There are good days and bad days and everything in-between. Since being off work I have had truly great moments, genuine feelings of hope and happiness. Almost in exact balance there have been the lowest of moments filled with tears, anger, frustration and sadness.
Most often, these are the same day!
People ask how I am. I am not always certain what to say. At any given moment I am many things. This morning I took a video of our home, our ‘safe place’, our sanctuary….
It has got to the point that it feels impossible to just ‘sit’ (not that this is something I have ever been very good at). We have four and a half weeks before we need to leave the country, carrying all of our worldly belongings.
We have a few boxes of keep sakes that we will ship – we don’t even know where to as yet as we don’t have a ‘home base’.
Everything has to go – every stick of furniture, every suit, every bag, every plate, every tax return document… everything.
In some ways this is cathartic, a cleansing, a sort of ultimate paring down exercise (Tiny House Nation reference) and is a really good exercise in what ‘sparks joy’ (Marie Kondo reference).
However, with anxiety, depression and mental health instability thrown into the mix it is even more than this.
- Every item is Flossy’s favourite ——– (insert genre of item)
- Felicity likes unpacking, repacking, transporting and moving anything from where it is to anywhere it shouldn’t be
- Freya is getting introverted as she really struggles with change
- Every item has memories that need to be acknowledged and associated feelings worked through (very upsetting)
- People say they want things then; don’t show up, won’t stop messaging, offer silly amounts, or…. in one case… make you feel like an awful person for selling something that should be ‘kept in the family’ I needed that like a hole in the head!
- WE ARE LIVING IN CONSTANT CHAOS
- And it all feels like it is my fault
So, to assuage the guilt of how being at home makes us feel, we attempted to run some home school projects this week – as you will know if you read the other blogs. I won’t repeat the positives and negatives of the week, that was yesterday’s post, but I will say that yesterday was the lowest of the low for me.
It all started so well. Despite the online trolling about selling some furniture that had been in the family since before my grandparents’ time we had managed to sell two pieces to a wonderful, warm lady… who brought croissant for the children, first thing in the morning.
This took a while longer than expected, thanks to genuinely lovely chats and exchanges of ideas, as a result we were late leaving the house so I had to do my ‘work’ in the car.
This meant the blog was poor, the images rushed and the typing full of errors – it also meant that the girls were upset with me for working during family time – which is quite right.
We had promised Freya a trip to Din Fai Fung for an early lunch. Ordering lunch, getting across the packed mall and the behaviour of the girls meant I had a panic attack and had to go for a walk within minutes of arriving at the restaurant. (Hence the #huggy post on Facebook)
The irony was, that people were so positive about the picture “You look so happy” “What a lovely family”
This was so upsetting in such an unexpected way. It made me realise that life through a lens doesn’t tell any of the story…
I have tried so hard to hide my illness from the girls, tried not to cry in front of them, tried not to snap, get frustrated. And, here I am having monumentally failed in all these respects in the middle of Dubai Mall, the girls cuddling me to try to make me feel better after sobbing out loud in public, and people thing we look so ‘happy’.
I just didn’t know what I thought about that and had a real wobble.
We had researched and found affordable tickets for the aquarium (when you know there will not be a pay check after the 30th June you become very aware of every penny).
So, after lunch we headed off through the ridiculously bus mall to the underwater zoo. The guard snapped our voucher for Freya who went in, then, stopped the rest of us following. Said our tickets needed checking… Freya meanwhile is alone on the other side of the gate.
We wait, not very patiently, for 5 mintues for the ticket lady to finish with her customer. She comes over to tell us that the tickets aren’t valid as it is a holiday.
I explain that one ticket has been scanned now.
She calls the manager
Freya is still inside
The manager comes and says we can pay an additional 75AED to upgrade the tickets… no, we want to not pay more we say, then come back when it is not a holiday he says. OK, but you have scanned one of the tickets and our daughter is inside… it is OK, we will let you in next time he assures… can you prove that, will you be here?
And on it goes!
Anxiety levels go up, tears start to form behind the eyes, Freya IS STILL INSIDE… what is wrong with these people? This is the third day in a row that a planned activity has gone awry due to bureaucracy.
We don’t get in
We do get Freya back and a written ‘note’ that says to accept the ticket next week once Eid is over.
The kids are upset as we can’t go in, of course, we try to placate them with ice cream, which doesn’t work as they choose blue SMURF ice cream as it has marshmallows, but it tastes disgusting. Mum tries to Facetime in the middle of it all and says ‘you look better’ which inadvertently tips me over the edge into tears.
We go home.
To the chaos.
And I cry for two hours on and off, in front of the girls, uncontrollably. It was the lowest point so far.
So, when you ask me how I am, I don’t know what to say.
There are good days, and bad days, and bad bits in good days, and good bits in bad days… and everything in between.
I don’t know what answer you can cope with, I don’t know what answer I am capable of giving, I don’t feel I can be raw with you all, all the time, I don’t know if I can speak without crying.
So, if I say I am fine, know, that is all I can say right now.