I am really disappointed, after all these months, that although I am absolutely fine when I'm with other people - the life and soul of the party most of the time - when I'm alone I often still get this feeling of losing my grip on reality and not knowing which way is up anymore. Everything has changed so dramatically that I wonder if I've dreampt it all sometimes.
I've gone from one livery to eight, with two more coming. The whole farm is comparitively tidy and under control, along with the house and garden. I'm surrounded by close freinds that I can and do talk to about anything and everything, some of whom are new. I drive tractors, cars and Land Rovers, having driven nothing ever before. Mostly it's all positive and good - but it's all very different and odd still, and such a steep learning curve.
I had a go at turning my own hay today. One of my farmer friends brought his hay tedder and attached it to my tractor, and spent some time showing me how to use it. They are flat out combining and baling straw at the moment so I thought that at last I could do something really useful to help them and myself.
I'd nearly finished and was really proud of myself when I picked up a length of wire that was hidden in the grass and it got so wound up inside the machinery that I had to abandon the job and return to the yard. As I text him to explain and apologise I had the same old sinking feeling of being useless, incompetent and needing rescuing yet again. I have never in my whole life wanted to play the helpless female card and I keep on being forced into it, and it's just SO not me!!!!!
It really wasn't my fault and would probably have happened to him too, but he would have known how to take the machine apart to untangle it. He doesn't have time to come and sort me out and it would have been quicker if he'd done the job himself in the first place, so yet again I'm a liability instead of an asset!
I'm really tempted to say "S-d it!!!" and stick to horses and things I know but that would be such a cop out. Its just the endless humiliation of getting everything wrong. They are so kind about it but that makes me feel worse, especially when they're forever mopping up after me. I just wanted to get one job done well and done right for a change!!!!
I'm also beginning to worry that I'm all the time trying to be something that I'm not and modelling myself on my two farmer friends - trying to be capable, reliable and competent at everything like they are - and I've lost the ability to work out who I am now. A lot of what I do seems to turn into a major drama or I lose all sense of perspective and think that it has.
I had a terrible incident with a vet recently, when I tried to get some old ewes who are struggling put down. He made a complete mess of it and then got the sack, both of which I felt a lot of guilt over, and still do. He wrote to me twice over it, apologetic and friendly letters, which increased my sense of guilt and I spent most of the day after the second letter, when he told me he'd been dismissed, in tears over it. The ewes were pets and old friends of mine, and I still have two of them who really need putting down but I can't face it at the moment, but I never wanted him to lose his job. I don't trust myself to make decisions anymore but know that I have to. Being in charge is unbelievably hard and I know I need to toughen up to survive, but it's easier said than done. Since David died I no longer have it in me to get angry over anything and find it hard to be assertive now.
I asked one of my friends why they all put up with me and she said that it's because I'm good company ..... most of the time!!!!! One thing's for sure - it's never dull and boring around me!
I now eat a reasonable amount and am still too thin and I think it's because of this sense of always being on adrenalin to a greater or lesser extent. It's why I work every possible minute I can and try to keep my mind from thinking unwanted thoughts, which is a constant battle when I'm alone.
On a positive note one of my farmer friends and I spent most of Saturday clearing the school ready for fencing after harvest has finished. I had a go at driving his Manitou, which I absolutely loved, and watched him fell a dead tree which was very exciting and dramatic. I had a brilliant time, the school looks massive and so much better, and I'm so grateful to him for all his time and trouble, and his company.
My aforementioned farmer friend said that if I can survive this I can survive anything and I guess he's right, and survive it I will! I'm just so fed up with feeling lost and disorientated! I'm so impatient to feel confident, relaxed and happy again. I WILL get there but it's taking SO long!!!!!!
This is my new blog to continue my journey with my Dales Ponies. It will also be the story of my building a new life for myself, alone now, except for my friends, horses and dogs, since my partner died in March 2009. We had lived and worked together, mostly twenty four hours a day, for nearly 28 years and I have never lived alone before. It is a tribute to my wonderful friends that I am still here, still sane(ish) and ready to re-invent myself. I love them all more than words can ever say and can never thank them enough for all they have done and are still doing. It is also a tribute to Alexandra Kurland and 'The Click That Teaches' that I know how to save myself now. To new beginnings.......