I’ve not written in ages.
Initially I want to argue that it’s because half term (2 weeks long in Elizabeth case) has gone on for ever and I don’t feel that I have had time but secretly I think it’s more that.
The truth is, I haven’t had the inclination and that bothers me.
It has come to my attention this morning that I’m cyber hopping. Bouncing around from one internet website to the next, all carefully hidden under the excusable guise of: I’m Christmas shopping, researching recipes etc…
But I think if past experience of myself has taught me anything…I’m avoiding something…but I don’t know what it is…yet.
I was initially planning on keeping a diary of our holiday to Disney but managed in the end, to capture two whole days on actual paper and a lot of half finished blogs on my note file. I decided I would come back to them at a later date and blog them all up at once but somehow I never did. As an incentive for finishing this work, I chose to ban myself from writing anything else until I had completed the task, deeming myself a failure if I didn’t manage to complete this work that I had started. I even went on to write another crazy poem but couldn’t post that as, ‘this is meant to be a blogging site about my life not a poetry site’ (I’m such a stickler at times 😟) so then I decided to try and break my funk by choosing not to focus on the diary aspect but instead to simply write about how I felt but that too was interrupted by family commitments and once again I didn’t get round to finishing it and now somehow…I’ve just given up.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been to Disney land Paris, listened to 2 books on audible, purchased half of my Christmas shopping online and run around after 8, 9 year olds for my daughters, birthday sleep over.
But not once within that time, have I actively chosen to write a single word.
Yet I still feel as though I have so many things to say and explore but stupidly, I’ve systematically managed, to block off all of my avenues to accessing my creativity and feelings, by subconsciously inventing ridiculous ‘rules’ by which to conduct my blogging self and then assuming that by not following them, somehow the great ‘they’ will judge and doom me to being a literary failure.
I am officially mental!!!
When will I learn?
I did not start this blog for the great ‘they’, it’s for me. Only me. To have an outlet for all the crazy that goes on in my life and inside my head, for a chance to understand myself and explore the lessons I am learning as I go along.
I even wondered about changing the name of my blog from Horizontal Parenting to something else…like, ‘this way up Doris’ but then in the next breath I realise that I actually like the title, Horizontal Parenting, even though the parenting part is not specifically the main thing I end up blogging about (hardly at all if I’m honest) but the title still sums up a massive part of who I am right now.
Literally in fact…the Horizontal bit at least.
I’m currently laying up in bed after face planting yesterday, after choosing to ignore my body pleas and wobbly warnings, that I was feeling tired and should probably go and catch up with some much needed Zzzzz’s but in my martyred wisdom, I refused to go and rest, choosing instead to conquer more household tasks until my body decided it had humoured me for long enough and unceremoniously dumped me onto the hallway floor, leaving me to suck carpet.
I survived Disney Paris (in my various wheelchairs), took my daughter birthday shopping, went out for the day to celebrate Hamish’s birthday with the family, went further Christmas shopping with my mum in law, worked in the studio on a Mr Kipling thing (a little bit of name dropping 😊), tidied our house, Baked 3 birthday cakes, hosted a sleep over party for Elizabeth and gang, sang lullabies to Elizabeth and gang till 1am…fell asleep at 3 am…held official birthday day, (complete with trip to get birthday Hamster), then went out for a further birthday dinner with Doodles, family and parents in law, planned new business cafe with our company team and then face planted shortly after making a delicious (if I do say so myself) salmon frittata…
The signs were there. My ability to stay vertical was diminishing by the day, my temperament was getting shorter fused, self pity was creeping in and making a nest somewhere and my super Doris martyr cape was well and truly donned. The sirens were wailing, lights were flashing but instead of listening, I shut my eyes, covered my ears and stacked more dishes.
No longer did I exist at the top of my own to do list, instead slowly as I pushed my gentle nudges of fatigue away and quietened my own internal voiced needs, I think, eventually my ability to self managed waned and failed, as the call of the ‘others’ grew louder until I drowned in my own lack of self worth.
Don’t get me wrong.
There is also this huge part of myself that is immensely proud of all I have managed to achieve (not alone by the way, Hamish, Richard and our work partner/friend Steve) have all been on hand to support and have been a huge help to me over the past weeks) and I feel peaceful with everything that was accomplished but I still haven’t worked out how to balance that aspect of myself (mother, wife, work partner, cook, cleaner and friend) with having a chronic health disorder.
I thought by perhaps embracing my wheelchair more, changing my diet (I’ve gone super low-carb…another story) that maybe, just maybe I would gain a better handle on my energy levels. And if I’m honest with myself and reflect backwards…I guess I have improved.
In fact if I take a moment to re read the list of achievements over these past 2 weeks (and amend all spelling mistakes) I honestly haven’t stopped. Which is nothing short of amazing for me, as a couple of months ago, getting washed, dressed and cooking a single meal was heralded as an achievement. So yes, I’ve been technically epic…my stamina (in this moment, as it’s all we have) has been better and I have been able to achieve more recently than I have in a long while…so…hollow sound…quiet tumble weed…but…why doesn’t it feel enough?
I don’t know if I’m despondent with myself because I’ve stopped listening to my body and it’s needs and that maybe I’m simply ‘sulking’ on some level with myself or if there is something else bigger going on.
I’m in bed now, tired and a little down. I have been up, made bread and some brekkie but after breaking out into a sweat, panting and feeling altogether a wee bit pants…I’ve crawled back into my pit. After catching myself doing another bit of cyber hopping (a bit of pre crimbo shopping at Next-next day delivery…awesome), I’ve started to realise that I may have some avoidance issues going on and perhaps it is time to look at this blogging thing and why it’s stopped happening…so here we now are.
Let’s start by looking at how I feel…
I’m fed up.
I know I have to rest. I know that I have pushed my body beyond its limit again and that I have smacked my poor head off the floor once more and it really doesn’t like it. So now, rest really is the only option available to me but it sucks…big…hairy balls!!!!
Sorry but it’s how I feel. My room is a bomb site, I have baking to do, a voice over web site to finish, kiddies to play with, a new company to grow and a house that really needs cleaning and I’m stuck here in my duvet, fermenting. Boooooo!!!!!
If I asked, I know that Richard would kindly advise, that this could all have been avoided, if I had initiated, those little things called boundaries…as apparently I seem to lack being able to implement them. Which in my sarcastic state, would in turn, lead me towards stating, that’s all very well, until he decides he wants something from me…but I know I’m being mean and that if I truly pulled my digits out and stated that these were my lines in the sand, he may sulk a bit with me but he would be grudgingly supportive in the end.
The thing is, it’s actually me who has the problem. Not everyone else.
I honestly believe that unless I’m contributing 100% of the time, then I’m useless and a burden and I don’t even think it’s a health thing but perhaps more a genetic make up thing or society driven…maybe Facebook is to blame?
Why is it, that unless we are functioning at the top of our game we are failing?
Why is it not okay for me to put my half finished blogs up? Why don’t I accept that achieving one thing a day is still an achievement? Why do I find it so damn hard to say no…I’m sorry…I can’t.
I’ve literally had to cancel a good friend coming round for a natter today and it has completely spun me out.
“What if she doesn’t want to visit anymore? What if she feels rejected, we’ve moved and now I’m messing her around, what if that makes me a bad friend?”
The truth is, she has been a great friend for nearly 7 years now and she knows how I function (in that I don’t). I’m quite lucky that all of the current friendships I have, have been based upon, the accepting foundations of my inconsistency and flakiness. I don’t mean to be a crap friend but I genuinely forget appointments, birthdays or posting cards. I do cancel most arrangements last minute or double book myself and they may not hear from me for months at the time and for some crazy reason, they seem to still accept and love me despite this but every so often (usually when I’m in one of these funks) I happen to go slightly mental and start panicking that all my friends will eventually leave me.
I am too much like hard work, that because I don’t go to them and they usually have to come to me, they will all get tired of me and quit. Ps…just to reality check this panic…it has had some serious foundations supporting its theory over the years.
I have genuinely lost good friends over time who just couldn’t cope with the rollercoaster ride that is me, I have offended (unintentionally) people and they have misunderstood my motives, some people have doubted the validity of my health and rejected me on those grounds (so many childhood scars in that front) and even my ex husband (highlight in the ex) struggled with the constant inconsistency of my abilities and at time doubted the true origins of my health problems (mainly he thought I was either completely mental or a big sicky faker…I was known as sicky Kathy to his family members…I was once accused of being the centre of this horrible vortex and that everyone else was simply, dragged along for the ride 😳😢…that one did wonders for my soul!!! Bleugh).
Anyhooo… I digress.
Essentially I think what I am saying is, I have issues. And as I state them here and reread my words, I’m starting to notice that the majorities of my issues have actually moved out from reality and turned into basic fears.
I am afraid (okay, may have hit on something there, as I have tears rolling down my face and my bottom lip has taken on a funny wobble thing).
I’ll say it again for good measure…may even put some sad music on in the background for effect…violins perhaps?
I am afraid.
I’m afraid that being me, is simply never going to cut it, within this world which I live.
I am afraid that being, simply just me, is never going to be enough.
I’m not going to be a good enough mum to my beautiful babies.
I’m not going to be a good enough wife to my wonderful husband.
I’m not going to be a good enough daughter to my parents.
I’m not going to be a good enough sister, Aunty, family member.
I’m not going to be a good enough friend or a worth while member of society.
That’s the kernel, that’s the my full stop, that’s the source of my sadness.
I’m afraid, that I am never going to be good enough and the only truth I’m starting to know is,
It’s not about everyone else…the heart of it is…I actually believe that I am not living up to the who, I expect myself to be and all of my own expectations based upon that reality.
Well that’s the mother load of self pity and self realising prophesy isn’t it.
I secretly (not so secret now ) believe that who am I and what I do, is not good enough.
I don’t know if that stems from lifetime of ill health, the journey and it’s trauma that was brought or if I’m afflicted with the human condition of this society.
It’s too easy for me to blame things on my health. Technically I am here, physically stuck in bed today, so I know that belongs to my current frustrations (cleaning, cooking etc…) and are contained within that bubble but my lack of self compassion? I think that comes more from my interpretation of societies expectations.
Why is it, if we are not constantly performing at the top of our game, we fail? The analogy itself speaks volumes I guess. Why do we try to play life out, as though it were a video game? We are to-be the conquering hero’s, shooting zombies, collecting points and avoiding the Game Over, you are a loser…do do do dooo (game over noise thingy).
Make awesome healthy yet appetising family dinner -100 points
Manage your weekly shopping, whilst sticking to budget- 100 points
Get up, dressed and drop daughter at school, whilst looking bright, breezy and full of sparkle -minus 50 points (constant epic fail).
Make love to husband, remember to shave legs first, look sexy, not worn out and agree to go on top -200 points
You get the idea 😊
Pah…all these rules suck. Worst news still…I bloody made them up! Technically I could blame society, magazines, Facebook and Mrs Bleeding Beeton has a lot to answer for!!!! Lipstick on when he gets home from work…bah humbug!
But to reality check myself, it’s all been me. My perceptions, my own Pavlov dog responses to life, my poor choices, misunderstanding and society agreements made.
I have created my own internal, sucky rule book, over my many, many years (38 to be exact 😳) and have held my self accountable to it and systematically beaten myself over the head with it, every time I have strayed from its infinite wisdom.
Guess what folkes…there are actually no real rules.
There are societies rules (don’t steal, shoot people or go into politics) that should you choose not to follow, will probably leave you shunned by society and possibly also land you in jail but they are not THE rules. Just a load of regulations society has created in order to function more harmoniously and to keep our Rich people incredibly rich (murky waters here…I’ll quickly step out of those).
Then there are family rules (if you live under my roof then you will obey my rules…), again these are not THE rules, only your own family norm by which you have all agreed to function by, to again, fulfil the purpose of living harmoniously with one another.
Then there are friendship rules (these differ between relationships and you cannot always govern one by the rules of the other).
Relationship rules/ workplace rules/ web site rules/ bank rules etc…
Then there are one’s self rules…
For some reason we are brought up not really recognising that these are our own to select from the beginning. Mainly because we are so incredibly dependent upon our family unit from the start but what happens is, in order to survive, we initially model the rules of our care givers, then we learn to model the rules from school, then we acquire the rules to our budding little friendships and so on and so forth. Now throughout that process, your own internal voice/light governs over these rules and quietly selects the ones it believes to be beneficial and discards the ones that it perceives less useful and eventually one develops our own little book of rules (it sits on the same shelf, next to our own internal dictionary).
But sadly, what can happen is, through trauma, periods of loss and extreme emotion, we can lose our own ability to select the rules that are right for us, discarding them instead for the rules of others because somehow we have lost our faith in our own ability to choose or perhaps at some point our core, well being/safety, depended upon our compliance in following another persons official ‘rule book’. This is a dangerous time, as selecting rules from others maybe a solution to short term problem but unless you are very consciously aware that you have given away your own ability to choose in exchange for someone else’s…you may never reach a point where you realise that the ‘rule book’ you are still following today was in fact based upon someone else’s ideals and believes and are in fact, completely in conflict with your own inner lights beliefs and wants for your soul, your journey, your self.
And this is where I am now.
I am finding myself in conflict. Conflict between my inner lights need to look after myself and keep myself both physically and emotionally safe versus pleasing the needs of others (for fear of rejection) and also my own disjointed rules on what it means to be a good mother, wife, friend, effective member of society…
I don’t match.
And I guess I’ve been struggling with this mismatch for a couple of weeks now, which is the true reason behind my avoidance at blogging. I blog so I can explore and understand myself better. I never know what it is I will write until I start and I think there is a teensy chance that I may not have been ready to look at this new nugget of information about myself, so I have typically been avoiding it. I’m such an Ostrich at times.
So here we are…I have a faulty rule book in operation and apparently my soul has decided to finally rebel and say no more. Problem is…I have no idea where to go from here.
What do you do when you don’t like the rules you’ve been following but don’t have any new ones to replace them with either???
Guess I’m going to find out.
This is going to be an interesting couple of weeks…poor Richard…may need to give him the heads up?
Take care of yourself guys, as the only knight is shining armour available for your rescue is…you…what’s your horse riding skills like? Xxx