Discovering that your alter ego has been beside you all these years, but that you may have ignored it til now is an incredibly liberating feeling.
Don’t panic though because your alter ego (and I hesitantly borrow Wiki once again for a true meaning of the expression) is a patient thing and won’t have bogged off to pastures new just because they were side-lined.
No. In fact it’s been watching over your endeavours for some time, praying and hoping you’ll take a pathway it knew was better for you but still came along your chosen path anyway, silently pacing a few steps behind and waiting outside when you entered the home of the superb-mask-wearing ultimately unsavoury character.
AE knew you’d come out eventually having seen the light, even if it took some years, and off you’d both shuffle down the path of life, spitting feathers or crying with hurt indignation. You often didn’t stop long enough to sit down and look behind you, where the best person to give you advice was sitting right there. Next time, sit and admire the wildlife a moment… because I can guarantee your AE will have noticed the spider’s web on the gorse while your lovesick self was refreshing your phonescreen convinced another text would come, or had you missed it somehow? Thank you Pugwash for a beautifully timely illustration.
You perhaps felt its presence sometimes, while staring in the mirror wondering wtf you were going to do next.
If you embrace your AE and invite it properly into your life-making decisions, I think you’ll discover a new friend. One who will never let you down because they have no ulterior motive other than your wellbeing. Be more open to their black and white views on life. If AE says about a third person that they are no good as your friend, listen hard and act because you’ve probably been brushing that hint under the carpet for years and maintained a draining one-sided relationship with that ‘friend’ ignoring the fact they bring no positives to your life.
This post was inspired after I read a post by NICCULENT who posted these lovely words yesterday 🌸
At some point today I shall pen a post about the most AMAZING self-publishing conference I attended yesterday in Leicestershire 👌🏼
I came home last night from watching a ‘run-through’ of a brand new script to a never before performed play. I found it profoundly moving and quite traumatic because it brought back much of the subject content of the self-esteem counselling I endured and from which I benefitted throughout 2017. Let me explain …
There is a local Womens Aid Centre in our local town, as there are in many towns. The staff and volunteers’ faces there soon became recognised beacons of warmth at the regular meetings. Stepping in from cold, wet autumn evenings to their brightly lit rooms with walls covered in artwork, produced by women who still like to go back and partake in coffee mornings they hold regularly, made you feel safe and at home somehow.
These walls have seen and heard it all. There is no story which would shock the fabric of this place. The volunteers have helped hundreds of women rediscover themselves or assist in them ‘seeing’ perhaps for the first time that they have choices ahead of them, and that if they make choices to change aspects of their lives, the world will keep spinning. It won’t necessarily come crashing down around their ears because now the wealth of knowledge out there in the support systems; the police force, the courts, the lawyers means these women can feel safer if they wish to report domestic abuse.
However for many, they don’t report it. One of the most important sentences issued by my counsellor during my first week, which she warned would be hard to hear and it was, was that I would need to start to take responsibility for my own wellbeing and hence future happiness. She explained I’d made one of the biggest decisions by visiting her – she recognised that finally I was no longer happy to sit back and let life happen to me, leaving me unhappy, unfulfilled, victimised and silent. I did not argue or defend myself; I was low enough to simply nod and let the knowledge run through my veins that from this point onwards, if I didn’t want to be a victim, I would have to stop behaving and reacting the way I had been. All my life. To many different characters along the way. (You’ll appreciate this post Jennifer) I refer to the amazing Jennifer Gilmour who wrote her debut novel based around domestic abuse and how Rose, her MC, finally escapes.
I digress; back to the play. There was a murder in Suffolk a very long time ago, about which many plays were written over the next hundred years or so. Although I’m not keen on wiki, I will use it today so that you can read about it here.
Practically all the plays based around this true story were written by men and are about the murderer or the police teams and how the search for Corder was carried out. Most are about bringing Corder to justice – thats all good stuff.
About five months ago, a playwright (we’ll call her Lizzie) visited the womens aid centre by arrangement to meet with some of the women who had completed the Freedom Program and Self Esteem courses during the previous few months. We were treated to four afternoons of literary exercises and chat while she got to know us and our stories and we were given the opportunity to write prose and poetry. The aim, she explained, was for her to write a new play from the point of view of Maria, the victim. Lizzie had been fascinated by the Red Barn Murder story and felt there was an untold story here – that of Maria and the life she may have led up to the point of her death at the hands of Corder.
Three months has passed since we last saw Lizzie. Yesterday, we met the meet the six women who would perform the parts in Lizzie’s play, and to sit and watch them go through various scenes which they had been working on for only three days. They carried their scripts with them, yet still managed to portray emotions and friendships, difficult relationships between the girls as the years passed and Corder worked his magic on Maria’s grasp of life through gas lighting.
Lizzie’s play starts when Maria and her village friends are all young and it reminded me so much of that amazing ‘Always’ advert which did the rounds a few years back. Even now, I can’t watch this without shedding a tear, so valid is the content.
When the scenes were finished for our benefit, and I had swept away more tears, the Director stood and asked if any of use would like to say anything. Well guess who spoke?! Yup, you know me so well; I did not let the emotions disrupt what I had to say 😀
I found my voice and complemented her on writing a script that covered so many of the aspects of living like a victim and how that manifests itself; withdrawal from family and friends because you’ve been persuaded that your friends are not making comments in your best interest is just one of many examples I saw performed brilliantly. I complemented the six women who now were sat on the stage awaiting feedback. The girl playing Maria had adopted the perfect nervousness exhibited when confronted by strangers, the perfect defiance and defence of Corder when friends questioned his ‘love’ because of the gas lighting he had been inflicting upon her.
We all clapped and wished them well in their further rehearsals. The performance is not due to take place until June and anyone going to watch it will need to take a tissue.
This blogger is spot on with the money here.
Some of my followers know that last year I started, endured and completed a self-esteem course and it was the best thing I ever did!
Reminding myself and others how important it is to value yourself is never wasted time. I enjoyed this post and hope you do too …
Thank you JoyPassionDesire xx
How long can I wait before I start the post-Christmas ‘tidy up’? I mean, realistically, how long do I have to walk past the collection of cracker gifts sat patiently on the sideboard before their inevitable journey to the bin, but which at the time of explosion brought genuine ‘oohs’ and ‘wows’ because they were a step up on the 2cm opaque plastic aeroplane, or the one lonesome plastic leapfrog (who at least you can attempt to force into somebody’s wineglass!).
I might actually try and use the bookmark – it will give me the look when reading on the train of a more organised person than the one who uses last week’s train ticket.
The frame is cute. And pretty useless. It will undoubtedly end up being pushed from my bedside table if I ever find a photo small enough to place inside it. The books and the phone and the glass of never-consumed water will take priority in the dark.
Perhaps the bottle opener could be of use to my son who now has a set of car keys. Although what message is that giving him – drink and drive?
The stumpy thing which was designed to touch your touch screens to save your finger or thumb is simply a waste of time. By the time you’ve located that in your handbag debris, the recipient of planned text has morphed into next month.
A bulldog clip which opens wide enough to contain perhaps 9 pieces of paper. Useful. I’m sure, for …. for cheques! Collected as I deliver clients’ horse rugs. Except they all pay by bank transfers these days. I probably bank fewer than ten cheques a year nowadays. Holding credit cards together in said bag?
Now, a mirror is a useful thing. Something stuck in your teeth following what was meant to be just a scotch egg from the garage along with the costa medium-sized coffee which is never quite large enough – yet I’ve yet to choose a large at the machine! Eyebrow check; lipstick check, sleep in the eye check. Because you never know when Daniel Craig will walk across your path do you?
Look closer into your mirror and you will see not the things that make you prettier, but yourself or the next generation of yourself perhaps. Those beings who take your core morals and beliefs into their world and mould them a little to suit their own evolving take on society and what it means to them.
My daughter. My son. (Yes, I could say ‘our’ but this blog is about me, not ‘us’)
Their smiling faces, directed at me stood behind the camera that day, when my son was throwing his spear for England. But that’s another story, for another day, which I will share with you I promise.
But today, on the first day of a new year, wherever you are, whoever you are with and however you are reading these words, take time to look in a mirror, a reflecting shop window because this year? Make it about you first. If your well-being and self esteem is intact, you will have the strength to look after those around you.