Reality Bites


Silver sunlight sparkles on the still surface of the water as the bow of the boat slices smoothly through it. I hear you approach from behind. You rest your hands on my shoulders, gently massaging them, “Coffee? Wine?”

I smile, “Surprise me.”

Long, heavy, leaden branches droop lazily into the canal, overburdened with foliage and blossoms. A verdant paradise of scented sensory stimulation. I close my eyes and inhale the perfume, listen to the soft lapping of the water, feel myself lightly rocked by the motion of the barge.

I hear you sink into the chair next to me and I turn to open my eyes and look at you. You are holding out a glass of sparkling white wine, cloudy condensation dripping down the glass. I take it and raise it in the air.

“To you,” you say.

“To us,” I reply and we clink a toast.

Its effervescence tickles my nostrils as I take a sip; sharp bubbles bursting on my tongue and catching in my throat making me cough slightly. Giggling I swallow and watch you as you look out at the scene before us; ducks and swans swimming amicably alongside us, green tendrils trailing beneath the surface of the water.

I feel content, relaxed and happy. Everything is just how it should be. Everything feels right.

A loud voice shatters my peace, “Now then! Time to take your vitals again, up you sit,” the strong, forcefully cheerful Dublin accent of the nurse breaking through my dream. Unwelcome, familiar pain floods my body as I struggle to sit up, my mouth parched, lips cracked.

Reality crashes in.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved

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Coming Home


“Will you just GO?!” she giggled, pushing him away as he leaned down to kiss her one more time, “You’ll miss the train!”

“Ok, ok! There’s always another train anyway… but ok,” he smiled and lifted his bag, turning to unlock the front door. A blast of icy air hit her bare legs; she hopped and jogged on the spot.

“Fuck! Gotta scrape the windscreen,” he sighed.

“See? Now you really will be late! You should listen to your wife… she always knows best.”

“He! Yeah I got a genius one. Get your ass back up to bed, it’s cold.”

She reached up and squeezed him in a hug, “I love you, have a good day.”

He kissed her, not allowing the fact that she tried to wriggle out of his embrace because she hadn’t brushed her teeth stop him, “Love you too, gorgeous.” He locked the door behind him and she tapped on the glass; a code they’d shared forever, before hurrying back up to bury herself under the still warm duvet.

*

Her eyes heavy, sleep just starting to envelope her, she groaned at the sound of her mobile buzzing next to the bed.

 “Feeling shitty. Turning back and coming home.”

She was surprised to see only fifteen minutes had passed but she smiled at the thought of having him home for a day, even if he was feeling under the weather.

“OK, see you soon x”

She ran to brush her teeth so she could kiss him properly when he got in.

*

She heard his key in the door and pulled his baggy fleece over her cami top to keep her warm as she went down to greet him. His face was pale, eyes bloodshot; he did not look at all well. “What’s wrong love?” she asked, touching his forehead to check his temperature; his skin was still cold from the frosty air outside.

“Killer headache and I feel a bit off… think I’ll head back to bed and maybe get a later train.”

“Tea?”

His face went even more ashen and he shook his head, “No thanks, just bed. You come back with me?”

“Try to stop me!”

 

Snuggled under the duvet together, he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her again, “Love you, gorgeous. I wish I was feeling better,” he sighed, “I just wanted to come home to you.” She soon heard the low buzz of his heavy breathing, and smiling, she closed her eyes and relaxed against his chest, knowing she would not sleep again once his snoring really took hold.

*

An hour passed until her stomach prompted her to get up and make breakfast for herself, deciding to let him lie on a while longer. She watched his face, so peaceful in sleep; the deep creases that routinely marked his forehead unusually softened. He looked completely relaxed.

*

Wincing at the cold kitchen tiles under her bare feet, she regretted not wearing socks, but didn’t want to risk disturbing him again. With a smile, she watched the little robin busying himself on the patio as she waited for the kettle to boil. She noticed the garden was still under a heavy blanket of frost and ice. She shivered and wrapped his fleece tighter around her, thinking she would eat her toast under a blanket watching breakfast TV and then would check on him.

Carrying her tea and toast through to the TV room, she was irritated by a knock on the door. Not even 9.00am; too early for the postman – not wanting him being woken by more knocking, she hurried to open the door.

*

“Mrs. Johnston?”

Her vision blurred at the sight of two uniformed officers on her doorstep; a tall man and shorter, slightly portly younger woman, “Yes. I mean no. I’m… I didn’t take the name… what are you here for?”

“May we come inside?”

Irrationally, she snapped, “No! What do you want?”

The couple exchanged a slow look and seemed to come to an unspoken agreement that the young woman would speak, “Ma’am, are you married to a Mr. Tom Johnston?”

“Yes… why?”

Her mind reeled. What had he done? Was he in trouble?

Looking at the strangers at the door, and across her driveway, something in the back of her mind registered as not quite right about the scene before her.

“We are very sorry to inform you…”

She wasn’t listening.

The car. Where was his car?

“Your husband was involved in a car crash earlier this morning, at the train station junction. I’m afraid it was a fatal accident, Mrs… Um Miss…”

She slammed the door closed and whirled, taking the stairs two at a time, screaming, “Tom! Tom!”

Flinging the bedroom door open, she fell, scraping her bare knees as she skidded across carpet, taking in the thrown back duvet, wrinkled sheets and pillows; the empty bed.

She felt gentle hands on her shoulders, pulling her up. The young female officer lifted her to sit on the edge of the bed, as she murmured, “No. No, he was here. He was here…”

“I’m so sorry, Mrs… sorry, what is your name, love?”

She couldn’t speak.

Her eyes locked on the hollow indent on his vacant pillow.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved

*at the risk of “dissecting the frog“, this story came to me a couple of weeks ago when the OH texted exactly that and came home to me rather than go to work. I was haunted by the idea – what if a ghost came home instead of him and couldn’t quiet shake the thought. I am a bit morbid that way…

Incidentally, the morning went 100% as described, (even down to the glass tapping code… yeah we do that),  although I am happy to report he is still in the land of the living!

Turning Point


With my hand on my heart, I promise that everything I am about to tell you is 100% true. I have not embellished or exaggerated anything. I like to think I can spin a good story, but even I could not make this shit up.

Last Thursday I went to see a psychiatrist for the very first time in my life. I had told my GP how incredibly low I had been feeling; all the self-hatred I felt and the comfort I got from imagining ending it all. He listened, reassured me I was not in fact crazy and referred me to a private psychiatrist.

I sat outside the psychiatrist’s office waiting to be seen. My appointment was for 3pm. Another man arrived and sat next to me. This made me wonder, as I had been told the appointment would last an hour, so I thought this man must have arrived incredibly early for his. After waiting about 10 minutes, the doctor came out and just looked at us both, nodded to the man next to me, who got up and went into his office. I was confused. I called the number of his secretary to confirm I had the appointment time correct and she came out to confirm I was right and said he was running behind. I asked if the appointment would last an hour and she said yes. Ok. I was rattled – having been referred to him for depression and anxiety I thought this was a careless way to treat a new patient.

At about 3.40pm he came out of his office again and just nodded to me, which I took to be my invitation inside. As I sat down, he asked me what had brought me there and I began to talk, giving him a history of how I had been feeling. Midway through this he suddenly leapt from his chair and bounded across the room to invade my personal space and stare into my face, stopping me cold. I was so taken aback. He returned to his chair and asked me if I wore contact lenses because my eyes were “incredibly green”. Stunned at this bizarre turn of events, I replied that no they were just my eyes. Then, as if nothing had happened, he told me to carry on.

After listening to me and taking notes, he looked at me and said, in a sing-song voice, “But you’re lovely.” Yes, he said that. He then went on to tell me that Estee Lauder couldn’t exist without women like me, that looks don’t matter, that I shouldn’t care what people think of me. Basically, he hadn’t listened to a word I had said. I told him he seemed to have formed an impression that I was a superficial and shallow person who judges people solely on their appearance, which was not at all the truth. My feelings of self loathing and disgust were nothing to do with how I felt any one else perceived me, they were entirely coming from inside me. He looked at me again and said, “But look at you, you’re svelte!” and carried on to tell me about his love for the Kardashians. Really!

Readers, I am far from svelte! A recent weigh in at a hospital appointment revealed my BMI to have nudged just into the overweight range, and I was sitting across from this doctor wearing a G cup bra… not svelte at all!

I usually never stand up for myself, certainly not in the company of someone in what I perceive to be an authority position, but I simply couldn’t stop myself this time. I told him that by calling me svelte he had made not only question his understanding of the word, but also his judgment in general. (Incidentally, when I told my GP about this later he was delighted with my response!)

I told him that when I was underweight, wearing age 11 clothes and teeny-tiny that I still saw a fat person in the mirror and wasn’t happy then either. His reply was, “Have you ever seen anyone in Somalia look happy?” I was pretty speechless by now.

He enquired what hobbies I had and I told him I blog. He didn’t know what a blog was so I had to explain it to him. He asked what type of fiction I wrote and I knew I didn’t want to tell him about my erotica – I wasn’t going to hand him that nugget to play with. I told him I write dark stories about the darker side of humanity. He quickly told me I shouldn’t be writing “that stuff” and instead I should write “happy stories”. He then went on to tell me the TV shows I watch and the books I read were wrong and that I should be watching Modern Family… he repeated this several times. The man really loves Modern Family.

I could tell you more of the ways he blithely dismissed my thoughts, feelings, opinions and beliefs but to be honest it is exhausting to repeat it all. Suffice to say he brushed off everything I talked about, including my love of dogs, as in his opinion cats were better.

The final nail in the coffin of this delightful encounter was this:

I was so very ready to turn my life around, so desperate to feel better, that I disclosed something to him that only the OH knows, I have never told another soul about this. It is a secret that carries with it a burden of shame for me and it was not easy to divulge it. In my opinion, I showed tremendous courage in sharing this information and I am sad and disgusted to tell you how it was received. His jaw dropped, he leaned forward in his seat, a look of complete shock on his face and gasped, “Really!!” I felt judged, shamed and embarrassed. I was not expecting such a reaction from a mental health professional, who surely must have seen and heard things far more shocking than what I had told him.

I had tears in my eyes as I left his office and was visibly shaking. He shook my hand and told me it was a pleasure to have met me and that he wanted to see me again in two weeks. I was numb.

The OH was angry as hell when I told him about the whole thing, but he was delighted that I had stood up for myself and affirmed that I had shown courage and strength.

I spent the rest of the day mulling over what had happened and trying to decide how to proceed. As it happened, I had an appointment with my GP the morning after this so I went and told him everything that had happened. He was astonished and could not apologise enough. He said he felt he had let me down by referring me to that psychiatrist and was concerned and angry about my treatment. In particular, he felt the comment at the start about my eyes was incredibly inappropriate and he agreed about the comment about me being svelte was also wrong. He looked genuinely remorseful and saddened by what I had told him and asked me how I wanted to proceed. I told him I was not going back to this psychiatrist and that I would rather look at new meds and be monitored by my GP. He agreed that this would work and we discussed treatments.

I have sent a letter to the illustrious Dr. Byrne cancelling my next appointment and enclosed a cheque for the €100 payment as I just want an end to it and do not have the energy to dispute his charge. My GP told me my story will certainly change his referral practice and I suspect Dr. Byrne will not be getting any more business from my GP!

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So, today I will take my first dose of my new meds.

 

I am hopeful. I am positive. I feel stronger than I have in a while. I think in a strange way that psychicatrist provoked something in me that made me think, “I deserve better than this”, and revealed to me how determined I am to feel better.

Here’s to what I sincerely hope is my turn around.

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #68


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Play along here!

This week’s word is

Ennui

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How I have been feeling and some explanation as to why my W4W is a day late!

I need distraction. I need stimulation. I need to be busy.

I need to not be so fucking meh!

Someone shake me? Slap me? Give me a kick up the arse!

I will try, my lovely friends, to remove my own head from where it is lodged far up my rectum soon and revert to being a cheerful, productive blogger… I really will try.

Peace out.

*drops the mike…

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.