When sadness strikes (bisexuality again)

Lionel and I were talking on the phone about DnD characters we want to make in a future campaign. I’m playing a male character in the current one but was thinking about being a female character in a future one, specifally a gay female character. Lionel said something like ‘so the party goes into a bar and your character sees a sexy lady…how do you play it?’ (Lionel’s male character in our current campaign is usually the one who does this which is why he asked.)

 

I started to role play something, as I imagine my confident, strong character would introduce herself. But suddenly a wave of sadness hit. Yeah, it turned out role playing what I never got to do in my real life was too much. I never got to find out if I’d be confident in engaging women I was interested in dating, how I would flirt, how I would ask a woman on a date, and anything on from there. Dating men there’s so many scripts you can follow, so many patterns you can slot into easily, so even though I have had a dating life before Lionel I came out as bi 2 years into our relationship and I’ve never had a dating life where dating women was something I could imagine was possible. Past me was also dealing with lingering homophobia and sex negativity from Christianity, and R’s ever present influence on my personality. It was another life. Lionel was partially how I put it aside. So, there’s that too.

 

Back to the phone conversation, Lionel had no way of knowing I would feel like this, of course. But the trouble was I needed to talk about it suddenly, and he’s not really the right person to talk about these emotions with. Understandably listening to me talk about things like this is always going to make him fear I’m not really happy with him, that I really want to date a woman instead. That’s not true at all. I am wonderfully happy with him. I just get these sad feelings sometimes, but they are very hard to understand. How can I be so happy with him but so sad about this also? It’s not even like 2 halves of me, one happy one sad, it’s like 2 wholes- one wholly happy, and the other filled with crushing sadness, for my past and my troubled history with my sexuality and all the things that came together to make it hurt so much.

 

We’ve had the polyamory discussion. Lionel has said he doesn’t want to open our relationship and he would find the idea very upsetting, even though he can see that logically it would seem to be the solution to the problem of my not-dating-women-ever sadness. I told him no, feelings and relationships don’t work by logic. And then I looked inside me and realised…I don’t even think I want to be polyamorous either. I struggle a lot with not feeling loved enough, even though Lionel loves me, but when I imagine how that could change I’m imagining strong, loving, healthy friendships, not relationships or sex with people other than Lionel. I can’t really imagine myself having space in my life for dating other people. I’m a homebody and I like my evenings alone and my time with myself, even if you leave aside the problem of finding interested women with a smaller dating pool. A polyamorous and monogamous person can find their relationship ends because of the incompatibility, however I don’t think there even is an incompatibility here. I don’t want an open relationship. What I really want is a different past.

 

Which…can’t ever happen. No wonder I feel helpless!

 

Upcoming KK visit

I’m seeing KK on Saturday and I’m honestly really worried about it. Seeing my best friend makes me worried, I know that’s not exactly normal, but I can’t help it.

 

Today Lionel told me he was proud of me for inviting KK to come, which had been one of my biggest fears because it opened me up to rejection, and specifically to rejection by someone as tactless as KK. I appreciated the sentiment, but I couldn’t feel proud of myself for overcoming this hangup of mine because actually doing the asking…kind of went really badly, and gave me a few new emotional bruises to press on, despite the fact that  KK did say yes to my invitation.

 

Basically what happened is when I asked, KK proceeded to do all the calculations of finances right there in the messenger chat. That may not sound that bad, but allow me to do you a little summary: ‘Oh sure your invitation sounds cool! Oh my god that’s how much the train ticket costs? It’s sooooo much! It’s not that I can’t afford it [yes, KK actually said this, I’m not guessing their finances or assuming], it’s that I think it is bad value because I can travel to my hometown for far less and it takes about the same time. We should nationalise the trains, haha lol!’

 

Me (feeling absolutely crushed): ‘forget about it, it was a terrible idea. It’s just it’s usually me who does the travelling.’

 

KK: ‘Oh yeah that isn’t really fair on you! Oh I found a ticket at a price I don’t consider too much, here’s the timeslots I can see you, though I will not tell you whether it is AM or PM and then will become bemused when you don’t immediately know what I mean’.

 

So, KK is in fact coming to see me, but it feels like all my worst fears came true anyway. Yes, I absolutely know that even if people can afford to pay a fare, they still get to decide whether it’s worth it for them. But it’s not very nice for the person who invited you to have to read what are essentially your thought processes as you debate with yourself whether the journey to see them is worth taking, is it?

 

I don’t feel good about this meetup. I know that KK would likely prefer me to not lay any emotional burdens on their shoulders this time. And I have been pushing it recently, using KK as a shoulder to cry on about my bisexuality angst, because I’m out to them and so few other people. But it’s going to be hard seeing as KK, unknowingly, swung so many punches at my self esteem during the planning of this thing, on top of all my usual stuff. I did use my words, as Captain Awkward would advise, and asked them not to process these things that are about me to me. KK said ‘ok’ but then continued doing it right after. When I pointed out that they were still doing it, they seemed bemused.

 

The next day I gave KK a small Feelingsmail ™ (I know, terrible idea, but I felt so uncared for after how the conversation had gone) and asked them if they could possibly reassure me they still like me. They said ‘you are still one of my best friends’. They’ve said this to me many times, and I appreciate it, and try not to think about how I could never really imagine myself being lucky enough to have best friends plural, or whether that ‘still’ really means I’m on thin ice or if that’s my jerkbrain yelling at me. Textual mediums can be uncomfortably ambigious in these ways, which is why I vastly prefer meeting friends in person. KK doesn’t feel the same way and finds online communication fully fulfilling. The rest of the conversation was them trying to convince me I’d be a lot happier if I could only be like them and find online communication alone fulfilling enough too. I said something like yeah probably I would, but it’s just not the way I am. KK said that people can change if they try really hard. It really made me see that this thing I do where I think KK’s way of doing things is the objective right way and mine is therefore wrong- I didn’t make that up out of nowhere. There is basis here.

 

KK told me, during the same conversation, that I require more comforting than their other friends. That made me feel like an emotional charity case, I’m sure it wasn’t intended us such but it did. In this case KK’s telling me all I had to do was change what makes me comfortable and uncomfortable and happy and sad was the opposite of comforting but I was so upset at this point that I would never have been able to express in a clear way why this was unhelpful and frustrating, not comforting. Anyway the remark about how I need more comforting was what made me feel I have to be careful not to get too emotional when we see each other. I don’t want to push things. I’ve been very lucky already to have KK listen to me a few times about my sexuality. It’s not every day someone as emotionally guarded as me and with as few friends who I can trust as I have gets to talk like that. I’m settling for scraps, I know, but I want to keep those scraps.

 

I know KK doesn’t think about me as much as I think about them. That’s the way the world can be, but that doesn’t make it any easier for me. This friendship is an old, leftover relic of a time when I was very different, and the me that exists now has very different friendship needs than the me then. I just wish that KK would reply to: ‘can you reassure me that you still like me?’ with ‘of course I still like you’.

Why write my story?

I have trouble with the idea of abusive friendships, and I was in one. I feel awful when I read someone else’s account of an abusive friend they had and my impulsive thoughts go ‘I don’t see why this was so bad’, and then my rational thoughts go ‘shutupshutupshutup how dare you think that, how hypocritcal of you to think like that after what you went through with R?’ But the problem is, part of me still doesn’t think what I went through with R was that bad either. I keep trying to think of ways I could have minimised harm to myself by doing something differently, or blaming myself for having been affected so strongly by what happened to me when maybe someone else might have come through it unscathed. That’s a thing- for example my brother appears to have come through our Evangelical Christian upbringing relatively unscathed and become an atheist without the turmoil I went through with it, and we attended the same church and had the same family. Talking to him once about his atheism, I was struck by how un-emotionally charged it seemed to be for him. That’s just my impression, of course. But I don’t think I’d have even been able to talk to him, or anyone in my family, about how growing up in our church affected me.

 

Anyway, I’m getting diverted. So what I’m trying to say is I have real difficulty comprehending that something that happened to me can still be bad even if the possibility exists that someone else could have gone through it and emerge unscathed. I think this goes back, like many things, to R, and the way he always treated me as The One Without Problems. The difficulty I have asserting my identity comes from R treating me as The One Who Has No Identity, and in fact exists to validate R’s all-important identity.

 

Maybe it is wrong to try and attribute so much of my damage to someone as vulnerable as R was growing up. I tell myself this, saying to myself ‘how cruel you are being to that past R, claiming he did all of this to you, which could reflect really harmfully upon him’. But…present R doesn’t know I’m talking about him like this, and he never will. So who gets hurt?

 

I will, if I have to bottle it up any longer. That’s why I originally made this blog. I actually started it while I was still in touch with R to a degree, and I was going to use it to write down and make sense of my story, get it all in order and out of my head onto the page (/screen). I think I even had notions of using my newly put in order story to help me talk about what happened with my mum or my sister, both of whom I am close to. I don’t really think I want to do that any more. It’s been several years since then, and my relationship with my mum is starting to become by necessity more balanced, less her supporting me (she has been a constant source of emotional support in my life, and I’m very lucky to have her) and more equal, and I’m preparing for it to gradually start to tilt into me looking after her, as she ages. My sister…I guess is possible. But she had a friendship with R’s younger sister (Gwen), that was sometimes turbulent and difficult, and sometimes my sister said some things to Gwen that she regretted, stuff she said because she didn’t understand the difficult, adult things Gwen was going through because she was a sheltered teen. Her friendship with Gwen was fundamentally built on mutual respect, though, and that’s why she can have those regrets without them being part of a spiral of self loathing like my regrets about R always become. I don’t know if my sister realises how different our two friendships were, and I’d have to explain that, on top of everything else. Maybe it’s too much.

 

Now I’m not in touch with R, and haven’t been for 3 and a half years, and he doesn’t know where I live and doesn’t have my contact information and it’s the best. There was a time when I couldn’t even dream of this. So now my purpose for writing this is less immediate, and more thoughtful. I’ve had a lot of time to think over what happened and my thoughts are a bit more in order already than when I started this blog. I’ve got a long, long way to go. I’m actually seeing a new counsellor next week. I don’t know what that will be like, but hopefully it will be useful. I’m going to talk to her about my struggles with my bisexuality as well.

 

I hope to continue writing my story soon. In my ‘about’ page at the top of my blog I’ve added some profiles to keep track of who everyone is and their pseudonyms are depicted with the Animal Crossing characters I nicked them from, because it’s fun. If you play the games, there isn’t really much correlation between a character I choose’s personality and the person who I gave the name to, it’s more like ‘here’s a handy list of names and also they have these colourful animal pictures that go with them’.

 

Thanks for reading. ❤

 

 

 

 

Some scattered thoughts on my own bisexuality

I came out as bisexual to my best friend KK a few months ago, and it went overall well (KK has been out to me as gay and nonbinary for as long as they have known, so definitely a safe person for things like this). Before I was out to them they would invite me to be a volunteer steward with them at the big Pride parade in their city. (I haven’t tried it yet but maybe one day.) A couple of months after the conversation where I came out to them I said something like ‘when you asked me to steward at Pride for all those years, I thought you knew’. They said ‘I’m not a mind reader’. Which…fair enough. I guess I felt like the changes in my appearance to be more gender non-conforming were a signal to others that something not straight was up here. (Also I suspected some of my bi meetup facebook stuff was appearing in my friend’s feeds- instead of being a facebook privacy buff I have an ‘avert eyes and pretend it’s not happening!’ approach to this, sadly.) I like my new appearance way more than my old one but I don’t know if other people, even friends, could know the significance to me.

 

I never identified as bi until I was in a relationship with Lionel for 3 years, Lionel is a man so it’s a ‘straight’ relationship. I know the debates on calling it that so will explain my position: I don’t call my relationship straight internally, and I would prefer that M/F relationships containing not straight people not be referred to by others as straight, but it’s not my hill to die on. I feel that debates around this go too far into territory of ‘M/F couples containing not straight people are somehow exempt from societal privileges that come with being in an M/F relationship’. I want to fully acknowledge my privilege in this regard. And where you find people insisting M/F couples with not-straight people are not privileged in this regard, you see many many rebuttals and anger towards those M/F partnered people making these arguments, even though I’m not one of the societal privilege deniers, and never have been, I find myself feeling bad anyway (overidentification with the criticised party when criticism is happening is something I’m currently struggling with). So, keep me well away from that debate. I just want to keep my head down and not make any waves, and support the members of the LGBT+ community dealing with far more pressing and visible problems. The extent I will take it might be asking someone politely to not call my relationship straight (say, someone from an LGBT+ meetup group), and my reason would be ‘I don’t feel right with the term straight relationship for my relationship, because I spent so much time figuring out I wasn’t straight and it feels like calling it that is erasing that struggle’. But only if I knew them and trusted that they hadn’t meant to upset me.

 

I’ve never dated or had sex with a woman, or anyone who wasn’t a man. I love Lionel and feel he is my true best friend (my friendship with KK is more complicated and harder) and that we are going to stay together long term, it’s 6 years we’ve been together currently and I’ve been out to him for 3. We are monogamous because he doesn’t feel he could cope with polyamory in any regard. I’ve never tried it or even considered it before I started to finally come to terms with my sexuality, so it’s possible I would also find I couldn’t cope with it if I tried. So….I won’t date a woman ever, and I won’t have sex with a woman ever, and that’s the good ending. Because I truly want to stay with Lionel forever. I’ve soul searched so hard about this, when I had thoughts about wanting to be with a woman, have sex with a woman. I thought maybe it was a sign I should break up with Lionel. But then I thought about how empty my life would feel without his presence in it. I thought realistically about how hard it is for me to meet new people and relate to them, and all my sexual damage that would be unlikely to suddenly vanish just because I was with a woman and not a man. I realised I had this idealised scenario of dating women being really really easy and perfect and fun, and me being actually desirable and sexy to women (my younger, ‘straight’ self looking to date men felt she was often viewed as ‘eh, she’ll do’, and that was when I was trying to dress feminine). Worst of all, I realised I had this horrible idea that if I just had sex with a woman I would finally belong in the LGBT+ community, that I would no longer hate myself for my lack of experience, that my self loathing would drop because I had ‘proved’ to myself that I was really bi and not just having wild fantasies about my own importance. (Due to baggage I consider allowing myself any identities at all some sort of wild fantasy about my own importance. Am working on it. 😦 ) I can’t think of a worse reason to have sex with someone, to use them for my own validation. I keep all those thoughts in my head, when I feel sad and horrible about never dating a woman, I remind myself of them. I’m really, really happy in the relationship I am in. It seems so strange that I can feel so glad to be with Lionel, and so sad at the same time. I feel like that contradiction gnaws at me, makes me feel guilty, and there’s no solution other than to remind myself that no one, ever, gets to experience every single thing that they want in life.

 

 

Sometimes I imagine myself in a couple of decades time, as a middle aged woman, and I’m single for reasons I don’t care to think about and aren’t relevant to this train of thought. I imagine that version of me trying to meet women for sex or relationships, bringing with her all this desperation from being closeted and repressed and then in a situation where dating women wasn’t an option, even though that was for positive reasons. I imagine that version of me has so much baggage about never having slept with a woman, enough to put off any interested parties, more experienced parties, who don’t want the pressure of living up to all my decades of thinking what it could be like. I imagine that the desperation isn’t uncommon in LGBT+ circles, so its cause will be understood, but that doesn’t make it any less shameful and nakedly embarrassing. I can imagine it so clearly that when my thoughts unwittingly touched upon it earlier I shed tears. I don’t know why I always have to be hard on myself like this.

 

A part of me wishes I could go back to the (sadly relatively short) part of my life before I met Lionel but after I stopped being in crappy relationships with men that I didn’t know were crappy, and have casual sex, but with the possibility of having casual things with women on the table. Realistically and knowing myself I don’t have a lot of sex, especially not casual sex, because I’m a homebody and get out very little, but just…the possibility being open. Because it never has been. I often find myself feeling strong jealousy if I read about people having fun, casual sexual experiences, even if they aren’t gay ones. It’s not even jealousy of wanting to have casual experiences outside of my current relationship, I’m not even sure I really want that, it’s the jealousy I feel when people say ‘I did [x] sexual activity and it was fun and enjoyable’. To me any kind of sexual activities feel full of pain and difficulty, only just mitigated now by being with someone I can truly trust and communicate honestly with. I want my story to instead be ‘I had fun and it was enjoyable when I did [x]’. I can’t even imagine what that would be like. I expect I’ll explore my sexual hangups further in a future post. I think understanding this about myself, as I’m just beginning to, is helping, especially as it makes me go a little easier on myself for having these bad feelings (like jealousy) towards what I perceive that other people have if I know why it is happening.

 

I’ve made a resolution to at least email the advertised as LGBT+ friendly therapist I thought looked accessible transport-wise, before the coming week ends. I’m very nervous, but I clearly need to talk to someone.

A follow up to ‘metal, and when rape occurs’

Unbelievably, since I wrote the last post I’ve already come across another rape in metal story. Partly to test out the WordPress app I just downloaded and partly to kind of round out the last post, I’m going to briefly talk about it. First though, just to be clear, I don’t intend this to be a blog about the metal scene. It’s a personal blog where I want to tell the story of me and my abuser’s history together, and where I try and figure out my brain stuff now that I’m my own person. But metal was personal to me once. And my ex-friend Rod, who I spent most of my time in the metal scene with, is part of my personal history too. Those two things together amplified the absolute shitness that was the Decapitated situation to the point where I couldn’t not write about it.

I hope to start using my blog more for the purpose I intended soon. But first: I have come to conclusion that if I wanted to know about metal stars committing sexual crimes, I would just have needed to read their books. See, it looks like Motley Crue’s book The Dirt has been adapted into an upcoming Netflix movie, and Motley Crue want us to know that their ‘rape story’ will not be in the movie. They are talking about this a lot in the press right now, presumably realising someone who had read the book would definitely have brought it up if they hadn’t. Anyway I won’t tell you the story because it’s horrible, but from the summaries I’ve seen of the passage from the book in articles it was rape by deception, with Tommy Lee as the perpetrator and facilitated by Nikki Sixx. Now Nikki wants us to know he ‘made it up’ or ’embellished’ it. Oh for god’s sake Nikki, you really think we will believe that?

I mentioned in the last post that metal stars being publicly accused of rape is very unusual. But if Paul Di’Anno can casually admit to a rape in an interview and Motley Crue’s book has one then we should be able to piece together a pretty rich tapestry of horrible things done by horrible men entirely from the things they say about themselves. I’m certainly not planning on going out and reading a load of these books (I think every big metal band has one, sometimes several for the different members), and I don’t think anyone else should either, here’s my idea: if you do happen across one of these stories, don’t forget it and don’t let other people forget it. Tell people in the scene and fans who don’t know. Yeah, some will be shitty about it but some will be glad you let them know. The metal community is much better as individuals than it is as a whole. Or so I hope.

I love you guys, one and all. I don’t blame you if you want to watch The Dirt out of morbid curiosity but I also don’t blame you if you, like me, want to give it a wide berth. This is probably the last time I’ll pretend to be a metal community spokeswoman but I still care deeply about metal and rape and sexual assault, and I’m always here for you if you want to talk about it.

Metal, and when rape occurs

I’m a former metalhead. My peak period was between 2007 and 2011 when I was 17-21, I listened to metal since I was about 14 but 17 was the age where I befriended other metalheads, who were my first friends after R my abuser. Those people were also toxic, but my sense of what made a good friendship was so skewed I could never have known this at the time. And there were good things about our friendship at first, some of the happiest memories from my teen years. I started going to shows with my new friends, as well as talking, living, eating, sleeping and loving metal alongside them. I still love and listen to many of the bands that were my life back then, but I no longer call myself a metalhead. And not just because I lost all those friends.

 

A major reason for this was that metalheads have this really annoying ‘none but metal’ attitude. It’s not just that they love metal, they ONLY love metal. Absolutely every genre other than metal is awful to them. They also spend a lot of time policing which metal bands are considered metal enough, and having a lot of annoying in-fighting about this. I have found music infinitely more enjoyable since I stopped paying any kind of heed to this and started listening to different kinds of music again. I used to adore pop music before I got into the metal scene, mainstream radio music of any genre really, and would spend hours listening to the radio and making my own mixtapes. Getting away from metal circles allowed me to branch out into listening to all kinds of music again.

 

You saw the title and might have guessed at another reason I don’t want to be around the community. But if I told you that, it wouldn’t be true. The particular incident I want to talk about (which to be clear involves a metal band and has nothing to do with anything I myself experienced) came to light in 2017, long after I had stopped associating with the metal community. It was during MeToo and a lot of celebrities were being revealed as sexual abusers, but this band were not known outside of metal circles. That’s the reason I’m writing about it. The only people I know who talked about it (people I still have on social media after leaving the metal community) have decided the accuser was lying. I cannot take it any more.

 

Serious trigger warning from here on: I’m going to be describing the accusation against the band Decapitated, which was gang rape. There are mentions of other sex crimes, of domestic abuse, and of the general nastiness of the speculation of false accusations. Please read with extreme care, or skip this entirely.

 

(more…)

Necklace

img_8575This is my abuser’s necklace. I found it while clearing out my old room at my parents’ house. It was with a lot of beading and jewellery making stuff that I was sorting out, and it was there not because I made it (I could never make something this complicated) but because it was broken and I had offered to mend it. My abuser, R, really liked this necklace and wore it all the time. And I did mend it, which you can see at the front where the spike bead is missing. I couldn’t replace the bead but I reconnected the broken parts and sealed it all with clear nail polish so the whole thing wouldn’t unravel.

 

I don’t know why I never gave it back but I can guess. R frequently decided he was sick of the sight of me and would be as deliberately nasty as possible to drive me away. Being away from him wasn’t the relief you might think because by this point I basically had no personality of my own. I had learned to suppress it long ago out of necessity, because my only function was to be what R wanted me to be. I felt I could not function when I wasn’t with him.

 

Probably one of these periods of exile had happened during the mending process and then we both forgot. Very likely it was also towards the end of everything, when we were on the brink of separating. I often talk about us as if we were in a relationship, because we honestly might as well have been. That’s what it felt like.

 

 

I also found the beads from another necklace, this time one I did make for R. It was a couple of years into our friendship so I was about 14, and I had gotten the beads on a visit to the city my auntie lived in, at the other end of the country from where me and R lived. When I was away from him I was nonetheless always thinking of him, which is clear as apparently my foremost thought upon visiting a bead shop, one of my favourite things to do, was to buy special beads to make R a necklace. They were letter beads that I had chosen to spell out a phrase associated with his favourite band at the time. He liked that necklace too, and when it broke (my homemade necklaces usually did eventually) I had been supposed to be mending this one as well. I don’t know why I did not. Probably another falling out between us was involved, and then R wasn’t so into that band any more and it seemed pointless to bring it up when he had clearly forgotten about the necklace.

 

I was very into symbols when I was young teen. There was a 3rd and final necklace that I reminded myself of while sorting my things. I had made R and me similar necklaces out of rainbow seed beads, with larger pretty beads along the string every now and then. When, inevitably, R’s one broke at the crimps holding the beads on (I could never get those to hold firm) I took the necklace to mend it and then R decided for a while he was sick of me and that we weren’t friends any more. I should say that every time this happened, to young teen me it simultaneously felt both permanent and temporary. I don’t think young teens can really think far ahead enough to think of true permanence, like into adulthood or even older teenage years and where they will be then, but at the time I really felt R would hate me forever. At the same time, part of me knew R would one day decide he wanted me back, just turn up and act like nothing had happened at all, and be happy and cheerful and I would not want to bring the mood down by saying anything like ‘why did you treat me so badly before?’ and risk him hating me all over again. I never tried to contact him during these exile periods, never asked him what the hell was going on or what I had done. I knew that nothing was going on, that I hadn’t done anything, it was just his whims. I knew to wait it out, just to get through the day to day and wait till he wanted me back, but I would also be angry he was treating me like this. I would vent my anger towards him in my diaries (I kept a day to day diary from age 13 to something like 16), and one time I looked at the broken, rainbow necklace and decided that instead of mending it and giving it back to R, I would make the beads into a necklace that I would wear. I thought that maybe, once he inevitably took me back with no explanation for his behaviour, I could wear the necklace when we were together and draw strength from that little act of defiance, and maybe stand up for myself a bit more. I did this, and on the new necklace I put a key pendant (actually an old key from the padlock of a secret diary my sister had when she was younger), with my initial scratched on it. You see, R always called me by a nickname, which began with a different letter. I liked the nickname, we had made it up together, and yet it wasn’t long before R began to use my name as a way to communicate how he felt about my behaviour and actions. If he wanted to communicate a distance between us, or a coldness he was feeling towards me, he would start using my real name instead of the nickname. It was like the nickname was the version of me he liked and approved of, and any time I strayed away from that I would become my real name. So by putting my non-nickname initial on the key pendant, it was like I was saying to myself ‘the version of you outside of R’s influence still exists, she is real and has value’. I hoped that when I wore it, the physical reminder of my resolve would help me keep my sense of self when around R. It didn’t work, but it at least the necklace gave me some sort of strength when I made it. And the symbolism worked for me when seeing it in the future because it helped me remember this stuff about how the situation was then, and think about how great it is that I’m my own person now, after many hard years of learning how. Oh yeah, and R never asked for the necklace I had made him back, so he never knew. I guess he forgot it had existed. Don’t worry, I stopped making him jewellery at some point before I left secondary school. (Instead I spent hours making him plush toys of his favourite geeky things because I was still a long way off learning not to expend so much energy and care for someone who will never reciprocate the care you take, and far from becoming happier like you wanted becomes more demanding with every request.)

 

The black and red spiked necklace is more recent than the other two. R might have worn this when we were in our late teens, maybe even early 20s. I can remember him wearing it. It’s designed to be a tight choker so holding it I can’t help but think about it having touched his skin once. It creeps me out. I wanted to show it and write about it before I did this, but my plan is to throw it out, with no ceremony whatsoever.

Housekeeping

I’ve done a bit of cleaning up of posts on this blog, as a lot of things in my life have changed that make them no longer relevant. The ones about my horrible old job where I was bullied into a breakdown are thankfully no longer relevant because I escaped that job into a Christmas temp job and while I was at that job I got my current, full time position. I’ve been there almost 3 years and I’m very happy there. I never meant to write so much about that job, as I intended this blog to be for my telling my story as an abuse victim, but things at the job were so bad it kind of took over my whole life. Maybe now I can get back on track.

 

The posts aren’t deleted, just reverted to drafts. If there’s a post that I wrote that was useful to you and you can’t find it any more, let me know and I’ll republish it. I’m not saying that to be conceited, I know this blog barely gets any traffic but I know I have had posts I really liked to revisit on blogs that disappeared one day due to being deleted or a paid domain expiring and the owners of those blogs probably never knew I was visiting and reading. So just in case!

I saw my friend!

EDIT- Please ignore the things I said below about friend’s partner not being abusive. A few months ago I interacted with him for the first time in ages, he came with me and friend to go for coffee. He is definetly abusive. I was right to suspect but had been lulled by such a long time of not interacting with him. 😦 I am supporting my friend as best I can, but I am also in a very bad place and have very little to give. The situation is shitty all round. Please think of us.

 

 

 

 

CW- drug mention, slight mention of disordered eating (though not through eating disorder it still might trigger).

 

 

Yesterday I went to see an old friend from uni. I was really nervous about it but it turned out to be the best day ever. It’s weird when you spend so much time feeling weird nothingness and periods of down-ness (only way to say it really), suddenly a happy thing happening makes you go SUPER happy and filled with energy and love.

 

I love my friend so much. We went to an amazing Italian sandwich bar and they bought me a panini and coffee and a brownie, and when I thanked them profusely they said ‘it’s because you’re one of my best friends dude, if we were just sort of friends then we’d split the bill’. XD And my worries of us not being best friends any more just disappeared.

 

And I met my friends new dog (well its their partner’s dog too, also the dog is not that new as in she’s actually an elderly rescue dog) and she was the cutest lil puppers ever! I had so many anxieties going into this and one was what if the dog is jumpy and yappy (small dog worries) or just smells bad…but no, no smell, plus best behaved dog other than a tiny bit of pulling on the lead. No barking, no jumping up. Loves being petted by new people. (me 🙂 ) Yes I petted that dog for a good long time and talked to her and called her silly pet names. Hey I have to get it out of my system as my last gerbils has recently died and I have no furry person to talk to at home. I love animals.

 

I think they got the dog for my friend’s partner who has a lot of mental health problems. (as does my friend, and me.) Partner has, in the past, been my friend, but then we drifted apart when we stopped being at the same uni, plus I was concerned with how he was treating my friend. He lives in the flat my friend owns, and he is a foreign national with no family in this country and his family in his own country is pretty fucked up from what I know. So basically he depends on my friend for a lot, which made me worry at the time because I was scared he would become abusive, or my friend would not want to ever break up with him due to the bad situation it would leave him in. My friend would seem down, say they had become his carer more than his partner, say that he forbad them to knit because his hearing sensitivies made the sound of the clicking needles unbearable (my friend loves to knit and there’s so many workarounds that don’t involve A Ban), and things like that. I was…worried about their situation, to say the least.

 

But looking at things now, I can see that they are both managing. Partner is apparently self-medicating with weed and mushrooms, but my friend told me they make him calm and able to sleep. They did not seem concerned at all, and my friend has always been a big believer in doing what you have to do to get by. Whether its weed or drinking or eating cake. It’s a calming thought, weirdly. I work in a health sector and the messages about healthy living, sugar tax and exercising and stuff, are starting to give me a low level of anxiety about my body. I know I don’t exercise enough and don’t get enough fruit and veg, but those things are all stressful in their own ways and there are too many constraints right now. (No time or energy for exercise, and with fruit and veg there’s only a few kinds I can have before I run into ones that need to be washed, cored, chopped and/or cooked, and all of those things are a big barrier for me right now. It would involve too much hand-washing and cleaning, and to be honest it’s stressful just thinking about it. These days I eat tinned fruit, frozen peas, tinned tomatoes, and fruit like bananas and satsumas that have a solid skin, as well as sometimes fresh apples, grapes and tomatoes. Those are all ok, anything else is too much.) Sometimes I’m fed up with the messages seeping in, when going through days without sinking into self loathing sometimes feels too hard even without these extra worries.

 

My friend said that sometimes partner will do things like taking mushrooms and then petting the dog for hours on end. I think if my boyfriend did things like that I wouldn’t like it, I wouldn’t like him to take things that made him different from himself. I asked my friend though and they seem happy with the situation. Like things seem calmer, quieter and more settled in their place, and they each have their own space to call their own which they definetly need. I feel like my worries are, for now, set to rest. My friend is not some indestructable powerhouse but they are very strong in some ways. And their relationship may seem one sided in some ways but I never got the sense that my friend is unhappy or needing more support from their partner. It’s worth remembering that not all relationships can be an exactly equal give and take, and in practise that is probaby quite unusual as everyone has different degrees of need. The trick is making it work in a way that suits the people in the relationship, and if you can do that then no one else matters.

 

Another thing I appreciate about my friend was their acceptance of my germ problems. I’d say something like ‘I can’t touch food with my hands’ and they’d just nod and say ‘that’s fine.’ No interrogation or trying to logic around it like some people do. I think I have changed too since we last hung out any serious amount. My germ problems have got to a worse level, unfortunately, and my overally mood is lower, but I am also calmer, less stressed and less snappy. I used to be quite impatient with my friend sometimes. I tried to bring up my snappy behaviour during some time we spent together (a uni residential in another country) but my friend didn’t even remember it. As is so often the way. ^^ I apologised anyway though.

 

We walked, they showed me the sights, and then we went back to the flat and played a few video games, just some nice calm ones. And then they saw me off with a huge hug and a promise to see each other again soon. I miss them so much now. It’s weird because I was dreading the trip because social situations with anyone except my boyfriend are so hard for me. Now it seems like I have two people who can be on the ‘not hard’ list and that is honestly so wonderful. I nearly fell asleep at work today I was so tired but I felt so full of love still. I don’t know how to describe the feeling of spending a good day with a friend, or something else that happened to me back at new years where I met a girl and we nerded out about Death Note for about an hour. Sometimes I don’t know the difference between romantic love and friendship love, to me they are both equally powerful, and with a similar need to touch and hold somebody close. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that it reminds me that I exist outside of my boring job, that it doesn’t define me, that I’m still that excited and joyful person I used to get to be more often. I feel happy just writing this. These powerful positive emotions are strange because they come alongside the usual negativity I feel all the time, so they interact in a feeling of dizzy happiness along with a fear that I will ruin it. But for now I’m trying to just enjoy the feeling, and write it down so I can remember it forever.