Ageless

WordPress Prompts – Age

It’s funny she thought to herself, the years have gone by. But have we got any older?

They were still totally recognisable from when they first met. Just a little more grey around the edges and a little heavier but generally well preserved.

Friends made comments from time to time about pictures in attics, reminiscent of Dorian Gray. She had never read the book but had seen the film which she disliked intently. To be likened to that creature was not a compliment even though it was meant to be.

Must she be a witch then for both of them to have remained youthful?

But despite it all, all being what they had gone through, the ill health, the grief and the hardships. It looked as though the cruelty of Mother Nature had left them looking blessed.

Age had not withered them and they were still beautiful to each other. Ageless in each other’s eyes, it was only a number and as the years passed by they celebrated each one as the blessing they had been given for them to enjoy together. Their love had grown over the years, not fuelled by mere lust but a chemical explosion which once combined made them a force of nature. A team who would be by each other’s side, going from strength to strength there through thick and thin. She wondered if another twenty years would go by, whether it would still be the case. Would their looks belie their ages, would it really matter to them then, would they age well then or would they resemble every other person of a similar age. A little old lady and her gentleman. Would their magic still be as strong, would their love remain even if their bodies had not?

Time marches on and only time will tell.

This post was written in 2017, it has languished in my drafts ever since, time to get it out in the open. The stock photo used reminds me of my grandmother’s personality.

Davina McCall I salute you.

Last night I watched a documentary on Perimenopause and Menopause. Five minutes after I began watching, I posted on Facebook urging my friends to watch it. I knew that it was going to help so many women.

Sex, Mind and Menopause was a documentary with Davina McCall aired on Channel 4. If you did not see it, I urge you to watch it on catch up whilst you still can. It will bring you an understanding of what women around you may be going through and may encourage a more empathic approach instead of just brushing off things which might seem out of character. It was incredibly informative, heartwarming and emotional at times. Not only did it give us the brutal facts, but it also gave hope to people. https://www.channel4.com/programmes/davina-mccall-sex-mind-and-the-menopause/on-demand/73406-001

After watching this documentary to its conclusion I couldn’t help but think What a total eye opener! Thank you Davina McCall for bringing this subject to the fore. Sharing her own experience of this made me see this presenter in a down to earth and relatable light. I suspect that this will be a day when women all over the UK are doing alot of research and thinking about what was shown. I have had several lightbulb moments, thinking about what was said. The neuroscientists who spoke made complete sense, the image of a 43 year old brain at perimenopause was shocking. Going through much of what was discussed myself and not knowing what the cause of these symptoms actually might be has been difficult. Yes, we all hear about menopause equalling hot sweats and decreased libido, but I had never heard of perimenopause until recently. My own personal suffering with three long term health issues can complicate things and as a consequence, we do not necessarily think outside of the box. I will freely admit that up until now I haven’t either. A new symptom is just put down to being something else that may or may not be part of an existing illness, whilst all the time our health and wellbeing is going downhill. After a full hysterectomy 13 years ago, I mistakenly thought I had been cured of Endometriosis, I went to the gynaecologist who was an Endometriosis specialist and in my eyes a magician six months later and he told me he could not find any more Endometriosis. Since I had all of my reproductive system removed, how could it be possible that I would get it any more? Oh how naive I was. Endometriosis is incurable I later found out and attaches itself to scar tissue, which I have plenty of as well as other organs in the body. I experienced all kinds of similar pain just in different places. It also affects the immune system long term and since it takes at least 7 years to diagnose, has a huge impact on the mental health aswell.

I began taking HRT via Estraderm patches, the day after my surgery. At 35 I did not want to have brittle bones, hot flushes etc and thankfully they seemed to agree with me. I did not suffer any noticeable side effects from them. My hysterectomy like many other people, rectified the cyclical symptoms, but to the detriment of other things, it was as though someone has flicked the switch on my libido almost overnight. In the early days, I just accepted that this was a response to major surgery and that it would return along with the healthy sex life we had. After a couple of years, I mentioned it to the Doctor and nothing was discussed further… No suggestions were made. It was assumed for the better quality of life following the surgery, sacrifices had been made. But I was not happy about this at all and it has over the years put a strain on our loving relationship.

But, back to this documentary…

What was a total eye-opener is that so many people feel that they have no one to talk to about this, in the days before social media, I am guessing even less was mentioned about what is actually a massive issue for a huge percentage of women. What a wonderful realisation that No, we are not all crazy after all.

To find out 13 years later that it is highly likely that a simple application of Testosterone gel might rectify the lacking libido, help clear the brain fog, the frustration, the fatigue, the lack of strength, insomnia and excruciating joint pain I have suffered over the past few years has left me reeling. I am also asking the question, why on earth was this never mentioned? Having had a medically induced menopause so long ago, my unquestioning acceptance of all these changes as being the norm, or something else is making me feel a little bit foolish. So this afternoon I have done some more research and found so many more women like me who have also had medically induced menopause from Endometriosis and have eventually benefitted from the addition of Testosterone gel to their daily routine.

So, today I, like many more women in their 40’s I suspect, have contacted my own doctor. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks time, with a female doctor who I can discuss candidly what has been going wrong. Who knows but I suspect that many of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia may be reduced if this treatment is offered and I am looking forward to getting some answers. It has occurred to me though, that the percentage of Fibromyalgia symptoms in women of perimenopausal and menopausal age may be drastically reduced by simply getting their hormone levels right for them.

The statistics for suicide in women of menopausal age are frightening and should not be ignored. If I can urge any women over 30 who are affected by sudden changes in their mental or physical health to discuss this with someone, anyone actually it might just save a few lives. But if nothing else, it will make you realise that there are others who have gone through this too and who are prepared to help you. Do not suffer alone.

I had never heard of “Body identical” Estrogen until last night, I for one will be asking far more questions about this going forward. It’s a learning curve. Medical science is ever changing, what suited 13 years ago may not suit so well now. My body has changed so much over that time why would I not think that metabolism had stood still. Time certainly hasn’t!

Dreamlike Travelling

This poem came to me after a night of dreams which I really felt I had actually lived through. I so often dream like that these days, usually waking exhausted finding that even if I wake and then go back to sleep, I return to the dream and it continues. They seem to have gone on for hours and hours and I can recall so much detail. Occasionally I will write them down, but mostly they are thrown to the depths in the hope that they are finally over. This one played on my mind, so I ran with it.

Dreamlike Travelling...

I wandered lonely as a cloud, 
As all around cloaked to enshroud
And as its brightness filled the sky, 
no longer lonely, I cannot lie.
But suddenly the brightest hues, 
My loneliness I began to lose.
A bow of colour bold and bright, 
Filled all I could see with beauteous light
And as I gazed in wonderment, 
for I haven’t a clue how long I spent.
I drifted away from myself, 
No further worries of sickness or wealth.
Transported to a place in my dreams. 
Filled with people I’d lost, or so it seems.
But here they all were enjoying their time, 
while I sat worried, enduring mine.
They were not sad and they were not blue, 
They were not worried for me or for you.
But as I was pulled for my time is not now, 
I awoke with a start at this strangeness how
With a feeling once more of peace and of calm, 
with emotions battered and thrown in a storm.
So once again I’ll return to my sleep, 
These secrets held tightly for me to keep.
I checked once or twice but there’s no-one around, 
Were my feet standing till and on safe ground?
But couldn’t help it though try as I might, 
Far away down below me once more I’m in flight.
Don’t know where I travelled or if very far
Was I the speed of a shooting star?
Would they look up and say, what’s that thing?
If they saw me fly over, or if fear would I bring. 
But I could not slow down, or certainly stop
As time passes by on an old town clock.
The hands are now worn and so are the chimes
Of a bell which marks the passage of time.
Of birth and of marriage, the toll of the dying,
my cheeks become wet with emotion and crying. 
As I coast over land and hill, 
my eyes are hungry and take their fill. 
A strange voice from within proclaimed he’d done a good job
As I looked all around me and started to sob.
For as far as I flew and as far as I see, 
Were people working so hard to be free.
They’re not spreading their joy, it’s no mean feat, 
But a permanent struggle to make ends meet.
So, as I’m transported back from this place, 
With a look of understanding on my face.
I’m reminded again of the work of my guide, 
That I cannot shirk from or run and hide.
For all around me are people, like the clouds
Whose minds and bodies scream aloud
And while they struggle to get through a day, 
I wonder how many will stop and say…
That when things are tough, they can and still, 
Travel the sky and return at will.
I visit with ones who aren’t coming back, 
Guidance and love to keep us on track. 
So after goodbyes which I thought they spoke, 
from this dreamlike state I awoke.
Tired from my journeying I could sleep no more, 
Planted my feet firmly upon the floor.
I had no more baggage, I was travelling light, 
Nothing to declare on this surreal flight. 
Could I return to this fantasy realm?
In a boat with my love, at the helm.
Would we be blown by a stormy gust?
Could we share in this future unknown to trust? 
or perhaps clarity or certainty it might bring?
Would its arms feel heavy from carrying?
I cannot know and can only guess, 
but think some more and unravel the mess
of thoughts as I lay upon my bed, 
resting my heart, my body, my head.
I won’t stop on my way, to smell or pick a flower
For my journey is onward, I don’t have the power.
My mind is open and I’m here to observe, 
as I feel weightless to the twist and curve.
In a waking moment, I don’t think how I might, 
Be suddenly transported up here in flight. 
I can’t feel the take off but once I am there, 
Soaring, high I look below me without care
Although I feel guided, I see no one there
All the time I’m all knowing I do not feel fear.
And just for a second after I land
It’s as though someone let go of my hand.
While I travel along, free of pain, 
Is it why I go there again and again? 
Don’t know why I’m there, or why I came.
No one ever asks me, I’m free from blame.
Don’t know if they saw me, or stories they’ll share, 
Of fleeting fly bys’ will they even care?
So, I’ll go there again and those memories I’ll store, 
While my faith in the unknown I’ll try to restore.
While I travel along this emotional tryst, 
Have I been gone long, or was I missed?

Words and Image by IndiaBlue

Broken Pieces of a Puzzle

A reflection on a sad place in time,

the thoughts I’m having are just mine.

The pieces all got broken, that’s all I can say.

When it all began to fall apart and they began to play.

The words were hurtful, shocking and filled my ears and head.

They got inside the cracks to grow and I was filled with dread.

Tried to put it all behind me, carry on unperturbed,

But all it really reminded me is that you’re very disturbed.

That there could be such vitriol you would feel such hate.

For someone standing in your way, I simply can’t relate.

They say live and let live and things do come to pass,

But finding it hard to get through this it seems an endless task.

You clearly feel the wronged one, because of how you reacted.

But your actions dealt the very first blow and that is how it impacted.

Who knows what will regrets that will surface there in time.

Who knows if I will hang around waiting for a sign.

It all changed from words when you took a knife, it glinted in the sun

And suddenly there in a flash the torment had begun.

I did not believe the damage under the surface, to me that you would cause.

So now you think you’ve won, take a bow and a round of applause.

The nightmares that I’ve fought through, while laying in my bed.

Have scared me, but not one for giving up I’ll carry on instead.

With all this debris that is here with which my life’s been littered.

It’s too easy to sit down to take stock, then become embittered.

But that isn’t how I do things, or how I choose to be.

So while I’m here I have the choice to just set it all free.

Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, when some get broken or misplaced.

It never looks quite the same again when they all drop back into place.

Placing pieces where they don’t fit, because the picture has got worn,

Pushed and pulled from space to space it’s easy to get torn.

They say to heal takes time I’ll have to see.

What is left when it’s all over, what it’s like just being me.

Welcome 2022

I’d like to start again by welcoming you to this new year. It struck me as I do this that often we revert to the old sayings at this time of the year.  A new year, new you. Which got me thinking, what is wrong with the old me, or you?  Why are we forced to make changes in our lives, ever striving to be better, fitter, more successful etc, please feel free to add your own missive. That pressure is on every January, to force change in some part of you as though it is a good thing. Always moving onwards and upwards. Making sure that we don’t stop or become stagnant.

Every year, I see the same posts about losing weight, getting fit, stopping smoking, altering your mindset and every year I see the same post from a family member, which talks about not making any resolutions, about remaining the same, foul mouthed person we all know and love and it makes me smile. That distinct refusal to change.

Yet as each year passes, something changes within us, we cannot and do not stay exactly the same.  We are living a life, learning from our mistakes and lessons (hopefully), meeting new people and so we cannot fail to change in some way or another.

As New Year arrived this year, I did not telephone anyone. I wrote down the things that I wanted to say goodbye to in my life. The things like resentments that I had held on to for too long. I am not a bitter person and I do believe in forgiveness. Unfortunately, I am both blessed and cursed with a good memory so although I can forgive a wrong, I do not usually forget it. I consider this to be a life lesson as long as I learn from it then eventually I can move on.  I am talking about the stuff that has been weighing me down, old wounds that are slow to heal, people that are no longer part of my life and I set it free, or rather I set it on fire out in the garden and let the wind take it away.  If in some way it helps to rid me of these things, then I will be glad. I instantly felt better for it, my partner then opened a bottle of Champagne, saved for the New Year occasion and I celebrated that my love had survived the last year, we kissed as the clock struck 12 and drank a toast to us and gave the dog a biscuit, all standing in our home hugging each other, just our little family of three. It was perfect.

In the past couple of years, we have battled through so much together. There are times that I didn’t think we would come out the other side of whatever situation hit us, but we have. We feel blessed to be together and still in love after all these years. Yes, we argue much more than we used to, things get us down and we talk through everything. But however we try, we are very conscious of being on borrowed time with his illness. Having both got through Covid-19  in 2020 we have had to deal with the long term effects upon our lives, which have changed all over again.  Being told last year that my ongoing breathing difficulties were due to my suffering with Long Covid was another blow to my health, but I tried to battle on past the neurological symptoms I had been dealt by Lyme disease. I keep having pain in the left side of my head, followed by bouts of paralysis where my limbs fail me usually down the whole of one side of my body which can last for days afterwards. I was referred to a headache clinic this year, the neurologist suspected that it might be a type of migraine, they increased the drugs that I am taking and they made me very wafty indeed.  I could not keep up with the dosage or function and that is not the way to be when you have someone who relies upon you to be present and be a care giver to them. So now I have to make the best of it.  My deep suspicion is that the Lyme disease has now affected the neurological side of things, it has been playing havoc with my nervous system now for several years anyway and this just seems to be something else.  Yes, I know in my heart that it is that, but still I am at the ruling other things out stage with the NHS here in England so like many cannot get a proper diagnosis.  So it continues.

I had so many good intentions to write on a regular basis this time last year. I managed to write my diary on most days, I felt that I should at least do that. Then I wrote a lot of things that will never be published. I refer to it as rage poetry. My anger due to the circumstances I found myself in did not need to be forever out there, indelible on the internet. I needed to deal with things first.  I had put my faith in the legal system to deal with some issues that had been ongoing and hoped that time and the powers that be, would sort it out.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.

Having been assaulted almost 3 years ago and called upon to bear witness in a court case, although I wrote a lot about it, I could not put it out there for others to read.  I have waited over 2 years for it to be over, it has had such an effect upon our personal lives that we are not the same people anymore. Many have said that you couldn’t write it as people just wouldn’t believe it had happened, but it did. I put my faith in the justice system, to be let down time and again. Evidence was not correctly sourced in the first place, investigations were delayed and so in each case, missing information was not dealt with. The conclusion was that the perpetrator was let off, got away with things Scot Free. This happened in two separate cases and as a result I now have had the protective order from the court removed after 3 years of it being in place after being threatened stalked and harassed by a mentally unstable neighbour. Living with that for over 5 years and unable to move has been at times soul destroying. It was bound to take its toll upon our health which was already under attack.

I have in the past couple of months had to accept that we are well and truly on our own, we have to either move house, giving up on everything that we have worked for, or hope that Karma reaps a whirlwind upon those who have wronged us. Either way, I have to let it go, whilst all the time watching my back for the next strike, just in case.  I cannot keep this anger inside, I cannot let these situations rule my life and that of my partner.  He is not so forgiving, I consider his time is precious. I don’t want to spend the time he has left being angry about a situation which we cannot change.  Decisions have been made by the courts, we have to quite literally move on.

We have learned our lessons from putting our faith in others, we will not rely upon them so much in the future. If the situations arise again, or the harassment continues we will provide the evidence needed ourselves to make the change.

It has been tough to take, if you are brought up to believe that if you are in danger, you can call the police and they will help you, then it comes as a shock when they don’t.   It is the same old story as while I was growing up of when there was an awful situation, there was no one there to help me through it, whatever way I managed to deal with things, is how I got through.  This time around, we have been lucky enough to have each other at least but it still hurts that the police and later the courts could not protect us from either. So for as long as we are here, we are faced with harassment, insults, verbal abuse and threats to kill and the hope that when such threats are made, we have been fortunate to wear a video camera and microphone to remove any reasonable doubt that a court may have. You can tell, I am angry.  It has turned our lives upside down and made them unrecognisable.

So this year, I am hoping for change.  I am hoping that I can stand up for myself. That whatever strength I have left will protect me from danger, allow me to continue living where I am and push me onwards. I had dreams, which have been temporarily put on hold, whilst I felt shattered and exhausted from the onslaught.  At times I felt that my fight had flown.

As I sit here with a broken ankle, foot in plaster and going stir crazy that I haven’t been out and about, running around being the Christmas fairy this year. I sit in my home making plans for the future and daring to dream once more. I will write again for you and for me. That cathartic process which I have so often missed over the past few months.  It may not be poetry, it may be the odd observation, but I want to get back some of what I once had, the good bits and the outlet for my creativity. It has been seriously lacking, I have been busy, It has been neglected not nurtured as it should be.  I have gone back to learning Italian again, after a year of not. I remembered why I began, to one day spend more time exploring the country that I loved on my previous visit. To understand the conversations around me as I wander around.

I want to grow, mentally physically and emotionally, stronger and fitter. Surely there is nothing wrong in that.  They say One Life, Live it. However many lives we may have, this one is not over for me yet. There is no fat lady singing at the side of the stage.

I want to draw upon that inner strength that I know remains, I may have to dig deeply for it, but I know that it is there.

A Windswept Walk

The long walk where I’ve been before,

Along the river close to the shore.

A grassy verge soft underfoot.

Watching where my feet I put.

On boards you see information pinned,

As flowers and grasses bend in the wind.

Breathe in deeply and take in the smell,

As the tide turns and the waves start to swell.

The birds return once more to feed,

On beaches littered with seaweed.

A sandwich or picnic impromptu lunch,

Pebbles, sand or the seashells crunch.

When the wind goes right through you,

Stopping a moment to take in the view.

Boats out at sea, sounding their horn,

On a foggy day or a winter morn.

I stand right there just a windswept lass,

Just watching and waiting for time to pass.

Before heading straight on along the track,

With the wind in my hair and the sun on my back.

The Sweetest Kiss

The sweetest kiss reaches my lips as I open my eyes

And as my blurry eyes meet yours,

As if for the first time

I can see that you love me.

And your furry face is pressed to mine, cat like rubbing

My wolfie welcome.

Your body thrown against mine in embrace.

Outstretched, waiting for gentle caress.

Then we jump out of bed to start our day.

3.33 on the 3rd

If ever I needed confirmation for my writing

There it was.

All the 3’s.

At 3.33am on the 3rd.

The Angels guiding me to take note.

They have been sending messages for days now even weeks.

The repeated signs I cannot fail to see.

Those angel numbers duplicated over and over. Encouragement that I am on the right path.

That good things will come.

It’s time to create things again.

And it is so…

I have produced delicious food which we have enjoyed and others have shared.

I have created artwork which reminded me that I do still have a talent for it.

I have written five poems in the space of 2 hours on a night when I posted my first blogpost in a year. Although tired I cannot sleep. I am enthused, suddenly the tap which I feared may have run dry, has found its source once again and the words are flowing.

Right now, I feel that I can do almost anything if I set my mind to it.

In the words of a song by Helen Reddy before I was born. I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman.

See it’s amazing how a little encouragement can go such a long way.

Farewell to 2020

I have lost track of how many times I have written what seems like a similar post only to leave it once again.

The endless apologies for life having gotten in the way of my quest and thirst for writing.

Instead of accepting that life holds so many things that sometimes what we think are priorities become luxuries only to be pushed to the back of the queue.

So it turned out that 2020 was not my year to embrace my creativity after all. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up completely. Merely the practicality of actually getting more writing done has often failed me. I did not make the things I planned to either projects thrown by the wayside.

No, 2020 was a year for unlived dreams, of mere survival and the hopes that we would just be able to enjoy what time we have together. His bucket list still awaits.

Alas, I have had enough spanner’s in the works to fill a large toolbox and as far too often is the case, ours like almost everyone else’s plans have been thwarted.

But I am still a writer, so I’ve taken more of a break from it. Well no…

Actually I’ve probably written almost as much this year as I have in the past. I’m just not inclined to publish it. My whinge poetry when things are going wrong is not how I’d like to be remembered and there’s been rather a lot of that lately.

So it has been archived on the various places and tech that it was written on. On scraps of paper, notebooks, iPad and laptop and the phone in the hope that I can back it all up safely before Mercury goes into retrograde again or the computer drive packs up.

I’ve lost track of how many poems I have now written. I kind of stopped counting them at some point last year but at least I haven’t stopped writing them. But the tap that used to flow endlessly with the words and phrases just seems to often run dry these days. Maybe I became too nonchalant about it, so it switched itself off so that I would not take it for granted and would cherish its existence. My mind has been elsewhere. My body has been fighting my every attempt at trying to act normal. It simply isn’t normal to shake uncontrollably and have spasms every night and be in constant pain with pins and needles. Paralysis even on a temporary basis is definitely not normal either, but it’s cause still remains a mystery to the Medics. I’ve pushed myself physically to get things done and paid the consequences in the past year, I haven’t achieved as much as in previous years but at least I haven’t stood still and just accepted my fate yet.

The trips we planned for our big celebration of our life together were locked down, so we spent it here. Friends got married. Others we knew lost their lives cruelly taken by a plague I almost lost my partner and had to nurse him through the most difficult time of my life alone due to lockdown. We worried for the safety of friends and family we could not see.

As some respite in the summer I rekindled my love for my garden in the South. Having been banished from Scotland for the time being I grew things here in a raised garden and tended my pots sitting on the floor when I couldn’t bend and enjoyed the process and the garden thanked me for the attention. It was the first full summer spent here in about 5 years. It kept me sane during the lockdown. Our little bit of private space away from the madness of the world outside. I also learned that a small mouse family had set up home in the garden and to my absolute delight, they often popped out to gather food and scurry around. When mama mouse presented me with the sight of four tiny babies walking up the blackberry bush, I was so happy for her. The robins nested out the front and showed me their brood and seeds that I planted are still rewarding me now.

I have had to review my priorities like everyone else that I know. The things that I thought would happen just didn’t along with conclusions to circumstances which have gone on far too long. I only hope that we have the luxury of time. We have not made resolutions for this year, we are thinking of our future with positivity. The relief that I have when we set and pass another milestone date is huge. Living on borrowed time is often exhausting and so I will keep setting those goal dates for him and celebrate with him when he makes it. We have so much yet to do together.

Yes It will be different this year. It will be better this year and good things will happen again.

Despite the enforced change, we are starting off this new year with gratitude that we have made it this far, hope that our health holds out and will still make our plans for the future. It is important to dream, it gives you something to work towards. Once the world opens up its doors again to travel, we like many others will pack our bags, get in the car and go and explore it.

I wish that you will find happiness in this New Year and hope to share more with you as it gathers momentum.

Reflections 31122019

As we reach the end of yet another year in our adult lives, I like everyone else that I know of cannot help but think of the past year and what has taken place throughout it, taking stock of all that it has thrown my way. It feels like am wishing my life away, as the year ends I cannot help but feel grateful for its passing. With the feeling that last year 2018 was unbearable, full of hurt and devastation, I could not have foreseen that in some ways this year could possibly have been worse, but it seemed to be.

This year, I did not lose another close family member. Although I am grieving for a relationship which is not the same anymore that I cannot fix and it hurts.  Two people I love very much realised this year that they could not get along and decided that it was not worth trying to anymore. The eternal optimist that I am hopes that one day in the future they will change this thinking. I miss the conversations which weren’t arguments that we all had and the fact that we could share our home fully and everyone was welcome. It saddened me greatly that each of them has decided that they do not wish to be around each other anymore but since they feel that it is too painful, I have to respect that. I decided that where in the past I have asked them to make up and put their differences aside, that I would not do that again this time. If they cannot get along, even for my sake then I will just have to spend time with them separately. I will not stop loving either of them, but it is still awkward. Despite trying, I still cannot get used to it.

I could not know that this year, what has been my sanctuary for several years would become unsafe to the point that we had to leave it hurriedly as our lives were under threat. I don’t know at this point whether I can or will return there with my partner, or alone ever again. I am devastated by that as it has always felt like home to me.

My partner was threatened with a knife by 3 separate people this year. He was also mugged and assaulted.  He is not particularly confrontational living a relatively quiet life and keeping himself to himself. I am thankful that none of them succeeded but it seems to have become a sign of the times and one that is very worrying.  The shock when these incidents have happened and the knock on effect of these attacks on his physical and mental health has actually affected both of us, depression and fear are not emotions he is used to dealing with and the flashbacks are wreaking havoc with us.

Our lives have changed as has our state of mind, not one to just give up he is often in fight mode, whilst although resolutely stubborn I remain firmly in flight more often than not. The pendulum swings from one to the other rapidly for me. We constantly ask ourselves should we stand our ground for what is right, or should we just get the hell out of there.

The same situation applies in our main home, where we are under siege from the neighbour from hell. A man who has turned our lives upside down for the past 4 years and whom the police and authorities refuse to do anything about despite the fact that he breaks the law on almost a daily basis in one way or another.  He hides behind a special needs label, (and I am understanding when it comes to people with special needs) but this man is more than aware of his actions and has a blatant disregard for the law and flouts it, thinking or actually, knowing that they are relatively powerless to lock him up. He has continued to threaten our lives and we are both under constant harassment from him.  Being told that we are going to have our throats cut and we will be in the graveyard soon, is not a threat to be taken lightly when he comes at you wielding a knife. What is more worrying than before is that now more recently a gang of men he seems to have gathered out of nowhere from the locality who have joined the threatening behaviour and also follow us around. It is terrifying. Neither of us can sleep easily in our beds and the stress is causing other problems.

As far as home goes, we no longer seem to have one.  Nowhere is safe now and so I am hoping and praying for a miracle in 2020, that someone will put a stop to it before our lives are taken from us.

I have extracted a promise from my family, that if he succeeds in his endeavours to finish me off that they will sue the police and authorities that we have been begging to intervene for all of these years, for negligence since they will have failed in their civic duty.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom though.

There are some things for which I am grateful that have happened this year.

I am grateful that the cancer my partner is fighting has not got the better of him yet. There have been many times throughout the year when I have felt that it has grabbed a hold of him again.  I am grateful for his strength, when I am weak which spurs me on not to give up.  I admire his relentless quest to spend more time with me and the dog as a family. Although he is in constant pain he refuses to be beaten by it.

I am grateful that the surgery the vet performed saved our furry angel and he has quite literally bounced back from it. Apart from the occasional wobble from sickness we have managed to keep him relatively healthy and safe from attack from the neighbour. He has also been under threat from him since he has targeted our animals previously.

The family home was finally sold and cleared and my parent’s divorce was also finalised.  It has been a very long time coming and they have both now been able to put the shared space and the stress of that behind them, settle into their new ways of living and have the chance to move on.  It was also a huge relief to me it has not always been a happy house, for me at least.

My beloved car, Boomerang had a lot of work done to get it back on the road and I was finally able to drive it again after five years, just a couple of times in the Autumn. Unfortunately, it needs more work as there are still problems with it.  But I remembered it was wonderful to get behind the wheel of that car again and even better than that, put my mind at rest that I could drive a manual car still on a couple of occasions when my health would let me. It made it feel worthwhile to have kept it all this time.

My neurological health has not been great this year, tremors, spasms and acute pain have caused many new symptoms for me which many other Lyme sufferers have also encountered. As this illness develops with each year I find that there are new and scary things happening for which I have no other answers and neither do my doctors.  The list of things that go wrong seems to grow, while some of the other symptoms fade unfortunately along with my strength and stamina. I finally saw the Neurologist who has made decisions to take further tests and also to give me a more intensive MRI.  Hopefully this will show the cause of the headache that has lasted almost six months and will not go. It cannot all be put down to the ongoing stress of my situation here, it is not mere coincidence that most of it began with an infected tick and a bullseye shaped bite. It affects so many other things as do the nerve damage and issues. But for now at least she has agreed it warrants further investigation.

I have been sad, so many times, hours spent in tears, trying to do what is best and find the answers.  My creativity has suffered many dips, I am not writing as much as I had wished to.  What I have written is often not worth sharing and seems like a mere release for my emotions, an outlet for anger and frustration marred by depression and confusion.  I am not making the things that I had set out to make, my hands no longer work as well as they used to. Physical exertion causes a knock on effect, which often renders them useless for days. That familiar feeling, of being plugged into a socket, followed by burning sensations and tremors which dislocate joints and cause injury and bruising. I am hoping for miracles, the funds to be able to up sticks and find that special somewhere totally new, which is spacious enough for me to live with the things and people I need around me and yet I am still able to maintain it.  The place where I can put down roots, feel safe again and start to live the life that I have dreamed of for us, away from threats of violence and death and have the space there to do things. I want to be able to get back to spending time in nature, not looking over my shoulder all of the time, for someone looming out of the dark or round a corner, shouting abuse or afraid whenever my partner is away from the home that he will not return safely.

I want to be able to walk my dog on my own as I once used to (it seems so long ago since I have), to stop and look up at the sunset on our walk, to walk in the woods, not afraid to walk home in the dark, making sure I am safely indoors again or having to drive to somewhere else away from here so that we can.

This is not the life I had envisaged or planned. It is not a life being lived, it is barely an existence this past year and it has got worse than it was the year before if that were even possible. Yes, I have a roof over my head for which I am extremely grateful and I am conscious of those who have not and how it could happen to us all so very easily. I have loved ones around me and good friends who care and when I am able to pay the bills I am satisfied with what I have.  Is it too much to ask though, surely a little happiness is allowed too? I don’t want to live in fear any more, I don’t want to be a victim, but I don’t know how to change this and turn it around. We cannot do it alone.

So, in 2020 I will not be making resolutions to do this thing, quit a habit, join a gym or take up a new pastime. My search for a new home will continue. I will not give up looking for it, for our sanity we both need to get away from here. I have gone past wanting the problem to leave, unless they make him and they are showing no signs of doing that. I know it will not change and our lives will not improve. I can see that and I don’t want to lose any more of the time we have left wasting it hiding away from that man. Our time may be limited we need to get some enjoyment from it back again before it is too late.  I have faced the facts that like the sanctuary this is no longer home this is just where we are living right now.  The year ahead is full of possibilities we could move anywhere really, for as long as our health allows us to drive. We have to just find a way to make it happen.

It is a pipe dream for the moment that I will be able to visit friends abroad again this next year. Although I would love to and have an open invitation, my priorities are focusing on improving our home life.

I am hoping that justice will prevail with the situation up north and down south and that things will change for the better and I am hoping that my man and my rock will still be at my side through it all and we will come out the other side having won in our fight.  I am also hoping that my insomnia which keeps me writing in the wee small hours gives up and lets me get some rest at least on a regular basis. I’d also like to be in a position to make a living doing something creative that I love.

For you, this is my wish. I hope that you have good health, a happy heart and love for there is far too much hatred in this world but may those we cannot love be unable to harm us.

Peace, Love and Happiness and may our wishes come true. That is all…