Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What would you do...

Like a relentless nagging whining child, a question keeps running through my head in the style of the National Lottery advertising campaign where we were asked what we would do for a few million euro. Only its not money that my inner advertising guru is asking about.  Its a chugging whirring demand to know if I would tightrope across the Grand Canyon, or go swimming with great white sharks wearing Lady Gaga designed swimwear, or something equally ridiculous that my mind thinks of but the end prize would be to have five minutes more.  "What would you do for just five minutes more..."

I would give pretty much anything or do anything to have a few more minutes to tell my Mum again that I love her.  To hold her hand and kiss her and hear her voice just one more time. I miss her more than words can say and would love to turn the clock back and cherish the moments that I once took for granted. I can't though and no amount of ruminating and wishing will change that.  

Before Mum passed away, I told her that we would all be ok. She had been delighted that I was finally moving back up to Dublin with Munchkin and as a family we would all be nearby for each other after she was gone, to support each other in sad and trying times and to celebrate and cherish happier times too.  All the changes are terrifying but when I get scared or overwhelmed with what needs to be done, I can almost hear her voice telling me that its all going to be fine and to stop worrying. All I can do is to honour my promise to her to try to live life and enjoy it and to encourage the kids to do the same. To stop dwelling on the negative and instead of looking at what we don't have, to be happy about all that is good in our lives. I once asked her if she was not bitter and angry that she had become ill despite the fact she didn't smoke, rarely drank, exercised and took great care with her nutrition.  To me it all seemed grossly unfair that she got this rare bone marrow disorder when she was so careful with her health. I asked did she not keep asking "why me??" and she told me that she did ask that for a while until one day the answer came to her when a voice in her thoughts replied "Why NOT me??"  Said it took the bitter sting out of the tail of her anger. She told me that bad things can't always happen to "other people" and that you have to just pick yourself up and get on with the cards you've been dealt.  I didn't appreciate how positive she actually was until she was gone, nor realise just how many lives she had touched and influenced until I could see the church filled to capacity with faces I'd long forgotten.  She never forgot a face though and was an amazing people person, treating everyone equally.  Whether you were a member of the cleaning staff at the hospital, or a consultant, you were all part of the intricate network of my mothers life. She made a point to talk to people and was genuinely interested in what they had to say.  I struggle maintaining personal relationships and friendships as I've previously blogged about, but it came naturally to her.  I'd love to be more like her though and am going to try really hard until its less difficult. I'm determined to work hard with Munchkin too as know its something that doesn't come easy to her either.  September heralds the start of a new chapter in our lives when we move up to Dublin and she starts her new school.  I can hear Mum telling me to "start as we mean to go on" so its time to stand tall and think of the challenges ahead in a positive manner and embrace the changes, whatever they may bring. To draw strength from the woman who fought a brave battle against interminable odds with courage and dignity, right to the very end.  

I know you loved this piece of writing and I will try my best to follow the words of it.  But can you come visit me in my dreams and talk to me... just for five minutes more?  Love you to the Moon and Back Mum xxx

Thursday, February 14, 2013

If you fall over and break a leg, don't come running to me!

In a  very Irish manner and like most Irish mammies I find it difficult to emulate empathy.  If you fall and hurt yourself, I will first look to find blame with you and see why you were stupid to let it happen, and then perhaps  comfort you... As much as I want to be one of those fluffy parental figures who comfort without logic, I cannot be that person.  I WILL  seek to blame first and comfort later. It doesn't mean I love you less though, please believe that. I suffer from "Bob the Builder" syndrome and have an insatiable need to be liked and fix peoples problems which means that if there is something that I can give you or do,  I will speak first, act next, and if I don't know the answer to your problem, pretend I know an answer which can give the impression that I'm a know it all jackass. A few times I was referred to as "The Oracle"  and that boosted my self esteem no bounds. I'm no Oracle though, just a girl who knows how to google...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward

I'm struggling.  Finding things very difficult the last six months or so.  Not because of the kids or anyone else, just fighting my own demons and trying to keep the Dark Dog from the door. I've done an incredible amount of navel gazing trying to figure out and come to terms with who I am and why I am the way I am in an attempt to feel ok and have hurt people in the process, letting them feel that they are in part to blame for who I am today.  Wounds have been opened and words said that can never be taken back or the hurt eased and that saddens me greatly as I truly don't believe any person is responsible for my depression.  Well one person perhaps and I have to look in a mirror to see her.

I was always considered a very easy going child. No trouble, loved by all who met me.  If you look at my school reports I was described as a day dreamer who needed to apply herself more as was capable of doing better. There was never much effort to drift through academically as it came easy enough without too much effort. In other words, I was an intelligent quiet little girl who had a tendency to daydream. Musically I was naturally talented but lacked the desire to progress much to my teachers disgust and  flitted from one instrument to another but never stuck with any long enough to master it.  Huge potential and could learn anything that was put in front of me but without the desire to do so.  Very capable student... needs to apply herself more. Story of my life really.

When the transition to secondary school came I was given the best opportunities available and put into a private school.  I have to admit I found it daunting and had huge difficulties fitting in and making friends so became a little bit of a loner. I became an easy target for the school bullies. I don't think that it was the buck teeth, the railway track braces or the plastic framed glasses that made me stand out but more my disposition and the pack could sense vulnerability. I didn't fight back nor stand up to them and won't go into great detail but it reinforced my sense of not belonging or not feeling right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I still ask was I bullied because I was different or did I become different because I was bullied?  Its a chicken and egg question, one I'm not sure has an answer. By the time third year came I snapped and fought back and discovered that if you pretended to be confident or brash you were left alone.  It isn't easy to admit then that I stood back and watched another girl be mercilessly bullied and never stood up for her.  She's often in my thoughts though and have heard she's married and has a family and doing well now.

From an early age I learned to pretend.  A coping mechanism that has left me now wondering at 43 years of age who I really am?  I've spent my life pretending and I'm tired, waiting to be caught out as a fraud is exhausting. Is it something we all do though? Most people who know me would describe me as a confident funny person who can be witty.  They're the people who know me through social media and see the person I've portrayed and want them to see... My family would describe me as hard work.  Difficult to get close to with a penchant for drama. I do attract drama into my life actually and most would find it hard to believe the things that have happened to me are true but if I were to write it all down many would think it belonged in the fiction aisle.  I think I attract the odd and the dramatic though as I invite it into my life.  The realisation that I find it difficult to feel emotions unless they're very strong, either upsetting or happy helps me to understand why I attract those situations in life that others seem to be able to avoid.  A willingness and desire to believe what others tell me too often leaves me open to people exaggerating or filling me full of lies.  I hate lies and liars intensely.  Doesn't matter what the content of the lie is just the fact its not true fills me with a sick feeling in my stomach. Paranoia and distrust follow these penny dropping moments. I digress though...

So what am I trying to achieve with this post.  I guess its a bit like coming out of the closet.  I'm not ok, and not sure if I ever was. like many others who suffer depression and other mental illnesses, you spend a huge amount of time trying to deny your own feelings as the world tells you to pull yourself together or its not alright to feel like that.  Well I've decided it is ok to not feel ok and my feelings are my own and as valid as everyone elses. Perhaps the kids didn't lick their issues off just one stone?  Its dawned on me recently that I'm feeling very lonely but that that doesn't marry well with the fact that I really am not that comfortable or sure I like people either. There, I said it. Its easier to have 100 superficial friendships where people don't know you well than have one friend that knows you, ugly side and all.  Its not that I don't want friends, I just don't know how to be one and let people know the real me. Perhaps its a deep rooted fear of rejection or a lack of sense of self that was always there rather than something that was ever caused as such.  All I know is that I want to feel connected and stop running but finding middle ground is hard.  I love my family but I haven't let them in or get close to me and I hope they know its not that I won't, I just haven't been able to. I accept that I've been difficult and hope they love me enough to forgive me that and accept me for who I am, warts and all.  In return I promise to try hard to be me, whoever that is xxx

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