The decade.

It was the teens, wasn’t it?  Redolent of everything rubbish we associate with those years of our own lives: Crackers fashion, utterly lost politically, altruistic for the planet, the homeless, the dispossessed and pants at doing anything about it, all whilst struggling with bits sprouting, bits dropping off and difficult parents.

I don’t know about you but I shall not be sorry to see the end of the twenty teens which have been a personal trial like no other decade except my own teens, when my appalling mother did everything she could to stop me leaving including locking me up and starving me.

The decade kicked off with the realisation of what the OH had.  I consulted a couple of doctors and then joined Al-Anon.

Then the decade started in earnest in 2012 for me with my father’s death precipitating numerous difficulties.  When he died I discovered that he had changed his will and left his money to my three cousins who were to be his executors, inherit his money and ‘manage’ me.  This was changed by my mother before the official dementia diagnosis, or my cousins, all living at a distance, would quite certainly have put her in a home instantly and thrown away the key, she would not have the money from her own house to keep her because they would have split the £500,000 which her care cost, between them.  In the will I also discovered his wish to leave his body to medical science and had to fight my cousins to make that happen, I am also quite certain he did not wish to be dissected by students, I believe he meant to be an organ donor and then I had to deal with all the enquiries about when the funeral would be.  Then my cousins arrived after a snotty email saying they had to be allowed in without let or hindrance, a phrase used by bailiffs, and they arrived mob handed with photos off the internet to distract my mother while they ransacked the house.  I actually think all of this was the wellspring of the cancer that killed my cousin.  A guilty conscience is a difficult thing to live with.

Then there were the five years, one broken arm, that came with being carer for a demented person at a distance.  The whole saga can be found under dementia diaries, click on the side panel.  This was the second time I had been carer for the insane at my own expense, even though I didn’t have any money.  Half a house the first time, a whole house but half a million pounds the second time and cancer after each time.  The second time it was the second broken arm, including the wife of the doctor next door labelling me ‘disabled’.  Then there was the cancer diagnosis after being sent home from the exploratory surgery three times when they ran out of time.  Then the surgery,  Then the adhesions and 20 months in and out of hospital before diagnosis, every time terrified that it was cancer again somewhere else because of all the bruises that blossomed on me, hugely and endlessly as my intestines backed up.

And throughout it all the OH drank, hours and hours each day getting rattier and rattier and nastier and nastier.

Also the S&H and the DIL married the day after her father had died, turning joy into misery.

And I had the cats for five years but now the S&H has them and they are miserable, terrorised by the cat next door and covered in fleas.

And I have lost an inch in height and my trousers are dragging on the floor dear.

And I am a decade older.

However, friends are beginning to say I look better now, even though, because they were friends, they never said I looked awful.  I think I look better despite being ten years wrinklier, lumpier, hairier.

So it is with just this final backward glance I leave this utterly awful decade, determined as I am knocking on, not to have to look after, minister unto or anything, else, anyone else.

There is one thing in the whole of this teeth gritting, flipping get on with it, shoulder to the wheel, back to the wall decade that has been a blessing, a pleasure and anticipated happily every week.  It has been going a decade and three months, through it I have found you.  Through it I have found good friends, had hilarious emails, supportive emails and kind messages.  Because of it I have shared wisdom and found viewpoints from around the world.  If I hadn’t known (but I did) there is always someone worse off than you.  For every problem faced by ordinary people there are a range of solutions.  Most of all, you are never alone.  This wonderful Internet has enabled me to lift as many people in dark times as have lifted me.  Even more it has enabled me to reach out with laughter, right around the world.

I intended to promote artists, share a hobby and maybe sell some dolls.  In the course of trying to do that I found that there are nice people all over the planet.

Do not let the news in the newspapers and the News on TV drag you down. Do not allow teaspoon-shallow influencers and mindless celebrities to make you feel inadequate.

What has evidenced is a decade of meeting lovely people and sharing a laugh round the world. There are perfectly ordinary, perfectly lovely people everywhere. Thank you for being one of them,

Happy new decade,to us all!


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