Day Seven – Is Being Eaten By Bears An Option?

My soul is exhausted.

I have to confess, I spent a while yesterday searching for cabins to buy in the US. I had no idea that they would be so expensive, but I guess there are an awful lot of people like me who need to reset their sanity button and get away from it all. Only, I know that wherever you go, your trauma goes with you.

There are no cabins that we can afford.

My reasoning was that rather than splurging money we don’t have on a trip I have to take for my survival on this planet, if we bought a little something, we would have something to sell or rent out at the end of it, thereby recouping (hopefully) some of our costs.

I will have to think of another way. There is always another way.

I was (to some extent) prepared to stick a pin in a map and go where the wind blows us (or cheap cabins exist) – a true adventure where there is no plan other than living for the day and following the path our hearts illuminate.

Now I am wondering whether we might instead look for a van, of sorts, that we can travel and ‘live’ in – although, ‘camping’ is not my thing; I don’t want to be eaten by bears, or murdered whilst I sleep.

I shall pray that something wonderful and unbelievable happens to make this mental health vacation from a lifetime of horror, possible. Perhaps Elon Musk can loan us a suitable Tesla for our trip and perhaps Holiday Inn can give us a million points to redeem against stays? I’ve worked on both Challenge Anneka and Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, making dreams come true for others, so I know that it CAN happen. We already have our National Parks pass, so all of the wonder of big open skies, mountains, lakes, nature – the wonders of the world that slow your heart rate – are all available to us. Something good will happen. I know it.

Meanwhile, the search is also on to find a wonderful place for Mum to live out the rest of her days; of which there are likely to be quite a few. She is only 77, so is still relatively young and although currently unable to hobble more than a few steps due to the condition the last care home gave her back to us in – will hopefully recover some of her strength once a specialist gets to the bottom of her foot issues.

Seven years; seven years of a happy, funny and beguiling mother. That’s all I have had. She was already at half her cognitive ability, so not truly herself but now she is back to being the mother I endured for the first 47 years of my life. Mum is unpredictable, rude, aggressive, difficult, argumentative, sharp, spiteful and she is also childlike, afraid, confused and vulnerable. Often she is polite and grateful and other times she is petulant and unaware.

From someone who appears to not know where she is, bringing her home – to her home – has triggered memories that I had no idea were still lurking ‘in there.’ Constant questions: “where is my mummy?” said in a small voice.

I realised that the truth, “she passed away, mama,” was too much for her to bear, so instead respond with, “she is at her flat in Athens.” Mum accepts that; nods her head, as if, “of course, she is!”

It’s the questions about her dead paedophile husband that I find impossible to stomach. The, “he passed away, mama,” did not work well. Mum insisted that wasn’t true, so I have tried the same route as with my grandmother, as in, “he’s gone to visit relatives in Cyprus.” Mum is suspicious about that, shaking her head as if that couldn’t possibly be true, so the question remains and gets repeated endlessly.

I don’t want to think about him. I don’t want to hear his name and I certainly don’t want to make up lies about him to comfort her, when there was no comfort from her about him. About what he did to me. About what he did to us. Ever.

I have truly done my best; given my all. I have put my needs last, always and hers first, always. Now I need to learn how to be selfish and find my ‘happy.’

James is an earth Angel, literally. He is the kindest person I have ever met and has such a deep and instinctive understanding of people and their motivations that every day is a lesson in humanity and humility, as I watch him navigate this situation. He holds me close and he holds me up. He is unwavering and he is unfazed. He is my life.

So. This morning, my day started with an email to social services letting them know that we are resuming the search for a suitable care home; one that is safe, full of life and offers appropriate care for my mother’s needs.

They have ignored our emails letting them know that we have no way to bathe Mum; and that she can’t walk more than a few steps. “It’s good to hear that your mother has settled well,” they said. Perhaps they have confused my email with another?

Perhaps they just don’t care?

I know what I think. You decide.

Further reading:


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