I had an epiphany this morning - no, I really did :) I finally realised exactly what is wrong with me; I can't believe I didn't figure it out sooner.
Of course a big part of my problem is to do with a lot of sad things which have happened in my life over the past few years that I've not properly dealt with - I've pushed them to the back of my mind and just got on with it, however, they have not been what brought about this latest meltdown issue. They've not aided my recovery from it, but they certainly didn't cause it. The cause? My shop, or really the people who are entering it.
While I do deal with happy occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, weddings - the biggest part of my day to day job is dealing with customers who have suffered a bereavement. Having suffered way too many for someone my age myself I can empathise with every person who walks through the door, struggling with their emotions. Every funeral I serve I'm reminded that little bit more of the losses I've suffered. This in itself can be dealt with. I listen to chilling/relaxing music from time-to-time (especially at night if I can't sleep). I talk to friends about things; wait, hold on, I don't have any friends to talk to about such things any more - there's one thing that's not helping for the very person I would chat to about such things, is one of the people I still mourn for. I can deal with it by taking a holiday to get away from the 'real world' for a while. Oh wait; I can't afford a holiday and the few trips I have been on (kindly paid for by others) have ended being way more stressful than they could ever be relaxing, resulting in my coming home feeling worse than before I left. So you see, as it currently stands I have no outlet for the sorrow I am feeling, no outlet for the anger I have raging deep within me, no outlet to share the happy things - when they happen. This in itself would be enough to get me down, yet this is not the real reason why things have been so hard, for this is not the shop as such; it's more my emotions.
I'm not sure if you have heard of the "Stonewall Theory"? - apparently now being known as 'The Stone Tape Theory" (what idiot decided it needed renaming?) Basically it's a great way of explaining hauntings. It believes that properties (their bricks etc) absorb energy which can be replayed. I believe in this; it makes sense to me. Just as a cassette or video records images and sounds via magnets, it has to figure that if it a building is in a highly magnetised area it must be able to record sounds and images from the past! Now, while a cassette/video has to be placed in a player and have someone physically hit the button to begin a replay I believe that certain atmospheric conditions (unseen or felt to us) can cause these buildings to play back previous recordings. I also believe that buildings can absorb energy - both good and bad. You must have all at some point walked into a property/building and either felt completely at peace with it and yourself, or had a cold shiver making you want to leave as soon as possible? I know I have. A previous boss of mine lived in a house with the most amazing welcoming feeling; I've never encountered anything to match it - yet. My shop had a very similar feeling the first time I walked through the door - I will admit the fact I said as a teenager I would one day own it as mine might have had something to do with it. However, just recently that feeling is diminishing; this is where I think my biggest problem is right now.
I still love my shop. I've put 10 years of my life into it; my heart, soul and everything in between have gone into my business. Those moments (the good, the bad and the ugly) have permeated through the walls. They make up the very fabric of the building. When I'm here I feel as though I belong. It welcomes me, encompasses me, makes me feel as if anything is possible, except right now there is an underlying vibe to it. Something I've noticed but not understood, until this very morning when the headache I've had for over a week came back with a bang. It started last Monday getting progressively worse as the week went on, culminating in my meltdown on Friday teatime. By Saturday teatime (having been away from the shop for a few hours, knowing I wasn't going back to it until Monday) the headache lifted; I no longer needed to pop a pill. I surrounded myself with the people and things which make me feel good. I was on the up. I came into the shop yesterday morning full of renewed hope; then it happened. Someone came into the shop and suddenly the headache was back, the tension in my neck returned; I was fighting back tears - not of sadness, but anger that this person was here. It struck me they were drawing on my natural resources; they are a "psychic vampire" and they have been draining me - for weeks. Not seeing them for a few days I found myself bouncing back; their appearance dragged me straight back down again. Their negativity is filling the air within the shop, permeating the very fabric of the building that is all around me. My own sadness and anger is heightened because of it, therefore adding even more negativity to things. It is no longer the place I come to, enjoy being in, am happy to spend my day in; it has become the very place where my soul is drained. The place these people (there are a couple of them) are coming to feed off me. This was proved to me when I saw one of them walk by the shop first thing (they weren't meant to be about for the rest of the week). Just seeing them I suddenly felt the great energy I'd awakened with disperse from me; the building seemed to groan along with me. Yes, they came in; Yes, they left me wanting to scream. Yes, the whole atmosphere in the building was/is different now because of it. I have played some music to try and make things a bit more upbeat; I have been blessed with one great customer who is obviously a giver like myself for she certainly helped to lift me slightly (I am aware it is wrong of me to take positive energy from others unless it is being given freely). That's where my issues are coming from. My best friend (the kids Mum) was someone so like me we really could have come from the same egg. Being around each other we naturally lifted the other yet never ever drained each other. We were kindred spirits - she had another friend who only needed to walk into a room to make us both drain (a really strong psychic vampire). That's what I am missing, that's what is making it harder for me to deal with the issues I have. Everyone around me is constantly feeding from my energy and until I can get to the places I need to be to replace what they are draining (the Cove being as good a place as any - just half an hour there can replenish me for weeks) I am having a constant battle to replenish myself. These people aren't giving me the chance to refresh before they are back, taking more of what they really have no right to. I'm happy to help if I can, but they are not welcome to my stores. The shop which is normally a source of contentment is also suffering due to their negativity permeating through the walls, hence why I am getting such bad headaches being here. There is nobody in my life I can borrow some stores from to get me through each day. The very people left in my life are the ones who are all 'take, take and take'. Life is about give and take. You know the kind of people? The ones you say "good morning" to, followed by "how are you?". The second you asked those 3 little words you instantly regret it. Unless it is my best friend (who it won't be as she is no longer with us) then I always reply to people who ask the exact same question of me "I'm really good thanks, how's you?" Nobody wants to hear the reply "oh I'm shit, life is a bitch, I can't cope any more" when they ask. Those things can come later if you're good friends. I have a neighbour who always, always replies "I could be better" in such a depressing, down way that I kick myself internally each time I ask how she is. She's told me on many occasions she wishes she could be more like me, always cheerful. I've told her so many times that I'm not always cheerful, I just don't think it's fair to be miserable towards other people, unless of course they are a complete arse who deserves it 😁
What can I do about it? Well, sadly I cannot tell these people to "fuck off" - I really wish I could, but to do such a thing when running a small business would pretty much kill off any hope I have of making a success of things. Instead I have to "suck-it-up" on that score, there is nothing to be done. However, I can protect myself - something I've not really bothered to do for a long time (they really have been draining me for me to not think of this sooner). I will get myself down to the cove (I have the kids on Saturday - it would be great to take them there but I think they will be a distraction and so I may have to wait until the week after). In the meantime I am going to smudge the shop tomorrow (don't knock it until you have tried it) I'm going to focus as much as I can on raising the funds to get Stateside (that is definitely something which will more than lift my spirits and keep me going for a while - spending so much time with the kids and seeing their faces as they experience all it will offer will definitely make a massive difference). I'm going to dig out the chanting recordings I have and listen to them before going to sleep (that often helps) and I am going to try and politely ask the people who are draining me to leave, whilst making sure I do all I can to protect myself before I encounter them. The hot, humid weather we've been having doesn't help either for it makes the natural atmosphere heavy enough to begin with; add to that the negativity which is surrounding me and it's no wonder I've been feeling like the 'end-of-the-world-is-nigh'.
For those of you now sitting there, thinking I am some kind of 'fruitcake' you may well be right; you may also be wrong! Whatever (right or wrong) if I don't do something sooner, rather than later, I will find myself a rocking, jibbering wreck in the corner of a room and that's not good for anyone.
In my world the glass is neither half-full not half-empty; the glass is refillable!!