Been a bit of a bum day. Been in bed for all of it as I have the makings of flu and it aggravates the symptoms of my ME. My physical illnesses have been getting the better of me lately. I missed my EMDR therapy session last week because I was in too much pain and today I was too ill again. My therapist is on holiday for two weeks now so I won’t see her for another two weeks at least. It will be interesting to see how I cope.
One of the things I hate about my past is how it affects my own mothering. I don’t know a ‘normal’ upbringing so how can I give my children one. I know all parents worry, I’m not stupid – I don’t think I’m the only one but it affects me so deeply when one of my children is upset. It drags me down and frankly shatters my world. I suppose it’s logical really. After all it stands to reason that the unprotected become the protectors, doing all it takes to make their children feel safe and loved.
I still can’t make sense of this year, I don’t think I ever will. Trying to get well has certainly wheedled out the rotting apples in my basket. But I can’t seem to find the peace I need, not yet anyway. It’s Christmas in four weeks. I’ve done all my present shopping and made my cake, it just needs icing. I’ve made an extra one for my grandparents – I know I have to see them, I want too. My grandad is almost 95 and his health isn’t great. But and it’s a big but, what do I say when they ask about my mother and they will. My therapist thinks I should tell them the truth – I want too – but I dont know if I am or ever will be ready.
My grandparents know my abuser was violent to my mother but they don’t know about my abuse. My mother told me they wouldn’t have helped her if she had told them and left him. I told her she was wrong – my therapist says I will never know unless I tell them about what really happened to me growing up. Time will tell I suppose. I will have to see what happens.
I haven’t blogged for nearly a month. To be honest I haven’t been in a good place both mentally and physically. I have been struggling to cope with everything that has happened this year. I expected that EMDR therapy was going to bring changes into my life but I wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of loss I would experience.
I lost my so-called best friend. Well didn’t lose, she ghosted me, cut me off without word or reason. That upset me at the time but the fact I got over it so quickly leads me to believe that our relationship wasn’t all that anyhow or I would have cared more about it finishing. But then it was terribly one sided, on my part. She did all the taking, I did all the giving. I only wish I had figured it out prior to paying for her to go on holiday.
My biggest loss has been my mother and it is that I still cannot begin to understand. At the beginning of my EMDR journey I told her that I was doing it for me, that I loved her but it was something I had to do. Any mother would want their child to get well, but it was too much for her. In the end she told me I was disgusting and that cut me to the core. But the thing I cannot shake, the thing that I cannot rationalise is why she felt it necessary to tell me what my abuser, her second husband, had done to her during their marriage.
I witnessed a lot of it, even as a small child I nursed her wounds and consoled her after beatings. I saw it all. But was it really necessary for her passing blow to be her telling me what deprived sexual acts he had subjected her too. What kind of mother does that. It’s as if she wants to persuade me her abuse was worse. I can’t shake it from my head and it is destroying me.
I have gone into myself since then – bar my children no one can reach me. I see the pain in my husband’s eyes and I don’t know what to say to him. It’s as if I have nothing left. My bulimia is back with a vengeance. I vomit daily – sometimes I don’t even have to make myself – it just happens. I am empty now. I have nothing left to give. I am disgusting. She has won.
Music has always been of great comfort to me.
My song for today – “Let it Rain”, by Clare Bowen
I woke up in extreme pain again today and didn’t relish the thought of going to my EMDR therapy session. It wasn’t just the session that was on my mind but the 45 mins drive there and back. But I had already cancelled last week and you have to pay whether you go or not so off I went at 10am. Halfway there my back went into such a big spasm that I had to pull over for a while so I could recover.
When I arrived my therapist as always asked how the time had been since my last session. I then explained that I had been dreading my birthday. On any birthday I reminisce about the precious year but this year I was 50, a milestone in anyone’s life.
I had started the year with such optimism, that this year was going to be different. Perhaps I had expected way too much but I didn’t expect the year to turn out the way it has. I had been told at the outset that people in my inner circle might not like how my therapy ‘changed’ me.
In my mother’s case I suppose I was hoping that she would acknowledge her role in how my past had shaped and affected me, both mentally and physically. I didn’t expect a grovelling apology, a simple sorry would have sufficed. The outpouring of insults and abuse I received instead came as a complete shock. This has been hard to bear, I see it as yet another betrayal, the ultimate one being when I was told that the sexual abuse I received at the hands of her second husband was somehow my doing, my fault. I was the victim, an innocent child, how could she see me as being to blame.
My husband says I should see my 50th as a new start, the start of a new life. Perhaps he is right. Maybe that is how I should approach the next chapter. It couldn’t really be any worse than the last one.
Photo from Christieinge.com
Photo from Twitter.com
My twelve year old daughter is probably the wisest person I know. She surprises me on a regular basis. When I was having a particularly bad down day she sent me this quote to try and lift my mood. Even more surprising is the fact that she herself is physically ill. She has suffered from ME since she was six years old. Her first bout last a few months. So far this bout has lastest two and a half years, that’s how long she has been out of school. She missed the final year of her junior school and the first year of secondary and is now two months into Year 8.
Despite her illness she is always upbeat. Apart from her really bad days she still studies; her school sends a tutor twice a week. She is fortunate that she is extremely clever and her SATS levels haven’t dropped much despite her prolonged absence from education. She seems to be improving albeit slowly. She has started horse riding for an hour a week which considering she was bed bound for four months at the beginning of this bout is more than a step in the right direction.
Many weeks ago when I was in the midst of receiving horrid messages from my mother and her husband she asked me why I was upset. I didn’t go into any details merely told her that we had fallen out. She looked at me and said, “it’s not a free pass you know”. “What”, I said. “Being a parent” she said, “it’s not a free pass. It doesn’t give you the right to say nasty things to your children.” And she is right, it isn’t a free pass. Nobody has the right to talk to anyone how I was spoken to but especially not a parent.
My daughter wasn’t supposed to be. I went through early menopause ten years before she was conceived which was two months after my father-in-law passed away. She was born exactly a year after I was told I would never have more children . Then when she was six months old she survived bacterial meningitis and septicimia. She fought and fought and survived.
My daughter amazed me as a baby and never ceases to amaze me the older she grows. She will be one amazing woman.
I would do anything for my children. As parents we all want our children to grow up and be well, healthy adjusted adults. One of the many comments my stepfather made to me in his messages recently was that I was going to ensure my children grew up to be as screwed up as I was. Lord I hope that isn’t true. If it is I would gladly end my life now. But you see at this precise moment in time I think he may be right.
I’m out in my car at the moment – I’ve gone for a drive. It’s 10.00pm. I’m parked up in a public car park watching everyone come and go. I wonder if everyone’s life is as **$$ed up as mind is right now. My eldest came back from University last week. I was frankly scared of him coming home. How sad is that. He has changed so much in the last year. Now I know why. He has stopped taking his medication for depression. He has suffered with depression for over 12 of his 23 years. He has been through a hell of a lot in his own right and that is without having me as a mother. He doesn’t think he can finish his final work. Frankly I couldn’t care less. He is worried about the money. I couldn’t care less about that either. He is far more important. But I have emailed his tutor to see if they can help. So that’s child one.
Then we have child two. He had a breakdown when he was 11, seven years ago. He was being bullied at school. Got that sorted or so I thought. Then during his final year at school he started self harming. Found he had made a suicide plan. Devastated. He underwent private therapy for that. He seems to be okay now. He is doing well at college, has lots of friends but I always wonder when he will dip again.
Finally we have child three. I nearly lost her to meningitis when she was six months old. She was hit with Chronic Fatigue when she was seven after a bout of Glandular Fever. Recovered but Chronic Fatigue came back with avengeance two years ago. She hasn’t been at school since. I have been home schooling and she has a tutor. Her mood seems okay but she has had her moments.
So that’s me, Mum of the Year, aren’t I. Their father says I’m a good mum, that life is responsible for what has happened to them. If that’s the case why do I believe it’s my fault. Lord knows I have tried, I do try so hard to not let my own experiences mar their childhood but right now it seems my stepfathers words are coming true.