I’ve kept a diary since I was 12 years old – that’s nearly 40 years!
I’ve been re-reading them over the last few weeks.
Man, talk about a shock! Many of the events are clear in my head but some of my attitudes and behaviour were awful. What a cow I could be! And how much I took for granted.
I’m learning a lot. Maybe I’ll share some of my revelations here.
I see the diary reading as part of my spiritual journey and attempts at growth.
Back in my home town yet again for Easter and went to meet two of my oldest friends, both men, P and G. I’ve known them 31 years – since 1985 or thereabouts. P now lives in the South West, and reads this blog, and G lives in London. I hadn’t seen G for nearly five years.
But it was as if I’d just met them yesterday!
That’s the solace that old friends bring. You all have your foibles and ‘broken’ parts but you accept each other. With your newer friends you always have to be on your best behaviour to an extent, I think, ‘cos they are more ready to drop you for any infringement, real or imagined.
This I have learned vis a vis my neighbour who has turned out to be a nightmare. I made the mistake I always make: thinking that someone is going to be ‘there’ for a good few years. It’s a shock when you realise that people aren’t who you thought they were, even though, when you look back it is clear that all along they were telling you, showing you, who they really are! But we choose to ignore red flags and plough on.
I’m pretty naive sometimes when it comes to friendships. I expect too much. I read that that is a common thing among only children (I am an Only) – to invest a lot of time and emotion in friends who we often view as substitute siblings.
Have hideous cough and thus I felt it was not fair to breathe over my brethren at my usual church and that the long service and the drive was not a good idea.
Instead I went to a local church (Church of England) for 30 minute evensong. There were only six of us (not much chance to pass on germs) as opposed to the 50 that usually go on a Sunday eve at my church but it was nice. But I DO miss my usual church when I can’t go.
Having said that, I feel it’s better to go somewhere than not go at all. It focuses the mind.
This latest thing with the proposed cuts to Personal Independent Payments (PIP) for disabled people in the UK has galvanised me at last!
I know a LOT about PIP and have been glued to developments. Eugenics by economics. Govt must be shocked at level of anger and outrage out there.
Have reconnected with my disabled friends who are more active politically than I thought, even if it is mostly online.
Signed up for General Strike on 4 July.
Have signed PIP and ESA petitions and mum has too – for 38 degrees. Have given them quotes they can use in media also.
Thinking about joining Christians on the Left (formerly Christian Socialist Movement). I’ve been too concerned about alienating my conservative Christian friends (who are mostly lovely yet somewhat deluded) but enough is enough!
Well, we said a final goodbye to pretend ‘auntie’ a few days ago. A long journey in the funeral limousine over the stunning, wild moorland to a gorgeous crematorium (sounds odd, but it was). Very personal and religious service led by auntie’s friend, who’s a lay preacher, then back over the moors to a methodist church for fish, chips, mushy peas and homemade cake.
I don’t think auntie was especially religious, actually, but it was a great service.
Mum and I did not really know anyone but I talked to quite a lot of people and my step-brother and his wife came to the crematorium, too, which was lovely of them as they hardly knew auntie. I think they just wanted to support us.
Going to Celebrate Recovery has made me even more aware of how people who are suffering but who don’t come out of denial about their past will be forever blighted. And it makes me feel even more admiring of those who DO take the steps to deal with the rubbish that’s happened.
I know people who are in great denial whose lives are being affected minute by minute. This led me to read up about adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. While it is a gruesome subject, reading does help me to understand the affected person’s behaviours in the here and now rather than just getting frustrated and angry that they can’t see how badly affected they are!
It is difficult for me to NOT take on the responsibility of making them face up to the damage done. It’s not my place to do that. If I were to do that it would be codependency and bullying. And it could lead to terrible consequences for the abused person, if they just could not face up to the truth. But, oh, how sad it is to see lives significantly affected and denial in place.
I found this article very helpful: http://www.thehealingplace.info/adult-survivors-of-childhood-sexual-abuse/
I have not reproduced the whole thing but I highlight some points that spoke to me.
“They may not understand the connection between their childhood situation and their adult experience. Generally, the abuse has either been accepted by the survivor as “normal” or is viewed as something that is better left in the past. In some cases, the abuse may not be remembered. Consequently, the significance of symptoms and problems arising from the abuse is often not recognized.”
“An abusive childhood situation interferes with the child’s natural movement toward growth and expansion of his or her experiences.”
All children have a right to have their basic needs met. Children need to feel secure in order to learn to trust their environment. They need support for the development of dreams and wishes. They need encouragement to be separate unique individuals. They need a consistent sense of belonging, and of worth from their families and home situations. Abuse denies these very basic needs. As a result, adult survivors are often left with a deficit of emotional and practical skills for dealing with their present “grown-up” world. As a result of having limited opportunities to naturally develop these skills, survivors will frequently develop extraordinarily complex coping mechanisms in their attempts to appear “normal.” As a child, the survivor may have learned the importance of “pretending that nothing is wrong.” This coping mechanism allows them to function in society in ways that never allow anyone to guess that they struggle with such pain on the inside.
“Having not been given appropriate levels of love, care, or attention when they were their true selves as children, they might feel that they will not be given love, care, and attention if they allow their true selves to be seen as adults.”
“Adult survivors may fear the intimacy and responsibility of committed relationships.”
“They tend to blame themselves for the abuse, especially if there was pleasure, comfort, or a sense of caring attached to the incident. They frequently feel ashamed by the fact that they could not stop they abuse. They often do not remember the details but have only a vague feeling of discontent with another family member or friend of the family. Adult survivors frequently report childhood blackouts in which large chunks of time are forgotten.”
“Survivors deal with the sexual abuse in a variety of ways. They may become over-responsible, believing that they are accountable for everything and must take care of others, often meeting the needs of others before their own. On the other hand, they may act out against others in manipulative or abusive ways, especially if that is the only way they have learned to get their needs met.”
“Many adult survivors have difficulty connecting their current life situation with earlier childhood abuse. This denial can take many forms: rationalizing, minimizing, intellectualizing, focusing of the problems and shortcomings of others, hoping the problems will take care of itself, feelings that they can take care of their problems on their own.”
“Fear and shame about sharing family secrets. Survivors often fear that to get help is to betray and hurt their families, or that they will be punished for exposing family secrets.”
“Inability to blame their parents or other adults for the abuse. We are taught to love and honor our parents and to be respectful of other adults.”
“As survivors strip away all the old negative beliefs that have been the burdensome but familiar foundation for their lives, they begin to feel that everything they’ve ever known is shifting and nothing is certain or sure.”
Easements/Rights – Would you buy a property that did not have access?
It would seem obvious that when you purchase a house that you have access to the property. However this does not always happen automatically and it is absolutely essential that rights of way and any other easements necessary to the title, use and enjoyment of a property are investigated at the outset. This is extremely relevant in relation to estates, housing developments and apartment developments.
This is also very important to any bank or lending institution that is funding a purchase. The purchaser’s solicitors must ensure that the rights of way or easements comply with the requirements under the legislative provisions of the Land & Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 as amended by the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011. In short, if a property has the benefit of a right of way which has been used over a number of years but remains unregistered, an application must now be lodged with the Property Registration Authority to Register the said right of way. If this it is not done within the time laid down in legislation the rights of way will be lost and the property may end up landlocked and unsalable.
My pretend auntie, who was also my mother’s best friend, died suddenly on Monday. She was, like me, a divorcee with no children. She had been estranged from her family for years too but I never knew why.
I’m sad. Pretend Auntie was more of an aunt than my real aunt and more of a godmother than my real godmother ever was.
Mum and I will be going to the funeral in North Yorkshire, which is not where she lived but where she wanted to be cremated!
Mum’s been with me for a few days here in my adopted town. I like it on the whole, apart from her right-wing views. This appall me as she used to be a Guardian-reading liberal!
I definitely don’t feel as lonely and low. It shows that I need to be living in some sort of situation where I have people around me for some of the time.
I used to have lodgers but had to end that partly through selling the house. Also, lodgers move on quite quickly.
I guess most people get into relationships and get married to create that ‘family’ feel. I’m not sure if that’s the answer for me but we shall wait and see.
Come to home town for a few days as my elderly mum had a fall. She’s OK and been checked out at hospital but in pain. I will probably take her back to my adopted town to recuperate and she’ll have company then.
In other news the flat I am buying has land issues. It’s been going on for ages. If things can’t be resolved I’m going to have to walk away. I will lose solicitor’s fees and probably my buyer. It’s causing me a lot of lost sleep and much anxiety.
I’ve been doing well with my Lent Challenge to do one new thing a day but I won’t report back every day as that makes it a pressurised thing and i get sea-sick from being on screen too much.