Today was a hard day.
My vulnerability was set in motion by my husband’s debatable driving skills and the way he believes that planting the car in the middle of the road blocking other traffic is less of a nuisance to said traffic than moving an inch somewhere else and parking for five seconds. After five years of comments overheard from the other mothers at my daughters’ school, I was so happy to not have them here, where everyone is so nice… Today I had the pleasure to hear the first slightly annoyed comment from a mum at my daughter’s new school. She had to explain to her daughter why they had to park in that awkward place (our fault). Anyway, that rattled me of course.
Yesterday I had started the process of going through the Deposit Scheme to try and get at least some of our deposit back from Cambridge, and of course that wasn’t pleasant. My ex-landlord’s not-so-veiled accusations of me lying about stuff and his choice of replacing some extremely expensive brand new windows and asking us to pay for them did not put me in a good mood. However as we drove to my husband’s work he said leave it to me to write to him first, see what he wants to do, otherwise yes, we will go through an intermediary. I was the calm one and I was being objective and reminding him of the practical things to say, all the while breathing and ensuring I didn’t lose my cool. We all know where losing my cool leads to and I really dislike it.
As he dropped himself off at his office he once again decided that even with all the free parking places in front of the building, the best course of action was to plop the car in the middle of the road – again. Something about those parking places being numbered. I attempted to say I’d free them up in mere seconds but no, there the car was plopped.
He went to his work, I moved to his side, adjusted the seat in a fluster, people waiting to cross the road, people waiting to pass with their car, fluster fluster eventually I took off. At the next turn I very nearly accelerated full blast into a van’s back. I drove very carefully after that. I had every intention of stopping and trying to cool down but there was no further place to stop, it was all forbidden and then motorway. I drove carefully, I calmed myself down. And this was were I’d already taken my B12 and my Propranolol.
Then, the day. I made a mistake see? The internet was even more terrible than usual as my husband’s computer was downloading an important backup, so I took advantage to work on my novel editing. I was pleased with myself, and in a nice mood. I had asked my husband not to copy me on his email to our ex-landlord. I made the mistake of catching up on some blogs. The first impression was wow, so much talent, I felt shame to have missed it. My first instinct was to go back to when I stopped reading and read them all. But it was too much, and so much intense stuff. I thought: I’d better not. So I looked for one article in particular and then just the first few in my reader: it was a good idea to remove some blogs so that there were less authors in the reader. Nevertheless, in those few, there were too many things spoken about that I shouldn’t have read in my vulnerable state. And as I say this I have a surge of frustration and anger: I am no bloody weakling, I am not a wimp, what the hell.
This is the birthday card my dear friend C. gave me:
I mean, she said she liked to think that was me surrounded by my friends. It was a lovely thought and I know she thinks I’m cool, but it’s beyond me. My friends drop off me like dead flies, and I think of the ones that remain as “how soon before I lose them/hurt them?”. She is the one working in an important place in the government, whereas I can pat myself on the back if I manage to go to any one place besides my daughter’s school and come back all right. How am I cool?
As I drove back all these thoughts converged, I had to change the station because of some song and ended up on Classic FM. I love Classical music but it stimulates me too much, so normally I avoid it. This time I let it go, and as I listened to Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony I passed the big wind turbines by the M1, which I adore, the scenery just so majestic and beautiful, the sun, the fall colours, the music… tears surged and I thought ah well, it’s “feeling sorry for myself time”. Then I thought sorry for what! Sorry for what!? Nothing, nothing to be sorry for, stop! Thoughts of my friend… sweep them away, stop them.
Got home, as I mentioned work on book, then read blogs., I shouldn’t have. I read a beautiful post, I wanted to reblog it but for the life of me I couldn’t find out how. It was this one, please read it:
It’s important to read it, but I was in no condition to remember what it was like, a single mum with my two boys. Then another blogger speaks of her other blog, dedicated to domestic abuse. Again, no need, really, no, how do I deal with that? I don’t think about it. It took me years and years to stop thinking about it, to be free of it. And here it was, nobody’s fault, these horrors back in my life. The internet and the blogging world in particular is a tricky place: so much help, so much potential stabbing. You just never know what it is best to do. It isn’t safe, and then it’s the place where you feel surrounded by like people. Thoughts and thoughts, about blogs, bloggers, about past, about future, about people.
Try and dismiss them, carry on working, take cats to vet. Cat, because one has vanished, again. She knows, that one, she knows it’s vet time. Anyway go to vet, with daughter and just the one cat, after daughter’s school. Vet is very handsome, tall, dark, with a Spanish accent, and that is totally irrelevant but it cheers me up no less. I am a sucker for beauty. Yes, I go weak in the presence of beauty, yes, there goes that earworm, sorry.
Anyhow, come home, chase a mouse my son saw. Very soon after get in car again, go get husband. Careful with the cars on the motorway. Get husband. Be short with him about his attempt to create panic in me concerning mouse. I am thinking of solutions but not panicking. I grew up in countries where a spider could kill you, or you’d wake up with a snake over your head, I am not too bothered about a mouse with two cats in the house, but I do take it seriously, by all means, let’s get more cats! I joke (half joke) he is not happy, I say what the fuck do you want from me? Do you want me to panic!? Would that make you happy?? I am sorry, but I don’t tell him I am. I feel rotten. I feel like a bad person.
Silence, but he kindly offers to go with me to get my dog’s pack of food from Sainsbury’s. We speak again. He is talking about something else, but incidentally says how his boss, who is really cool, told him today “you’re a genius”. I am happy for him, made up. My husband IS a genius, he’s bloody good at his job. I said how happy I was for him, then that stabbing pain in my shoulder came back, and the drenching pain in my chest, and I thought how cool it must be to be told “well done” at a job. At any job. How good it felt even in my stupid little job at Specsavers. Ah shit there it goes again. All I get is authors wanting my English to sound like their Italian, and not paying me. The thoughts want to start, the spiral: I could have been so much more…. I stop them. I know better. I’ve been good. That’s what I have to be proud of.
I could be struggling against suicide every other day. I could be a whole different person. Instead, I manage to be a mum who loves her kids and animals and tries to be loving with her husband whom she loves but nowhere near as demonstrative as he’d deserve. He says we should get you all checked up, you do seem to often be under the weather. I explain most pains are just due to the hypermobility/joint laxity. The rest are associated with my emotions, they will go. I don’t need a doctor for that. In my mind I say: I know, I’m a bloody disappointment: not what you thought you’d get. I am so sorry. You deserve so much better.
I have amazing wonderful friends until something happens and I destroy that, that’s the excitement: how soon will I ruin it all?
But I don’t. Today was a bad day, tomorrow won’t be as bad, and I will feel silly for feeling like this at all. That, is my achievement.