23 September 2009

Testing times

I don't mean to keep on whining, because I know everyone has their share of problems, but I'm having a tough time of things at the moment.

1. Kay is up at university and I would be quite happy to cope with the empty nest syndrome if it weren't for the fact that she is finding it hard to settle. I have received quite a few tearful phone calls from her over the last few days which in turn have unsettled me. It seems the people she is sharing a flat with are quite heavy party animals and have been out every night since they all arrived on Saturday boozing till 3 AM. Although Kay enjoys a vodka or two, she is obviously not keen to follow in her father's footsteps and cannot see the point in being completely legless or throwing up by the roadside. She prefers to pace her drinks and be relaxed and enjoy the evening. They also seem to have come with quite a few of their mates from school, whereas Kay had no choice in which university she went to (because of the competition I mentioned
here) and so has not gone where any of her school friends are. She has just rang me again in tears. Last night she had not gone out with them as she needed to be in university today to meet her lecturers and tutors for the first time, and attend lectures. She therefore needed a clear head. Her flatmates came crawling home at 3am and were shouting and yelling in party-mood, which woke her and she could not get back to sleep again after that. All she keeps saying is that she feels so tired and misses home and her friends, but she does not want to seek pastoral advice from anyone at the university for fear she will look bad in her flatmates eyes. Frankly I really don't know what to do and I am really worried about her.

2. I have two very close friends from my university days and the husband of one of them has just died suddenly. He has had back pain for a few months and at first was being treated for sciatica and then a kidney infection. The pain did not go away, though, and he only found out about six weeks ago that he had spinal cancer. About a month ago, he had a quick course of radiotherapy which rendered him paralysed and he died ten days ago. It has all happened so fast, we are still reeling from the shock. I am going to his funeral next week. It is not going to be easy.
He was a tall cuddly bear of a man, a gentle giant, a gentleman, a leading light in his field of expertise. It does not seem possible this could happen so quickly.

3. In an attempt to cheer myself up this morning, I went into our nearest shopping centre for a bit of retail therapy. But I felt as if I was walking in a bubble and all I could see was Kay and I walking there last week getting the last-minute bits and pieces for uni. I did not enjoy it one bit and decided to come home, quickly nipping into a supermarket on the way to grab a couple of whisky bottles for Greg. One slipped through my hand and I ended up with glass and whisky in a pool all around my feet. Fortunately the supermarket manager was extremely sweet and told me not to worry and an assistant miraculously appeared with mop and bucket and also told me not to worry. I felt like bursting into tears, because they were so nice.

4. On getting home, I discovered Greg had had an accident in the toilet and there was mess all over the toilet floor. He had of course not cleared it up and it was waiting for me to deal with.
(He seems to be getting more and more incontinent at the moment, both with urine and faeces. Because he cannot walk very well, he seems to get the message too late to get to the toilet in time.) My washing machine is working overtime. I have become a carer and am no longer a wife - in all senses of the word.

Sometimes life sucks.


Gin said...

Oh Rosiero I am so sorry. You are right, sometimes life does just suck. You are not whining...you are getting your feelings out. That makes it easier to deal with. I wish I could just reach out and give you a big hug right now. Wishing you peace and quiet for the next few days and sending you all of my love.

nappy valley girl said...

What a lot to deal with (and, as Gin says, you're not whining, that's what the blogosphere is here for). Re Kay, I went to university with a lot of medical students (and even married one of them!). They do indeed have a heavy drinking culture as students and are particularly bad in the first few weeks of Uni. However once they realise they have exams to pass and full days of lectures to attend they simply have to calm down a bit - and things will probably return to something more like normality for Kay. After all she's been through, she's just probably more mature than the rest of them. I'm sure she will come through just fine.

Elaine said...

I'm so sorry. And now I feel so bloody stupid moaning about broken cat flaps and missing buses.

I agree with NVG...things will settle down for Kay soon. She should still say something about the noise though... if she's in Halls, I'm sure the complaint could have come from anyone, not just Kay.

As for you...you poor thing. I hate to think of you dealing with all of that. Big Hugs. x

Working Mum said...

Don't worry about whining, you need to get this off your chest. There is a lot to cope with at the moment, especially with Kay leaving. You are in a state of flux and it's not surprising you feel so low.

Regarding Kay, I agree with Nappy Valley Girl; things are mad for the first few weeks at Uni, but then everyone settles down when the work piles up. Kay will find her feet and similar friends to be with and then she'll start to enjoy it. In the meantime, she can go to the Uni Counselling Service. Their job is to help students to settle in so it is never too soon to see them and they can be very helpful. No one else need know she's going there. Tell her to go and if she won't, you can make an appointment for her and then she'll feel obliged to go (bit of psychology never does any harm).

Watch out though, it was on the bus on the way back from visiting the Uni Counsellor that I met my husband! (He was going home from football training, I should have known then really.......)

Nota Bene said...

I remember early days at University being challenging...I'm sure like evryone else Kay will find a way through. She is after all a pretty resilient lady. Takes after her mum.

Nechtan said...

Hi Rosiero,

What a time you are having of it at the moment. You must be physically and mentally drained. I do hope you can find a way to get a break from this to replenish your energy because it sounds as if you need it.

Your poor friend must be still in shock at the moment and you must be feeling that too. It is alarming how quickly some cancers can take people and it leaves a numbness behind in the void which is hard to fill.

Hopefully things will pick up for Kay. I'd imagine, I only went to Uni for a week, that this period of adjustment will be the hardest with lots of new faces and expectations of strangers. It must be hard to fit in while still being true to yourself but being the bright girl that she is I'm sure she'll get the balance right.

All the best


Linda - Gold Coast said...

Life can be very trying at times and very sad. I believe that things will settle down with Kay at Uni, although it doesn't make it any easier for you when she calls and is so upset. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend's dear husband. Life can also be very cruel. As for having to clean up after Greg..... I would suggest a trip away to see your Mum but then that entails such a great deal of organization with Greg etc. Not an easy situation but perhaps you can do something to help you relax? What about a day visit to a Spa, perhaps with a friend. I know it would probably be expensive but Rosiero you so deserve something special and it's time to take care of you for a while. Big {{{hugs}}} ♥ Linda xoxo

Eliza said...

You are not whining at all, you need to get it off your chest. Hugs to you, i'm sure things will settle down for Kay, it's early days, but you must feel very alone now. I wish there was something to do for you.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

Rosiero, your lovely Kay will have a personal tutor and she must talk in strict confidence to him/her.

Something can be done to rearrange her accommodation and a spin put on to explain the reason for the move if that's what she chooses to do.

It's early days though and I suspect that when her flatmates realise the volume of study they will need to do, they might not be so keen to go partying.

I really feel for you.


grandmamargie said...

Rosiero, I pray that things will settle down for Kay. Remember, though, that when she calls you in tears, you being her mother, comforts her. Probably when she's done talking with you, she feels better but you are left behind in the emotions.

I'm so sorry about your friend's husband. And your loss.

As far Greg, I really don't know what to say other than I hate that you have to live that way. I wish he would sober up long enough to see himself as he is. I believe he would be so ashamed.

And you are not whining. You are sharing your life. And you know what? You are probably helping scores of people who read your blog.

I'm praying for all of you.

elsy said...

definately early days yet for kay....i'm sure things will settle down for her and if they dont there will be people on hand to help...she will find her place.....as you will do in time. am so sad that you are not having the life you should now kay has gone.....thats not whining at all

nuttycow said...

Hi -

I wanted to comment specifically on Kay but it sounds like everyone else has got there before me! Just to reiterate - the first couple of weeks are really difficult. A lot of teenagers, who've just left home for the first time, are finding their feet, their friends and testing the waters. Kay should join in when she wants to, not if she doesn't. She'll eventually find a group of friends she can be herself with (I remember after my first week of Uni I had to go through my phone and delete a load of numbers belonging to goodness knows who - random people I'd met in an attempt to make friends!)

As for you, well, hang on in there, or don't. Do do whatever makes you happy.

Love to all. x

Kit Courteney said...

Everyone else has said exactly what I wanted to say (and far more eloquently, alas).

When someone you know dies so suddenly it truly is the ultimate shock and seems to bring home our own mortality in a terribly cruel way. One of my closest friend's husband became ill one Saturday afternoon and by 8pm he had died. He was 47. Such a sad time for everyone. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Once your daughter gets settled I'm sure she'll have a wonderful time! It doesn't help right now, granted, but it DOES get easier and a lot faster than you'd think once the workload takes over!

I so wish something could be done about your husband. It's very frustrating for an outsider to read about it so goodness only knows how you are feeling!

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...


Flowerpot said...

Oh I am so sorry. What can I say except that I'm sure things will settle down for Kay very soon - thogh of course it's hellish for you at the moment. Big big hugsxxx

aims said...

Oh sweetie.

My heart and my thoughts are with you.

Kay will soon develop a tough skin about her roommates or even get the chance to move. You can only be her sounding board. Perhaps you can take a day and go visit with her. I suppose where Kay is and where your mother is are miles apart?

So sorry about your friend. I hate cancer.

rosiero said...

Thank you so much for all your support and helpful comments. Kay does seem to be settling a bit better as the week goes on. I think she is just feeling very homesick (we have always been close) but is getting on much better with her flatmates and has also made a lot of friends elsewhere too. She is trying very hard to be mature about it and cope. The fact is it is freshers week where there are no proper lectures and only lots of fun things to do and the opportunity to be crazy but hopefully lack of both money and time will dictate they work harder after this week! :-)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

That's what students are supposed to do! (Partying) She's only been gone a week, calm down. You have to let her solve her own problems now. Such a shame about your friend's husband. I've heard of so many deaths lately. As for Greg ... rub his nose in it.

Kate said...

Kay will learn to cope - you are so close to each other, thats why she cries and you soak up the tears but she will learn.... I'm more concerned about you - take it easy there....

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Rosiero...I feel for you I really do.

If it is any help...I had trouble settling in at Uni and then absolutely adored it. It was then trauma leaving Uni!

Sorry to hear about Greg. What can I say? No wonder Kay has a sensible attitude to alcohol.

2009 seems to be horrendous for most people I know. We have been to several funerals this year.

Huge hugs, Hadriana xx xx