16 August 2007

Limbo but dancing

Two kinds of limbo - the one I put this blog (and a lot of my blog friendships) into - sorry; and the one I find myself still in.

The second limbo is important because its a numbness - a divine, protective hand on my soul, or clinical disassociation, you choose. Maybe its just that so much shit has hit the fan that there are no clean bits left to stress about.

What I mean is that I am in a cool state - I am recording facts here and do not want pity. I think I would even resent pity. You may, by all means, say things like "Fucking Hell!" but the first person to say 'aww poor you' completely loses my respect. Deal?

My mum has been in hospital. She is mostly back out again, by which I mean minus a few substantial elements and still seen by nurses twice a day. Lets just say she mentioned a "damn annoying tummy upset I've had ever since Christmas" for around three months, until she was rushed into hospital where it turned out to be burst diverticulitis and ' a litre and a half of pus' as my more sensationalist, 'Roger Ramjet' little brother put it, over the phone, in his best 'deep and earnest' voice.

I think, actually, that a lot of the vocal emphasis was unspoken triumph (or disgust) of the 'our elderly mum is in intensive care and you're not even here' kind. But that could just be my personal angst-of-the-time speaking, so ignore that.

Have I mentioned all this already? Can't tell. Numb. Anyway, by the looks, everyone in our regular little blog circle has a parent who is sick or worse, so mine is just another one. It just means I haven't had the words for them so have kept very quiet when people are in need, and ended up looking either uncaring or disinterested.

So, what else? Lots of boring stuff. Lots. Issues with Son's special needs statement. Issues with Bigson having the screaming ab-dabs and throwing packets of cheese at me through the kitchen door catflap before clearing off - not a call for 6 months. Its OK, his sister is in touch. He lives.

Bigdaughter is planning to move, to where my mum is, so all three generations will be out of my reach except for special trips- mum, daughter, granddaughter.

Lets not even TOUCH the 'how come its not me going' thing. I can't. I've got one kid being educated under a statement of special needs and a husband whose career doesn't move like that. So I am stuck. I know I am stuck because my mother told me I was, before she then decided not to even ask me. Do not push the button marked 'sidelined and overlooked again' - that one has issues attached and they are little buggers. It starts to quiver painfully if you even look at it. I need to drown the wee beasties, I know - root them out and exorcise and mourn them one by one, but that will take time I don't have yet. For now I have to be happy that she is seemingly convinced I have a life and responsibilities, and possibly even importance. Hey ho.

Ok I am figuring you are all safely gone or asleep now, so here comes the brunt.

Seven months of council workmen doing a 'three week job'. Three sink units. Four complete kitchen surfaces. Gutters replaced when they didn't need replacing by badly fitted replacements that leaked and had to be replaced.

Bath replaced by wobbly plastic thing that buckles and is waiting....... to be replaced. Why the one item that could make me feel half human has to wait until everything else is finished, for months and months and months, is so far beyond me I lost the strength to ask. Its funny what you can get used to. I am clean, and probably a lot more flexible than I might have been. I shall go on stage, as the only 'contortionist with large leotard and small pink flannel'. I can see Simon Cowell's face right now. Oh yes, I feel all cheered up.

Back to the list : 'Complete redecoration' which amounted to stripping all my wallpaper off the walls room by room and replacing it with cheap, retail quality paint, involving us breathing polyfilla for weeks because the painters were too tight to splash for plaster, watching three five-week-old kittens dye a slow death due to paint fumes, watching their mother cry and cry for them and eventually dig up the corpses, drag them back indoors and try to lick them back to life. Twice. Finding my best (only) full length wool coat shut in the hinge of the cupboard with a permanent stripe of gloss paint down the sleeve.

Where do you want to go with this - lets go to me shutting up. See, If I'd diarised it here I would have been such a WHINING BORE (case in point,) but for 27 weeks. The truth is, its all okay, which I know sounds weird, but its true. Sure its happening, and I get the occasional frog in the throat, but over all there's something whispering in the background that none of this matters, that its a rollercoaster ride, but one where you get off safely at the end. If someone would have cursed me into this, I'd be praying for them, because, hey; what a lot of energy to exert just to give me a year for the diary. Poor soul - makes me think of that poor squirrel in Ice Age the movie. Bless! Honestly!


To prove I have been blogging of sorts (well emailing from very close to the edge, but shit, same difference), here is my latest offering to the Council contractors who hired the subcontractors who hired the sub-subby "I'm jus' doin' what I was told and I don't know nuffink about that miss" workers who have messed up my home for the fun of it for the last seven months.

Holiday? I need a holiday? I'd settle for a weekend. Indoors, With no boxes and everything working. Yeah, right.

This isn't self pity, girls, honest, but it is empowering. Its like shuffling off the shackles of the 'oh-my-god-you-cant-tell-them-that monster. Hah! Die monster die! Yah, booh, sucks.


Dear Mr W

I don't know what it is about you that lets me feel heard, and feel free to express myself in less than formal terms. That's quite a therapeutic release, you know. Have you done counselling training or something? Do they pay you extra danger money for being their bomb-disposal expert/ lightning rod?

Once again, I wish I could do this by dialling out instead of committing to paper, and, in all seriousness, I imagine you wish I could address someone else - someone who is at least officially involved in this mess! Could I please have email addresses for your new boss and for young Mr D?

The point of this email:

I just had to put the phone down on young Mr D, because I began to not feel very well at all. Actually dealing with you helps a lot, because I really don't need to go all Mrs Bucket and start explaining my medical history to new strangers; that makes me feel so pompous and embarrassed.

I did apologise to him at the time, ("oops ever so sorry, have to put the phone down on you now" - bam - kind of apologise) but it all happened quite fast, so if you could repeat that for me, I'd be grateful.

He rang me to say the bath was in stock.

He rang me to say he hears the other workers are all finished here now and everything is lovely. I corrected him.

He rang me to say the bath will be fitted in the first week of September (just when my kids go back to school - didn't I just say I wouldn't get a proper wash until the youngest had started seniors....).

He said it couldn't happen sooner because his fitter was on holiday and he was off on holiday too and well, isn't it just that time of year, everybody's going, we've all got to have a break. He was being very chipper and cheerful, I think he was waiting for me to ask where.

I pointed out that neither I nor my children had had a day away from home since February, not even one in the half terms or end of terms or Bank Holidays or any of it; not even really on a weekend either, because we'd always had builders in, or mess to clear because they'd been in, or workers demanding a room be prepped so they could be in later, or saying they were going to be in and JUST NOT TURNING UP.

I was about to say how many job applications I had on the go that got ruined or lost or buried under 'they'll only be in there five minutes' carrier bags back in February and how pointless it had been to start more with the work still going on ( and on - always going to finish 'in the next few days'), and how we were now SO incredibly broke that the phone is nearly cut off because its a choice between paying that or buying youngest's new school uniform, and that listening to the people who had made my life a smelly, messy, humiliating flaming shambles for SEVEN MONTHS go on about popping off on holiday while I'm stuck in this disaster area with no privacy... well I was about to. But then I guess the beta blockers kicked in and I felt dizzy instead.

Any chance you could get people over 30 to phone me up? That'd be nice; just a teensy bit of dignity. Rhetorical.

So. Big oops. I fluffed, and now I don't know what date he said, and he doesn't know whether I agreed or not.

Can you PLEASE give me the address of the relevant complaints department, or details of the proper complaints procedure, so I know I've done everything possible when the unresolved items end up going further?

Still smiling (only because it beats making oneself feel ill) but in a glazed, odd sort of way...



ZBTzahBTzoo said...

Dear C,

You're addressing the wrong stooge. Moe is the stooge in charge. Problem is, you can't address him with words and expect results. You'll need to poke him in the eyes and clobber him over the head with a 2x4. Even after that, he'll do nothing right, so you might as well make him a pair of concrete shoes and dump him over the side.

Don't get caught.


Mr W

Cheryl said...

Adore you.

I am too chicken to do it. Do you want to have the honours? I could watch. I could take photos!

Steg said...

"figuring you are all safely gone or asleep" - oh ye of little faith!

Fucking Hell!

Right that's got that out of the way. Packets of cheese through catflap??

Clinical disassociation is a good term for it. When referring to myself and the way I can "stand back" from various travails, I tend to go with "callous, flint-hearted bastard" which is slightly less accurate.
That's not me calling you callous, by the by. It's a valiant attempt to express soldarity and empathy without veering too close to the whole "aww, poor you" thing you mentioned.

Damn, girl! There's never a dull moment, is there? A little tedium might be nice once in a while.

Cheryl said...

It was, apparently a Chinese curse; 'May you live in interesting times'.

There's callous, and there's calloused. Skin thickens faster if it was tender to start with.

Does that make us bunions?

No, you are quite right. I have lost the plot.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Well then, "fucking hell" it shall be. I'm a strong advocate of numb in times such as these. Keep numbing. Numbing is good. Ranting at Mr W is even better - makes one feel empowered - at the least, it lets off steam and is kinder than kicking the cat. Of course, you could just throw cheese at him.

Miss Cellania said...

Jeez, I was under the impression that you quit blogging. I'm glad I checked in, but damn I'm a bit blown away at what you've been through.

fineartist said...

Cheese through the cat door, well hell, sounds like home to me. You will laugh about that some day, maybe.

Kind of like the time AKA let me go out to my truck without my truck keys, knowing full well that I have broken both of the door handles off on the inside of my truck and have to turn it on with my keys to get the power windows to roll down so that I can reach my hand out and open the damned door.

Yeah, there I was in 100 degree weather locked inside my damned truck with no frapping keys, and that ass stood in the window smiling manically with my damned keys dangling from his evil paws, while I wriggled my big ass out the back window of that piece of shit truck. Wait, I'm still not laughing here...

Diverticulitis is pure hell, I'll be saying some Hail Mary's for you mom.

I don't know what else to say so I'll put a sock in this gob of mine....

Rachel said...

Fucking hell!

Respect to you for not losing it

Library Lady said...

(Sorry I'm late to the party, but it was a long August over here as well)

My muttered under the breath comment (usually for after I've dealt with a ridiculous patron) is usually "shitfuckmothergoddamn".
But then, I'm from the Bronx.

And I'm with Steg. I could do with some nice boring tranquility for a while....