8 QUESTIONS I AM ASKING MYSELF BUT AM TOO STUPID TO ANSWER!!!

It’s been a year since the ‘event’, or more correctly ‘non-event’! Yes, I’m harping on about that bloody Facebook issue with my two children!! Sorry to drag this one out from the mire again….just when I thought I’d ‘put it to bed’ too. I thought I’d come to terms with the loss of my relationship with both *Tom* and *Claire* although I hadn’t got over the loss of having no relationship with any of my four small grandchildren, one of whom I’ve never even met and he’s nearly three months now.

Over the last few months there has been some very tentative contact with *Tom and *Claire, and this time I thought I was really getting somewhere at last. After all, I am a different person now than when my daughter hacked into my FB account and found a truth she really didn’t like (that being that I had no contact with them!). Now, (I thought) I’d built my life up despite the family rift. I go to college, I attend church activities and I am doing some volunteering at my local university to further the understanding of mental health with new students training to be Social Workers and CPNs in the community mental health field. I’m working on an eight week project at college (much of which is done at home) and I am in the process of writing my fourth book to be published. So, I can’t be doing all that badly. And yet…still…they won’t ‘forgive’ my mental health conditions, nor, come to that, my physical disability meaning I use a wheelchair. I don’t let either of those conditions stop me from living a full life so why should they be so ‘anti-me’?!

facebook share

I’ve just had a halfway decent conversation with *Claire where I kept it light and didn’t make any demands that they come and see me. And then the ugly subject of FB came up. I mentioned that as things were so different with me now and my thinking clearer (up until tonight, that was), maybe she would accept my friend request so at least I could see photos of my four little ones and keep up with their news. And what did I get?…..Flat out, downright REJECTION again! And this, now, just minutes before my bedtime when I should be thinking of a peaceful repose not a night where I’m up writing my feelings till the wee small hours. I’m more angry than upset but it throws up all my issues of attachment/rejection/abandonment and chucks them in my face! Shit!!!

Why can’t I just cut myself off and disown them….yes, I could with *Tom and *Claire because of what they’ve put and are still putting me through but not my four innocent little grandchildren.

 8 questions I am asking of myself:

  1. Why don’t I stop chasing a dream?
  2. Why can’t I disown them?
  3. Why am I letting this get to me again?
  4. Why am I allowing them to do this to me?
  5. How do I get rid of this bitter taste in my mouth?
  6. Why can’t i forgive them in the name of the Lord and pray and hand it over to God to deal with? I am not strong or mighty enough to cause change to happen. Only God is and in His own time. When will I ever learn? (1 Peter 5:6-7) ~ Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you ~
  7. Why don’t I have the conviction of my faith and believe enough?
  8. WHY DON’T I STOP DIGGING UP THESE OLD BONES AND BLOODY WELL GO TO BED???

BITTERSWEET BABY

baby-silhouette

Well……it’s official (apparently)! I am now a Nanny for the fourth time! I heard via text message from another member of my family that my son and daughter-in-law had a baby boy yesterday (my first grandson). That’s all I know – I don’t even know his name. I long to see him but I know this is nigh on impossible given my family situation. Do I feel happy that this new little life has been given into God’s kingdom? Yes. But, how can I be happy when I know I will see as much of this little one as I do of my other grandchildren? He will not know me, just as ‘the girls’ don’t know me and that breaks my heart.

I hear other people my sort of age talking about their grandchildren and how they come and visit with the sons or daughters they have. But not me, and it’s hard to hear sometimes, hard to listen because it is so painful. So, I smile sweetly and say “how lovely for you” and I mean it genuinely – I am happy for them but the pain I feel inside is heart-wrenching and continues to gnaw away at me because I know it will never be that way for me. I am the invisible Nanny, the non-existent one, “the Nanny we don’t talk about because she is a bit funny, (she has mental health problems and has a disability – you know how it is”).

I am deemed as useless as I cannot babysit, go upstairs to admire the gerbils, get down on the floor and play, chase them round the living room etc. What use I am to them? I write in the sky amongst the clouds, “Dear Son/Daughter, I love you – I have always loved you and I want to love my grandchildren and be part of their lives. I can still cuddle them, read them stories and be a positive influence in their lives. I am not mad or stupid. I am not a danger to my grandchildren. I love them and just want the opportunity to get to know them and for them to get to know me. My heart aches with my longing to see them. Is there no hope? Why, please tell me? Why?” Unsent letters, as writing would alienate them further so they remain in the clouds.

I keep journals though; love journals, one for each child where I write what I was thinking about today to do with them. I don’t write anything negative about anyone, especially my son or daughter.

If only…..Life is full of ‘if onlys’. Not just my life but the lives of many others for different reasons. We can but dream sometimes and we have to settle for that and be content, but easy, it is not! My heart is breaking I have to hang on to hope. Hope that one day when they are grown, they will and come and search me out and discover for themselves that I’m not what my son/daughter portray me to be.

“Dear Grandchild, I love you so much. I have always loved you from the minute you were born. I will always be here for you, waiting for you, waiting for the ‘if only’ to come true”.

Make a wish…..

dandelion-wishes

UNSENT LETTER TO MY SON

WHY (grandparents)

Dear *Tom*,

I’ve thought long and hard about writing to you but you leave me no choice really as I have no other way of contacting you. You don’t return my phone calls or emails. Do you know how much you have hurt me, and I mean really hurt me? Is this what you are happy doing?

I might not have been a perfect Mum but I did my very best to look after you and *Claire* on my own and loved you with all my heart and still do but your obvious hatred of me has started to erode that love. There is only so much pain I can take, Tom, and you and *L*, by your absence and by preventing me from having any contact with my own granddaughter, my beautiful *J*, are causing my heart to shatter into tiny pieces. I wonder whether I’ll even get to see your new baby when he/she is born?

You couldn’t even be bothered to phone me on my birthday this year. How do you think I felt? Upset? Disappointed? Hurt? Yes, all of those plus more. Why are you doing this to me, Tom? You are my only son; I love you but all I get from you is obvious hatred.

I don’t know what it is that you can’t deal with….is it my physical disability (are you ashamed of me?). Is it because I have BPD? Do you think I want this…the answer is NO, I don’t but I fight it and have built up a happy and successful existence for myself despite your cruel behaviour. My wheelchair or my BPD do not stop me from living a fulfilling life. I am still writing and am proud to say that my second book (published under a pseudonym) has just been released. My first book is now selling on Amazon, my third book is in the pipeline, being published shortly and I am now working on my fourth book. I have also had articles published in magazines and newspapers. I am also studying at college, three days a week and thoroughly enjoying it. I intend to do an Open University degree in Philosophy when college is finished. I also attend places where I do continued creative writing, art, mixed media and other courses.

I have every right to have a relationship as a Nanny to S. and she has every right to have me as her Nanny. Why are you depriving her of this valuable and precious relationship? How can you refuse your own daughter of knowing me? Do you know that one day, she will grow up and become an adult and be curious about my absence in her family and no doubt search me out. She will turn round and blame you and L. for depriving her in all her childhood years. How will you feel in the future when S. grows up and has her own children and she then denies you all access to your grandchildren? You need to think about that one.

I wonder what you will do with this letter? Delete it or destroy it in a cowardly way of avoiding thinking about all this? Or will you behave like a compassionate man and have the decency to reply in some way?

The anger I have for you and K. for deliberately hurting me this way doesn’t stop me loving you as my son but you even throw this back in my face. Do you have a conscience, Tom? Where, if anywhere, do I figure in that? You should also remember that there are always consequences for the actions we take and the way we treat others. One day I will die and it will all be too late. Will you regret your behaviour then? If the answer is ‘no’ then you have no heart, no morals and should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. It’s not too late, Tom. My arms are still open for you…..there is nothing that could stop you from visiting me, either alone or with little S. to talk like adults and put right all the wrongs.

My Love Always, to you, my Son,

Your Mum xxx

RANT – PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION WITHIN THE FAMILY

Well……..This isn’t poetry or anything cleverly or attractively worded! This isn’t about my past experiences. This is a rant and about me feeling so p*ssed off!

I’ve just spoken to my sister who tells me that my daughter *Claire* doesn’t want anything to do with me because…. a) I have mental health problems, b) I am disabled, and c) because I choose to have a decorative cross on my living room wall, (pictured here), thereby ‘stating‘ I am a Christian!!

disabled people slogan             My beautiful cross from J & J            mental health

All this time, she’s been making excuses not to come and see with my two young granddaughters and now I found out it’s all about discrimination or being ‘different’! I am fuming…..I am so f#*$ing angry! (And yes, I know that’s not a very Christian word to say and that I should forgive her but at the moment I am hurting too much). She is basically ashamed of me and would rather not have anything to do with me or for me to be her Mum!! She objects because she doesn’t want her children to be aware of such differences! That’s not what I taught her when she was young so where did that come from?! Children needed to be educated about ‘differences’ in people, be it class, race, sexuality, faith, disability….whatever; not being taught how to be prejudiced and discriminatory. How would it go down, I wonder, if I purchased a copy of this book and sent it to her:

kids guide discrimation

…….Not too well, I should imagine!! And  perhaps I should send a copy to my son, *Tom*, while I’m at it as he shares exactly the same views, hence I don’t see my littlest granddaughter and I doubt I shall ever see the new baby due at Christmas :((

For goodness sake, it takes all sorts to make the world and I always say, providing nobody gets hurt, then ‘each to their own‘ and we should respect other people for who they are, not for what their label is…

don't label me

If it hadn’t been for my carers coming early and getting me into my pyjamas, I’d have gone out in my wheelchair and bought a bottle of something but I’ve been clean and sober for more than two years now, so that wouldn’t have been too clever. On the other hand, I haven’t coped with this too well as I have self-harmed, cutting my arm for the first time in nearly three years so sh*t, I’m not exactly proud of myself. And if my children knew; well, that would give them more ammunition.

And just to cap it all, it’s my birthday on Wednesday and I very much doubt I’ll get a card, let alone a phone call from either of them. Fortunately, I am meeting a new friend that day, for lunch so will have a lovely time, family or no family.

I don’t have therapy till Tuesday….how do I deal with this amount of rage and anger without doing myself any more damage?!

CHURCH V CHURCH (THE GUILT COMPLEX)

church 2

As some of you my be aware, I have not felt entirely happy at my church for some time now. The church building and interior are ‘plush’ and the ‘Meeting Place’, where we have our services is just beautiful. We have a large and comfortable reception area, several conference rooms for meetings, a church office, a café and more. Most of the people who attend are reasonably friendly and usually say or nod a passing hello in my direction as I come in with my powered wheelchair. I am friendly, chatty (given the chance) and really enjoy the singing praise although the sermon seems to be lacking conviction, somewhat, just lately. We are a large church of about 400 members of which roughly half turn up for the main service and quite a few of them migrate to the café for tea or coffee and ‘chat’ afterwards.

People, in general, tend to gather in clusters when having a conversation or chat. When I was in my old manual wheelchair, I appreciated that if someone wanted to chat to me, they had to lean or crouch down to my level which wasn’t always, perhaps, comfortable, convenient or desirable. But now I am in my powered wheelchair, I am higher up so more on everybody else’s level. But still, they gather in their clusters and I am not included which I don’t, for a start, think is a very Christian thing to do. What happened to caring for one another? As it says in Hebrews 10.24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

I have been happy there in the past, when I was baptized and became a member back in 2008 and there have been many good experiences along the way, both social and spiritual, before I became so disabled. I am still a normal Christian with normal feelings…I don’t have green ears and a purple tail (at least, not last time I looked)!

Bible-And-Cross-Pic

So….. the long and the short of it that I think I have found myself a different church where I seem to be much more accepted, included and welcomed. It’s not a ‘smart, plush’ church. It’s held in a Community Hall with basic surroundings and is used for other activities, like ‘Kids’ Club’ in the week. The sermons are much more sincere without being solemn. The congregation and Pastors are much more casual though expressive and demonstrative and I like having the feeling of being able to express myself freely to praise God in the way that I want to. The Pastors wear casual clothes (as opposed to suits and ties), as do the congregation and I think more or less anything goes.The people are friendly and approach and treat me as a ‘normal‘ person.

When it boils down to it, it is not the surroundings, the building or the clothes that maketh a church or a Christian, but the heart and soul of the people gathered together within it, and I think that I have now found a place where I belong. So what is the guilt about?

The guilt complex is that I feel very disloyal to my first church by breaking away and going elsewhere to worship. Should it be like that? Is it wrong and disloyal? Does it matter where I worship? After all, there is only one God and He lives within us (if you have religious faith of any denomination). He is within our hearts. Will God really mind where I choose to worship? I think not. However, the feelings of guilt won’t go away. I’m going to talk to my current Minister next week and I am hoping we can part with good feeling and no blame.

Finally, to quote Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

I have faith that He will lead me in the right direction…down the right path.

ROCKING THE BOAT

rock the boat English idiom

At the moment, so much around me is changing or becoming unreliable and I really don’t ‘do’ change at all well and really don’t like my boat being rocked one bit. I need stability, I need consistency, I need reliability, I need to feel safe and secure. I just don’t like change.

Currently, my care agency is very short of staff so instead of getting my regular carers, who I am used to, I never know who will be walking through the door next. Don’t get me wrong…I am extremely grateful for the excellent care I receive and all the carers I do have are great. I just wish the Management treated their staff better and fewer people would be leaving what is beginning to feel like a sinking ship. In addition, my Support Worker is off this week and there is no replacement available; my CPN goes away at the end of this week; my Home Help is also off this week and next and they are kindly sending a young woman to replace her but she won’t be the same, I know. And just to top it all, my therapist is away in two weeks.

Most of my support comes from you guys (and I don’t know what I’d do without your friendship, love and support) <3. I can’t talk to Mum anymore, not like I used to, as she’s always frantically trying to chase her tail, having got up far too late in the morning! My kids are completely out of the question as most of you know.

Also, I’m changing my dentist, after all that fuss and commotion of trying to get a ramp put in….I’ve given up with them although I’ve been there 34 years, because if they can’t do that one little thing (which they are obliged to do by law anyway!) then they have no consideration for me so I will be sticking two fingers up behind my back when I next pass them and I’m going to a new dentist about half an hour away in my wheelchair, so nearer as well as having very good  disability access and facilities.

And there is a whole new ball game just about to start rocking my boat in a big way although it is of my own choosing but it would take up too much space to explain right now so that’ll be my next blog….

 

LEPER

family silouhette for blog

Today, I am hurting. I miss both my children who choose not to be part of my life….stigma left-over from my seriously bad mental health days and now my physical disability. Perhaps I’ve caused them pain in my illness.

My daughter, ‘Clare’ with my two young granddaughters will honour me with her presence, if I’m lucky, for a couple of hours around Christmas time. That’s it! Once! It hurts and I so miss my grandchildren who barely know me, and then only as a stranger. I know she doesn’t love me.

My son, ‘Tom’, my first-born, has opted out of my life altogether. I have a grandchild who is 18 months old who I’ve only seen once when she was born. A duty call, that’s all. Better than nothing, I know, but now….it is completely nothing. It is as if he doesn’t exist. I don’t exist on his planet and he has no love for me either.

I wrote a poem a few years back. I chanced sending it to both of them in the hope…..the vain hope……

Nothing. Deafening silence. Silhouettes on the horizon. This was the poem I wrote:

My child, why does it have to be this way?
When I love you so much, it hurts
And I miss you to the end of the Earth and back
And would give my eye-tooth to hold you again.

My heart is a jigsaw with a piece missing
And try as I might, I cannot find it
Where are you, my child, who are you now?
You are all but lost to me. Will you be forever?

I’ll never stop hoping, wishing, praying
That one day, you’ll come back into my life
But tell me if it’s a vain hope
As I suffer every minute without you here

I love you, my precious child
You doubt me, you mistrust me
You despise me and whatever I do or don’t do
It’s not enough to bring you back to me

I would give gold and silver and diamonds and more
For the want of you to be close to me again
But I am helpless to redeem myself
Though I try long and hard and try to hold on to hope

But the hope is diminishing as the days,
The hours, the minutes, the seconds go by
We are further apart than ships in the night
And the lighthouse is disappearing from sight

I offer only a forever kind of love for a lifetime
For the years together we’ve missed
Nothing fills the void, nothing will, nothing can
For the rest of my days on this Earth, I am sorry

If I could take your pain and carry it on my back for you
I would do so, willingly, my precious child
I only wish you joy, happiness, peace of mind
You have nothing to fear from me

I am no threat, nor wish to be. Can you forgive me?
In your heart of hearts, my child, could you?
You have done no wrong in my eyes
The eyes of a mother at the death of her child.

I LOVE YOU ALWAYS xxx

 

Still…..nothing…..absence…..isolation…..stranger…..leper.

I hurt.

 

 

MOVING ON/LACKING FAITH

I’m feeling very down and dispirited today and am counting the hours till my carers come and then I can go to bed and start afresh tomorrow.

I’m not very good at dealing with change and am attempting to cope with two changing situations at the moment although I should add that they are both my choices but I still find it scary. Tomorrow, I start part-time summer college, run by our local Mental Health Trust and will be doing art, creative writing, Mindfulness (which I know little about) and studying NLP Therapy and how it works which sounds interesting. I’m very worried about being with people I don’t know, in a group setting. Also, I am the only disabled student there so feel a bit like an ‘odd man out’. Nevertheless, I think it will be a good challenge which can only be a positive thing. I just have to take a deep breath and walk (drive) in and jump in at the deep end!

Also, I’m thinking about changing my church which is a very big and important decision. I’ve been a member at my first and current church for over 7 years and was happily baptized there in 2008. However, I still have this ongoing problem with not feeling accepted as a person with a disability. Everyone is polite to me and reasonably helpful although I am very independent, friendly and ‘smiley’!. I know loads of people there but I have never made any friendships that continue outside of a Sunday morning. Also, I’m finding that my faith is waning somewhat lately and I don’t know why.

So, I’m thinking about going to a new church called ‘The Life Church’, which is still of the same faith, just with different attitudes and convictions. My current church is Baptist and this new one is Pentecostal (known as ‘happy-clappy’), which I quite like the idea of. However, the prospect of driving my wheelchair into a church full of 250 new people, is scary to me. I’m hoping that the ‘liveliness’ of this new church will ‘recharge my faith batteries’ and improve my current relationship with God which I currently find worrying.

As I said at the beginning, I feel very low today and my hypervigilance is really bad which has left me exhausted now, early in the evening. My prayers are a bit half-hearted lately which isn’t good and is something I desperately want to improve. Hopefully, I will wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed and ready to face these new challenges.

Life church

MY SPECTACULAR TUMBLE….DISABILITY RIGHTS

Today, I had a tumble or more accurately an accident! I fell….but it was no ordinary fall….it was quite a spectacular experience (but not funny). I fell out of my electric wheelchair on to the ground with a thud because of negligence on behalf of the council. Was I hurt? Yes, I was – I have hurt my back, hip and leg which is making my disability worse (hopefully only temporarily). Time will tell.

fallen broken wheelchair

I was on my way back from town with my wheelchair, riding on the pavement (not the road) as I am meant to but nevertheless, I have to cross roads like everybody else. I was just passing the railway station and was crossing the entrance which is quite a narrow but busy side road. I came up to the kerb, ready to cross and lurched down into the road with a huge bump, as usual. I have already complained in writing to the council to say that they have not provided that busy road with a ‘dropped’ or lowered kerb; a prime example of a non-dropped kerb is shown in the image below (that’s not me in the photo, by the way!).

wheelchair and kerb

I crossed the road and then approached the kerb on the other side, also not ‘dropped’ as it should be under The Discrimination Act, but worse still, the kerb was broken so very uneven (also previously pointed out to the council). I tried to mount this damaged and rather steep pavement edging. There is no other way of getting home other than this route, unfortunately. My front wheels slammed into the kerb, causing my wheelchair (with me in it) to fall over into the road. I was trapped; unable to get out because of lack of use of my legs, so there I lay, on the ground, hurting, embarrassed, angry and helpless. I was obviously in need of help and would you believe eight people walked straight past me, totally ignoring me as if I were invisible!!

After about five minutes, a young girl, listening to music on her ipod, stopped and asked me if I needed an ambulance and then went into the station to ask for assistance for me. Two well-built men came out and righted my wheelchair and got me a glass of water. I guess I must have been in shock. The ambulance arrived just at that moment and they checked me over, made me comfortable and stretchered me into the back of the ambulance.

ambulance crew rescue

I started to recover from the shock but I was hurting, physically so they carefully checked my back and ‘thank the Lord’, I hadn’t broken anything. I was badly shaken up, bruised, battered and very sore though. I didn’t want to go to hospital so they slowly got me back into my wheelchair and one of the men kindly pushed me all the way home where my carer was waiting. I was so glad to be home.

So, I’d like to publicly thank C. City Council for their negligence in keeping the pavements and kerbs in such good condition, NOT, and for breaking The Discrimination Act which believe me, I’m not going to let them get away with! WATCH THIS SPACE!

TO PASS THE TIME OF NIGHT

Image

TO PASS THE TIME OF NIGHT

It’s three o’clock in the morning
When most of the world is sleeping
I stare at the moon in the navy sky
While out of the curtains I’m peeping

I draw back the deep red curtains
And fold back the throw on my bed
I plump up the somewhat squashed pillow
Where I’d briefly lain my head

I glide down my stair lift slowly
Trying not to wake my neighbour
I, with my hand on the joystick
Requiring no manual labour

I stumble across the kitchen
To make a hot mug of tea
I’m sneaking like a mouse on wheels
Disabled, I happen to be

By then I wish I’d made coffee
To wake me from lacking slumber
If I shut my eyes, I can still count sheep
So one by one, I number

Shall I go back to bed?
No, it’s already five in the morning
My carers will be here at six
But I hear my bed still calling

I hear the key in the lock
“Good morning”, they call, all cheery
While me with my eyes wide shut
Still sit there looking bleary.