Thursday, 26 November 2009

Reflections

I was thinking about my family today.  I live very far away from all of them, well 8 hours on a bus or 2 hours on a plane, but plane flights from london to aberdeen are horrendously expensive for some reason.  I could easily get a return to spain and still have change in my pocket for the amount of money a flight to aberdeen costs.  Yeah...doesn't make sense does it? I can't work out that one either.

But I've been thinking about my family a lot recently.  They're all really poor and stuck in a never ending cycle of doom up there and I can't really do much about it, now that I live so far away.  Last christmas for my mum and dads xmas presents I got them 100 pounds worth of tescos shopping. I bought them a full xmas dinner and lots of nice food to eat because they told me all they were eating was rice because that was all they could afford.  People in this country, in this day and age should not just be eating rice.  It upset me soo much I cried for days.  I always feel guilty when I phone them up to talk to them and they tell me that they're all on antidepresants up there and none of them have jobs and the baliffs had been round again or that some other debt collector was threatening to take them to court.  I dont know how they got into such a financial mess.  And then when they ask me what i've been doing I feel like I cant tell them that i'v been to see a west end show or to a gig or out for a meal, because thats just cruel.  So I dont tell them all the cool things i've been doing, I just lie and say i'v been working alot and nothing else.

And now i'm crying...

I remember this one time I got phoned up at 8am in the morning by some debt collection agency saying I owed them 500 pounds.  now i have never bought anything I cant afford, i've never got anything on credit, just seeing my family get into so much debt I promised myself I wouldnt be the same, so I was skeptical of this guy demanding my bank details over the phone to pay a debt i had never heard of.  I asked the man what my name was and what the debt was for and he said my name susan G  and it was a littlewooods catalogue order.  My heart stopped for a second.  Thats my mums name, mine was samantha G until I got married, as a result she was often using my initials for things, but I'd never reckoned on her spending that much in my name.  I asked for a number I could call him back on and he gave me one and said if the debt wasnt paid by the end of the day it would effect my credit rating.  I hung up and phoned my mum. asked her if she had bought anything from littlewoods and after going quiet for a bit she owned up that she had bought loads of bedding and curtains under my name.  She said she'd pay and I asked how and she didnt know.  So I paid the bill.  Since getting married she hasnt been able to do that.

Sorry....i'm side tracking...  But this year I am gong to get them food again for xmas, I know technically this is a diet blog and I shouldnt be promoting crap food, but once in a while it would be nice to have a biscuit or indulge a little.  My family cant afford to indulge, so I will make sure they have lots of good stuff to eat over the festive season.

I love my parents completely and utterly but equally I realise they are flawed.  When you're a kid growing up you assume your parents are gods.  they can fix any problem, everything will be okay so long as they are there.  You see them through rose tinted glasses, but yesterday I suddenly realised that when my mum was my age (28) she had 4 kids.  4 KIDS.  She was a human being, a mother yes, but a human being.  She wasnt flawless she probably made mistakes, she was probably scared a lot of the time and trying to muddle through as my dad was off traipsing the world in the armys 1 para.  She had to raise the 4 of us by herself, for 8 years of my life.  I remember having a father daughter relationship with a tape player because of the amount of tapes my mum used to record of me and my sisters singing or telling the tape player what we had done at school recently so she could send the tapes to Norway or Kenya or hong kong for my dad to listen to. yet when my dad came home I couldnt get enough of him.  He was awesome.  he could solve anything, do anything, he was my idol.  Which I think is a shame on my mum, my mum raised me for my young childhood yet I would do anything for my dad when he was around.

When he left the army and we moved to scotland he got very very sick. the last trip he had been to had been kenya and whilst he was there a bug had laid an egg under his skin, it had travelled through his blood system, got lodged in his brain where the bug eventually hatched and started eating chunks of his brain.  I know it sounds like somthing out of  a horror movie but thats what happened.  I remember waking up one sunday morning coming downstairs and my mum was in tears, she told me dad had been rushed into hospital he'd had a stroke and pneumonia and he was in a coma and probably going to die.  I remember feeling numb.  I didnt cry I wasnt scared I just wasnt feeling whatsoever.  He was in a coma for 10 days then woke up, but it wasnt my dad, he slowly got better over the course of 6 months he came home but he still wasnt my dad.  he was cruel and had memory loss (to the point where he had found naked pictures of my mum that he had taken and thought she'd been having an affair while he had been in hospital.  to this day I still have nightmares about the screaming match that took place because of those photos....and now i'm crying agan...)

Eventually me my sisters and my mum got used to this new dad, even though he was quick to fly off the handle and though he never hit any of us he did trash things like doors and chairs  I think he was scared to hit us, we'd probably never get back up again.  I mention this because throughtout the illness throughout the fights I still idolised my dad, I kept willing him to go back to the way he was, kept thinking he'd eventually get better properly and be the dad that used to play hide and seek with me or tell me bedtime stories of the hobbit using a sock on his hand.  My mum went through sooo much but it was still my dad that I aspired to make proud.

I didnt realise I had rambled so long.  i'm sorry.  Sometimes its cathartic to just get some of this out.  I love my parents, I love my life, but I wish I could make my parents lives better.  I  just dont know how.  I know if I could give them dreams, goals perhaps then it would make them try to change their priorities.  I want to make their life easier, just for a little bit so that they can get off the antidepresents and start living.  But I cant live someone elses life for them I think its something they have to do.

Signing out for now, now that i've thoroughly upset myself.

5 comments:

Linz M said...

I think you said it yourself, you can't live anyone's life for them. I know you feel a responsibility for your parents and you love them unconditionally, but you can only do so much. They have to help themselves.

You shouldn't feel quilty for making something of your life.

xx

starfish264 said...

I agree with Linz - however much you love them, your first priority has to be you. I think it's great that you give them really, practical and thoughtful Xmas presents, and it is horrific that in what is supposedly a civilised country we still have people living below the poverty line, but the more of a sucess you can make of yourself, the more you'll potentially be in a position to try and help them. Your parents would only wish for you to be the happiest you can be, I would have thought, and it's evident that you care for them very much in your actions towards them (the presents, helping with the bills). Don't feel guilty for the misfortunes that have befallen them - none of them were your fault, and all that any of you can do is make the best of what is now. xx

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Sammy. Your parents lives are obviously very difficult and they have really struggled with the impact of your father's illness.

You are lucky that you have a better life filled with many good things. Just knowing that you are there for them will make a difference.

Bearfriend xx

Slimming Sammy said...

Thankyou all of you, it makes me feel better venting occasionally, and i'm sorry that I just sorta splurge on here. It helps get out frustration sometimes and its nice to know I have people here who are kind enough to read what i've written and give me their thoughts. it really helps. So thankyou.

I know my parents would only want the best for me. One day i'll repay them for the upbringing they gave me. I just wish sometimes I could do more, and its frustrating not being able to just pluck them out of their misery and put them someplace safe. I just have to work hard so I can get them a better life.

Carly said...

You are obviously a lovely considerate daughter, still committed to helping out your parents despite previous issues. I hope they appreciate what you do for them :)

I absolutely understand what you mean about flights to Scotland - my grandparents live up there and I would love to go up with my husband and son, but it's just extortionate!

Have a lovely thanksgiving weekend xx