As things change, so they remain the same…

by Pseud O'Nym

I get that life is all about change. About adapting, or renewing, or incorporating new things into one’s life. But equally, change can also highlight the very absence of the need for one to do these things. The rather unpleasant realization that while others are moving on with their lives, making and then realizing plans, you on the other hand are doing….nothing of the sort.

Next Wednesday is my support worker, Matthew’s last day with me. I know and understand his reasons for doing so, Darwin knows, he’s constantly mentioned his wife’s business ever since I met him. I can see – well sort of, what with my Bells Palsy – why it’s the right decision for him. He needs to make this investment in his future now. He can help his wife’s fledgling business achieve greater heights by drastically reducing his work as a support worker and instead support her. I get that. One would have to be as thick as a whale omelette not to.

But in him making a bold decision, one that he’ll hopefully succeed in by his own efforts, his own ingenuity and skills, it necessarily brings home to me the harsh reality of my own too real reality. Plans are only as viable as one’s ability to bring them to fruition. My tree is dead, my ingenuity exists only in the cerebral, not the practical realm. By that I mean I abound with great ideas, but I’ve no way of making them happen – nothing to do with finance so much as doing things myself. Burning the midnight oil by tinkering and refining an idea into something is something of a challenge with a lack of fine motor skills and a shared house. Maybe not impossible, but not an inspiring prospect either.

Speaking of uninspiring prospects leads me onto Matthew’s potential replacement. I say potential, because as Dylan Moran has it, potential is best left alone, it’s potential. Why be disappointed by the reality of it, when as potential it can be wonderful. Same thing with my potential support worker, whom I met for the first and last time a few days ago. All I had to go on was her profile, and on paper she wrote herself up as a potential. But proving not for the last time, that expectation is better than realisation, she was like one of those online dating horror stories, where one thinks, ’Really?” It wasn’t that she’d lied so much as, as the song has it, applied ‘Accentuate the positive / Eliminate the negative.” to her profile.

Mind you, she was a bastion of truth compared to one profile I saw from someone who claimed, and I quote, “Philosophy wise, I have chosen to live each day as if I could more from the day before.” Apart from his philosophy needing some additional words, it’s also a well chosen opening gambit, one that’ll endear him to people, who by dint of the fact they are reading it in the first place, will have had their life circumstances drastically altered, and not for the better either. He then gets into his stride when he writes, “My caring experience began in Primary school. From the age of 8, I supported a 7 year old male with Cerebral Palsy until I finished in grade 6.” So not so much a carer, as a childhood pal then.

Now for the good bit, and do bear in mind as you’re reading this, this profile was written by a man. Ready? “In high school I then supported a girl who had brittle bone disease, whereby myself (sic) appointment (sic) was to assist her with some personal care, assisting with pushing her in her wheelchair around the school campus and if need be, any other requests. This occurred for three years.” Less charitable souls than me might well speculate on what happened after three years, but those less charitable souls would be well advised to have uppermost in their minds as they did so, the laws of libel and defamation.

Anyway, the potential support worker, the one I met, was as much use to me as a eunuch at an orgy. In the course of Matthew telling her what I’m like, he said, ‘Oh he gets on well with everyone.’ Only by circumstance. Not through choice. One of the recurring themes of this blog has been – and will be – the subjugation of my true nature in pursuit of a more immediate goal. In other words, the gulf between what I think and what I say. Matthew then added that he and I had become friends. My psychologist used to say that about all my support workers, that I should see them as friends, and not as I do, people who’re paid to be with me and are only with me for the duration of their shift. I’ve had countless support workers since my accident and only one has ever just popped round. So friends? I don’t think so.

Which brings me on to Mr. Punch, a thankfully temporary support worker so irritatingly cheerful, I just want to punch his lights out. He’s agreeably cheerful, by which I mean he agrees with everything you say in such a nauseatingly cheerful way. So much so that I’m almost tempted to say something overtly racist or homophobic just to see what he’d say.

I started off this post on a glum note, managed to rise above it by writing about it but reading it back to edit it has bought me back down. However, not wishing to end on a sour note, check out Be My Eyes and if you’ve got a smart ‘phone do something really smart with it. Once you’ve downloaded the app, thanks to video chat wizardry, you can receive requests from the visually impaired, anything from checking the expiry date on jars of food well anything.