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  • #285023

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    How are you?

    I wrote a reply to you earlier in the week… It was in depth…I clicked send and then my internet cut out!! So I lost it!! Typical!! xD

    But I am glad that I am writing to you today – as lot’s happening my end, and lot’s to tell you and talk to you about.

    Firstly, it’s 6.51pm here in Bristol. The sun has set, its Sunday and its fairly quiet outside. I am sat in my bed. Its been a busy day, so just sending a couple emails before preparing for work tomorrow.

    Wow, where to even begin….

    In response to your last message:

    When Georgia told me about her suffering…it’s almost like I felt the despair. Because I can relate so much, and know how it feels to be in that position. I think it triggers some emotion in me, that I’ve buried from a young age (like suppressed emotion). Which I realised recently that I have ALOT of…. So when I hear Georgia telling me about her suffering, it touches upon that reaction and pain that I’ve supressed, and therefore I feel like I am suffering too.

    Georgia came to stay with me a couple weekends ago. We had a lovely time together. On the second day, she arranged to meet with the guy… Whilst she was here, I accepted that she is an adult, and I am not responsible for her choices or happiness. She knew my opinion and advice. Before we went out on the 2nd night, she asked me, that if the guy was out, then for me not to say anything to him or start on him….. It was very difficult. As obviously I know all the awful things he’s done to her. But she said that if I did do or say anything, then she wouldn’t be my friend again. I had no choice but to respect this…. We got to the pub, and he was outside. (She had obviously arranged to meet him, which I suspected). I tried my best to keep out of any contact with him. She spent most of the night with him, whilst I was enjoying the gig and seeing other friends. I managed to control my anger…. Which is so hard for me, because when I feel like standing up for something, its so hard to hold back!!! But I did, by staying away from him. She seemed to have a good night. And she stayed at his that night, and stayed at his for the rest of her duration in Bristol. She said it was surprisingly calm, no physical abuse. But some verbal abuse before she left. As a friend, I can only be here as a calm ear, and to offer consistent advice.

    Ok, so about me:

    Wow. So much has happened, in this week alone!!

    But first. Long story short. In my band, it’s been me and my friend – I’ll call her Dolly. We’ve known each other through the punk scene for years… She’s a few years older than me and has kids. She’s already in a band with her husband, I’ll call him Skelli. They’ve been married for years. Very much in love, very inspiring couple to me.
    I’ve been hanging out with Dolly more, because of our band. It’s been really nice connecting with her and Skelli again.

    When I was at university, I met a guy in my first year. This must of been, 2011/2012. He didn’t go to uni, but was friends with people I was friends with. I’ll call him Angel. We knew each other and hung out a couple of times. Not sure how it came around, probably talking about punk, but I mentioned Skelli and he said that Skelli was his older brother.

    I haven’t seen Angel since 2011/12. But I’ve seen him more since hanging out with Dolly more. I went to Skelli’s birthday drinks in December, and saw him again. We hit it off, and both seemed to like each other. We are seeing each other/ talking/ hanging out etc. We talk about emotions and feelings and things like that. I know he’s been through alot, and going through alot right now. We talk about a lot of stuff. So yeah, this is something that I am trying to remain emotionally stable for as well.

    So this week……

    After the Georgia weekend, I was completely drained. And on the Sunday night I fell in to a state of depression. (Just to let you know, I came on my period the day before). This depression was the worst that I’ve ever had. I felt like I wasn’t myself, and I couldn’t see a future, could not see any hope for my life. I was in bed all week with severe depression, paranoia and anxiety.

    I’ve had this before, on my period. I lose a lot of blood in the first 3 days – I’m waiting for my blood test to see if I’m anemic. That’s on the 25th. But this week, I called the Doctors, because I’m quite certain that I have PMDD. Not sure if you’ve heard of it? Basically, it’s PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. It’s the symptoms of PMS but MUCH more severe. The on-call doctor called me back, and she said that she relates as she had a similar thing. She said that the only way to stop PMDD is to stop my cycle all together, which means I would need to choose a contraception option – either pill or coil etc to stop my cycle completely, and so to stop the hormonal changes in my body. I have a telephone appointment booked for 2 weeks time, to start this process.

    The on-call Doctor suggested that I increase my anti-depressants, as they are meant to help balance the hormones in PMDD too. So they have been increased.

    The blood test on the 25th will show whether I’m anemic, and also whether I am gluten intolerant as well.

    I also realised this week, that I suffer from chronic headaches. These are something that I have had for a very long time, but always dismissed as depression. It was only when I couldn’t get to sleep AGAIN because of the headaches, that I realised that they might be separate from depression. Again, I spoke to the on-call doctor the next day, and he advised having an eye check and staying hydrated. I have an appointment with the doctor about this soon as well.

    So basically, this week, I’ve realised alot about my physical health. Really being self-aware about how I’m feeling in every moment. And realising that I’ve supressed a lot of this pain for quite a while, and this week it all came to the forefront. I realised that with the mental pain: I have been surpressing it, and so it manifests itself as negative thoughts about different aspects of my life.

    Last night:

    I had a dream. It was a bad dream, but there was one thing in it that helped me get through the dream. I woke up this morning, and I didn’t just wake up. I felt something, in my heart. It was like a warm wave, of warmth and happiness and security and it made me smile. I haven’t had that feeling in such a long time, that I actually cried. I actually released emotion. Usually I can never cry, and so I spent time allowing myself to feel and allowing myself to cry. It was this morning that I realised, this was my heart energy, and something that I have found hard to connect to for so long. It felt so good connecting to it. I was late for band practice, but when I did go, I wasn’t in my head like I usually was, and I felt like I was living from that heart space.

    I can’t explain it right now, but this is something life-changing for me. Something I am trying to be more aware of in every moment. Instead of living from my head, living from my heart.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this,

    Love,

    Cat

    #280717

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’ll reply properly to your previous message in a couple of days…

    Right now, my heart feels very heavy. And the one thing I can think to help with this is reaching out to you.

    I have a friend, who I’ll call Georgia, who lives in Ireland. I’ve known her for nearly 2 years. She’s really creative, in a band and a massive inspiration to me. All the time I’ve known her, she has had an abusive relationship with a guy. They’re always on/off. She opened up to me last night and told me how he treated her. Physically abusive. Telling her to commit suicide etc.

    It’s so so so awful. I’m trying to support her best I can. But hearing about it all last night has left me feeling sad, heavy heart and depressed this morning. It’s triggered memories of stuff I’ve seen/been through.

    Please could you think of a way that I can support her, but not experiencing this depression at the same time? It’s so hard. I have things to do today, but I feel guilty living such a good life, knowing what she’s going through.

     

    Cat

    #277843

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you 🙂 How did you injure your ankle?

    Cat

    #276791

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I do love London when I go there! There is something about how renowned it is that really appeals me and I love the way of life. I used to love it more when I was younger. But I know how expensive it is to live there!! The underground is my favourite 🙂 🙂

    At the moment I am still saving to pay back some debt, but I am getting there! At christmas the bank turned my overdraft in to loan credit, which means I am actually paying it back now! Small steps but progress is being made. Right now, my life is: Bristol, seeking stability in my job and coming to terms with the path that I am on – nursing care, developing my style – including punk patches and black lipstick, band practice and writing songs, practicing guitar, and seeing friends. Yes, I am Bristol-bound, but creating and building something is keeping me going.

    How are you? What have you been up to?

    Cat x

    #272509

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Sorry this is late. MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

    How was your xmas/new years?
    <p dir=”ltr”>Yes, writing out long replies and losing them has happened to me MANY times!!! I feel the frustration. Now I tend to write the reply in a document then copy and paste it over.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>How many times have you been to the UK? And how did u find London??</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>That apple juice diet sounds mental!!! I still struggle with buying /cooking food but that is one of my goals for this year.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Cat xoxo</p>

    #270103

    Cat
    Participant

    My dear Anita,

    Apologies again that my replies have been far between. Still no laptop, and I am avoiding trying to use my housemate’s mac as much as possible. She doesn’t mind, but we borrowed it a lot over the past few months, and so now trying to not use it as much. There is a library down the road, so I am going to start using that!!

    In reply to your last message about thanksgiving: yes I am a vegetarian!! I was vegetarian from the age of twelve – my best friend did an insane job at converting us all!! I went vegan when I was 18 for a year. Although I was not a healthy vegan. Then, I went through a period where I did not want my identity to be so attached to my diet, so ate meat again (so I understand what you mean when you talk about the turkey and cranberry combination). I was then flexetarian for a few years, mainly eating vegetarian food, buying vegan but eating meat sandwiches when stressed…. And now I am back to being vegetarian now. I have also found out recently that I am gluten intolerant! So I am being more careful about what I eat.

    Today:
    It’s 12.39 here in Bristol, I’m in my pj’s, sat at my housemates desk writing this. We’ve had intense rain for the past few days, so the ground is wet but the sun has started to shine now. Her room is at the front of the house, so I can hear all the cars going past, and I can see the sunlight peeping in from under the blinds 🙂 I have my second coffee next to me. After I’ve written to you, I am going to have a shower/bath, get ready and then head in to town. I got paid yesterday so picking up some christmas presents and getting bits and bobs, and then meeting up with a friend later.

    In terms of how I’ve been. – Generally, well, better, growing.

    I realise that it must’ve been about a year since I first posted on here!! A year that we have been talking. And I’ve been thinking about how much has changed, how much my life has changed throughout that year, and the fact that our conversation has continued all throughout that. It’s beautiful. Thank you for always being there.

    Obviously you know where I’ve come from, and you’ve seen me on my journey, so I think you can understand me when I say: I continue to realise things about myself each day. Maybe this is normal? But I think, as people who were quite neglected from family, their personality goes unrecognised and undeveloped. Which is why now I think I am realising a lot of things about myself . -even small things like I don’t like tomatoes!!!!

    Not much has happened over the past few months. I have continued working, been organising viewings for a new housemate. Our first housemate moved out in October, we had a 2nd one move in to her room but then she moved out last weekend!! We have just picked a 3rd new housemate, so hopefully this is 3rd time lucky!!

    Work is going well, I am lucky to have a very very selfless manager who is 30, and extremely fair. He has been so supportive, and I feel like I am part of such an inclusive and welcoming team. We had a christmas party yesterday, for all the residents. It was lovely. So much effort went in to it, and we even had donkeys with reindeer antlers on!! Was lovely to see all the residents and their families there. Alot of care and love and great people in that place.

    I have more to say on the topic of love, families, closeness, trust, acceptance, friends, encouragement, motivation, belonging, goodness, expression, art, being in control of what I feel inside and what I communicate/express etc. But I feel like that’s a longer message we can discuss after this one 🙂 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts?

    How are you this festive season my friend? I would love to hear everything.

    Love Cat x

    #240323

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s just gone for 4pm in Bristol. I’m using my housemates laptop to reply, coffee next to me and still in pjamas. I woke up around 10am today but was super super tired. I had some breakfast, coffee and spoke to my other housemate before she left to go to Spain (she’s gone for 3 days). I then went back to sleep, and woke up again around 3. Feeling very hungry, I ordered a veggie burger, chips, cake and milkshake online. Lazy, I know. But thought I’d do it as a one-off, just til I feel better. I am replying to you now, then having a bath, then doing some cleaning up and then practicing guitar.

    Yes, I do understand what you mean about suffering. I haven’t thought about it in that way before, but you are right…. And thinking about it, the people who inspire me to help end suffering, and to campaign against issues aren’t actually suffering. They are/ were people who were in a position to speak out and campaign against things because they could.

    I think this core belief comes from my upbringing for sure, as I watched my parents suffer. But because they were suffering, they made us believe that we had to suffer too (and ensured that we did) yet also feel sorry for them etc etc. And a lot of the time put the blame of their suffering on to us. Yes, this is definitely where this core belief comes from!!!

    Band practice last Friday went well!! We actually played the songs together, and well! We ran through both songs and nailed them in 40 minutes. Then spent the last hour and 20 minutes trying to record them on the 4-track. Although the recordings weren’t great due to the place it was positioned in the room… I got a recording on my phone, and this is keeping me inspired. The plan is to have another practice next Friday, and get some recordings done then. And then we can send them to the people interested in drumming. And then we will be sorting drummer try-outs!!

    It feels like this is a dream coming true (as lame as that sounds). But we have a strong image, name, sound, and I know that if I’m able to put alot of energy and effort in to this, then I think we will be great…. It’s a new feeling though. As I never thought I would be good enough to be in a band. Or ever have the ability or confidence to do it… I know to a lot of people it would be like “but thats so easy, why is that a dream”. As i know there are people doing things far more extravagant. I don’t know. I guess for me, I’ve been so used to not taking control of my life. Of just living to work, not eating properly, hiding away. But now I’m taking steps to build and live the life that I want to – and to feel like I deserve that. And for me to really believe in myself and to believe I deserve that…. Well. I think it’s the biggest mindset challenge/ core belief/ life perspective that I have had to challenge so far. Can’t describe it really…. Let me know if you can relate to this.

    British Columbia looks beautiful!! How is life for you Anita?

    I haven’t watched Bohemian Rhapsody yet but I have heard good things!

    Cat

    #236967

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    It’s good to be back in communication with you. As much as I continue to grow in to more independence, I often think of you, my Tiny Buddha pen pal!!

    How are things in the States? I went to type LA, but realised that was where you used to live. Where do you live now??

    Yes. The red hair was another step for me towards being the person, and leading the life that I want to live. Punk means alot to me. The music, bands, gigs, the scene, the creativity, expressing myself through piercings, tatts, hair etc etc.

    I have struggled alot with feeling like I am worthy of doing these things, or feeling like I can. These things make me happy, and I guess sometimes I feel that it’s selfish for me to be happy in this world. I tend to think that because I know what suffering is, and Ive always thought that if someone else is suffering then I need to suffer too. I guess I grew up with that being taught to me. And I’ve been so accustom to ignoring my needs and living depending on my parents emotions and suffering.

    For example. It seems strange that I should feel good about spending time getting ready in the morning and wearing the clothes I want to wear, make up etc and not feel selfish. Why should I feel happy about something like that when so many others are suffering?

    I guess this is a conundrum I have. Because by doing the things I love, I feel selfish. But not doing the things I love, I feel unfulfilled and frustrated. It makes it difficult for me to see friends who express themselves greatly in their appearance, create art all the time and are in bands because I know that fulfills me. Thinking I could be in a band and out energy towards that feels like such a dream.

    In terms of the band. I have band practice tomorrow. I need to go over some songs tonight. I am extremely excited, but also very nervous! As again, this is something I really want and so I want to be good enough.

    Last year even the thought of playing in front of people made my hands sweat, but I pushed myself and played live etc. This is definitely another push. To really make myself believe that I am good enough to be in a band and play with others…..

    It’s almost like me believing in myself would be the ultimate act of selfishness. Maybe this is something my parents taught me as well. Most likely. The biggest core belief I feel.

    I had a chat with my manager yesterday. We talked for an hour or so about everything. Even Toby. He is so supportive. So so supportive. And we spoke about confidence, and when I spoke to him about the band he said “why do you think that you’re not good enough? There’s always going to be someone better than you, but why should that stop you? Like me becoming manager here. I was scared as hell. Wondered what people would think because I’m younger, new to the job etc. But I thought, I will try my best. And if my best isn’t good enough. I’ll re-evaluate and see what I can do differently and try that. And if I try again and it doesn’t work, I’ll re-evaluate and try again. And if I keep trying and it doesn’t work, then it’s simply the fact that it wasn’t for me, and I’ll put my best elsewhere. There’s no point in worrying, because how you think about things will affect how you play. You are as good as you think you are”.

    We had a massive confidence talk and he reminded me that a positive attitude and confidence in life attracts that back. I felt very motivated to work yesterday. And a reminder that I am capable.

    That’s a big one. Me actually feeling capable in life.

    As for Toby. I did think about suggesting tiny buddha to him. He hasn’t replied to my last message. I think he is so far in his own troubles that the time he takes to think about my words, if he does, will be far and in between. I will see how it goes and suggest when the time is right.

    Cat

    #236755

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Good to hear from you. Its funny that you messaged on here, as I’ve been meaning to message you the past couple days!! I meant to do it on 11:11 (a big spiritual day for me) but I was busy writing down manifestations for the future!!

    How are you? How have you been?

    Things for me have been pretty stable, but I do continue to push myself and grow.

    Bristol has been great! We went all out on Halloween and did the house up amazing. My birthday was back in April but I was having a breakdown so didn’t celebrate it, so I celebrated it on Halloween instead. Great time with my close friends. Very funny.

    I continue to do the long hour days. Which is fine.

    Last week I had a bit of an epiphany at work. I was on a long day and around 4.30 I started feeling really trapped. It made me think about my life. The job I’m at now isn’t a job where I want to be forever. I would prefer a more chilled job but atm I need to just keep a job in order to pay back my debt. That is the main goal. I also realised that band stuff was really stagnant and not happening. And realised Ive been wanting to dye my hair for ages.

    I took some time out on shift and had a little cry. I called my friend Emily. It was a wake up call to start doing the things I love now. I got in touch with my bassist and told her I NEED to do this etc. Need to throw myself in to a project. She got it together and we now have band practice this coming Friday. I also dyed my hair bright red last night and it looks great. Today I also did loads of guitar practice. I feel like I am becoming the person I want to be.

    I struggle alot thinking I’m not good enough. But I did it. I dyed my hair. And I practiced guitar and wrote a solo. I’m starting to feel like my goals aren’t as impossible as I have seen them in my mind. And that is honestly one of the most liberating things ever for me….. I wish I could feel this capable and in alignment all the time!

    In general things are stable and good…. In the past week I have had contact with Toby over messenger… I asked to see how he was, and it ended up turning in to a conversation where he was open with me about where he’s at and why he’s being self destructive. He opened up about his family and his upbringing and lots of different stuff and how he sees himself etc. I spoke to him for hours. He said he felt weird because he doesn’t talk to people about his stuff etc.

    I was rational and I connected with him on a human to human level and was giving him some advice about well being, self care etc.

    It was hard for me to hear him be so hard on himself. He calls himself a lot of horrible names all the time and is generally in a really bad place. Doing a lot of drugs, drinking alot etc etc.

    I was worried about him. And because I’m an empath, my worry and concern stayed with me and consumed me to the point where I didn’t go to work on Monday.

    I spoke to my friend Michael about all of this, and he said that it sounds like I am a healer. I agreed and said that when I see someone suffering, I feel that energy and feel an urgent call to help them.

    I realised this. I spoke to Toby and I said, that I can’t sacrifice my health or wellbeing in order to help him and that only he can do that for himself. But I did say that I would encourage him towards being able to help and care for himself.

    I offer him advice. As and when he replies. I have put his message notifications on mute, so I can read them as and when I am ready and so messages do not alarm me etc.

    My housemates think I shouldn’t be talking to him. But I have a feeling that I’m probably one of the few people in his life who have time, patience and general kindness that I think he does need from somewhere. He is in a really bad place, and if my messages bring a little bit of hope in to his life, then I think it’s worth it.

    Let me know your thoughts.

     

    Cat

    #231677

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for that re-affirmation. I saw the photo cover, and part of me felt sorry for him. As if me and my sister have broken my parents hearts etc. That was always what they did. Even though they gave us constant grief, anger and were so unjustly harsh on us, whenever we stood up for ourselves, they would play the victim card and make us feel guilty for hurting their feelings. It was a lose-lose situation: endure the misery and anger of them, or stand up to them and then feel horrifically awful, as if we had just done something really awful.

    I thought it strange, because the last time I had contact with any of my close family was back in the summer. I think I told you about this at the time. My sister trapped in her vicious cycle, and being mad and mean at me because I couldn’t help. My Dad texting briefly, then not replying, and my sister being called up by Mum, who said “You and Cat have made your decision. That’s it”.

    I haven’t heard from any of them since. From my perspective, my parents created this toxic, abusive, guilt tripping, Co dependent relationship. They had 2 children, who grew up within that. 1 recognised these traits and strove to break free. The other just repeated the attitudes and beliefs she was taught.

    As much as I care about them all, due to their, selfishness/lack of respect, they fail to see or respect me for who I am. If I am not being the person that they want me to be, or giving them what they need, they don’t love me. And I don’t believe that this is how people should be treated.

    Cat

    #231423

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    The nightmares often involve my parents. The last nightmare I had, I was trying to be heard. Then I started shouting, and then I was physically attacked by my Dad. At one point I had a gun to protect myself. But I don’t think I killed anyone.

    THE nightmare ended with me standing on the balcony of my home and allowing me myself to gracefully fall as if going in to a dive, this was me commiting suicide.

    Sorry this is dark, but this is the kind of thing I get. Very dark. Very dark. I am trying to not let it affect my waking life.

    I looked at my Dad’s Facebook yesterday. His photo is of him and my mum dressed up in a suit and her in a dress. His cover photo is still with me in it. This made me confused and I cried. He doesn’t talk to me or my sister and yet his cover photo is that. It doesn’t make sense.

     

    Cat

     

     

    #231421

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Ram,

    Sorry I thought I replied to this!! Thank you for reading through all of mine and Anita’s messages, that is some dedication!!

    Anita has helped me greatly since last December, and I have kept her updated throughout my progress!!

    In terms of the BPD, I found that CBT, mindfulness and tiny buddha really helped me.

    I wish you luck, and hope that you continue to progress, hope tiny buddha works for you too.

     

    Cat

    #231017

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    How have you been? I hope this message finds you well. I still don’t have a replacement laptop yet so writing this on my phone… Soon hopefully!!

    With the burglaries – it turns out that there was loads happening in my area 🙁 We think that there is a gang of people going around commiting crimes the past few months. A couple of people have been attacked and in one case a cat was killed 🙁 its a long shot that we will get our stuff back, but we are all doing really well despite this.

    We are all spending more time in the lounge talking! Haha. And I am using this time to catch up on reading.

    Generally, I am well. I finished CBT a couple of months ago now and have remained pretty stable!! I am continuously learning and growing, and remembering mindfulness on a daily basis.

    I do suffer alot with nightmares. Almost every night now. It is a test to wake up in the morning and step forward in the day with positivity, as the nightmares are always about my family and feeling guilty or feeling trapped with them in the nightmares.

    I am trying to endure them, and remind myself I can still lead the life I want despite my family seeing me as Satan.

     

    Cat xxo

    #226915

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

     

    I will reply properly when I go on a computer at the library. Should be either today or tomorrow. In general I am surprisingly best I’ve ever been. A lot of positivity and hope for what’s coming. Will explain more later, Cat xx

    #225809

    Cat
    Participant

    Dear Anita. Hope this message finds u fast. I’m writing this on my phone. My house was burgled yesterday. I got a call at end of my shift from housemate crying. I got a taxi home ASAP. Burgers had come in daytime through front window. Stole my chrome book and camera. Stole 4 grand worth of equipment from my housemate room. We are all shook up. 2 of my housemates have gone away on hols. Cas who’s stuff was stolen most is staying at bfs cus she doesn’t want to b here right now. I’m home alone. Spent day processing n catching up on sleep. About to have a bath. Not sure if I should stay in or go out. Cat

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