Tag Archive | child

After I had nowhere left to hide

 

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. 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.

First I ran, found myself and when I had nowhere left to hide I confronted my past.

 

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Virgin Suicide

Virgin suicide

As luck would happen while going through my notes the other day ( I’m a messy writer) I came across the first piece I wrote in French.

Why did I write it in French? Perhaps because I was in France and my memories had been stirred, I’d just gone through an amazing change in my life following a very distressing period of my life.

I wrote about this in my first poem,  in a funny way it was easier to express my thoughts in French, less hurtful.

The last few days I’ve been thinking about suicide anyway having read Ann Scott’s  powerful article in a french newspaper where she talks about the loss of her friends.

Why do some people think about suicide and others actually go through with it?
  • for some, it’s a cry for help.
  • others are determined to end it all.
  • some go through a moment of despair and are sometimes quite glad that they haven’t succeeded.


Children think about killing themselves too. They might not know what suicide is but they get so desperate that  they want to end it all.

I remember being one of them, I was very young when the thought of dying became much more appealing than living.I was a very unhappy child, one that suffered abuse.

I thought about it on and off through my childhood, for me it was the easy way out at the time.

Then I grew up and took control of my life.I never thought about dying past that point until one day life played another nasty trick on me.

I was going  through a very difficult and emotionally draining time. Everything was falling apart but I had my children and I was strong.

One day, I became pregnant again, was overjoyed, another little one to cuddle and love.I was very ill sure but it didn’t matter, except this time it was a lot more serious and soon I was  fighting for my life. I found myself at the back of an ambulance not knowing whether I’d see my children again.

Then it all went black until I woke up and the baby was gone.

There were times after that when I did not want to fight anymore and the temptation was there to let this illness claim my life too. Then I looked at my children and it sparked me back into action. It was a very small spark to begin with, it took time.

More than ever I respect life as always, life is precious and we all have something to give, sometimes it just takes time to appreciate what we can all achieve.

If you take your life, that’s final, you don get a chance to make your life better. I could never inflict that on my children.

I suppose I’ve always had a strong survival instinct, a belief deep down that there is always a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels.

That’s why I explain to my children that life is a long endless cycle.Many things may happen,little and not so little tragedies but sooner or later there will be rejoicing again.It’s the circle of life.

 

Note from Indio Press

LOST IN YOUR TIME, Elle’s next novel is partly inspired by the events above. As most of her novels, it turns out to be amazingly positive despite touching on dramatic events.

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Extreme parenting in all cultures

I shuddered when reading the reviews and interviews of Amy Chua.

One example :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jan/15/amy-chua-tiger-mother-interview


She reminded me too much of my own mother, and no, she wasn’t Chinese. Rather she was from a certain background and a generation stuck in the past. I don’t believe this is necessarily a case of Chinese vs Western styles, you can find extreme ways of parenting in all cultures.
Children need love and encouragement, not being put down and threatened all the time. We all have our own strengths. Children should not feel bad if they’re less able in one are, they might be great in another. All talents are needed, otherwise, there would be no point, if we were all capable of doing absolutely everything!

I expect most children raised in this way rebel sooner or later. I’m not Chinese but the system she advocates is not far off the way my mother treated me.
It doesn’t make for happy children or adults. I had to learn to shake off all the labels and the fear.

With my children, I am the complete opposite. I want them to feel loved and have the confidence to find their strengths and thus give their best.

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


http://thegoodchinesemother.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/challenging-chua/

http://blog.seattlepi.com/parentingadabsurdum/archives/235930.asp

Homeschool fun

My daughter completed a project on otters and gave us a presentation today. She enlightened us with various facts at the end.

Baby otters do not like water. Mums have to push them in the water.

LOL Her little brother thought it hilarious.

On another note, she has just completed another short story which has been entered in a competition. Fingers crossed!

She certainly has caught the bug and is forever looking at my wordcount. Yes, Mummy is writing her new book and is not tweeting much, apologies to fellow birds. I shall be back!


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



Virgin suicide

As luck would happen while going through my notes the other day ( I’m a messy writer) I came across the first piece I wrote in french.

Why did I write it in french? Perhaps because I was in France and my memories had been stirred, I’d just gone through an amazing change in my life following a very distressing period of my life.

I wrote about this in my first poem,  in a funny way it was easier to express my thoughts in french, less hurtful.

The last few days I’ve been thinking about suicide anyway having read Ann Scott’s  powerful article in a french newspaper where she talks about the loss of her friends.

Why do some people think about suicide and others actually go through with it?
  • for some, it’s a cry for help.
  • others are determined to end it all.
  • some go through a moment of despair and are sometimes quite glad that they haven’t succeeded.


Children think about killing themselves too.They might not know what suicide is but they get so desperate that  they want to end it all.

I remember being one of them, I was very young when the thought of dying became much more appealing than living.I was a very unhappy child, one that suffered abuse.

I thought about it on and off through my childhood, for me it was the easy way out at the time.

Then I grew up and took control of my life.I never thought about dying past that point until one day life played another nasty trick on me.

I was going  through a very difficult and emotionally draining time.Everything was falling apart but I had my children and I was strong.

One day, I became pregnant again, was overjoyed, another little one to cuddle and love.I was very ill sure but it didn’t matter, except this time it was a lot more serious and soon I was  fighting for my life.I found myself at the back of an ambulance not knowing whether I’d see my children again.

Then it all went black until I woke up and the baby was gone.

There were times after that when I did not want to fight anymore and the temptation was there to let this illness claim my life too.Then I looked at my children and it sparked me back into action.It was a very small spark to begin with, it took time.

More than ever I respect life as always, life is precious and we all have something to give, sometimes it just takes time to appreciate what we can all achieve.

If you take your life, that’s final, you don get a chance to make your life better.I could never inflict that on my children.

I suppose I’ve always had a strong survival instinct, a belief deep down that there is always a light at the end of the darkest of tunnels.

That’s why I explain to my children that life is a long endless cycle.Many things may happen,little and not so little tragedies but sooner or later there will be rejoicing again.It’s the circle of life.