We are staying with the parents at the moment, Mum had her hip surgery last week and Dads Alzheimers is progressing rather rapidly at the moment so sadly he’s just not capable of looking after her anymore and really he relies heavily on her in general.
Mum is doing really well, she has minimal pain and seems to be healing well, the trouble is she’s on crutches and Dad has a really bad hand tremor and arthritis so carrying things from A to B is hard and Mum isn’t allowed to bend very far because of the surgery and Dad cant because he isn’t steady enough and he now gets extremely frustrated and has angry outbursts when he cant do things.
So they need me to help them with quite a few things and take them to and from places as Mum can’t drive for 6 weeks and Dad really shouldn’t drive anymore but due to a bearocratic oversight hasn’t had his licence officially pulled yet (this will be quietly discussed with his Dr before I take him to his next appointment) and so he still thinks its ok because he legally can – which is becoming tricky.
The goal is to get Mum as independent as possible as soon as possible while i can still be here as back up because I have to think about my own home and the 4 kids, pets, depressed husband I have temporarily abandoned and am also trying to figure out the logistics of closing down a business and job hunt simultaneously and did I mention the random trigger of unexpectedly having to deal with one of the sexual abuse perpetrators from my past? I might have several people living in my head but sadly we cant physically seperate and do different tasks simultaneously (God that would be handy right now!)
My parents are also… um…. sorry, I’m trying to think of a nice word for “hoarders”. That word isn’t really accurate as they certainly aren’t find your way through the stacks of newspapers and old bandaids style of hoarder, more of the kind Marie Kondo would help out, its just a LOT of STUFF and also a pile of canned goods that Doomsday Preppers would be impressed by.
Now lot’s of people have lots of stuff, and that is fine – if it makes them happy. However “The Junk” is a source of anxiety for my mother, it’s become too overwhelming and frankly now that they are getting older and having health problems, I deem it a safety hazard and it’s time for them to hire a skip and let me help them make some big decisions about what they actually need.
So a big goal of mine was to sort out the two spare rooms, my mothers wardrobe and the kitchen and pantry which are all overflowing and everything inside is completely inaccessible – this isn’t helped by the fact that Dad forgets he has things and buys more of them and Mum cant find or get to things she already has amongst the junk and buys more also.
I have started with the food situation, I wanted to get the multiple large storage tubs which were filled with mostly canned goods, soup mixes etc out of the spare room and condense all food stuffs to strictly the kitchen and spares into the large cupboard in the adjoining laundry so they could actually see everything and access it easily.
This was a tougher feat than I expected, there was just SO MUCH of it. For example, over 50 cans of tuna. The response to my comments on this were “but we like tuna”. I explained that its fine to like tuna but these cans had been inaccessible to them for well over two years and had been slowly building in that room prior to that time, I threw away and entire wheelie bin full of canned goods that were several years past their expiry dates (going back to used by 2004!)
This is Mt Continental: (and then I found another couple of bags full after this pic was taken)
Now once again, it’s great that you like soup, it’s great that you want to have flavour options available, HOWEVER… nobody needs 47 packets of Italian Ministroni, I am pretty sure that the shop doesn’t even have that many on display on their shelves!
So I didn’t take a before photo of the laundry cupboard was just full of junk randomly stuffed in and hiding expired and exploded cans of baked beans (around 32 expired back in 2007).
They didn’t want to me to throw stuff out of course so I filled it up neatly and in used by date order, oldest to the front. This is a work in progress photo as I need to fit more things in here and will pop down to Ikea tomorrow for some suitable storage solutions.
(Mum has since said that she is willing to donate some of the canned good
Tackling the four wardrobes and a chest of drawers full of my mums clothes and shoes will probably be one of the hardest things, after moving all that food out of the “spare” room I managed to weave a path to the wardrobe in the back which had not been opened since roughly 2010.
I have at least managed to get mum to agree to donate those clothes, but only because they are 3 sizes too big for her! I am not even going to attempt to talk to her about her books, she could basically start her own thrift shop/ library at this point!
I should go to sleep, its 1am and I have a chest cold and a lot to do tomorrow.
Do you collect “junk” or are you more of a minimalist?
Do you have any tips for reducing the clutter? Let me know in the comments!
(From 27th March 2019)
I miss writing here, my soul aches for it’s powerful release and yet I can barely bring myself to stare at that blank page for more than a moment while the curser blinks on, mocking me.
It’s not that I have nothing to say, you all know me well enough by now to realise I could talk the hind leg off a donkey, but it feels like I’m being sidelined by an invisible force field as I try to gather enough courage to simply vomit out my relentless thoughts without somehow being hurt in the process.
The rejection I feel is apparently still too raw for me to handle writing, reading or socialising and I’m left to quietly stew in a mixture of tainted self betrayal that simmers on behind the scenes while I hide behind a convenient mask of ‘busyness’.
Life goes on around me in fits, starts and backwards circles as it always has. I fall seamlessly in and out of consciousness as weeks and months pass by then BAM!
Flashbacks hit again like stray bullets filled with molten shame and I find myself emotionally bleeding out on the floor.
There are different causes for it all of course, we each hold different keys to our unique Pandora’s box of shame but it always ultimately comes back to some undeniable un-live-withable knowledge that we are ultimately unacceptable.
But we’re not okay with living like that anymore, we want it to change, we want to fix it.
Stuffs been going on, never a dull moment around here, big stuff, small stuff, sad stuff, weird stuff. I know we wrote about some of it. It’s apparently April in a few days, but the year’s escaped me already. That familiar chill of winter has set in, days are shorter and fog clouds the hills as it does my mind yet still the earth keeps turning.
We dyed our blonde hair a dark red/black combination a while ago, we did it for those insiders that see themselves as brunette and have felt less than heard for a long time, perhaps a life time.
– this photo is of V just after leaving the hairdresser, she was so incredibly happy to finally see her own reflection in a mirror!
This secret vision quest for authenticity has taken us down a rocky, winding, less travelled road we honestly never saw coming. God there’s a whole lotta potholes in it too but at least I can finally believe we’re heading vaguely in the right direction.
The moon was beautiful today, full and large, visible in the morning sky. I must have taken 50 photos on the way in to work this morning trying to capture its beauty, but alas, *travelling at 100km an hour down a highway through a dirty windscreen, my iPhone camera just couldn’t do it justice.
I thought about how incredible it is that all over the planet we see different sunrises, different trees and different tides and yet we are all still here, alone and together at the same time, under one moon.
*No, I wasn’t driving.
So I’m having to write a whole lot of “sorry we can’t take on your job after all” letters to people at the moment, people like you.
I know I’m keeping it pretty vague, things like “due to unforeseen circumstances” and “we apologise”. Although I am aware that many of you simply wont understand. Please don’t worry if you have a job with us that has already begun, those ones will be finished, you will not be left out of pocket, however you may have to be a little patient with us right now.
I can’t write the truth of what’s happening here because life doesn’t work like that, I mean how do you adequately explain to someone why you are going to close down your business even though it’s financially viable, even though there is high demand for your work in the area?
I can speak about how difficult it is to get staff, that’s certainly true, but I can’t explain that mental illness happens in it’s own time, that sometimes trying to get over this next hurdle is too damn hard after your life has seemingly been one hurdle after the other after the other with no chance to catch your breath. If it were cancer and not a mental health crisis, nobody would mind at all and that saddens me.
My husband has held me up through a million downs, he has been the safety net, the bread winner and no matter how crazy things have gotten he has stood by us all. Now he’s hurting, he’s on his last straw and its fraying more and more by the minute. I don’t know how to be strong for him when we are also crumbling.
How is he supposed to tell his father who is about to return from overseas after leaving to look after an elderly relative who was in a terrible accident that the business he ran for 25years and that we took over from him a year ago will now have to close. I need him to be okay for another few weeks, enough to finish this work we have started but I don’t know if that is possible.
All of our staff have left or are leaving, my husband has only had one day off in months, he’s burnt out, he’s depressed and now he’s feeling suicidal and I don’t know what to say to him to help, of all the people in the world I should know what to say but I don’t, because I don’t want to be alive either. But we have to be, for our children.
He can’t take time off right now because we have so many jobs that are so close to being finished, so close to being able to invoice and if we don’t get paid for them within a week we won’t be able to pay for fuel to drive to work, let alone the mortgage.
I don’t know where to get money to pay bills and wages and all the other expenses that come with running a business when other customers have not paid their overdue invoices and there is no money left in the bank account. We are unable to get credit cards or loans because the business is only 12months old and so on paper we have no jobs, the business cant have a loan because we have to close it.
I don’t know how to make the food at home in the pantry stretch even longer or how to tell the children that we wont be able to afford to go to see the new Toy Story movie this holidays after all.
I know I need to get a new job as soon as possible, but it’s hard for someone like me to find work at the best of times particularly during school holidays and while trying to close a business with as little fall out as possible.
So, dear customers, due to unexpected family circumstances we will be unable to do your jobs for you after all, I apologise for the inconvenience and I wish you all the best with your renovation journeys.
As the sun broke through painted skies the chill of winters dawn sent icy shivers coursing down our spine. Once again we knew that the world would change for us tomorrow, if it would be a little or a lot, it still remained to be seen but we knew that everything would be looked at through a new lens of ‘what if’s’, ‘but’s’ and maybe’s. Everything that surrounded this event should probably be making us all excited and hopeful yet somehow we felt like the weight of the earth was upon us.
Different shades of excitement, grief and fear, the obligation of living up to exceptions we didn’t know or understand is not something we are strangers too but it never stops hurting. Then there was the underlying question of how and why on earth this was happening at all.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to real people. Yet it was happening to us.
Maybe we could accept one bizarre thing in a lifetime or even two, but not the countless incidence of unusual and trying experiences, over and over and over again. It isn’t possible. We wrote a book about all the crazy things that had happened to us years ago and it already sounded like a work of fiction at that time and now there have been a million more ridiculous oddities occur. It doesn’t make sense.
So. Many. things. It never ends. The wonderful and exciting, the horrific and downright frightening then of course the everyday boring. We all share a body, I can almost accept that now, and we all experience the world in different ways, that too I can grasp when scientifically repeated to me with enough evidence, but damn if it doesn’t feel like every possible unique and crazy experience that may have come to us should we have been born individually has just been thrown at us anyway. It’s too much.
It can’t be real. We cannot be real. It doesn’t make sense. I cannot be real. None of this can possibly be real, why do they try to convince me otherwise, why do they try to involve me in more and more bullshit? Haven’t they had their fun? I don’t want to play this game anymore, I don’t want to be burdened by having to try and live in and understand what can only logically be an imagined reality.
We did the thing, it was yesterday now, there were TV camera’s and questions and so much emotional exposure I was not ready for nor able to take. It’s not really even our story, or mine, it’s my fathers, but they wanted me there and I suppose I wanted to be there in some ways too. I wanted to understand more, to listen, to find out about these strangers across the world who’s blood runs through our veins.
But when they spoke of such nurturing, love and authenticity from the 98yr old grandmother we’d never get to meet a cacophony of feelings avalanched and it was too hard, too much.
Sometimes sharing a body is a good thing, sometimes it means you can just leave and nobody has to know you ever went, it means someone without the emotional investment can take your place and smile and nod and say all the right things and act all the right ways so you can stay hidden and cry without being seen. I’m grateful for that.
I’m so sick of this, sick of myself, sick of being sick. I can’t live this way.
Going to have to take a break for a bit, this old rose don’t smell so sweet anymore.
Love all of you.
Time passes as the daylight finally gives up on trying to peek beyond the tightly pulled curtains and disappears below the horizon for another day.
Wind howls outside and it seems nothing is still but the shattered beat of our broken heart as we lay wet cheeked in the comforting swathes of our old blankets and unwashed sheets.
It’s been week of all too familiar goodbyes as one by one it seemed everything was being taken from us, but like it always seems to do, life goes on around us as though they were unimportant or as if they had never existed at all. It has always intrigued and saddened me just how quickly experiences and entire lives become nothing but a vague memory as they silently fade into that fluid mosaic of time.
It’s for our survival, perhaps.
Chaos had reigned supreme here for just a minute, a home that was bursting at the seams already but also bursting with love, was suddenly set to take another into the fold.
S was with us again, it was to be for a few weeks officially until they found her a place in residential care, but we knew we wouldn’t ever let that happen- she could stay with us, while questions of ‘how would we cope’ were to be put off until another day; we would make it work, somehow, but she absolutely wasn’t going there.
Then the other morning we woke up and discovered after nearly a decade of never having a problem a Fox (or several) had come under the cover of night, found a patch of rusted wire we didn’t know about and taken all of our ducks, our 9yr old Rooster (although he was rather unpleasant) my gorgeous powder puff silkie chickens and left us with just one very lonely, very traumatised hen.
It was devastating.
Later that day we returned from work to find our beautiful hand reared parrot Rosie had passed away too – for no apparent reason what so ever, she was only young, perfectly healthy and had been absolutely fine that morning.
And then just like that it was suddenly over for our time with S too.
The need to ‘fix it all’ was suddenly gone, they’d found her a real placement, a family, this tale had suddenly ended and with what should by all means be considered a perfect happily ever after.
Now normalcy would return for our home, hopefully a newfound sense of stability for S and yet instead of the joy we should have felt, only the emptiness found us.
We wanted to be the ones to fix it, my parts and I, we wanted to to help her, protect her, prevent any more bad things from ever happening to her and while we acknowledge that deep down it is perhaps in fact about saving a former self that nobody else was there for, we feel as though now we’ve lost something so very precious and irreplaceable to us.
We sheltered ourselves from the heartache of the week as best we could, as we always do.
We had only buried our dead a few days ago and now once again we were forced to swallow our tears as we waved goodbye again this morning, this time to S, a reflection of the self we couldn’t save and a wonderful child whom we have so much hope for, we prayed to the God we don’t believe in that perhaps this time, finally, someone will weather the storms born from her traumas and hold her hand through these treacherous years of life and onto a path of love and stability.
We said our farewells in our own ways as we always have, some as though grieving for a lost friend and some as if reading out the news, but always outwardly stoic, our tears may only be permitted to flow when silent and hidden. We told S she’s always welcome to visit with us and that we were so very proud of her.
Then the car drove away and the phone rang, the emails came in and the world kept on turning anyway. The minutes had turned to hours and time had begun to blend already, now I fear that the days weeks and months will once again evaporate before us as they always seem to and all of these precious moments and experiences will be lost like so many others have.
As the sun sets on this day, I hope so much that one day we will be able to remember more than we forget.
MentalBooks. MentalMovies. MentalLife.
Here to inspire and motivate you all!
Mental Health Blogs
Thrills, Spills, and just a dash of Romance
we are not alone
It's named what it's named because it does what it does. And it does what it does because it's named what it's named!
Deep Down Inside...
the secrets we wish we could tell you...
obsessively suicidal, compulsively blogging
I used to drink and now I don't
A Hub where we discuss Psychiatry and everything mental health related!
A BLOG ABOUT BEING PAINFULLY HUMAN
Struggling with mental health, I was sat on a psych ward and inspired to start my very own blog! So here we are, welcome to life’s in the eyes of lauren where I’ll be tackling difficult topics and sharing my personal experiences, mainly focusing on mental health but also social services, the care system, living away from my biological family, school struggles and just life in general! i am writing to help poeple, if that means ive helped one person, ive achieved my goal. I hope you enjoy reading, Good Vibes Only xoxo