I wither, and render myself helpless….

Well, last night, I’m pleased to report that I did actually sleep. It took me a while to nod off, having been quite anxious, but once I did, I managed, partly I think through sheer exhaustion…but I’m not going to object to that at all, and don’t remember what, if anything I was dreaming about, but I’m going to guess something, as when I did wake up at 7-ish I had tears streaming down my face and feeling extremely sad, but at the same time quite disassociated from it… It’s a really peculiar feeling to try and describe, and I know I won’t really come anywhere close to it – I think you’ll either get it, or you won’t…

Anyways, made sure I had my headphones, and whacked the music on on the way into work. Anyone who checks the music I have on anything will probably be pleasantly surprised and horrified in equal proportion at the selection sat on there. On my phone, it’s just whatever random stuff happened to be laying about.. at the moment, Bowie, Dire Straits, The Rasmus, a playlist I was learning for a wedding, Megadeth and Ramnstein…

So getting lyrics to a Dream Theater song stuck immovably in my head usually means my brain is trying to tell me something… so yeah… for once it’s not obscure and half hidden… at least I don’t think so… Those who know me know I’m not a massive fan of Dream Theater as it gets very pretentious and complicated, but occasionally they do come out with a gem or two, especially lyrically… and they actually did this version themselves – stripping it back to just voice and piano – which invariably is the version I have going round my head…

Wither – by Dream Theater

Let it out, let it out, fill the empty space
So insecure find the words and let it out
Staring down, staring down, nothing comes to mind
Find the place turn the water into wine

But I feel I’m getting nowhere
And I’ll never see the end

So I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me

Turn it on, turn it on, let the feelings flow
Close your eyes, see the ones you used to know
Open up, open up, don’t struggle to relate
Lure it out, help the memory escape

Still this barrenness consumes me
And I feel like giving up

So I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me
I wither and give myself away

Like reflections on the page
The world’s what you create

I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down
And all my best creations burn into the ground
The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed
Tear it out again, another one that got away

I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear

I wither and render myself helpless
I give in and everything is clear
I breakdown and let the story guide me
I wither and give myself away

Like reflections on the page
The world’s what you create
The world’s what you create

Let it out, let it out
There are a few things I could draw from this… but as a whole I guess it’s pretty apt advice to give myself right now… except we all know the thing about advice… much easier to give than to take.  Especially when it’s yourself doing the giving!! If only I could just stop and actually allow this… but I just simply don’t know how to, however much I want to. Even if it means what i think it may mean.

Also… I am one of *the* most stubborn people I know, and I have a long history of fighting. Myself, the world, anything, and I do worry that this will be no different. Even if I know (which I do) that fighting will be of no help whatsoever, and could even make it worse, it’s so deeply ingrained that I need to fight against things that I can’t even stop myself. (I don’t use the word ‘can’t’ lightly or often, either. ) Then, there’s getting way ahead of myself as well, and wondering if by some miracle I manage to stop, surrender myself to the process and let it happen, what, if anything will be left? Then what happens? I don’t understand how people see me as confident and self-assured when I am so far from it that it’s almost laughable. But then I see the bits no-one else can. The insecurity and the fear that people will see what everyone else in their turn saw and decided. In my head it’s mostly a matter or time. Breaking that thought pattern is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done up to now. I just hope that it doesn’t break me permanently in the process as well…

 

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Am I in fact, that which I dislike intensely? (or, The Masks we Wear)

This is something I got to thinking about last night whilst I was having some extra awake time.

And by extra awake time, I mean inability to sleep due to nightmares again. I’ve never had particularly good sleep. Rampant insomnia when I was younger, which I still get bouts of now at least twice a year, and nightmares. Some recurring and some not. The recurrent ones I kinda understand, at least in part, as they are either based on real events that have happened, or are related to them.  Something to look at another time though… Then there are the ones which aren’t recurrent- like Sunday night, when I was essentially taken through being burnt at the stake.  I should probably point out, that my brain doesn’t have an off switch when I’m dreaming. I get every sensation in glorious full fledged all senses right through to their natural conclusion, so it’s no wonder that I wake up screaming on bad nights. I don’t always remember the dreams in full detail thankfully, but there’ll be something that lingers if I don’t. The one on Sunday, I did remember, and word to the wise, don’t get burnt at the stake!

Last night, I’d gotten to bed early, after cancelling the plans I’d got to stay at a friends house due to just not feeling up to it. I didn’t really want to be on my own, but I also didn’t want to have to try and explain why I was feeling so ‘bleh’. Same as the fact I’ve called on this weekends trip to Derby as well. When I’m feeling like this I don’t like feeling like I’m imposing on people – so I tend to stay out of the way. There are exceptions, but few and far between.

I woke up at 2.30, post nightmare. And then had a good three hours to deliberate and cogitate on ‘stuff’. A lot has happened the last few days – I’ve revealed a few things to close friends – mostly because they saw through the mask I wear. So I wanted to try and explain things. I don’t think I did particularly well at it, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Again. Something for another time….

So yeah… the thought that I may well in fact be a hypocrite is not a good one. It’s something I dislike intensely in a person. But is there a point where it’s okay, or sometimes even necessary? For me, I wear a mask. I wear armour as well, and it’s bloody strong stuff. Not because I want to, but because it’s necessary. Not just for me, but for those around me. At least I think so, as if I didn’t have those I would probably not venture out of the house, let alone try and integrate into society at all.  So does that make it ok?  I don’t actually know… sometimes masks are necessary I think. Not always as a means to hide things, but to save others. I don’t wear mine to hide people, but to spare people, although it does save the dual purpose of allowing me to exist a little more socially…. I think I might be rambling on now and not making much sense…

Needless to say, this week, I’m not having the best of times… but I’m not sure what would make it better either.

Any comments, or thoughts or answers to the questions welcomed… It’s really hard to be an extroverted processor when you’re an introvert and tend to choke on words when you’re feeling vulnerable… meaning it gets written, and hopefully debated that way..

 

On the edge of Darkness. (not necessarily an easy post. Dark topics, and not necessarily safe for work. )

It was only a matter of time until I ended up back here – on the edge of the Dark Lands.

I’d dared to hope that for the first time in a long time that I might have escaped it for the winter, but it wasn’t to be.

Stranger still is how it’s always something entirely innocuous that starts that journey… although I’ve got a feeling that the current solar storms may well have something to do with it – as they always unbalance me a little… Eitherway though, I’m making this journey again.

The innocuous thing that started this was being asked whether or not I get lonely. I have to admit I was somewhat taken aback by it, as I really haven’t considered that for a while. I’m too busy to really think about it, and in hindsight I answered as honestly as I could, and think I still can. I’m too busy really to get particularly lonely… and I don’t think I get more lonely than other people – as everyone does sometimes, right?

Unfortunately, at this point, my brain went off on one, and tried to work out *why* the question had come up. Was it just because I’d said I was going out by myself, and not meeting anyone? Was it because they are fed up of seeing me as often? Have I come across as being needy… and so the spiral begins. The spiral of what ifs and maybe I’s. Round and round, and down and down.

Then, as my brain started kicking this around, I was caught off guard again… and I think mistakenly managed to give the impression of being annoyed and upset. Not easy to explain, but I wasn’t. Not at them anyway…

I’ve never been easy to categorise. I don’t fit neatly into a box, and I don’t conform to expected specifications. Never have, and probably never will. It’s not something I’m overly arrogant or proud about, and it’s not something I’m ashamed about either, now that I’m happy with that. I used to be, because everyone told me it was wrong. It’s not, just different. And I’m OK with that.

HOWEVER. People often fall into a bit of a false assumption that I have more life experience in some things than I actually do…. especially when it comes to smut and sexual contexts and content. People laugh at me and dismiss me when I point out (usually in a semi-jokey way) that I am ‘naive and innocent’. Usually met with guffaws and ‘yeah right’s. Don’t get me wrong, I can have a dirty mind with the best of them, but generally I don’t think like that, and it’s not something I can just ‘switch on’ when it crops up. But actually, I *am* the strange person, who was married, but didn’t have sex until a long time after that relationship ended. Actually, I was 26 when I lost my virginity. It’s not something I publicise, because I don’t enjoy going into the reasons why, but actually I do get kinda embarrassed about certain things, not necessarily at the content, but because I feel so vastly out of my depth, and lacking any way of being able to actually contribute to a conversation, and I don’t like *that.* Being drawn into things like that generally make me feel inadequate and lacking basic tenets of human experience, which then in itself throws up a lot of questions I have to wade through and a whole minefield to negotiate without doing further damage. The saving grace in all of this though, I guess is that I *know* that this is my own shit, and I have enough of a head about me to be able to draw the line of separation. So when people realised that something was kinda broken last night and apologised, I meant it when I said it was OK, and I didn’t blame them one bit.

The problem is fixing this. I don’t want to and would never expect people to treat me like a china doll. That’s happened before – and I hated it. It made everything so much worse, and then I go and hide, or walk away. But I don’t really see a way forwards out of it either. I’m not the kind of person who would jump to attempting to make up the things I’ve missed out on and assume that will fix things. Because it won’t. At all.

Ignoring it doesn’t work either. Because it comes back, and this is the haunting. A part of the legacy of everything that happened. I wouldn’t change what happened though, because then I wouldn’t be the person I am. For all of the crap it’s left behind, there are a lot of positives that have come out of it as well. At least I’m told that. Today, I’m not sure I can bring myself to believe it, but I know others believe it, and anyone is a better judge of me than me at the best of times, let alone in the worse times. I can’t exactly avoid situations where it might happen and become an issue either. That gets noticed, or I become a pariah.

Fortunately last night, I was too busy thinking about other things for it to turn into anything more than red glowing cheeks and being rather tongue-tied – in itself embarrasing – especially for a 30 year old. There’s always the danger of it turning into tears. And when that happens it’s a whole different ball game. Add in a pinch of frustration, and a whole big swirl of what I described above. And then throw that onto someone who finds it very difficult to express deeper emotion and you open a whole floodgate….that and anything else that might be lurking.  I’m just glad that didn’t happen!

But how *do* you fix it, and move forwards?

I guess the first step is accepting the fact that actually, I’m still pretty broken. But less broken than I have been… so at least it’s progress…. right?

Fires and Bon(e)fires

Heat is one of those things that *is* duality. It can be good or bad, a tool for healing, or a tool for harm. Destructive or refining. Sometimes both!

The last couple of days I’ve had multiple experiences of heat…

Last week I had a bit of an incident with my Trochantic nerve cluster – it’s happened before, and I believe it stems back to the winter I fell down a set of concrete stairs. Basically, the nerves decide to play silly buggers, and the only warning I get is a bit of a shooting pain in the hours leading up to the full attack. When it finally happened, I KNEW about it, and this was much worse than previous instances. It felt like a red hot poker had been jammed through my thigh.

There was no position I could stand, sit or lie in that stopped the pain, only one position lessened it some. Now I have a *high* tolerance for pain- hell, I’ve stitched myself back together before – literally, however I spent hours screaming into a pillow, just to get some of it out. Fortunately, when this happens, it only lasts for a day or so, and I eventually got painkillers delivered to me as soon as someone was able to go to Morrisons for Ibuprofen for me (as I don’t usually have it in) and I’d also put out a call to help to the person I taught my massage skills to, knowing that having spent 7 hours holding one leg up at an angle was going to cause problems of it’s own. So they duly arrived and helped mitigate those issues.

Since then, I’ve had varying degrees of pain in my pelvis and back, which I’d attributed to the fact I’d been compensating and also sleeping in a different position, so I duly dragged myself over for another session (which we’d both known would be necessary) at the weekend. However this time, there were four spots which when broached sent fire along the nerves. Oddly symmetrical as well. Even more bizarre was the sensitive spots I have on my ribs (due to various cracks and fractures) weren’t actually causing any issue.

I don’t know what was/is behind this, as it just seems a bit odd. Anyway, my friend, who also does reiki, decided this would be a good plan too, and again I felt fire – this time from their hands – which was again a bit unexpected, but this time it was a good thing.

Generally though, I see fire as a positive force – even when in a destructive setting, often it burns away that which is not necessary, or too damaged to be saved. and Fire can quite often be purifying. Another reason I’m looking forwards to sorting out a bonfire- another thing that people have forgotten the origins of. Time to get rid of some of the chaff I reckon…

Change is possible….?

When I lived in Sheffield, I always used to laugh as I went through the car park under Roxy (or Ro y depending which side you looked at it… ) [now the 02 academy] as all of the machines you got your ticket from used to display proudly in capital letters that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE, and every so often you’d find one that instead told you that CHANGE IS NOT POSSIBLE, but that was very rare.

Sometimes I wonder if change, real change, is actually possible.  There are all these arguments of nature vs nurture, and things like that, and surely who you are, and your core beliefs and behaviours come from both of those things? You have your core nature – which are the things you come into this world with, and those things are shaped by your environment and those around you – some things are encouraged, others discouraged. But I don’t think you ever lose the potential for those things. And as an extension of that, I believe that everyone has the POTENTIAL to be able to change a lot of things. Maybe not everything, but a lot. Which then changes the question to HOW as opposed to IF.

You get these cliched phrases that fall into common usage: “You can take the girl outta the country, but you’ll never get the country out of the girl…”.  “not an arrogant bone in their body” But how true *are* they?

In the last four and a half years, a lot of people tell me that I have changed. They can’t pinpoint exactly, how, and I don’t *feel* any different, but the last few months, especially I have begun to notice some things that are different without any conscious effort for them to be so…. so maybe they are right. But maybe I’ve just adapted to the situation I’ve been in, as well. The real test comes now, when I go back to my ‘home’ environment. It’s not exactly control conditions, but it’s enough to be able to evaluate this as a concept.

I guess as well that we *need* to believe that real change is possible, otherwise we have nothing to strive for – whether that’s acceptance, or a better job, or the ability to be humble, or making friends. Without that belief, then the world is not a great place to be.

I want to be able to say that I have been able to change. That I’m not the shy, marmite, severely lacking in confidence, doormat of a person I was, amongst other things….and I think to some extent I can say that.

Changing those things, takes real effort. I’m not sure how many of them are ingrained due being in my nature, and what are nurtured qualities, but I have to believe that it is possible to change. The question then becomes how…. those are answers I don’t have yet. But I know that you can’t do it by yourself, if only because you need an objective viewpoint from time to time. Seeing yourself through someone else’s HONEST eyes can be quite a good evaluation tool.  Somewhere I have a list of the things I’d like to change, and some I have more clue about how to go about it than others, but if I don’t try then it will be just as those rare parking meters telling me that change is not possible. But just like those meters, it’s important to remember just how many told you that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE compared with not.

New Years – a reflection.

New Years Day – a time when most people set their resolutions for the year, and, more often than not, work really hard to achieve them and give up within three weeks of the start.

Not so for me.  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, per se. Those I do make are never in January, and are always usually around the time of my birthday instead. However, this year, I’ve got a list of things I want to have achieved by the end of the year, so figured that today would be as good a day as any other to sort the list out.

New Years is always quite an introspective time for me anyway. I don’t do so well with Christmas generally, for several reasons, and New Years is usually the marker for the end of those two weeks. One reason being the lack of sunlight. I do tend to feel worse when I don’t get outdoors as much, and deep winter usually means I go out before light, and don’t leave work til it’s dark again. Another being that Christmas generally holds a fair few bad memories, which I try and avoid and ignore by just not thinking about it much, and not being very sociable. It’s no big secret that Christmas was always a time I generally spent on my own with good reason! Every few years, I try and break that, and be sociable, only to find that it doesn’t work.

So I usually end up spending that time thinking about the year gone, what went well, what didn’t and whether I made the best out of the situations I faced (invariably the answer is a mixed bag of yes and no) what I’ve learned and what I aim to change for the future.

2012 was indeed a mixed bag. Started the year off in hospital for 2 weeks on morphine for severe pain which they failed to identify any cause of, leading to 5 months off work, me being quite depressed at times and wondering what the hell was going on. However I came through that, and went back to work in May, aided by a LOT of pain medication, which over the next five months, I weaned myself off. Still have bad days, but I’m no longer pumped full of opiates, which is definitely a good thing!

Being off for so long meant I had a lot of time to think about a lot of things though, and was able to start questioning things, and looking to what I planned to do, and change my perspective on some things too.

I took up hobbies I’d previously let fall by the wayside – photography being one of them, which led to some interesting projects being undertaken. I also started back a little more seriously on the music side of things, and tried drawn art again.

Balanced with the not so good, was some awesome stuff too. I lost a couple of people along the way – which hurt more than I care to let on, but I also gained some awesome new friends, had closure on a couple of situations, and opened my eyes to the possibility of stuff by choosing to just go with things and take more of a chance.

This led to an awesome holiday in Septembertime. Plans were loosely made, and then changed, and didn’t work out as they had been changed to, and IT DIDN’T MATTER. We went to Whitby, got lost on the roads around York and didn’t get there til dark, and it didn’t matter. Illness struck, and we accommodated, improvised, and ended up having an awesome walk along the coastline, went to the cave bar, found some amazing rock formations and talked.

Somewhere in the second half of the year as well, I appear to have changed my attitude to myself. I’m pretty sure in part this is down to the fact I changed the people I surrounded myself with, but it’s something that’s been a long time coming, and thanks to prods in the right direction, I’m going into the new year with a new job, moving back to Sheffield, almost fully divorced, and able to close that chapter of my life, and for the first time in a very long time feeling excited about what life may bring.

So, 2013. What do I want to have done and when by?

January – Move house. This one is a no brainer for deadlines. Handed my notice in at work, and have until the end of the month to finish the move. It’s going to be busy as all heck, and any help offered will be accepted with no arguments (yep… unlike me, I know.)

– Roleplay – I decided in December to take a break from all games, and this is still in effect, with the exception of some one on one Cthulhu, which I’m hoping can begin in January if this fits with the GM’s plans too.

February – New Job begins. The start of three months of training. February will also be about finding a routine again. Not overloading myself, but not sitting back either.

March     – Get back to counselling.  Part of the decision to move, and not immediately find somewhere on my own was so that I would be able to afford to go back to counselling. Something else that came up in the latter part of last year was just how much I still seem to be ruled by things that have happened, and whilst I’ve come a long way, I still have some way to go.

April        – come up with ways to get extra money to pay off my debts. Simple enough there

May          – if not already, start looking at houses/flats. Training for the job will also be over now, so I’d be able to take a week off to move/decorate, and will hopefully have money saved to furnish/buy what’s needed.

I’m not looking much further than that at the moment, because setting a rigid timetable defeats the point.

However, I would also like to achieve the following this year – at least £1000 in savings, go visit my friends both in UK and abroad. Not waste any more time. I’ve wasted too much time in the past. Now is the time to live. And this is the year it begins, and I believe in it.

Black, White, and Shades of Grey.

So, it’s been a while since I posted much… I’m not going to apologise for that – I’ve had other things to do… including mad trips to Sheffield to surprise someone for a birthday, visiting Alton Towers to see the fireworks, and then my own birthday too. And of course, work.

Also started on my 101 things in 1001 days project, which can be found –>https://stormvixen.wordpress.com/stormvixens-101-things-in-1001-days-the-list/

So been prepping and thinking about that…

 

The last couple of weeks have been less than easy though, thinking about stuff in general. My birthday is never an easy time to be fair… I get a bit introspective, and think about what I’ve done over the past year, look forwards to the next, thinking about what I’d like to say I’ve done the next year, and stuff comes back to haunt me – throwing up a bunch of insecurities, and this year has been no different, aside from the fact that I realised I’m more of an optimist than I let on.

Every few years, I decide to try and do something sociable, instead of hide away for my birthday, in the hope that ‘this time, it’ll be different’ and this year, I did that. I arranged to have an open house at my friend’s and went to Sheffield. Asked people to confirm they were coming so I could sort food….and it was a flop. I’d have been upset and annoyed if something much bigger hadn’t dwarfed it, and I am thankful to those who did attend and also put up with me on the Saturday – 4 people, plus 2 who weren’t there, due to distance, but were there via online presence.

Anyway. Ramble over It’s really late. Like 5am late, and I’ve been ill since Monday. Off work in bed ill. So brain is not the greatest. Don’t know if I’ll be able to get this all down before I need to sleep again, but I’ll try…

The title is not just there to cash in on a rather tame set of books.

(Hell, I’m naive as hell when it comes to relationships, but even I know more than that! – and no I haven’t read them, and don’t intend to. If you want to read something that’s actually fun I’d recommend this.  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Jewels-Trilogy-Daughter-Darkness/dp/0451529014/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352973328&sr=1-1&keywords=anne+bishop+black+jewels+trilogy)

Instead the title is more a description of how I deal with the world sometimes. Or used to, at least.  Something I’ve been pondering about for a fair while now.

Writing this at 5am because I had one of the other recurring nightmares I have from time to time – usually have this one when I’m ill, so it was christened ‘the fever dream’, although it’s more about my insecurities than anything else I think… just happens to feature being ill, and tends to turn up when I’m ill.  My nightmares are generally related to stuff that I’ve buried trying to make itself known. I understand the whys and even some of the what’s, but it doesn’t stop me waking up feeling terrified. This particular one is pretty straightforwards; in my nightmare,in short,  I’m ill, and end up dying and rotting away, but nobody notices I’ve disappeared, until they’re told that a skellington was found at my address. People are sad for a day, but forget pretty quickly…. ultimately the insecurity that I don’t actually make any sort of impact is at fault for this one, which comes out of years of being constantly told that I’m shit and don’t deserve to be alive. So I feel like I have to earn my worth. Explain much about me?! (And yes, I know that’s not necessarily true. The issue is making it stick)

OK. It’s 10am. Had to try and get some more sleep, cause being awake was hurting. ( then Tried to get up to go to work and failed. )

There are a lot of defense mechanisms that end up in play for me at times…. all built on broken logic. Broken logic of a 5-8 year old. Which makes for quite a simplistic world view of “enough people say and believe this so it must be true”. Black and white. “This is true so to fix it the opposite needs to happen”. Black and white. No grey in there. No questioning whether that’s correct, or if there’s another explanation.. which if you know me is odd as I ask a lot of questions!
Being the optimist I am, I hope that one day I’ll be able to acknowledge the grey. I know it exists, I can deal with it in other areas, but in this it has no place because it’s incongruous. It threatens the status quo, and means the one question I daren’t even ask because I’m so afraid of the answer, comes into play..
being stubborn can be great, until you have to go against yourself. The nail was almost hit on the head last night when someone said that I was afraid of losing ‘me’ if I do find the courage to go ahead… and that’s true… I am afraid of losing the parts which are good. But I’m more scared to find that actually, the things I’ve spent so long fighting against are actually true. Or worse that there’s actually nothing there.

I’m also scared that the people I’m privileged to know and call my friends will find the same, and walk.
This journey I know is one I must take alone ultimately, but the idea of having no one about to watch my back is too much. It took me a long time to realise the value of interdependence over self sufficience…
and one of the things I fall back to when I’m finding things difficult is some thing I’ll happy tell other people when they struggle to believe in themselves; “if you don’t feel you can have faith in yourself at this moment, then believe that I believe in you.” Pretty awesome when you get your head around that one, even just a little. I know I lack the perspective to see any potential I have, so until I develop that I have little choice but to rely on others. Without that, I would give up. I speak from experience.

That’s probably a good place to stop. I probably sound mental but I don’t care…. I’m an extrovert processor and keeping this kinda stuff in my head will do a lot more harm than good. Once it’s out I can step forwards.
I don’t think my friends will ever realise just how awesome they truly are. Maybe when this is done with, I’ll be able to explain and tell them….