Part 124 – A Diagnosis….. And a Friendship…

The feature photo is a great campfire shot from Roger’s collection.

As I worked my way through the photos, I had to add captions –  I spent a lot of time getting place names and dates correct – then putting it all together into a seven year timeline.  Sometimes I would spend all day on one photo.

The horses weren’t getting as much time with me – but Magnum and I were still basking in the success of the hoof trimming.  They were still getting daily attention – it was all I could do at that time.

I was often so tired, and finally, after some sleep studies, I received my diagnosis of severe sleep apnoea.  I was waking over 30 times an hour.   I started to learn all about sleep disorders, and the dangers of undiagnosed sleep apnoea.  It took some time to come to terms with the fact that I would now have to sleep with an apnoea machine and mask.  There was really no choice – I just had to get used to it.

It made a difference almost immediately.  What a relief!  I had for so long thought I was tired due to travel…. or stress – or that I was just lazy!!!  It gave me some extra stamina to complete the reunion project.   And there was something else I was working on.

As I said in Part 122 – Sixteen Hooves! , I was still seeing Karen the psychologist.  I had been discussing with her over the previous few months the uneasy feelings I was having with a particular friend ……… let’s call her Jane.  I had known Jane for many years.  She could be fiery – but for a lot of the time we had fun.  I had always put up with those outbursts figuring it was over fairly quickly.  I would often say sorry (not really knowing what I was sorry for)  and things would be fine.  She would say she was just being honest.  The psychologist pointed out that that was her excuse for being rude and abusive.

There were many incidents over the years which I brushed off – but I noticed I was on edge when with her.  It was only in the process of doing this therapy that I saw the pattern.  At the time, over the previous year or two, the ‘cycle of abuse’ had increased.  I could see the cycle – the blow up, my apology and a settling down – her being nice for a while – then another blow up.

It shocked me when I thought back over the years to all the incidents I had smoothed over.  It had become ‘normal’ to me.  Karen had been helping me to see how I had allowed this to continue.  I needed to change things – to set firm boundaries – and if she could adapt to the new boundaries, we could continue as friends – otherwise, the friendship would come to an end.

I wasn’t sure how I would actually manage this, but it’s always interesting how things happen.  The hoof trimming with Magnum had given me a new found confidence – and the massive photo project for our reunion at that time was my priority.  It had also helped me remember how nice these friends had been, compared to how I was feeling  with Jane.

The week before ‘the final falling out’ I had seen Jane at a lunch with friends and she had also visited during my afternoon horse time – there was no animosity, but  perhaps she sensed a firming of boundaries then.  I had shown her how I had trimmed all the horses hooves –  she was very concerned about how I had trimmed them,  but I stayed confident and defended my work.

The next contact was via messenger.  She asked how the horses were as she said she was very worried about their state.  I said they were fine thankyou!

By this time my project was running behind deadline.  They wanted the finished format a few weeks before the reunion and I was still going!  The days were a blur –  I would get up, have breakfast, then head to the study to start on the photos.  At around 3pm I had a break to tend to the horses, then it was back inside to do more until 10 or 11 at night.

My friends knew I’d had my head in this project for four months and I would sometimes get messages asking how it was going – I  told them I will come up for air around the November of that year –  but I was about to receive a message from Jane that sealed the fate on our ‘friendship’…..




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