I have tried really hard to calmly document my feelings, and the general situation within our society over these past few posts, but today I just need to vent. Back to how this used to be. A stream of consciousness.
I want to preface this by saying I KNOW there are bigger things in the world. And I KNOW I have a lot to be grateful for. But, some days are easier than others, and this isn’t a great day. Today feels tough, and sad, and I need to let that out somewhere.
I am absolutely SICK to the back teeth of people not taking the virus seriously, and not fully following the lockdown. My step dad has decided to drive up north, see his kids, fix up a van, and then come back. We argued on the phone and then he stopped taking my calls, ignored my texts, and I think my Mum thinks I am overreacting. She said that it isn’t ideal, but we have to pick our battles and where to draw our lines in the sand. But that is HERE AND NOW. We are in the midst of a global pandemic where people are dying, it is literally life and death, now is the time to stand your ground, fight for what you believe is right and actively choose to put protecting those we love over what we want to do. It makes me angry that he can be so selfish – despite his kids saying they want him there, he will see almost the whole family, potentially spread germs between them and then bring those home again. I don’t understand what people don’t understand. He said he would sleep in the motorhome but…if you come inside to shower, use the loo, cook your food, watch TV, then WHAT IS THE POINT. Do it properly, else there is no point.
My housemate is also causing me stress in this way – we are going home for the first time in 3 months on Saturday to see our families. We are now allowed to sit in gardens 2m away. I can get into both my parents gardens without going through the house, am planning to take a packed lunch and plenty of bottled water home with me, and just sit at the end of the garden and chat. I won’t be going near any of them, despite the fact I want nothing more than to bury myself back into the centre of them all. She on the other hand is going to sit at her family table in the garden and share a BBQ and some drinks with them. It outrages me. Why be half arsed? How much more work is taking home your own food to eat, and sitting far away? If you can’t do it properly, you shouldn’t be doing it at all. You are risking all the people you care about, and coming back and putting us at risk too. It makes my blood absolutely boil.
In both these cases I end up coming off as the bad person, the one who sticks to the rules and believes they are there for a reason. The one who calls them out on being selfish, and not doing enough. I truly believe in what I am saying, and am only saying it to protect people, and I don’t know why so many people in my life do not get it, and can’t make those decisions on their own. It isn’t hard. Don’t go in peoples houses, don’t go more than 2m closer to them, don’t pass things between you. HOW HARD IS THAT. In both instances both my Mum and housemate have said they agree, but just didn’t want to get involved. Grow a backbone. Why is it up to me to be the one people get angry at? Why is it my job to stand up and say it is wrong? Just because I am the one who is most vulnerable? I can’t articulate my frustration and anger. Why should some people have to have their children dying alone in a hospital because you can’t be with them, but you think the rules don’t apply to you and you are safe from harm because you made a half arsed attempt? All or nothing, this is not the time to be slack.
There is so much happening in the world right now. The virus. The increasing tide of change coming with the Black Lives Matter Movement. The job insecurity, everything. I get nervous talking about BLM, incase I say the wrong thing, or upset someone, or…something. But, that changed this week. I have for too long sat comfortably in my privilege, thinking that doing nothing bad was enough, but it isn’t. My eyes are open, and it is a painful experience full of guilt and confusing feelings, but one I am committed to embarking on. I have ordered books, downloaded podcasts, written to my MP, donated to funds and am commited to making an active change in my life to make the changes our society needs. It makes me nervous just writing this, and saying out loud (virtually!) that this is a lot for me to process. It is taking a lot of my emotional intelligence to work through the feelings in a way that doesn’t detract from the ACTUAL issue, which isn’t me feeling bad or guilty, but the issue of racism being ingrained in our society. I want to talk about my thoughts, and what I plan to do, and when I do things if they succeed or not, but I also want to acknowledge that it is something that takes time to process. The issue is, it shouldn’t and I know by saying I need a minute to process makes it about me, and that in itself detracts from the issue. It is complex, and confusing, but I promise to try, and to keep trying.
On another, more personal note, I am worried about my job situation. I am trying to stay positive, apply to what I can, look at alternate routes – eg applying to be a teaching assistant and more. But, it is scary. I worked so hard to get to where I got to, and that got snatched away in a few short weeks. I am lucky to have my health, and some savings, and I am by no means dismissing that, but it doesn’t mean that, for me, right now, this is something to overcome. A lack of plan, and a very blurry future, is stressful. And, it isn’t just me that is feeling this way. Most of my friends have days of feeling overwhelmed, stressed, upset, and more. It is hard to navigate my own feelings whilst supporting them, and not ending up in a cycle of despair. I also want to note here, that most days we are doing well. I am happy, I am filling my time, I am taking satisfaction in the little things (yesterday I took a walk in the sun, sat in a local quiet cemetery, reflected, read my book, came home and had cake in the garden) – but IT IS HARD. And I don’t think we necessary realise how much we are all juggling until we take a step back.
At the very back of my mind, is a little bit of worry that all this change and stress is going to trigger my crohns. I am so lucky to be on no medication, and if I was then I would be isolating fully for 12 weeks and stuck shielding, so I am so grateful that I am not on medicine, but it scares me. I am already more vulnerable, but what if something happens and I have to take drugs again, and then my position changes again? What if I have to go in for more tests, and I have to do everything alone – plus being in a hospital right now is not where I want to be! It is all scary, and unknown.
I am tired. I miss my family. I want to see and squish my siblings. I want to give my grandma a hug. I want racial change to happen. I want to know I have an income in 6 weeks time. I want my passion and my skills to be recognised and appreciated in the field I choose to work in, and not thrown aside. I want my friends to be safe. I want my health to hold out. I want so much, and my brain is hurting trying to process it all.