Following on from the second portion of part 7’s post where I found love for the first time, my story continues just after my 23rd birthday…
I’m going to be completely honest, 2009-2010 was not a good year for me in many aspects. Just when it appeared that my love life was coming together nicely for the first time ever, everything else seemed to start falling apart.
I guess its sods law right?
All of the confidence and optimism that had began to slowly grow within me was starting to dissipate quicker than I could have anticipated.
The main reason for that was good, old fashioned family dysfunction…not in the traditional sense of the word, I hasten to add.
The Problem With Dad
Let me explain. In 2009, I was living with my Father who at the time was seventy-five. He suffered a severe stroke when I was eleven which left the left side of his body more weaker than the right side.
I have to give my Dad respect where its due, he worked bloody hard to regain his health, physical strength and independence after his stroke which must have been a huge re-adjustment for someone as active and energetic as himself.
However, things started changing at the end of 2008. My family members and I noticed that my Dad seemed more forgetful and confused about dates, times and people. He would fly off the handle over the small issues and suddenly became more emotional.
We were all baffled as to why these changes were happening to him. My Dad also seemed much weaker physically, then normal. Before 2009 he could walk unaided (without a walking stick) in the house but by 2009 he seemed a lot more unsteady on his feet.
Even more of concern, my Dad seemed to have had a personality transplant and it was not an improvement. We’d never had a perfect father-daughter relationship but we’d always gotten along quite well. But I noticed more and more that my Dad seemed perpetually hostile towards me.
It seemed very out of character for him to be acting that way towards me as I hadn’t done anything to make him upset or angry that I could see. My Dad started blaming me for things that I hadn’t done and even swore at me a few times which was hugely painful as it was something that he’d never done before.
Back to Square One
Because my Dad was becoming more physically weaker, I appointed myself his carer which made sense because all of my other family members worked full time. But it was difficult because we didn’t want to leave my Dad home alone because it was a huge concern that he could injure himself.
As a result, I once again became more isolated and withdrawn. I was essentially stuck in the house for long periods of time with someone who couldn’t stand me and so it made me very nervous and anxious in my own home which should have been my safe haven. This inevitably brought my anxiety back with a vengeance.
I didn’t feel I could really talk to my family members about how low I was feeling because I felt that I would be seen as a nuisance for complaining.
But I did confide in my husband and he helped me to deal with my emotions. I actually think that, that whole situation helped to strengthen our relationship hugely as I came to admire how reliable and dependable he was.
In October of 2009 I managed to secure a two week internship for myself at a small publishing house in central London. I had been out of the workforce for nearly a year and was itching to get back on the market in some form.
For years I had dreamed of working in the publishing industry as an editor and so I saw it as a great opportunity to learn more about the job and perhaps make some useful contacts for the future.
Its fair to say things didn’t exactly go to plan.
I didn’t realise how much of a thick skin you had to have. Everyone seemed very fake. I mean, I don’t blame them, its the nature of the industry but I just couldn’t seem to adapt. Plus it was a very fast moving environment and so due to my anxiety, I made avoidable mistakes which made me feel inadequate.
Feeling dejected, I gave up six days into my placement vowing not to attempt to go into publishing again. I was back at square one by November. Unemployed, depressed and completely clueless about my career path.
I had no idea my run of bad luck was just getting started…
Stay tuned for the concluding segment of part 8.