#171 Living with Anxiety (for lack of a more witty title..)

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At the end of every relationship, we accumulate more baggage. In the past decade I’d say I’ve had four boyfriends who have left me with baggage after we’ve parted ways, however the first three were nothing compared to the relationship I walked away from last May. Not only did I walk away with a child, a broken computer, a cracked iPhone screen and a hell of a lot of a bills to pay on a house I didn’t live in for the last five months of the tenancy.. but he destroyed my state of mind. Completely and utterly shattered it. Not just because of the kind of relationship it was, but the fact we have been waging a war ever since. That’s the thing when you have a child, or even in some cases, shared property, you don’t get a clean break. I am the QUEEN of clean breaks. I do not remain friends with exes (unless they were more friend than boyfriend) and I do not stay in touch for the awkward “i’ve moved on conversation” instead I, or a friend, usually finds this out through social media, THEN I have the slight relapse. Of course with having a child, there hasn’t been a clean break and perhaps that’s the reason why 14 months later, I still haven’t recovered.
In the beginning I had the usual break up problems, the uncontrollable crying, the grasping at straws and trying to analyses where it all went wrong. This was followed by serious self doubt, self esteem issues.. then I had the usual hating myself for sticking with him for so long and although these issues are still there… nothing compares to the anxiety issues I now deal with on a daily basis. 
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I’ve done the phone conversations with the victims of domestic abuse lines, I’ve spoke to the nurse, my solicitor, my family.. nothing is helping and since moving into my new house, alone with my thoughts from 7pm to 7am, I’m really struggling. So I’ve come to my blog, to air how I feel, in hope that getting it out there makes me feel better like it did the other couple of the times I wrote about some deep issues. After all this is a lifestyle blog, and sadly at the moment, my anxiety encompasses my life for 12 hours a day. I say 12 hours because although I do spend a lot of time glancing over my shoulder, when Little Miss is awake I have her to focus on which keeps me well out of my head. She’s my sunshine (98% the time anyway, haha).
Even writing this I feel short of breath and a head ache coming on, I know I’ll rush off into the kitchen before I’m done to take a couple of Kalms anything to stop the on set of a panic attack. I’m lucky I know my triggers and I can prevent one happening. Anything related to that man and it sets me off, a solicitor letter, contact from his mother.. anything. I feel nauseous just thinking about it.
While I lived at my mothers, it was my safe house. I knew she was there all the time to make sure I was okay. That he couldn’t get to me. Now, I’m open and exposed. The living situation has been the best thing for Little Miss, her sleeping has improved ten folds in less than a week. She has her own space, her own toys and a routine. Me however, I feel like i’m going backwards. I haven’t slept properly yet as I lie awake at night and worry he’s out there, biding his time. I’m up and down checking for a car I don’t recognise parked near my house.. listening for every sound. It’s a nightmare. Sometimes I end up holding my breath for minutes then I struggle catching it again. Eventually I can convince myself out of it, that it’s all in my head, and I can manage a few fitful hours of sleep. Now Little Miss basically sleeps through I should be catching up on the 18 months of sleep i’ve missed out on, but no. I lock and double lock my doors, I daren’t leave a window open, even a crack, a night because I’d be terrified he could get in. It’s pathetic and I hate myself for feeling this way, for always watching over my shoulder because if I don’t.. well I feel dizzy thinking about the alternative…
This isn’t me, I didn’t used to be like this. When I met him I was the best ever version of myself both in looks and self esteem. I was vivacious and happy to be alive. Perhaps that’s what attracted him to me, he saw someone he could completely destroy. Now I struggle to even make conversations with strangers and I’m even worse when it comes to being alone with a man I don’t know. Hell even when I first moved home I had issues with my dad, I couldn’t trust him, I couldn’t believe him. He was a man and this is what men can do. With my looming final court date I know I’m not ready to move on. I want someone to like me, maybe even want a relationship with me one day but the thought of being somewhere other than out in public or god forbid being intimate with him fills me with fear and again I feel the anxiety rising to dangerous levels. Dates I could do, but anything else? I’m not so sure. I want to be loved, I want to be adored and I now feel the familiar pang of envy of other couples but as much as I want it, I’m not sure i’m mentally there. I sometimes go as far as bursting into tears because I feel like the damage is irreversible.
On September 2nd I have to face him and I’m terrified. More than terrified. But I’m doing it for my daughter. I’m going to fight her corner because it’s about her. Not me. They don’t dole out compensation for abused partners unfortunately. It’s about custody. It’s about making sure that they make the right decision for my daughter! And that is why I’m going to be there. 
I never imagined that I’d ever be someone who suffered from anxiety but it just shows that you never know what is around the corner. I feel much better for sharing this and I hope there is someone out there who understands where i’m coming from, although I hope to God it’s for a very different reason & cause than this!
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