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

Archive for October, 2010

Grateful for my Blog!

Yeah Blog. You’ve been a good mate when I thought I had no one. And here I’ve been able to speak on matters closest to my heart. Air my grievances (though I deleted three posts recently because I was concerned they went too far).

And today we had the mediation meeting and Praise the Lord. Or Stephen W. It went well folks. It was never going to accomplish everything I might have liked. But in the space of a mere forty-five minutes, unbelievably, we had something approaching peace.

A truce. I’ve been at war with Equals for the best part of a year. And I quite honestly and truthfully say, it nearly killed me. Don’t try and bully a bully folks. I only tried to take on an organisation of four people two of whom were a close friend and my partner!!!

And they took me at my word and believed themselves to be the victims! I must be more persuasive with my pen than I could ever have imagined.

I felt a bit sad after the meeting. Just the regret that we had not put things straight eight months ago. I’ve suffered horribly. No one gained. Bullying just isn’t cost-effective or energy-effective. It’s completely counter-productive and it destroys relationships.

But in God’s world, they tell me, everything happens for a reason. And I have started down a new path. Changed. Learned. Grown.

And I guess I didn’t know my own strength. If an organisation of four people think you’re a massive threat to their survival…little me, a humble service user and volunteer! Well, I guess I could take it as a crazy sort of compliment?

And I’m waiting on my Mum’s arrival now. Looking forward to seeing her, in a good space mentally, and in a mood to take her out for a lavish Indian veggie meal to celebrate.

I now know a lot more about bullying than I did before. ‘Bully In Sight’, by Tim Field. Forewarned is forearmed.

Wonderful Polar Bear workshop with A this morning. She is beautiful, creative and gifted, and she wants to take photos of me looking beautiful. And I’m SO looking forward to that.

So no, I’m not gonna check out of existence just yet folks. Let’s see what’s around the next corner first.

I’m ha-ha-happy!

For the first time in one helluva long time.

C’mon Mum. Where are you?

Lotsa love and big hugs (throw in some kisses too if you like) Zoe xxx


Life After Bullying

Hi Peeps.

Today I attended two Twelve Step Meetings of Sex and Love Addiction.

The name of this fellowship can be somewhat misleading. Many members are actually ‘anorexic’, but around sex and love. This means they are avoidant socially, sexually or emotionally or all three. And this is me. To a Tee.

So it is not a prurient ‘sharing’ of sexy and titillating secrets. More often it is people honestly struggling with loneliness and connection and our inadequate coping strategies around these issues.

I wasn’t sure at first if it was for me, but I am becoming more so. Today for the first time I ‘shared’ honestly, confidently and without undue anxiety. And that felt good. I realised I do not have two heads and that I am not the only one there feeling ‘less than’ in some way or other. I’m grateful for that.

Very much on my mind is the impending mediation meeting I have arranged with N of the Equals team, and R. It is tomorrow at 2.30. Please pray for a good outcome, because I know I will be.

Because of my anxiety I have been smoking even more heavily than before. And that, together with the bullying and abuse I have been enduring, has got to stop.

And my responsibility lies here. That I continued for way too long in a relationship that was intermittently abusive. That I settled for ‘crumbs’ of intimacy from an uncommitted and unavailable partner. That I knew there were problems in my close friendship with A, too, but chose to ignore them and be over-responsible for our difficulties.

These are all signs of a Sex and Love Anorexic in full flow!

And the good news is, that I can recover and maybe even look forward to forming healthier attachments, given time, work and meetings.

Serenity Prayer. God. Grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I cannot change. Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.

I am surrounded by unrecovered Codependents and Sex and Love Addicts who have no insight into themselves. I am just starting out, but I do have that going for me. I know I have a problem.

Till recently I really was in despair. But my Higher Power is working in my life, in the shape of the people in the Fellowships and at the Alpha Course, and Connections Coaching, who have made it clear to me that there IS life after bullying, and abusive relationships. People who value me and enjoy hearing what I have to say. And I return the compliment.

Oh, and even better. I am due to see my fourteen year old son on Saturday. I have not seen him since April because I was basically ill all summer. I just can’t wait.

Take care folks! Lots love, Zoe x

St Ann’s has Trees!

Hi folks. Yeah, and not just any old trees either! Some rare and wonderful specimens, planted by a gardener from Kew no less.

St Ann’s trees bear a lot of fruit…sorbs, haws, mulberries, apples, strawberry fruit, to name the few that I can actually remember. Much of it edible or able to be made into a scrummy alcoholic drink!

And I am now a member of the Tree Team…which welcomes new members, with any contribution they are willing or able to make.

Whether you are a closet tree nerd, foraging fanatic, a greedy ignoramus like me who wants to eat fruit and make cake, jam etc, or a paid-up member of the human race, very few of whom have anything much to say against trees except ‘where would we all be without them?’ we want you to be a part of this!


The Healing Begins

A few better days…

Yesterday was great. CODA meeting in the morning and lunch with the girls in Camden. Followed by Poetry Workshop in Swiss Cottage. Which I love, and now feel very much a part of, though I have only been going a few weeks…we wrote Haiku for our writing exercise and I found it a surprisingly easy and accessible form. I’ve always had minimalist leanings!

As a result of two CODA members I found out that Eckhart Tolle was due to speak at the Central Methodist Hall in Westminster that very evening. One of them gave me the box office number and I found that there were still seats available.

Reader, I went to hear Eckhart Tolle! It was amazing. He emanates wisdom and personifies what he writes about. Presence. This guy is the genuine article. I’m looking forward to reading his other books: so far have only read The Power of Now.

There have been other developments. I contacted one of the directors of the Equals firm, once again requesting a mediated meeting, and this time she agreed. Not entirely sure to what I can attribute this change of heart, if that is what it is. It may be because I mentioned I was seriously contemplating suicide.

That revelation triggered another of R’s habitual rage attacks. But it’s doubtful whether even the prospect of my imminent self-destruction would be enough to persuade him to consider his own conduct as a possible causal factor. That’s what I meant by evil. My father frequently used to use the expression ‘miserable as sin’, and evil certainly can have a pathos and inevitability to it.

I felt the tide was turning in my favour. But ultimately, that is about my healing which can’t depend on the outcome of any meeting, or on any other person’s stuff at all. I now recognise that I am better off without a heavy emotional investment in two people who have shown themselves to be bullies, cowards, liars, hypocrites and traitors. And duh, readers! You’re probably thinking ‘about time, Zoe!’

Today was good too. Saw my good friend K for a lengthy catch-up session over coffee, then J for an afternoon tea with delicious Mauritian snacks. After months when I had to force myself to eat I’m now loving my food again.

And yeah, I’m getting to the point where I can at least envisage a time when once again, ‘I know what I’m here for’….

Tons of love…Zoe xxx



You’ve got to say, it is. By any standards.

For the sake of a work project I was effectively ditched by my close friend and my partner.

What does that say about me?

I guess, as I said before, that I invested my love unwisely and too well.

Though depression will always want to add in ‘because you just aren’t very likeable Zoe!’

I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. That’s before I even get to the ongoing problems of my son in foster care.

Insane, insane, insane. What the bleeding hell have I got to be happy about? The other day I got a stage further, anger set in and I wanted to seek the final exit. Which I did. Online.

Some people folks, are so afraid of being wrong or being seen to be wrong, that they will stop at nothing, even sacrificing loved ones in order to protect their fragile self-esteem.

There’s a word for this. M Scott Peck wrote a book about it called ‘People of the Lie’. It’s called evil.

And I find it sad that I loved two people so deeply who turned out to be capable of this.

And whether I can recover my equilibrium and start to live again remains to be seen. Time is a healer but the wound goes very deep.

Me, I’m sometimes mad. Often very vulnerable indeed. Have low self-esteem, I plead guilty guilty guilty, but I don’t think I am capable of true evil.

I hope not folks. Lots love, Zoe xxx


Dreaming etc

Listened to an audio by the Silva Learning System all about remembering and interpreting our dreams. Apparently in my evening meditation I need to affirm in an authoritative manner that ‘I will remember my dream’. And keep that intention in mind throughout the day too. And have a notebook to hand. Because at the moment I would estimate that I only remember my dreams about one in ten nights and that not in a very complete state either.

Meds, caffeine and nicotine can all affect our ability to dream and remember dreams. I tick all three boxes.

Attended two meetings today, wrote my Morning Pages, and felt a bit more of a sense of Higher Power working in my life.

‘I am powerless over others…and my life has become unmanageable’. I need to take this first step in Codependents Anonymous.

I’ve been terribly arrogant at times. Then bounced into feeling frozen in shame. The key to sanity is the Middle Ground, avoiding every extreme as well as all black and white thinking. But that’s more Fourth Step territory…where I get to take my inventory.

Working the Steps with a mental illness makes everything slightly complicated. Then again, arguably addiction (eg alcoholism) is a mental illness in itself.

It’s about teasing apart the difference between being ‘to blame’ and ‘at fault’, and being responsible. It seems to me responsibility is something I must take, for my own well being and sanity. But I should not beat up on myself for stuff that was beyond my control.

Lots love, Z x

Dark Days of Autumn

Mood slipped a few notches today. Guess I’m crawling out of an unprecedentedly deep dark hole this time around. Healing is slow. But I have some sort of routine and structure in place now and am functioning more normally (for me).

Also I undoubtedly have some good and exciting things in my life. Several community projects needing my input. Alpha. The Fellowships (SLAA, CODA, DRA). Writing workshop and my daily ‘morning pages’ which sometimes leads to spurts of creativity.

But I have to acknowledge that I’m also feeling very sad indeed. I know my son is going through a difficult time and there’s no way that it won’t affect me, but I have to detach in a healthy way. I am of no use to him if I collapse.

Peace. x