Broken Wings

It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult choose your word's wisely

It is a fact that never in your life will you experience a time that makes more of impact on the person you are than your childhood. Whether we realise it or no those milestones of learning are set to impact our lives in ways we cannot even imagine, often having a reverberating ripple effect that will stay with us forever. We as adults often do not realise just how much the children we were has shaped the adults we are now and i wonder if ,were we more aware, we should change the way we are lest we affect another.  Throughout my life i have encountered many different people and each has had a very different childhood and as a result each has grown into a very different person from the other. 

My own childhood was not a good one, being both abusive and massively dysfunctional. I grew up feeling that i could do nothing right for it was hammered home in a most painful way, forever to stick with me after that. When you are repeatedly told you are not good enough, that you cannot do anything right and hear the constant ‘why cant you be…’ then eventually this sticks in some permanent recess of your brain. I believed it. Then and i still struggle with it now. 

Stupid. I heard that word a lot. 

Useless. That too. 

Thick. Gormless, Mental,  Not right in the head…i can go on but you get the idea. 

Perhaps not the worst of it is hearing it at all but on hearing it after you really have tried your very best to be good enough. I remember as a child trying so hard and emerging flushed with success for i believed i had done well, only to be dashed to the floor when i was told it wasn’t quite good enough. If i got an A it should have been an A+, likewise a B should have been an A. 

After a while i guess you just stop trying for what really is the point when you’re stupid anyway right? I often wonder had i and many others like me received the right kind of emotional scaffolding and encouragement, just where and what we could have achieved as a result. Back then, however, i was not as wise as i am now and like many i had very little comprehension of any self worth. We settle you see. Settle for what we can get for we do not believe we are worthy of anything better and thus we forget how to try. It makes me wonder just how many of us could have been a somebody had we only had the belief that we could. 

Self Esteem. Such an important factor in taking us where we want to go in life yet rarely do we put any effort into either our own or that of others. I struggle badly with self esteem, thankfully aware of it in my wiser years than i was when i was young. Yet being aware does little to fix the problem for being aware does not repair the damage of a lifetime. You can stand infront of a mirror all you like and tell your reflection that you are wonderful but if you do not believe it deep down then it is all really for no gain. 

I am great, i am wonderful,  i am a nice person,  i am worthy….NO you’re not youre STUPID remember!! Youre FAT and USELESS….remember?

It is surprising how much power we hold within ourselves to be the build up or the tear down of another person. I am very much a silent observer, i people watch and i see and i learn. Even in adult life there remains this blatant self absorption that sees little room for the consideration of others and sadly it seems the more successful one becomes, the little we care for the feelings and struggles of others. It is sad to see that often people forget to remember from whence they came and pay it forward to those not yet so far along the road. Instead the childhood behaviour continues and those lesser mortals are trampled over, ignored or made to feel just not quite good enough. It makes you wonder just how any of us get anywhere at all for it seems that far from being an enlightened society we are often most predatory in behaviour, having the ruthless uncaring aggression of our long ago predecessors. It is so easy to revert to type and look down our noses at those we consider not our equal but are they really? But for twists of fate and fortune are they infact your equal after all but without the positivity you were privy to throughout your life.

I don’t particularly want to be a significant somebody. I have no aspirations to be a member of an elite superiority that cares naught for the little people in life. I do not want to be holding out my hand for a little help up the ladder and finding nothing there for i was not considered ‘good enough’    I never wanted to be famous, nor infamous and i certainly do not want to be a ruler. I simply want to be the best version of me that i can. You may consider yourself superior and i am truly glad for you if you do for i shall not mind a bit.  I am learning to accept those things i cannot change and i have learned the hard way those people worth putting my care and effort into and those who are not worth my time at all. I do not need to impress anyone with some fake version of myself to make people like me for i no longer care if you do or no. Being popular no longer holds any attraction for me if it means i have to be anything other than myself. 

Still occasionally like everyone i find that some hurtful behaviour from another, some slight or some ignorant dismissal will cause the childhood conditioning to crowd in and overwhelm me before i stick out my chin and remind myself i am not a child any more. Still the fact remains we shall always be a product of our upbringing and the teachings of a childhood remain with us for a lifetime in more ways than just the learning from books. Perhaps it stands to reason that the cure is to build the solid foundations in the first place and avoid the crumbling walls and shaky buildings later in life. Look around you, do you put out your hand to help someone else just for no other reason than because you can? Do you ever give someone a chance to prove to you that they can be great even when you have no proof that they can? Do you ever stop and think about how you treat someone else may impact them for longer than the time you actually interact with them?  Instead of berating someone for their ‘failings’ have you ever instead just praised them for their successes?

Childhood has a far reaching impact within our lives and it is sadder still when the actions of we as adults continue the damage that has already been done. It costs nothing to help someone else, perhaps you may in turn get help when you need it most.

You can learn to fly with broken wings. You just need to heal them first, 

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The Lost Art of Propriety

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Propriety. Little known a word today yet cast yourself back a mere century and you would find yourself in a time considered the epitome of propriety. In a time when ones image and behaviour were the most important factors of all, attitudes toward other people were courteous and respectful regardless of who they were. It was considered the height of bad manners to be seen conducting yourself in anything but a decorous manner and regardless of your personal feelings towards another individual you were expected to maintain this nevertheless. Of course a class  divide did exist and those of higher station were not expected to treat those below them with equality but nonetheless there remained a standard of conducting oneself regardless.

Forward again to the present time and alas the situation is very much different. Manners seem to be very much a dying practice and people in general rarely care nor heed whether their treatment of others is courteous or respectful. One would imagine in today’s society that this would be simply the evolution of the lower classes and indeed i have heard comment before that nothing better can be expected from the poor. Strangely though it has been my experience that it is not these people who are perhaps those most guilty but those more successful and affluent individuals in this modern day world of ours. Indeed i myself have been witness to a growing rudeness and supercilious dismissal of others that exists within the business classes and it becomes more obvious the higher up the ladder of success one has climbed. Perhaps there exists some unwritten rule that should you gain success of any kind this no longer puts you in the category of having to maintain a respectful manner towards others.

Admittedly our lives are so much more consumed with our careers than perhaps in any previous era and there can be no doubt that on the whole we are busier than ever before. But have we really become so self absorbed nowadays that we care little about others nor about our attitudes towards them?

Does success really make you so much better than anyone else that simple manners and pleasant manner are so far beneath you?

From recent experience it seems so and i have, on more than one occasion recently, stared aghast at some rude quickly dashed missive designed not to consider the feelings of the recipient and indeed leave them feeling curtly dismissed and slighted. Perhaps it says more about those in receipt of such ill treatment that they in turn do not respond in kind as one could argue would be justified. Whatever the reason it seems the population of today would do as well to look to their ancestors and perhaps learn a lesson or two in etiquette.

Measuring your success by how high up the ladder you have climbed may seem to many to be the way of today. But if the only respect and admiration you have is from your peers of similar ilk then perhaps you may not be quite as successful as you may believe. Courtesy and manners cost nothing and there are many that seem to have forgotten that every ladder has a bottom rung and they were once standing upon it.

Please. Thankyou. Such simple words yet amazingly profound when used correctly.

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Do you feel better now??

Today i bumped into an old friend as i was happily skipping my way back from the gym to a very catchy upbeat song and i have to admit i was in an awfully good mood. Seeing she looked tired i asked how she was and enquired after her baby which i knew was a big mistake given past history. This particular friend is never happy and when i say never i really do mean NEVER. She is very self pitying and has more than a little tendency to make self derisory comments because she loves the attention and the fussing she gets from people who rush to console her. 

For a very long time i was a major one of these people and would daily drop everything and go rushing over as each crisis presented itself and spend hours dispensing positivity and praise in her direction to make her feel better about herself. Like any good friend i helped with self esteem and advised on diet when she complained she was fat (which was daily) yet never did she heed any of it and seemed to thrive on running herself down for attention. I wanted to help for i genuinely believed she had poor self image but over time i could not fail to notice she was often incredibly mean in reference to other people. 

Many a time in some public setting she would loudly and gleefully pass criticism on some poor unfortunate passer by , fully aware that the people could often hear her. My horrified reprimands would be ignored and she would laugh uproariously, finding the whole situation incredibly amusing. No amount of reasoning would make her stop and i began to come to the conclusion that she was either genuinely nasty or simply did so to make herself feel better. This aside i found it was not a situation i was at all happy with and eventually we parted as friends for i am not a person who is at all comfortable with causing distress and upset to others. 

Time passed and never did she change. Those traits so displayed in my company continued and grew upon a social networking site and i shook my head as others replaced me to pander to her needs. Perhaps this behaviour was so ingrained that she has no hope of ever changing, i do not know but still the part of me that was her friend cannot help but wish that she had accepted genuine help rather than settling for just attention. We passed in the street and i am nothing if not polite, always a hello and a smile would be offered in her direction yet i was not so keen to renew the acquaintance.

Lately i confess we have talked more and recently i rolled my eyes in resignation as she leered over a photograph of my boyfriend and the typical crude comments came forth. As usual i did not comment, i have found it better to stay silent and make a hasty exit these days. So encountering her again today i enquired as to how she was and stifled a sigh as she began the oh so familiar self pity and self annihilation  and wondered briefly whether to offer sympathy since she seems to need it so. As she focused her self hatred upon her weight i consoled and offered help but swiftly wished i hadn’t as she snapped at me

”Its alright for you, you skinny cow, You look okay YOURE not fat and ugly”

To say i was speechless was a bit of an understatement for she knows full well how overweight i was and how hard i have worked to get to where i am now. Years ago we had even started the gym/ diet journey together but she chose not to carry on where i doggedly persisted. I guess some people you really just cannot help and i shook my head and made my excuses to leave. I had nothing to say and no sympathy to pour upon her wounds and for once my kindly nature had totally run dry.

Musing some time later i realised she is far from the only person i know who behaves this way. Some not so self loathing but still with the propensity to mock others and render critical opinions where often they should keep quiet. I have always believed if you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all and i firmly adhere to this principle. The world is harsh enough at many a time, do we really need to be making it worse. Perhaps a little think before you speak would be something we could all use a bit of. 

So, do you feel better now?

Only in England

Finally after weeks of uncharacteristic rain worthy of an Indian monsoon we finally get to see a little sun here, two whole days in a row and hopefully counting. Whilst temperatures in England may be far from the norm for this time of year it is nonetheless pleasantly warm and skies of a glorious blue. For many it is a relief to put away the umbrella, shrug off the coats and woolly sweaters and bask in the rays of a long forgotten sun. 

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But this is after all England and we would not be so very English were it not for our quirks and oddities that in any other country would raise an eyebrow or be distinctly frowned upon. 7am on a Sunday morning and child next door is outside in a paddling pool screeching and bellowing at the top of his voice waking those who, having worked hard all week, are enjoying a Sunday morning lie in. Not for much longer it seems. Yes the sun is out but it is far from pool weather especially at such a time of day but as is so typical of us the first sign of sun prompts us to behave as though we had suddenly become a country much more tropical than we are.                    

                                                      

Everywhere girls parade in outfits so tiny as to be almost non-existent, clothing more worthy of some Caribbean beach than a less temperate day in the far milder west. To their favour my last boyfriend adored these much younger scantily clad girls and had perfected the art of double take and 270 degree turns of the head in a most impressive way. Chance it to say that being so very typically English has its merits for some after all. 

Next comes the supermarket, now this has only brought me here in search of a pint of milk for my coffee but is already packed with shoppers fighting frantically over the last package of bread rolls for the requisite barbecue on an English day with some semblance of sun. Overweight men, shirtless and sweating parade the aisles shuffling along in the flip flops they are so unused to wearing but which are rapidly dusted off as the day looks set to be fine. This is not a sight i wish to see and should i go to any other country i expect i would not but here it is just another average sight. Oblivious and totally uncaring as to how they appear to others, red faced and already grumbling about the heat yet it is not yet the hottest part of the day.

So funny a race we British, we complain constantly about the rain or the snow and welcome the sun with all the abandon of welcoming a lover after a long absence yet so very rapidly we revert to type and grumble instead over the heat and the lack of breeze. After many weeks of rain and constant wishing for sun from the masses, ironically, should the weather hold, in a few days time the wishes will be the total reverse. You cannot help but laugh and wonder if it is just in the nature of we English to need something to grumble about and surmise that as a result we should never be happy no matter which situation should present itself. 

As i go about my daily business today i cannot deny i shall be tipping my face up to the sun and enjoying the warmth of it while it is here but as much as i enjoy a barbecue i shall not be battling the queues for a fight over supplies. Should it rain tomorrow i shall not mind that at all so perhaps i am not so typically English as all that. I wonder are we the only ones to have such typical behaviour or if it is a norm that occurs everywhere wherever we go. 

I wonder

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