Un-Happy Fathers Day?

I wrote this post two years ago, but felt it was worth a re-post. You’re still not alone.

This is for you if Father’s Day is far from happy; if you can’t think about your father without it bringing you pain; if you roll your eyes when you see yet another card with words like ‘daddy’, ‘hero’, ‘the best’ on it.

This is for you if you can’t find anything to celebrate about your father; if you get a pang of jealousy when someone says how great their dad is; if you avoid the question when asked if you’re doing anything for father’s day.

This is for you if you feel slightly sick when you read another facebook post gushing about a great dad; if singing church songs about ‘Father God’ is confusing; if you know your children will never know their grandfather.

This is for you if you see a little girl with her dad and pray hard that he’ll never hurt her; if hearing how earthly fathers are meant to be a picture of our heavenly Father makes you question your faith; if sometimes – when memories are the darkest and the pain is too much to bear – you wish you never knew your father.

I don’t have words or answers. Just questions and pain. But I’m thinking of you and hoping that this year Father’s Day is a little easier than the last one.

Most of all, when you roll your eyes at yet-another dad advert, give your finger to a ‘family is the best’ movie or burst into tears over a spilt drink because it’s easier than crying over what really makes you sad … know you are not alone.

Here’s to too much chocolate, silly comedy and cold cider!

Oh Hello …

I’ve been so bad at keeping up on here … I haven’t even looked and seen when the last time I posted was – I decided I don’t need to know!! I haven’t been reading other people’s blogs either – I’m so sorry!

This is me starting again (again!) and hopefully getting back into talking to you regularly and reading your thoughts and being back in touch …

Tomorrow I am submitting my application for a Level 2 Introduction to Counselling Skills course at my local college – I am both excited and terrified!!

Ladies, Luke and Lunch

On Sunday afternoon, around 40 women from my church, are going to be getting together and creating an audio recording of the book of Luke.

To say I am excited about this would be a bit of an understatement!!

This kind of came about because of me. No, it’s not that simple and so far from just me.

Last summer my church did a spotlight/focus group for anyone that was feeling disillusioned with church or God. Baring in mind my history – and my bewildering urge to step up and be vulnerable so others feel safe to share – I went along …

Long story short, I had coffee with a leader from church and I ended up telling a bit more of my story and trying to answer her (very familiar) question of ‘why are you still in church?!’

Once I explained I couldn’t read the Bible because it brought back too many memories from my childhood and the constant replay of my father’s voice in my head, she asked if I’d tried an audio version of the Bible …

After explaining that listening to the Bible read by a man was just a reinforcement of the “men are the final authority on God and life and you are just a feeble woman” message I grew up with, she challenged me to find a version read by a woman …

Numerous hours and frustrating clicks on my keyboard later, I found one woman read, second hand, audio version of the New Testament available for over $150, through US Amazon only.

I decided this had to be corrected and honestly? I was kind of surprised no one had noticed this gap before… I mean, how could it have slipped everyone’s notice that there wasn’t a female-voice audio Bible?!

Instead of heading down the route of crowdfunding, awareness campaigns and professional recording studios, I mentioned my plan to the amazing S who had first suggested I find this female audiobook. After one of the most spine-tingling ‘I’d been thinking the same thing’ moments ever, we had the plan I’d just dreamed of.

And so, two days from now, after notices and then an interview in one service and an interview still to come in the second service, over 40 of us women are going to come together and create what we believe is the first of its kind in the UK – a women-read audio recording of a book of the Bible.

I know I am absolutely not the only one out there who struggles with reading the Bible – for whatever the reason – and the number of any of us that would struggle to listen to it in a male voice can only begin to be recognised.

We still haven’t heard back and got the all-clear from the publishers of the TNIV, but I hope that this can be free to anyone that wants, or needs, to hear it, and can be given, free of any charge, to any organisations that seeks to heal and support anyone who has been hurt by men, of whatever gender, background or faith.

You’ve got to love a sense of humour…

Turning everything into a joke? Defiantly a coping technique! But you know what? Sometimes not the worst you could have…

I’ve got some big stuff coming up this weekend… I’ve got a post or two working through my head about it … so for now, here is a little look into my (childish) sense of humour… I’ve no idea why they mostly involve minions…

I Did Stuff!

I’m very pleased with myself today! Despite being the worst day of my period, horrible nightmares and constant anxiety, I put together two shelf units and got them into the tight space behind my desk!

Maybe not a big deal for some, but all I wanted to do was crawl back under my warm duvet and pretend the rest of the world didn’t exist … and especially that we didn’t have to go out tonight to an annoyingly cheesy course we (voluntarily!!) signed up for … But instead I did some packing and shifting and then built two shelving units, as well as shifting my desk, vacuuming, making stew and attending that flipping annoying course… sorry if you’re reading this post Sue …!!

After years of putting up with ‘my space’ being a puzzle board on my lap on the end of the sofa, and ‘storage boxes’ made out of cardboard packaging and packing tape, these storage units are a joy to look at! I have had my own desk space for the last 2 1/2 Years, but trying to keep things tidy or at least a little organised… the least said the better …

So I started with an OCD- satisfying collection of numbered fixings, made two sturdy units and have ended up with a craft space I never believed possible!

I am unashamedly looking forward to organising my craft stuff into these beauties tomorrow!

Anxiety is Exhausting

Being anxious isn’t exactly a new thing for me. But I’ve lived with it a long time, I get familiar with the regular feelings of anxiety and it kind of melds into the background normality of my life – maybe not normal or healthy for most, but it’s become my normal.

I’m about to do something pretty big and pretty brave – watch this space for more details in a few weeks.

I’m very excited about it and am convinced it is the right thing to do… but it involves me being pretty open about my story, in front of two-services-worth of my whole church …

That is just one part of the project, not even the most important part for most, but it is the motivation behind it and without doubt, the most scary part for me!

So right now, my anxiety is screaming, rolling around on the floor and demanding I pay attention. As I said, anxiety is something that’s become normal for me, but right now it’s more than I usually have to deal with. The constant reminding myself to breath evenly; trying to ignore my fast heart rate when I’m meant to be sleeping; the tightness in my breathing and the pain in my chest; the feeling deep in my throat like I’ve been breathing in too much freezing-cold air; the constant effort to un-clench my jaw and relax my shoulders… it’s exhausting.

Not just the exhaustion from the physical symptoms, but the exhaustion from a mind that won’t stop whirling with possible scenes of the events, what the repercussions might be, who might not understand, what people will say – if maybe I have made some horribly big mistake and I shouldn’t be doing this or maybe even that none of ‘it’ ever happened in the first place.

Despite being excited for this project, despite knowing it’s the right thing to do, despite wanting this to be a first step towards more… my anxiety is trying to cripple me, and it is exhausting.

100 Words

Cold air, clear night, bright stars. Earnest, longing, determined. Sure.

“God, take all of me. My life, my plans – use them for your purpose.”

Loss, numbness. Pain, grief. Anger

Family, home, faith. Gone.

In the emptiness, betrayals forgotten, are remembered.

Devastated, alone.

Tears fall. Silent sobs in the night.

“Why didn’t you stop it God? Were did you go? Why can’t I feel you?”

The stars are faint. Inky clouds mottle the darkness.

“You gave me all, I took it. You can’t see me, but I am here. You don’t understand, but it’s for my purpose.”