It’s all a bit surreal

Surreal is the word of the week I’ve decided. I finished work and it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. I had farewell drinks with friends last night and it didn’t seem entirely real that these people showed up to see me. I’ve been staying at Alison’s for the past two weeks and it doesn’t feel like I’ve moved out of anywhere.

Jess arranged a farewell morning tea for me and another lady who was finishing up at the same time. There were flowers, cards, a gift card and speeches. Anush said some lovely things about me and it got overwhelming again. This is the first job I’ve left where I wasn’t 100% sure that I was doing the right thing. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to read the cards yet.

I’ve mentioned before how I was only at this workplace for six months, and I was given all of the above. I was at my previous workplace for eight and a half years and was given nothing except a fake hug from HR on my departure.

I went through a formal – yet apparently casual – exit interview here with HR and sat down with Anush for some feedback. It was nice to be told that I did a great job and helped him immensely, and again have him say that I can still change my mind. At my previous job, I was emailed a link to a monkey survey for an exit interview. There was nothing personalised about it and I received no feedback at all.

Catching up with friends last night, most of them amazing people whom I used to work with, I’ve realised that I am still very much not over the circumstances that led to my leaving. There is still so much bitterness inside me about what they did to me, didn’t do to me and how I was treated. I want so hard to move on, yet that bitterness just won’t go away. I physically cringe and squeeze up when two particular names are mentioned.

The complete differences with how my leaving both of my jobs was handled shows a true reflection of the companies I worked for and was not a reflection on me. I was the same person with the same values at both places. The circumstances and emotions are a reflection on them, not on me.

At my morning tea, I did say that it was a truly difficult decision for me to leave, but I had to do what was right for me personally. I commented how it was the people that were there, how the company treated their people and how quickly I fit into the team that really made me struggle. The job itself wasn’t difficult, and in the long run wouldn’t have presented enough of a challenge for me to be there super long-term, but it did help me in a time of need and showed me that there is true goodness and appreciation out there – you just need to find and be open to it.

I posted on Facebook my appreciation of the gifts I was given on Wednesday and one of the ladies from work commented that you get what you give out, and I had given out “respect, kindness and fantastic good humour”. I’m starting to feel more positive about my life path and myself again. I’m not going to let these comments go to my head, but they are certainly reassuring. I am a good person and I deserve good things. I deserve to be treated in the way that I treat others, and those three traits are extremely important to me. All I have ever wanted was respect, kindness and of course a bit of fun.

I’m still nervous about my trip, about spending all of my savings and being truly by myself. But I’m also really looking forward to it. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do set things or achieve greatness. I’m going on a holiday, I’m going to find me and I’m going to learn some more about the world.

The week started off surreal, but that’s fading now. Things are very real and things are good. When I get back, I’ll assess if I take any action for my previous job but there’s no rush or pressure now. When I get back, I’ll see my wonderful friends – far more than I’d realised I had – and family and enjoy myself. Savings are there to be spent and as someone said last night, you never regret going on a holiday.

Life isn’t surreal. It’s real and here to be enjoyed.

Respect, kindness and fantastic good humour

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A chapter ends

I finished a chapter last week. I allowed myself to have a moment, then a longer moment afterwards. Last weekend saw my life end up in a storage unit while an apartment full of memories was handed over.

I cried more in that apartment over the last 6 or so months than I’ve cried anywhere else throughout my entire life. I absolutely loved that apartment. It was clean, modern and bright. It was me. I fell in love in that apartment, I got engaged while living there, and I fell pregnant there. I also had my heart broken to pieces there. I was sad to let it go and walk away, but it had to be done.

Moving out in the end wasn’t a choice; it was forced upon me. But I was still nervous about it. Still not sure that overall I was (am) doing the right thing. The doubts are getting less now, but they still make their presence known.

I sat down on the floor by the kitchen last Sunday afternoon and let the tears flow. I’d fought them the day before when Emma and the kids were there, but I needed to have them. So I let them flow. I told myself that this was simply a chapter ending, not the final ending. My next chapter is about to start, and it’s going to be epic.

When telling Fiona that I had a cry, I told her how I was self-soothing and not beating myself up for crying – quite the accomplishment from a few months ago – I also mentioned that I had cried more there than anywhere else.

She asked me why I had cried there, was it about Gary, about the baby, about the apartment? I had to pause and really think about it. I knew I was sad, but not sure what I was specifically sad about. It was all built up into one big sadness. As great as the apartment was, I didn’t utilise it enough, I rarely had friends over and as amazing as the balcony was, I almost never sat outside.

I had allowed myself to get completely caught up in a life with Gary, a life that was – in hindsight – never going to eventuate or last. I loved having him there, making dinner and lunch and going out. But I had made my life about him and what we would do next. I didn’t spend enough time with my friends; I didn’t have them visit anywhere near enough. There aren’t enough memories of my girls in that apartment.

This was a chapter that needed to end. Last weekend was emotionally and physically draining and again, I wanted to do it all on my own. I did argue with myself about asking dad for help, but in the end, I desperately needed it.

My friends are amazing creatures. None of them would hesitate, or have hesitated, when I’ve needed them. I’m not sure why I don’t ask for more, I’m always offering myself and doing what I can. Why don’t I do the same in reverse? Exposing my vulnerabilities only makes me human. My friends are human, so why can’t I be?

I have three days left at work. Jess gives me an angry stare whenever I mention the countdown; she’s grown attached to me. My time there has been exactly what I needed for this period. Jess and Rachael are so beautiful and I am so glad to have met them. So quickly we became friends and their support and genuine care for me has been unexpected, yet so appreciated.

I’m looking forward to Wednesday, but also dreading it a little. As I joked to Jess, it’s the last time I’m getting paid. But finishing work will mark a further ending in this chapter. While this next chapter will be epic and fun and exciting and full of the world, it is still quite daunting to turn that page.

Falling to place

Things are falling into place. Not all things, but some things. I’ve given official notice at work, I’ve got a storage cage booked, a moving company arranged and given my estate agent notice to move out. I’m house-sitting at Alison’s then hanging around a little longer and I’ve got going away drinks booked in.

Now to actually get a flight booked, book a hostel and arrange a visa for Vietnam. Figure out where to go, what to do and when to do it. Just the small things left to go really.

Dad came round this afternoon to take some of my stuff, they’ve taken my dining table and chairs and now even my spare bed. He asked me if I was doing the right thing. I’d actually been dreading him coming, even though I needed my stuff gone. I don’t know if it is with me or them, but I’m really struggling to talk to mum, dad and Donna. I have no issues talking to anyone else, but those three; I just freeze up and go numb.

I told dad that I didn’t know. I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. Am I throwing away my life, my stability, my house deposit all for nothing? Am I just running away and hoping that a change of scenery will result in a change of life, mindset and prospects? I really don’t know. I do know that I can’t stay here any longer.

As I was leaving mum and dad’s after Christmas, dad and I were alone briefly. He started off by saying he didn’t know if he should say something (hint – if you’re not sure if you should say something, you probably shouldn’t), but he’d go ahead anyway. He asked if I was travelling to meet up with Gary. He said he knew we were still close (not sure how he knows / why he thinks that). I turned myself off again and tried to go numb. I said that I was going to Asia, Gary was in New Zealand and I was actually trying to convince him to go back to England. We left if there and I drove off.

I actually really enjoy talking to Gary, keeping in touch with him. He’s still someone that I feel I’m more honest and open with than most others. I don’t try and pretend with him, if I’m down I tell him and move on; if I think he’s being a dick, I’ll tell him. If I need to laugh, I laugh. I do however find it difficult to tell others that I’m in touch with him. Fiona asked me why I still talk to him. I just do. Yes, he broke my heart and spoke to me horribly, but I’m also the most me when I’m speaking with him.

Anyway, the frustrating thing with dad asking if I was travelling for Gary was the lack of consideration for everything else I’ve been through. Yes, Gary’s played a part in my depression and need for a change, but the biggest thing affecting me now is the miscarriage. I still so desperately want to be a mum and I was, for seven weeks. And had this gone through, I’d be giving birth next month. I can’t be here, in this apartment, alone, next month.

For a family that is so apparently across depression, they sure are clueless about it and how to help others who are suffering. Even today, dad brings up other stuff to do with others. I’m barely able to cope with me and my own emotions, he should be able to see this, yet he still brings up other things. Not only does he bring them up, but he does so knowing that I don’t want to deal with them or hear about them. He again starts off with ‘I know you don’t want to know…’

I’ve always been someone who lets the little things get to me; I let them pile up until I can’t take it anymore. I’m working on not letting the little things get to me, either moving on or addressing them at the time. But with mum and dad, I just can’t. I still expect them to know or at least have a think about how things may be making me feel and to allow me to think about only me for a bit.

So yes, I’m running away. No, I don’t know if this is the right thing. But I am going. I’m getting away. Away from what should be happening in February, away from the loneliness, away from my family. Away from me. Things are starting to falling into place. Not everything, but some things. I need to keep on this track and allow other things to fall into place.

bad-things

Farewell 2016

Farewell 2016. You’ve had your moments, I’ve had my moments; we’ve all had our moments. There are many moments I’d love to keep and re-live, do what I can to recreate them, but that won’t happen. There are bucket loads of moments I wish I’d never had, that I don’t want to re-live, certainly don’t want to recreate and keep hoping that I’ll forget. But that’s not gonna happen either.

I’m not one to make a big deal out of New Year’s celebrations, it’s really just another night. We encounter new things every day, why we all need to wait until the New Year to change things, I don’t know. We get new days, new months, new seasons, new minutes and new seconds all year round. Why wait for the one new year, each year? I did make one comment last year, that I wanted to kiss a real live boy next new year. Unless some single cuties pop up tonight, that’s not gonna happen. And why should I wait for New Year for a kiss?

I was filled with hope and excitement for 2016; I was excited to see where things would go with Gary, what excitement I could get at work, what fun things I’d get up to in summer. For 2017, I know where things went with Gary – I know they won’t go again – I’ve just resigned from my new job and I’m not planning on being here for the full summer. I’m not filled with hope and excitement.

I’m glad for 2016 to be over, as are many others. ‘We’ lost so many celebrities and some truly crazy things happened around the world. But for me, I lost myself and my baby. While I did find myself initially and someone who I had thought to be the love of my life, 2016 will, for the most part, be remembered as the year I lost.

Things are getting easier – songs aren’t making my gut wrench or heart tighten as much anymore. I can talk about Gary without feeling complete bitterness or heartache. I can say the word miscarriage without tears forming or my voice dropping to a whisper. But there’s still a long way to go.

2016, you truly were a one of a kind year. I’m glad to see the back of you, but so desperately wish for you to come back on track and fix yourself up. Why did you have to fill yourself with so much tragedy? I’m not sure what we did – what I did – to deserve you, but 2017 better bloody well make up for it.

Here’s hoping to a Happy New Year.

Accepting my moments

So it’s been awhile. No, I haven’t slipped into a summer hibernation, no I’m not suddenly feeling better. I’m still not the best of me and I’m certainly not even close to my normal me. After my sick day, the doctor I saw recommended I touch base with my usual GP and also see my psychologist again.

We did briefly talk about going on medication. I’m not keen on it – I don’t want to be reliant on anything. I also feel that what I’m going through is small fry – inconsequential to so many others and really not in need of medication. While he didn’t change my mind and didn’t prescribe me anything, he did say that going on meds isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The overall message I’ve taken away is that when an organ is unwell, you take something to help it get better. Well, the brain is an organ, and right now, with me not being me, it isn’t in the best shape.

I said I’d discuss with my GP and I haven’t shied away from it. When I saw her, we brought it up. I said that I have up moments and down moments, and then my eyes filled up. I can’t get away from them. I told her my plans to travel and hoped that would help; she said to monitor over the next month and see how it goes. So I’m back to see her in a couple of weeks.

Chatting with my psychologist last week, I was in a slightly up mood; not the highest I’ve been, but certainly not in a bad moment. Seems quite typical really, make appointments when at the moment, I don’t quite need them. But we did cut through and again, my eyes filled up. Seems I have some anger towards mum and dad.

For my birthday, I’d told Manda that I was fine not seeing my family, but I wanted at least a card and perhaps some flowers. I got neither. Emma rang me twice so I was able to speak to all the kiddies, Donna rang once and I got a Facebook message and video from mum and dad. That was my birthday acknowledgement from immediate family.

Mel took me out for dinner and told me that I expect too much. Which I’ve realised that I do. I expect others to put in the effort I put in with them, but I don’t ask for it. Especially with family, I expect they should just know, be mindful of the effort I would extend and return the favour I’d shown them. Of course I wasn’t going to get flowers – I hadn’t asked and I’ve not got them before. Just because they were on the other side of the country didn’t suddenly mean they’d do something out of the ordinary. But still, it hurt.

We had our family Christmas party the weekend before Christmas. It was the first time I’d be seeing my aunts and cousins since I’d announced my engagement. They all know what has happened, mum saw to that. I did need a moment however. My cousin has just announced her pregnancy, she’s about 14-16 weeks now I think. Mum had told me so it wasn’t a shock to see her little bump, but it hurt. We gave each other a Merry Christmas and I added a ‘congratulations’, but it seemed to make her uncomfortable. She kind of shrugged it off and we didn’t speak again for the day. I don’t want her to be hiding her news from me, I want her to be happy and excited for what she’s going through. But I also really want that for me.

So I took my moment during the day and Aunty Joan caught me. She gave me a cuddle and told me it was okay to be sad at times, but not be sad all the time. I appreciated the gesture and that she was there for a cuddle – I’d been sitting alone with my sunglasses on. She told Uncle Mick, as when we were saying our byes, he gave me an extra hug and tight squeeze. From this, I’m annoyed that it was Aunty Joan and Uncle Mick who saw what I needed. Not my own mother and father.

Fiona asked me what I’m doing to self-soothe when I get upset and have my moments. I’d not really been doing anything. I get frustrated with myself for having a moment and crying. I did hug a cushion the day before the party, so I told her that. She told me I need to do more and not get angry with myself.

I feel additionally annoyed with myself as it’s now been five months since the miscarriage and I was only pregnant for such a short time. She pointed out that it’s not the duration of the event, it’s the significance that it holds. Being pregnant and engaged is pretty significant. Even if just for a short while, they are extremely significant. And having a moment, needing to cry, they’re just letting the emotions come out and clear. I shouldn’t be angry with them, or me, but rather allow the moments to come and wait for them to pass, which they will.

I went home for Christmas and had a moment getting my things together. I ended up on my bed, hugging my teddy bears. I ended up packing them both – they would be my soothers. I did use them before going to sleep Christmas Eve – I fell asleep with tears down my cheeks and Ted and Simba clasped tightly in my arms. Since coming home, I’ve been waiting for more moments and almost had one this morning. Instead of getting annoyed, I told myself it was fine. The emotions need to come out and it was normal and natural. I reminded myself I had my bed and Ted and Simba. The moment passed and my eyes remained dry.

I know things will get better and I have a long way to go. But if I accept my moments, learn to soothe myself and let them happen, they’ll be shorter and slightly more bearable. I won’t keep getting frustrated with myself.

I’ve still got issues to work through and so many plans to make, but for now, I survived Christmas and my birthday. They’re the worst, surely things can only get better from here?

December’s lack of hibernation

It seems that I won’t be hibernating for December. My hope to fall asleep on 30 November and wake up on 02 January hasn’t happened. I fell asleep last night and when I woke up this morning it was 01 December. Best keep trying I guess.

I’m trying to make myself feel better, but I honestly can’t recall a time when I haven’t looked forward to December and all it had to offer; the start of summer, my birthday being a week away and then Christmas shortly after. I’m not even putting up my Christmas tree this year. I think I’ll even be spending my birthday evening alone.

I went home a couple of weekends ago to visit mum and dad and see my sister and the kids. I got there and dad comments how it’s been such a long time since we’ve seen each other. It had been awhile, about two months I think. I told him that it was a two-way road. He agreed, but said they never go that way. I again repeated it was a two-way road.

It’s frustrated me since. It is a bloody two-way road – you can travel in both directions at all times, not just to get me there and then come back. Coincidentally that was also the weekend before they were going away for a cruise. I asked when they were back, and mum told me it was 11 December, and I mentioned that it was after my birthday. Mum simply said yes, but we probably wouldn’t see you on your birthday anyway.

I love birthdays and celebrations, and while I don’t think we would have done anything on my birthday, it was just the delivery of the comment that they probably wouldn’t see me anyway. Thanks so much – glad to have some sort of an effort made.

Add to that and I’m told that our extended family Christmas actually won’t be held at mum and dad’s this year even though it’s their turn. My sisters aren’t talking to each other – yes, it’s extremely awkward and difficult for all of us. But to use that as a reason for not wanting to hold a family Christmas, make the decision and not discuss it with any of us and just spring of us that it’s near Aunty Pat’s this year, it’s all a bit much.

I just don’t have a lot to look forward to this December. I’m not asking for or seeking pity from anyone, I well and truly know there are worse out there than me and have much more substantial things to worry about. But this isn’t me. My Facebook memories are coming up each day, and it seems that every year I’m counting down the sleeps to my birthday, sharing pictures of my Christmas tree, enjoying the greatest month of them all. And this December, I’m not.

I feel I’ve gone backwards about my miscarriage. Babies and baby bumps are aching my insides again. It was so good to see Jules last weekend, but seeing her gorgeous little Jack, it killed me. I used to work with another Laura, and she announced her pregnancy around about when I should have. She just posted her 27-week bump picture; she looks stunning and I am immensely jealous. I want to be sharing baby bump pics, buying baby items and having things under the Christmas tree for the little human growing inside me.

Writing the letter to my baby helped me; I felt some sense of closure. Not acceptance, but closure and limited understanding, knowing that perhaps it was for the best. But coming into such a significant month, the wounds are reopening and the aches are coming back.

The idea of hibernating for December is still immensely appealing, but I also know it’s not a reality. Looks like I’ll just have to continue sucking it up and start some serious planning for my great escape.

Regaining the power

I feel like I’ve got some power back; a little bit of control. It’s nothing substantial and certainly not significant, but I feel like I’ve regained some power.

I’ve still been feeling miserable; totally utterly miserable and downright moody. I have not sworn so much throughout my life as I have in the last week of driving. Cars going slow, not using their indicators and even simply being on the road with me has been enough to have me f-ing this and f-ing that. I never considered myself to be a swearer; I usually don’t say the whole ‘f-word’, I’d say freakin, fricken or f’n, but never the full word. It’s been my most frequently word this last week. At my last job Mel knew I was really pissed off when I’d say fuck. Now, it’s just another word.

Traffic was a nightmare Friday night; I was meeting friends at Preston Market and I’d given what I believed to be my most likely time. I was late. I was pissed. Had Jules not been down from Mackay for the weekend, I would have cancelled (had Jules not been down, the plans wouldn’t have been made). All I wanted to do was cry and curse and sit on my butt feeling sorry for myself.

Manda was there first and she copped the brunt of me – she joined in the swearing, enjoying the freedom without her kids around. It was fun, but the novelty wore off when we cut to the chase. I told her how I’d been feeling about Gary and told her that my thought for travelling had included NZ to see how things went. I told her how we’d stayed in touch and that I was actually hurting again now and so confused.

It was his birthday last Tuesday so I sent him a private message. It wasn’t a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ but nothing particularly full on either. I got a simple ‘Thanks’ and that was it. I then wished him a ‘Good Night’ and the next morning he replied with the same. I sent back a smiley face and said it was a bit late for a good night. It took a day, but he responded with the corn emoji. I responded with ?! and left it at that. On Sunday he sent back two corn emojis. I still have no idea what that means (if you do, please comment!). As the message was so short, it appeared in preview, so I haven’t actually ‘read’ the message so he won’t know that I’ve seen it.

It’s doing my head in having that red 1 icon over my messenger widget, but I can’t read it. I can’t acknowledge it. I need to let go of him, one small message at a time.

During lunch today I was checking out Facebook and saw a notification. Gary had liked one of my photos; a photo from when I went to Tassie in September. I felt a little satisfaction from this – he’s Facebook stalking me. After work, I check Facebook again – he’s mentioned me in a comment. I haven’t read it; I have no idea what the comment is, if it’s from a meme or a link to an article. I know nothing of it – just that he’s mentioned me in a comment. While he’ll never know if I see that or not, I feel a little bit of power back on my side.

The truth is, I’m starting to feel that what T was saying was true – while he may have wanted to see me, I think him staying here was for him and him alone. I feel a little used; I let him stay here for a week, he used my internet, my furniture, my washing machine, ate my food and slept in my bed. Yes, he paid for the fancy dinner, bought other food and paid for our meals and fuel when we did the Great Ocean Road, but that was comparatively much cheaper than paying for a hostel and of course a million times more comfortable.

Then when he first got to NZ, we talked quite a lot, he didn’t have any friends yet, he was feeling down and I felt bad for him. I then helped him get a job, I helped with his online test and also provided a reference (sucker, yes). Now that my purpose has been served, he doesn’t need me anymore. It was bloody killing me last week as that was all dawning on me.

Yet the notification and the liked photo today…. That’s all him and nothing on me. I need to ensure I stay strong and not engage, again. Manda was telling me that I deserve the best, that there is someone out there for me. That I absolutely deserve to be treated like a princess and have someone who would move heaven and earth for me. That that person is not Gary. He is about him and he has demonstrated so many times that he won’t treat me like that, that he won’t move heaven and earth for me. It’s a tough realisation and one in my head that I’ve known for a long time. A few months ago I had thought my heart had caught up to my head; it clearly hadn’t and may not yet for some time. But if I can keep listening to the logic going on in my head, it will catch up.

I do deserve love and happiness and to be treated like a princess, like I’m loved and cared about. Like I am a wanted person in that person’s life. Not that I am a burden or holding them back from doing what they want.

So, while it’s not significant and most likely means nothing to him, I have some power back. I don’t need to read his message, I don’t need to engage and I don’t need to go back and like his old photos. He can do that by himself. I’m in control.