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Tag: family

A couple of weeks ago, on 22 November 2017, my mother died. Her death is something I have been expecting for a year more, and I am glad it happened while I was in Vietnam, because it meant I had a good excuse not to go to her funeral. How could I eulogise kindly about a woman who did so much damage? A woman who was unkind at her best, and nasty and violent at her worst, which was often? A woman who should never have had children? A woman who had carved a powerful message deep into my psyche

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My mother was not a pleasant woman. She was violent and cruel, controlling and uncaring. She probably had Borderline Personality Disorder. She was married (and divorced) three times, and all three husbands ended up with alcohol or mental health issues. They may have been predisposed, but my mother brought out the worst in them. If they couldn’t self-medicate with alcohol, they had breakdowns. Or both. And then they left, leaving my mother as the sole care provider (and I use that term in the loosest possible way) for her three children. From the age of eight to 18 — ten

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This is the 13th essay in the #26essays2017 challenge that I’ve set for myself this year. I’m doing this because I’m the first to admit I’ve become a lazy writer: allowing guest posts and series and cross-posting to make up the bulk of content on The Diane Lee Project across 2016. The brave, fearless writing that readers admired and respected me for has all but disappeared. This year—2017—will be different. I’m reclaiming my voice—my write like a motherfucker voice!  I have one daughter, but I always wanted more children. I loved being pregnant, of feeling my baby shift and move and wriggle and squirm. I

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Photo by Tim Marshall via Unsplash. Used with permission. What can be better than a Bucket List? Bucket Lists have been done to death, pardon the pun. Anyone and everyone has been compiling lists of things to do and places to see before they kick the bucket, as it were. The underlying philosophy of the Bucket List is the notion that life is short and temporary and that one should make sure that one does and sees everything one can before one dies. Sorry about the queenly language there. I’ve never had a Bucket List as such, although I do have

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I wrote the first part of this post back in March 2014. Thought it was about time I finished it off! My career has been an endless succession of ultimately unsatisfying jobs In the late 1980s, I left a series of bank jobs and temporary employment, and got myself university edumacated at the ripe old age of 26, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. I wanted more from life than just temping and working in banks and bought into the hype believed that a university education would help me embark on a fulfilling and productive Career (note the capital “c”).

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I used to love Christmas as a child. I loved the excitement of it all, the anticipation, the fulfillment of wishes. It was the one day of the year I felt loved and wanted and happy. Santa made sure of that, even if my mother couldn’t. Dear, kind, surrogate parent Santa. Kindness on this one day almost lasted me the year. Almost. My childhood Christmas memories are somewhat fragmented, though, like a slide show that keeps jumping slides. My memories, while lucid, don’t flow. I can only remember bits of Christmases, a jigsaw puzzle where most of the pieces of

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Here’s something you wouldn’t know unless you sit near me at work: my surname – Lee – is not my surname. It’s my middle name. I dropped my surname in my mid-thirties in a protest against my family. This is the story of why. My mother has been married and divorced* three times; she left my biological father when I was four and my younger sister was two and a half. I can still recall my father – who I now have no contact with – asking me when he left, who I wanted to stay with. I chose my mother,

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This post was originally published on 12 December 2011. Nothing much has changed except we now do breakfast (I go for a run beforehand) and I have replaced wine with Pimm’s. It’s now a day I look forward to, because I do things I enjoy: run, eat, watch Really Good TV, consume alcohol, all without having to go anywhere! For as long as I can remember, Christmas has been a difficult time for me. It’s supposed to be about family but, apart from my daughter and one sister, I have no family to speak of. Most of the Christmas rhetoric

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