Wednesday, December 01, 2010

What the Dr said.....

... was a lot more than the speech therapist. I went as my pms is worse (stress) and also my asthma (also stress) meaning I can't take my usual painkillers (stressful in itself :). I also wanted to chase up whereabouts in the system Deborah's referral is, as we've not heard anything yet. It turns out that the speech therapist had already discussed her suspicions about D being somewhere on the autistic spectrum with her, yes, more than had been discussed with me the mother but hey why make me worry? If I wasn't so desperately, desperately upset I might be cross. Yes the speech therapist had said she wanted to refer D on, but as she hadn't actually used the word "autistic" to me - well somehow it seems worse and more final now, even though it actually isn't.

It's getting to be the elephant in the room at pre school - last week I was on the verge of taking her out completely after they started rehearsals for a school nativity which resulted in a 24 stress fest and screaming for D. I kept her home the next day, only for the nursery teacher to phone up saying the head teacher stated that D "needed" to be in that day....... Needless to say, we went to town and to the museum and met up with friends who D relaxed and laughed with. The day after we had 2 sets of friends round in the afternoon, the second a nursery friend who was amazed to see D laugh and sing. Pre school is now treating her as if we have a diagnosis (ie pushing her with the play because "that's what worked for another little girl in year 2 with transition problems") so we are going to have a word with them. Anyway, being on the brink of removing D she has now started to really enjoy pre school, which is lovely but confusing. Talking to the leader at our local Home Start group she says that when we do finally get to see the specialist we will get a list of all of Deborah's specific needs. This same leader always emphasises how much eye contact Deborah makes and how elaborate her imaginative play is which is heartening.

On top of everything, we took D to a festival celebrating the Buddha's Enlightenment at the Priory on Sunday. Over the baby monitor yesterday we heard the following,
"Not have ears, not have mouth, not have elephant, not have door, not have fingers, not have hippo, not have momobot, not have momobot, (then with feeling and satisfaction) I AM momobot". There was also a "not have nothingness" in there somewhere too. Direct link to the heart sutra which we had recited.

Ian is so beautifully constant with all of this, I love him more for it. Talking about it yesterday he just looked at me and said simply, "She will be ok you know". I don't know but I'm heartened by the fact he thinks so.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Worry not Boudica!

Nope, I'm not suffering delusions, just that somehow the worries that have bee destroying me and making me awful (again) to the children have now become my foundations and I'm dealing with them. Only some, I can't do anything about Ian's diabetes although he's had some good news for that this week, and happily Michael's chest infection has responded really well to treatment which means I can PUT HIM DOWN and MOVE AWAY FROM THE SOFA AND MAKE FOOD. So maybe its not so much better coping skill as just more food, more exercise and slightly more sleep.

Am now actively chasing the speech and language services for D. I think she was looking forward to going back to pre school, she'd mentioned she wasn't going there and said she liked it when asked. But, well, I'm never 100% on how reliable all that is. I think she likes all the things they do there, but she wilts when she's there, and its destroyed our social life as she is simply too exhausted to do anything. That's a very minor point, but for her if she is wilting at pre school then feeling too tired to see her existing friends - well it sounds very isolating for her. Poor sausage. Her behaviour generally over half term was better than during school time, again it's hard to know if this a sign for immediate removal, or just a sign of exhaustion. The nursery nurses say this is normal -but this is not a cause of comfort.

So more chasing, actually now really wanting a developmental assessment at the hospital.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This hurts now

Feel stuck in a sort of twilight zone quagmire with D atm. Not knowing if there is something wrong or not is a special sort of hell made much worse when one is perfectionist like me. I'm starting to notice so much though, how many games M initiates and D doesn't, how many small kindnesses M shows to D that aren't reciprocated, how much speech she does repeat, how zoned out she gets, how screechy she gets, argh. Poor sausage, this is dangerously close to scapegoating. I'm getting so scared by the things I dislike that I shout at her - how awful, when love and kindness is the only way forward.

All made worse by a week of no sleep and a cold.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Must remember

Snuggling up to Michael as he falls asleep, foreheads touching, little rasping snores, fists unclenching, unfurling like flowers, ah sleep! And children. Tonight I almost wished for the world to stop right here and now, stop in that one perfect, perfect moment. Then I realised what I was asking for and let go.

In other worlds we have started doing yoga after lunch time. That and not actually attempting so obviously insane as leaving the house seems to be helping with the post lunch tantrums. Plus an extra snack at 3 ish. For all my collywobbles which have been many, D runs into pre-school happily, is getting less inclined to kiss me goodbye and runs off quickly to get on with stuff, is happy when I pick her up, and I hear reports from another mum that her daughter really enjoys D's company.

We have done D's initial speech and language assessment, the 2nd comes tomorrow when she will be observed by the therapist in the setting of the nursery to find out exactly what exhausts her. So that will be useful. We are also being referred onto the hospital for checks for further developmental delays. It's hard to know at this stage if D is needing more help. But now we've started this process I think we need to carry on with it. The speech and language therapist said she wasn't going to advise interventions just yet as D's sentence structure is long enough and quite coherent but there is an issue with D repeating things we say, and appearing to zone out. I'm assuming these are pointers towards aspergers. In all honesty I think at this stage a sensitive child who's speech needed to come on would also present the same , so it's good to be getting the further tests at the hospital.

Gosh I love the children so so so much.

Friday, September 03, 2010

And more emotions

Today was Deborah's first day at pre-school. They nearly called me as she was very upset after falling down and grazing her knee, but then she calmed down, so they didn't. Which meant she was there for 3 hours. Through a growth spurt and everything. She seemed qutieter afterwards but in a happy tired kind of way, and was certainly more vocal again after resting. 3 hours! I'm amazed and gobsmacked and impressed, and I hope that it's what she wants because it feels like it might actually be the thing D has been looking for. Fingers crossed.

I of course was a wreck this am. A very lovely and most unexpected thing happened. I held a friend's 9 day old daughter and holding this precious bundle brought back all of Deborah's pre-Michael days. They had partially disappeared in a maelstrom of exhaustion and overwhelmed, so it's the rarest and most precious thing to have that sense of pre-Michael Deborah back. Whilst actually having M and D as they are now of course! This is not nostalgia, just appreciation.

The children cuddled up together on a big cushion giggling this afternoon. I hope they retain their closeness or at least their largely positive will towards to each other.

Finally a friend sent a book by my Lama. It's the first book I ever read on Dharma and combined with today's crisp autumn air - well it's like there's a new cycle happening. New Pratchett out too and my online course in Egyptology starts in October, although I registered for it yesterday.

Being reminded of Deborah being born reminds me once again of that feeling of responsibility towards all beings, of being their mother. Common to all parents's but coming at it from a Buddhist perspective I pray for Tara to protect all beings.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And today

I was incredibly stressed about lots of things that dont actually matter in the slightest but all needed done first thing, all with urgent sellotaped to their foreheads. So I was shouty and stressed and screamy and shouty, but I explained to the kids and asked them to hug me to make me feel better and they did.

The kids were lovely and calm and got on, and friends came round and they shared and were lovely, and I realised that I can be stressed and grumpy and angry around them, just not at them. They can cope, and did magnificently. Unlike the other day when I had been stressy, and stressed at them, so the next day they were foul too. Karma and reflection in one lovely bundle.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Older people and Suicide

Shocked today (probably a mark of my naiveté) by an old lady at the bust stop. She had threatened suicide to a gp as a method of getting further treatment for a minor (her words) heart condition and is attending the funeral of a close family friend (aged 74) tomorrow. He had committed suicide after a hip operation had gone wrong, and whilst waiting for further treatment his dog had died which was too much for him to bear. Just seems so incredibly sad, to reach such an age and to have such violence as the end pages. This is not suicide as in mercy killing, but suicide in response to depression, which links to me because of my mum's suicide attempts in the year after Deborah was born. There were lots before that of course, but it was these ones that have stuck with me. At the time, it seemed awful and as if some part of her was choosing depression over Deborah, now I see I shouldn't take it so personally, but it's just awful how fragile life is. For these people too, awful that that is it for them.

Brrrr, we are our own cold wind, unsettling ourselves.

Today I managed not to shout and even to listen and reflect Deborah's feelings which helped stall a tantrum. Then we realised she is pushing M when our backs are turned (he has some big bruises from yesterday when his trajectory included the door frame). I was shouty yesterday so the guilt is there for all that. I was thirsty today and asked D to move off my lap so I could get a drink. She ignored me, but M went to the dining room table and brought me a drink. Gosh.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Going on holiday

Tomorrow! The night before always makes me a bit sad as it reminds me of how much I do actually love my life and all in it, and how it's all rushing on and on and on and on. So much to loose and of course inevitably one must. But that's also the premise of Buddhist practice so although it is melancholic it's also useful. Beauty of the fleeting rainbow and all that.

Happier news - first surprise period today for months and months and months. Bad timing but am topped up with pain killers and mattress sized towels to take away so should cope. Good point is a complete lack of pms symptoms, oh hoorah, hoorah hoorah for the coil. Did have a niggling suspicion that i may be feeling slight hormonal a couple of times in the last 2 weeks, but then M has been awake about 4 times a night with his teeth - and I have coped and not been hugely shrieky. Hoorah indeed. Have also eaten my own body weight in chocolate daily for the last week, but well that's been fun, although one with a moving target.... The main deal though, the one about being nice/reasonable/involved with the kids due to hormonal balance seems to be becoming true which is just wonderful.

Am seriously considering a list of thank-you's to write.

1. Should be mum and dad here really, but blah blah emotional stuff. Maybe they should be here regardless.
2. The Lama.
3. Ian (after this not necessarily in any particular order)
4. Terry Pratchett - his books made me feel human and interested even at my most ill points and amused, inspired and totally in fan when well.
5. The MW's and surgical teams who did both my c-sections. Especially the 1st lot, who bumped me up the list as they could see how completely desperate I was and also how much D was. Perhaps not usual to be grateful for c-sections but reading up on the after effects of chorioamniotis that I had with D, and then realising I had another infection with M, and that he was in meconium liquor (thin so not that worrying, although he was grunting after being born) - just glad.
6. Can't write to this one but it's related - my breasts for feeding my children. They did not have the best start, but the breasts have done good! I have said thank you many times and been trained by one woman who offered my support shortly after D was born. Her words were, "You're doing everything just fine, you just have to wait for Deborah to get it". Sometime's it's still like that, and I admire Deborah for for her independent spirit.
7. The children for being who they are and allowing me to be very much a mummy in training.
8. Dr Epley who invented the Epley manourvre, thus helping me reduce my vertigo symptoms, wonderful.
9. The person(s) who invented the Coil - my life has been given back. Severe PMS (I suspect it may well be PMDD, but never been diagnosed) has been - well you may have gathered by now :)
10. All the auothors of the great attachment parenting books I've read, that have allowed me to change my views on parenting and realise that love really is ok to share with your children! Also, that I am competent parent for wishing to share that.
11. So many lovely friends, some very inspiring mums.

Feel lighter now. Night night.

Monday, May 24, 2010

5 for me tonight

Today has mainly consisted of sitting on the sofa cradling a poorly Michael, hoping it's teething and nothing infectious.

My 5 are from the weekend and today..
1. The owner of the restaurant who served us on Saturday was called Siddhartha. Won't mean that much but it was the name of the Buddha before he became Buddha. In the flakiest possible way, the universe was saying "Good on yer" on Saturday. Yes the last six months or so have been extremely tough health and indeed everything wise, but as the Lama said, its absolutely the right teaching for me right now. And it is, even the stuff about death which I cannot comprehend but it is.

2. We went to a celebration of 20 years of Reading Buddhist Priory yesterday. Several people commented on my calm, positive parenting, even one of the monks. I didn't believe them, but had a good laugh with another parent who understood how possible it was to appear like this in front of an audience with the additional "pressure" of it being a Buddhist audience and yet not be like it quite a lot of the time also.

3. The thing that made a real and lasting difference and which will for quite some time to come was talking to another friend/parent who greeted me saying "motherhood suits you". What a wonderful thing to say. What I listened to at the time was when I said, "but you know I've been so awful, I've even slapped them" and she said, "well you just do sometimes don't you and you feel so awful afterwards". This mum is also a lay minister. In no way was she condoning her or my actions just acknowledging them and moving on. With the best will in the world, it Does just happen and that's something for my perfectionist nature to just let go of. Also, my goodness, this particular mum is one of the truly great mums I know (and I know a few) so to me, this was really inspiring that I might actually be an ok mum.
4. This am I was cranky and dizzy and sick and my back hurt with period pains that niggled like early contractions and I was exhausted. D was being determined to open a door and shut it, and I was worried as it's a heavy glass door and she could hurt herself easily on it. I didn't deal with it that well but not too badly either. She ended up in time out which was a little rubbish but gave us both breathing space so useful.
5. Held Michael for hours this afternoon. D was so kind, she pootled around and wasn't at all demanding and was quite, quite wonderful.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

39 today

and a truly lovely day. Not that we did anything special, just enough to keep the family ticking over but that was just absolutely as it should be. My birthday present this morning to myself was realising that I no longer feel scared of being a mother, sure it's a scary thing to be but that's more of a doing response, rather than a starting place which was how I construed it. Going into town the other day with D curled up on my lap, I had an overwhelming sense of this being exactly where I needed to be which is what the Lama did say to me in his recent letter. I am wondering if the anger has been my body trying to communicate with me that it's not well, and that now I have coil in place, and that the effects from that are calming down, that I have things to do for the vertigo and that one day I may get some more sleep, if my body is just happier? Who can really say. It may not be necessary anyway.

Today's 5 - just a lovely day with things happening exactly when needed. Not perfect but even the one horrendous bit - when we turned round in a shop to realise M wasn't there, worked out ok. Time went so slowly, I thought Ian was joking, I scanned the room to check, I ran out into the street, I scanned it so slowly it seemed just to see a lady getting up in slow motion as Michael strolled happily off. Of course, he seemed to be moving incredibly fast, it's interesting how adrenalin effects emotion. I didn't mention the torrent of swear words whilst still in the shop. There was a road directly outside the shop, I am so pleased that for whatever reason in his baby brain, something made Michael turn left, rather than rush straight on as he normally does. Plus the kind lady (who was probably getting up rather fast) also about to bolt after Michael was great.

Sunny and hot so shorts were worn, a great new curry house discovered, bath smellies won in a charity tombola, children fed pretty much constantly the day. Cake in the oven needing out.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Medieval Mayhem

We went to a show entitled the very same today and it was lovely. Felt mean not buying D a unicorn when the little girl next to her was getting one, but please, I mean honestly! My demand for historical accuracy simply wouldn't allow it .... (thankfully too tired for debate on theoretical archaeology). Am needing to get my application sent off for an online course on Egyptology as going to stuff like this reminds me how much I enjoy it.

Ok, so today's number 5 are...

1. D curled up on my lap tonight -so tired! The early morning light makes mincemeat of her anti light blind, the getting up early exhausts her, and she doesn't like to nap or go to bed too early. Tricky for her.
2. D's intense concentration today as she saw someone cutting up cardboard to make a spider shield so she could make a spider shield (hem hem authenticity now?), and her focus when painting it.
3. Michael saying "Do do" pushing a toy car. Quite unexpectedly he loves them! The car's he has were D's although she showed no interest in them. They both liked the train set. Can't quite cope with the gendered toys thing - ick! Have already had to remove a gun set for M! ICK!
4. Yesterday - both kids zooming up and down a tunnel for children at a local animal park. Last year D wouldn't do it, and M was too young. This year, D is so much more confident and M just quite naturally followed her.
5. Not really about them, but just seeing that although I can be quite foul, the kids have their own, quite independent of me resources of loveliness that sustains them, and shows through.

Have just finished reading this. It made me cry lots. My father would always recount how wonderful Chile had been when he lived there as a young man, and was so deeply saddened by Pinochet and his government. As we have just come through an election it really does make the point that we are just a bad government or so away from political evil and monstrosities. Am reminded of this cartoon we studied at school about the Versailles Treaty. Still upset.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm shattered...

but the day was ok. Children tired too, waking up at 6 am and in Michael's case teething and in D's case being permanently hungry do not make for tantrum free days. Lunch was a struggle until the kindly man served me food from the buffet I had taken the kids do. Michael would not go in the high chair and only stopped screaming 5 mins after teething tablets and much much mummy milk. Horrible amount of pain to be in. The same man gave us popadoms to take away as it was the only food M would eat. So kind and the extra kindness was the implication of it's totally ok to have your screaming infant here, we care! Lovely.

Managed not to be rude to the lady who complained loudly about D's tantrum (pot, kettle, black) in the middle of the salubrious establishment that is poundstretchers. Just glared and carried on removing D. To be fair, D fits the spirited child criteria to a t, infectious laughter, ear splitting screams, intense focus and hates change, so this wont be the first or last such look I shall receive. Or any parent really lol. At least I did just walk on.

1. Dealing with the extreme bum cream spreading incident this am calmly .
2. Having D fall asleep in my arms on the way home and not wake up howling and cranky.
3. Watching D run off with her friends to the loo and hearing how she was on her return. Not that she went to the loo, but she was keen to watch.
4. Gazing into Michaels eyes as he fed tonight. it always feels like I can see eternity reflected back. Had the same when D was smaller too.
5. Singing with D whilst Ian was rocking M.

A mish-mash day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I would rather not have pushed D away as she was trying to dip her hoummousy potato wedge into the lentils we had been happily dipping into before, but that would have meant coming up with a different strategy and I'd kind of lost steam. Poor thing then screamed so much she was sick, which can't have been a joy for the other customers, but was more a result of her tummy being laden with catarrh as opposed to screaming making her sick. Up till then, and indeed after that point all was good, so I will start with
1. Managing to pull it all together, give D enough space to calm down and then hug her for ages when we were both ready.
2. Bus journey into town was lovely, but early, enjoyed cuddling D and M fell asleep in the buggy.
3. Watching them both tuck into their babycino's in Workhouse coffee - having made the decision to go there after lunch to give us some nice space in town. M sits so well and drinks so well from a cup (if you ignore the huge puddle and dripping jacket). Meeting Deborah's eyes as she drank her babycino, and it just being lovely.
4. Hearing D say more and more phrases.
5. Having them behave beautifully at the hospital, as I was having my check-up (which was fine).

Sadly I reaslised what I should have done was finish what I needed to eat first and then relinquish the rest to D. But writing it down here, it doesn't look as bad and was probably a lot safer than holding the lentils aloft and risking spilling them on Michael. Didn't want to go back to RBH with a scalded toddler.It often gets confusing when I am acting protectively. Need to remember to explain about some foods making mummy sick, and maybe not buying them when it's just me if there's a biggish chance of me having a reaction to them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deborah's hearing test

Ah she did so well today! (this is my number 1, I am immensely proud of my daughter). M was howling and miserable, so we had to wait outside to give D a chance to perform the test for her hearing. Which she did, without any separation issues at all. She had to raise and lower little figures into a boat whenever she heard a noise, and didn't particularly want to leave. Her hearing is absolutely fine although there is a slight amount of negative pressure in her Eustachian tubes and the quietest of the lowest frequency sounds had to be turned up before she moved a figure. The testers were not worried as both children were sporting liberal amounts of green snot, and this result is entirely consistent with having a cold. A review test in 3 months. So very happy about ALL of that.
2. Cuddling an extremely tired Deborah on the sofa before bedtime. Seeing her little red shoes and remembering how new she still is. The older child does not often have that.
3. Cuddling a slightly jealous Michael just after. Glorious to feel the full weight of their bodies resting on me totally un self consciously.
4. Spending time with D when M was asleep - we did writing, drawing, sewed cards and play dough in about 20 mins!
5. Just getting through today after being woken about 6 times last night.

“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” - Dalai Lama

This reminded me about my kitchen moment. Also about how guilty I felt about having given birth as one day it means they will day. As I am so afraid of this, it sometimes seems almost selfish to have given the same as an offering to my kids. Ah nutty mother :) But then we all stuff that's just passing through - if I forget about the kids in a certain kind of way and just focus on my emotions in a completely different kind of way than it's a lot easier. Think it's about acknowledging my needs, but not sure right now. Don't need to know either, am happy for it to be a work in progress.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1. Stopped fretting about lunch and tea and fed them bread and butter on tap throughout the afternoon.
2. Fed Michael for hours, and refused some of Deborah's requests nicely so that I could still function without feeling completely drained. Made them both chocolate milk as a compromise and didn't shout when it got spilt as I peeled potatoes for tea.
3. Took them out in the morning and did stuff with them this afternoon despite no sleep last night. Allowed my body to feel as absolutely shattered as it is without too much winging.
4. Made paper hats this afternoon.
5. Started to give pauses after demands to allow time for de-grumping and time for compliance.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Minor Miracles

When I took refuge with the Lama he gave me a red thread bracelet to wear. It had 3 knots in it, 2 of which came untied before the whole thread wore through and fell off. I remembered it today after having a moment in the kitchen when listening to a beautiful song on the radio from way back when. My moment was looking at the kids and realising how they too are just souls/buddha natures travelling alongside me, it kind of freed me of that dreadful feeling of total and overall control and reminded me of a total and courteous respect for them and their feelings which I've overlooked for sometime. The bracelet came along later, the unknotting of my fear's had resonance with it being 2 knots that had gone. I told Ian about my minor miracle, and he asked if I'd seen the Lama actually do the knots, as obviously some knots will just pull apart like that. It's good it doesn't translate, as if it did I would get too caught up in the imagery and forget about the fear and the beautiful, dear children behind it all.

Too many total's perhaps, plus not all of these posts have to make perfect or indeed any sense :)
I also felt a lot better today and didn't loose my temper once. I have been so ill, in such minor ways, but with such big effects on me. I have been so full of grief and anger at my body for daring to come between me and the kids and ruin their childhood - brrrr my perfectionism is quite scary. Yet, from a compassionate view for me as the mum in training, that's a very real set of feelings and to ignore them is to be cold and harsh to myself leaving myself even more prone to anger. I guess this is something about non -duality, to cut oneself off from ones feelings is to deny oneself the opportunity to learn from the Buddha nature inherent within.

As I said, maybe not much sense.

A friend has suggested I write 5 good things I have experienced with the kids a day. She suggested a good notebook, and a nice pen, to be picked up when I feel despair and cross. I thought I would start here though, I'm having trouble identifying 5 whole things apart form making food and bedtimes.

1. Not getting angry - ok this is good :)
2. Starting the Mad Academy today, and being so proud of D who was very independent and wanted to do it all on her own, and did so beautifully.
3. Picking M up with grace and not irritation at least once today when he was howling just as I needed to do something.
4. Wrapping up D's play dough man in a wet wipe so he didn't dry out.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

They both

still come for cuddles and love. Maybe there is hope after all.

Pit of self loathing

Not a good place to be. I have now developed vertigo on top of a lovely 3 weeks and counting mirena inspired period. Have been insanely (literally) awful to the children, violence has returned. Trying to be compassionate but to be honest, too bloody cross with the room for spinning around, myself, and ermmmmmm myself.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Years ago

I watched a documentary as part of an unfinished psychology a-level course. In it was a brilliant pianist whose short term memory had been shot to pieces as the result of some tragedy. He continually wrote in a diary, "Now I am conscious, today I have awoken!" Struck me, my blog is a little like that. Maybe that's what staying in the present is all about?

Talking to my mum the other day about her paranoid delusions, I noticed that whereas her delusions of paranoia were bad, and mine of self are normal, both are deluded. But it's easier to say mum's are than mine.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Lost World of Tibet (rare footage of Tibet in 1930s) 1/5

Posted in another blog and reposted here. A great line in it, about "seeking to understand the true nature of life through morality, method etc". I finally got off my mental block and wrote to the Lama, and he has written back advising me to be open, mindful to what's going on whilst remaining in the present as this will be the teaching I need right now. Couldn't really get a grip on it, which is a good thing, as it all needs to filter down, sometimes the slower the better. But it resonates with the above from that film, ties it together a bit more for me. Still very much a work in progress, incoherency is needed here to allow room for growth.

D is being wonderful atm, mainly because she is better and we have been able to Leave The House. Huge improvement in mood for us all. Reading the Compassionate Mind I remembered the problems I had asserting myself over my staff in my previous work, and realised that my fear of self assertion predates Deborah. Its a huge burst of relief that I can put my mental finger on the tangible thing that it is not D I am afraid of for triggering my anger, but it's my own inherent fear of those feelings arising. The sick feeling I have had for an awful long time of Deborah's life, the fear of being her mum and letting her down and destroying her childhood is actually my own fear of my own anger. Hooray to know that. It's been a lot easier with D, not being frightened of her strangely enough... I am much more assertive, I say the same things I said before, just with a clearer, more definite edge to my voice. When I have lost my temper, it's not been as bad, it's easier to pull back from and I don't feel so much guilt in it, just human.

It's also lovely, as I am starting to see how wonderful both my kids are. M is just starting the toddler, self determined phase, and it's great because because so far, I am not as phased by it. This will come though :)

I bought the kids new shoes yesterday - D danced down the road in them, and M copied her when out of his buggy. Long may new shoes and the joy of the moment make them dance.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Three little words - coil, assertion and compassion.

I think the most important one here is compassion, I think it's what's helped me through the last five months of hormone hell, and I think it's what's giving me the courage to strike out and keep pushing forward. "Gone, gone, going on beyond" anyone?

Haven't read the Heart Sutra for a little while, but I just remembered I have the bodhi awake bit inscribed on the inside of my wedding ring and am feeling deeply moved and humbled and grateful to my teacher. He didn't have anything to with that, its the living Dharma link that is so profound and beyond my expression - see I'm tongue tied!

Somehow, it does all tie up together - even when I am so confused and self disgusted and terrified of oblivion, even them I am still feet on path, one step at a time, awakening.

And I was going to post about how the coil has removed my pms symptoms which is so, so so fabulous, how being more assertive and less fearful with D is working wonders for our relationship, about how I still struggle, but can cope so much better with that, knowing that it's a work in progress and will never be perfect, except in many ways it probably already is. Or at least it's providing us with the right conditions for learning and training.

I'm amazed and grateful.

Friday, April 02, 2010

A Compassionate Mind

by Paul Gilbert Excellent read and one that is expanding horizons. More on those in a minute. This book is lovely for me right now, as I simply cannot cope with the concept of karma and rebirth. Yes I believe they are probably true, but the thought of my foulness towards my kids having repercussions beyond this life time is horrendous. Plus a very judgemental view of Buddhist practice and one lacking in compassion and overloaded in guilt. So not a useful debate to have right now, when I am needing to get to the bare bones of it all and got on with it. The it is deliberately vague here.
Working on the exercises form the book atm, not too hard as not surprisingly my meditation practice encompasses them anyway. I am being terrified of my parental archetypes at the moment, so the book is useful as I can kind of sidetrack all of that briefly whilst empowering myself to deal with it. This fear of parental archetypes is pretty big with me. The following is from one of the mirroring exercises.

1. Fear of failure/fear of succeeding - or why I mustn't succeed with my kids as my mum didn't
If I fail I let everyone down, and the world will probably explode and no one will love me and they will all bugger off and leave me. Plus of course I will fail as I can never do anything good, because if I could, no one would have abandoned me right? If I succeed, well that's even harder. In the first place I quite simply won't succeed, thus confirming the fact that I always WILL FAIL, whilst causing acute embarrassment that I was stupid enough to have even tried in the first place - I should have known better and not wasted anyone's time. Oh and by the way I can't even keep the rock I live under clean, what's the bloody point? Plus my mother's needs are far more important than my own, she only had PND after I was born, so it's all my fault she was ill, all my fault she abandoned me, all my fault my dad abandoned me when she came home - so how dare I want anything good? I do not deserve it.

2. I don't know how to deal with a screaming toddler and my self defence is to be foul.
I do not allow Deborah to be a child. A beautiful, sweet, child with a child's grasp of emotions. I expect her to be as neurotically "clued up" on reading human emotions as I am and to display no anger, or frustration. I simply cannot allow her to have feelings. It frightens me so much when does that I feel criticised and shamed all over again, and I want to hurt her for making me hurt. Plus I love her so much for being perfect and herself on her little pedastool that when she falls I have failed her and that makes me hurt and I simply cannot be a grown up about it.

3. My father dieing was actually the first time I was able to say goodbye properly, as an adult and see how good bye is sad but not personal and not abandonment.
When dad died 5 years ago, I suddenly realised how much I wanted children. I didn't understand at the time, but knew it was something to do with the status quo being broken. When he died, we said goodbye properly, it was not the abandonment of a child to a mother weighed down with psychosis, bi-polar and PND. It was sad, but it was good-bye.

Today I realised how powerful that goodbye was. My dad was the sole permanent figure in my childhood, as my mum came and went depending on stays in the local mental hospital. I am realising now those stays were - nothing to do with me. My dad was emotionally detached and although I now know he loved me (his sister used to say so and my mum did also), never once said so in his life. He cried in his unconscious stupor on his deathbed - at the time I hoped it was a side effect of the narcotics, but thought it was really about mum, now I realise he was sad to say goodbye to me too. He died when we all left him, at the time I thought it was because he wished to die without mum because she would have been too distraught, but it was also just after I had said goodbye to him on my own. Who knows, it's impossible to tell and not totally necessary.
My beautiful kids. So much mental change is necessary on my behalf to nurture them, and yet it is all already there. I know it, but do not fully realise it because of the blocks above. It's useful to list them so I can recognise them and befriend them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Its been a long time

and there's been shouting and awfullness and snow and lovely smiles and cuddles and kisses and play dough and sings and simply tonnes of spiders.

The main theme for the last few months has been surprisingly to me, "putting myself first". Ha who would have thought that to be an effective mummy, i have to pat attention to my own needs... So, PMS has been misery undiluted, taking up 3 out of every 4 weeks (2 weeks shouting, plus 1 week flaked out exhausted and bleeding). Sympathetic gp has suggested the coil. Online research seems to suggest this a good thing and most recent (ie out yesterday) suggests that contraceptive hormones actually have a long term effect of reducing cancer despite a short term blip of increasing it. So boldly once more into the unknown I go...