Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….

EVERYTHING GIVES YOU CANCER, I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE

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Tony Hadley was on breakfast TV this morning, promoting his new whatever, and because it is Valentines Day, they played out with Spandau Ballet’s iconic, romantic hit single “True”.

And as always, I turned it off. Not because I’m single/lonely/bitter and twisted.

It’s because, for me hearing that song always reminds me of the day that love died.

My Mum didn’t love me. I know that much is true. Well if she did, I certainly couldn’t feel it, and she definitely didn’t like or approved of me. For most of the years we were together we were at loggerheads because I knew in my gut that I wasn’t what she wanted or expected, and the fact that she blatantly favoured my sister.

Hence the memory of our time together is peppered and scarred by her inherent disgust and excoriating criticism of me, my desperate attempts to force her to love me, my bruising, bloodied war with my sister, and throughout it all, my Mum telling me she loved me as much as her when interrogated, hissing her affirmations through gritted teeth, her eyes shining with impatience and hatred, and my howls of anguish at the unfairness and loneliness of it all.

So after years of being eaten away by cancer, on the day I was told that she had died, I had to be pinned to the floor by my cousin, such was my pain, rage, sorrow and defiance at God for tearing her from me before her time, before she made me feel like I really mattered.

Then, in a matter of minutes, something inside me went cold and impervious.  I got up, dried my tears, absorbed my rage within myself, and did the dutiful daughter thing.

I cleaned up, organised the funeral, baked for the wake, bought something black and severe to match my charred bubbling fury, and put her in the ground.  And on that day, when my father finally told me he loved me, I looked at him coldly and thought ‘No, you don’t.  You’re just scared of being without her’.

And that was the week that “True” was number one in the charts.   Also, flying high was New Wave/Punk artist Joe Jackson with his album Night and Day which my sister played incessantly, especially the particularly delightful and timely track “Cancer” (or was that me?  I honestly can’t remember), so what with the radio playing Spandau every hour, and my or my sister’s perverse choice of music de jour, the two tracks merged into some sort of twisted mash up, which went:

‘Everything gives you cancer, uh oh oh, OH uh, there’s no cure, there’s no answer, I know this much is true….’

And I hated them, I hated her, I hated him, and I especially hated HER, but most of all, I hated myself.  And to be honest?  If I’d have known you during that dark, endless, excruciating week, I’d have probably hated you too.

No offence 😦

You wouldn’t have noticed though.  You would just have seen a haughty, thin, distant Easter Island statue of a girl with the closed off, haunted eyes of someone far older than her nineteen years.

You still wouldn’t have wanted to be around me though.  You would have sensed the poison, the badness, the ugliness, the faults and the failings.  Because if my own Mother couldn’t love me, there must have been something fundamentally wrong with me.

Over thirty years have passed since that day, and over the decades and via painful experience, I know more and I know better.  For the most part. But that hasn’t stopped my self loathing sabotaging every relationship I ever had, and every potential relationship from growing into something to treasure.

When people said ‘You have to love yourself  before anyone else can love you’ I would think ‘Bollocks.’  Plenty of good looking, rich, famous, successful, sexy fuck ups have found someone to love them and be with them.  Or at least that’s how it appears from the outside looking in.

I do however think it’s the only way forward for me.  Because if you love yourself, at least someone loves you. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to let more love into my life if/when I get there.

Valentine’s Day isn’t usually a biggie for me.  I’m not one of those women who bemoans my singleness, sends myself flowers/cards/chocolates to prove to others that I’m loveable, or acknowledge/celebrate it by going to an anti Valentines event, something I’ve always found bemusing.

I have bigger fish to fry.

My salvation doesn’t depend on another homosapien with a penis.

It’s down to me.

So today, I’ll mostly be doing loving things for myself.  Nurturing my mind, body and soul, and opening my scarred and battered heart and soul to the possibility that it is not too late to love and be loved, in all of it’s aspects, guises and manifestations, and I invite you to do the same.

As, whether you are single or not, there are worse things that you could do for yourself in the next 24 hours and beyond.

So I send you big love this Valentines Day and hope you are surrounded by the love of your family/friends/partner, and most of all the love of that spark of light that ignites and dwells within us all.

Namaste x

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Daily Prompt: I Am a Rock – IT’S MY LIFE

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Asking for help is incredibly difficult for me, and always has been.

I did try and ask for help when my brother used to beat me up, but I was either told to hit him back or screamed at for getting into a fight with him in the first place. So I stopped.

When I was being bullied at school, I asked my parents for help; one said ‘You have to learn to fight your own battles’, the other said ‘You have to learn to behave like a lady’. Confusing much? Neither suggestion helped, but both pretty much embedded it into my skull that I was on my own as far as the schoolyard was concerned.

When the dirty old bastard next door used to leer at me, lurking around the dark alley I had go through to get home and asking to see inside my knickers, I didn’t ask for help. What would be the point?  Kids were always wrong, grown ups are always right and I’d probably get a right earful for it if I told my Mum, so I kept schtum.

I never asked for help with my homework. That privilege went to my brother as I was expected to leave school at sixteen, get a ‘nice little job’ in a shop or something until I got married. I’m still shit at making myself study to this day, because, deep down, I don’t believe in myself or that I’m worth educating.

I didn’t ask for help when I split from my first boyfriend. My Mum always thought me too feisty and undeserving to keep C, so she would alway gloat and give me the whole ‘told you so’ lecture when we used to fall out. I don’t think she understood how someone like me got a man that looked like him, which probably tells you a lot about how I came to have such shitty, low self esteem. I don’t think either of my parents ever told me I was beautiful.

Ever.

I didn’t ask for help from anyone when my Mum was sick with cancer. No one was coping at home, my Dad was apoplectic with rage most of the time and I’d regularly get scolded and humiliated at school for having a creased/dirty uniform, forgetting my homework or not bring the right things for cookery class. It honestly didn’t even occur to me to tell them why and they certainly didn’t ask.

I didn’t ask for help when my Mum’s best friend tried to kiss me in a most inappropriate way when she popped by to visit her in hospital. And she did it when Mum was actually in the room! And when I come to think about it, I had no idea what she was doing, so I couldn’t have been more than 14 and rather repulsively, it was probably my first proper kiss.  If Mum saw, she never said a word. Mary was her best friend, and besides, being the most naive person on the planet and a Catholic to boot, she tended to deny the existence of homosexuality anyway.

I did ask for help from my second boyfriend when my Mum’s death was imminent and I desperately needed someone to be there for me for once in my life. His response?  ‘I don’t think I can come to your house because it will probably be quite depressing.’

Thirty five years on and I’ve never forgotten that moment, and even when he eventually turned up ‘Because my Mum said I should’ the die was cast.

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The moment she left this lfe, I turned to a living, breathing human fortress.  For a good twenty years I kept my guard up, kept my own council, let no one in and made sure I survived.
And I coped. Because I had to. Because everything leading to that moment taught me that I could never really rely on anyone other than myself.

It has only been very recently that I allowed myself to let my guard down. And I am usually so pathetically grateful for even the tiniest bit of support, that I’m still making it clear to both myself and others that I neither expect or deserve their help so they end up thinking that they are Mother Teresa or Bob fucking Geldof if they send me the odd text asking how I am.

But, encouraged by some of these small kindness that came my way after my breakdown, I finally asked for proper help from someone.

A friend.

Someone I thought I could trust. That would support me the way I had and I would still support her.

I say ‘proper help’; I actually, in the depths of despair, and in genuine fear that I would die of loneliness, when she asked me if there was anything she could do, I asked that if she hadn’t heard from me for a few days, I’d probably hit the wall mentally and emotionally, and if that happened would she please maybe swing by, pick me up and drag me out to a movie or for a walk in the park or something?

Silence.

Horrified, exposed, humiliated and furious with myself, I immediately back tracked, saying she didn’t have to do it, I knew she was busy and I was hard to be around when I was like that, etc., etc.

She replied saying that she was sorry for the silence, that of course it wasn’t too much to ask and that she’d be in touch when she got back from her business trip.

You can guess what happened, can’t you?

Not only did she not keep her promise but she’d kept arranging to see me then cancelling last minute, so many times that when it came to a head one weekend when she did it twice in two days, I ended up thinking that I couldn’t who I hated more. Her or myself.

I reeled back wounded, decided to keep her at a distance (not that she noticed) and we gradually lost touch.

Until now.

I’ll see her again in the near future when we meet up with a mutual friend.

I’ll be as warm and chatty as I can.

We’ll update one anohter on each others lives and on the surface of things, build bridges.

But my walls are back up.

She’ll never see the whites of my eyes again.

Though it’s unlikely anyone will again to be fair as even God legs it when I ask for his aid.

I am a rock and the knowledge that this is so is probably the one thing in this world I CAN rely on.

So whilst I’d love to think that one day, I will be able to ask for help and for that request to be fulfilled, in the meantime, I hold strong. And endure.

“My Life”

What I choose to do is of no concern to you and your friends
Where I lay my hat may not be my home, but I will last on my own

‘Cause it’s me, and my life
it’s my life

Oh the world has sat in the palm of my hand not that you’d see
and I’m tired and bored of waiting for you and all those things you never do

‘Cause it’s me, and my life
it’s my life

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/daily-prompt-self/

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HERE! HARE HERE

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Today I discovered that a lady who I have just started following, succumbed to her illness and died of cancer yesterday leaving behind a devastated husband, family and friends.

Puts everything in perspective doesn’t it?

It’s so easy to get dragged down by the challenges, politics, bean counters and wankers in this life, and whilst I believe you should always hold your ground and fight when necessary, if you get too embroiled or take it too seriously, the beauty and joy in life will pass by without you even seeing it.

I say you.  I mean you and me.

Especially me. 😦

So whilst it’s all too easy for all of us to get bogged down with the negative (especially those of us ‘mentally/emotionally challenged’ folk) , I am going to try and find, acknowledge and make note of all the positive things about my day from now on.

I know without a doubt that there will be days when all is shit and the only positive thing will be the dark warm sanctuary under my duvet, but I am, at least going to try.

Positives from this weekend?

  • Beating my brother at scrabble
  • Making and enjoying a sensational rhubarb and ginger crumble
  • Getting dragged around the ballroom dance floor by some super fit old boy old enough to be my grandpa 🙂
  • Watching ‘Witnnail and I’ with a friend who has not seen it before (I love Withnail virgins!)

The latter of these inspired me to find and post the image of our nimble little friend here. 🙂

Here’s hoping you get to leap with ‘joie de verve’ this week, and enjoy the wind in your hair, the sun on your back and all the possibilities that lie ahead for you.

Emma Louise, may you leap high and fly to the arms of the ones you love.

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God speed, and see you in the next life x


6 Comments >

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I had that classic guilt trip reaction this morning that us depressives tend to get on hearing about someone fighting tooth and nail for their life, when we’re like, ‘…meh…’ about ours.

Especially when she’s nearly a decade younger than me, the kind of person that I could be mates with, and to add insult to injury, has devastatingly lost part of her leg to bone cancer in the process.

Shamefully, I have to admit that I have to force myself to go out of the front door and put one foot in front of the other most days.

If I could bung Lou some years of my life as a gift, I would because quite frankly I’ve wasted decades being angry, paranoid, afraid, suspicious, hard hearted and judgmental and doing everything I can to keep anything and anyone that would be good for me at arms length, and I know for a fact that she would probably use them a whole lot more wisely than I have to date.

I know that there this is no point in my berating myself about this, and there is no going back and doing it right all over again (I know this because I’ve asked 😦 ), but it’s sad that it takes this girl’s misfortune to make me see that I have something precious here that money can’t buy and I am wasting.

At the very least, I should at try and appreciate it instead of merely enduring and ticking off the days on the calendar, waiting for the Grim Reaper to show up.

Because one day, maybe not too far off in the future, he will.

For the last nine months or so I have cut ties with old friends, blocked people on social media websites, falling out with family, hidden away and hibernated, partly because I needed to heal, lick my wounds and figure out who I am and what the fuck I’m going to do next, but I have also used my lack of income as an excuse to live life small.

Which is bollocks, because I also lived life small when I was working.

Because what it’s really all about is FEAR.

So whilst my ship has been safe in harbour for quite some time, that’s not what ships are for.   What’s more it’s been a tough Winter and there are cracks in my hull, barnacles on my beam and if I don’t get movin’ soon, my cleat will rust over, and no one wants that, do they girls? 😉

It’s a Saturday and guess what?  I haven’t been out at all. Partly because I’m trying to save money (yawn…), partly because it keeps raining and partly because the Big Guy ensured that I have enough provisions to last out a nuclear attack, https://sistasertraline.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/the-artists-way-week-five-part-2-presence-not-presents-and-the-cupboard-of-doom/ but I know a lady who’d love to walk to M&S in the rain, so that’s no excuse whatsoever, so I’m going to get my lazy arse out of the door now and go and get some Percy Pigs.

Lou, hang on in there my lovely, I doubt God/Higher Power/Shiva/Thor/El-ahrairah has done with you yet…. xx

Lou’s Story