My Dad’s A Goldfish – Energy flagging

When I first moved in I was determined to get the house clean so whenever the Goldfish had a nap I’d get to work. I bought a huge array of cleaning products with which to tackle the bathroom. The shower has panels, none of which had ever been cleaned since it was installed – other than when the Step-monster went on holiday to her sister and I had a go at them. In those days, though, my energies were directed towards the loo itself and trying to dispel the stink caused by the bits of urine saturated cloth she left round the toilet bowl.

I scrubbed and rubbed and sprayed and scrubbed some more. It only looked slightly better. Tackling the windowsill, covered with bits of cloth (what is it with that woman and her bits of cloth everywhere?) was more rewarding and it came up gleaming. I bagged up rubbish from cupboards. I cleaned the living room. There was something satisfying about cleaning up the house but at the same time something strangely unreal about it – like playing house as a child. I still hadn’t fully absorbed that this was my life for the foreseeable future.

I ran out of energy before tackling the study. With little sleep each night, it became increasingly difficult to keep up my energy levels. The only way this was going to work was for me to give up all notions of work. If I didn’t have any writing projects I’d be able to catnap during the day when the Goldfish did instead of trying to focus on writing. I’d have no income, though the loss of my sense of self and what I am would be more difficult to deal with. On the other hand, there would be a lot more enjoyment in caring for the Goldfish if I wasn’t so knackered.

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7 thoughts on “My Dad’s A Goldfish – Energy flagging

    • Hi April. The step-monster went to sit in her car in the supermarket car park people-watching and waiting for the price reductions to go on the shelves; she sometimes sat in the park and when she was in the house she sat in her chair and watched television. Sometimes she went into the study and spent time on her computer. She did no housework and my sister and I cooked all dad’s meals even before she left him. She refused to eat them.

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  1. I wonder if she was actually depressed but maybe didn’t know it—–certainly struggling with something and needing to escape/turn away. Something unbearable. This is maybe where blood becomes thicker than water, because often no matter how unbearable, the ‘blood’ relations are in for the long haul and go whatever extra miles are needed. Of course many wives/husbands/partners do too, but there’s something about a lifelong blood bond, that means one chooses no other option than being there for the person.

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    • I don’t know, Janette. I did think she was showing early signs of dementia, especially in her total lack of empathy (but that may also indicate depression), her obsession with folding the teatowel just so (even when damp) and placing it on top of the microwave and total inability to process information. I once spoke to her daughter about it but she flatly denied her mother had early dementia or needed to see a doctor at least to check it out.

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  2. This sounds very much what we’ll be doing with my MIL’s current house very soon – it’s really dirty and cluttered, even with the carer’s help to keep things clean. Thankfully she has the funds to pay for one of these end of occupancy deep cleans…

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