Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Too much rattling around in my head.
I am rarely alone in this house as my husband works from home. And so I am always putting on a face. He doesn't demand this from me - I do it because I have to. For me. And so, when left alone, all the walls come crumbling down around me and I behave as I wish I could at any time I choose.
And so, last night, when Ian and the girls went Christmas shopping, I found myself pondering those two missed calls from my parents' mobile phone number, and without thinking anything through clearly, impetuously called their house.
I was very polite at first. My mother became belligerent, aggressive, defensive and told me she hadn't called the house at all. I was able to dispute this, so a stream of lies issued forth. Then she squawked for my father who didn't have a clue what was going on. She made out that I would have picked the phone up, that I never went out...so I told her I had been in hospital that weekend.
'Because you are 'dying' of anorexia?' she sneered.
I declined to answer that question.
At the very end, I said to her: "The girls are f*cked up enough as it is. Stay out of their lives, for God's sake."
She started to screech abuse at me, so I put the phone down.
And then I sobbed my heart out. And later on, I took it out on my best, beloved husband, who adores me unconditionally; who tries to make it all right for me; but cannot ever hope to compete with that demonic woman.
Phone calls. Even more of them...
The ex called last night to speak to the girls. I explained they were out shopping. He paused and then thanked me for encouraging Beth to meet with TOW two weekends ago. I was agog and almost speechless. I just about uttered a 'You're welcome'. And as we hung up, again, I cried at how hard and bitter we have to take things before there is any civility. I honestly considered that a change had taken place after that. So I called him only 20 minutes ago and asked, Please can I have my keyboard back.
I had eight years of organ lessons and became quite a proficient player. If Ian and I visit a church, the first place I hit is the organ, hoping that it is unlocked. It never is. In the summer, I asked Beth, by phone, on our way back from an afternoon out, could I have my keyboard. Nobody but me plays. It has sat in the ex's spare room for four years, untouched, gathering dust. He came out, dismissed Beth, and told me, in front of Ian, that the keyboard was now his. This is despite me saving for it from my own freelancing, and despite me being the player. I turned on my heel and walked away. I will not beg.
I thought, after his thanks last night, he would be a more benevolent character.
No. After my initial request, he ignored me, started talking to the girls whilst on the phone, then came back to me and said, What? What do you want?
He had heard me, rightly enough.
So I repeated it, feeling smaller and smaller as I did so. I even told him how much I missed playing. He 'ummed' and 'aahed' and then, eventually said, I guess so...
I feel so ridiculously stupid now...
Another phone call today. To our priest, Father Farrell. I am not a Roman Catholic by choice, really - I converted two years ago out of selfishness to get the girls into a decent local school. Prior to that, I was an extremely poor Wesleyan Methodist (no drink, no fags, no sex, no nothing - yeah, right!). But Fr F has taken me into the bosom of his heart and never, ever given up on me. Every week, I had to attend one-on-one classes with him telling me about the Scriptures, the Popes, the tenets, the Mortal Sins. It went in one ear and out of the other to a certain extent, but I always respected Him, as a human being. He made me laugh out loud when he told me his views of Adam & Eve; Noah; the Old Testament as a whole...he may be in his late 60s or so, but he is one Cool Chap. And I love him so much.
I invited him for lunch on the 19th. He said to me, You sound marvellous, Alison. Really, really good. I walked out of the conservatory, where Ian sat working, and told him the truth.
And now I will tell you the truth. It's taken a while, hasn't it? 'Cause I am not reet good at the truth from time to time.
Why was I in hospital three weeks ago?
Because I tried to take the overdose to end all overdoses.
I have no recollection of anything after Ian finding the empty blister packs where I had hidden them behind the curtain on our bedroom window ledge. He told me that my breathing almost stopped, that I was in so much rigid spasm he couldn't place me into the recovery position suggested by 999. I have also been informed that while under the influence, I was sent for a CT scan as nothing was functioning. The only time there was any recognition was when my eye flickered as Ian kissed my brow. Does that sound cheesey? He asked me the same question. It didn't sound it to me...
I was supposed to stay in for about five days. They put me onto all sorts of drips to which I had enormous allergic reactions, desperate for breath, crying out for help. It took 15 minutes for a nurse to bring me the oxygen I so badly needed. I had four canulas inserted into me - badly...I developed minor phlebitis and moving my wrists and arms was painful for about a week.
They hammered me. But then, why shouldn't they? A suicide case? Someone who doesn't give a turquoise toss about themselves? Why should those over-worked, under-staffed, filthy hospitals care? I don't blame them. I am just a drain on their resources.
I discharged myself. I fought for it, I'll admit. I had to lie through my back teeth to get out of there, stating that I regretted my actions; that I should never have done it; that I would never, ever think of it again.
Don't get me wrong. It's far from my thoughts at the moment. And to be honest, I have a slight, sneaking suspicion it is never, ever going to return due to a 'switch flick'...
I have digressed.
I told Father Jim about it. He went silent, and then he told me one of the most plaintive things I have ever heard in the whole of my life: he told me he would be incapable of conducting my funeral because he loved me too much. He said he would be unable to speak for crying.
He told me that he had few friends, but a certain number had touched his soul since arriving in Weaverham four years ago. And I am one of them. He told me that, from the moment he met me, he liked me; that I am a very good friend to him and that to lose me would hurt him immensely.
I don't tell you this to boast. I tell you this because I have never been told this before. It is alien to me. It chokes me because, instinctively, I think, deep down, I am a rotten, evil bastard. Why does a priest see good in me?? Am I that good an actress? Because I am black to the very core of my being. And only I know that.
I'm not trying, food-wise or laxative-wise at the moment. I haven't binged, but I haven't eaten. My stomach feels so full all of the time with all the liquids I keep swilling into it - I have suddenly become an ardent tea drinker after years of despising the stuff! Coffee is now anathaema! How strange...
OK. Another confession, and one which Ian may berate me for (sorry, darling). He bought me some raunchy stuff last night - nothing overly mucky, honestly: just sexy. I put the dress on tonight after showering and curling my hair. We have a large mirror in our bedroom by which I titivate myself when feeling up to it. I stared at myself in that mirror and realised that I looked like a plank of wood. No breasts; no bum; no belly. Just a piece of 6 x 4...How abhorrent.
What does he see in me?
What does anybody see in me?
As a PS, the ex didn't return the keyboard to me. What a suprise...