Flying away to happiness.

Life has thrown a lot at me recently. I know that it’s me healing, and I am beginning to realise that there’s a lot of healing I hadn’t done. I’d thrown it aside, left it somewhere, buried it deep inside and pretended I didn’t need any of the feelings that went with it.

 

Being with the Dutchman is a rollercoaster ride. It’s just incredible. I am still having a lot of fun, still enjoying every second, but it’s also teaching me a lot about myself.

The other parts of me, 14, 15 and 19, are as much in love as I am. He gives us all strength to try out new things, to discover what we have been missing for so long.

None of us believed it was possible to fall in love this deeply and still retain your autonomy, but here we all are. We feel free, able to do things we never thought possible. For instance, we flew out to see him at the end of November, and had four wonderful days with him. We learned that we have all been lied to more times than we realised, and now it’s quite clear that we will not be lied to again.

 

Fourteen was taught that saying no doesn’t work, so we learned not to say it. Fifteen was taught that sex and nakedness lead to hurt and pain, so she learned to pretend that everything was ok and lock all the hurt away. Nineteen learned that showing pain lead to more hurt, so she acted like she was enjoying herself when she was really so dissociated that she wasn’t really there.

 

As for me? I’m over these hurts, past a lot of these pains, but they aren’t. They want to be, however. The Dutchman is helping us all get there- we each tell him something that we want, or that we can’t handle right now, and he helps us. For example, fifteen is intensely nervous about talking her clothes off. She wants to, but gets very scared. The Dutchman has helped already with that- he said she should only do whatever she feels comfortable with.

Consent is the biggest rule here for us all, and he shares that. He wants us to grow and not stay stuck, which is scary- we want to as well, but of course, that involves us stepping outside of our comfort zones. That’s the scary part. I feel their emotions, so I’m often thrown into turmoil as they are. They work themselves into knots wishing to be more normal, more like me. I’ve told them I had a lot of practice with J, but they’re impatient to get past the awkwardness and learn how to feel without feeling guilty.

We are all excited today. Today, we fly to see him again, and all of us are bursting with happiness- not only do we see him, but tomorrow, we all get on a plane to head to Las Vegas!

The reason behind this is because the Dutchman had booked to go a while back, after having had an amazing trip there the year before. We were just going to let him go alone there again, whilst feeling anxious… But, he saw our anxiety and offered for us to go with him.

Well, I had saved a lot of money for a relationship that had sadly become a friendship, and now there was a lovely man with me asking me please, could I go with him on the trip of a lifetime? The same lovely man that flew out for Christmas and New Year, who gets on well with my family and the insiders, who sees us for what we really are and loves us all.

I had to say yes!

 

I suspect that a lot of healing will continue to happen as the week goes on. I know that dates will happen, that incredible experiences will be had and good people will be met. This has happened every time we have got together. I personally remember this same scaredness from when I started seeing J: I was worried I would tar him with the same brush as my ex, I was frightened of how much I felt. I keep reassuring the younger ones that it’s part of healing. We have read it in so many blogs, that same feeling. Nineteen’s- she does it to look out for us.

The thing is, this trip will definitely prove it to at least one of the younger ones that we are in a moving relationship, something that travels as fast as we all do. It’s going to help us. I feel like all of us finally have someone who understands us completely, someone who’s not afraid to embrace all of us. Someone who will stop any sex if one of us but says a word and just cuddle instead. Someone who has stopped panic attacks, someone who has held us when we cried, stayed on the phone for countless hours talking and having fun.

This is right. This is what we have all wanted.

We all just need to believe, and trust me, we’re getting there at light speed.

A torch in the dark.

Same airport, same system… Different person.

I wait here for things to start, for my flight to leave. I have done this excited waiting before… Only there was always a sense of mild insecurity. Don’t hold your breath. You only have three weeks then there’s another four months or so of holding on and wishing and hoping time would move a bit faster.

This is totally different.

My heart is pounding but instead of a nine hour flight, I have a brief hour in the air to contend with. Instead of endless security and unfounded suspicion, I was in and out of security so fast I had no time to panic. I’m sitting with a drink of hot green tea, having just eaten a panini, and I’m calm and relaxed but at the same time my blood is on fire. I am keen to wrap myself in am embrace that I know will be back my way faster than I can miss it, an embrace I had no idea that I had been missing until I tumbled into it.

I will never forget anything J did for me. He is a good person. He will always be so… But I think he needs an American girl, a nearby lover who can be relaxed as he is. As I have healed, what I’ve needed has reared its head again and demanded to know why I’m not acknowledging it.

I know that I kept wondering what the future held for me, and worrying that I would be left almost alone in a huge continent with a greatly reduced social circle. I wanted to believe that I would do the same as my cousin, who has done it and forged friendships and relationships out there which are flourishing. In time, I might have… But I would never have really known.

Love has had other, more dramatic plans. A kiss in the dark, sealed by the words, “Are you sure?” A long-held spark kindled into a roaring blaze, a fire tornado razing everything to the ground and bringing creation instead of destruction when it had passed. Shoots of life curled into being, tangled into my unresisting, lonely, cold heart. Lonely after a week of heartbreak and a year of separation.

Shadows are security now, and I’ve never thought life so full of promise. The weather may be horrendous, storms blowing, but my heart and soul are blazing warm still.

I’m a burning torch in the dark.

The right thing.

The universe keeps dropping hints in my lap.

After saying what had happened, there has been an outpouring of love. I could so easily have been judged for what happened. I felt tortured by guilt at the start of it all. I called myself all the names the voices once called me…

Until I realised something.

R has been instrumental in helping me make my choice. She let me know that I wasn’t a bad person, that this was not my fault. You can’t choose who and when you fall in love. She told me that sometimes, love crashes into your life and you can’t stop it.

Sometimes, she said, your love morphs into friendship and you don’t see it happening. She said the distance could affect how I felt only a little, and that maybe taking a risk would be a good thing to do if it felt right.

What she said about friendship rang a bell. I’d always been a good friend to J, but it felt different with the Dutchman. There was that spark I’d been craving, the feeling of vlinders and stardust. I didn’t know why it was there. I wanted to deny it. I wanted to stop it from happening. I didn’t want to be “that girl”, the one who ran away to someone else on a whim…

Only, it just didn’t feel like a whim. It felt like something much more solid than a whim. Especially when the whim in question talked non-stop to me and sent pictures of lights and dogs, and looked forward to seeing me again…

A whole year of waiting had pulled my heartstrings to breaking. The time really had come to accept that what was in front of me was the right thing.

There was a crackle of static and I knew, with a pair of lips inches from mine, that I had fallen hard and fast and there was no denying this any longer.

Best about this?

The younger ones have actually talked to him. They love him too.

 

Update on life- not bad, just J-less.

So it turns out that I’m doing ok. Ok despite J being in America, so far from me, despite me having to leave him earlier than both of us had wanted in the main hall- international and domestic flights don’t depart from the same place. I struggled through my first day or two with tears blotting every word I read, and an ache so strong in my throat and heart it physically hurt to breathe.

Then the difficulty of a doctor’s appointment to talk about scan results. I have cysts- benign, but they may come and go with my cycle. Said cycle which has been completely screwed with because every pill I’ve been on so far has made me bleed nearly constantly… The doctor was so lovely to me. He helped me understand that I was safe and not in danger of dying, that the cysts were probably causing me pain, but hopefully a new pill would stop it. He’s also sent my blood off for hormonal screening (I might have issues with them, sigh), and has recommended that I get a smear test done. I’ve been expecting that, to be honest. I think I’ll be able to do it, as long as it’s either my usual, female doctor, or the lovely nurse I had last time I had a pill check.

I’m trying to find a gym to join and I’m working an hour a day on my massage course stuff. I feel pretty pleased that I’m managing so well. My best friend had her second hen do this weekend- it was so so good to catch up with her!!!

All in all, life isn’t bad. But as long as J is not in my bed each night, as long as I don’t feel him breathe beside me, as long as I can’t kiss him, grab his hand or share a joke with him… It’s not amazing.

Still, I can fix that.

Home again, emotional flashbacks, and holiday withdrawal.

Oh GOD I miss J. Seriously, like a hole inside. If not for my puppy I’d be a lot worse than I am right now- I’d be a crying wreck! He’s so calm and logical- after my last post, I went outside to the pool where J and my mum were. J was already in the pool, cooling off, and mum was enjoying a nice beer.

I had a panic attack trying to get in through the door where my dad had installed a very loud alarm- my brain entered that flight state and I started shaking and crying immediately. All that rage and terror came out in tears, but mum and J were there being awesome immediately. Mum came over took me away from the doors and hugged me til I felt better. J was there, shocked, but calm enough to tell me everything was ok, baby, and to put on my bikini and come in the pool with him to relax. Mum agreed, so I did. It worked. Tears faded, shaking stopped, and within FIFTEEN MINUTES (gotta be a new record there!) I was completely fine again, calm, and making jokes with the family and cuddling J in the cool water.

J can spot my mania immediately, and it’s impressive. Bradley has given me a great tip to manage it now I’m home again (boo, being home is not as nice as being out there with J and my family) and I’m going to start it tomorrow. I’ll set alarms on my phone that will remind me to check in with myself, and to stay calm.

So far, I’ve had a tough ride already. I’m aware that I drank too much whilst I was on holiday, so alcohol consumption has gone down a lot. Tonight, I had a cup of tea (fruit tea, orange smoothie tea!) and a glass of water as my beverages of choice. I’m doing this because when I’m manic, as I suspect I’m heading that way now, I do have poor impulse control and drink is usually the first sign of it. I’ve already had some very depressed moments, but that’s not the bipolar speaking.

That’s something else.

I’m in the midst of a bastard of an emotional flashback right now. For the past few days, I’ve felt unreal and dissociated, and horribly depressed, but the depression waned in the evening. Today it got so bad that I began acting unlike myself- snappy, withdrawn, moody, and exhausted. I even yelled at the puppy- at this point, I’m glad she’s deaf! A long sleep this afternoon fixed a lot of that, and I emerged with a better take on the world. I still didn’t understand why I was feeling like shit, but I was ready to give my day another try.

Dancing was fun and went well, and when I got home, I went upstairs to get changed. Pulling my favourite pyjama/lounge type pants on, something in my head suddenly shifted into place and I got it.

I understood that when I was with my ex, I was used as a fix. Because he was jealous of my family spending an unadulterated two weeks with me, I was often subject to derision and scorn when I got home. He’d cold shoulder me, blank me, and finally fix up a meeting with him sometime or place that was impossible for me. I’d inevitably cancel, he’d throw a fit, and then break up with me. I’d be alone, blaming myself and hating myself for nearly two months, and then he’d need his fix again. He’d pretend to relent, he’d tell me he ‘forgave me’ (er, bullshit sir, I believe you finished with me for no good reason) and we’d be back in the honeymoon phase again. Lovely.

So naturally my poor beleaguered brain still think I’m in for some horrible punishment for having fun. I’m reacting like a beaten puppy and I’m shaking in anticipation of a blow that will never fall.

J’s already been on Skype, commending me for my smarts in realising this. I’m pretty chuffed too… BUT GOD I miss him!!! He knows that, of course.

Another remarkable milestone I’ve achieved whilst away is that I’m better able to do real couple things now. I hold hands with J a lot, I’ll go for a cuddle when I fancy one, and, best of all- I was so tired one night I felt drunk, and slipping off into sleep I told J twice that I loved him. He said it back, and I heard the tenderness in his voice alongside the amused chuckle at how sleepy I was. When I asked him about it the next morning, he said I had indeed said I loved him twice and he hoped I remembered that he said it back to me.

Of course I had.

Stuff will be hard now I’m home. I’m trying to take more responsibilities this year, and I’m hoping I don’t overload myself- apparently, therapy this week with Dr K will be the start of lots of tough things for me. I am very aware there are still big issues I need to face. For instance, whilst I was in America, I had night after night of nightmares and J had to hold me to calm me down one night after I told him I was frightened to sleep. Hopefully, I will get these discussed with Dr K and she will help me become less afraid.

There are bonuses, though. I’m taking on more work so I can fund myself to get to America to see J quicker (I hope), I’m finally meeting a good friend I’ve talked to for a long while, I have a snoring puppy next to me and I’m planning dance numbers for a show. There are definite goals to achieve.

Fingers crossed that this year is the year that I get stuff solved, and not another year where I wrestle incessantly with the contents of my own head.

Exhaustion

Today, I am tired. Today, I feel uneasy and lost. I feel like I’m floating in that fog, dazed and confused, and what little light there is throws up distorted reflections of my own shadow.

I’m really missing my American, too. I want an embrace from him. I wish I could be next to him, but there’s miles and miles separating us, so I have to be alone. I feel on days like this that I overestimated how long my good mood of the previous day or two would last, and now I’m limping on with just a flagging sense of willpower left.

Maybe I should try talking. Maybe I should go and do something. Maybe I should stop thinking about me and start being less selfish. Oh, that was sneaky- thanks for that, dark passenger.

I don’t think I should. I’m always complaining about the inner contents of my head. The people around me are definitely starting to get impatient. I’m supposed to be better by now, so maybe I should stop pitying myself and get the fuck on with killing myself.

Again, thanks for that, dark passenger. You really know how to make a girl feel special.

Maybe I will always have this in my head. If so, and I find out that is the case after the 9th, what is left for those who know me but more pain?

I’m really stuck today. I knew my weekend was a brief island. Back to the storm of everyday life.

I want dawn to break, or to drown if that’s not possible. Just stop throwing me ropes that break, life, please.

It’s more than a little cruel.

the next installment…

I’m wondering whether to do this chronologically or not. I know that whoever reads this will be confused if I just jump in, but on the other hand I want to document how I feel as I feel it.

I think for today I’ll just explain how I got here.

Basically, there are no basics. At fourteen, I had my first crash. I’d always been the sort of kid that was either on the ceiling or on the floor, but I was an idiot and went out with someone who already had a girlfriend, and he proposed to her. Of course, we’re friends now and that is behind us, and he never even married her. The problem was me.

I should have know, really, that he was after friends with benefits, and not a relationship with me. But he just was so charismatic and so kind, I didn’t want to believe my logical head. So we dallied about with each other for about 18 months, after which I told him I loved him.

He had no idea.

So I had my first crash. The pain was just horrific. I cried every day, resigned myself to loneliness, and got into two unsuitable relationships. Typical teenage ills, I know, but I do not deal with things in a typical manner. I over-react, badly. So I set a pattern. I started wondering what was left, and I got ‘clumsy’. Burning myself on radiators and scorching myself on the Bunsen burner at school began to not be enough. I heal quickly, and that’s how it started.

Scissors were my first weapon in a war against myself. As pressure mounted, my school changed its Headmistress and GCSEs became a living nightmare, those scissors were my only true friend. I had two major ballet exams to pass as well, and outside practice on Sundays for two and a half hours. The burns were nothing compared to the clean agony of the scissors, and after it was done, I’d cry in shame at myself and I’d hide the marks under my clothes- my calves first bore the brunt because of dancing. No typical wrist slicing for me.

I started fainting at school and at home- I’d get home and pass out in the hall for about half an hour. I nearly fell down the stairs because of it, and as my friends were helping me to the nurse, a teacher I respected was coming down the stairs. She saw through my tights the cuts on my legs, and I held my breath.

“What happened?” she said.

I made it up so quickly it must have been obvious I was lying. “I fell on some gravel.”

“Oh, ok,” she said, and walked away with one more backwards glance.

True, I wanted to hide them. But to tell at least one person who wouldn’t tell my parents, but had the life experience to be able to help me… that was a betrayal. I might not still cut if it had been stopped then, maybe.

I left school at sixteen and went to a ballet school, where there were no more academic exams and I was sure everything would be ok again. I met a new boyfriend, whilst trying to forget I’d fallen in love with my best girl friend, and summer wasn’t bad that year- it was fun. I thought I was fixed.

I thought wrong.