Saturday, 14 January 2017


There is a spring in my step these days.  On a prosaic level, this is due to my getting used to my 'post-lump' body. It is early days and I'm being very cautious, but the carcass really seems to be working quite well. Actually, I'm not sure what well is, but things certainly seem more normal, I have stopped feeling drunk.  9 years of illness have left me a bit unfit, but I can now move about without getting exhausted and I can rest without getting a hypo. I no longer feel like Sisyphus; condemned never to rest and to be always pushing something up a hill.  The brain is also more able to cope with random stimuli, I can walk down a busy street without feeling like a tetchy horse that needs blinkers. There is nerve damage but I can live with it.  I still need to be careful about what and when I eat.  But, hey, I have a Chinese stomach; refined wheat, alcohol and sugar are bound to be an issue. I am resigned to the fact that medicine did not improve my condition; vanity did.  I'm also resigned to the fact that the illness had a large supernatural element to it. I have been genuinely ill, the doctors will all agree to that, but not to its cause. The illness has been my reins and my discipline for the last 9 years and now it no longer has a purpose, either for the entertainment of the Devil or for God's good purpose. A new discipline will reveal itself.

I am also really happy to have resigned from my job.  I am happy to have made the decision that I will have to be doing something other than teaching come September. I have no desire to follow another career, I'm simply not interested in self-betterment and I don't believe in self-fulfilment.  I can and will work, but something else is needed, something not written on or found in any job specification

The problem is that lurking underneath, buried under my resignation to my illness all these years lies something that simply won't go away, and it is getting stronger and stronger. In some ways, I'm still the 12 year old girl crying on my dad's lap, crying that I don't want the future that they want for me.  I don't want a nice house in suburbia with a mortgage, a microwave oven and a near by garden centre. These days I'm not crying, and there is nobody I want to burden with my tears anyway. Besides, I couldn't cope with someone giving me the same answer as my dad all those years ago.  He told me to get on with my work and I'd be OK.  I resigned myself to obedience and it has served its purpose. However, the cry has turned into an inner scream, made worse every time I go into Waitrose.  I really really don't want a comfortable life amongst comfortable people.  If I am to live that way, it will have to be as a big act of deceit, something joyfully, kindly and genteely subversive will have to be going on under the veneer of bland respectability. Something subversive for God. I can resign myself to that, that seems right.

And I can hear my poor parents say: when will you ever grow up?


Catpuss said...

Oh Rita, you sound so alive, God bless you. I learn so much from your writing. It's like a breath of fresh air. To think you've done it through all this.

la mamma said...

Wow! Thank you for giving us this witness (I'm not keen on the word as it has been so hi jacked but it is the word nevertheless).

Robert said...

I can SO relate to what you don't want from life, the "nice house in suburbia with a mortgage, a microwave oven and a near by garden centre." I'm happy you have the opportunity to go off in a different direction I hope you find what you do want. Robert