It Never Gets Any Better.
I've been in a battle for my life for as long as I can remember. A bout of polio at the age of four left me with weakness of my body. I had to get stronger before I could stand up and run away from an abusive "uncle" who enjoyed sexually assaulting young girls, and tickling me into asthma attacks. Of course when I told my mother she beat me for saying such evil things about such a good man.
I was smaller than any kids my age, and soon my younger brother was bigger than I was. He was a bully and mother doted on him. He would get into trouble and I was punished because either he would convince our folks that I did it, or my folks would decide that that it was my fault by proxy. I was the older one and I should have stopped him, even if he was bigger and stronger than I was. I'd get a beating either way.
At the age of 5 a local bully decided to target me. She terrorized me so thoroughly that I had a nervous breakdown. I put up a mental block to forget about anything about my personal history, a hysterical amnesia. I couldn't remember what I did the day before and I could not pick my parents out in a crowd. General knowledge was still there. I had a "genius" IQ and could read by age 4. It took ten years for my memory of me to resolve.
At school at least my love of learning was something to look forward to. But there were bullies there as well. I was too smart and too weak and I didn't fit in. I made a good target throughout elementary school. There was no safe place for me to be.
My mother did not believe in vaccines, so I got none. I did get every bug that I came in contact with. I was often sick.
By Junior High I was able to get away from my tormentors for a couple of years. My mother died that first school year. It was hard. My brother acted out. He was much bigger than I was, and nearly double my weight. Somehow our father still felt that I was supposed to keep him out of trouble and doing his chores around the house. I'd get beat if he didn't do his stuff, and beat if I did it for him. When our father wasn't around my brother made sure that I got very little to eat by taking it all himself. Father was a shift worker and often we had to cook for ourselves.
I caught a flu from hell in December of 1971, that left me unable to remember how to do math. It was terribly frightening and no one had any idea what to do about it. I had to relearn what was easy to do a month before. I was never physically all that strong, but after that flu I never did get entirely better.
My father remarried to a woman he did not love to give his children a mother figure and to provide a caretaker for the family. He was conned. What we got was an evil step mother #1. She moved the family to another town in a different province, then took as much money as she could, and left. Her idea of taking care of family was to raid the family vacation piggy bank that we all put coins into, lock the doors and go into town leaving my brother and I standing outside shivering in the winter cold until she got home. We were not allowed a key because it was thought we would get into trouble and wreck the house if we did. In less than six months she was gone. One day she was there, the next she was gone. Where she went I still do not know.
Of course, when she left I got the blame. Somehow it was all my fault that she left.
Father took it all in stride. He got a divorce. He decided that I needed woman training and told me to get dressed up to look older and dragged me out with him to his favourite watering holes. I didn't get any booze, but plenty of "old men" as old as my father or older tried to send me drinks. I was terrified! I wasn't allowed to wear makeup, or date, and suddenly I was thrown into a place where I didn't want to be. Underage people are not allowed into bars and lounges where I live, and I learned that if I whispered to a barman while going off to the ladies room that I was underage my father would be politely told to take me home and not bring me back again. Otherwise there would be a scene when someone else brought it to the attention of the staff. Even when my father got a girlfriend he tried to take me along a couple of times, until he was threatened with the police being called.
The girlfriend ended up moving in, along with two of her sons... and she tried her best to get rid of my brother and I. Evil step-mother #2. Her youngest could do no wrong, and the other son was the same age and size as my brother. As the target of the same kind of bully-boy shit as he had pulled on me he soon stopped targeting me. I often went hungry as I was no longer allowed to cook for myself, and for a full year I came home from school, by bus, after the supper has been served. There was never anything leftover for me to eat. The boys got allowance money, while I had to babysit to pay for my kotex, clothes and school lunches.. which when I could afford any was a tiny cup of yogurt. It was often my breakfast as well.
I got a boyfriend who was a year ahead of me at school. His family often fed me, and often it was all the food I got. At home I was forbidden to touch anything that the boys claimed as theirs. Only the rare leftovers were available and they were often rendered inedible with salt, spit or even excrament. My father did nothing but beat me when I made an issue of it.
So when I turned 18 I got engaged. That was the last beating my father ever gave me as it was the first time that I fought back. I moved out two months later, as soon as we could arrange for an apartment. I soon was pregnant, and hospitalized with a kidney infection. I was married on my high school graduation day. Somehow I had kept my marks up enough that I graduated with university entrance grades.
I ended up as a young mother, with fragile health... and no idea what I was doing. I learned. I did the best that I could do with what I had to work with. We struggled with poverty and two children with behavioural issues. We went to university to better our educations and to get better chances of employment. We battled with the schools on behalf of our children, they both have genius IQ's along with the behavioural issues. Poverty followed us. Life was never easy, but I always put my family first and did the very best that I could with the resources that I had.
Over time my body grew weaker and sicker. I saw doctor after doctor. No one could help. Their ideas of more exercise only made things worse. I didn't give up. I just worked harder, often to collapse. Then I got myself together again and did it all over again.
A hysterectomy in 1989 was a hit to my body that it could not recover from. I was already so ill that I couldn't work. No employer wanted a worker who was sick in bed every third week, as I was with the effects of endometriosis at that time. I nearly died during the surgery. My strength never recovered. I tried to go back to work. I went through a retraining to work program. I worked as a chambermaid, and then a driver for a florist shop. I had an accident at work where I injured my shoulder, and my health collapsed.
Finally I had a diagnosis as to what was happening to me. Not the fibromyalgia that I was diagnosed with in 1986. Not the IBS/IBD that I was diagnosed with in 1978. No, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis... a disorder that had been draining my health since that hell flu in 1971 and a disorder that is much misunderstood and maligned by the medical world and society at large. A disorder that has much overlap with atypical MS and with Post Polio Syndrome. A disorder with no cure and few treatments. Something I needed to learn as much as I could about since few doctors knew anything at all about.
Even after I became so severely disabled by ill health that I was unable to work outside the home I worked at home to battle poverty with my skills in gardening and cooking, and working the local grocery stores and thrift shops for the sales to keep us clothed and fed. I was the house mom for the local teenage hangout for the throw-aways and run-aways and generally troubled kids. Our home was a known safe house in the community throughout the 1990's.
Come the new century, life centres upon my hubby, my cats, and myself. The family is grown and gone. My hubby had job changes. We moved to another home, one bought with our son where he lived his own life for some years in the large lower in-law suite. Cats grew old or got sick and died. Hubby had a heart attack and has stents in his heart. We saw the one son for Sunday dinners, if he didn't have anything else to do. The daughter moved to OZ. The fosters kids went their own ways.
For 20 hrs a day, up to 7days a week, I am alone with my cats. My health continues to fail. I live in my bedroom. I have my laptop and my TV. I have a door to the deck and a small garden of pots with plants. This is my world.
Two years ago I was able to enjoy a veggy garden, able to do artwork, able to go out on my mobility scooter for a few hours a week to go shopping or just ride for the pleasure of being out and about. That was then. In the past year I've become housebound and bedridden. My sight has taken a hit and blindness is a possibility at any time, quickly from one condition or slowly from a second one. My gallbladder has filled with stones and has been causing all sorts of problems. My blood pressure suddenly went up causing all sorts of concerns from my doctors. My hubby suffered two years of unemployment. Our son got a girlfriend who got pregnant and he bailed on his financial obligations on our home, and moved out. The girlfriend has used aggression, threats and general nasty behaviour to make life difficult in order to have the family home sold so that she can gain access to the proceeds, and she wanted all of them. That the upshot of her actions would have rendered my hubby and I homeless at a time of his unemployment meant nothing to her. When we said "No Way!" she went into mind-fuck mode and the grandchild has been used as a weapon to use to cause anxiety and anguish. She has withheld access and made whatever access I have had torture of look but don't touch, don't interact. The year from hell included poverty caused drug withdrawal for me, which on top of the ongoing hell caused an emotional break down on top of the physical one. It included accusations of abuse and neglect from the daughter in OZ for things that never happened, threats and blackmail attempts in order to extort confessions for acts that never occurred. It ended with acts of such unforgivable cruelty on the part of the supposed family that I wanted to die to make it all stop. I have been hurt beyond all hurt that I have ever been hurt before. Full PTS hell and then some. I am broken past all hope of healing.
It is early March of 2013 and life has not gotten any better. I am weak, I am sick of body and spirit. I await gallbladder surgery at a date so far unknown in the future. I await the next hit from so called family to come to destroy what fragile stability I may have attained. I know that we will have to move no matter that this was supposed to be my forever home and I love it. The hell goes on, and on, and on.
I've been getting counselling, of various kinds from folks from various disciplines, for more than 40 years now. I've learned to meditate, do yoga, and biofeedback became automatic many decades ago. I've done gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, and red meat free. I've done high fibre and low fibre. I've done organic gardening and cooking from scratch. I used diet to help with one child's ADHD problems and the other's gut issues.
For 40 years I've read, I've struggled, I've learned, and I've adapted.
Heck, even writing up this blog is my taking the advise from those who counsel me as a way to deal with my struggles with living. Even my blog has been a source of attack by the cruel gold-digger who was embarrassed by what I have written. If she did nothing wrong, why would she be embarrassed?? She did not accuse me of lying, only of causing her embarrassment.
How can a person "get help" without talking about what they need "help" about??
The very best results that I have ever been able to achieve was to hold the shit at bay, for a time. The shit always wins, in the end. IT NEVER GETS ANY BETTER. IT just stops getting any worse, and it can be adapted to. Getting better is an illusion, only an illusion and nothing more.
Today, when I woke up, my misery was at a level of 8/12. I have no idea why it is on a scale of 12 rather than 10, but when I asked myself that is what my mind replied. 8/12.
I did not want to get out of bed. If my cats had not urged me to get up I would have stayed in bed. That misery scale includes physical pain and illness, and mental distress. Maybe that is why it's a 12 point scale. 12 is blind misery, overwhelming misery. I was there on January 1st, 2013.
Maybe some day it won't stop getting any worse. I have given up on the idea that life will never get any better for me. Only in death can I be sure that it can't get any worse.