I'm not happy with myself. Yesterday was meant to be a writing day but it turned into a playing solitaire for hours at a time day. I sat there last night for three hours. Today I've promised myself I'm not going to play solitaire at all and I am actually going to do something productive.
The letters I need to write are piling up. Every time I pick them up and think about replying my brain seems to go into meltdown. I'm utterly useless at the moment. All I seem to do is spend time with James when he's here and waste my life when he's not. I really need to focus. I've given myself to the end of the year (which does seem like a very long time but when writing novels it really isn't) to complete at least one final draft to send off to publishers to see if they're interested. If they're not interested then I'll focus on my holistic therapy stuff.
While I'm writing I'm going to need to actually do my holistic therapy courses otherwise it's pretty pointless having them as a back-up. I am qualified in two subjects but I want to know more. If I was just to offer crystal healing and colour therapy then I'd feel a bit pointless. For some reason I've started a new massage course even though giving massages makes my back ache. However, according to Mum, I have healing hands (because I gave her an aromatherapy massage when her sciatica was playing up and she was fine afterwards).
At the moment I'm obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. I've always loved them and James got me their greatest hits at the end of last year so I is a happy person. I'm still at that stage where I listen to the songs I actually know over and over again until I gather up the... courage(?)... to listen to the rest of the album. I do that with almost all the albums I buy, although I don't buy so many, simply because it's easier. Music is something that has always made me happy and I have certain songs that I associate with books because I was reading them while listening to music. Whenever I hear the song I'll remember the storyline of the book.
I also enjoy singing along to my music even though I know that I can't sing. It's just fun to lsiten to music in my headphones and sing along. I have a great memory for song words for some reason. Most days at the moment it hurts my throat because I can't get a cup of tea until the irritating thing Mum married leaves the house.
Right now all I want to do is get out of this house permanently. It's what I dream of. I want the freedom to cook my own food; to walk around the house without having to worry; to have my post delivered to my own home; to be able to live my life the way I want to. Right now I'm so fed up of being stuck in my room day after day, feeling unable to leave it at any point. Sometimes I wonder what I did in a past life to deserve this but I think it's more a lesson that I need to learn in this one – no matter how nasty some people can be, there are always going to be good people out there. I'm dating one of those good people so I know that for definite.
I'm really looking forward to our anniversary. Four years, to me, is a very long time to be dating someone. We have our problems but we've worked through them and I love him much more than I did when we first got together. If I'm honest I didn't think we'd last much beyond three weeks (neither did my old friends and they actually bet on us – HOUSE WINS) but we ended up living together for a year and a half after we'd only been together for two months and I think it did our relationship a lot of good. If it wasn't for that time then I'd think we were falling apart all the time. Really I think most of our problems are caused by the fact we aren't living together so we worry about each other a lot and we get stressed out when we don't know what's happening to the other. Then we take the stress we're feeling out on each other.
We both know it's wrong and we're working on making it better but right now all we want to do is get some money together and move out. That's part of the reason I'm so desperate to get published. If I have enough money we can buy a nice house without having to have a mortgage – I hate the thought of having a mortgage – and finally be happy.
I'm so tired right now. It's irritating. I mean it's just gone help past six so why am I tired? When I actually go to bed I'm probably not going to be able to get to sleep (I'm so glad I made the most of actually being able to sleep last week) because of all the things that will be going around my head.
Mum's in a strop for me for some reason. I think it's because she's quite obviously had more than enough to drink for today and yet I'd bet she had another drink next to her. Last week she got through about six bottles of wine by herself. I'm really worried that it's going to do her liver long-term damage but I know that she needs to come to the conclusion that she's drinking way too much without me getting involved. If I tell her that then she'll just deny it. I honestly don't think she realises how much she's drinking, even though I can't understand how she can't realise it. Being drunk isn't exactly something that you can hide from yourself. I'd quite like her to realise she's drinking too much so she can get help before she pickles her liver for good. If she doesn't I know I'm going to end up watching her die slowly and painfully.
Aaron being home is just how I thought it would be. I'm in my room alone (unless James is over) while they're in the lounge acting like everything is fine. Things aren't fine and they never have been fine. From the day we started living in the same house, when I honestly believed I might have a real family for the first time, he has treated me like something he stood in. He even treated the dog better than he treated me. I don't begrudge her it because as far as I was concerned she was my sister, but I wished for years that he's treat me like a normal human being. Some days he'd be ok, although those days didn't happen very often; on a normal day he'd put me down, turn the telly up every time I tried to talk and make funny noises, much like a boiling kettle every time I walked into the lounge. After 11 years (ish) I've had more than enough of it. Mum knows what's happening but doesn't have the will power to chuck him out. She says she'll talk to him about what's happened but she's done that before and he's never changed. I don't know how many last chances she has to give him before she realises he is a waste of effort. When he tried to assault James I thought it was over but that was about two years ago and he's still here. One thing I'm absolutely terrified of is leaving here for him to start on Mum when he no longer has me to pick on. I shouldn't worry so much about her, it is her life, but I can't help it.
Right now I should be eating dinner but I don't feel like eating. I'm hungry though so I might go and heat up the food Nan sent me. Then I've got to tidy my room, for the second time in three weeks, because it's starting to annoy me. I don't really feel like doing it but if I don't force myself to do something I'll waste my evening staring at the telly.
Tomorrow I'm going to try to work on my short stories but I don't know how that's going to work out. Being at home, locked in my room, isn't really conducive for me doing any work.
Well that's dinner done. I didn't really enjoy it that much. Microwaved roast dinner without the meat isn't my favourite meal in the world but I like it because it's Nan's cooking. Mum isn't the best cook in the world so having dinner at Nan's is a treat. Microwaved food isn't – it always seems to go dry and nasty as well as lose its heat quickly.
I was watching Dancing on Ice while eating. The first routine was done to one of my many favourite songs 'Ever Fallen In Love' by the Buzzcocks. I have lots of favourite songs – I've never been able to choose a favouritest song any more than choose a favourite book.
I burnt my finger earlier so it's a bit uncomfortable typing. I'm such an idiot because I knew I should have put it under cold water straight away but I didn't. I didn't think it was really that burnt. To be honest it isn't really that burnt – there's a tiny white bubble close to the inside of my nail – but it's still not very nice.
I entirely blame Allie for the need to write this. I was just on her website reading about Karli and Callie which made me feel the need to write about the most special friend I ever had.
Sharna was more that a dog. She was my sister really because I'd had her since I was six. We supported each other through the bad times and she never judged me for who I was or the mistakes I was making. There must have been times when she disliked me, especially when I used to blast my music and try to get her to dance with me, but she never turned her back on me.
She never ate the food she was meant to have when she was a puppy. It did look very disgusting so I wasn't surprised she hated it. It turned out she preferred a cup of tea and a slice of toast with marmite on for breakfast. Until the last day of her life her breakfast was a cup of tea and a slice of toast. She also liked Weetabix so that was what she ate when she was young. That or porridge when it was cold.
When she was young she spent a lot of time at the vets because she was losing her fur. We found out she was allergic to something in dog food. That was so typical of her - only Sharna would be allergic to dog food. After that we started making her dinner specially - some days it would be mince and vegetables, other days it would be fish, then once a week she would have Weetabix with an egg. On Christmas Day she'd have her Christmas dinner.
She was always the best things about Christmas. Wrapping paper was one of her favourite things to destroy so now things will never be the same. She's not there to help me open my Christmas presents. She also used to love Christmas crackers. We had to get her a cheap set every year so she could make her own bangs. Of course that did mean we had to get the bits from the cracker away from her as quickly as possible otherwise she would have torn the hats to shreds.
She would shred any paper left on the floor. Tissues were another of her favourites so we always knew when she'd found a tissue as it would be scattered all over the floor. When she was young she'd eat anything - crayons, shoes (I had a pair of hedgehog slippers that she liked to chew on the noses of), and my homework. Mum had to go into my school once to explain that the dog really had eaten my homework and it wasn't just an excuse.
It wasn't as though she didn't have enough toys of her own to play with. She had squeeky toys that she liked to leave in strategic places so she'd always know where you were at night if you came downstairs. Her favourite toy was the rope because she could throw that. It nearly went through the TV several times because of her enthusiastic tossing. It got taken away from her after a while because she was dangerous with it.
As she got older I used to wear her out by walking her. We used to really enjoy our afternoon walks and because we lived near a lagoon she used to enjoy paddling. She never learnt to swim. I used to throw rocks into the lagoon just to see if she'd chase them but she never did. (I soon found out that other dogs did chase stones but thankfully they learnt to swim very quickly). Usually she'd give me a look that said 'if you want the stone/stick/whatever it is you've thrown so badly then you get it'. The only thing she would chase was a tennis ball.
Another thing she enjoyed paddling in was mud. She loved mud. If she could get muddy or wet or both while walking she was happy. If there was a puddle she'd missed while on a walk she's make sure she dragged you back to it just so she could walk through it. We used to try to stop her from going through especially muddy puddles but she was having none of it.
One time when we were out walking we were going across mud flats. We were with the whole family and they were avoiding the mud but I was following Sharna. I can still remember the disgusted look she gave me when I got my foot stuck (and lost a jelly shoe). We had to get another pair of jelly shoes after that and I was lucky I kept both of them. On another walk we ended up having to travel across some deep water. Nan and Grandad had to go slowly because they had no shoes on and Grandad had diabetes which meant he couldn't feel his feet properly. Mum and I went across first with Sharna, then Mum left me to go to help Nan and Grandad. When Sharna realised when Nan and Grandad were she decided she had to help too. Mum had told me to hold on to Sharna so I did, even when she was hurtling back towards Nan and Grandad. Nan had to yell at me to let go of the lead. Mum took Sharna back and I stayed to help, which was when my shoe came off. Luckily Mum put her hand down in time to catch it as it floated past thanks to Nan's yell.
Sharna used to like playing with rabbits because we had some. She used to snuffle at them and they used to sit there and let her. When we came across wild rabbits she must have thought they were going to play with her too, but they weren't interested. Instead they ran away so Sharna used to chase them. She never caught them though.
Even though we had cats she never liked them. One day when she was visiting Mum's husband's parents she chased their cat out of it's own house and then ate it's food. That was so typical of her.
To be honest she'd do anything for food. Usually she'd just drool at you until you gave in. She loved fruit, especially apple cores, yoghurt (she used to lick out the pots) and white wine. Nan always bought boxes of wine and she used to give Sharna the bag when she was finished. Sharna used to suck out all the wine she could, then play with the plug thing. She never had a lot but it used to be one of her treats.
Sometimes she'd also eat things that weren't food. One day I came home to find that she's been ill and there was something unusual there. I thought it was a pork chop bone or something like that but it turned out she'd swallowed the wooden doorstep whole. There were no tooth marks on it at all so it was obvious she'd somehow managed to swallow it.
As she got older I was the one who usually cleaned up after her accidents. I didn't mind because I knew it wasn't her fault. Then her back hips went because of her arthritis and it got to the point where we'd have to carry her around sometimes. She wasn't a light dog so it was always difficult if you were alone with her. She used to play it up with me because she knew I'd always help her up. In some ways she was just lazy. She also got deaf but she could always hear the opening of a crisp packet or someone biting into an apple, even if she was outside. It was magic.
I miss her now and I know there will never be another dog like her. Some days she comes back - I've heard her walking around the house, usually at three o'clock in the morning, which was the normal time for her night wanderings. I know that wherever she is she's with Grandad but that doesn't alway help because I want her to be here with me.
Why is it I want so much that I can’t actually have?
First: I want James with me permanently. I blame the damn recession for the fact I can’t. If we could have both got jobs through the last year, as was the plan, we’d have probably already been living together. It’s depressing. We always seem better off when we’re living together – which means we don’t argue as much about pointless crap and I get to have lots of cuddles.
Second: I want the chance to spend time with a sober Mum without the evil him being around. I’m so fed up of her opening a bottle of wine the minute she gets home from work and spending the whole evening/night in the lounge with him. It would be nice to have a chat with her without her getting argumentative when I say something she doesn’t like, like last night.
Third: I want to finish the novels I’m writing. I know I’m capable of it when I put my mind to it… I can write 10,000 words a day if I put my mind to it. It just seems like something always gets in the way. One morning I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept for a week, then the next day James is over, and then the next I feel like absolute crap. Normally that’s a headache and it’s not a good idea to stare at a computer screen with a headache. It usually turns into a migraine. I blame the summer – bring on the autumn and the return of my brain, my sleeping pattern, and colder weather which will mean no more headaches.
Fourth: I want to get lots of books and decks of tarot cards I can’t afford right now. I am hoping for money (anyone fancy giving me £200) for my birthday so I can get the things I want. It makes me feel like a total hypocrite though. I complain that the world is too materialistic and then all I want to do is buy stuff that I don’t really have any space for.
Fifth: I want the chance to do what I want when I want. This is also connected to moving out and being with James. For the last ten years (almost) of studying I haven’t been able to do as much as I want to, which includes meditation and spells, so my dream is to have a house where I can be myself. If I want to do a spell then I can, without worrying about someone walking in or someone slamming a door and making me jump at a bad time. It’s happened so many times when I’ve had a deck of tarot cards in my hand that I don’t dare do anything else. I’d probably end up setting fire to the house or sprinkling herbs everywhere.
Damn it all. Why is it that things haven’t worked out the way I wanted them to? If it had anything to do with me I’d have moved out by now (I had planned to be out of this evil house by 18… then I met James and things happened that neither of us expected); I’d be published as of last year; and being published would mean that I could buy what I want.