Gaining Confidence

It has taken a while, quite a while when I come to think of it. My self confidence had taken several hits over the past few years but generally I refuse to be beaten by things and in a moment of loss and grief I decided something. That I was going to make it better again.

Although I am only recent on this road I am at last making headway and gaining confidence once again. I see glimpses of my old self that are returning at last.

I mentioned in a previous post about the recent loss of my brother and that at his funeral I shared some of my poetry in front of the assembled throng. It was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. It was also a first for me and was well received. It got me thinking, was it just a one off or would I feel able to get up and do something like that again.

I was also facing another personal hurdle recently. Giving evidence in a court trial for criminal damage against my property caused by someone who has harassed and abused me for the past two and a half years. In the weeks leading up to the trial, I suffered more threats and did not know if I felt strong enough to deal with it, but knew that I had to if I was to get any justice at all. It was time for things to change, for the better.

So once again I stepped out of my comfort zone. I attended the trial, gave my evidence and came out of the court having helped convict the person who caused the damage. It gave me a huge boost to know that I had succeeded after being bullied and feeling daunted for so long.

Getting back to the poetry. At the funeral I was told by several people that I should write more and share it with people. Soon after that I was invited to a spoken word poetry reading at a local venue. I thought that I would go along and see how it worked. It happens every month and you turn up and share your words with other poets it’s like an open mic night.

I took my sister, she is used to performing since she is a professional musician. I went with a few poems tucked in my bag just in case I had the urge to join in. We sat and listened and what struck me, is that poetry affects people in so many different ways. Some was bawdy, some of the language strong, some I didn’t understand at all and others performed in song.

Since we arrived rather late in the evening I was one of the last to read. Many of the others had left by then and my nerves were trying to get the better of me. I was shaking like a leaf, the symptoms of my health letting me down again and wracked with pain. But I was determined not to back down. I had decided I was going to do this, so I owed it to myself to follow it through.

I had not practiced or rehearsed beforehand. But read out two of my poems, The Vivid Sky and Wild Horses to applause from the remaining people. At the end of the evening a few people came and asked me if I had done this before. There was one person who said he wished there were more, that they were longer as he hadn’t wanted them to stop. He said he’d enjoyed them and asked about my writing. We talked for a few minutes. I had also enjoyed his poems earlier in the evening. I was invited back next month and decided that I would return. I would also take the time to improve my presentation to make my voice clearer, there is some work to do for my own peace of mind.

It gave me a real sense of achievement to realise that at last I am slowly gaining confidence again to do things that I may not have considered before. Pushing my boundaries again. Something I have battled with in the past was getting people to listen, feeling that I could not hold their attention for long enough to make my point.

In the past week alone, having achieved these two separate things I have now realised that if I can stand up in front of a room full of strangers then I will become a better public speaker in time and this will expand my capabilities.

Who knows where that will lead me?

One of my bosses once said to me that I could do anything that I wanted. At the time I did not believe in myself to imagine that it were true. Thankfully I have someone else in my life who believed in me even when I did not and over the years I have been encouraged to try new things. Occasionally I follow my instincts and go and do the new things and am amazed when it works out. But to know that it’s there all along is a wonderful feeling.

The Daily Post – Gingerly

Endometriosis Awareness Month

img_5486As March is upon us again and our thoughts turn to Spring and of new growth and warmer weather.  There are some ladies who just think about coping with what life has thrown at them.  They are the one in ten women who suffer with Endometriosis.

Endometriosis.org describes the disease as, “where tissue similar to that of the endometrial lining travels and attaches itself elsewhere in the body causing all kinds of issues, including a chronic inflammatory reaction, that may result in scar tissue. It is primarily found on the pelvic peritoneum, on the ovaries, in the recto-vaginal septum, on the bladder, and bowel.” It can then grow on other organs as well and is difficult to find.  It is debilitating often causing chronic pain and is far more than just “a heavy menstruation” as it is often thought by those who are alas ill informed.

March is for them.  Those women. In the past few years March is not just the month we have just stumbled upon.  It is what they do, in a bid to raise awareness for a debilitating condition, which is not yet recognised as a formal disability, but wreaks havoc upon the lives of women across the globe. Many are hoping that by doing so, their family, friends and employers will have an understanding of this invisible illness. One which can cause a multitude of symptoms and a world of pain.  They do not require sympathy for they are fighters and far stronger than you might think, they go through so much but they do require your understanding.

It takes a minimum of seven years to be diagnosed with this disease, but it is incurable.  It renders many women infertile and can cause unbearable pain.  Multiple operations, hormone treatments and periods of time when you could be absolutely fine, lulling you into a false sense of security and having taken seven years toll upon you, it can cause depression and the breakdown of relationships and the loss of employment. You may be pain free for months, or even years following treatments and possible surgery and then it will suddenly rear it’s ugly head again causing new symptoms which you had previously thought were unconnected, but later turn out to be.  It can affect women from puberty to menopause and sometimes further than that.

There is so much more information about this disease available now at your fingertips. From groups on Facebook set up by women who want to share experiences, research and competent medical contacts and offering support to fellow sufferers to Endometriosis Research Foundations and Charities, who enable us to find out more about the condition. They are known as “Endosisters” and are united by their illness and the need for understanding it.  Should you wish to find out more about this condition please feel free to select the link below for more facts. http://endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/

 

 

 

No More, but Forever In Our Wonderful Memory

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Our beloved boy passed away this week. His departure has left such a gaping hole, we are wracked with grief and trying to stay strong for each other.  He touched lives wherever he went, everybody loved Kato. 

RIP In Memory of our beloved Kato Teddy Bear, Prince of the Night 18/5/11 to 26/7/16

We’ll no more hear the Monday Song,
As by the Wednesday, you were gone.
No more hugs from Sookie Boy,
Who was our huge bundle of joy.
No more sadness, no more pain.
No more dancing in the rain.
No more carrot on Friday,
Now that you have gone away.
No more snoring as you kip,
No more laughing victory skip.
No more Bear Monster under the bed,
Resting there his weary head.
Skipping with tail, excited to hear,
Visitors and animals, come near.
“Have you been in my pots?” and back he’d race.
My angel with the grubby face.
My furry assistant, seated behind.
Will always remain here in my mind.
The one who yells in the garden, “Go Crow”
Huge love for everyone that you know.
I shall wear your favourite top.
No-one there to chase the mop.
No dancing feet or playing paws,
Or mischief breaking Mummy’s laws.
No more sharing Aloe juice,
You are gone so what’s the use?
The furry tummy is not here to rub
No more gathered, after school fan club.
The children will not come and shout
“Where’s Kato is he coming out?”
The Morning Mummy, smiling boy
Would bring my heart so much joy.
The things you knew, were immense
Mixed with happiness and nonsense.
No pussy cats running across the street
“They live there” their parents off to greet.
No sharing morsels when I cook.
Are you coming back? Can’t bear to look.
My heart is aching while this I share
The love we had for our little Bear.
The memories and the love we had,
For you furry son, your Mummy and Dad.
There for me, through thick and thin.
Couldn’t make you well and that’s the sin.
But you never let on that the end was near,
As you sat by my side, smiling here.
Thank you my son, you brightened our lives.
I wish like a cat, you had nine lives.
Your garden is empty, there’s something wrong.
They cannot hear your Monday Song.
The talking when I ask “Who’s there?”
Rushing home to see our little Bear.
Fly with the birdies, sleep in the sun
Over fields and forests, you now run.
Come Back Back Back, to see us soon.
As we lay crying in our room.
For now my darling, you are free.
While Daddy’s here to comfort me,
And I with him and you there too.
I will try not to remain so blue.
As we lay together on the floor,
I barely could have hoped for more.
More time with you, It was too soon.
As darkness filled a quiet room.
I kissed and stroked your fluffy ears
And could not hope to fight off the tears.
As we lay snuggled on the floor,
I kissed and stroked your silken paw.
No more horses with bowed head,
To visit you, Our Son is dead.
So as our memories, far too few.
Sent with love to follow you.
The buried face and cheeky eyes,
I know where your spirit flies.
So as I raise my sorry paw,
To you my darling, wish I’d done more.
So years to fill and much to gain,
Wish I could have helped remove your pain.
We loved you, you knew it for sure
And in return, your love was pure.
Not ‘cupboard loving’ that wasn’t for you.
What we shared, was great and true.
You were waiting for your Scottish trip,
So around your garden, you could skip.
On soft grass and heather to rest your head,
But could no longer wait our little Ted.
So to guide the way a candle you’ll find,
In our hearts as you travel upon the wind.
So when we are up and standing there,
Our spirits will soar for our little bear.
I’ll watch out for you, there’ll be time,
And you’ll let me know, you’ll send a sign.
A kiss to your memory where you stood
And danced around the little wood.
The cows will moo, the eagles will cry,
As we say to you our last Goodbye.
In beautiful memories we’ll place a plaque,
So you will always find your way back.
As life will go on and tears will subside.
A place feeling empty where you reside.
Our hearts are broken and our tears will fall.
Reminders of you, your blanket and ball.
Empty collar and harness, your work is done.
May you rest in peace our beloved Son.

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Daily Post – In the Wind

Uncle John’s House

 

This is the house that ignited my passion for houses. The one on the left. I am not sure how old I was when I first saw it, but we had been invited to it and my Auntie Julie was very proud of her husband, who had designed it and their best friend and neighbour who had built it and the house next door, the one with the white gates. The house next door was slightly different. I know that I was a child and at that very point, I wanted to be an architect like my uncle, despite not knowing much about the work, other than you got to design great places for people to live and have fun in. SO that was it really, thus my love affair with houses was born in an instant.

We used to go to family get togethers’ there and I do not know what inspired me to turn down the road for a look when I was out in the car the other day.
I hadn’t seen it for some time, it seemed such a huge house when I was a child growing up. In fact it was a detached three bedroom home when he built it, with the benefits of an open plan lounge/diner leading out to the garden. So different to our semi-detached post war house, but it still looks great today.

It is what inspired me to design my house, in the hope that I could entice him into doing the architectural drawings for it, before he retired, but I’m too late.

 

To Make Britain Great

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This poem is written in the aftermath of this week’s decision to Leave the European Union. For the Good or Bad of our future is a simple matter of opinion on which so many are currently divided. This is a timely reminder that whether you agreed with the outcome or were against it, we have to join together to make it work.

In moments of recent uncertainty,
My thoughts are peppered with “What might be?”
Should we have chosen to remain,
Will their loss be Our gain?
“There’s Hundreds of Millions of pounds available
To spend on our resources here we’d be able.”
Did we believe the politicians lies?
They did it again, it’s no surprise.
But as they go to greater lengths
We decide to show our hidden strengths.
So instead of thinking “The end is nigh”
Remember that the limit’s the sky
Before we joined the European Union, easy to forget
That our Kingdom was once United, don’t waste time on regret.
Were once Great Britain, will be so again.
So from back where we started is where we begin.
Everyone’s worried, our future’s unknown,
As we took this decision to go it alone.
A chance to rebuild and find a new friend,
New business relations, or money to lend.
Did we cut off our nose to spite our face?
Forget that our Kingdom is of mixed race.
It’s not about colour, Black, Brown or White.
It was simply about standing up for what’s right.
To make our decisions, affecting our land
Without bureaucrats leading us by the hand.
So as we found out how the votes have been drawn,
It’s about facing the day, with the new dawn.
Making our country one of the best,
Not settling for anything less.
Creating a place where we can be free,
To live and work together, happily.
A place where children can grow,
Learning that what we reap, we sow.
As time goes on so much may change.
Lives adjust to the new and strange.
So many have fled our sinking ship,
We hope that you enjoyed your trip,
But now is not the time to gloat
An Island fighting to stay afloat.
But to those who seek to take fright,
Off to places where the future’s bright.
This is not the place to decide to desert,
Whilst you are in pain and feeling the hurt.
Left reeling from the this country’s action,
It was just a temporary reaction.
We will come back kicking with all our might
Encouragement again to our Kingdom unite.
The backbiting, name-calling is just so wrong.
If we can’t stand together how can we be strong?
When neighbours can’t be side by side,
In this place where we all reside.
So embrace your neighbours, don’t battle with words
As we work, join together ever onwards.
There’s surgeons arrived here to save our lives,
So why are kids out there fighting with knives?
There’s houses which after wars they rebuild,
So why are they are unwelcome, the clever and skilled.
The nurses who came and our wounds they tended,
Away from their families, when fighting has ended
Let this not be a time for hate
The future’s arrived, so let’s not wait.
In a new direction, we have been shown
As we step off out into the unknown
We will not destroy it, it is not too late,
To once again make this Britain Great.

 

It’s More than just Bad Language

The Daily Post – Struggle

Far More than just Bad Language, it’s also knowing Right from Wrong.

This post is far more than just about bad language in our society, it is about knowing right from wrong. Due to recent events in the news, where people no longer seem to know what is out of order. They have crossed that line, the one which we are taught when growing up, not to cross, when we are taught what is right and wrong and how to react. This is not about one single act of violence against innocent people going about their lives, it not just about bad language it is about Anger and Hatred in our society. My thoughts are with everyone who has suffered loss at the hands of someone else, of the people who were taken without thought, far too soon and their loved ones who are left behind.

As I ask myself and those around me, what made everyone so angry all of the time, what removed the ability to see what is right and wrong? I, like so many others am searching for the answers, this is simply my own point of view.

When did the world become so intolerant? Where children were brought up not to swear will suddenly let rip and every sentence is filled with expletives. I find it unnerving, it didn’t used to be the norm. Is it an age thing. I’m not old, so I don’t think it is. Of course there were people who swore a lot when I grew up, but they didn’t do it at everyone, they usually had to be severely provoked for the occasional swear word to escape their lips. To be fair, I came from a home where religion played a pretty large part. It was not acceptable to use these words to express your anger or frustration. I know times have changed, but it seems that so many people have forgotten that there are other words which also suffice. Apparently if you are in your twenties or so, it is perfectly normal to “let them have it with both barrels” if something displeases you in any way and in no uncertain terms. I know someone who is like this, who has what I’ll politely refer to as a “fiery temper” she was not chastised by her parents and got away with it, but not with me. As a consequence, she usually has a certain level of respect afforded for me, which she lacks in others. It is not just her though, I have noticed in the workplace, walking down the street, in stores, it makes no difference it is wherever you go. Perhaps it is as simple as that in others too, people will get away with it if you let them.

So, what made the world so incapable of articulating their anger without peppering the conversation with the F word, or worse? Ok so maybe I am a little old fashioned along with my values. As a consequence some language makes me feel uncomfortable and I guess that’s partly what I have a problem with, I don’t want to be around it so I ask myself, am I over sensitive? Don’t get me wrong, there have been more than enough times when I have wanted to let rip too, but I wasn’t brought up that way, so I have an inbuilt off switch, something that does allow me to weigh the consequences of my words and actions. Where my common sense kicks in and tells me that “This is not a good idea” and I tone it down. I still get my point across and to some people it drives them all the more mad that I am not ranting and raving about it in the process. I have worked around people who F and Blind as it used to be known. I’m not pretending to be a saint, sure, I get cross and upset, but is there really a requirement to abuse the person you are angry with over some triviality. Why do people think that shouting abuse at someone would make them more inclined to listen to your point? I have also found that this is usually done by the people who claim to be intelligent and at least have an understanding of the common language.

So have we all resorted to guttural language to get our point across and anger when we cant?
When did we become so Angry? Are the people who are getting angry, going to know the difference between the right and wrong ways to enable them to change things, or are they just fed up at not getting their own way. Will they be so inarticulate that they will be unable to get their point however valid it may, or may not be, across to the masses? Or am I so outdated in my approach that this is all the masses understand? For this has now become the norm. In moments of extreme frustration I have been known to resort to the same level, to get my point across. I am not proud of such an outburst, immediately regretting it and such behaviour usually backfires on me. I have always prided myself on a decent command of the English language that I was able to get my point across without the use of such words. Am I old fashioned that I feel offended when I see Facebook comments that are littered with such words. It is wrong that I don’t want to read them, the person who writes them might be truly upset, or they just might be venting uncontrollable anger and I don’t want to get in their way. There is no willpower, no control over their anger and where does it lead.

I am a peacemaker by nature. I don’t like conflict, I will try and diffuse a volatile situation wherever possible, dealing with my own feelings of discomfort later. I have been downtrodden by the process at times, but I will only take so much before I go into battle with my assailant. It is the curse of the millennial that nothing is good enough for them, that they are hard done by, when they do not get what they want and they feel that the world owes them better. Is it that they weren’t slapped at their outbursts, shown that it was not good behaviour to use such language and show disrespect to the people around them. When did they lose the tools to show their displeasure in normal language, or were they not taught them in the first place and if not why the hell not?

In my own home, I now swear from time to time, it isn’t pretty and it happens rarely, but not as rarely as it should. Does that make me a hypocrite? No, I don’t think so because it rarely affects anyone else, it is usually borne of frustration or physical pain. When I’m outside of the home, it is a different matter, if other people are in earshot, I am conscious of my words and getting my point across in a “grown up” manner without the use of expletives, as a consequence I’m very rarely misunderstood when something angers or upsets me. It takes a lot for me to really blow my top and I try to remain calm to get my point across, but when that just isn’t possible, you’d better watch out.

Is it about respect, not just for their elders, or lack of it?
There were simply words it was not polite or excused to use when we were growing up. You would be chastised for their use and called a fishwife, it was just not acceptable behaviour. So when did it all change? Sure there were people who swore when they got upset, but you gave them a wide berth and stayed away from them, so when and why did it become the new norm? I am curious to know what influenced it?
I don’t think that the world in general has become a worse place, it is the people within it who have made it so. A place where people think twice about bringing children into the world, because of what is going on here. The people have become far less tolerant over time. There were wars, but there have always been people who do not get along and they have fought. But there certainly seems to be more anger and hatred than there used to be and more wars, which usually seem to be brought about by greed. More and more, it seems that people resort to explosive anger and violence just to get their point across. There are too many voices and they are all shouting, so now no-one will listen, so is it down to who is shouting the loudest that will win and be heard. Did the world stop discussing things, simply because people stopped doing what they said they would do? They changed their minds and didn’t think to tell the others, thinking that they didn’t have to be held accountable for their actions any more. The world would let them away with it and it has. Where punishment for your wrongdoing is either non-existent or disregarded due to it’s lack of severity.

We are surrounded by loud mouthed abusive children, who have now grown into disrespecting adults who are incapable of doing anything, who survive on their cunning by trying to be clever and outwit the people remaining who do have a sense of right and wrong. A disposable society which does not value anything or it’s worth, just it’s price. They now grown into adults who have children of their own who are being brought up in their own image and it is getting worse!

Don’t get me wrong, Good People still exist….

I know many people who have become great parents who are teaching their children right and wrong and whose families show each other the proper respect and this continues into the outside world around them. I also speak to teachers who are dealing with the aftermath of the “no punishment” brigade and go to work every day in fear of their safety. For the abuse they will receive from their pupils and are rendered powerless by the authorities to stop it. Living on their wits, when just a stern word could cause them to lose their lives due to the weapons which are brought into schools by children and used “to teach the grown ups a lesson”. These Teachers do this job, because they live in the hope that they are making a change for the better, that if they listen to their pupils and their voices are heard, if they teach them right from wrong, then the world will become a better place. Then the marks made on society will be achievements and good, not how many people’s lives have been lost or people maimed and damaged in the process of rising to the top.

We should not accept living in a society born of fear. Where you cannot leave your home without carrying a weapon, where you cannot own something nice, for fear of someone else wanting to take it away. For people resenting what you have because you have worked for it. Wake Up World, there is still time to change this and it isn’t going to be achieved by killing people who don’t see your point of view.