Today, marks one year exactly since I started seeing my psychiatrist. Once a month, for 12 months. In the last four appointments, I haven’t yelled once. I seriously don’t know how blokes like my psychiatrist do this for a living when blokes like me do a lot of yelling.
But, when the yelling has stopped. That means I am moving forward. Today, we spent an hour talking about moving forward.
But, man, what a trip the last 12 months has been. For those of you reading this, you have probably been paying attention to the absolute shit show it has been for me being diagnosed as ADHD and all the stark and horrifying realisations that had come with it.
A huge part of my undiagnosed ADHD was not having the ability to simply, ‘let go.’ I had great difficulty in moving on. I would dwell on things. Rumination would drive me insane and it would make me angry. Always, angry.
You know when you think of something you should have said to someone in an argument and then as you have walked away you wished you had said that one thing you thought of just now because you think it would have been the perfect zinger?
Multiply that by a 1000 fold. That is the level of not letting go I was at. I made a number of people’s lives a misery if they had wronged me. I made mine miserable too.
During today’s appointment, my doctor said he noticed a great change in me, for the better. He said, I sounded organised, planned, optimistic. Three things I’ve never been my whole life. Just living life like a dog chasing every shiny hub cap that drove past me.
‘Oooh! Shiny thing!…. Ooooh! Shiny thing! Oooh! Shiny thing!…. Ooooh! Shiny thing! ‘
I could never hold on to shiny things. Never held interest in much for more than a week, a month at a stretch. I can’t keep holding on to this now knowing why my life turned out the way it had.
Back on July 9th, I announced on FaceBook I was not going to be using it anymore, but would leave Messenger open. I had twenty-two “friends” on it. Friends who I haven’t really had anything to do with for a very long time. Hell, I don’t even know where any of them live, their phone numbers, anything about their lives, where they work. So, what is the point?
I deactivated FaceBook last night. It took five weeks for one of the twenty-two to notice I had not posted anything in a long time. I had noticed prior to my decision, and unknown to me, one or two had stopped posting. So I contacted them as I feared that COVID may have affected their lives. No, they had deactivated FaceBook with no announcements. No thanks for my concerns.
I have run into one or two of those from my past that have not seen me in a long time. I had never noticed until now, medicated, I pay more attention to people’s approach to me. I can see they have no interest in talking to me and pay me half attention, a small moment in time. Something once upon a time would have had me ruminating madly about why they were that way toward me. Sorry, next time I won’t come and say hi.
A lot of people over time had treated me poorly, no more. I won’t allow someone from the past walk over me as they once thought they could. Actually, I’ve had this attitude since I got out. I’m just writing about it, now.
A couple of “friends” on FaceBook who I really have had nothing to do with at all have gone the full bent banana and are now anti-vaxxers and COVID-19 deniers. I saw one comment that he will let his immune system deal with it. No thanks, I do not need someone or anyone like that in my life.
Mind you, this is a bloke I have seen suck marijuana through filthy bong water and let his dog lick his face. So, best of luck to him.
Having said that, I am pulling up the anchors of the past and I am moving forward. I said that to my psychiatrist, he liked the analogy. The same goes for my prison memoir. It is also time to pull that anchor from the harbor floor and move on.
For too long, myself and my unknown companion ADHD held on to my past like an albatross around my neck. A couple of sea analogies there.. ha! Setting sail, I guess.
The same goes for prison and my memoir. Like I said to those who joined me for a Zoom chat earlier this week I cannot keep on talking or writing about prison. It is already 6.5 years since I got out. Nearly 10 years since I was arrested.
A book can take 2-3 years to get published. I keep re-traumatising myself by trying to finish it. A rough guesstimate for if I did go ahead with it could be another 10 years before it sees light of day. No, simply no. I don’t want it to be 15-20 years down the road and still talking about it.
Sorry, no. My psychiatrist wholeheartedly agrees. So did those on Zoom.
I can’t let myself and others keep defining me as ‘That bloke who went to prison’ or the ‘Old Grant’. No. I wasn’t even meant to go to prison in the first place. I simply could not afford the $100,000+ it was going to cost if I plead not guilty and went to trial. Dad would have had to have sold our home. Something I was not going to let happen.
THE only reason I plead guilty.
That and my own solicitor refused to enter my plea of not guilty because I was up against a complainant who was a District Court judge and his learned friend. I had zero chance of a fair trial. I had no chance from the beginning. They are all “learned” friends when you’re up against the very Crown itself.
So, my old life was torn from my grip and I lost literally everything because of someone not paying attention to their own lives and was made a scapegoat. Someone’s needed pound of flesh because they were to busy looking over the fence into someone else’s yard.
But, prison will always be one anchor I cannot lift from the harbor floor. There is no such thing as having ‘done your time’, no. It never ends. There are aspects of life which will be a constant reminder I cannot resume a normal life. I am marked for life by many unseen things.
There are many jobs I will never be able to apply for. Anyone who has done any term in prison is ineligible to hold a ‘Blue Card’. This card allows someone to work in certain industries involving children, the elderly and the disabled. So basically, any government or council jobs. Even volunteer work.
Overseas travel is out for most countries. Bank loans are out. Although I am living in my own home, there may come a day I can’t be here any longer. Being able to rent a property is out, too. Age is against me as well. Dad may be around for another 10 years and by then I will be within reach of retirement age. As it stands, I have nothing to retire to or with. All that went away the day I was arrested.
Sounds grim, yeah? It is. But!
I am moving on with a new found steely resolve. Something the Old Grant never had. I am toying with a few ideas which will hopefully turn into an ongoing thing. I am seeking ways to future proof myself. For the first time in my life I have a tribe, a community, a social circle of good people.
And more importantly to me, I get genuine respect and care from those good people, too.
I am moving on.