Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Time to move on?

Before Lewis died, I'd been thinking about getting another cat as a companion for him. I'd tried, but to no avail, only to be told by vile slag-hag charity worker with more snootiness than sense that my 'house was too chaotic and my children too naughty' to rehome a kitten from a local cat charity. Bitch. It was complete and utter bollocks. Yes, I'll admit I don't have the tidiest of houses, but you try having 2 children and a technically full time job. My children aren't overly naughty. They have their moments granted but unless you live in the 'children should be seen and not heard' era and permanently gag your children, who are tied to their beds for 23 hours out of every day then please EXCUSE ME if I have 'normal' children who make a bit of noise and mess.

Not that I'm bitter about the bitchy slag-hag.... oh no. *mumbles incoherently*

But anyway, I put the idea on the shelf after the whole 'charity' incident as it hugely knocked my confidence, as much as I shouldn't have let it. I'm a sensitive soul at heart, as much as I try and cover it up with extrovertness and outward self confidence.

Then Poor Lewis died. :(

After that point I felt like to even consider the idea of getting another cat would somehow be disrespectful. That I'd be seen as trying to replace him and that I was being insensitive to his memory or something equally irrational. Just thinking about it made me feel horribly guilty, sad, and even more mournful for Lewis.

Now, you may say it's ridiculous, being so attached to 'just an animal'. But he wasn't just an animal. He was my baby boy. He was as much a part of the family as mey, or Ashli, or Kaitlyn. His passing left a huge whole in the family and the house has felt empty ever since. It's odd actually. I never realised just how much of a presence a pet could have but now I feel uncomfortable being at home alone. It's strange. I feel all panicky and alone when I go to bed. The loneliness is borne of being so used to Lewis being there with me at night. He always used to sleep on my bed and have cuddles, before inevitably deciding he'd had enough, biting me, and then bogging off to the other side of the bed. But now I don't have that and it's strange to adapt to. It also doesn't help with trying to fill the hole in the family that he left behind.

It's now been about 3 weeks since he died. The hole is still there and although in general we're getting on with life it still doesn't feel right. I've always had cats since I was maybe about 9/10. They've always been a big part of my life and I've never wanted to imagine life without them if I'm honest. I am, and will always be, a cat person. Maybe not so much as being a crazy cat lady... yet... but anyone who loves cats will know what I mean. They play such a part in your life that they leave an impression on you forever, and they become a huge part of your life. Especially when you have them from kittens.

So, out of interest, I've been keeping an eye out for any adverts for cats or kittens. I wasn't looking to get a new one straight away. More just to keep an ear to the ground if you like, and if something came up I could think about it more seriously.

Yesterday I saw one. An ad in our local supermarket.

"4 kittens, 6 weeks old,
weaned and litter trained,
£20 each and ready to go.
Call ##########"

I saved the number in my mobile. I wasn't seriously considering calling it but I thought it would be at least a good idea to take down the number just in case I changed my mind.

I don't really know what spurred me into calling the number this afternoon. It was one of those whim decisions where you just think "Feck it, why not.". So I called. All of the kittens were still available as she'd literally only just started advertising. They only lived about 2 minutes away from where I would be at work tomorrow, so I've arranged to go and see them tomorrow lunchtime, taking along one of my best friends who's also considering getting one after seeing me mention it on facebook.

I'll be honest, I spent most of the afternoon wondering whether I was ready to 'move on' from Lewis, and whether it would be a good idea with me just starting a new job. Of course in my head my worries were just making me think of varying excuses really. There was no rational reason that going to see them would do any harm. But still I couldn't shake the underlying guilt.

Then, something rather odd happened.

I'd left something in the car, so as the kids were in their room watching a movie I nipped out to grab it. I opened the front door and there was a very cute tortie cat sat on my doorstep, just looking at me. Needless to say I was a bit surprised, but I gave it a bit of fuss anyway. It was ever so friendly and quite happily stood there getting some chin scratches. I presumed as soon as I disappeared it would run off back home, wherever that may be, as it didn't look like a stray. It was very happy, friendly and looked very healthy and wellfed.
Anyway, I left it on my doorstep and went to the car. When I got back I couldn't see it anywhere so I presumed it had disappeared. I went into the house and closed the door. Only to see it toddling off up the stairs and into the girls room! The girls of course were very excited and actually thought it was my dad's cat, Lucky, as they both have similar markings. The cat then wandered off downstairs to explore the rest of the house with me, albeit rather puzzled, following behind.

I gave it a bit of food and water in case it was lost but it then quite happily wandered around the house exploring and coming up for occasional fuss for a good half hour.

In the end I said my goodbyes and put him/her back outside. I couldn't have bared the thought of some other family being heartbroken about it going missing so it was best to send it on it's way with a full belly and some love.

I sat down after putting it out thinking what a strange coincidence it was.

People who know me know that I'm a massive believer in things happening for a reason. Although I don't believe in fate as such, being a preplanned existence that we're powerless over, I believe in a kind of life where we're guided along a path, the way of which can be altered and varied depending on our actions and our willingness to change. I believe in a higher energy which guides us with gentles reminders and 'nudges' every now and then, to either reassure us of our path, or to guide onto something better, to help us to make our decisions and walk our own path. I hope that makes sense to those reading it! Ah the joys of being pagan, it's hard to describe! lol.

But anyway, my point being that I genuinely think that this 'visit' today, was by way of reassurance that getting another cat would be ok. Some ethereal reassurance that everything would work out and not to feel bad for wanting to move on. When the cat was here it was really nice. The feeling of the family being whole again returned, and it reaffirmed by want for another cat. So whatever you want to believe, (I know my boyfriend for one thinks I'm crazy and doesn't get involved with my beliefs..) I'm content in the feeling that whatever happens, everything will work out ok in the end. Wherever Lewis' spirit is now, I would never be able to replace him. He is, was, and always will be, my baby boy. No cat in the world could change that.

But sometimes you'd just got to accept the circle of life for what it is, and learn to move on.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


This afternoon I came home to find a letter from the NHS and my GP on my mat. I opened it with happy hope that I'd had my hospital appointment through for my cancer referral and that I might be closer to getting some answers into what's wrong. Sadly, it was a random NHS questionaire and a letter from my GP confirming they'd sent off my 'fast track' referral and to contact them if I hadn't had a call or letter from the hospital within 14 days as they'd need to chase it up.

So back I went, back to the disappointed frustration of still not knowing what the hell's going on.

But then I started thinking, what if it's all in my head? The physical symptoms I can't ignore, the pain, the unexplained bleeding and such. But the other symptoms... what if my brain was just messing with me? A product of an ingrained paranoia and fear of 'the big C' from when my mum died of Cancer. I know for a fact I can be overly cautious and anxious. It's a trait I got from my mum who suffered with depression for a long time and had some anxious personality traits due to having had strokes.

I'm also having symptoms I wouldn't normally link with a gynaecological problem. Dizziness, panic attacks, nausea and general confusion. I actually ended up doing a pregnancy test so I could at least rule THAT out. It was negative of course, but in a daft way part of me wished it was positive. Not because I want another child, but just because then I'd KNOW. I'd have an explanation. It'd prove that I'm not crazy or imagining things.

I mean, can I really be THAT unlucky? Months of work/money stress, numerous bands folding before they've even got going, wisdom teeth that have been plaguing me for the past 6 months, my beloved cat dying out of the blue... and now this? Weeks of worry about my health and facing a god damn cancer scare at the age of 24. I'm struggling to sleep soundly as I'm plagued with dreams related to death and cancer/hospitals and I can't sit still for more than 10 minutes before the thoughts start creeping back into my head. It's getting ridiculous.

But the other thought is, what if I don't get any answers? What if it is nothing? I'll have gone through all this stress for nothing.

So is it wrong to hope that they do find something (Non serious of course), just the problems I've been having have a reason, and I'm not actually just slowly going insane?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

All change.

What a rollercoaster of a few months it's been. I can't even begin to explain the majority of it. It's been so up and down it's unbelievable, because as it always the case with my life, when it's good it's great and when it's bad it's awful. Not that I'm writing this looking for sympathy. It's just I NEED to get all the crap going round my head out I suppose, but things have been so busy recently that I've not had chance.
To summarise the main points of change recently.

I joined, and left a band, shortly before our first gig. Leaving was not through fault of my own though as the drummer and guitarist decided to call it a day. Frustrating as it was only a few weeks after deciding to start gigging. Your guess is as good as mine.

I've signed up to take my Grade 4 RGT bass exam, and currently revising for that as it can take place any time in June/July. Nervous, but looking forward to it. It's hard work though as before January I'd done no theory at all...

My beloved cat Lewis died last week after a short but fatal illness. The vet didn't know exactly what it was, but the last few days went downhill so quickly they thought it was either Poisoning or Meningitis. I was absolutely distraught as he was a massive part of the family and it still doesn't feel right without him. I've been mooching over the idea of getting another cat, as I'd been planning before he died, but part of me still feels as though it would be disrespectful to Lewis. Almost as if I'd be replacing him. No cat could replace Lewis, but I still have the guilt.

Jobwise I'm happy to say that I start a new job on the 5th May, a temporary contract until November as a Money Advice Caseworker for another local CAB. Also I've been able to keep on a small 4 hours contract at my current CAB as well as being able to do a day there voluntary as a favour to my boss. Looking forward to starting but it's a happy end to what's been an uncertain and stressful 6 months jobwise. Least the pay is good. :)

My main worry at the moment is my health though. The past couple of months have been really stressful all round, as generally if things go shit in my life they go VERY shit. I wish I knew why. Maybe it's just a lack of ability to deal with things. I'm generally a very strong person and have been through so much shit in my life as it is you think I'd be used to it.
Anyway. it's culminated in my now awaiting an appointment for an urgent cancer referral at my local gynae unit to check for potential cervical cancer. I had a big problem last year which was treated and I was referred then, but due to childcare commitments I couldn't go for the follow up. I was treated for an infection at the same time and the majority of the symptoms cleared up. The other symptom carried on but I didn't think anything of it. Fast forward to the past couple of months where I've been having problems again. Again, I've been treated for an infection but more symptoms have remained this time so I've been referred to the hospital with the fear of it them being caused cervical cancer.

I'm not going to go into the symptoms on here that I've been getting as A) it's personal and B) it's embarassing.

But for the sake of other who may not be aware what the symptoms are here's some info.

Although those symptoms can be the signs of other things, according to the doctor the symptoms I have are the main indictors, so I have to be tested ASAP. Looking at that list (It's the first time I've even thought to look what the symptoms are, you don't just think things like that are a possibility at my age..), I should've gone to the doctors a good 6 months ago and definitely had that follow up appointment. :\

At the moment I don't know what to think. It could be absolutely nothing. Or it could be cancer. My mum died of lung cancer, and 'the big C' is the one possibility in life that scares the crap out of me. I saw the suffering my mum went through and her eventual death. I don't want to go through that, and more importantly I don't want to put my kids through that. What would happen to the kids?? I've got no will? I've got no PLAN for anything like that. God, there are so many questions like that going round my head right now. I know it's possibly being overanxious as nothing is confirmed yet. I'm only 24, I'm otherwise healthy (If you ignore persistent infected wisdom teeth!) and happy, if stressed. But it's impossible to get the what if's/buts/maybes out of your head with something like this.

I've never been through a cancer scare before. Frankly, I'm petrified.

Friday, 22 January 2010

A fresh start?

I'm not sure what it is with me recently. I keep finding myself thinking about ifs and buts and things that I could do but that aren't really realistic practical at the moment. I'm talking about the possibility of a fresh start. A new job, a new house, a new life... somewhere away from here.

This in itself is weird for me. I spent my first 13 years of life being moved around from house to house, country to country, continent to continent, but my unsettled and debt ridden parents. They solved their problems by moving and running away from them. So I've very much become desperate for stability and security. I never had that when I was a child. So you would think that the last thing I'd want to do to myself and my kids would be to move. To some degree that's right. But me just writing the bit above about my parents has made me twig something...

"They solved their problems by moving and running away from them."

I think, in a nutshell this is what's going on in the back of my mind. I don't WANT to move. I don't WANT to unsettle us and have to start afresh. I'm looking for a new job anyway. And sure.. if the perfect job came up and it meant moving to be nearer then of course I'd realistically think about it. But that's last resort.

There's only really one reason I've been wanting to move away. My ex. The past year has seen him do a complete character reversal, and he's still be clinging on to ways to control me. Sadly, the only way he can do that now is through the girls. He's been messing us about, and more than anything, making repeated comments which insinuate that I'm basically a selfish bitch who neglects the girls and is essentially a bad mother. The trouble is he's completely obvious (at least I hope he's oblivious, has to be said nothing would surprise me anymore) to what he says. He is NEVER in the wrong. Ever. But that's the way he's always been. Part of the many layered and complex reasons I left him in the first place.

The long and short of it is, I'm fed up of being made to feel like a bad mother, and having the girls constantly messed about. We need stability, we need calm, and we need security to be able to be happy.

The sad fact is that other than this one part of my life, life is great. I'm the happiest I think I've ever been at the moment. I'm generally happy and content. The girls are great and growing up into great kids.. if stubborn! But I have to admit to being worried about how the very strained relationship with their father will effect them. Another reason for the wanting a fresh start.

If I can get away from the problem.. can I protect them from the hell I went through as a child?

I'm fully away that this could be read as though I want to run away and stop all contact with their father. I couldn't do that. It's not fair on the girls and they need a male role model in their life. Which to be fair is the only reason I put up with the constant crap I get. The sacrifice you make as a mother eh? I would never stop contact with him unless the girls themselves told me that they didn't want contact anymore. I would in no way manipulate or control them into a choice either. It's their choice and theirs alone.

But that's the sad part... they're becoming less and less bothered. I think they're so used to being let down by him now that they've stopped caring.

For example, when he first started messing us about the girls would be inconsolable. They'd want to see him all the time, they'd cry, they'd tantrum, they'd be distraught if they couldn't see him when they expected him. They got upset, I got upset because they were upset, it was a vicious circle.
So take today... their dad sent a typically shitty text about him being ill, which inevitably culminated with him not having the girls tonight. Ash is smart. And she knows the routine. After school on a friday they go to dads after dinner. So this is how it went today.
"Mummy, we going to daddy's later?"
"Not tonight darlin', he's poorly."
"When will we see him?"
"I don't know hun, I'm sorry."
"We going somewhere special tomorrow?"....

And that was it. No reaction. Not fussed. K didn't even ask and hasn't even noticed the change. Ash just doesn't care. They used to get really excited about going, but now...? They're 4 and as-good-as-3. It doesn't bode well for the future.

But as for the fresh start? What would it solve? It would be likely to cause more arguments than anything, even if potentially temporarily. I don't know. Part of me still gets tempted by the idea. But for all the shit I've been getting and want to get away from, I have so much going for me here. Ashli is going well at school, and both her and K have lots of friends at school and nursery. I'm on the path to a great well paid job, it's just a case of finding one that's permanent. I have my own place which is cheap, I have my dad local and a good relationship with him now. I've got my beautiful daughters, amazing friends and the closest bunch of girlie mates I have EVER had. Even at school. And of course I have Ian. And things are great with us, so what happens if in the future we decide to get a place together? You just don't know how things are going to pan out.

So I think at the moment I should focus my efforts on making my girls happy, ignoring the bullshit, sorting my job out and enjoying the amazing things I have right here. Instead of pining for something that wouldn't actually solve the problem anyway....

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Life as a deafhead

I've found myself in a strange predicament recently. I am, currently, at least, partially deaf. It's not permanent (I hope :\) and tomorrow I should be having it sorted out.

Monday night I had my second band practice with my new band at which I used foam earplugs. Now, since before christmas I've had problems with wax blocking my ears. and I was SUPPOSED to have gone and had them syringed to clear the blockage. But because of the girls and work I didn't get chance to go and left it, but kept meaning to go. So come monday after practice, I leave and I'm pretty much deaf. My preexisting tinnitus is screaming at me and everything was muffled. I didn't think anything of it. I just thought that practice must've been loud and to turn down next time. Through the night it continued, disturbing my sleep and driving me crazy.
Then I woke up tuesday and it was even worse. I had slept through my alarm and was woken only by the girls turning the lights on. It was then I realised that I STILL couldn't hear anything clearly. I was also getting shooting pains deep in my ears. I booked myself an emergency appointment at the doctors that morning and went straight down. Seems that the earplugs had pushed the existing blocked wax further into my ear, completely blocking everything off. Treatment? Olive oil in the ears repeatedly for up to 5 days then go back and have them syringed. That was it. No help for the pain, no solution to the deafness.. nothing. Come back in a week.

So I went to work. I had a debt appointment I had to keep so went in straight from the doctors. I managed to bumble my way through before going home, just about managing to make out what people were saying and holding myself together. When I got in I put the olive oil in my ears. That was the point at which I went substantially deaf. Presumably the oil made everything swell up and blocked it even more. I couldn't hear anything. I couldn't hear the girls, I couldn't hear the tv, I couldn't hear myself talk. Quite literally all I could hear was the internal echo of my own voice the my tinnitus screaming in my head.

For those of you who don't know what tinnitus is, it's basically the brain being tricked into hearing something that there isn't an actual external source for. It's making it's own noise basically, and it can be triggered by hearing damage through loud noise, infection, or foreign bodies in the ear canal putting pressure on the ear drum. My preexisting tinnitus is from hearing damage through loud music and playing in bands without wearing earplugs. Thankfully I've learned my lesson in that respect, and now wear earplugs at every practice and any gig. But in this instance, I've got the wax putting pressure on the eardrum as well as the existing. And because I can't hear any normal background noise to take my mind off the normal ringing it sounds like it's 100x louder than normal. And it's driving me insane. The deafness is bad enough on it's own but when all I can hear is an extremely loud high pitched ringing, combined with hissing like you'd get from an out of tune tv (but mostly the ringing), I was expecting to be put in a padded room by the time the afternoon was out.

Oh... and if you want an idea of what tinnitus can sound like... check this out. From the British Tinnitus association website..

Now imagine that in your head... 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...

It's been 2 full days. 2 days of being 'deaf'. It's been a very strange experience, and actually very, very frightening. Because of the noises in my head I keep thinking I'm hearing things, and I don't know if I'm hearing them or not. I think I can hear music, but there isn't anything playing I keep thinking I hear the girls calling, but they're fast asleep. It's actually quite frightening because it becomes very easy to start questioning yourself and your sanity! When in reality my brain is just distorting the tiny amount of sounds I can hear and combining them with the tinnitus and coming up with something weird and otherwordly. I swear someone was playing a guitar and talkbox in my head earlier..

It's also been very, very lonely. And I will admit there's been times over the past couple of days where I have broken down in tears. Partly the frustration, partly the frightening nature of it, and partly because you feel so alone. You are literally alone with your thoughts. You can't hear other people, you can't watch the tv properly, or listen to music, or do normal things. I had to call in sick today as there would've been no way I could've interviewed my clients. So I have been alone. alone with this screaming in my head, completely isolated from pretty much all normal sound. Ian, my boyfriend came over last night, but I could hardly hear him talk. I had to struggle to work out what he was saying and thankfully I know him well enough to understand his mannerisms etc. I was just grateful of some company, and something to distract myself from this horrible internal loneliness. I did feel sorry for him because I must've been awful company. Having to have subtitles on the tv and not being able to hear what he was saying, even though he was merely inches away. Tonight, I'm on my own, and it's taking all of my effort to not break down. Thankfully I have my appointment to get them syringed tomorrow afternoon at 3. But this is only because Ian has been kind enough to take an hour or so off work otherwise I would've had to wait til next thursday. Over a week away. I think at that point I would've been insane. PROPERLY insane. Rocking in a corner repeatedly punching myself in the side of the head.

Over the course of the afternoon I've had little 'clicks' after which I've been able to very temporarily hear. I'm talking literally a fraction of a second of clear hearing. The sound is deafeningly loud and really overwhelming! But, it's reassuring me that this is only temporary and that once it's treated and sorted, I'll be able to hear again.

Hearing, I've learnt the hard way, is something you really can't take for granted. And there's no way now I'd ever not wear earplugs at gigs or practices now. I also have some less noticeable earprotectors I'm going to start wearing to loud pubs/clubs as well. I never, ever, want the tinnutus to get this bad, or to damage my hearing any more than it has been. It's been a horrible, scary, lonely and upsetting experience. and it's only been 3 days. Imagine if it was permanent...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

carpetgate 2009

Asa xmas present from my dad, he's paid for me to have happy new living/dining room carpet :D
This however meant I've had to gut the room and take up the old carpet ready for it to be fitted tomorrow afternoon.
So began 2 hours or carnage and near death experiences...

Supervisor cat is supervising..

The incredibly odd list of baby girl names my mum wrote. Found UNDER my carpet. I moved in in October 2005. My mum DIED in sept 05 and my eldest daughter was born march 05.... wtf?

Never trust a woman high on prescription pills with a bread knife... uh oh.. too late. Speaking of prescription pills..

..the carrier bag mine came in.... lol. God bless wisdom teeth...

For some reason I painted that when we moved in and decorated. Who DOESN'T want to find "hi" in yellow paint on the floor?

Got to love the council's answer to flooring. "I know, lets stick thin slate tiles on tarmac!" Expected to find my own private parking space..

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

No rest for the wicked

Hello strangers :D (If anyone actually reads this thing.. lol)

So much has happened since I last posted and my life has gone into crazy hyper overdrive mode. I rarely get time to myself at the moment, in fact, I'm actually writing this from work! Lol Oh the irony..

Anyway.. after all my money worries and problems and gripes about being on benefits, guess what. I'm back at work! A new contract came through at work a few weeks ago and I am now working a whole 18 hours a week! The wage is pretty nice too :D, but more importantly, I'm now off benefits! Well ok, not entirely, but I'm now not on income support at all, and I just get a tiny amount of council tax benefit and housing benefit as I'm a single mum, and of course my tax credits/child benefit and whatnot.. but the main thing is that I'm not longer completely reliant on benefits to get by! It feels great! However I am now a proper little busy bee, as my new role Advisor/money advice assistant essentially means I'm a trainee debt caseworker, dealing with the smaller cases on my own and helping the qualified caseworkers. :D I love it! Only problem is this new contact is for 6 months only. So come March I'm going to start having to look elsewhere if no other funding comes up as I am NOT going back on benefits. No bloody way am I going back to that hell.

It's funny. This has been such an up and down year. I've caught myself on a few occasions thinking about just how much has changed. It's insane. The first half of the year was an utter mess in every way shape and form. But the second half has just gone strength to strength. It's still had it's ups and downs granted, you can never escape those really. That's life. There'll always be little issues and bumps in the road. My divorce is still going through for example, and I've had various problems with my ex, but now I've pretty much stopped regular contact with him things are getting easier. Still not perfect by any means and I'm still not happy with certain arrangements, but I won't go into detail on here. I love my girls and they're happy. That's all that matters and all I care about.

Things between me and the beef are great. Scary to think that come Christmas we'll have been together 7 months though. Where has this year gone??? For the first time in a long long time I'm actually happy with someone, I love him and it's most importantly reciprocated, and I'm actually ENJOYING being with someone, without NEEDING them. It sounds daft, but we have our individual lives and we meet in the middle, which is nice as we don't drive each other crazy (yet lol!) and I think on a personal level that's something I've not had in a long time. A life of my own that I have WILLINGLY shared with someone. Prior to this I've basically been dictated by everyone else. I can finally say, that for the first time in a looooooooong time, I'm truly happy :). Which is nice :D

The girls are both great, Ash is doing really well at school and KK is as cheeky and eeeevil as ever. Typical 2 year old. Lol. Ash is really coming into her own and really growing up fast. It's really blink and you miss it with them at the moment. They're both coming on and my babies are definitely well and truly gone. I can't believe they're nearly 5 and 3 respectively. Scary.... :\ I have to keep snapping myself out of flits of broodiness recently, which is crazy, seeing as I've only just started to regain my sanity. Lol! That and I'm pretty sure the beef would run a mile if I ever mentioned such suggestions to him..lmao! “Let's try for a baby!!.... wait... come back!! Where are you going?!?!....” lol :D How to put the frighteners up someone in one easy step :D I may be insane, but I'm not THAT insane.

Divorce wise things have been pretty straight forward so nothing really to tell. Applying for the Decree absolute on the 9th December, so you never know, may have it in time for Christmas. Lol Happy Christmas! Should come through pretty quick after I apply so just depends how busy the court is really. How exciting... not. Lol

Anyway, I should really quit rambling. But that's where I am now.. busy.. but very very happy :D Will try and keep writing as much as possible. But what with work, the girls, the house, the beef, the lbfs, the ou course and trying to have a social life it's all a bit manic! lol