Monday, 26 September 2011

Gloss, Spin, Pretence & all the other messed up stuff.

This week it feels as though a lot has been happening. 

My daughter was in hospital for a few days. Thankfully it turned out to only be a viral infection. I stayed with her, of course & actually, it proved a distraction -- maybe not a welcome one given the circumstance of her being quite ill, but a welcome one in that it meant I didn't get the chance to think about much else for a little while.

I haven’t written in quite some time & the guilt & something else that I can’t quite describe seems to be welling up inside of me.

I lay in bed tonight with my eyes wide open – I wasn’t sleepy & thoughts were whirring around as they do before the inevitable happens & I come to place them on paper. Tears started rolling from my wide-open eyes onto the pillow as all that I was contemplating rolled in & out of the forefront of my mind. Various notions, all in a similar & fairly selfish vein.

When I began writing Our Pea Green Pod’s blog I tried to keep it glossy. Keep it about the hearty, wholesome family stuff – detailing the great things that had happened & maybe a little of the rubbish, but always trying to take positives from them & put a sheen on things. My aim was to take the best from all of the good stuff that happened, but I think now that by doing so this wasn’t truthful. It’s not consistent with life to just take from the happy bits. You take from all aspects of life the best that you can. Sometimes, you have to go with the crap. Sometimes there is no good to be taken, but you must take it & move on. Most of the time, it's easier said than done. Life is not fair & not every scenario, good or bad, is tied neatly with a lovely moral bow. Sometimes you do hellish things & feel shamelessly satisfied & other times you may give all of your self & good intentions to come out stripped of every last wit.

Presently, I’m wading through a hell of a lot of crap. Half of the crap I’m wading through I’m not even sure where it came from, what made it or why the hell I have ended up in the middle of it.

As I have said before: Sometimes I just feel sad.

I don’t know when it started. I always remember some inkling of feeling this way, but as I’ve grown older it seems to have become ever more present in my day-to-day life. Sometimes I’m happy: sometimes stuff isn’t in the forefront of my mind & life just ticks by, but recently, a lot of the time I have felt sad.

My Grandfather has always said that I come from a family of worriers. It’s very true – I lay awake at night worrying about everything I possibly could. I envy those people who can just lay their heads on their pillow & be gone. Fast asleep.

I know that my father is the same, & I notice as he has got older his life has crumbled more & more. He is lazy & sad; he has nothing much to be here for; he has no real purpose in life. I see those same traits in myself & I am terrified that one day I will become him. 

My father is also an alcoholic. A few years ago my Grandfather traced our family tree. It seems that alcoholism is a reoccurring theme in our line.

My Grandfather always has a glass of whiskey in the cupboard, whatever the time of day. 

My father always has a bottle of cheapest vodka under his bed.

Though I enjoy drinking – I am a party girl at heart – I have to say that the one thing that doesn’t worry me is what I drink. I have had the years of conversations with my father that by the next time we speak he doesn’t remember; the endless repetition. I have seen & learned enough from this that I feel fiercely resistant to ever becoming such a creature. Even when I’ve felt at my lowest point there has never been any urge to drink myself into oblivion.

If I can feel so determined not to go down the alcohol route then why can I not apply this same determination to the sadness? It has all ready taken a hold of me & I'm not sure how to make it loosen it's grip.

The feeling of total blackness, darkness, is quite a different thing. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic but the only way that I can describe it is a feeling of utter helplessness. You are so inside your own mind that you can’t see any way out. Stuck.

Of course, when I’m feeling better & when my sense of humour has returned I tend to think of it as being more up my own arse than inside my own mind. But when you’re there it isn’t funny.

The crucial thing is this: if I see these traits in my own father then what if my children feel like this? What if I have given this to them? How will I support them, as well as my lame self? & how will I deal with the guilt of seeing them suffer because of something I have unwittingly done to them? The thought crushes me & scares me beyond belief.

I suppose that the obvious answer is to help myself, in an effort to help them. I don’t know why this is so difficult for me to do. Admitting I feel like this is, for me, akin to admitting failure. I’m fucked up, therefore do I even deserve the chance to be there for my kids? I have managed to muddle along & survive & do what I think is right by my daughter for over three years now & I’ve done it mainly by myself. I have never really told anyone how I feel – I’ve come this far hiding it & I think I’m proud of the job I’ve done. I’m not proud of hiding it, but I am proud that I’ve more or less kept it together.

My friends think I’m strong. People always tell me how independent & amazing I am. I feel proud when they say this & in some ways I think that I am strong, but I also feel guilty because I know that really, I’m not as together as anyone thinks. I’m just well-practiced at pretending.

So, if I press publish then it’s out there. & if it’s out there then I have to go & sort this out for real.

I think that all I want is for someone to be strong for me, at least for a little while.

I want to write that I think it's time to change -- but I think that's too much gloss. There isn't any moral to take from this yet.


  1. I just started following your blog and found that I really relate to this post. It can be very hard to admit to yourself and to those you love that although you seem to always have things figured out that deep inside you are having a hard time. But life happens and it is not all sunshine and roses, it is OK to have feelings of stress, anger, sadness and fear just like everyone else. Your feelings are just as valid as everyone else's.

    As for your children you sound like you are trying your best for them and really that is all any mom can do. Worrying about something you have little control over that might happen in the future will lead you in circles. Focus your energies on the here and now on being the best mom you can. Teach them to find the positives in things around them and on how to be independent. Be proud of what you have done so far and be sure to let your kids know you love them and are proud of them. I have found that when I am feeling sad the best remedy is to spend time playing with my kids. It is difficult to dwell on the sadness when your kids are feeling so happy.

  2. Thank you Larissa, for your kind words & what a lovely Etsy shop you have!

  3. I'm new to the Blog Team on Etsy, and so just found your site. I wanted you to know that I relate to what you're describing, as I have struggled with some of the same things my whole life. I think it's very brave of you to put it all out there and commit to sorting it out. I'm rooting for you and saying a prayer that you'll have the strength and stamina to see it through. Keep us posted on your progress!

  4. Francesca, thank you for your words & support, I'm glad you found my blog & honoured you read! Recently I joined a team on Etsy which I have found is a real eye-opener & a great source of support, even in the short amount of time that I've been a member. It is called 'Mental Health & Wellness Support Group' & is for people who need suppoort whether they suffer from any type of mental health issues, big or small, & also for the families & friends of those who suffer & just generally need support. Everyone there is lovely & always offering an ear & advice.


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