Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….



I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Six Feet Under.

I own the boxed set and have just finished watching all five series (seasons) for about the third time, and the finale always stays with me for days, hence this song stuck in my head on repeat.

Because I’m also obsessed with death, plus I totally and utterly envy the fictitious, feckless, fucked up Fishers.

Because despite their disputes, down times and dysfunctional behaviour, they are a proper family.

They fuck up time after time, they fall out, make up, make the most appalling choices for themselves, are promiscuous to a man/woman, but they are family.  That creepy house come funeral home with its coach house, dated decor, antiquated kitchen always has room for everybody, with a constant influx of the living and dead alike, and they all ebb and flow like the ocean that features so significantly in the dream sequences, so that it’s almost like a living, breathing entity.

Plus they all seem to have plenty of time to hang around smoking pot without ever getting busted.

Not to mention Ruth’s crazy, pill popping sister Sarah has an amazing flower power domicile somewhere out in the sticks, and has a constant stream of hippy friends popping in to dance around the bonfire naked.

And when I saw all the women standing around the body of Fiona their fallen sister singing ‘Calling All Angels’, I, like Ruth longed for that kind of intimacy on a permanent basis.

Who lives like this?  Can I live like this?  Where is this fucking place anyway?

Because what is left of my family is strewn across the UK.  And my friends are either estranged or busy with their hectic 9-5 (or rather 8-8) existence, and I am lonely.

Wrap me up.

Today I walked to town and back.

So what, you might ask?

Well I did my 10,000 steps and its the first real bit of exercise I’ve done this year.

The Fishers made me do that.  Well watching Nate (the bastard) collapse after shagging that awful Maggie and wake up with stroke symptoms, and then die, might have spurred me on a bit. 🙂

And I know for a fact that I’m not going to find my very own utopia sat at home on the couch with the cats living vicariously through the Fishers.

So tomorrow, I’ll take a deep breath, and do it again.

And try not to lose myself again.

Namaste x




This week, after months of silence, upon receiving an invitation from my oldest sister, I put a veritable polecat amongst the pigeons by announcing to her and the family that I wouldn’t be there on Christmas day.

More silence.

Oh dear.

And as my Guilt and Anxiety rose, and dammit, despite trying really hard, I ended up justifying why and that I was going to be doing some volunteering for a charity instead.  I also suggested that I would try to be up later in the week if I had the petrol money when my other sister and her brood will be there.

The reply?

A curt ‘Yes, that would be fine.’

Oops.  Guilt and Anxiety are rudely shoved to one side as Anger, Indignation and Resentment are now in da house.

After all, it’s not like they don’t know about my financial hardship, no matter how much they’ve closed their ears to it, and the fact of the matter is, I just can’t afford them, let alone all their presents, cards, goodies that I usually pack my car with as I plan my pilgrimage oop North come Christmas eve.

So let’s break it down:

WHEN I NEED THEM, they ignore my subtle cries for help, compare my situation to ‘being a bit hard up’ and tell me that ‘we’re all struggling’ then lie low in the hope that they never have to offer financial aid, let alone a temporary roof above my head.  As if I’d ever accept it, given what they did the last time I had to stay at theirs.

Here’s a lovely, heartwarming Christmas story for you.

After a few weeks of staying with my sister some years ago, on leaving their homestead, I was presented with a bill.  You know, like one you’d get if you stayed at the ‘W’ Hotel or something except this was scrawled on exercise book paper.  That said the only thing missing was the gratuity.  I was billed market rate for the room, food, share of bills, council tax, old chipped mug that I broke, you get the picture?  Pretty much everything you would charge a complete stranger if they were renting space from you.  Except I was her younger sister, who had arrive back in the country post breakdown, didn’t have a penny to my name, and had only just secured a job and accommodation.  After that, things got even worse, with more financial demands and a total relationship breakdown, but sorry, I digress….

BUT come Christmas they expect to be able to dig me out, like a dusty old Christmas tree decoration, plonk me on the sofa, shove a paper hat on my head, prop me up at the table, drag me out to some hideous local carol concert, force me to watch an equally awful (no, actually it was even more excruciating) pantomime and then 3 days later, bid me farewell and neglect me for another 12 months?


Before you wag a stern finger at me and open your gob to lecture me oh my lack of good cheer, I’ll openly admit that it’s not all bad.

  • I do love to see them.
  • Christmas Day is usually a lot of fun.
  • The food, both mine and theirs, is great.
  • I even occasionally get a decent present or two, though never anything to get me really excited.  To be fair, I think you need be passionately loved, or at least fucking someone for that privilege.

So am I passive aggressively using this as an opportunity to hurt them for not supporting me in my hour of need?

Well I can honestly say, hand on heart, ‘No.’

Right now, my financial situation is so precarious that, if the money is not in my current account, I don’t spend it.  I stay in, eat from my freezer/cupboards and wait until my benefits arrive, so unless I want to hasten a move to a cardboard box underneath the arches for the New Year, I cannot risk buying presents, food and goodies for 13 adults and kids, something I have done for decades without a murmur of complaint (well, maybe one or two) even though, until recent years, I rarely got so much as a box of Ferrero Rocher or something ropey from the Boxing Day sales in return.


Incidentally, does anyone else think FR are pretty shit?  I think they suck and would personally sooner receive a six pack of bog roll than cheap chocolate, so the Ambassador can stuff them up his ring piece one by one (foil on or off) for all I care, but I’m digressing again….

THEN my other sister comes back and says she won’t be there before New Year so I wouldn’t get to see her anyway.

Suits me bitches.  I’ll spend the petrol money on M&S Christmas food and hole up with the cats for the week, so ‘Ho, frigging Ho’ to the lot of ya.

I know that despite all this, my family are feeling let down, and some how think they are justified in being frosty with me because I’m not playing ‘Aunty Presents’ this year, but fuck, what do they actually expect me to do? Get into more debt?  Plus i can do without any more unexpected bills right now, especially those written by hand on scrap paper.

I, in my way, am sad too.  But to be honest, it’s about time.

Aunty C (my counsellor) has been nagging me for years to start claiming back Christmas, making my own traditions and hosting my own dinners, because she, like me, fears that I’ll be going to my sisters forever, and in the end, I’ll be sat on a commode, dribbling into a plastic bib in between courses, dining on a lunch that has been put through a blender and spoon fed to me, then propped up in front of ‘Call the Midwife’ swimming in sherry, whilst the young ‘uns party, in the hope that I quietly pop my clogs and remember their kindness in my will.

Ugh.  An aged, incontinent, pathetic spinster Sister is one ghost of Christmas future that I’d sooner not ever have to encounter.

Maybe my future Christmases will be different every single year from now on.  Maybe I’ll host.  Maybe I’ll go away.  Maybe one day I’ll even spend the day in bed with a lover (HAH!).  What I can’t do any more is cling to my family and sit on the kid’s table just because I don’t have a life of my own.


What I will always do from now on though, is something for a homeless charity every year.  Because, right now, the ghost of Christmas Present still occasionally put his bony fingers on my shoulders and breathes icy air raspily in my ear as if to remind me of how close to destruction I have come, and if I ever get out of this situation intact, I will never, ever take having my own home for granted again.

My sisters’ kids are nearly all grown up now, and already are more mildly indifferent than excited at my arrival, which is how it goes when kids grow up,  and how it always will be.  Nothing wrong with that.  Plus they all get an alarming number of presents money and vouchers, so I’ll be amazed if they even notice the absence of either myself or my offerings.

And to requote Nanny McPhee “When you (sort of) want me and no longer need me, then I have to go. It’s rather sad, really, but there it is.”

So I’m standing firm on this one, for all our stakes and stepping away from that table of my own volition once and for all.


Always leave them wanting more, that’s what I say 😉  And let’s face it, in this supposed time of great austerity, where the divide between the ‘have’s and ‘have nots’ is ever wider and where the desire for more and more ‘stuff’ brings out the worst in everyone, isn’t it time to be grateful for what we already have and not only for one day?

Namaste x



Yes it’s Pity Party time again, so swig down your vodka and orange (squash), put down your cheese straws and hit the dance floor as I’m just lining up the 12″ version of Colonel Abram’s ‘Trapped’ so you can get down with yo bad self 80’s style.

I can get even more down on mine.


Apols for my absence of late, but I so wanted to have good news for you for my next post, but sadly things have not gone according to plan.

Re my three pronged approach (see Safe as Houses) I’ve done two out of three (which Meatloaf will concur, ain’t bad), but am shit scared to do the latter.

Mainly because my property has been on the market for two weeks now, and I’ve only had one person over to view it.


So I can’t even say to my lenders that there’s lots of interest and that I should be out before Christmas and pay you off in full, so right now I am nigh on nostalgic for the days when my biggest worry was which club to go to, and whether my flat mate would ‘borrow’ my favourite tarty, scrunchy body con dress before I got home from work.


Hell, I’m nostalgic for that pitiful fear I had but two weeks ago at the mere thought of selling this place.  Little did I know that the market is practically moribund due to (according to the estate agent) concern of how the election might affect interest rates and the imminent arrival of Christmas.

Didn’t tell me that when I listed with them, did he, fucking slimy, bloodsucking twat?

Then I was terrified that I wouldn’t make enough to finance my new life elsewhere.  Now I’m shitting bricks and having nightmares about being repossessed, ending up on the streets, and/or having bailiffs take my car.

And before anyone suggests it, I can’t rent it out because I wouldn’t make any profit and I wouldn’t get my rent paid by the government because I’m be a property owner.  And no, I couldn’t stay with friends because now it’s critical, everyone’s has gone very quiet and seem to have forgotten their casual ‘Oh you can always come and stay with us’, because, let’s be honest, they never thought it would come to this otherwise they’d have kept their gobs shut.

As for my family, they never made that offer in the first place (no hypocrite they), and are now very much ‘Oh everyone’s in the same boat’ when I showed them the white of my eyes out of sheer desperation.

Well we’re not actually.  We’re not even in the same fucking river!  No one is going to make you homeless you bastards.

The only good thing about this situation is that you find out who your real friends are.

Trouble is, I don’t appear to have any, so I am trapped, and totally powerless and at the mercy of besuited bankers whom I will have to come clean to, and hope that they give me six months or so to shift this pile and get the hell outta Dodge.

On the plus (?) side, I’ve started Schema Therapy!

Oh boy, now that’s another story.

Stay tuned for another exciting episode of ‘The Fall and Fall of a Failing, Flailing, Fucked Up 50 Something’…..

Namas-frigging-te x


Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady – SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE

We all get jealous from time to time — what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?


OK, so let’s get one thing straight, I’m not a jealous person.

When one has such low self esteem that they don’t think they deserve to live at all, I don’t think I ever had the nerve or chutzpah to take something off someone, or demand that they not have it.

But I do occasionally suffer from bouts of the next best thing.

It’s what I’ve dubbed, courtesy of that ’80’s legend Jilted John, ‘Yeah, Yeah, It’s Not Fair’ syndrome.

I’m also occasionally prone to envy, but this (as my friend Helen has already outlined most ably in her fabulous Scribblefest), is a tad more forgivable as all you really want is the tiniest slither of the pie, and not to snatch the entire thing out of the hands of the current recipient, hurl the empty dish at their head afterwards then lean over and burp applesauce in their face.

Well not usually anyway… 😉


I should know what jealousy looks like; I had and do have a couple of green eyed monsters in my life at present.

One cannot bear for me to have anything she does not, even if she can’t feasibly have it in the first place, one example being a hot date when she’s ‘happily’ married, a vintage bargain bag when she has a wardrobe full of new Pradas or a party invite that she cannot attend anyway.  But she’s a psychopath, so it’s not that surprising really (

When I was younger and more attractive, another now ex friend once hinted very heavily that life would be much easier for her if I were to put on about 3 stone in weight, as she was sick of her horrible, deadbeat boyfriends hitting on me, something I would always get it in the neck for, and not the HDB’S.  BUT if I was safely ensconced in a relationship and she was on the look out, she would have no qualms in asking me to be her wing woman in order to attract more men to our table for her.

That said, whilst YYINF syndrome is not quite as bad as jealousy, it is, I have to admit, mean spirited, whiney, pathetic and not all that different at the end of the day.


So regarding my particular (pale) green eyed character flaw, when does this terrible affliction kick in?

When I see the happy, the lucky, the fortuitous, the beautiful, the loved from the moment they were born, getting on splendidly in every aspect of life you’d care to mention.

‘And who might they be Sista?’ you may ask innocently.

And I say to you, ‘Oh they, and maybe even YOU, know who you are dear!  Don’t think I haven’t noticed, y’hear?!’

Because I SEE YOU pretty much every day; all glowing, confident and appreciated courtesy of your perfect parents, coasting gracefully through life, getting everything you want, meeting your soul mate at exactly the right time, having the wedding of your dreams, popping out 2.5 model kiddies without even so much as gas and air, climbing the corporate ladder with grace and ease and looking stunning in the bargain, blah, blah, fucking blah.


You always get a seat on the notoriously crowded 7.45 am train from Guildford to Victoria, and even in a heatwave, sans air con, you arrive on platform pristine and box fresh whilst the rest of us are sweating, dishevelled, cursing wrecks.

You can go to the January sales and never get jostled or flustered, and always nab the best bargains as you walk, no glide, through the yielding, parting crowds like a cross between Moses and the frigging Timotei girl swishing through a field of daisies on a soft, summers day.

If you’re male, you’re everyone’s best mate, super masculine, but stylish, and a decent sort too, generous (shit, you can afford it!) excelling at all sports, and you’ve been told more than once that you look a bit like a cross between Davids Beckham and Gandy.

Your folks adore you because you were the perfect child, and you adore them back because they did everything for you and are just the best parents ever!

You always get a green light, never a red.  And I’m not just talking about driving.

You always get upgraded to first class on the plane, even if you’re in your oldest jeans and tattiest t-shirt.

You’re the must have dinner party guest in your circle because not only do you shine, but you have the ability to charm, make everyone feel comfortable, are attentive even with the most boring neighbour and you are guaranteed to entertain everyone into the night with your hilarious anecdotes and cutting edge opinions and knowledge about, oh, just about everything.

Despite walking everywhere you have never ever scratched the leather off your stiletto healed Jimmy C’s.

And of course, it goes without saying that you’re also anything from attractive to extremely good looking.  How could it not be so?


Doors open for you.  Packed restaurants miraculously find a top table for you.  Flowers grow, soufflés rise, the stubborn bend, and legs do part.

And the hardest thing of all for someone like me who had a hideous childhood, was never loved, has mental health issues, struggles to keep friends (whine, whinge, whine…), and never, ever had or will ever have what you have?

You’re usually a bloody nice person and I would no doubt like and admire you if I knew you, when I so long to hate you.

Because IT’S NOT FAIR!

Who decides who has a great life and who has a shitty one?


All joking (kinda) and ranting aside, i know that I’m luckier than most and things could be a whole lot worse, but sometimes I look at these shiny happy types and wonder how things might have turned out for me, had I been lucky enough to have the chances they’ve had.

I guess we’ll never know.

In the meantime, I try and fight my irritation and caustic, destructive, corrosive jealousy, sorry, envy, stop bloody MOANING and make a mental note of which queues to rise early for when my next life is due.

And if Holly frigging Willough-booby gets in my way in the Looks Department, there’ll be HELL to pay.

Back off Blondie, haven’t you had ENOUGH blessings?  You’re INSATIABLE!!

Oh Gawd, I feel yet another rant coming on….Here we go, two, three, four…..

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

The Match (Part 4) Rusty’s Destination | The Jittery Goat
Self-Defeating Beliefs
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | Bob’s Blog-O-Rama
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | MedinaQue
DP Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | Sabethville
Daily Prompt: Green Eyed Lady | Purplesus’ Blog
Dirty Envy | In the Present
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady « cognitive reflection
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
Green-Eyed Lady | The Nameless One
Daily Prompt: Green-eyed Lady | imagination
Green-Eyed Lady | God Through My Eyes
Evil Queens & coffee beans
Daily Prompt: Jealousy | A Day In The Life
Reciprocal | The River Mom
of wickedness | Anawnimiss
Wake Up O’ Sleeping Stone | The Write Web
Daily prompt: Green-eyed monster | Go, See, Live
I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
Aces « Averil Dean
NaPoWriMo Day 4: “Smitten” | arakawa fiction
Bass Speaker | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | A Note From Jenn
Leave Me Free | Flowers and Breezes
From Time To Time | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
How do they do it? | A mom’s blog
Daily Prompt: Green Eyed Lady | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
Nonsense | Life is great
Green All Over | meanderedwanderings
i’m just a jealous guy | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
The Green-Eyed Monster | Elementary Verse
Green-Eyed Monster | Elementary Verse
Daily prompt 🙂 Green eyed Lady | myjourneyeveryday
Daily Prompt from WordPress: HEY-O Jealousy – That’s My Answer
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | My Atheist Blog
Daily Prompt – Green-Eyed Lady | hometogo232
If I Have to Choose One Thing that Makes me Jealous | wisskko’s blog
I’m Jealous of Chris Potter’s Coffee Mates
The Difference Between Cats and Humans is … Sleep | My Two Cats
#NaPoWriMo2014 “As long as I have words” Day 4 | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady- The Path to Freedom and Fear | Journeyman
Daily Prompt: Being Jealous! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
Me Jealous? Sadly, Yes. | Emotional Fitness
Daily Prompt: My eyes turn green when I see him with her. | Ipso • facto
With wild cat designs comes love, passion and jealousy !! | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
Sometimes my eyes are just a little more green than usual | One Educator’s Life
I Don’t Always Get Jealous……. | djgarcia94
I Need To Talk To The Person In Charge Of Changing Humans Into Dogs | meg lago
Green eyed lady | Boundaries and Edges
NaPoWriMo Day 4 Poem ~~ Jealousy | To Breathe is to Write
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | Diary of Dennis
Haves vs Have Nots | Emovere
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | Ramblings of A Nonsensical Nerd
Caught in the Act! | LenzExperiments
Daily Prompt: Green-eyed lady | This is who I am…
Green Eyed Lady | Destino
Skinny Selfies | vic briggs
The Game | La Gatita Oscura
The Emperor’s new clothes. | Trucker Turning Write
A Big One | Overcoming Bloglessness
Green-Eyed Lady | c21stguinevere
Wise Words – Steve Jobs | The Salmon Yatra
Envy | Writing on the Spot
Oklahoma Rose | The Shotgun Girls
Lovers In A Box
Green-Eyed Monster | The Writer’s Block
I Covet No More | RosieSmrtiePants
Green Eyed Monster Jealousy | Late Bloomer Liz
Never Jealous…Much | My Author-itis
Daily prompt: Green’s my favourite colour, but… | helen meikle’s scribblefest
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | Basically Beyond Basic
Short Story: Green-Eyed Lady | Paisley Imprint
Green Eyed Monster | Views Splash!
Me and the Money Saver | A Simple Note
Everyone Gets Ticked off by Something | Opinion Judge
Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah




I am invited to a funeral tomorrow.

It’s the funeral of my friend’s mother, a lovely lady whom I met only once, but whilst seriously physically debilitated, kindness, fun and mischief shone out of her eyes, and I liked her hugely and immediately, along with her husband who is an absolute sweetheart.

But one meeting does not constitute a friendship so I was surprised to receive the invitation.

And I was torn.

Torn between the fear of going into a church and sitting through a funeral and torn between wanting to support my friend.

So I told her ‘If you need me there so support you in any capacity, I’m there.’

But she said ‘Sista, I’ll be in my own world tomorrow and surrounded by my family, and we will support each other but my Father wanted to invite you, so you are more than welcome to come.’

Was surprised and touched to hear that, but am guessing he was moved by the message I sent him about his wife now being with God.  I hope this is true, and that someone was there to greet her, but if nothing else, I know she is at peace and free of the shackles of her broken down physical form which must have at times felt like a prison.

But I won’t be going.

Because I’m frightened.

Frightened because I do not belong.

Frightened to talk to strangers who may ask who I am and what I do (nothing being the answer to both questions).

Frightened because I don’t like funerals.  I have been to too many of my own over the last 50 years.

Frightened because I’m worried I might cry, and if I cry I might never stop.

Because it’s all there, bulging away inside me, tightening my chest, blocking up my throat and causing my head to pound.

A lifetime of tears that I am still unable to shed.

Plus I’m not exactly friends with the Man Upstairs right now and I’m frightened that if I enter those hallowed walls that I’ll start to burn and crisp like Damian from the Omen in a hot deep fat fryer, and my friend and her family can well do without having to scape a soggy, weeping, totally overcome Sista off the floor with a dustpan and brush, or put out my blazing, cursing form with the church fire extinguisher or drive a stake through my heart at the alter.


But clearly I need to cry.  I rarely cry.  And I think that was why I didn’t get that Sexual Abuse Helpline job all those months ago.

But I absolutely hate it.  I’m incapable of shedding tears without feeling like a weak, vulnerable loser.

But maybe I’ll watch The Green Mile or something, and offload in the privacy and comfort of my own home.  But what I won’t do is make a complete show of myself and embarrass my friend at the funeral of that lovely lady.

So I tell her that I won’t be attending and immediately feel like a pathetic coward and a bad friend.

And then a light came on in my head.

I can give them the cakes and bakes I made for the market!  And when my friend accepts this offer with gratitude I feel that I have at least done something to make their day easier.

This is my second day at home in isolation.

I could, should, go out and do something with the day, which is already half over.

And do what? Spend money I haven’t got?  Walk in the freezing cold for the sake of walking? Go to the cinema on my own?

No way.  I’ll do something tomorrow.  Honest I will, Guv.  But today, I’m doing fuck all.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I loves ya, tomorrow, thank God you’re a day away.



“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.


But they were fucked up in their turn

By fools in old-style hats and coats,

Who half the time were soppy-stern

And half at one another’s throats.


Man hands on misery to man.

It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

And don’t have any kids yourself.” 

Philip Larkin



It’s late, but I can’t sleep.

This is because I’ve been comfort eating, no, more like binge eating, something I haven’t done for a long time.

But I have a good excuse.

I’ve been spending time with my family.

My real life family.


One of the few words that can release a whole gamut of conflicting emotions within me.

To most it sounds and feels like home, belonging, surety, security and identity

To me, it usually signifies the opposite: isolation, doubt, insecurity, distrust, not belonging, being on the outside.

From all of the definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary, I seem to fall outside of the ‘group of people living together as a unit’ and relate more to ‘group of people related by blood or marriage’ cross referenced with the more sinister associations with the Mafia.  Not that I’m saying my immediate family are wise guys.  More that if you don’t toe the line, you’re the enemy and likely to be, at the least, ostracised, and at the worst, whacked in the weeds.

And it all starts with the parents, does it not?

And our parents, for all kinds of reasons, weren’t exactly great.

But unlike me, my sister did have our eldest sister to love and bond with during her childhood and I think that is why our lives took such different directions.

In a lot of ways, I think she is just as fucked up as I am, the only differnce being that she decided to deny and suppress her shit and point mine out to everyone as a way of cleverly deflecting the attention onto someone who didn’t have the guile to realise what was going on, and took on the names, violence, sneers and hatred as that which was her due and something she had to live with.

Without boring you with the whats, whys and wherefores, live with the ‘Sertralines’ wasn’t exactly like living with the Waltons (more like the fucking Munsters), and just like the Philip Larkin poem says, our parents fucked us up and then some, resulting in decades of fighting, conflict and estrangement, and it is only recently that things have started to heal and Sis and I have become a little closer.

This is partly down to my graduating from being the black sheep to the grey sheep, the grey being less threatening, being a little older, more vulnerable and as the term imples, less of a rebel and more inclined to try and fit in.

And in the last year, my sister has kind of softened since my breakdown, perhaps because she tells herself that my illness was the ‘reason’ for our frequent estrangements over the years. But that’s only true to the extent that in my hyper, out of control moments I was, like a lot of depressives, unable to disguise my feelings of disappointment, betrayal and rage, and gave rise to them.

But she had as much a part to play in our conflicts as I did.

Nowadays I’m a whole lot better at managing my feelings.

Take last week.

We had planned a big family get together with other family members at her house and conscious that she had to host because her place was the biggest, I made sure I did not arrive empty handed that evening and took with me a selection of lovingly hand baked goods, stuff for her kids and a decent bottle of wine.  I also hoped that she would take into account that I am not working and that it was not cheap transportation wise for me to make the journey to be with her and recognise that I was pulling my weight financially.

Our other sister, her husband and brood also came along, and brought lots of food so we all contributed in our way.

The first evening was great.  Lots of catching up, bonding, laughing and general goodwill.  I was conscious overall of a certain caution in the way other family members interacted with me, but choose to see it as a kindness rather than being patronising.

The next day was also lovely.  We went out for breakfast, took the kids to a local fair, had a long walk, had a simple dinner in the kitchen and played cards until the early hours.  And what used to be them against me almost felt as if we all on a level, and my heart glowed with something akin to joy and for a day, an hour, a minute, I felt glad to be alive.

The next morning, my eldest sister had to go home, but I had planned to stay as long as I could, so that this precious bonding might continue.

But no sooner had big sis driven away, something changed. The bonhomie dispersed, the bonds broke, and sis 2 and her family, for the want of a better description, started to go about their daily business.  Her hubby disappeared into his study, the kids went off to play games/watch DVDs, and herself rushed around the house loading washing, making beds and doing chores.

‘Hey!’ says I ‘What are we doing this morning?’

‘Erm, no plans?’ she mumbled in reply, ‘did you, erm, want any breakfast, before you erm…’

Hubby then shuffled into the kitchen and muttered rather pointedly about not having anything in, not even bread for toast.

So the message was very clear.

Fun over.

Time for you to leave.

I inwardly cringed, partly from letting myself, for once in my life, feel like part of the family and partly for doing a 500 mile round trip for a 36 hour stay to visit someone who deliberately made sure there was nothing to eat in the house in order to shoo me from the premises when she was done with me.

I know that sounds paranoid, but even the world’s worst host would remember to have stuff in for breakfast if half her family were staying the night.

I eventually muttered something back about leaving sooner rather than evening after all, helped myself to the fruitcake I had brought along so that I wasn’t driving on an empty stomach, and loaded my bag into the car.

Maybe it was the expression in my eyes, or maybe it was a sudden flash of guilt which led to sis and her man looking at me with concerned expressions as they patted my arm clumsily and telling me I ‘could come over any time’, which only served to turn my hurt and humiliation at this rejection into something that started to morph into irritation and anger.

What did they mean ‘come over at any time’? It’s not as if I live around the corner.  It takes nearly an entire day for me to get from my place to hers and costs a good £60 in petrol.

And at the very least they could have made the most of my journey and done something with me that morning or afternoon.  If someone had driven that far to see me, I would have had a whole itinerary planned, and I would have been mortified if they’d left my home hungry.

Whilst I didn’t expect a fatted calf to be turning over on a spit in the garden, the very least she could have done is given me a couple of slices of toast for breakfast and gone for walk with me, if not roast a fucking chicken for lunch before sending me on my way.  It’s Sunday, for Chrissakes!

I felt and still feel hurt and rejected.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Because they are all the family I have, whereas to them I am still, always had been and always will be, peripheral.


Like one of those little claws on a dogs leg, that they don’t really need, use or notice, don’t really mind but wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there anymore.


But if they had any real emotional intelligence that is all the more reason to treat me like the rest of the family, i.e. like I actually matter to them.

The journey back to London was long and arduous and by the time I reached home, I was tired, hungry and in need of comfort.

So I crammed myself with food; like I used to when I was that gawky, goofy, misunderstood kid that no one wanted to be associated with.

I should know better than to do that to ‘my child’ by now.

It is hardly surprising that this sitation prevails given what we were taught as kids, but what do I take from this moving forward?

Is this to be my role for the rest of my life?  To be wheeled out and included at group family things when it’s traditional and beneficial to have as many people around as possible, but ignored unless otherwise summoned? 

Do I refuse to play along, hence cutting off my nose to spite my face?

Maybe I’m asking too much; but it’s nothing i wouldn’t do for anyone who was a guest in my home?

I don’t have an answer as yet. 😦

So this little lamb is off to her own bed to count sheep, as it’s been a hell of a long day.