Sunday, June 03, 2007


Last weekend I went to see my parents. It was a long planned visit to help my Father re-decorate their front room. My Father is 81 this year, and for his age is very active and energetic. I did notice, as he was roller painting a wall, he was quite quickly getting out of breath. I was also reminded of a particular tendency of his to rush towards completion and neglect giving attention to some significant detail. He then has to suffer severe castigation from my Mother as a result. My Father is generally an easy going passive man, but has, what I would call - little pointless rebellions of the soul, quite often when my Mother has pushed him too far.

I’m increasingly struck by the narrowness of my parent’s perspective. As regular Daily Mail readers, I think this is worrying, but only to be expected I guess. Vunerabilty is the key word as they grow older, the world feels all too threatening, wayward and out of their control. My Mother, who will be 79 this month, has some quite severe ailments that prevent her going out much. She currently has eighteen items on repeat prescription, fourteen of which are pills. On the Sunday they took me out to a restaurant in Thorne. They go there almost every week and meet a cousin of my Mothers and her husband. As we were all tucking into our Sunday roasts, or in my case the vegetarian alternative, the conversation fell to medication. So as the four of them ate their meat and two veg, they compared which bowel medicine they were on and what side effects, if any, they’d had. One complained about the difficulties in getting colostomy bags delivered to your home. How I could have contributed to this subject matter defeats me.

Four and a half days off work was welcome. Yet, two days after being back at work my back has resumed its weary winging. I’ve noticed that instead of it hurting on the left side it is now more evenly balanced at the base of my back. Perhaps the Acupuncture is slowly putting things to rights. As it is, I regularly take two paracetamol and a glucasamine sulphate tablet every day, to deaden the pain and discomfort. This lasts until mid afternoon, even so by the time I return home I’m bushed. Though this week was only four days, it felt like forever. We had a quarterly Team Meeting on Friday. I usually find these quite dispiriting affairs. The Management talk about consultation and listening to our ideas and suggestions, but as soon as someone raises any issue its quickly dismissed or shot down in flames.

So this current weekend I’ve not been feeling too positive, quite unreasonably irritable and frustrated. I need to move on from the Crematorium, but how? What is a productive way forward? I look at the Job section in the paper and despair. Everywhere I turn seems currently to be a backward step. I was saying to David how in the past when I ran my own business, I would unconsciously override my emotional resistances just in order to keep going. At present I’m all too aware that I’m having to override them on a daily basis, and it’s a very painful thing to find one-self doing consciously. I cannot continue doing this indefinitely or my back problems will accompany me to my grave.

I was reading the Family section of the Saturday Guardian yesterday. In it were extracts from a young woman’s diary recounting her Father’s depression, attempts at, and finally committing, suicide. I found myself feeling quite sombre and emotionally stirred. When David asked me what was up, it wasn’t long before I was in tears. The whole issue of suicide I find does upset me greatly. I came out of the film ‘The Hours’ in floods of tears. Whether I had some experience of suicide in a previous life or that I somehow empathise with their sense of hopelessness through my own present life experience, I do not know. I’ve never personally felt like topping myself, it doesn’t appear ever to have been an option worth considering. The strength of my response seems disproportionate, and therefore intrigues me. Gosh, I am a cheery chappy this week, Lets hope for better news soon.

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