I am a woman of a certain age! A long-time wife, mother of teenagers and daughter of a dominant, somewhat possessive woman. I work in PR and I used to be happy and content. But recently something has changed and I feel like I'm losing control. I want to break free but don't really know from what or why. I think I need therapy but am fighting against that and writing this blog is an attempt to record my behaviour and make sense of my feelings so that maybe I can claim back some control.
I am essentially a good person but as I have tried to write honestly here, that may not be what comes across!
I’ve been thinking about my friends a lot recently.
I have always surrounded myself with lots of people and I like that I form friendships quite easily and that people seem to value having me around. But I think that when I was feeling particularly low, I was upset that I didn’t have anyone I could turn to who I could pour out all the angst and bore to death.
I know that’s not true though. I know any one of them would listen to me without judging but because of my issues I couldn’t talk about what was wrong. Hell, I didn’t know myself. If I’m honest, I don’t really know now although with the therapist’s help I have a better idea.
The point is that I enjoy being a friend to others and listening when they need a comforting ear. I can’t expect that back when I refuse to allow any of them into my inner core. It’s my problem not theirs.
I saw this poem recently and thought it summed me up, especially the second verse.
FRIENDS by ELIZABETH JENNINGS I fear it's very wrong of me, And yet I must admit, When someone offers friendship I want the whole of it. I don't want everybody else To share my friends with me. At least, I want one special one, Who indisputably,
Likes me much more than all the rest, Who's always on my side, Who never cares what others say, Who lets me come and hide Within his shadow, in his house - It doesn't matter where - Who lets me simply be myself, Who's always, always there.
A great move forward is that I recognise now that I have never had, nor never will, have this sort of relationship because I don’t think I’m worthy of just being myself - others might not like that real me. It’s a work in progress with the therapist but an area that will probably take the most time and effort.
What I can be, however, is a good friend to those around me. I can offer unconditional friendship and one day, when I have truly sorted myself out, that will be a two-way process
I’ve neglected this blog and my online buddies recently as I’ve been catching up with my real-life friends. I suddenly realised that I hadn’t seen enough of the people I care for and that apart from work events, I rarely go out now.
The old Selina was constantly entertaining or going out to friends’ houses or events with Ewan and the family. I don’t know when it stopped but at some stage I just got very tired of it and lost all enthusiasm and I just wanted to be at home at the weekend, in my pyjamas, watching X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing !!
I’m sure it was to do with that period of depression that I went through when I didn’t really want to make the effort to engage with others. But when I was off sick last month, I couldn’t stop thinking of how things used to be and I felt very strongly that I needed to reconnect with everyone.
So, over the last four or five weeks, we have had friends over to dinner and lunch at the weekends or been out to parties (oh, and a wedding) and this last weekend we had a party which was great. It felt so lovely having everyone over again and I forgot how much I love cooking for others and putting on a spread. I feel quite exhuausted now though as I don’t have the stamina I once had and preparing everything and clearing up afterwards takes longer than it used to but still, it feels so right.
I think the real Selina is slowly and surely on her way back !
My son has taken to wearing quite a lot of aftershave recently. I think it’s to alert everyone to the fact that he is now shaving but I had to tell him it was really too much and that it was never a good thing to be able to smell someone coming......long before you see them !
A couple of days ago, I picked him up from school and took him shopping for some new rugby boots and we stopped off for a coffee. While we there, we saw a bloke that used to live on our street who joined us for a bit and when he left, he gave me a hug and then said to Kyle “I love getting close to your mum, she always smells so divine” !!!
I expected Kyle to show that look of disgust that he normally displays if anyone says anything nice to me but actually he was nodding. He said that he agreed, I did always smell lovely and I nearly fell off my seat !
My darling son then went on to ask how I did it because he wanted to know how to smell good through the day without piling on loads of scent. And so, delighted at finally being asked for advice on something by one of my offspring, I told him my fragrance secrets.
At the moment, I have three perfumes on my dressing table, Chanel No.5 (which has been the one constant since I got married), Burberry Weekend and Cerruti 1881. I also have bath/shower gels and body lotions to match and basically I just layer.
Once I’ve decided on the scent of the day, I use it in the shower and as soon as I come out, with my skin still damp, I apply the appropriate body lotion and then I use the matching perfume under arm, in the crook of the arm, in cleavage, behind knees and …..on the soles of my feet ! Then about an hour later, just before leaving the house, I spray a light mist over my hair. At lunchtime, I’ll usually dab a little on my wrists and/or neck to see me through the rest of the day.
Ewan often says I smell lovely when he gets into bed and cuddles up to me and that still makes me happy, even after all these years.
So back to the boy, he was seriously impressed with his old woman’s advice and we went in search of something he liked and he chose the Obsession for Men range, which bizarrely came with a free pair of CK boxers ! And …..after just a day of his new fragrance regime. he told me the new girl in his class who he has fancied from afar for the last couple of weeks asked him if he wanted to “hang out” some time !