When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for August, 2008

Exploring the depths.

Hi peeps. I still don’t feel inspired to write. I plummeted right down over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend. Most of it was OK, but by the Monday I was so down, tried to be sociable and met friends for lunch but it just didn’t do a thing for my mood except possibly to make it worse.

My moods are not usually that stubborn. ‘Stuff’ has really got to me lately. Beginning with the psychotic breakdown in April. And now the break-up of my long-term relationship: the two not wholly unconnected. I’m getting older. Cumulative losses are breaking my back.

Weather has been crap to boot. What happened to the summer?

Reflection on ‘relationships and me’. No wonder I hold back from falling in love, from being vulnerable in a relationship with someone I really like. I’m devastated and distraught over the loss of someone who was very very far from ideal, and who at best was only partly committed and partly there.

My fear of people continues apace. At the same time I am desperately lonely. My self esteem is about as low as it gets, not for the first time. 

Ex called last night. It was a relief to have a civilised conversation with him. I had thought he was angry and bitter but he said no. He said he could accept that it just wasn’t working. I said I hoped we could be friends but it might take time. The difficulty I am having is that I don’t know if I can really let go. Let go of the intimacy, trust that it does not mean I will be cast into the void forever. Abandonment.

‘Mind’ is telling me I am a pariah. That I should ring a bell to announce my arrival so that no-one else need risk contamination.

I told you my self-esteem was low. The psychotic episode hit me so very hard. I had dared to hope. All of that seemed to come crashing down. Can I believe in myself, with or without episodes of madness?

At the end of it all this is depression. Just surprised I am still so down. Am I still ill? Yes, it would appear so.

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Life goes on.

Hello all. I haven’t been inspired to blog much lately, but feel like I should give you an update. Actually things are pretty good. The new kitten has changed the dynamic chez Zoe. Older cat is more affectionate as she now has competition. And the two of them give me hours of harmless fun…kitten has discovered a one-sided form of what used to be known at my primary school as British Bulldog. While older cat sits sedately (and disapprovingly, like a maiden aunt) on the terrace, kitten streaks up the full length of the garden, past her and into the house. This morning he actually leapt clean over her as she ate her food. If he tries to go past her at a normal pace, she invariably hisses, spits or otherwise tries to bully him.

On the whole they both seem to take the aggro pretty much in their stride. I have to do my bit by making sure I am always around when the two of them are together. And, for instance, shutting the kitten in the lounge at night so that older cat can sleep on my bed, come and go as she pleases, and otherwise continue to enjoy the privileges of seniority undisturbed. What I don’t want is for her to feel her quality of life has decreased as a result of kitten’s presence. In other words, I have to play diplomat and peacemaker.

Having two cats makes the house feel oddly more like a home. When it was just me and older cat, we were often like ships passing in the night. Two independent middle-aged ladies. Aargh what am I saying. Well, forty-six ain’t young, but middle-aged these days seems to be about sixty.

Anyway, I am happy with my little black and white boy.

Tomorrow evening I am going to Moscow State Circus with a friend who has free tickets. It is literally about a five-minute walk from my house, in Alexandra Park. It’s funny to think of all the Russian circus folk living in their caravans and tents a stone’s throw away.

Have made a couple of social arrangements for the bank holiday weekend. I know from experience that if I don’t bank holidays can be a difficult time.

Last weekend I was down at my Mum’s for the day, seeing my brother and nephew. That was pleasant and civilised enough. And amazingly I didn’t even find myself feeling uncomfortably envious of or inferior to my brother. On the contrary. For once I actually started to notice his flaws.

Been reading my son’s school report, which I finally received. Nothing too terrible on there. Behaviour still a challenge. Still ‘could do a lot better’ if he focused more and sought attention less. ‘An intelligent boy’. The P.E. teacher was probably the most glowing. He commented that J needs to be more sensitive to those who know their own weaknesses well enough. Hmm, I have told him that myself. He can be master of the cutting comment, though I would not say he is deliberately cruel, more thoughtless. He also said that J has a good understanding of strategy and tactics in games…absolutely right. The boy loves to win, he always has, and he uses his mind to figure out how to do it. Another teacher said he was lively and likeable, and another that he had made many friends both within and outside his year. All good news.

Am currently engaged in the Databases module of the European Computer Driving Licence. That and Spreadsheets are the most yawn-inducing of all the modules and I’ve got one after the other. But at least I’m doing it. Am also back at Work Directions, the government service to help disabled people get back into work. After my last meeting with an adviser I undertook to find five vacancies I liked the look of, and also to think of ten qualities I look for in a job. It did me good to see him, because he was quite impressed by my CV and gave me a more optimistic perspective on my work prospects than I have had of late.

And finally, I am making progress with my CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) although sadly, the therapist, who I have only just learned to appreciate, is leaving in two weeks. I have asked to go to the top of the list for another therapist, so that I can keep up the momentum.

Have not seen much of the ex. I think we both need time. Let feelings cool off. I am discovering that the single life is nothing to fear and dread. This way I have more time and incentive to try new activities, which bring me into contact with new people, and also have time to build on the friendships I already have.

I hope I haven’t bored you all senseless. It’s my life! And it’s really not too bad. Lots of love…Zoe.

Kittenfest

OK here goes…all say ‘Aw’!

Classic kitten pose…Admit it! I’m cute!My Mum bought me this from Argos…

Sorry if I just forced you to overdose on cute.

Naturally, Merlin has already learned to type and if he were left to his own devices, this blog would probably read zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzxxxxxxxwwwww and other literary pearls.

Take care all!

Thank you Mum, sob, sob!

I was delighted to find that The Chuckle had nominated me for this award so here it is, in all its glory. Here, also are ‘the rules’. I’m afraid though that I will have to give this a bit more thought, so let me get back to you on my nominees at a slightly later date.

1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.

2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.

3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.

4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the“Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Please post these rules.

A quick update? Kitty (now named Merlin) has discovered the great game of hiding underneath the piles of cushions on the sofa, as we speak. He is fantastic fun, and an exemplary kitten in every way. Photos on the way!

I saw my son on Saturday. He is in long-term foster care, because I could not, in the end, cope as a single mother. Seeing him once every two months for ‘contact’ is a privilege I am thankful for but it is also terribly emotional. I had been worried that I was just too depressed to deal with it, but in the end we had a great time together, just the two of us. He was on great form, he was absolutely charming, engaging and great company from start to finish.

He gave me a really long tight hug when we said goodbye. I was beginning to cry but managed to get away before I really broke down.

Part of why I was so sad was that I had been expecting to see him again at the Looked After Child Review meeting next Monday. But apparently it is going to be held at his foster home, to which I am not allowed to come. I already missed the last one, in April, because I didn’t have the date written in my diary and no-one thought to remind me or mention it to me. It just really hurts that I am, as it were, ‘out of the loop’ in this way.

I tried to get the Reviewing Officer to change her mind today but she wasn’t having any. My son’s social worker is at fault, for not making the position clear to me when I saw him a few weeks ago. My son gets on very well with Robert, he is a genuinely nice guy. Maybe too nice to be a Children and Families social worker. As part of the job you have to do a lot of stuff that just isn’t nice, no matter what spin you put on it. I think he finds it hard to say the tough things that have to be said.

So yeah, I’ve been gutted today, but I was gutted at work and managed to do a fair bit of revision for my Learn Direct test tomorrow ( on Powerpoint Presentations). Then after I had my dinner and some kitten therapy I had an hour-long chat on the phone to my friend which did lift my mood.

Oh peeps. That’s all I can tell you for now. Sorrow looms very large in my life right now and I am often only just holding back the tide of grief enough to keep functioning.

But I am delighted to have readers, stats and comments! Very pleased with the move to WordPress…after months in the Blogger wilderness! And you are all so great. Take care all, and I will try and make my nominations for my Fab Five soon!

http://lifeofchuckles.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/awinnarisme1.jpg

Kitten therapy

Hey folks! Rather sooner than I was expecting I have become the happy owner of a three month old black and white boy kitten.

As far as I knew I was going to ‘view’ him, at Beaumont Animal Hospital in Camden. If it was a yes the RSPCA lady told me to phone her and she would deliver him to my house.

But once we had been introduced the Veterinary Nurse was quite happy for me to take him away there and then. They even supplied me with a free carrying basket!

Of course it makes sense…There are always fewer good, loving homes than there are cats that need them and I guess they wanted to ‘strike while the iron was hot’.

Even the amount of my donation was left up to me, so I gave them half of the ‘minimum’ specified on their info sheet…fifty pounds. Well, I’m on benefits and as it is Kitty Junior will be costing me a fair bit in food, vets bills etc.

Plus I had to get a cab home with Kitty, as I didn’t want to subject us both to the trauma of a bus ride! As it was he mewed most of the way home.

And when we got back I put him in the lounge, put hard and soft food out, and a water bowl, found the old cat litter and a tray to put it in, made a makeshift ‘bed’ for him out of a cardboard box which he has ignored so far, and found a few toys.

And at first he leapt all over the place, full of fun and curiosity. He’s such a character! When I left him to go eat dinner and mow the lawn he had clearly been busy as he had knocked down my Buddhist shrine (little iconoclast!) and was fast asleep in the tiniest, darkest and safest corner he could find. Bless!

Ah well. I promise not to let this blog turn into ‘Pet’s Corner’. I have never been impulsive about animals because I have a big sense of responsibility about them, but just lately I have been more and more irresistibly drawn to the idea of a kitten.

Part of it is as simple as this: I am a sad and lonely woman! What can I say? I have a need for comfort and companionship coupled with a definite difficulty in reaching out to (human) others. Also, I want and need to nurture something. My nest is prematurely empty…apart from my female cat, Amber, who is twelve and quite independent.

Anyway, only time will tell if it all works out…much depends on Amber accepting her new housemate. For the time being I keep them apart, and let them sniff each others’ presence before they have to actually meet and get accustomed.

OK let’s try an emoticon 🙂 Take care all and thanks for reading…

Sad beyond words

Hi. I’ve had a rough week emotionally. Have been frankly weepy at times…This morning I was doing my computer course at Learn Direct and a memory suddenly surfaced a propos of ? and the tears just started to well up. I am in the full flood of grief. Grief for my lost life, for my child who could not live with me, for the warm, close and nurturing family that I (and therefore he) never had.

All, I suppose, triggered by this latest ‘loss’ of my sanity and consequent loss of the hope that I had of staying well. Oh, and the loss of my relationship, because I have kind of given up on it. And the depression is telling me I do not deserve another one.

And if that all comes across as reasonably self-pitying I can only nod, agree and apologise.

But having got that off my chest I’ve spent two days at work and staying busy and productive definitely helps. Also I have decided to adopt a kitten from the RSPCA, and the lady came round to my house last night to check me and my premises out as suitable. Apparently I will be put in touch with the foster carer of the kitten that needs a home and will go round and see it. They are ‘knee-deep’ in kittens at this time of year, she told me.

Also my friend came back from holiday. I had really missed her, and we went for lunch and then to our local outdoor ‘lido’. I did enjoy that.

And I am calling this post ‘Sad beyond words’ because what I can say here really is the tip of the iceberg. Somehow no words can properly express the feelings and in any case, I don’t want this blog to be one big introspectathon. The truth is I am hurting too much to make a lot of sense, too withdrawn to think beyond surviving this right now.