I saw Pam, the counsellor again today. Pam wanted to continue what we’d started with Mum last time. She said that she’s seen people before whose childhoods haven’t been as bad as mine was and they’ve been unable to make major changes or move on. She said that because my childhood was so difficult and so traumatic for me it has powered me in a way that those less troubled aren’t always able to do. She said it would appear that I took the anger and turned it into a very positive thing to ensure that my children had a better childhood. She made me realise that anger, when given respect can be a very positive life-changing emotion.

We talked some more about Mum and I told her about Mum’s childhood and her life with Dad, us, her looking after her parents when they were older, caring for her sister and now caring for my stepdad. I explained that she’s spent her whole life caring for all of us and that she probably feels obliged to do it as she’d done it from such a young age. I felt quite empathic towards her and I told Pam of how I almost parent my Mum now, encouraging her to create her own life away from the home a little and to learn to do her own thing. 

Driving home I thought about it some more and I thought about how much I devote my time to the kids, how I give all of me to them and I do so very happily and how I will also give myself to my parents when the time comes and I will do it purely out of love. But at what point do I give myself to me? When do I allow someone in to love me? When do I balance out the love so that I give and receive in equal measure?

I joined Tinder yesterday and it opened a can of worms because it put the frighteners on me again. Taking the risk of letting someone into my life knowing that by doing so I’ll have to share my precious time that I devote to the kids with someone else, that is one of my biggest struggles.

Trusting a man around the kids ~ Josh with his current lack of work and the ADHD that is still evident much of the time, he needs a man who will understand that and not use it against him and me as others have done in the past. Alice and Katie and the fact that they’re growing up and so need only a man in my life that respects them fully and sees them as the children that they still are and not the young women they’re growing into and Annie, so young, vulnerable and so in need of me still. A man would have to respect that too.

Does a man really exist that would understand and respect all of those different needs, as well as my needs which I know, aren’t as simple as most women’s due to my history of being disrespected in relationships? I think coming off Tinder and carrying on, on my own as before, is probably the best thing all round.

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