My daughter went to uni yesterday for the first time.

I generally don’t think ( as in I make myself not think ) about things I can’t do. Well I’d be thinking of nothing else all day, wouldn’t I .. which is how it used to be, for several years.

But sometimes I can’t help myself. It’s a dad’s job to drive his child to Uni, and carry her stuff in for her. Isn’t it? All dads do that. It’s just how it is. Except I can’t.

Also of course throw into the mix that since separation in 2017, my ex wife’s tactic has been one of ‘ your father doesn’t exist, and you don’t need him ‘ which puts me on the sidelines of anything and everything to do with my kids, which obviously (added to being paralysed ) is something that’s unnecessary.

I’m dating a lovely lady at the moment. Her husband died suddenly and unexpectedly at 40, in his prime. The 2 small children were left without their dad, and will forever have a ‘ dad shaped hole ‘ in their lives. That’s because he’s dead. She’d do ANYTHING, anything at all, to fill that hole, one that’s only fillable with the same dad, not a replacement fella. In the funeral, the church packed to the rafters, his coffin was taken down the aisle, in COMPLETE silence.. except that is for the sounds of a small boy uncontrollably weeping for his father, shouting again and again and again ‘ Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ as a whole church-full of adult eyes streamed in response.

She can’t understand how, given I’m not dead, a mother can wilfully ‘ deprive’ her children of their dad’s existence. I don’t understand it either, and for sure it’s certainly impacts/ is going to always impact the mental health of my own children, now and as they get older, and particularly if something happens to me that means I’m actually gone. Well let’s face it, I’m not exactly lucky and I’ve used up 8 of my 9 chances now.
I don’t think I’d pack a church, but there’d be one/ two young females for whom it would almost certainly be a cataclysmic occurrence, from which they wouldn’t ever completely recover, not inside their minds. And of course the inevitable resentment of their mother would prove devastating for her too, longer term…something that doesn’t seem to occur to her. That’s what happens when in your head you can do no wrong… it gets disproved in a very big way at some point.

Paralysis means you can’t just ‘ do things anyway’ inserting yourself into situations that you ought be present at anyway.

Separately… and because of Corona and the winter coming… the mental health of the nation is certainly about to take a further dip. A lot of people don’t have the resilience to cope with what is to come, just ( partial ) deprivation of what they normally have..
For me, and peeps like me, deprivation of choices is how it always is and will be. We have to ‘ cope’ 24/7, and we have no choice. The loss of normalcy will hit lots of normal people very hard, now that the weather will halt outside activities and gatherings, further reducing options. Not everyone will compensate by spending ( even ) more time in a kayak on a cold river ( which is how I’d have played it, for sure ).
The Rules will be broken more and more, and more people will get ill. Lots will have ‘ long corona ‘ and lots of elderly/ unhealthy already, will die. Of that I’m sure. As it’s very much ‘ in vogue almost’ and described by Malcolm Gladwell as an epidemic, for young men to commit suicide, that’s bound to increase in the coming months.
Odd isn’t it, that as society ( here in Britain at least ) has probably never been ‘ better off’ health wise, that depression has never been felt by so many? I mean there have been far far darker times than now, for example the two World Wars. For young men however, that gave them a strong sense of purpose, going out to fight for something, having a raison d’être. Without purpose, and being able to ‘prove manliness’, seemingly often by the option of violence ( in the act of War, for example) males evidently do question themselves. Deprived of physical endeavour and purpose, they get the urge to inflict the violence upon themselves instead. A friend of a friend had only last week a massive ( and fatal ) heart attack, having lost her 21 year old son to unexpected and sudden suicide.

Count your blessings then, and appreciate how much worse it COULD be. You could be paralysed, or have a crippling illness/ have lost your kid(s)/ your partner to sudden death/ your mum or dad as a child/ any number of cataclysmic events, none of which are actually that rare. Tragedy is sadly an everyday event, happening to many people every moment of every day.
We all have to find, and concentrate on, what’s good in our lives, and sometimes just stare at it until we feel better.

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