AIRING MY DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC

ddirty laundry

Why write a blog? Why write a blog at all? Why do I feel the need to share with total strangers, my innermost thoughts, my idiosyncrasies, my Pandora’s Box of secrets that if written in a diary, would, without a doubt, be kept under lock and key?

When I write, I pour my heart out, as if I were talking back at myself, as if I were confiding in a much-trusted friend or a therapist. I write under a pseudonym to protect my anonymity and to keep the contents away from those prying eyes outside of the blogging world that would tear me to pieces in disbelief if they read the fairly shocking truth of my actual life.

One dear friend who has discovered I keep a blog and just cannot understand the logic of it, has said so many times, “what do you want to put your innermost secret of secrets out there for?” Then adding, “Why on Earth do you want to air your dirty laundry in public”?

I hesitate, giving this careful thought, cautious not to make their opinion of me worse. I fail miserably by saying things like, “I get to know other people who often feel as I do or at least are interested enough to want to read past the first few lines”. “I get support”, I say. “Who from?” is the next question and they then add one long string of complicated technical words like, “What a lot of rubbish you are mumbling. These computers are just machines that speak to each other”. They then sometimes state the obvious in that machines don’t have emotions or character, but plainly, they completely fail to understand that there are people with thoughts, worries, ideas and feelings, at the receiving end of these much-criticised machines.

I feel I have made good friends; friends who I can share humour with or occasionally share my darkest, deepest thoughts with who do not rebuke me, nor criticise my language skills. And I feel very privileged to be thought of as trustworthy enough to read of other blogger’s inner worlds.

The world of bloggers is as secret as it is public: We spill the contents of our hearts onto the paper under glass, usually under a pen-name so as not to be discovered, and before we know it, we’ve pressed the PUBLISH button, and there it all goes, spewing out into the world for all and sundry to see.

Personally, I feel it helps me. It is the time I can let go of my thoughts and inhibitions and just share what happens to be in or on my mind and that it always a relief. However, when my words go out into the universe, I am self-critical about what I have written, and find myself thinking, ‘Well, that wasn’t even worth the paper it was written on! Who on Earth seriously wants to read my thoughts?’ But occasionally, I get feedback to say I have helped someone feel less alone, or that we have shared some humour, so that makes at least two of us who have benefitted at least somewhat! Sometimes I don’t get feedback, or I have doubts about what I have written and am only too ready, and sometimes do actually hit the DELETE button, and there it all goes, gone, out into the ether, unspoken and unheard.

 

 

 

SHATTERED

shattered woman face

They say it never rains but it pours! The last few months has been one long succession of dramatic events, unfortunate happenings, life problems, family dramas and … need I go on?

Things are particularly bad right now which may explain the absence of posts again on my part and the same goes for reading all of your blogs. What can I do but apologize once more?

Right now, my Mum is in the main City Hospital, Trauma Unit after an accident. She has fractured her spine in two places and fractured her skull along with her nose. She also has kidney damage. Basically, she is truly shattered. She is on oxygen to help her breathe and is fairly out of it most of the time because of the powerful painkilling medicines she is receiving. She is in a neck brace because she has fractured a bone at the base of her skull too.

I am obviously extremely worried and upset, as you can imagine. I’m fifty miles away from Mum with no car to get there. I managed to get down there on Thursday with George (my new wheelchair) but it was a very difficult journey – three trains and two buses each way for me to get to the hospital on my own.

I found her fast asleep when I went in, partly because of the strong painkillers and partly exhaustion. After an hour, I woke her very gently and told I was there She couldn’t speak much but I know she knew that I was there.

She’s hardly able to eat and is not drinking much either. Fortunately, she is on a drip and is lying flat on her back with nothing to look at but a blank ceiling most of the time. That’s make her feel quite depressed (hardly surprising  under the circumstances).

Basically, my Mum is shattered! And as you can imagine, I am shattered, emotionally too. It’s awful to see my Mum in so much pain and with such severe injuries. I am thinking about her day and night and only wish that I could take her place so she didn’t have to suffer so much. I would in an instant. Mum is eighty-six and is physically, mentally and emotionally, a broken woman. My heart is breaking knowing that she is going through so much.

CHAMELEON SKIN

 

chameleon_2048x1152

She is what she is … or is she, indeed?

She’s perplexed, befuddled, embroiled

Lost her mind along enmeshed journeys

She belongs, does she not to this world?

~~~

Is she real or a trickster, a fraud inside?

Not knowing her mind, too caught up in lies

Or perhaps, revealing her open wounds

You win some, you lose some, just look in her eyes

~~~

She’s not without fear though she’s scared of the thrill

The rollercoaster won’t come to an end

She writes her life’s story in ink, so black

You may wonder how her thoughts are penned

~~~

Innocence seen, and innocence gone

A fight in a nightmare; she holds her breath

The howls can be heard from far away

Will she ever return from the brink of death

~~~

You know her, you don’t, you think that you may

She’s a friend, a soldier, blood-kin

She lives or she dies; knowing the shadow side

Unknown, she wears her chameleon skin

 

 

THE FINAL GRENADE

explosion mind

I am waiting for an explosion
But I don’t know when it’ll be
Somehow I have to be ready
But I don’t have the strategy

I’m dreading the mess it will make
Of both my body and mind
Because when the explosion comes
They’ll be nothing left behind

I’m holding a hand grenade
And haven’t yet pulled the pin
But when it blows, it will release
The tumult and chaos within

I don’t think I can cope with more
It’s becoming too much of a strain
It’s messing with my head
And eating away at my brain

A hand grenade is dangerous
Armies use them in war
I’m standing here holding it gingerly
I feel I can’t take any more

I can feel the grenade rumbling
I can hear the tick of a clock
Counting down the minutes
I can’t avoid the stumbling blocks

I am poised here, anxiously waiting
And really don’t think I can cope
I am sweating and terribly frightened
I am losing my grip on hope

In angst, I watch the grenade
I haven’t yet pulled the pin
But I know that it’s not a dud
This device is genuine

I cannot preserve my life
To learn how to simply enjoy
Because this grenade I’m holding
Is set and primed to destroy

At my birth, already a risk
Due to persistent lack of affection
It was always destined to be this way
No matter how much circumspection

The tick, tick, tick of the clock
Any minute it threatens to blow
It’s going to cause total destruction
My lifespan was set long ago.

© Copyright Elliesofia: elliethompson.wordpress.com 2016

168 HOURS AND A FRAIL OLD LADY

elderly woman hands

“168 hours”, she said. “There are 168 hours in a week, and I’m alone for 167 of them … every week”, she sobbed (and with just cause). It was her birthday yesterday. She was 85. She didn’t want her birthday – yet another birthday spent alone – “Yet another birthday, galloping faster and faster towards death”, quoted somewhat morbidly by my mother.

Nobody visited her that day, as any other day, as all of our family are spread over the globe and are unable to be there. I am the one who lives the nearest and I’m over 90 km away. I would more than willingly tackle the train and bus journey to see her but I cannot access her house in my wheelchair and she cannot leave it because she has agoraphobia. She has done for more years than I care to remember. It creates a very obvious physical barrier between us and means I can’t even give her a hug which constantly breaks my heart, and hers too.

She received a few well-meaning cards exclaiming, ‘happy birthday’, ‘have a wonderful day’- and it wasn’t – a wonderful day, that is, nor a happy birthday, for that matter. I’d sent a card but chosen it carefully not to have the joyous exclamations on it but simply ‘Mum – I want to tell you how much you’re loved’. It was a simple card with two silver butterflies which stood up when she opened the card. She liked that, she said.

Her health isn’t good although perhaps better than some 85-year-olds I know. But, psychologically she is not good at all. The Social Services will offer her nothing and a local senior’s charity have offered her one hour of companionship a week. Fine … except they didn’t show up when they promised. One hour – out of 168 but her hopes were dashed and any confidence she had left was crushed out of her as if a builder had trodden on her skull with a size twelve boot.

Each blow takes away another chunk of her will to live and she is slowly emotionally slipping away from me. She is so isolated and has no friends or visitors that even call to see how she is (or even whether she ‘is‘ at all). It is all so painfully frustrating and heartbreaking.

She shouldn’t be living alone but we cannot see any way out as she won’t and shouldn’t have to contemplate the thought of moving into a nursing home or the like with her mind as sharp as a new hat pin. “Nursing homes”, she said, “are awful places where men and women are seated around a room staring at a TV screen which is blaring out rubbish at top volume!” “I ought to know”, she says – she used to inspect them as part of her voluntary work in her early retirement days. “Some are better than others, of course”, I add.

I won’t go into the other, alternative options (including living with me, which we would both like, but I only have one small box room to offer her which wouldn’t even accommodate her necessities).  None of these are either possible or feasible. I phone her at least twice a day to see how she is and for a chat, sometimes for over an hour which is the very least I can do.

All she wants; all she needs (for crying out loud!), is companionship (and a hug), and believe it or not, in the whole of a large, bustling city, no-one is willing to offer that! Our senior citizens are emotionally cared for far better in the undeveloped, third-world countries than they are here in our so-called civilized, Western world! Emigrating is not a possibility!

 

 

 

ROCK – PAPER – SCISSORS

black and white tattoo female arm

So, you honestly think you can read her like a book

as you flip through the pages of her paperback novel.

You think that this is telling and her words correct,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors

Words can be emotive and hearts can be hard,

where once they were candy floss, soft and pink.

Her cheeks may blush, though talk conceals the truth,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors.

 With her feisty character but cotton wool charm,

her thoughts can be wicked, almost vile.

Her morals can be spurious, her tongue can be sharp

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors.

Her speech is impeccable and her lips softly smiling.

Her skin white as snow and innocence prevails.

Her eyes reflect the stars … but oh, the cache of lies,

and you think you know her well … know her well, perhaps?

Rock – Paper – Scissors

SURVIVING THE STORM

storm waves crashing

My previous post spoke of how it feels to lose someone or many people, close to you; how the waves of grief come crashing down on you. It is talking about death in these instances. But what if the person you are grieving for is still alive but just out of your reach. This is also excruciatingly painful.

When the person is still alive but not in your life any longer, the pain and heartache are also almost unbearable as the waves still come crashing down on you time after time. These tidal surges continue as if they are beating against a ship, wrecked out at sea.

[In advance, I apologize for the length of this post. I wrote it for me. I wrote it because I needed to. I’ve needed to for a long, long time. Even if it is not read by anyone else, that does not matter. This is me … Ellie.]

I was talking to my therapist this morning. We spoke of my late night, yesterday. I was sitting, staring at my computer screen for hours, trawling the internet. I was searching for details of my previous therapist, *K, who I now, (after some years), recognize was emotionally and psychologically abusive to the point that I was totally in love with her, hung on her every word and believed each sentence she spoke. I was desperately searching for her name, her address, her photo, anything; a memory of this woman that I loved so much.

I travelled a round trip of two hours (at a cost to me to the point I was seriously in debt), on three mornings a week for eight years, to be with her. I was so emotionally dependent on her; I could barely breathe without her approval. All those years … all those wasted, damaging, life-threatening years. I don’t use the term ‘life-threatening’ lightly or as a casual, throwaway remark but because on one occasion when she was presumably cross with me for some reason I cannot remember, she actually said ‘Why you don’t go home and kill yourself’ and I tell the God’s honest truth here.

I attempted to take my life. I say cross as opposed to angry because the roles we took were of she, the strict, authoritarian parent, and I, the obedient child. She encouraged and nurtured this to the point where I loved and depended on her more than I did my own mother. There were hugs, kisses, gifts, cards etc. Every time she didn’t reply to a text or answer the phone (all of which were smashing the boundaries leaving nothing but a ship wrecked at sea), I punished my body in a self-destructive way because I assumed she didn’t ‘love’ me anymore and therefore, I envisaged that I had done something wrong; I had been the disobedient child. I actually took a blade to my skin, a bottle to my lips and dozens of pills to my throat on many an occasion.

It ended suddenly. It ended on the day of my father’s death when she questioned me as to why I was so upset and wasn’t I happy on this day, bearing in mind he had seriously abused me for all of my childhood? Nevertheless, he was still my father and somewhere amongst the hate, the terror, the disgust and the shame, he was still the only father I had and yes, I was upset that my father had died. In disgust and frustration, (because she had been insisting I relive the sexual abuse that took place all those years), she walked out on me and never came back. As well as losing my father that day, I lost my therapist, my guide, my mother, my friend and ally, my everything. I was devastated. I wanted to die along with the loss of her. I attempted this and woke, days later, in intensive care, but I survived and recovered slowly, at least physically but never, emotionally or psychologically.

Despite all this, four years later, I still miss her, pine for her affection, long to see her again. I love her. I hate her. I miss her, with those waves crashing down on me so often that I feel I will perish like a ship at sea. The pain of losing her is sometimes unbearable and I don’t want to be living and breathing on this Earth at those times.

shipwreck2

But … I am here. Despite everything, I am still here. Somehow, my time was not up yet. And although those waves still frequently come crashing in around my ears, I survive them, all be it bruised and battered emotionally. I recognize her for the controlling, sick, manipulative woman that she was and I hate her for what she did to me.

I love her. I miss her, I want to remember her face which has strangely faded from my memory. I search for her. I need her. I want her back … but do I? Do I, really? Do I want my life smashed against the side of the shipwrecked vessel, time and time again till I am worn away and engulfed by the sea?

NO! I don’t. Not anymore. I have come too far. I do not wish to turn back as often as I’m tempted to. I deserve better. I am stronger than that. I am here. I am me and will remain so until my true time comes. I am a survivor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHIPWRECKED

I am posting this copy of G.Snow’s moving advice for a reason that will become self-evident in my following post. Please take the time to read them both. It means a lot to me. Thank you x

The beautiful piece of writing was done by a commenter, four years ago in response to a poster asking for advice on grief.

The original post simply read: “My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

Here was Reddit’s, GSnow’s moving advice:

Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage, and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

SCREAMING THE INSIDE OUT

head screaming

I’ve seen my therapist today, and all sorts of thoughts are flooding my mind like a dam has burst inside my head. I just need to write out these thoughts to get them on paper rather than have them living rent-free in my head and taking up space for something more constructive.

This post isn’t going to be remotely witty or intellectual – it’s just me, Ellie – letting feelings out – trying to remember to breathe – breathing is crucial for survival – so is my writing. Please forgive me my self-indulgence.

I know my anger towards not only my recent assailant but also all my many other abusers in my life is currently turning inwards. I know that I am berating myself, belittling all the abuse I’ve been through and telling myself, “for goodness sake; pull yourself together!!” I have internal chatter running around my head. However, I am trying to fight these unhelpful and negative thoughts and attempting to replace them with more realistic and sensible ones.

I am beginning to recognize that over the years, I have well and truly had my boundaries smashed to pieces. With the downfall of those barriers and the lack of love shown to me in my life, is it any wonder I’m a sucker for affection. Is this what gets me into trouble? Am I too friendly? Do I give the wrong impression? Am I gullible? What the fuck am I doing so wrong?

(Excuse me why I quietly go and hide myself in a corner – and scream and shout and rant and rave! What? Do you mean I’ve done that already?)

I barely recognize my own emotions, and when I do, I give them no respect. “Why???”, I yell at the top of my voice! God – please let me off at the next stop.

“Calm down, Ellie; just calm it right down. Now, stop and … breathe …”. OK. I’m breathing. I’m shattered. I’m emotionally exhausted. I’m drained. I need sleep – restorative sleep; not nightmares running amuck inside my head – peaceful sleep – rest – quiet – repose – AND DON’T BLOODY WELL FORGET TO BREATHE!!

 

 

I CAN’T PEOPLE TODAY

My head is completely fucked up today. I wanted to be kind today because that’s how I like to treat people and have been on the whole. I left my Carer a ‘Welcome to my humble abode’ message with a smiley face drawn on the wipe-clean noticeboard in the kitchen and then when she came I could do nothing other than make small talk. I went out this morning and smiled and said “good morning” and “have a nice day” to passers-by on my way to the shops. I decided to leave two sticky-notes saying ‘Hi! Have an awesome day! Love from a stranger xx’, one stuck on the wrapper of a loaf of bread in the supermarket round the corner and the other on a packet of babies disposable nappies in the chemist. My hope was to brighten someone’s day. Then I unintentionally held up a queue of people in a shop because I couldn’t turn my wheelchair round in the small place on the way out and then felt dreadful. I tried out a new cycle path in my wheelchair on the way back from the shops and managed to lose my way (not unusual for me). I looked around and surprisingly, I spotted my neighbours two children not far off (on their bikes) who are twelve and nine. I called out to them and said how silly I was to get lost and bless their hearts, they cycled all the way home with me so I popped out again and got them a Kit-Kat chocolate bar each to say thank you. I arrived home safe and well. I did these things because I wanted to make people happy and not because I want thanks or recognition,

And now, this evening, everything in my head has gone pear-shaped. I am full of self-hatred and anger. I ignored the telephone when it rung and pretended I wasn’t in when a salesman rang the doorbell. I hid as best I could which isn’t easy when your legs don’t work. Suddenly, I don’t want to see anyone; I don’t want to speak to anyone; I don’t want to be with anyone whereas normally I would crave these things. I’m a grumpy old cow this evening. My faith seems to have gone up in smoke. I don’t know what has happened to me today….I know that my moods alter drastically from one moment to the next sometimes and I know that can be caused by my mental health condition, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). But, somehow today, it feels more than that. I don’t want to be; I don’t want to think; I don’t want to talk; I can, thankfully, write today (after a fashion). I just “CAN’T PEOPLE TODAY”. I just can’t do it, be it, see it, hear it, say it, feel it. I don’t want to be part of the world or part of our war-torn, desperately unfair existence, I don’t want to be on this planet or in this universe. I just don’t want to be! ‘STOP THE WORLD, I WANNA GET OFF’. Get me out of here……………

i can't people today

I’m sorry, people x  😦