Faceless bundle


Im on my way home from work and im in great spirits. Not only is my late shift on a Sunday over, but im on holiday now for a week and I, the hoarder and the princesses are heading to centre parc in the morning…its also snowing!
You can tell im in great spirits by how quickly I make it to the bus stop…before the bus.

That was until, as I approach the stop I can see a large bundle in the doorway of the bank.

Its a dark mass of clothing …I hope its clothing.

Its not, its person shaped, but has no face. On a pile of bags and other minimalistic belongings, hooded army jacket zipped up and their face burried in their arms tucked under each other so as to protect any extrimities from the weather.
As I walk past I wonder what to do. Leaving them there like that in the snow is excrutiating!

Do I disturb them & offer them money to get something warm to drink & eat despite not having much money (more than them) the council tell us not too, we have soup kitchens nearby. At least enquire if there is anything he needs?

Fear stops me doing anything. I continue walking to the bus stop. As I do that bundle moves…a shiver? Or sobbing?

I would love to know his story. The story of how he got there to that door way in the snow.
He could tell me over coffee, maybe I could help? Offer counselling, advice & guidance the stuff I do every day for those who know where to go for it.

I made the wrong decision walking past. But now here I am, typing on my phone as I walk down my street to my nice warm house, my family to prepare for a great family holiday and sleep safe & warm in my bed.

I wonder where my faceless bundle will be by the morning…will he stay? Nudged awake by the staff opening the bank or be moved on?

What about tomorrow?

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Couch to 5k in 9 weeks?


The time has come to get rid of this weight…

(Stop looking through my other posts for the exact same sentence)

I mean it. Actually I do and I can tell you why.

I am feeling great.

This has come as bit of a shock to me too, as I have spent what feels like months  feeling low.

Feeling tired and exhausted.

Exercise always made me feel better, but it was motivating me that was the problem. I was so tired; whenever I got a moment to myself I just went to bed.

If I am honest with myself I would say this has lasted more than months, Last summer I asked my health visitor for help.

“I’m just so tired, I can’t tell anymore if I am just tired or if it is something more…”

I saw the nursery nurse once a week to help me get Smaller Beautiful to sleep instead of screaming for hours on end in the middle of the night.

(Those who follow me on Twitter will know what a mess I have been and how heart breaking this was)

 I also saw the health visitor once a week to “talk”. Our last session consisted of me wanting to talk about how low I was feeling, how the hoarder was driving me insane and thought it was funny (thinks it is funny) to simply tell me to shut up.

Instead It turned into a “Oh yeah my husband did this when I had my children, I totally get that”

No you don’t love. Because only I get to live in my world and experience my world…You are nowhere near my phenomenal field, never mind on the edge of it!

I never made another appointment and actually have not seen her or the nursery nurse since…no developmental checkups, no support, no baby check ups…nothing.

As time has gone on I feel like I have lost a year…it’s a blur of sleepless nights. Then I had to go back to work.

This tipped the balance.

My house is a tip and The Hoarders family members have been talking behind my back about it…

(Got to love little kids who repeat the adult conversations they hear! At least my mother tells me to my face)

I went back to work in October and gave myself a whole load of excuses why I was not working to the standard I had been.

The service had changed so much it was like starting a new job

Smaller Beautiful wasn’t sleeping still.

I couldn’t do late nights anymore so that 2-10 shifts were really hard on me.

It’s taking me longer to learn the new call structures as I am only in a few days a week.

In the end, actually last week, they threatened me with an action plan…an action plan to help me with the job I have been doing for 6 years, I used to get 80’s, 90’s and 100% marks for my work in my 1-1 with my manager. Now I am getting 70’s and threatened with an action plan.

I couldn’t take anymore.

I can guarantee that an entire week has not passed over the last year without me crying at least once. Often over small stuff that I could not get my head around, other times I would sob as I searched through our local housing association website desperate to get out of a relationship I thought was destructive. I still have little trust in it, but I can see that I have my part to play in that.

On Monday I visited a GP since I had cried everyday for 2 weeks. A very nice and new GP who had listened to me about my daughter wetting herself suddenly and bedwetting after being dry (possibly stress related but we have had some tests back indicating a urine infection too)

Anyway, I bit the bullet to go and talk about the possibility I had PND.  When I got there I was so nervous that I almost chickened out. I am still kicking myself that I didn’t really tell him everything.

I told him about the lack of motivation, how everything felt like an effort, how I cried several times a week and often burst into tears just because the washing up had piled up (not that The hoarder had only done half of it before falling asleep on the sofa). I told him I felt hopeless, I was not sleeping at night even when Smaller Beautiful did. I told him I thought I would be feeling better by now since she was sleeping better over the past 2 months.

He asked if I still got the same enjoyment from activities…I told him…not really. I never told him that I play with my kids and do the craft things that I used to do, because I have to, not because I enjoy them. I did not tell him that Smaller Beautiful does not have the same mummy that Big Beautiful had, and that Big Beautiful no longer has the mummy she once had.

I made it clear that I had no intention of hurting myself and no suicidal thoughts and I am making that clear here today, I can see the value in my life and what I would be leaving.

That said, I did not tell him that I often thought of walking out…just walking and never stopping…like Forest Gump, but I don’t run!

Then I decided to try St Johns wort. I remember an aunt I lived with in my teens had taken it and found it helped her, so I thought if it doesn’t work then I have lost nothing.

I am a new woman.

I have energy

I have played with my babies and enjoyed it, rolled on the floor with them and laughed really loud, out loud (See my last {This Moment} post.)

I am still not sleeping, but perhaps that will come in time once my brain and body realise that Smaller Beautiful is really sleeping (like my GP suggested, along with counselling and blood tests)

I have done all the washing, hovered and I’m planning more…I even did a 45 minute Zumba session on the Wii today.

So I may have mentioned the couch to 5k which is a running plan for beginners from the NHS live well site. I also mentioned that I don’t run. But running is what I am thinking of doing, I have been invited to do a 5k fun run with a colleague. It is only the past couple of days that I’m actually thinking seriously about it.

I’m going to give running a try. It’s free, I can do it while the kids are in bed for a short time before the hoarder goes to work or I can take Smaller Beautiful in the push chair.

Can you help? Can you keep me motivated? The NHS have podcasts to download each week and guide you through the process. So I have put them on my phone and plan to go for my first of three weekly sessions on Monday. I will be tweeting about this so come follow me @Mummy_Ethal and I plan on trying to blog at least every week once I have finished the NHS programme for that week.

I promise not to run away and keep on running.

The Rage – warning this post talks about PMS!


I have been thinking of writing this post for some time now. I have gone over in my head what I need to tell you. How do I write down my experience in a way that sounds rational and that others may draw strength and comfort from? So you know that you are not alone. So I know I am not alone.

The problem with having, writing and talking about PMS is ignorance.

The feelings, symptoms and lives of those who suffer every month with this have been belittled for so long, made a joke of for so long, that no one listens properly anymore. I was the same, until The Hoarder and I decided we wanted to start a family (yes she was planned, no I did not think marriage would never be on the cards when I agreed!)

After a couple of months I wondered if this was ever going to happen (The baby, not the proposal!) So I went out and bought a pack of those ovulation tests. To my horror and The Hoarders amusement we found we had been arguing each and every time that we could have procreated! I laughed along with everyone else who we told after I fell pregnant that month, but really I was gutted.

Al those tears, all those strong emotions when I felt like I was perfectly right, fighting for equality in my relationship…they were hormones?

I stayed off the contraceptives so I could learn more about by body and my feelings. Around this time I had started my counselling training and learnt so much more about myself, my emotions and how I wanted to live my life. I also learnt about Mindfulness and mindful meditation. Through this I was able to start to recognise the difference between my PMT days and my “normal” days. I started to recognise the heavy feeling in my body and the sense of a dark, almost red cloud that tainted my view of the world, the thoughts in my head and the words that came out of my mouth.

So just before Big Beautiful 3rd birthday I went to the doctors for help. It took me two months to get up the courage to go and by then my relationship was struggling.

Maybe it was because he was young, maybe because I had big beautiful with me and she distracted him or maybe because he was a He that he simply could not hear me.

I told him how I felt every month, about the dates that I recorded, about the red cloud and about my relationship. I asked to go back on the pill I had been on since I was 18 to see if this helped and to talk to a counsellor. He asked about my relationship with my daughter which is and has always been the light in my life. But I figured he had a responsibility to ask since I had admitted to bouts of anger.

He then told me he did not think I had post natal depression…What?

That I had Stress Depression…What?

He prescribed a contraceptive pill I had been given (and never taken) whilst I was breast feeding and referred me to a counsellor.

I left that office feeling more alone than ever. 4 weeks later, on Boxing Day 2009, I found out I was pregnant with Smaller beautiful. I had bought the test earlier that month as that dark red cloud had not engulfed me, there could only have been once reason for that and I felt the rug pull from under my feet.

So since I have stopped breast feeding Smaller beautiful my periods have returned, that big dark red cloud is bigger, darker and heavier than ever. I monitor my dates carefully as I can never be sure of how I am feeling and often I am not in control of my emotions. I know that “The Rage” will last for 3 days and for 1 day either side of that will come “The sorrow”. By the time I start my period I know it is all over for another month.

Now, what I need you to understand is that this is the only time my PMS and I battle for control over my life.

If I am sad or angry or feeling like I could really use a friend or a lover at any other time then that is because I am a human being. So when I shout or look a little lost or sad don’t laugh and say “Oh it’s that time of the month is it?”

Because if you do, the next time I have PMS

I’m coming for you!

P.S Please don’t let my experience put you off getting help. I am adamant I will return to a different GP to get the help I need. Shake them and make them listen…maybe don’t go while you are having your dark days though hey?

For more information on PMS, symptoms and treatment then take a look at the NHS website that I have linked below. You can also click on any PMS in this post and this will open a new window to this site.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/pages/introduction.aspx

Why do I have to ask why all the time?


OK so lately I have been stomping, I’m sulking and I have really felt like crying. I could cry but I am too damn busy.

I tell you it is a bad day when I don’t even have time to cry!

The thing that really gets me is that I am crying and fighting over the same issues. This makes me really angry…so now I am sad and angry.

As always behind my anger is a great deal of hurt. It will do your understanding no good if I simply tell you what happened recently to upset me so much. I need to explain it all to you, I need to let you into my life.

Lets start with my spirituality. One of the main appeals of paganism, the thing that attracted me to this label was the focus on equality. The Goddess and the God as equals. Not a singular man controlling everything, I love the interconnectedness of paganism, everything connected to everything else…all working as one. It is the Gestalt therapy “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”

I love fairness, acceptance and empowering myself and others. I am an open and passionate women and paganism really speaks to me and hugs me like a warm coat on a cold Autumn day.

So when I find myself in a relationship that is anything less than equal I feel so frustrated. I often feel that my relationship is a battle between who I am and what my relationship makes me be. My darling Hoarder once told me that he feels reluctant to do what he considers to be “womans work”. This apparently includes polishing, hoovering and putting washing away (yes even his own clothes). He will put a load in the washing machine and he has to iron his own clothes ( I refuse), he will do the washing up, but only if I refuse and we run out of cups.

As a pagan I also respect that I am responsible for my own beliefs, actions, opinions and personal development. So the statement “Who I am and who my relationship makes me be” is sitting uncomfortably with me. Yet I feel I have tried what I can to resolve this battle.

It is with this in mind I tell you more about my relationship with The Hoarder.

In the spirit of fairness and equality, this is my side of things. Every relationship has two sides, this is my perception of events and more importantly how I feel in the here and now. Feelings are not wrong, they just are and I feel hurt.

I didn’t have our beautiful children on my own. The hoarder helped and did his share of the creation. So why do I have to ask why all the time?

You know where I am going with this don’t you?

I know you do…I’ve read your tweets.

Why do I have to check what The Hoarder is doing with his life and make my plans around them?

Why is it ok for The Hoarder to do exactly as he pleases, not looking after the Princesses as he has better things to do.

I can’t do this…yet we created them equally.

Last week I made plans to meet an old friend from college. He is doing his research dissertation on Counselling and Spirituality and asked if he could interview me. I duly checked The hoarder could pick Big Beautiful up from nursery so I could meet my friend.

The night before the meeting The Hoarder informed me he had stuff to do at work and could no longer do the school run, this meant I had to cancel my meeting with my friend. I was really annoyed as I had “booked in” first, but there was nothing I could do. Until the next day when he slept in for work and re-arranged his day in one phone call and told me he would do the school run now.

As I stood staring at him while he made that one phone call and changed all his plans…because he could, I felt so worthless and unimportant than I have ever felt before.

I was lost for words, this lingering feeling, a lump of hurt sat in my chest for the rest of the day as I got on with my life (read as list of chores). I got through the day thinking I would take all the frustration and hurt out on my bike in my spinning class that evening. Turn it into something useful. Turn it back into a boost for my self-esteem and feeling good again.

So when the princesses were fed, I had my work out clothes on. The Hoarders food was done (grudgingly, but it doesn’t happen often) and 6pm came and went. I felt totally deflated.

He forgot. He forgot to come home from work. He did remember to go to the shop to get stuff for work and bread and milk for home…but he forgot about me.

I have always had a fairytale image of what life with my partner and our children would be like. I never expected a bed of roses, at least not without some thorns. In my head I would have a wonderful lover who wants me, who cares what I think, how I feel. Someone who is my soul mate (I’m reading Brida by Paulo Coelho)

The Hoarder is a fantastic dad. He really is good with the princesses. I always thought though, that the role of the daddy was to stop the mummy going insane and to be a great mum. That is the way great children (Princesses) thrive.

I guess it’s too much to ask of him. To remember me sometimes?

I wish I knew then, what I know now.


My Brother (a drug and alcohol worker) works with young people and tweeted the following earlier today,  it made me think:

Young Person: Don’t agree with the laws #Cannabis possession. I’m making a stand

Worker: but YOU got arrested, how well is your stand working?

Not that I have ever taken illegal drugs (well ok, the odd joint at university, but I was 23 and I didn’t like it)

Can you see the fight and the passion in me?

I’m talking about the attitude. As a teen I knew it all. I had all the answers. I knew myself (or thought I did) and those around me better than anyone else. I was bloody amazing…perfect even.

Those old people (30 year olds!) could try to tell me how they saw the world, but they were boring and dull and had no idea about my world, they had given up, were cynical …they watched the “NEWS” for entertainment for crying out loud!

This is passion...i'm making a stand

I had my life planned out. I knew exactly where I was going.

As a youth worker in a previous life I too heard kids say more or less the same crap about …everything. In their world, the world of the teenager, they are amazing, right and the only ones who know how it feels to be a teenager. Just like I did.

I’m not sure exactly where it changed for me. Although I know my attitude did not change until I was into my mid-20’s.

I stopped fighting the world and discovered that, actually, life is a bit shit. It’s hard out there and most of the time you’re in it alone.

I learnt a lot about myself whilst training to be a counsellor. I learnt that a lot of the pain in my life was caused by me. Taking on that responsibility is Raw and Painful, as it penetrated the belief system that I as a teen had built up around me and the realisation that some of that pain could have been prevented…that I could have changed events in my life.

When I accepted that and took responsibility for my behaviour, I stopped fighting against myself.

Maybe loosing my “attitude” was a gradual process, but along with it I have lost my fight, my passion.

The young person my brother mentioned, who was making a stand. Yes it was not a particularly good stand, it was a unhealthy self abusive stand on many levels and lacked some major self-awareness, but you can still hear that innocent “Me against the world” passion in the words he used.

I don’t miss the naivety of my youth which, believe me, led to some really stupid behaviours that only hurt and embarrassed myself. But I do miss the fight and the passion behind those behaviours. I miss the flighty girl I used to be and I miss the freedom to be her. In a future post I may write a letter to my teenage self, if only she would have read it!

If I knew then, What I know now

If I knew then, what I know now

I would be and do exactly the same again!

I guess this makes me a blogger?


Oh the pressure!

Well that’s it, My very first words as a BLOGGER!

Where to go next? An introduction perhaps?

**stands**

Hello my name is Emma and I am a blogger. I live with the hoarder (male) and our two beautiful daughters. Big Beautiful is 3 years old who is far to intelligent for her own good and Smaller Beautiful is almost a year old and takes after her night owl parents, which would not be so bad if I could handle the pace still…there is not enough coffee in the world to keep me going all night these days!

I became inspired to blog after a recent obsession with Twitter, where I was introduced to a whole new magical world of mummies who blogged and were up past 3am…no not clubbing or getting down with their bad selves, but desperately trying to get through the 3am feeds, the wind, the puke, the colic, the colds and the night terrors…and that was just the mummies!

I can’t tell you how much I adore these women who I have laughed with and cried with and gotten angry at their partners with. So I thought I would give it a go. I am attempting to stay away from being another Mummy blogger as those fab ladies have almost every aspect covered. I’m hoping to just be me, whoever the hell that is. I will talk about being a pagan as I am still learning so perhaps you can learn with me? I will rant about my Horder and his 3 sheds of …everything, which is currently overflowing into the house, the whole motherhood/slave life I have going on and my work and learning as a person centred counsellor, as this seems to embody everything I am and touches every aspect of my life…It is a way of life.

I look forward to talking to you again.

Blessed Be x x

P.S I have not slept for a year, so any typo’s and spelling errors will be blamed on a reduction of brain cells due to the torture of sleep deprivation. If you point out my spelling I shall direct you to this disclaimer.