to me ISOLATION is a late symptom of long term illness. It is where i am in superficial existence in virtual online world, but i am forgotten about by people – originally many close friends – who have got swamped by the routines of their own lives, and who assume as I tick like now and again that i am “improving”.
Isolation is measured by the very painful realisation that if i fancied lunch with the girls…..i would HAVE none that i am now in contact with.
Isolation is reinforced by the messages carried to me, by my husband, or my father, about who was asking for me. That, sadly, shows they care, but when did they last see me?
My contact with the world of reality:
- nail artist
- choir i teach once a week. BUT what NONE of them see is that in the remainder of the time i exist, i sit indoors, alone, i sleep, i prepare choir music.
i had some great friends – i could say ANYTHING to. I could trust them. We knew that our relationships were solid.We did meals. I visited, and they visited, and we talked or texted….we knew what was going on in each others lives and families.
Two years later, I still sit here unable to move. The early sick calls obviously peter out, and quite understandably so. People have busy lives and they get on with them. But even in those lives, there is “HUMAN” contact:
- other school run stressed mums
- other mums at the doctors
- a word in the shops
- dropping off at football…
- a minute here and there…
But i have NO minutes. I have complete LONELINESS.
I have LITERALLY – My sister, my Daddy and my Husband. A complete reliance on 3 people. is such an unfair burden for them to carry. Life can be very cruel
This is where dependence comes in. I don’t depend in an addictive, controlling way. BUT I understand they had independent parts of their lives, where i am not needed, nor do i belong. But i have them. Uniquely.
- when i need help
- when i need to scream
- when life gets me down
- when i need a lift- at any level
- to know it as bleak as it really is with this illness.
- when i need a friend.
- it leaves me so vulnerable and puts unmanageable pressure on them!
- someone to talk to
and now i am to attempt to reintegrate. i NOW have the correct wheelchair to enable me “technically” to go out.
i am PETRIFIED.
Now after 2 years of people not seeing me, or looking for me, of calling, or texting, to go OUT. into the town they live in.
That’s a whole stage i am shitting myself about. I COULD theoretically
- do lunch?
- go shopping?
- girls weekend?
but it is the REALITY that terrifies me.
It is as if i have been in jail, incarcerated through my brain disorder and damage. So during the years it has taken to rehabilitate, to accept, to adjust, to new me NOBODY knew…not really… not at the REAL level.
So whilst i can do the FACEBOOK photoshoot, the reality terrifies me.
After 2 years…how does a CONVERSATION start naturally? If it were NATURAL CONVERSATION it would have been ongoing…there would have been effort made to see me. oh GOD…..HOW can i do this?
- am I going to hear “i hadn’t time to get out”- in 2 years??
- or pretend nothing has changed?
- “sure it ould be worse”…… PRESERVE me from phrases that would make me want to strangle people on the spot
- or worse people ignore me….
- the LOOK. the quick double take that men ever notice. the woman to woman instant eye contact…OMG how much weight has she put on… but as i was TOLD recently…well “as long as you are happy” – HAPPY. that i am virtually immobile through brain condition and its DECONDITIONING of my body – of my LIFE.
- people ask me “what happened you?” -as if i have not been mentioned in the 2 years.
- but “it is going to get better?”
- “people like you are inspirational” – like WHAT?? who?? normal.
- but “you are LOOKING great!…you wouldn’t know there was a thing wrong with you!
- i am sick with fear.
- and after any BRAIN INJURY patience is NOT one of my best attributes.
- Speaking OUT is.