Fucked

I don’t even know where to begin in writing this. All I know is that everything feels completely fucked at the moment and I feel like I’m living in a constant state of stress and anger.

Being honest I haven’t felt properly happy for a few weeks. Maybe it’s even longer, I don’t know. All I know is that now it feels impossible to push away or ignore and now it feels huge.

Work has been extremely busy. We have 2 of the team away on a longish term basis, one on internal secondment and another has broken her arm. Then we have the usual team holidays and sicknesses so things have been busier than normal. I, personally, have been very busy because one of the partners I work for is very demanding and he likes to ensure that he dominates me so that my other partners don’t get a look in.

Anyway, the point in that background is that work has been busy and so it’s only natural that I would feel stressed. However the stress I’ve been feeling doesn’t feel quite in line with the situation. I’ve found myself feeling like I might cry, I’ve felt extreme anger flushing over me. I’ve wanted to call in sick (I haven’t) and every evening when I leave, I feel thoroughly drained. But I didn’t pay that much attention to it to be honest because it is what it is…

However on Tuesday in my therapy session I ended up in another disagreement with T because I told her that I wanted to drop my second session. We’ve had the exact same conversation twice before and it never ends well. We don’t agree. She wants me to continue with twice a week therapy because she said it’s healing and that it changes the whole dynamic of my therapy even if I don’t feel like that. I argued that I don’t feel I need two a week anymore and that whilst I did; I don’t now. In truth my second session had felt like a friendly chat for quite some time but now it’s beginning to feel like a chore. I never thought I would say that but I find myself feeling like it’s another job to do in the week, much the same as going to work, doing the food shopping etc. I don’t know why that is, but there we go.

I left T’s Tuesday evening feeling angry and upset. I was beyond frustrated. I then came home and started to cook dinner but nothing was working. The hob wouldn’t light, the cutlery drawer would not close and the broken oven was, well, broken. I flew into a rage and started slamming the drawer. An hour or so later I cried and cried to my husband about my session and then he told me this…

He told me that I am not good at accepting that someone else may have a different opinion to me. He said that whenever someone does, I get really angry and very extreme in my reactions. He picked a recent example where me and him had disagreed on something (whether I should contact my sister or not) and he said that I started to say that if we didn’t agree then there was a really big problem in our marriage etc.

It hurt hearing him say that. A lot actually and it hurt to know that he held that view/opinion of me whilst I never knew. Obviously it’s not a nice thing to hear and I felt embarrassed and ashamed but also I felt wrongly judged.

Having had this work stress, then the therapy session stress and then come home to that, I felt pretty done in and the feeling inside was crap.

Then yesterday evening I came home and cooked dinner and watched some tele and when we went to bed, my husband rolled over and was silent. I have told him a few times in recent months that I would like it if he at least said goodnight and gave me a kiss. Whenever I’ve said that he quickly kisses me but it’s felt shit because it’s like he’s doing it to shut me up. It’s been something that’s been playing on my mind and last night when he did the same thing I felt the pain in my chest again and told him so. Where has the affection gone?

It didn’t go well. He huffed and puffed and got irritated. He kept moaning that it was late and that he was tired and snapped why did I always want to talk about these things so late at night. I ended up crying (again) and told him that I didn’t feel he loved me as much as he used to. I said that all the little affectionate things seem to have vanished and that it was worrying me and playing on my mind.

In truth it goes a little deeper than this. I wrote recently about our arguments about money and how T had voiced her concerns that this trait in my husband may end up coming between us because it really sucks the joy out of things. Since we moved into our house 2 weeks ago, nothing between us has felt the same. We bickered constantly at first and then the money arguments and now this… his reaction to me saying I didn’t feel very loved anymore didn’t help ease my mind at all. In fact, his irritation only added to the feeling of unease.

Perhaps it is dramatic but my mind started thinking that the love was seeping out of our marriage and that sooner or later we would both feel we were trapped in a loveless marriage and one of us may have an affair and we would end up divorced. He told me not to be so dramatic. He said he felt things were fine and said he felt the same as he always had.

I know I can’t possibly say how he feels, but so many things have changed and all of the insecurity I used to feel has come flooding back. For years now I’ve not felt like this. Surely there’s a reason for that?

He claims since we moved I have been highly strung and that since I’ve calmed down, we’ve been fine. That really didn’t help.

After this I couldn’t sleep and I tossed and turned so much (apparently) that he flew out of bed in a rage shouting that I was keeping him awake and he stormed out of the bedroom closing the door behind him. I don’t know what he did but he did come back soon and he started scratching his skin really hard and loudly (he has eczema) but I could tell it was in anger. Then I was too scared to move an inch and so I lay there wide awake feeling utterly shit all night.

I’m now on the train to work and my eyes hurt. My heart hurts too. I’m confused about so many things. Am I being stupid? Am I triggered and projecting onto him or something? Am I right to feel the way I do? Why don’t I feel his love the way I did? And why since moving has everything in my world felt like it’s going to be ruined at any moment?

I used to feel like I had one of the happiest and most loving marriages of anyone I knew. Now I am feeling like that is never coming back.

It feels like so many aspects of my life are hard to tolerate that I feel like I may combust at any moment. It’s a horrible feeling.

Feeling Fearful

My husband and I FINALLY completed on our house purchase just a little over a week ago. It was one hell of a long and stressful process, taking 7 months and including 2 breaks in the chain, having all our belongings in a storage unit and living with my husband’s parents for 3 months. It was HARD.

On completion day I felt such relief and such hope and pride and was so happy that when I received the call to say it was done, I burst into tears (in a coffee shop with my husband’s emotionally closed-off parents).

That evening when everyone finally went home, we popped open some bubbles and merrily unpacked a few bits and bobs and then a day later we begun decorating the living room. That was a long arse process and took SO much longer than I had ever imagined. Who knew how much was involved with painting a room??? Filling holes, sanding walls, cleaning walls, painting ceilings, painting skirting boards, undercoat, two/three more coats… Christ it was never ending. But it was mostly fun.

Lovely.

So imagine my disappointment in writing that actually this week has been pretty shitty because my husband and I have bickered almost constantly about money to the point where Tuesday night I sobbed twice. I’ve cried myself to sleep twice since being there.

Ugh.

It’s all about money…. bloody money.

Basically my husband and I are very different when it comes to money. It’s the only thing we argue about. He is (what I would call) tight. He’s all about budgets and money-saving websites and spreadsheets etc and he even works out how much he can spend PER DAY on a spreadsheet. Imagine what happens then when a lot of money needs to be spent or something happens that is not budgeted for?! HELL.

My husband would say that I am reckless and impulsive but that’s not actually true. What would be true is that I USED to be. I am not anymore and haven’t been for some years. I no longer buy OTT gifts for people trying to buy their love. I no longer take myself shopping when I am sad or angry or insecure. I no longer bulk buy things and then take them back. I’ve not used a credit card in over a year now and in the last few years I’ve been slowly paying off my debt whilst also saving for a wedding and a house. My money and spending habits have changed. I am more sensible now, but I’ll never be the way my husband is. I do not plan every penny out.

I feel disappointed that this is happening. It’s really sucked the joy out of what should have been a happy and exciting time. I’m way, waaaayyyy more secure in myself and my relationships than I’ve ever been, but admittedly it’s begun to make me feel some stirrings of fear that the happy, loving marriage I had, has suddenly gone.

I know that’s probably silly, and realistically I suppose I know that it’s just a blip and it’s just something that happens but I’m a little worried because the longer it’s going on, the further away “he” feels. We were SO happy, like stupid happy maybe. I went to sleep every night happy (well, maybe not EVERY night but you know what I mean). Suddenly I go to bed and feel stressed, disappointment and fear. And it’s shit.

For the past 7 months we’ve been planning to replace the windows at the new place, buy a new sofa and have a small section of roof recovered. We have saved hard. We have some savings left to cover some works and we were planning to get the windows on finance. We’ve since had 2 window companies out to give us (ridiculous) quotes.

Suddenly on Tuesday night my husband has decided we should not be getting windows on finance (or at all as we don’t have a spare £5k). We can’t get a new sofa on finance or at all (not enough savings after everything else) and we should be buying nothing at all and should only be concentrating on paying off his debt.

He started to say that in two years when our fixed mortgage term runs out, we will need to remortgage and that we will struggle if we add window debt to existing debt, especially if I have gone part time by then due to any (miracle) baby.

Erm panic stations.

We argued and I cried and I spent the next day worrying that I have finally got myself some security only to now feel it may not last long at all. That triggered me.

I’m not stupid, I see these things are important. I see there’s truth here BUT what gets me is my husband’s ability to convince himself and me that we are destitute. This happens sooooo often you would not believe.

After talking about this with T yesterday o realised it’s the same thing that happens when we talk about holidays, weddings, Christmas etc. It’s the same thing that happened when we begun our fertility tests (expensive). When we need (or want) to spend some money, he goes off into this place where he becomes extreme and over the top and we argue. I become frustrated and disappointed and resentful.

I start to feel resentful that despite working full time in a decently paid job, looking after him and the kids (at weekends), doing all the general house stuff like the washing and ironing and buying and cooking the food etc- suddenly I’m told that we cannot in fact afford anything.

The other thing that really pisses me off is that I feel (using “i words here”, I feel that he becomes a bit controlling and a bit of a dictator. Suddenly all our money decisions are HIS decisions. Suddenly he gets the final say in everything. Suddenly I am not an equal part of this marriage/house/life…… and that pisses me off big time because 1) control And 2) feeling dictated to – big no, no’s.

He has children. He pays for them – rightly so. I knew that when I met him and I’ve known that for the last 6 years that we’ve been married. We also pay 50/50 for the bills regardless of the face he earns £10k more than me. He may say that after his CSA payments, we earn about the same but actually, truthfully, is his CSA my issue?

We pay 50/50 for a house big enough that his children have bedrooms and we have done for the 6 years that we’ve lived together. Is that fair? Who knows.

He has money issues. He wouldn’t hear that said, he wouldn’t agree, but he does. He’s so extreme that he must do. T is worried that this may end up causing a real issue in our marriage because it will chip away at things. I didn’t agree at first but I am starting to.

It feels like when he may need to let go of some money (or let go emotionally? Psychologically) he holds on tighter. We need to spend some money, so he makes it that we cannot spend a single thing!!! It must be about control somewhere in there, he certainly makes me feel *controlled* when he does this.

Next time this happens I think I’ll prevent myself from taking on his projection and feeling the fear for him. I think it must be some unconscious fear…. but that’s not to say I won’t find it bloody stressful and annoying.

We have a wedding to go to in Italy next summer. The arguments that caused you wouldn’t believe!! I booked and paid for the flights, he hasn’t had to pay a single penny. I sorted out our passports as much as I could but then he decided he didn’t want to do his yet (stalling things). I found and booked the cheapest hotel I could AND I’ve even started doing overtime one evening a week at work in order to put the money aside especially for this trip. He still does not want to go. He gets annoyed when it’s mentioned. Goes on about how much it will cost. The thing is, we haven’t been abroad in 3.5 years!!! Not even for our honeymoon, I keep telling him we need and deserve a mini break away. It’s only a few nights, not even a week but he does not agree.

Looking back it’s always been the same. I guess because I did need to be better with money, I didn’t see it but now I would say I am healthier than him in a way because at least it doesn’t rule my life and take over my mood and ruin good and happy times.

T thinks it’s all to do with his dad and about money and love. His dad is a wealthy man. T also said I should remind him next time he does this, that he is treating me like his dad night his mum. She has never worked and he has always been in charge of money. That’s how he makes me feel but the difference is, I am not his mother and I do work and I work bloody hard as well as running the home like his mum did. I do not expect to be treated like the little woman at home.

I’m upset and disappointed about all of this. I am nervous and fearful that it could end up becoming a real issue. I do think it’s something he needs to do some work on – i actually think couples counselling could help…. but he will not go for that (not to mention the money!!!!).

It’s just a blip I’m sure. He did this when we had to spend money on fertility stuff, we argued then. We got over it. I’m sure we will find our way back to each other soon.

I hope so.

Until then, I’m going to try to detach from it and not discuss money with him. I’ve told myself windows and sofas can wait until next year. For now we should just forget about them and try to enjoy decorating our house.

Time for a bubble bath and a glass of wine for me.

X

T coming to my house

Last week on the phone to T I told her how I wished she could come and see my new house. Imagine my total shock when she responded to say that we could arrange that!!!!

That was last Thursday and between then, and Sunday, somehow – don’t ask me how, I had totally forgotten. Perhaps I blocked it out or something? On Sunday my husband asked me to tell him about that conversation and asked me how I felt. I told him that it felt really weird and that I just couldn’t believe it.

I said it would be really weird to see T anywhere other than in her therapy room. This may sound strange, but I said even just seeing her drive or knock on my door would be weird. Would she have a handbag with her? Would she be dressed differently?

I said I would feel nervous about how to be around her, it would feel like the tables were turned and I had to somehow take the lead… I would offer her a cup of tea… would she sit on my sofas? She would get such a clearer image of who I was by seeing my home.

I said it would be like seeing your teacher at the pub (that happened to me when I was 18 and I found it strange!). It’s hard to place someone you’ve only ever seen in one scenario in another. Suddenly they become “real people”.

Equally part of me would love to show T my house – particularly because I don’t have a mum to do that with. I would love to know she had been there and it felt nice, but I admit, mainly scary.

Then in my phone session with her this afternoon, she mentioned it again and asked me how it felt and said a few things. I was convinced she was going to take her offer back and felt my stomach jump.

She asked me how it felt and I told her that it would be weird, I told her the teacher analogy but said it would also be nice. I admitted I would feel nervous but excited. She started to say that it can be dangerous to see your therapist outside of “the room” and that it can cause problems with the framework and then she said “it can cause all sorts of fantasies like that we would become friends”.

Oh my. That comment, meant so innocently and said in such a Nonchalant way, hurt so much. It hurt instantly like before I even consciously tried to process what she had said. Ouch.

We are not friends.

From a practice point of view I guess I understand that but it really did feel like a punch to the stomach. It felt like she was rejecting me I suppose.

She told me it would not be a therapy session but that she hoped it would be therapeutic. She said she wouldn’t offer this with everyone, that so many factors would determine if it was suitable and she admitted that she would never have suggested this to me 2 or 3 years ago.

She really encouraged me to be honest with her and tell her the total truth about any feelings I had over the coming weeks. She said a few times that I did not have to go along with it and that it would not ruin or change anything at all. She said that as long as I promised to be completely honest with her about anything that came up for me, we would be okay. She said it may trigger some painful transference or other types of painful feelings. I ummed and ahhed along and then our session was over.

So now I’m sat in my car trying to process this. I have a really strange and unsettling feeling inside. It doesn’t feel all roses and butterflies which surprises me because doe 5 years, I would have prayed for a chance like this. Now I’m questioning myself, is it that I want to become friends? Is it part of me secretly hoping it’s the start of something else like her next meeting my husband or me being invited to her house (knowing that won’t happen). Or am I lost being silly and overthinking it?

Will it make me feel the difference between how much she knows about me and how much I know about her even more? Will that feel unfair or unbalanced?

What does it really matter that she sees my house? Why am I scared about being with her in my house instead of her therapy room? What difference does it really make?

Trying to stay steady

I’ve just finished my phone session with T in the park again. I’m sat on a bench right now overlooking the big pond and watching squirrels climb up the trees and jump between them. There are birds flying around and ducks being fed by children. It’s very autumnal here today, red and orange leaves are scattered all over the floor and it’s chilly enough that I’m wearing a proper coat. My favourite season for sure. I love it.

However inside my mood is sad. I’ve felt very sad this week about my lack of contact with my sister. In the last few days she’s blocked me completely on social media and most recently, Sunday I think, she removed my stepson’s access to her family music account.

On Monday I was so angry about that. I was furious. It took everything I had not to message her and tell her she’s a stupid little girl (despite being 24), but I was told by my husband and later by T, not to rise to her as she was acting out.

By Tuesday night however when I spoke to T, I cried a fair bit. It all feels so bloody sad that we’ve just stopped speaking – why?? I cried to T and she kept telling me to hold steady because it’s important that I am not always the one to fix things between us when she’s caused an argument. She explained to me how my sister “splits” and sometimes I’m seen to be “all good” and other times, “all bad”. T said she has clearly made up a narrative that I’m horrible and that I should leave her to it because there’s no point in wasting my energy trying to convince her that I’m not “all bad”. Just human.

But then last night I was laying in bed and I decided to re-read all our old messages. I read about a year’s worth and some of the messages made me smile and laugh – there were countless “ugly” selfies and voice clips of us doing stupid voices or singing parts of songs. There were messages between us where I gave her advice and there were more general every-day messages. Soon I found myself sobbing again. I really realised how much I miss her. I didn’t really realise but having her around feels like having a really good friend. It’s like I’ve lost a good friend.

I do realise that that sounds like a rather Rose-tinted view and that obviously we wound each other up and had rows and stuff – it wasn’t ever perfect BUT still, I miss her.

I told T this in our call this afternoon and I also told her that the last two sets of messages were actually okay. They weren’t arguments. We had “the”argument and then there was a message she sent about something random and then a message she sent wishing me happy birthday.

Then nothing…..

I said to T that I had genuinely forgotten these extra messages and that I had thought all this time that we were still not speaking because of the argument. I said I was worried she thought she had made the effort and had text me several times, and I had not bothered. I kinda understood her point of view.

T said that just because she had initiated two text conversations didn’t mean that she should give up and never speak to me anymore and it didn’t mean she should then block me on socials and remove my stepson’s access to the music thing…. I agreed. I told her that my husband said the same thing and also said that he hasn’t messaged his sister for weeks and that she’s often the one to initiate the messages between them but that didn’t mean she would suddenly stop speaking to him or block him on social media. He said I was trying to make excuses for her.

T ended up saying that it was up to me and that if I really wanted to contact her, that I should do but that she was worried my sister was clearly acting out very passively and that she was concerned I would receive an ear-bashing. I agreed and said I could almost guarantee I would. My sister loves an argument and has almost certainly painted herself as a victim in this. I wasn’t sure there was a way to try and talk without having some huge argument and I really don’t want that.

T suggested contacting her now may send the wrong message because she has just done all the acting out this week. It may look like her acting out and bad behaviour has worked – by getting my attention. I agreed and said I didn’t want to do that, but I’m worried more and more time is passing and more and more damage is being done to our relationship.

T told me to hold tight. She said I had a lot going on with the house move right now and that she thinks I should wait a while and wait until I’ve moved and got settled before making any contact. She suggested I just sent something like “we haven’t spoken for ages, it’s a shame and I miss you” or said even maybe just send a funny gif or something.

She’s probably right. There’s a huge part of me who is feeling the discomfort of the sadness and true missing and the fear of the damage this is doing that makes me want to fix it right now – literally right now… but I know she’s probably right and I know she doesn’t want me to end up hurt which I think I very easily could.

So I suppose I have to hang tight.

My sister has never been the one to try and fix an argument with me after a period of silence like this. It’s always, always me and I don’t want that pattern to continue but I do really miss her. Me and T have spoken a lot about my sister and T thinks she had borderline PD. I think so too, and that makes it harder for me in many ways because I understand that the things she does like the splitting and the irritability and inability to ever be wrong or take ownership all stems from a really hurt part of her created by my bloody mother. It all comes from the insecure attachment and insecurity and that just makes me want to look after her more – not less! It makes me want to show her she is loved, really loved – by me!! But that’s very hard to do when she acts out like this and when she’s living with my mother and has convinced herself my mother is “all good” and has changed etc….

It infuriates me that my mother’s treatment of us both has ruined our ability to have a healthy relationship too. It’s yet another causality to come from her. The fact I’ve always been like a surrogate mother to my sister makes this even harder because I automatically want to be “the adult” who says “come on now, let’s play nicely” but she’s an adult too and for her sake as much as my own, I can’t do that. Can I?

I only stopped contacting her because I was angry with her aggression over me not attending that flipping family event and her shitty comment about my therapy – oh and her passive aggressive Twitter and Instagram comments. All that got to me and I realised I didn’t like it and didn’t want to be making contact with someone and ignoring all of that. Perhaps I should have handled that better and told her that outright. Maybe in effect I’ve given her the silent treatment without meaning to? That’s a passive aggressive action too, so doesn’t make me any better.

It’s a thin line between setting boundaries and reacting passively isn’t it??