Squeaky Bum Time :)

At this point in the football season teams begin to be relegated or promoted and, for those of us involved, every match becomes crucial. I know many people who hate the drama of it but for me it’s what being a supporter is all about.

Last season everything was riding on the last game for Torquay. We were glued to Sky Sports, looking at the table ‘as it stands’, which was insanely nerve-wracking watching us go in and out of the play-offs like a yo-yo! Sadly we ended up losing the final but I’m over it.

It was much the same with Wolves as I sat chewing my nails praying that they would avoid relegation. However, this season has been another trying one. In all honesty I believe that their exit from the Premier League will be confirmed sooner rather than later. Much as I love them I just can’t see them clinging on.

On the other hand, Torquay have had another stonker of a season! Nobody is more surprised than me at how well things have gone. Losing our manager and several players made us all apprehensive and staying in the league seemed like the best we could hope for. Yet, here we are on the cusp of automatic promotion! It’s true that teams around us have games in hand but the fact that we even have a chance is an unbelievable feeling. Torquay is a small club but everyone involved has fight and passion in abundance and I’m so proud of the lads for making it count. Whatever happens I can say, hand on heart, that they are a pleasure to support.

All in all I am conflicted. The dire situation at Wolves shows no signs of changing, however, the fortunes of Torquay leave me feeling positively jubilant! It has not escaped my notice that there may only be a division difference between my teams next season which I could not have predicted back in August.

There’s games to play still though and I football is a rollercoaster. A lot can change in a few weeks. :)

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Teamwork

Just a quick post inspired by the dire situation at Wolves at the moment. Jamie O’Hara tweets saying that he ran more than any other premier league player. Great, I’m sure that’s true but football is not an individual sport.

Quite simply I think this is a perfect time to bring in the Finding Nemo philosophy. Don’t laugh, it makes sense! Remember the part where all the fish are trapped in the fishing net? Well, they’re all swimming every which way doing their own thing and getting nowhere. Nemo comes along and tells them all to swim in the same direction. Consequently they manage to achieve the objective and save themselves.

My point is that, whilst the Wolves players might be giving it 100%, they’re all directing their efforts towards their own purpose. They need to pull together as a whole instead of an isolated unit and focus on a singular goal.

You see? Disney has all the answers. ;)

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Update

Life has been getting in the way since my last post leaving me very little time or motivation to write. No developments on the job front unfortunately, the latest rejection coming from the DWP themselves. I spent over 2 hours doing their competency assessment then a numeracy and literacy test, which I passed. My application survived the first sifting process so, like an idiot, I thought I may actually be lucky this time. However, they turned me down due to my lack of recent work experience. Ironic really. Clearly you can only get a job front if you already have one!

Anyway, that’s just more of the same so hardly a surprise. My car failed the MOT on a bundle of things and is now sat gathering rust while I try and save to fix it. The washing machine packed up 2 weeks ago so the laundrette is taking all my money now. Then the boiler decided to leak water through my hall ceiling. My landlord has become unreachable therefore I had to pay to call someone out to fix it. The boiler actually needs replacing but obviously that’s not up to me. The council have told me they will withhold the housing benefit until they make contact so I’m just waiting to see what happens.

My daughter’s school trip needs paying for too although ¬£85 for 2 days on Dartmoor seems a bit steep to me. Especially considering it’s the parents responsibility to transport the children there and back. It’s also her 9th birthday in a couple of weeks, just to add to the financial stress.

Money worries I’m used to after all this time but then, during half term, I had physical pain to contend with as well. I’ve never had tendonitis before but I had heard of it. Still, it surprised me how much it really hurts! My doctor is a sadist I think because she bent and pulled my hand around until I was in agony! I was prescribed painkillers and anti-inflammatories then sent to the hospital for physiotherapy. There is still some discomfort in the joint but it feels much better thankfully. For future reference, wearing a wrist splint is almost as bad as the injury itself. It gets in the way something awful.

This afternoon I’ll be plodding off to the jobcentre to sign on but now that I’m on the working links program they’ll literally just get me to sign and go. It’s not ideal but nevermind.
Right now I plan to watch some tv and read my book. I live life in the fast lane, it’s true

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Dreams

Dreams are fascinating things. My daughter and I dream in colour and remember them vividly. This is great for happy ones but with nightmares it would probably be better to forget them!
Anyway, of late the littlun has not been sleeping properly due to bad dreams and, although she is seeing the doctor about this, I decided to look into it myself.

Dream interpretation has been around for centuries! In ancient Egypt and Greece they believed it was a form of divine communication and had specific temples that dreamers attended to predict omens or cure sickness.

Medieval Islamic psychology suggest that some dreams may be true, some ran in families and others were false and meaningless. In 16th century China they also studied the dream phenomena.
As for Europe, one of the first men to examine interpretation was Thomas Browne in the 17th century but the area of study really took off in the 19th century with Sigmund Freud. He described dreams as the “disguised fulfilment of repressed wishes”.

Carl Jung developed the Freud theory further by dividing dreams into 2 catergories. Objective, where people within represent themselves, and subjective, where the characters are actually a part of the dreamer’s personality and not themselves.

Calvin Hall suggested that, in fact, they were manifestations of personal conceptions. For example, if you saw a cat in a dream it was telling you that there is more than one way to do something.

Nowadays you can get dream dictionaries and do-it-yourself books, like those written by Ann Faraday in the 70s. These tend to be very literal. So, failing an exam within a dream could mean you need to prepare better for those in your waking life.

Then during the 80s and 90s Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift simply said that your dreams consist of events etc that are on your mind whilst awake.

The ideas of Professor Antti Revonsuo and Keith Stevens are very interesting. They both conclude that dreams are a practice run for real life in a way. You are basically rehearsing your instinctual reactions so, should events occur in the future, you know what to do.
Stevens also went on to say that our dreams are important to our development. Dreams of sex and relationships leave the desire to procreate etc whereas those that highlight your social or economic status either make you feel content with your life or incite the need to better yourself.

Now, I have had some bizarre dreams in my time but for a lot of them Freud makes sense. Lately in my dreams I have plenty of money and a big house. Enough said!

My neighbour literally found it hysterical when I told her the Islamic theory about dreams following a genetic path. However, I have personal experience of this.
Between the ages of 7 and 8 I had a recurring dream of 3 men standing at the end of my bed. They were black, wearing bright white suits with beaming white smiles but no eyes. Before anyone starts it’s not a racist thing. I was not scared by them. Seeing them made me feel peace.
My younger brother had the exact same dream when he was around the same age. Ok, so it was slightly creepy and noone could figure out what the dream even meant.
Imagine my surprise when my daughter gets up one morning and tells me about the dream she had which was also exactly the same! Since then though I have come up with an explanation of sorts. I went back through my diaries to look at events happening around us at these times. For me, they lasted a year, during which time my grandads both passed away. My brother’s occurred before and after the death of our nan and my daughter had these dreams before and after the death of my other nan. Not being deeply religious I am reluctant to call the figures angels, however, I do think that they were sent from somewhere both to prepare us for the loss and to give us peace afterwards.

I also agree with Stevens to an extent due to the fact that I did dream about being a mother beforehand and have had dreams of car accidents and fires etc where I have had to deal with the situation and protect my loved ones.

Anyway, I started this for my daughter but still can’t really figure her out. Basically the main nightmare she has is being buried alive and having worms etc crawling over her while she is rotting away. Horrible, I know! Freud’s theory doesn’t fit and clearly this is not a life rehearsal. If you listen to Jung then it would suggest that she has homicidal tendencies! That’s ridiculous. Going by the work of Hill it could imply lack of trust in her family that we would let that happen to her. Obviously, I hope this is not the case.
The doctor and myself agree that she is very fearful of death, in general, both her own and other people’s. We are working with her on this. Also, it seems she feels lonely much of the time. Despite being surrounded by family and friends, she is an only child and did have an imaginary friend when she was younger. She treats her teddies etc like living entities a lot of the time too. She told the doctor in her latest visit that she didn’t want to die alone.

After my research and the discussion with my baby’s doctor I think that she can’t dissociate her life from her dreams therefore worries about it even when she’s awake. It’s horrendous really considering she is so young. I suppose that the fact that her dad is older may increase the thoughts of death and loss but, in all honesty, I really don’t know.

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Broken

Writing my last blog post was really tough but it has made me realise that I need to act. Having suffered from depression in the past I recognise the signs and they don’t bode well.

The last time was brutal. Even now I have no idea why that started! I had actually just begun treatment when my partner left us. I did not see it coming so the whole situation knocked me for 6. So whilst his going was not the initial cause it made everything 10 times worse.

All of sudden I was a single parent and had no money as my partner had total control of the finances. Luckily I was working and managed to arrange tax credits etc but it was Christmas and my family had all gone to my Auntie’s in the Midlands. Therefore, I couldn’t pay the bills or buy food etc and was all alone.

Worst of all he had waited until I was at Christingle with our daughter to write a letter and leave. Christmas day was horrendous trying to pretend for our daughter’s sake. It later came to light that practically everyone we knew had been aware he was seeing someone else but kept it from me. I felt isolated, betrayed and my self-esteem took a real battering.

The woman he left me for had actually slept with my best friend’s husband 2 years earlier and was a horrid person. She would send texts and voicemails saying awful things and my partner made things very difficult also.

I did see someone else for a while but he decided that my birthday was a good time to dump me. The reason he gave was that he hated my daughter! That was the most hurtful thing about it all really. Then in the Autumn I lost my job. When events keep pushing you down it is incredibly difficult to keep fighting and claw yourself out of that hole.

However, I did get there in the end. You can’t imagine the satisfaction of being taken off anti-depressants and going to your last counselling session.
When my partner moved back in and immediately cheated again I initially resorted to drinking. Then realised that I had to put my foot down and take control. Things with him aren’t ideal but are ok now.

They say money doesn’t buy happiness but that’s rubbish! I would be euphoric if I could afford to heat my house. I would love to start Christmas shopping but I need to wait until I can get a Provident loan! My car needs an MOT in December and needs so much work doing.

My landlady is being a nightmare lately and keeps moaning at me but I only get money once a fortnight so there’s nothing I can do to pay her quicker. It’s a situation I can do nothing about.

My baby isn’t sleeping due to bad dreams and is seeing a specialist about that. I have tried to deal with it but nothing has worked. So now I feel terribly guilty about that.

As an intelligent person, not having anything to do all day is not a good thing. I need to be doing something! Easier said than done though. Most of the time when I apply for jobs I don’t even get a reply. This is not the recipe for happiness when you already have self-confidence issues.

So, you see, I know what my problems are but I can’t fix them. I am not insane!

My trip to the doctor today was ridiculous. Apparently I have no reason to be depressed because I have a lovely daughter. Clearly I love her and she is amazing but sadly there are things in life that no amount of love and cuddles can fix.

It’s not entirely the fault of the doctor though, since so many people claim to be depressed nowadays. I am worried about the stigma surrounding mental illness but I am not going to be ashamed. Real depression is serious but does not go hand in hand with being suicidal. Personally I would never do that.

I think that maybe if I explain it people would understand and not be so flippant. Getting up every morning is a chore yet it’s not laziness. It’s just the pure lack of any motivation. I force myself as I have a little girl who relies on me. However, I am tired. I never feel hungry anymore. I find it impossible to really care what I look like. It is as if you are totally detached from the world. Your body is going through¬† the necessary daily routine but your consciousness is hiding away somewhere. Crying is one thing I hate. It’s a weakness. I am not weak.
All the people that say it will be ok and that something good will happen are probably right. Depression doesn’t let you believe that. All I see is an endless struggle through one problem after another. I can hardly breathe, I have so much on my shoulders dragging me down. That’s how it feels. Right now, I still care enough to worry, which means I have caught it in time. I’m not far off that ambivalence though and that scares me.

There are only so many times you can fall apart before you get to the point where noone can put you back together.

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Feeling Worthless

It isn’t the first time I’ve woken up and had a good cry. Lately I am doing that a lot. There’s that split second when my eyes open and everything is fine, then all the problems and worries hit. There are things to do though and I am now a master of going through the motions.

The school run gets done, followed by the housework, leaving me the whole day to think. And wallow. And continue the downward spiral into misery and depression.

When I was young I had such plans for my life. Finish school, go to university, get a good job then find the perfect man and have babies. How simple it sounds!
Coming up to my GCSEs I got pneumonia and nearly died. Obviously I didn’t but I did have to show up to my exams with inhalers, tablets, tissues and a doctor. You know, the essentials! By some miracle I achieved 11 GCSEs (4 As and 7 Bs). It wasn’t really a miracle though because I worked my butt off. Even in hospital I revised and did test papers.

Life just loves to kick you when you’re down however. That summer I lost a close friend to meningitis. The worst part was that it all happened while I was in Ireland with my family. I didn’t even get chance to go to the funeral. Some friend I was! If I’m honest, I never really dealt with that which is not good, heading into A-levels, when you need to be focused.

God I was so full of myself back then. When people hear that I studied history, geography, maths and chemistry, they assume that I was a) insane or b) that I had no life. Neither of which was true. Four of my evenings were spent at dance classes and during the weekends I worked at Somerfield. I was also lucky enough to have lots of good friends.

Then, my Nan (on my mom’s side) passed away. The circumstances of which are written in my previous post about cancer. It was sudden. I did not handle that well.

Not wanting to deviate from what was expected, I carried on. Working, studying, dancing. All the while, in my head, everything was falling apart. My Nan (on dad’s side) pulled me along, the constant I needed to get through the day.

Of course, I passed my A-levels (2 As and a B). Chemistry I dropped to just an AS. Academia was never my problem. I knew where I stood with school and it was a distraction from the issues I had. It was unacceptable to allow anyone to see I was less than perfect.
Bully for me, I even managed to carry this on through my degree! Homesickness nearly killed me and falling pregnant did not fit my plan. But, I am a trooper and was determined to graduate. There was no room for failure as far as I was concerned.

Just surviving each day was a struggle but I was so sure that it would be worth it in the end. I should have been rewarded by a comfortable life raising my child in a nice house by now.
Instead, I’ve had a string of average jobs that have resulted in redundancy (no fault of my own I might add) and currently languish as a full member of the benefits system!

I interact. I laugh. I smile. I sign on once a fortnight and go through endless job applications. What does it all mean really? Am I a mom that my daughter can look up to and be proud of? Am I making and sort of contribution to the world? No. I’m not.
All those years striving for qualifications that count for nothing. Why did I bother? The world wouldn’t notice if I no longer walked in it. Essentially my entire existence is worthless. If this is not the case then why am I unemployed?
Dignity and self-respect are not on thwarting cards for me it seems.

My daughter keeps me here. My loved ones? They’re important, but they don’t need me. My baby is my reason to survive the daily hardships and humiliations. As long as she loves me and still needs me I’ll endure. Nothing matters to me but her happiness. When I don’t think I have the energy to care anymore, I just focus on her and my heart lifts.

Children have the power to make any problem fade and light up your world. They’re a gift.

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The Remote Is Mine!

And so it begins.

The daily war over who gets to watch what they want on tv! Mornings go fairly smoothly. Noone wants to deal with my moodiness at the start of the day so I win. Since I am the only person home during the day, I retain dominance over daytime tv. However, the evenings become a constant battle of wills between the three of us.

To be honest, the babe normally gets to watch her Disney Channel shows or some other tripe after school. This is simply due to the fact that I am usually organizing dinner and sorting her school bag etc.

It is when you add the man of the house to the mix that the situation is complicated. Viewing then depends on what mood the littlun is in and how badly we want to keep the peace. Us adults prefer programs such as Eggheads whereas our darling daughter likes The Simpsons. Personally I cannot stand it but 9 times out of 10 she wins. If she chooses to dispute the decision it involves her talking constantly so we can’t even hear the tv anyway! You see the problem here?

Moving on to bedtime it should be easy for us to agree. It is not. If there is live sport on then I lean in that direction. Obviously. If there is a show on that we watch regularly then I am happy to work around that and to flick in the adverts. My partner is always difficult though. He insists on putting on some random episode of CSI, or another such show. I fail to see the point as we have watched most of them a multitude of times. Plus I have very little interest in any of the home makeover rubbish he likes. Why do I need to know how to do these things? I have him or Dad to deal with that side of life.

Last night was typical for us. I was enjoying the Man City match and he was on the pc. As it comes up to half time his hand begins to hover near the remote. Of course I attempt to perform the old ‘cuddle and swipe’ maneuver but he was on to me. Much frustration on my part!

Thereby ensues a war of sorts. I grumble. Mark tells me to shut up. Followed by various psychological little digs that still ends with him possessing the controls and me empty handed.
The physical altercations only begin once all avenues have been explored. His pure size means that wrestling and fighting would only leave one winner. My tactics are childish, I admit, but it allows me to level the playing field.

So I licked my finger and stuck it in his ear. No luck. I poked him in the arm. Didn’t work. He shoved the remote in his pants. No way I was going in there! I made spit balls. He sat on me and broke wind. Now I never agreed to chemical warfare! It’s last resort time. I smother him with one of his own rank, stinky socks.

Aha, victory!
Too late though because the football had finished. :(

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