The day before flying home my eldest sister sent me a message on Facebook.

hey matt
just letting you know I am going to pick you up from the airport, can you let me know if you are going to be delayed….
thanks can’t wait to see you

The thought of seeing her made me feel ill. I didn’t want to see her at all. My reply was,

I don’t want you to pick me up from the airport .I don’t want to talk to you and I don’t want to see you. Please do not try to pick me up from the airport

 

The closer it got to flying home again the harder it was to act normal at work. By my final morning I spent 5 minutes staring at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop shaking. Naked, I stood there trying to calm myself down. It seemed as though I were looking at two different people. One person was crying, teeth clenched and shaking, desperately trying to find a way to avoid what was to come. The other person was only visible through my eyes. There was no helplessness in their eyes, only determination. It took everything they had to bring it under control that morning, and during the day I began to wonder why I would ever want to stop working fly-in fly-out.

I only started to feel uncomfortable at the wet mess before flying home. The conversations around me had turned to their partners, wives, families… Those without families talked of partying and beaches. I meekly tried to remain unnoticed.

At the airport I found my luggage and headed toward the taxis. As I was approaching one I felt my phone being to vibrate. I pulled my phone out with one hand while the other slung my baggage into the back seat of the taxi. It was Sister 1 calling. I hit the mute button and got in the taxi.

I could tell the taxi driver was uncomfortable on the journey home. I didn’t bother to hide my tears, I just turned my head slightly and gave directions while not looking at the driver. Once I was home I dumped my bags in my room and fled for the back seat of my car. Neither of my housemates were home.

As I lay in the back seat of my car I heard somebody knocking at the back door. I recognised my sister’s cough as she eventually walked down the driveway and left the property. She rung my phone again but I didn’t answer it. I sat in the back of my car until 11 that night. Housemate B had come home and gone to bed, but Housemate A was still out. Eventually I went back to my room and lay on my bed. I heard Housemate A return home and I waited until she had gone to bed before I decided to check Facebook again.

well matt I only got your message after I waited for you at the airport. I finished a 12 hour shift to come and pick you up.
Can you please explain to me why you do not want to see me or talk to me.
This seems very out of the blue

 

I knew she was there somewhere at the airport. I knew as soon as I sent that message that she would have turned up even if she did get the message. I am so tired of having to deal with my family. My reply was as follows,

Out of the blue?
When was the last time I asked for your help? I haven’t.
I have had to battle this by myself for my entire life…. all while my family knew nothing. I’m sick of being isolated in my own family. Many times I have said that I would rather confide in a complete stranger than somebody from my own family.
I am not going to sit there and pretend it’s ok anymore. You can all get stuffed.

 

And after sending that message I cried myself to sleep. The door to my room was wide open and I was sobbing very loudly. Once I had begun crying I heard Housemate A cough from her room. She didn’t bother getting out of bed.

I woke at 6 in the morning, an hour later than normal. I decided to clean out the rat cage since my Housemates won’t clean it while I’m away. The rats only had a tiny amount of water left in their water bottle – I had asked my Housemates to make sure they had enough water.

As my Housemates woke up and got ready for work I continued cleaning. My face was so slack I could feel my jaw bouncing around as I swung my head. I answered Housemate A’s questions with yes and no answers. Occasionally I said Ok. When I had finished cleaning the cage I lay on my bed again.  Eventually Housemate A left for work and I got up and searched the cupboard for the breakfast. I ended up eating a packet mix of seaweed soup. I sat at the kitchen table staring at my soup while Housemate B started to get ready to go out. Finally she started talking to me once she was packing her bag on the kitchen table. I can’t remember what she said to me, but I didn’t look up from my soup. I just sat there staring down at the steaming bowl with my head on my arms.

In the morning I went down to the shops and picked up some preordered PS3 games. I didn’t actually want the games, but as I traded in a large number of old games they gave me store credit. I didn’t want the credit, I just wanted to get rid of the old games. Anyway I spent the rest of the day fiddling about on the PS3.

When I heard Housemate A get home from work I switched off the television and waited until she had settled in her room. Then I quietly left the house and went down to the park with a book (“The Histories, by Herodotus). I wasn’t really in the mood for classic Greek literature so I was only down there for two hours. The house was empty when I returned, and I lay on my bed again.

After an hour I lost it and went to the back of my car and lay there. Housemates A and B both returned while I was in the back seat. I just wanted to die there.

Eventually I couldn’t handle being there either so I went back inside the house. At the threshold of my room I began to cry, and I didn’t make it to me bed before I began to sob. I curled up on my bed and lay there for a while. This time Housemate A heard me sobbing and came into my room to check on me.

She sat on my bed next to me while I continued crying. She attempted to comfort me but I just kept crying. I just wanted to die. I desperately wanted to hold Housemate A’s hand or something, but she just sat there. Every now and then she would put her hand on my knee, and it was tempting just to grab hold of it but I knew she would have felt uncomfortable. I just needed somebody to hold onto, and it feels awful when somebody is right there but they don’t want you to get close to them.

After an hour or so my housemate got off the bed and started to leave. As she stood up she turned back and looked at me. I just stared at her. Not moving, still sobbing. After a good five minutes of this stand off she sat down on the edge of the bed and started to pray for me. This time when she put her hand on my knee I grabbed hold of it.

She wasn’t comfortable with it and she held my hand so tight that my fingers went numb, but it didn’t matter. It made me feel less suicidal anyway. Eventually after 15 minutes or so she left me alone. I had gotten my sobbing under control and eventually I got up and ate some dinner. The time was 11pm.

The next morning I woke up early and made some bread. I finished the dough quickly and got back into bed before the rest of the house woke up. I lay in bed while I heard my housemates chatting away. I stayed there until they had all left for work.

Eventually I got up, put my bread in the oven and had a shower. I had toast for breakfast and then went out for a haircut. My barber informed me that I was losing hair. I already knew that. It’s either due to stress or I’m going bald, and I’m not sure which of those options I would prefer to believe.

Again I fiddled about on the PS3 until Housemate B came home. She was going out to a work function and was getting dressed up for it. I was supposed to go out with Sister 1’s housemate for dinner, but I didn’t really feel like it.

Eventually I decided I might as well go, and so I began to get ready. I hadn’t said hello to my housemate since she arrived home so I started to get ready regardless. We both tiptoed around each other as we got ready to go out. She could hear me moving around and I could hear her. Neither of us spoke.

Finally I went over to Sister 1’s house. My sister had left for the eastern states the previous day so she wasn’t there. Her housemate and I went out and had a reasonable time. When I got home Housemate A was watching television. She called out to me but I just lay on my bed in the dark.

Eventually I got up and watched a few episodes of Casshern SINS, and then turned the television off and sat there staring at the blank screen. Housemate B arrived home shortly afterward. I continued to stare at the television and she walked past. Neither of us speaking. She took off her makeup and went to bed without saying a word. About half an hour later I also went to bed.

This morning when I woke up I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. When I heard one of my housemates get up and have a shower I went outside and sat in the backyard. Then I came back inside and sat on my bed. Then I went out to a park and read part of my book.. then I came back home and sat on my bed. Then I get out to the shops and bought a bottle of scotch. Then I went to the back of my car and started drinking.

Even that didn’t help so I stopped drinking and came back inside. So now I don’t know what to do.  Nothing I’ve tried helps.

I knew I shouldn’t have got the cheap scotch. It’s far too sweet.

Only two and a half more days until my real life ends and my fake life at work begins. Counting down each day just makes me feel as though I’m waiting to die. But I can’t change anything.

So all I can do is wait.

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