Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Training (and Family Matters!!)

Training is proceeding apace despite far too much social life. This latter also explains the tardy posting of blog entries….I’m struggling with a backlog!

Last week, we were intending to go to the gym on Wednesday evening but Rich had a nasty, streaming cold and wasn’t up to it. I was determined that I wouldn’t be derailed but also didn’t want to spend too much of one of our few evenings at home together out at the gym. As a compromise I decided to go for a run. It would be shorter, 40 minutes instead of an hour and not require driving to and from the gym so saving 20 minutes or so there. It’s always hard leaving a nice cosy house with your other half looking all warm and happy in front of the telly to head out into the cold but I did it and felt pretty positive about it too!! Jogged down the hill, stopped to do my stretches and then started along the long straight to Brough. Got about 10 minutes out and felt a sharp pain in the middle of my right calf! I stopped short – must have looked as though I had been shot to the passing car – no, there was no way I could carry on running – had to limp home. Bah!

Luckily the pulled whatever it is (muscle, ligament…?) has not proved too problematic and is getting better already. I went to personal training on Thursday morning fully intending to nurse it but Huw found several inventive means to continue his weekly torture unabated. In fact, I think I may have worked harder than usual without taxing the calf. Bah!

I went over to my parents’ place on Thursday night as it was my father’s birthday on the Friday. I took the newly shorn dogs who look gorgeous after their haircuts and seem to have turned into lithe puppies as well as losing a sheep-sized fleece of fur each. I had been intending to go for a nice flat run in Lincolnshire but this was out so just managed a brisk walk instead.

It’s good to spend time with my father. It is difficult for him now as he is caring for my mother who has Alzheimers. She is not too bad, being calm and happy for the most part and she is still able to dress and feed herself etc. It’s just the lack of company now. Her short term memory has gone so she can’t really hold a conversation and just repeats questions and comments over and over again. He is not the most patient man although I’m seeing a more caring side to him now as the reality of the situation sets in. I do my daughterly duty re cooking and sorting out her clothes and spending hours going through paperwork with him to assure him that I will be up to the job of being his executor (what a happy afternoon THAT was!!).

I only feel marginally resentful that I seem to draw the crappy end of the stick – my sister (who hardly ever visits due to her large family) was due to arrive that evening after I left with her brood and would no doubt only do fun things – lunch out, walks, going to the pub. As is right, my dad dotes on her and her family (as he does with my brother and his family) and has consistently helped them out financially and with savings funds for the grandkids. As I’ve never needed financial help (or not since I was a student anyway) this has never bothered me) but now, in the midst of an expensive divorce, I do wonder if an offer at least might have been welcome….I’m certain it would have been made to my siblings…

Within the dynamic of our family it seems to be accepted that I will do the work – the boring, nothing happening visits where I cut mum’s toenails and make sure that the house is being cleaned properly, rotating the freezer contents and book things on the internet for him. My sister, of course, with her big family, is far too busy to be bothered with these mundane chores and my brother lives in Canada.

This used to be compensated for by my closeness with my father and how much I love him and enjoy his company. It still is but there has been an “edge” recently, since I split up with Diarmuid. Now, instead of appreciating my visits, the fact that they are not more frequent is deplored. If I leave a bit early or don’t stay an extra day because I’m going to a football match for example this is seen as frivolous. There have been comments about the fact that he hasn’t seen me as often since I’ve been with Richard. He doesn’t seem to recognise the fact that they have not been to visit me once since I split up with D. That they have made no effort to meet Rich and do not often mention his name. Perhaps if they met Rich we would see more of each other??

It is, now that I write it all down, very hurtful. Counselled by my sister and aunt, I try to be understanding of my Dad’s age; the fact that it must be hard for him to accept that I have broken up my marriage (which I never allowed him to see was flawed); that he loved D; that he has been told a pack of lies about Rich by D; that it will take time. But it is bloody hurtful while I wait.

And bloody hurtful to see my sister and brother soaking up all the plaudits while sitting back doing sod all. Maybe all childless siblings feel this basic unfairness. More is expected of me and less appreciation given because I don’t have a family. It’s “easy” for me to drive 2 hours to Lincoln than for them. Well, yes it is and I don’t mind doing it but surely Hilary (being a GP) could research into carers over the internet just as easily as I can; or book his airline flights; or buy his washing machine…etc

Hmmmm. I’d better stop now. I seem to have opened a floodgate of pent-up resentment which I wasn’t entirely aware existed. Perhaps time to talk to my sister and brother and my father too.

The Richard thing must be resolved before too long or this unspoken resentment/suspicion/fear will harden and Rich too will understandably pick up on it. I do not want to be in the middle between a partner who (rightly) feels that he is not accepted and a family which has taken against him without even bothering to meet him. These relationships (both romantic and familial) are just too important to me for that.

I do wonder too whether my people-pleasing instinct which was so fatal in my marriage arises from my relationship with my father. I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl and have loved to please him. I think this was part of why I let D rule the roost and put me down; I fell into the trap of wanting to please him too. Seeking approval all the time. Well, maybe now it’s time to make my needs known and not turn into the resentful Cinderella sister.

I had intended to chat about our trip to the FA Cup game at Birmingham City on Saturday; our muddy, hilly training walk on Sunday and our lovely dancing class last night (new steps in the tango!); what a lovely weekend I’ve spent with Rich who I just seem to be more and more in love with but now don’t have time for that. Ach well, what’s a blog for if not for exploring your innermost feelings and trying to put them in context and work out what you’re going to do next?? Thanks for listening……if you got this far through the whining that is...!!

1 comment:

Peridot said...

Ah yes, how quickly the role in the family order is set - and how difficult it is to move out of that role. I take it that you've already talked to your father about what your marriage was really like?