Loopy, Lonely and Lost

Posts Tagged ‘home


Posted on: August 27, 2013

Optimistic Laura

I’m going to move out. I can buy a house, or a flat. I’ve been looking on property websites, and there’s a flat for sale in almost the perfect location for me – a short walk or bike ride from work, close enough to home for me to visit occasionally, for Sunday dinner or DVD marathons, but too far for my mum to walk over and cry on me when she’s annoyed. I can afford it, or something like it. I could buy it, get a mortgage sorted, live at home for a few weeks and go round to decorate and move in furniture, then I could move in and be surrounded by my own peace and silence.

Then I can start studying again. I’ve been looking at Open University courses. I’m interested in so many things, I just want to find stuff out, I want to get new skills and knowledge. Start small, don’t make too big a commitment until I know I’ll be okay with it, but just do something, a few hours a week, to make me feel like my brain is still working, like I really can learn something new every day. I can do other things, too. Maybe relearn the musical instrument I used to play as a child, and join a gym, and learn to cook. Tentatively, I might try writing again, like I used to always want to, although I’ll do it with the knowledge that even if it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. I might learn a language. I might volunteer for a charity that helps people.

Every day, the not-getting-the-job thing gets easier. I can say it without the stabbed-in-the-heart feeling now. I didn’t really know if I wanted the job, so I can’t be surprised that I wasn’t really considered for it. But the whole incident has shed light on my life. I was right when I said it: everybody needs something. More than one thing is best, in case the one thing falls apart. I want to fill my life with activities, things that make me feel movement and progress. So even if work, or anything else, isn’t going particularly well, I can carry that with the strength I’ll gain by all the other things. I can build skills and knowledge and confidence and independence, and that’s happiness, for me.

I can write a timetable for every day and a budget for every month, and I’ll be happy. I don’t know what job I want to do, I don’t know where my future lies, but you build your future in the present, and that’s what I need to do. In the words of Malcolm Tucker, “life is just a succession of five minuteses”. If each five minutes is the same as the next, and they’re all dull and empty, then that’s my life. I need to stop worrying about the long-term, if I don’t have a plan for it, and focus on making now work.


Pessimistic Laura

The perfect opportunity is coming up. I need to take this time to withdraw money from my bank account. Small amounts, consistently, so I can build them up. Once I  go, that’s it. I don’t want to be traced by my card transactions.

I have an old friend, who lives in a different city. I can say I’m staying with her. I haven’t seen her for ages, but I used to go to visit her regularly. My parents don’t even know she’s moved, so I could say I’m going to stay with her in the city she used to live in, to cover the trail further. She wouldn’t have to lie for me, my parents don’t have her number, so they wouldn’t be able to contact her. She wouldn’t have to know. 

I’ll leave it open-ended, say, “a few days”, so they won’t be expecting me back at a particular time. I’ll take a bag and say we’re going to sight-see and have a few drinks and just hang out for a while and catch up. Then I’ll go to the train station, and get on a train in the opposite direction. I’ll head to the coast. My mind is full of sea and horizon and cliffs, and that’s where I want to be. I could stay for a day or two, get my head straight. Breathe fresh air and cushion myself in quiet, and think properly for a moment. I could send a postcard, maybe. Not a note in the traditional sense, just something to let them know where I am. Maybe an apology.

Jumping off a cliff seems a simple way to do it, but there’d be other methods available too, if for some reason that doesn’t work out. I will end it there, or else move on and find somewhere else to do it. No turning back. I want to be in a place where I’m a stranger. Somewhere calm. I will run until I can find it. No-one will mind, no-one will care, because no-one will know me.


The awful truth

I’ll probably do neither. Lately, I’ve been believing both of these things, pretty much at the same time. But this is me we’re talking about. I can’t change.

I’ll stay at home, doing nothing, and let my brain rot. Too scared to make my life better, too scared to end it. This is it, this is me – forever.

I wish I had the courage to do one thing or the other.

I went out with some people from work last night, had a few drinks and a bit of a laugh. It was an okay night – nothing special, but it’s nice to get out and do something, isn’t it? I wasn’t really drunk, just a bit tipsy, and I got home at a reasonable hour and went straight to bed. Read the rest of this entry »

Every time my mum is ill, she turns into a bitch. I’m not supposed to say that, am I? If someone’s ill, you’re supposed to call them brave and inspirational. If someone’s ill and you don’t like them, people think you’re tempting fate, and that if they die, it’s your fault for pointing out their flaws. I think people think it’s unreasonable to expect a person who’s unwell to be everything you want of them. They have more pressing concerns than keeping people happy.

Maybe it’s true. But I don’t believe in fate, and this is a cycle that has shaped my entire life.

Read the rest of this entry »

The past doesn’t seem real anymore. I think about events in my life and they strike me as things that happened to someone else.

I feel like I never went to uni. I talk about it, sometimes, about funny or interesting things that happened while I was there, about the people I knew, and it feels like a dream or a story someone once told me.

And really, I might as well have not gone, hadn’t I? I mean, I know that if I hadn’t, I would have regretted it. I would always be thinking, I could have done that – but I’d be wrong. I know that now. Four years of my life and I can hardly remember most of it, and I’m no longer in touch with the people I knew (what is it people say? The friends you make at university will last a lifetime), and I don’t even have a degree to show for it, letters I can put after my name as proof that I did something, proof that I was there. All I have is a gap in my employment history that to explain would mean to admit failure.

I feel like I’ve betrayed the person I used to be. I think of myself, all those years ago. All the aspirations I had. I was going to write books, or if that didn’t work out as quickly and as successfully as I hoped, I’d become a teacher. I was going to fall in love and be a mother. I was going to have a house of my own, and lots of friends. I was going to achieve something, even if I wasn’t quite sure what.

It’s stupid, isn’t it? Nothing in my life ever gave me any indication that I’d be able to do the things I dreamt of, and since dreaming them life has emphatically proven that I’m incapable.

In a way, I know that I’m being premature. Giving up too early. I’m 22 years old, and there’s still time for any or all of those things. But I can no longer see any of them happening, and I’m not even on the right path anymore. I know that, if this were a story, and I were the hero, I’d be more determined. I wouldn’t give up just because there were obstacles in my way. But it’s a long time since I’ve felt I’m the protagonist in this winding, plotless tale, and I’ve never felt like a hero.

I’ve never known how to try again. I’ve always been someone who tried once and then, on failing, quickly moved on, pretending the thing I’d tried for was worthless. If I fail once, I take it as a sign that I am neither capable nor deserving of success. And by that method I close every door, I cut off every path that’s available to me, and I stand in this same place, unable to move on.

I sit and wait, watching life trickle away, too quickly to change it but too slowly for comfort. I see my life as another thing I’ve tried to do, some task I’ve set myself to. And I failed, so all there is left to do is pretend it doesn’t matter and refuse to try again.

I’m not even sure any of that makes sense.

I don’t even really know how I feel, or what’s happening in my life.

I know that life at home is easy in all the ways that really matter – food on the table and a roof over my head, and I don’t have to worry about money. And I know that life at work is probably better than I had any right to hope for – not too taxing, relatively interesting, and surrounded by people I suppose I get on with.

But home is a struggle, always (and even back when I hoped to become a mother, I wonder if I’d ever be so selfish as to go through with it, knowing that there’s a chance I’d end up like my own, who sees her children as adversaries and inconveniences – lingering unpleasantnesses that she’d hoped to be free of long ago). And at work, there is too much time for chat, and it makes me uncomfortable. Already, I can see their puzzled glances. I’m never who I was the previous week. Everything I say and am seems to contradict everything they already know about me, and they have questions that I don’t know how to answer.

I sit in the dark and cry. I wake too early and fall asleep too late. The mask is in place permanently, and I have no time to be myself, to fall apart, without the fear of discovery. I’d call it a good thing, the enforced routine serving as a crude sketch of a life that maybe one day I will learn to live, but I feel myself becoming exhausted by pretense, and irritable with the people in whose presence I have to pretend.

I feel the weight that pushes down on my shoulders, and I see the walls that pen me in. I force a smile and carry on, and everything twists, and more parts of myself become irretrievable, and every day is another day I’ve lost forever, and another day I get to tick off in the excrutiatingly slow countdown to the end of my life.

It’s all I can do now, sit and wait, having neither the courage nor the energy to either end or change my life.

I swear, I’m not usually this thin-skinned. I know I complain a lot, but I can take insults, and teasing and things like that better than almost anyone I know.

Last night, I wanted to watch something on tv. My dad and brother were in an awkward mood, and sat down to watch something that even they didn’t want to watch, for a whole hour, just so that I couldn’t watch what I wanted to.

That’s all. Nothing big. Nothing important. And I got angry and shouted a bit and they started reviving my old nickname, ‘Mis’ (As in ‘miserable’. Back in the old days they called me a lot of stuff like that. ‘Jumbo’ because I’m fat. ‘Clum’, as in ‘clumsy’, because I always drop things and trip over my own feet). “What’s up with you, Mis? Why are you being like that? Stop being so miserable, Mis. Stop being pathetic.

It is pathetic, of course.

I kind of stormed off and went to bed early, tears streaming down my face. I’m about eight years old again, flying off the handle at the slightest thing, unable to control my emotions, constantly making a fool of myself. Curled up in my bed, hands pressed to eyelids, trying not to sob my fucking heart out because I know I’ll be heard and I know I’ll be seen. Planning my death in excruciating detail. I haven’t been particularly suicidal lately, but it ambushes me, it hides and lulls and jumps out and I can’t deal with it, and I can see it, and I’m crying even more because – in my mind, at least – this is the end and I’m already dying.

I don’t want to be that stupid kid again. I’m far too old to be falling out with people and going off in a mood when I don’t get things my way. Far too old to be so easily wound-up.

It doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that, should I live to finish university, life will get any better. I’ve been home a week and I’m already obsessing over and visualising and planning my suicide. And that’s without even talking about the fact that every time my mother speaks (sometimes even when I just think about her speaking), I can see myself strangling her. I’m not violent. I’d never do it. It’s just a reaction. It’s just something that invades my mind and I’m embarrassed to even mention it.

Life isn’t going brilliantly. You might have guessed.

My mum’s obsessed with what I’m going to do with my future. She never stops asking, or suggesting, or wondering why I don’t know, why I don’t have any plans. Today she was reading the local paper, and found a job for me.

It sounds pretty good. Interesting, challenging, and exactly the kind of thing I’d like to do. And the pay’s good, too (in perspective, it’s not millions, but it seems a lot to this stupid layabout who’s never had a full-time job). Read the rest of this entry »

I’m back home for a couple of weeks. Easter. Having a rest, as if that isn’t what I’ve been doing pretty much since before New Year.

I don’t like it here. I don’t want to be here.

I don’t like the person it makes me. I’m irritable, impatient, even more sarcastic than usual. I’m constantly on edge, constantly defensive.

In the car on the way home, my mum just kept asking me what I’m going to do when I finish uni, she kept reminding me that I don’t have long left, asking what my plans are, where I’ll be, what I’ll do. And I shouldn’t get angry. She doesn’t know how much I’m having to live in the present because the thought of the future is so painful. I shouldn’t presume that people know thing that I’ve worked so hard to keep them from knowing. It isn’t fair.

I got home, and pretty much as soon as we were through the door, she was shouting at my brother. And I went to my room, and it was rearranged it, she’d moved everything around on a whim, and it’s stupid to feel violated by that. I’m too sensitive, too secretive. It’s like the embarrassing amount of time I spend in my childhood, arguing on the back-seat of the car with my brother because he’d dared to look through my window. Nothing feels special to me unless it’s mine alone. I’m such a child.

This house brings out the worst in me. I’m not a nice person at the best of times, but here I can be horrible.

And after uni…I’ll be back here. For the forseeable future. How will I ever escape? I can’t face it but I’ve got nowhere else to go.

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I’ve come home for the weekend, mainly in the desperate, misguided hope that being somewhere else equates to being someone else, or at least feeling something else.

It never works like that, though, does it? It seems ridiculously trite to say that wherever you go, you can’t escape yourself, but still, it’s true. And perhaps it’s something I forget, or at least ignore, fleeing from one place to another in the hope that I can tie my thoughts and feelings to one place and then just leave them behind.

I didn’t tell anyone at uni that I was coming home for the weekend. Of course, I didn’t need to. Who would notice? Who would care? Perhaps there’s a freedom in being able to come and go as I please without raising a ripple of interest, but mostly it feels like loneliness, inadequacy, invisibility.

I’ve been back at uni for nearly 2 months. Everybody I’ve ever known, had they been in my position, would have made friends by now. They would have met people, they’d have made a connection, they’d be enjoying themselves. Not drifting, aimless, through a sea of forgetting faces.

I don’t believe I’ll ever make a friend again. I don’t believe that the people I’ve been calling my friends feel anything for me other than a vague sense of companionship that is already fading, and will soon be completely extinguished. I don’t believe that there is anyone in the world who does or would willingly spend time in my company, or who would miss me if I disappeared from their life entirely.

I know that I am dispensable. I know that I am nothing, no-one. But knowing it doesn’t make it changeable. 

I don’t have a future. For starters, what is a person without other people? But it’s not just that – even if I pass my degree (and what’s the likelihood of that? I’ve been going to things, but of course that’s not enough), there are no jobs. Certainly none for someone like me, with no skills, no experience, no direction. And there’ll be thousands of pounds of debt from student loans and no way to pay it back, because really, would you employ me? And I hate always having to depend on my parents for money, especially now that my mum has left her job due to illness. I won’t ever be able to pay them back for all they’ve given me, and I won’t ever stop needing their help. I’m such a fucking parasite. Every day I live is just one more piece of proof that I am useless, that I am a drain on other people, and I hate it so much.

I don’t want to let people down, but I will. I’ve been doing it all my life.

I am a waste of space, time, money. There is no hope. And there’s no way out, either. No solution, no steps to take to become a different, better person.

I’m so full of guilt, shame, fear, sadness.

And no matter where I go, or how many times I go there, those feelings can’t be escaped.

It was going…well.

I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this is going to be a quiet, solitary year. The people I’m living with are friendly enough, but they’re all very quiet and/or have friends elsewhere, so I haven’t seen much of them. But I was convincing myself that that could be a good thing – more peace and quiet to do my work, etc. I unpacked everything, arranged books on the shelves, posters on the walls. I signed up for my seminars. I ordered books that I need, so they should be here by the time my lectures start. I went shopping, and bought lots of food – healthy, tasty, lots of variety. I’ve been eating meals, at meal-times, in the kitchen, like a proper person. And as the first step in my ‘sensible drinking’ plan, I had a single glass of wine with dinner. I went to bed at midnight last night, and got out of bed at 9 this morning. And even if several hours of that time were spent awake, reading books, and going on the internet, and listening to music and silently screaming “SLEEP!” – well, at least I got up, even though I didn’t have any arrangements or any other reason to get up this morning. Read the rest of this entry »

This is really just to move the blog on from the gloominess of the previous post (I know it will return, obviously, but I feel like I should show that it’s not all doom and gloom for me). Read the rest of this entry »


My name is Laura. I was once told that I have cyclothymia. This blog is mostly where I write about living as a person with extremes and instability of mood, and the history of a life that led to the development of those symptoms.

I complain a lot, I'm very repetitive, unreliable, and I tend to contradict myself.

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