Sunday, 13 August 2017

10 years old

Im back after a year...Just got over the big 10th birthday. The year has been challenging as well as a learning curve. My Tara is a good girl and I need to up my game and become a better mother.

Its been a blur of exam prep over the last 6 months. The Grammar school challenge. Tara is working hard but is up against, painful gums, falling teeth, painful breasts, expanding feet, painful feet and mysterious lumps and bumps under her toes, feeling miserable etc. etc. The joys of growing into a woman..sheesh....

Friday, 29 July 2016

Tara's 9th birthday

I can see the birthday countdown board on Tara's door. With days to go, she's excited, expectations are high, the pressure is on.

I've been ill for three weeks. Today is the first day I got out of bed without a crunching "face-ache". I feel almost human again. Its not been easy. Tara and I got struck down as we were preparing to go on our summer holiday - all three of us. Cancelling our holiday was an expensive, stressful and difficult decision to make, but it had to be done. Tara started getting better within days of the cancellation, while I went downhill faster than a smooth greased pebble skiing on butter..

I don't recall being so ill in years. There was nothing to do but suffer through it. It didn't help that The Husband was on holiday. I felt guilty as hell for ruining his time off, and he didn't do much in terms of reassuring me. Instead he decided to grow his facial hair and sulk. It also didn't help that it was the school holiday. I had Tara at home along with the Husband. What a nightmare! Far from anyone 'taking care" of me (yeah right!), I felt under constant pressure to get well soon.

Anyway, Im well enough to vent my feelings here, and have to put together a plan for Tara's birthday. The Husband appeared shaved and slightly less grumpy today. Not sure if he was expecting applause and praise for looking civilised again. He knows I have a severe phobia of facial hair on him - not the world in general-just him. He still chose to sport it while I was at my lowest.

Maybe its the after effects of antibiotics, or just a return of some PTSD but I can't seem to face anyone today-least of all him. Tara meanwhile is immensely relieved to "see" her father again. She's been complaining about his unkempt overgrowth for days. Me? Im just happy to feel not terribly unwell again.

Friday, 24 June 2016

How do I feel?

The Great British Referendum is done. How do I feel?

Victorious?
Defeated?
Elated?
Disappointed?


I went to bed last night knowing I wouldn't be celebrating either way when morning came. How do I feel when I know one half of my country wants in, while the other half wants out? Whose joy should I celebrate, whose tears do I wipe? I thought about it and imagined the same question being asked of a child who has to choose between parents who have just announced their divorce. Where is the victory? defeat? elation? disappointment? Anything one side wins, is a loss for the other.

Standing in between two equal sides, desperately clinging to both, which hand do I release when the tugging begins?

How do I feel......

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The lighter side of a bad situation

When grey, heavy clouds of negativity surround us like a 'too-tight' cocoon, it is virtually impossible to see any redeeming features, let alone humour, in a tough situation. Hindsight however is a loyal companion.

Things have been very volatile with Tara and The Husband this year. I have days of introspection, other days of resolutions and decisions; moments of weakness, arguments, regrets and then back to square one to do it all over again. It was a few weeks ago, one Sunday night when things went out of hand with Tara and the unsupportive Husband. I thought my brain would explode. Instead of getting more and more entangled in this suffocating web of fury and chaos, I did something I'd never done before. I grabbed my keys, got in my car and drove away.

The intention was not to create drama. I just needed to get away from our house, which didn't feel like home at the moment, sit somewhere, collect myself and come back to sleep. The only problem was it was Sunday, when everything shuts at 4:00 pm. Even my trusted gym/club which is usually open till 11 pm, shut at 9:30 pm-the precise moment I had pulled out of my drive. As I reached the gym/club, they were locking up. I reversed out and drove around for a while. It didn't help that I had no satnav or any knowledge of how to use it anyway. I am also a very limited driver, carefully going to only a few destinations I am comfortable with. My brain however was a volcano of emotions and I had to be doing anything but driving-I knew that. Going back home was not an option.

I went through the list of my options:

Gym/Club - Shut
Shops-Shut
Supermarkets-Shut

The only other option was the local hospital or the local KFC . I chose the latter as it didn't feel morally correct to inflict my morose self at the hospital where people had suffering of their own. So I pulled into the car park of the large business park, where everything was closed, except for the KFC whose lights shone at a distance. Not many people were around. I was tearful so didn't go into KFC, choosing instead to leave the radio on and sit in the car park to clear my head.

Five minutes passed. A car pulled in and parked opposite me-its headlights on. I felt this prickle in my spine as if something was not right. I was annoyed because I didn't feel safe and I really needed to unwind. Nobody got off from that car, and nobody went to KFC. I shifted uneasily checking my car locks were on. Two minutes later another car parked a few spaces away from me, headlights on. Again, nobody got off. Now warning bells were clanging in my head. A minute later another car cruised past me. I wasn't waiting to see what was going to happen. I started the car and bolted out of there as fast as it's tyres could carry me. Not only was I still stressed, now I was scared. I looked at the time, and it was barely 45 minutes since I had left home. To top it all I was low on fuel as well. Great...simply great..

Defeated, scared and upset, I drove back home and pulled into the drive. I sat there for another few minutes before going inside. The Husband was sitting on the stairs, and went into the bedroom quietly when I came in. At least he did something right. Tara was asleep.

I went into the spare room, shut the door and reflected on the epic fail of my first storming walk-out from home. If only those other cars hadn't crept up around me. What was going on there? The next morning, Tara packed off to school, The Husband gone to work I began watching the local morning news as I had my tea.

"Last night the local police was called to a car park to disperse a group of "doggers" as they were causing disturbance in the vicinity of the local KFC. A few arrests were made, while others were let off with a caution."

I shifted uneasily as I looked up what exactly "dogging" was and presently dropped my tea in shock. (At this time I would like to direct any reader to Wikipedia which eloquently describes the common practice of "dogging"- should you be unaware of this...as I was.) I gathered myself, my thoughts and mopped up the tea from my dining table. The brief flicker of what would have happened had I sat stubbornly in my car last night, drove away any remaining raging volcanoes from my head. I was mortified for something I had not even done!

Today the memory of that day came back, and I managed a nervous smile. Its my unintentional, dirty little secret. My next storming walk-out, if it ever happens again, shall be mid week, in the afternoon, at the local library with Mabel and Eunice for company.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

May 2016

I come back here, my space, when I feel every avenue is shut. Im drifting through good days.. and bad. Unable to answer the simple question-what is my purpose in life?

Things with Tara improved significantly. Whatever it was that happened to her straightened itself out, and she resumed being her loving, kind self. There is a guarded response from me, for a while. Until I surrender and decide to go with the flow. If this is what love is, I'll take it.

I had started the year on a good note. I actually went to the gym three times a week for 2 months. I fell off the wagon mid April, and am struggling to get back in there. Since then I have also fallen into into my sugar trap. Hitting rough waters emotionally I reach for my sugar fix. Having indulged to the hilt, I reached rock bottom yesterday, thank goodness. This morning Im off sugar completely. I woke up not craving it, and have sailed through today without a problem.

I had another falling out with Tara and The Husband again, and frankly I am sick of it. I have to hit rock bottom with that too, so I can push back up and breathe again. I think Im almost there. I thought about it all day and figured that it's not what I do for them that makes things hard, its the expectations attached to these actions that cause the problems. I have read about this in innumerable philosophical texts, but the penny dropped today. I may not be able to act on it right now, but I do get it. Hopefully that is the first step.

If I work hard on school work with Tara and teach her with total involvement and commitment, I must then not have expectations about her performance or future career options. I must do all I can to equip her, then take the heat off myself.

If I cook healthy food for my family, I must not expect them to wipe the plate clean and be grateful for it.

I must teach Tara the difference between right and wrong, and consequences of her actions, but must not lose my rag if she still chooses to do the wrong thing. I must not worry about Tara's choices and actions, but must be there when the pieces scatter and offer sanctuary and unconditional love.

Sounds impossible. It is hard being Mum, and it has nothing to do with endless laundry and cooking.