Old Style Ways and Poor Health part 2.

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  • mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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    Polly I can unlock the doors again but it's a nuisance. It just makes me feel like I'm 6 yo again. It's the assumption that the day is over and it's time to lock up for the night, when there are hours of wonderful daylight and it's much cooler for working. She's lovely with everyone except me. She has zero understanding of mental health issues and very little self-awareness. I just need to carve out a little space for me and keep shrugging off all the comments. Striving to be calm and serene at the start of each day. She has been quieter today (felt very well yesterday and maybe overstretched herself) and has asked me politely to do things for her.
    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST SEP No 1 No Debt No mortgage
  • mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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    polly our Wilco's is quite large - it's on the site of our old swimming baths which had a large pool and a small pool. I ordered from them a lot online, especially at the start of the lockdown but I've had quite pleasant experiences shopping instore. On the 20th March 2020 it looked like a flock of locusts had been through. The garden department, all the outdoor paint and the medicine aisle were stripped almost bare (I had a quiet smile at two bewildered women saying 'how can we have paracetemol if there isn't any'). I did get one bag each of onions, garlic and potatoes and there was a moment of madness when I wanted to sweep up anything that might be useful from the remains of the garden department but in the end I settled on 6 large builder's buckets from the decorating department for a pound each (tomatoes don't know the difference between a plant pot and a builder's bucket).

    The shelves are below shoulder height so you can see customers in other aisles as well as the one you are in. At first getting things online was complicated. Mum didn't understand that though they said they had 287 products in fence and outdoor paint, they only had 6 in stock and there were similar problems throughout the store. We have bought our fence paint from them in the past as it's reasonably priced (mum was shocked when one of her regular visitors bought a can for her - she lives back to back with b'n'q and the paint was 3 times what we usually pay). I've also bought house paint from them - they quite often have 3 for 2 deals on doolux and crown paint (because of my eczema and dermatitis I'm better using a 'one coat' paint that limits my contact time).

    When I went in there this time last year (we had about a week's respite between the end of the first national lock down and a region by region lock down/ being put in the highest tier) I went early in the morning - they open at half eight and at weekends it only starts getting busy at around 10 am. Wednesday afternoon is a good time to go to town. It's the traditional half day and although most shops now stay open all the pensioners flock to the market on one of the old market days (it's now open 6 days) and then go home at lunchtime, so it's quiet until the teenagers start getting off the after school buses (many have a second bus to get home but they also congregate around McD's (even when it wasn't open - perhaps they are as much creatures of habit as their grandparents, possibly great-grandparents, this is prime Kyle the Vile territory). 

    The SM are all on the retail centres on the bypass so town is usually a lot quieter. Morries is quite near here if I'm able to waIk (if I have to get a taxi it's further because only buses and pedestrians can get through, cars have to go to one end of that bypass section or the other - town route is shorter but a lot more traffic. I've gone in the evenings to get money from the cash machine and been inside on the odd occasion (their website has a feature showing the busy times of day and how busy it is on that particular day) but mostly had food delivered.

    Many year ago I started having a once a month SM trip with a taxi home (or to mum's) to buy all the bulky and heavy stuff (tinned tomatoes used in lots of recipes so would buy 20 at a time) after many years of everything coming into the house on my back in the rucksack. As back pain and arthritis developed, I found even putting things in the trolley and taking them out again hurt so I would only use a small raised trolley (or two) and switched to more deliveries. If mum gave me a list of random items, I'd split up shopping into short forays and collect everything at home then gather it all up to bring here with me. Little Arseda (formerly Netto) is only 5 minutes from my house so I could also gather my stuff, then go there, buy anything needed (between big delivered shops) and then get my taxi from there to mum's.

    I prefer shops I can see into, so I can assess the number of customers and their behaviour. I think I've been seriously frightened 3 
    times during the pandemic. About 2 weeks in I went to Morries cash machine. Because we knew so little (and I was far better informed than the average) I had gone into a fairly extreme regime with mum - I kept the gate locked, the keys came out of the key safe (mum's partners children have a habit of waltzing in whenever they feel like it), most of the food went into the shed for quarantine and I only washed things we needed - mum was eating lots of oranges. I went to the cash point. I was wearing plastic gloves because other people had touched the keys. I made sure no-one was at the machines. Part way through the transaction a man waltzed up to the other machine (there was a line on the ground for him to stand behind and wait). I only had the walker between us and I recoiled in horror and pressed myself as far into the side wall as I could. He grinned. I was so upset, I'd taken every possible precaution to keep mum safe (no public transport, walked to home and back at quiet times, stopped that when they let the pubs/ takeaways reopen) and his actions just negated all that.

    Once, again early on, I went in the card shop with mum's list of cards for that month. I was carefully distancing, there were lines on the floor, then someone just walked past all of us who were queuing properly and then someone backtracked and nearly bowled us over. When I went back, I made mum go through all the cards she had in stock (I buy in bulk when they're on offer 10 for pound, 20 for a pound - I've explained that children don't care as long as they get a card and can count how many they have in total) and use all that she had for forthcoming birthdays including the 'foot and mouth' ones. The  Mouth and Foot Painting Artists - she always buys the card packs she's sent (my brother used to buy them and she kept them on after he died) because 'it's marvellous what they do' but then she never wants to use the cards. So one week when her hands were working properly she wrote 73 cards (she took on all her partner's children and their spouses, grandchildren (7), great-grandchildren (18) plus odd bods like her lodger and his daughter (+ child now), my brother's ex-wife, her 5 actual grandchildren (who have all been brought up properly and have not started to reproduce despite all now being in their thirties).

    Later on she started to make cards (she has cut back and said no more adult cards but still got a hufted phone call from her partner's youngest son because she had 'forgotten his birthday'), first of all using things we had (reusing old cards and my sequins etc - I bought a pot for 3.50 ages ago and it's been used for all sorts of things) but then saw a baker-ross catalogue after I ordered a few bits for making some C'mas decorations (to entertain the neighbourhood children who made life special when we were isolating).  One night she sat picking things out (I was going to pass it on to one of the grand-daughters as they were doing hm Halloween) and when I picked the list up the next morning she was up to 140 pounds (and it wasn't even balanced, she had far too many stickers and no card bases).

    I told her I could get her enough supplies at far less cost. On my next trip into town (I would be dropped off by the market which was just off the pedestrianised main street, get cash or a statement from mum's building society and all the shops I needed were near (even the pharmacy when her pill order went wrong and I had to do an emergency dash). For her I went in Home Bargains (stickers and bits), then the pound emporium - this was terrifying. I was waiting on a line because a woman in front of me was looking at merchandise. Someone went straight past me and then an old man started looking at frying pans right next to me. I turned the corner into the aisle I wanted - it was wide enough to have someone looking at both sides of the aisle. Some parents and children were getting stationery so I looked at the other side and picked some card blanks and I think white numbers and letters. When the others moved on I switched to that side of the aisle but then the little plague rats came back and sidled right up to me. I did get a couple more bits but by then I just wanted to get out of there. I hit lucky in the stationer's where I went to get my puzzle book - they had sticker/ activity books on offer 5 for 5 pounds - I picked a good selection including dinosaurs, mermaids and unicorns. Lots of stickers plus pages/ patterns that could be used as backgrounds.

    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST SEP No 1 No Debt No mortgage
  • edited 22 July at 4:13PM
    mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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    edited 22 July at 4:13PM
    Okay now the things you asked about. 

    My mental health has been a bit wobbly. I worked out that all the digging in the garden was a displacement activity because there were lots of things making me unhappy and I didn't know what, if anything, I could do about them.

    About a week ago mum had a 'talk to me', said some very cruel things and tried to take ownership of my problems (which she's made worse) and how worried she was and how ill I was making her. My brother was recently hospitalised for a couple of weeks - went from his doctor's to A & E and then into intensive care. When he was being stroppy with my niece I said it was a long while since I'd done my 'big sister act' but could if necessary and told her to threaten him with mum - he'll do anything to avoid her going round (she couldn't anyway but the threat is enough). In the end she phoned her mum and she told the younger sister who then phoned her dad and told him off (and explained the things her elder sister had tried to tell him).

    Mum isn't going to change. She's hyper critical of my looks (oh the torture of walking days and other dress up events when she was determined to make my hair curl - using metal tongs straight from the fire or gas ring, the smell of burning hair, a stray lock falling, burns on my ears and the relentless "You have to suffer to be beautiful"), everything I say or do. She's mostly wrong, we all made a habit of not telling her about parts of our lives. She tells everyone that I hate men - I don't have a problem with men, I just have a low tolerance for idiots. She also doesn't realise everyone will think it's code for me being a lesbian.

    My ex OH once said you don't suffer fools at all, let alone gladly. He also said I was the best mother he'd ever met and also the worst housekeeper and he didn't know anyone who'd managed to separate the two so successfully. I think it was supposed to be an insult and I think it's the nicest thing he ever said to me.

    So mum knows nothing about me, has a totally different 'life history' for me and no understanding of mental health or how to support anyone properly. I was her support and confident from a very young age (I helped do the buffet for my baby brother's Christening and I was so small she had to stand me on a chair so I could reach the table), she would frequently tell me all her problems and then have a good night's sleep leaving me to lie awake worrying.

    However her 'rant' has made me snap back into being 'me' and I like 'me'. So I'm eating better and finding it easier to resist or at least space out any 'bad for me' treats. I love my body, I'm the one who didn't care for it properly (too busy looking after everyone else). But I'm doing it for me, not her. I'm determined to include as many moments of joy and happiness as I can in my life.
    I've been doing a lot of thinking (sorry for this mega post) about what I have time and space for in my life and what I'd like more of. I'm trying to be realistic about who I am and it's internal and external, what is my core, what do I need to thrive, but it's also my surroundings. I'm planning changes in this room but not sure where I can put enough things to give me space to move things. Something minimalist mum said about why we keep things, struck a chord. She said one of the reasons was 'fantasy you' . One day you're going to be the person who gives dinner parties, makes exquisite handcrafted items, has a white couch plus children/ teenagers/ animals.

    I'm trying to be honest and realistic. One of my favourite house books was the one where the woman chose a velvet couch in exactly the same shade as her Persian cat (so the hairs wouldn't show), who mixed up all the things her children were likely to drop on the floor (ketchup, paints, drinks) and came up with donkey brown as the colour most likely to withstand/ hide them all.

    I've cleared out a lot of craft stuff (I can only embroider for 2 hours a day in good light). I'm trying not to start any new projects until the current 5 pieces are done (one handed over, two near completion - one easy , one difficult so little and often, one only need

    As it was written this post was originally 3 times as long. I was 1300 and something over the limit. I tried cutting bits and making them into separate posts but it only gave me the third part, not the middle. By then it was 4.30 am and I gave up trying to sort it but that's why it ends abruptly 
    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST SEP No 1 No Debt No mortgage
  • KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather! 
    Unusually my part of the country didn't get it as bad as everywhere else, it did become more comfortable after the weekend but still too hot up until today. 

    I've been shopping this week and on the bus, not many more people maskless than I've become used to seeing. 
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