The dreaded hospital

It seems that I only seek solace in writing here on my personal blog when I am confronted by new challenges. When my CPTSD get triggered again by new family drama, I seem to crave the need to write..

I come here to write as a way of getting my muddled and anxious thoughts out of my head.

My father suffered a heart attack around 10 days ago and I was the last to find out..

He was unwell for several days before his colleagues convinced him to get help..

Once he eventually went to a small local hospital they rushed him with an ambulance to a big central hospital in Athens.

He didn’t want me to know he’d had a heart attack, so his colleagues told me several days later. Apparently, he didn’t want to worry me!

My Dad apologised back in September for the way he had treated me over the last couple of years since his suicide attempt and told me that he cared. Although I know this apology was mostly threatened out of him by my mother, it is the closest thing I will ever get to closure with my Dad. Sadly, he is severely mentally ill with NPD, obsessions and paranoia. He is a shell of the Dad he used to be and the person who was at least respected and liked in both his business and friendships. He has been wanting to die for several years, ever since his wife started threatening to leave him and take all his money. He has been severely self-neglectful towards himself and even though he finally got a divorce from his now ex-wife, he still needs her attention.

Now that he is in hospital again, I have tried not to go into panic mode and make any rushed decisions.Last time after his suicide attempt, I spent 2 weeks in hospital and psychiatric clinics, getting caught up in all the drama that he had created..and in the end, despite doing my best to support him, he rejected me for acting in his best interests.

Although this time I have gone into hyper-vigilance mode which is unavoidable due to my PTSD, I have been trying not to rush any decisions.

I have known for 5 days that he is in hospital, but due to my work, I haven’t been able to just drop everything and fly to Greece. I have been in contact with 2 people regarding his health and one of them has told me his heart is so damaged that it is only working on 10% of its ability. Due to the delay of getting treatment, his heart is almost destroyed. He will most likely need a bypass but only if his heart is strong enough to handle an operation. Death is very likely, according to the first person I spoke to. His colleague on the other hand has told me that he is stable since being in hospital and that yes, they are indeed waiting on more tests to verify whether he is fit enough for a bypass operation but that generally the doctors don’t know much. The chances seem very slim however. The level of heart fitness has to be at least a 5 and my dad’s heart is at a 4, so there is a high likelihood he will die.

Yesterday I was very sure that I wanted to fly out to Greece immediately to say my last goodbyes but today I have not been too sure. I have also heard that his ex-wife has been by his side non-stop manipulating him again and it has made me feel physically nauseous..Watching her control over him over the years destroyed our relationship and she is still turning him against the people who care about him the most, which is heart-breaking. It is however his choice to still want her in his life, despite the divorce.

I am mentally preparing myself to deal with the toxicity of it all again.

I feel that I have to go there for the bare minimum, which is to say goodbye, in case he dies. The people that have been supporting him have had enough..They want me to take over but I am not willing to do much this time round.. His self destruction is ongoing..

If he obviously dies, then I will have to go out there and stay longer to sort through stuff..

Life feels really shitty right now..and very unfair..

I am in desperate need of relief from this situation with my father..

Whether I will get that when he dies or not, isn’t very clear..

Either way, I have to go and face him one more time and say goodbye..

I love him and am so very sad that his life turned out this way, when it could have been so much better..

I just hope that he finally finds peace and everyone around him does too. ♥♥♥

 

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My narcissist father has sent me what seems like a genuine apology. Do I trust it?

For the last month, I have been in a state of inner turmoil. My father has been contacting me via email, telling me that he is finally divorced from his wife and talking to me like I am a client who owes him money.

He doesn’t have my new contact address or phone number luckily, so this has made things easier for me.

He has been trying to get me to return the money which I took from our shared account, after his suicide attempt. He has sent me 3emails, with all emails completely focused on the money. I have not replied to any of his attempts to make contact with me for the last 2 years. I have been very strong and have handled all his nasty emails with confidence in myself & with determination. I hadn’t allowed myself to be affected by his words or to feel hurt.

Last week however, he sent me a very nasty email which finally got to me and caused me a lot of anxiety over the weekend. I guess it was his last attempt to pressure me into giving him his money!

I am copying and pasting his email into this blog post, so you can see for yourselves.

His emails may be triggering *** So please read with care!

I thought you would be sensitive to the fact that there is a danger to loose my house and be homeless while you will have the house I wrote in your name, when I die. I gave it to you as a present [stupid me ]!

I will never forget my stress finishing the house for you and I will also never forget being a taxi driver for you when you were at school, taking you and all your friends to wherever you needed to go.I will never forget the money I spent for your studies in private schools and at university and the money I gave you to cover your expenses in England.

I haven’t done anything bad to you, only to myself with my wife. You have treated me like Judas treated his master. What kind of daughter are you not allowing your mother to give me your phone number?? S and A are disgusted with you and because you are such a monster, I am afraid more people HAVE to know about what you did, so you will become a person with no family!! I will contact the whole family to tell them what you have done, so they can help me!

How will you feel when I am dying? Your conscience will drive you mad after your crime..

Don’t you think if we were ok and you needed some help with money that I wouldn’t give it to you? If I save the house and I am able to sell it I will give you something then. If you will send me MY MONEY IN A WEEK I will do as I said.

I am ashamed to be your father!

After all the above, I spent a weekend feeling unsettled and anxious. Deep down, I know that I have never done anything morally wrong. When I took my father’s money, I did it with good intentions. I did it to provide him and myself a safety net to fall back on, when he finally divorced his wife and was too unwell to look after himself. I did it to cover any medical expenses that may come up or any other expenses that I would most definetely be burdened with. In the future, I am going to be the only person that will help my father when nobody else will. I will be the only person that will sort out the mess and chaos he will most likely leave behind.

5 days after the above email, which I yet again didn’t reply to, my father wrote me his first emotional, remorseful and apologetic email.

The words in this email, are the words that every adult child of a narcissist hopes to one day finally hear from their parent. Every child that has been abused or neglected by their parent, dreams of an apology or at least some genuine emotion, that shows love and regret.

These are his words:

I am very sorry for all the things that happened between us. I don’t excuse myself for panicking and acting unreasonably and inconsiderately towards the people around me, especially those dearest to me. I know many people don’t like me anymore and I know I have pushed so many people away.

Please excuse my panic because I’m in danger of losing my home because of a loan from the bank that need re-paying. I won’t be able to sell my home until this loan is paid off and I just want to make our lives easier.I would never have followed through on my threats as I would never have wanted to ridicule my own child or in fact be blamed for not raising you right.  I did everything in my power to raise you right.

My threats were just a way of pressuring you in my despair, so I don’t lose my home.

When I die, you and your brother will both have a share in my business. You will also have a home. I will not talk to you again about the money that created this whole mess between us in the first place. Keep it, if it makes you happy. You are worth more to me than all the millions in the world. Please, just pray to god, that He forgives me for all that I have written to you and that he watches over me.

Please do not hesitate to communicate with me. I don’t blame you for anything or need to forgive you for anything. Since I can’t have all my children near me, I would love some communication as much as possible, and when the financial situation allows it, I would love to go on a trip to see you. Unfortunately for me, my depression still continues with frequent panic attacks. I hope nevertheless, that I will be able to stand beside you for as long as I continue to live,  as best as I can manage, as a relatively wiser father.

I love you very much and I apologise for hurting you because of my needs.

I don’t know whether to trust these words as they are so contrasting to his last email. These words touched me so much, that I cried over and over again. That little girl in me, that has just wanted to feel loved by her father again, was awoken by these words.

I feel hope and confusion.

I feel compassion and feel deeply sad for him.

But what do I do with these words?

Do I break my ‘no contact’ and reply to him?

Is he genuinely sorry?

Is he only sorry because he is finally realising that he is now on his own.

Is he just being a typical narcissist who is still trying to manipulate me but this time with softer words that he knows will affect me?

Do I give him one last chance, to see if he genuinely means what he has said or will the money issue come up again?

I am so confused right now, I need your help.

If I was talking to my coaching clients, I would tell them to go with their gut feeling and I would tell them to take their time before making a decision. I would also advise them to be weary and to try not to be too hopeful! Individuals with NPD don’t usually change!

It’s tougher to think clearly when it is happening to you, however..Especially when it’s your parent and you are very emotional..

My father has desperately tried to avoid being on his own all of his life yet sadly has succeeded in being on his own.He has pushed everyone away that cared for him: friends, family, partners etc…I remember him telling me when I was a child, that there is nothing worse than dying alone…Yet, he left his own narcissistic mother to die alone in a top floor flat in 40 C degrees heat!

I really don’t know what to think of everything..

He still seems to think that I wanted the money all for myself, when that was never the reason I took it..

I am struggling right now..

I love my Dad..

I have never stopped loving him..

I have never stopped thinking of him..

He is still alive and has finally divorced that gold-digger…

But does he deserve one last chance to make things right with me?

Thanks for reading ♥♥

Love Athina

Big changes bring stress but even more so, when a narcissist or two is involved

Unfortunately, I spent ages writing a long post, which WordPress somehow didn’t save..I tried publishing it and then it just disappeared.. 😦

So this version will be a lot shorter…

My husband, our puppy and I, are now finally living back in England. We moved to the area of Surrey back in mid June, which is known for it’s beautiful countryside. The whole move went smoothly luckily but unfortunately my husband’s new job is a huge disappointment. His manager is sadly incompetent in her job and seems to thrive on conflict and chaos. For this reason, this first month back in the UK has been tough..I haven’t been able to fully enjoy being back in Britain, as hubby has been so disappointed and sad.  He is currently talking to HR about all the terrible things he has witnessed since starting his new job, as he feels he owes it to the staff he manages.

Apart from this unlucky choice of job, everything else here in Surrey has been fine.

I have also started working part-time alongside my Coaching business and we have generally been busy getting used to our new routines..

The last thing we needed at this transitional time, is any additional stress..

As a lot of my followers know, my life has never been smooth running without stress. Narcissistic parents don’t allow you to have a relaxing life, unfortunately.. There is always some drama lurking behind the corner..

To cut the story short, my mother was contacted by my father, (as he couldn’t reach me to tell me), and he told her that he has now divorced his gold-digging wife of 18 years and wants to reconnect with me.

On top of that, my mother said that she told my father, that she was the one that advised me to take some of his money from our shared account when he was in hospital after his suicide attempt (This money was taken by me as a protective measure against his nasty gold-digging wife).

So first she announces a bomb shell to me and then she tells me that she outright lied to my father about advising me to take his money!?!

I was furious at her for saying such a thing, and I honestly can’t for the life of me understand why she would say that??!! My mother didn’t even know my father had attempted suicide or that I was in Greece by his side, let alone know anything about his money.

I told her that what she said was not true, as we didn’t speak at all when my father was in hospital.

I only told her what happened 2 weeks after I had returned from Greece and managed to take in what had actually happened. She said that we obviously remember things differently, which is absolutely ridiculous, as my husband was with me through the whole ordeal. He kept advising me not to talk to my mother or anybody at the time, until after it was all over. It was the best way for me to cope with my rising anxiety levels through the trauma of it all.

At the moment, I am sitting here trying to wrap my head around this whole divorce.

What changed now? How did this finally happen after 18 years of trying to convince my father to leave this woman? This woman fought so hard to bleed him dry and yet now they are divorced?

She micromanaged everything for 18 years and controlled everything he said or did.

She even successfully turned him against me.

My mother is encouraging me to speak to my father, but I am having none of it. We haven’t been in contact for over 1 year and a half..

My father wants his money back and my mother says I should give it back to him now that he is finally divorced..I no longer have to keep it as a protective measure, since she now can’t get anymore money from him..

My mother wanted to know how much money I took from him and I told her that the amount isn’t important in the slightest and isn’t any of her business. She said that she can’t understand why I am keeping secrets from her..

She is upset that I won’t share everything with her…

This whole thing is between my Dad and I…She is the ex-wife

I told her to let me deal with this in my own time, when I feel ready to…

She said that I have to get over it and move on..

That my Dad is an old man and needs me now and that we have to repair our relationship… She then mentioned herself in that too, saying she is also getting old and that no one knows what might happen and when..So it’s better to repair relationships rather than remain bitter…

Luckily, I stopped listening to my mother ages ago, so I also didn’t let her words affect me..

I hate that she still tries to get me to do things her way…

It’s not about her…If she doesn’t want to be stuck in the middle of my Dad and I, then she doesn’t need talk to him…

I am not ready to give him my contact details or new address…

I don’t even know if I am ready to hear him out…

I think I would need proof of his divorce before I proceed to make contact with him again, if at all…

My priority at the moment is to support my husband through this difficult transitional period, as he has always put me first. He gave up so much security in Germany to move back to the UK for me, so the least I can do is be there for him…

My mother says that my husband is an adult and doesn’t need my support…(how ridiculous)….and that my father is more important right now….

My father chose to believe his evil wife, over me, so many times…He hurt me again and again and again..he abandoned me, again and again and again…

My husband has been more respectful and loyal to me in the 6,5 years we have been together, than my father has in the last 18 years…

So, my husband’s needs come first at the moment and my emotions also come first!

I am not letting my energy sucking parents pull me down again..

Not this time!

Just because my Dad woke up and divorced his wife, doesn’t mean that I have to drop everything and cater to his needs suddenly..I did that way too many times and all I got was an emotional slap in the face!

I really don’t like my parents and their demands…

I am so over it…

I need to remind myself not to pick up the phone when it rings..

I need to remind myself to breath and live in the moment and create the life I want for myself, with no added stress or guilt..

I have a family now…Hubby and puppy are my world and they are my first priority…

My own emotional health is my first priority…

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The shortest day and my father’s birthday

It’s been awhile since I have written a blog post or properly caught up on people’s posts, so I hope my regular readers are doing ok. Life has changed completely since our new puppy Daola became part of our family. Looking after a pup and getting through each working day with 2 shifts (morning and evening) has been very different to what it was before. A lot of adjustments have been made and I must admit the first 3 months have been tough. It’s been similar to looking after a baby, even though I don’t have kids. This is what most people have been telling me, anyway. Daola has needed constant entertaining, training and up to 8 trips outside for pee pees. Luckily now, things have started settling down a little. She doesn’t need as many toilet trips outside and her walks have been reduced to 4 a day, including her very brief toilet outing at 5:30 am before work.

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Daola 4 months old

 

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Daola 3 months old

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Daola 5 months old- Still enjoys lying on mine and hubby’s back

We have been very lucky to have chosen a pup that is affectionate, cuddly, playful, loyal and always extremely happy to see us, after brief times apart. As a previous cat person, I have completely fallen in love with being a dog mum for the first time. Its been lovely seeing her learn from us as quickly as she has and she seems to be quite intelligent as well. Stubborness and of course selective listening are quite common traits of Daschunds, so at times I have felt very frustrated.

In early December we had a brief holiday and we took Daola with us to Greece for 3 nights, as it had been 10 months since I had last flown home. The last time we were in Athens, we had to empty the flat that we had used for almost 5 years. This was an important decision as it still connected me to my father, which I was already estranged from.

Luckily, our trip to Greece in December wasn’t as challenging as we were worried it would be. We booked a quiet pet friendly hotel in a nice quiet area and Daola luckily slept a lot and was generally very good during the flights. Although the journey was around 7 hours in total, including trains, taxis etc..she did great for a 5 month old pup.

Staying in the hotel we chose, actually had a lot of pros if I were to compare it to the flat we had been staying in over the last years. We had breakfast made for us, we had very good WIFI (which we never had in the flat), there were no cockroaches or outdated toilet drainage systems and I didn’t need to clean anything, as I did upon arrival every previous time. The only cons of going to Greece now is that I no longer have a home there and I no longer have a father or half brother I am able to visit. Due to the toxicity of my father’s way of life, it is just impossible. This always makes me sad understandably and as it is my father’s birthday today, I am feeling even more vulnerable.

My brother unfortunately always tells me about the fact that he is sending my father his birthday gift. He also still talks about him in such an innocent manner. He just doesn’t have the capacity to understand the complexity of why it is too painful for me to talk about him. He also hasn’t seen my father act narcissistically or maybe is just not able to accept that both his parents are narcissistic. I have allowed my brother to continue living in his little bubble of my father being the non narcissist but once again I feel like I have to swallow my frustration and true feelings due my brother’s special needs.

As so many of you know, I always feel very lonely at this time of year, when I realise how much I have lost. I still miss my Dad and always seem to drift into imaginary fantasies of what it could have been like if he had made healthy choices. I imagine how it could have been if he had chosen a healthy wife and had a healthy lifestyle. How we would all spend Christmas together and I would teach my half brother all sorts of important things. There was once a time, where my brother, my half brother, my Dad, his wife and I would all spend Christmas together. Although it never felt comfortable, it still meant that we had our Dad in our life. Now that is no longer the case. He is too sick to think of us affectionately. He is too addicted to his wife and current life situation. We don’t matter anymore. We used to matter much more to him, when we were still a family and he was still married to our mum.

On a more positive note, I just wanted to write that despite the underlying sadness I feel on my Dad’s birthday today and generally this time of year, I am so incredibly grateful to have my hubby to cuddle up to and to have Daola in our life for our first Christmas together. We may not have our parents or other family but we do have a lot of love in our own home. I never want to take what I have for granted, as I know how tough life has been at other points in my life. I value each and every moment of relaxation, calmness and joy.

So for all of you out there who are also struggling with grief at this time of year just remember to notice the beauty that surrounds you. Remember to notice the little things that may otherwise go unnoticed. Remember to value those passing moments of love and joy and capture them in a blog, in a poem or in a photograph. Capturing these happy moments in my life is so important for my mental health. We all need something to hold onto when things get tough.

Today, I will hold onto to some of these happy memories.Photographs have always been my most treasured possession so I will always dig them out and remember.

Christmas 2006

My father, brother and my father’s wife in 2006..Although I disliked her, spending Christmas together was important.

 

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All 3 of us siblings together- 2007

dad paris fishing

Glyfada/Greece-Summer 2010 Dad and half brother

fishing times

Fishing with my half brother- summer 2010 Glyfada, Greece

 

Love Athina ♥♥

 

When self-doubt creeps in..

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The above reality, written by the amazing Tina Fuller, is something I feel often when things are stable and my life is drama free. Being the child of two narcissists, it is almost impossible to have long lasting peace when they are still alive. And even when they pass away, you still have to be prepared for even more stress in regards to property, money and their remaining family.

After already feeling miserable the last couple of days after waking up with an incredibly painful and stiff lower back, I got a text yesterday from my father which was extremely difficult to understand..

It was written in Greek with capital letters however more than half the letters were missing from each word. I ended up playing a guessing game trying to construct sentences..

Generally, since I asked him not to contact me again back, I should have completely ignored the message. However, because I could make out from the first sentence, something about tax and money, I knew he had done what I was afraid of.

Before I get to that, I have to explain a little about how certain things work in Greece in regards to putting property in a family member’s name.

In Greece, when a parent wants to put property in their child’s name, they usually follow a very odd but very commiting process. Both the adult child and parent sign a document which states that the adult child becomes the owner of the property, however the child isn’t able to make use of the property (live in it, rent it out etc) until the parent dies. Whilst the parent is still living, he/she is the one that can rent out the property and benefit from it. This can be felt as a little unfair for the adult child, as they aren’t able to do anything at all until the parent dies. Then again, they will still own a home in the end, so overall it is worth it.

In the last couple of years, Greece has introduced a new law which says that all property owners have to pay tax on the home that they own. This tax is based on the size of the property in square meters, the year it was built and the type of property. This tax has to be paid once a year and in the case of my property, which has been used and rented out by my father, he has been the one that has been responsible for paying this tax every year. This was only fair, as he has been earning 600euro every month from it and I haven’t benefited at all.

From my father’s text, it was clear that he no longer wants to pay my share of the tax and that I now have to be responsible for it. The only thing I could make out clearly from his text was that I have to pay 500 euro for the property. He then proceeded to guilt-trip me about how much I hurt him, even though he has never turned against me. Luckily, I was able to block this part out emotionally. I currently feel numb to it and I hope it stays this way.

At the moment, I am left wondering whether this will be the only contact I have from him. I am really hoping that it is and that despite delivering this not so nice message to me about the property tax, that he will continue to respect my wishes of ‘no contact’.

With both my parents as narcissists, I guess I will never fully be at peace until they are gone. As long as they are alive, I have to expect some drama.

If the worst thing that ever happens again with my father, is this tax I have to pay once a year, then it is only a small price to pay for owning a house he designed and built. Although my feelings about this home are very mixed at present, a small part of me will most likely cherish this home one day, when my father is no longer alive. Despite the fact that he turned out to be a very sick person, he was still a very giving & present father until I was 13-14 years old. Those memories will always be mine and I hope that one day, I will be able to look back on my relationship with my father and feel less hurt & less sorrow.

More drama from the queen I am so used to

 

Today started off well, after a wonderful meeting with the Operations Manager at my little job. She said that they are extremely happy with me at the Chambers of Commerce and that I seem to be doing my job as a facilities assistant for them very well.  There are no complaints whatsoever for everything that I have done so far and it seems that most of the complaints that were popping up before, were actually mostly directed at my friend who introduced me to the job.

Hubby said that they would appreciate my integrity and willingness to do well and it seems he was right! When I started the job alongside my friend, I felt that I would just be helping her out occassionally. Now that she quit, I am working more hours and have a part-time contract. It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. I very much enjoy working alone and just getting on with it, whilst also exchanging a few brief conversations with the staff that are there daily.

After my shift this morning, I came home and slept for over 3 hours. Instead of waking up and feeling refreshed and happy, I received a call from my mother who wanted to have a serious conversation about my brother.

She started off by saying ‘I wanted to ask you some questions and I ask that you answer as honestly as possible”.

After this introduction, I knew the drama was going to start..I also knew that she must have found out certain things and wasn’t happy with me at all!

She asked me whether I knew that my brother was researching narcissism? I said yes…

She also asked me whether I was the one that dared to plant the seed of telling him (a vulnerable adult with special needs & limited emotional & mental capabilities) about narcissism? I said yes..

She asked me whether I knew that he was calling her a narcissist? I said yes..

She asked me ‘whether I agreed’ and I said yes.

I also told her though that despite my brother’s special needs and limited mental & emotional capacity, he is still very much able to distinguish between what feels right and what hurts him…That she just needs to accept that he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to her…

She is pissed off I messed with their relationship and helped him see the reality…

She also insinuated in a childish way that she spoke to his carer and that they are discussing ways of protecting him from me, because he is getting so much worse by isolating himself away from his family..(meaning her) and listening to the unnecessary things I am sharing with him..

He hasn’t isolated himself from his family…Only from her…He talks to me all the time about his finds in narcissism, the art classes he does and how I recommended art as a form of therapy and how they have helped him feel better..(of course I didn’t share this with her..) She is so envious of our closeness and relationship..

She said that it is ridiculous that we think she is a narcissist…that her psychologist who she has known for awhile, only told her that she has mild depression…That if she were a narcissist, she wouldn’t be capable of caring so much for her children and hurting so much..that she wouldn’t have friends…etc etc…Any sane psychologist, knows not to confront a narcissist, by telling them they are a narcissist..

3 of my therapists have confirmed to me that my parents are narcissists through psychological testing..

My mother is always either the victim or a mother just like any other, who has sacrificed everything for her children.

Covert Narcissists wearing the Martyr’s mask

There is a special kind of covert narcissist who plays the martyr role so convincingly that most people believe he is an individual of extraordinary integrity, even holy. There is always the implication that this person is special because of their extreme self-sacrifice for others. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is part of the covert narcissist’s well rehearsed performance and an excellent way of being seen as a very fine human being.

Dr Linda Martinez-Lewi – The Narcissist in your life

 

She is pissed off that I wasn’t strong enough to keep my own thoughts to myself and that I had to tell my brother. It’s funny how she still sees me as weak, when in actuality she is the weak one..

I have helped my brother see the light and he has finally made sense of everything that he always sensed all along..My mother has probably harmed him more than she has harmed me, as she has attached herself to him too much because of his special needs. He has been on a pedestal in her eyes due to his disabilities and my mother feels like she sacrificed everything to support him..In part, this is true…Having a special needs child changes everything. It causes a huge imbalance in any family, it causes stress in the marriage and any siblings in the family can feel neglected, unimportant or parentified. She is still a covert narcissist however and nothing will change that unfortunately.

My brother is finally on a healing journey and even if his special needs don’t allow him to completely understand every single detail about narcissism, he at least feels validated, understood, feels that he can protect himself and can make his own decisions..He may be a vulnerable adult with limited intellectual capacities and obsessive tendencies but his heart knows what feels safe and what doesnt! No one can take that away from him…

 

 

 

Dachshund or returning to UK

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Hubby and I have been talking more and more over the last few days about how our life will continue when his work contract comes to an end next year..Do we leave our comfortable home and life for a life back in the uncertain post brexit future of the UK or do we stay for the long haul and I just have to continue learning the language?!

My number one choice has always been the UK, mainly because I never wanted to leave in the first place. We only left because hubby wasn’t happy in his job in Bournemouth and he only had a short window to find work elsewhere until our money ran out. Germany was the quickest offer he got, so although I had many reservations, we did it anyway..

After the first few months passed of us settling into our new life in Germany, we decided to get married. Things were going downhill in Greece with my father’s depression and I just had this bad feeling. I knew that if I ever wanted to get married with both my parents there, it would have to be that year. We went through with it in October 2014, 7 months into living in Germany. Although it wasn’t the easiest or smoothest wedding day due to stress and family drama, we at least committed to each other and created a new family unit. Both hubby and I always needed to feel a sense of belogning in our life and we finally managed to find it in each other.

Unfortunately, 2 months after we got married I confronted my mother about her dismissal of my feelings most of my life and 7 months later my father attempted suicide. My first year of marriage was utter shite and I had to go back on anti-depressants just to get through that year!Looking back on it now, I am happy it is over! The only thing that made that year a little better was celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary in New York! I had always wanted to go to America and I finally made it there for our special day!

All in all, Germany ended up being a safe haven for me, so I could work through my feelings of grief and disappointment. Although I was out of my comfort zone, Germany became my best friend. The fact that I wasn’t working for the first 2 years of my life here was a blessing in disguise. I was able to develop myself personally, set boundaries, progress heaps and bounds in therapy and even qualify as a life coach.

I finally said goodbye to my father after all the abuse & trauma and managed to slowly  re-create a civil relationship with my mother again, although only through acceptance of her limitations. Although I know life isn’t ever going to be the same again, since acquiring all this new wisdom & knowledge about my abusive parents, I am finally closer to making peace with the family I am left with.

The cutest thing about life here in Germany has been the constant appearance of the ‘Rauhaardackel’! :-)I completely fell in love with these beautiful little wirehaired dachshunds (sausage dogs) and we have been wanting to get one for the last couple of years. In this last month, hubby sent out emails to separate breeders and we came so very close to getting one this summer. We have so much love to give a dog and are also looking forward to the unconditional love that a dog gives back. Germany has at times been lonely, due to lack of friends or family and we know that this little dog would give us so much joy and friendship.

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Over the last weekend, we had numerous chats about moving back to England. On Friday, hubby just announced that we have to move back no matter what! He admitted that he is fed up travelling to work & back 2 hours each day, being the only one who earns enough to support our family and that he would much prefer it if we both worked average jobs full time rather than him doing a stressful job on his own. This is also something I have been wanting for the last 3 years, as I have missed earning a full time wage but have also been wanting to further develop myself in the area of mental health, through work and studies. I have felt like my desire to work in areas that interest me in the UK, has been on hold the last couple of years.

The hardest thing about living abroad is that you discover that there are so many things that are better than in your country. Renting in Germany is like owning a home. You have more freedom to do whatever you want and the rent is only increased once every 10 years. The health-care system is also very good. I have had great support here for both my mental and physical health. We were also able to buy a brand new car with hubby’s savings and we now only purchase food and cosmetics from Organic sources. There are a lot of things that we have grown accustomed to, so another big move again means that we will have to give up a lot of what we currently have.

It also means that we have to give up on our dream of getting our little sausage dog 😦 Moving back to the UK and finding a property to rent that will also accept a small dog, would be a huge challenge. Landlords don’t usually accept pets, so if we were to actually get a dog, it would limit our choice by 80%. This breaks my heart as I desperately want a dog, especially because we have decided we are not having kids.

This is the way it will have to be however. If we want to move back to the UK for my own emotional wellbeing, then having a puppy will just have to wait..

I admitted to hubby that I am so very tired of being around German speaking people..I am genuinely fed up of feeling uncomfortable and like a fish out of water..I usually enjoy getting to know people but my ability to do this here has obviously been hard. Especially now that I have started this new part time job, I always feel on edge when people talk to me and I know I have to reply in German. I never realised how much I would miss speaking English until I moved here!

Having emotional difficulties is already challenging enough to live with..Battling ill mental health is tough enough with all the limitations that come with it. When you already suffer with CPTSD, pushing yourself even further out of your comfort zone is a struggle..I really feel like I have done the best I could do under the circumstances..

To end this long, babbling blog post, I wanted to say that hubby is much closer to accepting that we will be moving back to the UK next year. We have made plans to save as much money as we can so we are comfortable when we move back and we have decided that we will really try to downsize from a 2 bedroom flat to a 1 bedroom in the UK, so we can save even more money for a future deposit on a forever home. I will have to give away or sell most of my unneccesary possessions (dvd collections/art/home decor etc), to make room for a sensible future life in the UK again.

In all honesty, I cannot wait! 🙂

Thanks for reading! ❤

Why you must stop obsessing over the narcissist

When your relationship with the narcissist in your life comes to an end, you will go through a very tumultuous recovery period. You will feel like your world has been turned upside down and your mind and body will be going through withdrawal.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist is like being addicted to a drug. They take over your life completely and when the relationship ends, the recovery process becomes an endless battle of fighting the obsessive thoughts and questions you are left with. The trauma bond created is excruciatingly hard to break.

In most cases there is no real closure, as you aren’t ending a relationship with a healthy person. When you are not understood and validated and your feelings are dismissed with guilt-tripping, controlling and manipulating behaviour, it is extremely diffucult for your mind and heart to feel peace.

Eventually however, and after you have spent a long time recovering from this toxic sort of ‘break-up’, there comes a point where the obsessing must come to an end. The introspection and deep inner work must begin. The grieving must take a different direction.

This video is about the importance of reaching that point in your healing.

It is of course, far more complicated if you were unlucky enough to also have a narcissistic family but in general the process is the same.

Realisation →Grief→Obsessing→Trying to make sense of their behaviour→Understanding & Acceptance→Grief→Introspection→Grief→Moving on

Love Athina ♥

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Beauty in music

In one of my old posts, I wrote about how much music kept me sane when I was neglected as a teenager..Lyrics have always been very important to me in combination with piano or acoustic guitar..They touch me deep inside and I get chills when I can relate to the song completely-cognitively, emotionally and acoustically..

I also wrote so many poems as a coping mechanism..A lot of them expressed the anger I had to swallow in those difficult years, when I wasn’t allowed to have a voice..They expressed escaping from the pain I was in and being free of the constant invalidation..

I love this song..It is beautiful in so many ways…

Love Athina ♥