Monthly Archives: October 2019

Damaged Goods

I’ve heard myself described as damaged goods .

More than once . Sometimes to my face. Often as a chinese whisper , occasionally during a spiteful argument .

When I heard it , I felt it .

It’s a phrase meant to make you feel shit. It’s meant to mean unwanted , undesirable. AVOID THIS WOMAN AT ALL COSTS – HER DAMAGE WILL INFECT YOU – DANGER!!

I’m a single mum of 40 , attempting to cling onto sanity who has so many hang ups picked up from abusive and toxic relationships that yes sometimes I can be hard work no I’m not using that phrase , that’s another one thrown at me to keep me in my place .

I’m not sure which of the 3 seems to be the biggest issue to people who want to judge (the sneerers as I like to call them -picturing Cyril Sneer from the racoons -do you remember him?)

(Thats the dude !!!)

Sorry totally distracted ….reasons I’m damaged goods !

Single mum

Yes there is no father in our house , no new partner living here to help pick up the slack. This is a fatherless household and likely always will be now . Does that make me damaged though? Well I guess we need to look at these things from the sneerers prospective … The sneerer would look at my family life I guess and decide that 4 children and not a man in the house for over a decade. Well no one else is going to want her now . Obviously something wrong with her , can’t keep a guy . Poor kids .

Except the thing is we’re a family and we’re beginning to become quite the team. The elder three are at glorious ages where they can help with school runs and make dinner and get themselves up to ensure things can run smoothly here . We’re a team – we do not have an Alpha Male team captain I’m going to give you that one but we really have no place for one !

Mental health issues

My mental health is like a little selection box of problems and quirks.

Anxiety ✔️

Meaning sometimes I avoid humans , sometimes I can’t talk on the phone . Sometimes I’m browsing the bread in Sainsburys and I’m overcome with such dread I feel I’m going to pass out and my face goes numb .

Low mood ✔️

Yep some days I’m so filled with self loathing I can’t even stand myself. Some days a happy song dare come on my playlist and I tell it to f**k off cos I’m too miserable for that (this is a true thing that happened yesterday and I did giggle afterwards at my ridiculous behaviour!)

Some trauma related issue that noone has quite gotten to the bottom of yet ✔️

This is fun this one . Hypervigalence…my goodness forever in fight or flight mode , unable to settle ,forever looking for danger.

Fun anecdote to lighten the mood on this one. The other day a bird flew past and flapped her wings slightly louder and I screamed. Shrieked in the street.

So does all this rendered me damaged ? I prefer quirky myself . Obviously the sneerers would say look at the state of her can’t even answer the phone some days , scared of her own shadow. Who on earth would want that – no one with any sense !

I’m actually quite comfy with my whirling , slightly off normal brain function these days . It was Mental Health awareness day yesterday , I read lots of stories. There are loads of us ! Are we damaged ? Well yeah maybe but we’re bloody strong and tenacious too.

Domestic abuse damage

I’ve gotten over lots of hang ups over the last few years that I was left with after years of abuse .

Once upon a time though I wasn’t me. A decade on happy with how I look and who I am .Once I KNEW I was fat and ugly and useless and the worst mum and thick and pathetic and no wonder I had no friends and everyone definitely laughed at me and thought me just an absolute bloody idiot !

Yes I was damaged by years of abuse and trauma. Yes it was added to by other people’s sneerer types comments.

Ah 2 sides to every story though.

She must have pushed his buttons.

She’d drive anyone to hit her.

Some couples just don’t mix well.

She just likes playing the victim.

No one’s ever going to want her , who’s going to take on all her issues ? No one !!

If you’re reading this and you’ve been through or are going through abuse and have heard any of these statements about yourself let me tell you now it’s bullshit .

They’re phrases that come from best ignorance though usually worse than that.

Usually to keep us quiet ,to silence our voice. I’m just some woman off the internet you don’t have to listen to me but just know these phrases are crap spoken by people who know the grand total of eff all.

So yes ok more damage here . Damage caused by another person. Damage another person or people made the conscious choice to inflict on someone. I think I know who the real danger is in this situation.

Its taken a while but I realised recently that Damaged Goods – that vile phrase definitely says more about the person using it than the person they’re saying it about.

I also realised I’m going to start owning it actually.

When I was a kid my dad worked at a sweet factory (the dream right?) on a Friday he got to bring home sweets they couldn’t sell because they were wonky or misshapen. They didn’t fit the perfect aesthetic the customer was looking for.

To us though they were special treasure that not everyone else was allowed to experience!! They were unique and delicious and when shared with the right people were received with love and appreciation.

That’s me that is !!!

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Blogtober -Day 10 – World Mental Health Day

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober post is for World Mental Health Day. As will many posts you see written today I’m going to guess. It’s probably easy to roll your eyes at all these posts from people telling you what a struggle living with poor mental health is . Or just scroll past more advice telling you to seek help if you feel desperate. It’s probably going to have you sighing at posts such as mine here having to concede that sometimes the exercise and diet advice we receive can help.

I don’t think anyone sharing their story today though is looking to do anything but help. Hoping something in their misery or pain or suffering may resonate with another person. That it might make that person feel less alone .

That the positive stories people tell of being so close to the brink of not being able to take life anymore then still being here , fighting , embracing life could help someone .

The posts telling you that you matter , that the world needs you in it (it does) may just be the one thing a desperate person just needs to contemplate right now .

My mental health is very much a up and down thing. When I’m well it’s great and I am able to do and be so much. I have to accept though that periods of being well probably won’t last forever …that another stumble will come ..that that stumble may turn into a fall. We’ve managed to get back on our feet after every fall so far though. It’s horrific sometimes but we did it . Let’s keep trying to get back up. Even if we have to crawl a bit first , even if we have to let someone else lend a hand to help us up , even if we need carrying for a little while.

It’s so worth it .

I for one when my mental health is poor don’t want rambling nonsense ,my head is busy enough with 4 million thoughts whizzing about. So I’ll just leave links to some of my mental health blog posts below in case they are of any use to anyone .

Wishing everyone a calm , peaceful day and to the people bravely sharing their stories today a huge thank you.

It’s ok to feel crap…..and even more ok to make yourself feel better

Anxiety sucks because…

When grief hits unexpectedly

A light at the end of the tunnel of emotional abuse

Dont ignore the red flags

an A-Z of self care

Celebrating little wins

Being kinder to yourself

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Blogtober – day 9 -letters for world post day

With thanks to Annette at 3 Little Buttons for her blogtober prompts

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober prompt is letters.

It’s a fact about me that I love writing letters !! I love the whole experience finding a nice pen , pretty paper and envelopes , the feeling of putting your thoughts down on paper and physically writing them down. Licking the envelope , placing the stamp in the right place. I find sitting and writing a letter one of the most relaxing things to do.

My letter for today though is a little bit different.

I’m writing myself a little pep talk. In advance. I’m writing this today to publish tomorrow to give myself a talking to should I need it .

I’m back in the family court tomorrow , somewhere I’d hoped I’d seen the back of as the last time was so traumatic for me. However tomorrow I am back again. I obviously won’t go into detail here but let’s just say there are people that being forced to be around just leave me needing that little pep talk .

Dear Kelly ,

Firstly I hope you’ve had breakfast…and water , not tea because it makes you jittery at the best of times. You have ? Well that’s good.

I want you to think back to the first time you did this. When you had to entrust the safety of your children to strangers. When you had to sit in a room with someone who had caused you so much trauma and pain and you were scared. You’d walk in looking at the floor so as not to catch his eye , you’d sit in a corner trembling , trying to take up as little space as possible , trying not to draw attention to yourself. reverting to the behaviour that you used during the years in the abusive relationship. It’s odd how quickly you’d flip straight back to that in his presence.

Well i don’t think you need telling this many years later but I’m going to say it none the less.

We are having none of that today.

It’s head up , stand tall , shoulders back. We don’t do hunching and looking at the ground now . You remember being told how awful your posture was because you’d held yourself that way so long? No more .

I know you’ll feel a bit anxious , that’s normal .We’ll have no trembling though , no vomiting , no feeling like you are going to faint. We’ll have deep breaths and water and concentrating on the job in hand.

On your way put your kickass playlist on your phone. Channel all those women you keep in there for times such as this . Let Beyonce and Pink do their thing until you are striding as though you indeed are Sascha Fierce.

You are strong.

You are capable.

You are able to get through the toughest of times and come out the other side and that is powerful.

You have a crack team of people who are there to give you a little hand up if you stumble , maybe give that sweet boy a text who always has the right words to calm you.

I believe in you .

Don’t forget the breakfast.

Love , Kelly


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Blogtober – day 8 – Make walking to school more fun in October


With thanks to Annette at 3 Little Buttons for her blogtober prompts

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober prompt is making walking to school more fun in October. I am going to veer slightly off the point here but stay with me .

Walking to school is no more in our house. Small girl started high school in September and though sometimes we still catch the bus together , often she wants to walk with her friends or is happy for her siblings to catch the bus with her.

I have moaned about about the school run all the time I’ve been doing it . We moved house away from school so it was always a bit of a trek . a train then a walk from the station. I moaned and grumbled but really deep down a lot of the time it was quite nice (not all the time obviously we’re not the Waltons!)

With 4 children that golden one on one time can be tricky to grab hold of and me and small girl’s journey to school was it !!

If she was tired or grumbly then she did need distracting on the walk from the station to school – see I did promise I’d come back to the point. So the only way I could think of during these times to make the walk more fun was simply chat. Small girl is a chatterbox anyway so getting her talking distracted her from the walk.

When she was much younger our school run chat often centred round her funny little questions that she’d ask. My favourite to date was “what is your favourite word to write in joined up writing ?” It got me thinking more than I expected I can tell you !

We made grand plans on our school run , but at this time of the year there was soooo much we could chat about. What was she going to dress up as for Halloween , what should we do for Bonfire Night and then the big one ….Christmas!! we could happily chat about Christmas from September onwards . Food and films and panto and all the other exciting things we had coming up!

I’m sure there are other things that would work better on an autumn school run to make it fun!! For me and small girl though it was simply always about the chat!!

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Blogtober – Day 4 – 5 things that make you smile

With thanks to Annette at 3 Little Buttons for her blogtober prompts

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober prompt is 5 things that make you smile in honour of national smile day! I am a big smiler , I love to see other people smiling too and how lovely is the feeling of making someone else smile ?

Going ‘home’

I’ve been away from Hull for more than a decade now but I get this feeling when I go back. As soon as the train passes through Brough I get excited , I’m nearly home. I always tell people this and they probably think me nuts but when I step down from the platform from the train and see the Welcome to Hull sign I grin like a Cheshire cat!

Also my sister is there and she is the person who makes me smile more than any other person in the world. Although that’s more of a giggle , hysterical laughing and guffawing than a simple smile. Honking my nephew calls my Hull laugh!! Really my family are hilarious! I think so anyway, you might not think so they are an acquired taste but they definitely,definitely make me smile . A lot .

The kids being nice to each other

Or generally just getting along. The girls having an early night so as they can lay in bed and gossip.and chat . The boys ‘mental away days’ following Stockport County to bizarre places .

I came upstairs the other night to find teen boy the younger teaching small girl how to change a duvet cover. ..please teach me next?

When the big 3 were little it was a kind of bickerfest . With me gritting my teeth , remembering my sister and I used to be the same and now she is my fave person. I’d just hope that when they got older they’d get along and be friends and (for the most part) now they are.

Receiving sweet texts

I’m almost 40 ….yet you can see me grinning at my phone like a loon from time to time when the exceptionally handsome man in my life has his charming pants on.

It’s a bit nuts having a teenage like crush at my age but as I never bothered with them as an actual teen I’m allowed this one ? Owed a bit of lovehearts for eyes syndrome ?

Also , it’s so much fun and makes me the smiliest !!

Finding the perfect gift

I always claim to have 2 skills in life :

I make an amazing pie and I am good at finding presents .

If you like you can down grade my pie making abilities but present finding is something I love.

You know when you’re in a shop or just browsing online and you see something you just know someone else will love , and how that will make them smile ?? Amazing feeling !

A good Sunday Roast

You knew food of some kind was going to make this list right?

Can anything beat a really good roast though? When the roast potatoes (the most important part of any Sunday roast and what I will judge you on if I come to your house for dinner) have a crunch but are perfectly fluffy inside. When your Yorkshire Puddings rise perfectly , your veg is cooked to perfection and your gravy the perfect thickness……now THAT is worth a smile !!

Awwww now I’m hungry….smiling though.

Hope there is lots for you to smile about this #nationalsmileday

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Blogtober – day 3 -Share a poem for poetry day

With thanks to Annette at 3 Little Buttons for her blogtober prompts

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober prompt is share a poem.

I really should have tried to write a poem. That really would have been a creative challenge for me I don’t think I’ve written poems since school , which is a shame really as I do love poetry. I shall write a poem’s on the to do list and now I’ve told you guys I have to do it.

For now let me share a poem with you from the super talented Holly McNish about parenthood , and timely again for a woman trying to work out who she is when not mum …about precisely that , how we lose our own identity for a while.

Hope you enjoy

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Blogtober – Day 2 – Bucket list

With thanks to Annette at 3 Little Buttons for her blogtober prompts

I am taking part in blogtober and attempting to blog every day this month. Today’s Blogtober prompt is Bucket List.

This is a timely one for me as I’m going through a transformative phase with the blog . Sort of going from parenting blog to …what do I do now they’re growing up and who am I when I’m not mum blog.

Maybe need a snappier title.

I wrote this week about approaching 40 and how I’m looking forward to it. I know there are many lists out there of things to do before you’re 40. I started reading them LAST birthday and wrote all about how I didnt think I was capable so I’m not going to go on about all the stuff I have roughly 10 weeks to do .

I have a different kind of a plan for 40.

40 is when it all begins for me right?

The kids are older . I have this weird thing called free time now . I need to start using it to discover the answer to the old Who Am I? conundrum.

So instead of a bucket list of things to do before 40 , I have a few things I want to do WHEN I am 40 , after I’ve turned 40 . Less time pressure and more focus on a bit of good old self discovery.

I’ll share a few :

Run a marathon

This was something eldest and I discussed years ago . One day we’d love to run a marathon,just to say we had. I think in my head back then it had to be London , but tricky to get a place so currently in my head it’ll be Manchester next April. If the body complies or not is a whole other thing.

Give something back

When I left the abusive relationship I was lost and scared and supremely overwhelmed. I talk often on my blog about The Freedom Programme and how doing that course saved me . Next year and for the foreseeable really I’d like to give more women the chance to do this so maybe raising money for the womens centre where I did it could help that , and I guess I could combine that with the marathon running.

Finish the book

Been writing a book all my life I think!

One is coming together nicely but I do need to dedicate time to it to try and pull it all together and I suppose see if it’s even any good or not . Some of this free time I talk of definitely needs to be sent the books way.

Visit new places

I’ve been nowhere . Seen nothing . I had babies in my 20’s and grand plans were on the back burner a while . Doing some exploring in my 40’s has been in The Plan for a while now and I am really excited about this one .

Learn something new

I absolutely bloody adored school. I loved learning . I’d very much like to go back to college and learn something new. Conversational French for the European adventures maybe ,an actual writing class to pull along this book?! I don’t know yet but think the brain could do with a new challenge!

So there we are some of the things on my when I’m 40 bucketlist ! Can’t wait to get cracking!!

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Blogtober : Day 1 – All about me

This year I’m joining in with #blogtober and attempting to blog everyday this month working around prompts to try and get the brain ticking and the creativity flowing !! Good luck me!!

Today’s theme is all about me which is pretty timely at the moment as I’m in a bit of a phase of trying to work out who I really am now the kids are getting less dependent I’m not entirely sure who I am beyond mum ….but I hope to find out .

In the meantime I thought I’d give you 10 facts about me for people who’ve not read the blog before !!!

1) I’m a single mum with four children. With only 2.5 years between the elder 3 . I’m not entirely sure how I coped with the baby days but now they’re 11, 16, 17 and 19 everyone gets a lot more sleep!!

2) I started blogging to document life after abuse .

I hoped to be able to write relatable posts that might help people .

Over the past few years though it’s evolved to me talking about whatever pops up in my head covering feminism ,single parenting , mental health , parenting older kids , approaching 40 and still banging on about domestic abuse.

3) I like dates for one !

I am often found out for out for dinner or at the cinema or theatre alone .

I really love it !

4) I have a fish phobia

It extends to swimmy ones *vomits* and ones served on plates and honestly if I even manage to make the kids fish fingers I have to decontaminate the oven and every plate that has been touched and really contemplate finding new children that hate fish .

5) I’m theatre mad

I love the theatre so much . I’m lucky living in Manchester as there are loads of gorgeous little theatres here as well as the bigger ones.

The highlight of my year is going to Edinburgh Fringe Festival and having days and days of non stop theatre. It’s very good for my soul.

6) I have very strange crushes

I like to think that I’m just not shallow as opposed to just weird . When I crush I crush hard , it’s all encompassing (I know I’m nearly 40!!!)

Past Kelly crushes have included Chris Evans (ginger not Hollywood) Andy Murray *swoon* and Peter Capaldi and the current apple of my eye is the speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

7) I am from Hull. Greatest city in the land.

I moved away from home over a decade ago after leaving an abusive relationship and I miss it often.

It’s the best , with it’s very big bridge and very small window. Cream phone boxes and chip spice .

Also home to the best , most friendly people I’ve ever known .

8) I’m a huge bookworm

Reading is just my greatest pleasure. Finding a good book just lifts my soul ! I do probably go on a bit on social media about what books I’m reading but I often find new books from other people sharing on social media so just trying to help.

9) I love Doctor Who

Never would have seen it I don’t think had I not had kids but thought they might like it , which they did and I fell in love too . If ever I have spare time I’ll put on some Who. If I’m having a bad day I’ll put it on and it is the ultimate for a good old therapeutic weep !!

10) I overuse exclamation marks!

As you’ve probably noticed.

I know it’s annoying but it’s like a compulsion. I did read that Donald Trump does it too though so that can’t be good . Must work on this one .

So that’s me Kelly from Daydreams of a Mum.

Happy Blogtober!

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