Unclean!

I am not a tidy person. There, I said it. I’m not. I have things. Lots of things. Things I’m emotionally attached to, things I can’t live without.

Things I think I can make money with but will never leave the house.

This is my reality.

I live in a house which is covered in kids crap. I’m fine with that.  I really am.

Funnily enough, the toys are the only things which have homes. Every toy (until tomorrow!) can be put in a drawer or box or pile and peace can be restored.

It’s all the other crap.

The clothes, the towels, the bedding, the tatt. It is everywhere.

I was hoping to get a new wardrobe. A wardrobe of beauty. One which can hide most of my sins.

Then we got skint.

So now we have half our clothes in the loft, some in crates in our room, most in the laundry –

The tumble drier eeked out its death throes this morning, leaving the house smelling like burning rubber, my ears slightly sore and a large load of washing which I will struggle to dry.

I’m disgusted by the accumulation of shit. I’m grossed out by the Cheerios everywhere.

I know there are hairy spiders lurking under piles of crud.

There’s a three foot mountain of stuff by the cot.

I’m so desperately depressed about it.

It all feels a bit much.

Proper out

Innit?

I’m the least “Street” person I know, and the only time I’m cool is when I set the shower slightly too low.

My cousin had his birthday party yesterday, and, unlike my brother, invited all of the family (not just the members who make him feel young and are prepared to kiss his Golden Balls. Yuck. Mouth vom.)

It was symbolic for me, as after the weeks of feeling like I was losing my identity and looking grey on both the outside and the inside, I got to slap some make up over that shit, glue on a smile and pretend it’s all okily dokily, which sounds worse than it is because I got to be this:

image

Yeah! And who wouldn’t want to be that hot mumma for one night only?

Ok, maybe a bit over enthusiastic, but the point is that I looked passable and felt ok, actually.

My kids were well behaved (ish) and I didn’t embarrass myself (much). I mean, of course there was dancing, and maybe a bit of singing, even a little shock when Bro said he’d like to partay with his older Sis. (Oh, alcohol, you make people talk bollocks.) but I got to see my family, which is the most important part.

(And the looking good, obviously!)

Out

We went out today, Ru and I. We went out.

He was crying and crying, and I just needed some space, some air, so I put him in the pushchair and we went out.

No one messes with me when we go out.  No one. Because I look like a mental person. I mean, I am a mental person – or rather, I’m a person who has mental … mental things – but I look like one now.  Actually fucking look like it. My hair is lank, and falls round my face. Not framing it nicely. Oh no. Just kinda hangs there like the creature from that film The Grudge. It’s clean though my hair, I washed it for the second time this week, so it’s clean.

My eyes are sunken and engulfed by black bags and a stupid sadness which is leaking from I don’t know where.

My skin is awful, breaking out in scabs like I have some kind of infectious disease spreading across my chin, eating my face. Maybe I’ll turn into one big scab.

I don’t bother with nice clothes any more. I have a Muse T-shirt on. From a tour about seven years ago. It has baby sick on the sleeve but it covers my stick figure, hides the sins beneath, so it works.

The tracksuit bottoms I’m wearing, complete with al ittle stain of yellow poo, should go in the wash, or be burned. I would say they are the source of the smell which has been following me around for a few days.

Even the fucking crazies look at me like I’m crazy, whispering behind their hands.

No one messes with me.

The crazy is spreading.  Ru has it. I’m giving it to him in little doses. Maybe that shit travels in breastmilk. He’s wearing a grow that belonged to L. It still has banana stains down the front. Banana never fucking washes out, does it? You ask any parent. Banana stains and Weetabix – that’s what they need to start using to build houses. We’d survive everything if they did that.

The grow is red, and he is grumpy.

No one messes with us.

We went to the pond. Through the estate and down to the duck pond on the edge of the surrounding woodland.

Today there were ducks. Actual ducks floating on the putrid green water. I watched them for a bit with Ru.  He looked grumpy.

No upturned shopping trolley today.  No carrier bags drifting around, mouthes open ready to ingest an unsuspecting moorhen.  Just ducks.

We came back via one if the pathes  which cut through the closes, every second I checked behind us, wondering exactly how quickly I could run wearing flip-flops and pushing a pushchair.

Not very. I don’t think I would run very fast at all.

We got to the shops alive, and I spent a good ten minutes choosing a drink. Coke, Ribena, Lucozade, all twenty-three pence per 100ml. That’s a lot. Expensive.

Too expensive for me. Gotta count the pennies, pay for childcare.  Gotta save up.

Ah, water.

I choose water.

At the till, I’m served by the only looney, and even she eyed  me carefully like I’m some kind of rabid creature. I told her I needed electricity.

‘We were just wondering how old your little girl is.’ She said, looking at me with one eye, the other pointing off to the left.

‘Boy actually.’ I corrected her. It’s rude, isn’t it, to correct someone like that, but I’m crazy. Crazies can do what we like.

She looked embarrased and I pretended I didn’t notice her flushed cheeks.

‘He’s eighteen weeks.’ I removed my card from the machine without paying and it beeps angrily at me.

The girl next to me looked at me with sorrow and pity.

‘My youngest, she’s seven months and she’s half his size.’ She said, like it’s some kind of thing to have a little baby.

Like he’s some kind of transvestite giant baby and I’m to be pitied because I’m there in my mismatched clothes. I suppose she thought I hadn’t done it before.  I didn’t know what to expect, obviously, being stood there with just one child.

Just one child who looks fucking grumpy.

‘Yeah thanks.’ I smiled at her anyway.

She doesn’t know.

I left the shop and gulped back water like there’s no tomorrow.

Time to take my crazy home.

(Disclaimer: This is a brain-dump, semi-fictional account of what happened.)

Cliquey cliquey

I have been subjected to the horror that is the playground far too many times for my delicate nerves to take recently.

L finished preschool today. And I could not be happier.

We walked in and she immediately ran off to be with all her friends – all the girls she has invited to her birthday party (only one has responded so far).

Only my child could choose to be friends with the group of girls who have probably all known each other from birth.

So I was forced to sit with a clique.

This clique blanked me, talked over L’s head and were generally very clear about their exclusivity, which has left me feeling very raw.  Not only for myself and my accentuated “poor parenting” (I was the only parent to get up and dance and sing with L though.  I might be shy and anxious but I don’t mind making a complete dick of myself if it means L gets what she needs.  And I quite like dancing.) but also for L.

I wanted desperately to be the cool kid at school, and I could see so much of myself in her. The thing is, now I’m wondering how much of a part the other parents in my exclusion.  I’m thinking in my case not much – I’m still repeating the same cycles now I’m older – but L is so lively and confident.  The other girls wanted to sit with her and hold her hand.  She does get invited to parties.

She’s not any more sensitive than the other girls and she is certainly a bright spark. It was so hard to watch the mothers talk over her head, hold their children close, ignore her, while she tried to play with her friends.  Maybe I exaggerated it because my childhood (my own doing!) was so bitter and ended with me crying in a corner a lot.

I’m terrified she is going to get cut out of situations because of who I am which has already happened in the past.

Chalk up another parenting fail.

 

Health Visitor

Today a health visitor came to see me after concerns were raised about my mental health at a routine appointment.

I’m sure I feel fine.

I’m exhausted as last night was a bad night for Ru and talking about certain subjects always makes me upset but is my mood that low?

She pulled out the questionnaire I know so well and I did it while she took Ru out in the sun because he was crying uncontrollably (again, thanks boy.)

Twelve. I scored twelve. So yes, I’m in the not good place, apparently. Weird thing is, I don’t really feel any different. I’ve felt pretty consistently like this for years so I’m not sure that there is anything that can be done to “fix” me.

More terrifyingly though, I disclosed my pain about not feeling like a proper parent and the torture I put myself through every time I’m out with my older children. Then followed that with the wallop of guilt I get when I’m not looking after them but not doing much else (like now).

The only way to “fix” that is to go out more with them and take time to get to know them.

Is this more pressure I need to put on myself to try and be the parent I want to be?

*Ticks yes to having ALL OF THE ANXIETY*

Worse than I thought

Last night, I had an anxiety attack. My first, real, proper, self-preserving anxiety event. And it was absolutely horrible.

As soon as I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, it started. I felt very odd, as if nothing were real. I was smelling odd things, like wood chips, and the plastic from toys I had when I was young. Nothing generated by the real world.

I was convinced the vomit was coming and wouldn’t stop, then I wouldn’t be able to feed Ru, or make it through the day.

I thought writing a full, meandering, but distant account of the events from the beginning – the very beginning – would be therapeutic. I even went as far as to think I would enjoy the process, fictionalising aspects as I saw fit.

I did enjoy bashing out two thousand words of absolute drivel, letting my brain follow its thought processes and writing it all down.

What I was actually doing, without realising, was triggering myself, over and over again until I came to bed where I lie down, the last few bars of the psytrance going round and round in my head. Then the horror came.
I detached. But not in the way I used to during my teens while I self-harmed. That was controlled. This, this was far more scary.

I felt like my brain was going on some kind of journey without me and that everything felt odd. Even the skin on my body was odd. I had waves of nausea as I panicked about feeling so strange and thought that maybe I would never feel normal again.

I’ve had broken sleep plagued by dreams of drowning.

Is this what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does? There were no flashbacks from the birth, or the few hours before and these were the images which kept jumping into my mind which had raised the concerns of a very gentle and loving health visitor. Feeling odd after writing about finding out I was pregnant and letting my mind explore a calm and factual way of storytelling wasn’t part of the deal.

Now I just feel jumpy and exhausted and a little frightened.

I need to write this, but as I become more ingrained in the story, I’m worried I might trigger myself into oblivion.

Naughty

My three year old (almost 4, going on 18) is naughty. She’s getting more and more naughty by the day.
The thing is, she’s not the kind of naughty you see other kids being in supermarkets (and of course, my childen are always on their beet behaviour in supermarkets. Toodle pip and bullshit!) but this all-new breed of cleverly twisted naughty.
We get the refusal to follow instructions – all kids do that – but Lily follows it up with a dose of Extreme Stubborn with added Martyr.
For example, as punishment for not cleaning up, we put all of her toys in a black sack to be “taken out with the rubbish.” She was, quite rightly, upset.
Not upset enough to tidy and the threats were soon met with her turning her back on us and saying
‘Just put them in the bin.’
Wait, this wasn’t in the plan.
She’s not supposed to reverse this shit on us.
The toys came back in.
Sigh.
She’s also become very rude.
She tells me to leave and go to my other house. She tells me what to do, counts to three if I don’t do it, lets me know that she dislikes me being here.
I don’t let myself wonder where these choice phrases came from though. There’s only one place.
Me.
Shit.