Woke up this morning feeling blank. A feeling which rapidly disintegrated into anger, with the odd wave of depression. Great start to the day then. Lord H went to church, as he was doing the prayers, but I cried off, as the thought of the Mothers' Day jollity was beyond bearing. I got so frustrated during the morning that I resorted to taking two calming pills. Thank God for Lane's Quiet Life remedies, eh?
There are really two things which have been upping the rollercoaster levels of my blood pressure today but God only knows why they're preying on my mind together. Lucky me, I suppose. Not. The first thing is the church. My specific (ex-) church rather than the generic one, though that's not so hot either. It strikes me that I spent most of 2006 being increasingly depressed and withdrawing from all kinds of church activity. I gave up going once a week to the daily Evening Prayer service held by the Lay Reader, I withdrew from the prayer rota, I gave my notice in as Sacristan and I stopped going to church every week. And when I did go, more often than not I didn't take communion. During that time, I've had a couple of church people tell me that if I wanted to talk I was welcome (a) to phone them, or (b) pop round for a chat. Which might seem nice on the outside, but you try asking someone suffering from depression to take any kind of action whatsoever in relation to the outside world. Believe me, it just wasn't possible. It was more than enough for me to (a) go to a counsellor and (b) talk to the doctor about it. I couldn't have done anything else. So, in all that time, not one person from my ruddy so-called caring bloody church has either popped round, rung me or left me a note. And, yes, I am bloody fucking angry about it. I'm beginning to see I have a right to be. I'm not sure I'd treat my dog (if I had one or even if I liked dogs) like this. Surely if something is sick, it's up to the healthier people to do something about it. Well, hell I've been sick and no-one's done a damn thing. Yes, I feel let down, yes I feel hurt, and yes I feel angry. The last straw today was when Lord H came home bearing a little gift of Mothers' Day flowers for me and conveying the good wishes of the church. I'm afraid my answer was (a) to chuck the flowers in the bin, and (b) say bollocks to their good wishes. I don't believe them and I don't want them. Not Lord H's fault, I know, and we did have a good talk about it today - which is a blessing which has been a long time coming. I've been wary about raising my feelings about church as I know how much a part of his life it is. My cowardice - I should have trusted him more. I think now that if anyone from the church did come round (with the possible exception of Paul, the new and very strange priest, who has been the first person there in a long time to treat me like a real human being with opinions and feelings that might be important ...), I wouldn't let them in. I also think that when I come back from our holidays, I'm going to cancel my monthly direct debit to the church, which I've been running for ages. And I'm not going to bother telling the treasurer either. I mean fuck it, why should I be proactively caring when not one other bugger has been? Bollocks to them, I say.
The other thing is that I'm not, I don't think, actively looking to find another church. I'm not sure I want to. It's way too difficult and too hurtful. If push comes to shove, or if my feelings change, I might think about the Quakers, as they've been good to me in the past when I was "between churches", but for now I think I just want to lick my wounds and be still. Hell, it's a plan. Of sorts.
And the second thing that's been making me wildly angry (and very hurt) today is my so-called old University friends. These are people I don't see very often, but have known for twenty years. Yes, I know I've blogged about them before, but this is the first time I've had this wave of anger about them. It feels as if for a long time I've been doing a lot of the running and since I made the decision last year about not organising so many group social activities, it all seems to be drifting away. It seems as if when I hear about any good or bad things that have happened to them, I'm first to respond with the appropriate celebrations or sympathy, but the same thing does not happen, in any sense, in return. Last year, one of them was in severe crisis and I drove over her way several times to have chats about it, and kept in touch by email/phone. Yet when I'm in trouble (as last year indeed), there's nothing in return - just once again the invitation to ring them if I need to talk. Well, once again, bollocks to that. It doesn't work. What I need is someone on my doorstep/on the phone/email being proactive about it. That has never happened. I've also sent emails telling them the good news about my books and, in one or two cases, how difficult things have been. Response on both counts: zilch. Surely, if someone emails you with good or bad news, it's just a matter of courtesy to respond?? I make sure I always do. It feels very hurtful, and I feel very empty, that this isn't happening from them. And, God, I think: what is it about me that makes people use me when they need a shoulder to cry on, but disappear to the fucking hills when I need the same from them? Do I have the label "Social Pushover" tattoed to my head? Bollocks to my old university gang, I say. I can do without you tossers. Everyone I know is a bloody better friend than you. So go screw yourselves.
So. What a morning that was, eh? The rest of the day I've spent doing the cleaning, stuffing sliced lemons up a chicken's arse (which has been extremely satisfying and I really must do it more often, especially when I can imagine it's the bloody church or my bloody so-called friends - though no doubt some of them would enjoy it ...) for lunch, cleaning the car, chatting to the neighbour and napping. The latter for two glorious hours - bliss! Oh, and I've rung mother to wish her the usual happy returns of today and to sound like a normal daughter with a normal life. God, what a consummate actor I indeed am.
And I've just finished reading Wendy Cope's "Serious Concerns" - poetry that always makes me smile and she's so damn clever. I've also given up on Carol Anne Davis' "Shrouded", as I couldn't bear the characters and I'm deeply uninterested in fish tanks, a subject which seemed to take up most of the first few chapters for reasons known only to her.
Tonight, I'm going to watch Billie Piper (who I think is a lovely person) in "Mansfield Park". I must admit to being in two minds about it, as I really really don't see her as Fanny - she's too blonde, too bosomy and too uncontained. Fanny is more of the quiet, slow-burn, brunette type, in my opinion. Still, we'll see.
This week's haiku (and probably appropriate for today in some strange fashion ...) is:
I speak of childhood.
Inside me, a door opens
and darkness spills out.
Today's nice things:
1. Being angry about the crap thrown at me (strangely)
2. Having the "church talk" at last with Lord H, and we're still hugging (thankfully)