational thoughts and behaviours, which could definitely be called crazy rather than the mental health side of things.

** This is one of the mantras from my list, and this one often comes to mind. When I’m feeling low or like I can’t do something, I think to myself ‘I can and I will’ and I feel more in control, more determined and more positive.

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. 

End of term!

By some miracle it’s here… the end of term!

I didn’t finish all my coursework – had to get an extension on 1 essay, but managed the rest.

This week I had to hand in a lab report, a project and a language portfolio, do a german presentation and a statistics exam… so I’m pretty glad that I managed to do all of that, even if I couldn’t manage the essay as well.

And now it’s the easter holidays. Back to London tomorrow, for a month of “holiday”.

Unfortunately I can’t really take much time off, there’s this essay to write, another lab report and revision to start… but term 2 of year 2 is done, and for now at least I am going to take a bit of time for myself!

So tomorrow I will start playing catch up with reading blogs. I may not manage to read every single post, seeing as I’ve missed LOADS, but I’ll try 🙂

I have quite a lot of write about, like my CBT session this week, anger, relationship stuff and general stuff that’s been going on, but I’m too tired right now.

Tonight, instead of going out with my housemates, I decided to stay in my (nice warm) house and watch Don’t tell the bride on BBC iplayer, relax and get an early night.

I am proud to say I didn’t give in to peer pressure and subject myself to another bad night out. But after the last time when I ended up running out of the club in panic, I decided it would be more sensible to have a night in (even if that makes me boring).

So looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs, I’ve really missed WP while I’ve been away!!

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

People

I’ve come to the conclusion that people are just shit.

Not all of them, but a large amount of them.

People just let me down. They expect me to be there for them and then just drop me. I’m always the one being walked all over. And I always just take it.They clearly don’t give a shit so why do I? And I let the same people do it over and over again.

Take the ex for example, the biggest example of someone who has walked all over me. But there’s others too. 

Tonight I went out for Shopaholic’s birthday. I feel like crap. I didn’t want to go out, but I went, because I’m a decent friend and I didn’t want to let her down, because it was the right thing to do. Even though I felt like crap, even though I felt ill and tired and couldn’t think of many things worse than going to a bar with loud music and flashing lights. But I went anyway. As usual, as soon as anyone else was around, I was ignored. And then she got upset because her ex had basically told her that nothing is going to happen with them again. She asked me to come to the toilet with her, and of course I did. I told her it’s going to be ok and he’s not worth it and all the other stuff you’re meant to say. And then, on the way out of the toilets she bumped into another friend. Clearly a better friend, and was like “I’ll meet you outside” to me. Don’t worry about me, I’ll just go and wait until I’m needed again shall I?

I’m fed up of people only “caring” when they need or want something. Sadly that is what a lot of people seem to be like. And I must have the word “mug” written on my face or something, because I encounter a ridiculous number of these people. They don’t care unless there’s no one better around.

I’ve just had enough of people being like this. I am always there for other people, I always go out of my way to be nice to people and make sure they’re ok, and that things go the way they want, but do you think these people even ask if I’m ok? No, of course not. They will be your best friend one minute, then as soon as someone better comes along it’s like they don’t even know you.

I think A is right. I have a lot of anger. And eventually it’s going to come out. Eventually I am going to end up telling someone what I think of them and the way they act. 

This just leads me to lots of negative thoughts – no one cares about me, I am useless, I’m obviously a crap friend, I must be boring, I’m always people’s back up, people treat me like crap because it’s what I deserve…

And then I start to question my real friends. Do they really care? Are they just too nice to tell me that they don’t like me and to go away? Are they going to leave too? 

And S, is he only with me because he feels sorry for me? Or maybe (in the words of the ex) he’s “only with me until someone better comes along”. 

Now I’m just paranoid and feeling very lonely. I don’t even want to talk to S now because I said earlier that I feel like I’m being really clingy and he said “a bit” so now I just want to leave him alone. I know I talk to him all the time and I always tell him I love him and I miss him but that’s because I do, and I do need constant reassurance that everything is ok. I don’t like being clingy, I’m not trying to be but I am doing it anyway. Now I feel like doing the opposite. Just not speaking to him because I don’t want to drive him away by being clingy. I didn’t mean to be annoying and clingy I’m just a mess and I really want this to work this time. I guess I was trying to be affectionate but I got it wrong. Seems like I can’t do anything right.

Time for bed, and oh look I’m crying again. Pathetic.

Nightmares

**trigger warning – abusive relationship and sexual stuff**

I suppose it was inevitable after the post I wrote last night that I was going to have nightmares. I was scared and on edge. I had memories haunting me.

I spoke to S on the phone before I went to sleep, and it made me feel a bit better. It made me feel safer, and after putting my phone on charge, I snuggled up in my duvet with my heffalump. (Yes I still sleep with a cuddly toy! *embarrassed face*)

For some reason a memory of things with the ex came into my mind last night. We had been arguing, I can’t remember what about. As usual I was apologising. He picked up the bread knife and started cutting his arm with it. I’m scared of blood, maybe this is why I’m even more scared of blood. He scratched him arm over and over with the knife so it was bleeding. He said that’s what I’ve done to him. I was scared.

I can feel myself dissociating as I’m typing this. Each memory seems to link to another. Him threatening to overdose on paracetamol. Me screaming and crying and begging him not to. It was all my fault he said.

I suppose this is what is going to happen. In CBT we are working through traumatic memories, and it’s bound to remind me of more. Of things that I had forgotten. This is why it’s going to get harder before it gets easier.

Last night apparently I screamed twice. About half an hour apart. I woke up scared, but couldn’t remember why, or what had caused it. I don’t remember screaming – like last time I was asleep.

Then I went back to sleep and had more nightmares. They seemed to follow me all night. I don’t feel rested. I feel exhausted and scared. It’s nearly 12pm and I’ve only just got up. I have to be somewhere at 1, I need to get ready, need to get going. I have to be ok.

I can’t remember all the details, I never do with nightmares. I can remember being with the ex. Him being with someone else and me begging him to come back to me. I told him he could do anything he wanted with me. He made me suck his penis, forcing me to go deeper so I was gagging. We had sex and as I was in pain, he carried on. I felt used, embarrassed, hurt. But I told him he could do what he wanted, and he did. So he didn’t do anything wrong, right?

And all this leads me back to my feelings of shame around sex. When I was with the ex I didn’t even seem to realise that I didn’t have to do sexual stuff whenever he wanted. It was like I thought it was his right. I used to use sex to solve arguments, anytime he was angry I’d “make it up to him”. And I didn’t know this wasn’t a normal relationship. I feel so stupid.

I just want to hide. I feel so sick, so ashamed, so scared.

I just want all of these thoughts and memories to stop.

Post of stuff

I’m back in Lancaster after a weekend at home, and now I can write this post of the things that I’ve been meaning to write about! So here goes!

First one, lent. I meant to write about this earlier in the week but I didn’t because I was too busy, so it can go into my post of stuff! This year for lent I have decided to give up alcohol. I’m not really sure why I do lent – it’s probably a bit hypocritical to be honest. I’m not very religious and I don’t go to church often. I don’t quite know what I believe, although I do want to believe in God… But anyway, I normally give something up for lent because “I should”, and probably for the wrong reasons, but anyway. Not only does this mean that I don’t have to deal with 40 days of chocolate cravings (like when I gave up chocolate one year) but also it is probably beneficial for my health not to drink. The doctor always reminds me that alcohol and depression don’t mix, and alcohol and antidepressants definitely don’t mix, but I normally just say that I don’t drink often.* So I am giving it a chance, especially after my recent drunken behaviour!

Next – the exam. I had my German listening exam on Friday, and I’m not too sure how it went, but I did it and I understood most of what they said. So hopefully it’ll be ok. I really need to work on my perception of “doing ok” too – my perfectionism is ridiculous. I looked on my transcript, and I’m on a 66% average at the moment, which is a decent 2:1, but my brain does not find this acceptable, and won’t find it acceptable unless it’s above 70% (which is a 1st). This is one of the major things that I need to work on with A.

And now I can move onto talking about the weekend. Once I managed to catch the train (which I nearly missed because of my indecisiveness) I was on my way home! I tend to go home once a term for a weekend, just to get away from Lancaster for a bit. I love Lancaster, and my friends there, but sometimes you just want your own bed and a nice roast dinner cooked by mum! On Friday I had a yummy chinese take away, on Saturday I went to the pub with some of my friends from where I used to work, and today (Sunday) I met my cousin in a cake shop for a chat and then my mum made a lovely roast dinner and I ate too much! The weekend went far too quickly, but it was a nice one. And for once, I feel reasonably relaxed on a Sunday evening,

But this post of stuff wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the main thing that has happened recently in Ellie land.

On Saturday I met S** for coffee***, and it was a bit weird. I felt really detached, and it was kind of awkward. It was the first time we had seen each other properly since we split up. We have still been talking a lot – on the phone, by text etc, but seeing each other was a bit strange. In a way, things hadn’t really changed when we split up – we still talked everyday, and I still missed him a lot. After the coffee*** we went for a walk and then back to my car to talk. I got upset because things felt weird, and it felt like neither of us had anything to say. He held me as I was crying, and we ended up kissing each other. (This was probably my fault.) We talked about the problems – the distance, the way things didn’t feel right, the pain, and we couldn’t decide what to do. Eventually we left it as “we’ll just see what happens” and decided we wouldn’t see anyone else, but wouldn’t make any decisions further than that.

Then he had to go and meet another friend, so I went home. In the evening we went to the pub, and afterwards I drove people home. I dropped him off last, and we ended up talking for ages, and eventually decided that we would give us another try. Even though the distance is hard, we decided it was still hard even when we weren’t together, and we both missed each other a lot so it is probably worth another try. Obviously things aren’t perfect – I’m still a mess and I know that hurts him, but he said it hurts him whether we are together or not, and he wants to be there for me and make me happy.

As usual, I did a lot of crying, but I think this is the right decision. It might not work, but at least we will be able to say we tried. We agreed that we will be more open with each other and talk to each other about any problems which arise in the relationship, instead of pretending everything is ok like last time. We also realised that we need to put more effort into the relationship. Before, we just expected it to work and we didn’t make enough time just for us, or put the effort in to make things right. I hope that now we will be better at communicating, and will make sure we take time just for us which will help things work better.

I realised that I feel safe with S. Completely. I don’t think he would ever hurt me in any way, and I know that he will always do his best to look after me. I know I’m a complete nightmare a lot of the time, but somehow he loves me anyway. I am so lucky to have him, and I hope one day that I will be able to let myself trust him. I love him more than as a friend, but I don’t think I’m in love with him. I don’t know if it matters, but I also think it might be because I won’t let myself because of what happened with the ex. If you don’t let yourself fall for someone, they can’t hurt you – right?

So basically, a lot has been going on, and things have changed (again) in Ellie land!

In terms of how I’m feeling – I don’t really know. I feel more hopeful for the future, and even though I’m incredibly worried about the amount of work and stuff that I need to do this term, I think things are going to get better. In fact, I am determined to get better. I’ve had quite enough of this being defeated thing!

If you’ve read this whole long, rambling post – thank you! I’m sorry it’s ended up so long! Just had a mini heartattack – Accidentally deleted the whole post! But luckily found the undo button! 😉

*Which is true-ish. I only drink when I go out, and I normally go out less than once a week. But still – better than drinking everyday right?

**S being my exboyfriend (but not “The Ex”) who is still my best friend

***Ok so neither of us had (or like) coffee, but we went to a coffee shop. I had a mango and passionfruit fruit smoothie, but that’s not really relevant.