2016… I Guess It Was OK.

Ahhh, Christmas, it’s so good that it’s finally fucked off for another year. This summer I’ve been blessed with solitude. Three weeks with an empty house. Tasty-but-intense Flatmate, has moved on and taken Jealous McCuntbeak with him, and the kids have been staying with the Ex. And I’ve been… I don’t really know what I’ve been. Not lonely, just… in a state of limbo. It’s like being suddenly pulled from a busy, noisy train station and sucked into a noiseless vacuum. I miss Jealous McCuntbeak. Not her incessant squawking, but I miss her affectionate play-fighting, and the way she went ape-shit if you gave her a ball or a box to play with.

My immune system has taken a dive again, so I’ve been bombarded with colds and viruses, and a nasty kidney infection. Instead of enjoying my me-time I’ve been run down and my sleep schedule is all over the place. I miss the kids, but I know that their return is going to hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Last year was, frankly, horrific for so many people. For me it was a deep personal struggle, but for others it was more than that. Families torn apart, loved ones lost, and lets not forget Bowie.

8206685620_d382defe12_k_edited

But then, tragedy strikes every year, and there is no such thing as a “bad” year, it’s just a matter of perspective. While 2016 was difficult, there are many things that I’m grateful for.

♥ From hardship comes personal development. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve grown.

♥Help from my community. Huge thanks to Rocky Steer, Gail Golding and Nicky Hughes (and co.) from the Kai Kitchen/Donation Station for saving my arse when I was falling apart. These incredible women and their friends provided me and my family with ready cooked meals, and home baking when I lost the ability to function. The food was a huge help, but what really got me through was the unreserved kindness and caring. I’ve never felt so loved, you kick-started my recovery. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

♥My daughter was awarded an exemption from school so that I can home-school her. It’s not easy, but it’s the best option for her and to see the change it’s made in her makes it all worth it.

♥My parents helped me financially more than they should have, as well as helping out around the property.

♥Love from unexpected places. Someone I would never have expected showed up on my doorstep and gave me a firm “you’re not okay and you need to get your shit together”.  She believed in me enough to give me the strength do make the changes I needed to make to get well. Sometimes we need someone with brass balls to call us on our bullshit.

♥Everyone who bought a tutorial or a piece of jewellery. Thank you all. It’s you who make ends meet.

Advertisements

As Desperate As An Ice-Cube In Hell

I thought about turning on the TV tonight, but I can’t get my head around watching it alone. Since my separation, I’ve hardly really watched TV at all. Which is weird, because it’s not like me and Ex really watched anything together toward the end anyway, mostly because we couldn’t be in the same room as each other. I vaguely recall spending most evenings either beading with my headphones on or laying in the bath for hours with a bottle or two of wine, while he either slept on the couch in front of the TV or skulked off into his shed to pretend he was busy.

Before it got like that, back when we did watch shows together, it was always what he wanted to watch. Typical male king-of-the-remote-control stuff. He would fall asleep and I would gently pry the remote out from between him and the cushion. I would slowly turn the volume down before changing the channel, hoping that the sudden shift from one show to another wouldn’t startle him awake. There’s an art to it, but I never mastered the skill. I invariably failed and would receive a glare and a, “I was watching that.” He would reclaim his precious prize, switch the channel back and nod off again.

Now days, if I’m faced with the challenge of deciding what to watch, I’m like a crippled little lamb. So mostly, I don’t watch anything except for The Walking Dead. If I’m with someone, I can watch, but I can’t make the choice. Even if there’s something that I want to watch, I’ll concede to someone else’s preference. It’s part lack of confidence in speaking up, and part being so desperate for company that I don’t want to risk them deciding not to join me on the couch.

img_20161126_212623

 

You see, I’m stunningly needy. I’ve only just come to realise this. I’m fairly certain that everyone who has ever dealt with me has been long aware it, while I’ve been existing as a shapeless mass of oblivious desperation. I’m horribly lonely, even when I’m not alone. I require constant reassurance that I’m a good person, a good mother, that I exist, that I’m not losing my mind, not a burden, not a hellish mash-up between The Blob and Freddy Kruger.

When someone doesn’t want to spend time with me, I “know” that it’s because of who I am as a person, or how I look. If someone rejects me, I feel like hideous monster who should be shunned from society. Conversely, if someone chooses to spent time with me, I feel like maybe I matter. If I’m lucky enough to spend the night with someone or be shown affection of any sort, I start to think maybe I’m not so bad. So I crave touch; a hug, a hand resting on mine, any kind of gesture. It’s not romance or love that I want, it’s just the feeling of being worth…. something. Hell, some days, I would be happy to be punched me in the face just for the sake of human contact, some kind of acknowledgement that I’m here and I matter. And that’s not a healthy way to be.

I’m learning a lot about myself as I work through this process, and most of it isn’t great and it hurts like Hell. But all the same, I’m glad that I’m figuring myself out, so that I can work on fixing it. Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress. Eventually, I’ll have found all the little pieces of me, I’ll cut back the rot and I’ll be content to be me. I’m not going to get any younger or prettier, so best I start learning to accept myself now before I’m a lonely old hag preying on handsome young Jehovah’s Witnesses who knock on my door, insisting that they have one more cup of tea.

The End of a (very short) Era

Life is a series of moments, snippets of time, most of which will be forgotten. A special few of these snippets will be preserved as memories, which also fade then disappear when we fade and disappear. Life is fleeting, but that is what makes it special. One of my favourite song lyrics is a strangely romantic one from Avenged Sevenfold’s Acid Rain “Life wouldn’t be so precious dear, if there never was an end”. Rather poignant for men with ridiculous names like M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, and Johnny Christ.

Those moments, both happy and sad, are what makes us who we are. This is why I embrace my depression. It built me. It made me strong. Very few of my positive moments of change involved other people. But in the last few months I’ve been lucky enough to have been changed by someone, for the better. Someone who reminded me what if felt like to have self-worth. Someone who pulled me out of a cycle of self-loathing and disgust. Someone who made me feel beautiful for the first time, even if it only lasted while I was in his presence.

1408870293_4417732172_b

Flower to seed, end to new beginnings. Viva la Jenny!

 

But that moment is over now, and I know I’ll cycle backward a little, that’s inevitable, but five steps forward, and two steps back, is still progress. Sexy Hands isn’t gone from my life, but the context has changed. That’s what we as humans do, we’re constantly changing and evolving, relationships change and morph. He is searching for his happiness and I hope he finds it, he was never going to find it with me and I know that. I don’t like it, but I know it.

For selfish reasons I would have been happy to keep him locked in my wardrobe in a state of suspended animation, waking him up whenever I wanted cuddles or sex or a friend. But I don’t think his family would have approved of such an arrangement, and it would have had a drastically negative impact on his income. I adore him, he’s a wonderful person and a good friend, but I don’t delude myself, what I loved the way he made me feel about myself.  I’ll miss him terribly. I know I’ll see him again, but it won’t be the same. He’s the person I pine for when I’ve had a bad day.

I want to curl up in somebody’s arms and vent my soul but he’s the only person that I know that I feel comfortable enough with to do that with; lack of close human friendship is an unfortunate side effect of social phobia. But that is no longer an option. And so I write. And I will be okay, because I’m always okay. And the world keeps on turning. And I’ll remember what was and it will be bittersweet, but it wouldn’t have been so precious if there never was an end.

Sexy Hands

I met a man. He’s funny, kind, sexy, tattooed (omigosh, tattooed haaaannds), we have tons in common and we even share the same warped sense of humour and geeky love of puns. Ok, my sense of humour might be a little sicker. Thing is, due to circumstances beyond our control, a relationship is off the table. This makes me a little sad at times, the idea that it’s probably never going to be an option.  But I’m a practical person, and I can see that it wouldn’t work as things are right now. To pursue it now would only end in bitterness and frustration.

If I’m entirely honest with myself, and these days I mostly am, I don’t want a serious relationship with anyone. Sure, sometimes I’m lonely. Sometimes I wish I had someone to cuddle. Someone to talk to. Someone to text when something funny or awful happens. Someone to fuck. What I don’t want, is to share my living space day in and day out. Someone to fight with about who has to do the dishes. Someone to disagree with about parenting with. Someone to get irritated with me when I’m sick and whiny, or PMSing. I’m not prepared to commit to the mundane parts that make up day to day life in a romantic union.

I don’t want a boyfriend. I want a best friend. A cuddly best friend. A cuddly, tasty, best friend who I can have great sex with and leaves me floating on my afterglow cloud of happiness. And that’s what I’ve got, at least for now.

The physical manifestation of my afterglow cloud.

The physical manifestation of my afterglow cloud.

I’m not naïve, I know that eventually Sexy Hands will meet someone and our time will be over, but I’m happy that I’ll be able to look back on it as a time in my life where I was content. A time when someone good helped me learn to kinda sorta like myself, and showed me that it’s possible for someone to like and care about me the way I am. That just maybe I am good enough. I hope that we can remain friends after it’s all over, but I’m realistic too. What woman in her right mind would let her partner hang out with his old Slam Piece? If he found a woman that open minded, I might be tempted to try and get in on that action myself.

Maybe this will last only another week, maybe a year, either way, it’s been time well spent. One can never tell what the future might hold, which is why it’s important to enjoy right now. You can’t control tomorrow. Put your energy in to enjoying today and caring about the people worth caring about.