Archive for the migraines Category

Serial F**k-Up Girl Strikes Again….and Again…and Again….

Posted in blogging, creative / writing, khlari, Lancaster, me and my world, migraines, work/life balance on March 19, 2008 by Khlari

Yep. Well, I told everybody not to get too excited. And before somebody tells me it’s all to do with a positive outlook (and I axe-murder and disembowel them), I did go with a positive, nay scarily smiley face wearing a suit and heels.

Luckily, I was very early. Which was fortunate as it took me 30 minutes from the time I found the building on the map till the time I found where I was actually supposed to be within it. The letter didn’t give so much as a floor, let alone an office number, and there was nothing as revolutionary as a receptionist….To be faced by a smug middle-aged woman telling me that she supposed that the University was difficult if you didn’t know your way around it. She briefly interrupted her intimate conversation with the woman taking us down to interview to tell me this. She only stopped again to have another little knowledgeable chat with the 12-year old who was going in after me, who she also seemed to be on dinner-party terms with.

Then they gave me 20 minutes to prepare an ambiguously-worded and figured conference budget (‘using any software you like’) Great. on someone else’s PC, set up with Vista to boot. Oh, and in 20 minutes. No clue where to save, what they would like… never used Vista ho hum……it would take that long to set up the EQUATIONS in Excel…..paper and pen was actually quicker, in a Word table. Succinct, clear, and even with my duff mathematics, I did finish. Sweating, it’s true, but finished.

That however was the best bit…it went downhill from there on. I’m so glad I went and read everything I could about what they did, their research, their specialities….not. I didn’t get a chance to mention I knew anything. I even read the Times Higher Education Supplement for god’s sake. All their questions were angled towards people who already worked in Higher Education. Or the fact that I was really into Women’s Studies, and feminism in general, both French and English, I could have talked for hours about that….. They were more interested in whether I had used higher education accounting software though, or whether I could type. Well dammit, there might be a teensy weensy clue in the fact that I never actually appear to have been sacked for administrative incompetence, and that I was apparently clever enough to have been given an M.A. less that six months ago.

There are so few jobs around here. So few employers that aren’t ASDA, or Morrisons, or minimum wage-slavery. I am sick of being asked to dumb down my CV (one agency actually suggested I took out degree, MA and most of my work experience so as not to ‘scare’ empoyers). I get a chance like this…and again it’s no chance. It’s a little clique once again….needless to say, they didn’t ring back. Why aren’t I surprised?

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Return of the Errant Goth-Chick

Posted in blogging, books, creative / writing, gothic, me and my world, migraines, morecambe, pagan, work/life balance on August 24, 2007 by Khlari

I’m back, I’m back!!!!well, I haven’t actually physically been anywhere as such, just out of the loop, so to speak. the dreaded novel is in, although I managed to again be so ill that it was hard to finish what I needed to do when I needed to do it. Yes, the dreaded migraines again made an appearance in a spectacular fashion just when I could really have done without them. That coupled with the near obligatory printer hissy-fit. Great.

Still, the 42,510 words of novel, 5000 words of critical introduction and 3000 words of synopsis are all in now. Phew. I am a free woman!

Now I just have to:

a) wait for the results

b) actually finish the damn thing!

Nice to be back!

Now you see me…now you don't….

Posted in blogging, books, creative / writing, me and my world, migraines on August 2, 2007 by Khlari

I, until 18th August at least, am the invisible woman. I have a novel to write by then, I’m afraid,, so until then I am and will be the invisible incommunicado woman………BUT I’LL BE BACK!

(and imagine all the rants I will have saved up by then)

Oh um…something really important I just completely forgot to mention…..!

Posted in 40th birthday, alcohol abuse, alcoholism, birthday, blogging, child kidnapping, Child Protection, creative / writing, Divorce, domestic violence, european union, family law, France, hague convention, Human Rights, international divorce, international family law, legal aid, london, me and my world, migraines, Misbah Rana, Mizbah Rana, Molly Campbell, morecambe, pagan on July 6, 2007 by Khlari

The death of my brain, and the death of my marriage (though it had been a zombie for some time).

This is documentary proof of what a ditz I am. You remember I had a migraine that lasted for eleven days…well, this is proof of the brainache it caused. I completely and utterly forgot to mention to you, dear mad readers, that at last, after many ( well, 4 1/2) years of teeth gnashing, custody cases across Europe, subpoenas being served lengthily through French and English courts and still not working, abusive phone calls from my ex, eventually having to take out a £5000 loan for legal fees in France (MEP got back to me only after the case with details of legal help…) which will take me five years to pay back…

I HAVE A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!

Yes, with the head hurting as much as it did, I completely neglected to mention that as of 23 June 2007 (what a 40th Birthday present), I have a divorce. A lovley crisp Decree Absolute arrived in the post the morning before my birthday. I didn’t really manage to summon up any major enthusiasm for it at the time…even reading it was a little painful, and it seemed like a little bit of an anticlimax after the enormous struggle to get it.

I’m now putting in a spoiler-if you are easily upset, it might not be an idea to carry on reading…..

I got married on 21 July 2001, to a deranged Frenchman who glories in the middle name of Marcel (now, surely that should have told me something). I don’t know why I am bothering to disguise him, he wouldn’t know how to use the internet if it rose up and bit him in the arse. I’ll call him D_____, to spare his blushes, maybe. I was putting a lot of trust in him…considering he was a supposedly recovering alcoholic.

We met in 1996- I went for the weekend, and ended up staying for 7 years….which all sounds gloriously romantic, cue Edith Piaf singing and chocolate box scenes of joyful couple running through the streets of Paris hand in hand, a la Robert Doisneau. But it wasn’t like that at all. Think more of Emanuelle Beart in miserable drudgery in Manon des Sources, or a scene from Les Diaboliques….

(I had my wedding reception here…)

I went for a conference on European Youth Exchanges…I was working in Bradford at the time, and I was the only person who could speak any French that they could find at short notice…..So they rang me on the Thursday night, and I was there by Friday. I met him at a social evening, where we spent 6 hours arguing passionately about young people, and another 2 or 3 snogging (sad, teenage, I know…and I was 29 at the time).

He came to see me off, we swapped phone numbers and addresses….we started writing, and phoning, and visiting. My ex was a major liar. It was at this point that D______ chose to tell me that he had Leukaemia. I’m telling everyone now, because I can, but for years that has made me feel such an idiot. That I believed him. Everything began to take on an air of snatched urgency, so little time and so much to do. Every time we separated it was worse. I made the decision in the end. I threw in my dream job I’d waited 10 years to get (Community Arts Officer for the Bradford Foyer in progress), the training they were paying for me to do, packed my bags, and moved to France. Work even offered to keep my post open for 3 months, in case I changed my mind. I didn’t ask him, I just did it. If you have principles, it’s important for me to live by them. If we had so little time left, at least we would have it together.

I didn’t question the fact that he drank quite a lot. Growing up in London, most of my friends were work hard, play hard, it didn’t seem that strange. But when I moved there, I realised that the Pastis started even before he got out of bed. When I questioned it, I was told that as he was dying anyway, it wasn’t a problem. How naive was my 29 year old self, with the benefit of hindsight.

I finally found myself a job, but it was becoming evident that whatever I did, it was all subsumed in a tide of Pastis. I can’t even smell aniseed now without feeling sick to the bottom of my stomach. I no longer had a home to go back to- my flatmates, I found out after a call from the landlord, had spent the rent money I’d left, sold or stolen half of my possessions, abused the cheques I’d left for the bills, and the landlord was keeping the rest against the money owed, or he had already put in a skip.. Everything I owned except what I had in my suitcase, gone.

I did love him. Deeply, it was only that that kept me going. It got worse, and worse. I succeeded in getting him a referral for detox, but after getting him to the hospital, they said they no longer had a bed. It’s hard getting anyone to detoix, they have to want to go, and if when they get there, that happens, you have lost your chance. Finally his job intervened, and he was taken to the Clinic attached to the ministry for which he worked. He stayed there for 2 months. When he came out, promising never to do it again, and telling me that now he had me with him he wouldn’t, everything was good. He wanted a life, he wanted a family, he wanted normality. Within a month of him coming out, I was pregnant, and overjoyed. I started preparing for the baby, fessed up some of the truth to my family, and carried on. But I then had a blood test which told me that I had a risk of Downs Syndrome, and I was asked whether I wanted an amniocentesis, to be sure. My mother had had one, so I saw no problem. Also, how was his problem going to affect a child?

It was excruciating, and I didn’t remember my mother telling me that. Two days later, I was assaulted on the RER, and was admittted to hospital, bleeding. By midnight I was calling for the nurse, I was in pain, I was told to shut up, and I had my still-born child alone in a hospital bed before anyone bothered to come. The nurse arrived after the event, and they wouldn’t even ring D______. I was very depressed, even more so after they left me in the maternity ward alone, having shown me the baby in a plastic bucket.

Within another month, I was pregnant again, with M_____. All went well, until July, when I met some people I knew from work in Bradford in the street (they were on a course)- when I invited one of them, Nick, back for a coffee, D_____ gave him a black eye, and knocked me unconscious for three hours, while he went out and left me. October, when his daughter from his first marriage visited for Hallowe’en, D_____ started drinking again with a vengeance. It got worse and worse, I had made my bed so I had to lie in it. I didn’t even have enough money left for the medical treatment most of the time.

M_____ was born in 1999, and no-one knew what was happening behind the smiles. The next year and a half I didn’t know what I would find when I got home from work, lied to friends, family, educational psychiatrists alike. To all intents and purposes we were a sweet little perfect little multi-cultural nuclear family.

Behind the scenes it was only the Prozac, the Xanax, and the Stilnox that kept me halfway sane. As a ‘jeune mere’ you have to smile infinitely, isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it lovely……when behind the scenes your heart is breaking. I had no money to pay the creche, to buy nappies, to buy baby food, to eat lunch even. The whole motherhood and family thing for me was such a sham, I had to seem happy because everyone expected me to be, but in reality it was one of the worst periods of my life. I woke up each day dreading the day ahead. Oh, and how my friends were jealous of my pretty storybook life, the handsome Frenchman, the little family. It was nearer to the original fairystories, of darkness, suffering, and death than the sanitised Disney, Irma-la-Douce type fantasies of my friends

We were even taken as an example of wonderful multi-cultural living by the anglophile town we lived in- invited to premieres where I had to prop him up in corners, that kind of thing. The European Union in action…

I couldn’t even find solace in my usual eccentricities. The longer we were together the more he took exception to everything I did, wore, said. Reading in English was a subversive action, along with having friends and dressing strangely. If I had a phone call I had to have the speaker on and do simultaneous translation….His paranoia reached such levels that I couldn’t go to the supermarket without being accused of torrid affairs. It wasn’t until M_____ was nearly 2 that I finally achieved him getting detox again. For that, I had to threaten the psychiatrist that I was going to self-harm and admit myself instead. He had kept asking me to marry him, in the good times. I told him I would if he would go. It took his boss, three work colleagues, and an alcohol-induced epileptic fit that went on for 45 minutes.

My friends begged me not to do it. But I had promised. So we married in July. One of my friends, C________ even took me aside just as I was about to go into the town hall to beg me not to go through with it. I haven’t seen him since, he was so upset he went off to Algeria never to return.

All was well for a little while- then I was made reundant. I decided to study for my CAPES, French secondary teaching certificate with the money. I was at home for the year. The paranoia was again rising. I couldn’t go to the library or talk to a friend without accusations. Even so, amazingly, I had friends like Cathy, Linda, Kyriaki, who put up with his rudeness and abuse. By June he was drinking again, he started on my birthday. he made an enormous scene at my friend Cathy’s party (we share a birthday), and was so drunk driving home that he couldn’t find the way home from Rueil-Malmaison- where he used to live.

We had decided to make a new start. he had applied for a transfer back to home, to Brittany. We ended up in the Vendee instead (which isn’t so far). Any excuse. This is where he really started being slap-happy. I became his punchbag. It was evident he’d had practice, it was never where it would show.

We went on holiday to Biscarrosse. It was the worst time of my entire life. Fourteen days trapped in the middle of nowhere with a paranoid alcoholic, what fun. I poured every bit of alcohol away. He just beat me up and found more. It came to a head when his brother came to join us. After we had all been out, he knocked me unconscious, left me for dead, and left me. His brother left after he had beaten him up as well. I woke to find M_____ asking me if I was dead. I told his mother, showed her the bruise, and she told me to ‘deal with my own shit’. The day we moved to Sables d’Olonne, he was stopping on the motorway to drink.

It got worse and worse. The beatings were becoming standard, and I was very alone. My parents came for Christmas- a veneer of normality. The day they left, he beat me to a pulp, and I awoke to find him raping me. That’s when I knew, I had to go. I’d tried before- but he wouldn’t let me take M_____. I am five feet two, he is six foot. I had to plot carefully. Finally, he was again admitted for detox (the seventh since I’d known him). I rang my parents, admitted all (the hardest phone call of my life), waited for the money they had wired me to arrive, packed my bags, took M_____ out of bed at 4am, and raced to the border- he was leaving hospital earlier than expected. I raced to Paris, onto the Eurostar to London, and there the phone rang, just after I had cleared customs, and the doors were closing on the train. I went back to my parents, with nothing.

He couldn’t believe I had done it. I was getting 20+ phone calls a day from him and his family. He refused to accept the divorce petition- I have been trying for this since 2003- and tried to get M_____ back. Everything was a lie. He lied about the leukaemia, lied about his job, lied about his first marriage, lied about his past, and I could take no more. It had been a seven year, painful sham. He still wouldn’t accept it was over. he even rang me on July 7 two years ago to see if I was alive after the bombs. I coudn’t resist asking him if he had hoped I wasn’t. Legally, the whole divorce was an expensive minefield, no-one could ever tell whose subpoenas were valid, whose law applied as he was French and I was English…

It took me a long while to put myself back together again. My friends helped- Matt, Peggy, Catherine, Martin, Mia, Martha, Jack…….without them I could never have got myself back.

Despite knowing all of this, last year HWCBN viciously tried to put me back to where I had started again. Thanks to AD and TNO, Spicy and D, Beaut1ful, Dam and Woo, for being there when I needed you. I have Mr A to thank for saving my sanity, and even for de-demonising the past for me when we had to go back to Sables d’Olonne in February.

I still have problems with my head and my back from the beatings. I still have nightmares where I wake up in bed next to him. But at last, it is over once and for all. The chapter is closed. It took long enough. I was married for six years- of which, I only spent 1 1/2 years living with my husband. I wasted 7 years in total on the relationship, and the only positive outcome is M_______. I can now close that book, and put it away once and for all.

Mr A says I have now spoiled his fun though. He was enjoying living with an adultress……

 

 

Talent Nights, Timewarps, The Catholic Church and Taramosalata…..#2

Posted in birthday, blogging, creative / writing, london, me and my world, migraines, morecambe, pagan, Rocky Horror, work/life balance on July 3, 2007 by Khlari

So I woke up feeling like…urggggh. But determined to go and wish TNO a Happy Birthday, so it was off to AmethystDragon’s house, armed with M_______, Mr A, a host of books on suicidal home-brewing for TNO…gems such as ‘How to brew Psychotropic Ales’ and ‘Brew like a Monk’- TNO loves to make weird and wonderful brews, which led to many weird and wonderful discussions. Kitty and Skit were there, as was Silent, Unfortunately ended up feeling a lot worse, after only a can or two of Grolsch (I had foregone the interesting brews). Had to be a real party-pooper and go home at 9.30 or so which is most unlike me. Yuk yuk yuk. Retired to bed with lots more hydrocodeine, and still felt rubbish in the morning…….It’s not fair. Maybe I’d have been better off with the psychotropic ales.

Things could only get better….but then on Sunday morning I had to troop off to Mass. Yes, you are thinking right, I am a Pagan, not normally given to this sort of behaviour. Lui (Mr A’s nephew and M____’s classmate) was however making his First Communion, so everyone had to be on parade. So Berni, Giana, Mr A’s Mum (Nonna to everyone), and even Mr A after lots of prodding and poking managed to get themselves there on time.

I had my orders from M_____. No black. Have you any idea how difficult that is when 98.9% of your wardrobe is black? It took me over an hour to assemble a non-black outfit. M______ was singing in the choir. She had wanted to make First Communion (her choice, it is a Catholic school (they don’t have any Pagan ones)). But the Priest ruled if anyone missed any classes they couldn’t take Communion. So, because she goes to London in the holidays (as I don’t have enough leave), she wasn’t allowed to do it. Beecause even though it is a faith school, he insists on doing classes on a Saturday rather than having them in lunchtime, as used to happen when we were children. How mean did that make me feel? The only child in the class not to. She was really really upset. So much for Christian charity, to make an eight year-old feel so left out of everything. Pah, you wouldn’t see a Pagan doing that.

So….still feeling crap, back home for an 84-course dinner…….thanks to Nonna, and cake. And I still have a headache…….

Talent Nights, Timewarps, The Catholic Church and Taramosalata…..#1

Posted in birthday, blogging, creative / writing, london, me and my world, migraines, morecambe, music, pagan, Rocky Horror, werewolves vampires and ghoulies on July 2, 2007 by Khlari

A mixed bag of a weekend. My darling daughter somehow convinced me to enter the school talent contest with her, singing – The Timewarp. Great, except it is a Catholic School, and some of the lyrics may well have been considered more than slightly morally dubious by the people who already give me dirty looks when I darken the school gates by my mere presence…….

So the pelvic thrust gave way to ‘the wiggle round’, and Columbia’s smutty verse was replaced by a squeaky-clean school themed one. I just hid the truth of Magenta’s under a thick Transylvanian accent.. The things I have to do. Then I had to spend the rest of the week improvising a Columbia costume for a very small person. (I’m kind of well-provided for Magenta, though I did cut the suspenders out, add a less revealing top and a longer skirt……). It was possibly the longest evening in history. By the time we came on, Berni, Giana and I were slowly losing the will to live (but they had to stay to vote!) We had various not very successful magicians and petrified small children meeping into the mike. We did come second, but M_____ most miffed as we had charitably voted for the person who beat us by one vote.

Saturday morning, went to commission the jewelery I am having made with the 40th Birthday money from my parents. By pure fluke the other week found a fantastic lady on Pedder Street who hand-makes silver jewellery, and allows you to choose and feel the stones, and design the setting, and to cap it all is a Pagan (we got chatting). Fell in love with a fantastic hat in black veiling with black roses but even I with my tenuous grasp of the neccessity or not of clothes couldn’t convince myself a hat at £185.00 was a neccessity……but it was gorgeous….

Saturday afternoon was feeling really icky again, but was determined to go round to AmethystDragon’s house as it was TNO’s birthday, so ended up even having an afternoon nap to try and achieve this, and taking even more medication. Woke up at 4.30pm feeling even worse…….aaagh!

The Documentary Proof…..oh dear

Posted in 40th birthday, birthday, blogging, creative / writing, me and my world, migraines, morecambe, pagan, werewolves vampires and ghoulies on June 29, 2007 by Khlari

Thanks to ChaoticKitty for these which I have just nabbed off her blog (here)

Me and Mr A doing….well, I really wouldn’t know, but it looks like I was enjoying it!

The humungous cake (I look out of breath as I have just blown all those candles out!)

Here readers, the shaming proof of my dissolute celebrations…….