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Creative chaos (my mind is chaos, but at least it’s creative)

Updated: May 30, 2022

FYI before you start this blog is just FULL of spelling and grammar mistakes that I know are there but can no longer see!

I wasn’t going to do a new blog this month I was going to wait until I’ve done some of my collaborations I’m organising after summer. However I’ve been writing a lot and managing to get little bits of art work done! Life is messy, it’s a messy, mess… being a mum is messy too but in the most beautiful messy way. Blood, sweat and tears are literally the main ingredients. I’ve not been getting out like I should, my go to move is always to isolate myself and then get frustrated about it. However I’m loving being a family of four motherhood comes with many incredible joys. It both gives us our identity and takes it away all at the same time. I don’t mean that in a resentful way, even as I sit here writing this i'm tired, covered in milk and unfortunately probably baby sick but I know my children have made me a better person. It’s tricky though isn’t it?! Motherhood, because it comes with so much uncertainty, I’m I doing it right? Who was I before? Will I always be this anxious? What is sleep? Is this top clean?...

In my last blog Triggering Peace with Creativeness I wrote about understanding my triggers better, this one is more or less a follow on as I’ve been exploring my childhood feelings of anxiety, I’ve been thinking a lot about my parenting style and how this affects my day to day life.

As I mentioned in my past few blogs my anxiety is a little bad at the moment, I’m an internally anxious person, I used to get confused to why but now I’ve learnt it’s down to growing up on edge in a toxic environment and that as an adult I was trying to suppress too many feelings and memories while forcing relationships. OH IF ONLY I knew that a few years ago!!! I’m really trying to understand it all better and writing helps me process my anxiety… because it’s bad right now my hands and mouth are sore. I have some bad habits, I bite my nails to the point of blood when I’m alone I also bite the inside of my mouth which is in the grand scheme of life only a minor inconvenience however I can not get on top of… also kinda gross right. I even do this in my sleep. It’s something I just don’t know how to stop, especially when I’m unaware I’m doing it. My anxiety doesn’t really show on the outside I guess, that’s the thing about masking my ‘inside me’ doesn’t match my ‘outside me’ however that‘s probably a good thing! Yes ok my neurodivergent traits also play a part in my anxiety it’s not only down to my past memories i’m also aware of that!

I go back to work soon, both with my photography and my marketing day job. I decided not to take full maternity leave for a few different reasons one I really enjoy my job. Two, for me working is a great coping mechanism. I’ve always worked it keeps me busy, my jobs are creative and often fast paced, perfect for what I need to function. Of course I’m not going back full time yet, I’m still taking the time to enjoy afternoons cuddles and naps with Lunar while I can! But slowly going back to work I believe is the best option for me, however that feeling also comes with a little guilt. Motherhood is hard to navigate!

As I’ve been working out my triggers I’ve realised that a massive trigger is being a mother. They make me unbelievably happy and I’m a good mum, of course there are moments I get things wrong, times I get frustrated and have to take myself away for a deep breath, I remember when Deryn was a toddler there was some particularly challenging times were I’ve sobbed just wanting a break and for her to listen to me, I remember just being so worried that while she was having a meltdown she would hurt herself because she would drop to the floor and roll around in a dramatic mess of snot and tears. Toddlers are hard, adorable and hilarious but hard, now Deryns older she’s much easier but parenting will always come with challenges and no one is perfect. So yep it triggers me sometimes, but not because of the stressful moments it’s the moments of happiness I find myself deep in thought about. I believe this is because my children’s childhood is variously different to mine, so much so I’m constantly thinking about the difference. Comparing and evaluating. Even the little things, our bedtime routine is full of cuddles, play and kisses. We chat and sing (very badly) and they fall asleep happy and content. I don’t remember having this, I’m sure I did at some point my memory is very all or nothing I remember great details and I also have weird blanks were my memories should be. However even as a very young child before things got really tricky I remember crying and then getting in trouble for being ‘needy’. I haven’t got memorise of bedtime story or having my hair played with as I fell asleep. I do remember the anxiety of bedtimes though, clock watching even as a young child. The feeling in the pit of my stomach as nighttime approached although this got worse in my teenage years and still lingers with me even now.

I want my children to be needy, because I want them to need me because I need them. Yes ok it’s exhausting when it’s 2am and I’m feeding Lunar and Deryn strolls into my room and makes herself comfortable in the middle of the bed and starts snoring… but at the same time why shouldn’t she? It’s my job to make her feel safe and loved. We are after all pack animals with social instincts so when they wake up in the night and need me I’m there, ready to play with their hair until they fall back asleep.

It’s also the little random day to day moments I sometimes find triggering. Even the most simple ones like holding hands with my oldest daughter. We mess around we swing our hands and laugh while we walk again this was not my experience as a child. One of my ingrained memories is the feel of fingernails digging into my hand and if we would complain we would coldly get told to “walk faster then”. Meal times were stressful, I clearly had anxiety as a child, I see that now. Unfortunately no one else did, or they didn't care I was just ‘difficult’ when my anxiety gets really bad I don’t want to eat. I can go a really long time without proper food, this was also the case as a child. I remember being anxious about something which then made me not won’t to eat. This would then lead to me getting screamed at and in some cases physical punishment would follow depending on my reaction to my telling off. At a young age meal times would become triggering which of course led to issues around food and me being seen as fussy. A strong memory I have that plays in my head and one I talk about with my other siblings is the glass pasta bowl… we were being loud someone was crying and I guess it was just too much because the only way