The Book

The build up to my birthday this year felt difficult, as I found myself reflecting on the summer and my girls illness, the four years of that chapter, and the losses and difficulties, as well as my life before that chapter happened. It all left me feeling like I didn’t want to celebrate me. 

The thing I have always loved and felt most proud of in this life is being a mum. As I have watched and helped my girl deal with this illness I can’t help but feel that I must have let her down. No matter what those experts or my girl tells me I don’t think I will ever be able to shake that feeling. Wondering how much the stuff of that chapter has affected her. I’m not unaware. Going to uni has been isolating for her in feeling her difference to others. But the chaos brought about by me getting on the wrong train must have had an affect on her. It’s completely damaged me. 

It leaves me in moments feeling so angry with the people who didn’t give a shit about me. Knowing that I was a nobody, a game, another distraction. But their game really hurt me. In every way possible. To feel their arrogance in moments out there makes me want to hate them but I can’t. I find it impossible to feel differently. I’ve never been a hateful girl. And those beautiful feelings that belonged to me are cemented in me no matter how much I try to chip away at them. they make me feel stupid and that feels hard. Instead I find myself just feeling angry with the world. It feels easier to be angry with the people who hurt others  I love, than those who hurt me. I’ve always had a forgiving nature but I know when I have to put distance there in order not to continually be hurt. Caring less in what affect it has on me. Just don’t come near my loved ones. 

I also feel angry with myself. For being so stupid and easily played and for being made the way I’m made. My girls caring sensitivity comes from my side. But it doesn’t really cut it out there in the real world when you are all alone and vulnerable and trying to be part of more. It’s part of what makes her so very special but also makes her so much more vulnerable in a world that can be harsh and fickle and where some people will come along and stomp all over you. But I love who she is. She is so beautiful. Like a little angel who is completely protective of me and those she loves. She is wonderful to spend time with. Genuinely caring. She’s completely my best friend in the world. The world would be very colourless without  her in it. And she doesn’t have a clue just how beautiful she really is.

 On the morning of my birthday I received lots of messages and calls from family and friends who know it has been a really difficult time even if not knowing all the details. Feeling grateful but overwhelmed by it and spending the day quietly alone. The week surrounding it spent with people I really love. Some really wonderful magic moments that provided what I didn’t know I needed without me asking for it. My best friends L&M always being so thoughtful and kind. A little planned lunch round the corner actually turned into a surprise afternoon tea on a yacht before flying through the sky. It was wonderful to share that day with them and M’s gorgeous baby girl. Our worlds might change but what we share never does and that feels such a wonderful thing. I always feel lucky and grateful that I found them. They are very special in all their love and care. 

And my mate S who I spent the day with in the pub chatting about everything. Needing to try to get rid of all of these feelings so I can leave it behind. But this stuff is huge. Like a giant meteorite crashing into earth. It obliterated me and my life. She gets it. She knows the realities of life only too well also the effects of people who hit and run. “Don’t worry babe. Next September you can come back to Ibiza with all my lot”. Yes harmless crazy chaos feels like a version of me I remember. The one before this chapter. 

K sent me a moonbeam which now alongside those fairies, lights up my front room. I’ll get to have fun with her in a couple of weeks. Food and drink a lovely vibe that comes from live music. And then Swiss M who got me completely hammered when I rejoined the crowd for a moment (I think I needed that) and is now encouraging me to come out for more fun. We danced and laughed all night which felt lovely. London is back in my sights again and feeling a new love for it after being with L&M Like my girl .. London is where I belong. I’ve just not been ready before to reengage with her. But little by little I’m feeling her pull. But only with those I trust now. I’m having to take my time in it. I’m not ready to throw myself back out there. Still feeling very quiet and still holding a lot of sadness. But I’m trying.

My siblings all shouting out to me. My mum sharing the reality of their sister, who over four years has been taken back to the feelings of the 19 year old. They remember  what that looked like for me and it reminded them that I’m still here. Feeling their gladness in that and a new found love in wanting to share with me more. Not realising that I had hidden so much. How isolated I had been. I’m a very private person and live more in intimacy. I haven’t wanted to be the stuff of gossip or judgements. And not wanted to worry my mum. But now I need that love from those who actually care about me. To remind me of who and what I was before I walked in that room.

 And then others I have known through the years randomly remembering me and wanting to reconnect. Lovely people who knew me before that chapter and who liked  me just as I was. Not needing a better version. I was enough in all my kind and warm and fun “average Joe”. It feels nice to still be able to have those few people in my life without the aid of Facebook. I don’t need everyone to know what I’m doing and be admired by many. Does it really make people happy? Are we all so desperate for attention? 
Anyways, these people who messaged are really nice. All very kind and caring. I definitely have a type. I’m sticking with that type now. I know where I am in that and trust in it. Which helps me to distance myself ever more from that previous two year period. Happy right now to send the care I still have for some via the post office. It’s all about the few stopping me from wishing to connect beyond. Connection to them by association. I don’t want to be anywhere near them. Wanting to leave them so far behind me that I can’t even remember their names. I just want nothing to do with their versions of that world in all it’s arrogance and self importance. How quickly you can become what you despise. I’m so aware of that and why I feel a need to remove myself from what makes me what I don’t wish to be. That experience with various individuals has created such a massive loss of trust in people. The girl who had learnt to trust and was so open hearted now being much more wary. Especially of those who believe they are wise. As Socrates said “the wisest person is only a person who is aware of their own ignorance”. But that would require a person to be self aware.

So I’m sticking with those who I know and trust and feeling much safer in that now. No longer wanting to put myself in positions that make me feel vulnerable. Trying to let it all drift away gradually with other things that have hurt me. Hoping eventually those very deep wounds will heal and I will feel like the me again that was really happy in the world just doing her own thing. In some ways it helps in knowing that at least I’m human. That I have the capacity to really feel those wounds. That my heart is still in tact even if my soul has got crushed as my life fell apart. I guess If I never cared it wouldn’t bother me. But who would want to live a life like that. Such an empty life without real feeling. I guess for me it’s a case of Live and Learn. Although my lesson in that chapter feels like a very harsh one indeed. Especially sometimes when I see how others live their lives in comparison. I did at least have a trueness of heart for all that counts in this world. But I often wonder… “Did I deserve it?” I question often now whether I must be a horrible person. Being called bitter made me question if I am. In reality I’m not bitter. I just feel very sad and wondering often what must be wrong with me that would see others treating me that way.

Of course my girl is like an antidote to darkness as she brought home a beautiful book last Sunday night. An appointment on the Monday giving me a treasured couple of nights with her. The book she put together was so beautiful. Her message inside it reminding me of everything we share and how she sees me and feels about me. And what I have meant to her through this difficult period. Still in it, but we keep moving forward. It made me cry it was so touching. “I wanted you to know how much you are loved” she told me. She is very aware of the things and people that have hurt me during that chapter. She was with me through all of it. The time and care that was given in obtaining photos from my life and messages from those who have been a beautiful part of it and who really matter to me. Like a little detective finding people she has never met and messaging. 
All those different contributions meaning so much to me after such a difficult period. She knows how it has looked and how hard I have fought. I would like to think perhaps that seeing me fight is now helping her to know how to fight harder too. I’m always there to help lift her in those moments of doubt and difficulty. “I’m so proud of you mum” are lovely words to hear from a person I feel so incredibly proud of. I try to feel prouder of myself but it can feel hard sometimes. 
I felt so lucky and grateful in the kind and generous sharing, the pictures that took me back, the memories of lovely moments and the thoughts of love and friendship that were shared. Like the conversations people have at funerals that you never hear. It was nice to hear them. A book that came after a week that symbolically felt like an ending and beginning. A new year. Moving towards a new chapter. I’m not quite there. Still inbetween but I’m trying. Knowing that I have in these years so far, lived a life full of everything. Knowing that if I died tomorrow I would know that I have felt all the feelings I wished to feel as well as the ones that I didn’t, but are part of real life and the pain of love and caring.  I know I have jam packed so much stuff into this life. Even amongst the challenges, difficulties and sadness. Alot of it unseen and unknown but so full of different and random and crazy and beautiful things that feel pretty spectacular for the girl who came from nothing. And so full of love and sharing. The ordinary and the amazing coming together like a wonderful symphony. A rhapsody of what life is really about and what feels important and meaningful and memorable and creates music that threads through a life. When I heard someone say to me in the summer “Just Live” I  thought “I don’t know how to do that right now” When I think of it now I think “I Have!”. Because I know I have spent my life creating a whole lot of sparkle from nothing and everything. I know that I have put my whole heart in to everything I’ve done and every relationship I have built. Reminding me that I have that ability. Good to remember in a time when I have doubted it.. When I have felt small, disposable, used, worthless and stupid. Feeling the unfairness of life, in how it often rewards those who don’t give a shit against those who really care. I can feel angry for a moment but a second later it just turns into sadness. Sadness because I’m a lover not a fighter. In the end, in my heart, I always wish others to be happy. That’s how I’m made really. It’s just not nice when you feel like others don’t really care and that feeling of being used is a horrible one. But I care and that’s what matters.

I remembered that the impact of others when I was younger made me wish that I had never been brought into this shitty world. More recently I have  kicked myself, for putting myself in a world that resulted in a such a sunny and loving and fun person ending up feeling so rubbish. The photo of that trip with my besties to Barcelona a stark reminder of the girl I was before that chapter. She was a carefree and happy and confident. She talked to everyone and had fun everywhere she went. She didn’t see what was coming. If she had she would never have got on that delayed flight. But you can’t rewind time. And in amongst that there was lots of wonderful moments. But some of it got rubbished and that has really left me struggling to trust ever since. One of my biggest sadnesses of life as it happens. I think perhaps because I took such a massive risk for it and feel so let down now. Not wanting to be used anymore. No interest in being picked up in various moments as the Rolodex spins. A massive sadness in investing so much of myself only to find that it was completely meaningless for them. Perhaps overtime it will become equally as meaningless for me. But I doubt that. I don’t function that way. I know what it meant to me. A meaningless piece of life feels such a waste for me. And I’ve never intentionally wasted my life.

What I do know is how I thought when I walked nervously into that room on the  first day from one hours sleep. “They must be lovely because they want to help people.” A school girl error I guess which played a big part in crushing me. What an idiot I must have looked in all that dreamy magic. Even though I’m not an idiot. I’m actually just a girl in a red coat. 
I can’t pretend that this stuff, these people haven’t hurt me and made me feel like nothing or that in moments it won’t still hurt me as I move into a new chapter. That last chapter shattered my confidence and has left me continually questioning who I am and what’s wrong with me. Picking up labels and placing them against myself. But the fact that I wonder tells me they don’t fit. It’s so easy to say I allowed myself to be treated that way. I guess I grew up with the notion of treat others like you would wish to be treated. But it always appears now that no one has to take responsibility anymore for their impact on others. Why then do I always feel so responsible?

But I am wanting to leave it all behind me now. This birthday felt like a good time to try to draw that line and leave it behind. Wanting to move into a  new chapter that is filled only with people that really  love and care about me, that value and appreciate me, and treat me in a way that I deserve. The same way I feel towards them. The same way that I treat them. That feel as lucky to have me in their life as I do with them. 
As I wrote, this song came on and it felt completely apt in how I feel today. A vulnerability and sadness that has delayed me visiting my mum until tomorrow. Just needing a moment to be alone in what I feel. 

Knowing that the wrong train ended up taking me to despair and now catching a connection which feels like it is taking me to love and care. A station that is home to people where I do actually matter. 

Red Coat … Out!


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