Tuesday, 22 June 2010


Mum very reluctantly apologised, and only after blaming me, buts and more buts. Excuses. I demanded an apology, no matter how many times she tried to change the conversation. I couldn't let it go. She has to take some responsibility for her behaviour, whatever the cause.

She has a minor crack in her spine after her fall. I am feeling very guilty and ashamed. She is the boy that cried wolf, and I stopped listening a long time ago.

I visited her in hospital this evening. She wants comfort and affection and I freeze. I am angry that my life has been taken over by my parents health. I resent it. Resent her. I cannot give her what she wants. I can do the practical stuff, but I struggle to feel anything other than angry towards her.

Like a child she cries or has a tantrum, and expects us to drop everything. When does she ever do this for me? I've stopped telling her when I'm upset about anything. She knows this. I refuse, cannot bring myself to do so. She'll only bring the conversation back to her. So, I've given up.

I wish it wasn't like this, but it is. I wish I didn't have two hospitals to visit.

Monday, 21 June 2010


So now begins the cycle of guilt.

I feel guilty for leaving her.

I feel guilty that my sister got dragged in.

I feel guilty for being so angry with her.

I feel guilty for writing my last post. Surely I am a bad person for thinking and wirting such things about my mother....

So on, and so forth.

I want to make it better but I also want her to take responsibility for her part. Will I stand my ground? Or will my guilt eat away at my conscience until I succumb to it?

She is now in hospital.

I will visit my father in his hospital this but will I visit her? If I do not, I know that this will drag out further. If I do, I hand all the power back to her.

She will tell me she doesn't want to talk about it. She will tell me it was the drugs talking and it is not her fault.

She no longer behaves like a mother but like a petulant child. If I capitulate, which I inevitably will, she will do it all again at some point in the future. I am exhausted with it all.

Sunday, 20 June 2010


Well, it's official, my mother is a bitch.

Having turned up with food and things for her, despite her shouting at me down the phone, being over dramatic and catastrophising she announced that I'm the last person in the world she'd ask for help and that I wasn't a good enough daughter. She tells me I am a good daughter to my dad but not to her. My poor dad who doesn't know it is father's day and can't remember my name. My dad that I miss desperately and see fading before my eyes, disappearing week by week.

I asked for an apology more than once to be told hell would freeze over before I got one. I gave her one more opportunity, and then walked out.

I too am a bitch. I have left a highly distressed seventy year old woman with severe back pain on her own to do whatever the hell she pleases.

She has made me feel like an inadequate and unworthy for most of my life. Tonight she crossed the line. After six and half years of caring for her, I'm going to stand my ground.

I don't know if it was the alcohol or the morphine or the pain talking, but talk she did.

I am feeling guilty for leaving her. She will blame me. I will blame me. I am a bad daughter. Nothing I do will ever be good enough, no matter how hard I try.

Guilt will eat me up.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Maybe today

It's a funny old world sometimes, and each June seems to bring a wave of change. Maybe it's the summer solstice or some other such influence at work! Hmmm.....anyway, I just know that each June for a good number of years has brought more than its fair share of moments of unanticipated stress, realisations, change, happiness, farewells or otherwise. Whatever the whys and the wherefores, this point of the year makes me stop and reflect.

Today I think I am content. It's not simple or uncomplicated, but it's there nonetheless.

I have spent the weekend in the fresh air, in Scotland's most glorious and mountainous countryside working hard as a volunteer with people who make me feel very privileged to know them. My feet and hips ache, and my midgie bites are lively! But, amongst the busyness, weather and people there was space to be me, do my thing, and be good at it.

My nephew is alive, recovering and home.

A new job starts in a week. The days between will be extremely busy tying up the ends of a project I'm sad not see to see to conclusion and I am instead saying goodbye to colleagues who've offered their support and friendship along the way.

There's a man whose role in my life is yet to become clear, but he is there and what unfolds will unfold. I'm not going to rush it or worry.

I have found a sense of stillness and calm somewhere amid the chaos. Mountains and music always help. This weekend there were mountains. Perhaps next I can find some music.

Maybe the wiccans, druids and pagans are right, that it is a time to celebrate life, change or growth. Maybe it is an annual coincidence. Maybe I pay more attention to these events because it's happened before. Maybe it just is what it is. Maybe today I just am. And, that's ok with me.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Back to the Grind Stone

My decision is made. I'm going to be an employee again. I'm excited and nervous. The project is high profile and demanding, but very tangible and with a charity whose work I admire and respect. The bit of me that left my last job with my self confidence worn into the ground has been whispering in my ear. But I know these are just thoughts and they will pass.

I'm very proud of everything I've achieved over the past 14 months of self employment. I've proven I can make it work. I also know that it's a world that I will return to. It's been fantastic to lead a different kind of life for a while and is what I will strive for in the future.

However, as a single-ish girl with no-one else to help pay the mortgage, and who's still carrying student debt amongst other things, it's also made me realise how much I'd like to be free of the shackles of those bills, mortgage aside.

So, probably for the first time in my life I've made a decision about my career based on money, as well as opportunity. I want to clear the decks and be financially freer. I want to build a more stable platform for myself and my future. After all, no-one's going to do it for me.

I will return to a life more free and flexible. But for now, security feels important.

I feel very proud and privileged to be in a position where I've worked hard enough that I've had a choice to make, and for the support of those who've helped me get there.

I am going to concentrate my energies on making my life secure enough that I can make more choices without fear. Money can't buy happiness, but for now it can help me buy a future I want.

Monday, 7 June 2010

My Career: A Tipping Point

Today has been strange. Tomorrow could be stranger.

Tomorrow I could have two existences to choose from, the continuation of my long term contract or a big scary exciting job. Or none. A board of directors may decide to change their strategy and not renew my bread and butter contract, and someone may decide not to offer me a job that is so close I can almost feel it.

I could have it all to pick from, or nothing. It is terrifying and exciting. I am on the cusp of three very different futures: employee, freelance consultant or a blank slate.

The positive, optimistic, professional me trusts that I have done enough for those who hold the decision making powers to vote in my favour. But, there is part of me that knows that the whims of others may leave me having to rebuild.

I must have faith and hope that out there is a bright future. For now, it is all out of my hands.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

He is Alive

Today is a day I don't want to go through again for a long, long time.

My beautiful, wonderful four year old nephew has spent eight hours having surgery on his heart. He now has a goretex artery. He really only has one functioning chamber, and had his first op two years ago to help re- plumb him and keep him going until he was big enough for today to happen. His situation is extremely rare.

Over the past months he has been getting more tired, breathless and blue on a bad day. Oxygenated blood gets round his body more by luck than by design, hopefully today will change all of that.

It's so easy to forget he's not a normal wee boy. He is a cheeky monkey, who is learning his way in the world, obsessing about Ben Ten watches, demanding just one more story and refusing to eat certain things although he loves broccoli and asparagus! His 'go faster stripe' or 'zip' is, of course, a constant reminder.

He is the most important person in my world. I don't have kids, but I do have him. He lives round the corner and we see each other often. We have things that just he and I do together. We're growing a miniature garden at the moment. It would have been all tomatoes if he'd had his way. Instead there are beans, broccoli,carrots, potatoes, pumpkin and some ill looking radishes. And, tomatoes. We laugh and he hates snails. He gave me into trouble for throwing one into the next garden the other day. He reminded me that I should be 'nice and kind'. Sorry snail.

He is still intensive care, and being sedated over night. He has been in my thoughts, hopes and tears today. The dreadful thought of it all going wrong and the pain that he will be in when he wakes nagging me. The endless hours, minutes and seconds endured by my brother and his wife. The thoughts of eating his first home grown radishes and learning to like bugs keeping me going.

He is OK. He is not there yet, but he is strong. He will get through and we will all be right there beside him.

He is alive.