I have been feeling miserable all the weekend. It's now Monday and I'm back at work and I just don't know how to function. I have projects I need to complete and by deadlines (I work in marketing and it's a constant deadline driven environment). I have to present in front of a whole group of people today. I have found that if I allow myself to cry even just a little, then it is like the flood gates have been opened and I cannot stop crying for the remainder of the day, so I am doing all I can to not shed a tear this morning.
The only time I seem to get comfort or feel half OK, is if I am reading books. Self help books that continually reassure me that I've made the right decision to end that relationsship. When I put the book down and feel the lonliness I quickly forget all the logical decisions that were made for my long term benefit. This week I think is going to be particularly bad...
I am also scared that once the "wedding day" has come and gone, everyone is going to miraculously expect that I should no longer be greiving. In a way I feel a little safe and not crazy at the moment, because I'm technically allowed to be upset I suppose. My wedding was to be in a week's time and it is socially acceptable to be upset. What happens if I am still upset next week?
I have leave I can take. Should I take it? But then the projects will be left unclosed and I will feel like I am letting my manager down. I could probably finish the most important one if I could stick it out another couple of days. I feel like I am in a living hell. Then I feel selfish for thinking that way, because I know others have it much worse than I do. There are people out there greiving over the death of a child or are still caught up in abusive relationships etc.
I don't know what to do on the day. I know Friday night I need to be with friends because the last thing I want to do is wake up alone on Saturday morning (what was meant to be the wedding day) alone. Friends have suggested going out for a girl's night to bars in the city. But I don't think I will want to be in a bar.. and then what after that? Go home alone? And wake up Sunday morning (what was to be my first morning as a married woman) all alone. I just want to escape my life. Get out of my body, get out of my mind.
I really wanted to spend the whole weekend with my nana and aunt, and hop on a plane and get out of town, but it happens to by my aunty's birthday this Thursday and she will want to celebrate her birthday with her daughters/friends and with my nana.
I can't spend it with my own parents, I will one day give some background regarding my family, as it may be the reason I lack self esteem and have always wound up in bad relationships & you might be able to guide me how to break the pattern. Or maybe I just give an abridged version here...
Elliot, my mother was emotionally and physically abusive whilst I was growing up and beyond. Her own mother was an alcoholic and a single parent and was abusive towards her. Although my mother did not develop alcoholic tendencies, she did repeat her mother's abusive behaviour with me. My mother disliked cleaning & would go outside and play with the pets, whilst left me indoors to clean all the rooms as she had instructed. If she returned and things were not to the standard she expected, or she felt I had not worked fast enough, I would be hit, she would either throw me to the floor and rip at my hair and kick me in the stomach etc, or I recall on one occassion being picked up (my whole body weight) by my hair and carried to my bedroom and then thrown against the wall.
I've had my head rammed into refridgerators, glass sliding doors. If in the car and she lost her temper, she would hit me with the crook lock. As I got older, I'd lock myself in the bathroom and she'd then threaten to pour my goldfish down the toilet and flush them. I'd hear the water of the tank being poured into the toilet, but would still be too frightened to go out.
I had a CD player/radio device. One day when she lost her temper, she thru it across the room and it smashed (not because it was up loud playing heavy metal or the like. In all honesty it was probably playing the andrew sisters while I cleaned - that was my little tradition). A year or more later my father bought me a new one for my birthday present. I don't even think he remembered she had broken the original one. This infuriated my mother and she felt that a year or so later, his action of buying a new one for me as a birthday present had undermined her. The next morning I was asleep in my bed and awoke to a punch in the face. This was her way at getting back at me for receiving a new CD player.
One day I had friends over visiting. I had arrived home before they were due to arrive and needed to go to the bathroom. I had a bit of a stomach ache, and decided to use my parent's ensuite, knowing that guests would not need to use that bathroom. I made the mistake of leaving my car keys on the vanity. When my mother arrived home, she said hello to my friends and went to her bedroom. She found my keys on her vanity. She then came down and told my friends that if they were to hear loud drilling not to be concerned. She was having a locksmith come and change the lock on her bedroom door because her daughter is a thief and steals her perfume and belongings. I had never done such thing. Then I was humiliated when the locksmith did arrive and was changing the lock.
My horse had an accident in the paddock one day and I had a vet come and visit and also an equine chiropractor. The equine chiropractor who was registered with the Australian Vetinarian association told me that my horse would need a lot of rehabilitation if I was willing to put in the time and effort. He taught me all of the stretches and exercises I was to do with the horse each day. I had a great job at the time as a Marketing Manager for a children's Toy company and I was able to work from home at the time, so I was more than happy to treat my horse and give him a second chance at life. I spent three hours with him in the morning and another couple of hours with him in the evening doing all of the exercises. He was showing improvement and when the equine chiro returned he was happy with the progress. He said it would take between 6 - 9 months and to keep him in a small corale. He explained that when horse begins to feel better they will over exert themselves and then relapse again. A horse does not understand that it cannot run etc.
My mother let the horse out of his corale and when he was looking better, she went against instructions and forced him to trot. I was begging and pleading her not to go against the instructions. My horse then fell and hurt himself some more. Of course then my mother told my father I was torturing my horse and she would come to me alone and say "You should have your horse destroyed".
I then had to go away with work for a few days and asked my father to please give the horse his feed and keep him rugged and I showed him a quick version of treatmet (short massage he could do in the morning if he had time). My father handed the duty of care over to my mother who I knew would not comply. She is very good at pretending to my father that she loves animals and would do all and more than the horse needed. When I returned home it had been raining for the whole time and she never put the rug on the horse. He also was very skinny - all of his ribs were poking out. I don't believe she fed him. A horse standing in the rain for three days, with no food or rug.... he looked like death.
It was at this point she then called the RSPCA and claimed I was involved in animal cruelty and not putting the horse down. I contacted the equine chiropractor and he had met my mother a couple of times and he shared with me that he was no impressed with her and to do my best to ignore her and continue with the treatment. He told me that as he was registered with the Australian Vetinary Association that the RSPCA would not be able to do anything as he is evidence that my horse is receiving care and treatment. My mother made life a living hell over those months on a daily basis, constantly accusing me of mistreating my horse. My father who does not know much about animals, did not know who to believe and felt like the meat in the sandwich. I took video of my horse during the day to show his progress to my father. In the end my mother had my horse put down. I still don't think I have fully grieved that loss.
In my teenage years and beyond, my mother became very jealous of the father/daughter relationship I have with my dad. My dad is a very soft man. He likes to please everyone. He is a big softie and gets walked all over. My father had his own business so was working most weekends, leaving me home alone with my mum. When she would get mad and frustrated with me and I'd lock myself in the bathroom she would call him and say I had done something I hadn't. My father never had a real picture of what she was doing to me. She was very good at making out I was this terrible child who was driving her crazy.
I was a great child. My grandmother and aunties knew the truth. They could "see thru" her. I always studied hard. I never had to be told to do my homework. I genuinely wanted to do well on my own. I never took drugs. I always strived to do my best and hopefully please too. I am perhaps a chip of my father's block.
A part of my mother's insecurities with my father became explained in a 20 page letter she sent to me a couple of years back. She claimed that he was involved in emotional incest with me. Her belief that the reason I will never have a successful relationship with a man is because of my father. She has convinced herself that he loved me too much and spoilt me because we had a family trip to Disneyland when I was a child. She is convinced that I dislike her now, because my father convinced me to dislike her (not because of the abuse as a child I received from her). My father was just like any other loving father. If I had an issue at school with bullies he'd come down to the school and try and sort things out. When my first engagement broke down my father would talk to me to try and make me feel better. I think he was just a regular dad.
My relationships with men and I've had many, are all very similar when at the time I thought I was choosing someone very different. They've all been quite selfish. I've had 7 men from memory all cheat on me, or discovered that they were cheating on their partner to be with me. The last 3 relationships have all had men that were physically abusive with me. How do I break the pattern? Is this happening because of my childhood?
So many questions Elliot. A friend has recommended that I go to South Pacific Private. A Hopsital here in Australia. It is a private psychiatric hospital. http://www.southpacificprivate.com.au/ I could stay there for 3 weeks and apparently get to the bottom of the problems. I kind of like the idea of speaking about problems for 3 weeks and potentially breaking patterns, but wonder if I really need it. Also, if I ever wanted to adopt children in the future because I meet a man too late in life and can't have children of my own, will the adoption agency not allow me to adopt a child because I've been to a psychiatric hospital? I guess I can't really get past the stigma. And there I would be with people who are trying to rehab from alcohol and substance abuse etc. I just don't know if I belong there, or if I could work thru changing the patterns in my life, a different way. Do you think my relationships with men are even related to my childhood and relationship with my mother? Or have I just been unfortunate?
Matt - cheated on me with a girl at his uni, she contacted me online to inform me (we studied at different unis)
Jake - Cheated on me at his own birthday party (in another room)
Nathan - He was always talking about us getting married. Then one day I found him in a car with a girl. They had just had sex as there was evidence of it all over the seat. When I asked him about the girl, he revealed her name was Lily. Lily was the name he has suggested we name our first baby girl, when we have kids.
Lucas - Became engaged to Lucas, but then discovered he was sleeping with prostitutes. When I got upset with the news and called him dirty and a few other names, he then beat me for half an hour until I was black and blue.
Benny - A Dutch man I had worked with on a sponsorship agreement. He would come to Australia for meetings and I had to go to the Netherlands. He said he liked me and was going to move to Australia and start a business here so he could be with me. He would fly to Australia for weekends to spend a weekend with me... and come for 3 weeks at a time to spend time with me all a part of the courting. I then was contacted by a girl claiming to be his defacto of 11 years - he was cheating on her.
Heath - He had a good job when we met and then quit his job. He was unemployed and never looked for a job or had any intention to. I wanted to support him how I could, to find work by helping him put together resumes etc and send him links to job ads I thought were a good fit for his background. When his money ran out and he had not gone on one interview, I refused to hand out money. At which point he moved north to live with his father so he could stay unemployed. We then started a long distance relationship, and then I found out he had at least another 3 girls all on the go at the same time, at which point he became physical and hit me as well when I got upset he was cheating.
Then there was my most recent fiance, who I learned had the substance problems and who also was beginning to become physical with me.
Elliot, I am 32. I want to stop all of this hurt and pain. I can't take anymore. I want a simple, non dramatic life, with someone I am attracted to and who is attractive and compatible with me. I also don't want to grieve anymore over someone who does not deserve my tears, but I don't know how to stop. My self worth is thru the floor. I have no confidence.
I really want my own family and to have a well adjusted marriage. One where we are best friends. There is no substances, no violence, no cheating. Where he is eager to come home to me at the end of the day and our family. I want a family man! I want to have several children and create my own beautiful family to replace the mess of a family I had when I started out.
What is wrong with my mother? Why is she the way she is? My father and her are currently getting a divorce because since I moved out of home, she has not allowed him to have contact with me. She has placed tape recorders around the house hidden under towels, in the hope of catching him make a phone call to me. My father has had to secretly visit me at work during lunch just to see me. He wanted to be honest with her, but she would become so abusive and angry, that she made it hard for him to be honest about being in contact with me. She has held knives to his throat in the past. I think he has finally begun to see her for who she really is.
When my most recent engagement fell apart, she lost the plot again. She said to my father "you must be glad that her wedding has fallen apart. Now you will be the main man in her life again". Of course my father was devastated for me that I was going through this hell. More than anything he wanted to see me happy. He had even put calls thru to my ex trying to fix things for us. My mother so upset that she would have to fight for my father's attention again said she wanted to kill herself, or kill him. She ran around the house smashing plates and just went crazy.
My life feels like an absolute mess Elliot and all I've ever done, is try to do my best. I really have. I really nurtured and cared for my fiance. I can't believe this is how things always turn out. I feel I am cursed or something. I could not have been a better partner. And now I am going thru hell again. I don't know how to fix things! I don't have time to waste on more mistakes with wrong people. I have bought about 30 books off Amazon and have started by trying to educate myself. I am reading books like 'Big Red Flags', '51 things to consider before getting engaged', '1001 things to know before getting engaged', 'The Manipulative Man', 'Find your soul mate'.
I feel I am learning things already. The Big Red Flag book was great. I wish I had read it 10 years ago, and already feel things would be different for me, had I known then, what I think I know now from reading it.