There is a reference I often make to what it’s like having a disability and I’m certain people who have more severe disabilities than I, feel this way.
Now, I also premise this by saying I’m pretty sure my family don’t read my blog. So I’m good to go. I can write what I like.
Let me just say, the breakdown of my family is this. My parents are both still amongst the living (not complaining), they divorced when I was about twenty-five and I knew it was coming for the ten years before that. I have an older sister by two years, who I see once or twice a year (she lives closest), I have one surviving younger sister (16 years younger) who lives with my mum. My parents both live three and half hours drive away, my father, I see at Christmas when I’m up that way. He won’t travel to Melbourne to see me and if in town, he won’t bother to visit either. He has not seen most of the places I’ve lived, in the last twenty years. I think he’s seen one, he doesn’t call me, I call him.
I speak to my mum twice a week and while that’s five times less than it used to be, we got along much better than we used to. Mum comes down every so often for serious appointments and such.
Ah, background done. Now to my point!
During smiley holidays and such (Christmas, Easter, what-not) I will go to spend time with family. It’s that or stay at home alone. So, I go and then I lose my independence immediately. I have my mum’s bedroom and I hibernate. I want a shower I have to negotiate when someone is prepared to assist me if I go outside, I generally don’t step off the verandah as the last time I went outside my mum called to me: “If you go for a walk be careful by the water tank there’s a snake over there!” I promptly went back inside to relative safety. Motivation to go anywhere is hard to draw on.
To go anywhere requires someone to drive me either twenty minutes to a decent meeting place with medicine(coffee) or an hour where I can arrange to meet friends who might visit family once a year at Christmas time. Any of these adventures requires money I don’t have and logistical nightmares of being able to get home again when I need it.
I put my things in the fridge and when I go to get them out again, two other people have moved them to get to other things and I might be standing in just the wrong spot/angle and my things are in my blind spot and I can’t see the forest for the trees.
The environment is a very comfortable space for the two that live there and throwing me into the mix I feel terrible to put someone out to be able to join in. Everything I can do to contribute, someone has to move things to prepare for me and I feel more of a hindrance than an adult. So, I hibernate.
Oh yeah, where I spend Christmas, I’m also socially isolated by other means, no mobile reception, I divert my phone and if they can’t remember their wi-fi password I’m screwed. So, hostage. Like I said.