Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Part #27

I seem to be making a habit of this. On Monday, I passed out again in the bathroom, after engaging in a massive purging session. I fell against the chrome toilet roll holder attached to the wall, cut my upper eyelid and am now sporting a marvellous purple and black egg there. It hurts immensely - as though I have a toothache which will not stop niggling. All I remember is crawling off to bed and waking about four hours later feeling like I had been partying non-stop. It didn't go down very well. I was very disoriented, very out of the game and just 'not there'.

Things are getting me down immensely. Ten days ago, my GP prescribed me anti-depressants. I am normally loathe to take these things but I acquiesced. So far, they don't seem to be agreeing with me very well, but I have been told by a number of people, that the initial side-effects abate after 2-3 weeks. Side-effects at the moment involve constant 'jiggling' and agitation of the buttock and thigh muscles which cause horrific aches and pains; nausea; tiredness; paranoia and wild nightmares. I have another 4-11 days, potentially, of riding these things out before I throw in the towel and say, Enough! if necessary...

I haven't been near the scales for two days now. I refuse to countenance them. I don't like how they affect my mood for the whole day: so out of sight; out of mind. I am still eating one healthy meal each day. 

On Monday night, I succumbed to an old, negative behaviour. All I can remember is feeling so bloody weary, so bloody fed up of this carousel and desperate to rid my head of the screaming voices. I felt very furtive, duplicitous, ashamed and guilty as I tried to get five minutes alone. But I did, and I took a carving knife and sharpening steel into the outhouse toilet and in the semi-dark, with only spiders and cobwebs for company, I honed the knife and sliced myself on the arm, upper thigh and across my breast.

Just writing that has sent a cold belt of steel across my heart, if you can sort of understand that. A belt of utter shame and disgust.

From my former cutting days, I have arms like trellises. My right leg sports a gash which you would presume came from a car crash. It became infected at the time so that I was unable to walk for a few days and was given antibiotics. It was never stitched, hence why it is so noticeable to this day. The day Ian left, I carved his name into my left thigh. For some unearthly reason, that disappeared, but none of the others have. My friend, Rebecca, joked to me at the time, that I could turn it into the phrase, 'I've been to Spain', until I pointed out that '-ain' and '-ian' are we decided that I could purport to have dyslexia. Light-hearted banter about heavy-hearted things. We need to do that from time to time.

That gash on my right leg featured in my dream of Monday night. I dreamed that I had it across the breast I had cut and it was ugly, gaping and repugnant. When I awoke yesterday morning, my fear was how to disguise it during any love-making between Ian and me. I resolved to refrain from intimacy for a few days until the rawness had abated. That's not a good thing, or a solution, though, is it? And unbeknownst to me, Ian had observed spatters of blood and put two and two together. When we think we are being so clever as to conceal things, we always miss dead give-aways...such as the blood on the top of my jeans: the blood on my nightdress which I didn't notice until much later. 

Before I expatriated to Oman I was an Autumn Child. I loved the nights drawing in; the cosiness by the fire; the smell of bonfires in the air; snuggling up in bed, watching crappy black and white movies on telly; wearing thick, heavy jumpers and embracing the cold, crisp days. I hate them nowadays. This darkness only reflects my moods. It is depressing that the sky is black at 4pm, the rain soaks, chills me to the marrow and I rarely feel warm. I long for the sun on my face. I don't like all the anniversaries which bombard us at this time of year, either. There are too many of them. These memories stir up different emotions, none of them positive. They imbue me with guilt, sadness, concern and fear for the future.

I live in the past; too much for my own good. I have mentioned 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' before. I so wish I could gain that - obliterate my mind of the painful memories - be selective, too, in holding on to the good ones. I am asking for way too much, I know that - I sound like a spoiled Verruca Salt (of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!) who wants it all: Daddy! Daddy! Get Me That Unsullied Memory, NOW!

What a complex organ the brain is. How can it hold so many abstract and intangible things? No wonder scientists claim they can only fully understand about a 1/3 of its workings. How can those electrical impulses which constantly fire off cause elation, sadness, euphoria, desperation, hunger, warmth, irritation, love, affection, infinitum...What an amazing creation we have, sitting in our 'shell-likes'. And I am rambling...

Things aren't all bad in Annie's World, though, so I apologise for being so morose. In my last post, I described my current worries. One of those, as Ian predicted, has now gone. He finally 'sold' his house yesterday - all the legalities are now in place and it is time to clear the property. When we first got back together, over a year ago, he told me he was going to do things properly this time and before I agreed to a future together, he was discussing placing his house on the market. The Global Economy Crisis is taking its toll everywhere and it has taken a year for his house to sell. Believe it or not, that's not too bad here - my neighbour split with his wife in 2006 and the house is still for sale. We have been lucky to a degree.

Ian's ardent desire was to start afresh. Get rid of his property, feel part of this household, 100%, and make a go of it. The economy has been against us, materially. Before we realised how bad the credit crunch was getting, we started looking at properties for ourselves - a new life, together. We found a fantastic house which was formerly a Scottish Manse house. It was in a fair state, but needed a lot of work. It had been on the market for two years and had depreciated by £100,000. We knew we would have to bust a gut to get it fit for the four of us. But everything is corrolated. My property, where once I had a hell of a lot of equity in it, is now not worth as much; Ian's house has been dropped by 17% to sell. So we must hold on. 

I have always seen Ian's house as his bolt-hole: somewhere to run when the going gets tough. It has left me foundationless, insecure and feeling like a cat on a hot tin roof. I abhor the arguments where the bags are packed, the doors are slammed and silence reigns in the house. I need some form of safety net and security which is unconditional. I hope that this house sale goes some way to affording me some sanctuary from my fears.

Most dreams I have these days are about being lost and not being able to find my way back. I beg people for assistance but I am always let down. There are obstacles in my path; there are obstreperous characters to handle; there are problems to overcome...but I just don't seem to get there, ever. Strangely, Ian rarely features in any of my dreams - I am always begging my parents to help me, and they never do. What does that mean, I wonder?

What a rambling mess! 


Mars said...

...that Ian isn't part of your nightmares?

Bob J said...

Two steps forward, one step back.

Hang tough Annie. You can make it.

Karen ^..^ said...

Annie, you are not a rambling mess. You are desperately trying to sort all this out in your mind, when for so long it just lived there, a horrible loud jumble.

The cutting is a release. Hopefully you won't need to do that soon. The purging is the same thing.

In time, all these symptoms will disappear, and you can live a normal life again. I wish I could help, I really do. At the very least, I wish we could talk.

I owe you an email, and I'll go more indepth then.

Much love to you all...

Keli said...

It really is true that it's always darkest, bleakest, most dispiriting before the dawn. I know it's trite and a cliche; but I speak from past experience.
And that is simply wonderful news about Ian's house!
I suffer periodically from dark moods, where I feel down or possibly like strangling the nearest some one. It helps me when I take out photo albums of my children (in their early years especially) and focus only on things that make me happy. It shifts my thoughts and helps me to redirect my thoughts to the positive (I really do seem to like standing on that soapbox, don't I; this has been a recent development that I'll hopefully quash soon).
Hang in there, dear!

Chunks of Reality said...

Hello, my dear. A while back I lost my Blogroll widget when trying a new template and had to redo it. I just realized tonight that I didn't have your blog on it and repaired that problem. You are now back on my blogroll. I'm so happy that I realized that.

You are going through a difficult time and I know that you will be OK. Do you realize how strong and resilient you are? If you don't I do and so do all of your readers. If you ever need anything, please email me at


By the way, I wanted you to know that you've been tagged, but don't do it if you don't want to. I'll have it posted tomorrow.

Zathyn Priest said...

I can relate to so much of what you've written here. Those eating disorder voices that refuse to quieten and the struggles to fight them. I wish I could offer you some profound advice to help you through this.

As you know, I suffer from Bulimia. It was when I almost choked on the toilet floor something inside my head 'clicked'. That's not say I don't have those urges to purge, I do. At times they're strong - so far I've been able to quell them.

I've also been a self-injurer for many years. I believe my bulimia was an extention of that. Try to remember that SI is a survival tool, as primitive as it may be.

My thoughts are with you *hugs*

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Ah, I am sorry not to have acknowledged any of your comments. So I shall address that oversight right now.

Mars: You are right: Ian has nothing to do with my nightmares; just the others who surround us.

Bob: Yes. There have been two steps back just recently, but I think I rallied round and went forward again. There's a much more positive approach in my head this week than when I wrote part #27 last week.

Karen: Cutting is a release, but it was one which I thought I had totally obliterated. The thought of doing it, until recently, was quite abhorrent. It scares me that it felt so good, but I haven't returned to it since then.

And yes, you DO owe me an email, you slacker!!

Keli: I have been known to take the photo albums out when feeling low. And, yes, seeing their little faces makes my smile return...then they come home from school and refuse to eat what I have slaved over all day!!

I am glad that I am sleeping better these days - getting up at 4am every day was a killer, waiting for the sun to come up, feeling lonely and fearful. The darkness just enhances the loneliness, doesn't it?

Chunks: Lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for your kind offer. I shall certainly drop you a line in the very near future as I know you have your own wisdom borne from struggles from reading your blog. It always helps to share and compare, I find.

Zathyn: Welcome to the blog. As you know, I have been reading your own avidly and can relate immensely to what you go/have gone through. Your posts can sometimes make very harrowing reading, but I am delighted for you that you have 'clicked'. It requires great inner strength and I think you are obviously finding that.

SI as a survival tool - that's such a paradox, but I know exactly what you mean. There is definitely not a suicidal bent to it; purely a release. And it works, even though it leaves a legacy. But it is one I hope not to make a habit of again. That, I really would despise.

Thanks for your kind words.