30 stories, 30 days

Day 29, story twenty-nine: The Error of Eloise

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Day 29

The Error of Eloise

Dear Mum,

Thank you again for your help paying for Hayley’s house; she absolutely loves it. It was just getting too much having her in our house all the time. Gill still visits every day, but out in her own space she is quite self-sufficient. However, it is getting harder for us to communicate with her. Sam and I went out the back to her house last night to talk to her, but she was in the middle of one of her episodes. She was running from room to room, waving her arms and laughing. She seemed absolutely delighted about something, about whatever fantasy world she was in. Sam and I managed to feature as minor characters for a little while and we asked if she was happy (yes), if she likes her house (yes), if she wants to get married or get a job. She was uninterested in the last two questions and turned away from us, talking to something she called ‘the fizzing light’ that she followed around the room.

Her episodes are getting stronger and lasting longer, but Gill is helping a lot. He convinced us to take her off all of that medication, at least for a while. We weren’t sure to start with; it kept her calm and docile. But she seems much happier now that she’s off it, and she isn’t violent or dangerous to herself or anyone else. In fact, for days she seems perfectly normal. But then she’ll have an episode and think she can talk to clouds and that animals have souls. I honestly don’t know what to do about her. I just hope that Gill stays with us for the next few years; he seems to understand her in a way that no other nurse has. He talks to her as though she is not sick, he listens to all of her stories, asks her questions about her fantasies, makes sure she eats and drinks enough, helps her keep the house clean. I don’t know what we’d do without him.

Sam and I are struggling to stay together, as I said when you last called. If it weren’t for Hayley and trying to maintain her stability I think we would have left each other years ago. All we do is fight, about money, about the house, about Hayley, about our jobs. There is nothing but greyness in every direction; all that keeps us going is that we don’t know how to stop. I suppose, in some small way, it is a blessing that Hayley is the way she is. We wouldn’t know how to go on if she was a normal teenager.

Love to dad, I’ll call you about the Easter picnic.

Eloise X

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