The last few days have been such a jumbled mix of emotions. I’m not entirely sure I’ve processed them all yet. Staying with Friends RH and KH is brilliant because Friend KH does such a fabulous job of enabling total rest and relaxation. I have coffee, water and wine on tap, cooked meals, Pixar and Disney dvds plus 2 kiddies for cuddles. It’s like checking out of adulthood for a few days and becoming a child again. Child MH will never truly understand how happy she makes me and how much playing with her helps me.
Back to London and I was knackered so resorted to the tried and tested method of self-destruction: crisps, chocolate and a taxi just for fun. Nope, can’t afford it, yep I’m going to regret it but nope I’m going to do it anyway. Home safe and sound with the cats for cuddles I dose up on night meds and roll off to sleep. Only a couple more days until Wales. Therapist L had set me homework about what I need and want to say to Father and what I want this relationship to be. What do I need to do to help that? As rubbish as Father has been, and he’s pulled some pretty spectacular stunts, a relationship takes 2 and that means rolling the magnifying glass over my own behaviour. I’ve started jotting some thoughts down but the Friday therapy is going to be a toughie.
Friday is going to be hectic too, I’ve got therapy, then head to the hospital to collect my prescription (at least I’m finally trusted with a one month supply!), onwards to meet Friend MI for lunch, an Occupational Health call (that was meant to be yesterday; that I got really worked up about; that turned out they actually called Sister – next of kin – rather than me and she’s in Borneo!) all rounded off with a pot of tea and a slice of cake with Friend EM. I wake up and whilst dashing out the door, I get a text. It’s Father. Wales is off. Father has been re-admitted (don’t ask me, I didn’t even know he’d been in recently either!) to hospital and won’t be discharged until Saturday. Even after that he’s got to take it easy etc. so, Wales is off.
First thoughts… a sigh of relief. I wasn’t sure how to fill all those days with things to say. Relief is very rapidly replaced by worry. What’s wrong with Father? How do we have a relationship that means his own flesh and blood doesn’t know he’s got medical problems? Worry starts to boil over to frustration. Is Father lying to me? Has Step mum and he had an argument about us going so he’s relented and it’s off? (A very low blow but I can’t say confidently that he wouldn’t do this). I’m relieved I’ve got 50 minutes to talk this out with Therapist L.
What this highlights, whichever way you dissect this, is that Father doesn’t value our relationship enough to tell me he’s ill and I didn’t value our relationship to tell him I am ill either. I hid it from Mum to protect her. It didn’t cross my mind to tell Father. He didn’t even notice. That is how poor our communication is.
Therapist L and I talk about Father, Step Mum and my relationship a lot. Out of somewhere, I can’t exactly explain where, I word vomit out that I think I’m done. Done with Father, done with trying to give this a shot. Done with feeling such overwhelming shame and guilt about something that happened decades ago that’s led us to where we are now. I think I want to walk away from it all. Hearing myself say this is as much a surprise to me as it is to Therapist L. I mean, only 2 hours ago I still thought I was off to Wales in 48 hours to spend 5 days with him in the middle of nowhere. Now I’m sat in a room on Harley Street, watching the candle in the window flicker (no, that’s not some poetic way of explaining my feelings, there really is a candle in the window) feeling a sense of certainty combined with sickness that I think I’ve just dawned on the answer. You know what I mean? That sense when you realise and somewhat accept that something you really didn’t want to be true is, well, true.
Therapist L still has a slot free on Monday so, I book in now that I’m still going to be here. She’s concerned I’m not ok. So am I to some extent. I’ll figure something out though. I just don’t know what that is right at this very second. I leave and go collect my prescription. The therapy session has taken all the wind out of my lungs. I could curl up on the street and fall asleep if I don’t keep putting one foot in front of the other and two crutches. Then I head to my first physio appointment. I’m hot, sticky, tired and I’m in pain both in my head and in my ankle. What the physio failed to tell me is that they are in fact on the 3rd floor of a building without a working lift. Seriously? I mean, come on now, that’s ridiculous, right? I hobble up the stairs and walk into the reception in a very black mood. I think the receptionist sees the thunderous black cloud enter before I do. I sign in, wiping my brow (literally folks, I’m covered in a fine mist of sweat…) and complain that they could have warned me. It’s not her fault, I get that but, seriously guys, give me a break. I fill out their forms whilst still staring down the receptionist. Once seated, and whilst still mopping up the dripping sweat (I’m seriously unfit, the comfort eating is taking its toll and I’m scared to step on the scales), I notice all the West End Show names on different binders. Apparently, this really is a fantastic physio. Maybe I should reign in my projected anger a little. We get cracking 15 minutes late (I’m being tested here!!!) and it’s the most painful 30 minutes of foot and ankle rubbing I’ve ever experienced. Physio hurts. I’ve got an oedema (yes, I’ve just had to google it to work out what it is too) and so the first few sessions will be spent trying to relieve all the excess fluid. Maybe all this excess fluid is why I’m sweating so much recently?! Apparently not. Damn it. 30 minutes of agony later and with an oversized rubber band thingy, it’s time to go down the 3 floors. Going down stairs on crutches is harder than going up. The bum shuffle I’ve perfected at home doesn’t work so well when out in public.
Next up, lunch. This is, at least, a totally lovely part of the day. It’s sushi but even with that as a healthy option, I manage to eat my feelings. I stay where I am for the occupational health call. The usual person who I’ve been corresponding with is out of the office. I’ve got a new person. A man. I feel sick. It does cross my mind that the usual lady I speak to may well be out on stress leave. That would be somewhat ironic. I shouldn’t have worried. OH PW is very kind to me. I start to get quite stressed and teary as he mentions LTD… the three dreaded letters that stand for ‘Long Term Disability’. I.e. a 40% reduction in salary until I’m able to return to ‘normal duties’. There are a number of tests the firm will set me that I need to pass before I can consider coming back. These tests only kick in once my specialist says I’m ready. So basically, August 22nd isn’t looking likely. I can’t afford to pay off my debt at this current rate with a drop in my salary. I’m scared as I don’t know my employment rights either, if I take LTD, can I still come back? Do I still have a job? What are these ‘tests’ I need to pass? I bring up the fact I’m on crutches with two ligaments in multiple pieces. This complicates matters apparently and so they’ll next speak to me when I know if my ankle needs surgery or not. Seriously, why me?! Why does this shit all seem to topple on top of me?! (I’ll put the little violins of ‘woe is me’ away now, sorry).
I head home and at least I’ve got tea and cake to look forward to. Friend EM makes it even better than just tea and cake, she comes bearing pink bubbles and cheese straws. A winning combination and enough to make me smile.
Glittering Cat Stationary! Yay. I bought this ages ago and it’s my current notepad for writing down ‘Today I feel…’