I wrote this blog, and posted it almost 2 years ago.
It is one of those posts which seems to keep recurring in my most looked at blogs. I really have no idea why. I do remember at the time feeling that there were “stages” in life, probably not as clear cut as frogspawn – tadpole – frog, YET as significant. And also that there were to me parts of the life cycle that you really needed to go through before progressing to the next.
But i terms of its significance in relation to any other opinions or rants i may have posted or purged onto a page, it was no more important or weighted than any other in my mind. So out of curioslty, am again going to read it – something i generally DO NOT DO….as part of what i hoped to do in blogging was to pour my heart out on the page, and not re-read. In case i rubbed half of it out. Openness i suppose it was. BUT in the interests of “WHY THE FUSS ABOUT THIS ONE?” I will reread…and mark in new comments in RED as i go :)….here we go.
i never really noticed that there are such definite life stages…. although sometimes you can take them slightly out of synch…but there really are…we are frog-spawn…tadpole…without legs …and legs…and frogs…just as definable.
- childhood…early childhood – preschool. I had so little memories of this. But then i was sent of to school at 3…not i think through cruelty, but though extended family pressure. my aunt taught in a school that needed numbers to stay open, so i was sent out. i doubt it was planned in any way and have had many a slagging with my parents and the aunt who taught me about that 🙂
- primary school – real childhood. were they happy for me? i don’t really think so. But often when i recall my days, i query was i odd, r maybe even an undiagnosed autistic. The only clear memories that i have were of being too young to be with my year group. That meant i was vulnerable, and accessible through my innocence to being the butt of the humour. I do remember individual things, but have no overall collection of feeling bullied, maybe that’s one of the reasons i think i may have been autistic – i seemed to have a shell to retreat into. PLUS i had my music…always there with me and in me. my own wee world…i practiced for hours..yes was dragged like a performing seal round feiseanna and festivals..but meant nothing to me. In fact the fact that he who doesn’t exist probably sold all my medals annoys me just on principal. i was a very self-driven child. It was not natural for a child to practice and to want to or even to achieve the standards i did in piano, but it was what i loved…and what i did from morning til night!
- teenager -secondary school. Wow ….was i a rebel…..? NO! I was abused summer between schools which lived closed away in me for years. I was now VERY immature and not remotely as worldly as my peers. I was so much the butt of the jokes, and now old enough to sense it. was i friendless? no! i just gravitated to the year behind me and enjoyed my time socialising with them. But no discos, no challenges to parents, no alcohol, no boyfriends…but i don’t think i pushed any boundaries was possibly happy to have had NO as an answer. So i studied i had my music. Although i was used musically. Grades and exams were all done by the time i was 12…so was a (replace the word FREE with willing) accompanist for the nuns and choirs throughout the remaining 5 school years. did i gripe? did i heck! NO!…little ms amenable. while not a social teen I had a selection of close and very reliable carefully chosen friends, and they have remained so.
- college – i think i deliberately chose a college where i could develop a personality, and write a plot. I became a person, with friends, with a sense for the first time of ME. They were good days… although every so often the self-doubt would rear its ugly head, they were mainly developmental years. and years when flashes of past ugly power abuse hurt damaged me and i needed my parents to repair me.
- young adult after college…early job…again little biddable me, took on a job offered to me, rather than pushing to do what I wanted to do….or did i really want it enough? would i like to have been brave or was i really looking for a cop out of the more risky job options?? At this stage had met my hubby and was so sure was going to settle with him, but took us a few years and a lot of mental health problems for me to get there. In these years i was bullied by a boss, had NO ability to stand up on my feet and say NO!…was not in control of the time i spent teaching – was almost until bedtime…but we worked through those years. my immature mental independence was MY undealt with damage. I was so ANGRY at myself for being weak but yes, i can see why.
- child-producing years – and established in work these were good years, We married young, relative to all our friends. We had our first 2 children young, relative to all our fiends. PLUS….i had finally grown a spine. Was it the prospective of having the family? feeling that strength? i don’t know but now my job flowed – i was in charge! I was damned good at it, i enjoyed it, and it had a place in my life…but was NOT my life. my family were that. I had also managed to crawl out of the control perceived or real that my parent’s exerted…i knew now that they were not the oracle of information and life experience and saw them blemishes and all. These are the years when all your friends get married….when you spend a fortune on outfits, presents and hotel rooms and in our case babysitters! you begin to grow up – initially thinking you KNOW IT ALL…but in time redressing this and realising you are allowed to not know it all. But it is a coming of age. The turning 30 type markers. The saying NO at work marker….so many
- managing and surviving your teenagers . merits a section ALL on its own. but in our case we had decided bigger house, and bigger family, so we were struggling through the “my parents know NOTHING” attitude and still doing bouncy castle parties at the same time! NOw, coming out the other side, this was probably the time when friends recovered social lives…we just recovered from the “punch-bag-period” on the receiving end from the TEENS! Now on reflection am so glad we had these years but they were tough. and i can say honestly…what doesn’t kill you as a family and pull you apart, WILL make you all stronger and appreciate each other all the more!
- middle-age when DO you think THAT hits? 40? later? no… which i hit early! my health had taken on board a lot of what last years had shed off, and i had to retire from work…my better and fitter half was the driving force, I was the crock . But the liberty of retirement over shadowed the shock of acceptance that i had become so unwell and so sedentary for a few years. So i didnt notice the grief for health and youth that i was hiding at first. Teens are now at college. so i get time to dwell on “why do i feel so shit?”…as i am depressed at my limitations! This was when lovingly and to cheer me up, OH says one day as i am crippled on the sofa…” well at least you still have your brain”…thus the blog title. at this stage i was dealing with damage from my childhood- the shock and disbelief that 3 or 4 events can bottle up and ferment until they ARE dealt with!…ALSO hand in hand with the mental health mountain i had to climb, my chiari malformation and its so many symptoms were layering up. MISSED in fact on a scan 10 years before being diagnosed. THAT means 10 YEARS of feeling medically that i was imagining symptoms that were VERY real- but which now with the wisdom of hindsight is typical journey path for an invisible condition – especially so with a rare disorder._
- serious illness hit us BANG. Cancer, adverse drug reactions, depression, heart conditions, permanent pain, brain abnormality, chiari malformation, hyper somnolence ..and am stopping now…that is NOT them all! Husband has now also had to retire. We have to learn how to live – as for us, old age, and middle age, and even looking now and again at mortality is all interwoven. We are now on the wake invitation list. We have buried my husbands father, my mum is being cared for 24/7 by my father, I can barely move without pain, we drive somewhere and we need a sleep.so many friends are so seriously ill…so much time spend dealing with specialists and comparing stories with friends …..But are thoroughly enjoying our children. So what stage comes next?
- oldage? grandparents? all children at college? …..dont want to know…for NOW i want to enjoy where i am as best i can…day by day!… NOW is post brain surgery. It’s a stage i call acceptance but not resignation. My body is OLD. not 50…OLD…especially my legs and my eyes, and my energy reserves. I USE my wheelchair, my scooter BUT am unable to come to terms with a scooter in my own MAIN STREET, and therefor live a sedentary, isolated life indoors. Pains and drugs for pains. Applications for improved chairs… but VALIDATED. What sort of stage is this?
EXPERIENCED and ALIVE and with my family for as long as possible.