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Eating Worms. Wednesday March 30, 2016

It was a bad weekend.

Well, no – some of it was lovely. We were together as a family. We all went to church on Sunday to hear the Easter message of hope and reconciliation. We have Tom home, which is wonderful – but he's come alone because things haven't worked out for him romantically.

Sad. But life's like that sometimes.

It was a stressful weekend as, on Wednesday, it was my youngest daughter's turn to fall off a horse and break something. She broke her elbow. Oh, not an easy break, of course. We spent all day Thursday in hospital waiting for them to operate only for the consultant to say he was referring her to a specialist. At the time of writing we are waiting for the specialist to contact us and my poor daughter is in a temporary cast and a lot of pain.

But these things happen.

It was a stressful weekend because a dear friend thousands of miles away – a friend with whom I usually exchange texts several times a day – chose to go off grid for the weekend. This wouldn't normally be a problem except that this friend is going through a really hard time at the moment and – well – I worried. I worried a lot.

That's life too.

Such a minor thing it was which precipitated my breakdown: cooking a beautiful meal for the family on Sunday with a rib joint of beef my sister (the organic farmer) had given me. Only I'm cooking by remote control at the moment because of my broken ankle and one particular member of the family - who shall remain nameless - did not turn down the oven when and as instructed, so this very special meat had two and a half hours at a much higher temperature than planned...

I thought it was ruined and I broke down and cried. At that moment it was all too much. I wanted to run away, to hide in some dark hole. I just wanted out and away from everything. Yes – I wanted to go down to the bottom of the garden and eat worms because everything had gone wrong.

Of course, it wasn't the meat itself but the combined worry and grief over broken relationships, broken limbs, and vulnerable friends far away.

It's stressful time for all of us. As a family we are experiencing emotional and physical pain; we are coping with exhaustion and too much to do. We're irritating each other and snapping at each other. But we keep reminding ourselves that it's okay. We know we need to be a bit more patient and loving with each other while things heal. Broken limbs will heal, the pain of a lost love will fade. We will be able to rest – eventually.

And things aren't as bad as they could be. The meat was still delicious and my friend texted me on Monday with the words "still alive."

I'm grateful for that.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Nick Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:41am

I'm grateful for that too, Mary. xx

Eva Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 7:14am

What a weekend but you are managing overall to keep that sense of perspective, so well done.

Anonymous Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 7:34am

Rooting for you, Mary, as ever.Go well.

LillyPet Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 7:46am

Hi Mary, You've captured perfectly how the accumulation of stress and being strong, holding things together, can knock us for six with that final straw.
Also that things often don't turn out as bad as we fear. I hope that since then you have found some me time to rest and restore body and mind. My very best wishes for your childrens' healing.
You'll look back at beefgate and be able to smile! Sounds delish! Sending love and light to all. LP xx

Salt Water Mum Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 8:51am

Hi Mary,

"I wanted to go down to the bottom of the garden and eat worms because everything had gone wrong."

Oh I hear you ! It's the one-thing-on-top-of-another feeling and it just gets too much sometimes.

What came to mind was a similar time for me, a week when everything seemed to be going wrong and my mood dipped and I felt overwhelmed with responsibility and worry and then... my friend dropped in to visit and accidently dropped my butter dish that smashed everywhere, the beautiful butter dish my kids had made for me when they were little, decorated with flowers and kisses and love and there it was in smithereens on the kitchen floor and I burst into tears and literally could not stop crying. My alarmed friend - who knows me well and my moods - still couldn't understand '... but it's only a butter dish' . There I am crying and wailing '... but it's not... it's everything...' !

I hope all your family recover Mary, they will of course, it'll just take time. My son too had a broken elbow - a horrid injury and he too needed an op and I was awfully upset at the time, he was only six the poor pet but he was back to himself very quickly afterwards. We sent swimming a lot once the cast was off and it strengthened up his arm very quickly.

Sadly, I have no suggestions for a broken heart ( I wish !) but I'm sure lots of hugs and cups of tea with you and his family will help him along the healing way.

Take care Mary,


Mary Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 12:50pm

I completely understand about the butter dish. Totally. And - thank you.

Rachel Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 8:54am

I am grateful for you Mary! A competent woman with a vulnerability. Sharing your thoughts helps me cope with mine. Long may we continue to laugh. Take care of yourself too.

Welsh girl Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 9:46am

Hi Mary,
I am so grateful for your post, as it helped me to get my awful Easter weekend into perspective.
Drove on Good Friday to stay with mother-in-law, who has dementia, which took six hours instead of the normal three, with a husband who was suffering the after effects of his venesection the day before. Spent three days with her, looking for "lost" things which turned up after we'd gone home, dealing with her endless requests to repeat everything,having to do all the washing, cooking, cleaning for her, being unable to go out due to the atrocious weather -you get the picture.
We returned exhausted on Sunday night, and on getting home found out my aunt had died last week (as ever I am the last to be told) Phoned my mum to commiserate and left messages but clearly she is not picking them up, possibly as she is in one of her vitriolic moods again which she reserves solely for me.
Our own family meal on Easter Monday was not great as feeding problems with our grandson, born prematurely in July, continue and my daughter went home early in a flood of tears.
When a friend asked over a coffee yesterday if I was ok, the tears started.
Already feeling better today, looking at the sunshine outside.
Hoping your week is picking up Mary and my best wishes to you and yours,

Mary Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 12:51pm

Oh my dear! Yours was far worse than mine! And with dementia there is no healing in this world, unlike the broken limbs in my family. My sympathies are with you. I wish your grandson the best.

Welsh girl Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 8:26pm

Oh and I was right about my mother 's vitriolic mood. Oddly enough the messages were not there according to her and so I have just been accused of lying and told my behaviour is appalling! However, I have had such a lovely day in the sunshine, not even she can spoil it.

Zareen Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 11:10am

Hi Mary, thinking of you. Am glad that you are finding some silver threads in the dark clouds that have tried to envelope you! Love

Richard Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 12:46pm

Mary. Your blog, as always is open and honest. I thank you and hope you continue to inspire all of us with such heartfelt words. Peace and Love,

Lexi Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 12:50pm

Mary-By the broken ankle I would have been in the garden sobbing. You have quite the resilience but more importantly the knowledge to know enough is enough and time to take a break. I do hope this week is a better one for you and your family. Xo.

Anonymous Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 1:58pm

Dear Mary, Thank you for this post. I always really appreciate the openness and honesty that comes across when reading these posts. I too 'get' the butterdish scenario. And how in those moments of unreserved crying, it really does feel like the end of the world. And anyway, even the buttterdish, because of it's strong sentimental ties - that alone is enough to have a valid response of sadness. And that was the final straw, of accumulated distress. It is unfortunate that often our family simply dont 'get' why all the fuss, and it is fortunate that you could see it for yourself - that you weren't only crying for the butterdish. I love the reference to 'beefgate'. I think I need to do more of that - when reflecting back upon situations that blew me apart inside, to add a lightness to the memory, so I can connect to it with less condemnation and self criticism, and more humour, release and self compassion.

Frankie Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 3:22pm

Well said Anon 1:58 - thank-you; I too need to add a lightness to the memory and connect with less condemnation and self criticism ... Frankie

Frankie Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 3:27pm

Dear Mary, thank-you; I'm glad it's not just me! I too get snappy when trying to make everything lovely for everyone ... I try and remind myself that this is displaced anxiety for whatever it is that is bothering me at the time ... Perhaps we want to prove to ourselves that we do have control over some things (the perfect dinner), despite finding ourselves in situations over which we have no control (broken hearts and limbs). Frankie

Anonymous Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 4:37pm

Dear Frankie. You always hit the nail on the head for me. I have spent the last two days getting ready for more visitors here in France. I always want the house to look good and have everything, food etc planned and ship shape. It is displaced anxiety on my part. I know I will feel tired and maybe not very good company much of the time so I want everything else to be right to compensate. My anxiety is that I won't sleep and will lose my sense of humour and make everyone miserable. And yes it is about control. I have little control over my moods but can have control on how the house looks,what food there is in the fridge and if I am organised, it's less likely something will go wrong. The slightest mishap will be very difficult for me to deal with feeling like I do. Thanks for making me see things as they are.Julxxx

The Gardener Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:03pm

Oh Marie, in France we call those events 'en serie'. Welsh girl, have you anything in your spirit/character which, after 3 days with a dementia sufferer could give a recipe for life? Struggling with lack of sleep, being treated like a slave, awful weather and the knowledge that |Mr G will never see anything from a cheerful angle again.I have/had a combative nature - but I'm curled up, exhauasted, in a foetal type ball.

The Gardener Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:07pm

Jul, one thing I have just got rid of is having to have everything perfect. A huge 'soulagement'? (comfort) is that people still seek me out and sit round the kitchen table with a cup of instant as happily as they sat round the once-elegant dining table. It's the friendship which counts, not a dust-free house and lumpy sauce. I never thought I would lower my standards - but force majure. And the 10,000 euros stair-life has broken down after a month.

The Gardener Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:10pm

Oh dear, I see I have translated 'Mary'. Get scared I, too, am losing the plot, but give me some sleep and pleasing companions and things return to what passes for normal.

Anonymous Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:22pm

Thank you Gardener about not having to have everything perfect. I suffer from insomnia too which makes everything double the effort. Or do you not sleep because of looking after Mr G? Jul xx

Anonymous Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 6:24pm

We have had lovely weather today in the Limousin Gardener. Are you in Brittany? We get a lot of rain here of course which is why the Limousin cows thrive. Luscious grass. Jul xx

The Gardener Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 8:23pm

Lost last post. Weather foul here. Insomnia due to Mr G keeping me awake all night. Just raised his stick to me, perhaps I deserve it. Parties! Used to have 120/140 people in my garden on 14th July - imagine the nervous strain of such a stupid undertaking. Our fantastic JEWISH mayor, when I said what would happen in the case of rain, said they would all budge up indoors, champagne and canapes in the kids bedrooms, then there were always the die-hards (the priests in particular) who hoped to stay on for dinner. The French, God bless them.

The Gardener Wed, Mar 30th 2016 @ 8:26pm

Last post, positively, I adore the Limousin cattle, second to the Salers, fabulous animals. And I adore beautiful horses, dangerous brutes, viz Mary's sufferings. Use stronger glue.

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