Sunday, 7 October 2007

When is what someone says true? (non-knitting)

Things have not been so hot chez byrne recently. I don't want to cause a panic so let me start by saying that the stash is safe and the lack of temperature refers solely to non-knitting things. The fact is that married life is not quite the domestic bliss it's cracked up to be. In fact I'd go so far as to say it was periods of domestic silence interspersed with blazing rows and tentative reconciliation. The best, or quite possibly worst, episode took place on friday night and the repurcussions are still being strongly felt.

Now naturally I am not blameless in all this because as ever it takes two to argue. I don't want to go into the details but some things were said that I never thought I'd hear someone I care about say to me and I can't get them out of my head. I've just been talking to a friend who tells me that it isn't good to hear things like that as sooner or later you'll start believing them but I think it might be a tad too late for that.

When things started going bad at work I was being repeatedly told that I wasn't good with people, that I wasn't communicating ideas appropriately and that I wasn't any good at persuading people. For a while I fought my corner and insisted that it's hard to sell bollocks to clever people who are being told by people more senior to me that it is bollocks and they don't need to buy. But then I gave in and decided they must be right and I was wrong and that must mean that I was a bit useless. This is what Dr P and countless others would descibe as 'entering a phase of low self-worth'. Since then it has felt like I was like one of those russian dolls. There's the outside me all painted and strong and then there are these other versions inside, each a bit smaller than the last but trapped and that can't be seen until you take away the larger one. Somewhere right in the middle is the littlest one who has a voice even higher pitched than mine and who squeaks about having value and being good at things and having useful skills. It squeaks about deserving respect and trust. It likes socialising and doesn't feel ashamed about how it acts as it has the confidence to back up its actions and to judge these as appropriate. That's somewhere in there right in the middle.

As you move through successive layers there are hurtful things people have said tatoo-ed on the outside of each doll. You can still hear the squeaking here but it is pretty muffled so sometimes it's hard to make out the words. Then as you move out further the surfaces of the dolls get thicker and instead of other people's words being tatooed on the surface my own thoughts are carved into them. Lots of things like 'what if they're right that...' or 'what if it's my fault that...'. You can barely make out the squeaking except every now and again when a word or two comes through and reminds you that there is a person inside that used to be different. And each time that happens a new doll forms with a skin even thicker than the last one trying to block out the squeaking because somehow it's better to be worth nothing and just to accept that than to remember that once you were worthy of more than that.

I told Pooch this morning that I felt like I was trapped inside a facade that was painted to look happy. I felt like there was something inside screaming to get out, clawing at the walls until my fingers are all bloody and my voice is hoarse. He said he didn't understand. He said an awful lot more than that on friday night but I'm supposed to be able to forget about that and move on.

My friend says that people don't think it's my fault things have gone like they have with Pooch. That people are concerned and that if Pooch doesn't want to come out I should go by myself because people want to see me even when I'm by myself. But I just can't believe it. I am so ashamed. Ashamed of my marriage, of what I've become, of the things I can't bring myself to do because of the shame. Ashamed that I don't want to go out by myself, ashamed that I secretly believe people think his behaviour is down to me, ashamed of his behaviour, ashamed of him.

I haven't written anything like this on my blog for months because I was ashamed. I didn't want people to know what was going on so I tried to hide it. But at the same time I ended up not going out because I thought that if they asked me I might not be able to lie and it was better to be ashamed and alone than to admit all wasn't rosy. But to be honest that hasn't really been working that well for me so after much consideration I am effectively jumping out of the closet. I am at the moment terribly terribly unhappy but not depressed. I think if I made myself hide it any longer that would change and it is (probably) better to be outed than to risk falling back into the abyss again.

When you next see me will you do me a favour though - don't ask me about the specifics. Don't ask me to talk about how I'm feeling because I'm just not good at all that emotional stuff. Just talk to me about normal things and remind me how comfortable it can be to be a part of the world even when things aren't going that well. Remind me that it doesn't make any difference if you don't hide things and that you don't have to pretend to be happy and robust to be treated with respect. Or if all else fails ask me what it's like trying to keep the tension even when making cabled socks in two colours using the magic loop method.

29 comments:

Lyndsey-Jane said...

*hugs*

Janey said...

Coming out of lurkdom to send you big hugs, sounds like you need them. xx

ambermoggie said...

lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way
Go to Ally Pally, that will help:) All that yarn, all those friends who like you for you
hugs
amber

Jenneke said...

*delurk*

Hugs and lots of good luck vibes are coming your way. Know that you are a great person and you don't need to pretend to be anything more than that. (I know how hard it is to break the wall down.)

Probably Jane said...

You're welcome to hang out in my World of Wool any time.

PS Nic found me this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

I am sending hugs and good thoughts. I have been where you are and I know how hard it is. Just remember people who find the need to hurt you with words, don't feel very good about themselves and that is their way of trying to make you miserable like them. I have been there so many times, and always thought it was my fault, truth is it isn't at all. I have had three relationships in my adult life all of the men decided to tell me what was wrong with me. And how they were the best thing to ever happen to me. Funny how i am always a lot happier when they were gone. Finally figured out I wasn't the one with the problem. As I tell my kids: You are no better or worse than anyone else. When someone finds enjoyment in hurting you, then it is time to stop listening to that person. Always be happy to be you, and be proud that you are who you are. hope this helps.

Katherine said...

Sorry to hear things aren't so good, take care of yourself.

thereyougothen said...

*hugs*
like everyone else, i'm here to listen.

kerrie said...

Sorry that you're feeling so bad at the moment, the advice from anonymous seems spot on to me. I hope things clear themselves up for you soon. x

Nickerjac said...

YOu know you are welcome here any time as Pete is always up for a cuddle

Ruthanne (in Seattle) said...

I'm so sorry to read of your state of mind/heart. I wish you well. I remember how devastating some of those newlywed arguments/discussions/whatever you want to call them things were and I pray you KNOW who you are. . . obviously from your podcast you are warm, genuine, delightful to listen to and knowledgeable of much. All the best Lixie - I hope things are better soon.

Spinningfishwife said...

Well, I give you money every year just so I can come and hang out and talk wooly things with you. (And x-teen others of course.) I like you. Lots of people do. And they like the things you do, like SkipNorth and the podcasts and lots of other things I don't know about, I expect.

And sometimes all the other "yous" inside your head are talking drivel, but you listen to them anyway. (Ask me how I know.) And also remember that even when you're completely off the so-called happy pills, you can get rebound effects from withdrawal for months after. (Once again, ask me how I know. Worst six months of my life, in some ways.)

Oh well....((((hugs))))

Mary said...

Sorry to hear you're having a rough time. Sending you lots of positive thoughts.

Lynn said...

I read this post early and it's really stuck with me. I listen to your Podcast and read your blog regularly. You are in a shitty place right now. There isn't a quick pithy solution I can carelessly toss your way. But you have reached out and I want you to know I'm there reaching back.

Sarah said...

So about the weather then...

Listen to the squeak inside; sending you virtual vibes of strength

Vanessa Hubbard said...

Oh my god - I am a Russian Doll too! You may be feeling really low, but you have just helped me take a step up out of the doom.

One day I might come and meet you at the knitting group, and we can sit in silence knowing that we both feel the same inside.

Vanessa

Knit Nurse said...

Believe in yourself. Listen to the voice. It's the most important thing there is.

Anonymous said...

Learning how to be married isn't quick and easy, and it can be hard to do on your own. A knowledgeable, neutral third party can be helpful, even if you go on your own because Pooch won't go. It's good that you can say you are "unhappy but not depressed"-- because that's the time to change things; it's much harder the longer you wait. It's not a sign of weakness or failure to ask for help in your marriage; it's a sign that you think your relationship is worth fighting for.

2ply said...

What a brave, brave post.
Big hugs.

smug sheep said...

so sorry Lixie. Another delurker, wanted to tell you that I love your podcasts and you make people happy with them.

Daisy said...

*hugs*

Cookey_knits said...

Love to listen to your podcast I am here in Ontario, Canada.

Hannah said...

Your post really touched me. I stayed in a similar situation for more than 10 years before I found the courage I needed to leave. I'm not advising you to "stay" OR "leave," though. I'm just offering this advice: Trust your own intuition, your instincts. Listen to that voice inside, and don't let it languish, unheard, for too long. Sending you loads of good thoughts.

maylin said...

Hey you are great, talented, warm, interesting, kind, thoughtful - I know this. People we love have the power to hurt us deeply and sometimes they feel the need to flex that power to convince themselves they are loved. Doesn't make anything they say true. It only means they know your deepest fears. This is only one scenario another is they are bad news. Only you can decide. Don't worry about what he is saying but why. Hugs and sta strong girl.

SpinningErin said...

Argh! Love from Texas (Jellybean the Basset Hound joins me in warm regards). As Woody Allen said on his cufflinks, people are no damned good.

SpinningErin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SpinningErin said...

(so much sympathy that I accidentally posted twice)

rachel said...

I don 't know if it helps, but I met you for the first time at SkipNorth and felt really comfortable talking to you, I enjoyed being with you and am hoping to be able to repeat the experience in 2008. You have my sympathy for how you're feeling, I know from bitter experience how you can feel more alone when you're with someone than if there was no one there at all. Hecate and I send our love to you and tell you that keeping tension right on cables socks on DPN's is no bed of roses either!

BabyLongLegs said...

(((HUG))) Lixie.....
You are so brave for posting, I hope it helped you a little to get it all down, as it certainly will help you in the future.
Being married is no easy feat. I was with my hubby for 6 years before we got married, and we both found the first 6 months extremely hard...I think there are a few expectations involved that maybe arn't fullfilled.....maybe..who knows, we are all so different.
I am a Russian Doll too (theres a lot of us out there)...I loved your eloquant description of how you are feeling/have felt...brought a lot of things to the front of my mind.
From the amount od comments on this post, theres a lot of people who care about you, and how you are feelig....so reach out.
Oh...and I'd get myself round Nic's again for baby cuddles...they do WONDERS :)
Take care sweetie.....
Love
Sarah xXx

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