Are you guilty of……….procrastination?

Are you one of those people who puts things off? Or someone who finds excuses for not doing important or even simple things?

I am a delayer and I only delay when fear or self-doubt is involved. I’m sure confident people procrastinate too but perhaps with things of lesser significance. I used to be decisive and be able to stick to the choices I made. Nowadays, discussions follow decisions as there is never any certainty. I no longer stand by my choices with strength and belief. Instead, if someone questions me, I fall into a pattern of defending myself and the choices I’ve made.

When you think you make all the wrong choices why do things when they need doing?

I have to admit, my whole family are like this. Neither parent would go to the doctor when needed until their pain or problem would be too much to bear. My father would wait until the petrol was almost empty before refilling it. My hubby will allow the ironing to mount up to a sky-high pile and still won’t attack it even as the clothes spill over.

I guess the last point is sheer laziness but sometimes that huge pile in the corner of the room seems too overwhelming to tackle so it’s left to continue out of fear of dealing with it.

When life gets too much, too hard, too stressful, we all put things off – the washing, cleaning, decorating…….

Most of all, forgetting the household chores we should be doing, we tend to put off the most significant thing of all:

TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES

Get a facial, a hair cut, have a sit down – a rest – put your feet up for five minutes. These are the daily procrastinations we all make. We put off giving ourselves the time to breathe, the time to rest, the time to stop and realise that life is short and we must enjoy those small moments when we can.

Take that shower, read that book and leave the washing up till tomorrow 🙂

xxx

Tagged – 11 answers to 11 questions.

Thank you to Krista over at From Food Stamps To A Future for nominating me to answer these questions. Please make sure you check out her blog. Although Krista once suffered at the hands of an abusive husband, she has turned her life around and become an inspiration to us all. Living life with a positive outlook can be difficult when you’ve lived with endless hardship, but not for Krista, she oozes positivity and it’s been a pleasure stopping by her insightful, happy blog.

Number one:

What the most embarrassing thing in your night stand (bedside table for all you Brits)?

I’m sorry Krista but in England we usually have bedside tables that are literally just TABLES. I have one of those therefore nothing embarrassing in it or on it for that matter. Just a fan for the hot weather and a clock. BORING!

Number two:

What is your favourite thing to do on a stormy day?

SLEEP! However with a baby under one that is pretty impossible at the best of times. Before the little one, I’d usually snuggle up on the sofa and watch a good film.

Number three: 

Do you sing in the shower?

No! It might wake the baby!! Haha, not often. I’m more of bath girl myself and baths are for soaking not singing 🙂

Number four:

What’s your favourite book?

The Adventures of Spot? Pop up Peekaboo? Where’s my Monkey? Currently, those are the books I am reading daily. With my daughter. Did I say daily? 🙂 Never really been a big reader of novels but I tend to do most of my reading on-line in blogs, news etc.

Number five:

How many career titles did you have chosen as a child? Did you follow through with any of them?

As a child I loved other children, older and younger. My mother was a teacher and even taught me so I was often surrounded with children. I knew I wanted to work with them which made my mother very happy. Yet it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I actually pursued it having started off by carving a career in Drama. That was never the right path either as I always wanted to work behind the camera as a teen but my family weren’t overly supportive of my job choices. Instead, it was hoped that I’d follow in my sister’s choice of science. That would never have been the case. I was a creative soul just lost in the unpleasantness.

Number six:

What is the meaning of life from your perspective?

I have no spiritual beliefs so find it hard to answer a question like this. All I can say is that life is a gift and a special one at that. It’s the greatest gift you can give someone. The right to breathe, exist. The right to grow and evolve. It is a magical thing not to be taken for granted.

Number seven: 

Do you prefer fruits, vegetables, or meat?

I am a meat eater and could NEVER be a vegetarian. That’s not to say I don’t like veg. Coming from an Indian background, vegetables are a massive part of our diet so I’ve grown up eating all different kinds. I especially love salads.

Number eight:

Do you write your post on the PC or paper?

I write straight onto the computer. I used to find it hard to get a flow on the screen but now it comes naturally. Practice makes perfect and all that!

Number nine:

Where is your favourite place to shop and why?

I mainly shop in Oxford Circus, Central London especially for shoes and coats (TOPSHOP LADIES – GO. SERIOUSLY!!!). I love Central London as it’s so easy to get around. Once you’re there, everywhere’s accessible by foot. Great shops, great restaurants, great everything.

Number ten:

What is the most exhilarating thing you have ever done?

Calling my abusing father a “Bastard” to his face and not regretting it the moment it passed from my lips. Oh, and revealing everything he did to me finally after keeping it hidden for over twenty years.

Number 11:

Do you have a bucket list?

I used to live like this, you know the twenty things to do before you die or fifteen places in the world you’d like to visit kinda thing? Now things are more simple than that. I just want my marriage to work, my family to grow and to one day feel good about myself. Maybe that’s my bucket list and I will have to let you know whether I fulfil these three wishes in the future.

Nominating,

Here are your questions.

  1. Where is home and are you happy there?
  2. Are you where you thought you’d be in your life right now?
  3. What would you say to your younger self?
  4. Does true love exist? If so, how have you experienced it?
  5. If someone could cook you any meal perfectly, what would you request?
  6. What makes a good friend?
  7. Do you have nightmares, what haunts you?
  8. Where is the one place you would tell someone who’s never travelled to go on holiday?
  9. Do you have a high pain threshold?
  10. Do your dreams feel real, what do they consist of?
  11. Are you a positive person?

I hope these aren’t too time consuming or difficult! Thanks again Krista, it was a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon (while baby napped!).

*Image Google*

Where Did it All Go Wrong? Dear Sister, Part 1.

Dear Sister,

Where did it all go wrong? I cannot remember most of my early childhood nor can I find any early memories of the two of us. Photographs show a forgotten love. I cannot say that we were ever close. I cannot even say that I have ever felt a natural bond with you. How sad, for both of us. Perhaps our parents were to blame. Any time I wanted to talk to you, communicate with you, I was stopped. They intervened.

“Don’t upset your sister,” they would say.

What could a seven year old have ever said to upset you? I was a child who did not understand depression. No one sat me down and explained it. I was just left to second guess every action and every word I spoke. That is cruel. In the past, when I mentioned it to the two of them, both have become defensive. Both have denied any wrong doing and I berate them for that. As a parent to be and a parent yourself. surely one is able to admit that they are not perfect. There are and will be times we will fail. It is what makes us human.

My only childhood memory of you that stands out is a sweet moment of sibling protection.

I have made it clear in this blog that there was a time where my mother was not the person she is now. Looking back, she was a very frightening woman. In a flash of rage and disappointment (for reasons I cannot remember) our mother launched at me one day. It was not the first time she had been violent. Smacking happens all around the world and I understand that in certain circumstances it may be necessary but I cannot advocate slapping a five year old child on any part of their body. At that age, a time out should be used or at very least your words. I remember running from her and finding you on the sofa. I jumped on you in tears, scared to the bone, calling your name. She was storming towards us as I huddled and cuddled myself into you. She was on one mission only, for me to learn my lesson. Her flat palm took a large swing and her aim for my bare thigh was on target. With force she let go. I screamed anticipating the pain but before I knew it, you had shielded the beast with a cushion. There was no pain. My tears were staining your shirt, I closed my eyes knowing that she would not be happy. She yelled at you but you just yelled back. She wouldn’t fight you. She never has. You won. I won. You saved me.

I never felt that love again.

What went wrong? At what point did you stop loving me? I never stopped. I looked up to my older sister but I was an embarrassment to you. You only sought my mother’s approval and when you achieved it, I was of little point. As a teenager you distanced yourself. Academics and grades were more important and the small glimpses of fun you did enjoy were not shared with me. Yes, as an older sister, I do understand that having a nagging eight year old wanting your constant attention would be off-putting but I wasn’t a stranger off the street, I was your only sister!

I was no doubt confused the time you requested I stay with you for a weekend at University. To me, it made no sense but my happiness that my sister finally wanted to spend time with me was too much to question your reasons. I cannot remember that weekend. For a while, I thought I had imagined it. Only recently did my mother confirm it really took place.

After that, well nothing.

I felt completely apart from you. The only information I got was from my mother and she was not forthcoming with positive news. I was only to hear negative. It only created a further barrier between us.

How could the two of you ever ask or expect me to live with you instead of my father? You were not the better choice. Neither of you made me feel a part of YOUR family. I wasn’t. I was an outsider in the private, secretive world you had created. You were both so confusing, frightening. Your emotions and anger were raw and your hate for my father was so magnified. I couldn’t live with that. I loved him.

I loved you too. Both of you.

But love was used as a bargaining tool, how many times was I subjected to,

“Well, if you really loved us then……..”

Is that fair? As a parent and a sister tell me, is it?

Is this the point it went wrong for us?

If it is and you cannot forgive me then why on earth did you forgive him?! I have seen and heard of what he did to you. Yet, in his final years, you put that behind you. You forgave him for his torturous behaviour and allowed him into your life.

Explain yourself!*

 

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

*Part 2 to follow.

Sadist or Masochist?

Which one? I always knew he was a sadist. He may not have received any sexual gratification from his regular, public humiliations of me or his constant degrading behaviour but he certainly gained enormous pleasure from watching and causing me to suffer. Little things were his greatest achievements and the moments when I completely crumbled under his power gave him immense satisfaction. The pleasure he gained from my discomfort only clarified one thing – my father was a Sadist.

His love of mental torture and his ability to ambush his victim and catch them off guard was beyond me. He was an expert at luring me into a well prepared trap. His evidence would be laid out in front of him ready to use in his emotional case against me. I would let down my barriers as my father would greet me at the door. The door that had to opened, ready for him as he pulled into the driveway (if I wasn’t ready and he had to ring the doorbell I would feel his wrath for the rest of the evening) he would smile and be very pleasant. Too pleasant. Within seconds and when the door was closed, his true personality would reveal itself. Had I been expecting it all along? Why did I fall for it again? I fell for it every time.

Perhaps I was a Masochist?

Did I enjoy my suffering? I couldn’t have, I wanted so badly to leave, to be free. Many people have accused me of it in the past and still do now. Their limited understanding cannot compute why a ‘sane’ young woman would put up with such behaviour and treatment for so long. I appeared a ‘normal’ and centred character to them and in many ways I was. They weren’t the ones abusing and harming me. I did not have to shield myself around them. For that short while, I could lower my guard and feel relaxed.

I used to joke that I was indeed a Masochist. The more I fell into his emotional traps and mind games, the more I wondered if I actually wanted it. Was I used to it? Had it become my norm? That frightened me enormously. I did not want my morbid reality to become my definite future.

Did I have Self Defeating Disorder? A fairly new term to me. One that I’ve discovered only recently. Did I search for failure and choose situations that led to disappointment? Knowing that nothing made my father happy, I STILL tried everything to make him feel pride in having me as his daughter. I must’ve known deep inside me that I was bound to fail and yet, through hope, I continued to strive for his love and approval. Do I reject love as a result of his sadistic treatment? I cannot take compliments well. I do not feel I deserve them. Or is that simply a result of what he did to me?

My father clearly suffered with many personality disorders some I am yet to discover. At least now, the pieces of the puzzle can rejoin.

Liebster Award Nomination (Free From Him)

Thank you to yokatie.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Liebster award 🙂

I am very grateful that one person takes the time to read my blog let alone any more.

So in answer to your questions Katie:

1) Why do you blog?

Very simple. Because I have to. I have to finally tell the truth I have hidden all my life. I have to feel free to speak the words I have always kept a secret. Blogging has saved me in more ways than anything ever has.

2) When was the last time you did something crazy, or extraordinary?

Risk taking, unfortunately, is something I rarely do. I probably took more risks when I was living with my abuser, after all, I had experienced fear in every form. What was a few more risks? Mmmm, it’s a tough one. The last time I did anything extraordinary or crazy had to be at school when fear and inhibitions did not exist. I suppose this is a question I hope I can answer five years down the line with something impressive to wow you all!

3) Would you consider doing yoga?

Yes! I would. My best friend has recently taken a yoga teaching course in India, she encourages me all the time to start. With my Asian background, I’m almost betraying my culture by not! My father, the abuser, used to rave about Yoga but thankfully, I hadn’t seen him do any since I was a child, otherwise he would have put me off it. My mother is an avid Yoga enthusiast and talks about how wonderful it is for your mental state.

4) What do you love?

A list seems appropriate, unless you want this answer to be everlasting!

Crisp winter mornings, walking alone through the streets of London, a cup of Earl Grey tea in my favourite mug, admiring that unreachable designer bag, trying on hats, laughing till I ache, dreaming of flying, David holding my hand, my job, being respected, loyalty, dancing like I don’t care, margaritas, the sun on my face, singing when nobody’s listening, French bread and butter, olives, music that makes me cry, Chelsea boots, girls who get me, being able to breathe.

It’s funny because I never thought I would find it easy to say the things I love, it seems so seamless to take about the things I hate.

5) If you had nothing to do, every day for a year, what would motivate you to get up? Anything?

One word. Blogging. Blogging would motivate me. That and the blue sky beaming through the leaves and into my room. Blue sky can make anything better.

6) Have you ever held a chicken?

No! I can guarantee I wouldn’t be able to catch one either!

7) When was the last time you star gazed?

I used to do this with my sister when we were younger. She loved astronomy and we spent lots of time looking at and identifying the stars together. I loved these moments when life was innocent, before it all went wrong.

8) When was the last time you used the word ‘beautiful’?

When I described my nephew. My sister in law’s baby is three months old but I haven’t met him yet. I have seen pictures and he is beautiful. I think all babies are beautiful. I look forward to the day I have my own.

9) What is your favourite TV show? Band?

I don’t really have a favourite but I enjoy “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” – a music panel show that is hilarious. I’ve sort of grown up with it. I loved “Dead Set” which was a satirical Channel 4 series about a zombie outbreak on the Big Brother house, written by Charlie Brooker (who is a genius in my husband’s eyes). Favourite band is too tough to answer! I’m a song lover (thank god for iTunes!). To name a few: Locked out of Heaven – Bruno Mars, The Scientist – Coldplay, You can do it – Ice Cube, Red – Daniel Merriweather, Around the World – Daft Punk, Go your own Way – Fleetwood Mac, Work – Iggy Azalea, You and I – Lady Gaga, Parachute – Cheryl Cole, Mirrors – Justin Timberlake, People Help the People – Birdie, The Only Exception – Paramore.

10) Where do you feel like you belong?

I do not feel as though I have a place in society, in the world. My identity has disappeared and I feel as though it would make no difference if I was walking this earth or not. The abuser took all that away from me. I do not have a sense of belonging any more. I long to feel like that. The only place that I feel safe is in my mother’s arms.

I am also passing this nomination thread to others as there are so many wonderful bloggers out there suffering in the same way. Here are my ten questions for you:

  1. What do you admire about yourself?
  2. What would be your last meal?
  3. When was the last time you felt angry?
  4. What makes you laugh?
  5. What is your greatest fear?
  6. If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
  7. Why did you start blogging?
  8. Is there anything in life you regret?
  9. What is temptation to you?
  10. Where is home?

My only nominations right now are below, their work is so touching and humbling. I urge you to read their stories.

catherinemoncada21.wordpress.com

http://masknolonger.wordpress.com

Still afraid to tell the truth.

I bumped into someone today on the way home from work. It was a pleasant surprise to see them as we hadn’t met up for over a year.

She asked after my father (she knew from a brief conversation late last year that he’d died) to see how I was feeling. I said I was coping when she asked if it was “difficult”.

Yes, it is ‘difficult’ but for the opposite reasons that you are thinking of. Yet, this is not something I would ever dare to say out loud to most people. I am still too frightened to admit the truth about my father.

It doesn’t help that most people I have come across either have a loving relationship with their dad or their father is the most caring individual in the world. The other thing that doesn’t help is if their dedicated, loving father has also passed away.

Whilst I’m silently screaming with joy and relief, their world has been torn apart. To even mention that somewhere, in the big wide world, there are actual men out there terrorising their children, abusing and demoralising them, mentally ripping their hearts to pieces. It is unimaginable for these people to perceive that any father could set out to deliberately hurt or wound their child. My father was one of those men. He lived life torturing me. He gained enjoyment from seeing me suffer. The emotional scars that filled me were his sadistic rewards.

This is why, in certain situations, I have to gloss over the truth.

I can’t be open and honest in case it upsets them or worse, they question me. I think I hate that the most. I do not expect to have to defend myself to you over a man you have never met. A man that has scarred me for life. Just because that lowlife was graced with the title – FATHER, it never actually made him one. He was never a father in any sense of the word.

Since starting the blog, I have been questioned, judged and even interrogated by friends – new and old, colleagues and even total strangers.

It happened. He did it.

I should not have to justify my abuse.

I want to feel free to tell the truth.

Am I assertive?

Possibly. Maybe? Perhaps not as much as I would like to be but – I’ll get there!

I have learnt a lot about assertive behaviour over the past few weeks. I see it appearing within myself and then fading into oblivion when I feel like I’ve taken on too much. I want to change and become more assertive but it seems like a daunting task. Over the past week, on the few occasions I’ve put it into practice, it hasn’t totally gone to plan.

In one situation, with a family member, it went completely awry and blew up in my face. One thing our tutor mentioned, was that the people we know may respond negatively to the fact that we are changing. They may not like the new assertive and confident person we are turning into. They are far too use to us being passive, obedient and subservient. It is too much for them to undertake or comprehend and their frustration is bound to come out. Which it did in my case. A rather loud and heated argument followed with me letting rip. Sick of pushing my anger and emotions to one side, I let a little leave me and I did not apologise nor feel guilty after. Within reason we all have the right to feel anger – appropriately of course. I think I will choose my words more carefully next time. However, I do not plan to stop being assertive.

This is a new me.

A confident, open and clear me. One who can ask for what she wants, accepts criticism, feel anger without being judged, feel she has human rights and can say ‘No’ without fear of letting someone down.

She isn’t here yet and I’ve never seen her in me before but I hope, I really hope that I can find her.

Am I manipulative?

I would not class myself as manipulative since finding out what this kind of behaviour is. I would however, class some people I know as owning this behaviour. After discovering its meaning, I have been looking out for it this last week and have been surprised to see it in the people around me. Often, you do not know when you are doing it. I cannot admit that I am never manipulative.

Examples of manipulative behaviour are:

  • Guilt tripping – If you really cared about me then you would….
  • Using ailments as an excuse to do something – my back has been hurting all week/I just feel too tired to….
  • Use of emotional bribery – I’d be forever grateful if you could…..

Of course, in certain circumstances, it would be wrong not to have sympathy for these reasons but it is all dependant on how often they use this as an excuse. You may begin to identify that there are specific people in your life that manipulate you constantly.

Mu husband probably sees this behaviour from me. For example whilst walking past some shoes I may like, the occasional “If you want to make me happy…….” might trickle out of my mouth but usually in jest. Sarcasm can be manipulative too. What do they say, “50% of sarcasm is truth”? We trick people into believing it’s a joke, but of course there must be some truth behind it. We wouldn’t say it otherwise.

Children are the key grouping that fall into manipulative behaviour using their position as someone you love and care about to get what they want. Just because they are children doesn’t give them free reign to behave inappropriately. This is when clear boundaries should be set so they understand what is appropriate and effective behaviour.

Adults can be manipulative too.

My father was and I believe my mother has been too. The latter may not be realising when she is.

My father regularly used manipulation to get what he wanted. He played on everything possible: his age, his ethnicity, his culture, his position in society, his job, his illnesses, my lack of empathy. All these things manifested into me feeling extreme resentment towards him.

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable.
Joyce Brothers

The Void.

It’s not that I wish my father was still alive, it’s not like I long for his love or wish a real relationship with him. There just feels as though there is a void in my life. I know what it is. He left me without any answers, any conclusions. I have not been given closure. Yes, he is gone and that offers me a little cessation but I wanted to get what I deserved and have a chance to find out the whys, what and hows.

Why did you do it?

What did I ever do to you?

How can you justify treating me that way?

I never got any answers to any of my questions. I have asked over the years but how an earth do you put it to an abuser? How do you get what you want? He would never have given me what I want especially when he gained so much satisfaction from taunting me. He enjoyed the fact that it was another thing he could play with, it was another chance to toy with my emotions. 

The void remains. It will always be there. I just hope the emptiness will one day be filled.

 

The boss of me.

I have to be honest here. I lack majorly when it comes to standing up for myself. If questioned, I feel backed into a corner. I hesitate, show anxiety, panic and doubt myself if questioned in a bossy way. My father was so demanding and his level of questioning was always challenging towards me. He made me feel like no answer would satisfy him and that nothing would appease the situation.

When challenged by my peers now, I react similarly to the way I did with my father. I do not like to be bossed yet I respond well to clear and respectful orders or requests. I notice it the most in a working environment. No matter where I have worked through my career, it has always been the same. I appreciate being talked to not talked at. I appreciate communication and cooperation. It makes for an easier life. I am not good at second guessing or acting on assumption, I like to know in advance and feel prepared for something. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can’t be spontaneous. I just leave that for the other parts of my life. At work however, I want to know where I should be and what I should be doing. 

My father was always the boss of me. 

He gave himself that role and I allowed him to have it.

Thursday will be an important day with an important post. It will be exactly one year that I watched my father’s body be cremated. It will be a time to look back on what I consider to be the most surreal moment of my life.

It was a hellish day, an upsetting day and most of all, a very revealing day.

It was my father’s funeral.