Family, Facebook and failed sobriety

I’ve been rubbish at finding the time and headspace to blog since we moved onto our boat. So much time is taken up with all the daily jobs that keep everything running. Either that, or we are dealing with a crisis or power failure. Or we don’t have any internet signal.

This week, I really need to write. Things have been extremely difficult and I’ve hit some terrible lows. After achieving 5 months of sobriety, I went and threw it away by having a drink. I self-harmed. My eating has become more disordered and I starved myself a fair bit. There were several evenings when all I could do was fixate on suicide.

It’s hard to say why this has suddenly happened. I think it’s partly because all the crisis fighting I’d been doing since the move settled down. Without imminent problem solving to be done, it’s like all the deeper emotional stuff was allowed to rush in. Funnily enough, saying that reminds me of being in a lock when the water is emptied out. Feeling the force of it escaping and seeing the dark stone walls get taller as I sink into the bottom.

lock darkness.jpg

I guess if I run with that metaphor, I can try and remember that the next part is opening the gates and moving back out into the daylight.

If only it were that easy.

Stuff with my family is really, really hard right now. It’s all been trigged by the fucking monster that is Facebook. I wish I could make myself delete my account, but I’m hooked. And yes, I could unfollow them, but I then get the FOMO. Plus, the destructive part of me is curious. There’s a part that wants to know what’s happening in my brother’s life, and how he’s interacting with my family members with whom I still have a relationship.

Since my brother’s baby was born, my mum hasn’t posted anything about him on Facebook. Perhaps it was egotistical of me, but I’d assumed that was out of consideration for my feelings. She knows how painful it is for me to think of the man who abused me having his own child. It is hideously distressing when I let myself go there.

Anyway, this week she posted a photo of the little one playing in her garden, and it triggered a whole world of shit for me. Maybe she didn’t even think about it, but it seems odd she wouldn’t, after not sharing any photos for 18 months. She shares pictures of my sister’s baby all the time, so it isn’t that she doesn’t post stuff like that. I felt like I’d been physically hit. I felt sick. Angry. Hurt. I don’t even know what my thoughts were exactly. There were several.

  • She doesn’t give a crap about how I feel.
  • She knows how I feel about him, but cares more about my brother’s feelings than mine.
  • I hate her taking pleasure in anything connected with my brother.
  • I hate the baby. And that makes me feel like a total shitbag.
  • I’m jealous of the baby, and of my brother, for getting her love and affection. That just makes me feel pathetic and childish.

So nothing good.

Sensibly, I would’ve avoided Facebook after that. But instead I went and checked when people had commented on the picture, and got angry with each of them in turn too.

What happened next was timed badly. My grandma shared a link to my brother’s wife’s Just Giving page because she had just donated money to her sponsorship for Race for Life. I know my sister in law has breast cancer. My mum informed me of this. And despite the morbidly curious bit of me wanting the details, the healthier part has maintained a boundary around her illness. They’re not in my life anymore, and so I don’t want to know what if going on for them. My mum has mostly respected this, despite appearing desperate to tell me more at times. I’ve pushed back, because although a part of me cares, I need to isolate myself from that stuff.

But the stupid destructive bit clicked the link. Of course she did. It was just too tempting. And I learned that she is much more seriously ill than I’d imagined. She’s had rounds and rounds of chemo, lost her hair, and is going to be having a mastectomy soon. There were a load of photos or her and my brother on the page.

I don’t even know where to start to unravel what I feel about seeing those and reading what was happening. I just feel shite. Worthless. And partly angry at all the love and attention being poured in their direction by people I love, as perverse as that sounds. Again, it’s childish. But it’s the little parts of me that were so deeply wounded by him.

On top of all that, therapy was incredibly tough this week. I haven’t even told J about any of the above, because all I’ve wanted is to shut down and push her away. I hate wanting contact with her. I hate feeling attached at the moment. It feels unsafe, it feels like I’ve let her get too close.

Maybe feeling more connected and closer lately has even triggered that. There’s a part saying that I shouldn’t have let myself get close. I shouldn’t have been vulnerable and let her in. I can’t be sure she’ll be there. I want to detach so I don’t have to worry about that. I want to detach so I don’t have to miss her and feel anxious every time I talk to her. I want to detach so I don’t have to have the feelings that come up because of interacting with her. I can’t cope with them.

But the therapy stuff is going to have to be another post. I’m rambling on and really I just needed to vent about how my family is making me feel. I am lonely out here in the sticks, and I struggle to feel reassured when I’m so far from my support network. The boat is cosy, the sun is shining, and the scenery is beautiful. The photo below was our view a few days ago. But I feel so very isolated and that is making it all feel like a real battle.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. First off, stop beating yourself up and saying what you are feeling is childish. It’s bloody not childish. It’s completely reasonable. What you’ve been through is horrendous and to have any sense that others have moved past it or accept it is deeply hurtful and wounding. You have done nothing wrong. I’m so sorry that things feel so bad. I’m sorry we’ve been less able to connect lately. But I am here. Sending you so much love and an enormous hug x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura says:

      Thank you. It’s hard not to feel wrong when everyone else has moved on and moved past it. I am constantly being invalidated. But then I suppose I am letting that happen too.


      1. Ooh honey, before one can say ‘I am letting that happen’ one needs to have the tools and ability to know how to ‘not let that happen’. Sounds to me a lot of fundamental things have been taken from you. Setting boundaries to anything is very difficult after these have been breached so horribly. 😦 Please don’t beat yourself up for this.
        I’m on my first day of ‘Facebook’ diet. Feels great, I’m really into the Joy Of Missing Out. ;-). Ok truth is: I can’t take the BS on FB anymore. But still: JOMO!!!
        Sending hugs,
        xx, Feeling


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s