Anna is currently trying to type and lick my hands as I settle to write. Wait, she’s just found a teddy to dismember. Four months old and a destructive character: can dogs have personality disorders? Or maybe she’s just copying her owner. Dogs definitely do that.
I haven’t written since Friday morning. I think it was the early hours. Something about feminism. On my high horse again. Right now I’d love a rich, strong, handsome man to come along and whisk me away to a beachhouse with open French windows and breeze blown voile curtains where I could doze undisturbed by anything other than the lull of a postcard ocean. No terrorist puppies: no bickering family members: no counting coins: no dark winter evenings.
Actually, if I could just go on my own to the room with a view that would be even nicer. Having to make interesting conversation with an attractive male is way less inviting than sleeping in soothing summer air.
Why haven’t I written? Oh, I was busy. I had things to do. Excuses, excuses. Yes, I actually did stuff this weekend. I cooked; I dropped young women full of possibility to a disco; I visited a new mum and fell in love with the smell of a beautiful baby boy; I practised my French with a new friend. But I had time and I had wifi and I had a laptop and I had words so I could have written. But I was reluctant to hover back to the circumference of Dotty’s world while I was out on weekend release to Reality.
ElsaDaughter stayed at a friend’s last night while I visited The Rose of Tralee (I always thought she’d be a great rose: preppy, smart, pretty, perfect hair, fun, bubbly, great smile), a friend of twenty odd years who has just had her second baby. I know I said I don’t really care for small people but he’s cute and cuddly and I liked him. We talked (his mum and I, baby can’t talk yet) about mental health, hormones, dairy farming, childbirth, motherhood, The Great British Bake Off and hangovers – all the stuff you’d expect thirty something women to talk about. I felt guilty holding that lovely baby with (cliché alert) his whole life ahead of him.
I was meant to drop some of ElsaDaughter’s friends back to the sleepover venue but I got the time wrong so Sleepover Mom, she’s so…together, had to squish them all in to her car: talk about getting it arseways again. Nice one Dotty. Disaster Mom.
Driving home through town on a Bank Holiday Saturday night sober (obviously, I was driving) and alone is crap. You’re listening to Google Maps mispronounce D’Olier Street in an English accent and looking at young, gorgeous people queuing to get into nightclubs; shifting against shop windows; singing in big groups of tipsy banter – living. And you feel so alone. So unbelievably removed from the life you had. I wanted to keep driving. Where? Anywhere. Somewhere to watch life. To sit and look at living like a self-tormenting voyeuse: sober among the drunken shards of a lost life.
But robotic satnav man told me how to get home, so I went home.
If only there was a satnav for life.
I had my appointment with Pieta House on Friday at twelve. It went well. Well as in I shook and froze and sweated and snotted tears all over myself in a mess of manic meltdown. But I looked her in the face, the therapist. The first time I’ve been able to look one of these health professionals in the eyes. Not straight away but after a third of the session I could face her. She wasn’t impressed with how I’ve been dismissed by some of the colleagues of her profession over the last few weeks. The repulsion in her voice when I told her how I was advised to go to school and stay in a routine on my first night in A&E at two thirty in the morning; how I was asked why I hadn’t killed myself yet and how I was told Remise didn’t want me to become dependent on them the first time I called them for support. I scored high risk on the suicidal intent scale (as I joked with the Valedictorian earlier, I’ve never failed a test in my life – well I failed my Junior Cert Maths Mock but I got a C in the real thing and it took me two attempts to pass my driving test but that doesn’t really work when brevity is the soul of wit).
I’m so exhausted now from my weekend of effort to be real that I can’t even think about Pieta. Basically, I’ll be back in ASAP as a matter of urgency. I can call them anytime for a holdover to get me through a rough night or day. They will chase up the consultant psychiatrist. My Lady has tips to keep me from the worst of myself. I know that I will be listened to. Or at least that’s what she said. Do I even want to be listened to? Right now, no.
After I have intensive sessions with Pieta I will be referred to a rape crisis counsellor. Great. She says that’s a huge part of it. I didn’t think it was. I thought I had forgotten it. Ha. Wet grass.
I remember this one time, in my twenties, in an “it’s complicated” situation, I won’t say with whom, not wanting to… Feeling sick at the touch, tears streaming down my face and him going on anyway and feeling like I deserved it. I had asked for this, again. I didn’t say no. I said nothing. I just lay there. Roughly ten years later, I just lay there on a musty sofa instead of wet grass.
I had dinner yesterday and today. It’s stuck in me with the seven or eight chocolate fingers I ate last night. Stuck like a big ball of bile taunting me to purge. But I haven’t and I won’t, I’m too tired.
My Lady, ElsaDaughter and I are heading off for a a couple of days tomorrow. Effort. Don’t mess it up. Don’t ruin it. Be real.
Over the weekend I had short lived moments of intense highs. I also nearly fainted a few times but this was a different kind of kick. Like I was Beyoncé in one of her music videos and I was conquering the universe but with the feeling that the temporary power could be snatched away at any second, and then it was. And I was back on the musty sofa keeping my mouth shut in case I ended up with nobody.
And here I am, with more bodies around me than I ever could have hoped.