Chapter 49, page 6

Middle age is when you finally get your mind together, but your body goes to pot….”

Half a century approaching, a reflectful time. My mum was 50 in 1987. I was 16 and probably a sh*t, thinking I knew better like I was the first of my kind to do anything. I’d not understanding her frequent headaches, hot flushes and snappy outbursts. Not recognise her trips round the corner shop to escape how shit she felt at home. Mama can you hear me? Cos I can relate to all that now.

Peri menopause is not a joke, the exhausting list of symptoms that seemingly sneak up on and play hostage of your body. I clearly inherited mum’s bad head, with headaches that take root and last days. I’m grateful that they don’t make me retire to my room.

Writing used to help when cancer was my enemy. I started this blog as an outlet and have left it sparse and redundant over the years as I got on with life.

When I was a teen I had shit year, where I literally did everything and anything self destructive, hurtful and ridiculous. It was such a shameful year I blocked it from my own memory until I hit 30. Then it burst its way through, probably so I could make peace with it and put it to bed. At the time, as I was in my own self absorbed bullshit, I didn’t consider the impact on my parents and now as a middle aged parent myself I feel the effects acutely now. My mum wrote to my sister in exasperation I imagine, and being a nosey teen I read the letter and saw in black and white she wished I wasn’t born. It devastated me. I couldn’t believe she felt that way,I felt ashamed I’d caused her to feel that way, ashamed of my behaviour and hurt.

in 2021 I can really understand how my mum must of felt. I appreciate that she would never have seen that coming, it wasn’t anything to do with her, and nothing she could have done would have changed my behaviour. Whilst my teenage angst wasn’t directed at her, it affected her. Profoundly. They probably did breathe a sigh of relief when I moved out. Threw a party perhaps !

The funniest (not at all funny) thing is that you don’t really know to you feel it yourself. Right now I’m living the opposite of this scenario, I’m in my mum’s perfectly heeled stilettos and my daughter is the leading lady. A long time ago I swore I’d never commit anything to paper if I was angry, sad, frustrated about anyone else. As for them to read something you’d written after you calmed down is very damaging. So I won’t, but I do get it, she didn’t mean it, well at the moment she wrote it and licked the envelope, but not 35 years later.

The morale of the story is, you have to experience life from all angles. One day I’ll be the third wheel in this, my daughter will be the exhausted mum and her mini me will be the tornado of hormones and self discovery. I’ll put the kettle on an be the listening ear…


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