Home is Where the Noise Is

Okay. So I feel an urge to write this evening. This post is lacking the pre-emptive clarity and layout that usually precedes my writing. But, if I don’t do it now, I might not do it tomorrow.

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who has responded to my previous posts and not forgetting those who have merely clicked Like or taken the time to read through my words. Writing has helped. My week is improving as the days go by. Thank you.

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My Old Friend

He’s back again! I don’t know how long it’s been but he seemed to arrive suddenly yesterday, during the late-afternoon/evening. Anxiety. Fear. Hopelessness. However I like to label it, he’s here with me again right now.

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Muting the Noise

Wow, what a difference a little solitude makes!

Also, having a shower, even late at night, offers some ‘healing properties’, regardless of whether the air outside is hot or cold.

So, today, I forced myself to be bold and to go and sit in my vehicle for each of my three breaks (I know, that probably reads like the opposite of being brave and instead, avoiding a situation…). I walked in to the canteen as usual, picked up my cup of tea and walked out (the last one to leave) without making eye contact with anyone. I couldn’t bear the thought that someone might notice and say something but, they didn’t (at least, not before I’d left the room).

Outside in the car park, I was greeted by a couple of surprised by welcoming faces who were basically on my side.

We’re situated right next to a major motorway but the rushing sounds of passing cars didn’t bother me much. It was so nice to be away from all of that negative energy. To be able to see daylight and to feel the direct warmth of the sun. My mind was spared the usual routine jokes and questions (about others; never about me, I feel inclined to add). That Radio was still blasting away but I was unable to hear it.

PEACE!

Solitude!

And a sense of freedom in my escape from a routine that had dogged me for precisely two-years. 🙂

I’m a little concerned by what might happen in the winter time (if I’m still working here) but, I’ve survived longer lunch breaks and college in the past. I can do it again. I must keep looking after myself! This is one way in which I can combat the ‘noise’ at work. Now, I wonder what I can do about my home life, living with family…?

Abuse Without Excuse

This post comes as a response to recent events within the life of a close friend of mine. I haven’t known her that long but, from the initial online conversations, I felt as though something was ‘off’ with her relationship and that appears to match the criteria for Emotional Abuse. Six months later, I learned on one frightful night that the abuse was also physical. Yet, through fear and insecurity (I presume), she was back under his fist less than 48 hours after finding the strength to escape.

On Friday night, I received a message out of the blue, where she admitted that she was in an abusive relationship and asked for my help. She didn’t say whether anything had happened that night and there were long delays between other replies. I naturally offered to help, I told her I wasn’t far away and, although she suggested that she ‘might’ need an escape, well, she stayed there for the night and I’ve barely heard from her since.

Refuge – UK charity for women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.

That’s a brief synopsis of the situation I’m witnessing. In this post, I’d like to share some of my thoughts and concerns over helping a friend through and out of such a situation.

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Three Months Waiting

I really should try to sit down properly and write a poem on this but, I’m also afraid of getting too deeply involved in it all, just when I feel I might be beginning to find my way to cope with the news of the engagement from a few weeks ago.

It’s been exactly three-months to the day (although, that was a Saturday), since May and I last met in person (this discounts the one occasion a few weeks ago where I believe I drove past her as she walked along the pavement with her brother…). I am sorry that we’ve not been able to meet up in this time, even though she has suggested that it could’ve happened at several points.

This post really isn’t about me… I still have my fears for her and, however much I try to distance myself from her, I cannot shake away my concerns. Again, I’m reluctant to take any of this personally or to heart, as I have no reason to believe that she has seen any of her other friends in that time and, I’m still asking myself, why?

There’s not a lot that I could do, whatever the true situation may be. I know she was well aware of this ‘unhealthiness‘ when we first met (she told me as much) but, it’s sad to see her suspected slide back down in to the same old state.

We’ve actually had a rather promising and productive week, as friends. Just as I’m trying to distance myself by not messaging her too often (I know that sounds cold), a text arrives to say how scared she is about a certain incident. She came straight to me, ahead of anyone else. I could question why she didn’t contact her fiancée but, I was delighted to be able offer reassurance. She then replied to say how she knew that she could only really get the best opinion from me. Well, okay, if do you say so… 😀

But, as soon as I turned to the question of whether she’d like to meet up soon (no date, no suggestions) – silence. Message read, without reply. Hmmmm…

Yesterday morning, I decided to send her a short story she had asked about a week or two earlier. It’s more of a first-person journal entry from my perspective of the day we first met. But, over 2,000 spread across three A4 pages, nonetheless!! I was concerned she might get the wrong impression over some of my views but, she read it straight away and loved it! She even had the acute audacity to remind me that I’d forgotten at least one event from the day (I could recall a second as well).

Maybe it’s just women… (No offence intended towards anyone!) You can’t love them, you can’t live with them and, it’s not even that straight-forward being friends with them…. 😳

(Of course, I am joking but, it helps to show that my mood is in better spirits this evening. ;-))

‘Good Afternoon’

I wanted to include this somewhere in my previous post about the trip to Bath today but, it wouldn’t fit.

As I was walking around the perimeter of a playing field, I passed a young (mid-to-late 30s) couple walking with their daughter. The man never spoke a word and I couldn’t make eye contact with any one of them after the initial glance but, as we passed, the woman greeted me with a ‘Good afternoon‘. I responded with an undignified ‘Hi…‘, while trying to awkwardly smile at the ground.

Then, the daughter did the exact same thing as I walked past her (I guess they breed good manners in their family – or, is it true what I’ve heard about people from Bath… ;-)). Again, I uttered nothing more than a discreet ‘Hi…‘, while trying to force a believable smile that only the fallen leaves would see.

She then approached her mother – “He only says hi!“, as if to suggest that she needs a break from her elocution lessons! I didn’t her the mother’s response and I’m not going to place a judgement on them by contemplating anything more. I’ll take it as I first heard it and try to maintain a genuine smile, if only hidden inside the walls of my skull. 🙂

…I’m more concerned by the way in which the woman attempted to greet me, even though I was clearly looking downwards, in the hope of avoiding even the slightest form of confrontation. No-one else even muttered a word to me (apart from the ‘tramp’ who wanted his photo taken)… But, I think we’re all a little bit awkward in those situations. Most people go for a walk to get away from stressful situations.

Come to think of it, why was the little girl off school? I saw another couple of girls playing with their two dogs and mother in another field. Some kids were being walked home from school as I made my way back to the car park but clearly, not all children in Bath were at school today…

What I Didn’t See…

There was something I forgot to mention at the foot of my last post…

I mentioned that traffic was having to be diverted around Bristol to account for the ‘safety checks on rocks’ being performed around the Avon Gorge. This meant I had to take a detour home and, I decided to head in a direction passing through Clifton, but slightly different to the way I came in through Bristol.

Anyway, I ended up driving past the Zoo and, as I did I could’ve sworn I recognised an unhappy couple…

I remember feeling this intense pain and a moment of genuine shock the minute I saw them. Her hair was the same and the guy looked quite similar as well. But then, I realised that her face was wrong – it was someone else after all! 😀 I didn’t look closely at the guy so, I can’t assume it was him anyway (he looks like a lot of people in their mid-to-late 30s, if you ask me). That physical pain was something though. It was much stronger than what I felt yesterday afternoon. I’ve never had a panic attack (that I’m aware of) and I fear it could’ve been the beginning of one…

I’m glad I recognised that it definitely wasn’t her or else, I’d be afraid I was going nuts!! 🙂