Thursday, 14 February 2008

Can't Support Caja - Haven't been able to for years, can't at all now - its so sad

This is a long post - only read if you have bags of time :-(

My lovely Caja is very angry with us now - and who could blame her?

She has not said this directly but every time she has been here the last few times she has got very angry and grumpy, especially with me.

And she is bound to be angry
Her parents have done this to her, and something has been done to her and something quite drastic for someone of her age.

I think it is now sinking in what this actually means and what it means to her and her future life.
She is now realizing that just because Barry is out of hospital he is far from well and she is upset about this but she does not seem to have any understanding that I too am unwell even though she knows I am HIV too - and so the brunt of her anger is at me.

Tuesday the day before we went for my results and Barry's antivirals she came round and was very picky with me, kept asking me to solve/find answers about things for her re where she goes to college next year and what course she does, but when I tried everything I said was wrong and just made her more tearful and angry. I really tried to help her think of solutions and what she should do as she presented me with her dilemmas re the courses, the subjects where to actually go to an access course, but I was feeling very scared about the hospital the next day, so i tried but kept saying the wrong thing and she got angrier and angrier and more upset too!

She then asked me why I did not get a full time job again if Barry can not work, and I earn the money now that he can not.?

She has never understood anyway about what my accident in 2003 did to me. Despite my being unable to walk at all for nearly 9 months, except to get to the toilet and back which is en suite so just a couple of feet and being in a wheelchair for a while and wearing a fixator and in and out of hospital with infections which brought my health right down for a long time and also made me phobic for a while which has never really gone and is now getting worse again due to my fears of HIV

- this has always been some of the difficulty between us as after the accident, I could no longer do the things I used to for a long time and she did not understand this and refused to help or at least not make work for me I could not do.

It was not her fault at all
- She just wanted me to be a mum in all the ways I had before the accident I guess and just could not accept I could not be. And have never really been able to be since.

Or if I could not be a mum she needed her dad at home or another relative that loves her as much as we do. But Barry would never consider leaving the sea and we had Caja as older parents and live on a smallholding so there was no relatives to care for her. I had two good friends Gelly and Sandy who did care for Caja and also helped with the dogs and cats, but she needed her mum or dad not an invalid mum who wanted Caja to care for her.

On my part I felt that because she was by then 14/15 and could have done stuff round the house to help me, that because she did nothing and in fact was very messy and dirty around the house at that time and my house is very important to me - I felt she did not care about me, I so wanted her to care about me, always have.
I felt she was all I had as any one who was close to me Barry just went back to sea leaving me disabled and unable to cope. She was the only physical and emotional support I had in my home and I wanted her support . it was too much to expect or put on a 14 year old and I did and from then on continued to expect her to care for me rather than the other way around.
I love her and care for her and want to support her but can not in the way she wants me too. I can be her mum and a friend, listen to her, try to help her work things out. But I can not run after her physically, cook all her meals when here, not be upset and emotional right now - which she hates and gets angry with me whenever I am emotional at all. And since the accident it is impossible for me not to be - and even harder now I have HIV.
- this was what was so wrong and it led to her leaving home eventually

..........of course I had failed her - she was too young and she needed a mum - even at 18 now she needs and mum and she does not have one really, well not the mum she wants to have.

It was not all my fault - Barry should never have gone back to sea leaving me in that state to have to try to cope.

Now my ankle is a bit better - it will never be fully better as it has been fused so I have no ankle joint at all. But the fusion means I am out of pain and can walk fairly well with a stick - so she can not see why I can not now work full time?

(a picture of me just after the fusion in my wheelchair)

She takes no account of the fact my ankle may be better but I still have some mobility problems - can't go up and down slopes, can only do stares one at a time and slowly, over overbalance and trip often.
And that I am now and HIV positive and in a bad way mentally and feeling quite ill physically. I believe she feels that I am being lazy not to now get a job now Barry can not.

The reason she wants me to get a job and why she seemed to be so angry with me is she is realizing that her plans to relocate to Plymouth in September and go on the access course in Plymouth for the degree she wants to do may not be now possible due to money. As Barry can't any longer earn she feels that I should I guess, so she can still go.

She could do an access course down the road here ( Cornwall College, Camborne ) that would qualify her for the degree and once she is on the degree she can get a student loan and a grant to go to Plymouth in her own right as she will be the 20 with two unemployed HIV parents and in Higher not further Education. But she does not want to do the local access course as its main subject is sociology which she does not like but the one in Plymouth is English Lit which she does.

But the access course is classed as further education and she can not get a grant for it so the only way she can go on it is to live with us as we can not afford separate accommodation for her, especially in Plymouth.

In fact at the moment as it is we are paying her rent £260 a month to live independently only 5 miles down the road from us and we are also giving her extra money when we can, paying for her mobile, her car tax and insurance and often her petrol.

And come June we can not even do this so she will have to move back home or somehow pay for herself and she can not work enough to pay for herself if she is to be on a full time access course .
We have said that if she wants to go to Plymouth if she lives with us and travels there - about 2 hours each way - we can just about scrape the money for a train season ticket - but she wants to live in Plymouth!!! And we just can not afford this now.

So she is very angry with us and me especially as all her plans are tuning to dust

And why should she not have theses plans?
Most parents with the income we have had support their children through Uni. She may be doing it in a more roundabout way by going on an access course but she is still doing it to go to Uni.

Every time she has come round the last three times she gets tearful and angry at me - and nothing I say helps, it just makes her more angry.
I understand her anger totally and she has a right to be angry, but I am not able to support her right now at all, and this makes me so sad and angry myself with the situation.

It is difficult for Caja if she is angry as you can not ask her to recognise/analyse/articulate what she is angry about which right now has to be the whole HIV situation.

If I - or Barry - presses her, she clams up and if you push it she get more angry and theses days usually walks out. Also when she clams up it has the effect that I get frustrated as I am someone who can cope with shouting and anger much better than silence and sulks. I then get into a state and angry as she will then not share anything or even talk to me further and in the past I have I admit tried to 'bully' her into opening up. Which never works.

It used to result in a child who felt bullied and more and more angry and me getting into a terrible state - and often her too, and theses days she just leaves . In the past we have both got violent this was between her being 14 and 17.
When we got like this towards each other I have never hit her exactly but I have pulled her out of bed when in an argument about her not getting up for college and dragged her outside the front door another time when she threatened to leave and she has punched a hole through her wardrobe door and damaged other things in anger while we were in a state with each other. She once shook a bottle of red wine I had had only a small glass out of, so it was a lot of liquid, all over the kitchen and all over me. We have basically had some BIG fights since my accident and I now regret them all hugely.
I doubt they will ever happen again - but I wish they never had at all.
Although I would never bully/push her to tell me what is wrong and what she is angry with now as I simply have no desire to and do not have the emotional energy to try, but I so wish it had never happened ever

At this terrible time I want to say to her:

I understand you are angry and you have a right to be angry as this is a terrible thing Barry and I have inflicted on you even though it was not intentional - it is still terrible for you'


'I am sure you are angry with us and the whole situation and what it may mean for you'

.....but can not as if I try she would just walk out, get in her car and go back to her single student room.

However I must admit that last night I did not try, I made no effort to support her, I felt I could not support anyone and especially someone so angry with me when I felt vulnerable and shook up.

I was in a terrible state after the hospital and Bary was exhausted and lying on the sofa, feeling relaly bushed.
She came in already angry and asked what there was to eat. We told her where a ready meal was and asked her if she could do it for both her and Barry as I felt sick. But she did not want this - she wanted me to be her mum and cook for her.
I have hardly ever in the past used convenience meals, I always cook from scratch and have done all her life and that is what she wants me to do when she comes over.............
and why not she is still my daughter and she feel very distraught herself and needs also to feel looked after.
But last night we could not even look after ourselves. Still can't today.

She still wanted me to cook for her even though I said I was not able to and when she persisted I am afraid I lost it and shouted at her, said that I was in a state and just could not and 'do it yourself' After all she is a trained chief and working as a chief so cooking a ready meal or certainly a meal from scratch is nothing to her.

But she threw down the packets I had given her and stormed out and drove away!!

I feel I have really let her down in every way, and not just over this but for many years - in fact since my accident. But I cant be her mum right now, well not in the way she wants me to be, not at all
And she needs a mum especially at the moment.
It is all so sad
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