The rat, the dog and the Honeysuckle

Oh sweet, sweet coincidences!

I will learn your lessons.

The scent of the honeysuckle is bordering on overpowering for some, but not for me. My garden, overgrown as it is, doesn’t have many flowers. There’s quite a few buttercups. Some determined forget-me-nots made an appearance weeks ago. If you look hard enough, you can see a cheeky aquilegia, popping up here and there. My daughter bought me a couple of plants which I potted and they look nice. And in the overgrown ivy, the weight of which is pulling down the decorative fence my dad and uncle built, there is the almost luminescent glow of the red-pink climbing roses that my dad loved, the ones we put in his coffin and a fact that I had forgotten about until this moment. (It’s the anniversary of his death, and it’s my uncle’s funeral this week. Another coincidence.) And then, blending in with it all visually are the honeysuckle.

I can’t remember when I planted them. I would guess around 7 years ago or a little less. If I remember rightly, it was definitely before dad died, when I went throught that gardening phase again. I had subscribed to a garden magazine and bought them on offer. I think there was a clematis too, but I guess that one got smothered by the ivy.

Cheeky aquilegia and my birthday pots.
Dad’s roses
Can you spot the honeysuckle?

When I was stood outside at 5am this morning, dressed only in a vest top and knickers and an air of despair, the scent of honeysuckle was one of the three things that hit me. The scent was stunning and brought me to a halt. The second thing, was how beautiful the morning is at 5am. I breathed it in through every sense and cell of my body: the green, the smells and the sound of garden birds. A sense of wellbeing like no other enveloped me in a warm embrace. The last thing was that I knew, there and then, in that second, that Everything was OK, and I know now that Everything will be OK.

**************************************

The past few days have been hell. I can say that now I’m on the other side. I’ve been tortured by my own mind.

My children left on Wednesday evening. As always, it comes with a sense of relief that I get a break and a sharp pang of loneliness that they are gone and I will never get used to that oxymoron of feelings.

Thursday I was overwhelmed with loneliness. It was a beautiful day and I was determined to do something but with a heart-wrenching acknowledgement that I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t know where I wanted to go. A museum? An art gallery? I knew that being outside made me feel better and I considered a National Trust property. But the desire to be with someone stabbed at me every turn. My sisters and daughter are on holiday. Wildcard is in his country, where I should be if I had got on that booked plane a few days ago. My friends? Ha! What friends?

As I tried to decide where to go, past friends haunted me. Why have they all disappeared? Am I such a bad person? Do I walk away or do they?

That loneliness just compounded everything I was feeling already. Dark, dark thoughts. Hopelessness. Helplessness. Despair.

At some point over the past few days, I’ve prayed for help. I’ve prayed for my dad or my grandad or any of my family to help me. To guide me where I feel lacking.

The first coincidence is that I opened up WordPress in an attempt to write out my feelings, but couldn’t. Instead, I went to my notifications and saw that a previous post had been liked: 5am. Not remembering what it was, I read it. It was from December last year, and recounted the exact feelings and situations that are now plaguing me. Six months later, I’m back in the same situation.

Now is not the time to go into detail on this point, but the summary is this… I have, yet again, to make a career decision. I’ve a number of opportunities in front of me and I need to decide between money, time and career prospects. I’m stumped.

The coincidence of opening that post and reading word for word that I am in a similar situation (but with a lot more positives, I hasten to add) was not lost on me. I didn’t see the positives yesterday, I saw that I hadn’t moved or changed. The acknowledgement that I was still stuck, lost, undecided…wasting my life…added another layer of self hatred and despair on to me.

I’ve contemplated everything the last few days. The thoughts have been fleeting but there. Maybe I’m better off not here. What good am I to anyone? I’ve failed in everything. I’ve lost everything. I’m alone and no one cares. I’ve dwelled on my time at my last school. The end of that time has destroyed me and my confidence, even now a year later. (That I know now, sitting in my garden breathing in honeysuckle.)

I’ve considered my relationship with Wildcard. Is it worth it? Am I waiting round like a fool again, only to be left at some point? How can this ever work? Will he ever, truly and officially, commit? Today, of course, Honeysuckle Day, I see how consistent he has been, unlike others. Whilst he has not yet committed to me in the way I want, we have discussed it and he has been consistent in every other way, more than anyone else. My fear of losing him, my everything outside my children and sisters, terrifies me. I know I will never love again when I lose him, whichever way and whenever that may be.

I went to bed last night broken and dejected. A failure. I couldn’t sleep at first, not because of my thoughts, unusually, but because of the rodent.

I could hear it gnawing.

I suspected a rat. The noise was too loud. Plus, a few days ago, I noticed that there was a lot of carpet fluff that had been chewed off upstairs near a closed door. I’d shut all the doors and blocked a previous hole I had stupidly left open from a previous year. The coincidence here is that I had stupidly said, not a week ago, to my neighbours, that I’d had no mice in the house since I had my cat Arlo.

Yep, I invited them in with that comment.

I banged about, and let my dog out of my bedroom to see if he would scare it off. Sure, one of the cars would have been better but they do nothing on command so the dog would have to do. The rodant was scared off luckily, enough so we could fall asleep. On my visit to my mum yesterday, we’d talked about the menagerie of pets and how tying they were – part of the reason I hadn’t pushed to use my plane ticket to see Wildcard and why I left mum early to get home to check on them. In answering her question, no I would never get rid of my dog because he makes me feel safe: I bought him when Dad died and I felt so alone in the house. He makes me feel safe.

So we slept. Until 4.30am and the sound of the gnawing woke me again.

It was loud. I wandered out and turned lights on. It was coming from my son’s room, next door to mine, and I walked in to find the noise. I felt the reverberations of the gnawing on the bare floorboards under my feet and I jumped in fear. I stamped on the ground and the noise stopped enough that I went back to bed. It of course started again as soon as I lay down. Somehow I knew that blocking the hole had trapped it.

I went to the bathroom. As I bleakly considered what the hell I was to do as i washed my hands, wishing again I wasn’t alone, I heard a bang and a squeak and shrieked as I saw the rat, being chased by my dog up the stairs and on to the landing. My dog stopped- either by my shriek or as I now suspect, by the scratch he received on his nose the moment he nearly caught it. The rat, now confirmed, hid under the large antique dresser on my landing, close to the previous crime scene of chewed carpets.

This, this was the point that I went downstairs and outside, noting it was 5am as I strode through the kitchen . This was the moment that I stood on my lawn in my knickers, wondering what the hell I was to do, when the smell of honeysuckle, the vibrancy of the morning green, the symphony of birdsong all overpowered me. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t wed the borders or even cut the grass. It was beautiful and peaceful and perfect. This was the moment that all the coincidences came together…when I knew that I had received my messages, my answers, my support, one way or another.

Be it a message from my family, from God, or my own mind…I’ve heard it.

Everything will be ok.

************

If you are wondering, I took my older cat – the only one around – upstairs, after locking my dog in the kitchen. The cat wasn’t interested and ran back downstairs. I went back outside and found a spade, let my dog back upstairs, and attempted to singlehandedly move the antique dresser whilst hoping I would be quick enough to grab the spade and whack it. Realising my optimistic stupidity, I was moving the dresser back when I saw a flash, heard a sound of something ‘falling’ down the stairs and realised the rat had made a dash for it and had no doubt escaped down and out the open doors to outside. My dog made no move to stop it and had simply watched it go and then looked at me. With a small scratch on his nose and the fact it had ran straight past him with little fear, I could hardly blame him for not attempting to get it again. He’d done his job. And seemingly, coincidences have now done there’s.

Misery

I don’t want to eat

I don’t want to cook

I’ve done both but have had no joy

From sticky sweetness cloying in my mouth

Sticking in my throat.

I don’t sleep but

I don’t want to be awake.

I don’t want to read

Don’t want to watch TV:

They can’t numb my mind any more.

I don’t want people

Though, I don’t want

To be alone.

Indoors I’m angry

Outdoors I’m bitter.

I don’t want sunshine or

Sounds of birds.

I don’t want my bed, or sofa

Or a refreshing shower.

What I want,

Is to not feel like

This.

Out with the old

Hello WordPress friends! 😊

Since my last post, I’ve been a hive of activity and positivity.

I completed two online, ‘free’ 5 day courses. These courses were run by life coaches: the first by two amazing women, Cheryl and Donna and the other by the enigmatic Tony Robbins.

Donna and Cheryl’s course definitely gave me the ‘aha’ moments they promised. They covered imposter syndrome, limiting beliefs and how to counteract them. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in the feelings and thoughts that have plagued me, discovering what may have triggered these thoughts from childhood, finding that confidence in myself that I thought was long gone…nothing short of transformational.

For over a week after this, my mind was a flurry of passionate planning. The muggy fog that was my head began to clear, and ideas and passions poured out of me, no longer suppressed by my self doubt.

At this point, Tony Robbins course began. Bigger, brasher, with thousands of participants,  Tony gave well over what was promised with sessions lasting 2.5 hours plus each night. As fate would have it, Tony’s course built on what I had already learned and shored up my confidence and determination, and gave me some key techniques to move forward on my dreams and my relationships.

I have filled a journal with notes and ideas, exploring who I want to be and the life I want to live. I’ve said before, this blog was supposed to document this. I’ve long felt that this blog was a failure because it didn’t document any positive changes. It became a vehicle to explore my thoughts and feelings, an online journal I guess. I feel differently now. This blog does chart positive changes. We are all on a journey, we take many paths and routes. My route has meandered. It’s sank to dark depths and slowly crawled upwards again. But it has done what it has supposed to do. Giving me Time. Time to work through the black hole, the quagmire, the sinking pit which was my inner self: full of self doubt and frustration. A purpose unfulfilled, a potential life not followed.

I don’t know where I am on my journey. It has been a long time already, and I’m ok with that now. A break down, a divorce; counselling and journaling; self help books and online courses…all have played a part in moving me steadily up that path.  

I have a vision for my future now. I have realised what I’m good at, what my passions are and what I believe is my purpose. I now need to work for it; climb up the next incline and shrug off the ever-gnawing self doubt.

It’s going to take hard work. But hard work is easier when it is leading towards your passion.

I have an analogy to end with, to exemplify my journey so far…

When I abruptly ended my career as an Assistant Headteacher, I had to step foot in to that building after-hours to collect my things: 18 years worth of paper resources and books. A huge collection. There was no time to sort and organise. They were put in huge cardboard boxes and taken home. For weeks and weeks, probably months, the boxes sat piled up in my living room and even in the boot of my car.

When I started tutoring in November, I started searching through those boxes for resources I needed. In December, as I tidied before Christmas, I sorted through those boxes and stored resources in newly bought filing cabinets. Piles of unwanted paper filled a huge cardboard box. I’ve used this paper to start my fire each morning.

It was hard at first. Seeing notes and ideas and planning from years ago, seeing the eagerness and positivity and dedication which was thrown back in my face when the academy took over, burning into nothing.

Now, in February, I feel nothing as I burn the last few pages. I see a life well-led, a life where I gave my all and helped many. That life is over and instead I feel some pride as I twist the pages into mock- sticks for my fire. Out with the old.

I have a similar feeling as I start to build resources in my new onedrive account. Circumstances have meant that the majority of my electronic resources are lost. I could pursue them, but I won’t. Starting again, building something new and fresh is invigorating: I’ve enough of my old paper resources to inspire me.

Out with the old and in with the new. It’s never too late and it doesn’t matter how long it takes. Just keep moving forward, pausing along the way when needed, sprinting when you can, but always heading towards the new, leaving the old behind.

If this post gives even one of you some hope, I will be happy. Reach out if you need to. I’m here.

I have come to the conclusion, after much pondering, that I may well have had my second breakdown/burnout/whatever it’s name is now.

The weird thing is…I didn’t feel it, as such. I’ve felt crushing anxiety – that much is true. About a year ago I upped my low dose antidepressant because of all the bother that was starting the academy take over. So, yes, the anxiety was there.

What wasn’t there, was that deep dark numb pit that I fell in. The one that, last time, I hadn’t known was swallowing my whole path until I was in it head first. When I think back to that time – weirdly around this time of year too (!!!!) in 2017, I can’t remember a great deal. I remember that first moment. I remember days staring out the window at the field opposite accompanied by my cat and a hot drink. I remember that I didn’t shower much and I wore my depression hat – a glittery silver woolly hat – to hide my grief.

So no, that hasn’t happened. I’ve avoided the deep dark pit. Don’t get me wrong, a few times I’ve thought I’ve seen him far up ahead but I was wrong.

Anxiety- yes. Depression – no. However, there are signs that I’ve not been quite right recently.

First, Wildcard noticed. He notices everything. Second, I’ve put weight on and my nails are short. Third, I can’t get on top of my house. You’d think with not working for 6 months I would have mastered it. Despite feeling like I’ve tried nearly every day, I’ve failed. Completely. More recently, I’ve even stopped with my facials and putting make up on and I think that was why Wildcard was so suspicious when I went to the Christmas Market spruced up like a turkey. This last month I’ve stopped using the Fabulous App. I’ve stopped drawing and painting.

There is sufficient evidence there to say that despite feeling otherwise, I’ve had some sort of mental episode. Why haven’t I felt the depression? Well, it could be my tablets working. It could be that I am generally happier (that needs some pondering). It could be because of Wildcard. He’s the only new thing in my life.

I’m avoiding stuff though. I’m plodding along, doing whatever I actually do each day and avoiding a whole heap of crap in the corner. I know I need to deal with it. I know that if I don’t, eventually that pile of crap is going to devour me. I just can’t seem to start or sustain a start.

I was notified this week that I have been writing this blog for five years. Five years! My blog is nowhere near as successful as some, and particularly some of you who read my blog. I know in part that’s because I don’t always put myself out there and join in with other blogs. Something else I stopped doing and need to start. But my near 500 followers mean a lot to me, the ones that have been with me for a long time (Anna and Susie) and those who comment and give me advice (Kay and Writerswithoutwords). Thank you to all of you. 🥰🥰

It was a shock though to realise that I started this blog because my life had been through a major life changing event- the permanent separation from my husband. I wanted a new life, a new me, and this blog was going to document that. My Cinderella style transformation.

Yeah. That hasn’t happened.

Life has hit me with a few more catastrophic events to deal with.

And yet, I am a very different person than I was five years ago. My priorities have changed. My goals. I’m still lost but in a different way.

I’ve written before about not quite knowing how I want my life to be. Not being sure how or where to start.

I think I’ve realised that there is a really good reason I haven’t done much over the last six months.

I just wasn’t ready.

Six months rest and recuperation is nothing over the course of a whole life time. So my friend wisely said.

And so, whilst I didn’t feel it the same, I acknowledge the time nonetheless.

I was not ready. But now I am.

Eating frogspawn

If you’re wondering what that is, it’s my breakfast. Yes, I know. Frogspawn.

It is actually chia pudding – chia seeds soaked overnight in fresh coconut milk. The rest is plum jam – I simmered home grown plums in orange juice and zest, some coconut sugar and cinnamon, blended the result and added chia seeds again to make a jam. Please tell me it is healthy. I’m led to believe it is healthy.

Yesterday was a baaaaad day.

Remember I told you about my detox diet? How proud I was of my efforts? Yeah well, I lost a pound. 1lb. That’s it.

Before you say anything, I know. It is better than putting it on. It’s more than I think. It’s still an achievement. But it really, really does not feel like it. I would have been happy with two – not ecstatic, but happy. I’d cut out meat and was having one coffee a day with a mix of almond milk and cow’s milk. I was having one square of dark chocolate a day. The rest was lots of fruit and veg, pulses and beans, water, green tea and nuts. Oh and the birdseed and frogspawn, aka quinoa and chia seeds. One pound. Let me say that again. 1lb.

I was devastated. Angry. Frustrated. I hated myself. My defective body with its flabby stomach, legs and arms. My inability to keep any weight off. My inability to seemingly lose any.

My motivation for this healthy way of eating was my one and half stone weight gain since January and my trip to see Wildcard in (now) two weeks time. My clothes are tighter, my stomach is bigger and I no longer look in the mirror and feel proud of my 3.5 stone weight loss. I’m angry I can’t keep it off.

But then, I did my usual. In a sulky strop, I baked myself some gluten free, rice flour and coconut sugar cookies. I ate loads of them. I had oven chips for tea, and polished off the remaining fruit pastilles of a bag my daughter had naively left lying around. If you are naturally skinny, you won’t understand this move. If you have struggled with weight, you will.

Last night, I was determined again. I can’t let this beat me. I thought about how I had lost the 3.5 stone. I merged that concept with the fact that I have bulk bought quinoa, chia seeds and other ingredients. I have come up with my own diet for the next week. So that is why I’m eating frogspawn this morning. Just for information, the coconut chia is bland and the plum chia jam is sour. It was just about edible.

Please feel free to message me with some delicious recipes for chia seeds.

If they actually exist.

Tears and fears and talking part two

My daughter tells me that I am not the same anymore. I’ve lost a strength – in her words, my ability to say what I think, argue my point. She said the mum she used to know wouldn’t have put up with either men – my exes mood or Wildcard’s sulking. My son – the one with ADHD – said that I am too nice sometimes.

I’ve lost my fight. I’ve know that for a long time, since my Dad became terminal. I lost my fight on the day the darkness decended and I succumbed to burnout/depression/break down or whatever you want to call it. The last part of my fighting died when my dad did. I’m a different person now.

I’m not fighting my job loss. I’m not fighting with my ex for being unreasonable and I’m not fighting with Wildcard for also being unreasonable. I don’t fight with my sisters when they take me for granted (which really annoys my kids). I don’t fight with my kids when they also take me for granted. I have, in all honesty, become a bit of a door mat.

So, as mentioned in my previous post Part one, this morning when Wildcard called me I was asleep. The call was brief, he was frosty (❄❄❄). He called back an hour later. I was asleep again, because that is what soft, depressed and overly anxious people do. He was getting ready for the wedding and looked delicious. The call was short and he said we would speak later.

Half an hour later he called again. This time I pretended that I had been awake when in reality I had gone back to sleep. He was sat in the car waiting for his family. I could see his nerves, how he is when he is doing something out of the ordinary. I could hear it in his conversation with his parents. He put his mum on the phone and we spoke briefly. I told her I miss her and she asked about my youngest. I told her that he wants to come to visit.

Wildcard then came back on the phone and he said he was going and that he would be busy so it would be later. I asked him to message when he arrived and he agreed. I got my take care ❄❄.

To my surprise, when he arrived he not only messaged but called me as well. A quick call, but appreciated nonetheless. That was five hours ago now but not unexpected.

What was unexpected was the conversation I had with my ex this afternoon.

He has finally thawed out – it has taken him a week to talk civilly to me. Today he was back to normal. We actually talked though – about the situation with Wildcard and how things have progressed. I warned him that I may well go back soon and he said that was expected. I also suggested that all three children have asked to go at some point, which is true, but hinted that I may take my youngest sooner rather than later.

The upshot? He has accepted accepted situation and the apparent seriousness of my relationship. He said he was shocked and hurt at first but is happy for me. He knows that the children may want to go and won’t stop me taking them. He even offered to speak to Wildcard to confirm that he wasnt happy about picking me up from the airport either. He apologised for his mood and said he was over it now.

It was a relief. Whilst his mood would never stop me – which he acknowledged – I feel better knowing that he can now be calmer and that an obstacle between Wildcard and I has effectively been removed. I am free to visit again without hassle and I can take my children unchallenged.

So what now?

It is up to Wildcard. If our disagreement has had one positive outcome it is that in our arguing I told him exactly how I feel and what I want, some of which I couldn’t say to his face. I told him I want to marry him, spend my life with him and have a baby with him. Deep.

Ideally, whilst I have the opportunity, I would like to take my youngest over. He and Wildcard have a great relationship and his mother has a soft spot for him. As he is under 12, there are limited Covid rules for him to worry about but I would need to ensure that I follow all guidelines to keep him safe. Out of all three of my children, he is the one who needs me and missed me most and the one who needs care when I am not here. By taking him, we are moving the relationship forward. Wildcard himself suggested a holiday at a seaside resort for my children and him. It seems like an ideal solution.

I’m hoping we are now in a steady thaw. In the next few days, all being well, he will be back to normal. I’m hoping that when I share with him what my ex has said he will feel better about everything. It is also an indication of how serious our relationship is becoming.

I know there will be those of you reading who will not like the way he has behaved in the last few days. I get that. I can only say that, if I knew an ex had given him a ride home, I probably wouldn’t have liked it either. This is who he is. He is not perfect or flawless. But I accept this about him in as much as he accepts my anxiety and nervous crying. I hope, anyway.

Day 1 – I am loved

My soon to be seventeen year old is fiercely independent. I am proud of her. I’m proud of her determination, her spirit. Her kindness. As a child, she was a timid, blonde haired, blue eyed fairy. As a young adult she is a fighter.

So to see tears well in her eyes tonight…was shocking. Tomorrow I travel. So tonight I asked her what she would like me to bring back. “Nothing,” she said, “just make sure you come back.”

She has been my support and my strength this last week. Nights of no sleep. Endless ruminating and calculating and searching. She told me to go, told me to put myself first. She was angry when my sister was unsupportive and actually phoned her to say her piece. Wisely, my sister didn’t answer.

But then, that shows love too, doesn’t it? My sister not wanting me to go. Actually being unhappy about it. Today, she messaged me early and we have spent most of the day together. There was no apology – her feelings are valid – but effort was made to build bridges.

Later, unexpectedly, she came again with my five year old niece who apparently was crying because she wanted to see me before I left.

My ex’s response was interesting but not unexpected. He flew off the handle, argued about the inconvenience. Later, calmer but not calm, he would tell me that he couldn’t understand how I could leave my children for two weeks or why I am not taking them on holiday instead. My daughter says he still loves me. I don’t know about that.

Money aside – one person’s tickets compared to four- I am going for myself.

My mum, in her own act of love, echoed by my best friend, told me to put myself first for once. Do what I wanted.

Whilst the pull of seeing Wildcard is the driving force, it isn’t the only one. I’m tired. Tired of worrying. Tired of anxiety. Tired of wondering how I will survive once my settlement money goes.

I say I, but it is we. Not just my children. I financially support both my sisters and my ex husband. I’ve paid both sisters’ rent this month. I’ve bought and cooked tea twice at my ex’s house this week as he has no money. Earlier in the week I paid for shopping. I paid for fuel in cars that I will never drive. Tonight, my youngest sister walked out my house with bags of food as she has none either. And it is more than that. I’ve listened and counselled and advised. And yes, to an extent, they have for me too. Whilst I will always help when I can, and worry that I may not be able to much longer, I am tired. Tired of worrying about everyone.

So, tomorrow, I have chosen myself when I go on the first part of my journey. I’m terrified but can’t wait for that feeling of pride in myself when it turns out ok. The freedom of travel alone.

And then, when I finally arrive in Wildcard’s country, I will have time with the man I love. I will have time with his family, who barely speak English and so can’t talk about things that may weihh me down. I will also have time to myself. No house to clean, no sisters to mother, no ex to support. I am going to rest and enjoy but I am also taking my laptop and plan to work too. I will help out round the house – if Wildcard’s mum will let me – and I am hoping we can do some cooking together. I will miss my children more than anything. That is my one regret. But, I hope to come back stronger and be the mother they love, not this shadow-self.

Wildcard is still very anxious about me coming. And that shows love too. His list of concerns, some valid and some just out there, must come from a place of love. I hate that he is worrying and I hope that it doesn’t marr our time together. But I need this trip for more reasons than him, although he remains the biggest one.

So now, I sleep. In 11 hours I will be at the airport. And my act of self love will begin.

Decisions, decisions

It has been an interesting couple of days.

After much discussion, contemplation, Google use and note making, I’ve decided to go to see Wildcard.

He is conflicted about it. He wants me to go but is worried about a variety of things. He has expressed how he feels, on both sides, and has left it to me to decide as ultimately it is me who is taking the risks as he sees it. There was a comment that he thinks I dwell too much on the now and not the future and that I must be sure I’ve done my research and thought things through.

Do I dwell on now??

I actually think that I do worry about the future and probably too much. But at the same time, after losing Dad, I’m very much of the opinion that you do have to live for now. I’ve weighed up every option and going now still seems the best for so many reasons.

The question is…how soon.

My plan was to leave on Sunday. He and his parents are happy with that – I would arrive on the Monday. He was concerned about me being able to get my PCR yest for my return home so I have sourced one at the airport. This means I will have to stay about 5 days longer. What a shame.

But. This is conflicting with something else. My Aunty’s belated 60th Spa weekend, cancelled repeatedly due to Covid.

I love my Aunty. I want to go. The Spa is AMAZING. But I don’t want to be grilled and questioned about my situation, and due to who is going, that will happen. I don’t want to travel to high Covid area and that is what will happen (yes, it is still open). And I don’t want to delay my trip by a week.

Why? Because who knows what will happen in a week. The surging variant here may change which level the UK is on, preventing me from going. There is political unrest which may affect flights or at the very least will make him more panicky – I have checked these things, and I am OK for this coming week. You could argue that another week won’t make a difference. But it might.

So, what to do?

The longer I leave it, the more likely flights will get booked, covid pcr tests will get booked. I want to book today. I will book today. But when for?

Being selfish, I want to go this weekend. Hell, I would go now if I could. I’m sorry for my Aunty, but weighing it up, seeing Wildcard and having a break from my whole sorry situation wins.

Does that sound like a decision made?

I just don’t know.

Should I stay, or should I go?

This post is full of staying and goings. But please stay until the end and please leave your thoughts too. I like reading others’ perspective.

To be honest though, you can’t beat Mumslovelife for advice. She always knows what to say and it always makes sense.

Take yesterday. After my somewhat melancholy post… Sleeping Beauty.

… I stayed in bed. I slept. My head was heavy and weary. It’s more that I had to rather than wanted to. I awoke just before one and only minutes to spare before Wildcard called me.

“No” wasn’t an acceptable answer. Neither was “nothing”, “I’m ok” or “I don’t feel like talking about it”.

I told him most of it was to do with work. Today was the day of initial settlement discussions. I’ve been at that school for 11 years and up until two months ago, have been successful and praised. I’m being forced out and I haven’t done anything wrong. His words of wisdom set me straight as always. He gave me my options, boosted my confident and made me feel more positive.

Which kind of makes me feel a little guilty for the next part. But only a little. I admitted I was a little upset with him too. I told him how happy I had been when the borders had opened and how excited I was to come. Yet he didn’t seem bothered and acted like nothing had happened.

He pointed out that it is not in his personality to get excited like that – which is true. He told me he wants me to come every day but he is just worried. His dad has told his brothers not to come yet. He is worried about curfews, variants and his Government’s often rapid and last minute changes. He reiterated that it is my home. I can come when I want but I need to do my research and be careful. “If you want to come, come.”

“But I want you to tell me you want me to come.”

“You know I want you to come, every time. But I want it to be easy for you, with no problems.”

We discussed maybe a quick trip sooner and then a longer one in August when he can have holidays and we can travel.

So do I…

Stay because he is still worried at the moment or Go because we both want to see each other?

Stay because I’m officially off sick or Go because this is the best medicine I could have?

Stay because my settlement isn’t sorted or Go because hey, they don’t want me anyway, my union is sorting it and I can still be at the end of the phone?

Stay because I’ve let myself go a little in my depressive state or Go because he should love me anyway?

Stay until I know this Delta variant isn’t going to cause problems or Go because I can get over there – 4 flights – for £75 and I am not going to miss work even if I am stranded a little.

Stay because my kids will miss me if I get stranded or Go because they are in school now anyway and I will have more time with them now than I ever have?

What are your thoughts??

Following our call, I finally was contacted by my union rep who told me that the academy CEO doesn’t want to give me my contractual pay and doesn’t want me back – there is no place for me at the school. So, even if my leadership wasn’t good enough (no complaints so far) my teaching isn’t. Thanks for that. I’m sure the countless kids and parents that have said otherwise are wrong and my good exam results are deceiving.

It was a slap in the face but a good one. There was a very small part of me that wondered if I had overreacted, maybe I just needed a little support to get me back on the ball etc etc. Nope. She wants me gone. I’m not part of her plan for whatever reason. And now, considering her treatment of me, I don’t want to work there anyway.

So, taking Mumslovelife’s excellent advice, I made myself go for a walk and had a little jog midway which killed my hip but was something. At 6 this morning I went out with the dog again for 40 minutes and had two small jogs. Still ouch, but this was after a 15 minute yoga session which had helped a little.

So that’s me. I’m showered, feeling OK, but still none the wiser about going or staying. Oh and I would also be there for his birthday too.

All comments below considered. And I am vaccinated twice by the way. And I will be responsible.

Sleeping Beauty

I’ve dreamed about school over the past two nights. Strangely, about my primary school, not where I work. Or worked.

The first night, I dreamed I was helping out tidying, and I sneaked a look into the attic. Inside were boxes and boxes of memorabilia, items from the last. O couldn’t set foot in the attic because the floor was made of split bamboo canes so it was precarious to walk on. (Even in my dream I wondered how all the stuff was up there). I saw children’s ballet shoes and reminded myself about my little ballet bag as a child.

Last night I was back at the school again. This time, the school was renovating a classrroom/kitchen. I was helping to peel wallpaper. There was much discussion on how it should be decorated with people changing their minds. I carried on with what I had initially been asked to do. Then it was open evening and parents and small children were there. I walked around with my school ID and explained I was there to support the children.

I kept wanting to leave though as my dog was locked in my car. I had stayed longer than intended. I kept walking round the maze of the school, trying to find my handbag and keys. At one point, I was asked to help as a first aider- a woman had a hole to size of a ping-pong ball in her arm. There was no blood.

I eventually found my things and spoke to the new Headmistress of the school who congratulated me on my work stripping wallpaper. I toured th school with her, pointing out how it had been altered since my time there. I then let my dog out of the car, and walked him towards the school field where a carnival was starting. He turned into a pony, as things do in dreams, and some students of my current school petted him.

🕥

So it is 10.30am now. I’m still in bed. I haven’t walked or jogged or even had my coffee.

Yesterday after a really positive start, I slid into exhaustion. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I waited patiently for my union rep to get in contact as he was making the first move to me leaving. He contacted me at 2.30 to say a meeting was planned for today. I then went back to sleep.

This morning, I slept through my alarm. I woke at 7.45am and hurriedly got my youngest ready for school. Once his dad had picked him up I went back to bed and to sleep. I woke again at 9.45 when Wildcard called me.

He knew something was wrong – when doesn’t he – but I didn’t want to talk as I’m not sure what is wrong myself. Only when he mentioned the meeting did tears suddenly appear.

I still haven’t got up.

My head is woozy and all I want to do is shut my eyes again. I’m thirsty and hungry and I know if I take the dog out I will feel better but I just can’t. My sadness is like a weight in my head, dragging me towards sleep. I’m tired of everything and everyone. Even Wildcard.

Will I wake from a long sleep, the worst over, beautiful and with a full and happy life ahead of me? My body clearly thinks so.