Oh dear. Another month gone and I haven’t blogged. I do have some good excuses however. On New Year’s Eve my 95 year old mother went into hospital with severe breathlessness and ended up being there for two weeks, with what turned out to be multiple embolisms (or emboli? Never sure which is right) on her lungs. This, hardly surprisingly, took up a great deal of our time and energy. However she has now been home over two weeks, dismissed her carers because there was nothing for them to do, and is generally back to her old charming, lovable and interfering self.
Meanwhile in early January we had a meeting with son’s school and decided he would not be returning there for the time being. The first thought was that we could get home tuition for him, especially if we asked for something really expensive like a specialist residential school, which would make home tuition look comparatively cheap to the local authority. Since then, however, we have talked to his psychiatrist, who is very against home tuition, and I have also visited an autistic spectrum unit at a not-too-far-away secondary school and loved it. I have also started to research specialist residential schools and they look very enticing. So now we are not at all sure what we want, but his case went to panel last week and we are waiting to hear what they have decided. It is not easy living with this degree of uncertainty. He does have one voluntary job for a few hours once a week, but he really needs to get back into a routine, leave the house regularly, and do something other than playing computer games all day. And I need some time alone to continue writing my book which is getting dangerously close to the deadline.
So all in all, life is as complicated as ever. Not to mention the other commitments I am trying to get out of in order to concentrate on the book. At least things are going well with the new therapist, especially as she has agreed not to give me more homework until I have consolidated the last lot.
Watch this space…
Yesterday on the way back from swimming, I discovered a whole new secret compartment in my rucksack, which I had never noticed in the three or four years I’ve had it. It will be just right for putting my jewellery in while I swim. Of such small things is happiness made.
More importantly (and equally rewardingly) I have left the Terribly Tenacious Therapist, and I feel good about it. It felt like leaving school. Right now I’m not in a hurry to find another one. Suffice it to say that it won’t be a Cognitive Behavioural therapist.
And finally, I have ordered almost all my Christmas presents by mail (charity catalogues). I feel smug.
This afternoon after what will in all likelihood be my last appointment with the Terribly Tenacious Therapist (since I think she is actually making things worse), I took myself off to Brent Cross Shopping Centre to look for a handbag and have some lunch. In the Italian café I chose, I queued up to pay for my food and after telling me the cost, the girl serving me apparently said ‘Are you really tired?’. Somewhat touched by her concern, I answered ‘Well, yes I am actually’, hoping I wouldn’t have to explain that actually I was not just tired but depressed. ‘That’ll be £X, then’, she said, naming a smaller sum. It was only at this point I realized that what she had actually said was ‘Are you retired?’. Apparently there was a reduction for pensioners. Now I don’t generally tell people that I will be eligible for my pension in four years, but people generally tell me that I look much younger (when I was 40 and expecting my son, a neighbour said she thought I was 28), so if the girl in the Italian café thought I was retired, I must have been looking particularly rough. Not so nice as when I innocently thought she was expressing a concern for my welfare.
In other news, I have just read that Pleasant Oaks Mennonite Church and First Mennonite Church of Middlebury, Indiana, are reuniting, having split in 1923 (over women’s clothing, would you believe?). It’s taken 86 years, but hey, reconciliation can take a while. The proposed name for the reunited congregation is First Pleasant Mennonite Church. They don’t seem to have noticed that this implies that all Mennonite churches heretofore have been unpleasant. Sigh…
As one of the tasks allocated by the CBT therapist, I have to note down what I do for each hour of the day and rate it on a scale of 1-10 for sense of achievement, and pleasure. This is by no means easy. First of all, it took me three attempts to draw up a reasonably usable chart, and this scored 0 on the pleasure scale as it took me back to having to do charts at school, a task I hated (show me a ruler and a pen and I will show you a series of wobbly, slanted lines with several blots). Secondly, my activities at the moment don’t really fit into neat slots; I might be doing four totally different activities in the course of an hour. Thirdly, how on earth do I rate the achievement and pleasure scores for taking my son to the dentist or spending five minutes playing Scrabble on Facebook? I am reduced to putting down totally random numbers. And I have run out of space to add ‘writing my blog’ between 1700 and 1800 hours, because the space is full of all the other things I did in that hour. Sigh…