Protection is the name of the game

I have been sitting here looking at my computer for a while now. Thoughts swirled in my head, but the fingers avoided contact with the keyboard. So now that I have started, I wonder which of the thoughts find their way here.

I read the second first post before starting on this one. It got me thinking of my children and the reasons I could not confide all my thoughts or feelings to them. In some ways I am very close to them, but I think having needed to protect them from harm and hurt from their earliest days made me hide my own hurt and pain from them so as not to cause them any more pain. This need to protect my children has been the overriding concern of my life since they were born. There are issues even now that make me feel that I have to continue this way. Perhaps writing these things here will make me see if there is a real need for it or not.

The father of my first two children was a physically and verbally violent person. Yet I stayed with him for about six years. He was not violent at the beginning. We met while we were both students in a foreign country. He was his mother’s favourite of his siblings whereas his brother was the father’s favourite. I am not sure where the sisters stood in that. There were (still are) five of them. I know my ex was hurt by the father’s favouritism of the younger brother. He was also hurt by the fact that the girl (she was still a girl when my ex left his country as my ex was a boy of 16) he was in love with was out of his reach because of her parents’ disapproval. I am not sure of the reason for the disapproval. My ex talked about it a lot at the beginning, but as English was not the first language for either of us coupled with the thought disorder from which my ex suffered (among other things) I found it difficult to follow his ramblings (the right word for it although it sounds disrespectful and dismissive) at times.

I did not know anything about a thought disorder at the time. I just knew that he kept jumping from one issue to another. I thought at the time that my understanding of English was to blame for my not being able to follow his conversation. It is only later that I got to know about other issues relating to him. Like the fact that the symptoms that he displayed then and now (I have sporadic contact with his sisters and my children by him have visited their family in that country) are indicative of paranoid schizophrenia – left totally untreated in his case although the family seems to realize what is going on. The symptoms that I saw at the time without understanding any of it were the before mentioned thought disorder; paranoia about people around him talking about him in a negative way; any accidental slight being purposefully aimed at him; generally the whole society of the country we lived in being against him.

I did not see any of this until after we were married. It was not a marriage of two people who were madly in love. I went out with him in the beginning because I was curious. I had never met anyone from his country. To me he was a kind of exotic curiosity. Not a good reason to start any kind of relationship. We would never have got married if I had not got pregnant. He wanted me to have an abortion and to please him I asked the doctor about it. I was relieved by the negative answer because my religious background would have made it difficult for me to go through with it at the time.  I did contemplate disappearing somewhere where no one knew me and living my life with the baby without any contact from disapproving relations.  However, we both moved in the same religious circle and had people around us who saw to it that we did “the right thing” and got married. If we had not done that I would not have had my second child. So even the worst things have something good in them: I would not be without my two children from that disaster of a marriage.

The father of my children being what he was I had to protect my children from him. As my little ones told me after I had left him he “was always angry”. We had knives being waved about and even flying past us. If I did not get to the crying baby first, that baby was waved about in the air and I was asked “shall I mash her head in the wall?” Luckily I was quite good at preventing much of this. At the time I thought the anger which he took out on us was caused by the racism he suffered in the country we lived in at the time. I thought that once we got to his country things would be different. Unfortunately, it was not the case. So after about a year there I escaped with my children. My parents gave me the money to leave and I used an excuse of my father’s illness. On getting to my birth country I was finally able to sleep not having to worry about the children getting hurt. My sister told me that I slept through my son howling his head off at night after having hit his nose when he got up in a strange place. And I was right next to him; he was crying straight into my ear.

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Second First Post

I really had to call this the second first post as it is such a long time when I started this blog. It feels like I am coming anew to this. I still feel a bit lost not knowing how things really work here. But never mind, I can write and that is what I really want to do although it is so very difficult to start properly. I have done quite a bit of writing in my life and it has always been very difficult to start.

My first attempt at starting this blog was in February when I was feeling very low. I suppose my idea then was to pour my heart out here and get some relief that way. You see, I do not have anyone I can really confide in. I sometimes wonder if it is something in me that prevents me from getting very close to anyone.

I do have three children and I love them dearly. My youngest, who only recently moved away from home, still spends at least one night a week here. This week it will be two nights. My oldest telephones me almost every day, sometimes more than once. It is not to check on me, but often to run things by me before deciding anything. Sometimes it is just to chat. I usually see her two or three times a year. My middle one contacts me sometimes and visits me sometimes.  I last saw him a couple of months ago when he came to visit with his new girlfriend. All three spend some time here between 20th December and the beginning of January, sometimes the whole of that time, with or without their various friends and partners. My oldest is coming for a few days this September.

I moved to this house in this little country village about six years ago with my youngest. We knew some people in the area so thought we would not be lonely. We did have and still do have contact with them occasionally. My youngest made friends at school, more at college and now at the university. She has fully integrated into the life here. She now lives with her boyfriend in a town near here, nearer her university.  She also still has friends where we used to live and visits them sometimes.

My life was taken by the work on the house. I have replaced joists, pulled down walls, built walls, done bricklaying, etc. etc. etc. Until very recently I was always wearing dusty and dirty work clothes. I suppose when I got the living room floor finished (pulled out the old and replaced it with the new) I had finished with the most dirty part of the work. Well, for now anyway. There is still the cellar to do and that is going to be filthy work. Since the living room floor last November – December and the wall panelling this past spring I have been having a break. I did start walling in the downstairs toilet after finishing the living room wall, but have not finished it yet. I need to buy some tongue and groove pine panelling to do some of the walls. I have some pieces of glass that I took down from elsewhere in the house which I am going to use as windows. I have never put in windows from just panes of glass so I keep putting it off. I had a plumber put in the toilet inside a big room at the back. I just have to get it walled in, so that it is not a part of this big room. So, my life is still taken up by the work on the house although I am not doing it all the time any longer. And I am not dressed in dirty filthy rags all the time any longer.

Over these years that I have been working on the house I have become more and more like a hermit, but without any religious connotations as I am an atheist. I suppose it all came to a head last autumn and winter. I had many practical problems to do with the house. The winter was very cold and the house was cold. The main problem, however, was that I felt so incredibly lonely. I had no one to share my problems with. For years I had been alone and made all the decision alone. I had had no one to discuss any of them with. I did share some things with my children, but only very superficially. I do not want them to feel guilty or responsible for my loneliness. I do not want to burden them. They have their own lives to live. So what I am going to do here is to tell my life story.

I want to end this post with a positive note. I am not as depressed at the moment as I was last winter. I have been working on getting out of that funk for the past few months. One of the things that made me really take some action, small but action nevertheless, was the fact that I had been getting fatter. Over the winter I ate a lot of sweet things, donuts, chocolate, sweets. All vegan, of course, as I am a vegan. It is possible to eat unhealthily on a vegan diet. I have proved it. Anyway, at some point my stomach was so big that I had to notice it. Also I was finding it harder to walk, getting out of breath easily. Had to do something. I joined a tai chi class. That lasted all of two lessons. Mainly because the teacher was not very good. I bought a few books and a couple of dvds on tai chi thinking that I’ll do it myself. That has not happened. However, I do intend to take it up at some point. I have been doing other exercises. I go up and down the stairs in the house quite a number of times in a day. I do some exercises every morning. When I catch a bus I walk a couple of stops before catching it.

I have also made an effort to get more social. One of the first things I had to do for that was to get my teeth sorted. One of my front teeth had been missing for a couple of years. I always felt very conscious about it. I could never smile or laugh freely. I had that sorted a  couple of months ago and what a difference that has made. Then I started making an effort to meet people.  It has been an effort as I had got to a stage where I was afraid of meeting anyone. I was like this once before in my life. I got over it then and was determined to get over it now. I am not completely over it yet but it is not such a big effort any longer.

So things are looking up. I am not such a cry baby (61 year old!!!) any longer. And I am beginning to feel slightly lighter. I am not weighing myself all the time, but all the walking up and down the stairs must be doing something, not to mention not eating sweet things so much. I am not going to deny myself sweets. I had some chocolates last Sunday and some donuts last week when my daughter came over. And writing always makes me feel good.

First post

I had something in mind when I started. Now seeing this empty space I do not seem to be able to get at it. I keep looking at the different parts of this screen: word count and what happens when I delete; draft saved and how that affects the word count. I am also aware that it took me too long to get this blog set up. I have only a little time now to write anything before the needs of my stomach interfere and NCIS calls me away from the computer. Before I go I want to get the first post out of the way, hoping that the second one will be easy with my thoughts flying to my fingertips and from there through the keyboard to the computer and to this blog. I think I am going to leave this first one here. I want to see what this looks like when published. Tomorrow is another day and I may even remember what I had planned to write this morning.