Straight from the heart: 26. At last

Straight from the heart: 26. At last

Today, I think I can safely say we have sold our house; our buyers have already booked to have their survey carried out in a couple of days time.

I am still not sure how I feel about it.  I know that I am excited, but somehow I am holding back on my jubilation, just in case it all goes ‘tits up’ again.  But, I should feel reassured, as they are putting their money where their mouth is; but until all that is done I am finding it hard to really express my joy.

It is really the best news I could have hoped for, I have been quietly praying for this for some time now.

What it means to me

It means that at last, I can finally move on and start my new life, which I have been desperate to start for well over a year.

It means that I can finally start to breathe again, knowing that peace will once again reside in my tortured soul.

It means that I can finally start to formulate plans on where I am going with my life.  I am looking forward to building my new nest, I have been out window shopping so many times and seen so many lovely things, but have kept my hands deeply inside my pockets.

It means, that at last; I can start a new history, leaving this unhappy one behind.

It means, that at last; I will have a space to call mine again, that I can fill with all things pretty.

It means, that at last; I will no longer have to look daily at a face, that has borne me such pain.

It means that at last; I can live a life without someone else’s baggage, constantly dragging me down.

It means at last; I will be free to spread my wings and fly.

It means at last; I can be me again.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Tues 20th January 2015)

Update:

I remember so well, how I was feeling when I wrote this.  I was literally at the end of my tether; almost at breaking point.  There had been enough false hope, and my ex was playing a dangerous game, because he knew that once the house was sold; he was really going to be on his own once again, after over 18 years of being together.

But, I had lost all trust in him, and knew in my heart that if we didn’t sell, there would be a very good possibility of losing our home entirely.   He was so vindictive and callous, I believe in a way he would have been happy if that had happened, as it would mean he had taken everything from me.  And that is not something I was prepared to do, because he had already cost me a lot.

At last

On April 15th 2015, I moved into my new flat.  It wasn’t in the best condition, but I knew I could turn it into my new home.  I still don’t know how I managed to do it, it was a really difficult part of my journey, because I was so ill, weak and exhausted.  But within a few weeks this flat was transformed.  I didn’t have to buy much, because I’d paid for everything at the house, so it was all mine anyway.  However, I let him go with the bare essentials of furniture that he needed to get going.  And of course, a sum of money from the sale, for which he really was not entitled to, but it meant that we could be over and done with quickly.

To me, it was a small price to pay for my sanity and my health.  Before I met him, I was debt free, then for 18 years I was burdened by his financial carelessness.  Thankfully, I am back in that position now, and there are neither red letters through my letter box, nor wolves sniffing around my door.

But, I can now say that I am happy with my life.  I am happy with who I am, where my life is at right now and where it’s going.  My health is still an on-going concern, but at least I don’t have all the stress to deal with, which was making me so much worse.

I have said for a long time, that there is nothing I want or need, that money can buy, and I stand that by whole-heartedly.  Sx ❤️

Straight from the heart. 26: At last. Image: it's never too late
Straight from the heart. 26: At last

The Princess and the fucking whore!!!

The princess and the fucking whore!!

A man I knew many years ago, once said something to me that has stayed with me all my life.  But it is only recently, have I taken his words as a lesson.

This is me photo
This is me photo

I will tell you from now, that whatever I write today is going to be very frank and bluntly honest, because I don’t know any other way of expressing what I feel.

 An unusual friendship

At the time I think I was about 25, so about 25 years ago, and I did not take offence at what he said, because it wasn’t said to be offensive or to hurt me.  I believe that he really saw into me, and saw something that I still had to discover for myself.  He was a few years older than me, and we had struck up this unusual friendship, that we both knew would never be more than it was.  He was a Sikh, and I obviously wasn’t, but that didn’t get in the way of our friendship.  There was never any question of anything else happening between us we just took it, for what it was.

I remember this occasion so clearly, because we were sat in a local pub, both drinking soft drinks, and I guess he must have been observing me and given it some thought, because he turned to me and said, I quote:

“You could have either been a Princess or a fucking whore!”

A dichotomy

I never asked him why he said it, or by what he meant, I just kind of took it on board and accepted it.  But so many times over these years, his words have come back, resonating loudly through me.  And each time, it has made me stop and think.  The statement itself, is a dichotomy, and as such there is no absolute answer to its’ meaning.  However, time and again, I am given reason to revisit that particular day, and each time I have reached new conclusions, and gain a better understanding of where he might have been coming from.  I don’t actually recall if I saw him again after that, but it is true that words can leave a remarkable footprint. I don’t know whether he knew, that his words would have a lasting impact or not, but I do see the absolute truth in them; which goes to the very root of me.

The Princess and the f**king whore: Photo -Take me as I am
The Princess and the f**king whore- Photo take me as I am

The Ugly Duckling

I have never looked at myself as being some great beauty, in fact I only really became aware of my looks when I reached the age of 26.  I never really appreciated what made me attractive to the opposite sex, or noticed that I had blossomed, until I began to hear what the men around me said.  Throughout school and college, no one had expressed any particular interest of that kind in me, so I never thought I was anything special.  I didn’t look in the mirror and see something stunning reflecting back at me, as far as I was concerned, I was just ordinary.  I associated myself with the story of “The ugly duckling”, that later became a swan. But it would seem that I had changed and blossomed, even though I couldn’t see it myself, and still don’t even today!

General response

I have repeated what this man said, to few people both male and female, only to gauge what they might understand.  The general response from the women has always been to take immediate offence, and the guys are always reluctant to share their thoughts; which has only served to confirm that my own thoughts are right.  And this saddens me, because I have been a victim, caught up in something, that I have only just realised I have unwittingly played a part in.

His statement would suggest that somehow there is a choice to be made.  A choice between being either a Princess or a fucking whore, but that choice or decision does not exist, nor it is one for me to make.  It is made by what attitude the men I have encountered in my life, have of me.  They decide what it is they want from me, they decide, if I am the princess or the whore, and they treat me accordingly.

The princess and the fucking whore! The simple things.. Photo - Quotefancy-37565-3840x2160
The princess and the fucking whore! The simple things..

The simple truth

But the simple truth as I believe it to be, is that I am both.  In truth, I am a princess, but on a romantic level; virtually every man that I have come across has only ever treated me like a whore.  No wonder I have become so disillusioned.

And knowing and understanding this fact, is horrible.  It is not something I am willing to accept.

All my life, I have been in search of love.  True, genuine, sincere and real love.  And yet I have seldom felt it.  I give out enough of it, and get pretty much fuck all back… apart from men wanting to literally fuck me or fuck me over.  Like I said at the start, some of you may think I am being foolish, that maybe I should be grateful for this kind of attention, that it’s a boost to the ego.  But what it has achieved is that all I see are men looking at me, like I’m a piece of meat or plaything, and nothing more.

Dating sites

The princess and the fucking whore! Words may lie - Photo -30dc8-words2bmay2blie
The princess and the fucking whore! Words may lie

The first time I signed up for a dating site, it didn’t take long before I realised that finding sincerity let alone true love, was going to be difficult.  Within a matter of weeks, I said to my friends, that I had a “fuckable face”, not a nice term, but a factual one nonetheless.  I came up with this, after so many men made it perfectly clear what they would like to do, either to me or with me.  They saw me, and just wanted to fuck me, and nothing else.

None of them read my profile or asked anything about me.  But they had assumed that it was okay to speak to me like this, with such disrespect; as though my own feelings didn’t even come in to it.  They were attracted to me, and that was enough.  As though that was all I was also looking for, meaningless sex and ‘no strings attached’ relationships.  Needless to say, I soon put them straight and then some, but after a while it began to hurt.  And if it wasn’t sex they wanted, they put in a lot of effort to woo me, in order to extort money from me, with their sad, sorry tales of sudden misfortune, with which only I could help.  I have come across them all.

Spreading my legs…

On 2 recent holidays, I was constantly harassed by men of all ages, shapes and sizes, all thinking they would have a go.  As if, just a few nice words were enough for me to fall down, spread my legs, and invite them all in.  I never asked for or solicited any of this attention, but I got it anyway.  I had begun to think that I had some sign on my forehead only visible to men, it made me feel quite paranoid.  It made me feel angry and sad.

The princess and the fucking whore. Photo-Inside all of us is a wild thing
The princess and the fucking whore. Photo-Inside all of us is a wild thing

I am sure I am not alone in this, but as a woman it is not a compliment to be made to feel like this. To be thought of in this way, certainly doesn’t boost my ego or make me feel good in the slightest.  Maybe if I were still young (& wild), I might have appreciated this or even made the most of it.  But in truth I was never that girl, and I will never be that woman.  I guess I am angry, because I never believed that men could be that shallow, and it saddens me, because they have no idea about everything else that they are missing out on.  Everything else that makes me, me, everything else that is hidden just beneath the skin of what they perceive, because that is where my true beauty exists.

My conclusion

And so those words that were spoken to me all those years ago, are still in my head and remain so utterly true.  My conclusion to all this, is that I am both a Princess and a whore, and what men have to learn about me is that,

‘If they treat me like a Princess, maybe I will also be their whore, but if they treat me like a whore, they get nothing at all’.

And as for ‘that’ man, I believe he saw that in me, and if circumstances had been different, who knows where we might be.

But I thank him, because I have never felt such honesty since.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(26thJune 2016)

Update:

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts… Sx ❤️

If you are interested in any of my work, or have any queries please feel free to contact me using the form below.  🙂

If you are interested in any of my work, or have any queries please feel free to contact me using the form below.  🙂

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Straight from the heart: 25. Displacement

Straight from the heart: 25. Displacement

This house, which was once my home, has (I hope) been sold today.  It marks the end of an era.  An end to a large chapter of my life.  And the beginning of feelings of displacement, as I search for a new place to call ‘home’.

When I bought this house 12 and half years ago, it was a time when my relationship had felt secure; and I was willing to make a financial commitment, with the man that became my husband.  Up until that point I had been completely independent, having already owned two previous homes, and coped very well on my own, thank you.  But somehow, it seemed like the next most natural step, it had felt like the right thing to do, at the time.

After his children left to live with their mum, my ex, all but moved in with me, even though he had his own place still.  It wasn’t at my request that he moved in, he’d just decided he didn’t want to be on his own, in his own home any more.  And that was it, he never left.

24. Displacement: To linger in regret
24. Displacement: To linger in regret

Moving on..

It became time to move on again, and that’s when I found this place.  This house talked to me, from the moment I saw it from outside, before I had even knocked on the door.  I knew that I had found the right place.  As I walked round on my first viewing, I had already pictured how I was going to put love back into this house.  It had been lonely for too long, with it’s single occupant, who had been here since the day it was built.  She had got married, raised a family and was eventually left alone for years, until her son decided to look after her.  I did a lot for her before the final day; and I always thought that she seemed happy to be selling her home on to me.  Almost as if she knew I would indeed continue to take care of it.

And that’s just what I did.  However, I think I did a bit more than she might have anticipated!

Roughing it

We both planned and designed our home, but decor and furnishings etc, were my department.  All my furniture, bar the essentials were put in storage, and within 6 months of roughing it; all building works were completed, the house was completely renovated, extended, re-arranged and bought up to date.  It was a tough six months, of sleeping rough, being cold and having no kitchen to speak of.  While this was going on, my ex still had his house, and was able to avoid most of the discomfort, I had to endure.  But, it was done.  I worked hard on making this house, our home, my home, transforming it over the years, until it became what it is now.

24. Dislacement: Love does not self destruct
24. Displacement: Love does not self destruct

Concerns

It wasn’t long before my concerns for my financial security were proved right, I had made a mistake.  A big mistake.  And there was nothing I could do about it, except to bide my time, watch, listen and learn.  In the end, it proved to be a very expensive mistake, and I have since spent a long time contemplating it.  I could have taken action or fought for it, but decided it just wasn’t worth it.  Money has never been my king, so I opted for the peaceful process, which proved just as painful.  But anyway, long story, short, I got my fingers severely burnt!

Bear in mind, that I had been separated from ex since Oct 2012, he had initially said he would leave, but due to circumstances we’ve had to share the same roof space.  And still do to this day, which has not been easy by any definition, the last 15 months being possibly the worst of my life.

My snug

I have digressed a little, but I suppose the point I am trying to make is that, there were a lot of ‘beginnings’, and ‘endings’ in this house.  These walls have witnessed and absorbed so much of my life.  It echoes my unhappiness when I am here on my own.  My home, for the last 15months, became two rooms, my bedroom and my ‘snug’, I have given up on using the rest of the house, unless it’s necessary.  My snug is where my world happens, it is my place of peace, calmness, inspiration, creativity, imagination and so on.  My snug is, ‘MY’ space.  My bedroom, is for rest, rejuvenation and quiet times, or for when I want to feel music in me.  Both spaces are my sanctuaries. no stress is allowed across either of these rooms’ thresholds.

But going back, it was the first time I had ever properly lived with someone, actually shared a life.  At the beginning, we both has so many hopes and dreams about our future, as it was back then.  We have shared some precious moments here, there have been many occasions when we have created memories, on our own or with other people.   There was once love here, but that too has since evaporated, dissipated into thin air, like all other kind feelings, and nice thoughts.  Now I am reminded of arguments, discussions, conversations, tears and so on, as I go from room to room.

This house

This house, is also the place, where I first seriously became ill, and continue to be so, this is the place where my world fell apart, and bad health became a constant companion.  I had aways thought having the hospital so close by, was a good thing. But I didn’t appreciate just how much time I would get to spend there, for one reason or another.  As my health deteriorated, and so did everything else.

isplacement: I heard you visited my past
24. Displacement: I heard you visited my past

But I loved this house, it was ‘me’ all over.  But since things went wrong, I have come to see that I need to create a new home, somewhere else, another place where I can start my dreams and hopes afresh.  This house is the only thing that still binds us together, mentally and emotionally, I left this place a long time ago, now I need to physically follow it through

In the last few years, this house has seen so much anger, resentment, bitterness, bereavement, and the true colours of our individual rainbows.  It has seen the end of many things, and now the planning stages of new horizons.

It is time now for someone else to love it.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(16th January 2015)

Link to: Turned to stone

Update:

On the whole, it was the best thing I could ever have done. I am not one to generally walk away, but this time it was about saving my own life from an inevitable misery that laid ahead.  Now, I am a happy person.  Now, I have a stress-free life, unless it’s brought to my door like bunches of flowers or via the telephone line…

It’s been nearly 4 and a half years since I moved on, and the place I found (by luck more than anything), has become my home and sanctuary.  I had many battles to fight along the way, with my physical, emotional and mental health. As well as a mountain of excess baggage, I desperately needed to off load.  But, I got here in the end, and feel a hell of better for it.

Fallout

It took me a long time, to deal with the fallout of everything that had happened in the last 4/5 years. It took me much longer than I had expected to fully heal and repair myself, after all it was a traumatic experience.  There are pieces from that past, that are still wedged into me.  These fragments will be reawakened from time to time, when triggered by someone’s words or behaviour toward me.  I have a very quick flinch response in that respect.

It’s a fact I can’t help, but it serves to protect my fragile heart and feelings, because I absolutely refuse to ever walk down that same path or road again.

It may well have ruined me, in a way that I find it difficult to visualise living with another man again. Ruined me to the point, I don’t know if I will ever trust another man; and always look at actions and behaviour, more than whatever words he may say.

I feel something inside of me has hardened.  I’ve a much sturdier shell than before, to deflect as much negativity as I can.  I have a different mindset.  I am less tolerant and more vocal about not accepting bad behaviour and manners.  But most of all I try to live the life I often speak of.

I am still very soft within, but that part of me is now slightly harder to reach.  Sx❤️

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Straight from the heart: 24. The breakdown of a relationship

Straight from the heart: 24. The breakdown of a relationship

The opposite of love

People often mistakenly think that the opposite of love, is hate… but they are so, so wrong.  Hate, like love is something that involves passion, there is true emotional feeling behind it.  You can hate something or someone with so much passion, that it might as well be love, for the sheer power or strength you put behind it to bring those feelings out.

The opposite of love, is surely indifference; you simple don’t care anymore, it doesn’t matter to you, you don’t ‘feel’ anything, it’s almost irrelevant.

The breakdown of a relationship
The breakdown of a relationship

I did love my ex-husband.  However, I am not sure if I ever truly fell ‘in’ love with him, for me to fall ‘out’ of love with him!

The vicious cycle

But I knew my feelings for him became less and less, as time went by.  It had become a vicious cycle, I saw too much of his ugliness, to appreciate what good was left.  The endless number of futile arguments/ discussions/ debates, always about the same things, took care of that.   And they seemed to revolve on a quarterly basis.  I got tired of having the same conversations repeatedly, that would eventually, (in spite of any initial well-intended attempts to achieve balance again), lead nowhere.  Until another 3 months or so passed, and we would have the same conversation all over again, each time trying to gauge if we had moved forward, backward or stayed the same.  I never felt any motion.

In the meantime, he continued with ‘his’ life, and I neither moved up or down on his agenda.  In fact, I always told him that I took position no: 8, in his life.  It was a position I soon realised I had to learnt to accept, there was no point in insisting I be higher up than that.  It was made abundantly clear to me, that his work, his hobbies, his friends and his family came first.  Always.  And on those very few occasions when I held his time or attention, I began to question his sincerity, doubted his actions, and always knew there was an ulterior motive.  He had a “get round to it” attitude, and that was used toward me as well.  So therefore, I always had to wait – for everything.  But if I didn’t put him first?   Oh my goodness, he became like a brattish child, constantly whining, and wanting attention.

The breakdown of a relationship 2
The breakdown of a relationship 2

Stepping away

I wised up to his game a long while back, and every time these ‘chats’ happened, I took another step further away from him, creating distance in all senses.

I should have heeded my silent alarms, that in fact this was his second time round.

All the time he was busy blaming his ex-wife, I couldn’t help but notice and acknowledge reasons, why she would have been unhappy; and why things had perhaps gone wrong for her.  He was completely blameless, of course.  As he had said himself, he just “worked his arse off”, to earn a living.  But that was all he did.  Even when she was suffering with depression, and needed his love and support, he did nothing.  He gave her no support, no help, no love, no kindness whatsoever.  And then wondered why she picked up and left, leaving him behind with 2 kids.  Especially as it was after a number of affairs on her part, and they had been ‘trying’ to ‘save’ their marriage.

History repeating itself

I once said to him about 4 years ago, that he was repeating his own history, his own life story all over again.  He was shocked by my intuition, but then he always was.  But he was never ‘ready’ to talk about his previous life and marriage.  Even after 16 years of being with me, he still took no blame, and still couldn’t bring himself to admit that he’d ‘fucked up’.  Harder still, was his denial that he was doing the same things to me.  But in the end, it cost him dearly, he had already started the process of losing me… about the only thing he ever actually got round to doing.

You can spend a life time with someone, and still never really know them.  Or you may have suspicions about certain personality traits, and wonder where they came from, what was the influence for a persons’ behaviour.  But all the time we are happy, we never really see the ugly side, and we certainly don’t go looking for it.  But it’s when things are not so good anymore, for instance during or after an argument, that we notice their negative qualities.  That’s when we see their selfishness, tightness, temper, and experience the venom they can spit or speak – I suppose all the qualities of hatred.

The ugliness

My ex, became very ugly.  Ridiculous almost, with some of the things he did to ‘get at me’.  Initially, I was so hurt and frustrated by his actions.  I couldn’t get my head round why he could do the things he was doing, or the fact he would sink so low.  But each time he did something, it usually backfired, which meant he was the one left worse off.

But it didn’t stop him, even now that we are divorced, (but forced to live under the same roof), he still does petty things to wind me up.  He is like that child, forever burning his fingers, and I wonder why he still hasn’t learnt.

24. The breakdown of a relationship 3
24. The breakdown of a relationship 3

I had learnt my lesson well with my ex, I had learnt him well, I had seen the hidden dragon on too many occasions to ignore its’ existence.  But he didn’t frighten me, not with his words or his actions.  He already knew he had no way of winning any war with me, so he just made things awkward.  He knew all the time he lost his head, I just got stronger.  I refused to respond to him in the way that he wanted.  And that made him even more angry, but there was nothing he could do with his anger, to hurt me.

Relying on my fears

At this point, I was physically in a bad way, my health problems were savage and prolonged.  But I truly believe, that he was relying on my fears, that:

  • My fear of managing due to not working
  • My fear of being on my own with my failing health
  • Or the fear of starting over again at the age of 49

Would all be enough of a deterrent for me, to stay put to continue with living this life.

But I had become brave.  And all because ‘the lady who saved my life’, asked me one simple question:

“Why are you with him?”

That question burnt a hole in my heart.  As the only answer I had to give, was that I felt responsible for him..

The wake up call

I had picked him up when he was down on his knees, and somehow I still felt responsible and continued to do so.  That was the wake up call!

So, he never had a clue just how elated my heart felt, on the day when I told him:

“We don’t have a marriage anymore”.

I had known it for so long, but finally I could no longer hold the words back.

When a relationship is ending, someone has to be responsible and admit that it won’t work anymore, that you’ve come to the end of the line.

No one wants to be the be first to say it.

But someone has to.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(7thJanuary 2015)

Update:

To this moment, that day has been the most significant one in my life to date!  There are course other meaningful days, but none that made me realise the absolute power I hold within myself.

That day, brought about a change, that would be forever lasting.  It was the day, I took control of my life again, and decided that I valued my happiness over all else.

So now, whomever enters my life, has to keep the smile on my face and not wipe it off.  Simple as that.  Sx ❤️

Link to: I thought you were my hero

Straight from the heart: 23. A new dawn

Straight from the heart: 23. A new dawn

A new dawn, a new day, a new year and hopefully a new life…

At last, the start of a new year.

Heaven only knows how desperate I was to leave the last one.

I haven’t made any resolutions as such, but there are some things, that I definitely want to leave behind.  I am not planning on giving up any habits as such, because I have a firm philosophy that

“Everyone should have at least three vices for a happy life”. 

Unfortunately, most people automatically think of a vice as something that is bad for you.  But to me, a vice is:

“Anything that gives you pleasure and makes you feel good in the soul”  

Vices

And yes, a vice could be drinking, smoking, eating chocolate – the ‘usuals’.  It could be cutting the crusts off from your bread, because, you feel it makes your sandwich taste better.  A vice could even be that you like to fit in an extra Pilates class, when you should be doing something else.  Or maybe, that you like to lock the bathroom door, and have 1/2 an hour of peace and quiet, whilst you indulge in bubbles, candlelight and music.

Whatever it is, it may be bad for your health in one way, but it can be positively good for your mental and spiritual health in another.

Life is too short

I learnt for real a while back -having lost many close family members, that life really is too short.

  • Too short to deny yourself things that make you happy.
  • Too short to waste time having pointless arguments that lead nowhere.
  • Too short to get stressed out over stupid things, that really shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Too short to waste precious time falling out with people, just to carry unnecessary anger around.
  • Too short to let the wrong people stay in your life, when you know they just simply don’t belong.
  • Too short to keeping fighting for things that are not worth fighting for.
  • Too short to waste time worrying about or regretting things that you cannot control or change.
  • Too short to fret about debts, that are really insignificant in the overall scheme of things.
  • Too short to ignore the things that really matter.

The list can on, but this is just a few of the things that I believe and that matter to me.

 

23. A new dawn
None but ourselves

Too much space…

I have allowed some people to take up too much space in my life, and they have not cultivated their plot, so it has become overgrown with weeds that are deep rooted.  It dawned on me a short while ago, (whilst having a face to face with myself in the mirror,[1]) that for a long time my life has not been about me.  It has been about other peoples. It’s been about my family and my friends, about their unhappiness, fears, anger & their frustrations; their wars, their problems and their issues etc.

Letting them go!

Having recognised this painful truth, and as much as I may love them, some of these people have done me more harm than good, and they need to go or have their role reduced.  They have often been a huge drain on my resources, almost making me topple under the weight of their burdens.  I have allowed them to take so much time away from me, forcing me to rush through ‘my’ day, never having time to sit and reflect on my own concerns.  So now, one thing I know I can do to improve my health and my life, is to start letting them go; in order to reclaim my time back.  It is definitely a new dawn…

23. A new dawn
Meeting-people

So, I have decided that this year, is going to be ‘MY’ time.  I will spend more time focusing on the things that make me happy, or feel good, and really look after myself and my needs.  One thing I know for sure, is that I will no longer spend time with people, who have no time for me.

I just want to laugh, to dance and sing!

I am fully prepared to embrace this new year, and I am actually excited by the many possibilities that lie ahead!

Sharon Carter-Wray

(1st January 2015)

Update:

Much as I was so determined 4 years ago, ‘the update’ is I have to confess, that I am still guilty of holding on to some people/things for far too long.  Got my fingers burnt again flying to close to the sun, but this time I already had my eyes open, so I knew what was coming.

In the last 18 months my integrity has been tested, by many who were supposed to be close family and friends.  They have also tested my loyalty and my patience, to such a degree, I have been forced to turn around and walk away from them; so another update to my social circle.  I have zero tolerance for insincerity, that I know, and at times I am so aware of my solitude.  But I would rather have that, than be drowned in a sea of negativity, weighted down by someone else’s bricks.

But in spite of all that, I am a much happier person for it.  And even though, I am soon to be 54, life still has many more lessons for me to learn.  And no doubt a few more mountains for me to climb… Sx ❤️

Links to: I am enough

[1] Face to face in a mirror, an exercise I do on a regular basis and recommend to anyone who is going through any kind of emotional crisis, when you lose sight of who you really are.  It’s not easy to do at first, because it something quite alien to us.  But once you start to practise it, you begin to see yourself in a different way, and are able to give yourself a “pep talk”.

Straight from the heart: 22. Twelve months is a long time…

Straight from the heart: 22. Twelve months is a long time…

In anyone’s book, but it has felt like a life time to me.

12 months ago, my ex-husband made my life an absolute misery.  He pushed me to the point that I started to look at divorce proceedings.  This was in spite of the fact that, he was the one that first mentioned the word.  He was so adamant whilst in a fit of rage (of course), that that was what he wanted.  (But as usual he had the words, but was not willing to spend any money to carry it out).  That rage was directed, point blank, at me.  I guess he wanted a response… but not the one he got…

Because at that moment time, I couldn’t have been happier.

The best thing

No matter how my spirit might have felt crushed, those words lifted me right back up there.  It was the best thing, it felt like my soul had finally been released.  I knew at that precise moment I would fly again.  However, I also knew that until that day came and I had a piece of paper in my hand, I would have to bide my time… and deal with whatever he was going to throw at me.

Twelve months is a long time

It hasn’t been a nice year.  In fact, I think this may be my worst year ever.  With so much going against me, I wonder now, how it is that I have come through this… and keep a smile still on my face.

Because it hasn’t been easy.  I have been really battling with my illness the year, it has been a struggle at times, to even be on my feet.  And most of this is due to the constant stress within my home and an excess of outside pressures.

This year has been a huge turning point in my life, I have learned so much, felt so much and hurt so much.  But I also know, that all this stuff, will help to build the foundations for my new life.

Wylie Coyote

I won’t go into the details about what brought my ex and I to that juncture, as it means having to think and talk about him.  And to be honest that’s the last thing I need or want to do.  But what I will say is, to my knowledge I have never applied the “C” word to a person, until it became very apt for him!  I used to refer to him as “Mister”, pretty nondescript and indifferent.  Then I began calling him ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, because of his dual personality.  After that, I named him “Wylie Coyote”, because just like Wylie, whatever shit he pulled on me, it only backfired!

But now and forever more, I affectionately refer to him as “Fuckface”, which seems to be very fitting.  I was particularly pleased when Facebook came up with a definition for the word “Fuckface”, because it defined him perfectly!

I can’t find the post itself, but here’s the definition: “Fuckface”, a person who’s face upon immediately seeing, you just want to smack!

Twelve months is a long time

I also don’t want to be an embittered woman, complaining about how a man has done her wrong!  I definitely don’t want to take that thought into a new year, that’s not how I roll.

But this year has brought about many things, that I thought I would never bear witness to, but they all serve as an important lesson for my future.  I lost whatever little care or affection that I still held for him a long time ago.  Sadly, I also lost what little respect I had for him; but that wasn’t difficult, because he had no respect for himself.

Gift horses

Fuckface never knew how to be thankful.  In fact he lacked any feeling for anything, unless it was a real passion of his.  But to his regret, all too often he went too far for his own good. He stared straight down the gullet of the many gift horses I presented, never understanding genuine and uninhibited kindness for what it was.  EVERYTHING, was taken, eaten up selfishly and greedily, it really was a disgusting sight to watch.  It’s a shame he didn’t have the same gusto, when it came to his responsibilities, but hey ho!

But, as I have said before, I blame myself, because I allowed it to continue.  End of.**

The end

Finally, my divorce came through on Tuesday, October 22nd, even though I didn’t find out until two days later.  It marked the end of an eighteen year long relationship, one that should never have got this far and/or have ended long before. It was the end of any kindness or concessions.  It was the end of financial burden and attachment.  It cost me dearly.  I have lost more money than I have gained, but it didn’t matter to me, because quite simply:

Money has never been my king.  

So many friends suggested I held out for more or that I shouldn’t have given in, but they didn’t know the pain I was in.  In the end, I opted for the “I just want to be done with this” attitude, to me, not being attached to him and starting over was far more imperative than what I was leaving behind or losing.  After all, I was never going to get it back, was I?  However, any celebrations were short lived, because my status might have changed, but not my circumstances.  They were still very much the same!

So instead, I became internally stronger, and remained graceful and dignified at all times.  I think that got to him more, because I simply did not respond to his angry words and threats any more.  Which in turn, made my life easier.

From home to house

Our house, is another story.  I put my blood, sweat and tears into creating a fabulous space, I called home.  But it soon reverted from home to house, it was no longer my ‘home’ as emotionally and mentally I had already left.  It’s been on the market since Feb this year, and we had a sale within the first few days.  It looked like everything was going to be sorted.  However, I didn’t bank on Fuckface sinking so low, and being the complete and utter t**t that he is!

Long story, short, we had a sale, he refused to sign the property papers agreeing to it, so 4 and a half months later, buyers lost interest, and found somewhere else.  His reasons for doing this?   Well, besides blackmailing me with a list of conditions, your guess is as good as mine.  It intrigues me more, because he was the one who bullied me into selling it in the first place!  See why I called him Wylie?  But I guess he must have thought he was being really clever.

Twelve months

But anyway, I began by saying that 12 months is a long time, because it feels like this has all happened day by day, frame by frame, in slow-motion.  Remembering how I felt back then… almost, but not quite broken.

The moment it changed

I so needed to take control again, bit by bit and piece by piece.  Slowly picking up fragments of myself that had been lost on the wayside.  I have felt and been so alone at times.  But solitude gave me what I needed – time.  Time to inspect and search through all my broken pieces, and discard the fragments that were putrid.  There has been no outside influence or interference in the process, it was just down to me.  Muddling my way through my mind, and as usual making sense of it all, seeing the answers I couldn’t find before.

All I need now, is for the house to be sold again, this is my one true wish for this next year.  Because it will finally mean that I can finally sever all my links with Fuckface and move on.

After all it’s been over 2 years since our marriage ended, and two months since our divorce, I think it’s more than time now.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(30thDecember 2014

Update:

These days, he doesn’t come to mind, unless I recognise similar patterns and behaviours in someone else.  And when that has happened, it has felt like a rude re-awakening, with trumpets and bells sounding out the arrival of red flags.

I know when wrote this, I was in a really bad way and in a very bad place.  How I managed to keep my resolve and find strength throughout this time, is still a mystery to me.  I can honestly say that whole episode has never once brought tears, even though I have often felt that way.  I guess after so many years, it was anger and contempt that I felt most, I didn’t have any tears for him.

But now it has been over 4 years since I started again, I am happy with who I am, and where I’m at in my life.

The only regret I have is that I should have done it so much sooner. Sx ❤️

** I’ve have since addressed this!

Links to The narcissist and Untouched

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight from the heart: 21. My fathers’ words

Straight from the heart: 21. My fathers’ words

After yet another restless night, I awoke this morning in a very contemplative mood.  After a while, this led to an epiphany which has troubled me all day.  I think I may have mentioned before, something that my father always used to say to me, being the youngest of 7 siblings; and that was

“you have got to fight for your survival, if you’re going to survive Sharon”.

At the time he meant getting my share of everything, as my brothers and sisters were always put first, and with an age gap of 5 years; I soon learned to grow up pretty quick.  And on occasions, when I have been accused of being ‘spoilt’, they have heard the bad side of my tongue, because they have no idea of the sacrifices I had to make, because of them.  My childhood, for one, they weren’t around when I needed support, they had all left and gone about their business. IMG_0079

Years later, they didn’t see the reaction I got after I gave up a college course my father had insisted that I do.  After all, I was the last chance in his eyes, I was the last chance to get it right, produce something that was well educated and would go far, a progeny he could be openly proud of.

They also didn’t see, me paying my way through college with an Avon cosmetics jobs, or that the only extra money I got, was the family allowance money (which wasn’t much), that mum gave me.  All because he flatly refused to further support me in any way, shape or form at college.  There are many, many other instances that I can recall, but I have strayed from my point.

Anyway, this morning, I got to thinking about the battles I have fought in my life to get here, you know, the times I really did have to fight for my survival.  And I started right from the very beginning, my birth.  I was born with a condition called ‘Vulvulus‘, which means a twisted intestine.  Quite a serious condition for a baby, because it meant I could not keep food down in my stomach, and was constantly vomiting.  At the time, my folks were living in London, and it took many visits to Southampton General Hospital, before I had surgery; and partly because of that I still have stomach problems today and bear a large scar to boot.  Obviously, it was touch and go, but I have always said that ‘I wasn’t meant to be here, so that’s what makes me special! 🙂

I’ve spent time revisiting my youth and adolescence, and the issues relating to that time, through to my early twenties.  I had started a business at 21, did it for a few years, then became constantly employed, I’ve had relatively few jobs in my life, because I have always stuck at things, wanting to see the end of something. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ff

But in actual fact, my ambition had been driven. Driven by my fathers’ words, that had never left me, even now I hear them in my head.  I took on challenging jobs, in very male dominated environments, but I knew my stuff, so no one could touch me.  I worked hard, harder that any of my employers ever deserved, only to try and climb an invisible ladder to nowhere, but empty promises.

Especially the last job, the amount of pressure I was put under, from day one.  This time I was working mainly with young men, doing Construction apprenticeship training.  I had a vast case load (popular industry), extra out of hours tasks with open evenings, giving talks to local schools, staff training and so on.  I gathered knowledge, I taught myself, I went to night school to become a trainer, I qualified earning a teaching diploma.  Then I went on to the full qualification, getting teaching practice in, and gathering certificates for anything that might be useful for the future.  But in the end, it was a non-starter.  That when the walls came tumbling down…

And now? Even though I have not worked for so many years, I am still fighting.

There was my ex husband, who had basically manipulated or abused my good nature from the onset, making demands of me when I stepped in to help his business.   I knew our relationship not quite right; I was not being recognised for anything.  He disregarded my achievements or input, everything was so one-sided; but it was my money that created the home and sanctuary, it was my money that mainly paid the bills.

Finally, when I realised that I could move no further forward, I fought to save myself through my depression, fibromyalgia, sciatica and so many other illnesses, and again during the break-up of my marriage.  I was always fighting to always do the right thing…  But the right thing for whom?

And then it struck me!

40042200_1909492615756275_1190609254218727424_nHad I really spent a large chunk of my life, living up to and going further than my fathers’ expectations?

To the point he couldn’t criticise me for things I have done for and by myself?  Maybe that was my sub-conscious goal.  I didn’t want to hear his criticisms, because he spent a lot of time criticising others for their shortfalls, as though he had none himself.

Or was it just sheer defiance in me, that has made me so determined to always do my best, and achieve as much as I can?

Or was I simply seeking some approval from my dad?

But the truth is, my father has no idea about my skills, qualifications, education or abilities.  He has no idea or understanding about the jobs I have done, my achievements, the responsibilities I have held, or even the reputation and respect that I gained professionally.  He certainly doesn’t know about my art, my creativity or my writing skills.  He really knows nothing about me at all, but in his eyes, I like my siblings could/should have done better.  Never once has he ever taken into account, what we might have wanted for ourselves.

All I know is that I have pushed & pushed myself.  I have always been so hard on myself.  I have punished myself constantly to do better, to feel worthy. And this is the result of it all.  Everything I have ever worked for sits with in this house, this place I used to call my home.

The sad irony is that in spite of everything, it is all being stripped away from me, by the very man my father approved of most.

And that I have to accept.

Sharon Carter-Wray
(12th December 2014)

Update:

In about 3 weeks, I will be celebrating my 4thanniversary of starting over.  I will confess that this part of my life journey has been a solitary one and has not been easy.  I have almost constantly been plagued throughout with pain, depression, low moods and a few other issues sent to test me.

But now when I feel like my mood or physical health is really going to bring me down, I remind myself of what a remarkable and incredibly strong woman I am.

I have come through the other side; I still have a smile on my face… and that is enough for me.  Sx ❤️

(Sunday 24thMarch 2019)

You have everything in you

 

Straight from the heart: 20. Red Letter Day

Straight from the heart: 20. Red Letter Day

Today, I read the last letter I wrote to myself about 4 months ago.  It is the second time I have done this, and I find it an invaluable means of bookmarking my life.

It also useful for measuring if anything has changed, got better or stayed the same.  But it is more importantly, a reminder from myself about a period of time I want to move on from.

I don't care how longIt might sound like a very simple, but writing an open and honest letter to yourself, is a difficult thing to do.  It is hard to put real words to emotions or feelings, that can sometimes be so alien to us, and delving into our inner psyche and soul is not something to take on lightly.  It forces you to acknowledge every aspect of your life, where you’ve been, your current situation, and where you hope to be; and is an opportunity to air it in a safe way.

You can discover so much about yourself and the reasons why you might behave a certain way or have a certain attitude.  So, if you really want to know yourself better, write it down, the good and the bad, then take a good look at it, and really think about it.  You will find answers, but you need to give yourself time, to absorb this new information.

Anyway, back to my letter, I read it this morning and I was quite overwhelmed by the contents.  I remember at the time, I was so in need of nurturing, love and care, I was also in a lot of pain and pretty much lost and alone.

In spite of that, it was a very positive letter, just talking about my future, when I will finally move on from the existence I’ve had and still have now.  It was about recognizing my acceptance of things that I can’t change, and the acknowledgement of the misery I had experienced, and the dreams I still have left.

It was powerful reading.  I was being kind to myself for once. I smiled, and then eventually cried, as I read.  It was a beautiful letter, penned by me, to me.

Only I know of the subtle changes that have taken place over recent months.  I alone, have noted the true power of my self-belief, and my determination to bring about change.What lies behind us

So today I have been reminded, and have been able to measure, that emotionally and psychologically, I have advanced forwards, by quite a distance.

But physically, I am still waiting to move on to my new life.  This is the one thing, for which I have absolutely no control.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(7th December 2014)

Update:

Thankfully on 17th April 2015, I finally got what I so needed, I moved into my flat and began the process of getting my life back together again!  Sx ❤️

 

19. Time… Changes everything

Eleven years ago, in Aug 2003 I had my breakdown.  It is only now that I actually call it that.  I never really had a word for it before, but it was the biggest turning point in my life.

And a break down it was, a complete and utter break down of everything.

I had seen it coming.  I had felt the vibes in me.  I knew something wasn’t right within my soul.  So, it came as no great surprise that Monday morning, as I walked towards my office with the usual sense of foreboding, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heavy breath, and anxiety… to find myself 30 minutes later in a heap.

Having sat down at my desk, I knew I had to see my doctor urgently, and within minutes of making that call, I was struggling with life itself.  I remember the day so clearly, from the panic around me, to the fact that my team leader drove me home, rather than call the ambulance that I so desperately needed at the time.  It had felt like they just wanted to hurry me off the premises, to no longer be their responsibility. Truth is

After a few weeks of being completed drugged out, Occupational health stepped in, and organized 6 weeks of counselling with a local practice.  That woman did more damage than good!  She opened up a whole can of worms that should have been left well alone, as she could not deal with the contents.  She spent more time talking at me, than to me, telling me what I should do, and so on and so on.  I couldn’t wait to finish the 6 weeks with her.  It felt like unfinished business, and I had had no trust in her to truly open up.  But at least one thing I did learn was that I was indeed depressed.  Just as my doctor had told me.  Initially, the very idea of depression, was something I had been bemused by, but it soon dawned on me that I was suffering, and as time went by, I realised just how bad I had it and for how long.

I was appointed a psychiatrist, who I still see, and went on to attend other types of counselling.  But I didn’t really have the same issues as some of my peers, so I never felt that I got anything out of it, except understanding the different degrees or levels at which people can suffer.  More importantly, I learnt that depression can last for years and years, and some people don’t ever really get over it. 

The darkness i know so well

Being myself, I had thought I would recover in a few months, that all I needed was just a break, and here I am eleven years later, still not out of the woods yet!

I have always very open about my illness.  Many people have thanked me for my candidness, and for being willing to talk about it. I described depression like falling a series of steps; and acknowledged that we all suffer from it at some time in our lives, but for most it will last for a very short period of time i.e. falling down to the first step.

But, for the unfortunate ones, they fall a lot further down, maybe even hitting the floor hard.  And that’s when the true problems can arise, that’s when we need the help of medication, to pull us out of it and up again.  I placed myself somewhere near rock bottom, but not quite.

It is after all a chemical reaction within our brain and body, there is nothing that we can do to help ourselves, so there should be no shame or stigma just because of people’s ignorance.  I became quite good at seeing it in other people, and my honesty was always welcomed and appreciated, because I understood.

A doctor once said to me, that he best cures for depression are:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Exercise
  3. Laughter

Three things guaranteed to boost your mood, and help make you feel better…  If only it were that simple.  Depression usually means that you have been robbed of the ability to enjoy doing things, or you no longer feel pleasure in anything, because you feel so flat and so low.  So how do you summon up the energy to get yourself motivated?  When it takes all the “feel good” emotions away from you?

Don't depend too much on anyoneMany people were shocked in the way I had changed, I was no longer chatty or humorous, I was very, very quiet and withdrawn.  Basically, I became a shell, the complete opposite of the person I usually was.

People questioned how I could be depressed, with having the nice house, a good job and a lovely husband to boot, (all the material things that allegedly make people happy), because they simply could not understand how it could happen to me.  After all, if I could get knocked down by it, so could they.  I came to recognise who my real friends were, and undertook a major housekeeping exercise, ridding myself of negative forces around me.  Cutting off people who thought they always knew what my problem was, and had a cure for me, in fact it pretty much affected anyone that didn’t listen to me.

About 18 months into my breakdown, I was assigned a Psycho-Therapist, and this was the first step towards my recovery, and me getting my life back.  This amazing woman named Margaret, held the keys to so many of my internal locks, and bit by bit she encouraged me to match each key to a lock, to discover what was hiding behind.  It was then that realisation finally took control.

I began to accept just how broken I was, but I always had it in my mind that one day I would be healed again.  Even though I knew it would take time for that to happen, that thought kept a positive light burning inside of me; in spite of feeling like I was surrounded by darkness.

I am so proud of myself, because I never lost my free spirit, I have maintained my focus throughout this illness, and I have emerged so much stronger than ever before.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(2nd December 2014)

Update:

It’s hard to be believe that was me 4 years ago.  What I didn’t know then, was that I was on the brink of a major transitional period, that would once again rip my life inside out.

I am fully aware and accepting of the fact that depression will always be a companion of mine, whether she lurks in the shadows or walks by my side.  I am also fully accepting of the fact that I will always be on medication for it, in spite of being discharged from my psychiatric service.  But in truth, I never really believed that I got the support or the service I should have received from them; because there were so many important issues that were left undiscussed.  So, a lot of the time I felt very much alone and like I was left to flounder.

But in the end, over the last 4 years I have addressed the main factors that had brought me to that place, and at least now feel like I’m holding the steering wheel and I’m back in the control seat of my life.  I had very few people I could confide in, who had some knowledge and understanding of what I was going through.  So silently, I got on with the task of picking myself back up, dusting myself down and getting on with the process of properly mending and healing.   Stop looking for the light

I keep that beast inside“, came out of this transitional phase, when I wrote it not only did I feel angry, I knew I had every right to be.  My creativity and my written words, have empowered and driven me so much, I no longer seek validation from people close to me, who seem quite happy to disregard or ignore my talents.

But, this matters no more as my confidence and self-belief are growing daily, and I feel truly blessed by that.  Sx ❤️

(Saturday 16th February 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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