Suddenly I realize !

.. exactly what the problem is for me here – cf https://wp.me/p6zYMn-53e.

It can be encapsulated within five words:

I AM NOT IN CONTROL.

For the first time in my adult life, I am living in a place where I do not call the shots.

That is so not me that I find it absolutely astounding to understand, now and not earlier than now, that I hadn’t grasped why I have been so unhappy over the last few months.

I am not living, as it were, proactively: I am always behind, running after things in reaction.

My mail is missing ? – it’s in their “disinfecting” room somewhere, but they won’t search until they find it. I’m going to have to create a stink again and turn up every day ’round at the security check-in until someone pulls his finger out and takes another look.

My kitchen range-hood won’t work ? – the person in charge of this kind of thing takes the filter off to have it put through the main house dishwasher. She does not accept that the filter is not the problem: she says, in a polite but unmistakably condescending fashion, that no-one else’s range-hood has ever given trouble .. The phrase hangs in the air.

A family decides – in spite of Geelong’s being under Stage 3 restrictions – to visit on Fathers’ Day and bring loudly shouting children to play in the very small “grassed” area between these units ? There is no-one for me to speak to about this infuriating fact because it’s Sunday; and I can scarcely address the vile children, as none of the other residents appears to give a shit. I must respond as does everyone else.

If those examples appear petty to you, you have an entirely different mind-set from mine. To me they are insufferable.

I am not in control of how I live, and I can’t live like that.

I should never have come to an institution like this; and I would never have thought of doing so had I not  been approached with an offer.

It seemed like a godsend at the time, getting me out of a lease that was problematic. And there you begin to see: I am a difficult bloody woman, and I don’t like to be under anyone’s control. That time it was the RE agent, who represented irresponsible owners and who had told me lies when I was looking over the place about new carpet and re-painting. I successfully obtained – eventually – the new carpet by taking them to VCat; but the re-painting was never going to happen. I don’t like finding myself completely stymied – especially in the light of having been lied to.

Having long since found myself among the invisible (read: “old”) people, it’s hard enough living a life that can be described as satisfactory; and my Damascus moment of a few hours ago – it’s currently 3:30am ! – has shown me, inter plura alia, that it is far, far from that.

I am posting about it because I want to drive myself to DO something ..

Obviously I am going to have to move; and equally obviously I do not know to where. Or how. Moving is fearfully expensive. Shall I just walk away and leave everything behind ? – throw it out ? Try to sell it ? Donate it ? Move into someone’s furnished rental ? Where ? HOW to get rid of all my own stuff ? Surely there are some things I want to keep ?

My head is spinning a bit.

But I’m not slowly going bonkers, as I had worried deeply that I was.

I’m just totally frustrated and – surprise, surprise ! – angry.

I am an angry person, under the humour. I’ve been this way since January 29th 2005: holding to myself a deep-seated anger that what happened then ended one life and destroyed the other. He didn’t want to leave me and I didn’t want him to leave me; and maybe it all comes back to that ..

But at least I know, now, that my life is totally unsatisfactory and I am going to have to do something about it.

 

24 thoughts on “Suddenly I realize !

  1. Margaret Rose. If I may be frank and risk our tenuous friendship: Get a grip on yourself. You are a strong, independent, capable women and yes, you are angry and are not in control. But that is okay! You don’t have to be in control, to regain your life. You are fighting this lack of control and living in the past. This is what is causing you frustration and anger. Yes, the living arrangements are difficult in any communal type rental. That will always be the case and you do what you can, have a grizzle and focus on the things you can’t change, leaving the ones you can’t. You have the skills to handle when the range hood won’t work. Remember the days when no one had a range hood. I do! So you do, too!
    Your mail is a problem, just keep chipping away and ringing up from time to time. People aren’t perfect and to demand that they are is unrealistic, particularly in a pandemic. But don’t let it stress you.
    Your life is not perfect and it never can be without Chic in it, but that too is okay. Life is giving us a lesson we need to learn, and we don’t like it, so rail against it. Bu the more we fight against it, the bigger the tsunami gets. I had to learn this lesson when my children developed severe mental distress and I felt like I was drowning and completely overwhelmed.
    I do hope you can find a way to take a breath and go with the tide instead of against it, just chipping away at one small thing at a time.
    Now I am sure you are going to come back to me with a well-worded chiding, but that is nothing less than what I would expect from a resilient woman like yourself. Channel that energy!

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    1. No chiding, Amanda: why would I criticize someone whose intention is to help ?
      But.
      Living as part of a community is not my thing. Not my speed at all.
      I know that now; but I had no idea of it before I came here (only because I never gave it a moment’s thought).
      Never been a team player.
      Swimming against the tide is the real me.
      :D

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      1. Not being a team player is fine, but living in a community has its problems whether you live in a townhouse, flat or house. Are you planning to move to acreage? Neighbours can be a pain but they also can be an advantage. I have neighbours that are seeking their new home because they can hear their neighbours. They gave up acreage because it was too much to maintain and lonely as they don’t gave kids. They will never be happy.
        I understand you are someone that likes to swim against the tide but how is that working for you now?

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        1. I may well never be happy either. Highly likely.
          But I don’t intend to give up looking for home. I had one from 0 to 21; and I had another, even better, from 31 to 62. 52 years of joy have left such an impression on me that the other 15 can’t stop me from pursuing my own Holy Grail.

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  2. M-R, I absolutely agree that close neighbours can be a pain, and that renting in Australia can be a degrading experience. For a while I lived in a community where the neighbours’ gossip drove me nuts, but if I was sick or if I was in need of any kind of help, I was very glad they were there (speaking as a single woman living alone). I suspect I didn’t fully appreciate the value of that community until I left it – which was entirely my fault.

    My only caution here would be to hold fire doing anything drastic for a while, because with covid-19 around things are really, really difficult in the rental market in the regions outside the major cities. I have friends who were house minding as a way to be housed – they’re stuck because people aren’t going overseas on holiday. A friend who is a grey nomad is stuck because of closed state borders.

    My regional city has a massive rental crisis because of people moving here (temporarily or permanently) from the city due to C-19.

    I don’t know how long you have lived where you are, but my experience is that it can take at least a year to settle into a place.. give yourself some time – if after a while longer there you still feel the same then have a plan what you want to do. I’m not saying don’t do it – just delay for the time being? For your sake. Things are really, really tough out there at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank-you for taking the time to comment on what seems to be a disturbing post, Sue. Amanda and I are old sparring partners; but you’re a far more recent addition to the “Good grief ! – what’s she up to NOW ?!” band. :D
      I can see that it would be only sensible to follow up my cry from the heart with another post detailing my plans ..
      So I shall !

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  3. I can see you know each other well M-R – excuse my intrusion but it was well-meant, speaking as one mature age woman living solo to another – our country is not kind to older women living alone who are not wealthy. As if being an older woman in a country where older people are not thought much of wasn’t enough to bear already!

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    1. No intrusion, Sue – not at all ! There can’t possibly be such in blogging; for the poster puts out thoughts for all to see and react to. :) Sorry if what I wrote made you think so, And I agree entirely about we ancients with little moolah; it’s a daily struggle to be seen. I’m feeling it very much indeed, here; and that’s the source of my strong feelings about not being in control.

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  4. DON’T YOU F-ING DARE!

    Okay, now I’ve got that out of my system…

    1. Listen to Amanda and Sue.
    2. Listen to me – you will NEVER be in control. If you want 100% control, I could arrange to drop you onto a deserted island somewhere if you like because that’s the only way you’ll get it. NONE of us has absolutely control.
    3. You will never be 100% happy in any place that doesn’t connect to Chic which just isn’t possible and you just have to accept that.
    4. You are in the best place you can be. You actually have probably more control, via support, where you are than you will ever have in a private rental.
    5. You are making me feel guilty – for neglecting you, for not visiting you so you could get things off your chest and I could talk you out of drastic measures. But life is difficult everywhere.
    6. We have been here before. You know…you absolutely know… that should you move we will just be back here again in 6 months. Much of this is the pandemic talking – you are more restricted, more isolated, and that is having an impact.
    7. PLEASE do not do ANYTHING until we have a nice long chat. School holidays start at the end of next week and I promise I will be on your doorstep (masked) and armed with cumquat marmalade and maybe some sourdough bread (life is busy).

    Sending much love to you. But please, BREATHE.

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    1. If the whole fucking world doesn’t stop telling me what to do, I may do something. Dunno what, mind.
      But because I love you, darlin H, I can accept it (more or less) from you.
      It’s that I am VERY unused to this serious lack of control feeling; for the last time I was having to put up with it was when I was 30 or so. Bit of a while ago.
      I was afeared for a while that I might even start having panic attacks; but I’m too old for them, I think. ;)
      So I just continue being very grumpy and listening to people responding to me in their belief that I am simply knee-jerking rather than thinking seriously.
      Sighh ..
      Next week, me little skinny darling ! XXOXOX

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  5. This makes me VERY sad M-R. I tend to be in agreement with others, which is that I can’t see how you (we) can ever be in total control. We live in a community whether we like it or not. Many of the things you mention, and things like it. I can’t control either. I appreciate that we can end up in situations where we may have lesser or greater control, but it’s only in degree, never absolute unless, perhaps, you go completely off-grid. However, then you probably couldn’t be on the Internet because you can’t control that, nor WordPress, nor US your readers (in fat – haha!) In other words – and I guess you know this – there are lines to draw?

    I am so so sorry you are so angry. That is not good for you. I hope this isn’t insulting but have you looked at the CALM or smoother mindfulness app? Without giving too much away, Mr Gums was recommended trying one of these for de-stressing. (BTW I am so so sorry that what happened to you happened to you.)

    Finally, it is a fact of life that as we age, we do lose our ability to control our lives. My poor Dad is very much in this situation now and I see every day the challenge it is for him to work out what control he can still have, how to have as much control as possible over his life, and how to accept the lack of control that just has to be. I would hate for you to make a decision that, say, 10 or so years on left you very vulnerable.

    Here endeth the lesson of Sue – given with as much care and concern as I can have for you.

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    1. It is a caring and appreciated lesson, dear Sue. I have thunk about it for so long now; and can add only that the list of Things I Want To Have has become sufficiently clear as to be itemised. I shall do do on the blog; and you can have another go at me.
      XXO

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  6. Gosh I don’t think I would like that either. Some of us are just not designed for community living like that.
    If you really need to get out then I believe you are exactly the person to get it done and find somewhere you’re more at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That, I fear, is an entirely apposite remark ! There you are, a young person living in Edinburgh with her life ahead of her; and here I am, an old person with most of mine behind (certainly the very best bit); but you can see what I’m on about. Hmm .. Either you’re particularly good at interpreting or I’m particularly good at describing .. [grin]

      Liked by 1 person

Go on - you can say it. :)

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