CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 24 October 2008

Who needs enemies?

Several weeks ago (it's taken me this long to calm down a tiny bit), one of the neighbours, a woman, decided to have a go at me in the middle of the street, accusing me of being lazy and of sponging, delivering an uninvited and (I believe) unwarranted lecture about how my mother "doesn't have to" help me and going on about how I should get a job and a flat and, bla, bla ...

Prattling on about how her parents would never help her (probably the crux of the matter, which is hardly my problem) and how they locked the door at a set curfew time ... The point of which, I cannot even imagine, except that it very adequately describes the sort of people they must be: the sort that would leave daughters out in the street in real danger, rather than protect them and, who probably think "trouble" only happens after a certain time of night.

Don't know what you call people with ideas like that, but I call them ignorant.

She doesn't actually know the facts, so it was merely her opinion, and, it's none of her bloody business anyway, but not only that, she launched into this slanderous and defamatory lecture while I was talking to another neighbour, which made it extremely stressful to have my character assassinated in public.

(Oh yeah, I might add that I was on my way out for a 2-3 mile walk, on a rare day when the weather permitted, in an attempt to do what I can to get some exercise, improve my circulation, keep my ankles from swelling and most of the rest of me from ceasing up. If I really were lazy, would I do this, especially considering that I usually can't move for days afterwards? Right!)

Despite that, I agree totally that my mother "doesn't have to" help me, but irrespective of my health situation (whether you believe there's a problem or not), irrespective of what parents should or shouldn't do for their offspring, I've made sure that mother, not me, confirmed her intention to "help."

It's a matter for debate, whether you call it "help", with the considerable abuse I have to put up with to get it, but that distinction notwithstanding that's the end of the matter, whatever anyone else wants to think.

Not that the woman had any right to know, but I felt I had (a right and a good reason) to defend myself against groundless criticism. I explained some of the facts, mainly in the hope that the other neighbour would be left in no doubt, but from subsequent comments from her - proffering more unwanted advice in a tone I can only describe as "snotty" - it's clear the damage is done.

Where could this woman have got her wild ideas, I wonder? From someone who has said something to give her the wrong impression, maybe?

And, since I only knew one person here and have only one relative ...

When I got home, I went ballistic (I think, anyone would). Mother seemed shocked and looked worried (although, that doesn't necessarily confirm she felt that way) and immediately agreed that the neighbour had no right to do such a thing. It wasn't until a week or so later I got any further on the issue though, when my mother went to see this neighbour - just for a chat, as if nothing had happened. Apparently, the matter was never mentioned.

Once again, I seriously questioned my mother's sanity - I mean, to her face, utilizing a few of the choicer adjectives - if she could casually "pass the time of day" with someone who had verbally attacked her daughter in public.

Clearly, all natural protective, maternal instincts are missing here.

And, so is common sense, decency and a conscience, I reckon.

(And she still waves to this woman, when she passes in her Chelsea tractor.)

In the end, with some more probing, I was finally able to determine from my mother that she had told the neighbour that she "did not believe" there was anything wrong with me.

Of course we know "did not believe" is not the same as "there is nothing" wrong, but what is the neighbour going to hear?

Mother can't / won't take her own daughter's word for it that she has pretty much all of these symptoms, that I'm in pain and have been for 13 years. She knows I was chucked out of a job because I was deemed unable to cope with it 11 years ago. Despite all that, since I don't yet have a proper diagnosis, with a diagnosis of "nothing," "nothing" must be what I have then. It isn't!

Someone who lies all the time, I suppose, expects everyone else to lie.

And my mother, resolutely refuses to accept that the manner in which she's said this has had the exact same effect as telling people that I'm a liar.

How easy does that make living here and getting help?

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