Tuesday, 24 March 2009

This is the thing...

So, things have been difficult and I am faced with a dilemma. Do I blog about it or do I keep schtum and pretend I live in a flower-filled utopia?

Tiny, tiny tete-a-tete narcissi (of droplet fame)

How much detail do I want out there? Is anyone interested? Is this blog real or fake?


I do know that in the past, when I've spilled out here, it has been healing and the support I have received has helped hugely. I have friends out there whose words have made me smile and feel understood.

Purisima tulip

How about I list the stuff that's BAD and has had me feeling rock bottom, interspersed with some photos of the stuff that has kept me sane? A good compromise, methinks.

Blue sky

:: Deep Breath ::

The Main Issue - No2 has gone off the rails a bit, in what I can only hope is a temporary blip. His behaviour at school over the last few weeks has resulted in him being excluded for over 2 weeks, the last 3 days of which he had to spend in a special 'unit' for excluded children. I won't go in to all the gory details because I want to forget it and hopefully, in years to come, maybe even laugh about it. A positive note that has come of it is that he has agreed to have some bereavement counselling at Helen House (where I go to my parent's group). He has met with the sibling support worker and it seems that he has found something there worth going back for. We are going back to Oxford on Friday. They have a wonderful support team there and a club for siblings, both bereaved and those living with a life-limited brother or sister. The club is called The Elephant Club because 'an elephant never forgets'. Inspired. Another photo required - quick:

White hyacinth

Needless to say, the stress of all of this has nearly killed me and I have felt so low and out of control. I simply didn't know what I could do for him. Things haven't been great with him for the last 6 months or so, but I just put it down to pre-teen behaviour. I am so aware that I can't be everything to him and I have never felt that moreso than in the last few weeks. My course has suffered hugely because I haven't been able to concentrate and I've felt so exhausted. I'm not even sure I want to teach anymore. I have loved learning, but teaching is a whole different ball game.
Anyway, my tutors have been wonderful and I have been given an extension to finish this terms work by July, at home, apart from a group presentation which I have been working on together with some friends on the course, which we will do next Tuesday. I don't have to do the second half of my placement - that was really bothering me because it meant I wouldn't be in til 6pm each night and I wasn't happy leaving No2 home alone for a month after school. Goodness knows what he'd get up to... I will get the written work done and then decide if the the course really is for me. If not, who knows?
Meanwhile, a trip to my GP reveals that I am seriously anaemic, which explains the tiredness, and so, with iron on board, hopefully I shall begin to feel more energised.
One thing I have been doing (in copious amounts) is making things with yarn! Oh yes, the healing power of yarn. I will show off my efforts in another post. I know I'm out of sorts because I have more than one project on the go. Very unlike me - I'm usually quite disciplined. Usually.
More blue sky
So there you have it. In a nutshell; the bare bones of the trouble. A day at a time, I guess. I should know that by now.


  1. I am glad you shared - I was worrying about you because of the comment you left me.

    My immediate thoughts - the iron will make a big difference I hope - to your ability to cope with things as much as anything else.

    Do what you can with your course - you were so excited about it and your fantastic results a few weeks ago - I suspect you have the makings of being a wonderful teacher but you can only do what you can do right now...

    Thank goodness you have resources you can tap into - it must be so hard to be alone facing what is happening with your son - and you are still grieving number one son yourself - all I know is that you must concentrate on ensuring you are well enough and strong enough to cope with these things - being low in iron would be seriously affecting your coping strengths.

    You are an amazing woman - I will carry you in my thoughts..

  2. Iron deficiency just DRAGS at your soul. Tablets will definitely help.

    When you ask for help, it can usually be found. No 2 sounds like he is asking for help, and luckily he has a Mum who wants to give it, and can help him find it.

    Keep knitting, and keep on staring at those flowers - they lift everyone's spirit!

    Much love,
    N. xx

  3. I am so sorry that you have been having a tough time. Hopefully No.2 will get all the support he needs. Things must have been difficult for him over the past few years. Lots of love to you. I hope that things start to take a turn for the better soon. I know it is hard but try to stay positive about the good things in your life. x

  4. Sorry things have been so rough Tracy :-( (((((T))))) I'm sure it's of little comfort, but if you heard about some of the kids at No.1's school ... well, let's just say your No.2 is by no means 'unusual'. They have chemically altered bodies on account of their hormones, and peer pressure, and mixed-up feelings about growing up and testing out authority figures, pushing the boundaries, etc. etc.

    Do you like hermal teas? I only ask because when I was pregnant with No.1 I had bad anaemia - the tablets gave me stonking headaches, so I consulted a herbalist, who advised nettle tea. It apparently contains HUGE amounts of iron (along with other goodness). Within a very short time I was no longer anaemic. What's more I liked it so much, I still drink it today.

    Hang on in there ... we're all thinking about you.


  5. Tracy, I'm sorry to read you and No2 are having such a tough time. It sounds like you are finding some support. Getting your iron levels sorted will definitely help with your ability to cope on a daily basis - exhaustion in itself is very debilitating. Iron rich foods (spinach, pulses esp.lentils, baked beans, parsley, pumpkin seeds, blackstrap molasses and more...)are absorbed most efficiently when taken with vitamin c, if that's any help.

    Grieving is a long journey...and perhaps No2 is expressing his pain in the only way he knows how.

    One step at a time...I'm sure you'll get through this. Thinking of you.
    D x

  6. ps lovely photos by the way, and want to hear all about your yarn adventures.

  7. I think that you once told me that the dragonfly is the symbol of courage. You could not have chosen a more appropriate title for your blog.

    Take heart Tracy, we are all here, listening.

  8. Your blog is real, your friends here are interested and sympathetic. Even if some of us are not sure of the right things to say.

    A day at a time sounds right. As does putting your course on pause till you are able to focus on it better. Hugs and strength.

  9. As you can imagine, this is close to my heart. Just hang on tight and know that it will pass. You are a wonderful mother (any fool can see that, even me) and children never lose the solid beginning a good parent gives them in the early years.Trust in the good you have already imparted.

  10. Becoming a parent may be the most wonderful thing but it also brings so much heartache and always the feeling that we may not be doing it the right way. From what I've read in your past posts I have to tell you that I don't think you could be a better parent than you are. Hopefully this will be a temporary blip and no.2 will be helped by the counsellor. Grief manifests itself in so many ways but your son is so lucky to have you and he will get through it.
    Stick with the course if you can, you will be an amazing teacher and goodness knows we need a few more of those, but bear in mind you have time to finish it, don't make yourself ill with the stress of it.
    I'm thinking about you, sometimes life seems so hard, take each day at a time, it will get better.
    Julia xx

  11. I'm so sorry things are tough right now. The anaemia can't be helping - it's hard to cope with even the most basic day to day stuff when you're constantly exhausted, let alone the level of pressure you're under.

    I'm glad No 2 is finding some help at Helen House; I know you've had help from there in the past, and wonderful that he is too. The Elephant club must be a great resource for him.

    As for the teaching - you will get there, and I bet your enthusiasm will return when you feel more in control. Schools are always going to need motivated, committed teachers, and delaying for a while doesn't mean you won't get there in the end. You're my inspirationm for this particular career change; hang in there - maybe we'll end up studying together ;-)

  12. you've shown really bravery by sharing this with us. thinking of you xx

  13. I can't really add to what's already been offered. Sometimes it's extra hard to keep all the balls in the air, especially when there are a few extra ones thrown in, and it's OK to drop a couple. Take care, both of you.

  14. Hi Tracy. You were so excited and passionate about the teaching that I am sure that your feelings now are temporary and caused by the stress at home and within your body. (Nettle tea is delish btw). My son has been excluded twice (age 13) and I know how tough it is trying to decide the best course of action while wondering where you went wrong - parentaly speaking! But it seems as if there are 'good' reasons (if that is the right way to say it) as to why No2 is having a blip, and with your care and love to get him through it, i'm really sure that's all it will be. If the school realise that he has lots of support at home, they will help too. Good luck with everything, i will be thinking of you (esp. since I am in Oxford!) xx

  15. No need to pretend you live in a flower-filled utopia (unless you want to of course).

    It really sounds like you're doing all the right things: visiting your GP, arranging the counseling group for No. 2, etc.

    And do take advantage of the extra time you've been offered on your course and don't make any decisions now.

    Your excitement for the course was so infectious and inspiring, and it might very well come back as soon as other things calm down a bit, and they will.

    In the meantime, I'll be thinking of you and I'm always here if you'd ever like a coffee and a chat.

    K x

  16. Be gentle with yourself.Things sound tough at present.No need to pretend otherwise.In your flowers and yarn combination to lift your spirit, don't forget to add some music - it's always helped me.x

  17. Nothing makes sense when you are exhausted - getting the anaemia sorted out is going to help. A friend who thought he was going through a mild depression found that iron tablets, rather than anti-depressants, were all she needed - it's probably affecting you far more than you think.

    I hope you can draw comfort from your blog, your beautiful images, and the whole 'this too will pass' thing.


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