Thank you to my hater! 

We recently celebrated international women’s day. Considering what this meant to me, I felt compelled to take a moment to give a shout out on LinkedIn to all the women who have helped shape me in to the strong independent (and to a degree) emotionally stable woman I am today. 
The women I selected were mainly those who came into my life through work, but whom soon became friends, close friends- my lifeline! 

Some of them messaged me afterwards thanking me for my kind words, which was sweet yet unnecessary. Many felt they were undeserving of the title supporter, inspiration or mentor. They are wrong. 

Every day we interact with one another up-to 20,000 times- be it via email, call, face to face or simply a like on a face book post. So the capacity that we have to make or break someone else’s day and beyond that, shape the course of their lives through those small moments is massive. 

The interactions I had with each and every one of those women gave me something when I needed it most. Kind words, advice, a shoulder to cry on or simply a good old giggle. That’s worth the thank you because they meant the world to me- they still do.

As I sat and wrote my ode to these ladies one person continued to come to mind. 

The pull to bring her in to the equation was so strong that I did. I wrote my thanks to her. Thankfully the LinkedIn word count meant I had to remove it- which I guess was for the best given the professional nature of the site. 

Yet today days later it’s still on my mind. 

The woman I’m talking about was at one point my friend, one of my closest in fact. She gave me advice and mopped my tears during the start of my separation from my now ex husband. Then without warning or notice, as I hit my lowest point she put her foot on my head and forced me to drown.   

Worse than that she manoeuvred herself to a place of combat with me. Instigating the end of my career with a company that I loved, a company that I had given 10 years of my life to. It was part of me. 

The coward in her then sat on the sidelines and watched. Leaving someone else to execute on her orders. That was until the day I left Germany, some 10 months later and I received a message from her. This is what it said…

Hello J, 

I wanted to reach out and say hello, and ask how you were. As I sit here at the herzo beer fest I couldnt help but think of you, and our fond memories of the past as friends. I really do hope you and O and A are well and we can continue on as friends.

Love Michelle

I can’t even begin to tell you about the amount of times that I replied to this. Furiously smacking my keyboard with some witty, passive aggressive comments that would put her in her place. None of which were ever sent. 

My silence said it all. 

Why I hear you ask would I include such a disgraceful person in my thank you list? 

Well I had admired this woman, her small (yet fat) frame had power and respect. For her young years she had climbed the corporate ladder and in a very short space of time had those around her jumping as she passed by their offices. 

I was intrigued and although I would never want to rule by fear she had something that I couldn’t understand. Was it leadership? 

Anyway as events unfolded and I saw her for what she really was. An entitled princess, insecure to her very core. Using others weaknesses to her advantage standing on others to get what she wanted at every chance she got. It’s very sad really.

As her actions started to gain traction slowly tearing away one of the things that I held most dear, the stubborn Aries in me kicked in. And I fought back. I stood up for what was right and I took on the establishment. This massive global company had allowed this person to treat me like this was hit hard in the pocket. I didn’t get my job back which in hindsight was a good thing, but I was handsomely compensated for their mistakes. But more than that I started to recognise what and who I wanted to be.

I came out the other side understanding that the person I had most to thank for showing me the light was her. She demonstrated to me what bitterness does to a person. She taught me about the kind of person, of leader I don’t ever want to be. And she taught me to stand up for myself. 

Just when I had no fight left. When all was lost, her mean and spiteful actions driven by fear of competition gave me a shot of energy. 

So LinkedIn may have stopped me from thanking her. But I’ll do it anyway. 

To you my hater, Michelle, 

Your mean spirit and selfishness, your desire to get to the top at any cost, your greed and hunger for power and status, your inability to stand back and think of others and simply your lack of compassion and empathy showed me what loneliness really is. What it looks like to be truly unhappy with yourself. And what holding on to the bitterness can do to a person. 

So I let it go. I hold no resentment. I have no axe to grind. And you know what I wish you the best success. I hope you enjoy every second of it, you deserve it, but remember this- all the success in the world won’t make daddy love you!! 

In the meantime. I’m the powerful one. I’m the happy one. I’m the secure one. So to you Michelle. 

Thanks!!

Sadness sweeps

Sadness has swept me away today. 

You know that kind of helpless, frustrating, enraging sadness that cuts deep through every layer of you? 

The kind of sadness that hits that secret place deep inside, a place you thought would always be hidden, a place no one would dare enter, least not without feeling your Roth!  

The sacred place where you tenderly but firmly hold the hearts of your nearest and dearest. Every instinct in you gripping them tight like your life depends on it. You hold them close, those beautiful hearts, wrapped in love, in laughter. All the memories you shared along the way now just life lessons- experiences from which we have grown. 

Over the years, as you own heart hurts and heals again, you strengthen the barriers around that sacred place to enforce the shield that will keep your precious cargo safe from harm. You simply won’t allow anyone to feel like you did, so you give all you have then a bit more, in the hope that anguish passes right by.

But despite your best effort,when least expected pain hits. And it hits hard. 

In that moment. That fucking helpless-out of control-angry at life moment, in which all you can do is hold them close, whilst silently praying that as you wrap your arms around, and squeeze their shuddering shoulders tight that it might, it just might be enough to hold all their broken pieces together- if even for just one more day! 

The realisation hits, your prayer was made in vain. You hold them close, tighter still, pull them in to you; squirrelling them away into your sacred place… but It’s too late. 

Your collar is wet from the rolling tears of despair. You intake a sharp breath, it’s all you can do to contain your own boiling emotions, as the deafening sound you tried so hard to never, ever hear, creeps through the cries. The sound of heartbreak. 

Fuck! So helpless! 

No words make it better. No jokes will bring a smile. So you just hold her. Stroke her hair. And show her the love she deserves. A soft kiss on the head. Another tissue. Hugs of plenty. 

But the pain rages on. 

There’s is nothing. Not one thing that you can do to save her from this moment. 

The sadness sweeps on. 

X

Reflections

2017 is here. It’s landed!!! 
For those of you who know me or whom read last year’s NYE blog; “calling Bullshit on New Year, New You“, you’ll know that I don’t subscribe to the hype; the resolutions, the expectations and the regrets that the dawn of a new year brings.  

However, despite my best attempts, even I cannot ignore the innate desire to reflect on the year gone by. 

With fireworks aglow in the night sky behind me, memories play through my mind like a silent black and white movie. I see the faces, feel the emotions, and meander through familiar surroundings taking in all the sights, sounds and smells that make them so comforting. The intensity of recall sends me in to a momentary sensory spin. 

On one hand, I’m swelling with warmth. A glow emits from me as I reminisce my fondest moments spent with those I love. The boys learning, playing (sometimes fighting) and growing, the laughing with friends, the celebrations and milestones hit, let alone all the joy that comes with new love. The discovery of one another. The romance. Pure glee. 

On the opposing hand, I feel an eeriness akin to that of the eyes of a stranger on my back. That feeling of being watched, followed, trapped- out manoeuvred even! 

My blood runs cold. 

Sadly there were too many of those moments, caused by his dirty hands. The ex. Still two years on, (even up to just a few weeks ago) doing all he can to disturb my equilibrium. 
But those moments are fleeting and passed, and frankly were attempts made in vain. On reflection they make me smile. Yes bizarrely, despite the pain caused, the anguish felt and the tears cried, I smile because I’m still winning the battle. 
         

His bitterness  vs. My silence

I’m in no doubt that 2017 will continue to serve me this balance, I mean let’s be honest here no one gets it all, and as I have so much to be thankful for I have to expect the odd visit from the fuck up fairy- right? 

Anyway, today I stand here taking the first step of my 365 day journey of 2017 (which FYI has been amazing thus far) and I smile. I smile safe in the knowledge that I’m loved. I’m appreciated. I’m protected. 

I’ve grown and learnt lessons, some good, some bad and some indifferent but they have all contributed to shaping me, in carving my path and now I’m contented with where I am and who I have become. Now as 2017 unfolds before me I’m optimistic. I have my new love by my side, a new career to build and a new home to create for me and my boys. 

Roll on 2017; I wait with eager anticipation of what you have in store for me, for us. X 

 

#thankful! 

I hope that I’m not normally a gushy kinda gal when it comes to this blog…. (pause for reaction?)

But today, Christmas Day, I’m going to take artistic licence and gush just a little and as it’s Christmas forgiveness is a given!!

So here I am, Annie over, and Oliver Twist just starting (two of my favs btw!) with a wondering mind. You see I’m so, so thankful for what I have and who I get to be that I’m almost crying at the thought.

I’m a good person (I think?). I try where I can to do my bit. Not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Many can say the same I know, so I’m not saying this to be any kind of martyr nor out of any sense of guilt or ego but merely because I recognise that I have a good life. Moreover, I recognise how different life could have been for me should the coin had landed on the flip side.  One day it’s there, the next it’s gone, so I guess it’s fair to say I have empathy with those down on their luck- in fact I have buckets of the bloody stuff! After all that could have been me-could still be me, who knows what tomorrow will bring hey?

So you know what- Fuck it, yes I’m thankful. I’m grateful. And I’ll never take what I have for granted because I get it!! I do truly get it!

But for now I’m good. I’m blessed. I earn a good amount, not millions by any stretch but enough to give my boys a great life. I have family and love in abundance. Friends who would defend and support me to the death. Two amazing happy and heathy boys. And the love of a great and wonderful man. What more could a gal ask for?

That said, life isn’t perfect.

Today I feel a tinge of sadness. As I thank my blessings for all I have, I can’t help but think of those missing.

This is our first Christmas without the matriarch of our family, my nana and boy is she missed, cranky smart arsed comments and all!

As I think of her and the hole she has left today at our table, and as I kiss my baby goodnight, exhausted and over fed, I can’t help but to think of all the mums and dads who don’t have that pleasure tonight. Those who have not shared today with their most precious of belongings, their children. And do you know what, it breaks my heart. Be it through illness, divorce, separation or the finality of death the sadness of the thought overwhelms me.

I know the pain I feel with my lovely nana not being here but as much as l loved her I simply cannot imagine not being with my boys today x

So yes I’m thankful. I’m grateful beyond belief but not for the material but for the simplest of facts that I am with those who matter to me the most.

So today to all of you, those missing someone today, I wish you the strength to get through the day, the wisdom to know the feeling won’t last, and the hope that one day the pain will end xx

Happy Christmas and my thoughts are with you x

The little things

There are many things in life that make me smile. Things that for such a long time I had lost.

After D Day happened, I was at my lowest.  I had to find a way to survive, a reason to get up each day. 

Maybe it was my subconscious trying to keep me afloat, I don’t know, but what I do know is, in that dark time I learned something new.  I learned to take each day as it came. As shitty as it might have been, I learned to look beyond all that and to find the joy. And I did. Sometimes in the smallest, trivial of things; a flower, a rainbow, a smile from a passerby, but mainly in my boys.

Oh those two.. Everyday, between them they brought and still bring me so much joy; so much so, that I couldn’t possibly put it into words – certainly not in any way that would do how I feel for them justice. 

But after a while; me a single mum, working hard, running the home, managing the bills and all those other millions of things that we juggle day in day out, well, it started to feel like a chore. 

I no longer got the satisfaction in the same way I once did. I still found true joy in the little things, but I also felt a hole. 

A deep sad hole. Something was amiss. A part of me that meant so much just wasn’t there. 

I knew what that was. It was love.  

And just then, out of the blue, there he was. It was a huge surprise to none more that I! I fell fast and hard. And everyday still, I feel myself fall a bit more. 

I’m a thinker. An analyser. I hate it but it’s me. So in my typical style I have on many occasion found myself questioning why has this one made an impact? How has he not only taken down my walls, but pulled up the bloody foundations too… well that answer is simple. 

It’s the little things. All those silly, simple, little things that when added together make a force to be reckoned with. A force so strong that I am rendered powerless.

Our dates are special, each completely unique. Some lavish-luxury hotels, champagne, chocolates – amazing!  Others a simple stroll on a windy beach in autumn, a bubble bath with coffee. His and her wine- delicately picked by him knowing I would laugh at his soppy purchase or just a simple night watching Tv, warm on the sofa together.

But that’s all just stuff. Anyone could do that. Right? So what else? 

Well it’s him. Simply put it’s just him- His gentle and considerate nature;  the warm car so I won’t be cold when he picks me up, the silly videos he sends to cheer me up on a crappy day, the flowers I receive when I’m sick. The way he leaves his comfies at my house when he goes away (knowing full well that I’ll wear them to just to feel close to him). The “good morning beautiful” messages that start my day with a smile combined with the “I love you beautiful” ones that are the last thing my sleepy eyes see at night.  There’s oh so many examples of him just being him that to list them all would be tiresome (and would likely give him a rather large ego!). 

But more than that, he knows me. He gets what I need to feel safe. What I want to feel joy. And what it means for me to be sad. And he either holds me whilst I ride it out or he makes it better. And I feel it. 

I feel it in his smile against my temple when he holds me. The strength in his arm, wrapped tightly around me and the resistance I feel from him trying not to let me go- every time he embraces me. The way he cups my face as he stares deep into my eyes- every time knowing to question what’s going on in my crazy head or not. 

So today im blessed that I don’t have to look very far for the joy in everyday things, because now I have him and he knowingly or not serves them right to me in all the little things he does. says and is x 

 

Crossing the line

I’m a social media addict. I am, and I own it.

 I love having a record of the crazy things my innocent O has said over the years, or the silly things A does as he starts to navigate the amazing, exciting world of being a toddler. (I’m going to conciously ignore the moments involving my drunken girls and I!)

Social media It’s a wonderful thing. Truly. But if we are all honest we know it has it’s downsides too. 

I’m referring to the days when the lovely folks at Facebook serves up memories that frankly we would rather forget. 

You know the ones? yup; that’s them,  when you log on only to see “his” face appear on your timeline..your mind sent spinning right back to that painful, ashamed and embarrassed place. Inevitably questioning who was he shagging that morning? What lie had he told me that evening.. The wounds opened again! 

However, this isn’t one of those days. Not for me anyway.  

Let me explain. 

I did get served a memory today. An amazing photo. Me and my buba. One week old. Me glowing with joy. Protective. Loving. Proud. Tired.  Him, swaddled upon my chest, content and happy in his milk induced sleep. 

This photo was the last one taken in my former life, my life before “he” left. 

The day after this photo was taken  my life was 100% different. “He” turned and walked away, without a care in the world, and those precious contented moments with my buba were gone, forever. Stolen. Replaced with fear, anxiety, dread and stress, to name just a few.

Anyway the point of this (seemingly directionless drivel) is to say, I hadn’t even realised this.  Today I looked at that photo for what it was. What it is. Me and buba, Beautiful. Natural. Lovely. It makes me smile.  Then came the realisation  (and FYI I was reminded) that it was two years ago that he left. 

The line has been crossed! I made it to the other side. 

And you know what.. I love it. Was it hard? Hell yes! Would I have it any other way? No way.. (Maybe without so many lawyers.. Yes, the rest, no) 

Today I sit here a different person. Stronger, wiser, 100% proud of myself and my little family. We’ve come a long way! 

Now happy in love with my new beau, feeling safe, secure, appreciated and truly content with my lot, I look back with nothing but fond memories of the boys and I. 

I have at some point along the way, shifted; subconsciously managing to blocked him out. The white noise if you like just kinda hissing in the background, it’ll always be there but it’s Insignificant, to the point that he has literally no impact. Positive or negative. I simply just don’t care enough. 

So to get to my point, to all you ladies out there, know this: if you are still in the eye of the storm find yourself a shelter and ride that bad boy out. Because one day, God knows when, but you will cross that line… You won’t even realise it, not at first but when you do, wow  you know it’s done. And you will be thankful for the journey. You will grow and cry and evolve and relax. 

You will love and be loved! And trust me when I say, that’s the best bit!! 

Just fuck off! 

So as expected, with it being buba’s birthday – the inevitable parcel arrived. The token “I’m a good dad” bull shit! 

I tell you it makes me so mad! So absolutely infuriated. After everything especially the latest lawyer letter.  (oh and trust me when I tell you even you will gasp at this one. So pardon the slight digress here...)

So there I am at work, minding my own business and an email pops up from my lawyer, her preamble reads; “J, I am anticipating your response but I have to conduct due diligence”! 

Well that’s not a good start. 

What now?

What could be the next thing to hit me? 

What the fuck could he possibly want? 

I tentatively open the attached letter, from his solicitor. My eyes start to scan and although I’m reading the words I struggle to comprehend. It reads…

“Sadly our client has hit financial hardship, and would like to request that your client financially support him. We feel this is a fair request, as to date he has not asked for anything financially or otherwise from Miss ..” 

I read it over and over, my mouth hanging in aghast! And I start to laugh. 

Really? 

I mean really? 

This guy is beyond unbelievable. I’m in shock!! But credit where it’s due, what a pair of balls he has to dare ask me, ME to HELP HIM!!! He lives a lie with me for 12 years, stealing my youth, my money, my life, my happiness, my career, my confidence, my mental health to name just a few, but I should support him in “his fair request?!”

I dial my lawyer. The second she hears my voice she says “J, I know what your response is” to which I reply, “is it tell him to fucking swivel?”. “Erm, Something like that, yes!” she retorts.  

She laughs, in as much shock as I, and continues to tell me that on this occasion he actually isn’t lying, after all he hasn’t ever asked me for anything- he just took it!! Ok I’ll give her that one! 

Anyway that was that! 

So now here I am looking at this box. The smooth brown surface littered with his child like scribble.  I have no interest in what’s inside it. I throw it on the side and decide I’ll bin it later. 

O, being the curious creature he is, wants to open it. 

A fisher price till. Not much thought gone into that one. 

But not so bad I guess, at least it’s not a German speaking toy this year- (clearly no woman doing his shopping for him now!) But the thing that really got me was the card. 

He babbles away like fucking dad of the year, gushing about how he had one of these toys and how he hopes A has as much fun with it as he did!  Then the “Love Daddy” sign off. #definedaddy #definelove!

As O reads the card I can literally feel myself recoiling. Bile riding up in my throat from the pits of my stomach, my face contorting in sheer disgust. I want it gone. I want him gone! 

The fact is I have worked so, so hard to remove any trace of him, or us from my life, our lives- mine and the boys, that the thought of having anything in my home that his hands have touched makes me feel physically sick! 

It’s so transparent so pitiful and so selfish of him to continue to do this. Pop up twice a year (Christmas and birthday’s) all the while telling himself it’s for the boys,  he’s doing the right thing!

Well I’m calling Bull shit on that one!

I know it’s just to remind us of his presence; he’s so scared of being irrelevant, forgotten he just can’t walk away.

Well one way or another this is over. I sit now and contemplate how to bring this to an end once and for all; 

A letter from my lawyer demanding no further contact, perhaps? 

Return to sender with a do not contact us again note, possibly? 

Not known at this address? Hmm! 

I’m not sure yet,  but one thing is for sure, no more! I’ve held my silence for two years now, and I’m done. He needs to understand we don’t care. We never want to see, hear from, or think of him again. Ever! 

So to you Neil, just FUCK OFF!!