Better than before

I recently discovered Betternotbroken a fellow blogger who has escaped from an abusive relationship. I have only read a few of her posts one of them being four sly abusive tactics. Reading this post I recognised these signs although at the time I hadn’t figured them out.

Sleep derivation, yes I was subjected to that, I would be asleep when he came into the room shook me awake and began talking (rambling about anything) if I started to fall asleep again he would shake me again “I’m talking to you.” This would sometimes go on for hours even though all he was doing was going round and round in a circle telling me the same things over and over.

He would insist that I join him in the pub, or often it would be to collect him from the pub. I would end up sitting at a table with our boys for hours on end whilst he talked to his ‘mates’. Sometimes he would buy me an orange juice but he wouldn’t bring it to me. He would be too busy having a conversation with one of his fellow drunks. He would have the same conversation with each mate as they came in. Everyone in the pub knew who I was, I knew most of their faces, I also knew their names because he talked about them a lot, I wasn’t sure which name belonged to which face though. I couldn’t make a scene in front of all his mates, what would they think of me. He was very popular, everyone liked him.

How many times did he tell me how much he fancied the barmaid, he could give her one! It didn’t matter where we were but if he saw a good looking woman, he could always give her one. It didn’t matter that he was married and his wife was there. There was one woman who was a regular in the pub, she was not good looking, she was another drunk, she also had a downs syndrome daughter. (I did feel sorry for her to a degree). My husband would spend far more time talking to her buying her drinks, than he ever did me or our children. (I wasn’t totally surprised when they began living together after we divorced).

When I turned 40 I decided that yes I did want to have a party, not to celebrate being 40 but to celebrate being alive, I had been in remission for a year. I asked my husband to organise it. At the last minute he booked the function room at the pub, I would have preferred somewhere else but that didn’t matter as long as my family and friends were there. He managed to stay for an hour.  He didn’t even go next door to the bar, he went home!

Slow sabotage. He would tell me that I was fat, and yes I had put on weight after having his children. Whenever he felt guilty for spending too much time in the pub, he bought me chocolate, even though I was trying to diet. On mothers day or my birthday, he bought me chocolate (often end of date, price reduced). He would often produce lovely sweet desserts for me to eat, if I failed to eat it all, I didn’t appreciate the effort he had made for me. So although he told me that I was fat he did everything he could to stop me for losing weight. For many years I was told that I was ” Fat, stupid, ugly, with a  brain like a sieve.” I was lucky to have him as nobody else would have me. I couldn’t wear make up or have nice clothes, I lived in baggy t-shirts, sweatshirts and jogging trousers. After our marriage ended I began wearing nice clothes again. Now I prefer skirts to trousers.

When the children were very small I had a number of part time jobs. In theory he would come home from work and I would go to work. Only this didn’t actually happen. Sometimes he would be late home (because he had stopped for a drink) so I would be late getting to work. Other times he didn’t come home, instead I would have to ring in sick or have a reason for not going to work. Gradually I realised that because of him I was slowly becoming unemployable. Who would want to employ me when I couldn’t be relied upon to turn up on time if at all.

There were other ways that he undermined me, like constantly telling me that my friends were not nice people and they were just using me. I shouldn’t trust my friends. If he came home and found that I had a friend with me he either went to the pub or else hid upstairs in our room until they had gone. He was making my friends feel guilty for being there. Gradually most of my friends stopped visiting.

In the days before I had a mobile phone, my husband would phone me from work numerous times each day. He was checking that I was ok. I couldn’t go anywhere without telling him. If I was late getting home from the school run because I had chatted to one of my friends on the way home he would know, because I wasn’t there when he called. When I got my first mobile phone he was able to call me wherever I was. It didn’t matter where I was, for whatever reason, he would be constantly phoning me. When I was out with my mother she would get so fed up with the phone calls that she would tell me to turn the phone off. Of course I never could.

By this time the only times I ever went out without the boys was with my mother. If I was going out for any reason and needed my husband to look after our sons, he would be out until I was due to leave. I would be panicking that he wouldn’t get home in time for me to go.

When I was out ie my mum’s graduation, he would call me with an emergency that meant I had to rush home. I only ever went out 2 or 3 times a year.  (not including day to day stuff).

All this stuff was just how my life was day to day, nothing major, there was no violence, just slow drip drip control, separate and defeat. Once I finally had enough and managed to bring our marriage to an end (the abuse intensified for the 7 months were we under the same roof). It was a difficult time but I fought so hard to get out of that situation.

Moving forward a few years, I was at a party with a friend, when I met Keith. I liked him and we swapped email addresses and phone numbers. By the time I got home he had text me and emailed me. Over the next week or so we exchanged emails and text messages. We talked about meeting up the following weekend. Then he asked me why my marriage had ended. I told him that my husband had been emotionally abusive. Keith then admitted to me that he had been emotionally abusive to his wife, in the end she killed herself. ( He was a respected member of his local community). We talked about my husband and I said that I didn’t think my husband was aware of what he was doing to me. Keith told me that my husband knew exactly what he was doing. I declined to get involved with Keith. I had fought so hard to get out of my marriage that there was no way I was going to put myself back in that situation, especially knowing in advance what he would be like. Oddly he still thought I would go out with him. It took weeks of ignoring his messages before he finally left me alone.

 

Advertisement

Plastered

This morning as I listened to the radio I heard a song I hadn’t heard for a long time. It got me thinking about one of my philosophies in life. The song was this one by Ralph Mctell  . The streets of London tells you to stop feeling sorry for yourself because you really don’t have much to complain about compared to the people living on the streets of London.

My life has never been easy, it has been a struggle right through my adult life for one reason or another. I might at times write about the things that have or are happening in my life but I usually manage to laugh it off rather than complain. The reason being that no matter how bad things might get, I know, there is always someone worse off. 

When I lived with my first husband who was an emotionally abusive alcoholic, life was difficult and at times unbearable I was grateful that he never hit me or my boys.

When I had stage three cancer, I was grateful that I was treatable, 13 years on I am still here to tell the tale.

When I was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, I did at least have a roof over our heads and our health even if there was very little money for heat or food. We still had each other.

During the difficult times in the first year of my second marriage, my husband’s ill health (both physical and mental)  were made easier by the support of family and friends.

I do know people who always see the negative in everything, I feel sad for these people who never seem to be able to allow themselves to be happy. People who live their lives as victims of life make me feel mad. Yes there was a time when I felt like one of those victims where nothing in life ever seemed to go right. Then I realised that there was only one person who could change my life, me.

Coincidently this morning the girlfriend of my son Pug, posted this quote on her facebook page. ‘We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it’

Now, when things don’t go right I count my blessings instead of my problems. When I am feeling my lowest I think of the things that make me smile.  I remember my wonderful sons, I surround myself with flowers, music and laughter. I watch the birds as they go about their day.

From where I am sat writing this I can see sunshine through the windows, there are four vases of flowers in the room and when I look through the kitchen to the back door I see one of the pigeons, that frequent my bird feeder, strolling  around as though he owns the place.

A few days ago my husband had a fall when he was crossing the road, a kind man, who happened to be walking near by helped him up and got him home. He had blood on his hands, arms and more worryingly on the back of his head. I left work to take him to the hospital. He was assessed and taken to ‘major injuries’. We were left in the corridor with a growing number of others for about 1.5 hours (it could have been worse). Finally he was checked by a Dr, x-rayed, put on a drip and sent to the observation ward where his broken hand was plastered.  After much deliberation and conversation the Dr concluded that my husband needs treatment for his alcohol intake. This is something my husband is in full agreement with.

He may be in pain and having to learn to cope with being one handed whilst his hand is in plaster. The cut on his head was merely a graze which appeared worse than it was due to the amount of blood. However his fall has led to something being done about helping him to stop drinking. If he manages to complete the treatment on offer and stops drinking he should be able to get his strength back properly and maybe he will be fit enough to actually work. He will then be able to earn some money as well as save money by not buying drink.

Now here is a little something to lift your spirits The Corrs

Changes

I am beginning to get used to my new injections although I still don’t think I would be able to do them for myself.  I’ve had seven in total so far and the only one that actually did hurt was the first one that was done by the diabetic nurse. Since then two of my colleagues have done them for me and the last few Owl has done.

I have noticed since I started having these injections that my appetite has been much smaller, I am struggling to eat much of even my favourite food. I am suffering from heart burn on an almost daily basis.  I feel very full and bloated. I would have thought that considering that I am eating less I would feel slimmer but I feel fatter.

Since watching that program yesterday about the people who have to follow extreme life changes to lose weight I have decided that I need to make myself go for a walk every day. I have now done two days. I can’t promise I will go every single day but I am aiming for 5 times a week for now.

This morning I got up early, I had got an idea into my head about a possible new story I wanted to write. I wrote two pages right away and have been thinking about where I want it to go from there. This afternoon I was reading another blog  When all is said and done and found a post talking about a book ……The Bobblehead Dad by Jim Higley. I have not read the book but I gather that Jim has survived cancer and this is his book about it. This got my mind working. I have been going wrong all the time I have been trying to write a novel. All this time I have been trying to find a plot to write my fiction novel about, when all along I have been wanting to write about living with and after cancer.  I have already written about my experience with cancer elsewhere so why don’t I just write my story in my own way instead of trying to put it into a work of fiction.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes

Sometimes I just feel I want to find somewhere to curl up and hide from everything.

Just when things begin to get back to normal something happens to slap me back down.

I have been very lucky to have a job that I enjoy. Currently it is becoming depressing. I am sure it is only temporary.

After 12 years in remission I am now back to hospital visits and examinations.

After spending a year without a driving license, my husband has decided to foolishly throw it away. He goes to court next week.

After months of being unwell and beginning to get back to normal we are back to short term memory loss issues coupled with falling over problems.

 

But hey tomorrow is another day.  🙂

C is for cancer

Months ago I decided that from time to time I would write a random post following the letters of the alphabet. I did A here and B here now it is the turn of C.

Now I could write a list of things beginning with C but I have chosen to write a short post concerning Cancer.

Earlier today I read this on facebook.

NEED WASHING
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’
She said.
‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?’

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘ If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ‘ ‘

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

This reminded me of one morning probably about 10 years ago.

One of my boys was feeling too poorly to go to school. Skater and I were talking about Statto never having a day off from school. Skater turned to me and said…..

Mummy you don’t get ill either you just had cancer.

To me that was incredible.

I felt that my young child knew that his mother had been very ill with Cancer but had survived so for him the word Cancer was not as scary as it is to many people.

He is now 17 and not quite so blaze about this word which makes grown men cry.

I will survive

Joyce commented on my last post Serenity that it was the most personal post she had seen from me. I was touched by her comment. so maybe I will post one or two more like that as time goes by.

This morning as I lay in bed listening to the radio they were playing a couple of songs that were featured in a listener’s favourite 5 songs. This is a feature that this radio station have been running for many years. A listener tells them their top 5 songs and the station then play 2 of those 5 songs. I have never sent mine in because how do you chose just 5 out of all the many many songs I have adored over the years of my life.

If pushed to name my 5 songs I would start with  this song by 10cc it was one of my favourites when I was at school. Some songs just send a thrill down my spine and this was one of them. 

Next would always be this Moody Blues Classic again it sent shivers down my spine and still does every time I hear it. Both these songs were always played at parties and disco’s during my teens and early 20s.

A third song that struck me in a similar way as a young adult shortly after I had left school and begun working was this 1977 release by Rose Royce.

So now I have 3 out of my 5 songs but what else has struck me in the same way? There were many many songs that had a lot of meaning to me. Many also that I just loved to sing along to. The ones I danced to and ones I later loved to. I have countless songs in my head that I loved as soon as I heard them. Others that grew on me.

But how do I choose just 2 more out of the thousands?

There is one more song that I have long thought of as my personal anthem. I am sure you are all familiar with this classic song by Gloria Gaynor I will Survive. Being a child of the 60s I loved the disco era, Stylistics, Diana Ross, Hot Chocolate, Amy Stewart, Tavares to name but a few. I couldn’t not love this song.

In 2001 I was diagnosed with stage III Cervical Cancer, my then husband told our children that I was going to die. My children at the time were aged 5 through to 13. Obviously this was devastating news for them. However I had other ideas. With four sons to watch growing up I wasn’t about to give in to something like cancer. I had too much to live for. So I will Survive became my anthem. As you can see I did survive and have been in remission since September 2001. I do not however take my continuing life for granted.

In 2005 I reached a stage where my marriage was no longer bearable. Again I will Survive became my anthem as I struggled to get through the awfulness of a messy divorce where we both continued to live in the same house. I turned I will Survive into the tune played by my alarm on my phone so that each morning I would awake to the sound of these powerful words.

A couple of years ago I was thinking about this song and came up with my own version.

You  made me feel so small
You bullied me without me realising it
You told me nobody would want me
How could I manage on my own with four children
It was a long time before I could relax
Afraid you would return
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
But you won’t disappear
into outer space
You keep calling
Wanting to try again
I changed the locks immediately
Your key wouldn’t help you
I hoped and prayed that
you would stop bothering me
Go on Now leave me alone
Delete my number don’t ever call
Cause your voice is not welcome in my ear
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with threats
You thought I would crumble
You thought you could make me lose my mind
Oh no, not I
I have survived
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive
It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my damaged confidence
and I spent oh so many nights
glad you were gone
I used to cringe
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person
still afraid of you
and so you felt like calling up
and just expect me to be free
Now I’m saving all my loving
for someone who will cherish me
  

So I guess this would be my fourth song but number 5 is still elusive as there are just too many to choose from.

What would be your top 5 songs and why?