My very REAL life.

Things have been progressing slowly. My marriage, my job, my family are all moving in one direction – towards a united future.

I can’t be all ‘sunshine and rainbows’ yet. Whose life is that truly? Although in some cases, with certain people, I feel I have to portray that outlook. No matter how honest you are to yourself, some people cannot cope with the truth. They want to live in an idealistic world and only see you in a superficial light. It’s easier for them. Not witnessing the nitty gritty ins and outs of your life, makes their life run that bit more smoothly. This would be fine if these people were acquaintances but it’s difficult when they hold some standing in your life.

I spoke of the difficulties within my marriage earlier this year and was met with abuse. Abuse from strangers and people we knew.

To these ‘somebodies’, I had been too honest. I had crossed a line as a wife and taken some sort of revenge on my poor husband and even though I expressed his approval to my decisions, many fought against it. Many felt they could not accept that but it is what it is.

We all use different forms of expression. I too have lived a life of bottling things up, shielding my problems from others, avoiding truths and pretending life is okay.

As I fall into a new life as a mother, I want to set an example that it is okay to feel out loud. Nobody is tied down to read what I write by any means. If you do not agree, look away. I am not here to argue. Only to say how I feel.

My marriage in some ways is back on track. My husband and I have come through the bump in our road and made it to the other side. I cannot say that things are rosy – they aren’t. In fact, there is still some tension. He isn’t perfect and nor am I and I am still apprehensive about where our journey together will go. I want to vent and moan and be honest but am fearful to express my true feelings here as now there is an expectation of a backlash.

What a shame that my only outlet has been forsaken.

I haven’t written here for a while because of it. Unsure of what will provoke these ‘somebodies’, afraid of their response.

If you know my husband then you know him as a son, a friend, a brother, a colleague. Only I know him as a husband. Only we share what we share. I am with him every day and see every fault. I see the good things too. They are never forgotten but when I choose to mention the bad -the ONE time I choose to mention the bad – do not berate me.

Marriage is tough. God, it’s hard but I want to be married to him and I am glad we are being more open, more supportive and more positive with each other.

I am now looking after my daughter full time.

It’s a JOB. In every sense of the word but it’s the most wonderful,rewarding (and tiring!) job I’ve ever done and I’m grateful to do it. She is so funny and sparky and bright and kind – I could not be more proud of my little angel.

Motherhood has changed me. All I want to do is make her life wonderful just as she has done for me.

I hope all my followers haven’t deserted me and I promise to touch base more frequently from now on 🙂

Ros x

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The decision to stay at home.

Leaving your job, that you love, is not an easy decision to make. As a new mum, people will make assumptions and judgements on whatever choice you make. Stay at home or return to work? A choice that many working mums are faced with. When I got pregnant, there was no such thought in my mind. I wanted to return to work. My job was a constant for me, an achievement and most of all something that gave me a great deal of confidence and pleasure. Leaving was not an option.

However, nothing could prepare me for the feelings I had when my daughter came into this world. I had not expected to feel so overwhelmed with love and be distraught at the thought of leaving her with somebody else. In fact the very notion of it haunted me for the first few months of her life.

We researched many options for child care, shocked at the cost and left in despair at how we, two full time working people, could not afford to put our little girl into a day nursery for the week. The only other choice was for me to return part-time and for my daughter to be placed in a much less costly environment at a childminders’.

Sadly, even the few we visited left me feeling a little sick. Not because they were bad in any way but simply because I had to deal with my separation anxiety and not hers. She seemed to adapt well to one particular childminder, surprising us all (as babies often do) and both my husband and I felt happier instantly.

It seemed to be all sorted at work too as I was to return for two days a week while my little one was at her childminders’. Unfortunately we were dealt a little shock as we didn’t realise childminders charge something called a “retainer fee” to keep a child’s place free until they are due to start. In our case, her place needed to be retained for 6 months which would cost us an un-refundable bomb. We just couldn’t stand to lose that money thus putting us in a very difficult position.

I now had to consider leaving my job.

I read an article at the start of the year about more working mums in Britain, having to leave their jobs as they could not afford expensive childcare. London seems to be the most costly of places and sadly that is where I am. Other European countries seem to have this base covered a little better or a lot better should I say.

In Sweden, the state subsidizes the child care cost so the parents do not have to pay more than the equivalent of £113 a month.

£113.

The fee for our local, well known nursery per month is £1600. Yes that’s right – £1600!!!!! Fourteen times more than Sweden. It’s ridiculous.

I could have easily gone back to work part-time/full-time if childcare in this country cost an average of £113 a month! Instead, I have had to leave work to be at home with my daughter. Undoubtedly, there are positives to this decision. I get to do what sadly, a lot of mums cannot – look after my daughter daily and spend these precious moments with her. I am thankful that I can do that. I only wish I had more of a choice.

On the job front I will be registering as self-employed in the near future and starting a career that fits around my new job of being a mummy 🙂

After all, it is one of the hardest jobs out there and certainly one of the most rewarding.

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

2014 A Look Back: May – August.

May.

This month, my husband and I celebrated two years of marriage. I do not know where the time has gone! Also this month I concluded my letter series with a piece written to my sister. There have been no improvements on that front unfortunately. She still excludes me from her life even though several attempts have been made to build bridges. I remain confused to why our relationship ever stopped and from recent events, I doubt things will ever be truly resolved or that I am wanted back in her life. It’s all very sad.

June.

I had my five month scan in June. It was an important one to see if the baby had any abnormalities. It also tested for Down’s Syndrome. We were very glad to find out that we were not at risk. Baby was healthy and growing well. My pregnancy had been going well and apart from a pretty bad case of morning sickness in the first trimester, I was really starting to enjoy it.

July.

As the pregnancy continued and the symptoms became more prominent, my activity on WordPress began to dwindle. As a frequent writer this was unusual for me but the ever-growing tiredness was consuming my waking hours. Pregnant in the summer months was not very enjoyable and working all day did not help matters either. The end of July marked the beginning of a much needed six week holiday where I could finally take a well-deserved break and properly prepare for baby’s arrival. Unbeknownst to me, my organisational skills would save me in the end and my good preparation for baby would cause much less panic than expected two months later………

August.

In August I made a decision to leave the blog as soon as my baby came. It was a difficult decision to make but originally the whole point of the blog was to gain closure from the emotional abuse I endured for fifteen years from my father. It was to gain closure from his death and to release the anger I felt for him in a safe and controlled way. I achieved that last year so began to question my reasons for staying on here. However, with the turmoil I’ve had over the last few months mixed with the elation of creating my beautiful little girl, I’ve realised something. I NEED this site. I need to vent somewhere, to celebrate somewhere, to release somewhere, to be myself somewhere. That somewhere is here at freefromhim and I will not be going anywhere.

This is part of me now.

Ros x

2014 A Look Back: January – April.

January.

I started this year in a different frame of mind. I began the year with several promises to myself. Not resolutions but a pledge of ten things I planned to fulfil. Did I succeed? Not quite. I managed two out of ten. Pretty rubbish right? One was to celebrate my birthday (which I did) and the other was to say No. I think learning to say No is a big achievement however. Now I’ve got to learn to say Yes! That sounds hard. Yes seems more difficult than No. Yes means opening up and taking risks, something I’ve always shied away from.

On January 11th I posted a piece called “What a ‘victim’ will often hear” http://wp.me/p32vbr-1j6 . It was strange to look back and read the long list of insults and criticisms made on a daily basis to me by my abuser. So many women, girls (and boys) and children hear these poisonous words by people they trust. After years of listening to it, you undoubtedly begin to believe it. Thankfully, this post was followed by “What survivors should say”  http://wp.me/p32vbr-1jM a post I should really look at more often to remind me how far I’ve come and to keep me looking towards my future.

At the end of January, I posted a photo of my cooker at home. It was one of many photos I had taken of his property whilst I lived there. I wanted proof. Proof of what we lived in. People had been supportive on this site of my story, my journey. People had been very understanding that I suffered in my own way and although there was no violence, the abuse was still destructive and destroying. Sadly, you cannot always control who reads your work. There are so many supporters and equally plenty of haters.

Soon after posting this, I received a very critical comment from a stranger. Someone who knows nothing of my past, nothing about my father and the horror I endured. Yet this stranger, thought it was okay to condemn and chide me for my post. This stranger chose to belittle my abuse and imply that I was writing this to gain attention. Many of my wordpress family came together and put this idiot straight. Emotional abuse is hidden. It’s clever. It disguises itself well. It is harder to discover and can consume you as much as a violent attack.

 http://wp.me/p32vbr-1mT

February.

In February, I began experimenting with poetry. I have always loved poetry and written many poems when living at home with the abuser. It is a great way to express emotion without people fully understanding what it is you are saying. In other words, my abuser wasn’t clever enough to delve deeper into my poetry. He’d find them and know they were about him but his lack of intelligence prevented him from confronting me about it. I’d often find them ripped up in the bin. What else could he do?

I Hate Mondays has to be my favourite I’ve posted all year. Although, this one’s nothing to do with my father!

http://wp.me/p32vbr-1r0

 March.

Ah! The joy of getting older! On the 2nd I turned 32 and received the greatest present of all – I found out I was pregnant! Happy birthday me!!

April.

In April, I wrote a series of letters to certain people and groups in my life I felt needed to hear what I had to say. I must admit that there were some reactions to these letters and some were from the people I had written them to. I stand by my words. None were lies. I do not write lies. I needed a release and did it in the one way that felt comfortable and safe. As I have said many times, if you do not want to hear these things then do not read my page. If I am a nobody to you then what does it matter what I say? If you truly believe I am lying then why question it so much? Why punish me so badly? The reactions resonated with me more than the actual letters.

On a brighter note, April would be the first time I met my baby! Not in person thankfully but my husband, mother and I went for my scan and here was the result 🙂

roo

Wednesday 17th September – Just a normal day at work……….right?

This day began the same as any other. Yes, I was 32 weeks pregnant and still at work but I had made the decision to work through my pregnancy. Partially to keep me sane and active and also because my husband and I couldn’t afford to lose my wage for the next two months before baby’s expected arrival.

I woke up in the morning having had a satisfying, full sleep the previous night. However, shortly after rising I began to suffer from a deep headache. It came on very suddenly. I wondered if because I had been unwell the previous two days and had spent time at home resting and recuperating, that my body was unable to cope with the shock of waking up so early and heading out to work. It was the only explanation I could muster.

Once at work and after eating an unhealthy McDonald’s breakfast, I sat in the staff room being greeted and welcomed back. I felt fine if not a little tired. As I began my working day, supporting a colleague with a class for the morning, I felt eager to get back into my working routine. I sat supporting a group of children I regularly worked with for the first hour of the day. At 10 am and as we prepared to go to morning assembly, I suddenly felt odd.

Strangely and almost worryingly, I felt an urgent need to pass wind! Embarrassed at the thought I might “let one go” in the middle of the classroom, I sat tight in a fit of panic. Within seconds, my insides cramped and I was certain I had lost control of my bladder. I quickly realised that I couldn’t keep whatever was about to come out – inside. I immediately excused myself to the bathroom and hurried down to the staff bathrooms. Along the way, nothing could keep it from flowing out. I had no idea what was happening as I bolted down the stairs. I was convinced I was wetting myself.

Thankfully, no one crossed my path as I finally made it to a toilet. I locked myself in, pulled down my drenched trousers and attempted to use the toilet. Nothing came out. I was confused. Had I emptied my entire bladder on the way there? How mortifying! I stood up. Within moments, water began pouring out of me.

“Are my waters breaking?” The obvious question and answer finally hit my mind. I did the only thing I knew you could do to check if this was the case. Please look away now if you are easily disgusted…….
I smelled my trousers to sense the smell of urine. Of course, that would be the most obvious sign of a bladder problem. If the smell however was odourless, then it was definitely a sign of waters breaking. Mine smelt of the latter. NOTHING.

SHIT.

My waters had broken. At work. In class. WAY too early.

I was only 32 weeks pregnant and seriously panicking.

I waited and held my trousers underneath the dryer so that I would have some dignity when I could eventually leave the bathroom.

I managed to find the same colleague to help me after a half hour. She was surprised but her along with three other women, helped me through the nerves and stress of this sudden revelation. Well wishes and good lucks flew at me as I made my way to my hospital.

There, as my husband and mother met me, I was told baby needed some monitoring over the following days. So I was admitted into hospital. My waters were still coming out thick and fast annoyingly so I had to wear towels to stop the leaking. It was very strange. I was given an essential steroid injection to mature baby’s lungs in case it decided to appear sooner than we wanted. It bloody hurt! I’ve never felt pain like that before but unfortunately, it would not be long before I would.

After a few hours, I was placed in the care of the Antenatal Unit. David, my husband, stayed with me as I nervously waited to be told what was next in store for me.

It would be the start of my little adventure to the day I gave birth to Ivy-Wren.

30 weeks and back to work!

Can you believe it? On Monday, I will have reached the 30 week mark in my pregnancy. Since entering the third trimester, I have had a head cold, tummy troubles, insomnia and an asthma attack and it’s only been 2 weeks! Thankfully, all those ailments seem to be wearing off. Baby’s movements have changed significantly in the last five weeks. From light flutters and tingles, baby began ‘rolling’ in the tummy. Now, we are able to see clear little kicks and ‘bounces’. Baby is very active (unfortunately, this doesn’t bode well for after birth!) but we’d rather be feeling something than not.

We have listened to it’s heartbeat several times this month at numerous hospital appointments and of course at the hospital when I had my attack. Baby’s heart is sounding very healthy so we are all feeling relieved and happy.

Symptoms wise, I am not feeling too bad. The night time is the worst for me currently as my sleeping pattern has become rather unbearable. In fact, I am barely sleeping at all. It doesn’t help that I find it easier to sleep in the day which sadly, very soon, will not be possible as…………

On Monday I will be going back to work!

For some reason this has surprised a few people this month but there is no other way. My husband and I aren’t really in a position to reject another month’s wage and to be honest I would rather be busy than lounge around at home. I know it is good for mummy to keep up some light exercise during the third trimester and my hours journey to work and back should incorporate that much needed exercise. I think people are more shocked as I am not going to be sitting at a desk all day – if only! No, as I work in a school, my day is likely to be slightly more hectic! However, I have no intention to overdo it. I know my colleagues will be very supportive too.

So to all you worriers! DON’T WORRY!!

I’ll look after baby and myself 🙂

 

 

Back to my Books.

I was talking to a colleague today. There was chat of how long we wanted to stay in our current careers. I love my job but can’t help but long for a career as a writer. 

It is something I am looking forward to getting back to once baby is born.

I will be taking several months maternity leave and plan to use this time wisely. Obviously, raising baby will be priority number one. So any chance I get to write and return to my novels, will be used appropriately and efficiently. I think it’s time to get back to my books. They have been neglected for far too long. 

Several years back, I wrote many film scripts. Most were rubbish to be frank! However, there were a select few that stood out. Ones that were of the Thriller genre and could really hold their place in the market today. As they are film scripts, I will need to redo and rewrite them as novels. THAT is going to take a lot of time! But it’s something I am willing to do.

Many people have told me for many years that I will NEVER be a writer, that it is my sister’s career not mine. Who is to say what I can and cannot be?

Writing is my passion and it’s time I put myself first. Well, after baby that is.

 

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.