Monthly Archives: May 2019

Your shouting voice is now silent

A strange , surreal thing happened to me over the past few weeks.

I realised after leaving a job interview. A job interview where I wasn’t sick with nerves. One in which I think I was chatty and friendly (they may have thought have thought me an idiot ,that’s not really the point)

The point is I went to a job interview.

I only heard one voice before ,during and after. The one that said :

You can do this

You’re a sociable creature

You DO like people

You can make conversation with most people

You’re capable and intelligent

If they don’t like you ,well you don’t want to work with them do you ?

Afterwards the voice , the only voice, I heard was the one saying you did bloody well in there , well done you !

For the record , when I’m talking hearing voices . I don’t mean in a mental health crisis way. I have many mental health niggles but hearing voices isn’t one.

There’s been a voice though . A negative ,mean , bullying one in my head for so many years. One that like one of JK Rowling’s dementors just wants to suck the joy out of anything I do. It wants me to feel stupid and useless and fat and ugly and ridiculous for having any kind of ambitions or dreams or plans.

The voice used to have a body accompanying it. It used to be that of the long , soul destroying abusive relationship. It was his voice. It was very successful too. Over the years ,repeated like a mantra I came to absolutely believe I was pathetic and stupid and worthless. That by having ambitions I was thinking I was better than I was that I had ideas above my station. Don’t worry with words and actions he made sure that any dreams were knocked right out of me . Keep me grounded .

For years I accepted this as my lot . This was my life , I chose it . This was me forever now . The voice didn’t whisper but screamed how I was too stupid and pathetic to ever get out of it . I couldn’t live without him. Who else would want someone as fat and ugly as me ?No one! I should be grateful he did. This scream was so loud no other thoughts could permeate my thinking.

Not for a very long time.

Then I left.

Only I didn’t leave the voice behind . The voice came with me. I’d heard those cruel words so often so long the voice became my voice. Despite being free from abuse I still told MYSELF now his mantra. I was useless , pathetic, thick.

So brainwashed that he no longer had to even put the work in to make me feel crap ,I was doing it all on my own . Any other critical or negative voices along the way were added in to the mix . If other people thought I was rubbish too ,not just the abuser then obviously he was right.

Everything he had said was true .

Your head is such a delicate thing when you’ve been emotionally abused , it’s almost as though you spend your time waiting for someone else to repeat his horrible words so as you can confirm to yourself that you are indeed totally pointless and worthless.

Over the years I’d gotten used the voice. With help though ,and time the voice has been hushed . It was a gentle whisper . It was still very present though, I’m always quick to follow up mistakes I make with “I’m so stupid ” or “sorry I’m a bit rubbish” eager to vocalise my rubbishness (made up word alert!) before anyone else gets the chance to …yes I know I’m stupid no need for you to point it out.

Somehow though , and it must be fairly recently that voice has been silenced . I don’t know when it happened or how it happened. My theory is I make a conscious effort these days to surround myself with positive people , anyone who brings negativity and nothing good into my life had to go. So I now am lucky to have lots of positive voices in my life. Friends , family just good , kind , motivational people and they’ve joined together like a huge choir and drowned out that long lasting dark , mean , ugly voice for once and for all.

As part of the job interview process there was once of those horrific group assessments. Previous me would never have even shown up for that. The thought would have had me so ill I’d not have made it through the door. Being assessed?? Someone actually watching you for how rubbish you were? Absolutely not.

Only without that voice , I was free. I’m a reasonably intelligent woman . I like people (absolute revelation!!!) I gave it a go . It was fine,they liked me enough to give me an interview . I went to an interview , I put myself out there and talked myself up ….to other people and the only voice there was was my inner cheerleader with a big well done .

It’s taken way , way longer than I ever could have expected to get that bullying , cruel voice to pack it’s bags . It’s really gone though . There’s space freed up in this head of mine lately and it’s about time it was filled up with positivity and self belief and that pretty great cheerleader of mine – me !

Oh….and I got the job !


3 Little Buttons

Musings Of A Tired Mummy

Bringing up baby , without your mum.

How gorgeous was it to see Prince Harry’s joyous ,yet shellshocked little face yesterday. Telling the world about his new son and his amazing wife ,pride shining right out of him.

I wondered immediately , as I did about his brother before him , as I do about anyone who brings a baby into the world without their own parents. I wonder if they felt it too?

20 years ago my mum died.

19 years ago….almost to the day my eldest was born. Airy fairy me thinks maybe he was a little gift to me , realistic me is grateful that I had such an amazing distraction from the hideous first anniversary of her death.

The thing is , having a baby without your mum (or dad – or in my case neither parent) is a really strange feeling .

The loss of course ,you feel that. Here’s the next generation . The next hope for your family. In laws beam with pride and fuss and pour love into this tiny little human you’ve grown….you are grateful for that love and affection bestowed upon your baby you really are.

You’re already feeling the but aren’t you? Well here it comes …BUT there is such a huge hole , a huge gap where your parents should be . It’s massive and it feels massive and never before or after have I felt a grief as raw as that.

The other side of the family taking family pictures , telling stories about previous family births and babies . Maybe passing down shawls or other heirlooms. All I can contribute is me . This is where the family ends. There is noone above me . That’s gone. It feels as hard as it sounds. Add post birth hormones into the mix and really , you’re screwed.

It’s not just the loss though , huge as that is.

When I had my son ,I can’t tell you that as soon as our eyes met I fell completely in love . Wasn’t like that for me . When our eyes met I was exhausted , full of gas and air ,sore and traumatised. No room for sentiment.

That gush of love you read about in the books. The one you see in the movies ? Well it took us a couple of days. It came though , hard and strong one night at 3am during a night feed with the 2000 Olympics playing in the background. That sudden realisation….oh wow I would die for you …I would kill for you . Overwhelming in its brutal purity.

The very next thought after this little bombshell for me was ….f**k ….that’s how my parents felt about me ! I mean I knew I was loved …but not like that! I didn’t even know THAT existed.

So there I sat as Linford was being disqualified….weeping over my baby-literally dribbling tears over him (sure I’m not the only one to ever do that!!) Not only about how much I loved him but how much I missed being loved that fiercely.

Another tricky part of not having parents when you have children of your own is advice ? I was the first of my friends to have babies so no one to ask there . Not particularly close to extended family in that way. Was just me ….and him…..and that 3rd person I always turn to in any time of great need .

A book.

That book became my everything,its all I had. I have to say I also had the paternal grandparents of my son. Who were spectacular. Grandma did an amazing job of not sticking her nose in and only really giving advice when asked for . Which as a mum now I am aware must have been so hard and I’m not sure I could do it as well.

I’m not going to sell it as an upside as I’d rather have had living parents and a loving family to help out. However bringing up babies without parents did allow me a bit of freedom. There was noone advising me to do things a certain way because that’s how everyone had always done it . Or we did it like that and you turned out okay.

I found my own way through those early days . Me and my book and my textbook baby (he really was !) My sister was still living at home too so her auntie skills whilst I napped were invaluable!!

We worked it out between us he and I ? How to be a mum , how to be a family .There were times during a horrid bout of colic where I just thought I’d gotten it all wrong . He hated me !

After that though , we worked it out . Teething , weaning , potty training.

I still miss not having grandparents for my children. All the time . School plays and assemblies I feel it hardest. My mum in particular would have loved that . She’d have sobbed along right next to me .

Bringing up baby without your mum is a rollercoaster of grief and emotion .

As the babies grow though, and get older and you can tell them stories about the grandparents they’ll never meet , as you’ve carved your way , as you settle into dynamics it eases slightly. In the tricky way grief does , not completely,not everyday but most of the time.

I’m sure Prince Harry and his lovely new family will manage just fine and well but I’m sure there’ll always be a little thought of the special person missing .