Yes I know, I hang my head in shame – I’ve neglected my regular readers. However I think I did hint that this might happen. Not a lot is happening in my life now so I’ve very little to tell you about.
My life has changed beyond all recognition in the last few months and I’m still not sure what my role is any more – but what I do know is that very little happens. I don’t have someone depending on me 24 hours a day; I don’t have anyone dictating the way my day pans out; I don’t have anyone to worry about or answer to; I don’t have carers and support workers in and out of my home 5 days of every week whether I want them or not; I don’t have to plan a trip to Morrisons like a military manoeuvre making sure everything is safe and sorted before I go; I get up when I want and go to bed when I want – and I can decide what I do and when for every minute in-between . . . . For the first time in my life I can be selfish and I can be me – but at the moment I’m still trying to work out what I am and what I want. It’s a painful and confusing process - the way I am dealing with it is to take this time to heal, after all the crap life has thrown at me over the years I can’t just suddenly become a different person – I need to rest and recover – a bit like convalescence after major surgery (oh how we all laughed on here at the lack of that after Sally Stoma - I’ve got oodles of it now) I don’t know if I’ll ever find me or my new role in life – maybe its too late and I’ll just tootle along with my faithful dog, getting through each day with no purpose and no real achievement.
A friend asked me this week how I fill my day and I couldn’t really tell her. They are full of doing nothing, I faff around, I sometimes have an afternoon nap to compensate for the hours I spend reading in the small hours of the morning when I can’t sleep. Sometimes I get a burst of energy and sort out another file of paperwork, or full cupboard – but that’s almost done now. I’ve even sorted out the loft – Pete’s den for over 20 years. Thankfully I’m quite ruthless and paid a man to help me – so it was fairly pain free and I’m now left with a pile to sell, a pile to give away and a pile to think about - I’ll get round to them the next time I have one of those much longed for bursts of energy.
I sometimes feel sad, lonely, bored, isolated . . . . nothing new there, long time Carers are all too familiar with those emotions. I am totally aware of all the stages of grieving and I’m not concerned about any of them – I think I’m doing well. Maybe unlike other new Widows I have the extra emotion of mourning what might have been if I had had a ‘normal’ marriage – but I’ve been doing that for years anyway.
This has turned out to be an indulgent blog – which is fine by me, I feel I have the right to be selfish, I’ve earned it many times over. Also, writing a blog can be very cathartic – again part of the healing process. My blogs are often sparked by others and part of my reason for writing this today came from another phone call from a friend – as usual, they asked politely how I was, but I wonder if they really want to know the truth – do they pick up on any ‘subtle’ hints I put into my reply that might indicate all is not well, and would I want them to? Do they tell me about all the bad things going on in their life to try and reassure me that its not just me who is having a tough time, or is it a kind of defence – daring me to tell them my troubles because there’s are a lot worse than mine. I kind of wish they wouldn’t bother asking, because I know they neither want nor need my problems. Its just a ritual that we go through.
Pete told me shortly after he knew he was dying that he wasn’t worried about me – he knew I would be alright. Obviously I will be alright, I looked after 2 people for years, whilst running the home, holding down various jobs and supporting assorted family members along the way - looking after myself is dead easy, but its certainly not the life I would choose . . . .