I had my first counselling therapy session last Monday with Margaret. It was the first therapy session that I have had since I worked for COIN. It was kind of strange having a stranger ask questions about the things in my head that rarely make it passed my lips. Even stranger to have this stranger ask me to promise not to do anything silly so that we can work together and to actually articulate her perception of me as desperate when we had only been talking for about an hour.
At my lowest ebb I do think of different methods, what would hurt, what wouldn’t hurt, how it would feel, how everyone left behind would feel and then it goes round the circle some more and becomes a resolve that I could not carry out, I couldn’t hurt everyone like that, I couldn’t let them down, I couldn’t saddle them with my debts and then around the circle a little further… I would miss them all too much, these problems should be something I can work out, look at how much good there is in my life and then the circle closes and the desperate thoughts are pushed to the back and the mask slips back into place. I wear the mask so that others aren’t brought down by my black clouds and feelings. Wearing the mask is a necessary strain. Now and again the mask slips.
I never thought of myself as desperate before.
It is a weird feeling but my life feels like a rollercoaster… at the beginning. getting on the car is level and ok and safe, then it climbs and it starts getting harder and harder to cope. At the peak there is a moment of suspension, nothing touches, breaks through and then the car plunges, all is lost - I am a worthless, ungrateful, ugly, selfish, incompetent, fat, stupid, crap, rubbish, pathetic person and enter the suicide loop. The circle closes and he loves me even so, he wants to make things better, he holds me, dries my tears, rails at circumstances that propel me on my rollercoaster of doom and he loves me. The other he notices my distress too and talks to me, reassures me, helps paper over the gaping holes in my wall of confidence and between them both I survive a little longer. And the rollercoaster is back to the landing stage for a brief period of time before it sets off again… I need to sort this out some how.
So counselling because I don’t want to take tablets some of whose side effects can be as dire as they can be beneficial. For me, I need to find a way to live my life controlling the rollercoaster that I can sustain without tablets… I hope it helps.
Depression has to be the most insidious, destructive and damaging illness a person can have without necessarily being demonstratively ill…
I would love to know the secret of managing not to listen to the voices in my head telling me I’m crap and worse still believing them.
Strangely, as a child I think I was relatively happy. I don’t remember being distinctly unhappy or unloved or un-cared for - I was very lucky to have all of those things; happiness, demonstrably loved and cared for. We weren’t rich but we did not want for anything that we needed and it must have been difficult for my parents at times. In reality I have those things now - a foundation of happiness, love and total sense of being cared about - so why is it that I enter the spiral which rapidly turns into a rollercoaster, losing sight of the people, things and experiences that make me happy? How is it I can let myself be filled with such self loathing that I can brush the love and caring from those closest to me away without any definitive reason? I am not stupid, at least on paper. So why don’t I know the answers to these questions? Why do I keep making the same mistakes and not learn from past experiences, making my physical, emotional and material circumstances more difficult?
If anyone is reading this and has some answers to these and other questions - it would be good to hear them - if only to try to make a bit more sense of things. I will write more soon in an effort to work this out.
I have a new phone!! Hurray!
I have recently upgraded to the highly sophisticated and darned clever Nokia N73 and what’s more it was free!
Things I like about the phone:
I love the camera cover - no more scratched lenses and ruined photos
It has a proper joystick - better than a fiddlely button
The screen is huge - who wouldn’t love that
It’s slim - unlike it’s owner - so it fits in my small hand better
The image gallery software is better - you can see the whole photo rather than a tiny thumbnail and you can scroll and how bizarre is this - it will do a screen show for you just like a funky animated ppt!
I am sure that is more to say about it and even more fabulous things it does but I’m just getting to grips with it myself - so I’ll let you know more later…
I love my new phone!
To see what other people think click here
Q. Well just how much activity can you cram into a weekend without killing yourself?
A. A helluva lot more than you might think!
And to prove it you just need to take a look at Jan’s Blog or if you can’t be bothered to make the click I’ll tell you about it here and even include pictures (if I can remember how to do that bit)!
Friday: 6pm (give or take) Eventually pick Jan up from the airport (jet-setting again! Only Romania this time - been there; done that - am I bovvered? Not in the slightest - they have earthquakes!!) after several missed calls and text messages - I was busy - sorry….
6.30pm Home and get ready to go out to leaving do for Jans colleagues
8.15pm Finally find Wagamamas in Guildford and walk right past everybody in the queue (sorry Nick & Fay, I wasn’t wearing my glasses or lenses…)
10pm-ish Stagger back to car ~hic~ wos-a-big-glassh-of-wine ~hic~
10.45pm-ish Have to pack now….
12.00pm-ish (no pumpkins here!)
Back in car and being driven to Nottingham…
2.30am or thereabouts (had to swap drivers…) Arrive at Jans Mum & Dads house….. ZZZ…ZZZ…ZZZ…
Saturday: 5.00am First alarm
5.10am Second alarm
5.11am Alarm clock takes flying lessons
5.30am Jans mum comes up to wake us up! Rats! (I make Jan shower first.. so I can grab another 20 seconds sleep…)
6.00am Left the house -still asleep- and drove to Nottingham East Midlands Airport… the plane leaves at 7.45am -whose idea was this again?
6.30am Dumped the car at Prestige Airport Parking and traipsed the 26 miles to the check-in desks… Can I just suggest to the owners of Prestige that it would be a fantastic customer service opportunity to buy yourselves a couple of mini-buses and run a 5 second shuttle service from your place to the check-in hall which is no fun to walk at any time of day with luggage! Who knows… you could even factor it into your car parking costs… I’m sure the tourists won’t notice too much… 6.45am Checked in
6.55am Checked into the loo…
7.30am Checked out of loo… God I didn’t feel very well….
7.45am Chocks away boys!
We landed at about 8.30am and while Jan, his Mum and Dad all went to collect baggage, I went to sort out the hire car… Europcar do some good deals on short rentals!
We rented a VW Passat TDI 2.0 Automatic Diesel (silver) ~a bit like the one shown here~ and had a lovely time with it…
But both of those were in Nottingham or even further south!… not very useful when you’ve just landed in Glasgow!
The Brunswick Hotel in Glasgow where we were staying. General opinion was that it would be too early but we tried anyway - it would have been nice to have dumped the luggage and not cart it around for the day…Suspicions confirmed - we couldn’t check in until 2pm we decided to visit the Falkirk Wheel (see photo right).
Jans Mum and Dad kindly paid for us all to go on a boat trip on the wheel which has replaced the need for approximately 11 canal locks! It is an awesome feat of engineering that is so simplistic but so complex at the same time it takes your breath away! If you get the chance it is well worth a visit
Celtic Tiger… what can I say… pseudo nationalistic, emotional clap trap… Considering Michael Flatley was born and grew up in America the emotional connectivity he professes for the land of his forebears is stifling, bordering on the absurd. Celtic Tiger appears to be just another chance self agrandising money spinner… hopefully there won’t be anymore such offerings. At least if there are please make them original and not the same dance, different outfit… please. Having said all that you have to admire the man’s ambition and success and plenty of people love his stuff - I was one of them.
After the show, we went to Frankie and Bennys ~one of Jans parents favourites~ and had a lovely meal… then it was back to the hotel and a very early night!!
The next day was less hectic so no need for a blow by blow timetable.
We had a leisurely breakfast, checked out of the hotel and drove in our lovely hire car to Stirling Castle. The ticket prices might seem a bit steep at first inspection but the castle is well worth a visit. The audio tour is worth investing in too as you can then mooch about the castle at your own pace rather than be route marched around like a bunch of squaddies!
It has an interesting and prominent place in Scotlands history being the monarchs seat for quite sometime. The castles strategic location has made it the site of many battles, principally between those pesky english and stubborn highlanders, so the historic significance of the castle is almost tangible! Photos below:-
Brilliant! Jans’ mum & dad were not particularly impressed and who could blame them. We decided that as Jans’ dad is a diabetic, it would not be sensible to wait for the flight, so we trundled through the car park looking for a hotel that would not stretch our pockets too far and found the Express by Holiday Inn - the room rate was ??99.00 which even though it included breakfast was a little steep - we could have all shared one room and that would have made it financially ok but I don’t know, sleeping in the same room as Jans’ parents for a night although expedient did not appeal to me… not sure why… Anyway, I went and spoke to the nice lady on the desk and pleaded our case, especially mentioning the fact that Travel Inn across the road were prepared to offer us a room only for ??50. The nice lady said she could offer us ??56.00 per room including breakfast - deal! Hurrah… we didn’t have to walk any further and we could get breakfast AND we didn’t all have to share! I couldn’t pay quickly enough! Well the next morning we made our way back over to the airport and checked in smoothly and boarded a rather sweet ‘brummie baby’ and flew home.
I have no idea why I bother posting because nobody except for Jan is ever going to look at this blog!
Anyway - only doing this blog because Jan is pressurising me in his blog! - Dagnabit!
Well I guess it has been a while since I blogged bearing in mind that the last time I did I was feverishly denigrating the utter uselessness (is that a word?) of GE Capital Bank - the financial arm of the Arcadia Group also known as Evans, Dorothy Perkins et al…
The story so far…
I have cut up my gold Evans card, sent the pieces back to Evans & GE Capitals board of directors and transferred the outstanding balance to someone I’d rather fritter money away on! Suffice to say I have been true to my word and not spent money in Evans if I could help it - I have to get my knickers from somewhere!
As expected I received a response to my somewhat frustrated letter to GE Capital which went along the lines of saying… We are not going to compensate you for your embarrassment, any inconvenience and we think that you are so un-important that we don’t think you’ll bother taking this any further… And do you know what? They were right, even despite their grammatical error in the last paragraph stating that in light of everything they did feel that it warranted compensation on this occasion…
I did think about a DOS - Denial of Service attack on both companies websites but the effort involved was such that I didn’t have the time and after a while the will to carry it off! And because by this point I had completely lost the will to live and couldn’t be bothered to take it any further - so much negative energy consumption is debilitating - so I voted with my feet and my cash card and won’t be darkening their door unless my knickers fall apart!
I would say I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has had such a rubbish time with either Evans or GE Capital but do you know what I’m not… So much for my anarchic, revolutionary, partisan tendencies…..
Well the next time I post, I think it’ll be about something more enjoyable…
I cut up my Evans Gold Card today!
I have decided today that I am no longer going to have any store cards! Not only are exhorbitant interest charges applied to your account, you can never get through within 5 minutes to their customer services desk and when you eventually do, they are difficult to understand, do not understand you and are so limited in their resources/responsibilities that they can not help you anyway! Am I the only person to think this way? Well I thought so and then I discovered the beauty of googling companies!
You may be interested in the following site:
Grumble text re; GE Capital Bank (good for a laugh especially the spelling!) The number of posts regarding GE Capital Bank failings perceived or otherwise is amazing. Judging by my own experiences I hope I never have any dealings with GE Capital once my existing obligations are dealt with!
Take last Saturday 22/10/05 as a point in question…. the story begins….
I went shopping today for some boots for work for the winter. As usual I went to Evans because even though their products do not last more than a season (why should they, if they did you wouldn’t need to go back and buy more!). Being a bit of a decisive shopper within the space of half an hour I had decided on two pairs of boots, three jumpers, one pair of trousers, one top and a belt… nice! I took my purchases to the till knowing that my credit limit was more than capable of coping with the total and that I would get a nice discount on the boots, I went up to the counter to pay.
The sub-total was a little eyebrow raising but not the end of the world… and so to pay… I handed over my Evans Gold Card only to have it declined! Suspecting a technical hitch it was tried again… nope still declined… ok so now I’m embarrassed, ground swallow you up if only kind of embarrassed. We try calling the Customer Service Desk - if only it was, only to be put on hold somewhere in the region of 10 - 15mins, by which point the staff, other customers and myself were losing the will to live… In the end I paid by another method and resolved to pick the issue up with the Customer Slight Desk later on…
So with a beautifully crimson face and my purchases I exit the shop… Too demoralised to continue the usually happy experience of shopping, I gave up and went home…
The next day I checked the balance on my card only to find that I had more than enough credit but that the reduced credit limit had been applied immediately and not 30 days from 18th October… To say that I was a little cross would be an understatement.
I know the shafting, self protecting, scam of a contract I signed up to when I foolishly started my account and yes I have had my ups and downs with it but in recent months I had been getting to grips with it and sorting it out. So for somebody to but in and arbitrarily change things without consultation is a little bit annoying and then when they screw it up it is infuriating.
I don’t give a stuff about the card. I could pay it off in a heartbeat if I so desired but I like the measly discount I could get on footwear and it was convenient, but do you know what I can do without that kind of convenience. I am not one of those people who get off on ritual humiliation… needless to say I am writing to GE Capital Bank and trying to be polite, advise them of where they have failed to meet my expectations as a ‘valued customer’! The letter is below, this is being sent off this week so I will let you know how I get on or if I even get a response!
Letter to GE Capital Bank - 23 October 2005
I have today received your letter advising me that after reviewing my credit arrangements you have decided to reduce my credit limit at your discretion within your terms by providing 30 days notice.
You state: ‘…we will be reducing the Credit Limit on your account to ??X,XXX effective 30 days from the date on this letter… in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of your agreement.’ Your letter was dated 18/10/2005. This would have been fine if you had stuck to the details of your letter and not lowered my credit limit without due notice. On checking today, 23rd October 2005 I find that my limit has already been lowered to ??XXXX and not after the requisite 30 days notice stipulated in your letter.
Last payment was ??XXX.XX received on 22/10/05. Present balance as at 22/10/05 stands at ??XXX.XX. Leaving available credit at ??XXX.XX (enough to complete my purchases of yesterday for ??XXX.XX!)
I went into Evans Uxbridge, Middlesex yesterday to purchase several items only to be told that my card was declined despite having enough credit available even with the newly reduced credit limit. Not only did I have the embarrassment caused by you incorrectly declining my card but when the store staff tried in store to contact your customer services (I presume this description is a joke!) department we were inconvenienced by having to wait over 15mins before giving up, trying to get through to you. This inconvenience was not only mine and the staff at the store but also other Evans customers who wished to complete their purchases whilst waiting for a response from the customer service desk. When I finally managed to get through to you customer services staff today after again waiting almost 15 mins, they tell me that my account is fine and there should be no reason as to why I was unable to complete my purchase by card yesterday!
As it stands I am so appalled by your handling of my account and your non-existent customer service that I will be clearing my account as soon as possible. I will be posting my experience of your ‘customer service’ on my weblog and discussing the matter with friends and family many of whom use your services. You may not miss my custom alone but you may miss the custom of a number of people ??? it does not take long for it all to start adding up does it? Having been a customer of Evans for quite a few years, I am extremely upset and disappointed by the service provided by the customer service desk and your account management analysts.
As you are so concerned about my store card please find it enclosed. I look forward to receiving your apology, offer of compensation and comments by return.
So lets see what if any response I get… Don’t hold your breath as it may take longer than 15 mins!
I am so excited! Tomorrow Jans mum, my mum, my mums friend Marion and I are all off to Granada in Spain to be absolutely fabulous - no pressure there then!
This trip arose out of a moments hissy fit when Jan disappeared to Germany for what seemed like ever with his dad to test the mettle of the Mercedes on the Autobahn! They achieved warp factor 9 or 148 mph to you and I! Anyway… as Jan had disappeared for the best part of a week, his mum and I said it must be our turn! So we decided to take a mini-break to Spain and invited my mum too…
I will tell you more about our mini-break when I come back, plus what the first Granada trip was like and all the other good stuff I have been up to!
Hello again… It feels like I haven’t blogged in ages…. So much has happened since Jan and I went through the ‘parents meeting the parents’ moment back in March! Since then we have been to beautiful Turnberry again… and this time we stayed a couple of days - well worth it!
We also went Quad Biking at Turnberry’s Outdoor Activity Center - there is loads to do but the quad biking was so easy to pick up and talk about adrenalin rush - I didn’t realise I had a competitive streak until I found myself racing against Jan - not an easy target, but good fun all the same!
We were taught how to use the bikes by the guy in this photo - he was brilliant - he showed us the controls first and took us for a gentle spin round the course first - which was good as some of those water dips were quite frankly ‘bloody’ scary first time round! But by the 2nd and 3rd go there was no stopping either of us and having to negotiate some of the tightest hairpin bends through the pine tree course was fantastic! I loved it!!
And of course Turnberry was just as beautiful and majestic as always - every stay just keeps getting better - I have no idea what they are going to do to top our last visit! The rooms are all beautiful and as for the beds…. they truly are heavenly! If you can’t sleep well in one of these beds you need to see a doctor as there really must be something wrong with you…!