This evening, I exist in a state of extreme mortification. I have done something which has upset and worried someone I love and admire. What is even worse is that the kind person has been really gentle about it, when shouting and swearing should have been the order of the day. Worse than that, the thing was completely avoidable and happened because I was careless, thoughtless and lazy. That’s a revolting combination.
It’s all very well, doing the apologising, taking responsibility and promising it won’t happen again, but it should never have happened in the first place.
As I walked down to give the mares their supper, I pondered what to do next. Endless self-laceration is not helpful, although I do deserve a damn good bit of laceration. Making a good plan and making amends is the best thing, if I can pull myself out of the defensive crouch of the truly crap.
And then it dawned on me, in a rather shocking moment of revelation, that ever since my mother died I have been a little bit crap. My father’s death threw me off my stride for about a year and then I got back into the swing of things and started to behave again like a human being. But ever since my mum went, I have been absolutely hopeless. I’m always having to apologise to people because I have not returned an email or replied to a letter or because I’ve done something idiotic and stupid like the thing tonight. I can’t bring any semblance of order to my office, my work teeters on the edge of complete disaster, I forget to return telephone calls. I am, in fact, really, really annoying. If I had to deal with me I would be in a constant state of mild exasperation.
I kept thinking it was the menopause. I’ve never blamed hormones for anything in my life but people do say it is a thing. I thought perhaps it was because there were quite a lot of blows after the death, one damn thing after another, some of which are entirely insoluble and must simply be lived with. I thought perhaps it was worry about my sweet little bay mare who was sick and might not have survived. Every month I had to face the fact I might have to put her down. (She is much better now and we have hope.) I wondered if it was just a second phase of life thing. I even wondered whether it was because there was so much madness in the news, what with the Trumpsters and the Brexiteers, and every time I listened to the Today programme I thought we were all doomed.
Now I wonder. Is it a grief thing? Is this what happens? If you have two dead parents in five years do you just go a little bit crap for a while? I’m rather hoping that is the case, or I’m in terrible trouble. I like reasons for things. If a mind scrambled by loss takes a while to cohere again then I can get to work. If not, I’m going to have to change my entire personality and start again.