I was reminiscing today on one of the big goals that I set out to do 14 years ago – take a year out!
I travelled to Australia and then onto Thailand with plans to continue onto Laos & Cambodia.
Sadly my interstitial cystitis kicked in and close to being hospitalized in south-east Asia, I had to make an emergency journey home. It took me a total of 38 hours and 5 flights to get back to Scotland, I was so sick.
I remember sitting in a Dubai airport, totally worn out and sad. Somewhere nearby I hear the faint sounds of a Scottish accent, and after having been away from home for over a year, I burst into tears at hearing those sweet Scottish lulls. The couple who had been chatting gave me big hugs and we talked about how excited I was to see my mum.
Little did I know that that was the start of my troubles with chronic illness. After those early days, every time I was depressed or stressed out, I would require antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization for bladder and kidney infections.
The doctor has linked this illness to PTSD and throughout therapy, we have often touched base on a trauma I encountered during my time in Australia.
It wasn’t the worst of my traumas by any means, but it still stung.
I had been general manager at a boutique backpackers in Perth, Western Australia. I loved my role there but after residing there for a few months I felt it was time to get my own place.
The man I was dating at the time agreed that it was time to move out and we began looking for our own place to call home. We came up trumps and soon moved into a cute little townhouse with its own hot tub in the local neighbourhood of Leederville. It was soooo cute!!
My girlfriends were still staying at the backpackers, and to save them some money I offered them our spare room – which they gladly accepted.
On one weekend in particular, I had been out of town. I came home early and thought I would surprise my partner. When I returned home he was in the shower, so I knocked on the door in excitement to see him. He opened the bathroom door with a big grin on his face, followed by a look of confusion and then hugs and such followed. It seemed a bit odd but I paid it no further attention…
That was until I came home from work one night and the house was in darkness, everyone was in bed. Laying on the table there was what appeared to be a diary, opened at a certain page and in plain view. The nosey bitch in me glanced down and DID NOT like what she read.
It read at first like a fairytale, passionate kisses, lovemaking under the stars, rushes of excitement, the whole 9. . not so funnily enough the prince in this fairy tale was no other than my partner who lay upstairs, sound asleep with no fucks to be had.
My heart broke into a million pieces and then, I was furious!!!
I didn’t wake anyone up, which I’m quite glad for as I would have kicked off big style – so I kept my tantrum for the following morning.
After copious lies and straight-up denial, both parties broke down and filled me in on their rather too often for my liking rendezvous.
Belongings certainly got flung straight into the hot tub haha
Everything from what she chose to wear, to her perfume was I a bid to seduce him. Something she had been working on since we had all resided together at the backpackers.
I remember a nice night we all had sitting on the patio of our home, we had a bbq and all the fixings. Turns out when I was in the house refilling the salad bowl or getting more drinks, they would be sitting making out.
What the actual fuck?!
Bold as brass these two.
It was so hard to come to terms with and I spun out, hard. At this time I wasn’t aware of my bipolar disorder but my behaviours certainly knew. I drank too much, I flung around hatred and name-calling, my reaction to their actions was out of control.
It’s taken a long time to realize that my reactions are my own responsibility. That even if someone committed the most heinous act there was, that how I behave in response to that act is my own doing, and at times, my own downfall.
It was a gut-wrenching feeling to know that people you trusted, let into your home and loved, could do something so cruel.
My emotional pain was soon surpassed by my physical pain and that took forefront of my thoughts for a very long time. Kidney infections and being hospitalized by those infections really took its toll on me.
I never even thought, in any way, that the physical pain could have been connected to the emotional pain.
BUT here we are 14 years later and still dealing with chronic interstitial cystitis.
I hope one day that I will come far enough in therapy, beyond all these traumas, to negate any physical ailments. For now, I can only hope that I am in a stable enough place to avoid my chronic illness symptoms, and that when bad things do happen, that I can react in a calm and less destructive manner.