Out of Sight and Out of Mind
Do we ever realise how negative we are about ourselves? I know I tend to say things about myself without meaning to be negative, though I use negative words. Is it without thinking or is it ‘being set in your ways.’ I’m not entirely sure! I also get told off for pulling myself down, even though some of those who tell me, are ones who are negative to me… Weird.
One of the few words I don’t allow in the house, funnily enough, isn’t a swear word, it is STUPID! I disagree with people using this word about or too others. None of us are stupid. We’re all different and do things is ways we need to, to achieve what we want in life. Or do we. What many of us forget is our upbringing and how we at taught or told to react to certain situations. Looking at todays world I find most of those ways are now defunct.
I was bought up as a young lady who wasn’t allowed to swear. Even if I said Bugger or Bloody Hell, my mother would tell me off and you know something, I was similar with my own children, however I tried not to use negative words. I’d ask them not to swear in the house, in my hearing etc. Worked well with the occasional slip up. It took years to get parenthood right, helping my girls through being bullied at school, protecting my son by sending him to Taekwondo so he could protect himself if need be.
My childhood, I thought it was amazing, it’s only in the last few years I’ve realised it wasn’t as good as I thought. I was bullied. I never really worked out why. My sister was one of those who bullied me. I know she doesn’t like me, though she loves me because blood is thicker than water… whatever!! My school friends often called for me and we’d walk to school together. My mother was a ‘Lollipop Lady’ also known as a crossing lady for the school. My sister used to brush my long hair one hundred times, often bringing me to tears, two of my friends recalled these times and say near exactly the same thing. My sister would do mean things and at one stage overstepped herself by trying to become friends with my friend due to having none of her own. I ended up with two black eyes and she ended up been kicked out of the house. My father wasn’t best please. These days my mother thinks I’m making it up, though my sister still remembers. Is it any wonder I moved as far away as I could.
Many of you may know I went back to help with my parents in 2017. The whole family went though my husband only lasted 11 months due to failure to get approved for the correct visa. He came back to NZ with our son. That is another story though…
In 2012 I turned up at my sisters house the night before my dads birthday meal. None of my family knew I was in England. My niece hugged me, my brother in law did too. They called my sister who arrived home about an hour later. First words out of her mouth! “What are you doing here?” Right… rolls-eyes. I asked for a hug. “I don’t do hugs!” What the hell? What happened to my sister, I’m sure she wasn’t this bad before I left for New Zealand. Anyway, she organised another place setting for our dads birthday meal. I hid out until they were all sitting down at the restaurant then stepped out, walking across to them. My mother saw me first, looked at my dad and stood up crying.
“How did you get here?” she hugged me hard as did my dad who looked a bit bewildered.
“On a plane,” I grinned.
You may ask why I’m telling you about 2012. Well it is to show the difference in reception when you can surprise someone and when they know you’re turning up. In 2017, I organised for myself and my daughters to fly to the UK. I set the dates so my parents would be home, booked the tickets only to find out my sister had given me the wrong days. She would be on holiday with them when we arrived and wouldn’t return for three days. I wasn’t pleased. I have no idea if it was deliberate, I have a feeling it was.
My parents finally arrived home from their holiday, meanwhile my anxiety wasn’t going to well. Usually my sister and her husband would drive up the driveway to drop our parents home. I was puzzled when they didn’t. All three of us stood at the open front door excitement shining on our faces. My parents hadn’t seen my daughters since 2003 (14 yrs) My parents walked up the drive and just metres before us mum looked at us and said. “So you’re here are you?”
I was shocked and hurt as we stepped to the side, letting them into their home. I don’t remember to much other than them heading back out for dinner to their favourite pub and not even inviting us. I still feel we were set up by my sister for my mother to say something like this after not seeing me in five years and her granddaughter since they were little. Yes, I cried. In fact over the next six weeks before my husband and son arrived, I cried more than I’ve cried for years. My depression and anxiety hit hard. One friend said I had PTSD. I do know I’d triggered my anxiety thanks to another abusive person in 2012. It was horrible. My mother wasn’t nice, my dad was confused with dementia. I felt unloved, unwanted and god knows what my girls thought. It was a sad time. Within two weeks, she wanted us out of their three bedroom home where they lived alone because it was confusing my dad. Messy me has to find somewhere else to live. We managed to stay until my husband and son arrived though she kept mentioning it to me every few days. During that six weeks, we went to stay with another friend for three weeks. It was good until I got back to my parents once again and within an hour my mother had me in tears yet again. This time over the death of my youngest daughter, their youngest grandchild. You see as a family, we celebrate her birthday by going out for a meal and I had wanted my parents to come with us. It wasn’t to be.
“I lost three friend last week, the older you get the more you lose, you shouldn’t …etc.” She went on and on unaware of what she was doing to me… I crumbled, burst into tears. Of course, this is when my sister walked in and asked what was going on. “I don’t know, she just started crying,” said my mum…well along those lines.
My girls took me to my bedroom where I continued to cry for at least half an hour even though my husband called. Hiccups and sobs. He was furious. I think at that stage we should’ve gone home to New Zealand, though never mind. I learnt a lot about my family and how it had changed over the years in my absence. I knew I needed to change a lot of thing in my life to get back into a good space. A place I’ve not really been in since about 2015. They may believe in anxiety, though none really believed in depression. You’re one of us… You’re strong. Maybe I am in my own way, though I’m not strong until someone pushes me to far.
All the above brings me to having my daughters home and living with us. It has helped lift my depression though not my anxiety. During Covid we both got cats as Emotion Support Animals. I didn’t realise you could register them in New Zealand, this is something I will be doing. It takes away their pet status, which they never were anyway.
Learning to live in the same unit, which is too small for us, has been a challenge to say the least. I love having my girls home, love the hugs and conversation, most of the time. It is the negative comments I dislike. I feel like I’m getting told off all the time with how they speak to me. As the youngest in my own family, I was quite loud, so I’d get heard. These days I’m loud because I am hearing impaired/deaf and I need new hearing aids (which I can’t afford and need funding for…still working on this).
I’ve gotten used to using more positive words with everyone, though it seems those negative ones are returning. ‘Don’t do this or that or forget or you forgot.’ It’s annoying as anything and I’m not coping well. Mind I have other issues affecting the situation, from the outside which don’t help.
They are their fathers daughters and though we all love each other, we are also looking forward to having my son home for Christmas. It’ll be our first Christmas together since 2017 and we are going to have a blast with a house full of laughter.
Words not to use – Don’t, Can’t, Didn’t, Stupid…etc
Try to change how you say something to someone. Keep out the negative words, there are kinder ways to say things. If someone forgets to do something for you, remind them nicely or if you can do it yourself, then do so. We are all forgetful at times. Also check in on those facial expressions. Yeah they might make you laugh, though hurt the person you are looking at. If you know they have depression, anxiety, deafness or any other disability for that matter, then be KIND. It’s daft to make a face or sigh, if someone asks you to repeat yourself. My hearing is null and void without my hearing aids. Another thing to avoid saying “I have bad hearing to!” when a person with aids is talking to you. After all, if you had bad hearing and needed hearing aids, you’d be wearing them. It is belittling when people say this and annoyingly unnecessary. Of course, their is due process too, though most of the people who’ve said things like this to me, still don’t wear hearing aids.