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Saturday, 29 December 2018

My Zippity and Bippity

have got their doo dah and boo back - although, I'm not sure they were ever really connected to begin with (for me, at least).

I woke up the other morning, thankfully; I wasn't entirely sure at one point I was ever going to wake up again, as I'd rolled over in bed during the early hours of the morning; by rolling I mean I flung myself from one-side-to-the-other (something I am sure everyone has done at some point) and I  smacked my head so hard on the wall the other side (the joy of a small room) that I actually saw stars (and not the ones outside, behind the window). It's not the first time I have done that either, having done it in January while laid up with chicken pox (I know, at my age). That night though I am sure I did knock myself out, for I'd not slept in 3 days, and after banging my head (which really bloody hurt) I found myself coming too 7 hours later. It may just have been that I was so tired I nodded off, however, part of the reason I flung myself was out of pure frustration where I was so tired and yet still felt so wide awake. It was that week (the chicken pox week - which was more like 10 days than 7) when I first laid there and thought to myself "I really no longer care, if I live, or die". Never before had I felt that way; no matter how tough things were, within me there was a fighter who refused to give up, who had (still have) so many things in life she wanted to do, that she kept on going, determined to do those things. Death (and the thought of it) also scared the shit out of me, so there was no way I ever wanted it to happen. That night though, I honestly didn't care. If I'd not woken up I wouldn't have sat on my cloud and thought "ahh fuck it, I had so much more I wanted to do", I would have sat there and said "well, there you go; the pain and hurt finally ended". I think that was the moment I realised just how deep into myself I had gone, just how black the darkness which had been gradually creeping up on me my who life, had finally got. 

Like most people, there are 2 of me. The one the outside world sees, the one who is real. I should have been an actress; I'm damn sure I would have won awards because I am so good at letting people think they know everything about me, whilst I know they literally haven't got a clue. I share only what needs to be shared. I'm sure some people who know me may come across this at some point, may read it, and may sit there and say "holy shit; I never knew she was feeling that bad". That's because they either A) have never bothered to take the time to get to find out how I am, or what I am feeling, or B) because I have hidden it and covered it so well. There are things I share, and things I don't, and I can paint on a smile far better than any clown when I have to. I've been out the back at work before, sobbing to the point where I cannot breathe, yet the second a customer comes into the shop, I walk myself back through, paint the smile on and they would not have a clue.

Anyone who knows me, knows how I was bullied as a child, and well into adulthood - in fact, even this year I have still allowed people to (pressure me maybe, not so much bully, although there is a very fine line between the 2) make me feel as though I am not worthy, that I am just a thorn-in-their-side they tolerate, yet don't really want to be around. I've sat back and said nothing about things when in fact I should have shouted about them, but I kept quiet "because it's easier" and because I didn't want to upset or offend someone else. How sad is that? It was/is ok for those people to make me feel worthless, to upset me, yet god forbid I actually speak my mind and upset them. Yes, that's the world I have been living in. That's the world I've been allowing myself to live in; that's how I allowed people to treat me. What a waste of 30 years (ok, ok, I know I'm older than that, but cut me some slack!!).

I've experienced some things in my life that I would not wish upon anyone - including those in the past who have made me believe myself to be worthless, and those who thought it ok to smash my head against a concrete pillar, and worse. I figured those things happened because I was worthless, a nothing, a nobody; I deserved no better. From there, things then just seemed to escalate and I got so caught up in my own world of doom-and-gloom, I then believed all the bad things which happened in my life were because of how worthless (and useless - oh yes, I've felt like a useless being) I was. There's no denying that my Dad dying as he did, that Lou dying as he did, that Donna dying as she did, that Myrtle going through what she did, was hard on me (and they are only things which have happened in the past 25 years - the things before were equally as hard, however, they were my things, things that happened just to me, things that weren't shared with anyone) but DLD and M weren't just about me. Other people also suffered as a result of their losses far more than I, it's just that they were just the ones which hit me the hardest. It wasn't my fault those bad things happened (yes, I really did, (often) think it was all happening as some kind of punishment to me - what I believed I was being punished for I have no clue). They happened, because sometimes, life is fucking shit. We have no control over those things, and I think that makes them even harder, because, at the end-of-the-day, no matter what anyone else says, we all have a little "control freak" living inside of us. 

I never felt as though I fitted in, anywhere. For as far back as I can remember I always felt I wasn't worthy (even as a child, although I am sure back then I thought of it in a different way) and that I was the odd-one-out (that feeling I don't think will ever leave me, but I can accept it now, own it for what it is). I always felt as though I should be doing all I could to please people, or to be a better version of the person I am (I know I should have accepted myself for me - I am who-I-am, the best version I can be at all times). I grew up in a family with 3 older cousins, and 1 the same age. The constant comparison to them all (not by my parents I would like to add - they never compared me to anyone, accepting that I was the daughter they'd been blessed (burdoned I am sure at times) with) was blatantly obvious for even a blind man to see. I was the chubby one; I would cry at my size growing up (because I'd been bullied about it) and Mum would tell me that it was "Puppy fat" and I'd "grow out of it". She lied :) Not the only lie she told me - the best one being " a spider will never crawl on you because they have cold blood and you have warm". The shit I got from my Dad when I absolutely freaked out at having a big, black hairy spider crawling up my face was second-to-none; I so blame my Mum for that! She did it all because she loves me though, and I can never hold that against her - I do enjoy mentioning it though, every now-and-then :)

The cousins were all way more intelligent than I could even pretend to be (and as we've ascertained, I am a good actress, I could have pretended to a point). Because of this I was made to feel stupid, useless and inadequate, hearing often that I was 'never going to amount to anything' or that I wouldn't 'go far'. So, there I am, a kid of 4 or 5, feeling fat and stupid, all thanks to my peers and some nasty little kids at school. What's a fat, worthless, stupid kid to do? That's right; attract the very creatures who feed off such negativity, and that's how I found myself plunging deeper-and-deeper into a world I wanted no part of, yet had no clue how to get out of it (it's taken me until now to finally rid myself of those creatures). There were some kind ones who made it through and that's only because, like me, they were also being bullied and feeling in a similar way to how I felt. Some of them are now raging alcoholics, some (like me) still gorge on food which really does make you feel better at the time, until you catch sight of yourself in a mirror, or have to buy clothes another size bigger; that, then, adds to the circle you are caught up in, so you eat because you're depressed, but it's the eating which aids the depression in the first place. I also ate (I use the word 'ate' as I am currently on a health kick, that I know, for the first time in my life, I will succeed at) to hide myself away. Nobody pays attention to the fat person, unless it's to be mean or take the piss out of and I was used to that; it's a different kind of attention - yes, that is a lie in-a-way too because sometimes people do take notice of the "fat" one and use-and-abuse them in a different way; that's not something to be talking about on here though. 

I have allowed people into my life who should have been told to "go and do one" when I first realised how badly they were treating me, yet stupidly, I kept them around; I thought they were my friends. How crazy is that?

As a teenager I (mildly) self-harmed, not knowing at the time that's what I was doing. I'd take the ring-pull from a coke can (other fizzy drinks were available) and I'd snap it in half so that there were 2 jagged pieces and I'd use those to gouge the skin away from my fingernail beds, or carve into my arm, always making sure to cover it so that nobody could see; if anyone did notice I'd tell them I ripped the skin on a tree branch in the woods, or a thorn on a rose bush. Earlier this year, one of those gouges made an appearance on my wrist (I found that quite odd as I'd not seen any scarring for years). It reminded me of that girl though, and showed me how far I have come in life. The fact I am still here is testament to that; weird how it showed up this year. Even weirder is how it showed up just after I had reached the darkest time in my life. A time I never, ever thought I could reach. 

For a week earlier this year, I fell into a real "woe-is-me" point in life. I think a culmination of everything finally caught up with me. I got so angry with myself for feeling that way. At the end of the day what do I have to feel sorry for myself for? There are families whose kids are dying, slow, horrific deaths and there isn't a thing they can do about it. There are people sleeping under bridges and in doorways who have nothing, and no one in their lives. There are people being blown up in war torn countries; people like you and I, just trying to make it through each day. There are children being tortured and abused, teenagers being stabbed to death on a night out with their friends; people my age, fighting diseases which are ravaging their bodies and they know the outcome is not going to be good, yet still they fight. What the fuck did I have to feel sorry for myself about? What right did/do I have to feel sorry for myself, when compared to all of these people (and many millions more) I have lived an exceptionally charmed life?. I only need to look at my own number 1 to feel humbled, and ashamed of myself for allowing myself to wallow in self pity; what that girl has been through, is going through and will continue to go through I would not wish on my worst enemy, yet every day she gets up, she puts a smile on her face and she gets on with it. To me, she is inspirational; she has far more right when I could ever had to feel sorry for herself (and at times, she does; she is only human after all) but compared to her I have nothing to complain about at all. What kind of selfish, arrogant, narcissist was/am I still? With such an attitude as I had/have (I can't change who I am overnight) then I do deserve all I have dealt with. I have created the person I am today through my own self-loathing, and self-pity. It was during this week (the darkest one) I talked to my Mum about my funeral wishes, told her where my life insurance was kept, discussed what should happen with my bits-and-bobs should anything ever happen to me. I did it in a way that wouldn't have rung alarm bells (had they rung I would have known about it) and I sat back and worked out that it was time for me not to waste any more time feeling sorry for myself. I could not see any light through the trees, and so I told myself there was no point in me living on this planet any longer. It's shocking for me to admit to that; to know I had allowed myself to wallow in so much self pity I believed I should no longer be here. Thankfully, that part of me which has kept me on this planet all these years, that little fighter who lives somewhere deep within me, took me by the ears, shook me about (quite violently) slapped me around the head a few times and made me realise I don't want that. I don't want that at all. What I do want is to show everyone, prove to anyone who has ever doubted me, put me down, said I would never be able to do it, or achieve anything, that they are wrong. That I am good enough and that they are not, and were never, worthy of being welcomed into my life as they were.

In recent years I have rid myself of wastage; people who made me feel bad, people who were blatantly only being my friend for what they could get from me, people who make no effort whatsoever to see me, have been kicked-to-the-curb. It's meant I've found myself in a very lonely place, but I think that is a good thing, for that is what has helped me to finally wake-up. I've learned that for every person out there who doesn't want to spend time with me, there is another who does. I got/am so sick of always being the one to make the effort, getting nothing in response, that I have walked away from people I genuinely care about; I am worth more than that. I got to the point where I decided if someone wants into my life, then they are welcome (as long as they don't bully, try to manipulate or put me down). If they don't want in, that is fine. It is their choice and I wish them well in all they endeavour. We cannot force people into wanting to spend time with us, just as we must stop forcing ourselves to do what others want. I have a 3 strike rule because at the end of the day we are all human. I've had people send me a message, read it, gone to reply to it, got distracted and not given it another thought, until later when I get another message, and I'm like "ooh shit; my bad". I do then reply. I often contact people. who I can see have read the message, who don't reply. A while later (weeks/months) I may send another. The same thing can happen. The third time they don't bother, they go. It's pretty obvious they have no interest in me. I can take a hint!! Several people have been removed from my life over this Christmas period. People who've not bothered; if they can't be, then why should I be? I've spent my whole life giving; it's time for me to do some taking, and if that means other people's noses get put-out-of-joint in the process, then I'm afraid so-be-it. Maybe if they'd given a little more thought to my feelings in the past I'd not be cutting them out now. I'm done with putting others first (except My Mum for she will always come first, no matter what; I'd not be here if it wasn't for her) It's time to put me first, and other people are either in, or they are out. They no longer get to dictate my life. When I woke up smiling the other morning, I realised that my happiness is dependant on me, and only me. I hope some people want to stay in my life, but if they can't accept I may not always do things how they want it done, and that I will do what I want to do, then that is something they need to sort out. I will never set out to hurt anyone, or be mean to someone (that's just not in my nature and I know how it feels to be on the receiving end) but I will not let their misery, unwillingness and lack of thought for anyone but themselves ruin my day, my fun, or my time. If they don't want to join in, that is fine, just so long as they understand I'm doing it with, or without them. I've spent 48 years of my doing what others said I should do, behaving how others told me I should behave. I refuse to spend the next 48 being anyone's puppet. I am good enough, I always was. I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to realise it.

I used to keep copies of every message and email I received, partly because I would often forget what someone had told me and would need to go back, but mainly because there were certain people in my life who would say things, then twist what had either been replied, or said by me. I kept those to defend myself. What I realised when I 'awakened' was that it doesn't matter, they don't matter. If they have nothing better to do with their lives than stir up shit for others that is their problem; not mine. If the person they are spreading their shit to believes what they are being told, again, that is not my problem. I do not need to defend myself to anyone. As a result, all messages and emails have been deleted, except those which have info relating to travel or days out, which are needed for me to know what I'm doing and where I need to be at any one time. I know what I have/haven't said, or done, and to be honest what someone else thinks means absolutely nothing to me. If they want to believe bad of me, then they're not the kind of person I want in my life anyway. I even deleted the messages I'd kept that Donna and Louis had sent me; I figured it's time to let them go, let them rest. I have more than enough memories to remember them both by. My keeping hold of such things isn't going to change the outcome, it's not going to bring them back.

The past is what-it-is and while it has shaped me, I cannot allow it to define me. It's been, it's gone, it's over; I had no control over it, but what I do have the opportunity to shape my future. I cannot allow the past (or my inner kindness that always feels it should put other people first) to stop me from doing so. 

And so I find myself facing 2019 with an optimism, a gusto and an excitement I have never felt in my life. It's all kind of weird to me (and a little scary at times) but in such a great way.

I think I might even sit and make the time to write that book I've always promised myself I would write. Maybe, just maybe, I don't need to base it around my imagination; maybe I need to make it about life, real life, my life.

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