Comparing aches and pains with the 17 year old Princess earlier… as you do… because there’s a comparison of age with a teen… 😝

I complained about my neck and shoulders… as always… so stupid… I shouldn’t complain… I don’t actually DO anything about it… and why is that exactly???

Anyway… the Princess pipes up with – I’ve got this mamma, I can massage…

Ouch…

But even she stopped once she felt the knots… so perhaps I really do need to actually sort the stress levels in my life…

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Random kids…


A neighbouring kid has come to visit… Not a problem… Except I was having a bad mother moment and napping whilst kids were on iPads… 

They’d helped themselves to corn chips and a Milky Way chocolate each before I’d left my groggy state… Chocolate milk was on the go…

Never let a 10 year old make chocolate milk unsupervised…

As he takes his first sip… After the CCs and chocolate… Oh, did you know I’m allergic to peanuts and raw egg? 

That woke me up! Wtf?!?

Does this have peanuts? Ummm… Raw egg? Ummm… 

How allergic???

I poured myself a glass of Coke… Can I have a glass?? No… Why not?? Because kids aren’t allowed to have Coke in my house…. Are you those kids who aren’t allowed to have sugar?? You just had chocolate, corn chips and chocolate milk… So why can’t I have Coke?? Because you’re 8….

The glass appeared on the sink… Three sips gone… Yeah, I don’t actually like milk… 

Sigh…

Reason…

effort

I can’t reach you when you are upset… angry… irritated… whatever emotion you choose to insert here… hurt…

In your mind, you are defending your position… a warrior facing the onslaught…

but you can’t see past this…

you can’t hear the words I am saying to you…

I used to do the same… react… defend… hide behind those walls…

But I don’t now… and you can’t see that…

Read the article on my wall… the other wall… the one about daughters of unloving mothers… coincidentally, that appeared on my feed after we spoke… and it hit home… “shutting off the tape-loop of self-criticism in your head is surprisingly difficult, even with a therapist’s help”…

I’ve been accused of being self-deprecating in the past… it’s funny how almost everything with the word ‘self’ attached, is viewed as a negative… self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-interest, self-righteous, self-harm, self…

So how do we change self-criticism to self-compassion… and make it a positive…

I don’t know how to accept that someone loves me… I give… I fix… I am there for people, giving all I have and then some… I am the person they turn to, even the ones I don’t know well… because I am there as they go through that hard time… that harsh time…

So I don’t know how to accept that you want to see me… that you want to be with me… so I look for why you must want to be… and I look for all the signs that you don’t really want to be…

And I find them…

Because there are so many signs… every moment of ever day… that show that you don’t want to be with me… I can find them in every word and every nuance… in all the words you don’t say as well as the ones you do… because I know they are there… waiting… waiting…

And if you have had parents that love you… even one…. it just isn’t possible for you to understand this… How can you? How can you possibly understand what it is to grow in a house without ANY parent to love you? A father who just wasn’t around because it was all too hard and he was too immature and your mother argued with him and and and…. A mother who blamed you because you were just like your father and just like your grandmother and why don’t you go and live with them and don’t you dare walk out that door and who do you want to go with and and and…. And then… come here and hug me… you know I love you…

And that is how I learned to love… to be nasty and horrible and to push everyone away… and then reel them in for a forced hug… or to be abused and beaten and mistreated… I don’t know the middle ground…

But I find it with my kids… somewhere in the mess of our lives… I can silence the world and live in that moment… give them that pure love…

And something I know deep inside… I could find that with you… if we could find that middle ground in the mess…

But my insecurities destroy me… those self doubts… that voice in my head… the mantra… because… why WOULD you??? And really… do you… because if you did… wouldn’t you???

But I won’t take all this on myself either… because I know my insecurities destroy my sanity and i tried to explain it to you… but you wouldn’t hear the words I was saying… you shut me out… you shut down… you went into your defensive position and wouldn’t allow anything inside…

And I couldn’t reach you… so I tried harder… and you defended harder…

And this is the words you have never truly heard when I say them… EVERYONE LEAVES! Everyone.

So when you say to me – this will be the last conversation we will have for a very long time… I shut down. I can NOT do that. I can NOT listen further. So yes… I hang up. Because I can’t. Not just don’t want to… not just difficult to hear… because I can NOT listen to that and not throw up… not feel my brain actually snap… not feel my heart shatter again… I can NOT do that… So I hang up… I run…

Answering the phone the second time took everything I had… You have no idea… You cannot imagine… I can NOT listen to someone I love hate me anymore… I can NOT listen to someone I love tell me they are leaving me again… I can NOT listen to a litany of all the reasons why you don’t like me, love me, want to talk to me ever again… I can NOT and I WILL not.

And I know you will not understand this… how could you… and you will not understand that I am writing this with tears streaming down my face… but I can not. I can not listen to someone else I love tell me they are leaving or why they are leaving. I can not.

And it’s irrelevant who said this and who did that… People just don’t get that none of that matters… It’s what you say now that matters. It’s what you do from this moment forward. Because the past cannot be undone and the words cannot be unsaid… we only see and hear from our own perspective and from our own experiences… but it’s what comes afterwards that matters… the apologies… the heart felt acknowledgment that I do not want to lose you… the realisation that I hurt you and that was not the intent… but I won’t spend forever explaining the past… And it’s why I push you so hard to apologise… it’s not the apology – it’s acknowledging that hurt was inflicted when it wasn’t intended… or that hurt was inflicted but the regret is real… The stuff doesn’t matter… who said this and who did that… What matters is the feelings now… the primary feelings… anger and irritation are secondary…

And that is what I was trying to tell you… It’s not about whether or not we manage to catch up with each other… it’s about knowing that you WANT to… that I matter… that maybe I even matter a lot… because I know what you mean to me… I know how i feel about you… I know that I brushed everyone off for the weekend with the chance that maybe I might see you… but I don’t know that I matter that much to you… I need to see the actions and to hear the words… I need to know that you will upend your world just to see me… even for a moment… I need to know that maybe you like me a fraction as much as I like you…

 

I want a refund…

Okay… maybe not… well, not really…

But this is not what I signed up for… This is not what we were sold on the ads and the TV shows…

My 17 year old Princess is amazing – everyone will tell you so. Her friends’ parents think she is amazing and wish their own child had their head screwed on like she does, wish their own child had a vague sense of the direction they wish to take in life. My Princess wants to live just outside London – she’s told me where, but I forget – she’s researched it well. She’ll get married. Three children – two girls and a boy. Work as a wedding planner – she wants the bridezillas – the high end, high paying, no budget weddings. She’s already determined she may need to marry the first time for money… because let’s face it mum, I have expensive taste and I don’t want to work my way to the top… So if I marry well and establish my business… Her bosses have also all said how amazing she is – so easy going, polite, easy to talk to, and clean! Apparently, she cleans! I wouldn’t mind if she brought a little of that home with her… they rave about how she cleans almost too well… At least she adopted that from me… even if it’s a secret when she’s here… But she is amazing and she will go far, and she won’t really marry for money because she’s secretly a romantic… But living with a 17 year old, even an amazing one, can really be exhausting! The self-absorption… I’m sure I was worse… we didn’t have the awareness the current generation possess… Our world included our family and friends and that was the scope… She’s aware of the world at large… but oh my God she does my head in some days with the complete focus on herself and her needs…

Next is the 14 year old Knight… He started life as he meant to continue… unsure if he really wanted to enter it… quite content with staying where he was… then roaring in fury when they ripped him from his cocoon… The official diagnosis is anxiety with some depression… Really? Are you kidding me? You’ve acknowledged he’s one of your more extreme and high needs teens… He’s suicidal and self harming, risk taking and a danger to others… but hey, it’s just anxiety with some depression… Okay… so what are we doing about this… Well, we just let him talk… Uh huh, and how’s that working for you??? Sigh… He exhausts me… I want the little boy back… that crazy mix of emotion – both highs and lows… the lack of highs these days just wears me out… how can he be so angry all the time? He must be so damned exhausted… Yesterday, he decided to attack a friend of mine he thought might be interested in me… So he attacked him on FB – mildly, but people were still horrified… A reminder that they have no idea… they think they do, but they have none. That was NOTHING. You didn’t see the text messages he sent… And you didn’t see the parallel with the text messages and abuse his father used to send… He’ll be here for almost 2 weeks in July… and i want to see my little boy, but I’m not so sure I want almost 2 weeks in a tiny broom closet of a house… 4 kids under the roof… I don’t know if I can keep doing it and stay sane…

The baby Dragon turned 10 two days ago! Double digits! She’s my soft child… the empath… the garden fairy, skipping along, bestowing love and hugs and warmth… The child who will come out at 11 PM to give you a hug and remind you that she loves you so much.. The child who has a meltdown because her brother is always late and always annoying and last night, he breathed! Continuously! And she was trying to sleep… in his bed… and it was his fault because she could have if he just hadn’t breathed! All the time! Ummm…. you’re meant to be in your own bed… But it’s his fault!… Meltdowns… the socks are wrong and the shirt is scratchy… She doesn’t like porridge and hasn’t liked it all week. Surely I know this… We went to see Vivid for her birthday – a ferry trip… but she hates the ferry because she just does! But it’s a little ferry honey and it will only be a short trip… But that just means it will tip over even easier!… Oh, are you worried it will sink?… No! I just hate ferries… Okay, well, if it does sink, I’ll hold onto you and we can at least drown together… You’re not funny, mumma… If a shark tries to eat you, I’ll bop his nose so he can eat me instead… I HATE ferries… So we take the ferry and she loves it of course, as she loves all the things once I force her to do them… and she loves the lights… at first… but then the crowds are too much and I look, and once again, her face is streaked with tears… She cries quietly… but she cries… and cries… and she can’t shake herself out of it. She can’t handle crowds.

So we are finally at the littlest Wizard – 8 years old and wanting to know exactly how many days until he is 8 and a half. Will it be this year? Will he still be in Year 2? What day is it on? Will he be taller? And the questions continue… and continue… The intensity does my head in some days… He LIKES being late to school… so he takes his time, knowing his sister is having a meltdown, hating that she is upset, but wanting to be late… so he shuts down… and refuses to move… and then the white noise starts – the squawking, the trilling, the moaning… He asks me which I prefer… NONE! I am trying to make breakfast and sort lunches and not yell at the Princess for the water and hair all over the bathroom and the attitude because she already muttered the answer to that question from three rooms away… And the Dragon is in the midst of meltdown because he won’t get ready! So the Wizard sits and creates his white noise and…. plays with the freaking Lego! Why are you not getting dressed??? Eat your porridge!! OMG! We should have left 5 minutes ago and you are still standing there in your pyjamas! And he goes into lockdown… nothing happens… and I have to stop and breathe and count to 100 (because 20 just isn’t enough) and then calmly hug the Dragon and hug the Wizard and talk to the Princess in the calmest of voices whilst she glares at the sarcasm she knows is embedded…

And I look at my tribe and I wonder… did we all suffer these issues as kids? And they were just ignored? Are we tougher as a result? Because we just had to snap out of it and suck it up and deal with it! Are we too soft and too tolerant and too understanding now? Because I understand that the Wizard has sensory issues and the Dragon can’t do crowds and the Knight has a cup that cannot be filled and the Princess is in the midst of complete self-absorption… And I wonder… if I didn’t understand all these things… if I wasn’t so aware and so tolerant and so understanding… would it be easier? Would they be tougher? Would they build resilience and coping strategies? Or would they crumble and fall… crumble and fail….

Death becomes him…

Is it wrong to just want him to die? A slow, painful, lonely death… which means he will have to keep living a while longer… to ensure he is truly alone and miserable…

Should I let go of the anger? The frustration?

I don’t think so… It doesn’t drive me or ruin my day… but his existence does. That sudden email in my inbox that tells me he’s causing yet more drama… about money of course… always about money…

 

Foolishly laying our hearts on the table…

and stumblin’ in…

I would move my world for you… I would uproot my children, pack up my house, and move… for you…

But only for all of you… not for the shadows…

I find myself back at square one… that amazing starting point where everything is possible and every square ahead is yet to be touched…

I find myself smiling as I read my messages… my day gone in the blink of an eye… filled with your voices… giggles and inner glow from the memories… threads entwined…

Back to square one…

I fell apart, and put my pieces back together differently… I meant that, you know. I really did build myself anew…

But I seem to have put the pieces of me that are you, back the same… Those pieces seem to be indelibly printed on the manuscript… no charcoal sketch for them…

The threads entangle with you once more… did they ever untangle? Stitched with you…

My heart there on the table… stumbling… tumbling… caught in the firelight…

I will upend my world for you…

But for the shadows… I will not…

For the shadows… there can be no promises… for the shadows… time will eventually bring an end… the shadows are fleeting…

I will upend my world for you… for all of you… I will fill those boxes and I will entwine the pieces of you and me within our own brick and mortar…palms upwards… fingers splayed… all of me… for all of you…