I have just found myself at a bit of a loss, I cannot get out as we have workmen here at the moment and the dogs will bark at them if I am not at home. I decided to have a look to see how long ago it was that I wrote my last blog, I was shocked as it has been over a year. I would like to say I have been busy but I probably have less to do than I did a year ago, so I have no excuse apart from the fact that I do not seem to have the same relationship with technology that other people do. I only look at my laptop about once a fortnight to check Facebook, I must admit I find it a tedious chore. I have developed a pet hate for people who post their every emotion fishing for attention, I can't work out which of the pair in this relationship is the most disingenuous, the person who craves to be the centre of things or the replier who can appear caring and wonderful with the minimal effort of pressing a few keys.
Perhaps I have become even more cynical in my older years, for although these postings are annoying they seem to be a way to say things that perhaps people find hard to say face to face. How many times do we feel utterly miserable but if asked how we are today, inevitably reply that we are fine? Is it that we do not want to appear weak? Or maybe we do not want to share our problems or burden others with something that we are struggling with. I have always been in the keep it to yourself camp, work it out alone and do not bother others. I find it hard to say what bothers me and on the odd occasion that I have tried to "share" have not felt better but have been left with a guilty feeling that now I have upset that person. I sometimes wonder why people always tell me their problems, they seem to overflow with private thoughts, feelings and deepest regrets. I seem to know all the deepest fears, secret affairs and aspirations of neighbours, family and acquaintances but I sometimes wonder if they know anything about me.
The last year has been quite tough and I was not expecting that. A year or so ago life was changing, the death of my FIL had suddenly left us able to have a holiday, the kids were finding their place in the world and I was looking forward to taking up long abandoned hobbies. I have been having a tough time with the menopause for a few years but nothing had prepared me for how hard it would be psychologically, trying to control moods and hold back a depression that at times can be crushing, is exhausting. I have always been extremely strong mentally and have been able to compartmentalise problems and deal with them no matter how large. Some of the greatest traumas in life I have been able to realise I will never be able to come wholly to terms with and have managed to live around. If asked I would probably describe them as giant meteors that came hurtling down into my beautiful garden causing devastation. On finding that they were too heavy and dense to ever remove I just carried on planting around them until they became a permanent part of the landscape. The silliest thing I have found is that it is the most insignificant thing that can upset me the most, a chip on a favourite cup, finding an old toy that I have fond memories of discarded in a waste paper basket in one of the kids rooms.
After losing Sophie, our eldest daughter, I spent every hour making sure our children felt total parental support in everything they did. I never missed a play or parents evening, I worked in the nursery school until my youngest felt able to be there without me, I became a disability one to one helper and baked for bake sales. I have had no close friends, interests or hobbies in the last ten years, my children have been my whole world. I have listened to their problems, tended to their every need and been beyond proud of all they have achieved. BUT I am starting to think that maybe I did such a good job at being everywhere and doing everything that I painted myself invisible. This is where I start to understand the postings on Facebook. People do not want to be forgotten, they are all shuffling to stay above the surface, vying for a position in a busy world where you can so easily blend into the background. I want to stand up and say that sometimes I feel overlooked, unappreciated but I do not want to hurt feelings. I know that I am loved, I know they understand that they have had a lot more support and time given to them than some of their friends but because I can't tell them and they do not see when I feel taken for granted, it goes on.
I was forgotten on Mother's day. My eldest son was going to text me but was busy and forgot. My daughter didn't get round to getting a card, even though reminded, until the day after, my youngest son was reminded to get a card and was going to order a present online but forgot. It is these things that matter when you are a mum. Mothers' day ended up being like any other, cooking cleaning and shopping. I don't know if I took it harder because I am hormonal at the moment, I know that I reacted in a way that was so unlike me. I cried hard and long and couldn't stop. I could not control my tears and started to get scared when this carried on while I walked my dogs, there was a feeling that the glue that held me together was failing. It took everything I had to pull it together. I am still upset, disappointed but I have to move on. Life is hard, it looks like it is going to get harder.