Friday, 13 February 2009

Still Alive and Kicking...

I'm sorry: I feel rather guilty for my silence on the blog and the concerned messages I have received. I'm still here, and still intact...and thanks to those of you who have written to me, and expressed your worries for me. I'm gratified that you think so much of me - thank you!

A bit of a catch-up for you. A week ago, I had to go into hospital as I had been fainting and suffering quite bad heart pains. The bizarre thing was, the actual medical condition got completely swept away when the services realised my history of self-harm and overdoses and thus, at 2am, I was waiting for an interview with the psychiatric department to plead for my release. I still don't know why I was fainting and blacking out, but I was told vaguely, by a nurse, that my blood pressure was very low and my pulse rate had dropped to 58 bpm. I was very reluctant to bring the psychiatric stuff up, and loathe to go to hospital, so I ended up having a permanent police escort in case I 'did a runner' - I was given the opportunity to go willingly, or be sectioned. As it stood, I was told later, I was under some form of sectioning whether I liked it or not. A bit of a three-lined whip there and what a waste of resources? Ian and I ended up playing 'I Spy' and other ridiculous games with our bobby on the beat. He was as bored as we were...And I think he realised that it was a waste of his time, too, having to make sure I 'behaved'.

Rosemary is still at her father's house and has embraced the purse of The Other Woman with outstretched hands. She was treated to about £100 worth of designer gear two weeks ago and has rubbed her sister's nose in it repeatedly. She has blown hot and cold with me over the telephone. We redecorated her bedroom last week - our house is a work in progress and the only room left now is the bathroom. Simply redecorating the room caused ructions as Beth claimed it was now a 'Guest Bedroom' - this led to Rosemary storming out of our house within five minutes of arriving - ostensibly she had come to 'say hi', but she was actually waiting here for her friend to invite her over for tea. Doors slammed, and then reopened as she stormed through the house, up the stairs, crashed drawers, cupboards...I took it for about ten minutes, and then decided enough was enough. There ensued yet another stand-up lecture about how this behaviour was not endearing her to us, and if she wanted to return here, hard work was going to have to be done.

This ill atmosphere infiltrated the house and left us all feeling rather flattened. As it came for her to go to her friend's, she gave me a hug...and I felt again as though my Rosie was in my arms - she didn't want to let go, and it was so sweet. Then she stalked off and I haven't seen her since.

I've not been drinking (sorry, Lola!) and thinking more clearly. I've cut down on the laxatives and I nibble through the day. I am trying to eat a main meal in the evenings and 4/7, I succeed. I am, however, finding that around 5pm, after I have accumulated worries through the day (mostly of my own making, and my own over-active mind), I will succumb to a binge-purge. Generally, just the one. It sort of takes all the crap out of my head and it gets flushed down the toilet along with the rest of the gloop. That one action really seems to exorcise my demons - and takes much less toll on the rest of the household than me caning the red wine or vodka.

The dynamics between Beth, Ian and me are fantastic, I must admit. It's as though there is more oxygen to breathe in this house. There is more levity, more fun, more peace, and stacks of laughter. I actually feel better now than I have done for around 12 months. Ian and I are getting on very well and nary a cross word has passed between us for over two weeks. Even Beth has noticed the vast improvement in our relationship and she rarely notices anything unless it is covered in fur and meows. Although I miss Rosemary, I don't miss the rows, stress, tip-toeing over eggshells, and the volatility of her temper. I hope that she thinks hard about my 'speech' to her wherein I explained that although we loved her deeply, we didn't love her behaviour and all we want is respect and civility...somehow, though, I don't think she will mither too much as she is currently being treated to everything her little heart desires. Her father is acting as though she is the injured party, The Other Woman is all over her like a rash and she is the centre of all attention. The only problem in all of this, is that Beth is now being treated by her father like the poor relation and it bites. Ian and I are doing our utmost to ensure that she is happy and contented here, but as I said to him, we have to always be aware that we cannot concede too much, otherwise another spoilt child emerges and that's no good to anyone.

I was rather shocked to learn my weight at hospital. My own bathroom scales would appear to be extremely wrong and I was 8lbs lighter on the hospital scales, fully clothed - this was also the case when I weighed in at a spa a few weeks ago. The really strange thing for me is that I feel my mind-set moving away from struggling with an ED. I don't really consider myself 'suffering', as it were - I feel as though I am trying to fight it inwardly and outwardly. I will force myself to eat, even if I don't want to, rather than surrender and starve. As I say, the ED manifests itself, physically, mainly in that one binge-purge of the day, which is a vast improvement on a few weeks ago when it could have happened 3, 4, 5+ times a day.

Mother dearest is on top form, as usual! It seems the ex has had to go for a brain scan (I wonder if they found it?). And she is deeply concerned: baby-sitting, making meals for him (the last of which he was violently ill with: a fact which raised a wry smile to my face - perhaps she is surreptitiously attempting to poison him, and the matiness is all a big front?! That's My Mum!!) and even kissing him better...'kiss-ass' was mentioned by Beth a few more times having witnessed these events this week! She is also now asking after The Other Woman. No doubt TOW will be invited for dinner one weekend in the not too distant future. Considering this is the woman my Mother christened 'That Bitch', this will be interesting to observe...

And I have actually been able to detach from it somewhat. Each little revelation from Beth brings its own twisting of the knife, but after a good night's sleep, I can generally shrug it off and objectively amaze at how completely rotten the woman is, through and through. Anyone who can behave like this towards their own child has to be mentally unstable. I appear to have been given the wrong mother and therefore, I have to cast her aside - I've done that physically, and mentally/emotionally, it's definitely on its way nowadays, thank God.

My one big hang-up at the moment is not being employed. I handed in my notice with the pharmaceutical company for whom I worked. I knew a return to that manic environment, with a boss who considered me one techy fact below Bill Gates, gave me the vaguest remits for jobs and then lambasted me if things went wrong would not be conducive to a healthy future, either mentally or physically at the moment, and thus resigned. I have been approached by a number of agencies over the last few months to apply for other Search Marketing jobs, but have declined. However, I now feel ready to face the Rat Race again in many ways. I feel very inadequate at the moment. Going from competent trouble-shooter to cosy domestic doesn't sit comfortably with me. Keeping a spotless home, cooking, ironing, running errands is all well and good, but for a very strange reason, it doesn't seem a valuable or valued job in my eyes. I want to feel as though I am contributing to this household financially as well as practically. Having been an independent, single parent for quite a long time, it is a shock to be a 'kept woman' and I don't think I like it.

But my sticking point is going to be my sickness record. Few employers would touch me with a barge-pole at the moment, and I haven't a clue how to explain it all away without coming across as a total basket-case. How do you explain anorexia to a businessman who will probably think I have a dieting obsession? How do you explain bulimia to a boss who cannot start his day without a Full Monty fry-up? I'm not generalising here - from my own work experience, every boss of mine has been enormous, or at least, thoroughly enjoyed his first light bacon butties...

So, I need to get my thinking cap on and work out how to get around this blip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

19 comments:

Tiger said...

Good to see you posting again!
I've got no brilliant ideas, just wanted to let you know that I've missed your writing.

Karen ^..^ said...

Wow, that's a lot...

I don't know what to tell you on the workfront issues, only that I think maybe you shouldn't mention anything about it? It really is not thier business, and if they ask why you had not returned to work just say that you were experimenting with being a stay at home mom. If you already got recommendations from you former employer, then there really isn't any reason to mention anything beyond that, right?

I don't know how it works in England, but here the employer is not allowed to say anything derogatory toward a past employee, or they stand the risk of being sued. They cannot blackball people and stand in the way of future employment.

As for the rest, I'm glad things are calming down for you a bit. The Rosemary issue is a very bitter pill to swallow, I'm sure. There is little more heartbreaking than seeing a child go to the other side, out of sheer materialism and greed. Very sad, but also very temporary. If Tow and Anal have so little pride that they can attempt to buy her love in that manner, then they will reap what they sow. Stand firm and don't let it eat you up. Easier said than done, I know.

Thank God you have Beth, and you are right, you can't overcompensate or she may go the same route.

I am very glad to see you post again, I was worried, but am very relieved now. I didn't want to bother you with endless emails, so I just waited for you to post again.

Hope all continues to improve, and many wishes for a beautiful spring for you!

MelissaS said...

annie; i am felled with the flu and my fuzzy brain is dreaming of slumber. i am beyond happy and relieved to see your post. i was actually going to write you today, as soon as the imodium kicks in.

all else aside, things seem to be in some kind of place. you, ian and beth are settled in. rosemary, the teenager, is figuring her things out. she does love you, of course, very much.

with all of this in place, it does seem an excellent time to focus on you and your wellness. the most important!

off to the loo..

Keli said...

It's wonderful to hear your "voice" again, my dear! Sorry to hear of your hospital experience; I know how much you dislike being there, and sorry to hear Rosemary is still taking out her anger on you. She's punishing herself and you, it appears. I think her sweet hug was the real Rosemary; a glimpse of what she's hiding and having difficulty showing, for the moment.
I'm not surprised to hear that your mother is currently taken with the ex. Birds of a very strange, meager minded feather, you know.
What potential bosses will be measuring is your attitude with respect to your health. Your presentation, if you will. I believe that if you confidently explain that it is indeed behind you (or on its way to being so), that should be enough. Focus unwaveringly on your accomplishments and everything else will fall into proper place.
Best wishes to you!
XXX

Bob J said...

Dear Annie,

"...A week ago, I had to go into hospital as I had been fainting and suffering quite bad heart pains...I was told vaguely, by a nurse, that my blood pressure was very low and my pulse rate had dropped to 58 bpm...I still don't know why I was fainting and blacking out..."

But I bet you could make some guesses ?

And yes, I am sorry that they went all off on the past SI and OD stuff : Like you said, that would not seem to be the main issues right now.

So....no ideas at all about where the heart issues, fainting etc. might have come from ?

Sorry, I'm being a jerk for asking such things, I know.

Bob

Mars said...

it reminds me of my sister and i with my mom. my sister sided with dad, while i sided with mom.

i understand. i can't say who's right or wrong in my family because i believe i'm right, hence why i took a side. but in truth - who knows?

but trust me, this is phase with your daughters and hopefully things will work out. it won't be immediate - may even take years. but it will work out.

Annie T said...

Tiger: Thanks for your lovely words. Unfortunately, I have no brilliant ideas either...however, the woman prepared to write my reference has said she will purely concentrate on my work and my results, which turned a 400% increase in sales for the company. Early days - we'll see!

Karen: I think it is fairly similar here, in that derogatory comments are not strictly allowed, but potential employers can read between the lines. And they are allowed to ask for sickness records - as in days off; not the actual illness.

And yes, Rosemary is a bit of a bitter pill. I think Beth finds it very hard. And she also feels ostracised by her father who has recently announced that TOW will be joining them on their summer holiday. So Beth will thus be accompanying me and Ian when we go, instead.

And the same best wishes for you. The flowers know spring is on its way, as is evinced by the budding daffs and snowdrops. I just wish someone would tell the sun and the temperatures!

Melissa: I am sorry to hear you are poorly - you don't seem to have been 100% for a while, do you? Get well soon!

Keli: Rosemary is a very mercenary young lady in some ways. And I am hearing way too many revelations from Beth for my sensitive ears! And yes, it was inevitable that my mother would gravitate to the ex. They really are borne of the same mould...worse of all, they completely deserve each other. Hope you are well, my dear.

Bob: I have had a heart murmur since I was a little girl and occasionally, it will give me gyp. I rarely faint, so it was bizarre to be doing it, or at the minimum, greying out, every 30 minutes or so. Very strange. No, no idea why the heart pains came, unless there has been damage accumulating on the way. Simply because I am eating more now than I have done for ages. The medics don't seem overly concerned; I also have a long-standing history of low BP, so that could just have re-emerged - when my fellow Mums-to-be were struggling with hypertension, I was the one with the hypotension and walking around like I was floating on a feather. Bizarrely, high BP is prevalent in my family, too. So, I am obviously still the black sheep!

Mars: Yes, I am sure things will work out, but for a change, I want them to work out on mine and Ian's terms, rather than a girl who is demanding her rights using emotional blackmail as she has done in the past.

Perhaps R living with Anal, and B living with us is just the right thing from hereon in. Who knows? All I know is that the peace and fun is addictive...

Karen ^..^ said...

Annie, I would tend to agree with you, as heartbreaking as I know it can be, in regard to Rosemary.

Lets see how well Anal does with her. When she has issues, who will be to blame? Naturally the one she is living with, right?

And Beth is happy with you and Ian, and thank God for her integrity.

Perhaps it is all working out the way it should?

Why should you have to deal with the shit end of the stick every time? You shouldn't. It does seem as if you are calmer without the stormy dramatic angst of a teen in the house.

Make your peace with it, and it will all fall into place. Good girl.

As for Beth, well, she will be ok. Anal was always a jerk to her, treating her like the bastard stepchild, so it is his tragic loss. She is so much better off, and it sounds as if she is bonding with Ian more and more each day.

I'm wishing only the best for all of you. Take care, ok?

Linda and her Twaddle said...

Annie there is not much I can say that has not already been said. I just hope things settle a bit day by day.

One thing, I agree with Karen on the whole divulging what you have been doing to prospective work places. Why mention it? It really is no business of anyone's is it?

You are a good mother, daughter and wife. I think you might want to remind youself what you have been up against for years on end and how well you have done climbing out of it all.

Children, in the end, will come back to the fold. Perhaps Rosemary just needs to be the star attraction for a while. Whilst we love our children, it is natural to not always like what they do.

Good luck.

Gaining Back My Life said...

I, for one (or more, as it would seem) am glad to see you posting again, too.

Give it time to adjust (being at home/unemployed). It took me months, but now I am so free to find my worth elsewhere....

Media Junkie said...

yeay! your blog is back up!

birdboy48 said...

Annie,

Boy, I was shocked along with pleased to see your blog back up !

People (and people with EDs) deleate their blogs for....any number of reasons, so I was worried I must admit.

Would you be willing to say what brought you to bring it back up again ?

Whatever the case, it is *so* good to see you again. We can expect a new post from you sometime soon I hope ?

Bob J said...

Annie,

Boy, I was startled and pleased to see your blog back up !

People (and people with EDs) deleate their blogs for...."any number of reasons", so I was worried I must admit.

Would you be willing to say what brought you to bring it back up again ?

Whatever the case, it is *so* good to see you again. We can expect a new post from you sometime soon I hope ?

xx

Karen ^..^ said...

Great to see you back, sweetheart. any comments that are disturbing to you in any way should not be published at all. Love you, sweetie. Welcome back.

Bob J said...

Just saying hello, and letting you know that you have friends here should you ever feel like posting.

Chunks of Reality said...

I hope that you are doing well.

*hugs*

corfubob said...

Not a lot I can add as an outsider, but you have my gratitude for adding to my understanding of people, and this I extend to your beautiful friends with their sensitive support. All this can only help to reduce the judgementalism in the world. Thanks, Bob

Bob J said...

Can it really have been this long since you last posted ? You remain in my thoughts, and I hope you are doing well. Drop a line sometime, if it feels safe ?

Bob J.

Rudy McCormick said...

I think it is truly amazing that your willing to share your complete thoughts on ED publicly. We here at Rogers Memorial Hospital treat folks with Eating Disorders and we see a lot of pain and suffering and many health related issues with patients. As always we wish you continued recovery and success.