Monday, 1 April 2019
When one door closes
the next one slams shut in-your-face; the one after is not even worth trying, for someone else holds the key and it's double-locked with chains and-all-sorts.
That's how I used to feel, what I used to believe when someone told me "Never worry; as one door closes, another one opens". Even Julie Andrews teased me with a version in the Sound of Music, although she had a window opening afterwards. I thought they all told lies; until yesterday, when I finally got what they were talking about.
I have to go back, to get to the point I am trying to make - not that I am really making a point, at all, as such. I'm not even sure why I am writing this for I said I wasn't going to write any blog entries unless they were interesting, and this will be anything but interesting; however, there maybe someone out there right now who is being told about doors and windows, opening-and-closing who doesn't believe a word of it; they may come across this, read it, and see that even the most skeptical of us sooner-or-later understand what is meant. If I can help just one person among the billions on the planet, then my time sat here is not wasted.
Those of you who know me, those of you who used to follow my previous blog (the one I deleted when I started again) will know that the past few years have been hard on me; 2017 being the toughest year of my life, by far - so far (I'm not naive enough to think there won't be a harder one further down the line). In the space of a few years I lost 5 of my closest friends. 1 died (so bloody inconsiderate of her for she was the best friend I've ever had). 2 were nasty bullies who I finally saw for the first time - for years I'd been blinkered to them and altough they were never friends to begin with until I finally saw them for who they really are I always believed they were. 1 was duped into believing the lies of one of the nasty ones; sadly she has mental health issues and he played her better than an irish man plays his fiddle. The other one gutted me a little, for I truly believed she was a good/kind person with a kind heart. To discover she was a liar who was only interested all the time I was of use to her, was a hard one to take. Turns out I wasn't the first to have fallen into her trap. Yes, I really was that much of a sucker in my past life. I let some real shit into my inner circle. Thankfully, I wisened up to them all (wish I'd have listened to my Mum sooner - wow is that woman an amazing judge of character? She sounded out every-single-one-of-them and got them all spot on; I have made a pact that in future if she tells me not to trust someone, or that they are no good, I'm going to believe her. She did warn me about another who is attached a friend last week, but I've had her number for a long time and have never trusted her - I can't be quite-so-stupid as I believed I was, after all!).
I'm not ashamed, or afraid, to admit that this-time-last year I had stockpiled enough paracetamol to end the pain I was feeling, and I really was in pain; sadly, that wasn't the first time I'd done such a thing either, although back then I'd spoken to someone and realised it was a stupid thing to be thinking. A pain unlike anything I had experienced before. I felt as though I was worthless; people had used-and-abused me my whole life. Bad things happened, and were followed by more bad things, which were followed by even worse things (first world problems not withstanding). How selfish is/was that of me? I have a charmed life compared to others throughout the world, but to me, at that time, in that moment, I questioned my very existance, figuring I was only here for the amusement of others. I know now, how wrong that was, that I allowed those people to use-and-abuse, and that I was the one who had to take control; take back the power I gave away to them in the first place. I did what had to be done, yet that still didn't stop the pain I was in. It didn't make me feel better. My dog being the final nail in my coffin (thank goodness it wasn't hammered tight, or I might not be here now). I have never felt so useless in my life as I did when it came to her. I was desperate to do whatever it ook to keep her alive. When I failed in my endeavour and had to have her murdered (none of this PTS bullshit; I paid a vet to kill her, and not even a nice vet) 47 years of crap crashed down on me that night, and it was only yesterday (some 15 months later) that I was able to look at photo's of her without feeling as though my heart had been ripped out; I even smiled as I watched some videos. I know I did all I could for her, that had I put her through the operation the vets were hard selling me (purely to make more money out of me - apparently £8000 wasn't enough for them) that I would have been doing it for my benefit only; yes, I would have prolonged her life for another 6,7, possibly 12 months but at what cost to her? I did the right thing and I know that now.
I had never felt so alone though, at-that-point. My friends had all gone, my dog had gone (my cat just 7 months before - that's right; both my furbabies in one year) and while I had my Mum (she was struggling herself too), my brother, my number 1 and Nathan, all of whom checked up on me regularly (number 1 almost daily) I still felt so alone. I had to be strong for my Mum because she was suffering probably worse than I was, for the dog stayed at home with her each day) so I felt I was dealing with her grief more than my own at times. My brother and number one both have their own crap to deal with so I would try not to burden them, and Nathan isn't here; he is the one person on this planet I talk to about everything (and I mean literally everything, even the stuff you'd not normally discuss with a guy - he's such a big part of me life; has been for such a long a time, and will be for even longer) and while I spoke to him every-single-day, it wasn't the same - he wasn't/isnt here. At that point in my life, I felt like I had nothing, and nobody. I saw no reason for continuing. in fact, in January of last year I laid in bed one night (I was suffering with chicken pox at the time) and said out loud "fuck it; enough is enough. Take me. I'm ready to die" and I really was. How glad I am now that whoever is waiting for my time so they can come and take me, didn't pay any attention to me.
What made me really think yesterday, about doors, windows, opening and closing though, is how odd things have been since then; odd in a good way.
6 months after my dog died; 1 year after the last friend went, I got a letter from a company I had contacted almost 5 years previously, regarding a PPI claim. It had been refused; I took it to the ombudsman who told me I didn't have a hope (they did try for a couple of years to get me something - all to no avail). Then, this letter arrived, and with it the offer of a cheque (if I was willing accept it) for a lot of money. In fact, it was the almost exact amount I would have needed for the dog. Ironic? Had it arrived before I would have spent it all on my dog, and it would have all been for nothing (well, those few extra months, but it's pretty much certain she would have struggled/suffered during that time).
I put that cheque into the bank; opened up a savings account and decided to use it to knock something off my "Bucket List" (this year I realise that I need to do these things while I can; my reasoning for that is a blog for another day though). There aren't many things on there, and the ones which are, are all visiting places (aside from one; I'd like to get married some day too). All 50 US states, Saltzburg, Berlin (and Auschwitz) and the Norweigian Fjords. So, guess what I did? That's right; I booked a cruise to the Fjords (and I don't even like boats; the thought of them sinking scares the crap out of me). Not a stateroom or anything; just a basic inside cabin, but we're not flash/fancy people. The simple things are what makes our world go around. I'm taking my Mum with me; when I think about how hard my life has been, I look at her and realise it's been nothing compared to hers. She's also the only parent I have (my Dad died 26 years ago) and I know how precious life is. I want to spend as much time with her and make as many memories with her as I can. Neither one of us will be here forever. So you see, as the door on my dog's life and past friendships closed, a new one opened up for me.
Had I still had my 'friend's in my life, I wouldn't have booked the cruise - well, not for Mum and I, atl least. I'd have ended up using it on trips with them; trips which would have been great to visit wherever we went, but would have made me bloody miserable because of how they treated me. All the things I might want to be doing in the places we visited would have been pushed to one side, whilst we did all the things they wanted, yet I would have been the one paying for it all. Now, I'm going where I want, when I want, with someone who might drive me crazy at times, but who has always put me (and my brother) before herself. At the time it happened I thought about how it was weird; like a door closing, and one finally opening.
Yesterday though, everything really struck me.
Not only did I lose those 'friends' and my furbabies, but towards the end of last year I also lost some members of my family. They weren't blood but they were as close to me as family should be. They became so because my own family had walked away from us many years ago - for reasons we never knew (or understood) until now. As a result I found a new family, but they were never mine to begin with and have told people they " don't speak" to me anymore and "want nothing" to do with me. Their perogative.
I understand, why. I called them out on their behaviour and lack of respect, in front of their older sister and her husband. Why they have chosen to cut her off too though, is anyone's guess. They know I will always be there for them if they ever choose to pick up the phone and ask me to be, but I will not put myself out for them anymore. It almost broke my heart to walk away, they were (still are) 2 of the most important people in my life, but they are adults now, free to choose their own path. The consequences of their actions are their own responsibility. All those morals and values their Mum tried to instill within them; gone. She would be devasted to see how things (and they) have turned out. She did what she thought was right (at-the-time) yet she got it so wrong. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as is hope, and I hold on to hope that there is still enough of her within them for them to realise what they've done, what they've lost, and they sort-it-out. Not for me, or their sister, but for themselves and the gorgeous little niece they have. They are missing out on so much because of it. They could be a part of something so much bigger.
However, as they closed the door, instead of the next one slamming in my face, it opened up, widely, and presented me with blood relations I had lost contact with. An older relation I had been extremely close too (looked up to, asmired, wanted to be like) and her family; her kids, who I've not seen for over 20 years, don't really know, but all of whom have welcomed us back into the family with the biggest of arms. The hugs have been amazing. I've gone from feeling so alone, with nobody in my life and the smallest circle of people, back to being part of a family. I spent 4 hours the other Saturday with my cousins daughter; she was 6 when I saw her last. She's never known me, never got to know me, yet the second we were in each other's company I felt as though I'd been present throughout her whole life. There was that ease you only get when you're with people who know you, as well as you know them. Reconnecting with them all is wonderful; we are still in the early stages but for the first time is such a very long time, I actually feel whole again (cheesy, I know but the only way I can describe it). I feel a contentedness I've not felt for a long time (not sure I've ever really felt it). I feel so positive about everything right now. Life is great, wonderful even. I believe anything is possible. I'm living, loving and very much enjoying.
It's going to get better too, as I get to meet the rest of my family Stateside later this year. I am sure feeling blessed.
Of course, I am more-than-aware that things can come crashing down in a split-second, but until they do I am going to carry on enjoying and embracing, and knowing if they do (for they may not; I might have finally made it to the top of that "wheel of fortune") there are now people in my life who genuinely care and who will be there for me, because of me; not because I have something they might want.
Hey, even my shop door is opening more often these days too. Business is Blooming (yes, pun intended) and each day is opening up more possibilities - those lead to more doors opening to.
It would appear, Julie Andrews, was right (almost - as someone who doesn't believe in any kind of god I'd have to point out it wasn't the lord opening and closing for her) :)