24/05/20 – ‘The Effect That Lucy Has On Me’

When I woke up my mum had had another go on my Dad’s hair to try and trim a tuft at the front of his head. Instead, she’d shaved straight in to it with a number 4, so he kind of has a bald patch now.

I had a pretty low-key morning, and decided that I wanted to watch a film after lunch.

The film that I chose was ‘Orphan’, a psychological thriller about an adopted child who wreaks havoc on the family that took her in.
I didn’t look at my phone or tablet or even get up for a drink or the bathroom during the whole film.
It felt really good to get totally absorbed in a story.
Drag Race doesn’t really do that.
So, I decided that I’m going to start expanding my horizons.

We had a family Zoom call in the afternoon with my brother and sister in law, which was good.
They’re both teachers, so they’re getting ready to start opening up their schools again. Seems pretty stressful.

My brother sent a video over on the family group chat, but since my phone was off I watched it on my mum’s laptop.
As she was getting WhatsApp web up, I saw that one of the windows open was a word document called ‘The effect Lucy has on me’.
My stomach did a big drop. I asked her what it was, but she kind of batted the question away.

I felt like shit.
I know that obviously I have an effect on my parents, but it was horrible to see it there in black in white – a whole word document about the way that I have affected my own mother.
I felt sick. I felt ashamed. And the worst thing is that I can’t stop being me, so I can’t even do anything about it.
It wasn’t entitled ‘The effect Lucy’s illness has had on me’, it was just ‘Lucy’.
Not my illness, but me as a person.

I was pretty subdued during dinner. I wanted to ask more, but at the same time I know that she’s entitled to her privacy, her opinions, and her feelings. I can’t change that.

Eventually at some point in the evening I told her how much seeing that title had affected me.
She laughed it off, and tried to make it in to a nothing of a deal. She said that the title was wrong and a bit insensitive, so she’d actually changed it that afternoon after I’d seen it to ‘Lucy’s illness 2020’ or ‘Lucy’s mental health 2020’ or something like that.
That felt a bit better – to know that this word document was more about my mental health and my journey, therefore her journey too, rather than about me as a person.
But it still stuck with me. I think it will for a while.

The cows were in the field, and I watched from my window as my mother tried to feed them branches from the garden bushes. She was wearing a cute blue dress, and was so smiley. She looked so innocent and kindly. What she had written had hurt me, but I hated so much that I had hurt this wonderfully kind and sweet woman.
I had some cuddles with my parents. I wanted to let them know that I was OK, and not angry with her. I was just a bit bruised.

In the evening I totally binge watched ‘The Keepers’, which is a real crime docuseries about a nun who was murdered in the 60’s and it turns out it was probably all to cover up sexual abuse that was taking place at the convent.
Again, it was good to watch something so absorbing.

All through the day I’d felt like I’d been in a car crash from my rigorous exercise the day before, but I felt emotionally battered too.
Even though my mum had apologised and explained, I still felt pretty lonely and disconnected. I just couldn’t stop thinking about that title.

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