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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Domestic violence

https://youtu.be/fe-UzGqT208

Friday, 7 July 2017

Why does life hurt?

When does it all begin to make sense? Should you even have a right to know. Death is such a heartless fucker.... everywhere around us there is hurt that's deliberate... hurt that's meant to cause the most pain to someone and yet it's the kind and wonderful that gets sick and spent time fighting for their health. It's the kind and wonderful that die and those left behind are bewildered and left crying to understand.
Today 3 deaths struck me hard.
The loveliest, smallest, cutest, strongest little boy lost his battle with Cancer. A little boy with cancer.. what the actual fuck is wrong with a world that witnesses a beautiful child teach us about strength. Bradley Lowery left this world today with a strength not given to most of us... with a wisdom we could learn from and his family are left to mourn his beauty while we shake our heads because he shouldn't have been sick. An innocent child carrying the weight of such illness that most of us would fall apart carrying to bear.
In another country a mother slipped her hand into her sons without even realising she was doing it. She's clearly broken. I was broken just watching her. Her husband was 2 foot away from her in a coffin... her husband... his father. Two weeks ago exactly after they had sat in the same church on the same seat with another son 2 foot away from them in a coffin....
Two weeks ago that mother sat with one hand in her sons and the other in her husbands mourning a son who died too young... two weeks later she's there again because his fathers heart has broken so deeply it couldn't continue. So it stops...... cruelly it stops without warning and today he sleeps eternally with the son he buried two weeks ago.
I'll be honest it fucked with me. I wanted to visit Mam and tell her about it and tell Dad hold tighter to her but I couldn't do it alone so I waited until Matt was home and brought him with me. I wanted to text everyone I knew and just check in with them and tell them randomly "Hi" for no reason other than I'm still alive to do it. I guess we need anothers strength sometimes...

Why? Why are we here.. are we meant to love so deep or do we do it because we need to be loved? Are we meant to feel this level of pain when another hurts? Are we supposed to understand how bastards can abuse and maim and kill while the beautiful and kind suffer and die.
Where is God when we need answers to the fucked up world we've had to adjust to...?
Where is tomorrow for the people who died today?

#rip Bradley Lowery
Andrew Duggan
Tommy Duggan
And all those who have passed away from us 💔

Valerie Masters

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

How's your mental health...?

"Hi how's you? How you doing? Great weather, How's your day going?"
Ordinary greetings on an ordinary day when ordinary people pass each other. Whether standing at a check out with another customer, meeting on the street or being served by someone in a shop or bar these are the kind of things we greet each other with, and most answers are simple, easy. Even meeting friends for a drink we answer vaguely.
We hug and laugh and clink glasses and take pictures which we post online with hashtags like #friendsareforever #lovinglife #happy
We rolls answers that start with "I'm fine" and may fall into a quick conversation about the weather being miserable and the kitchen sink blocking and fuck those politicians, sure they're destroying the country. We might even stretch as far as mentioning kids and grandkids and isn't this weather just enough to get on our nerves and did you see your one walking down the street yesterday half naked. .. sure wouldn't ya fucking die if you were her....
But what if you were asked how you were and how your day is going and you answered with "It's a shit day, I didn't want to get up today, I wanted to fuck the world off and then tell them that today I might die. I want to die but I'm looking for strength and an easy way out and I don't want to wait until tomorrow because tomorrow will hurt more than today did and today was painful because it reminded me than I'm more worthless than I was yesterday....
What if you had to face this warzone every single day?
You go to bed every night and sleep hoping you don't wake. Sleeping is easy, it doesn't hurt there. Nobody hurts there and if you don't wake up then you don't have to get up and brush your teeth and boil a kettle and get dressed. Getting dressed hurts a lot because it means you might have to leave the house and that means meeting people. Meeting people hurts like fuck because you don't know what to say and you have to say something stupid like "I'm fine"....
On the other side someone lies awake all night watching you sleep hoping that dawn will arrive and you'll stretch and smile and whisper "put the kettle on" and you'll laugh and run downstairs because after you bring them tea they'll get up and brush their teeth and get dressed and today they won't want to die....
And you'll smile because they want to live, because today is not the day they listen to depression screaming at them, because today you don't have to arrange a funeral and pick songs that once you both danced to, songs that once made you fall into the arms of someone who never imagined death separating you from each other...
Depression has two sides. ... two weary painful ugly sides and neither of them will win. Neither of them will get up tomorrow and smile because dawn has arrived. .. neither of them want night to fall for very different reasons.
One of those sides will sleep and hope never to wake and one of those sides won't sleep in case you sleep forever.....
Who will win....?
We will never know until the day comes that we can answer "How are you?" with
"I'm not fine. I need someone to help me....."

Until the day mental health is as easy to talk about as a broken arm that has a cast you can sign..... You can't sign your name on painful thoughts because there is no cast for a broken mind.....

Valerie Masters

Friday, 16 June 2017

The country shop..... Change is not always good....

Today was a funny day... funny how a day can turn on you and all you can do is call it funny. It's an Irish thing I guess, you feel an emotion, it could be the hardest day of your life but you'll shrug and say "wasn't today a funny day"
But today was that kinda funny day....
I only went down for a pound of sugar coz tea isn't nice without sugar and it's only €1 in the country shop so you kinda grab at a bargain and while I was there I picked up gravy and medium curry packs coz maybe I don't have them.. I'm not sure when I get there but they're handy to have.... and then the "funny" happened.
I began to feel a difference there. The music I danced to wasn't playing and suddenly I melted into talking to Marian about times past and "Country Shop" memories and it became painful to know that this amazing shop is changing.  Changing in the "fuck I wish it wouldn't kind of way"
My 'today' memories of the Country Shop are easy... every member of staff ask me about my day, about my kids, about my latest book, about my life. It's comfortable and it's home....
But my memories of the Country Shop go way back to when I was a child. I went there with a familiarity I didn't understand at the time. I went there and got recognised and got sent to the kitchen quietly for tea and white soda bread which I got with red jam and I fell into heaven... Maureen Bennett.. Babs Conlon..... Phil Farrell.... Margaret Hoey....I was a child amongst amazing women and I didn't even realise it
Amazing strong incredible women who had amazing men by their side. ....
And now it's changing... now the Country shop I've known and loved and been raised with is leaving my life. And our town has seen the best of shops leave....
I'm lost wondering where I'll go for those little things... who I'll run to when I need to grab gravy while I'm praying the dinner won't burn.... who'll I'll run to for two cooked sausages while I wait for the toast to pop and I'm too lazy to cook sausages... who will I turn to on Christmas morning when I need something I should have remembered to buy the day before
Michael Conlon... thank you for being you... thank you for making me laugh... for dancing and singing randomly at 9am while I'm still half asleep and just wanting one stupid item... thank you for supporting my books... for wanting them to do well.... for selling them with pride.... for coming to the launch of them both... for always striving to be there for everyone else...
Thank you for having a soul that sings louder than most souls... for letting me be a part of a tradition that will never die because we won't let it die
The Country Shop is my shop and a shop that sold more than money can buy....
Thank you for the memories ❤

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Private messages from people who haven't the balls to go public

I get a lot of messages... I post poems and thoughts and truths and random stuff so I expect messages. And they come... sometimes in droves, depending what I post (droves of good and evil)... sometimes I'll get a single message that kinda explodes all others. I got that message today.
That message accused me of not living in the real world. How dare I speak to a stranger who straps himself in explosives and takes the life of others... how dare I question why he would do that to innocent people... to innocent children.
That message was hard to get my head around. It basically accused me of daring to live in wealth and serenity while writing about people who are struggling.
How dare I assume to be the voice of pain, hurt and desperation while living in total denial about the real world.
I'm not even tempted to educate them about the truth... not even a little bit tempted
What would I know about pain and loss and suicide and depression... what would I know about death and burying people that I wasn't ready to lose.....
What would I know about family and in-laws and friends and neighbours I can turn to if things get too hard to handle. What would I know about watching life fade from a loved one....
I'm happy to report that I'll fuck with the one who watches life fade deliberately.... I'll fuck with them even while they believe I'm happy in my big rich castle as though I never felt real pain... or hurt.....
I'll happily continue to write my take on truth while eating a chinese takeout in my beautiful council house as my husband passes the phone back to me to hear our kids rely their day to us from thousands of miles away........

Yep stranger from behind a screen....
You're right.....
I do live in wealth and serenity....

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dear Fucked Up Terrorist

You don't know me....
I'll make sure you never get to know me but allow me to swear I'll never let you forget me.
I am an Irish mother who proudly wears the badge of motherhood because I am blessed with two amazing children. I love to talk about them because they overwhelm my heart every single day. I've watched them learn to crawl.... learn to walk and learn to fly. They did all that because they were loved and in return they learned to love life. I never had much money to give them when they were growing up and I never could dress them in designer gear but I know they never went without love.
I'm guessing you did though, because you've decided you're going to be the reason I cry more than I have done lately. You've decided that I get to sleep less at night than I did when they first left home and began to explore the world. I lie under the same moon as my children but that moon covers the world and for me it covers 3 different countries and can't always watch at the same time. But that moon carries my love to them... keeps my tears secret from them and swears to watch over them for me because they're far away from my arms.
But you..... you fucked up, sadistic, evil fucking excuse for a human being, you have decided that you are going to make mothers all over the world cry, make fathers all over the world fall apart while trying to be strong, and make children die because you've decided you can kill them in the name of a god.
No god asked that of you... No god stands by your side as you maim and destroy and kill...
There is no god if you believe you have a god to applaud your actions.
You won't win this war you've declared.... and you sure as fuck won't beat down an Irish mother.
For I have something you'll never have.....
I have love for the most amazing kids in this world and they have me to come home to when they've finished exploring a world you won't destroy...

Sincerely
A proud mother

Valerie Masters

Friday, 1 July 2016

I'm just a mother......

The flashbacks......
Was I really only 17 and holding this tiny huge eyed heartbeat....
There wasn't much to you except for eyes and jesus did those eyes go into overdrive on the way back to the ward....
I should start from the beginning but I won't because the beginning of us is a novel and nobody has time to read a novel these days. I will say that I wrote one while carrying you....
The fear was immense... I was barely aware of my body when you started changing it, yes you little blimp brought more changes to my body than anything I've been through since, and my body has been through some serious shit since.. you know that coz the hospital is more of a haunt these days then the library or the coffee shop...
Regrets... now there's another novel I won't start but I'm lucky I don't have many with you... a few I won't speak of... a few that I probably wouldn't change because wasn't that the hardest part of being a parent....
Ok I'm talking rubbish and I could stay here all night talking about your first word.. your first step.. your first everything but I won't because I came here for only one reason and that is to say that I'm in awe of you...
I'm in awe and amazed and I lie awake at night wondering how the fuck I got so lucky .... Two children and I hit gold...
A son I stand back and admire for picking himself up over and over again... He was knocked down, he got up.. He was knocked again and he said fuck it and got up again....
He too is a novel I'm not ready to write but I started it when he was 15 and became a man.... we all know why
I love that about him... miss his fucking face but I love his amazing strength.
I Love that he stands so tall.... And you girl, in two days you will be thousands of miles away and also standing tall (all five foot five of you) and I will miss your fucking face but jesus wept am I proud...
Little old me... got pregnant at 17 and now 26 years later this child... This amazing being is going to the other side of the world to teach children...
This amazing being is terrified and excited and I'm in the sidelines trying not to cry my heart out.. Trying not to scream to the world that this being is mine...
You see I don't own you baby girl but I sure as hell am blown away that I created you...
I fucking love your bravery even though you're scared shitless. ..
I love lees bravery when he did what he did after many kicks and terrified he did it anyway...
I fucking love that I'm going to be heart broken on Sunday...
I fucking love that you both have forced me to feel my heart everytime I see you...
Go there.... be as amazing as you always are...
Go there and take care of my heart when you get there....
One half of my heart will be in South Korea on Monday... the other half is already beating in Italy.....
Go there and give them a taste of what I already have..... just as lee did
Rae go there and show them how fucking amazing you are...
I love you girl... I love you lad....

Sincerely
Mam.....

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Depression

Depression.... What a loaded word.. what a downright sometimes dangerous word for who really gets the right to talk about depression? Who is allowed to discuss it... I don't know and maybe it's ok not to know but maybe I want to talk about it. Have I ever been depressed?..... probably not seeing as I feel the need to ask that but can anyone really define what level you are at to be depressed. Was it when I couldn't sleep for worry, couldn't eat for fear of losing someone to it.
I've lived with depression, eaten with it, laid down at night with it, woke up beside it, climbed out from under the duvet from it and tiptoed to the next room where I sat and listened to it breathe and twist and turn and cry... I learned very quickly that depression showed itself in numerous forms. Denial..anger..fear. ..pain... normal everyday emotions that no longer reveal themselves. Watching them feel nothing was the killer... going through the motions without giving you an emotion is hard to swallow. The times I longed for a situation where a scream or an argument would have been normal became a situation I lived with. Did I try to goad an emotion, yes on numerous occasions but one thing I learned quickly was that I was trying to pull an emotion from something that had shut down. Was it painful yes it was... did I feel the denial...anger...fear and pain I wanted from them. I felt it like a thousands flames burning my skin but I couldn't make them feel it. That's depression in my mind. People who are alive and breathing and feeling nothing..
Depression is not like anything you'll ever witness.. you can't pack them off to a hospital for an operation like tonsils or appendix.. you can't give them treatment for an infection... you can't do anything but scream or cry for the very thing they can't do... they can't scream or cry because they feel nothing..... that nothing sinks the one looking on into a bottomless pool of hopelessness because all we have is emotion and all they have is none

Valerie Masters

Monday, 23 March 2015

Conversations in the dark

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