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Sunday, 23 January 2011

My House of Cards


If it was just one thing to deal with, I could cope, as I cope every day of my life. As millions of people worldwide cope with their own day-to-day difficulties.

In fact, two things to deal with are fine, even three, several, many. I can difficulty multi-task.

But....
When it is dealing with this stupid constant pain in my knee, which I have had since my compound tib-fib fracture in March 1993... well, ok. I am used to that pain, it is rather like 'white noise' and background, I have a coping strategy for that and most of the time I even forget it's there.

But....
When it is also dealing with the left hand side Achilles tendon pain, that my kinétherapist has now declared an 'affliction longe durée' because it is not getting any better. She doesn't understand why there has been absolutely no improvement other than possibly it's caused by a physiological malfunction and in that case, it's most likely inoperable. Unless the tendon snaps. THEN it can be fixed. It is painful to walk and it is excruciating to have someone press on it.

But.....
When is also dealing with 'Tennis Elbow' that makes it nearly impossible to pick up a cup of tea.

But.....
When it is also dealing with running out of fioul because I could only afford 250 litres and I can't get more for another two weeks. I've applied for help through Assistance Sociale but that usually takes two months to come through. In the meantime, I have plugged in the oil-fired heaters and turned on the electric hot water heater for the shower. Tremendously costly, but, rather like the poor man's shoes: all I can do.

But.....
When it is also getting the third degree grilling at Restos du Coeur because I'm not receiving a Pension Alimentaire from my ex-husband and the 'biological' father of my daughters. "Surely he sends you something, Madame? They are, after all, his children, yes?" "They are, but no, he does not." "He must help somehow... does he pay for their clothing? School trips? Canteen tickets?" It's now when I wish I knew how to say in French, 'He pays for bugger all, frankly.' I make a mental note to ask my eldest later. Look, folks, I have no job, no income, no money, no spousal support, no child support, nada. It's just me and RSA until I can 'create' some job out of thin air, a tuppence, a satsuma and a great idea. Until then, may I please be allowed some food for the children and myself? Pretty please? Thank you.

But....
When it is also my 12-year old being stopped by one of the advisers from her Martinique trip on the way back from our shopping trip at LeClerc. Then after a few pleasantries, and the woman saying, "Don't forget to stay in touch, dear." And my Spidey senses start tingling. And my daughter turns to me, quite matter-of-frankly as we continue on down the street, and whispers, "I think not, she's a lesbian, you see."

But....
When it is also having all but two electrical sockets now defunct so we have extension cords trailing all over the place. I have run through four packs of 10 amp fuses that go into the wall, I can't afford to buy any more. The electrician came to look, but, it needs a complete re-wire and that can't happen for a few weeks or months. Nothing happens here in France overnight, save strikes.

But....
When it is also coming out of your house and running smack dab into someone you did not want to run into...

Well, that was the final straw. Too many things came at me all at once. Actually more than I've gone into here, but some things are too difficult, raw, painful and personal to name, let alone discuss. Besides, even *I* am getting bored with this rant.

Heaven knows how you've sat through it.

My Doctor said there is no reason to suffer unnecessarily, I am not Christ on the cross atoning for the World's Sins. I agree. (Besides, I've never been a great Calvinist supporter.) I need to be here and present, I need to function for my children and for myself. I cannot spend hours of the day crying.

So, I am starting on anti-depressants again. These are different than the ones I was on before but are still an SSRI. Yes, they are a crutch. But I need a crutch, I'm broken. I need help to heal, to come to terms with my life situation, to find a way forward. My Doctor and I agreed to try this for a few months, see if I can't get over this difficult patch. So, Seroplex, 10mg, every night. Sadly, it has the same side effects as my last medication, notably 'Anorgasmia' and decreased libido. At least 'possible huge weight gain' isn't noted as common. I'll still keep a close eye on my weight, as that was the most depressing thing about taking anti-depressants last time: gaining something like 50 kg.

Because of my previous long-term use of Paroxetine, I have Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction which may never go away unless treated. At least I can hang a name on it now, and not just think it is all my fault because I was wired wrong. Or was caused by a lack of desire, it wasn't.

But anyway, the side effects aren't anything to concern me right now. I'm not looking forward to the 'Brain Zaps' that will come with discontinuing use. But then, at least I am aware of what's to come, I already know what to expect and I can plan for that future event.

I think I'll try making my emotional house out of something more substantial than cards or straw. I'm thinking fruitcake might have merit as a building material. At least, the American version. It's not like anyone ever eats it, is it?

17 comments:

Annette said...

Hang in there. And, correct, no one eats the American version of fruitcake. It's disgusting.

Keith Eckstein said...

Kitty - be strong - It'll get better.

If things get too bad - give me a call?

Keith

L'Aussie said...

Hey this is a list of woes. I hope you're hanging in there. I find St John's Wort from the health food store keeps me in good spirits. Maybe it would help. I hope by now some of those things are sorting out.

la fourchette said...

Man oh man...there are days and there are *days*. Bon courage, chèrie. Sending sunshine from the south your way (from one displaced San Diego girl to another)...just for a bit of cheer.

auntiegwen said...

I send you much love, I hope things improve. xxxx

Kitty said...

Annette: I'm hanging, yup. You might even say I was 'well hung' at this point. I'm trying to keep a sense of humour about everything, which can be a stretch, believe me. Luckily France likes to throw so many 'interesting' events at me on such a regular basis I get LOTS of practice.

Keith: Thank you, and yes, it does get better. It's rather cyclical, it seems. I'd try selling things on your site you've just set up, (shameless and unprompted plug for same: http://www.atasteofgarlic.com/general/make-a-bit-of-extra-money/ ) but I've already sold everything of value I own.

L'Aussie: Actually, this list of woes is current, so, no, none have been remotely sorted. I DO find it helps tremendously to write down what is bothering me, ruminate over it, realise that the very act of naming it has placed it in the past so then I can move on away from it. I'm taking St John's Wort, yes, but I also need exercise and sunshine, both lacking presently due to my injury and the Season.
Heh, at least it's not snowing. :)

La Fourchette: Yes, sunshine is just the ticket, I am ready for Spring to arrive here in the frozen North. That and a Rubio's Combo plate would do me just fine... or a Roberto's/Alberto's/Any Erto's Carne Asada Burrito... oh, now you got me started. Dreaming of that and long evenings spent at Humphrey's by the Bay has brightened my mood considerably, thanks! :)

Auntiegwen: Thank you, my lovely. Much love is sent right back at you. xx

The Pliers said...

Once again I've been out of the loop in that parallel universe of my in-laws' that does not include 21st C technology or access to the Ether.

Two steps forward, eight steps back. At least that's what I've always thought it looked like, so it ain't Spit and Baling Wire for nothin'. I've always felt like my house was built of cards on quicksand so I hear ya, Kitty Kat...

Kitty said...

The Pliers: As long as we can keep the 'two steps forward, eight steps back' moving in some kind of wild Mobius strip love child of Watusi and Hava Nagila so it wraps around upon itself and we meet ourselves coming and going... Well, at least we'll keep ourselves entertained?
I honestly do love my life. I love my children, I love my friends, I love those who mean the world to me. This helps me get out of bed in the morning and face what I must face. Because without love, I am broken beyond repair.
Try an American Fruitcake foundation; much better than quicksand and Seasonally festive, at least, once a year.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Sounds like a classic case of too much of everything... hopefully the anti-depressants can lift your mood. MMxx
PS: He's not paying for anything? Nada? Rien??!!

Kitty said...

Dear Met Mum: Yes, exactly, just too much of everything all at once. I have been on the anti-depressants now for 10 days and I have already noticed I am obsessing less over certain aspects of my life situation. I'm a generally cheerful person anyway, but certain challenges just got the better of me, now I can cope.
P.S. Nada, rien de tout, zippo, nothing whatsoever on a consistent basis, nope. He bought them one pair of shoes and a DS game, each, summer before last on one of his unannounced visits. Last unannounced visit in September, neither girl really wanted to see him and I was firm in my resolve; 'You don't call first and arrange a time, you may not just show up on my doorstep.' So he left with my Landlord the 'presents' he'd promised the girls: a pack of Tic-Tacs each, a paperback book each and a small box of chocolates each from one of their cousin's weddings. No card, no letter just a note scibbled on some lined paper. The girls just looked at it later and blinked. Eldest daughter quipped, "All the way to France to give us THIS? Why not just stop smoking, then you'd have more money." Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. If it wasn't so pathetically offensive, I'd be laughing. However... his actions makes them feel unwanted and like they are not worth bothering over. That has turned them against him. And it was completely his doing, not mine. The Eldest put it most succinctly, "He says he loves us, but his actions say the opposite. He should just stop lying to himself."
Bitter? Very.

Sue said...

Kitty, I had similar achilles issues about 10 years ago....they went away slowly. It does resolve. What can you do for work there? Can you craft/cook/write somethink of interest to your local community..? If you want to open a tea room, you need a venue... Sue

the fly in the web said...

Goodness, Kitty, when it comes it comes all at once with a bang in my experience...and there are times when you just can't cope with the whole mess without some sort of help.
It would be so much easier if France would let one do something without it costing an arm and a leg before one can get started.

Kitty said...

Sue: At present I am in negotiations for premises. It's the licensing and formalities that are stumping me. But I have help through something like the Small Business Association, they are helping me to negotiate the legalities of it all. So, it does actually look rather positive! Which is what I really need right now, rays of sunshine and Spring and smiles.

The Fly in the Web: Yes, you know exactly what France is like when it comes to people expressing a desire for a little 'Entrepreneurship', don't rock the boat, that's never been done before that way!
On the plus side, I am very calm now with this medication which has allowed me to completely de-stress, stop obsessing over things, people and situations I have not one iota of control over or say in and to plan and create for my own future and that of my children.
I'm actually happy... and I haven't been really 'happy' in months and months.

Jessica (Hey Lola) said...

I hope things are turning around. It's my first time here (via WendiWinn)...I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and your future tea room.

English Rider said...

I am a late arrival, I see. Constant pain warps your mood and thinking. I hope an extended course of anti-inflam's can at least resolve the tennis elbow. it did for me. Antidepressants can have weight-loss side effects, by helping impulse control. They use them for smoking cessation trials now. You just need a Doctor who picks the right one for you. The weather will improve and the days will get longer and brighter soon. I had friends who lived in Northern France. They potted up hanging baskets of flowers to sell in France, as the English do so well, and gathered mistletoe to ship to England and sell at Christmas.

Half Acre Farm said...

Comment from Paul, I get so annoyed at men who refuse to support there children, gets me really angry, but all I can is wish you luck Kitty. Unfortunately Europe is littered with cases such as yours when the "man" takes what seems the easy way out when times get hard and leaves the country and won't honour his responsibility's.

Kitty said...

Jessica (Hey Lola) Welcome to my Blog and thank you for commenting. (I LOVE WendiWinn!) Thank you, yes, things do seem to be turning around a bit for me now. It's come about by a radical change in my attitude. I cannot change events that are occurring, so, I've changed how I view them.
"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." ~Aldous Huxley ~
So, I'm starting there and hoping the ripple effect will positively change what is happening around me.

English Rider: You're never late, you're right on time. I had a cortisone injection in each shoulder which has improved that tremendously; no more pain. The anti-inflams are helping the Tennis Elbow and I know I can fall back to an injection there as well. So, that's heartening. This anti-depressant seems perfect for me, no weight issues and no compulsive thoughts, the other side effects I can live with.

Half Acre Farm (Paul): I don't understand it at all. I think he is trying to *punish* me for leaving him by with-holding his children's rightful monies due them. He likes to 'dine out' on the fact he is now destitute, no (legal on-the-books) job, living in a Yurt in some woodland, etc, etc. My response is: "You're an adult. Those are your own choices you made yourself. If you don't like where you are, then, grow up and get a life of your own you DO like. Just leave US out of it." You know, it's too bad times are hard, it's hard for everyone world-wide. But parents have legal and moral responsibilities. You can't just say, 'No, thanks, I'd rather not,' because it's suddenly *inconvenient* for you.
And yes, you are right, Europe IS littered with cases exactly like mine, sadly.

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