Thursday, March 18, 2010

DOWNTIME, VERY DOWN

Saturday night was good but I discovered too many months, had passed and I had lost the connection with people I was becoming familiar with.
I learnt about parties that I would have been invited to but because my letter writing had disintegrated into nothing but 'mother' and depression, I would tear them up and not trouble others with my trouble.
I retreated into the shadows and took up my people watching stance.

They were uninhibited, drinking, dancing, having fun without thinking about getting home in a taxi, what was the cat going or having knees that don't dance.
The first time I went to a party at that house, it was a major miracle. I hadn't been out alone for nearly ten years and it took a heap of backbone to get dressed and go. It was the same this time. I haven't been out alone at night for nearly two years, it felt like the first time and right up until I put my hand on the phone to call for a taxi, I didn't know if I could do it.
Perhaps it was too soon to be the life of the party. I'm still running on empty.
I aided in breaking the law by helping build the longest spliff I'd ever seen in my short party life but moved to the verandah before the big lighting up. I don't like the smell of the smoke, it makes me feel ill. How big? So big it had to be held in BBQ tongs for anyone to take a puff.
I've never been a huge party animal preferring a dinner table discussion and good food and that was part of the downhill turn.

At some stage, I realized that next day would have been my 40th wedding anniversary and only one of that mad, funny crowd I was watching had been there. Forty years and only one person beside my mother and sister was near me. I don't count the relo's but not one friend from those days has been seen for years. There was one but I was doing all the phoning and I could feel her moving in different directions especially since The Blight left and there were no more boozy barbie afternoons. I ripped up most of those photographs with great pleasure. So I thought I would let her have the next phone call and that was a year and a half ago, maybe more. And another one bites the dust.

So Sunday morning comes and I look at the shambles that is my home, the curtains are still shredded, the cat is sleeping in the washing basket and my mother's house is still scattered in every room. Also scattered and joyous on bare feet is crystal kitty litter in the laundry where I find most of the towells and clothes I've forgotten to wash, another chore. I am surprised that I haven't wept since I usually do.

Monday brings the call that mother has had an 'episode' and she doesn't remember what has gone wrong. I do, and tell them, explain what to do, tell her not to worry, it's all happened before and will again. Could I go through my diaries and tell them exactly when was the last time. Not a snowball's chance could I read about the last three years so I say it was about 2008. My sister doesn't remember it happening at all. She goes down Monday, says hello and comes home.
I have slept on and off for three days and going there yesterday was almost at bad as Saturday night but it was needed and she was in bed, the colour of the sheets. By the time I left, her colour was much better and I was happy to see that the nurses were in all the time to check her.
She called this morning, much better and looking forward to a shopping expedition in the morning but she'd noticed me.

I laugh it off but I'm in trouble with a knee that shouldn't be hurting, bruises I hadn't seen before I fell off the ladder. My life gauge is stuck on empty and there's nothing and no-one to help fill it.
But then why would anyone want to, according to my sister, I am so negative and unpleasant to be around. A remark made in the middle of my dealing with every bureaucracy in the universe.
I won't forget that remark. Over 40 years I have finely honed my secretive and untrusting nature into a suit of armour that lets nothing penetrate or if you like, I'm a giant Easter egg, full of gooey, luscious fruity centre but the chocolate shell is a right bastard to break.

12 comments:

Renae said...

personally, I think you're delicious through and through. I admire you also, I spent a few years in a similar hole, but did not have your ability to articulate it.

River said...

This whole post has made me wish I lived closer, so I could come and hug you. Not a quick hug either, a long cuddle until we both cry to the point of feeling "what a relief, I needed a good cry". Then we'd go out for hot chocolate and vanilla slices, before tackling the laundry together.
I'm developing my own unbreakable shell here, no one gets in that I don't want. My social life is non-existant, but I don't mind that so much since I suck at conversation.

Brian Hughes said...

"I'm in trouble with a knee that shouldn't be hurting..."

That'll be gout from the party.

"...a chocolate shell that's hard to break..."

Much easier to eat it. Works with most women. I've said too much. I'd best be offski.

R.H. said...

'Indomitable spirit' is a cliche.
But not in your case.

Andrew said...

You survive, and on your own. You have plenty of internet friends who you can switch on or off at your will and some real ones. You're doing ok.

Myst_72 said...

:( so sorry to read you are feeling this way, I hope things pick up for you soon,

((HUGS))

G
xx

Elisabeth said...

It sounds grim, this battle with life, an elderly mother and a gimpy knee.

There's not a lot you can do about it other than continue to write in your wonderful blog where others like us can empathise and commiserate and share some of the load, metaphorically speaking. My best wishes to you.

Fen said...

but the chocolate shell is a right bastard to break.

I'm sure the right people know how to break on through and get to the goodness that is on the inside.

Chin up, I think you're lovely.

Jayne said...

Hey chicky babe, you're not negative you've been carrying a load.
And remember - those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.

Kath Lockett said...

JahTeh, anyone reading this blog knows that your life guage is anything BUT empty.

As for parties, I'm right with you. I *hate* going to them and am now kind of grateful that being in my forties means that the invites are rarer: I'm much happier sitting around our dusty outdoor table having brunch or lunch with a few friends not wearing make up or shouting over the noise.

My wedding was 15 years ago and I'd be lucky if I see 4 of the 60 guests there and I've realise that that's not such a bad thing. I've changed, they've changed and other friends, colleagues and enemies have taken their place.

GET YOUR KNEE FIXED. And remind yourself that shredded curtains mean you have a happy cat and a mother whose complexion is better after your visit means that your skills should be bottled and sold. Okay?

JahTeh said...

Renae, it's not a big black dog of depression more like a fluffy grey yappy poodle with its teeth sunk into an ankle which makes it impossible to kick it in the gob with the other foot.

River, ARE YOU CRAZY? The hugging, yes but not the laundry, we'd be much too busy up at San Churro trying out all those goodies that Kath the chocolate goddess says we should an eyeing off the cute waiter.

I did not have one drink, MiLord and if you saw the drive I have to walk down to the cab, you'd know why. People like me who sensibly live at sea level get altitude sickness running up and down drives like this. I have to go down sideways like a crab, hanging on to tree branches like a monkey.

Robbert, indomitable spirit, that would be the Bombay and tonic I had when I got home.

Andrew, that is one of the great joys of my life, switching on internet friends and then meeting them in person except for Sedgwick who tends to hog the food and booze and you'd nick all the pretty bois.

Gina, I only have to read your blog to know that I have no problems at all except in my head and damn, there's just so much room in there for them to rattle around and annoy me.

Elisabeth, that's the worrying thing, the gimpy knee is pure titanium and shouldn't be sore. When they put in new knees they saw the top off the long bone and put a spike down it so whatever happens, it's not to the superior knee, it's all the inferior body bits around it.

Fen, the shell develops straight after the divorce when all your friends think you're after their husbands so they ditch you.
I mean I've just gotten rid of one piece of hopeless and I'm hardly going to take on their piece of hopeless.
I found that women think you'll take their husband but husbands think you'll encourage their wives to leave them.

Jayne, sis is having a colonoscopy next week so she'll know what a real pain in the arse is. (pardon my indelicacy but I'm loving it)

I tell you what Kath, we'll meet up and I'll sic my grey ball of fluff onto your black dog and let them fight it out.
By the way, the Chocolate Mill is advertising their Easter Eggs with chocolates but they'll only use PayPal which I don't have so it looks like San Churro truffles again. Oh woe is me, drool.

Middle Child said...

I know what you mean about the shell on the outside - the armour...am lucky as my two daughters are easily inside that armour - and a sister. For me the world seems saner inside... and when I am outside which is every day I prefer my own company - I think damage was done when Don was brutalised - and maybe you have been brutalised a fair bit emotionally - mum would say "It will all sort itself out in the wash" I sort of know what it means... I am not big on following up on "friends" apart from one - when we were 18 we could never imagine our lives at our age - but hey maybe in the next ten years it will all swing around...who knows what the plan is - take care okay