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Posts Tagged ‘illness’

>Christmas

>It has been a rather busy few days. I went Christmas shopping on Wednesday. That was a fairly good resemblance of hell I think. It was of course pretty busy, and I had been very organised and made a list of everything I needed to get, and when possible what shop I was getting it in. Naturally everything I had planned to get was out of stock and so I then had to search around for alternatives. Then shops I had hoped would have the type of thing I wanted didn’t have. And basically it was all quite crap, and I didn’t end up getting anything at all that I couldn’t have got in a much closer, smaller, less busy town. During the afternoon I had a headache which got worse and worse, and by the time I got home it was really quite agonising, so I had dinner and then ended up going to bed at 8:30. During the night I woke up feeling really ill, all shivery and cold, with a really nasty cold and streaming nose and just feeling crap. Ended up going back to sleep after a couple of hours, woke up in the morning not feeling any better. Got a hot water bottle and took a couple of paracetamol and went back to sleep for an hour, and woke up feeling a little bit better, and so made myself get up because I had lots to do. Went off shopping again – this time to much closer, smaller town, where I managed to find everything I wanted within about half an hour, and then spent another hour and a half pacing the streets in the cold because my mum was at my sister’s house, where I am obviously not very welcome. I noticed my sister left me off our Christmas card this year – she really does have it in for me.

Shopping finished, came home, felt ill so had a couple of hours relaxing time and then cracked on with the wrapping. Wrapping is a time consuming affair because I like making presents look pretty. I like using lots of ribbons and bows and curling ribbons, and so trimming a present to make it look pretty takes at least as long as the actual wrapping. And then I decide which ribbons and labels I will be using before I wrap the present, and choose the paper accordingly, so it is all rather time consuming and complicated really! I don’t bother when I am wrapping for the children, because they just rip paper off as they are children, and my dad doesn’t care what his presents look like, so I don’t spend that long wrapping his, although I must admit I find it really difficult to leave a present just with paper and a tag, so he sometimes ends up with a little bit of ribbon because I just can’t help myself…. But my mum really loves presents to look pretty, as do I, so we both put lots of effort into wrapping our presents for each other, and so it takes hours. Plus I have to help my dad with his wrapping, because he refuses to touch a ribbon and will use completely inappropriate paper unless I stop him, so I either have to wrap and trim all of his presents for my mum as well as my own, because I think she deserves to have them looking pretty, or I do what I did yesterday and make him wrap them himself but then tell him which paper he has to use for each present and which label he has to use, and then do all the trimmings on them myself. So lots of hours wrapping. I may be ever so slightly obsessive about wrapping.

Today was surprisingly calm. Scarily calm actually for Christmas Eve in our house. Generally that is when most of the wrapping gets done, plus pretty much everything else, but I had finished my wrapping (and my dad’s) last night, and my mum only had to wrap about 4 presents for my nephews today, so that didn’t take long. And then she made some mince pies and sausage rolls, although not that many, and that was about it. We think we have probably forgotten to do something vital, as it was all far too laid back and relaxed – we have never had such a calm Christmas Eve before! I watched 4 films. Miracle on 34th Street (my favourite Christmas film – I watched the original yesterday and the remake today), then The Queen, then Prince Caspian, then Chocolat. And the fire was alight and the tree looked all pretty and it was nice and cosy. And had a couple of glasses of chapagne which always helps matter. Champagne goes straight to my head. I blame the bubbles, because it is much worse than any other alcohol – I am always pretty lightweight because I don’t drink very often, but I feel the effects of Champagne rather quickly. Probably doesn’t help that I still have a nasty cold and am therefore slightly lightheaded anyway! I have had a cold and sore throat continuously for a month now – as soon as one starts to go another one comes along and replaces it.

I should go to sleep since it is 2:15am and I have been told I have to get up at 9. Father Christmas has already been. We all came upstairs to bed, and my stocking was empty, and then I went down an hour later and it was full – how’s that for proof?! I may have watched Miracle on 34th Street too many times the last couple of days….. I am not feeling too stressed about Christmas – food is always an issue, but I think because it is just me and my parents here tomorrow it is less stressful than it would be ordinarily as it will be pretty quiet. Both brothers and families are coming Boxing Day, so that might be a little chaotic, but neither are coming for the whole day, just the afternoon, so hopefully it will be ok. It is New Year that I am really dreading. I can just about cope with Christmas, despite the food situation, but New Year is hideous.

I hope that everyone has a good Christmas, or at least as stress free as possible. I leave you with a picture of my Christmas Tree……

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>So, my childhood. I didn’t talk about all of this with L, but I decided I wanted to write about all of it, to put it into context. My childhood memories are fairly sketchy. I only remember odd bits here and there. I have no memories from when I was very young, and really very few before the age of about 10. And even after that, I know certain situations happened etc, but I don’t remember how I felt about them or anything. So a lot of it is quite hazy.

I always think of myself as having a happy childhood, and I think it was overall, and certainly was compared to the experiences of many others, which means I am always reluctant to criticise it in any way. But there were downsides. For a start, I never fitted in. From as far back as I can remember I just didn’t fit in with most other children. I was more comfortable with adult company, which is probably unsurprising, given that I have 3 older siblings, and the closest of those to me in age is 12 years older than me. So I was used to being around adults the majority of the time. When I was young, and I am thinking back from when I was very young up to about the age of 11 or so, I was probably what Lexie would refer to as a ‘pretend child’. I spent hours and hours sitting reading. I would wander around stately homes and gardens with my parents. I was always beautifully dressed. Overall I was pretty well behaved. Which is lucky really, because punishing me generally consisted of sending me to my room, where I would become engrossed in a book, and when told I could go back downstairs reply that I was ok in my bedroom reading thank you. I went to dance classes, and was a Brownie, and had riding lessons. I did well at school. I was intelligent. I had a reading age far higher than my actual age. I got all my spellings right. I think I was generally fairly amenable, although my parents may say otherwise of course… I got on well with my parents. I got on well with my siblings. My sister (yes, the one who now hates me) absolutely doted on me as a young child. So in that sense I was a good child, with a happy childhood.

The less positive things were that as I mentioned, I never really fitted in with my peers – probably because of being a pretend child. I had a best friend (whom I will refer to as C for this post), who I met when I was 4, who lived just down the road from me, and we were at school together until I moved school after a couple of years. I was very possessive over her. I wanted her to play with me the whole time. I wasn’t interested in playing with any of the other children – she was my best friend, and she was the only person I wanted to play with. I don’t remember it, but I apparently used to come home from school incredibly upset if she had been playing with other people instead of me. Early attachment issues, or is that too psychoanalytical? There was another girl at that school (who will be referred to as H for this post) whose mother used to look after me after school when my mother was working, and when I switched schools, she also switched half a term later. She was a very strong character. A bully essentially. Again, I don’t remember it, but apparently sometimes when I would go there after school she would lock me in her bedroom and leave me in there and not let me out. Sometimes she would be nice to me. Other times she wouldn’t. When I moved school at 7, I left C behind, although I still saw her a lot, and whilst I got on fine with the children at my new school, again, I didn’t really fit in. I wasn’t ‘cool’ in any way. I was certainly not one of the popular girls. I would try and tag onto some of the other less popular girls, but I remember often finding myself alone. I was also ill a lot – I had a lot of problems with my ears – constant ear infections, multiple burst eardrums, various other infections. I spent an awful lot of my childhood on antibiotics. My mum generally used to still send me into school when I was ill, as she worked there, and I was too young to stay home alone, so I either went to lessons, or if I was really ill I went to the sick bay. I didn’t enjoy school though. From a fairly young age I remember exaggerating how ill I felt to try and get out of going to class. I remember pushing near the bottom of my neck to make me retch so that my mum would think I was sick. I am not sure why I didn’t want to go to school, as it wasn’t like I struggled with the work or anything, and it was a nice school. I just didn’t want to go.

I have also had issues with food my entire life. Not an eating disorder, but I have always been an incredibly fussy eater, to the point where it has interfered with my life. In some ways I am slightly better now with that, but overall the foods I will eat now aren’t very different to those I would eat as a child. When I was inpatient on an eating disorder programme they said I had always had disordered eating because of how fussy I was. I don’t know whether or not this is true, or what is behind it, or if it contributed to my eating disorder in later life, but there have certainly always been issues surrounding food. I was always very attached to my mum. I suppose most children are, but I didn’t like her being out or away from me. I would stay the night with friends, but I remember getting into a terrible state when I went on Brownie camp once. I absolutely hated it. I was horribly home sick, I had issues with most of the food, and I just wanted to be at home. The whole time felt like torture, and all the other children were having a great time. Obviously none of these things were major problems. Ok, I didn’t really fit in with my peers and was teased a bit, but most kids are. And I was happy at home as far as I can remember.

Up to this point I would consider myself to have had a happy childhood. Although if I look back on it I can see signs that maybe things weren’t quite right even that early on, ie up to the age of 11. But I don’t know if that is just going into the realms of navel gazing. But things like being very attached to certain people, and feigning or exaggerating illness to avoid school, when actually there was no reason to not want to go that I can see do strike me as not being quite right. I also always had a need to please people – generally adults rather than peers. But there have always been issues with relationships I suppose. And of course issues with food. There was no reason for me to be unhappy, but I wouldn’t say that I was happy, and I don’t know why. Maybe there has always been something wrong, although I don’t know what. But overall everything in my life was pretty simple up to this point, and there was no reason for me to be unhappy. It was after that that things became more complicated, but I will finish writing that tomorrow, as the more I write the more flashes of memory are coming back, and I need some time to process them. There was nothing I would consider to be traumatic, or anything more than an awful lot of children go through, and not nearly as bad as lots, but I still feel like I need to write about it. The appointment with L yesterday got me thinking a lot, but I will go into more detail regarding that tomorrow.

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>Performing

>There are a lot of negatives about performing. How competitive it is. How bitchy people can be. How you are constantly being judged. The rejection. The comparisons. Lots of things. It can be a very negative industry at times, which can be very stressful, and where you can feel very alone. But yesterday I was also reminded of how many positives there are, and what a wonderful business it can be. As you know, I was singing in a concert last night. It was a charity concert, starring a well known performer, and I was one of a number of other soloists, most of whom are professionals. I felt very lucky to not only be performing alongside such a fantastically talented and successful performer, but one who was so generous and giving, and such a lovely person. I had met her before a couple of times last year when I did some workshops with her, and knew that she was very nice and genuine, but I wasn’t expecting her to be nearly as hands on yesterday as she was. We had a run through in the afternoon, and I fairly naturally assumed she would just come out to sing her songs, and spend the rest of the time in her dressing room. Instead, she sung her songs, then came and sat out in the auditorium and watched every single one of the soloists. She jumped up and down making suggestions, and helping when people were struggling with anything, and giving people advice on their song, and just generally being so supportive and helpful, which was far beyond what she needed to do. She could, and I think most performers would, have just come out and sung her own songs and ignored what everyone else was doing, but she just got really involved, and it was so nice to see such an experienced performer giving back in that way. She is a wonderful example of how great this business can be. And how sometimes even the people at the top of their game will really make an effort to help others who are still on their way up. In fact, I think it is often the people who are at the top who are the least diva-ish. Yesterday there was absolutely no bitchiness. Everyone got on really well. All the other soloists were lovely and we had great fun in our dressing room. It was just a really lovely example of what a fantastic industry it can be.

The actual run through was difficult for me. There were still pretty severe issues going on with the band timing wise, which was making it virtually impossible for me to know when to come in, so we had to do the start a few times to get it right, and I was worried it was me messing up, but it was apparently the band. In the end we got going and got all the way through, but my voice was really hurting, and it was getting really croaky – mostly actually in the dialogue bits rather than the singing. I was still really not confident with the timing – the scoring for the band part was COMPLETELY different to the normal sheet music, which is obviously what I have been used to rehearsing with – there were random extra bars in some places, and missing bars in others, and it was all a bit all over the place, and therefore worrying. I went down into the auditorium afterwards and was talking to the lead who said ‘That scoring is really strange – I have always done it like X (at which point both of us went da da da da da daa da da da da etc, and established we were used to the same version!). It would completely confuse me like that!’ I replied that it was completely confusing me too, and she said she would have a word with the MD (who was too stressed for anyone apart from her to dare speak to!) and see if we could go through it again, which she did, but the rehearsal ran on so late that there was absolutely no time to do anything again. But she did get her to make sure she was giving me really clear signals as to when to come in, as in the run through I couldn’t tell when she was bringing me in and when she was bringing the band in, which was obviously very confusing. Usually it is fine, because they look at you, but the band were on stage, and so the MD was behind us, and so we saw her via a screen at the front of the stage, but obviously with that you can’t see when she is actually looking at you. So it was all quite different for me, and the band part really was confusing – it would have been nice if it had been closer to the original scoring, both for the band and for me!

I was quite stressed between the run through and the performance, because I had no idea if I was going to be able to get the timing right or not, and there was nothing I could do about it. I desperately wanted another run through, but there wasn’t the opportunity. From the end of the run through, time just flew. We all started putting on our make up, and getting our hair done, and getting into costume etc, and time just flew. Suddenly the concert had started, and time just whizzed by. I wasn’t on until half way through the second half, so had plenty of time to get ready, which is lucky really, as I was still nowhere near ready by the time some of the other girls in my dressing room had already performed! I also nearly fell down the stairs at one point, which was slightly embarrassing, as it was right outside the number 1 dressing room, and I kind of screamed and swore at the same time, just as the lead had walked into her dressing room, so she dashed out to see if I was ok. Stupid shoes!

My actual performance went ok. I was nervous about the band because of the issues at the rehearsal, and I was worried about my voice. It could have been better – it would have been better if I hadn’t been ill. But it wasn’t a disaster. Through gluing my eyes to the screen at the appropriate times I managed to get all the timing right, and I think vocally it was reasonably strong apart from one note that cracked slightly due to my chest/throat. Some of the dialogue did sound slightly croaky, but there really was nothing I could do about that – I was supporting as much as I possibly could, but I have a chest infection, and no amount of support was going to get rid of that! I believe there were some slight mic issues too – it felt like it was fading in and out a bit, and my dad commented on it, but that wasn’t uncommon – it happened to several people. So overall it was ok. I wasn’t entirely happy with my performance, but then I very rarely am, and I feel like I did my best under the circumstances. And it was a really good day, where I met lots of lovely people, performed in the biggest theatre I have ever worked in, had some nice chats and laughs with a performer I have always admired greatly, and had the opportunity to sing in the same concert as her. I feel very lucky to have had that opportunity, and it reminded me of all the brilliant things about performing, and the business, and other performers. She really is true class, both on stage and off.

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>Dinner

>I think I do have a chest infection. I decided that coughing up green nasty stuff is not good, so phoned and asked to speak to my GP. They got her to call me back, and she said she would send a script down to the chemist for antibiotics. So I will get them tomorrow. Which is leaving it rather late for Sunday, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. The Sudafed is definitely helping with the congestion generally – I have gone through far, far less tissues today than I did yesterday or Wednesday, so that is something!

I went out for dinner with a friend tonight. It was the friend I was supposed to go out for lunch with weeks ago ago, and then I cancelled because I was getting stressed about eating out at lunch time etc. She texted me earlier and said she was free tonight and did I want to go out for something to eat. I wasn’t sure whether to or not, I didn’t know if I fancied eating out (well, I rarely fancy out, but I wasn’t sure if I felt up to it) plus of course I am not feeling great physically, but she isn’t often free, so I decided I would. We went out about 8, and I hadn’t eaten anything all day, so it was easier than if I had already had a meal. I actually managed to eat a 2 course meal without even trying to go to the toilets and purge, which is unusual for me. I usually at least go to the toilets and then if they are empty I purge and if there are people in there I don’t, but I didn’t even go near them, so that was good. I knew I really couldn’t purge, since I already have a sore throat, and purging always hurts my voice, and more damage is the last thing I need right now. Which is one of the reasons I wasn’t sure about eating out, but I managed it. It was nice to see her. Despite her living down the road, I hadn’t seen her since August, which is kind of ridiculous really, but she works during the day, and then in the evening I am often out at rehearsals or dance classes, and she is often busy, so there just rarely seems to be time when we are free. So yes, it was good to catch up with her.

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>Sulking

>So the good news is that I bought some Sudafed this evening, and either it is a wonder drug, or very coincidental timing, because since I took one, my nose has felt much less congested. Plus my ears and head and everything else that have felt horrible. I am hoping that they are wonder pills, and in fact the cure for the common cold. I will take more tomorrow and see how I get on. Technically I could take more now, as it was about 7 hours since I last took one, but the pharmacist told me not to take them at night as they keep you awake. Apparently. Since my sleep is always shite I don’t think risking taking one at 3am would be wise. The bad news is that my chest has been hurting today, and I am slightly concerned I may in fact have a chest infection and not just a sore throat, in which case I should possibly have got some antibiotics when I saw my GP yesterday. Although I think they have pretty limited use with chest infections so maybe it doesn’t matter. Hopefully if the congestion clears up then everything else will as well. That is the plan. By tomorrow night I will be feeling completely better, Saturday will be a nice, not ill day, and I will be feeling 100% for Sunday. I hope my body has taken the plan on board.

Today was pretty quiet. I spent the day in bed sulking about feeling ill. If it had been next week – fine. Not this week dammit. So I have taken the male route and retired to my bed and felt sorry for myself. I watched Neighbours and Home and Away and then the film Gigi. And then I had to get out of bed and stop feeling sorry for myself so that I could go and shower and wash my hair and eat my dinner and go and get my hair cut. Didn’t have anything exciting done, just a trim and layers cut back in as they had all grown out. Might go short next time, I am getting bored with long hair. Although it is useful to be able to tie it up when you can’t be arsed to wash it. In fact, I think that is the main advantage of long hair. Or it is as far as I am concerned, but then I am lazy, and when I feel crap personal hygeine takes a distinct backseat. After I got my hair cut I had to go to Sainsburys with my mum. Which was ok. I bought my magical Sudafed and got my prescription. And wandered about aimlessly looking at chocolate and stuff. As you do. I do anyway. Although I felt a bit sick so I didn’t look at it for as long as I usually would.

I am doing nothing tomorrow. I should be going to a carols rehearsal tomorrow evening, but there is no way in hell I am going to be able to sing a soprano line in anything at the moment, so it is utterly pointless. The one good thing about my song on Sunday if I am still ill, is that most of it is low enough that I belt it – it is only right near the end that I use head voice – there is actually only one note in the entire song I always sing in head voice, and that is for artistic reasons, ie it sounds more suitable, rather than because I can’t sing it in chest voice. And when I have a sore throat my head voice suffers far more than my chest voice. Although that one note in head voice is held, and it would be nice to sing it without my voice cracking of course. But it could be worse – I could have a song that is nearly all in head voice. Or a ballad. Ballads are harder to pull off when you are having problems with your voice I think. At least I have a character song. I am not really convincing myself here. I want to be better by then and not have to worry about cracking notes. Please.

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>Cold

>Today has been a wash out. It is ridiculous how ill a cold can make you feel. I woke up feeling like crap, stupidly congested, earache from the congestion, headache from the congestion, throat hurting, general crappy feeling. Decided I wasn’t really in a fit state to go off to ballet and rehearsal tonight, since I can’t sing and my head feels far too fuzzy to dance, so called and made my apologies, and stayed home – I decided the rest would be more helpful. Went to see my GP to get my prescriptions – she said I should have just called and she could have done them over the phone rather than me going out in the cold when I am feeling crap. I hadn’t thought of that. I have gone through a ridiculous number of tissues today, and seem to alternate between being so congested that blowing my nose is impossible, and having a nose that is dripping non stop. Neither are particularly comfortable. I am hoping that I will sleep well tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling much better. I now only have 4 days until the concert, and am starting to get concerned – when I called to say I wouldn’t be able to make rehearsal I couldn’t even say my bloody name clear enough for her to know who it was calling. I have been taking cold cure tablets today and yesterday, but they clearly haven’t been doing any cold curing. I will buy some decongestants tomorrow and hope that they help. I am going to run out of bloody tissues at this rate.

Tomorrow I don’t have to do anything, except I have an appointment to get my hair cut at 7. I haven’t had my hair cut for nearly a year – it is a complete mess. At first it was because I couldn’t decide whether to grow it or cut it (usual inability to make a decision), and so I did nothing, and then my hairdresser went on maternity leave and I couldn’t be bothered to find another one. But then I was looking at some old pictures the other day where my hair actually had some layers (all grown out) and shape etc, and decided I really should get it cut. Plus I have split ends I noticed recently. Which isn’t suprising. I think I will then have to go to Sainsburys with my mum after, as she will be going shopping then. So hopefully I will be feeling better by then. I don’t like supermarkets. They make me anxious.

I am going to try and sleep now. I hope I feel better tomorrow and that this stupid bloody cold doesn’t keep me awake all night. I have had a Zopiclone to try and help. I really need a decent sleep.

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>Appointment and my sister

>The cold and sore throat are getting worse – just what I didn’t want! Woke up feeling very croaky, and have had a streaming nose all day. Also had a splitting headache, I think as a result of congestion. Distinctly unimpressed with this situation. I am just hoping that as it is only Tuesday it will all have cleared up and I will be absolutely fine by the weekend. I don’t want to make an idiot out of myself in front of lots of people. Must steam every day. Didn’t today – that was naughty. I don’t really like doing it, so I tend to put it off, but I think it helps so I must. Ditto the nasty throat lozenges. I have a show rehearsal tomorrow but I am planning to tell them that I can’t sing. Which means it is pretty pointless me going really as it is primarily a singing rehearsal, but never mind. It looks better to turn up, even if I can’t sing. And I have to be in town anyway because I have ballet as well. It is another one of those crazy nights where I am supposed to be two places at once. In fact, that is every Wednesday from now on. I always have ballet from 7:30 until 8:30, but I now also have rehearsals from now until March from 7:30 until 10. Since I sadly don’t have a time turner a la Harry Potter stylee, this means missing one, and since I am the lead in the show, it is going to be rare that I can get out of rehearsal. I am going to have to tell my ballet teacher that I will only be able to do Monday classes after Christmas until the end of March, which she will not be impressed about, as I was supposed to be doing an exam at Easter. But there is nothing I can do about it. I will go to ballet when I can on a Wednesday, but I don’t think that will be very often – strangely enough production teams tend to like their leading ladies to be at rehearsals. I also have an appointment with my GP tomorrow, just to make things even trickier time wise. I have no idea why I booked it for a Wednesday – that was a very daft idea.

Speaking of Harry Potter, I went to see the new film this evening with my mum. It was good. Better than the other films. Although there is a possibility I just think that because I have read Deathly Hallows less times than the other books, and therefore didn’t notice any changes as much, but I did think it was better than the other films. I think splitting it into two was a good move – the film of Half Blood Prince was crazy, because you just cannot fit a 600 page book into a 2 and a half hour film and expect it to work. If I hadn’t read the book I think I would have been utterly confused throughout that film. At one point tonight I had to really fight back the tears – they were in my eyes, but I knew that if I started crying it would be completely uncontrollable sobbing, in the way that it was when I watched Charlotte’s Web a couple of months ago, and I kind of wanted to avoid hysterics in the cinema. Why is it that people dying in films doesn’t upset me, but animals or creatures of some description dying can make me inconsolable? That seems to be the wrong way round really….

I saw L earlier. It went ok. I think we had cleared up quite a lot of things already via email, so it didn’t really feel awkward. We talked a bit about what had happened, although we didn’t dwell on it too much, as I think that would have been fairly pointless. I think the basic conclusion was that yes, she did let me down somewhat, as she didn’t react in the way that she ordinarily would, but I know there were reasons behind it, and I can understand why she wasn’t available for me in the usual way under the circumstances. And I think it is actually quite important for me to realise that a) nobody is perfect, and people always will let me down, however much I think of them and rely on them, and b) that relationships can be repaired – even if you are really upset about something and have been really hurt, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to be the end of that relationship. You can work through things. I suppose it has kind of been a lesson in black and white thinking – people aren’t either amazing or useless with nothing in between, and one thing going wrong doesn’t have to signify the end of an entire relationship. And I think they are important things to try and remember. Not that I will remember them of course – the next time someone lets me down I will be distraught and never want to speak to them again. But hopefully over time I can learn.

My sister is unrelenting in her hatred for me. She really is very immature. Obviously there was the deleting me from Facebook incident. She hasn’t been to our house since it all happened, apart from when I haven’t been here. She hasn’t phoned the house – she has only phoned my mum on her mobile. Then she blanked me when I did see her the other day. Then today I sent her a text saying ‘What would the boys like for Christmas? Is there anything in particular that they want/need?’ and got a reply saying ‘No thankyou. Don’t bother.’ I replied saying ‘Well I will obviously bother. I just wondered if they wanted anything in particular’ but I didn’t get a reply to that. And this is all because I found it too much to look after my nephew an afternoon a week. Whilst I can see that inconvenienced her, I still don’t feel like I was being unreasonable, and I did do it for half a term, with only two days warning at the start – it wasn’t like it was something I had offered or been asked to do in advance, and had agreed to. It was thrust upon me at the last minute when other arrangements didn’t work out, and I was never once asked if I was ok with doing it – it was just expected that I would because he was my nephew. I do love my nephews, but at the same time I don’t really like children much, and I find being around them for too long difficult, and I find having responsibility for them very hard. I can do it when I am not feeling too bad, but when I am not doing well it is well beyond me. I have repeatedly said that I wouldn’t mind doing it occasionally if there were problems with the usual arrangements, but that I just cannot commit to doing it every week. Last week for example, I was in a complete and utter state on Thursday – I was feeling very suicidal, I had cancelled my appointment with L and was then regretting it immensely, I felt ill from taking too many tablets overnight on Wednesday, I was crying uncontrollably, and I was just a complete mess. There is no way I was in a fit state to look after a 5 year old boy. And that happens sometimes. And what am I supposed to do if he gets dropped off here and I am in that position? I could not look after him. I wouldn’t feel safe being in charge of him. I wouldn’t want him left with anyone who was in the kind of place emotionally that I was last week – I would absolutely not leave him with someone who I didn’t think was in a fit state to look after him, and it is no different if it is me looking after him. It would have been irresponsible of me to try and look after an energetic 5 year old boy when I was feeling like that. I do get quite out of control when I am that distressed, and I wouldn’t have been able to cover it up, and he shouldn’t have to go through that. But that is besides the point really. I just think my sister should be mature enough to accept that I don’t feel able to commit to looking after him every week and move on from that – not hold a grudge like this and refuse to speak to me.

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