St Valentine’s Day Survival Guide

Hearts

Oh, Valentine’s Day. It is that time of year again when love is in the air where couples of all orientations express their undying affection for one another through PDA’s (Public Displays of Affection) and a showering of lavish gifts in the unmistakable colour of RED.

As with a flip of a coin, there’s another side to this day. For each love struck romantic looking to put their love on the line, there is the cringe faced eye-rolling cynic denouncing the holiday as a gimmick. It is individuals such as these whom Valentine’s Day equates to nothing more than Hallmark, Clinton’s and other cards sellers racking in a handsome share of profits from the sale of cards and other related products. And, let’s face it, those of us who have been unlucky enough to have been stung by rejection or have found ourselves surrounded by friends searching for opportunities to lip lock have most certainly felt the wrenching sensation whenever Valentine’s Day creeps up.

So how should you deal with Valentine’s Day?

Well, if you’re single, avoid feeling pressured to conform to societies norms of being romantically involved with another. It’s just 14th Feb, another day in the year which just so happens to be the day when many around you have made plans to shower undying love on their significant other. If this bothers you then make plans of your own; go watch a movie, cook something special for yourself or even treat yourself to something expensive. Although it is much more socially acceptable to be single in society, we find Valentine’s Day a struggle in a society of fixed ideas; just take a browse around the high street shops. The soft toys, cards and other tokens of undying affection are reserved primarily for the girlfriend, boyfriend, wife and husband. Might I remind the profiteering card companies of the many bloodline relatives in existence; parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and extended family. Buy your parents and grandparents flowers because everyone seems to forget that old people get lonely easily, especially around the holidays and they need to be reminded that they’re loved too.

As for those of you who are in the early stages of a new relationship, no Valentine’s Day this year folks. We all know that its hard enough getting to know another person without the added burden of having to deal with international love day. Take the opportunity to find activities which do not involve Valentine’s Day; volunteer at a day centre for the elderly or with children, take up a course or spend it with your single friends.

Now, for those of you seeing someone you actually like or in the early stages of a real relationship: make a real effort. Gentleman, make an effort!! Ladies, show some affection too!! Guys, at least purchase a card for your sweetheart and say nice things to her about your feelings towards her and make her feel special and pampered. Although, ideally we should all be expressing such affections daily but today make an effort, go the extra mile. Offer to prepare a meal but avoid the bare minimum sustenance meals which you would ordinarily only prepare for yourself. Ensure to set the table, use a clean table-cloth and importantly buy some flowers and good quality chocolate. I cannot stress the next point enough: TURN OFF YOUR MOBILES, LAPTOPS AND TVs!!! Today is about your sweetheart and you no matter how long or short your relationship has been. Also, try to avoid clichés today unless your sweetheart is into such things. Demonstrate that you pay attention to your partner’s particular interests and desires by planning something that is geared for your partner’s particular tastes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how far the smallest display of genuine effort and affection can stretch to. And if you are not sure, it maybe a good idea to discuss and plan the celebration you might like together; a night out or a nice intimate time or an adventurous day. This will take the pressure off the day by removing judgements and avoid disappointments through expectations.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day whatever you do and remember to love yourself because that’s the most important.

I love you!!

Best Wishes
Maahi PM

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A Message

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

A lover, a lady has written a letter,
When is you return home?
For this home is empty, lifeless without you
They all ask, when will you return home?
The scented dawns, the riotous evenings,
The lonely nights, the flowers in her hair,
The incomplete words, the yearning embraces,
and the longing glances have all asked
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

A messages has arrived;
It troubles me
A letter has come
It asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

The lover writes;
The towns, the shadows of the willow trees,
The old park bench, the rain showering down,
The fields of poppy, the town squares,
The ocher climbers, the twisting vines,
The rocking swings, the swaying flowers,
The bursting blossoms, and the lanes of the towns ask
When shall you return?
for without you this home is empty, lifeless without you.

The message has arrived,
Written with love in her eyes, words burstings with affection, with sentiment.
A tenderness, a warmth, a concern, a passion,
Sometimes Outwardly in anger, sometimes inwardly in love
In every word my lover asks,
When will you return home?
Write to me, oh my loved one, when will you come home?
For without you, this home is soulless, empty

Oh passing wind, in your arms carry my embrace to my lover
Quicken to my town, where the twisting vines await,
Quicken to my town with the swaying flowers,
Quicken to my lane with the shadows of the willows tress call out,
Quicken to my lane where by beloved resides
Give embrace to her, give her my love, give her my touch.
Tell her I love her so
Tell her I shall return one day

Memory

I am a Rock

Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why?

I am a rock, or so I have been told today by a colleague who had a severe panic attack following an altercation with a fellow colleague in the office. We stand outside while she puffs away vigorously at her cigarette hurling obscenities at our colleague. I stand, watch and listen while offering what I believe to be very little in terms of support. kneeling down to her level, I comfort her and direct her attention away from her state of panic. I encourage her to breathe slowly and slow her pressured speech. My perseverance prevails. She began to breathe slower, speech returning to normal. Tears still roll down her eyes but she is calmer. She hold my hand. I feel the panic in her hand, it shakes, its clammy and cold. She looks at me, indicating that she is ready to return. I see her eyes. There is gratitude and there is relief too. So we walk back to the office, my colleague with red puffy eyes and a sombre look on her face. Angry, frustrated and tired. She links her arm in mine, and hold on tight with her head bowed. I walk in, eyes staring at me like I’ve just dragged in an alien. ‘Thank you’, she said again as we sit down, ‘you have been my rock today, I really do not how I could have managed the situation. I’m here if you ever need me’, she said; ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. I was grateful for the gratitude and the hand in support offered to me.

I’ve been dwelling on the entire event ever since. The words echo in my head ‘do not be afraid to ask for support when you need it’. The truth is there was a period of time in my life where I relied heavily on most people around me for everything, particularly emotional support. Unfortunately despite relying on the person, there has been a lack of emotional or any other kind of support there. Slowly and eventually I have learnt to rely on myself heavily and make myself more self-sufficient particularly emotionally. It’s difficult to ask for help and support at a low point in your life only to be turned away or be let down. When asking for help, it is highly likely that you may already be struggling which may be making you feel slight vulnerable or outside of your comfort zone, but to then be ridiculed or to be brushed aside, is not really worth it?

Although it’s not hard for me to ask for help when needed, I usually prefer to rely on myself. To me its, taking full responsibility for the situation and an opportunity to learn something. In order to be a rock, I need to be a rock myself and yes its OK to sometimes say I really don’t know what I’m doing and feel almost isolated but its a lot easier than disappointment. When such situations arise, I take the back seat, reflect and try to make sense of it all. It’s important for me to know and accept that some things are out of my control and punishing myself over it or looking for a solution is often not an option. As a ‘rock’ I’m able to empower myself with the experiences of others and learn. It’s important for me not to take things personally or to heart. This is what helps me, this is what sustains me and for me life is full of moments when you must be your own rock your own saviour. Its most definitely worth it and its fulfilling.

I place myself in the periphery of a group and try to help others according to my capabilities. When tired, I can take a break, no one really notices I’m taking it. When I’ve had a rest, I go and be useful again. I don’t ask for anything in return, I just enjoy being a part of the scene. I don’t aim high, I just be helpful. In this way, no one wants from me more than I am capable of giving and also I don’t feel “used”. I find my happiness there.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

Regrets, I’ve had a few

What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision?

Regrets. We all have them and they play an aspect in shaping our lives. I’m no different. I have some and they often put me in situations that I could avoid. One of my biggest regrets is that I am emotional and, without sounding too self-proclaiming, I’m too nice. There have been times where I have not stood up for myself as much as I should have which has resulted in me often being used and abused. It left me feeling empty and worthless for a while but I still continued. If I had stood firmly on my own two feet and not worry about acceptance and fitting in I think my younger life would most definitely have been happier and easier.

Even now, II do feel that I am a bit of a push over and regret that but there is much more of a better understanding of it, I can almost justify it to myself in a more logical manner, in a more acceptable manner. So I am just covering up and justifying certain behaviours and continuing the same behaviour? Well, no. I know my limits now, I have set my boundaries to protect myself and I myself recognise my limits. When I have not stood up for myself I have often lost out on things I actually deserve and at a later date this has come back to bite me. There would most definitely have been different friends, a different job, a different marriage and a more desirable outcome. It’s all been in aid of being accepted and wanted, which are basic and natural needs of humans. However, I’ve learnt the hard way that pushing something that is not worth pushing is not always a good idea.

My biggest regret is not going for and waiting for what I deserve and in the end it has made me unhappy at times but the concept of being alone and unaccepted was too strong at the time that I was blinded by a desperation. But I’ve grown up now, and quickly too. I’ve learnt what I deserve and I’m now going after it, even if it means leaving a few people whom I do love behind.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

 

Happy Valentines Day!!

To My Best Friend, 

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue

I say screw valentines

The love of my life is you !!

Love.....
Love…..

Love Can Travel For Miles
Just Like Time During Night & Day
But As Love Drifts Miles Apart
It Leaves Footprints In The Heart
As I Express These Feelings For You
I Hope You Have Them For Me Too
Because My Life Is Empty Without You…

A Rage

The fire rages on, a shining blue in colour
The heat intensifying with every move, every though
Its silence deadly and deep
Tension and pressure surrounding its walls
A volcano burning, poisoning its own habitat
A sinking of a good heart, vermin clouding all conscious awareness
Bottomless rage ignitable by the wind
This wrath, the enemy of love, understanding, trust and respect
Destroying all elements of hope
Leaving behind a sad, lonesome emptiness
Like the rain, fall the burning droplets of rage
Unpredictable and uncontrollable
A feeling of despair, disappointment and failure
A burning butterfly, an innocent victim of injustice
Overwhelming in nature, yet rage so weak in nature
The realisation of being weak and powerless
Injustice fuelling this rage
Powerlessness fuelling this anger
An endless vicious circle of breaking, crumbling and destroying
Hurting words, painful memories which cannot be reversed
This rage, a sudden eruption of a volcano
Splashing agony and pain in all directions
The beginning of an all extinguishing inferno,
Entire worlds will be destroyed, an inextinguishable rage
Rage. Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Inextinguishable.
A rage polished and masked with a smile and a nod,
Varnished into an illusion. Pain unnoticeable. Grief immeasurable.
Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

I Am

I am a liar, I am dishonest because I wont tell you everything?
I am stupid, I am ridiculous and naive because sometimes I am wrong?
I am ugly because my face isn’t perfect and I am simple?
I am a pushover I am too immature because I like making people happy?
I am a loser, I am a loner because I am not friend within your group?
I am fake, I am manipulative and materialistic because I am too nice, too kind?
I am weird, I am different, I am strange because I am not like you?
I am greedy because I eat when I’m hungry?
I am clingy, I am needy because I don’t like to be alone?
I am insecure, I am childlike because I care about what people think of me?
I am no fun because I’m not always hyper, I do not understand or tell jokes?
I am stubborn, I am arrogant because I have self-respect?
I am boring, I am dull because I read and study a lot?

Do not tell me who I am, because I am who I am and I already know who I am!

Best wishes,
Maahi PM

Bullying

As promised, today I share with you my experience of bullying. We have all experienced bullying in one form or another, whether it be at school, work, between friends or even within family. The forms of bullying can vary from name calling to physical abuse which is also known as domestic violence. Some of us take it on the chin, it does not consume us or stop us from progressing forward. Others deem it apart of life and feel they are powerless to stop it so they accept it and live with it. However, for many others bullying becomes their living nightmare. An episode in their lives which dictates all future life events, emotions, trust and relationships. Its cruel, its painful, hurtful and a lonely time in a person’s life. It destroys confidence levels, self-esteem and self-respect. Here is my story.

Bullying for me started at a very young age, I was in primary school about the age of six. Even from that age, I stood out, I was different. I don’t know home but somehow my behaviour was different from that of my peers. I hardly made any friends at that stage in school, I never really had the opportunity as most of the time I was in and out of hospital with check ups and tests from my abnormal walking. My condition had started developing at this stage which was becoming much more visible. When I was in school my peers would make fun of me. My walking was different, I was constantly falling over and I couldn’t play sports and when I did, I was clumsy. It started with name calling and believe me kids can be so cruel. Bent, peg leg, spastic just to name a few. At the beginning I didn’t understand what the were referring to so I laughed it off or ignored it. It was only as it started becoming more frequent and more obvious that it started to make sense. To begin with I protested, I attempted to defend myself but it soon stopped as I felt I was fighting a losing battle. I didn’t speak to anyone, I didn’t know what to say. I felt ashamed and lacked the confidence that my complaints would be taken seriously. The teachers were aware of it yet did nothing. I remember after I had surgery for the first time at age 7, I went back to school in plaster and during recesses, I sat with children younger than me all because the teachers wanted to protect me from the rough and tumble of my peers. My bonding period, the time intended for developing friendships was spent with 4 and 5-year-old. I made daisy chains with them during spring and summer.

The situation become worse when I began junior school. In class, my belongings started disappearing. Either they were stolen or hidden. My parents bought me new stationary almost each week purely because it went missing so frequently. My work books went missing too for which I received harsh words from my teachers every time I complained. My work would be scribbled on or damaged. I had no friends to defend me or stand by me, I stood alone. On one occasion, during my maths period my stationary went missing so I couldn’t complete the set task. When the tutor requested to see the amount of work I had done I had one maths equation to show for an entire hour. I will never forget that day. The tutor, Miss Whealan only saw what was on the page, not what was behind it. She felt that I was unable to cope with the level of maths work I was being set, so she put me down a level. It was the first time I cried in class. I knew even at such a young age that it wasn’t my academic ability that was a problem, I knew I wasn’t struggling or finding the tasks difficult. It was everything else. Little did the tutor realise and know at the time that this downgrading would affect my confidence in maths for the rest of my life. No one accepted responsibility for what happened that day. Some of the smaller incidents were always overlooked. A fellow pupil standing on my legs while I screamed for him to get off, being trapped between the tables with a chair being thrown at me, hitting me with a lunch box in the face and across the head and of course the famous flushing my head down the toilet and then throwing me into the bin. Tears were just watering eyes and silence was considered acceptable as well as appropriate. Another incident I remember was when I was in the final year of juniors, a year before secondary/high school. We were given fountain pens to write with by the school. It was to show us we were now growing up, more responsible and it was expected of us to behave in such a manner. I was so very pleased with my new fountain pen, like any 10-year-old, I kept it safe and close. It was a new toy almost. This joy was short-lived as pens started going missing and nibs were being damaged or broken. I wasn’t spared either, in fact the first ever fountain pen my parents purchased for me ended up beyond repair and was eventually disposed of. One afternoon while I was on the receiving end of harsh works from my form tutor, one of my peers kindly informed him that she had seen me damaging the nibs of fountain pens. My heart skipped a beat. I knew this was untrue but I also knew that my protests would fall on deaf ears. Her words, “Also Mr Kelly, I’ve seen her breaking the nibs of ink pens. She has also broken them off pupils personal pens too, I saw her yesterday.” My tutors response, “Oh is that so? So as well as not concentrating in class and causing trouble you’ve been damaging property too. Sit and do your work while I go and find out about these broken pens.” I sat in my seat petrified. I knew what was coming. The form tutor next door informed Mr Kelly that such incidences were occurring. I was called into class stood in front of everyone and yelled at for my misbehaviour. I was labelled irresponsible on the words of an 11-year-old who had clearly lied about what I had done. It was the first time I felt humiliation, but by no means the last. With no fountain pen, my school year ended, juniors was finally over.

High school shaped my teenage years as well as my twenties. I entered high school as a timid, withdrawn and lonesome girl. I was 11 I knew no one and I had no confidence in myself. I never told anyone about my condition, the anxiety surrounding people’s reactions was not something I could contemplate. The school year started better than I expected, my peers would talk to me and actually included me it things which they did. But it was short-lived, an illusion. Soon they all found out about my condition and I became the target of all forms of abuse. The names came first; bent browner, peg leg, spaz, etc. So called friends I had made began to drift away and then join in the ‘fun’. The spat at me, called me disgusting and a loner. My peers tripped me up on purpose just to see me fall and for them to laugh. Everyday, without exaggeration, I went home with at least one bleeding knee or one other form of injury. I would walk into class and people would start calling out names or would pull my chair away so I would fall. I look back now and smile at the smallness of their pranks, the smallness of their minds and it baffles me to think what they actually obtained from it all. Science was probably the second lesson in which my peers had the most amount of fun with physical education being the first. I hated, I mean absolutely hated PE but I was forced to take part as it was a curriculum requirement that all pupils take part. I had no options or choices. They had a field day watching me run, watching me fall and watching my faulty coordination. It was humiliating not being able to run in the same manner as others but worse still was the fact that I participation was a requirement. I became a laughing-stock.

One particular incident at school really stands out today. It was a winters if my memory serves me right which is a   for me, even today. My school was fair large, build generously over a large piece of land. During lesson change, it was a long walk between rooms so I was often late. On this particular day, I on my own or at least this is what I thought at the time. The route encountered some steps on the way, and as I walked down them a peer from my class came and barged passed me while hurling abuse at me. The abuse in the form of bad language and racial comments didn’t affect me as much as I had become accustomed to it. What did hurt in the form of excruciating pain was my right foot. I lost my balance but remained standing, although just barely but the loss of balance somehow led to my foot being in an extremely unusual position. I heard and felt a crack. The pain shot through me as if it were lightening. I never realised at the time that I had actually suffered a fracture. The classroom felt like it was at the greatest of distances. I walked slowly arriving at least 20 minutes late. All my peers had already arrived and class had commenced. “What time do you call this young lady?” asked my English teacher, Mr Brooks. I apologised and attempted to explain the reason for my lateness. It fell on deaf ears. At this point my foot was throbbing, I felt dizzy and sick, I was also sweating profoundly. I sat at the back of class trying to control the pain, a pain which was very new to me. As I was sat along I had the urge to take off my shoe to see the damage. I usually found that once I had seen the extent of the injury I felt calmer. There was just swelling which I expected but the pain was tremendous. I couldn’t understand it. During lesson my peers felt it necessary to play more pranks on me. One of them walked past and threw my books across the room. The teacher was absent from the class at this point. I was forced to get up to retrieve my books. The laughter of all my peers watching me walk still haunts me today. Worse still, they believed I was faking it, putting on a show to attract attention. So, one of the boys who particularly had an interest in bullying me came and stamped on my foot. The broken one. I screamed and fell to the ground at which point the teacher returned. “What on earth are you doing on the floor?! Get up off there and sit back down on your chair, you’re not in play group anymore!” Staggering heavily, sweating profusely and in indescribable pain I sat on my chair. The remaining half an hour felt like a thousand hours. After class finished, everyone left and I was of them course the last. I was on the top floor of a three floor old house. Climbing up was hard enough but I never knew that going down would almost kill me. It took approximately half an hour. Little was I aware that just before the last set of stairs, I had my peers waiting for me. My heart skipped a beat when I saw them. I walked slowly down the stairs past them without them moving. All the while my heart in my throat, mind wondering what on earth was to come next. I was almost at the bottom when one of them grabbed my arm and pulled me down the stairs. I was on the floor by the time I got to the bottom. I heard laughter around me, cheers and sniggering too. I somehow managed to get back on my feet, and whilst dragging my broken foot and school bag, I went to the school office to call my parents. After this I cried. I have never cried so much. X-rays proved it to be a fractured toe. I ended up in plaster for 6 weeks with nothing but an apology from the teachers for the distress caused. This particular incident reinforced to me the notion of vulnerability and being disabled. It stayed with me for a very long time.

As a child I went through a great deal of abuse and bullying yet it went unnoticed. Those around me were invisible to the anguish I suffered. These and many other incidences occurred in my life, many which I cannot even recall clearly. But its all taught me a great deal too. Today I’m not the vulnerable girl who was dragged down the school stairs with a broken foot. I’ve accepted that at the time I was very weak but such vulnerabilities don’t pursue me anymore. These incidences and many other have made me much stronger to fight and defend myself. I cannot at all deny that it was difficult, it was and some scars still remain. I blame not myself or my perpetrators, but the teachers for failing to notice. It’s from this time onwards that the invisible me was born.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM

A Fathers Significance

daughter & dad
daughter & dad (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year in the month of June a large majority of people are blessed with the opportunity to celebrate the most

significant men in our lives: our fathers. As many of us celebrate Father’s Day we recall and cherish the relationships we have with our fathers, thankful for the number of ways our fathers have supported and guided us at all stages of our lives.

Most people during their childhood have heard the words, “Just wait until your father gets home,” indicated you were in trouble, fearing the moment your father came home. Fathers are commonly viewed as the disciplinarian, the play time partner, and the problem solver contrary to mothers who are regarded as the parent for nurturing, sympathy and comfort from stressful circumstances. However, due to radical changes socially, economically and technically, the structure and function of the family was altered, primarily affecting the role of the father. The role of a father was increasingly seen as trivial, even negligible, and his prominence was limited to the manner in which he provided for the family.

Contributing further to this change was the decreased inclusion of the father within the psychological field. A large majority of studies did not place sufficient emphasis of the role of the father and his contribution towards the development and growth of his child or children was more often than not reported as insignificant or inconsequential. The numbers of studies investigating the role of the father were small and were often based on reports by the mother.

So what is the reality these days? A father’s position in the family has never lost its importance and has never faltered regardless of society’s trends. It goes without saying that fathers do play a very significant role in their children’s lives; fortunately, these days, neither the general public nor psychological researchers view the father as insignificant and acclaimed journals as well as the internet is awash with research demonstrating and highlighting the importance of the father. A large proportion of studies demonstrate that an involved father plays a major role, specifically in the cognitive, behavioural and general health and well-being areas of a child’s life and the recognition and validation of their importance within parenting literature has contributed to fathers being more aware of their value, leading to their increased and renewed desire to be involved in their child’s life. A great number of studies have indicated that fathers who are positively involved in their children’s life provide a valuable foundation for their developmental needs, complementing what a mother provides. Furthermore, research has endlessly revealed that children with involved fathers, on average, demonstrate higher educational outcomes, are highly motivated to succeed, have higher self-esteem and confidence and are less like to be delinquent. These studies cannot be generalised yet fathers remain important where children are better off with a loving and committed father than those without.

Father-Daughter Relationships
Fathers are important for their daughters and while mothers are the nurturing caretakers and role models for young girls, it is the fathers who shape their daughters sense of femininity. A father relationship with in daughter shapes and provides a foundation for what her other male relationships will be like, including with her husband. This unique relationship a daughter has with her father provides examples on how to relate to the opposite gender. Fathers demonstrate to their daughters the importance of equality with their fellow males and they give their daughters respect and praise in order to develop their confidence. The importance of this relationship is immeasurable.

Father-Son Relationships
All male children require their fathers because no matter how wonderful a mother may be, it is the father who is the role model which will shape how the child will develop into an adult male. A father shapes his sons development by building common interests, providing their approval and setting good and positive examples. It is these positive examples which contribute towards the healthy development of the son’s gender identity. A father-son relationship is truly a unique bond in which the son will never love another man like they love their father.

A father’s love goes a long way in raising a child to be a well-adjusted adult. As you celebrate your father on Father’s Day this year, don’t forget to remind him how his love and presence shaped you to be the person you are today, how you value the importance your father and how you hope he knows just how appreciative you are of him. Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad. This wonderful day which celebrates our fathers is a day to signify the importance of fathers and how your own father has helped shape you into the person you are today. So take this opportunity to reflect on all the good your father has done for you on this Father’s Day. Show your father how appreciative you are of him, because you probably don’t make it a point to show him your gratitude every day.

Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there.

Best Wishes,
Maahi PM