Are you sure you mean it?
I send another message to check that I am understanding the situation right. Once again I am told it is no bother, that I am no bother. I am wanted, I am welcome, and my company yesterday was greatly enjoyed. I am so busy feeling all the feels that I can’t help but smile as I hold my phone in my hand and stare at the words on the screen.
Aunty Cousin messaged me out of the blue this evening to tell me that the offer she had made yesterday (that I can go and stay with her and her family when my family go on their holiday, which I am being discouraged from going on thanks to the fact that my body is a poop) still stands. Yesterday I went along with it kind of sadly because I thought that she was just saying it to be nice; I expected her to be like the people I believed this year at uni that turned out to be flaky and tore me apart as their loyalty crumbled. And then, unprompted, Aunty Cousin sent a message saying how nice it had been to see us all and that I can go to stay with them anytime. So I checked over and over and over.
And eventually I realised that she wasn’t saying it to be nice, she was saying it because she meant it. She told me that other than the end of this week and some time in August (when they are on holiday) I can go and stay with them whenever I like. I’m not sure my mum was very impressed, but I’m 20 so she said I can go where I want when I want (erm. Not really while I live here, but hey). She warned me that Sidcup is a kind of boring London suburb, but I’ve been there many times and to be honest, I just want a break from this house, especially as my 16 year old nephew is moving in FOR TWO YEARS this weekend and my mum is already calling this “his house” and “his home” and “his room” etc. I mean, I love him to pieces and I just want him to be happy, but my little brother doesn’t want to know me when my nephew is around, and my parents have yet another perfectly healthy young person to compare me against. I’m majorly insecure, I don’t feel like I belong here and I feel that is about to be significantly magnified.
I tried to speak to my mum about how difficult I’m finding it to be in this house lately. I wasn’t rude or offensive, I just said that I missed feeling and being treated my age and that neither of those things seem to be possible in this house. Plus, my dad and I seem to be experiencing some friction at the moment – he is being all petty and super moody because so much of my stuff is currently in this house. He wants to take a bunch of stuff down the tip and to be honest I think a huge part of him would take me there if he could. It made me feel so awful this morning that I wrapped my pillow around my head and pulled the duvet cover over my head and just curled up on my bed for a few hours until the awful sinking feeling that pulled all of me into a great big pit of feeling out of place and unwanted lessened enough for me to get over myself. I couldn’t look at them the same after that. Both of my parents are tense with me at the moment. I don’t want me and my dad to go back to the way we were, I want out of here before that because honestly I can’t survive feeling the way it all made me feel again.
Through it all I messaged my fellow third wheel. He was at a hospital appointment in London about his chronic fatigue that was less than helpful, and had missed his train there so messaged me throughout the entire journey until he arrived late. He’d had a crappy morning. He loves dogs. I invited him round to hug my dog. He leapt at the chance. So in the afternoon he showed up, and he hugged the dog and we sat and just chilled and chatted and chatter. Before that, we spent most of his train ride home talking about chronic illnesses and invisible illnesses and how people are so judgemental and ignorant when it comes to the effect they can have on people. It was so nice to talk to a human that I can meet and hug and talk to person to person who… Gets it.
While he was here, I checked my university to find out (off-record and unofficially from the lecturer I emailed who doesn’t think she was meant to tell me) that they have found the missing 2/3 of the exam that I “failed” only to find out that I did, in her words “very well” and she said I had no reason to re-sit the exam but should double check as my grades still haven’t been upgraded on the system. She congratulated me and my parents asked me why I wasn’t angry over and over again. But what good would being angry do? It doesn’t matter where my paper went or who messed up, it doesn’t matter that I nearly dropped out and broke down and totally fell apart over the thought that I was so stupid as to have failed so badly… All that is in the past. All that matters to me is that I can move on from that now, why cling to it? I can be nothing but grateful, because it is all over, and I have passed my first year (by passing the required number of modules – 6 out of 8) before I even sit the two exams that I missed. I was happy and relieved and grateful. Nothing more. That’s where I differed from my parents this afternoon.
We talked about our day out on the boat, and he had also noticed that my dad did nothing but criticise me the entire time, and only spoke to put me down or tell me I was doing something wrong or attempt to humiliate me (genuinely, if we were at school, he’d be THE BIGGEST BULLY, and yet, people think he is THE NICEST GUY. He is. It’s me. I’m the problem. I really am). I freaked out at him a little about my hospital appointments tomorrow, one of which my mum is now adamant that she will be attending. Normally she stays well out of my health stuff, but suddenly she is INSISTENT upon crashing this appointment, and it is the one where I really wanted some alone time with the two members of my team who I will be talking to. He said I can message him through the entire thing, and later said that afterwards I can talk to him and learn how successful his attempt to start learning guitar tomorrow has been (he asked if we can meet up with out guitars so I can teach him to play, we decided that this needs to happen). He was also horrified that I’ve only just discovered Red Hot Chilli Peppers (and, may I add, FALLEN IN LOVE with their music).
After my fellow third wheel left, I slipped back into the feeling I had been overwhelmed by all morning. I felt out of place, I felt pushed out, I felt unwanted and like a huge bother. No matter what my mum may say from time to time, attitudes and actions speak louder than those words ever will, and I get the feeling that the guy I call Dad seriously wants me out of this house. I felt so tense, afraid to put a foot wrong, knowing that in his eyes I can do nothing but that right now, because I’m not a miracle worker.
Weirdly, my little brother somehow stopped playing video games long enough to watch tv with me, and we ended up wrestling each other, which started on the sofa and spread to the rug. I haven’t wrestled him for about three years, and at that point I’d been let home from hospital for the day. I was still strong, still lifted weights and ran laps around the outside of the hospital when they disconnected me from my IVs for half an hour every week or few (and ran up and down the corridors with a drip stand, or used it as a scooter, when I was tethered to IVs). I was still fit, basically. He was 10 then, much smaller than me and a complete weed. He’s now as tall as me, his voice is broken, he’s not so much hit puberty, more like broken through the other side of it, and this time he put up a fair fight. The whole aim of the fight was to hold the other person’s knee. It was pretty hilarious. We were in hysterics the entire time. He wasn’t afraid to break me (my parents most definitely haven’t told him about any of my health stuff, if they have he’s a heartless person who doesn’t care and feigns confusion when I accidentally mention a bit of it), he wasn’t afraid to be near me or to mess around and I loved his ignorance of my health. To him, I’m still me, I guess. He saw a person I lost a long time ago.
Edinburgh looks like it is not going to happen this summer, and that completely sucks but can’t be helped. I blew the plans the first time for my friend and I by being all unwell, and now she’s sort of triple booked for the weekend we were planning to try again, but these things happen, don’t they? She told me far enough in advance that I wasn’t any worse off and hadn’t booked anything, and is now being completely silly and trying to rearrange everything, which I’ve told her not to bother with (but like I said, she’s silly, and so she refused to listen). I genuinely don’t mind though. I would have minded if she’d left it until last minute and just expected me to get the message, but even then I wouldn’t have been annoyed. I don’t really do that. Not my style. I have an awful lot of MUCH BIGGER fish to fry. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve met (so stop feeling bad! Yes I’m talking to you and doing that second person address thing that you hate. You were so silly I had to so there! But your heart is pure gold and I more than appreciate your consideration and kindness).
I’m dreading tomorrow and I’m dreading being even less than the third best under 50 year old living thing in this house (out of the 2 humans and chocolate labrador that currently fit into this category), and I’m a bit disappointed by Edinburgh (although Edinburgh is overshadowed by much bigger issues in comparison to which it becomes highly insignificant)… But there were positives. I enjoyed the company of a good friend. i hugged my dog a lot. And when Aunty Cousin messaged me it became clear that when she said she cared and that she wanted me around and that I am always more than welcome because it would be nice to see more of me… She meant it. She actually meant it. She was being serious.
I’d tell tomorrow to bring it on, but it might take the challenge seriously and I DO NOT WANT THAT. I’m so worried about my second appointment that I’m already shaking at the thought of it. I will have a lot of nightmares tonight which will stop me sleeping even if I manage to calm down enough to sleep. PTSD is a dick. Just saying.
Anyway. No way but through. And to “The Alcohol Fridge” – I’m half way through a cider, and I’m not proud of it, but I know that alcohol is the only way I stand any chance of sleeping tonight. I am really not dealing well right now. I need to fix this. Soon. But first, I just need to get through the worst. I’m well enough (haha, totally not well, but no longer heading for an ICU at a hundred miles an hour and unable to stand, as I was for about a month and a half before this most recent admission – “When Health Hiccups Combine” – heart and other hiccups did not need to join forces and put me in a wheelchair. Not cool body, not cool)… Where was I? Oh yeah; I’m well enough that I am finally able to feel instead of just focussing on injecting IVs and using my scientific and medical knowledge to keep myself alive for a lot longer than should have been possible without the help of a hospital. And there are a lot of feelings. And the issues are finally sinking in and hitting home, all the cranes merging and hitting me at once.
Things at the moment are not fun in a health sense, they are serious and they would get to anybody, especially the added and constantly visible (literally) issue of my vision issues; but personally things aren’t great either. Being away from uni and independence is difficult, switching it for the attitude of my dad at the minute is even harder, and feeling like a kid again is not helping. I feel belittled and beaten down and my self esteem is lower than it has beef for a while (and here we go again, hiding behind the surface issues because I can’t even blog about what lies underneath. Good one brain, good one). Little things are pushing me over the edge and actually it is just because the big things are taking up all of the space and I can’t face them to kick them out of my mind. Like, when am I going to nearly die again? Because it is going to happen and we know it is. Will someone stop it this time? Will it take more than some of my left visual field? Will they lose me the next time they think they are watching me die? Will the next time be the last time? When will it be? I hate the waiting, I hate the not knowing, I hate the way it creeps up on me. And at the same time I’m so tired of doing this over and over that I wish the outcome of all of this, life or death, help or a decline into death… I wish it would just get here now. And I don’t ever stop to think that, but I wonder if it just goes on in the background, because every now and then it bursts to the surface for a moment and catches me off guard.
But I have it easy, I know. My brain makes a big deal of stuff that shouldn’t be a big deal and I write out my feelings about everything, which is just my opinion, and therefore probably wrong. So I said it many times before and I will say it again…
There’s no way but through.
This will be ok. And I will get over myself and get a grip. I promise – and unlike most of humanity, I don’t break those unless I’m laid up in a hospital dying, and even then I’ll give it a pretty good shot at doing whatever I said I would or being wherever I said I would be (hmmm, I do not like this side of myself, I have no idea where this attitude has suddenly sprung from, but I am open and honest on this blog so I won’t hide it. I can only apologise).
Edit (about two minutes after I posted this originally) :
Ohhhhh. I think I’m ever so slightly drunk. That’s where hideously blunt and honest me came from. Well that makes a lot of sense. And explains why I feel a bit… Drunk. This was not intentional. I’ve only had one cider. I forgot that my capacity for alcohol is currently that of a mouse. Ok I’m going now, I’m actually going.
No way but sober.