As regular readers of this blog will know, I don’t do New Years Resolutions. Instead I look at what I want to have achieved when I look back at the end of the year. This was my post from last Xmas. In 2014 I will…
And these where the things I wanted to achieve in 2014.
1. Attended a TEDx event as a speaker doing a talk on the 10,000 BC Brain.
I applied to Aberdeen but my theme wasn’t on topic with the event. HOWEVER! I went one better and I published a book called the Caveman Rules of Survival
It’s published through Changemakers and will be on the bookshelves at the end of February and is available to pre-order on Amazon NOW by clicking on the picture of the book. I have already done a few of talks on the book which have gone really well and I am talking to Business Gateway Tayside about getting a TEDx event hosted in Dundee. Dr David Hamilton gave me the idea to write the book in the NCH event in February 2014. By July the book was written and I was signed with a publisher. So it’s been very exciting.
2. Generated enough income from my therapy practice to stop drawing on the leaver payment from my previous job and support the family and home
I have juggled my finances a lot and found a brilliant financial advisor called Phil Anderson up in Aberdeen. This meant I significantly reduced outgoings and I managed to sign up for Child Tax credits to give myself a very small but regular amount of money. The year has been about building the business and so I have had a lot of outgoings. I have opened an office in Aberdeen, renting a Regus space. By the end of 2014 I was up there once a week seeing at least 2 clients each time. It’s expensive in terms of overheads but I either break even or make a small profit for each visit so it’s worth it. I continue to see about 50% of my clients via Skype and Facetime. The rest are in Dundee.
It’s been a marvellous year with many lessons learned from some truly amazing people. I now have 117 clients in my private Facebook group where everyone who has my help receives lifetime support from myself and a very supportive community. I can’t thank my clients enough for allowing me to help them this year. So I’ve had months where I have broken even and ones where I haven’t. I have had significant expenses like our BioDisc breaking and costing over £1000 to fix. My car service required tyres and brake thingies which tipped it over £1000 (it’s a 4x4). But I’m not bankrupt yet. And I still have a small (ever-diminishing) pot of money left from the day job.
3. Escaped the whirlpool and my mind and body work in harmony now.
Ah now this one is not going so well. Although, in fairness, raising a historical abuse case with the police at the end of 2013 was always going to scupper things a bit. I started the year with a trip to N Wales to do an interview on video for the police. That was over 3 hours of just about the worst hell I have every experienced. It also stirred up stuff that had been long buried. The video will be played in court as an opening statement and I will then be cross examined as a witness. The good news is the CPS has approved the case and he has been charged. There will be a final plea hearing at the end of January and unless he pleads guilty (highly unlikely) it looks like the trial will be mid-May sometime. It has totally messed me up as you might imagine. And those memories that were stirred up can’t be laid to rest until after the trial. I had a trip to see Trevor In July and that helped a lot. But the reality is that I am in a very difficult place and my head is a constantly whirlpool of painful, vile memories. This is taking it’s toll on my weight. There have been times where everything felt ok and in control, but mostly it is out of control. I have accepted that, until this trial is over, it’s unrealistic to have expectations of anything changing. I just have to accept that, for the short term, I will not outwardly be the person I know I can be. I just have to deal with hating myself every time I look in the mirror or get dressed. I remind myself that there is a reason that I feel that way and the reason will change in time.
So that’s it. Quite the year I think. So now let’s look to 2015 and what I want to achieve.
In 2015 I will…
1. Deliver a talk about the Caveman Rules of Survival at a major speaking event (Not sure what it will be yet. Hopefully it will be TEDx in Dundee but I will keep options open)
2. Be busy on the media circuit talking about my book. This will include Radio and TV interviews. It will be the book everyone is talking about.
3. Continue to expand my business to include talks and workshops as part of my income stream. Sell enough books to make it a viable part of my income stream.
4. Find peace on resolution of the court case. (Whichever way it goes it will feel good to know it’s behind me once and for all)
It was a chilled out Christmas and the little one loved her pressies.
She got a Vtech watch which takes videos and pictures and records her voice, a self propelling scooter, a pram and a load of other stuff. She played with it all.
Here are the pictures off her watch camera – I am amazed at the quality
And here are some that I took.
The bow shoots rubber round-ended arrows up to 25m and they make a whistling sound when they fly. It’s amazing!
This is a video the little one did on her watch of Gibson
a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
a person who is tricked or duped.
a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment.
I have been struggling for the last week. The slightest thing has brought me to tears. I have felt like I am losing it. I felt I had reached the limits of my ability to cope. The court proceedings are really taking their toll.
And then I had a realisation.
The problem I have been having started with writing the Victim Personal Statement. This is a statement about how stuff has affected me that I will read out in court at the start of the trial. I had to write about how my life had been impacted by everything.
That's a word that keeps getting used in this process.
I am not a victim though. I have never seen myself as a victim. I don't like the word.
By labelling me that, in this process, it has made me begin to adopt the label. This is the power it has to be put in a box.
There was a video shared on here the other day about a guy who had been wrongly imprisoned for 20+ years. His attitude? Just because I was in prison, doesn't mean I was a prisoner. (I tried to find the video to share but can’t I’m afraid)
So this is what I am working on. Just because the system defines me as a victim, doesn't mean I am a victim. That is their label not mine.
I am not there yet...but I'm one step closer and things are getting easier each day because of it
On Thursday we received a phone call we had been expecting – but maybe not so soon.
I told you how the hubby’s mum had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Last Sunday we went to see her – this is where this photo is from.
She was a fraction of the lady we once knew. She was on oxygen 16+ hours a day. We left after a good visit. We were under no illusion that it was the last time we would see her. But we were really worried about how she would fare through the terrible decline and pain that cancer brings. I know the hubby felt helpless but in reality there was nothing he could do from up here in Scotland (she is in Manchester)
Anyway on Thursday morning she fell out of bed and was rushed to hospital. She died in hospital shortly after.
In many ways it was a relief. She was spared the suffering. Whilst breathing was a huge challenge she wasn’t in pain. And we got to see her and say our goodbyes while she could still interact with us.
We have this photo of the hubby, his youngest brother, the little one, the SIL and his mum to remember her by.
As I mentioned in a previous post, she has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
We knew she was on oxygen 16 hours a day. We knew she was very ill. We wanted to make sure the hubby got a chance to say goodbye and she got a chance to see the little one.
It’s always a shock though isn’t it? No matter how well prepared you are.
We were greeted with a lady that was half the woman we saw 6 months ago both physically and as a person.
I went down to be the chauffeur really. It’s hard for the hubby to drive any distance these days. His diabetes means his eyes are not so good and his poor circulation means his legs get painful when still for so long. His back injury means sitting is uncomfortable.
My friend did me a massive favour and looked after Gibson and the house. She also cooked up a load of stuff for us which was very lovely.
It was a long day. 12 hours of driving interrupted by 2 hours spent feeling helpless and wishing there was more we could do to help.
The little one loved the trip. She is the best adventure buddy ever. She was happy, chatty and giggly all the way there and back. At about 8:30pm the car suddenly got quiet. She fell asleep. We got home shortly before 10pm and she woke up, bounced out of the car, chatted to my friend and then took herself to bed with no complaints. We are so lucky to have such an amazing little girl.
Meanwhile the hubby and I staggered in and went to bed as soon as we could. I had clients the next day and had to go to Aberdeen to see one of them so it’s been pretty exhausting.
We don’t think we’ll see his mum again. At least I could make the trip as smooth as possible to make sure he got to see her. I also was able to sort out the Kindle that she is using to work her way through books. Made me feel I was at least able to do a little something practical.
The photo is of his mum and 2 brothers, and the little one pulling a funny face – which is pretty typical of her. She spent most of the time there waddling around and saying banana. I suspect it was a bit of a breath of fresh air for the mil and for just a small time a break from the reality of being ill.
A short while ago the hubby’s mother (87) was admitted to hospital with a collapsed lung. We were surprised when less than a week later she was allowed home with a plan for scans etc.
They did the scans and found some sort of shadow on her lung. It was cancer.
She had breast cancer a good few years ago and recovered well. Initially the doctors said the prognosis was very good for treating her lung cancer.
And yet she has been on oxygen for 16 hours a day.
This weekend we found that it is not treatable. She has months at best to live. And she’s not eating and she’s on oxygen.
So the hubby needs to take the little one down to Manchester with him asap because if they don’t go they might never get the chance again.
And therein lies the problem. We have Gibson who is now just over 4 months old so I need to stay here with him. But the hubby is not as well as he used to be and a drive like that is really hard for him, and having to look after the little one and say goodbye to his mother.
It’s a pretty impossible situation.
At the same time my stuff is all going on with a crown court appearance today. I don’t have to attend but should know the trial date after today. Unless he pleads guilty. Which he didn’t at Magistrate’s court so why would he here?
And when you have a lot of stuff going on you find very quickly you have no patience for the daily trivia. Having to give attention to a 4 month old puppy when you are worried about how you can look your mother in the eye and say goodbye is impossible.
Having to do anything when you have big things on your mind is almost impossible.
I have things to do. I’m finding it unusually hard to do those things.
I am trying to keep the peace too. I am trying to keep everyone away from the hubby. I feel like I have everything on me right now.
I need to keep the puppy entertained. He loves the hubby and loves to cuddle him. I don’t know whether it’s because of his heart medication or his diabetes, but whenever Gibson jumps up he scratches the hubby and draws blood. He’s never scratched through my skin and it’s only happened once with the little one. The hubby looks like he’s been in a fight with a tiger. And whenever Gibson enthusiastically runs up to him, because of how tall the hubby is, he gets him right in the nuts. This has been the single hardest thing over the last few months for the hubby. Now it’s just impossible. To be constantly hurt outside when you are hurting so much inside. Not good. We are just going to have to use the crate a lot more this week. Gibson loves his crate and is very happy in there. He also loves to be out playing though.
I need to keep the little one from being too demanding as she becomes fully absorbed in the excitement of Xmas. For her, a trip down to Manchester is exciting because it means the possibility of a day off school. When we explain that her daddy is very sad, she says she is too and starts crying. That child has a future as an actress I tell ya!
And I am seeing clients. Every time I go down to my therapy room, when I come back something has happened and I have to sort it out. Sort everyone out. On Thursday I am in Aberdeen all day and while the little one will be at school, I won’t be back until late. I am going to be worried all day.
And sometimes you are just in an impossible situation. A situation where all you can ask of yourself is to get through to the end of the day.
For now all we can do is take each moment as it comes.
The problem is, with a child and a puppy, you can’t does shut down until it passes. You can’t even just keep going. You have to actively participate in keeping things going.
And that’s really tough.
I’m lucky to have great friends to support us. My best friend will look after Gibson so I can do the driving. That’s one less worry for the hubby at least.
The little one came downstairs with this list today
1. Always wipe and flush
2. Tidy my room
3. Take Gibson for a walk
4. Give mum a hug
We agreed we would swap 1 and 4 (1 is still a work in progress!) and I have already done 3.
On the other side was an image for the moods she was going to experience today
If it has a tick it means she will and if it has a cross means she won’t
So left to right: Excited, Happy, Sad, Worried, Angry, Upset (This is NO NO!)
Life has settled into a routine now.
The hubby gets up with Gibson at around 5:30 (although we have seen him go until after 6 with no problems – Gibson – not the hubby!)
I get up at 6:30 and take over and the hubby goes back to bed by about 7-7:30.
The little one gets up at around 7 and plays with Gibson until it’s time for school at 8:30.
I take her to school leaving Gibson in his cage.
The hubby gets up at about 9:30-10 and gets on with his day.
I get Gibson out for a walk and when he comes back he gets some raw meat of some sort and goes in his cage for an hour or so to chill.
Then he spends the rest of the day sleeping.
Walks have become the best thing about having Gibson. When he hears “walkies” he starts bouncing around like a kangaroo-dog. I get him to do his business in the garden and then take him down the path, through the woods and back down the road. He’s getting much much better on his lead. He always comes to me when I call him to have his lead on. We meet lots of other dogs and owners and he loves them all. He’s very good natured.
But most of all he loves the little on.
Anyway, here are some pictures from our walks, including a herd of deer
And yet somehow all you can see is how you look.
I know it doesn’t match who you are. It’s the incongruence of it that causes you such a problem isn’t it?
This outward appearance gives away your secrets doesn’t it?
It’s like a scar. It shows that you have been wounded. It shows that you are weak.
But you know, a scar can also show that you have survived. And scar tissue is thicker. Scar tissue is something to be proud of. It shows that you won in the end.
Maybe that weight that you see doesn’t really give away your secrets.
Because it doesn’t matter. How you look doesn’t matter.
You keep telling yourself that and it’s getting easier to believe.
Dear fat person in the mirror…so what?
Everyone is different shapes and sizes. It only matters if it matters to you.
Why can’t you just let it go?
When I turn away from you I’m fine. You have no power over me. Without you glaring at me I am who I am supposed to be.
But when I let you glance at me you sneer in disgust.
Who are you to judge me?
I am ok with who I am. Why are you not?
Do you not realise that how you look is not who you are? It doesn’t matter to anyone else so why should it matter to you?
But it does matter. It matters a lot.
Because you know why you have more weight on than you want. You know why you can’t lose it. And every time you look at me, you remind me. You remind me of why you need the weight to protect you. You need the protection. It stops people getting close. It stops people seeing you for who you are – a woman. Even the phrase “woman” still catches in your throat. There is so much risk to that word.
If you weren’t a girl then it wouldn’t have happened.
And despite everything that has changed this remains.
Dear fat person in the mirror…it’s ok to let go now.
It is safe to be you without this protective layer. I can see that, why can’t you?
Please, I’m begging you, let me be free to be me.