Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve Party

I'm going out tonight! My friends who live just a few doors up the road from me are having a party. And so my ex, The Boy's father, will be babysitting.

This puts me in a wee predicament.

Just so you know the story, he left us when The Boy was not quite two years old for this woman. He'd been cheating on me for six months, maybe longer. I'd trapped him into family responsibilties, poor love, and he needed to live the bachelor life again. After all, as he said, he's a very talented musician, his life was meant to be so much more than that of a father/partner/9 to 5 drone.

Hah.

Anyway, this woman he buggered off with is an actress. And a nutcase. She has bipolar disorder. That's what you're supposed to call manic depression these days, isn't it? She beats him up. She broke his nose, his wrist and a rib.

Well, they split up (hurrah!) and he started seeing someone else - who I actually liked - and all went calm, apart from the odd message to me from her, passed on through friends. Mostly how she wanted to see me to apologise, that she could understand why I might hate her. I don't hate her, I just want nothing to do with her.

But now she's back.

The Boy's father (who I shall name The Sod, because he'll probably get mentioned in this blog a lot) told his mother that he'd been round at this woman's home recently, and she'd threatened to jump out her bedroom window. The Sod hauled her back in, and she and her friend who happened to be there, turned on him and beat him up.

A friend who knows them all says this woman has been drinking like a fish and taking all of her month's supply of medication in one week, and now she's been cut off.

Now, this all hearsay, I know, but it does worry me.

Everywhere I go, people keep asking me if The Sod and this woman are back together. How would I know? I'm the last person he'd tell. She's an off-limits subject matter between us.

But what if they are? What if (still with me? Getting to the point now!) he brings her round tonight? He brought the last girlfriend round a few times, and that was fine with me because she was never anything but nice to me and The Boy. But I really won't be happy if he brings round this woman. Aside from the fact I don't want the woman he left me for in my home, what if she's as unstable as she sounds? What if she hurts The Sod in front of The Boy? Or worse, what if she hurts my son?

Now - thinking calm thoughts - it's unlikely he'll bring her. Surely he has more sense than that? Okay, he has very little tact or thought for my feelings, but surely even he can see I would be unhappy with it?

I tried to bring the subject up a few days ago, but he got all defensive. We really don't talk about her.

He has said he's looking forward to hiding away from the New Year's madness in my flat for the evening. He's maybe bringing his guitar. He's looking forward to spending the evening with The Boy. All of this suggests he'll be alone.

Oh, I hope so.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Portobello Beach






I'm longing to get back there. But it's too bloody cold. I've had about enough of winter.

I Must Be Imagining Things

I may be losing my mind. Twice, now, I've made plans with a friend, written it on my calender, and had her not show up, claiming we never made any definate arrangements.

Then I had some money to put into my ex's bank account, and he told me to put it in on the 28th. That's fine, I thought, that's the day I get a bit of money anyway, so it works out nicely.

But on the 26th, he reminds me I'm to put money in on the 27th, as we arranged. We did not. It was definately the 28th, because that is the day I get the money, after all. He tells me that I'll have to pay his bank charges, then, because that will leave him overdrawn. Great.

I'm begining to wonder if it's me that's getting everything wrong.

The Boy had breakfast this morning, and as usual he had custard, and then a little yogurt pudding thing. I go off to run myself a bath and he wanders through and tells me he hasn't had his pudding yet. Now, I'm sure he did...I even remember him showing me his clean spoon for the pudding (he can't use the same spoon because he doesn't like different foods to touch each other).

But maybe I imagined it. And I can't let the poor kid go without, just because I can't trust myself to remember anything. He's probably chancing his luck, but I can't be sure. Oh god. I'm only in my mid-twenties. I can't go doo-lalley yet.

Agnostic Witch

I've been having debates about Wicca/Paganism and witchcraft with various folk on-line, often Christians, but occasionally Wiccans and other Pagans too.

Just for the record, I'm agnostic, and practice witchcraft.

I get a bit tired of being called Wiccan. Wicca is a mystery religion that you must be initiated into. Sure, it's been diluted and shaped into something that the British Traditionalist Wiccans don't even recognise, the 'do it yourself' eclectic variety, and arguably that's a form of Wicca too - but that's not me either.

I don't know if any kind of deity exists. It/She/He might, I suppose. But I don't know, and I don't believe it's possible to find out.

In my humble opinion, all God/dess's are man made. A personification of the 'spirit' of the universe in an attempt to understand it.

So, I'm not Wiccan. You could call me a Wicca-based Pagan. Having said that, I am guilty of just calling myself Wiccan in certain situations for simplicity's sake. There are plenty out there who believe Wiccan witches are fine, but non-Wiccan witches are satanic - which I am most certainly not. It takes so long to explain it, though, and usually it's Christian's who want the explanation, yet aren't really listening.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Neds


Me and The Boy have just come back from the play park. It was absolutely deserted and coated with frost and ice, like a winter wonderland. Apart from three Neds, standing at the gate.

Well, I did the usual - head down, don't make eye contact, look respectful, keep out of their way, etc - and we got past them without any trouble. Until one of them decided to throw a chunck of ice at my son. It missed, but that's beside the point. What's wrong with these people? Why is causing pain and starting trouble a sport to them? Who throws ice at innocent five year olds?

Arseholes, so they are.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Housing Transfer



All of Edinburgh's council tenants were asked to vote. Did we want to transfer all our homes to a housing association management, or not?

Armfulls of glossy patronising literature came through the door:

"If you vote 'yes', we'll knock down the worst buildings and replace them with these here Wimpy-style show homes, update all the other homes, and all your wildest dreams will come true."

"If you vote 'no' the rent will shoot up."

And one leaflet came through the door from a group who were against the transfer.

"Glasgow. Ahem."

Glasgow voted yes, and now families are being kicked out their homes at an alarming rate if they get a bit behind on their rent.

So I voted against the transfer. As did the majority. Our homes still belong to the council.

Hmmm.

Civil Partnerships


It's something, isn't it?

Around Edinburgh






I'm one of these sad souls who's grateful for the beauty around her.

These are some of my favourite shots of the countryside around Edinburgh.

Calton Hill


I'm going to have to go on a wee photography trip soon. Calton Hill has many personalities. This is only two of them.

The first picture is of The Folly. Apparently Edinburgh's shame, but I like it.

The photo beneath is of the annual Beltane celebrations.

Some Places I'd Love To Go (and won't)






I used to dream about these places. I had pictures of them plastered all over my various bedroom walls. At least two of my ex's have promised me they'll take me to them one day. Hah.

Some Places I'd Love To Go (and might actually get there)




One day, when The Boy is all grown up, I'd love to take off in a camper van with a friend or - if I'm lucky - my partner; and travel around Britain, maybe Ireland too.

Huff

I've spent all day looking forward to one of my friends coming round for a drink tonight. I've made sure there's wine, and stuff to nibble.

And I've come home to discover a message on the answer phone: "hi, it's me, just phoning to say, I hope you both had a happy Xmas and that kind of thing. I'm working today, so I might manage to pop in at the weekend, I'll try my best, 'cause I've got presents for you both. Bye."

Ok, she can't help having to work, but she could have apologised. Or am I just being whiney?

Me and the wine are on our own, then.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Lucy Lawless




There will be the occasional post purely in tribute to the very beautiful Lucy Lawless.

The Boy

My son (who, despite the misery of child birth, I do love very much) is autistic. He was diagnosed when he was two years old. He's five now.

He's 'high functioning' which basically means he has various subtle problems which are difficult to explain, and half the time, no-one believes me.

It might be Asperger's Syndrome, it might not. The professionals will decide when he's older.

It'll be bedtime quite soon.

After I've helped him wash his face and hands, and brush his teeth, I'll change his nappy. Then I'll make sure all the drawers in his bedroom are shut tightly. If they're slightly out of place, he screams.

Each and every toy he owns goes in a particular box or basket. And that box or basket goes in a particular place in the room, in a particular position. It's my job to make sure it's all exactly right, or he'll panic.

That done, I'll make sure all the toys that go on the bed with him are on the bed. I'll make sure the curtains are open by exactly a foot, no more, so he can see the sky. I'll read him the same story he has every night. I'll give him a big cuddle and switch on the two night lights, and leave the room.

A couple of minutes later, the screaming will begin again. If I've been thorough, then nothing's out of place and he'll accuse me of having not given him a goodnight cuddle. Which I did.

At some point during the night, he'll scream until I come through. At the moment, as it's winter and quite cold, it's usually because he's kicked his covers off. It's not that he can't pull them back up, he knows how. It's just that it doesn't occur to him that he can do that. His brain's wired up a different way. He has to be told to pull them up.

Although last week he woke me up screaming because he'd realised his shoes were not on the chest of drawers as they should be. They were on the floor next to it. It didn't occur to him to move them himself.

He screams all day long. I wake up to him screaming. When I ask what's wrong, he says "Nothing."

The other day he cried for ten minutes because one of his crisps was smaller than the other ones.

He screams to communicate displeasure. He screams to communicate pleasure. He screams to entertain himself. He screams when he needs help. He hits himself, accuses someone - who's often not even in the room - of hurting him, and screams.

Only this year has he learned to tolerate solid food. Until recently, he ate custard, spagetti rings, cream crackers and beans. Now he won't even eat that.

The educational psychologist thinks he'll be fine in a mainstream primary school without much help. Mind you, this from the woman who asked me if she could stick her head round the door of his nursery classroom, because it's "...always nice to put a face to a name, isn't it?"

On A More Cheerful Note

My old street. Stabbings, gunshots, drug raids, arson attacks, burglary, even a corpse turning up nearby. We moved out of there just over a year ago. So that's a nice anniversary, unlike the other one.

Child Birth

The books tell you you'll experience a great rush of love and form an instant bond with the child that will never be broken.
The maternal types tell you it was painful, yes, but so worthwhile.

It isn't.
Worthwhile, that is.

I went into labour at 11 'o' clock at night, just as I'd drifted off to sleep. I spent two hours vomiting and shitting uncontrollably. When that eased enough for me to get in a taxi, I went up to the hospital and was put in a room where I vomitted some more. Then the nurse stuck a metal contraption up inside me that hurt as much as the contractions did.

I was moved to another room where the midwives stood in the corner and chatted about Coronation Street while I screamed. I distinctly remember one of them yelling at me to shut up because I was giving her a headache.

Eventually I got an epidural which hurt like a bastard but was very much worth it. But I couldn't feel the contractions and wasn't able to push, so they let it wear off. I felt every second of that horrific, alien type creature tearing my bloody vagina in two as it pushed it's way out of me.

The midwife asked my partner to watch the head emerging, just to add to my humiliation.

Then they plonked the little bastard on my chest, slimey and writhing about, jabbed me with a needle and hauled out the after birth, at which my partner screamed, "Arghh! It looks like an alien!"

They tried to force me to breastfeed. When I couldn't, they enlisted my partner to force me to do it, all the while trying to stich up my ruined body without anesthetic.

They left me alone in the room with it for a while, so we could 'bond'. If there had been a bucket of water nearby, I would have drowned it.

After that, they asked me to manouvre myself from the bed to the trolley, so they could take me to a ward. I couldn't lean on my hand because it still had a line in it, and it hurt. They shouted at me for that.

On the ward, everybody was given food for their tea except me, because I hadn't been there when they came round to ask who wanted what. I hadn't eaten in two days. They offered my partner tea and toast, but not me. I ate a box of After Eights that my Mum brought me.

That was exactly five years ago today. I still have flashbacks and nightmares about it. I can't stand being near newborns or heavily pregnant women. A labour scene coming on the television without warning makes me hysterical. I can't bear loud noises. I self harm. I ended my last relationship with a wonderful man who I love very much because I'm too frightened to have sex and risk pregnancy. He said he wasn't in it for the sex (!) and understood, and would wait, but even the possibility of pregnancy was too much.
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