I’m rather late on my Tuesday post this week. I found out last week that I have to move due to my landlord being foreclosed on. Which to be honest came as a surprise, so know I’m looking for a new home. We have been saving to buy a house which looks like we have found the perfect place but needs a lot of work as nothing has been done on it since the 50′s. The location however is perfect for us and it has the most amazing old 1950′s stove which can be re-conditioned. The only problem is… we can’t live in it till all the work has been finished.. new roof, new windows. It needs to be extended a little and a sun-room added. Therefore… yes.. we need to find somewhere to rent in the meantime… Oh joy!
Now if you have been following me and understand I’m on a learning curve as they say regarding PTSD and I really thought I’d pinned it down personally, until Sunday… Two very nice realtors were showing us houses and one was what they call here in the States a ‘Ranch’ back in the UK a ‘Bungalow’.
Before I met Vin I lived with someone for eight years, we met through work and slowly I ended up running his business and then after realizing he had basically retired I opened up in my own name and ran my own, bring my mortgage business to a mortgage packaging status. He loved money and because he loved money and I can easily become a workaholic I was working a lot of hours… seriously a lot of hours! From 7am to 2am 6 days a week and only doing 10 hours on Sunday. After all you need to rest sometimes, right?
We had wood floors and my office was in the house, a ‘bungalow’ and he would walk up and down the hallway in his shoes and clients would be able to hear him in the background with his shoes… clomp, clomp, clomp. Every now and then he would open the office door asking if I had made him rich yet… Friends, clients and colleagues would laugh and make fun of it, asking me on the phone if I had made them wealthy yet too! This man had always wanted to be a millionaire. To be honest between finance and renovating/flipping houses I was doing pretty well financially. I just didn’t realize my health was suffering. I believed I was invincible, after all a lot of people have a glass of wine after dinner. Sadly as time went on it became more than just a glass of wine, it became a bottle and chaser’s to ‘see me through’ till 2am.
One day I had to go to the doctor’s for a check-up with the nurse. All was going well she had finished and was just going through routine questions one of which was “How are you doing?” I blanked, the next thing I know is that I’m rocking in the chair back and forth repeating “Can’t do this any more” over and over. I had zoned out.
It was something I would say to myself mentally if I was in the bathroom as he banged the phone on the bathroom door asking me why had I bought a ‘walk about’ phone if I didn’t take it everywhere with me… It was my quiet secret coping mechanism, my mantra… “Can’t do this anymore!” “Can’t do this anymore!”
The nurse took my arm and I quickly pulled out of my mantra, apologizing profusely! She told me I needed to see the doctor and although I told her it wasn’t necessary and that I was fine, she disagreed. I also apologized to the doctor when I saw him for wasting his time, he too disagreed and gave me 5 sleeping pills and some anti-anxiety pills. He told me to do two things: Take an anti-anxiety pill when I got home and decide on what to do to change my life drastically. Oh is that all? I thought! lol
I went home took a pill and I felt like I was floating! I swear I couldn’t feel my feet on the ground and grinned like a Cheshire cat! Suddenly it felt as though I had been pushing myself all this time for nothing. I wasn’t seeing any benefit, he was spending it all! I remember looking at his face, his mouth moving as he complained that I hadn’t closed a deal in time for something he wanted to buy. I sat back in my office and laughed. I laughed so hard for the first time in a couple of years. He became very indignant as I stopped laughing, I leaned forward and told him I didn’t care anymore! It felt so good!
I had lost my father around the same time to mental illness from a surgery, he had always been my rock, this and working to hard had been to much. It was a cool Wednesday evening in September when I made the decision to leave and live in a cottage I owned by the harbor. The flowing Monday I left taking only my clothes and a couple of boxes of ornaments, things I had cherished from my children. I took my Saab, leaving him a car, a Mitsubishi. The Land Rover was in the garage being fixed and his son had borrowed my Jaguar. I never saw those cars again.
I rebuilt everything I needed for the cottage. I told myself I was strong enough to make a fresh start. I was and I did. The cottage looked beautiful and cozy when several months later I took up Vin on his invite to spend New Year’s Eve with him in New York. I found out after landing my ex had found out I was going, went to the cottage and cleaned me out of that too. He took the stove, fridge-freezer down to my perfume and undies! He was kind enough to leave me a cup, a plate and a knife, fork and spoon…
What does this have to do with the realtor at the weekend? We went to see a ‘ranch’. While we walked around I started to get flashbacks. It had a fireplace and floor to ceiling patio doors, in fact it looked very much like the ‘bungalow’ from my past. I mentioned it to Vin. He smiled and pulled a face of doesn’t matter I don’t like it anyway and laughed.
Outside the realtor talked to me about how it had ‘great bones’. I saw Vin slide into the car. I thanked her for showing it us but said firmly it wasn’t for us. She kept on talking and insisting what a great place it could be and it just needed refreshing. Again I told her thank you but it’s ‘not us’ She started into her sales pitch even stronger… insistent…insisting.. on and on and on.
Somewhere in my mind, a door slammed shut! Suddenly, out of the blue I found myself staring at this woman, feeling like I had just come out of a black-out. My body ever so slightly rocking, I could hear the words “Can’t do this anymore” I snapped myself out of it, turned away and walked to the car. “I’m sorry” I told her. “The house reminds me of bad memories in my past and I will not buy this house!”
I have to say the flashback surprised me! I do however know now that I will never buy a ranch again. I always loved the old and historical buildings and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that very soon I will will be happy making a new home in one! I looked over at Vin later that day and gave him a cuddle, I smiled, asking “Do you know that you’re my hero?” He smiled back “No, we just saved each other, that’s all”. With that he planted a big kiss on my cheek.
Did you ever have a flashback that surprised you out of the blue? Something that you really thought you had laid to rest?