There is quite a bit of responsibility that comes with writing a blog. There are no rules as far as I am aware, so a blog writer can write whatever they like. When I give advice, it is not an instruction, it is my opinion and suggestion based on the information I have and the experiences I’ve lived. I also gather my knowledge from the other parents who I speak with and I base my advice on what I believe will be helpful to those who may be looking for alternative and helpful ways to live peacefully with PDA.
I have been writing about PDA and how I have changed as a parent for a few years now and when I set out, my motivation for speaking out, was to be the voice I wished to hear when I first learned about PDA. I wanted to consolidate all I was learning and make it all OK. I also wanted to be the voice for the children who were unable to express and were possibly living very difficult lives because the grown ups around them were unaware that things can be different.
Through the years of trial and error, talking with other parents and learning from adults with PDA, I have been able to formulate, hopefully interesting articles and helpful advice.
But who is this person behind the keyboard? In this post I am going to tell you a brief outline of my life so far and who I am. I am known as Mel. My given name is Melissa. As a little girl, my name was Lissy. As I grew up, I answered to Melissa, until I took a job as an interior stylist. HQ was based in Chessington, Surrey, yep, just opposite Chessington world of adventures. The boss said I could only have the job if I was known as Mel, because her name was Melissa. I really wanted the job and thought it sounded like a reasonable compromise. Mel sounded quite cool to me, so it wasn’t hard to get used to. Now, people think my name is Melanie and even my Mother in Law of 20 odd years calls me Melanie if she is cross with me. I just smile.
I grew up in Surrey and had a happy childhood with summers in the South of France and 2 best mates, whom I have known all my life and still count as my sisters to this day. When I first learned about PDA, I felt like I had already lived a life of it without actually knowing. There is definitely a strong genetic link and one does not have to look far to find someone who ticks those boxes in their family line. I was the big sister and the trigger maker. I have always had a soft and sweet nature and have never knowingly gone out of my way to piss anyone off. My brother however, would say otherwise.
Being the sister of a very sensitive and specific younger brother, I grew up able to compromise and back down. These skills set me up in good stead for the Mother I was to become at the age of 30. Pre marriage and babies, I spent my teens to my late 20s in a whirlwind of parties and clubbing. My quiet Lissy days fell away and I loved my creative job as a visual merchandiser, or window dresser in those days. I was out flatting by 18 and never looked back. The girl who was quiet suddenly found herself and I set out making sure my life was never quiet or ordinary again.
For a long while, VW scene, raves, retro and DJs were my life. When I met Paul 6 months before my 24th birthday it was love at first sight and knew that this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. He was just a little bit gorgeous and it wasn’t long before I had moved in with him to his very impressive pad in Putney. A year to the day later we packed everything up and headed off round the world. By far the best adventure I have ever had was traveling across India from Agra to Bombay on a Lambretta scooter with no map and no idea where we going. Paul was a mod when I met him and the two of us spent many hours in 1960s attire, at mod clubs and events and we planned to travel India by Lambretta before we had even left home . The thrill of traveling 3,000 KM on a machine that went no faster than 30 pmh through remote villages and the madness of India was second to none.
After 2 years of travel around the world with many, many crazy, off the beaten track adventures, we got hitched. 3 years after that, our baby girl was born and I knew that my life had started the most important chapter yet. Motherhood.
It wasn’t long before Paul and I realized we did not want to stay in the UK to raise our family. Travel had opened our eyes to many possibilities and other ways of life. New Zealand was calling us. When baby girl was 2.5 years, we arrived, back packs on back. Blank pages lay ahead of us. We were free to write the story we wanted. No one to influence the choices we made, where we could live or work. Bit by bit we built a life here and soon our tiny boy was born, our little Kiwi.
It’s a strange thing emigrating, we did it 100% together as a couple. It was our choice and no one elses. I have never regretted leaving behind my beloved parents and dear, dear friends, though I miss them every day. We have an amazing home and set up with 2 glorious acres of paradise. Life here is blessed. But ones heart does separate and a piece is left in the homeland, that is without a doubt for sure. I won’t ever go back to live, life here is too established and the benefits out-way the cons. So here I am. 46 now and very much dedicated to my family. The path that my daughter had taken us on was never in my wildest imaginations one I could have predicted. But it is one I would take again if I was given a choice.
No one knows where life will take them, who they will meet, how things will be done. I think that sometimes, we think we have it all mapped out and that is the safe and comfortable place to be. But I have learnt that comfort is a holding ground. That the best of life is hidden in the unimaginable and the dark corners of frightening and unplanned happenings. For me, having to learn day by day, having to stop and become almost trapped in order to not run away from what I need to learn, has indeed made me all the better as myself. I think that PDA and motherhood strips us of the things we use to hide ourselves. Authenticity, which is the thing I strive for above all things, is there for the finding.
I do not worry now for the future of my kids because I know that fulfillment, enlightenment, growth and happiness are not things one attains from traveling the world, or gaining the best job or exam results. The contrary is true, those things are right where you take off, right where you walk and talk and conduct yourself, under your pillow or in your back pocket. They are you and I am me.
Bit indulgent today. Hope you enjoyed. x