Epic Life Musings From The Sanitary Aisle

Sometimes, there are too many things that hurt. Too much to contend with that’s tough. It seems to me that if you care even remotely about making the world a better place, the longer life goes on, the bigger the task and the smaller you shrink.

I’m overwhelmed right now on a few levels. Personally, I’m tired. So. Damn. Exhausted. Lifewise nothing is mammothly different at the moment. There’s the constant kids. The constant B-admin. The constant two-steps ahead to ensure life happens for everyone, even if it is to a less-than-optimal degree. But relatively speaking, we’re in a slightly smoother patch. B’s seizures have lessened and as a result he’s been storming school. The girls are getting more independent and it feels a little easier to breathe. Although, disclaimer, I am still that mum who forgets every fucking form and sneaks into events frazzled and late. The ones I remember at all, that is. So it got me thinking; why, even in a good patch, are things so tricky?

This weekend simultaneously slapped me in the face and bit me in the arse with an answer. From fairly calm waters, a sudden storm. B, for reasons mostly unknown, was not a happy boy. We had meltdowns. Kicking, pinching, biting, scratching meltdowns, complete with the launching of anything that happened to be within his reach. He was flitty, unfocused and obviously bothered by something. But even the most educated and knowledgeable guessing did sweet FA to remedy the mystery problem. We had to keep the kids apart to make sure the girls didn’t get hurt. The stress of the whole situation seeped out like some obnoxious gas, turning the others into grumpy arses, which then, in turn, hiked up the stress levels a few notches more. Vicious circle springs to mind.

The trickiness isn’t in the day to day grind, although that’s relentless and exhausting enough. It’s in the soul-crushing unpredictability. One day I’m winning, the next I do everything exactly the same and I’m on my knees. I succeeded. I failed. I succeeded. I failed. I hate rollercoasters at the best of times, and right now is a vomit-all-over-the-person-in-front moment. Yesterday I realised I’d been standing in the same aisle in Asda for ten minutes. Ten whole minutes. I’m not sure where those ten minutes of my life went, or indeed what people must have thought about the decision making capabilities involved in buying tampons. I’d spent the day up to that point with B and BH, which is enough to scare any responsible grown up, but after maximum chaos in soft play (hawk-eyeing B to save any poor T-shirt clad small people from getting pinched, and then an epic WTF in the tube feeding department-B scratching and flailing and feed flying everywhere) today was particularly harsh. I think I brain-blanked, and when I did come to I just wanted to cry. Right there in the sanitary aisle, which would obviously have done wonders for all those patriarchal hormonal-PMT-crazy lady stereotypes. Sorry feminism. As it was, I didn’t cry- floodgates and all that. But I would have happily wandered off into another life in that particular moment. Not because I don’t love my kids. Not because I’m a horrible human. But because life. And the absolute chaos that rules day in, day out.

Then the Brexit stuff. I mean, I’m sure many of you know my views on this. I’m pretty vocal. But that stuff directly adds to the daily chaos in a very real way. Other than the uncomfortably obvious are-we-really-going-to-stamp-our-feet-and-fuck-off-because-we-don’t-get-our-way-and-are-seemingly-as-a-nation-a-little-bit-racist, the connotations are way more real life for me, and for other families like mine. The looming threat of Brexit fills me with actual, tangible dread for the future of all my kids, but especially for B. Shedloads of funding for services that would be considered basic for disabled children and adults comes from the EU. Without those basic services a whole sub section of our community are denied the right to humanity; to be fully and absolutely integrated as valuable members of that community. I speak selfishly and from my own standpoint, but I also know there is uncertainty over our economy, over our NHS and over our government if Brexit goes ahead. If the worst case scenario becomes reality, everything goes tits up, and in a few years we are expected to meet all B’s needs, financially and otherwise, alone and without outside help, I literally don’t know how I’ll do it. (Although maybe the boobs could come in handy-see previous post!) He’s costly, in every sense of the word. But he’s also a person and his worth, along with others like him, cannot, and must never be, reduced down to efficiency. The main arguments for Brexit are all economical. B doesn’t feature in that sort of decision. It’s true he’s not productive in an economic calculation. But that kind of thinking dehumanises him. I thought I belonged to a society that was better than arrogant pride. A nation willing to promote unity and diversity rather than make decisions based on fear of different ‘others’. Such scaremongering, arrogance and dehumanisation is not the heartbeat of a healthy Britain.

Living and giving a shit is seemingly pretty rough. It seems like the world is at an all time low, and apparently humans are idiots- who knew?! I’ll be honest, that zealous fire of optimism I used to have back before life happened has kinda dimmed to a barely glowing flicker. But what can I actually do to make the world, or at least my corner of it, a little bit better? I’m not altogether sure but I have some ideas. Grabbing the moments. Spending time making memories and reminding myself of the good stuff out there. Listening to music. Loving. Loving again. Loving some more. Especially when it’s costly and especially when it would be easier not to. Sharing my shit. Helping others with theirs. Believing it can be better. We can still change our communities at a grass roots level. We’re not entirely dependent on the machine, at least not yet. Please, please can we be better than this? Better than the individualistic, self-serving, system-feeding drones we are programmed to be. I need you. And you need me. The reigning noughties high school movie has a lesson for us all- we really are all in this together. (High School Musical, in case you’re interested. Definitely worth a watch.)

No human is an island. And no country is either, regardless of geography.


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