Today’s post is brought to you in the interests of self preservation. It has just gone ten o’clock. Son Number Two is back to school today and I’ve done all the housework. I’m sat here twiddling my thumbs and going out of my mind, so here we are! I don’t really have anything to say so I thought I’d show you what other people are doing and saying and sharing. Here for your entertainment, in no particular order, are assorted bits and pieces from the interweb. Enjoy!
* “We all need love and recognition, but first you must believe them real. Feel a look filled with compassion is not a plan to make you ill. Care beyond his comprehension might heal him, if he learned to trust. Faith is all God asked of him because without it we are lost.” – Peter Wells, Countingducks.
My friend and published author Peter Wells writes over at Countingducks. He’s not bad, so please check him out.
* Liam, over at Date Liam, is looking for a Valentine’s date. Since my gorgeous friend Courtney Beck from “Reasons to Date Courtney Beck” had such blinding success in a similar fashion and because I have all kinds of admiration for anyone willing to put themselves out there and, ok, because I love Valentine’s Day it seems fitting to give Liam a shout out. So, all the single ladies head on over!
* Speaking of Valentine’s Day, Hallmark Cards are running an advertising campaign called #putyourhearttopaper, asking people to describe their feelings for their significant other without using the word ‘love’. They videotaped it and got the couples to watch each others video’s, together. Ashton Kutcher wrote about it here and one of the video’s is below. They are worth watching; it’s surprisingly moving.
* Also incredibly powerful watching is this video. I can’t give you a description because it’ll spoil it for you but WOW!
* Now for a very important message. Actually, there are several messages here; pick one that works for you or take them all!
Hope you’ve found something of interest here. I’m heading out for a walk!
Safe onward travel x
Son Number Two lies shivering beside me. He is sick and even the sun that shines this morning is not enough to reassure me when I don’t know where he will be sleeping tonight.
There seems to be a growing feeling amongst my friends that I should go back from whence I came. It is not as simple as it may seem. Yes, that is where Son Number One and Daughter Number Two live. But I would not be going back to a rent subsidized four bedroom home full of expensive furniture and my three children. I would be going back to condemnation and judgement. No accommodation in a place where rentals are extremely difficult to secure and rents are high. Even if I found somewhere to live I have no furniture. I can bear being on the other side of the country and being apart from Daughter Number Two. I can bear being apart from Son Number One; he is eighteen now and all things being equal he should be independent of me. What I could not bear, though, would be to live near to my Daughter. Near enough so that she would be within my reach, but not have her with me. That I could not bear. And at the end of the day I was miserable there. It was never home to me. It was just somewhere I lived.
I am grateful for the love and concern being showered upon me. My knights, you know who you are! The irony is that but for He Who Shall Not Be Named I would know none of you. Had He not challenged me to make friends and perversely taught me to value myself I would not have had the friends I do today. Even if I had known this is how it would end I would still have come here. For fourteen months Son Number Two and I had a home and family. Son Number Two has had structure and cricket and someone who challenged him mentally. His growth has been enormous. He was telling me about things he’d learnt at school last week and I was asking him to elaborate and he could. Before Neverland he couldn’t have done that. He has seen a different way to live and good values to live by. He had a strong, very male role model for once in his life. Son Number Two’s love of animals has been fostered and enhanced by being challenged. I cannot possibly quantify the gifts we have been given since being here. And yes, it really, really sucks to have that all ripped away. But for a time we really lived.
A taxi is taking us to our next destination. It has just pulled over so Son Number Two can be sick. He is so worn down by events but remains resolute in his belief in me. I cannot fathom why. No Mother of the Year award for me.
Vicky over at ‘Life on the hill’ wrote an excellent post last week in which she spoke about the words ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’. Vicky said she doesn’t like the word survivor and I have to agree. It has never been a description of myself that I’ve been comfortable with. As I’ve said here before, outliving my daughter has not been a matter of skill on my part, merely circumstance and timing. Surviving my daughter’s death has only been a matter of existing past the day she died. ‘Survivor’ still leaves me defined by my loss. It is, it seems to me, a passive word in that respect. Vicky suggests instead the word ‘Warrior’; that she fights the good fight every day and feels warrior reflects her battle. I like that. I like the sound of that. It is an active word. Empowering. It denotes choice. You can be a survivor just through circumstance, by things that happen around you, that happen to you. Being a warrior is about what you choose to do in response to those things. Not being defined by events but by your own response to them. Vicky said it first, and she said it better, but I agree with her.
Definitions. How we see ourselves, how others see us. It’s been a bit of a theme for me this week. I am a true believer that knowledge is power. Son Number Two is facing long overdue reassessment. It has become apparent that there is some kind of learning difficulty. I am not afraid of a named diagnosis. I am more afraid of an assessment that doesn’t have any findings at all, because as I said, clearly there is a problem. I just don’t know what it is. In terms of educational supports, you need a firm diagnosis to access them, and it would certainly be nice to have a direction in terms of strategies and treatment. I can face anything head on, but not knowing – that kills me.
I filled in some forms for social security regarding my changed relationship status. The bureaucratic criteria given meant I ticked the ‘partner’ box. Wife was easy to discount. It is a term defined by legality, not morality as some would attest. De facto is a term I loathe; it just sounds ugly. I should note that ‘de facto’ fell into the definition for ‘partner’ – they are clearly not mutually exclusive. Partner is a term I can live with. In lots of ways too numerous to list this relationship is more of a partnership than any other I’ve known. But still, ticking a box on a form on the basis of someone elses criteria can hardly define what I’ve trouble defining myself. Shakespeare said ‘That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ and this is so. So why is some kind of definition important to me? Not for anyone’s benefit than my own. I haven’t changed my relationship status on facebook. I don’t have my relationship status on facebook anyway, and haven’t for a long while now. It’s not because of some sense of possession. Not about staking claim or marking territory. Just there are still times when I cross-check and look for evidence. Still times when I don’t trust myself, my perceptions. So much of this relationship has been about trusting my instincts; so very much. It is something I still find challenging. I can put my faith and trust in others. It is trusting myself that is the issue. At those times something concrete, less ethereal, more tangible is helpful.
I’ve known it wouldn’t always be easy, but I’ve also always known it would be worth it. I’ve known that from the very start. No proof, just instinct. Following my heart. I looked at the clock and saw it was at 11:11am. I thought of all the other 11:11’s I’ve wished on. How many of those wishes have come true beyond my wildest dreams. It is hard not to revert to default settings sometimes. Being a warrior is not about being fearless. It is about staring fear in the face and prevailing.
Keep the faith. Keep fighting the good fight. Not always easy but always worth it.
Ok, so today hasn’t been one of the best days ever and the whole deal with Son Number One’s school is still up in the air but I’m still here and still putting one foot in front of another. Slowly.
I’ve been struggling with the need to put some boundries into my relationship with Baby Daddy. Struggling because he is quite resistant. But I’m reclaiming my life, such as it is. We revisited the issue today. As you know the Current Person of Interest will be here in FOUR, yes, count them!! FOUR SLEEPS!! Long distance relationships being what they are the time we get to spend together is precious and to be savoured and I want the space to be able to do that. Hell, even if the Current Person of Interest wasn’t going to be here in FOUR SLEEPS (doing little happy dance in my head) I would want my space. Due to the fact Baby Daddy demands all his visits with Daughter Number Two take place at my home we spend more time together now than we did when we were married, and we know how that turned out. So, action needs to be taken before the whole situation explodes.
In talking about the issue today Baby Daddy used all the tricks he has perfected on me over the years, threats, abuse, emotional blackmail and none of it even ruffled my feathers. I’m still in a fairly delicate emotional state thanks to yesterday’s events but I managed to remain calm and composed. I am so proud of me! It’s so interesting to me, the difference in my reactions to him in even the last twelve months. It is really true what they say, you can’t change things that happen but you can choose how you react to them. Slow and steady and stay on track is my plan.
I have to acknowledge the fantastic and unwavering support I have received today (and always). Most notably today from the Current Person of Interest but also an honourable mention to my Sons’ Grandfather. It is good to have people who keep the faith even when you’ve misplaced your own.