Friday, November 3, 2017

growing


Last weekend while we were visiting our Jazzy at a festival she was performing at, an older woman I didn't know verbally abused me. She began with sarcasm, which I mistook as kindness, so I thanked her and turned to walk away. But when she realised that I had misread her she let loose with a barrage of insults: I made my daughter push in the queue in front of her, I was a disgusting person, I encouraged my girls to be rude and disrespectful, I was entitled and I ruined the world for people like her. Someone needed to put me in my place. And of course I was a terrible, terrible mother.

By the time I realised what was going on I was so surprised that I didn't know how to act. I wasn't aware that I had even committed any of the crimes she was accusing me of. I looked around me but the crowds of people seemed all of a sudden to be engaged elsewhere. Indi had pulled my girls right out of the way, and the only other person there was the woman's male companion who looked on with interest and what could have been a slight smirk. But he didn't step in and neither did anyone else.

So I asked her why, instead of getting so angry and waiting until it was too late, she hadn't spoken directly to my supposedly pushing-in child and used it as a positive lesson instead of one filled with hate.

And she let loose on me again. All the same and more. On and on and on.

She didn't leave me much room to say anything myself, which is probably a good thing because I was so stunned I don't know what I would have said anyway. Right until the end I expected her to stop and apologise and say that she confused me with someone else. Right until the end I expected her to become self aware and feel a bit embarrassed. But she didn't.

And then she and that male with her stormed off. And as they did I called after them that she must have had a very sad and disappointing life to feel the need to behave like that, and that I forgave her.

I didn't though.

She yelled at me six whole days ago and I'm still finding myself shaking as I write this.

After it was over I found Bren and the girls and burst out crying and I don't think I stopped for the next two days. I felt like I'd been punched in the guts.

And then after the crying wore off I felt like she'd scratched a scab off and underneath felt raw and ugly.  I felt sad and anxious and distressed. The world felt scary and nasty.

As the days have worn on and I've spent time in my normal life, with my hands in the dirt, with the people that I love, doing the things that I love, I've slowly gathered strength and been able to get some perspective. But I still feel a bit vulnerable and protective.

And in truth, although this story has consumed my past week I really didn't want to write about it here. I don't want that woman on my blog. I want to leave her in the past and move on. And I have a feeling that she is mentally unwell and although she behaved terribly, I want to get to a place where I have compassion for her.

But as I loaded the photos this morning and started typing words, I realised the story wants to be told. As a blogger that's how I process my world, that's what I do.

So although it's a less detailed version than the story I told to anyone who I saw this week, here it is.

And the photos are my way of showing myself that I'm okay. Better than okay really. My best revenge on that situation is the beautiful world we're making here.

first
The apples are doing well. Each of the lumps under the flowers in that top photo is a possible apple. The fruit set looks good, the black spot looks minimal, and the mildew is only visible in a few spots.

second
I bought that cute sexy legs pot off my clever ceramicist friend Tania the other day and now I'm auditioning plants to sit in it. The girls think it should be a plant with long straggly hair that we could almost plait, but I'm kinda liking the pretty purple flowered fluffy do.

third
The other day we planted beans in the tee-pee again. This cyclic seasonal way we live our lives never ceases to comfort, reassure and ground me.

fourth
The purple broad bean flowers are exciting me no end. It feels so fancy to grow another version of the same thing we've been growing for years.


fifth
I'm growing lentils!! How cute are they!!

sixth
I visited a gorgeous local flower farmer the other day to buy some dahlia tubers and on the way out  she picked me a bunch of ranunculus. It's difficult to explain the joy that one bunch of colourful flowers bring, but they do, trust me. I hope I can grow my own next year.


seventh
I'm reading Sara Vidals' Bella and Chaim. A story of the holocaust in so many time frames. It's such an important story and it's breaking my heart.


eighth
I've only got the sleeves of Miss Pepper's cardigan to go, the buttons to sew on, and then it's done.


ninth
I think I might knit something with these skeins next.

tenth
I finished my first macrame and I love it!! It's exactly what I hoped it would be. Of course I want to make hundreds now and fill the space with dangly plants. 


And that's me. It's my birthday tomorrow and this afternoon we're going to pick the girls up from school and head away for a couple of days. A couple of days in a new-to-us place with only one thing planned and the rest of the time to explore and adventure and relax.

I'm so excited to get there but I'm actually the world's worst packer and it's going to take me most of today to get sorted, which is never fun. So I'm going to love you and leave you and hope that everyone you meet is kind and considerate of you.

See you next week when I'll be older and wiser.

Love Kate x

42 comments:

  1. To my dearest oldest daughter
    I'm so proud of you - and your blog that's filled with honesty, wisdom and humility.
    I wish you the happiest of birthdays - until next year's birthday, anyway.
    I love you.
    From your dad. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Hello lovely,
    Wishing you a gorgeous happy birthday!
    You bring so many of us so much joy with your beautiful words and pictures..
    Big love to you xo

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  3. Oh Kate. You've gotta have rhino skin in this world, especially as a parent . So many offensive people. One conversation can make you question everything you do. If you are confident you're raising your girls right then you stick with that. Trust your own abilities.
    Is that the Wisteria teepee for the beans? It's awesome. Enjoy finishing that cardy , it's cute as. Have a great weekend away 💚💚💚

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  4. Don't allow this woman to take up residence in your delightful skull brain. :) It is too high class and nice for her there. It is like a 5 star hotel and she will enjoy it too much.

    Boot her out of your lovely mind after her 6 day free holiday - which is far too long, in my opinion, if you need to vent this stuff out do it right away even if the blog post appears on a different day to your regular posting and then you can get past it and move on! - and allow her to go back to.. wherever it was that she came from. :)

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  5. please know that for every person in this world who shows you hate, there are a thousand who love you. you are the best start to my weekend, thank you. mandi

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  6. You are absolutely better than ok, and your house and garden are looking fabulous.
    I love reading your words and seeing your pics of your patch in the world.
    Cheers Kate

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  7. Feliz cumpleaños Kate!!! Cada viernes es una alegria empezar el dia visitando tu blog. Gracias por ser como eres , una inspiración para mi.

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  8. That lady isn’t worth the bother, Kate. Some people just seem to like spreading muck everywhere.

    Happy birthday to you!

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  9. Some people bring hate with them, and others bring sunshine. Luckily, you’re one of the shiny ones. That woman has to live with her hate every day, imagine how awful that must be!

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  10. Yuk, yuk and more yuk. I am so sorry people feel they can publicly humiliate and create conflict rather than being reasonable. Your reaction is totally understandable, and I guess, for me, it's a little bit (actually a lot) how I feel every time I hear an ad speaking of how the sky will fall if I am allowed to marry my partner of 20 years and allow my children and their children and their children after that to have our relationship lawfully recognised. Chin up. Know you've got your peeps around you, check yourself for what's right and wrong (because it's healthy to do that) and you'll be OK.

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  11. Sending lots of compassion. I had a similar experience with a mentally unwell neighbour. We moved out of our house when we realised that the encounters would not stop. I still feel anxious when I remember what happened but less and less as time passes. I too try to find kindness for the small child behind the anger. It made me understand better my privilege living in a community where I feel safe most of the time, if that makes sense. Life is not straightforward is it?!

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  12. Sorry that happened to you. I don’t know you but reading your blog I think you are a very nice kind person. There obviously was something wrong with that person. Put it behind you. Happy Birthday enjoy your vacation.

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  13. Hi hun, Sending you a *hug* from across the pond.I love how you have highlighted this womans behaviour (spitefull) and then the kindness of being given a bunch of flowers (love) balancing out your lovely post :) She had no children with her - maybe she was very jealous of what you have? Release the negativity from this awful woman and smile, fill it with your lovely families love.You only have to read your blog to know what a wonderful mumma and caring person you are. Have a wonderful Birthday :)Hugs Sue

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  14. Oh my word Kate, even though we know that another person's reaction is a reflection of them and what's going on inside them, not us, it's so difficult not to let it affect you. It's such a soul shaking experience having someone let rip at you. I haven't had it on a face to face basis in a very long time but I have had it on the road driving - I had absolutely no idea what I had done wrong, but I had done something to make the driver behind me livid enough to be blasting his horn and flashing his lights at me the whole way up the street I was driving on. I thought something was seriously wrong with my car so as soon as I got a safe spot I pulled over and he overtook me screaming abuse out of his blood red face - although i couldn't hear him - and sped off. I was left so shaken by the whole experience and then I did that overthinking thing that I do....... I should've done this, I should've followed him and screamed back at him.... I should've I should've I should've. No I definitely shouldn't have! LOL It took me quite a while to let that go - and I had to tell quite a number of people in great detail before it seems to subside and leave me.

    I'm intrigued by the lentils - I NEVER ever thought of growing lentils. I don't think my brain connects them as something that grows! LOL Stupid I know. Do they need a warm climate to grow? Do they climb like beans and peas? Do they have flowers? Guess what I'm off to look up! LOL

    I LOVE the macamre! It's something I want to have a go at but am not really sure where to start. Growing up my mum had a hanging macamre pot holder very similar to the one you've made that hung from our ceiling in the corner of the living room with a spider plant in it. Seeing macamre makes me nostalgic and I'd quite like one of those lovely hangers in my life.

    I hope your experience with that woman fades quickly and you're back to feeling yourself again.

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  15. Happy birthday Kate,
    I am so glad you posted the picture of you u der the blossoms.
    Be done with the nasty witch who sucked you emotionally dry this week.
    You are in my prayers.
    Sending you love and hugs
    Rochelle xx

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  16. Kate.......twirl around trees, gaze at the stars, roll down grassy hills, feel the warmth of the sun on your face.....laugh, dance...Happy Birthday with Love xx

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  17. I'm so sorry that you encountered such cruelty and unkindness this week. Thank you for in turn blessing us with such a beautiful, peaceful post (today and always).
    x

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  18. Happy birthday for tomorrow. Have a simply brilliant day. Thank you so much for sharing your nasty experience. Think, how many people read your blog. You have just broken down and shared tiny bits of that experience with us all. We can all take our little bit and throw it away. It’s no longer yours to think about and has been dissipated into minuscule pieces and gone. Move on Kate, it’s friends that count. Only you could call growing lentils cute that made me smile. Peppers cardigan looks super I’m sure she’ll enjoy wearing it. Thanks again for such a great blog.

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  19. Happy Birthday! Best book that helps me is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I have to practice "Don't Take it Personally" and "Don't Make Assumptions" regularly.:)

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  20. Hi Kate,

    I am BIG fan of your blog. By the time I get your post here in Washington, DC it is usually early in the morning. Often it is the first thing I read in the morning.

    So i was particularly sad to read the start of today's post. Although I am not one to usually write the bloggers I read, I felt that this situation warranted a response.

    The horrible interaction with that woman, all those things she said, that was about her. Not you.

    I don't think you have to forgive her, I think you don't have to care. Why would you care what a stranger thought of you? All that stuff she said was about her, because she doesn't even know you.

    Don't give it another thought, don't worry about it. Because by doing so, you are only hurting yourself by bring these negative thoughts into your head. You are in the bloom of spring, ripe full of possibilities. Forget her and enjoy that. That is what she deserves, not a moment more of your time.

    I wouldn't normally give advice on bullies, but we have more than a few in my town right now. So I am on my way to expert status ;)

    Stay well and enjoy that your spring:)

    Kate from Washington, DC USA

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  21. Happy Birthday Kate! Good on you for letting the bad story come out in words... I find it easier to move on from such even after spilling it all out. And you see, you have already turned it all around. Fabulous things to be happy and grateful for, love the little sexy leg pot and the flower in it (keep the pink) and the picture of you in Apple Valley is wonderful. You have a beautiful birthday, because you deserve it. And the lady? Well, shame on her... I'm sure she doesn't sleep at night... Punishment enough.
    Xxx
    Annette
    MY ROSE VALLEY

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  22. I'm so sorry that happened, Kate. And that it stayed with you, too. I love the way you share beauty and joy here, and a huge happy birthday for tomorrow. XX

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  23. I have found that the words that hurt the worst are the ones that attack my character. If I've done something wrong, I just think to myself that I'll do better next time. But when its an attack on character, you feel so powerless because it is core to your being.
    A year ago, out of the blue, my best friend attacked my character so viciously, it left me in a broken state. (We no longer speak) Although it is clear that she was projecting her own personal issues, those sad feeling still show up from time to time. Luckily, over time, it shows up much less.

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  24. Wishing you the happiest of Birthdays beautiful Kate.

    I’m so sorry that you experienced whet you did at the festival, I can’t get my head around the state of mind a person must be in to lash out like that. I certainly understand how experiences like that are hard to shake, but I hope you can put it out if your mind. Xxxxx

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  25. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great trip.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. Pieces of it.
    Big hugs

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  26. Dear lovely Kate, I am so sorry that happened to you. I would have reacted in the same way - stunned and having nothing to say straight away. I think the latter probably happened because you are a kind and gentle person, without that anger about life bubbling under the surface that so many people have. What a shame that there are people like that. It is so wonderful that you had your beautiful girls and your lovely Bren to turn to. I'm sending a big hug to you and kisses too for your birthday. Happy Birthday lovely lady. I am very intrigued about those lentils! Please do keep us posted about their growing journey. I love that stripy legged plant pot! And the comment from your Dad above (sorry, felt a little like I was eavesdropping with my eyes!) melted my heart. What an amazing family you have. Big big love from me, Lucy xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  27. I am so sorry that happened to you and so moved by your approach in growing from it and moving on. I am continually amazed by how miserable people are and how they insist on throwing their misery onto others, as if it will somehow help anything.

    I hope you have a glorious Birthday and phenomenal year ahead <3

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  28. I don't know why some people are like they are, it's so much easier to be nice, than to be filled with angst!
    Breathe.......and let it go Kate.
    Hiphiphooray for your birthday xx

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  29. Happy birthday to you Kate, from one whose birthday it is right now in your country but is tomorrow in mine!! I truly feel your pain over your trauma last week. I am always teaching my children that others' actions and words towards us say nothing about us and everything about them. Likewise, the same goes for us. Your situation is truly that. What you have said, says everything about you and you should be proud of yourself. I am sure your family are mighty proud of you! I wonder about this other lady... Big love to you from the UK Kate xx

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  30. Have a wonderful birthday break away Kate.
    I just wanted to say that I too had a similar situation on the school run home a few years ago, my little boy ran in front of someone and rather than say something she called him a brat so I pulled her up on such name calling! He hadnt hurt her in anyway or been rude he was just running like most other children when leaving school! (he was just 7 years old) her response was to spit abuse at me about how shite MY child was! I was furious, totally furious and for days/weeks after she and others hurled abuse and snarling looks at me for what I saw was standing up for my son!
    I cried for days after with pure anger and just wanted to wrap my little boy up as he has enough to deal with in this big wide world.
    Much love Deanne x

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  31. As I read your post I was appalled by what happened to you, but by the time I had scrolled through your beautiful photos I thought THIS is what matters, THIS is important, not that terrible tirade.

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  32. I'm a bit late but HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Sweden!!

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  33. I hope you had a great birthday annd time away, i can imagine the horror you felt i would have also but remember you have a loving family and a lot of friends she obivously does not.smile and walk away you are strong

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  36. Dear Kate
    I'm writing from the hills of Exmoor in the UK on a frosty morning.
    I was so struck by the anger and pain in the first part of your story. it would be too easy to blame this on mental ill health.
    It clearly had an impact ( how could it not) and your job now ( which you are doing so magnificently) is to make sure it does not continue to impact and hurt you.
    Hoping you have a delicious birthday with your lovely family. Greta picture of you by the way!! Christa xx

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  37. There are some nasty people out there. I take comfort in the vague idea of some sort of cosmic justice. She was a foul person and had clearly attracted another nasty person as her companion. If they can behave like that to a stranger then how do they treat each other? I doubt very much that she knows the love you do!

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  38. I'm so sorry that you had to endure such a vile verbal assault. This person obviously has issues, but still, this behaviour is unacceptable. You know in your heart that you are a good person and have raised beautiful girls and you mustn't let this experience get under your skin. I know that's easy to say because I would have reacted the way you did. Good on you for responding to her in such a dignified way. Hope you have a fabulous birthday and thoroughly enjoy your break.

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  39. How awful ! Try and let this nasty, vicious person fade from your memory. Some people have nothing better to do than be spiteful and nasty.
    Think of all the lovely time you spent with your family on that day. Have a wonderful break away and a fabulous birthday.

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  40. How embarrassing for her!!!! How could she not control herself in public and deal with this in a polite and controlled manner!!! Clearly an out of control spoilt brat...hahaha you should be laughing at her out of control behaviour and think nothing of how it effects you and your parenting skills. The people who know and love but especially your husband and beautiful kids.....know and love you!!!! This is all that matters if life. You never have to prove yourself to anyone! She is s lunatic!!!

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  41. Crikey. What a situation. I've been reading here for years and your words and the person you are come no where near how that woman described you and your girls. And it seemed to just flow out, as if she'd done it before. Hmmmm. As a few of the others have said, it says everything about her and nothing about you. And as part of the older women brigade, I apologise on her behalf and hope she's hanging her head in shame. But somehow I doubt she is. Like you dad, I'm proud of you. Many people would have gone right off at her, you didn't, and again that speaks to the sort of woman you are. Stay that way. You're precious. xx

    Happy birthday. 🎏

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  42. I really likes your blog! You have shared the whole concept really well and very beautifully soulful read!
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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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