(The Ghost of 2012) Present

Post Christmas, pre New Year. Right. Now. People.

I suppose that the biggest thing right now is that I am sat on my sofa in my lounge in my house. Something that only a few months ago I couldn’t say, and that when we signed the papers and it felt like I was signing my soul away and we turned the key in the lock for the very first time it felt like a punishment. Now it’s home.

And you know what, it’s lovely. I really mean that.

I’m not going to post the photos of then again because it caused me no end of grief before (it turns out that the stigma that is stapled to your forehead when you live in a council house is alive and well but do you know what? It doesn’t generally come from us ‘normal’ folk but in it’s majority from the council itself *ahem*) and although I am itching and wiggling with desperation to show you photos of how it all looks now I am saving that for the New Year. To be honest, only because even though I tided like a woman possessed before Christmas the house now looks particularly ‘lived in’ and you don’t need to squint at photos to try to make out rooms underneath the detritus of Christmas do you?

If you read nothing else of this post, please, please read this bit.

Without the love and support and overwhelming everything from so, so many bloggers I, we, would not be where we are now. I am more grateful than I can ever explain. Really.

My mum even launched herself on Mammasaurus, a woman who she has never met and actually genuinely knows as ‘Mammasaurus’, for a quick hug of gratitude in London pre MAD awards ceremony because she wanted to thank her for helping me. I would honestly lick the faces of each and every one of those that helped us. Whether you liked it or not.

You guys gave me the strength to put my feet flat on the floor every morning through everything and to carry on and to make it all OK. You made sure that we had paint and food and 101 other things that we would have never had the money to buy.

You came to my house, with most driving for miles / hours to attack grubby walls with bleach and paint and kindness.

Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

And I promise, when all the Christmas fallout is safely hidden and I get around to showing some photos you will likely be as surprised as I am that this is actually the same house that we were faced with back in September.

There are far too many people to list again here but to each and every one of you from the three of us, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Things are still on a bit of a knife edge, especially financially. In fact let me use this moment to apologise for the ratio of personal posts to sponsored posts recently, but it has very much been a case of needs must. We are currently living on, well, nothing really. The stark reality of having a toddler who is still is nappies and three mouths to feed and bills to pay and just everything is beyond hard to manage on the £20 or so we have each week. Really, it’s hard.

And that is why I owe so much to Chelle for taking it upon herself to organise weekly food deliveries from Abel & Cole. I know a lot of people contributed but I don’t know who – all I can say is thank you. It has helped so much.

And I also owe a lot to Mummy Barrow who has helped me bring a bit of extra cash into the house and, I suppose, give myself the title of a Work At Home Mum. Blimey.

*

After hitting brick wall after brick wall when it came to talking therapy or in fact any kind of GP referral that went anywhere I booked a session with a private counsellor at the beginning of December.

It’s hard going. I walk into her room, cosily tucked away in the basement of an old building with pillars and heavy wooden doors. There’s a huge rug at the end of the room. It reminds me of episodes of Top of the Pops circa 1990something when it was the thing to perform on stage with one massive antique carpet and a couple of floor lamps adorned with tasselled shades. And maybe a potted plant or two.

There aren’t any potted plants here, just an inviting red chair and footstool sat opposite its mustard twin. A coffee table with the obligatory glass of water and tissues. A clock on the windowsill, Venetian blinds behind shielding the view of a brick wall outside.

Talking, properly talking, which means really thinking about how I feel - thwack – and then trying to string it all together into words and shake it about a bit until it starts to make sense - THWACK – before letting it all spill out of my mouth and confirming the reality – KNOCK OUT. It hurts and it’s exhausting and I have never ever been to a gym because frankly I don’t want the pain that follows, the bit where you wake up the morning after and think you have been hit by a truck for a split second. The bit where you feel black and blue and your body doesn’t work and your limbs are heavy and you want to rip your joints off because of the burn. I get all of that but, y’know, in my mind. It’s draining and I feel like I need to sit in a quiet, white room with absolutely zero stimulus for a while afterwards to make the transition back to reality a bit more palatable.

Anyway, after I’ve done the talking bit, there’s some hypnosis. Are you pfffft-ing and adjusting your cynical hat? I was too.

Surely it’s all bullshit.

I’ll just giggle.

It won’t work.

If hypnosis cured stuff then surely everyone would be at it.

I used to watched Paul McKenna when I was little and it looked a bit shit really.

And so on…

That was me as I was instructed to lay back, to allow my eyelids to close and my body to relax.

And then suddenly it was thirty minutes later and I was opening my heavy eyelids feeling more rested than I have felt in forever.

What the…?

I won’t ramble any more here because this all deserves posts of its very own. All I will say now is that it works dudes. There’s something in it.

*

Beans. What can I say about her. My god she’s beautiful. Every day she seems to stretch out into more of a little girl and less of a toddler. She is cleverer than clever and in the last few weeks alone has jumped absolute miles in terms of development. The fact that she loves to draw makes me really happy. The fact that she can draw a face  including nose, mouth, ears and hair (mummy has to do the eyes) all in the right places and actually resembling each feature makes me so proud I could pop in a grizzly explosion of smug mother, splattering up the (newly painted) walls. Which is obnoxious I know but she is a genius and I am going to allow myself to feel that pride because of all the time that I felt so much misery.

More than that though, I am proud that she is so kind and loving and happy. I am proud of that little twinkle in her eye that means there is probably something somewhere it shouldn’t be and I’m probably about to get cross. I love that she pats my back when we cuddle, that she holds my hand and tickles my toes and that when I am reading her a bedtime story she always has to hold her Alice in Wonderland book like a comfort blanket while she listens.

I love her and I find joy and wonder in her, she makes me do big belly laughs every single day and I made her and I finally feel like I just might be doing an OK job of bringing her up.

So, the right here right now is actually OK. It’s not where I thought I would be, no. To get here we have all been dragged through degrees of awful that I would wish on no one. But whatevs right, we did it.