Monday, August 8, 2022

Nana's Visit to the UK

Its been 2 years since my mom had the opportunity to see Henry (thanks Covid) since he was born. Hes definitely grown up and become a little tiddle toddler. 

The last few months we've been living day to day life, but just with a Nana in the picture, although we did manage to get out and have little mini adventures to make the most of her time here. 

There was only a period of like 2-3 weeks where we caught covid and had to isolate. First I got it, then mama, and we couldn't have Mush for a full 2 weeks! That was probably the toughest part of the visit--not having Henry around. Luckily, through us getting it, and then his dad, Granny and uncle Tony getting seemed like the little man came off unscathed. 

After the covid period of things, we were able to go have fun while Nana was here. 

We went to the Beach ⛱️ 

First time at the beach went swimmingly well! Henry liked to hang out in the tide pools (just like mama) and look at all the sea creatures and the flow of the water. He was less impressed with the actual ocean. In fact, he was scared that mama even went into the ocean for a little dip. Something to work up to.

He did however love digging in the sand, splashing about in the tide pools, and of cream. The boy loves chocolate, but he won't say no to a Mr Whippy vanilla ice cream cone. 

We also went to the Safari Park TWICE! Once with just the three of us (Nana, Mama, and Mush), and once with Auntie Lua and Uncle Simon. 

The first time we went was good when we got to the park, but since we did the drive through last Henry was asleep for most of the safari. 

The second time we went we made sure to do the drive through safari bit first. Henry was sat in the back seat with Simon and Lucie and loved looking at all the animals. However, he was ABSOLUTELY not keen on having the window rolled down and the animals getting too close. Even when I rolled my window down and the Antelopes and Zebras etc got too close to me, he was a bit scared of mama getting hurt. After a few minutes, he got used to the animals coming close to the car, but even towards the end, he didn't want HIS window down and the animals getting too close to HIM. 

Through the two visits we discovered that Henry LOVES the Lemurs, and feeding the Lorikeets. 

Besides those few major excursions, we got out and about and had lots of fun in the sun, making the most of our 30-40°c weather! Parks, Cafes, Shopping, Walks, Puzzlewood, Blue Elephant Play Cafe, pool time in the garden, etc

When it got way too hot, after being in the pool during the 'cooler' hours of the days, Mush even decided that it was time to get in some hard work mowing the living room...butt naked. LOL 

Puzzlewood was another successful venture. I think he managed near enough 2 hours wandering through the forest trails before becoming too tired. Can't wait to go back there again. 

There was some indoor play as well, since the weather got a bit too much for little ones. There was even a day that Henry had to come home early from Nursery because of the high temperature warning (fyi....most places do NOT have air conditioning in the UK so it was a bit dangerous having littles in a stuffy room during the hottest part of the day).

Its was weird for my mom only having Henry half of the time (the joys of seperated parents and shared care arrangements), but she busied herself with crafts, and we went out together when we didnt have Henry. 

A few nights we went out to the Cinema, we went out to eat, and had a few days of shopping and touring around little English towns. I introduced her to Axe throwing, and we had an all around good time. 

Mom was also here for Fourth of July, so her and the ex-pat (Me) made sure to have Burgers for dinner. 

And of course, Mom and the cat got on famously. I always say that mom becomes Charlie's favorite human while shes here. She doesnt pester him for cuddles as much as i do  :p

We did manage to get in a few 'trips'--day trips and a few overnights -- so we could do a few things together without having to figure out taking Mush and all his paraphernalia. One of those times we went to London to see the new Cinderella musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber before it left the West End. 

We went to a few towns just outside of London on the way to the airport, so we got to see Windsor (not just the Castle) and Marlow and see the locks operate on the River Thames. 

Now Mush and i resume normal life. Its been great having Nana around, especially when i needed a Mush-free moment to just be me instead of Mama. Being mom to a toddler is tough work, but luckily i had my mom here to help me through some of those terrible two tantrums. 

Now we just have to gear up for the next adventure.....getting my little man on his first airplane ride so he can visit his American cousins, aunties and uncles for the first time 😪

Monday, April 18, 2022


Emotional abuse is the hardest categorisation of abuse to spot, but to those who have been through it--its easier to recognize. To those who haven't had the displeasure of experiencing it first hand, or even for those who are in denial it can be alot harder to convince someone that you've been through a trumatic abusive cycle. 

One of the most frustrating victim blaming phrases I've come acorss was "If it is so bad, then why didn't you leave before". 

There's a saying from my childhood that got tossed around quite alot "I don't know what I don't know". Stop. Read that again, and let it sink in, cause it's true.  Hindsight is a fickle thing, especially for me. I constantly beat myself up and think 'why didn't i see/realize this before', and the simple fact of the matter is, before I didn't know. I know things now, and it's easy to see, but at the time I was none the wiser. 

The fact if the matter is that I did try to leave my abusive relationship once before. Probably around 2016, when we had a group of 'friends' that were no good for us, I was done. I was ready to pack up and leave back to America and call it quits. 

After an evening out at a Charity Ball, I got very distraught by my abusers' behavior. I sulked alone outside the party cause I didn't feel he or our 'friends' gave a crap about me. I got drunk, got tired of the party and just walked home by myself when I said to him I wasn't having fun and wanted to go home. The cavalier attitude I got in return ignited a rage in me. I locked up the flat for the night, and the next morning proceeded to bag up all his clothes and throw them out the front door. I wanted one of three things at this point and I really didn't care which way it went: I wanted him gone, or i wanted to move back to America, or I'd rather kill myself and save the embarassment of having to move back home and admitting i failed at life. 

In Hindsight, I see that as the first time I tried to end the relationship. But of course, he apologised, said all the right things to get back into my good graces and we were back to being in that honeymoon love phase. Abusers are great at manipulating the cycle back in their favor. 

Over the past few months, whenever any sort of thought has come into my mind in hindsight that could explain things I couldn't see in the relationship at the time, I've been cateloguing them as journal entries on an app. I'd like to share some of them now....

January 16th, 2022

Statements that seem normal if said one or two times, but when they're constant its feels judgemental and controlling. 'You're hands are SO cold.' (Every time i washed my hands in the middle of the night, then came back to bed. If i cuddled or touched him-even on accident or subconsciously-he'd recoil so it felt like constant rejection. I found myself actively trying to warm my hands before i got into bed to please him.) 'You're wearing makeup, you look nice' Or 'You're hair is down. I like you with your hair down' (sounds complementary, but there is an underlying tone of i only like you when you look the way I want you to look.) 'You should [insert physical activity here]' (walk, bike ride, yoga, pole...pushing me to exercise always felt like his priority for me, not mine. Combined with how weight obsessed he was with himself...)

January 28th, 2022
In hindsight im thinking of more and more things that i would or wouldnt do to appease Rob. Some things he would outright tell me what i can or cant do, but most of the time it years of conditioning(aka him expressing his interest or disinterest in stuff i did or said and i subconciously would curb my actions to suit him):

* he didnt like our cat sleeping in the same room as it became habit to shut the bedroom door or lock the cat elsewhere in the house. The same could not be said for dogs-he loves dogs and whenever we looked after his mums dog(slept at her house overnight, lived with her, etc) the door stayed open so the dog could wander in if they wanted to. 
* i got into the habit of wearing old tatteted clothes for years (so long as they fit) and rarely bought anything new for myself because Rob was perpetually buying new clothes for himself and i felt like he obviously needed them more than i did. If i did buy new clothes, i would make sure it was something Rob liked based on opinions hes had on my wardrobe previously.
* at some stage in our relationship i tried to wear more makeup and style my hair down (instead of my default of no makeup and putting my hair in a ponytail) because hes rarely told me I look nice or given me a compliment and it was usually when i sporadically did something with my hair or makeup. Ie: i wouldnt have a hairtie, so id leave my hair down,but Rob said he liked my hair down and so i tried to have it down more.
* whenever we went away, slept in a different bed and even in a new house, he always claimed the side of the bed furthest from the door. I asked him about it one time out of curiosity and found out it had to do with his fear of being closest to the door if an oncoming attacker broke into our room. By default, any attacker would come to my side of the bed first. When i found out i think i made a joke about protecting him, thinking nothing of it at the time, but now im thinking it was more about his self preservation.

Feb 1st, 2022

Thinking back further and further to determine when the emotional abuse all started.... When i miscarried and no support was there....2021 When my dad died and it was just another fun holiday back to California for Rob while the rest of the family grieved...2018 When i was diagnosed with anxiety/depression and started meds....2016 When Lindsey and Greg were our our friends and that made us toxic,almost ending up with me leaving the relationship (the 1st attempt)....2014 When i got my Indefinite leave to remain,and my driving licence.. was doing well in my own job and making my own friends at i didnt "need" him anymore...2013 When we got Charlie and i was more obsessed over the cat than him....2012 Anytime ever that i did nanowrimo and the attention was taken off of him....2012-2020. The more i think about it, the more i see smiles fading away around the 1-2 year mark in old pictures.... the more i think the relationship started to die in small amounts only a year or two after it started.

Feb 5th, 2022

This morning as i was taking a shower i remembered something. I was thinking about safety Henry is upstairs with me, the stairgate is locked, Henry cant get into anything dangerous and the door to the bathroom is open in case i hear him get into anything. Since Henry was born, i havent closed the bathroom door for several so i can keep an ear out for him, two he can come in if he needs me, and three so he can watch and learn from my behaviors...washing self, going potty, washing hands, etc. Looking at the door i remembered the only time ive ever closed the bathroom door was when i wanted to be by myself and take a bath or something. Usually it would happen when rob and i had a fight, or he upset me in some way and i wanted to be alone. I would go to the bathroom and lock the door so i could be left alone. Somewhere along the way, Rob discovered that he could bypass the deadbold lock by turning the bolt on the outside with a coin to unlock it. He would purposefully "break in" instead of respecting me and giving me my privacy.

Feb 12th, 2022

When we moved into the house, i was semi excited to have neighbors and be a part of a community. Rob expressed that hed rather not have any interaction with people just because hes used to not doing so. his mum is the same that she'd rather live in a country house and not have neighbors and just have herself and her family as company unless she wanted it otherwise. Selective isolation in a way. Rob is somewhat the same way just because hes grown up in country houses and is used to that type of seclusion. However, rob is the type of guy that can chat for england, so when a neighbor would say hi, he would politely turn on the pub bartender charm and keep chatting to appear friendly and approachable. In hindsight i see i started a habit of not chatting, or feeling awkward and anxious about talking with neighbors, with or without rob there, i think because subconciously i knew he didnt want to make friends with the neighbors so i did as much as i can to discourage interaction and when i did interact i felt awkward, almost guilty because i was going against what Rob initially wanted. The only reason i see this now is because i had a conversation with my neighbor Dave a week ago and i was more than happy to keep on chatting freely with him. even though i had henry and had things to do when we got in, i was happy to pass the time cause it didnt feel so awkward. The only difference....its not up to rob if i make good relationships with my neighbors. Cause he doesnt live here.

March 7th, 2022

I remember a time after we moved into this house, that i was coming downstairs from using the bathroom or something and all i could see before i turned the light in the bathroom off was a figure crawling on all fours up the stairs in the dark towards me. I had a full break down, crying tears, scared for my life panic attack. Through sobs i had to steady my breath enough to tell a laughing Rob why that was 100% not okay. How frightened i was, how scary that was for me to see something i couldnt recognize crawling up the stairs in the dim then dark light. He continued to laugh while i cried hysterically and protested that it was just a joke...ligthen up... you could see it was me... why are you so scared... Stop crying.

March 23rd, 2022

I went through a phase when we rented our first flat of wanting to burn incense or have reed diffusers around the house to make it feel relaxed and homely. It made me so happy to do it, until Rob expressed how much he hated it and how it sets off his asthma. Hes mildely asthmatic, but i respected his wishes and packed away all my stuff never to use it again. Its only now that im able to burn scented candles and essential oils that i remembered how much joy it brought me before Rob put a stop to it. 

Another thing was that i had all sorts of jewelry that i had been given over the years, some from ex boyfriends who im still friends with. I cant remember if Rob expressed that he didnt want me wearing them, or if i felt like i was 'cheating' by wearing something an ex gifted me but somewhere along the way i stopped wearing those pieces of jewellery. Ive begun wearing a particular gold ring with a tourmaline crystal in it again, which was a gift from an ex boyfriend and its become a staple of my everyday outfit again. 

Another time, when a friend of mine was visiting, we ended up going into a shop in Gloucester called Spellbound. It has all sorts of witchy stuff, but i took a shine to a little Blue Howlite crystal which was supposed to help with dream recall. Over the years i stopped remembering my dreams and so i thought it was perfect...and even if it was all in my head, the stone was a pretty blue so i bought it. I was so excited and i was telling Rob about the properties of the crystal and how it works. I 'charged' the stone in the moonlight, then put the stone underneath my pillow as instructed. I started slowly to recall my dreams which was nice, but the thing i remember most was that Rob could recall his dreams as well, cause he would tell me about his dreams when he woke up when i told him about mine. I cant remember when it happened, but after using the crystal for a while, Rob kept making snide comments about "i had another bad dream last night. Did you put that thing under you pillow again?" Subsequent comments of how he didnt like it and i was locking it away in a box, never to be used again. Ive only recently gotten this out of storage and started using it again. I know alot of this could be put down to "it was your choice to do [X]" but its the fact that little comments of displeasure/ discomfort/ annoyance... things like this actively influenced my choices. I felt i was being considerate of my partner and listening to what he needed, but in hindsight i feel like i was being bullied into submission indirectly.

April 3rd, 2022

Being afraid of reprimand if i did anything wrong to any of our material possessions. Rob was all about material posessions. The show, the things mattered to his persona. Brand names, the latest model of some tech, increasing value on things he owned so theyd be worth more in the future. For me it was always about living comfortably, not living with the newest shiniest thing to show off. But Rob would. He would yell at the cat for stractching at the carpet in the living room. Eventually, i started yelling at the cat for scratching at the carpet cause it displeased rob. If i spilled some coffee on the sofa, or caught the wing mirror of the car on a hedge, or got a parking fine, or broke a mug while washing up, or Henry broken something/ruined something on accident.... i wouldnt want to tell Rob. I would be afraid of telling him, for fear of being judged. When i eventually did tell him, or he found out about something i did. I would be so overcome with anxiety that i wouldnt be able to get the words out because it would make me cry so much thinking i would upset him.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Emotionally Drawn and Quartered

There's alot I can't say in a public forum yet (divorce proceedings and all that), but I needed to return to this outlet because lately I've felt so emotional that I can't contain it anymore. 

The tradgedy of Empaths is that we feel so intensely and deeply, that it's hard to protect ourselves when that emotion is stored without any way of releasing it. Writting/blogging is one of the ways I release all the built up, undealt with emotions that get stored within me. 

Above is a depiction of the horrendous act of being 'Drawn and Quartered'. Emotionally this is where I'm at. It's the most poetic way I can explain my current state without getting into details--I'm being emotionally drawn and quartered. 

And on top of all the mental, emotional, cerebral loads I carry, I've also been ill the past 6 weeks. (Side note, this has also contributed to the emtional load...thinking that 'oh lord, do I have COVID?' and blowing through all of my lateral flow tests in an almost daily anxiety feuled panic to make sure I don't and that I'm not spreading it to others while I go about my daily life). 

No, I don't have Covid. But for about 3 weeks (without realizing it until it got so bad I sought medical help) I had tonsilitis. 10 days of Antibiotics and I felt better, except I still had a cough, 'Oh well, it must be residual, i should just carry on.' Turns out that although the antibiotics took care of the Tonsilitus, they weren't effective enough to catch a secondary bacterial infection of Sinusitus. I wish I was making this up. I'm not. So, I'm back on antibiotics once again, more widespread ones that can kick it all this time, hopefully.

The reason I'm explaining this, is because as well as having to go through big life descisions and big life changes, my body decides to go on strike and I haven't been able to get a respite between everything I'm going though for quite some time. 

The thing that happens when you get sick is you rest, you get better, but when you're a mom, you are expected to run normally like clockwork despite your body failing you. When I'm not trying to keep up with a tantrumous toddler whist being ill, I'm still trying to manage a household, work for a living, and getting my life shit together. When is there time to rest? When is there time to get better? just have to carry on. 

So that is where I am at. I'm being pulled in all different directions and without an outlet I'm going to snap into quarters. And now that I've brain dumped....I'm going to sleep, because when I wake, it starts all over again. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

All I want for Christmas is Me

I'm not even sure who I'm writing this for yet, but its come apparent to me that there are people in my wider atmosphere that may not know what has been going on in the life of Jenny Mac. 

The last 6 months have been some of the toughest days of my life and to be completely frank, I have gone through some shit. 

There are people in my day to day life who know all the intimate details effecting my life. Some of my family know, but since ive been so emotionally distraught and overwhelmed this has come all from 2nd hand sources instead of me explaining what im going through. Then there are those who might have seen things ive posted on instagram, which has become my outlet for being heard and bringing awareness of issues to my 'followers'. 

Now I'm not a 'social influencer' by any means, but I like to put into the world what I get out of it. Particularly when it comes to collective knowledge-- meaning if I have living knowledge of something that happens to be a taboo issue I WANT to share it with friends, family, and those I don't even know because someone else might be dealing with similar issues and there is power in knowledge. So I share my personal experiences, not only to get things off my chest, but to help those who might need it. 

[Side Note: I was DMing an old friend of mine who had recently had a baby girl and sharing any sleeping/feeding/mom helping tips I could because I felt the urge to give back to the Universe. Take those things I've learned in my short 2 years of motherhood and give back to someone who needs it. And The thing I will never forget is her saying 'Thank you, I needed to hear that.' So I know it works...sharing experiences and passing on knowledge. It's what helps us grow as a collective.]

        So here's the naked truth:  after 10 years it seems like the marriage I committed myself to is irretrievably broken. After 10 years of making excuses, turning a blind eye and refusing to see the writing on the wall, I have admitted to myself that I have been the survivor of an emotionally abusive relationship.

The strange thing is, that because I wasn't openly being called malicious names all the time and I wasn't at the receiving end of angry verbal abuse or threats...I never copped on to being abused. This kind of abuse was more subtle, manipulative, and in no way less than any other type of domestic abuse, and I see that now. 

I've looked at Women's Aid, googled certain phrases that I've come across in my findings and it shocked me how much these things ran true to my circumstances. I've expressed my findings to friends, to make sure I'm not just making things up and they've observed some of the signs independently because I feel like my partner, my closest companion was gaslighting me (more on that a bit later). I've had several conversations with professionals (social workers, Support workers, GPs, Councillors, etc) where my suspicions have also been confirmed- I've been emotionally abused. 

That knowledge was the hardest thing for me to overcome. 
I've been abused. 
How could I have been abused? 
How could I be so stupid not to see it? 
Am I weak? 
Surely I would have known if I'd been abused. This makes me a useless empath. 
I can't even see what's going on in front of my face.
Maybe I deserve what I got because I was so oblivious to see it.

Luckily I have some amazing friends who help me see the reality of my situation. I am NOT weak. I am a loving, trusting individual who wouldn't expect someone I care about to stab me in the back so heinously. These friends reminded me that I am a strong, confident, independent women. They reminded me that I am better than my weakest points and that I will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes to be born anew, and stronger than before because I've been forged in fire. 

There are a certain group of my friends who have become such a support network to me in the last few years that I no longer even think of them as friends. They are my family. They are the people I trust most in the entire world besides my own blood, who can't always be there for me since they live back in America. 

I think that's something that clued me in first to my circumstances. When the person I trust and love the most in the entire world isn't my marital partner, something is off. I stopped feeling love. I started feeling used--for my body, for my knowledge, for the things I could do for him, for the convenience of being a wife.  

To quote a joke my abuser has said many times, "I don't like you. I like the IDEA of you."

It's those type of encouraging comments that turned my closest friends into my confidents instead of confiding in someone closer to home - like a husband. 

It's the reason I sought refuge with many of my friends throughout this summer and fall. In my darkest days, I couldn't count on the one person I'm supposed to, to be my rock. Instead I made a support network out of my nearest and dearest friends. They have housed me, fed me, lending an ear to my woes, offered solicited advice, distracted me for a time, and taken me and Henry in as if we were flesh and blood. 

I mean, lets be honest it's not hard to love that little man. Even when he has a vacant expression of confusion on his face, everyone he comes in contact with loves him. I pour my heart and soul into caring for that little man and I wish that he could feel the same love from his father, but having experienced what I have, it's all I can do to protect him from any fate I have suffered. I have seen him being blatantly ignored for a mobile device, a TV program, or any other distraction multiple times and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart even when daddy isn't around... the amount of times I see a father and a son playing (on television, in a social setting like a park or soft play centre) and I think "That's it. That is the love I want for my boy."...well, there have been alot of those times. 

I'm grateful to the people I have met who have included my son in play, and treated Henry with the kindness, patience and enthusiasm that I think he deserves. [Another side note: The last time Henry and I went to Play planet there was a dad and his son--probably 4 or 5 ish I'd say--that were rough housing in one of the play areas. The dad saw how shy and tentative Henry was around people (he still is bless him, I blame covid mentality) so he softened and encouraged Henry to play with him and his son--talked to him, tried to include him in the fun. I didn't know this guy. It wasn't creepy. It was kind and my heart swelled that there are good male figures out there for Henry to look up to.]

Henry has become my whole entire world since he was born. I thought that I was loosing myself when I became a mother, but I'm starting to realize now that I may have been manipulated. After Henry was born, I felt a duty to 'get back into fighting form' when it came to my lady bits, and I think I 'gave in' to having sex before I was ready because it's what my husband wanted (to feel loved). I was never 'raped' as such, but i did feel this tremendous amount of pressure daily to be intimate once again. 

It took me months to feel confident enough to give it a go and even then, the first time, and actually quite a few times after that it felt odd, not right, just not what I wanted. But I was doing my duty as a wife to be sensitive to how my husband was feeling neglected after having a baby and so I gave in and put my needs aside for the 'greater good'. 

A fat lot of good that did. And I want to retrospectively kick my subservient ass for being that way.  

Instead of focusing on my own needs and desires I was so focused on those around me. Babies take up most of a new mothers time, then there's the husband feeling neglected.... I completely lost who I was as a person. So, I tried to find my way back....

I started firmly implementing self care. I made sure I had time to myself. And I thought really hard about what makes me happy, what makes me sad, etc. I started to really think about my life and where I could make some changes to have a better life balance. 

I made weekly lists of what things I could do for Henry, for myself, for the marriage to help me focus on balancing my life instead of instantly putting all my energy into one aspect of my life. I wanted to make a conscious effort to respect and give attention to the parts f my life that fell to the wayside after having a child--mostly self love, and the love in my marriage.

That's when I started noticing elements of my life that didn't add up. 

Very slowly, from being in tune with myself, I noticed behaviours' around me that made me feel off. Comments have been said overtime, actions have spoken much louder than words, in fact they've written whole essays about the warning signs that should have been obvious. 

Sometimes they were anyone but me. I've spoken to friends who recall the first time they met my husband and being very British, never wanted to say anything about their first impressions before because I was in that 'honeymoon phase' and they didn't want to shatter my perception. I wish they would have, because maybe I would have saved myself years of torment. 

I have realized over time, through thinking back to different points in my life where things might have started to go wrong. It's very difficult to say when the dynamic of the relationship changed because it was subtly slipped in over time, like the Crime Drama Trope of poisoning someone's food for years so it goes undetected but its still effective. Under scrutiny, I've been able to pinpoint some moments in my life here in England where there has been a shift. 

2012 - When we gained new 'Couples' friends who we were really close with, there was a shift from banter to bullying. We picked up on some pretty toxic behaviours and it wasn't until we ended these friendships that we realized how toxic we because in our relationship. I had hoped we moved on from it, but I think this is when the gaslighting began.

2013 - When I gained my Indefinitely Leave to Remain Visa, there was a shift in confidence. I suddenly felt more secure in myself being allowed to live and work in the UK without limitations. Looking back at photos in our first few years of marriage, it seems like there was a definite shift in mood in my abuser too. I can only speculate, but it seems like he might have been unhappy because I was finding my place in the world, where he stayed static. 

2014- When I gained a new hobby (Pole Dancing), there was a shift in how I was treated (either an embarrassment, or a prize, depending on the mood of my abuser). Some days I was treated like the 'hot sexy wife', the prize to be won, the pretty thing put on a pedestal, someone he could brag to his friends about. While other times, it felt like my hobby got disregarded: didn't want to watch my performances, comment on the way I'm dressed, the amount of money I spend on classes, etc 

2016- When I was assessed for anxiety and depression & went on anti-depressants. This was a tipping point. It came from the fall out of the three events above and the way life was after the first few years of marriage, then the floodgates of Major Life Events opened.....

2017- When there was a massive evet that spiked my social anxiety....
2018- When my father died...
2019-When I was pregnant/gave birth...
2020-When a pandemic started....
2021-When I miscarried....

All the way up to now....When I realized that the last 6 years have hit me with one distraction after another to blind me from reality. I probably haven't experienced a healthy marriage since 2012, after the honeymoon phase. It took me having a baby, some self care, some tough love, and a miscarriage during a pandemic to kick off this thought process of looking deep within to find the root of my problems. 

What I do know is that I have been unhappy without realizing it. I am not happy being a doormat for someone to use and abuse just to make themselves and their life feel better. I refuse to accept the abuse any longer and so I am standing up for myself and putting a stop to the abuse. My abuser refuses to see that the behaviour is abusive and continues on as normal. I know that I will not be happy if I live in the same house as my abuser. 

At the start of November, after one of the worst weeks of my life and putting plans in place to safeguard myself, I spoke up to my abuser and expressed that the three days we spent apart were the best I'd felt in a long time and that I'd feel happier separated. That night, he moved in with his mother and Henry and I stayed in the family home. 

I have seen a HUGE improvement in myself. My family, friends and those closest to me have told me how much better, happier, healthier I look and that my mood and demeaner have changed drastically for the better over the past month. I have also noticed subtle differences in Henry and the way he acts when he's at home. Whether that is to do with managing expectations or just a happier mum equalling a happier baby I'll never know, but I can surmise that I have done right by him and I've done right by myself. 

There is a long road ahead of me in rediscovering who 'Jenny' is, but I have come on leaps and bounds already and I cannot wait to actually start living my life. 

To quote some song lyrics (because you know I love a good song lyric) here has been a representation of my roller-coaster of emotions while figuring all this out: 

"When I'm away from you, I'm happier than ever."-Billie Eilish

"I say 'yes' too many times, now it's 'No, No, No'. Told you, I'm no longer under your control. No I'm not the kind of girl I was before. Can't walk over me no more." -Little Mix

"Your love feels so fake. My demands aren't hard to make." -Billie Eilish 

"Tell me how you're sleeping easy. How you're only thinking of yourself. Show me how you justify telling all your lies like second nature. Listen, mark my words one day you will pay, you will pay. Karma's gonna come collect your debts. Maybe you'll change, abandon all your wicked ways, make amends and start anew again. Maybe you'll see, all the wrongs you did to me, and start all over." -Set it Off

"Is my value based only on your perception? Or is your opinion of me, not my responsibility." -Billie Eilish 

"Maybe I'm too emotional. Apathy's like a wounded soul. Maybe I'm too emotional. Maybe you never cared at a damn sociopath" -Olivia Rodrigo

"You made me feel so high, babe, then crushed me to the ground, babe." -Baekhyun

"I'm in love with my future. Can't wait to meet her. I'm in love but not with anybody else. Just want to get to know myself. I know supposedly I'm lonely now. Know I'm supposed to be unhappy without someone, but aren't I someone?" -Billie Eilish