Playing Mum

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Recently, (I do NOT know why, I hope to God this isn’t an omen of some sort) I have come across lots of ‘mummy’ articles, where mums around the world describe what it is really like.

One mother described how after she got married the young girl within her was suppressed because she had ‘other’ duties and responsibilities; i.e. her job, her spouse, her child, her home. Another mother talked about how she loved her body, warts, blobs and all, (which is perfectly normal and something that should be endorsed, and something I fully agree with, by the way). She then goes to on say that pregnancy and motherhood completely transformed her body. She lost control of her bladder, she had accidents, she just didn’t go back to normal; and that was okay.

I am not disproving this line of thought. I am just, at my ripe age of twenty years, having a mild episode of panic! So, it appears that having a child means suppressing one’s inner self? It appears one must keep silent about how one feels, and shoulder the burden of being a ‘woman’ because it is expected of one to be able to go through months of pregnancy, hours/days of labour, years of care and motherhood, without a second of complaint. It seems as though one has to turn up one’s mouth into a pretty little smile and keep a laugh ready, waiting, to show those one loves that one is completely and utterly fine, whilst dying on the inside because one has not expressed one’s inner passions, dreams and hopes as much as one wishes to.

It looks like one has to get used to a life of having no control over one’s need to use the toilet, of looking like a perpetual blob and of hating oneself because one is not the perfect airbrushed body the media lies one will be after having carried a child in one’s womb for nine whole months. Golly, that’s almost a year!

There is no sarcasm in this post. Only anguish and panic and complete terror.

Does this mean I can never have kids? Oh I so want to (not now, of course). But I don’t want my inner child suppressed. I have a whale of a time prancing about with other people’s children, running around like there is no tomorrow, laughing like I have lost all sense of myself, and my surroundings. Does this mean I can never do the things I have always wanted to, or even pursue my dreams, if an accident were to happen now and I was to fall pregnant!?

This is terrifying. It is actually absurd.

And yet I am seeing living proof of it with my own two eyes. That is not to say, of course, that my mother doesn’t have a good time. My mother knows how to have a good time, and she goes about getting that good time. But is she truly where she wants to be in life?

No!

I have heard her say many a time that if it weren’t for ‘you kids’, she would be travelling the world and helping poor refugees in dreadful camps in countries ravaged by war, starvation and evil dictatorship. I heard tales of how she wanted to study again to be a doctor, instead of a chemist.

I just never thought about it too much because she is my mother and her place is here, with me, and my siblings. To lend an ear when I need it. To tell me where my missing tights are. To yell at me to wash the dishes and have a delicious dinner ready to eat when I get home from a long day at university, even though she has been working her socks off all day and chasing after two little brothers who just will not get up for school.

And I never realised before how odd her life must look, because she is almost blind in one eye and I couldn’t go one day wearing just one contact lens.

And I am not even blind in one eye!

And I watch how she caters for everybody, and hosts like an angel, and never sits down or eats until she is sure everybody else has. I complain because she complains that nobody has done anything without noticing that she has done so much and nobody has told her to please sit down, to please have a rest, “and mama I will make you a cup of tea and wash the dishes because you have been out all day sorting out the boys and paying the bills and cleaning and gardening and teaching and loving and being the heart and soul of this whole family and all the strings that attach it together”

Because she has, and she is. And I have never ever appreciated this before. And here I sit worrying about what sort of life I will lead if I ever become ‘lumbered‘ with children and all I am thinking of is, where is her reward? Where  is her break? When does she get to say, ‘oh, I am done here, I am going for a nap’.

Because if she left today this whole family would fall to pieces.

And I know for a fact that lazy, selfish, irritable, procrastinating me will never, ever be able to fill half her shoes. And so I panic. There’s me thinking I will be the perfect mum because some celebrity had a child and she now looks gorgeous and so does her baby and she looks epically happy. Frump that you are, Lenora. That’s not real life. THIS is.

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Can I Have a Break?

I have hair loss. My hair and my nails are brittle. My hair falls out in clumps in the shower. It has been doing this for the past two years. It just keeps escalating. I am naturally very anxious about this, worry creeps up on me often, and mostly when I don’t expect it. I could be happy one moment and then catch sight of my reflection in the mirror and suddenly I am falling down a long and heavy shaft of misery and despair and sometimes anguish.

Give me a break! I want to shout. Help me! Somebody! I am tired of fighting this battle alone.

But fight it I must, since those who claim they know what they are doing quite simply do not. Yes, the doctors don’t know. They give me blood test after blood test and just because the numbers on the page settle in nicely with their set spectrum of ‘normal’, they are afraid they really cannot help me, that it must be a cosmetic problem, and aren’t I being a little bit of a hypochondriac about all this? Do I stress a lot? Hmm, that MUST be it. That MUST be why my hair has been falling out for the past seven years, and only escalated in the past two. It must be why it is so easily broken.

So I am embarking on a new journey of healing, my chums. My extensive research has told me that brittle hair and nails can be attributed to weak digestion.

Do I suffer digestive problems? Yes I do. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I have lots of gas sometimes and I bloat very easily. I get abdominal pains and feel very uncomfortable after eating. I sometimes have blood in my stools, too.

When I told my doctors this they said it was nothing to worry about and I should relax.

Well. I am relaxed and very calm.

I am going to try a two week elimination test, in which I remove all dairy products, gluten, yeast, soy, processed foods, corn and eggs from my diet and record all the changes in my bowel habits and health.

At the end of the two weeks I shall (if I am still alive, that is) document any changes that I have experienced, and slowly add the eliminated foods back into my diet, one at a time, and see what changes occur then.

I will also begin taking probiotic supplements.

I read once that healing begins from the inside. It’s no use putting tonic on my hair and oiling it regularly with coconut and argan if the root of the problem is allowed to run rampant.

We shall see what this brings.

One Sided Love

Have you ever felt that a platonic love was one sided?

That you spend hours on phone conversations with a friend, who calls everytime calamity falls, and you console and cajole, reassure and listen, and she goes away happier, lighter, but you are left with a small wilting rose in your heart?

I feel that way. I won’t say who it is. I see friends and friendships blossoming all around me, and I do know what it feels to be in such a friendship, but I fear this one isn’t one such friendship.

This one is one sided. I am not aiming to sound like an egotistical hippo when I say this, but I don’t return her love.

We met under odd circumstances. We still love to tell the funny tale of our meeting. It was one that gave me hope and happiness. It consoled me, that I was not a lost soul. However as time passed and our acquaintance bloomed into friendship, I began to feel more lost than ever.

We met a lot and we talked about things, and she needed to get a lot off her chest. She told me all about her troubles. There were a lot of them. Time passed some more.

Her troubles only got worse. Lately we seem to only be talking of her troubles. Sometimes I have troubles, but she never ever hears about them, because when she asks about my life, and I begin to tell her, she launches into a discussion about another problem relating to mine, and soon enough, I find myself nodding sympathetically and speaking soothingly.

“I love you” she says, laughingly, when we are out having gelato, “You’re always here for me. What would I do without you!?”

But I don’t love her. I can do very well without her. This is a sad and horrible thing for me to say, I know it. However I can’t help what I feel. She is not there for me. I can’t connect with her. She doesn’t understand me, and I don’t feel as though I completely understand her either.

I feel as though she talks a great deal but only very little does she have to say. I might be guilty of the same thing, I don’t know. I do know, however, that I am getting tired of lying.

“I miss you”, she said to me in a text the other day, “We really should meet soon!”

I don’t miss her at all.

When I laugh with her, I am forcing myself. I force myself to smile. I force myself to see her. I force myself I force myself I force myself.

I don’t know why. I do try. I think friendship should be more than just listening to somebody’s problems. It should be about connecting and understanding each other equally. It should be about enjoying another person’s company, and laughing together about things we both find funny.

This friend and I, have senses of humour that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The things she finds funny are things I find smile-worthy, she doesn’t understand my jokes, and I don’t understand hers.

We are so different, how are we friends? We have nothing in common.

I expect that what I am trying to say is that there is nothing wrong with us knowing each other and liking each other, but I wouldn’t go so far as to tell her I love her and I value her presence in my life. While I do make time for her, and I don’t resent that at all, I feel as though I am in a shell desperately trying to get out, to express myself, but our conversations never allow it.

I think I made a friend out of desperation, because it is not easy for me to make them. I tried. I tried so hard. But this is a one sided love.

Welcome, Friday.

I want to draw on what I know today. I woke up like I haven’t woken up in a long time; refreshed and filled with a vibrancy that can only correlate to a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Do you know what uninterrupted sleep feels like, folks? It feels like a mind willing to hear what the world has to say. It feels like birds chiming together, each song separating from the other yet joined in one harmonious melody. It feels like a glass of lemonade after a sweltering hike uphill, or the wonderful view, finally, after a long and tiring struggle, of the earth in it’s multitudes of beauty spread out hundreds of feet below. Sprawling fields, snow caped mountains in the distance, framing glittering pools, a sky in hundreds of shades of blue, forests and deserts, oceans and miles of untouched terrain.

I feel quite awake. My mind is no longer clogged by the clouds of fatigued misery. Welcome, Friday, I hope your time with me is well spent.

Hello, I am Doctor Bleep, and Before you Say Anything, Here are Some Antibiotics.

Goodmorning sunshines!

It is the afternoon but I had that little phrase in my head, and the days are so long now (the sun sets at 8:06pm!) that it almost counts as morning. The world is heating up nicely. It is 14 degrees here in England and sunny sunny sunny! I felt the need to shed my layers today, and my brightly coloured flower print top attracted a good many bees while I walked in the fields, I tell you.

Sickness prevails in this family though, folks. Damian has just come off a week’s course of antibiotics, only to come down with another sore throat. I am concerned, of course, there is nothing my mind hates so much as something that isn’t right. And recurring bacteria after antibiotics is certainly not in the normal way of things, and is therefore a morbid cause for concern.

To me, it means that the antibiotics didn’t do as they were supposed to. That the bacteria are RESISTANT.

Can you believe such nonsense!? Who on earth would have thought!?

We all know why, though, don’t we? It’s because our doctors are a little too keen to dole out the bacteria killers, these days. Why, only the other week I had a small lump on my underarm, and the doctor didn’t even have a look at it, he just leant back in his chair and said, “Oh, well, I’ll put you on a course of antibiotics and we shall see what happens”.

I was incredulous. Naturally I declined. You can’t just give somebody antibiotics when you don’t even know if they are being invaded by bacteria.

You know how they say, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’? It comes from a real theory called ‘hormesis’, which is a process undertaken by organisms exposed to low levels of toxins to make them more resistant to larger doses of such toxins. This theory has only recently become accepted as a principal of biomedicine.

Experiments were undertaken on rats and mice, exposing them to minute levels of gamma radiation over a period of time. After this time period, a high dose of gamma rays were inflicted on the creatures, and the results showed that they were less likely to develop cancer from the exposure, than those vermin who hadn’t been exposed at all.

It works the same way with bacteria. If doctors think they can sign off packets of antibiotics for no good reason (I assume because they are commissioned to do so), very soon antibiotics will cease to be effective, and the discovery of penicillin will have gone entirely to waste, and humans will be dropping dead like flies every time we contract an infection.

It is appalling how often doctors where I used to be registered prescribe antibiotics. Once I had gas in my tummy and it was causing me pain, and it had been ongoing for the past two days. So I sought the advice of a doctor and he seemed very frazzled, didn’t even ask for a urine sample, and prescribed me a box of antibiotics which I bought and then threw away.

What a waste. People who really do need antibiotics will be the ones to suffer.

A Small Reflection

Today I came out of the shower in Damian’s house and said, “Y’all better get out of my room cause I want to change in there”.

“She said it!” my sister in law said, “She said ‘my room‘!”

I did. I called Damian’s room my room. How the tables have turned. It appears I am more comfortable now in the home of my in-laws. I can even poop here. And that is a remarkable feat, really, since I can’t usually anywhere but at my own home. Or my home (my mother’s house). Or my uncle’s.

I wanted to reflect upon how nice that is, and how I have, in acquiring a spouse, acquired myself a new home.

Sometimes in life one isn’t always happy, and today I put this small happy pebble in my pebble jar of happies, to remind myself to stop being so glum over things and to feel joy in small matters! Every penny counts, they say. That was my shiny copper penny for today.

Adieu, my dears. Much love,

Lenora

Some Thoughts

I have a most peculiar headache, dears. I had two tablets of sugar coated ibuprofen about an hour and a half ago but it just seems to be getting worse. Nothing a good night’s sleep and a herbal tea won’t cure, I expect.

Damian has either tonsillitis or strep throat and I have been playing nurse, plumping up pillows and making teas and I made a chicken broth today. It had green things floating in it and little pieces of vegetables and strips of shredded chicken. It was flavourful, despite the lack of bones.

I know a lot of things that would seem highly unlikely if I spoke them aloud, but I do earnestly believe that magic exists. It isn’t like the magic that we speak of in books. It is more surreal, and well out of our grasp. I think it is more beautiful and exquisite than our brains can comprehend. It exists in the seas and the trees, in the harmony of the sun and the moon, in the way everything on earth is connected, as though by fine threads that our plain eyes cannot see. It turns the cogs that the universe runs upon.

This world cannot be a happening, folks. The probability is too high, the detail too intricate for it to be the work of pure chance.

The magic is that we exist in this wondrous beauty, and when the world is enveloped in the cold darkness of the universe, one’s eyes are opened to the vastness of it all. One feels so incredibly small and powerless.

Sometimes I wish the veil would lift.

I can’t wait for a clear summer night, when the world is illuminated by moonlight and the stars twinkle merrily in the sky. That way I will be able to go for walks in the fields. It’s so dark otherwise. One wants to see what they are walking into. I want to see how changed the world seems in the absence of sunlight.

Sometimes I grieve for people who haven’t died yet, as though they have. My imagination runs away with me and I start to worry and feel anxious. Sometimes I find a frown on my face, and it is a surprise, and I wonder how long it has been sitting there for. Like right now for example. Other times I stop myself when I realise I am rocking back and forth, like somebody from a mental institute.

I think I have far too much time on my hands.

You know what they say, though. Time to occupy oneself with things that will move one forward and better one’s mind and improve one’s knowledge. When I am busy, I shall look back on all this free time wistfully and wish I had done something better with it. We make our own lives, dear folks.

I keep telling myself that, you know. I fear my words speak louder than my actions these days. Must rectify that as soon as possible.

Goodnight dears. I wish you all very well.