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That time I lost my mind & just did jigsaws with a blanket round my shoulders

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It has been 2 years since I was off work for 3 months after having a bit of a breakdown/losing the plot/ dropping my basket/going a bit cuckoo – call it what you will.
I don’t think I have properly addressed why this happened.  So this post could end up being quite the cathartic exercise.  Read it. Don’t read it.  I don’t care TBH but I need to write it.

Essentially it was school that broke me. 

Feelings of imposter syndrome. Not feeling as though I was backed up by senior leaders. Children!  The children! Oh man.  Please people, if you are well aware (or pretending you don’t know) that your son/daughter can be an utter twat, please try and sort that shit out before they break someone else.
Teachers do not go into the profession to yell at kids or mete out punishments, keeping children in at breaktime and all that shite.  They do it because they love working with young minds. They want to bring out the best in your children. To teach them and teach them well. It’s not about long holidays. Every teacher will tell you how much of their holidays they spend sorting out paperwork and planning for the next term. A lot of which will never be used to its full potential, probably because they end up wasting air giving the usual suspects a coating for fecking about, being rude, acting out and generally being a fucking nuisance.  Meanwhile, the select few are sitting there patiently waiting to hear what they need to do. They want to work. They want to learn.  We need more of those kids.  Sadly, more often than not it’s just a firefight until it’s time to go home where you can cry into a gin and spend an hour on Indeed.co.uk wondering if it’s too late to retrain as a Prison Guard because god knows you already have the behaviour management strategies and restraint technique training*.

* do not push me, or so help me I will take you down before you even know what is happening.

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SIT THE FUCK DOWN & SHUT UP YOU LITTLE BASTARDS!

I was not a soft touch.  I could stop poor behaviour with a stern look.  Not a Trunchbull. More of a Snape.  

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I’d split up fights, calmed situations down.  Sure I’d had my glasses kicked off my face and my arm slammed in doors and been called every foul name under the sun.  But the ones that liked me, still like me even though some are now in their late teens. Some of them hated me  and will always hate me- probably because they were the little fuckers that continually needed to be given a toasting.  I don’t give a shit about them.

Essentially, after always having suffered from the Black Dog but always managing to snap out of it and mask the darkness with humour, I was broken at the end by a request for assistance which went unanswered. Well, it was answered, but via a whiteboard message which told me to get on with it and deal with the situation myself.  Thanks for that!  I stopped myself having an actual hissy fit infront of the children.  In my head though, I was trashing the classroom and slamming heads in the fire door whilst cussing like a sailor.
    Day over and children out of earshot there followed a tirade of tears and screaming in the staff room and eventually being led to the carpark by a friend who drove me home.

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I did not go back to work the next day or for many weeks. I stayed at home, signed off by my GP who pretty much took one look at me in the surgery and said “Nope! Here’s a note for 4 weeks sick and that’s just for starters”.
I did not often go out, sometimes not even to the bin.  I got up in the morning to check my children were up and ready for school. Then I went back to bed where I often stayed until just before they were due home. I got up then, so they didn’t know I’d hidden in bed all day.

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It had been building for a while if I’m honest.  Like I said, I’ve always had bleak dark moods.  I get it when I see it in others.  Some people don’t.  Platitudes such as, “Smile it might never happen” or “Chin up love”  “What do you want me to do about it?”  “Nobody died so what’s your problem?” etc – our standard ‘go-to’ phrases – are not especially helpful. but we reel them out anyway because other people’s mental imbalance scares us.  This is why we need to talk about it.  Especially men.  Women do usually talk to one another about this shit.  Dudes not so much. 


Anyway, I’d been getting THE FEAR for a long time.  I used to love my job. Love going into work. It was fun. I felt like I made a difference. Then people starting to leave. They moved on to better pastures. I felt left behind.  The fun wasn’t as frequent and the poor behaviour changed.  Sure,  we weren’t wrestling on the floor with the little fuckers quite as much but it was worse TBH.  More and more giving you lip. Walking out of class. Telling you to your face that there was fuck all you could do to them so essentially they could do what they wanted.  They weren’t wrong if I’m honest.

I ended up dry heaving on the way to work daily.  Had to change my route to work to delay the point when I would see the school building because the moment I did see it, the heaving would start, usually in the snicket next to the (open) gates.  But you paint on a face for the kids, head straight to the loo and heave a bit in there before setting your face straight. Show no weakness or the cunts will take you down like a wounded gazelle.  You get through it while a bit of your soul dies a little more each day, but sometimes you just come to end of your tether.

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Depression lies to you.  It tells you that you’re not good enough. It tells you that you’re useless and that the world would be better off without you in it. That your friends and family will soon forget you. They’ll crack on regardless and get on with life without you.  At its worst, you might consider some kind of escape clause?  Pills?  A noose?  Most of us don’t go to such an extreme but we all have those edge of the kerb moments.  When you think, I could just step out into the traffic and that’d be that.  But then you think, “I’d probably fuck that up aswell” so you don’t. But you thought about it. You think about it a lot.  You’re not the only one thinking about it…

I was lucky. My family rallied. My husband was helpful and not critical.  He took me out for lunches. He let me just sit around and do jigsaws. He did not judge.  He made sure the children were doing the right thing.  I drowned out the voices in my head telling me I was a waste of air by listening to Metallica a lot. Not my usual music taste but I found it helped enormously.  Exercising helped get the old endorphins pumping.
At least once a month I had to go into work for meetings.  This scared me.  The children scared me.  The staff who didn’t ask after me pissed me right off, even though I knew they were probably just feeling awkward about what to say (or maybe they actually didn’t give a shit?)  Senior leaders were helpful, patient and kind.  I wasn’t afraid to talk openly about how I felt and what meds I had been given.  I did not feel rushed to return to work.  I felt justified in being off. I was both irritated and amused in equal measure at the fact that school had to go through around 7 different supply teachers to cover my role because they kept leaving.  SEVEN!  And these were professionals with Qualified Teaching Status.  Not a Higher Level Teaching Assistant like me being paid half as much for all the work.  If they couldn’t cope and were saying “Fuck this. I’m off!” after a few days then I surely deserved some kind of medal for sticking with it for so long.  It’s a sinch I hadn’t gone postal before and started taking hostages right?

No point shutting the gates.  The nutters are already on the inside man!

What if I hadn’t had such an understanding and loving family. What if genuinely nobody had asked after me?  What if my work weren’t so helpful and trying to ease me back into it? What if I didn’t want to be around for my girls?  This is how it is for some people.  I’ve always found it easy enough to talk about feelings.  I’ve been blathering online on this platform since 2007 – a very therapeutic exercise indeed.

So thank you if you sent me a kind text.  Thank you if you sent me a gift because you “saw this and thought of you”. If you checked up on me via Messenger with silly gifs and quotes about cunts because you know I love the word even though many people hate it.  If you ran round to check on me because I hadn’t answered a WhatsApp straight away and the blinds were down and you thought I might have been swinging from the light fittings.  Thank you if you saw me at the store or putting my bins out and jokingly asked if I should be outside unsupervised.  I won’t lie, the staff ‘whip round’ for a ten quid M&S voucher was poorly thought out and a bit cheap if I’m honest.  That’s not even a quid per staff member you tight bastards. Also, y’all have met me right?  Do I look like a ‘Marksies’ kind of woman? and even if I was, I was off work living like an agoraphobic hermit, not waltzing around the fucking White Rose Centre buying cardigans.

🙂

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I don’t really have any point to make with his post other than floating it out there.  And if you are having an edge of the kerb moment or your black dog gets too big to keep on the leash, then like Terry Tibbs – Talk to Me!  

I’m listening.  I might make inappropriately timed jokes and try and crowbar the word cunt into the conversation but I promise not to tell you to “Man up”  or “Pull yourself together” because us crazies have to stick together.  It gets better but it doesn’t go away. I’m much better at the moment because I left behind the main source of the problem at the time but only because I was fortunate enough to have another skill to make a living from. (As a swim instructor just in case that wasn’t clear)

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Don’t bottle it up motherfuckers

So buckle up MoFos, I’m still here and not planning on bailing out just yet.  Enjoy the ride people because you never know when the theme park is going to close down.

PS. If you stuck with this post – well done. I probably owe you a drink.

Xx

 

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Scruffy and I know it.

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This week Boris Johnson surpassed himself by using the phrased “spaffed up the wall” when describing money spent by police investigating historical child abuse cases.  A day when an Australian man shot and killed almost 50 Muslims at prayer in his attempt to halt immigration in Europe (hello Irony?) and an Australian senator essentially blamed the Muslims for their own deaths by saying “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.” – Riiight? Okaaaay.  

Can I get a For Fucks Sake!

 

So Bman and I watched Ed Stafford’s documentary about the homeless in Britain – ’60 Days on the Streets’.   Bman took great delight in pointing out that it had only been on 10 minutes and he’d already seen 3 homeless people wearing the same coat as mine.  It’s a good job I don’t give a fuck isn’t it really?  I seem to surround myself with piss-taking cunts.  I think it’s safe to say that I can give as good as I get though, if not better.  Anyway I love my Shadwell jacket it‘s a great coat – clearly favoured by the dispossessed and streetwise of the nation for its warmth and practicality.  

It did occur to me yesterday though that since leaving the education profession, I rarely have the opportunity to make a sartorial effort.  My poor husband only ever sees me in PJ’s, naked, or in my walking to work ensemble of trackies/Koolkids tee, hoody, and the trusty Shadwell.  Of those three outfits, obviously, the naked one is the most attractive.  Would be nice to make an effort sometime though, so he could see me with tidy hair, some make-up and a something slightly more feminine – a dress & heels maybe.
He did take me out for lunch on Thursday – at Morrisons cafe because he knows how to treat a lady – but it was before work so, no make-up, barnet all over the place, slackydaks and work tee shirt as standard!

Maybe I should get him to take me out somewhere (but not to a dodgy German techno sex party in a derelict building*).

🙂

*see these previous blog posts Bman’s dodgy night out

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There is some remaining glamour under there somewhere

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Workwear these days

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How looooooong has this been going on?

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Anyone else wondering if it all might go a bit ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Threads’ once we / if we eventually leave the EU? 
Failure of the national grid? Walls of ice separating north and south? Fights to the death over lettuces in Aldi?  Children burnt at the stake to appease non-existent gods?
Forget dope and crack – the dealers will be cashing in, selling insulin and ibuprofen under cover of darkness.  Mothers bartering sexual favours in doorways in exchange for rats in a basket to feed their kids because we can’t get cans of beans anymore? 

It almost went that way yesterday when Whatsapp, FB and Insta all went down at the same time and the entire nation had to make conversation with their loved ones rather than communicating via memes.  Thousands of posed & heavily filtered photos remained unposted. People around the country were denied the knowledge of what their old school friends, not seen for 25 years, had eaten for their tea!  

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What a catastrophic clusterfuck of ineptitude our government is at the moment?  When are we changing the national anthem to the Benny Hill theme tune?  We must be a laughing stock to the rest of Europe.  FFS!
I didn’t vote to leave but I respect anyone’s decision who did, providing they voted as best they could with the scant information I felt we’d been given.  I’m not sure anyone actually knew what was going to happen. Although if you were one of those people who voted to leave because you thought anyone not born and raised within the sound of the Bow Bells would be immediately deported, then you, my friend are a bellend and I do not respect your decision.
  I used to be in charge of School Council when I worked in a school (this one time…) and a bunch of primary school children seemed more capable of sorting their shit out than our current lot in charge.

*sigh*

Meanwhile, I have got some new sneakers and they are super comfortable and feel very bouncy – I may even be tempted on my walk to work to break into a light jog – who knows.

🙂

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Am also slightingly disturbed that in the last few days when I log on to FB on the laptop, I am getting pop up ads for viagra and sites which encourage random sexual encounters!  One of which depicted a cartoon image of a woman astride a man who was sat upon a washing machine – the heading read, “Are you having a dry spell?”  WTF Facebook?

😀

Ciao Ciao MoFos.  I’m off to stockpile like an end of days prepper and watch people yelling at one another on Question Time  Xx

Sunday waffling of a northern monkey

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Tried to educate the offspring today by making them watch ‘Kes’.  They were not bothered whatsoever.  That PE football scene reminds me of every outdoor Y6 PE session I ever taught! And I could (but won’t) name a few Billy Caspers from my past pupils… those who know, will know exactly who I mean.

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Bless them…

Classic.  “Hands off cocks on socks”  The mortification of having to read aloud from it in class. Do they still do ‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ in English Literature these days or do they just look at memes or Katie Price’s latest biography?  I was thinking the other day as I got the bus home and asked for “The Arkwright Street stop”, how bloody Yaaaarkshire am I?  Arkwright Street? With my Shadwell parka on as well. I may as well have had a fucking kestrel on my arm and ferret in my pocket!

😀

We followed that up with Nick ‘Haircut 100’ Heyward’s Favourite Singers  (I have his autograph) on Now Music channel. 

Things right up there with things you didn’t think you’d ever hear, would have to be Nick Heyward talking about the fact that apparently Bruce Springsteen suffers from erectile dysfunction.  No wonder he was dancing in the dark and indeed you cannot in fact start a fire without a spark Bruce. Brings a whole new meaning to the track  ‘I’m going down’.

Not sure they thought it through when the song he played after Bruce and this revelation, was Elton John’s ‘I’m still standing’.

Bit harsh Nick.

😀

What day is it today?

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Michael Jackson. Historical child sex abuse allegations

Talk to me.

IMO I’m pretty sure some weird unhealthy shit went down. There were also some massively questionable parenting decisions. “Wanna go to Disneyland or stay at my super cool mansion that is a bit like Disneyland?”  / “Awesome, yes please” / “OK but your super cute Michael Jackson impersonator 5-year-old son has to sleep in my bed” / “OK sure yes that’ll be fine”. 

Riiigggght.  Whatever happened, there’s nothing anybody can do about it now.  And to answer a question put to me earlier this week, no, the geezer was not a Muslim. I have been reminded that he was, in fact, a Jehovah’s Witness. So there you go. Forget the so-called sweeping tide of Islam that people get their knickers in a twist about – maybe we shouldn’t be trusting anyone who doesn’t like birthday cake.

Next:-

International Women’s Day.  International Men’s Day.  Grandparent’s Day. Pie Week.  World Book Day.  FFS!  Will these things never end?
At the risk of being lynched and strung up from a tree by my tights – I’m going to come straight out and say it – I couldn’t give a shit about International Women’s Day.  There, I said it. You heard me!
Heads up, Not all women are amazing and fabulous like my good self
*ahem*.  Some of them are fucking horrible, crazy ass bitches.  Not all men are bastards, some of them are alright. Why do we have to have a special day to celebrate everything? Poetry Day.  Curry Week, Don’t Be A Cunt Day, Fairtrade Fortnight. Merry Masturbation Month.  Jesus!  Can’t we just appreciate all the good things we like and the good people we are, everyday*.  Be kind. Be great. Every. Day. And for the sake of fuck, stop killing each other!

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*Although I will sulk if I don’t get a Mother’s Day card and a bunch of tulips at the end of this month.

Ciao Ciao MotherCluckers Xx

 

 

 

 

Things that make you go “whaaaaaaaat?”

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So it’s only Wednesday and already Luke (not to be confused with Matthew or Katy) Perry has died.  As has Prodigy legend, Keith ‘twisted firestarter’ Flint.

Whaaaaaaaaat! 

Forget the obligatory Firestarter clip of your man Keith smacking himself about the head in a sewer somewhere.  This clip is the only one you ever need to see. Stick with it. The Goose makes it.  Keef’s Camping Review

I have been feeling pretty rough this week.  We can invent ever more witchcraft-like phones and apps for just about anything, but we can’t yet cure a common coldI’ve been doing a fair bit of laying around under a duvet on the settee as a result of the ineffectiveness of the old lemsip.  One of the things I watched while prone in pjyamas and awaiting death with tissue paper stuck up my nose, was the Netflix documentary Abducted in plain sight’.  About a girl abducted, twice, as a child by the same man.
I urge you to watch it and I defy you not to say “WHAAAAAAAAAT?” at least once. No spoilers but I guarantee you will also feel like parent of the year.

As an antidote to the news stories of celebrity deaths and questionable parenting decisions, I was hopeful of a miracle local news story yesterday lunchtime when Look North promised a story on a cat who diagnosed its owner’s hidden cancer.

Eagerly I shushed Bman at the crucial moment, not wanting to miss a word of this incredible tale.  Did the cat mew at its owner, gently pawing a particular area of her body? Did it then click open the laptop with the cancer page of Web MD open in the browser?  Did the cat sport a white coat and stethoscope?

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Courtesy of google images

 

No!

The lady had suffered many a symptom, which she had chosen to ignore. Then the cat jumped on her lap as cats are wont to do, and it hurt her belly slightly so her hubby made her go to the GP.

Whaaaaaaaaaat?

This is news?  Cat sits on owner – SHOCKER!

Glad the lady is now ok and everything but fuck me what a lame story.

At least it made a change from another Brexit story.

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Courtesy of google images

Half Term Pt2

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Sweet dreams of Magic Mike Live (“Ooh young man”) and a cracking breakfast later and it was time to say goodbye to my sister and my friends, who were heading back up north.
I, however, was staying around in London to meet up with a school friend, not seen since we were about 13 or 14!

I don’t think we’ve changed a day.  Perhaps a bit more worldly wise but still essentially the same.

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Amazing to catch up again with the friend I used to call Old Bean (and we can’t remember why).  Reminiscing about the variety performances we used to inflict upon our parents twice a year.  Dodgy dance routines and songs from The Kids from Fame.  Comedy skits lifted in their entirety from The Kenny Everett Show (all done in the best possible taste).  We even had merch!  Cajoling our relatives into buying an array of tat and cack, handmade or purchased from local thrift shops for the occasion. Marked up penny chews, that sort of thing.   Another reason I am glad that smartphones did not exist in the 1980s, as mercifully there are no photos or videos of these cringeworthy shows.

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Then it was time to head further south to sunny Brighton to catch up with another friend (hopefully two) and attend a ghost investigation at the Old Police Cells.  Checked in to yet another hotel – the very welcoming and lovely Jury’s Inn.

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I do love Brighton (“D’you know what I mean by that?”) and everything is so much more fun in the sun, and sunny it was.  Surprisingly so for February!  I was glad I’d listened to big Brew and left my ‘Shadwell’ parka at home.

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Friday night we set the world to rights in Revolution and some other bar I forget the name of, where the bathrooms held the kind of graffiti that only Brighton could offer:-

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2-4-1 cocktails, free shots, sampling a Brighton gin and waiting 50 minutes for microwaved popcorn shrimp and a basket of chips! Then off to bed in order to be up and at ’em for the next day.  Not having heard from our local friend we were resigned to the fact that we had been blown out, candle in the wind style.

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Next day. a  few nice drinks and a fabulous vegan kebab from this place Hope and RuinTry one meat eaters you will love this – the joy of seitan – try it, try it, you will see.

 

 

 

While sampling the delights of the vegan kebab and after a last-ditch text invitation to join us.  Our, thus far, absent friend rocked up just as we were contemplating moving on! Bold as brass and as if butter wouldn’t melt.  I announced his arrival with an unladylike exclamation of “Fuck Me!!” followed by, “You are such a fucking cunt!”

Most pleasant catch-up and being shown to a brilliant shop, which we would never have found on our own. Snoopers Paradise
I almost bought a Jesus lamp and a set of knives with deer feet for handles but thought the better of it. Not least because I would have had to carry them around town for the rest of the day.

 

 

 

Our friend, the international man of mystery, possible MI5 agent and definite cunt, then went home to ignore our texts and hide from us for another 2 years.
I went back to the hotel to get a hoodie for the evening in case it was chilly in the police cells and headed back down the seafront to meet my friend and prepare for our ghost hunt (but not before I’d witnessed a lesbian fight in a bar).

Astonishing results on the table tipping, thanks to, let’s call him,’Dan’, who managed to get the table walking all the way out of the cell once the lights were off.

Miraculous.

I am sure that this group were seasoned ghost hunt investigators, but may I suggest waiting for answers on ouija boards or whatever before assuming an answer on the basis of just one initial and then asking another 3 questions.

Another man, let’s call him, ‘Ricky’ might also benefit from a belt or trackies that fit, so we don’t get distracted by his butt crack.

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At one stage the ouija board spelled out the words ‘Cunt’ and ‘Cock’, so perhaps the spirits were in evidence after all and are most intuitive.

 

Interesting and amusing night.

Next day we met up on yet another sunny southern morning and went for coffee and had an amazing sandwich from this place HellKitchen.  I chose an ‘Envy’ with less avocado and more tomato, from a most helpful and friendly man behind the counter.  It was the best sandwich I’ve had in a very long time. I’ve thought about it a lot since I got home. Probably had more of an effect on me than the hunks from Magic Mike if I’m honest.  Was so good I forgot to even take a photo of it, so now it exists only as a joyous few minutes of seafood based sandwich ecstasy in my memory.

Brighton, I will return.  If only for the sandwich, and if I’m really lucky, the Jesus lamp will still be there and the planets will align and my other friend will decide to come out of his hole.

And now I’m back in the family fold and about to go to work.  Reality bites and all that, but right now my reality is just fine as it goes.  All is as it should be and you can’t say fairer than that.

Ciao Ciao MoFos. Xx