2015 – A year in Review.

Usually, at the end of each year, I do a month by month review but evidently as I have not posted as frequently this year than others, there isn’t as much in my life to review!

Makes more sense to sum up the more stand-out months that passed.

January was the first time my daughter slept through the night. This might not seem like a big deal but believe me – IT IS. She slept through which meant WE slept through. Bliss!

Needless to say it didn’t last.

March and one of the months I would rather forget. My birthday fell on the 2nd and my husband decided it would be a good time to treat me like a piece of s***. He ignored me for most of the day, sulked and generally ruined what should have been an enjoyable, relaxing time for me. Don’t think that it’s asking too much to feel good on a day where you get older is it? My husband and I hit rock bottom that month.

May was the month I chose to blog about my marriage. My broken marriage. My post https://freefromhim.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/when-history-repeats-itself/ caused a bit of a stir. It worried some friends, especially that of my husband’s. We had always come across as so right for each other. We may have been two very different people but no one ever doubted a connection. However, nobody can ever see the inner workings of a relationship nor can they truly know the person. I spend every day with my husband and when times are stressful, they’re really stressful and when things are tense, they’re incredibly tense. I can’t pretend that life is going smoothly when it’s falling apart. I’ve done that before and I suffered terribly for keeping it a secret. As a promise to myself, I vowed not to hide away from pain, be upfront about it and then at least it’ll be in the open. Some cannot understand my logic but that’s fine. I don’t look for agreement as it is solely my life and my choices I only ask for no negative comments. Nothing is gained from that.

Sadly in July I would receive a stream of negative comments from people I didn’t know, all condemning me for berating my husband so publicly. It upset me and I know I should not have let it. It led me to defend myself which I also know I didn’t need to do. I just hate being backed into a corner or accused of behaving in a way I haven’t. Why when we speak up about suffering or hurt we are sentenced to a term of judgement and verbal punishment? I experienced the same sorts of abuse when I posted about my father. It’s so hypocritical – you speak up and speak frankly – you are a nasty wife who is exposing your “fragile” husband or you keep shut and hide away – you have led yourself into that situation and you should have walked away earlier…..

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

September saw my daughter reach her 1st birthday. My little premature bird of a baby whose tiny fingers once wrapped around one of mine, made it to her biggest milestone. She not only made it but smashed through every expectation and want we could have had for her. I gush about her a lot. I know. But seriously – she amazes me! She’s so sparky and curious and has her own way about things already. Children are so beautiful. She is so beautiful and after everything, every stress, every heartache, she reminds me what true happiness is.

November marked the month where my husband returned to work. He had been unemployed on and off for around seven months. An especially long and frightening time as I had also given up my job to look after our daughter. It was an incredibly difficult decision as I was aware my husband’s project work was coming to an end and there was always going to be a risk of unemployment. Foolishly and probably wanting to in some way, I believed my husband when he assured me he’d find work within the following month.

He didn’t and thus followed a very stressful time.

I look on it differently now and have done since September. I began to cherish the time he had with our daughter. What father gets to spend seven months with their baby in it’s first year? It rarely happens. My husband had an opportunity to nurture his daughter in those crucial months and witness her grow so beautifully. One thing I always wanted for her was a close relationship with both her parents. Not clinging to one as she’s passed to another. My daughter does not prefer mother or father. She wants both and I am so proud of that.

Here we are at December. The year is over and once again it has gone by in a heartbeat.

I have many hopes for next year: that we move out into our own home, that my marriage strengthens, that my daughter continues to grow, thrive and amaze me, but most of all that I try to strengthen myself, think more positively and enjoy every day as a mummy.

Happy New Year everyone xx

 

 

 

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Feel good.

Having only properly discovered Spotify recently (yes, I’m so far behind for a thirty one year old) and after finding some essential tracks for each mood, I have come up with a few playlists that I wanted to share with you guys. Music has always been a fundamental key to my survival especially during the abuse. It has been the one consistency through the trauma, the one thing I have always relied on to raise me out of the lowest feelings. It can heal you. Lyrics that have been penned from the darkest of souls who seem to understand your pain for that sad moment, lyrics that capture love and heartbreak and the rare times of happiness. Music has saved me in many ways. The nights where he screamed obscenities at me behind my locked bedroom door as I lay in bed with my headphones over my ears and the gentle sounds of the radio played through my stereo and rocked me to sleep.

I love putting playlists together.

I totally listen to certain songs at certain times and it all depends on my mood.

Here are my favourite ten songs from my Feel Good playlist.

1. http://youtu.be/g0_FvK51wOQ

My, does this song change my mood. I cannot feel unhappy after hearing this. Cheesy? Maybe. Classic? Probably. Feel good? Yes, definitely. The tune and melody instantly captures me and Michael McDonald’s voice is crazy. How a man can reach those notes is beyond me. Love it.

2. ‘Change the World’ – Eric Clapton

This not his biggest song. I do love Tears in Heaven but the heartbreaking story behind it crushes me. It does not belong in this playlist. Change the World is gentle and easy yet has that American, acoustic guitar I like. It’s simplicity. I like the lyrics too.

3. http://youtu.be/P_OK_H8F2g0

Blur or Oasis? There was never any contest for me. I was Blur all the way and in 1999 they released ‘Tender’ which has firmly become one of my favourite Blur songs. It may not seem “Feel Good” but with the help of The London Community Gospel Choir, the song is transformed from softly haunting to melodic genius. It is uplifting as well as calming. It brings back great memories too and who can argue the lyrics, “Come on, come on, come on, get through it. Come on, come on, come on, love’s the greatest thing that we have”. Beautiful.

4. http://youtu.be/dNmpoj2Izwc

This is an acoustic version of the original which is actually more of a dance genre. I like both versions but I picked this one to share as it features the model Cara Delevingne on vocals. She is one my style icons so it made sense to use her version here. Will Heard is on lead vocals and his raspy tone is addictive to listen to. Not only is it feel good but mesmerising. I am in love with his hazy voice and have spent time listening to it on repeat.

5. http://youtu.be/QbsAqs3YHyg

Could not care less what anybody thinks of this! Not only is their music video for “Pray” cheesy and cringe-worthy as hell even I, their loyal supporter cannot control my laughter. No matter what, I adore this. It is wrong and so right at the same time!

6. http://youtu.be/Sds5SpNd1Mw

Bruno Mars can be a little hit and miss for me but he got it so right with “Treasure”. It is: turn it up, hit the dance floor, create a very “un-cool” routine to kind of song. Doesn’t matter. It makes me feel good.

7. http://youtu.be/y_elVdQppTU

Luther Vandross was such an inspiring man, a great loss to the music industry. There was no question he would be in my top ten. I love ‘Stop to Love’, so catchy.

8. American Boy – Estelle.

Great British songstress who only really had this as her biggest hit. Shame we never saw much more. Nevertheless, ‘American Boy’ is so feel good. Back when Kanye was less bizarre and more about the music. This tune makes me want to dance on a beach somewhere.

9. http://youtu.be/bBQVrCflZ_E

Oh god, I am not showing my music taste in a very good way! Well I never pretended to be “cool”. I love eighties music as much as I adore eighties films. This is a quintessential eighties anthem and has to be on this list. You are made of stone if this music video doesn’t make you smile.

10. http://youtu.be/NMNgbISmF4I

Not only ‘Feel Good’ but this Aerosmith song goes on my list of favourite songs of all time. I adore the video and loved Alicia Silverstone when I was younger (I am the generation of ‘Clueless’). I love the sense of freedom in it even though it’s essentially a love song. I longed to be a rebel like the girls in the video. I also wanted the trust and love that the two friends had. I have never found that. The song was released when I was twelve but I saw the video for the first time a few years later at fifteen. It was a bewildering time in my own life and the element of escaping that Aerosmith shot in their music video appealed to me very much.

Without music, life would be a mistake.
Friedrich Nietzsche

2013 A Review: October – December.

Well the last month can officially go down as my most stressful this year. I never would have thought that in January but work has played a big part in my stress levels. I hope in the New Year that there will be a turnaround and any stress is tackled appropriately so that I or anyone else does not have to suffer emotionally and physically.

OCTOBER

At the beginning of October, I made a pledge to myself: to be an assertive women. It started off well. I made a few small changes at work and at home. Softly softly. At work, the “new me” took shape quickly and my subtle change slipped under the radar. I wasn’t seeking approval or applause for it. At home however, it proved to be a bit of a problem. My mother had difficulty adjusting to this change at first. In all honesty, I still believe that she prefers the more subservient me. A few arguments have taken place since October. It is a slow process. Both of us, unfortunately, lead by our emotions. Being assertive means you have to separate your emotions from your requests. Otherwise, you fall into manipulation. It will be an ongoing change in myself but I am never going back. I refuse to be that passive girl who accepted a shitty life. I want more.

In October I faced some truths closer to home. I admitted for the first time that I was baring many symptoms of  BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder). I have not been clinically diagnosed, at least not yet. I am hoping with a new attitude and positive behaviour that I can mould a new view of myself. If it does not work then I will pay my doctor a visit. It is one thing to say it on WordPress, another to ask for help.

Unbelievably to me, I was nominated for the Liebster Award on WordPress in October by a very kind blogger! Total kudos from one blogger to another. I was humbled that someone believed in my blog so much.

NOVEMBER

During this month, I received the most comments and biggest reaction from Facebook and WordPress for my post The Lady on the Train. Looking back, I would not hesitate to do the same. I am glad that it reached out to my readers. To the lonely, isolated sufferers out there, I am not the only one. There are many people like me, that will not sit back and watch someone deal with anguish alone. Keep smiling and stay strong. You have yourself remember. You will see you through.

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.
Wayne Dyer


On WordPress and in my spare time, I began researching topics linked to abuse. Subjects that I knew little about. A fellow blogger and writer that I follow from across the pond – sweetmarie9619.wordpress.com/‎‎ encouraged and inspired me to do so. This month I chose to raise awareness into such topics like emotional incest, enmeshment, physical abuse, sociopathic tendencies, narcissism and panic attacks. I will continue to explore the world of abuse. It helps me to assess and look deeper into my past with clearer eyes.

DECEMBER

Of course, we are yet to reach the end of this month, only three more days to go! This has been a very hectic and stressful month at work. I am now on my Christmas break, thankfully. In the last few weeks at work, the stress seemed to increase to a dangerous level. Emotionally, I was at the end of my tether only holding myself together with what seemed like the thinnest piece of thread. I do not like to feel weak or helpless. All these years, through all the abuse, something held me together. Whatever that was, well I need to rediscover it to aid me through the stressful times. I need to search myself and find my fight. For fifteen years I was a fighter and I mustn’t lose that.

My mother returned from a five week stay in India to visit her family. It was lovely to have her back.

On the 2nd of December I posted a poem entitled, “Three Traitors”. Many people have questioned and remarked at who I was talking about. These traitors are not from the four spiteful girls series. They are women that I still have the joy of seeing in my present life. Unfortunately there isn’t much I can do about that. I can be strong and have faith in the person I am however.  They betrayed and humiliated me for no reason and if there was one, they are too gutless to say.

It only made it apparent and patent who my real friends are.

I blogged about a set of photos I had taken from my father’s house. Sadly, they weren’t of happy memories but of an uninhabitable environment I was kept imprisoned in. More photos are to follow.

Christmas was nice.

Not overwhelming but nice.

Nice is good enough for me. I have had a lot worse.

My husband and I accidentally took over Christmas lunch! We seemed to have it all under control. My mother seemed out of sorts. She was not her usual bubbly self. Her arthritis was playing up and she said she was tired. I suspected that there was something more.

On Boxing day I would discover the truth.

Thank you for all of your support this year. It will be stand out one in my history much to the new friends I have made all over the world on WordPress. Sending my love and wishes for a Happy New Year to my loyal readers from the UK to New Zealand and all that’s in between.

Ros

xxxxxx

Wish You A Happy New Year 2014 4 1024x640 Wish You A Happy New Year 2014

*Google Images

2013 A review: July – September.

JULY

Summer had truly hit us in London by July. Scorching temperatures reigned over the city and finally the harsh winter had been beaten.

At the start of the month, I began recalling a series of events, linked to the exact date one year ago, that looked back on the journey towards the end of the abuse once and for all. It was a painful task. Remembering is one thing but looking back in detail, searching through old text messages and diary entries was hard. It transported me back to a terrible, stressful and bitter summer. The summer after my wedding. The summer my father, the abuser, died.

It was the month that my husband and I were told that our landlord wanted to sell the property we were renting. It came as a surprise as there had not been much of a warning. It was the last thing we needed. We were very settled where we were living. It was in an ideal location for both of us to get to work, there were plenty of shops and amenities around too. It was not ideal to move. I couldn’t bear the thought of moving into some dingy, poky apartment in a rush because we hadn’t enough time to search for somewhere decent. We made a decision. It would be a difficult one, a tiring and patience testing one but ultimately we were thankful she was willing to have us. My mother was our port of call. She agreed the sensible choice would be to live with her until my father’s inheritance was finalised and we could look for a new place.

July would be a very revealing month for me. Although I already knew my sister had begun a “secret” relationship with the abuser, I was not aware of how close they had become. After everything my sister had once accused him of, after all that she had witnessed him do to our mother (not to mention the misery of a life I led with him), I had not expected her to welcome him with open arms into her family unit. A unit she has been fiercely protective of for so many years. A family that she has banned me and any mother from seeing. Apparently, we are bad news, the cause of her depression and misery, the evil ones. Not our father. Not the man who abused me for fifteen years but the two people who spent most of their lives trying to escape his frightening hold. In her eyes, we were the enemy. I found out at the start of July that my father had planned a holiday with my sister, her husband and children. He could not go in the end due to his worsening health. I was flabbergasted. Horrified. The man that my sister could not bear to be in the same room as was now holidaying with her?? It blew my mind.

At work, I finished with a bang, holding our annual school talent show. It was a great success and the kids did me proud.

AUGUST

I continued to recall back to the events of last year on WordPress. I received several comments, mostly from friends who had no idea I was struggling so badly that summer. Even though the majority of them knew about my relationship with the abuser, most never questioned it. They never delved any further. It must have come as a shock to them to read the full truth.

I was well into my summer holidays at this point. The weather was unbelievable in London during August, we were very lucky to have so much sunshine. I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked to. I spent most of the holiday packing up our flat and surprising myself at how much rubbish we had accumulated over the past two years of living there. It was an endless and tiring job as my husband was at work for most of August. Even on moving day, when David’s parents had come to help, were we still putting items into bags and shipping them off to my mums’.

The end of the month would be very significant. On the 21st I celebrated the anniversary of my father’s death. I did not lay any flowers or sit down and pray. I did not shed a tear or think back to the “good times”. There were no good times. He was not worth my tears and I could not lay any flowers for I do not know what happened to his ashes. My sister only told me recently after a year of me badgering her, that after the funeral she had “picked them up”. So basically she gave me no more information than I had already assumed. I intend on letting her keep playing her childish game on her own.

As I prepared to go back to work, I was invited to a school reunion. Seeing my old primary school classmates after twenty years was incredibly uplifting. It was a wonderful experience and sent me back to a time of happiness. These people made me happy. It was lovely to be in their company again.

SEPTEMBER

Back to work!

I also began making some changes in my life. Some positive changes. I attended a course at City Lit on Assertiveness. It proved to be quite challenging. I enjoyed analysing myself and looking into types of behaviour. The course opened my mind as we explored passiveness, aggression, manipulation and assertiveness. It was very interesting to hold that magnifying glass up to myself and look more carefully at the person I had become. I am now trying to embody more assertiveness. My mother is the only person finding that difficult. For so long she was used to a passive daughter. A daughter who could not say “no” and agreed to almost everything in search for an “easy” life. Well no more. I have never had an easy life! It is time to get what I want and make a stand.

The Collins English Dictionary says – 

assertive 

Definitions

adjective – 

confident and direct in claiming one’s rights or putting forward one’s views

2013 A review: April – June.

APRIL

This month saw many entries on WordPress taken from old journals and diaries I had discovered from the abuser’s home. I looked back on several noted incidents that affected me in some way. I began revealing much more about my father. Not only what he did to me but how he lived his own life, the values he followed and the life choices he made.

April was the first month that I displayed a photograph taken from my father’s house (Post: And he called me “dirty”! April 17th) It showed the awful way in which we both lived. A way that I hated but it was out of my control. My father put many demands and outrageous expectations on me over the years and this photo was just a small example of his control. The five bedroom house was far too much for one person to look after. Especially a young woman with a full time job, friends and a life. I wasn’t allowed “excuses”. I wasn’t allowed a life. My life was indebted to him. I “owed” him for having a life.

On the 20th, I suffered from a severe Asthma attack where I was taken to the emergency room by my neighbour. I received a lot of support and well wishes from the WordPress community. It surprised and moved me that strangers all over the world showed such kindness to someone they had never met. I was not used to that. Thank you.

MAY

May was a busy month for me. In my general life and on WordPress. It was the first time I shared my poetry on my blog with “Control me”, a piece I wrote during the years of severe abuse.

On the 20th on May, I travelled to Madrid, Spain for a five day trip with three of my colleagues and twelve children from work. It was an experience to say the least! I am thrilled to have done it. To be trusted by my superiors and given that responsibility is something I will treasure. The laughs we shared will be remembered forever. It really was a once in a lifetime sort of thing.

The weekend I returned was that of my one year wedding anniversary with David. Although the wedding day itself holds some upsetting memories (a day that I still can’t bring myself to fully blog about with reasons that no one bar David seem to comprehend), it is always going to be the moment I pledged my love and trust to my devoted husband David and that is main reason why our anniversary will be special for the rest of our lives. I wrote you a letter David on our anniversary this year. Here is to many more my love.

The biggest moment of May was when I made the risky decision to “out” some very spiteful girls. Four to be exact as I began a series of posts retelling the story of their betrayals. C & C, H and N were subject to the truth finally coming out. I received many responses to the series. Old school friends and colleagues who understood whom I was referring to offered their support and agreement. Their thoughts were very welcome. However, I did receive one negative comment from a supporter and friend of N. She threatened legal action at my accusations. All I said was the truth. I did not use names, nor did I say exactly where we had known each other from. N’s friend only landed N in it, she basically announced to the world of Facebook who N actually was. She was the one who broke the rules. Her anger embarrassed her and surprisingly, many of our peers from that time spoke out in support for me. She never followed through with her threats.

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Thomas Jefferson

JUNE

June was a pretty easy month. The weather began to dramatically improve in England and Summer seemed to be fast approaching. I blogged seventeen times this month.

Deliberate Donkey a woman’s story about her journey through domestic violence, generously re-blogged my work. It would be the first time someone had referred to my abuser as a “sociopath” after reading my story. It was a term I began to explore.

http://deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/guest-post-freefromhim/

(Scroll up to top of page when opened)

2013: A review January – March.

Ten more days to go until the first day of 2014. Once again, another year of my life has flown by and I am looking back on quite a year. This time however, I get to look back and share it with a new group of people: my WordPress followers, readers and fellow bloggers. What a year it has been. Lets look back together.

JANUARY

On the 6th of January, I decided to begin a blog on WordPress. It was a dangerous and risky decision. It would expose a life I had hidden from many people for over fifteen years. It would reveal truths some people would rather not know. It would portray a man (who many trusted) to be an evil, ruthless, callous and hurtful father who destroyed his daughter’s soul. It would be my story, a story that provoked people I had not seen for years. People who felt it was necessary to “warn” me and give their advice. They made it clear that I should keep my personal life “private” and that I might “hurt people”. I made it clear back that I had not set out to hurt anyone. It was much more than that. It was closure. It was freedom. It was truth. It would be a chance to speak and finally be heard. It would be the best decision I had ever made (bar leaving him of course).

FEBRUARY

On the 4th of February I celebrated five years together with David. We set our anniversary from our first kiss. It was a moment that changed my life. Gone were the men who used me and took advantage of my loyal nature. A new man had walked into my life. Little did I know that day he would make me as happy as he does now.

During this month, I received an abundance of support from old school friends and past colleagues about the blog over Facebook. I was taken aback from their kind words and blown away by their words of encouragement. It meant so much to know that there was no judgement, that people could see into my past and believe it, acknowledge it and most of all – accept it.

MARCH

I celebrated my 31st birthday on the 2nd. David took me to a South African restaurant in Central London for dinner. It was decadent and adventurous. I felt a little out of my comfort zone but enjoyed it nonetheless. Unfortunately, the food didn’t sit well within me and after a day I began to have horrific stomach pains. Within moments I was nauseous and lying over the bathroom toilet. I thought I had food poisoning but it was a severe case of gastric flu. The week after my birthday was spent at home ill. To top it off, my virus passed onto David who joined me for most of the week holed up in bed. Well Happy Birthday to me!

On WordPress I recounted the triggers that remind me of my father and his abuse. Fruit, movies, plastic knives and forks, making beds and self-help books were the entries I made in March, they continued into April with Furniture stores and Toothpicks and table manners. These triggers still happen. If I see certain objects or hear a particular piece of music, if I visit a particular place or even hear a phrase he might have said; it propels me back to a specific time where life was frightening and upsetting every day. I become emotional very quickly and find it difficult to calm down. A panic attack can be the worst reaction to one of my triggers.

March was the month where a colleague questioned my “motives” for writing this blog. She accused me of taking “revenge” on my dead father. That it was unkind and unfair to do so. It surprised me that she could not empathise with my situation nor could she understand my reasons for revealing my truths. I was annoyed by it. I did not feel I should have to justify my choices and actions to her. She did not know my father. She had not met him. She only had her morals and principles and values to go on. I have morals. I have principles and values too. That is an important part of why I decided to do this, because of my values and principles. I would not be following them if I hid away and “forgave” him for all the hurt and pain he caused.

Dead or not, the truth will always shine through.