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The “Fake” Family Tree (via Monica’s Tangled Web)

The "Fake" Family Tree It was the kind of homework assignment a self-conscious Latina dreaded most. Picture if you will, 1964. LBJ is in the White House. Muhammad Ali beats Sonny Liston and is crowned heavyweight champion of the world. The Beatles make their U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. And me? I’m in Queens, attending school at P.S. 154, sitting in the second row of Mrs. Green’s third grade class. Oh, and I’m sweating bullets. For Mrs. Green, my third grade tea … Read More

via Monica’s Tangled Web

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Are you looking for the bigger picture ?

There was always something missing.I searched in vain for years, took refuge in books early on.

I looked for the bigger picture, sometimes envying people who had a faith so strong that it carried them through life’s little and bigger dramas.

Becoming a mum, I found a whole new me.It gave me more understanding and renewed compassion.

From the moment this little baby started growing inside me, nothing has ever mattered more for me than the well-being of my children.

I have found Love now, yes the big one !

I found myself, finally understanding the little girl I once was.

I now am loved unconditionally and feel secure in that knowledge.

We have lived through tough and traumatic times as a result of my health but our love lives on , growing a little more everyday.

© elleonthego



Coming from some place

  • Where  do you come from ?
  • Does it define you ?
  • What if you were born there by accident ?
  • What if you ‘d never actually lived there ?
  • What if that place has some hurtful connection ?

Why do people put so much importance on where you were born ?

Where do you come from? Oh, but where were you born ?

I was born in some place, it is not where I come from !

It does not define , should not define me !

I was only a baby who came into this world too early, by accident

This place, forever associated with me, because it appears on all my documents.

So don’t change your perception of me once you learn where I come from, because you’d be wrong and I’m so tired of having to justify myself, my roots or my nationality !

So think about it next time you harass some poor soul…but where do you come from…really …?

related post :

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/the-expat-childor-is-the-grass-really-greener/


Small mercy

Some people spend their lives in anticipation of what might happen in the future, longing for things they desire, a better job, a better house, winning the lottery…

Instead of living for now, they believe that “if” and “when” are the answers to their happiness.

“When I have …” or “If only…”

They forget that tomorrow might never happen, that life is precious and should be embraced there and now.

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die,or when.You can decide how you’re going to live now” Joan Baez

If you don’t learn to live for the moment, what makes you think you will enjoy tomorrow better ?

Sure, your life might improve but as an adult you are in control of your destiny and your happiness.

Man is fully responsible for his nature and his choices. ” J-P Sartre

As a child, I was vulnerable I might have had no power over what was happening but I chose to use my imagination and often retreated in my own universe.

As an adult, I took charge and broke the vicious circle that had been casting its shadow over my family.

We do not have to suffer our lives or wait for some miracle to happen so let’s embrace it.Even on the darkest of days, there is always something to be grateful about, some small mercy.

Remember, this is now,and now,and now.Live it, feel it and cling to it.I want to become acutely aware of all that I’ve taken for granted”  S.Plath


My mother

My mother had a habit of squirrelling money away, not that she really needed to, it was her safety net.When she died,it caused my father a huge headache, trying to trace all her different accounts, some active, others not.

She wasn’t materialistic and never spent much on herself, when she did, she’d hide the fact or felt obliged to justify herself.In some ways, I am a little bit like that too but I think it’s all too common for mums in general.

She did once tell me the story of how when her grandmother was dying, she told my mum where she  had hidden her little nest egg and she wanted her to have it.My mother, being a dutiful daughter told her mother who promptly took it all away.

My mother was at the time married to a violent man.He beat her up whilst pregnant with her son.In those days, divorce was much frowned upon.Eventually, despite her hopes of  ever happy family, she came to the conclusion that she would have to leave.

She was a formidable woman, not the kind you can push around easily, she was also very strong-willed and stubborn, it runs in the family, on the women side anyway.

It goes to show abuse knows no boundaries or classes.

My mother came from a very well to do family, her divorce was seen a complete disgrace.She struggled to raise her son without any help, her own wealthy parents never lifting a finger.

By the time she met my father, she’d done well for herself and had some security.She never fully trusted my father, even though they had a child together, yes, me.

I always remember her telling me that when I married, I was to hide all assets and not share everything I owned.

Sadly, she never did get to enjoy the benefits of her hard work and savings, she became very ill and died when I was a teenager.I watched her becoming very weak, a shadow of herself, yet, she could still terrify everybody, myself included.

I’m not materialistic at all and dislike talking or even thinking about money.I’m not a great spender either but do enjoy splashing out on my children.

When it comes to trust, I could not live with someone I didn’t trust wholly and completely.I’m not just talking about money but much more than that, this deep knowledge that you are loved and respected.

Friends who know my background have often wondered how I could talk about my mother in a positive way after the childhood I had.Well, first of all, she was my mother and I loved her, growing up, I didn’t know any different.

Piecing it altogether, I can reflect on the fact she also had an unhappy childhood and she endured many struggles.Her illness and subsequent death were an almighty shock.

The more I grew in myself, the more I understood her and how difficult life had been for her at times.

Even after all these years, I still think of her and understand a little more all the time.There are many things I wish I could tell her as an adult and no longer the frightened little girl I was.

When I became a mum myself, I watched friends with their mums feeling a little pang, we wouldn’t have had that sort of relationship, I know but…

I strive to do the best I can for my children, hopefully being a fraction of the mum I want to be.Nothing else matters more to me than being a loving mum with happy and well-balanced children.No achievement of any kind could prevail over this.

I’m the lucky one, I broke the vicious circle in my family, friends will know what I’m talking about.No matter what happens in your past, you can change and prevent history from being repeated.

P.S. I cannot re-read myself at this point,too raw.

This post was a long-time coming, I just had to find it in me to write it down.

It has also been inspired by my wonderful friend Ana and her post: http://www.womenontheverge.net/blogs/entry/Is-Money-a-Dirty-Word-

She is also the founder of a wonderful community, go check it out : http://www.womenontheverge

Mr Whinger and co

Yep, you know the type, always complaining and it never is their fault! I lived with  a whinger once, it exhausted me and slowly took my spirit away little by little.

If they do get to apologise, it is invariably followed by a “if” or a “but”.Well, what does that mean? ☹

Either you’re sorry or you’re not ! Saying “I’m sorry if I hurt you” or  “I’m sorry but …” doesn’t really say you’re sorry but implies somehow you’re the one to blame or  being difficult.It trivialises the issue.

I tend to be a giver, a carer and a worrier.I’m the shoulder people cry on but sometimes I need to offload too.

When I first met Mr Whinger, I was a bubbly person. ☺

I’ve always been optimistic and he was Mr Pessimistic.After a while, it rubs off on you, you try and resist it but ultimately it wore me down, probably because I was going through a very difficult time and I was rather poorly.Where was my shoulder for me to cry on?

So after all the crises and the loneliness I had to make a choice but hey, life is full of them, isn’t it?!

One thing I also found is that living with a pessimistic ruins your social life, friends wanted to meet up with me but curiously they wer never too keen to visit us at home.

I’m really sorry for Mr Whinger by the way, sorry you thought the whole world was against you and you isolated yourself not letting anyone in.I wished you’d let me in,I had so much love to give and you knew it, only didn’t know how to respond to it.

☆ “It takes a genius to whine appealingly.” F.Scott Fitzgerald quote

Time…the greatest healer ?

Although at times I’ve felt overwhelmed with sorrow and grief, I don’t think I was ever depressed.Somehow I always managed to push myself a little further.

A recent article I read this morning states that 1 in 6 of us suffers from depression.

I remember a visit to my doctor a couple of years ago.I’d gone to see him reluctantly, still raw from the pain .I had no intention of opening up, just wanting to get this visit over and done with.

I was still undergoing treatment having been extremely ill and suffering a massive pulmonary embolism in the bargain.

Having dealt with the necessary blood tests and adjusting medications, he then very gently asked me how I was doing.I found it  hard to deal with such kindness but having tried to fight furiously the tears welling up in my eyes, I gave up the pretence.

I admitted I was angry, I felt that losing my baby was a tragedy that could have been prevented and I felt guilty for not having a body better suited to carrying a baby.

I didn’t want anybody to be kind to me, I just wanted to be left alone, my only comfort being that having survived, I could look after my children.

My doctor then asked to take this test and on completing it, told me ever so gently that I was not depressed but grieving.I suppose, deep down, I must have known that but having my doctor saying it validated my pain and feelings.

It was ok to grieve and his words freed me.All the consultants and medical people had been focussing on the risk I was still under and that didn’t leave much room for feelings as is often the case.

People around me either didn’t know or considered I was lucky to have survived and well, I had two children already and this one hadn’t even been born.

Soon afterwards, this idea came to me.The children and I bought a balloon, decorated it with messages and then released it in the garden.

It was painful, excruciatingly painful.As we watched it float away towards the sky, my daughter cried, finally releasing the pain and tears some “well-intentioned” person had told her not to show in my presence.

I felt relieved to see her releasing all these emotions.We hugged and cried together, healing ourselves and each other.

I’ll never forget my baby, a baby so longed for, so wanted.I will always wonder what he would have looked like and still feel the pain of not having held him in my arms.

The road to recovery was long and painful.Time does heal you eventually so does love and children.The two children I am indeed very lucky to have.

How life evolves, surprising you at every corner.There was a time, not so long ago when I felt utterly broken.I did will myself to survive and get through this.I chose life!

I thought back then that the most I could hope for was to make my children happy and raise them the best I could.

I couldn’t believe I would be truly happy again, that I would feel so full of life again and vibrant.

I felt that after having been through so many heartbreaks and difficult times, I had lost my optimism that had pulled me through all the unhappiness in my past.I’d stopped believing in me.

Now, I know better, my true self overcame these negative feelings and triumphed.Through all the trials and tribulations life throws at us, there is always hope.

As a young child I believed and hoped, it made me a survivor.We are free to survive our lives and to live them to the fullest.Given time and hope, it is amazing what you can accomplish.

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/i-knew-you-already/

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/second-edition/

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/mother-love/

https://elleamberley.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/living-in-fear/