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Thursday, 11 February 2016

Hey you!

Turn the volume up said the email. So I did. It was perfect. Except while I was listening to the sound of silence, I got the news that my chickens had been killed by a fox, an old friend had been taken into a hospice and Nell's father can't afford to help pay for her residential. My chickens gave me three eggs this morning, it has been the most beautiful day and I will simply have to work harder.

Why can't there be a single day where the sun shines high, health is a given and life is truly wonderful? Maybe tomorrow..

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Flat as a pancake.

Happy Pancake Day. Except I am not sure it is or has been. I am chasing my tail and a list of jobs that I never seem to be able to cross out. I have no idea where my time goes but it is never free. I am never idle yet I long to do absolutely nothing. The need to stand still, completely still or sit even ideally lie down is quite extraordinary. I was walking the dogs at work this morning and I almost sneaked into the hedge to curl up into a ball. Just a fleeting thought but I acknowledged it before letting it go. In that brief moment I wondered if my thought of curling up to hide was because I ache to be invisible sometimes or whether my depression is far more in the forefront than I have ever accepted. I never truly believed I had it until very recently. My aching legs, the pain of exhaustion, the inability to listen to noise, the headache of silence, waking up and feeling that I am doing it all over again and again and again..

I came off my pills. The first doctor said I didn't have Depression. My head told me that I didn't have Depression either so why take pills that might not work. In contrast, my heart knows that I do have Depression. I am scared of pills because my mother was an addict but if I don't try then how will I ever feel better. I run because I can but truthfully because it makes me appreciate my life, my body and the simple fact that this world is beautiful. And it really is beautiful. When I run I can feel the gift of life in my lungs and the cool wind, rain or the heat from the sun sinking into my skin. I adore the simplicity of being alone amongst nature. It is all that I need at that moment. It is better than anything on earth. But I cannot run. I am heavy hearted and I have no energy. The second doctor that I saw insists that I do have Depression. I make a joke that I have 'children' because it feels that simple. It isn't that though. I love my girls. I loathe the choices of fathers I made and the inadequacies of their unnatural need to not parent their children. The simplicity of denying the girls the same pleasures as their friends and they way they only contact them fortnightly. No input, no concern, no interest in anything except the time they should bring them home. I hate myself for being so fucking insecure that I ever felt either of them were good enough to father my child. Never were, never will be.

New meds. Do I have Depression? I have absolutely no idea but I have a consistent stream of tough decisions, responsibilities, pressures of every day life piled on and then add to the mix occasional (often) irritations of critical passing comments, judgemental opinions, school dead lines, form filling, car tax, MOT and insurance.. Mortgage, oil tank refilling, recycling bins and freezer defrosting. Computer passwords, grocery shopping, airing cupboard organisation and not running out of dog food. Brownie consent forms, chopping kindling, occasional eBay posting and bedding down chickens. Let's not mention mending anything that breaks, putting fuel in my car, cutting nails and of course making fucking pancakes. Do I have Depression? Wouldn't you?.. Let's hope the new drugs work.

I shouldn't be flippant. I need to eat well, sleep long hours, run a few miles a few times a week and drink water to stay on top of things. I don't need my father ringing up after 7 years and forgetting the names of my girls. It doesn't make me cross, it makes me sad. I don't need to be teased or criticised even if people think I'm strong enough to hear the words. I'm not. Never have been, never will be. I put flowers in a pot from my garden and took them to Mums grave today. It was the first time I didn't speak to her out loud. I just stood there, exhausted. I admired her headstone and felt sad that I was proud of choosing something I believe she'd have liked. Where is she I wonder?

"How was she?" I was asked as I walked back into the house before collecting my other daughter and some friends from school.
"Quiet" I replied and then smiled to myself because that is exactly what she is. It was the one thing she wasn't when she was alive. Not always a good thing. Sad but glad that peace is my entitlement. Ah well.

I stood at the stove this morning with my beloved crepe pan in one hand, the ladle of mix in the other. The girls greedily eating as many pancakes as their tummys' would allow before a belly ache set in. Did I ever have pancakes as a child? Never. My pancakes remind me of being in The South of France and as I stand there cooking for my children this morning full of love yet longing so much to be at ease. Soon. So many reasons to go to the warmth but if I had to give one? It would be to lie as flat as a pancake on my back and close my eyes. In the meantime, I might just curl up..

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Forgot to say..

That on my last post my facebook account was hacked into and the photographs of my children were looked at by someone who wanted to snoop through my life.

I did what any normal human being would do. I closed my account. The thought of a total stranger, one that I only suspected wanted to look at my account for personal gratification, made me feel exploited and intimidated. But then I forgot a friends birthday and that is my favourite part of the social media website. I didn't miss the updates of diet, exercise, family achievements although it is always lovely to learn good news. I felt less poked at and less aggravated and I stopped feeling alone. Fascinating that a social website can make you feel lonely.. 

But I decided that regardless of being looked at, I would open my account again. I have. Now I fear the damage has been done. I miss being private, ironically. I miss that the details of my life should be mine to tell and share. I have my writing which I think is enough. We'll see. I am not alone and I never was but when someone specifically tells you that to join in with them will enhance my life, then turns away from me having had a change of mind, I'm insulted and hurt. I'd rather not have had the invitation in the first place. I didn't ever ask for it. I was happy enough as I was. I am happier now.

Sometimes life is so bloody complicated. I ache for simplicity. I long to hold hands and stroll. I am always busy, hard at it, achieving a whole list of chores (other peoples as well as my own) and I am happy with how I live my life. I am honest and true. Completely. Every detail of my daily existence is real. I know I am frowned upon, sneered at, criticised and judged but I am learning (and believe firmly) that how and what I do is no one else's business. It has taken many years for me to realise that I am entitled to be happy just like everyone else. Why should I be any different? Am I not entitled to be loved? Am I meant to be a single woman forever? Managing alone and setting examples to my children that women are capable and strong? Is that how it should be for me or maybe, just maybe I can be held, helped, made to laugh and feel that life is better shared..

I have met someone who is making me happy. I could write a long list of reasons why he makes me feel worthy but I don't need to. I could describe how I feel with him and what I am hoping for but I don't want to do that either. He is lovely. And he likes me, loves me, he says. For the first time in my life, I believe it. I am scared that he might change his mind but Just for Today, I am saying out loud (in word) that I feel properly happy. And the most important thing I have to remember is that I don't need permission to feel this way. Not now. Not ever. I am absolutely entitled to this just as much as anyone else is. I am no different. The truth is I have just waited a very long time. 

Funny thing life. She always said it would come right. 

Saturday, 23 January 2016

You wouldn't believe it unless I told you..

Things that happened in my life in less than a week:

A friend of mine has been arrested for smashing an iPad and charged with criminal damage.
Another friend of mine was accused of child abuse. 
Both accusations were unjust and entirely incorrect. Except the iPad was smashed but he paid for it so actually, it was his to break.
My youngest was made to feel guilty by her father for not wanting to see him. But she doesn't want to see him so what do I do?
I was accused of being a liar, twice. 2 different accusations. I never lie. 
There is an ongoing legal matter concerning my late mothers estate but it has nothing to do with me. I am simply being given the information because that is correct. It isn't my problem but I am involved.
I am struggling to pay the bills because both fathers have taken away their daughters agreed maintenance. 
I have a dear friend with insomnia who I can't help.
I have another friend who, every time we arrange to see each other I have to cancel because of over stretching myself or she is working late or at a keep fit class. I haven't seen her since August.
I was introduced to a man and told we'd get on really well and then told many reasons why he isn't appropriate and the introduction is now a regret. Perhaps we weren't meant to get on quite so well?
I slept for 10 hours last night but my dreams were of an angry man yelling at me with a blond woman wearing dirty boots in my kitchen as Bowie played loudly and my mother sat nodding and smiling from the sofa. 
I long for the sea but I live too far from it to go to the beach.
A friend of mine described me as a thoroughly decent woman. I am her, completely.
I have run 19 miles but need to gulp air and feel my lungs full more today than ever.
I sent my father a birthday card even though I haven't seen him for 7 years.
My eldest didn't get the art scholarship to her new school and I took it worse than she did.
My dogs have fleas and come to mention it, so do I it seems.
Mary has nits.
I have booked the DJ for Nell's 11th birthday disco and given invitations to her entire class. 
I have 4 hours off today and I am sitting outside a shop listening to Vivaldi unable to get out of the car. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

It's not fair.

These were the words of a 50 year old man, Mary's father when she bravely admitted yet again that she didn't want to go back. Apparently he feels that it isn't fair on HIM? He had the ignorance to complain to our 8 year old little girl (no doubt to make her feel guilty) trying to persuade her to change her mind. He also said, "I won't shout" but the trouble is he does shout. I'm afraid that it is fair simply because after years of shoving her to one side and leaving her with his mother (the one who shouted the loudest it turned out), she is frightened of going back. It's that simple. I won't make her. I have taken advice (of course) and there is no legal obligation for her to go somewhere with her father unless she feels comfortable. She doesn't feel comfortable. He let her down. He made his choices very clear. Over and over again, I tried to warn him what was happening but he yelled that it was nothing to do with me. It is to do with me, always was, always will be. He needs to work this out. Without shouting.

I was told not to isolate myself yesterday. I do that a bit. When things get tough and I feel too many negatives around me. I don't hide under the duvet (although this would be my first option) because I don't have the luxury of time but I just keep away from any possibility of further poking. It isn't isolation, it's peace. I feel safer that way. But I need to go back to normality and smile outside. I will. The world is a beautiful place and right now, with the white crisp frost that hasn't left us for over 3 days, it is simply stunning. The air is fresh and it stings my skin reminding me that I mustn't make everything personal. I try too hard.

My chickens need a bale of straw. I'll ask a friend (Thank you Julie. If, of course, you have one). They need to be warm at night too. Being out in the cold is horrid. Leaving the space that is your safe haven makes the ground feel unstable and I can only imagine how desolate it would be to be isolated, excluded and alone in weather like this. Someone I know is having a tough time of it. Unhappy that a calm, logical and adult situation changed suddenly and became volatile, furious and child-like. He is isolated. That's how it works since the law changed in the 1950's. Before that, it would have been the other way around. Women had no right, no say and no protection. I'm glad it's changed but I'm sad it needed to. It should be fair.

Is it fair? Is everything we do guided by the loudest voice, the strongest opinion or the quickest answer?  If the one that shouts, stamps their feet and mops their brow gets the results they want, maybe we should all start acting like that? No chance. I can't not be real. I have been the same way forever. This is the way I live my life and I wouldn't want to change it. It needs to be true. I have no other way than honest. If I am the fastest, it is because I am quicker. If I isolate myself, it is by choice and necessity. I can sometimes speak loudly but it is because I care. And I believe. I believe so strongly that it will always come right. I am learning to let things go and stand still (occasionally) to allow the world to work it's magic.

It might not be fair, for now. It will be.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Let me be.

I was given some accurate advice last Thursday and it was this:

"No one has the right to tell you what to do, with who and when. This is your life Rose, no one else's and you need to look after yourself and stop worrying about other peoples issues".

Easier said than done I know. I have always been a a worrier. I like looking after people and helping out if I can. But she's right. This is my life and I am entitled to be happy.

I am consistently tough on my girls. I am tougher on my eldest because she is shy. With my youngest, I rarely let up with reminders of 'please' and 'thank you'. Eye contact is excruciating when you are a child and being spoken to by an adult. I remember it well. I am not very good at it now. I nudge Nell and simply say "Eyes" if she looks at her lap before answering. I was advised on Saturday night to "Get out of her face" which upset me so much that I cried. I asked Nell yesterday what she thought. Am I too tough? Am I always on her case? Am I a bad mother?

She smiled at me and replied, "There is only you to teach us Mummy".
She's 10 years old. If she isn't unhappy with how I am then neither am I.

The weekend over, back to the chores and juggling act of responsibility. I have chosen to be this woman and I adore my job. Being a mother is what I always wanted. It's what I do. I know my girls and they have such different characters that when one suggested that I had created their personalities, I silently shook my head in disagreement. They have created their own ways of being who they are. I have allowed them freedom of choice and I have nurtured, loved, guided and reprimanded them along the way. I was told to "sit back and reap the rewards of who they have become" but I will never do that. My job is to be their mother and I will sit back and enjoy who they are but never think that I have made them that way or that my duty is over. They are children. They will always be my children even if they are adults to everyone else. It is that simple. My job is permanent.

We all have choices. We meet new people. We go to new places and we decide for ourselves what we like and dislike. I have met some lovely people along the way and a few who I really enjoy having in my life. I am grateful and happy that I can decide for myself. I am also deeply sensitive and aware of other peoples feelings which occasionally makes my daily life difficult. I don't interfere. I do care. I also try my best every single day. I want to stay alive and I insist on good manners and respect. My girls know this without me telling them. Why, therefore, do adults who should know better treat me with such ignorance and rudeness? Adults especially who are my daughters family? Pretending to care but remaining silent. If you can't improve my life, don't set out to make it worse. Please. Let me get on with what I am doing and join in with a smile if you can. If not, let me be.

I am not in my daughters face, I am in her heart. 100%. Thank God.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Do I need a reason?

I don't think I do. No justification needed. Why do I explain so much when it is others that create my need for finding logic? It's all so obvious. I leave my door open, people come in. Those that don't, insult me by either saying they might find time or worse, never finding time to even suggest. Days go by without any change. I am meant to smooth life's tricky path for them? Not any more. I can walk where I like. I can clamber over obstacles or run downhill freely. I don't need any extra reason to trip up.

Dump it at the door. It's what I tell my girls every Sunday evening as they come back from the other side. Take off the coat that doesn't quite fit properly and leave it out in the rain. I bath them, wash their hair and we sit quietly. If they can have a safe haven inside this home then surely I am entitled to one too?

Why how come no one notices when I need help?