Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The moving finger writes

I have done something to my back. I cannot quite stand upright. Periodically I groan a lot. I was squatting next to the children, pleading with them to chose something in a shop so I could go back to a cup of tea and a cheese scone in the cafe next door. I admit I was buying silence. I am not proud of it but I was desperate for the tea. As I stood up, I thought: "Oops." It was so bad, I was clutching at the shelves. The nice shop assistant came over. I said: "Having a bit of a problem standing up. I just need a minute." He was about 23; he thought I was 70. The car was parked up a hill. As we laboured up it, my husband said to the boys: "We'll have to roll mummy down this hill like a pig in a barrel." I was in a considerable amount of pain at this point, hanging on to my husband's arm with one hand and holding on to my six-year-old's shoulder with the other. I stopped walking in silent protest. My six-year-old said: "I don't think you look like a pig Mummy," I smiled lovingly at my child, "even if Daddy does." I did not smile lovingly at his father.

We were en route from the hospital where we were having the six-year-old checked out by a consultant paediatrician to see if he had some sort of falling down disorder. (He doesn't.) This was at the suggestion of the school after a series of incidents in which my son was hurt. As responsible and courteous middle-class parents, we took their piece of paper with its Google search results on dyspraxia, said "Thank you" and that we would "look into it". My suspicion was that as the incidents tended to involve other children (sitting on him, for instance) and he did not seem to fall over spontaneously at home, any official medical diagnosis of a problem with motor skills was extremely unlikely. If I was in the habit of swearing, which of course I am not, I would have said it was an absolute fucking waste of time for all concerned.

I know some people still consider the fact I blogged my concerns about what was going on beyond the pale. Others, however, are back on board. I liked one mother very much the moment I met her; she had no great need of my company but I felt we had interests in common and when she needed my help, I gave it freely. The first time she cut me dead, I thought: "She didn't see me." The second time when I could not move a car fast enough for her, I thought: "What's going on?" The third time, I sucked my teeth and shook my head in regret as I strapped the children into the car. Then I thought: "You know. I don't think so." I crossed back over the road to where she stood with another waiting mother. I said: "Would you call me?". I waited but she didn't call. Two weeks went by until she e-mailed.

She wrote: “There's so much I want to say and most of it focuses on the appalling attitude I have recently adopted towards you. I haven't phoned you as you asked me to do because I was afraid you wouldn't really want to talk to me. I have behaved terribly, like a stupid spoilt child, not to mention sheep - following suit, if you know what I mean. I have never meant to ignore you, snub you or act coolly towards you. It's something I've never done to anyone before and believe you me it's preyed on my mind every day since I first heard about your blog. I actually feel quite disgusted with myself. Please forgive my rudeness. I am truly sorry for being so pathetic.”

I thought: "Cor blimey." I replied: “Listen honey. Fret not... I respect anyone's right to hold a different opinion to my own. 100%. Truly." I went on a bit, but that is the kiss and make up gist of it.I was slightly gobsmacked when she told me later, over a cup of tea, that caught up in the feeding frenzy, she, herself, had not read the blog. I admire her bravery though; having the courage and making the effort to apologise in such a handsome manner. Knowing when and how to say sorry is a gift. I am hoping she will be a new marra.

To a few, I remain: "The Unforgiven". Northumberland, although a huge county, is a small world. I blog. My words do not go away. They hang around in cyber-space, witness to my awful mood, my anger, my scary desperation. I look at them, sometimes in the same way as I look at my children and think: "Cor blimey. Are they mine?" They are. I cannot walk away from them. They would cling to my leg and scream. But the words thing; that cuts both ways. Everyone knows everyone else. Maybe, not directly; face-to-face. But they probably know someone who knows someone, a cousin, a neighbour, a sister in law. I do not know everything, but I know more than I want to about those who still ramble on about the blog. I think: "Get over it." I have.

19 comments:

mutleythedog said...

The thing about backs is they need a lot of rest as in long periods sitting down or lying down and absolutely no prolonged standing up/walking about. This should get you out of .. well anything and everything you don't want to do. I am glad you escaped from the bookgroup and I hope you did not pay the ransom. We should not give in to things like this.

I know your problem with the blog I am constantly being accused of defamation and libel.. Now who does this help?

mutleythedog said...

Yay!! I'm second... oh.

Stay at home dad said...

To use your phrase: 'Cor Blimey!' Brave of you do approach her as you did, outnumbered.

Iota said...

What a marvellous woman, and I hope she becomes your marra. She might also be able to advise on a good local osteopath.

Poetess said...

Hi WITN

From a woman who spent 3 years in bed from a car accident I can advise cool ice pack wrapped in a T-towel or a wheat bag. The temptation is to lay in bed and not move. You can do this for 24 hours ( kids allowing) but then you should get up and move around. If only I had had the right advice all those years ago.

If after a few days it is still painful, the osteopath is the best option or physio for ultrasound to take the swelling away first.

Hope this helps.

I am still catching up, I didn't realise peopale were not happy about your blog.

Envy is not pretty is it!!!

Poetessxxxx

Flowerpot said...

I'm glad that you have found a friend - she sounds very special. But sorry about the back - nothing like back pain to get the swearing counter revving into orbit. HOpe it eases soon. Got any whisky? I can't stand the stuff but it gives you that kick when, for a lovely moment, you can't feel anything....

Mopsa said...

I still don't understand why folks have got so het up about your writing. It's a far more honest past time than gossip. Here's to the new mate. Good woman.

jane said...

I like your new mate already, she sounds nice. See, it was only a matter of time. I think the blogophobic folk in your locality remind me that, in any group, the one who stands out for whatever reason is sometimes pecked to death for being different. Withstand the pecking. Eventually someone else will take the flack - for instance, next week a gorgeous ex-model could float into the playground, all Gucci and Nars, swishing up alongside the muddy 4 X 4's in her silver Merc convertible. Hopefully, she will come with a reputation for seducing other people's husbands, charming their children and being the best cook in four counties. Encourage her to join all the local groups, especially those with Dads in. That should do the trick.

Keep smiling:)

Kaycie said...

You sound better, wifey. Hope the back heals quickly.

sally's chateau said...

Hi, back pain is the worst, I've only got time to have a quick read of your latest blog but I'm sure I shall like your frank way of writing when I pop back ! Beautiful part of the world you live in too.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I, too, have suffered much back pain. After many visits to the physio, ice, rest, etc., I finally went to the GP, who prescribed strong painkillers and Valium. Guess what? I was fine in no time. Painkillers of a different sort will help with the mums at school. Namely, an ally or two. People will get jealous and upset over a lot of things, blogs included. Rise above it. Your kids will grow up, they and you will move on. I live in a claustrophobic, isolated area, too, where everyone knows everyone or is related to everyone, except me. I just ignore the trouble causers now.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow, I was really shocked and amazed at your post. (not the back pain, though I know, it must be bad, but the bullying thing.)

I followed all the links through and got sad and angry for you.

As a mum who also has a 6 year old who's faced bullying in the last year (though not to your little one's extent), I don't see how anyone can read your post and see it as anything other than the worried thoughts of a concerned mum who is struggling to deal with a difficult situation.

It's mad that a post about your child's bullying and isolation has led to the same thing happening to you.

I'm so glad your new friend had the guts to say sorry with such thought and care.

She obviously genuinely thinks alot of you.

She is indeed marra material.

nofoodisforbidden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DogLover said...

Bad back? Half the population (or something) experience back pain at some time in their lives.

The correct course is doctor before physiotherapist and only then, if you believe in them, an osteopath.

But go to your hospital physiotherapy department and buy Dr MacKenzie's "Treat Your Own Back". The book gives a series of exercises to do if you get the agony of sudden back pain (i.e. a "slipped disc") and they are guaranteed - well, more or less - to get you back to normal quite quickly. I am prone to slipped discs and I immediately drop to the floor and do the exercises. 9 times out of 10 I'm OK five minutes later.

Walking uphill, even with help, is likely to make the damage more permanent.

Do buy the book. It costs about £10. My copy has the signature of about two dozen sufferers who have borrowed it and been helped by it.

Eurodog said...

Boy, oh , boy, am I glad to be working with dogs!

debio said...

Sorry about the back - I used to suffer terribly - good osteo is the way to go - plenty of heat treatment.....

Jo Beaufoix said...

Ok, weird thing I heard the other day.

If you have a bad back you should sleep with chalk under your mattress...

Or maybe it was a pea...

Or maybe you're meant to pee on your mattress.

Oh dear, not really helping much am I, sorry.

Gosforth girl said...

Your comments about making new frinds and needing a soulmate rang true with me. We moved to the North east from Cheshire 2 years ago and i am yet to find a "NBF" (new best friend). I have 2 in Cheshire and 1 in Glasgow and i'm sure that my newcastle NBF exists I just haven't found her yet.

You can't put your finger on what you are looking for, but when you find them, you know instantly.

Rob Clack said...

I endorse doglover's comment - doctor, then physio. I too, have suffered a slipped disc. Worst pain I've ever experienced. Diclofenac is a good anti-inflammatory and really helps.
Also what others have said - don't lie still for long periods and avoid too much walking and standing.

Oh yes. Don't lift anything heavier than a glass.