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  • Sharon Tootill 4:40 pm on November 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , disability, , , ,   

    First Sunday of Advent 

    advent1

    Psalms: Psalm 122
    OT: Isaiah 2:1-5
    Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44
    Epistles: Romans 13:11-14

    The Psalm for today was 122, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord.”

    I was unable to go to church this Sunday because, in addition to my own health issues, I am now looking after my mother who suffers from bipolar disorder.

    My mother always becomes anxious, tearful, angry as Sunday rolls around. Having grown up in what was effectively a very abusive religious home, she is deeply conflicted about church. She wants to be there, she yearns for community, but it is tainted by the memory of forced religion.

    I, meanwhile, would love to be there but my health more often than not prevents me, and I am constantly angry at the way the church neglects us, rejects us, forgets us.

    I saw this poem on a facebook group and decided to share it because the words are so close to my own heart.

    How baffling you are, oh Church,
    and yet how I love you!
    How you have made me suffer,
    and yet how much I owe you!
    I would like to see you destroyed,
    and yet I need your presence.
    You have given me so much scandal
    and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is.
    I have seen nothing in the world
    more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false,
    and yet I have touched nothing
    more pure, more generous, more beautiful.
    How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face,
    and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.
    No, I cannot free myself from you,
    because I am you, though not completely.
    And besides, where would I go?
    Would I establish another?
    I would not be able to establish it without the same faults,
    for they are the same faults I carry in me.
    And if I did establish another,
    it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ.
    And I am old enough to know
    that I am no better than anyone else.

    – by Carlo Carretto, from The God Who Comes

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  • Sharon Tootill 2:05 am on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , disability, , , ,   

    Annus Horribilis 

    Previously on the Prairie…

    2014 was not awful, it wasn’t the happiest year – I didn’t have the life I wanted, and I was very lonely and pissed off with our bad landlord (the last in a long line of bad landlords who nrefused to fix broken plumbing).

    At the end of 2013 we had moved house, out of a fire into a frying pan it seemed. It wasn’t the best move, but previous to that we had lived three years in a rental that had *so much* wrong with it, that it shouldn’t have been legal, BUT it was a bungalow (which, being on one level, was perfect), it was in THE most beautiful location, with views of fields in every direction, a village pond opposite, and a regular procession of visiting ducks, sheep and turkeys. So when we moved, it wasn’t a clear 100% improvement – it was a compromise. I miss the ducks and the beautiful views, but I don’t miss the disgusting brown water etc. The new house was pretty good, apart from the not hot water (honestly, not sure which was worse.)

    2015

    I made the stupid mistake of reading a horoscope (or was it a ‘prophecy’?) in January which said I would soon have access to a completely new social support network. Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

    But then, I could not have *imagined* the idea that we would be evicted in 2015 from that same house after barely one year as good, regular rent-paying tenants. And again, although every idiot thinks that if I’m not happy I must be a ‘glass half empty’ kind of girl, because, d’oh, you live near the sea, within walking distance of the supermarket, what more could you freakin want?

    We have been housed in a totally unsuitable three-storey house, with a moronic design – kitchen and single bedroom on the ground floor, living room and single room on the middle floor, and double bedroom and bathroom on the top floor. There is no question whatsoever in my mind that this is one of the reasons why I have become so ill since we moved. I am now largely confined to one floor, largely unable to leave the house, effectively housebound/ bedbound where a year ago I was able to be fairly active.

    Add to that the fact that there is no garden for the children, just a completely unsuitable yard not big enough for any practical purpose, horrible neighbours, my marriage sucks, an ongoing dusty, dirty, dangerous building site which makes cleaning nigh on impossible, and still, 9 months later – because we are poorer almost than we have ever been, living so ‘hand to mouth’ at the moment that we can’t do Christmas *at all* (if money doesn’t come in soon, we may need to go to the Food Bank for our Christmas groceries) – we have no floor coverings, and I can’t tell you just how depressing that is.

    It hasn’t been my Annus most Horribilis actually. 2010 or 2011 would probably be very strong contenders. But I am not sure I have ever been more miserable.

    Quite apart from my ill health which is severely limiting me right now, choices become few and far between when you have no money. I have cancelled every single outgoing that I could think of. So although I have been mulling around in my mind what ‘resolutions’ I can make for 2016, I don’t know how much is within my control to change. That is by far the worst thing – the fact that I feel completely powerless.

    I’ll try and think of something positive to say next time.

    What are the chances that 2016 will be our Annus Mirabilis, do you suppose? I think we deserve one.

     
    • MjBee 9:15 am on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Gosh i really hope things start looking up for you soon, sounds rough..xoxoox

      Like

    • Emma 8:42 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      So, I’m going to go out on a limb here…

      I think I live just round the corner from you. If you ever want to come round for a cup of tea, glass of wine etc just shout. Feels a bit weird to say this to someone I don’t know but I guess that’s how social support networks start? We’re moving to flexbury next month so don’t know how practical that will be, but just wanted to try and help if I could. I like science fiction as well 🖖 (I think we’ve spoken on Twitter, I’m @em_bean)

      Like

      • lillbjorne 5:40 pm on January 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Just spotted this! Yes! Would love to meet up at some point! I will send you a pm on twitter 🙂 x

        Like

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