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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The twilight zone...

I feel like I am living in a twilight zone, some oooooooie oooooie spaced out kind of new place. I rather like it but actually, no kidding I have the most painful neck ever, it started as a twingy ache, nowhere in particular and now it is a full blown stiff as a board hurting neck.
I think it's because I must have snapped my neck in a twirling motion umpteen times a day, you know like ....WHIP...WHA????? What the? Hey!!!!

Let me explain, after years and years and even more years of living one way, when it changes, so miraculously and completely, seemingly overnight ( although NOT overnight, at all) it's all a bit much to take in.
The night H and I got married, I tucked Sophie in and kissed her goodnight and said something like " So, at last Soph, you have someone who will be a daddy" her reply ( aged 10 1/2) was " I don't think so...I am going to see if he leaves, like the other one" and she made it her aim to put him to the test. She truly did make life unbelievably difficult for all of us.
Looking back, I can see she was sad, I understand that she must have felt as though the rug was pulled out from under her, going from having me to herself for all her life, having a dad that was hopeless and treating her so differently to the way he treated the boys, spending all the time in the world with me, in 10 years I didn't have any normal relationships, no dating, I had 5 years of a telephone relationship with someone I had no right to be talking to, I can excuse it and justify it but that's neither here nor there, it was me and them against the world, I shared the boys with their dad, Sophie was mine. And I was hers.
It must have been awful for her to suddenly find that she wasn't my other half anymore. I can sit here and say how different it could have been, how much she could have had if she had allowed H to see what a sweet girl she was. No point in that though, is there? It's not how it was, how it was, was horrible.
For 4 years, H tried, he tried being nice, being firm, ignoring her, trying to parent her, bribing her, nothing worked, she was going to keep doing what she was doing.
I was so in the middle, I hated this devil spawn child that woke up with a grimace and went to be pretty much every night having screamed herself hoarse. I had no idea what to do, where to go, how to help. With the birth of each baby, things got worse. She said she wanted a sister, every time she got another brother she became more angry. When we had the U/S that showed Eli was another boy, all hell broke loose, she spat, screamed and she tried to kick me, in the stomach .
She ran away ( at night, in Los Angeles, aged 13) she swore, she fought and she was utterly and completely miserable. As were we.
After 4 years and yet another bitter fight, H looked at me, threw up his hands and said " I'm done" And he was. 4 more years of something that was even worse ensued.
Piggy in the middle.
They openly loathed each other. He said, she did.
She/ He!
If I went out, I had to make sure she came too or was already out, if I was out I made sure I got home before she did. If I bought her anything, I did it quietly, if I did anything with her it was not spoken about.
If she annoyed him, he told me, if he made her angry, she yelled at me. Everything was my fault, he said I always took her side, she said I always sided with him.
Then she seemed to stop hating him and just concentrated on hating herself, she turned on the self destruct switch and that's when the real hell began.
I don't think I will ever feel in control of anything again. I am sure that is why I am a control freak with the laundry and the grocery shopping, with finances and cooking dinner. I am so GOOD at all that stuff, just let anyone try and do it better than me, don't even dare to suggest I do it any differently, I am so in CONTROL, don't mess with me.
I know I harp on about it but it's my blog, this is what my blog is for, for me to repeat myself and harp on about things and not feel guilty......thank goodness for blogs.
In my adult life, I have experienced things that blow my mind, that now I look back should have rendered me completely insane.
One after the other, slamming into me and rocking my whole life and soul.
One by one, I dealt with them and learned from each experience, I surfaced and carried on and each time, I felt a little less in control and a lot more as though life will just do whatever it will do and we all just have to get on with it. I find it very difficult to pray now, I can pray for others, I can give prayers of thanks but I can't seem to ask for anything for me. I can't seem to pray about how I would like things because well, seems to me that if it's going to happen, it will, if not, it won't.
So somehow things began to change last year, right at the end of the year. H told me that he didn't know if he would ever be able to forget what Sophie had done to the family, he wasn't sure if he would ever be able to look at her again but that he was sorry that he had made my helping her more difficult than it already was. He said that he promised he would never again stand in my way in doing whatever I felt I needed to do to help her. I can't tell you what a difference that made to me. It took a long time to trust that he meant it, that I needn't be sneaky anymore, that if I wanted to pay for her to get a taxi to the house I could, without facing a stony face.
The last year has been incredibly tough, no mother should have to be as tough as I have been this year, I wouldn't wish this last 18 months on any mother, that terrible fear, feeling as though a knock on the door and seeing the police waiting there would almost be a relief because at least it would be over, at least there wouldn't be anymore lying awake holding my breath waiting for the knock on the door.
In June she came home, she was allowed to drag a mattress downstairs and sleep under the table and 3 months later she has a room, a bed, and safety, she is happy and she is quite the most glorious girl.
Little by little I am seeing things that leave me stunned, tiny things to begin with, Sophie saying that she thinks H is a pretty nice bald headed old fart because he stops what he doing to play with the boys, saying she thinks it's great they have such a lovely dad .
H picking up apple juice at the store and saying " Sophie is kind of into this right now huh?"
Sophie asking to borrow £10 and when I gave it to her saying "ha! H already gave me £20!" ( and she actually does call him 'H' which I love)
Hearing H on the phone talking to his dad, telling him how great Sophie is doing, splendid.
Sophie has just been reading a book called 'The secret' H downloaded it for her and put it in her room....she just came in and said " I can't remember if I said thankyou for doing that for me H, it's great!"
My poor neck.......WHIP! Wha? What'd she say? What'd he do? What the? Did that really just happen? Whose house am I in? Who ARE these people? Where'd my rotten family go?
It is quite marvellously freaky. I am all crumplingly gobsmacked.
I am so enjoying Sophie, every day new strides.
I am sure that it's not all over and done with, we still see signs that she has a way to go but the thing is,she is changing so much, she is happy and she likes it.
She and I are going to do something HUGE together just us and she is so excited, everywhere we go she tells people what we are going to do and how it will be just me and her that will be doing it. I know she tells everyone at work, all the customers going through her checkout.
At the weekend she went out and didn't come home, she went out on friday, came in on saturday in time to change for work, she avoided me and when she finished work she went out again, when I asked where she was going she said " to my mates house"
She did this again yesterday and when I pressed her for more info she just said again that she was going to 'a mates house' and then gave a rough location. Her very vague behaviour made alarm bells ring and so I called her and asked her again where she was and insisted she give exact details, When she did ( with an attitude and a ' and so?' tilt in her voice) I simply said " Oh dear, well, you have a lot to lose by being there...your choice" and hung up.She was home in 10 minutes, asking me to check her for signs of drug use. I explained that I didn't think she was there taking drugs but by being there, in that flat, with drug dealers and users, she was putting herself in a position where she could be tempted, she was placing herself in danger and one slip would mean she could lose everything.
She is listening and she is making good choices, she isn't fighting when we speak to her and explain why we are concerned. This is a long road, we all have so much to make up for, we all have so many wounds that need to heal and we are, for now, all treading very carefully.
I do know that I love doing things with her, she is a delight to be with.
She said to me the other day that she loves how close we are and that she never wants to go backwards. I am so with her on that and every day I hope that she feels more sure that this is how she wants her life to be, that taking drugs and getting drunk are things that are not worth losing what she has for.
She has a great treat to look forward to, I am sure it will be a time that both she and I will remember forever. It is far enough away to keep her on the straight and narrow and close enough that she can almost smell it.......don't you just love a good goal?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is so lucky to have such an incredible mom. That is just absolutely fantastic. You absolutely rock and well done to Sophie. She is doing so wonderfully. I am so glad that her and H have been better.

1:37 am  
Blogger Sara said...

A great treat, indeed... and I am thrilled to know that Sophie is doing so well, and in turn, that you are too. :O)

2:02 am  
Blogger TN said...

She is one lucky girl to have you,,(and H)

1:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Sophie!

7:46 pm  
Blogger Julie Q said...

Yes indeed. :) A work in progress for sure, but she sounds like she is getting there Helen. I am happy to hear she is listening to you and H.

9:01 pm  
Blogger sarah said...

so glad to hear how well she is doing.keep up the good work sophie

10:28 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

So happy that Sophie is finally seeing the wonderful person she is and that you have always known she was!

Way to go Sophie! We are all sooo proud of you!

1:03 am  
Blogger Tweety said...

Helen I have been a lurker forever I think...I've read so many stories about Sophie. I am so happy to hear that she is healing!!! I am so happy for you and your family.

1:05 pm  
Blogger Jackie said...

What an amazing story and an amazing testament to what a frawesome mother you really are! You've been through so much with Sophie and yet, I can actually hear the excitement in your post about the way things are going!
Onward and upward!!!

5:37 pm  
Blogger Jenn said...

Can I just say that I have a big smile on my face? I do
A huge smile.
I love you. I love Sophie.
I'm so happy for you both.
Onward to that goal!! :D

11:21 pm  

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