“You can’t have and do everything, you’ve got to narrow yourself down”; Have you ever been told that by anyone in the past?
I have endlessly, particularly by Paul – he has constantly lived in fear since we moved in together that I am overdoing everything, stretching myself too thin and he has tried to endorse a cut version of me. Purely because he fears I will burn myself out!
I never realised until now, just how little by little, I have lost myself. Around seven years ago I became severely depressed and suicidal; I couldn’t find joy in anything anymore. I didn’t realise until recently, when I have been soul searching just why this might be the case!
Why am I no longer happy?
Why even when I was being badly abused in a toxic parent/child relationship, I was still happier then, in myself, than I am now that I am free? Because I realised, although I was isolated and abused, I was allowed to have my hobbies and a lot of them! I was able to skip from this to that and know that the house was always spotlessly organised and nothing needed to be cleared away and cleaned before I could use it.
Although my life with my parents was terrible, I had the environment perfect for creative growth.
My heart and soul sings when I am able to read books at the drop of a hat, write stories and songs and poems and practise any musical instrument. I could do art and I always had a dog next to me, I was never without a dog when I lived with my parents.
I could sing anywhere from the hours of 9am to 9pm without being hushed, as long as I isolated myself in my room or in the garden to do so.
I could get the exercise I need without clearing the floor and vacuuming first and have the right music to motivate me to finish the work out all the way through!
I could listen to any music and watch any movie I so desired; although I was isolated, threatened, blackmailed and all the rest, I was free to hone my skills and entertain myself however possible, as long as I just don’t go out and as long as it didn’t interfere with chores or whatever my mother wanted from me, which were minimal anyway because my mother had OCD and everything was perfect all of the time around the house.
But here, I don’t have the same freedom. In my own house, I don’t have that.
There is always a complaint at how loudly I sing, it’s ok to sing, but do you really have to sing opera or songs that reach a high note in jazz?
It’s ok for you to have these musical instruments, but you can’t have your keyboard constantly set up outside of the box, there is no room for it – let me bring it downstairs for you every time you want to use it and wait until we clear the dining table and you can use it there!
It’s ok for you to do your watercolour painting, but we need to clear your art table up as we’ve had lunch on it today, it will only take fifteen minutes and then you need to fetch it all down from boxes from the spare bedroom before you get going on it… is it any wonder half an hour later especially when I’ve had a bad day with my sickness that I decided after all of that nonsense I don’t want to paint anymore?
Especially when there is never any room to store the art to dry and the work ends up with piles of toys on it and lost for several weeks… there is no respect with my efforts. Nobody cares, but me. I have very little personal space and I am made to feel guilty when I fight for it.
I have a 4ft by 4ft corner in the living room with my desktop computer and a chair; I had to fight for that space and to maintain it as tidy as it is like it’s some kind of ongoing battle… and it is!
They can take anything away from me, but not this space!
And they do.
Sometimes I need to pee, but I get hemmed in this corner by fortresses of lego or robots, then they leave the room abandoning me to try and get out of it, because really, they don’t care. Or they barricade me in this corner with an ironing board and baskets of laundry and I have to wait a few minutes whilst they rescue me out of it, just so I can go to the toilet.
It’s nice he does the laundry, I really appreciate that – but I need space to do the work and I have been struggling for two years now in getting Paul to help me set up the spare room as an office, because I am too weak to move the huge cabinets up there myself to make room for my desk.
The mess is depressing, the lack of freedom to just up and go anywhere in the house is… if you can understand it’s… it’s just… I don’t know. It makes me want to give up, stay in bed and rot away.
The only place I can absolutely guarantee a clean and tidy place with the freedom to move un-obstructively is between my side of the bed, my side of the bedroom, the upstairs landing and the bathroom; but lately, the bathroom is getting obstructed as Henry is becoming a teenager and floods the floor, so I can no longer trundle from bed to toilet in fleece socks without seeping into a lake and sitting on a toilet with a wet bottom because for some reason or another, Henry doesn’t just wash himself, but the whole room!
Is it any wonder that I sit back and wish to leave? That I can’t cope anymore with this kind of life? Because nobody I live with uphold the same quality control of how the house should be as I do?
Because I was stupid to think I could change a hoarder.
“We’re not obsessed with everything like you are” is the response I get when I complain. “We don’t have time, we’re tired, we can’t help it” is always the excuse I get and I am drained by the whining and then I don’t want to create – I just want to sink back in bed and hope that I do actually die of whatever is making me sick! It’s probably the black mould, I never had asthma before I moved in here!
I was offered a free writers retreat holiday the other week, I refused to go because I was genuinely afraid that if I went, I’d enjoy the freedom too much and won’t want to come home again.
I am a musician as much as I am a writer, I am a composer and lyricist, I am an artist and photographer – but I can only be a writer whilst I live here, there isn’t any room for the other stuff and I miss my piano and keyboard so much, the glockenspiel, recorder and kalimba are available easily, but the house has eaten my harmonica and portable electronic drum!
Oh I still have it, it’s upstairs in a box, but I can’t get to it, it’s barricaded behind loads of boxes of things we never use and I can’t carry it downstairs to use it, without thirty minutes of tidying up first and then there is the issue that I am disturbing someone. Or that “they” want to play my keyboard too as though it’s some kind of novelty game;
I am thrilled in particular that Henry has an interest in playing the keyboard, though he never practises, but why is it always when I only just bring it down for me after months of not seeing it?
Maybe I am just a selfish asshole, but I can’t help feel I am being boxed as much as the junk in the spare room is!
Sometimes I feel I am in the way, that if they could, they would, shove me in a box and put me out of the way.
How I miss my music.
I need to find a way out of all of this, before I grow old and bitter and become a mega bitch; it’s slowly happening, I used to be happy for everyone, never a glum thought crossed my mind – but lately, I am getting envious and I am starting to turn green and have ugly thoughts about things.
I feel like I am losing my soul!
Happy reading everyone!