My Mother and the Orange Lady.

My Mother 2019

I hear her sleeping, gasping at the air and check her several times through the night; mouth wide open, face matured, skin anemic.

My Mother is 84 and desperately wants to stay alive and for someone who has such a strong Catholic faith, she is also so afraid to die.

Four weeks ago she had a hip replacement and what a trial it was/is and I have been caring for her in my home, whilst she is convalescing-hence no time to write.

Exhausted

I pick up the pieces of other people’s lives so well normally, but right now I want to run a mile (yet again) and I know that must sound very selfish of me!

After all, how many years was she at my beck and call during my childhood.

It is my duty.

I haven’t really introduced my Mother properly throughout my writing and I wonder why? It just feels difficult to write about her, like I’m pushing against something rather than allowing the words to flow so this is going to be a very short post and maybe in time my words with regards to her, will become easier to write.

Our relationship has always been somewhat tumultuous and as a teenager, I longed for the day that I could leave home at 18 and be free of her parental constraints and pretty much feel the same way now as life has become overwhelming.

She would be devastated if she knew that I felt this way.

For me, there has always been an under current feeling of resentment that I felt, she had for me with regards to the love I shared with my Father. Once, during my teenage years and after his passing, I was trying hard to defend him in an argument and she told me that he was ‘obsessed’ with me and that I really didn’t know what kind of man he truly was…

The hurling of angry remarks about him were both painful and confusing.

My mother was born in Bedford and is the eldest of three siblings whom she practically raised until she turned 16 and life was very hard for them all. The relationship she had with my Grandmother was flawed to say the very least and I can only ever remember meeting her twice before her death in 1995/96 (can’t actually remember the year to be precise). What I do remember though, is seeing her lifeless body in the Chapel of Rest on the morning of her funeral. My Grandmother was a tiny lady and her skin looked very orange due to the fact it was late to view the body and also the undertakers, trying their best to make my Grandmother look more presentable for my Mother and I.

I looked very closely, trying to feel some emotion for a lady that I knew I should feel something for, but there was nothing-just compassion for a woman that once had lived.

My Mother cried.

My Grandmother.

There have been many recollections that she has shared with me over the years that have painted a childhood full of anguish, shame and poverty.

Mum still washes her whites by hand today having been humiliated at school by the Nuns for bringing in a dirty, grey looking hand towel for cookery.

How our past experiences effect our present life?

My parents met on a blind date in Somerset arranged by a mutual friend. At the end of the evening my father declared that he would marry my mother to which she replied, ‘Your mad!’ and sure enough, 6 months later, they were married.

My Beautiful Mum – with all her hopes and dreams in front of her.

© All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

My Wall

I stare at this wall 
with crumbling stone
the hard texture stares back at me
I can not see a way through
it seems impossible

A crack appears
a tiny space of light and
if I pull each side
the stone may fall
or at least loosen
It seems a mammoth task
albeit the strength
I think I have
my arms are weak
my body is tired
my mind consumed
I close my eyes

and imagine
a mighty gust
a powerful force
rising up from the earth
and with one fair bash

the wall is loosened

if I dare to dream

the wall may fall

© Al Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

The Safe House

My Father remained in and out of a slumber.

I don’t recall the small moments of time that Sunday morning but I do remember that something finally snapped mentally for my Mother as she couldn’t take it anymore.

It was time to leave...

Years of her life had been spent nursing a mentally ill husband and saving him from the brink of life, time and time again.

Years of aggression, physical abuse and living in fear had ruptured her own heart and mind and she was at the point of no return.

I can’t say exactly what happened during the course of the morning, I just remember my Mother’s friend arriving at some stage, to take us away.

I so want to tell you that I went into my sleeping father and kissed him once more, whispered I love you in his ear, told him I was sorry for leaving him like that but I don’t think I did!

I can’t remember…

I want to remember…

I just recall feeling sick and frightened, with my stomach in knots as we drove away.

She left our dog behind.

The lady that came to rescue us seemed to be quite harsh in her approach towards us fleeing without looking back. I never warmed to her coldness throughout my younger years and I remember her disliking my father. She too had broken away from an abusive marriage and her response to my mothers anxious and somewhat guilt ridden demeanour for leaving him, was both matter of fact and resolute.

She was a survivor and layer upon layer of personal pain was striving her forward to get us out whilst the sick man was drugged.

She called the police.

The safe house was about a ten minute car drive away from where we lived and I felt completely out of sorts being there. It was uncomfortable and felt awkward.

After all it was her house not mine.

I wanted to go home and sleep in my own bed.

I wanted it all to stop and not to feel afraid anymore.

I wanted my Dad to be okay and not be sick.

I wanted my brothers to come and be with me.

I felt so afraid and so alone.

The police came and my mother gave her statement, her friend, driving home the fact that my father was dangerous.

I am beginning to realise now, how angry I still feel about ‘the friend’ and the role she played. I know she came to my mother’s rescue and yes, it was the right thing to do.

Of course it was…

I am grateful even if you think I’m not, they just never protected me from hearing their cruel yet honest words.

I was taking it all in deeply and damagingly.

My father was served notice of an injunction, restraining him from coming anywhere near us.

How sad

and necessary.

You did belong…

© All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

If I Could Be

If I could be
anything but me
I’d be a butterfly
and welcome
the nakedness
of my chrysalis


honoring
re-birth


I crave the gentleness
and serenity
of such an exquisite
creature
so beautifully
enchanting


delighting
my soul


The joyous dance
the fluttering
of life
gracefully

seeking the
silence

a butterfly
I'd be

   ©  All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

TRUSTING THE PROCESS

I haven’t written for a few days.

I read on another blog that people aren’t really interested in reading your story unless you are giving them something back and I have been throwing myself the ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ line – (that’s an old pattern)

I’ve given back my entire life.

It has taken me years, literally years to do this and yes, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for any feedback, acknowledgement, healing – of course I am. Isn’t everyone who chooses to open themselves up when writing a personal blog? I have also read numerous times that there is a book in everyone and yes, I want to write a book. Will this be the content? Who know’s… but for me it’s a start in my writing something down even if this get’s lost in a sea of a million other personal, painful life experiences.

I’m writing.

I can offer so much.

I can and will teach other’s how to change their live’s through writing and speaking – it’s my life’s work my purpose for being and right now I am allowing my inner children to speak freely without judgement (from me) for they have been suffocating slowly, for many years.

Blogging is very new to me and I find WordPress quite difficult. I am still learning about tags and categories and some would say that it should be self explanatory but it’s not for me! I know that I also need to learn about copyrights and quoting others – what I can and can’t do.

This is my journey.

I am grateful for this space and I am grateful for anyone who read’s my story so I will ride the waves of not feeling good enough and see where it takes me…

Namaste

To be more childlike, you don't have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe. - Dr Wayne Dyer
Ryde Carnival – Little Red Riding Hood 1972

All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

My Promise

On a summers evening many years ago, I was standing in a queue at the local fish and chip shop waiting for my turn to be served. In front of me was a little boy who was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt that looked like it had the reminants of a weeks worth of wearing on it. He was crying and pulling at the arm of his young Mother who was talking on her mobile phone. The child appeared to be no more than 4 or 5 years old and his knee was bleeding. As he cried and tugged at her arm, she pushed him away and the blood continued to trickle down his leg. The little boy with his arms stretched up to reach his mother, pounded on her stomach trying to get her attention and the Mother pushed harder at him to stop. The smell of alcohol from the young lady was so strong and she was slurred and staggering. After several attempts to bring her attention to his knee and being met with her aggression, he finally gave up.
The boy in the chip shop stood with one side of his face buried into his Mothers thighs, staring at me and periodically looking down at his wound. Tears rolled down his filthy, beautiful little face.
In that very moment I felt a whole wave of different emotions from anger, frustration and fear, to pity and a deep sense of sadness. The Mother part of me wanted to scoop this child up and wipe away his tears. I wanted him to know that he was loved and that he would be okay. I wanted to shout at the Mother to put the phone down and acknowledge her son and his needs as she seemed oblivious to the discomfort that he was in.  Instead I stood by and did nothing and felt ashamed for not intervening with at the very least a tissue for his knee and also ashamed for judging a young person who was clearly not much more than a child herself. You see, I let fear ride over me once again, because she was drunk. I was afraid of the repercussions for the child and myself. If I brought the fact that she was ignoring him, to her drunk attention, I didn’t know how she would react. I remember being frightened as a child. I remember trying to get my fathers attention when he was so drugged up. I remember…
I made a promise to myself all those years ago that I would acknowledge that little boy by dedicating my first piece of public writing to him because he touched my heart that evening and I will always remember him.

All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip 2019