Category Archives: Bad sad things

I read, much of the night, and go south in winter.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

There have been, eh, delays? Roadblocks? Oafs? in the house-hunting plans. My mother, who is being excellent about the whole thing, is going to share the mortgage with me, but to do so she needs to sort out her financials, which she can’t do because a Third Party is being a dithering twatweasel. We email each other links to listings of possible flats, and she complains about the lack of second bedroom and I complain about the state of the bathroom and that’s about the extent of it.

So H and I are still sharing a flat.

This flat has been my home for 10 years now. Why, yes, Gentle Reader, I feel conflicted. I feel conflicted as hell. Run! Stay! Run! Home! Stay! Run! Run! Run!

I bitterly resent having to leave, having to live on my own, having to do all this by myself without my favourite human at my side. I bitterly resent it. The only thing worse than leaving H and being alone is staying with him, frankly.

That’s not to say H is being appalling. He continues being considerate and polite and relatively easy to share a space with. He always was a good room-mate, mind. He’s just being bloody there, and, of course, because I am nothing if not totally irrational, when he goes away I feel unpleasantly lonely.

(He’s away right now, spending the Easter week with his family. Whereas I am spending Passover eating bitterness, salt tears, and chocolate. My People are Giving Me A Look.)

I went to a large family wedding recently, and spent not nearly as long as I feared but rather more than I wished fending off relations who wanted to know where H was and why H wasn’t… But they weren’t as bad as the Pregnant Cousins Regiment and their cooing and twittering parents. Oy vey, the cooing and twittering, and didn’t I want to hear all about [cousin]‘s every twinge, burp and sickie? About as much as I want to repeatedly slam my favourite hand in a waffle-iron, thank you, and please excuse me, I have a lavatory door to stare at until I’m sure everyone is talking to someone else.

(Bloody stupid conversation with one relation who was all ‘oh, when were you in hospital? Oh, in the summer? Oh, yes, I did know that! Your mother said… um. You were really ill, weren’t you? And you lost the baby. Oh. Um. Oh. Yes, I did know that. Um.’

Well fucking quite).

And the wedding vows – oh, Gentle Readers, I made wedding vows. H made wedding vows. People are so bravely foolish, so foolishly brave, to stand up in front of everyone they know and say ‘you. You forever. You and only you, above all things and people’. What if only one of them means it? What if neither of them mean it? What if they actually mean ‘you can’t hold me to this if it stops being fun or easy’?

So I cried. I wonder how many people crying at weddings are doing so because their broken heart is aching under the strain.

I am suffering from absolute burn-out. Dear internets, it’s not you, it’s me, but if you and your loved ones are all alive and not in hospital and no one’s spouse is running away with all their money and a random guitarist with hepatitis, I have nothing comforting or kind to say. Not because you don’t deserve every comfort and kindness, you really do. You really do. I’m just utterly out of both and running on petrol fumes of decent behaviour and I will only let you down if you ask me for them. So let’s not put us in that position, eh? And one day I’ll actually have had a week where someone actually puts me and my needs first for longer than it takes a kettle to boil and I’ll’ve basically refuelled. And then I will sympathise with your colicky baby issues. Poor you. Poor baby.


Two minute silence

If things hadn’t taken so many turns for the shittier, 6AA would’ve been born this week.


A sad

I had grand plans to spend the evening cooking and doing laundry. Instead, I spent it eating cheese on toast and watching TV in a weepy heap.

I miss H. It’s horrible. I loved him so much.

I loved him enough to bundle away my writery ambitions and get a proper job, so he didn’t have to feel conflicted about supporting me, and so we could save money – he always wanted a house of his own (neither of us were to know the housing market would go batshit insane. Heigh ho). I didn’t care so much about property, but I couldn’t in all conscience base my plans for lentil-eating garret-dwelling poeting on his earning power. I had to contribute. I got a proper job. (Thank fuck I did [Irony Claxon]).

And then we tried for babies. I swear, I would never have kept on trying so long so hard if H hadn’t been adamant that he also wanted children. Yes, I wanted children very much, I really did, or I wouldn’t’ve gone along with it all. But I wanted my child to have what I never had – a father. A real one, who stayed, and who would do nappies and 3am sheet-changes and colic and maths homework and who would love them and love me and put us first. Unlike my own father. Unlike my step-father.

I thought H was doing what I was doing. Putting us first. Putting our future child, should we finally have one, first. Putting me, if not first, then at least up there with ‘important’ and ‘beloved’.

And he didn’t. Maybe he couldn’t. But then he should’ve told me he couldn’t love me like that before agreeing to marry me. He should’ve told me when he first found he was carrying Velociraptor eggs home in his pocket. He should’ve trusted me. Instead, he took advantage of the fact I trusted him.

I am being unbelievably fucking petty at the moment, because H is slowly getting round to telling his family and close friends about Divorce Because Velociraptors, and they are being supportive of him. Of course they should be, he’s family, and he is clearly very depressed and fucked-up and needs all the support he can get. But – I told you this was petty – my family are all about the ‘you’ll be fine, May! You’re brave and strong and resilient and this will be the making of you!’. While worrying that H will be having a ghastly time.

What about my ghastly time, you bastards? H asked to have a ghastly time, literally asked, taking foolish risks as he did. I did not ask. I felt I’d already had a ghastly time, thank you, quite sufficient for the time being. My baby died. For the tenth time in a row. I nearly died. That was ghastly. Being caught arsing about with Velociraptors is not actually in the same league. And yet I am ‘resilient and fine and fine and this is the best thing ever for me’ and poor H is having a ‘ghastly time’ and needs people to stand by him. The innocent and righteously indignant victim is never as knee-jerk attractive and sympathetic as the repentant sad-eyed kicked-puppy bad boy.

At least no one has said I ought to stand by him. Because fuck that noise.


Scenes from the beginning of the end of a marriage

May and H, sitting side-by-side in the living-room, watching the ice-dancing at Sochi, gleefully discussing the relative merits of sequins, frills, and little black gloves in costuming. H has just made May a cup of tea. Anyone would think they were going to eventually die aged respectively 87 and 88, holding hands in bed. 30 minutes earlier, May was shrieking ‘A Velociraptor, for fuck’s sake! In my house! In my house!’ while H sat with his head in his hands and wept.

May, at the end of her evening commute, standing outside the house in the dark, looking up at the stars, longing to go home, for minute after minute, because there is no home anymore.

H, weeping after finally telling his parents about the impending divorce, and May, automatically, unthinkingly, putting her arms around him.

‘I’ll have the Claudia Roden cook books and the Elizabeth David ones.’
‘What about the Madhur Jaffrey ones?’
‘One of them’s yours. I gave it to you.’ Pause ‘You can totally have the Complete Potato book as well.’
‘OK, what about Nigel Slater?’
‘I’ll arm-wrestle you for him.’

H is watching The Voice while May cooks dinner, and May dances about the kitchen area, singing along, suddenly happy. Suddenly actually happy. About what? Foolish woman.

May is sitting in the lavatories at work, stifling her sobs in case someone comes in and kindly asks who is that sobbing in the cubicle? And can she come out so we can have a wee now?

H is troubled. He’ll be seeing some of his family face-to-face, and doesn’t really want to tell them about the true nature of the Velociraptor, for verily, no one likes a Velociraptor-owner. ‘Don’t tell them then,’ says May.
‘But they’ll ask, and I don’t like lying to them.’
‘But you had no problem at all with lying to me for four fucking years?’
May storms into the kitchen and starts rage-making coffee. H follows her, looking pathetic, to apologise. ‘Look,’ says May, depressing the cafetière plunger, ‘Just tell them it’s too painful to talk about. And then if they push it, they’re the ones being awful.’ H looks relieved, both because of the advice, and because May hasn’t hit him with the kettle.

May spends a few minutes spitefully hoping H’s family do winkle it out of him, and the whole episode ruins lunch, before roping in Bitter McTwisted and setting her to googling divorce blogs.

May goes to brunch with a good friend, but has cried so often she just sort of sits there like a waxwork while her friend’s eyes fill with tears on the reciting of the Tale of the Incipient Divorcening. In any group of friends there is one who, hopefully only for a few months at a time, takes on the role of That One To Whom All The Shit Happens. For now, this friend is May. May drinks entirely too much coffee and talks energetically about Shakespeare instead.

H makes a couple of pitiful attempts at blaming the Velociraptor on the miscarriages. ‘I always thought I’d’ve been able to get rid of it if we’d had a living child…’ he begins, before May erupts in a painfully ugly fury. Because May herself wasn’t worth remaining dinosaur-free for? Now H is channelling Henry VIII? The fuck? A few days later, H uses the unwise phrase ‘well, you weren’t entirely to blame…’ and comes within a whisker of having his entire wardrobe left out in the middle of the road.

May goes back to googling properties within commuting distance of her place of work. Shamelessly, in the middle of the living-room, where H can see her.


The Paradise of Fools

So I am living in limbo right now.

I think, I think, with my mother’s help and my savings, I will be able to get a mortgage on a very small flat. My mother, however, is smack in the middle of an insanely large (and gloriously insane) project right now and is communicating mostly 48-hourly text messages saying, basically, ‘thinking of you, speak to you when Project Insanity is over’. I don’t want to start flat-hunting until I know exactly what I can afford. I call this ‘being quite sensible’, but my sense of what is sensible has taken such a smacking it has demagnetised and occasionally points to the Faroe Islands.

The Velociraptor is, I suppose you could say, in a cage in the middle of the kitchen. It’s no longer chewing holes in the marriage/floor joists, but every time I have another quick peek at the damage, I find something else shredded, sagging off its hinges, or barely held together with duct tape and white-wash. And the cage is taking up rather a lot of room. And it’s still in my house.

The thing is, at least one of us is stuck here until the end of May, as that’s how long the lease is for. H and I are being very adult, civilized, and polite to each other. And, vitally, there are two bedrooms, and H is now sleeping in the other one. Technically, I could stay here until the lease runs out. It’s not horrible. It’s just miserable.

It is so miserable. I already miss H so much. Well, I miss the person I thought H was. As I was coming out of the station this evening on my way home, I bumped into H going the other way (he had a thing to go to), and my poor stupid Golden Retriever of a heart leapt up with happiness – it’s my favourite human! There he is! My human! – and I actually trotted over to him, smiling and pleased, to say hi. And put my hand on his arm, and had him smile back at me. And walked home leaking tears because he wasn’t my human after all and I was going to have to leave him soon.

I loved him so.

My H, who brought me tea every morning we woke up in the same building. Who gave me Doctor Who DVDs for birthdays and Christmas. Who would empty and wash out washing-up basins for me when I was vomiting uncontrollably every stupid month. Who would run me a bath if I was tired and cranky of an evening. Who would text me at work to let me know if the trains were running late. Who took on most of the housework uncomplainingly when my chronic pain and constant miscarriages turned me into a sofa-dwelling slug for weeks and weeks on end. My H, my kind, sweet, affectionate H.

And all the time, he had this catastrophic secret.

Back in, I think, November? H and I had an ugly fight, in which, eventually, I broke down in tears and asked him why he had said so few nice things to me since the miscarriage/DVT/PE debacle? He always used to be verbally affectionate, saying he loved me or that I looked cute in that dress or some such lovely remark every few days. And this had stopped but completely. (In fact, the first time I brought it up, a few weeks earlier, the next day H stopped in the middle of the pavement, cupped my face in his hand, gazed upon me with a faint smile for some seconds, and said, I quote, ‘these last couple of years have really aged you.’ Holy fuck, H, what the hell?). Anyway, we had a row, and I, having ranted at length at how yes I did mind his never saying he loved me any more, asked him why he’d stopped? And he answered, very irritably, ‘It’s never a good time.’

There, that there, should have been the enormous great screaming claxon of THIS RELATIONSHIP IS APPROACHING THE DEATH ZONE.

But instead we were hunting for a counsellor and planning an FET (an FET, incidentally, I should be right in the middle of right now this minute) and I was starting to feel optimistic that maybe this would be OK (the marriage, that is, not the FET, because I was not utterly lost to the pink clouds of delusion).

And then I found out about the Velociraptor.


Back she crawls

Hey, Gentle Readers. How are you all? And look, I’m still alive!

Item – Yes, I have gone for a good old gloomy-pants new look around here. Things are suddenly and to my intense disgust very different, and this is the bloggy equivalent of cutting most of my hair off and dyeing the remains Emotional Midnight Ink.

Item – No, there have been no further shocking revelations about my health. It remains as it ever did – endometriosis, PCOS, adenomysosis, allergic to bloody everything.

Item – Actually, it’s the marriage. Which you, dear kind readers, have watched me occasionally vapour and kvetch about right here on this very blog – the communication issues, the sex (lack of) issues, the not-being-on-the-same-page-hang-on-is-this-the-same-book? issues. It turns out you can’t be even so much as in the same library when one person is hiding a rather important thing from the other. And I found out.

Item – Other things I found out these past twelve days:

  • Fainting from shock is actually a real thing that really happens (being me, I of course politely waited until I was all on my own before fainting from shock, and had to get back up again to make my own hot sweet tea. Which I am still irrationally pissed off about).
  • You can miss a person horribly even when they’re sitting the other side of the room from you, eating popcorn and glumly watching the Olympics.
  • You will actually say ‘please don’t speak to me right now or I will hit you with a chair’ and actually, sincerely mean it as a polite warning made out of concern for the other’s health and wellbeing.
  • There are such things as Deal-Breakers. That will break even 20 years of love and 17 years of cohabitation and 9 years of marriage. And will break them all with a clean, hard, irretrievable snap. And the pain will come closer to killing you than even pulmonary embolisms and RPL.
  • That property prices in Britain are fucking insane and I will be forced to mortgage my every living relative for a cupboard with a chemical toilet in the corner.
  • That it will be my cupboard. That I long for it now with the power of a thousand suns.

I can see you, Gentle Readers, practically bouncing on your seats in your eagerness to type ‘but what the hell happened? What did you do? What did H do? WHAT? WHAT?’ And I am going to cheerfully piss you all off by not telling. H, as furious as I am with him, as shattered as my heart is, nevertheless deserves both his privacy and the right to tell his story his way, should he ever want to tell his story.

The night after I Made My Discovery, I dreamt I was painting the walls of our home, but the plaster kept flaking off to reveal what looked like grey-blue dinosaur hide (I don’t have an unconscious. It’s all Captain Obvious in there). So let’s just say H was keeping a velociraptor under the bed, even though I hate velociraptors, am scared of them, and have always said things like ‘Oh, we don’t have velociraptors! We’re not velociraptor people, are we, H?’ and H would say ‘What? Oh, yes. Quite. No velociraptors. May doesn’t care for them.’

And then the velociraptor burst out and bit my leg off.

So, you traitor, you really believed you’d keep
this a secret, this great outrage? Steal away
in silence from my shores? Can nothing hold you back?
Not our love? Not the pledge once sealed with our right hands?
Not even the thought of Dido doomed to a cruel death?

Virgil’s Aeneid, Book IV, translated by Robert Fagles

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19807#sthash.DPtFK5vF.dpuf

You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!

Donal Óg, translated by Lady Gregory.

- See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19457#sthash.RJd5MWfD.dpuf


The end

Gentle Readers, a bad thing has happened. There will be no more attempts to make a baby. I know this is a deeply unsatisfactory ending to the saga, but it will have to do, as I really cannot talk about the bad thing.

I am disabling comments because being repeatedly emailed your commiserations, speculations, cri-du-cœur and requests for an EXPLANATION, damn it! would be more than I can bear. Even though I know you care so very much and are only worried sick. I am so sorry. I just can’t.

I love you all, and wish you every good and beautiful thing in the world, and peace and love and true happiness. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I am more sorry than you can ever know at how this is all ending.


Plan, wait, J? Are we at J now?

Today, H and I went back to the Riverside Clinic, to see about setting up a Frozen Embryo Transfer for Frosticle.

I felt very calm about this. And sensible. And calm. Right up until I was sitting in the waiting room. All those hopeful people, with their brave blank faces.

(Oh, God, and the woman with the toddler – obviously, there was nowhere else for toddler to be while mama got one with making his sibling. Obviously. No one is so fucking oblivious as to take a toddler to a fertility clinic unless they have to, right? Right. Still. And nevertheless. I actually read The Times therefore. I dislike The Times. I am a raging leftie and I don’t give a TUPPENNY DAMN about celebrity affairs and cellulite. But I read it, because I’d forgotten a book and I didn’t want to look at the toddler).

And then Dr George called us into his office and we discussed the FET at length, while he flicked repeatedly through all the letters from my various haematologists.

Plan, therefore:

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins with folic acid again. Also, take 75mg of aspirin a day for entire duration of shenanigans, starting about now.
  2. Even though I am on Cerazette, I am having regular, if extremely light (spotting, basically) bleeds, about once a month or so. Satsuma is definitely refusing to be suppressed. Irrepressible ovary. I’d say bless, but there were all the times I wanted her to ovulate and she sodding well wouldn’t for months. Anyway, as soon as the next bleed starts, stop taking Cerazette, and call the clinic to arrange a scan.
  3. Start taking Synarel. (We have a bottle of Buserelin in the fridge, left over. Is this the same thing? Or not? Are the dosages different? Should I just shut up being clever and get a bottle of Synarel?).
  4. Between Days 2 and 4, get first of many many scans.
  5. Start taking Progynova tablets (this is oestrogen, yes? Yes. I’ve checked. It is). THEREFORE AND IMPORTANTLY, also start taking TWO (2. Two. TWO) needlefuls a day of Fragmin, so the extra oestrogen doesn’t promptly turn my blood to porridge.
  6. Steroids again.
  7. When Cute Ute’s lining looks good and plumptious, stop taking oestrogen and start ramming progesterone bullets up my various private orifices instead.
  8. Hang on, when do I stop taking the Synarel? *scrabbles through notes, to no purpose*.
  9. Intralipids.
  10. On day seven of the progesterone, thaw out Frosticle and pop it back in.
  11. HOPE LIKE HELL.

You will note no mention of Metformin. Dr George thinks it’s mostly for improving egg quality, really, and not necessary for a FET, and while I know the views on this in the States are vastly different, I personally am pleased, because Metformin makes me feel really disgruntled, and every single time I have taken it I have put weight ON. Yes, ON. I am pretty sure I am one of the minority of people who finds it screws their metabolism up even more, rather than sort it out.

You will also notice we are doing the same old same old protocol – intralipids and steroids and Fragmin – with the addition of aspirin. We are not doing IVIG. We all considered it, but my NK cells, while elevated, are not sky-high, and back in July 2012 while we were being Thoroughly Poked by Dr Expensive, we found that Intralipids alone massively reduced their activity (no idea why H is burbling about IVIG in that post – we didn’t have any results indicating IVIG testing had been done (everything about Dr Expensive’s testing and briefing regarding the tests was confusing and off-pissing, by the way. Everything. Which is why we quit him)).

There are no good theories as to why 6AA died. The higher dose of low molecular weight heparin mentioned above is for me, not Frosticle, and Dr George doesn’t think I could’ve clotted 6AA to death. Though the aspirin is for us both, given The Professor’s recommendation years ago that I take aspirin when pregnant. The steroids and intralipids are definitely all Frosticle’s, as are the cooter-bullets, because ew. We had those bases covered. So, 6AA may have had the right number of chromosomes, and yet still have had DNA of gibberish and codswallop. Maybe all my embryos do. H and I have both been karyotyped and we are both normal (no translocations, balanced or otherwise), but that doesn’t guarantee one or both of us doesn’t have a spontaneous fuck up in the gamete-making process that doesn’t show as a miscount in the chromosomes. And I am 38. My eggs are crappier than those of a 28-year-old and that is Mother Nature for you, the stone-hearted bitch. And it could’ve been just ‘one of those things’. We know so very, very little about conception and early embryonic development. So very, very, very little.

H and I snuck off for coffee before heading back to work, and to have a little think. I had actually started another round of spotting and light bleeding a couple of days ago, but we both decided we did not want to start the sniff-swallow-stab-poke regime today. We’d rather have the extra month. In which I shall take prenatals again and make sure I exercise regularly. And eat my greens. And have a couple more counselling sessions, and warn my boss about the scan regime, and cry and panic and flail about, because this is insane, Gentle Readers. It is nuts. Nuts. How can we possibly put us through this again? And yet, if we don’t, we both know we will regret it. And I can’t face abandoning Frosticle. The poor wee thing will probably die in my uterus, but it will certainly die in a petri dish otherwise. At least Cute Ute’s nice and warm.

P.S. – Cute Ute, the psychotic bitch, decided to make some unintelligible point or other very definite to me, by a sudden outbreak of seriously heavy bleeding with clots this evening. What? Why? I am taking Cerazette, damn it. At least I’m not in pain, she said cheerfully, practically begging Fate to smack her in the teeth for that one.


Parenting, UR doin’ it rong

We went to see my Dad. It was simultaneously awful and liberating.

Awful, because my Dad is still, fuck-and-alas, a galloping narcissist and if the situation isn’t all about him by heck he will make it all about him. We did have a fight. His heartfelt apology, for which I was at first so very grateful and by which I was at first so deeply moved, rapidly turned into a ‘thing’ about his self-awareness and how therefore we didn’t get to mind when he was a tiresome old arse because he always had been and always would be and because he was aware he was a tiresome old arse, it was an endearing quirk rather than brutally rude and cruel to his children, and the fact we’ve all got Serious Issues from is behaviour over the years is… Not a Thing? I guess? Because reasons?

Liberating, because my heart, which has always lagged miles and years behind my head on this, suddenly realised that there is no magic combination of saying the right thing or doing the right thing, at the right time in the right way, that will unlock Parenting Level ‘Unconditional Love’.

Awful, because there were good bits about having this man as a father – the love of words and books, the stories he used to tell, his wit, his humour, his good days when he was delightful and delighted with us – and as soon as you open yourself up to the good bits, you’ve made yourself vulnerable to the bad bits. And if you shield yourself from the bad bits, you’ve cut yourself off from the good bits. This is not a dance I can do well, or at all gracefully.

Liberating, because this is not my problem. I am not my father. There was enough balance and good example in my life to save me from this ugly inheritance, this inability to see people as people, as equals, this inability to empathise, this raging fear that someone else’s gift (brains, knowledge, money, charm) is a direct threat to him and will somehow annihilate him. And that is not me. And does not have to be me.

And then we came home again, and I went and discussed all the above with my counsellor.

It would seem that a life-time of being shamed for having the wrong sort of body/hair/eyesight/attitude/artistic talent*/height/academic aptitude/pubertal development/sized breasts/menstrual problems can leave a girl feeling profoundly inadequate. Being treated as a flaming nuisance and being repeatedly accused of hypochondria and whining every time I was ill or having a bad time with my periods left rather a tiresome selection of psychological scars. And therefore, when it came time to have a baby of my own, with a body I’d been taught was flawed (and its being flawed an act of perverse rebellion on my part), my inability to make a baby was for me a great source of shame – bitter, bitter shame and guilt. My brain knows this is fucking ridiculous. My brain always knew it was fucking ridiculous. I am quite bright, after all. My poor silly heart, which has the IQ of a golden retriever and a similar desire to love all the grownups even when they kick it, needed more time to realise that I am no more ‘flawed’ than anyone else.

All humans have issues, health problems, non-Barbie-dollness, scars, lumps, wonky bits and hormones, and are nevertheless lovely, loveable, wonderful creatures. I have just had bad luck. Not as bad as some people’s obviously. But definitely worse than other people’s. This was not because I brought it on myself, in any way. Why would I? How could I? It’s not even physiologically possible.

I cannot fathom the guilt, shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing that lead my parents to take a child with obvious health problems and frantically alternate between blaming her and insisting nothing was wrong with her rather than, say, take her to a decent gynaecologist and Get That Seen To, Because Poor Kid, It Sucks. But I know I’m not the only woman who has been shamed for having menstrual problems, fertility issues, and miscarriages. And I don’t know what is wrong with our society that this happened and keeps happening, but it needs to stop. And if you have ever tried to dismiss, down-play, shame, or judge a woman over these issues, I hope you get your pubes caught in your zipper and have to be cut free by a paramedic.

*Writing instead of drawing. Yes, my family went there.


Just getting on with it, as per

Heya, Gentle Readers. Happy New Year. How are you all?

So, Christmas happened. H and I rushed about through floods and storms and howling gales (not kidding), to see the In-Laws in a kind of festive flying leap before doing some serious Christmas Hunkering in our own home. Then we similarly hurled ourselves at my mother’s house for New Year, and now H has gone to work. But matters end not here, because next week we are visiting my Dad for a few days.

Dad is being exceedingly tiresome, forgetting things and then blaming everyone else for whatever it is he forgot, also champion blue-ribbon entries in the Emotional Blackmail And OneDownManShip State Fair, and I don’t want to go. On the other hand, I don’t want to be the daughter who neglects her old man just because he’s being tiresome and forgetful. So I am doing this for me, not him. Because I am a Good Person.

Though all bets are off if he tries to tell me that ‘in the old days people didn’t make such a fuss. Babies died all the time and people just got on with it.’ Direct quote from the dear old man a few years ago.

(a) This is horseshit, as anyone who actually reads anything written prior to 1900 bloody well knows, in that yes alas babies died all the time but it broke their parents’ hearts to fucking bits. Even early miscarriages. Once you know, you know, and you can’t unknow, and saying ‘well you wouldn’t’ve known before they invented home pregnancy tests’ is fucking pointless. And in any case, many women know from implantation, test or no, because hormones, weird. Therefore, in the ‘old days’ more people suffered more heart-break more often, actually, and hopefully their nearest and dearest were less dickish about it. Though, alas, humans=dickish, so…

And b) this is stupid, as I am getting up and dressed every morning, and I shower regularly and go to work and DO my work and occasionally do a bit of house-work and visit my friends and relations and if this is not ‘getting on with it’ then what the fuck is? Or did he actually mean ‘stop troubling me with the fact your woes are at this time considerably more woeful than mine, because my compassion circuits are badly corroded and this may short me out’?

My Dad is not well, and I can’t gauge how unwell he really is, because he veers between shouting ‘I am IRON MAN’ and yomping up a mountain, and whimpering that he’s very very old and dying and old and dying and frail and old and DYING AND OLD. Then he goes off to chop wood. Then he complains of chest pains. Then he has a whiskey or six and drags the dogs out for another 8-mile yomp. He’ll either outlive me or be found conked out mid-yomp within the next two years.

When H and I have performed our oblations on the parental altar, we will set up an appointment with Riverside Clinic. So there’s that.

And because the Universe is like that, an old school-friend died on New Year’s Eve. It’s not fair. It’s so unfair. 2013 was such an angry, destructive, vicious year for so many people, and now this, as its final parting ‘fuck you exceedingly’ gift.


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