Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Nearly Christmas

Things aren`t great at the moment.  But then, it`s nearly Christmas. 
My car is sick, keeps overheating, so I am driving constantly aware and fearful of the little black needle on the dashboard sliding over to the right - to the red zone!  Its frightening how quickly the car heats up and how little time I have to rectify the situation.  I have no time - I must pull over before steam seeps out of the bonnet, escaping into the cold winter air, indicating disaster. 

My ex has decided to play Santa to our son after an absence of months!

The credit crunch has hold of me in a very tight grip!

.......and just to make my misery complete, my crown has once again dislodged itself from my tooth socket and is in need of immediate attention!

And - it`s nearly Christmas!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Post Natal

Works of art and poetry. Copyright Copyright 2009 Jsg Creations/Jsj Creations. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text and artwork are the property of Jsj Creations. Please do not copy, reproduce or use without permission.

"You`re suffering from depression" the doctor said to me
"Lets hope it doesnt last long - we`ll have to wait and see"

"It`s not a rare occurence after giving birth, your hormones have gone haywire - you`ll soon be down to earth".

"Forget about the cleaning - concentrate on Cain

the dusting can be left for now, you`ll soon be well again".

Involve the other members of the family in your task

delegate the household chores, dont wait for them to ask".

"Ignore the little doubts you have, i`m sure that Dad will cope

otherwise he`ll fob him off and you wont have a hope"

We`ll have to watch your heart rate, your pressure`s rather high
but you dont need to worry - we know the reason why".

"Dont feel like you`re a prisoner, take baby for a walk
there`s always the Health Visitor who will come and talk

She`s seen it all before, you know, she`ll fill you will advice
appear all bright and cheerful, be caring and..... so nice"

She`ll point out any problems, have all the answers too

tell you what you`re doing wrong without belittling you"

"Have you considered counselling or would you rather wait to see if this depression will pass and put you straight?"
I cant prescribe you tablets (breastfeeding Cain, u see)

perhaps when you have weaned him you should come to me"

"Remember, you`re important! It`s easy to forget - run around for everyone! you`ll only fuss and fret"
"See me early next week, we`ll discuss what we can do

to get you on your feet again - to make you feel brand new".

Eden Rose

At last she came!
In the early hours, as I paced constantly,
alone in my kitchen
she arrived
amid raptuous applause and monumental excersion,
in frenzied excitement, trepidation and anticipation.

At last she came!
Slithered from her mother`s womb onto the once white paper sheet
between quivering wet thighs and stains best forgotten
 under bright flourescent lights
to live her life with us in this world.

At last she came!
To be whisked up by foreign hands, strong and secure
as they checked for abnormalities
blemishes, anything to label her imperfect.
Air passages cleared by probing fingers,
limbs examined
digits counted - all present and correct.

At last she came!
Her first full-blooded cry gratefully received by all
Placed hurriedly onto her mother`s chest to seek out warmth
and familiarity
while medical procedures continue to relieve mother of
her internal life-line.

At last she came!
As hours passed and doubts developed
fears grew, irrational thoughts surfaced
when would she come!

At last she came!
My Granddaughter Eden Rose

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My Daughter in Labour

My youngest daughter is in labour as I sit and type. My day today and the night before has been peppered with unwanted, wild thoughts and strangulated moments of what can only be described as "blind panic" at the thought of her having to go through what I went through many years ago, to give birth. Purposely I arranged to meet up with friends who I knew would be capable of focussing my mind on other things in a bid to reduce and calm my increasing stress levels. It worked, I enjoyed the chat and tea and for a very short while was able to feel slightly normal again.

My daughter kept her promise to inform and update me of various procedures she went through before, during and after the inducement of labour for her first child. The tinkling sound of each text message received from her brought excitement and anticipation. Secretly I hoped I would read "She`s here Mum!" - but not yet. I must wait.

Selfishly I wanted it to be over before it began. At some points in the long day I allowed my own fears to envelope me, to send me spinning in a spiral of fear and trepidation. Uncontrollable envisoned horrors swirled around in my head until I slammed the psychological door, shutting them out, not permitting them to poison my frantic mind.

I know I must rest, she says she is resting despite being in labour. I am so proud of how together she is - why cant I be?

They so want this baby. They have planned, prepared and practised their parenting ideas to perfection. The room is ready, the cot is ready, the clothes are ready, the home is ready, they are ready!

Tommorrow will come and with it the child they so want; so deserve, to complete them as a truly wonderful couple, who will share their bubble of contentment and happiness and I must be grateful that my daughter has chosen so well and is about to join the most blessed and sacred club of all - Motherhood.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Surplus to requirements as a mother

My youngest daughter is expecting her first baby.  She has been blessed with the ability to conceive and satisfactorily carry and nurture a new life for nine months in her womb. Each month has brought us excitably closer to the day when she will give birth and fulfil her dream of starting a family of her own.
Only one problem - for me - where do I fit in her new family?
 I must admit I have leant on her many times in the future for her wisdom, intelligence and sensibility, allowing her to ease and solve my various difficulties in her "no nonsense" manner.  I have relied on her too much when I have needed financial and emotional rescue.  She has not only pulled me from the wreckage but pointed and steered me in the direction of understanding and salvation.
I call her my angel and my conscience.  She is the sugar in my tea, my port in a storm, my knowledge and common-sense when I am lost in my turbulent world of contradiction, naivity and mistrust.
As the time draws closer to the most important day of her life, I want to be there; I need to be there.  I want to hold her hand, mop her brow, tell her not to panic, assure her that it will all be worth it when her precious baby enters the world and completes the happy contented world she has built with her husband.
But, I am surplus to requirements.  Only one person is allowed in the Maternity Unit and of course she has chosen her wonderful husband.  I planned to go regardless of the new rules imposed due to fears of the spread of swine flu.  I was prepared to argue my way in if need be, state my case as the prospective maternal grandmother.  Two of my friends have offered to have my son while I awaited the arrival in the hospital, but she doesnt want me there.  She doesnt want me to cause a stir, a scene.  She doesnt want to be worrying about me making a nuisance of myself and upsetting the hospital staff.

I feel surplus to requirements; useless, unwanted, hopeless, hurt so bad I have a deep ache in the pit of my stomach.  I have to be there!
Am I being incredibly selfish?  How can I stay away knowing my daughter is in pain, crying with pain, frightened!  I just cant!  Shouldnt she have her mother with her - why doesnt she want her mother with her? 
 I need to understand this - but its not all about me, is it?
 God help me!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Abuse is not always physical.

Extract from "Acceptance" written by Jan Cain.

We stood in the kitchen.
The boys played noisily in the garden.
The spring sunshine brightened the room as it streamed in through kitchen window.
I liked helping Mum with the chores in the kitchen, being her little helper. I hoped, desperately, to bond with her.
Suddenly, she turned to me

“When you are in the darkroom with Dad, what do you do?”
I answered truthfully
“Dad shows me how to make pictures”.
“Oh…he does, does he?”
“Anything else?” she asked, accusingly.

I was too young to understand the implications and inference of her probing and replied in all innocence
“Does Dad touch you?”
“Er…no Mum, he doesn’t”
“Are you sure?”
I could sense her growing angst.

“Yes Mum, I`m sure”

I could feel panic within and fumbled for words to convince her I was telling the truth.
Why would she not believe me? Why did she always think I was lying?
She was my mother and I loved her, why would I lie?

“You must do something in there!” she raged
“Tell me!”
Saliva shot out of her angry mouth.
“You are a little Liar!”

I trembled with fear as I recognised the onset of her metamorphosis into frightening, intimidating witch. My mouth dried, my tongue stuck to my palate, my lips dehydrated, as my heart rate quickened. The wart on her chin appeared to grow to huge proportions the angrier she became. Her lips creased into a malevolent grimace, as more and more accusations were hissed vehemently at me.

“Next time he asks you to go in there with him, you are to say NO….do you hear?”
She spat at me.
“Now get out of my kitchen!”

I hurriedly joined my brothers in the garden. My spirits once again broken, my mind confused and puzzled.

I was never told her reasons for the ban and was deeply saddened to never be allowed the pleasure of sharing my step-father`s passion for photography again.

That night, when the boys were snug in their beds, the curtains pulled and I was close to sleep, I heard her steps on the stairs and knew I was going to be punished until the early hours of the morning.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

What Time?

What time were you going to tell me ?
What time am I going to pray?
What time were you planning to break my heart ?
What time are you going away ?
What time shall I tell the children?
What time shall I tell them you`re gone?
What time shall I tell them the awful truth?
What time will we have to be strong?
What time were you going to phone us?
What time were you planning to go?
What time will I pick up the pieces?
What time will my memories go?
What time would you like me to miss you?
What time can I miss your embrace?
What time will I ever forgive you?
What time will my pain be replaced?

Written by Jsj Creations

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Living with Depression

We try to hold our thoughts in check, not allowing them to run away with us, incase they go somewhere that we don`t want to be. We`re frightened that if we go too far out of our control, we will be unable to deal with them.
We feel we have to control our minds.
It`s almost like believing that what we think about will inevitably be played out in the "real world";  if we think about dark "unthinkable" things, could they be premonitions?
So we brush those thoughts away as quickly as they appear.
We don`t want them in our heads.

As a lengthened shadow sweeps and creeps
silently and stealthily erasing sunlight,
the dark veil of depression skillfully transcends
our thoughts with oppressive gloom;
searching and probing for any positivity to
swamp  and drown  with vehement force
and velocity.
Logical thoughts are no longer viable;
the mind a blur of emotional confusion
catapulting random negative notions
around a sensory minefield.

Those Trees

Book Extract

I lay in my bed facing the window looking out at the tall, slender elm trees that lined the edge of the lawn. They swayed almost uniformly from side to side, only occasionally losing their rhythm when the breeze changed direction.

They stood tall.
Too tall.

A line of at least ten trees dividing the lawn from the meadow beyond.
Like soldiers standing to attention in a show of uniformity.

I worried about those trees.

What if the breeze turned into a wind and the wind grew into a hurricane?

What if the hurricane increased so wildly and strong it bent the trees in half or forced them to swoop so low they couldn’t spring back into position again? Like an over-stretched elastic band would they eventually snap and crash to the ground?

They were so lean and towered above the other trees - so magnificently flexible, majestic - but were they safe?

Could I trust them not to snap and break, as they creaked and strained agonisingly in the wind?

What if they bowed too low – over-powering me, crushing and suffocating me as I played in the meadow directly behind them?

Lying quietly,
 anxious in my bed,
 I imagined I could hear them whispering to each other as they swayed to and fro and from side to side.

Extract from "Acceptance"
Written by Jan Cain

Training My Afro.

Book Extract

"Occasionally we would visit the hairdresser in the village.

Tucked away in the Essex countryside in the mid 60s, I can imagine the stylist saw my growing afro as quite a challenge. As my hair was half-afro, she had very little experience of it.

I would emerge from the salon resembling a poodle after she had spent what seemed like an eternity, combing through the tangled, matted frizz that the Aunties in the home were unable to tame. The more she brushed, the more she combed, the frizzier it became.

I looked like a human candyfloss.

I could hear her tutting as she wrestled with the density and volume of my hair. My eyes watered as she tugged fervently trying to remove her embedded comb from the mass of matted curls.

I tried not to cry as she violently struggled to unravel her weakened comb which had become irretrievably tangled.

My scalp throbbed - sore and tender from the constant ripping and tearing from its follicles. I wanted to scream at her - tell her to stop, but I never did. My head, pulled this way, then that way, then this way again.

I suffered in silence, my eyes filling with tears, praying that it would soon end.

It was debatable as to who was more relieved when the ordeal was finally over."
Extract from "Acceptance"
Author: Jan_Cain

Monday, 14 September 2009

I don`t love you anymore

The words below are taken from a song I penned several years ago when I was preparing to leave the father of my three eldest children. It was a hugely emotional time for us all and I desperately wanted to leave the relationship on "friendly" terms. I was later to realise that this was never going to happen as he still loved me and love can, and so often does, border on hate. This was to become painfully evident as time went on.  After I had written the words down on paper I realised how powerful they were in expressing the true emotions I had hidden  for a long time whilst suffering in the relationship. To write has always been both cathartic and theraputic for me in times of emotional turmoil and the words in this poem screamed out my pain and frustration more than any other way of expressing them.
My son is now twenty four and a talented singer/songwriter. He is a professional vocalist and tours England with his band. One day I asked him if he would like to put his own music and connotations to any of my lyrics. He said he would love to and went away with several pieces I had written over the years. A few months later I was both shocked and exhilarated to learn that he had chosen this song to work with. He came round to my house to play me the disc he had recorded.  I didn`t know what to expect, and he certainly did not disappoint me. 
From the first sound of his voice.....I cried.
He had changed the melody and tempo of my original composition and omitted several verses but sang with such passion I was unable to contain my mixed emotions. I explained to him some of the sentiments and pain behind the words. It was then that I realised the poignant significance of hearing my son singing about the demise of his parent`s relationship.
Thankfully, he was too young to have been aware of the traumatic, heartbreaking experience at the time, so he doesn`t appear to have the same raw emotions when re-living the past that I had when writing it down on paper.
He obviously sings it from a totally different perspective and sings it quite beautifully. Only myself and my daughters understand and re-live the true pain and anguish each word portrays.

"Finding words to tell you, trying to explain
feelings aren`t like soldiers or pieces in a game
struggling with emotions, no-one is to blame
I don`t love you anymore

Buying endless presents, tugging at my heart
hoping we could find what we had right from the start
money couldn`t tempt me, my heart had closed the door
cos I don`t love you anymore

Trying to tell the children we were better off apart
watching as our actions tore into their hearts
They were too young to understand our needs
cos I don`t love you anymore

Hurt inside you tried to torture me
tears and pain were soon my destiny
In the frame, must take the blame
Cos I don`t love you anymore

I must go and find a place to hide
Revenge was sweet, you often saw me cry
Cos I don`t love you anymore

Cried myself to sleep with you lying by my side
longing for the sunrise, in the daytime I could hide
anguish pain and sorrow for what went on before
but I don`t love you anymore

Little eyes stare up and plead with me
Dad loves you, why can`t you let him see
In the frame, must take the blame
childish minds can`t see the pain inside
"Mummy`s bad, her arms should open wide"
But I don`t love him anymore.

Written by Jsj Creations

Sunday, 13 September 2009

My "Real Family"

She produced a photograph of my “real family”.
Staring back at me was a thinly-framed blonde, short woman surrounded by four young boys.

“Are they really my brothers?
I asked in pure amazement.

How come they were all white and yet I was brown? Even my “real mother” was white. They did not look anything like me and I did not look anything like them. I stared eagerly at the small photograph, willing the picture to come alive. I wanted these people to leap from the photograph, to embrace me and welcome me into their world, unable to understand the complexities of my situation and indeed, theirs. I was only ten years of age and incapable of understanding the full implications of the new path of life discovered for me. I didn’t understand that I would have to leave the only home I knew to live with a family of strangers associated by blood alone. It wasn’t something I had ever thought about before that night and the enormity of it was to stay with me forever.
Gradually, the confusion began to subside and I felt a wave of excitement rush through my body.

“ Am I meant to be happy? “

“Yes, I am happy!”

It was beyond my wildest dreams and comprehension to suddenly find I had a mother. For ten years I was content to accept not having one. I didn’t really know what a mother was, and never felt the need to ask. A mother was a faceless spirit, someone I heard my classmates talk about. A mother was someone who was clearly important to them but was alien to me. After all, I rarely saw them with their mothers whilst we were at school and at the end of the day we all climbed aboard the white Bedford van for our return to the home unaware of what the other children at school were doing. The whole concept of motherhood was incomprehensible to me.

The rest of that week went by in a blur. I celebrated my good fortune by telling anyone that would listen, but deep down I was in emotional turmoil. I had been told by Mother that if the family reunion went well, I would then be in a position to go and live with my new family forever. The impending adoption that had been lined up for me would therefore not take place - but the decision was mine as to who I wanted to live with - somehow, it all seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Was there actually a choice for me?
It didn’t seem like an option to me. I was not used to making decisions. Decision making was done by the Aunties in the home. I just lived my life according to their rules and structures.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Letting Go

It was a struggle for me today. I found myself asking myself many questions and desperately wanting to be honest with myself. Part of me wanted to go along with the easy option of allowing myself to believe I wasn`t the cause of the problem, that there really wasn`t a problem, that I was just hormonal. Sometimes it is easier to go along the path of hopefulness and optimism, never really acknowledging the true damaging core of the latest psychological discord. However, the ache in the pit of my stomach today dictated otherwise and forced me to seek solace in any way I could.

I found it in the words of my eldest daughter who assured me that I wasn`t being neurotic, that it was perfectly natural and ok for me to feel as I did. Although to a certain extent she sat on the fence, I felt that her heart was tuned into mine. Her words were well-chosen and well-meaning. She emotionally and tenderly massaged my bruised heart - listened and unscrambled my confused ramblings - and ultimately made me realise what a perfect daughter she really is.

Thank you my beautiful daughter Joanna x

Friday, 11 September 2009

Love Whirlpools

Love is so emotional because it is all emcompassing.
We allow it to take over our whole lives, our whole being.
We give it so much importance allowing it to control so many aspects of our lives
blindly seeing it as a positive force.
Unfortunately love can have a negative effect on our lives.
It makes us question both our rational and irrational thought processes and behaviour.
We believe it has the power to put us in a place we all strive for - a Utopia filled with total happiness, peace and contentment.
Sadly, it also has the power to heighten and intensify our senses to the point of combustion.
We try not to be washed away on the tide of love for fear of drowning in a stream of passionate extremities.
Yet, we know we have little choice....to truly love is to allow oneself to be emotionally swept away.
We only ride the waves of emotional bliss once or twice in our lives...sometimes love is not enough.....there are too many whirlpools in the stream and our hearts sink,
leaving our souls to drown.

What is it?

What is it that we all crave to make us feel complete?
When we are free and single, we seek it when we meet
Wanting it to change our lives, hoping for solution
Willing it to cleanse our worlds riddled with pollution.
Striving for a new beginning to take us from our past
Into a brighter future where we are free at last
Away from our anxieties, our stresses and our fears
Into a world of sharing, a world of no more tears?

What is it that makes us cry when we are filled with joy?
That warms us inexplicably-affects each girl and boy
Serves us with a purpose, drives us from within
To reach out to one-another, to cherish everything?
What is it that bonds a mother to her unborn child?
That soothes the worst of tempers, turns violent into mild
Produces strange reactions, makes us question why?
Exposes all our weaknesses, often makes us cry?

Fills us with such jealousy, irrational thoughts abound
Magnifying every mood, searching all around
For any shred of evidence to prove the claims are true
Driven with such passion we search each avenue?
What is it that gives us hope when everything looks bleak?
When life has dealt some dreadful blows and we are feeling weak
When all around seems dismal, our world a heartless place
What is it that uplifts us when we look in some-ones` face?
What is it that makes all things right, when all around is wrong?

Enables us to try again, gives strength to carry on
Aids us through our troubles, conquers all our fears
Manipulates emotions from birth to latter years
Makes us caring human beings created from above?
God`s gift to all the human race – the gift of how to love.

A Friend in Need

Works of art and poetry. Copyright Copyright 2009 Jsg Creations/Jsj Creations. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text and artwork are the property of Jsj Creations. Please do not copy, reproduce or use without permission.
Saturday, 29 August 2009

I wrote this poem for a very dear friend who was suffering badly after the death of the father of her two children. 
 They had been married for many years before she lost him to her best friend.  Emotionally she battled for several years, trying to hold her family together despite and throughout many turbulent times, as she watched her beloved husband give his love to another woman.  For the sake of her children she maintained a reasonable relationship with their father and the children spent most weekends with him and his new wife.
Then, one Christmas morning, the children present, as dinner was about to be served, alone in the kitchen, he collapsed and died on the kitchen floor.  A massive heart attack had robbed the children, once again, of their father.

A Friend in Need

I hear your pain and anger, frustration deep within - I wish that I could wave a wand to put right everything.
I feel your sense of loneliness, you feel you`ve lost your way - life will never be the same since that fateful day.
I hear you try to justify, angry; asking why
 life has dealt you such a blow - he didnt say "Goodbye".
I see your tears of sorrow, anger and dismay;
see the trauma, desolation crippling you each day.
So many questions left unanswered,
 many words unsaid
  different scenes flashing before you as you lay in your bed.
Memories of time gone by,
 dreams of yesterday;
 thoughts of what life could have been if he were here today.
A kaleidoscope of images swirling in your mind,
 hoping time will start to heal the ache he left behind.
Wanting to be comfortable, to be yourself again;
 to feel the joy of living without this heart of pain.

Annie you are special, words cannot convey
 the warmth you give,
 the strength that makes you who you are today.
You mother your two children with endless love and care,
 they know you are inspiring - they trust that you`ll be there.
You`ll fill the void within them,
 you`ve brought them up so well,
 and now they`ve lost their father, only time will tell.
He`ll always be a part of them,
 you made them both together.
 - the pain will ease,
 the memories fade
 locked in your hearts forever.
As a friend you`ve always done the very best for me,
 a soulmate
who has understood and helped me endlessly.
Always there to guide me,
 support and show me how true friends can share real empathy;
 I`m here for you
 - right now.

Optical Illusion

"Optical illusion, you`re the devil in disguise
Optical illusion, you had me mesmorized.

Show me your intention, is it possible to do?
Optical illusion, why was your love untrue?

I always thought you loved me, people say "love is blind",
life without you is so empty, I need the magic in your eyes - everytime.

All the time you fed me stories, endless superficial charms
even when I trusted loyalty
you were lying in her arms.

Melancholy evenings, all alone and feeling blue
Optical illusion, why was your love untrue? "

Sorcerers` companion, that`s all I was to you
Optical illusion - why was your love untrue?

I always thought you loved me, how could you be so unkind?
your charisma held me spellbound; indiscretions blew my mind - everytime."

I originally wrote these words as lyrics when I used to write songs. When writing the melody I used flat and sharp chords to symbolize melancholy, bluesy undertones in the music. At the time I got my musical inspiration from the great Stevie Wonder and analysed his unique chord changes and configurations. I loved playing this song on my keyboard and always believed it to be the best song I had ever written because the words and the melody came together so well.
When my daughters were young they belonged to a dance troupe and one day the proprietor of the dance school asked me if I would compose a piece of music for one group of girls to dance to. When she heard this song, she was elated and after a few sessions tweaking sections of the instrumental tune, she was delighted to use my song in her show which was to be performed as part of a charity event at The London Palladium with several celebrities present.
When she told me an eight-piece band would be playing my song "live", I was nervous and apprehensive at how it would sound. I hadn`t written it in the style she had chosen and could not imagine it being played by a brass band. Seated in the auditorium awaiting the start of the performance, my anxiety was overwhelming. I held my breath as the first six notes of the introduction were played as the curtain slowly opened and the group of children could be seen in their silver costumes preparing to dance. The sense of pride I felt was tangible yet I was a little frustrated that the tempo wasn`t as fast as I would have liked and the drums - which I hadn`t expected - sounded too raw and extremely loud and just a fraction behind the beat. It was a weird experience, I loved it, yet I hated it!
I suppose it`s a bit like seeing one of your favourite art pieces put in an inappropriate setting or surrounding. You want to go and change the setting, but you can`t because for that moment it isn`t really yours anymore. Someone else has put their own connotation on your art and it is emotionally very complex to fully understand and accept.

Baby`s Eyes

When all around seems hopeless, the world feels cold and bleak
look into your baby`s eyes, watch the way they speak.
They tell you not to worry, there is so much more to life
than all the bitter conflicts, the suffering and strife.

Look into his tender face, feel his beating heart,
learn from him the joys of life, he knows them from the start.
Feel his sense of innocence, his purity, his grace,
enjoy the love he gives to you engraved upon his face.
Feel his total calmness, caress him from within,
a child`s an empty paint book for us to colour in.

He needs our understanding, he needs our loving care,
Look deep into a baby`s eyes, you`ll see real love is there.

Road to Recovery

Why is it everytime you think you have got a grip on things.........?
My road to recovery is painfully slow. I sometimes think my soul is incapable of being restored or even repaired. Will I ever look in the mirror and like what I see!? I did once - a long time ago.
Will I ever forgive myself for my inadequacies?
There was a time when I thought I was doing ok.After suffering several setbacks, I was able to rise from my ashes like a phoenix - able, in time, to continue on the journey of life destiny had carved out for me. Able to rebuild a strength capable of obliterating in my mind what had gone before. My bruised heart continuing to beat in tune with my emotions....to grow stronger with each passing day I enjoyed with my children.
I hear my body-clock ticking louder and louder - reminding me that I have less and less time to find true happiness. If happiness really comes from within, surely I dont stand a chance in hell. My soul has been stamped on so many times it is now embedded in the sole of his foot as he trounces around without a care in the world.
It`s not that I have lost the "will to live" - it`s that I have "lost the will to be happy". I hope this journey of recovery ends before I have no energy left to enjoy the destination.

To be or not to be Adopted

I dug deeper and deeper. My nails grated on the rough stones as the hole grew bigger and bigger. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but this was fun! I loved digging in the mud.I was well out of sight, underneath the branches of a willow tree at the back of the house. Crouched down on my naked knees, my dress spread around me on the dry ground. I ignored the discomfort of the shingle as it embedded itself into my young flesh. I was six years old and having fun.It was summer and the same sun that had hardened the soil was beating down on my back.
 As a “young lady”, I was always clothed in pretty dresses and willowy skirts, but wished on this occasion that I wasn’t. I grew impatient with the floral skirt as it became an obstacle in my pursuit of “whatever”. Each time I tucked it behind me, it crept back to obscure the view of my excavation attempt. The spoon that I had sneaked out from the dining room was a formidable tool to begin with but was beginning to bend with the pressure of being forced repeatedly into the ground. Eventually, I lay it down beside me and scraped once again with my bear fingers.“AHA…….what was this?”I held the round, white object tightly between my thumb and index finger, holding it up to the bright sun for a better look.I was excited, elated at my find.I looked around me to see if anyone had spotted my activity. No….not a soul was anywhere near me.
 The other children were in the far meadow with the Aunties. I could hear their playful squeals coming from way off. I turned my attention back to my find and quizzically squinted at it. What on earth was it? Maybe if I got rid of some of the mud, I might be able to see it more clearly. I dropped it into the palm of my tiny hand and began rubbing my two palms together. No….that was no good. I still couldn’t see what it was.I pulled up the bottom of my skirt and rubbed feverishly at the object. It was no good!
 I was going to have to take drastic action. After another quick glance behind me, I quickly lifted the object to my lips, stuck my tongue out and licked it.Mmm…..it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Before I had given myself the change to consider the consequences, I popped the object into my mouth. I moved it around my palate with my tongue, hoping to remove the stubborn mud that was still refusing to come off. It was hard. It was round. It was rattling around in my mouth, bouncing off my teeth. This was fun. I moved it around faster and faster in the saliva that had formed in my mouth.
“And what are you doing?”
I looked up quickly as a huge shadow blocked the sun from my back. I spun round and gulped!Panic-stricken I quickly got to my feet to face Auntie. I was too afraid to open my mouth, not that there was anything left in it!I could feel the marble descending down my throat. I felt sure that Auntie could see it. I didn’t like the feeling and raised my hand to my neck. I gulped again. And again.Tears pricked my eyes as I began to panic more. But words would not come. I couldn’t tell Auntie what I had done. She continued to block out the sun as she waited for some response from me. I was now feeling quitecold, and then quite hot. She bent down and picked up the grubby spoon.
“Have you been making mud pies again?”
 she asked in a much softer tone to the one she had greeted me with. As I nodded my reply, the tears began flowing fluidly down my cheeks. I licked them from my muddy lips.
“What on earth is the matter?” she asked,
It was no good, I had to tell her. I reasoned, in my panic, I simply couldn’t spend the rest of my life gulping. As I told her about the marble, I watched as her lips tightened into a line and her face into a scowl.
“You silly, silly girl!”
Grabbing my hand she marched me back along the pathway, up the steps, into the house. By this time I was wailing, my stifled sobs held back no longer.Once indoors, I was hastened to the toilet and told to
“sit there!”
 until something was produced
“at the other end”.
 I obediently hitched my soiled skirt up and shuffled myself onto the toilet seat. Needless to say nothing appeared that afternoon, or the afternoon after that, but I am sure it must have in the “passing of time”.

The elderly couple were kind to me, especially the woman. She would let me make cakes with her in the farmhouse kitchen, chat to me and give me hugs. I had never had hugs before and enjoyed the closeness and subsequent warmth her body gave me. I would settle on her knee, leaning against her ample bosom and stretch my arms around her waist whilst she squeezed me gently telling me how pretty I was. She seemed amazingly soft and smelt pleasantly sweet. I felt no threat from her and welcomed her desire to hold me, to embrace me and dream I was the child she never had. It felt good. It was out of the ordinary but enjoyable to have so much attention and to experience close bodily contact with an adult.We rarely received any form of physical closeness from the Aunties in the home. On occasion, after a fall or after sustaining some kind of injury, we might be picked up and our wounds attended to - but we were never cuddled for cuddling sake. We didn’t ask for it – we didn’t receive it. We didn’t expect it, so we were not disappointed.

I felt differently towards the man who was to become my adoptive father. The closeness I felt from him was a little bewildering; uncomfortable. He didn’t feel soft and he certainly didn’t smell pleasant.There was something – something a ten year old little girl could not possibly put into words, that made me feel uncomfortable when he approached me with his arms outstretched, asking for a hug. Obediently, I would grace him the pleasure of a cuddle from “his new little girl”, but would grimace and hide my face, burying it into his stomach as his clinch persisted. The smell of the farm on his clothes would repulse me and I longed for him to loosen his grip on my slim body.
If I sat on his knee it wasn’t soft and yielding like his wife`s. It was hard and uncomfortable. I hated it more if he insisted on hugging me outside the farmhouse, near the barn. He would direct my hand inside his overalls urging me to feel him. and although I did, I couldn’t understand why I never actually saw the parts I touched – I didn’t know what I had touched. It was all so surreal and bizarre, but not in a nice dreamlike way – in a way that confused and tormented me each time I visited my new adoptive parents. Some nights he would come into my bedroom late - never touch me, just stand in the darkness - the light from the landing emphasising and magnifying his tall frame against the bedroom wall. I lay very still, hoping he would think I was asleep, breathing so shallow only I could hear it along with the rapid beating of my heart. And then he would vanish, disappearing silently into the light leaving me to squirm deeper beneath the covers on the bed.

Sunday was visiting day. We would sit on the floor in anticipation of the smiling, optimistic adults. On their arrival our visitors would scour the sea of young faces in the hope of finding one that appealed to them - a face that might fit into their incomplete family setting. Many would smile at me but it was seldom that my name was called for me to join the visitors in another room where the lucky ones were ushered, hopefully to become acquainted. It was a familiar course of events for us children and one that we all took as part of growing up. Some children got excited at the prospect of leaving the home and starting a new life in a new family. I experienced confusing mixed emotions. I had been at the home since birth, since my mother had sent me to Barnados` fresh from her womb. My security was being in the midst of scores of children each with equally sad histories unknown to them. That was the reason I never felt the need for a mother, never expected one, never wanted one. I was used to living in a large house with many rooms and acres of land. I could not get used to such small houses – I grew claustrophobic and despite the incentives, promises and rewards offered to me if I stayed just one night - my distress was palpable, solved only by returning me to my “home”.

Author: Jan_CainWord count: 1596Views: 22