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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

and then..

It struck me as I was holding 4 helium balloons with ribbons and foil to bring home to my little girl to hide and surprise her tomorrow with a smile as big as my heart, I am better than this. I don't need to stamp my feet, protest, get cross with nonsense or irritated by aggravations of such an intruding and unnecessary nature.. Really? Do I remember when.. what.. how.. yeah, I remember but my life is full up with only a tiny bit of room and that tiny bit of space I have left over is really, really precious. Step into it if you wish and stay a while, sit down, even sing along with us but don't put your foot through our door and make a mess. I've never like an untidy home but if it gets a bit scruffy, it's my mess I like to deal with and clean up.

The door is always open, just do me a favour and wipe your feet before you pitch up uninvited.

Balloons hidden, cakes made, candles on stand by, presents wrapped. I just need to pucker up for all those birthday kisses I'm going give her. I cannot believe I've been a mother for a decade. We deserve a party. We might even dance.


I wrote this (below) back in July.. Extraordinary how I felt back then and how I feel today. I am consistent if nothing else. I ache for the reality which I know is mine. A great friend of mine called me with a stern and stable frame of mind last week.. "Levitate above it my friend" she told me with concern.

And with that in mind, I am off to the shops to buy my baby girl a big helium balloon announcing her 10th birthday tomorrow. There are more important things in life and I am off to make sure that my priority isn't ruined.

Be kind. Everything we do has an effect on someone, somewhere..

One day, someone, somewhere, probably half blind will look at me and realise that I'm okay. How can the rest of the world glide from one day to the next, with the occasional bump but never feel rejection like this? It's stupid. The truth? In a matter of weeks I have been told that someone would like to rip my tongue out and then the same man wanted to marry me. I don't get it. I don't want drama or crisis. I long for stability, strength, individuality and genuine friendship. Just stand still next to me, hold my hand if you want because as much as I make out that I'm okay, I'm fine, I have absolutely no one to lean on. Not even the ones that tell me that I can. They move and I fall.

And waft..

Monday, 26 January 2015

Pretty simple stuff..

Gingerbread - What not to say to a single parent - 20 things not to say to a single parent (and seven things you should)

Support me, don't shake me.

Hug me, don't tug me.

It's all very well being a part of my life but BE a part of my life by actually showing your face.

Don't pop in, Do drop by and sit down.

I'm lucky I have so much more than many. I am so used to doing it alone that I don't need anyone to do it for me but please, don't criticise my ways if you have no idea of how I am actually doing it. I have no idea how I am doing it but it seems easy most of the time. I cannot imagine a life without loving, caring and wanting so much for someone else. That'll be me then.

My eldest daughter is 10 years old in a few days. I wonder who will actually remember? Her father is too busy at work to come and see her. She pretends that she doesn't notice but I've seen her tears. I'll hug her and make her better. I will pick up the pieces because she will throw them at me blaming me, shouting at me not knowing how to deal with the silent neglect. I'll love her. Enough for both parents, a hundred times over but if you're a parent, be a parent. That'll be me then.

I am awake in the early hours because it hit me yesterday that I have done a decade of this thing, being alone as a parent. I have done my best, often badly and I am still trying so hard but does it go completely unnoticed? To ask for help, a hand out? A new anorak for his daughter? I CAN'T is all I ever hear. But he can for another one. A birthday card, a call, something to open on her actual birthday.. That'll be me then.
Being a father once a fortnight isn't being a parent. Being a father who can pay for a nanny isn't being a parent. Being a father who bad mouths you yet wouldn't recognise you isn't being a parent. That'll be me then.

I have been told that I can lean on The Boyfriend. I leant on him yesterday but he moved. I fell. He was too busy thinking of his new life that will accommodate his children, his family, his mother, brother and sister. So busy that he has forgotten to write my daughter a birthday card and wrap her a present. He won't be here for her big day. Why would he be when he has his own to pop in on.. If you want to be somewhere, you will get there. That'll be me then.

I am peered at, poked, prodded, rattled, judged and expected to accept it. I am open, honest, true, generous and completely exhausted. Life is costing me a small fortune but at my expense I seem to provide for all. I am questioned yet you already know the answers because you've read them. Truth is easy. Honesty seems harder. Not for me. Never. I have always been one to wear my heart on my sleeve yet I am looked at and judged, taken for granted and expected. I might just surprise you yet.. Is that me then?

Foot Note (to Self more so than the ones that pop their noses in for a good gawp)
Shut the Fuck up and stop moaning. You have life, health and 2 amazingly free spirited children. Get a grip Rose- a good kick in the bollocks will make you feel a whole lot better. Hmm, a maybe a flight to Spain.. Psst.. I'll be in touch SeƱora X

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Going green.

I have literally dragged myself to the table to sit here and write this. I am in shock. Just over a week ago I decided to 'go green'. I drank smoothies with wheatgrass. I added spirulina to juices- trust me, I am not an algae fan unless it's in the chinese on a saturday night variety and that's about as close as I ever get to the nutrients of the sea bed. I bought some mineral salts from some amazing sea and poured them in handfuls into my bath. I had a deep clean face mask verging on chemical but not resulting in a Sweeny Todd result. I ate spinach with green tomatoes and chunks of garlic. I cut out booze, sugar and bread. I slept for 10 hours a night and I put my running shoes back on and hit the road hard. I was doing 3 miles every day and feeling great. I had a dental check up on Wednesday morning and a full polish. At lunchtime, I finally accepted 'the invitation' for my smear test and whilst I was there I agreed to a full MOT. I will omit the finer detail but if I mention swabs, weight and blood pressure, you'll get the gist.
"Wow" exclaimed the nurse, "You're as fit as a flea. You should be really proud of yourself."
I confessed that my usual alcohol intake is greater than zero and perhaps in March if she asked me again, I might have a few Easter eggs stuffed up my skinny jumper but she shook her head and disagreed.
"You're blood pressure is excellent. Weight spot on (I completely defy that comment) and you have an excellent diet. Well done!"
I think I might even have skipped out of the surgery feeling pretty shit hot because I seem to remember ringing The Boyfriend and laughing about the timely prodding up my wotsit with good humour rather than the usual mortification. Cervix- found. Miracle it itself from past experience. Less detail needed but am I the only woman to have given birth twice with bodily parts that can never be found under examination? Surely not. Comments like "You're a tough nut to crack" spring to mind.

Thursday morning arrived and I felt like I had been run over. Literally. I could hardly get out of bed. But I did. I dragged my feet all day from chore to chore. I groaned, gasped and held my head to stop it from falling to the floor. More green veg, green juice and added vitamin C with zinc as a last minute panic.. Too late. It had me. Filthy, fucking germs had crept up on me when my energy reserves were low and emotionally I was struggling.

Friday was a right off. Bed all day, inability to sleep from pain and pressure in my head from a lurgy so vile I wanted to be run over. I actually asked The Boyfriend if hitting my head or going upside down might help? He didn't reply. God I love him. He nursed me all day with paracetamol, honey, lemon and ginger. He made me eat when I couldn't. He picked up a carpet full of disgusting tissues and rubbed my back as I sobbed into my pillow. May I never forget how amazing he was because in comparison, as a nurse, I am terrible. I really must try harder. He is in serious credit. And now it is in writing as proof.

The only thing about me that is green today is my snot. Oh and the colour of my face. I 'apparently' have flu although I refuse to admit it. Every bone (is it possible?) aches and my skin stings. Walking is more difficult that any final mile I have run a few times in a half marathon. I am gasping for air when I reach the top of the stairs and I am sitting down more often than I ever have before. As I write this (it has taken over 2 hours) my eyes are burning and lids so heavy that I could sleep with my forehead on the keyboard. Tempting though it is, I still need to carry on. I have this ridiculous need to tidy, clean and straighten out the obvious and then I will allow myself a rest. Again.
I have never ever felt so unwell. Flu? Nah, this is just a stinker of a cold. If it was flu I would be crying and need to be in bed..

Can someone, anyone, please carry me up the stairs? (sobbing)

Sunday, 11 January 2015

It just takes time.

Sometimes we just need a break, a breather, a bit of space and silent understanding. I know from my own personal experience that I don't always want to answer the questions, go out for a drink or explain why I am feeling a bit under the weather. But occasionally, we owe it to the people that care about us to swallow the tricky pill of awkwardness and own up.

Sitting writing in Cornwall, I felt elated and excited that the words flowed from my fingertips onto the keyboard. I was writing thousands of words every single time I had a chance to sit. I have done a rough word count and I have completed 42,000 words of my book and as never before, I am confident that I am writing a real, proper story that a few might enjoy. However, I am also reacting to the words that I am writing. It has been way harder than I ever gave myself credit for and not entirely what I expected. Drawing back memories of early and later years has been easy to remember and write but very difficult to realise and read. I was reading a chapter or 2 to the love of my life (note name given to him now I am over a hurdle or three) and my throat literally closed, my voice cracked and my vision went blurry. I have no idea why my body reacts physically and so dramatically when mentally I am capable of normality. I need air to breath in gulps when I am in crisis and I need to sit still in silence. Allow myself to react and recover.

I am allowing my body the time to react yet I am watching myself closely. I am drinking Aloe Vera morning and night, taking Starflower and Arctic Sea pills feeding my system with Vitamin E and fish oils hoping that my brain and blood will run smoothly. I am drinking Rose and Camomile tea. I am off the booze. No snacking on sweets or handful of crisps as I sit and write. Clean, pure and healthy. I need to understand that by running with the wind in my hair and on my face, I can let go of the unhappy memories. I am bringing the frightened child back into my life by writing a little of her trouble but in doing so, I am transforming her from child to woman. I am letting her go.

Admitting, owning up, telling the truth is a huge thing in my life but no one has to rush. It was incredibly difficult for me to explain why I needed to be left alone when I knew my request would hurt. I had to focus on the inner child because it was immediate. I am so grateful that the love of my life understands or simply accepted. No one is perfect. Especially not me. I am fully aware of my faults and absurdities but I am trying so hard to quietly accept that I am perfectly entitled to be like I am. I adore my children and one day they will read and perhaps understand why the tiniest things make me flip, frighten or even confuse me. Ultimately, we all need to react and recover.

Love. It's just about Love. If you love someone, let them be, breathe, walk away for a while and then remember that each and every one of us is a bit odd, different, unique. There are no rules. I can be exactly as I am regardless of what may seem normal. In this county especially, the pressure to have, achieve, appear and do is relentless. Unhappy faces may frown but it isn't personal. Happy faces may laugh but that's not about you either. What IS about you is that you are true, accepting and real to yourself. Give yourself the time to react and most importantly, give yourself a chance to recover.

It didn't help the boyfriend that I was also pre-menstrual and feeding myself on snacks so I was experiencing huge sugar highs and then hungry lulls. Mix that with the reality of PMT and the man didn't stand a chance. We're okay though. I love him. Completely. By some insane miracle it appears that our paths have crossed at exactly the right time and he loves me back.

It just takes time..

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Pay it forward.

I am shutting the door. I have always kept the door open for anyone, everyone to pop in on my life and off load on theirs. I have been a sounding board, a punch bag and that extra pair of hands so often needed but I'm exhausted.

In the last week, since sitting under a beautiful sky, looking at the sea in front of me I have realised that I need nothing more than I have already. In fact, I need nothing. I do, however, need reliability and constant.

My only lesson from recent events is just because you want something, doesn't mean you can have it. Please try and think how your actions, words, suggestions even silence can affect those that you involve in your life.

I am stepping away. Pay it forward- Thank you for allowing me my space and not asking why, what and when. There are no answers. It is the silence that speaks volumes.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Oh Tits.

That last post was meant to be a draft until I returned from Cornwall and sat down to edit it. I clearly left it live and have only just had time to re-adjust a few words. Fundamentally, it is exactly how I felt, still feel. Except I now feel worse. Someone was suggested that the boyfriend left his wife for me. He did not. He left his wife because he wanted to leave his wife. Right now, he can go back should he so desire because I need to breathe. 
"Fuck, you're harsh" said a friend of mine who hasn't got another adult living in the house.
"Don't tempt me to speak out" said another who has a husband working from home.
"We are in separate bedrooms" admitted one more with an apologetic smile. Lucky she has a spare room.

Maybe it isn't just me and men are the most irritating species? Wherever I turn, he's right there in my face. I try to go to my kitchen sink and he's almost sitting in it. I turn to go to the oven to remove the children's breakfast and as I bend to open the oven I am told, "I'll just have one sausage today, it's fine" like he's sacrificing his hunger as a silent punishment. Except it's not silent is it because you've just told me. When did men become such needy lumps?

"Tell him you love him" advised a friend of mine as I moaned down the phone that my children are easier than adult males.
"Why the fuck should I?" I replied, "Is this what men require? Constant attention, praise, glory and arse wiping?"

I am told a combination of the following:

"I love you. Tell me you love me?" (Really? I did to be asked?)

"Can I have a kiss?" (First thing in the morning- not even my kids kiss me)

"I lay so still too frightened to move unless I woke you up" (but you DID wake me up to say that to me)

"I don't understand- the girls are allowed tomato sauce with sausage but not with bacon. Is that right?"(Yes, that is correct. Why question it?)

"Are you going have a bath tonight?" as he gets out of the bath. (Why would someone ask that? Not anymore)

"I'm here to help you but I'm not helping am I? (Why would you have to ask that question?)

"You sound exhausted" (I am exhausted but normal. It means I sound haggard and old)

"What do you think about …?" (he asks me.. My answer is honest so caution needed when asking)

"You were right about … I should have listened to your answer". (Obviously. I was being true.)

Many things happen throughout each day that make me question human nature. Disappointments often, untruths, tiny niggles of doubt that are smoothed over by pretty smiles but people seem to lie to me the whole time. I find that quite extraordinary especially when I am so adamant that I'd rather hear the truth.
Just tell the truth.

"I need you to have my child before/ after school to save me paying for extra school club"
"Can I lodge with you until I find a flat nearer work? It'll save me a fortune"
"I can't be your friend because my husband really dislikes you and your children"
"Mary is so energetic and talkative (she is, always has been) but it drives me crazy"

No one ever tells the truth. I do. Maybe that's the problem?