Disclaimer: this is intense. Welcome to my world.

Sometimes for the biggest trips in your life, you don’t need your passport. These aren’t always the best journeys, at the time they could be the most painful experiences you feel that you are going to ever have to go through, at least you wish you never have to live it again. Then, after, once the dust has settled, they could be the trips that have you learning the most, about yourself.

I for one, in my 21* years of living, have definitely been on some rocky road adventures. Have I turned out better for them? That I’m not so sure of, but, they haven’t killed me, have they?

2016 has been a tricky year for me thus far. I have voiced this in a previous post, hoping that improvement was just around the corner. Well, it wasn’t around all the corners I’ve passed in the last few months, but maybe it is just around one in the next short while. Please.

The last few weeks, after realising we’re already in August, AUGUST!, when in March, I thought I was just having a blip in life, would snap out of the hurumpf feeling after a week or two. Five months on, urgh. So yeah, the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, what is actually wrong with me? I’m not asking for you to list all the issues you have with me, it’s more, what is wrong, in the sense, what do I need to prioritise to fix first.

Early this year I met with someone, on just three occasions to have someone to ‘talk’ to. These meetings helped, but sadly, work only entitles you to three sessions, and the company who I work for being who they are, never once thought about checking in on their member of staff to see how they were doing, could they provide any further help, any support. No, so three appointments done, and we were done. Last week, I re-contacted this external company, to arrange some more meetings. I’m putting my hand up and declaring, and admitting, I need help. I can’t snap out of this downward spiral by myself. Especially because I keep things bottled up, and well, the proof is in the pudding (that I’ve eaten too many of), bottling up is yeah, not the wisest decision I’ve ever made. My fizz has caused this bottle to explode on a handful of occasions now, and really really at the most inappropriate times.

Over the weekend that just passed, I wrote someone very incredibly dear to me a letter. I was planning on it just being a short note, maybe half an A5 sheet at the most. Hmm, four A4 pages later (and that was only because the pen was drying out) I realised, not only does it help to get it out there, but I should really get it out there. For years and years I’ve been ashamed of my life, where I’m from and what’s happened to me, when actually, none of it is my fault. I shouldn’t be ashamed, I’ve done nothing wrong. It is what it is, it’s my life, it’s what’s made me, it’s what I’m about. I’ve got a pretty large social circle (in England, I did have, in NZ, not so much) and I’m sure only a really small (Jeremy Beadle sized) handful know me for me, for who I really am. Well, here goes, one of the gutsiest things I’ve ever done is about to occur. Here is my Big Red Book of life… Be warned.

red book and presenter

I don’t really know what I actually want to say, or how this is going to come across, but start the beginning may help…

Ever since I was a child, like an actual toddler, I was the ‘black sheep’ of my family. Not in a bad way, in the better way. I was different from my entire (household) family. I was the only one that didn’t appear to be out to cause trouble, or play up, just to witness the mishaps of my three older siblings kept me quiet and happy to just be. I wouldn’t say boo to a goose, and I was the angelic one of the household, for sure. Yet, I’ve gone on to feel rejected and alone every time one of them left me. Yes it made me stronger, in the sense that I am very independent and have had to rely on no-one but myself, for well..forever.

My granddad passed away when I was around 11 years old. He and my dad were incredible close, and as my dad and I were incredible close, it kinda meant the three of us spent a lot of time together. After having lost a school friend earlier that same year, not only was my first experiences of loss sad, it was quite intense pretty early on. I don’t remember seeing my dad openly struggling with things, he was very much of the ‘get on with it’ attitude. I’m sure he would have felt lost and upset on his own, but he covered this up. I like to think to protect me. Well, when he went on to pass away himself, when I was 16 years old, I followed the same trait. Partially out of choice, and partially because I didn’t have a choice. My mother broke down, got severely depressed immediately. Me, I had to drop out of school, missing out on university, get a full time job and just generally be around the house and get stuff done. I never grieved for the loss of my dad. With him being my best friend, this kinda sucked a wee bit. Ya think!

I was a bit more emotionally equipped with dealing with loss when my father went. I’m from a large family, so over the years I had witnessed many a relative ride that peaceful escalator up to the cloudy sky. It never truly affected me. As I’ve said, I’m from a large family, yet, I was my own person early on, so not being overly close to them, sure I was sad, but I was okay with it. Obviously it didn’t prep me for my father passing away, that was a big shock out the blue. He and I sat at home watching the darn horse racing, and he got up to get ready for his afternoon shift at work, when oopsie, down he falls on the floor, has a heart attack and that’s it, gone. Gone forever. Right in front of me. … *no words*…

Death wasn’t always the reason I felt alone growing up, I don’t really feel like I remember correctly as to why my siblings looked after me, it just seems logical that my parents were both working, and as I was the youngest, just during the cross over times of their working shift patterns, my siblings would look after me. I’m not saying I had a bad childhood, but, I don’t really remember any good times, without my father being involved. With him, always a fun time being had, but without him, I’m not sure I have any good memories.

life is short

I recently read an article about PTSD, about how it can block your memory. When a bad incident occurs, it puts you in to shut down mode, and may not be triggered, if at all, until many years later. This made me think, with something that happened to me as a child, did my body go in to shut down mode, did it erase all the memories, did it purposely just leave me blank so that I would just plod along through life until I found myself, or just gave up and stopped being ashamed? The bad thing that happened to me, was I think when I was around 8 years old. Should I go in to detail about this, knowing that my family could potentially read it… Again, it wasn’t me in the wrong… so why not. I grew up with two brothers in my household, these two brothers I haven’t really spoken to since I was 13 ish years of age, when they left home. I don’t miss them, I don’t miss them at all, and I really don’t think back and try to think of any memories with them. When I was 8 years old, they were at an age when one of the educational lessons at school was sex education. I’m really struggling to elaborate on this, but I’m hoping readers are understanding the gist of where I’m going with this…

When someone you love and trust, tells you it’s ‘normal’, it’s ‘okay’, ‘trust me’. You believe them, right? Especially at a young age, you don’t know any different, your family however, they only want what’s right for you, and to be happy, they wouldn’t hurt you on purpose would they? Sometimes what we assume couldn’t be further from the truth. To me, my brother that I sadly didn’t grow up with, my dad’s son, is the best brother I could ask for. I don’t really remember him being around when I was growing up, a conversation we had together when our nan passed away just a few years back. But that doesn’t make him any less of a brother. Those that hurt me but mentally and physically, for that, I don’t even think of them as family, let a lone less of a brother.

This is what I was referring too when I say I feel ashamed of who I am. But how is the above my fault? Should I have voiced up? Probably. My dad would’ve killed them though, that wouldn’t have helped me in any way!

To repeat then, relatives were kicking the bucket regularly, my siblings were nothing but nothing to me, my father then went on to pass away, I left school, and well, it was just kick after kick. When I turned 20, my partner at the time and I purchased our first home. My god was this exciting. Our own space, at last, a chance to live my life, no ties, and a new start. It was perfect. Two year later we decided to, rather than buy a bigger house and ‘settle down’, to go travelling. I put this in italics, because we didn’t really travel. We went to NZ and stayed there for a year. Sure we travelled the country, but that country only. We had a great time!! Admittedly, after seven years together, we realised we were more friends than a couple. Splitting up whilst the other side of the world, easy as! Literally; woke up, broke up, then went for brunch!

I could’ve flown home after this happened, but why? What did I have at home? Thankfully, we both decided to stay for the remaining six months of our trip, and enjoy it. That. I. Did. I see it as my “university years”. I now was the happiest and most confident I had ever been. I was saying boo to all the geese out there. I was loving life.

Returning to the UK, that was it, I was a new person, single yes, but my gawd, so much more than that. I had a very much lust for life, was so happy and just wanted to live and explore and just not hideaway anymore.

Over the next nine years, more farewells to heaven occurred, I befriended some people I shouldn’t have befriended, I had a terrible relationship with a terrible boy and after a while, although the smile was constantly in place, I knew I needed something new, to give me that kick again, to start living. I was bored of saying bye to people, losing trust in people, and doubting people for knocking my independence. My decision: head back to NZ.

only live once

Moving back to NZ was a big risk. It really didn’t bother me though. I have always succeeded in whatever I have set out to do, landed on my feet you could say. Well, and I have: I’ve come here, sure I’m a wee bit unhappy in life right now, but am I giving up, am I back in the UK where it could be easy for a bit, no, I’m here, still here.

Here I am! I’ve had a great, but equally tough, time whilst out here. It’s harder to make real friends as you get older. I’ve only a small handful out here, but that’s because I’ve learnt not to be friends with people just to keep the numbers up. If people aren’t my kinda people, then I won’t be fake. I don’t have time for playground nonsense or fakeness in my life, I want to be able to trust people, and believe in that trust. The chums I do have out here, they know who they are, the real chums, and I can’t tell them I love them enough. Really have helped me through some tough times, but equally, helped me create some pretty epic times too!

This time last year, someone I’d only known for 3 months, and who had become one of my bestest pals was leaving the country. It’s no secret that I was gutted. He and I were two idiotic peas in a pod, and it was about to be yet another empty hole in my life. However, as fate would have it, the very next day (which happens to be tomorrow, 1 year anniversary!! WHOOP WHOOP) I met someone, who after just 12 hours, I knew that I wanted to be with. It was strange, on one hand I was having texts from my friend on his great adventure, missing him, to having text chats with a new ‘friend’ and getting warm fuzzies from the many many conversations we would have.

He knew everything about me from pretty early on, and he didn’t run a mile. I wasn’t use to this. Someone actually cared enough about me to stay put? Queer. I still struggle with it now occasionally, I mean, someone being nice to me, because they want to be. Because they like me. Strange. I’ve never had that before.

It’s hard, a lot of people I’ve cared about over the years, has either hurt me or left me. I really don’t want to ruin what I have with the one that wants to stay put. I want to be ‘fixed’, I really do. I hate myself so much lately, and if I hate myself, how can I be open enough for anyone else to love and respect me. I’ve got a good heart, and I’m a good person, I’m sure some can see that. Do those that can’t, not care enough to look deep enough, or have I just given up on myself meaning they can do the same.

My job is the hardest. I really have never been so unhappy in a job in all my life. It’s got me so down. I cry, a lot. Just because of my job. No one likes tears. It’s so hard to get up each day, and even to drift off each night, all because of my job. I am however an adult, I make my own choices, so I am to blame for a portion of my glumness this year. Yet, I strongly believe, if it wasn’t for this job, and a mixed bunch of people that work here, I wouldn’t have three quarters of the problems I have going on in my life right now.

In two and a half weeks, the last two years would have all been worth it. I can apply for my Residency Visa. The weight that will come off my shoulders when I drop that submission form in to the box, just can’t be described.

I miss my friends from England, my true friends, I am beyond unhappy in my job, I am losing my patience about the wait for my VISA application, I’m tired of bottling things up, and I’m tired of keeping secrets to protect other people. I am over being rejected and let down by people. I’m upset with feeling that I’m not worth peoples time. However, this weekend, writing that letter, helped me realise, all that stuff is in the past. Every step now, and always is, a step in the future. The future hasn’t been written yet, but I know something for sure, it’s not going to be anything like my past. I’m not proud of how difficult this last year has been, but I do have some loves around me that are there to support me because they want to see me healthier, and they know I can be. It’s not going to be easy, but whoever doesn’t like a challenge is someone that is not as strong as me.

You see that life written up there, all of that, and more, is my life. It hasn’t defeated me yet, and it’s not going to either.

desktop

Eighteen years ago, my father passed away. In eighteen years time, i’ll be the age he was when he passed away. If I choose to have children, I want to see them growing way after their teenage years, so I’m not signing up for that let me tell you. I’m sure my dad would be pretty darn proud of me for taking most of this on the chin, and brushing my knees off when it has got a wee bit too much over time, and he’d also be keen for me to beat him on the number of years I hang around for. By a long shot!

When I first moved to NZ, I was signing up for races here and races there. Not because I’m a running fan, believe me, I’ve only gotten worse over the last two years, and not just because of my weight gain, ailments, etc, it’s all just part and parcel of my losing focus. However, today I’ve decided, let’s just do it again. Signed up for a 12k in 14 weeks is what I have just done. My running/training plan has also been created, all to commence after next week. Why wait a week I hear you think? Well, because this Friday, I’m the only person to ever be excited about getting all four wisdom teeth removed! YAS! Time off work for me, *cheeky gummy to be grin*

Once the pain becomes bearable (after a few days), it’s sofa sitting for me, with movie after movie, book after book and even cross stitch after cross stitch (another hobby I’ve once again re-introduced to my life), and of course, fitness and exercise. Basically, no work, and all the happy things, helping me get back to the real me. No knocks welcome here for a while please. Move on.

Onwards and upwards! Thanks for listening, and I promise, i’ll try to only have upbeat happy posts from now on. Maybe even a travel post or two…xxx

*At one point in my life I was 21. So this isn’t a complete lie.


2 thoughts on “Disclaimer: this is intense. Welcome to my world.

  1. Oh Sam. I am so proud of you for writing this. When you reach that point in your life when the realisation hits you that you are you and not what’s happened to you it’s a big hit. Believe me, I know. It only happened to me recently, and I am now 64. 11 years older than my mother when she passed away. And like you, I found someone who wants to be with me for all my faults and foibles, tears and tantrums. We have been together her 37.5 years now. I could tell you a lot about my life, let’s just say there are a fair few similarities.
    Sam, keep doing what you are doing to make it your life and no-one else’s. You are a very remarkable woman, from the moment I met you in that interview I knew you would get on.
    So, live life, only be close friends with those you know you can trust, talk about things but only the things you are ready to talk about. Will always be thrilled to hear from you. Keep going, sweetie! Xxxxx

  2. Just before I left the UK and we discussed starting a blog of your adventures in NZ – I never thought you would write such an honest, refreshing, reflective and deeply moving post. I started blogging as a way to record my feelings (after a bad breakup) to let it all out there and to this day find aspects of the whole blogging process therapeutic. I do miss seeing you smile every working day in the office. However with such key insights into your life on the other side of the world it beats any Instagram or Snapchat posting by a country mile (perhaps I’m starting to show my age) Things will slowly get better and in years to come you will have 20/20 hindsight on how you felt in mid August 2016

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