Once again a victim


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.



11 Comments Add yours

  1. IAmMe says:

    It must be difficult for you being overwhelmed by this ongoing wave of emotions you don’t want, especially when it’triggering other emotions. The best and simplest advice I can give you is to Breathe and to not let those thought devour you. Once you allow one to enter the rest will run in and make a mess out of you. I know it may he difficult at this time due to this situation, but take a step back and breath for a few minutes. That’s a starter for seld care and traquility.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you. Breathing is often pretty much the only self care I can manage!


  2. I am sorry you are having so many problems with the boat – your new home and that unsavory people have taken advantage of you. I am impressed though that you and your wife had the guts to go after your dream. It is hard to do, but to avoid sinking lower in despondency, I suggest making a list of your blessings. The biggest is that you are in a good relationship — you are not alone. Everything may suck right now but you are both in it together. Also a blessing is that you have stopped drinking. Stand firm and refuse to give up that blessing! I look forward to reading about things getting better with the boat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks for the kind words and the reminder that I’m not in it alone. I really am blessed with an amazing relationship, there’s no way I could be doing this without my wife. She’s the main reason I can stay sober too. I’d be such a mess if I didn’t have her.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ashleyleia says:

    I hope that break comes soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sirena says:

    Every great adventure comes with huge challenges to e overcome and those bad times eventually lead to better times and one day you’ll sit back and laugh and tell stories about all those hard times and what you learned.
    You are still so incredible brave to have taken a path (river) less trodden. And I admire you.
    It is shit that people have taken advantage and that you’ve lost money, I’m sorry for that.
    Sending good vibes your way. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Thanks Sirena. I’m touched that you think I am being brave. I don’t feel all that brave! X


  5. Sirena says:

    ^^^^ also, I should learn to check for typos and spelling – sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Ha I’m not judging!


  6. La Quemada says:

    I don’t blame you for being discouraged — that’s quite a combination of bad luck and outright dishonest behavior. So demoralizing!

    I also get it about being triggered and easily sliding into old patterns of blaming yourself and hating yourself. That’s what old patterns do–they lead us down the same old paths all over again. Totally natural, even when they are painful paths.

    To the degree you can, please try to resist that path. There are a lot of mistaken messages along that pathway. You know it yourself–you weren’t responsible for your victimization in the past. That was a child’s misinterpretation.

    Instead, if you can put a hand on your chest, breathe in, and turn toward self compassion. Kristin Neff’s research suggests you might tell yourself something like this: “I’m having a hard time right now. Okay, a really, really hard time. Everyone feels this way sometimes, even if I don’t always see it. Even if I think it’s me more than others, it’s truly a very human experience. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”

    I find this practice truly helpful. At first you might not 100 percent believe if but you can do it anyway. You deserve that compassion, and it can help you in your difficult times.

    Rooting for you from far away, love, Q.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura says:

      Hey Q sorry for the delayed reply. Patchy connection with the outside world these days! Thank you for your thoughts and the suggestion. It was comforting just reading it. X


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