Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Being believed

As the Jimmy Savile affair blunders on relentlessly gathering distress and revelations along the way I can't help but reflect back to those times, in the '70's when what was seen as acceptable behaviour then seems so different, in hind sight, to now. Not that his behaviour was in any way excusable in either time frame but back then men seemed to have even more of an upper hand than they do now. Or is that just me?

Listening to some of the news items makes me remember my own struggle at home. Unlike many, I can't say it has ruined my life but it has, in some way shaped it I guess, otherwise I wouldn't be thinking about it now.

And as we all wonder why no one spoke out then, I have begun to think about what happened when I spoke out, back in the '70's. Nothing. No retribution or recriminations, just non belief - or that's how it seems. Perhaps some of those girls did speak out then and received the same treatment? Survivors, they say, often doubt their memories and when I heard this I realised I too doubt my own, is this because we have not had them validated?

So as much as I have forgiven, and it's taken a very long time to do so, I cannot forget - even if my memory doesn't serve me well, I'm pretty sure most of it is as I remember.

Why am I writing this? Because it still bothers me, and the bit that bothers me most is that I don't know if my mother believed me. That is my Big Thing. So I hope that all the victims, whether we feel that the abuse was real or not, will find peace form having their memories validated. No one can help them now, only by knowing that whatever happened to them cannot be forgotten.

My mother is too old now to open up old wounds, and I know she will go to her grave and I still won't ever know whether she believed me or not. But perhaps, as she took no action, that's a good thing. The lid is still firmly on the box, for us all.

Friday, October 26, 2012


He sits in my kitchen (at times like these the 'my' is so important) and drinks tea while Tall Girl shows him her recent art coursework. He makes the right noises, sort of, and then looks at his Blackberry and I resist the urge to kick him under the table! Her work is so important to her and worth more than a cursory glance, no wonder she is only productive in this house - she never does her art with him, which is OK except that she gets behind with work sometimes.

He likes to talk about what he did today, the recent show he went to, he has photos on his phone and I am making the right noises while (isn't it funny how your brain can do this) thinking that he has always been self obsessed but now that I don't live with it day in, day out, it is more obvious.

Later on we talk about different things; things we used to have in common; a game we used to play (on the extremely large PC we had in the '90's) until the small hours and how 'things have changed'.

We had fun together once, then. We were self obsessed together, we made a close world of two, became happily isolated. Then we became 3 and then 4 and it then it fell apart very very slowly, imperceptibly so. Funny isn't it?

Except for losing my children to him now and again I have no regrets, not one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Self doubt

We are nearly at half term, it's been a very long term, and I have been working in my new job for nearly 2 months. I am enjoying the work, it is incredibly busy and the days and weeks fly by. I have some degree of autonomy - partly because my line manager has too much on his plate and has no time, or inclination, to organise otherwise. And yet...

It sneaks in slowly, that feeling of self doubt and mostly I don't even hear it coming until it is upon me like a suffocating cloud. How am I doing? Should I know more? Do I fit in? That is the big one, do I fit in? So much self doubt.

Education is a funny thing, you work with adults but it's the children who absorb all your time, and, having children of my own, I have missed the last two social events. I feel more of an outsider now than I did in September. Is it me? I suspect so. Why do I have this constant need for approval? Right now I am fighting the feeling to retreat into my shell.

I am not missing my old job one bit but I am missing the companionship of people I know well. There are many staff at my new place who I'd love to get to know and be friends with - though I could probably be a mother to quite a few of them - but how do you do that 'making friends' thing, especially when people already have established friendships? I just can't remember what to do, I feel destined to be an outsider for ever. Sometimes it's just so much effort to try to be someone that another person would want to be friends with. And there you have it, can I be myself or do I need to be more amusing and more interesting? Am I myself at work at all? Frankly I don't think I am, I wear a persona, a mask, teaching is a performance, I play to the audience and no one knows me for who I am. Inside I know that if they did they probably wouldn't have even employed me...there it is, all the self doubt.

An email appeared in my work inbox this week with details of the 'Christmas Do'; pizza, bowling, karaoke, dancing. I can cope with the pizza, and enjoy bowling, though I'm frankly crap at it, but karaoke and dancing?  I'd be fine with old friends, it would be fun but I don't feel I know these people well enough to let my hair down, and as I write I think I could only let my hair down with close family in a karaoke booth!

So what to do? I don't want to look 'standoffish', I want to make friends but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to go.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Koko Cat

So we brought home a sixteen year old cat with issues.... Here he is stealing food from the pot during a TV dinner - it was risotto. His back end resembles that of a sloth - and smells quite similar believe me.

Now this might look as though he is an interesting and adventurous cat, however that is far form the truth! No, dear reader, he is the most boring cat in the world! So boring, in fact, that I am tempted to make up an on-line personality for him. Well he is 16 I guess and quite an old man in cat years, but to be honest, he really is a massive drain on resources and a huge nuisance but we still love him dearly (though Tall Girl is already fantasizing about having a kitten when he is 'gone').

The worst thing about him is the noise he makes, he may be quite deaf, so he miaows extremely loudly when the house is quiet, and when might this house be at it's quietest? At night. So now he sleeps in the kitchen so that the rest of us can get some beauty sleep.

However as I was ironing the children's school uniform this afternoon - yes I am Domestic Goddess and have washed AND dried the uniform for Monday ALREADY- and I realised there was more cat fluff on the black trousers and tops when they came out of the machine than when they went in. How did that happen? And then I remembered... Koko Cat sleeps in the kitchen at night. I reckon he slips fur balls into the machine overnight just to get his own back!

Yep, that must be it. Here he is, caught in the act.