Mental, mardy, but a little bit marvellous..


May 2017

Something Mancunian

After the events over the last few days I think it would be somewhat heartless to carry on talking about myself when there’s so many people suffering in Manchester and across the world in the wake of the terrorist attack on the 22nd May. 

This is my city, the place I’ve brought my children up, the place I’ve lived for the last 8 and a half years, the birthplace of half my kids… Manchester is in my heart. It’s my home more than anywhere else. It’s in our blood. 

I never felt like I belonged anywhere until I moved here. The pace of life is faster than Romney Marsh where I grew up but still ultimately ambling. People bimble along, usually with a smile and always with an “alright”. You can go drinking here alone and by the end of the night you’ve a whole armful of new friends and numbers. Being different is welcomed, being ordinary is too. 

It’s not a crime to be anything in Manchester because you are always something. And that’s the thing. This is a city of dreams. You can get stuck, you can go down, you can be in a deeper hole than you ever imagined. But there will always be a way out, someone, something, somewhere. Waiting in the future, maybe you can’t see it but it’s there. It’s hope. And more than anything, what has happened over the last few days has shown the world that Manchester embodies that one word. As well as diversity and solidarity and togetherness, above all else. Hope. No matter what. Because we do things differently here. 


Birthday blues 

Yesterday was my birthday. 35 years old. 6 children. 3 sisters, 1 brother on my mums side. 2 sisters, 2 brothers on my dads. My mum and my dad. No grandparents. No aunties or uncles to speak of. Cousins, nieces, nephews, more than I can count.

I got 6 cards. One from mum, one from dad, one from my son and one from my ex sister and brother in law. They live not 20 miles away and moonpigged a card, just in case I thought I might have been important. One off a friend. One from my best friend in the world who sent me cake in a card.

Two phone calls. One from mum; one from dad. They both acknowledge my existence once a year so that’s nice.

I had 52 well wishes and happy birthdays on Facebook. I replied to every single one. It’s nice to know that more people online give a shit than anyone in my actual life.

Everyone asks “did you have a nice day?” Well, no. I never do. They’re the same as every other day. My trouble with birthdays is that I’ve never had anyone make me feel special on them. Ive never had a party, a surprise, been taken out. Ive never been made to feel like someone gives a shit.

I’ve done it all for everyone else but I’ve never been on the receiving end. My 8 year old kept asking where my presents were. Mummy doesn’t get presents, kiddo. It just doesn’t happen. He was quite disappointed. No one cares enough. My friend left a card and book on the doorstep for me to find. Which was very nice. Yes.

Today is the inevitable down day that follows such bullshit. I’m so annoyed with myself that it matters so much. Because it does matter. My friend turned 40 and was taken to Italy! My sister had a surprise 40th birthday party! With a band and over 100 people. I don’t even get a knock on the door.

Happy birthday to me. Another year alive. Huh.

Winning, losing, it’s all the same to me

So I’m totally winning at this domestic goddess stuff. I say winning… maybe it depends on your perspective. The kids are fed and clean, the house doesn’t smell too bad and there’s only 2 loads of laundry to get done… That’s a win right there. 

The other side of the coin – I’m losing at parenting. However you look at it, I’m failing. Big fat, failing failures from here to there, from can to can’t. Failing. 

The last few days have been a rollercoaster. I tend to stay away from here on my worst days as no one wants to read the daily crap I have to go through. I post up what I can, sometimes I can make it interesting or funny or something. Other times.. there’s no way of turning it from a big chunk of shit into anything else. You can’t polish a turd. And sometimes that’s mine and my children’s life. It stinks but there it is, we make the best of it.

Back to yesterday. The 10 year old does a runner. Jumps out the window as I’m locking doors, anticipating the runner but not quite getting there quick enough. She’s gone for an hour. Her brother finds her and brings her home. I have to physically restrain her while her big brothers empty her room. It’s down to basics again. Bed, lamp, table. Nothing with which to harm herself or anyone else. She’s out of control. Biting, kicking, hitting, clawing, scratching, hissing. 

She gets shut in her room. For her safety, and ours. She’s kicked the 3 year old, booted him in the side, pushed over the 6 year old, attacked every other brother and I. Four hours and numerous reappearances, (we can’t just leave her no matter what) screaming the whole while, me getting screws that’s she’s managed to prise out of the bed slats off her, she’s scratched her face so it bleeds, she’s attacked me every time I go in, banging the wall, pulling her hair out, kicking the bed, floor, wall, window, she’s sat on the windowsill “entertaining” a group of boys, trying get them to help her, I’m scared she’s out of her mind, no calming down, no chilling out, just anger and utter, utter madness. 

4 hours. I go up. I take a drink up. We give her pyjamas, tell her to go to sleep. We open the door and put some drawers in front of it. Open because this is not a prison. Drawers because I’m worried for our safety. 

Hell on Earth is your child losing whatever faculties they have. I’ve seen the doctor, we have an urgent referral to CAMHS. That’s it, that’s all the help they could offer. 

I’m failing. 

Bed post 

Today has been more weirdness. Well.. not weird as such. Maybe a bit weird. I dunno. I’ve been more active, more pro-active than usual. Yesterday I had a burst of energy and scrubbed my living room floor. Literally hands and knees scrubbing. And I cleaned everywhere else in there too. Dusting and sorting and it was very nice indeed.

It’s bedtime. I’ve had sleeping pills and Rennies and biotin and my new antidepressants and my anxiety meds and my birth control. I’m waiting for sleep to come now. Getting drowsy. See you tomorrow, friends.

A strange day

I’m not sure if I’m dissociating. Things seem weird. I’ve gone from being so far in my head it worries me, to half hanging out my own ears and struggling to stay “in”. 

Today rolled up a couple surprises. Mum had another fall, she’s a black eye. She’s okay otherwise just bruised and a bit sore. 

I got my script from the docs, so new meds and sleeping pills, hopefully they’ll work.

The kids are as “them” as ever. This is a perfectly positive thing. 

I love deeply, every single one of the people currently in my life and even a few not in it. Regrets, I have a few. Don’t we all. 

I feel weird. Not bad weird. Good weird. 

Boring self care

Went to the doctors today. It’s taken me a week of steadily dwindling pills to force myself to make that call and then go. Self care, right? I can build up to it and that makes it a little bit more bearable. Means I can do it. 

So I go to the docs. And she’s going to change over my anti depressants onto a different one that I’ve not tried before. (We’re pretty much running out of single types by this point). Does me a script for my anxiety meds. Even sorted me some sleeping pills out. So I leave, feeling pretty good.

I go to the nearest Halfords, buy a headlamp and get it fitted. Feel quite like a proper grownup. I have to concentrate doubly hard driving with my son punching and kicking me while we’re on our way to nursery to get toddler boy. We get home, eat, sort out the other kids from school etc. The doctor was savvy enough to send my prescription straight to the chemist so I can get it today. Back to see the doc in 3 weeks, see how it’s going, chemist first today to pick up my pills. 

Standing in the chemist. THEY DONT HAVE THE MEDS IN. You get how heart-jarringly bad this is right? It stops. I can’t breathe. Panic starts to crowd me. The chemist has to order the pills in for me. They won’t be here until tomorrow at the earliest. I’m cold turkey. Completely, I got nothing, and I’m kinda freaking out about it. Instead of the chilled evening I was expecting followed by a good nights sleep, I’ve got another night of waking every hour if I can actually manage sleep in the first place. 

My head hurts. I keep getting these weird zaps. Everything goes “vroom” all of a sudden and then goes back to normal. My heads in bits.

I’ve got a new rock.

It’s black tourmaline. Said to be helpful in ridding oneself of negative energies, or bad energies in an environment. It absorbs negativity like a magnet. I slept with it in my hand last night and it helped.

I’ve not been sleeping again. As inevitable as it is, sometimes it’s accompanied with a crippling fear. Not always but sometimes. Back in the day this fear was every night. As I’ve got older it’s lessened, a rare occurrence, maybe once a month or so. These past few nights it has been intense and long. From dark until it’s got light again. So I sorted out my salt lamp and I got myself a rock and I loved my bed back to where I used to sleep. And I’m praying and hoping beyond hope that it works tonight. 

Sleep is good. But lately it’s been in short supply! So my rock and my salt lamp and I will be working to banish negative energy and my fears and I will smudge my house with sage again and leave the doors and windows open and please let that be it.

I need to somehow get to the doctor tomorrow as I’m out of anxiety meds. I will be out of antidepressants by tomorrow too, today is my first full cold turkey day since this time last month. I ran out again. The anxiety meds ran out on Thursday so I’m feeling the lack of them in my system already. Low level anxietying all over the place. 

I’m trying. Trying to hold it together and not fall apart. Trying to project positivity and warmth and love. Trying to sleep. Trying. 

Yes Tuesday 

I called CAMHS today about my 10 year old daughter. Originally the call was to find out if I could request an appointment. It turned into a fact finding mission; how do I get her back onto their system? I have to take her to the GP and ask for a referral. I suspect it will be refused as I think I remember a healthcare professional (I forget which one) telling me that all referrals to CAMHS are refused as a matter of course now unless they go through a school. Which is unhelpful, if true. Bugger.

Something has to give though. Her meltdowns are ear splittingly awful. She stood not two feet away from me yesterday, literally jumping up and down on the spot as hard as she could, stamping her feet, screaming her head off. Because I sent her to bed for kicking her brother down the stairs. It was farcical except for the headache and the persistent screaming. It was awful.

I’m a bad parent. I don’t know how to manage my children. They’re so alternately awesome and awful. Mostly awful. I get no support, no time, no respite. God knows I need it. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m at a dead loss. I’m literally scrabbling in the dark and coming up with nothing. I hate my life. I hate that the only time I get off is at the mercy of a controlling, narcissistic, ego maniac who couldn’t put his kids first even if it meant his life. I hate that he is such a massive dick – he didn’t use to be such a dick but a year of nobody saying “no” to him has let his ego run rampant and unchecked and I have no doubt his superiority complex is well fed. I literally have never hated someone so much in my life and it’s new to me. I feel like I need to vomit when I think of him. I want to curse and puke and scrub myself. I guess I’ll just have to get used to it. But being at the mercy of his whims does not sit well. Especially when it’s my mental health resting on it. Especially then.


Serene Saturday

Drama on Saturday after fridays miscommunication. Because I didn’t take the children to superdads since I didn’t get a reply to my reply to the question of times. 

The children and I had a good day, we went shopping.

 I took my 6 year old to a birthday party. 

We had a lovely dinner together and after picking up party girl I took my mattress into the living room and the four smallest and I camped out.

Living room camping, such fun!

My back protested being quite so close to the floor but otherwise we had a great time. It was a lovely evening, brought us closer together. 

We watched Moana, Trolls and The Lion King. By the end of the third film even the most stubborn of us was asleep.   

I enjoyed the sense of security that came with being in my babies company as they slept. 

When we first moved into our house, just the seven of us, it took a few weeks for me to get beds for everyone. So we all slept together in the living room. 

Every night we’d bundle onto our airbeds and our blow up mattresses, bundle duvets and cushions on the floor to make nests and watch a film and giggle until we slept. 

It was a good time for us, and part of the reason I think we’re so close. The comfort from being surrounded by the ones you love, particularly when they are sleeping and peaceful is simply priceless. I miss it, hence the occasional living room camping. 

These days it’s a treat but I do miss the warmth and security of the necessity.

I guess I miss my babies really. The comfort of having them so close. Being able to watch them sleep, and dream and smile. I miss that. That easy comfort.

That drifting into warmth, slipping into sleep as I listen to their steady breathing and watch their faces. 

I might not be the best mother in the world but I love them something fierce. And I always will.

My babies are mine.

I’m their constant, their always. And they are mine. It’s us against the world. And we’ve got each other. 

Would that everyone else could be so fortunate. 

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