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Thursday, 8 January 2015

A thousand hard decisions

Another couple of hours spent shredding papers this morning. Each sheet that comes to your attention you are forced to make a decision about. You read the contents of the paper, or at least you start to read it. Hard memories are conjured up, and your mind races back to the source of the pain. Was I already sick in June 2000? That means I spent 6 months during that year in a state of psychosis. I shred my father's replies to my letters of that time. Each letter sinks into my mind like a barb.

My father didn't take well the news that I was ill. He flailed around and criticised my then-wife. Neither of them could stand the other. Both were looking for ways to shift blame. My then-wife was looking for help. My father didn't want to do anything to disturb his own comfort. He could not accept the illness. All these memories, these realities that have a hold on the past resurface as I go through dad's papers shredding things. As each new sheet of paper comes to my attention I have to make a decision about it.

I am soon exhausted. I shred my father's letters - reading them is too painful - but I keep all those which I sent to him and mum. These relics will be filed away. I will not look at them for the moment.

Really I do not want to relive those days and weeks and months of hardship. Life is hard enough at the moment. I am living in a sort of limbo here on the Coast. My heart is with mum in Sydney, and with my friends in Sydney, but I have to stay here and get mum's apartment in order so that we can rent it out. That is my task. If it means making more decisions about hundreds and thousands more sheets of paper tomorrow, then that's the price I have to pay. There is noone else to do this. 

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