Finding myself. A Rambler.

I don’t know where time goes. This is the first in about 9 months I’ve been on here.
This title sums me up. I am wanting to find myself as I don’t even know myself anymore. I have these days where I ask myself over and over again what is happening and why.
I have never tried to put expectations on life but I do believe in working towards what you want in life. I think that is just happens anyway. Really, who works to achieve what they don’t want?
It is nearly two years now since I’ve been on leave from work. I still cant even believe that. In that time I see people around me get on with life, but I cant seem to be able to do it for myself. I’ve just moved house over the last month and while that has occupied my time I have found it has taken its toll too. It has been hot and draining.
I seem to get depressed more easily now, though I got to speak with a Psychiatrist today. I had hope about that meeting as it has been about two months coming. The male doctor was certainly interested in me and we have scheduled a new appointment in a months time. All I can do at this time is give him background and answer his questions.
I know this is just ramblings and nonsense. I don’t seem to be able to accomplish much more than ramblings nowadays and I feel that is all others take me for being … a rambler. Is that all I am? Maybe all the kicks to the head have dulled me into being nothing more than this. Ive only ever wanted to help others. I don’t even want recognition for what i do but when I get kicked in the face I doubt myself now. I just think I am a waste to society now.

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My crash in September 2011

A little bit about me and my history…my posts do sound like they come from a complete depressive. Well i do suffer depression but my life spiralled into a complete collapse in September 2011. I haven’t recovered from it as yet and still struggle on a daily basis. Each step, like writing this blog, helps towards a kind of recovery.

I was married from 1998 to 2008. By late 2006 i split from my wife because of my depression (undiagnosed at that time) and stress from work. I had been leading a double life as my work was in Sydney, while home was in Goulburn. Work had me stressed as my position was demanding. I enjoyed the stress in some ways because it gave me a purpose away from my depression but when i returned home on a weekend i was exhausted but had a family life now to refocus on, and i then started to see that as a stress too.

By leaving the marriage (the worst decision i made) i avoided a crash at that point. I got my life going again and came out west NSW to find a life of simplicity. Im still here six years later and love it but my crash caught up with me.

I had withdrawn into myself, tried to date a bit but i found as soon as i showed interest in someone i would withdraw and not open myself any further, inevitably drying up any chance of a relationship. I have never made close friends with anyone. Many people are friendly with me but becoming close “friends” with anyone has never happened for me. I had walls up to protect myself like many do and this prevented me from developing close friendships.

Without writing and explaining how it happened for the remainder of the night, needless to say, in 2010 i met someone who got behind my walls without me realising until too late. I believe looking in hindsight it occurred because our friendship was based on a mutual interest in each other’s welfare without a thought of anything romantic or intimate. I think Rebecca and I found a connection in mind because there were no expectations or temptations. I had known the whole family and spent time with them all. There was never anything untoward between us because there couldn’t be because of her marriage, and our friendship was something i hadn’t enjoyed in such a long time i couldn’t remember when i ever had a friendship like it.

We had each other’s confidences for so long ( and i wont breach any here either) that nothing was off limits to talk about except any thought of intimacy between us (as there was only trust and acceptance between us). Because we had each others confidences i realised there were cracks in her marriage she opened slowly to me about. We promised to talk about things, as i was not going to push her away for suddenly opening up to me, but that steered us on a course towards a loving relationship. We not only had a connection in mind, but in heart as well now.

Im not going to write about the relationship here that developed and one that neither of us could deny by then, merely to say that by end of August it was over between us after she decided to return to her marital home and the relationship that had cracks, without even a goodbye to me. I went to pieces after that and it was my crash that to this day i still feel. I could not function for months and had sick leave from work. There are so many thoughts and feelings i still have about it all. I have struggled with any kind of relationship since.

Problems with work then started heating up after this to make things worse that had been going on for months by that time. But thats another story.

Exhaustion

Today I’m feeling absolutely exhausted and drained. I am so often feeling this way. I have had a headache all morning but it is starting to go now. When i am feeling like this i am very short tempered with myself and so i recluse.

I feel this way a lot. One of things that gets me fired up too is reading stories on sites like Facebook about others struggles and news stories how management and government fail to deal with these issues. It is not that i don’t appreciate what others are going through (as in fact i understand intimately) but the publication continues to highlight the failure to understand and support those who struggle.

I read of PTSD sufferers and i know how that must be. Ive never been diagnosed with that because it is not my complaint that i have seen too much trauma to cope with. My trauma is caused by the treatment by my work management. I am continually demonised and made to feel that all the problems are mine, despite being discriminated against and had my privacy breached by them. Instead the petty things that have since been alleged at me are frivolous when viewed in the context of the way i have been treated and the failure to deal with those issues since.

Just my thoughts and feelings today. The black dog is growling. I am feeling absolutely worthless.

Sunrise

When I began this blog on February 28th I had never done a blog before. I got onto WordPress and looked around for a while to get my head around how it worked, how you post, and how it looked etc. As i say I had never done one before so I played with it for a bit.

I saw the themes you could use to design the page in which appeared the blogs and i came across this one with the picture of a hut, sunrise and trees. I chose this because i felt a sense of calm and it gave a picture of how i am feeling and thinking at this time.

I wanted therefore to write this blog today to explain the photo and design of the blog page, and what it means to me.

I am city boy by birth. I grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, NSW Australia in the 1970’s. Sydney was a busy city by our standards and the typical Aussie dream was a house on a quarter acre block. That was us. But as I grew up I became disillusioned with that dream and as Sydney went through the 80’s and 90’s the population increased significantly. New housing estates popped up in the west and the housing blocks became smaller with houses becoming shoe box quality, i.e. they were all the same one after the other. Houses typically became bigger on the blocks as well and there was an ever decreasing space outside. In some cases you could almost open your window and reach across the fence to your neighbour’s house. They were that close.

I longed to get out of the city and smell the fresh air and have space where you could (proverbially) swing a cat. I got to come to the country in 2009 with my work after my marriage broke down and I needed to choose what I was going to do for myself. All was going good until 2011 my relationship with work disintegrated too and there were complaints going left, right and centre concerning discrimination, victimisation and bullying.

I look at the photo and imagine a time where simply the sun shines on me. There will always be a shadow cast but while we face the sun the warmth can only fill our souls through our eyes and make the shadows irrelevant. That sky is cloudless, so there is nothing filtering or obstructing the full streaming effect onto us. It clearly is a time in winter as the trees are without leaves. I can’t imagine them dead, just deciduous type trees as some are still quite young and small. There are cold times in our life like winter where the sun warms, fills us and sustains us keep a colour inside us. Like the grass shaded with yellow instead of the strong green usually seen in summer. It is uniform in growth without bare patches or weeds.

There is peace in the picture. It is quiet. You can feel a crispness in the air as the sun rises to warm the day and sustain life in all growing things. But within there is simple goodness. There is history but it is completely relevant to this day.

Everything seems natural and not overcrowded. The trees have their place and space. The hut is humble and simple in design, and constructed of material in keeping with the environment, all the while adequate in its function. It is not overbearing as it the same height as the trees around it.

There is no dominant object in the picture. I like this because all things appear equal and not shadowed over by something else. In life we often find ourselves, or feel we are, overshadowed by others. They could be celebrities, work colleagues, friends or siblings. We may find our own circumstances in one instance be celebrated or become big news when it comes to someone else, but when it involves our own selves it may go without notice or even be treated with contempt.

There is simplicity in the design of the page. Simple lines and simple yet strong colours. The type isn’t fancy but clear. There is no ambiguity to it. It is called The Hemingway Rewritten Theme. I don’t know if there is any meaning in the name but I am re-writing myself all the time.

I feel it. I identify with it. I see myself there. It almost has a meditative quality to it.

Worthy and deserving?

The first step to being a recovering doormat is REALIZING I am as worthy and deserving as everyone else

I just had this challenge thrown at me to think on …

Well, I can’t argue with it as it comes from a reliable source, and I do think this to be true.

However, it is harder to accept than simply agree because I have to feel it as much as think. So, is it about a state of being or as a result of what you do or have done in life?

We reward productivity in life. We don’t take the time or often are interested in who people are. I think of being at a gathering where there are people we have not met before. What is one of the first questions we ask about them?? We ask what work is it that they do! This question focuses on productivity and achievement, and status.

I guess our work does tell much about who we are too, but judgments can be deceptive and unreliable because it is influenced by many subjective things. In the particular area of emergency services that I am in, I find people do a number of things when I tell them what I do.

1. They take a step back because they’ve had a bad experience with police, or they know someone close who has.

2. They begin to show an amount of over-respect because we are some god-like or fear figure to them because media has portrayed police as heroes of the community, along with the other emergency services for the things we have to deal with.

3. They immediately come out with a ‘law’ question.

I dont recall anyone asking about me … I have found that they are generally more or less interested in someone with their position in society.

Even within a hierarchal work structure, ir-respect of what it is, we applaud those higher up in ‘authority’. There is less applause for those lower despite those lower doing the hard ‘dirty’ work because of the nature of the work.

I could go on and on. There is so much thought evoked by this statement above, but I certainly don’t feel worthy or deserving of praise. There are many others who by virtue of being themselves are an inspiration and encouragement to others, and achieve so much more for others. I think immediately of people such as Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately those I come into contact with somehow get pissed off with me eventually or don’t come close enough to find out who I am to value me; that is, except for one person (but thats for another blog).

Me

Fear

Right at the moment i fear losing my work. I fear that because i enjoy my job and i really think i do a good and honest job. I have put everything i have into my work and feel i am being abandoned and betrayed for doing it too well, and as i have said already, for standing up for myself. My future is really uncertain at this time and that does scare me. I have a significant debt and i think of how i am going to repay that if i lose my job, let alone the day-to-day expenses of just living and providing for two children.

I don’t want to lose what i have been able to attain for myself and the children. I feel that would be going backwards. At this time the debt will be paid off within the next five years if i can maintain an income enough to cover repayments.

I fear too going back into the job hunting game. Its been over 13 years since I’ve had to do that and the market and expectations has changed much. I am much older too than when i last was applying for jobs, at 42. My self confidence has taken a smashing and if i am put out of work i don’t know to address the question of “why?”. I know i will cross that bridge when i get to it but i can’t help but think and worry over it now.

What is fear?

Why do we fear?

Why is it something that affects us so much?

How does it stem from my self confidence (or lack of) and doormatism?

A Recovering Doormat

As a recovering doormat i realise that i have been a doormat. The reasons are numerous of which many are still unknown to me. I know i do aim to please others and crave acceptance, which is by definition what a human doormat is.

It was 12 May 1972 in Caringbah Hospital NSW where it all began. It was some ungodly hour in the morning and I must have been busting to get out because I’ve been told that the first thing I did was to pee on the nurse who was there to deliver me. My mother was a single mother at the time. We lived in Bexley, in the outer southern suburbs of Sydney and i have vague memories still of the house, which has since been demolished and built over. We moved to Milperra when i was about five, and i lived there until 1998 when i married the mother of my children. That turned belly up on Christmas eve in 2006 after i was very much burnt out by my work in emergency services. The children were 2 and 5 at the time. We had been living in Goulburn, the “first” inland city, in NSW.

I eventually moved 500 kilometres west of Goulburn in January 2009 to a small rural farming town with my work in emergency services. Not many know this place because of its size and isolation but it is significant as it sits on the Kidman Way that cuts NSW in half from the Queensland border to Jerilderie, just north of the Victorian border. It is in the “outback” of NSW.

This is where i sit writing this journal. I love it here and feel i have found my home but the isolation does get me sometimes, however as a doormat who doesn’t seem to fit into mainstream society and is always aiming to please i have the space here to go into my shell when i need to, and no one bothers me. Importantly too, the children love it here when they visit.