I Suppose I Did For Five Minutes…But That Was Over Three Years Ago

Four years ago, I felt as if I could not go home, because I did not want to see Jack ever again. I was out with friends, and instead of going home, I went to a park, sat on a bench and cried. The next morning I woke up in an ambulance. I don’t think I want to think and write about it…any of it. I just want to enjoy my time with Goldfinch. Think of me…right now…in his arms…please be happy for me. 🙂

forest-2823910_1920

Will you forgive me for not being to keep up with every writing prompt that has caught my attention recently?  I have so many that I have started and are sitting in my drafts folder waiting for me to finish them.  Some I am determined to complete at some stage.

I loved the writing prompts in the August Write Away Challenge hosted by Sarah Elizabeth Moore

This is one of the posts I didn’t want to give up on:

When I lived in our family home, which for most of my childhood was with my parents, my brother and my two younger sisters (my older sisters are so much older, they had left home to go to university by the time I had started school) I never ever wished to run away.  I felt truly at home.  There were occasional challenges, but I was blessed to be reared in a haven of dependable love and trust.  Here is a photo of happy me…with my hair in pretty much the same state as this morning!

However, I left home in order to be able to work as a volunteer in a part of the country where there were a stack of projects and not many volunteers (partly because the cost of living in that area is so high).  Although the first year was hard, because I missed my family and friends up north so much, it did not really take me too long before I started to feel at home down south.  I made many wonderful friends and fell in love with the countryside.  I ended up living on the grounds of a beautiful stately home and being allowed to roam their gorgeous estate, and because they trusted me, I paid peanuts for my accommodation, which was another fortuitous factor in my volunteer career in the south of England.

 

Moving to London to become a full-time international volunteer was like a dream.  I had a rare opportunity as a single women to be chosen from many thousands who submitted applications.  That year there were two single women and sixty single men who met the criteria. Because of the physical demands and difficulties in the various challenging assignments, the number of single men vastly outweighs the number of single women. The physical, emotional, mental tests they put you under are designed to reveal if you really can take on a self-sacrificing role and if you really can be sent anywhere in the world and adapt to any way of living.

It was like coming home…even though I had been happy before.  I was happy on a different level. Everything felt right. The routine, the dignity, the rewarding work, the huge numbers of people I saw and worked with. I found I didn’t miss receiving wages. My main assignment would be in London, but at any point I could be sent elsewhere. I loved the astonishing variety London life offered. I found that I was thriving in this life-style.

celebrity.jpgHowever, as you may be aware if you have read some of the posts that relate to what crushed Caramel, it was here in London, that I faced a challenge the likes of which I had not faced before. It was no joke, though I think a lot of people were laughing.  If I can blame anyone or anything…I would like to blame “celebrity culture” and the puerile use of social media.

Sometimes it all feels like a blur, but it was two and a half years at least and it wore me down. The point at which I reached my limit was when rumours started (I think I know who started them) that I was having an affair with a married man, the husband of one of my close friends and workmates.  I was devastated (because this is not me).

After my friend and workmate, who was as distressed as I was about the rumours involving her husband, screamed at me within a public building in front of crowds of people, I was called into an office with two directors who were concerned about the incident and wanted to understand what was happening. They mentioned Jack. They knew him well and thought that he and I had gone from a romance to estrangement to bitter jealousy. I refused to discredit Jack.  I stood my ground and insisted that he was not to blame (although in my heart, I was certain he was).  They made it clear though that they wanted us to sort this out because they could not have anyone screaming in rage in the middle of a reception area were scores of visitors had been appalled by what they had seen.

More than ever, I wanted to talk with Jack and ask why, why, why was he doing this?  But all I received for months was glares and grimaces.  He made it clear that he was nursing a grudge.  A grudge that I could not comprehend.  Then that summer, I received some very concerning news about a relative who had become involved in a criminal court case and was featured in the news.  That situation deepened my anxiety and stretched me to the limit as I did all I could to help practically.  The last thing I needed was abject hostility from a man who was still sleeping in a bed just metres away from my own bed.

elevatorSo after seeing him frequently and feeling intensely shunned and despised by him…it was that evening when I was going out to meet my friends and I pressed the button for the elevator. The door opened and there he was.  His eyes full of disdain.

There was no way I was going to be able to stand inside the elevator on my own with him. So I took a couple of steps back and let him carry on alone.  That’s the last time I saw him close up. That was the moment I decided I wanted to run away from my beloved home to escape the nightmare.

I enjoyed the evening with my friends, but there was a huge surge of pain and despair that I was hiding from everyone…one of the girls who lived near me wanted to drive me home, but I said I would like to walk as it was still light. And walk I did, but in the opposite direction of home. That was my moment of running away from home. I walked towards the local park. On the opposite side of the park a fairground had popped up that weekend and there was a carnival atmosphere amongst the people I passed on the way to the park.

It was a beautiful summer’s evening.  It had been one of the hottest days of the year. There were joggers and dog-walkers and teenagers sitting in the grass talking and laughing when I arrived and when I sat down on a bench.

I was so consumed with despair, I did not notice that daylight had fled completely and there was no longer anyone else in the park, until a stranger sat down on the bench besides me.

Here is a strange coincidence about that location.  When I went back to that spot some time later (not on my own) I found my front door keys still there. Which was the most strange feeling. I didn’t find my missing shoe…navy with a slight frill detail above the toe, but I found my front door keys. They had been lying there undisturbed all that time. Even the police must have missed them.  I almost felt as if they had been waiting for me. It was a profound encouragement to me!

Over three years later, I still have not made it back home yet.  But I am working towards it!

 

FOWC with Fandango — Number

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/your-daily-word-prompt-fortuitous-september-22nd-2018/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/carnival/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/three-things-challenge-22-sept-2018/

 

 

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I Couldn’t Get My Head Past The Plane

cartoons.jpgI normally watch children’s film’s. I feel safer with them. They make me laugh and I enjoy them. Adult films are not something I enjoy (and I just mean any film that is not rated as suitable for a universal audience or perhaps those for parental guidence), there are very likely going to be scenes that I don’t enjoy. When I stop enjoying a film, I leave the room. My friends carry on watching it, but they know what I am like, so they don’t ask if I want them to pause the movie.

I start pottering around the kitchen, washing and drying dishes, folding up the tea-towels neatly, rearranging the cups and mugs in cupboards or see if my friends have any magazines lying around.

My friends told me they thought I would like the film “The English Patient”. I could tell there was some nice cinematography – but it was much too adult for me, right from the start. I felt the dread that comes over me when I feel uncomfortable in a situation and have an urge to escape. I could not sit and watch it, yet my curiosity was piqued and I did want to know what happened to the main characters.

Towards the end of the movie, my friends yelled, “Quick! Get in here!”

I rejoined my friends and watched as the plane carrying the two main characters crashed. He grabbed her from the pit she was sitting in. He carried her through the desert sands to a cave. They both realized he would have to go for help. She would have to stay in the cave alone waiting.

Tears started streaming down my face because now I understood the scenes right at the start of the movie. The aeroplane at the start which was on fire. Totally different scenario. That was after he had managed to get back to the cave.

I cried for weeks afterwards. This is why I cannot watch adult movies. It’s much safer to stick with cartoons. Whenever I see a plane like this it reminds me of the movie I didn’t watch – except for the first ten minutes and the last fifteen minutes.

I really wanted to write an adventure fiction…but I could not get my head past the plane and remembering the few minutes I saw from that from that film “The English Patient”.

Today’s genre challenge was: Adventure Fiction

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/genre-challenge-5/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/story-starter-challenge-6/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/fire/

FOWC with Fandango — Watch

I Put My Parents Through Agony

My parents were never really sure quite what happened. They said they felt helpless and they prayed many times that things would turn out well. But they were deeply anxious and doubtful I would recover.

For years I had been a typical child, eager, full of life and laughter. I ate and pooped, ate and pooped. I was immature and completely dependent on my parents. I looked up to them and felt very secure in their love. They fed my mind, my heart and my stomach and watched me as I grew and grew and grew.

But then I went to high school and entered my teens and puberty. Something happened which they knew may come one day, but not in quite such a drastic way.

I shut myself off from them and refused to communicate properly. I grunted, shrugged and sighed my way through my fourteenth and fifteenth year. My parents tried their best to keep reaching my heart, but they had no idea if they were getting through.

They must have found it agonizing. In many ways, I am glad I was clever enough to hide what I did from them until many many months later. I hid so much from them for so long.

They still don’t know the half of it! All sorts was going on inside of me. Boys, music, drinking. I was no longer happy to conform, to obey. I questioned everything inwardly and outwardly.

I skipped school and forged sick notes. Instead of going to school I would catch a train into Manchester which was almost 40 miles away from home. When I was at school, I became disruptive in some classes (the ones I did not really enjoy). My best friend and I spurred each other on. We vandalised the geography teacher’s classroom and even his own belongings. We turned every physics lesson into anarchy. We played netball in the middle of our French lesson with a French dictionary and jumped up on to her desk and danced the Can-Can.

Sometimes I was given a “detention” by a teacher. I forged my mum’s signature and turned up for the detention (except the time I skipped detention because I was going to a concert), I was fortunate in being so bright. My school work never suffered and I maintained my straight A grades.

I started to work for a record company, which my parents knew about. But most of the nights they thought I was staying over at the home of a school friend, I was in Manchester at a music venue or club. I did things I am ashamed to relate.

The teachers wanted me to make decisions about what to do when school ended. I did not know what I wanted to do. I knew what I did not want to do.

I pondered what purpose there is in life, when we seem to be forced down a path that does not in any way appeal to us. I felt hollow and lost at times. Life seemed like a grey expanse stretched out before me. I felt trapped. The music I listened to constantly incited me to be disdainful of boring conformity. There was a spirit of arrogant rebellion breeding in my mind. I was full of resentment and anger towards everyone – I am not even sure why.

But I was not happy. Some of the things I saw at clubs shocked me. Behaviour beyond disgusting. Everything felt filthy. I did not know how to be happy any longer.

aunt june.jpg

A wise old owl – Aunt June, who was almost eighty, and had sparkly blue eyes and a very deep grin – asked me what I was going to do when I left school. I muttered and gave her a wishy-washy answer about going to college. She probed further and soon discovered that I had no real plan in mind. There were no subjects that interested me just then, accept music. But I already knew I hated the places I was going and the people who were there. I was disillusioned with the music industry.

Aunt June could be scary sometimes. She looked at me sternly and said: “Do you want to live?” I was a bit taken aback by that question. Tears came into my eyes as I realized I was not even sure that I did want to be alive. I had been miserable for so long, my enjoyment in life had evaporated.

She asked me if I didn’t know what I wanted for my future, then what did I want for the rest of the world and for the planet? I thought about it, and knew that actually I did have a vision in the back of my mind. A vision that I had first seen in a golden story book my first ever teacher used to read to us from when I was just five years old. I knew the word to describe it: PARADISE.

Aunt June cried out that I should set that goal for my own future and see myself there, not just the rest of the world. She told me to work towards that goal.

At just the right time a project started in the town where we were living. They needed volunteers, skilled or unskilled. I had just broken up for study leave for my GCSEs. I went down there and from the first day I was trained and assigned all sorts of tasks. I ended up on the front page of the local newspaper because of my involvement for the full length of the project.

I remember a couple of my dad’s friends talking to him about me one day. I could hear everything. My face flushed with embarrassment but I was pleased. Then they called out to me: “We were just talking about you Mel! We were asking what has happened to you? You have come to life. You were grumpy and moody a few months ago and wouldn’t talk to anyone, not even make eye contact with anyone. Now look at you. You are glowing.”

I knew I was. I knew that ever since I had started to become involved in volunteer projects I had started to taste happiness.

My parents always said those couple of years when it was so hard to get me to communicate were very difficult for them. They were so worried about me. They always said it was as if I had cocooned myself within a chrysalis. They had no idea what was going on inside my mind and heart. But it was very much a metamorphosis.

One day something wonderful started to happen. They said a beautiful human being started to emerge from that mentally and emotionally isolated state and started to give colour and happiness to everyone around her.

I always felt it was because I had started to spend time with very beautiful people. People who were freely giving their time, their energy and their skills to build something that would benefit a community. I was learning so much from them.

I wanted to be alive. I wanted to work towards a better world, a world where everyone is happy, full of life, secure in love. I wanted to help make this earth a paradise.

I now had a purpose, a goal and I loved beautifully hearted people who were working towards the same purpose.

 

FOWC with Fandango — Metamorphosis

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/immature/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/your-daily-word-prompt-resentment-january-7-2019/

Whatever You Do, Don’t Say Peppa

I made a mistake on Monday evening. A big mistake! I asked my brother-in-law if he would pass me the salt and pepper. Somebody’s ears picked up on the word “pepper”. My sister and her husband groaned!

Bedtime that night was quite a battle. For I had inadvertently reminded my twenty month old niece of her favourite cartoon – Peppa Pig! She did not want a bath. She did not want a clean nappy. She did not want her pyjamas. She did not want to go to sleep.

Again and again and again and again and again she said: “Peppa”. It was a very late night! We tried so hard to distract her.  Poor baby! It was almost midnight by the time she finally closed her eyes and drifted to sleep.

It was not my goal to upset the bedtime routine and make my niece distraught! It meant that we had to watch a lot of Peppa Pig on Tuesday before we went to meet the family. We watched more on Wednesday before heading out. We even watched more of Peppa Pig on Thursday before we drove up to Cheshire.

I need to remember not to say Peppa or pepper again in front of my niece. Well, at least until she has a new favourite!

For now – all that matters is Peppa!

I had such a wonderful time in Wales though. The internet signal is abysmal in that part of Snowdonia! I took some photos and will share some more of my wonderful family with you and our antics over the past few days. The adventure is not over quite yet. Much more love, laughter and living ahead!

So sorry if I have missed some posts. I tried to catch up each evening. The internet in Cheshire is so much better. Less mountains on the Cheshire Plains. I kept trying to type comments and they would disappear. I am blaming the internet connection in North Wales!

Heading out for more fun, food and frolics this evening. Love and warmest greetings to all!

 

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/goal/

FOWC with Fandango — Adventure

Merry Monday Moment

Fandango’s Word Of The Day is CARTOON…

…well, I am hoping Pixar animations count as cartoons.

To merry up Monday – I have included two of my favourite cartoon moments. First is Dory speaking various dialects of whale languages.

Then is the ultimate Minions mini-movie “Banana”. If you have never seen it… prepare yourself for a treat! Minions mini-movies are so much fun!

It’s Monday – whatever you do, try to have some fun!

 

FOWC with Fandango — Cartoon

Hiding The Bruises

I am alright now, (I think) but for a long time the situation with my ex-flatmate Jack kept my nerves on a knife-edge. I know there are some people who make a career out of being the subject of idle gossip for others, but that has never been something I wanted for myself.

Even when I was living with Jack, the rumours about the two of us were so upsetting, I tried to leave the flat earlier than anyone else and arrive home in the dark. I was sneaking in and out of my own home, to escape the attention of whoever it was who kept these shocking rumours breeding.

When I returned to London, after almost a year of resting and recovering from the physical injuries I had sustained the night I was assaulted (and then…being left for dead underneath some bushes) I was pretty nervous.

Although my physical injuries were healing up nicely, I was deeply self-conscious in so many ways. I was very nervous around men. I was very aware of my head! I felt secure with a hat on, or a bandana or scarf in the summer. I found London overwhelming. I felt very lost at times. I found bright lights gave me severe headaches. I always wore sunglasses out of doors. The first six months, I looked a bit like the woman in the picture prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith.

But what I found effected me most deeply was gossip. I saw friends and colleagues. They were confused about why I had disappeared for a year. Many of them thought I had left in disgrace. Just before I had been attacked, there were rumours that I was involved with a married man. I don’t really feel like writing about that today, but I will at some point. There are already a couple of posts where I have touched on it already:

embarrassedBut it has taken a long time to be able to battle the anxiety that other people, people I admire and respect, think terrible things of me. That realization has made me pretty dismal at times.

I could have caused trouble for Jack. I did not want to do that. I could have talked about being assaulted (I find it really difficult to use the R word still) and beaten up. But you know, I really did not want to. If I started talking about it, I would have been asked a thousand questions by people that I was not ready to answer. So instead I let them think whatever they wanted to think.

As far as many of them are concerned, I was acting strangely, sneaking in and out of my own home at unusual hours, becoming cagey and defensive and emotional…and then I disappeared for a year. I returned to London wearing hats and sunglasses (with style!) and not answering questions openly.

I am a lot more settled than I was then, more relaxed about everything, and my friends are more relaxed. They all seem genuinely glad to have me around and everyone is very polite about what has happened in the past. Some of my very close friends know a lot more about what happened of course, and when I need someone to talk to they are wonderful. But on the whole, everyone has been so incredibly discreet about what happened to me, which I am extremely grateful for.

But there is a kind of loneliness that comes with having a big secret that you hide. I hide all the details of what went on between Jack and I. I hide all the details about what happened to me in the park. People know not to push me with too many questions because I will leave.

Aaaaah!

Well…I have said enough for today. It takes it out of me thinking about things that I don’t want to think about! So, to end this post I wanted to share a song that I fell in love with, mainly because I have become such a huge fan of the voice of Kristina Train. But I liked the song too…it does touch me in my situation. I have put two versions for you just in case you prefer the acoustic version. I like both actually.

 

 

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/daily-writing-challenge-nov-27/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/dismal/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/your-daily-word-prompt-lost-november-27-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Leave

Maybe I Should Have Called Your First

As soon as I saw the theme for today’s SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY my mind started to flood with ideas of songs. I feel totally spoilt for choice this week.

Today’s theme is: FIRST…

…as you can see from the original post from Helen Vahdati, the creator of This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. Take a look and do please join in. If you like music, you will love taking part in SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY!

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 11/25/18

Tracks from Roberta Flack, Lionel Ritchie, Kylie Minogue, Barry White, Bananarama, Madonna and a host of songs by the Britpop bands of the late 1990s all started bouncing around my head. I am going to be looking out for some of the other songs I have rolling around my mind and I am tempted to post another SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY post very late tonight if some of the fabulous songs on the theme of FIRST have been missed.

But this week, I am indulging myself by picking my favourite, my stand out! This is one of the songs I have loved from the moment I heard it and am sure I will love for years to come.

Today, my choice is a song that was first made famous by Cyndi Lauper, although I believe it was intended for Roy Orbison. My music tastes are diverse. When I worked for the record company it was era of Oasis, Blur, Pulp and a host of other British bands, so I know that era of music best. But I love classical music and a thousand golden-oldies and stripped back acoustic tracks nowadays . Modern pop has to be perfectly produced to get my attention. And to me the following track is absolute pop perfection! Or perhaps I should say pop rock perfection!

This song is not just my favourite. I have many friends who adore Cyndi’s version of this phenomenal song. It has to be one of the top choices for any drive-time playlist. When I worked with a team of sixty house-keepers this was one of the most popular choices for a bit of lunch-break karaoke. Can you see us grabbing a dish-brush or a mop and pretending it was our microphone and singing our heart out to this? I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

I had to escape
The city was sticky and cruel
Maybe I should have called you first
But I was dying to get to you
I was dreaming while I drove
The long straight road ahead, uh, huh

Could taste your sweet kisses
Your arms open wide
This fever for you is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
Is that alright
I drove all night

What in this world
Keep us from tearing apart
No matter where I go I hear
The beating of your heart
I think about you
When the night is cold and dark
No one can move me
The way that you do
Nothing erases the feeling between me and you

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
Is that alright
I drove all night

Could taste your sweet kisses
Your arms open wide
This fever for you is just burning me up inside

I drove all night to get to you
Is that alright
I drove all night
Crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep
To make love to you
I drove all night… to hold you tight

Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly – thank you for pop perfection guys!

 

FOWC with Fandango — Flood