Back And Ready To Go!

It’s been some time since my last posts.  I’ve not had PC access for almost a month…Dark days and hard times! Time passes, life goes on. Thanks to a generous friend loaning me a PC, I’m pleased to announce my return!

It’s a crack, I’m back yeah standing
On the rooftops shouting out,
Baby I’m ready to go
I’m back and ready to go!

In the words of 90s Electro-Anthem Ready To Go by Republica, a song which means the world to me and my Hometown Ladies!

I look back on the early 90s and wonder before how we coped…No email, social networking still a decade or so in the offing and the few people with mobile phones seen as fly gits! We muddled on somehow. People still met, made it to gigs, went to the pub, caused mischief and mayhem of a weekend. There were fewer options for parents to find out about it back in the day….Teens of the modern age, sucks to be you! A definite argument for not missing what you never had.

During my time wandering in the tech-less wilderness I had one shining beacon of light. My Nokia Neanderthal provided access to Facebook. Thank heaven for small mercies, lest the world grind to a halt! To begin with, there was a definite void left without Wordpress, Pintrest, Tumblr, eBay and the million other distractions found online. As days passed, I compensated with other pursuits. Reading more…from trashy magazines to modern classics like Vile Bodies. I was working harder on my textiles venture “The Rockin’ Old Bag Co”, recycling old garments and offcuts to make one-off bags for friends’ birthdays. I was getting out more – to the gym and meeting friends. I was sitting on my backside less. At the beginning of the month, I made a trip back to The Hometown. The weather was as random as you’d expect in Wales. Nonetheless I caught up with family and friends, got back to my roots and had a blast.

Last month, I attended my appointment with the Clinical Psychologist at the local psychiatric hospital. My condition worsened between May and June, I was worried about myself. My thoughts were disturbing and I was finding it impossible to sleep for more than an hour or so a night. I made an appointment with my GP and was referred to the Crisis Team. They came out to visit me one sunny Saturday morning and it went way better than I expected. Following a meeting the Monday after, they arranged for my assessment. I had no fear of what I may find out…I just wanted to know whether there was a condition underlying my irrational behaviour. In a detached, calm way I was looking forward to finding out the truth. My suspicions turned out to be right on the day…I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder

I’d had an inkling there was more to my mental health problems than depression for some time. It came to a head when my housemate and I found an online test for Personality Disorders and my results came back 82% Borderline. Despite a disclaimer stating the test was “For Entertainment Purposes Only” I began to research the condition. As I looked into the symptoms and traits, I found myself knowing most of them off by heart. It read like a tick list of what had been holding me back.

Below are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder according to government guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE] 2009). A doctor may diagnose you with borderline personality disorder if you have five or more of these symptoms and if the symptoms have a significant impact on your everyday life.

  • you have emotions that are up and down (for example, feeling confident one day and feeling despair another), with feelings of emptiness and often anger
  • you find it difficult to make and maintain relationships
  • you have an unstable sense of identity, such as thinking differently about yourself depending on who you are with
  • you take risks or do things without thinking about the consequences
  • you harm yourself or think about harming yourself (for example, cutting yourself or overdosing)
  • you fear being abandoned or rejected or being alone
  • you sometimes believe in things that are not real or true (called delusions) or see or hear things that are not really there (called hallucinations).

I regularly experience all the above, thankfully not often all at once. I’ve always felt pretty alone with it…Seemed a waste of time to try and explain to others as it so often ended in misunderstandings and arguments. People who love me just want me to be happy and normal. I understand that the way I behave during an episode can be frustrating and even frightening. I don’t do it on purpose and I hope people understand that. Once you’ve upset someone however, apologies don’t take away the hurt. I understand that everyone around is seeing a Drama Queen treating all the world as a stage. And that they are judging accordingly…My inner struggles are invisible to them, it’s not like my leg is hanging off. It sometimes feels as if I am watching the scene through a window. I want to bang on the glass, tell myself to shut the fuck up. Climb in and slap myself around the face. Shock the Crazy Woman into silence.  I recall several incidents of my Dad yelling at me I’d upset the whole house when I was in my teens. It made me feel noxious, as if my presence there was poison gas choking my family. Even now, when things turn bad I feel as if I should retreat and hide away. Somehow I can’t though…I feel the need to stay and fight my corner. To try and be understood, even though I don’t really understand myself. I recounted all this to the Clinical Psychologist and Crisis Team Representative…Crying, laughing, raging and curling myself into a ball in my seat. Looking at the ground, twisting and unfurling a rubber band over and over again. It was good to get it out, that torrent of words gushing like filthy water. I was pleased when they didn’t recoil in horror and tell me I was beyond help. They reassured me it wasn’t the worst case of BPD they had ever seen. It was likely I’d had it since I was a child, though I’d been getting better on my own over time. They remarked that it was unlikely I would have managed to go as long as I have without treatment otherwise. As well as being placed on the waiting list for Group Therapy, I’ve also been prescribed Fluoxetine (Prozac). I’ve only been taking it for four weeks but can already see an improvement. My moods appear more stable and my reactions more balanced. Although I understand when others tell me to not dwell too much on labels, the diagnosis has come as a relief.

I am still aware of mistakes I have made in the past. In trying to cope with the conflict inside and around me, I’ve fucked up many a time. There has definitely been times where I’ve Said Too Much in blogs and updates. It’s not much of a defense. but I’m an outspoken bitch in real life too. I’m rarely afraid of anyone. And certainly not above telling them exactly what I think of them – good or bad! I used to think it was all part of being A Feisty Bitch That No-one Fucked with. Since forming that opinion, I’ve done a lot of reflecting on my past. I see now that my strong feeling towards/against people have been harmful and draining. Life is tough enough without all interaction being a constant war. People intent on screwing me over have been only too pleased to do so, despite my shouting and bawling. I have said and done things one moment and regretted them the next…And wanted to shove words back in my mouth and choke on them so many times. Things once done cannot be undone…At last I’m developing a five-second delay between what I think and what I say!  It would be easy to blame my weird behaviour and irrational outbursts on BPD. To simply carry on as before. I can’t now though, not with the knowledge I can recover and live in less confusion. The diagnosis put the power to do so back in my hands.

I know for sure that BPD has played a part in ruining past friendships and relationships. I’ve lost people who will never come back, through my crazy mood swings and nasty temper. Some are missed way more than others. I hope I’ve now reached a point where I can learn from it all. To stop it happening again, rather than dwelling on the past.

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I found myself…In doll form at least!

The time without internet also led me to wonder about the differences between my virtual and real life self. I like to think they are one and the same. That what you see/hear/read is what you get, no matter what the arena.

Both life and the internet have taken me to some strange and wonderful places. Occasionally the two have crossed…I originally moved to Nottingham to be closer to someone I met on a Gothic Forum and for the music scene. When the relationship ended, I stayed put. In those first 2 years and 3 months, Nottingham became home. Like all cities, it seems to have a gravitational pull for those disillusioned with living in the surrounding towns and villages. Though unlike anywhere I have lived before, it seems to be a magnet for rockers of all kinds….we all co-exist and only snarl at one and other occasionally! Everyone is welcome, but there’s a definite hierarchy….The idea of fitting in simply because you’re different is a myth. I’d always looked for a place where I could be accepted for being myself. It doesn’t exist, but Nottingham is close as it gets. The only place you really need to be accepted is inside. Once that happens, friendships and belonging fall into place. It’s the difference between walking into a room and worrying no-one likes you, and striding in there deciding who you like. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve got the road map at least!

Social Media Sites and forums seem to have become a platform for people to “Speak Their Mind!” There’s an argument for not updating or commenting with anything you wouldn’t say aloud. Truth is this…Once you’ve typed it, you’ve said it. It’s out there in print for all to read and judge. Any medium for criticizing others is as hurtful and inflammatory as the other…Regardless of whether or not the subject deserves it! I once had a friend who constantly raged and rallied against the world in her updates. It was a constant war of words about people treating her badly and daring those who had something negative to say to do so to her face. Ironically, towards the end of our friendship I found out most of her ups and downs through Facebook. I was only invited over when she fancied laying into me or bad-mouthing someone else behind their back. Her constant negativity and selfishness became a drain, so I decided she was no longer welcome in my life. After 2 years of saying she was my best friend and even calling her my sister, we couldn’t even discuss things face to face. It disintegrated into a barrage of abusive text messages and ridiculous accusations. I miss her far less than I imagined I would. Even though my relationship hit rock bottom the same day we fell out. Despite losing those “mutual friends” who got in line behind her and walked away. I coped, I learned and believe I am a better person for the loss.

When you take sides following a fight, you never form an accurate picture of what happened. Some people don’t need one – they just choose to blindly believe who they want to be right. In light of such ignorance, is there really much loss if they side against you? If you want the truth, listen to both sides and settle in the middle of the two accounts. Blame becomes futile when both sides feel wronged. I honestly believe we are all pissing in the wind with how we think and how we act. Sometimes the wind carries it away and other times it blows it back all over us. However, if we stay true to ourselves we’re more in control of our own destiny. Treat your haters with decency. Kill them with kindness. Keep the upper hand and move the fuck on.

In conclusion, I’m confident my online self is every bit as much of a handful as my real life self! I’m learning all the time though, and growing stronger for it. Looking forward to a future where I know my place in the world…And where things may not always work out, but can be handled without a meltdown.

Speaking of which…my caffeine reserves are running low! Time to head for the kettle and to find some class of dinner. I’ll bid you good evening and hope you have a good old fashioned blinder of a Saturday night!

Can’t get no sleep?

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Ironically, I’m writing this post after just a few hours’ sleep…Somewhere between 2 and 4 hours. For a long time, that was what passed for normal in my world. Sleep was always the first casualty if anything of note was going on in my life…New job, new relationship, feeling creative. Sleep pattern out of the window!

There are no set rules on how much sleep we actually need. The ideal of 8 hours a night just isn’t required by everyone. Professor Kevin Morgan of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre gives the following advice…

“Simply put, you need enough to make you refreshed and able to function efficiently throughout the next day,” says Professor Morgan. The number of hours depends on the completely on the individual”

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/insomnia/Pages/insomniaoverview.aspx

Sounds like sensible advice. Regulars readers of my blog will know how hard I champion getting to know your body and it’s needs! Which is sound advice when you’re in the frame of mind to take care of yourself. What happens when something happens to disrupt your day-to-day though?

After the events which led to the break up of my relationship, I refused to go to bed for a week. The night after it happened, I grabbed my duvet from upstairs and camped out on the sofa. Going into my bedroom filled me with dread, after having woken up there bruised, sore and crying that morning. Worse, I was scared he’d come looking for me. I had this idea I could run out the back door if he came to the front…Logically, I’d have been safer in bed. After watching who knows what all night, I managed 50 minutes shut-eye . I fell asleep with my mobile phone in one hand and my keys in the other, the cat curled up on my chest.

After giving my statement to the police, they registered my address as a Place of Interest, which meant any call from around the area would have resulted them attending as a priority.

Below is a link from the Women’s aid website on what happens when you report Domestic Violence to the police:

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-survivors-handbook.asp?section=000100010008000100330003

Apart from time spent with friends on the Bank Holiday, I was rooted to the sofa for most of the week. I would say I watched a lot of TV, but I couldn’t tell you which shows were on. I spent a lot of time staring into space and trying hard not think. My cat followed me room to room and was a huge comfort…A friend once said purring feline therapy ought to be available on the NHS and I’m inclined to agree!

I simply got out of the habit of going to bed…Looking back, it started years ago. It was definitely exacerbated by the events of early May though, I started to dread lying there being unable to drop off, or falling asleep and waking up an hour or so later. Unwanted thoughts would circle my head, chased by memories I’d have rather left undisturbed. It became easier to just sit up and watch re-runs of 90s comedies on cable.

I don’t care if you’re black or blue,
me and the stars stay up for you
I don’t care who’s wrong or right
and I don’t care for the U.K. tonight so stay, stay

From Black or Blue by Suede http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdMH-eksvB0

By the end of the week, I felt like a total Zombie. I decided it was time to take the drastic step of climbing the stairs with my duvet. Though I only managed four hours (with some nonsensical, colourful dreams to boot) I felt like I’d achieved something. As if I was winning in some way. Small victories are still sweet.

Since then, I’ve managed to settle down a bit more. I generally turn in when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light, which is a good start!

To begin with, I took simple steps like making sure my bed was made and free of anything that didn’t belong there. I’m not a naturally tidy person so I had to be sure to enforce this, no matter what state my room was in! In the past I’d woken up with anything from my make up bag next to my head, to shoes digging into my back. Now only me and my little cat are welcome to rest there. Making sure my PJs were folded up under my pillow also made a difference. I have a theory that it reminded me of being a little girl. A small detail, but when we find something comforting it can help us feel relaxed.

I can recall being summoned to one of those ever-so-fun work related health road shows last year. The kind where they scold you for your BMI and gasp in horror at your alcohol intake. This one was a bit different and seemed more laid back. Possibly for this reason, the following advice stuck in my head…

It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep.

Source: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/healthy-sleep-tips

Even though I am not partnered – and happily so – I can confirm that this is good advice!

Not to put too fine a point on it…

(My Mum has been known to read this blog after all…)

There does seem to be a link between orgasm, sleep and general good health…

Orgasms improve sleep – After orgasm, blood pressure drops and your body is calmed which leads to a relaxed state where sleep can occur.  A lack of sleep leads to a host of physical and mental disorders. Sex could be the ultimate natural sleeping pill.

Source: http://www.insidershealth.com/article/an_orgasm_a_day_keeps_the_doctor_away/4261

Two people are not necessarily needed to induce orgasm, so I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions!

I would probably extend Sex and Sleep to reading before nodding off…Don’t go for anything too challenging. Personally I think “Fifty Shades…” is overrated and would probably recommend something mildly funny. You don’t want to be splitting your sides, but it helps to be in a good mood when you switch the light off!

I’ve also found it’s much easier to sleep if you tire yourself out during the day. It sounds like a no-brainer…But I had to re-discover this for myself. I’ve lost count of home many times I’ve felt tired from doing absolutely nothing with my day, only to find myself unable to sleep. If you are in receipt of benefits, many councils offer discounts for use of facilities at leisure centres. There are also pay-monthly schemes which offer decent discounts if you are working. They are a really good way of discovering what kinds of exercise you enjoy…I’ve been taking part in Pole Fitness, Boxercise and VIPR Fit for the past month, as well as going to the gym. I definitely feel better and (am told) look better too. If it’s too early for exercise to have made a physical difference, I’ve definitely gained in confidence. Going to bed knackered has definitely helped with the sleep effort too!

Setting a wind-down routine has also helped…The simpler the better, I get irritated if I have to faff about. I aim to be in bed by 10.30pm and normally manage to be there between then and an hour later! Without fail, I like to have a hot drink and slice of toast around an hour before I turn in…The experts will slate me for this, but I started having a pre-bedtime cup of tea with my Nan aged about 9. I recently started doing this again, finding comfort in the memory. Tea is massive deal in my family and I learned to make a decent cup at an early age…Neither my Mother nor Grandmother would have any truck with rubbish brews!

I keep reading that drinking alcohol disrupts sleep…I think this is probably true. Booze tends to make me slightly hyperactive anyway, and while I find I normally go to sleep easily after a session I often wake up a few hours later. I’ve come to the conclusion too much loopy juice = too little sleep…I either avoid doing it in the first place now or just accept the consequences!

Though I prefer to take a bath in the morning, I know that some people find it helps to do so before bed. Apparently, the science behind it goes thus: After the bath raises your body temperature, you relax as it begins to dip.

Since I came up against too much conflicting information when I ran a search, I’ll just say whatever helps.

There are an absolute deluge of bath preparations which claim to aid relaxation, if you find a good one stick with it. Lavender is often recommended…personally it reminds me of old ladies, but each to their own!

Music can also help…Choose something relaxing, especially anything that sparks good memories.

I’m pretty old school in my choices, then again music doesn’t really exist for me after the millennium!

Albums of choice include…

  1. Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space – Spiritualized
  2. Pygmalion – Slowdive
  3. Drugstore – Drugstore
  4. Dummy – Portishead
  5. Protection – Massive Attack
  6. Dark Side Of The Moon – Pink Floyd
  7. Morrison Hotel – The Doors
  8. Isn’t Anything – My Bloody Valentine
  9. The Contino Sessions – Death In Vegas
  10. Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Better still, make your own playlist or CD. No-one knows better what relaxes you.

It’s taken a few weeks to settle down, but I’d say sleeping better has made a big difference to my outlook. If a full night’s sleep doesn’t come straight away, persevere. Don’t lie awake berating yourself, but don’t be afraid to give sleep a chance. I’ll offer you a final tip…If your thoughts are keeping you awake then get up, sit somewhere warm and comfortable and write them down. I’ve come to many a conclusion and laid more than a few issues to rest by doing this.

I’m going to walk into town to meet a friend later today…She’s got a piece of artwork in an exhibition and we’re going along to take a look. I can’t wait to see it, and really hope it’s going to inspire me to paint! The last piece I did was a portrait of Dita Von Teese for another ex, and as far as I’m aware it’s still hanging unfinished in his kitchen…

Randomly, I just experienced Power of Suggestion in action. The TV was on in the background, seemingly enjoying the sound of its own voice. A discussion was taking place about beards on one of the morning shows…A hirstitute friend I haven’t thought about in ages sprang to mind and I looked him up on Facebook!

These things really work you know…

Don't lose yourself

http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-and-Break-Free-of-Relational-Enmeshment

Another link I found whilst doing my homework on having doubts about my last relationship.

My ex was very big on dramatic statements like “You’re my world” and “You belong to me” At the time it sounded like what I wanted to hear. I was looking to mean the world to him, to be loved and accepted. I didn’t realise the emotional implications, until I felt bound to him and unable to breathe. Not tangled up in love, but suffocated by emotional enmeshment.

“Don’t leave me, everyone leaves”

He’d say, following conflict. Often in tears, always remorseful. Seeking hugs, wanting to lay his head on my chest and have me stroke his hair.

How could I go?

When the initial flames of my temper cooled, the fire of his words lost their heat I’d feel better for comforting him. I thought this made me a good person…Reading back over this article, now I’m not so sure. Was I seeking to control him through his feelings for me? Probably best to dismiss the whole relationship as unhealthy and move on.

In the end, I didn’t jump. I was pushed. It hurt like hell when I landed, but wounds heal.

I genuinely hope my ex-partner is getting the help he needs and deserves. But in light of his abuse, I decided our lives would take separate paths some time ago. Improving my own life and living well is now my priority. That isn’t going to change.

How to operate with a blown mind

Or: How to recognise if you are the victim of Domestic Abuse and what to do next.

We live in an age where advice on any issue is instantly available. Well intentioned advice from friends and family, helplines, search engines, impulsive (and sometimes retracted!) updates on social media…Any time we want an answer, the information is out there. However, sometimes the information we come across can be misleading, incorrect or downright harmful. So my initial advice (on finding advice) is to keep it simple.

The first challenge is to recognise the difference between difficulties in a relationship and abuse. Even the most harmonious of couples will hit stumbling blocks and disagree. Some of the conflicts that ensue can be downright nasty. These are generally resolved with time apart to think and coming together to talk things over. These are not abusive situations.

However, what happens if your partner refuses to allow you time to think or becomes aggressive when you express an opinion contrary to theirs? The simplest (and by turn most profound and heartfelt) advice I ever read was

“Love aint meant to feel bad”

Some disagreements escalate into bitter, strung out arguments lasting days. Both parties feel tired, drained and upset…which can lead to further conflicts or the same one swimming round and round in circles.

“Darling, they’re playing our row!”

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to think about the future. A loving partner should welcome the opportunity to discuss the situation and look towards a resolution. However, not every relationship is a healthy one. Abusive partners can sometimes show signs of things to come early on, in the form of trashing opinions, belittling looks/abilities, controlling who you spend time with and when. This is not an exhaustive list and I’d recommend the link below if you have doubts about your own situation.

http://www.wikihow.com/Recognize-a-Potentially-Abusive-Relationship

I consulted this site when I began to have doubts about my own relationship. What it said made perfect sense and thought I’d taken on board. However, things improved briefly and the advice got pushed to one side. Five weeks later I ended up in the horrendous situation which prompted me to start this blog.

There is truth in the phrase “Go with your gut instinct”

If you feel a scenario is unsafe, then it’s likely that it is.

The Women’s Aid website identifies Domestic Violence as follows…

In Women’s Aid’s view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence  may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.

Source: http://www.womensaid.org.uk

Men’s Advice Line detail Domestic Violence as below:

Domestic violence includes a range of behaviours: physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse. It happens within intimate relationships as well as between family members. It forms a pattern of bullying and controlling behaviours. It is rarely a one-off event and it tends to get worse over time. Abusers can be very manipulative in the way they use their power and control over you and may blame you and other factors for their abusive behaviours.

Source: http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Since both sources seem to be offering similar advice, I think it’s fair to assume that neither male or female victims should put up with such treatment.

Not every abuser shows signs of what may follow…However, if the clues are there it is always a good idea to start to put escape plans in place. As I do not feel qualified to advise those in situations which differ from the one I left, please see below helpful links to the Refuge and Men’s Advice Line websites…

Female Survivors

http://refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/help-for-women/planning-to-leave/

Male Survivors

http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/pages/straight-male-victims-of-domestic-violence.html

LBGT Survivors

http://www.brokenrainbow.org.uk/safety-plan.php

I’m truly sorry that I can’t be more help, but I’m only able to give advice based on my own experiences. My own situation was different. I did not live with my partner and we didn’t have children together. Not everybody has that kind of opportunity to leave and start again. With the best of intentions, I’d like to offer the following advice.

  1. Leave the situation at the first opportunity. Do not walk the streets if you can help it, you risk being followed. Call a friend or a taxi to collect you. Have a clear idea of where you are going when you get in the car.
  2. Do not text, call or antagonise your partner in any way following conflict. Stay away, switch your phone off and avoid the temptation to go online.
  3. Do not walk back in to a potentially dangerous situation. Keep away, where possible stay with a friend.
  4. In an emergency, call 999. If you decide to contact the police when you have left the situation, you will be redirected to 101. Keep any forms or paperwork they hand you safe, always take note of officers’ names and collar numbers.
  5. Reporting the matter to the police should be YOUR decision. Do not be pressurised to take this action, no matter how well-meaning the advice. This course of action needs to be taken seriously and treated as final.
  6. Take as many clear photographs as possible of any injuries. You will need these if you do decide to report the incident to the police. Be prepared for any photos taken by the police not to make it to court.
  7. If you are injured and need medical help, don’t be afraid to seek it. If your injuries are serious enough to require a visit to A&E, talk to the people who treat you about what happened. They are able to make initial contact with the police on your behalf.
  8. Think carefully as to whether you will allow contact from your abuser again. It is your right and prerogative to only allow people you feel safe with in your life.
  9. Resist the temptation to name and shame your partner via social media. Divulging too much information leaves you more vulnerable…You may leave yourself open to retribution from less than savoury “mutual” friends or risk alienating people you care about.  You may feel this is not how it should be, but domestic violence is an emotive subject which can stir up unexpected feelings in people. Stick to talking to those you trust.
  10. Seek support from trusted friends and family, Talk about the situation, listen to their advice. However, recognise you’ll need to do what is best for YOU.
  11. If you do not choose to report the matter to the police, do not be tempted to take revenge yourself or by  “Sending The Boys Around” You may well think  you’ll feel better for taking revenge…But violence breeds violence. You could find yourself in never-ending conflict with your abuser. Or even that they turn the tables and report you to the police.
  12. Have the strength to break contact and stay away from your abuser if you choose not to report them to the police. Change your mobile number. Block them online. And remember that you can still report them if they begin to harass you.
  13. Allow yourself time to heal from the experience. Do not enter into another relationship until you are good and ready. Don’t beat yourself up over your thoughts. Go back to or take up new hobbies. Exercise. Seek out people who make you feel good and positive about yourself. Live well and look after yourself.
  14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling with your mental health, see your doctor. If your doctor isn’t helpful, vote with your feet and change surgeries. Ask about counselling and don’t be afraid to explore your options. Make your recovery about YOU,
  15. Seek help from knowledgeable and trustworthy organisations

http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/pages/useful-links-for-male-victims-of-domestic-violence.html

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/landing_page.asp?section=000100010018&sectionTitle=Contact+Us

Recognise that even in the early days, you’ll have days where you feel fully healed and a force to be reckoned with. Then the following day may be a crashing low where you feel you’ll never smile again. You may spend days agonising over whether your ex-partner is doing O.K, spend sleepless nights wondering why it ended as it did and wonder whether you’ll ever be right in yourself again. Do not beat yourself up over this…But recognise that you’ve left an abusive situation and can begin again.  Be kind to yourself…don’t shut out your thoughts but try not to obsess on them. Your perspective will shift over time and you’ll feel way better when they do.

To quote the last line of “The Crow”

“Can’t rain all the time”

If no-one needed this advice and I’d wasted an hour of my life putting it together, I’d be cock-a-hoop. However, if this post helps even one person to move forward from Domestic Abuse then it’s done it’s job. Thanks for taking the time to look it over.

Am I a misandrist?

I learned a new word today: Misandry.

According to Wikipedia, that font of all online knowledge

Misandry /mɪˈsændri/ is the dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e. the male sex)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misandry

Now, as a huge fan of words (and a curious little bugger, to boot) I would be amazed if I didn’t already know the word. It was probably tucked away in a little-visited corner of my mind.

After all, I was aware Misanthropy is the general hatred, mistrust or disdain of the human species or human nature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misanthropy

Although, as words go it doesn’t carry the same weight for me as Misogyny /mɪˈsɒɪni/ the hatred or dislike of women or girls.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misogyny

I’ve truly had my eyes opened today. Whilst researching Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), I happened upon an article on a wonderful little site called Return Of The King. It was titled “Don’t Date Girls with Borderline Personality Disorder” and took the form of a tirade about how women with this particular (and distressing) Mental Health Problem were attention seeking sluts. How no amount of “great sex” or no matter “how hot they are” should excuse getting involved with the satanic little harlots. Beautifully written, intelligent words for the modern “Red Pill Man” to live by. It even went as far as to include a step by step guide for getting The Crazy L’il Bitch to text you and say that sex was consensual, for fear of false rape allegation.

To save me ranting further, please see link below…

http://www.returnofkings.com/9482/dont-date-girls-with-borderline-personality-disorder

The reason for my researching BPD is concerns stemming from my experiences in some (not all) of my past relationships. I seem to be a magnet for the broken, the chronic drug user, the problem drinker. I always thought this was down to a desire to nurture and help people, but recently I’ve begun to wonder if there is more behind it. Whether it stems from some unconscious desire to heal myself, to take up a cause and succeed. Am I really that manipulative? Doesn’t everyone have it in them to a degree, but does that make it right? In May, I left a relationship with an abusive ex after taking a second beating from him. I left him a week after the first incident in March, but we drifted back together. I believed we were meant to be together and we could overcome our problems. I was very wrong. After much thought, I reported his actions to the police. Although he admitted the charges, he broke his bail conditions by making contact and spent a month in prison as a result. Last Monday, I attended court for his sentencing and decided to let that be the end of any involvement I had with him.

Despite everything, I don’t hate him. I know my own behaviour during the relationship sometimes left a lot to be desired. I’m not for a minute saying I deserved to be beaten up however. I’ve learned that two broken people can’t have a healthy relationship. It’s simply not possible and not a path I’ll be following again. I’ve also decided that broken people have the power to seek help…I don’t know that I’ll ever be “fixed”, but I’ve certainly been taking steps to understand why my relationships turn nasty. I’ve also been eating more healthily, taking exercise and my sleep patterns have settled down. I have an appointment with a clinical psychologist next month and am not afraid of what I may find out.

Reading the raft of resentment and prejudice against people with BPD (especially women) was a bit of a slap in the face, but not entirely unexpected. I certainly don’t intend to embark on another relationship until I better understand why things have fallen apart in the past. My attitude to sex and relationships is already changing.

I feel a hell of a lot stronger, but I know I have a long way to go.

So in answer to my own question: No, I don’t believe I am a misandrist. There have been times when I’ve hated men’s behaviour, and to be truthful women’s too. People can be total shits. It’s not fair to tar everyone with the same brush though. It’s also possible to hate the behaviour but not the person. I hope that rules out my being a misanthropist too.

I look forward to the day when I can begin to trust people again. Whilst remaining nobody’s fool.