Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

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!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

For now.....

I think that each day as it comes, with as much gentle joy as we can cram in, is the way to go.
I was told that the likelihood is I will feel worse before I feel better.
I do.
Don't ask me how I case I tell you.
Don't ask me to sit anywhere for longer than 10 minutes because it seems I will freak out, no warning, especially somewhere like, say CHURCH.
You know, where it is quiet and people are thinking and singing and being reverent.

Let me stand near rivers.......

And walk through meadows......

Let me stand under trees and watch little boys do what little boys do.

And let me take pictures of crunchy looking bugs on beautiful, sun browned, baby necks......

I think that will help.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh I love the sunshine.

Something tells me they do too.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

As side effects go.

So, two days into the medicine taking route, I feel as though I am doing something. I tell myself that it is too soon to feel better, that the medicine can't work that quickly, funny how the side effects can kick in that quickly though isn't it? Yesterday, I woke up at 8am went back to bed at 9am, woke up at 11 am, went back to bed at 3pm, woke up at 5.30 pm, went back to bed at 11pm and woke up this morning at hmmm, was it 8am or 9am? 9 I think. I did wake up at 4am, hung out some laundry on the line, stepped on a slug in my bare feet, washed my foot ( just the one) and went back to bed again.
That's some drowsiness right there, yes, we ticked THAT box.
This morning, at 9.30am as I was ironing, about 15 minutes in I froze as I felt that oh so familiar and miserable, miserable feeling, that prick pricking of sweat on my scalp, the creeping hot clinging feeling of heat over my scalp.
Yes, sweating, my one true hate, we can check that box.
Eating....well, so far that seems great because all day, all the long day I have a low grade nausea, not enough to make me miserable but just enough to stop me wanting to eat. YEEHAW!!
Nausea, tick that box too but I don't dislike this one. Actually, today I began to feel as though I shall soon be able to think about food again, proper food, good food, food that takes thinking and planning about, food that makes me feel better. I had lost that way back, right when this stint of black holeyness began.
I realised last night when this began in earnest. It was when I was told that I had to have yet another tribunal. As soon as I got that letter my mind began to delve into the whys and wherefores of being so sad, of feeling so hopeless, it's always so sneaky, so sly, so all encompassing without you being aware that this is happening.
On the way to the tribunal when my mum came with me, she asked a question, One I can't even remember, I can though, remember the answer.
I told her that my very soul feels like a failure. That I look at my big children and feel as though I failed them so horribly that I let them down so badly I will never be able to make it up to them. I felt so badly about it that now I feel unable to do anything important with my little children, that I leave the teaching to H because I was so useless.
Telling her that surprised me because I hadn't consciously realised it until the words fell out of my mouth, that meant that I was able to change that and allow myself to be more involved in the real lives of the boys, rather than the behind the scenes, cleaning, feeding, watching from afar role I had placed myself in.
The difference in the boys, in how I feel about them and how they behave has been incredible, they are divine, I enjoy them more and more every day.
More often they say things like " Oh I love you mummy, you are the best mummy in the world" and I believe them. This morning Isaac said " I love you, I never ever want you to die." Me either.
I had somehow told myself that what I had done to my big kids was done, I had to try not to keep thinking about it and try not to do it again with the little ones.
Yesterday, quite out of the blue, I thought of something. I thought about these big children of mine and oh my goodness if they aren't all completely splendid. I understood this, my children have been though terrible things. I didn't do those things to them. I wasn't able to stop those things happening and the truth is, if things were to happen all over again, the chances are I would do everything exactly the same way because I did everything the way I thought was right.
Despite them having experienced those awful things, somehow they are remarkable people. Not just OK, not pretty nice, they are absolutely and completely gloriously great.
I DID do that.
I don't take full credit because I am 100% sure that when it mattered, the angels picked me up, put me where I needed to be, told me what to say and what to do and I did it.
On my own.
When I look back to those times, when the boys were little and so damaged, when Sophie was on the road to hell, I simply cannot imagine how I did what I did. I don't know how I lived through it all, how I said and did what I did. Except I wasn't alone, not really. Not at all.
I think, at last, I have managed to let go of all that guilt. The guilt that everyone has always told me was not mine to hold onto.
Yesterday I answered a post on a debate board, a post that made me feel so passionately about something that I typed what I felt and was done.
Slowly, something began to happen and it has made the most enormous difference to how I feel about myself.
I started getting emails, messages, replies, more emails and calls from people, I don't think any of them knew that they weren't the only one to write to me, every one was so personal, so sincere, so totally from the heart and every single one.....every one told me what a great mother I am.
My whole day was filled with people saying the same thing, from my 5 year old boy who sat next to me as we drove to the grocery store together, telling me he is so happy he came to our family and how I am the best mummy in the whole world, to people who have met me, who know my children , to people who have never met me, never met my children...each one saying the same thing and not one of those messages was a trite 'this is what she wants to hear' one.
Everyone of those emails, each message, each phone call and heartfelt note is printed in my heart and each one chiseled away a little bit more of that hideous self doubt and belief that somehow I screwed up.
I only have to look at these children of mine to see that I must have done something so right, so better than OK to have these people before me, so hard working, so kind and generous, so funny and friendly, so loving and upstanding..that didn't happen by accident.
Go me.
I don't remember reading on the medication pamphlet a side effect of seeing things clearly for the first time in 20 years....but I am so glad that I seem to have that one, that even after 2 days I see it and believe it.
Thank God for that and whatever comes next ( only please can we skip the sweating? Please, that'd be great. Thank you.)


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming along for the ride.

So, I went to see my Doctor today and told her what I have been feeling and all about the marathon anxiety attacks etc, I also told her that I have had suicidal thoughts, not in a "I am going to do that" kind of way but in a " I get that and see why people do it because....dear Lord this is a miserable way to live" kind of way.
I won't kill myself, I am so far away from ever contemplating it, truly. In fact the very opposite is true, I worry way too much about every ache and pain and dread being ill because I have so much to look forward to, so much every day that brings so much happiness and pride.
She asked me about the boys and I was able to say with complete honesty that they are the most glorious thing to me, all my children. None of this misery is about them. It is all about me, how marvellously self indulgent I have become.
H is getting the brunt of this phase, as a good husband usually does, he is unchanged and so H, he is the same now as he has been for years. Which irritates the crap out of me.
When the first one left, he made sure that he left me knowing that it was all my fault. How stupid and boring I was, how ugly and useless I had become and how on earth was he supposed to live with THAT?
I know that everything he said and did was to make HIM feel better, to justify his behaviour, his selfishness.

For years, yes, YEARS, he would come and see the boys and he never came without imparting his wisdom.

"You met anyone yet? Well, don't hold your breath, you're alright at first glance and I suppose there will be men that are taken in by you, but you'll never meet one that stays, when he gets to know you, the real you, he'll go because well, not being mean but there isn't a man alive that could stand to be with you for long."

" Hey, you lost weight....don't let it worry you because you always manage to find it, shame really because no matter how much weight you're ruined on the inside, inside and out, beyond repair, nothing can be done, good on you for trying though."

H, without having a clue, without stepping out of line or even opening his mouth, just getting up in the morning and minding his own business, can remind me of the things the first one said. Poor bugger, doesn't quite hug me hard enough? Hates me, first one was right, is planning how to leave me.
Doesn't light up when I walk into a room? Thinking of how revolting I am.
Isn't completely wow-ed by dinner? Ungrateful shit, does he not know how lucky he IS? What's he thinking, he could get better elsewhere?

I don't tell H any of this because, well Ouch! In fact I don't tell anyone this, except you, sometimes because who wants to hear it? It is, honestly, completely and utterly exhausting. Nothing is ever just as it is, except the boys, they are just who they are and they are perfect, all uncomplicated and innocent, just as they should be and I wouldn't change a single thing about any of them.
H sat with me this afternoon and put his arm 'round me when I told him that I had told the Dr how I hated him....what a good man he is, not a huff or a puff or a sigh of slight, just a squeeze and a back rub. I don't hate him...I think I am endlessly terrified that he will hate me. I feel as though I am waiting for him to let me know the first one was right and that is so unfair on him, he couldn't be more different.
The Dr gave me a questionnaire to fill in, a quiz if you like. I don't do things by half, not me, I got the highest score possible, even got a gasp of admiration from my lovely G.P. who said that she thinks I am incredibly insightful, that I notice more about the people I love than others might and that I am very sensitive to their needs, she said that I actually am one step ahead of what is happening and because of the exceptional circumstance I have found myself in, feel that the universe and it's happenings are down to me, that I ought to be able to step in and stop every bad thing from happening...but I can't.
She gave me medication, I am sad about that but I am sad anyway, so what the hell?
She also said that when I have one of the mammoth anxiety attacks, when I can't breathe my way out of it, when it seems that it is endless, I can take one of my marvellous 'Pams' my ' why yes I can get on a plane because all is fluffy and well and zzzzzzzzzzzzz..oh look I'm there!" tablets and the best part? I don't even have to actually get on a plane! I say, that almost makes me look forward to a big old panic, which means, naturally that I won't get anymore. Life's a sod isn't it?

I was told years ago that I should be on medication for life, that my depression was so severe that even though there would be periods when I felt great, the odds were that in my case, it's always going to slam it's way back at some stage. I puddled along pretty well with slumps and peaks and mediocre moments. I had acupuncture and acupressure and forgot to take the meds and before I knew it a week or two had passed and I thought well, why start taking them again? So I didn't. I have been without any meds for 3 years and I love that, the side effects are awful, I hate how I sweat when I take that medicine, however, I hate how I have been the past few weeks even more, I intend to follow some other avenues in the hope that I can beat this into submission again, I will because I do, it's an illness, I wouldn't hesitate to take medicine for diabetes, high blood pressure, infections etc I have to try not to beat myself up for having to take these again.
I just read the leaflet that comes with the meds, I like that drowsiness is a side effect especially when taken with anti histamines.....I love drowsy, bring that on I say.
Also it rather splendidly effects bladder tone and helps with bed wetting, not that my iron pelvic floor ever has any weak moments of course but it would be nice if my bladder decides it does not need to empty at 3am, or even 5am I would love to wake up because I am not tired anymore, rather than because I need to wee, small things bring such joy.
Increased appetite and weight gain...look here, I am the first one to sing the praises of the people behind the medicines but for the love of cake! Depressed people don't need help to gain weight, I certainly don't, I don't need an increase in my appetite, why can't they make a tablet that helps you feel better and also ...would you look at ME! Thin! Ewwww chocolate, who wants THAT? Not me! How hard could that be? They can stop you wetting the bed and help you sleep, bring sunshine and joy back into your life.....but you'll probably get fatter, sorry grumpy, can't be helped.
So, here we go, weekly doctors appointments, promises to call, even at 3am should things seem even more bleak than they have been, pleas to take care of myself and let's get this show in the road why don't we?
I will be sure to take you all along for the ride, as always.

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On the other hand.....

Just about as perfect as it is possible to be.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

I wonder...

Do I feel this way for in these feelings are justified or do I feel like this because the inbalance in my brain makes me think things that aren't there?

Am I those things he said I am or does the depression make me think I am? ( and why do those crippling and damaging things said to us, stay with us, always?)

Would medication help this awful feeling or mask it?

Is it me...or every other bugger?

Sometimes, if only I could creep out of my head and see things from the outside so that I could get it right. So that I could know.

Whatever, this is not a good place to be, I am not a good person to be around and I am so tired.

I don't think this will ever be over, that makes me more tired. And also, more sad.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

If you can't join 'em....

So, here's what's happening in my head lately ( you've been longing to know I can tell!)
I've been sad and all kinds of stupid if the truth be known. In fact, I can't even begin to explain what is going on in my mind because every time I start to write I get on my own nerves and after sitting here for an hour or more whining and bleating on about all the woe and dear oh dears I delete it and tell myself to shut up for heavens sake.
I've been sad because my friends are all planning to meet up, this time in many people going to this one and I am not. Poor little Nelly no mates, actually Helen Hellavalotta mates but doesn't want to keep flying across the world to see them to be more precise.
I love my friends, I do, flying to Boston, twice last year was such a big deal and so glorious but it pretty much wiped me out, all that angst and fretting, the sweating and heaving and the what if I die and leave my children without a mother or what if THEY die while I am away being all carefree and selfish? Dear life that's draining!
It IS such fun though, such laughter and joy, such undiluted happiness and pampering ( because there isn't anything more splendid and pampering to me than leaving a room untidy and coming back to find it spotless and your bed all clean and crisp and waiting for you to just get right back into it)
It's funny because when I suggest that maybe people come here...well, it is always met by such surprise and everyone says how they will have to save and plan and it would take a year or two and .... and then I sort of snicker because I wonder if my lovely friends have ever realised that ( come a little closer and I will whisper) guess what!
It's as far from here to there as it is from there to here and it costs the same to get there as it does to get here...
I KNOW.....incredible isn't it? I will grant you that once you get here it costs more and is much less satisfying in a value for money kind of way but I know stuff, I can wangle the whole do it for less thing, I am good at it.
Also, I know I bleat on about it but I am really REALLY afraid of flying and for some ridiculous reason, the more I do it, the more afraid I am, so having done it twice last year, once the year before...I'm just about as pukingly phobic as it is it possible to be right now.
So, I have been sad and wistful, wishing and trying so hard to get the hell over it, I have tried, seriously tried 4 times to book a flight anyway...and I can't.
I made the decision NOT to fly, to simply accept that I can't do it this time and I wrote that decision down here and I can't tell you what a relief that was, phew, big old gobs of breath in and a heavenly exhale of air out.
I have reached the stage now, having made the decision once and for all that any trips this year are not going to happen, where I can read about the plans and excitement my friends are feeling and just be excited for them without feeling like I am the poor relation.
However, who could not want to have some more of that fun.....I sat here yesterday chatting with H ( I know, should nip that in the bud pretty soon, he even talked back at one stage) and for heavens sake, what should I remember but I have friends HERE too...lovely ones and funny ones and even family, all of who would love to have some fun too. So, I started to email and message some of those glorious ladies and suggest that we have a trip right here! England, no planes or anything.... genius isn't it?
So far there appears to be great excitement, we are thinking of September because many of those who would love to come will need to save and make arrangements but just having a tentative plan is a happy thing.
It's incredible to me that I see my friends here so little, we are so close and yet we forget to meet up and catch up, real life gets in the way and weeks go by without us chatting or seeing each other, my sister lives 3 minutes away and I perhaps see her once a week, in passing, at church, that's ridiculous isn't it? So I plan to change all that and make it a priority to see my family and my friends and to try and make sure we remember how much we like each other.
I am also ( not sure when though, so far this week I have managed to talk myself out of it every day) going to go to the doctor and discuss whether I should go back on some kind of medication for a while. I don't think I have ever been as anxious as I am right now, I can have a panic attack, full blown hyperventilating, chest squeezing attacks that can last all day, a whole DAY...for no reason that I can think of. Nothing but the what ifs. Get ready to go to church...uncontrolled crying jag, alone in the front room at night...chest pains that feel so real I have called Sophie home so if I die she can ...she can um, what? watch me? Who knows why I make her come home, I just do. I have waited to see if I am just having a bad week and I after the other, I don't want anymore thankyou.
I also don't want to take medication but sometimes I think it's a must. The alternative is to find a chinese man with needles and mean hands again ... nothing has ever helped as much as that acupuncture and acupressure, the clinic I went to originally has closed but there must be another one around here somewhere. That would be good for a few blog posts, last time was a laugh a minute if I recall, all in the name of blogging, I am quite willing to endure the pain and humiliation again, especially if the result is the same. The trouble is, meds are free, needles and what not, very not free, lots and lots of not free. Pttttthhhhhhh.
So, happy plans afoot, something to look forward to...always a marvellous thing. If you can't join 'em ..... copy 'em I say!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In the wars...

So, last evening, on a whim, H and I ( yes both of us, at the same time! I know!) took Seth and Isaac to the theatre. In the evening, later than bedtime! On a school night...can you even begin to count all those breaking with routine rules right there? Can you? I have been out of sorts all day today trying to recover from such excitement.
We broke all the rules because I noticed late on sunday evening that the Princess theatre was running a HORRIBLE HISTORIES show. Seth has every Horrible Histories book, magazine, chart, fact file, you name it, he has it and he has read and reread and laughed and read again. HE loves these books, how could we NOT take him? We didn't take Elijah because he is a delightful girlie squealer, he is scared of noises, dark things, animals, sweet puppies, kittens and blades of grass. He would not have had fun.
We read that not only was this to be a show, but also, there would be 3D special effects.
So, to make sure we got seats because Devon is so full of history freaks and geeky kids, I went online immediately and purchased tickets.
Hmmm, wanting to do this properly, I went right for the best seats, balked a little at the price and then told myself to get over it, once in a blue moon would this chance come along, hit the click button....I did and then, to my absolute indignation, I saw that they wanted, on top of the price to charge an extra 25% as an administration fee! WHAT? No option to print the tickets and bring them with me, they wanted me to pay that extra so they could print the ticket and have me go and collect them before we went to the show. If I walked in and bought the tickets before the show they wouldn't charge that extra 25%... the miser in me just would not part with that money. Nope, not me.
I bought the cheaper tickets and paid a smaller admin fee and was still cross, but less so. Administration fee my arse.
So, such excitement, Isaac was more excited than Seth ( it seemed, although in truth, Seth is just a cool dude, he is controlled and unwilling to show his glee) Isaac made it very clear that his was HORRIBLE histories and he was very keen to know if there was going to be blood and people dying, he really WANTED to know that because there wasn't any point going if no-one dies, terribly and in a bloody manner.
We went to a cafe and had some dinner before the show, then we went and picked our tickets up. After I bought the tickets, they showed me a seating plan ( too late!) and it was a very poor picture and I couldn't quite see the letters etc, I stared at it and I tried to see where our seats were but I couldn't work it out at all. I wasn't too worried because the theatre isn't too big and I knew that we would be able to see the stage wherever we were. ( shows how much I know!)
We went in, were showed to our seats....... well, have you ever felt like a social outcast? We watched everyone else come in and walk to the front, centre, great seats, they all went to the same place, every one of them.
I laughed and kept asking H if we really were the only cheap people in Devon because, well...look

social outcasts
See? Look at us all at the back and over to the side and far far away from the posh people, the ones who didn't sniff at paying 25% extra for administration fees.

We waited until the lights went down and we scuttled down with the posh people, sat right in there with them, like we belonged!
It was such fun, we saw an amputation with cracking and sawing noises, blood and gore ( and Isaac saying " THIS is what I came here for!"

boggle goggles

We jumped at 3D rats and lice, Isaac will tell you that he got a bullet from a tank right in his forehead. The best part was watching the boys, Seth was SO enthusiastic, it was an audience participation show and he yelled, stood up, sang, clapped and he loved it, was actually even worth the extra 25% .... almost, I feel sort of smug that we dodged that and still got a great seat!


Sunday, May 17, 2009


Well the day started as it meant to go on! I spoke too soon about feeling better I think... after the bad start I crashed and spent the entire day in a humongous panic attack, stayed home from church and counted my breaths. In out, in out, keep doing it, in out, in out.
Stupid head.
H, bless his heart (and no damnings this evening,) quite calmly told me that he can put the pictures back on, that he will find the favoUrites, that it will be perfectly fine and he was sorry.... always so glad that I don't rip his head off when I am caught up in an irrational ( albeit understandable) funk with him, he is such a good man and only ever does what he thinks is for the good. He is so quietly understanding when I am such a freak out nut job, his calmness is so infectious and when he answers me gently and kindly it is impossible to stay angry. I love that we are kind to each other.
I really don't know what the deal is with me lately, I am infuriated to be so crazy when things are so good. I hate feeling so afraid and anxious, so tense and miserable. Today was a long, rough day, from waking until about 6pm I could hardly breathe for the pounding heart and that miserable tight feeling that makes you so sure that you're going to break somehow. I understand people who drink, who just take the edge off with whatever works and if I did that...I would be a slurring lush. Every day!
At 5.30 I was talking to a friend and on the spur of the moment told her that I had a big Cannelloni in the oven, some salad and garlic bread and asked her to come over and share it...worked like a charm, just having her come over and spend the evening broke the crazy spell, we had a lovely peaceful time and when she left at 10, I felt better. I love it when H is happy for people to be here, I always assume he likes to be quiet but in fact he just loves to have people over for dinner, a party, some tea...he loves it too. We should do it more often.
I hope we get some sun again this week, the rain all week hasn't helped cheer and brighten at all.
Sunshine. I want some.


If you're happy and you know it...

You might like to leave because I am so annoyed this is the only place I can think of to let off steam before I punch someone. ( H)
I will say first, that I understand that there was a good intention behind what annoys and saddens me right now but in this instance, because I so clearly stated that I did not want help, I am merely angry and very sad.
I am not a computer geek. I know what I know and it is enough to do the things I want to do, the things that I enjoy online.
I have favourite websites ( 3 actually, not so many) and I have favourite blogs. 73 at last count. I have them saved, where I can find them easily and click and read and leave and be happy.
Most of all I have my photographs, every one right where I want it. Each one, cropped, edited, saved, named, in files that I know, remember can find and use, I can post them, send them to be printed, share them, delete them. I CAN FIND THEM.
This is MY laptop, pretty much the only thing in this house that is MINE AND MINE ALONE.
I am precious about it and I make no apologies for that. There are 3 other working computers in this house, all are grander than my laptop, 2 of them are considerably more expensive, considerably more flash and gadget filled. 2 of them are IN THIS VERY ROOM.
I do not allow games on this laptop and to use it you must ask my permission. It is MINE. Ask and you might recieve. Tamper and you shall face my wrath.
I don't care about new downloads or faster this and thats, I could care less about GBs and techno babble. I just like MY LAPTOP, the way it is, the way it works, the way IT WAS.
This morning, again, just like a few weeks ago, I came down and H, bless his heart but damn his interference, has changed it all again. Downloaded some new programme that will 'make it all faster' make it all SO MUCH BETTER....NO! IT WON'T!! What it has done, just as it did last time he changed it all, is just CHANGE IT ALL. Everything has gone. Everything. All my pictures. GONE...oh saved somewhere right over there in that expensive extra hard drive, OVER there, not HERE ..not on my laptop where I can GET TO THEM! Not anywhere accessible to ME, the person who took the bloody pictures, who saved them and edited them and put them WHERE I COULD FIND THEM!
I have no blogs in my favourites, not one...oh yes, there is a little file box on my new screen saver, the new one, with fish on it, not the old one with Jordan and Eli on it, the new one with all the short cuts muddled up in a lump on the left, not the old one where they were right where I expected them to be, oh no.....a folder named OLD FAVOURITES is right there ( or is it named old FAVORITES because American people spell things differently to English people, even on an English persons laptop....yep. just checked and all my blogs and links are in the Old FAVORITE folder. ) so I can go and click and save and do that ALL OVER AGAIN because what's an hour or 38 between family when it will all work so much better now?
I liked vista, there I said it. It worked, perfectly for me, it did what I wanted it to do, every single time. I would open my laptop and click and I was transported to the place I had chosen to go to. Every simple, single time.
I could close my laptop down and miracle of miracles, when I came back, it was waiting for me.
Then H helped me and changed it to windows something or other because he has that and he LIKES that and it has been the bane of my internet existence ever since, my laptop freezes, it dies and won't turn back on, I have to remove the battery and shut it all down and then restart it and here we go again...that was annoying but I knew ( eventually) what I was doing and it annoyed me but I KNEW WHAT I WAS DOING!
This morning, I wake up, come down and see fish..and my heart sank, I saw a sweet note saying " I downloaded ( whatever the hell it is this time, who knows or cares really") for you, it should work better now " and I felt a fleeting moment of "aww " before the much stronger, much longer lasting feeling of "ARGH!" set in.
Why don't people in this house ever listen to me? I mean really listen. I could sit for hours and tell you how every person under this roof ( and not under it, if I gave birth to them) thinks, how they feel, what irks them, what makes them happy.
I know how H works, I know that he doesn't like me buying him clothes and even though I often see shirts or trousers I know he would love and I am sure he owuld look GREAT in, I don't buy them because HE DOESN'T LIKE THAT.
I know he doesn't like potatoes and would rather have rice, I know he doesn't like certain TV shows, so I won't watch them if he is in the room. I know he doesn't like door slamming ( too bad sometimes, better than punching someone in the face, though considerably less satisfying)
I know that he doesn't like eating out in England and I suffer that because I love him, I go with other people.
He doesn't like big family outings and even though that makes ME sad....I let it go.
So, why, WHY is it SO hard for him to hear what I say? Why can't he grasp that even though it is alien to him, even though HE doesn't feel that way, I DO.. AND THAT IS PERFECTLY OK.
I don't care if there is a new programme, couldn't give a stuff how many features it has, I don't want it. I like what I like, I want what I know and what I want more than anything is for him and everyone else in this family to appreciate that this one thing, this one little box with it's lovely screensaver, chosen by mine.
Just mine.
Stick with your fancy schmancy top of the range newfangled thingamajig, change IT as often as you like, store all your stuff on whatever hard drive you like, in whatever corner of whatever room you choose but LEAVE MY THINGS ALONE! I can't even download music onto my iPod who in the name of all that's stupid am I ever going to find MY photos when they are hidden in that box thing that isn't, in anyway, attached to MY computer, oh I am just so MAD right now.
I know that crying over this for the last hour or so is ridiculous, it's a small sweat get over it. To me though, it is so much more than the fact that yet again I have lost everything I saved on MY laptop, it is the fact that yet again I have been ignored and made to feel as though my feelings don't matter, made to feel as though what I want doesn't count because I just don't get how much better it will be now. I do not want to be shown how right you are...let me be happy in my stupidity.
I am so tired of endlessly trying to be tactful, think of other peoples' feelings, be considerate, thoughtful, patient when quite clearly, no-one else in this house gives a toss.
Annoying that H was sleeping when I came down today, infuriating that by the time he comes down I will be ready to find the kindest way to tell him how displeased I am, I am sure that because I do that, because I am always so careful to word things the way I wish they would be said to me, that is most likely the reason why it doesn't sink in, if he were to be faced with a scarlet faced, raged filled me, yelling about how he DIDN'T LISTEN AND LEAVE MY DAMNED LAPTOP ALONE!!!!! He might remember.
Perhaps the " that was so kind of you, but" approach isn't working because he hears the " That was kind of you" and switches off.
I am safe putting all this down into words because he won't read it, too many words, not enough pictures.
Match made in.....where was this match made? Some kind of warped joke shop is my guess.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Flip flop.

Dan has been down for a few days, which we love. He is great, I know he is mine but he IS great, take for instance this morning, he was driving down our road and a lady reversed out of her drive and backed right into his car...she stopped and of course was shaken, the first thing he did was ask her if SHE was OK and then told her not to worry about the dent because he doesn't care, it doesn't matter, he's lovely. And so very very loud.
The boys adore him and Eli particularly was his shadow this time.
H and I are very gentle, we don't do rough and boisterous, we let them do it and enjoy watching them wrestle and play but really we are very gentle and frumpishly polite, Dan and Jordan provide more than enough of the rough, boisterous, loud and ungentle. They love it, Seth REALLY loves it, Eli likes it from a distance and Isaac enjoys watching other people on the receiving end of it. Sometimes they are really rough, I often go to intervene and then see how actually, these little boys seem to love being shoved and picked up, flung here and dropped there...

See how Seth gets pushed over at the end? He loved it, laughed like a drain while I sit here thinking " ooh, precious!" and I keep my mouth shut and soak in the fact that my children adore each other,
I love that they go out of their way to spend time with each other, they are not afraid to hug, kiss, smack, shove, punch, squeeze, tease, laugh. They help each other out, if one needs anything the others are there, without being asked. There isn't anything more precious to a mother than to see this kind of love between her children.
Yesterday, Dan, Jordan, Sophie, Mel and Joshua went to Somerset to see Nanny and Grandad H. The first one's parents, the first one was going to meet them there.
When they got home, Sophie said she had had a great time and that "even dad was lovely" That is the first time ever that she has said anything positive about her dad. What a huge step forward for her. I spoke to her before she left and told her that she should remember that Nanny and grandad are old and also not very well and that if she could, she should try to make sure they had a lovely visit with them.
Sophie cannot pretend, she can't act as though she is OK, if she isn't. She can't pretend that someone isn't getting on her nerves, if they are. She has never been able to be near her dad without being surly, argumentative and feisty.
Yesterday she was happy, she enjoyed the day and was able to see that her dad is not the devil in disguise.
Both the boys said that he had seemed out of place, that he was ill at ease and seemed unable to enjoy the day, which is sad because it should have been an incredible day for him and one that is very unlikely to happen again, his parents, all his children and his grandson all together for the day. How sad that he didn't bask in that day. I often wonder if days like that make him see just a glimpse of what he doesn't have.

The is is a 4 generation picture, Joshua, Jordan, the first one and his dad, Joshua doesn't look like anybody but the other 3 are obviously related!

4 generations of Hatfield

Dan took Eli and Seth swimming today, Isaac won't go because there is altogether too much splashing and throwing in for his liking. He came with me, shopping.
On the way home, quite out of the blue in the middle of a pleasant chat about toys, he said " I want to know where babies come from!"
"where do babies come from?"
" Heaven"
" I mean, when they are in your tummy, where do they come from?"
" Do you already know? Why are you asking?"
"No, I don't know and I am asking because I want to know "
" Well, you just said, they come from their mummy's tummy"
"I KNOW that, but I want to know how they get IN there"

Oh dear.
I'm not saying I am fluffy about the whole birds and bees thing, I think I have proven that I am able to hold it together when my kids talk to me and somehow they do seem to talk to me about things I would really rather they didn't. ( when I hear people say how they want their kids to feel free to discuss ANYTHING with them, I don't buy it, really, there are many things you do NOT want to hear your children tell you, take my word for it.)
It's just that there wasn't a bit of warning, no preamble, no hint that this was on his mind, not even a mention of his wondering... why he suddenly wanted to know RIGHT THEN is what threw me.
So, I said, " well, the mummy has an egg and the daddy has a seed....and daddy puts his seed into mummy"
"Oh don't be so ridiculous!"
I swear he said that! I knew, pretty much, that going any further with this conversation would be futile because, well it gets MORE ridiculous doesn't it? He I think I got myself some breathing space to work out how I will explain the rest, to him and Seth because let's get it over with at once I say.

Flip flopping from one subject to another, taking charge of myself is working. Allowing myself to be afraid of flying and saying I won't do it, has helped me feel better, ( as if anyone was forcing me to do anything so frightful and hideous, for heavens sake being invited to wonderful places to meet splendid people, poor me!)
I have stopped hashing and rehashing the shall I? shan't I? nonsense, in fact not thinking about it at all is refreshing.
I am not dieting, hopefully I will soon get back on track, what I am doing is eating 3 meals a day, good meals, not picking and junking, saturdays are the day I will eat a little of what I fancy and perhaps very soon I shall be right back to feeling great again.
I already feel much better without stuffing my face every spare second, here's hoping I remember for a long time that my mood is in my hands, not in my mouth!

Flipping again..does anyone have ANY idea why, when I hit post, the last word of one line is repeating on the next one? It drives me crazy to read what I have written and see the same words repeated, I absolutely don't write it that way but have no idea what the cause of that mystery could be! Any help would be great.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

well, what do you know?

It is all in my head.
Every stupid pain, ache, twinge, fear, worry, anxiety.
I have been slithering into the abyss so quickly it quite literally took my breath away, waking up gasping for breath because I stop breathing when I am asleep. I can't quite put my finger on exactly when it started, I do know that around the same time, I stopped eating well, I started to eat some bread here, some chocolate there, some greasy pile of carb in between until I was right back where I used to be, physically and emotionally.
Yesterday, I cried all day, stupid no reason weeping and sinking with every gulping sob.
I have absolutely no reason to be sad. There is not a sad thing anywhere near me. Things are going well ( and the jinx that fairy can sod off because I don't believe in you. Die you stupid fat fairy who waits for people to say how great things are and then jumps in to wreck it all, I'm telling my tale and you can't stop me. ) hunky dory and tickedyboo.
Kids are well and happy ( although Elijah is going through a frustrating phase of eating his clothes, whenever I look at him he is gnawing on some fabric or other and is endlessly walking around with dribble soaked sleeves and collars, I asked him how I can help him stop doing that and he said by buying him clothes that don't taste nice. I asked him if he was worried about anything and he said yes, Nathan taught him a rude poem and he doesn't want to know it. Pretty sure there isn't an underlying traumatic reason for his eating his clothes but what do I know?)
I have been ridiculously easy to offend, quick to react and honestly, getting on my own last nerve.
Last night, when everyone had gone to bed I made myself think about what the hell I am doing and what the hell I can do to stop it.
The answer, naturally, is simple.
I have to stop wondering which came first, the chicken or the egg. Or in my case, whether I started to feel depressed and so stopped eating well or if I stopped eating well and started to feel depressed because for heavens sake, the 2 are absolutely go hand in hand, connected, go together, food + food = misery.
I KNOW that when I eat good food, all those foods I researched and learned about, I feel good, I can move, I can think clearly and I am happy.
When I eat bread, fat and sugar, I am miserable, sluggish and very bad tempered.
How hard can it be to stop doing this to myself?
Yesterday was a reminder that I am doing much of this to myself.
I have gone back to staring at my clothes and being afraid to try them on, if I try them and they are tight I spiral into misery, so rather than risk that I wear the same 3 things over and over because they fit and are comfortable, I like them, I am safe.
When I eat well, even if I don't lose weight ...I don't gain any either so I am happy to pick up and wear whatever I have that I like because I am absolutely sure without guessing that they fit. I love that, I really loved knowing that I was not going to feel uncomfortable. I enjoyed every day of knowing that I was being kind to myself.
I have no idea why I stopped, why I ALWAYS stop, I do know that I am determined to be happy again and am prepared to do what it takes to get back there. I woke up this morning and decided that I am going back to eating myself happy.
It is such an eye opener to start again and realise just how horribly I have been punishing myself again, the most extraordinary thing is, I don't even have fun doing it! I do love chips, can't deny that, the other crap? I really don't even like it that much, I really LOVE good food, it is fiddly to prepare but sometimes that's half the fun, being depressed makes me not want to bother, so I eat junk food, makes me more depressed, less willing to stand and chop and cook and we go again.
Stupid head.
I have the choice of 2 trips, I could go to Boston or I could go to Canada, I could...but I won't.
I have allowed myself to fall too far back into the anxious, self loathing mess again to crawl back out in time to do either trip, I admitted that last night, I have flip flopped and planned, I have wanted to and started and then the terror takes over and I plummet back into the pits of despair at how stupid I am and how miserable I feel.
I am happy to have made the decision and chosen to get back out of the gloom, I can't wait to feel good again and positive, to look forward and enjoy.
I feel though that for now, I am going to allow myself to be afraid of flying, to accept that for now, I can't do it and I am going to allow myself to stay close to home and enjoy the people and fun that can be found right here. I also think that my family deserve to have the best of me, when the funny comes back, I want them to see it first, when the daring comes back I want them to be with me when I test it out. When my happy bursts I want them to be covered in it.
These boys are growing so fast that if I blink I miss something, I don't actually want to leave them for a few days in order to have fun, I want to have the fun with them.
H has been in England for nearly 6 years and we have yet to explore most of it. I think it's time to do some of that, lots of it in fact!
I suspect it will take a while to feel better, although just the fact that I made the right decision has lifted me up a notch or 12, every time I thought of junk food today and chose not to eat it, I felt good about that, it's almost dinner time and there is a delicious meal almost ready to eat...that feels good, I feel good. It is a start.
The summer keeps showing it's face and I love the sunshine, things feel so much lighter and more possible when the sun shines, I can add to that great feeling, I am going to add to it.
Every day is a new chance to try, sometimes I will manage it, sometimes maybe I won't but for now, just knowing that I want to try is enough.
Getting through the first day of taking charge, again, is a huge step.
Off we go.

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Turned out pretty well.

They say, you are only ever as happy as your most miserable child. That's true. My kids all seem pretty happy at the moment, phew. That's good.
Mel isn't.
Hey! Did anyone ever say anything about the people your kids love? Is there a saying for that?
When my boys were little, those sweet little people, the little boys that were so scared and gentle, sad because their daddy wasn't around anymore, I would look at them and try to imagine who they would be.
I couldn't imagine what they would be or how they would look, what that would choose to do for a living or who they would love. I was always worried that they would fall in love with woman who wouldn't like me. I dreaded them choosing to be with some hard faced little mare who would say things like " yeah well you're MINE now...SHE'D better get used to that!" Oh my skin would creep and my hackles would rise and I would, even way back then, have imaginary conversations with those little madams and put them well into their places.
Raising boys, without a dad to help is a strange sort of thing to do. I am completely sure that my sons are better men for many reasons because I raised them, for the most part, without their dad..not without A dad, but without theirs.
I know that in my blog I don't hold back when it comes to the first one, he had a few splendid points, he is funny and I love that my boys got some of that from him ( and some from me and they are hysterical, believe me, you should meet them) He was very handsome and even now, if I see him ( which I really don't anymore) I can still see what attracted me to him so many years ago. When you meet him, even if YOU met him, having only ever read what I have said about him, even if you were ready to loathe and detest him, when you meet him you don't/ wouldn't. Hate him that is. He is sort of touching in a puppy sort of way, you just need to remember that as cute and floppy and lemme-squeeze-it a puppy may be, they crap all over your carpet and chew your best shoes.....look at it and walk away. He is nearly 50 and he hasn't changed at all, he is still all awww cute and floppy and so bloody self centered it'll make you puke. ( where am I going with this..hang on I'll go back and see what I started to say)
Oh, OK...... so, my boys being raised by me, without the first one, their dad.
What you see, when you meet the first one, is what you get. That's it. The funny, handsome flop of a man, appealing though he may be, has nothing going on underneath. Nothing, No depth, no strengths. I knew him a few months before we married and because he was away with the army and I was working in London, we never got past that, I remember one lady saying to me " He is divine Helen...but, well, what will you talk about?" and I didn't get that until it was too late.
When we were married and I would look at him and wonder where this was going to end up, when I would find myself thinking that really, I didn't know who this man was, I would shove that aside and concentrate on the good things. He didn't. All the things I wasn't were too many for him, all the things I would never be or do drove him to distraction and because he was ( and still is) searching for that woman who was RIGHT and PERFECT and would always MAKE HIM HAPPY, he left.
When he left and I was sad, I couldn't imagine how I would ever manage to be everything to those 3 little people, tiny new people, 10 weeks, 23 months and 3 years 10 months. How would I do that? On my own?
Very quickly I saw that his leaving was absolutely the very best thing he could ever have done for them. His reaction to their abduction and abuse was everything the book say is damaging, all the 'don't mention it and it will go away' all the ' actually I don't believe it actually happened' all those ' it's over and done with, shut the hell ups' he had them all.
I was able to teach them, love them, show them, protect them the way I knew was right, he wasn't near enough to ever interfere or contradict me and actually, to his credit, what I said, went. He never bad mouthed me to them ( or anyone else as far as I know, in fact many people have told me that he has always sung my praises to the point where many of them asked him why he ever left and his lawyer went so far as to say that not only could he not divorce me because there wasn't a single reason he could name) He just didn't ever do anything that helped.
The one thing he did for our sons is , when they left school and were living with him, he told them he would support them for 2 weeks, after 2 weeks they were on their own, after that he would not feed them, give them any money at all and he would be expecting them to pay him for living under his roof..and he meant it. Neither of them has been out of work since they were 16, Jordan had a very short time when he was with us when he was out of work but we stuck with the no hand outs and he got tired of that very quickly.
I am pretty sure that he was strong enough to be that firm because it would be of benefit to him, rather than he was helping them. Never mind.
So, my boys were raised by me and they learned a lot about women. They are rather nice men...not faultless by any means but good men.
Jordan met Mel and very quickly loved her, it's not hard to see why she is the sweetest person, she is gentle and very patient, they were so young ( and let's face it they still are!) Joshua is one next month, she is still only 20.
Jordan works so hard, he works long hours and now the summer is on it's way he is working really long hours. Mel never complains, she looks after that baby and it is a joy to watch her, she lights up when she looks at him, she sings with him and plays with him and she is such a gentle mummy.
She has postpartum depression.
And good heavens to Betsy if that doesn't make ME sad.
Her mum is in Turkey and she has pretty much no-one else.
I feel as though she is my child. I want to be able to make things feel better for her, help her to feel happy again.
She is going to stay with her mum next week and then her mum is coming back with her. She has started working with Jordan for a few hours a week just so she has some money that is hers.
PPD is not determined by age, it can knock you for six no matter how old you are. I think though, that being 19, 20, 21 and seeing your friends spending all their money on nights out, new clothes, frivolous nonsense when the little you have left over after buying baby milk and paying rent, has to make it feel worse.
This is one of those times where it would be easy to storm in and make it easier..but it wouldn't be right.
I have said that I will have Josh one day a week so Mel can work, so on fridays I do just that. Oh good heavens it almost kills me! How did I do that 6 times? How did I ever have 3, close together, twice? How on earth did I do it alone?
I was younger and it was in my home .... I can't have him here it's like a death trap for him and a nervous break down for me. How many pointy things, wires, pokey things, tiny choking things, hazardous neck breaking, finger trapping, body maiming things can one room hold? When Mel gets home from work I can't tell you how my poor old lady body sags with relief.
When I get into bed on friday nights my bones crackle as they relax, my muscles contract and they creak as they try to unwind after being held so tense as I follow that little boy around on his determined way, he weighs about 26lbs, he is a big boy, almost ready to walk but still needing to be carried and picked up, strapped into car seats, pushed in his pram, picked up and moved and rescued and settled.
Every time I have him, I gain more of a testimony of how the good Lord knows exactly what He is doing when HE makes it pretty much impossible for someone of my age to conceive. I had my babies and did all that was needed to be done with very little thought or effort.
I feel like a fumbling, weary novice when I am faced with 6-8 hours of babycare each week and let me tell you, all bets are off when I collect the boys from school, I pick them up, drive them home and then I go to Jordan and Mel's house as far as I can get there. 3 bigger boys and a baby? Nope. Not doing it. With baby gates and wire free floors I can just about make it through 'til seven when Mel gets home. If she calls to say she is delayed it is all I can do not to BEG HER TO COME HOME...get a TAXI! Let me come and GET YOU!
I walk to their house from mine because it's almost impossible to park near their when Mel is home and I walk UP THAT HILL to my house, I suspect that anyone watching me may be forgiven for thinking I am a mad lady, as I plod and mutter my way home.
I am so lucky. I would never have been able to make to order a girl better for Jordan, I love her as if she is my own, I am so proud of how she is raising this beautiful baby with Jordan. I love that she asks me what I am doing and if she can come with me, even if Jordan isn't there.
I love that all my big kids like to spend time with me and I love that they don't get cross or sad if I tell them that I am not taking them anywhere, I am free to say no, I can look them in the eye and say that as much as I adore Joshua I am thrilled to be his gramma and they understand that having a baby for the day is not a novelty to me, I am still so newly free from babyhood and having toddlers that I am not clucky and gushy about pushing a pram or feeding a mushy meal.
I am so glad that we have Mel in our family, I hope she can get through her sadness and soon be as happy as she always appears to be.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Conversations in our home.

Isaac, being held in a tight headlock by Sophie, who was driven to distraction by his insane leaping and bounding and yelling ( oh the irony!)
" Oh that feels SO good!"

Isaac, " I have two bumps on my head, one here and one here, from Eli"
Elijah, " LOVE from Eli!"

Seth on being told that he may have a tortoise for his birthday.
" Ooh I am never ever going to forget how I feel right now for the rest of my life, I am so excited the back of my brain is tickling"

Isaac, 20 minutes into a play-date with Eli's friend Owen.
"WHY? Why would anyone want to do THIS? Having other peoples' kids here is not fun at all, shall we never do it again?" ( Inside head applause from me)

Elijah, sad because "Owen said he is never, EVER coming back to my house"
Me " and he is RIGHT because we are never, EVER inviting him again, be sure to tell him that next time he says that."

Elijah, after I had admonished Isaac for breaking wind yet again.
"that one was ME, YES! Great team work "

Me to Seth " Do you know how much I love you?"
Seth "Yes, for the past 2 weeks I do"
Me " What about before that?"
Seth " it was a living hell."

Me to H "these Capri's are SO comfortable, it's a shame you can't wear them and feel this good"
H " maybe not in public"

I might have to come back and add if and when I remember some more.