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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Attempted Intrusion

I write today’s post a little in shock as I have just returned home from walking Barley, to find the lock on our flat door showing extensive signs of an attempted break in!
As I sit here waiting for the Police to arrive, I reflect upon just how weird it is that this should happen between the hours of 7pm & 9pm, (which is when many people are almost certainly at home after getting in from work isn’t it?), & that it should take place when I live on a very high floor in what I thought was a very secure block.
Before you all yell in chorus; ‘Love, you live in London- almost everyone in London has had a break-in or attempted break in at some point. You should feel grateful that they didn’t succeed!’…
I assure you that I do indeed feel an immense amount of gratitude & I am extremely sorry for those of you who have fallen victim to this horrible violation yourselves.
The thing that has shaken me so much about this situation, (which is actually a non- existent situation at the end of the day), is that over the last year since I have lived in London, I have finally managed to re-build my confidence in being alone in my own home, to the point that I have become comfortable & even blasé about my personal security- so for this to happen, I feel quite thrown & brought back down to Earth with a bump.
The reason why this confidence had needed to be re-built, was that ever since being put on high doses of a horrid drug called ‘Tramadol’, (which I’m sure more than a few of you out there will be familiar with), back at the beginning of my transition into disability- I developed an intense irrational fear & paranoia that every night, (& many days too), there was an intruder in my home.
The relevance of this subject to the feelings pertaining to becoming disabled, (or living a disabled life in general); is how much you can overlook & underestimate the extent that so many of these  pain killing drugs can have on so many aspects of your life & personality.
Back in the early days of my transition into disability; I was well & truly a slave to my arch nemesis Tramadol, as alongside my enemy of ‘Pain’, it dictated my days & most crucially my every night, making me utterly convinced that there was indeed an intruder in our home.
This anxiety would manifest itself in my having to go to bed holding the landline phone in one hand, (having practised in the daylight hours to ensure that I was able to dial 999 by feel & touch); & my mobile in the other, (again, having to know the buttons to press in the dark).
I knew that things had reached a significant point when I had to do this, not only when my Mum or nurses were sleeping in the next room when Garry was away with work, but also when my husband was lying right there next to me in bed.
There were numerous times that I could not even contemplate getting back to sleep before my Mum, my nurse or Garry would check all of the windows & doors thoroughly before I would hear yet another noise & the whole rigmarole would have to start all over again.
It’s only now that I can finally appreciate just how truly loopy I & my life were back then!
Moving to London for Garry’s work one year ago this month, was a frightening prospect because of this deep rooted problem.
Thankfully, we were blessed with finding a flat where we have felt safe & secure for the last year, & as the Police & Scene of Crime Officers trooped in & out of my flat this evening, I willed myself not to undo all of the good work that this significant year has done.
As I frantically garbled on to these poor officers about my concerns whether, & how the ‘almost intruders’ would return; it dawned on me that besides these side effects that some may experience with the taking of drugs such as Tramadol- there is also a sense of vulnerability that my disability gives me & no doubt many others.
Should I ever be unfortunate enough to fall victim to a successful break in attempt- how would I escape? Fight back? Defend myself, my dearest Barley or my home should I be here alone?
However much I fight for respect to be given for the strength & equality of those with disabilities by those around them; it is an inescapable fact that in many cases, (as most certainly is mine), in the physical respect of things, I most certainly am weaker than many, & therefore possess an enhanced feeling of vulnerability a s aresult.
Combine this with the anxiety & paranoia effects of the aforementioned medication & you have yet another example of how a disability can affect areas of one’s life that are never considered or comprehended by others.

Naturally feeling a little down after this hiccup & the regurgitation of emotion that came along with it; I wasn’t going to bother with the efforts of writing tonight’s Reason to Smile post, until it occurred to me that it is times such as this that we feel a little shaken or down, that we should focus all the more on these light hearted pick me ups to maintain the equilibrium of our spirit & happiness.

Smile today & stay safe & secure.

A little light relief- it's trivial yet touching...

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