Catharsis

Let my fears float away
in a hot air balloon
above the dark clouds
and up to the moon

All my pain and the anger
sent up to the sky
the winds blow them gently
as I watch them fly by

Rip up scarred words
and burn them with sage
watch them all wither
and releasing the rage

Try punching a pillow
or let out a scream
digging for gold
or my lost self-esteem

Bang on a drum
play music so loud
don’t need permission
it’s fine; it’s allowed

Write down my thoughts
draw out a sketch
pin them up on the wall
and take a deep breath

Let your grievances lapse
write a gratitude list
swaddle the hurting
while angels are kissed.

I’ve had a more positive day today, so it’s made a nice change and was quite some relief, too. I hope it lasts, but even if it’s just a little taster of how life could be, it’s been good to be able to write something a bit more upbeat.

I wrote this after having a conversation with my counsellor yesterday. She asked me, totally out of the blue, what I’d like to do with all my pain, trauma and nightmarish memories. On the spur of the moment, without giving it much thought, I just came out with, ‘I’d like to put them in a hot air balloon and let them float up to the sky until the balloon is completely out of view.’

(I’ve also just started reading a book by a WP blogging friend, Tamara. If you’re reading this, Tamara, thank you for all your support and for letting me know about your books. I can see so much of myself in them. If you’d like me to link you to this post, just contact me, and I’ll be more than happy to do so.)

I’ve just started to draw a sketch of my imaginary balloon. It’s too late to finish and post it here tonight, but if I get it finished by tomorrow, I’ll add it to this post then.





Not exactly a sketch, but a very amateur attempt at drawing/colouring a picture of a hot air balloon. As you can see, I’m not an expert at art!

Ellie Thompson

Little Boxes

Tie it up in little boxes with a ribbon and a bow
Tuck it all away inside, so nothing is on show
What to do with all the trauma creeping through my brain
Without support, where can I stuff down this amount of pain?


Secure those feelings firmly behind closed cupboard doors
Hide away from peeping eyes; they’re not wanted anymore
I thought I might be winning; I’d almost passed the post
Having to lock it up again while I haven’t got a host*


C* said the time has come now for me to put it all away
Leave sleeping dogs to lie rather than come out to play
Waiting for the next in line could be a year or more
Counting down the days while my brain keeps the score


The bonds we built between us were kind but very strong
Boundaries as they should be, respectful; nothing wrong
I should be feeling tougher, but my heart and soul cry out
I should have trust in myself, but no, I’m full of doubt


She said I could leave notes for the one who’s coming next
Just in case my mind’s in hiding and my memories repressed
I’m dreading the goodbye day; I mustn’t make a fuss
I’ll just be left with me alone and not the both of us.

NOTE: This poem is about a conversation I had with my counsellor this week in reference to my counselling coming to an end. She was suggesting that I try not to explore my childhood trauma too deeply in the few weeks we have left for fear of it becoming overwhelming again, and then having no one to process this with. She described it as putting all the trauma memories in a box until I see the next counsellor, whoever that is going to be. The waiting time could be up to a year. I can’t lie and say I’m not terrified because I am.

I’m so very grateful for all the support I’ve had from my blogging and real-life friends regarding alternative ways of finding low-cost therapy. I’m still searching this out, but at the same time, the thought of starting all over again with someone new is extremely daunting. Time will tell …

Love Ellie xx 💙

(* C and host refer to my counsellor)


(Image source – Pexels Free Images)

My Day (Today) – Update

Yesterday, I wrote a post called, ‘The Day Before‘. So many of you (my friends and blogging buddies) were encouraging, kind, thoughtful, and caring, sending me your love and best wishes. I can’t tell you how much that support and love from you meant to me. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. However, as I had feared …

BAD NEWS

I got home at about 3.30 pm (it’s now 8.15 pm), but I’ve been trying to get myself back into a space where I can communicate without breaking down again. I could hardly see the screen on my laptop through my tears. I feel totally exhausted from crying so much.

The counselling with my lovely counsellor, C., is definitely ending on 21st December, and there is absolutely no chance of continuing to see her again after that date. I’m devastated and heartbroken 💔. I have been through so much despair and heartache with her trying to come to terms with the frequent child sexual abuse and rape that I suffered from the age of eight until I was twelve. I haven’t said those exact words on my blog before, apart from the odd mention in my poetry, but, there it is – in black and white, as that is the truth of what happened to me.

I’m only part of the way through working on this awful trauma, and now I will be completely alone and without my counsellor. We spoke, in between my tears, about going onto the waiting list for general counselling, which I would have to pay for. Up until now, I’ve been treated under the Eating Disorders’ umbrella, which has been free. General counselling would be less specific and, although, my eating habits aren’t as bad as they were, I definitely can’t say that I’ve recovered from those issues.

C said she would speak to the organisation’s manager to see whether they would even accept me under the general team. She said, as I feared, there is a long waiting list. As it is, the counselling offices are closed from the 21st of December until the middle of January 2023. So, I know I’m in for a long wait. I feel panic-stricken at the thought of going it all alone until a place comes up (that’s if they accept me). I really don’t know how to cope with this situation. If I’m accepted (and I won’t know this till December), I’ve got to find the funds to pay for it. As I said in my last post, I can’t afford to heat my home this winter (I appreciate the ideas that people have suggested that might help). Something is going to have to give. It’s a case of whether I heat my home or eat decent food.

Assuming I am accepted, it will mean starting all over again with a completely new and unfamiliar counsellor. I don’t know if I can face going over all those painful memories once again. I feel despairing. My doctor is phoning me on Friday; I will have to update her. There is nothing else she can do. I’m exhausted with all the emotion and will have an early night accompanied by two Diazepam to attempt to give me some respite from what feels like being in the hall of crazy, distorted mirrors at the funfair. It just sums up how my life feels today – crazy and distorted.

Please forgive me if I missed reading your blogs today. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I will catch up with some, or I may have to miss today’s blogs and start afresh tomorrow. Thank you for listening. Until tomorrow … Love Ellie Xx 🖤

Pretence

Being honest here and speaking my truth as I always do, I’m not okay today. I don’t feel much like the success I referred to in my last poem. I saw my counsellor this afternoon. She was going to let me know if I could continue to see her as my funding has nearly run out. I’d spoken with the organisation’s manager on Friday, and she assured me she would discuss my case with C. (my counsellor) and that I’d have a decision by this week’s session. As it turned out, the manager hadn’t spoken to C. I expect there’s a good reason for this; however, it doesn’t help my distress and worry at not knowing where I stand. C. told me she wouldn’t be there next week either, so I now have to wait another two weeks before knowing what will happen. I feel lost and alone.

PRETENCE

It’s tough pretending to be okay
when I’m absolutely not
I find myself smiling and chatting away
to stop others sensing the rot

~~~

I’m trying to write my song differently
I’m trying to appear upbeat
There’s far too much for others to hear
if it’s only the pain I excrete  

~~~

If only they knew what the truth was
that I’m shrivelling up inside
so I stay quiet and keep my thoughts to myself
while my innocent inner child died

~~~

I currently stand on a precipice
I’m looking for a safe way to go
I join in the fun with a crowd of friends
not letting all my pain show

~~~

I’m angry inside with that b******
He’s the one who caused all this sh*t
So, why am I carrying the blame in my heart
when I don’t belong in this pit

~~~

He should have been tried in a court
They asked me if I wanted to tell
but I was far too scared of speaking the truth
I’d already been through hell

~~~

If he were alive, I would prosecute
I’d make him stand facing the beak**
I’d tell all of his vile wicked deeds
as now it is my turn to speak.


(** The word ‘beak’ is an English slang word for judge or magistrate)












Birthday Celebrations – Over the Hill? – No Way!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’m going to let you into a little secret. Some of my ‘older’ readers will know this already, especially given that I have young grandchildren. However, to some of my newer readers, this might come as a surprise. Having just had my birthday, I’m now officially ‘over the hill,’ according to the polls! I feel most indignant about that statement as I’m now 65, not 95 (nothing against the 95 years olds amongst us, nor people older than that). According to the polls, the age categories run like this …

18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over

So … where are you supposed to go after you reach 65. Apparently, there is nowhere to go other than obviously being officially over the hill and, no doubt, going down the other side. Does this mean that the pollsters consider the only fitting thing for me, being ’65 and over’, is to shuffle off this mortal coil! I object!

Having got that little bugbear off my chest, I will continue on a happier note – my birthday, last Saturday, 3rd September. I had the most wonderful week. To begin with, last Thursday, I spent the day with nine family members, my daughter and son-in-law, my son, four young grandchildren, my sister and brother-in-law, who’d travelled up from Dorset, plus my friend, who’d been kind enough to take me to see them all. It was a perfect day, sunny and warm; not too hot like we’d had in the summer. September is nearly always a lovely month in the UK. We walked into the restaurant and big hugs were shared between us; some of my family I hadn’t seen for over two years, so I was thrilled to bits to see them all again. I felt so loved and very blessed to have such wonderful people around me.

The food arrived, which we’d pre-ordered. I’d asked for Pad Thai, one of my favourite meals. It was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We then ordered pudding, although I don’t know where I found the room after the lunch, but I did, as did everyone else. More deliciousness. After eating, we took the children to the local park to run off their energy (and dinner). It was so lovely to see the four cousins all together. It was such a special way to celebrate my birthday.

Delicious Pad Thai

Last Saturday, my actual birthday, I met my best friend in town, and we went for another meal in an Italian restaurant. My friend, Debbie, presented me with a beautiful birthday card and an even more beautiful gift. I was so touched by the thought she had put into choosing something so special. We are both vegans, and having eaten our main course, a pasta dish, we plumped for pudding (again!). The dessert was amazing – a rich chocolate cake with honeycomb pieces called Zillionaire’s Slice with vegan sorbet with chocolate ripples. I could feel my waistline expanding after all the food I’d had. My diet was nowhere to be seen, but I wasn’t in the least bit bothered – there’s always another day for that.

Zillionaire’s Slice

So … all in all, perhaps, being 65 isn’t too bad. I’ve got absolutely no intention of shuffling off anywhere, least of all, off this mortal coil. I’m having too much fun.

Love Ellie x 🦢

Searching For Tomorrow

You may think me rather sombre as I write my feelings out
I concur they’re somewhat dark, as well you’ll know
Do you understand my pain, and why I try to hide my face?
My shame lives on from very long ago

I started this year well, without a tale to tell the world
But then I started digging, as you will all have read
Was that the wisest move, or should I put it all behind me?
But then I’d have to keep it in my head

My heart and soul are burdened; can I bury thoughts again?
Should I bid them on their way to pastures new?
Friends are standing by me and for that, I bless my soul
Do I really want to lose that loving view?

Oh, I’ve had my share of joys and bliss; an awful lot of fun
Along my endless travels, and on the brightest roads
So, why the saddest face and the hesitance to smile?
When I’m longing now to lose these heavy loads

I attempt to write my heart out; as it gives me real relief
Will you bear with me some more, while I search for peace?
Don’t give up or look away, as I’ll get there in the end
I’m so near the point of getting some release

I’m grateful, one and all, for your love and such kind words
They’re much appreciated, as I wend and find my way
The sun’s begun to shine and the sky’s a vivid blue
As I look forward to a better, brighter day.

Live today facing forward—with your back on yesterday, your eyes on tomorrow, and your head and heart in the moment.”

Richelle E Goodrich

Exhaustion


Photo by Anna Tarazevich – Pexels

Okay … time to be honest and confess. I’m stressed. Extremely stressed. I’ve had so much on my plate lately that I’m struggling to cope with anything other than the usual routine of life. I’ve denied my own needs and am mentally exhausted. I’m hardly even going out these days. Staying cooped up all day isn’t good for my mental health either. I’ve spent so much time and energy, both mentally and physically, getting ready for my family to stay with me, and now that the rooms are finished, I find myself in a state of near collapse. This isn’t something I like to admit readily (or publicly), yet here I am doing precisely that.

I’m w-a-a-a-y behind on so many things, not least of which is keeping up with reading my blogging friends’ posts. My brain is frazzled. My concentration shot to pieces. When I do read a post, I take it in and appreciate it and show that with a ‘like,’ but making enough sense to leave even a semi-worthy comment is proving too challenging. I’ve recently been apologising a lot for my inadequacies – for not keeping up, whether it’s reading blogs or making phone calls to friends and family.

Tomorrow, my friend has suggested we go out for lunch. She’s worried about me and tells me I need a break. She’s right, of course; admitting that to her is one thing, but admitting it to myself is something else entirely. It’ll tear me away from my laptop, to which I’ve become permanently joined at the hip, and that can’t be healthy for anyone. On Tuesdays, I take part in a garden project. It’s enjoyable, social and relaxing. I took a break from it recently as I had other priorities. I think now is the time to resume that hobby. The last time I was there, we were picking gorgeously-perfumed sweet peas – one of my favourite flowers.

One of my friends presented me with a posy of sweet peas and lavender.

Some of you will know I wrote a post about the changes going on for me at home. I wasn’t at all happy with my writing standard yesterday and seriously considered deleting it. Being a self-inflicted perfectionist isn’t doing me any favours right now. I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post and hope you will understand. I will still be here, happy to read your posts as always and perhaps, writing when inspiration strikes, but I am giving myself permission to not put myself under so much pressure to say the right things, to constantly apologise for not keeping up and making myself feel so inadequate for a while, or at least, until I’ve got my mental health sorted out a little more. So, please, don’t be offended if I don’t leave my usual style of lengthy comments. It doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate your writing; just that I need to give my mind a break.

It wasn’t easy to write this post. It feels like giving up, like failure or admitting defeat, but needs must, and I owe it to myself to be sensible. Keep writing as beautifully as you ever do, my friends, and I’ll catch up with you as and when I can. Thank you for your understanding. I appreciate it in advance. Much love, Ellie xx 💝

Fashion Shopping for the Reluctant

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

I thought I’d share this piece I wrote for part of my coursework just for something different. I had to choose something I found boring written from someone else’s perspective.

How about we meet up in town for a coffee, Ellie? It’s about time we had a good catch-up. Let’s go to Costa – they make excellent coffee there, and the cakes are delicious. I’ll meet you at 11 am outside Boots.

11 am came, and we met as planned.

Darling! Lovely to see you again; how are you doing? You look a bit tired; too many late nights? Let’s go and queue up at Costa’s – they’re bound to be busy. You grab us a table and park your wheelchair; I’ll get the coffees. What cake would you like? They make a fabulous carrot cake.

Well, that was a perfect cappuccino, and that cake was amazing. Is that the time? I wanted to go to a few shops to look for a dress for the office party. I love shopping for clothes. You don’t mind coming with me, do you? I thought you might like to help me choose. Let’s go to River Island – they sell very stylish things there. They’re a bit expensive, but it’s worth it to get something fashionable, don’t you think? I don’t want to turn up in something boring and old fashioned. Ooh! Look at that dress? It’s down the end of the shop – let’s go and have a look. And, it’s blue, my favourite colour. You don’t mind if I go and try it on, do you? No, I didn’t think you would. I won’t be long; you wait there.

Fifteen minutes later

Oh, I’m sorry I was so long, darling. You should have seen the length of the queue! I decided against that dress; it made me look frumpy. Let’s try somewhere else. We can go to H & M. They’ve got some lovely clothes in there too; they’re very stylish and cheaper than River Island. This is so exciting! Oh, look at that red top over there! I think I like that more than the dress. It’ll go with my new black trousers. I bought them in the sale at Matalan last week. I think they’d look smart together. I’ll just go and try it on. I won’t be long; the queue doesn’t look as long as in the first shop. You wait here.

Four minutes later

Nope – this top isn’t right either; it makes me look too wide around the bust. It’s such a shame; it looked so lovely on the mannequin, too. How about we go to Next? It’s only up the end of the High Street. Come on. Next is a bit pricey, but it is for a special occasion; I don’t mind paying more. Goodness, it’s getting busy everywhere. I suppose lots of people are shopping during their lunch hours. Ooh! Stop a minute. Let’s pop into Primark as we’re passing. Look! They’ve got a beautiful yellow top in the window. That’ll go well with those black trousers too, and it looks so summery. Yes, I know it’s a bit crowded to get your wheelchair through, but I’m sure you don’t mind, do you? I’ll head off to the changing rooms; you catch me up in a minute. Okay?

Ten minutes later

Ellie!? Oh, there you are. Come into the cubicle with me; you can have a proper look. What do you think of this? Don’t you love it? Do you reckon this colour suits me – come on, be honest? Personally, I think it’s my favourite item so far. You wait outside the fitting rooms while I get changed out of it. Why don’t you start queuing up; it’s a long queue? I won’t be long; I’ll be as quick as possible. Save me a place. We won’t have such a long wait to pay that way. Well, that was a bargain, wasn’t it?

Oh, hang on a tic; I’ve just seen a necklace in the window; it’ll go brilliantly with the rest of my outfit, don’t you think? I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. Wait here. I shan’t be long. The queue has died down a bit now.

Twenty-five minutes later.

I’m so sorry, Ellie. Isn’t it typical? I was standing behind this woman in the queue, and as she went to pay, she couldn’t find her credit card. The checkout girl asked if she had any cash or would she like her to put it back for her. She confirmed she had money and got her brown suede purse out of her Marks & Spencer carrier bag. Then, she asked the cashier if she’d mind taking coins as she didn’t have any notes. And then, would you believe it, she emptied her purse and counted out a mixture of pound coins, 50ps and copper and then realised she was short of £3.50! Honestly, you should have seen the checkout girl’s face! I could tell she wasn’t impressed, but she was polite and offered to put the necklace back on the stand after serving the other customers. It was my turn next, and by now, the queue had backed up all the way to the customer service till at the end. That woman got some filthy looks from the people behind her. I’d have been so embarrassed if that were me, wouldn’t you? I hope you didn’t mind waiting for me for so long; I knew you’d understand. Do you fancy another coffee? I’ll put that necklace on, and you can take a photo of me wearing it and then share it on my Facebook page. You don’t mind, do you? Oh, damn, there’s a queue for coffee now. Just our luck! Let’s call it a day! I’m glad you didn’t mind coming with me. I knew you’d enjoy it. We had such fun together, didn’t we?