Monday, October 01, 2007

A different kind of falling ...

the things I thought were falling apart
they were just falling into place

This weekend I became a parent. Of sorts. I met the boy who is going to become my sort-of-stepson, and tumbled into love I haven't really experienced before.

I was anxious about our meeting. On thursday night I had bizarre dreams about giving birth in which nobody would make me a cup of tea and someone insisted I go bell ringing. In the dream I told my continuously morphing partner that we must give the child a name that would be good for a dog. I suppose this is the only experience I've had of any kind of parenting really - trying to bring up Ruby to be secure and well mannered. I have half succeeded.

The anxiety, I realise now, was not that he would not like me. I think that would be manageable, understandable - I half expected it, warned by all and sundry of the potential for resentment, confusion and anger that he might experience on being told that his mother was not only asking him to accept a new partner in her life, but that the partner was a woman. As it was, he was completely unperturbed, being a remarkably wise and sanguine example of a 12 year old boy, but regardless, I realised that the deep anxiety was that I might not like him.

But I did. I loved him, liked him, found him interesting and funny and easy to talk to. I am not just feeling ok about moving in with him as well as his mum, I am absolutely exploding with excitement about it.

All being well, in about 5 weeks time I will be moving, with Badger, up to a lovely little barn conversion in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales. And then his mum, the most amazing person I have ever ever ever met, and gorgeous boy, will join us when they feel ready. And with 4 cats and 1 dog and a few chickens, we will be a perfect, if slightly unconventional family.

I can't believe how amazing my life is today, and how excited I am about my future. The relationship I have with my new love just blows me away. I feel lucky every time I think about it. And not because I am not worthy blah blah blah ... I do feel worthy - I feel like I am a lovely person too, loved equally by her, and just incredibly lucky to have found my soulmate midst the six billion people on the planet.

A year ago, quite frankly, everything sucked. I was about as low as you can go, and life seemed to have no purpose or plan. My partner and best friend of several years had left me. I hated myself and had few friends and felt incredibly deeply alone almost all the time. Today I have an amazing partner, a wonderful friendship with Badger as well as strong relationships with quite a few others, and am beginning the adventure of being part of a child's life as they become an adult. I know myself, understand myself, have a philosophy on life that feels coherent and I love my work. I have somehow* discarded the sense of being 'not enough'. As a result I feel able to try things without being paralysed by a need to do them brilliantly - including becoming a sort-of-ish parent. (eek!)

I feel absolutely sure that I could not have all of this richness in my life simply by tacking extensions on to the person I was a couple of years ago. The difference in foundations would have destabilised the structure, and cracks would have spread and turned to fissures. I needed to be bulldozed, dug out and flattened, so that I could start again from scratch.

I suspect this is an experience shared by the people who held me together, who smiled at the mess and the chaos and the destruction, and firmly reassured me that all sorts of things were possible. Some of those people were therapists, some were nurses or doctors, and quite a few were bloggers.

So. I shall be starting a new business shortly, peddling t-shirts and badges bearing the simple statement "Blogging changed my life". Any takers?


*somehow = with lots of therapy and deep conversations with very wise people, face to face and online.

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Blogger Matthew said...

Hello. Cheers for writing that. I couldn't possibly even begin to say why I'm thanking you but there we are. Good luck with the move :)

01 October, 2007 20:39  
Blogger Böbø said...

My darling Stray. I am welled up with happiness for you.

I do understand some of the magic that is happening for you. I've also been on my own journey. I've also found love (as everyone is probably sick of hearing). I'm also going to move my whole life. And I too am going to be a step parent {{{scary}}}.

And all I can think of to say right now is: Fruits of our labours! We've put in the work. We've journeyed through difficult places. And now it's harvest time ... time to enjoy the fruits of our labours.

Much love to your darling ♥♥♥ Stray ♥♥♥ and to your new lover and family.

PS: Ruby is a darling!

01 October, 2007 20:40  
Blogger Böbø said...

I can't believe Matthew snuck in and stole first place off me. What a swizz!

01 October, 2007 20:41  
Anonymous Daisy-Winifred said...

Darlink, 'lovely people' are always there...just look in the mirror and one will always appear:0) So glad you are taking care of the whole you and that there is someone who loves the whole you too. Ben gentle on that heart of yours but let it keep on expanding, such delight to come.

Always remember you're beautiful and the world is a delight because you are in it.

01 October, 2007 20:52  
Blogger Caroline said...

I so so so so want one of those tshirts!

You know how much I care for you and your new family. Take care and I look forward to being welcomed into your new home.

A beautiful post honey.

01 October, 2007 21:14  
Blogger JJ said...


Lots of love from me to you all.


02 October, 2007 09:17  
Blogger Steve said...

You'll be a great Mum (of sorts) you looked after me for two years! ;)

02 October, 2007 10:27  
Blogger Miss Tickle said...

Dear Stray, you have made me all weepy. How lovely and inspiring and I am so SO pleased for you.

Miss T. xxx

02 October, 2007 10:45  
Blogger Stray said...

Matthew - being non-specifically thanked is just fine by me :) Thanks darling - it's a fab place to write!

Bobo - you shall be one of our first invitees no doubt. I'm glad you understand the magic - I like the idea that I might somehow have grafted a bit to get this ... but I do feel incredibly lucky too. Love to you and yours as well :)

DW - I think you were the first blogger who I really bonded with, and your constant reminders that we are all both wonderful and fallible - such is the nature of humanity - and I could not count myself out of that set were a real force for change in me. Thank you :)

Cas - Another blogging-changed-my-life club member! We must do a widget!

JJ - thank you! I love the circle of our connection :) (for those who don't know, JJ is one of my mum's best friends, now emigrated to Thailand, who I bumped into via Cas, via Ms M, via the shaggy blog stories book, which I read because of Blaugustine's post about it, is that clear?)

Steve - hey baby! Thanks for commenting :) Yes - I can get you to do a reference for me if one is ever needed! Will you come visit? Pictures in the next post .... I doubt you could resist ...

Miss Tickle - thanks honey! Weepy is good, and I'm pleased to return the favour as I'm sure you did it to me recently :) Yorkshire is a long way from Brighton, but if you're ever in the area, do stop in for a cup of tea!

02 October, 2007 10:59  
Blogger Random Reflections said...

How marvellous - and inspirational! I'm really pleased for you.

02 October, 2007 19:07  
Blogger trousers said...

I too am very, very pleased for you stray. This is great stuff and it's good to read how positive you feel about life.

02 October, 2007 21:34  
Blogger But Why? said...

You? Not enough?? You are more than enough.

You are plenty.

Good luck with the new adventures, all the best with decoding the Dales lingo, and here's to your recently acquired smile lasting a lifetime.


04 October, 2007 09:03  
Anonymous l-q-s said...

Stray, that's a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it - it's made an inspirational start to my day and I'm so happy for you. Even if I don't know you. Umm. But I hope you know what I mean. Happy moving to you and Badger and your new family.

04 October, 2007 10:24  
Blogger PurpleSparkleBright said...

Love you so much. you deserve this so much. I'm so happy to hear you so happy! Can i come visit?

05 October, 2007 13:14  
Blogger Dale said...

Yeh. What she said :-)

I'll buy one of those shirts.

08 October, 2007 04:37  
Blogger Jean said...

oh. wow. I was so distracted by the photo, above, of your delicious house in one of my favourite parts of the country, and the world, that I somehow completely missed this. What can I say? I'm so happy for you :-)

09 October, 2007 13:43  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

XKUPSd The best blog you have!

02 November, 2007 07:56  
Blogger GaryTheScubaGuy said...

This is great information. I found a good broadband speed checker at

29 November, 2007 14:17  

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