Friday, 31 July 2009

Respect & attitude

There seems to be a river of emotions running through my ever changing life just now. Day by day I am gradually discovering you can live with all these emotions, really live & grow stronger, even when we feel so vulnerable. Nature is just taking its course. At times I am none to sure where the river is going to go next.
It is my forty something Birthday in the next few days. I may just be the oldest teenager in the world. The only differences is that I have a whole lot more wrinkles & perhaps have the experience to recognize I have so much to learn & the reality of knowing I may not have much time left in which to acquire those life experiences.
I hope to be celebrating my birthday with my beloved parents. I am now able to openly live my life as the person I was born to be. What more could this “old”girl wish for? I am so very lucky.
Things are still no better with my best friend. Way below freezing & with little sign of a thaw. I have to move on & keep on going with the flow. Thanks to the help & inspiration of my family & remaining friends, I am surviving & growing as I heal from my recent heart ache.
At times I have begun to wonder if I am just too sensitive to survive in this Modern World. I have been keeping myself really busy. There is so much to juggle with, so much to learn. Nothing seems to be staying the same. It is both exciting & at times scary. My "new dawn" has been rather unreliable as she has had some days which have been good & others particularly recently where I have felt really wobbly but I am still finding positives.
Memories from my past are haunting parts of my present & are reminding me of my vulnerability. From the age of ten to my early twenties events in my life were to have a lasting impact on my future. My Mum tragically lost all the relatives she had in her family apart from Dad & I. This culminated in the loss of her beloved sister who committed suicide. She never recovered from this final blow & was unable to deal with the loss of her family. She never found closure. Dad was unable to cope & withdrew into himself. Mum turned to me, as her emotional confidante. I tried so hard to do the right thing & make her happy. I felt responsible yet totally powerless. Recognising but not quite resolving that some of those thought processes are similar to those I felt about my best friend are behind my recent turmoil.
To this day neither Mum or I can cope with loss or being separated. I have had over twelve years of counselling to try to deal with my gender issues & my enmeshment issues. My gender issues are now almost all resolved & that is the most wonderful thing. The enmeshment issues have not changed at all but had been buried until recently. My childhood & adolescent memories, my emotions regarding relationships/friendships, loss & responsibility for feelings are as damaged as they have always been. All these emotions are boiling over. I am not coping at all well. My Mum is also struggling. She is worrying about me & I her. We are feeding each others anxiety. As I try to fight off my depression caused by my feelings of hopelessness at not being able to do the right thing & with both our emotions uncontrollable it is becoming very difficult for us to cope.
I have found I have lost all my confidence & subconsciously been cutting myself off from my friends. I have felt toxic & do not want to trouble them with my worries & risk bringing them down. With my artistic friends I am still trying to keep everything private but I feel so aware at any moment the whole situation could combust. This again is part of my nature.
All I want is for my family & friends to be happy. At times my heart gets overloaded with this wish. With the best of intentions, I irrationally feel that it is some how my responsibility/fault if they are not happy.
I initially could not cope with losing my friend & at least now recognising similar thought processes I am beginning to slowly recognise them & deal with them. Even now I am crying at the coldness of my once best friends reply to a recent email. All that matters to me is my parents health. I am determined not to cause them any more worry. This is all so unnecessary & for the first time I am feeling slight anger at allowing my reaction to my friends choice to end our special friendship over a complete misunderstanding, to hurt me & more importantly my family.
My friend had become almost like family to me except she was not related. She has every right to chose who she is friends with, as we all do. I am beginning to cope with this loss, so there is some positive experience to be gained from this awful heart breaking situation. Things could be an awful lot worse, I could lose so much more.
I faced another of life life's little challenges this morning when my fears manifested themselves into a real physical threat to my family when I was least expecting it.
At 9 o’clock this morning I went for my regular morning walk with my Dad & our doggy along the river only to be confronted by some young hooligans. Two young men were sat with their girlfriends at a bench. One of them was showing off a bit to impress his girlfriend but we did not pay them any attention. Some distance from them there was a discarded bottle laying on its side. I decided to pick it up & simply put it in the waste bin a few yards away to keep the park tidy. As we walked on, the guy started hurling abuse & making threats. ”That woman has stolen my drink. I am going to go & take her silly hat”. Other more threatening abuse ensued but we just kept walking. He then grabbed another bottle & proceeded to throw it at the swans who were just passing by on the river. The haven that my community of dog walking friends so enjoyed was being ruined by these morons. We avoid the park in the evening as it is not really safe like so many places in the modern world. The hooligans have no respect for age or gender.
I felt very afraid as I could not physically defend my elderly Dad or our dog against them. We warned our friends when we came across them to be careful. To their immense credit two of them both retired ex school teachers were not going to be bullied & walked confidently off towards them. They were so assertive. I really admired them. Fortunately the thugs paid them no attention. As Dad & I began to walk back towards them we could see they had stolen some flags from the near by golf course & the ringleader was wielding it violently in all directions. My Dad bless him was all for carrying on towards them but with my confidence so low & with my recent luck I feared something really awful might happen. I persuaded him to walk the other way to avoid them. As we reached the safety of the pay booth by the start of the golf course my Dad reported the hooliganism to the workman. He seemed loathed to take any action, probably knowing the police would be unable to respond & he may put his own life in danger. One of those treasured simple pleasures in life had now been spoiled, another victim of the modern world.
I was just so grateful to get my Dad & the dog safely back to the car. My Dad who is now 84 years young was so brave he wanted to defend his daughter. He is my hero. My Dad is more of a man than that thug who was showing off in front of his girlfriend, will ever be. I wonder what his girlfriend thought of his behaviour towards an elderly man out walking with his daughter?
I was trying to humbly protect my Dad in the only way I could. I wish I could have been more assertive like the two ladies who were retired school teachers. I felt so hopeless, so vulnerable. I wish I could have some of their attitude which must come from years of experience. The world has changed so much from the chivalrous society my Dad once new.
My thoughts turn to the wonderfully courageous veteran solder Henry Allingham who served in the First World War who was sadly buried this week. He lived to the age of 113 years. He deserves our total respect & must never ever be forgotten. So much has changed in his lifetime. Attitudes are certainly different. Are we more tolerant now, is their less respect? Without brave souls like Henry we may never have got the chance to experience the freedoms we have now. What an amazing man with an incredible story to teach us. We owe him so much.
I hope you all have a good weekend. Be happy & healthy.
Lots of love


NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

I am gradually discovering you can live with all these emotions, really live & grow stronger, even when we feel so vulnerable
Yes you can Debbie! And I'm sure you're NOT the oldest teenager in the world! Big big hugs...x

...all so unnecessary & for the first time I am feeling slight anger at allowing my reaction to my friends choice to end our special friendship over a complete misunderstanding to hurt me
Excellent point Debbie. Such injustice does hurt, especially when you are a good & true person. It pains me to say that maybe the frienship was stronger at your end and more capable to withstand adversity, than it was at hers. Alternatively, the intensity of your emotion can be a challenge to deal with. What is important is that you are successfully healing in a very self aware and rational way (I'm proud of you!).
Many many people will continue to be drawn to the warmth of your personality Debbie!

May you have a WONDERFUL birthday weekend Debbie! I'll call you soon xxxxx

Lucy Melford said...

I am not even a teenager now! More like a 12 year old girl. I have retrogressed that far.

I totally share your feelings of inadequacy when faced with thuggish behaviour - or any aggression, really. Don't feel ashamed: there is no perfect reaction/solution. But I too hate feeling impotent and, let's face it, cowardly. Your Dad was probably acting to defend Civilisation as well as a principle, and - dare I say it? - he was defending you, his daughter too. He is a hero.

Karen said...

Happy Birdayday Debbie and have a great weekend.
Your going in the right direction from what I can see. You are not to sensitive to survive in this world. You are a decent person and there are many people who see that.
Take care and have some fun this weekend.

LucyTolliday said...

A happy birthday from one teenager to another. You handled the situation well most of us, myself included, wish we could do more but in rationally there isn't. So please don't feel bad. Thankfully there are great people in this world and you are one.

revenuem said...

Happy Birthday Debbie. I'm new to blogging but I can appreciate your honesty and integrity.

alan said...

May your Birthday be Happy and as wonderful as the beautiful friend I've come to know!

There is an old saying about "discretion is the better part of valor". I think you handled things very well and you have nothing to be ashamed of in it!

I had read of Henry Allingham before and was lucky enough to have my radio on this week when NPR covered his funeral. First the Royal Air Force representative speaking of how Henry had "blown the dust off the history books" and made it all "real"; then a family member speaking of an overseas trip Henry took at 93; them watching the rest of the passengers debark the aircraft when he arrived home, the the airline sending a wheelchair aboard to get him. A few moments later the wheelchair came rolling off the plane with the airline rep in it and Henry giving them a ride in it. They said "That was Henry"!

It took a few minutes for my eyes to dry...


Anji said...

Happy Birthday! I think you'll find that I'm the oldest teenager.

It is diffucult to know what to do when faced with ***** like those. My son had a run in with some the other day. He'd bought some cans of beer to drink with some friends and a band came up and demanded a beer. They gave into them as they were out-numbered and gave then 1 can. Would you believe as they walked off they started fighting each other as to who would drink the beer? Not very intellectual.

Treasure your parents as I'm sure that they treasure you

Jess H said...

I'm glad you're conquering the negative emotions, rising above them and moving on. So pleased, Debbie.

Don't the the hooligans intimidate you - but I know you will, as they do all of us. Such is life.

chrissie said...

Happy Birthday, Debbie!!!!

lots of love


Debbie K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie K said...

Bless you all for your kind comments & wishes.
Your love is really appreciated.
Take care
Debbie x