My eyes are blue, like my bruises

I hate the way I look, always have. When starting a new course or job and during the induction days they do that ‘let’s get to know each other’ stuff and one of the questions is always tell us what you like/dislike about yourself. I could go on and on for hours about what I dislike but like……. I like the colour of my eyes. That’s all.

Growing up I was always made to feel inferior, less, wrong, outcast. In School I was always one of the odd kids that didn’t fit the tough criteria to be in the ‘popular girls’, the ‘super intelligent kids’ or the ‘sports superstars’.  I was pretty good at some sports back then but because I didn’t have the right look, I was overlooked most of the time. I also came from a poor family so I was not allowed to socialise with the rich kids. They stuck together, so the poor council estate kids did the same. Boundaries and walls is what I remember most from my younger days – not thin enough, not tall enough, not good enough, not rich enough, not popular enough….. Even as a child the pressure was there to be thin, have perfect hair and millions of friends and that would make you popular (except looking back, I’m sure those popular kids had a rough time too keeping up appearances to please others). My body is far from perfect. It’s been battered and bruised and carried two babies and been through surgery. Stretch marks and scars are what I have going for me now.

iuygbhjn

I carried two BIG babies. Healthy babies, but big babies. No amount of stretch marks cream can fix the marks they left. I wouldn’t want to either. As much as I despise the red jagged lines on my stomach, they remind me of my two precious humans and that after two horrendous deliveries (one almost costing me life) we all made it, we survived.

I had surgery to remove my gallbladder so I have 4 scars in different areas of my upper body. Ugly yes but I’m no longer in daily pain and dosed up on pain relief to get me through the day.

I spent many years riding (and falling off) horses. I competed in show jumping (locally, no fame here) and I loved my horses although I was often trodden on, kicked, bitten, bucked off, head butted…… Every bruise and broken toe was worth it, they were some of the happiest days of my life. There was also a broken heart on numerous occasions as I had to say goodbye to the horses we lost through old age and illness. A sketch of my two biggest loves hang on my wall behind me as I write this. I still think of you both Starlight & Sundance. You both scarred my heart forever. My body went through so much physically and emotionally.

I’ve been bruised numerous times by an angry, frustrated Eliza in full on melt down. Totally unable to control herself her feet have left numerous bruises on my legs and face before. Back in the days where regression stole her speech. Spoken language that was not to return for 3 years. I’ve never blamed her for any of it, she was unable to control what she was doing. In an odd way, I was glad she felt able to do it to me so she had that release. As much as my legs suffered, I’m know she was suffering much more at the time it was happening.

Now I’m in my 40’s I care less about what the world thinks of me. I also care less about whether I like myself or not. I realised long ago that society would decide whether I fit the bill in certain areas or not regardless of what I do, look like or feel. It’s a strange, and often cruel, world we live in. Body shaming seems to be the ‘norm’ now. I’ll raise my kids to be themselves, whatever makes them happy. I’ll try my best to just be me, although it may take a while as the real me seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the last 15 years. It took me a while to realise that it’s no good pretending to be someone or something you are not, just to fit in. It’s much better to just be you and find the friends that love you for who and what you are. Those friends will love you even when you don’t love yourself sometimes.

22491560_1747313155571895_4146624683836570534_n

 

This was written for ‘Finish the sentence Friday’ hosted by Finding Ninee and Sporadically Yours and the prompt was ‘When it comes to this body…’

Advertisements

What am I afraid of?

What are you afraid of? Spiders? Mice? Flying?. Everyone has fears don’t they? (even if they don’t admit them or want to talk about them). I’m not a fan of mice or spiders but I can catch and remove them from the house without having a heart attack or passing out. Flying, I’m fine with although the popping of ears really annoys me and I’m not keen on the take off as the plane surges forward. I am afraid of many things, some deep and emotional things and other stuff that is completely stupid and pointless but I feel that way anyway.

Do you have children? I do. Eliza is 9 soon and Noah is 4. I am a single parent (and main carer to Eliza who is autistic with learning difficulties). I bet all parents have the same fear as I do – dying. For me it’s not so much about how I’ll die or when, it’s what I’ll leave behind and that includes those two beautiful little humans that rely on me every day. I’m terrified of dying when they are young. I want to be old and have seen them settle in life with their own families or a job they love. No parent should ever live longer than their child, a thought I can’t bear to ponder on as it just adds to my anxiety about the whole situation. As awful as it is to think about it, I often do. It’s like living in fear yet living with a need to make sure you do as much as possible now for the future. I worry for both of them but with extra worry for Eliza. Nobody knows what the future holds but she’ll ever live a fully independent life, she’s always going to need supervision and support. I worry about how she’d be without me so I spend a lot of time teaching her life skills and talking her through situations and scenarios and I often push her comfort zones. I once saw a picture on another Facebook page and I’ve never forgotten it. It was from a lovely page I follow called Forehead kisses – Our Awesome Autism page and this was the picture..

ihujkn

I found it so emotional to read. But that’s what we do for our children, teach them how to live independently because one day, we won’t be here for them. So yeah, I fear dying but not for the actual dying part.

**You should check out that beautiful page, it’s been wonderful watching Brodie growing up (who now has left school and has his own business)**

I’m afraid of driving yet I drive most days although mainly short distances. I’ve thrown up on the driveway before at just the thought of getting in the car! My legs shake, I start to cough (you know that kind of annoying anxiety induced back if throat cough) and I have to sometimes talk myself in to driving (I’m actually fine once in the car). I was in the passenger seat of a car once when the driver was going too fast on a country lane, skidded and we ended up in a ditch. I had an accident where I was the driver years ago when heavily pregnant with Eliza. My car was a total write off and the road I was on was dark with nothing in walking distance. It was raining heavily and thundering. I stood in the dark in the rain with my almost 7 month baby bump, waiting to be rescued and not a single driver stopped to help. I’ve also been a passenger that felt nothing but helpless fear when my husband had a massive panic attack in the car and started shaking and shut his eyes whilst he was driving. I had to calm him fast and help him pull in to a lay by. A very small baby Eliza was fast asleep in the back of the car. I then had to drive us home, my first time ever on a motorway and only 7 months after my own accident. I HATE DRIVING!!! But I need to. The kids have appointments, Eliza’s school in 35 mins away, shopping etc. I also do it because I don’t want to let fear and anxiety win. So I push my own comfort zones.

I’m scared of sharks! Like forgetting I can breathe, sweaty palms, legs buckling under me scared. Doesn’t matter which type, they are all scary! Yes, go ahead and laugh. It’s a totally ridiculous fear to have. I live in the UK, pretty central/midlands area with absolutely NO possibility of meeting a shark unless I visit the sea-life centers. But nonetheless, they terrify me. I’ve been in the sea-life places before and walked through those glass tunnels where sharks lay over the top or swim by. A giggling and happy Eliza or Noah have a blast. They look in amazement at these things. Me…. eyes straight ahead at the exit and do not engage eye contact with the sharks, I repeat do not engage eye contact with the sharks…… FEAR!! The stupidest fear I have but it’s there. I only agreed to go swimming in the ocean in Australia after I asked my brother about 30,000 times if he was pretty sure I’d not meet any sharks (and that if I did, he’d wrestle them until they spat me out if they ate me). I’ve had many nightmares involving sharks attacking me, eating me, swimming around me in circles and even being trapped in a cage with a shark…… STUPID FEAR!!

gh

**Avoids eye contact with shark picture**

Other than totally waffling my way through this blog, I find it interesting that the three things I chose to share are so different and have come about because of life and situations (other than the sharks, NO IDEA where that came from). That emotional deep-rooted fear about dying too soon, the circumstance induced fear because of cars and accidents and the just stupid irrational ‘did God throw that in for a laugh’ fear.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s topic is “I’m afraid of/that…” hosted by Finding Ninee by Kristi Rieger Campbell and Sporadically Yours