Finding Safety

This week I have moved house. It is apparently the third most stressful thing you can do (along with getting divorced which is why I am moving house!) but coupled with that over the last 14 years I have fallen in love with my house. And I don’t mean I love it like the inanimate object that it is or I love the memories I have made in it. I mean I am in love with it like you are in love with a person. It is part of me. It is my safety net. My comfort blanket. The one that is always there. The one that will never let me down. I know where I stand and it always delivers exactly what I expect every time. I could go on.  I have been through some very difficult times in my house but it has always kept me safe. I never witnessed nor was the victim of any violence in those four walls. It never gave me anything but support. Four walls of it. And a front door that locked and shut the world out. I have lost count of the amount of times I have been hiding in my bed while the door knocked and I

Reflections on 2017 ...

I know I want to write this blog but it's a tough soul-baring one. Even more so than the entries here that have gone before! I plan to share this more publicly too because it's important. For me and for others. My life coach asked recently what kind of year 2017 had been for me. "It’s been the year I got shit done" I replied. And it has been. I finally published my book (The Superhero I was Born to Be available from in paperback or in e-book), got divorced, and am about to move house. It was also the year I removed some of the emotional 'quick fixes' from my life that I discuss in Superhero. I got rid of the things that gave my heart a high of temporary pleasure followed by a low of longer term regret. I started 2017 determined my heart would be strong and resist all temptation. I went in hard. While writing Superhero, I identified the emotional fuel my heart needs. So starting the year I felt

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

And how can you mend a broken heart? How can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round? It's a beautifully haunting song. I have to admit to being a romcom fan (because I know they always end well!) and this song is used in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant is trying desperately to get over Julia Roberts yet tormenting himself by watching her movies. I have a broken heart. It was not broken all at once but chipped away at over time. A few tough breaks in my younger years weakened its structure and, because I struggled to mend it, it continued to fracture. I went to counselling to fix myself and was told I would never be fixed. Deep in my heart are the wounds that time won't heal. My heart will never be as good as new. It can't even be classified as 'in good condition'. I have to accept that inside of the strong exterior everyone sees, there is a fractured, splintered, battered heart that b

Facing My Demons

Well what a Saturday I have had! My daughter is with her dad for the weekend and after feeling ill and sorry for myself for nearly two weeks now, I decided it was time to attack some of my 2017 goals and get them finished. A meeting in the week with my coach probably had something to do with it too! Firstly I went to collect my daughter's new bike from Santa. Like a robot, I programmed the sat nav with where I needed to go and followed it blindly. Until I started turning into roads I remembered. And when I say remember, I mean in the way you remember a particularly bad nightmare. I was collecting the bike from a house in the same street where my abusive ex boyfriend once lived. And still does as far as I know. I looked over at the house I will forever associate with pain and saw a blue van in the drive. His, not his. I didn't know. I felt sick and at the same time strangely exhilarated. Like looking down at an incredible view when you are afraid of heights. In fact just like

More Than Words...

I'm an English Literature graduate. I'm soon to be a published author. I am a woman who loves words. But I have been on a journey of re-education recently. It begun probably a year ago when I came to the realisation that it was not the words but the intention that really mattered. And over the past couple of months I have really seen that realisation play out in practice. I am lying in bed as I write this looking at the face of my sleeping daughter. I cannot put into words what the image before me does to my heart. I could take a photograph but it will not capture everything contained in this moment. The sound of her breathing, the smell of her hair, the warmth of her skin. And this moment is made all the more special by its location in time. We are on holiday. It is the fifth day and the first I have awoken not in excruciating pain. As we settled down to sleep last night I held my little girl as she cried. She cried for her animals that have died. For the brothers and sist

Holding Out for A Hero

I have had sadness inside me for as long as I can remember. I was a sad child, a sad teenager, and I am a sad adult. Is the sadness depression? I don't know, although I have been offered anti-depressants. Is it genetic? I don't know, although three members of my family have talked about or attempted suicide. The thing is I learnt quite young that sadness didn't get me anywhere and it didn't make people want to love me. So I learnt to hide it. I think I was about six years old when I can remember sobbing into my teddy before wiping my eyes and feeling I had to pretend not to be sad in front of everyone else. I thought finding a man who would love me forever was the cure to sadness. But following my marriage when the sadness returned, I realised it wasn't. So I tried counselling. And that wasn't the fix I hoped for either. It turned out the sadness was part of me and so we had to learn to live together. Counselling helped me talk about the sadness. It helped

The Purpose of Anxiety

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I learnt that I cannot save my daughter from anxiety. And when anxiety has crippled you throughout your life that is a very hard lesson to learn. She told me on the walk to school she had a pain like someone was squeezing her insides. She said she thought it was because she was worried. "Worried about what?" I asked her. She said something about being worried about hospital if the pain didn't get better. "Do you think the pain is because you are worried?" I ask and she nods. So we find a little shelter from the pouring rain and I tell her my technique. "When I am worried and my insides have pain like that, I stop, and I breathe out for as long as I can. Like this ..." I demonstrate and she copies until we are both exhaling loudly. She smiles a little. I ask her if she is ready to go into school. She nods. I tell her if she needs me to get the school to ring me. The school day goes by without a call but the