I’m sure you’ve been left reeling by the blog over the past few months: posts are few and far between, and those that are sent your way are usually hugely disjointed and lacking in content: my defence? … I don’t even know if I have one! Since Azerbaijan, my life has been thrown in to a strange state of disarray, disorganised chaos all the while, leaving me with every thing and nothing to say.
First there was the Iran visa, then my Grandfather got seriously ill, then I got seriously ill, then we both got better, then we had an 80th Birthday party to arrange for my Gran, then my Gran went in to Hospital, then I had to apply for unemployment benefit (job is still pending after all this time), then I somehow got myself involved in filming a short piece for the BBC! Oh and there was another disability conference somewhere before all that, and then, there was the Iran visa!
To break some of this down: basically, the Iranian Embassy are doing every thing they can to stop me going there, and the painful drawn out process is stressing us out (well, me more than Reza as usual!). The illnesses: well, my Grandfather was at death’s door (no kidding!), till the doctors finally worked out that he had ulcers, and they were bleeding! (something both mum and I had asked them to investigate months ago, but were told in no uncertain terms that we were not doctors, and should keep out: nice!). My own illness: well, ear and throat infections that left me unable to speak, eat or sleep (sadly, I didn’t lose much weight though). My hearing and balances were affected, and I got used to living in a drug induced limbo because of all the pain killers and antibiotics (don’t think I’ve ever really got myself out of it!).
In the middle of all this, we held a joint conference between Kitaba and the EHRC, it seemed a great idea at the time: bringing disabled Muslims together to discuss and debate the key issues of concern with decision makers, and even work some way towards forming our own movement! But as per usual: few of our people came, those who did were quite happy to let a “carer” speak for them, and people who had no interest in contributing to the organisation or the content of the day, saw fit to criticise us all and ripped the event to pieces! Needless to say, I reverted back to my hibernation zone and tried not to stick my head out!
My Gran goes in to hospital tomorrow to have minor surgery on her hands (nerve damage as a result of her chronic diabetes). Organising her care has been much harder than I anticipated, and harder still is the resistance she and my Grandfather put up when any kind of practical help is on offer. Neither of my parents are coping: my dad is little help and my mum is just exhausted, I am the evil one in the family because I became Muslim, I insist on them accepting care help (because they need it and because mum needs a break), oh and because I became Muslim!
Oh! And the job: well, what to say: I left my job in December, with lots of hope and promise of beginning a new one, only to find out it had been delayed because of restructuring and other assorted excuses. I resisted this delay for a long time, believing foolishly that it would somehow all come together! Well, needless to say, it didn’t, and I’m now one of the great unemployed! I’ve never been in this state (accept for a few short months after I returned from Pakistan). Those were dark days, and in many ways these days are darker still, because should I fail in securing work, I will be forced to lose even more! There is a tendency as a disabled person to measure your value against what you output (because society renders you non-existent if you cannot stand on your head while tuning pianos as a blind woman). Despite my Islamic work, and other stuff for the movement, in my mind, I am not earning, therefore, have little use/value. On top of that, I am not mixing in the community much because I cannot afford to do so! Rather than friends forcing me to come out or popping around, they have all kept their distance too, which has sort-of given me licence to disappear deeper and deeper in to myself! This might sound like self-pity: it is not supposed to however: its actually fear for what I might become: the chaos of the present day, the unemployment, the harassment in my previous job, my health problems and my hibernation, have all knocked my confidence in ways I truly hadn’t anticipated. I do worry that I am not able to return to an active life with the same passion, creativity and lustre I once possessed (or tried to display any way). It is sometimes hard to see a clear path forward when every thing you touch seems to darken along with you. While I do know Islamicly that all of this is sent to try me and I have to be patient, it is easier said than applied! For now, all I can do is sit tight, try to relax rather than fret (again, very easy to say!), pray, try to undertake more in the way of Islamic studies, clean the house, work on maintenance of sanity, and just maybe, update the blog with something other than misery on toast!