Friday, 12 December 2014

Accepting Acceptance...

After yet another restless night, I awoke this morning in a very contemplative mood.  After a while, this led to an epiphany which has troubled me all day.  I think I have mentioned before, something that my father always used to say to me, being the youngest of 7 siblings; and that was "you have got to fight for your survival, Sharon".

At the time he meant getting my share of everything, as my brothers and sisters were always put first, and with an age gap of 5 years; I soon learned to grow up pretty quick.  And on occasions, when I have been accused of being 'spoilt', they would hear the bad side of my tongue, because they have no idea of the sacrifices I had to make, because of them.  My childhood, for one, they weren't around when I needed support, they had all left and gone about their business.  

They didn't see the reaction I got after I gave up on a course my father had insisted I do.  After all I was the last chance, in his eyes, I was the last chance to get it right, produce something that was well educated and would go far, that he could be openly proud of.  They didn't see me paying my way through college, with an Avon cosmetics jobs, or that the only extra money I got, was the £5.50 family allowance money, that mum gave me.  All because he flatly refused to further support me at college.  There are so many other instances that I can recall, but I have strayed from my point. 

Anyway this morning, I got to thinking about what battles I have fought in my life to get here, you know the times I really did have to fight for my survival.  And I started right from the very beginning, my birth.  I was born with a condition called 'Vulvulus', which means a twisted intestine.  Quite a serious condition for a baby, because it mean't I could not keep food down in my stomach, and was constantly vomiting.  At the time, my folks were in London, and it took many visits to Southampton General Hospital, before I was operated on, for which I still have stomach problems and bear a large scar to boot.  Obviously it was touch and go, but I have always said that 'I wasn't meant to be here, so that makes me special'!

I revisited my youth and adolescence, and the issues relating to that time, through to my early twenties.  I started a business at 21, did it for a few years, then became constantly employed, I've had relatively few jobs, because I have always stuck at things, wanting to see the end of something.  In fact, I was being driven, driven by my fathers words.  I took on challenging jobs , in a very male dominated environment, but I knew my stuff  so no one, could touch me.  I worked hard, harder that any of my employers ever deserved, only to try and climb an invisible ladder to nowhere, but empty promises.  

I gathered knowledge, I taught myself, I went to night school, I trained, I qualified, but in the end it was a non starter.  Especially the last job, the amount of pressure I was put under, from day one, working with young men, construction apprenticeship training, a vast case load (popular industry), and extra out of hours tasks with open evening, giving talks to local schools and so on.  And at the same time going to night school, earning a teaching diploma, and then then on to the full qualification, getting teaching practice in, and gathering certificates for anything that might be useful for the future.  

Even now, when I have not worked for so many years, I am still fighting.  There was my husband, our relationship not being quite right, not being recognised for my own achievements or input, that everything was so one sided, creating my home and sanctuary.  Finally when I realised that I could move no further forward, I fought to save myself through my depression and other illnesses, including the break up of my marriage.  Always fighting to always do the the right thing...  But the right thing for whom?

And then it struck me!

Have I really spent a large chunk of my life, living up to and going further than my fathers' expectations?  To the point he can not criticise me for things I have done.  Maybe that was my sub conscious goal, because he spent a lot of time criticising others for their shortfalls, as though he had none himself.  Or was it just sheer defiance in me, that has made me so determined to always do my best, and achieve as much as I can?  Or was I simply seeking some approval from my dad?

All I know is that I have pushed and pushed myself, always being so hard on myself, punishing myself to constantly do better, to feel worthy and this is the result of it all.  Everything I have ever worked for is is this house, this place I used to call my home.

The sad irony is that in spite of everything, it is being stripped away from me, by the very man my father approved of most. 

And that I accept.  Sx