The word that keeps coming up for me since the operation is “released”. I’ve been released from something.
The doctors have all been of the belief that the tumour had been present in my urachus for several years. Of course, nobody can put an actual timescale on its growth but my sense is that it’s been there since 2010. I named the tumour D****, after the social worker from 2010 and part of the release is that I feel a huge part of her legacy from that awful experience has now been exorcised.
Yesterday I had the staples removed and last night I was able to have my first bath in a fortnight. I laid there for ages with a flannel gently massaging the scar and a whole kaleidoscope of memories swirled around the bubbles.
I remembered all the times in 2010 I had to be completely inauthentic in order to survive the wrath of the LA. I recalled having to dilute myself in meetings to try and guarantee Steven’s safety. I recalled having to present a tiny, miniscule version of myself because anything larger was far too threatening. And then there were the odd occasions when I was totally authentic and how dire the consequences were for Steven. There were two occasions in meetings when I spontaneously laughed at the ridiculousness of what I was hearing and realising instantly from the reactions that I had just knifed them through the heart. Then there was the time I launched into a long speech about the several ways they were breaking the law but immediately saw that I was making a huge mistake in making such a huge, articulate challenge. The price that both Steven and I paid for my congruence was dire.
I dabbed myself dry after the bath and realised under the scar feels very different. There is a hole. A space that had been filled by the tumour of inauthenticity. I’ve been released of it and I’m buggared if I’m going to let it grow back.
I haven’t taken leave of my senses. I’ve still got to deal with the LA in the future and know that truth is very problematic for them. Tactics are necessary for survival and to prevent revenge attacks and it will be appropriate to present a Neary lite version of me at times. My mission now is to work out how to do that without turning myself into a character from Lilliput. The good news is that I don’t have to deal with the 2010 gang anymore so there is less chance of old stuff being reactivated.
The other question I’ve asked myself is how much I’ve been feeding the tumour. Obviously there has been painful shit to work through and some of the scars will never go completely. I still yearn for five minutes in a room with Whistler’s Mother, especially if that room is a conservatory and I have a candlestick in my hand. She tried to destroy my beautiful, trusting son and revenge is never too far away. But is that feeding the cancer?
At the moment, I can’t imagine ever telling the Get Steven Home story publicly again. It feels like that motivation came out during the operation too. And let’s face it, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are shortly going to be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards, so it’s an irrelevant story anyway. As all relevant stories should, we’ve become a museum piece and that’s fine with me. I’ve got this large internal space where the urachus and the tumour once homed and that space is mirrored externally – what do I write and talk about now?
My apologies if this all reads as self indulgent bollocks. That’s my point. I’ve come to see myself as a writer and a speaker and I no longer have a clue what to write or speak about. Please bear with me whilst I experiment in filling the new space.
I still keep wrestling with the idea of writing a very black comedy. It would take the Committee Room Five stories into an area that would shock even Deidre Trussell. I fancy writing a fiction based on all those fascinating stories I uncovered whilst researching my family tree. I speculate whether I could ever carry off a stand up routine. Is the world ready for some Squatty poetry? Or do I carry on writing about the stuff I’ve always written about. Writing this blog has never felt like a component of the tumour.
The answer, I guess, has been the mantra of the past six months – who the fuck knows where this is heading so just experience the ride.