katiefinger.com

working towards perfection (and failing)

the problem with facebook

They say that the eyes are the window to your soul.  I don’t really know about this because I’m an eye-contact avoider, finding it uncomfortable and intrusive.  I therefore know little about your soul, or anyone’s soul. However, it has become apparent to me that Facebook may be the new window to your soul. And – somewhat scarily, with a big dollop of ignorance and naïvety on the side - this window often has the curtains open for the whole wide world to be able to see what’s deep inside your very core.

Sometimes, it freaks me out. But on most occasions it makes me realise that I don’t know you at all, or that you’re a bit dumb, or that you spend far too much time attention-seeking, and then a multitude of other opinions go racing through my sweet little head, making me roll my eyes or feel superior and smug.

I’d like to introduce you to some of the statuses which have found their way onto my timeline in the past couple of weeks, with the punctuation and grammar they were afforded by the people who wrote them (unless paraphrased, and then it’s all my own mistakes.)

The text-talker: “Nightmare can’t put wellies on due to pain in broker toes and its going to rain at beacons” – There is a HUGE lack of grammar and punctuation here, and I myself would NEVER post a status without checking such things.  I realise I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi, and I may at times be overzealous with my use of the nifty little idea of the edit button, but I went to uni with you so I know you’re capable of more.

The bored housewife: “Taking daisy swimming” – Lovely. Why did I want to know that?

The internet addict: “I post-cross my Twitter oddities with my Fb timeline. That way you get to see parts of conversations which make no sense to you because I’m”

“indulging in a #tweetchat, which makes me super cool. #amazeballs.”

‘Nuff said.

The roundabout teller-offer: “Wonders why indirectly (or maybe it is direct) some people can be deliberately unkind – when it actually does not really solve matters??” – What my Wicked Stepmother wrote just after a weekend when my Mumsy got to spend an entire weekend with all her four children, their partners and her five grandchildren. One sibling had come over from continental Europe with his family. Said sibling had cut all ties with The Monster (Father) eight months previously. We know your game, Stepmother.

The greedy one: “All my friends are having babies. I want a baby.” – You already have one. Love her, cherish her and be thankful that you’re so blessed.  Some of us may never experience that.

The attention-seeker: “Some people make me sick.” / “I’m mad.” / “I’m sad.” / “I wish it wasn’t like this.” – I’m sorry but I refuse to fall victim to your focus on me status. Whatever it is, get it off your chest and put us all out of our misery you attention-seeking whore.  Also, offering to PM people when they inevitably ask, “What’s up, hun?” is very unbecoming and downright fucking rude.

The attention-seeker v.2 – feed my ego: “I’m currently on 218 likes [link hidden] which is someway from my next target of 250! So if you haven’t liked the page please go and do so and if you have liked and want to share my page it would be much appreciated !”- You post this every fucking week … enough! If I want to like it then I’ll like it, but please don’t beg me to like it.  Likewise with the “Sponsor me! Sponsor me!” statuses which you post nearly every fucking day beginning six months prior to the event. This just puts me off sponsoring you. A couple of requests is surely ample?

The attention-seeker v.3 – my boring life: “This is my blog” – Okay. I’ve read it, it’s a bit yawn-inducing and for a qualified solicitor your English is appalling.

My kidz are better than yours: “This is a picture of my daughter, and another, and another …” – I know you love her and cherish her, but twelve photos of her wearing the same dress, sitting in the same spot? Really?

The ponderer: “Who would have thought trying to upgrade a mobile phone would get you thinking” – Everybody … if you’re upgrading your phone you need to think about lots of things, numpty.

The attention-seeker v.4 – i want to be seen to be more popular than you: “It’s my birthday in however many days.” – So? Oh … you want lots of people to say, “Happy Birthday, Attention-Seeker!” so that you look popular and amazeballs? Got it! Oops, forgot to say, “Happy Birthday!” Sorry.

The sheeple v.1 – if everyone else believes it i need to believe it too: “I’m sharing this picture/quote/link/video. It’s about something I feel really strongly about and I’m completely appalled/saddened/happy about it.  However, I haven’t checked the validity and so I don’t know if it’s correct, but you must see or read it.” – This applies mostly to anyone who shares a link from the Fb group Britain First (you do know they’re a very racist group, ja?) or shares those pictures which claim Fb will give money to save the dying baby/dog/seal for every share it receives (they won’t, idiot). Your internet connection can offer you more than just games and sheeple activities … try Snopes!

The sheeple v.2 – of course i care: Anything which ends with “I know 97% of people won’t repost this, but my friends will be the 3% that do.” – Nope. I won’t. Don’t guilt-trip me and my emotions and make me feel like a bad person. I’m a good person and I don’t need to prove it to you, or anyone.

The superiority complex: “I’ve never read or seen this, but I heard such and such about it, which must be true, so without basing anything on my own views I’m telling you to avoid it because if I think it’s shit, it must be shit and you’re a fool if you think otherwise. LOL Dumbass.”  – Um … okay. I’ll read it or see it if I want to, and then I’ll come back and tell you whether I think you’re right or wrong and if I think you’ll enjoy it.

The religious nutter: “God has blessed me with <insert something here>. He is wonderful.  Without him my life wouldn’t be the same.” I suspect it would, love.

the pregnant YASiL

biological-clock

Blokey came downstairs and into the kitchen in the early hours of yesterday evening.  I had an email from Bro, he said. YASiL is pregnant, he said.

And so I went into shutdown. I stomped about for a bit, and then I put my happy face on.  But I can’t bear the idea of contacting her (or BiL) and offering my congratulations.  To many (including them), this probably makes me a selfish bitch. But it’s simply my way of coping, a need to have time to reflect and process, to consider the best way to deal with it and find solutions which will stop the happy mask slipping and betraying my true feelings about it.

To put it bluntly, I am gutted.

I am gutted because for the next howevermanymonths (I know not, I’ve refrained from asking Blokey about the finer details because I’m not ready to hear them) all I’m going to hear is baby talk. Baby this, baby that, baby here, baby there.  No visit to MiLs will be complete without beaming I’m going to be a grandmother at last! remarks, and to me they’ll feel like snide digs.  I’m the DiL who gave life through a kidney, but who hasn’t proven her womanhood through the conception of a continuing bloodline. I’ll have to look at scan pictures and bite my tongue when my baby names are bandied about as potential possibilities. Through it all I’ll have to smile and be interested, whilst my heart breaks and my head screams in frustration.

Extended family members will pity me and come out with stupid comments about how my time will come, or similar. I’ll just smile.

I hate her. Right now, I hate her. I hate her for having the one thing right now that I desperately want.  I hate her because she’ll be a perfect mother, to a perfect baby and she’ll spend all her time with her perfect yummy-mummy friends and their perfect children.

And it’s ridiculous because of course I love her.  I love both of them to bits. And I know that I will embrace this baby with all the love that a non-genetically related auntie can muster.  I will be the most amazing auntie that this baby ever has, showering him or her with love and goodies and memories …

But right now I don’t feel like celebrating, and I reserve the right to feel this way whilst my head sorts itself out.

Forgive me if I spend the rest of my days pondering, Why me? What did I do that was so tragically terrible in a past life?

now i am 40

my truth

I don’t have a problem with being forty years old.  I feel no different to how I felt the day before I turned forty, when I was only thirty-nine.  Indeed, I feel no different to how I felt when I turned twenty-one, except I’m now minus a left kidney and I have creaky knees.

That panic attack I had earlier in the year about turning forty seems a tad ridiculous now.

One of the best aspects about being forty is that I can embrace the older lady who lives inside me (with the skinny one, and the teenager – the arguments they have!) … that old lady is thinking she can do what she wants, when she wants.

New tattoo?  Why stop at just one?!

New piercing? Absolutely (don’t get excited, nowhere odd – just an ear again, hopefully, one day, before forty-one knocks at the door!)

A few grey hairs?  Sod it, they might look elegant and distinguished if I put away the dye and give them a chance.

I am forgetful, and I appear to have a problem with my hearing. I should probably get my eyes tested again (it’s only been ten years since they were last looked at) and I love my afternoon naps (but not how I feel when I awaken from them.)

My boobies aren’t saggy yet, but give them time. They’ll catch up with the idea of being old soon.

I stopped seeing the counsellor.  I stopped liking her and opening up about myself made me anxious.  Talking made me anxious. I was making myself feel small and stupid, and I don’t want to feel small and stupid so I’m back to locking myself away from the world and pretending that life is hunky-dory and wonderful.  But it’s okay; it’s my choice and I’m happy with that choice.  I feel comfortable in this skin because it’s a skin I’ve lived in for so long.

If people knew what I was living with they’d be horrified. I’m an amazing actress.

I’m on holiday now – no more work till the beginning of September.  It’s a fabulous perk of working in education but this year I feel it’s going to both drag and speed by, in equal measures. A part of me would rather be at work, even though I adore my time off and never want it to end. I have no concrete plans. Occasional shopping trips and luncheons with friends. I have The Vampire Diaries and Skins box-sets to catch up with, and my garden needs a through tidy.

My MiL has been diagnosed with lung cancer, admitted to Hospital and had nearly half her lung removed in the last few weeks. Speedy. She appears to have gone from thirty-ish cigarettes a day for the last forty years, to none a day.  We’re not convinced this will last.  The lung doctor told her that the cancer has all gone (obviously she’ll have regular check-ups for the next five years) and that it may not have been the fag addiction which caused the cancer.  I think she just hears what she wants to hear.

My cats are still beautiful.

something i learned

quote

Today’s photo challenge is ‘something i learned’ and I think I’m going to take a photograph of the orchid on my kitchen windowsill; this time last year I thought it was dead. The lesson learned being that even seemingly dead things may flower again if left alone.

That strikes me as being a lot like my life really.  Leave me alone and I’ll bloom.  Stifle me and I’ll likely curl up and hope you go away.

Due to the terrible month that was March I opted to throw my hands in the air, wave the white flag and surrender myself to the Happiness Pills.  It’s been six weeks now and they appear to be working, although in the last week I’ve felt more anxious and somewhat hyper again.  I’m on the lowest dose possible; it may need tweaking.

Also, I’m seeing a counsellor.

It is REALLY difficult.  Not only do I not like talking, but I definitely don’t like talking about myself.

And despite only seeing her for three one hour sessions, I appear to have learnt (or allowed myself to realise) some things about myself.

I’m a control freak.

I may possibly have a superiority complex.

I actually LIKE feeling this way. This goes back to being a control freak.

Although I now look at things as an adult and think they’re insignificant, the fact that they happened when I was a child – thinking as a child – means that it’s okay to accept that my childhood was traumatic.

I have a lot of guilt over the stuff I put my beloved Mumsy through.

I never talk about my own (personal) experiences, even with friends.

I have no (limited) confidence/self-esteem.

I push people away because it’s easier than having to deal with drama.

I can’t think of anything that I’m good at.

What are you good at, KatieF?

I don’t know. I can tell you lots of things I’m not good at though.

I know that, she laughed.

I hate it when she asks me what I’m thinking.  Sometimes I’m sitting there and not thinking anything, and sometimes I’m unable to put the things I’m thinking into spoken sentences which will make sense, even to me.

I know I’ve been very lucky.  Because of the kidney situation I was able to see her (she’s the renal counsellor attached to the dialysis unit at Hospital) and it all happened rather quickly.  Had I had to wait for therapy at the GP surgery I would have had a good three months to wonder why I’m bothering, and then I wouldn’t have gone. I don’t know how many more sessions I’ll have, or whether it’s really helping me as much as it could, but at least I can say that I’ve tried it and I’ve tried opening up and being honest about who I am and where I’ve come from.

It’s just nice for someone to tell me that it’s okay to feel this way … it isn’t all just in my head.

March 2014

March was a terrible, terrible month.  I think I did a fairly good job of hiding how terrible it was.

I did manage to complete the #FMSPhotoaday challenge though, and am continuing it for April.  I know that you’re obviously dying to see my pictures, so show and tell them I shall. Or, the best ones anyway.

#somethingborrowed ... the last page of a book I borrowed from the library. It was sad, and they've made it into a film. I'm in two minds about going to see it.

#somethingborrowed … the last page of a book I borrowed from the library. It was sad, and they’ve made it into a film. I’m in two minds about going to see it.

#faraway ... Waiting for the bus after work; it's a long way away, under the bridge.

#faraway … waiting for the bus after work; it’s a long way away, under the bridge.

#cropped ... my feet, in one of my favourite places.

#cropped … my feet, in one of my favourite places.

#weathertoday ... it was overcast but spring-y.

#weathertoday … it was overcast but spring-y.

#soft ... Qyzy, my beautiful boy cat (who has softer fur than Dora, who is much less annoying.)

#soft … Qyzy, my beautiful boy cat (who has softer fur than Dora, who is much less annoying.)

#morning ... at the antique fair, where we stumbled upon them filming for bargain Hunt again. They did lots of running around for seemingly no reason.

#morning … at the antique fair, where we stumbled upon them filming for Bargain Hunt again. They did lots of running around for seemingly no reason.

#nostalgia ... Sindy was my favourite toy as an ickle-thing, so now I source her out and antique fairs. And not forgetting the Enid Blyton Dean & Son Ltd. books in the background.

#nostalgia … Sindy was my favourite toy as an ickle-thing, so now I source her out at antique fairs. And not forgetting the Enid Blyton Dean & Son Ltd. books in the background, of course.

#sticky ... I wrote my Blokey a post-it note and left it on his 'current mood' thingy, because I am lovely.

#sticky … I wrote my Blokey a post-it note and left it on his ‘current mood’ thingy, because I am lovely.

We also took a trip to London to watch our beloved (not very good) football team win the FA Trophy in a match with a lesser known (and even more not very good) team. Notice how two not very good teams are unable to fill Wembley Stadium … *grin* (It was an amazing atmosphere though, even with only 20,000 people making a small dent in a stadium built for 80,000!)

My first view of Wembley, from the tube station.

My first view of Wembley, from the tube station.

Just outside, drinking extortionately priced tea and enjoying the blue sky.

Just outside, drinking extortionately priced tea and enjoying the blue sky.

The supporters go wild!

The supporters go wild!

Playful.

Playful.

We won! So much applause!

We won! So much applause!

That was March.

#fmsphotoaday

MARCH-photoaday

Last year I took a photo a day, for no other reason than I wanted to. However, it becomes pretty boring after a while, especially when you run out of things to take pictures of (oh my God, it’s ten to midnight and I haven’t taken a photo today; where’s that damn cat!). So, after a hiatus of a couple of months I stumbled across this fun thing to do, and so do it I shall.  I’m going to try to twitter and instagram them, but will share my best attempts with this blog, because it’s mine and I can.

Tomorrow we’re off to my MiLs for birthday celebrations (hers) and to hear stories of house buying (BiL & YASiLs). I shall nod and smile in appropriate places whilst wishing I was at home, being a homebody and hoping that next week will pass very very quickly so that the weekend will get here and I can relax.

Today one of our cats has vomited. We suspect Qyzy, purely because he bolted his food and the stomach contents left on the floor look decidedly fresh. It is nothing but fun in the house of KatieF.

taking the next step

cat

Back when the world had just stopped being 1999 and was enjoying all that the early ‘noughties had to offer, I went a little bit crazy.  There were reasons for this craziness; breast cancer took my auntie, old age took both my beloved grandad and my beloved childhood pussy-cat, the Big Brother listened to stupid advice from me and left his wife for his masseur, and I put my abusive lover onto a train and kissed goodbye to him for ever.  This all happened within just seven months.

Oh, and I was being bullied at work by both a parent and by a fellow teacher.

Sucked to be me.

The craziness manifested itself in ways of which I’m not necessarily proud. I withdrew from life.  Having been signed off work with depression I locked myself away in my tiny little flat. By night I drank vodka, chain-smoked till the ashtray was overflowing and chatted to sometimes odd, sometimes charming, very rarely lovely, guys online.

By day I slept.

I also took risks, the most stupid of which was meeting guys in London for ‘fun’. This was only twice, but it was dangerous and ill-thought out.

The craziness didn’t last for long. I gave up my beautiful little flat and toddled off home to Mumsy for some tlc.  A few months later I met Blokey and the rest is history.

I have a lot of ‘what ifs‘ to ponder about concerning this odd little period of my life, and I’m mostly thinking about it now because if I wasn’t where I am right now (in a loving marriage, with a fabulous relationship with Mumsy) I think I’d be heading back to CrazyTown with a one-way ticket.

As it stands, I’ve been to the GP. I said I didn’t want to take antiDs. He asked what I wanted. I said I’d like counselling. He’s going to refer me.

My biggest ‘what if‘ of my craziness episode is wondering where I’d be now if I’d asked for counselling back when the world was enjoying its new adventure in the 21st Century.  However, I think I’d be in the same place I am now.  I’ve stumbled upon recollections, signs, the writings of people connected to me, which have made me a different person to the one I was in my mid-twenties. I’ve put the jigsaw pieces together and I’m solving the puzzle. I think that counselling will help … it may not complete the puzzle, but it may render it complete with just a few token pieces missing.

And it might be a waste of time, but I won’t know if I don’t try.

I had counselling once when I was at uni. I think it was towards the end of my first year, so I was still an impressionable eighteen year old. I was told I wasn’t depressed, he didn’t know what I was doing there and it was a waste of time. I saw him twice. I feel very angry now that he didn’t take the time to listen to me, didn’t crack away at the defences I’d built up and realise that I was very fucked up indeedy.

But I’m grateful that he didn’t because I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t be the woman that I am if he’d been good at his job. And it’s very hard to explain that I actually like being me; it feels safe and comfortable. That was the hardest part about going to see my GP and admitting I need some sort of help or support. If counselling (and/or pills; he’s told me to consider them) do achieve what I want it/them to achieve then it means I might change. And I can’t bear the idea that I might change.

But I do feel calmer now, and that’s a blessed relief.

And I will write a happy happy happy post one day.

(i’m also having bloods taken so they can check my thyroid … i don’t want it to be my thyroid because i do need counselling, but i suppose it would be good to know that my deeply ingrained feelings are just being exacerbated by something medically treatable.)

who the fuck is edward cullen?

onceuponatime

… in a not-so far away land, lived a girl with an insatiable need to write about herself for all the world to see.  Oh, she had kept diaries in the past, but these were full of silliness and teenage-angst.  Nobody ever read those diaries. Nobody ever will, until our heroine is dead and buried.  She tried various means of introducing herself to the world at large, but finally settled on Xanga.com.

It was a jovial little place.  The girl let people into her head – warts and all – and they still wanted to be her friend.  This made her feel all squishy inside.  She discovered that the world was very teeny-tiny (one person she befriended was a real life friend of her Baby Brother) and that most folk are completely bonkers and attention-seeking numpties.

She frolicked happily in XangaLand for five and a half years, until the time came to fly the nest. XangaLand shaped the girl into a woman and when her Blokey offered to buy her the katiefinger.com domain, it only seemed fair that it be put to good use.

One day KatieF went back to XangaLand and found that it was gone. GONE! Oh, woe. But it offered our young(-ish) woman the opportunity to download all her posts and save them on her computer.  This she did, and then she made a new blog* and now all her old Xanga posts live there.

At some point she will read through those ancient posts and have a laugh, but for now she’s just happy to have seen an occasional snapshot of a life once lived.

Just who the fuck is Edward Cullen?

(*it did dawn on me a very long time later [today] that i could have just imported them into a page on this blog, but i didn’t.)

you know you’re all grow’d up when …

I was raised dragged up in a house with green living and dining rooms. For much of my childhood and adolescent years they weren’t *just* green though. Oh no. In each room three walls were wallpapered with designs of tiny green flowers on a white background and one wall was papered with the craziest green(y-ish) circles.

Crazy wallpaper

Me, with my beloved Uncle Keith in about 1982.

Of course, it wasn’t just the crazy seventies wallpaper which we lived with.  There were also the garishly orange patterned curtains to contend with, and the predominantly green patterned carpet. My parents were the height of fashion.

My Mumsy still has the carpet. It went out of fashion and then came back in.

1975

May, 1975

Christmas 1982/3 - what's with the ornaments, Mother?!

Christmas 1982/3 – what’s with the ornaments, Mother?!

July, 1992

July, 1992

The littlest nephew - Christmas, 2013

The littlest nephew – Christmas, 2013

If carpets could talk it would have the most amazing stories to tell.  And some not so amazing. And some which would make my Mumsy blush, lots.

Anywhichway, having been brought up amongst so much green, in all its hues, I was adamant that as a grow’d up I would never – NEVER – have any green in my home.

Last week I bought some paint.

Melon Sorbet

Melon Sorbet

And some painting equipment.

Let's get painting

Let’s get painting

And one wall in my living room is now green.

Green!

Green!

Flowery

Flowery

An injection of personality

An injection of personality

Not only have I given in to Green, but I gave in to Patterns on the floor too.

Patterns!

Patterns!

All grow’d up.

*sigh*

ps: my bathroom is green too.

not in my head anymore

fuck

I was on the phone with Mumsy earlier and she was telling me about how Baby Brother’s partner (Joey-Joe-Joe) has been poorly. He had some bloods taken and they showed that his liver is slightly off-kilter so he needs more tests.

I hope he’s not ill; I don’t need anything else to worry about, she said.

This is why I bottle things up.

She has a son with a bad back (to the extent that it is basically crippling him), another who they thought had a tumour, and another who spills his heart out to her her when he’s feeling depressed, or having problems with his Father or wife, despite being a thousand miles away in a foreign country. She has a son-in-law with chronic kidney failure and a daughter who has already put her through enough worry by having elective major surgery.

I’ve had a good sob (my already poorly Qyzy-Qat tentatively came to see what the matter was and let me stroke him so I could calm down and actually breathe again) and I’m now putting this online for the world Lone Reader to see simply to have it in a place other than in my head.

My day can now return to normality. I have postcards to write and photos to sort into a frame. Then I might go and snuggle up in bed with my pussies and have a well-deserved nap before it’s time to hit Gym.

Sorry.

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