200eme blip - Je vais vider mon sac *
* 200th blip - Time to say a few things.
Seems like I've blipped more than that, but it seems I'm just at 200. I came so close yesterday to closing down my Blipfoto account and all other social-media-like accounts. Occasionally it all fills me with despair and this isn't the first time I've been in that situation.
I spoke in a past blip about my Mum having schizophrenia. In January I'll be 50 and as I head towards that significant milestone I am starting to do an assessment of my past life. The happiest being meeting my OH and eventually moving to France... but then the hard ups and downs and occasional knocks of being the "foreigner", even to this day. But running through that, I know deep down that having lived with a parent who had a serious mental illness, a thread that has been a "constant" throughout my life.
Sometimes I feel I can't shake it. From when I had a breakdown at 16 years old, then another in my early 20's and a final one when I was 28 (my Mum's only sister died then, after suffering with MS for several years). Since then I've had off periods, sometimes that despair, that I mentioned earlier.
Even though I fight it, I can't quite shake off the mantle of mental illness. I often make the mistake of being open with people (which I am being now), some use that to beat me over the head with. These people change towards me, they keep me at arms length. Then I wonder... Why the hell did I need to be so open??? Showing my weaknesses, mentioning my Mum's illness... Why did I feel the need to talk about it with new people... possible new friends? Only for that to ruin things.
There are other parents in our village, whose children are close friends with my children... these parents have become "friends", then when I open up... fess up... whatever... they prefer to deal with OH. Not with me? Do they think I'm going to be dangerous, because my Mum had an unpredicable mental illness? I can say hand on heart... "I HAVEN'T GOT THAT"... but I do suffer with depession. Otherwise I'm a normal friendly guy... Admittedly, when the D word takes hold, I become someone I don't like. The paranoia takes over... I feel unloved and it only takes someone to say something I take wrongly... and I blow them out. Then regret it after. It is too late then... Sometimes I was right to, sometimes not.
As a result, inside, I am a lonely and solitary person. Despite having two children, my OH and about 12 students - all of whom I have to juggle with. It can be tiring.
This last year hasn't been the best... my MIL passing away a year ago on the 5th November, my FIL having had a fall a few weeks back. OH having to do two peoples work in her job, then checking in on her Dad and trying to help him. He isn't brilliant. Me left with the kids and working from home. Not really having the time (or making the time?) to do anything different. Life is difficult at the moment.
I feel alienated by my in-laws... my two French brothers in law, have this intimidating side and have always been quick to criticise things... they are perfect, everyone else who doesn't see things they way they do are "cons" (stupid). After 22 years here they aren't my bosum buddies. More these people I have to be polite with, because they happen to be OH's brothers. One of these days I'll tell them what I really think of them... But perhaps not now...
Alienated by my own family and old friends back in the UK. Having tried to stay in contact. The only last points of contact being with two of my cousins, in recent years, only for this to be thrown back in my face when we were last over in the UK back in April. They decided to ignore me or come up with excuses not to meet... I took that rather badly, as did my kids, who had been looking forward to seeing their kids.
How could they do that to us?
So, you can see, on social media... I really don't want to be the voyeur looking at people from the past... both friends and family. I am not in contact with them, so why should I want to see what they are doing?
Yesterday I was full of despair. Took the dog for a walk, pushed myself to leave work behind and do something outside for once. As I passed the lane behind our house - an idiot walking his much bigger dogs, that were not on a lead, suddenly found that he lost control of them. They both ran over to Dolly barking agressively, one pushing in close in front of her, the other to the rear. She was crying in fright. All I could mutter was a "Ca va pas???"... The owner told me to stop pulling at Dolly's lead - his dogs just wanted to sniff her. Was he stupid or what...?
Just this little incident pushed me into depression for the rest of the afternoon.
I just wanted to stop doing stuff online... maybe I'm seeking attention? Just by withdrawing from social media. Perhaps being away from that would make me feel better? Perhaps people might miss me. Isn't that just a bit selfish and immature? Either way, I don't think I would be missed. I left Facebook 5 months ago... I was out of the "loop".
In recent weeks I've set up a second hand home cinema I bought last year, together with a record player I got last Christmas (see xtra). Last night I spent some time with Emma teaching her how to use a record player (hard to realise that things such as record players, cassette players and video recorders are totally alien to my two kids) - we played a few singles. Then later on I listened to one of my Dad's favourite albums "Guns & Cowboys". I was transported back to a hard time living with my Mum, but it was OK because my Dad was there... protecting me and playing music to keep our spirits up... His sense of humour got us through, but I know now he was suffering depression too. Sometimes, he would be playing his guitar as I woke up on a weekend morning... it now sits in the corner of my office. Unfortunately I can't play.
Chasing memories... trying to find happy ones... it isn't easy...