I enjoyed my Birthday this year!What a nice change :-)

Last year, my birthday was full of sadness, longing and disappointment. I was overwhelmed with the loss of the father I thought I’d had.

This year, although we didn’t fly to Greece as we had originally planned and although I am no longer in contact with my father, my birthday actually felt good! My closest friends from London arrived yesterday on my actual birthday and the timing of their arrival was just perfect. I had no time to feel sad and think too much about my Dad. We woke up, got ready and went straight to the airport to pick them up. After that we went straight for brunch and picked up my delicious birthday cake that hubby had ordered a few weeks before.

When we got home, we had cake and tea 🙂 It was absolutely delicious!

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It was so lovely to catch up after 1 year of not seeing them and we thoroughly enjoyed showing them a good time. Later in the afternoon/evening we headed into town, so they could get some gifts for their work colleagues from the Haribo shop and we finished off the evening with a delicious dinner and some cocktails at Hans im Gluck Burger bar.

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Although my anxiety creeped up on me as it’s been ages since I have actually socialised properly with friends, I still managed to keep it under control so it wouldn’t ruin my day.

Unfortunately, anything that requires leaving my comfort zone or routine nowadays, seems to aggravate my anxiety more than it used to. I have become so accustomed to just spending all my time with hubby, that I seem to get anxious if I feel that I have to socialise for 3 days non stop. Luckily though, we have breaks in between and even though my friends are here for 3 days, we still take some time out throughout each day to just chill and have some alone time.

Today we have a chilled out day doing a nature walk in our local area and although it is 30 degrees, which always increases my anxiety due to the heat, I will be organised with refreshments packed in my little rucksack to ease my symptoms when they get bad.

Love Athina ♥

 

 

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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 © All blog posts and images are owned by ‘My Child within-Healing from trauma’ and ‘Courage Coaching’. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

First day of new mini-job

So as you may have guessed, my new job started well. Although my German is limited, the owner of the ‘Rheinland Elfen’ was understanding about my need to speak in English, as I wasnt able to understand her ‘fast German’!

On Monday I met the owner and signed the contract for the job and today I had my first hour at work from 7am-8am. I was working with the Operations Manager today and with my limited German and her limited English we managed to communicate just fine 🙂  The work is based inside a 4 storey building, in which they hold seminars in various rooms. My job is to check the list every day and see which rooms need preparing for the various seminars taking place. Today there was only 1 room, so I only needed to work for an hour. The lovely Maria showed me what needed to be done and where everything was stocked and it all went very smoothly.

My job is so much easier than I thought.

All I have to do is tidy 4 kitchens by:

-putting away clean dishes and loading the dishwasher with dirty ones

-re-stocking the fridge with drinks

-making tea and coffee

-wiping surfaces clean

Then I have to prepare a trolley with the right amount of cups, saucers & glasses for the number of people attending each seminar and place them in each room.Coffee & Hot water flasks must also be prepared, along with a sufficient amount of other refreshments.

Next Tuesday, I will be doing my first morning working with my friend and we will have 6 conference rooms to prepare, so we will probably work 2-2.5 hours.

Although the work is repetitive, I really don’t mind it. It already feels good to have paid work again, especially in a foreign country. It is also a lot easier than working 12 hour shifts in an ‘End of Life’ care home, which is what I did in my last job in the UK, before we moved to Germany.

So I am now officially a ‘Rheinland Elfen’ (Elfen=female Elf and Rheinland is the area of Germany I live in)! Since green is my favourite colour, I am pretty thrilled with my laid back Uniform T-shirt 🙂

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Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

Out of my comfort zone

A friend of mine who works in an office building cleaning, has asked me if I want to work with her in the mornings. They are understaffed and she has been doing too much within a 3 hour timeframe. She also said that her boss is looking for someone to work in the evenings too, which is something I will also have to do.

Since I haven’t had a proper job here in Germany, due to my lack of German language skills, I have said yes to the job offer. The offices are a 10 min walk from home which is ideal and working alongside her in the morning will be a nice way to start as she will show me all the ropes.

The thing I am most nervous about however is meeting her boss on Monday, so I can give her all the necessary paperwork and sign any forms that state I will be starting to work for them. This has to be done with my limited German and in all honesty I am very uneasy about this. I havent really practiced much German since finishing my course in February and understanding is still a huge challenge. I can only do short sentences and when I am nervous I can’t think clearly or remember everything that I have learnt. People get impatient with you easily if you can’t speak the language and I always feel incredibly self-conscious.

Nevertheless, I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway as I want my own job. Hubby and I will still definetely be in Germany for another year and 8 months until his contract comes to an end, so It would be great for me to put some money aside.

I have spent the morning so far looking over my German language notes and have researched all the words and sentences I can find related to the tasks of this new job.

My friend didn’t tell her boss I only have basic German skills, so I hope she is understanding on Monday. It is only a cleaning job after all! How demanding are they going to be!?

My friend gave me a good bollocking this morning when I mentioned I haven’t practiced my German and feeling very scared about speaking. She said I have to leave my comfort zone and just do it! I know she is right in so many ways however I am still looking forward to moving back to the UK and finally being back in my comfort zone of being able to express myself fluently & fully understand what is being said to me. As much as I have enjoyed our life and all the other amazing opportunities that Germany has offered me in regards to physical & mental health, having a car and hubby’s good job,  learning German was and still is something I hugely dislike. I hated it at school and I still hate it now, even after 3 years of living here. Even the successful completion of the A1 Deutsch course didn’t convince me to continuing learning.

I guess if your heart really isn’t in something then I guess it will always be a challenge.

Wish me luck on Monday! I will need it! x

Love Athina ♥

A little bit of drama..

I am back home after my short trip to Scotland and pretty happy to be in the comfort of my own cosy nest.

Last Sunday, hubby drove me to the airport in the morning. Although I was very prepared emotionally for staying at my mother’s home, (after our major fallout 2,5 years ago) my anxiety nevertheless creeped up on me, just as we approached the airport. It actually felt so bad, that I told hubby to keep his mobile on, in case I needed him to come back and get me..

Being around abusive & manipulative individuals will always keep you on guard.  In my mother’s case, because she is a covert narcissist, her abusive behaviours are well concealed..Because I know that she has a tendency to bring up past drama & past hurts, my mind was already in a hypervigilant state.

Luckily I was prepared for the appearance of anxiety, so I took a xanax to at least get me on the plane. Hubby was also flying off to Israel for work, so we would both be away. Separations are always hard.

When I arrived in Edinburgh, it was a lovely sunny day. There were flowers on sale everywhere at the airport and train station for Mother’s Day, and it all felt a little strange.

Although I am mostly over the fact that my Mother is unhealthy, the sadness of not having had a reassuring & unconditionally loving mother is something that I have just had to learn to live with.

When I arrived, my mother picked me up from the station and we went straight to my grandmother’s. It had been 4 years since I had last seen my grandmother, so this was the main reason for my visit. My cousin also turned up with her dog, which made the afternoon feel even more pleasant.

Afterwards, we drove to my mother’s new home and caught up on all things house related that still needed to be finished. It was nice to see her new home, although I have never felt ‘at home’ in any of my mother’s homes in the past 15 years. The normal warmth & deep motherly love have never been a part of my life. There has always been a superficialness in her love towards me, a superficial feeling of empathy and my mother’s hugs have always felt empty, from a very young age. I know it isn’t my mother’s fault, that she has a personality disorder which hurts her children but unfortunately this was the mother I was given.

Over the next few days, we walked around the shops and I stocked up on my favourite Scottish Shortbread, scones and other yummy cakes. We had lunch and dinner with my mum’s older and younger sisters. I spent a lovely afternoon at my aunt’s farm and enjoyed some cuddles with all the lovely animals, including some labrador puppies.

Apart from a little anxiety due to feeling car sick in my mother’s car, I was ok.

In the evening our conversations became deeper and my mother talked about my Dad and how she had tried to take my brother & I away from him when I was only 4. She had seen by that point, how emotionally distant and cruel my father could be and didn’t want to live like that anymore. She had left her most important possessions with British friends in Greece and had prepared for the possibility of not returning. She had asked my Grandparents if they would let her stay with them in Edinburgh, until she figured out what to do next. She told me that they refused to let her go through with her plan. They told her that she had made a choice and had to return to her husband and her life in Greece. That she had a responsibility towards her children.  She admitted to me that she was very hurt at the time by her parents’ lack of support but that she later understood that they were right.

The biggest reason my mother and I had our major fall-out 2,5 years ago was because she had once again dismissed my feelings as being unimportant and had also made excuses as to why she didn’t want me to stay with her for a couple of months, while I worked and earned money for my Masters.

I realised that the lack of unconditional love was generational. If her mother could send her back to a controlling and abusive husband, because she couldn’t deal with the stress of having us, then my mother could do the same to me.

On my last morning in Scotland and 10 min before I was due to catch my train, my mother brought up the past disappointments from 2 years ago, as if she wanted to rub them in my face again. She said that she hoped I understood the reasons why she wasn’t able to have me stay with her. I told her that in my eyes her reasons weren’t that important and that I felt unwanted and that I could never ask her for anything ever again. I also told her that I have accepted that she has limitations and that I should only accept what she can offer me. She seemed to be happy with that last sentence. She said that, if in the future anything awful happened, that of course she would absolutely support me.

Sadly, I will never ask for her support again and I don’t have any expectations of her. I let that go in my grieving 2 years ago and have accepted that my relationship with my mother now, will be a different one.

When I eventually arrived back home in Germany, I was relieved and very tired. I slept like a baby for the next few days. Hubby arrived home too, so all was back to normal.

I may not have a father in my life anymore, but a little drama will still be a small part of my life once a year.

Thanks for reading

Love Athina ♥

 

 

The calm before the storm

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As I predicted, my father’s reply letter arrived today, even though I said I no longer wanted contact.

Last night I went to bed full of anxiety and today I asked my husband to check the mailbox, as I wanted nothing to do with it.

I knew that if I had his letter in my hand, it would be too difficult to not open the envelope and read it.

Luckily, we folded the letter and put it into another envelope and my husband posted it back. I asked him to write the address as well.

I feel sick to my stomach again from all the fluctuating emotions and utterly exhausted from the tension.

I worry that things are going to get worse from now on and that the next letter will be from his lawyer.

I need to find out what my rights are, for taking my dad’s money from our shared account. After his suicide attempt, he scared the shit out of me. I immediately envisioned a future with even more stress from his gold-digging wife. My therapist also warned me that financially things wouldn’t be good, as narcissists and particularly my father are controlling and irresponsible with their money. She said that I have to be prepared for chaos. This is why I took a portion of this money from our account. I also took this money cos I could see how careless he was being towards himself and his health. I wanted to have some money aside to help him in the future, when he had nothing left.

This of course, will no longer be necessary. Now, I am just protecting myself.

Due to the fact that I live with CPTSD, I have never been able to work full time for very long. My chronic exhaustion, bad memory and general bad mental health has made it very hard to even start considering saving money for the future. Most people in their mid 30’s have already started saving for their retirement. I haven’t been able to do this and this scares me.I also know that it isn’t my husband’s responsibility to pay for me, or to pay for any future expenses that I have because of my irresponsible father.

Now that I didn’t read my father’s reply letter and successfuly sent it back, I will crawl into bed and sleep. I will sleep so I don’t have to think about it anymore and I will sleep cos I feel exhausted.

His words will no longer poison my mind..

His desperation will no longer affect me..

His shaming will no longer hurt me..

I have already suffered enough..

Now is my time to focus solely on myself..♥♥

Return to sender

It will be a week tomorrow since I posted my last letter to my father. Although I have no idea when and if my letter to him arrived, his secretary who is also a friend, told me he has already sent me a reply.

I promised myself last week that if I received another letter from him, I would send it back unopened.

In all honesty I am contemplating reading it..

Just to see what crazy stuff he has come up with this time..

Or to see his reaction to my farewell letter…

or to see if he is making any threats about lawyers (which I am worried about).

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I am fully aware that by reading his letter again, I will be affected mentally and physically..

That it won’t give me closure and that I can’t trust anything he says as the truth..

That he won’t say anything remotely empathetic or loving and that I will once again be crushed..

So why do it to myself? Why cause myself more pain? Haven’t I had enough already?

It’s going to take a lot of strength to not open it, as I keep wondering whether I will regret it if I don’t read it..

The reality however is that I can’t unread a letter..Once I read it, the words get stuck in my head..

So returning it unopened and unread sends a powerful message..Even more so than asking him not to contact me again..

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Family photos don’t show the truth

Trigger alert *****

Last night I had a gruesome nightmare..I felt incredibly guilty because I took part in covering up a murder of a young woman and knowing that her body was dismembered.I have no idea how she died and why. My father was also in the dream although I don’t remember the details of why he was in it either. All I remember vividly is that I was on the run and was trying to stay hidden and safe..I felt scared and I felt guilty..

It was a very dark and unsettling dream..I am pretty sure it is symbolic of what I am going through right now, with the projected guilt I am feeling of cutting ties with him..

I hope I can stay strong and protect myself..

I just want it to finally be over..

Love Athina ♥

The end of a chapter

After 1 busy holiday in Greece I have finally said farewell to the temporary flat hubby and I used there for the last 5 years.

The story of this little flat was a complex one but it was set up by my father as a neutral base for me because I could no longer live under his roof. When I moved back to Greece in 2011, I did it partly because my father said it would give him the strength to divorce his wife. I also did it as a new start for myself, after spending 11 years living in the UK with many failed relationships, heartache and confusion.I was growing closer with my Dad again and the hope that he would finally leave his dysfunctional marriage was really strong. Greece will always be my home, the place I was born and grew up in.

When I first moved back and stayed in the house he shared with his wife and my half brother, there was constant tension, arguing and toxicity. I had arrived to live in the ground floor of his maisonette, which was a separate flat in itself. It had its’ own shower-room, bedroom and a small kitchenette which was also accessible by the rest of the house. His wife was not happy I was back. She had done her best to isolate my father from me for years, to control him and to not allow him to have a relationship with me. My father had also chosen to marry this woman and had chosen to mistreat her, abuse her and cheat on her. Through guilt (apparently) he had then allowed her to bleed him dry by spending ridiculous amounts of money on antique furniture, 50,000 euro cars and the best of everything.Through guilt, he allowed her to control him in the end. Their lives were full of threats and lies and drama.

Where did I fit into all of this? Where did my older brother fit into all of this? And my younger half brother? He is yet another innocent child caught up in a severely dysfunctional home.

After this first week of me moving back home and battling with all the anxiety of moving countries, trying to sort out my bedroom after all my boxes had arrived and trying to deal with the unpleasantness of having my evil Step-mother living upstairs, I returned to England to pick up my cat. He was being looked after by a friend of mine, until all the boxes had been sent off. I was trying to make things as stress free as possible for him, so decided to fly back to Greece with him, after I had unpacked and set up my flat. The morning of my return, my father announced to me that I couldn’t come home. He told me that he had just announced to his wife that he wanted her out of the house with my half-brother… that he was getting a divorce. She had obviously gone absolutely crazy and reacted very badly to my father’s cruel discard. The way he had presented it, made me look really bad. Like it was my fault that he asked her to leave. She went absolutely crazy and smashed my things..What followed after that was a whole summer of arguing, threats and trauma.

Minutes after landing in Athens with my cat, I had to make alternative arrangements to stay somewhere else! My anxiety was through the roof. I couldn’t go home to my new home. I was already extremely unsettled but now I also had my poor cat to think about, who was extremely nervous and confused. Luckily I called the mother of a friend of mine and she let me stay with her.She had let me stay with her once a year in the summer, when I visited my friends and Dad. It was a safe haven in all the chaos of my father’s life. She let me and my cat stay with her and her husband for 2 whole weeks, until I could actually go home (or so I thought).

What followed after these 2 weeks, was a temporary flat my father had found through a fellow architect friend of his. I still couldn’t go home. My cat and I had to go to this temporary flat which was completely empty and had nothing in it. My dad found some really old, filthy furniture from his office and brought it there for me. I at least had a bed, small uncomfortable sofa and a really old fridge that was filled with mould. He gave me a mini oven & hob and a fan to help me cope with the hot summer temperatures. I was on the top floor of a block of flats and it was like a sauna in that flat. The sofabed, was covered in dust, cat piss and cat hairs. It had collected all of this dirt from years and years of being unused in his office storage cellar. This was the best he could give me..

I remember asking for a hoover and never getting one.I only had a broom and dustpan. I remember asking my father to go to his house, so I could at least collect some of my things. This was very difficult to arrange, as his wife was always there and he didn’t want us to be anywhere near each other. I had to go there very quickly for 5 minutes at a time when she wasn’t there and collect as much stuff as I could to bring to the other flat. I also had to do the same whenever I needed to do my laundry. The whole situation was utterly ridiculous looking back on it. I felt like a criminal, like a bad person, when in actuality it was all my father’s fault.

The rest of the summer got worse and worse for me. He would visit me, unload all of his stress onto me and then my anxiety and ptsd would deteriorate. I was trying so hard to cope with it all. Eventually I was so ill, I had to see a therapist that my friend recommended for me. She looked after me, did a psychological assessment on me and got me into group therapy. She arranged for my Dad to come in so she could explain to him that I don’t need additional stress, as moving countries was already enough stress for me.I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD. I learned that I will just have to come to terms with the fact that I will always be overly sensitive to stress.

When the temperatures started reaching 37, 38 degrees Celsius, I couldn’t cope anymore. I desperately needed air-con to cope with the heat in that flat.One morning, the anxiety was so bad from the heat when I woke up, that I was vomiting, seeing spots of light and I literally thought I was going crazy. My friend’s mother saved the day once again!

I ended up staying in this flat for 5 months before I could finally return to my Dad’s. In that whole time my Dad was trying to get his wife and my half-brother re-settled into a very expensive apartment. I on the other hand, didn’t even complain for the state I was living in.

After I eventually moved back into my Dad’s house, I enjoyed 7 months of having my Dad to myself, for the first time in 12 years. We even spent Christmas together and when my little brother came home, I try to make it magical for him. The poor kid was so traumatised. He was only 7.

The only silver lining in all of this chaos and unsettlement was the time I spent with my Dad alone, and the fact that I met my now husband. When I met him, I was overwhelmed by his kindness and interest in me. He was so loyal and supportive to me and with the support of my group therapy, it all turned out well. After meeting my husband and realising that we couldn’t stay in Greece anymore due to the financial crisis that was present, I told my father and he was devastated. A week or two later, he told me that he realised that he had made a mistake kicking his wife out and couldn’t afford to pay for her flat anymore. The reality of it was that my Dad couldn’t deal with being on his own. So once again, I had to leave his home before I was ready. I finally moved into my last home in Greece which was this little flat seen in the photos below. This little flat was very well located luckily and my Dad arranged a deal with someone who owed him money, to ‘pretend’ that he was renting it from him for 10 years. He of course wouldn’t pay this guy any rent, but would still have to cover the maintenance costs and bills. I lived there for 3 months before finally leaving Greece when my husband found a job at a university in Cornwall.

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This little flat was a very important one. It was the flat that we always returned to when visiting friends & family. It was the flat that we got ready in for our wedding day and the flat that we slept in for the first time as a married couple.

It was the flat that I stayed in when my father attempted suicide, 7 months after our wedding. The memories were both happy and traumatic. After having no contact with my father for over a year, It didn’t feel the same anymore using this flat. It was in his name, yet he wasn’t paying the maintenance bills or utility bills. Going to Greece was no longer a happy occassion for me.

Last week, we emptied the flat. We sold the washing machine, air-con, cooker, microwave and everything else of sentimental value, we brought home. We left the furniture for my Dad to sort out and tomorrow I will be posting my father a letter to tell him we have vacated the flat and no longer need it, or want to pay for it. A friend of mine will also be dropping off the key at his office and that will be the end of this chapter in our life.

Hubby and I are now free to have holidays on more neutral ground and even though I no longer have a ‘home’ in Greece which has caused me a lot of grief, I have come to the realisation that ever since my parents split up back in 2000, I already didn’t have a ‘home’. This was just the end of another chapter in my life..

Thanks for reading ♥

Illustrations of mental illness

Although this artist doesn’t depict all types of mental illness, some of these are very accurate and some illnesses I must admit I had never heard of.

I always admire truly talented artists, so had to share this link for all of you to see.

Some are very dark so they might be a little ***triggering*** for some of you, whilst some ilnesses are not included.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Shawn Coss

 

This is the full list of illustrations in the link below:

http://www.boredpanda.com/for-inktober-i-focued-on-mental-illness-and-disorders/

Love Athina ♥