Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Year Tale, A Sorry Tale, A Tale of a Year. A Decade Passing.

I could say what a decade it has been but I won’t. Let me say instead, what a year I have had. Those ten years though…whoa!
The year has thrown up more than a few curve balls. Mum’s illness that started in early January and lasted until May was a harrowing time. She had, since 2009, been suffering with C.O.P.D (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) the bowel blockage and subsequent faecal vomiting really put the black icing on the cake. It was on the 4th January that I got the call from Mum. She sounded in a state of alarm saying she couldn’t stop being sick. Outside the snow was about a foot deep in places, small fry when compared to what Canadians and Russians get but as we seldom have snow here and the suddenness of the storms took Great Britain by surprise. It always does. Together with Jasmine’s help I dug the old Beetle out and drove to Mum’s. The roads were fine but you always get some halfwit who thinks it better to creep along with frequent stops at the faintest suspicion of ice on the roads. The fifteen minute journey took forty five. One guy out walking his dog stopped in front of me to scrape up the excrement his dog had dropped in the centre of the road. It was all so jolly and frightfully British as he grinned inanely at me that I lost it. A string of abuse flew from my mouth. The man fled in a flurry of apologies.

I behaved appallingly, I know I did. I don’t need reminding how bad I was. I remember it all with vivid clarity. I was told that I behaved just as I had as a young man: angry, aggressive, cruel and caustic. But having commented on my unpleasantness it must surely have occurred that I was acting in a manner normal people don’t, in a manner I hadn't for many years and then multiplied five fold.? I had after all asked for help only to be told there were personal issues to deal with and that help from that quarter wasn’t available. Sometimes two heads, two hearts are better than one. Not to be. I was horrid. I felt horrid. It was and still is a horrid time. Saying sorry countless times hasn’t helped. Certain friends didn’t help either chipping in with unkind comments.

When I finally got to Mum’s she looked like death warmed-up. I phoned the NHS Helpline who sent a medic out. He said Mum had gastric flu. She didn’t. What she had could have killed her. Finally an ambulance delivered her into hospital where she was given emergency surgery. After I was told by a sanguine sister that Mum had a fifty fifty chance of making it. Thank the stars she had her god looking down on her, either that or the supreme care given by the medical staff saved her life.
Since then she has improved a little even though her life is not what it was. 
It started when I found I was struggling whenever I visited clients. I would break out in a sweat. I would feel clammy and very odd. Sometimes I had to make up excuses as to why I was sweating so profusely. "I was late and had to run." Eventually, by about 2002, I found it increasingly difficult to even telephone prospective clients. It would take all I had to summon up the courage to pick up the phone and punch in the numbers. I had had a run of success with sales, always volatile though, and had joined a company in North London. I was there for just under three years and still, to my knowledge, remain their most successful commercial sales person. The sweats got worse but I did nothing about it refusing to accept that I could be so weak as to suffer panic attacks.
Friends said the posts here during the last year were unbelievably ill conceived. I know that now. You cannot turn a blog into something deeply revealing without hurting people. On the other hand did it not occur to them that this was not the behaviour of someone acting within accepted norms? I mean I may have written unadulterated rubbish here before but never such revelatory unadulterated rubbish. Is it so easy to sit in judgement without having the full story? Do they think I feel good about my stupid actions? Do they not know that for all the hurt I caused I also hurt myself? Do they truly believe that anyone in their right mind would behave in such a way? But then again I wasn’t in my right mind was I?I think perhaps people like to ignore certain facts the better to paint a devil rather than face an unpalatable truth I think it is some form of perverse guilt transference 
This is not to suggest that I haven’t always been a moody bastard. I have but still this episode, one that has lasted for ten years or so, was out of the ordinary. I believe I have Border Line Personality Disorder. This theory would certainly tie in with all my mood swings as shaming as it is to admit. 

By I turning this blog site into a virtual diary I committed possibly the gravest mistake I had made. Blogs reflect a life but without the painful honesty of a journal kept secret until the keeper dies. My reason for posting such revealing items was a rash act of retaliation. I was reacting to something I had been told had been said but without hard and fast proofs. It was simply a case of 'tit for tat.' Stupid I know. Sometimes paranoia is a ravenous beast. It finds comfort in both truths and falsehoods. I believed and was deeply hurt by something, a betrayal I thought, which in point of fact probably never happened.  
When I had my mild heart attack in 2004 I was grateful. Not for the discomfort but for being able to take time away from work not pretending that everything was fine, not having to disguise the fact that talking to people I didn’t know caused me such grief, such unimaginable terrors. It was the same year, Christmas 2004 that the panic attacks grew worse. I drove with my son to a Doctor who said I was suffering depression. She prescribed me drugs for both the panic attacks and also Diazepam. I took maybe two of each then flushed the bloody things down the toilet. I am diabetic and epileptic and have a heart condition. I take enough drugs and didn’t want more.
The episode with the artist was unfortunate. I have looked back upon the things I posted and regret them. Of all the people I know he is one of the kindest and most generous I have met. Reviewing those two posts now I see why he was hurt. Ironically one of them was meant to show my concern for his mental and emotional state. I was very concerned. However, re-reading the post again it comes across more a diatribe, more a series of bullet points outlining all his faults. It was never meant that way. It is done now and having said sorry once I shall not repeat that apology again. I was wrong. So was he for passing judgement without clarifying just what the hell I thought I was doing. Another sign of someone enjoying their role as the injured party, wallowing in self-righteous indignation, glorifying in the hurt done them by the apparent monster.
Now the panic attacks are controlled by yogic breathing exercises. My depression I cope with. I even feel a bit of a fraud when I say such things for my depression was/is nothing like many whom I know who have suffered enormously.
My parting from Anal Defective Admin Retentive Executive was, as confirmed by two legal’s, constructive dismissal. It was a huge shock. I was grateful to all the clients who sent me references. I did not fight the case because I thought I couldn’t win or because I couldn’t afford to pay the fees if I had lost. My mother would willingly have paid. I didn’t fight because the case would have taken time and I didn’t have time to spare. I needed to get a job and quickly. The act of sending one of my off the cuff E-mails was, with hindsight, foolish. It was a game I had played with regular clients who willingly played along. I would have apologised and explained had I been given the opportunity. I wasn’t.It was a case of mistaken identity; of one client who shared a surname with another. As for the issue with the loss of revenue due to my not upgrading costs to clients, I had told my company back in October that I had far too much work to be able to cope. This fact is easily illustrated: One of my colleagues had been at the company for four years and in that time had produced 1600 jobs. My other colleague who had joined one month after me , 500. I produced 1000 jobs. I asked for help the previous October pointing out I was struggling (working on my own at times) and even wrote a report highlighting problems. This was all conveniently overlooked. Funny thing is the chap with 1600 jobs lost two clients leaving him rather exposed. My other colleague earned a great deal less then me. The solution was to remove then replace me with an experienced manager and one who didn’t cost much. Economics. 
I was much like the British General who when fighting in Korea received a call from American Central Command. When asked how combat was going the Brit replied that it was a bit sticky - typically understated as the British Division was being slaughtered. I chose to carry on and not seek help -  another stupid decision.
Whatever it was that ailed me it seems to have passed; reasons when said or written too often sound like excuses so I will avoid giving either. There are some who see some form of romance in depression seeking to emulate those they think gifted genii: Van Gough, Pollock, Green, Barrett and Byron. Those who think that are fakes. There was nothing remotely romantic about how i felt or how I behaved. Sitting alone for days in a bedroom writing, reading, frowning and fretting was horrid.
    There has also been the Olympics. What a splendid event that was putting us right back were we Brits belong, up among the best. China overtook the USA as the world's largest economy whilst India, Brazil and Russia made their plans. The world is changing. It is forever in a state of flux. Jimmy Savile revealed his perversions posthumously whilst in Connecticut 27 school children were shot. It is not my place to judge America's gun laws but I am glad I don't have to live under such a system.  Sometimes the bad guys do get away with it. Let’s hope we learn from those mistakes. The UK's coalition  government have continued to blunder along. At least they appointed a Canadian with common sense to head the Bank of England. Boris for next PM? I think so.
    Events occur with such speed leaving us reeling in their orbit. Sometimes it is as if we are satellites spinning round a globe watching history happening but without us taking part. 
   With my mind finding itself in places unfamiliar, with my Mum knocking on heaven’s door, with my career in tatters and my personal life spinning out of control it has been one hell of a year. I feel far more like I should now and fully intend to 'call' upon old bloggers. Life is too short to stay skulking in the shadows.
    Why am I writing this; why yet another exposé, embarrassing to many, about myself? I think I am trying to make sense of it all. Of the way I have behaved, of how sorry I still am, of how I intend to make amends where I can and if allowed but also to try and understand myself. They say that aggression is a cloak for insecurity. Maybe they are right. 
I have been a bit of an arse. Things can only get better. 
Have a spellbindingly good 2013 

all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?


masterymistery said...

In my view, before one seeks to understand oneself, one has to learn to love oneself... understanding then arises of its own accord.

Russell Duffy said...

masterymystery>>>Probably the hardest things to do.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog

A Utility Fish Shed Blog