Its strange how things happen in life and although I would like to think there is a purpose to everything I realise as I get older that often most happenings are random events. It is best not to read too much into any occurrence or from what people say or what they do.
Many, many times over the last four and a half years I have woken in the night and wondered why we made the decision to have the AP to live with us. What possessed us to take someone who is so domineering, who can be so utterly unpleasant and who has become a stranger to us, into our home and our lives?
The more I dwell on it the less I know so after a great deal of thought I have made the momentous decision not to question our act of sheer stupidity anymore. I am going to look at each day that comes as a step forward and I am not going to look back. As it is, I have now developed strategies to prevent the AP controlling, bully or irritating me which has made a huge difference to my health and well being. Although in the midst of saying all this, part of me will never come to terms that my own mother would try to subjugate me and destroy my marriage. Why would you want to do that to your daughter? It’s unbelievable that every now and then she still tries to gain some control over both of us and in particular, me. In one respect because we are stuck here having to be her carers, she actually does have the ultimate control. We have no freedom, no personal space and no privacy. You would have thought all that would be enough!
Indeed on that rather sad note I realise that the LSO and I need to get some pleasure out of the life we have together, to experience joy in living however small, even given the restrictions of having to look after the AP. We are both remarkably fit for our age and need to give thanks for that because compared to many we are lucky. It’s just finding ways to do it.
I also really do need to find some space to do the right things to move my diet forward too. At the moment I am still on a plateau moving neither up nor down which in itself is a reflection of our lives. I know that things can’t go on forever, that situations are always changing even if sometimes only slightly. We have visitors coming to stay at the weekend which will bring on a load of gushing and pretence from the AP but after that I must do some serious planning.
This part of the year can be a bit depressing being generally cold and often grey and gloomy so it is even more important to be strong, go with the flow and keep moving in the right direction in every aspect of our lives.
…. and in more ways than one. I am actually back to swimming two to three times a week after a couple of months break, not because I wanted a break but heavy colds and Christmas just got in the way. Once behind us an element of almost normality had emerged briefly. Then our good farmer friend and neighbour went into hospital for a double bypass and thanks to Mr Cameron’s Big Society ideas we are now helping to care for him during his recovery. No NHS care package in place or District Nurse visits either. Just discharged from hospital four days after the operation with a bag of drugs and instructions to make various appointments with his GP. He is 82 years old and lives on his own and is unable to drive for at least six weeks. Fortunately we are extremely fond of him and don’t mind doing all this but it has added another layer on top of what we already have to deal with in a normal day.
The additional responsibility has certainly made following the RMR diet a lot more difficult because there is no time to spend on prepping for myself so I am just keeping carbs to the minimum, limiting protein, having bulletproof coffee for breakfast occasionally, filling in the tracker most days and trying to be sensible. I reached a plateau during Christmas and beyond that is refusing to budge at the moment and that is despite intermittent fasting but hopefully that will change after next week. I am not getting paranoid about it but I am resigned to the situation because it isn’t going to last forever and then I can have a portion of my time back to focus on what I need to do. I do wonder if after a couple of stones of weight loss my body needs time to adjust before continuing to reduce. A plus point is that despite everything that is going on my blood pressure is remaining pretty steady.
The AP has been reasonable while we have had to deal with our neighbours needs but for how much longer? We know from experience that she can’t keep up the pretence for too long but whilst he is eating with us she is having to. It will be interesting to see if there is a backlash when things return to normal.
But for the time being I am swimming physically in the pool and also swimming mentally through the days.
Well Christmas has come and gone, as have the New Year celebrations and although Christmas was a cooking marathon, it was lovely with all the family here. The New Year for us is just another day and now we are faced with the inevitable tidy up. The outside lights are down as are the cards and this afternoon it is the tree in the hall to be dismantled and all the baubles packed away until next year.
There must be millions doing the same thing and reflecting on the year ahead. What will it all hold and how do I rid myself of this feeling of discomfort and unhappiness at the thought of the continuing battles with the AP. Even with the family here and subsequent visitors she still had to try and be in control, attempting to dominate our friends by going into gush and burble mode. She now gets everything confused but I have learnt to turn off to most of the things said because at the end of the day, do they matter? I no longer rise to her littles jibes but I still wake up in the morning and wonder how much longer can the LSO and myself put up with the tyranny of having her living with us.
Whilst we had visitors she would gush about the food but the minute we were back to the three of us she reverted to being utterly thankless, eating with her fingers and putting chewed food back on her plate, a particularly unpleasant practice. We have asked her not to do this but to use her cutlery and so far of late, she has been a little better. But I have come to dread mealtimes, not only preparing them, what will she not eat today but also having to witness the whole procedure.
I’ve also found it difficult to be disciplined about the diet. I am the same weight now as I was before Christmas, which is good but my mindset is not. I am pulling things together and have started my daily tracker again but need to get out with the LSO and the dogs. I need some clean air in my lungs and a clear head to keep myself on track with everything. In fact I just need to get out. I feel as if I have been housebound for weeks and the walls are closing in on me despite my attempts to divert my thoughts with activities such as my latest knitting project.
I don’t believe in new year resolutions but if I did do one it would have to be about positivity. The AP will be heading up to Scotland for the month of April but that is three months away which in reality is not long so that’s at least a more positive thought.