Live life

It’s never dull in our house.
Just as you think life may settle to some sort of normality, crash it hits you gain.
Jake rang me yesterday to say he had a call from the hospital and they could do the final stage of surgery on Monday, so this is it, the end of what seems a long road but the end and the beginning of a new one.
After discussing all the logistics of travel Jake said he would be ok to go himself as he is in london for the weekend anyway, I know he is fiercely independent but I spent a restless night thinking of him going himself, so this morning text him to see if he wanted company to the hospital, of course his reply was only if you want to, which would have been my reply if I was in this position knowing that actually you wanted the company but didn’t want to put on someone. I told him I knew he was capable but sometimes things feel better when you have support, he agreed so I’ve arranged to meet him in London as I will travel there by train and then return once he has checked into the hospital. He’s my child still how ever could I not go?
I can still remember 4 years ago when Jess first told me….

 

As I listen to the words coming from Jess I feel fear, I don’t know what to do, how do you deal with this? Of all the situations I thought I may have to deal with being a parent, this was never in my thoughts. I look at the tears falling down Jess’s face, mine mimic hers, there is nothing else to do but hold her, just as if she is a little child again. It’s ok I say, I promise we will deal with it. How? I had no idea all I knew was my child was in turmoil, my love had no boundaries and I would do anything to make her happy.
I could feel her relax a little, it will be ok I reassure whilst in my head it’s turmoil, after what seems eternity I begin the process.

At that time I honestly didn’t know how we would ever get to this point today, I made a promise I didn’t know I could keep, all I knew was I would do anything to make her happy and here we are the final stage of this long journey that has changed our lives forever.
Never give up on your dreams, they can become your reality. X

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Ordinary world

We are now 3 months post op – time has moved on rapidly and our lives have once again changed.
Although it seemed we had numerous visits to the Drs after this surgery Jake had miraculously recovered with no complications and now only has one final surgery, which on the grand scale of surgeries is relatively minor!
At the end of September Jake left the family home, for a second time and moved into his new flat, it’s still 2 hours away from us but a much more manageable drive so I’m happy to visit without sending myself into a panic about driving to London.
Of course I have done little else but worry:-
– is he eating?
– Is he managing the chores?
– Is he lonely?
– What if he can’t cope?

But thankfully he seems to be managing it all, I guess I need to learn to mange my angst. Although a few weeks ago my angst was awakened and I honestly had no idea what to do but I should have realised I have a strong minded son who has always stood up for his beliefs and continued to.

It seems he has been looking into religion and has found comfort in it, which as I explained to him is his choice, I personally don’t need to go to church or be involved in a religious community to feel my beliefs are true, some people need and want this reassurance. He rang me to tell me he had been going to classes ( he has also done this whilst in London) and was planning on being baptised. I asked him which church it was and on hearing his response my angst began, not to incite any hatred I won’t name the church but let’s just say it made me feel uncomfortable , Jess attended a CofE school and never really showed and interest in religion but I did think if Jake was looking for god it would have been within this church.

What could I say but that’s his choice and if he found comfort in it then that had to be good but underneath I was irked, was someone playing on Jakes vulnerability of being in a new town trying to make friends etc etc. All week it was on my mind and how was I going to tackle the conversation at the weekend when I took the remainder of his belongings down. I didn’t want to sound like I was preaching or my opinion was right but I certainly was worried, I shouldn’t have been as Jake was still there, it seems he had to go for a baptism interview at the church leaders house and was questioned on his past relationships, he was told that same sex attraction is worse than murder, which at this point he stood up and told him that his god was clearly different and walked out. That’s the Jake I know, a strong minded individual who had been told not to question and to cut all ties with any LGBT friends, who refused as he knew this would be turning his back on all that he is and a lot of his friends. Once again I am so proud of him, he still feels he wants to pursue his beliefs but with a church that has broken from the main one.

I still worry for him but I regularly keep in contact with him, his new job seems to be going well and all I wish now is he meets a like minded soul to share his life with.

Time stood still for a few seconds 

https://youtu.be/m8AXUq5uA0Y
Tick tock tick tock…….

Time has been passing me by and generally all has been ok, I still have my own issues of ‘why my child?’ And anger associated with what he has had to go through and what he has missed out on but I realise I need to let this go at some point.As time ticked on silently in the background it suddenly stopped. 

Sunday I had a text from my ex asking whether I had heard from Jake, well as you can imagine I felt as if my heart stopped beating, what had happened to him? I imagined the worst. He said he would speak to him and let me know.

Some time later Jake rang me and explained him and Matthew has split up. I felt as if my world had imploded, Mathew has been the stable part of Jakes life for 7 1/2 years, I just couldn’t comprehend.

The days that followed had my angst once again swirling, Jake was up and down on what he was going to do, initially he was flat hunting and had found a suitable one until I suggested that because he possibly had surgery in the near future and the fact he may be changing jobs and therefore locations why didn’t he return home for the short term and give himself some breathing space, he agreed to do this.

Thursday morning he called and said he couldn’t wait for the weekend and would I pick him up that day? I had no choice, of course I would even though the thought of driving to London on my own filled me with panic, it was a time not to think and just do it.

Two hours later I arrived, a sense of relief washed over me, it’s amazing what you can do once adrenaline takes over.

Matthew was in the flat so I gave him a hug and said how sorry I was it had ended. We quickly packed up jakes belongings and I said goodbye to Matthew. We will need to return at some point to take the rest of Jakes belongings but my priority was just to get Jake home and to feel safe. He admitted he wasn’t coping, this of course was no surprise when you consider what he has been dealing with over the last few years, uni, full time work and his transition, at some point it seemed inevitable he would combust.

So he’s home, it’s odd having him around and it’s so easy to fall in to the parent / child mode but I’m trying not to, he’s 22, he’s an adult!

He is looking at possibly buying a property nearby and commuting to work, it’s a big step but I guess it like he is retuning to the family fold once again. 

I still feel sad about the whole situation and I have checked Matthew is ok, but there is nothing else I can do except to just be here for either of them. 

A friend said that maybe it was a case of the relationship had run its course, Matthew has been an important part of Jess’s and Jakes lives but the two of them no longer needed each other, maybe I guess only time will tell. 

A million years ago…

When you are presented in life with situations that are completely foreign you can either sink or swim, three years ago, myself not particularly a good swimmer but compared to the majority of woman my age, a strong runner, I chose to hold on tight and bloody well run.
I didn’t know what was ahead of me, how I or my family and most of all my child would cope, all I knew was I couldn’t give in no matter what. To stride forward in life and use what ever I had to solve to problems we would all face. It’s been tough I won’t deny it, there were times I felt I didn’t know what to do, times I sat alone sobbing, wondering why this had happened, laughed at myself to think I had it all sorted, as so far in my life it had been rosy, even during the turmoil of a divorce, that hadn’t phased me as much as what I had at the time with Jake. I am an optimist and I guess I will always be the kind of person to take what I have and make the best of it but has it changed me?
I think it has, it’s made me more appreciative of what I do have, my family that have stood alongside Jake, the friends that I had around me but have found a new stronger friendship evolving and some lovely new friendships.
I’ve never judged somebody on what they have or who they are but this has made me more emphatic towards others, to try and offer help and advice where at times I may have stepped away.
Somethings I wish for the carefree life I had, without the swirling angst but then I think of Jake and realise what I yearn for didn’t include a happy Jess, the carefree days of a young Jess were wonderful and I will always treasure those but those teenage years I wouldn’t wish upon anyone but I have to take from that experience and use it to help others, one day it could be a friend that finds themselves in the situation I was or maybe someone I haven’t met yet but what I know is I’m prepared and I will take their hands hold on tight and let them walk with me until eventually they too can run free with hope and happiness in their hearts.

The angst is back

On Thursday, whilst I was working I saw jakes name flash up on my phone, the usual reaction to this is my heart plummets as there must be something wrong, he only rings when there is a major problem, text is the normal communication with him. I immediately was taken back to the beginning of his transition when he would call me sobbing, saying he felt he didn’t want to live anymore, I would then have to remain calm and talk to him to reassure him that eventually he would get to a good place, quite often he would be 100 miles away in London, looking back I wonder how I remained outwardly so calm.
As I couldn’t take his call he text me to tell me he had a date for his next surgery, it’s next week. I replied and said I would call him later as I was with a client and asked if he was ok about it, yes was his response, just a bit shocked. I on the other hand have gone into an internal melt down, knowing what a huge operation this is and it being in London so I can’t just pop in to check on him has sent my angst into a tsunami again, just like last year with his top surgery. It’s not that I think he shouldn’t go ahead, he has made it clear he needs to, it’s the final step, it’d the fact my child will be in pain, my child has to go through this just to feel comfortable with in their own body. Once again I just want to wrap my arms around him to protect him and once again I have to put on the brave face and be strong for him.
I guess as things have been fairly settled for a year I hadn’t really thought how I would feel when this day came. I want to scream and cry until I have nothing left within me and then I will run, to switch off my emotions, to take some respite, even if only for a short time.
I have to have faith in the surgeon, the nurses who will care for him and remain positive, life is just so unfair sometimes.

Stop crying your heart out .

I was recently looking through my photos on my iPad, I have an album named Jake, not Jess but it contains all the pictures I have taken of them over the last 7 years, it still hurts me to look at them, it stirs lots of old memories and adds fire to the angst that thankfully has settled now to the pit of my stomach and rarely churns on a day to day basis.
I now see two different people, the baby years will always be just that, a time where I nurtured and loved my child until puberty struck with a mighty fine blow and Jess became unhappy and I begin the long term relationship with my angst! Then follows the Jake years, there’s only been three of these so far but what a turn around we all have seen. Jake now smiles, his confidence has blossomed, I think he is finally beginning to feel comfortable in his own skin.
When I now look at these pictures it is hard to believe it’s the same person, the changes are incredible, the pictures of Jess and Matthew at her prom still bring tears to my eyes, she looked beautiful, she never wanted to go but changed her mind at the last minute, I wonder now how uncomfortable she must have felt but was trying so hard to desperately fit the mould she had been given. My wedding photos 4 years ago where she reluctantly wore a beautiful evening dress, I can see from the photos she didn’t want to but she did it for me and that would have been the last time I ever saw her dressed as Jess, a beautiful young woman.
Now I have a handsome son emerging, his featured are becoming more chiselled, he’s lost his womanly curves and looks lean. Although he looks young for his age at the moment I can see the man Jake will become emerging slowly, a man with integrity, passion and the drive to conquer the world! Ironically this is what I used to say to Jess when she was talking about the lack of equality in the world, that one day she would change it, look out world is all I can say!
I guess where I’m going with this is to say to those out there that are struggling on this path with their child, it does get easier, acceptance of the new image that emerges becomes the norm, gosh I would be completely shocked if Jess walked back into my life now as Jake has now become my normality.
I think sometimes we tend to hold on so tightly to what we know it makes it harder to see what’s happening around us. Change can be difficult but from experience holding on to something’s only makes other things harder to accept, you need to make room in your life, let some things go and allow others to embrace you.
I was running on Sunday, the end of my marathon training is finally here, I only had to do 8 miles, only I say but after 20 miles at the end of already doing 15+ in a week it’s a welcome relief, and oasis ‘ stop crying your heart out’ came on and I reslised that’s what I needed to do, I know that there will always be a Jess locked away in my heart, which I will always treasure, but she wouldn’t want tears as she’s left plenty of room for Jake to fill it, it’s time to let go. And stop crying my heart out.

A slap to the face and all that!

A slap in the face, blow to the stomach, kick in the teeth, that’s how it feels some days.
I know I’m in a better place than I was 2 years ago and generally I’m in a more positive mood with a happy go lucky attitude but sometimes it hits you- bam and in that instant you feel the wind has been taken from you, sucked from your lungs in a second, the angst swirls in you stomach and your head screams ‘ why me?’ These moments are a lot less than previously but they are still around. It’s a moment when I feel sorry for myself, wonder why I have to deal with it, consider the unfairness of it all and once I’ve got over my own self pity I then think of jake and once again I can’t breath as then I realise how ever hard it is for me I will never comprehend how difficult it has been for jake.
The more I think of what he has dealt with the more my head feels it will explode

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And then I remember he is dealing with it, he’s happy, he’s excelling, he’s alive and that’s when I gather all my self pity and woes pack then back into a box and close the lid, Until the next time.