Huge wall of text here, sorry. Oh and I know I’m absolutely late to the party – nothing changed there! 2015 was indeed a right bloody crap year, eloquently put. I was so incredibly stressed at the start of the year. I had to decide what it was that was stressing me the most. I was finding it difficult balancing being a full time student, as well as a single parent running a household with two disabled children. I had questionable friendships. I still have crippling social anxiety and trust issues and am overly conscious of how people perceive me and my efforts which strings from a long line of perceived doubt funnily enough.
I really hate being such a pessimist (not sure if that’s quite the right word for it..) but my self doubt stems from all the way back to when I was 17 years old about to give birth to twins (maybe even in highschool – constant bullying yet no actions done by present teachers.. anyway that’s beside the point) As a 17 year old new mother, coming from a loving supportive family (whom have a history of twins, might I add; my twin brothers are 5 years older than my twin sons..) having a lady trying to refer me to a social worker felt like a kick in the teeth. To anyone else “hey this might help you”, but to me all I could hear was “this girl is hopeless and can’t do it”. Looking back at it now as an adult.. no as a more mature adult I can see why it was suggested. I was fairly young to be dealing with a child, let alone two! Then came the assumptions that people were judging me for not working – I worked from the day I turned 15 part time, then full time from 16 till a week before I gave birth and I was back at work when my babies were 4 months old, then the “Oh you’re back early” comments hammered in that just everyone was judging me – and I just dealt with it.. right up until me and their father split up around 4 years later. Big life change could not continue working, had a few months off (which I’m able to do as a carer) and decided to go back to college in the long run when the kiddies were settled with nursery. I’ve been there since. And much of my ‘me against the world’ sense of judgement comes from such events. Even now, I feel as though I can’t be taking time off education without fearing that people think I’m a lazy so and so – I can’t go to college without fearing that people think I don’t spend enough time focussing on helping my children. So I decided enough was enough – I can’t please everyone and I just can’t do everything ultimately by myself so as of June 2015, I finished the years college course, got my qualifications for that year and didn’t have a course lined up for September.
I took the decision to have a year off. I’ve got myself organised. I’ve got the house organised.. to a point. I plan to have it all decorated nicely (as the living room desperately needs a fresh lick of paint) and further organised to the point where it’s efficient and I can get everything I need done easily and as quickly as possible. In Scotland, college is usually 3-4 days, which means I’ll have 1 or 2 days childfree from 9am-3pm, which furthermore I’ll need to also fit in studying and coursework – as well as all the runnings of the house as usual, including dreaded housework which with two soon to be 8 year old boys you’ll imagine is a lot, plus leaving time for the extra things I need to do – considering both children have their own individual needs and still have family time / days out etc. I’m even beginning to accept that my house can’t be absolutely tidy with spick and span floors 100% of the time – and it’s great it’s letting me think about doing my own thing and I’m much more calm. I love college, I love the work, I love being busy but I thoroughly enjoy having my own thing to do outwith homelife and I really want to at least have a go of ultimately becoming an art teacher of some sort. This year off I’m taking however was and is definitely needed my stress levels were through the roof and I feel in a much better place now.
Unfortunately, I’ve had a few bitter realisations too this year. I can be great friends to people and still be trodden on by them. I absolutely refuse to accept this and am more than happy to completely cut poisonous people from my life like that, I have enough stresses and troubles at home to be dealing with, without having viciously disloyal friends. I’ve also come to the realisation that no matter how obvious it is, some people just can’t remove the rose tinted glasses when it comes to family. Particularly my grandmother whom I have always and continue to absolutely love. I have great childhood memories with my gran and papa and absolutely hate seeing her being taken for a ride. She’s being grossly used by other family members of mines (who I have cut contact with) and has been ever since my papa passed away. We’ve tried our damned hardest to help her away from the situation, to get her standing on her own two feet. It’s such a horrible thing to witness – my gran is a frail older lady and does not see family members during the week or get to go places then either, she’s used for babysitting and dog sitting and it disgusts me. She also pays over the odds for the pleasure of doing so too. This is a very public place to post this I know but I absolutely have no shame in doing so. The saying goes “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” I never truly understood the meaning until I witnessed my gran go from the strong woman I looked up to previously to the shell of a woman and absolute walkover that she’s become. And witnessing it is very distressing. She ended up in hospital around Easter time I think and she was practically crying over “not managing” yet she willingly returned to the same place, even though the whole family (including said shitty family members) agreed she’d be better living elsewhere until her health was improved- but she was adamant she wanted to go back. We were promised the babysitting and dog sitting would stop – it NEVER did. I’ve offered to go and collect my gran to take her out / bring her over but not once has she been able to as her babysitting / dog sitting duties get in the way, on the days she has been able to come with us, she’s been taken back in time for babysitting the children after school which is fucking ridiculous, there are two fully able parents, as well as a grandparent there (my grans daughter), who can more than work around paying for childcare or working it between shifts between them yet they continue to use my gran for free at the cost of my grans health and freedom. I don’t even bother now. It deeply saddens and infuriates me that as time goes by the likelihood of my gran leaving that vile place in anything except a wooden box is becoming the only probable outcome. However, other than physically removing her what else can anyone do? It’s just disgusting. I don’t want to see it. And as of now, I’ve not spoken to my gran since around the end of July and it absolutely sucks and I wish it wasn’t this way, but it is what it is – so that’s been a major “this year sucks” thing.
The kids. What can I say? They’re absolutely the force in my life that makes me get up and go. Max is becoming the funniest little lad day by day the things he is coming out with are absolutely bonkers and so hilarious. He calls accidents “Maxidents” it’s adorable. Another thing he does is when he’s going to sleep, he shouts “Love you mum” and I go “Love you too”, he replies “Love you three” and it continues up until he forgets the next number or can’t be bothered anymore. I hope it lasts. He’s also absolutely XBox daft – I’m one of those mums, yes! I had a games console when I was growing up and I loved it, he’s got a games console or two and he loves them. He’s definitely in the inbetweeny ages just now – switching between being a cutiepie and being a cool dude at the drop of a hat. Leon’s non verbal, but he’s the happiest little boy, he will come closer and want cuddles and want to play and be tickled and have a jump around. It’s great. My heart feels like it’s about to burst when I see them both playing together – something Leon never did before. It’s such a nice feeling. I’m hoping this year I can try take them both out together myself more frequently. Max is extremely unpredictable when he’s excited (he has ADHD) and loves talking to people including strangers, whereas Leon can’t be in a place where he’s likely to suffer from sensory overload which can put him into having a meltdown. Now, they’re getting fairly decent in size and a child kicking his legs and lying on the ground can be a lot to deal with – pair that with a child who’s trying to run down the street to talk to the lad with the cool t-shirt and everyday outings become a nightmare! But that’s besides the point really. We’re going to go out more, and if meltdowns is going to be a huge problem then it’s a problem I’ll have to work around – be it the safety net of having his major buggy or possibly a wheelchair with ear defenders and a blanket for him to be comfortable in. I’ll have to figure out something. But that’s a looking forward thing, and I’ll do a post gathering my thoughts and wishes for the coming year tomorrow, cause it’s bedtime now and after typing away this novel I’m absolutely shattered!