Bedlam has taken over my creative space and moved it around the house. Naughty Bedlam, I shall punish it later.
Bedlam has its way in bringing out The Evil Queen in me.
Bedlam puts my work both writing and art into strange unconnected folders and boxes then distributes these folders and boxes all around the house in random crevices and nooks, playing hide and seek with my work is not fun!
What is this bedlam of which I speak? My family, primarily my loving husband who tries to keep house when I am bed bound sick, when I get well again it can take up to two weeks sometimes more to find my work so I can get back to it again.
So far I have found my vampires mingling with my fantasy stories and even my paleo recipe folders. I guess human blood can be thought of as a paleo food, but still, it’s in the wrong place!
I have found trolls in my box of pagan things hiding underneath packets of patchouli incense and dried agrimony and dragons playing with unicorns in my learning how to read music bag.
I have even found a baby ogre in my knitting kit – and please do not mention the flying octopus! For some reason I found that partially hiding underneath the chest freezer.
And then there are the eyes, eyes, eyes everywhere! Hanging on the bedroom wall, hidden on a bookshelf, under the bed, on top of the rabbit cage and in a shoe box! The eyes have it! Or rather I have had had enough of the eyes!
Of course I am talking about my various works, whether it be fiction writing or pieces of art I have done, I am not talking about the imaginary friends I have, not yet anyway – why are you looking at me like that? Every writer has them. Imaginary friends that is, how else do you think you get stories? Though sometimes I wonder if my imaginary friends are all that imaginary as weird things are noted around my house by guests, but we never speak of those, do we? You could say I am insane and I accept that opinion of yours because what is normal to me is ludicrous to you. I can stay at home for three months solid and forget that it’s not normal and be quite happy actually and very occupied with various things, whilst Joe Bloggs down the road goes insane after forty eight hours.
The biggest work for me at the moment in gathering all my work back into its former place is the fact that two of my vampire folders have fallen off a sideboard and behind it and has intermingled with other papers in an attempt to try and gather them for me. This had meant that the four drafts I have done of one particular story is meshed together and I have to work it out like a jigsaw puzzle because I have done all four drafts to the seventeenth chapter and the novel is not finished. What makes it worse is I am ever so slightly absent minded as a trait I was born with, so therefore many things have been printed twice and are not noted until an accident like this happens… yes I am a nightmare. But honestly, when people leave my work alone, I am actually very persnickety about filing and organising, it is really hard living with someone who will store anything anywhere and doesn’t have a system. It really messes my time and system up – unfortunately I live in circumstances where I don’t have a spare room all to myself and I do not have the funds to organise a heated shed in the garden for work, so I have to fight to work, literally, every day, not only my health, but the flipping disarray in the house and have to blooming accept my work being meddled with on a daily basis! Because my husband, bless him, is a recovering hoarder. He is recovering because whilst living with me he doesn’t have a bloody choice!
So when I get bed bound sick, I have the added stress of knowing that he will slip back into his hoarder care-free ways and its muggings here that has to clean it all up again, when I get the good days back, rather than working or gardening. It’s all made worse by the fact that he doesn’t work outside of the house, he is home almost all the time. Love him, but I wished I had time to sort things out for a few hours a day without him following around me in a panic all the time.
I am desperate to paint, I love to paint as often as I read and write, but again, I have no specific place to paint. I have to rely on a clean dining table to paint and often it’s cluttered with my husband’s essentials and bottles of condiments and a laptop. So when I have the energy to leave the bedroom to go and paint, it takes me an average of 45 minutes to tidy away enough space and find my paints and materials in order for me to work, often by that time, if I am still sick, I am too knackered to work immediately after clearing that I need a rest and then by the time the rest is over, its dinner time. Creative people will know how I feel about living like this and you are right, I do feel that way too!
It’s a battle with my health but it is also a battle with my living arrangements and housemates. My work productivity suffers greatly because of these things and it isn’t because I don’t try, because I do, even on my sickest days, but you have no idea how hard it is to live with these battles day in and day out, I will admit that I have mental health problems normally anyway, but since having my work affected as a result of this lifestyle (if you can call it that), I have for the first time in my life around five years ago, become suicidal as a result. It is something I have discussed with my husband and he does acknowledge the cause, but what can you do with someone in their mid-sixties who has never lived any other way?
I am not used to a house like this. I don’t accept a house like this, but I have to make do. So when I use the work bedlam I do not use it lightly.
I try to stay light hearted about things, but it is a BIG try.
It is gut wrenching to force yourself, as sick as you are, to cough and choke your way through two rooms to clear and tidy and clean, only for the very next couple of days, for it all to revert back, because your husband is motivated in another room unsupervised and doesn’t understand how to do it, he just moves things from one place to another and undoes your work in just a few hours. Then you’re in bed exhausted, chest clogged up worse for all the dust and you can’t move for another week.
The thing is, writing this makes me feel guilty. Because he is my carer, he cares a lot, he does a huge amount, and more than any man would really. He is twenty seven years my senior, he does everything for Henry, everything for me. He does the shopping, the laundry, the ironing, he cooks, he shops, he deals with all our problems and I have never known a man like him before. Complaining like I have done, feels wrong. But it is a big reason why I struggle to work lately. I am fighting for a work space, but I have less than 3ft square to arrange things in and my art and writing stuff is much bigger than that little corner, the box room would be an ideal office, but it is Henry’s bedroom, the big bedroom can’t be used at all because we have a leaking roof we can’t afford to fix. In an ideal situation we would move our bedroom into the big room, Henry into our current bedroom and I would use the box room as an office. But at the moment I can’t. We have had a survey on the roof it will cost us 5k to fix it, that is around 15yrs of savings for us currently. Not feasible, especially with the storms we get up here.
Am I so wrong to need to get this off my chest and explain myself?
Tis bedlam here.