Saturday, 31 December 2016

It is time to let go of so many things...

“I have learned that many people are not good for me.  No matter how hard I love them.” 

So where do I begin?
Maybe I should start with a question. “Why is it that at the end of every year, and for several years now, I always end up with feelings of such utter sadness, loneliness, and still feel that I have felt no real love in my life?”

LOSS
There is a void in my life that has been filled with sad memories, disappointments and unhappy moments that have choked me up so much, there has been no room to let real life in. 

I have often said, “ I have had no time to grieve for the loss of my mother and my sister…”, and this now more recently includes my beloved dog.  But in truth, I have done nothing but mourn and grieve and ache for that and many other things that I cannot change.  No amount of tears, anguish or darkness will bring about a better resolution or a change in circumstances, but I have allowed it to completely envelop me, thereby imprisoning me with demons of my own making. 

Of course I miss them dearly, they left at a time when I needed them most.  The emptiness they left has been a part of me ever since.  Gone were the many daily conversations.  Gone were the sharing of woes and the laughter that followed as we saw the funny side of each dilemma.  Gone were the feelings of love I gained through a telephone line, when sickness on both parts prevented travel.  Just gone.  No second chances.  No more time.

Few actually appreciate what Christmas was like for me 9 years ago, but it was an extremely difficult time.  Two days before, I had sat with my ma in hospital while we received the news that cancer had spread into her liver, and that there was nothing more that could be done.  The next day I was driving up to Kent, to be with my sister for Christmas, for what we knew would inevitably be her last.  All the while doing video calls, so they could speak with each other from their beds. Two days later I was back with my mum at the hospital, and so it continued, until she passed away on the 29th January.  Little did I know that 2 months later, after sitting at my sister’s bedside for nearly a week, that I would say goodbye to her too.

I struggled with keeping my mums wishes by downplaying it to everyone, instead of speaking the truth, so that they were fully in the picture.  But I did my best to honour both sides.  At times it felt like they needed my permission to stay away, to not have to face it, as if their busy lives were more important. Trying to be rational while others around you are not is by no means easy, and I felt the full force of that from every direction as people looked to me for answers.  Endless phone calls, endless explanations, endless tears and endless sorrows.  Not one of them, even thinking about how the same loss was affectively silently killing me inside.  Naturally, I bore feelings of resentments, and I probably have never forgiven some of my family for their behaviour back then; while they took a back seat to participate in the grieving process.  I have often sensed that somehow they resented me, as I was the only one with my mum when she died.  As though some how I had left it to the last minute to tell them of her downward turn, which meant they had to rush to get to the hospital in time.  It’s a horrible thought, but it’s one that crosses my mind at times.

Again, I was with my sister when she took her final breath, and at that time and the days that preceded it, I felt there was no other place I was meant to be.  I had done the right thing for me, and the right thing by my darling sister. 
So I guess it’s not surprising that since then Christmas has never been the same…. 

After so many years of feeling this way, I am exhausted.  I have been trapped inside this darkness for so long that I am nearly blinded by it.  The sadness still overwhelms me, because only memories have taken their place, nothing real.  Getting my little dog was the best thing I could have done, unconditional love was mutual, and she had my heart in everyway.  A month ago she too was taken early, at just 7 years old I had to let her go.  It broke my heart.

But, it is now time to put those painful memories somewhere for safekeeping. It is time for me to say goodbye, to release the burden of this grief, the weight is far too heavy.  It is time for me to take a deep breath and move on.

It is time for me to let them go. 

LIFE
It’s been two years since my divorce, the best, the most significant and most life-changing decision I have ever made, and followed through to the end.  There is no denying that little piece of joy that flickers in my heart, every time I think of my ‘lucky’ if not timely escape, from the beast that had devoured me.

I know now, that if I had let things go on as they were, today I would have absolutely nothing, probably not even my sanity.  Every day I am so grateful and thankful for my resilience, my inner resolve and my free spirit, that gave me the will and the strength to save myself and set me free.

‘It’s odd how when we think of erosion, we can imagine pictures of the sea stealing land back by gradually wearing down the cliffs.  But what’s not so easy to comprehend is how the same can happen in an abusive relationship, one person always gets worn down while the other continues to be relentless’.
Memories have flooded back, flashing up different events and situations that have been locked away like time capsules in my head.  Thousands of tiny fragments, made up of images, conversations, arguments and feelings of real discontent, burst like fireworks in front of my eyes; bringing on pangs of agony.  Each one, a reminder of how much and how deep I let him cut me, with his words and behaviour.  But now each little chink makes me question why I took on the responsibility of his actions, rather than blaming him.  Maybe, I thought it was easier to do this, just so that in my mind I could be free, but in actual fact, I have been punishing myself by taking on his army of demons. 

I see him now for what he really is, no more clouded ideas or fluffing up the rough bits, I accept that he was a master of disguise and I was drawn in.  I had nicknamed him Jekyll and Hyde as a joke, but in the it was a very accurate description. I had enabled his capacity to feed, and I gave him a good supply, but that’s all I’m guilty of, I didn’t make him the person he was.  I didn’t make him do what he did or think the way he thought, he did that all on his own, driven by some incredible greed to swallow up anything that was good.  He didn’t want to fight for me, he knew he had lost me way back along the way, but he simply could not control his urges to hurt me more.  I foolishly let the blame rest at my door, not speaking out or publicising to anyone how he had driven me to that point of no return. 

How stupid I have been.  For ages I have been giving out the impression that I was ‘okay’ with this, but in fact I was churned up and incensed by the sheer fact, that someone would want to treat me so badly.  Someone, who was forever expressing his ‘love’ for me! 

Only now, do I really view that period of my life with real clarity, I thought I had done so before but now my eyes are really seeing things for what they were and are. Now I fully appreciate the damage that his constant chipping away has done to my confidence, my trust and my self-belief.  So much so, that I not only felt, but believed in my own unworthiness, instead of questioning his. 

This has got to end.  I am still allowing him to destroy me.  I am letting all those negative memories and images from that life invade my daily being.  It has soaked up so much of my time and energy, battling with negative thoughts and reliving bad experiences for more than just the second time.  I have continued to emotionally beat myself up on his behalf, and by opening that door, I have enabled others to think they can do the same thing. 

There is no doubt, that he has left me scarred with so many insecurities, weaknesses and fears deeply etched in my mind.  This last year I have forgotten how to celebrate and enjoy my newfound life and liberty.  I have stayed being caught up in the past, somehow I let his demons in and they took over and took a firm hold.  Of course, no good has come of doing this or being this way.  But at least now I can openly admit, that I have just successfully managed to further maim and cripple myself, with things that have no place in my present.  I must constantly remind myself to acknowledge that that was my old life, and I am a survivor and not a victim.

This mental and emotional intrusion of my past into my present day has got to stop.  It will always be where it is now and where it belongs… in the past.

Yes, I have been incredibly fucking stupid…!  I have been struggling with this pain for far too long, and now I need to let it go.

It is time to forgive myself. 

LOVE
I have gone through this entire year feeling so little love.  It saddens me greatly when I think of all that I have so freely dispersed to friends (in particular) and family, and how little I have actually felt coming back.  It has left me feeling quite lonely and isolated, as I fear giving out anymore to anyone  who doesn’t appreciate it, for what it is. 

Knowing that I’ve been on someone’s mind, getting a quick message to check on how I’m doing, spending time just catching up, talking on the phone, being told that I’ve been missed by someone, makes me feel loved  All these little things don’t really need to take much time or effort at all, but somehow everyone’s been too busy, or they just want to talk about themselves.

I have felt quite hurt by the lack of that kind of love.  So much so, it has caused me to yet again go through the ‘life laundry’ process of re-evaluating some of the people in my life.  A process I seem to go through every few years, which has finally taught me that I am spending time, energy and effort on the wrong people. 

I am naturally a kind and giving person, it goes against the grain for me to standby and do or say nothing, when I recognise pain in someone, especially when I know I can be of help.  But, it would seem that’s just how I need to be, even though it’s going to be a hard habit to break. 

The lessons I have learned from this have broken my heart at times and left me completely confused, trying to understand why things had gone wrong.  It took a while before it hit me that it wasn’t even my problem, it was theirs and the way they chose to see things.  But one person’s discontented whispers can travel far, and I wonder to myself, ‘Was I like this at their age?’ and then I hope to God that I wasn’t.  Perhaps having reached the age of 51, I can see their insecurities and lack of confidence quite clearly; maybe that’s why they don’t get me.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through, to achieve that beauty.  Maya Angelou.

I often say to people that “The only reason we get hurt by other people, is because we care for them”.  Which is a very simple truth, so I guess the question I need to ask myself is: “Why do I care?”.  Why do I care or continue to show kindness to people, when they have systematically disrespected or abused me? Am I that desperate to be with them, that I will accept anything?  The answers to these questions are: ‘I have absolutely no idea, sub-consciously I hope they might change and fuck no’ respectively. 

Now I know the answers, I realise that I have been incredibly fucking stupid!

Stupid in the sense that I had been sucked into and absorbed by their bullshit antics and immaturity, just because I had foolishly made myself believe that they actually gave a shit about me. 

But I have distanced myself from all of them now, I really don’t want to play their silly games and I certainly don’t share my private life with them.  All they know, is that each time they see me now, I always look better in their eyes and they need to press me to know why.  To me, if they aren’t bothered to know about my everyday life, why should they be interested in my private life?  So fuck them, I’ll keep them guessing!

I am not afraid of removing or losing people from my life, if they have shown themselves to be unworthy.  I have made progress by stepping away because by not giving my time and love to them, it means I have more time and love to lavish on me, and it really has been quite liberating. 

I know I have been fucking stupid!  But not anymore, I have now drawn a heavy line underneath all that.

JOY
Such a small word that has a huge meaning!

Joy is something else I always strive for.  I find joy in the most simplest of things, whether it’s a pretty creation I’ve made, a piece art I have done, or just spending time doing anything that makes me feel uplifted.   Just doing the things that I enjoy, makes me feel good about myself, and it’s something I can’t get enough of, it makes me thrive.  Another thing I always say is that “Out of my misery something beautiful is always produced” because it’s often at these times that I am at my most creative.

So I am going to promise myself that I will make more room in my life so that I have the proper time to follow my heart.

HAPPINESS
Admittedly, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom this last year, there have been moments when I have felt so happy, nothing could touch me.  That happiness has come from different areas of my life, and it has spurred me on.  It is what I am ultimately seeking, a life that is calm, peaceful, nurturing and relatively stress free.  I don’t think it’s really too much to ask for, but in order to achieve it, I know that I must address the balance and rid myself of the negative factors first. 

The first step to that, is to stop taking the responsibility or blame for other peoples actions, and to leave it where it belongs.  It is also fundamental that I don’t accept people disrespecting me, because it leads to my disrespecting myself, which is definitely wrong on all levels.  As they say, “Happiness is a state of mind, and not a destination”, so I am going to promise myself that each day, I do something that makes me ‘feel good in my soul’, which can’t be a bad thing!
INTUITION
I was blessed with this gift, and it has never let me down, if I‘ve made a bad choice it’s usually because I have ignored my gut instinct, and I should have known better. 

I have believed for a long time that not everything is worth fighting for, and I have spilt enough blood battling unwinnable causes.

I say this is a gift, because I have the uncanny ability to be able to see through other people’s problems, and guide them on what the real issues are.  I am able to explore different angles and perspectives, and untangle the real mysteries behind their problems.  I have people who lean on me for this, and it isn’t something I am always thanked for as not everyone has a stomach for my brutal candour, but it’s what they come for.  They come to come to me for truth, and that’s exactly what I give them, and somehow I manage to get right down to the roots and at least open their minds to reason.

I never speak ‘off the top of my head’ and I am always able to support what I say.  It’s as though I go deep into the recesses of my mind and can draw on an experience from somewhere in my past, that is relevant. 

Maybe that’s why I seldom confide in others, because somewhere I know the answer already exists in me, I just have to think it through.  I firmly believe that in my life, no matter what the situation is, I have already dealt with far worse and come through it.  This way of thinking has kept me positive, and made me feel so much stronger.  This is why writing is so important to me, this is my way of sorting through the muddle in my mind, and seeing it in black and white.  Writing gives me clarity, like solving a mathematical equation.  It allows me to explore my thoughts, and to be picked up and carried away with them, so I can deal with my demons and dilemmas.  From an early age it was a skill that gave me some form of expression, and it is one I cannot do without.

Intuition has protected me, prepared me and given me such an understanding of who I really am.  But at times, I have mistakenly given others the benefit of the doubt, and have got burnt fingers for the privilege. 

At least I now know to never disregard it again!

INTEGRITY
“Doing the right thing, even when no one is around to witness it”.

The quickest way to lose me, is to question my integrity or to show me that you have none!  It is way up there on my list of virtues, no ifs, no buts, no deviations, and no argument.

I have come across too many people that have lacked this quality, and spent far too much time in their company.  But it not something that I tolerate well, so from now on I would rather leave it well enough alone.  

ROMANCE
Romance has been on the back burner for some time now.  There have however, been moments when I thought that maybe I was ready to take that particular leap of faith again, only to find myself hot-footing it back again. 

It’s obvious to me why there are still many fragile, newly-healed parts of me, that still feel raw and very vulnerable.  No one can leave an 18 years long relationship, and not have been left touched or scarred by it, especially if it was an unhappy one.  But to many, my beautiful face and smile, is enough to have hidden away all my heartache, as if that were enough.

I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, or broadcast that sadness, but it has made me into a very different woman, and I am not as accepting as I was before.  I don’t want to go through the motions just for the sake of being with someone, I need things to be real.  I don’t want to waste time being drained by the wrong people anymore, I am a grown up woman after all!

Time spent on dating sites, have been nothing but soul destroying and have further disillusioned me.  What does it really say about us, why we have to resort to sites like this to find companionship, love or whatever it is you might be looking for?  I have seen thousands of faces and read thousands of profiles, but only a handful have ever sparked my interest, and only a few have really turned my head.  But none of them have been who they say they were, they have all ended up being a bit wolfish in spite of their nice disguise. 

As for the brave ones, the ones who have taken a chance and actually connected, either they are rude, derogatory or haven’t read my profile before hand.  Even though my profile would quite clearly indicate that they are unsuitable, because of height, age or location etc, they still the take the chance anyway.  Maybe they think they’ll catch me on a good day, when I might overlook such important details!

I have given dating sites a good go, but I have lost faith that I will find my true love on the internet.  To me, all my senses need to be fired up, and I won’t get that from a photograph or a few lines; I have to meet someone, size them up and feel their vibes, otherwise there is nothing.  When I first signed up on one these sites, I did so whole-heartedly, but it didn’t take long before disappointment set in.  I have to confess, I am not prepared to kiss any more toads, so for the moment I will leave things to chance and hope I meet someone the old fashioned way. 

It will happen, when it’s the right time for it to happen, and there’s no point in rushing or pushing myself to be ready, before I am ready.  So I will patiently wait for my Prince to come along…

FRIENDSHIP
I have been forced to re-evaluate some of the relationships and people in my life, as my integrity has been challenged many times by so-called friends of mine.  I have recoiled at the naivety and envy that has been displayed and demonstrated by people who are supposed to be close to me.  I have felt the brunt of being an innocent target, just because I didn’t ‘understand’ someone else’s idea of social or “group” etiquette. 

I have been left dumbstruck, by the efforts that have been made to reduce me at times.  I have been knocked back by comments made by people who should know better, they became green-eyed through envy just because of my own personal journey and subsequent freedom.  They have demonstrated their jealousy without abandon at times, not realizing that it only reflected badly on them.  And yes, I have been wounded by thoughtless and maybe sometimes callous words, to the point where yet again I have automatically blamed myself for whatever it was that had gone wrong.  Instead of celebrating my success with me, they have treated me like I’m a threat.  To what I don’t know and to be honest I no longer really care.

I am not even in the same league as them, I am way out ahead, but they are too na├»ve to understand this. I am a queen, compared to them but they envy my position, because they do not realise that it takes time and experience to reach this status.  It is not something that can be rushed, it happens to all women eventually when they finally wake up and see their own potential and worth. 

I am beyond competing and comparison at their level, but for a while I was dragged in and given a false sense of belonging to something I knew I was never really part of.  But for a moment I indulged myself in the idea that I was increasing my circle of ‘friends’, and that my genuine kindness and affection was actually appreciated, but how wrong I was.  Got my finger seriously burnt there, only because one person became too insecure and was not happy that I was being so easily accepted.  I have to say that I learnt a few unpleasant but very valuable lessons from this episode.  It crushed me at times and it bought tears at others, it send me on a time-wasting mission, soul-searching myself for answers that were not to be found in me, they laid and still remain entirely inside someone else. 

But it taught me, that I give of myself too easily, I am far too generous when sharing my kindness and love.  I should have remembered that many people are only too happy to drain the life from someone else, no matter what the cost.

I know I have been foolish, I fooled myself into thinking that these new formed friendships, would bare the same hallmarks of loyalty and sincerity that old friends offer.  But I was mistaken, and for a while I was willing to question my own integrity, looking for even more non-existent flaws over again. 

I know I have been incredibly fucking stupid.  I have turned the other cheek, instead of slapping that son of a bitch in the face.

It is time to stop taking on the responsibility of other peoples’ actions.  It is time to stop making excuses for other peoples’ behaviour.  It is time to stop allowing other people to disrespect me, and I must start with myself.  It is time to for me to see my real & actual worth, and the beauty that resides in me, because it has remained untouched and still pure.  I still possess my grace and my dignity, I will wear it like a suit of armour when I again arise from these ashes; and it will be untainted by their malice.  They no longer have the power to belittle or reduce me down to their level.  It is time to start believing in the good of myself and other people again, and reject any harmful forces that try to steal away my light. 

It is time for me to shine again.


FAMILY
I must accept the fact that my family, are who they are, and they are very unlikely to ever change. 

Therefore I must.

AND FINALLY
In closing, I had no idea that I had so much I needed to get out of my system before I enter into this new year.  All I do know is that I have to let my demons go, and leave them where they truly belong, in the past.  They have haunted me for too long, and they have no place in my plans or where I’m going next.

Tonight, I will toast myself at the last stroke of midnight, and kiss goodbye to those painful ghosts of the past. 

Tonight, I will be raising a glass to what a truly amazing and remarkable woman I am and have become.


Because tomorrow, is indeed a brand new day in a brand new life for me!  Sx