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…

 

 

Reflecting on the past year.

This has not been the year that I wanted or expected it to be. Neither has it been the year that I manifested for myself, the one filled with good things which would change my life for the better.  That’s not to say that it hasn’t been eventful to say the least. But this is not the sort of year that one would ever wish to repeat.  It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, so don’t be put off reading.

In February, my partner sent me on a trip of a lifetime to visit my very dear friends in Australia. Travelling alone the whole thing was the most amazing experience and I will carry the memories with me forever. I was so grateful to him for doing that for me and whilst I was in a warmer climate, eating a tonne of fresh fruit and veg and drinking filtered rainwater. My health improved greatly, rather like pressing a reset button.  I was devasted to find out whilst I was away that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and had four weeks of radiotherapy, he had decided to do this alone whilst I was out of the way. He doesn’t like me seeing him ill. I was worried silly about him. He had been unwell for a while and I suspected that he had relapsed. Although he is not yet well, he is pleased that he has made it through thus far. Neither he or I were sure that would even happen at several points this year, something that over the Christmas period we have been celebrating.

In the springtime, we went away to our home in Scotland. It was awful when we got there to find that our neighbour had in our absence erected a 6ft high fence all the way along the front of our property, blocking our view and stealing yet more of our land, but we were not in a financial position to fight him to get it back. Even more devastating was when he arranged for his brother to attack my partner and my dog when I had left to come back South to deal with urgent family matters. The police were called and things went from bad to worse up there.  We couldn’t come back quickly enough, feeling unwelcome in both places where we live leaves you wondering just where you are supposed to be and questioning so much. We thought about leaving there and not going back, but then we aren’t used to backing down. We have fought so hard to make it work up there. He suffered injury and ill health throughout the summer, largely down to the stress of it when he was supposed to rest and recuperate and his health has not improved either.

This wasn’t the year that I ever thought that our family would get smaller, it was an awful shock to lose my brother, who was only in his forties suddenly and heartbreakingly in an accident whilst he was working abroad.  It was not how he wanted me to travel, to go out to the place where he worked to bring home his belongings, but he knew that I was the only one who could actually do it and so he made me next of kin although I didn’t realise this until he died.
I had to travel to Corsica alone and deal with matters there and meet his colleagues who had become like family to him, I realised the profound effect that my brother had upon all who knew him there. Within a couple of months he had become a part of their extended family, was respected and accepted and greatly missed by them all. They were all left reeling from the circumstances and it was both difficult and totally necessary that I went out there to meet them. His employers were totally supportive and arranged everything there. I could not have gone if it hadn’t been for them.
During this time I realised that I had hidden the strength that I once had so deeply. The strength that I doubted I still had within me, but I had to hold it together for the sake of my family and  I showed courage and achieved what was required of me in his honour. We gave him the best party ever as a send-off and over 400 people attended his funeral with around 200 people in a celebration of his life afterwards. The organising skills I once had, came to the fore once again and on that day I stood in front of them all and read one of my poems for the first time ever in public. The whole thing wiped me out and my health suffered a knock back afterwards, but I had the support of my loved ones and our relationships have strengthened through it also. United by grief, my sister and my mother and I have grown even closer and other friendships that were lost have been rekindled. My brother left a legacy that continues to inspire people. He also inspires us to not give up and to achieve things now and step outside of our comfort zones.  I have since gone on to read more of my poetry at spoken word events since then. Something that in recent years I would never have thought possible due to a severe dip in my self-confidence. We all feel differently since he has gone. We are all grieving and Christmas time was especially difficult since he would normally visit us. But his loss has definitely changed our lives and his spirit lives on and reminds us we will never be apart.

But it was the year that justice was finally served on my neighbour in the south who has terrorised and threatened my partner and I for over two years. He was given a fine and a criminal record for only a fraction of what he has done, but at least he did not get off Scot free and has been held accountable for some of his actions at last. I also got a restraining order against him banishing him from contacting me or coming near me or my home. That was a good day and although I do not feel as though I am safe and I cannot afford to become nonchalant about it, at least there is some recourse if he does anything in the next few months. If nothing else it has bought us some time in which to figure things out and possibly move elsewhere whilst under the protection of the order.

I have been writing again lately, poems mainly and trying to write about other interesting things and be less of a dreamer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I have been writing on another blog lately, trying to find alternative subjects about which to write. But dreaming is where I gain the most comfort I think. I take comfort in the good dreams but due to the illness I have I have had to take some new medication and this had given me the most awful dreams which I did not wish to dwell on or write about. I had hoped that I would awake and they would be gone, alas it was not to be. It has caused depression to return lately and with it other difficulties.  I thought that I would get used to the new drug. I thought it was only a matter of time before I could get used to its effects, but I now realise that is not to be.  Three months in, I know that I will have to change to something else entirely or have to brave it out again as I did before without meds. I now regret that I succumbed to pharmaceuticals once again and look for the herbal alternative instead which might give some relief. I have been writing more honestly, I do not know if I will publish much of why I have written, but it is there and I have written it and I feel calmer for the process. It has been a huge part of my healing process over the years.

I have been back to the breast clinic this week. I have suffered with pain in both breasts for nine months of this year and having had two mammograms and a scan I’ve been told that I don’t have cancer this week which is a huge relief. But, they don’t know why I am still in pain or why it would be there.  So it’s back to the drawing board again.
On the other hand, I have ENT and Rheumatology appointments booked for March which is the earliest I can be seen, These are to look into the constant pain I’m in, the lack of my sense of smell which largely disappeared almost a year ago and the tremors and spasms I now suffer with daily. It’s more of that waiting game. Meanwhile, I did not expect that all of my benefits would be stopped and I would have to start from scratch again just when I thought that things could not get any worse. If it had not been for the support and help with food from my family then I do not know where I would be now, I was worried that I might lose my home being left unable to pay for it or the bills. That really scares me. It is sorted out now for the time being, but I am now worse off financially than I have been for the past 3 years of being unwell and I had to take on more debt to cover the interim.

I have certainly learned to adapt this past year. I lost my sense of smell in the early Spring, right when I had thought that I would be making scented products in my spare time and might be able to raise funds in this way and incorporate a hobby. I had to have a rethink, I made things which weren’t scented or used only the tried and tested recipes which I had already which is rather restrictive. I concentrated on cooking new things instead, my taste buds were working just fine so I baked more interesting things and tried new foods.
I spent time with my sister and got creative again, trying new things and found that my artistic skills had improved, my drawing and painting and I took some stunning photographs to cherish. I sold things to make ends meet and sourced be things which I hoped would raise some funds and learned from my experiences.

I know that life has taken a turn in a different direction now. I am not sure what the future holds for me in my working life at the moment but I have changed as a person. I will be true to myself and if I am unhappy in my work life I have promised that I will not just stay there and make the best of a bad situation. I owe it to myself never to go through what I did before again. I do deserve better and I will no longer settle for less. I don’t even know what I’m capable of right now. With chronic fatigue and other health issues its very limiting but there must be something out there for me. I have received a lot of encouragement in my poetry writing since getting it out in the open, so may begin work on another book early next year. The first one is still available on Amazon if you feel like having a read and meanwhile  I’m still writing my reviews on Trip Advisor occasionally which have had over 17000 readers to date.

So, on that happy note. Christmas has been a very quiet time for us, dwelling on what has happened has not been easy, but the gratitude we have for still being here and together as a family is immense. The fact that there was food on our table, the generosity of our family and the kindness of friends meant that we had a happy Christmas and are looking forward to the new year with new hope.

Yes, we hope that things generally will get better for us. We certainly don’t want them to get any worse. Rock bottom has not been very nice and we have been held down there way too long. Things will have to change for the better soon, we will do all that we can to make that happen. We are still fighting for a healthier life for us both and improvements to our surroundings.  There are times when we have been unwell and depression has taken hold but thankfully despite our ups and downs this year, we are still in love with each other and if you have love, then anything is possible. Our mindset is positive. We will not let this past year bring us down. We are not giving up or backing down we are stronger together and looking forward to a healthy and happy future together.

We do not make resolutions, there has been little point when so much of what has happened has been out of our control. We will make plans, but also intend to create more happiness in our lives, spend time doing more of the things we love, visit the places, see the people and cherish whatever time we have left together. As this year has taught me a valuable lesson. Since tomorrow is promised to no one, hold your loved ones close. Live each day not necessarily as if it were your last, but make something good of each day. Note your gratitude, it will reassure you when you are feeling low. Hug the ones that love you and if you love someone, tell them.  You are worthy of love and you deserve love in return. Think of the wonders you carry with you every day, the things you see and experience and love the skin that you are in, it will love you back.

May your New Year 2019 be Healthy, Happy and Blessed. 

Quotes for a New Year – Part 1

The Daily Post – Year

Since this has turned into a rather longer post than I first anticipated, I thought that I would continue with the them and so several of them throughout the month.

It is a variation on the 3 Quotes in 3 Days challenge of last year, I thoroughly enjoyed. I may have mentioned at the time that I would be happy to do it again at some point so I thought that I would share some of my favourite quotes which I have seen over the past few months and share what springs to mind when I see them for this coming New Year.

Some may motivate, inspire, or give you the warm fuzzy’s as they do for me, others may just bring a smile to your face, it may just be as simple as that.

I thought that I would try and reign it in and keep it to a manageable amount, but since there are quite a few of them this may become a series of posts instead. I must admit, that folder of them comes in handy for a dose of inspiration, or whatever in times of need but makes it rather difficult to choose.
So, here they are and I hope that you also enjoy….

 

This reminds me of the sort of person I strive to be, I have dreams of being that strong in the eyes of myself and others.

Maybe this year 2017, I will continue with the little steps and who knows where they will lead.

I’ve grown more than I thought was possible as a person, have gone through so much and have reached the end of a year still filled with hope for the new one and what it might bring.

There are parts of the past which haunt me and I often think perhaps I should revisit and re-write it, with a different ending.  But in reality I have to quit banging on it, don’t I?

 

I always look out for them, some sign that our loved ones are still here by our sides. I have to believe that they never leave and we are here for them too if they need us.

Set your intentions and hopes and dreams and leave it to the universe or your God to provide.

When you have an illness which you fight day in day out, whether it be mental or physical never give up hope that one day you will be well enough to see the other side and if you get there, then celebrate the achievement.

About time too!

 

When you think about this possibility, it occurs to me just how awesome this statement actually is. Whatever has been in the lives before mine makes me who I am.

 

 

Just so True! Always there.

Inspirational indeed.  My aim is to be unstoppable, when it comes to whatever path I follow. I have some way to go yet!

Not entirely true.  My inner child is six whenever she appears. (Which is both maddening and exciting)

So let the fun begin.

 

 

Oh yes, the fine art of forgiveness and moving on is not an easy road. But very rewarding when you reach that destination.

This is a definite message to my former self. A stark reminder that I worked in a place where I was barely tolerated by some people and it made me miserable. I made the promise that I will not stay in such a place if I am ever so unfortunate again as to not see it for what it is before I get there. I owe it to myself.

This is what let me continue writing and blogging after being filled with self doubt for so long. It was all I had left to give at the time. Worn out by what had transpired in the previous few months. I tried and it was received by people who gave me encouragement when I needed it. To them I say Thankyou!

This final one is a message to myself really, to keep reaching higher. Even when something seems out of reach, don’t give up. I remember collecting fruit in the Autumn up on the hill. Think of it as the apples upon a tree, you are reaching for that one which is juicy and ripe and it is just  enticingly out of reach. So you take a leap. Jump that little bit higher. Sometimes, a gust of wind will blow and the branch will be blown just low enough for you to grab a hold of to enable you to reach that prize. If you are looking for change then don’t give up hope.

I wish that whatever you are looking for in 2017 it offers you good that outweighs the bad, love which conquers hate and happiness which cancels out sadness.

 

Photography – Various.