That post, believe it or not, was never supposed to be a comment on anything political or a cry for help or even one for pity. In this small corner of the internet, my small corner, I relish the fact that I never ever have to be anything other than as open and honest as I want to. So on that day when I innocently attached a few photographs into my post the only statement that I was making was a profoundly unpolitical ‘this is my new house. Bit shit really isn’t it. Oh well…’
All of a sudden things went a little bit mental and my inbox brimmed and my phone didn’t stop and everyone had something to say or a story to tell. Not long later, on the random day where bloggers, strangers, all round lovely faith restoring people turned up one by one at my new front door proffering help and cake and hugs and support, I perched the edge of a dressing table in the kitchen and chatted to two of them.
A conversation that, if I’m honest, meant a whole lot more to me than I imagine they could realise – if it’s even one that they remember having -because right then in my dingy kitchen, with a cock spray painted onto the window and no kettle to offer cups of tea, was the first time in my life that I have easily spoken to anyone. Maybe it was because I was chatting to people that my blog isn’t a secret to, maybe I felt that I knew them a little because I read their blogs, maybe it was because they had simply shown that they cared by being there, I really don’t know. But that conversation was also the first time in a long time that I allowed myself to take stock.
Somehow, for some reason I was able to lay everything out with ease. No cold sweats, no shame, no embarrassment or unease. And that’s a big deal for me because I’m not exactly adept at doling all my crazy out to people that I have literally just met. Hey stranger! Listen to my tales of shit and woe! And I’m taking medication because my brains all messed up and I wasn’t sure I loved my daughter for a bit back there. Would you like some cake while we wipe poo off the walls in my new house and I tell you a little more about how we ended up homeless?
We talked and we listened and I allowed myself to see my situation for exactly what it was (is). I saw how much I had lost, how much my family had lost. I saw how fucking disgusting it was to have ended up somewhere so dismal. I saw how much we still had to overcome but at the same time I saw just how much we had already overcome to be where we are now. I saw the cracks and the strain and the stains and the filth.
I really can’t tell you whether it has been a conscious or and unconscious decision for me to not allow myself until then a second to take stock for fear that I would quickly find myself wallowing at the bottom of Lake Pity. But when you are catching people up and listing it all while their eyes widen and their arms reach out to hug you because ugh, it’s just all so shit you can’t help but realise exactly the same yourself.
And not only that, it helped me to see how much I have coped with. Coped. I coped.
Because sometimes, even when it’s really really hard to see – and there’s a foot long penis on the window obscuring your view – there is a light that makes things just a little bit better.
And then I started feeling all political. But that’s another post.