Rummaging through old boxes and bags around the house, I have found things I have lost because Paul had moved them and placed them in towering piles at the corners of unregulated rooms, I have come across things I have completely forgotten about for years.
I didn’t realise at the time I made them, but I was a really nifty knitter and crochet thing (maker)? I have found two pairs of fingerless gloves I Knitted for myself as well as knitted hair dangles, two scarves, a babies blanket and a cowl.
Funny thing is I remember giving it up as I thought I was rubbish, but there you go.
I also remember giving it up because it was one of the main causes of my carpal tunnel syndrome as I am addicted to fidgeting so I took up the hobby as a kind of fidget toy that was productive idea. However I got addicted to making things and I was knitting 100 stitches per line 100 times a night and my arm became almost unusable for three months because of it.
If I knit more than fifteen minutes it comes back.
Such a shame as I had a lot of projects I wanted to do.
I’m traditional and so I often like to knit cardigans, blankets and dungarees for babies as presents, so it’s hard for me to choose not to knit when I know there is a new baby on the way for friends and family.
Weird thing is that sewing and embroidery doesn’t affect me as much as knitting does.
I hand sew, scared of sewing machines because of things that happened to me as a kid; mum didn’t like my love for fashion and design, so when she was resizing curtains she bought one day I asked her to let me help her sew the seam with the machine and she deliberately nudged my hand where I had three inches of stitches go through my hand. “There’s it’s your own fault, now stop bothering me about it”.
I want to get brave with using sewing machines as I have always thought about making my own clothes someday; Paul told me there is a lady in town who will make clothes to my specifications if I provide her with a comprehensive pattern for her to follow and she will do it with any material I give her for £25 an hour.
It would be nice someday to be able to do that.
The silly thing is I was the most excited about finding some playing cards I haven’t seen in a while; the donkey cards, snap cards and the old maid. I have loved those cards since I was a kid, but Henry isn’t really into playing pairs or snap with me, unfortunately. He is completely absorbed with robot making and learning geography.
I have loads of board games too; nobody wants to really play anymore. We used to make a point that every night, or at least most nights we’d play a board game for one hour before bed, but Paul and Henry grew out of it and I was the only one who wanted to play. Too much resentful arguments during gameplay ruined the fun for me, so we don’t bother anymore. Even on special occasions like Christmas and my birthday, they just can’t help but make a scene.
This year on my birthday I got a lovely three course meal home cooked for me by Paul, a rare treat and it stretched our budget badly! It’s a landmark birthday and I got no landmark present. I don’t mean to sound bitchy but it was very disappointing. Paul has always known this landmark birthday was something I wanted to be special for the last three years.
But I guess it’s not his fault the oven broke down two weeks before my birthday.
I understand in Paul’s mind, birthdays mean nothing to him; but for me, my life hasn’t been celebrated past my seventh birthday. The last ever proper birthday party I have ever had was when I was seven years old. All other things were always two weeks after my birthday, never parties and always something my brother wanted to do in the façade that it was really for me.
Is it really bad to want to feel special from time to time?
I am always made to feel unreasonable.
I try to look on the bright side though; at least people won’t circle around me smiling weirdly at me whilst they sing out of tune “squash tomatoes and stew”. Ugh I really hate that version of happy birthday. But I’m no kill joy, honestly.
I am starting to sort the house out, finding all my stuff, moving it to my bedroom as we’ve moved apart now me and Paul. I don’t mean I’ve moved out of our house, I mean, we’re living sort of separate lives whilst still living together and I want to organise my stuff.
Mostly because it destroys me that I worked hard to keep things being thrown away over the years by my mum, only for it to come here, get lost amongst Paul’s mess and when I find it, find that its broken irreparably. It bothers me when it’s an ornament or an item of clothing that was thrown in a corner out of the way being ruined, instead of going in a laundry basket – but it hurts a lot when I find it’s a handwritten story or a watercolour painting I have done.
Paul is a recovering hoarder (pack rat). When I first moved in this house was quite something… It took me nearly two years to get the house into some sort of liveable shape and it was a very tumultuous time emotionally between us as Paul had to let things go in order to give the growing baby their own space too.
When I got sick, the house got bad again. But for years I struggled to try and clean at least one room a month to keep on top of things, but the problem with that is energy and health.
I have asthma; one of the biggest things that set my chest off is dust. Cleaning is not his priority, so this house is never dusted by him, always me.
Once a month it took me about three to eight hours in one day to clean a room, just one room. To always find that three days later it looked like it hadn’t been touched, because Paul will shift items from other places in the gaps I made.
Years of struggle and arguments over it – new friends I have made since living here has no idea of Paul’s past and Paul is quite sneaky in letting people believe it’s me who has the problem… look at all the books, they are all hers. Because I have bookcases downstairs visible for everyone, they see it as a truth and it’s not.
If you were to see the house, you would see all of my areas is clean and tidy most of the time. You can clearly see where Paul spends his time, as it’s the messiest corners of the house with very dangerous high piles of whatever.
My bedroom is heaven in comparison the whole house. The dining room is not functional for its purpose and the kitchen is just downright dangerous.
I used to care for our front and back gardens up until two years ago when the bad neighbour moved in with his girlfriend and decided to start sexually harassing me all the time whenever he saw me in the garden. The gardens are now dangerously overgrown, because I won’t go out there and Paul has no spine to tell the guy where to go.
I have wanted to call the police, but being deaf I can’t use a telephone; Paul has flat out refused to call them on the grounds of lack of evidence. I suggested we use a camera to film me in the garden so they can observe his actions, but of course our poverty is the perfect excuse for Paul not to do that.
As my illness has been the perfect excuse for him not finding a job.
I miss my garden. It was one of my ways in staying sort of fit. I miss walking on the ground barefoot as I pick strawberries and columbines.
I miss doing “what that mad cow” is doing as the bad neighbour called me once, when I decided to go in our front garden and sit directly behind our privet hedge amongst the tall wildflowers because there were tamed frogs, toads and magpies who liked to visit me out there.
I remember hearing his girlfriend and daughter telling him to shut up and leave me alone, because they knew what I was like and they liked what I did. They often commented about how my garden seems to steal all of nature’s beauty from them, all the butterflies and birds visits my garden but not theirs.
Their garden has decking from door to fence with only four small pots of violas, is it any wonder?
I’m a bit of a hippy, nature’s child – actually I might have under exaggerated, just a little…
Since I watched Shirley Temple’s Heidi when I was 5yrs old I have always wanted to own a homestead with my own goats and chickens running about me free, feeding them at 6am singing like Cinderella.
Before I got sick, I was very much a morning person. Waking up like a new-born every day, excited to start living again, throwing open the curtains and singing “Good morning” by Doris Day making everyone in the house want to kill me as they recoil under their covers like vampires hiding from the sun.
I can’t do that anymore; when I wake up around ten to fifteen minutes after I have walked about a bit getting washed and dressed the coughing fits start for about an hour on a bad day. If I wake up and don’t move out of bed, it’s not so bad, but as soon as I get moving it comes. The really bad days scares the crap out of me.
When I do eventually move out of Paul’s house, it’s going to be tough on anyone new I make a relationship with. Those early morning coughing fits are scary for even Paul who has been used to them for eight years.
My consultant believes he knows the cause of this, but he will not treat me because our local hospital is almost bankrupt and has a policy of treating life threatening conditions only.
I have enlarged adenoids that won’t shrink and broken cartilage in my nose made it worse. I broke my nose around 5yrs ago which made the coughing worse, they won’t repair the cartilage, it’s considered aesthetic. Although they call it aesthetic, it won’t improve my looks; my nose will still look big! But there are times the cartilage moves and makes me sneeze uncontrollably and it hurts.
The biggest thing about all this stuff I am finding is that I don’t want a lot of it anymore. I want to give it away to a charity/thrift store. But Paul, ever the hoarder, told me not to do that.
He then caved in and said OK, I take some stuff for you. But it’s all talk. The bag of things has sat on the floor hall for a week now.
Hopefully someday we’ll sort things out here.