Before I Continue…

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….the potential pregnancy saga, I have to get something off my chest. It’s about the last guy I was seeing, before I started seeing my now-husband. We’ll call the previous guy, “The Spin Doctor,” because literally everything he says is spun to his best advantage, and he is a master of PR.

Essentially, I started seeing someone who turned out to be the aforementioned Spin Doctor. I didn’t realise at the start of the relationship, but in hindsight, the SD decided they understood me based on a few factors, and treated me “accordingly”. As he’s also sort of an accidental misogynist, that did not go well.

I’d love to post this on Facebook, get some support from my real-life mates, but the last time I did that, I just got a list of reasons from The Spin Doctor (and his new girlfriend–well, not new, since he started seeing her the day after convincing me to take him back, which was in April, but you take my point) why it was perfectly acceptable that he behaved that way. I can do without the hassle. I’m going to post here, and just hope he never sees it. I digress. Moving swiftly on.

In a writing prompt, the question was asked: “What do you want to say to the person who broke you?” And this was my response:

“It was domestic abuse EVERY time you screamed and shouted at me when I hadn’t raised my voice or even said anything unkind. It was abuse every time you blamed me for something I didn’t do. It was abuse every time you stomped around your house, looming over me, leaning into my face, slamming doors and cabinets and generally making me feel unsafe, when you were meant to be offering me a room 3x a week so I could finish my degree.

It was abuse when you said I ‘couldn’t be raped’. It was abuse when you, months later, proved that you weren’t joking, when you forced my hand onto your dick and told me that ‘you can’t dip in and out of people like that’ (in other words, finish jerking me off and I don’t care about your RSI pain) and later berated me for being upset about it. It was abuse when you were screaming at me so loudly in the car, for 10 solid minutes, while I begged you to pull over and let me out, that eventually I lightly tapped your face to get you to stop, and it was definitely abuse when you blacked my eye nearly shut in retaliation.

It was abuse when you said, ‘I’ve come to terms with the fact that your kids might always be awful, and I have to protect myself from them.’ All of that was abuse. You didn’t ‘make one mistake’ (blacking my eye). You abused me repeatedly, for a year and a half, and threw money at me to ease your own guilt…. but *I* know, you’re an abuser.”

I still have mixed feelings about the guy–you always do, in a situation like that–and, as stated above, there were times when I screamed too, times when I almost struck him, and, once (under extreme duress) I even slapped at him (I say “slapped at” because it was the kind of tap you do to get someone’s attention, but it did knock his glasses off and I’m sure it was disorienting). I’m certainly not blameless, in that relationship.

The thing is, I wanted to be with him, and I made it very clear over and over again, but he just wanted to stick his dick in me; preferably, without ever having to deal with my actual life, or, God forbid, my children. Once he got tired of pretending to actually care, the gloves came off, the abuse escalated, he to the point of his taking shots at my kids. In the end, it was that comment about my kids being awful that made me walk out of his house and take a train back home, missing a uni lecture in the process; I stayed for months after he blacked my eye, but I was permanently gone as soon as I had somewhere else to stay, after the comment about my babies.

The last time I tried to talk to him about any of it, he showed no awareness of wrongdoing, nor remorse. He actually denied making that comment about my kids; awkward, as the comment was made in a conversation via Messenger, so…? I mean really, what *is* the point, I ask you? And I may as well ask you, the anonymous reader.

God knows, I’ll never get a straight answer out of The Spin Doctor.

Pregnancy…?

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So.

I’m now married, and just like that (not remotely “just like that”) I’m kinda sorta okay basically planning to have a 3rd child.

You may be able to ascertain from this statement, that I have 2 children already. Or, if you’ve ever read my blog before, you might know this fact already. You may also be aware that both of my children–one girl, one boy–are autistic, that my girl is the more severely affected, and since my kids’ diagnoses, I’ve more or less accepted the fact that I’m probably on the spectrum as well.

I’m also married to the son of an engineer; I almost never do this, but there’s some interesting reading on that subject:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1362361397011010

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/autism-experiment-reveals-people-in-technical-professions-are-more-likely-to-have-autistic-traits-a6719956.html

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0834/f49917d08fc12d8f8b85a8708017a11046a1.pdf

So. So, so, so.

Do I just *want* another autistic child? You must be asking yourself that question; I know I would be, in your place. The answer (answers, even) could be explained in many different ways, with a lot more background detail, but here’s the summation:

I want more kids–I want to have a child with the love of my life–and if said child happens to be autistic, well, it’s not like I’m ill-equipped to deal with that eventuality. Experts by experience, that’s the en vogue term, I believe… I’ve been doing this for over 11 years now (34 years, if we’re counting my obvious-in-hindsight experiences of social ostracization and issues with Theory of Mind, growing up and as a young adult). If experience can make you an expert, I am one.

And my kids go to a great school; they’re offering parents a chance to come take some workshops in sensory skills, basic Makaton, Numicon, etc etc etc, over the next couple of months, so in a few weeks, I could be even more skilled at parenting autistic kids… and. Even if I weren’t, I mean, I’m autistic myself. I’m seeing this in a pretty black/white way, and I’ve come down on the side of, “better another autistic kid, than no kid with the love of my life/no mini-husband/no one last chance to do it better, now that I understand the likely challenges we’ll face”.

I think I’ve made up my mind. If you know many autistic folk, or just one autistic person reasonably well, you’ll know what that means.

I’ll post as soon as I know I’m pregnant, alright?

And for my next post, I’ll talk about coming off my meds in preparation for gestation (look at that, it’s an approximate rhyme). Sounds fun, right?

Y’all wish me luck.

Getting Married Soon

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So. As I believe I have indicated in my previous post, I’ll be getting married soon.

VERY SOON.

(On Halloween. This year.)

It will be the 4th year in a row that I’ve spent Halloween with my soon-to-be-husband, but only the 2nd one since we met properly. Please, allow me to explain.

In real life, I have 2 speeds: 1, anxiety-ridden-and-hiding-inside-my-house, and 2, party-girl-making-sexual-innuendos-and-drinking-too-much. The 2nd is a mask, to hide the 1st… but I’ve been pretending to be that girl for so long, I have, Nathaniel Hawthorne-style, forgotten which me is the real one. Or at least, I had. Last year, at Halloween, just before things got *really* shit, I let a nice boy see a little underneath the mask… we had a lovely chat, but nothing came of it.

Then, in March of this year, we saw each other on a night out, and by the end of the first hour, we were inseparable. We talked about everything: our shared religious upbringing, our similar thoughts on God/His potential existence, the state of the cosmos, socialism vs capitalism (I realise one is a form of government and the other an economic system, but let’s be serious, they don’t really mix well, now do they) the kind of books we like, the nature of love, the way we saw ourselves… I mean, we didn’t really leave anything unsaid… then he walked me home and we carried on talking until 9 in the morning.

Then he went home, and I sent him a message before I went to sleep. He replied, more or less instantly. I replied when I woke up. A few days later, we were at the wedding of 2 of our friends, and we more or less rinsed-and-repeated–it was officially morning before we stopped talking at the reception.

Who am I kidding. We *never* stopped talking, from that first night in March. I hope we never will.

And now, 7 months in, give or take, and he’s done me the incredible honour of letting me be his first serious relationship; he’s changed jobs, moved across the country to be with me, become integral to my kids’ routines, proposed, and we’re getting married in a couple of weeks. A COUPLE OF WEEKS.

The heck of it is, it actually feels like I’ve been waiting too long, to be with him. I mean, I’m in my 30s already–what if I only live another 50 years? That’s just not enough time to love him, and be loved by him.

For the first time in about a decade, I’m praying there’s an afterlife, just so I can kiss his face when we both get there… for the longest time in I don’t know when, I have no desire to send myself into that afterlife.

I keep saying I’m a born-again romantic, and it’s true–all the things I’d stopped believing in, I can at least hope for, now. And the one thing I always really wanted–unconditional love, from someone who wants the same from me–I’ve finally got. It’s not a cure for chronic depression and anxiety, of course it’s not… but it is, finally, after years of wishing, someone to share the load: a Peeta Mellark to my Katniss Everdeen, a Samwise Gamgee to my Frodo Baggins, a Perrin Aybara to my Faile Bashere, all rolled into one.

As an adult, I have never felt such joy, nor such peace. I didn’t think those emotions could be experienced, in an adult life… turns out, all it takes is finding your soulmate. Easy as¬† ūüėČ

I wish you all luck in finding yours¬† ‚̧

Update: Marriage Soon

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Before I talk about my new guy, a little background:

At the start of this year, I was with a guy who blacked my eye the week before Christmas, who continually made snide comments about my children, who regularly believed the very worst interpretations of my actions, who shouted at me and belittled me virtually every time I had the audacity to disagree with him… I remember lying on his couch, so many afternoons in January and February (because I was too lonely and unhappy to lie in the bed with him at night, so I was trying to get sleep during the day, sometimes skipping lectures at uni to do so) and listening to this song on repeat:

All I wanted, was someone who made me feel that way–someone who would feel that way about me. It sounds macabre, but this was the only song that would settle me, late last year/early this year. It was the only adequate lullaby, for sadness like mine… and you can call that maudlin purple prose if you want, because it is maudlin purple prose–it’s also true.

Then–I swear to all the gods that ever were–in February, on Valentine’s Day no less, my stepdad killed himself. Fella-who-hates-my-kids came to the States to hold my hand and whatnot, and he *loved* my sister’s (neurotypical, or near enough) kids. It just drove the point home, in a way I could no longer ignore–kid-hater didn’t hate ALL kids, he just hated MINE.

Because they’re autistic. Like that’s *their* fault.

I had no idea what to do, or how to feel, to be honest with you. But I came home from the States feeling closer to filling my pockets full of stones and walking into the ocean than I have in years. I spent 2 weeks, again, listening to the Death Cab song on repeat, pining for my kids while I was at uni, and trying not to think about the asshole lying in bed in the other room.

Then–at some friends’ Stag and Hen Night–a miracle occurred.

Back in the Saddle/Blogging for Mental Health

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So. Here I go again, on my own, etc etc.

If anyone’s been following me, they’ll know that I’ve largely been Missing-in-Action (MIA) for a while, now. If they’ve paid enough attention, they’ll even know the why behind the MIA-ness: I’ve been at university, full-time, and it has been really difficult, as well as extraordinarily time-consuming.

Of course, in¬†what spare time I have had, I’ve been going through men like hotcakes (i.e. I’ve started 3¬†and finished 2 relationships) as well as neglecting my children wherever possible.

That last bit isn’t true. It’s how I feel, because I’m a bit flat today. If I’ve done anything right, consistently, over the last decade, it’s looking out for those 2… thank all the gods that ever were, they’re such *happy* kids. I was much less happy, during my childhood.

At the time, this may have been something to do with all the shouting and occasional hitting and general instability of my childhood, rather than any intrinsic fault in me–the damage is done now, though. There’s only so much happiness I’ll achieve; and I can say that with some confidence, as I’m coming to the end of a degree in Applied Psychology. What can you do?

Make sure your kids have a better childhood than you did, is the answer. And I have… thus far, anyway. We’ll see how puberty goes, for them. If they can come through that without any major dysfunction, I can die relatively at peace.

Not that I’m saying I’ll cause my own death, or anything like that. Just making the point that when the end comes, it’ll be nice if I’ve got something I can say I actually achieved.

In an effort to encourage more achievement and less wallowing, I’m going to start journaling for mental health (which is a thing, apparently, with some evidence to back it up).

Well, who knew. Letting things out in a neutral environment, rather than holding them in ad nauseam, can be beneficial to your mental health.

The answer is, of course; I did.¬†I knew. And I *still* let myself get so bad, again…

Anyways. Like the title says, I’m back in the saddle, now.

Fingers crossed I don’t fall off.

Things I Wish I Didn’t Know, 1

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It’s been a while.

I toyed with the idea of starting a new blog, even bought a domain, but in the end, this is probably my spiritual home. Today’s post is going to be about something that didn’t happen to me, but it really could have, and how/why that freaks me THE FUCK out.

I used to know this guy. Over time, it became clear that because we’d fooled around a couple of times after he’d split with his girlfriend, he couldn’t really be trusted to be alone with me. Even physical games (rough-housing–I don’t mean anything sexual) became about him trying to dominate me, in increasingly humiliating ways, and then being pissed off if I fought back.

Eventually, he spread a rumour that I’d said something about his new girlfriend (I hadn’t–if I had, I’d have owned up to it). He sent me a message in which he told me at least 1 lie that I can prove, and a couple of things that I’m 90% sure are suspect. Without giving me a chance to respond, he blocked me and warned me that if I contacted him in any way, he’d ignore it.

Even people accused of a crime have the right to answer their accuser, legally speaking. And this guy used to say I was one of his best friends.

A couple of months after this, I was complaining about one of the times this former “friend” of mine had pushed me up against a wall and tried to snog me. The friend I was telling then went on to mention a third friend of ours, who had been staying with ex-friend…. apparently, one night after getting outrageously drunk, he followed her up to her room, threw open the door, went inside, and shoved his hand down her pants.

That’s sexual assault.

And maybe if I’d said something about the… more than 5? fewer than 10?… times he’d done similar things to me (albeit, he never got as far as groping my vag, just other parts of me, plus holding me still and laughing while I struggled) maybe he’d have known better. A nice caution from the police might have made all the difference.

The worst bit is, she was staying at his while recovering from a life-threatening illness. She’d been hospitalized several times that year. And she has a history of serious, damaging sexual abuse. She was the epitome of a vulnerable person… and in hindsight, by not telling everyone what I knew about him, maybe even going to the police about it, I contributed to the ignorance that helped put her in that position.

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s 100% on him, that he both did that and continues to deny it now, over a year later. But if I could’ve prevented it, I would have… I just (foolishly) believed him, all the times he said he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again. But then, it’s not the first time I’ve fallen for that particular chestnut.

I have a history of being abused, too.

To summarise, the thing I wish I didn’t know: if someone sexually assaults you, no matter how minor the assault is (and there are scales to rate these things, so it’s legit to say some attacks are worse than others) you need to tell people about it. If not the police, at least the people likely to be at your abuser’s mercy. If you don’t, you’re still the victim and you mustn’t feel guilty about it, but… if you can, tell. Tell everyone.

And cut all ties with the abuser calling themselves your friend. Something like 80% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by people you know. They’re predators, they choose to prey on people they suspect won’t report them, won’t call them on their behaviour, due to misplaced loyalty.

It is in no way your fault if something bad happens to you–but please, if you can, get away from people you *know* actively want to hurt you.

Here are some groups who can help you move on:

SupportLine 01708 765200

Confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults by telephone, email and post.
Website: www.supportline.org.uk

**

CISters  (Surviving Rape and/or Sexual Abuse) 02380 338080

Answerphone 023 80 338080 is usually monitored daily during the week and callers can choose to leave their name and phone number, and we will call them back and will take care when doing so. Or can email admin@cisters.org.uk

The helpline is available to female adult survivors of childhood rape/sexual abuse, and others can call if they have a concern about such issues.  In the case of the latter we will seek to signpost them to appropriate services.

Rape Crisis England & Wales

Rape Crisis England & Wales is a national feminist organisation that exists to promote the needs and rights of women and girls who have experienced sexual violence, to improve services to them and to work towards the elimination of sexual violence. They are a national umbrella body for their network of autonomous member Rape Crisis organisations across England and Wales and was set up to support their specialist work.
Website: www.rapecrisis.org.uk

 

Needless

Needs are funny things, aren’t they? I feel like I need a lot of things I probably don’t, and there are a number of things I absolutely need, that¬†I wouldn’t list if asked (either because I wouldn’t think of them, or because I don’t want to admit I need them).

People need family, though. I’m pretty sure of it, anyway.

My family is far, far away, this Christmas and every Christmas… and for the first time in some years, I care less about that, than about a family I don’t belong to.

I have a friend, and all I really want is to be this person’s family…. I am not that, to him. Whatever else I am, I’m not the person he rushes home to, to tell about his day, or the person he goes to for emotional support, or the person he asks for advice. Do you know why?

Because you do that with your family… and I’m just a friend. And he keeps telling me all the things we are not, to each other, and I just refuse to listen, as if I can’t see that I mostly wear him out, as if I can’t see that, in our relationship, despite all the little things I try to do for him, it’s always him taking care of me, not the other way around.

I think I cannot do this life for as long as I’m supposed to. I threw my family away, I moved 4,000 miles away from them all, and now, I have 2 kids who are mine, but I have to share them with my ex (and at the price of the entire rest of my family) a significant other whose needs I can meet without even trying (and who is a wonderful companion, but…) somehow… 2 kids you get part-time, a partner who barely needs you, and everyone else you love always being too far away to really be like family… it’s just not enough.

People need family, and I don’t have much of one, really. And the person I want as my family, the person¬†I go to with all my worries and troubles and issues, would rather go to his mum, with his own.

I think that says okay things about him, and lovely things about his mum… but it also confirms what I have suspected my entire life.

I am of no use to anyone. There is nothing I can do that will ever make me contribute more than I take.

What is there, for a person like that? What can the point of their life possibly be? I am of use to neither beast nor man, and in a handful of years, I’ll have outgrown being any use as decoration, either.

I’m not surprised no one wants me around–all I do is talk about wanting to kill myself–but it’s a cyclic thing. If I thought anyone really needed me, I wouldn’t want to kill myself quite so much, but no one does, so I think what’s the point of it all, so no one thinks I can be trusted to be useful, so they don’t depend on me, so I want to kill myself because I’m useless, so I talk about it, so no one wants to trust me…. where does it all end?

In the River Tyne, with my pockets full of stones and my veins full of paracetamol, I suspect.

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Me?

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A weird thing just happened (or it might be me, I really can’t tell)…

I went to bed with someone last night (not for sex, although I was fairly grope-y and stroke-y and whatnot) and me, I just couldn’t really properly sleep, and I was (in my half-asleep state) being what was probably overly cuddly and a bit too talkative.

I can see how they might not appreciate that. Makes perfect sense to me. Seems completely fair, right?

So I ask them, at several points when I think I’m disturbing them, “Do you want me to go in the other room?” and variations on, “Sorry, doing it again, should I stop?”

And they answer with several variations on, “No, it’s fine, just don’t expect me to reciprocate because I’m sleeping,” (fair, I thought) and also, “No, don’t go in the other room, stay here,” and at least 2 or 3 times, “No, it’s nice.”

So, about half an hour ago, I realize I’ve started¬†talking again, and I ask if we can swap sides in bed (I’m now back-achey and wanting to cater to my sciatica) and they do–way too quickly, and I think, shit, for all their naysaying, they are awake, I am keeping them up, gotta be quieter/sleepier/whatever, and so I proceed to do that.

I ask them a question a few minutes later (because I’m starting to drift off, finally, and unfortunately I sometimes start to talk as I’m relaxing into sleep–so do they, come to think of it….) and they give a kind of snappy answer and I think, alright, fair, I get it, but¬†I also make some half-jokey reference to them being like a drug (so, like, I can’t help myself, right?) and which point they really sharply go, “I don’t care,” (as if they can’t tell it’s a joke, maybe? or they’re just¬†not in the mood, which is fair enough too) and then a few minutes later (out of nowhere–I’ve been completely silent since then, I’m again just starting to drift off) they announce, “It really HAS got to stop now, it’s time for sleep,” and I go, “….I’m not doing anything…?”

And they go, “Well I’m going in the other room now.”

“….but…. I’m not doing anything…?”

“Well, I just require coolness and space.”

Giving it’s one way to get it,¬†I suppose.

The thing that makes it all a bit off, for me, is that literally last night–like, an hour before going to bed?–I said to them, “You have to make peace with the idea that I don’t always sleep well, I’m an insomniac, and sometimes, you’ll just have to let me go in the other room, so you can sleep,” and they were all, “No, once we’re in bed you must STAY in bed, I want the cuddling,” etc etc, and I was laughing a little, but I thought they were more or less serious (all the more so, when I kept offering to go in the other room and let them sleep, and they said no repeatedly)….

…so to me, that means they a) perceive being left in the middle of the night as some sort of rejection or slight, and b) they intentionally did that to me, rather than “let” me do that to them…

….and I dunno, I just feel that’s not on. A dozen conversations, more, we’ve had about this, over the last year or so, about it being okay to pet them and snuggle them in the middle of the night, about how they prefer that to sleeping alone, the last of which took place LAST NIGHT RIGHT BEFORE BED….

…and then they stormed out of the room after telling me I was fine, and left me wondering what I did wrong, wide awake (well you would be, wouldn’t you, if you’d finally started to get to sleep and then the person you had your arm draped over–which is often how you sleep with this person, who actually asked you if you’d mind spooning them at the start of the night, rather than the other way ’round–suddenly shot up and snapped at you and huffed out, huffed back in again to retrieve something, and then went to their room) and, let’s be completely honest, crying because I suddenly felt in the wrong… after checking all night (and many times previously) that what I was doing was okay.

What makes it worse is that this person pretty regularly does this (or something like it) when they’ve got something other than me to look forward to (dinner this evening with an old friend, and I have to leave town this afternoon) and so it begins to look like they don’t mind my (admittedly excessive)¬† levels of attention when they’re alone and without plans, but as soon as they’ve got something on, I’m too clingy/needy/in-your-face…

…I can’t, can I? I can’t be with someone who finds me indispensable and irreplaceable and mostly charming, right up until they have something else to do. As far as self-esteem goes, I’m just asking to have mine gradually eroded.

Aren’t I?

The Amanda Show, Episode 3

The show’s doing alright for itself, at the moment.

My first essay at my new university¬†got a first (that’s like an A). I mean it was barely a first (A) but it was one. It only took me 2 weeks of panicking and 4 afternoons of lying on the floor sobbing for several hours a day, to pull that particular rabbit out of my tophat.

I tried coming off my meds, about 2 weeks ago (after all the above happened). I’d have to say, that was (as it always is) a mistake. I’m back on them, now… how is it that anti-depressants take away the high-highs, but leave me with fairly low-lows?

The person I am most in love with (notice the use of the modifier “most”, if you will–I’m not saying I bear no responsibility for this state of affairs, and by the way, “affairs” is an intentional word choice as well) does not feel the same way I do. This is a thing for¬†which I absolutely need psych meds, in order to cope (grammatically correct sentence? so clunky, though). When he forgets he’s not madly in love with me, though… *sigh* Good times, great times, and then, whoosh! I’m falling off a cliff and it feels like flying, right until I land.

When I eventually kill myself–

I mean, if I ever lose the battle and kill myself, I will go headfirst off a cliff. For once in my life, I won’t be scared of something new; it will feel exactly like something I’ve done a hundred times before.