I’ve been here in my family home in Worthing for a few weeks, recovering from the operation I had in late November, thanks to “best mate” driving here before he departed for his homeland for Christmas, but it’s not a happy process, and I feel like I’m going to have a lot of trouble recovering psychologically, even if physically I’m doing relatively well.
Firstly, nothing’s improved for my grandmother since November: she’s deteriorated to the point that she can’t do anything for herself, and can’t help around the house (which she could do to some extent until this year), which means my mother has to transport her around the house in a wheelchair. I’ve tried to help with this, and to say hello to her when she’s sitting alone in front of the TV while my mother’s elsewhere, but she really doesn’t seem to be herself any more.
I also love my poor mother, and wish I could help her, but even simple things like doing the washing-up have required knowledge (in terms of where to put things away in a kitchen I’ve almost never used over the past 17 years), and I worry about letting her down. I’m careful in terms of exercise, due to how little time has passed, but I want to reduce her stress so she can live her own life as well.
I even feel a certain shameful wish that my grandmother would pass away peacefully in her sleep, so we can finally say goodbye… but that would be inappropriate — she’s my grandmother and I still love her. However, I’ve long known it would be unendurable if my mother died and I somehow had to look after my grandmother alone, something I don’t know how to do — so, barring my grandmother somehow reducing in age to 60 (when I was 12!), the first option is the only realistic one.
(At least the dog’s happy with us all, even if she seldom shows any interest in the new toys we get her!)
The situation is complicated by the fact that (unlike in 2018, or literally any other Christmas) I can’t use my own room in this house, as my grandmother needs to be there due to it being directly opposite the bathroom. My mother wants me to sleep in her bed, and has let me set up this Frankencomputer in here, but her own PC also sits in here due to there being no room in the lounge, where she sleeps on an inflatable mattress — because the little room where my grandmother used to sleep when I visited is too full of old relics to be useable for anything except storage.
And I can’t seem to sleep anyway, either dropping off briefly and then lying awake for hours, or not dropping off and lying awake for more hours. The neuro-quacks reckon it’s normal and can be treated, the man I spoke to a week ago saying they can prescribe me melatonin so I drop off, but really, I find myself wondering whether it’s more down to my brain overworking pretty much all the time. The new “Tier 4” lockdown had come the day after they’d made my meeting with them face-to-face instead of over the phone, but fortunately they were able to do it online (though unfortunately through MS Teams).
No, not coming up with amazing new theories or inventions, but just skittering around — worse than last time, when they said concentration would be harder — and on political issues, largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Remember my rant last year, about how “the left” and “the right” should try working together instead of insulting each other to score political points? I still feel the same way, and I still find I disagree absolutely with self-styled “right-wingers” on (serious business!) Facebook.
However, the worst part is imagining, uncontrollably, that I’m having a conversation about it — and with someone who I don’t think has ever liked me. My old ex-RAF school friend and my old ex-military American friend are both unequivocally right-wing (whatever that means any more), and have linked to far-right Facebook groups that I’ve immediately blocked, but they’ve been supportive in my surgery and recovery, and I thank them for that (well, at the same time as thanking everyone else, I’m not biased).
The one who troubles me is the young man whom “female best friend” married in 2013, who is both religious and libertarian, and who is clearly a right-winger in his own terms, linking to what are unequivocally right-wing self-superior nastiness groups; thus I’ve put him on timeout on more than one occasion, so I don’t try and post a response, making things worse.
It sucks feeling like I’m stuck in a waking dream about trying to discuss the opposite point of view with someone I’ve almost never spoken to anyway (to be fair, he once posted an article on my wall about the untimely death of Dave Brockie from Gwar) — but fortunately, after writing this section last night (originally a hell of a lot more, indeed!), I was actually able to lie peacefully and not keep thinking at ten words a second, so forget him.
(Here’s hoping I didn’t jinx things by keeping this section in tonight…)
Thus, my sleeplessness seems to be medical in origin after all, and in no small part (uh huh huh huh) due to my right leg hurting a great deal, possibly due to how I’m sitting here right now, writing this blog post tomorrow evening. I’m not supposed to take any other exercise than walking until at least the six-week mark, but my personal trainer’s agreed to do a very basic online session on New Year’s Day, and we’ll see if that helps to get my blood flowing again — personal torture has certainly evened out my aching limbs in the past!
One thing that doesn’t help is the dismal weather, as it means I can’t take the dog walkies… it’s either raining or very, very cold, and she refuses to walk to the park, which means I have to carry her there!
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These events round off a year that I’ve loathed all the way through, even leaving aside the pandemic — from feeling like a clumsy idiot at work in February and March, overworking trying my best to set up laptops for homeworkers in our organisation during the lockdown, and only making myself feel worse by telling senpai that my memory may be affected by the medication after dosage was increased by my neuro-quack — a need to return to the chiropractor to deal with pain only adding to the misery.
I felt bad in April too as I homeworked and made mistakes, only being even remotely happy during the Easter break, but although things improved in May, more so in June, and amazingly so in July, it was then that two bad things happened: our organisation suffered a major breach (with senpai and “Asian Eddie Hitler” being grateful for my hard work), and the aforementioned neuro-quack told me that the “space invader” had renewed its attack, and so I’d need further work done.
I faced up to the need and vowed to get through for the sakes of others, and after a long wait, my operation went ahead and was successful — but as above, I’m still psychologically suffering, my grandmother is helpless, and my mother is overburdened with responsibility to both of us.
I wonder if we’ll even stay awake on New Year’s Eve (though in my case, I won’t exactly be sleeping when the fireworks go off at midnight), as next year’s likely to be even worse, what with Coronavirus II prolonging lockdowns and killing more, Brexit being put in place without any real competence, more online hatred of “SJW libtard snowflakes” (from the sort of people who make me think that the “SJWs” might actually have a point), and the sort of attitude that suggests anyone who dies from the disease is well rid of.
But some good things have come out of the lockdown this year: as well as staying full-time employed and thus coming to prefer homeworking (avoiding the daily commute is its own reward, and saving Oyster money is a bonus), I’ve been saving enough money to massively upgrade my London PC (and learn how Linux is better than Windows), the times we’ve spent apart have made me appreciate seeing my family more when I’ve had the chance… and a certain young lady and I spent a long time writing to each other before we finally met in person at what is now, for both of us, alma mater.
Even the worst times can lead you to the best things: I’ve been trying to find someone special since I was 18, and apart from a brief fling in Michigan, it was only in 2013 (during the lifetime of this blog) that I was finally able to go on actual dates, in no small part due to the young ladies asking me out, but nothing good came of it for a long time… and this year, suddenly I found someone new through a dating app, and have since spent more time with her over the Internet than I ever did in the real world with my other dates — all of them, collectively throughout my life!
I really hope that 2021 actually turns out to be an improvement on this year (rather than another case of “interesting times”), and that not only do things get sorted out for my family in a positive way, perhaps involving us leaving Worthing forever (and maybe adopting a second dog?), but that I’m able to meet my special someone in person at last, without worrying about pandemics (of either disease or, worse, nationalism), and we can spend time together in the real world… or have I said that before?
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P.S. One thing that would be bad in any other year, but was merely annoying this year, was our useless energy company in London, E.ON, messing up my monthly Direct Debit payment and taking it on Christmas Eve, two weeks ahead of the scheduled time — and they did this to a lot of other customers as well! I was able to convince my bank (the one responsible for my old account, which I use solely for household bills now) to cancel the payment the same day, but the leccy company will finally sort out their side of it… tomorrow!