Please Don’t Label Me

Please don’t label me

Let me grow up tall

Let me choose for myself

Who I want to be

I was labelled a difficult baby

Subsequently so, a child

Then an awkward teenager

An adult with disorders of the mind

I don’t like labels

If I am labelled

It adds to my load

Emotional baggage

Which goes charging

Through my life

Like a buffalo

In the Wild West

Or like a stranger entering

The Last Chance Saloon

To encounter a low-life

A corrupt villain with a blade

Who stares me out

As the midday sun gleams

And catches my eye

Through semi-closed shutters

Let me choose

Whether I live or die

If I choose to live

Let it be my decision

Don’t pin me down

Or tie me to a post

With shackles and chains

And take my options away

Don’t take my choice away

Don’t take my voice away

Let me shout out loud

My opinion counts

Let me run free

Across the dusty plains

Let me choose who I am

Don’t label me.

(Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash)

An Alternate New Year’s Day

I know it’s New Year, and much joy abounds
but I’m full of despair, and it’s really profound
I’m trying to enter into the spirit of things
but I know this week is carrying the sting

Last night, bells rang, and glasses were clinked
I sat here alone, and all I could think
was the fear inside of me is here to stay
It filled me with utter and complete dismay

At Christmas time, I had my family here
and just for a while, it allayed all my fears
The children were great; I was thankful to see
Then, darkness descended, crippling me

I’m trying to hang on to a morsel of hope
when the whole of me is fighting to cope
I feel like my world will collapse forever
as my therapy ends; our relationship severed

I’ve written a letter to say thank you so much
I’m longing for a hug or a gentle touch
I know it’s unlikely; it’s not meant to be
Boundaries are there for Chris* and for me

I’m dreading Wednesday coming this week
I can’t see a future, not even a peek
My body is shaking; my head full of fear
The feeling of grief rises up to appear.


* Chris is my therapist/counsellor (until Wednesday)




NOTE: Forgive me a while if I can’t read your writing
I love you all, but I’m tired of the fighting
.

(Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash)

My Belated Christmas

Christmas Day was miserable; completely on my own
I really felt the odd man out, just dwelling all alone
But Boxing Day was different, with family being here
My son and the little ones; I hold them all so dear

The children’s eyes lit up as they saw all the wrapping
Both of them excited, and Charlie started clapping
Off came the paper, the ribbons and the bows
Imogen’s gifts all lined up in neat, tidy rows

The afternoon was spent playing with their new toys
I didn’t mind for one minute all the chat and noise
Tom brought their dinner as they wouldn’t eat nut roast
We all enjoyed our food, and Tom ate the most

It was a joy to have them here; they stayed overnight
New pyjamas, bedtime stories and all tucked up tight
Tom and I got chatting – it made a welcome change
It didn’t seem quite natural, so felt a bit strange

We ironed out our differences, which did us both good
My Christmas Day sadness seemed to be understood
The next day, we got up very early in the morning
The children were still tired; Charlie couldn’t stop yawning

They piled all their presents high in the car’s large boot
They waved out of the windows and headed on their route
I came back indoors to start clearing up the mess
I really wasn’t bothered as I felt so very blessed

Tuesday morning came, more excitement on the way
My daughter and her family came; we had a lovely day
We went to a restaurant, had lunch and some pud
Stuffed to the brim, as the food was so good

I hadn’t seen them all for much more than half a year
So, it was such a pleasure to have them visiting here
They didn’t stay that long; they had a fair way to go
When I’ll see them again, I really don’t know

As long as the love between us is always there
There’ll always be memories for us to share
I love both my children; they bring me so much joy
My five-foot-nothing daughter and my six-foot-two boy.


Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

Lonely This Christmas

‘Lonely this Christmas’, the song sung originally by Elvis Presley. Here, sung by MUD. Lyrics shown below text.

It’s Christmas Day, and here I am, sitting all alone
while my son plays happy families at his ex-girlfriend’s home*
I woke this morning – early – as I very often do
feeling pessimistic, low in mood and deeply blue

No cards on the table or presents on the chair
No tree in the corner, no tinsel; do I care?
I speak sternly to myself, for does it really matter
I’ve eaten all the mince pies and am only getting fatter

I miss talking to my Mum so frequently today
She passed away six years ago, almost to the day
I miss our laughs, shared over long-distance cups of tea
My heart hurts without her, my darling bonne amie

I cooked a Christmas dinner; I ate enough for two
I really should have guessed it; that’s what I always do
I haven’t had my pudding yet, served with vegan cream
I’m bursting at the seams because I go to the extreme

My friend was going to phone me, but she hasn’t got the time
so I replied, ‘don’t worry – I’ll be absolutely fine’
I’m sure that she believed me, my every single word
But I knew that my sentiments had gone totally unheard

Pull yourself together, girl; it’s really not that bad
I’ve plenty to be grateful for; I ought not to be sad
I wonder if the future holds any more of the same
I honestly don’t want to play this lonely, tired game

Peanut [cat] isn’t well; she’s completely off her food
Or perhaps, she is only picking up on my sombre mood
I’m longing for my bedtime to finish this long day
Tomorrow will be better when the children come to play.


* Explanation for this line …

I really don’t know what I’ve done wrong this year. I feel very excluded and ignored this Christmas. My son, Tom, is separating from his girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend). He’s found a new partner whom he loves very much, and they are buying a new house together. Tom and his ex. have been trying to sell their house, but it’s proving difficult in this present economic climate.

For no apparent reason, Tom decided to spend Christmas with his ex., his ex’s three adult girls and his ex’s parents. I met them all before on a previous Christmas Day about four years ago. We all got on okay. I don’t understand why I wasn’t included this year – I just know that it hurts – it hurts very much. Tom only has the children every other year, so the next Christmas I can spend with them will be in two years’ time. By then, my granddaughter will be at secondary school! Children grow up so quickly.

LYRICS

Try to imagine a house that’s not a home
Try to imagine a Christmas all alone
That’s where I’ll be
Since you left me
My tears could melt the snow
What can I do
Without you
I’ve got no place, no place to go

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

Each time I remember the day you went away
And how I would listen to the things you had to say
I just break down, as I look around
And the only things I see
Are emptiness and loneliness
And an unlit Christmas Tree

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

You remember last year, when you and I were together
We never thought there’d be an end
And I remember looking at you then
And I remember thinking that Christmas must have been made for us
‘Cause darlin’, this is the time that you really need love
When it means so very very much

So it’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be so very lonely
Lonely and cold

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

Merry Christmas darlin’, wherever you are

A Merry Christmas To You All x

Here we are on Christmas Eve … where did that year go!?

Although I’ll be alone tomorrow (as will many others), I will keep myself busy. I’m determined to cook myself a tasty vegan Christmas dinner – almond and pecan loaf, roast potatoes, vegan pigs in blankets (yes, you really can get those now), chestnut stuffing and onion gravy. And, of course, not forgetting the brussel sprouts. Some people love them, like me, and others hate them with a passion! I’ve also left the wrapping of presents to do tomorrow to pass some of the time.

On Boxing Day, my son and the children are coming and sleeping over, which will be great. I love having my little ones to stay. My daughter is coming up on Tuesday with my son-in-law and the girls. I haven’t seen them since last August, so that will be lovely. So, although I’m alone tomorrow, I think of it as if I’m having my Christmas celebrations one day late, and that’s fine.

I’ll stop chatting here because I know so many of you will have a lot to do. However, if you are alone, I hope you can get through the day as best as you can. It’s hard being on your own when you feel the rest of the world is enjoying the festivities. I will be thinking of any of you who are in this situation. I wish every single one of you a lovely Christmas. I hope you can celebrate, even if in a small way.

FINALLY … Thank you from the deepest recesses of my heart for all the amazing and loving support you have given me as I’ve travelled on my somewhat difficult journey over the last few months. I don’t know where I’d be without you – you are like a family to me. I have a heartful of gratitude and feel incredibly blessed to be part of this big WordPress community. Thank you for being there for me, day in and day out. I love you all.

With much love and many warm hugs,
Ellie Xxx 💖🤗💖🤗💝🎄💝🤗💖🤗💖


Photo by Aswathy N on Unsplash

A Christmas Poem – (Dedicated To My Dear Mum)

It’ll be six years soon; I lost my dear Mum
Counting the years, five fingers, one thumb
No Christmas together, as too far away
Missing each other on this special day

We could have been sad, both so alone
But giggles (and tears) made their way down the phone
We chatted at breakfast and chatted at dinner
Turkey or nut loaf; the loaf was the winner

Opening presents that had come in the post
Mum sipping a sherry and sharing a toast
Me with an alcohol-free sparkling wine
Sober year count more than eight or nine

Reading our cards to each other out loud
Many have come from the family crowd
Dinner now ready, so we stopped to eat
Cranberry sauce; still good without meat

Christmas pudding came next, of course
Vegan cream, custard but no brandy sauce
Crackers, for one, were out of the question
I’ve eaten too much, and I’ve got indigestion

The TV is on showing Morecambe and Wise*
Jokes and throwing custard pies
Somehow, it’d got to quarter past eight
No washing up done and getting late

I’m alone once again this Christmas Day
But on Monday, the children will come and play
My wishes to all are full of good cheer
So, Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

(FOR MUM WITH LOVE – RIP 30/12/16)


(* Morecambe and Wise was a popular Christmas comedy programme in the UK years ago).


Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Dear Unknown Counsellor

Many of you will know that my counselling with Chris is ending on the 4th of January, which I’m terrified about. I would normally be there this afternoon and again next week, but the counselling agency is, understandably, closed for two weeks for the Christmas holidays and New Year. The best way I can cope with the absence of my session today is to write, so I thought I’d write a simple poem for my new, as yet unknown counsellor.


Dear Unknown Counsellor,

I’m devastated and so upset
to be away from Chris
I’ve fallen into the darkness
and straight into the abyss

I’ve no idea when I’ll meet you
Apparently, there’s a queue
Otherwise known as a waiting list
How long? I wish I knew

I do hope that we’ll get on
and in you, I’ll learn to trust
I hope you’ll understand my truths
and not view me with disgust

I write a lot of poetry
and dabble with some ‘art’
It’s just how I express myself
pouring out the whole of my heart

I have a problem with anger
I can’t get it off my chest
I can’t scream into a pillow
although I’ve tried my best

I hope I get to meet you soon
I’m scared out here all alone
I’ve been so lucky to have Chris
and the care that she has shown

*Please take away the ticking
of the therapy room’s clock
It reminds me of the horror room
and the door with the bolted lock

My heart is already broken in two
I have one more week; then, the end
I hope my words are acceptable
and these thoughts that I have penned

Where do I begin with you?
Do I have to start over again?
I think I could talk forever
dispelling this huge weight of pain.

* See previous poem The Passage of Time

(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

A Formidable Man

Yesterday would have been my father’s 93rd birthday. He has been gone for ten years now, and although it doesn’t sound very kind, I really don’t miss him. He was a cruel, mean and bitter man, who made our family life a misery for as long as I can remember. There was nothing charming about him at all ……

My Father was a formidable man; Mum called him difficult
She was right; love was never on his radar, and we knew it
He made sure we knew it, day in, day out, speaking cruel words
Any self-esteem I may have had was smashed to smithereens

He earned very good money; yet kept us all short
Our food was scarce while he dined like a king
Our clothes from jumble sales; his, only the finest
Holidays were non-existent; he jetted around the world

Meals were taken separately; us in the cold kitchen like servants
Him in the comfort of the warm living room, waiting to be served
“Are you coming down for dinner today, daddy”, I was sent to ask?
“NO!! Go down in the kitchen with your mother,” he yelled

It was like we didn’t exist in his world; our company was not required
He preferred the cricket while puffing on his stinking pipe
Balkan Sobranie (only the best), drinking scotch and eating peanuts
He stank of pipe ash and alcohol as he demanded I kiss him goodnight

I lay in bed alone in the room above the kitchen – filled with dread
Waiting for the screaming and shouting to start, the bangs and thumps
I clung on to my teddy, called Peter, and cried with fear, face in the pillow
I knew Mum would make excuses for her bruises and cuts in the morning

She wanted to protect us from the worry, fear and distress
It might have worked for the little ones – I knew better
She told me she’d fallen off a chair changing a light bulb
She had a cauliflower ear – lost her hearing in that ear

He died in 2012 – a grand funeral; kind words abounded
His friends in high places said, “so sad, such a lovely man.”
“His family will miss him greatly.” Feeling guilty, I felt nothing
Who was this man these people spoke of?




(Photo by Ron Lach : https://www.pexels.com)








The Journey – A Poem

Most of you who know me will have learned that my desperately-needed counselling has to come to an end on the 4th of January 2023 (straight after the New Year). I’m on a two-week break over Christmas at the moment. You know how terrified I am of being without Chris. I’m still on a long waiting list to enable me to see someone else; this is likely to be months rather than weeks. All the things and emotions I’ve shared with her, some of which I’ve never shared with anyone before, where do they go? Do I have to begin all over again with a new person? I’m not sure I coud bear that.

I wanted to write something for Chris to express my gratitude for all the work we’ve done together, but also to share my fear of coping without her to speak to every Wednesday.

THE JOURNEY

I wanted to write something purely for you
to say thank you for all that you’ve done and do
I came, and you helped me to open my heart
You’ve listened to poems and seen bits of art

You’ve travelled my journey alongside with me
through all the depression and anxiety
We tried to deal with my muddled eating
That was the first thing we intended treating

But, then came the flashbacks of child sex abuse
A crime committed with no good excuse
I shared secrets I’d never discussed before
Felt guilty as hell as I stared at the floor

You’ve been by my side and witnessed my pain
Taught me I’m worthy and have lots to gain
You’ve reassured me I wasn’t to blame
and helped me let go of the awful shame

Trying to deal with my anger was tough
I couldn’t scream or shout loud enough
I did once throw hard clay at the chair
Tried to imagine the bastard sat there

I poured out my soul in words, rhyme and tears
and looked at my strengths and all of my fears
I’m so grateful to you for hearing my truth
of long, long ago, back in my youth

You’ve listened to secrets and made me feel brave
and I’m dreading our final goodbye and last wave
How do I live with this loss and my pain?
I just can’t believe I won’t see you again.

With my love, Ellie Xxx 🖤🖤🖤



A Ribbon And A Bow

I thought this year would be different
but no, I should have known
While half the world is celebrating
once again, I’m on my own

Christmas is meant to bring joy
but for me, it’s another sad day
I know it is for some others, too
I wish it would all go away

It’s just like any other day;
there are no presents there for me
Couldn’t put the decorations up
Couldn’t manage a tree

I don’t want silver and gold
tied up with a ribbon and bow
I don’t need the fancy gift wrap;
that’s not how I want it to go

My family around the table;
that’s all I asked for this year
My son was coming on Christmas Day
but now he is going elsewhere

I miss my dear Mum at Christmas
We’d talk on the phone half the day
Both alone again but so far apart
before she passed away

Often, when alone on this day
I take a ride into town
to see if a soul is on the streets
I go with a smile, not a frown

I still have much to be grateful for
There are people worse off than me
There’s still beauty in the world
if I open my eyes and see

I hope you don’t feel I’m a humbug
but it’s extra tough this year
Nevertheless, I give to you
my ongoing love and good cheer.

Warm hugs, Ellie Xx 💓🌲💓