Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Intense Day

Up and down, up and down.

Went to see a brilliant friend yesterday and felt human and me again. Had tea out afterwards to celebrate Ian's new job - poor D ate so quick she filled 3 bowls with puked up mango lassi, dosa and EVERYTHING. Or so it seemed. Full marks to the waiter who came over afterwards, seeing the puke filled bowls, and asked if I wanted it boxed up - erm no. As Ian was back from the loo by then having cleaned D up, I was able to take the bowls away and empty and clean them myself. Poor Deborah it had taken us an hour of mind-crunchingly slow traffic to get there, most of which she had filled by screaming at the top of her voice in the car. I shivered and shook with the effort of not responding until I snapped and screamed back, and then sat in gloom and guilt and self disgust. Michael loved seeing our friend's daughter, loudly announcing in the back of the car that he had had fun. I was glad but also sad as Michael has to put up with so much screaming, so much special needs, so much sometimes. it's ok and will stand him in good stead, just we need to balance, balance balance so much.

Today Ian put the bookshelves in our shrine room. He put Dad's old siddur's (prayer books) up on the highest level. Looking through them I saw the names of the auntie's and uncle who had given him them for his bar mitzvah. I even found his bar mitzvah certificate. I even, even found a book inscribed to his mum from her father. I think my great grandfather was the son of immigrants. I've also written our Christmas cards this week (yup Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity in one paragraph) , one for my aunt Judith, Dad's sister. She's going senile, my mum last spoke to her a year ago, when her speech was confused and she couldn't answer questions reliably. Of course being that she is from my Dad's side of the family where the ASD genes run rife, no one is allowed to have/display any emotion, so any enquiries I've made about her have been ignored or answered piecemeal. So sad to say goodbye to someone before she is dead, and also very hard too. I will email my cousin again to say Happy Christmas (her children are aetheists but this one celebrates Christmas for her children's sake) and also to find out how her mum is. I understand that it's hard to talk about this stuff, so maybe I am expecting too much. especially if you're not in the habit of it and if not talking about it is your coping strategy.

Went out today - much more successful. Big slides and fresh air work wonders. Saw a dog ran over and killed on the way home. Nothing anyone could do, it had run out of a field by the side of a quiet road. Ian slowed right down as he saw it, the lady on the other side of the road didn't see the dog . It was a cocker or springer spaniel and it was zig-zagging across the road, straight into the puddle the car as driving through at the same time. It got caught up in the wheel mechanism and was circled violently before being thrown off. The driver got out immediately too distraught to speak, Ian rushed up and gave her a hug (she was ok with this). I came out of the car too, some neighbours were out - all stood with our hands on our mouths, too shocked. The neighbours didn't know whose dog it was Ian was talking to them. I gave the driver a hug and then held her hand as the dog's owner came running out of the field. The neighbours told her, the driver didn't want to to talk to her, but pushed herself forwards. It was all tearful, the driver was shaking, I was shivering and the owner was a real, stoic country woman. She was not going to show any emotion - the driver said she was amazing for not showing any, and the stoic answered that was going to go home to shake and cry - brusque but kind not nasty. The owner and river hugger, the dog's body got put in a bag for the vet to dispose of, the owner said she never have let him off the lead. I hope she's not going to go home and feel like a silly old lady for having done so - I once worked with a similar, wonderful stoic who once the drama was over, quietly got on with blaming herself. We got in the car and drove off, pleased everyone was being so terribly English but in a good way about it. Still shaken and sad for the dog though and for the old lady without her dog at Christmas. The driver luckily had someplace to go - she was visiting her father, as she was taking him some dinner as he lives on his own. I hope she was able to relax there and get over the first stages of her shock, she had a dog herself. She could remember hearing the dog go round the wheel arch and I suspect she will for a long time.

Then a horrendous bed time with D and talking to my mum on the phone and remembring such a strong feeling I had growing up. Quite simple really - not enough emotions for my mum's side of the family, but far too many for my dad's side. So confusing and still makes me want to scream, lots. My cousin on my mum's side has brought the kids Christmas presents, its bizarre, she's made no attempt to contact me since before Deborah was born - she phoned to tell me her son was born. She has no money but still wants to buy us Christmas presents as her mum did when she was alive. I wrote to her a couple of years back, to say do you want too, I'm concerned that you're spending money that you don't have and it's not as if we ever really see each other anyway? She never responded, so it's a weird sort of kindness. I mean presents are kind aren't they, but I don't get why she's bought them?She didn't last year and this year she turned up on my mum's doorstep with a bag full for all of us. It's fine if she want's too, but I really don't understand it. Archie (her son who is a month older than Deborah) turned up with a present that he really wanted to give to Michael. I'm sure Michael will love it, but I last saw her 6 years ago, when my father died. I think I've met her daughter once - she looked lovely, just old enough to pull herself up on things, and at the stage where my cousin was worrying about what foods to introduce next. I've talked about this with Ian and he looked slightly askance so maybe it's not jsut em, but who knows. She has a new boyfriend so maybe she's trying to pretend our family is more functional than it really is.

Part of the weirdness is that because of Dad's lack of emotions, Mum's family all thought he was really cruel and never really understood quite how mentally ill she really is. They certainly never understood that at one point he pleaded with the hospitalfor mum to come home, purely so he could keep me at home and not re-homed as he felt I would have been, men not being fit parents 40 years ago. Particularly, Jewish Aetheist, non diagnosed Aspie ones. So for years I've had to defend Dad to them, and for years I've had to commiserate about my mum to my dad's family. My dad's family are actually sympathetic as long as I have no emotion.

So I'm totally, totally confused, and would really rather no presents from any of them. I could particularly do without Mum announcing "I only gave Alex as much as I gave you" whenever she gives her money. I'm not jealous, it's my mum's money and she's free to do with it what she likes. I'm not sure why she's reassuring me, it's never made me feel anything other than it's mum's money to do what she want's with. I guess I do feel uncomfortable that mum feels she has to justify herself like that, but I think that's her business. I think it's a shame it's so difficult for people around mum to really sort out the truth from the not so true, but I guess that's because Mum has difficulties herself.

Christmas hey? Brings out the best and worst of us. Oh and first day of Hannukah today too.