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Before yesterdayplainjanelbug

For now I’m at ease…

8 March 2018 at 06:54

As I sit here writing this, Breaking Bad playing, housework piling up – I’ve finished my cup of coffee and the floors should be well and truly dry now but I can’t find the motivation to get off my tired ass. The kids are at school. My husband is at work.

Not entirely sure why I’m writing this, thought processing I guess.

I’m in the process of having my left arm tattooed, a sleeve. It’s something I have wanted done for years and it’s made me one happy bunny. It’s not finished yet but most of the scarring is covered and I love it. I no longer feel on edge if I’m around new people with my arm uncovered. I no longer look at my arm and think ugh. I’m no longer consumed with worry about my kids and what my scarring may mean for them, the irrational thoughts that they may be excluded or bullied. No one will ask me what they are or how it happened. No more looks – well, not those looks anyway. And I will love it even more once it’s finished, I’m itching to go back and get some more done! I’ve always loved tattoos, if I had my way I’d be covered – too bloody expensive though! I try not to think about how much my arm has cost so far or how much more it’s going to cost, I’m not really used to spending money on myself, it’s not something I do very often!

But this sleeve is worth every penny – the reluctance to write that was unbelievable. But it’s been good for my mental wellbeing, however ridiculous that may sound. I don’t feel so shitty about myself. I know they’re still there but no one will notice them now and that has given my confidence a boost. The embarrassment is gone. The fear is gone.

Sure there’ll still be that conversation with my kids, there’s scars in other places that they will see and they will have questions about things that people will no doubt tell them. But I will cross that bridge if and when. For now I am at ease…

15 years

12 March 2020 at 07:16

I started to write this post back in March, before things with Covid got crazy. Two months later I’m finally taking a look back at the draft and hopefully I’ll finish it before lockdown ends…

March 2020: 15 years ago I made a decision. It was a decision I’d made probably 4 or 5 times before over the years. This time was different, I was more determined but more than that I had had enough. I made a conscious decision to change for the better and start looking after myself. To start trying to see myself in a different light. I decided to fight.

So many people told me I couldn’t do it. Not all of them said it out loud, they didn’t have to. Well, next month it will be 15 years. 15 years since I last took a blade and sliced through my own skin. 15 years since I last watched as the gap in my skin filled with blood and spilled over, running down my arm/leg. 15 years since I last cleaned up my own blood from a self inflicted wound and wrapped it until it stopped pumping.

15 years.

“You’ll never keep it up” was from my wonderful ex. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail.

A psychiatrist sat there and told me “You will self harm again” and then went on to tell me that I have Borderline Personality Disorder and that “This is what people like you do, it’s a cycle.” She told me that anything could trigger it, I could go through really stressful situations without relapsing but that eventually I will and it could be something really minor which triggers it. She too looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail. That delightful human being was assessing me, she was to make the decision on whether or not I should be put in for scar cover up through the NHS. She was the one who would say whether or not I’d be likely to relapse which would make the scar cover up pointless. I left there utterly gutted, convinced she would tell them that I wasn’t worth helping. She approved me for camouflage which is basically make up.

Then there’s the eye rolls. The look on a face which says “yeah right”. The people silently judging me. I don’t think one person said anything encouraging. Not a single person. I had to tell myself “you can do this”. My head was a complete mess and I had no one to talk to. There were people around but they weren’t there. There was no one there when I cried uncontrollably, when my head was telling me I wasn’t worth the shit I was standing in. No one to tell me I was going to be ok. No one to tell me not to give in when I reached for something sharp and sat with it against my skin, hands shaking, my head screaming at me to make it stop. The anger and frustration, the sadness and pain. The feeling of hopelessness seemed infinite. Despair enveloped me to the point I thought it would swallow me whole. It was nothing I hadn’t felt before but It seemed all the more intense because I wouldn’t allow myself to cut.

May 2020: So, here I am, April has been and gone. And there are more important things that have been going on, and are still going on, than my 15 year milestone.

But it is a milestone nonetheless. It’s not that I want a medal or a sodding gold star, I would just like someone to acknowledge how far I’ve come. Someone to actually be proud of me. But no one is and that makes it really hard to feel proud of myself. I bet not one person who has known me for all those years could tell you when I stopped self harming, only that I did it in the first place. Why is that? Are they all secretly ashamed of me? Do they think it doesn’t deserve recognition? Do they think it was easy to drag myself out of the hole I was in?

It wasn’t.

Is it wrong to feel a little robbed? Robbed of pride. Am I stupid to expect anyone to give a crap about my achievements in the mental health department? Am I being ridiculous in wishing for someone I love to acknowledge, just for a second, how hard it was for me?

15 years! 15 days was hard! Hell, 15 hours was hard! But I made it. Me. That’s right;

ME.

plainjanelbug

15 years

12 March 2020 at 07:16

I started to write this post back in March, before things with Covid got crazy. Two months later I’m finally taking a look back at the draft and hopefully I’ll finish it before lockdown ends…

March 2020: 15 years ago I made a decision. It was a decision I’d made probably 4 or 5 times before over the years. This time was different, I was more determined but more than that I had had enough. I made a conscious decision to change for the better and start looking after myself. To start trying to see myself in a different light. I decided to fight.

So many people told me I couldn’t do it. Not all of them said it out loud, they didn’t have to. Well, next month it will be 15 years. 15 years since I last took a blade and sliced through my own skin. 15 years since I last watched as the gap in my skin filled with blood and spilled over, running down my arm/leg. 15 years since I last cleaned up my own blood from a self inflicted wound and wrapped it until it stopped pumping.

15 years.

“You’ll never keep it up” was from my wonderful ex. She looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail.

A psychiatrist sat there and told me “You will self harm again” and then went on to tell me that I have Borderline Personality Disorder and that “This is what people like you do, it’s a cycle.” She told me that anything could trigger it, I could go through really stressful situations without relapsing but that eventually I will and it could be something really minor which triggers it. She too looked me straight in the eyes and told me I’d fail. That delightful human being was assessing me, she was to make the decision on whether or not I should be put in for scar cover up through the NHS. She was the one who would say whether or not I’d be likely to relapse which would make the scar cover up pointless. I left there utterly gutted, convinced she would tell them that I wasn’t worth helping. She approved me for camouflage which is basically make up.

Then there’s the eye rolls. The look on a face which says “yeah right”. The people silently judging me. I don’t think one person said anything encouraging. Not a single person. I had to tell myself “you can do this”. My head was a complete mess and I had no one to talk to. There were people around but they weren’t there. There was no one there when I cried uncontrollably, when my head was telling me I wasn’t worth the shit I was standing in. No one to tell me I was going to be ok. No one to tell me not to give in when I reached for something sharp and sat with it against my skin, hands shaking, my head screaming at me to make it stop. The anger and frustration, the sadness and pain. The feeling of hopelessness seemed infinite. Despair enveloped me to the point I thought it would swallow me whole. It was nothing I hadn’t felt before but It seemed all the more intense because I wouldn’t allow myself to cut.

May 2020: So, here I am, April has been and gone. And there are more important things that have been going on, and are still going on, than my 15 year milestone.

But it is a milestone nonetheless. It’s not that I want a medal or a sodding gold star, I would just like someone to acknowledge how far I’ve come. Someone to actually be proud of me. But no one is and that makes it really hard to feel proud of myself. I bet not one person who has known me for all those years could tell you when I stopped self harming, only that I did it in the first place. Why is that? Are they all secretly ashamed of me? Do they think it doesn’t deserve recognition? Do they think it was easy to drag myself out of the hole I was in?

It wasn’t.

Is it wrong to feel a little robbed? Robbed of pride. Am I stupid to expect anyone to give a crap about my achievements in the mental health department? Am I being ridiculous in wishing for someone I love to acknowledge, just for a second, how hard it was for me?

15 years! 15 days was hard! Hell, 15 hours was hard! But I made it. Me. That’s right;

ME.

A concert

24 December 2019 at 16:56

For the first time in a very long time I found myself missing you. My “wingman”, my best friend, my “sister”.

The husband will go with me but only because I don’t have anyone else, he doesn’t like concerts and doesn’t really care much for Guns n Roses.

But you, you would’ve come because you wanted to see them as much as I do and we would’ve had an absolute blast! It wouldn’t have mattered how we got there or if we were sitting, standing or bloody floating at the front, back or middle, we would’ve sung at the tops of our voices and jumped around like idiots holding hands and just being ourselves!

I’ve wanted to see them since I was about 12 (I’m now 36), ok so they’re minus Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin but there’s still Slash, Axl and Duff. 3 out of 5 ain’t bad and it’s better late than never! They’ll still be amazing I have no doubt about that.

Sounds silly but it makes me sad.

In another life maybe.

In a life where being my “sister” meant being my sister.

Nevermind, we probably can’t afford it anyway. He says “just book it” but I can’t. It’s so much money and I know he doesn’t really want to go. I’d feel guilty and, although it would be amazing, I’d feel bad the whole time that it’s costing so much and he would be bored plus we’d have to leave the kids and the dog. It’s just not plausible.

Not in my world anyway.

plainjanelbug

A concert

24 December 2019 at 16:56

For the first time in a very long time I found myself missing you. My “wingman”, my best friend, my “sister”.

The husband will go with me but only because I don’t have anyone else, he doesn’t like concerts and doesn’t really care much for Guns n Roses.

But you, you would’ve come because you wanted to see them as much as I do and we would’ve had an absolute blast! It wouldn’t have mattered how we got there or if we were sitting, standing or bloody floating at the front, back or middle, we would’ve sung at the tops of our voices and jumped around like idiots holding hands and just being ourselves!

I’ve wanted to see them since I was about 12 (I’m now 36), ok so they’re minus Steven Adler and Izzy Stradlin but there’s still Slash, Axl and Duff. 3 out of 5 ain’t bad and it’s better late than never! They’ll still be amazing I have no doubt about that.

Sounds silly but it makes me sad.

In another life maybe.

In a life where being my “sister” meant being my sister.

Nevermind, we probably can’t afford it anyway. He says “just book it” but I can’t. It’s so much money and I know he doesn’t really want to go. I’d feel guilty and, although it would be amazing, I’d feel bad the whole time that it’s costing so much and he would be bored plus we’d have to leave the kids and the dog. It’s just not plausible.

Not in my world anyway.

The yearly school music concert

4 December 2019 at 17:36

This year our son’s class is learning the ukulele and our daughter’s is learning the recorder for the second year. Last year our daughter, the shy one who cried when she had to stand up and sing, sat at the back playing the recorder (or pretending to, not quite sure). And our son stood at the front belting out the songs his year had to sing and doing all the movements so enthusiastically!

This year we watched with anticipation while our daughter sat at the front and “yawned” nervously over and over and then played her recorder with the rest of the class with cautious confidence and then beamed after! She made no fuss when they decided to get the class to repeat the performance at the end. So proud!

And we watched as our son’s class started their performance. 3 songs. The last song was to be introduced by our son, he volunteered no less! For those who haven’t read my other blog posts won’t understand the significance of that fact, you see, he has a stammer, quite a severe stammer and yet he volunteered to get up in front of everyone and speak! His confidence has always astounded me but this time was something else. I have no doubt that he had no idea how nervous I was for him, it hadn’t even occurred to him that his stammer might be an “issue” just as it never does. We stood, my husbands arms around me from behind, and we watched as he stood up and said “Our final song is Scat Cat Swing”! Talk about a bloody tongue twister! He got a little stuck on the first word and “Scat Cat” but it was barely a hiccup and, as per usual, he carried on and got through it with a smile on his face. I had to stop myself from crying, my heart bursting with pride at his sheer confidence and positive attitude.

I expect it was also a bit of relief that it was done and over with, I had stressed myself out over the last couple of days, I didn’t think I would make it there in time from work and we weren’t sure if my husband would either and I had pictured our son getting really stuck, our daughter panicking, not having their mum or dad there to focus on and look to for reassurance. But I knew that our daughter would be taken out, just as she was the previous year when they sung their Xmas carols, comforted by her teacher and told how brave she was for even being there at all. So I knew she would be safe as it were, does that make sense? I knew she’d be upset but that she’d be ok. We’d have a few tears after but ultimately she’d be fine. I wasn’t so sure what would happen if our boy got so stuck that he needed saving? So stuck that even he noticed and didn’t know what to do. So stuck that nothing came out. He’d need his mum! And it terrified me that I wouldn’t get there. It terrified me that he would be upset and that no one would quite know what to do or how to react. I imagined him stood there looking around at all the faces, searching, alone and embarrassed.

I guess my mind ran away with itself as it always does! I feed my own anxiety by imagining the worst of the worst, by putting myself down to fail as a parent, well as a human being in general really. It’s quite ridiculous! But it’s something I feel is beyond my control, no matter how hard I try to switch it off I can’t. All I can do is go with it and try to hide it from my kids, the last thing they need inflicted on them is my insecurities. They shouldn’t be made to worry about silly things just because I do. I want their confidence built up not torn down.

I want them to realise that they are perfect just the way they are 💙💜

Truth

19 October 2019 at 04:42

My Gran has a habit of making me speak about things in a frank and honest way, things I often think of but don’t normally speak about so openly or in such detail. I don’t know why I feel I can tell her so much more than anyone else, maybe it’s because she was like a second mum to me while growing up? Maybe it’s because I look up to her and therefore, subconsciously, seek her approval/understanding more so than anyone else’s? Or maybe it’s because she wants to hear me, she wants to listen to me and understand me. She’s interested. And she loves me unconditionally and will think no less of me no matter what I tell her, no matter how stupid or weak I’ve been. She wants to know why I felt the need to hurt myself over and over, why I was so weak minded that I didn’t leave an abusive partner the first time she did something to me. Why I chose to move out of my home rather than kick out the people who were driving me out. I appreciate her genuine intrigue, she asks such blunt questions but with no judgement. They’re questions she asks because she genuinely cannot imagine letting anyone treat her that way. And she cannot, for the life of her, imagine me – her youngest granddaughter, her intelligent, head strong, independent granddaughter – letting anyone treat me like a piece of shit they’ve just scraped off their shoe, like I’m scum and not worth spitting on if I was on fire. Or why I would feel so lost and horrid that I would take a piece of glass and hack at my own skin.

It’s not so much the physical stuff that stays with me. I mean, yes she hit, kicked, even strangled me a couple of times. Threw me on the floor, elbowed me in the face, threw me against a wall and sexually assaulted me with an object to name but a few. And the slaps, oh the bloody slaps. No, taps. Yes taps on the cheeks. Constant. Sounds like the least of my worries huh? But no, they were where the physical and psychological abuse collided. Relentless tapping. I’d flinch every time. It was a form of control and, more importantly, humiliation. That played a huge part in all of that. Making me feel downright stupid. Laughing at me. A silent threat. Power.

I soon learned to keep my phone on silent, even dimming the screen and making sure it didn’t vibrate. I was cut off from everyone. I remember one time we had gone camping. She loved camping, the great outdoors, away from every other person that could possibly want to make contact with me. My phone rang, shit! I knew who it was, I’d removed his name from my phone book but recognised the number. Someone I considered to be one of my best friends who just happens to now be my husband. But it wasn’t like that then, we were mates. I answered it, pretending I didn’t know who it was and then when he told me I acted surprised and said my new phone didn’t have all the numbers. Then made an excuse to get off the phone. All the while I can feel her eyes burning into me. To cut a long story short, she left me there. No way to get home, no money, no phone. She just drove off. Oh she had no intentions of leaving me there really, it was to punish me. Back she came less than 5 minutes later. Of course I had to grovel, how could I not? She was my ticket back to civilisation.

I was often accused of sleeping around, be it past or present. My brother in law popped in to see me and that meant I was sleeping with him. A) I would never do that to my sister. B) He is like a brother to me, ew! And C) Just no no no!

“I know what you’re like” – the amount of times she said that to me when she actually had no clue what I was like. Looking back, it’s embarrassing. Humiliating. During sex, out of the blue she said to me “You need to get an aids test” I was obviously shocked, she never failed to shock me, and was automatically scared of what she was going to do so immediately fell into obedient mode. “I know what you’re like” that oh so familiar statement. “You’re disgusting, I know where you’ve been” and it went on. At first I was silently agreeing then she had me to the point of verbal concurrence. I just wanted it to stop.

She preyed on my weaknesses. One of them being water. It scares the shit out of me. Unfortunately she lived right by the water, and when I say right by I mean her back gate, a bit of grass then water. Walking along one day, there was no argument, no accusations just her digging at me for being scared of water. Next thing I know she’s dragging me by my hair, top, arms, whatever she could grab at with me struggling, dragging me towards the water. I’m pretty sure she never intended to put me in that water but in the moment I wouldn’t have put it past her, in fact I was 100% sure that’s what she was going to do. I begged, pleaded, apologised for nothing, told her I love her, etc etc etc. She just laughed and called me pathetic.

Then you have the false sense of security! That moment you find the strength to fight back, you find your voice. The moment they let you get away with it and you think “ha, take that”. A prime example of one of those moments was a time she elbowed me in the face. We happened to be laying on the floor in her living room, we were sleeping down there that night for some reason. Petty argument, I leant over her and, wham, elbow connected with face. I saw red, grabbed her top and got right right in her face “Don’t ever so that again” and pushed her down. To my surprise she backed off and said nothing. I felt fear, then confusion, fear again then power! Wow, I did it! I showed her! She even silently cuddled up to me as I laid with my back to her. I fell asleep powerful and confident. I woke up the same. That lasted all of 2 minutes… a day of paying for daring to retaliate. She showed me I was not powerful and my confidence was gone.

She would write me letters, I’m sorry letters. I didn’t mean to letters. I don’t know what came over me letters. The night she had me pinned on my back, leaning off the bed holding the radiator, trying to pull myself away from her while she assaulted me, she wrote me a letter. Curled up in a ball, eyes squeezed tight pretending to be asleep, she wrote me a letter and left. I could barely read most of it but what I did read was along the lines of “what have I done? I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve you”. I kept all the letters for years after. Not to show people. It sounds stupid but they were my proof to myself that it happened. Proof it was as bad as I remember. Is that ridiculous? I don’t know.

I did get rid of those letters eventually. But I remember them all, just like I remember everything she ever did to me. I still can’t bare anything against my throat or taps to my cheeks even in jest. I remember. I can’t forget. Letters or no letters.

plainjanelbug

Truth

19 October 2019 at 04:42

My Gran has a habit of making me speak about things in a frank and honest way, things I often think of but don’t normally speak about so openly or in such detail. I don’t know why I feel I can tell her so much more than anyone else, maybe it’s because she was like a second mum to me while growing up? Maybe it’s because I look up to her and therefore, subconsciously, seek her approval/understanding more so than anyone else’s? Or maybe it’s because she wants to hear me, she wants to listen to me and understand me. She’s interested. And she loves me unconditionally and will think no less of me no matter what I tell her, no matter how stupid or weak I’ve been. She wants to know why I felt the need to hurt myself over and over, why I was so weak minded that I didn’t leave an abusive partner the first time she did something to me. Why I chose to move out of my home rather than kick out the people who were driving me out. I appreciate her genuine intrigue, she asks such blunt questions but with no judgement. They’re questions she asks because she genuinely cannot imagine letting anyone treat her that way. And she cannot, for the life of her, imagine me – her youngest granddaughter, her intelligent, head strong, independent granddaughter – letting anyone treat me like a piece of shit they’ve just scraped off their shoe, like I’m scum and not worth spitting on if I was on fire. Or why I would feel so lost and horrid that I would take a piece of glass and hack at my own skin.

It’s not so much the physical stuff that stays with me. I mean, yes she hit, kicked, even strangled me a couple of times. Threw me on the floor, elbowed me in the face, threw me against a wall and sexually assaulted me with an object to name but a few. And the slaps, oh the bloody slaps. No, taps. Yes taps on the cheeks. Constant. Sounds like the least of my worries huh? But no, they were where the physical and psychological abuse collided. Relentless tapping. I’d flinch every time. It was a form of control and, more importantly, humiliation. That played a huge part in all of that. Making me feel downright stupid. Laughing at me. A silent threat. Power.

I soon learned to keep my phone on silent, even dimming the screen and making sure it didn’t vibrate. I was cut off from everyone. I remember one time we had gone camping. She loved camping, the great outdoors, away from every other person that could possibly want to make contact with me. My phone rang, shit! I knew who it was, I’d removed his name from my phone book but recognised the number. Someone I considered to be one of my best friends who just happens to now be my husband. But it wasn’t like that then, we were mates. I answered it, pretending I didn’t know who it was and then when he told me I acted surprised and said my new phone didn’t have all the numbers. Then made an excuse to get off the phone. All the while I can feel her eyes burning into me. To cut a long story short, she left me there. No way to get home, no money, no phone. She just drove off. Oh she had no intentions of leaving me there really, it was to punish me. Back she came less than 5 minutes later. Of course I had to grovel, how could I not? She was my ticket back to civilisation.

I was often accused of sleeping around, be it past or present. My brother in law popped in to see me and that meant I was sleeping with him. A) I would never do that to my sister. B) He is like a brother to me, ew! And C) Just no no no!

“I know what you’re like” – the amount of times she said that to me when she actually had no clue what I was like. Looking back, it’s embarrassing. Humiliating. During sex, out of the blue she said to me “You need to get an aids test” I was obviously shocked, she never failed to shock me, and was automatically scared of what she was going to do so immediately fell into obedient mode. “I know what you’re like” that oh so familiar statement. “You’re disgusting, I know where you’ve been” and it went on. At first I was silently agreeing then she had me to the point of verbal concurrence. I just wanted it to stop.

She preyed on my weaknesses. One of them being water. It scares the shit out of me. Unfortunately she lived right by the water, and when I say right by I mean her back gate, a bit of grass then water. Walking along one day, there was no argument, no accusations just her digging at me for being scared of water. Next thing I know she’s dragging me by my hair, top, arms, whatever she could grab at with me struggling, dragging me towards the water. I’m pretty sure she never intended to put me in that water but in the moment I wouldn’t have put it past her, in fact I was 100% sure that’s what she was going to do. I begged, pleaded, apologised for nothing, told her I love her, etc etc etc. She just laughed and called me pathetic.

Then you have the false sense of security! That moment you find the strength to fight back, you find your voice. The moment they let you get away with it and you think “ha, take that”. A prime example of one of those moments was a time she elbowed me in the face. We happened to be laying on the floor in her living room, we were sleeping down there that night for some reason. Petty argument, I leant over her and, wham, elbow connected with face. I saw red, grabbed her top and got right right in her face “Don’t ever so that again” and pushed her down. To my surprise she backed off and said nothing. I felt fear, then confusion, fear again then power! Wow, I did it! I showed her! She even silently cuddled up to me as I laid with my back to her. I fell asleep powerful and confident. I woke up the same. That lasted all of 2 minutes… a day of paying for daring to retaliate. She showed me I was not powerful and my confidence was gone.

She would write me letters, I’m sorry letters. I didn’t mean to letters. I don’t know what came over me letters. The night she had me pinned on my back, leaning off the bed holding the radiator, trying to pull myself away from her while she assaulted me, she wrote me a letter. Curled up in a ball, eyes squeezed tight pretending to be asleep, she wrote me a letter and left. I could barely read most of it but what I did read was along the lines of “what have I done? I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve you”. I kept all the letters for years after. Not to show people. It sounds stupid but they were my proof to myself that it happened. Proof it was as bad as I remember. Is that ridiculous? I don’t know.

I did get rid of those letters eventually. But I remember them all, just like I remember everything she ever did to me. I still can’t bare anything against my throat or taps to my cheeks even in jest. I remember. I can’t forget. Letters or no letters.

Two words. Part two.

30 December 2018 at 17:54

Jane sat with her stepmum, holding on to her dads hand. It was quiet, or maybe Jane couldn’t hear what was happening around her? She stared at his hand holding hers – no, her hand holding his.

Confused?

Numb?

He was gone and Jane was in shock.

‘Shit!’ Jane went to let go of his hand and couldn’t. I don’t mean that she emotionally couldn’t, I mean physically – Rigor Mortis had started and his hand was “stuck” around hers. “I can’t get him off!” She flew into panic mode. Still staring at his hand, heart pounding, her stepmum carefully removed his hand from Janes.

No one could get hold of Janes brother for a while. He deals with stuff in his own way. He finally returned to the hospital as people were leaving. Their mum stayed with him. “Come on girls, we need to get to your sister.”

Their sister – half sister, same dad. Same dead dad. 25th July. Her birthday. Her 8th birthday. Today.

‘Oh my god.’

It all blurred. Somehow they had got to their dads house. In they went, smiling.

Smiling?

“Happy Birthday! I’m so sorry I forgot your present, I’ll grab it for you later.”

The words fell out of her mouth. A quick hug, on she walked to the living room.

Smiling.

This 14 year old girl and her 17 year old sister had just watched as their dad took his last breath and now, here they were, pretending as if it was just a normal day!

That’s not normal!

Who in their right mind would expect them to do that?

But it was their younger sisters 8th birthday, it would’ve been cruel if they hadn’t.

Wouldn’t it?

plainjanelbug

Happy Birthday

22 December 2018 at 07:30

68. Not old old, but not particularly young either.

20 years. Where did those years go?

I wonder what you’d look like now.

47. Too young to die.

14. Too young to grieve.

35. 12 years.

20 and 18 – still too young.

Years. Age. Numbers. Head fuck.

plainjanelbug

My dog doesn’t like my mum!!!

12 December 2018 at 17:13

Our puppy loves everyone, that is except my mum! I don’t get it? Literally from the first time he met her. Take the other day for example, the door knocks and he bolted to the door and started barking as usual whenever the door knocks. When I opened the door he took one look at my mum and immediately started to back away, he lowered himself and growled then proceeded to bark while backing away. Then he scarpered and spent the whole time she was there in the garden apart from when we got the kids from school, he came in to investigate but as soon as he spotted Mum off he went again. He literally lowers his body and runs away with his tail down like he’s scared. When Mum left I called him in. It took me ages to get him to go in the living room, he clearly thought she was still there. Eventually he dared to look for himself and realised she was gone. He ran to the door and sniffed it, and the toilet door. Then when he was satisfied she had left he went back to normal.

My mum, a very awkward person (wonder where I get it from!) who can be difficult and, sometimes, downright strange! But she is kind hearted and is very much an animal person. Cats are her favourite, no doubt about that, she has always had them. But she loves animals in general, she would never do them any harm. And animals normally love her, she makes a fuss over them and uses a silly high pitched voice that they thrive on! So why does my dog not like her?

She came round the other day (I’ve taken a break since I started writing this post) and he did the usual growling and barking. But we made “progress” of sorts, he came in the living room to tell her off! So funny! He literally came in, lowered himself, looked up at her and barked several times. Then he walked back out again and went to sit in the garden and sulk.

Yes, he is most definitely a sulker! It’s kind of like having a stroppy child stamping their feet when they don’t get their own way. You know, arms folded, frowning and stomping away in a paddy. If he doesn’t get his way or he pushes the boundaries too far and gets told off he’ll sulk, it’s like he’s giving you the silent treatment. He will literally turn his face away from you if you go to him when he’s not finished sulking!

Shit, I’ve gone off course now! Haha, scatter brain!

So, why does my dog dislike my mum? I’d love to get into that head of his! Instead, I guess I’ll just have to wonder and hope it sorts itself out…

(The picture is him sulking in the garden when my mum was round!)

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plainjanelbug

A punch in the gut

3 November 2018 at 18:44

A little while ago I wrote about my half sister and how her losing her partner made me realise I feel for her as a human being and not as family.

Well, the 25th July saw the 20 year anniversary of our dads passing and her 28th birthday. I had just done some shopping and had loaded everything into the car when, as I started the engine, I glanced up and there she was. She had just got out of her uncle’s car, her youngest in a pushchair and her eldest by her side. Off went the engine, I stood up with one foot out of the car and found myself calling her name across the car park. Honestly, in that moment, I think it was more of a defence tactic – a case of avoiding the backlash if she had in fact seen me and I chose to drive off! Sounds horrible but, due to lots of experience in her pettiness, I have learned to pacify her where possible!

Anyway, she looked up and there it was, that look like her whole world had fallen apart in that instant. That look you get when something hits you like a punch in the gut. The tears were there, she held them back and began to walk towards me, kids in tow. I got out of the car, slowly feeling something but it didn’t click what just yet. We came face to face, I’m not even sure how long it had been – put it this way I’d never met her youngest who wasn’t far off of 2. I asked her how she was and I watched as she tried to speak while stopping herself from breaking, then the two words she mustered “I’m trying” came out and it was my turn for the punch in the gut. I put my arms around her and she broke. My big sister instincts kicked in and I realised what I was feeling. My baby sister was broken and it hurt like hell. We stood there and, for the first time in a very long time, her pain was my pain and I would’ve done anything to stop her from hurting.

I guess, when all is said and done, we are sisters and (in some circumstances) – no matter how distant we are normally or how brief the moment is – that trumps everything.

plainjanelbug

Never mind, carry on

1 November 2018 at 07:13

Oh dear, it appears I may be back in that mode. Feeling too much. Feeling overwhelmed by everything and anything. Doctor Foster nearly had me bawling for pity’s sake! Ridiculous really.

I’ve stopped and sat, so much to do and not enough time to do it in but I’ve stopped and sat. Regretting that now because it’s sunk in that I’m back in crazy mode. It was becoming more and more apparent over the last few days – or has it been weeks? – but now I’ve stopped and sat it’s hit me. Here we go again.

Can’t think about that now though, I start work in less than an hour. Need to run in my dear old Grans house and pick up a wee sample to drop off at the doctors – yet another infection – then it’s off to work for a few hours before the kids finish school.

Tired.

Never mind, carry on.

plainjanelbug

Kids, the pup and my man

28 October 2018 at 03:03

I can hear the kids playing upstairs – the fake American accents are in full swing 😂 so funny! I could listen to them all day when they are like this, playing nicely and getting along. Won’t last long though, soon they’ll be bickering because one doesn’t want to do what the other one does or one of them will decide they want to change roles and the other one won’t want to! “That’s not fair! It’s my turn.” And then comes the inevitable “MUUUUUUUUM!” And that sound of two sets of feet running across the laminate floor, into the hallway and down the stairs. It’s a race, who can get to me first to tattle tail?

But, right now, it’s peaceful. I’m sat on the sofa and the dog is laying by the window (yes we now have a puppy!) sleeping peacefully.

There was quite a long time where I didn’t post anything, I think the whole 6 weeks holidays and then some. In that time quite a few things have occurred – some trivial and some not so.

My daughter turned 6! 6?! How did that happen? Is seems like 5 minutes ago she had just started nursery and hated it, now she’s in year 1 and loving school! No more crying and clinging to me, she just walks in and barely gives me a glance. She suits 6, with its soft edges and curly whirley shape. Unlike 5, a ridged line followed by a curve then you add the top line last. What’s that about? No real start or finish. It’s all awkward and higgledy piggledy! No, 6 is much better, much more comfortable.

Parents evening was last week, I sat there and listened to both teachers tell me how wonderful my children are 😊 how well behaved and bright they both are, how confident my son is and how my daughter is gaining confidence every day (she even puts her hand up to answer questions!) Proud mum right here! Honestly, I was worried that they would both take after me – don’t get me wrong, the fact that they’re bright and well behaved is definitely from me (and that’s great) but my confidence level sucked! It still does!

Yes, their confidence definitely comes from their dad. He is loud and head strong with an ability to both piss people off and charm the birds from the trees all with little to no effort. Some people don’t know how to take him, he’s been called aggressive – not physically by the way, he is in no way violent – and some people don’t like the language he uses. Others take him as he is, potty mouth and all, because they know he has a heart of gold and his brutal honesty, although at times inconvenient, can be refreshing and just what people need to hear (whether they like it or not).

So, the inevitable squabble between the kids came and went – along with the peace and quiet – and the day has been and gone. Me and the hubby are watching a film and the kids are asleep (I hope, it’s 9:30!). The pup has disappeared, probably to the utility room where he likes to lay. I think he likes the cool floor by the back door. Plus he likes his own space at times, away from humans in general whether they’re touching him, looking at him or breathing in his general direction! Funny little thing. Reading those last three words back made me chuckle. Yes he’s a puppy, at 19 and a half weeks he’s an adorable, cheeky, clumsy thing but he is by no means little! Weighing in at 23 kilos he is heavier than both of my kids and can end up taking me for a walk rather than the other way around 😂 He is a beautiful German Shepherd, mostly black with a white patch on his chest and one white tipped paw. He also has some grey in places and some tints of brown. People are always saying how unusual his colouring is, most people assume he is crossed with another breed. He’s not. Both parents are German Shepherds, his dad a black/blue and his mum pure white. Gorgeous.

You know, I’ve totally lost my thread! Interrupted yet again and now it’s morning. As per usual the boys are up – my son is playing a game on his phone and the pup is chewing on his cow ear (which bloody stinks!). I think I need to end this post before I start to ramble about something else!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone 🙂

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plainjanelbug

International Stammering Awareness Day

22 October 2018 at 17:59

Monday 22nd October 2018. International Stammering Awareness Day. A day that saw Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many more social media platforms flooded with posts about Stammering. People sharing their experiences. A chance for people to express themselves, embrace their stammer and say “hey I stammer and that’s ok” a chance for people like me to say “my child stammers and I’m proud, every single day, of his courage and ability to carry on regardless” a day where we all came together, no matter how far apart, and joined hands to support one another and raise awareness.

My child stammers. My son. Since he could first string more than 1 word together. It’s been, and remains to be, a struggle for him and us, a never ending roller coaster ride with so many twists and turns it leaves us dizzy and worn out. But it’s a journey worth taking and it makes me so proud that his confidence prevails and he will talk to anyone regardless of how much he is stammering at that particular moment. His confidence astounds me.

My nearly 8 year old boy, my first born, my rainbow baby. If I could take my magic mummy wand and make it disappear I would in a heartbeat. Or if I could magic the world into a place of acceptance, a place where people don’t ask you why you talk the way you do, where nobody pokes fun at you or looks at you like you’re weird, where people have the patience to listen to what you’re saying rather than how you’re saying it. Oh, my beautiful boy, I would. To me you are perfect xXx

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plainjanelbug

For us not you

19 October 2018 at 05:02

Why am I worried?

What’s the worst they can say? It’s all bullshit anyway.

A quick visit once (maybe twice) a year to chuck some flowers down, you think that proves you care? You think that makes up for the sorry state of it? The neglect over the last 20years? You think that gives you the right to claim ownership and to block us out?

We’re out of order? How dare we! How dare we what exactly? Oh yes, that’s it, how dare we make our dads grave look nice. How dare we put our hearts and souls (not to mention blood, sweat and hard earned money) into making it somewhere nice to visit.

How dare we indeed.

We’re inconsiderate and disrespectful. We did it to upset you. Of course we did.

plainjanelbug

Another day, another “ball pit”

20 July 2018 at 16:07

So here we are again. The “ball pit”, a different one from my last “ball pit” post but basically the same.

In principle I should be annoyed that it’s always me doing these things, you see my husband is off playing golf somewhere with other dads from the family! Haha they’re all the bloody same. But I’m not annoyed, I won’t allow myself to be. I like to see my kids do things, progress, grow. I can probably tell you everything my kids are capable of. As loving a father as my husband is, he misses a lot. I want him to see them how I do, to know them inside and out. But everyone is different, he’s happy and they’re happy so I’m happy 😃

I watch with pride at how far they have come. My eldest is off in the football area playing with complete strangers. His stammer a mere inconvenience. My youngest would normally be stuck to my ass around about now but she’s not! She’s off in the “ball pit” doing her own thing. She looks unsure at times and looks to me, I guess to make sure I’m paying attention, that she’s not alone. She also comes back to the table for a drink more often than what she would if her brother was with her. But she’s definitely getting braver. I try to imagine what I would be like in their shoes and I’m pretty sure they’re doing a much better job than what I would’ve!

I’m not keen on not being able to see my boy but I get regular updates from my girl about what he’s doing! I can see she really wants him to play with her but, at the moment, he’s enjoying himself playing what I’m guessing from her description can only be air hockey which, I’m told, is right near the football area.

I do worry that people might be teasing him but I have to just let him be – if he comes to me then ok but if not he’s obviously dealing with it or choosing to ignore it. I don’t want to mollycoddle him and make him nervous about being around other children. He needs to deal with it in his own way. I hate it, I really do but it is what it is and thankfully he is who he is.

Love the “ball pit” it gives me time to watch and reflect. Time to think. More importantly, my kids love it too.

plainjanelbug

I’m not “Mummy” anymore ????

20 July 2018 at 05:04

So it dawned on me, at about midnight last night when I couldn’t sleep, that I am no longer “Mummy” to either of my kids! Sure, other people refer to me as Mummy when talking to my kids and I think I probably do, in a kind of third person way while talking to my youngest. But they don’t. My babies don’t call me Mummy and I’m not sure how I feel about that? I’m proud that they’re growing but sad at the same time! It’s so weird. Parenthood is a funny old thing, the mix of emotions is really quite strange. I remember noticing pretty quickly when our eldest stopped saying Mummy and Daddy. Also, I picked up on when he stopped saying Nanny. But our youngest, I’m not even sure! I’m racking my brains, trying to think of the last time I heard her call me Mummy or even refer to me as Mummy. I can’t. As for Daddy and Nanny, that’s anyone’s guess.

I’m not sure if I’m going to write Mummy and Daddy in her birthday card – she turns 6 in September. Or should I write Mum and Dad? I’m pretty sure she won’t mind either way!

Maybe I could indulge myself this one last time!

plainjanelbug

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