Disclaimer, this is a very long post, nearly 3k, sorry.
Things are definitely changing in my life, I have a little more personal freedom – not much, but it’s a lot for me and I haven’t had this amount of freedom for at least eight years now.
My physical health is improving enough where I am no longer staying in bed most of the time; in fact I am able to do a little exercise and chores on a daily basis now. I believe it has everything to do with the new high protein diet. I do however choose to escape into the bedroom for up to three hours a time these days, because I am not coping with Henry’s behavioural problems and the arguments in the household.
I am trying my best to do the housework, but Paul and Henry have got into the habit that I have been sick, so when I have made the efforts to tidy up, no one appreciates it and undoes my work around the house almost as soon as I have done it. There is no respect for me in this regard.
I clear an area and Paul or Henry fills it again, in less than half a day, I have to say, it makes me wonder why I bother.
The other day, I spent forty five minutes cleaning the carpet in the hall and clearing away coats, hats, garden equipment and the vacuuming the living room, clearing up shoes, clothes and robots all over the floor. Paul and Henry were both out – they came home and threw their coats wherever they liked, it had rained heavily and the mud was trapesing all over the floor, they sat down and not one of them mentioned about noticing I had done anything.
When I asked them about if they had noticed, all I got was an “ooh sorry, yeah, thanks”; But no effort to amend their slobby mess in the hall.
There are things I am desperate to clean, but with the finances being really hard on us, Paul is reluctant to buy the cleaning materials I am used to.
We have mild bleach and antibacterial wipes and a sponge for the bathroom, but that is all.
I struggle living in this house because a house usually reflects the quality of the wife or mother of the house – believe me when I say, this house is not a reflection of me at all! I have been sick for years and Paul was a hoarder/pack rat before he met me and I had to struggle and deal with this problem of his for ages before I got sick and I nearly sorted the whole house out.
There are things Paul leaves for months, no matter how much I complained when I could leave the bed, he still never got around to doing things. There are four rooms in the house that I ban everyone from going into, if they are guests because I’d die of embarrassment over it – Paul doesn’t have the same inclination as I do. He doesn’t see what’s so bad about things, though he admits it needs to change.
The dining room has been unusable as Paul’s hoarding is coming back; this has been unusable for three years now. The kitchen is just plain dangerous and dubious. The utility room is dangerous and the roof has caved in and there is fibreglass hanging from it, every time it rains the whole room gets soaked and that is where we do our laundry – or rather where Paul does the laundry as it’s too dangerous and narrow for me to get out there, as whatever Paul can’t throw away, old broken electricals etc. gets stored out there.
The other room isn’t a room a guest would go to anyway, that’s the big bedroom, which is now Paul’s room and the room where we store Christmas decorations, DVDs, towels, linen and clothes. It’s basically an enormous disorganised store room.
Paul is very tactical, he knows with my balance problems and weight, that I can’t get to places if he puts things a certain way. This means there are lots of places I cannot access around the house unless he assists me; this makes me completely dependent upon him to help me. The thing is, with this new diet of mine I am slimming down and I am gaining better balance, dexterity and agility as well as energy. This is starting to cause ructions between us, as he doesn’t like the idea I no longer need him, despite knowing we’re separating soon.
I am a house proud woman; I was raised by very domesticated OCD housewives through my mother, paternal grandmother, various cousins and aunts I was sent to live with over the years. I am meticulous about the house, I am an organised person who is driven nuts by the idea of piles upon piles of things and a throw it anywhere attitude.
I am the kind of woman who goes into cafes and wipe the table down before I do anything and wipe up after myself too, I am that tidy it’s my nature.
I am the kind of person who has dinner, take the plates out and the sauces. Whilst Paul says, leave it on the table I will deal with it later. The plates are taken out and washed immediately, but the sauces can be there for days.
My little bit of freedom is that I can now do a little per day around the house, but living with people like this I often wonder if I should bother at all?
I have also paid off a debt, which means I now have for the first time in three years £25 a week to treat myself with. I haven’t seen this kind of money for three years!
Paul won’t let me spend the money on anything but treats for myself, but the thing is, I need to. I need to consider putting £10 a week away for savings, for travel money to the doctors and hospital. Paul doesn’t know that’s why I am saving the money. Because of the heat or eat crisis, I have tried to give Paul £5 here and there for treats for me and Henry, he accepts it but doesn’t like it if I extend that to say… fruits or meats I may want to add to the diet too as he sees that as part of the family money. He doesn’t want me to spend money on the family or the house.
He admits he is proud and he doesn’t like that he can’t provide for me.
I want him to spend some of my money on getting the cleaning equipment I want but that is hard for him to digest, Paul tells me, he will clean it himself with what we have. I am still waiting…
To be Frank with you, I can’t wait until I move out. But Paul doesn’t like the idea of me being alone, because of my inclination towards avoiding meals and going into bouts of depression where I could self-harm.
I wasn’t depressed like this before I got sick and lost control around the house.
My depression was mostly to do with being sick and in constant pain, then it got worse because of my helplessness, followed by seeing the declination of the house hygiene and my son’s mental health and then the severe poverty, where we relied on a food bank for Christmas and for other occasions.
I don’t care that Paul is starting a new relationship with another woman, I care that I will lose my son, because Henry wants to stay here with his dad because he knows I go with the flow and I probably wouldn’t stick around Rugby town when I move out.
I go where I am wanted or needed.
I am very flexible.
I am able to start going out once a week without it affecting any budget, this is why I have chosen to go to the library once a week on a Saturday afternoon around 1 to 4pm or thereabouts. but not today.
I will take my laptop so I could get extra writing done there for my novel, because I can’t write in a smelly, untidy house where Henry and Paul have screaming matches every fifteen minutes.
Perhaps as I get fitter, I could eventually walk to the library like I used to instead of getting the bus and then maybe go every day?
I remember around 2014 before I got sick, that I regularly walked 9 miles per day, I miss that! I also had enough energy left in me to be meticulous around the house, chasing a toddler and doing 45 minutes of Tae-bo a day too, this is not counting whatever I did at the recreation ground near the house, I used to power walk or jog around that five to seven times three times a week!
Paul was in constant exhaustion as he followed me everywhere, because I have a weird problem. I don’t like going anywhere alone, ever. Unless I have a dog, then that’s different as I don’t feel alone with a dog.
I can go out on my own, if I have a dog.
I’m weird I know, but there is something that makes me anxious when I am not in a small group. I like groups, I thrive in them, but make me alone or put me into a situation where I am having a 121 or a 2 on 1 discussion with people I hardly know, I get so tense.
I tell you, it’s this weird… I will willingly go and talk to an audience of a thousand strangers about any subject you want as long as there is one person back stage or on stage that I know is there, the more people I know, the better; than say, go into a small confined room where I am far away from a door with two complete strangers.
It’s a trust issue.
If people are friendly with me around three or four consecutive visits, I will relax to them very quickly and they go into my trust circle, but if they are rude or mean in anyway, they will never get into that sense of security with me.
It’s just the way I am.
I am very much a pack animal and without my pack I am lost.
My fitness efforts are part of my project to get myself fit enough to find myself a pack, so I can feel like I want to live again.
I think finding my tribe or people who want to be in my life, as the key to my happiness. I did have a wonderful community here in Rugby before I got sick, but when my sickness got so bad I couldn’t leave the house anymore, people dropped me over a time. Nobody wanted to come and visit someone who was so sick they could hardly talk and they couldn’t get off the sofa. Especially as I wasn’t diagnosed with anything that was potentially fatal!
I was just recovering from pneumonia and having multiple chest infections over the years that meant I became very disabled, it badly affected my mobility and I gained a lot of weight.
In 2017 I decided that perhaps food could be my medicine? I read a book called “The Wahl’s Protocol” which enlightened me enough that I went on an elimination diet, no gluten, no lactose, no eggs, no soy and as paleo as you can get. I did see some improvement but not a lot, but I then developed certain deficiencies.
I then decided to try going slowly back on everything; it was fine until I started back on soy and mustard. Then I decided to listen to my body from when I used to be athletic – go back to a high protein diet.
It’s the protein I need.
It’s the protein fixing me.
I try to get 75g of it per day at minimum, but it’s hard on our budget and I am writing this on the 28th October 2022 – today I haven’t been able to eat much at all. I had some chicken barely enough to fill half a sandwich and a protein shake and a little light snack, but I was unable to keep things down today. I had barely 800 calories worth of food, this is becoming regular these days and it’s scary.
Paul think its stress, because I can’t cope with Henry’s behaviour and Henry’s behaviour is worse at the dinner table, where things get so heated between everyone, my stomach goes into knots and I physically cannot eat more than a couple of mouthfuls for a couple of hours.
We have discussed that I should have a separate meal time, away from Henry.
Henry appears to be developing such bad behavioural problems that it is almost like autism, the thing is, he didn’t have any of the signs of this when he was younger. He is nearly thirteen, but his behaviour is so erratic and sometimes dangerous that it puts tremendous stress on us, especially me.
I half believe he is putting it on, so he doesn’t go to school. He also finds his behaviour hilarious and doesn’t seem to understand that this behaviour is not funny, the more we show our concern and try to calm him down or even ignore him, the worse he gets. We can’t win. Paul believes there is something genuinely wrong with him, but I think he is playing us a fool.
Why do I say this? Because Henry is a huge attention seeker and because I used to work with the mentally disabled, that are far more severe than Henry and they were adults and I can tell you now – Henry’s behaviour is extreme and Henry is an A+ student, he only acts like this when he wants attention or when he doesn’t want to do something.
This is something the school has noted. Henry is fine in certain classes and when he is around his favourite people, but put him into things he don’t like, he goes berserk literally. He isn’t violent, he just plays up – acts the fool, reverts back to a toddler, if you get me?
For example, whilst at home if he gets his favourite dinner he is happy, naturally. But he starts to grin really big and make repetitive noises such as heeee heeee heeee almost donkey like and starts to bounce on his bottom rapidly and shake, then he will hand the food into his mouth without using knives and forks.
This gets him noticed, this causes a reaction from Paul – Henry sees this reaction and likes the attention, so does it all the more and does other things that Paul will notice and comment on, making Henry get all the worse. Till it escalates and they scream at each other, Henry hits himself and runs away, Paul makes chase, scream, scream, scream, Henry comes back at the table going on about how everybody hates him.
It is happening daily.
I have suggested that we talk to Henry calmly, I am ignored. I have suggested not giving attention to bad behaviour but noticing and praising the good behaviours instead, I am ignored.
When Henry has lunch when Paul is out, he never acts like this.
This is why I have severe reservations about leaving Henry with Paul.
Henry doesn’t react badly like this, when Paul is out, Henry is attentive, vain, clean and tidy when it’s just me and him. Around Paul he loses it, he doesn’t want to take care of himself, he doesn’t want to do anything good and I can understand why. Henry gets more attention when he is bad and is completely ignored when he is good, except by me.
I over compensate for Henry’s good behaviour, because I know it is lacking from his father.
There are times when Henry and I speak together away from Paul, because both of us do not want to trigger another screaming match by being overheard. Henry often talks about how he doesn’t feel wanted or loved and because I am anxious about any shouting going on around me because of my PTSD, I am eager to be out of ear shot of Paul when he tells me these things.
It’s difficult here. This is why I am finding it hard to do much.
I am constantly drained; I am running on empty lately. Whenever I sit or lie down, I am inadvertently falling asleep very easily. I have black circles under my eyes and it’s not lack of sleep or dehydration.
Sorry for such a long post, but I needed to get this off my chest.
Thanks for reading.