Category Archives: Mental Health

Peaches Geldof and Passing Judgement

I’m sorry. I can’t let this slide.  I’m finding it really upsetting.

I tend to follow the motto : “Walk a mile in their shoes before passing comment” and this applies to the sad news today that Peaches Geldof died as a result of a heroin overdose.

Peaches

This news has not been confirmed on the BBC but has appeared online via Sky, The Guardian and the Independent.

It is a shock, but if I’m brutally honest, it is not the most surprising bit of information I’ve ever heard.

So first I get a comment on Facebook from someone telling me that she is incredibly selfish for leaving her boys without a mother and then find out loads of people are slagging her off on social media for claiming to be a good mother when she was actually a drug addict and “how could she put drugs before her children”.

I’m sorry…………please refer back to my motto.

You were raised the way YOU were raised, YOU had whatever opportunities you have, YOU made the decisions YOU had offered to you and you inherited some of the characteristics, personality and quirks of YOUR family.

It is highly unlikely that you were raised in a bohemian household with parents who partied, took drugs, were away a lot, had A LOT of money.

You probably didn’t experience the loss of your mother at a young age in the glare of the public eye, from a drug overdose.

You probably didn’t grow up very fast, mingle with the socially elite and wealthy and have access to almost anything you ever wanted

But even if you had, maybe you were lucky not to have inherited a set of genes or pre-determined impulses that perhaps tripped you up, despite every attempt you made to overcome them.

It is unlikely we will ever know if Peaches was a regular user of heroin, whether she was depressed and had a moment where she wanted to blot things out or whether she did what she did deliberately as some sort of need to either end her own suffering or that of her young children (I know it doesn’t make sense…..people who kill themselves rarely do, but it makes sense to them).

The important thing to focus on here is that a cycle has NOT been broken and as a result 2 young boys are now going to go through life without a mother.  I have no doubt she was a good mother, she was kind and that she loved them.  There are many sorts of good mothers.

This is sad. It is a tragedy.  Please stop saying what YOU would do.  You have no idea.

I Had a Bad Day

I had a bad day

I’m usually quite an upbeat kind of person but yesterday I was in quite a bad mood.  The kind of bad mood that usually ended in arguments and could have resulted in a bit of a falling out on Twitter. Thankfully, one of the advantages of being 40+ years old is I can usually see the warning signs, have a moment as my hand hovers over a keyboard and know when my mood has beaten me.

It’s not me…..it’s just my head.

I spent the weekend with the nastiest cold virus I’ve had in a long while. (Note: I’ve not said flu. Regular readers know how I feel about people claiming that whilst they tap tap tap on their Facebook account).

I was determined not to stay the whole weekend in bed, instead I got hubby to do the ballet run and I paced myself during the day by doing jobs in the house and sitting down again for 20 minutes.

I’d spent Saturday night googling houses in Hampshire in our price range.  It was a bit depressing. I convinced myself that we’d never get what we want for the money we have.  So I woke up still feeling a bit sad about that.

Hubby got up on Sunday morning in an immediate bad mood.  He hasn’t been enjoying the children recently (The Monster is especially taxing, but Pickle is very teary) and he was bracing himself for another day of bad behaviour, tears, arguments and general “raising children” horribleness.  His mood thickened the air.  I sunk lower.

The Monster is refusing to toilet train.  Absolutely refusing.  If he’s not in control, it aint happening.  Pants, pull ups, stickers, chocolates, dinosaurs (an actual WHOLE dinosaur for doing a poo and he won’t do it), Ipad on the toilet, potty in front of the TV, Competitiveness with the rest of the family, coaxing, kindness, talking, shouting, reference to still being a baby….NONE of it worked.

In my mood, I sunk lower still and then moaned on twitter, got a lot of helpful advice that I then got annoyed at (it’s me, not you) and decided to stay off for the rest of the day.

So.

  •  Children
  • Toilet training
  • Cold Virus
  • Hubby mood
  • Big move reservations

They all conspired against me on Sunday.

I’m a big girl though.  I can see how it all panned out and it wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own.

  • I’m assuming the children are just going through a phase.  We’ve upped the use of the step for the The Monster, especially if he’s rude to us.
  • I’m leaving the toilet training now. I’m thinking I shouldn’t mention it. He’ll probably just use the toilet one day without any prompting. It needs to be his decision.
  • The Cold Virus is already on the way out.
  • I have no control over Hubby’s mood.  I have control over how I react to it though.  *Deep breaths”.
  • I need to stop googling the houses in Hampshire. Get our house valued this week.  Take it from there. Stop panicking.

I guess there are some advantages to being 40.  At least I can see that it’s not me…..it’s my head.

As always I am grateful for having an audience at all that regularly read my blog and give me such lovely feedback but it’s always nice to get further recognition.  If you enjoy reading my blog and fancy nominating me for a MAD award 2014 (in the category of Best Schooldays, Most Entertaining or Best Blog Writer), then you can do so here www.the-mads.com/awards/ If you don’t….I still love you all. X

 

The Students

You will all be very aware of my anxieties. I’ve blogged about them many times before.  My fears, my OCD’s, my panic attacks and my palpitations.

I’m very aware of them and I know the triggers, so I do what I can to prevent them or when in full swing, chat to myself to calm myself down.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out that next door was being rented out to STUDENTS!!

I’ve had untold issues with the people on the other side of me. They are very noisy anyway, playing Pink Floyd loudly and having lots of late night visitors chatting away in their garden just 2 metres from my bedroom window.  Their teenage daughters (Students themselves) have been having parties until 4am when their parent’s are away, often without giving us notice, like we’ve asked politely on sooooo many occasions.  This year was the quietest year since we’ve been here. Only one impromptu party that we weren’t told about, which resulted in us cancelling Easter Sunday at my dad’s house because we were both too tired to hit the M25 safely.

I’ve been counting down the years until their annoying daughters finally hit the road and fend for themselves, but knew I had at least 2 years left.  As they are students they are now away at university, so with the new university year, this is the time I heave a sigh of relief and get on with things without fear of being disturbed day or night.

Not anymore.

I popped over yesterday to introduce myself to the 3 new girls that had moved in next door (attached to our house).  We had been told by our landlord they were student nurses, but they aren’t. Two are studying teaching and one is studying Psychology.  I’m not happy to say the least.  The girls were VERY polite, they looked like really good girls, brought up well, but they definitely had the sparkle in their eyes that indicated that this was the FIRST time they had ever “played house” and just answering their front door had been pretty exciting.  I gave them some eggs from our chickens, asked them how they were settling in and asked that if they are going to have parties, which I don’t mind (that bit was a lie, I do mind, but I can’t tell people that they can’t have parties), then could they give us notice of it.  I told them we have 2 young children that will get up early everyday and that we work.  Both girls nodded and said they were talking about whether they thought they’d ever have a party. They didn’t think they would.  Yeah right!

Anyway, they gave a parting shot about the possibility of babysitting (a silver lining) and I waved to them as I left.

Immediately after meeting them, I felt ok.  I liked them. They’d be good.  However as soon as I got to bed and could hear one of them in the bedroom next door rummaging through her wardrobe which sits against our wall (she is moving in, I do understand why), all sorts of fears starting creeping in.  When it comes to sleeping and my insomnia and my busy mind, night-time really is a rubbish time for me to consolidate my thoughts.

Within an hour, my palpitations were back and I was really quite worried about how this is all going to turn out.  On my walk to school this morning I was turning everything over again.  Worrying about all the possible scenarios.  I do realise that it is not helpful to do that.  No idea how to stop.

So, some of my coping mechanisms are:

  • Start working on that CV, get a job and move – what better incentive
  • If they are really really bad, we can complain to the landlord and the agency. Both of whom we know.
  • We think they are 2nd year students (don’t they have to go into halls of residence 1st year?) so that’s just 2 years until they shove off.
  • Maybe they won’t be terrible and be really hard-working students. (grasping at straws)

Anyone got any good tactics to make me feel better about this?  I’m working myself up into a frenzy.

The Fight

It’s always nicer when it isn’t you.

There you are.  Enjoying a meal out with friends in a restaurant with kids, in a foreign land and then the atmosphere changes.argue

You can’t quite put your finger on it, but things become chilly.  The wife gets up after her meal and pretends to be busying herself with the kids larking about on the beach.  The husband busied himself clearing his plate and that of his daughters, head down, not speaking.

This is what happened to us, one day on holiday. Then it was time to go home.  A relaxing wander down the boulevard from the beach to the rides, the “bouncy thing” the two girls are desperate to have a go on.  We headed off to our car to dump an excess bag, they wandered to theirs with our daughter and theirs to do the same.

We crossed the road with The Monster to meet them, but they seemed to be spending an awful lot of time at their car.  So we headed into the little fair ground, found out the cost of the Bungee Trampoline and purchased the tickets for the girls in readiness.

Then we waited. Waited some more.

Eventually I left hubby behind with The Monster and wandered down the road to find out what the hold up was.  The girls were leaning against the wire fence holding hands with very worried faces and my friend took one of their hands and walked them towards me, wiping a tear from her eye as she did so.

Clearly her and her husband were having a rip-roaring argument.

We’ve all been there.  You can never pick the right moment to finally kick off. It had been brewing all day (or so my husband said) and I think a criticism of a parenting manoeuvre had been the last straw.  The husband is very hot-headed, so he got pretty angry.  My daughter and their daughter looked quite alarmed.  It’s never nice to see a big argument.

My friend looked up at me (she’s shorter) with a look of apology and asked me to take the girls for me at which point she walked back to the car, had a few more (unheard) words with her husband and stalked off in the other direction, shortly followed by him.

Neither of these two are drama queens. They don’t argue for a bit of excitement.  This was a big deal.

So we took the girls in. I reassured both of them that it was completely normal.  Made a joke to Pickle about how me and her daddy do that sometimes and tried to diffuse the situation.  They soon forgot all about it as they leapt in the air on the bungee trampoline and hubby and I did a little post-mortem on what we’d seen.  We’ve not been having the best time, ourselves.  Lots of argument in the last 6 months, but I’ve not been too concerned about it. Raising young children is a mighty task, especially as we share the childcare and both work as well.  How anyone escapes divorce will always be one of life’s great mysteries to me.  I spend far too much time angry at my husband for not swilling a breakfast bowl.

Anyway, I digress.  We did a post-mortem, because let’s be honest, it’s always nice when it’s not you.

We didn’t know how long these two would be off up the road “having it out” so once the bouncing was over, we paid for all 3 kids to go on a roundabout as well.

Eventually after 2 rides, we saw them walking back alongside the fair ground, so we took everyone back to their car.  Immediately their daughter said she wanted to come in our car, bless her.  Pickle looked alarmed again.  I told both girls that everything was fine and brushed it off. Both girls went in their car, we followed in our’s with The Monster.

As we climbed the steps to the front door the husband turned to me and said he was very sorry about having such a public argument. He felt awful the girls had witnessed it as well. I told him, with a laugh, that I thought it was good for Pickle to see other couples argue.  At least she doesn’t think it’s just her parents.  He smiled.  He added he thought it was important that they had come back with them because then both girls could see that he and his wife had made up, had reconciled their differences and I agreed.

Still.  Nice when it isn’t you, hey?

Shhhhhh

Shhhhhhh

I need silence.  I’ve always craved it and now I need it more than ever.

Whilst I blog I need quiet.  Interestingly I’m ok at work, the mumbling of voices around me don’t seem to bother me, but my own children playing or the sound of a radio…….eurghhh. Turn it off please.ear defenders

I’ve no idea where my need for quiet comes from.  I hear of students who study with the radio on and I think that’s weird.  I find sound muddles the air.  It create confusion.  When I need to think, I need a clean, clear ambience around me.  Like a lake without a ripple or a crisp winters morning.

At night, my sound tolerance is even worse.  My neighbours (the bane of my life) are very noisy.  The man can’t speak normally, he booms when he talks like a foghorn of annoyance.  The parties are one thing and my anxiety takes a battering over those, but even when they sit on their back patio at 11pm chatting with a glass of wine it takes all my strength not to run downstairs and scream “shut up” at them over the fence.  Although I did do that once, a few years back, but it was a group of teenagers out there, loudly chatting at midnight on a Wednesday.  Little shits.

I’ve taken to checking on them from The Monster’s bedroom.  In the dark I can gauge the level of chat. If they are there when I go to bed, I use wax earplugs. Not ideal with 2 children to listen out for, but so far I’ve heard the children when they’ve called out.  The earplugs aren’t perfect, but they drown that low-level murmuring, dull the occasional high pitch laugh and therefore allow me to drift to sleep.  Often the sound of my blood rushing around my head is amplified, but that’s a bit of white noise I don’t seem to mind that much.

Heaven forbid my husband comes in late or worse, that he has someone staying at ours.  Our room is at the top of the stairs, so every click, every scrape can be heard from my bed.  If I’m not yet in a deep sleep I will be woken up. If they then potter about downstairs I’m left upstairs waiting for them to go to bed because I know, once they are up the creak of the floor in the spare room and the click of the light in the bathroom will jolt me from that place between awake and asleep.  I will be annoyed.  That point of annoyance where you can’t blame anyone else but yourself.

It’s gutting really. I’m a cantankerous old woman about sound and it’s really starting to have an impact on my life.  It’s me, it is completely me but it’s hard for others not to feel that it’s them and I’m blaming them.

Hubby is probably the most silent, late night creeper there is, but he is still capable of waking me.  He feels terrible, but it’s not his fault.

I have a spare mattress under Pickle’s bed with a sheet on it and a rolled up ready-made duvet in her cupboard for late night speedy moves should a party start up next door.  I have my wax earplugs at the ready.  I suggested that my brother-in-law slept on the sofa downstairs (a bed he prefers anyway) the last time he visited and went out with my hubby.  They didn’t wake me.  They both used the downstairs bathroom. They didn’t wake me.

I can only do so much.  Oh for a life of peace and quiet. This is what I crave.