Posts Tagged ‘friends’

I’m very lucky to be a part of a wonderful group of friends. Together we share a number of qualities and skills which I personally think could change the world! 🙂

Anyway, it just so happens that it was my turn for a healing session. One super good friend who is a graduate in psychology has spent the past 20 years hearing a daily account of my life. She is one of those women who people just look at and then decide to tell her their life stories, even total strangers! Her advice and intuition is always spot on and I think that people must pick up on that.

So as usual I’m going about my life, looking for the next big thing to do. I’m pretty good at jumping from one thing to the next but generally, whatever I choose to put my mind to, full throttle, is something that will have a positive impact. Not only for myself, but also on others. Except this time around, I’ve decided the next big thing for me is to live life like Jamie Foxx’s
Unpredictable!!!

So my lovely friend decided that it would be fun for her and extremely beneficial for me to look into the real causes of my actions. Knowing me as well as she does, she knew I would not be acknowledging or even looking at the bigger picture.

Additional to this, over the past few days I have somehow managed to come to terms with the fact that there are very few people who know me. I don’t really allow people past the exterior. I portray a happy, smiley person on the surface, some may get to see a few tears but that’s because publicly, I’m just an emotional wreck! My true thoughts and feeling are kept inside, brushed away, so as not to rock the boat. Alright, on occasion, so as not to suffer rejection. Damn I am so putting myself out there today!

Last night, after nearly 4 hours of what most certainly felt like a Psychotherapy session, we managed to work backwards and unravel the tangled spider web also known as my life. I grappled back and forth in rebellion, not wanting to accept or give up on certain aspects, regardless of the consequences. Putting it down to the fact that I love a challenge, I enjoy the chase or the thrill of certain situations.

Eventually we got to the centre and figured that for at least the past 12 years, possibly longer, I had been living with a huge void in my life. Rather than dealing with the fact that this is how I’ve been living, I have instead lived life like the void does not exist. I have been avoiding the void by immersing myself into a number of pretty amazing activities and achievements but once I accomplish something, I then tire and find something else to occupy my mind. Never confronting the reality.

Will I manage to take this whole process on board to make the necessary changes? Well, it’s obviously going to be a very long work in progress.

Today I woke and the only thought on my mind was that the only person who can release me is myself. And then the tears started. Many tears, hours of tears! Seriously crying myself a river!

I cried for not running away and getting married 16 years ago, I cried for not telling someone I was in love with them way back when, I cried for allowing myself to being taken advantage of, I cried for not saying no, I cried for not speaking my mind, I cried for not having the balls to spend a year in Cuba. Yes I cried a lot for that one. I cried for having to change my life plan, I cried over the thought that everything I have done over the past 12 years, regardless of the accomplishments, has been done in an effort to ignore what is missing, to avoid rocking the boat. I cried tears for my decisions, my achievements and my losses. I cried tears for me.

Another lovely friend was at the end of the phone after all of those tears. Her wise words were maybe I can’t build the bridge to get to the other side from where I am. Maybe I do need to jump in the water and try and build the bridge from there.

How many of us out there are living a life full of voids? Are we really doing anything to fix them? Or will we just sit and put up with whatever life throws at us, never truly being happy, nor fulfilling our dreams or potential…

I happened to come across this year old MSN article today. http://m.now.msn.com/sex-makes-people-happiest-per-new-study.

It’s about a study conducted by a university in New Zealand on what makes people happiest and sex and alcohol scored above caring for children! So I had an amusing few hours sharing the article with friends and seeing what their responses were.

The best response was from a friend who said ‘…to cheer myself up I’m going to go have a drink and have sex in Westfield. Don’t worry about the boys they will be fine. I will wait til they’re eating lol…’

I’m still laughing now at that one! Another was quick to point out that sex and alcohol is what led to us having kids! Who am I to argue with that!

I want to know if this is how the majority of us are feeling. Are we really going to put sex and booze above our kids? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good binge drinking and shag fest but I’ve never actually wondered if it’s what makes me feel happiest. Mainly because they’re momentary activities compared to the day in day out of being with and caring for your children, which as most parents know is not a bed of roses but brings such an array of emotions; joy, sadness, amazement, pride, anger, frustration, an inexhaustible list. Emotions that make us feel alive, emotions that tell us everyday that we are living.

So just for fun, I have set up a survey for you all to do. Think long and hard about your answers. I’ve done mine and a few hours later I’m wishing I could change them! Typical!

Share the survey with your friends and I’ll let you know the results in a week!

Click here to take survey\ }

NaBloPoMo November 2013

I’ve just returned home from ‘shopping’. Shopping isn’t in inverted commas because I’ve been splashing the cash in Westfield. Oh no! That hasn’t happened for a good while and neither can I see it in the future! No, shopping consisted of a loaf of basics bread (50p), the cheapest milk (£1), reduced fresh quarter pounder burgers (£1.14 down from £4.50, BARGAIN) and super cheap toilet roll (the days of buying Andrex are long gone). Thankfully I had £2.50 on my nectar card so all I paid was around 83p. Of which I was scrambling round my handbag looking for the last 2p! As I stepped through the door I updated my eldest son with today’s shopping experience at which he was most impressed with my thriftiness!

Yes, this is life and to quote Floetry ‘this isn’t my idea of fun’. But, this is how many people are living these days.

My friends and I all come from the same social background. We were brought up in council housing, now live in council housing with our children, we’re all predominantly single mothers, have attended university as mature students with children, have had a last child in that final year of university, we work in public services and haven’t had a pay rise in line with inflation in years.

So what has that got to do with anything? Well I’m really not sure and I’m sure there’s someone out there with a PHD in Social Sciences who will be able to analyse it but all I know is that we have now entered a time where we are seriously struggling.

It’s pretty reminiscent to the struggle our own parents went through in the 1980’s under Thatcher’s government. Those dark, dank times when everyone wore brown, and it was cold and grey. I remember a cousin bringing a big bag of rice over because he’d just got a job with Tilda and that’s what we ate for a few weeks. Mum and Dad literally didn’t have the money to buy any food.

When my friend came over the other day we sat and planned how we’re going to do our Christmas shopping. We were not planning through excitement. We were planning the Christmas food shop so that we can get to every supermarket in a 6 mile radius and pick up whatever reduced food is available.

The realisation that we actually can’t afford to buy our children presents is rapidly setting in so we’ll compensate by having loads of nice food… yep not really washing with me either! Why? Because my children need me to buy them things, regardless of whether they are wrapped up in shiny paper, like pants and socks and pyjamas and trainers and pens and books. Those are basic things that I have not been able to buy them all year. If it snows, the £6 pair of canvas shoes I bought them in the summer aren’t going to offer them much protection.

A couple of weeks ago I had a letter come from the homeless charity Crisis. In it they were urging people to have fund raisers within their Christmas parties to raise money for those in need. I sat thinking for a while and thought that it would make more sense for me to have a Christmas party at home for my volunteers, rather than us all paying out for a meal that we firstly can’t afford and secondly will probably moan about (we’re a fussy bunch!). That way we can spend a fun evening together and fund raise at the same time.

I have my children, we have a roof over our heads and I always find a way to make sure my children are not hungry. My children are not wearing rags, at the moment they don’t have holes in their shoes and I have family and friends who will help us if we do get to that point.

Sometimes we need a reminder to make ourselves realise that there are people suffering far more severely or have a greater financial or emotional need for help and assistance.

Sprinkle the universe with a little love and kindness. No matter how small the gesture, there will always be someone who appreciates it.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Trigger Warning: bleeding in pregnancy, miscarriage.

I have 4 modules and my dissertation left to do of my degree. I could probably have it done in a semester. I should have finished it 3 years ago. Quite often, someone will ask me when I plan on completing it. I find myself standing there giving a brief explanation as to why I have not chosen to go back to university and agreeing that yes, I do need to return and get it over and done with. I then walk away feeling like I have made pathetic excuses.

The thing is, I feel that my brain is totally shut off to the idea. It was not just a case of me waking up one morning and deciding that I’d had enough and was throwing the towel in.

I suppose one factor that has led to me not completing my degree was because I fell pregnant. Or rather the complications and problems that arose within and after the pregnancy.

Do you remember my Libido: Liberated post? Yes? Well it was just before I was about to return back to uni that I found out I was pregnant. Now that wasn’t a problem. At the end of the day, I’m part of the ‘super mum’ generation! I was already working as an administrator with 2 children and going to university. For the record mums, one thing I learned during my years at uni was that we can do two things well – work and uni, work and kids, uni and kids – but, make that 3 and the cracks do begin to show.

So if I’m really honest, the thought of having another baby was not that daunting. And even though I was not in a good place (apart from in bed obviously!) with my children’s dad, I thought that the fact that this was the 1st time I’d fallen pregnant in 5 years, using the withdrawal method as our form of ‘contraception’ must have been a blessing. Alright, I also told all and sundry that I was like the Virgin Mary because he hadn’t even come inside me! 😀 I am prone to my moments of being extremely inappropriate! I apologise!

Furthermore, all of my friends had also attended university as mature students and had also become pregnant in their final year. We don’t half love to make life hard for ourselves!

It was the Wednesday of half term and I had just arrived home from my classes. The house was quiet as my kids were at their dad’s house for a few days. I’d had a scan the previous Friday which had confirmed I was 13 weeks pregnant. All was well. I had decided that I would take maternity leave 2 weeks before my due date and thought that I’d be able to pop in to uni to sit my final exams and leave the new baby with friends and family.

I settled down on the sofa, enjoying the peace while chatting to my best friend on the phone. While we was talking I felt something kind of spurt I guess into my knickers. I carried on chatting but went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and looked. There was blood in my knickers and when I wiped myself. Not loads but enough to be concerned about. I told my friend. She said I needed to call the midwife straight away. I did and she advised me to get straight to the hospital. I then called my friend back and asked if she thought I should let the kids dad know (we hadn’t spoken for a few weeks) to which she said obviously. So I called him. Told him not to panic and to meet me at the hospital. Up to this point, I wasn’t in pain, I felt ok and I wasn’t really that worried either.

I got a cab to the hospital and was rushed through all the admin as an emergency case. While I was waiting for the general blood pressure and other similar checks to be done, I began to feel a bit of pain, like a horrible dragging, clawing feeling. Different to both period and labour pains. I also felt that I was bleeding heavier.

We were sent up to the early maternity unit. I insisted on not going in a wheel chair. This was actually a very silly idea as I hadn’t realised that we would have to walk for 10 minutes to get to where we needed to be. By the time we got there I was struggling.

We were taken to a small waiting room where a young girl and her partner and friends were waiting. I don’t know why they were there, I assumed she was also pregnant. They were loud and on a number of occasions quite annoyed with the staff as they had been waiting ages.

I felt things getting worse. To the point I couldn’t sit down. It just felt like so much blood. An hour came and went and I hadn’t been seen by anybody. By this point I assumed I was miscarrying. I managed to get to the nurses station to ask if they could give me another towel. I think they had forgotten about me. So they did and said to monitor how much I was bleeding. I think another hour may have passed and in the end I had to go back to the nurses. I was in public and bleeding everywhere. There was so much blood it had come through my clothes. There was blood in the waiting room where I had been sitting and I left a substantial trail of blood all down the corridor. It was like I’d been massacred. My kids dad was saying that if he has to choose between me and the baby he’s choosing me. He’d never seen so much blood in his life.

We were put in a private side room for a while then were finally called into the doctor. I was bleeding so heavily she could not do an internal to see whether my cervix was still closed. But she managed to get hold of an ultrasound to do a scan. Miraculously, through all of that, my baby was still there, still alive!

I had to stay in hospital over night so they could monitor me. There was a lady opposite me who had an awful miscarriage, but was so lovely to me. It’s so strange the details we remember.

The bleeding didn’t stop but got somewhat lighter. I was allowed home but put on the first of many bouts of bed rest. At this point they were unsure what was happening to me. Even so, I felt like, and still do, one of the lucky ones.

So this is the beginning of a number of reasons as to why I haven’t finished my degree. There are more, but I don’t feel brave enough to explore those today.
NaBloPoMo November 2013

I was asked this question today by a delightful male friend, who just for the record is not a toyboy, well at least not mine! Although if he was younger than me I wouldn’t throw the idea out of the window! 😉 Anyway let me get rid of the shovel before I dig myself in even further!

The deeper into our 30s my friends and I go the more the topic of younger men and having a toy boy comes up. Now I really am no expert in the field of dating younger men. I don’t have a toyboy but, I am open to offers, solely for research purposes … Of course!

Whilst speaking with friends about younger men the issue of it being a boost to the ego never comes up. We are all pretty much secure in the varying packages we come in and I feel we are most certainly at a point in our lives where in fact, we would not give a damn what any man thought of us. If anything, we are over confident!

That being said, the actuality of having a younger man vying for your attention, I would imagine to be extremely flattering and quite likely to have a positive affect on your self esteem.

I’m sure there are women out there who have been hurt in a relationship who could well do with an ego boost. If that comes packaged in a sexy firm body with a youthful staying power then I guess all power to them!

So what of sexuality? I think I can say that with regards to my friends and I, the younger man ‘vogue’ is more likely to be an issue of sexuality than female ego. Why? I’m not 100% sure. Could it be that we fancy having some fun with someone who can keep up with our increasing sexual urges? Are we looking for some everyday bed action? Nothing more, nothing less. I think this is something we are still figuring through. Answers and suggestions on a postcard please!

Although, I do have another take on all this toyboy malarkey. So this thought is based on women in their 30s. Not the ones who have just got married and had kids though! No, they’re the secure ones who had life plans that actually worked. This theory is for the girls in their 30s who have settled down and had kids quite young, may still be in a relationship or single. Not to say that they don’t have workable life plans! Who the hell handed me the shovel again???

Maybe there is all this chat about finding a toyboy because we just simply want one last hoorah? Maybe the thought of being 40 and hitting middle age is just a little bit daunting and we want to spice things up abit before we settle back in to being sensible again. That reminds me of my mum and her best friend watching Shirley Valentine in the early 1990s. They were both in their 30s. And they thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

So while you’re all pondering this issue, I’m just going to head off out dancing to this great club, where all the young men are super fine, fresh and flirty and love a lady in her 30s! 😉

NaBloPoMo November 2013

A few months, ago a friend of mine came off the pill for the first time in 7 years. ‘I can’t believe how much I’ve been missing out on! I’m never going back on it again!’ She enthused to me.

I totally understood where she was coming from. You see, I haven’t taken female contraception for nearly 10 years. And what with us settled into our 30’s, the alleged age when women hit their sexual peak (I can confirm its true and only gets better!) there was seriously a lot she was missing out on!

This week I read the following Article in The Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/young-women-going-off-pill-contraception-birth-control?CMP=twt_gu

I began thinking of my own views and experience of female contraception.

So you already know that I’m one of those women who refuse to use female contraception. It feels liberating! And I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way!

There we go, my admissions on the table. Judge me people! Go on I know you want to! Done?

If I’m honest I don’t totally remember the background as to why I decided to give up on female contraception. The horrendous periods were a factor. I can’t say weight gain was a factor because straight up, I eat too much and can’t blame that on anything but myself! I had been on the pill or hormone shots from the ages of 16 to 24 and had somehow managed to get pregnant, twice! (No that isn’t a misprint!) So I had a 1 year old and a 2 year old and decided to come off the pill, which seeing it in writing sounds absolutely crazy! But, within a few months I felt for the first time in my life, in control of my body. I began to have regular periods and the older I got, the more able I felt I was to determine when I was fertile and more likely to get pregnant.

Now I would like to point out that if I was in a casual relationship, there is no way on earth I would have sex with the person without using a condom. Do I think I should have to pump myself full of artificial hormones to satisfy a mans desire to go ‘bare back’? Hell no! At the end of the day, where has he been? Sexual health and the increasing spread of STI’s for me comes primary before getting pregnant. And as long as that is the main concern then there should be little to no chance of an accidental or unwanted pregnancy.

So in my ‘secure’ relationship (inverted commas as there’s a bigger story to that which we’ll save for another day!) we weren’t using contraception and was using the withdrawal method, or voodoo as described in the article and it did work. 5 years passed and all was fine. But then, to put a bit of a clinical spin on it, the conditions were right and low and behold after six weeks of sun, sea and sangria, oh and a fair amount of sex I came back to England with a bun in the oven! This is what happens when you have a lot of idol time on your hands, sperm decides to shake the game up a bit!

So here I am now, 4 years later with the most beautiful surprise baby. Have I learnt from my lesson? Yes, but I’m still not going on the pill, ever. Maybe that means I haven’t learnt anything from my experience!

Anyway, I began to think of Catholic/Latin American/Patriarchal concepts of women, La Malinche, Marianismo, the Madonna versus the whore. I even went up to the gigantic box hidden away in my room to see if any of my old uni books had anything on the subject but couldn’t be bothered to search hard enough! So in the end I just sat and thought a bit more and these are the questions that kept coming up.

Now I stress, I’m not a scientist, I have not researched any of this and am just coming up with thoughts off the top of my head, but, what if this pill which was meant to sexually liberate women does the actual opposite? Would scientific research if undertaken suggest that female contraception in fact suppresses a woman’s sexual urges? If this so happened to be the case, is it not then that women are in fact even more repressed than 60 years ago? Is it so, that the only thing female contraception liberates women from is unexpected or unwanted pregnancy? Because it sure as hell does not liberate women from sexually transmitted infections!

I view my body, in that it is meant to enjoy sexual activity, as it is, in it’s natural state, without the interference of any extra hormones. I think men should be responsible for their own sexual health by using condoms. If you love yourself it’s the least you can do! As much as, a woman doesn’t know where a man has been and vice versa.

Who feels liberated within their life these days? Work, family, juggling the bills, it all takes it toll. I’m just happy I feel in control of my body. And the only repression taking place in my bedroom is that of the noises coming out of my mouth!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

My best moments over the past few days are….

The glorious blue sky over the weekend. What’s better than waking up on an October morning and not only seeing a blue sky, but going outside to find that heat of the sun matches up is a seriously good thing!

Visiting my friend who is an artist to discuss the exhibition that we are having! (Excitement!!!) but having a look at the pieces he has put years into is just magical. Listening to the concept behind it and what they represents is mind blowing.

Eating food for lunch today without questioning the ingredients. This is a big thing for me as I have suffered from anxiety over the past few years. Even though I learnt how to deal with the panic attacks, the ‘food issues’ (as I call them!) have been brushed under the carpet so I go around avoiding things. But today I just went for it!!!