To say that I’ve been having trouble coping with events the last few months would be an understatement.
My father’s terminal illness has now rendered him completely bedridden. We have an air-mattress bed downstairs with a commode next to it for when he needs to answer the call of nature. He has lost a lot of strength, and even routine tasks are a struggle for him. We do have support from district and hospice nurses to help with his care, and we now have care workers coming in most days to help out as well. My mum needs that extra help because it gives her a chance to look after herself and live her own life. I’ve been doing what I can, when I can, as has my sister. My dad could not ask for more comforts at this time.
This latest phase of my dad’s twilight has been incredibly draining, both physically and mentally, for me. I’ve not been able to relax during the daytime due to people calling at the house and the phone ringing. I’ve had to be ready to help my mum if she needs my assistance, too. But the worst part has been seeing my dad’s health decline so rapidly. I’ve gone to bed at night not sure if the following morning will be the one where I wake up to find that he has left us.
All of this has affected my relationship with Kittlen. For a long while, I’ve just not felt in the right frame of mind to be dominant over her. In fact, it got to the point where she had to tell me what to do because I was so adrift mentally. Kittlen did what she could to cheer me up and lighten my mood, but a lot of the time I just wasn’t receptive. On one occasion I even safeworded because she was doing stuff that was making me uncomfortable.
Due to my ongoing fatigue, I requested a break from my DJ-ing duties for Gorean Whip Radio and You Must Obey. I received lots of sympathy and support from both the Whip staff and my friends in YMO. And it did give me some relief, in as much as it lifted some of the pressure that I felt on me.
At one point, Kittlen got me on a Skype video call. I was not having a good day, I was stressed and anxious, and it showed. As Kittlen later told me, my face registered that my mind was doing the equivalent of a crash and reset, because of all the things that were going on with dad. At her urging, I broke down and cried a bit. I needed something, anything, to let the pain out.
Unfortunately, that something was mostly Kittlen. Unity had taken off on a vacation of sorts and was unavailable to either of us. My friend Spa has offered to meet with me at some point, as she lives relatively near to me, but that is really for when the end finally comes so that I have some real-world support. Much as she’d like to, Kittlen can’t be there for me physically.
But Kittlen was able to do something for me. She sent me a package containing a TARDIS hat that she had knitted, some more paper stars, a big packet of Canadian Berries loose tea, and a load of pens and pencils. The hat had been several months in the making, and she has made me swear that I won’t give it away to anyone except perhaps one of the Doctors. Kittlen sent me pens and pencils because I’d told her that they are one of the things I use to cope with my autism, plus I can use them for drawing and doodling.
Another thing that Kittlen did to try and help me was to get me to focus on something that I enjoy doing. I’ve made digital art in the past, and fractal images, in particular, are a favourite of mine. So I downloaded a fractal generator for my computer and reinstalled one for my iPad that I got a few years ago.
[ For those of you who don’t know what a fractal is, it’s a shape or pattern that repeats it infinitely as you get closer to its surface. ]
It’s rather soothing to explore the fractal images looking for exciting details. And Kittlen loves the stuff that I’ve rendered and shown off to her! 🙂
Things finally came to a crunch after one particularly bad day (for me). At Kittlen’s encouragement, I unbottled myself and poured out all my hurt. A lot of tears flowed. Kittlen didn’t particularly enjoy it—she doesn’t like seeing men cry—but she knew that it was something I’d needed to do for a long time.
Later, Unity got in touch with me, and we discussed my situation. She reminded me that I would feel fear and anxiety as long as I permit those things to grow inside me. I need to cultivate happiness and joy instead. That’s a tall order, given where I am right now, but I can see her point, and I’m doing my best to follow that advice.
It has taken me over a fortnight to finish this blog post – a reflection of the stress I’ve been experiencing. Hopefully, the next one will come a bit quicker!
At Kittlen’s encouragement, I’m doing my weekly YMO DJ-ing slot again, and broadcasting on Gorean Whip Radion when I can. It’s another thread that helps me keep myself together.
[ Featured image was created on my desktop computer, all others were made on my iPad. ]