Saturday, 16 November 2013

Who's looking at the moon?

Well, I haven't blogged for a few days for a couple of reasons; firstly because some of the things I said in an earlier blog upset TexLOML and so I needed to make an apology and a retraction; and secondly because I have been busier than a one legged bloke in an arse kicking competition! Wednesday was the day I got the keys for the new place and I tried to get the bulk of the moving done then with the much appreciated assistance of TexLOML's younger son (he's a bloody good kid!). I only had him after school so I was packing and moving smaller things until he got home. It was VERY sad and I was extremely upset. Aside from the projectile sweating I have developed since my hysterectomy a few months ago I was also leaking copious quantities of salty fluid from my eyes that day. None of this was helped by having woken up that morning with a cold (to add to the nausea I've been having for the last few weeks from some new meds.) All in all I was a leaking, damp, sweaty mess! (Am I turning you on yet? LOL). Thursday was more of the same with the added pleasure of screaming muscles and the subtracted dampness of buckets of tears.

On Friday morning I just couldn't do it any more. I had made a commitment to TexLOML's cousin (she and her husband are two of my favourite people on the island) to film her working with her new guide dog. An early rise was required (to get it done before it got too hot), and that accomplished, they took me out to breakfast. I had gorgeous Eggs Benedict but unfortunately couldn't keep it down so it was followed by an hour or so of wretched vomiting and another couple of hours of queasy. Oh my Herbert I hate being queasy!!! I felt so blah I popped into the medical centre and saw The Nurse. This was great because I had been having pity party paranoia that she wasn't going to be my friend any more and though we barely brushed anything personal I did feel reassured. It was also great cause she gave me something to relieve the nausea. I took it easy for the rest of Friday and even went to a friend's place to have a bath. It was glorious!!! She gave me some coconut bath salts that left me smelling like a pina colada! Thanks mate – if you're reading this!

That night was another friend's 40th birthday and there was a big “Drag Queen” party. Though I had considered frocking up for the occasion I ended up going as The Man In Black – Johnny Cash. Black jeans, black boots with silver studded boot keepers, big silver belt buckle, black silk shirt and a black leather vest. I had my black cowboy hat on but it was too damn hot so I left it in the truck. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to leave Frizby at the moment. She had only been in the new house two nights, has been very confused and anxious because of all our recent moves, and her separation anxiety is galloping faster than Fiorente (the Melbourne Cup Winner). If I am in the shower she is on the bathmat, if I am in the toilet she is at my feet, she never ventures far from my side at the moment (if there was a seagull to chase she might manage to stretch the umbilical cord!) TexLOML has asked me not to leave her at her house any more so my choices are zip for the time being. I thought I would take her to the party and leave her in the truck but she cried and barked too much and so she ended up sitting at my feet on the outskirts of the party. I wasn't feeling all that good (just for a bloody change) and so I was very content to sit in the back blocks with Frizz and watch the weird sights parade past :) Although I left early it was a terrific party and I'm glad I got to be there for a while.

So today, still feeling like warmed over death, I set about editing the videos I had made the day before and then popped them off to cuz and her hubby. Frizzy was great with their guide dog (finally a dominant bitch who puts Frizzle right in her place without eating her) so that was a nice visit. Then I did some shopping and came home for a rest. One of the things I bought was a mop and so when I had cooled down in the cave (that is my front bedroom with the curtains drawn and the air con on) I tackled mopping the living room and wiping down the new dining chairs. Oh boy it really hadn't cooled down much and in no time I was wetter than the mop. Then after dinner, and a break, I took the Frizz to the beach for a walk right after dusk... hooley dooley what a moon! This kind of evening, this kind of sight, is what makes 'tropical paradise' paradise. The sea breeze was gentle and cool and the moon was glistening across the water like a carpet of lustrous pearls. Frizby was happy to be free and dashed away from me and back again over and over working off some energy and I felt a peace that has been absent for a while.

I nicked the pic but it does the trick.

I don't think people in my past have believed me when I told them I would love them forever. But I still do love them. Even some disastrous relationships with abusive or litigious partners were not without their redeeming features. There are things you love about a person and I don't really understand how that goes away. I know the 'in love' part goes, I know that anger can bury or conceal the 'love' part, but there is no one I have loved who didn't have lovable qualities. That sense just doesn't turn off for me. So I wondered where people were and who might also be looking at that glorious moon and I thought how very wonderful Herbert is for making such a thing ours for eternity. It's funny, a bit like love, my seeing and loving the moon doesn't take anything away from anyone else seeing it too – it's enforced sharing – it belongs to everyone and to no one – it is immeasurably valuable. We spend our lives looking for control but the moon is something that controls us... Our watery substance shifts with it like the tides and our souls are nourished by its glow. Frizz ran like a lunatic (by etymology, one affected by the moon) and I strolled like the typical little cancer moon child that I am.

More cleaning and sorting tomorrow and then more moving again on Monday!

I am getting there …. wherever 'there' is...

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

On the eve...

Well today is the 12th of November and as such it is a multi anniversary.

It is the anniversary of the first day TexLOML and I reconnected after 31 years of no contact and that day 2 years ago was the beginning of my current adventure.

It is also the 1 month anniversary of the day TexLOML asked me to leave.

Furthermore it is the day before I move into my new unit.

Tomorrow I pick up the keys of the new place and start (probably finish) moving my stuff.  There isn't all that much although I have, in the last week, acquired a bed base and a bed frame, a so so mattress that I will probably put in the spare room, a coffee table, 8 dining room chairs and a washing machine - grand total of expenditure $200.  Not bad eh?  I went over today and signed all the papers except the final lease and in the morning I pick up the keys.

Today I also dragged my 'project boat' down to the main street and put a "For Sale" sign on it and believe it or not it sold within 2 hours.  It isn't much but it is more than I paid for it (unless I count the barge charges to bring it to the island and the diesel for the drive to get it in which case I have lost about $100).  I am also considering selling my 8 hp auxiliary motor but I am less sure of that.  I might still want to get a dinghy and put that motor on it.

I tried to explain to Frizby that it is our last night in this house and that when we move tomorrow THAT will be it (at least for 6 months)... I'm not sure she understands in spite of her sincere and adoring gaze, into my eyes, as I spoke.

Today is also TexLOML's birthday and I called her early this morning (when she should have been up getting ready for work) and sang "Happy Birthday" into the answering machine... there has been no response.  My steady, dependable, friend, who owns the place where I have been staying for the last week has taken off camping so I spent the evening alone wondering what TexLOML and all of "our" friends were doing tonight.  A stupid, wasteful use of my mental attention.  I can't say the tune to "Eleanor Rigby" hasn't run through my head a time or two.

I've arranged for TexLOML's son to help me carry the few things that are heavy tomorrow afternoon and although I am ok with it running to a second day I think I can probably move nearly everything tomorrow.  I tried to get another helper to lend some muscle but to no avail - maybe her son can rustle up a mate for half an hour?

I feel strange; excited and uncomfortable, fearful and liberated, positive and alarmed...  It strikes me that over the last month I have repeatedly developed a comfort zone only to have to leave it and face the unknown again.  In truth that has been the nature of my life for the last 9 years with an off-kilter acceleration five years ago when my mum died.  I have run from false "safe haven" to false "safe haven" without finding any security.  Here I am finally facing the simple fact that the only person I can depend upon is myself.  I'm not sure if you have any idea how terrifying this idea is to me.  I can't say I have hit rock bottom because I still had a roof over my head, I may have been packing and repacking, over and over, but I haven't been sleeping on the beach or in my car.  I wonder if my health will improve with this transition?  I wonder if self-determination impacts significantly on stress and ergo health?

Well I have had a few glasses of wine and taken my nightly meds and I think it's time to retire to a book and hope that someone else's world can capture my attention.

I would love to hear you thoughts!

Friday, 8 November 2013

MAJOR EDIT/ RETRACTION Good with the bad


It's a beautiful Saturday morning here in the tropics and I thought I might take this opportunity to update my blog!

Though Garrison Keillor would say “It was a quiet week in Lake Woebegon” I would say it has been an interesting week in paradise. Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Actually my mother always said it's an ill wind that doesn't blow some good so I will start with something that has been both good and bad. I missed out on the unit I had chosen to apply for first. I needed them to accept $10 per week less in rent and they refused. The up side of this is that it set me free to make a confirmed decision that I would take the other one. So now I have a place to move into next Wednesday and I can begin (and have begun) my path towards making my home the way I want it to be.

The unit is large and cool and made of concrete blocks that feel safe in this tropical cyclone prone area. It has a big kitchen that actually has all the things one would expect to find in a real kitchen – like a stove, a sink and cupboards. 
The kitchen from the dining space.

Across living towards kitchen window
 This sounds basic but to be honest I have looked at many places that lack complete proper kitchens. Since this decision has been made I have acquired 8 second hand dining room chairs (from a garage sale) and a set of crockery and a quilt cover from a thrift shop.
The chairs look a bit like this are are really comfy!

The process of nesting has begun!

The bad news is that TexLOML and I had another disagreement – this time via text. I had to move from one place (where the owner was coming home from overseas) and being that the new place is not ready yet I needed to stay somewhere else for a week. It is my great good fortune (good news inside the bad) that I have a steady, dependable, caring friend who will not turn me away – the difficult part is that she has a cat and the Frizz is NOT good with pushy cats. So I sent TexLOML a text asking if I could stay the week at her house in the spare room and use the week to pack my stuff and she said no...  I asked, then, if Frizby could stay with TexLOML for the week and she said no (IN ACTUAL FACT SHE EXPRESSED A DESIRE NOT TO HAVE FRIZZY BUT DIDN'T ACTUALLY SAY "no" SHE PARTICULARLY ASKED THAT I TRY HAVING FRIZZY AT THE OTHER PLACE AND IF IT DIDN'T WORK WE COULD RECONSIDER)... Time for another suggestion … How about TexLOML stays with a friend and I stay at her house, pack and take care of both the dogs (this is what I did when I broke up with a girlfriend who needed to move out of my home many years ago – I stayed with my mum while she moved out)... No TexLOML is not going to stay anywhere else.  (TexLOML FOUND THIS SUGGESTION EXTREME AND UNREASONABLE - MY THEORY AT THE TIME WAS THAT IT MIGHT MAKE HER RECONSIDER ONE OF THE FIRST TWO SUGGESTIONS.)  At this point I was becoming quite upset and feeling angry that she won't take even a single step out of her way to make this easier for me so I discontinued the conversation. More good news amongst the bad is that a friend happened to be there just after this occurred and talked me through the emotions. She wisely said that pushing harder could only cause a major rift. This very definitely helped me to calm down and begin the process of letting go of my hurt and anger. There is just nothing to be achieved by fighting with TexLOML, no one would win (certainly not me) and as she pointed out in our last altercation this is a small island. – Too busy to dwell on my injured little feelings I needed to find a way to make staying with my cat owning friend acceptable.  (HERE I PROBABLY MISREPRESENTED AS THERE WAS A PLAN ALREADY SUGGESTED BY MY FRIEND THE POINT I WAS MAKING IS THAT HER PLAN WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME AS IT INVOLVED CARRYING MY LITTLE NUGGET  UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS TO AND FROM MY ROOM)  This we have done with a baby gate and my agreement that Frizzle will only be carried upstairs to the bedroom and won't invade the cat's space. So no thanks to TexLOML I do still have a roof over my head for this week.  (THIS STATEMENT IS INFLAMMATORY AND CAME FROM MY PLACE OF HURT AND ANGER AS THERE NEVER REALLY WAS A CHANCE THAT I DIDN'T HAVE SOMEWHERE TO STAY.)

More bad is that I haven't been able to sleep lately and anyone with FMS knows that lack of sleep contributes to a rather unpleasant cycle that results in nasty flare ups. I can't sleep → Increased anxiety and fatigue → Increased pain → Harder to sleep etc etc ad infinitum. So yesterday after three nights with less than 3 hours sleep I had to get up early to go across on the ferry to the mainland to see the Dept of Housing. Good news in the bad is that the appointment was less than an hour. Bad news again is that I had to stay all day in town (with nowhere to go and have a rest) because I was going to a function in town last night. I proceeded to spend the bulk of the day in furniture shops testing beds!!! I got to be horizontal (a desperate need for my body) and to exercise as well with all the sit-ups I did moving from one bed to another! I wasn't totally wasting the time of the sales staff because I do need to buy a new bed and I'm pretty certain that it is something I am going to make a significant investment in because I spend a LOT of time in bed.

The good news – I went to the function last night – it was a Trivia Night to raise money for the local Conservation Council and therefore was packed with wonderful, left/green minded people, some of whom I had met before and many of whom could be future friends for me. I sat at a table with four women I knew slightly and one I had just met and we had a great time! At one point I told the table that I had found a new place and when I told them which street it is on the couple I was sitting with exclaimed that they live in the same street. My steady cat-owning friend has also mentioned that there is a woman who lives in that street that she thinks I might get on with also so it might just be that I am heading into the perfect property!

More good news is that – through sheer exhaustion I had about 6 hours sleep last night and though I am far from refreshed it was a blessing from Herbert. Up early this morning and off to the garage sale where I bought the chairs.

There you go – progress is wonderful.

Just a small footnote – I had a comment on my last blog from a stranger on the other side of the world and she told me that my earlier blogs had helped her through the early stages of her illness. I went looking for a quote to express how that made me feel and was unable to find one so I made one up.

“Hearing I made a difference to you has made an enormous difference to me.”

Friday, 1 November 2013

Is she is or is she an't my baby? - SHE AIN'T!

Two and a half weeks ago, precisely one month before our two year anniversary, TLOML decided that I am definitely not TLOHL .. unfortunately.  There was no fight or drama... she just isn't feeling it any more.

She asked me to move out ASAP and I did nine days later.  Her house is still housing most of my clothes and possessions as I live out of a backpack, couch-surfing, until I can arrange something more permanent.  I am still on the island.  Paradise looks different though.

There are a few things I need to thank Herbert for... (to anyone uninitiated Herbert is my name for the universal presence that might or might not be a god or energy or goddess etc)

  1. I live in Australia where, by and large, people are not allowed to starve on the streets
  2. My doctor had put me on a new anti-depressant, only two weeks before, that was having a positive effect.
  3. I have the pooch Frizby to make me get up in the morning.
  4. I have The Boy to make me bother staying alive (literally)
  5. The TexLOML and I are still civil, and caring (mostly), and talking to each other.
  6. Support has come from surprising places (well place really) and I appreciate it very much.
I'm in a sticky spot.  A sticky spot that is not the fault of TexLOML primarily because it is the same sticky spot I was in two years ago when she popped into my universe.  I'm broke, crook (that means sick for any non-aussies out there), and I have few friends and no supportive family.  I'm currently (in spite of the anti-depressant) somewhat prone to little pity parties of feeling unloved and unlovable where, quite frankly, I get terrified (I mean terrified - anxiety, panic etc) of turning into Eleanor Rigby.

Yesterday was a bad day and I got a little down last night because I have to move before I can get permanent accommodation arranged (which I hope happens within the next week or 10 days).  It is an unwanted inconvenience and while I am grateful to the person who has let me stay where I am, and I am intellectually very understanding of the reasoning, emotionally it feels like I am being kicked again when I am down.  I am also grateful that I have another place where I can stay in the mean time.

So this morning I sucked it up and decided that I needed to get more proactive about the accommodation situation (though I have been on it almost continuously) so I went out to check out places.  There are two that appeal to me... they are both more money than I can really afford.  The first one for $210 per week is very nice, spacious, has two bedrooms (I only need and want one but there are no one bedroom places available) has a little backyard for Frizzle, is available immediately and the agent is friendly and favourably disposed to getting me into the property.  The other is located closer to TexLOML and other people I know and hope to stay friends with, has two smallish bedrooms and a lovely outlook, has a pool AND a bathtub (a premium item in my world) BUT it is $230 pw, does not feel as solid, clean or ready as the other one.  Also the agent is not quite as helpful and friendly.  This put me into a bit of a spin where I was really wanting to make a choice between the two places... so where does Eleanor Rigby go to talk over the pros and cons of a situation like this???  Straight to TexLOML of course - who else gives a shit?  I showed her both of the places and she could see the pros and cons of each and then our conversation sidetracked into another area. 

I was thinking that maybe over Christmas I would take a road trip down to where my brother lives and pick up the rest of my stuff (that has been stored there since I moved to the US in Feb 2000) suddenly TexLOML starts telling me that she thinks I should "wait and make sure you want to stay here before spending the money to get your stuff", "you never know how you might feel", "what if we can't have a friendly separation after all?", "some people have told me they think you should leave the island, it's too small for ex's"...  I say stuff like - If I am going to rent a place and take a lease for 6 or 12 months I need to be prepared to back that commitment - I want all my things in one place finally!  Aside from the cost, one of the reasons I have never gone to get my stuff is that I always felt insecure at TexLOML's house... I suppose I always knew she would pull the pin one day.  The thing that has been driving me to try and find a place is the desire and intent to make my own security because I have been fundamentally homeless since December 2009 when I moved to Oregon.  I have been itinerant and I hate it!  I think everything is worse for me because of the anxiety my lack of home has created.  

Here I am trying to fight the boogie man and take control of my life and it feels like the rug has been pulled out from under me again.  It kind of feels like being kicked out of the house again but this time I am being kicked out of the island (this is an extreme and not true interpretation that is emotional and not intellectual).

Here are my choices - 
I can move to Sydney where at best I could find some share accommodation (maybe) where I would be near'ish to The Boy and The Best Friend.
I can move back to the place a half days drive north of Sydney where I have some old friends and where both my brothers live.
I can stay here on this island.
I can go somewhere where I know no one.

I really can't afford to live in Sydney.  My brother's, much as I love them both, are relationships fraught with unmet expectations and disappointment.  I don't want to go where I know no one because I don't want to be Eleanor Rigby.  So I figured work on my relationships here and stick it out and hope that TexLOML and The Nurse continue to be friendly with me and maybe I can make my own little life here.

I feel so beaten tonight.  I feel like a sad, lonely, middle aged, useless woman.  I should have a giant Laverne style "L" tattooed to my forehead.

If you are reading this, thanks - I'm sorry I don't read and comment more on the blogs of others, I'm sorry I don't blog more often about interesting and uplifting things...  I'm just sorry.