Why do people look at you weird, when they learn you choose to stay single?

(Content warning: mentions rape, child abuse and a bit of swearing.)

I choose to stay single, as my blog readers will know and understand.
My faith in relationships is no more, other than friends. I don’t want to live with anyone as a friend, or anything more.
Until people have been in my situation where you have been raped and a little mental abuse in your first relationship, find a second to be nice as he his, but did not go anywhere because I was on like a rebound from the first, but there were other things too and so I had so many years break, before meeting the third.
The third I split up from after 6 years, because he could not commit and so during all that time, that relationship was part-time. I had learnt last year as you know by accident, that he was a child abuser and was jailed last June for 4 years and 6 months. So it is understandable that I have lost faith in anything more than friendships.

Yes, I can live on my own happily and mostly, it is not lonely. I keep myself busy, or I relax. Either way, I do what I want to do and I do not have to consult on anyone. I have my freedom and I would not want that to change.

The last relationship I was in, he gave me faith in relationships. I never felt threatened, or pressured while I was with him. At that time I was with him, he was my friend, a soul mate and lover. To find out what he became last year and never see that in all the time I was with him, he has destroyed me when it comes to having faith in relationships. I was hugely triggered when I found out via a website, while browsing for something not related.
Although I do not talk of this man here, or personally with friends much, I am hurt to find what he is. He has destroyed me. There is no way I could live with anyone, on any level.
I never thought he would be a child abuser and that is what really gets to me. But I do remember how our last conversation over Skype went, which I will never forget how he looked like an animal trapped in headlights, when I said “I bet I know why you don’t want to move?” I will never forget that look, because I was mystified then, as to why he looked at me like that and I did not know then, what I know now. But to find out years down the line what he is and remember that day… Well, now I know.

So please be careful when you talk about relationships, as in expect me to commit with someone in some way, because it is a fucking trigger.

Why do people, expect certain people to live together?

Just because  i get on with them as a friend, does not mean I should move in with them. I value the friendship so much, that I would not risk jeporadising it.

Why do people look at you weird when you talk about living on your own happily, or travelling on your own happy? I’m not the only single person in this world, so stop looking at me like a freak.

I find now when I walk around, that I am very wary at times who is near me. There has been times I have felt threatened. That person was probably alright, but because of the vibe I was getting off them, I felt on high alert and triggered. I know that this trigger has re-appered because of learning what my ex became. If ex makes it alive out of jail, he better not come across me, because I would tell him to quickly walk away. If he was to get close enough, I could not say I wouldn’t wallop him one.

The funniest thing I have received in response to travelling alone, when I spoke with someone many years ago was, “Don’t you get bored?”
My reply while laughing, was “Why would I get bored while holidaying alone? Do you think I am going to stay in the hotel all day? I go out and see things.”

But the most inspiring and complimentary comment received was, “I think you are brave travelling somewhere. Especially when you have gone somewhere new. I don’t think I could do that.”

So please don’t judge someone who chooses to be single, because it’s our right, for what ever those reasons may be. Someone may choose to be single ad not have been abused. We all have our own story.

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Naive?

(Content warning: Swearing and talk of abuse.)

The following happened some months ago.

An old neighbour from the last street I used to live on, if we ever passed each other, we would always say hello, or some small chat. I’m sure he has seen my ex boyfriend, (the sick fucker who is now jailed,) as the way he sometimes used to speak, he would talk about others that lived not far from us, or next door to me. (Some would say nosey, but I would say neighbourly for him.) But going by his expression, he did not know my ex, which is surprise, as I had lived on that street for years.
Anyway, when I told him the sick news I discovered about the ex and knowing about how I had been in an abusive relationship before, he said, was I naive? I reacted very badly as you can imagine and I said I wasn’t naive, instead he played a very good act or whatever you want to call it.
But later in the day, this question he said about me being naive, was nearly imprinting on my mind and playing games with me. Self-doubt decided to also pay a visit and lots of questions gong round in my head; questions that either only the ex could answer. But would he? I’d fucking smack him one, before he would answer, cos I know I would blow my top in a way I have never experienced before in my life. I would be hugely triggered, if my eyes ever met him again.
But the other questions were my self-doubt questions that I had stopped before when I first discovered about the ex; questioning about past relationships, nearly asking that question, am I fucking naive and don’t know it? What is fucking wrong with me? How can I go from an abusive relationship and years after, enter another who I thought was caring, but underneath all that, he had a dark secret and turned out to be fucking like that?

But no, I wasn’t fucking naive. I can certainly answer that!

Blog post share: “I am not offended,” by The Daily Annagram

In this post I share a blog post that I have not long started following. Her blog post is called, “I Am Not Offended” by The Daily Annagram.
While you there reading this post, which comes with a trigger warning, as it raises violence and assault, I recommend you read other blog posts from this wonderful blogger too and follow.

This post was written because of something she read, which if you visit this post, you will find out more. The particular words that have sparked this post; “mistakes,” which I can totally relate to and understand and so this post is powerfully written. As this blogger has said and I agree and I have put this short here, when someone assaults, rapes, hits someone, or threaten, you cannot say they were “mistakes.”

You don’t always know

(Content warning: childhood assault and rape.)

As I revealed in my first blog post of this year, I discovered by accident last year, while doing some local research, that my ex boyfriend had been jailed back in June, for assault to a child.

When I used to read about these kind of stories, or see it on the news and it happened that close in the circle of family/friends, I used to think, surely they knew. But as I found out for myself, no, you don’t always know. I went out with him for 6 years and I knew him as a friend before that, for a year or so. (Or I thought I knew him.) Never, did I sense something was wrong, or that something happened in the years I was going out with him, or when I knew him beforehand as a friend.
The only problem I had with him and the reason I broke up with him, was because he seemed to not be able to commit. I patiently waited in the last 4 years of our 6 year relationship in hoping we would live together. (The last 2 years of our relationship, I asked him when he would move in with me. But I always got the same response, “Back end of the year.” With a shrug of the shoulders before he would say this. So after the second time he did that when I asked him, I decided on that we have a year break, in which I told him I think you better have a good think about what you want. He asked if we would ever get back together and I said, unlike him, I don’t make promises I don’t keep. But I could promise that if he had the balls to ask me to go back with him in our year break, the answer would be no. I wanted to make sure he had thought out about what he exactly wanted, because like this, there was another situation he could not give an answer to. I asked him that one again while I was at it, warning him I wanted a straight answer, but he could not do it. I got the same response as before when I asked him.
In the end, after our year break, I broke off with him, but I was willing to be his friend still, even though it would hurt. He said he would like to be friends too, but in the end, he was crap at that as well before the year was out, so I had nothing more to do with him.

All of the 6 years I was going out with him, I felt our relationship was part-time. When I was ill, I would tell him. When he was ill, I would not know until he was back at work, or when he had been ill by half of way through the week.

I always thought when he could not commit and the other situation he could not give me a straight answer to, that he would not commit because he lived where he had lived for too long. But in the end, now I know about this, this was why. He knew he was not good enough for me and as my family and friends learnt of his true colours, they thought thank god I wasn’t with him.

I look at the man in the police photograph, (before I even knew what he had done) and he looks like a crim. He does not look like the person I knew. I felt I was in a nightmare when I first discovered and I still feel I am in a nightmare.

When I first learnt about what he was through that news article, I was distressed and I found it difficult. All sorts of emotions were running through me. (These I wrote out in a sharpie drawing, which you will see below.) These emotions to start with were repetitive.

Sharpie drawing of words I felt when discovering about my ex

I have still been relying heavily on colouring since this disgusting discovery, as well as my family bereavement I am going through.

I now question, what was I to him?

He knew about the time I was raped in another relationship and how it affected me.
I even had a situation when I was 9 years old, where I felt vulnerable, that he knew about.
I have been in situations where I have been around a man on more than one occasion that I would not care to be around, because of the vibe I felt; feeling really uncomfortable, or giving me the creeps. So I have got away. But I never picked up anything like that with him.
There were times when we were together at his we would see the news on TV where some bloke had harmed a child and how long he got. Both agreeing that he deserves to be locked up and how he will get it once inside, because no one in prison likes a person who has harmed a child. Yet he was one!

I will never be intimate with a man again

After I had spilt up in a much earlier relationship, (before I knew him,) I was never interested in about another relationship again, because ever since I was raped, I have never been bothered about sex since. Now I have learnt about this sick secret of my last ex, I will NEVER be in another relationship.

People that I have disclosed this to, have said don’t let him ruin a loving relationship with another man.
Or they say, not all men are like this.
But when I went out with this one, he was my third relationship and the longest I have been in. But another that has not turned out well.
I am sick with learning about what he is and it’s like I have been raped again. But I know I haven’t. It is my past triggers that have set this off because of him. It’s sick knowing he has been intimate with me, knowing what he is. I don’t want another man to touch me sexually again.
I feel that I have wasted 6 years of my life, when being with him and I am not wasting anymore. This is why I don’t intend to be in another relationship and I shall carry on living on my own and doing the things I want. I know all men are not like him, but I just don’t want to be in an intimate relationship again.
I can be a very faithful friend to a man I trust and when I trust that man, I can hug them, (I could not do this one time and knowing about my ex could have easily have set me back. But it hasn’t.) I can have laughs and time out with them, look out for them and help them. But I will never be more than just friends.
I want my time, my space and to do my own things. But as I have learnt last year, to allow friends in a little bit more, which I know is still a work-in-progress, but I have allowed friends to be there more than I used to.

I will leave with my final words of thank you to all my friends, that have helped me through a difficult year towards the end of last year, whether you be a blogger friend, a long distant friend, close friend, or family.

Thank you, with all my heart. x

When time doesn’t heal all wounds

A blog post share.

#Speak

After you go through something painful, people love to give you advice. And one of the most common pieces of advice is the infamous expression “just give it time.” With time, the hurt and suffering you are experiencing will gradually decrease until one day it’s gone for good. And yes, I know this phrase may hold true for various situations. But when it comes to recovering from an abusive relationship, it’s a different matter entirely.

An abusive relationship strips away everything you thought you knew about human nature and the world. With abuse, you experience someone you love transform into a monster before your eyes – they degrade you, hurt you, put you down, threaten you, over and over and over again. Experiencing this kind of trauma leaves a very real and very profound mark on a person. It makes you question your previous beliefs that people are genuinely good…

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Book review: “Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors – Emotional Resource Guide,” by Carolyn Spring.

This book brings a number of articles and concepts that are designed to help people learn how to take back control over their traumatised emotional and bodily states. This is through understanding concepts such as the back brain and the front brain, the window of tolerance and the trauma traffic light.

Contents of this book:

  • Introduction
  • Coping with crisis
  • Emergency box
  • Managing triggers
  • Body sensations
  • Managing flashbacks
  • The trauma traffic light
  • The window of tolerance
  • Emergency cards
  • Alphabet of emotions
  • Safety kit: Emotional thermometer
  • Mental Health Act 1983

This 57 page guide-book, I bought from Amazon and it is for those who experience frequent states of debilitating, even life-threatening distress and is also a resource for those who work with this client group.

The book advises on its contents page to take care when reading, as some content may be triggering.

I like how this book explained the ‘back brain’ and the ‘front brain’ and, how and why we respond the way we do. Even more so, due to our past trauma we may have experienced.
I also was reminded by reading this book, that how I react to my triggers is not my fault and to not give myself self-hate because of it, as this does help either.

When being triggered, it gives tips on how I could get my front brain to switch back online, after a trigger.

About the author

Carolyn Spring is an author as well as being Director of PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) and its charity framework START (Survivors Trauma and Abuse Recovery Trust). PODS works to make recovery from dissociative disorders a reality through training, informing and supporting.
Carolyn Spring is also Editor of ‘Multiple Parts,’ a magazine/journal produced three times a year for PODS and also spends a large proportion of her time training at PODS’ many events throughout the UK.
She developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a result of prolonged and extreme childhood abuse, but believes passionately in recovery and the dignity and respect that is due to all human beings, but especially those who have been abused as children.

Childhood retreat

When ‘Beauty and the Beast’ aired on British TV, I absolutely loved it, when I was a kid. Staring Ron Perlman, as Vincent and Linda Hamilton, as Catherine, watching it was an escape from the world of bullies and things that sometimes went on at home. The trouble was, it was only on one day a week, which wasn’t enough for me. I would escape into my own world, when it was time for bed and imagine being there with them, giving myself a new name and creating new stories. It was my safe world, because this was a safe world for all the different characters that lived there, below the city streets. Each of them with a past story, before they came to live there, where they felt safe and loved. Having a purpose.
I watched every single one, except for the very last one, or the one also before that. I was absolutely gutted I missed the ending, which I recorded and did not catch the end. It obviously started late, because I always used to put an extra ten minutes past the finishing time. I kept looking in the papers each week, wondering why it was not on and wondering when it would be on again, not realising it had completely finished altogether. It wasn’t until I was an adult and having access to the internet and Googling it, that I had learnt it had completely finished and how it ended.
For some years now, (but I don’t know how long exactly,) I own the whole episodes on DVD’s. As a late-deafened adult, I totally rely on subtitles to watch anything, so when I ordered the DVD set from Amazon which the DVD’s are import, I made sure it said that they had subtitles. Which it did. But when it came to playing them on my all-region DVD player, I only found that the subtitles were only on the extras, not on the series itself. I was disappointed, but because I needed the escape again, I kept them and watched them all. But watching only, as I could not follow the conversations and the character, Vincent is not a person you can even lip-read for a start.

Fast forward to the present, I bought a second external CD/DVD player for my laptop of a different model, so I could just play my American import DVD’s. Not only do I have ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ I have ‘Sue Thomas FBEye’ complete series too. (No problem with Sue Thomas though, the subs were available when watching them on my old DVD player.) When I played a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ DVD, to check it worked on this new external player ok, I could see there was an options for closed captions and so I clicked on it and before my eyes I seen subtitles pop up to what was being said at the time. (Theme music that starts at the beginning and the words of Vincent.) So I am expecting this will happen on every one now. I was so happy to see this and cried with tears of joy. This TV series means so much to me and I can’t see I will ever get bored with it. It’s my escape still, when I watch them, but the only difference is I won’t be creating new scenes and jump into that world when I go to bed at night, as I did when I was a kid.