What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me…)

They say you can’t love another until you learn to love yourself. In a way I think that’s true because low self esteem often means that love hasn’t been a familiar concept throughout their life. If you grow up seeing love around you then you are able to better understand it and are able to actually know what is love is and what isn’t. Children have the belief that their parents are infallible and will justify all they do as loving because they are the caregiver. It’s a natural instinct. Growing up, questioning certain actions can be hard and so the idea of love becomes distorted. Is love really what was around me or did I simply believe it was love because that was what I was supposed to think. 

I believe that the part of BPD that makes relationships hard is the fact that love has been so twisted that we’re never quite sure what’s love, what is sheer desperation and what may actually be abuse. Children are sponges, absorbing everything, good and bad and a confused child will always become a confused adult.

While I do love my husband, I believe that our ways of loving and what we feel is love are very different. We have both experienced love in different ways through our families in our early years and we build on that. Now that we are away from that we’re able to try and figure out together what love means and work on concepts that we may have wrongly picked up. Luckily for me, he has no trouble with seeing love as a positive thing whereas at times, the word love can strike fear into my heart. 

I’ve learnt that love means opening up and giving your whole self to another person which frankly, is the most terrify thing I can imagine. It’s a vulnerable place, being totally open. And with an identity crisis and low self esteem you can’t even open up to yourself let alone another human being. 

I may be only able to give so much but I can’t give what I don’t even know I have. More often than not, he will know more than I ever have to say out loud. 

So while my love may not be conventional, it is what I am able to give and what I am able to understand. Maybe one day I’ll get there, I’ll think “this is a new kind of love, a better kind of love” because hell sometimes the love my husband shows me can be scary because he’s so besotted and I just don’t understand how he does it. 

I guess the first step will be to learn to like myself. When I can finally open up to myself then maybe I’ll try moving onto the love stage.Then, I might just be able to remove the fear of falling madly, deeply without worrying that it might kill me.

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Updates.

I’ve been very inactive here lately, what with moving so I thought I should write an update. 

In only month there’s been too much happening and it’s been hectic but once again I made it through breathing. There’s been loss both good and bad, crying, hugging and simple getting through. My life is still confirming that it’s not going to give me a break any time soon but I’m making the most of it. I guess it does make things a bit less boring.

So, we moved and it took us two weeks to finally get all of our stuff to our new place. In between that time Leia (on of our rats) needed vet check ups for a lump under her arm, by the end of the second week she was put down due to cancer. I dealt with this surprisingly well and I guess it was a mixture of already dealing with a lot and blocking things out and the fact that she was at the stage that a lot of rats pass naturally unlike Evie, who was still young. 

In a way I think I did have a little bit of a breakdown because I was adamant we needed a new sister for Alice although she had two younger girls in with her.  And in the midst of this my husband’s bike was stolen which was needed to get to work, resulting in a very stressed and frustrated man who didn’t have a thief to have a go at and no way to get to work and no money to do anything about it. I guess I was just a bit of a buffer until it got sorted out. 

Then Lumen arrived. A scared little rat who was being given away for the sake of convenience for the owner. She arrived frightened and skinny and clearly neglected. Of course we fell in love with her instantly, she had a check up and other than her weight and nervous habits it was simply love she needed. Even though it caused more anger and frustration at an animal being treated like trash, she became a happy distraction from recent problems. Although Lumen was meant to be company for Alice, she’s getting very old now and wasn’t interested in making new friends. Luckily the younger girls love her and so I think she will be good company for them when Alice does eventually pass away.

Around this time I also decided on losing weight again. After weeks of stress and mountains of take away, I’d been gaining consistently and got to 13 stone 8, the last time I tried weight watchers my starting weight was 12 stone. I’ve managed to get down to 13st in the few weeks we’ve been here and I mean to go on.

I’ve even got up the courage to ask about a volunteering job. It’s a huge step for me, the only issue is it not paying but that’s the point of being a volunteering job, it’s in a small second hand book store, it’s quiet and I can gain confidence that I can be out in the real world doing regular things. Sure I worry that people will say well if you can do that why can’t you get a paid job but it’ll never be that simple. Volunteering is 100% on my terms, It’s up to me when and if I leave, I can decide when I’m available and when I’m okay enough to deal with it. If anything I have to get through one day first and yes, I’m terrified. If I can’t do this, I’m not sure what I’ll do but I guess we’ll have to see. If only I could figure out why it’s so heart-stoppingly terrifying. I’ve filled out the forms and I just need to take them in tomorrow and I’m good to go. I was genuine and honest with the manager, she asked me why I wanted to volunteer and I told her “I been struggling with depression for a few years and really need something small, somewhere I can feel safe, somewhere quiet where I can build confidence”. The woman smiled at me and said “perfect”.

So that’s everything so far that I can think of, let’s hope the rest of the year lightens up a bit.

A whole New World.

Although I don’t live in America and wasn’t able to see the Grammy’s, there’s something that has been spreading around the internet that I just had to write about. I’m sure you can guess before I even say it and if you haven’t seen it then damn well watch this video now. It hasn’t even reached a million views and I am so surprised.

 

Yes, I cried. I love the song itself but when they had the couples getting married, that was when I had a tear in my eye. Everyone was cheering and screaming and I was thinking there was probably at least one person in that audience who felt sorrow or even anger at what was happening but they were out numbered and they were finally powerless. We’ve come so far in the last hundred years towards equality for all, we’re not there yet but damn, we have come so so far. Thank you humanity, you’re restoring my faith in you.

The day our lives changed forever.

For my 200th post I wanted to do something special and in unfortunate circumstances this week the perfect post fell into my lap.

On the evening of 21st of September 2012 there was a knock on our door. We had a delivery we had been waiting for all day.

I was so excited I ran down the stairs and there he was, “I’ll bring them in” and the man went to his care and brought out a cage.

He brought the cage up the stairs and placed it on our table and there they were. 3 little body all snuggled up together, they were the most beautiful things I’d ever seen. One black, 2 brown, one of them with different ears.

“Wow, that’s a great cage.” the man said.

“So, do we take them out so you can have this small cage back?” I asked with nervousness, I’d never held one before.

“Yes, my daughter needs this one.”

So I opened the small cage door and reached in to try and pick one of the tiny bodies up, hoping I didn’t hurt it or hold it wrong. I took them one by one and placed them in their big new cage.

I’d done research and bought them some toys and bedding, put towels in the cage for them. It was huge in size compared to them.

We thanked the man and he left, thanking us for taking them in.

That was the day the girls came into our lives.

They spent that night in the back left hand cornered huddled together in a cardboard tube. It was the first time away from their mother and I’m sure they were frightened.

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We spent the evening just staring at them. I instantly named the dumbo rat Leia, because her ears reminded me of the trademark hairstyle of Princess Leia from Star Wars. The black one was very pretty and Jordan decided on the name Eva from Wall-e. She ended up being called Evie just because it flowed more. We were stuck with the last one, I tried to think of names from any films or TV shows that hadn’t yet been used. (That’s how I name all of my pets. I take the names from characters I love.) We’d recently seen Resident Evil and so I decided on Alice. So there it was, Leia, Evie and Alice.

We agreed to let them settle for the night and leave them be and introduce ourselves in the morning.

We were greeted by 3 little faces poking out from under one of the towels.

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Leia

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Evie

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Alice

We spent the morning trying to get used to their new names and letting them get to used to being with us. We gave them treats and let them have a run around on the sofa. They were so tiny and precious. We soon discovered their individual personalities. Leia was timid, Alice was lively and naughty and Evie was just a sweetheart.

I got them their first hammock and it was safe to say they loved it.

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They were growing at such a fast rate and we soon let them explore more. As they got bigger though they learnt how to get to the floor and disappear. With of course, Alice, being the great escape artist.

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Every day we fell more and more in love with them and it’s safe to say I’ve taken thousands of pictures of them all and they’ve been spoilt beyond belief. With so many escape stories and the ability to wee all over a double bed in 2 minutes it’s safe to say they have brought an incredible amount of love and happiness into our home. From these tiny creatures to large fluffy mischief makers.

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They’ve been through an array of different hammocks, this being their halloween one which is one of my favourites.

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Being a rat owner means living with your shoulders and chest covered in scratches from tiny claws.

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And the perfect moment for a photo is always the sleepy moments.

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And experiencing more love that you can imagine.945825_514030488676821_1471961775_n

The purpose of this post wasn’t to show you way too many pictures of my girls but to tell a story of our little family and how it came to be. This was especially for one girl. Evie. A few months ago, we noticed a small lump on her neck. Slightly concerned we took her to the vet, tests were done and as it was too small they were inconclusive but the only option was surgery.

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With Evie’s respiratory problems from a young thing I decided to wait a while to see if it grew. It did. Surgery was still an option but the risks for her were extremely high. I was certain she wouldn’t make it and so decided that the best option was for her to live out the rest of days with her sisters until we felt she was too unhappy to carry on. A few months passed and it grew and grew. Although she was still lively, she had been fighting with her sisters more and couldn’t feed herself properly as it had grown over her leg.

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And so on Monday the 21st of October, we took our sweet girl for her last vet trip. We took all 3 girls so they could see their sister one last time. The vet took her away and sedated her. I asked if we could be with her. So he brought her in when she was sedated. I stroked her face and told her I loved her. He gave her an injection and she was gone in an instant. The light had gone from her eyes. He left us with her and I gathered her up in a towel and cradled her, we both did. I kissed her ears, her nose, her tiny foot and stroked her tummy. I lay her back down on the table and allowed her sisters to see her. To know she was gone and that she hadn’t just disappeared. One last kiss on her nose and I let the vet take her. The day she arrived, she brought so much love into our lives and whether she lived 10, 15, more years it wouldn’t have been enough time with her. Her sisters are missing her terribly, they’re the complete opposite to each other and so Evie was their middle ground. We all loved her and we know our family is missing a piece now.

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The first time…

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There’s an infinite number of things we can experience and yet as humans we’re extremely repetitive. When WAS the last time you did something you’ve never done before? Maybe the more adventurous of us may be saying “every day” but I know I find safety in repetition. Not to mention, I’m scared of pretty much everything. There’s so much out there and yet our days are filled with repetitive tasks so we can eat, have homes and even continue to breath. Imagine the endless things you would do if you had all the time in the world. And you do them. Whether you have to wait until you’re 60, you should be able to experience something you have always wanted to.

We all have dreams, ambition and hopes for our lives but it’s only ourselves who put us down. Sure thing cost money and that can be a real set back but sometimes the best experiences are those that don’t cost a penny. A first relationship, first kiss, the first time you make love. Human experiences are things we have to strive for. Not having a fancy car or making a million pounds. Those things won’t be what we think about when we’re in our last days. Making memories is more important than making money. Never miss an opportunity to experience something human for the first time.

Some wonderful experiences will cost money because that’s just how our world works so don’t think that I’m saying not to have those, I just believe in the priority of those priceless moment.

Experiences aren’t always good but they shape us into who we are and hopefully we can make the good outweigh the bad.

Some times I will never forget:

Being asked if I would be someone’s girlfriend:

The nervousness and anxiety. The racing thoughts. Being way too scared to kiss him. The feeling of pressure on my chest from wanting to giggle with excitement.

When I went to my first metal gig:

The adrenaline.

Screaming at the top of my lungs as if I could as If I was releasing every bad thing that had happened to me through that sound.

The thumping of the floor going through my body and making me feel like I was shaking through and through.

The noise, the darkness and the flash of coloured lights.

My arms reaching for the ceiling and aching from holding them up for 2 hours.

When my hand was held for the first time:

Pretending I didn’t notice because I wasn’t sure how to react.

Trying to act all nonchalant and not show my anxiety.

The feeling of safety and love through the hand.

A lump in my throat, not being sure what to say.

Seeing Phantom of the Opera in the Theatre:

Truly experience my love for music and singing right before my eyes.

Wanting to save the characters from their pain.

Crying at the emotions I had experienced and had yet to fully understand.

The sense of rejection and pain and love all at once.

The moment I found my emotional outlet.

My first kiss:

Initiated by me.

Quick and nervous.

Thinking “oh great, it happened, that was so stupid, I should have waited until we were at least not walking through a graveyard.”

Knowing it was going to happen again.

My first break up:

Feeling a huge lump in throat as if I was choking.

Panic that resulted in not being able to eat or hold any food down.

Losing an unhealthy amount of weight in a short amount of time.

Lying on my bed, feeling weak and small, knowing I was sick.

Breaking down at the realisation of mental health problems.

Crying out for help in the form of self harm, showing my parents for the first time that this was what I did to cope with pain.

Sitting in a hospital room.

Wanting him back.

Restarting that relationship:

Going out in the dark in the pouring rain.

Not knowing what to say other than I was sorry.

Just wanting to hold him but not wanting to hurt him any more.

Being kissed and letting everything go.

Feeling like the life had been put back into me.

I remember his smile that night.

Reading a Chuck Palahniuk book for the first time:

It was November and I had been sent the book as an early Christmas present.

I sat in one spot for 6 hours and read the whole thing.

I felt unusual and nothing felt real.

I hadn’t eaten and I wasn’t sure if I could quite yet.

I didn’t feel in my own body.

Putting the book down after the last page and saying “What the fuck?”

Lying there for a while looking at the ceiling as if I was asking for some kind of answer to what I had just read.

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I’m sure there are more but it’s these that really stick in my head. It’ll be those things I remember when I’m old and grey. These experiences are what have shaped who I am today and I hope for many more that will continue to shape and change me.

So, go outside and experience something interesting. Something boring. Something new. Something incredible.