Saturday, 3 September 2011
Knowing what is real and what is not - recognizing the difference.
Her name is Lady Penelope, she was bought from the Tuesday antiques market in Aylesbury about 15 years ago. She is not REAL.
Yesterday, I had one of my all-too-rare visits from John's daughter and grandson. Technically I suppose, my step-daughter and grandson, but this is not how I have ever thought of them.
John had a son and a daughter from his first marriage and both children were brought up by his ex-wife and her partner.
We saw them about once a month after our marriage and took them out for the day usually to the coast, since they lived pretty far down in Kent.
We ceased to see the son many years ago - no details since this is not the place and it is not my story - but continued on a fairly irregular basis to see the daughter. When she married and had a son we saw them both much more frequently and became closer as a family.
The grandson became an army cadet and joined the regular army at the age of about 17. He is a lovely boy and both his grandfather and I were very fond of him.
He has been to Iraq at the age of about 20 and then after a spell back at base went to Afghanistan. He has a pretty action-based profession and is (unfortunately) once more in line for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is now 23 with a wise head on young shoulders and looks life straight in the face.
His mother is (rightly) very proud of him, his progress has been rapid and he never fails an exam or test, but she is of course, worried and fearful for his safety.
I, perhaps more than most people, tend to live in a fantasy world. When life becomes too difficult to cope with I tend to retreat into a dream-like existence where anything can be what I want it to be.
Most of the time, I am able to snap back to hard reality, but, lacking close companionship find this form of retreat works for me.
I don't think I'm any less balanced than most other people, but have found this 'safety-blanket' a useful tool when situations around me would otherwise cause too much stress.
So far, and I hope for ever, it has always been possible to snap out of 'escape' mode and step back into the real world.
I do know the difference, just sometimes make the easier choice.