annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



I wasn't going to write about this, because fuck it and fuck her, I'm an adult, but a year later it still stings and makes me feel I'm a stupid pushover, so bollocks to maturity - this hurt me deeply and it still does.

I've been blogging since 2005, on diaryland mostly, where I met loads of good people, some of whom invited me to visit them inthe US about ten years ago. We only met in person for the first time when I arrived to stay in their houses and I was thrilled to discover that I liked them all in person just as much as I did online. My greatest pleasure would be to offer hospitality in return - this I have done to different bloggers, with ensuing joy, but to only one of those I visited, which was last autumn.

When she first messaged me, telling me she'd come into some money and wanted to spend it on a visit to the UK and to me specifically, I was thrilled and immediately started planning the best holiday ever for a person who'd not left the US before. I tried to fit in a trip to Paris on the Eurostar - she needed to see Paris and to experience being in a world where she didn't speak the language - oh I had loads of ideas - I asked for a list of dreams and set about planning how to fulfill as many as possible.

Then Elder Daughter became ill. And more ill. We went to the hospice for her end of life care. I contacted the blogger and said, sorry, but I wouldn't be able to host her visit - maybe another time, next year or something. I can't remember exactly.

ED pulled through, then went down with septicemia again, still untreated for good reasons I won't go into again here, then pulled through again. This was spread over several months. We were obviously relieved and delighted to still have our ED but we were broken, all of us, as she had come so fucking close to the end, right down to intermittent breathing - watching to see if there would be another breath or if that was the last. Awful, the absolute worst days of my entire life. My darling, beloved daughter.

We emerged from this and I remembered - I don't want to give her real name but can't think of a pseudonym - Her, I'll say, just Her. I hadn't heard back and she would have been due soon. I contacted her again, asking what she'd done about the plane tickets. She said she hadn't changed them because she knew ED wouldn't die and she still wanted to come, first time abroad, trip of a lifetime etc. I couldn't do it, play hostess. I had not an ounce of joy in me, I just wanted to curl up and heal and be on my own, or with my children.

But she wasn't having it, and laid such a fucking guilt trip on me about how she'd always had to give up everything, nothing ever came her way, on and on - I didn't even read it all, I just gave in, like the stupid twat I am, and with a fair amount of moaning about having to pay a supplement, she changed her tickets to September, last year.

I should have known that she was going to be tricky from her inability to see that nearly losing your daughter, over a period of months, and then having her alive but still unable to talk or move, is deeply fucking traumatic and does not leave you in party mood.

On her blog she wrote about having bad kidney stones (same as ED), which left her either in agony or taking painkillers which zonked her right out - what? I wrote and asked her how she was going to manage travelling but she dismissed my concerns. I knew there had to be a lie there somewhere - either the blog or the email, but I was too exhausted to pursue it and thought she had to be well enough to travel or she wouldn't have insisted.

By the time I collected her from Gatwick I was dreading it but trying to tell myself that usually the things you dread turn out to be OK - one of our mutual friends reassured me, She's fine, it will be great.

It wasn't. Another mutual friend in the US was having treatment for cancer, serious cancer. She had decided to write about it on facebook, with photos, as the reality was so different to what she'd been led to expect. I loved this woman but was far away and virtually broke, so I decided to send her a photo of something beautiful each day, to let her know she hadn't been forgotten. This made Herself really angry. Each time I saw something and said - oh that will make a perfect picture to send, she launched into some kind of vile outburst. To start with it was just saying nasty, really cruel, contemptuous things about our mutual friends, things I won't repeat here, though they are burned into my mind, then she started developing stories about her own health.

The one that was the final tipping point for me was when she said her husband had lost his job and with it their health insurance (probably true). She was critically ill and would die without treatment, which they now would not be able to afford as he had spent all their savings on a classic car, thereby "signing her death warrant".  She may have said, "Sentencing me to death," it was one of those phrases, big and ominous and intentional. She wouldn't make it to Christmas.  I was horrified and kept trying to come up with ways she could fund treatment - she had frequently mentioned that her family were millionaires, but they were estranged. I suggested this might be a time to reach out, but she wasn't having that. She said she would literally rather die.

So I went to bed that night very upset - until I had a bit of a think about it all. Was she really ill? Kidney stones are notoriously painful, but she didn't ever wince or show signs of discomfort like others I'd known with stones. A couple of times I'd been with her for eight hours or so at a stretch and she'd taken no pain killers. Also, would her husband really do that - choose a car over her life? Previously she had written about having MS, but when I'd stayed with her, she had asked me to not bring it up in front of her husband as he loved her so much it upset him too much so she'd agreed not to mention it. Obviously, this is a pretty bizarre form of love, but it is one I have encountered before. Another mutual friend who has since died had a husband who demanded that she support him because "she didn't know what it was like, losing your wife to cancer." And what about her MS? There's been no mention of that at all. I asked her about it the next morning. "Oh, it's in remission," she said, dismissively, as if that wasn't a topic for discussion. But really? MS in remission? That's news, that's a big fucking deal, isn't it?

After that I just wanted her to go home. There was more unpleasantness - she manages to tell you how nice and kind she is on the hour every hour, while having nothing pleasant to say about anyone. I wrote a list, of ten things she did, each one of which would cause me to walk away from a person who carried on like that. I was beside myself having her in my house. She's obviously what my mum would have called not right in the head and deserving of some sympathy and kindness from someone, but she's not getting any more from me.

I am also not right in the head - it's entirely possible that I overreacted, or got it all wrong, but it felt like cruelty to have so much death and serious illness in my own life (the friend with cancer and my brother both died soon after all this, as was clearly going to be the case at the time) and to be cooped up with someone who was playing games with me about death and illness. No respect for my feelings at all.

After I dropped her back off at the airport I cried and cried and cried, curled up in my car. This has been massive for me and I don't even really know why exactly. Some of it is about not following through on my judgement - when she wouldn't not come I should have put my foot down - I said I wasn't well enough for a visitor and I wasn't. Maybe I would have been with someone less ... like her.

As soon as I got back I uploaded all my photos of the visit to her page, cos fuck it, it was her trip to the UK and we had ticked loads of things off her wish list, then I unfriended her. I sent her a DM saying I was done, that I felt really upset and not to bother replying because I wouldn't read it. She did reply and I didn't read it. I'm done, proper done.

I do still find it hard when I see comments from her on mutual friends' posts, people she said terrible things about, calling them sweetie, saying she loves them. I've resisted telling them anything as it makes me feel like a Year 8 girl having a spat with her mates and for fuck's sake, I'm in my sixties. It's too crap to be playing "I said, she said" - I alluded to it obliquely it to the one person I felt most likely to see her In Real Life and she wasn't having any of it. Herself is a good person, trustworthy and safe. OK. Your choice. She left me feeling abused and manipulated and now it's all being reposted on 'On This Day' on facebook it's doing my head in again.

But now I'm done, bored with it. I don't expect anyone has read to the bottom, but if you have, thank you for your patience. I hope normal service will resume soon. Tomorrow my darling Younger Daughter is moving along the coast, back to the city. I am on duty for taking shit to the tip, probably an all day event.

I am grateful for: being me, not Her; having lovely daughters and a son who light up my life; a good chicken pie for dinner made by Bloke; furry slippers; getting all this off my chest - hope it can now sink into the recesses of my memory and fucking stay there.

12:06 a.m. - 25.09.18


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