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My Mother Loves Me

My mother hates me –
oh wicked liar I am,
she says she loves me
And everyone tells me so

I can do nothing right
And she chases me
, hairbrush
In hand to hit me all over
She says she loves me

I can say nothing right for her
I am rude, ungrateful,

And rewrite the history
Where she smelt of roses

No shouting at me, no threats
Not biting me, not calling me whore

There was no conflict ever
And she never kidnapped me

She hasn’t said I’ll come to no good
Or that she’d be a better mother
For my daughter, who hates her
She never stamped her foot

I’ve torn my hair out, actually
I’ve clawed my face and hit my head
But now I just don’t bother
When I can, I go to bed

See, I have responsibilities
And love my daughter dearly
So I need pay the bills, buy the food
I can’t indulge my memories

She didn’t shout when I was mute
By operations on my brain
And never felt sorry for herself
When I was totally helpless

Promise me this; never be
Helpless in front of my mother

She’ll shred you up and spit you out
You need to close up like a clam

Years of practice it took me
To tighten up that shell real tight

And become invisible to all
No more audible than a mouse

So it took years to let friends in
But still keep out my mother

Leaning to be a ducks back
Whilst alive to my loving pals

Am I then a schizophrenic?
No, I’m simply grown up wise
And cannot allow further hurt or hate
To waste my life and time

Written in 1999

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

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Accepting the Faults of Others

In life we are surrounded by people who have faults. Heck, we are one of them.

I tend not to be affected by people’s faults as I realise they are just humans. A friend is persistently late, so I don’t hurry. Another scoffs at the foibles of low esteem, so I don’t share those things. I know my friends. I know what their weak spots are and recognize they are different to me in various ways.

Of course, I want to be accepted too, and I have many faults. So, we all need forbearance. Only good friends can do this. A flake will push you away, forgetting they are imperfect too.

Really close friends are able to say what bugs them. This is healthy, and we may well be working on that fault anyway.

With colleagues it is harder. I have one that cannot apologize. It is not in her vocabulary. The closest she gets is ‘’I’m sorry if you…’’ which is no apology at all. I don’t mind unless she has greatly inconvenienced me, or insulted me. This occurs a lot so I do feel frustrated — take myself out in the garden, pull a few weeds, water something, and then return to my laptop.

I can accept any fault in anyone except; dishonesty, not keeping their word, and personal attacks. Those are my boundaries.

So when that happens, I must address it. I do this by talking about my feelings. So, I say ‘’I feel …. when you do…’’

I use Do because it separates the deed from the person. ‘’Do’’ may not always be the right verb, so I find another way to separate the action from the person.

Always, I try not to do this in anger. I wait until I’m relaxed and calm. Otherwise, it is simply destructive.

It is best, too, to correct a child without anger. How do we get angry at a child for being a child?

Whilst we must accept the faults of others, we must have boundaries in place.

Published inKnow Thyself, Heal Thyself

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No Churn Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blackberry Cardamom Jam Ripple
2 cups blackberries
⅓ cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp cornstartch
1 tbsp of cold water
½–1 tsp cardamom (depending on taste)

Beat the softened cream cheese with the vanilla, condensed milk and lemon zest. Whip the cream until stiff and combine with the cream cheese mixture. Freeze for six hours. Make whatever flavour you like.

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How To Cope With Difficulties

We all lead different lives. We are all unique in our view of life. One thing we do have in common is that we face difficulties of various magnitude. For some it may be life changing or it might be a family issue.

Whatever it is, we need tools to get us through it successfully, otherwise we can develop unattractive traits.

How important is it? This is what we need to ask first. Some difficulties or problems can wait until we have more time in which to deal with it. If it is an argument, wait until your feelings are settled before resolving it.

Are you the right person to deal with it? Sometimes we need legal advice. Or advice from trusted people who may have experienced a similar problem. If you have no experience of whatever you are facing, if people have no knowledge, try the internet.

Stay calm This is important as we can’t be of much use to ourselves or others if we are angry, tearful, frightened etc. If you are with children, you have a responsibility to remain composed. Otherwise, self-care until you are ready to carry on.

Find support If you have been bereaved, witnessed a terrible accident, or anything else that causes traumatic response, get with people who love you. Allow yourself to be loved and hugged. If this is not possible, get wrapped up in bed or the sofa and soothe yourself with beautiful images in your mind and tell yourself positive things.

Let it go Some things just aren’t worth your time or energy. If someone is rude to you, decide if they matter enough to warrant a request for an apology. Some people don’t apologise. Others will make a quarrel. The kind of person who apologises won’t be rude in the first place.

Forgive We sometimes hurt people that we love. We never hurt people that don’t care about us. Forgiving is to let the hurt go, for our own sake, If we hold onto a hurt, only we are suffering.

Don’t let people live rent free in your head Try not to revisit a quarrel, break up, or any other incident. You have better things to do.

Break things down Imagine an elephant. Now see it made of chocolate. If you ate it in one go, you would be sick. Such it is with some problems or difficult tasks. Make it into bite size pieces. If you have a sprained wrist, vacuum one room only at time. If you have a long road trip, plan where you can stop for a rest.

All these are tools to overcome almost anything. They have gotten me through many adverse times. Keep breathing, stay calm and spend time outside.

Published in Grab A Slice

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Colin Meek owes me money.

He does not respond to emails. I find him to be a terrorist and a dictator, but an editor? No.

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Aine MacAodha review of ”Caught by The Moon”

The artwork on the cover by Tania Fonn Carswell catches my eye along with the title. Already stirring my spirit. Many of Chrissie’s poems are gentle in nature, a writer who sees the minute details in
‘A sunny day in Coney Island’
and the grace of Haiku that dot the pages. ‘Photos of my Mother’ is a favourite of mine.
Yet her poems ‘War and ‘Black Boy’ shows her deep passion for people, animals, the earth and the unfairness
that exists in our world today.
in ‘one thousand Cranes’
reminds us of the horrors with
“Make a wish Japan
fold one thousand paper cranes
you are awash in radioactivity”

I love the details in Chrissie’s poems things in nature that jump out of them to surprise and uplift the soul,
like “cobwebs that hang from a tree’.

In her poem ‘Stars’ as it unfolds is about so much more than thought at first. its about deep love, memories and sadness.

I would highly recommend readers
to the work of Chrissie. This book of poems will ignite beauty and also draw you back to a world stained by pain and anger to the prejudices in life today. (less)

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O’Driscoll

My dog dances with his rope toy
Shakes it from side to side
As he prances front paws high
Looking like a Chinese dragon

A dog like tango, sudden turns
Graceful yet staccato-like
Playful growls as he flirts
Dancing prelude to a game

Walking by the sea, fey by the wind
running to and fro, circling, reeling
choreography unknown to me
joyous, an hour of memories twice daily

Published n The Lark

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An odd day…

It’s been an odd day. I rose early, got the coffee on and watered my window box. I feel nervous going out of my gates because my neighbour verbally abused me in public with witnesses.

I have done nothing. I already had written to them after the wife verbally abused when Andrew was with me.

No one deserves this. And it’s so obvious that QL have been looking through my blog – the snoops that they are. Vile people.

I have had to report it to the police. I needed an ambulance after each occasion.

The Moores kept a parcel for me for a whole week. Apparently it isn’t an offence. The stupid man tried to lie about it, but I had emails to prove when it was delivered. Stupid people dig deep holes.

I had intended to make frittata earlier but my meds had been taken so I am not my best after that. Now, all I want is to sleep.

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Do You Choose To Be Offended?

Have you ever met up with a friend, full of excitement about a trip you took or course you finished? Maybe that friend, when you paused, started to tell you how someone has stolen from them, or a family member has terrible diagnosis.

Your friend needs support, the whole meet up become about them. You go home feeling disgruntled.

Or it may be more subtle, like a person in a store that says something that is in discord with you and your values. Or perhaps they upset your loved one.

We can choose to forbear, or we can choose to be offended.

If we choose the latter, first it takes more energy. It also changes, so very almost invisibly, our attitude to that person. We are less warm toward them, less inclined to invite them. Any further perceived wrongs get harbored. You start to look for wrongs to justify your feelings.

Eventually, we will lose that person because they have no idea why you are moving out of their lives. They will decide that you are flakey, or have changed your affection.

We call this the Offended Person. Nothing seems good enough, they are critical, picky, and find fault anywhere.

Choosing to be offended once and being unaware, can lead to becoming an offended person.

On the other hand, we can choose forbearance. An old fashioned word, which means to carry, or bear with something or someone.

When we choose forbearance, our life is much less stressed. We can overlook the faults of those we love. We don’t mind if our friend has more need to be heard than our trip. We look outward, to the world, to others. We forgive easily because we know that they are human, and some humans don’t care about others. Rudeness of strangers will be so trivial. The imperfections of loved ones will not cause argument.

This does not mean we have no boundaries.

Far from it. If someone says or does something that grieves you and you explain, then if they do it again, something must be done to prevent further harm.

An example: I have a rare neurological disease. My friends have never asked about it. One of them sends a text that caused me anxiety. Because of my rare disease anxiety translates to pain. I told the one who sent the text to please not use such language again. However, a week later, a similar text arrived. I muted notifications from that friend in order to read them at my choosing. A third text caused me to block that person and emailed to say that I could no longer maintain a friendship with someone who cannot respect my boundaries.

For me, people do not frustrate me. I realise we are all flawed in various ways. I can, however, be frustrated by inanimate objects when they do not do what they should. However, this weekend, I have grown hugely in this as my laptop software has rearranged itself. My working life is more awkward and slower. I did not allow frustration to destroy my serenity.

Any negative emotion uses our energy.

Being offended also destroys friendships and other relationships. My mother was an offended person and nothing and no one pleased her. She alienated everyone, including her siblings and in-laws. In my adult life, the only time she was kind to me was when she had a mild stroke in her right brain. The right brain is where we love, connect, and create. As well as other positive functions that are not to do with order.

So we get to choose our emotions. We are in charge of what we allow to dominate our lives. To believe that others make us feel a certain way is destructive and deceptive. No one makes us angry or vindictive. That is our choice. Happy feelings, are a by-product of positivity. So we see that we are designed to be feeling good and happy, though sadness and grief are also normal and must be not be ignored.

Published in Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

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Lands and Countries

In three countries before I was born
and then we moved to one of them
where Oma and Opa raised me
their house truly was my home

Age five we changed countries and language
no more Oma and Opa except twice a year
pined myself sick for my true home
no one understood that was clear

Then we moved to another town
home to me with dens and trees in the garden

the boy next door was sweet on me
he took my side always and secretly kissed me

And then all hell broke loose on me
ensuring I would never be the same
that took me to the strangest land
that has followed me all around the globe

Collecting countries is what I’ve done
and absorbed their cultures too
but the one I want so much to leave
is the land that follows me everywhere

Published in The Lark