Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ramblings about drama and stuff

I have come to the conclusion that there are far too many emotions tied up into one show for me to deal with at once.

To start with, you have the buzz of the show that amplifies everything in the first place.
 - I met Gav at one theatre group
 - He founded another
 - Being at a show thus feels weird because show + Gav = normality
 - I really miss being able to do drama. I don't sing so well and although they're currently doing a play, rehearsal clashes with my home group night.
 - I really miss the atmosphere backstage during a show.
 - I really, really miss Gav if I go and watch a show.  It just feels wrong without his commentary on what's going on technicals/back-stage-wise.
 - The last time I walked into a full auditorium that had the proper pre-"show"-type of buzz, I walked straight back out again, out through the main doors and down to the beach to watch the waves for 10 minutes by myself.  I found it all more upsetting than I expected.  The fact that I was desperately lacking in sleep and had been working 50 hour weeks during the lead-in would also have been a contributory factor.
 - Being almost on tenterhooks because I'm trying to process all of the above means that my idiot filter has a hair trigger.
 - My mum is capable of setting my idiot filter off without even being aware of it if I'm not concentrating.
 - My mum also appears to insist on asking stupid-sounding questions (in the name of polite conversation and small talk) that would be just as easily answered by reading the programme properly or sitting and watching the show for 5 minutes.

(and breathe!)
(all caps was deliberate then, as was swearing and bold and the five exclamation marks, clearly the sign of a deranged mind ;o) )

So, yeah, that's why I was watching tonight's show from the corridor rather than from my seat.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feeling better tonight

I ended up taking today off of work and did my usual trick of going to the cafe/deli on the local high street for lunch where the food is amazing.  Freshly cooked, local ham, egg and chips is a pretty good medicine for heartache it appears.

I've realised that I need to learn to tell the difference between what seems to be making me upset and what's really making me upset.  I thought I was getting into a confusion because of the-friend-who-I-have-an-unsuitable-crush-on but I wasn't.  That was an easy thing to focus on and prevented me from realising that, actually, I just really miss Gav and there's a part of me that's not looking forwards to Christmas because he won't be around.  I don't have an enormously large crush on the-friend-who-I-have-an-unsuitable-crush-on, just a tiny one and I've dealt with that before, in the past, so I can do it again.  As far as I can tell, my relationship and the way I act around him never goes into inappropriate territory; I'm the one pulling back from a hug if it feels wrong.  His relationship with me isn't really my problem, that's something he needs to sort out himself.

I've also decided that it would be a good use of my time to randomly take a day off midweek every couple of months or so.  While I probably appear quite articulate (if longwinded) on this blog, in real life, it can take me a really long time to work out what I really think or feel about something.  Sometimes, I can come up with answers instantly.  Sometimes, I don't even realise that part of my brain is telling me that something is wrong until I end up over-reacting to something completely unrelated.  Taking the occasional day off here and there to do nothing but try to get my head around wherever I've got to at that point can only be a good thing.

First thing to do tomorrow at work - check the annual leave chart and work out when my next random day off will be! :o)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Full of large amounts of melancholy right now

Not for any particular reason that I can think of, just "cuz for" (Family variant of "because" when asked "why?" of something)

Today is obviously a day for using long and archaic words

(on an unrelated note, wasn't there some indie-ish band in the mid/early 90s which had a name along the lines of X and the Melancholic Ys or was there an album called Melancholia or something, Melon Kolly? I think it was probably during my Take That-hating, Let Loose-loving days of early teenagerhood (why yes, my iPod does have untold seams of cheesy, apparently crap pop music that I still love anyway ;o) ))  {too many brackets again!}

Ah, said iPod has just started playing the song that has probably caused my melancholy this evening.  Lana del Rey's Video Games.  The strange thing is, it reminds me much more of my relationship with an ex-boyfriend than it does mine with Gav. (Apart from that line about "he holds me in his big arms" which makes me think of the-friend-who-I-have-an-unsuitable-crush-on!).  In all fairness, Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People probably hasn't overly helped either.  Xfm is currently radio station of choice when I've got access to either internet or a DAB radio.

I find myself listening to a lot more music now than I used to.  And, and this is the impressive bit, I've finally stopped turning my music right down so that no one can hear and comment on whatever I'm listening to.  I realised that I got into this habit way, way back, probably when  I was still in 6th form, when my then-best-friend-and-guy-I'd-fancied-for-far-too-long was a complete and utter music "snob".  It wasn't worth listening to unless it was played by, ideally, John Peel or, at a push, Steve Lamacq.  On the other hand, he was also first to ask to borrow "Performance and Cocktails" when that came out.  Part of me still misses how simple 6th Form was, even if it really didn't feel it at the time.  I don't miss the stress of having a mum who seemed to believe that an "A" stood for Average instead of being the top grade, but then-best-friend-etc had a mum who was just as bad.

Hello again.  My brain's just come back from a tangent where I was contemplating my favourite memories of then-best-friend-etc (who, for simplicity, I shall refer to as Tim, that having been his name!).  They are good memories.  He was a complete sweetie when he wasn't being an arrogant git.  The good thing about writing all this down, is that you aren't aware of the huge gaps in my writing while I go off into another reverie as another memory floats into my brain.  I can't believe how young I really was at 17 either.  I was still a complete kid in some ways.  But, then again, it's stuff like that that has shaped the me that's sat on the sofa now. [Cheesy pop alert!  One Direction - What makes you beautiful, I am no longer to be ashamed by such crap!]

When I started this blog, I was full of anger at God.  That's not there so much at the moment.  In all honesty, I haven't been thinking of Him so much recently, I've been generally distracted and can't connect with God at all.  That probably, almost certainly in fact, means that I need to make a concerted effort to sit down for some prayer time by myself.  Hmmm.  

Oh how I wish that my life was easy and simple at the moment.  I really don't want to be wondering about the-friend-who-I-have-an-unsuitable-crush-on and how he didn't appear to speak to his wife all night at a group Christmas dinner but he searched me out and came up at the end to give me a hug and said either "Happy Christmas, gorgeous" or "Happy Christmas, you look gorgeous".  I can't really remember which it was that he said, I was more floored by being called gorgeous.  I admit, I was looking good, for reasons that I explained last night, but I hadn't dressed up to go fishing for compliments, well, not beyond the normal, girly, preening compliments that all women share when they're more than usually dressed up!  Random thought, at least I've grown well out of the stage of memorising every single thing that a crush says to me so that I can replay the conversation later and extract every single (imagined) nuance.  If I hadn't, I'd have perfect recall of what he said.

Complete detour, it turns out that, by the end of that previous paragraph, I'd got to 749 words.  What are the chances of managing to continue wittering onwards until I hit 1000 words?

Oh yeah, Christmas.  That's what I think I originally meant to blog about in the first place, but I got distracted by memories of standing out on the terrace at school before A-levels and thinking that I'd never feel so connected to another human in my entire life.


There is going to be such a fucking hole in this house over Christmas, it's untrue!  

And, in essence, that's all that I really want to say or think about the matter.

No one to wake up next to in the morning
No one to co-host Christmas lunch with.
No one to tell silly, exaggerated stories that no one is quite sure whether or not to believe but there's always the chance that it really did happen just like that (if you've ever seen Big Fish, you'll know precisely the sort of thing that I mean!)
No one to enjoy that companionable silence with after everyone's gone and you can finally get away with sprawling on the sofa and enjoying all the new books you got.
No one to drag to the midnight service.
No one to cause me to remember to watch the Dr Who Christmas special (I'm assuming that, as normal, there'll be one this Christmas.  I really don't know though, as I never normally bother to watch the TV.  Books or the internet will always win in my opinion.)

I'm now trying to second-guess myself.  Do I want a glass of Bailey's because it tastes good or because a shot will stop my brain caring about all this stuff I've just typed out.  You, my imaginary reader, may well be telling me that I surely deserve a glass of Baileys after all of this but, after a break-up with my first proper boyfriend while I was at uni in London (a city which I really do hate living in), I realised how easy it would be to turn to alcohol to fix everything and I promised myself that I would never drink alcohol when I was in a bad mood.  In the past 11 years, I've broken that promise to myself only once and that was shortly after being told that my contract at work would not be up for renewal and later finding out that they'd taken someone else who was barely more qualified than me on at twice what I'd been on. I think I was only allowed one single vodka/orange juice before my friends decided that I was in a thoroughly out of character mood and was not allowed to drink any more alcohol and certainly not at that speed.

In conclusion, I'm going to have hot chocolate without Baileys as I think I'm after the alcohol purely to calm my brain down enough to get to sleep quickly and that is a bad reason to drink if there's no one else around to keep an eye on you.

(1268 words, if you're curious, not including this final line)

Monday, December 19, 2011

And a carer I was, too.

29 years old is far too young to be changing your fiancé's dressings and being complimented on your bandaging skills by the district nurses because none of them are quite as good as you.

That "in sickness and in health" bit - I would have meant every word if I'd have had chance to say it properly in the church.

(Okay, no more Twitter style updates unless I manage to plug Twitter into this blog! :o) )

That previous post feels very disloyal

But, screw it, that's where my head is at the moment.  There's a part of me that wants to celebrate being free and not being a carer any more.  And that's important too.

Really looking forward to going out tonight

This time last year, I was nagging and chivvying and chiding and being bossy and generally overriding Gav's protestations that he really didn't want to go to his youth group's Christmas do.  Seriously?!?!??  This was the man who, before the spell in ICU, would choose to do stuff with them and would completely forget that we hadn't actually seen each other for more than 5 minutes straight for well over a week!  He was going to go to his Christmas party and he was going to enjoy it if it was the only thing I achieved all day :o)  As a result, I never had time to get ready for my own party, elsewhere that night.  One year later, and it's my own choice by posting this, that I'm going to be late this year!

p.s. - he did enjoy his party in the end last year.  I knew he would.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

There are times that I forget stuff...

...and one of those times is now.

I keep on forgetting that my nan passed away at the same time as Gavin was in ICU the first time around.  I'm starting to think that I just didn't process it at all at the time as I had absolutely no brain power to spare by that point.  I'm only just realising this now as some friends are dealing with their own gran having had a bad stroke.  I was trying to work out why my reactions were so strong when we were talking about it and then I remembered that I don't think I'd been able to react at all when it was my nan.

Perhaps the past 18 months have messed me up more than I thought.  Much more likely though is that it's just called being a human.  The brain can't have unlimited processing power and so it chooses to deal with stuff whenever it can; even if that means hitting you round the head with some really random memories at really bad/inappropriate times.

On another note, I've decided to write down the story of the past 18 months so I don't need to feel that I have to remember everything (this is obviously the curse of being known to have a good memory for when stuff happened and where it happened and who was there and what everyone was wearing {I don't exaggerate there!}, I feel bad when my memory isn't up to my usual standards).

(Apologies for crap grammar and bracket usage up there.  I know what I mean to say but really can't work out how to phrase it properly.  Blame it on being bunged up with a cold!)

In general, I'm actually doing a lot better than this post would suggest.  I'm tired and have a head full of cold but everything's okay apart from that.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A month later again

Strangely enough, the whole world looks a lot better now that I'm not working 50 hour weeks in the run up to a major deadline at work.  It's still not perfect but it's a lot better than I thought it'd be.  I've just found and posted the beginnings of several posts that were floating around in draft form, even if I can't remember where they were going because they are still important thoughts that I was having at the time.

The hardest thing over the past week has to have been Sunday afternoon.  I actually miss half-heartedly trying to do housework while distracting Gav from whatever he was attempting in the way of writing or playing obsessively on Facebook and deciding to talk to the lizards instead.

At some point over the next few weeks, I'm going to have to sit down and work out what I really want to do with my life.  What do I want to do with my spare time?  Where do I see church stuff going?  Am I really going to become a handicrafts whizz or should I stick to baking?  What about decorating the flat?  What about that OU course I started in a fit of enthusiasm back in the summer.  What about work?  Am I happy in the team that I'm in?  How can I adjust my work to make me happier without the prospect of going up a grade?  I think I might take a day off work and go and spend the entire afternoon in one of the local coffee shops with my iPod and a large stack of paper and do one of those stop/start analysis things on my entire life.

Church is variable at the moment.  It all seems so easy and then, all of a sudden, it isn't.  Admittedly, last night, the fit of bad temper and tears was almost certainly directly due to having asked God to let any excess pain out rather than me wallpapering over it because everything was "going well".  So, I spent the next few minutes (silently) screaming and shouting at God and swearing lots.  I felt much better with it all out of my system and without shouting accidentally at someone for no apparent reason.

I've been doing the Lay Pastoral Assistant training at church over the past few months.  I'd love to get involved in youth work again (I think) but I discovered the other night that the other two people running the group this time are a pair that I find very difficult to work with.  Yes, Welcome is as important in it's way as Word, Worship and Witness, but it's very difficult to feel part of the team when Welcome sometimes takes up nearly an hour of an hour and a half long session and they're all talking about school stuff.  Particularly activity days when I have no idea what the activity day was all about in the first place, let alone who Mrs So-and-so is and why it was so amazing/awful that she did x, y and z.  The closest I've ever got to their school (where one woman worked and the other had both her daughters attend) is outside the gates to drop my goddaughter off one morning.  I'm more than willing to try to keep up and remember teachers and class/house/whatever names and the major events that are coming up but it's not easy when the conversation just keeps flowing on as though you're not even there!

Oh yes, reading back on one of my previous posts, I mentioned a while back, that I thought my relationship with God was shrinking.  It wasn't until I was rolling out some marzipan to decorate Christmas cakes with that I realised that my relationship with God isn't shrinking at all.  It's all being pulled in together to be rolled out again into a different shape.  It's just not obvious to me as I can't see in the same dimensions as God can.  It's amazing how philosophical you can get about stuff while in a sticky, marzipanny, apricot jammy, crumby mess and dancing and singing along badly to "Rumour Has It" by Adele.

I could also do with getting my head straight around a situation that's accidentally come up.  One of my (male) friends was told by a mutual and much respected friend that, with everything that's been going on in my life, that I need hugs and that he should not feel embarrassed, awkward or downright English about hugging me.  This was A Good Thing in the beginning because I was sorely lacking in hugs and this friend gives very good hugs.  You can see where this is going now, can't you?  Yeah, there's a bit of a crush going on there now.  Of course, he's also married with two lovely children.  Urgh, I honestly believed that I'd grown out of teenage-style crushes.  The normal, friendly big hugs are fine.  It's the ones where, God and everyone else knows, it's been a tough time and all the support that he says he doesn't have the words to speak all goes into one great hug.  These would be the same hugs that always make me think, "this man is amazing," and that is, in my eyes, a really inappropriate thought.  It might be easier to deal with if it wasn't for the fact that I never ever get hugs of any shape or form from him if his wife is anywhere around.  Hmmmmmm.  This always makes life feel distinctly odd.

There must be a better way to end a blog post rather than just to stop writing.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Snippits of blog posts

Yesterday I had 3 individual ideas for witterings.  Today, I've had a further one.  Do you think I can flesh any of them out into a fully fledged wittering?  Can I hell!

Wittering the first
Cause - my boss's leaving do
Main thrust of wittering - I haven't been out properly on a Friday night in ages, last time I tried to go out, I completely failed to even dress up as I was trying to get Gav out the door to his own event at Christmas.....prior to that, it would have been well before he went into ICU last summer....even if I went, I haven't got anything to wear......I'm fat, all of my clothes make me look dowdy......I haven't even got any nice shoes!
Basis in reality - individually, all valid points, however, I really shouldn't have conflated them all together into one messy lump like that.  No wonder I never made it out of the door!

Friday, November 04, 2011

A feeling-full post

Having recently reread "Jo's Boys" by Louisa May Alcott, I've decided that some of Prof Bhaer's words are good words.  Feeling-full is one of them (feeling-gull, however, is not!).

Today is very definitely a very feeling-full day

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Oh look, it's 00:08am

(Stop being pedantic!  I know that should have been 0008hrs or 12:08am but 00:08am looks more dramatic)

Home group tonight was good, except for when we caught up on our Week 2 homework which was to do a "spiritual health assessment".  Basically just a questionnaire with questions like "I am growing in my ability to share and show my love to others", "I have a growing relationship with God, through reading the Bible and praying", "I am faithfully attending my home group and Sunday services to worship God".  All answers were from 1 to 5 with 1 being "beginning" and 5 being "well developed".  To start with, I disagreed with "beginning" as that seemed to give no option for having begun, got a good way along the path and then having been knocked right back, possibly to behind where you first started the journey.  I then decided that I really didn't like some of the questions (the only honest answer for the second question I mentioned up there is, basically, any negative number as I feel the relationship is shrinking rather than growing)

But then, having thought about what I've just written and what we were talking about tonight, I can't help but think that I might actually be completely wrong.  I'm not sure that, in actual fact, my prayer time with God isn't more honest than it has been in the past.  I'm not asking for anything or trying to praise Him, I'm just sat there saying, "I can't talk to you yet."  I know I'm sat in the middle of a cocoon made from barbed wire but it shields me and prevents Him getting too close.  (My analogy makes sense to me.  I am, mentally and spiritually, battered and bruised right now.  I'm getting better which is why I'm covered with dressings and bandages {hence why the accurate answer to "how are you?" following one really good worship and prayer session would have been "bandaged up properly for the first time"}  Anyway, protecting this very battered me is a huge spiral of barbed wire to stop God reaching in to heal me.  One day, I will take all this metaphorical barbed wire down and start praying and worshipping "properly" again but that's still some way off yet.

(One day, I will post before I'm ready to fall asleep at my keyboard.  Zzzzzzzzzzz)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A week later

I've survived what could well have been the world's most difficult weekend and I was doing so damned well until last night.  I didn't sleep well, I kept waking up every couple of hours and then I had a really unfriendly dream.  I dreamt it was my wedding day.  I'm still not sure where this wedding took place.  It wasn't X Church, if anything, it looked more like the Graphics room in the Technology block at my old school, possibly crossed with one of the many St P's around here.  I was there for the whole day but somehow managed to bustle off to sort something out and so miss saying my own vows.  It was really quite odd and upsetting in an odd way.

I'm fed up with people at work who think they know me asking me how I'm doing and trying to jolly me out of answers like "Surviving" or "Not so bad".  The next time someone assumes that I'm referring to the crap that's going on at work, I'm going to recount to them, in great detail, precisely why "Not so bad" is actually a pretty good summation of how I really feel.

Last night was the All Souls Eve (?? Night??  Spot the not-very-Anglican-at-all-really!) service at Gav's old church.  I was sat at the back and I'm not sure that, beyond joining in with "Be thou my vision" at the end, that I actually engaged with any of the service.  I spent most of it in a complete sulk with God.  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted"?!?  What if I want answers, not comforting?  What am I supposed to do then?  I can't bear to ask Him.  When I had something important, He ignored it.  At the moment, I can't drag any comfort from reading the Bible and finding comfort in prayer would require me to want to talk to Him in the first place.  The Bible seems full of stories along the lines of "My life is shit but God is and always will be good" but I need a story where the protagonist admits that prayer seems pointless, the Bible sounds trite to their ears and that it just doesn't seem worth worshipping a God who doesn't answer the important prayers like all the stories say that he does.  I'm supposed to be training as an LPA at the moment but if I ever get asked to do the classic visiting-type stuff, I'm going to be worse than useless.  All I can offer at the moment is my own pain and dislike of God.  There's no way that I could toe the "corporate" line on any faith-based questions.

Hmm, now I've been completely derailed from my sulk by a webcomic artist who I follow on Twitter posting a photo of his Halloween costume.  And I now have a really strong urge to devour all of the Thursday Next books in one sitting, which is not ideal, given that, as normal whenever I get anywhere near Blogger, it's gone midnight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In reply, wittering about stuff

It seemed easier to resurrect one of my old blogs than to take over a comment field on another blog.

(disclaimer, this post will almost certainly involve swearing, religion/my faith, typos aplenty, more information than you might possibly want to know about me and a certain amount of the release of random thoughts that have been spluttering around my head for ages now)

Grief is (a word I'm struggling to accurately type at the moment)...WEIRD.

I've been self-censoring myself recently on Twitter which is silly, given that I started properly using Twitter as I was censoring myself too much on Facebook.  It's not ideal when any status update which could indicate that you're not in the best of mental health results in an almost instantaneous phone call or text from your mother along the lines of "Are you alright dear?".  Now, I try not to post to stop my friends worrying.  And it turns out that they're all doing the same.  Hmmmmm.

This week was due to be a difficult week.  I got engaged to Gavin pretty much exactly 3 years ago, even down to the hour.  We were due to get married at 2pm this coming Saturday at my home church.  Unfortunately, one of the many side effects of his chronic kidney disease and heart failure and the drugs to fix said conditions was very high blood pressure.  On Sunday 27th March this year, I left a smiling, sleepy Gav cuddled up in bed while I went off to church and came back to find him collapsed, unconscious on the floor.  He was rushed to A&E and, thence, to ICU.  He never regained consciousness and his life support was turned off in the early hours of Tuesday morning and he passed away at 4.20am on the 29th of March.

It was, quite frankly, a complete and fucking kicker that it was like this.  On the Saturday (I believe, or at least, I think I believe; my sense of time passing has been a bit screwed up over the past 18 months), we went to the marriage prep course.  On the Sunday, I was sat in the waiting room in ICU trying to make all the appropriate phone calls when my mobile had no battery, I was swiftly running out of change and the pay phone wouldn't phone mobiles anyway.  Seriously?  I know he was ill but we should still have had more time together than that!!!  In an odd way, I'm glad it was something that the doctors said he wouldn't have suffered much with rather than for him to have been slowly going downhill for ages with pneumonia or 0% kidney function or something.

And this is where my world got turned upside-down.

I hate it when women define who they are in relation to everyone else, but it's a useful shorthand.  I mentally screamed, "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!" at the first official form I had to fill in that needed my marital status.  I've planned half a wedding, kept watch by a hospital bed, got back home as the sun was rising, let jsut about everyone know, planned a funeral and a memorial service and the subsequent gathering at his local and the only tick-box I fit in to is still "Single, never married".  That just doesn't seem fair.

Since then, I've had good days and bad days, lonely days and shite days, days when "normal" seemed possible and days when all I could do was hide from the whole wide world.  They tell me it's normal and to be expected and stuff but there are still times when none of that seems to count.  One of the worst things at the moment is that I can't pray properly.  God as healer?  I'm sorry but I can't trust those words at the moment.  I asked him to heal Gav and He didn't.  .I've been given a lot of His strength over the past few months and I can ask for help for other people but I struggle to pray for myself.  It's horrible really.

I was going to witter on some more but it's nearly 2am and I have to be at work in the morning.

to be continued