AN INQUIRING MIND

Psychology Forensic The Justice System

I’ve discovered a new passion, proving that you’re never too ‘old’ or middle-aged in my case, to find new loves (not of the romantic variety either, at least, not in my case). Since being in college, I’ve developed a real interest in learning about new subjects. Nothing unusual about that,  but I was denied this opportunity when I was back in High School having been told by my teachers that I ‘wasn’t clever enough’. My current term with my present college ends late this summer, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

I recently applied to do a new course, at the same college, in Psychology, Forensics and The Justice System, and I found out today that I’ve been accepted. I am so thrilled! It’s only part-time and at an elementary level, but it will give me the experience to decide whether I want to follow this up with a more advanced qualification. The course doesn’t start until next January, and I’m itching to get started already. I wonder whether I’ll finally develop a liking for Judge Judy or Judge Rinder, of television fame.

Not content with that, I want to fill the Autumn Term gap with learning about another interest of mine, a short evening course (now the evenings are lighter), in hearing loss and British Sign Language. Although I don’t have any hearing loss, my Mum, when she was alive, struggled with this. British Sign Language has always fascinated me, ever since I was young when I learned the deaf alphabet on my fingers. It would be good to develop that a bit more. I think I’ll enjoy that.

I do realise that I am very fortunate in having the spare time to follow some of my ‘dreams’. Dreams may seem like a big word when describing something as ordinary as education. However, I’ve never really hanckered after travelling the world, marrying a rich man or becoming Prime Minister. My dream, simply, is to fulfil my potential which was denied to me when I was growing up … so, here I am at very lively age of sixty finally achieving those dreams.

 

 

MOVING FORWARD – THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND BIRTHDAY CAKE

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Why an image of a clock to begin this post with? This is because it is actually a good depiction of my feelings and where I’ve been at for some time. Life has felt rather surreal during this last year. The clock face also shows the passage of time I have been through over the last few months.

At last, I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting back to normal after my Mum became ill, had a stroke, and I finally lost her only five months ago (almost to the day). There was the funeral to get through (and all that encompassed) and now, we are dealing with probate, Mum’s will and the sale of our family home after spending my first twenty years of life there.

However, as far as my psychiatric health in concerned, I’m feeling brighter which is good (and about time too). I am now on different and new medication which, in the last week has begun to help improve my state of mind, and I’m sleeping so much better which makes a great difference to how I feel during the day. The severe anxiety attacks have also lessened which is a huge relief.

The many cogs in this clock also represent changes in a more positive way … slowly … as time has ticked by and the wheels have been turning, my relationship with my son has improved, and we have become closer which means I have more contact with my two beautiful grandchildren, Josh and Lily who are a delight to me. I have definitely become closer to my sisters, particularly the one who lives the furthest away from me. We may be separated by many miles but are hearts are inextricably linked and always will be.

The recent passage of time, like each cog, has been whirring, clicking and ticking by slowly but steadily. A lot else has changed in that time too. My eldest granddaughter has now turned eleven and will be going up to senior school in September, and my youngest granddaughter will be starting primary school at the age of four-and-a-half (she seems too young). Where has the time gone? Am I really old enough to have a granddaughter in senior school? Goodness! I must be older than I think! I’m definitely older in years than I feel and I am fortunate enough to be told by several people that I don’t look my age. However, I am reluctantly coming up to ‘a biggy’; a big ‘0’ birthday in three month’s time (which I’m trying to ignore) … ugh! How am I going to get all my candles on one cake?!

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In addition, I would like to say thank you to my dearest friends here at WordPress who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the last year or so – it can’t have been easy at times. Their blogs have kept my head above water some of that time by distracting me with their diversity, interest, humour and compassion. So, shout out to Bun at https://bunkaryudo.wordpress.com/ and Mick at https://mickcanning.co/ and Carol anne of https://therapybits.com/. Also, thank you to any of you who may have called in or dropped by my blog and hung around with support and kind words too. Love to you all, Ellie xxx

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.

MY MUM AND LADDERS!!

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My mum never ceases to amaze me!

Having written about my offspring who are so cruel and negative, I have to say that I think my mum has got to be the human being I love most in all this world, (running in equal place, I think, with my sister J). Over the years she has gone out of her way to help me, give me guidance and wisdom too. She’s the first one I pick up the phone to if I’m upset or especially happy. She can read me like a book, and me, her too. She has got me out of financial trouble, propped me up through failing and broken relationships and picked up the pieces when I’ve laid shattered to smithereens at basement level. She puts up with my crazy Borderline Personality Disorder, all my disabilities, my waxing and waning anorexia and every flaw I have (of which there are many!).

We weren’t always this close…as a child, she was quite cruel and unkind to me at times. She suffered a mental health problem which rendered her a less capable mum than she could have been. but she is a million miles away from all that now. I guess we’ve both ‘mellowed’, like a good red wine. We talk on the phone every day though we can rarely see each other as we live in different parts of the country and neither of us can get to the other on our own.

I have so much admiration for her – she packs more into a day than I could pack into a very large suitcase, and she’s 84 so ‘getting on a bit’, not that she lets that affect her one bit although she’s not so sprightly on her pins as she used to be. She does her own shopping, thorough housework (puts me to shame!), gardening and even still lugs the old lawnmower up from the basement steps to mow her lawn.

Her mind is as sharp as a pin – she does The Times crossword everyday and finishes it and can even do the cryptic one which has always defeated me! She remembers all the documentaries she’s ever seen; refuses point blank to watch ‘soaps’ (but then I agree on that one).

She lives alone, having divorced my evil and very cruel father who sexually abused and raped me all through my childhood. He has now passed on (thank the Lord). I forgave briefly before he died, as a Christian because I believe that is what is right (for me, anyway). Mum’s humble abode is a somewhat ramshackle, ancient house which she keeps spotless.

You may be asking yourself, “Well, what has all this got to do with ladders?”  Well, she has a habit of not thinking about the risks when she’s climbing ladders which is quite an odd but frequent task for her. The living room ceiling is 10 ft high and has a light fitting with five bulbs in it which are forever blowing. She thinks nothing of climbing a ladder which reaches this ceiling at regular intervals, whether it be to change a bulb, hang a curtain (or dangle from the chandeliers!). well, perhaps not the latter but I wouldn’t put it past her! She’s the same in her garden, pruning high bushes or cutting hedges and in the kitchen, searching for lost items in the top cupboards, then forgetting what she went up there for! I think we’ve all done that to some degree. when I try to tactfully tell that it is a tad dangerous at her age, she carries on regardless!

So, I worry about her all the time.. I’ve tried to talk her into wearing an alert alarm on a pendant like mine or as a wrist strap for my peace of mind if nothing else. But no, she steadfastly and stubbornly refuses. I dread the days when I get no reply on the phone. The worst case scenario plays over and over in my mind and then when i finally reach her she nonchalantly says “Oh, I was in the top room/basement/garden” and there’s me having ‘kittens’!

So all things considered i.e. a hearing aid in each ear, strong glasses, severe cataracts, a stick for walking as her legs have never been the same since she got hypothermia while up a ladder in the freezing cold, pruning the Pyracantha bush which is 8 ft high! She has so much grit and determination! (I wondered where I got that from!!).

I can’t imagine surviving my life without her, and I know it is inevitable eventually and I know my world will fall apart; I will have lost my best friend and the greatest Mum ever!