Monday, 11 March 2013

Mother's Day Dilemma

I've been a little angst ridden about writing this post, due to (possibly misplaced) loyalty and the uncertainty of how I feel and where to write about it.

In the end I have decided to come here, because it is here that I am a mother, and the mother in me is the one who needs to air the strange betrayal and disappointment I feel at a former boss's rant that appeared in a Sunday newspaper this week.

I am generally very unspecific about work when on social media, happy to be positive of course but wanting always to be appropriate and professional, especially when things aren't quite going well. What I say between family and friends is more like the truth and how I feel but I rarely go into print as it were when I am having a hard time.

When my uncle texted me on Sunday morning to say that the woman I used to work for had been ranting in the newspapers, I assumed that she would be airing her views and frustrations that she is well known for about today's TV industry.  So I thought no more about it and got on with my day.  Later on, in a quiet moment with smartphone in hand, I decided to catch up with the news and remembered to have a look for the article.
I was shocked and upset at what I found.

After nearly 5 years of working with this woman, despite any conflict or upset that occurred across that time, I knew and admired her as a mother, and will forever be thankful for how I was allowed to be the mother I have to be when I worked for her.  On a personal level she was someone who I had seen to be kind and instinctive, not just with my own child but also in her stories and experiences around other non typical kids.

In this article in the newspaper, in a moment of pique talking about her current career at an international conference, she used the word "retards" to describe one UK broadcaster's employees.

I hate this word, as do many people and not just those with family members who are "special" in their needs and development.  To date I haven't joined a campaign or made a big public show of my feelings because it's that public bandwagon thing that I shy away from.  I am very clear when you meet me about my non-acceptance of intolerance and hatred, and will speak up without a moment's hesitation, but online it takes a lot to move me.  At least it did.

With one small description, which will I'm sure be denied as having been said at all, I felt betrayed and hurt as a mother and specifically one who had shared my pain in quiet moments about personal feelings surrounding my life with a complex child.

I don't think she would have used that word if not caught up in whatever moment she was in, and I don't wish her any ill will or aggression in a response to this.  But I do feel palpably hurt for myself and other people who have this word thrown at them, their child, their sibling, anyone, and wish fervently that people thought a little before opening their mouths in that way.

As I followed the story, I became incredulous that it hadn't been picked up by any special interest movements here in the UK, which is when I remembered to look at the Facebook page Spread the Word to End the Word.  As I scrolled down the homepage of this sturdy group, I found just one comment from one person saying had anyone seen the article, and wasn't it a shame, and the comment had no likes or comments in response.

No hoopla, no guns blazing, just disappointment.

In a way that is good I suppose, but also it really isn't. Words have great power and we all make mistakes with them across our lives.  This one offensive word adds to many others that are used and reused to batter and insult people who often can't defend themselves and the heartbroken families who spend far too much time doing so.  I believe it is the duty of writers and public figures to think before they speak to be an inspiration to those who might not know they have to.

So here I am publicly having a personal response, one in which I am frowning as I write, uncomfortable at the disloyalty I feel, but resolute in why I have to speak out.  I will also frown when I press post and then when I share it should I choose to, because I truly don't want to make waves or cause problems, because my feelings persist, even as I come to the end of writing them out.

Before finishing the post, I have just paused and gone back to Facebook to "like" that feisty group that many of my special mummy friends and other good people support.

And this at last has finally given me something to smile about.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Getting back on the horse

Ooh it feels strange to be back on blogspot, back in front of the screen, typing away, thinking what to say, what's been happening, where my head is at and not allowing myself to care if it is at all interesting.

...because this will be a post of rambles and shambles but one that fulfils an important role.  Namely me getting back to writing and introspection and writing about introspection, which kind of makes the introspection mean nothing at all, due to going public with it.

Anyway, here is a quick overview of life since June last year.

I have a brand spanking new job full of positive energy and exciting prospects and a little bit more of the high profile TV me that used to exist before the special little people who are asleep in the other room came into my life.  Leaving the old job was a bit toxic from one corner but I do miss the others who I was sad to leave.  Getting the new job happened faster than ever before and working 3 days a week due to a very understanding and great new boss, means that when seepage occurs via my smartphone across the non working days, I don't mind at all.

I have finally travelled to the other side of the world to see my darling wonderful sister and nieces and brother in law and their home and sheep and veggie patches and chickens and swimming pool and trees and hills and all.  And it was amazing.  Amazing even despite a fraudulent travel agent taking our money back in February and not giving us flights, meaning we had to book everything again in November for our trip the following month.  I may have to stand up in court one day soon and tell a jury and judge exactly how stressful those last few months of "will we won't we get there" were, and actually add up how much money we lost and had to pay out....but wow, how lucky to be in a stable enough time of our lives to still be able to get there and make the most of every minute we had.

I am also keeping my pledge to look after myself.   Eating well, checking out medical stuff that I have been ignoring for some time, and exercising a little in a most enjoyable way.  In fact the two fabulous women I exercise with every week are the impetus for me writing this post.  As we giggle, snort and "inhale hold and exhale" our way through Wednesday nights, we always have time to chat and are slowly peeking into each others' lives.  It touches me when people respond to what I write and it's been so long since I let that bit of me out to play, so Ali thanks for inspiring me to come back and Jo, here is what we were talking about.

I haven't written anything in a long time, journal, blog, books, articles, but some of the old stuff that I created and still think about is beginning to surface again.  Watch this space for when I announce the emerging of a very special gang of kids and the adventures they have, because they are having a new home readied for them right now.

I've saved the best update of all for last, the one that comes from my heart and home.   Me and my hubby and beautiful boys are in a calm phase of life.  Work is good and busy for both of us and we are coping with how often we are not in the same country.  We are making hay while the sun shines, taking full advantage of the progress and development and good health of both our boys.  Junior school suits the big one, testosterone is still allowing him to be sensitive and sweet and kind while made of rock and granite under his growing limbs.  My little magic man has had a wonderful year, all health stuff under control, some getting better with age, new stuff arriving that doesn't scare us, still so much luckier and more successful than I had ever dared to dream.

My writing bones are a bit stiff and achey so I think I'm going to leave my comeback effort here.  It's nice to be back and I look forward to finding my voice again, working out what Sara circa 2013 wants to say and think and feel.

Hope to see you here as I work it out x