I’m really restless and stressed this morning. There’s a workman here replacing the broken gate and that makes me uptight. I know as soon as he leaves I’ll be able to relax again. I woke at 6.30am because I was stressed about him arriving, even though he wasn’t coming till gone 9am. I didn’t want to still be in my pyjamas and unshowered. I felt as though I needed to be up, dressed, looking half decent and doing something whereas normally on a Saturday I’d veg in my pyjamas with on the sofa with Annie, watching telly probably until lunchtime. I always get so uptight and stressed when people are here or people are expected. I need to peel back the layers and see what’s underneath that anxiety.
Under the feeling of anxiety is:
I want to put on my slobby clothes, veg on the sofa and snuggle with Annie, instead I feel like I should be doing something such as housework. I can’t relax if someone is in my home unless they’re friends or family and are coming specifically to chat and relax.
Under the inability to relax is:
The feeling that if I am sat doing nothing people will think I am lazy.
I can feel more layers under that, many more but I can’t connect to them at all. I seem to be totally stuck in the feelings of anxiety and the need to be doing something so he doesn’t think bad of me. As soon as he leaves the anxiety will dissipate and then I won’t be able to connect for that reason.
This is so hard. Every time anxious feelings come up for whatever situation I subconsciously block the ability to feel further and the ability to dig deeper. I keep finding myself up against the wall and I don’t have the tools to knock it down. It’s so fucking frustrating and I just feel stuck in the crippling feelings instead. I even tried singing to myself and while it did work in easing the huge knot in my stomach and the crushing in my chest it didn’t help me to connect deeper.
I now feel a deep need to either have sex or just to have an orgasm. It’s like I need a release from all the built up tension and frustration and rather than connecting to it and seeing what it is, I’m transferring that onto a sexual release.
I wonder now if this is connected to how I found release when I was 13/14. When I think back I was having orgasms from a very young age, I can remember having them in my sleep when I was as young as 5 or 6 (funnily enough Annie does it too, she started doing it right after I left Tom) and then I was masturbating from an early age. Whenever I orgasmed as a child I was always in the middle of a dream where I was late for something, so clearly in the dream I was anxious. I clearly remember the feelings of panic in the dream and a profound need to release the tension. In my sleep I would squeeze my legs together tight until I found the release I needed. The dream would then end.
At 13 or 14 I started getting the orgasms from boys and if there weren’t any around, I’d masturbate. I remember years ago sometimes connecting to the feeling of being caught, not because it aroused me to get caught or to be seen but because the feelings of needing to hurry would bring my orgasm about quicker. I just wanted the release. Maybe, in part, this is why I felt so good with Phil. My sexual and my emotional needs were always taken care of, they were so intrinsically linked and I never realised it until now.
I always though I had sex at a young age for the physical connection that I lacked as a child, the cuddles, the embrace, the feeling of being physically loved but now I’m wondering if it was as much to do with getting that release from my deep rooted anxiety, and my feelings of panic. I have equated that panic in dreams to being late and needing to hurry. So what is underneath that? What unsettled me so much at such a young age that I was needing to find a physical release for it? That, along with the nail biting that started at age 4 and pulling out my own hair when I was around about 6 or 7? Now I think about it, I had other physical manifestations of my stress. I was always bursting into tears for no apparent reason to the point that my sisters used to joke about it and I also used to jump out of my skin over the slightest thing. I can remember the way I felt totally shook up inside over the slightest thing. Everything scared me. I was basically a nervous wreck. But why?
I can’t reach inside my mind enough to discover what it was but whatever it was had to have been bad because if I compare it to Annie who saw Tom screaming and shouting at me constantly, often saw me sobbing in pain, she’d have felt my fear and heard the threat of violence in Tom’s voice. All of that and her fear has manifested as squeezing to orgasm which actually she rarely does anymore. It was most apparent for the first 2 years after I left Tom. She hasn’t bit her nails, or pulled her hair out, she doesn’t cry at the drop of a hat and she isn’t a nervous wreck and yet what she witnessed was horrendous. What the fuck happened to me for my anxiety to manifest so strongly as a child? Could the difference simply be that something upsetting happened but whereas afterwards Annie got all of my love and support in every way a child needs it, I just didn’t. Could it because my Mum and Dad never physically comforted me, never held me in their arms and soothed my pain the way I do with Annie?
It just all strikes me as very odd how relatively unaffected Annie has been to Tom’s abuse compared to how affected I was at the same age to an issue I don’t have any memory of. Did I block something out as a form of self preservation? How do I go about uncovering it and do I really want to because if it was that bad surely the pain of having it come back up is going to be earth shattering?
Why has this all come about now? Why am I looking at relationship anxiety and discovering that actually I’m anxious in every single area of my life? More importantly why did it come up with Phil and not with Danny, Greg and Tom? In comparison those relationship were so easy but then I wonder if they were so simple because it was so easy for me to concentrate on their faults which meant I didn’t have to look at myself because I suppose all the time I have a man that treats me unfairly and unkindly I can focus on that. I can play the victim and the poor me role and just look at their behaviour and never have to take responsibilty for my own or even for my own feelings, instead blaming everything I’m feeling on them. With Phil, there was nowhere to hide, nowhere to go. He had no obvious flaws, he didn’t treat me unfairly or unkindly which left nothing to look at but me. I guess that the last 18 months of uncertainty and fear have been less about Phil and a lot more about me projecting my fear of confronting myself over my issues.
Now suddenly it makes complete sense to me why at times I have felt that I wanted Tom back. At least by ‘loving’ Tom and by having him in my life I could shirk the responsibility I have to myself and pass it all on to him. Being with Tom was so hard but not as hard as taking responsibility for my own pain and trying to work through it. If I look at this honestly and with as open a heart as I can do right now, I never loved Tom. I thought I did and I had very deep feelings for him but those feelings were not love. I don’t know what they were, I can’t put a name to them just yet but I do know that loving someone is about loving the core of them, who they are and I didn’t really. I didn’t and don’t love his beliefs, his values, his outlook on life. I don’t love his selfishness or any other of his negative qualities. Tom and Phil are polar opposites. While Tom epitomises fear (the darkness), Phil epitomises love (the light) in the general and the greatest sense. Being with Tom meant I could continue to live in the dark I’d always known. Being with Phil meant I had to start moving towards the light.
This, what I’m going through now is a transistion. It’s a birth. The last two years of knowing Phil have been akin to a pregnancy, a challenging pregnancy and now I think I’m in the process of labour, a long drawn out, very difficult and painful labour. I’m holding on tightly to the thought of what comes once labour draws to a close. I don’t know if meeting Phil was meant to be just the catalyst to me coming into the light but as long as I keep working to get there and keep breathing through the pain and allow the birthing of this new life that’s growing inside of me, that’s all that matters.
“Being with Tom meant I could continue to live in the dark that I’d always known.” ~ There’s the answer! I ‘loved’ Tom because he was so familiar. The day I met him I got a sense I knew him, like I recognised him. I did. I recognised myself in him, the darkness that resides in me, resides in him too and that is the drug that has kept me addicted for the last ten years. It’s always easier to stick to what you know. It’s the comfort zone we all find ourselves in.
Tom, like my parents, like my childhood, like my life up until 2 years ago was the darkness that I recognised and in some ways craved because it made me feel more ‘normal.’ Being with someone who lacks the darkness but exudes light is alien to me. Not only that, the darkness is something I fight against on a daily basis and often it just feels easier to give in to it, to go with the flow of what most other people in my life possess rather than going against the grain of what I feel like deep down. All of my fears, my doubts, my anxieties, my anger, my pain and everything that is dark comes from the tree of fear. Everything else within me that is good, and there are things, come from the tree of love. This is a concept I learnt 12 years ago and yet its true meaning has evaded me until now.