Tuesday, 29 May 2012


If this is not a word, then it ought to be, and it is hereby launched into the vocabulary cosmos. One frequently reads of those who emerge unscathed from disasters, bushfires, car accidents, and the likes, but its opposite, scathed, seems not to have exactly the opposite meaning.

I feel rather scathed, and can only hope that recovery will happen, doubtless at its own lurching and idiosyncratic pace. In the meantime the effects of being scathed must be endured. While in a practical sense I know I have done quite well, and in other ways I have become more determined and resolute, inside me is a quivering, quavering blob-like jelly, ready to fall apart at the least little blow. As I am on my own, what can't be cured must be endured, but oh! how I want to flail about, to moan and groan, and to cast myself on the waters where perhaps I might be petted and consoled.

There, there.

If only.

As a significant birthday approaches, the question of how it should be celebrated arises. And it occurs to me that my siblings, although sympathetic and ready to telephone me at fairly regular intervals, are in fact too busy and preoccupied to fit me into their crowded lives, instead expecting me to come to them rather than their coming to me. They came to Dr P's funeral, but since then none of them has come to visit me, although they have managed to make various trips elsewhere. And I feel left out. And think that surely one or other of them might have come to see me. It has been a very rough and tough year, and I have undergone much suffering. Seriously. And the effects do not dissipate overnight.

I ventured to suggest to one sister that I wished she would come and see me, and she lost her temper and bit my head off. She was very busy, she said, she worked hard, minded her grandchild once a week,  had her other children to see, and could not afford to travel here.

I know all that. But. She has been to Brisbane twice, had quite a few weekends away elsewhere, and has made a number of trips to see our sister with dementia.

I applaud the care she gives to others and to our sister.  But my sister does have family nearby, and her husband. I have no one here.

The truth is I am jealous. What about me? I think. I helped her during her troubles. I need support now.

Jealousy is a very scathing emotion. It makes you emotionally very raw. I do not like myself, or approve of myself, when it has me in its sour and savage grip.And it is very inadvisable and counter-productive to let fly with it, so I must do my best to bite my tongue, wrestle with it all, and conform to expectations.

Needs must.

None of them will travel to be with me on this birthday. Instead, I must travel to them.

I am organising a birthday afternoon tea for myself in my home, and I hope friends and children will come to it.

At the same time I wish this significant birthday could be put off for another year. Then perhaps I could deal with it all.

Because who likes a self-pitying whinger?

I certainly don't.


Joan said...

Why can't you put it off for a year? You are all grown up and the boss of you! Why don't you decide what would give you the most happiness, and make it happen? If you wish it, and if it were to be financially possible, invite your favorite person to come and stay with you, your treat.

Gillie said...

I agree with Joan, and if the Queen can celebrate officially later each year, you can postpone one birthday until next year. Go for it! That was a very honest and I am sure hard to write post. Loved the pearls story and so glad you both were brave.

Pam said...

Oh, but sometimes one needs a good whinge. And it's probably better to whinge to us than to your loved ones.

Elephant's Child said...

Sometimes a whinge is a necessity. Give us this day our daily whinge. I do hope life has improved for you since you wrote this post.

Gina E. said...

Oh Persiflage, my heart aches for you. It is indeed hurtful when your own family don't have time for you, especially so soon after you have lost your husband. I enjoy reading your blog, although I don't usually leave comments, but this post prompted me to send some {{{{hugs}}}}}
Gina in Melbourne.