Overwhelming Thoughts

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Where do i start?? Having just survived the most challenging year of my life, I feel it now maybe time to start unpacking what going on in my head.

The unthinkable happened to my son and I early in 2017, the life we knew was taken away just like that. Somehow, I’ve just had to get through each minute, hour, day, week and month. A year of firsts, every day a new day that i hadn’t lived before. Things i never thought i would have to deal with. Not knowing how to be, how to feel, support my son in his pain. Now the year of first has passed, i feel its time to tackle my thoughts, feelings and fears.

I feel the correct process for me personally, is to write these down and in the months/years to come I want to look back and see how far I’ve come, the ups and uncountable lows. However, every time I sit down and open my new journal/notebook and hold a pen in my hand, out of nowhere all these thoughts flood from my brain to my hand and it starts to shake. The only way i can describe it, is if you had a fountain pen and the ink starts to flood out of the end of it…..that’s what happens to my thoughts which all seem to scream ‘let me OUT of this head’ and they want to spill out over the paper. I then get so overwhelmed and cant cope with the overwhelming thoughts, I start panicking, breathing becomes quick, I get hot and clammy and then i quickly shut the book, put the lid on the pen and then i feel safe. My breathing then slowly returns to normal and i start to feel better.

But am i really safe?? I know those thoughts are still in there….knocking and saying to me ‘we’re still here…..we’ll come and get you eventually’, I then bury them. I feel like I’m putting off the inevitable. Does this mean I just can’t deal with this now? When will I be ready to tackle these? Will I ever be ready to tackle them???

So, I want to heal myself from within and feel this is where I must start but the overwhelming feelings mean I can’t yet…..I’m not saying never – which i suppose is a good thing!

Mr Right

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I think about him all the time. I spiral into thoughts of ‘what if we were together?’. I tease myself for a while until I pull out of my reverie as I know building a fantasy in my head leads to heartache. I knew I liked him a while ago but I had already decided to leave and move home. What’s the point in getting involved with someone before I leave right? I’m not looking for a long-distance relationship. So we stayed friends and I kept my feelings to myself.

I had a great farewell but feel as though I missed an opportunity to say a proper goodbye to him.

Would I be missing him so much if there was someone here for me? If there was someone who caught my eye and occupied my time and attention like my thoughts for him do. If so, would I even think of him again as more than a good friend?

Lost in another daydream I wonder if he feels the same way. Going over previous conversations, messages and interactions I start analysing if I had already started building my fantasy back then. Were some of the moments we had as special for him as they were for me? What if I wasn’t so closed off. What if I had let him in? Where would our friendship be now?

I get a text. It’s him. My heart skips a beat. He mentions he had a soft spot for me. That’s all the confirmation I needed. I wasn’t imagining it. I’m glowing.

Now what? Do I continue to tease myself and go down the road of seeing where it goes in the hope he might move here one day or do I get on with my new life and be open to someone new. Do I want him just because I can’t have him? I’m tired with the questions that roll around in my mind and the pangs in my heart that yearn to be with someone. I wish I had Dumbledore’s pensive to drop my thoughts and emotions into. Hello, feelfivefundred. I release the endless questions, encounters and mind chatter, take a step back and watch them swirl.
There’s been a shift.
I can breathe again.

Days pass and the communication between us stops. I’m actually OK with this and he is obviously getting on with his life, as I am with mine. The obsession has subsided for now. I’m tired of my head games. Why do I make this so hard on myself? Why am I finding falling in love again so hard? Others make it look so easy.

I reflect on my newly discovered identity (my true Self) and realise that I’m better than these head games. I’m beautiful. I’m courageous. I’m confident. I’m creative. I have faith that if I continue to be Myself, I will find love with someone equally as worthy.

I’m here Mr Right. I’m ready.

My Struggle Within

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What did I do to deserve this? What did I do to make you not love me anymore? Why don’t you care? How could you abandon me?

These are the questions that I ask myself all day long, but the truth is I didn’t do anything, you never loved me – not really. I was never good enough for you, I was too independent for your liking. I reminded you too much of yourself and you didn’t like that. And when I started to want a life outside of you and your husband, that was the last straw for you. That’s when you both let the façade fall, so slowly at first that I didn’t notice and then you let it go entirely and we’ve ended up here.

At first, I was lost and confused – and in a way I still am – I couldn’t understand why you abandoned me, what I had done to drive you to make such a decision. I sunk further into the darkness that I had only just begun to dig myself out of.

But then I realised that it wasn’t me. It was all you. You’re the one who can’t get over past events, you’re the one who called me my father’s daughter in an attempt to wound me. But it only stoked the fire of independence burning inside of me.

I began to wonder how dare you do this to me? All I ever did was try to make you happy, my life revolved around you for 16 years. Now I see that was a waste of my time, I should have put my energy to better use. I shouldn’t have this many regrets at this stage in my life, after all, I was only a child back then – I wasn’t to know any better.

For so long I’ve blamed myself, wondered if I could have done something differently to make you stay, wondered what I did wrong, wondered what it was about myself that made you leave. But I’ve come to realise that it’s not me at all, it’s you. It always has been, right from the start.

You’ve systematically tried to separate me from the family, you’ve even turned my own brother against me. But what you don’t realise is that you’ve alienated everyone else in the process. You tried to isolate me and only succeeded in pushing me towards the people who really care about me.

And yeah, I’m lonely and struggling but I won’t let you win – because I’m a survivor.

The Men You Are

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I miss the way you say my name, I miss the way you look at me. I miss the way you touch my arm, I miss the way we smile. I miss the way you make me safe, I miss the way you love. I miss the way it made me feel, and it to feel to me. I miss the way they happened, and I miss the way they’re gone. But most of all, I miss the way I was with you, the way I felt for me.

For me I was contented, in your loving arms. For me I was secured, in your loving arms. For me, I was established, in your loving arms.

For me I was myself, as much as I could be. For here I am again, thanks to you at last. But it’s different this time – for now I have a past. A past you have endured, unfair to you. A past you needn’t know, unfair to you. A past you could have left, as it’s really unfair to you.

The way you make me feel is then, before the past I have. The feelings of before the past, the past you came across. For what is different so, is more than what I was. For what is different so, is who I am because.

The power you have given me, is power once and more. The power you have instilled in me, is fire I adore. The power you have fueled in me, you have no idea. No idea in what you reached in me, deep, deep, in there.

For here we are again once more, but this time – it’s different; you are able, stable, resilient, and kind. You see me, believe me, let me be me, and more. Not like the others, who saw me but couldn’t teach me; fuel me and support me.

The me you have is different, to before the past. The me you have is different, to the past itself. The me you have is me today, the me you have is me today. The me you have is me today, and it is me that is because of you, okay.

Why do I rely so much, on having you to begin? Why do I rely so much, on having you to end? Why do I rely so much, on having you to start? I clearly needed you.

A Letter to My Younger Self

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You’ll grow up in the bosom of your mum’s affection.

Enjoy it, it will be a secure attachment for the next 30 years and beyond.

Your Dad will change from a gentle giant to a demanding disciplinarian. He’ll make you work hard and will have a cruel streak. He’ll expect high standards and offer little praise.

Don’t fret. His behaviour is not to do with you, it’s to do with issues arising from his own childhood, far deeper than anything you’ll have to confront in your life. Soon, you’ll be bigger than him, physically and emotionally. He’ll become inconsequential and when the time is right you’ll cut him loose. There’ll be an unexpected bonus from your Dads ways. The working world will be easy. You’ll wonder how you can get paid for what is a fraction of the effort required to work with your Dad. This work ethic combined with your mum’s emotional intelligence will serve you well.

You’ll be soft and compassionate by nature, like your mum. This will make life at school difficult, particularly primary and early secondary school. You won’t understand aggression and will be forced to tolerate it, until you can figure out what to do about it. Your gentle nature will also make you sensitive to your Dads behaviour. It will cause you to over-invest in friends who won’t invest in you. It will cause you to treat women with tenderness and respect but they won’t always see the value in that until much later.

You don’t realise it now but this is your greatest strength. Later in life, it will enable you to form many a loving relationship, mentor people to great feats and be a leader in almost every domain of your life. You’ll come to realise that strong is sensitive. You’ll learn to spread your compassion a little more wisely. There is only so much to go around, so you’ll learn to protect yourself a little better. Your relationship with women will change. They will come to notice your strength and sensitivity. This brings responsibility. They will be drawn to you in a way you are not drawn to them, be gentle with their hearts because one day you’ll wish someone was more careful with yours.

You’ll love sport. Rugby, gaelic football but in particular soccer. You’ll be of average talent. You’ll lack the aggression required for rugby and the skills needed to guarantee your place on the soccer field. This will play on your mind. It will be added to by puberty. No matter how many sit ups you do in your bedroom you cannot fight biology and so, until you grow tall, you’ll remain chubby as your Dad will remind you. This uncertainty about your athletic identity will be compounded by a younger brother full of the talent and aggression required for sporting prowess.

Your early days on the sporting field will be difficult but your love of sport will sustain you for the rest of your days. You and your friends will follow your sports teams around the globe. You too will become an athlete. In the autumn of 2003, with your mum’s encouragement you’ll go for a run with an athletics club. The main thoughts occupying your mind will be ‘how to keep up and not be embarrassed’. What you don’t realise is that this will be the first day of the rest of your life. You’ll become an athlete in a sport where your work ethic is rewarded. You’ll suffer many injuries but your perseverance will pay off. You’ll meet a mentor, an older man, who will become one of your best friends. He will be the first man in your life to tell you that anything is possible. You’ll believe him and with every step you run your confidence will soar. You’ll make a career in sport and understanding all there is to know about it. At times you will feel as though you are living your dream – you are, well done my resilient friend, well done.

In your late teens and early twenties, you’ll still feel a little at odds with the world. You’ll struggle when not surrounded by your tribe of hard working athletic friends. Working abroad you’ll wonder why you don’t want to go the pub with everyone else, every weekend. You’ll wish you could fit in a bit better but at the same time you’ll always feel compelled to choose the alternative path of your interests.

You are right and they are lost. They appear certain by the strength of their numbers. In reality, they crave, at least subconsciously, your hobbies, interests and passions. These aspects of your life are what keep you physically and mentally sharp. It’s hard being the odd one out but on a Sunday morning, look at yourself and look at them. I know which one you and they would rather be. Hold tight, being the odd one out is what will make you a great leader. Remember, although you see things clearly, they cannot, so be gentle. Give more and expect less of them and your friends. They have not yet had your good fortune.

You, your mum and your brother will become the 3 best friends that anyone could ever have and by the way, eventually those sit-ups will give you a six pack.

Aren’t you the lucky one – enjoy the rest.

This article has been published as over five hundred words, only because the author is exceptional.

Absent Parenting

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How would you know that I hadn’t been well? How would you know I am good at what I do? How would you know what my drink of choice is? How would you know I love swimming in the sea? How would you know I don’t like sand? How would you know you don’t need to worry about bailing me out? How would you know how adventurous I am? How would you know I can stand up for myself if I need to? How would you know that I can read social cues and not force myself on people? How would you know that people actually want me around? How would you know that I am the happiest I have ever been? How would you know how low I was before? How would you know that I asked for guidance to let you go? How would you know that I was always convinced I wasn’t part of you? How would you know I’ve never felt loved by you? How would you know the hardest bits that I have endured? How would you know what a rainbow of people I have in my life? How would you know I am not embarrassed by the things you are? How would you know I was brave enough to make this move? How would you know that I had saved and planned hard for this chapter?

How would you know all of these things?

For you have never asked. You have never listened. You have never shown interest. You have never shown you care or made me feel loved.

My doubts are born from you, all my niggles and hang-ups are from your voice over my shoulder. I’ve been scared, I’ve skirted along the bottom, I’ve stared the worst in the face. Life is beautiful, exciting, challenging, terrifying, the biggest lesson of all – each and every day. But it has to be lived, because it is fleeting and can be over in a flash. It must be savoured and every day you must find joy in something – whether that is a nice chat, a free parking space or a new little flower in bloom. For you are missing out on all of this, so coiled you are in your worries, fears and judgements.

Please don’t bother trying now; what you have to offer isn’t what I need and what I needed from you once upon a time, I no longer need. You don’t have it, I found it elsewhere. The most wonderful bunch of humans I love dearly have each offered me a puzzle piece, which put together fills the void you should have once stood in. You have missed out on so much; I am pretty decent, yet you have always focused on my failings or the worse-case scenario. I am exhausted by you, by thinking about you; you drain the life out of me. I don’t want to see you. I wish you well, I want you to find your own happiness.