mental toughness, resilience, fragility and mindfulness, can they work together.

This has been an odd, interesting abd difficult year. It’s had some dramatic successes and some outstanding fails.

I was just watchin the save the children ad.

The first thing to note, it that we as a family have sunk to that level. We are (my wife and myself) both now unemployed and what you sed in that advert is what my chikdren and our family are now experiencing.

As I said, this year has undergone sone spectacukar events. In the procesd of moving out if London, I was homeless for two weeks, it was a combination of sofa surfing, b&b’s and sleeping rough.

Finally, I secured a flat and the family mive in from London to here. During that time the stress of moving and a bew job wore me out. Then I was sacked, I got a new job rapidly, but at the sane time my wifes alcoholism was escalating. Finally, I snapped and lost another job.

So this year I’ve been mentally tough, putting up with some really difficult situations, its made me at times fragile, unable to cope, yet at the same timd I’ve become resilient, no matter what I’ll put my wife and children’s safety, security and well-being first.

It has made me mindful, but I intend to work through this and come out better off and with a stronger family.

We’ve been through hell, a first world hell, but we’re better off than many, even here in the UK.

So what has mental toughness, fragility, resilience and mindfulness given me.

Resolve, The ability to resolve this situation were in, its not the same as a resolution. There is a subtle difference. Resolution is a firm decision to do something, resolve is the setting out on a course of action.

I’m not naking a new years resolution, but I will be resolute abd resolve out situation.

Watch this space.

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Is knowing the same as controling

I had an interesting though this morning.

Is knowing about something the same as controlling something.

I guess its why you want to know is the deciding factor. I had a situation early this morning when I asked my wife, how much money she had in her account. The reason I asked is because I have to do all the family book-keeping and I wanted to aggregate how much we had in total (which is less than £120), so that I could plan a budget over the next few days.

That does sound quite straight forward, but its one of those contentious issues with spouses. I have some money, she has some money, how do we manage that money for the greater good of the family.

This is a tricky situation for all families, money is one of the major causes of divorce. I guess it all boils down to mindset. If your a person who is a bit selfish, then the money you have is your money and it is for you to do with as you wish.

That’s all fine and dandy if you are single with no dependants and this is the bit in families where the issue comes from.

If you can’t recognise that you have other people dependent on you, then you have a major problem. Somehow, in people’s upbringings there is a gap where parents don’t teach children to understand who is dependent.

From an old school traditional perspective the “man” is the breadwinner (actually that’s not true at all – if you look at history from a gender sociological perspective, women have provided just as much as men, if not more). If I refactor that statement, In a family someone is the primary “breadwinner” and someone is the “caregiver”, each has a distinct complicated busy job to do. Somehow, somewhere that  simple ideology can get lost.

Anyway, enough of that, this mornings question got me to thinking. Is it controlling asking for a piece of information so that it can be acted upon. The key part of that sentence is “acted upon”. If the action on getting that information is to abuse and control someone, then yes it becomes controlling. If the action is to understand something and then behave accordingly for the good of the group, then that’s not controlling (unless that is you own understanding of “good of the group” is in your own best interests – then it’s back to controlling).

My poor old wife has undergone a lot of controlling relationships before we got together and often mistakes the “greater good of the unit” to being that of controlling and stopping her doing what she wants. Again, the problem goes back to “What she wants”, because she is an alcoholic what she wants is to spend on alcohol rather than putting that money into the pot for the dependents.  So yes, a simple question about money, become fraught with control issues. She knows that her addiction is wrong, and struggles with it.

It’s all very complicated, and I hate being in the position we are in, because it does start to look like I’m trying to control, yet I have no desire to control someone and all I want to do is know something so I can modify my own behaviour for the good of the family.

Part of the reason I’, saying all this is because I would like to get myself a new pair of shoes, yet I can’t until I know that there is enough money so that it won’t be detrimental to the rest of the family.

You know what – I wish I’d never done an A-level in sociology and another in economics, because it really messes with your head.

 

 

The eve of New Years eve, or New Year’s eve eve

Not long to go till the new year and its a real ness in the Autosoma household.

Debts, there are many! I’ve got to get a grip and sort it out.

No.1 Solicitor fees my wife owes £300.
No.2 Tax bill my wife owes £350
No.3 Council Tax for Walthamstow £1000
No.3 Council Tax for Bournemouth £700
No.5 Electicity Bill Bournemouth £500
No.6 Item in London £5000.
No.7 Water Londo £300
No.8 My unpaid debt £800
No.9 My wifes unpaid debt £700

When I started this blog I didn’t things could get as bad as they are now.

I’m being treated for depression, My wife’s getting treatment for alcoholism.

we’re both unemployed

I need to replan my life’s journey.

Halloween 2016… Already

My kids have already started planning next Hallowe’en. A totally WTF monent for me. I really couldn’t give a stuff about any of these retail driven holidays, but when did Hallowe’en become this obsessive for children?

I mean, it nothing special, why has it become “special”. I’ve noticed a trend over the last few years of it getting bigger and bigger. Its too many make-up how to’s, zombie walks and comic-con dressups.

This isn’t stuff we’re steering the kids towards, it’s youtube. I guess traditiobal broadcasters can’t compete with the user generated content on youtube.

But its not the dressup I object to about Hallowe’en, its the sugar rush candy extravaganza that comes with it now. An entire retaik event that probsble will create a new type of diabetes. Event driven sugar overload diabetes.

Boxing day 4:30 pm

I write my blog mostly from my MotoG and I find they the stock Android 5 keyboard to be absolutely atrocious I guess I should install a better one, but anyway I digress.

There is no simple way to put it, things in my family are fucked. I know my wife is rehabbing and has made a commitment to stop drinking and even though shes on around 12 to 18 units a day at the moment, its still difficult. It still less than two months since she accepted help and is holding herself together.

I still have a knot of resentment which I need to get past. Frankly, we could have a long way still to go. The gravity of alcoholism could still, very easily drag us down. After her last bingeing session I gave up. I find it difficult holding myself together as all the effort I put into keeping us together seemed to be for nothing. I gave up.

Should I continue to give up, I ask myself frequently. Put it behind me or carry on as is. So here are my choices.

Up and leave, put it all behind me and have nothing to do with her and the children (they are becomming behaviorally quite difficult as they have no good role models).

Leave with the children and try to turn things around by myself for them

Or stay and value the changes and make sure they don’t get worse.

I know there are many combinations, not just the three above.

So, I could discuss the pros and cons of staying or going. but I am an optimist, I truely believe that if we choose to make it better it will become better.

For quite some time my wife chose drinking, which made our life worse. Now she’s in the process of reduction and management, I find myself in a pit of resentment and venom.

A few days ago, someone told me that anger is like trying to throw a hot coal. By holding it you damage yourself.

Well, actually that’s not quite right. You’re throwing that burning hot coal at someone to get rid of it, to get rid of the pain. No one ever chooses to have a burning hot coal dumped in their hand, but she did it to me with her drinking.

Anger is a burning coal, but more often thsn not, thst coal is dropped on you and suddenly you’re hurt. You flinch snd react and throw that coal right back from where it came.

Back and forth, this burning hot coal of anger, hate and resentment goes. At some point it must go out, the laws of entropy dictate that. But for something to burn as hot as the anger and pain of a relationship in distress, not only uses up the the lump of coal. It also burns up our personal energy and we’re left empty.

So where are we at? She’s suffering because of my venom and resentment. Frankly, it stems from having an alcoholic mother of my own. I realise now that I had a black hole in my memory. These a time period in my childhood from around 10 to 14 that I have no recollection of. But every time my wife got drunk in charge of the children, it triggered something in me.

I’ve recently been having these illuminating dreams where my mother replaces my wife and I realise that my fears (which results in anger) that come from my childhood are being replayed when I experience my wife drunk.

So I have to move forwards past this and stop putting my wife in a position where she can fall back on bad behaviours because I hold this knot of venom and bitterness.

I have to turn it around for everyones good. But I feel I want something in return. I followed through with many of her failed ideas, mostly against my better judgement… too often I found myself in a position of “I told you so”. This afternoon I listened to her pain. I accept that she’s holding her own pain as well as taking hurts from me.

I promised her I wouldn’t talk about it again for a few days, but I realise that I’ll end up using it as a weapon. When I do talk about our past and she says ” you always go on about it”, I’ll be able to go. Ha! I didn’t talk about it for x number of days. Not good, not good at all.

So I have to find some way to pour the black venom and bile down a drain and leave it be.

Also, there needs to be some way to put the energy back into the relationship, not just for me and not just for my wife but for the children too.

I’m not so sure this time, how to put some vigour back into things. Somehow we’lk fibd a way.

Christmas day 1pm

The children woak up at 8:30 am, opened their first set if presebts7 and were happy.

Their currently playing with their main Christmas present Minecraft Realms. They got a subscription each. So thats what, over a year? £5.99 each @ 11 months (first month free) is £131.78 over the year.

Currently they’ve built s schoolhouse in their Realm and are taking lessons. So their maybe a chance for them.

A few weeks ago the Social Worker came around and we stsrted talking about Secondary Schools and she informed me that this us an 11+ town and they have to pass it to get to a Grammar School.

I mentioned that would need some effort on all our parts as back in London it was going to be a shoe in to one of the best secondary schools in North East London as their primary was a sister school and automatic feeder.

The look the Social Worker gave me about getting the girls into a Grammar School, said to me that as far as the “system” is concerned they’ve been assigned to the scrap heap.

Whether it’s Shameless UK or US, this isn’t the future that any parent wants for their children.

So today I’m going to give the present of change for the better.

I hope this is the last worse Christmas we have.

Today at half past Eleven we received a Christmas hamper from social services.

How far can a family sink?

Since my last pist things have got worst for us. I started this blog 18 months ago to try to talk about the ways and means of getting my family our of a mire.

Well all I can say is that I have failed spectacularly.

Last Christmas we were very short of cash, having cleared loads of debts, but my wife had a good job at the FT so there was light at the end of the tunnel. This year neither of us have jobs, I’ve had a monster stress and anxiety nervous breakdown and my wife is now getting treatment for her alcohol dependency.

We moved city in August, no longer am I a Londoner, someone who lives in the greatest Alpha city on the planet (sorry, New York, Tokyo), I’m now in a south coast sea side town.

We did this because my wife couldn’t deal with the case workers in London who were at her about her alcoholism. So we ran away from London, rather than do what I wanted which was to face it and deal with it.

So here we are. We now live in a town that is half the population density of my London borough.

Since we moved here her drinking escalated to such an unmanagagble point, that she was staggering around screaming, shouting and raving like a deranged alcoholic. She was a danger, to herself, her children and anyone around her.

She was basically one small step away from drano.

It hasn’t been nice, of course it’s all my fault, I’m either too angry about her drinking, or I don’t care enough, or well, what ever. Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic knows the score. Those of you who haven’t, or who are in denial, who are alcoholics themselves, the best way to describe it is watching a psychological horror movie that never ends. Your constantly tense and on edge.

Well, I’ve lost two jobs since I’ve been here because if that  I’ve broken down and I’m on mirtazapine.

In 7 days 2016 starts. From Rosh Hashana to now it been the worst ever.

Here’s a photo of my “Darling Wife” at her worst. Just prior to this she was staggering around rambling incoherently before collapsing on the floor.

image

She is an absolute shameful disgrace when pissed up.

Three years ago I worked for a grand old Financial Institution, A one minute walk from Lloyd’s of London. I worked with Brokers, Trades, Underwriters and my favourites Actuaries.

Then my wife’s little indiscretions mounted, drinking and debt, they’d catch up with her and she’d dump the problem in my lap. Well, she didn’t really, she’d just never do anything about it.

I struggled paying for the school, I struggled paying the debts, I struggled with poor childcare (we had one nanny who would drug the children as I later found out).

Each time I was left on my own, the messes that my dear wife got us into, she’d walk away from and drink more.

It became too much, one day I punched my wife squarely in the face, because she was drunk and wouldn’t listen to me. I’d only just payed off around 6K of her debts, which she wouldn’t help with at all. The help I asked for was just for her to list all her creditors, which she just wouldn’t do.

During this period as well she was becoming arrogant about her career, how she was earning more than me. So I think you can see why I became so dismayed about things. On one side it felt like she was rubbing my nose in it, on the other I was having to pay for all the debt the spun up. And she continued to drink,

Of course I’d hit her by this point, I’d been arrested, I pleaded guilty to assault because it was true. I had assaulted her.

I was quite fortunate with the police, because I was of good character, no previous charges, my employer and that I showed remorse, I held myself accountable and that they felt there was extenuating circumstances, they mitigated the charge, it was reduced from Grievous Bodily Harm (yes, the punch was that bad) to common assault and I was released with a caution.

But from that point on, when ever I became angry at my wife’s poor behaviours and excessive drinking, she’d threaten to call the police.

A second incident occurred, she got pissed up and called the police, again another night in the cells. This time the police found no evidence of wrong doing in my part, but warned me none the less.

I lost my job and became a stay at home dad, that was three Christmases ago. I worked hard looking after the girls, making sure that the messes that had happened were fixed. Found them a good state school, pulled them from fee paying school, got play therapists for them, started turning things around.

During all this my wife’s drinking went underground, she’d gone to a rehab unit where the other patients showed her how to hide drinking. Just after the second Christmas, she broke her arm. Yes, she’d been drinking when she got on a skateboard. Rather than call the ambulance straight away, she waited trying to contact me. I suspect it was part in parcel of wanting the alcohol to be processed and appear less pissed.

After that I swore we’d never have a bad Christmas, yet here we are.

A care package from social services, sitting in our cupboards, Christmas presents for the children courtesy of social services.

Every criticism you could level at this situation, I’ve already levelled at myself.

Here I am on Christmas eve, being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past and present. This time the ghost of Christmas future isn’t here.

I guess in many ways my life to date us a recipe to be a man who chooses to go his own way. Or an argument for the MRA-ers to say the this is a shining example of why men’s rights are needed.

Well to both, or anyone who wants to tut-tut-tut at this Springer-esque lifestyle, it happened, where as I don’t like my wife personally, I don’t bear her any grudge (even though I sound like I do) because everyone make mistakes, its how we pick up the prices afterwards and move forwards with our lives that makes a difference.

I’m glad that the ghost of Christmas future hadn’t visited, life at the moment is like AA, one day at a time. Perhas that’s what the spirit of future Christmases is for, for life-aholics who need to take it one step at a time to get through life at all.