People often say “there’s only so much I can take before I crack”, but for me, there is a stage before this. A stage where I’ve laid down and waited, put up with and generally worn my emotions down – and rather than crack, there is a spark of fire which lights up inside me and gives me the strength and willpower to kick, bite, claw my way out – often a last desperate attempt to push myself to some place of healing before I -do- collapse.
Usually a few glasses of alcohol is enough to tip the balance between ‘sane’ Cat and reckless Cat. Last time was a few years back in my london commute of soul destroying…an impulse gin and tonic in waterloo and before I knew it I was on my way to Devon rather than returning ‘home’. I’d just had enough.
Last night, the same again. This time, I’d just had -enough- of pointless family stress over intangible nonsense. I was all ready to get up in the wee hours of the morning, and head off to Exeter. phuzzi had offered me a good chance of a place to stay in Bodmin (as well as some seriously appreciated ICQ councilling 😉 ) – I wanted nothing more than to see the sea, get outdoors, and get -away-. Just dissapear for a few days until it had all passed. Even better, the oppurtunity to see a good friend, and maybe stay with Zak to boot.
I know we all think this. But I had my bag packed and I was ready to go. What stopped me this time?
This morning, as the first moments of dawn were bringing some light to the sky, my mother found me brushing my teeth. I’d told her the night before we should both just get out of it, and I was seriously just going to head off to cornwall the next morning.
But, I just couldn’t leave her. She was in just as much of a confused, constrained and generally fed up mess as I was. Taking her into my room we wrapped up my quilt and talked about a bit. She thought I should go. But…when we realised she’d get the blame from the rest of my family (including the infamous Mother-in-Law) I couldn’t do it.
Then it hit us. We caught each other’s eyes and grinned like children. “let’s both go! Now! We can grab some breakfast out in the southampton shopping centre, and then onwards to the New Forest! hee hee!”
And so we did. We let my sleepy father know roughly what was happening so there were no sour feelings. And it has to have been the best solution – the problem was that we all needed some space from each other, and to be honest removing my mother from the picture does solve a lot of stress for the rest of the family.
We had a great day! Shopping, lunch, running about the forest singing, and ‘afternoon tea’ in a wonderfully expensive hotel in which I felt like a Jane Austin character.. the old house was amazing, I had visions of taking it over and turning into a commune 🙂
The moral: I took action, even though it didn’t go quite how I planned. It’s the balance between making a plan, and being ready to adapt to the moment. And to be honest, I think I took a more mature option than just running away. Intersting to note, if I hadn’t made the perhaps immature decision to run to cornwall then I wouldn’t have been awake early enough to foster a great day with my mother. Listen to your emotional needs when they cry out for action, but don’t let them overwhlem your reasonable considerations and thinking of others.
What they don’t know is that there is NO WAY I am spending tomorrow on an obligatory family visit no-one enjoys. I am not wasting another day like that. And, I need some time without family and preferably with friends.
oh… I had an ok christmas thanks. I got three scarves and a new, quiet, power supply from my computer. I’m not sure what that says? 😀