So much has happened since my last post for BCP. Each occurrence leaving me more dazed than its predecessor. I wonder if it’s a result of the anti-depressant medication I’m taking, or if the new normal has numbed my spirit into feeling zero.
Sadly, I can no longer afford to see my psychiatrist as I can no longer afford medical aid, another gift courtesy of living in a world where the prices of staple foods and other necessities continue to rise on a weekly basis, while incomes are either halved or lost entirely.
First it was my aunt, Cathy’s death. Never in my life did I ever think there would be a time when I would have to RSVP to attend a memorial service, but this is the reality of living in a world that is being ravaged by a pandemic. What’s worse is that the death was not COVID-19 related; it was cancer.
Restrictions in South Africa disallow for memorial services and/or funerals to have more than 50 attendees, who, at all times must be masked up, socially distanced and sanitized. It makes things somewhat difficult for the preacher who must raise their voice in order to get the message to those right at the back of the room, and for them to hear him clearly. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to say, “I beg your pardon” when someone speaks to me with their mask on. Her death was expected, yet as sad as I was about her passing, I couldn’t cry. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. My heart broke for my mom – Cathy was her favourite sibling. Instead of feeling the grief, it’s as if I floated above it. Part of me feels guilty about it, but I can’t help feeling disorientated.
A few days later, I got a message from someone I am admittedly still in love with, even though we haven’t seen each other in two years since he broke my heart, which sent me into a depressive spiral I’m still dealing with. I got engaged today, it read – along with a photo of him and her at a spot I know well. I’d rather you heard it from me than someone else. My stomach dropped, but I managed to write Congratulations, which I shortly followed with a tirade of how I can’t go through the trauma again. I feel an uneasiness within my spirit, but it’s nothing close to anger and resentment, which would be healthy given the situation. If I felt these things, I could deal with them. Instead now, I find myself shrugging my shoulders with a shit-happens attitude, knowing full well that if life returns to the way it was pre-Coronavirus, this situation is likely to come back and haunt me.
Not remotely as traumatic as a death in the family or being replaced, the washing machine in my flat broke. Under normal circumstances I would be livid about having to mop up the mess after 20h30. For a fleeting moment I did drop the F-bomb, but it was more in resignation rather than anger. I reported it to my landlord who had it replaced two days later.
The last thing to happen is that someone rear-ended my car while I was stationary at the traffic light. This the day after the washing machine broke. The young lad said his foot slipped off the brake, but truth be told, he was texting. The damage is in the region of £900. Fortunately, his insurance will cover all the damages as it was his fault. Had this happened last year, I would likely have got out and given him an earful, and a kick on the shins. Now, in the new normal, I didn’t raise my voice; I was just thankful that I hadn’t been hurt and that he was insured, because, like my medical aid, car insurance is a luxury for which I have no disposable income.
Who knows what my state of mind will be when I write my next BCP piece – will I feel a little sprightlier, or even more numb than I feel right now? Time will tell…
Priscilla is a regular 40-something South African with extensive qualifications in Import and Export management and is currently employed as a Marketing Assistant for the largest producer of ostrich leather in the world. She also possesses certification in the fields of proofreading and copy-editing. Her biggest aspiration is to one day travel far and wide and share her stories.
All photos contained within this blog are Priscilla’s own, unless otherwise specified, and may not be used without prior permission.
If you would like to write for us please get in touch.