If this blog is to be truthful and act as an invite to try ‘what happens if’ then I need to start at some kind of beginning.
Starting or choosing a beginning is not easy. Do I start with my childhood or a specific moment in my life, a changing moment, that then becomes the stepping stones to some kind of ending? Will such stepping stones allow me to present you with insights and connections which reflect childhood and teenage memories enough to satisfy your curiosity? I’m not sure. What would you do?
Maybe a good place to start is ‘Why do I want to write a blog’, does that help?
It is because when I looked at my website, on its penultimate presentation, I realised,(please recall that real wet blobs rolled down my cheeks), that I was looking at someone, me in this case, who had been made whole, healed. The ugly duckling realising they were a swan
Okay, it may sound dramatic and maybe even conceited to some but my journey to that realisation has at times been extreme. As a priest once said to me when I needed to tell him of my perceived failure as a mother and all the inappropriate and crazy things I had done in comparison to all the amazing mothers there are in the world, he said, “ okay, they (other mothers) may not have been as extreme as you but all of them, every one, feels on some level they have failed too”.
So, when,or if, you look at my website and you may think what an adventure I’ve had and it all sounds such fun, know this, like all adventures there are always risky moments and scenarios which are very uncomfortable if not painful, especially to start with. So, I’m blogging to share my journey in the hope it gives courage to others to do the same. It doesn’t always have to be as extreme a journey or trigger as mine but the end result is the same, being made whole.
So my first stepping stone to becoming whole began with waking up one morning at the age of 45 and not recognising my own hands, I did say it has been extreme!
In reality I had been burning the candle at both ends, actually it was a number of candles! I was working incredibly hard proving I could do a job that In reality I wasn’t truly qualified for, which also meant making presentations to hundreds of people as the ‘expert’ in my field ,studying a fine art degree part time after I’d only been making any form of art for two and half years , dating a number of different males and abusing my system with smoking a lot of marijuana plus other substances . The ‘cherries’ in this ‘ Molotov cocktail’ were being reunited with one of my sons who then was 13 but I hadn’t seen since he was 2 and my eldest son deciding to marry an Australian girl he had met at a pub and moving to Australia.
So whose body was I occupying if these hands didn’t seem to be mine?
Well, that is what I was about to start to find out, with the first of many helpers or messengers I was to encounter. The first one being an excellent GP who listened to me each week and believed that if I was listened to, supported and not processed through the then limited NHS mental health alternatives, I could be encouraged to find myself. The GP allowed me to question the world around me and experiment with trying out the best way for me to be. If you like; it was the beginning of my first conscious ‘What Happens If’ I was to attempt. I would go into new situations and try …’what happens if’ I’m cheeky, ‘what happens if’ I’m small and invisible, ‘what happens if’ I ask complete strangers how did they manage to live in the world, or how did they find happiness. ‘What happens if’ I’m loud and brash etc etc.
Each day I went out tried another ‘what happens if’, went back to my flat, sat in complete silence staring out of the window letting my mind wander through the day, went to bed and wake up at about 4am and write. I’d write about the previous day, what had happened, what I had learnt, all helping me to reach some kind of conclusion either ‘no, that is not how I want to be’ or’ yes, that seemed to work better’.
That went on for about 4 months, maybe longer, until one day I went to bed, decided not to eat or drink or even get up again until I had been ‘given’ or found a reason to do so. On the third day, the answer came!
A VAN. The two guys who sold it to me couldn’t have believed their luck and must have laughed all the way to the pub where they most probably drank themselves stupid on the proceeds . For me it was a rattling mechanical uncertainty but it was a beautiful bright green and had at the time the main requirement; I could stand up in it.
So Why a van and where would it take me ?