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!

Monday, January 30, 2012

All is not always as it seems.

I think we have pictures, in our heads, of how certain people will look, how a pedophile will be a pasty faced man in his 50's with shifty eyes, grimy fingernails and a dirty mac'. A kind of loving soul will be a granny type with an apron and a home that smells of apple pies.
Drug addicts are dingy people with black circles under their eyes, skin and bone, hopeless expression and misery etched in their souls.
They don't look like this, do they?

The answer to that is, yes, they do.
My beautiful girl has been back down the road of destruction and it is quite the most heartbreaking thing. She told me though, after a massive binge and a few days of oblivion she told me what she was doing and like a 5 year old with a broken toy she handed me her fear and left it with me. I don't know why my children trust me the way they do, I don't know why they believe that I will know what to do. Me. The teetotal, prudish mormon who has never so much as rebelled by drinking a cup of tea, who waited to be married before having sex, who has spent 49 years avoiding even the appearance of evil, I am supposed to know what to do about cocaine addiction, homosexuality, alcoholism and paying off debts to drug dealers. I have perfected, over the years the calm exterior when being told the most  terrifying and heart stopping details of the situations my children place themselves and have been placed by evil at large. Each experience makes me both know without doubt that God exists because really, how else would I know what to do? It also makes me wonder why, why me? Why not THAT women with more kids that me? Why can't just one of hers have one of the trials faced by my kids, how does she get to have that many kids and have all hers stay safe and unaffected? What is it that makes it necessary for me to know this stuff? I don't know. I find myself less able to care as I deal with these unbelievable circumstances because one day at a time is all I can do. I swear a lot, in my head mostly because WHAT THE FUCK? Is pretty much all that will run through your head as you sit in a dark car while your only daughter leaves to pay a drug dealer the money she owes him, swiftly followed by "Dear Lord, please keep her safe, please keep her safe, please keep her safe" until she walks back, as beautiful and precious as ever, with a smile and a look of relief. When I ask her why she tells me this stuff she says " because I don't want to to do it and I need you to help me" Then I am overwhelmed by a relief and a joy because she trusts me, as well as a rage and a sadness so deep it makes me long for oblivion and in that moment, right then, I understand why she slips, why for her, getting something that takes her away from her thoughts for even a few minutes makes all the risks worth it.
She has been diagnosed with bi polar disorder and she was so sad about that she sought a release from it all, what she got was an even more muddled brain, more misery and a big old debt to boot.
She has agreed to go on a course for addiction recovery and starts this week, she seems keen to go and I think I am glad about that, I am just a bit jaded and weary of hoping and thinking we have cracked it all.
One day at a time. One day at a time. 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Within these walls.

We're home. My family and I, we are home.
Funny, isn't it, how you deal with something and live something and it all feels so endless and miserable and you just know that it will never be over and then, quite suddenly, it is over and you immediately feel as though that wasn't so bad after all? I think I feel a bit like that.
When did the rats come? Can you remember? I can't remember exactly when they came to that house we were living in, I remember how horrified I felt and how helpless and useless, how filthy and miserable it was to see and hear and above all, smell those creatures as they took over out home. The trapping, poisoning, fearing, month after month and then year after year. You don't get used to it, you get less horrified or perhaps actually you just get numb. Dead inside and you give up. I say you, I mean me. Me, I gave up. I stopped being able to care about anything in that house, H stopped caring and we just got through each day.
The house had the potential to be beautiful, a big solid house with character and promise, had the house been mine, who knows, it may have been beautiful but it wasn't, it belonged to a man who didn't care about much else getting his rent. So, that, as they say, was that.
Mould didn't matter, neither did leaking showers, no matter how often ( every 6 months for 4 years) we reported that the shower poured water through the ceiling onto the floor outside the lounge, it didn't get fixed and so we just got used to putting towels on the floor and we almost got used to the smell of damp, moldy floors.
We became accustomed to, thoug never used to, the smell of the rats. We didn't see any for the last few months of living in that house but we could still smell them, you know that saying" I smell a rat"? I can't tell you how many times I thought that over the last 3 years, what a foul, putrid stench that is.
Oh enough of the rats, we've been there and overdone that subject more than once. Enough because they may still be there but we're not. We left and we came home. Just like that, as if it was meant to be.
2 weeks ago I got a call from the council to say that our name had come up for a house and would we like to view it? Um YES we would. So we went to see this house, this ordinary house at the end of a street and we liked it.
It has 4 bedrooms, 2 toilets and a huge garden, a big, beautiful garden and when I stand in the garden I can see the river and trees,  you see that? That is what I can see from my garden. Oh joy.
We had a week to move, one week, well to be specific, nine days. From start to finish, nine days. Day 1 as the ' would you like to see this house?' call and day 9, move in.
We did it. In nine days we packed, sold, dumped, bought, gave away, shifted, the new house is miles away from the old one and I drove 80=100 miles every day for those nine days taking boxes and bags. H stayed at the old house and he packed and cleaned and emptied and I drove and delivered, I advertised and  sold all that we didn't want or need and by some miracle I made enough money to pay for the move and but what we needed for the new house. Almost to the penny, don't tell me that's a coincidence because I won't believe you.
We did this pretty much without any help, I paid a man with a van and a great man from church to move the big stuff, Sophie, my Sophie was like a pack horse, she and I have done so much lifting and dragging, cleaning and scrubbing, she has been my right hand woman and she is a star.
H is a veritable treasure, not a word has he muttered but he worked his fingers to the bone, we have been the 3 muskateers, a formidable team, if I say so myself.
At the end of each day I have literally crawled into bed, not a muscle has escaped the torture. My poor bones and back have been screaming in their poor old determination to be left alone, yesterday was the final day, the day to shut the door, hand the keys to the letting agency and walka away. H and I drove to the old house to collect the final load of bags and boxes and as we drove away the floodgates opened, the the relief and the sheer exhaustion came pouring out in a marvellously satisfying snot cry.
And so, here we are. At home, where we can stay forever, where we can choose exactly how we want things.
 One thing that struck me, when we got the keys and could come here and look properly at the house is that there are no picture hooks, the walls are all bare and it's a blank canvas, this house. When you move into a rental house there are always picture hooks and that's where you hang your pictures, if there aren't enough hooks you can add your own but you never actually get to choose exactly where your pictures go, I was so thrilled to see that we can hang our pictures wherever we want.
We've been here 7 weeks now, 7 weeks and still, not a day passes by where we don't pinch ourselves and remind ourselves that this is it, our home, for real and for as long we choose to live here!
We have already done so much to make it ours. H and Isaac have built a pantry, a glorious, walk in pantry that is on it's way to being stocked and full of all the things we use.

I found some fabulous beds on Ebay and a Facebook selling site for the boys, they have great bedrooms...

Seth's room is small but pretty cool too,

Sophie's room is small as well but she has made it look beautiful!

Our room is one in progress and one of the things I love is knowing that there isn't a rush, we can take our time and do it all as we find what we need.

 No carpet yet, that's something to look forward to!

I love this house, the garden is going to be such a joy, so much space, such glorious views, fresh ,sea air and a huge vegetable plot!

Isn't it great?
Look at the view on Christmas eve , standing in our garden....
Heaven is what this is. We had to wait a while but my goodness, this is so worth it.