19 October 2004

Last week I was poorly. Hence the no updates thing. I wasn't on deaths door, but I did feel vaguely flu-ey and like I needed to be taken care of (and for a change I don't mean I needed taking care of in a sexual manner).

Unfortunately, I live alone, am single, and have no friends living close by. All I needed was someone to fetch me soup, and put more blankets over my poorly, cold feet. The only company I got of course was my rodent room-mate, who I thought had been banished, but it appears it was only temporary. He's now found his way into the cupboard beneath my kitchen sink. My kitchen sink is made of metal. On Saturday morning, my rodent roomie woke me up by trying to gnaw his way through it. It was one of the loudest things I have ever heard, and as a result, I'm now developing a slight phobia of my kitchen sink. Or, at least, that's my excuse for not washing up, and I'm sticking to it.

It'd be nice for a change to have a phobia which stopped me from doing something I hate doing anyway. I've now twice had therapy to get me over a phobia. When I was a child, I wouldn't go to bed until my mum had strip searched my room incase there were any spiders in there. Of course, they'd be in hiding until after I'd gone to bed, when they'd come out to show off. Because they're evil little fuckers. In the end my mother decided she'd had enough of this and dragged me kicking and screaming into the therapists office. And kicking and screaming is literally what I did, as she kept holding jars with spiders in in front of my face.

My other phobia was lifts. Yes, you are allowed to laugh, many people have. Of course, being a wheelchair user who couldn't go in a lift at all made my life very difficult. At 16 I decided it was just ridiculous, so I went to see my GP who referred me to the psychotherapy dept at the hospital. I was feeling like a very big girl that day - I also asked if she'd refer me to the hospital so I could get my BCG vaccination - I'd never had it done in school because I was so scared of the needle that I couldn't stop flinching. In the end I had the vaccination done at the chest clinic at Addenbrookes. A friend of mine was a nurse in that clinic at the time. She was rather a large lady - as the needle came in my direction, she just sat on me. Funnily enough, no flinching - but then I couldn't move so that might've had something to do with it. All those requests in one day - and did I did a sweetie for my bravery? Did I fuck...

Of course, with NHS waiting lists being what they are, it was two years before I saw anyone, so in total I spent about 5 years of my life stuck on the ground floor. Last Tuesday I had a reminder of why I was so scared of lifts when I used the one in The Plaza Shopping Centre on Oxford Street. For some reason they'd decided to deck the walls with padded lining (that could make an interesting Christmas carol) making the lift resemble Renfield's cell in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Yes, um, er, phobia of kitchen sink. Did I mention I was ill last week?

Well, I think whatever virus had me convinced on Friday morning that my limbs weighed 7 stone each has had some kind of long-term effect on me, as I've started behaving quite out of character.

I'm terrified of confrontation. When aggressive people start yelling and screaming at me, I just let them abuse me rather than yelling back and letting it turn into a fight. I just can't deal with it. So, imagine my surprise at myself yesterday when I found myself going up to a man in the car park of Brent Cross Shopping Centre and calling him a "cunt".

I admit it. I'd fallen victim to car park rage. The crip car park at Brent Cross is probably the most competitive environment I've ever been in - remember I've swum for my country. I was the first in the car park. I'd positioned myself in a suitable position to start a queue should anyone feel like pulling up behind me. Some elderly twat in a Honda was not playing by those rules. He was having the next car parking space which became available, no matter how many little old ladies he had to rev his engine at. Of course, he managed to block me from getting into the first empty space, negated to acknowledge my horn blowing and stole a space from right in front of my face.

Another bay became available about a minute later (I'd only been queueing for about 20. That's fine. I wasn't in a hurry to shop anyway). So I got out of my car and put my wheelchair together. He was still sitting in his car, and he had his window rolled down. I'd never done anything like it before, but wheeling up to his car, stopping at his window and swearing at him was incredibly theraputic.

Isn't that odd? But my out of character behaviour continued...

I hate Christmas. I've never had a happy one. I'm always ill, there was that year when both my parents were in hospital over Christmas and New Year (though pity for the poor child in that situation got me my first CD player), my Nana died just before Christmas a few years ago - it's just always a nightmare. I want stripey sweets that make noises like sheep.

I'm also a horrifically disorganised person. Most people get their Crimbo pressies from me in January. Or even February if I decide that January sales are too traumatic for my low tolerance with Bargain Hunters (it's the colour of David Dickinson, he reminds me of my A'level theatre studies teacher). But, yesterday I started buying my Christmas presents. WE'RE IN FUCKING OCTOBER! What is wrong with me? This is not right. This virus must've caused some kind of brain damage.

Deck the lifts with padded lining
Tra la la la la, la la la la.

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