Is it a sign of things to come in the uncertain times we live in that, when I saw a Police van parked directly in front of the entrance to our local tube station, I hesitated before entering. I felt myself hold back, just for a second, and it seriously upset me.
In all the fifteen years I’ve lived in London I’ve never stopped living my life because of fear – I’ve deliberately kept clear of certain busy places at particular times because I don’t like huge crowds, but never because of fear. I’ve been here during terrorist attacks, and along with many other Londoners have always just kept calm and carried on, vigilant yet undefeated.
But today it wasn’t the threat of potential terrorist activity that held me back, it was more an awareness of a growing unease across the population as a whole. People are becoming more and more desperate and angry – angry at out-of-touch politicians consistently making decisions that are divisive, politicians who are then highly critical of increasing divisions in society and blame the people rather than reassess their policies.
People who have the least power but the most need are tired not only of constantly struggling but also of being dismissed as unimportant by successive governments who dangle them like puppets, unwilling players in their vanity project political games. This is how riots begin – anger leading to unrest that quickly becomes more and more heated until it all boils over and spills onto our streets, a conflagration of frustration.
Recently I’ve felt that sense of overheated danger spark ominously in the air again, electrifyingly charged, crisp and crackling close to the surface in some public spaces – and it was my awareness of this air of unease that stopped me in my tracks yesterday. It passed quickly enough, and I carried on with my day as usual. But just for that split-second moment, I hesitated, and that hesitation worries me…
Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign
I try not to be bitter about past grievances in my life, I try not to let things build up like a huge head of water pushing intensely against an overfilled dam wall, pressured fit to burst. Instead I try my best to be aware of my emotions, to allow myself to feel the hurt and the unfairness and then try hard to let it go, not in a flood but in a steady stream of release. I try to stay soft-hearted in a world determined to harden my resolve. I don’t always succeed in my quest, but I can but try… 🙂
Daily Prompt: Bitter
As a life-long people-pleaser I often feel panicked at the thought of having upset or offended anyone, afraid they won’t like me any more.
I worry beyond the point of reason when it comes to conflict, tying myself up in knots in an attempt to soothe and salve and ameliorate scenarios and situations wherever possible.
I find myself fretting to the nth degree whenever conversations threaten to develop into difficulties; to my dismay I hear myself backing off and backing down at almost every critical opportunity.
I’m feeling my levels of stress hormones rising even writing about it, and it makes me unfathomably sad to know how deeply my fragile sense of self-worth is still so utterly dependent on the external approval of others…
Daily Prompt: Panicked
Sink or Swim…
What hurtful daughter writes such damning words?
Disloyalty grips tight as guilt unfolds
For years my childhood fears remained unheard
Confused unworthy failings stayed untold
Unquestioning complicity required
I grew up thinking I was all to blame
My fault I wasn’t someone more desired
My female gender always cause for shame…
But now my scapegoat days are gone for good
No longer will I carry all that weight
Two generations further than it should
I leave my parents’ needs to their own fate –
Disloyalty cuts both ways, don’t you think?
It’s time I learn to swim before I sink…
I’m not generally keen on automatically blaming the parents for all the faults of the child, but I’m finally having to acknowledge that however disloyal it may feel and however much guilt it generates within me, I have to accept that some of the continued attitudes and actions of my parents have inevitably caused me (and do still cause me) psychological distress.
Years of therapy for depression, studying Psychology as part of my degree, and the experience of being a flawed parent and grandparent myself have all contributed to the growing realisation that perhaps I was not, after all, the reason for any discord within my family, but rather it may be that particular issues within certain individuals in my family have in fact helped cause the discord in me.
It’s actually quite a liberating realisation, even at the age of 53, and writing (and sharing) these poems about how it feels is really helping me process the emotional turmoil I’m experiencing at the moment. So please bear with me through the introspective doom and the gloom, and hopefully normal service will resume shortly 🙂
We found ourselves in Clapham Common last week, and I’ve had ‘Up the Junction’ from Squeeze (1979) in my head ever since! So this week’s Song from the Past from me comes complete with a couple of very recent pics for added atmosphere 🙂
Hope you enjoy the song, as someone who became a teenage mum myself back in the day it’s always been a kind of bittersweet favourite…
Given my current stress levels – we’re in the process of selling our flat here in London in the South of England, with the intention of relocating lock, stock and barrel to Inverness in the North of Scotland – it’s a wonder I’m not imploding with the enormity of it all.
I know some people move up and down and all around the country all the time without giving it a second’s thought, but I’m definitely a home bird and I like to keep my daily habits and routines (not to mention my immediate environment) intact as far as possible, so this feels like a big emotional upheaval for me to be caught up in the middle of.
There’s been a lot going on for us for a while now, long-standing work issues and ongoing health issues and financial considerations and a very frustrating legal process dragging on in the background forever and a day, each on their own more than enough to be dealing with long-term, but cumulatively almost too much to bear. Almost, but not quite: I have to give us some credit for sticking to our guns, because we’re not giving up on sorting out any of it.
In spite of it all of it all – perhaps because of it all – we’re choosing to move to the other end of the country, so right now we’re just focusing on the future and looking forward to settling in to our new life, in our new home, wherever in Inverness that home may turn out to be… 🙂
Stream of Consciousness: Give, Given, Giving