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Friday, 23 January 2015

Thought for Friday.

Worry- is just meditation of shit.

Have swiped that line from a movie but am making it my Friday mantra. Just for today. While I'm here, right now, for today, I am also deciding that I am allowed to 'not answer' all questions I get asked, feel or not feel hurt by the reminders of days gone by but most importantly, choose my friends wisely. Less is more. Just because we have years or rather youth in common doesn't make our friendship solid. I was asked last night- When is it time to close the door on a friendship? Not with drama or hysteria. Just quietly accept that you don't actually need to be friends anymore. No big deal but both just bugger off.

Good friends walk by with genuine smiles and interested similarities. Time and time again I excuse harsh words and angry attacks but I am not prepared to be a verbal punchbag anymore. It isn't acceptable to hit out at me whatever the reason or irrational explanation. I don't want to hear it if it's going to upset me or my family. Not if I font have to and not if it's none of my business.

No one is perfect. Especially not me. I am cracked, chipped, broken, fucked up and sensitive but all that aside, I am a woman with a heart and a level head on my shoulders. If you don't like me, leave me alone. Don't pretend to be a friend if you don't like me. My children are so unbelievably straight forward- they tell me exactly how it is. They don't lie. They are only different because they know the importance of truth, loyalty and love. Hold my hand Mummy is my favourite line in the world. I hold the hands of several and they know exactly who they are. We might be separated by distance, time or circumstance but I walk with them every step of the way because I love them. I am here because of them and I am confident that they will always hold my hand back.

You know who you are. Bottoms up! Bikini, bandana or beer. And breathe..

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Waving Hello and Goodbye.
(Full volume advised and then read on as it plays please)

But the things is, I do.

I'm glad I do too. I would hate to be so thick- skinned, selfish, wrapped up in my own little world, blind to the reality that is, in fact, Life itself or plain ignorant. I would hate to have a life of not knowing, not feeling, not being real, not being me, not being true. The simple fact is, I care. I always have, always did, always will. I have been told oh so many times that I care far too much. Impossible. You can never care enough. 

I am still sick. I have the most irritating of lurgies (otherwise known as flu, not man-flu or a cold, I have proper flu) but I am fortunate because I am not with serious illness. That reality struck me this morning when a friend of mine called me to pass on the news that one of my ex's wife is in hospital very unwell. I am so upset. That's selfish of me isn't it? But I am upset. For her, of course. That goes without saying. For him too. I just cannot believe that another person is sick although I was reassured very briskly that she will be fine. Apparently. I hope so. Dear God how I hope.

The call ended. Longer conversation than I had actually intended and a few more details given than necessary. I didn't need to be reminded of how my life once was or questioned over how it now seems. I know the answers already so why I decided to respond in the way that I always do (speaking nothing but my truth) is beyond me and I had the sudden realisation that I can stop now. I am not obliged to indulge others with how I once felt or now feel. I am not on trial for things that I once did and I don't need to explain why I sometimes allow myself a memory with a smile or occasionally with a tear. I do not need to justify why, how or when I decided if I ever did or perhaps if I'm occasionally still questioning. Why do I always give so much away? I am honest to my core, always have been but no one else seems to speak with such brutal truth so why do I?

Yes I loved him. For years and years. No I don't regret it. Yes I'm happy. Finally. Happier than before. I am lucky I agree. I am busy too but I am a mother. I don't know a mother who isn't busy. I remember the old days and the choices that I made. I remember yesterday, just. I hope I will always remember people that I love, loved and especially ones that loved me. I have no idea. Not really. It is about the now not the yesterday or the tomorrow. Today I have really good, loyal, proper, fight for my corner friends who I wouldn't question unless I needed a head scan. I have a man in my life who I am grateful for every single second even when momentarily I am picking up the bath mat muttering to myself or wiping up toast crumbs off my new laminate (not granite or slate) work surface. I love him unconditionally. I always will. It doesn't mean that I loved someone else more or less. It was a different life, a different time and I was a different girl. I give myself permission to look back and wonder, remember and wish but that is because I created this life. I walked this road and if I occasionally look over my shoulder as I turn the next corner, I don't believe I'm that unusual. I would be unusual if I stood at the side of the road waving my arms shouting, "Hey, What about me?"

I'm happy that I don't need to wave. Not so often anyway. Maybe it's about time I simply stood still and kept quiet. But then again, would that be me? I might just stop answering the questions in quite so much detail and if unexpectedly reminded of the old days might simply concentrate on closing my ears and singing a happy tune. My happy tune. Always look on the bright side of life. It is meant to be happy after all. Isn't it?

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?

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Walk on.

Walking along the cliffs a few days ago, before my children joined me here in this setting of complete peace and tranquility, I came across a bench. There was an engraving.

                                  SIT WITH US AND ENJOY THE VIEW.

It was in memory of a father and a son. The son died more recently which is when I imagine the bench had been given. He was 30 years old. It was the third anniversary as I stood there and looked at it.. I turned and looked at the vie. I was over-whelmed with the generosity of my life and what I have to be so grateful for, so often. My girls are everything. I am so happy to be their mother. I am so lucky that our relationship is an honest one. Completely and utterly.

"They're not my kids" is a comment that the boyfriend has said to me recently.
"No," I replied, "They're not".
I was insulted and I found this obvious statement rude. I have never implied that I wanted my kids to be his kids so why the suggestion that I might have mistaken the giver of sperm or inherited genes was an odd one. His kids, on the other hand, I am yet to meet.
"We have to tread very carefully" was his observation a few weeks after arriving unexpectedly on our doorstep one friday night with his hastily packed holdall.
"They are still very young". Yes, they are. They are 6 and 3. It isn't too young though apparently to know exactly what they want and scream until they get it. They are the modern day children we see wrapped in imaginary cottonwool protected from anything nasty except that they are allowed nerd guns to shoot each other, highly flammable polyester princess outfits to wear whenever they want to even following the horrific accident of Claudia Winkleman's daughter and are fed a diet of a supermarkets own brand chicken nuggets and pizza, often together because the youngest won't eat nuggets. I don't blame her.
There's enough shit in the world without forcing our kids to eat that filth.

Just as a point of interest, I tried to feed my girls a similar thing when we first got together thinking I'd missed a trick and like the women he mocks regularly for shopping in a high end supermarket (the quality of meat, fish and fresh produce is simply superior so I won't change my ways) I gave them 'Breaded Chicken Bites'. They wouldn't eat them asking why I had put bits all over the meat. I guess it's as simple as they eat what they're used to eating. You feed your children convenience food but who is the convenience for? Certainly not for them. These same "very young" children are also given squash (cordial, high sugar content fruit juice call it what you like) as they eat the salty lumps of chicken guts and claws minced up with excessive preservatives, sugar and colouring. Genius parenting. Oh but let's tread carefully.. and let's be brutal, They're not my kids.
Thank God.

Dear God, for if they were mine,  a screaming tantrum of horizontal tears and flaying arms and legs simply wouldn't be an option. I have never accepted that kind of behaviour. Shout, let off steam and burst into tears if you must (I do occasionally) but get real. No one gets their own way from stamping their feet and yelling, NO!

I would sit them down and gently (not generously) tell them (not suggest to them) that they are absolutely fine. There is simply no reason to doubt the love of their parents because it is monumental and an absolute given. They have two parents (not one) and they are really bloody lucky. The youngest, it has been suggested, might need to talk to a therapist to help her understand this "new situation". I am presuming by therapist, he was referring to a councillor not a make up artist although I wouldn't count on it. She will be getting her nails and hair done in a matter of years no doubt. Like mother like daughter it seems. Full face of make up to mask the reality of what is actually going on.

Why not speak the truth? There is no need for a therapist of any kind for a child who has had nothing but a secure, loving and happy start to life. We are not talking about any form of abuse. malnutrition of any scale or neglect of any kind. Quite the contrary. They live in an affluent area, wear high end labelled clothes and are taken on weekly outings and excursions to keep them entertained. They have grandparents, aunts and uncles. They were given an abundance of christmas presents. Masses and masses of plastic toys. To quote the father as we stood looking at a floor to ceiling display of 'Lego" he said this, "Nope, there's nothing here that he hasn't already got. He's got all of it". "I walked away before I lost my temper at the over-indulgent absurdness of giving your child every single type of toy yet no reality.

Like so many children in this country, they have way more than so many others yet the one thing they don't have is appreciation. Their father is bending over backwards to see them at every opportunity when the the ex decides, often unreasonably in my opinion, but he's back there with a drop of a hat. The ex is cross obviously. She wanted her precious children to grow up in a 2 up, 2 down, high mortgaged home with both parents in situ. She didn't care if they were happy or not- just together. His words not mine.

Who am I to say what is right or wrong? I do my best with my children, my life, my choices. I can honestly say that every decision I make is with consideration and if not, apologetic with some after thought. I talk to my girls. I asked them today if I was a good mother. "Why?" asked Nell, "would you ask that?" She then continued, "Mummy, if you didn't tell us off how would we ever learn what is right and wrong?" She's 9 years old. I love her and her sister more than I love air. My eldest daughter in particular is extremely switched on. She knows the realness. Is that a word? It is now.

They already know that life isn't easy or straight forward but surely it's better that way than to wake up one day wondering why your parents didn't tell you the truth? It is only hard for the adult to be truthful if the truth isn't what they want to talk about. Words get stuck in throats when they are hard to admit. We all find certain conversations difficult but don't bullshit your babies. They don't know anything else. They rely on us for everything. They are the product of what we are, what we teach and how we guide them is essential to their future. It's our job. Yes we protect them but don't insult their intelligence. Trust the adult child of an alcoholic and an addict, we know what's going on. We can feel it. I have always been blunt, frank often maybe, a little harsh. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It's honest. It's real. It's the only way to live a true life. In my opinion.

So as I start the next year, the new year, as always questioning my choices, determined to continue being completely and utterly true, I realise that you cannot be completely honest if you share your life with another adult. I tell my children the reality. I cannot tell the boyfriend the reality. He would insist that I could but my truth would hurt him quite understandably. How can I tell him that I hate the fact that he still has a wife even though he isn't with her? How can I tell him that I disagree with the way that he and she are treading carefully with their children when I have experienced a better route? How can I tell him that by jumping every time she screams 'Fire" that he is making our relationship destructible? How can I admit that even though I have waited all my life, my entire life for his love that I miss my solitude? How can I tell him that even though I have dreamt of a happy, ever after ending for many, many years that it was occasionally the unknown that kept me going? I want to hold his hand for the rest of my life. Of that, I am certain but I also want to hold the hands of my girls too. And I only have 2 hands.

If you believe, you receive. If I hope and wish for Peace, will I ever really get it? I stood at the bench in memory of a child and a father. I thought how lucky I am to be a mother, have healthy children and now a handsome, strong and patient boyfriend. I hope he is patient because I am honest.

May 2015 bring us all the truth that we deserve. I will walk today with a smile craving Peace and happiness. I have internal happiness. Happy New Year.