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all the blue day at gmail dot com

(remember to take out the spaces and, you know, I'm sure you will work it out because you are clever like that)


Anonymous said…
This morning I found your post on effective housekeeping & overcoming that massive overwhelming feeling of anxiety & dread that pervades life at times like now for instance. I have to say how much your words & advice resonated with me & compelled me to write to you to say thank you. I hope your advice will help me in some ways turn a corner out of my current situation of feeling a bit lacking in energy to get on top of the housework etc.
To put things into context, my life recently reads a little like a script to a badly written film, with a slightly unbelievable & sad plot line. It sometimes doesn't feel like its my life I'm describing & I do wonder how it was I ended up so unaware of the situation I found myself in.
Two years ago with 4 children under the age of 6 years, I was forced to leave my home (a fairly remote farm in north NSW) & find a safer & calmer environment for myself & my young children to live. My husband was no longer recognisable as the man I'd married, (or the man I thought I'd married... now I'm not sure if any of it was ever real, if he ever loved me or what the hell he was doing) because regardless of our children coming into the equation, or his military background, his behaviour became increasingly unpredictable, aggressive, unkind towards me, neglectful & angry towards our kids & ultimately full of lies, accusations, blame, travel for 'work'...which in reality meant sprippers/drugs/steroids/flights overseas with escorts (seriously, I don't think I'm that bad a person to drive someone to all that!). I continuously walked on eggshells waiting for the next explosion over unfolded laundry or I why I was such a crap mother/wife when everyone else did it better etc... and other times he was charmingly, normal & a seeming loving dad. Deciding to leave an abusive relationship when you have young kids, no income, family overseas etc is a scary & hard decision to come to, even when it's the outside world it seems like an easy decision.
While starting to recognise the patterns of behaviour unfolding & realising although far from perfect, that issues were not as I was told repeatedly, all my fault, I didn't know the extent of his lies & his dodgy financial dealings either . Domestic abuse is not something you ever want talk about or admit to finding yourself in, it's humiliating, frightening, confusing & soul destroying realising the person you love is capable of hurting you... especially if they are diagnosed with Narcissistic behaviour also.
Anyway, to cut a long & rather tedious story short about leaving my narcissistic, bully, cheating ex-husband, its not all doom & gloom!
My kids & I may have left with nothing, receive no child support & there will be no financial settlement as the ex lost the property... but two years on my kids & I are happier, stronger, more resilient people... they know their mum can cope (mostly), house, feed, transport & love them.
The housework however, is a work in progress!
Jo said…
Oh, my dear, what an incredible brave warrior mama you are! You have won through in a very frightening situation and made a safe place for yourself and your babies and you are one courageous and determined person. Your children are immensely lucky to have you for their mama, role model and protector.

I have to say, I feel ridiculously unqualified to offer any advice at all to such an extraordinary person, in such difficult circumstances - I know what four small children is like, and every day is an uphill battle when you are on your own, and so please, please let housework take a back seat to everything else you have to accomplish in a day.

Having said that, if housework is what you are finding massively overwhelming, and you would like to work on that, then maybe consider this - if housekeeping was one of the areas which your ex-husband used to bully you, then every time you see an untidy floor or a sink of dishes or a basket of unfolded laundry, that is going to trigger a whole set of subconscious dark fears. Being the strong person that I can see you are, you probably also experience a lot of subconscious push-back in the area of housework, because why would you want to be reminded of abuse and bullying?

I hope you have good support and counselling and I have no counselling qualifications at all, but bearing that in mind, I wonder whether it might be helpful to stop in the middle of those overwhelmed feelings about housework, and say, "Nobody can force me to clean the house. I am doing this because I choose to. I am creating a safe and beautiful space for my babies and me. I am doing this for me because I am strong and I want a calm and ordered life."

I am sending much love to you, and will keep you in my thoughts. I would love to hear how you are going. It would be great to hear from you in the comments, or always feel free to email me.

Jo xx

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