Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Battles, both emotional and physical

I join you today a bit of an emotional wreck.  It has been pretty eventful here since i last posted.  And sadly, not always in a good way.

Positivity first - Still doing my keep fit classes, in fact I have probably stepped it up a notch.  I am now a regular at body pump, my new favourite, which is basically lifting weights to music.  Sounds dull but its actually really enjoyable.  I am skinny enough and so this class is better for me as the other more active classes would probably cause me to lose weight, which is not what i go for.

Still taking Nathan to his little clubs.  Mothers and toddlers groups etc.  Cant say Ive felt completely comfortable from start to finish when i go.  but I have a little inner battle going on and so far Ive been winning. 

Also Ive been driving further again, and taking Nathan on more little trips to see friends etc.  I feel there is more to tell but maybe it will pop into my head as i write... this post is not only for catching up, but for distraction.  Distracting myself from whats just happened.

Ok it might not seem a big deal to most, but my brother has decided to move to Australia.  For YEARS my brother Derek has talked about a move overseas.  Job opportunities, weather, money all not being fantastic here in Scotland, he was convinced moving away would be the best decision.  I think we all thought it would never happen.  But a few months ago the ball was rolling when he booked his flight to Perth, Australia. 

He has friends over there, he has the chance of a job and he has somewhere to live.  It sounds fantastic and hes absolutely right, it WILL be a better life.  No doubt about it.  And so as the date was approaching i decided we couldn't let him go without a good old knees up.  I went about choosing a venue, and through facebook, i contacted his friends and got an impressive guest list together.  It was supposed to be a surprise and i felt that if i could pull it off it would be something i would be very very proud of.  Who would have thought a few years ago that id be doing this.  And so the venue was booked, guests invited all i had to do was arrange food, decor and getting him there!

Last Saturday the party was looming and so i headed off and got decorating.  My friend and i filled the bar with banners, Australian flags, bunting and balloons.  It looked great and so i headed home to get my party outfit sorted.  Sadly about 5 minutes after i left the pub, Derek decided to go for a pint!!! So the secret was out.  His friends were supposed to be keeping him away but really he just took it upon himself to pop in and no one was quick enough to stop him.  Derek is quite an emotional guy, although he tries to hide it, and he really didn't want a fuss.  But he knew we needed him to be there and so the party went ahead.

It was a fantastic night.  For me it was the first night out Ive had since Nathan was born.  hes 18 months now so that's a LONG time.  I was delighted to see the amount of people who showed face.  Family, School friends, workmates, Football friends, gym friends, The place was packed.  And best of all Derek looked like he genuinely loved every minute of it, although it was hard seeing my big tough brother shed a tear or TEN.  I was completely relaxed and really enjoyed the whole night, stumbling home around 1.30, way past my bed time.  It was a huge success.

Its weird.  Derek is my big brother, and so hes just always been there.  I have so many fantastic memories from when we were kids. But as adults we spent less time together, as you do.  We never really talked about anything deeply anymore.  Just pleasantries.  And i guess that's quite sad.  But no matter how little we've spoke, i always have huge amounts of love for him.  Hes my big bro!  Hes been amazing with Nathan, very loving and definitely fulfilled the roll or 'fun uncle' and when times have been tough for me hes also been the 'protector'.  But for some bizarre reason i didn't mind the thought of him leaving.  I felt nothing.  I just thought ' Aw well hes going away and its no big deal, he will be happy, ill get used to him not being around as much'.  How stupid i was.  Derek has just left and i am devastated.  I write this through tears and with my heart pounding, stomach turning.  My brother is gone.  God forgive me for being over dramatic.  I should be grateful hes alive and well having recently attended the funeral of a boy with a younger brother and 3 sisters in mourning.  (That was horrendous).  But from an agoraphobic perspective this is killing me.  I am realistic, and no matter how much driving i do or how many classes i attend,  i wont be flying to Australia in the next year.  From a totally selfish point of view i don't want him to go.  Or i want him to go for a month and then come home.  I'm telling myself to look to the positive.. i KNOW its the best move for him.  And i KNOW ill be fine in a few hours.  But for now i want to feel this sadness.  I love him and hes gone.  And i don't know when ill see him again.  Nathan wont remember him, hes too young.  And that makes me sad because Nathan loves him so much.  Agoraphobia, sometimes i can bear you, sometimes i can live with you hiding in the shadows, but at times like this is hate you.  Because you are not me.  You are not who i am.  And so I'm not saying goodbye to trips to Australia.. not yet.

The other news is probably more shocking and will be difficult to explain.  You've all known about my relationship with Nathans dad and just how turbulent its been.  Well the icing was layered onto the cake a few weeks ago.  Ill describe this is best i can but for reasons, i will explain, ill keep it brief. 

We had been getting on quite well, friends, seen each other all the time, spent lots of time with Nathan etc.  There were good points and their were bad points, which are pretty irrelevant now.  But he went out drinking one Friday night, with the promise that he would be taking Nathan out the next day, as he always does on a Saturday.  Unfortunately he showed up on the Saturday drunk.  This hadn't happened before and so although i wasn't too pleased, i told him to go into mine and sleep it off.  I took Nathan down to my mums and left him.  Soon i went back home to check on him and lay Nathan down for a nap.  To tell you how the argument started is actually quite embarrassing, but lets just say it was something and nothing.  It was facebook!  Good old facebook, i wonder how many fights it has caused.  I seen something i didn't like too much and so i woke him and asked him to leave.  It was a build up of a few things and feeling i was basically this guys doormat.  But i felt calm, i didn't feel surprise, just closure.  'Please leave'.

Well in his drunken state he got up and rambled and shouted, all while making way to leave.  He didn't know Nathan was home and so he really wasn't too bothered about his behaviour.  I opened the door to let him out and WHAM.  My head was smashed off a wall.  What followed was something i have never experienced before.  I was dragged out of my home, by the hair, into the street where i was repeatedly punched while this monster screamed all sorts of obscenities.  I felt no pain, i felt nothing.  All i could think about was that Nathan was in his bed and i needed to get back inside.  Also playing on loop in my head was 'i cant believe this is happening, i cant believe this is happening'.  Nathans dad has put me through the wringer but he has never lifted his hands so i was pretty shocked.  I could see people walking past and i just prayed they didn't say anything because he was so completely gone, i didn't know if he would hurt them!

It came to a head when a knife was produced.  It sounds crazy but i never thought he would use it.  but still you need to be realistic and look at the evidence in front of you!  I never thought he would hit me either.  He stopped when he finally heard me cry that Nathan was in his bed, and luckily i managed to get away.  I ran into my house and locked the doors and called the police.  He continued to try to get to me, kicking at the door.  I really thought he was going to get through it, but eventually he ran off.  I sat there bleeding and pulling out clumps of my hair.  'What the hell just happened'.  Thank God, Nathan slept through the whole thing!!

The police came out and interviewed me.  I was fine, shocked but once that passed i really was ok.  My head had been split open but other than that i had no major marks or bruises hmmm for someone who lost it, he'd shown some amount of control.  It was traumatic though, and for me, with a history of panic attacks and anxiety, i wondered how i would cope.  I know that no one will show sympathy for what he done, and i don't expect them to.  Also i wont make excuses for it, because there is no way to justify it.  But i know he just snapped.  Lots of other things had been going on in his life, problems at work, family issues, and of course our relationship, and that day it all got too much.  Since then hes started counselling, has been put on antidepressants and beta blockers, and has had to take him from work.  The incident has knocked him sick as through this crazy behaviour he has lost alot of respect, if not all, as what happened was done very publicly, and news travels!  It will go to court in October, where i will need to attend along with another 2 witnesses.  But probably the worst for him is that he cannot speak to me, approach me or even enter my street.  My house has a special tag on it so that if i need to phone the police i will get a quicker response.  Although i stress i do not feel that myself or Nathan are in any danger.  Ive had visits from police, social workers coming to check on Nathan, and for that i am absolutely fuming! I understand they are doing their job but he made that happen and my son is happy and well. 

So there you have it.  An eventful month of highs and lows.  My life coach said she thinks its impressive that ive kept on going but it has been quite tough.  At a class last week, i really struggled.  I wanted to leave quite a few times but i held on telling myself to take it a song at a time.  Thankfully i made it through without bolting.  So its hard but i know i have strength inside of me and now that Nathans dad hasnt been allowed near, i know i am free.  Free to totally push myself and focus solely on myself and my son.  Limitless!!! So the practice and determination need to keep on going.


Anonymous said...

Oh Lynne, first up big hugs with what your ex did to you and the implications surrounding it all. I hope you've got lots of support around you. You are doing an amazing job coping so well with it all! I hope your ex never lays a finger on you again.

Secondly, well done with still keeping up with your gym classes and social events with Nathan. You really are an inspiration! And to be pushing yourself even further from home, well, I think that is incredible!!! Please make sure you take some time for yourself through all this stress though.

Thirdly, about your brother shifting here to my homeland (Australia), I have one word ... skype, skype, skype and more skype (okay that was more than one word lol). Hopefully you can keep in touch with him this way and he will still get to see Nathan grow up and they can have lots of little chats together. Dare to dream ... you're already doing things that were once a huge challenge, and you just never know, maybe one day you will make it to Australia. What a lovely thing to do, throwing the farewell party for your brother. It sounds like he really enjoyed it, and it was great that you got to have your first outing like that since Nathan was born.

Stay strong, you will get through all this stress at the moment, just take it one day at a time.

Thanks again for sharing your blog with us, you really do inispire me.

~~Belinda (from Australia)

Cloudy said...

O....M...G!!!!I feel sick after reading that. I can't believe what that drunken abuser did!! There are NO excuses for his behaviour. You gave him excuses. Please don't do that. I am so worried you could ever forgive him for this. I wanted to make comments about the other things in your blog but I am lost for words after reading you were bashed. It's totally sickening.
cosmic (Australia)

Lynn said...

Oh a couple of Aussies!!! How apt. Thanks for your comments. Cosmic there is nooooo way I will forgive that. No way. It's been maybe 7 weeks now and I am happier. Have more respect for myself and haven't missed him at all. Doesn't that say it all really. And no, there are no excuses. None.

Lynn said...

Damn posted to early. Belinda we will need to rely very much on Facebook and Skype. Derek's not very technically minded so we will see how it goes. Thanks for the lovely things you said.

Where in Australia are you both. Derek moved to Perth. Not sure I said that I'ln the blog? Xxx

Laura said...

I mostly lurk here but I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for what your ex did. No one deserves to be treated that way. Not ever. I also wanted to tell you how proud you should be of not letting his ugly actions stop your amazing progress.

This comment is also a thank you of sorts. I look to you as a source of inspiration and as a mentor of sorts as well. I was housebound for about 4 years and in the past few months I've finally begun to get my life back on a more solid footing.
I've started exploring my neighborhood on foot and the next step will be small trips in the car.

You and your blog have been a great catalyst in pushing myself forward and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so honest and so candid about your triumphs and your struggles. I may not comment much (aside from being agoraphobic - I'm super shy) but please know that your words and your perserverance mean the world to so many of us.
Thank you for being (((((((you)))))) dear Lynn

sending you big hugs and lots of love from the US

Lynn said...

Laura thank you. Your comment really meant the world to me. It's hard work but I do try to keep on going, thinking if I can do it and blog about it, then hopefully it will encourage others. I'm so glad to hear how your getting on. Keep up the good work! It's not easy. It's frustrating that I still have to fight with myself sometimes, but those times become less and less. When you ate housebound you can't believe that you'll ever achieve anything again. But you can and you will. I hope you are really proud of what your doing. Taking the first step is the hardest part!! You made my day by getting in touch so thank you again. Huge hugs xxxxx

Louis said...

I am very very sorry for your trouble. I know words are of little help with this sort of situation but, i do hope to talk to you again. I have sent you a few e-mails but you have obviously had many much more important things to deal with than a few notes. I am very glad Nathan was asleep for his sake and for yours. Please do send me a note when you are up to it or chat with me on facebook if and when you can make the time. You truly are a lovely girl (inside and out) and definately do not deserve such treatment. Please do keep your blog and other activities going as they are obviously of great help to others.

Jenny said...

I cried reading about your brother leaving :( I went through exactly the same thing three years ago when my brother moved abroad. The devastation is so hard to take. I'm agoraphobic too and just like you I know I won't see my brother again so when he left it was like grieving a death. No one could really understand why I felt so heartbroken about it. Just as I knew would happen the emails and phone calls from him have become less and less and my mum hasn't even heard from him since Christmas. He knew what a sad, lonely life I have but chose to turn his back on me completely. In a way that makes it even more painful than a death. Anyway, hope you feel better about it soon, I have slowly started to get over it but reading your post brought it all back. Best wishes x

Lynn said...

Aww Jenny that does sound awful. I know you completely understand how I was feeling. Has your brother never been back to visit? I can see the future being similar to yours in that the calls will get less... In fact we haven't spoken yet. Thank goodness for Facebook otherwise I wouldn't know how he is. I hope he visits us though. My patents do plan on visiting him. X

Jeff I've reviewed your email but you know me so well. I save all my mails then one night reply to them all. But time runs away and before I know it weeks have past. I really need to get on top of it more. It's nice that you check in though. I promise I will b in touch. I am absolutely fine though. As is Nathan.

Jenny said...

No he's never been back to visit because he can't really afford it, and also has a wife and child now, and he just seems to have completely turned against the UK. Even if I do ever get to see him again, what could we even talk about besides, as you say in your post, pleasantries and general polite things, we have become strangers who no longer share any part of our lives. I imagine that he views me and my parents as simple peasants who don't fit into his high-flying new life. The whole thing sucks but I try not to think about it so much any more x

Mike said...

I'm not surprised you're suffering anxiety. There is no excuse for violence, even under stress.

You might like the article I posted this morning - http://azillionideas.com/how-to-talk-to-your-inner-self/

I hope it's of some use.

Anonymous said...

Hi !
Just found your blog after trawling the Internet trying to find some answers why I have just developed agoraphobia. I have gone from a confident person into someone who is scared to go into the garden. I want my old life back. I have my own business and luckily work from home. Your blog is an inspiration to me. Just to know someone feels as I do means everything. You are truly amazing. I have mentally noted every one of your positive words. Am so sorry and sad for your recent stresses. Domestic violence is the worst and committed only by bullies and cowards. Keep strong sweetie.
Susanna x UK x

ashley goodwin said...

AMAZING amazing job getting active and working on overcoming. I suffered with this for YEARS and it wasnt until a few years ago in college that I self diagnosed myself and then decided to do something about it. Have you tried doing yoga and meditation?
Here's a blog post I wrote about it and how it has literally CURED my severe panic attacks for good.
How to rid of hardcore panic attacks for GOOD without medicine and the lady with the strangest illness that has totally ruined me for life. TOTALLY. A Vlog http://www.ashleygoodwinblog.com/overcoming-anxiety/


Anonymous said...

Hi Susanna, I've just read your comment. I too developed an anxiety disorder earlier this year. It more or less came out of the blue, and, like you, I had been a pretty confident person also and was desperate to get my life back! I'm delighted to say that I have basically gotten rid of my anxiety problems after what was probably the hardest few months of my life.

I didn't medicate and I'm not into psycho-babble - it was just a case of identifying what it was that I was actually scared of, facing those fears (for me this was leaving the house and not being afraid of having a panic attack), and learning that I could get through the panic and come out perfectly fine on the other side. My panic and fear became irrelevant once I realised that it didn't actually mean anything. When it became irrelevant, it disappeared!

This is obviously way easier said than done, of course. It took me months of forcing myself to do things I was scared of, knowing that it might result in a panic attack. I believe the worst thing you can do is buy into the fear though. You have to keep pushing yourself to do things that you don't want to do. Literally, don't let the anxiety get to you.

The work of Dr Claire Weekes helped me a lot personally. In her books she described my symptoms and explained them. Dr Weekes described a fear-adrenalin-fear cycle, and this was so applicable to my own anxiety problems. I would leave the house and anticipate panic. This anticipation would cause adrenalin to pump through my body which would, in turn, produce my physical symptoms of fear (light-headedness, rapid heartbeat, etc). It took a lot of practice but once I realised that the symptoms of fear were caused purely by my being afraid of them, I was able to go out and face the fear, knowing that it didn't actually mean anything was wrong with me. Eventually, I grew used to being able to leave the house and everything be 'normal' again.

I'm not sure whether my abbreviated story will mean much to you or not, but I read your comment and saw myself of a few months ago in it. This is a horrible condition that leaves you in a state of despair, but there truly is a way passed it. I was terrified of it lasting forever but it doesn't have to, but you do have to be prepared to do things you don't want to. It's all worth it in the end though!

All the very best,

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Jeeez, traumatic times, thanks for sharing - your writing is vivid, open and honest! x

mental health girl said...

Omg you really have been through it, i know what you mean about sociopath from your other blog entry now, congratulations on your brothers send off you made a wonderfull memory through doing that i think i completely natural to be feeling the way you do about your brother going, you cry and let the emotion out its natural :), you really do have alot of determinationa nd inner strength even if you dont feel it at times but it's amazing, i wish i knew you cos you seen like such positive inspiring person to be around, all this things your doing, fitness classes, having a night out every now and then, going round your freinds and to the park, driving is all giving you more of a life xx