mckarlie

I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Adjusting expectations

I spent years in emotional turmoil, my Mother issues were rampant, so were my Daddy issues to be fair. I was just so angry at my Mother, so angry at my Stepfather, so angry at my cousin, so angry at my husband. Everyone had let me down and I was pissed. True, my Mother let some pretty terrible shit happen to me when I was younger, my Stepfather has done some pretty terrible shit to me when he’s been drunk and raucous, and my husband and I have had our issues but I held onto every little slight, and let it fester.

I would look at my friends and the relationships they have with their Mothers and I would feel this ache in my gut, such sadness that I will never have that. After not talking to my Mother and extended family for about 3 years we started seeing each other again a year ago, and I’ve learned a lot in this year: if you expect the world from someone they will surely let you down.

Basically, i realized that i was holding people to an impossible standard and expecting them to jump through hoops because of their previous fuck ups towards me. I had to let go of the past, the anger and the pain and realize that yeah, my Mother and I will never have a normal relationship but who says we need a normal relationship? Why can’t we just be what we are, slightly dysfunctional but both trying our best. She tries her best with my kids and they really enjoy the sunday night dinners we have at her house, we don’t really do much else together but that’s ok, dinner once a week and the occasional lunch or shopping trip is enough for me now, now that i’ve lowered my expectations.

I guess at some point we are faced with the question of whether we can let go or not, and until very recently my answer would have been no, but thankfully i’ve started uprooting the pain that has itself so deep inside my psyche, it’s a work in progress but it’s so so worth it. I was so scared to let go of the anger and pain because I feared there would be nothing left, no link to my Mother at all, but instead there is love and understanding and patience. Just let go.

Advertisements
5 Comments »

When does supporting become enabling?

It’s amazing what you can learn about yourself from observing those closest to us. Recently, as my two girls have merged into ‘tween’ territory (i have great disdain for the word “tween” but it is what it is) and i have found myself navigating their moods much like a minefield. I empathize with their plight i truly do, they have these immense moods where they simply can’t control themselves, they are sad for no particular reason or aloof and distant just because, difficult and bitchy – a lot of which i am myself at times, and i consider these traits those of my ‘bipolar self’. Either way, i get what they’re going through and try to be as supportive as i can be, but then there comes a time where sweetness isn’t what’s called for, sometimes you have to get a little tough and call them on their bullshit. Not often, but sometimes. All this makes me question the relationships that people have with their mentally ill loved ones.

I’m not claiming that all mentally ill people are bitchy and aloof and distant, i can only speak for myself and my observations of loved ones but there are definitely some parallels between a lot of mental illnesses and the effects of puberty on the young brain.

My chappy and i have been dealing with my illness together for over 13 years, i have always wondered if i would have the strength to stay with me if i were him and i probably wouldn’t but he has stayed with me through my lowest of lows and haziest of craziest days. He isn’t an emotional person by any stretch but he does his best to support me, but it has occurred to me that support can very easily slither into enabling a person not to try or be better or be brilliant. Sometimes we need our loved ones to kick us in the arse when we’re unable to see our own silliness, which then poses the question: when do you decide to stop supporting and start well, ‘motivating’?

I know for myself, that at times my mental illness means that i simply can’t function very well. I do the basic bare minimum and just get by. Some days it takes all my strength to just exist, it may sound lame but it’s true. Sometimes the sadness and grief and emptiness compounds so desperately that i feel i might not make it.
Then other times, i’m down but not out but i lack any semblance of motivation. I could quite easily stay on the sofa for a month at these times, if i wasn’t a mum and partner, if i lived by myself i sometimes wonder what state i’d be in at times. So basically, i think we need to learn what is what with our loved one. We need to figure out when they are just so low that they need nothing but our love and support, and when they are just down and need us to help pull them out with some form of motivation.When we need to hold them and tell them it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to be whatever you need to be and when we need to say ‘hey, get your butt off the couch’. It may sound almost impossible but it’s amazing what can be accomplished with communication and observation, i most certainly don’t always get it right myself but i’m trying my best and that’s all any of us can do.

peace xo

8 Comments »

Why do men and women fight?

This question, why men and women fight, has plagued me for some time. Relationships can be tough, we all know this, and yet there’s no definitive answers when it comes to why so many of us find it hard to maintain relationships and why fights happen. There are obviously many options and answers when it comes to this question, but recently during an argument with my man i sat there and analyzed what was happening, what he was doing and why, what i was doing and why and i came to somewhat of a realization: priorities!

Different priorities are often the root cause. If you think about the last few arguments you had with your partner, you can probably trace at least some of the cause to a difference in priorities. Basically, if something is important to me but not deemed as important by him, it causes issues. If he wants to do something and finds it important but i don’t feel the same way, it causes issues. I genuinely believe most problems in relationships boil down to some version of this, different priorities.

I have been married for nearly 13 years now, at the start of the marriage i was still a kid really, packed full of bipolar wonder (many many years before i was diagnosed and understood my patterns of behaviour at all) and ready to take on the world, i got married on my 21st birthday. It was whirlwind to say the least, we had known each other for a while but barely, and then within six months we were ready to walk down the isle. We were married in melbourne and moved to england about six months after the wedding. I was, to say the least, incredibly selfish at the start of the relationship. I was so infatuated with butterflies and this big passionate love and when he disappointed me in any way i turned it into a big drama. The amount of silly fights that ended in me throwing my arms up in the air and declaring ‘i just can’t do this anymore’ was ridiculous. Basically, i had grown up with my mother having a string of dysfunctional relationships so my model of how men and women worked together was skewed. Everything i knew about relationships was either from my mother or movies, probably more so movies, and we all know that movie love is so very very different from how things actually work in life.

Movies teach women that we can act however we want to act and if he really loves us he will fight for us through all of our batshit crazy nonsense. He will stand outside our window with a boombox playing peter gabriel love songs, or he will chase us down at the airport as we’re just about to get on the flight to paris, he will confess his love in front of a mall full of shoppers over the public announcement thingie. You get where i’m going with this, it gives us this sense that love should be manic and passionate and impulsive and a constant battle. If you’re not feeling something big at all times, then something is desperately wrong and it’s not true love. That’s all well and good for movies but it doesn’t help us much in real life.

After a few years of marriage we hit trouble, my behaiour was all over the place because of my silly expectations and ideals and he started to withdraw and play video games more and more. We stopped actually talking to each other, neglected each other and nearly stopped working as a couple all together. Then, something occurred to me. One day i caught myself making an unrealistic demand of him, and thought to myself ‘if he said this to me, how would i feel?’ – this became my new map, a new and better way to navigate my relationship, and it was something as simple as ‘do unto other as you would have them do unto you’ ha, i knew all those years of sunday school would someday have a use to me.

So armed with my new weapon, let’s call it logic, i started to consider my actions towards him more. I tried to put myself in his place, i started to care more about his feelings and the effect i had on his feelings. I had spent so much time concerned with MY happiness and MY love and MY feelings that i didn’t know how to put someone else before myself. But i learned, slowly and with many mistakes, how to monitor his feelings and try to be a loving positive thing in his life instead of a constant stream of stress.

This is not to say i’m the perfect wife, or that i have it all figured out at all. I don’t. But i’m bipolar, and there aren’t many bipolar people who get to have long term marriages, so i must be doing something right somewhere, right?

So i would encourage anyone out there who is having relationship issues or finds themselves arguing a lot with their spouse to have a think about what’s underneath the yelling and screaming and throwing and nonsense, what the REAL reason for the disagreement is. It’s usually something as simple as the other person feeling bad because you don’t care about something that is important to them or feeling like they’re not being heard or respected. It’s easier than you think to show love and respect in a relationship, and as cliche as it may be, communication truly is key. It’s easy to stop trying, to go from arguing to nothing at all because you just can’t be bothered having one more fight, but talking is so important. If we spend a little less time consumed with getting OUR point across or having OUR feelings heard and focus on the other person’s feelings and needs then we will probably have happier love lives. If two people in a relationship are both looking out for the other person’s needs then you have two people looking after each other, which is ultimately the whole point.

Peace xo

Leave a comment »

Bipolar makes relationships so freakin hard

I think it’s the bipolar, i’m sure within myself i see the grey area and am fairly open minded, but bipolar can make things very black or white. My husband and I have been together for 13 years, we have been struggling a bit of late, but the last few months have been really great. I have been trying my absolute best and hardest to make things work and he has been putting in a lot of effort too, but when something comes up and i try to talk to him about it, i get a brick wall. He turns things around and tries to make me the bad guy, i’m not trying to make anyone the bad guy i’m just trying to talk, but i don’t know how much more i can take of this, we haven’t been on truly steady ground for a while now and i wonder just how far down the rabbit hole i’d fall if he wasn’t around. But I don’t know how much longer we can tread water, something’s got to give.

I think my bipolar has affected me in a way in which I am going to be a lonely person, people don’t flock around me as i share my opinions too freely, i don’t edit myself enough i just say what i think, and i can understand how this puts people off side. i have a handful of close friends but there’s only so far a friendship can go, there’s only so much of each others shit you will put up with in a friendship, so yeah, i’m feeling pretty alone.

He’s sitting out there in the lounge right now with the kids, i can’t bare to be in the same room with him at the moment because it makes me want to cry, so i’m hiding away in the bedroom writing and watching tv. Surely my kids have sussed that something is wrong, we usually all do things together, i don’t know what to do.

I’ve cancelled plans we had for today because there’s no way either of us can put a smile on our faces and make it through a social occasion, we aren’t even talking to each other i don’t feel like talking to everyone else and pretending everything is great.

I wonder if i was born with bipolar or if all the messed up shit that happened to me caused it, part of me thinks it’s the latter and i get angry at the people that did those things to me when i was young. i get angry at my mother for letting it happen ’cause now i’m a broken human who can’t make relationships work and who feels completely isolated from the world. Anyway, just my rant, it’s best to get this stuff out.

12 Comments »

Married man with the wandering eye

The place you should have kept me is not the place you did

You put me in a pretty box and placed on it a lid

You told me just the right words so you could make me dance

You seemed to like the attention and adopted my own stance

You told me I was the only one who knew your darkest secrets

But I have a gift for seeing lies and your story, you can keep it

You thought that I was pretty but I belonged to another

So you wormed your way into my life under guise of being a brother

 

You stole my time and thieved my care

I told you my stories I laid it all bare

 

What a crazy game you’ll play finding your next girl

Without a pretty distraction you’d have to focus on your own world

I can’t believe I spent my time on such a man as you

You must have thought me an idiot, devoid of any clue

I’m sorry I ever let you become, part of my life

But most of all I’m sorry for the woman who’s your wife

13 Comments »

A world of me and you

The sun pierces through the blinds, painting railtracks on your skin

I softly nuzzle against you, take a breath and hold you in

Your sweat smells sweet and your body amazing by light

If this were a battle I’d have lost the fight

But angst is not present here I’m at peace by your side

Thoughts of last night flash, of when you were inside

I’m taken back to moments of pure and utter bliss

You mutter in your sleep as though your dreams have gone amiss

I gently stroke your hair and whisper “baby it’s ok”

A smile crosses your lips as though you know what I have to say

I watch you quietly as a mouse your breathing in and out

A surge of love washes over me, the sudden urge to shout

Shout from rooftops or to God above ‘thank you for this man’

Instead I smile quietly and for the day I plan

For I know you’ll be beside me in whatever it is I do

For years it’s been and years to come, a world of me and you

2 Comments »

Angry fists and broken plates – a reading

This is a reading of my poem angry fists and broken plates

If it shows up as “download” just click on the title and on my page there will be an audio bar, no download.

Peace 🙂

Angry fists and broken plates

7 Comments »

The departure of romance

She watches him while he sleeps

My love is mine to keep

If he left I don’t know what I’d do

But it’s ok, my love is true

Months go by, she watches him less

I love my man, I try my best

There’s just the odd thing here ‘n there

But it’s ok it’s enough to bear

Months go by she doesn’t watch at all

But so deeply in love did both of them fall

He used to make her stomach jump

She’d see his face her heart would pump

Faster and faster just seeing him

But now those feelings are growing dim

He didn’t call me once today

I guess he just has nothing to say

She decides to just keep silent

No need for some big argument

Months go by now she can’t stand

The little details of this man

The noise he makes while he eats

Makes me want to tear and beat

I want to slap across his face

When did romance leave this place

They start to argue, constant fights

They’re happening now, every night

She’s had enough she screams and shouts

And of the house she throws her man out

Months go by, she starts to cry

She realizes she forgot to try

She was still in love, it just changed

Romance settled and she became enraged

She thought that less attention meant he didn’t really care

But love was still present just less time was there to spare

Now she’s filled with regret

Over lost love does she fret

She wishes she had let things go

Oh all the things she wishes she’d known

But these mistakes we all must make

True love is patience, give and take

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Angry fists and broken plates

She lovingly prepares his dinner and sits at the table to wait

She watches the minutes tick away, viewing her reflection in a plate

She is looking good, she is looking just right

She’s done everything she could possibly do to avoid another fight

The minutes turn to hours as they quietly slip away

She has waited and prepared and tried her best all day

She’s tired now so she moves, from the table to the couch

Her eyelids are getting heavy, she feels herself begin to slouch

Then suddenly she’s woken, by a great almighty slam

It’s the front door and he’s home, here comes her man

She goes to fetch dinner from the oven, quickly in her pace

He slumps a little then calls her a bitch and slaps her across the face

She feels the sting upon her cheek and says “what have I done?”

He says “I saw you at the shops today, I’m not the only one”

“What on earth are you talking about?” Her mascara begins to run

“I saw you talking to that man, I’ve only just begun”

“That was just the new neighbour” she cowers as she cries

He insists he doesn’t believe her, he can see through her lies

He throws her around the room, to show her who’s in the lead

She’s now bleeding several places, and on her knees she pleads

He tells her that she’s worthless, just another dirty whore

She now just takes his words and fists, treats it as a daily chore

For all the trying she may do, preparing for him to come home

There’s nothing in this world to make his rage dissipate undone

So for the night she takes her knocks, watching as the clock lags

The next morning when he leaves for work she quietly packs a bag

She finally realized it doesn’t matter what she does or says

He will always find an excuse he has so many ways

She leaves a note simply saying “goodbye”

She smiles as she closes the door behind her and let’s out a deepened sigh

3 Comments »

The Myth of Movie Love

The kind of affection you seek, the kind of love you’re chasing

Is that of fairy tales, it will have yourself debasing

The value of your own ideas and notions of true love

Are things you’ve based on movies, no man will ever be enough

I’ll tell you a little secret, best kept between you and I

Movies are made to make money, a business, I tell you no lies

They cater to a fantasy and create an impossible standard

Of this perfect man who loves you, wholly with deep abandon

They tell you to take a man, and fix him to your will

I find the whole idea absurd and quite the bitter pill

Each of us is imperfect, and grand in our design

But they tell you without a man you’ll be anything but fine

Be happy with yourself, find the peace that you may lack

And once you have that sorted out, find someone to have your back

Don’t hold your breath for Romeo or some hero to swoop you up

Once you find a man who’s kind you’ll realize that’s enough

If you expect a life of flowers, hearts and moons

If you expect every moment, your man to make you swoon

You’ll only be met with disappointment, empty you will be

A soul mate is just that, a friend for eternity

Someone who you count on, to pick you up when you are down

Someone who is caring and will prove he’ll stick around

These things are more romantic, than any movie gesture

Analyze your priorities or alone you may well fester

Love isn’t easy and it takes work but it’s worth it in the end

It takes two people willing to try and work and who will bend

7 Comments »