I have become slightly insomniac since my first pregnancy. I have to sleep before my painkillers wear off and if I'm woken during the night I tend to stay awake, miserable with pain. I saw someone somewhere refer to it as painsomnia. Most appropriate. Or totes aprope as I sometimes say (Sorry).
So, as one is wont to do in the small hours, I dwell on the many ways things could have been better.
My parents are two of the biggest disappointments a person could bear. I cannot even begin to put down in writing the myriad times they have failed not only their children but their families and of course themselves.
They married young, because they had to (yes me).
Both already very damaged teens, the black sheep of two middle class families. Sadly, they eschewed all the trappings of their upbringings and indeed those of polite society. Constant rebels, not in the romantic, bohemian sense but in absolute chaos, mess and disaster, to the point where people have disowned them and they are now both pariahs in their communities and drains on our taxes.
I am 'estranged' from both of them, for my own sanity and to protect my children, but as they grow older and evermore revolting, I have intense guilt for rejecting them and instead choosing relationships with men who mirror my parents' worst qualities whilst masquerading as my knights in shining armour.
Unsurprisingly, my parents' children, us siblings, have not met our full potential. For me, there have been regular bouts of low mood or depression. A feeling of never fitting in and such a deep sadness and loneliness that has been with me from a very young age. A neglected child, my mum told me many times how hard it was to love me and that has stayed with me.
I do everything I can to make my own children feel loved but I cannot do the same for myself.
My self esteem has never been high despite appearances. People who don't know me so well think I am brimming with confidence but in reality I'm anxious and full of self loathing.
I have very beautiful and glamorous sisters. None of them have any of the health issues I have. I feel like a gnarly dwarf next to them, unnaturally short due to my twisted spine. Riddled with pain, even my hair is a let down. Theirs is sleek and shiny, mine frizzy, tired, dull, despite the time and money spent on treatments.
I recently started HRT to try and support some of my issues, maybe to help with my dislocations and to steady my mood swings.
The Dr diagnosed me with PMDD which is apparently an extreme form of PMS. It has blighted my life and now in middle age I finally found someone to take it seriously.
He prescribed the Mirena coil alongside a bio identical oestrogen gel called Sandrena. The two together should help make the transition into menopause more easy. So he says.....
TMI ALERT: So far I have bled for four weeks. It could take three months to settle down although a friend tells me she bled for years. If you have experience of either of these, or the two together, I'd love to hear from you.
It is the strangest feeling, aging, coming to terms with all the changes. I have suffered pain since my teens then it became more serious and never went away, becoming 'chronic', bringing with it an unmovable fatigue.
I have never forgiven my body. I feel like it has turned against me, perhaps not forgiven me for not respecting it during my wilderness decades.
Oh but it was fun, not caring, the nineties were all about breaking rules, being young and unbeknownst to me, beautiful.
It took me years to realise that in my youth I actually was beautiful. I never realised and sold myself short time and again. I wonder how many people did this? An episode of This Is England brought it home to me and made me realise, my story was not unique. Such a cathartic experience watching the series, what brilliant writing.
Having grown up in chaos I never understood the importance of exercise. I rarely went to school and when I did go, PE was not top of my list. I never learned about nutrition or healthy eating until my 40s.
One day I was young and as far as I knew, invincible. The next day, I woke up, looked in the mirror, saw grey hairs, wrinkles, someone else's belly, and somehow, many stones heavier.
I recently watched First Dates. There was an old boy on there, ex market trader, liver spots and floppy fringe. To me he looked exactly like David Bowie or how Bowie would look if he were not a gazillionaire.
I often wonder how my face and body might look and feel had I had money, or had my parents chosen different paths and had I not caned it like a muthafucka for all those years.
Hey ho! This is me now, oui, c'est moi. I guess I have to make the best of it.