Monday, 10 November 2008

Part # 26

Blogging has taken a back seat for me just recently. I have been urged and encouraged by a number of people to attempt to put this account down in book form, and so I made a start last week. I am not so vain as to think that it will ever go anywhere, but what I have noticed is that blogging contains superficial details, on the whole; whereas writing a book requires more attention, minuteness, background and concise information. Only nine pages have been written so far. But they were nine pages of so many early childhood memories. So many of them had either been pushed aside, forgotten or blocked off that it was strange to relive them so vividly. I have an incredible long-term memory (short-term is rubbish!) and can recall smells, shapes, colours, clothes, sensations as if they were happening to me in the here and now.

Ian can tell me something and hours later I will have forgotten and ask him about it again. He sighs wearily and I apologise. Bizarrely, though, months later, I would be able to recall it with vivid detail - and that is where he will have forgotten! I wonder if it is the medication I have been prescribed which provides that 'comfortable numbness'?

I have to hold my hands up in submission now and state, quite honestly, that I don't think I am improving. One meal each day, keeping it in and down is bugger all, in truth. If you are only eating grilled/baked/steamed fish/seafood with steamed veg, you aren't exactly having a Hog Fest, are you? I guess I am kidding myself, really. 

There are so many things which are either irritating the hell out of me or worrying me sick at the moment that I cannot seem to drop them and concentrate on me. For the purposes of catharsis, I am going to list them. Just to see them in black and white and potentially be able to reason with them at a later date today or tomorrow.
  • Ian will get sick and tired of me struggling with this bastard disorder and leave
  • I am way too sensitive for my own good and any perceived slight affects me so much as to cause a row
  • I dread confrontation with either my family or Ian's family - Ian calls these 'missiles' and they come in the form of texts, letters, emails, phone calls. Each time his own mobile phone beeps or rings, my heart sinks. Each time our home phone rings, my heart sinks. For six months, I have been given an easy life. I wonder how much longer I can 'enjoy' that as there have been no missiles recently...
  • Will Ian's house finally sell? Will we have less financial worries? Paying two mortgages isn't much fun. An empty house, acting like a money pit, down south, is a millstone around our necks. We are always 'so close' to completion of the sale, and then the purchasers' solicitor gets his teeth into a silly issue which has to be thrown back and forth until Ian's solicitor gives them a rap across the knuckles and tells them to behave. But it's long, slow and arduous.
  • Am I about to be usurped? Beth has finally relented and agreed to meet with 'The Other Woman'. Recalling 'The Other Woman's' campaign of 'Being The Most Popular Mother in Oman' is not something I can forget easily. Remembering her telling me she adored Rosemary as if she were her own daughter, seeing the presentation of very expensive diamond earrings to Rosemary for birthdays, and the oppositional attitude of attending to every cut, bruise, fall by fussing and falling over them makes me quail. Although I am a firm believer in unconditional love and affection, I do not believe that a paper cut on the finger requires Calpol, a hot water bottle and a Band Aid. She did...And the girls revelled in that at one time...
  • I worry that I have lost my way. I was once such an ambitious woman. I was the only person in the organisation who understood my job. Everyone else listened to me and heard what I was saying. I was both self-taught, on-the-job-taught, and passed exams with high 80 percentages. I knew what I was delivering and in my first month of taking over the role, I turned over more stock from my online nicotine replacement sales than the whole of the 500 branches across the UK. That is vanity more than anything. I increased turnover by 1500% in three months but I don't ever feel I can go back to it as I am terrified of my colleagues. A former worker, K, suffered with bulimia (I never met her). She had been gone for a good 12 months by the time I started work. They still tore her to pieces for it. Anybody, with any 'mental health' problem, was annihilated. Considering it is a health industry, they ought to hang their heads in shame...
  • I worry about my position in this family. Reputedly, I am the 'Figure Head': the one who holds us together, mediates, softens, delegates, and acts as diplomat. I don't want to do it any more in some ways. I am weary of having to flit between one set of hurt to another. I want hurt people to talk to each other openly, which is what I would do, on the whole. Being a mediator is a hard task. But, at the same time, I know that it is hard for the other three and they DO need a mediator. We had a social worker at one point who said that being a step-parent was the hardest job in the world. I agree, implicitly. But I also think that being the natural parent on a new marriage is pretty tough, too, due to divided loyalties and attempting to maintain some form of equilibrium
So, don't get me wrong. Things 'chez Annie' are not awful - far from it. There has just passed a lovely, gentle, interesting weekend. Nary a cross word passed (apart from the general bickering between Rosemary and Bethan, to which I have selective deafness!) between any of us, and it has been notable in its unremarkability. I give thanks for that. 

I just wish I could escape from my thoughts. My dreams last night were full of angst. They were actually filled with 'missiles'. I awoke at 4.30am with severe heartburn, got up for ten minutes, swilled down a load of water and some peppermint, and then returned to bed where I fell into a deep sleep. My final dream was that all my eyebrow hairs had fallen out due to the anorexia. I checked them out this morning, after my husband had complained that his face was a mess due to me picking a spot on his cheek. 

Such is life, eh?!


Ian T - Parsnip no longer... said...

It's hard not to let worries get you down. You know how much I worry about your health after all!

There seem to be so many cliches associated with worrying. "It'll all be alright in the end", "why worry about something that may never happen" etc.

I hope that by putting them down here and seeing them in black & white, it helps you to look at them more objectively.

I'm not going to leave you.
The house will sell.

I guess that's two less?


Karen ^..^ said...

Whereas I am VERY happy you are putting this in book form, I have to say I have missed you lately. I know this book will be a success.

I have a freakishly sharp long term memory too. I can recall certain conversations verbatim, and the same as you, recalling shapes,smells, colors, feelings as if they happened an hour ago. I will forget things short term as well, but as soon as someone tells me again I instantly recall them having said it before. Then I feel bad. Then I over apologize. Such is the way of a people pleaser, an insecure one at that.

Only hold your hands up in submission for a very short time, Annie. You knew this would take a long time. You are not on a certain timecrunch, these things do not improve overnight, or even in a week's, months, or even year's time. YEARS worth of damage was done to you. Do you really want to put unrealistic pressure upon yourself by expecting the unattainable, by expecting yourself to be cured virtually overnight? Give yourself a break. Stop expecting too much of yourself.

If you really feel that you have not improved, well, look at where you were two months ago, and look at where you are now. You are keeping one full meal down a day. You were not doing that a month or two ago. I call that improvement. So should you. No matter how low in fat it is, it is STILL a healthy meal. In regard to your list:

Ian getting sick of your struggle and leaving:

sweetheart, all couples fight. Most do not have the issues you and Ian face, true, but he signed on for this, and IS human every bit as well as you are human. He is from time to time going to say shitty, even unforgivable things, and leave the house. You have to stop being so fearful of things you cannot control. Only then will you find peace. How to do that? Well... Remember how you threw your hands up in submission to admit you didn't think you were improving? Well, getting that off your chest felt good, right? So will letting go of things you cannot control. I don't feel that Ian will leave you. But you cannot live in fear of it, or you will then be living a self fulfilled prophecy. If you think it will happen, then you will subconsciously live to ensure it will happen, beleive me, I've been through this same thing a million times, I recognize the train wreck, trust me. Once you let go of that fear, and put it where it belongs, then you can concentrate on what you really deserve: Happiness and contentment.

In regard to Beth agreeing to see the whore:
You will NEVER be usurped. Both your girls may agree to see her to keep peace with thier father, but they will NEVER put her above you, no matter how many boo boos she kisses or how syrupy sweet she acts. They may even get friendly with her, but even with that, you will ALWAYS come first for them. Never worry about that. Let go of your fears. The bulimia/anorexia is a fear based disorder. If you kick irrational fear out of your life, you will win this fight. Tackle one thing at a time. In the meantime, give yourself a break and give yourself even an ounce of credit for what you have endured and dealt with this far. Stop being so hard ON YOURSELF!!!!!!

The missiles: Fuck 'em. They only have the power to hurt you if you truly give a crap what they think of you. Why do you? Are they really and truly so much better than you? NO. They aren't. No one is. Remember this always:

No one is better than you in this life, and if you continue to give them power they do not deserve, by letting fear of thier bullshit rule you, then you are making them better in your mind and in your actions. They don't deserve it. Stop. One thing at a time.


You may have temporarily lost your way, but again, you are letting fear of what might be being said about you behind your back rule your thought process here. What makes them so much better than you? Nothing. In fact, you are quite a bit better than them, as you have the compassion and courage NOT to talk shit about someone behind their back. It takes a lot more courage to keep your mouth shut and NOT jump on the bandwagon agaist some poor hapless person who isn't even there to defend themselves, than some lout who annihilates someone who isn't there, for something they cannot help. Fuck em.

If you go back there, you can tear them all a new one for ripping you apart while you were out of office, sick.

The house will sell, sweetheart. Of course it will.

As far as the other woman (whore, slut, bitch) and when she gives expensive gifts:

Do you really think the kids value her more because she gives a more expensive gift? Give them more credit than that. Sure they may ooh and ahh over it, as is their right. But when it comes right down to it, we all know you cannot TRULY buy someone's love and affection. No matter what. So don't worry about that.

I guarantee that if you had given Rosemary an inappropriately expensive pair of earrings the same day the slut did, then if Rosemary had lost the pair you gave her, she'd be WAY more upset by it than if she'd lost the whore's gift. So don't sweat it. Let the bitch spend all her money on them. Fuck her.

Hope that helped. I'm still waiting out on my limb to hear if I got the good job or not. Yikes. I think I hear a branch cracking...

MelissaS said...

i agree with karen. your daughters know who their mother is, and they will always love you best. people do not write huge memoirs about their relationships with their step-mothers. our mothers are the most important people in our young lives (and beyond). trust this, even if their heads are temporarily turned by (as karen said so well) inappropriately expensive gifts! my dad's girlfriend always gave me wonderful gifts and we giggled and shopped, but it was my mother whom i cared for in the last year of her illness -moving back from new york, sleeping in her room in case she needed me, i held her while she died, even though that was the hardest thing i can ever imagine doing, but i didn't want my mother to die alone. she brought me into this world, and i wanted to be with her as she left it... my dad's girlfriend was much easier to deal with, but i had only one mother and we had MANY problems, but i loved her best.

re: your eating. good catch. "yay" to you for sharing this. it sounds like you were more bulimarexic recently and now the old rexia's kicking in alone. for me, it's almost soothing when that happens. look at me, i can live on an ounce of raw fish and a cup of steamed vegetables, with some lettuce on the side. it's great that you're keeping it in. now can you add to it?

work - try not to worry about what they think. can you hold your head up? i went back to my job after taking a leaving for smoking a very bad drug. everyone knew, but i came in and help my head up. i considered myself very brave, and you should to. can you just be open about it, as though it's nothing? maybe you can start trying to educate them? that would drive them crazy and they'd be so confused by your confidence. that's how i've handled things in very uncomfortable situations, and it's always worked. you have NOTHING to be ashamed of!!!!

however, you must do what's best for YOU. what makes YOU comfortable!!!!! but don't worry about the girls

Mars said...

oh great. blogger deleted my previous comment. i think i said slap the little gremlin and don't let anxiety get the better of you. something in that order. *hugs*

Keli said...

It's a colossal challenge to follow a comment like Karen's; I have to ditto her words, but I'd like to add that you're not alone in your feelings and insecurities. I think there are many of us with these really baseless fears (although they're quite real to us as we hold on to them for dear life) that we've nurtured almost until they became habitual for far too long. It takes monumental effort to let go. But from what I know about you, you are a very strong person, as I've mentioned before. There are many who believe in you and find you quite capable. All you have to do is believe in yourself. Believe that you can be happy.

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Ian: Are you clair-whatsit? You were right, weren't you? The house didsell. Just make the other 'worry' right for me, please? No more bag-packing, no more storming out...

Karen: You always write such lovely long comments. I am grateful and I hope that my emails to you go some way to explaining things and giving my thanks. As time has gone on, the jealousy concerning Jane has dissipated immensely to be honest. I am resigned to it all now and it is Beth's decision. I think she is being brave in many ways and I hope that it also allows her to settle and relax. It must be very hard on her, hating somebody without confronting them head on - perhaps on 22nd, she will get the peace she deserves. And that can only be a great thing for everybody concerned. There's no point holding on to what happened between Anal, Jane and I - because look what came of it? I found Ian, a far superior person to Anal. Had I not been divorced, I could never have succumbed. I am lucky. And grateful to have a man like Ian as I love him with all of my heart...and more!

Improvement-wise, well, just read the next post. That may go some way to explaining it.

Melissa: Well, we've thrashed all of this out already, haven't we? Thanks for the comment, though, and the support!

Mars: Thank you for the *hugs* and I return those to you as I think you need them equally at the moment. Please remember my words to you - don't let them grind you down, mate.

Keli: Thank you. There is strength there - when faced with a battle, I rise to the challenge for others...I don't seem to do it for myself so much for an odd reason. I feel very low and flat at the moment - no strength whatsoever. I wonder how much of that is down to the new drugs I have been prescribed? I'm definitely not beaten yet, though...and things are looking up in the form of the house sale and an easing of financial burdens.

Nothing lasts forever, so things HAVE to change.

Thank you all for your wonderfully uplifting comments. I always appreciate your support, kindness and love. I am very lucky to have such a fantastic readership.