It’s funny; I’m surrounded by the accoutrements of a life I used to have. Back at my parents, in a room I last permanently occupied over 5 years ago; different yet still the same. Reminders of my first set of years at university, the gramophone my parents gave me around my 15th(?) Birthday (reminders there of the absence from my memory of a lot of my past). My sisters pirate, my first tv (Casio TV-430!), my papier mache fish (“Git Fish”),bits from my first computer, photos…..
The tallboy which has adorned my bedroom for as long as I can remember, changing from pink to green to match the decor (although the ‘matching’ draws went through several other colour variations; orange and brown, I think). A few random objects, left behind in the hassle of moving either because they were old, or didn’t fit the space I had (the gramophone is a particularly hard thing to not have around, because it’s one of my favourite objects).
Despite their presence, and the fact that I occupied this room intermittently for more than 2 years it doesn’t really feel like my room. I never stamped my existence on it the way I did on the house in Hemel. My posters never wrecked the paint here, and though my TV set and film collection was built up living in this place (with no TV signal), my first job commuted to from here, my first romance flourished in this place (sort of, it’s called artistic licence, or something ;-) ) I just feel disconnected from it.
My life isn’t here anymore. In fact, I don’t think it ever really was. My parents moved here when I was not here (literally, I was at Uni at the time, doing resits, packed my stuff in one house and came home to another). I never settled here, I know no-one in this forsaken little village, and largely this place is a place of sadness.
At the moment, as I sit alone with the fan-heater I repaired in my teens, attempting to drag the temperature of this room from freezing to comfortable (so I can sleep a well deserved nights sleep) I can’t help but remember the depression, the loneliness, the separation from my friends, the fear that was contained in my life at that time. I can’t help but think of last year, and the hope, arriving with the girl I thought I’d be spending my life with; a girl who I split up with shortly afterwards. I feel a kind of weary melancholy washing over me.
I guess I am tired, and it’s the end of a year I’ve barely felt. This year has just been continuous panic, stress, disaster….. I’ve never had a chance to pause and take stock. Placement at university, At university, my ex-s job stress, splitting with my ex, losing the house and the life I truly believed in, the bike breaking down, working for the summer so I could enjoy the fruits of my labour – tools and the stuff to keep my beloved Morris Minor on the road – not for me the niceties of holidays abroad. Although I did by myself a digital camera I guess.
I think that despite the fact that I can’t look back on 2004 as being a successful year; I’ve got through it, and I’m in a better place now than when I entered it. I’m a more well adjusted individual. Which is handy.
Because my dad is ill again. I’m scared that this is the last year I’ll have with my parents (plural); hence me being here for 5 days. Normally 5 days with my parents would drive me to the brink of sanity. I’ve brought with me the L Word (series 1), Kill Bill 1 and 2, Plunkett and Maclean, and goodness knows what else. A small pile of music CDs, my CD player, my laptop (hence this), my work (Anatomy and Physiology for lazy tarts, anyone?).
See, I’m avoiding the topic of my dad. That’s normal. That’s a healthy, normal reaction. My dad’s sick. He’s not eating. He’s been sick today. He may have an obstruction in his gi tract. He may be going to die this xmas. He’s not well. He’s in pain. He’s in pain all the time, but it’s worse now. He’s tired. He’s tired all the time, but it’s worse now. I can’t find it in myself to be scared. Not scared. Upset, very upset, if I look inside myself. I just can’t let it out. It won’t be controlled if I let it out now it’ll all come out in a big rush and I don’t want my mum to have to help me as well as him.
I need to be here for her, do the little jobs around the house (stick up some tiles, help with cooking and cleaning, fix the windchime), the crappy little jobs I can do to help. I need to do them. That way I can *do* them, and she can get on with coping and helping my dad.
I feel the fear, just below the surface, clawing at me. Waiting. The pool of sadness I’ve talked about with my counsellor; the rejection, the darkness pulling. Waiting. It isn’t going to get me, not this time. I’ve been here before. I’ve fought this before. It’s easy for me to be pulled into a low melancholy (I’ve not been depressed, not like I used to be, although having chatted about depression some, it seems likely that it probably has hit low-grade depression during this year).
Music is the key, for me, at least it is sometimes. Sometimes. A cover of Come On Eileen, I can’t remember who it’s by, being a compilation by me it just says “CD #5” on it. Which is unhelpful. It helps though, the music that is, not the name of the CD. Although it reminds me of Uni, and having a big group of friends, and of the things that go with that; it also makes me feel better.
I know this festival of winter is going to be harder than any that I can think of before. Harder than coming out, harder than….anything. But it’s going to be okay. Or I’ll be okay. I’m always okay, at the end of it all. Sometimes it’s hard to get from here to there. But I’ll get there. And I’ll be there at the end of it, looking back, whinging, and wishing I’d been a ‘better’ person in some obscure way, bitching at myself.
I want my dad to see me qualify. I want me to qualify well, and I want him to see. I want him to know that I’m okay, and when I qualify he’ll know I’ll be okay. I’ve got a job I love and then I’ll have the qualifications that’ll allow me to go where I want to. I will be okay, of course I’ll be okay. I’m always okay. I want him to see me be okay though, and I hope he can be there for that.