Last night on Netflix I selected “play something” and ended up watching ‘Feel Good’. It was funny, heartfelt and honest, I laughed til I cried and I cried til I sobbed.
I love trash tv that you don’t have to really pay attention to, but I also like important stuff that makes you think, makes you look inward and soul search. I won’t post spoilers, but it’s definitely worth a watch, very cleverly written with one of those (for me anyway) “Sixth Sense” moments. Anyway, the subject matter got me thinking.
People are complicated. Shit happens and people hurt us, friends, family, lovers. Whether it’s emotional or physical, everyone has those people in life who’ve hurt them, betrayed them but they’re still around, we might not understand it, and that’s ok. We should be able to confide in those we love and for them to listen and accept our decision on how (or if) to deal with it. It’s completely normal (and kind of lovely) for them to WANT to “out” and murder the person in question, but it’s not ok make you feel afraid that they WILL. It’s not their fight or trauma to deal with.
There’s a lot hype recently with ‘me too’ and its easy for other people To say “oh you know you have to cut them off, make an example of them, ruin their life, get them cancelled” or whatever, “you owe it to other victims, it’s your responsibility to stop it happening to anyone else”.
No, that’s bullshit.
The person to blame is the one who hurt you, and who might (have) hurt others. It is not your responsibility.
If going public, screaming and shouting to anyone who’ll listen helps you heal, great, do that. If keeping it to yourself and even allowing that person to stay in your life is what you need, that is fine.
So, Shocker! I have actually caught myself finding someone attractive.
I mean I know that’s not such a weird thing, I am after all, a grown woman who has had romantic relationships, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen anyone that way at all, that it took me by surprise. It wasn’t just a passing “I would” either, there were dreams of kisses (nothing more obviously, the thought of being that intimate with anyone still makes me want to puke) and actual daydreams of a relationship! Crazy.
It’s not something that can be acted on anyway as even if it was reciprocated (which it probably wasn’t) as there could be absolutely no future in it, and that’s fine as I still don’t think I’m really ready, emotionally or physically I’m not where I want to be. I need to continue to work on myself inside and out, try to get to a point where I feel comfortable in my skin. Like RuPaul says. if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?
When I began my last relationship I was in good shape emotionally and physically, felt great. I was in a really good place in my head and that made for healthy relationship (apart from the lying, and the cheating).
I’m doing a lot of soul-searching, a lot of self-care exercises and working through stuff to try and reclaim? myself. The me I had built myself into.
I’m not particularly bothered about being with anyone at the moment. I get lonely ofcourse but I’m feeling quite positive, I’d rather use this time to get myself sorted and wait until I meet someone good for me.
Lets just hope my instincts are better this time. This past chapter might’ve been crap, but the future is mine to write.
Today I had my COVID-19 vaccination. I thought long and hard about Whether to get this one (the AstraZeneca) with all the news about the risk of blood clots, as I am high risk for things like the minipill due to my mum having had a stroke when I was two and a half years old. I did some research, spoke to family and my GP and in the end I decided that it was worth the risk. I haven’t seen my parents for a year now and I miss them a lot. All of us being vaccinated is a step towards being back together.
I was really lucky. When my mum had her stroke she lost all of her right side but she lived. I am fully aware how fortunate I am to have been able to keep her, to still have her in my life and for her to be able to meet my children. She is amazing, but I also mourn for the mum I lost.
I was just a toddler, not really old enough to know someone, I mean she’s mum and I had bonded with her and loved her obviously, but you’re not really a person yet, so you can’t really have relationships. The mum I was born to was gone in a sense, but she shone through in the amazingly strong determined young woman who had to learn everything from scratch, to walk, talk, feed herself, interact, everything in order to have her life back.
When it happened my grandparents stepped in and were fantastic, they already knew each other and had somewhat of a relationship which I think really helped but they basically took over caring for us kids whilst dad was with mum. I can’t imagine how scary that must’ve been for both of my parents, obviously mum going through it herself and dad suddenly has lost the woman he fell in love with and has two children under the age of 4 to cope with as well as keep a roof over our head and yeah, overwhelming. He once told me a story about my mum’s dad (my grandad) I’m not sure if it was the night it happened or soon after that he apparently told my dad to just go, just leave, that he and my grandma would take care of the kids and my mum and at the time he was outraged, absolutely enraged angry that he could say such a thing, but I think I understand it. He was giving my dad an out. They were so young and this huge awful tragedy happened and I think it was kindness not cruelty. In later years my dad and grandad became close, and I’ve never seen my dad cry the way he did at my grandfather’s funeral.
Our house was filled with love and laughter, our grandparents were very involved and Mum did an amazing job even with one hand and not being able to communicate very well she was, is, the most able bodied person I think I’ve ever known despite her disability.
Adolescence is hard for everyone, being a female teenager without your mum is even harder. Even though she was there it wasn’t like other girls and their moms. I was like the devil to my mum and I regret it every day. I remember walking to school and stopping at the phone box on numerous occasions to call and apologise because I’d been so very vile in the morning. Looking back I think it was frustration but she didn’t deserve that, she did an amazing job in spite of everything and loved me so much. (Karma is a bitch though cos I got twin daughters payback which mum finds most amusing!).
I’m okay with it most of the time but occasionally I’ll get really sad. I wonder what she would’ve been like if it hadn’t happened. I feel like I get my fierceness from her, like my stubbornness and independence. There is a photo of my mum at about 18 flashing her bra on the seafront at skeg and I love it! its amazing and I think it just sums up how she was. I love who she is but wish I could’ve known that woman. I wish I’d been able to go out drinking talk about all the usual growing up stuff, boys, clothes make up bras the whole thing and most of all I wish that she hadn’t had to go through what she did.
I had a happy childhood because I think we just got on with it. The teenage years were more difficult, when I started to question the way things were. It was dads way or the high way basically in our house and I wonder if she would’ve let him get away with that, if I would’ve had different views and opinions if the stroke hadn’t happened and she could communicate clearly. It must be so frustrating for her to know what she wants to say and not be able to say it, to have an opinion not be able to voice it and I think that made me even angrier at the fact that my dad was so opinionated and what he said was law, because I do have a voice and I can communicate and I wanted to be heard and be my own person. There were a few years where things were not good but ultimately I think when you have your own children you start to understand that they were doing what they thought was best, even if sometimes you cannot even begin to fathom how they could’ve thought that was best for you. mostly I think parents act from a good place.
I’m close to mum and dad now. My dads relationship with my daughters is totally different to mine. With me he was a bit of a tyrant, really closed off and I guess I do now understand why to a certain extent, but he could’ve been more open and I think that would’ve helped me to deal with What happened to mum, but it is what it is. Their relationship with my girls is amazing, they are so close to mum and they talk about everything under the sun with dad, he is so open it’s unbelievable. I love that he has changed so much and is now very accepting. Anyway my arm really hurts I’m going to try and get some sleep but I hadn’t written for ages and I really wanted to try and get something down. It’s a bit rambly, maybe I’ll refine it later. In any event, the takeaway of all of this is that my mother is a legend. I appreciate her so so much and I am proud to be the daughter of such a warrior queen.
Tonight during family time away from her phone my 19 yr old daughter received some messages on fb from a man. The 1st said “hi beautiful” the 2nd, about 10 mins later simply “fuck you” (presumably for not replying or not replying fast enough). She did not know this man. She blocked him immediately.
Her sister confirmed that this, inappropriate messages and unsolicited dick pics are a regular occurrence & they are used to it. This has happened to me, to every woman I know. Worse even, I’ve been called vile names and even threatened for politely declining advances (thankfully less so as I age & become invisible to men).
This has made me so angry! They, WE, shouldn’t have to get used to receiving abuse for existing. Men, if you must msg a woman you don’t know (it’s weird, just don’t) and she doesn’t reply, that’s the end. Don’t keep trying, send abuse for not replying or worse, send a photo.
& before someone says “not all men” – others, you know it happens, if you know someone who does this call them out on it! Tell them it’s wrong, otherwise you are complicit & just as bad.
Mostly I’m ok. I’m a proud person, independent and strong but sometimes the urge to reach out and let him know just how much damage his lies did and how much it still fucking hurts is almost painful.
I’m sure he never gives me a second thought and has moved onto another lovely girl (or two!) and I know that it wouldn’t do any good, but at times Id just like to know I’m not alone in still feeling like shit about it all, lying in the dark in tears wondering why I wasn’t enough.
I don’t message for many reasons, not least that it’s not fair to keep bringing it up, that I don’t think it would actually help, and that part of me doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing. Another part wants him to know. To feel bad.
Also I suppose one reason I don’t, is fear of the reaction. People are nice and kind whilst it serves them, once it no longer does they can be incredibly cruel, and I don’t want to hear that. I don’t deserve that.
I still go over and over it, did I miss the red flags? Were there any to see? Am I that stupid? When he made me feel great, was he gaslighting me? What was the punchline? Because until that moment, it was really really good. And I feel stupid for being so happy. I hate that because of him, I can’t love him, I know, it makes no sense.
Honestly the thought of ever being intimate with anyone again physically or emotionally makes me feel violently sick. I can’t see that ever changing now.
A year ago tonight I went for a drink with a guy. I thought it would just be a drink but by the end of the night he held my hand and very shortly thereafter, my heart. After 4 years of trusting nobody I chose him and in return he chose to break it.
I don’t talk about it anymore because it’s been long enough and nobody wants to hear it, and I should be over it. I’m not. I don’t know when or if I will be.
Ive been doing ok, but it’s been a tough few weeks. I should have been just back from a week in the sun with the man I loved, celebrating his birthday and looking forward to our anniversary. I just constantly want to call him and scream “how could you do this?” But I know it wouldn’t do any good.
Add on top that lockdown seems never ending, that I’ve not seen my family or friends for months, not had a hug from anyone but the twins since my heart was broken, and now them leaving for university… tough doesn’t really cover it.
I’m lucky, I know there are people I can talk to anytime. I find it really difficult to ask for help, even just to talk. Especially now after all this time, my brain convinces me that I’m being a burden, being stupid, should be over it, and so it’s easier to just shut everything out and cry and sleep, but I promise I’m trying to do better.
I’ve been writing this one for a while. I keep coming back to it but can’t seem to get the right words out. I just witnessed something (online) that has brought me back to finish it.
My niece (best friend’s daughter) sent me a lovely card recently. We’ve been in lockdown for what seems like forever, I’ve been having a tough time, she’s been having a tough time, my best friend (her mum) has been having a really tough time. The card was a very thoughtful, loving gesture and I appreciated it, but at the same time when it arrived I had mixed emotions, because you see as much as it is a lovely thought and I do appreciate it, it thanked me for being such a great friend to her mum, and if I’m honest, I don’t feel like a great friend.
I feel like I’m there when the shit hits the fan, and then what? I don’t do enough. Yeah life and distance etc gets in the way but it’s all bullshit. I should do more. I know that she would refute my claims that I’m not a good friend and say it’s the opposite – she’s a stubborn, contrary, feisty mare! She’s my best friend. One of the kindest, most loving people in the world. She’s been there for me every day since I was 14 years old. We’ve grown up together, gone through all of the usual ups and downs plus a few awful things that nobody should have to endure. She deserves every happiness and yet she struggles every single day to keep going through this life. That Katy Perry song Firework always makes me think of her. She’s dragged herself up from the absolute lowest points time after time and is an inspiration, but sometimes it all gets too much and she becomes suicidal.
When that happens it’s scary. It’s chaotic and terrifying for all of us who love her, so I cannot even begin to imagine how afraid she must be.
I’ve always been a “calm under pressure” person and I think it must seem to others that I’m ok, that I know what I’m doing, I don’t. Inside I’m panicking and scrabbling and doing everything I possibly can to try and find a reason that will convince this person who I love more than anything in the world, to stay in it, to stay with me, to not leave me alone to have to live without her.
If I’m completely honest, there have been times when she’s looked into my eyes and told me she loves me so much and she’s had enough and can’t go on, that I have thought what the fuck am I doing? is this kindness? is this love? am I being the best friend I can be by forcing her to stay in pain? when someone you love tells you they can’t handle it anymore is it not kinder to let them go? Is it selfish to keep them here? Am I a terrible friend and a terrible person for making her hold on?
Surely that’s not normal? To think that about someone you love so deeply? But I have. I’m ashamed to admit that but I have. It’s a fleeting thought, gone in seconds but it was there.
But then, maybe that is exactly what makes me a good friend to her, and her to me. Ive tried my whole life to understand and not judge, and she’s done the same for me. We’ve discussed and shared everything bright under the sun and dark under the moon, and know things about eachother that even our families don’t. I know that if the roles were reversed she’d fight my demons with me, even if she was struggling herself, and I know she’d have that thought too, dismiss it and fight on, like we do.
If I could take her pain I’d do it in a heartbeat but I can’t. So I am the best friend I can be. It’s not enough. It’ll never be enough, but it’s all I have.
Skeggy beach 2010. I remember being really scared to undress at the beach as I thought I was fat 😔 seeing the girls so excited to play in the water I eventually just got on with it. 10 years later I’m probably twice the size but the difference is my confidence. I wasted so many years thinking I wasn’t slim, pretty, smart, good enough, no more.
I AM ENOUGH and so are you, just the way you are 💋