Friday 21st December 2007
I am writing to update my journal, but this time not because I feel the need, I just want to update it. I went to Beth’s on the Friday after my last entry and cried, I said that I thought I need to go back to the counsellor. Beth and her friend Louise gave this advice for both me and Rich:
- Stop trying to get back what you had. You will never get that back, and if that is what you want you need to find someone else, because you will never get it back with Rich. Instead of trying to recover something make something new, and better.
- Stop thinking that whenever you are fed up it is always because of what happened. It may just be because you’re tired, got the arsehole with work, whatever! But because what happened is always foremost in your mind you always take your feelings back to that. In the same way as Rich always assumes you’re going to leave him. STOP doing it!
- Forget things that were said when you both got back together – as you were both mental!! You both said things you did not mean. Rich said things just because he did not know the answer himself. (Rich and I talked about this and why I started this journal. He is mortified by what he said about being flattered that two women were fighting over him, and does not find it an ego boost in any way now.) My Journal – First Entry
- Rich has to understand that my barriers are up –and may well be up for a couple of years. But whilst I have my barriers up I should still be me – which I had not been when I was writing in my journal in the last three to four entries. I had created distance between us as well, was not being tactile, not being me. By doing this (to punish Rich in a way.) I was making myself miserable.
I took all of this advice on board and my head is sorted. I had a blip of four days, but no-where near as bad as before, and I could control it.
We have been to France again and had the most fantastic time.
Rich breaks up from work today for Christmas and we have eleven days off together. I am so looking forward to it.
We are having a shindig for Tom’s eighteenth birthday tomorrow and Rich is so excited to be part of it.
I think that says it all!
The first thing I thought when I read this entry was that I had completely forgotten this conversation which surprised me, because it was a very important one and helped me massively in dealing with things in the future; they were both so right!
Rich was the one that had to let go of what we had, as you know from what I have written in this book I had come to realise that a long time ago. But for me the most important piece of advice they gave me was to stop thinking that everything revolved around what had happened to us! Whenever I had a problem in life I would immediately link it to what had happened, what Rich had done to me, and therfore everything had to be his fault. Quite simply it wasn’t!
I could have felt pissed off because I had a bad day at work, or because someone had upset me, or something had gone wrong as things do in life. But when anything happened I would get in the car and the ‘demon’ (oh yes! He was still there it would take a long while before he no longer existed. I sold him with my car!!) would get into my head and turn my upset around and tell me it was all because of what Rich had done to me. It was all about ‘The War’!
This was a massive thing for me because as soon as I understood what I was doing I was able to tell that fucking demon to shut up! But I also started to realise that ‘The War’ did not define me, it was not the total of my life, and I had to stop letting it be that. Although it influenced my life greatly and made me the person that I am today it is a contibuting factor in the person that I am today, but only one of many.
For Rich: He would think that anything that went wrong was his fault, because of what he did, he would take sole responsibility for every little thing, from the boiler going wrong to someone upsetting me at work. Sometimes he still does that even now, and I just stop and say to him “What are you saying sorry for?” He normally laughs then and says he doesnt’ know.
Oh, the damage that we do to each other and ourselves.
The advice about forgetting what was said when we first got back together was also good advice because we were mental and not thinking in any way rationally. I know that most people struggle with this, because we crave to be ‘normal’ again, to think straight again, when in actual fact our lives have been turned upside down, and shook about so why do we expect that of ourselves?
I love the quote: ‘‘I thought I was going mad but the unicorn in the kitchen told me I was okay!’ (I think that came from Walking the Journey’s blog you should check it out; if not it would have been the lovely Dolly Allen @’The Queen is in’)
Rich did say things to me that weren’t true, things that contradicted themselves because he just wanted to say whatever I wanted to hear to make me feel better; to not hurt me anymore. After that he moved on to saying things to try and explain it to himself, because he was at a loss as to why he had done it; then he progressed to berating himself for what he had done, what he had said and totally lost himself; and as you will see from my book this eventually had massive impact on his mental health.
A good example of our madness is that when I started this journal it was because Rich had said that he found it a compliment that two women were fighting over him. By the time I had come to write this entry in my journal he was mortified that he not only said it but that he thought it at the time. He still feels that way today.
With regard to my barriers, they did stay up for quite a few more years to come; but I can tell you honestly now, I have no barriers where Rich is concerned and have not had any for over eight years (yes I can remember when they came down – keep reading.) So they can come down eventually it just takes a ton of hard work, reflection and listening. At this stage in our story I love the way ‘this Moira’ holds onto the hope that her head is sorted because I know that she still has a long way to go before she gets to that point.
As I said before in my previous post Coping mechanism – make new memories Tom’s birthday was on Christmas Eve so we held a surprise eighteenth birthday party the weekend before and it was a great success. I look at the photos now and see how thrilled Rich was that he was there involved in the celebrations.
On Christmas Eve we all went out, including Darren and took Tom to the pub, an English tradition. I remember how Rich was so chuffed that he was there to be able to give Tom some money and send him to the bar so that he could order his first drink legally. We left the boys in town after that and made our way home to prepare the meal for Christmas day. It was something so normal, and I kept my head under control because I felt a responsibility to the other people around me to make sure that this festivity was not marked with tears.
I can remember that Christmas was wonderful; we had gone overboard to make it special, with a Christmas tree on the balcony as well as in the house. After dinner we all opened a present and my present from Rich was the most beautiful watch, but the most beautiful thing for me were the tears in Rich’s eyes when I opened it. I knew he was so sorry and that in itself meant more than the gift.
It was important to us that we could make it special for many reasons but not least because at one point in the year we had both thought that we would never celebrate Christmas together in our beautiful house again.
Like I said it is the small things that are important.
Things like this are all steps that you take to make things something new, a ‘new normal’ It is important to note though that they are contributory steps, every step contributes to the future that you will have; but I do know that if Rich had not been working with me, and taking those steps with me, then I would have been taking them on my own.