Behind closed doors

I’ve been thinking recently about who we really know in our lives.

Are we sure we are seeing the real person?

Ask yourself the question

Who do you really know?

I imagine that the number is quite small.

Often you find that the public persona is not really the truth.

How many times have we be surprised by news headlines. Learning that a person we believed to be kind, great and fantastic is in fact a cruel hard abuser.

Pop starts we have worshipped being truly sick individuals.

Who we see is not always who we really are?

The mom at the school playground full of smiles and laughter goes home crying suffering from depression.

The wife who seems so happy and in love is actually a victim of spousal abuse.

We really don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

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I asked myself the question.

Who do people see when they see me?

My answer

I’m not sure.

I am a person who wears her heart on her sleeve. I am known to tell you my life’s story in the first five minutes of meeting.

But do I really share my all?

Do I confess that at times I feel like a complete failure. Motherhood is harder than I ever imagined and as much as I love it I desperately crave a break now and again.

Do I tell you the man that I married drives me insane with his RC obsession and that I’m tired of hearing lap times or speed controller turns and seriously if he forgets something once more I may go slightly insane.

Do I mention that friendship scares the pants of me. That I am convinced I will screw it up and that generally I’m not very likeable.

The truth is we all have hidden sides parts that lurk in the shadows. Yet those hidden sides effect our lives more than we realise.

Maybe it’s time we brought them
Into the light.

Building relationships that are true.

Letting people see who we really are.

I honestly believe this is the key to happiness. When you surround yourself with people who really know you it allows you to be.

To feel

To live.

So I’m saying this is me, I am mixed up lady and that is perfectly ok.

I’m tired of living behind closed doors.

Life is such a gift and I want to live it fully.

So join me open those doors swing open those windows and let’s embrace we are truly are.

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Build true relationships that are transparent.

And in our transparently let us find fulfilment.

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Benefits Street broke my heart.

Last night I sat at watched the conversional program Benefits Street. Its been a weird one for me as part of me didn’t wish to watch it in protest of the appalling way channel 4 have used these people .Yet temptation and inquisitiveness won the battle and for the last four weeks I have followed the story of James Turner Street with millions across the country.

Over the last weeks I have felt so many emotions, I can’t work out if I’m cross with the nation or with the people. What I do know is that the television programme has been made in such a way that it has raised debate all over the country. It has been edited to raise negative attitudes towards the residents and benefit users in general.

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The media are  covering stories regarding benefit fraud as if it the worst crime in the country. That everyone claiming benefits is a thief or a scoundrel this is so very wrong and a terrible stereotype to create. Personally I think a closer look and more outrage should be turned towards the millions being lost through tax loopholes and uncollected tax. I think the image below speaks for itself.

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Anyway less about this and more about the people, those who really matter. I want to talk about last nights programme. As I sat  watching it I was in tears. James Clarke better known as Fungi is a man who is in serious need of help. The news have been full of his exploits the “big issue” con and so much more but all I saw was a very vulnerable man being used.

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Addiction is a cruel disease and while many will talk about it being a choice using drugs they forget the stories behind the people. We should never judge the choices they made.

All I wanted to do last was night was hug this man. When the cameras entered his home I was heartbroken. Animals live better than him. How wrong is this world?

I don’t know James Clarke and I never will but I do know that he needs help. The newspapers are reporting that he has moved out of James Turner Street and his friends are worried for him and so they should be. The article states that the production team are in contact with him and I really hope and pray that this is the truth and he is ok.

I saw a man in need of help.

Addiction is a disease that needs treatment. Suffers need support not condemnation. It destroys lives everyday.  I really hope Fungi is getting the help he needs and I encourage anyone who is suffering to seek help.

There are organisations out there for you, contact one of those, speak to your GP but please take that first step to recover.

Places of help.

Your GP.

Action on Addiction 

Addiction Helper 

 

 

Being kind isn’t easy.

Being a parent is hard especially when your children are struggling. My maternal instinct wants to jump in and to fix everything. Yet sometimes
you have to step back and allow themselves to find their own way. It’s allowing them to grow and learn.

But as I said it isn’t easy.

My youngest daughter is struggling right now, the maze that is friendship is leaving her feeling lost and confused.

The problem is she has a kind heart.

How wrong is that statement?

A kind heart should never be a problem but when dealing with the emotions and complications of friendship it can cause you a lot of pain.

When you want everyone to be happy.

When you want kindness to be the overwhelming emotion in a cruel world.

My girls have been through so much. They have faced so much pain in their short lives and it breaks my heart that they have suffered so much.

They have such compassionate hearts which makes me as their mom so proud.

I just hate seeing this compassionate heart causing my little one so much pain.

How do I protect her?

How do I ask her to stop caring, to not worry about others?

I can’t can I?

We are on a journey searching for balance right now?

Trying to even the scales between kindness and protection.

I cannot bare to see my little girl in pain. Yet she cannot bare to see sadness in others.

How do I teach a child who wants to fix that not everything in this world is fixable?

How do I protect her sweet heart?

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We are all in this together.

Throughout our lives we find ourselves becoming parts of communities, part of set groups or to use the sociology term subcultures.

Be it a group of work colleagues , all the technicians together. Be it a parenting group, parents of two year olds please hang here. We come together through shared experiences or passions.

We are never really ever only in one group, different aspects of our lives play into different groups.

Myself I belong to many, parents of teenagers, parents of 12 year olds, foster parents and also the one group I really wish I never had to join parents who have lost a child.

All these groups I am proud to be part of but one thats on my heart right now is parents of children with special needs, especially as I like to call them my Special Kids in the UK family.

This is one amazing group, you find us  in all shapes and sizes . We have varying beliefs and certainly different personalities. Our children have different conditions even with the same diagnoses or in some cases no diagnoses.

So what makes this group rather special?

We can bitch and moan as good as it gets but when one of us is hurting we stand along side them.

If you were my friend on Facebook today you would see that my news feed is full of pictures of Minnie mouse. These pictures are our way of showing one of our members that we stand beside her. Most us wish that we could literally be standing beside her tomorrow as she lays to rest her beautiful son. We wish we could swap our virtual hugs for real squeezy ones.

Thinking of you xxx
Thinking of you xxx

But we cannot,

Life, children and distance keeps us separated. Yet nothing will stop us thinking and sending our love and wishes in support, compassion and remembrance tomorrow.

This same group right now are also sending prayers and healing to children in hospital. Sending strength to parents who are utterly exhausted. Families that are at breaking point.

At times we cannot offer more than the words “I’m here”  but believe me over the years those words have meant a great deal.

I am blessed to be a member of this group. For over the last 8 years they have been my strength. I have made friends whose friendship goes over and beyond the fact that we are special needs parents.

When I lost Livvy one of the crazy worries I had in my head was that I would lose these friends. How wrong was I, our children may have been what introduced us but they aren’t what bind us.

Maybe our binds are forged in exhaustion, endless battles with professionals and way to many late nights. Maybe they were joined in the many melt downs and medical jargon and repetitive forms.

Who knows, who cares, regardless of the why there is simply the just is.

I am so thankful to be part of this unique subculture to know and to share my life with these crazy people. At times I am not sure I would have coped without one or many of the group members.

Together we have faced the worst.

I am so grateful that one day many years ago I stumbled upon a small yahoo group. I have watched in grow over the last 8 years watched the number of members change from the tens into the thousands.

Being a member of this group means that although we may be facing uncertain futures with our children. We are never facing them alone.

We are all in this together.

 

Another child lost.

For the last few days we as a nation have been following the news from Edinburgh intensely. Praying and hoping that little Mikaeel Kular would be found safe and well. Yet in the early hours of yesterday morning we heard the news we had dreaded. The worst had happened the body of three year old Mikaeel has been found.

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Another child lost.

Why, how, why?

My heart is aching.

Why do we have to lose another one?

The news today is full of his mothers arrest and social media is full of anger but to be honest my heart is just full of pain.

I don’t know if his mom has committed this terrible crime and its not for me to judge. That is all down to the police and the justice system. All I do know is that another life has ended too soon.

I cannot get my head around crimes like this. I would have fought to the death for another moment with Olivia yet so many take a life so easily.

I watch my friends sit at the hospital beds of their sick children praying for miracles yet the news is full of abuse and childhood thieves.

Why?

Why are so many trying to save when others are willing to slaughter?

I’m struggling right now.

I’m missing Livvy so desperately I can barely breathe.

The news of this little boys passing is bringing it all to the forefront of my mind.

Not that it ever really disappears.

Livvy is the first thing on my mind as I wake and the last thing when I fall asleep.

Losing a child is a pain like no other.

Its a journey no one wishes to travel.

Yet

Others choice to join it.

Is the pain the same?

I don’t know how it could be.

Maybe I’m being cruel I honestly don’t know but I miss Livvy with every piece of my heart.

Can you miss the one whose life you have stole?

I’m sorry, I’m angry.

I’m thinking of every one of my friends who are grieving right now and thinking of how much they would give to hold their children again.

Where is my compassion?

I don’t know peoples stories,

I don’t know their struggles.

All I know is a child has lost his life and that whatever the reasons this is wrong.

Rest in peace Mikaeel Kular.

 

 

 

Not today thank you

I am a very vocal advocate for children with special needs and different conditions. Obviously the main being Rett syndrome.

Anyway for most days you will find me happily chatting about what struggles having a child with disabilities can bring and also how to help said child reach their full potential.

It is a common conversation topic and I seriously don’t mind.

Well I didn’t till yesterday, then I had enough.

It may have been an overload from a training course, it may have been the left over tiredness from illness.

Regardless the reason I had just had enough.

I didn’t want to understand.

I didn’t want to have to inform.

I didn’t want to advocate.

I just wanted to be.

I hate that some children’s lives are the topic of such conversations. Working out the right medications and therapies to get a fulfilling healthy life.

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I want to be talking about girlfriends and boyfriends and not seizures or physio.

I want my child to walk to school not have to go in his wheelchair on a bus.

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I want to hear about his day from him and not have to read his diary.

I know life is life and nothing will change this.

I also know that I love my job and raising a child with special needs.

But sometimes

Somedays

I just want to say…

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I’m not impressed Weight watchers

I’m not a big television advert fan. I tend to watch most programme’s recorded and forward through them swiftly.  I find the whole advert time wasted time. Yet a day or so ago while resting in a hotel room I caught myself watching a Weight Watchers advert. It was the one with a mom talking about how her daughter feels and how they have got closer since she has lost weight.

Well for a second or two I felt so guilty.

Do my daughters feel this way?

Does my weight effect my relationship with my daughters?

Well the guilt trip only lasted for a little while before the anger set in. How dare weight watchers make out plus size parents aren’t good parents.

Ok ok maybe they didn’t actually state that but for the innuendo was surely there.

I have a very close relationship with my daughters. We enjoy life and have so much fun. My size does not effect the fun we have together.

My daughters have also learnt that people should be judged on personality and their hearts and not their size.

I’m sorry but this advert has seriously rubbed me up the wrong way.

Plus size people are no different than anyone.

Relationships are not or should not be based on size.

If my daughters and I argue it’s because of our personalities not our sizes.

The size of my waist doesn’t not define me as a mother.

I love my girls and they love me extra wobbles and all.

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January blues

Crap crap and crap, I have the January blues.

It’s been a weird start to 2014 and I do have a hell of a lot to be grateful for, but besides all this Right now I’m feeling a little low.

I’m reading a lot of articles, blogs, status’s and tweets full of exciting new year plans and all I can think is “yeah whatever”

My get up and go has certainly got up and gone.

I need some direction right now. A deadline, a plan. Just something to give me the gigantic kick up the bum that I need.

I have started my new fitness plan, I’ve been in the pool twice this week and loved it.

But to be honest I don’t think its about the external more the internal.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking this week and sometimes that isn’t a good thing.

Dreams I had as a child, the hopes, the expectations.

Questioning what I have achieved.

Missing what I have lost.

January blues

Please go away you aren’t welcome here.

I am not a burden

I sat watching the Kerry Katona documentary last night about her journey through life and her bipolar disorder.

I cannot put into words how much it affected me. It wasn’t the bipolar disorder that tore at my heart even though my heart aches for those that suffer with this condition.

No what got me was her feelings regarding her childhood.

Unwanted

Rejected

A burden.

These feelings have left her with a great desire to love and to feel loved.

That is simply my heart.

Thankfully I didn’t have a childhood like Kerry’s but due to divorce and miscommunication and a few other things I never felt wanted.

I never felt good enough.

Now as a 37 year old woman I am still coming to terms with this.

I have craved affection all my life and sometimes made grave mistakes when searching for it in the wrong places. I was erratic as a teenager swinging from the possessive girlfriend to the free spirited couldn’t give a damn wild child. I self medicated with alcohol and drugs just to feel the freedom of not worrying or caring.

It seemed as if i wanted to be wild when all i really wanted was to find home. Trying too hard to be what I believed others wanted me to be.

Still

I am one of the lucky ones,

I got to change my story.

I fell in love with a man who loved me right back crazy bits and all. Even when I pushed away he held on. But it has still taken many years and many late open hearted conversations to get to a place where I can but things in perspective.

I was loved,

Both my parents cared for me but the separation of them led to miscommunication that thankfully my adult years have repaired. The father I never felt good enough for is now my best friend. He is the best Grandad my kids could every ask for and I am so very grateful that I get to call him Dad,

But it is amazing how those emotions we feel as children can and do effect the rest of our life.

I drive my children mad, from the moment they were born they knew they were my everything and I simply hug them to death.

I want for them to never feel unloved or a burden.

I want them to go out confidently in this world knowing that I am behind them all the time.

I am in their corner

I am their fan base.

They are my heart.

 

Now I also want this for myself to.

I want to feel confident when making new friends.

To believe that I am worthy of love.

Childhood is one of the shortest periods in your life but it is one or maybe the most important when dealing with emotional growth.

I believe every child needs to know they are loved.

Maybe this is why I am a foster carer I don’t know.

What I do know is that everyday is an opportunity to let those dearest to you know how very special they are.

I want to break the stereotype of the stiff Brit and become an open and affectionate country.

So do me a favour guys,

If you are parent make sure you children know that they are loved. Praise them more than you scold them.

If you are in a relationship tell you partner how much you love them. Tell them what you find special about them.

Call your parents and remind them how awesome they are.

Ask your work colleague if there is anything you can do to help them.

Smile at a stranger.

Thank the waitress for your order.

Lets make this world one of love, it may sound crazy but I honestly believe a hug can save a life.

So lets get saving lives.

A hug revolution.

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* I just want to add that I don’t for one second believe a hug could cure Bipolar this isn’t what I’m writing about. If you feel that you are suffering with this illness please seek help and don’t suffer in silence. The charity MIND is a fantastic organisation and are always willing to help.

My greatest decision.

My twelve year old daughter lies beside me. Her gentle snores whisper through the night. Cuddles and stories have led to her falling asleep beside me. It’s so very special and so very missed.

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Nights of stories and cuddles were swapped for iPhones and DVDs.

Telling me all about her day changed to a closed door and the tapping of keys.

My girls are growing up and I’m afraid. Afraid they will no longer want to sleep in my arms.

Share their dreams and adventures.

My eldest reaches adulthood this year and my heart is filled with fear.
I have to let her go, watch her spread her wings and fly. University, leaving home, independence.

I am so proud of my girls even when their teenage tantrums drive me insane.

But letting go isn’t easy.

Motherhood is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

But as I watch my daughter sleep I realise something. I’m not losing my daughters as they grow. I’m gaining young beautiful woman who will set the world alight in whatever they wish to do.

With their sweet hearts they will love on others and bless this world.

They will grow and age but they will also live and learn.

The whole world is there for them to explore. Life becomes the greatest adventure.

And I will be their biggest fan, watching, waiting, supporting them in all they wish to achieve.

Yes there comes a time when they have to leave home.

But

They will never leave my heart.

And as for cuddles at bedtime my arms are always open wide for my beautiful girls.

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My greatest decision