A Shoulder To Cry On







A few months ago I met a lady on the beach who I had never met before.  She was sitting on  a wall and looked very sad.

I said “Hello” to her and we got chatting.

She told me that she was waiting for one of the luxury cruise ships to go past, her mum and brother were sailing out of Southampton and were due to go past Stokes Bay very shortly;  she was waiting to wave them off on their holiday.

She told me how much her mum was looking forward to the holiday as she had recently been widowed after nursing her husband (this lady’s father)  who  had died of cancer.

The lady then started to cry and her grief was so obvious to see.   She was clearly missing her father and was still grieving for him, which is natural of course.   I reassured her that it there was nothing to be embarrassed about and how we have to let grief out and not hold back, otherwise we can make ourselves ill.

It was then that she told me that she had, that day, been diagnosed with bowel cancer and how worried she was about it.  She had told her mum that afternoon just before she had left port and now she felt even more dreadful because she felt guilty about spoiling her mum’s much needed holiday.

The poor woman was so sad and distressed and my heart went out to her.

There were things that she couldn’t tell her mum at that point because she was aware how worried her mum was and she didn’t want to add to the burden, but she desperately needed someone to talk to.

She talked and I listened.

We hugged and she cried on my shoulder and although I couldn’t change the situation, I was able to give her the space and time to talk about her concerns and fears.

We sat for about 20 minutes  until we saw the ship come along The Solent and it was then that her mobile phone rang and it was her mum calling her from the ships deck.

I took my leave then because I knew that they had things that they needed to talk about.

I felt very sad but I know that those 20 minutes probably meant the world to that lady. She was so frightened  and worried as she didn’t know what the future held for her.

I will probably never see her again and I don’t even know her name, however I feel that I helped her just a little bit in her time of need.

I will never forget it and I hope that she makes a full recovery.

Is the roar in your head so deafening that you cannot hear yourself think?


Crantock July 2013

Early one morning last week I went to the beach.  It was deserted and very beautiful.  The tide was out and my dog and I were able to walk in and out of the coves, and clamber over the rocks and Henry enjoyed splashing in the rock pools and chasing the seagulls along the shoreline.

Although the tide was out the sea was making the most incredible roaring sound as it crashed onto the beach and over the rocks.

It was so loud that it was hard to hear anything else and indeed to concentrate on anything other than the noise it was making.

As I headed back up the beach to the mouth of the river, which flows into the seaGoose rock and flowers Cornwall July 2013, I noticed how much quieter it was there and how I could pick out the sounds of the various birds singing away and the bees and flies buzzing past.

I realised that here in the quiet I was able to hear everything whereas before further down the beach all I could hear was the roar of the sea, it was totally overwhelming and blocked out every other sound.

It reminded me about the times when my head was so full of problems and worries that I wasn’t able to concentrate on anything else.  And the more I worried about my problems the more intense the roar in my head became.

I found it difficult to hear beyond what was happening in my head and I longed to hear the gentle sounds of a carefree life.  In actual fact I had forgotten what a carefree life “sounded” like I had been that engulfed in my problems for so long.

Your problems can take over your life, they can take over every waking moment and even keep you from sleeping properly at night.  This in turn can have a detrimental effect on your health and your relationships.

And if you keep your problems in then they just get bigger and bigger and louder and louder!

One way that you can get the “roar” to quieten down is to share your problems with someone.

  • Someone who you can trust
  • Someone who won’t judge you
  • Someone who will allow you the time, space and security to talk about them
  • Someone who will LISTEN to you!

When you share your problems you will start to feel better and the noise in your head will begin to quieten down.

By being allowed the time and space to get your problems off your chest and into the open you  will then be able to start to see things so much clearer and you will begin to see a way forward and identify the options that are open to you.

As I said before, there were times when I used to let my problems engulf me.  And it wasn’t until the problems were solved that I actually realised how ill and under the weather I had been feeling before.  And how much of my time and energy my problems were taking up.  They were preventing me from living life to the full and from being happy.

Sometimes you don’t recognise how ill you feel until the problem has gone away you then feel as though you can breathe again or as they often say, you feel as though “a weight has been lifted off your shoulders”.

Nowadays I don’t let any problems grow that big.  I talk about them and share them with my confidante.  And by doing that I clear my head of the clutter and the noise, which in turn helps me to find solutions to the problems before they grow too big.

If you feel that you just want to talk and you need someone to listen to you, please contact me and we can arrange a time to have a chat.

Isobel in Stanley Park

I will provide you with:

  • A safe space to talk
  • I won’t judge you
  • I won’t be shocked
  • I won’t offer you advice (unless of course you ask for it)
  • Everything that you tell me will be treated with the utmost confidentiality

Please email me at Isobel@thelisteningaunt.com

Or call me on +44 (0) 7900 345 679.



Don’t keep your problems bottled up – talk about them

and help to get the “roar” out of your head

What a Powerful Tool Listening Is

Now that my life is where I want it to be and I am happy and content – it is difficult to remember how low and desperate I felt a few years ago, back in the late 1990s.Isobel in Stanley Park

But I did feel low and I remember it being a very dark time for me.

I was going through all sorts of turmoil at the time.

I was a single parent of 3 children, who were lovely don’t get me wrong, but quite demanding

I was in a job that I didn’t enjoy

I didn’t earn much at all so was always struggling to make ends meet

I had a Line Manager, who was bullying me and who ironically was the HR Director!

And I was in a difficult (to say the least!) relationship.

Life was crap!

I knew what I had to do to sort it out. I had to leave my job, but not before reporting my line manager for her appalling conduct.  And I had to leave my boyfriend, which at the time was hard for me to do.

I had friends and relatives giving me their advice and a sympathetic ear, but all I wanted was someone that I could just talk to, who would just LISTEN to me.

I didn’t need advice, I needed to be HEARD!

As I say I knew what had to be done, but I wanted to have the opportunity to get all of my feelings, my hurt, my despair, my inability to hold onto a relationship, my disappointment and my disgust and embarrassment that I was letting these things happen to me, out into the open.

I needed someone to talk to who would listen, who wouldn’t judge me and who wouldn’t be shocked about what I wanted to say.

Eventually I found that person, Patrick, my saviour, my angel – the person who listened and who helped me to turn my life around.

He sat and he LISTENED.

He didn’t get embarrassed when I cried, he didn’t judge me, he LET ME BE ME!

By listening to me and helping me to accept that actually….

“I am ok, I am a good person and I deserve to be loved.

But first of all I have to learn to love myself”

He helped me on the road to recovery and he gave me the strength to tackle the issues, gain my self confidence and develop my self esteem.

He, along with others very close to my heart, helped me to become the woman that I am today.

Allowing someone to speak unconditionally and be heard is one of the greatest and

most powerful gifts that we can give to anyone.