A brief re-cap of certain things, just to get started.
My Mother got diagnosed with Terminal Cancer almost exactly 2 years ago. On learning this my Dad went into a frenzy and decided to re-decorate the house. Something he’d procrastinated about since 1993. When Mum died, 6 months later, she had spent her last weeks in a shitty hell hole of builders. She got to see 2 rooms an a hall painted. 2 years on, we have… 2 rooms and a hall painted. The rooms have shelves. One, the ‘Book Room’- a bed room converted to a library/tv relaxation room, is completely finished – curtains, sofabed – everything. The ‘living room’ is not. It’s curtains lie waiting to be put up, and brown paper covers the windows. We also need to get a sofa. Though he nagged me about getting the curtains, and made me very ill during that time, my Dad has been glacial about putting them up. But he has destroyed another room. I spent my Lent clearing out the smallest bedroom that had been used for 9 years as the Ultimate Storage Space, just so my Dad could go in and take the paper down etc. because that kinda thing makes him feel useful. So I’m living in a dump. A dump where you think you can put a line under something, but then a 72 year old arsehole decides to do his own thing without telling you, but thinking you’ll magically know what he’s going to do, and wants to do.
I am not well because of this. I’ve had a year or more of stress and my body is now trying to give up. It started with an increase of depression and suicidal thoughts – not getting out of bed, not eating – my hair started falling out, skin went to pot. It gained pain from my clearing and moving so much stuff in such a short time. The pain was compounded by my trying to do other things to make me happy – gardening. Now my guts have gone. I don’t have a gallbladder. I have IBS and also I’ve had pancreatitis. My stomach area is very sensitive. I do go days without eating properly because I’m too tired to cook. I’ll eat cereal. I have constant constipation and I do get really random diarrhea. Last week I spent a lot of time feeling very sore and very ‘ill’ – headachy, not wanting to eat. I really fucked myself up on Saturday night by over-doing my calligraphy homework and staying up until 6am in a weird state of agitation, which happens when I get a second wind. Sunday I felt like something tried to kill me and went back to bed. Monday: calligraphy, Tuesday: exhaustion and pain from calligraphy – stayed in bed. Wednesday: Shit, have to return something to a shop in central London – I can’t afford not to. And I seem to have diahoerrhea too. Ok. Take pills. Get home from a particularly fucked up journey (lots of extra walking, lots of stairs up and down, and for the first time, I got on the wrong train on the Central Line that I’ve been using for almost 30 years). Cook, eat, feel sick, get the shakes and sweats. Try to vomit. Have shower. Fuck. Gut ache. The gut ache (cramps) started at 1am, and is still going. I’ve farted and pooed and taken all the pills, but now my stomach feels like a prize-fighter went to town on it. My heart rate is up and I feel groggy and just wrong. I’ve also broken out in cysts – I have cystic acne. It had calmed down, but the recent stress has just fucked everything up. One side of my mouth is just a big, plague like sore.
And the worst thing is, there’s nothing I can do about it.
I spoke to my therapist about my Dad and she said 2 things ‘You’ve got to take control and make boundaries’ and ‘Can you move out?’. My Dad doesn’t understand boundaries, and at heart believes he’s doing me a massive favour by letting me stay in my family home rent free. For this favour I have to do what he wants – clearing rooms for example (his favourite phrase is ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ – he pays the bills so what he says, goes). Else he’ll get nasty. He’s always gotten nasty with me, as I’ve written before. He doesn’t do the same to my healthy, successful, older brother. Can I move out? I live on £125 per week. I’m lucky to have that. Super duper lucky. Living at home causes me stress – I’d be throwing myself out the window if I had to manage my own space. I can’t lift dustbin bag.
So I’m sitting here in my nightie, with a bealing crusty lump by my mouth, an aching gut, farting and running to the toilet trying to fix whatever my gut is up to, in a house that feels like an avalanche.