Monthly Archives: November 2016

being bottom


I have been playing hockey since the Summer.

I am not very good at hockey.

I have never been very good at hockey.

I am ‘bottom of the class’

I am not used to being bottom of the class.

People avoid passing the ball to me, as I usually miss the ball.

I am the last to be picked for the teams.

Yesterday, we played with a new team. There were 3 women including me. The other two are good players. The other team gave them both a new hockey stick for free to encourage them. I was left out.

I felt terrible.


The only good thing-I have some empathy for my students who find things difficult. I am not used to it. I don’t like it. But I can choose my response- and that for me is ultimate freedom. I can either

a) stop playing

b) work hard so that I get better or

c) not give a damn about what the others think…

This is where I love being an adult. I can choose. As a child, I had very few choices. I think children in schools generally, do not have as much choice as the adults who work there. I can do something about that.

Lessons from a hockey pitch… who would have thought!

Thanks for listening



Going naked


I have blogged about the facial disfigurement I was born with (sorry, sometimes I know I bang on about it). Of all the issues I have been looking at over the years- the one where I feel I have made least progress is in the way I look.

Until now.

Unknown.jpegSometimes change is so slow it is negligible. I would much prefer the wake up one morning and everything is different- but sadly, that doesn’t really happen that often. But every now and again I find myself doing or saying something that I’m not sure I would have done previously. This is one of the reasons I love blogging- it helps me see the successes and process the challenges.

In the summer I decided to go naked.

I have always HATED the fact that because of my skull not fusing properly I have this thick clump of hair that no matter what I do with it always congregates in the middle of my forehead. I really find it repulsive. (Sorry, wish I could say that was hyperbole but actually I really find it stomach turning).

In the Summer while in Bulgaria, I decided to cut my fringe off. Instead of trying to hide my forehead and it looking worse in the process, with my sisters encouragement, I decided to embrace it and go naked. And do you know what… only ONE PERSON has noticed and I love it!

Daniel, has spoken to me about it. He noticed something different and was very encouraging about it. But no one else has said anything and that is really positive for me. Because that includes the public. It hasn’t made it worse and to be honest, I found the clump of hair so much more upsetting then the scars so its win win, I don’t have the clump and no one mentions the dent!


But it doesn’t stop there…  I have suffered with an eye condition for 24 years now and as a consequence the iris in my eye is now permanently damaged and it means that my eye lets in more light than usual. This is really painful and its not just sun that hurts its general day light. Reactor-light lenses do not go dark enough for me so I have been wearing prescription sunglasses virtually non-stop until 2 weeks ago- when I lost them 😦 It is a faff having to swap continually between glasses and sunglasses but its the only way I have been able to manage the pain in my eyes.

But now for the first time ever, I am considering contact lenses. Instead of trying to hide my wide-set eyes with thick and sometimes outrageous glasses- can I go naked? No mask. Just my face. I don’t know. I’m not sure if I would be able to go outside without my glasses. But the situation needs looking at as I need new prescription glasses- so is now the time?

On Friday evening, I spent some time looking in the mirror. (Penelope has been trying to  get me to do this for the last 4 years but I’ve never been able to manage it. (I can actually get ready without looking in a mirror at all.) But on Friday, I sat and looked. Without glasses (obviously everything looks blurred without my glasses) but I could see my face and I just wondered without the glasses whether I might be better doing the fringe attitude. Fronting it out. Doing the opposite to what I want to do- instead of hiding- embracing. Its something I am going to explore.

In reality I am not sure whether I can wear contacts etc… but I’m definitely going to explore. I may just find it totally liberating – like my lack of fringe!!!!

Thanks for listening.

Major melt down


Unknown.pngFollowing on from my mini-meltdown of the last post… a major melt down occurred a few days later. Chronologically, time has moved on from this melt down but I wanted to blog about it as I need to carry on processing the result of it. Its not a quick fix issue unfortunately.

I went in to full melt down mode at 3.50pm. I read an email (an inoffensive one in and of itself) but it was the metaphorical straw. I just wept. Thankfully at 4pm I was due to see Penelope (my DBT therapist). I haven’t had a session like this for a while. I was in total emotion mind- and we were both struggling to help me find my wise mind.
Unknown.jpegFor those interested, this article helps explain the difference.

But glimmers of light began to permeate my cloud. I began to see that my mini-meltdown over the pups and my major melt-down over some interpersonal relationships at work were two sides of the same coin. The issue is my way of relating. My attachment behaviours. My propensity to get enmeshed. My lack of skills in separating myself out from others. (This was made worse because I had consciously tried to do that in a personnel issue at work and it became worse as I realise now that everyone is not so open to taking personal responsibility).

I can’t change other people. But I can change me. The problem is, I don’t know the answers! I don’t entirely know what I can do about it. But I know, that I have to. This way of relating isn’t sustainable. It isn’t healthy. And it certainly isn’t life-giving. So I may not know everything but some things I do know- and these I have to do.

Slow down. Take time before responding. Delay in answering back. Don’t get swept along by other people’s agenda and chaos. Step back. Deep breaths. Be sensitive to my need to rescue. Be aware when I am trying to placate at the detriment of my own truth. Stand firm. Be fair. Respect yourself as much as you are trying to honour others. 

Unknown-1.jpegSometimes its so hard isn’t it. But melt-downs of any size indicate to me that something isn’t working as well as it could. Something has gone a bit squee-whiff and life is giving me the opportunity to try and get back in to balance.

I don’t enjoy melt-downs, however, I prefer them to the mind-numbing disassociation that usually precedes them. I had been feeling overwhelmed and dead for a number of weeks. I don’t like that non-feeling place where I just can’t articulate what it going on. So actually, I’m pleased for the straw. I was especially grateful that I was outside Penelope’s house when it happened. But I’m also grateful that I can keep plugging away at these issues. Exciting isn’t it.

Thanks for listening



I’ve only gawn and done it!



I, Hepzibah, Duchess of Debden have ran my first 5 k.

Yesterday morning, not planned, not quite prepared. But I did it.

I did not stop once. I kept going even when I thought I couldn’t. I DID NOT STOP.

At this point, in my head, Cliff Richard is singing congratulations to me, the Olympic Stadium is full of 120,000 spectators cheering me on and I have actually grown a shiny new halo as I feel so virtuous I think I may be up for a Nobel Peace Prize.


My time was embarrassingly slow! (50 mins- most amateurs would do it in about 30 mins) but I DON’T CARE. I HAVE RUN A 5k. Ok, I admit, that at that time, jog may be more accurate- but I HAVE RUN A 5K!!!!!  I could have walked it quicker but I wanted to be able to blog this morning and say I HAVE RUN a 5k. 

It was not all plain sailing: At one point, I did think I had done 4k- when in fact I hadn’t quite done 1k (I found the signs a bit confusing!) I thought it was once around the park and I felt a little deflated when the steward told me it was 3! The pups were with me so they got a good run too. My friend ended up doing the last lap with me (he had already done 3). I was lapped by a 90 year old… but I don’t care. I RAN A 5k and nothing will ever be able to take that away from me.

Thanks for listening.




I had my first meltdown over the pups, George and Mildred.

I stood in the middle of my friend’s kitchen and burst in to tears. Bit of a shock for my friend who didn’t have a clue what was going on- but I couldn’t keep it inside any longer. I literally stood with the kettle in my hand and sobbed.

I was away for the weekend visiting friends. They live in the middle of no-where and their land is surrounded by active farmland. They also have a busy household of gorgeous children who had friends over for a sleep over.

The pups didn’t stop barking. They barked at every bird. They howled at the pheasants. They jumped up from a deep sleep every time someone came in to the room or ran down the stairs. By the start of day 3- my nerves were frayed, I was physically exhausted at having to keep getting up to try and calm them down.Its the first tIMG_1403ime the pups have been a drain. Usually they are joyful additions. I know their breed is notorious for barking/yapping. But it is a fairly new development for them.





As I now reflect on this meltdown I realise it isn’t the pups barking per se that stressed me out- it was my anxiety at my friends not coping with them and then being excluded from coming to their house. I was reminded of the shame I felt all the time with my previous dog- a naughty dog meant that I was defective as an owner (and therefore as a person.)

Most friends persevered with my previous dog because they loved me- but only the die h
ard dog lovers amongst them would ever look after him for me. I hoped my cute cuddly dogs would be more easily looked after by friends and family- and would even be a blessing to them. But quite frankly I wouldn’t blame any one if they didn’t want to- the barking was SOOOOOOO draining.

In reality- I can work hard and train the pups. I’ve read up on the issue- they are not the first chihuahuas to have this problem and they won’t be the last. I will need to persevere and be persistent and consistent. What is more challenging is my anxiety and fear of rejection. This weekend is fireworks, I am literally dreading it. I love fireworks myself but the pups have small dog syndrome big time and I think it is likely they will want to fight the bangs… hey ho… to make things worse I’m with a different set of friends. A challenge indeed.

I love them. I can’t give up so easily. I won’t. Friends- please be patient with us and Hepzibah be patient with yourself xxx

Thanks for listening.