Monday, 26 November 2007

Agonising decision

Life trundled on, I enjoyed secondary school and at the age of 14 I had a new best friend. My best friend's parents treated me like a 4th daughter they took me on holiday, our first holiday was in their travel caravan, we went to Great Yarmouth, another to their time share apartment in the Trossachs and then abroad to Portugal. I had a steady boyfriend, he was French, we met at school, I spent a lot of time at his house. My best friend had a steady boyfriend who is now her husband and we remain best friends to this day, 21 years on.

At the age of 16 my mum had decided it was time I got a job so she sent me to the local village and told me to go round all the shops and see if anyone needed a Saturday girl. I started with the nearest shop, which was a card shop, they had nothing. I then went to the coffee shop it was called 'The Little Treat' the owner asked me to come back and see her in an hour, I headed home as there was nothing to do for an hour. I must have been gone from the house for a total of 20 minutes, you should have seen my mothers face when I returned, she told me I should have continued with my asking, but I was confident. I returned to 'The Little Treat' for my chat with Mrs Knox she gave me the job. I worked 2 days after school for 2 hours and a Saturday, I got £13. In that same week a lady came to the door to see if anyone was interested in being an Avon rep, my granny said I would and we signed up there and then, my neighbour then complained about her ironing and I said I enjoyed ironing, she jokingly offered me a job, I accepted. I went from no jobs to 3 within a few weeks.

The arguments in our house continued, mainly at midnight when dad came home from the pub! There used to be good times in between, but these times were long gone. I started to resent my dad and started to get lippy, he no longer hid arguments from me, no longer holding his tongue until I was out of the room. I no longer respected him as a parent. He made things up, thought the world and us were against him, we know now it was the alcohol affecting his brain but then we just thought he was an awkward pain in the arse. One evening we heard the back gate opening and expected to hear the key in the back door, but nothing. I looked out the living room window and could see nothing, checked the kitchen window and nothing, the gate was shut, so carried on watching the tele, a few hours later the back door opened and in he stoated shouting 'ya shower a' bastards, leaving me oot there tae die' I couldn't believe what I was hearing, my mum hardly had to say anything now, I was not prepared to listen to this 'What are you talking about?' I demanded. Could we get any sense, we got repeated abuse about being bastards and leaving him to die. Eventually he told us he had slipped coming down the path and banged his head, he had a huge lump on the back of his head and must've been unconscious, lying on the cold icy path for the last few hours, how we tried to stifle the laugh, I made him a cup of tea. I specifically remember one time, he was lying in his bed going on and on, talking and shouting, my Papa had come to visit and was downstairs sleeping on the couch, he was shouting drunken abuse about my Papa, I went charging into the room and shouted 'Will you just shut up!' turned on my heels and left. I had no fear. He said nothing else, I think he was in shock. My mum had no fight left. As for my Papa he got up and left in the middle of the night to drive the 2 hour drive home, another humiliation for us both. During my exams I went to stay with my Granny, I could study at home in peace but I was getting interrupted sleep. I remember having a key and I know I stayed there, but I don't remember being there if that makes sense. I was now at a stage where being at home bothered me. I stayed at Granny's during the week and went home on a Friday, mainly because I went to the local pub with my friends on a Friday and my mum was fine with it, only because I was sensible and I think she had too much else going on just trying to survive the stress, but it was too late to go home and disturb Granny. My boyfriend would walk me home and we would sit at the bottom of the street stairs and chat, one night we were sat there when Dad came stoating up the road, luckily my boyfriend was aware of the situation. I introduced them to each other and Dad went to shake his hand and missed, I was mortified. I gained 5 o'grades and 3 highers despite the goings on at home.

In July 1989 my best friend and I set off for a fortnight in Portugal with her mum and dad, it was a fantastic holiday, I had never been abroad with my parents, only the school. Not a care in the world, sunshine, sea, a pool and slightly more freedom because we were after all 17 and 16. I phoned home and my Papa answered the phone, a bit unusual but nothing to be concerned about, I had a little chat and was told my mum was out but would I like to speak to my Granny, my stomach lurched, now I knew there was something wrong, my Papa and Granny in the same house at the same time and when my Papa passed the phone over to Granny she responded with civility. "What's wrong?" I immediately blurted. Granny was not going to palm me off, she had helped bring me up, she knew me to well. "Your Dad's not been behaving himself" she said. I took this to mean he was being his usual pain in the arse, shouting and arguing and threatening. She assured me that her and my Papa would stay until I came back and my mum would be fine, I knew they would, it was their daughter. My mind was eased.

Although my dad shouted and threatened he had not been violent, his speciality was mental torture, but now with his mind and body saturated with alcohol, while I was safe in Portugal, he had pushed my mum out of bed and tried to strangle her, who knows the reason on this occasion. Mum had phoned Granny because she didn't know what else to do, Granny in turn had phoned Gran to tell her she better get her son under control, Gran had papa with her and he seemed to be the only person who could get through to dad, Gran told Granny it was not her problem and that my mum had driven him to drink! Granny feeling she needed help to cope with the situation called Papa, he came immediately. They had to put their differences aside and deal with the issue in hand. My dads brother-in-law, the arsehole that was married to his sister, that never got on with any of my dad's family, then phoned Granny at home to tell her not to bother his mother-in-law again with their problems. ARSEHOLE! And after all this, the morning after, my father doesn't even remember, he thought it was made up, the world against him! Paranoia.

I returned from Portugal, putting my enjoyment straight to the side, practically running from the car to the back door, desperate to see my mum, make sure she was ok. There was no sign of her down stairs, "Mum" I shouted, trying to hide the desperation in my voice. "I'll be down in a minute" she shouted. She entered the living room her face red and blotchy, she was greeted with me, my best friend and her parents. I could see my best friends mum making eyes at her to see she was ok, please leave, I was thinking, we all knew she wasn't fine, don't prolong it. They perhaps didn't want to leave knowing she wasn't fine, should you leave someone who's not fine. But mum was used to masking her feelings, they left after an agonising few minutes. Mum was straight with me, she told me the goings on of the last few weeks. "I don't know if I can cope with this" I told her. Dad came home, I was in my room with my mum, unpacking. I am unclear on the next few minutes but Dad had come upstairs, I don't even remember if he came into my room. He shouted from his room on my mum, shouting in a tone I didn't like, I felt uneasy, my mum went and there was an exchange of words but it was quiet, tense, was he hurting her? I heard her flee the room, shouting "come with me, now!" there was a no nonsense tone. I followed "where are we going?" I said "just come on" I followed her down the stairs, we had never left in a hurry before, we had always planned leaving, were we just going downstairs? I followed her right through the back door, even then I didn't think we would go out of the house. She did not slow down in her pace, she did not look back. "I've got no shoes on" I exclaimed walking quickly beside her in my shorts and t-shirt with my golden tan. "It doesn't matter" she said. I still kick myself that I didn't pick up my keys, which were lying at the back door, but she gave me no indication that we were going out of the house, if she had given a glimmer of a hint I would have thought fast on my feet, she was in no fit state to think, her instinct was propelling her, her mind following her body. We went out our side gate and right round and door next doors path, she entered without knocking. I remember her words clearly to our neighbour "I'm so sorry to do this to you, but could you lock your doors, Billy will be round here any minute" they did, people know instinctively when to do something without question. They had 3 boys under 7, luckily both husband and wife were at home. The doors were locked and the blinds closed. BANG BANG BANG "open the fuckin' door, I know you're in there" As my mum sobbed she apologised over and over for involving my neighbour. The husband offered to go out and speak to him, but my mum refused, she didn't want them getting involved nor did she want my dad getting in. He tried the front, but we stayed silent., the boys thought it was a game. He went back into the house and we watched from the bedroom as he left the house and trotted off to the pub, he wouldn't be back til closing time.

The words from her daughter had given her the strength to go, until now, it had been what was best for me and now that I was not happy, she could finally do it. We didn't need clothes, shoes or keys we had each other and that was all the strength we needed.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Update Part 2

So we have got over the dentist trauma, the scary story trauma, we have all suffered a further cold and cough, despite only just getting rid of the last one. I have spent a fortune on medicine and cough bottles for 3, even the hubby got the cold! And in the middle of all this illness came fleas! Now never having had a pet before I was unaware of the trauma of fleas. I have dealt with nits and let me tell you head lice are nothing compared to cat fleas.

The kitten is nearly 14 weeks old and has been to the vet twice for her immunisations, we spoke about worming tablets, neutering and fleas and I was assured as long as she had not been out she did not need flea preventative things, I told the vet that she has come from a home with 3 cats and that the cats were allowed in my house but the vet assured me she would be fine!! Two days after visiting the vet we, the children and I, had a few bites each, I checked through the cat and she looked fine it was only when my son went to bed and came down with more bites 30 minutes later that I checked his bed and found a bold as brass little flea jumping in his bed. So the little fucker was trapped in a bit of sellotape and kept as proof, the bed was striped and back to bed he went. I found another jumping in my living room and another in my daughters bed. I was disgusted. I went to the pet shop and came back armed with flea tablets and flea spray for the house, now for anyone who has not experienced fleas this is the way it works, the cat gets the tablet, problem 1 - getting the cat to take the f'in tablet, as I said I've never had a pet before, you then have to break the cycle, again a bit like head lice, the darlings lay up to 2000 eggs in their 4 day life, so you get rid of the live flea but hey it's left approx 2000 to hatch behind. You have to try and eliminate them from the cat and your home at once, at least head lice stay in the head, fleas can live anywhere and then jump onto anybody when they fancy a bite.

I took the day off work, the cat was given her tablet, poor little Angel didn't know what had hit her, I tried to give her the tablet but she kept spitting it out so hubby managed, within minutes she was scratching, the lady at the pet shop had told me to put her in the empty bath so that she couldn't get out and we could comb her through (with a nit comb!) who couldn't get out? I was advised to have a basin/bucket of water to drown the little fuckers or they just jump. Hubby held her and I combed her through she was riddled, I felt terrible surely I should have noticed but honestly there were no signs. As well as fleas, there were flea droppings, after 10 minutes of combing she was really fed up and the hubby was scratched and bitten more than he bargained for so he took her outside for the very first time and she groomed herself and the fleas were falling off, I assisted with some more combing. We then restricted her to the kitchen and conservatory and I went and cleaned and I mean cleaned. All the beds were striped, any clothing lying about anywhere was put in for washing, the cat is not allowed in the bedrooms but sometimes she sneaks in when the door opens, I started piling all washing in the kitchen this included dolls clothing from dolls that had been lying about, towels from the bathroom at one point I could hardly see the kitchen floor. I then hoovered everywhere, under beds, on beds into all the corners, spraying as I went. I was at it all day and of course it would be raining with all the washing I had. I bought Spot-on and put that on the back of her neck to kill all eggs, so surely the cycle was broken. Was it fuck! I have hoovered everyday since, I have combed the cat through almost everyday and she still has fleas, so the Spot-on stuff obviously doesn't work or I didn't get it on right. So this evening without the hubby's help I gave her another flea tablet, restricted us to the kitchen and conservatory again and she has scratched and groomed herself and left fleas behind on the floor, I have sat armed again with sellotape, as they don't seem to be able to jump after the flea tablet has been given, as the floor is light I can see them and easily collect them with a piece of sellotape.

It's such a shame but she must have come with a flea, I asked next doors daughter to get her cats checked just in case, so all the cats are banned from coming in at the moment. This has been the most time consuming, unenjoyable experience I've had for a long time.

I would be eternally grateful for anyone who can tell me how to get rid of these little fuckers, the hubby suggested getting rid of the cat!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Update part 1

Thoughts and feelings have been a bit heavy lately so today I'm giving an update of my life in general.

On Saturday last I had a 'me' day and I went to do a level 2 Reiki course, I do have another not very up-to-date post on Reiki and what it's all about at if you fancy a look or if like my hubby you think 'it's a pile of pish' then don't bother. You could of course have a read and see what you think before deciding 'it's a pile of p$%£!'

A week past on Sunday, we were having a pyjama day, this involves me starting housework before getting dressed and then realising it's time to make dinner and I'm still not dressed, the kids tidy their rooms and then lounge, quite often our 10 year old next door neighbour joins them and she doesn't bother getting dressed either so her and my daughter flit from one house to another in their dressing gowns. As long as they are happy, who cares. So they make dens and play and argue and on this particular Sunday as it was near Halloween my neighbour tells a story, a story she has been told by a friend at a recent sleepover, a true story, of course! Now so that I don't give anyone else nightmares, lets just say it involved a baby, a babysitter and a man dressed as a clown in the baby's room, frightening the baby. The kids were fine with the story, that was until bedtime. My daughter, who loves her bed, went to bed no problem and since we got the kitten, it's been lights out and door shut, my son then put off going to bed and by the time we got him there we were all going to bed, he got into bed ok, then started crying and reached mild hysteria by the time I asked him what was wrong, this woke my daughter, who then joined him in mild hysteria, both children wanted to sleep in our bed. We said that was fine and we would leave and sleep in their beds, this created more tears. My daughter at this point was shaking uncontrollably, I believe they have to face their phobias so said they could sleep in daughters room as she has bunk beds, she refused, so they opted to sleep together in son's bed, only if they could sleep at the same side, as normally they would sleep top to toe. We settled down to sleep and then our door opened;

"Who's that?" I said with my eyes shut

"me" said the crying voice of the 7 yo

"and me" said the crying voice of the 10 yo

"this is ridiculous" said the frustrated mummy

"meow" said the kitten

"now the bloody cats in" said same frustrated mummy

"I'm reeaallly scared" said 7 yo

"me too" said 10 yo

"don't be silly, it's just a story, let's have a cuddle, in you get"

so there were 4 in the bed and then the mummy said "right that's enough, no nonsense, back to bed, if you feel scared take deep breaths and say a little prayer, you've got each other"

They got up one more time and we were informed "we're not scared now, we're just going to the toilet" all the lights were put on and they both went to the toilet, I retrieved the kitten who was hiding in our room, held her under one arm and went out to the hall to put the children back to bed again, as I entered the hall my daughter stood waiting on her brother, she was silent, just standing there, the kitten must have got the fright of her life, hissed and jumped out of my arms with her claws outstretched taking them right across my forearm and right nipple "AAHHHH" the frustrated mother let out, the kitten, she bolted. I immediately exposed my bleeding nipple to the 2 silent children "you're bleeding" they both announced! I've raised a couple of geniuses. I went back into my room for tissues and a further examination of said bleeding nipple. The husband was awakened by the kerfuffle "what's wrong now?"

"they got up for the toilet, I lifted the cat, she got a fright and now I have a bleeding nipple" I blurted.

"right, back to bed" the husband took over and the kids were not seen again until morning.

On Monday they were exhausted and crabbit. On Tuesday they had the school disco and my daughter had the Brownies party she was very quiet, ending up sleeping with me, well seen Daddy was on night shift, on Halloween we went along to a friends for a wee party and my daughter was again very quiet and stood aside while the party games were played, I realised at this point she must be coming down with something, we went home and with our neighbour they went around the doors, they had a fabulous night and have sweeties to last for months so another late night was had. Again she started in her own bed but ended up in mine, what a nightmare, she was unsettled all night, I actually thought she was going to be sick because she was so unsettled, however she got up fine in the morning and as I glanced passed her I thought, there is something not quite right about you, the right side of her face was very very swollen!
After a phone call to the NHS 24 help line and then the doctors surgery and finally the dentist it was agreed it was a dental problem, she had an abscess, the infection had obviously mad her quite ill. A visit to the dentist and she got anti-biotic and an appointment to get the offending tooth out, so she got Thursday and Friday off school much to her brothers disgust, but she defended herself by asking him 'would you got to school looking like this?' she was like a little munchkin.

Wednesday came and we headed to the dentist, she is such a good wee thing, not nervous, just gets on with it, that was until the dentist gave her the jags, she was not happy and complained mid jag that she didn't like it, it was sore, ah ah AAHHH 'all done at that side' he said and went in for a second jag, she screamed, she cried, I said 'it's ok, not long now!' as if that was any help at all, he removed the jag and we escaped the room. Big bad dentist, but I assured her it was for her own good and now she would get no more pain or another abscess. She was patient in the waiting room, playing with the lego, when it was time to go back in she refused! I carried her and the dentist shrugged his shoulders, if she's not up for it we'll have to leave it. After all that there is no bloody way I'm leaving without the tooth in my hand, so I calmly explained to her that now her mouth was numb she would feel nothing and if she didn't get the tooth out today we would have to come back and go through this again, she agreed 'can I sit on your knee mummy?' 'of course' said the dentist, we both sat on the chair and laid back, her heart was thumping, I whispered reassuring words in her ear, I don't think she could hear me. Ah, Ah, AAAH 'here it is!' said the dentist. 'All done, good girl, well done!' I said. Thank god! I thought. She was out that front door, swiping the sticker left at the counter as she went, I then took her to Woolworth's and let her pick whatever toy she wanted for being so brave and guess what she picked a PlayDoh dentist set. So that was her another day off school. The tooth fairy was very good to her, a friend of mine then said I should have left her less money as the tooth had to come out, to encourage her to look after her teeth, perhaps she's right, but I was the one at the dentist going through the trauma with her and I think she deserved it for being so brave. Had it been my son, I would never have got him back in the chair.

A traumatic week. Yes

On a more positive note, my website is now up and running, there are a few things still to be finished off, but I thought I would share it with my good friends on the blogosphere and let you have a sneak preview and see what you think, this will of course give away a bit of my identity,
let me know what you think

There will have to be an update part 2 as since I started writing this there have been further mishaps.