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Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Something to see here. 

Just a teeny tiny glimpse of why I have had a really good day. Actually, I've had a really good week..

This morning I laid the table for my girls outside. They sat and slowly woke up amongst early morning sunshine and deliciousness. I adore feeding them properly. I am happier still when my tablecloth is clean and the flowers on the table are Sweet Peas from a local supplier. A really good start to the day. Pretty perfect.

And then I was given flowers. I am very happy that my hard work paid off and it is even nicer when someone shows their appreciation like this. A successful annual road race was enough. This made me smile from the inside. I got it right.

I went to work. I was given an opportunity and I grabbed it. I was welcome to come back and use their home. I really have landed on my feel with this job. They are grateful and I am very happy to work hard.

I went to the gym in between the flower giving, work and the swimming. I am very happy to announce that the results of my asthma trial at the surgery last week showed that I do not, repeat NOT, have asthma. They think it was stress related. Funny that. I went for a run after the swim. It is the third day in a row that I have hit the road and tonight, I ran 4.2 miles. It was hot. It was 30 degrees and hard but I loved it. More importantly, my lungs, my heart and my head loved it.

I think I've turned a corner. I'm back. I'm fit and well and I have absolutely no intention of ever being suffocated again. Life is so precious. Life is right now. Life is not in 2 years time or maybe longer. It's about today and maybe tomorrow if we're lucky.

Isn't it obvious after all?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

And Breathe.

Life seems so obvious when you have time to sit down and think about stuff. Actually working out why, what and when. Hindsight really is a wonderful thing but heart ache is not. Especially, it seems, when you've gone back over it again and again. Time will heal me. I am hoping that Life itself will be enough to make me mend. Trouble is that this recent heart break is like a regurgitation of my younger, former, more vulnerable self. I am mixing two of my selves together. Funnily enough it is the former, naive version that is angry. The older, experienced, adult me seems to shrug her shoulders a great deal and mutter things like, "Tosser", "Ah well" and "Rude". It WAS rude. There isn't a single person I've mumbled it to that hasn't felt embarrassed and slightly awkward that He felt so stretched between his committed married family life and his potential new one. One man, and he really is all man at 6 foot 6 and quite wide stood in front of me on the side of the road and said, "You don't need aggro like that".

YOGA. I haven't done yoga for a while. I have been too busy. Ridiculous statement and unselfish claim. I simply can't fit it in. Certainly not this week. Yoga is a state of mind, a deep breath that calms entirely so surely to rush to yoga and squeeze in a session isn't what yoga means.

I asked fro support yesterday and two of of three stepped forward. Not bad. I was grateful and I am relieved that the one I thought wouldn't, didn't. I usually know. I stood there nodding listening to the bullshit excuse, because it was an excuse. We all have better things to do than help someone who needs help. I hope I'm a better person. And breathe.

The pain of heart break is reminiscent of abandonment. Some might not even give that the time to read it. So don't read it. Get on with your day. Go to another meeting. Tick it off the list of jobs. Don't be late for your best friend. Those that understand what I mean, I am walking one step at a time feeling distraught, bereft, separated. Where's that adult child? Come on Rose, Shrug your shoulders and sigh. Thank God for delicious coffee first thing in the morning, a lovely kitchen, beautiful roses over the window and a couple of children upstairs. Deep breaths. We all have choices. I don't lie. I never have, never will. This is my life because I own it. I am certainly not going to fob you off with pretending. OMMMM.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Put that down!

Jeff Brown has written a course that I have just listened to with complete adoration.

Not just for a man who hits the nail on the head with almost every sentence but for myself for being here. I am often a bit embarrassed when people say to me, "Give yourself a break" because I already do. I learnt to love myself a while back. Not in the narcissistic way that seems to have plagued my family members but in a way where I allow myself a silent pat on the back, a chilled glass of wine, an occasional massage, a frequent trip away, delicious food, an indulgent bubble bath or an early night- all by choice. I love being me and I am fully able to see that contrary to many others who might not see my good points, kind nature, enthusiastic excitement or energetic attitude as attributes, I do. I really am okay with who I am. I had to love myself from a young age because quite simply, no one else did. I learnt to look after myself and realised that unless I was kind to me, I wouldn't get very far.

Recently, I have been fogged down (intentional typo) by someone else's baggage. The inability to put down what he (Him) willingly moved away from. When he walked through my door on that friday night carrying a holdall, I had no idea how heavy it was. He brought with him the guilt of leaving his children, the pain of feeling a failure as a husband and right there at the bottom of the bag were a few too many other issues going way back to his early years. All of us have baggage, I am fully aware of that. I am simply choosing not to carry anybody else's from now on. Drop your bag at the door and walk into my happy home with a smile. I do not want anyone in this house with a permanent cloud above their heads and the thought that perhaps, just maybe, they should never have left their wife. "In hindsight Rose" he started, "I might not have left quite so soon". I opened and closed my mouth like a goldfish and wishing my memory was as short termed. He left of his own accord. A month after telling his children he was leaving. His wife actually told him to go. I didn't ask him to turn up here that day. His choice I thought.

The doors and windows are now wide open. My girls are swimming in the sunshine. The animals are all fed and happy and lying stretched out in the afternoon heat. I am sitting here wondering how and
why I carried someone else's baggage for so long? I'm not sure what I thought I could do by heaving the weight around all the time. I was hoping it might get easier, lighter but it didn't. The longer I carried that bag for him, the heavier it got. Obvious in hindsight.

Another extraordinary fact which I find mind-blowing is that I no longer have asthma. I stopped using my puffer last thursday. I haven't wheezed since. Coincidence? Maybe. Or could it be possible that the relationship between Him and his wife and me and them and the children that I never met and his mother-in-law made me literally unable to breathe? It's as though I am can to breathe properly again. I will find out for sure on thursday at the asthma clinic but it's funny isn't it how maybe claustrophobic emotion and suppressed feelings are so over-powering that I am starting to believe that maybe that is why I struggled to breathe.

I'm off to the gym. Without any baggage and without my inhaler.

Let it be.

I've had to change the ending. The book that I have been writing, have written, thought I'd finished and been lucky enough to have edited, has had to change. No one has recommended that I do this but the ending isn't right. It doesn't make sense. 

I have been battling and finding explanations for other peoples behaviour for years. I have been let down more than many human beings but that's life surely? Is it because I allow it? Or is it because people intend to join in with me and my family but the reality is that they can't. I sat on the bathroom chair last night. I had one girl on my lap, the other was in the bath mouthing something private at me so her younger sister didn't see. I got it. I understand the sign language of my children even when they don't ask me or intend me to see. I get my children. Nell is battling with issues with her father that he has no idea are even right in front of his nose. Completely blind. Mary is cross that (not sure what to call him now.. Certainly not The Love of my Life, maybe The Old Boyfriend is a more apt title after all?) anyway, Him. She is cross that he joined in here for months as though he was a part of our family yet he never let us into his. His children, aged 7 and 4 asked him apparently if they would ever see my dogs again? My dogs? Not a tiny hint of regret that they will never meet my girls or God Forbid dare to meet me. Nope, they asked about my dogs. These children spend their weekends at soft play centres and at a local 'petting farm'. I am still not sure what that is. My girls lived on a farm. I am a farmers daughter. We have an allotment and they handle dogs, cats and chickens as part of their lives. I thought that inner city children went to 'petting farms' not ones that live in the suburbs of an almost home county. It's the need for constant entertainment. That I find quite exhausting. Equal to the need to console a man who decided to leave his wife yet cannot accept that his decision comes with change. And blame. And lack of responsibility. I could go on. I won't. It is not my job to make sense of someone else's lifestyle choice. I've served my purpose. I'm done counselling and listening to what a terrible life he had. A list of insults that I don't need to share with the world. He was unforgivably rude to me. Let's leave it there.

The answer is No. They won't see my dogs again.

Twice in the last week I have been told that because I have been through a lot of shit in my life (not my words) that I should be more understanding and adept to dealing with it head on. I have been told this is a critical manner that I am therefore failing. Really? When did it become easier to deal with pain, deceit, jealousy, anger or apathy simply because you've experienced it before? I am happy (unbelievable I know) that it doesn't feel normal or that I don't expect to be treated badly. I guess I should be relieved that I am not so damaged after all.

"You should know Rose- you of all people". RUDE.

My conclusion on this beautiful early Summers morning is simple. To heal ourselves we have to accept we need healing. We need to be kind. KIND. We need to look after ourselves and not battle with angry words or further insults. Sometimes there is a reason that there is no reason. I don't understand the logic because it simply doesn't make sense to me. I am glad that it doesn't because my life is on a different level to one where a comfort zone excludes all true feeling, compassion and honesty.

To open a new door, you have to shut one first. I'm happy to see that the door I've just closed has a key in it. I have friends shouting at me, "Lock it, Quick". There is no need. Once this door closes, it won't re-open.

My garden really is beautiful.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Speak up!

I've never been one for holding back. I have always expressed my point of view quite clearly if asked, often if not. I fight for justice, insist on fibs being flattened out and shout from the roof tops if I love someone. Not sure when I started speaking the truth. I must have been in my 20's.

I remember tiptoeing around the farmhouse as a child in case I woke my mother. Comatosed and snoring, she would be out for the count until something stirred her. My father would feed us breakfast before school and we were collected by a teacher who lived in the village once we grew past the age for the primary school bus. If I saw my mother before school, it was rarely a good thing. I kept quiet if she appeared. Just in case.

I guess when she got sober, I started to talk. Never about the reality of the years before but to a woman who started to smile and feel more like a mother. A bit. There were some really good years before it all went wrong again but from the start of the friendship to the year that she died, I didn't not tell the truth. If she asked me, I would look at her and answer. We had a very honest relationship. Many questioned, a few accused and the odd so-called friend enabled her deterioration without the knowledge of doing so. One woman looked at me, actually told me that it was MY fault that my mother was an alcoholic spat the words, "Fuck Off" in my face as I held Nell in my arms (she was a month old and we were living together) and left the house in disgust. My mother had checked herself out of treatment and had threatened to kill herself so I had come home from a friends house hoping that she hadn't. It wasn't really my mothers' friends fault. She had listened to the list of complaints no doubt about what a terrible daughter I was and how I had ruined her life, somehow. I kind of knew that from infancy already but I never understood why. No child asks to be born. I am no different. 

We made our peace. Eventually. The booze filled being that wasn't my mother was furious, rejected, agoraphobic, insulting, frightening and insecure. The sober woman was kind, scared, sorry, funny and child-like. I miss her. I cannot believe I feel like that because the fear of being hurt has gone away, finally but I do miss her.

Then I met Jonny. The teenage boyfriend who towered over me as we walked along the sea wall listening to Bowie dreaming of a perfect life. A romance for a matter of months that I remember my mother disliking. Maybe she knew something I didn't. It might have simply been that he wasn't a Lord or a Duke. Obscurely, my mother had high expectations for her daughters. Very odd considering.  All the memories of the good days returned. The move from Kingston Seymour to Naunton. The tumbling roses over the front door and a village that made me feel welcome. A new life. A happy life. A mother who smiled and made people laugh intentionally. I had hope. I had dreams. I believed that it might be okay after all. And then I wrote my book. The words poured from my finger tips in a way that I still cannot believe. Maybe that was the point.

It will be okay. There is a process that I have to go through called 'heart ache'. It really hurts. He is still married but he hasn't gone back. I can't imagine she'd have him. I wouldn't. That isn't it at all. It was the manner of questioning of WHY I might mind him partying and being kissed by a girl. Even writing it, I am shaking my head in disbelief that I was asked. I have no right to mind the party or the kiss but I have a right to be upset that so soon he is able to do both. Especially when I am told he cannot breathe or function. Barely get through the week apparently. Cannot sleep or eat. I am relieved that he can party. Dance on.

My party will come. I cannot fake a dance routine or drown my sorrows with bottles of cider. Take a day off work to get over a hangover. My life isn't like that anymore. I am not a teenager. It's the constant complaining of how life isn't and it's the draining of good emotion and happy thoughts. Like someone holding the delete key at the end of a day when you've achieved a whole heap of jobs wiping them out. Such negativity is destructive. Two souls that hoped so much for the same thing but not ever fitting together enough. Trouble is, I have woken this morning without a voice. I have literally lost the mechanics to speak. I think it's time I stopped trying.

I was asked something yesterday that I should never have to do. I began to make a list and explain why it should be me and then I stopped. I realise that I cannot continue like this. I don't want to be a woman who fights for something that should be easy. I do my best every single day. If I make mistakes, I try and put them right if only by deleting or perhaps saying Sorry. No one says Sorry to me. Rarely. Keep it real. Keep it simple. If it isn't straight-forward, there is often a reason that you are being obstructed. Close one book before opening another. Most importantly. NEVER get involved with a married man. He might be separated, living apart from his wife, declare he is yours forever more but if he is married, he is not. It really is that simple.

Isn't it funny?

It all started from a simple friend request on a social network site. You all know the one.
"Ooh" I thought, "My God" was another and then smiling and out of simple curiosity, I accepted the request and started up a written friendship. All about the words, explanations, compliments and truths of a desperately unhappy marriage that had reached the end "years before". I sat and read. I poured out my own version of events. Most recently about the death of my mother and like a welcome cathartic process, I grieved the woman that she had been back in those days in 1987. On it went. Months of written word. Comfort and friendship urging me to remember and hold hands again.

And then we met up. Hugged. He kissed me on the top of my head and I cried some more. He looked me in the eyes and smiled. "It is SO good to see you again". I was confused, amused and reassured by his statement. It was later that same day that he confessed whispering from a far corner of the marital home that it was actually his wedding anniversary. I should have stood still for longer. I didn't. 

Fast forward almost a year, a life where he has joined in with my children, my dogs, cats, friends and neighbours. He waves at passers-by in the village and buys the occasional pint at the bar. People know him. He knows them. He knows me. He tells me that he loves me more than life itself and that he wishes he had never left the first time. 'What about the second?' I don't ask him but should.

Back on the social website briefly, my youngest looks at him and his face smiling at being kissed by an old work colleague and she asks me, "Who is kissing him Mummy?" It isn't the kiss that upsets me. It is the simple fact that Mary aged 7 was hurt to see him looking so happy without us. It has been quick.

So 1987 to 2015. What would my mother say? 
My eldest just asked, "Was Granny right then?" with a smile.
I replied, "Why are you smiling?"
She looked at me from the bubbles in her bath and said, "because you always say Mummy knows best. Maybe she did too?"

Maybe she did. She might have called him a Wanker.

We'll be okay though because I am calm, relieved that it's not my marriage and happy that my kids have a realistic view of what has happened. I don't lie to my children. That, is evident in itself as you see the smile from my youngest on a school trip today. We can all think protecting our children from the truth is the kindest option but it'll all come out in the end. It's Fathers Day this Sunday. I won't have a conscience.