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 power of a word

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I wonder how often we ever stop and think about the things we say. Most of us very rarely do unless we are aware, due to conscience, that what we are about to say is offensive or hurtful. Sadly even then there are those with none, who just do not care and will say whatever they wish regardless of consequence or resulting feelings. Even knowing they are causing hurt to others is of no matter since they feel little empathy for the other person and pay no heed to the results of their actions. 

Ordinarily i am not a person to pay mind to the cutting words or tones of others and have over the years developed a disregard for the negative opinions of those around me. Having always been a strong personality with more than a little resilience, i wear a very thick skin with all the aplomb of an armoured knight of Medieval England. Lately however, perhaps due to a very stressful period in my life i find that where once i should smile and ignore, i find i now take more to heart than i did before. Strangers i more easily can forgive but not so those verbal wounds from those closer to me. Unless for good reason one does not expect to be on the receiving end of an unkind comment or harsh tone of voice from a friend or loved one. 

So often lately i find myself biting my tongue and apologising profusely where once a simple heartfelt ”i’m sorry” would have sufficed. It seems these days people are not so ready to accept an apology unless it comes so often as to be almost of begging and pleading proportions. Forgiveable yes when the apology is merely a platitude but is it so forgiveable when the apology is a genuine one?  I myself am not a lover of discord and conflict and often will remain secretly agitated by an unpleasant situation even if i pretend on the surface that i am not. Yes, i confess i am one of those who sleeps badly at the slightest upset in my life these days, perhaps as the result of a metaphoric straw upon an already overloaded camels’ back. Perhaps a lifetime of being the peacemaker and backing down for the sake of harmony is wearing thinner than it should.  Yes i confess i secretly nurse the odd hurt although i hide it well since to confess it often draws out the cause and in turn makes it all the worse.

Yes it seems we really have lost the ability to be nice to each other. It seems that verbal abuse, cutting tones and blatant name calling are the norm of the day with once derogatory names such as ‘bitch’ now being used in everyday language as an acceptable term to refer to ones female friends. Not a term i can say i wish to be referred to by. If it is the norm for you to open your mouth and something unkind or unpleasant come from it perhaps then it says more about you as a person than about me. However often i hear this and no matter how much i try and pretend otherwise i cannot lie and say it does not hurt and even knowing that sometimes the comments were made in jest do not detract from their meaning nor their destination.

Myself i think i prefer to remain silent. I was taught by a very good kind person that it is better to say nothing than to say something unpleasant and i hold firmly to those principles. Whilst i will defend if attacked i will never knowingly inflict on others anything hurtful that has the intent to cause bad feeling. I shall not lie for i believe honesty to be a must in all cases no matter the consequences but i shall not deliberately set out to hurt another with the force of my words.

Profanity and abuse may be the norm in todays society but only if we continue to subscribe to it. Somewhere along the line someone has to take a stand and lead by example by refraining from doing as others do. Words are a most powerful weapon and used in the wrong hands can wound with invisible scars. A most famous quote springs to mind ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ , i wonder had the author seen todays society he might have changed just a little and quoted ‘the spoken word is mightier than the sword’

Words…will yours hurt or heal today??

How are you today?

positive thinking

As the telephone crashes down signalling the abrupt and rude end to yet another work related interaction i cannot help but heave a sigh. Positive thoughts come rushing to the forefront of my mind as usual, telling me to pay no heed. A now well worn smile pastes itself to my face and out of habit i adopt a bright cheery tone to deal with my customers. A smile on the face, so i’m told, reflects itself in the tone of the voice and i am careful to heed this advice. I should not like to come across as stern or forbidding. I like to pretend i am developing a thick skin when on the receiving end of less than pleasant treatment but i know i really am not. You cannot help but be affected when people talk to you in such a way even if logic tells you they do not mean it. In truth though many do and just do not really care. But never would i let that show that i care and i pretend as hard as i can that i really do not mind at all.

Occasionally some bright cheery soul is on the other end of the line and a few moments of happy banter ensues but more often followed by dismissal and undisguised rudeness that would make my grandmother turn in her grave. Not being as social a creature as perhaps i could be i wonder if the general interaction between we humans has deteriorated rapidly, sliding a slippery downhill slope that i had failed to notice. What happened to us all? How did we become so uncaring of others and the world around us that we behave with such contempt and bad demeanor. towards others.

I’d like to hope i am a nice person although as i have said before i am not one who is overly sociable. I certainly can give a pleasing appearance of being so but in truth i prefer the company of one or two people whom i am both familiar with and close to. Unlike most people i am perfectly at ease with my own company and when left alone can happily while away many an hour without craving company from anyone else. When i do i find the number of people i seek company from to be very small.  At some point i did wonder if perhaps my own semi solitary nature drew forth such response from people but i know that i interact extremely well in social settings so this is evidently not so. I get along very well with almost everyone, i just choose to keep myself to myself.

All this being said i try extremely hard to remain as pleasant and friendly as i can for i am very aware of the need to be agreeable to others. Mindful of both my own manners and the treatment of those others at my hands. If perhaps i can be labelled as a bit of a doormat then this is hopefully my only failing and of detriment to nobody but myself. Still ,however bright a visage you try and maintain, you cannot help but come to a point where such endless misery and rudeness begins to haul you down. Grey enveloping hands dragging you down into the depths of depression that is hard to avoid even with such a positive attitude.  I cannot help but feel that sometimes i should just like to fly away to somewhere quiet and not have to deal with other peoples rudeness and bad manners. Far away from the trials and tribulations of daily life to yet again rebuild my positive armor and become once again the sunny eternal optimist i always was. This is a person i seem to have lost somewhat of late and i find i am most unlike myself at present.

How ironic then that i choose to daily deal with the public and leave my small emotional ship at the mercy of waves of unfeeling negativity. But i am learning very well how to row this little ship of mine and it is time again to turn towards the open sea and row steadily towards the oncoming storm. Still i can find a smile and i shall keep my eyes firmly upon the horizon looking for that small ray of sunlight peeping its way through to shine a happy glow my way.

Positivity.

Yes i still have it….do you?

When sometimes you’re the only one to blame

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I seem to have one of those natures where people often ask my advice, unfailingly practical and with a no frills bluntness that doesnt always get well received. Usually this is due to the fact that when asking advice people often do not really WANT your opinion, they merely wish you to parrot what they wish to hear in order to make them feel better. I have always warned my friends ‘if you do not actually want my advice then please dont ask for it’ Simple. 

Recently teen daughter has been having dramas with boyfriend and comes looking for advice which im happy to dole out and always have a free ear because i love her and dont like to see her upset. She listens but then the merry go round swings again and theyre back to square one because she chooses to disregard what i say since it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. I know i’m just some crazy old mom who was never a teenager, what do i know right?? 

Today she came to me with a cry i have heard from many of my friends ‘He treats me like rubbish’ followed by a wail and dissolving into tears. Now please dont think i’m heartless i am far from this but my practical advice has always been the same to every single one of them..

”they can only treat you how you ALLOW them to treat you”

The simple fact is keep permitting this treatment and you are giving off signals galore that this is acceptable and you are agreeable to it. The only way to stop being treated the way you are is to break the cycle and make it clear you are NOT going to tolerate it. Teen daughter then wailed ‘you should hear how he talks to me on the phone mum’ and i had to gently point out that she ALLOWED him to speak to her that way and that if he doesn’t get the message when she tells him she wont put up with it then she should just refuse to speak to him until he gets the idea.

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Perhaps i seem harsh, im really not im actually very caring but i see no sense in dispensing advice if it is not constructive for in that case it really is no advice at all. If all you need is a hug and a shoulder to cry on ive got more than enough of both and will always be there with that and a box of tissues. However having been on the receiving end of much bad treatment in my time i accept that in some small degree the person behaving that way is  at fault but ultimately the real blame lies with me for allowing it to keep happening. 

Sometimes when things keep occurring you just need to take a step back and have a long hard look at the things you tolerate and accept without question even when they are far from good for you. Because in the end you can only be treated the way you allow yourself to be and if this isn’t the way you would like then maybe the only one to blame is you!!

Sometimes still waters really do run deep

                                                         ”Isn’t that a little dark for you?”

 

This was the comment from a friend this morning when i replied to the standard ”what are you up to?” question with the reply that i was doing my housework listening the new Linkin Park album i bought earlier. Now i totally love Linkin Park, that pure raw emotion that comes from such a great vocalist and many a time when having a bad day i have cranked up the volume on my ipod and selected Linkin Park and speed walked until i feel better. Great rage music..try it and see!! 

But this comment tickled me, for although i am well aware of how people perceive me i take great delight in being a contradiction. This does not mean i am fake, no, i am me and nothing but me but i find it is more down to how much of me i want on display as my public face. Mary Poppins, i have been called this before many times and perhaps it is a very apt description of me, i am sickeningly affable to everyone just because it is in my nature to be so, i am extremely laid back, extremely slow to anger and admit although i dislike many things i will never be driven to hate which is the most ugly of emotions. 

I guess the truth is, a conversation with my best friend made me think about emotions and the displaying of them and having been in a relationship that was so totally devoid of any whether positive or negative i wondered how much i was guilty of this myself. Sure i know on the positive side of things i’m very open, warm, affectionate and giving ( i have been told this so often although the word ‘nice’ makes me want to vomit and i refuse to use it) but the negatives? Mary Poppins or no even i cannot pretend that i do not have them and yet when i examined them in a curiously detached way that i am so good at, i was actually was quite disconcerted to  discover that i never cry. Oh i dont mean in a movie kind of way for put the slightest emotional part in any movie or tv show and i will cry until i sail myself out of the room. That kind of crying i do most freely but otherwise i could not in the last 5 years remember a single time i have really let myself cry, nor yet could i remember a single time when i really lost my temper. I do get mildly angry yes but far from exploding i become very cold and quiet and i am excellent at sarcastically scathing remarks. Lowest form of wit it may be but designed to hurt the most when appropriate although again for me this is extremely rare as i dont often get angry either and i never EVER shout. But really really getting furiously angry? No i find i dont do that either. Yet i have always considered myself to be emotional, when it comes to feelings i really do think i feel them very strongly and passionately. If i love you then i REALLY heart and soul love you, no half measures and if i dislike you then equally i REALLY dislike you for i find there is little point in doing these emotions if you cannot do them properly.

 

Maybe this friend had a point in his deduction that Linkin Park might be a little dark for the me he knows, i suppose you wouldn’t really expect to see Mary Poppins stamping along yowling ‘In The End’ at the top of her voice would you? Yet this thought tickles me for it makes me wonder what Mary really was like underneath and strangely it does not bother me that few people do really know me. Perhaps i am the most strange of women in the fact that i do not actually WANT them to know me, yet i am not entirely sure why. Perhaps it is the appeal of being an enigma, perhaps just simply that it makes it just that little bit more special and meaningful when that odd person does actually know you. I do not know if i am alone in this, whether it is just in my nature and others are more open in revealing who they are  and this is just some oddity unique to me.

So i may surprise you yet then as i turn up the volume and carry myself away to the strains of ‘Leave out all the rest’ , Mary Poppins hat firmly in place and a tendency to keep breaking out into such a delighted grin for it pleases me greatly to be so unexpected. 

                                                           Sometimes still waters really do run deep

weightloss war of a 40 something carthorse

You’d never believe i once weighed 2lbs would you? Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand looking for all the world like a skinny little rat.

But i was.

Hitting my teens i was  still pretty skinny as it goes, tall but with the slightest hint of disproportionate thighs that hinted at the cursed pear shape to come. ‘Thunder- Thighs’ my brothers called me…oh i so hated that name back then but now it makes me laugh. ”Nowt wrong wi er” my mother would say” built like a pit pony arent you ducks”  yes thanks mother!!Even come early twenty something and the mother of two i pretty quickly lost all my ‘baby weight’  and was admittedly on the slender side for my height but of course those accursed thighs were STILL haunting me and i knew then i should never lose them. Actually i was pretty happy with my weight at that time although it most definitely would not suit me now.

And so along came mid 20s and this is where my war with weight began. I think this ranks on up there with the most unhappy i have been in my life and i began that fatal cycle of eating to make myself feel better. Anyone who battles with weight will know yes it DOES make you feel better..for that few moments you’re eating it but that high quickly fades and you crave that feeling again.Somewhere in the depths of ignored reality you know you are gaining weight but you refuse to acknowledge it, making every excuse under the sun for the reason your clothes don’t fit and determinedly avoiding those mirrors that show more than just head and shoulders. If you are like me cameras were avoided and any photographs that did sneak through were swiftly torn to shreds and disposed of.

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And so my obese frame and i waved goodbye to my 20s and sailed on into my 30s, every wobbling inch growing larger by the day. I guess i was rather more fortunate than most in that i am rather tall for a girl and thus could carry this off better than most but it did not hide the fact i was almost twice the size i should be. And then came the shock. Most of those who embark on the diet roller coaster will do so as the result of a sharp slap around the face by reality and the realisation finally dawns of what you have become. This is the point where you have to concede that eating did not make the problems go away and you are not infact any happier than you were when you were your much smaller self. On one fateful day myself and i came face to face with the bane of every obese persons life..the full length mirror. Oh it took rather a while for the hysterical crying to stop and then i marched my stout frame right along to the nearest diet club and never looked back.

And then i found ME!  One year later and early 30s i was half my previous size and twirling around ecstatically in my first pair of jeans in a decade. Trust me thats some feeling and one i wont forget in a very long time. I looked slim and healthy and yes i felt attractive for the first time and oh i admit i flaunted it. And with it came true love the kind that lifts you up and carries you along and makes you feel that no matter what youre perfect the way you are. 

Then i was happy, diet was shelved and i really did not worry and if i was not a size zero well it didnt worry me at all i was happy with my size 12 figure and had no desire to change the way i was. But inevitably as things often are the case this did not last and on finding myself single again i comitted the ultimate sin and turned to my very best friend….food. And as always it did not let me down and every time i needed to feel better it was there to pick me up. I guess i was lucky because i could so easily have carried on and ended up right back where i had started but having had the forethought to dispose of those tent like garments as i had worn before i was faced with the choice. Diet or go around naked!! 

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Yes here we go again all aboard!! So back on the roller coaster i go, hitting the gym and working furiously to rid myself of that hated stone that had so stubbornly attached itself to my frame and yet again i did it. Twirling again in my favourite jeans i vowed never to let myself slide again.

But i did. Of course i did.

So with every crisis comes the eating and for a while i feel better. And then i look in the mirror and feel ashamed for being so weak and yet again make the vow..i WILL stick to it this time. But of course i do not and this stone and i have met and parted so many times that we are now old friends. And i hate what i become when this dependant me comes along. I confess i have many times stood infront of the mirror exclaiming ”god you fat cow” before turning away in disgust.

And as it and i look in the mirror this morning i wave it goodbye yet again and hop back onto that never ending ride solemnly promising that i will not fail this time and i must learn to find another way to deal with my problems. Eating solves nothing i know that and i really am determined to try.

Again…..

Do you miss me

Do you miss me when i’m gone, do you long to be beside me

Do you call me for no reason than just to hear my voice

Do you miss me when i’m gone? Do you dream that we’re together

And know that here is where you’d be if you only had a choice

Do you miss me when im gone, if you do then do i know this

Have you taken time to tell me or think that i should know

For i find when i’m without you things just really arent the same

So i had to let you know, that i miss you when you’re gone

Written by Smilesalot1969 aka Lilyflower- 2001

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