Imagine…

A mom had a bad day. She was in pain, and her established plans for the kids to help with household chores were ignored. She did everything on her own and in pain. She made dinner. Watched a movie with the kids and an episode of Alf, and while her older daughter chose to go to bed, her younger daughter needed more cuddles. And the young ten-year-old began talking about death and how hard it is to lose people. Mom had a couple of drinks with dinner and didn’t approve of the girl’s way of thinking. She reminded her daughter that every end is a beginning, and every bad thing that happens now is part of a journey and part of a bigger picture.
Everything happens for a reason; even the ugliest moments teach us lessons and help us evolve. And then mom said that the best thing that ever happened in her life was the birth of her three kids. Every kid came at exactly the right moment, and every kid made a better person out of mom, teaching her a lot about life, the world, and her purpose. The daughter listened with tears in her eyes, and mom got worried, telling her child that every emotion is always valid and should be felt, at least for a little while. Feeling is important. But the kid shook her head. “I am not sad,” she said. “I am just touched by your words.” And inside mom’s head, thoughts just exploded. She was overwhelmed with pride for her kids. “This is the best moment of my life,” the ten-year-old girl said and hugged her mom tightly. Mom was at a loss for words and close to tears herself. Everything was just very emotional and intense, but in such a good way. And mom knew when her daughter finally went to bed that they had just shared a life-altering moment. A positive moment where mom had shared some of her eccentricities with her youngest daughter, a young girl who needed to hear those words that moment, because: everything happens at exactly the right moment in time, even if we can’t see the whole picture yet.

It was the most intense parenting moment in recent times without feeling like parenting at all.

***

Matthew Ryan – maybe I’ll disappear (from the album “Hustle Up Starlings”, 2017)

Fatboy Slim – right here, right now (from the album “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”, 1998)

Facts about me

Taking a page out of Aaron’s blog –> http://confusingmiddle.com and following Paul’s –> captainsspeech.com recent share your blog event, I decided to share some facts about me. Questions are allowed and will be answered. So… fasten your seatbelts, let’s begin this Tuesday with a post about mememememe.

  1. I am a woman
  2. My birthday is in February (8th)
  3. It makes me an Aquarius
  4. I am also an INFP which stands for “introversion, intuition, feeling, perception” and is one of 16 personality types according to Myers-Briggs
  5. I write a lot. Every day. Everything that is not personal and about me is fiction.
  6. I am diagnosed bi-polar and my moods or episodes can sometimes be palpable in my posts
  7. I love music of many genres and like to share things that make me happy – music
  8. I was born and raised in Luxembourg – which is a very small but beautiful country in Europe
  9. i am fluent in four languages and always interested in picking up bits of new ones
  10. some consider me as being odd
  11. at work, I am often seen as laid-back and calm/quiet. That’s just a facade. There is a storm on the inside
  12. I work with babies and toddlers
  13. The only other dream-job I ever had was in drug-prevention, apart from that, I always wanted to work with little kids
  14. right now, I am on extensive sick leave because I have an issue with my shoulder. It should have been resolved a year ago, but it seems as if no one wants to perform a surgery and it is better to be sent from test to test anyway *sarcasm*
  15. I am deeply empathetic, which can be a course. I pick up on moods and sometimes internalise the pain of others – my writing benefits from that, my mental health doesn’t
  16. I am a good cook because I like spoiling people who come to my house
  17. did I mention that I will be 38 this year? Not a nice number. I wonder if it is time to grow up.
  18. I did not gain or lose any weight this year, even if it looks like it on my face. but my hair turns grey and greyer
  19. blame it on my three kids (15,12,10). I love them to bits and would do anything for them
  20. My son will be 16 next week
  21. my childhood was quite rough with emotional blackmail, neglect, and abuse and I had to do things for my mom no child should do for their parent at the age of 6. It influenced my entire life and I hope that I am a better parent to my kids.
  22. when i get very very overwhelmed, I fall back into old patterns and get the urge to cut my skin. I did that as a teenager, then stopped – without help for a decade. Since 2012 it happens again sporadically. (once in 2020)
  23. one of my biggest fears is being rejected and abandoned. that’s why it hurts so much when people become close and start ghosting me – which happens on occasion too
  24. I am a sensual woman and like to write sensual short stories that border on erotica
  25. most of my online acquaintances are male
  26. most of my real-life friends are male
  27. I lost a friend because of that – she counted my followers on Twitter and FB (!) and after a fight she decided that I violated the girls-code (whatever that is) and that I was toxic – I don’t miss her
  28. I have never met my best friend – she is in London and we are in touch daily.
  29. It is easier for me to be authentic and open online than it is in my real life
  30. i prefer to step back and allow others to shine in real life
  31. online is real-life too, I know, but it is different
  32. I published 4 books, they can all be found on Amazon and they can also be bought through my blog, but only one person ever chose the latter option and that book went to Wales
  33. In 2020, for the first time ever, I did a piece of spoken word poetry and it can be found on an official release – a compilation by diy artists – I am a member of a discord channel as the only (?) non-musician and don’t know if I even fit in there – but the creator of the channel added me and I won’t complain
  34. I used to sing in a band and two songs I wrote made it on an album – I was made to leave (kicked out) when hey decided they only needed one singer and it would be better to be an all-male band. I cried and was disappointed, but not for too long. I am still friends with the members of the band. A while later, they split up and went on to have families and careers…
  35. I have been sharing music daily on the blog for a while now. I always start with the intention of only doing it for a month straight only, but to be honest, I like that most don’t know the songs I share and I hope that you can discover your next favourite artist
  36. I like supporting people and I like taking care of them
  37. If I take care of you, it means that I love you. I care about you. I never ask “how are you?” without wanting a real and true answer
  38. I write romantic poems and stories most of the time, I don’t consider myself to be a romantic woman though. I don’t want flowers or jewels, I want the little things
  39. I can be selfish
  40. I think I am shallow, but I am told I am not
  41. can I brag? I have an IQ (official test) of 132
  42. I am horrible with numbers
  43. My life is quite boring. I am home a lot and don’t like to socialise.
  44. My head is filled with boring facts about music, movies and everything related to those two. I just seem to memorise these things
  45. I am a good listener and remember little things about people
  46. last October, I met a Dutch couple I met online. I drove for four hours, spent four days with them and drove home again. I had a weird weekend. It was almost like wellness and yet, it was apparent that something internal was not quite right – I had the urge to touch my fingers the entire time, and one big phobia reared its head – I hate eating in front of people. I was an even weirder version of my normal self. it’s embarrassing, really. I’m sorry.
  47. people step into our lives when we need them not when we want them
  48. I don’t believe in regrets. Every decision I make is the right one in that moment. And if it turns out to be a bad decision later, then so be it. It sounds weird but allows me to be confident about my choices.
  49. I believe in the Butterfly Effect: If one thing was changed in the past, I would not be where I am now – this helps a lot with my messed up childhood and adolescence – because I like my life right now and I like the people who are part of it – even if they have no idea how important they are for my well-being
  50. amor fati – love your fate
  51. I write daily. In December my mentor passed away, without him, you would not be able to read any of my words. I miss him. He liked lists too.
  52. I use social media a lot, but I am not hung-up on stats. But, once in a while I wonder “who cares” and consider deleting everything. Everything but the blog. And for the blog, I do like to see that there are constant visitors.
  53. as I am writing this list, I am sitting at my kitchen table with plugs in my ear. The song that is playing is heavy metal (Kvelertak – heksebrann) and it is hard to sit still, but my kid has an online class and she is sitting here with me – i need to behave
  54. I am not a usual mom – I am often silly
  55. I like sunrises
  56. I like to sleep in – it clashes with the fact that I like sunrises
  57. when I wake up in the morning, I need a moment until I am ready to talk with anyone
  58. I can be very moody (good moods and bad moods too)
  59. The only way I know how to think is to overthink
  60. I am made of emotions but only movies and music make me cry
  61. I don’t like to show my vulnerable and weak side – I try to make fun of myself instead – yes, I am that insecure
  62. powertools don’t scare me. I know how to do many things around the house – I am independent, but I like it if a man takes care of me
  63. I like long baths
  64. kindness, respect, and gratitude are not a luxury
  65. you are always the bad guy in someone’s story – that’s a fact of life
  66. I love spinach, it is my second favourite dish
  67. I don’t like it when someone looks over my shoulder while I am looking at my phone or writing on the laptop.
  68. I am afraid to be judged wrongly – but since I am secretive and insecure, that is often the case
  69. most people I encounter use the word “mysterious” to describe me and even though this has happened for years now, no one has an answer to what is so “mysterious” about me.
  70. I gave up pretending online – I am who I am.
  71. I don’t pretend in real-life, I just don’t show everything
  72. I know a lot of theory about exercising and healthy food – and yet I am overweight
  73. I am quite short (160cm – 5’3)
  74. my wardrobe is filled with black tops and jeans
  75. my best physical assets: eyes (brown), boobs, ass
  76. I am a bad liar and think it is disrespectful to lie anyway
  77. I am easily hurt but I easily forgive too
  78. there is a song for every memory and every situation
  79. one indicator that I am not well (mentally) is when there is no music playing – it means i am overflowing with emotions and cannot deal with anything else clouding my mind
  80. an explosion of emotions – I wish I had come up with that, but I did not. I just use it a lot and the person who said it probably just said it in passing without giving it much thought
  81. my favourite season is autumn (fall). In winter it is too cold, in summer it is too hot and in spring there are too many allergies
  82. always look on the bright side of life
  83. I like art – abstract photography
  84. I haven’t seen my mother since 2016 – it is a conscious choice to protect me, but if I am honest and if I was in her position it would hurt – all my talk about being abandoned and rejected and I am doing it myself – and yet… I cannot change it. I cannot go and visit – even calling her is hard for me
  85. I know my twin-flame. It is not the man I married
  86. I never had any surgery or broken bones and the only X-Rays I had ever taken was at the dentists
  87. the song that is playing now is Billy Joel – she’s only a woman
  88. there is only one podcast I listen to regularly: https://open.spotify.com/show/0ZjcbBn2GdfMosNptBzEkP?si=uXUfwv8oQI2YskABoDD2KQ
  89. I know that spotify is not kind to indie artists and yet it is the easiest way to spread your music these days.
  90. I never owned any apple device
  91. there is a very thin line between emptiness and overflowing
  92. I am not alone, but I get very lonely sometimes
  93. I get lonely because I know exactly who I want to be in touch with but they are unavailable
  94. it’s the expectation that hurts more than anything else – no expectations, no hurt. I tried living without expectations, but it doesn’t work for me – maybe I am too much of a dreamer
  95. I hate video calls
  96. I don’t often use the word “hate”
  97. I am not a negative person, it is just easier to see the positive in other people than it is to see it in myself
  98. I know too many songs, I am singing alone to Pat Benatar’s Hit me with your best shot right now
  99. I have been struggling to come up with more facts since fact 53
  100. Thank you for indulging me – you deserve a big hug.

Accomplishments 2020 – a small list

  • Published my first novel
  • Working on my next poetry collection – working title “push the clouds away”
  • Started therapy – stopped therapy, I did not feel it
  • Drove to the Netherlands all alone and on my own (4 hours drive) and stayed with a couple I met online
  • Did a handful things out of my comfort zone
  • Said “no”
  • Worked a lot and even though I was not always happy, I was successful
  • Bonded with people
  • Said goodbye to others
  • Made lots of time for music, supporting artists and investing money into my small but eclectic vinyl collection
  • Actually enjoyed lockdown and the time I had to focus on my mental health
  • Did something – or a lot for my pain
    • Acupuncture
    • Dry Needling
    • Subacromial injections
    • Physiotherapy
    • E-stimulations
    • Surgery 97% probable in 2021
    • Agree to be put on extended sick leave
  • Wrote a lot, but not too much
  • Some months, I posted a couple times daily on the blog, I don’t have a lot of reach or many reads, but I felt like it was okay. I understood that I am doing this for myself though I also enjoy that my words are seen/read
  • And because of that, it was the most successful year for the blog – ever
  • (…)

I woke up, we all do.

For the first time in a long while, I slept through the night. I didn’t wake up as rested as I would have liked, but I felt happy – lighter than I usually do. Maybe it’s because I spoke a lot about my family yesterday. I don’t know. And I don’t want to overthink. Here is a list, I wrote spontaneously, with things that make me happy. Would you do me a favour? In the comments, share one or more things that make you happy. Let’s spread some positivity.

  • Sunrise
  • Standing in the blowing wind
  • The smell of rain
  • A dish that turned out particularly well
  • Receiving mail – personal mail (emails too)
  • Looking at my books and flipping through them
  • Listening to music, singing and dancing along
  • A good book – with a story that is gripping
  • A memory that was almost forgotten and puts a smile on my face
  • Seeing myself through the eyes of others
  • Sleeping through the night without interruption
  • Seeing people I like being happy
  • Being good at my job
  • Hearing a song that touches the right spaces inside of me for the first time
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Seeing plants grow
  • Rainbows and soap bubbles
  • A long bath
  • Feeling loved
  • That look in the eyes of my kids – between awe and she’s crazy
  • Cloud watching
  • Waking up and writing a list of things that make me happy…

Now it’s your turn… What makes you happy or feel light.

Memory lane

Today, I saw that an old post from November 2017 was read a couple of times – today. I am not one who looks at the stats all day long, but I noticed this because it is a special post to me. (That said, I usually take a moment in June to reflect on the first half of the year on the blog… Expect a post about that soon)

I remember that particular post from November very well. I remember exactly when I wrote it and why. I know what happened before and what happened after.

https://wp.me/p2ZT5k-392

It’s quite painful to read all of these words again. They were at the beginning of a dark and depressive phase in my life and I am not completely out of the woods yet. I have been fighting and struggling for three years.

Recently, I discovered that I am actually a mediocre writer at best. I keep repeating the same words and phrases; I keep replaying the same scenes and moments. And my writing became dull. Unimportant. Irrelevant.

There are many many amazing writers out there. There are musicians who write lyrics so powerful that they make the listener tear up.

I am not one of them. Not anymore.

Not anymore.

I am sorry.

I lost my most important muse and stopped listening to the music that makes me feel. It is as if I am overwhelmed all the time, yet numb too. It is as if I am censoring myself and hiding behind the mask of the person I am expected to be.

I am exhausted. I haven’t slept properly in four days. And I can’t do it anymore.

untitled_20200416

Remind me to breathe, to make this feeling of imploding go away. Remind me to breathe, to let those dry tears leave my eyes. Remind me to breathe, to make this panic end.

Stop you beating heart. Stop you shaking hands. Stop. Just stop this agonising torture.

Close the doors and close your eyes. Close your blinds and close your mind.

Leave and left. No place for inner peace – bereft.

And as the anxiety vanishes, tiredness seeps in, I pull the blanket over my alien body and give in.

I don’t know this person, but she is me—my own worst frenemy.

Old wounds weigh heavier than newer ones.

This Corona thing is different for all of us. I admit I am coping well enough. I feel lonely but also relieved that I don’t have to deal with as many people daily. I am most happy at home or in my garden. I am not trying to improve or learn something new. I am just being a mom and taking care of the house. I neglected that a bit in the past, but now that we are at home all the time, I want our home to be clean and tidy.

I am lonely, however. I am online a lot, more than I already was before the lockdown. And at one point, I became obsessed with news about the progression of COVID-19 in Luxembourg.

I noticed something with my husband yesterday: we kiss when one of us leaves the house or comes home. Now that we are both home, the physical contact is reduced to a bare minimum. I mentioned it, and as so often, it was countered with a joke. You see, we laugh a lot, a big part of us is banter and calling the other out on their bullshit. We never fight, and it is all in good nature, but the intimacy, the physicality is missing.

But I also need to admit that I have many times when I don’t want to be touched when I don’t like the feel of skin against mine. I flinch away. From my kids too. I try to apologise, and lately, I began telling my kids when it is okay to touch and hug and when it is not. It makes it harder for everyone around me to know and understand that I need those hugs. They keep me together some times.

When I was a child, I was not hugged, not touched, and I was never told that someone was proud of me or that I did something right. I was ignored, insulted, and ridiculed. I remember a big hug from my grandmother when I was seven, and she told me that a girl from my class had died in a car crash. She had been run over by a drunk driver. I remember a couple of slaps, but what I remember most is the cold shoulder—not being heard or looked at. Not having a voice or being allowed to use that voice.

I was a timid and taciturn child. I was not really bullied but singled out for being the only kid with Italian roots and divorced parents. Add to that that the kids from school didn’t understand why my mom was in a wheelchair. I didn’t understand it myself, but since it was my normal; I didn’t know it any other way.

My childhood and the emotional abuse I endured left deeper wounds and scars than anything else ever will. It is the reason for all these self-esteem issues. For the depression too. In my head is this voice that tells me that I am not loveable and that I don’t deserve anything good happening to me. I don’t trust people and don’t confide in them. My mind is constantly working, but no one even knows the half of it.

When I was a teenager, I craves affection and attention. And so I began flirting with many boys and men. I just wanted to be loved and appreciated. And I was never short of boys who were willing to flirt. I had boyfriends and received love letters. My first time having sex was me being abused. After that, I took my distance from men and boys. It took a couple of years before I let anyone physically close again – he became my husband.

I am a sexual woman. I like flirting, and I love writing my more smuttier one-shots. Heck, People are checking this blog for those posts alone.

I am starving for affection more days than not. And I want to be good enough, loveable enough. I want to be funny enough. Interesting enough. Clever enough. Sexy enough. I want to be enough. But there is this barrier in my head. I don’t know when I will attain this “enough”. Enough is never enough. I need to feel love from other people to feel love for myself—a vicious circle, bound to leave me with a couple of new bruises. But I can take it. I can channel that kind of pain and pour it into my poetry and writing. I may not be the most amazing person, but my writing is often decent.

I am thinking a lot tonight. I was watching Gone with the Wind (1939) tonight and after that, I can’t quite seem to find sleep. It is 1:30am.

And with my thoughts going in circles and me thinking about my grandmother tonight, I realised that my emotional wounds, the one’s from my childhood and teenage years are heavier on my mind and soul than physical wounds ever were.

Writing this reminded me of Robert’s blog post. Pain is relative. Pain is not relative. Emotional pain is relative. Physical pain is not.

Cathy: April 7th, 2020

On that pic, you see me with no make-up and my favourite t-shirt. (Pink Floyd). There is a beer mix in the back, and – get your head out of the gutter – that phallic shaped thing with the colourful bubbles is a Galileo thermometer.

I often wish that I was a normal 37-year-old woman. But how does a normal woman my age behave? I am a bit crazy around my kids too. Often, I am dancing or singing or wearing a plastic crown. I write about music – a new review is in the making. I ramble about unimportant things. But if these things and themes and subjects matter to me, then they aren’t unimportant, right?

I just hope that my kids will be less damaged than I am. They know my moods. They don’t fully understand them yet, but they are tuned in to my manic moments and to my depressive episodes too. I try keeping them out of it all. Not to wear a mask or to lie to them, but to stop them from worrying.

In this Corona times, I am less alone, yet lonelier than ever. I am coping quite well for now, and I hope I will manage these next three weeks of lockdown too.

I hope you are okay and safe.

Cathy

more music

If you use Spotify, take a look at this playlist. It has many many many songs (over 1100 songs to be exact.) It is a mix of what I like to hear and you can find a mix of very different genres. Once in a while, I delete songs that I grew tired of or skip too often, but for every deleted song, there are two added and that’s how the list grew. I hear a song and I add it to that list. I have other private lists, but this one is the one I used daily.

Have fun exploring… and share your thoughts.

xx

Didn’t she ramble?!

This blog-thing here is very selfish and egocentric. It is about my thoughts, my stream of consciousness, my options, my opinions. Me.

I am not qualified for many things. I don’t know much about music or mental health. I know about education and pedagogy. I know about raising kids and living on a tight but not too tight budget. I know about childhood trauma and divorced parents. I know about unrequited love and self-harm. I know a lot, but I am not an expert on many things.

I haven’t seen anyone who doesn’t live with me since Friday 13th. I haven’t spoken to many people either. But I have been continuously texting. I am online – all the time, and I am checking the news a lot too. 1333 confirmed infections today, 234 more than yesterday. In a country with approximately 620k inhabitants, this is a lot. And weirdly enough, I don’t know anyone who caught the virus. It’s odd, or maybe it just shows that I am a recluse most of the time anyway.

I am very active online these days, sharing a lot – mostly music related content or trivial things. Even on FB, that I keep for family and my close friends, I took part in challenges I would have ignored during other times.

I don’t know if this is healthy, I doubt it. But I am also grateful for all the amazing people who are interacting with me. Some of these people have been on my periphery for a while, but only ever at a distance, and now they are getting closer. Is it because I am willing to let them closer? I don’t know.

I don’t have cabin fever; at the same time, I am not in my best mood. Is it because I ate too many carbs after not having had any for weeks? Is it my natural female cycle?

It is a fact that I am busier now than I was before the lockdown. I am more present and as weird as it sounds (or as bad as it makes me look) I am making time – and finding time for things I used to ignore. Working out (I am proud about it, even if it is only 5 to 10 minutes a day) cleaning the kitchen daily, drinking enough tea and water, spending conscious time with the kids and saying ‘no’ when they ask to watch TV (instead we play board games or play silly games outside on the garden – it was never important for me to spend time outside with my daughters – now it is).

The Covid-19 virus is a moment to reset our lives, and I think I am doing a good job. I am focusing on the important things, and I am taking care of the people who matter to me, by getting in touch with them regularly – it is their choice if they respond or not – you can almost read the disappointment on the screen, my blood-related family does not care, once again.

I feel connected to people, and even though I am not too well (mentally), it makes a lot of sense. I am not alone, and for once, I understand this, and I feel it too. There is a lot of bad happening right now, but somehow, there is a lot of beauty in this situation too.

I want to thank you. You matter. ❤

Support the arts…

During these difficult times, lots of people are losing their careers and their livelihood. Musicians and artists too. If you can, support your favourite artist. Some are putting out A Song A Day.

Many incredible musicians are doing this, but I want to single out someone special. Tom Morris. He put his first song on Soundcloud today, and what can I say?! It is a brilliant song. Tom records his songs in under an hour. It is audible, but even in this raw state, this reached me right where it is important to be touched. The lyrics are very relevant, and again, I can relate. Now, if you follow this blog-thing, you know about Tom Morris and how much I like that guy. He is talented. A beautiful mind and soul. He is one of us – and I can never repay him for the impact he had on my life with a simple hug.

If you have a moment to spare, please, support Tom on Patreon. (I have a certain sum of money set aside each month that I use to support artists on Patreon or to buy music and books, it is the only luxury I allow myself these days.)

Follow these guys:

Tom Elliott Morris

David Oakes

Matthew Ryan

Ari Gudmundsson

These are just 4 musicians who make very different kinds of music. They are all on Bandcamp, and they also share their music on Twitter. (The above are Twitter-Links)

Music is very important in times like these; for me, it is – as you may have noticed these last days.

I don’t have much to say anymore. My poetry muse left me a while ago, and all I do is rambling. I believe that we change all the time. I never intended this blog to turn into a diary kind of thing, but in times when my voice is silent, and I can’t speak, I found that writing eases my tensions, and it turns my thoughts into words on a screen.

Let’s keep evolving.

Today was another less great day. The pain in my shoulder is back full-force.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day.

Good night,

Cathy