Before Covid my man and I worked together all over the UK. Our home was a beloved bolt-hole where we recharged our batteries before going back to our job.
The first lockdown trapped us in a city, so we were determined not to be caught out by the second one in2021. We made sure we were already in our own place when the restrictions were enforced. However, we found ourselves in an impossible situation. Our wonderful home, which we adored, had developed toxic mold. Because of the nature of our work, we had never needed to be there for more than a few weeks at a time. The mold had literally crept up on us. It was a very painful experience for many reasons. Mentally and physically. So much so, that I have chosen to write about it here in an abstract manner.
My Story — My Space
I had a space. Paradise. I lived in that space. Loved in that space and loved that space.
Then in a few short months it turned on me, outside and in, clawed at my body and soul. Destroying my spirit and eating away my insides. Scarring my skin and my self esteem. This all sounds far fetched but it happened — not long ago.
My space was natural and bright. Wooded and green. About a hundred meters from the backdoor a river roared as it went on its way.
Before my space showed it’s forked tongue the virus had imprisoned me in another place where I pined for my woodland paradise. Instead, I was cooped up in a tiny urban square, feeling I didn’t belong and wasn’t wanted. I searched for the others but they didn’t reply. And all the while I longed to see green rather than grey. Finally, happy was the day when I returned and embraced my woodland home.
When lockdown two arrived, I dug my heels into the mud and refused to budge from my personal heaven — even though I was ordered to stay inside, except for one walk a day after dusk. But as I sat my ground, watching the birds swoop from branch to post, the arborists came and cut down the trees. Right in front of my eyes. Massive kings that had welcomed the spring for centuries. As if they were worthless, but of course they were not. So the men chopped them into logs and sold them for firewood. My soul screamed inside. Totally scarred by the indignity and unnecessary rape of the land. And while the injustice outside tore at my sensibility, inside became physically toxic and began to attack my health.
I could see things were not right. But the memories and expectations of my space would not let me give up. So, my nails tore into my tingling, itching skin and I fed the birds on the decking — as they stayed even though the trees were gone.
But there is only so much that a being can stand. But stand it you can, until shown something else you knew before — life without the hardship or having to swim in the toxic soil.
That’s when the flag was raised and I was told enough is enough. No matter how I protested he said, “no more — it’s making us sick!”
The space I loved… Turned in on itself so there wasn’t clarity within for me to enjoy. Only poisonous air where once love had been. So I left it behind in search of another space, one to help me mend, where the air would be clear and the trees and I could breath.
I never thought I’d find one but good fortune was on my side. Karma if you will. And now each day, as I hear the waves crash on the shore, I praise the universe for creating other spaces that heal and do not harm.
Plus, the knowledge that there is more than one space for man — or a woman like me.
Toxic mold or black mold is a fungus. It can grow in your home in dark, damp places that perhaps you don’t even realise exist until too late. That is exactly what happened in my home. Not everyone is badly affected by mold spores. However, some people may be more sensitive to them than others, such as those with allergies or long term eczema sufferers (me). People who are susceptible to the fungus can then develop respiratory symptoms, and other problems, after inhaling just a small number of spores.
Fungal spores are ubiquitous in indoor environments, and the growth of mould in buildings can often lead to negative health effects such as skin rashes, headaches, dizziness and chronic fatigue of the occupants.
Once mold damage has occurred to walls, furniture or clothes it is very difficult to reverse. Some use bleach which only masks the stain. Concoctions of white vinegar, lemon juice and grapefruit seed extract are better at killing the spores.
Thankfully, my story has a happy ending. Even though we had to move and dispose of a lot of personal effects, we have now found a happy space, and
after hardship life in general tastes sweeter.
Find out other information about black mold here — if you really want to…
This story first appeared on my Medium profile last year.
Header Image copyright – May More