I was talking to my daughter earlier in the week, she was doing one of her check-up on Mum calls, but, it left me with a thought, that made me realise just how cut off, I am, from the world. To be honest, realising that was actually quite a shocker for me. I am one of the few who actually watches the news channels. No, I don’t mean for half an hour twice a day to see what is happening, I watch it. The News has always been important to me, but when I became housebound, it became an important part of my day. The first two hours of every day, is nothing but News, an hour plus around lunch time, and another hour of so around tea time. If something major has happened, well it’s not unknown for me, to stay fixed to the News channel for most of the day. There is something about not being out there, that has made the outside world and what is happening in it, essential viewing. I don’t suppose that that is too surprising really, but even politics has ceased to be a turn-off. The one thing that hasn’t changed, is I hate with a passion, the so-called local news, note, I don’t even give it a capital letter, it doesn’t deserve one. But, I digress. My need to be up to date, to know the latest state of the world, has become one of my driving forces. This week, with the terrible terrorist attacks in both France and Mali, and the Russian airplane being brought down by an explosion last month, has more than doubled my viewing. Teressa said something to me that made me realise something, I’m not connected to the world at all.
She has been talking for a while now about the possibility of a new job, which at the moment although having been offered it, she hasn’t totally decided whether or not to take it. John and she, have lived in London ever since they arrived in the UK two years ago. This job would mean them leaving the capitol and moving to a part of the country where they would be able to fulfil a dream of theirs, to buy a home. As we spoke, she out of nowhere added a new reason to move, neither of them, feels safe in London any longer. A few years ago, I would have thought of that, less than ten minutes after the news of Paris had settled into my brain. It never entered my head. I came off the phone, feeling cold at my detached state. How had I become someone who thought no further than the place I am sat? That in reality, though, is just how it feels. Despite all my efforts, to know the world, and what is happening in it, I have not been seeing the bigger pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I have a huge amount of empathy, for all who have been injured or lost their lives, and I fully appreciate, the severity, and the snowball effect, of what is currently happening, but I am still isolated from it all. It is as though the walls that have been surrounding me for the last 8 years, have slowly been getting thicker and thicker. Teressa’s reminder that she, her husband, people I know and love, still face the dangers of life, even though I no longer do.
I don’t know when the walls started to get thicker, how my feeling of isolation, somehow meant, that everyone else was also in glorious isolation too. I have lived for so long inside my cocoon, that I had forgotten what it means to actually be outside it. We all measure the lives of others, using our own as our baseline. My baseline is so far from the norm, that my measurement of the world has become warped by it. I had forgotten what it feels like to walk down a road, one moment in the warmth of the sunshine, the next, inside a shadow so dense that it has turned the world cold, as my life, is now spent always in the sunshine. I have nothing to worry about outside of me. I am under no threat, from anything other than my own body, there are no shadows. I have no job to lose, no children to pacify, no meals to cook or shopping to do and no bills to pay that aren’t covered. I have no need to look over my shoulder, to question the footsteps behind me, no friends to disappoint and no enemies to plicate, none of the realities of life, touch me any longer. I don’t quite live in a gilded tower, more a gilded cage, where someone managed to slip the cover over when I wasn’t looking. Is it any wonder that no matter how much I have tried to stay in touch, that all I have actually done, is to constantly learn the events, but not their true and ultimate impact. Yes, the facts of life are important, but so are the emotions, there is a clear danger that I had missed. When you live looking outwards, but only feel inwards, the balance is gone.
Semi-isolation, is not, a normal state for a human to live in. I am sure that I would be one of those people that trainee psychologists would love to do a case study on. I can just hear them squealing in joy, as they sat down and started to draw up a framework of questions and area’s to explore. What impact do 8 years or seeing few others than just one person do to someone? How psychologically balanced can someone remain without the normal interactions and pressures of life? I can hear them because I, and Adam, have heard the other side. The total disbelief that I can possibly be happy, content and not drowning in depression. Clearly, there has to be an impact, things that I haven’t noted, felt or seen, there must be, it’s only logical. The more time that you spend by yourself, the more you do look inwards. It isn’t meant with any malice, but it can be hard at times to hold onto, that those faces on the TV screen are real people. People with lives, people with feeling, people just like I once was, part of a bigger more vibrant world. At times, they even slip for two-dimensional all the way down to one. I have no line of reference to them, now way of connecting, as not only does the outside world often look alien now, it also sounds and feels it. It’s hard when your part of it, to understand what I just said, but it’s a little like having been in a coma for 8 years, one where some information filtered through, but still the world went on without me. Fashions change, people came and went, even some building managed that one as well. Words have snuck into the language that once didn’t exist, the entire make up of this planet, has changed in that time, and all I have had to keep up with it, is my husband, my TV and my PC. A vast quantity of available knowledge, but always controlled by what I knew, when I was last out there. How I react to that world, has clearly been changed by it as well.
Analysing my own life, is sometimes hard when you look at yourself with anything other than a mirror, well what you see isn’t always as pretty as you would like. Mind you, that sometimes happens with a mirror as well. We all change over time, but those changes are influenced by what surrounds us. I’m changing, but my surroundings, circumstances and company are identical, not changed in any way in all that time. As time goes on, I am sure I will miss as many of those changes as I discover. The good thing about the ones you don’t like, you can always change them back, which my unchanging world actually should make it easier for me, than it is for others.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 21/11/2013 – The purpose of accountability
It has been a strange sort of week, TV isn’t helping by being filled with little else than one of my favourite TV programs ever, “Dr Who”. I always thought that it was one of those shows that you grow up with…..