I, BEING CRABBED

Having a duvet day 1

(photograph courtesy of Bridget Jones)

Today, I decided that I would have a ‘duvet day.’

I just did not want to face the big, wide world

Nor have it gazing and glaring down at me

I stayed in my pyjamas and remained stoically in bed

~~~

Sometimes I just can’t face the mundane tasks of living

Like getting dressed and hobbling down the stairs

Only to find a heap of bills, statements and more

Shoved through my letterbox when my desire is to hide

~~~

There’s a sink full of yesterday’s washing-up

Which I glance furtively at and then decide to ignore

There’s always tomorrow, after all, I ponder

My tomorrow usually starts around 2 am*

~~~

I, being the night owl that I am, then stare

At the traffic jam of tasks calling out to be done

Then find myself full of beans and raring to go

I am a strange and solitary creature of the night

~~~

I wipe over the kitchen surfaces with an antibacterial cloth

Scrubbing at bacteria that aren’t even there

But it says there are in the adverts, and I, being gullible

Am guided and persuaded to follow the herd

~~~

I, the fool, fill the supermarket’s tills with profit

Getting a buzz out of parting with money I don’t possess

When I’m overdrawn at the bank, and credit cards

Are heavy under the weight of the money owing

~~~

Which I, unable to make a payment, incur a charge

And subsequently I am crabbed and grouchy

I, wishing I were a millionaire and would purchase

This and that, and attempt to save the world

~~~

And then I wake in the morning and have breakfast with ‘Jeremy Kyle.’

And I yawn, and I then, crawl back under the duvet

And I, tired from my owl-like frantic activity of the night

Shut my eyes, somewhat ignorantly turning a deaf ear to the news

~~~

But overall, despite dealing with the skeletons in my closet

I am content with my muddled lot, somewhat surprisingly

And I do appreciate those who make my merry-go-round

Of a life worth living and I love them with all my heart.

* Not entirely true – I write as if I were able to choose my waking and sleeping hours (minus carers – who I am very grateful for, of course).

HOW TO SURVIVE A POWER CUT IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

facebook, twitter & pinterest logos

We had a power cut today – only for an hour and a half, but apart from getting cold because the central heating had gone off (bearing in mind it was only 1-degree Celsius outside), I found the greatest inconvenience was not being able to get on the internet. I instantly felt lost and out of touch with the world without it, and given the choice between having my access to the web or having the heating back; I think I would have willingly pulled on an extra layer or two and opted for my laptop.

This incident reminded me of a time, three or so years ago when we experienced a violent storm that brought down the power lines, consequentially blowing up the local electricity substation. Fortunately, the weather wasn’t quite as cold as it was today. But, amazingly, (in this day and age), we had no power for nearly three days! Extra jumpers, thick socks, wooly hats, warm gloves, blankets and such were all dug out of the depths of wardrobes and were the order of the day (or three days in this instance).

I live in a cul-de-sac and all the houses there were affected. After the initial panic, the ritual of striking matches smelling of sulphur, to light the candles took place.  A variety of wax pillars were found with difficulty, bearing in mind, we were searching at the back of dusty cupboards by torchlight. I then thought to Google the Electricity Company’s telephone number to ask when the power would be back on. I won’t say ‘a light went on in my head’ as there weren’t any lights but it then dawned on me that no electricity equals no technology, therefore, no Google. There we were, back in the dark ages (pardon the pun) and I started to rummage for the telephone directory, not realising then that the phone lines were down too.

It was then apparent that social media had come to an abrupt halt which was a shock to the system at first. Gradually Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr all became redundant. If we wanted some company, instead of Facebook, we had to go and knock on a neighbour’s door and talk to them face to face. The term ‘Like’ meant the appreciation of a kindness done or fondness of someone. ‘Friending’ and ‘Unfriending’ became hanging out with our mates (or not). If someone had ‘Blocked’ you, they had, perhaps, parked their car at the bottom of your driveway, and the term ‘Sharing’ no longer referred to reposting an article from one FB page to another; sharing returned to meaning to have a cup of tea with a neighbour; lending your last box of matches out; distributing a pot of tea around the family, made from boiling water on a gas hob (at least, we had gas), .

Twitter had been replaced by the chatter of children and adults alike and gossip that was only heard on the grapevine. Instagram and Pinterest were impossible – if we wanted to look at pictures we had a resort to a book, magazine or get a bus to the art gallery on the far side of town. I missed emailing. Somehow, writing a letter, sticking a stamp on the envelope to post it in the mailbox and then waiting two days for it to arrive at its destination lacked the spontaneity of reeling off a quick email.

Computer games were naturally out of the question and we resorted to either playing Gin Rummy or Bridge with a pack of cards or digging out the old, well-worn Snakes and Ladders board and a dice. In my case, I managed to find the family Ludo board which was my mother’s before it was mine! But, I never was much good at card games but I could play a mean game of Monopoly. Just as I’d passed Mayfair and Park Lane and was about to collect £200 for passing go … the power came back on only to be greeted by a mixture of delighted “hoorays” and equally rather sad “awws”. All the nostalgia flew out of the window almost as fast as we all flew off back to our own little spaces to get a fix of Facebook or Twitter having suffered severe withdrawal symptoms over the past three days. I have to say, it left me wondering whether I would turn back the hands of time if I could.

reading by candlelight

 

‘IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS’

brusssels and christmas hats

If I could have a Christmas wish come true just for Christmas Day, it would be to be able to spend that day with all of my family; that’s my son and my two little ones; my daughter, husband and little *J and *B; my Mum and sisters and their families.

Given that this isn’t likely to happen … ever … I’ll quite happily settle for whatever I’m offered (within reason, of course). I do draw the line at hiking to the North Pole to celebrate the festive season with Santa, and an Eskimo in an igloo, even if he does promise to put the two-bar electric heater on and serve the line-caught Arctic Skate with roast parsnips and stuffing.

As you know, my family has always been … well, shall we say … a little dysfunctional thereby not making Christmas the easiest time of the year. We are all so far away from each other that we usually just do our ‘own thing’, which is for me, usually spent on my own which I’ve kind of got used to over the years. It does entail an oven-ready, chicken flavour ready-meal eaten on my lap, in front of my laptop watching a cheesy film in 14″ panoramic view with only the goldfish and my favourite bear for company. Hey ho! Things could be worse.

As it happens, although I’ve been a bit of a bah humbug character this year, suddenly, all that’s changed and if Michael Buble doesn’t mind me pinching his line, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.’

My son, Tom has decided he’s not going abroad as planned this year for the holiday period, (although he’s obviously devastated not to have his two little ones with him this year as they have been taken overseas by my son’s ex and her family). So, he’s invited me over to his house which entails a two-and-a-half journey each way by car with my wheelchair neatly folded in the back, having strapped both it and me into the car firmly as my son does have a habit of putting his foot down on the pedal rather too eagerly for my liking.

I’m so looking forward to spending Christmas with Tom for the first time since he married his ex-wife (and rather, unfortunately, her mother into the bargain). I’ll have to get my best Christmas jumper out of mothballs, polish up my fluffy red and white Santa hat and don a pair of flashing earrings. I’ll get practising peeling the Maris Piper’s, rush round to the Co-Op for a bottle of non-alcoholic punch and a kilo of Brussel sprouts. I’ll pick up a large box of mince pies, a box of assorted crackers and streamers, a Yule Log with the traditional plastic robin on the top …. and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, for once, at this time of year, ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’, and my wish to all who may be reading this, a jubilant and blessed Christmas and may all the best things come to you in the New Year.

EASY PICKINGS

shadow man

He has come amongst you albeit you are unaware

He lies, he robs, he wounds beyond your imagination

Untold deceit, the pickings, and scars are left in his wake

Behind a trail of heartache, grief and isolation

~~~

He could be the passer-by in the street or your colleague

Standing on the terraces as you cheer your team on to win

You’ll never know it’s him for he clothes himself in gold

As if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and sin far from his soul

~~~

Do not trust him as he lures you on for he is far from honest

He will break your heart as surely as he would your bank

With a grin on his face, he treads the path between the cracks

Then, as he drops a silver star, he knows his game is up

~~~

When finally caught, he declares, “not I, not I, not I”

“For no wrong have I done my friend or neighbour”

But the disgrace on his face is the undoing of him

And he is no longer able; though he never was a free man.

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF FACEBOOK

facebook share

Social networking? Good or bad?

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Path, Instagram, Foursquare…..I could go on…

Well, some years ago I chose to open a Facebook account. With it came a cauldron of emotion that I didn’t bargain for. It has, I have to say (somewhat feebly) been quite life-changing or perhaps more aptly, I have let it become so. Isn’t that pathetic? Is my life really so uninteresting that I have to rely on FB for the thrills and spills of my day? Well yes, I thought so or at least believed that was true when I first ‘got into it’. Now, I am clambering to get out of it!

To start with It was a good way to stay in touch with friends, follow their lives, share their holiday snaps, admire their families etc. A lot of it was positive but there are also many negatives too,  just as there are two sides to a coin. It is so easy to get hooked into the ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ and ‘Share’ routine and FB gradually becomes disproportionately prominent in one’s life and it can come quickly become a love/hate relationship. I know it did in mine and quite quickly became addictive (not helped by the fact that I have an addictive personality anyway). I got hooked….well and truly….I would get up in the morning and (in the absence of having either a partner, family or children), it was the first thing I did  – I checked Facebook for anything I might have missed or looked for messages from friends, looked to see who had ‘Liked’, ‘Commented’ on or ‘Shared’ whose posts, (a post consisting of an opinion, a feeling, a photo, an image, a quote, a recipe, a weather forecast, a status such as 🙂 [smile], 😦 [frown], 😉 [wink], etc or what colour pyjamas were being worn, or indeed if there were any being worn at all (no doubt accompanied by a photo!).  Everyone seemed to be on FB and if you weren’t, you were considered somewhat of an odd-bod or not ‘cool’.

However, having become a veteran of many years on FB, I’ve come to the see the other side of it (or at least in my opinion). I’m tried of all the pointless exchanging of useless information, the endless and tedious ‘selfies’. the numerous photos of people’s dinners or wonderful pets etc). I don’t like the bitchiness that sometimes goes on; I don’t like the trouble and problems it actually causes sometimes between friends, acquaintances and families. In my case, it has become a weapon of war between my children and myself (as some of you will know) whereby both my son and daughter have ‘blocked’ me meaning I am not allowed to see or know anything they might post about their lives (as in reality, sadly) and they can deny the privilege of seeing photos of my grandchildren that everyone else can see (and that hurts, believe me, that does hurt in the absence of any real life photos or visits from them.

I have to say, I am now slowly withdrawing from the all-consuming Facebook and intend to deactivate or delete my account shortly. A sorry tale in the end but maybe a case of ‘too much of a good thing’ or in my case, too much of too many bad things. Having said that, it works for a hell of a lot of people so if it’s good for you then I am genuinely pleased for you, in fact generally quite happy for you 🙂 .  So, I guess what I am really saying is……IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!!

LEARNING TO DANCE IN THE RAIN

Having Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder or BPD really does make me emotionally unstable which I guess goes without saying! One minute I’m in the depths of despair and the next I’m touching the moon; I go from shovelling coals in the basement to then flying a kite.

On Tuesday night, I found myself distraught and counting out sleeping pills and paracetamol which I then overdosed on hoping for permanent oblivion. Not good. Not clever. I know that. I woke sometime Wednesday evening and was promptly sick which did no good at all as my body had already absorbed the drugs into my bloodstream. I had a pounding headache, racing heart, nausea and chronic stomach ache, all of which I realize were self-inflicted. And then was angry with myself for not ‘doing the job properly’, and angry that I was still on this planet that has brought me so much pain and heartache. It was raining…….’good’, I thought……at least there is no sunshine to mock my persistent emotional  pain. It was nearly dark now, the sun having gone down behind the silhouette of the trees.

I slept right through that night and woke Thursday morning, actually feeling clear headed and feeling more positive about my life despite the fact that all the problems are still there…..college closes it doors for the final time on Friday afternoon; I’m still torn between the two churches I’ve attended; I haven’t seen my children or grandchildren for months now; I’m in debt; Mum is getting on a bit and not in the best of health which I constantly worry about because my fear of losing her or being ‘abandoned’ is so horrifically, truly and absolutely terrifying.  I find myself thinking over my past life, full of pain and sadness, regret and sorrow, and my future which is a completely unknown entity. I wonder if there is another way out of all the chaos of my life, the past horrors, my fears and phobias. I’m daydreaming. I come to my senses. Will I be forever waiting for the storm to pass and watching the days melt into weeks, into months and into years of misery or do I begin to weather the storms and learn to dance in the rain, as the saying goes….

dancing-in-the-rain-tumblr

Perhaps a more positive mindset, if I can maintain it, will lead to more positive experiences and a more positive outcome. At this present time, I am ready to try to dance in the rain – I have my wellies and raincoat on and am out there jumping in the puddles. I know this week, in particular, will have more than its fair share of emotional challenges but I have to keep reminding myself of this:

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,

It’s about learning to dance in the rain’.

“OH, WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE”

‘As she weaves herself tighter and tighter into the web, the hole becomes deeper and deeper and she sees no way to escape. She has become desperate to escape, desperate to not be despised but to be loved but cannot find the exit. Surely, reaching the exit is the only way out but then she knows full well that doing so would mean total destruction of her world as she has always known it. It would be complete annihilation of her life as she knows it. She is terrified of the hurt and damage she would cause, both to loved ones and friends and ultimately to herself. Oh, what a tangled web she weaves.’

How do I help her? She has confided in me. I was, and still am shocked. Tears were running down her face as she blurted it all out. I thought it would never end. She is desperate for me not to break her confidence. How do I hold on to a secret so huge? Although I don’t want to break her trust, what about all those who are being wronged and hurt by her and have been in the past. I wish she hadn’t have told me. I have enough heartache and despair going on in my own life without holding on to someone else’s guilt and shame. Or is that just selfish? In telling me, she has deeply wounded me too. I thought I could trust her – now, I can never be sure of this again. I am angry! Am I right to be angry? Although part of me feels sorry for her because she is obviously in so much agony, another part of me hates her for the damage she has done over the years, not just to me but to many others too. Nothing life-threatening I know but so awful, just the same.

They say “you can fool half the people all of the time or all of the people half the time”. Well, as far as I can see, she has been fooling all of the people all of the time. And why? Why for so long? She says that she’s never known anything different, that she just wanted people to like her, to care for her. Well, many of them already did but she says she doesn’t believe that. I did too….will she ever believe me either? Who do I now turn too? I have been holding on to so many secrets of my own for so many years and am just beginning to unravel them in therapy. I don’t want more secrets….I have had enough over the years to last a lifetime. I know she needs help but how am I supposed to help her without her helping herself. How can I be responsible for her problems too. I wish she had told someone else. Why me? Or is that selfish too?

She is a forty-four year old ‘friend’. She is married with a husband and has three teenage boys. If I say anything to her husband, I know it will blow her whole world out of the water! Oh, I do wish she hadn’t had told me. She says she is sorry but sorry hardly even touches the edge of the hurt and anger that I feel.

I always thought she was happy but obviously not; otherwise why would she behave in this way? Half of me feels sorry for her but half of me hates her too. I hate her, not only for her deception and lies but also for want of a better expression for ‘dumping her shit on me’! And yet, I still have love for her – she has been a friend for a very long time and you can’t just wipe that out, at least I can’t although I know many that would. She is hurting but now, so am I. What do I do? I can’t go on like this. There must be a reason for all of this. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Help!!

* (Some details have been changed to protect identity) 

MY MUM IS SICK

This isn’t going to be a clever or intelligent or even vaguely interesting post. It will probably be full of uncorrected spelling and grammatical mistakes but right now I DON’T CARE. I CAN’T. I CAN’T EVEN THINK. This is purely a self-preservation act. I am so stressed that I could almost ask to be admitted into my local psychiatric hospital (which I hate really) but just to get some respite, get away from this world, get relief from my problems and responsibilities and most of all to get away from my feelings. I pray in desperation to my Father who is my rock in times of trouble, (Psalm 6:2  I am worn out, O Lord; have pity on me!  Give me strength; I am completely exhausted).

My Mum is very sick. She is in a hospital 45 miles from me and I have no way of getting there to see her or be able to help her. All I can do is to phone and see how she is doing every day, and wait and pray that the Lord heals her (Matthew 4:23   Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of disease and sickness).

Mum is 85; she has double pneumonia and kidney failure and we don’t know whether she is going to make it.She has been put on a ward where there are five other elderly patients, three of whom have Alzheimers and are continually shouting and calling out. I know that they are ill too and I so feel for them but Mum is used to living quietly on her own and is so distressed by these disturbances.

I feel so powerless to be of any help to other than to be a listening ear at the end of the phone when she is well enough to speak and then it is difficult to understand her as she is so breathless when she tries to talk. Mostly, she is too poorly to chat and then I ring the nurse’s station and ask the nurse in charge of Mum’s care how she is doing. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate on anything much as Mum is constantly on my mind. I couldn’t bare to lose her. We are so close, in heart at least, not miles which means I don’t see her much.

Mum lives in an old Victorian terraced house that’s getting pretty tumbledown with age. It has four concrete steps up to the front door which I cannot access in my wheelchair which means I can no longer going into her house. If she makes it through this illness (and I pray she does), she may never be able to manage those steps again as her walking has been affected. That means she she will be unable to come out and I will be unable to go in. How will I ever see her again? Will I be able to see her again? I feel distraught.

NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES (MAGIC)

I’m just going to write this randomly because I just feel like it….mad or what? It’s way past my bedtime and I should be getting some sleep before college  tomorrow, but no….here I am, writing again….

positive-negative1

I am so pissed off with looking at the negatives in my life when I should looking at the positives. But, It’s not that easy – I only wish it was. There is more to life than being stuck in between….isn’t there?

“Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you”

My kids are slowly killing me by way of torture but I need to find a way to let go of them, move on, forget all about them, pretend they don’t exist! But how? Anyone got any good ideas…..please; all suggestions considered; any takers out there? Answers on a postcard, maybe?

I need a fairy with a magic wand! Now, there’s an idea….fairies and magic…..mmmm……I love fairies (and angels) – I think they’re magical, just magical!

Tomorrow, I’m going to sit down and write out and illustrate my favorite magical things (maybe from a child’s perspective). Because, I’m sick of being stuck in the middle of this war when I’m a peace-loving soul at heart. It’ll be a challenge, that’s for sure.

And now I can/must go to bed and try to leave my muddied thoughts outside on the pavement, where they belong. I will take the fairies and the magic up to bed with me. Sweet dreams, my friends xxx 

magic1

Well that wasn’t really worth the paper it was written on, was it?

A FEMALE WOMAN

woman

I really, really don’t like being called or referred to as a ‘woman‘ or as being ‘female‘. This may sound strange to many of you. After all I am a grown adult. I much prefer to be referred to as a girl, a  young lady, a person, a character, an adult, even  ‘thingymebob‘!  I do not like being a ‘woman‘ or ‘female‘. To me, these two words have connotations: They imply a sexual being as in male and female or man and woman. And yes, I know all humans are sexual beings – if they weren’t there would be no such thing as reproduction of the human race or sexuality. But even the terms ‘sex‘ or ‘sexuality‘ makes me me feel uncomfortable and I’d go as far as to say “cringe”. I know they are both words which are commonly used and often a part of general conversation.

I was speaking with my therapist, *T* this morning about this and we concluded that because of what I’ve been through with so much sexual abuse as a child, I just don’t want to be a sexual being or to be referred to as one.

So…..Who am I? What am I really? Where do I fit in on this planet? Am i strange? Peculiar perhaps? Odd, maybe? I certainly cannot come to terms with being the age I am and I hate to have to say or even hear myself saying it out loud. I am 57 which immediately conjures up the image of being ‘middle-aged’ (tweed skirts and blouses) etc [no offence to anyone who is more comfortable with these things]. Middle-age also implies heading towards old age or being elderly and although I am not afraid of death or dying as I have my faith, I just cannot come to terms with these natural progressions of life. I just makes me want to scream in horror, “NOOOOOOOO”.

When I write my blogs, I think of myself (in my head) as a ‘girl’. I’m not sure of what age although after speaking with *T* at length when she asked me that question, my instant reply, without even thinking about it, was ‘eight’. Eight years old? Surely not.

Eight was the age that I was when my teacher started to sexually abuse me while my father was doing so at home from a much earlier age. That’s when I started to ‘split off’ in my head, to dissociate. That’s when I became aware of my first alter, ‘Chloe’. She was and has remained aged eight. Since then other alters have joined me but they play no part in this. I want to be a girl, NOT a woman.

young girl reading

But surely, my grown-up head fathoms; as a ‘girl’, therefore ‘child’, I would be more vulnerable so where is the logic here? I know that I need  to discuss this further with my therapist.