Singledom – isolated bliss

‘My boyfriend is so handsome, looking all invisible and shit’ ~ Unknown 

So I’ve been single a little while now and I had become obsessed with not being single. I’d convinced myself that my value was based purely on whether I had someone who loved me or not. This has led to a number of situations that, quite frankly, are best left not discussed! 

During my time in Singledom, I’ve had a constant little flea in my ear, in the shape of a good friend, reminding me of all the reasons being single is the best way to be. I’ve regularly ignored his incessant chirping, because he was wrong, wasn’t he?! Turns out he isn’t and that pisses me off, admitting I’m wrong. He likes to send me quotes on all the reasons I’m wrong about various subjects, but his most recent one struck a chord ~ 15 reasons being single is ace. As a good teacher I decided to evaluate the relevant points and relate it to my life in this new country: 

1. You can flirt with anyone

Ok, so I’ve always been a flirt, usually with those I know, but now I can flirt with strangers and not feel guilty. Flirting can seriously boost your self esteem, even if it is short lived and who doesn’t need their ego stroking every now and then?! 

2. Going out has endless possibilities

This – this is the BEST reason for singledom. When I don’t have my 4 little humans I can go and be whatever I want! As a wife I NEVER did that because I had Mummy guilt. Now, I know it’s Daddy time and I am officially off the clock – I’ve been out on a Sunday, got drunk on a school night and even been to (one) a fitness class. 

3. I don’t have to answer to anybody

Amen to this! I don’t have to tell ANYBODY where I am going, what time I’ll be home, what I drank, how much I spent – nobody! The only person I have answered to since I was single is my Mum, who told me I was drinking too much, promptly followed by my dad who told me if I wasn’t drinking every day I wasn’t drinking enough! 

4. It is MY bed

Now, in theory, as a mother of four, this is NEVER true, but it is my bed! I have pink duvets, blankets, cushions and I star fish like an absolute pro! 

5. I have stronger friendships

I’ve seen more of my true friends since being single than I did in 8 years of marriage. I no longer have moaning sessions when I do see them, there’s no dramatic scenarios to discuss. Instead they want to know about the latest online dating disaster or want to do some swiping on my behalf! Things are light hearted and that’s how friendships should be. 

6. I have time to work on myself

The times I am no longer Mummy for the night I can be Kelly. I haven’t been Kelly for years and it’s a hat that, at first, I wasn’t comfortable putting on. I didn’t think it suited me anymore. Now I’m a little way down the road, I realise that my Kelly hat is the comfiest hat I own. I’m beginning to find out who I am again, the ‘life and soul of the party’

7. I know I haven’t ‘settled’ 

My marriage was, for a time, my life and soul. But, there were times that I felt I had ‘settled’, that I had married because that was the done thing, that if I didn’t then I’d never get married. Now, I KNOW I haven’t settled. I’m out of that and the possibilities are open again. I don’t HAVE to marry, or put up with anything I do not like. If I never marry again I’m ok with that because life is too short to just settle. 

8. I still get to find ‘the one’

Yes to this. Maybe I did, maybe he was the one and 14 years was my lot. If that’s the case then awesome – I had 14 years with my soul mate. Some people search their entire life for that, and never find it. I’m hoping that’s not the case and there is someone out there who will be my last love, because, quite frankly, the idea of dribbling into my soup alone and wiping my own backside when I’m old and grey really doesn’t appeal. I get the fun of spending time with guys and wondering if I’ll feel those butterflies again, whether they will make my stomach flip and whether they are ‘the one’ – an excitement that we only think we can have when we are young. 

And to add my own:

9. I’m wiser

My life experience has made me wiser. I know what I am worthy of. I know the signs of a cheat, a victim, and how easy it is to become conditioned to think a certain way. I know I am worthy of love, that I can be worshipped, not just worship. That means that to get me to give up my singledom you’ll have to be absolutely freaking awesome because I no longer NEED anyone else. 

Here’s to love – of oneself and others – when you have it, grasp it’s buttocks and enjoy. When you don’t, remember, you do – love your goddamn self – look in that mirror and realise how freaking awesome that person reflected back is. 


Mid Life Crisis 

Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age’ 

William Feather
Ok so technically 35 is not classed as middle age. However, I am so advanced I am already entering the mid life crisis stage. I’ve got profiles on dating sites, am a paid up member of Sunday Club and have drank vodka like there was a shortage! 

Women do not approach mid life the same as men. Men get fancy cars, younger women, and, quite frankly, make themselves look like desperate old fools, clinging onto their youth by their fingernails. Women, on the other hand, invest. They invest their time in themselves. They ‘rediscover’ who they are, do things they would never normally have done, and realise that they do not need a man to validate them but if they have a man to, ahem, ‘validate’ them then it is strictly on an nsa basis. 

On Friday I got my hair dyed. Not just one colour, but an array of purple, blue, red, green etc. My poor son is mortified at it but I don’t care. I never thought I’d say that, but I DON’T CARE! Hair is hair. It’s dead. It grows back, can be cut, shaved, dyed back, whatever. I just wanted to have something ‘different’ Like the tattoos. I have quite a few of those. The most recent takes up most of my left forearm (note to reader: never get a man’s name tattooed to you otherwise the cover up may have to be a big one) My tattoos signify me. My loves, my life journey and my appreciation of an art form. They scare people too. Which is odd, but a few people have made the comment that I’m going through a ‘punk’ phase because of the tattoos and hair! To be honest I’m trying to figure out who I am.

I’ve spent 14 years being wife and Mummy. I now have time when I am neither of those things and I realise I don’t actually know who I am. My mid life crisis is encompassing my need to reinvent myself as someone new. Someone who can live a breezy existence without the need for affirmation from another person. We constantly seek approval in our lives from everyone except ourselves. Yet, in reality, the most important person to impress IS ourselves. We are always there to rely on, to trust, to know what makes us better, yet we undervalue ourselves because the opinion of others matters more. 

One gentleman who chatted to me constantly brought up the colour of my hair and emphasised that if we met up he wouldn’t be meeting the ‘real me’ and I will be honest, that pissed me right off. We are not defined by our hair, our tattoos, clothes or accents. We are defined by our honesty, compassion and zest for life. That guy missed out BIG time because of his attitude, and no doubt more will in the future. 

My mid life crisis is going to be fun. By this time next year I may be rocking a pink shell suit and a blue rinse, but as long as I think I look awesome everyone else can kiss my middle aged arse! 

Life is a Rollercoaster 

This too shall pass’  Proverb 
I’ve had some pretty awesome weeks recently. I haven’t cried, not felt the need to rage and my counsellor has been super impressed with how I’ve handled the stages of grief so quickly. He believes I am now in the acceptance stage. I remember a time when I never thought I’d get out of the denial and begging stage so process is definitely being made. 

Today, I feel the sadness again. I’m pining for company, for that sense of belonging to something or someone again so that I don’t have to face everything alone. Life really does look much more positive with someone to map it out with. I miss the normality of routine and knowing ‘the plan’ 

But, I know that life can be positive without a plan and more importantly I can plan life for myself. I don’t need confirmation from a significant other. I need someone who wants to be in my life without restricting my need to grow and be free, but can also accept that sometimes I will need some reassurance and what that reassurance looks and sounds like. I want it all – the romance, the flowers, the messages just because I’m on their mind – and I think that I now deserve it. 

I’ve never really put a value on my self worth, but after going through more shit than most people do in a life time, I realise that I deserve to be HAPPY. I deserve the warm fuzzy feelings, but, I have all the time in the world to find that and I cannot force it.

I feel that this rollercoaster has me trapped for some time longer, I’m hoping that the hills get smaller and the dips more exciting, but I’m under no illusion that I’m nowhere near the end just yet. I no longer care what those who used to be in my life are doing, no longer pine for a friendship so my hills are definitely shrinking, and on of those exhilarating dips I’ll let someone hop on with me, strap in and enjoy the ride! 

This Is My Moment

Everything you have ever wanted is on the other side of fear”

Brian Tracy 

At the beginning of 2016 I started to write. Just notes in a journal, but the first one was entitled : 2016 – My Year?

Reading that journal entry brings about a sad smile. I promised that if, on 31st Dec 2016, I had had a good year then I would label 2016 as ‘my year’. I can safely say that as of 17th August 2016 it is definitely NOT my year. Some could even say it has been one of my worst years to date.

BUT……..(and like mine it’s a big but)

Does your year have to be 365 happy days? Yes it’s August, and yes I’ve been through more in the past 6 months than some do in years, drank way to much alcohol recently and cried until the tears ran dry, but does that mean 2016 is a write off?

By my reckoning there are still roughly 136 days left of 2016. Ok, it’s not quite half BUT it is definitely more than a quarter and that alone should be something to focus on. For 3 whole months I could make 2016 amazing. I can close the door and lock it leaving 16th Aug and before firmly on the other side. I could swallow that key and make damn sure no one can unlock that shit storm and release it again. It’s MY key. I never thought I would be able to look at things that way but I’m in control. That door that is currently open represents all my fears. Fears that will consume me if I let them. Fears that have haunted me since I was a child. If I can get passed those fears, then I can turn 2016 around. Maybe learn a new hobby, shave my head (!!), lose some weight – there are no boundaries except fear itself.

I think it’s time to lock that door.

Bullies, bullies everywhere

I find that it is the bullies that are usually the most insecure’

Tom Felton

I’ve been bullied for most of my adult life. A daily torment, regular quiet whispers of ‘you’re not good enough’ or ‘they don’t like you’ Enough to make a grown woman lose all self esteem and respect. The worse thing is, the bully is me. 

Don’t worry, I’m not hearing voices or having a psychotic break, but my conscience has become my worst enemy over the years. We all have doubts over our looks, actions, decisions, but not everyone allows those doubts to control them. I still feel guilty about camping when I was 15 and lying to my parents – every time I think back to that decision I re question myself and ask myself why. I’m 35 for goodness sake! 

I’m working on ignoring the bully. Since becoming a singleton the bully has been having a field day but it’s negativity is becoming much less. Mainly due to the fact that I only have to think about MY actions now and not of those I was with. I no longer have the constant nag saying ‘who’s he talking to?’ ‘Why is he late?’ etc and that is actually very liberating. Instead, when the bully tries to get me down I look at the worst case scenario and realise that it really isn’t the end of the world. ‘You’ll be single forever’ now translates into ‘you have 4 awesome kids and no one spending your money or making you paranoid’ which helps. I’m still far from perfect at it and sometimes I let the bully win just so I can wallow for a short time. 

Often bullies are the most insecure people. That’s why I bully. That’s why I bully myself. The insecurity is waning and I’m hoping that in the coming months I’ll re find my security and banish the bully forever. 

You are your own worst enemy. No one can damage you like you can damage yourself. It’s time to start looking in the mirror again and seeing yourself rather than looking straight through. 

Hi my name is……Mummy!

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.’

Robert Browning 

Before parenthood you plan your future through rose tinted glasses. You vow that you will never be as uptight as your parents were and quip that if you ever turn out like them then someone should shoot you. You get that first positive pregnancy test and expect to see all the pretty forest animals outside your window waiting for some over the top pregnancy announcement that can be shared on social media. 

After that positive test life changes instantly. I’ve suffered many losses in my journey to being Mummy. I never even thought it possible. My mum had four children with no issues, I just assumed I would do the same. Unfortunately I didn’t, but that’s a whole other post. When we finally got to that magic 12 weeks with our son life really did change. You spend your days trying to keep your breakfast down whilst trying to carry on as normal as possible. As the bump grows you lose who you are completely. 

People, strangers, suddenly claim ownership of your bump. They touch and coo, tell you off for bending, want to know when baby is due, what is it etc. They no longer look at your face, instead they instantly look at the bump and talk to it rather than to you. As soon as that bump appears you are ‘Mummy’. You have officially changed your name without even realising it. That’s it, game over. You no longer answer to your birth name, you no longer even truly remember it! 

Four children down the line and my name has evolved. I used to be Mummy, now I answer to Mummy, Muuuuuuuuuuuum, Muuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyy, M.U.M and I HATE YOU! I no longer make plans for one person, I make plans for five. If the shopping needs doing it takes as much organising as a school trip. Going out for lunch is now feeding time at the zoo and bedtime cannot come quick enough! You lose your identity. 

But it is so worth it. When you sit in those school assemblies watching your child get an award for their kindness, sporting success or maths work, you realise YOU did that. You are responsible for that little human being beaming at you, that little human being who can hit that ear piercing note that makes your ears bleed. Their love for you is unconditional. Everything they do is for your approval. They mean every hug and every ‘love you’ that they say. It is truly awesome to think that you don’t have to change who you are for that kind of love. You don’t have to earn it, it is given without judgment. 

Embrace that love. Even with a life long partner you will never get that love from someone without question. When you hear that ear splitting Muuuuuuuummmmmmyyyyyyy from upstairs, remember, some people will always be known by their birth name. Some people will never lose their identity and be grateful that you have. You’ll get it back one day. Until then just call me Mummy. 

Crazy is the new black

Living well is the best revenge’ 

George Herbert

Have you ever sat with your partner and jokingly chatted about what would happen if you split up? Have you ever heard stories about people doing crazy things after a break up and thought ‘have some dignity, I would NEVER do that!’

I’m here to tell you that you will. You’ll wear your crazy like a badge of honour and I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly OK. Human beings are ultimately animalistic in instinct. We react as such, but it takes time for the ‘humanity’ to kick in and talk reason to your animal side. Whilst that takes its time you do crazy things. For those on the receiving end of crazy, you need to take a step back and accept the responsibility of your actions. This is the reality, this is what happens when trust is destroyed and you crush another person’s world.

I went crazy. I cut up clothes, guitar strings, wanted to know where he was, aired my business in public etc. In my head I justified it because when we had our jokey conversations in the past I had told him I’d be a bitch for the first six months and then I’d be fine. Luckily for him the crazy only lasted a week. I still want him to hurt like I do, but I no longer want to be the one that causes that hurt because my humanity has kicked in and I cannot lower myself to his level anymore.

Instead, I look at our children and realise they need two positive, happy parents. I’ve lost a lot in these few months but those four beautiful faces are mine forever and I could not be prouder. For that I thank him, because without him I would not have them – that alone has been worth all the crazy. These kids are so resilient, but seeing Mummy going crazy and crying is not what they need.

As someone who has been there – embrace the crazy safely. By holding it in you can hurt yourself even more. Do what you need to do to get through those early days. It will pass, you will calm down and you will get stronger. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should and should not do – they do not know, no one knows the agony until they are living it. No one can say how they will react until their world has been destroyed. Down the line, I no longer care where he is or who he is with. All I care about is making sure he plays his part as Daddy and puts these four awesome little people first, second,third…….you get the picture.

So as of today, I’m putting my crazy badge away. I’ve done what I needed to do, I’ve done what I thought I never would do and come out of it without being sectioned. From today I’m going to slap on the war paint because happy is the new black.

Is That A Light I See???

It always seems impossible until it’s done”

Nelson Mandela

So I’m not writing today to say I’m cured. I’m not writing to say that my pieces have been mended, not even close. However, today the tidal wave of grief is a little less. I find myself dancing about the kitchen to make the girls laugh and checking out men walking down the street.

A while ago I couldn’t even function. I still have my meltdowns, my crazy ex rants, but I quickly pull myself round and realise it’s for show rather than substance.

The lightbulb moment came when I realised I was not missing the person, instead I was missing the company, having someone to give you a hug, curl up with on the sofa to watch tv and to empty the bins! That’s sad – after 14 years of being each other’s soulmates there should be more to it, but for the sake of my sanity I’m glad there isn’t.

I’m now left with a sadness of the loss of my mate. Someone who listened to me moan without judgement. My mate who promised things would never get to this point, but then let it. I hope at some point I get that part of the person back, but to be honest I’m not convinced that is part of the plan and I’m slowly making my peace with that. I’m learning to use a screwdriver and drag the bins out, I’m learning to make the awkward phone calls and pay the bills…..and I realise I allowed myself to feel like I was not capable of doing these things for so long that I’d forgotten I am more than capable.

I’m now concentrating on Kelly, who I am as an individual rather than part of a pair. It’s an interesting adventure, I’m realising things that have been dormant for a long time. And for the first time in a long time I’m feeling a sense of freedom. I no longer feel like I have to avoid social situations, instead I’m actively running towards ones that in the past would give me sleepless nights in the run up to it.

I’m also desperate for a life again. The slight issue with being 35 is that most of my friends are married with kids and therefore can’t just nip out for beers anymore, things need to be much more planned out so I am going to face the fact that there will be times where it’s just me and the dog for the evening and welcome the silence.

I didn’t think I’d survive my world crashing down around me. Today I feel I have survived the first part, and it’s now up to me to re write the future chapters, because plans change it seems and that needs to be embraced rather than revered.
Vodka anyone?

Be strong dammit! 

“A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

I’ve never considered myself a strong person. I’ve always believed that I am very much the weak one, easily manipulated by those I put my trust in and invariably always let down. Strength is not a trait I would give myself. 

Yet, since everything happened I’ve found many people using that exact word to describe me and I wonder what it is that they see. Why can’t I see it? Even my ex told me I was ‘stronger than you give yourself credit for’ after I was collapsed in a snivelling mess after another ‘talk’. I’ve decided to try and figure out what strength is to me in the hope that I can see where I fit. 

1. Ability to withstand the harshest of times without stooping to levels that would embarrass you

See now straight away I failed at point number 1. I yielded to the madness and wrote things that should never have seen the light of day. I allowed my weakness to show and in a very public way. 

2.Has an understanding of her own self worth

Failure number 2 right here! I suffer from social anxiety as well as extremely low self esteem. If I was to estimate a value for myself I would probably owe people money!

3. Ability to adapt and deal with any given situation

If by dealing you mean crying like a baby at every given opportunity then I’ve got this one in the bag. 

4. Has her shit together – looks good despite an hour’s sleep

Erm – my girls sleep all night. If I remember to pull a brush through my hair or (embarrassingly) brush my teeth before I exit the bomb site I call home then I call that day a win! 

5. Is willing to sacrifice herself for those she loves without hesitation

This one I got – I’m the she wolf in this pack and if anyone dares threaten my cubs I’ll scratch their eyes out! 

6. Does not rely on anyone else to give her life meaning

My biggest of all the failures. I define myself through how many people truly love me and want to be with me – this latest setback has rocked that to the core and I am now desperately trying to convince myself that I do not need a man to define me – being single does not mean people do not want you…….right??  
True strength comes from within, just because someone puts across a strong persona does not mean that they do not have a frightened little child on the inside. My inner child wants to curl up in a ball and sob whilst my Mum hugs me and strokes my hair…..for a few days. Instead I have to get up and show my children that life is for living and no one can take that away from you.

Maybe the ability to fight the urge to be that small child and instead put others’ needs first is strength – who knows?! 

All I know is that at this moment it is most definitely strength in numbers for me and without the numbers of people sending me their virtual and physical strength I would not be putting one foot in front of the other. So take credit for your own ability to offer strength and light in the darkest of times and remember, the darkness may lift but the strength takes much longer to build. 

Social Media = Social Suicide 

Have you ever gotten the feeling that you aren’t completely embarrassed yet, but you glimpse tomorrow’s embarrassment? ~ Tom Cruise

Yesterday got out of hand and for that I apologise. I apologise to every single person who had the misfortune of witnessing my social media suicide. I never thought I would stoop to that level, but when you hit the bottom there is nowhere else to go.

What did we do before social media? Why do we feel the need to broadcast our every issue on various platforms? We would never have opened our front door and shouted to the neighbours what we had for tea that day or what our current relationship status was so why do we do it when we can hide behind a computer screen?

A good friend made me realise that the issue with social media is that it is a constant reminder of your indiscretions and one day my children could easily scroll back through and see me saying unnecessary things about their father. When parents separate they get so bogged down in each other and forget that their main job is being a parent. I never thought I’d be facing divorce so I never really thought about how I would handle it and last night made me realise I am approaching it all wrong.

It is so hard to keep it together when you’re falling apart inside. When you feel unloved, unwanted and rejected by the only person who gave you meaning. Social media should have a mood test – heartbroken? Sorry you can’t log in today. Drunk? Sorry not a chance you are getting in here. You just want someone else to hurt as much as you do and what better way than broadcasting to hundreds of people their indiscretions? Well, a better way is learning to move on and be better than they are, show them that you are someone beyond Mummy and (ex) wife, but ensuring that you do not cross the disrespectful line for another human being and pray that they have the common courtesy to do the same for you.

Social media has created so many horrific scenarios for so many people but it can also offer so much love and support in the lowest of times. I need to take the support and love, and remember that having a media breakdown is not big or clever. I am truly grateful for every person who has messaged me to offer their love and support in a time that is so much more horrific than I could ever ever imagine. But there are 2 of us hurting (I think) so make sure that support spans that gap, we both need love and support, and we both need to treat each other in private and social media the way we would not mind our children reading when they can understand.

My social media suicide happened and luckily I was not as successful as I could’ve been. I’ve had my wake up call and embarrassed the pants off myself.

Don’t commit social media suicide – stop and think about how you would feel if your child read what you are bashing on that keyboard. Conduct yourself as you wish to be treated and do not allow a public forum to create a side of you that would not normally exist in public

On the subject of last night – I want to thank J for being there and the Junies/work friends/friends/family for their kind words and understanding when I was having my meltdown. And to all those I panicked and upset – I’m sorry. And finally to you sir, your headspace is yours – don’t mess with mine anymore and I won’t mess with yours – and that way we will come out of the other side in tact.

I will get through this – I don’t know how at the moment as the pain is too strong, but one day I will look back at my squeaky bum cringe post and give myself a slap. Here’s hoping anyway.