So this is Old

Growing old is not the problem, it’s being old that is horrible. I am sure there are those oldies amongst you that love it. I don’t know many.

I hate it and I am not thankful to be old. Longevity runs in my family but the thoughts of another twenty years with painful joints shuffling along with a stick and struggling to walk my dog myself does not make me anticipate a happy go lucky old age.

I am physically buggered. Árthritis in knees and feet and lower back, upper arms and shoulders.

Did I expect this? Certainly not. I thought I would get tired and nod off here and there but being in pain certainly not. Of course in truth what else can one expect? Been using this body for 74 years, and until 70 felt fair to middling apart from some heart problems  with 2 tabs twice a day has now increased to a handful morning and night.

It does make me wonder what society expects from its elderly. What the government anticipate from an aging community. There are indications from the government that we are costing the country too much even though the majority of us have been paying in national insurance and taxes since we left school. For myself starting work at 15 with only six months maternity leave at aged twenty and retiring at 65 was my investment to old age. I still pay tax on my meagre savings.

As I age I become more and more hopeful for euthanasia. Wha hoo! Much as I love my family do I want to be a burden? Do I want them watching me deteriorate into a blubbering wreck?  With any luck I might retain my lemon drops and still be able to contribute something even if they ignore me. Thankfully senility may stay on the distant horizon.

Please tell me is there anyone out there who relishes the thoughts of pickled brain, dribbling urine and crippling arthritis? If you do start your own group.

I would rather join hands with souls of like minds.

Irritable, out spoken  but speaking the truth

Two fingers to honking car horns from Zimmer framed old ladies

Sales staff who don’t look or speak respectfully

who ” tut tut” when stiff hands unsteady to pay.

Admiring technology, anxious to learn

TV  remote best in young hands when with family

Grandchildren’s hugs more needed than ever

Miss physical contact and comforts of closeness

Good conversation and intimacy of all kinds.

 

 

 

 

DNA AND WHAT IF?

DNA has revealed who my father is and it has brought mixed blessings. Happiness on one hand and sadness on the other. Great because it’s something I have wanted since finding out that my dad wasn’t my dad. No great loss there but that is another story.

Some of you already know how my mother told me 20 years ago that my father was an American airman with very little detail which meant I had nothing much to go on. Retrospectively I recall my internal world shifting, before dropping into place like a rubix  cube taking its rightful shape. Recognition of why  my so-called paternal grandma and family seemed to have disliked me, keeping  me at arm’s length, however I  put this down to my brother  being the favourite.

Sadness comes from the thoughts of what I may have missed. What might life have been like with a different family, a more loving attentive father. Like many unhappy children I would look up at the stars and question if I really belonged to this family, was I adopted? Perhaps hoping someone would come and rescue me from this unhappy life.

I was about five years old when I took a serious look at my parents and recognised something was wrong. As children we take what we have without choice,  we know no different other than the adults around are there to hang onto or we may not survive.  I protected myself for many years by believing that most people could not be trusted. Through the wonderful world of therapy I found the truth of my defence system and learned to let others in whilst also recognising that we are all the same in what can seem like a complicated world.

Finding out about who my father is and allowing my imagination to run wild in terms of what might have been has unfolded regret and grief. I can only surmise how my life might have been within a different family, without the abuse and violence, without the insecurity. I know this will pass because everything fades with time. I remember when my beloved Alan died at just 56 of mesothelioma I thought that I would never recover from the grief but also at the same time knowing every sadness fades. I also recognise  no family is perfect and even if I’d had a different life there would have been issues as there are in every family.

I believe our parents influence who we become and how we think and feel, we make decisions about self, others and the world and stay fast in those beliefs or soften and change with time. Nowadays I tend to be more philosophical and take life as it comes so my mother waiting 53 years to tell me who my father was could have done me a favour because I haven’t had to grieve the loss as a young woman. Being older has its advantages. It has been too late to meet him in person so I am prevented from being disappointed whilst also of course being able to recognise myself in his image. There are so many facets to this story and so much to learn but also too much mystery.

I have found  new American cousins who have been caring and kind and that in itself has been joyous. Having pictures of my father has given me a sense of belonging and to get to my age and find that is no mean achievement.

 

 

DNA AND WHAT IF?

DNA has revealed who my father is and it has brought mixed blessings. Happiness on one hand and sadness on the other. Great because it’s something I have wanted since finding out that my dad wasn’t my dad. No great loss there but that is another story.

Some of you already know how my mother told me 20 years ago that my father was an American airman with very little detail which meant I had nothing much to go on. Retrospectively I recall my internal world shifting, before dropping into place like a rubix  cube taking its rightful shape. Recognition of why  my so-called paternal grandma and family seemed to have disliked me, keeping  me at arm’s length, however I  put this down to my brother  being the favourite.

Sadness comes from the thoughts of what I may have missed. What might life have been like with a different family, a more loving attentive father. Like many unhappy children I would look up at the stars and question if I really belonged to this family, was I adopted? Perhaps hoping someone would come and rescue me from this unhappy life.

I was about five years old when I took a serious look at my parents and recognised something was wrong. As children we take what we have without choice,  we know no different other than the adults around are there to hang onto or we may not survive.  I protected myself for many years by believing that most people could not be trusted. Through the wonderful world of therapy I found the truth of my defence system and learned to let others in whilst also recognising that we are all the same in what can seem like a complicated world.

Finding out about who my father is and allowing my imagination to run wild in terms of what might have been has unfolded regret and grief. I can only surmise how my life might have been within a different family, without the abuse and violence, without the insecurity. I know this will pass because everything fades with time. I remember when my beloved Alan died at just 56 of mesothelioma I thought that I would never recover from the grief but also at the same time knowing every sadness fades. I also recognise  no family is perfect and even if I’d had a different life there would have been issues as there are in every family.

I believe our parents influence who we become and how we think and feel, we make decisions about self, others and the world and stay fast in those beliefs or soften and change with time. Nowadays I tend to be more philosophical and take life as it comes so my mother waiting 53 years to tell me who my father was could have done me a favour because I haven’t had to grieve the loss as a young woman. Being older has its advantages. It has been too late to meet him in person so I am prevented from being disappointed whilst also of course being able to recognise myself in his image. There are so many facets to this story and so much to learn but also too much mystery.

I have found  new American cousins who have been caring and kind and that in itself has been joyous. Having pictures of my father has given me a sense of belonging and to get to my age and find that is no mean achievement.

 

 

Long lost Child

Twenty years ago I took a trip to America. It was part of my exam process to qualify as a psychotherapist. I was fifty-two and it was my first visit. What an experience it turned out to be. Everyday for the whole week my emotions ran high. Filled with both joy and sorrow at the sights and sounds of San francisco. This was to be the start of a dramatic change to my life. My friends and I took our exams and had a great time sight-seeing and  soaking up the experience. As well as crying for no reason at all I also laughed a lot yet all the while dreading the trip home believing it would be years until I could next afford to visit.

When asked by friends and family how it had been my response was always the same.  Wonderful as if I had come home. My mother was in her late seventies and disappearing slowly into dementia and whilst doing her weekly hair do and helping her bathe she asked me about my trip.

I told her how  I felt and what a thrill it had been and she listened in silence for a while then started to cry. It was the mention of ‘coming home’ that brought on the tears.

“I’ m sorry she murmured but there is something I should tell you’. Her voice was low from behind her hands which covered her face,  until I sat down beside her encouraging her to explain her distress.

Eventually she talked of  how  she had met this lovely American airman whilst she had been working in London during the war. How she had run away from her husband Bill taking my brother Micheal who was almost 5, finding a housekeeping mjob. I was reminded of the regular pattern throughout my childhood to be running away searching for somewhere to escape our violent home life.

She talked of meeting Jack and of how lovely he was.  She said he was my father but she had believed him killed in a bombing expedition because someone at the base had told  had not come back, I believe she had not been able to tell him about me. I cannot be sure about that but think it likely. She decided to return to the North of England to be with her mother believing it the best option especially as she had Micheal to think of.

It didn’t work out as she had hoped and in 1944 life at the end of the war in the NOrth of england was poor and hard. Her husband (My dad as I believed), agreed to take her back as long as I never knew the truth or indeed anyone knew.

Throughout the years that followed my mother suffered untold abuse because  now she was  beholden. I could recall for you what it was like to live with a mad man, a sociopath who thought nothing of  beating my mother in front of us, a man who never worked but spent what small   income made by my mother on drink. She held a home together for us.

For much of my adult life I was angry with my mother because she had repeatedly returned to him I realise now that in the fifties there was little choice, Where ever we went he would find us and embarrass her in front of her employees begging her for forgiveness and pleading with her that he would change but of course nothing did. His own mother was no different from him and  condoned his violence.

As a child I remember the constant anxiety I felt like a tight belt around my  stomach, always nauseous unable to concentrate at school. Being absent for weeks then returning only failing to catch up with the lessons at a great cost to my education at the time.

My mother  telling me this story all the years later has a major impact upon me. I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t sad nor happy, just stunned and confused for weeks afterwards. I remember talking to my bother who is six years older than me, he told me of his memories  of this tall fair American. Who gave him a wooden toy Tommy gun. This hurt because he had met my father and I had not. However that soon past and twenty years ago I attempted to find Jack my airman father on the Internet failing miserably. We have come a long way with DNA searches in 2017. Finding a first cousin with my father’s sir name almost knocked me over and introduced me to a whole new facet to my life.

How sad my mother died 10 years ago at 92 never knowing that this had happened. I wonder if it would have made her happy. It seems that finding out who my father is  has laid something to rest in me although I don’t really understand quite what as yet. Maybe before I get too old there will be opportunities to see where he lived, his family and where he died. Time will tell. Watch this space.

 

 

In the pictures Jack is the one holding the dog and on the other he is on the end right wearing leather jacket. The third picture is my mother holding me at 18 months old with my brother Micheal.

We Make Our Destiny?

The saying goes,we make our own destiny. That we are the masters of our own life. I  want to think that’s true but do not want to believe that I set myself up to be unhappy, sick, poor or trapped in some awful life issue.

I can see it’s possible here and there as I age with joint problems which are probably due to lack of self care and weight issues. That a failed marriage could be due to failing to listen to my instincts in the early stages. That little intuitive voice telling me the things I didn’t want to hear.

But how do we make our own destiny when it comes to cruel illnesses. Debilitating situations like cancer and MS etc.

We have no control over many things. Spirituality would have us believe that we can change our approach to life. That we can turn situations around. That the good things in life are there for the taking like we can make things happen. That by thinking something true it will come true we just have to squosh negative thinking. Think abundance and there will be an abundance of what ever we desire we just have to put aside all negative thought.

I am a believer in meditation for relaxation and selfsoothing but after years of meditating on good health and abundance I am letting go of the idea that I am in control of my destiny because we cannot know what is around the corner. We are not in control of life but maybe we have some hold over how we handle it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food addict.

We all know about addiction of one kind or another. Alcohol, drugs, shopping and sex are the familiar ones. Food however is just considered to be about lack of will power, greed and gluttony. Rarely is obesity linked to an addiction. I have spent my life on one diet or another, sometimes not dieting but thinking about it.  No one need mention the word diet because I have tried them all from starvation rations for 10 weeks. Atkins for another 10 weeks and Lipotrim liquid diet plus so many other’s, each having their own tolerance level which for me is about 10 weeks. One of the first and most painful diet was the Mayo clinic which consisted of eggs and salad. Hard boiled eggs in at one end only to escape in the form of gas at the other for 2 weeks, lost stone and half . Fainting, nausea, constipation, hunger and terrible headaches go hand in hand with this one but at the time being slim for a special outing with my boyfriend made it worth the agony..

Granted one does lose weight in this system but that time scale  for me means I have reached   my  tolerance level where  I tentatively  return to, ‘normal food’. So whatever it was I was doing to gain weight before becomes the call for  weight to throw itself on faster than it went off. Gravity pulls it back and for a time we are lost again in the dark place of being ‘out of control’. It is here where we thrash around for a few weeks in a deep well of helplessness and shame. In this place we project onto others,  imagine what others are thinking about us which is reinforced with the occasional murmur of ‘are you not on the diet any more’ which pushes against the button we serial dieters protect inside. I wonder why others feel they can judge and advise a  fat person as if they have personal incite into the inner workings of the person they are advising .However the over weight person is locked in to shame and guilt about being fat, defenseless against so-called well-meaning comments and opinions of slim people. We sometimes laugh it off with gallows joke or pretend we are not bothered about weight any more.  the addict knows what the substance is bad for them and indeed can kill, they continue to struggle, striving to  satisfy the craving. They are in a cycle of addiction frustration, high levels of internal anxiety and physical discomfort. I have never smoked or drank too much and seem to do most other things in moderation but food and my relationship with it is very different.

When the compulsive yo-yo dieter makes the promise to themselves every day. ‘I will lose weight,  they  mean it  and live through that same day with food constantly in mind. What they should and shouldn’t eat. Carrying a preoccupation with the next meal but generally by the end of each day they are talking themselves out of it with thoughts and words of ‘it doesn’t matter’.  Which in reality means ‘I don’t matter’. Which in some part is down to low self-esteem.  When you spent a lifetime thinking about weight and food it takes a lot of emotional energy. It is an ominous shadow in the corner of the room watching and overseeing every move you make. Watching oneself  through the eyes of others.

I believe that over eating is an addiction but one cannot cure this addiction with removing the tempation because we all need food. One can remove alcohol, drugs etc and detox but that isn’t possible with food. So what is the answer?

Changing habits is one way, cutting out certain foods another. Portion size can be a difficult one because of the fear of hunger which plays a big part for many over weight people. Not having food in the house is one way. Don’t want to eat it don’t buy it but of course the rest of the family don’t have to do without.