“You need to leave.” Said the masked man.
“Why?” Asked the mother, with two small children.
“Coronavirus.” He said.
I watched while the family left the park and the man locked up.
Opposite the park are flats, full of everyone, families, singletons, couples, pensioners, disabled, with no outside space. As I relish getting vitamin d, sat on my pretty patio, I tried to think what it might be like to be stuck in those flats. It didn’t take me long and I remembered exactly what it is was like for me back then.
28 years ago I was living in a one-bed council flat in a far more run-down kind of a block in Bermondsey. I’d had an MS attack which meant I had to leave my beloved job as a Samaritan youth outreach worker and my job counselling women at Marie Stopes women’s clinics.
I was alone in my flat with neighbours who were drug dealers and had parties with loud music which meant I couldn’t sleep normal hours. I eventually got a social worker who sorted out my benefits (this was so much easier, back in the day). Friends bought me food and helped out when possible. No social media, no disabled community. I felt alone and afraid.
After a few weeks, with the help of NHS crutches, I was able to get down the flight of stairs, haul myself into a taxi and see my private therapist, who had reduced her fees to suit my reduced income. It was many months before I was able to take part in ‘normal’ activities and resume my work as a counsellor. I knew, even back then, how lucky I was to have found a career in this profession. So long as I could listen, I would be ok.
Right now, we are all in unique situations, mine as mental as everybody else’s. I am spending more time than ever on social media, or just sitting, because sorting out everything in one go feels momentous, and as everything changes by the hour, there’s no point in doing too much. (i.e. I began writing this blog a few days ago, then all I had written became insignificant).
Back 28 years ago, when I was in the cab to my therapist I became elated that the sun was out. I will never forget that moment. I was out, and the sun was out too. ‘The sun had got his hat on’. We may not be able to ‘come out to play’ in the same way, but our internal ‘play’ will come out in ways we would never expect as the sky becomes bluer. As an insomniac, I relish bird song over planes. I am an expert at social isolation. I look forward to allowing my readers into my world over the coming weeks, with or without Tesco delivery man … watch out the Bentley is about..
Here is a Facebook post I wrote last week, it got 16 shares which suggests it was useful, funny or interesting. I hope you enjoy. My Tesco delivery man did turn up in the end, that story is for another time …..
Psychotherapist by day /Comedian by night ‘Liz Bentley’ helps explain the toilet roll hoarding situation…
Forget sex and death, let’s get back to Freud’s Anal stage of instinct theory, infantile ego development (look it up).
So, my theory, with a bit of Freud’s help, suggests that the ‘hoarders’ are terrified of being isolated with their own shit, nothing and /or no one to project onto. The fear of not being able to wipe it away (ie that old saying ‘brushing it under the carpet’) exceeds any reasonable thinking or thought for others, like any hoarder (and indeed narcissistic), all is based around fear , underlying fear are complex emotions, usually from deep rooted childhood trauma, that many, man, many of us struggle to access…..
but like an ego , there is a hoarder in us all , part of our survival …
If you see a hoarder, keep clear, but access your empathy, we can use a watering can on our bits , they are repressing a lot and this could well end up in constipation, then come the laxatives, then come the pain killers, then we have a compromised immune system, then death …. be kind to the toilet roll hoarders and holders (who may be bereft of their rolls ) ….Now is the time to look at our shit, big time ….