My perfect girls

To my beautiful daughters.

 

You make more proud than I ever thought possible to anyone. Yes, you have your faults, you are both as stubborn as your mother for one. But I sincerely hope that means that noone will ever walk over you. You are both too kind and smart to deserve anyone to do this to you.

You are both beautiful. Not just outwardly to shallow people, but you both have core values that I admire. I hope that I helped instil that in you. Love for different life experiences and values. Love for our planet and nature. A joy in comedy. A high regard of a good story. A love of the English language.

I love you both with the purest love imaginable. I met you for the first times face to face and I felt like I had known you both forever. I was adamant you were going to be everything I could not be. You are not even teenagers and you have already made me achieve my aim.

I know I will have been let down as a mother. But I just can’t face being even worse. It is my biggest fear in life…. Letting you both down. I cannot imagine a greater disappointment.

I love you more than there is a word to adaquately express.

 

Mum x

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Keeping up appearances

This is a bit of a false advertising statement, as I am so really NOT keeping up my appearance. The reason being, exactly a week before Christmas I found out that it’s possible to really dislocate easily.

It started as a typical evening. Due to have four kids together and pizzas. Whilst the oven was warming I was unwrapping some delicious looking delights. Then the pain started. I’m not exactly sure HOW I did it, but it felt like immense pain in my mid chest and I really could not breathe. This got worse and worse within a minute or so and I was trying to call out to anyone that could hear me. No-one could. I crumpled to the floor thinking that I was having a heart attack.

My youngest came downstairs and was enquiring how long dinner was going to be and found me unable to catch my breath when I managed to utter “I’m having a heart attack”.

The next thing I recall was being laid flat out on the kitchen floor with a hoard of paramedics. I could breathe a little now but I was still in agony. I recognised a voice being from a senior paramedic technician who had reset my knee last year and she remembered me and my propensity for popping everything in the most awful positions.

I hadn’t had a heart attack, I had dislocated my 8th, 9th and 10th ribs. These were then pressing on my lungs and SERIOUSLY hurt. I still couldn’t breathe too easily due to my diaphragm moving whilst the ribs were out and serious muscle strain from it all.

So morphine was needed. My veins did as they always do and refused to play ball. When they managed to find a vein, it collapsed. They gave up. Oramorph, not a yay from me. It makes me feel ok for about 15 minutes and then the extreme itching begins. It drove me crazy for 6 hours, long after I had been discharged from a very mystified A & E department as Ehlers Danlos is still not very widely known. They were adamant I had done it through significant trauma and not opening a cardboard pizza box.

Ehlers Danlos does so much damage to the body that can’t be seen to an outsider. The amount of tuts and disgruntled looks I get from people when I use a disabled parking space (sadly it’s older people far more than any others) but I simply cannot slide out of the seat of a car so I need the door wide open. I have a badge to prove this, yet I still feel judged. When my knees are strapped up and i’m on crutches it feels like I’m justifying the need for the ‘special treatment’.

Is it true that people are judging or is it my head in space that I do not fit the traditional disabled person picture?

My children do not see me as disabled. They know that I am very frequently in hospital or having operations, tests and appointments and that I take a LOT of medication, but even they have an image of someone in a wheelchair as being disabled. I will inevitably be that person, sadly it may be sooner rather than later, but for now I can occasionally pass for a certifiable healthy person.

I could live another 20 years, but it could be well under 10 before things become very tricky. Operations on my knees have been refused and I can only have life saving surgery. I have had a fractured left shin for nearly 18 months as it will not heal. It’s something that constantly aches, but is relatively minor in my list of daily pains. Simple tasks which I used to take for granted are now a struggle, such as sleeping! I turn over in my sleep and get woken with a clunk and then pain. Although I can fully dislocate, joints can also sublax, which basically is a partial dislocation. These happen continuously through the day and night so any movement can cause it. It is tiresome and monotonous.

Also affected, apart from joints, are any other ‘bits’ that require collagen to repair or maintain itself. This includes muscles, tendons, veins and arteries. That is basically everything, even the brain as it can cause strokes. Whether this has been the cause of epilepsy (a bulge pressing on my frontal lobe) in the last 4 years no-one has been able to answer me.

All I can say is, I feel like a horrible mess right now. I do not know which way is up and I am now rambling to myself on t’internet. I do not recognise myself at all right now.

Filling the void

How many is too many?

I have just noticed a pattern in my behaviour… Other people may have noticed this a LONG time ago, but I now understand the reasoning behind it.

When I try to avoid a stress that is bugging me, I try and fill it with love. This has resulted in expanding my home with more animals. I adore all animals and would happily open my home to any animal that requires one.

I have a couple of stresses at the moment, the cold causing extra pain, being assessed by the government for my illnesses, sorting through a ‘new home’ to make it feel like I live here and the usual stress of life.

I convince my children that they want a pet, recently my latest ploy, showing my girls some baby mice. It is my eldest daughters birthday next week (mine too if you wish to send gifts!) and this resulted in the idea of mice for her birthday.

I do have more pets than most. We have 3 tropical fish tanks, a dog (surprise for my partner who stated he did not want a dog – but has now become his biggest ally in allowing him on settees and upstairs) a cat who was advertised on the internet as he was going to be dumped (I was not a ‘cat person’ previously but his bipolar personality reminds me of myself so he has won me over) an elderly pony who was saved 5 years ago from death as he was abandoned and starving. He is on medication for osteoarthritis in his spine as he in his late 30’s. He has a beautiful soul and I had to scrape together the money for him, it would have pinched my conscience forever had I left him in his situation. I also have an Australian Galah cockatoo who was advertised by someone who had bought him on a spur of the moment decision and was petrified of him. I call him my third baby. He is the biggest tart on the planet and such a creep that you can’t help but love him. He says ‘I love you’ when he wants to share food and loves being tickled and scritched on his head. How the previous owner was scared of him, I have no idea, but the minute I got to see him two days after he was advertised, he stepped straight onto my hand and I was smitten. Even my mum, who has always said she didn’t like him as he was big, was won over when she visited and he sat on her shoulder, whispering in her ear and showing off his dance moves.

I know why I have an affection for animals. They treat you how you treat them. They are my company for most of the day. I crave affection, I always have. Even from a young age I adored animals. My first pet aged 6 was Snowy, an albino mouse. He lived for 3 years which is double the life expectancy for a mouse. I took him EVERYWHERE. I took him to school in my pocket, he came to play with me and I turned my slyvanian families houses into his own little village.

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This was the start of my pet love affair.

My step daughter was doing a family tree recently and was considering putting pets on there. I said to her she would need a lot more paper if I added mine on there. I had never counted up all the pets I had loved over the years, but I decided to sit down and write down all their names. I forget a heck of a lot of stuff, but all my animals will be forever in my memory.

It turned out there was over 65, not including fish or ones that I ‘cared for’ for other people. In my teenage years I trained other peoples pets for them so they could be tamed. I enjoyed it. I also earned a few extra pennies doing something I liked. It started with hamsters, gerbils, mice, rabbits. Then I started training peoples budgies. Using my own very well trained budgie, Pepsi, they were able to be more confident. Some only took a week, others a little longer. Sadly, some of them were not continued with their training so the work was lost, but I know of two that became as well trained as my Pep.

So how do I stop myself from becoming a ‘hoarder’ of animals? Now, don’t get me wrong, none of my animals are mistreated in any way. All of their needs are met. I have a good friend helping my pony day to day while I cannot get their because of my health, all of my animals have been trained to be able to spend time getting along with each other and they ALL get the best in the way of nutrition. I would never take on an animal that I could provide the absolute best for, but at what point should I stop?

I had to rehome my ‘outside animals’ chickens, rabbit and guinea pig, as in my previous garden they had lots of space to free roam. I do not agree on not allowing animals to not have the space they need. When I moved in to my partners home, the garden was not big enough to allow them this. So I had to move them to a good friends house. In the countryside with space to do as they always had done.

But I miss them. I miss their funny personalities and obviously the fresh eggs were gorgeous.

While I agree with my OH that I can’t have animals that I can’t care for… A little mouse or two is not going to split the walls from over crowding. I did promise no more animals, but my reasoning is that I have reduced the number by many so it is not really adding.

I have a desire to love. Animals AND people. I do not see as many people outside of my family as others do. Am I transferring my need for social interaction with people, into a need to interact with animals? Or do I just really love animals?! I guess it’s a lot of both. WIN_20180227_14_31_50_Pro

My company has decided to stop sitting on my laptop and is cooling off on the settee next to me.

Animal ‘hoarder’, definitely not. Animal friend I prefer.

Do you find pets fill a void that you have in your life?

Trying to intergrate

How do you move into new social circles? Is it through work, either through choice or just desperation? Is it through your children and other parents?

I am struggling to find a new circle of people to intergrate with and just how much of myself I ‘disclose’ of what a complete and utter nightmare and drama-dragger I am?! I know my life is either REALLY dull, or so dramatic I don’t know which way is up.

My mental health, if you have read previous admissions, scares people. Especially if they don’t know me that well. So I keep schtum. Would this be something that would scare you off talking to someone, if you thought that some days they will be crying so much that they feel the world is crumbling, and other days they can bounce around full of enthusiasm…?

I’m not a stable personality. Ironic really, being someone that loves spending time with horses to make me feel calmer. I have probably always been like this, but over the years, it has been noted more and more and has been clinically recognised as a personality disorder. I have to say, I HATE that term. My personality is so wrong, it’s classed as being disorganised! I do take medication to stabilise my mood, but this is only effective to a certain extent. Life, as people know, causes massive emotional surges. I take it to the extreme sometimes and need someone to talk me round from my like black bubble and burst it. That is a lot of pressure for someone that has not known me for years and knows my background!

I was medically retired from my career… 18 years early. To some people, they would be envious. To me, it was just necessary and not a choice. My brain (sometimes) still wants to be that active person. My body complains and disagrees so I have little choice.

I have been into my daughters’ school and offered to be a volunteer. It’s not quite worked as yet, because in my stupidity, I forgot medication one day, withdrawal symptoms kicked in within hours and I fell. I was holding a very sharp knife at the time, thankfully I didn’t fall onto this in anyway, but scarily, it could have happened. I did however, hit my knee. I have had burning in my shin ever since. I do not want to go to the hospital.

I have been scolded for being daft enough to forget what the two alarms I set in the morning to remind me to take the sodding medication in the first place. I literally do not know how I managed to forget. Luckily, I recognised the signs of what was happening and thought I was due to have a seizure so went to my massive medicine drawer to take an ’emergency med’. Whilst there I actually looked at my tray of medication. It is labelled on days and times to take certain tablets. I still get it wrong. I forget what day I am on, sometimes take night time tablets in the morning or vice-versa. In the midst of the flashing in my eyes and pins and needles in my face with feeling literally, that the floor is wobbling (yup, I feel like I’ve had far too many tequilas!) I managed to work out what day it was and that I hadn’t taken the tablets.

I took them straight away and lay down to stop the effects hurting me anymore. Then, my alarm set to remind me to pick up my kids from school (I’m THAT bad!) had woken me up. It was going for 12 minutes before I came to.

Meeting the girls, the eldest IMMEDIATELY showed concern and asked me what I had done as I didn’t look well. I was honest and told her forgot my meds. She then proceeded to go into her ‘I’m the parent now so do as I say’ role. She has seen too much first hand of my mistakes. Even the second, who is non-fussed about most things, grabbed my hand. I must have looked absolute crap. Great!

How the heck am I going to make new friends if this is how I appear?!

Me, myself… and just I

So, how much alone time do you require, and how much before it drives you mad?

I dislike being alone, but lately, it feels that is all I seem to be. I was medically retired from my job on Dec 31st but have not been able to work for three years before this. I liked doing work. For being recognised for my mind and my abilities. Lately, these have both gone to pot.

Lots of personal circumstances have changed dramatically. Last year I had two major knee operations which required me to learn to walk again. I’m still not very stable on my feet, so I do not like going out in public alone. People bump me very easily, as I found on a “relaxing” shopping weekend recently. I went to the Trafford centre to buy my last little bits of christmas presents… I’ve never found shopping relaxing but a spa hotel sweetened the deal. The person I was staying with didn’t have the greatest personal hygiene and there were several parties going on making sleep an illusion I missed.

The next day was the dreaded shopping day. Within an hour I was in pain and unhappy. Then a visit to a well known clothing chain made me wish I hadn’t gone. At a sales rail, wobbling and moving on its wheels, I tried to move backwards to save face from tripping. Bad move. A member of staff was behind and I trod backwards on his foot, which he promptly took back causing me to go with it and my knee taking the brunt. He seemed confused as to why I was facing the floor and clutching my knee, unable to answer what was wrong. Then I started crying, still facing the floor, scared to move. It hurt A LOT. After a good 5 minutes of being like this, my dear shopping partner stopped looking at the sales rail and realised I wasn’t happy. I was sat down, face covered in tears by the staff who were concerned.

As I sat, taking pain meds and rubbing my knee to stop the swelling, vouchers were given for shopping to say sorry. I had bought what I had needed so it was useless to me, but the shopping buddy got a good deal out of it. From then on, I was wheeled in a wheelchair/racecart and held shopping bags. I was also filmed being crashed into a bin for fun. Not fun for me, but everyone else apparently.

WE then became entrenched with bad weather. Another night in the hotel with the one with bad hygiene. Still in pain, I took to wrapping the presents I had purchased. That was the first week of December and the last time I went “out”.

Christmas is always a time of staying in and spending time doing things with family, so when the normal routine of life resumed last week, I was a little relieved.

But little has changed. If anything, I’m feeling more lonely. My family does not visit, even when I lived in my own home for 12 years, but now I live 11 miles away, there is no point in expecting anything but minimum contact from them unless I make the effort.  I have my two girls, one of which has been having her own inner turmoil moments this week, but they are back in the school routine. Waking up, leaving for school, coming home hungry and grumpy, going to bed. My interaction is limited and not always much fun.

The partner I have moved in with needs his space. Something I have only noticed since having so much time to myself and not being in my own home. Whilst I like the house I now live in, I have lost my sense of community. Not that there was much of one where I used to live, but I knew people. People I could go and see easily when I got fed up of the boring dull space between my ears. Social interaction I miss. My partner still works full-time and does not understand that it is a need I am not getting. I do not have many friends, just a few acquaintances. One lives a fair distance away and the others are what I call fair-weathers. They contact me when they need something I can provide.

Well, I don’t really know where I am going with this post other than clearing my head from feeling that I am going slightly mad telling off a misbehaving puppy, hearing learned phrases from a parrot and watching dross on the TV.

So yeah, alone time is great. When you have something to fill the gaps between.

When life becomes a rollercoaster

You really have to learn how to take the corners….

This week has been… well, emotional. Not necessarily good or bad, just emotional.

I took the munchkins to visit a new school, which completely blew me away as it was AMAZEBALLS and made me want to go back to school again…. I mean, they have a mirrored full size DANCE STUDIO!!! I’m never gonna see them as they are going to be wanting to be there the whole time. They also have a full size library with a librarian. My idea of heaven! When it was mentioned that at the start of the September term that Michael Morpurgo (Author of the War Horse and Shadow) was to be their topic of the term, the girls literally grinned and buzzed. We are BIG readers and Michael Morpurgo books were bought for the youngest on her seventh birthday last year. We have read many of them and loved them. Books and dancing are basically my children’s two loves. This school seems to tick their boxes. The ethos of the school impressed me and the teachers seem to have it nailed. What topped it for me, is the fact that they have a beautiful Hungarian Viszla as an assistance school dog to help them feel comfortable talking. He is called Barat (Hungarian for Friend) and I wanted to steal him. They are also a university linked school which means they get high tech computers in their labs and are learning programming and algorithms…. I mean, this is PRIMARY school?! My kids are going to be whizz kids! It made me realise that at some point, they are going to be WAY smarter than me!

Seeing my eldest in a blazer made me a little startled. She is growing up. Too fast. She is visiting the linked secondary school next month for where she will be starting next year. It seems only yesterday she was learning nursery rhymes… Where the heck does time go?! The school is also linked to the university and is just mind-blowing. I don’t think i’ll be able to take that visit in just yet, i’m still getting my head around primary school!

The reason for looking at a new school, is that we are moving house and area. My home is going to be sold. I am moving in with the man I love and I am happy about that. But I have a big attachment to my house. One reason being, is that I moved around a LOT until my early twenties. Then I bought this house, with the EX. He moved out five years ago, but I have lived here for 13 years. The longest I have ever lived in one place. Since the nit-wit went, I have made this house cosy, warm and loved. It was never on the agenda to decorate or personalise the house when HE lived here, as money was always spent on what he wanted. Now it is a house, no, a HOME, that I am proud of. I absolutely LOVE my garden too. I have pear and plum trees (love making pear and plum crumbles in August when they ripen) and I have filled it with flowers in every available space. I do not go out very much unless necessary, so my spare time is spent enjoying my garden.

My bedroom window view of part of  my garden….

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I did at one point have chickens roaming the garden too, but due to one particularly vicious neighbour, the only awful one on the whole street, they had to be rehomed. One was killed and another badly injured whilst I was away. It was distressing and I knew who it was. For their sake, I moved them to a friends house. No neighbours and lots of space to roam still. I now have just the rabbit (Waffle) and Guinea Pig (Fleabag) that patrol the space. They used to live very happily alongside the chickens and it was lovely to see them all snuggled at night in the big shed at the bottom of the garden. If animals can live in harmony, why we can’t humans do the same?! They always had their own personal spaces that they could have gone to, but they always chose to be together. They bonded even though they were not the same. They stuck up for each other too. If ever Tigger (my nonchalant cat) decided he was going to tease one of them, the other came for support. The cockerel (Timmy) and Waffle were, despite both being supposedly territorial males, allies. They saw themselves as a united front, not enemies. Although they did have they occasional spat when one tried to bonk the other. Males… It always causes issues when it comes to sex! HAHA!

So I am now reflecting on my time in my home. The lines on the girls bedroom wall where they have been measured every six months from the time they were old enough to stand. Knowing that they came back here within hours of being born so I could coo over them in peace. Watching them play in the garden whilst I pottered about, or even now, watching the seeds they have planted become beautiful flowers.

But these are memories I can store with me forever. It doesn’t matter where I am to remember these. I can also make new memories in our “new” home. They are excited and looking forward to the changes ahead. Changes which are going to impact them in a positive way. Where we currently live, the secondary schools nearby are, well, not where I would want the girls to go. The only one I would consider is a grammar school and far too expensive. Such is life. Money is key.

Being me, I am unnerved by change, but I KNOW without doubt that this is good change, if not great. It is a positive step in every aspect. I will not feel the burden of keeping a house going alone, worrying about bills and will have my best friend sleeping next to me every night, rather than when it is easy to work out. My children will have stability in knowing that I will not be alone at night, something that has worried my eldest since my health deteriorated and caused me to go to bed the same time as them to stop the concern.

I am hoping that this is the start of a new chapter which will be far more positive. And with all the negativity in the news lately, terrorist attacks, Grenfell Tower fire and masses of lives lost, the uncertainty of a government that can’t seem to organised a piss up in a brewery and just basic grim depressing stuff all around…. I want some positivity and happiness.

The world is a dark place at times, so i’m going to embrace a chance at a happy change with open arms.

My home City…

I’m a proud Londoner

The news that yet another attack last night left me very sleepless. Another extremist attack on home soil. Three attacks in as many months. Do I feel scared? No, that’s not it. Do I feel sad? Most definitely. My home city is the most amazing place. I grew up loving the underground and feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar square. The buzz and happiness in this city is addictive. And i’m not a fan of the city. Since leaving London, I have fallen for the countryside of our beautiful country, but I still feel this affinity for the place of my formative years.

I grew up on the RAF camp which housed the secret bunker where Churchill organised the drops in Normandy. It was iconic and it was a strange way of living looking back as an adult. We were security checked to go on and off the camp to go to school. In my primary school years, the IRA was prominent. This meant that cars were checked for bombs and everyone needed ID and approval to come on to the camp. I thought nothing of this at the time, it was normality for me. I suppose this is why I do not have the fear that these terrorist attacks are seeming to achieve. Being aware was always something I grew up with. But I am incredibly sad that “people” have decided that this country, the country and city of my birth is deemed so disgusting that the people in it need to die.

Last week we had the massive terrorist attack in Manchester. This startled my young girls as we had been to this place ourselves to watch a concert and it seemed to rock them. They were scared.

My youngest daughter, aged only 7, asked me “Why did God allow those children to be killed?” There was pain, anguish and confusion in her voice. I had to reply in a way that she would understand.

“God can’t stop people being cruel and doing cruel things, but there were also amazing people there being extremely kind and loving, helping all those injured people and making them better and comforting them as much as they could. God can’t stop people choosing to do what they BELIEVE to be the right thing, but he would most definitely be holding those children in His arms as he welcomed them in to heaven.”

She smiled and gave me a massive hug. She, like so many other people, are just so confused as to how these atrocities could happen.

I have stated in previous posts, that I believe in a live and let live philosophy. I accept that other people have different beliefs to mine, but as long as it is not hurting harming or killing people, then walk by if you don’t agree. Why kill someone because you believe in a different cause? How is this going to achieve anything, in this life or possibly your next (depending on your beliefs)? We a here for a good time, not a long time. As my dad once said “Life is not a dress rehearsal” and it is true.

No second chances, so be as good as you possibly can and love as hard as you possibly can… And try to smile through the shit times, as nothing makes people more pissed off than to know they haven’t knocked you down. The hurt will be there, but as long as you have life, you have opportunity to make the world a better place.

Keep smiling in London, Manchester, UK and all over the world. Keep loving and try your bloody hardest to be the best and kindest person you can. Don’t go around being a dick and killing people. That’s just stupidity rolled in dog crap.

We will rise again and again and again. No this doesn’t mean that we do not mourn, we do. Extremely hard. But it will not break us. People need to come together to fight this darkness, people from all backgrounds, all races and all religions to show a united front against the twisted ideas of how to right this world. We need to learn about others, what makes other communities come together and how can different communities unite with them to make a larger one?

In my previous role, I was prominent in many different communities over a city area. The divides between these communities were obscure to me. They had similar ethics, but were somehow segregated by choice. When I asked certain people why they didn’t like them or even just as small as why they don’t talk, there was never a reasoned reply. Mainly it was “They’re different”. This was not always colour or religion or social class. Merely just that they didn’t know them.

It frustrates me and saddens me…. We are ALL human. Skin and bone with feelings.

Just stop the bullcrap and show love.