Almost daily diary!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Black Dog

Today I am alone, self imposed loneliness. I thought I'd try it.

I have work to do but am distracted by remnants of a past life, several past lives .

I have a tin of photographs, I lift the lid and shuffle through. The second one I come to is my dear granny, long gone now, but still remembered often. In the photo she is sitting on a deck chair in a sunny garden, my parents old house I think, and she is smiling, perhaps even laughing. It can't have been taken that long before she died, she looks old and frail in the picture. We must have been having a BBQ at the time I think, perhaps a celebration, maybe a birthday. Tears spring from my eyes as I see the picture. It takes me by surprise.

I flick through all the years printed so colourfully on glossy paper. All that time, passing in an instant. In amongst the photos are long lost friends, long lost partners, and moments that will never return. Today I am looking backwards, to the past and I want to turn the clock back.

There are photos of me in the tin, some of them taken when I was barely 4 years older than Tall Girl is now. And it is not so much that I am lamenting the loss of my youth, but the people in it. How can I have been so careless as to lose them?

My head is hurting now, I have cried for too long and the Black Dog has sniffed about and remains at my feet, curled up but drawing me down.

This year life has moved on relentlessly, I never have time to stop but perhaps this is why, it seems that, as soon as I stop running, he catches me up. It doesn't do to slow down these days, if you keep on moving forwards there is less time to look back.

Today Tall Girl updated her blog. Her post is the total opposite of this one. This is the final sentence of her post "I have changed over the last few months and feel more exited for what's going to happen in the near future!"
I have never read her so wonderfully full of excitement and youth before. I don't remember having the feeling myself at her age; I am glad she is so self aware. It is as though she has just realised that her whole life is before her, isn't that wonderful? Wouldn't you like just a little piece of that again? I envy her, for I have squandered over half of mine already. This, I guess, is how it feels to be grown up.

I realise today that, for the first time in several years, I have no plan. So where do I go from now? Do I wait?  No, I must move on relentlessly before the Black Dog wakes again. But in the meantime I will look to my daughter and listen to some wise words that she has found... 'Every day may not be good, but there will be something good in every day'

Sunday, May 12, 2013

GCSE's and memories

Mum came to visit this weekend, we had our mothers day in March in the UK but it just happens that this weekend was the one she chose to come down. Tall Girl meets her at the door with a big hug. She loves her Granny very much, she really does and I am reminded of how much I loved mine - it is the same.

We sit about in the kitchen, keeping the door closed and the cooking warmth in. Tall Girl is supposed to be revising, her exams will all be over in 4 weeks and she's 'too the wire' revision wise. Small Sprog is dutifully doing his maths homework, all of us sit around the kitchen table as I start to fuss about Tall Girls lack of motivation to study.

"I can't even remember you revising" Mum said to me "you must have just got on with it"
"I did" I said. But really I wanted to say, yes, I got on with it because I spent the best part of 2 years shut in my bedroom listening to Pink Floyd and crying into my text books! No one offered to help me revise, no one  advised me to work hard and no one really had much to say to me between the ages of 14 to 16. My parents were definitely 'hands off' parents when it came to school work. But perhaps all parents were back then? Perhaps we interfere too much now that we are 'expected' to get involved in our children's education? 

Tall Girl gives me a glare when I mention revision for the third time that morning and says she is 'going to' do it! At some point I think to myself, in the next 4 weeks if I'm lucky. 

How will she remember me in this time of her life, I wonder later? As an interfering mother, constantly telling her to do well? Maybe. Will she be a 'hands off' parent because of her experiences now?

At work last week a colleague told me that her daughter, same age as mine, has tired to commit suicide 3 times and has now been sectioned. I am shocked. Later I mention it to Tall Girl who is not surprised.  I learn that it is almost 'the latest craze' for teens. "It's all over Facebook" she tells me "Loads of people my age are doing it, and self harming" I already know that she has several friends that cut themselves. And I wonder how it comes to that? 

With all this in mind being a parent is a hard line to follow, encouraging children to do well at school and pushing them over the line into stress and despair. But then I remind myself that I am not telling her she has to get straight 'A's, just mentioning that she needs a C in English!

When I was 15, I was alone in my room. I didn't have Facebook or the Internet. I couldn't research '10 best ways to kill yourself' as my friends daughter had done, though I do remember thinking, if necessary, pills would do. But I wasn't aware of others doing the same thing, there was no mass call to cut ourselves or tie a rope around our necks. 

I used to worry about children taking drugs, now I worry about them taking their lives...