Into the blue…

On Saturday, when all hell was breaking loose inside my head, we took a trip to the beach.  I live as far from the coast as physically possible on this small island.  The prospect of sitting in a car with my family whilst attempting to hold it together, while they continued oblivious, was not a prospect I relished.

I managed to laugh, smile and chat away with The Kid for approximately 6 hours.  I then started to unravel.  I knew that my smiles and laughter would not be convincing for much longer, so excused myself from the sandy play and went for a stroll down the promenade.

I located the public toilets sharpish and immediately fell to pieces the moment I had bolted the door behind me. Within minutes, my phone started to ring. My husband was wondering what was taking so long. It was time to pull it together once more.  Have you ever been in the situation where you need to cry and get it all out but circumstances won’t allow you to?  The tears burn at your eyes and it seems that the more you have to contain the emotion, it ebbs and swells in a way that threatens to completely overwhelm you.

I ran back down to the beach, headed down towards the shoreline and walked in, looking straight ahead.  Instantaneously, I was overcome with the most incredible rush of calm. In the blink of an eye, I felt at peace and accepted that everything happens for a reason and things will work out the way they are meant to.

I have never been a beach or sea person.  If anything, I am scared of its power.  In that moment, I completely understood how people can fall in love with the ocean. Its beauty, its power, its unreserved authority over all else demands the upmost respect. It reminded me that I am just one single being; a drop in the ocean if you will. One person’s problems can never seem that big when you are surrounded by the enormity of nature.  Perhaps that is why I have experienced some of my happiest times in some of the world’s most beautiful places. Nature and its magnificent beauty reminds you, that in the grand scheme of things, you are, in the nicest possible way, insignificant.

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A Reason, a Season…

Synchronicity.  It’s a big belief of mine.  We are sent signs that show us the right direction to take, it tells us we are on the right path, it sometimes shows us warnings.  If you read my post The Day the Past Came Calling… then you’ll know that I’ve had fair bit in my life lately.  In particular, McBeal.

48 hours ago my world fell apart.  That may seem a little dramatic but it did.  It is now back on track but for a 24 hour period the rug had been completely pulled from beneath my feet. And no I’m not being dramatic. During that 24 hours I had to reconsider the entire direction of my life, taking into account most importantly the best interests for ‘The Kiddo.’

In short, I was fucked.

Enter McBeal.

It has been a mere 4 weeks or so since this guy re-entered my life.  Our first ‘Coffee Date’ meet-up in over 15 years was scheduled for last Friday, but in reality I have seen him numerous times in tiny snippets since we ‘found’ each other again a month or so ago.

Isn’t it funny how some friends can be out of your life for whatever reason for extended amounts of time with zero contact, yet when you re-connect, the years just slip away? Despite having spent a lot of time with McBeal of late, we actually know very little about what has been going on with each other for the last 15 years. Generally, when you meet up with someone from the past, any awkward silences are filled with “So, tell me what you’ve been up to?” as you wonder whether now is an appropriate time to make a move, or whether 1 more coffee would seem like overstaying your welcome.

With McBeal, there has been no time to ‘catch up.’ We have hit the ground running, like a shitty broadband connection that has been buffering for an eternity! Go! Go! Go! There has been no time for catch up, no time for small talk.  We are straight back there, in the zone.

The reconnection was so instant that it feels as if we spent the Saturday night out on the town with our group of mates,  concocting our typical crazy shenanigans and it is now the Sunday morning and I have wandered in to the communal lounge we shared, rubbing my eyes and saying, “Crisp sandwich?” before plonking myself down on the sofa next to the life-sized Chewbacca cardboard cut-out and letting the chatter commence.  In essence neither of us have changed. He commented, “You’re still you.  Exactly the same but with a proper grown-up job.”  Pot to kettle – he now works in an office and wears a suit and lanyard, ha!

Over the years so many of my friends have let life change the essence of who they are.  They have become virtually unrecognisable to me. I find this incredibly sad.  You are at your most vivid in those years where you are discovering who you are and what you believe in. It seems that so many allow life to colour-wash their portrait so that sometimes only a vague and hazy sketch remains. Life should not break you, it should create you; each experience strengthening and adding to who you are, not chipping away and leaving behind an exhausted unrecognisable form.

When I needed someone, he was there.  It was McBeal who was regularly messaging me, giving me pep talks, reassuring me and playing Devil’s Advocate. Without him, I may have done something rash – he assured me that he ‘had my back’ but that there may be something far more innocent behind the sinister veneer.  Turns out he was right.

My ‘best’ friend was far too sucked up in her own drama to meet me for coffee, despite staying at her parents only 10 minutes away. I suggested that we could offer each other mutual support as we both obviously needed some emotional support right now.  Her response came live from Head Quarters of her bubble of self-involvement, “No one can help me now. I’ll speak to you another day.”

Thanks for that.

The thing with bipolar is, when you experience something traumatic or upsetting, you cannot merely ‘snap out of it’ when everything is better.  It doesn’t work like that. You become so overcome with extreme emotion that, like a drug, you have to give it time to work its way out of your system.

Even after everything was ‘fixed’ yesterday, my eyes still kept leaking (dammit, what has happened to the girl who doesn’t do crying?) I am completely drained emotionally. I could sleep for England except I can’t because I’m too exhausted. Does that even make sense? It is 4:40am.

Yet again, I believe that fate has been having a serious dabble in my life – like a Feng Shui Master who has guided me towards de-cluttering the crap from my social environment and mind which helps me to focus on what really matters.  They say that some people come into your life for a reason, some for a season but they all help to shape who we are and as a result, we can learn from those experiences.

McBeal reappeared exactly when I needed a friend. A real one.  What are the chances?

2 way street…

Friendships.  They are a beautiful thing but they also have the ability to suck  positivity from me like a Henry Hoover on a rampage.

I have never been, and never will be, someone who forgets their friendships when I am in a relationship. It’s just not my style.  Besides, if everything goes awry, who’s going to be there to help you pick up the pieces?

I am the friend that puts everyone else before themselves always.  I am the person who will drop everything if a close friend is in need.  It’s just the sort of person I am. I always say “Yes” even if inside I’m screaming “NO!” But I’ve reached the realisation that I cannot do that anymore.  It is not good for me.

Let me explain a little bit about my girl bestie.  She’s a bubbly, outgoing wonderful person.  She also loves drama. I am frequently dropping everything when she is in a bad place and heading to London to be there for her. This is never reciprocated.

She is in a high earning job and earns way more than I ever will.  She spoils me rotten.  But the thing is, I don’t want to be spoilt rotten. I just want her to show up to the charity events that I do in my Dad’s memory or make my Birthday a priority to attend if only for one year or maybe to attend one of my fitness events that I put so much work into (she loves fitness) “Sorry, I know you invited me months ago but I’ve got to go on a dolphin protest march.” *sigh*

But she buys me expensive presents so it’s ok (there I go with the sarcasm again!)  I am not someone who wants or needs ‘stuff’.  I would much rather spend any disposable income I do have (ha!) on experiences.  All I wanted this year for my Birthday was a ticket to see my favourite band ‘Shinedown.’  They are not huge in the UK so tickets are not pricey.  Needless to say no-one got me a ticket.  However, bestie bought us tickets to see her favourite band, Foo Fighters. She is SO excited!  I’m trying to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it will be incredible but do I own any of their CDs or have their music on my Spotify account?  About 3 tracks.

This is the same friend mentioned in a post from a few days ago. She cares enough to say “Thinking of you” (such an empty throwaway comment) but that is the extent of it.

The annoying thing is, I’m not one to reach out to people, no matter how bad I am feeling.  I will generally cover up how bad I’m feeling, so if I say I’m feeling bad, I must be feeling really bad. When I ‘need someone’ I don’t want to offload my shit onto them, that’s what this blog is for.  All I need in times like this is someone to sit with, laugh at stupid stuff with or just kick about doing not much at all. If I can do that with a person then I obviously think a hell of a lot of them because otherwise I hide myself away until ‘the mask’ is convincing enough for everyone else.

Yesterday was a very bad day for me. Bestie was aware of this and knows that I have been struggling myself at the moment with all of the issues going on with my daughter’s anxiety and looming autism assessment. I haven’t gone into depth with her as I can’t talk on the phone with ease but she gets the gist.

Yesterday I received the following.

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I knew it was coming before it even arrived. We have been here a hundred times before.  She is in her position because of the choices she knowingly made.  At the time I warned her against her decisions.  She didn’t want to know. Obviously I don’t say that to her now, there is nothing more cruel than “I told you so!”  However, she refuses to do what ‘needs to be done’  You can’t win with a situation like that.  She doesn’t want advice, she wants pity.  It’s entirely exhausting.

And so yesterday I did something that I have never done before; I put myself first. I shut down the app and I did not go back to it. It’s called self-preservation.

This situation applies to so many of my friendships.  I am sick of being an option that’ll do if nothing better comes along.  Just once it would be nice to be a priority.

And so I will continue with my random acts of kindness.  I will continue to give everything I can to my daughter, the incredible children that I work with and my students.  I will allow those in who truly deserve it.  The rest I will quietly remind myself that friendship should be about give and take.  Right now there’s a lot of give and give and I am sick of going the wrong way up a one way street.

Click here to hear one of my favourite Shinedown songs…

Have a beautiful day 🙂

…Far from the tree…

The saying, “Well the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree..” scares the living hell out of me.

Riddle me this… My Mother is one of the kindest people you will ever meet.  She would literally do anything for anyone. She is also the reason that I am as fucked up as I am.

I am writing my life experiences into a book.  The book is called ‘Sticks and Stones.’  Has my mother ever beaten me, abused me, hurt me in any physical way? Nope.  Has she caused irreversible emotional damage? Absolutely.  My damage is 100% due to knowing the truth.

I have been told by the psychiatrists and social workers that have worked with me that the events of my childhood are almost certainly responsible for ‘triggering’ my disorder.

To meet my mum, you would have no idea of the pain she has put me through.  Wanna know what’s really fucked up? Nor would she. I work in child protection, I have asked my colleagues what they make of my mum’s actions.  They are completely appalled by the ‘relationship’ that we have, so incase you’re thinking it, no, I’m not just being overly sensitive.

Here’s the thing, along with a whole host of dysfunctional, fucked up stuff that occurred in my childhood; my mum’s biggest mistake was this: I was her best friend.  In a sense that sounds kinda cute, fluffy and adorable.  Trust me on this.  It’s not. The last thing a child (particularly an only child) needs is to be their parent’s best friend.  Particularly one who blatantly has undiagnosed mental illness.

From the age of about 7, as my parents’ marriage continued to fail, I became her confidant.  Here’s another thing about my mum.  She has no filter.  None, whatsoever.  She has absolutely zero awareness of what is appropriate socially both with family, or complete strangers.  As I type these words, I almost feel sorry for her.  I am removing myself from the situation and seeing how none of it was intentional.  But here’s the thing, I was involved and it still hurts like hell.

Yes, it may be absolute fact that a father did not want a child, particularly a daughter (what a let-down) and that’s why mother and child had to tiptoe around the house, lest they aggravate him with their mere existence. But does a child need to be told that? Of course not.  Was it said in a fit of rage? Or to hurt? No, she just likes to be honest.

Did I need to know at 7 years of age that my mum was having an affair? It was our little secret.  I knew this because she would dump me off at various people’s houses while she went off for dirty weekends with him.  There was no attempt to lie to me.  “I’m spending some time with Brian and your dad can’t look after you, he can barely look after himself.”  Were these people I wanted to stay with? No.  I still feel sick when I think back to those times.  She never once asked me to lie for her.  It was assumed I would cover because, “We’re best friends, aren’t we?”

I can’t bring myself to recount the really unpleasant stuff right now. Shortly after Dad died, Mum had a breakdown.  At which point she opted out of parenting entirely.  I was going solo at age 12. It meant that I had to grow up even more quickly.  I’d been an adult in a kid’s body from the age of 7 under the burden of all the ‘secrets’ I was having to carry, but at aged 12 shit got real.

I remember sitting on the edge of my mum’s bed one day during the breakdown and crying.  I asked her, “Mum, why haven’t you spoken to me in weeks?” Her response puts the fear of God into me. “Because if I don’t speak to you, you can stop loving me so then it won’t hurt as much when I kill myself.”

Thanks for that.

I used to (and still do) look at my friends’ mothers with envy.  I feel terrible writing this – how can I say this about my own mum? Why did they get to have a mum that put a tree up at Christmas, instead of running off to Europe to spend the holidays with some guy from a chat room.  How come they had mums that made cookies and cooked meals? Enforced rules, set curfews as opposed to “You have period cramps? Have a beer, it’ll make it hurt less.”

Like I said, this is the sugar-coated version.  The reality is much uglier, much seedier but the same relationship with her still remains.  Still, no filter.  I do not need to know the ins and outs of my mother’s sex life.  I ask her to stop.  It eggs her on.  She does it to get a reaction these days.  Yet she’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever met – she would literally give your everything she owned if you needed it.  How the fuck does that even work?  You can’t make this shit up!

But the craziest thing? She literally has NO IDEA of the impact!  No reference is ever made to those 20 something years.  It’s like it never happened.  I sometimes think to myself “Did I daydream the entire decades of the 80’s and 90’s?”

Ironically, she likes to read memoirs about child abuse.  She will sit there and explain to me about the horrific way that these monsters have treated their children.  I nod my head whilst inside I am screaming, “Are you fucking kidding me?  Were you there from the mid eighties? What the actual fuck is wrong with you?” But I nod and I say nothing.

My therapist once told me that the only way to deal with my past is to address it.  I would have to tell my mum how damaged I am as a result of her ‘truths.’  But I can’t, I just can’t. It would destroy her.  If she knew that she was the reason that I am as damaged as I am, she would be devastated. Figure that one out.  So yet again, as the child, I am choosing to parent.

I work in child protection these days.  Children who are suffering horrendous abuse still feel an intense level of protectiveness towards their abusers and cover up for them.  I see it. I ‘get’ it.

My past has taught me a very valuable lesson.  My daughter is my entire world.  I would die for her without a second’s thought.  But is she my best friend? No.  Do I ever want to be her best friend? Over my dead body.  I am her parent.  It is my job to protect, nurture and retain her innocence for as long as this cruel world will allow me to.  Children do not need to know the absolute truth.  They are precious like butterflies and actions that seem throwaway can have a profound impact on their emotional development that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. If you’ve read my post ‘Inside Out’ perhaps it makes a lot more sense why that film had such an impact on me.

So if you are a parent, please be a parent.

Throw-away friendship…

I am despicable disposable me.  Delete as appropriate.  What is it about me that makes me so easily disposed of?

My car died 4 weeks ago (Happy Birthday me) and I have finally managed to find a replacement (just a mere 178,000 miles on the clock – I’m British. British = sarcasm)  As I was cleaning out the contents of the boot (trunk to any North Americans) and transferring the contents to my ‘new’ car, I found something that stopped me in my tracks, if only for a minute.

A seemingly innocent bag containing an amusing/slutty ‘Queen of Hearts’ costume. I stood deciding which bag to put it in, the ‘throw away’ or ‘keep’ bag.  Technically I can’t throw it away because it’s not mine to throw away.  I could return it to the owner? Never gonna fucking happen.

I’m a self-professed bibliophile (bear with me).  One that doesn’t attend the book group she loves so much which takes place at a house directly opposite my house every 6 weeks or so.  The reason?  The owner of the ‘Queen of Hearts’ costume.  Let’s call her…

Lisa.

You may have gauged, if you have read a few of my posts, that I am not like everyone else.  I do not ‘fit in.’ I couldn’t, even if I wanted to (which I don’t) so I’m sure you can imagine how ‘New Mummy Groups’ worked out for me when I had my daughter 4 years ago.  I won’t bore you with the details but needless to say, it wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. I have always been the square peg whose relationship with a round hole is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Until one day, several years ago. I had been invited to attend a ‘pamper evening’ by the Vicar’s wife.  Although they are not my friends, I appreciated the effort to include me, despite knowing that I did not hold the same beliefs as them.  Usually an offer of a social event would send me into a cold sweat but for whatever reason, I accepted.

I ended up being paired up for the ‘pamper session’ with a woman named, Lisa.  She oozed confidence, was loud in an fun-loving manner and in a way her confidence intimidated me.  As we dressed after the treatments, we began to chat.  We laughed. We ‘clicked.’  This doesn’t happen with me. Particularly with women.  I do not make new friends easily.  The majority of people in my life are people who have known me since my youth. People do not ‘get’ me.  Those who stay in my life have accepted me.  They may not ‘get me’ but have generally chosen to embrace my quirks. The majority of my friends are male.  I have very little in common with women, particularly mums.

Don’t get me wrong; my daughter is my world.  However, I do not equate being a good mum with the ability to talk about a buggy/stroller for 15 minutes.  I like to think that when I ‘gave birth’ (via emergency section due to near-death through kidney failure) I didn’t lose my personality along with the placenta.

Along came Lisa.  A woman who seemed like a ‘real’ person.  She had interesting things to say and we discovered we had a lot in common. For the first time in my life, I had a female friend who lived locally to me, who I could just send a text message to saying, “Fancy a coffee?” and within 30 minutes we would be putting the world to rights.  Don’t get me wrong, I have close friends but few are local, or have the sorts of lives that require about 6 weeks written notice given for any form of social interaction. Fuck that shit.

It was incredible.  I felt like all of these other women who had these interactions that I’d never been privy to. I don’t want you to think this was a one-way thing. It wasn’t.  The text interaction, requests to meet up was 50/50 all the way. She appreciated me just as much as I did her.  I remember feeling quite touched when 2 years ago, she invited me out for coffee and cake on her Birthday, just us and our (then) toddlers.

Fast forward 3 weeks from then. It’s over. To this day I still don’t know why.  I think to myself “Did I say too much?” (I don’t think so) “Did I text her too much?” (no more than she text me) “Was I demanding of her time? (No, not one little bit) “Was there a disagreement?” (Nope, I don’t do confrontation unless I feel really comfortable with someone).

One day I was doing a mail-drop to promote my business.  She asked if she could come along and help me out. I agreed and thanked her for offering to help me out.  Little did I know that would be the last time that we would socialise. Later that evening she joked on my Facebook page that we had made a good team.

The phase-out began almost immediately after. At first I assumed that I was just being paranoid.  She had a toddler, she was no doubt busy.  I told her I was free if she wanted to catch up but that I understood life gets a little crazy sometimes. No biggie. No response. A few weeks passed. Still nothing. I messaged her asking if everything was ok. I was greeted with a lukewarm response.  What the fuck?

Remember, I do not do confrontation.  However, I also cannot handle not knowing where I stand. It destroys me – it’s just who I am. I would rather hurt and know the truth, than have bullshit thrown my way. Fuck that. I sent her a message asking if I had done something or said something that had someway offended her as I felt that I was being ‘phased out.’ (You know how it goes – to cut contact immediately would be far too obvious; way easier to just do the trusty ‘phase out.’ Before you know it a year has passed without contact.)  I assured her that I would much rather know if I had inadvertently upset or offended her and could we talk about it.  She replied that she was “absolutely mortified that you would think that! No of course not! 🙂 “

I didn’t hear from her again.  Now, again, What. The. Fuck?!?

When did it become so goddamn difficult for people to just say what the fuck is in their heads?

Was I in love with Lisa? No, of course not.  Was she the best friend that I’d ever had? No. Did I tell her things that I’ve never told anyone else? Nope.  But I took a risk on her. Here’s the thing; this is the story of my life. This keeps happening.  I had given up on the prospect of making new friends at work or through other areas of life because it appears that I am just so fucking disposable. And you know what? It hurts. This hasn’t just happened with friends; my own family have done the same. So I do what nature teaches us; self-defence.  For years I had let no-one in. No-one in my ‘real’ life anyway.  I trusted her.  I let her in. I allowed myself to believe that I could be just like everyone else. I could have the whole Friends/Sex in the City ‘hang out’ kinda friendships. Ha!

To be thrown away like that tore my heart out. Not because she was ‘one-of-a-kind’ but because now the sheer memory of her encapsulates the copious rejection that I have experienced since childhood.  Yeah, I know I have ‘Daddy Issues’ not to mention excessive ‘Mother Issues’ (I’m sure Freud would have had a field day with me.)

So I stand there, with something as insignificant as a slutty Halloween costume in my hand and my heart starts to hurt all over again. I’m not a ‘woe is me’ type – I’m one of the happiest people I know (ironic for a Manic Depressive!) but I don’t deserve this. My friend joked that I must have been a real asshole in a past life because that’s the only reason that could explain my luck.  I have to think, he may be right.

There is only one way to stop this discomfort and that’s to prevent it from happening again. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

I was crying when I started this post.  Yeah, ‘she who doesn’t cry.’ That’s twice in a week! For fuck’s sake (is fuck singular or plural – I’m having apostrophe placement anxiety!). But now I feel better. And that’s why I blog. Oh and Lisa, if you’re reading this, Fuck you.

My blog spot…

I have many coping strategies that get me through my life day. I am a die-hard bibliophile (don’t even get me started on Kindles), I decoupage old furniture and return it to its former glory, I bake like I don’t have a BMI that is of great concern and I blog.  Right here. Right now.

A friend who knows of my anonymous blog asked me recently, “But who is it for?” The answer is, me.  If someone should happen to stumble across it, or return here to read then that is absolutely fine with me.  My family and friends are aware that I write a blog.  They do not know what it is about or how to find it. The reason is not because I am a closed book; far from it.  But the thing about being me is that I am a fucking liability.  I do not want who I am to hurt people.  And so it stays hidden for all the world to see, should they want to look hard enough (they don’t)  That is far too much effort for my nearest and dearest.

My best female friend had serious issues with some of my actions when I was manic.  I attempted to explain to her, when the episode had passed, that although my illness was not an excuse for my actions, it was a significant factor.  She said she didn’t understand me but wanted to.  And so I loaned her a book called ‘Manic’ by Terri Cheney.  I asked for it back a month or so ago but only if she was finished with it.  She hasn’t read it yet.  I loaned it to her approximately 5 years ago.

Do you see why I have issues with getting close to people?  I adore her, I really do.  But does she ‘get me’? No. Does she really want to get me? It would appear not. And that’s fine. The world doesn’t revolve around me but don’t pretend to care if you really don’t; it’s just too much of a mind fuck for me.  (Reading this back as I edit and go to click ‘publish,’ the previous line seems a little ‘bunny boiler-ish’.  I’m not, I promise.  If you knew me, you’d know. I just don’t cope well with opening up to someone who doesn’t reciprocate the same level of trust, loyalty, connection, fuck, I don’t even know that there’s a word for what I’m trying to express – Do you see why I am so frequently misunderstood?)

But hey, I digress (Quelle Surprise!).  So blogging.  Oh blogging.  My dear, sweet blog.  I treasure my blog – it allows me to vent without causing pain to others and it does not fear discovery unlike my diaries of my angst-ridden diaries of the 90’s and noughties.

I am generally a technophobe but my brain works far too fast for my fingers to ever be able to keep up.  There is something so soothing about sitting with my (Ok, not mine) Macbook, opening it’s beautiful chrome lid and enjoying the soft tippety tap of my fingers across the keyboard.  Would I blog on my smartphone? Hell no.  It’s all about the experience! 

The therapy for me lies in the routine of blogging.  I have to be alone with my thoughts.  I cannot blog if there are others around.  Well others who may interrupt me, that is.

And so here I sit in My Blog Spot.  It is my favourite place to blog.  I have tried others but this is The One.  A chain restaurant that serves breakfast and a mocha to die for.  Thankfully, in England few people have discovered the joy of eating breakfast out, particularly on a Tuesday so it’s just me, the staff, and a mother/daughter pair a few booths over. It’s a dimly lit place that serves killer pancakes and plays Bon Jovi and The Eagles; what’s not to like? The staff here all know me.  They don’t know my name, they just know that I’m ‘The Blogger Chick.’ They’re so friendly and always want to chat but I’ve caught them trying to catch a glimpse (what is it that she’s writing about?)  There’s a real power to mystery – little do they know, it’s just these ramblings.

I am going to share the incredible song that is currently playing.  You can’t help but smile – it’s one of my favourites.  If you happen to have read these words, have a beautiful day! 🙂 

Click here to brighten your day…

The Outgoing Introvert…

I’m sure if you are a regular user of social media you will have come across this blog in the last week or so.  It’s not often that something really connects with me on Facebook but this struck a chord…

https://musingsofaclergychild.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/the-battery-life-of-an-introvert/

I could not have read it at a better time.  Despite being loud, bubbly and the one behind the practical jokes; I am an introvert.  That’s not to say that I am fake but projecting confidence is a strategy that has done me well in life.  It has landed me dream jobs, allowed me to perform in front of large crowds and generally served me well in awkward social situations.  I once read that Christina Aguilera uses her trademark red lipstick as a mask. I use thick black eyeliner (we are not talking to the extremes of Amy Winehouse here!)

But I am fully me.  I am just the me that I am, if I don’t allow myself to think “What do people think?”  However, I have noticed that over time, the more I project confidence, the less I actually care what people think.  Perhaps, it’s because I have been ruthless with my friendships and now only surround myself with people who accept who I am really am, or maybe it’s just my age. ‘They’ do say that once you reach your thirties, many find a confidence that comes with experience, who knows.

This weekend was very difficult for me.  It was an incredibly emotional time.  I was struggling.  This was then compounded when I realised that in my household ‘Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.’ I became so overwhelmed with emotion and anxiety that I didn’t know what to do.  There are perhaps 2 people in the world who I can say exactly what is on my mind to.  Neither were an option last night.  And so I did what nature tells us to do in times of danger. Hide.

I took myself up to my bedroom and curled up. Not to read, not to listen to music. Just to be. I did not want to be spoken to, I did not want to speak and I certainly did not want to be touched. I just needed to spend some time alone in my head.  I accept me, I am not going to reject me. I am not going to call me crazy. You learn in life that there are people who really want to know what is on your mind and then there are the people who want the filtered version.  Or perhaps they think they want the real version but in reality “You can’t handle the truth!”

So I went into ‘charging mode.’

And now I’m back.  I am not fully recharged but I’m getting there…