22 Mar 2011

Post 277: My birthday and other animals

I'm a little bit disappointed this didn't get posted yesterday but I didn't get the time before heading off to the first gig I've been to in ages, the Teenage Cancer Trust comedy event at the Albert Hall with Jose and Bec, details next week despite it's brilliance.
Last week was difficult to say the least, really difficult, one of the worst weeks of my life (the last post says it really) and being in hospital for two and a half years was hideous, at least my 34th Birthday lunch undid some of the mental anguish.
Legally, I think I own this house as I have repeatedly been told, but because my mother still sees it as hers, I pay 'mental rent' and whenever something like last week happens – I.e an unresolvable dispute/crisis, it's deemed to be my fault, cue my parents being furious with me on Sunday morning, my Dad (exact words) telling me to 'f*ck my disability' and that I was a 'failure'. I'll put that down to flippant anger and despite being a firm believer in 'sticks and Stones.....' I was upset. My dad's a funny one – since my housekeeper stormed out last wednesday, he has been over here 4 times to make sure I have someone to help me survive. He also has this intolerance for pathetic, needy people who can't look after themselves. I have inherited this so since becoming a pathetic, needy person 5 years ago, he has this emotional hiatus which can boil over as total disdain or he can be really caring, it's f*cked up. Plus my housemate called me selfish because I'm quite keen on my own self preservation, ie I'm trying to survive under difficult circumstances. When able bodied people who I may have taken on under circumstances of dire need without fully knowing or trusting them (ie my housekeeper and housemate) and they think they're actually helping you in the long-run by making your life tougher in the short run, it's quite simple to me, these people need to be told to stop taking the piss, they're getting subsidised/free living in return for doing very little, all I expected was some common decency and kindness, but that was clearly too much to ask, or maybe I didn't ask right? Is that perhaps more to do with the stroke than with me? Anyway, I have somehow managed to work my way out of this 'Eastenders nightmare' of a storyline by myself despite asking desperately for a lot of help off some good friends. I have got rid of all the f*ckers who have been making my hard life harder, sorted out a new self preservation and survival solution and somehow against this backdrop had an immense success of a 34th Birthday lunch. Pictures here
For a start 60 people showed up (not including children), no shows balanced by unexpectant arrivals. I was expecting a bit more apathy or 'charity fatigue' but I was thrilled. The Bear (the local gastropub) are always brilliant, putting on a great buffet and letting us have the whole of the restaurant extension, bearing in mind we were expecting about a million small children the Bear had laid on some extra chocolate brownies because sugar'll calm down toddlers!
A particularly good showing came from my university mates, who have consistently been great although I was chuffed to see family and family friends, former colleagues and friends who I used to DJ with. Everyone's grown up, most of them have properly grown up, settled down, got married and had kids, despite the fact I am genuinely thrilled and proud of them it is a great source of sadness to me that this is one particular group I can never be part of, because girls aren't interested in disabled guys, I think they'll always imagine they could do better, no'ones ever said this to me, it's what my internal monologue tells me – it is backed up by the fact I have been alone for so long despite looking, I look in the mirror and am disgusted, disappointed and downright ashamed of what looks back. Nothing I seem to do or take ever changes this. Events like this birthday stop the world collapsing further for me, in fact I was chuffed to overhear that this and my christmas drinks are the two events in the year that bring everyone together. That is my mission in life right there -'to bring people together, always has been, despite having a bloody stroke and seemingly becoming an (albeit troublesome) charity case. Special thanks must go to(for picking up the pieces recently), Dad, Angel Jatinder, Jose, the Walm, Aunt Jenny, Rocio (my first carer when I moved home for flying over from Spain to look after me for 4 weeks) and to John and Napat, who have agreed to be my new housekeepers from 20th April.
I wish I could cope on my own, but that's never going to happen. Assisted semi independent living like I do is the right way to go, as long as the assistance is a nice person who appreciate what it's like to lose everything. Finally, I genuinely want to thank everyone who was there on Sunday, the 60 odd people who took the time to turn a very unhappy man
around and big thanks to Ian for helping me walk in and even better for suggesting I do a lap of the room when people were actually there to see it.
Finally, it wouldn't have been a proper birthday without the Magic of Chris Dugdale, a good mate of mine. He amazed us all and the kids that saw it were utterly enraptured – thinking about it, so were us adults . Here he is with his lovely wife Alexis and sister in law Liga. Great people.
Apparently one of my (many) flaws is the way I commit my feelings to paper, be it in this blog or via email. The truth is this is the only medium that I feel I can get my point across since my stroke. I no longer have any confidence in my voice or physical presence or the energy to think 'on my feet' which I used to have in spades. Ironically, I can't even ' think myself too my feet' which can sometimes be pretty sh*t, god that's the understatement of the year.


Claire said...


I have to speak out on behalf of Susan.

Some of the things you said about her in your last couple of posts were shameful.

I will be kind and put it down to your stroke. Life has dealt you a sh*t hand and no-one can really understand how awful it must be for you.

However...please consider what you were asking your 'free-loading', unpaid housekeeper to do for you seven days a week before insulting her to the high heavens.

I notice you have replaced Susan with 2 people (and you had 3 people sharing the job before Susan took over - one of them a paid cleaner).

Why was Susan expected to do the job same job alone and for nothing? It doesn't matter that the hours aren't long each day - or that the actual work isn't taxing - the hours are awkward (morning and night, seven days a week) and there is no proper time off - Even Mother Theresa would run out on you eventually.

If you rang up any care agency and asked for some live-in help and said, “It's seven days a week and I'm not going to pay the person anything - they just get free accommodation,” you know exactly what they would say to you.

I care a great deal for you Dom - you know I do - but that was an unkind attack on Susan (whatever your differences) and she deserves more respect than that.


Dom P said...

Claire - as usual you make a good point - The reason I was so furious was for the way she left me helpless - it was a nasty piece of brinkmanship that hopefully won't happen again. I have specifically looked for (and found) a couple this time and made provision for them to have time off - I've been much more specific in making sure they genuinely want to find jobs (rather than just live off benefit like Susan) - There will also be a much more specific contract about what should/should not be done. I also feel that John and Napat are much more reliable people who will understand that you can't just storm out on someone who needs help to survive. What Susan did was unforgivable, I feel better without her cloven hooves darkening my life and house ever again. Your suggestions have been great Claire.

Claire said...

Sounds good - hope it works out well (I'm sure it will).

Be over to see you sometime soon.

I saw a film preview today by Fiona Lloyd-Davies (will be on TV in the autumn) - would break your heart - women in Eastern Congo and what they have been suffering at hands of soldiers. But they all had such quiet dignity and determination to make things better. Amazing.

Anyway, see you soon. Cxx



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