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

Archive for October, 2012

Picking up the Bits

Inevitably, I feel crap about what M did to me, what I allowed him to do to me…how badly I was taken in. I have to accept that, and forgive myself for my self-destructive choices.

I even found my Playstation 2 (which I used as a DVD player) was missing. Sold for drugs no doubt, and when I challenged him on it (by text), he of course denied, but sounded as guilty as hell. The other thing I’m a bit gutted about is my bathroom, which I allowed him to paint. He did a slapdash job, and splattered paint over everything. He did the job of a certifiable madman. Why on earth did he offer to do it, and why did I accede? Everytime I go in there it’s a painful reminder. I want to get the whole thing redone so I don’t have to see what he did…the visible symbol of how he f****d me over.

The annoying thing is, I had the chance to get my whole bathroom redone back in 2010, and like an idiot, I refused because I was attached to my bathroom as it was. I’m going to approach the council again and see if they will do it now, but I think I might have missed the boat. They might let me have a new loo though.

We council tenants are a bit spoilt. When repairs need doing the workmen come running. I can hardly believe how easy it is, though I probably shouldn’t be saying that.

I want to remove all visible trace of M from my house. My default setting right now is that I hate and despise him from the bottom of my heart, though in time indifference is bound to take over. Hate is too close to love. I’m not going to carry that burden with me. He doesn’t deserve my hatred.

I’ve got theatre group today and have packed my stuff ready to go and visit my Mum after I finish there. I simply can’t bear the thought of another lonely Sunday. God how I hate Sundays. With a partner, they can be a pleasure. On my own, they’re a trial. Loneliness looms large for me at the moment. Even seeing friends doesn’t always alleviate it. Living on your own with a serious mental illness can really suck.

I’m sorry to be so moany, dear reader. I’ll get my mojo back eventually. I always do. Onward and upward.

Love x


Personalisation and All That

Hi folks. How are we all doing?

I woke up this morning feeling down. Last night’s wobbler had taken its toll of my mood. I had written back to a guy who wanted to meet me and disclosed my bipolar illness. I gave him the address of this blog. There was no further communication from him. Another one bites the dust?!!

Well you might say, why did I disclose and possibly deprive myself of a nice, friendly meeting over coffee? The answer is this. I panicked at the thought of meeting someone who didn’t know, and would ask questions, and maybe create awkwardness, and I would feel like a liar and a fraud for leading him to think I was  perfectly normal etc. I am no liar. I am no dissembler. I’m an honest person. At some point in the conversation the subject would come up. I would have to explain why I haven’t worked for a living since the year dot. Why I am not currently doing anything of much at all, except attending my various support groups. I couldn’t face it all dear reader.

It would be interesting to include in my ‘profile’ on the dating site my bipolar credentials, and just see how many winks, likes and messages I get then. I mean, sociologically interesting. As a sort of experiment. Of course I knew that it would probably render the whole exercise pointless. Disclosure of a serious mental illness is social suicide. I may still do it, toward the end of my three month subscription, and just see what happens!

Anyway. To today. I felt pretty rough and didn’t particularly want to get out of bed. But staying there is not generally an option for me, unless I am physically ill. I have an active and restless mind that won’t switch off, and remaining in a horizontal position tends to increase my anxiety. I’m better up and doing.

So I had my bath. Contemplated the fact that a friend was coming round this afternoon and got out the clapped-out Hoover. It cuts out after about five minutes, then comes on again ten minutes later. So the vacuuming has to be done in short bursts. Which is a good exercise in patience I guess.

Then I somehow managed to get up the courage to clean and mop the kitchen floor. Thought again about my need for a personal assistant. Let me explain.

Under the ‘personalised budget’ scheme I have applied for money from the local authority to pay someone to come round and help me with whatever needs doing, or give some moral/emotional support. I put down that I would need them twice a week for two hours. I tend to hold back from asking too much. My conscience won’t let me, because I consider that I already receive a generous level of benefits and am unwilling to play the system and take the piss.

However it has to be added that I will very likely face a cut in income  next year, when I will have to start paying back some of my Housing Benefit due to ‘under-occupancy’ – I live alone in a two-bedroom house. There may also be a cut to disability benefits, when Disability Living Allowance becomes Personal Independence Payment. Thanks, Tory government. You are causing a lot of the most vulnerable people in society even more anxiety, insecurity and hardship than they already experience. Way to go.

Talking of which, I’ve got an interview at the jobcentre this afternoon. They want to establish whether I am still entitled to my benefits. Guilty until proven innocent as it were. I’m probably not as anxious about all of this as I should be. I tend to think though that my psychiatric credentials are well enough established to avoid a cut in or removal of benefits, if one can be avoided that is. About thirty hospitalisations, the last less than two years ago. A respected, ‘sexy’ diagnosis which includes psychosis – unlike, say, ‘depression and anxiety’. Only schizophrenia inspires more awe than Bipolar One.

Anyway, getting back to the issue of the personalised budget and my need for a ‘personal assistant’. I filled in he form with my care coordinator the other day (well, she sat there while I filled the form out). As I progressed with answering the questions and making my case, I felt more confident that I have good reasons to ask for this service. Twice a week for a total of four hours is not much to ask, and it could really make a difference to my life. This person could help motivate me to clean and tidy my house – not do it for me, but maybe help or at least watch while I do it! They could give me moral support to fill in forms, write letters or make difficult telephone calls when necessary. They could just be a listening ear when I need to talk.

However. And it’s a big however. It has to be the right person for me. I know from experience that many people will not be right. They will have to like and respect me, and have a genuinely positive approach to life. I will have to feel I can approach them as a confidant, be open and honest with them. I don’t want just a generic ‘carer’, or someone who is harried and stressed out from having to make too many home visits in the course of a day. Someone patronising who sees me as ‘ disabled’ or unfortunate.

Which is why I am racking my brains to think of someone I know who can fulfil this role. I have a friend coming round this afternoon who may possibly be interested or failing that be able to recommend someone else (as she knows nearly everyone in the neighbourhood!). She would be ideal. She is a clean and tidy person who is brilliant to talk to. She listens and has a positive outlook, and we have known each other for about fourteen years…She isn’t currently working, but is on Job Seekers Allowance. I have a feeling the arrangement would only work for her if she could factor in some other small jobs. I don’t know if she will be willing to do that. We’ll see.

Financially I am actually very lucky (despite M’s best efforts to render me bankrupt). Housing-wise, ditto. And today a brown envelope revealed something nice for once. A seventy-pound refund for my relinquished TV licence. Hey, I could maybe buy a new Hoover with that!

So here’s to counting the old blessings.

Love, Zoe xxx


A Crisis of Confidence

Well, I guess that was bound to happen. I was quite gung-ho at first and maybe even felt a bit superior to all these semi-literate guys on Match.com. But then I signed up for Guardian Soulmates (haven’t subscribed yet), and out of curiosity, had a look at the women on there.

Oh. My. God.

They were beautiful. Ebullient. Witty. Stylish. Confident. Slim. Had ‘dream jobs’ – yes, no ordinary job for them! As I read I felt my confidence sag down to my knees (along with the rest of me). I’ve got to face it. I’m not Helen Mirren. I’m fifty, but nowhere near fabulous. My waist is fast disappearing altogether. My house is a bit of a mess – only really good friends can come here. My Hoover has more or less packed up and I can’t afford to replace it, and in any case, I’m short-sighted, and simply don’t see the dirt.

Worse than that, what have I got to show for my fifty years? What have I achieved, where are my credentials? Non-existent dear reader. A troubled teen son in foster care. Still resoundingly single, having just disentangled myself from a low-life scumbag. Unemployed for nigh on twenty years. The only field I appear to be skilled in is that of a professional mental patient. Oh yeah, I know a lot about that. Ask me anything!

Cruising a  dating website triggers a lot of stuff. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. It makes me have to face things about myself I’d rather not. And I haven’t even met up with any of them yet. When one expresses a wish to meet, I panic. I go into fight or flight mode. I can’t face the awkwardness, when I don’t turn out to be what he expects. It’s ridiculous. But it’s real.

After my perusal of the glamourous, successful and erudite Soulmates had destroyed every vestige of ‘chutzpah’ left to me, I abandoned the computer and went upstairs to try on some clothes with a view to glamming up a bit. I have already taken to wearing a bit of make-up again. I’ve been getting compliments. But in the dim light of my bedroom, dragging the dusty gladrags out of drawers and off the clothesrail I just felt even more depressed. Who am I kidding? What decent man would ever want me?

It’s enough to make me cry big fat salty tears over my wasted youth that is gone forever. And I really did chuck mine down the drain. Don’t get me wrong though. I would never opt to go back – unless I could take my hard-won wisdom (such as it is!) with me.

Then I think of my son. Right at the beginning of his youth. And apparently even more messed up than I was. And that’s really saying something.

If I sound a little down, well that’s because I am. Even my sense of humour has deserted me. This sucks, by any standard.

I still love you though, dear reader…

Zoe x


Hope Springs Eternal

Hi. Well, eyeing my last post I have to say I AM a romantic – much to my surprise, as I thought I was way beyond all of that.

Yet another of my weaknesses that M exploited, alas. I’ve kicked him out for good this time. He’s a nasty piece of work. Not worth my sympathy or even my pity. He certainly has none for me.

Yet, I’m OK. Life is most definitely going on. I feel remarkably positive in the circumstances.

Yesterday I decided to treat myself and spent about a hundred quid in one day. A nice meal in the Hare Krishna restaurant in Soho Street, new clothes from H and M, some beautiful, no expense spared face creams from The Body Shop (we mature ladies need to look after our skin) and going to see ‘On the Road’ at the Curzon Soho. I recommend it.

Got a funny story to tell you. I’ve continued to peruse Match.com with very little success so far. I look in vain for someone who loves to write and doesn’t want to walk hand in hand into the bloody sunset as soon as possible. As if. But my ‘profile’ and photo are on another site as well, called OKCupid. I joined it accidentally, only realising afterward that it is for 18-22 year olds! Bit of a howler really. Then I find I’m being viewed and even ‘chosen’ by several young guys. One was particularly adorable and ‘rated’ me four or five stars. He is 19!

Only way I can explain it is that the photo I posted was a nice, soft-focus one taken at my graduation when I was 45! Well as you can imagine, this made my day. The irony of it all. Meanwhile the men of my own age continue to bore and repel me equally. I especially love the ones who struggle with even writing a few words to describe themselves. Is this really modesty? Or is it a chronic lack of self-reflection in their lives? Not to mention the ones who can barely string a sentence together. Then there are all the ‘sporty’, outdoorsy photos. Look, I swim, I hike, I ride bikes. You’ve gotta like me! All sporty means to me is that you’re boring, blokey, predictable and not my type.

I know. I’m being a bitch and a snob. Can I really afford to be so particular?

The ones that look ‘sorta’ OK invariably want slimmer and younger than what I can offer. Then there’s the forbidding obstacle of how to disclose to them that I don’t work because I have a mental illness etc.

But mostly I am not inspired by what I see dear reader.

Still I’m not sorry I signed up. It’s a nice distraction, looking to see who’s viewed my profile, sent me a message or whatnot. And I’ve got two months and two weeks left to find my soulmate!

Wish me luck, darlings. I’ll surely need it.


Romantic? Moi?

Hello Peeps.

Well, it’s all happening my end. I’m still perusing my possible ‘dates’ on Match.com, and have just sent an email to an extremely handsome, very witty and sophisticated guy who I am POSITIVE is NOT a possible match for the likes of me. But his ‘profile’ was so doggone funny, I couldn’t resist replying, plus he’s a fellow writer. I’m not too bothered if he replies or not really. I’m convinced he’s only on there doing research for his upcoming book called ‘Cupid’s Pursuit’. He writes humour. He had a really funny made-up name and claimed that he spoke ‘Tagalog’. OK now one of you is gonna tell me that’s a language…

All at the same time M and I are on our second, third or fourth honeymoon. Gazing into each other’s eyes, talking endlessly about how we got together, and all the things we’ve done and places we’ve been since, you know the score dear reader.

Zoe x

Ps: I just googled it, and Tagalog’ IS an ‘Austronesian’ language, spoken in the Phillipines. Profuse apologies to any Filipino readers!xx

You’re Gonna Hate Me!

Aaaargh dear reader. What have I done!

Well it was the ex’s birthday today, and last night the poor blighter texted me some plaintive words to the effect that he was missing me terribly, ‘didn’t like it without me’, and that it would be his birthday in a few hours!

Which, in my whirlwind of activity and the excitement of internet shenanigans (see last post) I had totally forgotten.

I felt guilty, dear reader, and texted him back when I picked up his text this morning, saying I would meet him, we could have lunch and I’d buy him a present to cheer him up!

Please bear in mind – he has almost no one else. Just his teenage son, who he sees sporadically.

Well I stood him lunch, it was lovely and he was on his best behaviour…was very polite to the waitress and everything. Then of course he wanted to go back to his place – with, I daresay, a different kind of birthday present on his mind, lol.

I acceded. First thought? Ohmigod, how will I explain this to my friends? To all the people I’ve told how much I’m enjoying being single? To my faithful readers here?

So now I’m downstairs blogging this and checking my latest possible ‘dates’ on the internet while he snoozes in blissful ignorance upstairs in my bed!

Because I AM enjoying being single! I really am! (Sorry about all the exclamation marks…I must remember, I’m not a teenage girl).

But what was I to do? I would have felt TERRIBLE knowing how much he was missing me, if I hadn’t offered to spend time with him on his birthday. He was at his most charming and disarming. You don’t know him. He’s got big, beautiful brown eyes and he knows how to use them. He’s also quite good at the ol’ romantic chat.

There’s no fool like an old fool, but I’m not old. It was a real dilemma. ‘Cause his loneliness and longing for me seemed completely genuine.

Damn though. Damn. I was doing so well, and now I’ve got to prise him away from me AGAIN.

Rubber ball, I keep bouncing back to you…

Double aaaargh.

Zoe x

The Ups and Downs of Online Dating

Yes, peeps, I took the plunge and signed up with a site – Match.com if you must know!

It’s all quite exciting, and provides me with a nice distraction. But you have to be able to take rejection, and one guy said he didn’t think we’d make a good match! Well, I didn’t really, either…he was too short, shorter than me, and he wanted someone ‘slender’, lol!

Anyway, I’ve long thought that I needed to get over myself, and be prepared to face rejection in my quest for true love! I also need to learn how to flirt…

You can learn a lot from online dating. It makes you think about what you want in a man, or woman. Well, previously I’ve lost interest after the initial novelty wore off. Hopefully I’ll exercise a bit more persistence this time around – if only to get my money’s worth!

Today I went to DRA, where I was leading the meeting today. It was nice to feel needed, and though the meeting was small it was a good one.

Enough for now peeps.

Zoe x