Certainly not there anymore

Few weeks back I wrote about the back-to-work-hopelessness, sitting in my office while my head and body were stuck somewhere in France. I’m not there any longer. I usually bring my breakfast to work, and I am usually so busy that by lunchtime I haven’t finished it. I rarely break for lunch…

I haven’t had inspiration or time to blog, which feels bad. I like to write, it makes me feel better, sorting my thoughts make me more focused and happy. It is work, work, work, spending time with my girls who are all grown up, and work, and PAIN. It doesn’t seem to go away. I have never cried anywhere as much as I cry when my (former gorgeous, now only evil) physiotherapist stretches my neck, head and throat muscles. I have dropped all heavy painkillers, however, missing the opportunity to go to bed a bit too drowsy and sleep for ten hours. Painkillers are no good. Not the ones that really work!

I wish I was in France. I wish my mindset was vacation mode. My boss put me on a management program, I reluctantly accepted. We had the house full of people last weekend, leaving no space to relax, and no space to talk to my husband, who is away all week. I think I continue to do things I don’t like.

Moments in between are good. When I get out exploring nature. Eating fresh cooked prawns on a 250 year old ship at sea. Meeting friends, especially my best one 😉

Being here, now, will go into my to-do-list. 😉


Another death in the family

She was old, my aunt, she was  94. Born in the last year of WW1. Second oldest of seven, four girls and three boys. Every one of them went away to study, engineering, chemistry, this one, she studied to be a teacher. Later on she got to be a special eds teacher, one of few. She worked at the same school for more than 40 years.

She never married, and she lived in the house next door. She looked after her old parents, they lived there too.

Yesterday she died, she had been in and out since the weekend, and there was no drama.

I am not sure when I saw her last. For the last ten years, she’s been demented, talking about the war… Mixing our names together, and been ill, so many times.

I don’t really feel anything.

Its not like I am suppressing any feelings, and there is no shock. No loss, no sorrow. A bit relieved, she was tired. I remember her talking about dying, I guess tomorrow, when we get together to plan the funeral, we will find that she probably made plans. Twenty years ago…

I don’t look forward to the funeral, the family (again) and all the stuff we have to do. It is me and my brother and sister who has to do it all. We just did this… four years ago. There has been so many deaths in my family, we are used to it. That sounds terrible. I know.

An occasion to remember

She has put on her best dress. White. Her finest shoes, white short socks. On her arm, a bracelet. Her mother arranges her hair. Her blonde curls… She feels special, beautiful. She looks like haute couture. It’s a special day.
I imagine she’d never been to see a photographer before. I can picture her going through Rue de Huchette, or perhaps Quai St. Michel after taking the metro. She holds her mothers’ hand quite tight. And her mother is careful in the busy streets.
In the studio, she takes her coat off. The city is not summer warm anymore.
I think that after walking a bit, she needs to run around, and move and play, without holding hands with anyone. But she is probably very polite, and a bit proud that she can take the photographers hand and say “Bonjour”. Words in a foreign language.
Maybe she found the leaf outside, on the street. It looks like a leaf from an oak tree. Maybe the photographer thinks it’s a good idea to leave the leaf right there, on the bench where she sits when he takes the picture.
She puts on her most lovely smile. She is happy.
Afterwards they went to buy a colourful and sweet “gateaux” or some “petit four”. Or perhaps ice cream. She’d eat like a little princess, and be very careful not to ruin her lovely dress.
They’d have a good time together, my mother, and her mother in wonderful Paris, 1936.

Me Me Me!

Mind the gap...

Thin line between hopelessness and ability to heal! (Photo credit: asparagus_hunter)

So many years spent without the ability to think outside the ME-mind! Well, I did take care of my family, I did get an education, I got a job, I have friends. But the egocentric mind, dominated for so many years. And by all means; “ME” is the mind that must heal.

Realizing last post was a genuine recipe for depression (which I definitely had) I need to make a follow up.

So I got to think… I am no longer only inside the “ME”-thing, which I described earlier. As a child, I didn’t know anything else.  Trying to cope with depression, there was never room for anyone else, really.

Like so many others with backgrounds similar to mine, you don’t just have PTSD or c-PTSD. You get depressed, you stop sleeping or sleep too much, you might have anxiety issues, eating disorders, dissociative disorder, OCDs, phobias or other stuff. None of it is very nice… Most need treatment. How hard it must be to point out THIS ONE THING as the reason for all your trouble. Like I have my PTSD. (At least that the way I see it, don’t know if my therapist agrees).

If you get a physical decease, you still have a life to live. It doesn’t have to consume all your thoughts and high wire your brain for years. If you have a mental illness, it IS who and what you are. Sometimes for most of the hours of the day. And night.

For me, realizing this, happened in retrospect. I think at one point, I decided to define myself outside of it. (I probably have decided that several times, like if you decide to diet or stop smoking again and again…) But now I feel rather successful at it.

I think all the time of how I feel, and evaluate my feelings. How do I cope with feeling sad, why am I sad, does it have to be like this? And how can I use the mindful approach and be here right now, and let it go? So many times, I find that after meditating I feel so much better. More focused, positive and with a calm here-and-now feeling. This enables see others, feel beauty, enjoy life, concentrate…

I want to focus on the good feelings (still having some bad ones from time to time), and I want to choose to feel good about me (though sometimes I don’t). It means experiencing all feelings and regard them in a state of not judging them either way. I kind of set myself outside the feeling.

I could go on for some time on this… Probably get back to it!

The depressed universe doesn’t have any room at all for any other than ME. The million-dollar question is how to get inside that ME and make it help itself, instead of forever lingering in the deep hurt and pain issues.

Have you been trough the same? How did you start to heal?

Me and all the others

child abuse

Child abuse (Photo credit: Southworth Sailor)

I am different. Aren’t we all… I thought about that today, that feeling. Nobody can understand me, because I am different from them, the others.
It was something I read about helping young people with addictions, that got the thinking going.
We seem to think that we are unique. And I am, but there are not six billions different personality types. Something must be similar other then the fact that all humans have a mind.
When I was a child, I defined my whole being, on the “different” part. I saw people being happy, but had problems relating it to my existence. Of course I had moments of happiness, breaks, Christmas, my secret places. But I saw families and other children with lives so different from my own.
I guess that was what made the distance so enormous. When others tried to get near me, I’d back off. I was so different that the idea of being like them was a concept impossible to understand. The idea that someone could help, wasn’t there at all. For me as a  child. Guess I am growing up now.
Following this was the understanding that nothing could change. I was stuck (as the only one in the world) in my situation, with negligence and abuse, and a life outside of the ordinary.
I was way out. When I sort of cleaned up, and got my life together, I used patterns and behaviour I had watched and learned. I did what people expected me to. I hid away the abused child, and what had been me. Put it in a huge locked box and threw away the key. And for some years, I was probably nobody… Well, I know that’s not possible.
I guess over the years I have found me again, and started working out how my experience has shaped me, and my life.
Sometimes I am very strong, feel like I know what I am doing, and love my life. Sometimes I feel very scared about what has been, scared of those feelings that sort of can take over my whole being.
Sometimes I am just scared. But I’m not all that different anymore.

The end of childhood as a Horror movie 

How are things at home

I dont know if I miss my mother

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember, when other children would ask me, I’d refer to her as ”my mother”. Other children had mums, or mamas, and I talked about her as ”my mother”. When she was alive, I said mum, at least until she went away to hospital, and I didn’t get to see her again. I’d say “my mother” is ill, instead of calling her mum. Something inside me must have known how to keep a distance. Like putting her in a different place, outside and away from me. Maybe I knew she was going to die, even though no one told me. Maybe someone did tell me, and I erased that information from my mind too, didn’t want to know, couldn’t cope with the truth. I was six when she got cancer, seven when she died.

Many mother-daughter things were never done. We never went for a walk in the woods or on the beach. We never went shopping. I can’t remember her buying me things, though she must have. Not sure. I can’t remember staring in a toy store window wanting just THAT doll, and get it.

She never got to help me with homework, or tell me I looked nice before school. Or make my school lunch. All my birthdays before I got to ten, at least, are forgotten. Not one cake, not one present, not one party. I have a recipe for a chocolate cake that taste like something I might remember. Not sure.

I don’t think I miss my mother.

I am not even sure if I miss mother-daughter stuff, my whole childhood got so messed up. I know I miss feeling loved.

I know I miss not having learnt to be a mother myself. Babies don’t come with instructions, and you never get a second chance.


The end of Childhood as Horror movie!

Heroin syringe

Heroin syringe (Photo credit: Thomas Marthinsen)

I am not sure when he stopped.

My therapist has asked me several times, if I was scared of getting pregnant. I don’t remember. Pain in my childhood covered my memory and made so many things disappear, just to reappear as fragments. Not all of them are frightening or dangerous, or in the PTSD-category, like some of the things I have described earlier. Most are just undiscovered memories, as if you would look through old photo albums. That’s ok.

So I don’t remember if I was scared of getting pregnant. At first I guess I didn’t know how one did get pregnant, it wasn’t included in my sisters version of the flowers and the bees. As I got just a bit older, and understood more, I was also able to get away more easily.

My day would be like:

  • school (not every day)
  • going to town for music lessons (as much as I could) or to the library
  •  just going to town, hang out with people I thought about as friends, usually a lot older than me.
  • getting home too late, and go straight to my room.
  • if he was home, and not one of his travels, I’d think twice (at least) on what to do. Sometimes I’d just get out again through the window immediately. Sometimes I’d wait for a while. Sometimes I tried to sleep. If I got out, I would come back at 4:30 or 5, and get two hours of sleep before having to start another day.

I always had top grades at school, even though I never made an effort, and in periods, I couldn’t have gone more than every other day. Sometimes teachers would try to talk to me, and they said they would call him. My respons would be “so what?” People must have known though. Someone in school, the pill-pushing idiot of a doctor, someone in that very very sick home I had.

I ran away several times. Once my sister saw me, she was going to work on a very early morning shift. Saw me, ran to grab me, and called him. I couldn’t believe she would do that!

Once I told my friends at school that I was going to far away, to another country. For like forever. After two days, they told the police that. After two days, even he got worried. I was in my hiding place by the sea. I don’t recall what happened as I got back.

At 13 I met this boy who lived by himself. He was 18. Which meant free alcohol, many funny pills, and the introduction to smack (H, skag or whatever you call it). I did only one serious suicide attempt, the plan was to pop all the pills I could find, and top it off with a shot. Problem was that the pills were still in their packages, so I had to press them out one by one. I started taking ten, and then ten more… when I woke up again, I had the syringe in my arm, and there was some blood. Some 26 hours had passed. So it must have been a close call. After that, at 16, I came off hard drugs, on my own.

Last term at school, I had put my life together, sort of. I was normal, like the others. I thought so anyway.

These last few weeks of writing has been quite intense. If my mind doesn’t come up with more ugly flashback, the things I have told about here are the worst. It’s not all. but maybe it is the parts that needed to be told the most.

At 16, I met my first husband, we married when I was 18. At 25, my father died on one of his many journeys. That was when I started remembering. I had some 25 years of f***ing up my life, and by next year, I have use 25 years trying to mend. The story is not over.