my smile

Today's post feels difficult. When your working things out on an almost daily basis, the idea that formed a few days ago suddenly may not seem so easy. In fact it can feel like it's taking you right out of your comfort zone. Which leaves only one option perhaps afterall, and that is to proceed anyway!

Somehow I feel as though there are parts of me that I need to put out there. I'm not sure quite why but I think it's part of a freeing up process. These are old parts, but still make up who I am now.

This is the photo I have had out on my notice board this year. This is me aged five I think. I remember that head band and toggle like it was yesterday. I like the healthy and wholesome feeling that being five brings. I remember wearing the side bunch and the bobbed hair! I see the simple childhood assurances and confidence. The love that was around me keeping me safe and looked after.

I was an only child. I loved the house we lived in on a street full of other children. I loved our garden, with the big horse chestnut tree at the end. We played out in the front street, rode our bikes and went from house to house. I spent the next few years lost in the realms of Enid Blytons Famous Five books and The Secret Seven. I was always making lists of names for little clubs and I wanted to go on adventures.

But I also remember that my Dad was ill. In a kind of childhood hazy way. When I was four and he was only 36 he was diagnosed with lung cancer. In the days before the more modern treatments they have now. My Mum looked after him, even though things had been tricky before for them. I think we all stumbled through our days and three years later he died.

I just carried on in the way that children do. I think my Mum spent several years feeling quite fragile. I may have run a little bit wild, which was a continuing theme. Boundaries were never very strong. But I always knew there was a safe place to come home to. I spent many days up the tree at the end of the garden, or roaming as far away as I could on my bike or the bus.

So I learn't to travel and wander at quite a young age. I think having to make my own decisions and cope in a certain way made me more independent and resourceful. I would keep on moving on to new places and people. I didn't give myself the time to notice the hole that had been left inside of me.   I would keep on filling it with other things. I found myself facing some horrible walls, which I couldn't get past. I noticed that several relationships and friends would be with people who had just experienced some kind of grief. As though I was trying to remind myself there was something that still some work that needed to be done.

I think I carried a certain amount of shock with me, that has perhaps always been there. I can be quite sensitive to undercurrents and I have to be careful not to catastrophize things. I have to watch out that I'm not trying to 'save' people. Because part of me thinks they might die otherwise! and that  it might be my fault. Or that I am responsible for them. Or that they might reject me and leave me. You can imagine the unhealthy relationships that would come from that belief. I no longer need to draw angry people to me, because I can't face my own anger.

My mentor and myself have a little chuckle at the fact that in my bag I carry my own set of spare car keys, so I can rescue myself.  Arnica, for shock and trauma and Rescue Remedy, everywhere I go. Because that's normal right?!

I hope I have learn't to ask for help now when I need it. To not try and work things out myself. I think I have done some of the work now, several therapists down the line. I'm not afraid to face those things. I have been unravelling my story for quite some time now....



  1. I have only recently found your blog, but the bit's I have read make me see you are one brave lady. Each day you have another turn in your story. My Mum died when I was 10yrs old, and like your Dad, there wasn't the medicines there are today, my life would have been so different had there been. My lasting memory is being farmed out to anyone who would have me during the school holidays, which I hated, but Dad was a one-parent family, which was unheard of then. I also remember the GP coming round one evening shortly after Mum died, he smelt very strongly of alcohol and he said to Dad, if I gave any trouble, he could arrange to have me put in a home!! I was so scared, I was an absolute Angel. Until my Step Mother came along!! She was the complete opposite of my quiet, gentle Mum. My life became hell. All these experiences have made me what I am today. I love my family, but I picked a very selfish, self centred husband, who has got worse in the last few years. Being so selfish is so alien to me, I have no idea how his mind ticks. I am stuck, I am no spring chicken, he does and always has held the purse strings so I only have meagre savings. I can't leave. So you, my friend, are very brave and in some ways, lucky, to have made your escape. You, I am positive have better times ahead to find the happiness you richly deserve. Oh, and I am now Carer to my Step Mother!! It is not done with a willing heart, because I can never forget how she treated me, although she seems to have forgotten, but I do care for her to the best of my ability. It's a funny old life isn't it?! X

  2. Your post resonated very strongly with me, I wish you all the best on your journey.

  3. You are so brave to face all this....
    And to share it too!
    Lots of love from Mirjam.

  4. Dear Heather, What a touching post. I think it is very brave to be so honest with yourself and to do such intensive soulsearching. Thanks for sharing. All best from the other side of the North Sea! xh

  5. I too have just found your blog. A very honest post and one although I have not had your loss, does resonate with me.

  6. Always , always love the honesty in your words..Ditto I lost Dad very young too in the times you describe so very rightly..Thank you Heather for reaching out and connecting with us all..
    I think loss / grief molds the person we become as we grow into adults, most certainly !
    I wish you all the blessings of 2015..Keep well land strong lovely lady..
    Hugs Maria x