I’m not religious. I don’t believe in some omnipresent being that plans out our lives for us and looks down at what we’re doing each day. But I often get this cynical feeling that maybe there is someone in control of all this, and maybe whoever that is loves to test me.
That sounds egotistical I guess. Like, why would a god bother to toy with someone as insignificant as me? I suppose it’s one way I try to explain away the barrage of shit that seems to get thrown at me. It makes more sense if I tell myself it’s orchestrated and that someone is watching to see what it takes for me to completely break. Really, I know it’s just bad luck.
Or maybe I create these unfortunate situations for myself. I’ve read about how victims of trauma are statistically more likely to experience further trauma in their lives. Perhaps I keep myself in this victim status and I’m just letting all these things happen because I’m not making the changes needed for it to be any different.
I am feeling massively deflated and disappointed at the moment. Nothing is going to plan since we moved onto the boat. Maybe I should’ve anticipated that there would be problems, but in order to make this change I had to convince myself it would all be OK. To get through the stress and emotional challenges around offloading all my possessions, packing up the house, and moving away from the town I knew as home, I had to think that this would be so much better.
Perhaps that was naïve. But there is no way I’d have got myself to do it if I’d known what it would really be like. For years, I have been stuck in a hopeless rut; scared to plan for the future, afraid to look ahead, not wanting to move forward, but hating the present and obsessed with the past. Committing to something new, to moving on and to actually being different has been extremely hard. I’ve felt a huge amount of grief for all that I thought I was leaving behind; literally and emotionally.
But now I can feel myself slipping backwards. We’ve had such a terrible experience buying the boat that all my old feelings of victimhood have been brought to the surface. We are stuck at a boatyard because so much is wrong with the boat it isn’t safe to move it. We haven’t had electricity, mobile signal, or hot water for almost two weeks. The repair work has been going on for five days and isn’t likely to be finished until the end of next week. It’s boring, depressing and frustrating. It’s hard not to feel trapped and extremely isolated where we are.
I was just about managing to cope with all of this, and the fact that the marina ripped us off with crap repair work. Then yesterday, we discovered that our surveyor also scammed us and our boat safety certificate (similar to a car MOT) probably isn’t valid. It cost us £400 to get it and we may have to get a new one. I might be able to get some of the money back, but I just don’t have the fight in me at the moment. On top of this, the engineer currently working on the boat then helpfully told us he thinks our boat is worth about £10k less than what we paid for it.
At that point I broke. The urge to go over the road to the pub and get absolutely wasted was overwhelming. My feelings of shame and anger at myself were overwhelming. The drive to harm myself was overwhelming. It’s a shit feeling to be repeatedly taken advantage of by people you trusted – even when it’s in a professional sense. It triggers all my feelings about the abuse I experienced when I was little. And I blame myself again and again. Why was I so stupid? Why didn’t I check X, Y and Z? How did I not see that these people weren’t what they seemed?
I know, in an intellectual sense that this isn’t my fault completely, and my wife was in it as much as me. But then my feeling is, ‘I should’ve known better’, and I imagine that the impact this is having on her is all down to me. We didn’t have a lot of money to begin with, and now we’ve thrown away a huge chunk of our hard earned savings that we won’t ever get back. I know I didn’t choose it, but at the same time I hate myself for it. And that’s a horribly familiar feeling.
Until yesterday, I was managing to hold onto a shred of optimism. But today I am really struggling. I don’t know what to do to make myself feel better, and even if I did I’m not sure I could manage to go as far as ‘self care’ right now. And this morning I have my last Skype session with J before the therapy break, so I am also anticipating having to handle the wave of awful attachment shit I’ll have to feel after that. And just to make things better, I am going to have to deal with some crappy family stuff later too. I could really do with a break.