The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

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From the News

Just the one post for today. It’s so bloody beautiful that it needs no others to distract you from it.

Daily Three

1 I don’t have the ‘ return to work’ blues. I’ve missed not having that feeling.

2 I was well enough to leave the house. Whoop! Wasn’t out for long, but it means tomorrow I get to start my new life which involves being up and out the house early doors. (Less mysterious: I’ll be form filling, blogging, story writing and job hunting until 11 when my father wakes… until I get the internet when the coffee drinking can happen at home)

3 I sorted out a load of my clothes and managed to get the couch clear of things downstairs. I’m very very close to having most things put away.

10 o’clock

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On the Feeds

First up is a post about the beautiful and underrated black cat. Often black cats, and tuxedo cats, get abandoned and left in shelters because misconceptions.

Second up is a wonderful and uplifting post from Buzzfeed. I challenge each and everyone of you to take a look and be inspired to do something kind to a colleague over the next month.

Finally, this is a post I’ve seen a few times and it brings joy to my heart. Not only is it a story of women looking out for each other, it breaks boundaries of colour and culture in order to demonstrate pure love.

Daily Three

1 I fixed my dad’s washing machine. Now I only have two loads of washing to do.

2 In a sliding doors of my life, I could have been in London and preparing to go back to a job that was eating away at my soul. Instead I’m snuggled up in bed and ready to start the next chapter of my life.

3 Book Post!!! Getting books in the post makes me so happy. Not all because of the freebie- the main thing I love is the fact that I’m helping promote someone’s work.

Goodnight all

Han x

The 10 O’clock No Doom, No Gloom

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Happy Friday everyone.

In the News

First up tonight is a story of a 9-year old I’m sure all of us wish we could be more like.

Next up we have an amazing accomplishment that needs to be celebrated in the USA.

Finally, this post gives you 10 benefits of working with animals.

Daily Three

Yesterday and today I’ve found very difficult, mainly because I’m coming down with a cold or flu. I’m currently writing this at 6.30 on a Friday night while in bed. However, it’s times like this, when it’s hard, that you have to push through and find some positives.

1. I sat down and watched Hobson’s Choice with my Dad. He’s found this channel that’s playing old school movies. I’ve been finding them a bit hit and miss, but Hobson’s Choice was exactly what I needed today.

2. I’m hopefully going to see a sing-a-long version of BoRhap next Friday. I love that film and I’ll take any excuse to see it again.

3. My cats, Casca and Cassius, have been amazing the last few days. They’ve been snuggling up and purring away. Almost as if they know I’m sick.

Good night all

Han x

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

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In the News

Auticon exclusively hire employees who are on the autistic spectrum.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-46538125

A sweet little story about Maisie Green who has been knitting for her local dogs trust.

Another compilation from Buzzfeed that will melt your heart.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/100-pictures-that-will-make-you-feel-better-about-the-world?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bffbbuzzfeed&ref=bffbbuzzfeed

Daily Three

  1. My Hopper pop arrived. On my birthday, I was pulled out of HMV before I bought him and when I went back, he’d found a home. Worked in my favour because I found him cheaper online.
  2. I’ve booked my FREE ticket to the Northern YA Lit festival in March. There is going to be a speed dating event with book agents where I can pitch my Liverpool based YA novel and hopefully get some advice.
  3. I was asked to be a part of my first Instagram blog tour. I’m so happy to be able to help promote an upcoming book and I have some brilliant ideas for the photos.

Sleep well beautiful people

Han x

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

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In the News

In this first post for your reading pleasure, is the story of Roxy the cat, reunited with her owner 5 years after going missing.

This Buzzfeed post is ideal for if you’re needing a big dose of happy as the author gives a rundown of moral boosting events from 2018.

Finally, a lovely story about the largest Maine Coon looking after the youngest addition to the family in Wakefield.

Daily Three

  1. This morning there was frost. Not sure about anyone else, but I was starting to get a little nervous about how mild our winter was. That, and there’s something very refreshing about the first frost.
  2. I had a very productive morning and got quite a bit knocked off my to do list.
  3. Despite having a cold, I’ve been able to unpack a few more boxes before having a chilled day with the cats and Dad.

Sleep well beautiful people

Han x

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

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Hey all,

Life can seem a little rubbish at times so I’m here to give you a little boost before bed. I’ll put here one or two stories I’ve found from the day before giving you my daily positives.

The first uplighting story comes from the Metro. Anything that has the media showing the truest form of Islam makes my heart sing. Our community is as fractured as it’s ever been, but these expressions of cohesion and unity will take us some of the way to repairing the damage.

This little beauty is just something I had to share.

Daily Three

1. My dad has rediscovered his love for Dr Who and reminded me it’s on and that he wants it on.

2. I’ve spent the afternoon with my oldest best friend and her beautiful family.

3. The number of people who’ve reached out to me since my post yesterday has really humbled me.

Sleep well beautiful people.

Han x

If There’s a Meme…

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I don’t explain things that cause my depression because I think ‘it’s just me. My explanation doesn’t help other people’ well… if there’s a meme, it shows it’s not just me.

I’m going to do my best to use my blog explain to people what the memes I find mean, certainly the thought process I go through, and perhaps what you can do to help those you love.

Often the biggest thing for people suffering from depression, anxiety or self esteem issues (forever personified in my posts as Gollum) is this concept of isolation. Certainly for me, its my biggest fear and is long rooted in my belief that it’s a deserved punishment and me not being around is ‘best’ for everyone.

It’s Gollum’s favourite breeding ground, mainly because there’s no one there to challenge its voice. No matter how strong you are, when isolated, you will finally succumb to it’s Sith mind tricks.

My Gollum, for example, isolates me when I feel an impending punishment. It’s never me hiding or trying to escape a punishment; it’s me going ‘I agree, I agree, don’t hate me… forgive me PLEASE don’t make me be alone’. This happens in my personal and professional life and has, in the past, been rather soul destroying.

For example, let’s say you’ve been informed that your sour face is pissing everyone off and it ‘has to stop’ (read- I’ve once been told by a job who knew I was suffering from depression ‘you look too depressed. Pick yourself up and stop being so depressed’). You’ve been fighting your voice’s comments of ‘yes, you’re sad and everyone knows it. They don’t care, they’ll just want it to stop because you’re pissing them off. You know you can’t just snap a finger and become happy so you might as well go and hide. ‘Come with me and we’ll be Quasimodo together!’

If that doesn’t work, Gollum will change tact; they know you well enough to have every trick in the book after all. They use the greater good approach ‘your upsetting everyone by being sad. You’re poisoning the water source. Sacrifice the thing you need to save the rest. Your happiness isn’t important and your absence won’t hurt anyone.’

Of course, to the outsider, the world revolves around them. Not in a narcissistic sense, but it’s our default setting to think along those terms. Of ‘how is this about me?’

So when a person like myself begins to isolate, the average person will take it as a slight and be offended. They sometimes will become defensive and hostile. Sometimes they’ll become so angry that they don’t listen when you explain ‘I’m doing this FOR you.’ and instead hear ‘I’m doing this BECAUSE of you.’

Once Gollum has found a crack and wedged their way in, its hard to not let them take root. They’ll use soundbites from people to reinforce a narratives that will isolate further.

One of the biggest faux pas anyone can do at this point, is speak for other people. That’s what Gollum does and they love these sort of people. It’s like cocaine to Gollum; they can’t get enough.

Upon trying to explain to someone that I isolated myself because I was told my ‘low moods’ (ie me being overly quiet post Christmas because while the office talk of the holidays was all jolly, mine was far from it. I didn’t want to ‘poison the water’ so I kept my mouth shut and internally isolating myself began) were pissing people off.

A complaint was made (rather formal, to Gollum’s delight) and I isolated myself further, only physically this time. This physical isolation can be seen in two ways; location is simple enough, a person would find somewhere that allows them to be alone and begin turning down offers for going out. The other isolation being social presence. I will make myself as small and as invisible as possible. My shoulders, head and arms curl inwards and my eyes remain firmly on the floor. In some extreme circumstances, I will stop eating in order to lose weight.

I’ve once found myself trying to explain to someone and they responded in a Borg-like fashion; ‘we’re pissed off with you for pulling away from us. We’re all just so angry at you.’ Which just made me retreat further into myself.

It’s not the first ‘we’ statement and it won’t be the last but they all reinforce Gollum’s narrative that my existence is corrosive and sometimes that the world would be a better place if I wasn’t born. I’ve found out later, in some cases, that people often misrepresent others when it’s said that ‘we’re all angry at you’. But by then, the damage is done.

It then becomes a rather vicious cyclic torture. One which sometimes a person can’t get out of without help. Sometimes mine ends quite sadly and I’m told ‘you’re going to end up very lonely if you keep pushing people away’ and I do worry sometimes I cut people off too quickly. Maybe I do, but (and it’s a story for another day) I am finding I’m much more content in my own company and cutting those people out removes a massive stress and toxicity from my life.

So, you’ve stuck through my rambles and you’re now looking for the advice. Depression, anxiety and self esteem issues come in all different shapes and sizes so this isn’t a ‘one size fits all’. Also, please remember that I’m not medical profession and if you are worried about a loved one and want further help and guidance, please head here for websites and contact details for the people in the know.

  1. It might be hard, but don’t take it too personally and don’t go in on the defensive. Don’t be poking them for an explanation, if one is not forthcoming. Chances are they might not be able to explain it.
  2. Don’t try and understand. It’s not for you to understand and that sort of knowledge will not help the person. In fact, it can come across as all you’re doing is prioritising your needs.
  3. Try not to speak for other people. Don’t use pluralised pronouns, what you say will be held as ‘evidence’ and out of context.
  4. Ask them if they want a hug. While i often come across as a bull in a China shop, a hug is the biggest thing that I’d want.
  5. And most importantly: if someone asks you for help; never deny them it. No matter how offended you It’s taken all their energy and power to break from Gollum long enough to ask. And with it came the fear that you’d prove Gollum “right” and that they don’t deserve your help.

Helen Bamber Foundation, the Conversation: Creative Survival @HelenBamber @stephenfry

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Helen Bamber Foundation, the Conversation: Creative Survival

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Opening Speech
I can now say that I have had a rare opportunity to see Emma Thompson in her true form. Shed of her acting skin, she is warm, candid, beautiful and extremely funny.
She spoke with passion, authority and grace, ensuring we all knew why we were there; to listen to the stories of people who had survived, creatively. Something Emma explains is the opposite of the Darwinian concept, but instead the survival of the kindest and most humane.

Emma Thompson in conversation with Lyse Doucet, TJ Birdi and Ceilia
Emma went on to host a wonderful and heart warming conversation about the work of HBF and how it has improved the life of Ceilia; a refugee seeking nothing more than somewhere she felt safe.
It broke my heart that she was explaining her plight to the wrong people; I know that people fleeing war torn countries are not here to ‘steal’ jobs or abuse the benefit system. Those who do need to hear this, would not have attended such an event and would not believe that people’s motives are altruistic. They would not believe her when she explains that she didn’t even know about the benefits on offer for over a decade living in England.
I wish I could have hugged her and make all the pain she suffered go away, tell her that she was loved. It’s something I have in bucket loads and she informed us she had to be taught to love.
The conversation ended with her informing us that she has a child and, through the support of HBF, is able to live a fulfilled and healthy life.

Stephen Fry with Humera
This conversation opened with Stephen narrating the beginnings of Humera’s story. Abused by men she trusted, robbed of her virginity and left to feel like she didn’t belong. Her community and faith meant that her marriage would lead to her death, knowing that her husband would deem her an adulterer.
Her only chance of freedom was to flee her country and attend university in the UK. Again, it was noted about the often mentioned ‘foreigners coming to steal the jobs.’ It angers me that someone who is having to escape an abusive home is then expected to defend themselves against the prejudice and stereotypes small minded people put out into the world.
There were issues along the way; visa denial and sexual harassment in the workplace before finding HBF. They helped her apply for asylum as well as give her one to one support with a counsellor.
When Humera joins Stephen on the stage, she catches us up on the successes within her life; managerial position, love away from abuse and the freedom, confidence and support to proudly declare ‘I am gay.’

Music
The evening drew to a close with three musical pieces and the HBF choir were joined on stage by musician; Nerina Pallot.
Through the music, clients of HBF humbled us with their expressions of culture, identity and belonging. They got the crowd onto their feet for the final number; despite the harrowing stories, it ended on a blissful note.

 

Of course, this was all for a cause. The HBF relies on generosity and funding to continue to help make changes in people’s lives. Only, I don’t think this foundation just needs money, it needs love and support; things people can give for free.

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How can you help?

  • Head over to the website http://www.helenbamber.org/
  • Follow @HelenBamber and keep up to date with their events and requests
  • Help a stranger (you never know what it might mean)… Many of the clients who spoke talked about how a simple smile was able to make them feel like they belong.
  • Consider a one off, or monthly, donation
  • In the new year, I will be completing a sponsored reading/ viewing marathon and all proceeds will go to the Helen Bamber Foundation. Details will come in due course, but please promote if you can and get sponsoring when the page is up and running.

Mental Health- Isolation and the Monster within

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Mental Health- Isolation
Trigger warnings- depression, sexual abuse, PTSD

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Some of you are aware, I have been avoiding social media for the last few days. Few of you know what caused it. There is a list of 2 people that knew I intended to leave social media for good and leave the world of YA literature; something that all know has caused me some comfort following the escape from Dick.

Luckily, those two beautiful souls were able to make me see sense and open up to other people, who made me rethink my stance. You see, as I pushed them away, they pulled me back. These two wonderful people are very new to my life. They don’t know my fucked up nature or that I don’t respond like a ‘normal’ person.

So, when I perceive that I am being considered by other people as a nasty person, a bitch, enemy or even, as I felt in this case, a monster; I will punish myself. I unravel and lose all composure. I do so in the worst possible way, as it does incredible damage to my mental health; I isolate myself and it hurts.

So, on Wednesday evening upon returning home and having a panic attack I decided I had to hide away. Despite attending an event I was looking forward to and meeting Holly Bourne, a highly regarded author I’ve waited 3 years to meet I was painfully and unbelievably broken. I broke hard and fast and I cried until I fell asleep. I cried until my eyes were puffy and the eyelids were translucent. I hadn’t even cried like this about Dick; probably because deep down I knew him being removed from my life was a blessing and despite there being a connection to him within the YA community, I saw it as a lotus blooming out of the murky pond. How wrong I was.

I don’t know how I got up that morning and couldn’t bring myself to see people in work. I cried even more whenever I had 5 minutes or more alone. It was a busy day and this was the last thing I needed. I felt like my world was falling, crumbling around me; people who didn’t even know me had made a judgement that I was no good. Perhaps a bully, perhaps evil; I guess I will never know but I know I’d been feeling ostracised and it was confirmed on Tuesday. These were people I thought were part of a safe place, free of judgement or prejudice. It sucks that my joining the community coincided with my leaving Dick, but I was forbidden by him. Not that it matters; it was about me, not him. I never brought him up, she did. Talking about him was the last thing I wanted.  I just wanted a home and a welcome. It didn’t even have to be from her. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what parts are true. I don’t know how many of the community she’s told, or even what. Just that from some of the treatment, it wasn’t exactly positive. I’m not even angry, I don’t blame her; I’m just so very sad that without any communication I’m the one who gave up the community. I’ve made a sacrifice for her, yet I’ll still be seen as the bitch to them all. It’s how I feel, and that’s all that matters to me right now.

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I went to my counselling session on Thursday having cried all day, cut myself off from Facebook, Twitter and even my phone. I couldn’t tell him why this had happened; all I could say was that I’d been ignored by an individual since YALC and now others felt I was the one causing pain and suffering. He knew it all; my first ever session was all about Dick; how he had led me down this path, how he’d given me permission to contact his ex (he didn’t care and thought it would help me.) then screamed in my face that I was a ‘fucking freak’ when he found out I had.
All I could tell my counsellor was that it hurt that it had gone so badly, that I’d regretted approaching her before hand, but knew it would have been worse if I hadn’t we’d made friends and she eventually found out. I also informed him, in a pitch that only dogs could hear, that the community’s actions reinforced an idea that I deserved this treatment; that they’d seen the monster within me I’ve tried so hard to hide. That I’m of no value.

I do it all the time.

I run away, or people tell me I’m a bitch and I go into my punishment of solitude. Usually this is a result of one thing; I get tired of being walked all over. I find it hard to express my frustration and I walk away, or I speak my mind and I become the bitch.

I actually asked him if it was possible that I was a victim of some Dr Jekyll/ Mr Hyde. That perhaps that I black out and act like a heinous bitch without me knowing. That maybe I had done something wrong. That I do all my selfless acts and never waver because I am that horrible person deep inside.

You’re probably thinking, what the hell? Why, if it’s clear I’m not in the wrong, or even if there is NO ONE to blame (other than Dick, because God knows what he’s said to her) like with this week’s conflict that resulted in my diminished mental health, do I punish myself?

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The reason is this; even when I’m right, I’m wrong. It’s something that have followed me through life from one extremely traumatic event from my childhood.

I was sexually assaulted when I was 8 years old. It would have been so simple had it been an adult that had inflicted the act. My life would have been different had the attacker been male and of any age. But my assault was not that simple. It was not that clean; and therefore, not seen as an assault.

Instead, it was a girl who was only a year older than myself. I was seen as complicit; a consentual act but not something innocent or playful. Except it wasn’t consentual, it wasn’t something innocent and it wasn’t the first time. It was just the time that someone saw and told.

I was never asked to explain what happened and once I was punished it was never spoken of again. I was placed in my room and not allowed to speak to anyone; summer holidays were spent away from people my own age. All because of fear and an act of homophobia. I hadn’t known or understood what happened to me and it was only about 2 years ago I registered the incident as sexual assault.

If you went to school with me, you’ll have thought I was always stand offish and a little dreamy. However, between this incident and being told any boy you brought home was dead meat; it was easier to just keep to myself. I didn’t want to be punished again and I didn’t want any boys to be killed.

So, whenever I’m treated badly, or as if I’m the bad guy (no matter how big or small); I assume it’s because I deserve it. It hurts and the part of me that’s screaming ‘fuck this shit, you’ve done nothing wrong, you’re a fucking peach. Get a grip and throw them the finger.’ Is so unbelievably confused that it draws me into my depression. I hate that people do often believe so easily that I can be so horrible. I say sorry if someone barges into ME for Christs sake! It’s exhausting, it’s lonely and it’s heart-breaking. My answer is often to be nicer, kinder and more generous yet it doesn’t work.

Especially when I opened up to Dick and told him all this. I told him everything; yet he’s not only abandoned me, turned one person against me, but his actions and lies have probably turned a whole community against me.

The biggest part I gained out of my counselling session was that I was perhaps right going forward to avoid any connection to Dick, but I should not delete my blog or shut myself off from the people who have been reaching out. That if any further attempt is made to smear my name, I have every right to stand up for myself. We both agreed that wouldn’t happen until I’m stronger though and start to gain some self-worth.

On top of that, the remainder of my sessions will be considering why I don’t see any value in myself. Why I considered answering the twitter plea of a spare ticket to the event and give the Holly Bourne ticket to a random person I’d never met with no benefit to myself other than I knew it would make her happy (and that I was already feeling uncomfortable going because o); why I would keep a relative stranger (she’s now one of my closest friends) company while she waited in A and E one Friday evening after meeting her for only an hour and why I would not put myself forward for a job promotion so that the man I had a crush on would be guaranteed it then complete all the work for him, getting nothing for it.
Yet, when it comes down to it, I feel like the best gift I could give everyone would be not to exist at all. Yet, the selfless part of me stops me from doing anything that would take my life. Mainly because I’d only do it is God would give my remaining days to someone much loved and missed from heaven.

I don’t know how this article will be met. Please respect the fact that I don’t want my treatment on Wednesday explored or the people involved identified. I have come to a point where I certainly don’t want anything to do with Dick’s ex. I have no energy to ‘clear the air’ or listen to why she so clearly hates me. I have no respect for anyone who would not wait to get to know me before making any judgement and constructively making me feel excluded.

Most importantly, I don’t want the same thing to be done to them. I don’t know them well enough to identify most people in the community as nice or nasty; I’m not Santa and I don’t have a list. I will never name them and those who do know, respect me enough not to discuss it.

You will find my presence much more infrequent over the next month. This is quite a revealing post and has come at a great cost to myself. I’m now in need of an evening to myself, good book in hand and a cuppa on my bedside table. I have allowed Dick to take the joy of films away from me, I will not let him take reading away from me by proxy.

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Mental Health- Realising you’ve escaped an abusive relationship Part TWO: Advice for identifying and dealing with a sociopath

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Mental Health- Realising you’ve escaped an abusive relationship Part TWO: Advice for identifying and dealing with a sociopath

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I’m sorry this has taken so long to write. The previous post took a hell of a lot out of me emotionally; it led to a week of panic attacks and a rather violent nightmare. Once again, there will be some candid insights that you may not be comfortable reading.

First few dates/ getting to know them

Don’t be so open about yourself; don’t let your date know everything. It’s a hard thing to do, I’m sure… You’re learning things about each other and if you’re anything like me; you’ll want to be truthful.

Don’t text every day. This may be a routine s/he sets up and it’s set up for the final stages when they’re moving on to a new victim (horrible word, but as this whole relationship will be built up to make it look like YOU’RE to blame, OWN that word)

Don’t open up a conversation about previous relationships, especially if you were badly treated (*waves* this isn’t my first sociopath); they’ll use it against you.

When it progresses

Have an open and frank conversation about what the relationship if you feel it’s progressing (Dick’s profile said ‘l’m looking for casual relationships’- yes, the plural should have given it away. However, meeting him, he was giving off a vibe of anti-casual. In hindsight, he engineered it that way. All other women were ‘friends’ from work he was having dinner with, when he spent weekends with them; he was going to spend time with his dad. These were not lies either… omissions, I should not feel like it’s cheating. By comparison, I was communicating with Bob a little time before I met Dick. Bob was very clear and open about it being casual. Most people looking for casual will set that early on)

If you’re sexually active, ensure you BOTH get what you need. Hint: alarm bells if the first time he is due to stay over you’re on your period and he still intends to come. It’s a set up to ensure you become the ‘selfless lover’ in his stack of girls. It’ll seem sweet and that he just wants to look after you, but believe me he’s only after his own end here.

Don’t compromise your wants for his; especially if there is no return. I agreed to no children, no marriage and him sleeping with many women. He gave nothing but challenges in return.

If you suspect

Talk to people, your friends; you are compromised and your voice will be going ‘but he’s so lovely; you’re just being paranoid’. And, I cannot STRESS this enough LISTEN TO THEM. Don’t be like me and tell him because you know what comes next?! This man (or woman), will sow seeds of doubt and convince you that the reason you’re not working is because people know about ‘us’. You’ll shut down and lie to your friends. Go on, tell yourself you wouldn’t do that! Before Dick, I’d have said the same.

If you start getting ‘that’s not what I said’, ‘I didn’t mean it that way’ or the Dick classic ‘I was drunk, you can’t hold it against me’ it’s time to get out. This is gaslighting (look it up) and it will destroy you to your core; he’ll use these phrases with such confidence that you will start to doubt yourself.

When you know

Get out! Get out! Get out! When you get that momentary strength to block his number; do it. You’ll have that break up feeling and want to make things right. Don’t… just run with that feeling and let him go.

The fallout

Music is your friend- Taylor Swift (Yes, Tay Tay) has become my girl. Whatever your music, keep it on, keep it loud… it’ll blast your memories. It’s important, so important that you distract yourself.

Personal one for me- don’t reach out to the ex of the ex. It’ll stop you from moving on and chances are he’s lied to her. (Yep, I reached out. It was stupid; but I wanted a survivor who understood. She didn’t. I’ve got to admit though, I’ve been feeling so much better since I blocked her on twitter, having discovered her co-blogger who I’d not even spoken to had blocked me and I was gaining the passive aggressive silent treatment. To be fair, I’d started to feel guilty for feeling this pain; she was with him longer. I felt bad for dating him so soon after they split, but I didn’t know until a good few months in)

Even if he blocks you, block him back. He’ll come crawling back when you least suspect it and you’ll be right back where you started.

If you’re feeling vulnerable; avoid alcohol at all costs. It will make you weak and you could do things you regret.

Pinterest- this is a double-edged sword; it’s a vast wealth of information that will help you understand that what happened to you, however, your ‘suggested’ pins do soon become filled with ‘how to recognise a sociopath’ if you’re not careful.

Do not allow anything you love to be taken away from you. Don’t avoid places or watching things because you associate them with him; I guarantee he doesn’t think twice about taking him to somewhere you considered special to the both of you (NY Fold and Prince Charles Cinema. Hell, Dick took me to Jamie’s Italian to inform me that he could never see me again because he’d ‘fallen in love’ with his crush from ten years’ previous and it reminded him how little he liked me now. He dumped me in my favourite restaurant. He also showed Leon, my favourite film, to one of his conquests after a conversation we had about it being one of my favourite films.

Don’t expect it to be a normal breakup; you may even suffer PTSD. You are grieving the loss of a relationship, the ‘death’ of a person that never existed and most importantly, the pain of knowing you were duped.

Personal one for me- Have a crush on someone. They’re sweet, they’re safe and they ease the pain, even if it’s just a little. It’s not perfect, but having those little butterflies for a beautiful man out of my league have given me a little bit of a boost. Knowing I have no chance helps keep me grounded and prevent me from making an ass of myself.

Remember- You are amazing, wonderful and better than the treatment you accepted. He will never know the love you gave him, he’ll never feel it. However, you will find someone who will love you, cherish you and, most importantly, the perfect person will be your equal.

Mental Health- Realising you’ve escaped an abusive relationship Part ONE #mentalhealth

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Mental Health- Realising you’ve escaped an abusive relationship Part ONE
Trigger warning- emotional abuse, depression, anxiety
*names have been changed for obvious reasons.

I met Dick through a dating site. It wasn’t until after our first date I found out the name I knew him by was false. About a month in, he told me he was in love with me. A little too quick for my liking, but as he was the first bloke to ever use those words, I went with it.  By January, he’d informed me that he no longer loved me. That he’d ‘trained’ himself not to love me anymore. Strangely, that didn’t make me walk away; it made me try harder. It was my fault after all, right?

The man who showered me with affection, who insisted on going out on our 2nd month ‘anniversary’ and proudly wore a matching t shirt for our Christmas was a fake. At the time I didn’t know what a sociopath was, or how they worked through a relationship. I was the proverbial frog in the pan, rising my temperature until I was compromised. It led to my darkest rabbit hole journey.

Before you read any further, please understand that this will not be an easy read. I do not mean to offend, upset or anger anyone. This is not attention seeking or story writing. Everything you read here is the truth, as I saw it. I wasn’t perfect and my actions towards the end of the relationship were desperate and certainly not something I am proud of.
This candid look at a sociopathic/narcissistic relationship is perhaps a little selfish. While part of me is putting it out there so that other people will recognise traits in this man and save themselves from the pain I endured, there is a bigger part of me having to put this out there so that it never happens to me again.

 

Why am I doing this? Firstly, I had a heart to heart with my best friend and admitted to her (and social media), that I’m still very much broken over Dick. I don’t want him in my life, I want my memory wiped of him. Secondly, while searching for a photo for a blog post I found this:

 

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I look like shit. But what struck me most about this photo was how miserable I looked. My eyes are dead, when they normally have that little bit of a sparkle. Even I can tell that my smile is fake. It’s a portrait of pain and abuse. Scars I’m worried that will never heal.

To give you an idea of what was going on in my head within 12 hours of this photo being taken I have found notes I’d made on my way to Copenhagen with a friend. Someone who didn’t know I was still with Dick. The secret was taking its toll, because I trust these people who I kept it from. I knew what they’d said in the past was the truth; there was something fundamentally wrong with the man.

He’d gone away on a business trip and he’d pulled out a trick from the Sociopath’s bible: ghosting. At this point we’d known each other 5 months, and I’d had a text from him EVERY SINGLE DAY. Good morning, good evening, even a ‘meep’ when I hadn’t text in a while. However, this week was strained and cold. Rather than annoy him with my thoughts about what was going on, I wrote this out;

Han’s Heart – I miss Dick, I want to text him… just because. (Well… no. Like a muppet, I want him to text me)

Han’s logic brain- but he’s not text you first in weeks. You need to back off so he can miss you. You can do it. Just don’t text him till he texts you.

Han’s Gollum brain- but… but… but… what if he doesn’t text back, ever because he thinks you not texting is actually a good thing and feels relieved that he’s not hearing from you. He just doesn’t know how to tell you that you’re horrible and repulsive.

Han’s logic brain- you know he doesn’t love you any more so he doesn’t think about you as much; it’s normal for him. Stop poisoning me Gollum.

Han’s Heart- but I want to be normal. Normal for me is texting him when I want to and not caring if he texts back.

Gollum brain- but he wishes your texts were from someone else. ANYONE else but you.  No one likes you. You can’t keep the weight off. You’re shit in bed and he never wants to touch you. He doesn’t care if you get off.

Logic brain- it doesn’t matter. He’s a good person. He likes you.

Gollum- he lies

Logic- for good reason

Gollum- I bet he uses the condoms you buy on other girls. He won’t even think about it. You gave him a great out as well when you brought the new ones. 

Heart- why hasn’t he text?! He must be waiting for his plane now. What did you do wrong Hunter?!

Gollum- you’re being punished because you’re evil and horrible. I bet he doesn’t even smile when he sees your name any more. He groans and puts his phone away. He wishes he could have the orgasms you give him without seeing you. I bet he’d rather Nel was the one he fell for. That’s if he ever loved you.

 

He text just before I got on the plane. It didn’t make me feel any better. Not too long after that, I found this in the Notes section of my phone. I don’t think this is one I’d sent to him.

So…. I think I know what it is that’s putting me on edge. I don’t want to lose you. The man you were right at the beginning (bringing sushi randomly to mine was WAAAAAAAY better than any rose), the things you said (why am I so lucky to have you?)… I couldn’t want for anything more and the best thing; I don’t think any of that was an act. I literally thought I’d found my dream man and in all honesty?! I still think I have.

At the start, you were doing things that came naturally to you. Now you second guess everything and while I know you’re doing it to ‘protect’ me and keeping me at arm’s length, it’s coming across as apathy and almost like I’m a chore that is making you miserable.

If you want to spend time with me, just do it. Stop thinking about this stupid ‘once/twice a week rule). You want to stop worrying about me being hurt; start inviting me to things yourself. Not leaving it me to ask and get the response that you’re with someone else. (Yes, I know you’ve said it’s always her that asks and you just say yes… but I’m not part of it. I don’t know. I am always worrying about whether I’m asking too soon, too late or worse, if I don’t ask I won’t see you at all. It’s exhausting.) you have ideas, you just need to go ‘Hey Han, can I see you Wednesday this week. Meet me in Ealing and we’ll go for food.’ You can’t tell me that’s not something you can do; because it’s EXACTLY what you ARE doing by being on the dating apps. You’re actively seeking company.

Honestly. I think you want me more than you’re letting on and what is stopping you is the fear of being alone. The fear that we won’t work and that you might lose me. I think you’re scared of your feelings.

 

It’s making me feel so ill reading these. Even at his cruelest, I was making excuses for him and trying to massage his ego. The sad thing, I think I believed all of this.

Any normal person would feel some sort of remorse for knowing the pain they were causing someone. Nope. It made him angry. It bored him and made him want to be with one of the other girls. How do I know? He told me! Said I was the better girl, the best girl… but I just didn’t behave right.

Why wasn’t I behaving? Because I didn’t know all the rules. Not one for failing, I tried to learn the rules. Please believe me, I tried. So hard. However, the rules would change and I’d be punished. To be clear, I did tell Dick at the beginning that I take things literally.

I’d not been in a relationship for a long time, so I thought telling Dick things like this would make things easier. What I hadn’t realised though, was I was giving him a blue print to my undoing; I handed him his gaslighting road map on a plate.