22. Twelve months is a long time…

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Oh give me a break!

Don’t really mean to have a rant, but have you ever had a time, when you felt your brain was just so addled, you felt completely lost within yourself?

Or felt enveloped by some thick fibrous tissue of someone’s life, that you felt like you were suffocating in them?

Well, that’s been me, these last few weeks!45148043_10160875251795005_2443880444903555072_n

I feel utterly exhausted by the stress, caused by someone else’s agony and frustrations.  I cause no real stress to myself, it is always someone else’s.

They bring it to my door like bunches of flowers, down the phone line, by internet, and in the case of my ex-husband – from very close quarters within the home.

But I don’t want to hear it!  I just simply don’t want to hear it… anymore.

I keep myself away.  Quiet and unnoticed.  Just calmly trying to deal with crap that’s already in my life, my health and again ex-husband, but that’s not enough.  Doesn’t matter how many times or ways I try to say ‘enough‘, the words, fall, on deaf ears.  I can never get my head round that!

They can see I am mentally drained, and so, so tired.  But it would seem that I’m the ONLY one to know the solutions to their problems.  As always.

They don’t have to think, why should they?  They have me, at the drop of a hat, first person to call.  I never proclaimed myself to be the Oracle, and neither do I want to be, it sounds like a bloody hard job.

37671334_2145716445665726_381903269280088064_n 37987924_817059122018685_2662990348992643072_nI just wish that just every now and then, they could come to their senses, and for a change just stand on their own two feet for a while. Just try it out.  See how it feels, and get used to the idea!  I know it would be a huge relief for me, because right now I feel like I’m being crushed, struggling to breathe.

Just a breath of fresh air, a breath of sweet, quiet harmony, would be enough to recharge my batteries, so that I can sparkle again!

Sharon Carter-Wray

(26th November 2014)

Update

At the time when I wrote this, my divorce had been finalised, but I still had to live under the same roof as my ex-husband.  It was not the happiest of times, as he demonstrated how vengeful and vindictive, he could be on a daily basis.  Sometimes in ways, that I cannot fathom why he would choose to behave in such a manner.

I guess he was hurting because he knew he had already lost something, that he’d finally recognised the value of… and there was no chance of ever getting it back.

I am not making excuses for him, but I suppose as the time has passed, I had more time to reflect on it.

In those few months before our house sold, he made my life absolutely miserable, in any way he could.  To the point that I anticipated his actions, and most times they backfired on him.

During this period of my life, I had little support from anyone.   There were many, who thought I was wrong for doing what I did, many who criticised me.  And there were many more who simply could or would not believe, that he was anything but this mild mannered, chilled out guy.  He’d never dream of hurting me, because he knew I was more than his match.  He dare not lay a finger on me.  It was one of those things that I’d always warned him about, because even I don’t know how I’d react if someone ever struck me.  But I know I would be worried, I don’t take to that kind of thing kindly.

People knew little or nothing about what was really happening.  He took full advantage of tainting my name and good nature, whilst I said nothing.  Whether those that listened believed him or not, I don’t know, but their eyes can’t deceive them, or deny what a ‘better’ man he’d become, because of me.  But I never heard another word from any of his family of his shared friends.  So, may be they did.

Little did they know, how in an instant he could transform from a gentle being into a raging lunatic.  Throwing things, kicking things, causing damage, (in particular to my belongings), shouting at the top his voice, like he was some caged animal.  They didn’t know this side.

Or the guy who would also be broke, never have a penny to spend on anything, had fallen behind on all his financial responsibilities, but like magic could come up with cash to disappear for a week to go sailing.  Knowing that he’d not paid the mortgage, or put money on the electric meter to last his absence, and never once checking to make sure I had money.  They didn’t know this side.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter what other people may think and feel, it wasn’t their life, and they have no inkling of the real issues I had to deal with.   All I knew is that I had to leave and be as far away from him, as I could.37987924_817059122018685_2662990348992643072_n

In truth, as with many things, I didn’t do it for them, I did it for me.

And thank goodness I had the sense to do what I did, when I did.  I had to save myself… simple as that.

Sharon

(Monday 4th February 2019)

 

 

17. All good things must come to an end…

For something else better to begin!

Well. I guess I ought to give an explanation for where the entries in this section “Straight from the heart” come from.

I had previously created a blog entitled:  ‘Journey through a painful body and a depressed mind‘, and I used this forum to write about my on-going battle with various health problems.  The title says it all really, but I have to clearly state that that, is who I was (and still am to some degree), but I have travelled far since then.

In the end, about 4 years ago, I decided that it was time to close to door on that chapter of my life.  Not because I was better, but because I recognised that virtually every single word I wrote, was bleak and gloomy.  It was all about the darkness.  Even though at the time, it was very beneficial for me to write this way, I realised that it wasn’t really who I was anymore. And I certainly didn’t need reminding of having felt that way.  This all being at a time, when I was both at my lowest and my strength was coming back, when my marriage was ending and I needed to feel hope in my heart.

The blog was very important to me, it helped me to survive and win through a very onerous period of my life.  I therefore, believe it was a necessity that my entries from it be included here, as the foundation of where it all began.  It was the beginning of my healing process, and allowed me to speak openly about the frustrations and anger that crippled me.  So, all good things must come to an end… blade-of-grass

Journey through a painful body and a depressed mind:

The ‘painful body’ is due to 4 conditions that I suffer with, Fibromyalgia, Allodynia Sciatica and Spinal degeneration in my upper and lower back.  Fibromyalgia, is the condition that I struggle with most, as I have it severely from top to toe.  It is horrible disorder to live with, as for me it entails being in chronic pain anywhere throughout your body.  Basically ‘Fibro” refers to the fibrous tissue surrounding joints and muscles, and ‘Myalgia’ refers to pain.  This can also be referred to a chronic pain syndrome, so it’s not just a few minor aches.

The severity, duration and locality of pain is different for each and every person, and I am now classed as being ‘End stage – severe’.  The pain from this can be so bad, a person can be completely incapacitated or even bed ridden by it, and I am very thankful, I have not reached that point yet).

There is no cure for this condition.

The best I can do for me, is to look after myself, by keeping my body as mobile as possible.  For that, I do a lot of stretching and yoga postures, and anything else that helps to keep me standing on my own two feet.  The only relief I can sometimes get, is by using strong pain killing drugs, which only dampen the pain down, and in turn create other problems for me.

Fibromyalgia: Is not a problem inside my head.  It is very real.  It is very painful. It is debilitating.  It is the silent burglar.

And it doesn’t just affect the physical body, it also grabs hold of your mind, and controls daily activity.

These are just some examples of how I am affected by Fibromyalgia:You think you know her
Forgetfulness, easily stressed, lack of concentration or focus, confusion, being clumsy, being unsteady just standing up, easily tired through constant lack of or disturbed sleep, eternal fatigue, terrible balance, being drained of energy, sensitivity to light, sound, smell and taste.

This list could go on and on.

I suffer with symptoms quite literally from head to toe on a daily basis.  I am always in pain, FULL STOP. I am always worn out, it takes me forever to do things, and it has robbed me of many simple joys in life.  But I, like everyone else, don’t have a choice, I have to live with it.

The Fibro, has also brought on a condition called Allodynia, which makes me incredibly sensitive to the slightest touch.  The severity of this, varies around different parts of my body, and in some cases I am now 23% more sensitive to pain than the average person.  What that means is that what might feel like a light touch to you, could feel like a punch to me.  Something as simple as stubbing my toe, could end up with me being in absolute agony for weeks.  So, I am always very cautious and somewhat scared of how people may touch me, be it a hug or an accidental brush.  My senses are on such high alert for this, and no one would know just by looking at me, that something was wrong. But my body automatically tenses up, in preparation of being hurt unintentionally in this way.

It has made my life unbearable at times, and I now understand that I have had it for most of my life, but something triggered it off for it to become full blown.  It took nearly 4 years of being left untreated and being in agony before I received a full diagnosis, that finally gave me a name for this monster.  By having MRI scans, it also showed that I had degeneration going on in my upper and lower back, and not before long, Sciatica was added to my repertoire of illnesses.

6ca44-required1As for the depression, that really took hold of me about 16 years ago, I literally skidded, then crashed and burned.  Again, with the help of hindsight, I recognise that this too was something that stemmed back from my childhood.  However, this time I really was a train wreck.

It is something I know will never entirely leave me, but now, I can’t help think that with everything on my plate, depression is/was a natural gravy.  Today, I use the strength I have gained through recovery to be open and frank with others who are suffering – whether they know it or not.

It is a strange sensation when your mind is still wanting to speed along but your body takes over the decision-making process.  Not being in control of my own frame of mind, left me feeling powerless, hopeless and defeated.  I have often said,

‘It was the best thing that could have happened to me’. 

Because had I carried on with my life the way it was, then things would have truly ended up being a lot worse.

In just a short space of time, my life changed forever, I was plunged into the darkness of a sound proofed arena, where I could hear and observe everything, but nobody heard or saw me.

It was the start of my ‘incredible journey’.

A mordacious opportunity, that helped me revisit my life.  My past, my ‘past’ past, my present, eventually leading me to look forward at my new future.   I’ve had decisions to make, and many other issues to deal with along the way, but one thing was for sure, changes had to be made.Sometimes it hurts

So here I am, this is where I’m at, now aged 49, about to embark on possibly the most exciting time of my life…starting over again. I am not out of the woods yet, but I can clearly see a bright light ahead of me.

I stopped writing the other blog, because I know I am not that person anymore.  All my physical health problems, as expected have naturally and progressively gotten worse, and deep depression is still a regular visitor.  But now, I see it for what it is, a ‘visitor’, something ‘temporary’.

I’m in a whole different place.

I have created a new book, with many blank pages.

I’ve rewritten, what was my then future.

I refuse to allow it to drag me too far, back into the abyss, it is not a place I want to spend time.

I see now, why back then, it was so crucial for me to have retained my positive outlook on my recovery and life.

Sharon carter-Wray

(Originally written 29/09/2014)

(Updated: 9th January 2019)

 

16. The Liberation of Sharon Carter-Wray

Right now,
I feel as though
I have just emerged
through the other side of such darkness.
A place I had been for years,
Sinking, lower and lower,
Feeling, darker and darker.
I, have been surrounded by people
Who didn’t see me
Who had no idea of the private hell
I was going through… all on my own.
Or the pressure
They sometimes added to my load.
But then a while back
I started to really take note of myself,
The people around me,
The situation I was in
And the fact
That I felt so unhappy,
So miserable and so depressed
I had forgotten how to smile
And I felt like this
All the time
The mental ordeal
Caused the physical sting
As I declined
I could not do a thing
My body was racked with pain
From top to toe
I had to lean on walking sticks
Wherever I had to go
There was not a part of me that wasn’t sore
In spite of me doing
A lot less and not more
Very slowly when a new day begun
I was blessed with a saint
A lady I’ll never forget
A lady who helped me
Moved forward on my quest
I opened my eyes for the very first time
And all too soon began to realise
How much stress
Was constantly in my life
Tension that was not mine to own
But more delivered
By some other needy soul
Every conversation that I had
Someone leant on me
Used my listening ears to air their woes
Or tell me of their ills
Each call was full
Of another’s misery and tears
It wasn’t about showing me care
And to every friend I turned
The story was the same
In the end
It became too much to bear
It was only then
That I knew for sure
I needed no further convincing
No one noticed me
No one saw my pain
No one could imagine my pain
No one could feel my pain
Sadly sympathy was in short supply
Even though it was not
The medicine that I desired
I felt so sad, so empty
I was so full of loneliness
16. The Liberation of Sharon Carter-WrayBut yet, I hid it all so well
Behind my beautiful smile
My lady,
Helped me to see
That it was not really others
Who were guilty
Of being the root of my pain
It was me 
I was self-harming in a terrible way
Every time I took on someone else’s pain
I used their words like razors
Lacerating my own veins
I gave my permission
I had opened those doors
But no one saw it was my blood
Dripping to the floor
That day,
I woke up
For the first time in years
That day,
I opened my eyes
And saw just how blinded I had been
I took a good look
At whom and what I had become
I didn’t like what I saw
It scared me to see
How my skin had been flayed
And my flesh was raw
Somewhere, along my path
During my journey through the darkness
I had lost myself
I had lost sight of who I used to be
The woman
At the very core of me
And all at once
I missed her so much
She had gone quiet for years
As though a part of me had died
I hadn’t noticed when she had left
I just knew she wasn’t there
No longer by my side
I called her ‘My Free Spirit’
Like a ship set to sail
She is the very of soul of me
And she is hell bent on
Not seeing me fail
Every now and then
She would majestically appear
And sparkle quite discreetly
Just enough for me to heed
To let me know 
She hadn’t gone completely
Every time I caught a glimpse
I felt stronger inside
As I grew stronger I became angry
The angrier I became
The more I wanted to rage
The more I learned
The more I knew
Something within my life
Dynamically and desperately
Had sought and wanted change
In fact, not something but someone
And that just so happened
To be me
So, with the help of my lady
I set about my mission
Ever so lovingly
Chip by chip and part by part
I dismantled myself
Starting from the heart
I gathered all the diamonds
And like a puzzle
I put them back as one
The picture told the story
Of my discontented life 
But
It wasn’t long
Before some of those fragments
Showed their truth
They simply didn’t belong 
Where they used to dwell
I could offer no more space
I needed and wanted it for
An entirely different shape
A form that could shift and alter
Allowing me to breathe
As I mused and pondered
Along came the answers
What I finally understood
Is if I didn’t make changes
This would be my life
For good
Now today
Some of that pain still lingers,
My smile is now true
No more will others
Turn my horizons
A dark shade of blue
My free spirit hadn’t left
She had stoically remained
Guarding all my diamonds
Until I was able to tell the tale
A true and honest account of 
The liberation of
Sharon Carter-Wray
Sharon Carter-Wray

(Rewritten 7th January 2019)
(Original 1st September 2013

15. And so the story continues.

I hope, I haven’t made this whole thing about depression and healing myself sound as if it were easy.   It was far from it.  What a lot of people don’t understand about depression is that there no magic cure, it is not about “picking yourself up”, or “getting over it” or “popping pills” in your mouth.  There is so much more to it than that.

People with real depression only wish that they could do, just that.  But it’s not a choice that we have.  People who ask “What have you got to be depressed about?”, or  say things like “I’ve got a friend (etc), with the same problem and they did this”, or “You need to be getting out more and enjoying yourself”, etc, etc, etc.

The darkness i know so well
Know this feelilng well!

These people, who can voice such incredible words of thoughtlessness, and insensitivity, have absolutely no idea what they are saying to a depressed mind, or in fact to the person they are saying it to.

In my life, they were people who knew me, until I realised they knew nothing about me or my life.  They merely saw the material things I had gathered, the confidence I held in myself, the way I would always be the one to speak up, and who also always got the job done.  They didn’t bear or even consider the pressure I was under, or notice my gradual decline.  They didn’t see what was coming.  Neither did I.  But one day I was stopped.

1badf-when2bthe2bheart2bis2bcutNot by choice.  I had nothing to do with it.  My body had literally decided it couldn’t take anymore, it was burnt out, exhausted, and it was crying out for rest and quiet.

And for a while, in such a weakened state I had tried to defend myself against these people and their words.  But, no matter how many times I tried to explain, why this had happened to me, it fell on deaf ears.  And eventually I stopped trying to explain, and became almost silent.

All they wanted to do was find something else to blame it on:

  • Buying a new house
  • Building work that was going on,
  • Even my recent marriage.

Never did anyone, not even any of my family acknowledge, the stress they’d put me under, or the demands they made of me. And my employers seemed to think it was okay for me to do the job of 4 people, whilst studying and doing staff training on their behalf.  Never, did anyone think that they could be held even remotely responsible.

And that’s when I knew, that for my own sanity, I had to remove these people from my life.  Mentally, emotionally and physically.  They were causing me more damage and more pain than I needed or could cope with, and they completely zapped my energy.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(First written 5thMarch 2012)

I began calling my depression, my own personal journey, because that is exactly what it is, both personal and a journey.  But I am fortunate enough to be able to voice what’s in my head, and record my own thoughts. I can’t always be poetic about my feelings, so at times what I write may come across as being very raw, but it is honest.

I guess that’s why I feel that depression is such a very solitary thing.

People think they understand and have all the answers, as though it were as simple as going to the gym, or getting your hair cut.  But unless they have experienced it themselves, they really have no inkling of what really goes on in our minds.

00177-10462841_673987222689399_3467623837117453863_nSome of us may be lucky to find things that gives us some release, with me it’s my creativity and writing, but it can be a battle in itself to start that process.  For others, they may remain completely trapped, unreachable almost, being lost in their own world, where they see or feel no joy.

Because of the nature of all the illnesses I suffer with I am still depressed, it would strange if I weren’t.  Nobody can put up with constant pain, fatigue and a host off other issues, with a smile permanently on their face!  And I know I will be on medication for the rest of my life, there is no getting away from that, and I accept that.  Just as I have come to accept many things…

But one thing I do know for sure is:

It takes an almighty person, with the right set of keys to unlock the darkness inside someone’s mind and release the light.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Updated Wednesday 5thDecember 2018)

 

14. Why oh why?

Why is it that sometimes the people who are closest to you and should care about you, are the ones that actually don’t understand or give a shit?
I am almost lost for words to speak, but I think I have the ability to voice my utter disbelief and anger on these pages.

  • What is it about some people, that as soon as you open your mouth to express something, they are straight down your throat biting and spitting venom, before the words or sounds are even formed?
  • Why are they always on the attack, and so defensive first?   Why can’t they give it a moments thought that you may have something important or earnest to say?
  • Why do they always think that they are about to be blamed for something, or they’ve done something wrong, and are therefore protecting themselves just in case.

It kills me some times, when I think that I have spent 15 years of my life with someone that is so selfish and conceited, who is only happy when we are talking about him, his interests, his hobbies, his work, his problems, his family issues and his hang-ups of which there were many.  And of course I am indeed speaking about my husband in this particular situation. 650e5-how2bdid2byou2bget2bso2bempty

He is content with his selfish existence, because he can mock or block whatever or whomever he feels is not important or worthwhile at any moment in time.  Which is usually me.  As usual, I will just pick up the pieces, and repair them once again, or I will make anew and ensure that each time it is stronger. Sometimes I wonder why I do this, does it make me happy, feel more secure, feel cared for or loved, something special, or listened to?  The answer is no, because, all I do is wait for the next time, and wonder if next time, will be my last time.

Why does he only remember at the last minute, that if it were not for me he would not have the very things that he enjoys so much, and yet can be so selfish about.  Why does he take for granted, the one thing he should hold closest to his heart and nurture, because I am the only person who believes in him, no matter what?  He gives me no real thanks or recognition, there is no appreciation, there are always only words, and more words that essentially mean nothing or even less ,than the first time they were spoken with sincerity.  The poison is spat with such anger, but no thought – that will come later when he realises what he is possibly or most likely sacrificing.  Why does he not understand that by then it’s too late?

Words cannot be unspoken, unkindness and not be replaced and no soothing words will ever heal the damage that has just been caused.

All he has done is confirm what I already knew and believed, as I see in his actions, behaviour and his mood every day.  That will never change, as he lacks the respect within himself, to look into the mirror and see who he is really is, and what he has become.  It has been a long time since he really took a proper look, perhaps, it’s time for him to do it again, before he causes long term, irreparable pain.

556c6-dear2bexIt is the same blood that courses through his veins, as the other people that constantly torment and abuse him, but no matter what – it will always be my fault.  It’s always my fault because I can see the answers that he cannot.  I can also see the damaged soul that he carries with him, and I can put in the words what he is too weak to speak for himself.  But, most of all I know the man he hides behind and pretends to be, even though he will never admit that evento himself.

It is always my fault, which is why it is easier for him, to do battle with me, someone he feels is week, vulnerable and accepting of more abuse – even though he knows the real truth.  It is easier for him to feel some sense of triumph, to beat his chest and parade his fantastic feathers, because he believes he has conquered me– ‘the good side of him’ which enables him to do this in the first place.  But, the things is, I gave him the chest to swell with pride, I repaired the wings for him to fly again, and I bandaged his wounds so he could heal, so how I can I be at fault?  How, can I be wrong again?

So what do I do next?  Do I let him off the hook again, and pretend that all is as it was, and he can carry on with his ‘happy’ life?

Or do I stand up yet again, and prove to him that he has no right to do war with me, because I am his saviour and not his problem? 00177-10462841_673987222689399_3467623837117453863_n

Or do I add it to the list of unforgivable things that he has done or said in the past, which is making my armour and readiness to do battle with him even stronger?

You tell me.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(5thMarch 2012)

 

I know I was in a really bad place when I first wrote this, and I think it was the start of the deterioration of my marriage. It took until 2 years ago to finally admit to myself and label what had been going on, as mental abuse.  It had been a continual pattern throughout our entire relationship, but marriage somehow reinforced it.  I still carry emotional and mental fears, scars & wounds from that period of my life, but thankfully now I can say it is very much behind me.

I was able to walk away with my dignity intact, but it has made me very vigilant about who I have in my life.

(Updated 26thNovember 2018)

 

 

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