Monthly Archives: March 2018

I am healed ,but I still need patience

I am many years free of abuse and toxic relationships. I am stronger mentally than I’ve been for a very long time. So many of the parts of me that had been dismantled and fractured have been put back together.

It took way , way longer than I ever would have expected. Years longer.

I’m here though , I am healed and I am strong.

I am healed but I’m battle scarred .

I’m healthy and I’m strong but there are very faded residual marks that I suspect will stick around a little while longer.

Like when stretchmarks that were purple and raw and red and angry fade to silvery faded lines. A memory of what a huge deal you have been through.

I still have a few remaining ,faded mental scars. Like those silver stretch marks they’re part of me , a record of a journey. Not that happy one of motherhood , but a journey none the less and one I finished a free woman. I’m sure those mental scars will one day fade even further , possibly disappear completely like so many of the other hang ups and baggage toxic relationships left me with. I got rid of them eventually. I’m not angry or resentful of the remaining scars ,they are me now.

The main one is a need for patience from people around me.

Super patience.

Patience in ultimate 4D.

Patience with a cherry on the top ,tied with a bow.

You see all those parts of me that are healed yet fragile , they can all be fixed with patience.

I don’t have loads of friends or a massive really close family. I have a tiny inner circle of people who I trust and care about and whom I am certain care about me.

That’s really all I need , the inner circle rocks you know? Full of amazing humans! I think they get it those people. They understand my need for patience,but I think it probably takes a while to get to grips with the nutty girl who behaves oddly sometimes!

I need patience that sometimes I cancel plans because the horrid voice in my head is telling me I’m rubbish.

I need patience with my indecisiveness . It comes from a place where when questions were asked there is a right or wrong answer and it is essential to get it right (despite the fact you never will) questions still sometimes transport me back to that mindset and it’s as irritating for me as it is those around me.

I need patience at my ( what must be bloody infuriating) absent minded ,head in the clouds behaviour. It comes from a place where once I had to be hyper vigilant every second of every day. I had to think 3 , 7 , 12 steps of another person all the time in order to second guess how I should be behaving to avoid a blow up. From having to be so aware of a tapping foot ,or a certain type of sigh or a look so as I could attempt to diffuse a situation before it happened. Now I’ve always been naturally dozy I confess but I also worked out with the help of my therapist that actually ,now away from that situation I’ve learned to relax , no need for hypervigalence . I’m comfy and have gradually relaxed …. I’ve relaxed …a lot , possibly too much!

I need patience when I over think and am mentally already dealing with a situation that hasn’t even happened.

I need patience when my brain melts at emotional intimacy. That the L word is not in my vocab. That I’m getting better at hugs , but ON MY TERMS!

I need the patience and constantly. I’ve been around people who’ve understood for a short while but then become frustrated and irritated and then that’s me done really. Shut down. Closed for business. Emotional attachment done with. I know it’s irrational but this is why the inner circle is so small I guess.

It once took me knowing someone 2 years to go on a first date. 2 years!!! I didn’t fully realise back then but I absolutely needed that time of consistent words and actions. I needed to know this wasn’t someone who would change goalposts or be a different person from one day to the next. I know it must seem nuts to most but it was necessary for me. Bloody hell dating me you have to work at Kelly pace , kind of like snails pace but a thousand times slower.

I’m healed , I’m strong but I still need that element of patience in people I am close to.

I do so appreciate how my amazing family and lovely friends ARE patient with my flakey , indecisive tendencies I really do! I’ve so much adoration for people who stayed the distance. Honestly , if I used the L word I’d declare it now but small steps eh??

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Calling 2017 me ??? Please come back! 

If you read my blog from time to time you’ll have read me going on ….and on …and on… about how 2017 was a great year for me ,on a personal level . I ended the year on a high. I felt I was getting to know myself a bit better and more importantly I was finally at ease with who I was as a person. The voices that have echoed in my brain for so long after toxic relationships that told me I was stupid , and unloveable and ugly and boring? I was able to quieten them easily as I’d finally  gotten to a stage where I genuinely didn’t believe them to be true. 

I’d dismantled the KEEP OUT tower I’d built around myself in order to keep people away (I wrote about that here ) and realised that actually I do like people , I do like socialising . I still value my own space and company and my solo dates but I like being around other people too.

So all these big progressions were made last year , the Eureka moment of spending some time alone at Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a huge highlight in overcoming my negative demons and all in all I finally felt like I was getting to grips with ‘me’ . Not mummy , not mum but Kelly . My children are getting older now and sometimes I feel not quite as necessary as once I was and had begun to wonder who I am when I’m not mum. I started to find her last year.

2018 what have you done with Miss motivated??? Is she on holiday? Ran away to the circus? Took this finding herself stuff too far and at a silent retreat somewhere? Mmmmm……silence…..

I don’t know why but that woman who was gonna smash the life out of life seems to have retreated. 2018 has been on the whole a little flat , unmotivated and the discovering and working on myself thing that was so important to a positive year last year has gone.

Well this is the call to arms. I want her back. I want her to continue this journey. You know what we need for that? A list!

So last year to begin all the ‘finding myself’ ( am rolling my eyes as I type this feeling like a self indulgent loser – but I promise I’m not ignoring the kids ) Bloody hell I’m a mum , discovering yourself is a thing you can only fit in when they’ve ditched you for grandma’s house! I came up with a list of things I wanted to do before the year was up. I don’t have one this year , and I’m motivated by lists ,they’re my thing. So here’s this year’s to provide a kick up the arse.

Keep writing the book.

Again mum guilt makes me feel bad here . How dare I spend time doing something I want to do? You know what though , it’s that or Celebs go Dating so this is probably less harmful. The Book is something that’s been on the go a while but with 4 kids will be a slow process. I just need to keep at it and not let it slide.

Go to Edinburgh festival again

Revisit the spot of my victory!!! In a total out of comfort zone thing though not alone , not semi alone , not alone at all! (Sssshhh with a  man!!!eeeeekkkk) Scary and intriguing and exciting. Most of all very very exciting.

Stand up for what I believe in

I’ve spoken here on this blog about my respect and awe for our young people right now . That they are trying to make changes and get stuff done. Well that’s well and good but what am I doing to make a difference? Sitting on a sofa and applauding them? Nowhere near good enough. On the centenary of some women getting the vote I think the phrase “deeds not words” is very appropriate . 

Give my blog some love

My blog is no big hitter in the world of blogs , but it has grown lately and is growing. I had vowed to myself that I’d go self hosted before LAST years BlogOn but I’m such a coward I’ve not yet managed it . This year though….for definite.

Go to a dance class

I’d been toying with the idea as a bit of exercise and after doing some research there are loads of options for a total beginner with 2 left feet like me – watch out Strictly. 

So there we are ,the 2018 list. 

I actually feel more motivated just for writing it down you know , told you lists rock!!
I’ll (like it or not ) let you know how I get on!!


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Not Just the 3 of Us

It’s not just ‘the school run ‘….

I moan about the school run , quite a lot.

I moan we live so far from school when there’s a lovely one virtually in our back yard . When we first came here I started the big ones there and everyone settled so well I couldn’t stand to move them when we began to live further away. So for 10 years almost we’ve been getting the train , then doing the 20 minute walk to school. In the winter I really moan. When the train is crowded or late or cancelled I grumble .

The last few weeks though ,there’s been a realisation that time is ticking on our school run together. One day it’ll no longer be part of our routine .

You see I realise that the school run isn’t ‘just ‘ the school run.

It’s the only time of day that it’s just me and small girl and she has my total undivided attention.A rarity with 3 siblings.

It’s the time of day she leaps and twirls ands bounds with total abandonment , a freedom she has that she is oblivion what anyone else around her may think of the girl dancing her way to school.

It’s the time she practices being other animals ‘just in case ‘ We read AniMalcolm recently , I blame that.

It’s the time we make plans for the next day , or week or school holidays.

It’s the time she invents recipes to make when she gets home.

It’s the time she fills me in on what she’s been up to at daddy’s when she’s away from me .

It’s the time she tells me if she’s fallen out with friends and is feeling lonely or upset.

It’s the time I tell her stories about when I was at primary school.

It’s the time we sometimes hold hands ,something which has become less and less something we do.
It’s the time she loves her current book so much she’s reading on the train , stood up on the train platform she’s so engrossed and I giggle at my cute little bookworm

It’s the time we discuss our disagreements when mummy has been snappy mummy during the morning chaos when she’s asked a dozen times to “please put on your tights”

It’s the time we then hug out those disagreements and I buy guilt pain au chocolates …..what a sucker !

It’s the time that not only does she have my full attention but I have hers and that’s such a precious gift.

I’m going to stop whining about the school (or try certainly) and be grateful for those moments that start and end her school day. That we enjoy one another company and have conversations that I am certain I would not have with any other person in the world.

The clock is ticking .

1 year and  and counting…

Then there’ll be no school run , no sneaky hugs and random school run chats .

I’m going to miss them.

 

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Dear unsolicited advice givers ….you were wrong!

Once upon a time in the distant past that feels a million years ago but also almost like yesterday I was the mum of 3 children under 3 (3 under 2 and a half if I want to sound extra crazy)

The problem with having babies out in public is people feel obliged to hand out advice . To give their opinion on child rearing , specifically on how you should bring up your child . These are strangers I must stress who have no more emotional ties than happening to plonk their arse down next to you on the bus that day or sit on the next table to you in a cafe.

Not only was I there with ALL the babies , I was young when I had the big three and that made folk think their advice was even more necessary.

Advice when asked for is a wonderful thing because you can choose who you ask. You can decide who in your life may be wise , experienced and non judgemental enough to help you out.

Unsolicited advice though , especially to me rocking about like the Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe never went down well. So I just thought I’d update some of those pearls of wisdom that were given to me and maybe even reassure a few of you that it’ll all be ok (without giving unsolicited,preachy advice of course)

“he /she will NEVER give that dummy up”

Glorious first born never had a dummy. Back then I had more idealism that experience and thought them the work of the devil.

Then came child two , the hungriest baby that ever did live . A Velcro baby who just loved comfy cosy sooooo much. He bloody loved his dummy , more than he loved his family , life itself but probably not more than he loved porridge!!!

However advice givers , of which there were many , he is now 16 and oddly doesn’t have a dummy now . Nor do his younger siblings . They gave them up way before school without really too much heartache!!!

” You’ll have to potty train early with 3 little ones or you’ll be nappy changing forever”

I can see the thought behind the particular gem. 3 babies means lots of nappies and who wants to be dealing with other people’s bodily fluids for the rest of their lives ??? However potty training is a total pain in the arse. It took a few false attempts with glorious first born and I decided balls to early potty training , it’d be best waiting till they could talk and tell me they need to go !!! When I say talk I don’t mean “oh dearest mummy , be a lamb and get me to the lavatory would you , and fetch a wipe and none of those cheap ones , they make one’s bottom awfully sore”

I mean more grunting and pointing. So late potty training was our thing ….BUT at 17,16,15 and 10 everyone can toilet independently , and could before school. (The unsolicited advice givers are obsessed with how all kids ‘these days ‘ turn up to school with nappies and dummies )

“Don’t cuddle them to sleep. They’ll NEVER learn to self settle”

I loved the fact the babies fell asleep snuggled up with me . It was lovely and sweet . Well except eldest girl who didn’t really care for human interaction and much preferred independent life from being virtually new born.

These children were going to grow up damaged adults what with letting them fall asleep on me WHAT ABOUT WHEN THEY ARE MARRIED!!!! The people worrying about a six month old nodding off on his mummy would cry. Now I’m sure you are a childcare expert oh wise stranger , however I reckon if he still needs his mum to settle him to sleep when he’s 30 there’s gonna be no one wanting to marry him!!

No-one needs to fall asleep on my lap these days ,it’s all fine. Small girl does when I’m turning out her bedroom light occasionally ask “fancy a cuddle” which I’ll never resist but am always chucked out of her bed for being too big after roughly 2.5 seconds so I dont think she’s traumatised.

“Don’t over praise them”

This one is not so much random strangers giving unsolicited advice , but newspaper articles and magazines. We’re bringing up a generation of children who expect a well done for carrying out the simplest of tasks …so spoilt with parental praise they’ll never be fit for the work place…or adult life !

This in my opinion is utter balls!!

I’ll never not praise the kids. They know I think they are the best humans on the planet , but they’re not expecting the rest of the world to get on their knees and sing songs filled with praise to them and be memorised by their awesomeness. I however , always will (except the singing bit -the teens don’t like that)

“People shouldn’t bring children into this terrible world”

THIS comment was THE one , the one that I as a relatively placid person could easily lose my shit about. That a hormonal ,sleep deprived woman with a double buggy and a baby strapped to her chest could have a full blown breakdown about.

It still makes me angry now to think of it.

Yes the world is undoubtedly not in great shape right now . I’m not sure what kinda state it was in in the early 2000s when these guys were born because I wasn’t sleeping!!!

The world now is a negative scary place at the minute but I would never think to tell anyone not to bring babies into it ! The future has to be hope , or what ? We just shut up the planet and label it a bad job . I wrote just last week about how the teenagers and young people of the world fill me full of hope ,just here .

So I’ll stick with what was always my response to the old ladies telling me I shouldn’t have brought children into this awful world.

Maybe we need them to make it better.

So parents of the world who worry about dummies and picky eaters and toilet training and hitting milestones late and co sleeping and velcro babies . Who are bombarded with advice without asking for it ? Well….. I’m not going to give unsolicited advice here, not me , no way…..all I’ll say is this …

There are 4 older kids in this house and not a dummy , nappy or bottle to be seen!!
I’m taking part in the Mummy Monday linky with Becca from Becca Blogs It Out

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If Mother’s Day makes you miserable…

Mother’s Day for me is as much as a downer as Valentines Day , and that is saying something.

 

 

I don’t have a mum. She died almost 19 years ago. Before I was really a grown up , before I was a mum myself . I haven’t had a mum for a long time and I’m no longer grief stricken in that all encompassing , consuming way that fresh bereavement brings with it. I don’t have parents , that’s been part of my life for a very long time. I don’t weep everytime I think of it or flinch from talking about them.

 

 

Mother’s Day though that always feel like a bit of a stomach punch for me . It hits hard and it hurts and it lingers . I think it’s because it is everywhere. I have had emails everyday for about 3 weeks telling me to treat mum , buy her something special. TV ads are there too telling me to spoil my mum , get her a cute personalised card , take her out for dinner. Well you know what advertisers ? I’d love to. I’d be delighted to be able to take my mam out for dinner somewhere fancy , I never ever got to do that you see. I’d only just finished my A levels when my mum died . I wish with all my might that tomorrow we could do a lovely Sunday lunch , my mam and my children , my sister and hers . I wish we could have one of those days the advertisers are shoving down our throats. I wish I could spoil her – only present I can remember getting her was a pack of dusters when I was about 7 because she’d been saying she needed new ones ( I’d like to think that my gift giving skills have improved since then)

 

 

Mother’s Day without a mum sucks , I’ve seen a few other people mention they feel the same over the past week or so on social media . I suppose it’s just because we are bombarded with what we are missing . Highlights the hole in your life.

 

 

 

It’s not just the lack of a mum that gives me the Mothers Day angst.

 

 

I’m a single mum too , again I have been for a long while . There is no other adult here to give me a well done or make me feel special and that’s a bit of a niggle too. The kids will ( I hope ) have made cards and small girl’s daddy will have gotten a gift for them to give me and we’ll have a lovely tea and possibly a Mothers Day disco if we’re feeling that way inclined . It just all leaves me really flat and exhausted. A total fake of a day. That in itself makes me feel guilty , surely Mother’s Day should be spent dwelling on how bloody lucky I am to have these 4 amazing nutcases in my life. Instead I’ll be feigning happiness and joy that simply is stripped away from me on Mothers Day. I know that feeling this way stems from the toxic relationship I was in when I was first a mum and for the years after. Some of you may unfortunately know that big days and events that aren’t focussed on the perpetrator in those kind of relationships can be horrific. Kids birthdays , Christmasses well they were volatile enough but Mother’s Day ???Whole other level. You may be showered with expensive gifts in front of people to have them smashed to bits when you’re alone or you could be told that you’re too much of a shit mum to get a card on Mother’s Day . You don’t deserve it .

I think this is one of my few remaining hang ups left over from those times . Maybe I’d have conquered it with setting our own traditions and taking back Mothers Day like I have so much other stuff but the thing with it is I already feel like the wind has been taken out of my sails with not having a mum and I don’t really have the energy to fight THIS added problem that kills Mother’s Day stone dead for me .

 

 

I didn’t intend to make all this about me honestly. As I say often my blog is therapeutic and getting thoughts out of my head into words on a page really helps me understand myself and my thinking better. I don’t resent other people having the worlds best day I feel obliged to say . I love seeing the happy pics on social media of mums with their feet up , having breakfast in bed . I love to see amazing mums thanked and celebrated , they bloody deserve it ! Tell me stories of your mums and how they are absolute rocks ! I don’t scroll through social media cursing those celebrating the day I promise ( possibly DO do that on Valentine’s Day)

 

 

 

 

There are many of us though, for whom Mother’s Day is painful .

There are a multitude of reasons why .

It could be that you’re not a mum when that’s all you want in the world , that must be almost unbearably hard.

Maybe you’ve lost a child , that would be a traumatic thing to deal with on a day celebrating mothers. I can offer no words of comfort there because I’m almost sure there are none.

Maybe you have an ill child , are ill yourself , have an ill mum and are dealing with just try to get through a day.

Maybe Mother’s Day triggers poor mental health , I’ve certainly been feeling as though an anxiety flare up could be on the horizon.

Maybe you are in an abusive relationship. Forcedly estranged from your mum and other family , feeling so alone and trapped . Told what a terrible mother and person you are , that you’re pathetic and useless , that your kids would be better off in care than with you. To you women let me just say this , you are outstanding , you are doing an amazing job in intolerable circumstances and you deserve to be free. You are worthy of love and of kindness , you are worthy of being supported and empowered not kept down and silenced . When the day comes that you are able to leave , all these things will find their way to you because it’s no less than you deserve.

 

Maybe you don’t have your children with you this mother’s day for one reason or another and there is a painful void .

 

 

I don’t have the answers on how to make this day more tolerable , bloody hell I’m here writing a blog post that is basically one long whinge.

 

 

All I can offer is that Mother’s Day is just one day . That’s my mantra . Just one day . The next day will be better , less pressured . Surround yourself with people who lessen your pain if you at all possibly can. Fill your own little world with people who make you feel better , even if that just means spending time alone. Me ? I will be having a day with these awesome individuals that make me realise that even the shittiest days can be tolerated. I’ll also be tossing about on social media as per usual so if anyone wants to chat I’ll be around . Whether that’s because you are struggling or you just want a distraction and fancy chatting about trash tv I am your girl ( The seven year switch eh??….looks to be a cracker!! How about Richard from married at first sight??….sorry I digress…)

 

See you on the other side!!

 

 

 

 

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The teens have got this

Teenagers get a bad press. 

Have had since the dawn of time. 

Thugs , hooded louts who roam the streets terrorising us in their packs, off their faces on legal highs???

I don’t recognise those ones though . I’m the mum of 3 teenagers and I’m offended on their behalves by lazy stereotypes and negativity. Course there will be horrid teens ….but there are horrid people my age too but I don’t think I can be judged by their behaviours! I’m a single mum so pigeon holes rub me up the wrong way as it is but I certainly think our teenagers deserve much more credit.

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a wave of teen activism which is way more familiar to me as the kind of teenagers I know . The bravery of young women speaking out against sexual harassment as part of the #metoo movement. Reclaim the Night here in Manchester hugely driven by the Student Union. These I can identify with as the work of teenagers rather than those anti social grunters , succumbing to rickets due to lack of daylight and screen addiction (though even I had to admit to being at least on nodding terms with those guys too on occasion!)

On the wake of yet another school shooting in the US we have seen a group of people rise. To take on the NRA and the gun entitled of America. A group of people so very passionate about protecting kids in school. A group not wanting to fight gun crime with more guns but less.

This group are not the parents of children fighting to keep them safe , not the grandparents saying enough is enough , too many children have gone to school never to come home. This group , being loud , being vocal , being heard are the kids themselves . The ones who have seen their friends gunned down ,who have been wounded themselves.

Emma Gonzalez has become the face of these people. An intelligent , articulate,passionate  young woman  . Watching her speech gave me hope ,it’s here if you missed it.

This woman is taking on a president who wants to arm teachers , she’s taking on a mindset that puts the right to own a gun over the right for people not to be shot. The movement “We call BS” is formed and these young people want to be heard.

They’re belittled of course , you can’t stop these shootings .You’ll never see gun control in the US , hush with the youthful optimism and just accept the status quo.

Thankfully they’re not listening .

Femi Oluwole is a UK activist , co founder of the ‘Our future , Our choice ‘ movement. An anti Brexit group passionate about the fact that young people voted heavily to remain , the thinking behind the campaign being that in the 20 , 30 years it’ll take to fully see Brexit , make our own laws ,secure trade deals that Brexit will no longer represent the will of the people.

I won’t get into the argument behind this or Brexit at all here . What does make me happy is young people sticking their head above the parapet and demanding to be listened to.

Teenagers are hushed often , told their views are invalid as they don’t know much. The young people in America standing up against the NRA have been mocked , have been accused of being actors in a bid to silence them . Femi Oluwole has been shouted down by middle aged presenters who are supposedly interviewing him. I just hear a big hush , a ‘sit down and shut up ‘ when young people articulate themselves.

The thing is though. You can’t silence young people in 2018. Our teenagers use social media like we do oxygen. They can mobilise an army of like minded individuals with one tweet. They can and they will make themselves heard and I for one want to listen. I want to hear their thoughts on their futures , I want passionate people involved in the shaping of our world. We , as older people , expect to be listened to simply because we’ve been on the planet longer. Though looking at it from a young person’s eyes we picked Trump , we voted Brexit based on a promise on a bus , we haven’t stood up and spoken out. No wonder they are frustrated.

I saw a tweet from Barack Obama in the wake of the Florida shooting which resonated with me 

Teens – we’ve got your backs .
You’ve got this.


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