And how are you?

I have been off work for a month on Saturday, a MONTH, and yet I still cannot help getting onto my work emails to see what is going on in my absence.

I can see that my colleagues are snowed under, and to be honest I would love to lend them a hand. Is that weird? I don’t feel bored at home. I am very busy, I have a lot of things to organise.

But I am also very huge, and my pelvis is slowly being pulled out of place by my increased weight, and also the weight of the huge bump that is growing daily in my front. It is something called pelvic girdle pain, and I have a severe version of it. It has been hell, to be honest. I have cried at nights from the pain. A physiotherapist told me that it should go after birth but honestly I just feel disabled at this point.

I am walking like a .. a huge person that has to drag one leg behind them, and I have to keep taking breaks, and not twist a certain way else I will fall and that is dangerous, and I crawl up the stairs, and cannot get out of bed.

I also have carpal tunnel in both hands because of all the water retention, so getting out of bed with a bad hip and painful hands is … acrobatic to say the least, lol!

My baby was also breech. At a late stage in pregnancy. They did a painful procedure to twist him around but it is just a matter of seeing whether he stays that way. He is displaying signs of stubborn naughtiness. But I shall never cast it up to him what a hard time he has given me. Hopefully he will be healthy and sound and he will be worth all the trouble. It is not his fault, poor thing. He has no idea what is going on, he is just relaxing in the warm comfort of his mother’s womb. I don’t care how much hell I have to go through as long as he is safe and sound.

So I am not complaining at all. I promise. I am just listing my woes, that helps. I am usually a very fit and active person, who likes to run up stairs and do some dancing on a grey rainy morning, but now it takes me six hours to sort out the laundry and tidying and washing dishes is too painful.

So my house is gradually getting messier and messier, and I am finding it harder to take care of the very basics like having a shower.

I won’t complain. I refuse to. I know how blessed I am, and I have failed pregnancies in the past, and that was painful too, so I am so so so so so grateful.

But I am also struggling very much with the pain and feeling very low. You cannot have it all, you really can’t!

So I was just chatting to my friends and my mum and the physiotherapist and I was thinking, you know, I have so much to be grateful for. So so so much. So I shall not complain. But sometimes in the dead of night I will cry, because I am scared and worried and anxious. But I will smile and get on with it, hobbling and dragging my feet, because hopefully this is not going to last, and I know it will all be worth it.

So yes, sometimes I check my work emails, and yes sometimes I want to do some work, just to take my mind off the mountain of chores that I cannot do, and to have something logical to focus on, to stop me spiralling into a net of self pity and pain and hysteria.

Don’t lose control, that is the main thing.

Anyway, how are you?

Love Letters #26

Did you know, you can remember things you have never experienced?

Or that sometimes, you can have a ‘false memory’, where your brain mistakes things you have imagined for things you have actually experienced? It’s amazing, some scientists did an experiment about it a while back and they managed to convince a group of people that they had a similar traumatic childhood experience when in actual fact they did not.

Sometimes, I think that our story was a false memory. Something that never really happened. It wasn’t so long ago that we were walking down the cold autumn streets, your fingers warm inside your red leather gloves. You convinced me so artfully that spending £100 on them was a great investment.

The minute we left the shop, with the gloves wrapped delicately in expensive tissue paper that you would only throw away, you turned to me with a smile and said, ‘Ooops.’

I remember everything in such vivid detail. The way your eyes looked when you were cross, and your mouth would set in one corner only. The way you would shove spoonfuls of cream into your mouth when you were mad, or sad. Pour it into a big mug and squeeze chocolate syrup on top. That was disgusting. I remember it fondly. I remember when you used to sleep sometimes, you would curl your fingers like a child. It was so odd. Maybe you felt safe?

I remember when you used to write, you would press the pen down so hard your fingernails turned white with the pressure, and your face would go right down so your nose was touching the paper. Sometimes you would come down and there would be ink spatters dotting your face like literary freckles.

When autumn came you blossomed. Cheeks red, hair alight from the summer sun, you would stay out for hours collecting leaves, and be so disappointed when I didn’t want to come with you. I wish I came with you, and collected leaves with you until my fingers were raw with cold.

I can’t see the dying trees outside now without curling into myself. I can’t look at all the leaves you collected and framed and piled around the house without my heart breaking into a hundred dead pieces. Over and over again.

You were so warm and full of life. I don’t know how somebody so alight with fire and passion could be so cold and still. It makes no sense to me. As all these thoughts rush through my mind, I begin to think we never happened. I just dreamed you up.

But the red gloves dangling over the edge of the dressing table, where you left them by mistake before we left home that fateful day, are a stark and painful reminder of what I have lost.

What is Life

The world is a beautiful place. So stunning and ethereal and vast and ancient. And humans are also ancient, though perhaps not as ancient as the mountains or the seas or the many many animals and plants we don’t know anything about.

The hearts of people are mysterious things. The hearts of people quite often are what determine how we look out on to this world. And how we treat it, and often influences how others perceive it too. Oh, everything is part of the something massive we call life, so everything is too complex and complicated to understand.

For example, who can we blame for all the death and corruption in the world? The truth is, we cannot blame anybody. Because everybody who is a part of it all, are all part of a massive and ancient machine. And we can serve justice all we want, but it won’t mend it and it certainly will not make it better in the future, because there will only be more evil hearted people and more sadness and destruction.

Oh, I don’t know how to put this thought. I feel really bitter and upset sometimes, and I feel it in my heart even though I know my brain is doing all the thinking, and it makes the world look so bleak and grey. Even when the sun is out. Even when the sky is bright blue. Even when the flowers are nodding away brightly. And I try to say, well, it is not real. Stop thinking horrid thoughts. But they carry on coming and manifest themselves into very real self made problems.

And we have been around for so so so so long. And so many before have felt this way and so many after will also. But it fixes. And it breaks. And it fixes again. And it will never change.

The heart is so strange, folks. So odd. I am constantly at war with mine.

Well, there is that lovely lyric – ‘Don’t worry, be happy, don’t worry be happy now!’

So, I guess I won’t worry. I will be happy. HAPPY. GLAD. Fun fun fun.

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Love Letters #13

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It was late. His letter was late. And when it fell limply through her letter box she could see that it wasn’t akin to the thick volumes he used to send.

It’s alright. He is busy. It makes sense.

Still, anxiety gnawed at her as she put her small index finger gently under the envelope flap, coaxing it open with her nails. She didn’t want to rip it. A part of her didn’t even want to read it. Her heart was thumping wildly under her thin nightdress, her hair hung like coiled honey, resting on her shoulders, gleaming in the light filtering in through the glazed window on the front door. She was aware her breathing was shallow, and when she had prised the flap up and pulled out a thin piece of folded paper, she had to sit down.

It’s okay if it is just a small note. I do understand. I won’t be like those petulant housewives waiting for their husbands to pay them attention, hankering for it, living their lives around their husbands. I have a life. I have. A life.

She glanced out the window at the rising sun, behind the mountainous rosebushes outside her front room window. White and peach blooms against a backdrop of dark green and a low stone wall. The street was quiet. She saw the postman across the road now. She wanted to go outside and return her envelope to him.

‘Here,’ she wanted to say, ‘Take it. Deliver it again when it gets fatter.’

She wanted to throw the window open and scream, ‘My husband doesn’t love me anymore!’

How long had it been? Six months? She couldn’t even remember anymore. She missed him so sorely, and would tell him freely, of course, until that fateful evening. She missed his letters filled with sweet nothings, filled with details about his days, filled with love and warmth and the promise of his arms around her and his mouth on hers and his comfort and kindness.

When did it even start? When did his letters stop being novels and start being harried notes, almost resentfully explaining how he couldn’t write because he was snowed under.

He will come back.

Even as she thought it, slowly unfolding the weak little letter, she felt her heart turn to lead. There was a metal lump in her throat that she couldn’t swallow. She didn’t want to. She didn’t want to move, or think. She just looked listlessly down at the meagre words, in her own darling’s handwriting, that crossed the page, no doubt ripped out from one of his journals.

She sat there for the longest while, staring down at the note, until eventually it fluttered out of her small little hands and sailed gently down onto the carpet she had chosen with her husband three years ago.

My darling Pamela,

The boss has asked me to stay on, I’m afraid. I have accepted. I will call you from the post office on Tuesday at 3PM. We need to talk.

Harry

 

On Politics and Human Life

A terrorist is somebody who kills and terrorises others fueled by extreme political or religious ideology.

If a man who claims to be Muslim and kills innocent people because they are of a different ideology is a terrorist, then so is a white man who murders an MP because her actions do not fit his extreme right wing political ideology. He is a murdering terrorist.

Right?

Of course not, folks. The media reckons he is a mentally ill loner.

The Orlando shooter? Muslim? Bipolar disorder? Closeted gay? Mentally ill loner? No. Terrorist.

This world is cruel and harsh and unjust. Innocent people die for no reason, buffoons campaign to run the most powerful country on earth, idiots are allowed to buy guns, hate and fear is spread everywhere.

I guess what we can do is spread our love. Treat our neighbours right. Help those in need, even if they are strangers. One kind action can change a mindset. You never know.

As long as there is love in this world, and good people, they can’t say life wasn’t worth it. It is.

In Which I Discuss Some Homey Things

So I have a bad disease called haemorrhoids. I know, TMA much? But anyways, it coincides with this month’s period, the first one after the miscarriage, so it’s pretty tough going. I only told you all this because you will get a sense of how disgustingly crappy I feel today. I am in so much pain, but have ploughed on through a 3000 word assignment on eighteenth century European literary attitudes towards colonialism and slavery presented by our very own Aphra Behn, about whom I am beginning to have very mixed feelings.

I am inclined to dislike her. She appears to be very pretentious and what really irks me is the fact that in order to make a black slave ‘appealing’ to her audience, she has to European-ise him by giving him a Roman nose and making sure he was well equipped with knowledge of European culture, as though it were so superior that not to know of it would render one completely barbarous.

Which in fact it did.

So don’t get your hopes up.

I was quite frankly appalled.

I suppose it isn’t really her fault, since she is catering to her readers, so really, I should have said the only way the English society at the time would sympathise with a black SLAVE is if he looked a bit like an Englishman and possibly shared his values.

I KNOW.

Also, did you know that the Liverpool port grew exponentially because of the slave trade? Appalling. I had no idea. All this time I was yelling at America but really it was us Brits just as much as them. I am so un-iformed.

ANYWAY. Back to today. So I ploughed on through thinking, aaaah, well I don’t gotta cook today since the old husband is going to a meal with some work friends. Only he then called to tell me he wasn’t.

“Aw man. Well I didn’t cook anything,” said I, chewing my ratty, unwashed hair as I spoke into my mobile.

“It’s ok. I’ll cook something.” he said.

I snorted into the phone.

Psh, yeah right. D cannot cook a meal to save his life. His idea of a tuna sandwich is dunking a tin of tuna onto some bread. Which quite frankly is disgusting, believe me, I’ve had it.

Anyway. We live and work in the middle of nowhere so the idea of a takeaway is ridiculous since the nearest place is a thirty minute drive away.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So I cooked spinach and rice and then sat back with a cup of tea and decided to have a hair wash and straighten my hair and maybe put some makeup on and frankly, after a painkiller, I feel much much better.

Nothing like a little spruce up and a dash of mascara to make you feel better about life in general.

A bitta maquillage, so to speak.

Also D is eating the rice and spinach and he said he was very grateful and didn’t expect me to do it and why did I, and then he admitted that he probably wouldn’t have cooked anything and just had some cereal instead.

Which isn’t the worst thing to do but well, it’s nice to come home after a long day to have a hot meal ready. God knows I love that feeling. Crashing in late after uni to find my mum had a hot plate of something homey on the table for me.

Anyway. Happy Thursday folks.

 

“That Won’t Happen to me”

Why do we think we are so untouchable?

Why do we think we won’t be like the man who lost all his limbs in a freak, unexpected accident?

Why do we think we won’t lose our parents just yet? ‘Oh, they aren’t old. They’re not sick. We’ll all be fine. Oh dear, Penny’s dad just died. But he had diabetes. My dad doesn’t. It’ll be fine’

Why do we think bombs won’t start dropping on us, and not just the exploding kind?

Why do we think we won’t suddenly be hit with poverty like that poor girl that runs that quirky little blog?

Why do we think that just because we had one miscarriage, we won’t have many many more, like that charming young lady with a big smile to hide her heartache?

Maybe because each of our problems are our own to deal with, and looking at others with way worse ones is a coping mechanism.

Or is it just fear stopping us from accepting that pain is inevitable?

‘It’s not that bad’ we console ourselves, ‘at least we aren’t homeless. At least our situation isn’t like HERS. Or HIS.’

All of us have our own little pains. Or big pains. Our hearts will ache. If there is one thing life has taught me, it is that no matter your age, your heart will ache. I have seen my mother’s heart hurt over the passing of my Nan, and at the same time I saw my little brother’s heart break because the boy down the street turned his back on their friendship.

I read somewhere once that just because one person’s pain is not as great in magnitude as another’s, it does not mean it is less relevant. This especially applies to little children. For them, it is the first time experiencing such pain, so to them, it must be tremendous.

To an adult like you and I, it is something that happens in life, but not to a child.

I am a firm believer in the fact that no human being will ever be given more than they can bear. Religious or not, that is true. There will always be that little shred of strength inside you to drag up, to shield you against the harshness of those dark times.

I believe wholeheartedly that no matter how hard it gets, it will be a yesterday when tomorrow comes. Life is full of yesterdays. Some more bittersweet than others, but still they are yesterdays. Life is also full of tomorrows. It just matters how we handle today.

Here are some quotes in the form of pictures:

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Crests and Troughs

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I don’t feel too good.

I spend too much time in the shower. I enjoy the torrid water beating against my body, I think it is hot but if it were to be cranked up a degree  I am afraid I would burn. I hold my finger poised over the power button on the electric shower and contemplate it for a good five minute before i press on it with a sluggish finger. Everything feels weakened. Even after I have slept.

I lay in bed yesterday for hours, and when I got up it was 4pm. I got in at 9:45am. I didn’t want to get dressed but I did because Damian did and I wanted to make an effort for him. He told me I seem like I am carrying a heavy burden and I smiled at him and whacked him lightly with a towel and told him not to be so silly.

I wish I could tell him. I wish I could tell somebody. That somedays all I think about in bed on my own with a growing feeling of fear and disgust is everything that happened for two years and ended a year ago. I am constantly reminded of it. Sometimes smells waft my way and I am jerked back into a time and a place and my throat constricts and the world shrinks and shrinks and shrinks and I want to escape but I can’t because the world is too small. There’s nowhere to go.

I was standing outside the flat yesterday, and it opens right out to the high street of the little town I now live in. I was leaning against the wall because Damian went in to get the car keys and while I was waiting the faint music from the pub down the road wafted my way. Rihanna. Singing something. I’d know that cow’s voice anywhere. He always had her blasting. He always spoke about how he would fuck her senseless if he got the chance. While I was sitting right next to him. When I complained he slapped my thigh. My thigh. My thigh. I don’t know how I could have let such a disgusting thing touch me. Why did I let him touch me. Why. Why. Why.

Or Rihanna blasting out in a rickety old car as it sped down a quiet, pitch black A road. Rihanna wailing about how she would drink to the frickin’ weekend. Him singing along. Me giving a fake, forced smile. Him telling me not to be such a moody cow. It was such an ugly song. Her moaning voice drags me back to bleak places.

I did not want to be there.

You know those times when your soul isn’t happy? When you have every reason to feel joy but you just don’t? When everything you thought would make you happy, help you escape, is in your grasp but you just want to go back? When you keep being told that you are free, you are better off, this is you being an adult, living your life… but your mind finds it increasingly difficult to relate those facts to the agony you are feeling. But I’m not really living it, am I? I am a frightened little rabbit doing your bidding because I am scared to death of you. That’s what the voices in my head were telling me.

I looked out into the darkness and blocked everything else out from my mind. I focused only on getting it over and done with and going back to the safe haven of my home again. Where nobody knew anything. Where I spent hours late at night glued a phone call I really didn’t want to partake in, tiredness cloaking me like a heavy, hot blanket. I glanced listlessly at all the work I didn’t do because I had to spend hours talking to a madman.

A madman. A mad man who rambled and shouted and raved and told me despicable things about my mother. I sat there in the dead of the night listening to somebody insult my mother and call her a fat cow and a selfish bitch. MY MOTHER who sacrificed everything for me, who still does, who spends all her time and energy thinking of me, doing things for me, planning for me, researching for me, and never spares not a second on herself. My mother. And I sat there listening to it. I took it in and I nodded and sighed and yawned and tried to make excuses but to no avail. Egotistical manipulators  don’t understand excuses. They think of nobody but themselves.

I thought that period of time would be erased from memory once I escaped it. I thought my dabblings with such a force would have no effect on me later because.. why would they? I am alright, aren’t I? I am fairly normal. Average. Happy-go-lucky. I have never suffered with any mental illness. I am fine.

A whole year ago yesterday and why is it still bothering me. Why am I still terrified? Why  does my heart beat with frantic panic every time an unknown number calls me? Why do I feel like I will never ever shake the disgusting, terrifying, menacing, monstrous feel of him off?

I want to step out of this heavy burdensome skin.

Sometimes I laugh so loudly at the things Damian says and after a while I am still laughing, but I am no longer in the moment. I have stepped away from it, and now my laughter is a deafening echo and my face is doing all the motions but I am really crying so heavily I have melted right into the ground.

So, I don’t feel too great. I have stomach aches in the evenings. My limbs fall heavy and I don’t seem to be able to breathe so well anymore. My chest feels too tight. I take off my bras and still, my deep breaths aren’t so satisfying.

It’s crests and troughs, though. I am so happy one moment in the park swinging on swings, sailing down slides, letting the wind whirl through my hair, opening my arms wide to embrace the forces of this beautiful nature. But the next moment I can hardly move for the pain inside. It just hurts. I cry for no reason. I cry when I tell Damian I love him. I cry when I hear my mother’s voice on the phone. I cry when I look at my hair in the mirror. How can somebody feel so happy, and yet so sad?

I just don’t understand it. Why do I feel so poorly, and yet so alive? How could I feel so nauseous and yet dig into meals like a ravenous pig? I want to look forward to things, get excited about things, sing and dance and laugh honestly again.

So I am just waiting for this trough to turn into a crest. Today was better than yesterday. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

 

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