Category Archives: Friends

Not my circus, not my monkey.

NMC

There are quite a few blog posts on this site set to private, I wrote them to appease myself, to vent and to get out everything I needed to say and couldn’t to those that were involved. But the long and short of what’s been going on is this.

A family member is in a relationship with someone who, in my uneducated opinion has at best self esteem issues, at worst a borderline personality disorder.

She projects her insecurities onto those around her, tries to make others responsible for her feelings, and by extension of that, of those of her partner. She is contradictory to others (and herself) and it appears that she thrives on conflict and chaos and for the last year and a half the focus of her attention has been on me, for no other reason than she is insecure.

I have been labelled a bully because during a conversation I said something she disagreed with, She has threatened to cut off the family, she’s completely and seemingly deliberately misconstrued conversation and situations, and completely fabricated others. She has stretched people to breaking point, she pushed my poor husband and her partner to the brink and she has pushed for an confrontation with me that I just I wont give her.

I have struggled with this for over 12 months, I have tried to be conciliatory. I have tried to be reasonable and it has affected my health and my relationships, and it got to point just last year that I decided “No more!” .

And so we get to this week. Today I am apparently “emotionally abusive”.

Why? Because her partner is upset his brother  wasn’t more excited that they were buying a house together and I wont take responsibly for that.

Yup you read that right. Someone didn’t react in a way that someone else didn’t like – and that’s my problem to deal with.  When she tried to force a meeting to “discuss this” I refused and told her to get her OH to speak to the person he was upset with and so apparently;

My actions have hurt the people she loved, I am minimizing their feelings by not being willing to take responsibility for how her other half feels and my personal favourite that I am walking a fine line between being assertive and emotional abusive by not being responsible for their feelings.

So here we are I officially give in.

I have blocked her on her preferred communication platform and I am limiting contact to that which is absolutely necessary for the family because it is not longer my problem. After over a year and a half of trying maintain relationships and build bridges quite frankly I have now decided  “Not my circus, not my monkey.”

 

I’ve been thinking

I watched the Northern Lights in Iceland and trekked 10km around the lakes at the foot of Matterhorn on the 150th Anniversary of the first accent to its summit.

I experienced a 5.3 magnitude earthquake whilst visiting New Zealand and bathed in a log fire heated bath under the stars while hiking around the Banks Peninsula.

I’ve fed wild Turtles on the Dalyan Delta, hunted the monster on Loch Ness,  rode a camel in the Sahara Desert, overcome my fear of the ocean to go swimming from a boat in the Aegean Sea and lay for hours on a blanket watching a metoer shower above our house with love of my life.

I gave birth, to one of the best people I know, and married the other.

I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, Made friends, lost friends, I’ve impressed people and depressed people and I’m writing all this here to remind myself that while day to day my life seems ordinary and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, even the most ordinary lives can be full of adventure.

So much love & wedding bells

Last month I had the privilege of attending one of, if not the most beautiful wedding I have ever been invited to and to top it all I wasn’t just there as a guest,  I was bridesmaid for one of longest standing best friend (and honorary big brother) John and his brilliantly extroverted husband Mike.

I can not even begin to explain the amount of love that we all shared that day.

Every detail was exquisite and every face wore a smile and yesterday I got to relive it all as John & Mike dropped me a line to say their very talented photographer Hannah May (having shot a couple of weddings myself I can tell you now how very jealous I am of her work) – had delivered their photos!

If I can share just one image with you that sums up this entire day for me it would be this, So much happiness and fun in one snapshot – from left to right there’s Leanne, Me, John Mike and Sophie, or the crazy friends, the smiling grooms and the perturbed cousin….

JohnMike-1192resize

 

…I’ll always be grateful I got to share this day with them!

Congratulations again Mr & Mr Burton-Fuller, I love you both very much!

#8 Fact About Me: I love camping

Beresford DaleRiver Dove, Beresford Dale, Derbyshire.

I love camping, waking up in a field with life stripped back to just the essentials and the day stretching out before you with no where to be.

I think it’s good for my soul to spend a few nights in the countryside,  in the tent  at least once a year.

This weekend we went camping, and while for various reasons it wasn’t as relaxed as I hoped it would be it was what I needed, an escape. The place we most often visit is Barracks Farm in the Peak District. We go with the Home Ed community to Peak Camp and it’s wonderful. No electricity and no phone signal. There’s an outdoor tap to fill your water bottles and a small wash room for you cooking stuff. A toilet block and showers that operate at 20p per minuter for hot warm tepid water and an elsan point for those that require it and that’s it.

It’s mile and half from the nearest shop and a good 30 minute walk along the river and across farmland to the nearest village. It’s a field  on the edge of Beresford Dale with green views as far as the eye can see and night skies that go on forever.

Moon over Beresford DaleThe moon from the campsite

It’s quiet and friendly, accessible, welcoming to pets and incredibly well situated for travel from the midlands and to explore the rest of both the Staffordshire and Derbyshire peaks.

This little piece of the English countryside has a place in my heart.

When can I go back again?

 

Being Brave – My body

Being Brave

This is me – part naked, exposed and posting this before I chicken out – this is in response the BBC article – Are women’s bodies still beautiful after pregnancy? I read and subsequently shared it on Facebook  and it led to a really refreshing conversation with a group of my friends – all  mothers – about their feelings about their bodies.

Stretch marks, cesarean scars, weight gain, between us we had all felt that something was at fault with our bodies. It made me feel – for want of a better expression. Less alone.

I was stupid while pregnant I ate and ate and ate, young and niave so thought “it’s baby weight – it’ll come off”. I was a size 10 -12 when I fell pregnant yet came out of the hospital a size 16 with added stretch marks and flabby bits. The only time I’ve fit into a 12 since was when I was on antidepressants – I got better then my back and hip problems started and the weight piled back on.

Oftentimes I hate my body – I have no real hang ups on how other people view me,  But I really do have issues with how I FEEL and I how I view myself and that feeling is compounded by the heatwave we’re currently experiencing.  Spring, Autumn, Winter – hell even in the last few summers I’ve been able to hide behind jeans, jumpers and shirts, I can dress and pretend, but in this heat there is nowhere to so.

It’s uncomfortable to be fat. Clothes don’t fit – summer clothes are designed for waifs and in shorts and vests everything is on show. The fat on my thighs – because WHY DO THEY MAKE WOMENS SHORTS SO SHORT, the stretch marks on my arms, the creases on my back, it’s all there for the world to see  – and I feel uncomfortable, so very uncomfortable and exposed.

Some one sent a card into postsecret:

Being Fat Is like having your most humiliating "secret" visible for the world to see and JUDGE

 

And they hit the nail on the head. While in reality I don’t care what YOU think of me, it only takes one story in media, one television programme about thin being beautiful, one stupid stupid facebook post or hurtful remark in the street to reinforce my feelings about myself. And I shouldn’t feel this bad about being me.

I’m 32, a Mom of one, recently married with a great job. I’ve overcome homelessness, selfishness of others and health issues to be where I am today and here isn’t such a bad place…

…So I’ve been brave and taken this photo. This is me laid bare, I can look at this and see the back fat and the split ends or I can look at this and see history. Every ounce of that weight has been on a journey with me and I need to be grateful for who I am and what I have, and so should all of the other ladies who were talking to me today. I have the greatest of respect for you my friends. You exude confidence and are so much fun to be around from the exterior no one would know of the body issues beneath.

It has taken so much courage for me to take and post this photo ( no really there was nearly tears and I’m home alone) but you’re WE’RE  all beautiful and think we just need to believe that of ourselves.

Arbor Lights – Hatherton Lake: A review (of sorts)

Arbor Lights debut album came out yesterday and today Matt Elton – guitarist in the band tweeted:

So I thought I’d oblige. Now there are some things you should know first.

  1. I’m biased (I’m related to exactly half the members, in fact recently married to one)
  2. I’m not really a review writer, or a writer of any kind for that matter
  3. I don’t like Post Rock as a rule (give me something I can sing along to any day)

Point 3 may negate point one, we’ll see.

Hatherton Lake

Arbor Lights are a band of 4 named after the bar they first met in, which in turn was named after the Arboretum it was situated down the road from. Hatherton Lake, Arbor Lights debut album offering continues the theme, titled after the lake situated within the Arboretum.

Recorded and mixed by Michael Clarke at his studio in Hockley, Birmingham, the industrial backdrop of the area lends itself well to the tracks on this album. The opening track The Silent City could almost be a sound track to that area, reverberating guitars into uplifting melodies and a beat to nod your head to, in fact intended or otherwise the inner sleeves art work, the city skyline features the dominating BT tower synonymous with the area.

The other four tracks that make up this album Interstellar, Damascus, Sillohettes & The Mayor and the Diver all take you on a journey that the more musical aficionados amongst you will understand (I’ve read that in enough reviews to know that’s a good thing to say, yes?). Differing from other Post Rock albums 4 of the 5 tracks come in under the 10 minutes mark – which trust me is a good thing – The reason I don’t like Post Rock as a rule is I get bored part way through, by 12 minutes in I’m all yes, yes, move along next track please…. The shorter length and the clear melodies of the tracks mean I can listen and enjoy, although in truth I much prefer to see them live…..and seriously boys, Where’s the singer??  😉

 Listen for yourself and make up your own mind

Playground Talk – Random Thoughts

Last week I was walking down the road with a friend of mine who’s daughter is at the same school as TBK  we were talking about how they were getting on with them both being  in year 7  when she announced and went into great details about her daughter starting her periods.

I’m not bothered that she told me, dammit I felt sorry for the girl by the sounds of it was hardly a gentle introduction into the monthly merry-go-round of PMS and stomach cramps but it did make me stop and think – I would have been mortified as an early teen if I’d have found out my Mom was walking down the street casually discussing what was going on in my pants with her friends – So what exactly compels us to share so much intimate information about our children with other parents?

As babies we’d discuss sleep patterns and the consistency and texture of poo, in mother and toddler classes it would be first words and and first steps. In nursery and then into school every milestone would be celebrated with clucking and cooing on the playground, the more competitive parents (mothers usually) exaggerating their children’s achievements, the quieter ones ducking the playground politics by discreetly bowing out of my child’s better than yours conversations and now here we are,me and my parent friends in the brink of those dreaded teenage years discussing puberty, periods and mood swings.

So why do we share so much? Are we telling each other all these things to gain reassurance from each other that were doing it right? To get an opinion on things we feel were doing wrong? Are we showing off? Living vicariously through out children, bragging about there progress and achievements, Or are we pre programmed as humans to share things and as parents our children are one of the biggest things in our lives so it’s only natural that these details get shared.

Or is it at as feel some of all of the above?