Monthly Archives: May 2017

It’s coming up to that time of the year again.. .. 

We’re here again. The anniversary of the date I left the abusive relationship is on the horizon. I think by now I’ve possibly bored you all with my take and insight on that particular subject. I just wanted to talk about The Freedom Programme though and what an invaluable resource it is when you’ve suffered abuse (or indeed still are) 

That scary day, all those years ago, that I fled I didn’t expect to succeed. I don’t remember much about that time due to a shed load of unhealthy coping mechanisms as I spoke about here. What I do remember about that day though was the fear. Standing at the train station with the kids – sick with fright fully expecting him to show up and force us back. To this day I still occasionally have dreams of that exact scenario happening. They’re truly horrible. 

I did do it though. I got away. 

That startled girl in new city though is a million miles from the woman I am now. I’d naively expected to be able to  shut the door on that relationship and magically transform back into the person I was before him. Confident and ambitious. It sounds silly but it came as a shock to me quite how damaged I was. Thankfully here, years of therapy and using this blog as an extension of that down the line I am in the main healed and healthy and stronger. 

My healing process began with The Freedom Programme. I’d really like to share with you how it helped me so much. 

Firstly the fact that it’s a group scenario becomes really helpful. I know I know! That ironically was what almost put me off doing it in the first place. I had no confidence back then. I could barely look anyone in the face. How could I stride into a room of women and talking about things I hadn’t even with my closest people?
Well of course it wasn’t like that. 
It was a room of kindness and gentleness. Women just like me, who had the same stories to tell as me. That’s where the fact it’s a group scenario becomes empowering. You’re so isolated when you’re in an abusive relationship the relief of another woman saying “me too” when you talk of your experiences is incredible. When you speak of incidents that you’ve not mentioned to others as you worry they’d be seen as trivial and women relate,that’s powerful. Nothing sounded silly to these women, they knew. They got it. 

Secondly it’s just a brilliantly put together programme. The woman who devised it really knows what she is talking about on this subject and you can feel it. 

Each week you look at a different side to the perpetrator, the different behaviour they use. For me I for  the  first time acknowledged shared beliefs with the perpetrator which really helped me gain an understanding. You also are introduced to his opposite. Identify the characteristics of a more supportive man. The decent human being. Helpful in itself. 

Another amazing thing I gained from doing the Freedom Programme is that it helped me to allow myself to let go off the guilt I felt for not being able to get  the children out of that environment sooner. I wrote a whole blog post covering that here but it really was weight of the world lifted off your shoulders stuff. 

Lastly, and really importantly, the Freedom Programme stays with you. Here I am still banging on about it all these years later, I probably will be in another 10 years. 

There’s a section in the programme about being able to identify early signs of abusive behaviour. Kind of red flag warnings you can spot at the beginning of a relationship. I come back to these often. Between learning these on the programme and a good few years of just interacting with people I do feel quite well equipped to spot a twat from a distance these days. It’s helpful.

 They. Are. Everywhere 
The ones just beginning to chip away at a beautiful woman. The ones further down the line in absolute control of other people. The ones still single yet give off a waft of ‘abusive tendencies’ so strong  you can almost choke on it. 

If you are experiencing abuse there are agencies that can help you. That can safely support you. There are a whole army of women out here ready to mobilise on your command. 

Refuge 

Women’s aid

And of course the brilliant Freedom Programme

Are all here if it’s safe for you to get online. 

Doing the Freedom Programme started off my healing from abuse in the most positive way. Writing this blog and years of therapy have a big  part in enabling that healing to continue and there are also some spectacular humans who have helped me to get to where I am now, which is in no way a spectacular place to be but thinking back at this  time of year is way better than I’d have dreamed my life could be back then. 

Thank you all of you 

Xxx

 


Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/



Rhyming with Wine




JakiJellz


Hot Pink Wellingtons


The Pramshed




I’m sorry to let the side down, but I am scared 

Since the horrific terror attack on Manchester on Monday night I’ve shed  a lot of tears. Tears for those lives lost  , tears for the families with a part of them now gone, tears for those hurt and injured, tears for those who walked away without physical injury but who have lifetime of mental scars. 

I’ve been moved to tears by acts of kindness and stories that highlight the very best of people. 

I’ve shed tears feeling a city coming together, standing strong, uncowed, unbeaten. When Tony Walsh read his poem, as spoken about here, at the vigil on Tuesday night I felt that poem in my soul I’m sure of it. 

I’ve heard the lines we tell one another. I’ve said them myself. The strong lines.

“we must carry as on normal ”

” we can’t let them affect our daily lives”

“If we live in fear then the  terrorists win”

I am scared though. I am fearful. I’m terrified. 

My elder 3 children are teenagers. They want be out doing their own thing. I have to let them. Sending independent, good people out into the world? Well that’s the parenting goal isn’t it? 

Most anything my youngest at 9 considers a treat is in Manchester city centre. Her birthday was a couple  of weeks ago and for her birthday treat she really wanted to go to the CBBC tour at media city then then go to a ‘posh’ restaurant! You have to book a the tour quite far in advance so this weekend we were due to go. 

I’ve wrestled internally with it. Should I still take her? One half of my brain saying “you must go – you can’t live in fear”. The other half very much shouting “but WHAT IF ….??” Could I let her down and age appropriately discuss my fears? Probably not. I’m mummy. I’m the one who reassures worries. I’m meant to calm her fears, that’s what she expects from me. 

So do I brave it out? Head off to the city centre, try to feel strong and defiant. That “What if??” though, it’s loud and it’s chilling. 

Thankfully the decision was taken out of my hands and I received an email to say tours were cancelled. 

The relief was immense. 

I know we cannot give in to cowardly, vicious bullies. I know that. 
When cowardly, vicious bullies though have no  qualms in targetting families, in murdering children… 

Yes, I’m scared. 

I’m scared my boys might head off to a football match one day and be targeted. 

I’m scared my teen girl may go to a concert with her pals and not come back. 

I’m scared small girl could be out with daddy one day and become some evil, less than human’s victim. 

I’m scared small girl and I could head out on one of our jaunts and leave the elder 3 motherless. 

I know we’re still in the midst of grief and shock right now. I know we’re still hearing about these poor people killed, hearing their stories, seeing their faces. So very close to home it could have been any one of us.  Feeling guilty for daring to feel heartbroken knowing the friends and families of those murdered, those injured are the ones going through a torturous hell. 

Days, weeks, months will pass. This shall never be forgotten but  I’d imagine I’ll be back strolling through Manchester, taking the kids to sporting events, having one of my solo theatre dates. These times will come back around I know. Because love is stronger than hurt. Kindness is the antidote to fear. 

Manchester. You rock. Your strength of character and awesome people are inspirational. 

For now though-for today, for tomorrow. I am scared, and for that I am sorry. 

A love letter to mum bloggers…

 

Dear Mummy Bloggers ,

 

After the vileness of THAT ridiculous article by Anna May Mangan about how we are bringing the country to its knees with our gin soaked potato waffles ( oo wonder if that could work!) in that horrific newspaper that the devil would be proud of I felt compelled to tell you all how much I bloody love you.

 

 

As a mum blogger I love my little blog. I like having a little corner of the internet that’s mine. I’m proud of my blog too. Blogging makes me brave enough to share my thoughts in public . I’m grateful to my blog for being part of a really helpful therapy in my recovery from abuse.

 

 

Do you know what I like more though?

 

Your blogs.

 

I love reading your blogs , I love sharing them , I love finding a brand new blog then bingeing ( that spike in your views where you panic someone is reading everything you’ve ever written …that’s probably me!)

 

 

My favourites being those of you who bite the bullet and write really honestly about the realities of motherhood. Strangely I take it as a given that you all love your kids to pieces , I take it that we all know how lucky we are to have created actual humans who get to share our lives with . I don’t assume unless I see #blessed on your social media you’re just not that fond of them!

Reading your blogs full of love and joy and happiness is uplifting . Finding an idea for a new day out by reading reviews on your blog is really helpful.

When you share with us though , quite often in a raw manner , that sometimes you struggle. When you comment on how bloody hard this parenting lark can be. That some days it all feels impossible. That’s so very important too.

 

 

Parenting can be isolating . It’s terrifying. It’s so much harder having to deal with the constant feeling of being judged whether that’s by the woman tutting in the supermarket , your mother in law , your ex partner or a bloody national newspaper.

 

 

For an ordinary mum having one of those impossible days. Maybe she’s not seen another adult in a week. Maybe she’s exhausted and desperate and feels like this mummy gig is just too tough for her. Maybe she feels like a failure and is too worried to reach out in case everyone else agrees she’s a useless mother.

Well your blogs help save their sanity.

Maybe this tired mum comes across your blogs on an impossible day. Reads that other mums out there have had impossible days , that it’s normal , that she is not the only one. That she is not in fact a failure but a member of a massive club. A club full of women who have impossible days sometimes fish fingers and gin and all. That can feel like the biggest relief , the weight of the world falling from your shoulders. It’s a comfort to know that sometimes impossible days are followed by magical days. It’s a comfort that there are women out there who you can identify with and communicate with and that it’s ok to find it tough.

 

 

You’re not just a sanity saver though mum bloggers. You’re entertainment.

 

There are some supremely talented writers out there.

 

Blogging is not merely a load of self indulgent mums having a moan. So many topics are covered in this umbrella of the ‘mum blog’ Inspirational , moving writing covering heavy topics. Racism , mental health ,divorce, politics , feminism , abuse , grief all covered in various of your blogs I’ve read and written well. These are not just fluffy headed women half drunk on their 11am gin indulgently bleating about how shit it is to be a mum despite what the Daily Mail think. I’m unsure the writer of this particular piece has ever really read much of your work.

 

 

You’re funny too , so funny!! Your witty , intelligent writing can cheer up a miserable grey day!

 

 

So sneer all you want Daily Mail. You hate women as it is , of course you’ll feel threatened by a group of them who don’t behave as you think they should. Who build women up, who stand in solidarity with one another. Female empowerment was never really going to be your thing though. We’ve seen your poking fun at unflattering bikini shots and your misogynist headlines. To be frank some of the pieces I’ve been unlucky enough to come across from your ‘newspaper’ are nothing short of a hate crime .

 

Well love wins over hate.

 

Mum bloggers I bloody love you!!!

 

Kelly xxx

 

 

Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/





Naptime Natter



Hot Pink Wellingtons


Mummy in a Tutu

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The identity crisis bucket list! 

Earlier in the month I wrote about how now the children are getting older and a little less dependent I’m feeling about wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum. That particular self indulgent post is just here.

How do you find out who you are though? I’m a bit short on babysitters, time and cash to go off on some retreat of self discovery in the Himalayas for 6 months.

I thought a good place to start was think about things I like doing. The important word being I,rather than ‘we’. I know what we like doing as a family. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 17 years finding things ‘we’ like doing and I really, really hope there are years and years of that to come.

I am lucky though in that I do generally  get a weekend a month to myself when my elder kids are with grandma and small girl is with daddy. I’ve even almost a fortnight in the summer holidays – that’s too long though I’ll be moaning about missing the kids by day 3. I’ve gotten better at utilising my child free time I did spend years just sitting home whinging about being lonely. I just need to keep doing that, maximising my free time . Try and find that woman that’s tucked away in here, rediscover the passions and interests that don’t lie solely on keeping these gorgeous human beings of mine alive and well.
I did what I always do.

Made a list.

It’s nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but just a gentle start of remembering or discovering what makes me tick when the kids aren’t around.
Can I share them?

Go camping – on my own 

I’m a fan of doing stuff alone. I’m the advocate of the solo date, I enjoy my own company. I’m quite lucky where I live too with the Peak District almost on the doorstep so one weekend when I’m heartlessly abandoned by my children I’m just going to go walking up there. Look at beautiful scenery and collect my thoughts to the picturesque backdrop.

Go to Edinburgh fringe festival 

I’ve always wanted to do this. Wall to wall theatre and art. The children are away for over a week during the summer and I’m going to have myself a little holiday and head Northwards for some culture!

Exercise 

Stay with me here I’m not going to go all gym bunny on you. I loathe the thought of running and swimming so much so it actually puts me off doing it. This is really silly because when I do go for a proper run I do enjoy it. Working up a bit of a sweat with just my cringe worthy play list for company always makes me feel really good. Running is great for keeping my anxiety at bay too. So I’m going to stop being a lazy arse and get out there.

Write the book (or at least try) 

Everyone has a book I them don’t they say?  Mine is just struggling a bit with the getting out part. Do you know why? Because I feel daft. I worry that people would think “bloody hell we have to put up with her shockingly shite writing with her blog – who does she think she is writing a book?”

It could be true. I could invest time and effort only to produce the world’s worst book, but even if this were to be the case well it’d not have hurt anyone would it?

Let’s crack on with that.

Visit new places 

I read a short story by Jenny Colgan once called Paris For One. A woman gets stood up by her boyfriend and ends up visiting Paris alone. I’ve wanted to follow suit ever since.  I spent my younger years child rearing so have never really seen anywhere I’d have liked to yet. I might not manage Paris but I could start off with some UK cities surely?

So that’s my list so far.

I’ll bore you to death with tales of my adventures ticking them off but I feel so much happier just having written them down. I’ve showed them to you guys too so that means  I HAVE to do them right?
So here’s to making the most of child free weekends instead of moaning about abandonment.
After all the children certainly aren’t pining for me when they’re having fun at  grandma’s or having adventures with daddy!

 

 

 

Like my Facebook blog page to follow my adventures


 

Shameless plug : If you like my nonsense and fancy nominating me in the #BiBs2017 you can do so just here http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/


Not Just The 3 Of Us