The one… 

I don’t believe in The One. 

Life would be unbearable if there was just one person you clicked with and wanted to be with for the rest of your life. So many questions….what if you never found The One….what if you found them and you were attached….what if, what if, what if.. 

What I believe is there are lots of The Ones. We, as individuals do not stay the same. We evolve. Strip off layers of ourselves, put more layers on. Become more complex. Or maybe more simple. 

So there’s someone, or lots of someone’s, for us in every stage of our lives.

I’d stumbled across one of my matches. Not an easy situation for either of us. It started as a laugh. Fun. But I fucked up. I fell. So did he, but I fell further.  I fought do hard. Put up walls. Ran away. 

He was smitten. I pretended I wasn’t. 

I thought he’d do the usual at 3 months and lose interest. He didn’t. He stayed. He was still smitten. So I let down my guard. 

And now, now he seems to be doing the usual. No calls, no messages, no plans to meet. I wish he’d just say. Say it’s over. 

I’ve lost another one. But not just anyone. It’s  one of my The Ones.

I give up. I don’t want to hurt like this anymore. I don’t want to waste myself. Cats are the way forward. Obesity and smelling of cat piss is the way forward. 

A fat line between love and hate

Time for another purge methinks.

This last couple of weeks I’ve been full of hate for myself…..not for feeling like a failure, not for letting myself be taken advantage of…..this time it’s all to do with being a big fat ugly bitch.

It all started a few weeks back when I saw pictures of a friend looking absolutely fabulous…..well, more fabulous than she did before because she was gorgeous anyway.

Immediately my thoughts became confused and….scribbly is the best word to describe them.  Like I’d scribbled on a page with all the lovely and ugly colours.

My brain went like this:

She looks amazing
I’m so happy for her
How dare she
Now I’m the fattest
She looks so happy
She’s shining
She must have cheated
HOW COULD SHE

Then my thoughts changed to

Why am I so fat
Why am I so ugly
Why can’t it be me
I hate my body
I detest me
Why am I so old
Look at the state of me

I can’t stand the fact that I do this but I do. I know people who are poorly, who are in danger of losing their home, people who are going through marriage break ups…..and here I am obsessing about cankles and a fat gut.

And I hate myself for being jealous of my friend.

I’m actively trying to lose weight: being more active, eating really healthily, cut out almost all alcohol, drinking lots of water…..it’s just not happening. It will, but in the meantime my brain is being a snarly fucker.

And I’m not fishing for compliments….I’m trying to get this written down to try and get the nasty stuff out of my head so I can move on from it.

I also know in my heart of hearts that I’m not as hideous as my brain makes me feel. I’ll never be thin….I’m short, I’m curvy, I’m firm….. I just wish I was better. I just wish I wasn’t the fat one.

And I wish that when I was 25 and a size 12 that I’d known what a bloody fitty I was.

Purge over…..I even feel a bit better.

The End

More than you think

So, if I ask you to picture in your mind quickly a victim of domestic abuse I’m sure you’d think something along the lines of a women with a beaten face. Am I right? It’s what I’d choose as my “campaign face” for an awareness campaign.
The truth is though the person can look like anyone, be any sex, any age, any class, and they needn’t have bruises.
I used to live below a couple that constantly fought. I called the police a few times. I found the instances very disturbing and even frightening.  Whenever I spoke to the police they would ALWAYS say “so is he hitting her”. I always pointed out that I had no idea who was hitting who. Truth is the wife was twice the size of the husband and I know from the arguments she always started things. The police always came. Things always calmed. Things always flared up again. The wife became pregnant. I was so fearful for the child growing up in that environment.  I don’t think either parent would turn on the child but the violence in their arguments would have inflicted mental damage. Before the child was born the couple split. Sad, you may think, but for the sake of all I think it was for the best. Now the husband lives alone. He is like a different person. He was surly and abrupt before, now he’s a friend. 
So that’s my first point. We jump to the conclusion that it’s male on female. That may be the norm but by no means is it uncommon for men to be the victim. 
And whilst discussing this couple, they aren’t low income, badly educated scum. She is a barrister. He is an area manager in the Post Office. She is white, he is black. Totally breaking stereo types.
And then there’s age. People tend to think of a parent hitting a child, well in today’s society more and more adults are being looked after by their children.  And there is an at risk register for the elderly. My mum recently went to A&E with abdominal bruising. We still don’t know the cause. What we did find out though as that they ran checks on mum and the family to see if there was a history of her being abused. An appalling thought for us, but obviously it’s something that happens often enough for policies to be devised and checks to be run.
And what of bruising? Is that the only abuse that can be afflicted? Beatings and kickings? Well, take it from me, no. Just as damaging is mental abuse. There are so many forms of this. And you don’t have to be weak willed to be a victim. I have been a victim. And I’m an incredibly mentally strong and spirited individual. But I have issues. Low self esteem when it comes to my looks, and a huge soft heart. I lived with someone for 15 years who constantly belittled me. Every day I was called bitch. I’d have things thrown at me. Dinners I’d slaved over thrown in the bin. Locked out of my home on more than one occasion so I had to beg to be let in. Shouted at so hard my ear bled. Driven at high speed and close to cars on my side so that I was petrified and in danger of wetting myself. Called ugly. Told I was too fat to ever marry (at size 14). Shouted at in front of my family. Why didn’t I leave? Because I loved him, and I’m a bit of a control freak and I thought I could change him. And because a lot of the time he was truly lovely. Truly. I thought he was worth the work. I also felt financially beholden to him. It’s so bloody hard to walk away. So hard.
All through this blog I’ve used the word “victim”. I’ve used it on purpose because that’s what we are perceived as. But we aren’t. We are sufferers.
For us it’s like a disease or syndrome. You hope for a cure. The cure usually comes when one of you changes. One of you escapes. It’s never easy, it’s never quick, it’s always the hard way.
So domestic abuse is so much more than you think. It’s complex. And staying is never cowardly.  It’s not brave either. It most certainly isn’t stupid. Sometimes it’s just the only way. The only way to cope that you can see at that time.
So next time you think about what a person living with domestic abuse looks like you could start by looking in the mirror because it could so very easily be you.

The Cruellest End

So, if you know me you may know about my mum. She’s 81, 82 in February and as feisty as fuck.

She also has vascular dementia.

And thinks she 37.

And has no idea she’s my mum.

My mum was bloody amazing. Positive,  upbeat, hardworking. She lived through the Blitz and left school at 13 to become a machinist. Her first job was sewing uniforms for lads in National Service. She literally sewed til her fingers bled.

I owe so very much to her (my dad too of course). Together they brought up 6 kids. They were both from large families and they taught us the meaning of togetherness.  My family are so supportive.  I’ve been such a shit in my life and they’ve stuck by me. Forgiven me. I would do the same. My mum was totally the head of the family.  My dad was the man of the house, but he always referred to my mum to make big decisions.

When my dad was diagnosed with emphysema my mum took it on the chin, rolled her sleeves up and nursed him. Every day she watched the love of her life, the man she’d been a partner with for 40 years, struggle to breathe. Not once did she bitch or moan or stop being our mum. What that woman took on and coped with is beyond my comprehension. She was my hero.

After my dad died my mum still went to The London Chest Hospital (where he’d been spectacularly cared for) to visit others on his ward. People we’d all become friends with. People with no family or families far away. She visited as much for her pleasure as theirs. At the same time she started to do a weekly shop for the mother of a friend who had agoraphobia. She truly was an excellent woman.

Around 2006 I think all of us kids started noticing little signs that mum was showing her age. She’d repeat herself or forget what your answer was when she’d asked a question. At first it was difficult to know was it just age or was it something more sinister.  We all hoped for the former.

It wasn’t to be. Gradually mum’s behaviour became more erratic, her memory shortening. She noticed sometimes too. She used to tell me she was worried about her memory. I knew, she didn’t. So many times I turned away with a tear in my eye. Then I’d turn back and she would have forgotten what she’d just said and would be putting sugar in my tea even though I’ve not taken sugar since I was 8!!

Gradually my old mum has disappeared,  diminished. There’s a lovely little mad old lady in her place who I adore. Who I love beyond life. But what I wouldn’t give to have my old mum back. Even for a day.

Every day I grieve for her, although she is still here.

Dementia is the biggest, nastiest, cuntiest disease ever. Everybody loses. The pain is constant. For all. My mum has no past, no future. All we can ever hope is that she is safe and happy in the moment that she is in. At the same time as she’s vulnerable she’s also a complete and utter spiteful bitch. If she saw how she behaved towards my brother in law and my sister she’d be so dreadfully ashamed. She’d hate herself. Pain. So much pain.

I have dreams about her sometimes. They take one of two forms. In the first, my dad is alive and he can see what has become of mum. He is heartbroken.  Inconsolable.
In the second, my mum is lost. No one knows where she is. I’d love to tell you that I don’t know how this feels in real life, but I do. Mum has gone missing 3 times since 2012. Always for hours. I cannot explain. I don’t want to. The worry…..it’s all consuming. The pain.

But, through all this there is one light. What it’s done for us as a family. We deal with everything as a unit. Consulting each other. Helping each other. And laughing a lot. We have found the humour in almost everything.  Because without it you’d go apeshit mental.

And the other good thing is finding others in the same situation. And talking. And sharing.  And helping. So if you read this and you are where I am, or you know it’s coming, or you’re the next step on give me a shout. Cos I’ll listen. We’ll talk. It will help.

The curse of the 3 month fascination

So….my first blog…..

I’m going to tell you about my curse.

I’m a people lover. They fascinate me – watching them, listening to them, talking to them. I have no ulterior motive, I just like people. The human race as a whole I detest, but individuals, totally different.

I was brought up in a very multi racial area so don’t consider myself racist. Anyone and everyone hold an interest but if you’re white and an arsehole, you’re an arsehole. If you’re black and an arsehole, you’re an arsehole.  Same for religion – muslim or christian or sikh….if youre a cockend im not interested.

I have a curse on me though. I fascinate people. Men and women, but mostly men. Recently I have noticed a very pronounced trend. The fascination to start with is all consuming for the other person and then gradually it wains. To nothing. All i do is chat. I love chatting. It’s the finding out about the person. The listening. Finding common ground. The laughter, shared experiences. Also the giving of yourself. The trust (oh boy do i give my trust easily). And then I must share too much, or care too much, or reveal that I am just plain, boring, fat, old, slightly depressed me, although i’ve never hidden that. Whatever, one day fascination, the next they’re gone.

The majority of this stuff is happening online, but it has always happened in my life, and I’m that old that it predates the digital age!  In work, everyone gets a card and cakes bought for their birthday. Because nobody is interested in me, this year I got nothing. Couple of girls i worked with (for years) couldn’t remember me. Went to a class reunion and 5 women said they didnt remember me. One if them sat next to me in biology for 3 years!

There is something that happened this week though that has made me write this down.

On Twitter I had become firm friends with a guy who I respect deeply. We share many opinions, he is very funny, talented and extremely kind and caring. I know everyone thinks that twitter is fickle, and indeed it is, but I have made many real friends via twitter,  people I would not be without. This guy would be one of them. I should explain that I do not have visions of a huge romance with him, I just treasure his company. We started messaging after i criticised his gramnar. We ribbed each other on DM for a few weeks. Tyen we talked about deeper stuff

As I’ve said, he is kind. He’s also very easy to talk to. I have told him lots about myself. I told him about the curse. Told him after 3 months he’d wonder why he ever started talking to me. That i’d fade into insignificance for him and that I’d just put it down to experience again and try and go on as normal. I was assured he genuinely liked me, found me funny, saw we had lots in common etc, that we were great friends. That I wouldn’t be left behind. He’d always be there. So, we both have jobs and busy lives, but even when he was busy he’d text me a “pssst how are you” and we’d always say goodnight and good morning, our little routines.  I know that may sound pathetic but it was just a really nice thing to have. I never text first unless I was sending a picture of something or telling him that a film was on that I knew he’d like. I hate to think I’m intruding, or a burden or nuisance. I wait to hear first.

Then, lo and behold, gradually I stopped hearing and chatting as much. I put it down to the time of year. I accepted it. Then the silence was far more pronounced. I was going through a hell of a tough time at work, i was desperate to pour my heart out to him as i knew he would understand. I didn’t intrude though. A few times i’d see he was online (not in a stalker way, just noticing). I’d send an “are you ok?” and get a “yeah, dead busy”.

I knew what was happening. Fascination over. It’s ok I told myself, but really it wasn’t. It’s not. I wonder why it happens. I wonder what is wrong with me that people don’t care. The thing that really hurt though was i decided to ask if he was chatting to someone else now. “yes” he said “someone i chat to every day, but they are a good friend”. I took this to mean I am not;not a good friend. I don’t know what i am, i just know that the thought i am not a good friend after all my investment makes me get a pain in my chest. A physical hurt. Because this time I invested a lot. Told him a lot. Ugly stuff, beautiful stuff. But I am not a good friend. I am so sad about this. I have cried much over that thought. More than he will ever know.

And through it all he is still the lovliest, kindest man. A friend to many. Incredibly caring. If you read this you probably chat to him. He’s probably asked how you are. So don’t hate him. He just lost interest as so many others have. He is still a wonderful person.

And if I sound like a mug, or self obsessed, then so be it. I want to be liked. I want to be thought about, as I think about others. And I care about me. I have no one else to care about me so I must do it. Because I have a theory about me.

My theory is that I was put on this earth to love and care for others. I am not made to be loved for just me. I think there is something not quite right about me. I have never been someone’s grand passion even when they were mine. I’m a cook and homemaker and I’ve been loved for that,  my persona merely tolerated. So, I accept my lot. I can’t say it makes me happy but I kind of understand now. So it’s pointless hoping.

What I’d really really love though is to find out why. So if you read this and you’ve been one of those I’ve held a fascination for and then you realised…….please tell me what you realised. Please.  I can’t and won’t change who I am but at least I will know. The not knowing is a bastard. And it stings.

And just in case you are wondering,  yes I have friends. Quite a few. And enough of the ones that are close and that love me warts and all. Who tell me I’m a prick or that I’m lovely or drunk or who put a pair of knickers on as a bra to help me out. I have the most fabulous friends, but I’d love more. I love people remember,  individuals.