No regrets

*Another from my should have published this two months ago series. I will get better, I promise.*

Well, I’m a week into college and I have to admit the change I feel in myself is unbelievable. I’m getting up in the morning, I’m more motivated and focused than I have been in years and I feel fantastic. I’m even setting an alarm on my weekend mornings and I’m getting up and getting things done. This weekend I managed a load of laundry, some research and I baked a cake all before 10 am… I was so proud of myself! Im also going to be much earlier, this evening I stayed up “late”. A few weeks back this would have meant I’d binged watched to until two in the morning however now I’m staying up late and it’s 11.30pm.

I’m only a week in and the work load is unbelievable and it’s brought up a few concerns (mainly can I afford to not earn a decent wage for the next four or more years) and it’s lead to a few conversations with S that we shouldn’t be having although that being said we are 18 months in so maybe we should, but there is currently an awful lot of unanswered questions about what my future will look like. But one thing I can say certainly is that returning to college was the best decision I ever made.

A life changing moment

*This was written a few months ago, but because I am crazy busy I have only just gotten round to sharing it now! I know I should write a more up to date post, but I have just hit submit on a college assignment – got it in a day early, go me! – and my boiler is broken and it is getting so painfully cold in my house that typing is becoming difficult. So. please forgive me and enjoy*

Tomorrow I go to college and the fact I don’t get to talk to my dad about it sucks. He was always the go to person I told everything to and tonight I find myself in a weird situation where the one person I most want to talk to I can’t, yet if I could talk to him there would be nothing to tell him as it’s only because he died I am now in the position. Since dad died my life has changed in a way I could have never imagined and I know had he not died I wouldn’t have left my last job and be retraining and attending college but the price was awfully high.

I can’t believe what I’ve done, what I’m about to do. If everything goes to plan then I am going to start 4 years of training. That’s 4 years with no guaranteed income whilst racking up a worryingly amount of debt. Yes, an interesting fact that I learnt the other day, as his will be my second degree there is no limit on what the university can charge me and at this moment I have no idea what that figure may be. I’m excited and terrified and weirdly not as nervous about tomorrow as I thought I would be, how I feel I should be. I am a little concerned about not knowing my way around and I wonder what the other people on my course will be like, but in a way that has never happened before I know it will all be ok. I know in a months time I will know my way around, and I know that I have great friends and a fab boyfriend so it doesn’t matter whether or not I make any friends on this course. It’s a really odd feeling. I don’t know if this is what happens as you get older, or if I am very aware that having watched my dad die and then caring for my mum through a heart attack and replacement valve surgery this isn’t really a big deal. Who knows, but I do know that tomorrow my life goes in a whole other direction. Wish me luck!

“I’ve got this…”

I don’t know if you’re unlucky enough to know this, but when someone is dying you are advised to try and persuade them to die. Apparently, a lot of people will try to hang on and fight death and so you are encouraged to reassure them; tell them that you will be fine without them, tell them that you love them and it’s ok for them to go…

We had to do this for dad, my chosen phrase became “I’ve got this”. In his final days, when it was just the two of us in the room, I would whisper to him “It’s ok dad, you’ve got to go… I’ll take over where you are leaving off… I’ll look after mum…I’ll look after my sister… I’ve got this”

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s been almost a year and a half since dad died and whereas some of my life has never been better. My family is falling apart. My relationship with my mum is solid, but it turns out that the close family I thought I had, the one I was so proud to be a part of, well it was all a lie.

My aunty who had a go at me a few months back hasn’t spoken to me since that incident. She has been up to see my mum a couple of times, but if there is a chance I will. be around she won’t come close. She is intentionally avoiding me. And, the bit that really hurts, is she isn’t even asking after me to find out how I am. It’s like she doesn’t care. The woman who for 30 years I would describe as “like a second mother’ has for all intents and purposes cut me out of her life.

It hurts.

And over the last few weeks my sister has been really off with me. I send her a message, she doesn’t reply. I try to call, she doesn’t pick up. I suggested S and I pop round to see her and I somehow almost start world war 3. And now she appears to be taking a page out of my aunties book and she is just ignoring me. The three of us (mum, her and I) are in a group chat and all evening she has responded to the messages my mother posts, but I try and join in the conversation by asking her a question and she stops replying. I sent her a message yesterday saying “I’m beginning to worry you don’t like me” and she hasn’t replied.

It hurts.

I know I am not perfect and I will have made mistakes dealing with everything over the last few years, but what have I done that sees me ostrocised from my family?

I know when my aunty had a go at me it was because she was looking to displace her own guilt but how has that made me the baddie, who she wants no contact with or news about?

I think my sister is unimpressed that I have stopped taking on so many weekends with my mum, as I know see her two days a week and one evening keeping my weekends free to see S. But I don’t see how that has gotten to the point where she is refusing to talk to me at all?

I used to think I was from a big, lovely supportive family. Now my reality is very different. And, because of the bullying I worry that it is me. That I am some evil bitch that no one wants in their lives. That people try and escape from as soon as they see a way out. I always valued myself as a kind, supportive friend and although my sister and I would fight like cats and dogs I thought we would always have each others back. How could I have been so wrong?

All my life I have been terrified of doing things by myself. I felt like I needed someone else with me, a sounding board, to ensure I was making the right decisions and wouldn’t get lost. However, now I am wondering if I was kidding myself, have I always been alone? Are my mum and dad the only people who liked me and did my other family members only put up with me to make them happy?

It could only happen to me

You would not believe the day I have just had and it started off so well!

Just before dad died I properly got, a little bit. addicted to yoga. Every lunchbreak I would take my mat somewhere quiet and spend a little half an hour focusing on me, usually with the help of Adriene and then I full on went yoga addict and treated myself to some private sessions. I only go once a fortnight, but it costs. It is just me and it is a very much a luxury, not a necessity, but as I am so bad at carving out me time I suck up the cost and have cereal for tea that night. Anyway, since becoming a career and returning to college money is tight, and these yoga sessions are very much on my radar as maybe a treat too far. Especially when I know I am struggling to practice outside of class. I am not getting better, in fact I think I am getting worse. So, I have told myself either I do more ‘at home’ practice or the lessons go.

This morning I got out of bed early and did 30 minutes of yoga, with the help of lovely Adriene. I then got Poppy out for her hourly run around while I had breakfast. Had a shower and was ready to leave my house by 8.30 for my day out with mum. Which, considering I am not a morning person, and I am on holiday, being ready for 8.30am was a miracle.

My day started well.

I got to Mums, got her ready and we set out for the day. We were ready to go for about 10am (a personnal record for us both) and then it just started to go so very, very wrong.

About 6 months ago, Mum treated herself to a new car, it is amazing, very pretty and very much all singing and all dancing. However, it also does this annoying thing where it flashes and beeps a warning whenever there is a tiny issue with the car, or it thinks you are going to crash, or you cross lanes without indicating (I wish more cars had that last feature!) The day before it had warned us the pressure in the front tyres were a bit low and so, because I am an awesome independent woman, I have my own digital tyre pump-er-up-er which I had brought with me to fix the problem.

It wouldn’t work. It kept cutting out at a pressure lower than the pressure I needed… I wondered if the fault was with mums’ car, as I have had this handy gadget for years, so I decided to test the pressure on my tyres to check it was working. That was a mistake and I know have S coming down this weekend to sort my tyres.

Anyway, as we were travelling in mums’ car we headed to the local Tesco to use their pump, before heading off to enjoy the day at the White Rose shopping centre. However, it is true what they say about best laid plans…

I couldn’t get the pump to work. Well that’s not entirely true, it worked on one tyre but rather than pumping up the second tyre it just let all the air out, until there was hardly any air left in there. I had to go for help. Half an hour and three members of staff later we realised that the pump had broken, an hour later people were discussing pickup trucks, I had lost my ‘productive morning glow’ and instead was covered in oil. I had just about given up all hope when I went around to put the air cap on the other tyre and realised part of the fastening from the pump was still attached to that tyre… oops.

Two hours after pulling into the garage we finally set off.

However, the day wasn’t a complete waste. Although much later then intended, mum and I did get to the White Rose, and we shopped as if our lives depending on it. I bought Christmas presents and treated myself to a reduced top from Outfit and mum treated me to an early birthday present. Now all I need to do is find a way to justify buying this coat I am in love with from Lyst and I will officially mark this day a success.

Missing you

I miss my dad.

Going back to college has been harder than I thought. The course is amazing and I’m loving every moment of it, but not picking up the phone at the end of the day to tell my dad about it is killing me. I hate that I am not able to tell him the new things I am learning, or the old stuff I am relearning. I don’t get to see that proud look on his face, as. share the news that I have been made class representative.

It’s so hard.

He was the one I would pick the phone up to first, he was my go to person when I was stressed, scared, happy or sad and, as I was reminded this week, he was also the one I’d call when I’d have call mum and been unhappy with her response. I can’t remember exactly what the phone call was about, I think I was stressing about the work load and deadlines and rather than telling me it would all be fine, we ended up discussing her needs and where I would fit in visiting her. Dad always got where I was coming from, he was selfless and gave me permission to put myself first. Something I am struggling to do since he died.

Yesterday was a big day. It was Ss dads’ birthday (I am not 100% certain that ‘ is in the right place, we just did a lesson on where you place commas and although I thought I got it at the time, now I am not so sure.  I digress) S bought a card. Now to most people this might seem an obvious thing to do on someones’ birthday, but S is very much anti-card and the fact he bought one means a lot. In fact it was such a surprise that his entire family commented on the fact that S had, possibly for the first time in his adult life, bought his dad a card.

Anyway, S and I are in the card shop and he picks up a “happy birthday dad” card and it killed me. This isn’t the first time I’ve been into a card shop since dad died, but until now I have given the whole section a very wide birth. Even S letting me sign the card, and the whole overanalyse that should be carried out in this situation, well at least in my head, couldn’t distract me. I am never going to send my dad a birthday card ever again. I am never going to buy him a present or open up my front door to see him standing there, or hear his voice down the end of the line, or feel one of those massive hugs he would give me that made the entire world a little bit easier to bear. He’s never going to look after me when he is sick, or comfort me when I am crying and it breaks my heart.

But worse than that is all the possible future stuff that he is going to miss out on. Dad never met S. They nearly did, once. But S backed out. It was only a month or two into us dating and what was going to be a quiet ‘meet the folks’ turned into an ‘meet the entire extended family’ so he backed out. The plan was he would meet just my mum and dad another time, but then dad got so ill it wasn’t fair to him. S wouldn’t have met my real dad, just the shell of the person he had become and my dad was struggling to put on a brave face for those of us who knew and loved him. I wasn’t prepared to let him put himself through the effort and stress.

It’s now been 22 months since S and I went on our first date, and I am hopeful that one day there will be a wedding and children and a life together. But I hate that I am going to have to do all that without my dad. My dad was such a family man, and my mum, my sister and I were his world – devoted, we the term used at his funeral. All he ever wanted was to see us happy and it’s not fair he will miss out on so many of those happy moments. He was so young, and so good. He didn’t deserve this.

It’s just not fair. I want him back!