unallersimple: (hectopus)
I wanted to write something more cheerful than my last post, because despite that mega dump of sad stuff I am feeling happy and grateful today.

Looking back at all the anniversaries of mum's death there have actually been a lot of fun moments. I feel very lucky and blessed to have such wonderful family members and friends who have either got in touch or spent the day with me over the years.

One of the highlights was when my friend Anna came to visit me in London. We had loads of fun with Amy, who helped organise the surprise.

Another was when my sister and I met up in Ely and had THE KETCHUP INCIDENT OF DOOM which I still laugh about.

And there's the time I took a walk in a nice park near my house.

Or on the day of the 2nd anniversary when my uni friends Yvette and Patrick went with me into town and we ate ice cream and played with the toys in Hawkin's Bazaar.

So many people have been awesome on the anniversary days. My friend Poppy has texted or sent a card every year for the past 12 years! My sister and I always call each other. Sometimes I speak to my Aunt. Yvette, Anna, Harriet, Amy, Bolton Laura, a work colleague who recently lost someone to suicide herself are all people who have been there for me too. Many others send their love online if I post about it. Once a co-teacher in Japan saw how upset I looked and bought me some chocolate milk from the vending machine. I was so moved by his gesture of kindness.

And debxena, who has stayed in touch with me and been there for me all this time. I want to meet her in person one day to give her a big hug and say thank you. Finding someone else online who had been through what I had been through, and being able to read their posts about bereavement helped save me. It didn't matter that she was on the other side of the world.

There's good memories to be made from even the saddest of days.

Tonight I'm going round to Chris' to watch Once Upon a Time again! : )
unallersimple: (hectopus)
TW: bereavement, depression, self harm, suicide, brief mentions of finding a body, and PTSD.


Today it has been 12 years since I came home from school and found my mum hanging in the garage.

The anniversary of a traumatic bereavement is never a good day, but it does of course get better with time. I remember how I used to sit and sob and shake for hours. I used to lie in bed drinking for days, and dread the day itself for weeks beforehand. Nightmares, flashbacks, losing time, bursting into tears whenever something triggered me (like hearing sirens from emergency service vehicles) were all some of the PTSD effects that stuck around for a long, long time.

Around 4-8 years it got a lot easier. I’d be ok, just down during January. And I could function on the day itself but would sneak off for secret cries in toilet cubicles or empty rooms if I was at work. (Except for the 6th year, which for some reason was just an absolute write off. I called in sick as I couldn’t do anything else except sit at home crying all day!)

The effect the day has on you is so weird because you know it’s just a day, and what difference does it make whether it’s 27th January or the 4th August? My mum is still dead either way. Yet exhaustion washes over you and your brain is filled some sad fog so you can’t think straight. You do things like forget what you were saying mid-sentence or keep pouring hot water into your mug until it overflows all over the kitchen counter.

These days I’m fine. I just feel a bit sad and a bit grumpy. I find I get irritated very easily, so if someone is faffing with change in front of me on the bus or something I get really angry when normally I wouldn’t care at all. It doesn’t help that the day falls in the middle of winter so the weather is always grey, cold, wet and miserable too. Boo.

It does feel kind of emotional to be here 12 years on, on the other side of the worst of it. As a teenager I used to read people’s stories on the Internet and find hope that they had made it that far and that their lives were ok. And now here I am. And my life is good and I’m really proud of myself for not just surviving but managing to live a really rich and wonderful life in spite of what happened. But I won’t ever forget what I went through or how awful it was for all of us. My heart breaks for that teenage girl who had drink problems and was depressed and self-harmed and felt suicidal with grief and couldn’t find any professional help or counselling no matter where she turned. The Internet keeps everything for ever. The posts I made crying for help are still out there, a brief Google search away. : (

I’ve been through so many milestones already. First birthday, first Christmas, first anniversary of death. Then 2 years, 3, 5, and 10. There have been all the bittersweet successes in life too, where I burst into tears upon passing my driving test or finding out I’ve gotten into university or getting my dream job because she wasn’t there to share it with me.

Grief never ends. It just changes shape. And in time you learn to live with it and it becomes so part of you, you don’t really notice it any more.

I know there will be many more milestones to come. In just a few years I will have lived without her longer than I lived with her and that’s so unfair. If I live to be 44, I will have outlived her. If I get married or have a child or buy a house I know those days will be tinged with sadness too. She should be here.

Why aren’t you, mum?

I’m now 28 and there have been times where I’ve felt depressed and suicidal, and there have been a grand total of 3 rounds of counselling, but I’m still here. Yay! My day to day life is fine. Normal. I don’t really think much about mum or what happened. And I still feel wibbly wobbly when emergency service vehicles whizz by but that’s about it.

My mum’s death, combined with other incidents that happened, meant that I didn’t trust anyone as a teenager. As an adult, that’s sadly still the case but I’m working on it.

I never believed it when anyone said they loved me or that they cared. I'm not quite sure why this has changed recently (I suspect Chris' love/emotional kick up the ass has something to do with it), but I can feel people’s love and care now. This is quite possibly one of the biggest breakthroughs I have had. I only wish it had happened earlier in life rather than at 28 but better late than never I suppose!

A parent’s suicide can put a lot of pressure on you and how you live the rest of your life. When they died young, you can feel like you have to have an amazing life to make up for it and have all the happiness they never did. If they killed themselves because they believed everyone would be better off without them, then you're not honouring that if you're unhappy or unsuccessful.

I find it hard when I move to a new place as it’s like coming out in a way. All the new people you meet don’t know what happened so ask innocent questions like “Doesn’t your mum worry when you go traveling?” or “What are you doing for Mother’s Day?” so you have to tell people over and over again.

12 years on, I’ve still never sat down and really, properly talked with anyone about what happened and how it felt.

That makes me sad.

However what makes me really sad and angry is that mental health care provision in this country hasn’t improved; it’s actually got worse as the government continues to cut funding. There will only be more deaths and suffering as a result and I can’t bear it. Why don't these men in power care?!

There is still so much stigma around mental health problems and suicide and being bereaved by suicide, which is why I always mention these things in conversation so much. It's also why I promoted my local bereavement by suicide support group on the BBC and spoke publicly about losing mum. Every little helps.

I miss my mum, but not that much because I struggle to remember her. Time is cruel like that. It takes your memories. I can’t remember what she looked like, only what photos of her look like. I can’t remember the sound of her voice. But I can remember her hugs and what her arms felt like around me. What I struggle with is the chance that was taken away from me to get to know her as a person and an adult rather than a parent. A chance for us to be friends and share our lives. I will always feel jealous of other people who have mums. I have missed having a mother’s love. There is an emptiness inside that will never be filled.

I used to be so angry at her for what she did, but I don’t feel angry any more.

I used to sit and search for answers. Why did she get depression? Why was she so ill? Why so ill on and off for so long (since I was 5)? Why kill herself on that day, instead of any other? Why didn’t I know when it was happened? Why couldn’t I have stopped it?

But the answer is we’ll never know. And sad things happen to good people sometimes just because. And depression is cruel and takes away the ones you love mentally and/or physically. And if someone is so ill they feel suicide is the only way out, and when you’ve reached a point where even treatment like ECT isn’t working, they’re going to kill themselves no matter what you do.

But I do still feel hurt that she never said goodbye. For months afterwards I used to search the house for a note because I couldn’t believe that she would kill herself without saying something to us. And I feel hurt that she didn’t stick a note on the door saying don’t come in just call the police (or something to that effect) so I didn’t have to be the one to find her. I could have lived without that mum! I used to see dead bodies hanging off things for years.

I still feel 16 years old inside. I still have this residual anger at ‘adults’ that’s hard to shift, even though I have been one of those ‘untrustworthy unhelpful adults’ for many years. I told so many grown-ups I was scared my mum would kill herself, only to be dismissed as being silly. I was outraged people like my ex-boss could get away with telling me it was for the best. Or how a teacher told me if I was going to be late to school, I might as well just not turn up at all. (How about supporting a phased return to education instead?!) The reporters who turned up at the inquest and wrote up mum’s death in the paper. The smug policeman who treated our home like it was his the night dad was taken away. People who constantly told me how I was coping with it so well, without taking the time to actually ask how I was first. Strangers who told me to cheer up, because it might never happen. The doctors who had kept pushing for her to do home visits when she clearly wasn't well enough. I hated everyone! I felt so utterly alone.

I’m always so grateful that as an adult I control my own life. No other adults have the power to decide what will happen to me. I don’t have to do things like lie to social services on the phone because I’m afraid of being taken away.

I feel so sad when I think about how much we all went through. And how ill mum was too.

She feels so far away yet just a phone call away. Even though I know I will never see her again, I still feel like I could turn around on the street and find her right behind me.

I've written a happier post too. :)
Link here: http://unallersimple.livejournal.com/89706.html
unallersimple: (hectopus)
One thing I've wanted to do recently is collect the links to all the posts where I've written about the death of my mum. (I found her body after she hung herself in 2004 when I was 16.) It turns out there are a lot less posts than I thought which I guess can only be a good thing. I hope that if you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, especially if it's through suicide, then these will help in some way. One of the worse things about bereavement for me is that there is so much stigma and taboo surrounding it. You can't talk to anyone what happened. No one knows what to say or how to talk to you any more, like you suddenly stop being human. People soon forget anyway. Those who haven't experienced a bereavement of someone that close to them can't understand that you never really get over the pain of the loss, but it is something you learn to live with over time. It just takes a really long time.

-

Finland 2005 (18 months on) - "Mum may have taken her life, but she is is not taking mine."

Whilst I was working in Japan in 2010 the 14th January that year would have been mum's 50th birthday. There's a brief mention of it in the third paragraph from the end.

-

Anniversaries

I've found it quite interesting to see how me, my writing & my grief have changed over the years.

Two Years Without Mum - Emo teen!

Three Years

Four Years

The Big Five - Questioning WHY someone kills themselves.

6 Years Without Mum

Years 7-11 can't have been much trouble or have held much significance as I didn't feel the need to write about them!

This year, 2016, it has been 12 years and I did a sad post and a happy post.

x

Greenwich

Mar. 31st, 2013 01:28 pm
unallersimple: (hectopus)
I was down in London in last month visiting step-family and friends for a long overdue catch up. It had been a year since I was last there. Some of the people I was very happy to spend time with were Mark & Yvette who I used to live with when we were at university together in Norwich. They bought a house in south London last year so I popped over to check out their new digs. Their house is amazing. So spacious, cosy and beautifully decorated I had quite a terrible bout of home envy whilst I was there!

As Mark was working the afternoon I arrived me and Yvette braved the freezing cold temperatures and took the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to Greenwich which was just a few stops away. It was lovely to visit an area of London I've never been to before and ride the DLR for the first time. I'm still amazed that the trains can operate without any drivers! I was really impressed with Greenwich. It felt like a small, upmarket and creative family town. Even walking under dark skies in a bitterly cold wind the atmosphere was delightful. The buildings stunning. All shop windows beautifully dressed. I felt really inspired and re-energised by spending the afternoon there.

First up was a quick peek at the Cutty Sark which I would love to look round some day (along with all the other museums). I also saw the ferry terminal where Yvette informed me that people commute to work from there. The idea seemed so funny and surprising to me. I guess I associate London with double decker buses and The Tube so much it seems odd that there are other forms of transport. When you think of commuting by ferry you imagine living on an island off the coast of the UK before you think of central London.


              ^The Cutty Sark

After seeing the ship we walked on in the direction of Greenwich Arts and Crafts Market. It's indoor and has rows upon rows of stalls in the middle with two lines of funky little shops on either side. Even though everything for sale there was what I describe as "luxary tat" I still left with quite a few shopping bags, a small print that is now hanging on my bedroom wall and lots of ideas for crafts. In case you're wondering what I mean by "luxary tat" think overpriced stuff that looks pretty and you want it but you don't really need it and ultimately could have a go at making it yourself anyway.

To rest and warm up after walking around all afternoon we stopped at a cafe just next to one the entrances to the market. This also turned out to be a really creative and inspiring place to be as it was a ceramic cafe. I've never seen this kind of thing before but it's an absolutely smashing idea. You choose a blank ceramic when you go in which could be anything from an item of crockery to a small animal then you paint and decorate it at your table whilst you eat and drink. When you're done the staff fire it for you and you can collect it about a week later or have it delivered to you. We just consumed calories during our visit, but if I'm ever showing friends round Greenwich in the future I'd love to take them there. Especially if it's a friend from Japan as decorating something like a mini telephone box would make a great souvenir.

Once we got back to her place Yvette introduced me to the joys of a comedy called Modern Family and once Mark returned the three of us ate dinner and watched the film Starter for Ten. I have to say the scene in the restuarant where the main character talks about his dad's death is an absolutely cracking piece of acting from James McAvoy, and the most realistic moment
I've ever seen in film of what it's like to be a young person whose suffered the loss of a parent. I also have to say that Yvette's cooking is well fit.

x
unallersimple: (hectopus)
It's been a bit of a scary week really as both Monday and Tuesday I ended up crying myself to sleep in the evening. I haven't done that in a long time and it's taken me by surprise. Where does all the water come from!? Wednesday I woke up early crying again and realized that I wasn't going to make it into school. I feel bad for not going in, but I wouldn't have been up to much if I did. I feel bad too because I made it in to school on this day last year and I don't want to feel like I'm getting worse or anything. I think it's just because I have a lot going on anyway at the moment. Also I'm at a stage in life where I'm really missing having some motherly guidance that I need. I still wish we'd been able to experience a change in our relationship from a parent/child to a more friend mother/friend daughter one. I miss all the would have beens more than I have done before too. Though having said all that, none of the above is really anything new I suppose.

As I'm trying to break the habit of dealing with everything alone and shutting everyone out, I made use of the ridiculously early hour by calling family and friends back home. It was really good to talk with everyone, though it was a little funny talking with my sister as it wasn't the day of the anniversary for her yet, still being Tuesday night in the UK.

Later in the day I did a lot of lazing around. I took a walk in a local park that I've never been in before. It was a really nice and warm sunny day which helped cheer my spirits.


^A turtle enjoying the sun.




^ Reflection of trees in the water.

In the evening when the time differences worked out again, I made some more calls home and then it was time for bed. Another day over. Another year gone by. Another anniversary. Everything goes so fast doesn't it?

x
unallersimple: (rainbow walking)
My first week back at school this year has been a weird, wonderful one full of ups and downs.

Monday was a sleeping day (and day off work as it was a national holiday) as jet lag had hit me hard. I managed a little lesson preparation and managed to go for a meal with Shane and Jason (two other Matsue JETs). I couldn't do anything more than sit and listen to the conversation while I tried to stay sitting upright though!

Tuesday was a beast of a day. I had three lessons one after the other in the morning. I had to get up at 6 to walk to school in the snow and get the lessons ready. Two of the classes bombed badly. The afternoon was spent planning more lessons and the evening was spent teaching my adult conversation class. I hate losing entire days to work, especially when I need to clean, do laundry, unpack, eat etc.

My students cheered me up as they always do. Several of them squealed in happiness and excitement to see me again which made my day. (I felt the same, it'd been 3-4 weeks.) They were also really interested to see my Christmas photos. They thought the sheep looked really cute and were shocked when I told them they're tasty and we eat them in England. (Which I knew they would be and that was the reaction I was aiming for. Hehe.)

Wednesday, well I've ranted enough about my Wednesdays for you all to know how much I hate them! In winter, that school is so cold! :S Brrr. I clocked 6 degrees in the corridor this week.

Thursday looked to be a terrible, stressful day at first. One teacher I work with was sick, one was taking her son to hospital and two others were very late because of the snow. One poor soul was driving for 2 1/2 hours just to get in! I was sure I was going to end up teaching alone. Thankfully though, things worked out and kept falling nicely into place.
I had my last class with the third grade class who finished their last full week of lessons this week. They will graduate in March and start work or university in April. Many are taking their university entrance exams as I type. They are a special bunch. A rare class made up of only 7 students. I gave them a set of photos each of us from school trips and the like. We spent the class talking about their time at the school. Some of the things they were saying were so funny me and the Japanese teacher of English, let's call her Ms. Subarashi (not real name), were in giggles and wiping away tears of laughter. At the end of the class I was struggling to say my final words without shedding real tears. I'll really miss them.

There is an English teacher, let's call her Ms Sugoi (again, not real name), who sits on the other side of the staffroom. I've started going over to sit at the desk next to hers when that teacher is in class. Ms. Sugoi is one of the few Japanese people who loves foreign chocolate and can eat loads of it, so I go over with my stash from England and we have a good gossip. We always lose track of the time and I always end up appologising to the teacher whose desk I'm sat at when that class has finished. This, and many things like it, is why I'm a lot happier at work these days. My relationships with the other teachers has really improved recently. :D

Thursday was also mum's birthday. Had she still been alive she would have been 50 this year. She was in my thoughts a lot this week, but it didn't really upset me until Friday afternoon when I snuck off for a cry in an empty meeting room.

By the time Friday afternoon rolled around I was well and truly shattered and the last class of the week was a struggle. I was teaching with Ms. Subarashi and we both still had the giggles from the day before. I kept doing silly things like saying "Good morning!" instead of "Good Afternoon" and erasing things I needed from the board by accident. During a word game one student wrote "hot milk" but I thought she wrote "not milk" which caused Ms. Suberashi to giggle even more. The best bit came when we were pretending to be a waiter and customer for a listening practice. She sat on a chair as the customer but unfortunately it had a broken leg. The look on her face as the chair wobbled was hilarious and all 30 students were laughing. I got the giggles so bad I had to face the board while I was shaking with laughter. All the students thought this was really cute and funny, which made them laugh even more. Every time I tried to control myself and read from the handout my voice would crack and I would start laughing again - making everyone else laugh again too. I dug my nails into my palm and finally made it to the end of class. Once me and Ms. Subarsahi had walked out, we stumbled back to the staffroom crying with laughter again. Funny times, I haven't laughed so much in class since a student shouted out "cock" instead of "cook"!

Life at school in Japan is amazing. I'm always in awe of how I can feel so sad and happy at the same time sometimes. Just one day or one week has so many new challenges, random events and ups and downs. Even when you think you know how the day will be, you'll suddenly find yourself watching a concert with German opera singers (this happened this week in school too!) or there'll be an incident with a broken chair...

x
unallersimple: (rainbow walking)
Well doesn't time fly? It doesn't seem so long ago that I was making a similar post about how it's been three years, or four. Now it's five. It's a strange one this year. I'm not in the country so I can't visit the grave. My usual strategy of meeting a family member or friends is out. While I was at uni I always lit a candle in Norwich Cathedral...but I can't do that either. To be honest I don't really know what to do. Yesterday, the actual date of the anniversary, was just a normal work day. I felt fine until someone commented on how tired I looked that afternoon. I don't know why, but it was like someone acknowledging my rough day seemed to open up all the emotional floodgates. I suddenly felt like one of the living dead and could barely hold a conversation. I didn't know what to do in the evening. Maybe if the weather was warmer I would have sat by the lake, or visited the church in Matsue... I ended up going to bed as soon as I got home. About five hours later I realised I should eat something, so I did. Then went back to bed. It took everything in me to get up and face work today. I'm amazed that even though it's been so long since mum died, grief still has the ability to immobilize me. Eating, getting dressed, walking...they take an effort that I just can't seem to find right now.

I think your family history is something you don't think about too much until you're older. There is so much I want to ask mum about me as a child, about her life, her childhood, her as a person, my grandparents. It's like there's this big empty part of me because of all these things I'll never know. My future feels empty too because all of the things that could have happened if she were still alive never will.

Why is it that when you cry, your nose just does not stop running?

The thing that bothers me still is not even that she died. People die, life goes on. (Though it's easier when they don't all die at once!) It's just that I can't stop thinking about why she ended her life. Why did she pick that day rather than any other? Was it something I said or did? Was she tired of being so ill? Was she scared she would never get better? Was she too crazy to know what she was doing? If I ever had children, I can't imagine ever thinking that dying would be better than raising them, than seeing them grow up. The rejection hurts. It really, really hurts. (And I know that what it comes down to is that she was depressed, and that's why she ended her life. And I know it wasn't me...but these questions and thoughts don't stop this time of year.)
I wish I hadn't been such a moody shit of a teenager before she died, but then that's what every teenager is like. I wish I had the chance to spend more time with her. I wish I could talk to her now. I wish I hadn't gone to school that day. I wish I hadn't been the one to find her. I wish that it wasn't me that had to call my dad and tell him. I wish I knew what was going to happen so I could've spent my time More wisely. I'd have told mum I loved her for sure.

But that's life right? The thing is that we don't know. Something could happen tomorrow or it could happen forty years down the line. It's a cheesy phrase that we all know, but you really have to make the most of every moment. Forget the things that don't matter. Appreciate every little thing you have. Say what is important to your nearest and dearest. If you love someone, say so. You have to work out what you want to do before you die and start getting those things done! Life is too short. We don't know what happens after all of this.

I learned that the horrific things you go through make you a stronger and better person. I learned that we can get through whatever difficulties we have in our lives. We can do what ever we want to with the time we've been blessed with. We have the potential and the ability. We just have to look inside ourselves and see it and realise it. The best thing, is that once we know it's there, we can all make our own light and shine.

You can find old pictures and laugh at how dodgy the clothes that used to fashionable are now...



... and you can smile at the memories of the good times.




Death is not the end, it's just another beginning.


love


x
unallersimple: (boat)
Well today was hard. It was a junior high school day; the school I only visit on Wednesdays. We had four lessons in a row this morning. Unlike my high school where I am the main teacher, I am just the foreign classroom assistant at junior high. I don't think the teacher knows what to do with me. In three of the classes today I just stood at the front and read out one flashcard after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after another after...you get the idea! This went on for about 25 minutes each time. I felt close to brain death. This isn't really any different from any other lesson at junior high (and I know it's the same for many other JETs) but today, it just kept on going! There were so many words! In one of the classes four students were asleep and the others were so brain dead with boredom that hardly any were repeating the words after me or writing down the meaning in Japanese. I tried to keep us all entertained (and alive) by acting out the words I could. Strong was a fun one, as was dance. Leaf was a little bit more difficult. By the last class I was struggling to keep going and kept drifting off. The teacher kept having to tell me to say the next word a few times. I felt really stupid then because I had the easiest job possible and yet couldn't even stand and read out words properly! But it's just so boring. I could do so much more. Arghhh!
In the other class I had absolutely nothing to do. I'm supposed to help the students but their workbooks are in Japanese...I just sat and watched.


It's mum's birthday today too. Writing out the date at the start of every class did sting a little. I miss her. I wish I could give her a call and tell her about my life. It's been five years since she died this month.

Snow and ice have covered the ground for around a week now causing many bus and train delays. It has also made it impossible to cycle and very difficult to walk. It usually snows all day. At 2.55 my teacher said it might be difficult to get home and told me that if I want to, I can try to catch the bus early. I was out of there in seconds! In a very fortunate turn of events I managed to get the three o clock bus which was on time. I was free and home early! Hurah! :D

Poor Bryan was stuck on a train for three hours on Tuesday morning. It was a bit of a shock to be told this at school. I had no idea he'd gone anywhere and I had four classes to do alone with no planning time. Every day brings a new challenge!

Is is still really cold in the UK? I saw that the government was paying out emergency money because there had been so many days below zero in a row. Anna how about Iceland? Can you see your car or is it buried today? ;)
unallersimple: (boat)
It's that time of year again where I spend a lot of time thinking about mum, how she chose to die and the horrific events which came afterwards. It's hard to concentrate on anything else. Again I wonder how the year has gone by so quickly, and it's scary to think that it was four years ago and for some strange reason it's scary being ok with it all this year too.

I know that some of you may have checked this on the actual Sunday 27th and you're wondering where this post came from, but it's easier for me to keep the posts dated to the time they happened so I can find them later. I'm actually writing this on 5th February! Normally I would have posted on the day but this year I couldn't really be bothered and for me this showed more than anything how much I've come to terms with things recently. I used to run and update a website for "grieving teens" too, and it's been so long since I last looked at it I can't even remember the password let alone any technical know-how in order to edit it!

This year I met up with my sister in Ely on the 26th and we spent the day together to mark the occasion. We had a good time, and I'm glad that I finally managed to see her more than once in six months too! Ely proved to be a good place not only because it was somewhere new, but also because it's somewhere my grandparents used to go to visit friends and it was nice to have that connection there for them too. I miss them. (All my grandparents died by the time I was 17.) I struggle to remember what they all look like and I hate it.


^Our first stop was at the prettyful cathedral which is one of the largest in England. I have an old black and white photograph of my maternal grandparents in front of the entrance so it was really nice to see the place for myself.

After going to the cathedral we wondered round town and saw the house where Oliver Cromwell used to live. A lot of charity shopping soon followed. Lunch was a very interesting occasion involving large quantities of splattered ketchup and about 20 minutes worth of hysterical laughter on my part because it had covered my plate, the table and the wall! It was one of those moments where I felt sorry for the sister for being related to me. I swear I don't deliberately do anything to iniciate these kinds of random moments, they find me! I blame the ketchup. Later while I was waiting outside for my sister I saw that I had managed to cover myself in ketchup too and started giggling all over again. Oh dear.

We then bought some flowers and went for a walk by the river.




^At the end of the day we went our separate ways at the station beneath another one of East Anglia's gorgeous sunsets.

The actual anniversary Sunday was spent on my own, mostly in bed in true Lizzie grieving style. It's weird, because everything that happened was always in my thoughts but I wasn't really upset like I have been before. Four years is a long time and I'm sick of missing her to be honest. But of course I do miss her, and I just wish I could see her again for a while to say goodbye, that I'm happy and that I'm doing ok. I remember someone saying to me after she died that it's not that the pain of losing someone so close to you goes away, you just learn to live with it and get on with your life in spite of it. That's how I feel at the moment, not any intense grief, anger or hurt but just a really deep long-lasting sadness that she's not here.

It's been good to see how far I've come too, last year I drank *a lot* in January but I've hardly touched the stuff this year. It's good to be doing so well, it's great to know the worst is over and the best is happening right now, even if the past still haunts you sometimes. :)

x
unallersimple: (hectopus)
With the anniversary of mum's death looming and some memories of a difficult time on mum's birthday I decided to do something different for the 27th Jan this year. For mum's birthday I ended up downing JD from about 4 - midnight and it wasn't really wise thing to do... (Cheers to Bev and sister for looking after me though.) The flashbacks of finding the body were very vivid (hence the drinking to try and block them out) and I had this absolutely sickening, unbearable feeling of not coping very well. It's been a long few weeks of feeling very low and not really seeing anyone/doing much. I dread this time of year.

Some friends in London offered to have me down and look out for me over the weekend of the anniversary and to avoid a repeat of the above drunkeness I thought it would be a good idea to go. Hell maybe even push the boat out and have some fun (heaven forbid)!
Amy was waiting for me at the train station and she asked me if I liked suprises, I thought she had a bar of chocolate in her bag or something. As she was leading me to the tube station she stopped and said, "by the way, someone's here to see you". I looked over and Anna was there!! Anna!!! I wish I could have seen the look on my face. She had flown all the way over from Iceland for a weekend in London and to be with me on the anniversary! Wow that girl is amazing. Anna in London!! Everyone else knew about it but me lol, and as if she hadn't done enough already the star even brought Tim Tams.

Friday night was spent watching some great live music at the Regal Room in Hammersmith, then trying to get in a hostel dorm room which is smaller than my bathroom with two bunkbeds crammed in. Cue lots of comedy shuffling. The next day we took the tube to St Paul's Cathedral so I could light a candle for mum and say some prayers for her. It was amazing and beautiful to finally see it close up, and the symbolism of the place was really touching too. I remember being told in a history lesson at school once that after a night of bombing during the Blitz all the buildings surrounding St Paul's had been destroyed yet the cathedral stood untouched. I felt stronger just by being near the place.

I then took Anna for a wander along the Thames and later on we met up with Amy and Lollypop again for another night in the Regal Room... followed by more take out from the Kebab Kid and singing very loudly in the car!


^ My Anna Bear


An amazing Kebab Kid moment!

Overall it was a really good weekend. Normally I would have been really down but instead I had so much fun. I feel so lucky to have people like Anna who have taught me that it doesn't always have to be such a difficult time and that I'm allowed to have fun! I had a few moments of "fuck this time 3 years ago mum was hanging herself" type thoughts and a few moments where I had that horrible cycling of asking myself why she didn't call, how could she do this to us, why didn't I do more to stop her etc etc... but I've accepted that there will always be splinters like that in my mind now and most of the time I can brush them aside.

I'm missing mum terribly - and I'm really bothered by the fact that this year I'll turn 20. I'm growing up without her and to be honest I find the idea terrifying. I hate it. It's unbearable...but I am feeling so proud too. I am still here. I made another year. I've lasted 3 years. I'm doing really well for myself and I'm happy. I'm determined to learn from this and use all this shit to help me help others and bring some more light into the world.



Many thanks to Amy & Anna, you guys rock my socks off so much I've given up trying to find them.
Love and peace to sister.

xXx
unallersimple: (hectopus)
I'm posting today as it's the anniversary of mum's death, and I wanted to write a little piece to say how I've been and because I need to post this.

It's odd how the anniversary has affected me this time round. Last year I was a complete mess, very dependant on alcohol, in tears most of the day, and very, very depressed - as anyone would be in that situation. This year I've not cried yet... and while I've been down and not really slept much this week - I've been "fine". To mark the day I went to the cathedral in Norwich to light a candle and say some prayers for mum, then went for a walk to a viewpoint where you can see the whole of the city. It was really pretty and peaceful there, it really helped with my grief. Then I went for icecream with my flatmates and we also raided a toy shop and played with all the products - we had so much fun! It was good to get out and take my mind off things. I'm glad today is out the way now though, and I'm looking forward to moving on with my life still. Things are going really well for me now :)


Poppy thankyou for texting me today. Love you loads and miss you. By the way Mothercare do this great range of baby clothes with that elephant on from the card you gave me (Is he called Humphrey?) and everytime I see them I think of our adventures at Dallam and hospital radio ect. It's a shame they don't come in adult sizes!
"His ear is all loved off, but he doesn't mind" - :)

I did it, I survived, I'm happy and I just get this feeling that 2006 is gonna be a great year for me :)

xXx
Lizzie



For mum

An extract I love from a poem by Laurence Binyon

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

-

"I cried a teardrop into the ocean, and when I find it,
that's when I'll stop missing you."
unallersimple: (hectopus)

hey hey

Yesterday I spent my time wondering around museums and round Tampere in the sunshine, and had a really cool random experience in the evening. I was looking for a quiet place to sit down and collect my thoughts when I found this disused playground, so went in and lay on the slide. (People should look up more often I think, the sky is always gorgeous.) I ended up, inevitably, thinking of mum and life and death in general, and decided that life is quite like general studies. We are condemned to endure the whole thing without ever understanding it's purpose. Though I hope whether I live for 20 or 100 years my life has actually meant something unlike the exams I took for general studies this summer.
I saw some swings so went on them and had lots of fun trying to get as high as I could like no one had ever died these last 18 months and felt the happiest I've been since before mum died. And I know this sounds a bit weird, but I realised for the first time since then that I'm going to be ok, I've made it through. I'm going to be greatly satisfied when life is done with me and I can stand up and say ha! I survived! Mum may have taken her life, but she is is not taking mine!


Today I got up really early and bussed it to the suburbs of Tampere then after a few worrying moments of being lost in forest, made it to the lakeside with the intention of kayaking. Was disapointed to find that while I had set off in a light drizzle, it was very much a gale by the time I got there and there was no way I could have gone out on the lake. (By the way you can be smug, but only if it is sunny back home!) So instead I huddled under a tree in this completly deserted place for a while until I could be bothered to walk the 2km back to the bus stop. Disappointed and soaked by the time I got back to the hostel, I was comforted by the fact that at least it was something random and new!

This afternoon stumbled upon this "Orinoco" exhibition, all about the tribes who live in the rainforests of Venezuala. The name of the exhibition gets it's name the third largest river by water volume. A fascinating experience looking round and learning about cultures so different to my own, and the films and special effects of the rapids and waterfalls were amazing. One thing that I thought was really cool was that in Hiwi tribe mythology, we are all given two souls in creation. One does pretty much the same as what we believe our souls to do, while the other is invisible and leaves the body during sleep to appear in other people's dreams.

And to round of the day, some Finnish fun :)

hissi = lift
vieraiden täytyytähteä = the guests must go!
hämmentynyt = confused

and very confusingly, orange juice is applesiini

at last a chance to use the "ä" key on the keyboard!
going to turku tomorow for four days, and on monday I shall be going to the moomin themepark, yayness! :)
bis bald
xXx

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