In droplets of hot pink pustules, the psoriasis returns with her pal the red itchy flaky eczema and I know I shouldn’t moan, I was taught early in childhood that you offered these physical ailments up for your sins.
And so The Hail Mary in Irish trips around my head, because that is still my default setting. ‘S’e do breatha, a Mhuire ata lan de grasta, ta an Tiarna leat…’ Illness, aches, pains, cuts, bruises were all met with the same response from my Mother, who had experienced much worse than any other Earthling and could offer ne’er a drop of compassion to her eldest.
As a child I wondered what my sin was. Today, I wonder what my sin is.
In this instance, it appears to be my shed door, or my attitude towards it.
Last week I was attacked and accosted SIX times by three different people, in relation to my shed door.
I was sitting here, in this spot, in this chair, enjoying the sun of a bank holiday weekend when a man I had never seen before walked past and as he did, he slammed shut the shed door.
It took me a second to comprehend. But yes, he really did do that. I got up and went to the door and opened it again. I thought about going after him, but I was in pyjamas with tits hanging out, hair wilder than a bush and actually, I smelled bad too, so I sat back down again.
He came back. he marched back down the lane and he banged the shed door shut again. So, I heaved my huge smelly bed-head body out into the lane and beside the man.
“I want that door kept shut” he said. “My wife and I are going to rip it off its hinges and hit you over the back of the head with it. You are inconveniencing your neighbours*and you must be stopped.” (*neighbour= holiday home owner)
“That is my wood pile in there. I have no insulation in my home and am reliant on two wood burning stoves. I cannot afford to lose a ton of wood. It is drying. The Police, the Community warden, the fire brigade and the local community councillor have all inspected the shed door and they all agree it does not restrict anyone’s access. You will need to get a solicitor and take this matter up with my landlady. While you’re at it, please mention that we need insulation.”
He became incensed. I tried to film him on my phone but my fingers are too fat and clunky so I failed.
“You are in a dark place” he said “I feel sorry for you, you poor excuse for a human. You hate us all don’t you and you have a persecution complex so you are trying to be as mean as you can. You don’t need that wood, this is about your sad pathetic life.”
I walked away with heart pounding.
I hate bullies. I do my very best to keep away from Screamie Wimmin, malicious gossips and bullies. Yet, they keep coming. I have had six months of bullies and attacks by bullies. I have a fear and dread of intimidation, which stems from the manner in which my mother would speak to me. I have sought help for this many times but because I have no mental health problem (yes, you read that right, I am certifiably sane) I cannot access the NHS psychotherapy department and I cannot afford the treatment privately.
He came back two days later. I prayed the Hail Mary again. I stood up and approached him holding out my hand
“My name is Orla Broderick and I really do not like the manner in which you talk to me. The shed door is none of your business. Please leave it alone.”
“You have no control in your sad pathetic life and so you are trying to control your neighbours. You have no one and everyone hates you so this is your only way of gaining attention.”
If I follow his line of thinking, then I have to consider his accusations (and the accusations of the other assholes) are a construct for their own projections. Somehow, for some unknown reason these men (there are 4 in total who complain about the blue shed door) either want to control me or want to be controlled by me. Is this rape culture and the evil of todays porn industry spilling over into my quiet lane? Is this the end of patriarchy? Why do three grown men wish to influence the manner in which I live?
And then it occurred to me. I do control them. They have to slow down as they pass my house. They have to see me, my bulk, my tits hanging out, my garden a kids’ delight, my home a haven for the gentle – and it frightens them.
Missus Bossy Blackbird has taken control. She has built a nest in there, on the shelf. She sits on the door and refuses to allow any bird, cat or dog near her shed. She has attacked seagulls, drawn blood from the crow and dive bombed my cat.
I try not to scratch. But I cannot stop laughing.