Sorry to have been quiet for the last week. A lot has been going on in “real life “, and I’ve been pondering ..

last Monday, March 12th, was my two year sobervesary. It’s a really good feeling to have achieved this, in a low key kind of way. I’m not shouting from the roof tops, but I feel very secure in my decision not to drink , and both grateful and quietly happy that I really don’t WANT to drink again. Somethings are hard without alcohol, perhaps they always will be, but these things are far outweighed by the massive advantages. Clarity of thought and loss of self hatred being the two most obvious benefits. I think I will take the boys out for a burger this weekend to celebrate. Quietly, and without necessarily telling anyone, I will raise a glass of coke to the future. Sober.

So, last weekend I went to Florence. After my travel adjustment,it all went pretty well. I arrived on Saturday morning at the hotel where we were all staying, and joined in the days planned activities. My friend, who’s birthday we were celebrating was totally surprised and touched by how many made it over to see her, and Florence is a beautiful city. I really enjoyed connecting with my oldest friends (from medical schooldays) and meeting some people I hadn’t seen for years. Saturday night we all went to a restaurant. I will draw a veil over some aspects of that evening, alcohol related. I came home early, but it taught me a couple of very valuable things. Listen to my own intuition, be very clear what my expectations and boundaries are, and be true to myself. I was sober, so no harm done …

in the last couple of weeks, since I decided to put ‘him’ behind me, I have been more successful that I expected. In my heart there is a peace that I had feared I would never reach, and I can honestly say I have not wasted much time on fruitless speculation. I know what I know, I believe the whole thing was a fabrication on his part and nothing I could have Done would have changed that. End of. Before I came to this conclusion I was searching desperately for answers, I ordered a few books from amazon about narcissistic PD, I joined a forum for others who had been in such relationships. Now I find I don’t need them, the books I AM engaging with are the ones that focus on me… on how to strengthen my self worth and boundaries.. so that I am not hoodwinked again. I think this is a much better use of my time and energy.

One of my oldest friends, who has been single for 10 years recently met someone. She is excited and giddy with the hope and optimism that goes with a new relationship. It was heartwarming to see, and when we talked about it, we were sharing a room , she reflected that although she is happy to have met someone , her own life is now so fulfilled and busy, she is not too worried if it doesn’t work out. Over the 10 years she has built herself a network of friends, family and activities that she loves. A partner is only worth it if they can add something to that package. A good starting point I think!

The days are getting longer, the end of the financial year is nigh (always a very busy time at work) but after April 1st, I will have time to draw breath and start to build more of a life for myself, within my limitations. I feel quite optimistic about this, and in a nebulous intermittent way, vaguely optimistic.


Eye opening , jaw dropping moment of clarity last night.

Woah ! 👏👏👏

Moving on, and deciding to focus on the future I bought myself this book.

It’s very thin, about 50 pages of wide spaced type, I read it in an hour. But 😮.

All those of you with good boundaries will be like “duh”, but this is stuff I have never considered. And it’s so obvious. And so important.

So, that list of characteristics I have had in my head that I would like to find in a partner? Those are not ‘I hope he will be like this’ , those are, or will become, a list of essentials, in other words non negotiable boundaries.

I have seen this in action, but not recognised it as such. For example, a long time ago my friend K and I were discussing cannabis use by our husbands. My husband was a LOT heavier user than hers, but having recently had a child she was adamant that she did not want her son growing up to normalise drug use. It was clear from the discussion that she was considering the future of her marriage if her husband was not prepared to stop his recreational use. She asked me what I thought, and I remember my answer. I said “I’m not prepared to risk my marriage over cannabis”. She was clearly surprised, and the conversation moved on.

Why did I say that? I hated it just as much as her, I could see just as clearly the potential impact on growing children,

My brother once told me that, early in in his relationship with his now wife, they were discussing children. His then girlfriend laid something out about the way in which any future children would be raised, a a non negotiable. He considered it, was ok with it, and so the path to the future had not met a dead end.

These are boundaries. Deal breakers. They are not optional behaviour patterns like preferring beef to lamb, or leaving the loo seat up. Fundamental stuff … and by setting the boundaries you save yourself a whole heap of heartache further down the line.

I have been doing this the wrong way round. My sister in law set this dealbreaker early on in her relationship with my brother, before they were engaged, living together, or married. If it had not been acceptable to him, they would have both moved on. I see now, don’t laugh- I know it’s fucking obvious – meet someone, get to know them. Observe their ACTIONS, note , be clear if your boundaries are pushed , set out a consequence, and see it though.

No wonder I have been terrified of ever risking a relationship again. Taking a chance that someone will subconsciously understand my boundaries, and finding out that they don’t when you are living together is a sure fire way to relationship hell. I fell in love first. Failed to be clear about what was and was not acceptable to me when I had an opportunity to get out easily, failed to even realise how miserable I would be if I were forced to accept things that are contrary to what I believe.

This is pretty huge for me. But it’s SO obvious.

I know where it comes from too.

1. I never saw this behaviour as a child. My mother tried to set boundaries with my father but he ignored them and there were no consequences. Of course I thought I would too be treated like this.

2. Huge fear of being alone and unloved, “no one will be able to love me as I am, so I’d better accept whatever behaviour is dished out to me or I will be alone”


I have some work to do. On my shiny new set of boundaries. This will take some time, and learning to ‘defend’ them, may take practice, BUT for the first time in ages I feel quite excited and positive.

A line

A line is drawn today.

I had a very helpful therapy session last night. Angela reads my blog, and it was a good day to go!

She picked up on the triggers I had identified in my post yesterday and we discussed some of them. The practical ones I have sorted, but the emotional ones needed some picking apart.

She encouraged me to dig a bit more in the my triggers around this email, around the feeling that’s it’s arrival and my decision not to respond evoked.

I have come a long long way since August 19th 2016 when I finally lost my temper and changed the locks on my front door. A long way in understanding the destructive dynamic, the personality and behaviour of the narcissistic person, and a long way in recognising how my weak boundaries, poor self worth and past experiences set me up for that relationship. I have worked hard on forgiving myself and trying to treat myself with the kindness that I would show to anyone else in my position.

But now it’s time to move on.

This is obviously a symbolic decision, because I’m not so deluded as to think I can just decide not to think of him again and I will just not happen. But a decision to accept that I will not get the answers I want from him (I already saw that back in December) and that I am unlikely to aid my recovery by poking over the carcass and ruminating endlessly about the past.

So, from today I am going to make a conscious effort to put the ruminations out of my mind. To consciously replace those thoughts with others as far as I am able. To accept that this relationship was destructive, damaging and painful in so many ways. But it’s over now. I have him 5 years of my life, I will not give him the rest of it by being unable to move on. There are no ties, no reason I need to be in touch.

Today I turn my back on him, disengage and move forwards.

And now I’m going to make a fish pie.


Self care

Thank you all for you kind, supportive and helpful comments yesterday.

I’m pleased to say I managed to incorporate some of your ideas and thoughts, reached out a bit to friends and I’m a bit less anxious today.

I saw my own GP this morning and have been told to take these three days off work, that’s quite hard for me to do, but it would be stupid to ignore that advice, so I now have three days at home. Actually that’s something of a relief; not having to mange the demands of work leaves me more brain space and time to practice self care.

I have decided to spend Friday night at a hotel in Bologna airport rather than trying to drive from there to Florence in the middle of the night. I realised yesterday afternoon that the anxiety about driving on the continent, at night, to a place I don’t know, that is in a restricted part of the city so no parking, when the car hire company cannot guarantee me a sat nav, was increasing with every day, and so I will travel to Florence on Saturday morning on the train.

I have also ordered a couple of books from amazon about narcissism & recovery from relationship breakdown. Part of my anxiety stems (I think) from being terrified I will NEVER get over this, and maybe further understanding / and knowing that I am not alone will help me feel more settled. I want to believe this is just another ‘phase’ and will pass, but it’s been a long time ..

Several people, IRL and online have urged me to seek support from AA or similar, something I have strongly resisted thus far. Reflecting on my aversion, and the reasons behind it, I realised that’s it’s a) being recognised and b) I do not feel comfortable being vulnerable around men. The fear of recognition is not because I am ashamed, after all I have been sober for nearly 2 years, it’s because if I were known as my professional role, I would not be open, and I would find it impossible not to present my professional front. This would negate the whole point of trying to connect with others. So, I have found a women only meeting in a nearby town. I’m thinking about it. It might be good …

lastly, considering why this has happened right now, I can only think it’s because I received an email from him earlier this week. This is not the only cause, i was very stressed out before that, but I think it might have been the last straw. The communication itself was innocuous, simply a belated reply to a sympathy note I have send him about 4 weeks ago. But it definitely stirred something and more significantly, the decision NOT to reply has been a trigger I think.

There is nothing to be gained by replying. He is absolutely unhealthy for me, and our relationship was destructive and toxic. I am sure there was a reason why he replied so late, and just as sure there is a reason that he chose to do so now. But I need to not engage, not reply, just withdraw. It’s not logical, but that decision feels huge emotionally, and I expect that has been the straw that broke the proverbial camels back.

I will see my therapist later, take some time, read a bit, and I hope that I will soon be feeling more stable.

Thanks all

I don’t know what to do.

I seem to have hit another emotional crisis. I do not know why, but I feel dreadful. I’m anxious, I’ve lost my appetite (a sure sign of emotional destabilisation) I’m struggling to function. I can’t sleep, I’m ruminating and my concentration is shot to pieces.

I feel on the edge of a panic attack several times a day. So far, it has not materialised. But work is piling up because I can’t attend to it, the house is a mess, my friends are neglected and I’m really really anxious.

I have no idea why. And worse no idea what to do. I cannot cope, but I have to.

Pretty crap

Sorry folks, I’ve been trying not to write this post, trying not to feel how I do for a whole week now. It’s not working.

I remind myself of all the positives; son1 is doing good, we have a great holiday coming up, I’m going to Italy in 4 days, in the Summer my older brother is planning to visit from Australia, yesterday an old friend contacted me from the USA to let me know she is visiting the UK in the Summer .. soon I will be TWO YEARS sober …

but ,… but …

I’m just so low.

In fact I’m a horrible combination of agitated, restless, sad, frustrated, angry, defeated. I hate this.

I cannot stop thinking about that man. Missing him? No, I don’t want to go back there… and he has nothing to offer me. But I think about him incessantly, round and round my head go these repetitive, pointless thoughts. He is the last thing I think about at night, the first thought in the morning.

Im so fed up with it. My head KNOWs , my heart also knows … but my brain … my brain regurgitates endless emotion, endless memories, endless want if’s. Anger, sadness, longing, loss, sadness, loneliness, fear chase tirelessly round my head … no answers, and no resolution seems possible.

Alongside that I HATE myself for this. I berate myself for feeling this way, beat myself up for still being stuck in the past when I know there is nothing for me there. Is it that I miss the misery ? Is it that I got so used to being churned up and battling against despair that the absence of that extreme emotion ?

and I hate that too.

I want this OVER. I want to move on. Leave the past, the sorrow , the hurt, the pain … just leave it behind and move forward. And there should be no reason why I can’t do this … logically . But it’s not happening… I have been separated from this man for more than18 months … why why why can’t I just put him in the past and STOP rehashing stuff ?

He hurt me. He used me. He lied to me, he stole from me. He hurt and damaged my children. He abused me so much, emotionally and verbally, financially and by trying to physically intimidate me (and succeeding) .. how can I be so unbelievably DUMB as to still allow him space in my head ?

What the fuck is wrong with me? And more importantly how can I move forward?

i just don’t know. And I’m SO tired of it ….