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Feel like the worst step mum ever

I don’t know if I have spoken about my stepsons eating habits or not but basically he won’t eat anything with flavour, won’t take a chance on something new (well he didn’t until recently) and won’t even go near sauces, this isn’t because he has anything wrong with him other than his mum letting him get away with having pretty much a beige diet and his mom hates pretty much anything that involves a nicely cooked vegetable that isn’t cooked to an inch of its life, so the poor boy hasn’t stood a chance up until now and now I’ve come along it’s all changed dinnerwise when he comes here, I’m not a pander type person, of course I don’t give gravy to my youngest or toad in the hole (he will eat sausage and Yorkshire just not when it’s made together, I get that he has autism and it’s a ‘thing’ for him but my eldest who is also autistic hates onion and mushroom yet we still make food with these ingredients, if cut very small he won’t even notice, I’m not a ‘two dinners’ mum, you either eat what is in front of you or go with out basically and my children have never starved with this method, anything they don’t like they just pick it out).

So anyway my step son, Gerald. He is a lovely dear little boy and a year ago their is no way he would eat a chicken korma or anything like this but this past year he has tried that and more, even asking for it the next time he stays, I’m so proud of him but Tuesday I let myself down big time, they came for dinner after school and instead of them having what we were having (pie and chips) and as it was a special day (there mum was at their great nana funeral) I decided to break my ‘two dinner’ rule and make pasta instead, but I didn’t have any pasta sauce so I used tomato ketchup and mixed a few things in it, like some garlic (which he loves) mixed herbs, four chilli (tiny) flakes and some diced up broccoli, I tried it and it tasted amazing. They get their dinner first and start and my stepdaughter Florence mentioned it was spicy but not blow your head off spicy, we tried it and it was again fine, remember this is Gerald’s favourite meal and I gave him a bigger bowl as he loves it, an hour later he is still sat there, complaining it was too spicy (he had an actual slice of garlic bread I made with real garlic and had chunks on top which in my opinion more blow your head off then the pasta yet he ate it), he still wasn’t half way through and we had to get them home as it was nearly seven (in an ideal world their go home for baths etc but that’s just a made up thing in their house) and after he criticised the broccoli (his sister said it was too hard ‘I agree Florence’ he said) I got up and removed his bowl and informed him that it was made entirely out of ketchup we asked if it sauce was that bad and he said ‘no, it was just too spicy’ (think of a really whiney voice and then triple it) again we tried it and it was the mildest thing ever, I wouldn’t mind but he tried korma, he had a very small piece of grilled pepper with cheese recently!

Thing is I got very offended, I honestly thought I’d make them a nice meal and all it got was criticised the whole time and if it was my children they would have been really thankful I made them their favourite, I went downstairs and waited for to take them home, Gerald came to say sorry but he has said sorry before over food and I know in two weeks when they come again it will be a battle (I’ve told Jim he can cook for them now, Florence will eat pretty much anything, well actually no, she asks for these things and doesn’t finish them, I’ve noticed it’s a habit lately it’s like she wants more than Gerald, she also does this thing when she doesn’t want to eat ‘can I go an make some room’ she goes off and comes back and rarely eats anything after, Gerald tried this will me a few times but I said ‘Gerald I have 16 years experience at all the tricks, you go before dinner or after, not during’. When they got to where they live Jim gave me a kiss and Gerald tried too but I said I didn’t want one and I saw the look on his face and I can’t get it out of my head he went indoors and burst into tears apparently and it’s all my fault, if I hadn’t of stick those four tiny flakes in he probably would have ate it, I didn’t need to tell him how the sauce was made and I didn’t need to treat him the way I did and I really wish I could give him a cuddle and know he is ok because it’s killing me thinking he might hate me now.

I know I should be more chilled out but when you go round someone’s house for dinner and he is all ‘I don’t likkkke ittttt’ really is irritating, he doesn’t see the bigger picture that someone has cooked for him and it’s hardly a gourmet meal, he doesn’t see that when they come round we want variety and he should have variety in his life, god knows what he will do when he has a hangover he doesn’t eat eggs and isn’t fond of bacon! 

I feel like we came so far and in that one split second of a stupid thought on my part that’s trust I built up with him and food will have gone. He tried korma and loved it, he’s tried Chinese and liked it, damn we even got him eating BBQ flavoured things the other day!! 

I hope he is ok and I haven’t turned into an evil step mum in his eyes, I only want him to enjoy meal times, enjoy the tastes, the smells and eat a little more healthy.

Until next time V x

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Despair and love

Autism, its autism awareness month still and yes, I am an autism mummy, I’ve been one for years but this weekend it’s been an absolute fucking nightmare living with an autistic child and this will probably be totally the wrong post considering my last one was embracing my autistic children (I have two) I must share with you the real truth about living with a child On the spectrum, try as I might to remember the ‘welcome to holland’ poem, the sheer reality is this: holland is a living nightmare sometimes and when I’ve had a weekend like this, I really wish just for a small nano second that the plane didn’t got to holland but my chosen destination of Italy.

You see mini Jim stayed with us for a week and it was relatively ok, well actually it wasn’t, it was a tiny bit horrible, watching what we wanted on tv was a no no, big Jim and I wasn’t allowed to be alone for longer than two seconds and I really wish I could change what we were having for dinner at the last moment without world war three almost erupting.

Of course I wouldn’t change my little boy I really wouldn’t but it’s times like this when I am stood in a car park in streams of tears and despair that I think ‘thank fuck I don’t deal with this everyday’, which of course sounds very selfish of me but his father has always been much better at dealing with him than me (I have mentioned I don’t have that ‘mummy gene’) he also has the freedom to send him to another room when he gets to much, we don’t have that luxury unfortunately and it’s became clear that we need to move faster on the moving front if mini Jim is going to carry on the way he did this weekend.

For the best part of two years he has calmed down and considering when he was in his last year of primary his whole world collapsed when mine collapsed too, he coped remarkably well, he had a few moments that he reverted back to old Jim (like the day I moved out and I prepared the teachers for that day but did any of them speak to each other..like fuck they did so when I went to pick him up from school we got called over to say he had really misbehaved..no shit Sherlock!!!) but on the whole he improved at school both with his learning socially and emotionally too. Then last year I moved away with in two weeks a new lady moved into their family home and a few short weeks later he went to big school and since then his behaviour had been slowly declining again, all the coping skills he learnt seemed to vanish over night, his step mum has found it hard with his behaviour but his dad handles it well, I on the other hand feel like I am stuck in holland with no fucking clue what to do, every tactic I learnt over the years and nothing seems to work and it doesn’t help that he is older now and follows what and how his older brothers act.

Everything is ‘his way or no way’ from where we go to how long we stay, he had always been the same but I guess when he behaved like this before it was me and my ex husband and we would bounce off each other in terms of one is getting upset the other will take over and as much as I love big Jim we haven’t got that dynamic and I always have it in the back of my mind, little Jim and his problems are for me to sort out and Big Jim didn’t sign up for an exhausting weekend of not being to do as he pleases or if he does the end result is a major meltdown, so I always have that in my head and although Big Jim wants to help I won’t let him because he fell in love with me and then my kids but he didn’t fall in love with the crazy person that erupts every five minutes because we’ve changed our minds, we can’t do something or simply because we don’t have a plan in the first place.

I love those parents that can cope, that can deal with having to live their life by a plan and times but I can’t live like that and I absolutely hate that term ‘they have to learn’ but in some respects they do have to try and cope with the unexpected, especially now my kids are older, when they are younger you can live your life to a certain degree of planning and rountine but as they get older they have to start adapting (my children only have mild autism by the way, when I say this stuff I am not aiming it as children or adults with ASD that simply can’t function without help etc) to life, because sooner or later exams are going to happen, work is going to happen so to some degree they do have to start ‘learning’ but by that I mean us setting them up and trying to teach them skills to cope with living in the big wide world, skills that I obviously don’t have.

Take this weekend for instance, come Saturday it was the longest I had actually spent 24/7 with my son for months, actually thinking about it, last summer, he came to stay when we were in the house but this was together ALL the time, well it wasn’t all the time, I had to go to work for a few hours each day but when I got home it was relentless, on our own we would settle down to watch mike and molly when I got in and we would wait for Big Jim to get home and that’s when it would all change, I guess because I was happy to do what he wanted and have been used to just doing what he wanted but put someone else in the frame and it all changes. Saturday was particularly bad though. We did an event for charity and he was ok-ish there, apart from wanting to know when we were leaving and could he eat his way through the pile of sandwiches that was ok but on the way home it was bad, I had to stop because I couldn’t hold it in any longer and I couldn’t cope and just started crying, usually at this point George would take over and things would be fine but Big Jim doesn’t really know how to handle a child like this as has never had dealings with anyone on the spectrum, he tried to calm things down but nothing we did worked. And the laughing at us just made it a hundred times worse.

Yesterday he wasn’t so bad but after that long I was thankfully I could hand him back to his dad, we had cuddles when I left and I know he is looking forward to next time he comes and we have baby daddy to watch (that’s his unhealthy obsession!) and I am looking forward cuddles with my baby but for now I am enjoying the peace and quiet!
Much love V x

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Moving to a new town

Back in July I moved 50 miles from where all my family and friends are, to be with Jim and I have never felt so lonely sometimes in all my life.

When I lived in the tiny village where everyone knew each other I could pop round a friends house or pop to the pub (it didn’t matter when) and someone would be their to talk too or if I didn’t have that I had work or being with my kids, I had a ‘constant’ around me the whole time and no matter how many times in the past I convinced myself I wanted time on my own, I would scream and shout that I wanted a couple of evenings just me, myself and I but what I would give to be able to still see my kids every day, go to work Monday to Friday or simply go to the pub after work and get shitfaced with my bestie, instead now, I am in a room Monday to Friday and I don’t usually talk until Jim comes home (right now I am not even sure I can talk as I haven’s said a word today, even saying goodbye to Jim this morning I think I grunted), I don’t have much housework to do, its a room for godsake and why should I clean up after the rest of the house? (believe me there has been washing up on the window sill since Sunday and I’m struggling to leave it but the boy who made that mess needs to learn he needs to wash up), I don’t have any hobbies and only this week I’ve actually felt comfortable to put the TV on during the day (didn’t even do that in the whole house we had), the only other people I speak to down here is Jim’s family and they, as I have said before are lovely and without them I would have gone mad months ago.

I guess if I was an outgoing person and put myself out there the maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely but I have no Idea what to do and this is the crunch, most of these things require money to take part and I just don’t have that right now.

I’m trying hard to find a job but I’ll be honest finding one that doesn’t mean working weekends because of the kids is hard but things have changed since we moved, we have kids every weekend and if I am truly honest those weekends that we have Jim’s kids over, I could work as I struggle with his youngest but that’s for another time, plus also finding work here is totally different to finding work in a small village, my last job I just fell into, I am proud that I don’t claim benefit though while I am sat on my arse.

I am hoping that things will change soon, Jim has started to make changes with his friendship circle and it’s time I took steps to sort mine (or lack of) but finding new friends is hard, I knew my ones in Kent well, how and where do you find them these days?

Anyway I am excited now the washing machine has finished which means for 7 minutes I have something to do!

V x

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Life is precious

This weekend, like 9 weeks ago, reality came crashing down on me like a hurricane, I think my life is shit but it’s nothing compared to what I have witnessed in those short weeks.

Firstly at the start of December last year, we lost Jim’s cousin to suicide, in the most horrible way you could imagine and it’s broken his parents beyond repair, their beautiful son, gone for good and why? why did he feel his life wasn’t worth living? We don’t know the reasons why, we may never know but I know one thing, mental health is a fucker and wish as you might “I wish I saw the signs” etc, hindsight is a wonderful thing but hindsight won’t bring this human being back, it’s something that should never have happened, something we wish we could have prevented but we couldn’t, we didn’t and for that his parents will be in torture for the rest of their lives. This puts my shit life right to the back of the field, like we are talking in the fucking bushes. But one thing we can do from this is we can use the signs he was displaying, the words he was using, the techniques he was using to hide his problems and try and help others, if we can save one life from Richard’s death, we might not have been able to save him but if we can help another family not suffer the same pain we have then he won’t have died for nothing.

I never met Richard and I felt awful on the day of his funeral for crying with Jim, I have never wanted to take someones pain away from them as much as Jim and the rest of his family, how his brother, father and most importantly his mother had the strength to stand up and talk to everyone the way she did was heart wrenching, it was the day before Christmas Eve and usually around that time, the drinks are flowing and everyone is having a great time but that afternoon at the wake, drink was flowing and their was laughter but with so much sadness of what we had witnessed earlier that day. I had never been to a funeral that was standing room only, Richard was so loved, I hope he was looking down seeing everyone that came out for him, to say goodbye to this sweet young man. This family I have found myself, in the short space of time is amazing and so close I have never experienced anything like it, his parents will pull through because their is a fantastic support network around them and they can take away the fact they had 27 wonderful years with Richard, unlike the next thing that has summed up my life this past weekend….

In the past month campaign has been running in my hometown, to try and raise £250000 to save a little girl, whose only treatment was available in America, a whole community came together and raised well past what they needed, with more fundraisers organised but sadly, she passed away early Saturday morning, she was just two years old, she had diagnosis at just 16 months old with stage 4 neuroblastoma, ever since then little Flo had fought hard but sadly she just couldn’t do it anymore and her little body could take no more, again like Richard she is out of pain and hopefully dancing in the stars, Richard if you read this can you please look after Flo for when her parents can join her again? I know it’s a silly thing to ask on a blog that a dead person is never going to read but isn’t it a nice thought that these two troubled, pain free souls meeting and him looking after her, or taking her to where she needs to be? it makes me feel better thinking this.

So yeah, my shit life is nothing compared to these two families fighting pain every single fucking day, fuck mental health and fuck cancer.

Fly high the pair of you xx

If you need help or think someone needs help: http://www.mind.org.uk

To donate to Flo fight: https://www.facebook.com/Flosfight

 

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Why do Alien lives matter?

Its an odd choice of name for a blog/website isn’t it? well one thing I have learnt over the course of the last 37 years, that no matter how much we plaster a smile on our faces and in the last few years since Facebook became a staple of our every day lives and the constant ‘look at my life isn’t it great!’ posts we see, for lots of people, life is actually pretty shit but not many are game enough to admit it…I am changing that though, I am standing up to say “my name is Vera and I have a shit life” of course not all of my life is shit but no one will ever say that they have no money or that holiday they went on was funded by a loan, bank of mum and dad or brought by not paying bills, you simply see them on a nice holiday hiding the truth or that night out they had, the smile across their faces actually masks that to have that night out, they are living off sausages and chips for a week brought for £1.50 in Lidl. Even the little green men matter, hence the name.

So I would love to know why life is so shit to you (you will find that I make sentences far bigger than they need to be as I don’t know the correct your and your’re, the same with there, their and they’re….)

Shit Problem One: Basically money or lack of

Shit Problem Two: small matter my kids live with their (did I do it right?!) dad fifty miles away (no I am not a shit mum, two of my boys are autistic and was better for them to stay with their dad and the eldest is doing his exams this year) but they are happy

Shit Problem Three: I have two toned hair that looks ginger (nothing wrong with a ginge but I didn’t want ginge I wanted a mane of blonde

Shit Problem Four: most of my clothes have little holes in them from the crazy ladies house I moved into last year (I am sure I will do a post on that sometime, it’s comedy gold)

Shit Problem Five: I don’t have a job (long story) but with Shit Problem Number One I can’t do anything about Shit Problem Three and Four…

So come on, tell me why your/you’re lives are shit? open up, you can message me to remain anonymous, my plan is to do dedicate a page for others people #shitlivesmatter so people don’t feel so alone and use it as a bit of support and realise “actually life isn’t THAT bad”

Much Love V x