Monday, October 16, 2017

#metoo


If you have been on social media at all, 
you will have seen a lot of women with a status that reads simply....
#metoo

These statuses and the stories that people are sharing is hurting my heart. I feel like there is not a single woman who has not experienced some kind of sexually harassment or assault.


My story is not about the appliance man who commented on my boobs (although he did)
or the photographer who did the same. My story is not even just about growing up in an environment where women were completely under valued, and were meant to be seen and not heard.
It's not even about having a marriage arranged by a man 
who thought he could make decisions on my behalf.
All of that did happen.
 But I can recognise and deal with those things.


My #metoo story is about being a child. A child going about my day,
and having an adult man decide that I needed to be punished
because I wasn't wearing a petticoat and he could see my legs through my skirt.
I was punished with a leather strap which was an acceptable punishment at the time.


I did learn a lesson that day.
I learned that my body is something to be hidden.
I learned that men are offended by it.
I learned that it was my fault if a man had thoughts about my body.
I was 11.


I know that in the scheme of things, 
my #metoo story is not all that much.
I've read stories the last few days that make my heart bleed.

But it's my story and I'm going to own it and recognise it for what it is.
Not acceptable, no ok and most of all...

NOT MY FAULT.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I thought there was another woman {why I'm single again}


I debated writing this post for a few weeks.
But I think it's important, so I'm going to share it, someone else might relate to it.

For the last few months of the time that I was dating Mr W,
I started to think that he was seeing someone else on the side.

There was the usual sort of signs that you read about
(and I've experienced before)
when your person has found someone more interesting,
more exciting and more fun to be around.


There were the excuses, the not turning up when he was supposed to,
the not wanting to spend anytime with us,
the not answering of the phone and just general preoccupation.

I made a lot of excuses for him to be honest
because he really didn't have his shit together;
but he was a nice guy so I thought it was going to be worth it,
that this was all temporary and we would be fine in the end.


But it turned out that it wasn't temporary, that he liked the lousy little life that he had,
and he didn't want to change it.
He would rather spend his time with his first love in the little cabin he called home
than build a relationship with us.

Do you want to know why?


Because he was an alcoholic.
I didn't really realise until the end,
but once I did, all the little things added up.

Crazy aye?
Turns out that his whole life was arranged around when and how much he could drink.
It was all about that. And a relationship messed with his drinking time.
Not that he would ever admit to it.


I'm not opposed to alcohol. 
I drink beer on hot days and wine with friends.
I'm not all militant about whether you should drink or not drink,
it's a personal choice thing.

But I do think if your relationship with alcohol effects your 
relationship with the rest of your life,
that at some point you are going to have to admit you are an alcoholic. 

So that's the story of why I'm single again.




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I sewed my hopes and dreams for this summer into this bright hopeful quilt.


This will be the third summer that I've been single parenting. The first summer went by in a blur. I went to New York which was amazing and somehow got up the courage to sell my house and buy a better one. The second summer also went by in a blur. Although we had two wonderful weeks at the cousin's place at Lake Opua, the rest of it was pretty average.


And now I am planning for the third summer. I've untangled my feelings and realised that my long standing marriage to David finally unravelled over the course of a summer, ending after we came back from our camping holiday. Isn't it weird how things that happened in the past, effect how we feel about the future? actually I suppose not weird, but anyway I'm glad I figured it out before we lost too many more summers.


So now I am reclaiming summer. I'm moving on from all the complicated feelings about the downright awkwardness of that last summer and I have started collecting up camping gear. I have washed all the things I have and worked out what I need. I have booked a site for November to try out the whole process by myself and to see if we can do it. We have down scaled all the things we need to the bare necessities. I think it will work.



I made this bright quilt. I planned it weeks ago in the depths of the winter. I plan to use this quilt every single week this summer. I want us to spread it out on the beach, under trees, on river banks and on sunny decks. I want us to lie on it reading, eat picnics on it and probably (in all honesty) wrap shivering wet children in it to go home after an outing by the water. I want to look back at all the photos of the summer and see glimpses of this quilt. And then whenever I see this quilt in the future I want to remember that I had a magical summer with the kids enjoying each other's company and the outdoors.


There are some pretty substantial flaws in this plan. The first is that our budget is too small to do any extra stuff, but on the upside the things we are thinking about are mostly free. The second is that the Resident Teen is pretty much attached to his bedroom, his PlayStation and all his home comforts and it is going to be Tricky with a capital T to get him out enjoying the outdoors. I'm not sure how to accomplish this, but I AM DETERMINED to have some family time before he flies the nest and doesn't want to spend any time with us at all.


The reality is that I probably won't actually succeed all the time in bringing the Resident Teen to the Great Outdoors to spend quality time in the Fresh Air with his Mother and Little Sister. The reality is that mostly Annie and I will probably drag the quilt across the road to the park to eat our dinner and kick a ball around. But even so, I am hoping and hoping and hoping that I can make a really happy fun summer, especially for Annie with my limited resources and that in spite of everything, the three of us make some good memories to carry us through the next year.

Monday, September 11, 2017

You have the power to say, this is not how my story ends


This afternoon I was having a cry on the phone to a friend who lives out of town. After I finished having my pity party, I asked them how they were. They were kinda cagey about how things were going, but for some reason I kept pressing and they told they had taken a bottle of strong painkillers and were just going to give up and die.

I did not know their address and I could not convince them to dial 111. They had a lot of compelling reasons why it wasn't worth carrying on. Now I know that life is not like the movies where the police find you by your cell phone number; but I couldn't do nothing, so I dialled 111 and told the dispatcher everything I could think of about the person. The 111 dispatcher told me they would not stop till they found the person and so they did.

Did you know that the police will do that? I didn't but I had to try. I felt like a shitty friend because even though I knew my friend had problems, I hadn't done any physical thing to help. I mean winning lotto would definitely have solved a lot of their problems, but short of that I felt hopeless. Sometimes we can't solve things for our friends because they have to have the guts to do it for themselves.

Suicide is a long term solution for a short term problem. I don't know how my friend is going to solve their short term problems, but I do know if they died tonight, they would never find out. I hope that they will find a way out of the dark place, that they will make some changes in their life, that they will ask for (and accept) help, even though that is hard. I may have been a shitty friend and I don't have to answers to their problems, but I don't want them to just give up and have no hope.

Life is a weird thing. It can seem so grim, it can seem like there is no hope, but things change. Slowly but surely things get better. Sometime we have to make really scary steps before things change, sometime we have to put ourselves in a really exposed position. We have to say out loud, I need help. We might have to say it over and over again to several people. But if we keep right on fighting, we can change our situation. In a week, a month or a year we will look back and see how far we have come. I don't believe we are too old or too young to start taking those brave brave steps. Keep fighting friends.

You have the power to say, 
this is not how my story ends


If you or someone you know is feeling like they cannot go on, here are some numbers to ring. Or you can ring the police, turns out they will find you and make sure you are ok.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline 0800 543 354 or 09 522 2999
Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
Youthline 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Samaritans 0800 726 666



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to



Tomorrow it's my birthday. I'll be 49.
It just sounds so old, like old old.
But the weird thing is I don't feel old.
I still have a lot of hope and dreams.

I still have a lot of things left to do 
before i get, like really old. 

I won't lie, my life isn't where I want it to be
and as if to really emphasise this fact
this week life really kicked my butt.
{insert pity party here}


But you know, life goes on. 
It's ok I think to stop and cry a few tears
to kick at the walls that surround you
and to rage at injustice.

It's ok to admit out loud that things
are not going as well as you wish they were,
that you feel the burden is to great
and the fun has worn off.

But it is not ok to set up camp there.
It is not a place to live out the rest of my days.


So this post is me giving notice to myself,
time to get up, to brush myself down
and keep on moving forward.

After all I still have one year to go
to get to my self-appointed goal of
"having my shit sorted".

But you know, if I get to this time next year
and I still haven't got there yet,
as long as I'm still moving forward 
and made progress from last year
well that's all I can ask for really.

Happy Birthday to me.


Monday, September 4, 2017

About Monday's on a Tuesday


It's another week. What is it about Mondays? we look forward to the weekend and then ugh before we know it, it's Monday. Monday is about getting things started, about working out the to-do list and being organised. 

I used to love Mondays, a fresh new week full of opportunities but somehow lately I've really grown to hate them. I think it is because my weekends are kinda full and there just isn't enough down time, you just get to the end of your to-do list and behold it's time to cook Sunday Night tea. It feels like that hamster wheel that you never get off. 

I think hating Mondays is just a symptom of where you are at with adulting. Anyway, right now for me, I think Mondays suck. 

If you want me, I'm now struggling through Tuesday. Is it spring yet??


Thursday, August 31, 2017

There was a f*** load of shouting and then I got this nice photo.


Last weekend we went to my nieces wedding. We almost did not make it because when the Resident Teen tried on his suit, he had grown taller and it didn't fit. We discovered this at the very last minute and then when we made an emergency trip to the Warehouse to buy something, the Resident accidentally picked up the wrong pair of jeans and brought home the ones that didn't fit.

I can't even begin to explain how many tears, how much shouting and how many swear words were spoken before we got to the wedding. It was VERY STRESSFUL indeed and almost an unmitigated disaster.

But once we got there, the wedding was beautiful and the rest of the day was just lovely. Also I have this awesome picture of my four kids looking stunning all at the same time. 

Let's just keep it all real, shall we?? 
Happy weekend folks.