Thursday, 27 March 2014

The End

I've been blogging since 2nd June 2012, two weeks after John's untimely death.

Sharing my thoughts and feelings on here has been my counselling, my psychotherapy, my shoulder to cry on, I've come to depend on this blog as one would an old, dear friend.
But, events lately have left a sour taste in my mouth, I have effectively 'killed' my own blog. 
I cannot continue writing it.

Last week I wrote a blog chapter which was worded in such a way as to offend, humiliate and upset...this was never, ever my intention, ever. I was trying to paint a picture and instead it came across as personal, which it most definitely was not. 
Thankfully, my apology was accepted.
My blog has never been about followers, about the audience that read this, I don't care and have never really cared for a following. I write, I get it out of my head, I move on. 
But, this situation reminds you that there is an audience out there, people are reading this and so, in my opinion, one must ensure that what one writes is appropriate.
Some might say that it's all about Freedom of Speech and this case they're wrong, it's not, it's about knowing right from wrong and I was very wrong.

So, with this in mind, I am no longer writing this blog.
I have had my typing fingers well and truly burnt and I can't, with good conscience, carry on.
I have been troubled by my last chapter (which I removed and deleted) ever since I was informed of it's offending nature.....I am still troubled by it.
I don't mind admitting that I have had one or two nights of crying myself to sleep, for many reasons, but mostly because I feel disgusting, cruel and extremely embarrassed. 
This blog was supposed to be a positive, to make sense of grief and loss and mourning, not to hurt and humiliate and upset and offend.
I hadn't really finished with the blog, it does 'help' me, and I don't really want to let it go but I have to.
I will have to find other ways to deal with unanswered questions and issues that are still bouncing around in my head. 
Who knows, maybe one day I will actually speak to someone about it all.
But, at the moment it's beginning to feel like yet another 'loss', I feel tearful just typing this.

Over the months, complete strangers have messaged me and told me of their own journeys, how they have found similarity through reading this blog, how this blog has helped them to understand what they are also going through, etc, etc. 
And so I will leave this blog here on the t'interweb, who knows who might stumble upon it and how it might help them deal with the loss of a loved one.....without it I don't know that I would actually be here today.
To those that have read it, commented on it, followed it, messaged me, kept an eye on me, loved me, been there for me, I have just two very important words.........


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The Past Is In The Past

Today was going to be a very big day for me.
This morning, 150 ish miles away in Somerset, I was going to be interviewed for a job.
The position was PA to the CEO of ScrewFix, a national builder's/trade company, a huge company.
A good job, good money, good benefits.

A week ago today, I spent the entire day on the computer searching for jobs, emailing my CV, sending letters of application, etc, etc.
While I was doing it, in the back of my mind, there was a thought, a seed of an idea.
What if I didn't go back to London, what if I went to Yeovil in Somerset instead?
Exactly halfway between London and Cornwall, it's also where my family live.
A win, win I thought.
I changed tack, starting searching online for jobs in Yeovil, recruitment agencies, etc.....within one hour I'd had a telephone conversation and had the job interview secured and one hour!!

Yesterday, after another weekend of too much thinking, I decided to pull out of the interview.

I LOVE Cornwall. 
I truly, honestly love it here. 
The people are lovely, the scenery is beautiful, it's relaxing, the dogs have the best quality of life, and for me, it does exactly what I wanted it to, it helps me heal, it allows me to become me again, it restores balance where this is too often chaos.

Going to London was led more by emotions that anything else, I was trying to return to an old life that no longer exists. 
My old life died the day my handsome, wonderful Husband died quite frankly. 
I was never, ever going to be the same from that day forward, never.

Going to Yeovil was predominantly for the work prospects but also to be closer to that gorgeous little niece of mine.

However, wherever I had ended up, I would have been running away, running, running, running. 
Had I moved it would have taken only a few months and I would have wanted to move again and again and again, never settling, constantly searching for, looking for, hoping for something that resembled my old life.....

It. Does. Not. Exist. Anymore.

I have to let it go.

Friends and family can visit Cornwall and I can visit friends and family, it's really not that difficult and, although it feels like it, I'm really not that far away. 
Going to Kent last week proved that 5 hours in the car goes by very quickly when you have something wonderful to look forward to at the end of the journey!

And then there's "The Chap".
We've been dating on and off (but mostly on) since early October 2013.
How fucking selfish am I to say, yes we can date, we can go out, but I'm going to do what I want to do with my life, I'm going to go where I want, do what I want and you just have to put up with it and take it on the chin, no matter the consequences or decisions I make.
That is fucking selfish. 

And so, from this day forth, the future looks like this:

Max, Millie and Me are staying in Cornwall, this is our HOME.
I will stop over-thinking everything.
I have a boyfriend, his name is Justin and he is very lovely.
I will allow myself to be happy instead of feeling guilt, guilt, GUILT.

Anything and everything else will happen, it's Life, that's what Life does, it happens.
I fully fucking intend to enjoy it and live it, here in Cornwall, with my dogs and my new boyfriend....!!!

I'm never going back, the past is in the past.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Happy Birthday Husband

Today, 26th February, is John's birthday.
Today he would have been 55.

This is him in Kerala in southern India (he could never smile in 'posed' pictures!!!).
I took him there for his 50th birthday.
The same year we married.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Before I went away this weekend I knew in my head and heart that it would 'throw a spanner in the works', that it would play with my thoughts, making me question my location, my life, everything.

Firstly, let me say how much I really, really enjoyed seeing Heather and her family, how much I enjoyed being back in familiar territory, how much I enjoyed getting away from Cornwall for a weekend, having been here continuously for over a year. 
Heather and I have one of those relationships where we don't see each other often, but when we do we pick up where we left off, simples. 
It's comfortable, it's lovely, it's easy, it's honest, it's proper friendship, I love and adore her to the moon and back.
Heather was there almost from the minute I got the call that John had fallen ill.
Heather picked me and John's Boys up from the airport when we came back from Germany for the very last time.
Heather helped me sort John's clothes and she took them to the charity shop for me.
Heather is fucking amazing!
I imagined that when I saw her for the first time I would cry, but no, the tears came the following day, in her car, the minute we drove over a hill and I saw the London skyline on the horizon. 
The same London skyline I used to see every day when walking the dogs in Honor Oak Park. 
The same London skyline John and I shared for 10 years (I can't tell you how much I miss the flat on Devonshire Road!!!).
The same London skyline where I once worked.
The same London skyline where the majority of my friends are and where I feel, quite frankly, that I left my Hubby and my life.
The same London skyline I hadn't seen since the day I left London for Cornwall.
I saw The Shard from the car and it literally caught my breath, the tears welled and I cried.
I didn't expect that, I honestly didn't.
While we were out walking the dogs, one of my best friends text me and told me that he was only 30 minutes away from us on the train. 
Again, I felt close and yet so far (but not 300 miles away in west Cornwall!).

So let's talk about Cornwall.......

In a nutshell, the dream has turned a tad sour lately.
Not only have I had my back/sciatica issues to contend with (being off sick means no pay and no statutory sick pay as I don't earn enough!), my hours have reduced here, there and everywhere, I am home more than I am at work.
I am haemorrhaging money just to live.
Jobs are few and far between.
I have been proactive and sent my CV and a covering letter to employers in the area, whether they have vacancies or not, seeking employment.
I have actively marketed myself to no avail.
I am seriously considering paying for an advert in the local newspaper advertising myself for hire, but it's an expense that I don't want to outlay, but maybe I have to.
My 'runner up in Britain's Next Top PA competition' in 2011 is all over my CV but it doesn't change anything, even for an administrative job, never mind a PA one.
I have applied for a couple of PA/Administrator jobs recently but I never hear a thing, no one wants to employ a middle aged male secretary here in Cornwall - and I do firmly believe it's an age/sex thing for me.
Cornwall is stuck in the dark ages sometimes!
I know I got that PA job in February last year but that really was the wrong time, my head was all over the place....but there's been nothing since.
The turquoise sea and golden sands of Cornwall are one thing, but living here is quite another, even on beautiful, warm sunny days like today. 
The underbelly of this beast is harsh and unforgiving, work is hard to find, salaries are low and making ends meet is not's no continuous summer holiday, not that I came here thinking that, but it is most definitely much, much harder than I had anticipated.
I know I was on a London salary but the high end PA jobs here, comparable in work to what I did in London, are paid approximately 50% less than I was earning!
I should have researched the employment market more.
I should have researched the jobs market more.
I should have researched the salaries more.
I should have researched more!!!!

Being gay in's not easy.
It's hidden, it's underground, it's not something the majority of people here talk about or even recognise.
The gay population here is minimal, they pretty much do the opposite to what I have done and move to the big city.
I have met a couple of people that will be friends but there's no 'gay life' here.
I have had men contact me to see if I want to meet up while their wife was at the supermarket........!!!!!!
It's closeted, it's practically non-existent.
It makes me feel very lonely.
John and I weren't on the London gay scene very much but there's not even a gay pub until you pretty much get to Devon!
Again, I should have researched more!!!!!

I am aware that I am painting a very negative picture, but to be honest (and that's what this blog was always going to be!), it is a very negative picture.
I'm not earning much.
I'm still missing my life in London.
I'm thinking far too much.

The 'solution', if there is one, would be for me to find a decently paid, full time, monday to friday job.
It would give me full time work.
It would give me income.
It would give me a social life (I can't afford one at the moment!).
It would give me a sense of being settled here, which is what I want.
It would stop me thinking too fucking much.

I only have two or three months to decide one way or the other what I am going to do.
This lovely little house tenancy is up for renewal in July.
I am fast running out of money - I have enough to move back or enough to sign on for another 6 months here.
The choice, as they say, is mine.
Only I can decide.

But that's the problem, I don't know what to do!!!

I'm not working full time, but I'm applying for decent jobs and hearing nothing.
I don't have a social life really, but I can't afford one anyway.

The dogs have a wonderful life here, they're walked daily in woods and fields and around rivers, etc.
As I am typing, the sun is shining, it's an absolutely beautiful day here in Cornwall, it's warm and Spring is on her way, it's gorgeous.
It's absolutely fantastic for the dogs.

But it's not absolutely fantastic for all of us.
I am feeling more negative than I have been for a long time.
I shouldn't have left my job.
I shouldn't have left my lovely flat.
I shouldn't have left my Hubby.
I shouldn't have left the majority of my friends.
I shouldn't have left London.
In hindsight (a wonderful thing!!!) perhaps a sabbatical would have been a far better and wiser option.

I really, honestly, truly do not know what to do for the best.

Monday, 17 February 2014

'The Chap'

I have no idea what he sees in me.
I have no idea why he wants to put himself through it. and 'The Chap' are dating again.
The human 'push-me-pull-you' is back in my life.

The talented Björk once sang 'I am a fountain of blood in the shape of a girl'.
Well, I am a warehouse of baggage in the shape of an old, bald, overweight man.

The many and varied reasons I could and couldn't go out with him were rational, they were irrational, they were reasons nonetheless.

But, one thing I wasn't doing was ALLOWING myself to date without that old spectre they call Guilt....and I have it in bucket loads.
I feel guilty for finding another man attractive.
I feel guilty for touching another man that isn't John.
I feel guilty as though I am cheating on John.
I feel guilty because I worry that people will think me a bastard to John's memory, that it's too soon.
I feel guilty.

I know this is friends and family have been nothing but supportive, assuring me that I shouldn't feel guilty at all. 
In fact, (and you know how I hate this, but.....) John would probably want me to get on with my life and live it, that's what life is for, to LIVE it.

For his part, 'The Chap' is brilliant, taking most of it in his stride.
One thing I made him do was read this blog.
I wanted him to be aware of everything, no stone left unturned, no information he didn't know about this journey of mine. 
He needed to know, to be prepared, to be forearmed when those dark days appear and I am less than myself, smothered in Grief, whether it be minutes or hours. 
So now he knows.

And, for my part, I cannot very well date someone and not talk about the last 12 years of my life, whether they were because John and I grew apart, he dumped me or he died. The reason doesn't really matter WHY I am single, what matters is that I can feel free to talk about John, about our relationship, adventures, etc, etc.
'The Chap' lets me do this and more.
He's a good, kind, honest, generous, quiet temperament he is the polar opposite of John and I am VERY glad about that. 
He's not like John at all, which actually makes it 'better' for me....and probably for him if I'm honest!

I'm going to try my hardest to not overthink any of this, I'm going to try and enjoy the journey, see where it goes and not panic!!!

Oh......the dogs adore him!!!!!!!

I have also made a decision with regards to Cruse Bereavement.......I'm not doing it.
I'm not avoiding it.
I'm not running away from the issues in my head.
'The Chap' probably has something to do with it, but, my mood has lifted, a couple of the issues have been resolved simply by dating him.
And, she let me down two weeks running with excuses about not being able to drive through Cornwall, on days when I received log deliveries and workmen were on my conservatory roof fixing a leak. 
I wasn't impressed at all.
She won't be hearing from me again.
I'll deal with my life, my way, in my own time.

Whether or not 'The Chap' sticks around, I think I'm going to be ok.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Oops, I did it again.....

Once more I have hurt someone who is lovely.
Last night, after a delicious meal cooked by him, I sat there in his home, almost in tears again, and explained again, why I couldn't have a relationship, again.
I upset him, I hurt him, I disappointed him, again!
I made him cry for goodness sake!
Haven't there been enough tears and hurt and sadness?
But there I go again, hurting another innocent on my roller coaster ride through Grief while trying to find me, myself and I all at the same time.

I can't do it, I put far too much pressure on myself for it to 'feel right'.
I crave company, closeness, love and intimacy, but as soon as it presents itself, I turn the other way and I run.
In the process I hurt and upset perfectly lovely people.

John's death absolutely broke my heart, I don't want to be breaking them too, I know only too well how shitty it feels!!!
I'm not entirely sure my tattered, battle bruised and weary heart is ready to pump for someone else, there's still so much it contains for my Husband that I fear it cannot contain feelings for another any time soon.
Not right now anyway.

Singledom once again beckons.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Surprise, Surprise!

As expected, and with little surprise, I received the call from 'Brenda' advising me that, due to this bloody fucking weather, she's not coming. At least she let me down an hour and a half before the appointment this time.

I didn't actually expect her to arrive, so this time around I don't feel so bad, no wailing, crying, no emotional outburst.
But, I am disappointed. 
Once again I have been let down.
I have identified that I need to speak to someone and now, against my wishes, the Gods and Goddesses are conspiring against me.
I am really, REALLY tempted to just say 'Fuck it, I won't do it, I'll cope, I'll get by'.
What I don't want to do is go through life with all these unanswered questions, all this non-closure, all these 'Whys' in my head and, as much as my friends and family have been fucking amazing, they can't help me with these, whereas a trained counsellor can....if I ever fucking well see one!!!!!
So, I do need to see someone, talk to someone, but the longer this goes on, the more 'confused' I am, the more I am fixating on words, situations and memories that are eating away at me, making me feel like I want to scream, making me angry inside, making me sad, low and unhappy.

For the record, I've had a delivery of logs and a man has been to fix my wood burner (that's the truth, not a filthy euphemism!!!), so I do wonder why 'Brenda' can't get her words, "I've just been out in the car and the roads are covered in twigs" she can't get to me because....?????


While I'm here I may as well chip in on the dating game......
I'm really not sure about it.
Not from his point of view, not because of him, nothing to do with him actually, he's done nothing wrong, he's being completely lovely and charming and sincere, it's totally, completely, 100% me.
I feel such pressure (self inflicted!). 
I know it's going to feel odd, strange and weird but it feels really odd, strange and weird. 
Sometimes uncomfortably so, to the point where it feels like I need to leave the room, be on my own again, avoid the 'situation'.
I know it's going to take time to get used to being with a man that isn't John, this I do know, but is he getting a fair crack of the whip?
Am I giving him a chance?
I've dragged him in and pushed him away more than once as I said before. 
I don't want to do that again to him, the very thought makes me feel like a fucking c*nt (sorry, but it's the most appropriate word I could come up with!!!).
Some days I don't feel like I am giving him a chance, I am very much doom and gloom at the moment (I spent almost all of yesterday crying uncontrollably) and I'm not really sure which way to turn.
I have the counselling to sort, my head (and heart) to sort, and some other 'uncomfortable' worries I'm not sharing on here.
I don't know that it's a good time to drag some poor man through all of John McKenna's "Life Shite" (or should that be Shite Life?!), and there's a lot of it, believe me!!!
BUT, he gives me distraction, a welcome one at that. Perhaps I should just use him for regular uncomplicated sex (I'm only half joking!!!!!)
So, once again, as you can plainly see for yourself, I am all peaks and troughs in my head.
I don't know which way to turn or the best decision to make.
I really don't.

Now, where's my Vodka???