When December’s Done

So we survived December, almost. Not wanting to assume the rest will go smoothly, but I now feel pretty prepared for whatever it decides to throw my way now.

I’ve been absent from the blog somewhat. I don’t know the precise reason, but I suspect it has an ‘ignorance is bliss’ root; in the way that I feel there’s something under the surface that my conscious is subconsciously trying to ignore – does that even make sense? Something doesn’t feel quite right, but I very much don’t want to poke at it for fear that it’ll fall apart around me, and I can’t afford for that to happen at this juncture in my life. I have to focus on finding a job for one – the longer I remain unemployed the harder I think things will be.

The good news is that I’ve had a couple of awesome interviews and I really hope good things will come from those. Just got to hope and hope and keep on hoping. Oh, and a little more hope wouldn’t go amis.

When December’s Done

Church, Eve and Christmas

It’s funny how quickly things come around again – things were bad, then worse, and now they’re starting to look good again (but I’m not counting chickens just yet!). I still need to get through nan’s funeral on the 23rd, but I think that’ll be OK; I’m totally prepared for the fact I’ll cry and had a nice chat with my therapist about dissociation not necessarily being a bad thing. We talked a lot about the fact that sometimes we need these defensive coping mechanisms, and perhaps if I give myself a kind-of-permission to dissociate if I am getting too stressed then it might be the thing that gets me through the day.

I am sort of dreading going to the church for the service. Religion is a touch sore for me, given Eve and everything that goes with her being in my mind. What I don’t want to happen is for her to be triggered off by being in church; I’ve not long been able to properly control her and her access to my present-mind. It’s only recently that she’s been a minor player in my life, that she’s not at the forefront too often. I really do love her and she’s a part of me, I’d not be rid of her even if I could be. Just… I need her to stay where she is; in the back of my mind.

There’s a whole system in my head that makes her easier to deal with too. It’s a library, basically. A lovely, warm and dimly lit space with wall-to-wall bookshelves. There are comfy sofas, blankets and cushions, with a roaring fire; think country pub meets book store. That’s where she spends her time and I like being able to keep her separate and accessible on my own terms. We spent too long at loggerheads and I know that she’s never been happier than she has been since we gave her that safe space.

So, with Christmas on the near-horizon, I will wish you all a happy and safe festive season!

Church, Eve and Christmas

Feeling Festive? No, Not I.

I suppose December is becoming notorious in our house for being a rough month. There’s all this excitement around the run-up to Christmas and I am just not feeling it; worse still, I don’t know how to capture that enthusiasm for myself. I feel a lot like we’ve just been going through the motions this year. Presents are bought, wrapped, labelled and cards are ready. The tree is up, the lights are sparkling in the window and there’s tinsel almost everywhere I look. So why don’t I feel festive yet?

Partly it’s a memory of the December I made it through last year; and by made it through I mean dragged myself laboriously to Christmas Day and beyond. I was in the crisis house for the two weeks leading up to the event, and although I decorated my room there and had a lovely meal with the other residents, it just wasn’t ‘proper’. The weeks preceding were filled with suicidality, guilt and sadness. There was a real worry for my freedom; hospital was mentioned and it was only thanks to my awesome psychiatrist being willing to chop and change things that I got to a safer mindset by the time my discharge date came around.

This year, there’s so much life-stuff happening. I don’t have a job any more, so I’m missing out on Christmas meals, decorating the office, Secret Santa and so on. Then there’s that aimless feeling that has characterised the past week of enforced leisure. I feel purposeless, lost, worried. Hopefully I won’t be out of work for too long, and hopefully I find something I really enjoy doing; until then I just have to try to keep myself occupied (really, really, really should wash the windows at least!). But, I much prefer being occupied. I feel depressed, and I’ve not felt truly depressed in a long while.

Without Nan, of course, Christmas will be different. True, she’s not been well enough to join us for Christmas in a long while now, but she’s always been there, just – there. The funeral is on the 23rd, and that feels far away and too close all at once. I haven’t really cried yet, not proper, satisfying crying that would mean a release of the sadness that I can feel in my heart. Until we get to say our goodbyes to her just before Christmas I think I’ll continue to feel in limbo; and the memories of childhood Christmases at her old house will be hanging on the peripheral of my mind.

I wish I could enjoy this time of year and find that old excitement again. I just don’t know how.

Feeling Festive? No, Not I.

Online Chatting and EUPD

Words are so powerful. I have been an online chatter for about four years now, mostly using mental health support rooms; I was a moderator for a while but now I just support and get support as a regular peer. It is hard to remember that sometimes the people on the other end aren’t who you believe them to be; that’s not to say that everyone is trying to pull one over on you, but there are people out there who seem to enjoy building up relationships only to bring that online reality crashing down around you.

I have been there; if the EUPD diagnosis is to stand and/or be believed then this is pretty typical. In the course of using the chat rooms it’s not uncommon to see people with that particular issue being pulled into an intense fling-type-thing with other chatters; and usually the person on the receiving end of those attentions don’t realise just how emotionally attached EUPD people can get over the course of maybe a couple of conversations. We get attached; even when we don’t want to, mean to or know we shouldn’t. It just happens. It doesn’t always mean something beyond the alternate reality that is internet chat rooms, but for someone with EUPD a two hour conversation exploring our similarities is as good as lust at first sight.

And despite knowing deep down that these friendships we build can never go anywhere – most of us are in a real-world relationship and generally we’re happy with it – we fall into this deep sense of longing; I wish I could explain why and I’m writing this in the knowledge that my darling husband is incredibly understanding of the fact that sometimes in the online sphere I meet someone who captures my attention and interest. Thank goodness he understands that it doesn’t mean I’m planning to leave him. It just happens to be so intoxicating to connect with someone on the other side of the world, and that’s when the attachment happens for no real reason; it is like we are unable to rationalise the context of these online chats and we become somewhat infatuated.

Of course, most of the people we chat to don’t realise the pull they have on our lives, and they understand better that the internet and its users come and go over a course of – usually – months. Unlike EUPD diagnosed chatters, they see the flirting as a bit of fun; somewhat akin to meeting someone in the pub on a Friday night and getting along with them but never swapping numbers or taking it any further. Sadly it’s not like this for EUPD people – we see a harmless bit of flirting as a declaration of interest – and when the object of our affection naturally moves on and goes AWOL, as is so easy to do on the internet, we are left with something like heartbreak; no less intense than the loss of a ‘real’ relationship but thankfully short-lived and eventually rationalised into the context of the truth.

It makes no difference that we know what we’re doing is essentially self-sabotage; we repeat the behaviour over and over, each time hoping for a different outcome and each time left reeling by the end. Typically a EUPD person grew up in an environment that was somewhat unstable; we haven’t learned about stable relationships and live in fear of being unloved so we latch onto affection wherever it comes from. It seems impossible to say ‘I know I’m making a mistake here, but I’ll do it anyway’, but that’s what we do and hope each time that it doesn’t end the way it always ends. I am so lucky to have Luke who is my constant rock-solid source of love and care so I am better at not falling in internet-love/lust, but that’s not to say that those thoughts don’t constantly crop up when I find myself connecting with someone.

I would love to be able to preface every conversation I have with ‘I have EUPD, so please do everything you can to push me away’, but that’s not how it works. So instead I, like everyone else, have to take my mistakes, pick myself up and live-and-learn. Shame it’s not that easy.

Online Chatting and EUPD