Goodbye Sleep.

Goodbye Sleep, it’s been fun,

but tonight I’ll forget when I ever had some.

For the nights are longer and the days are short,

and baby’s awake for much more than I thought.

Farewell Sleep, I hope you return,

but until you do I’ll just have to learn

to get through the night without you there,

for baby’s awake more often I fear.

Cheerio Sleep, it was good to meet you,

but for now I must say Adieu, sweet Adieu.

Au revoir for a while, so long and god-speed.

As long as baby’s awake it’s you that I need.

For all the mummies whose babies are certain to be awake tonight as the clocks go back tonight in the UK!

Starry Starry Night – Vincent Van Gogh

Lie ins.

Fluffy pillow

cotton sheets

freshly washed, hard to beat

tired body

aching head

clinging to my comfy bed

curtains closed

becoming light

dependent on the distant night

 warming feet

duvet days

shielded from the sunny rays

ticking clock

stirring sleep

covers tangled in a heap

waking up

fight begins

for one more hour of my lie in.

Courtesy of Google Images. 

Chapter 2. Part 1 – America and Late Teenage Years.

To be brief and before I post this, I need you to understand that I am posting something that only my mother and husband know about. I want to do this to show him for what he was. His early signs of emotional abuse and emotional incest, need to be exposed. He spent the majority of my teenage years exposing and humiliating me as this chapter will show you all. To reveal the entire truth about that holiday is a massive step for me as I am still hiding a lot of painful moments we shared together, torment that he flung on me and boundaries that he broke. I hope one day, I will not fear the judgement.

Part 1:

The first summer arrived so quickly. I had just finished my GCSE exams and my father had booked a long holiday in the U.S. I had been once before with my sister and that was a very revealing trip for her. She saw him in his true light. However, he spent the whole of the last holiday showering me with attention. I could not wait to return. I was desperate to get away. Things had been left on bad terms with my mother and we barely had a relationship. This felt like a much deserved break.

The memory of the America trip is a painful one. Still to this day I find it difficult to talk about, having only shared the hardest part with my mother in recent years. It was the first time the real character of my father shone clearly. After building up an almost God-like image of him throughout my childhood I was about to have the biggest revelation.

The holiday started out fine. We stayed with relatives on the West Coast then set off on a road trip across California. Money was an important part of his life. Although for years he showered me with gifts, he would often scrimp and save in other ways. Frequently with food as he hated being ripped off. If anything was expensive it was “over-priced” and we would only ever visit restaurants that had clear offers displayed.  However, he was very concerned about external appearance. He liked to look affluent. This was apparent by his choice of car. A white Cadillac with a red leather interior hardly gave off the image of a poverty stricken man. He dressed very smartly for someone on a relaxing holiday and spent plenty of money buying clothes in well known American stores. To the outside world he must’ve appeared so generous and well turned-out. However a new and different side of him was slowly unravelling in front of my eyes.

He lost his temper very quickly and became easily provoked. If someone was tail-gating him or driving slowly on the freeway he would steadily get agitated. He regularly vented his frustration in the car, telling me how un-cultured these people were or that they must be women drivers.  Often he’d swear through gritted teeth, it sent shivers down my spine as his face changed to a threatening appearance (it would be a familiar expression I’d relive over the following twelve years).

It wasn’t only strangers that annoyed him, eventually after a week of the trip I became a giant nuisance too. I had never really been bullied before. I was unaware what bullying felt like so didn’t notice what was happening to me at the time. He began nitpicking about things I said and did. He constantly corrected my grammar and if I dropped a‘t’ off the end of a word he’d cut me off mid-sentence and force me to pronounce it correctly. The way I walked was an issue. If I was too slow he’d tell me to stop lagging behind but if I bounced ahead, he’d criticise me for not waiting as he couldn’t keep up.

Gradually I became aware that it was difficult to put a foot right. This resulted in me being extremely cautious and worried of disappointing him or getting an earful about my “juvenile” behaviour.

Day to day activities was a chore. He had changed personality overnight. He continued to be cowardly, refusing to ask for anything himself, it was my job as usual. If we were out for dinner and he needed the bathroom, he would insist that I should ask the waitress where the toilets were, more specifically the male toilets. If I mentioned that it was an odd thing to do, he would instantly accuse me of being a selfish daughter not wanting to look after her elderly father (at the time he was 59, hardly elderly). He most certainly wouldn’t approach another woman to ask that kind of question. I quickly learnt there was no reasoning with him as when I tried to, I was bombarded with demeaning names.

If we needed directions he made me roll down my window and talk to a passing stranger or get out and run to the nearest shop to ask. He didn’t worry about my safety in these circumstances (I was only sixteen at the time), just as long as he wasn’t coming across as needy or weak.

I felt humiliated for the entire trip on the road. The worst thing (and the most difficult to talk about) is the memory I only recently revealed to my mother.

We often stayed in nice hotels in the cities but when travelling through smaller towns we resided in motels each night. Not wanting to waste money, my father would only book one room. The first time this occurred was our first night away. I was horrified. I was a sixteen year old girl; I knew how inappropriate this was. Praying that he’d have thought this through and asked for twin beds I was mortified to find instead a large double. I didn’t question him. (Although I now wish I had). He thought nothing wrong in his decision. He wanted to keep his costs down. His argument would’ve been clear. Why would I need another room if we were only staying one night? And more importantly, why would I want to waste so much money for no reason? So every night for the next two weeks, we shared a bed.

I remember each night running into the bathroom to get changed, panicking at the thought of seeing him undress in front of me which he had done previously without a care. I never slept in pyjamas, only a long t-shirt. I berated myself for not planning properly, for not having trousers to wear. Tugging my shirt down, I would quickly leap into the bed. My father undressed in plain view of me, stripping down to his boxers and then putting on pyjama pants and a vest. Why did he not go into the bathroom after me? We had never been this open as a family; everyone seemed to enjoy their privacy. Except him. Thankfully, the motels beds in America were huge so I pushed myself as far to the edge as possible. I barely slept the entire holiday.

One morning, towards the end of the road trip we stayed in a small motel in Fresno. As we checked out I caught the hotels clerk’s eye. He was staring at me, confused. He asked my father our room number and if he had the key. My father handed it back to which the clerk inquired,

“Was it just one room?”

I bolted out of that reception and headed straight to the car park, humiliated and ashamed that someone else knew how wrong it all was.

My father had no idea of how other people perceive things and if I dared to suggest the obvious, he would call me ‘evil’, ‘disgusting’ or ‘perverted’. Me, perverted?!

Night Terrors.

It has been over seven months since I last blogged about dreaming of my father. That is because it just hasn’t happened.

Until now.

Last night marks my first night terror in a long while. A conversation with a colleague on our way home from work sparked my memory of my nightmare as we discussed funerals. At 4.am this morning I awoke suddenly. I was short of breath, sweating and disorientated. What had brought on the beginnings of a panic attack? It didn’t take long to recollect.

I had dreamt of the abuser. It was so vivid, so real, that I was completely shaken up. The worst thing was how frightening the actual night terror was. I had dreamt that I began receiving phone calls; phone calls from my father. My dead father. When answering these calls, he would speak to me, from the dead. In whatever hell he is in, he was speaking to me. I could hear his voice so clearly. The roughness of it punctured through the earpiece and entered my soul. In the dream I was as terrified as when I woke up. He sensed my fear, reiterating that I would never truly escape him, that he would forever have control of me and that I was a puppet to him, one that would be his source of entertainment (a position I had in reality).

The nightmare ended abruptly and I awoke with a jolt. I looked around the room, aware that I was on edge, searching through the shadows on the walls, looking for a figure. Like a child, the light went on. I needed reassurance.

I do hope that this will not be a new pattern and that he will not haunt my dreams. I just want closure from him. The everlasting stress that continues even after he has gone, needs to be put to rest. Just like him. I cannot cope with the games my family are still playing, even now. It is only adding to my already fragile state.

Moving on, is a simple thing, what it leaves behind is hard.
Dave Mustaine

How to deal with stress.

I have been suffering with headaches these last few days mostly due to a stressful few weeks at work. Ibuprofen seems to do the trick but I cannot rely on pills to relax me and I certainly can’t take them every day. I am not very good when it comes to applying strategies to deal with stress even though it is the one thing that seems to impact greatly on my physical health and state of mind.

It probably doesn’t help that my mother went into hospital today for an operation. My husband has gone with her and having just finished a phone call with him, the results have been so so. Thankfully cancer seems to have been ruled out – at least for now and that was the main worry. She has been diagnosed with something less major and controllable. However, the levels of stress in me are yet to decrease.

Here are five ways to eliminate stress that I intend to use this week – without the aid of painkillers:

  1. SLEEP – Clearly I am not having enough. You are apparently supposed to have eight hours a night – at least! I can definitely tell you I am not. So, as of tonight, I’m getting some earlier nights.
  2. BYE BYE CAFFEINE – I drink far too much coffee, especially at work. On Tuesday I drank four very large cups of the stuff which is much more than I’m used to. I can honestly say that it did nothing to soothe me or relieve any stress. It is a well know fact that caffeine releases adrenaline into your bloodstream which in turn increases stress and anxiety levels. I’m limiting myself to half a cup in the morning and that is it! Green tea all the way haha!
  3. STAY POSITIVE! – This is a hard one especially at work but too much negativity leaves you feeling tired which leaves you feeling stressed. Plus, I am British, we do like a moan now and again! Here’s to putting a positive spin on things no matter how irritable I may be. Things can always be worse right?
  4. SING – I guess this plan is designed for me. Singing has always been a release and although I cannot call myself a ‘singer’, my voice won’t crack windows! Maybe it’s something to do with breathing and ‘opening’ your lungs that is relaxing. 
  5. MASSAGE – If I could get a massage every day then that would be heaven! It’s got to be the number one thing that relaxes me. Okay, that’s probably not going to be possible. But this is where I become even nicer than I already am and sweetly ask my husband to give me a few neck massages every now and again!

What’s the point in worrying? It’s time to de stress. 

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Hans Selye 

Insomnia!

I have absolutely no reason to still be awake. It is one thirty in the morning in London, UK. I am sitting here at the computer after an hour of tossing and turning next to my husband. The bed is getting tired of my movement, making awkward sounds as I turn from side to side. I’m worried I might wake him up; so I leave.

Why am I awake? Why am I restless? I am not used to being out of my usual sleep routine. That’s what holidays are for right? Instead, I feel guilty to relax. A lie-in feels wrong and unjustified.

I suppose that’s the downside of working in a school. Your body clock is always set for an early start and any other way just ruins it. The temptation now is to stay up until I’m exhausted and wait to conk out completely. Only to wake a few hours later as my husband goes to work to reset my body clock.

I may have to say ‘goodbye’ to the lie ins.

Can’t sleep.

I should really be asleep right now but having lay in bed for the past two hours with no sign of dropping off, I have officially given up.

Something is on my mind……..

I had a response to the last “spiteful girls” blog, an unpleasant one. It was clearly someone who knows N and was not happy about my post. They mirrored N by telling me to assess myself and look at my “own faults”.

I have never said I’m faultless. Quite the opposite. I find fault in almost everything I do.

They also made the point that I needed “help”.

I needed help from N ten years ago. Writing is my help. It allows me to speak out and share my experiences. Experiences that are mine. Nobody can deny that. They happened to me. Anger won’t get you anywhere, I’ve learnt that. It isn’t about revenge. Silence is not the answer. How many more women have to keep their mouths shut to save the reputation of others? I can understand that other people may not and might never have seen N in the same light as me. It doesn’t mean what happened to me didn’t exist. She was and is a clever girl.

So right now, I am awake. With this now on my mind.

Conclusion of “spiteful girls” tomorrow.

Or should I say today?