Tag Archives: domestic abuse

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!!





My Facebook page is here


I found myself !!(in a theatre in Edinburgh)

Ok , I’ll level with you here. This is going to be a bit of an egocentric post. It’s probably going to also read like an X Factor sob story! Talk of a journey and everything!! Flying Without Wings should really be playing in the background!!….. I’ll keep it short??Deal???


Almost a decade ago when we moved away from home to a brand new city I was a much different woman to the one I am now. Iwas anxious and scared and damaged , I had not a clue who I was. Over the years I’ve ploughed my time into the obvious child rearing. I’d brought them across here , least I could do is to ensure they are happy and settled (turns out children are very adaptable )

Then I had a little wobble about how the kids were getting older and didn’t need me anymore and who am I? if they don’t need me?

I wrote an identity crisis bucket list , things I wanted to do because I loved them. To try to ‘find myself’ (urgh I know, so sorry did warn you of x factor speak …though I did also say I’d keep it short I guess!)
On the list was Edinburgh Festival. Something I’d always fancied. A whole weekend of theatre ….sign me up!!
When I was alone on my trip was when I realised. I needed to prove myself to myself of all people.

I’ve shaken off negative words from toxic relationships. I no longer believe it all to be true. I also no longer believe I am worthless and the worst mum. I don’t believe people cringe when I speak and I bore everyone.

I’m not bluffing either. I don’t believe those things about myself anymore.

Yet here’s the thing. Up until this weekend I did expect that was how I was seen by others. I did worry my chat bored people silly and they found me dull and boring.That I was just that mum with a load of kids in other people’s eyes.

I spoke to so many different people last weekend though , men ,women all different ages and that worry that I was dull and had nothing to contribute never crossed my mind once.

Then I realised, THIS is me. That real me I’d been searching for. I’m sociable and chatty and friendly. I’m not anxious about chatting to strangers ,I like it. I’m the woman absolutely in her element in a gorgeous city with lovely people with wall to wall to theatre.

That’s me

I quite like her

My Facebook page is here











She’s off on her soapbox again…

I am too.
I’m just so sickened and furious I can’t possibly not climb onto my soapbox. So forgive this long, rant post.
We currently live in a society where Tax Credits will only be paid for the first two children. I have thoughts on how we can meander into effectively being a 2 child state but they’re for another blog. I am aware that the welfare state is under excruciating pressure and that cuts have to come, again I’ve thoughts on why the cuts have to come from the poorest rather than the richest but again whole other blog post.
The one exemption to the 2 child law that is in place is if a third or subsequent child is “conceived as a result of rape or an otherwise coercive relationship”

All you have to do is fill in form NCC1 4/17 (an 8 page long document) to be assessed as to whether your rape counts or not.

Simple eh?

Nothing for you ladies to get your knickers in a twist about. The government are merely making sure they put a end to all those hoards of women getting themselves pregnant for benefits and one of those massive mansions some channel 5 documentary shows us they all live in.

I find this law abhorrent enough as it is. I can imagine many women having to struggle financially rather than go through the humiliation and reliving of a hugely traumatic event filling in the rape form then having to discuss it again with a third party.

The law itself isn’t what has me seething though (well it does but it seems I can get to a higher seething level). My issue here is that whoever dreamt up this Victorian, barbaric law and every person who signed it off along the way know nothing about domestic abuse and less than nothing about coercive control.

The thing that jumped out at me was that women still living with the father of children born through rape or in a coercive relationship are not allowed to claim this support.

So here we are at the first ridiculous notion. That if you are in an abusive relationship which, as they often do, include sexual abuse you are able to just pack up and leave. Now  even without taking into account the slashing of funding for women’s refuges, making it harder for those who are able to leave, there’s the simple fact that many women in abusive relationships can’t just leave. 

Then we get to rape in relationships. The people who dreamt up this law are obviously those who are experts in how rape happens. They clearly think it’s exclusively something that only happens in dark alleys, by big scary monsters of men who attack strangers.

Rape doesn’t always happen in badly lit streets after dark. Sometimes it happens in a comfy bed, in her own home, by the man she loves.

Keep in mind too that a tactic abusive men use too is to keep a woman pregnant. Ensure she’s stuck in the house. Often she’s denied access to contraception as she’s not allowed solo doctors visits.

So the people at the top who make these laws. Well you’re doing the work of the abusive man for him here. You’re telling these women that you can’t be raped if you live with someone (he’s probably been telling her that for years) Then when he does impregnate her without her consent she’s going to struggle financially, trapping her further. Well done decision makers. Research a project called The Freedom Programme they’ve helped many a woman get to grips with their own abuse. I’m sure a little read could educate even the most ignorant.

The rape clause also tells us that children conceived as a result of a coercive relationship are also exempt from the 2 child policy.
Except again this women have to have left to count.

Sigh. .. .
Coercive control in its nature begins  so subtly women often don’t realise it’s even happening until it’s too late. 
I can envisage many a scenario where coercive control in a relationship would result in pregnancy.
It’s the man telling his partner if she truly loved him she’d have a baby despite her not wanting one , after all doesn’t he live with the kids she already has by some other guy?
It’s the woman accused of having an affair because she doesn’t want to have sex. She knows from past history that line of questioning will likely end in violence so she lays and doesn’t protest whilst he has sex with her.
It’s the exhausted brand new mum, newborn by her bed whose partner is so jealous of all the attention she’s giving her baby. She’s sore, she’s exhausted, she certainly doesn’t want to participate but she’s told to just lay still and quiet so as not to wake the baby.

I could go on, but I’ve probably gone on enough. I just can’t understand the mentality behind this law in a country that considers itself forward thinking and free and fair.
I’m at a loss as to what I can do as a woman living in a country where the government shows such disdain for women’s rights and such a misunderstanding (or maybe a choice not to understand) how abuse works.

I fear what comes next.

There’s a petition here against the cuts if you feel like I do. 100,000 signatures means this must be debated in parliament

My Facebook page is here



          The Tale of Mummyhood


RIP Ice Queen.. It’s been (not at all) emotional 

I wrote a while back about how I identify with Elsa  from Frozen more than probably any other character (says a lot about a person I guess) it’s here if you fancy a read. I’ve always had a tendency to keep people at a distance and struggled with expressing my emotions.

Recently though things have changed a little. I think I’m thawing.

There are a few reasons for this and it seems as though they’ve all come together at the same time to make me me a little warmer and more able to deal with and express my emotions (about time too!)

Firstly this blog has helped enormously. When you’re putting yourself out there, even if it’s just to a few people, and sharing your feelings it does lower the barriers.
When I’m talking about the domestic abuse or sharing my struggles with anxiety, things I never dreamt I’d be able to talk about well that’s expressing my emotions isn’t it? It’s Pandora’s Box – like, once these things are out there there’s no putting them back in. I can’t regress to total emotionally uptight woman who can’t talk feelings.

Secondly, I’ve spoken on this blog more recently about how I feel a stronger, more mentally healthy woman than I have in a long time. It’s taken way longer than I expected to recover from toxic relationships but I’m finally here at the other side. Of course there’ll always be triggers, I’ll always have altered behaviours, there’ll always be memories that affect me. I’ve made peace with that now though. We’re changed by our experiences but I’m OK with that. I can be happy with the me I am now.

Another huge factor in shaking off the Ice Queen mentality is that my social anxiety has lessened. In fact I’d go as far as to say this is the major factor.

I’ve struggled with people for a long time. A throwback to feeling worthless and useless all the time.

I have lovely friends who I miss but never arrange to see, I made conscious effort to not make new friends, I back away from social occasions. It comes across as rude which makes me feel worse and ratchets up the anxiety yet further.

It was never about other people. It was about me. That I felt I had nothing to contribute to conversation, that I irritated people, that I bored people, that no one wanted me around they were just being polite.

Recently though I had a weekend home with my sister. It was a weekend filled with people and socialising. Catching up with family, meeting new people, seeing old friends who I’d not seen in way too long ALL my old anxiety triggers in one weekend. You know what? I had the best weekend I’ve had in ages. I like people, I want to connect with them. The Ice Queen woman kept everyone at a safe distance and I never want to do that again.

So all these factors have come together and really helped me to shake off the cold, distant woman I’d put in place.

I’m finally finding my feet and embracing myself (in a non literal way).

Maybe the Ice Queen was necessary for  a while  whilst I figured myself out, whilst I healed.

Maybe this new me isn’t new after all.

Maybe it’s the me I always should’ve been.


The nice guy

I’m not going to lambast Johnny Depp here. I don’t know what went on his marriage. I wrote here how important it is that women who come forward about domestic abuse are believed is.
I’ll say I believe her, and I’ll leave it there.

The thing that’s unsettled me most about the Depp scenario though is twofold. Firstly the horrific manner in which Amber Heard has been treated has triggered a hell of a lot of anxiety for me.
“she must have deserved it”
“those bruises are clearly fake”
“she can’t have been abused, there’s a pic of her smiling the next day ”
All the vileness and disbelief thrown her way took me to a dark place.

The other thing that’s really gotten to me about the whole thing is the number of colleagues and friends coming forward to assert ‘he’d never do this. He’s a nice guy’

Abusive men are usually nice guys. To their friends to their families. To your friends to your families, to you in the beginning.

These men are charmers, sweet talkers, they’re so genuine and caring and loving.

The insidious nature of domestic abuse is what makes it so dangerous and so frightening.

When the ‘nice guy’ asks you to stay in with him rather than go out with your friends, you find it flattering.

When the ‘nice guy’ tells you, you don’t need to wear make up, why don’t you take it off before you leave the house, you’re quite charmed.

When the ‘nice guy’ confides in you that your friends are no good, they all secretly laugh at you and hate you. Tells you that there’s only him who really cares you believe it.

When the ‘nice guy’ kicks you in the face for speaking out of turn he’ll apologise and cry and tell you it’s only because he loves you so much and it wouldn’t have happened at all if you’d just kept quiet. You’re worn down by then, you’re ashamed so you believe him.

When the ‘nice guy’ screams in your face that you can never leave as you can’t cope without him. That no one else will ever want such an ugly, stupid mess. You believe it wholeheartedly.

Then if you’re one of the lucky ones. If you get to leave, if you run away and escape from that torture that was your life. The charm offensive intensifies, towards you at first. Grand gestures, tears, flowers, on his knees begging you to come back. He must note a change though, a look in your eye, a change in your stance, a different tone of voice. He realises his power is waning and has to turn his charm elsewhere.

He’s good at that.

The ‘good guy’ will tell your friends and family he’s concerned about your mental health.

He’s likely put years of background into this to make sure they’ll believe he cares.

The ‘good guy’ will use tears to anyone with authority. The police, the social worker, the court. He’ll break down into heartbroken sobs that his children have been taken away.
He’s a charmer, some people will believe him.

The ‘good guy’ will have told HIS friends and family lies about why you’ve left. They’ll aid his abuse by calling you a liar.

Unfortunately you can’t pick out the abusive man in a crowd.
You can’t say it can’t be true because they’ve always been nice to you, bloody hell abusing their partner is a full time, intensive job, done over months and years they simply don’t have the time to abuse everyone they know.

You can’t say you’ve never witnessed it so it can’t be true. These men aren’t stupid, every action they ever take is planned and thoughtfully carried out.

I know many really good men (well a couple at least) hell I’m trying to raise two. I’m not saying the good guy doesn’t exist. I’m just saying maybe we can be a bit gentler with the women speaking out, doing the bravest thing they’ve ever done.

Abusive men are charming and manipulative, they’re good at it. Maybe we can keep that in mind before we judge.

My Facebook page is here


Dating after toxic relationships

I like being single , I like not having to worry about another adult. Relationships I have been in have always been dysfunctional and toxic and I just don’t have it in me to do that again. I can’t imagine ever being in a serious relationship , I certainly don’t think I could live with anyone again.

Now and again though I do think it’d be nice to have someone special. An actual grown up to spend time with , a bit of affection perhaps even a bit of romance (I know high maintenance eh?!)

The thing is after you’ve been in a toxic relationships, dating is a minefield. There’s so much scope for old anxieties to resurface , to fall back into negative thought patterns. I can only tell my story but there really are a lot of hurdles to overcome.

One of my main problems when I’ve given dating a shot is that it highlights how skewed my view of myself is and how damage done n toxic relationships is still apparent. Compliments are difficult for example. If someone tells me I look nice or I’m funny or anything positive at all I dismiss it instantly. They’re just being polite I think or even worse they’re thinking I look terrible and are having to lie. That’s a really warped thought pattern , I know that. The thing is being told you’re fat and ugly and disgusting everyday for years on end is going to have an impact.  I’ve 4 children and the body to prove it . I’m  guarded. Trusting when someone tells you you’re fantastic is a risk , you believed someone when they told you that before and look how that turned out?

My next boyfriend is going to have to be the world’s most patient man.

Then there’s *whispers* sex ssshhh. Another mental minefield. Another thing associated with trauma. Along with the body worries there’s also the fact I’ve not done it in AGES!! What if I am rubbish at it ?! I worry I’d zone out mid event as was the way I got through it back then. That’d be fun eh??

The next guy is going to need to be so patient he would make Mother Theresa look a bit cranky!!

Then there’s the big one. Trust.
It’s not what you think either , it’s not that I don’t trust men or that I think they’ll all treat me terribly. I really don’t believe that to be true . I don’t trust my own judgement though.

I’ve always said my perfect boyfriend would be someone who was happy to just see me once a month for dinner and romance and the bedroom stuff , with more time in the school holidays when the kids were away! Good plan eh?

I know this is an unrealistic scenario. Men I’ve known have wanted to move along quite quickly and it put me off straight away.I’m certainly not ready to jump into anything with both feet. I don’t know if I ever will be.

So you see dating is a tricky game to play for me . I like meeting new people , I enjoy the company of interesting men and I hope one day I will have my Mr Perfect in my life ….it’s just the actual dating bit I could do without!!

It turns out though, the only way to get over all the hang ups is to actually get out there and do it! Practice makes almost perfect. Bad dates are as helpful as lovely ones.
The bad ones help you realise that your self esteem has grown to a point that deciding a person is just not right for you is OK.

The good ones? Well if like me you’re naturally suspicious of men as a species after bad experiences, there’s hopefully going to be someone who comes along and presses the reset button. Who has you decide actually this is the benchmark for the future.When someone is respectful and kind and thoughtful  you kind of make an internal deal with yourself that this is the only way you’ll stand to be treated in future. It doesn’t have to be love of your life stuff (one step at a bloody time) but just enough to make you set the bar high.

We’ve been through the mill and not treated well enough, but that really doesn’t have to be our lot.

Setting high standards isn’t a thing of arrogance it’s self preservertion.

My Facebook page is here

One Messy Mama

Burnished Chaos



 How I say I love you…

I don’t know if it’s getting older ,or if it’s being all crushy over a guy for the first time in pretty much ever. I don’t know if it’s part of the identity crisis I’ve spoken of having because the children are all growing up and no one needs me like they once did. For some reason though lately I’m looking at myself in a different way,being a bit more reflective.

I worry , or did worry that I’m emotionally quite cold. Then I read a fantastic article in the Huffpost by Amanda Chatel about how people who have been emotionally abused love differently. It’s here if you fancy a look. Do. It expresses it way better than I’m about to try to.

I’d had it decided in my head for years that other than the kids and my sister I probably wasn’t capable of love. Hand in hand with that went the belief that I was emotionally numb , a bit cold and unable to receive or give affection. This article was quite timely for me as recently I’ve realised that maybe I was wrong. I am capable of affection ( and quite like it -weird) I’m not cold and unemotional , I feel a lot actually I just repress lots of it as strong emotion does unsettle me a bit. So I began the week on a bit of a high , telling everyone about my epiphany. Of course everyone who knows me well already knew all this. Have I ever spoken about my total lack of self awareness??

Love though? That was a whole other story.
Or so I thought , I again was wrong. I feel love for people I haven’t given birth to. Of course I do. I express it too. I just do it differently. The article I’ve mentioned is perfect as a general overview of how those of us who have been emotionally  abused will love that bit differently. I’m sure everyone who has been in this position could personalise it , we all have our own little ways don’t we? I thought I could share some of mine. This is how I express love (or deep affection at the very least…the L word still scares me a bit..babysteps..)

I touch you. It’s not going be a huge bear hug. I’ll brush your hand with mine , I’ll squeeze your shoulder, stroke your arm when I’m asking how you are.

I allow you to see my flaws. I don’t put on a perfect front with you or even attempt to be perfect with you. I trust you not to use my flaws against me and for me , that’s huge.

I show emotion around you , be that a tear or a giggle.

I look you on the eye when you’re talking to me about a problem. I’ve an awful habit of my eyes flitting when talking to people . It comes across as rude but it’s really not .It’s a self esteem thing. I was told what I said was unimportant and stupid for so long .I don’t want to see that look of boredom and irritation cross your face when speaking to me , even if it never will. I’ll always get over that when you need me to listen though. I need you to know that what you are saying is hugely important to me.

I’ll text or email or send you pics of things that couldn’t be less important. I want you to know some little daft things make me think of you . I’m also secure that you don’t think I’m an idiot for doing so.

I buy little gifts I think you’ll love. Silly things , just a way for me to say I listen to what you like!

I small talk with you (likely incessantly) People have hated the fact that I’m a chatterer and would shut it down immediately. When I’m talking nonsense to you it’s because I know you’ll not do the same

You see my expressions of love and affection are smaller , it’s low key and understated and from people who love me that’s what I want in return. No grand gestures – they terrify me.  Email me a link to a show or a book you think I’ll like. Ring me up with a funny story to tell me when you know I’ve had a rubbish day. Send me a Good Luck text when you know I’ve a big day ahead.

It’s such a complex , tricky thing love after abuse. You may never get an I love you from me but you know when you were ill and I made and brought you soup? or when I texted you a book recommendation I knew you’d love? or I remembered tiny details of conversation you told me that were important to you? Well that’s what I meant.


My Facebook page is here

The Mummy Bubble

Me, Being Mummy