No big secret to anyone who's read so much as a single post here, right?
But, in reality, I do need help, actual physical help. I was never the world's greatest housekeeper, but since getting sick that's gotten much worse. I used to have regular cleaning binges, and if someone was coming for a visit, I could do the twenty minute clean and have my house be halfway decent...you know, as long as no one checked my closets or looked under the couch cushions.
The sicker I've gotten, the worse the arthritis and the worse the fatigue has gotten, the more sporadic my cleaning binges have become. Most of the time my house looks like a giant picked it up and shook it. There's crap everywhere, and laundry...dear god, don't get me started on the laundry.
The midget is a good kid, but she's a kid, and unfortunately has inherited my innate messiness and laziness. She takes advantage of the fact that I'm too tired to stay on her and push her to clean up after herself. She also takes advantage of the fact that my memory is a sieve these days and if I ground her in the morning I rarely remember that by mid afternoon.
When the midget's dad shows up to pick her up he makes it clear he disapproves of my slovenly nature. Of course, he isn't sick and taking care of a kid full time 24 hours a day, and even my four days a month minus the kid have shrunk down just a few hours once a week because the exgirlfriend has finally hurt the midget to the point that she refuses to see her at all. Which presents difficulties because, after all, the exgirlfriend is still living in the midget's father's house...the one his parents own.
Yeah, my kid isn't able to go visit her dad at the house her grandparents own. Awesome.
So...my few hours without the midget are spent sleeping, or doing homework, trying to get caught up on the things that are hard to do when a child, even one as old as the midget, is around. So..my old habit of resting the entire first day she was gone, and housework or schoolwork on the second...that's out the window...you know...along with my sanity...and my hopes for ever seeing her bedroom floor.
I know I need to ask for help. Ask my cousins, my sisters...my mom. Any of them would be willing to put on gaiters and wade through my mess and help me clean it. But I CAN'T ASK FOR HELP. I don't know why. I only know that it's common amongst people who suffer from chronic illness. There are so many amorphic offers of help, but no concrete..."Let me do this." "I am willing to do this." And asking for help feel like such an imposition, to do the things I should be able to do, even if I never really liked doing it in the first place. And worse, it feels like it makes the illness more concrete, more real.
Which is, simply, ridiculous. But I excel at the ridiculous, don't I? It's my forte. Because, refusing to acknowledge it's effect on my life doesn't lessen the impact, it only compounds it, because I wait until hope comes in late, comes in after the mess has completely demoralized me.
My cousin, the one who I'm always helping with a paper, or childcare or organizing or sorting laundry...she finally made me a concrete offer to help me clean my living room and kitchen. I had her for an hour and the front of my house, the largest part of my home, is now clean...I am not embarrassed to have company, not afraid the midget's father is planning another called to Children's Services, rather than offering help himself.
I need help...and I need help asking for help...