Why life sucks as a mother.

Let me start by saying I love being a mum, I love my children and wouldn’t change anything about either of them for all the world. They aren’t what this is about.

Why does life suck being a mother?

Because it’s the only thing in the world where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Whatever you choose to do there will be 50% of the entire population of the world hurling abuse at you for it.

  • Lets look at just the early years (0-2) in this stage of your childs life people will be judging you on:
  • How you feed them: formula vs breast. Weaning: how and when
  • How you let them sleep: co-sleeping, separate beds, on you, in a cot, in a pram, by demand, routine.
  • How you transport them: Baby-wear or pram?
  • How you toilet them: cloth nappy, toilet train early, toilet train late.
  • What you name them
  • What you dress them in
  • How you talk to them: baby talk, as a mini adult
  • How much you have them looked after by other people.

All of those are personal choice, and some of them are heart wrenching choices. First hand, feeding. I tried and failed to breast feed both of my girls. With my youngest, I can remember her being two days old, coming in from a walk with my husband and mother in law and silently leaving the room, going up to my bed, curling into the smallest ball possible and silently sobbing. I couldn’t cope with the breast feeding. And I felt like a failure. It hurt, so much. I was bleeding from places blood should never come from. But I knew that BREAST IS BEST and FORMULA IS POISON. Ridiculous really, I’d formula fed my eldest who’s a startlingly intelligent, well adapted and healthy child. So logically I knew that wasn’t the case. But neither the midwives or, even worse, other mothers were telling me it was ok to formula feed. Everyone was adamant I should breast feed and in that over wrought, exhausted (and believe me, until you’ve given birth you’ve no idea what exhaustion actually feels like) I felt like an evil, abominable person for wanting to formula feed. Luckily husband talked sense in to me.

Being a mother people are judging you endlessly. You stay at home? You’re failing your children by not showing them a good role model. Go out to work? You’re failing your children by letting other people look after them.

And then in addition to all of the crap that does have some legitimacy, feeding there are benefits of breast feeding, there are benefits of co-sleeping, there are benefits of routine, there is the absoloute bull shit that is spouted by people.

Like this meme that is doing the rounds on facebook/peoples kitchens again:

83ed270cd5cfe30ed094b336f497f6aa

Or ones to that effect.

So now we can’t even have clean and tidy houses without it meaning we’re depriving our children.

Awesome. I can’t cope with untidiness. It stresses me out. It’s a major trigger for me. Mess and noise make my head hurt and trigger my anxiety. So my house is pretty much always immaculate. (I’m getting better, I can leave the pots until after the school run now). Apart from two rooms: the girls bedroom and the playroom. They’re generally fairly untidy. But not massively. I make my children, yes even the two year old, tidy them up. Some times they even have to do it properly. But according to holier-than-thou parents out there, I’m depriving my children of making memories?!

Personally I prefer to look at it as

  • Instilling values: they should look after their area
  • Valuing worth of toys, if one gets broken because it wasn’t put away properly, I’m damned if I’m replacing it.
  • Responsibility: I am not having one of those kids that doesn’t give a damn about rules.

So that meme annoys me every time I see it. Because it’s bullshit. Children making memories comes from spending time with family and friends, learning things, going out and visiting places. Not from running around in a messy and filthy home not caring if they’re trampling their toys.

So, so far we’ve established life sucks as a mother because:

  • You’re judged on every basic need choice you make whilst the children are infants
  • Becuase apparently if you have a clean and tidy home you’re uptight and don’t let your kids have fun
  • Because if you work you suck and if you don’t you suck.

And I’ve not even got started on the social life.

There seems to be an entire quarter of the population that are martyrs to the cause! OH NOES WE HAVE BABIEEZ WE MUSN’T HAVE FUN!

This quarter (quarter: mainly mums, and only half of the mums so 1/4) seem to think that as soon as you have children your life must revolve only around them. These mums are usually hemp wearing, baby wearing, co-sleeping, vegan, new-age moms (that’s not true, but see how easy it is to judge?!). This type of mum is the type that considers the dad to be “babysitting” if they do the grocery shop and leave is children in his care. (It’s not babysitting when it’s looking after your own spawn). This type of mum would look aghast at you if you dared hint at having your child looked after by someone else so you could ahve some “me” time. Apparently, according to them, once youre a mum, your social life revolves around the child.

I’m sick of all this judging. Surely, as long as the child is happy and healthy nothing else matters? So why then, is everything you do as a mother judged and critiqued by all of society?

I, for one, am sick to the back teeth of it. I don’t want to be judged because I’ve gone back to work. I don’t want to be judged because sometimes I put my children into childcare so I can have a day to myself, sometimes to do nothing more than nap and laze around. I don’t want to be judged because sometimes I throw a pizza in the oven and call it dinner. I don’t want to be judged because I still like to go out dancing with the girls. I don’t want to be judged because I keep my house clean and tidy instead of letting the kids trash it (we’ve worked hard to have a house we’re proud of!). I don’t want to be judged because I spend time doing things for me that only benefits me. Oh gosh!

Just because I do those things it doesn’t mean I love my kids any less. It doesn’t mean I don’t adore them. I still go in an kiss them every night before I go to bed. I still have them in my thoughts 90% of the time. I still put their safety and happiness first. I just don’t see why my life should stop because of them? Because in 15 years time, I can garauntee that hopefully by children will be off every second of the day without a second thought for what me and their dad are up to. That shy of a quick message to let me know their safe and if they’ll be back for a meal that’ll be the most contact I get from them .Because surely that’s what we want to raise? We want to raise happy confident kids that fly the nest without a backwards glance? We want to raise kids that are confident to go out into the world and forge their own way?

It’s high time mothers stopped judging other mothers. That we all looked at one another and went “cool whatever”. That we stop screaming BREAST IS BEST. And instead just went FEEDING IS BEST! That we just said to each other “hey, you’re doing a good job.” or even “well I do it differently, but I can see you’re way works for you and your sprog, so cool”. Why are we always trying to put each other down? Is it because raising kids is hard and we’re all terrified of getting it wrong?

Because actually, as long as we love them, keep them safe, feed them, instill values and morals into them, well they’ll be okay. They’ll probably life to an age where you’re sometimes nothing more than a foot note in their lives. And actually, we all get things wrong. We all do. Frequently. But as long as they know we love them, then nothing else matters sometimes.

So please, fellow mums, please lets stop judging each other. You stop judging me because I have a clean, tidy house, I work and I have a life way from my kids. And I’ll not judge you because you’re house is messy, and you only associate with your kids and kid friendly things. Then we can all get a long and focus on the main thing that matters: turning our little bundles of joy into well functioning, caring and confident adults.

TL;DR

Life sucks as a mother because what ever you do someone thinks you’re wrong.

Does it matter the love is forced?

So, it’s the time of year where fat little perverts are swaddled in nappies, brandishing bow and arrows fly aimlessly around taking aim at unsuspecting people, and those tinny little tunes blast out of cheery, brightly coloured adverts with a big punch of “if you don’t buy your significant other this particular item they’ll forever distrust your love and feel like you just don’t care enough”.

I’m a big one for expressing my love for people through gift giving, little notes, hugs and kisses. I’m very expressive. Not everyone is like that. I know some couples where a simple shoulder squeeze is their equivalent of “I love you”. There love is no less than mine, it’s just different.

Many people hate valentines day, or dislike it , claiming its a hallmark holiday and forced love is crap. It is pretty crappy if you’re single on valentines day. But then I read a fabulous thing about that just today.

If you’re single, then be your own valentine. Take some time out to pamper yourself. Treat yourself, be it to a takeaway, a new necklace or that PS4 game you’ve been lusting after. Why not?

I’m apathetic about valentines day. For me it’s a great excuse to be gushy and emotional. And I like getting a card from the hubby with the nice words inside. I keep these, they go in my memory box.

And I can’t help but think,

With the world being such a cruel place, with such hatred, aminosity and sadness…then surely even “enforced romance” and subsequent enforced love, well it isn’t all that bad an idea. The world needs more smiles, more I love you’s, more shoulder squeezes. And if people need a nudge to give them, all be it perhaps a bit grudgingly, well it’s not the end of the world.

At the end of the day you don’t have to buy into valentines day with all the hype. You don’t need to buy her Cartier diamonds and send her 10 dozen red roses, and you don’t need to sex him up all night long so you’re walking like John Wayne the next day. You can partake as much, or as little, as you want. But it’s always nice to have someone be kind to you.

I think my biggest thing with valentines day, is that it highlights just how … stagnant we can be in relationships, and when we’re not. We let each day merge into one, all those pressures of life taking up your head space. Leaving you with little time to think of each other, little time to remember to say I love you, or establish physical contact…..Valentines day to me, just reminds me of how far removed we can be from even our most loved ones.

And like I say, with the world in such a sad state of affairs, it’s nice to see even just one day of a little enhanced happiness and love floating around. So this valentines day, instead of bemoaning that it’s an enforced holiday, take it in the spirit it’s meant. As an excuse to let your loved one know they’re loved. Do that how you wish, just remember to do it. Life isn’t infinite. And we don’t get a second chance.

Grab your whips, grab your chains…its HERE!

And so the countdown has begun. It’s T minus 4 days until the release of the eagerly awaited release of the first of the 50 Shades films. With the date looming ever closer we are being subjected to :Hilarious Memo”. from some companies, and also pleas from :;Womens Aid”. for us to reject the films and the books.

And that naturally leads to me blogging about it!

From the opposition we have the argument that the books portray an abusive (sexually, physically, mentally, financially and verbally) relationship. And that reading it and watching it endorses the  view that this type of relationship is OK. They’re also worried about the impact this could have on viewers, it could be triggering, it could encourage them to stay in abusive relationships (a blockbuster says that what they’re darling partner is doing is fine and normal!), could reaffirm the abusers belief that they’re right, or that maybe young people with less experience could deem this as a normal relationship. It’s understandable why the advocates of Womans Rights movements, and women refuges are claiming these things. Really it is. It’s their job to be concerned. And out of context yes the relationship is abusive. And the first time I read the books I was appalled at what I was reading. (Quite aside from the appalling repetition and grammar!) Out of context whipping your partner is not okay, calling them names is not okay, choosing their clothes is not okay.

So to clarify, as individual items, not in the context of the book, yes it’s abusive. No its not Okay. If you feel you may, or a loved one may, be experiencing an abusive relationship please see the links at the bottom.

But here’s the clincher.

In context? They’re typical of BDSM relationships. The leading lady entered the relationship knowing what parameters she would be accepting, and chose, of her own volition with no undue coercion used, to enter into a relationship of this nature.
Wiki’s take on BDSM. And you must remember, that she used the safe word, and the safe word worked.

Now I have two strong processes of thought on this. So firstly, lets take the stance that watching these films could lead to what Womens Aid and many others have said is possibly going to happen.

Firstly, there is no evidence to support this idea. And there has been ongoing research into the effect of films/videogames/books on people and their actions. Whilst it could be linked, in the general population of neurotypical adolescents and adults whom fall within a typical IQ range, the results of psychological testing show that actually….its inconclusive as to whether exposure to this nature of thing leads people to act in that way. Done. Dusted. End of discussion no?

Because by this merit, playing GTA would increase your likelihood of killing prostitutes, or watching documentaries on war are more likely to make your warhungry. This just isn’t the case. Some people are predetermined to have that mindset. There just isn’t enough evidence to prove (or in fairness disprove) the theory.

So by extension, reading the books or watching the films isn’t more/less likely to make you an abuser or become a victim of abuse.

Furthermore, no one has only the books and the films as their sphere of reference. They have friends, family, colleagues, teachers, books, t.v shows etcetc all of which helps shape their understanding of how relationships should work. So to claim that one film will undo everything else these people know to be accurate, is to make the film more than it is.

Simalirly, I can’t help but think that to think that, is to also imply there is some blame on the victim for being abused. That somehow they’re making a choice to stay in an abusive relationship, despite knowing it’s bad for them, because some stranger who can barely write from America deems abusive relationships to be okay. That’s victim blaming, dangerous and wrong. I can’t marry the two in my mind, “it’s never the victims fault” to “watching this film will make the victim think its okay and normal” if a victim thinks what they’re experiencing is okay and normal, I’d lay my last penny on the fact it’s because they’ve been brainwashed over a long period of time to think so (even as far back as formative years, relationships we witness shape the type of relationships we will go on to have).

To finish that particular thought process, I can’t help but think that people are quite happily ignoring the fact that all the way through Ana is choosing to be in the relationship. Of her own free will. He told her he wasn’t right for her, he gave her written conditions and clauses, in the form of a contract, as to what the relationship will entail. In my experience, that isn’t how abusive relationships work. So that’s very far removed from the reality of abusive relationships.

So like I say, in context it’s not abusive. Out of context it is abusive.

My other thought process?

The book is fiction, it’s fantasy.  Simple.

And the chances of ever meeting a real life Mr Grey is slim to none. There just aren’t that many playboy billionaires swanning around falling head over heals with virgins. There just aren’t.

People don’t like the book because of the BDSM content. They like the romance (who doesn’t want to be spoilt and worshipped? Really?!) the fantasy. When they’re thinking of Mr Grey they aren’t thinking of his controlling possessiveness. They’re thinking of the way he cherishes her, loves her, spoils her. They’re thinking of what life would be like to just that rich.

So to say people can’t separate fantasy from reality is to call them dumb. And that’s just not cool. People can, and do, do this every day.

Would I be comfortable with my 14yr old cousin seeing this? Eh, depends how graphic the sex scenes are. I don’t really want to think of her growing up tbh. Makes me feel old. My one and only concern, is of her seeing a *whisper* penis. Not of her seeing the rest of it. Because I have the confidence in her, and most “vulnerable” people being able to establish what is and isn’t okay. As it is she’s too young, so she’d better wait a year 😉

So in conclusion? People are smart enough to not think the film means abuse is okay.

Now those links:

If you think you are, or someone you love, may be being abused in ANY way please seek help using one of the links, talk to some one. There is help there for those who need it.

http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/?gclid=CK_F9Mqk2MMCFQXnwgodcHwANw

http://www.refuge.org.uk/

http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm

and for the men

http://www.mankind.org.uk/

B.P.D; a journey without a destination.

1 year on from my first diagnosis. Not of my life, prior to this correct diagnosis I’ve been given: Depressed, General Anxiety Disorder, Attention Seeking, Crazy, Nut Job, Over sensitive, Loser…..Most of which any one on the journey of mental health improvement have probably been given themselves.

So one year on, a lot happens in a year.

I detoxed off Venlafaxine (I’ll describe this in detail!), changed my medication, increased my medication, attended work shops, and the most important thing? I’ve educated myself and accepted it.

So, detoxing from Venlafaxine…..easily the hardest thing I have ever done. My first obstacle was trying to convince my first psychiatrist that it does have withdrawal effects. Over the course of time of my being on Venlafaxine, 2 years (I finally made it to this horror of a medication after playing with Fluoxetine – HAYLO crazy dreams and insomnia! Sertraline, gee thanks for the hives, Citalopram, useless and I just slept constantly, amitryptaline can’t say I took it long enough to notice any significant benefits) I learnt to never miss a dose. I always knew I had when the dizziness started, a not the kind of dizzy you get from spinning in circles, more a slow motion dizzy, I’d move my eyes from something and two seconds later my mind would adjust to what I was seeing. But as time went on, I was having to take my doses earlier and earlier, and I was on the full, maximum dose of the stuff, but the withdrawal was starting within 12 hours, then 11, then 10……Pharmacists and doctors laughed me out the room when I tried asking for help, I remember sitting in my doctors room crying because of how awful I felt and he just said “that’s not possible”) Well thanks to google I soon learnt that I wasn’t abnormal, this was happening to thousands of people across the world. In November 2014, I went cold turkey….my doctor refused to prescribe me it, and I didn’t see my psychiatrist for another 4 days when I ran out….

Day one.

The dizziness started. It felt like my eyes were moving too quick for my mind to keep up, and eveything was sliding into place in stead of clicking. I got irritable, and shaky. Nausea started. I was over emotional, crying at almost everything. And the ranges in my temperature were amazing.

Day two.

New symptoms met the existing ones. Static shocks to my brain, the only way I can describe that periodic zap that went over my brain, sometimes it even made me wince with pain. The nausea got worse. Heart palpitations. Constantly cold. Week as a kitten, could barely walk. I have literally never felt so ill. I think at this point my husband got really worried for my mental health. I dont remember any thing apart from the symptoms. Not what I was wearing, what I did. I tried to counteract the worst of the symptoms by taking a citrizine based anti-histamine as recommended by fellow sufferers. It worked slightly, I could keep food down.

Day three.

The current side effects weren’t enough apparently. Lets add agonising pain and noticeable random twitching. I wish that was a joke, I’d sit there watching t.v. or talking to a friend and randomly twitch, and it wasn’t small, I scalded myself with tea twice. My brain became so foggy, articulation was difficult and upsetting. My heart was hammering that hard in my chest I thought I’d be sick. It actually hurt. I cried and begged for relief. It was … beyond horrible. I really wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Day four.

I saw my psychiatrist for my new medication. I literally curled into a ball in the bucket seat as they spoke to me. The look of horror on the face of the consultant psychiatrist, registrar psychiatrist and counsellor were plain to see when I said I’d been cold turkey…..the psychiatrist wrote his own letter of complaint to my doctors about them stopping the medication. He put me back on 150mg to wean to zero over six weeks. I was glad. Another day like that and I genuinely don’t know how it would have ended. Hospitalization probably, I was a danger to myself. Thank god for good friends who helped me mother my children.

So when I finally detoxed, after the six week course of ever decreasing doses, it still wasn’t easy. It was still one of the hardest few days of my life…..but I was damn glad I’d done it. I’d rather be sectioned than ever have to put that detestable “medication” in my body again.

Then came the new medication. Having tried to manage my condition by myself in earlier years and it not being very successful (two overdose attempts – serious not cry for help) years of self harm, so bad it had become habitual, I know medication is the only way I’ll ever manage this. So to help with my sleep, anxiety, racing thoughts, dis associative tendencies and the whole shebang I was given a new antidepressant, an SSRI instead of an SNRI (I’ve also been on tri-cyclic) and an anti-psychotic, to help stabilise my moods.

2 months on, I can say that they seem to be better. My memory is back, I’m not having those horrendous dreams I used to have, I also practised immersion therapy to help with this, I can feel a range of emotions again, I laugh and feel happy, my vision is clearer, I had perfect eye sight (wahoo! go me!) but everything sees brighter and clearer now, I can focus on one thing at a time, I feel more connected to the world. But I’m also more irritable and cranky, and paranoid (of bizarre things, like my phone being tracked and hacked). Symptoms of my illness, and also just who I am, I’ll discuss this with my psychiatrist, becuase there is scope to increase my medication further, and I know that if it is then those awful parts will go and I’ll be a nicer person again. I’ve also regained my wit, sarcasm, and judgement. I’m no longer in this quagmire of life, just plugging away.

A year on from my diagnosis I can actively engage again, caused the loss of a few “friendships”  because I finally saw them for what they were, acceptance of my illness, and I’m no longer looking for a way to “cure” myself. I finally accept that it’s who I am, without it I wouldn’t be…me. And I’ve lived with it that long (I first remember the desire for my life to end at 8) I don’t know who I am without it, it’s a core part of who I am. And that’s fine. What isn’t fine, is allowing the negative side of it to overpower the positive. Which is what was happening. It’s okay to be ill ya know, but it’s not okay to not seek help. One year on I’m happier, more confident, more accepting, generally a better person than I’ve ever been. My uni work is excelling my own expectations, my brain is firing on all cylinders, I’m proactive in my health and fitness, I’m hungry again. Not for food (well yes that too, cheers quietepine! and my need for sweet stuff lol), but for experience, and knowledge. I can’t learn enough now, or pass that knowledge on. My love of cooking is back, and playing with my children. The best parts of me are back.

So this is probably the last time I’ll talk about my illness. Perhaps not, I might have a relapse, and might have dark times again. But hopefully this is the last time.

But I want everyone to know that mental health illness, isn’t the end of life. Whilst with my particular one there is no cure, no end to it, it’s always there on the fringes, or “in remission”, it’s no longer my ruler, my controller. I now control it. And everyone else can theirs. There is always help there for those who need it. There is always recovery as an option. And one, two, three etc, relapses don’t mean you’re beaten. You’re down but you’re not out.

So if you’re struggling at the moment, remember talk to your support team, that’s your friends, family and doctors. If you’ve not sorted a support team yet? Then do it now. Not tomorrow. Now. Because without them, you won’t and can’t succeed, but with? Hell yeah, nothing can stop you.

Thanks for being here for me, I’m glad I’ve got this far, and I know, without a doubt, that I have the ability to control this, regardless of what life throws at me.

BPD; A journey without a destination. The truest words I’ve said about it. There is no destination, no end to it, but it’s a journey I’m on, and engaged with, and instead of being a passenger on this journey. I’m the driver.

And it feels good.

Are women the worst thing to happen to women’s rights?

I ask this after a few weeks of perusing the internet and seeing some of the most sexist and painful remarks I’ve seen in a long time.

Mothers who turn themselves into martyrs because they’ve had children. Women who slag off other women for going out to work with children at home. Women who bitch and back stab another woman just because of the way they do something.

Is that why men seem to get along better in life? Because they accept and acknowledge that having children isn’t a reason to stop being a person with their own desires, loves, hobbies? Because they don’t bitch and moan and whine about pointless crap?

A quick look on mumsnet/netmums/ukbride etc etc (all predominantly female based) will soon show you that women seem to be their own worst enemy.

It’s starting to feel to me like true, unilateral, equality isn’t happening  because women won’t let it? And are in many cases sexist towards men?

I can read 100 times in an hour about how someones partner/husband/cocklodger has forgotten their birthday/locked them out the house because they got too drunk/generally been a bit of a tit (I’m NOT talking about domestic abuse hear, just lackadaisical attitudes) and the first thing out of fellow forumites mouths (fingers?) is “lose the bastard” “he’s abusive” “aw he’s just a man”…..How is that furthering equality?

We “let men get away with” many things: forgetting birthdays (and then leaving it up to their partners) (a headnod to a certain person in my life!) not getting the kids ready before they go out somewhere, sulks, moods, inane hobbies etc, instead of just saying “oi! you over there, we’re going out, lets get the kids ready”

We seem to be perpetuating the cycle of near equality but not full eqaulity by just allowing ourselves to take on the full burden of house hold tasks and chores, kids stuff , family stuff. And then we’re “grateful” when they take the kids out for an hour…why do do this? (I’m one of the mums who has a husband who is hands on with the kids, at weekends its 50-50 predominantly so I’m not slating my husband here!)

We accept less than adequate support in terms of family life, friends say to friends “oh you’re so lucky he cooks for you sometimes” …why? how is that lucky? Surely if you both work full time hours, you take it in turns to cook? It’s not lucky its common fucking decency. 

How can we claim we want equality but do nothing to further the cause in our immediate personal lives? Sure there is a glass ceiling in place, even more so if you take time out of your career to have children, but there is no hope of that shattering in its entirety whilst we treat men like infants/accept paltry offerings of “domestic support”. Sure equality on a grand scale can now only be achieved by accepting nothing less than equality in our own homes? Which includes women not belittling men (they can look after baby just as well as you, or remember birthdays too) and demanding … more. More support, help, understanding, co-operation.

We reap what we sow after all.

So instead of moaning to your friends of how he’s forgotten your birthday and how hurt you are, why not just remind him a couple of weeks in advance and then if he forgets just tell him how it made you feel…instead of slagging him off and belittling him.

Instead of being a martyr and doing all the domestic chores and getting stroppy about it or feeling put upon, sit down and write a rota with him, or tell him to get up and help.

I guess my point is, if we want equality on a broad spectrum (in work, home, politics, etc) we first need to demand it from the men nearest and dearest to us. And in turn offer them what you want to receive.

I can’t help but feel people have lost the way a little bit and are too busy shouting “omg all men are cunts” to just go “that’s not acceptable. sort it out by doing x y or z” ….

Don’t forget, even those without children usually have a role to play in a childs life, so we should model for them what we want. I want equality, so in my house we have it. There for our daughters see it and accept it as normal, so won’t accept any less, if we had sons it would be the same way, so when they grow up they’ll be contributing to gender equality.

I know I’ve rambled a bit, but I think people have forgotten the first part in sexual equality is respect and choice. You can choose whether to accept sexism through apathy, ignorance, and giving it back (reverse sexism is a thing!) or you can choose to exercise your right to respect and equality by design.

To my daughters

To my beautiful daughters.

As I sit here listening to music and looking through old photo’s I’m taking a trip down bitter-sweet memory lane.

All of the photo’s capture a moment time. A moment either I was laughing so hard I started hiccuping. A moment I looked at one of your new born faces. A moment I was with your father, my love. All of the photo’s are just perfect. And they’re all precious to me, each one. Documenting my life, and yours, through frozen images captured by an observer.

One day you may hate me for sharing your life so publicly, a week doesn’t go by without my e-mailing and facebooking pictures of you. So for that I’m sorry, but not totally. Because it was my love for you both that made me do it. I was, and am, so proud of you both. From the moment you were born to this very moment, you make me so proud. For your intelligence, your compassion, your stubbornness, your love. I never believed any thing so perfect could exist until I saw you.

So why am I writing this to you? And again putting it in the public domain? It’s because I have another promise to make you. And one I will keep forever.

For my princesses, you two will grow up knowing just how lovely and smart you are. You will never question your worth, or your beauty, or your intelligence, of your compassion, or your convictions. I promise you, you will be humble, and respectful, but know when to stick to your guns. You will know you are loved and cherished every moment you breathe. I promise you, you will never feel like I did. You will never be alone in your dark moments. You will never have no one to turn to, you will never ever have need to have one moment of sadness. Because for every moment I’m alive you’ll be able to come to me, day or night, with any thing. And I won’t judge you, and I won’t be disappointed in you. Because everyone makes mistakes. And everyone gets things wrong. When I’m gone, you’ll never be without me either girls, because you’ll remember that I always loved you.

I promise I’ll raise you to know, without a moments hesitation, that you were both my first, and last thought, of the day. I promise I’ll sneak into your room at night to kiss you, just one last time, until you beg me not to. I promise I’ll kiss you every day and tell you how much I love you, how much I’m proud of you, and how you’re amazing. I promise I’ll be your best friend, and your worst enemy. I promise you, I’ll always be there. I promise I’ll always be honest, even when I know you might not like the answer. But I’ll never be critical just because I’m having a bad day.

Because that’s the problem my darlings, I know my disorder will give me days where I’m struggling, but I promise I’ll do my best to keep you protected from it. Because it is not your cross to bear. Ever. I never want you to think you can’t come to me because I’m struggling. Because no matter what is happening, you will always be the most important.

I’m nothing special my darlings, but I’m your mum, mummy and mother. And some times you will hate me, and that’s okay. You’re allowed to, it will pass. Just like the bad boyfriends, bad hair styles and too short skirts. It will all pass. Just know, through out it all I love you. Fiercely, passionatley and above all else.

I promise to make sure your happy. You will have unhappy times, and I’ll never minimise those. But throughout it all, you’ll be happy, because your core will be happy. So other emotion is fleeting. I love you my precious gifts. Always will do.

I also promise you’ll always have somewhere to go, and that will extend to your friends. When any of you are stuck, lost, and don’t know what to do, you just need to ask, or look at me (I’ll know) and I’ll be there. And I’ll be there for your  friends too, because they matter to you, and what matters to you does so to me.

I love you angels,

Your mother.

It’s that time of year….how to get through it?

And so the season of enforced socialisation and merriment has rolled around again.

And there is a reason this is a difficult time of year for many, not just the depressed and the psychologically ill. We return home to our families, are put in situations which many find difficult and drink liquid depression and eat way to much.

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love and adore Christmas and all it brings. But there are parts that I do find unendurable, and in past years have just dreaded. Luckily now as an adult I am in control of what Christmas entails, and I can partake (or not) as much as I want. But this isn’t about my love of tat and adorning my house with a large plastic plant covered in garish colours, gorging guilt free on chocolate and free things, this is about how to get through what is one large, glittered trigger. And get through with good grace and love for those I surround myself with.

So to any one who may stumble over this. Here’s to an action plan!

Firstly, if returning home to the family is one that fills you with dread, or even just a mild anxiety, then youre probably just like countless others. Returning home to the family is a misnomer. Look at is as visiting relations. There is this societal view that home is where we grew up surrounded by people attached to us by no more than shared genetics. I know for me, home is not where I grew up. Where I grew up is a place filled with unhappy memories, where I felt alone, its a permanent reminder of many things I’d rather forget. Home to me, is where my children, husband and friends are. So try this: accept that your family are your friends, not the people who you share DNA with. I have first hand experience of knowing that blood actually means sweet fuck all in the reality of life. Family should be the people with whom we share our joy and sadness, our fear and hope, and all those other emotions. Not the people who we are told they are. So your family are actually your friends, maybe even some of your bloodline. So in essence, your family are the people you choose to have around you, not the people whom you occasionally call out of duty, not out of choice. Home is where you are happy and secure. Where you feel you belong.

Secondly, don’t feel you have to partake in anything you don’t want to. For me personally, I don’t want to drink to excess, or have forced jollity, or watch crap t.v. I want to drink as and when I choose (this has been an issue in the past with people thinking I was being unsociable by not partaking) enjoy the bits I choose to (cooking for my family, presents with the children, cuddles with husband), seeing the family at times I choose for example, and watch good t.v (hello black mirror!) So decide what you want to do, and do it. Even if it’s just for half an hour a day, even just 30 minutes of doing what you want will help you keep a grasp on a good mental state. If that half an hour is just sitting in a dark room on your own thats OK!

Thirdly, look after yourself. This time of year we eat too much, of unhealthy food, sleep brokenly and too little and skip our routine. I know for me this is the hardest bit. I don’t cope with change or with broken routine. So I’m going to keep some routine. Just the bits I know I can manage, I’m going to take time to do my make up, I’m going to listen to music, paint my nails and eat something healthy at some point. This will help me keep my mind focussed and not drift off into the very very dangerous ether. Look after number 1 (or three in my case!) and take some time out to treat your body and mind well.

Thats it pretty much. Seems simple doesn’t it? But I’m not a qualified person. If times get really hard, contact the samaritans, reach out to someone. Even if just by text or email if you can’t face talking vocally. Don’t feel youre alone or stuck doing things you don’t want to do. You’re allowed to say no, and you’re allowed to not feel guilty.

Take care of yourselves. Be kind to yourself. And if you have to do something you really don’t want to do, to preserve the feelings of someone you genuinely care about, when it’s done come back and be extra kind to yourself and reach out to someone.

Dingy.

Movie kiss pose,

Never more than vapid emptiness,

Head back, eyes closed, lips parted,

Is it too much to want you to want more?

Nothing is ever real,

Arched back, left hand on face,

Everything feels false,

Contrived, too bright,

Ah, deep breath now viewers,

The contrast too sharp,6:14 ratio,

She just wants normality,

She can never get even that movie kiss,

Just the hidden, furtive kiss,

Never the kiss to swell your heart,

Just the one to shatter,

She’s never her, the right one,

She’s never the fallen one, set to rise,

The risen one, set to soar.

She’s the furtive fumble,

Behind a wheelie bin, skirt bunched up,

The one to deny.

Remember viewers, it’s not real,

Just like her to people.

The warmth doesn’t touch her,

The sunlight never dapples her skin,

She never hopes,

Never paints with stars,

Never gives tinkle laughs,

She just kneels,

Sucks then swallows,

Salt water tracks on her face,

Used. She’s only used.

Never cherished.

Never gets that movie kiss pose,

Or fairy tale ending.

Back up…back up…back up

Oh god, I think some one just tore half my memories out and shredded them, then gave them to Jack and Verm to use as bedding. I feel just…aghast at what I’ve done.

15 years of writing, all my favourite ones, that I’ve gone back and edited over the years, that really did just…encompass my youth and teenage years….just gone. All gone. No other copies.

Sat listening to a random mix compiled by nokia based on my music tastes, bit of The Calling warbling away, and I felt the need to go back to them. You know that, nothing else will do feeling? Where the only way of calming your soul is to re-read old musings and see what new perspective they can offer? I had that need…..and then I remembered, we formatted the harddrive….and I’d been that set on making sure I saved all my photos – which have loads of back ups on that there internet, that I forgot an entire file….and it was even titled “writing”…..

I feel hollow. It’s even harder because so many memories of feelings and emotions were entrenched in them….things I don’t even know how to access any more, times I don’t even really recall…I just remember the writing…all gone….into the ether…..I feel like I’ve lost a friend…I’ve definitley lost part of my soul.

And it hurts. How could I have been so stupid?

This life is more than just a read-through.

Mental health “issues” and what’s being done…is it enough? Is it even right?

One of my biggest bug bears (amongst poor grammar, cold feet, hanger, and people) is proportional representation of people in the media. Or rather the lack thereof. Now, I know I am about to come across as disablist (is that a word?), racist, ageist, peopleist (I know this isn’t but hey ho). But I aren’t…I really aren’t. And eventually I will get back to my opening question.

So proportional representation isn’t the technical term, and I’m sure there is one, but right now my brain is pretty fried (recovering from an acute attack) and it will suffice for what I’m trying to get across. So statistically speaking

  • There are 9.4 million disabled people in England, accounting for 18 per cent of the population

So how come, if they only account for 18% of the population do they seem to account for 75% of news articles, opinion polls and generally everything. Every show has at least one disabled person in it, and thats only accounting for the physically disabled. I aren’t counting mentally “disabled” in that because that will be covered later. I have nothing against disabled people at all, couldn’t care less in fact, but I do hate the way the media seems to portray the amount of disabled people as equal to or more than the people that aren’t. All in the name of equality. THAT ISN’T EQUALITY. IT’S LYING. 

See definition: Equality is ensuring individuals or groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably, specific to their needs, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.

So why then, are the groups I mentioned above always treated with more…awareness? It seems that if you’re a one armed, black, muslim, gay woman you stand much higher chance of being listened to and having your views and opinions heard than a straight, white, athiest male.

Maybe I’m wrong, I quite frequently am. But I know for where I am in the UK, it’s definitely the case. Every time the local news comes on its about some poor down trodden put against person who the world hates. I just can’t help but feel that we reward those who can’t/won’t and ignore those that do and try.

So how does this tie in to my initial question? Well, why is it, only the …. in vogue…. mental health issues ever portrayed? And usually either in a really patronizing, all hold hands and sing kumbaya aren’t you wonderful and you  fart fucks dripping in gold, or they’re lower than low. They’re never normal people, struggling but doing their best. They’re called invisible disabilities for a reason. Not every one who has a mental health disorder needs their hands holding, or the media to show us as literal crazies, or people that can’t cope, or people that have been amazing an over come diversity. Most of us, are just like John Smith who plods along in his normal life and keeps all the plates spinning.

I for one, don’t have an in vogue mental health issue, it’s relatively unheard of, the only time I’ve ever seen it in the media the character was portrayed as some kind of lunatic, bunny boiling, weak individual. And that is… damaging to all the good work that is being done by other outlets (human resources, people on the street, MIND, etc etc) because what people actually believe about mental health issues is what a]they’ve been taught (so typically most of it is wrong, hurtful, ill informed and dangerous) and what the media portrays (see above). I know many people like me, it’s hard not to with the amount of flaming classes I have to go to (sleep hygiene…what IS that?) , and they’re of much the same opinion as me, the media is damaging peoples beliefs. All these celebreties claiming to have this that or the other….and glamorising so suddenly it’s cool. And they’ve achieved LOADS…..news flash. It’s not and they haven’t. Sure they may have struggled (I know some days I struggle to not cry all day, eat too many carbs, and focus on what it would feel like to pluck all the hair from my body, strand by strand) but that doesn’t make my struggle any more…worthy than anyone elses.

So how does that tie in with my rant about proportional representation ofthe elderly/disabled/coloured? It’s all the same thing. The media need to stop trying to show people how accepting, and understanding and fucking wonderful we should be with these people and those like me. They should just deliver the facts, portray everyone in a statistically accurate way and let us get back to hating people because of bad highlights/shoes/weird teeth whatever we want to. And let us make our own minds up and behaviours accordingly with correct education in schools/factual programmes/books etc. Corrie and the likes need to take a long walk off a short pier in cement bricks with their malligned and flawed attempts at “normalising” everything I’ve talked about.

… Haha and I didn’t even mention my opinion on how they portray the gay.