More sorting Tuesday

9.39am

Rain. Grey Cloud. Damp. Wind moving the branches.

What is it that I expect will happen once I have sorted and cleared each room in the house. A miracle? It will be a domestic miracle. The tumble dryer is working hard, chugging away at a handful of clothes and pillow cases. I put it onto synthetic mode, the cotton mode shrinks everything. Shrunken socks are no good. Naoise notices any slight change in the size of socks and then a morning schedule can implode around how a pair of socks feels wrong on his feet.

naoisesleepingatbreakfastable naoisecollapsedatbreakfastable

It was lovely to sleep in the cleaner, tidier more ordered room last night. I share a room with Naoise. Its the only way I can rest. Ideally I would have a bedroom of my own. Instead I change my clothes on the landing, hang them over the banistair and sleep gently beside my dearest youngest son. Put your arm around me, he requests sweetly each night. I feel at home with the comfort and the rise and fall of his breath.

Me and the children live in the attic space. Occasionally this arrangement saddens me and I feel like an overgrown child myself, sent to live in the attic, to slowly grow old and lonely. I try not to think about it too much and just get on with things. Its not such a strange living arrangement really, just pragmatic, getting on, caring for the children as best I can, each day as it comes.

Spoke to mum on the phone, she was meant to be coming to help me with the big sort but she isn’t well enough today, I will see her at the end of the week instead, and by then I probably would have got most of the hard work done.

There are three large lidls bags full term pregnant with Syds clothes filling up the sliver of the landing. I can’t see how we can even keep the best of Syds clothes for the next seven years its just impossible in this postage stamp of a home. There are under bed nooks and crannies but there isn’t really any storage space. Only Naoise has a working wardrobe, Syd’s one has collapsed and me and Patrick have rails, we have never had enough money to buy wardrobes. There never seems enough money for anything practical and boring. Patrick thinks we need a dehumidifier in the house to get rid of the damp and the access moisture. I am sure that we do, but I am more concerned about the lack of a gas fire to keep us warm through the winter. The chimney breast is still a mess, chipped plaster down to the red of the brick. We had always planned to put in a wood burner to keep fuel costs down but we can’t afford that, and now we just have a rubbish gas fire that is broken and a rubbish radiator and a stone floor that sucks the heat out of everything.  Life is not simple. I am glad of my home and I am grateful for all that I have, I just wish it functioned better. I wish I functioned better.

<Thoughts interrupted speaking to Syd’s guitar teacher and working out when his next lesson is and how he is progressing. Its good to talk to his gently spoken teacher. He is thoughtful and kind. I hope that our talking will help Syd>

I have been feeling so lonely and isolated and sad. I can’t seem to make any progress on anything. All of my initiatives to make a living have been partial successes, ultimately not good enough. Progress is too slow, if it is progress at all.  Any workshops or courses that I have run have gone ahead but there have not been enough participants to make them work. By work I mean that they have made no financial sense.  I have not been able to pay myself the going rate for teaching work, I have accepted  less, I have made some pocket money but I couldn’t live off the work that I do, I rely on my partner to pay the big bills. There is no equality.

There is me at home. There is him out at work.

I am not lazy, far from it. I work hard for the small amount of money that I earn. I enjoy teaching, that part of it is great, meeting new people seeing their progress and joy in making, in being creative. Feeling valued, feeling that my knowledge and time are utilised. Maybe I am too quick to assess what I do, to analyse, to put myself down. I have tried. I have tried. I am tired, I am tired.

I am drained by yet another heavy period, I could’nt  manage a walk today. On my way home I thought about making an appointment to go and see the GP to tell him or her that I was feeling very depressed, but what would be the point? They would be sympathetic, maybe offer me some horrid pills to numb the pain of sadness or the promise of some counselling, a name on a list, that could take years to materialise. I have done counselling. I have done raking over my life and how to deal with anxiety. I have done CBT. I have sat in small institutional rooms on plastic blue chairs with polite pictures of flowers on magnolia walls and plastic plants in pots. I have watched as notes are taken questions are asked, and tissue’s in boxes are handed over to soak up tears of distress. I have been treated with varying degrees of empathy and have met with brick walls. I have been offered routes forward that have met at dead ends. I have tried. I have refused any medication. Life is a struggle. I have counted my blessings and been proactive and tried to see the positive in everything and stroked stones and meditated and lived in the moment. I have cherished the tiniest things in life. I have worshipped the weather and the fox gloves opening in the dry stone walls. I have looked ever so closely at life and the landscape.I have marvelled at the softness of my children’s skin and stoked the tops of their hair as they sleep. I try each day to do something proactive.

I need to do something now. Stop writing. Start doing. Something physical, routine, domestic rituals that move time forward. Then there will be the school run and the dinner making and the conflict ironing and the bedtime routine, and when the day is done, I will sleep heavy once more. I will maybe dream, last night I dreamt Naoise hair was full of lice.

The buzzer on the oven clock sounded long ago.

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