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dimanche 14 juin 2015

Reading matter

Break out the Muscat de Rivesaltes, guys, this is my own, personal book club. There's no set topic. Oh... wait. Maybe there is...

First up: a happy little pairing:
Lionel Shriver's "We need to talk about Kevin"
Jodi Piccoult's "19 minutes"
Both of these are about screwed up, psychologically damaged teenagers who go on a murderous rampage around their high schools. Hmm. Comedies, then.

Second; a couple more Jodi Piccoult novels:
My sister's keeper - another happy story of terminal illness in a child, designer babies, moral dilemma and death.
The pact - a cheerful tale of teenage suicide.
There's obviously a high giggle factor here, too.

Finally: a selection (free choice, people) of Michael Connelly or Jonathan Kellerman thrillers.
These involve brutal murders, criminal psychology and the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles.

So maybe there is a theme after all.

I swear, people, I've been on the muscat since I took C. back to her dad's and am slowly falling apart.

All these joyous books about death and the dark side of life have helped me come to the shocking (to me, anyway) realisation that I cannot possibly allow myself to commit suicide, however appealing it might seem, because I can't bear the thought of what it would do to C and L. Yet, at the same time, the thought of having to live like this for the rest of my miserable life fills me with such despair that I think I'll implode.

I truly don't know what to do.

Somebody. Anybody. Please.

Help me.

jeudi 11 juin 2015

Probably not a good sign...

...2 posts in as many hours.


I can't stop crying. I've been binge-watching TV and DVDs since I took the girls home at 7 this evening: I cried at a Stéphane Plaza house-hunting show. I cried at Grey's Anatomy. I've cried through several episodes of Glee.

This is most definitely not a good sign.

Life coach? Screw that

My life is so screwed up. And in so, so many ways.

I could make a career change and become a life coach for those seeking new, innovative means of falling down the deep, dark hole.

To (badly) paraphrase Shakespeare, "How shall I screw up? Let me count the ways..."

My family life is a disaster. I have an elder daughter (aged 13-and-a-half-going-on-18) that I barely see. She's clearly punishing me for a whole range of perceived and actual failings on my part, to such an extent that when I DO see her (essentially Wednesday afternoons and occasional bits of weekends), she remains distant, actively hostile to Y, glued to any kind of screen and 100% a Daddy's girl. She just wrote to her new Australian penpal that she "lives with her dad". She refuses to sleep here. Every time she's here when Y is here, it's like there's a huge, grey cloud of pure lead hanging over us. She defends D at every opportunity, regardless of whether he's to blame or at fault, or not. I have a younger daughter (aged 11) that I see pretty much every day, and she's the light in my life, without any doubt. But I'm scared it will all change when she joins her sister at middle school in September. She also has a multitude of "issues", including chronic hoarding, possible kleptomania and a severe lack of self-confidence. And I feel to blame for all that too. Even she rarely sleeps here, and I miss her morning bedhead, her bedtime rituals; I miss being more than a couple-of-hours-every-evening, part-time mother. I've failed both my daughters because of what happened to D and me, what I did 3 years ago, how things have been ever since. I've missed so much of their lives and I'll never get that time back.

My professional life is a disaster. Spending 18 months in a psychiatric institute (including almost a year of that in the "secure" facility) has slashed my client list and, as a result, my income. I spend waaaay too many hours a week with no work to do at all. Worse still, I have little to no ambition and so am doing absolutely nothing about this situation - no courses to learn new (complementary or totally different) skills, no prospecting (I'm absolutely, totally incapable of prospecting), no networking, no nothing really.

Consequently, my financial situation is precarious at best, and would be a total, living-in-a-box-under-a-bridge disaster if my dad didn't keep sending me money. I'm immeasurably grateful to him for this and will never be able to thank him enough, but I also feel deeply ashamed to be 46 (God help me) and still so dependent on him. I also know he's deeply disappointed in me and pretty much every single life choice I've ever made. Speaking to him makes me feel more depressed than you can ever imagine. And I hate myself for that, too.

My mental health is a disaster. I see Dr H almost every week, but stopped taking the medication more than a year ago (though I obviously haven't told him that). I find it impossible to tell him about all the black stuff inside my head because I'm too scared he'll send me back there. I practice what I'm not going to tell him in my head all the time, then, when I get there, I'm monosyllabic or - worse - mute.

My personal life is...well...complicated. Y and I get on fine, but the situation between him and C brings tears to my eyes without fail and fills my heart with so much sadness that I can barely stand it. Y has many, many issues of his own and seems incapable of doing anything about them, leaving me to try and pick up the pieces. And failing at that too. Plus there's D. My feelings for him range from pretty much total indifference to outright hatred. Sometimes, he makes me so angry I could scream. I know he's not entirely to blame for all the crap that's happened to me in the last few years, but he's certainly responsible for a part of it, and I HATE him for it. I HATE what he did to me and yes, I'm still bitter and twisted about it, even though it's been more than 5 years ago.

And then, finally, my social life is also a disaster. I'm increasingly loathe to leave the house, limiting my outings to collecting L from school, taking her to her circus class once a week (now finished till September), running the occasional, essential errand and forcing myself to a fortnightly coffee morning with lovely English-speaking friends. Their lives are so different, so alien that I feel like a fly spying on their conversations. I hear them talking about the places they visit (almost everyone knows the region better than I do, even when they've only been here a matter of months and I've been here since 1999), the trips they go on, their "normal" lives (husbands who work, children who live with them, money in the bank...), and I feel like a freak. Always, ever. Again.

So I guess you can count the ways in which I've screwed up my life. Except that of course, I probably haven't included everything.

Y has gone home to his family for two weeks. He left this morning and I can already feel myself falling apart - even though when he's here, I yearn for time alone. I'm increasingly convinced that there's no hope for me. I can't live with people, I can't live alone, my daughters don't want to live with me...

There's nothing left. Just that deep, dark hole. It's a scary place but oh, so familiar. And that makes it kind of appealing.

God help me.