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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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.

Magic.

So I have a new hobby.

I was waiting to write this post because I wasn’t sure whether the hobby was going to stick or whether I’d be able to grasp it properly.

I don’t even remember where I’d heard of it before but just as I was browsing through my Facebook feed, a friend of mine said how they’d have just got their first Magic pack.

With Christmas coming up and with money to spend I thought this might something fun to check out for myself. So I went onto amazon and had a look at what there was to buy. I didn’t have a clue what any of the different packs meant so I just tried to find something that wasn’t too costly but had the best reviews. I decided on the Deck Builders kit 2014, thinking with 285 that I’d probably never need any more. I didn’t know how to play but I thought the best first step would be getting cards.

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Well they arrived and they were beautiful but I still didn’t have a clue what to do with them. I hoped there would be instructions but they weren’t very clear on how on earth to start as a beginner. It kept talking about building a deck and I didn’t know what on earth that meant. So I started my research online and couldn’t find anyone explaining it without using Magic jargon. I was worried that I’d wasted my money and wouldn’t be able to play but then Jordan wanted to have a look at my cards.

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He seemed interesting in finding out how to play so we decided to figure it out together.

We ended up playing a few games against each other (probably completely wrong) but we managed the get the basics down and figure out how to build a deck.

Just after Christmas we decided to go into town to spend some Christmas money and remembered the comic book shop hidden away at the bottom of the highstreet. I’m a fan of comics and film/tv merchandise so I said I wanted to go. I got a few comics and a graphic novel I wanted.

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Then we spotted the Magic cards by the counter. Jordan decided to get his own full deck and we asked the cashier whether there was any kind of rule book. He said there wasn’t because there’s so much to it but we could find information of their official site and that every Friday they held games of Magic and that we should go along, he then pulled out a box full of half decks of cards and told us to take one each (I was a bit too excited about free cards).

It’s late January and I have 300 plus cards and Jordan’s black deck is incredibly hard to beat. When Jordan comes back from work, he’s tired and doesn’t have to concentration to watch a whole movie or sit in front of the TV so we’ve needed to find something to do together in the evenings that was fun, non-repetitive and wouldn’t get boring quickly. So, now we play Magic. Every evening, we build new decks together, play different colours versus new decks and we just spend time together.

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Whether we ever go into tournaments, it doesn’t matter because every single game is different that we can play each other forever and it won’t happen the same. It’s interesting and new every time.

I’m happy I decided to buy that first box and I’m sure there will be many more. I’m never very good at losing (being an old child and all that) but I reckon I haven’t been too bad of a loser in comparison to other games because with Magic, you make the game how you want, it’s not someone else’s game that you’re playing, it’s your game and so you can change the tactics, it isn’t all about luck of the dice roll and so I have more control to win next time.

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We are that young married couple who spend their romantic evenings in playing magic. And plus, people whose lives revolve around things that would be classed as “nerdy” are usually the nicest people you’ll meet. When we went to Magic, Jordan went into the tournament to see what would happen and the first person he played was an extremely experienced player who goes to international tournament, he knew Jordan was a beginner and so he helped him throughout (obviously without trying to make him win) and made it a fair game. He explained each rule and each card and didn’t even act as if he was better. Jordan actually got him down to one point and he hadn’t even noticed. Just goes to show what a little bit of humility can do for you.The best kind of hobby is one that gives you community, the kind of hobby that brings you closer to people you always share a relationship with.

Are you afraid of the dark?

Since I can remember I’ve always feared the dark. Like all fears, it’s learned and so I don’t know when it actually started. I must have slept in the dark as a baby fine without any nervousness as most probably do. I didn’t see any kind of horrors until I was at least 10 so before that I wonder where the idea that the dark was bad came from.

My family have a lot of anxieties about the dark and will say it’s stupid for a woman to even consider going out when it’s dark so maybe it stemmed from the over anxious beliefs from them. I wouldn’t even be out alone at night as a child anyway so those concerns were probably only voiced to me at a later stage. 

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I remember being so scared of the dark that for years I slept with the whole bedroom light on. Not a night light but the bedroom light. I don’t know how I managed it but I did. After a few years I decided a lamp might be better and so I had a lamp on all night. I often tried to sleep with the light off but I couldn’t turn the light off myself, I had to already be under the duvet, fully enveloped and one of my parents would turn it off. I would lie there in a panic about all the bad things that were going to happen to me in that darkness until the panic sent me to sleep. I was lie crushed up against the wall furthered away from the bed edge so I felt safe.

When I got a little older, I would sometimes be up later than my parents, if I had a  lot of homework to do or a good movie was on and just being in the living room on my own made me very anxious. When it was time to go upstairs it would take me at least take me 5 minutes to muster up the courage to turn off the TV so that there was complete silence and then luckily there was a door to upstairs so I could shut that behind me (when we got 2 cats a lock was also put on it so they couldn’t get upstairs at night). The light switch to the living room was near to the door so I was stand inside the door with my arm out to turn off the light and when I switched the light I would rush my arm through the door, slam it closed and run for my life up those stairs. The worst part was having to go back down again at any point.

I would always test myself, try and conquer my fears by making myself walk very slowly up the stairs. The door to the upstairs had a window in the top half so I could always see the living room’s darkness, which, meant I would often look behind to check for what horrible things might be staring at me. Sometimes the fear meant I couldn’t do it, I would slowly step up one of two and panic and run to the top but sometimes I did manage it. I slowly walked to the top of the stairs and nothing grabbed or killed me. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to convince me and it all happened again when I had to turn off the hall light and run to my bedroom. And don’t even think about the sometimes hours I would sit needing the bathroom and not being able to out of fear of going out into the dark hallway.

It all sounds so much when I write it out infront of me but I know that if I had to sleep over in that house again I would probably still do this same. Which then makes me think, is it the darkness that was the big issue or the place? The majority of the bad events that happened to me and my family, happening in that home so before the darkness even came, it wasn’t a place of safety and the darkness make it the horror it was at night.

One of my biggest fears was the pitch black, the initial darkness before your eyes adjust and you can see a little bit. I panicked that I was blind. So I would lie with my eyes wide open telling myself I wasn’t blind until I could see at least some of the outlines of my room. The initial panic about blindness was enough to make me have the light on at all times. Where did that fear come from? I can’t even figure that one out. I was an irrationally fearful child and it was always in moments of being alone so no one ever knew about it.

Things finally started changing when I starting sharing a bed with Jordan. I was still scared but I had someone there to make me feel safe or to tell that I need help when I was feeling frightened. While I guess in a way it could be seen as not conquering my fear because on my own I’m still scared but I have learnt to sleep in the dark. Now I can sleep on my own in dark if Jordan is simply in the house. I still ask him to turn the light off so I don’t have to find the bed in the dark but that’s more to do with me being lazy 😉

I think I’ll always have a vivid imagination but it doesn’t have to be a curse. While I wasn’t able to rid myself of the fear on my own, I don’t think there’s any harm is diluting the fear with the help of someone who makes you feel safe. Maybe one day the dark can be my friend because sometimes a lot of beautiful things can come out of the night.

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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As the years go by..

Well I’ve been married 2 years now, that’s kinda crazy. My 21st is just around the corner and I need to get my life in to some kind of live-able state. It may take me to the end of the year but as long as I make some steps towards having a real life to call my own then It’s a plus.

I’m going to start writing in my journal again and resist ripping the pages out, I am going to have a routine and set myself tasks everyday to make improvements to me and my mental health.

The winter months have been really cruel to my mind and I’ve noticed a huge difference when even a little sun comes through. The light is so good for me and my brain. I want to get crafty again, creative again, happy again.

4 years have passed since things went down the pan in regards to my life moving forward but then if I could have stopped it, I would have. I am at a point now where I have to DO or I will never do again.

It’s so incredibly hard that it sends pains of pain through my chest with anxiety but I don’t want to get to 30 and still be in the same place emotionally I am now.