Twelve months to the day after my last post here I was inspired to write another.
Obviously, I didn’t. It’s taken another six months to … get around to it.
In a series of fates? Ironies? Fuckeries? … somethings, anyway … Home got harder.
The Eldest One, now adultish and a uni student, left the nest. This, in and of itself, was hard enough; as it is wont to be.
Unfortunately, The Separation occurred with a violence and drama akin to ripping a bandaid off a hairy armpit or bikini line. If I’m honest, it was really more like the ripping of an arm from its socket, or the lower leg disengaged from its higher-up companion without the aid of anaesthesia and with the aid of, say, a slow and rusty chainsaw or the immense jaws of a great white shark.
Painful. Traumatic. Woulds left in its wake.
The rest of the year revolved around attempting to heal, having wounds reopened, at times rent apart unexpectedly and painfully, dealing with past traumas that had raised their ugly heads, and trying to place one foot in front of the other on a path strewn with unwelcome obstacles.
Within the Home, the hard seeped into the walls, the floor, and the very fabric of the family. Younger siblings were distraught and missed their brother; relationships were strained; Home was, indeed, where the Hard had decided to take up residence, disrupt connections, and leave litter and filth in its wake.
On top of this was the need to support my remaining offspring with their own needs. Autism, accompanied by it’s own fun-filled quirks, remained its own, unique challenge.
I had my own medical diagnosis (nothing terminal, don’t worry) that brought both an immense relief and a deep grief.
Again, those two disparate, conflicting feels is enough to break your mind. Coupled with All The Things that come with finally having an understanding of why things are, and have always be, the way the are and have always been, the knowledge and ability to now do something about it, and, well, lots of things, it was quite a mind fuck.
My work place was becoming an increasingly toxic environment, complicated by the conundrum that is loving – LOVING – what I was doing in my job, and having my personal and professional values challenged regularly.
By the end of the year, 2019, I was caught in a volatile vortex, where I couldn’t wait to go to work so I could get out of the house, and couldn’t wait to leave the workplace so I could go home.
There was nowhere I wanted to be.
Everywhere is where the Hard was.
Then … then 2020 happened.
In in a complete Fuckery Of All The Things, the requirements to remain within the home increased exponentially.
From directives in around mid-February to work from home as much as possible, due to unhealthy air quality as a result of Australia basically being on fire; to the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the world in some kind of fucked up sci-fi movie and the implementation of Stage 3 restrictions across Australia; to now, where Victoria is in Stage 4 lockdown and we’re not to leave our postcode, and our house for only an hour a day.
Being an extrovert (in the true sense of the word) and a hugger, I’m finding this in itself a difficult thing to manage.
I’m also missing, with a heart-breaking immensity, my usual activities, like taekwondo and hiking. I miss the fun and laughs, the hard work, sweat, and sore muscles. I miss spending hours in nature, wandering with my mind free from any of my worries and stresses, and just talking to people, listening to their stories.
I miss having any time at home, alone. There is always someone around. There is no opportunity to just sit quietly, in the peace that is an empty home. There is being talked at, being asked questions or for help, or just not being able to watch Netflix without someone walking by or asking what I’m watching.
There is, quite literally, no peace.
Although I have been able to control some things, like the choice to leave the toxic environment that was my workplace – where it came to the point that my values were being challenged so aggressively, I was in tears most days and, in the final straw and incident relating to a manager’s lack of care about security of personal information, I was physically sick.
This has presented a whole other set of challenges; but that’s okay. There is much learning I have gained, and much more I have to do. What’s more, I have possibilities to explore. I’m excited and terrified and excited about that.
Right now, though, Home is where the Hard has taken up residence and is making its presence known with an intensity I cannot describe.
It’s all Hard.
But it will be okay, because now I know what the Hard is doing, which means I can do something about it …