I’ve been holding a lot of stress in lately.

It started with the doctors appointment. Previous doctors have been unreceptive to the list of symptoms, going so far as to tell me that if I want to get better then I just have to lose weight or that I’m making shit up to get medications. So I went in STRESSED, and I think I only really started to let it go today.

The doctor was actually great. She listened to me, went over the family history, made sure I got my flu shot before I left, and referred me to a physio and dietician after making sure that I had support for my mental health still.

The physio is ok. Reassuring in some ways, but I get the impression he doesn’t quite believe me when I say it all hurts. At the end of the day though he’s only looking after the acute pain in my back, and the exercises he’s given me are doing so much to help that I have zero complaints.

But the dietician… I adore her already. She was wonderful. Went over my full health history, made some suggestions of things to chat to my doctor about in regards to possible causes for current issues, and walked me through the process we’re going to take for the time being. I have her email and assurance that it will be no bother if I email her to clarify or check anything. Mostly, though, I think the best thing was having someone tell me to stop worrying about my weight. Just to stop, that tending to my diet and digestive problems, working on lowering my pain levels, and improving my sleep will take care of that so just stop worrying about.

I almost cried then and there. The sheer relief of having someone else say it after being constantly bombarded with ‘lose weight, there is nothing wrong with you’ was overwhelming.

It’ll be a while till everything has been ticked off the list of possible causes and an actual cause located, but in the meantime I feel really supported by the team of medical professionals I’m dealing with, and finally like I’m a bit more in control of what’s going on.

That said I give it 24 hours till I’m swearing blue-murder about being back on the full fodmap diet. 

D-Day for a Quiet War

I’ve been at war with my body as long as I can remember.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

I grew up tall and gangly, with long red hair and glasses. I was soft, sensitive and shy – ripe picking for the schoolyard bullies. I hit puberty early and hard. I’d hit my D-cups by 13. I had hips. I was harder on the surface but between schoolyard bullying and grown men sexually harassing me I was a mess.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

My weight soared and fell over and over in my early twenties. I rarely felt good. I was frequently tired. Where the bullying ended my self criticism started. Too soft, too fat, not well dressed enough. My weight slammed down in my mid twenties when it was the least important thing happening in my life. One mental breakdown later and 6 months where my house was a prison.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

And back up it went in my late twenties. Climbing and climbing as I tried changing my diet, exercising more, and mentally beating myself. Too fat, too soft, too tired. Always bloated too. Never ever good enough. Always desperate to get my weight to stop, to go down not up.

My body was difficult. My body was broken. My body was stupid.

And then the D-day came. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune illness. One that directly effects my digestive system.

My body was sick. My body was hurting. My body needed care. 

The medication is easy. The diet changes are hard. The relationship with my body has completely changed for the better, a thousand-fold. I am mentally and physically healthier than I’ve been in many, many, years. I am no longer at war with my body.

To Draw Lines in the Sand.

February 2012 – Sober I said no. Drunk I was easy picking. A week later I dragged him back into bed, a stupid attempt at regaining the control he took away.

May 2013 – When I finally couldn’t pretend anymore. 18 months of trying desperately to find a way to make it ok. To believe that he loved me, that it wasn’t rape, that I had no reason to be afraid, that we could move on. I finally gave up, surrendered, admitted that being alone with him was terrifying and that I didn’t want him anywhere near me.

May 2013 – I told people what happened. I will never forget, nor ever lack gratitude, for the anger and support that came from Arrow in those first few weeks. She held me together in so many ways as my life came undone.

May 2015 – Engaged, in love, moving on…

Except that I’m still afraid. I still live in terror of being in the same place as him. I fear the day mutual friends put us in the same room. Except that I’m still blaming myself for trusting him, for believing him, for letting him be in a position to take advantage of me – to violate me. Except I’m still feeling betrayed in every possible way – by him, by the people who believe there is somehow a way he redeems himself.

I’m not the first. Other women known to me have similar experiences, yet somehow he’s still redeemable.

I’m tired of hurting, of being scared and feeling one step from falling down. I need to heal, and I have to draw the line in the sand for my own sanity.



It's scary out there…

The thing about fear is that, for the most part, we’re taught to handle the basics… but usually poorly. Then we get let loose on the world and suddenly we’re faced with the complex – death, love, and whatever the bright green gelatinous $40 blob the waiter just informed you was edible is – and we haven’t got a fucking clue.

For me that lead to three situations.

1. A five year long abusive relationship that I struggled to fully end.

2. Continuing a ‘friendship’ for over a year after the ‘friend’ had raped me.

3. A sudden appreciation for small vicious mammals…

Ever seen what a small mammal does when you back it into a corner where it’s fight or die? It might still die, but there will be a lot of blood and you’ll be wearing those marks for the rest of your fucking life.

I’m scared. To be honest, in a way I’m actually more scared right now than I’ve ever been in my life. The normal reaction is to withdraw into myself and pretend everything is ok until it washes over and I can pretend nothing ever happened. See how far that’s gotten me in the past (hint: see points 1 and 2).  I let myself get in the position that I have something to lose…

And I’m ready to go scorched earth and rip some fuckers throat out. I don’t remember the last time I have been so angry and ready for a fight.

Fear isn’t a bad thing. Reacting blindly to fear is a bad thing, but the fear itself? Fear can be survival instinct telling us to run away, it can tell us we have something to lose, it can tell us when to stand our ground, it can tell us to fight… and, when faced up to and looked at squarely, it can put steel into us like we never knew was possible.

1am is not my friend

I wake up at 1am. Head aching for no apparent reason and not enough sleep.

I am alone. Nothing new, nothing unusual.

My brain fixates on him. Last night I removed him from intant message programs, facebook, google, twitter… all the places he can reach me online. He still has access to phone and email, but calls and emails can be ignored.

It fixates on confrontation. Public places can be safe, but here, in my home, is another matter.

I get distressed wondering if I can ask the housemates to not let him in when I’m around. I know it’s stupid. The Peacock will do as he’s told. He’s about to move out and has no reason to be anything but behaved. Arrow will understand, she’s brilliant and I have no reason to question that…

And my brain just keeps at it, over and over, throwing the scenario of being home alone into the mix just to fuck me up a little more.

And I’m alone.

There’s no one to tell me I’m ok. There’s no one to roll over to and hold. There’s just me in a big bed crying quietly.

I’m alone and can’t remember the last time I hated my life this much.

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