Archives for category: Grief

I’m awake wandering if the wind is making the thudding noise, my heart or my neighbour cleaning. When he’s pissed off, he sweeps the floor banging the skirting board repeatedly. He does this because he is a controlling little shit who doesn’t like women ignoring him. Yes, I swapped one wanker for another, what’s new.

I’ve had a chest infection since April due to white mould. I have only recently seen it. I turned my lights on and saw what appeared to be oil splodges… running my finger over them proved they were not (why would they be in a bedroom?).

I’m wheezing, bubbling, having a break with reality and a heart attack all at once… Think I’ll distract myself with Star Trek. It was the episode where Nelix has an existential crisis and contemplates and plans suicide. For fuck sake.

It’s a year since my uncle died, my electric company thinks £280 is fair monthly payment for one loner in a flat. I did some work and I didn’t get paid in the same fortnight as they are deducting the money back off my benefits, which means this month I am £70 down.

Last month I had an interview to prep for, it didn’t happen and thought that I would be sanctioned. My dad is A.W.O.L. since he got a back payment (fine fuck him, but also ouch). And my neck is swollen… is that part of the mould problem, or some fresh fuckery?

My brother is sending me messages about how much he’s struggling financially, and sending songs about giving up, and mate, I can’t even look after my own mental health, please contact the number I gave you… Love you, please don’t kill yourself.

The last straw was the way Star Trek ‘resolved’ this episode. They managed to block Nelix from transporting in to the middle of a nebula… While someone was trying to ‘talk him down’, someone else came looking for him and asked him to help get her little girl to sleep. Whilst the original person reminded him of all the people that needed him, and he decides he won’t kill himself today as “duty calls”.

That is why people kill themselves. Some call it people pleasing, but that belies the very serious effects of being responsible for other peoples happiness. It belies the fact that this is one of the ‘signs’ that abusive people look for in ‘soft targets’ and it completely glosses over the years of self denial that a person has endured before they get to the point where life is not worth living.

This emotional black mail asks the person to self abnegate at the precise moment when they need to find a reason to care for themselves most. Fuck. That. It terrifies me to hear people say they need me… Duty is a dirty word, a slave maker, a soul killer… I learned that when I was trying to find a reason not to transport myself into the middle of a nebula.

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As I sink into yet another abyss, I reach out to support agencies for help. I hear the same refrain again and again. “Step back”, “Be kind to yourself”, “Take it easy”, “You’ve been through more in 5 years than some have in decades, don’t put so much pressure on yourself”. This is victim blaming. It’s not often I identify as a victim. But I feel it so keenly at the moment.

The pressure is not coming from within me: it is external to me and is being exerted on many thousands of people. Some of whom have buckled under the weight and have taken their own lives.

I have been close.

I am close.

I am tired.

As a person being forced to look for work that she is not well enough to do, I am being persecuted by the state. Why? Because I am poor. I can not afford to recuperate with out state assistance. As I try and address the mess that led to this disaster, I have to search for work, under the threat of losing what little money I have. This is tantamount to financial abuse.

I have worked. I have worked hard. I have paid taxes. I have raised myself up, from my externally perceived humble beginnings, educated myself, and the reward for my self sufficiency is victim blaming and abuse. Even in my addled state, I can provide better support for myself, than the agencies that I have reached out to for assistance.

Even, as the pressure mounts, and my myriad low level illnesses conspire together to create the impression that I am going to die from anxiety, I am best placed to help my self. All I need is time, or money, or a little of both. Instead, what time I might have is being permanently diverted to other less deserving things. Or more deserving but ought not to be.

Such as : Have I enough food to eat; Can I cover my rent this month; Is buying this cheap food worth the resulting pain I will end up in; Am I going to pull another muscle if I walk to the doctors and back; Will I sleep tonight; Can I squeeze another few wears out of these jeans before they finally give in.

What absolutely makes me howl, is the fact that a woman of my age, and my size being actively discriminated against in the work place, in one of the most underprivileged cities in the UK is being forced to look for work for people who will not employ her. Take my ‘free to them’ labour, yes, but not employ me for remuneration.

Where exactly am I supposed to take refuge in this mess? Am I being mindful they ask. Are you fucking kidding me? I am nothing but mindful. ‘You’ tell me? You keep telling me about how self aware I am… AM I MINDFUL? I am too mindful. I am too keenly aware of what is happening to me, and completely unable to do anything about it. This way madness lies.

Sometimes, mindfulness, in your secular sense of the word is a middle class luxury. It is a kind of mindfulness that I can not afford.

And the patronizing! Dear god above have some small mercy on me. Someone praised me learning to make my own clothes. This, I am told, is mindful. Well, it may be, if I could actually get on. Only I’m so sleep deprived that I can not follow the instructions and I dare not use the machine for fear of stitching over my fingers.

Something terrible happened yesterday.
I don’t want to talk about it today.
I’m at a friend’s cat sitting.
I’m in a lot of pain; physical and emotional.
A friend wants to know if I need anything, I already said what I needed, I’ve been saying it for months.
I look at my friend’s house and I’m transported to desperately sad and unhappy times.
Every surface is covered. Every surface has something on it. Every. Surface.
There is no view.
I think I’m allergic to her house as much as I am her cat.
I can’t believe the years I have lost to my shit.
All of it, physical and emotional.
Other people could see it, but I couldn’t.
Or at least I did not want to.
Why?
Because I was so very sad, and lonely.
Sometimes I think I haven’t moved on at all, but when I look back to yesterday, I think I’m starting to win.
It’s my time to win.
I so desperately need to travel, it’s killing me staying put. I don’t know how to make it happen, but I have to try find a way. Especially before the world implodes. Honestly, I’m really feeling the political disasters presently.
I feel like I’m in a race against time.
Only this isn’t as much fun as crystal maze.
My pain killers are kicking in now.
I hope I can sleep.
I’m wondering if I have enough masochism left in me to spend another night.
Someone called to invite me to a writing course, I can’t believe the range of emotions swirling around this one.
What is my main aim?
Freedom!
Does writing set me free, or does freedom give life to my writing.
I think we all know the answer to that.

I got a text from my bank saying I was over-drawn and had an hour to put some money in. Fortunately, I had some change in a jar. I paid it in, and feeling sorry for myself, went to get some oat milk from M&S (It’s the only place that sells it in town now). I also got some mozzarella and a bag of salad to bump up my existing food supplies. I won’t get any more money for a bit, so I was really focused about what I was buying. Then I spotted a yellow sticker. And another. Then another. All in all I came out with £30 of shopping for £10. Because it’s Marksies, the meals have actual nutritional content.

I’ve been eating a lot of smash and beans.

I gave a beggar 50p. If I could not shit myself at having spent a tenner on ‘ready meals’ then I could afford that act of kindness. (Though, to be fair to myself, the deals were very good and most of the stuff I bought was to supplement what I already have at home.) After I paid I realized what I’d done. I needed every penny left to get to my Aunties tomorrow. She wants to talk about the wills we are all beneficiaries of. Just think Jarndyce and fucking Jarndyce… we will all be dead before they are settled. This is the first time the door ways of communication have been opened since grandma’s and granddad’s funerals.

I’ve been so busy looking after my dad, that I just let them get on with it. My life continues its descent into destitution: the terror I used to feel has now subsided. This is the new normal. I always have to pull money from no where when the rent is due. There is nothing left to sell. My clothes are old and thread bare, my hair is grey and frizzy, my complexion is bland, my eyes tired, and the less said about my demeanor the better.

It’s going to take a forward thinking manager to see through that and recognize my worth. I don’t know my own worth anymore… It certainly is not the £21,000 I used to be able to command. My attempts to get sick pay, have been declined and I am forced into seeking work I am not well enough to do. If I’d been able to find work when I still had juice left in the tank, then this would be a good time to find part-time work I feel capable of doing whilst ploughing through the counselling.

Presently, I can not do both. Did I make this pact before I recognised that or after? I will commit to one thing only and see it through to completion. I have spent my life fracturing my efforts, so this time I am not going to renege on my promise to myself. I’ve have a new counsellor… I start again in two weeks.

My will be done. Before my will power completely deserts me, I will focus on my therapy. When I have wrangled my past into something manageable and my future into something worth sticking about for, then I can take on the next challenge. But for now, I’ll be doing the poor person shuffle from week to week. Aside from the flashbacks, panic attacks and the lack of sleep, I feel an underlying calm. Is this acceptance or denial?

I’ve been working very hard with a counsellor over the last six months or more and just as I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the rug was pulled out from under me. The service I have been using had its funding cut and as a result, I have lost my counsellor.

The things I have been tackling have been so overwhelming that my brain shuts down and I have been almost fainting. Sometimes, I wish I had fainted, it’s a hugely exhausting process to try and navigate. Things that have been suppressed for so long have been making themselves front and centre and I have had no choice but to take them on, or be consumed by them.

I’m glad though, because working on these issues means I get to deal with the aching loneliness that I feel every day. I get to work on the tension that is so bad, that I am pulling leg muscles just walking down the street. I had no idea, that my stomach problems were rooted in my past trauma. And while most people might have said, “No Shit, Sherlock”, I genuinely thought that my jaw clenching was ‘because’ of my teeth aching, not the other way round.

The idea that you have to love yourself before anyone else can has always infuriated me. What the fuck do you do if you don’t know what love is? We all think we do, but when asked to describe it, we can not. I’m going for these things: trust, respect, tenderness, presence. When I can give these things to myself, in the same way that I used to be able to give these to other people, then I think I will have cracked it.

Recently, my relationships with other people have been rupturing. I’m so tired of putting on the happy mask everyday. The more I change (and reveal myself), the more people ‘reveal’ themselves to me. Sometimes, people have been real arseholes, even friends that I’ve had for decades. Sometimes, it’s become apparent that I haven’t the necessary strength needed to maintain friendships with people who to be frank, are just as needy as I am.

I’ve also been getting used to the idea, that not all friendships last forever, which is news to me. I never really knew what a friend is, or what one does. Who teaches you this stuff? Honestly, if you know, tell me, cos I feel like I have to go back to school. Some friendships might be on hold while I try figure out who the fuck I am, I’d hate to hurt someone while I’m writhing about inside myself this way.

It’s my 40th this year and my mum keeps asking me what I want. I’d like to tell her I want my mum back, and I’d like to see my compassion and humour return. I want my ‘bounce’ back. I reckon I’m going to stick to a picnic and two tickets to the opera though. That may be more realistic for now. Maybe by patching together some more positive memories I can build a past I can look back on with some happiness.

All the things I can not say:

I have endometriosis.

Every time I have a period I have a lot of pain. A LOT of pain.

When I was 22 I was in an abusive relationship and he caused me a lot of pain. A LOT of pain.

When ever I have a period, the pain mixes together and I can’t tell how much of the pain that I am in is anguish.

I want a baby.

My body wants a baby.

Every month, I have a shout and a scream and then a big cry, because there is nowhere else for me to burn off this energy.

I want sex. My god, do I miss sex.

I want intimacy. I ache sometimes because I go for so long without being touched, even by friends.

I would like a relationship, but I am terrified of emotional intimacy. I have a very serious problem with not being able to identify monsters. I can see them for other people, but I am incapable of seeing them for myself.

Every time I spend Christmas with my nephew, when I leave him, I feel like a hole has been blown in my hull. My ship sinks. I miss him so much, and yet, I am scared that my clinging love will stifle him. So, I make every excuse under the sun to not go visit: he lives too far away, I can’t afford the travel, I would be interfering……….

I am fed up of my drunk mothers self centred, self absorbed bullshit. I am tired of my stepdads refusal to go to counselling with her because he is terrified she will leave him. I am tired of my dad’s blasé responses because he is also incapable of talking. I am tired of feeling like a fucking teenager, because my parents never taught me to grow up, or learn how to spot a monster.

This Christmas, when my mother stood jabbing her finger an inch away from my face, snarling “You should let someone love you”. I died inside.

I am trying. I am trying. For the love of fucking love, I am trying. It hurts so much, and I keep on trying.

The playlist for this most modern tragedy is the album that was big when I was 22:
Lauren Hill – X-Factor.

03.33… I wish it were a song title. It’s not. It’s the time. At 11.15 I’m supposed to be viewing a flat. I don’t know what’s happening really, other than I’m here writing this blog. On the 18th April, my wonderful friend, “That damned cat” passed away. She had diabetes, the kind that cannot be treated with tablets. After many vets trips, weeks begging her to get better, I knew that at 18 years old she would not. A week before or a week later, I can barely remember, my granddad passed. Three years of deaths. And I’m still here, wondering: why? Or more precisely: How!

My financial situation is so bad, it’s normal now. And I’m just treading water. Paralysed by fear. Anything I do could tip me over the edge into a more precarious position. ANYTHING. Moving is a big gamble. Here’s the thing… Now the cat is dead, I can afford to go to hospital on the bus. I bought some cigarettes, and some booze. Flipped out for a few weeks. Ate all the meat. Well, chicken and fish. Wanted to eat all the cakes, and chocolate, but everything tastes the same, synthetic, saccharine and somehow tasteless too. So I bought prepared fruit. The decadence. Had to borrow money to get through another round of “not going bankrupt this month”.

Apparently, I’ll get some money now granddad’s dead. Nan’s money was tied up in a living will… When the cat died, I thought it wouldn’t be long before I was a goner too. But it seems I’m locked into living again. My reasoning being that none of my family are getting a penny of my money. Literally over my dead body. I can think of so many people who really need, and would make the most of my money. I’m sure that if I died before I got the money, it would instantly pass to my next of kin. I don’t have one at the moment. Anyway, by the time I get the cash, they can’t have it either. I’m going on holiday till it’s spent.

My dad that was ill, nearly died again. So that’s been fun. He hasn’t been in touch for a while. He could actually be dead now, and I wouldn’t know. He says I’m next of kin, but every time he goes into hospital, I find out from my aunty. Fuck it. The other dad cut me off for not paying his phone bill. Apparently, none of the reasons I had detailed were good enough. Fuck it.

The job centre want to send me on a work programme. OVER MY DEAD BODY. They can get to fuck. I want a job, with minimum wage, and stable hours. Any job will do, but I’m not lining the pocket of fucking tescos with my tears and stress. No chance. I’m trying to set up some businesses, but I haven’t the energy. This woman is trying to get me to apply for some funding, I’m like, listen love, it takes all I have to apply for a job… Anyway, she’s trying to help, but actually it piles on the stress. She’s alright with mum, and a partner looking after her. She might have her woes but she doesn’t have mine and can’t see what the block is. There was a creative thing that looked really awesome, but it didn’t pan out. Got several more rejection letters. It’s the grey hair. I know it is. Hair dye costs money you know!

Dyslexia; grief; illness; poverty; the never-ending bullshit of living in a stupidly dysfunctional family? Pick one or two, mix it up see if you get a different result to me. I tried to get some help from some Dyslexia places, they are fucking useless. Even more disorganised than I am. My teeth need fixing, I think I have a filling coming loose… More bus fares… One return journey currently runs at 5% of my weekly income. So, I can’t go this month. I’ve paid for the hospital trip. I mean, I can. Of course I can, there is always a compromise to be made: don’t look for work, go to the dentist. Don’t buy food, go to the dentist.

Someone sent me some money, did I say? An anonymous donor? £60. A lot of money to some one in my predicament. I felt guilty for spending some of it on food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No shit. I felt guilty spending it at all to be honest. But there you go. Glad I don’t have to worry about how much fuel I’m using at the moment, that feels like a little holiday in itself. I over paid some council tax, I have two months break as a readjustment. That’s £30 I needed then like air, but need just a little less now the cat is gone.

That was expensive, getting to the vets, and contributing to her vet fees. The food, the litter… She was going through a bag of litter a week, the tray needed cleaning every day. It was full-time care, she just wanted to be in my arms. I gave her what ever she wanted. And all she wanted was to be with me. I couldn’t afford to have her cremated, so she was cremated with all the other poor pets and sprinkled on a paupers garden. My princess in the cheap seats. This is what I got my degree for… to be able to tell the world eloquently that I’m falling apart, instead of going and jacking up in a back ally somewhere. Lucky me.

I have a box of her fur, and I’d like to have a bit of a do for her, but the thing is, I can’t think. I just can not think. I have moments, flashes where I’m on fire and I get lots done, but they have to be spent on job search. Only the job search. Or bits of work I manage to scrabble together. The writing is dead. The reading is dead. I self medicate on social media networking sites. Everyone thinks I’m bonkers, but what they don’t know is I’m more switched on than them… I can prove it, all my counsellors tell me so, and the psychiatrists keep telling me I’m just stressed. Well, they would say that wouldn’t they? The level of what’s normal in my area is a bit skewed compared to the rest of the country, and we all know there is no funding in mental health.

Anyway. Here I am. Terrified to move, in case it makes a bad situation even worse. This time two years ago seems like a party at the moment.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2s0m2VNbVE&feature=youtu.be