There is one future aspect of my health, that has me worried almost from the day I was told what was wrong with me. Being stuck unable to do anything. No, I’m not talking about locked in syndrome, although that scares the hell out of me as well, what I am talking about is far less extreme but just as sinister, in a very different way. I know without a doubt that I mentioned several times, that I used to be like the proverbial blue bottle, totally unable to sit still and do nothing. I couldn’t even just sit and watch TV, even if it was a program I totally loved, I had to be doing something else as well. Housework, knitting, sewing, even reading a book, in fact, I can remember watching the TV, knitting a fayre isle jumper and reading a book all at once. Yes, I did manage with ease to keep up with all three. My idea of hell was being anywhere that required me to be just sat still without distraction. For example, having to go to the cinema, the whole idea that I would have to just sit there, silent, and doing nothing, felt like being told I was going to enter hell. When they stopped us from smoking, well that was the final straw and I’ve never been to the movies since.
It has been many years since my hands and eyesight have been up to doing anything like needlepoint or beadwork, my wedding dress, was the last item I even managed to complete anything. I can remember years ago making a pile of unfinished projects and binning the lot. I had no choice, I had to learn to just sit, to be as content as possible, just watching. At first, I didn’t know what to do with myself. For a couple of years, housework took over, as my energy levels started to fail, I started cleaning silver, crystal, and ornaments. It’s amazing how many intricate things there are in a home, that you can sit on a settee and clean. I had grown so used to not allowing myself a moment to think, that life was turned into a constant battle, of fidgeting, going to find things to clean and even visits to the loo. It took me a long time to just feel comfortable sitting. Often I would sit up here at my computer instead, something I did more and more as I grew weaker. Adam and I were spending more and more time, separated by my computer, it had to change and I had to start weening myself off activity into just sitting. I can now manage up to about 3 hours per day, but I couldn’t for the life of me sit doing nothing, for any longer than that, anymore, and I start to climb the walls.
The problem isn’t just that I get bored, which I clearly quite often do, it is my mind that scares me and it does it with ease. To me, one of the greatest blessing of my health in the past few years is the fact that I put my head on the pillow and I sleep. I don’t lie there searching for sleep, it just happens. I used to have work myself into exhaustion, into being so tired that there wasn’t the slightest chance, that my brain could do its thing, it maddening trips into the past. If that meant I only had 5 hours sleep, well that was the way it was, going to sleep had to be instant and I had to make sure that it was. Occasionally, I will lie these days during the afternoon, resting but not actually sleeping, but it is actually really hard work, as I have to deal with the rubbish in my mind. Just as I find when I am sat stuck in front of the TV, my mind will head off by itself into places that I just don’t want to go. I hoped at one point when I was truly aware of things being missing, of memories being gone, that with luck, the parts of my life I have been running from, since childhood onwards, would go to, but they haven’t. It appears that was just wishful thinking, nearly all the things that I had hoped would go, are still very much there and just as vivid as I remember them ever being. I suppose, though, when you replay anything often enough, it’s imprinted deeper and bolder.
Over my years of writing, I have given full details of some events and hinted at others, and right now, I have no desire to fill in the blanks, it’s enough to say, that they’re still there. Why is it that the horrors of life, the arguments, the beatings, the pain, the mental and physical abuse, the agonies of life and death, don’t vanish, in the same way as the happiness and smiling do? When you’re busy, when you’re asleep, they are all under control, there is a wall that holds them back, under control, just where they should be, in the past. To date, those times when sleep won’t come have always been the danger time, the time where they take great joy in reminding me, that their power has been diminished, but not removed. Just occasionally, they do slip in when I’m wide awake, appearing when least wanted. All it can take is a familiar sounding voice, a face that is familiar, but not quite right, a scene that is too close for comfort, but right now, I have the tools to pack them away. But what will happen when yours sat, or lying, nothing to do because there is nothing you can do, or when sleep is hours away, no distraction, no escape, what then? When all the tools you’ve been taught or discovered are no longer the weapons you can rely upon, when they too, have become misty memories, memories not equal to the ghouls of the past, what happens then?
Before someone suggests that I should seek therapy, well I’ve been there. The first, might have been ill-advised, as dealing with one abuser, while living with another, wasn’t exactly the perfect recipe for success. It wasn’t as though I had a choice, my head exploded and I was left just a shadow of myself, so disconnected from reality, that hospital was the only safe place for me. It took two years of weekly sessions to pack away the past safely, but I was still battling with the then now. Time rolled on and more help was sought and given, without which I don’t believe that I could be the togeather person that I am. Healing never ends and is never truly completed. Again, documented in earlier posts I spoke of how I forgave, how I found a peace I didn’t expect. I couldn’t have forgiven, and meant it fully, if I hadn’t taken myself through it over, and over, finding my own route out. Yet, forgiving still isn’t forgetting. Forgiving. doesn’t break the fear or the pain, it simply allows you to see it for what it is, the past, unable to hurt you physically, ever again. The fear of my safety is long gone, the reality of the specters power is just that, a ghost, but still they haunt, they hang around waiting, looking for an in, searching for their chance, to remind you. It doesn’t matter how many times you relate the story, as that’s all they are now, stories, like the best novels, their true power is in the mind.
For now, well I can still keep myself busy, I can sit here writing, being part of the world. I am still able to block anything I don’t want to be part of, but I also know my future. I remember years ago, going with an ex-boyfriend to visit a relative in a care home. There was this old man sat in a chair and every now and then, he would raise his arms as though holding a gun, and start shouting. I didn’t need to be told where he was or what he was seeing, his face told the entire story. We all have our own personal wars, some of us fight them once, others fight them forever. Memory isn’t names or faces, it isn’t knowing what you went into the kitchen for. Memory is our lives, we can’t choose what stays and what goes, but you can be sure, those monsters that burnt their way into our very soul, they don’t go anywhere, they just wait. So what happens when those three hours have ticked past, when the clock is silent and unheard and I’m, or you, are alone, just sitting?
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 10/12/2013 – Pushed out and unwanted
December the 10th and I have just eaten a Mince Pie, well I needed something after ASDA’S delivery of my shopping! I unfortunately, seem to have bad luck recently with the person delivering our food…..