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Racism

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I’m not proud to say it but i am a little racist.

I’m this way because of experiences i had trying to bring up a baby in a mostly Asian town.

So before I moved to Rochdale and had my son, i wouldn’t have thought of myself as racist. I grew up in a white town and was a teen before the first non white family moved in. I didn’t have feelings one way or another about race. how could I as I didn’t have any experience to basis any opinions on.

So fast forward a few years I’m twenty one heavily pregnant and living in Rochdale. Muslims past my house to go to mosque, and there where times when gangs of teens heading there threw comments my way. “Slut. Whore. you should give your baby to a proper family.” just some of the things said.

I was twenty one and in a committed relationship. we’d been together nearly three years when we moved to Rochdale, and been engaged for two.

I mostly ignored the comments thrown my way. I had bigger things to worry about. Things like have we got enough nappies and are the baby grows going to fit the baby when he comes.

After I had my son, I had an hour with his dad while a bed was found then both of us where wheeled away as it wasn’t visiting time. I’d have to wait six hours to see my family again.

Again didn’t think much of it. rules are rules, and after nearly a two day labour I didn’t feel like talking to anyone anyway.

That night another new mum and baby where wheeled into the ward. An asian mother not much older then myself. with them came ten family members. seeming shouting at the top of their lungs. the midwife asked them to keep the noise down and left them to it.

two hours and many complaints by me and other white mothers later, to which we where told we can’t kick them off the ward theyd cause to much trouble, I called my other half and made him complain. within moments of him calling who ever was in charge of the hospital that night the family where finally made to leave.

The rules should be the same for everyone. My son wasn’t even 24 hours old and for most of that he’d been wide awake and very gassy.

Soon that family slipped my mind I was home an trying to get used to breast feeding every hour and half on the dot.

fast forward seven months and my son and I are at a mums and tots group run by the local sure start centre. There was an even spilt of white families and Muslim families. i know this because they weren’t mixed. the white families at one end of the room and the Muslim ones at the other.

My son at the time s was starting to motor along on his own and as long as he wasn’t in danger of being hurt i left him to it. He and a Muslim child not much older then himself wanted to play with the same toy. They were happily sharing the toy when the boys mother in the full body covering came over grabbed the toy and her child and moved them back to their side of the room.

This made my son cry and me very angry. I tried to talk to the woman but was ignored and a few minutes later i was told off by the staff there for causing a problem.

I admit I might not have been as polite as I could have been. Telling the woman that her actions are why children grow up to hate her and others like her. My son was just playing with her child and they were making friends.

There where times when I’d be out shopping on my own or with my son and the male Asian shop workers would serve men in the line behind me before they served me. or would ignore me when i asked when something was.

I was spat at in the street by Asian’s, women, men and children. once it hit my son in his pram. I caused a scene then an there and amazingly nothing happened to me or the family even though there where police officers across the street.

Over three years living in Rochdale i experienced a lot of racism aimed my way, to the point where i would only enter a shop if there where white staff working there. I didn’t feel safe if there was a gang of Asian boys near me on the street, where as i felt completely safe if it was a gang of drug smoking white boys.

Something i never thought would happen as i grew up thinking gangs of white boys where quite scary and to be avoided.

So in short after my experience in Rochdale I am Racialist and don’t like being around Muslims. I know that not all are like what I experienced in Rochdale, but that was a town over run with people acting like that and it has coloured my view of all Muslims.

So what got me writing this post? The BBC is running a season about race and how attitudes to it affect people. And it got me thinking.

75% of people say they are in no way racist and wouldn’t like to be with anyone who is. But race crime is up and far right groups are on the rise. So people are lying in public about not being racist but are behind closed doors.

I know my saying in public that I am a racist after my experience’s isn’t something that going to win me many friends. But, i cant lie about it. I feel safer around white people. My son never had a new friend taken away by a white mother. To date I have never been spat at  by any one who wasn’t Asian, or been ignored in a shop by someone who wasn’t Asian.

I don’t like feeling this way. Or the fact that the experiences I’ve had had led me to feel this way. I get on with the Asains who run my local take away across the road. But it took a few visits before i felt comfortable in there.

One of them asked my why I didn’t seem comfortable there one day, and I told them about my time in Rochdale. They listened and then told me that, that was part of the reason they and their family had left that area and set up shop where I live.

They saw people being mistreated for not being the same and even being mistreated themselves for not being as uptight as others.

With the boys at the takeaway I know I can ask them any question about their faith and the lives of their families in the mid east. They want to teach people that not all Asians are bad and often enjoy the same things as any one else. They want me asking questions of them. They see it as their job to teach people things.

I have to say through them in a mostly white town I have learnt more about their faith and community then I did living amongst it in Rochdale. I hope that they’ll still answer my questions in time to come and help me turn my thinking around on all Asians.

If my experiences in Rochdale had been like the ones I’ve had in that take away then I wouldn’t have any racist thoughts or feel less safe around Asian gangs then I do white.

Work in progress here, but I’m prepared to put the time in as i don’t want to carry on thinking the way i do.

And, in the end it’s up to all whatever their skin colour or faith to say yes we’re a little or a lot racist but we want to change. We want to get on with one another and feel safe no matter what. Until then race and faith crime will probably carry on rising  and more people will find themselves in the position I have. With racist thoughts because of what they themselves have experienced while trying to live their lives in a peaceful way.

Slowly getting there…

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It’s been a wee while since i last updated this blog.

During that time I’ve written four complete first drafts of short stories and struggling through the fifth.

The thing I’m struggling with most is dialogue. Its quite hard to make sure that every word of dialogue is moving the story forward and not wasting words.

As the stories are short stories aimed a children i have to be careful with how many words i use to get a point across. short stories need the pace to be fairly fast and simple, and lets be honest, children don’t have the best attention spans. so keeping to the KISS principle is a must.

Saying that the first story I’ve finished I trailed on my son. I can’t think of a harsher critic as if he doesn’t like something he just gets up and walks away. He’s done this while I’ve read him published stories with nice pictures.

So a little nervous of what the cruel six year old judge would say i started. no pictures for him to look at as i cant draw to save my life. just my messy badly spelt, even worse grammar handwriting for him to look at.

I finish the first A4 page and look at him, he’s sat with a smile on his face. I carry on, the only time he  moved was to snuggle up to me as I read. with what i thought was a nice flourish i bring the story to an end.

“that was brilliant mummy, fantastic.” shouts my son. I’ve never heard him use those words before so with a tear in my eye, now there really is no pretending his a small child any more, (even though he’s the tallest in his class and missing two teeth in my head he’s still a baby) i dare to ask him if he thought there was anything missing.

“fart jokes!” no denying my son is a true boy with that remark. “fart jokes and things falling over”

yes in six year old heads slap stick is still the best go to comedy you can find. And some how not as easy as you might think to crow bar into a story about dragons while keeping an eye on the word count.

But nearly five stories in and while its not getting any easier the ideas keep coming and soon i hope to have a good handful of stories that can take the next step to having pictures drawn for them and be fully edited ready for other six year olds to enjoy. If there anything like my son i may need to have a few back up ones.

Its harder then it looks.

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Writing for kids is hard. Very hard.
OK I’ll admit I’ve only been trying to write a story about dragons for my six-year-old for about twelve hours now. Not long really, but long enough for me to want to pull my hair out.
There is the amount of words you want to use in your writing but your not sure if a six year old is able to read the word never mind understand the meaning of the word.
My son is learning to read and being the proud mother that I am I think he’s the best little reader in the world. even more so since he likes having stories with long words read to him. but I’m trying to write a book that kids will want to read to themselves or their younger siblings.
At the back of my mind I’ve go to remember that the words i write will need someone to put pictures to it and thinking about how its done in other books.
Never mind getting an artist on board to draw the pictures. someone who’s happy to draw lots of dragons and their world based on the words I put on the page.
So over all its a lot harder then i thought it would it would be.
If anyone knows someone who wouldn’t mind trying to put drawings to my words send them my way.

Its been a while

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its been a while since I wrote in here. since the last time a lot has happened.my depression has risen and fallen. I’ve sought therapy which helped a little and grown as a person a bit.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get used to living in my own place and juggling bills and spends on my son. not really easy to do when i spend a lot of time not wanting to leave my flat! any one with depression and anxiety will know just how hard it can be to have the get up and go to do anything.

the political climate at the moment in England hasn’t helped. every year with the budget more and more bad news comes. less in in-work benefits for people who don’t have full-time jobs, more companies only offering part-time or zero hour contracts. now isn’t a good time to be trying to get off benefits and earning your own money.

but then what do the people in power care when they have the ability to never worry about where the moneys going to come from to keep the lights on and water in the tap?

but my writing bug has been reactivated with the idea that I could possible make money from my writing by putting it on e-reader sites. which is something I’ve always wondered would I be good enough to do.

my dad is on board to help me work out which stories are any good and if I could possibly work them into longer stories people would pay money for. it helps knowing that my father who i think of as one of the most intelligent people i know believes that I have the ability to do it,  I’m going to try a new track and use my six-year-old to bounce ideas off.

he’s currently really into dragon and apart from the how to train you dragon series there really isn’t a lot of dragon books for kids his age. not ones with dragons as main charactors  anyway. so for him I’m going to try to write some and post the ones he likes on here before going full steam ahead and finding an artist for the pictures. hopefully my sister. a real family enterprise! it’ll either bring us all closer together or someone will end up dead. most likely my dad as he’s got the coolest head and most patience.

Not being able to have kids.

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I have one son who I have spoken about in earlier posts.

The chances are he will be my only child. Which is something that I never thought would happen. I always thought that i would have a handful kids. I love kids and enjoy being around them as they experience things and seeing the wonder in their faces when they do something new.

Because of something that happened a couple of years ago I find myself in a position when I can’t bring myself to even think about having another child.

Two years ago my son was taken from my care by social services. after a long court battle my ex who at the time this all happened I was still with and planning to marry got sole care of my son after we agreed to spilt up.

At the court session I was told that I would only be allowed to see my son under supervised conditions for just a few hours a month. This is because I failed my son by getting ill and not providing the sort of living environment that he needed. During this time I feel I wasnt given the help I need to be the mother that my son needs. Even after I asked for help and tried hard to do the things that help set out for me.

Hell even two years after this all started social services still havent got my name and date of birth right. I mean how hard is it to make sure that a name and date of birth are right. It took nearly a year to get them to admit that i wasnt brought up in a single parent household in the area i was living in at the time and that the man i was engaged to really was my sons biological father. Bit hard for him not to be considering that he was the only man i had slept with for two years before my son was born. Hell un like a lot of people out there i have only slept with two people in my entire life. both of whom i was oin a long term relationship with. Not because of religious reasons. More because i brought up to believe that taking taht last intimate step is something you should only do when you really care about someone and are planning on being with them for a long time.

According to socail services this makes me niave and inexperince. How the hell can not sleeping around be turned into a bad thing?

At the same session I was told that from now on till I die I will have a note on my medical records that means that if I ever get pergant social services will be informed. This is something that will hang over me for life and will have to disclose to anyone I may be starting a relationship with.

It’s not something that I could hold off telling someone till I was sure that we could go the distance. Thats just not fair on that person. So they would need to be told as soon as it was clear that there was something between us. Thats a lot to put on someone. And hope that they can deal with it. I’m not sure that I could deal well with it if I was on the receiving end of news like that.

This order waput on my records fairly quickly which i found out when i went to the doctors after suffering a misscarriage. Since i had lost the child there wasnt any need for socail to find out. Yes up until recently i was still sleeping with my ex as i believed thatthere was a chance we could still be a proper family with our son.

He recently realy hurt me when he told me he had started a relationship with a new girl and that he had been looking for a way out of our relationship even before socail got involved. Which let me tell you was news to me. Theres no way in hell i would have carried on sleeping with him if i knew he felt that way. Hell he hasnt even traded me in for a better model. she’s younger then me but every one agrees i am the better looking and thinner. The main comment about her i have heard is she looks like the back end of a bus and has a not very nice personilty.

I went off the rails and caused probs for him and this girl. Even calling the police on this girl after hearing some concerning stuff about her from my son. It turns out that there was nothing to it and after a few days suspended from her work things are back to normal for her. Do i feel guilty? Not at all. I was merely trying to look after my son from a postion of not knowing this girl and only going off what my son told me about her.

Not being in a good mental place before this happened due to depression i prob way over reacted. And because of that and the results of doing what i thought was best for my son, all be it missguided i am in a worse place then i was and things are pretty bleak right now.

There will always be a part of me that loves my ex. He helped create the most amazing child in the world. But there will always be a part of me that hates him for allowing things to get out of control by working away from home when he knew i wasnt coping well. Leading me on and dropping me like a piece of rubbish when some girl bats her lashes at him. And even hearing through the grape vane that he doesnt believe i have the misscarriage. He wont even talk to me about it anymore as we “dont have the emotional connection” thats needed to do so any more.

He’s moved on with his life and is now with a girl who’ll be able to give him as many kids as they want witout any problems.

Yes i hate her because of that. And the fact that she has taken everything away from me that my ex promised. all within a sort space of time.

I cant help how i feel about her.

Just like i cant help the fact that any future partner of mine will have to deal with me not being able to give him kids with out there being a question mark over if we get to bring them up ourselves.

I couldn’t put someone else through that. Having to go through having every part of your life examined by people who are looking for a reason to take your child away from you. The possiblity of that child being taken away. what sort of life ould that child have. spending the first god knows how long being a ward of the state while the court waits for socail services to tell it what to do.

Knowing that they would have to ave been a super man to deal with the baggage i come with and the fact that they will never ever be number one in my heart. That place belongs only to my son, and takes up so much of my love i dont know if i have any left over for someone else.

Just how badly would it effect the child i already have? Knowing that there is a brother or sister growing in mummys tummy and then being told that they cant meet them because some cold hearted witch came and took the baby away as soon as it was out of mummys tummy.

Just how badly would the stress i would be going through effect the baby as it grows within me. Would it cause complications for the baby? Could the stress of the situation result in another child?

It wouldnt be fair to put anyone through that. even more so the child i already have. the one who didnt ask for this to happen and doesnt understand why mummy and daddy arent together anymore, why he cant spend more time with mummy or call her when ever he wants to.

God only knows what the future may hold. But for me it more then likely holds never having a true relationship with someone again and growing old having only hjad one child who by a twist of fate and the innterferance of socail services is being brought up in a broken home whilst he father brings other women into his life.

Love

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It comes in many forms.

Theres the love we have for our parents. We may not always like them but we still love them. Hell the several times I’ve told my parents that I hate them and will never like them again. I’ve rarely told them that I didn’t love them any more. And I may have meant it at the time, but very quickly realised I didn’t really mean it.

I love my mother, even though for the past 18 months she’s not been there for me and we didn’t talk for nearly a year. I have always loved her as any child loves their mother and have gone through many months of hating the ground she walked upon. we’re working on getting along better now. And if it wasn’t for that love we share we still wouldn’t be talking now.

Theres the love we have for our children. The love that eclipses all others. We will never love someone as much as we love our kids. Thats just part and parcel of being a parent.

Since becoming a mother myself I have found my ability to love has grown with each day that passes. And that love is all directed at my son. As I only have a single child I don’t know how parents with two or more deal with the amount of love they have inside of them. I know from talking to parents that they found with each child their ability to love and hold it inside grows and grows.

I don’t know how people who have more than one kid get anything done during the day. My son is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. Not an hour of the day goes by without me thinking of him. Maybe its something that you deal with and gets less distracting as your child grows older.

Theres the love we have for our friends. We all have one or two mates who it doesn’t matter how long it is since you last spoke or saw each other, when you get together again its as if no time has passed at all.

Theres the mates who you go to when you need a pick me up or talk about your problems with. You love them all but, in different ways and for different reasons. But, in a way that love is fleeting. It can come and go and be transferred to others who fill the need when we have one.

Theres the love with have for our partners. It can come on strong and fast. And burn out fairly quickly. Or it can build over time becoming bigger and stronger. Something that doesn’t burn out and gives you the greatest gift you could have apart from children.

I know that the love i have for my ex was something that burned bright after meeting him and grew as we got to know each other. We knew each other for three years before we got together. So we missed out a lot of the getting to know each other bit whilst starting a romantic relationship.

Our love lead to us getting engaged after six months, moving in together three months later, and on our years anniversary we conceived the most amazing child in existence. A child who was born a year and two days after we moved in together.

That love got us through hard times and untill recently we still had the shared love. Something for us both to hold onto while we went through a tough time.

That changed when she entered the scene, my exes new partner. He turned his feelings for me off and unto her. I can’t blame him for that, not really. He made the choice to move on and only let me know after he did it. That hurt and hell I still havent managed to move on yet.

that’s something I have to deal with in my own sweet time. just wish that it was sooner rather than later.

Talking of exes there is the love we have for them. They helped make us who we are. If we hadn’t had that love for them and allowed them into our lives then we wouldn’t have had the experiences we did. We would be without some of the happy memories they helped make.  We wouldn’t be able to know what makes us happy in a relationship and what doesn’t.

So all in all we have love in our lives even when we feel we don’t. And even though its hard to hold onto that fact. It’s still true.

Being an absent parent.

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It’s not easy being an absent parent.

I am one through things that I did and allowed to happen to my son 18 months ago.

At the time I was on my own with an active 18 month old and a partner who worked away all week. I was on high levels of anti depressant‘s and even taking diazepam during part of the time this happened.It would be very easy to blame everything that happened on my being depressed and taking a mixture of prescribed drugs. But that’s not all it was. Part of it was that and part was being on my own with a challenging toddler, who before he was ten months old had started walking, climbing and jumping off things.

So some things happened and he got some injuries that I couldn’t explain, even now the best part of two years later. My son was taken into care. My partner who I was supposed to be marrying kept me believing that we had a future together, and social services and the police got involved and made it so I wont be allowed to be left alone with my son until he’s eighteen.

In the space of three weeks I was involved in a car crash, had the news that the now ex partner had found someone new to play mummy to my son, and that he was only keeping me hanging on so he had someone to help him get his rocks off. And was told by the judge that I can only spend four hours once every two weeks with my son with someone supervising our time together untill he turns 18.

Needless to say the past few months have been a strain. One which during the little time I have with my son I have to work really hard to keep away from him.

As an absent parent, I live every day with the guilt of not being there for my son during the day. On top of the guilt of knowing in all likely hood I hurt the one person in this world I would do anything to make sure they didn’t know pain or were hurt in any way.

I’m not the first parent who’s in this position and I’m far from being the last. I’m unusual in the fact that as a mother I am the one who was turned into an absent parent. Ninety percent of the time its the fathers who are put in this position.

It’s not just parents who have kids who got injured who are in this position. theres also the unamiable splits, where the parents are so concerned with trying to hurt each other that they end up going to family court and one will have their access to their child restricted. Or if they don’t go to the family court, one will end up being made to feel like the big bad wolf so badly and regularly that they end up not seeing their child at all.

Now I’m lucky in that I am still able to see my son and my father is the one who supervises my time with my son. Which is for the best considering that my ex and I cant be in the same room for more then ten mins without argueing.we both end up shouting and calling the other a lair. Which we both believe about the other whole heartedly.

The trust between the two of us is gone and I don’t know if we will ever get it back. Which isn’t in the interest of our son. who needs two parents that can get on and be friendly whenever they are around each other.

Going through all this has made me realise just how screwed up someone must be to never see their child again. To be a complete absent parent, has to be the hardest thing in the world. It’s hard enough for me not see my son for thirteen days out of fourteen.

But by the same token its hard on the child. I know from how my son gets that if I need to go to the loo during our time together my son really doesn’t like it and gets clingly when I get back to him. When its time to leave he always wants just one more hug and one more kiss.Tangling his hands in my hair so I cant leave him.

I know from talking to other parents who only see their kids occasionly that the same thing happens to them. That their kids will play and join in whatever activity is happening, but the kids keep an eye on where they are at all times and get distressed when they lose sight of the parent.

We were all told that this was in the childs best intrest, but how can it be when the child grows up without both their parents around full time. Never really understanding what happened to put them in this situation. Not knowing how one faceless person has come to the conclusion they did and wont change their mind no matter how the circumstances change. With only having limited time with one where they get disstressed if they lose sight of the parent and when its home time.

Theres no easy answer to any of this. But i know that my son wants his family living together under one roof and getting along. I would do anything to make that happen. Nothing would be too hard or bad for me not to do it, to make my sons wish come true.

I love my son more then anything, and dispite everything that has happened i am still very much in love with my ex. Even though i know that he hates me and wishes he had never got involved with me, or atleast left me and took my son before all this happened.

We cant change whats happened in the past. All we can do is make the best of here and now. Which in my case is waiting around for my son to make one of his twice weekly calls, weeing him once a fortnight. And, making and sending him his special cards which he tells me he loves getting, and has started telling me what he wants ont he card next.

To all parents out there who dont get to see their kids as much as they like, you have my love and empathy.

To all kids out there who doesnt get to see their mum or dad as much as they like, remember they love you more than anything and think about you evey day. The highlight of their day, week, month or year is being able to speak to and see you.

Same goes for the grown up kids who ahve moved away to uni or to start their own life and family. No matter who old you get your parents will always be thinking of you and wishing they would be with you. Even when you drive them wild.

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