Letting go: 9.  Romance

Letting go: 9.  Romance

Romance etc, has been on the back burner for some time now.  However, there have been moments with online dating sites, when I thought I was ready to take that particular leap of faith again, only to find myself hot-footing it back again.  So may be I am not quite ready to go down that romantic path or find love again just yet!

Being fragile

It’s obvious to me, why there are still many fragile parts of me, that still feel raw and very vulnerable.  No one, is left untouched or unmarked after leaving a long relationship, especially if it was an unhappy one.  But to many, my pretty face and smile is enough to have hidden away all my heartache. UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_12b

It has made me into a very different woman, not one to openly expose the lack of romance in my heart or broadcast my sadness.  I am not as accepting or as tolerant as I was before.  Going through the motions, just for the sake of being with someone, is not me, things have to be real.  Enough time has already been wasted with the wrong people, I don’t anyone to drain me anymore.  I am a grown woman after all and I’m in need of love!

Dating sites

Time spent on dating sites, have been nothing but soul destroying and have further disillusioned me.  What does it really say about us?  Why is it that we have to resort to online sites to find romance, companionship, love or whatever it is you might be looking for?  I have seen thousands of faces and read thousands of profiles, but only a handful have ever sparked my interest; and even fewer have really turned my head.  But none of them, have actually been who they say they were.  They have all ended up being a bit wolfish in spite of their cute ‘lamb’ disguise.

The ones who have taken a chance and messaged, have been rude, derogatory or haven’t read my profile beforehand.  If they had, they would clearly see that because of intention, height, age or location, they are unsuitable.  Nevertheless, they still the take the chance anyway and believe there is a possibility of a relationship… of any kind.  Maybe they think they’ll catch me on a good day, when romance is high on my agenda and I might overlook such important details!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_93I have given dating sites a good go, but I haven’t quite lost faith that I will find my true love.  For me, all my senses need to be fired up.  I won’t get that feeling from a photograph or a few lines.   I have to meet someone, size them up and feel their vibes, otherwise there is nothing.

No more kissing toads

When I first signed up on a dating site, I did so whole-heartedly.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take long before disappointment set in.  I didn’t find love or romance, but something else entirely.  I have to confess I am not prepared to kiss any more frogs or toads.  So for the moment, I will leave things to chance and hope I meet someone the old-fashioned way.

It will happen, when it’s the right time for it to happen, and there’s no point in rushing or pushing myself to be ready, before I actually am.  So, I will patiently wait for my Prince to come along… who will hopefully romance me the way I like.

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31stDecember 2016)

 

Update:

In spite of my feelings about using online dating sites, I continued to persevere.  Even though I haven’t met my so-called “Mr Right” yet, I still have a romantic belief that there’s a possibility that he’s out there.

They want to chat forever, but never meet…

Over the last couple of years, I have engaged in a variety of conversations with a variety of different men.  Some chats were cut short very quickly, some eventually fizzled out, and some the conversation is still going.  However, regardless of the nature, so far none have led me any closer to what it is I seek.  Love and romance still elude me, as it seems they want to chat forever, but never meet… I still can’t get my head round that!

I am neither expecting or looking for a guy to charm me, wine and dine me, or financially take care of me.  But what I do expect is for them to respect me.  Using dating sites have been both very frustrating experience and a real eye-opener at the same time.  Having been off the market for so long, it has certainly taught me an awful lot about men.   In turn, I also recognise that there is a lot of behaviour I will no longer tolerate or accept.  In particular narcissism, ignorance and arrogance.  I am not saying that I am anything special, but I do know that I am far from being an average kind of woman.  One who is fully aware of what I bring to the table, and what I’m not looking for.

I know my own worth.

I could be so many things

There have many requests made of me for anonymous sex, to be a dominatrix, to be a mistress, a booty call. I have even been offered money to spend a night with someone.  I could be so many things, but this that’s not what I’m looking for.  If I took up every offer of sex, I could be a very busy, tired but busy gal.  I have received numerous unrequested ‘intimate’ photos, as though somehow a ‘dick shot’ will suddenly change my mind!  But now, I return the same favour, if a guy sends me a photo of dick, I send him a photo of another mans’ dick, and see how they like it.  It’s worked an absolute treat so far!

Hiding

I don’t want to sound anti-men, far from it, but online dating sites have changed how people interact with easy other.  People become brave, because they are hiding behind a screen, it’s gives a false sense of confidence, as if anything goes.  Men who would normally never approach me, some as young as 18, are all willing to give it shot.  If only they would just take a few moments to read my profile, it would save both their energy and effort.  I have even had arguments with guys, who refuse to accept the fact that I am not interested in them.  The type who turn nasty, because they can’t deal with rejection, even though it’s for obvious reasons like location, height, age etc.

But I’ve had enough of guys thinking that just because they are not in front of me, it doesn’t matter how they behave toward or speak to me.  Some have been down right rude and perverse, but it makes me smile to think they actually believe their approach might work.   However,  I am always polite and respond in a nice way, one they can clearly understand.

There have been a couple of guys, who have broken the surface of my skin, but few have resulted in actual meeting.  So here I sit, still alone for the moment but still looking.  I will not give up looking or stop hoping.

He who is meant for me, is still out there… Sx ❤️

Damaged

Damaged

No one can see

The real damage

That has been done to me

I do not wear it

Boldly on my sleeve

I am not looking

For kindness

Or empathy

I know who I am

It’s not what I need

But just because

You can’t see my pain

Doesn’t mean

It isn’t there

 

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Weds 24thApril 2019)

Letting go: 7. Integrity

Letting go: 7. Integrity

Originally from my personal blog, “Journey through a painful body and a depressed mind”

integrity | ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti | noun [mass noun] the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles: a gentleman of complete integritythe state of being whole and undivided: upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty• the condition of being unified or sound in construction: the structural integrity of the novel• internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data: [as modifier] :  integrity checking[1]

To me, in simple terms this means:

“Doing the right thing, even when no one is around to witness it”.

How to lose me

The quickest way to lose me, is to question my integrity or to show me that you have none!  It is way up there on my list of virtues, no ifs, no buts, no deviations, and no argument.

I have come across too many people that have lacked this quality, and spent far too much time in their company.  But it not something that I tolerate well, so from now on I would rather leave people who lack it, well enough alone.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

Update:

I have since learned just how much integrity means to me.  Having been on the receiving end and having witnessed so any occasions when people have demonstrated their lack of it, it has done more than raise an eyebrow, and I have lost respect for these people because of it. I have many people in my life, who don’t even know that I can write, or that I am so creative or talented in many things.  They do not know that I have been writing for years and have created more than just a personal blog.  But they chose to ignore or not see that side of me, and therefore have no comment.  I sometimes feel that people would choke on their words, if they tried to say something to me.

I suppose the question I always ask myself is:

“If they are able to do something (not good), and not think twice about it, then what else are they capable of?” 

If I have that feeling about someone, they will lose/never have my trust or be allowed full access to enter my life.

I’m not even sure why it is so important to me, but it is a trait I will look out for in the simplest actions.  It has left me cold at times, when I have watched other peoples’ behaviour, when they believe themselves unseen.  It is akin to taking pride in yourself and your conduct, and a ‘must have’ quality.

But sadly, so many people let themselves down.  Sx ❤️

[1] Taken from Apple Inc. Dictionary 2.3.0 “203.16.12)

 

Letting go: 6. Intuition

“I was blessed with this gift, and it has never let me down, if I’ve made a bad choice it’s usually because I have ignored my gut instinct, when I should have known better”. 

I have believed for a long time that not everything is worth fighting for, and I have spilt enough blood and wasted too much time already battling unwinnable or futile causes.

I say this is a gift, because I have the uncanny ability to be able to see through other people’s problems, and guide them on what the real issues are.  I am able to explore different angles and perspectives, and untangle the real mysteries behind their problems.  I have people who lean on me for this, but it isn’t something I am always thanked for, as not everyone has a stomach for my brutal candor, but it’s what they come for.  They come to me for truth, and that’s exactly what I give them, and somehow, I seem to manage to get right down to the roots of the problem and at least open their minds to reason or a different level of understanding.

I never speak ‘off the top of my head’, and I am always able to back up what I say with good reason.  It’s as though I go deep into the recesses of my mind and can draw on an experience from somewhere in my past, that is relevant. 

Maybe that’s why I seldom confide in others, because somewhere I know the answer already exists in me, I just have to think it through.  I firmly believe that in my life, no matter what the situation is, I have already dealt with far worse and come through it. 

My comtemplation stonesThis way of thinking has kept me positive, and made me feel so much stronger.  This is why writing is so important to me, this is my way of sorting through the muddle in my mind, and seeing it in black and white print.  Writing gives me clarity, like solving a mathematical equation.  It allows me to explore my thoughts, and to be picked up and carried away with them, so I can deal with my demons and dilemmas.  From an early age it was a skill that gave me some form of comfort and expression, and it is one I cannot do without.

Intuition has protected me, prepared me and given me such an understanding of who I really am, and who others are too.  But there have been times, I have mistakenly given others the benefit of the doubt, and have got burnt fingers for the privilege.

At least I now know to never ignore it again!

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

Update:

I can think of so many occasions when my intuition has served me so well in the last few years.  My ability to read between the lines and see behinds the scenes, has saved me from much unnecessary angst and misery.  I have learned to walk away from people and situations that no longer serve me, or have no sense of feel-good about them.

00948-in2bthe2bendI have steadfastly stuck by this, and in turn my state of mind and life have improved, my self-confidence and belief in my talents have blossomed and I actually feel quite happy.

I want and need for nothing that money can buy, and in my eyes, it’s a wonderful place to be.  Sx ❤️

(Sunday 17th March 2019)

 

 

 

 

Letting go: 5. Happiness

Letting go: 5. Happiness

Admittedly, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom this last year, there have been moments when I have felt so happy, nothing could touch me.  That happiness has come from different areas of my life, and it has spurred me on.

It is what I am ultimately seeking, a life that is calm, peaceful, nurturing and relatively stress free.  I don’t think it’s really too much to ask for, but in order to achieve it, I know that I must address the balance and rid myself of the negative factors first.

The first step to that, is to stop taking the responsibility or blame for other peoples’ actions, and to leave them where they belong.

It is also fundamental that I don’t accept people disrespecting me, because it leads to my disrespecting myself, which is definitely wrong on all levels.  As they say:

“Happiness is a state of mind, and not a destination”. 

So, I am going to promise myself that each day, I do something that makes me ‘feel good in my soul’, which can’t be a bad thing!

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

 

Update:

Since the decision to shield myself or walk away from negative people and situations, I have felt some real differences in my day to day life.  In spite of health not being on my side for most of the last 2 years, and having many emotional issues to deal with, I have battled on in search of this one thing.Find yourself

But, I am pleased to report that now at least my frame of mind is in a good place.  I would also say quite whole-heartedly that I am happy.  Many doors were closed at the end of last year.  Since then I have managed to somehow maintain this upbeat attitude and mindset since then.

I know that I still have anger within me.  But I also know that I am right to feel that anger. 

No longer will I make excuses or be quick to forgive other peoples’ shortfalls.  Especially if they know, they should really know better.

I have finally realised my true worth, after years of being made to feel worthless, .  And no one can take that away from me.  Never again, will I allow anyone to question my own integrity or make me feel bad about who I am as a person.  Sx ❤️

Artwork by me: I am enough

Poetry: I keep that beast inside

(Tues 26th February 2019)

 

 

 

4. JOY

Such a small word that has a huge meaning!

Joy is something else I always strive for.  I find joy in the simplest of things, whether it’s a pretty creation I’ve made, a piece art I have done, or just spending time doing anything that makes me feel uplifted.   Just doing the things that I enjoy, makes me feel good about myself, and it’s something I can’t get enough of, it makes me thrive.  Another thing I always say is:

“Out of my misery something beautiful is always created”.

Because it’s often at these times that I am most imaginative.

So, I am going to promise myself that I will make more room in my life so that I have the proper time to follow my heart.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

Update:

I am pleased to say that in spite of having such bad health over the last couple of years, I have at least continued to be as creative as I can be.  After this entry, I began creating a scrapbook full of the inspirational quotes and words, many of which had been previously stuck to my walls as daily visual reminders.  It has been a labour of love creating this book, as each page has been hand-decorated in a variety of different ways, making it a beautiful book to pick and browse through.  I still have several more pages to do, before this first book is completed, it is not something to be rushed, and If I’m honest I will have many more of these to do.  If you would like to see some of these scrapbook pages I have added some photos under my lovely creations tab.

The other positive thing that has happened, is that I have taken up my writing again, something that has been dormant for quite a while.  I was inspired to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and I haven’t looked back.  So much so, it’s what brought about “My kind of beautiful”, and for that I am very thankful.Word art: JOY 4

I have bottled up so much up over the years, not realising just how fundamental it was for me to write my feelings out.  It was also the inspiration behind the word art “Joy” that I did, because the word itself is important to me.

It was such an important reawakening for me, to once again have an avenue to channel my thoughts and emotions.  It feels like finding an old friend again…

It gives me great joy to see the words I have strung together and the creations I have made on my website and other social media.  It is even better knowing that I have the courage to put myself and my truth out there, and that I am touching so many strangers who are responding back.

I don’t feel unheard anymore, and whatever else may still be lacking in my life, at least joy is not one of them.

Sx ❤️

(updated Weds 13th February 2019)

 

Letting go: 3. LOVE

For some time, I have felt this air of woefulness about me, along with an emptiness when I realised that I have gone through this entire year ‘feeling’ so very little love.  It saddens me greatly, when I think of all that I have so freely dispersed to friends, (in particular) and family, and how little I have actually felt coming back.  It has left me feeling quite lonely and isolated, as I fear, giving out anymore to anyone who doesn’t appreciate it, for what it is. bb5ea-to2bremember2bwho2byou2bare

Knowing that I’ve been on someone’s mind, getting a quick message to check on how I’m doing, spending time just catching up, talking on the phone, being told that I’ve been missed by someone, makes me feel loved.  All these little things don’t really need to take much time or effort at all, but somehow everyone’s been too busy, or they just want to talk about themselves.

I have felt quite hurt by the lack of that kind of love.  So much so, it has caused me to yet again go through the ‘life laundry’ process of re-evaluating some of the people in my life.  A process I seem to go through every few years, which has finally taught me that I am spending too much time, energy and effort on the wrong people.

I am naturally a kind and giving person, it goes against the grain for me to standby and do or say nothing, when I recognise pain in someone, especially when I know I can be of help.  But it would seem that’s just how I need to be, even though it’s going to be a hard habit to break.

46933401_203824973879851_3954533898762846208_nThe lessons I have learned from this have broken my heart at times and left me completely confused, trying to understand why things had gone wrong.  It took a while before it hit me that it wasn’t even my problem, it was theirs and the way they chose to see things.  But one person’s discontented whispers can travel far, and I wonder to myself, ‘Was I like this at their age?’ and then I hope to God that I wasn’t.  Perhaps having reached the age of 51, I can see their insecurities and lack of confidence quite clearly; maybe that’s why they just don’t get me.

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through, to achieve that beauty”.

Maya Angelou

I often say to people that

“The only reason we get hurt by other people, is because we care for them”, 

and

“We are not betrayed by our enemies, but by our friends and loved ones”.

Both statements are very simple truths, so I guess the question I need to ask myself is:

  1. Why do I care?”.
  2. Why do I continue to give time and show kindness to people, when they have systematically disrespected or abused me?
  3. Am I that desperate to be with them, that I will accept anything?

The answers to these questions are:

  1. I have absolutely no idea
  2. Sub-consciously maybe I am hoping they might change
  3. Fuck no

Now I know the answers, I realise that I have been incredibly fucking stupid!44953681_2063941743917987_7052957489741955072_n 46933401_203824973879851_3954533898762846208_n

Stupid in the sense that I had been sucked into and absorbed by their bullshit antics and immaturity, just because I had foolishly made myself believe that they actually gave a shit about me.

But I have distanced myself from those kind of people now, I really don’t want to play their silly games and I certainly won’t share my private life with them.  All they know, is that each time they see me now, I always look better in their eyes and they need to press me to know why.

To me, if they aren’t bothered to know about my everyday life, why should they be interested in my private life?  So, fuck them, I’ll keep them guessing!

I am not afraid of removing or losing people from my life, if they have shown themselves to be unworthy.  I have made progress by stepping away because by not giving my time and love to them, it means I have more time and love to lavish on me, and it really has been quite liberating.

I know I have been stupid!  But not anymore, I have now drawn a heavy line underneath all that and moved the hell on.

Sharon carter-Wray

(31stDecember 2016)

Update:

What can I say?  All I know is that when I initially wrote this, it was coming from a place full of pain.  But I am pleased to say that over the last 2 years I have continued to re-evaluate the people in my life, and what they really do for or mean to me. It has given me so much clarity, and I am fully aware of where I stand within my close social environment.

Where once I might have internalised all questions and feelings of self-doubt, I am now empowered enough instead, to hold a strong belief that if someone has an issue with me, which they can’t discuss with me… then it really is their problem and not mine… 🙂

Sharon

(Updated: Tuesday 5th February 2019)

7e0d4-1939978_725772217442728_937133909_n

One of my favourite quotes.  Sx 🙂

Letting go: 2. Life

Letting go: 2. Life

It’s been two years since my divorce, the best, the most significant and most life-changing decision I have ever made in my life.  And more importantly I followed through with it until the end.  There is no denying that little piece of joy that flickers in my heart.  It happens every time I think of my ‘lucky’, if not timely escape, from the beast that had done nothing but devour me.

I know now, that if I had let things go on, today, I would have absolutely nothing.  Probably not even my sanity. 

He knew no end to draining me of all my resources and emotions.  Every day I am so grateful and thankful for my resilience.  My inner resolve and free spirit, gave me the will and the strength to save myself and set me freeUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_d7

When we think of erosion, we can imagine pictures of the sea stealing back land by gradually wearing down the cliffs.  But what’s not so easy to comprehend, is the same erosion happens in an abusive relationship.  One person always gets worn down, whilst the other continues to be relentless and strive.

Memories

Memories keep flooding back, causing shudders to run down my spine.  Ones that are constantly flashing up reminders different events and situations, that have been locked away like time capsules in my head.  Thousands of tiny fragments, made up of images, conversations, arguments and feelings of real discontent.  They burst like fireworks in front of my eyes; bringing on pangs of silent agony.

Each time it happens, it is a painful reminder of how much and how deep I let him cut me.  His sharp words, his attitude and his appalling behaviour hurt me.

But now, each little nugget makes me question why I took on the responsibility of his actions, rather than blaming him.  Maybe, I thought it was easier to do this, just so that in my mind I could be free.  But in actual fact, I have been punishing myself by taking on his army of demons.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_59Jekyll and Hyde

I see him now for what he really is, not that I had had any clouded ideas beforehand. And I accept that he was a master of disguise and I was drawn in.  Jekyll and Hyde  was the nickname I had for him, as a joke.  But in the end it was a very accurate description. I had enabled his capacity to feed, and I gave him a good food supply…  But that’s all I’m guilty of.  I didn’t make him the person he was, or make him do what he did, or think the way he thought.  He did that all on his own.  Driven by some incredible greed to swallow up anything that was good.

He did not want to fight for me.

He already knew he had lost me way back along the way, so there would be no point.  But he simply could not control his urges to hurt me more, by any means he thought he could get away with.  However, I played his game better than he did.  So, so many of his antics backfired on him.  I foolishly allowed the blame rest at my door.  I did not speak out or voice to anyone, how he had literally driven me to that point of no return.

He was a very cruel and manipulative man, a true narcissist through and through.

It took a long time, before I finally labelled it for what it was… mental abuse.

Mental abuse

How stupid I have been.  Stupid for taking the blame for his actions.  It was mental abuse, and it had started from pretty early on.  For ages I have been giving out the impression that I was ‘okay’ with this, but in actual fact I was totally churned up.  I was incensed by the sheer fact, that someone would want to treat me so badly.  Someone, who was forever expressing his ‘love’ for me!  A man I asked nothing of, but took so readily…

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_93Only now, do I really view that period of my life with real clarity.  I thought I had done so before, but now my eyes are really seeing things, for what they were and are.  Now I fully appreciate the damage, that his persistent chipping away had done to my confidence, my trust and my self-belief.

So much so, that I not only felt it, but I believed in my own unworthiness, instead of questioning his.

This has got to end.  I am still allowing him to destroy me from within.  I am letting all those negative memories and images from that life invade my daily being.  It has soaked up so much of my time and energy, battling with negative thoughts and reliving bad experiences for more than just the second time.

I have continued to emotionally beat myself up on his behalf, and by opening that door, I have enabled others to think they can do the same thing.

The damage

There is no doubt of the damage he has done.  He has left me deeply scarred with many insecurities, weaknesses and fears deeply etched in my mind.  He has damaged my belief in men, being who they say they are, and saying exactly what they mean.

This last year I have forgotten how to celebrate and enjoy my newfound life and liberty.  I have stayed being caught up in the past.  Somehow, I let his demons in and they took over and took a firm hold.  Of course, no good has come of doing this or being this way.  But at least now I can openly admit, that I have just successfully managed to further maim and cripple myself.  By holding to things and memories, that have no place in my present.  I must forever remind myself when these thoughts appear, to acknowledge that that was my old life.  I am a survivor and not a victim.

This mental and emotional intrusion, of my past into my present day has got to stop.  It will always be where it is now and where it belongs… in the past.

Yes, I have been incredibly fucking stupid…!  I have been struggling with this pain for far too long, and now I need to let it go.

It is time to forgive myself.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31stDecember 2016)

 

Update:

I am pleased to say that part of my ‘life laundry’, included virtually eradicating any evidence of my ex-husband from my life. I was brutal, I had to be.  Even things that I loved were gotten rid of, if they were tainted with any negative connection to him.  It took a while to go through everything, but it was not only necessary, it was essential.

White acrylic on canvas, with black ink

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 4 years since my divorce, and almost 4 since I started my life over.  I am also very conscious that it’s all part of my incredible journey.  It was just a very long pitstop.

Thankfully, I recognise that I have already come a very long way and my story is not over yet.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(Updated Monday 28th January 2019)

 

 

Letting go: 1. Loss

Letting go: 1. Loss

Grief is not only for the dead.  It for the loss of anything of importance that you value in your life.  We may grieve for the things we haven’t done or for friends that have moved on,  for anything that leaves us with nothing but the memories…

“I have learned that many people are not good for me.  No matter how hard I love them.” 

So where do I begin?

Maybe I should start with questions. “Why is it that at the end of every year, I always end up feeling so miserable and unhappy?  Why do I still feelings of such utter sadness, loneliness, and still feel that I have felt no real love in my life?”.

LOSS

There is a void in my life that has been filled with sad memories, disappointments and unhappy moments.  These moments of feeling such loss, have choked me up so much.  So. much so, there has been no room to let real life in.

I have often said, “I have had no time to grieve for the loss of my brother, my mother and my sister…”, and this now more recently includes my beloved dog.  But in truth, I have done nothing but mourn, and grieve, and ache for them.  As well as many other losses or things that have happened that I cannot change.  No amount of tears, anguish or darkness will bring about a better resolution or a change in circumstance.

I have allowed grief to completely envelop me, thereby imprisoning me with demons of my own making.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4b

Of course, I miss them dearly, they left at a time when I needed them most. Not that there could be a more convenient time…

The emptiness

The emptiness they left behind has been a part of me ever since.  Gone were the many daily conversations, the sharing of woes; and the laughter that inevitably followed as we saw the funny side of each dilemma.  Gone were the feelings of love I accessed through a telephone line, when sickness on both parts prevented travel.  Just gone.  No second chances, no more time and no more opportunities.

Not many people actually appreciated what Christmas was really like for me 8 years ago, but it was an extremely difficult time.  Two days before Christmas, I had sat with my mum in hospital while we received the news that cancer had spread into her liver, and that there was nothing more that could be done.  The next day I was driving up to Kent, to be with my sister for Christmas, for what we knew would inevitably be her last.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_27Bedside chats

During this time, my mum and sister were able to have bedside chats, by using video calls.  So they could speak with each other from their respective beds. Two days later I was back with my mum at the hospital, and so it continued, until she passed away on the 29thJanuary.  Little did I know that 2 months later, after sitting at my sister’s bedside for nearly a week, that I would say goodbye to her too.  And my brother also passed just after the new year, but many moons before.

So I guess it’s not surprising that Christmas has never been the same since…

At the time, I struggled with keeping my mums’ wishes by downplaying it to everyone, instead of speaking the truth, so that they were fully in the picture.  But I did my best to honour both sides.  At times it felt like they needed my permission to stay away, to not have to face it, as if their busy lives were more important.  At times, it felt like they didn’t want to take the responsibility of their choices.  But my mum definitely did not want or need anyone weeping at her bedside.

Trying to be rational while others around you are falling apart is by no means easy, and I felt the full force of that from every direction as people looked to me for answers.  Endless phone calls, endless questions, endless explanations, endless tears and endless sorrows.  Not one of them even thought about how the same loss, was affectively silently killing me inside, and they were making me bear the weight of their grief too.

Many wished them back, saying it was too soon, but I had to remind them what they were really wishing for… more cancer, more pain… when their bodies had already been violated by illness and/or surgery.

Grief

Naturally, I bore feelings of resentments, and I probably have never forgiven some of my family for their behaviour back then; while they took a back seat to participate in the grieving process.  I have often sensed that somehow, they resented me, as I was the only one with my mum when she died.  As though I had left it to the last minute to tell them of her downward turn, which meant they had to rush to get to the hospital in time.  It’s a horrible thought, but it’s one that crosses my mind at times, but I didn’t choose her moment to slip away…

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When my sister took her final breath I was with her.  On that day and the days that preceded it, I felt there was no other place for me to be.  For me, I had done the right thing for both myself my darling sister, making sure she had company throughout all her waking hours.  I did not want her to slip away unnoticed, and by being there gave me some kind of peace.

The memories

After so many years of feeling this way, I am exhausted.  I have been trapped inside this darkness of loss and grief, for so long that I am nearly blinded by it.  The memories and the sadness still overwhelms me, because only memories have taken their place, nothing real.

Getting my little dog was the best thing I could have done, unconditional love was mutual, and she had my heart in every single way.  Sadly a month ago she too was taken early, at just 7 years old I had to let her go.  It broke my heart all over again, but in a different way.  I guess the attachment you form with an animal, is on a different level to that you’d form with a person.  I suppose the sadness I felt at her premature death, was unlike any other loss, and the grief was different too.  She’d emotionally and physically seen me through times where my sister and mum could not, she was so very precious to me.

But, it is now time to put those painful memories somewhere for safekeeping. It is time for me to say goodbye, to release the burden of this grief.  The weight is far too heavy, and I have been wearing it like a mantel for too long…  It is time for me to take a deep breath and move on.

It is time for me to let them go.

Sharon Carter-Wray

(31st December 2016)

 

UPDATE:

Having read this again, I can see why it was so important for me to write 2 years ago.

Writing this, did not give me closure and I didn’t expect it to.  That is not the reason why I wrote it.  What it did do was to enable me to put my sadness in it’s rightful place.  Thereby, allowing me to view Christmas in particular, with fresh eyes, hope and to have love in my heart again.

The worst day of the year for me is still Mother’s Day.  Even though I don’t really give in to all the commercialism, it still tugs something inside.

There is not a day goes by when they do not come to mind.  Almost daily I have a conversation with them, whether it be in my head or out load.  They are a still very much a part of me, and I like it that way.

More and more, I am reminded of the many ways that I am just like my mother. I am grateful for that her kindness, generosity, humour and attitude to other people in need, has rubbed off on me.  I can still hear the things she used to say, and her wonderful quotes about getting on in life.  There are still many moments, when I smile at something knowing my sister would have found it funny too.  So in that way, they have never gone, they are still very much a part of me

I so strongly believe that grief cannot be rushed.  Even when you think you’re over it, it will strike again.  The pain may be less, but it will happen…  Most likely at an unexpected time, place and probably triggered by a complete stranger or something utterly unrelated.

I am in a good place with death.

Strange as it may sound, I’m used to it, and I accept it as being a natural part of life itself.  Now, I appreciate and dwell on the joy they gave me, rather than the sadness they left behind.  Sx ❤️

(Updated Tues 22nd January 2019)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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