As we reach the end of yet another year in our adult lives, I like everyone else that I know of cannot help but think of the past year and what has taken place throughout it, taking stock of all that it has thrown my way. It feels like am wishing my life away, as the year ends I cannot help but feel grateful for its passing. With the feeling that last year 2018 was unbearable, full of hurt and devastation, I could not have foreseen that in some ways this year could possibly have been worse, but it seemed to be.
This year, I did not lose another close family member. Although I am grieving for a relationship which is not the same anymore that I cannot fix and it hurts. Two people I love very much realised this year that they could not get along and decided that it was not worth trying to anymore. The eternal optimist that I am hopes that one day in the future they will change this thinking. I miss the conversations which weren’t arguments that we all had and the fact that we could share our home fully and everyone was welcome. It saddened me greatly that each of them has decided that they do not wish to be around each other anymore but since they feel that it is too painful, I have to respect that. I decided that where in the past I have asked them to make up and put their differences aside, that I would not do that again this time. If they cannot get along, even for my sake then I will just have to spend time with them separately. I will not stop loving either of them, but it is still awkward. Despite trying, I still cannot get used to it.
I could not know that this year, what has been my sanctuary for several years would become unsafe to the point that we had to leave it hurriedly as our lives were under threat. I don’t know at this point whether I can or will return there with my partner, or alone ever again. I am devastated by that as it has always felt like home to me.
My partner was threatened with a knife by 3 separate people this year. He was also mugged and assaulted. He is not particularly confrontational living a relatively quiet life and keeping himself to himself. I am thankful that none of them succeeded but it seems to have become a sign of the times and one that is very worrying. The shock when these incidents have happened and the knock on effect of these attacks on his physical and mental health has actually affected both of us, depression and fear are not emotions he is used to dealing with and the flashbacks are wreaking havoc with us.
Our lives have changed as has our state of mind, not one to just give up he is often in fight mode, whilst although resolutely stubborn I remain firmly in flight more often than not. The pendulum swings from one to the other rapidly for me. We constantly ask ourselves should we stand our ground for what is right, or should we just get the hell out of there.
The same situation applies in our main home, where we are under siege from the neighbour from hell. A man who has turned our lives upside down for the past 4 years and whom the police and authorities refuse to do anything about despite the fact that he breaks the law on almost a daily basis in one way or another. He hides behind a special needs label, (and I am understanding when it comes to people with special needs) but this man is more than aware of his actions and has a blatant disregard for the law and flouts it, thinking or actually, knowing that they are relatively powerless to lock him up. He has continued to threaten our lives and we are both under constant harassment from him. Being told that we are going to have our throats cut and we will be in the graveyard soon, is not a threat to be taken lightly when he comes at you wielding a knife. What is more worrying than before is that now more recently a gang of men he seems to have gathered out of nowhere from the locality who have joined the threatening behaviour and also follow us around. It is terrifying. Neither of us can sleep easily in our beds and the stress is causing other problems.
As far as home goes, we no longer seem to have one. Nowhere is safe now and so I am hoping and praying for a miracle in 2020, that someone will put a stop to it before our lives are taken from us.
I have extracted a promise from my family, that if he succeeds in his endeavours to finish me off that they will sue the police and authorities that we have been begging to intervene for all of these years, for negligence since they will have failed in their civic duty.
It hasn’t all been doom and gloom though.
There are some things for which I am grateful that have happened this year.
I am grateful that the cancer my partner is fighting has not got the better of him yet. There have been many times throughout the year when I have felt that it has grabbed a hold of him again. I am grateful for his strength, when I am weak which spurs me on not to give up. I admire his relentless quest to spend more time with me and the dog as a family. Although he is in constant pain he refuses to be beaten by it.
I am grateful that the surgery the vet performed saved our furry angel and he has quite literally bounced back from it. Apart from the occasional wobble from sickness we have managed to keep him relatively healthy and safe from attack from the neighbour. He has also been under threat from him since he has targeted our animals previously.
The family home was finally sold and cleared and my parent’s divorce was also finalised. It has been a very long time coming and they have both now been able to put the shared space and the stress of that behind them, settle into their new ways of living and have the chance to move on. It was also a huge relief to me it has not always been a happy house, for me at least.
My beloved car, Boomerang had a lot of work done to get it back on the road and I was finally able to drive it again after five years, just a couple of times in the Autumn. Unfortunately, it needs more work as there are still problems with it. But I remembered it was wonderful to get behind the wheel of that car again and even better than that, put my mind at rest that I could drive a manual car still on a couple of occasions when my health would let me. It made it feel worthwhile to have kept it all this time.
My neurological health has not been great this year, tremors, spasms and acute pain have caused many new symptoms for me which many other Lyme sufferers have also encountered. As this illness develops with each year I find that there are new and scary things happening for which I have no other answers and neither do my doctors. The list of things that go wrong seems to grow, while some of the other symptoms fade unfortunately along with my strength and stamina. I finally saw the Neurologist who has made decisions to take further tests and also to give me a more intensive MRI. Hopefully this will show the cause of the headache that has lasted almost six months and will not go. It cannot all be put down to the ongoing stress of my situation here, it is not mere coincidence that most of it began with an infected tick and a bullseye shaped bite. It affects so many other things as do the nerve damage and issues. But for now at least she has agreed it warrants further investigation.
I have been sad, so many times, hours spent in tears, trying to do what is best and find the answers. My creativity has suffered many dips, I am not writing as much as I had wished to. What I have written is often not worth sharing and seems like a mere release for my emotions, an outlet for anger and frustration marred by depression and confusion. I am not making the things that I had set out to make, my hands no longer work as well as they used to. Physical exertion causes a knock on effect, which often renders them useless for days. That familiar feeling, of being plugged into a socket, followed by burning sensations and tremors which dislocate joints and cause injury and bruising. I am hoping for miracles, the funds to be able to up sticks and find that special somewhere totally new, which is spacious enough for me to live with the things and people I need around me and yet I am still able to maintain it. The place where I can put down roots, feel safe again and start to live the life that I have dreamed of for us, away from threats of violence and death and have the space there to do things. I want to be able to get back to spending time in nature, not looking over my shoulder all of the time, for someone looming out of the dark or round a corner, shouting abuse or afraid whenever my partner is away from the home that he will not return safely.
I want to be able to walk my dog on my own as I once used to (it seems so long ago since I have), to stop and look up at the sunset on our walk, to walk in the woods, not afraid to walk home in the dark, making sure I am safely indoors again or having to drive to somewhere else away from here so that we can.
This is not the life I had envisaged or planned. It is not a life being lived, it is barely an existence this past year and it has got worse than it was the year before if that were even possible. Yes, I have a roof over my head for which I am extremely grateful and I am conscious of those who have not and how it could happen to us all so very easily. I have loved ones around me and good friends who care and when I am able to pay the bills I am satisfied with what I have. Is it too much to ask though, surely a little happiness is allowed too? I don’t want to live in fear any more, I don’t want to be a victim, but I don’t know how to change this and turn it around. We cannot do it alone.
So, in 2020 I will not be making resolutions to do this thing, quit a habit, join a gym or take up a new pastime. My search for a new home will continue. I will not give up looking for it, for our sanity we both need to get away from here. I have gone past wanting the problem to leave, unless they make him and they are showing no signs of doing that. I know it will not change and our lives will not improve. I can see that and I don’t want to lose any more of the time we have left wasting it hiding away from that man. Our time may be limited we need to get some enjoyment from it back again before it is too late. I have faced the facts that like the sanctuary this is no longer home this is just where we are living right now. The year ahead is full of possibilities we could move anywhere really, for as long as our health allows us to drive. We have to just find a way to make it happen.
It is a pipe dream for the moment that I will be able to visit friends abroad again this next year. Although I would love to and have an open invitation, my priorities are focusing on improving our home life.
I am hoping that justice will prevail with the situation up north and down south and that things will change for the better and I am hoping that my man and my rock will still be at my side through it all and we will come out the other side having won in our fight. I am also hoping that my insomnia which keeps me writing in the wee small hours gives up and lets me get some rest at least on a regular basis. I’d also like to be in a position to make a living doing something creative that I love.
For you, this is my wish. I hope that you have good health, a happy heart and love for there is far too much hatred in this world but may those we cannot love be unable to harm us.
Peace, Love and Happiness and may our wishes come true. That is all…