I’d like to start again by welcoming you to this new year. It struck me as I do this that often we revert to the old sayings at this time of the year. A new year, new you. Which got me thinking, what is wrong with the old me, or you? Why are we forced to make changes in our lives, ever striving to be better, fitter, more successful etc, please feel free to add your own missive. That pressure is on every January, to force change in some part of you as though it is a good thing. Always moving onwards and upwards. Making sure that we don’t stop or become stagnant.
Every year, I see the same posts about losing weight, getting fit, stopping smoking, altering your mindset and every year I see the same post from a family member, which talks about not making any resolutions, about remaining the same, foul mouthed person we all know and love and it makes me smile. That distinct refusal to change.
Yet as each year passes, something changes within us, we cannot and do not stay exactly the same. We are living a life, learning from our mistakes and lessons (hopefully), meeting new people and so we cannot fail to change in some way or another.
As New Year arrived this year, I did not telephone anyone. I wrote down the things that I wanted to say goodbye to in my life. The things like resentments that I had held on to for too long. I am not a bitter person and I do believe in forgiveness. Unfortunately, I am both blessed and cursed with a good memory so although I can forgive a wrong, I do not usually forget it. I consider this to be a life lesson as long as I learn from it then eventually I can move on. I am talking about the stuff that has been weighing me down, old wounds that are slow to heal, people that are no longer part of my life and I set it free, or rather I set it on fire out in the garden and let the wind take it away. If in some way it helps to rid me of these things, then I will be glad. I instantly felt better for it, my partner then opened a bottle of Champagne, saved for the New Year occasion and I celebrated that my love had survived the last year, we kissed as the clock struck 12 and drank a toast to us and gave the dog a biscuit, all standing in our home hugging each other, just our little family of three. It was perfect.
In the past couple of years, we have battled through so much together. There are times that I didn’t think we would come out the other side of whatever situation hit us, but we have. We feel blessed to be together and still in love after all these years. Yes, we argue much more than we used to, things get us down and we talk through everything. But however we try, we are very conscious of being on borrowed time with his illness. Having both got through Covid-19 in 2020 we have had to deal with the long term effects upon our lives, which have changed all over again. Being told last year that my ongoing breathing difficulties were due to my suffering with Long Covid was another blow to my health, but I tried to battle on past the neurological symptoms I had been dealt by Lyme disease. I keep having pain in the left side of my head, followed by bouts of paralysis where my limbs fail me usually down the whole of one side of my body which can last for days afterwards. I was referred to a headache clinic this year, the neurologist suspected that it might be a type of migraine, they increased the drugs that I am taking and they made me very wafty indeed. I could not keep up with the dosage or function and that is not the way to be when you have someone who relies upon you to be present and be a care giver to them. So now I have to make the best of it. My deep suspicion is that the Lyme disease has now affected the neurological side of things, it has been playing havoc with my nervous system now for several years anyway and this just seems to be something else. Yes, I know in my heart that it is that, but still I am at the ruling other things out stage with the NHS here in England so like many cannot get a proper diagnosis. So it continues.
I had so many good intentions to write on a regular basis this time last year. I managed to write my diary on most days, I felt that I should at least do that. Then I wrote a lot of things that will never be published. I refer to it as rage poetry. My anger due to the circumstances I found myself in did not need to be forever out there, indelible on the internet. I needed to deal with things first. I had put my faith in the legal system to deal with some issues that had been ongoing and hoped that time and the powers that be, would sort it out. Unfortunately, that was not to be.
Having been assaulted almost 3 years ago and called upon to bear witness in a court case, although I wrote a lot about it, I could not put it out there for others to read. I have waited over 2 years for it to be over, it has had such an effect upon our personal lives that we are not the same people anymore. Many have said that you couldn’t write it as people just wouldn’t believe it had happened, but it did. I put my faith in the justice system, to be let down time and again. Evidence was not correctly sourced in the first place, investigations were delayed and so in each case, missing information was not dealt with. The conclusion was that the perpetrator was let off, got away with things Scot Free. This happened in two separate cases and as a result I now have had the protective order from the court removed after 3 years of it being in place after being threatened stalked and harassed by a mentally unstable neighbour. Living with that for over 5 years and unable to move has been at times soul destroying. It was bound to take its toll upon our health which was already under attack.
I have in the past couple of months had to accept that we are well and truly on our own, we have to either move house, giving up on everything that we have worked for, or hope that Karma reaps a whirlwind upon those who have wronged us. Either way, I have to let it go, whilst all the time watching my back for the next strike, just in case. I cannot keep this anger inside, I cannot let these situations rule my life and that of my partner. He is not so forgiving, I consider his time is precious. I don’t want to spend the time he has left being angry about a situation which we cannot change. Decisions have been made by the courts, we have to quite literally move on.
We have learned our lessons from putting our faith in others, we will not rely upon them so much in the future. If the situations arise again, or the harassment continues we will provide the evidence needed ourselves to make the change.
It has been tough to take, if you are brought up to believe that if you are in danger, you can call the police and they will help you, then it comes as a shock when they don’t. It is the same old story as while I was growing up of when there was an awful situation, there was no one there to help me through it, whatever way I managed to deal with things, is how I got through. This time around, we have been lucky enough to have each other at least but it still hurts that the police and later the courts could not protect us from either. So for as long as we are here, we are faced with harassment, insults, verbal abuse and threats to kill and the hope that when such threats are made, we have been fortunate to wear a video camera and microphone to remove any reasonable doubt that a court may have. You can tell, I am angry. It has turned our lives upside down and made them unrecognisable.
So this year, I am hoping for change. I am hoping that I can stand up for myself. That whatever strength I have left will protect me from danger, allow me to continue living where I am and push me onwards. I had dreams, which have been temporarily put on hold, whilst I felt shattered and exhausted from the onslaught. At times I felt that my fight had flown.
As I sit here with a broken ankle, foot in plaster and going stir crazy that I haven’t been out and about, running around being the Christmas fairy this year. I sit in my home making plans for the future and daring to dream once more. I will write again for you and for me. That cathartic process which I have so often missed over the past few months. It may not be poetry, it may be the odd observation, but I want to get back some of what I once had, the good bits and the outlet for my creativity. It has been seriously lacking, I have been busy, It has been neglected not nurtured as it should be. I have gone back to learning Italian again, after a year of not. I remembered why I began, to one day spend more time exploring the country that I loved on my previous visit. To understand the conversations around me as I wander around.
I want to grow, mentally physically and emotionally, stronger and fitter. Surely there is nothing wrong in that. They say One Life, Live it. However many lives we may have, this one is not over for me yet. There is no fat lady singing at the side of the stage.
I want to draw upon that inner strength that I know remains, I may have to dig deeply for it, but I know that it is there.