I am beginning to think my youngest child is actually an angel from heaven, you know the type ‘cheeky’ angel with a bit of slight devilment which keeps everyone on their toes, but are actually truly amazing. If you have heard of the term ‘indigo-child’ I think I am somewhere near. From here on in, I will call her Indigo.
She has done two things since Sunday which make me incredible proud. Sunday was her birthday, she was 6. I treated her to a day trip out and of course lots of presents, including her nails done at the nail salon-she was adamant!! (Me: Are you sure darling, you are only 6. Indigo: But mummy I want my nails doing just like you) How could I say no?! Anyway, as I tucked her up in bed on Sunday evening she threw her arms around my neck and said “Mummy this has been the best birthday ever, thank you so much for what you have done today!” She released my neck grabbed my cheeks with her tiny hands and planted a kiss on my lips, let go and gave me the biggest grin. My heart melted. It is not every day a ‘just gone’ 6 year old is able to show such gratitude.
The second thing came just last night, two days since her birthday. She knows I have been having a bit of a tough time recently. I treated her to homemade pancakes, it was Pancake Tuesday after all.. I let her smear on the nutella and rolling it up she said “mummy you are the best mummy in the world!” She then began to sing to me whilst eating her pancake “lean on me…..when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend……I’ll help you carry on…” We are know the song by Al Green I am sure, even if you did not know it was Al Green that sang it, you will know the song trust me…. I do not even know where she has learnt this song. And when asked, she does not know either!
At this point I could have cried. How I have managed to raise such an emotionally aware child I will never know! She flashed me a big smile and said “Mummy I lean on you all the time don’t I? You can lean on me today.”
I love this girl, I am proud she is my daughter, she is like my little shadow, she will follow me to the end of the earth if that is where I am going. I wake up in a morning and there she is in bed next to me, after she has sneaked in, in the middle of the night.
No matter how hard life gets, there is one person who can always put a smile on your face. For me it is my youngest daughter. We have such a connection, that we do not even have to speak to each other and we know what we are thinking. I believe she is a soul mate of mine (yes relatives, friends etc can be soul mates too…..)
Indigo, you are truly amazing and always an inspiration to me. You never fail to amaze me with your wise words, too wise for such a young girl. I love you xxxxx
I had my first child at 17, needless to say I was nt married and the relationship did not last. By 28 I had given birth to my second and third children. I still was not married, nor did the fella ever intend to propose, mainly as he knew he had some sort of control in this matter, and all I ever wanted was the happily ever after. So I planned the wedding, and when our third child was 6 months old, we got married. I was never proposed to, and he never said he wanted to marry me, but he did. I am now divorced. Single again and have been for two years. I am dating, for the first time in my life. I meet men, go on dates and if I want to see them again I do, if I don’t then I don’t. For the first time in my life, I realised I actually had a choice in relationships. My children are older now. I go out with friends, I go on holiday with them, weekends away to festivals and allow myself that time to let my hair down. I am truly living a single life. With three older children in tow. They of course also get my time, but as I am sole carer, with not much of a break I allow myself some freedom now and again. I benefit, but so do they.
I had a career at 21, working in a law firm, receiving a large pay check at the end of each month and a decent annual bonus to boot. At 30, I left, I’d had enough of the rat race and returned to university. I am a student. I also work, part time.
I had a house at 21, albeit with a mortgage but it was mine. After a failed engagement and then a failed marriage and all the financial implications that came with that (thanks ex-husband for eternally lumbering me with your debt) I now live in rented. Although it is not all bad, as in actual fact this is the first house that actually feels like home to me, since leaving my parents home some 15 years ago.
At 21, despite having a child, I had savings. Maybe this was because it was before the recession hit us, I do not know. But I now no longer have savings. Another way I have gone backwards…..?
I felt at one point I had it all. Husband, children, career, money. But I did not. I did not have my freedom, nor my happiness. I was sad, and despite being surrounded by my husband and children I felt lonely. Nothing fulfilled me. I felt like a shell, an outline of a person with nothing inside. Empty.
I used to be very creative, but all of this had fallen by the way side to make time for my career and my children. I was desperately trying to hold everything together and it worked for a couple of years, but once the cracks began to show, no matter how much I tried to plaster of them, it was just a temporary fix. I had to strip back to basics, and reassess my life. At first I thought I had thrown everything away, until I realised I had in fact just began to clear everything away. The things which I no longer needed in my life as they served no purpose, and in fact made me very unhappy. However, I am happier now than I have ever been. I still have problems in my life I have to deal with, but I do not ‘struggle’ to deal with them. I am not constantly stressed out and have managed to develop a ‘whatever will be, will be’ attitude. I believe sometimes we are so conditioned by society that we believe the house, car, husband, children, career blahdy blah is what is going to keep us happy. Having lived that live, it did not work for me, and I know plenty others that it has not worked for either.
If you feel unhappy, it is time to assess your life. Do not be frightened, as you have to do this, for yourself. You have a duty to live life in the most happiest, fulfilling way that you can.
I had difficulty allowing myself time. I felt guilty, feeling as though I had to be there for my children 24/7. So I not only felt guilty when I went out for dinner with friends, or for a weekend away at a spa, I felt guilty when I went to work! Working 10 hours a day in a law firm, meant most days I did not see my children for more than an hour a day-combined from before and after work. It made it more difficult for me to accept as when I tried to explain it to my husband, he was so money driven (mainly as I paid his bills) that he failed to even consider a reduction in my hours. So when I was finally brave enough to take a look at my life, and after my now ex-husband had left, I know the next thing on my list was my work. I had always been interested in people and what made them tick, so I chose to do Psychology. I left my work, which had always served as a security blanket and I took the giant step of becoming a student. This freed up a lot of my time, and now I can take my children to school every morning and collect them from school three days a week. The guilt of not being a ‘proper’ mother (this way my ideal of the type of mother I wanted to be) to my children has gone. Which now means I can also take time out some weekends, guilt-free.
Your steps do not have to be as life changing as mine, I am in no way advocating that every one packs in their jobs and gets divorced. This worked for me, and I am still in transition after two years, but every day I am a step closer to where I want to be. So even though I looked as though I was going backwards, (and believe me, many people questioned me, and some thought I was in mid-life crisis) I actually just cleared the decks so I could move forwards. I AM HAPPY.
Finally Seeking my Daniel Cleaver
I read an article this morning, and it really got me thinking. The link for the said article is above, check it out it’s a very interesting read although do me a favour…..wait until you have finished mine 😉
Until fairly recently, I was one of those women that always chose a bad guy. Bad guys ranging from down right little toe rags who eventually ended up in prison (thankfully after I had seen sense and had nothing else to do with them) to the ones who were emotionally unavailable and sometimes manipulative and abusive. They generally were very hot (though not all were model look alikes), had an air of cockiness about them and nine times out of ten were great in bed. But all turned out to be the same, once they had me hooked they turned off the charm, the cockiness became arrogance and my pride and confidence once again dwindled.
It was not until I began studying Psychology that I began to consider why it was that I chose this particular type of man. I could only watch on in envy as my girlfriends settled down with reliable, dependable men and built a life and a family together. Instead I was left picking up the pieces of yet another failed ‘relationship’ where it had fallen apart because I was nt getting from it what I wanted.
Since my divorce in 2011, I began to look at what was going wrong. Previously it was all too easy for me to blame the man because he did this or that (or indeed he did nothing at all). Coincidently this tied in with when I began my degree. I began to learn about attachment and I quickly began to understand that the cause of my obsession with ‘bad boys’ developed due to the poor relationship with my father. I loved my dad growing up, but due to the separation of my parents I did not see him that often. In his past he was a bouncer and probably classed as a ‘bad boy’ himself and I really believe that I was looking for that, for some sort of compensation.
Since realising why I was always attracted to a certain type of man, I have taken the time to be on my own to work out what I really want. Whilst taking this time, I must admit I developed quite an obsession with the likes of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary just for the pure fact she also came to her senses by the time she was in her thirties and finally chose the ‘nice’ man. The thing is the ‘nice’ man is the man that treats you right, who is emotionally available and wants to be with you. The man who does not make you feel insecure, always second guessing whether you are together or what he is up to. It does not mean they are less appealing. For this valentines I am pleased to say I have chosen a ‘Daniel Cleaver’. He is a nice guy, he shows me interest, he is chasing me….but guess what he is also very good looking, very interesting, sexy as hell and the funniest guy I know!
What is child sexual exploitation?
CSE is Child Sexual Exploitation. In very basic terms, it involves a victim being targeted and groomed by adults, with the intention of sexually assaulting and/or raping them.
The children are targeted because they are vulnerable; due to their age.
Grooming can take place in many forms – both ‘on line’ in social media chat rooms, via mobile phones or in person. The child will not always realise they are being groomed.
Often the grooming starts with friendship or a relationship, where the offender may supply gifts such as clothes, money, mobile phones, which may progress to the supply of alcohol and drugs.
Sometimes the children are given lifts and transported around. The offender will usually encourage the child to distance themselves further from their usual family and friends. Soon into this friendship/relationship, sexual assaults and rapes may occur upon the child.
The offenders are very organised and deliberate in their actions, in some cases working together within a group. They are predatory sex offenders, targeting specifically vulnerable children.
How can we educate young people about the dangers?
A great deal of work has been ongoing to make young people aware of the dangers of Child Sexual Exploitation. This includes regular work from partner organisations within schools to make pupils aware of this offence and how to identify it. There have also been a number of educational events which specialist officers have attended. This preventative work compliments the proactive operations, resulting in significant custodial sentences.
How can people recognise where sexual exploitation is taking place?
We offer literature and information via our websites to highlight the signs of Child Sexual Exploitation and how to get help. For instance, some offenders may use gifts to encourage young people to engage with them and is one of a number of indicators.
There will be acute cases of children subject to ongoing abuse and those children whose lifestyle and association means they are at risk of sexual exploitation.
Does technology make this offence more difficult to identify?
Although technology enables such offences to take place online through chat rooms and other mediums, it also leaves offenders open to being caught. We monitor these sites and where there is evidence of Child Sexual Exploitation, we can take action by seizing equipment such as computers and mobile phones. These strengthen the weight of evidence against the offenders.
From a preventative perspective, we also have nationally trained officers who work in schools to alert them to the online dangers and how to recognise the potential for grooming.
Know the Signs
Even something that seems like normal teenage behaviour could be a sign that a child is being sexually exploited. Some of the visible signs include:
- Regularly missing from home or school and staying out all night
- Change in behaviour – becoming aggressive and disruptive or quiet and withdrawn.
- Unexplained gifts or new possessions such as clothes, jewellery, mobile phones or money that can’t be accounted for.
- Increase in mobile phone use or secretive use
- Appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Being picked up or dropped off in cars by unknown adults
- A significantly older ‘boyfriend’ or ‘friend’ or lots of new friends
- Spending excessive amount of time online and becoming increasingly secretive about time spent online
- Sudden involvement in criminal behaviour or increased offending
- Sexual health problems
If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation report it to West Yorkshire Police by calling 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
For more general information and links, see our personal safety section http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/help-advice/crime-prevention/personal-safety
For more information about bullying, please click on the following link that will take you to ‘Bullying Online’, a registered charity that provides internet help and support for parents and children experiencing the trauma of school bullying –
Related Links: http://ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
Taken from the above link. I am no expert in this, but I do feel passionately about this issue. The only way it can be tackled is to raise awareness of the issue and help people to identify what the signs are.
I am not likely to be getting married any time soon, bearing in mind I am not even in a committed relationship. However, when I do get married this time I will be wearing a dress that I actually want to wear. So it got me thinking about what I would wear and I decided to have a look and see what was around. This is what I decided on:
This is totally my style and if I had to have one made for myself I would have described something very similar to this. Luckily I have a similar figure and hair so I should just get away with it!
I have to admit my style icon is Kate Moss and I came across her wedding photographs whilst perusing the thousands of images. This picture really made me think I would love to have a long veil for the ceremony.
I also love how all the bridal party are dressing in white. It really looks amazing and so different from the usual weddings where you are normally told not to wear white clothing so as to not upstage the bride.
I recently attended a wedding where the bride and groom asked all the guests to wear red and ivory. The wedding pictures looked amazing so I reckon I would love to go down the same theme and ask the guests to wear a certain colour to tie in with the overall colour theme, that way you could have the decorations as simple and minimum.
I was always perceived at school as a pretty and intelligent girl who was confident and not scared to stand up for herself. The truth was I was shy and had very low self esteem. I constantly strived for approval from others and all I ever wanted was to be accepted.
I could never work out whether or not I was accepted and so I would do things that I would not necessarily do, and for that reason I have made some bad choices in my life. Nothing which has ended me in prison or anything but nonetheless, if I knew what I know now things would have been very different.
My mum and dad divorced when I was 10. I never thought it affected me until recently. I looked back at my life and realised I have been rather destructive to myself and in particular in relationships. My dad was not an altogether abusive man but on occasion was physically abusive to my mum. My mum was not an overall manipulator but could be manipulative. It is easy for me to see why they are not together now when I look at them both. They are both remarried and happy. Furthermore, they are all friends which is nice to see, though it has taken them twenty years to get there.
As I always wanted to feel accepted and wanted, I became sexually active at 15. By the time I was 17 I was pregnant, to a boy from school. He became abusive and manipulating and I let it all happen. Getting pregnant was actually the saving grace as it gave me the strength to end the relationship as I did not want my child growing up around this man. In short, he kidnapped me, he abused me both physically and mentally, he stole off me and he cheated on me with numerous other girls and even one of my ‘friends’. I did not know at the time but he was also an alcoholic and a drug user, who was also struggling with coming to terms he was bi-sexual. Not that this gave him the right to treat me in the way he did.
After I had my child I met someone who was doing well for themselves and was extremely good looking. He even helped me look after my child. At first things were great, we shared lots of great times. But eventually the relationship fell apart. He became very controlling and rather manipulative and I felt trapped. I was 22 but felt like 32 (I am 33 now and I felt older then than I do now!) I still see this man as he still has contact with my child and for that I will always be thankful. But what I had done was let another man look after me and do everything for me.
To be honest looking back I am not surprised I met someone else. Not only were there issues in my relationship with control generally taking each other for granted, probably due to the fact we were very young and not really knowing how to deal with difficulties in the relationship. Additionally, I found it extremely difficult to communicate with my partner. I am not suprised at this either. Although I’ve always known my parents loved me, whilst I was growing up I was not really told that they did. I never heard the words ‘I love you.’ When I lived with my mum and dad, dad occasionally did not come home. I remember me asking mum one morning whilst in the kitchen where dad was and she told me he had gone to work early. Even at the young age of 8 or 9 years old I remember thinking ‘he did nt come home’. If my mum and dad had problems then they argued. I remember a lot of bickering and sniping, but I do not remember them being particularly happy.
I guess then in some way I had been programmed not to deal with issues and to retaliate by pushing people away, because I believed they were going to leave anyway. With hindsight I now know that this is what happened with this man. I did my best to push him away, as this was a barrier I had put up as I believed he would leave anyway. I could not fully open myself up to love him and I could not believe that someone actually loved me for me. We are actually engaged to be married and had bought a house together. We had everything and could have had more. I kept all the photographs from family holidays we had together and looking at them the other day I broke down in tears as we were actually in love. The way we were looking at each other in the photographs was so extremely touching and it is for this reason that I have kept them as I want my child to have these so they know that we did love each other once. In fact, I believe we still love each other now, but things have changed and us as people have changed also. If I had the tools to salvage that relationship at that time then I would have done. But obviously it was not meant to be.
I jumped from that relationship into another which initially gave me the freedom and excitement I was so desperately looking for. Unfortunately it turned out to be an extremely bad decision, but this I will discuss at another time as this is a very long story in itself.
It was only after I had to make some very brave decisions and walk away from this relationship. It was one of hardest things I have ever had to do. But it was only then that I began to actually find myself. Since my divorce three years ago I left my job, which I had not been happy in for over three years. I enrolled to do a degree I had always wanted to do, and got work at a local charity. I had desperately wanted to do a job where I felt I was making a difference to people for such a long time. I am still single, I am still studying and I am the happiest I have ever been. I have also taken this time whilst I have been single to reflect on past relationships and behaviours, as well as life events such as my parents divorce. I understand why I have acted in the way I have. I have forgiven myself for some of the things I have done. I have apologised to the relevant people for the way I have acted and I am ready to move on. One thing I realised is as my mum never said ‘I love you’ to me as a child I constantly say it to my children. My dad says it to me all the time, and I can easily reciprocate, but until recently I could never say it to my mum. Not because I did nt, but because we just never had. But mum if you ever read this please know one thing, I do love you with all my heart and now I am older I know that the words do not always have to be spoken.
Over the last couple of years I have had many discussions with my parents (separately of course) and I can see both sides of their story. I have also accepted certain things from my childhood and forgiven and let go.
I know I am of worth. I know I have grown up to be a good mum, a kind hearted person who does not judge others and always try to see the best in them. I have ambition and know I will get there. It may have taken me longer than I would have first envisioned but I know that anything is possible and I will keep going until I get where I want to be. So for all of you who have experienced set backs, losses and difficulties never give up, keep going because you will get there, even if the journey is long. If you are not at the happy ending then you are not at the end 🙂