Still Here…Just…

My goodness, time just keeps accelerating, doesn’t it? … whilst strangely seeming to stand still, too. I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. I have been meaning to follow it up sooner than this, because it was clearly a crisis post and so many of you were so kind and supportive in your comments and have subsequently checked in, but I have been so bloody busy that I just haven’t had any time to fill you back in.

I am on burnout right now. The tank is totally drained. It’s gone 6pm on Saturday and I have been in bed all day trying to recuperate after yet another brutal week. It’s survival…but barely.

I spend so many hours staring at my laptop, teaching online, and some days most days, Adult me is literally coaching myself out loud through the day. I’m staring at the ‘start meeting’ button on Zoom and every fibre of my body is railing against it, “Come on RB. You’ve got this” I say, whilst the very tired and strung-out younger parts cry, “We don’t want to. We need to snuggle and a nap and cookies.” There are days where I am holding back tears because it’s just ‘too much’.

That quite literally is the story of my life at the moment and has led to some really crap outcomes. I have wanted to write but the idea of spending another minute at the laptop during the week is revolting and, frankly, when I teach until 8:45 most nights I am almost catatonic, and words fail me – I couldn’t string another sentence together if I tried! There are things I need to attend to but simply haven’t the time to do them properly and so it’s all sort of falling apart.

My ‘busy’ isn’t through choice. It’s through necessity. I was planning to scale back my work and allocate more time to ‘me’ and just resting. Ha. Universe thought otherwise. Things have blown up again with my wife’s work and she’s just changed jobs but at a massive cut in pay but, hopefully, a reduction in stress for her. She was on the verge of a breakdown and a job is better than no job right now…well…  

Somehow, though, we need to find around £800 a month from the shortfall and …frankly… I don’t know how to make that happen. And seeing as everything is also going up: food, petrol, utilities, oh and my mortgage has just increased by £100 even going straight back into a fixed rate I just don’t know what to do because I am already on my edge. There’s only so much you can cut. You can shop in the cheap supermarkets but even then, the cost of food is going up and up and up. My car used to cost £45 to fill, on Friday it was £80 and I use a tank a week….FUCK ME!

The cost-of-living crisis is real – even for two reasonably well-paid professionals so I have no idea how people are coping on low incomes. Well, they’re not. It’s heating or eating, not using the car, being plunged into poverty. It’s absolutely sickening and just should not be happening.

I’ve juggled everything to be as tightly aligned in my week as I can, getting the kids to and from school etc, and reckon I have space maybe for another three more students in my week which would take contact time up to thirty hours (which is more than a full-time teaching contract), but I am already at breaking point now. Thing is, I don’t see that there’s a choice here, even then it’s not going to be enough. I have to keep a roof over our heads and do whatever is necessary, though. So it’s dig deep and try not to collapse.

I have to protect my therapy with A for as long as I can (already on a discounted rate), as without it I just won’t function, but I have had to scale back my time with K. My body needs the craniosacral but the stress I feel going when I know I can’t afford it drastically outweighs the benefits of the work. K said she’ll reduce the fee further but as a single, self-employed person I know how she needs the money so it’s better if she can fill my time. Ugh. I am so sick of everything revolving around money, or lack of it.

So, the financial stuff and work stuff has been massively stressful, but I am resourceful and will do my best to find a way through it. Because of all this I’ve been really struggling with anxiety and stress, not sleeping properly, you know all the stuff that goes to shit when things get too hard? I’ve had to withdraw into myself just to keep going and have nothing left to give. I prioritise my children and wife, but everything and everyone else has gone on ‘hold’.

So that’s been crap but not completely unfamiliar. I have had a lifetime worrying and feeling unsafe, so this is nothing new. However, there’s been the added weight of grief thrown into the mix. I don’t think I mentioned it, but three months ago we had to have my elderly dog put down. It was heart-breaking and she left an enormous hole. I don’t think non-pet people get how much a part of the family animals are.

By chance a friend of ours had had a litter of puppies and we welcomed a gorgeous boy into our home 8 weeks ago (this was just before the financial shit hit the fan). He was an absolutely lovely little fella and he really picked me up and was a wonderful companion. Last weekend though- father’s day- we were driving home in the evening and he had a funny turn in the car, vomited, started breathing erratically and died – just like that…my wife tried to resuscitate him but he was gone.

I haven’t coped very well, the timing was appalling, and to be trying to save a baby dog stuck on the moors in the middle of fucking nowhere and losing him…jeez. I mean it really devastated us. The kids witnessed the whole thing and we basically spent most of this last week in tears. The vet thinks it was heart failure which was hard to cope with given that’s how my dad died. I feel like there is so much loss right now. I’ve also lost a close friend too which has been an interesting experience as an adult as I’ve never had a friendship ‘end’ before. So, yeah, lots to grieve. My mum is still AWOL and not responding to any messages but there’s a part of me that just can’t cry any more tears about that. She simply doesn’t care or want to be in our lives so I need to let it go.

So as much as I have wanted to come here, and put something out there, and touch base because I find writing cathartic and therapeutic, I just haven’t been able to fire out a therapy blog in 15 minutes which is the longest break I get in a week now -and this week has just been flatlining.

I appreciate none of this is about therapy or what happened with Anita which is why you are here – but I will get to that in my next post (maybe tomorrow). I guess this is just to put my head above the parapet and say “I’m still here” and things are ok, good in fact, with Anita. The recent events over the last month have made me really take stock and see things in a different way. If anything we are more solid than ever …which given everything else is a huge relief!

Anyway, I will be back really soon, but I don’t think shoving a big therapy post on top of this already 1400 words is a great idea.

Take care and hope you guys are hanging in there…especially with the horror of abortion rights being repealed. What the actual fucking fuck?

The Handmaids Tale was not a fucking road map, nor was 1984…and yet here we are. x

12 thoughts on “Still Here…Just…

  1. SunsetCherryBlossom June 25, 2022 / 6:46 pm

    Hello my lovely. Waves from my bed also!

    You’ve had a brutal time. I’m so sorry. Sending you hugs and a large carton of Ben and Jerry’s over T’internet.
    It’s just one foot in front of the other, one minute, one hour, one day at a time and one day it won’t be quite this bad. Please remember your whole tribe of women reading this blog and sending you peace, love, strength and everything else you need right now. And thank goodness things are good with Anita.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum June 26, 2022 / 4:26 pm

      Thanks hun. I really just needed to sleep and do nothing yesterday…totally burnt out. Def appreciate the Ben and Jerry’s! I almost bought some today but it wasn’t on offer and somehow it’s nearly £5 a tub now…wtaf? And yes, I am very grateful for the tribe of cheerleaders I have here. Take good care. Where has the weekend gone? x

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Clara June 25, 2022 / 8:34 pm

    Oh gosh RB I am so so sorry. Sending such massive hugs and love. I wish there was something I could do. Here if you need a chat xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum June 26, 2022 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you lovely. Sometimes I feel like I just lurch from one disaster to another. It seems so fucking unfair – especially when I try so hard to just have a simple life. Hope you’re hanging on in there x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. StartingAgain June 25, 2022 / 10:11 pm

    Oh RBCG, I’m so sorry about the loss of your little puppy. They really are people with fur on instead of skin. You have had so much to contend with: I’m with you on the fear of price rises as a new divorcee trying to find my way without my health or career anymore. Things are hard for everyone but I like your last quote about not aligning yourself with those who don’t care and the bullies… the milk of human kindness is often found in the worse of all experiences, and as you find yourself in the depths I wish you the best of that milk to human kindness ♥️♥️

    Liked by 3 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum June 26, 2022 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you 🙂 It’s been utterly heartbreaking. I found his first collar today when tidying up and burst into tears. It’s beyond words really. I know you are going through hell right now so I really hope you are doing ok. Sometimes it really feels unfair how life shits on good people. Keep swimming and I hope that things get finished soon. x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Q June 26, 2022 / 11:39 am

    Oh my god, RB, what a load you are carrying! I’m so sorry.

    And sorry, too, about the dogs. Our dogs are very dear to us and bring love and laughter into our homes every single day. We have lost three over 15 years, and we felt each loss deeply. The two dogs we have now are the only ones we’ve raised since puppyhood, and I don’t know how we’ll cope when their lovely lives are over…

    Sending warm hugs! I’ve missed you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum June 26, 2022 / 4:31 pm

      Definitely feels like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders right now. Am just at the end of my rope now and have had to tie a huge knot in it and keep holding on. Dogs are incredible and I miss this little beastie so much. I hope you have many years left with your pups. Thank you for the hugs xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. SH June 26, 2022 / 12:10 pm

    Sending you so much hugs and love. Oh my goodness. Pets are family, and you have so so so much on your plate to juggle.

    I’ve missed you and you’re so thoughtful towards K. Please please reach out with a PayPal or something, even if only a few people can send a small amount which they can comfortably spare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum June 26, 2022 / 4:34 pm

      Thank you my darling. Your support means a lot. I think a lot of people are struggling financially at the moment. It’s a tough time. I really hate how big a factor money is in life and how much is dictates safety. I think those of us with traumatic childhoods really feel affected by lack of stability, too. Sending lots of love your way x

      Liked by 1 person

      • SH June 27, 2022 / 3:22 am

        Definitely. The lack of stability, and fears about when resources still drain despite cutting away everything non-essential.

        Liked by 1 person

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