Sunday, 23 January 2011

Thursday, 20 January 2011


The most bizarre part to me now, was thanking him afterwards. This man had just ripped my world apart in a matter of seconds. He'd destroyed me, and once I'd stopped being eaten alive by pain, I would go on and destroy all of my closest friends.
And I was thanking him. Sincerely, and repetitively, and robustly. I was thanking him for his time, apologising, all the apologising....I felt genuinely sorry that I'd dragged him into this, that my mumbled, hysterical, tearful voicemail had been left on HIS phone, that HE was the one who had had to destroy me, that I'd made that his role in the whole thing. He hadn't asked for it and he didn't deserve it. It was an accident of fate, and in one of the last feelings I was to have for 6 months, I felt bad for him.

In 2008, an ocean away from me, a good friend of mine took her life. The facts surrounding her suicide will never be clear. We will never know the truth of what happened, and that hurts. I can't last any of it to rest while there are so many pieces left out of this puzzle. We, her online support network, had known her for some years, and we were a tight-knit community. As far as we had known, she was in a residential psychiatric unit, so it was not at all strange to us that we hadn't heard from her in a while. When you're trying to bring the crazy under control, that can be a 24/7 experience, and access to the internet can be limited, if it's there at all. The first we heard that something was wrong was from an outsider, who sent the leader of the community a message saying that she was sorry to break the news, but J was dead. We, the moderators of the community, immediately broke into mass panic, and quickly mobilised in an attempt to find out whether this was true. We didn't trust any outside source to break news like this to us.
It was the Friday before a holiday weekend in Canada, and from my small flat in London I frantically phoned every hospital in and around her city, desperately leaving messages, trying to find anyone who could speak to me. When I reached a dead end (ha ha) with phoning morgues, I started on newspapers, figuring someone, somewhere, had to have a connection. I left strained, tearful, jumbled messages on answering machines, begging anyone who could possibly help to please please phone me or contact me.
At 22:15 on May 17th 2008 I received this message from a reporter at a local newspaper who had said he may be able to help me:
I would rather have spoken with you on the telephone about this, but it seems the sad information you have is correct. I have a source who just called me back and confirmed the news about J...... Once I got the information, I was sick with dread wondering if I should tell you at all...but I get the sense that you needed to know, one way or another. I am truly sorry for your loss.
And I thanked him. And my heart washed over with ice water, and I thanked him. And my stomach puddled in a cold heap at my feet, and I thanked him. And I shut myself down at that moment and did not let myself open up again until November 8th, when 2 little lines on a little white stick threw me out of my orbit. And I thanked him.

Three years later, it is easier, and less painful. I've shut J up in a box in my heart and the muscle around the wound there has healed over and sometimes I feel her when it beats. I feel the sharp edges of that box and I feel the ice that gripped my nerves that night, before I drowned myself in alcohol so that I wouldn't have to feel something so immense.

Two years later, I watched J's sister via facebook as she went through a pregnancy with a nephew J would never meet. I watched her give birth to a beautiful son, and I'm watching him grow up. He will never know his beautiful, damaged, once-in-a-very-short-lifetime aunt, although I know she will influence his life immensely.

Sometimes I am angry, sometimes I am overwhelmed. But always, always I am thankful to the man who listened to his messages and heard a girl sobbing on the other end of the phone, and put a dampener on his holiday and put his professional life at risk to try to bring comfort to a group of strangers. He made a sacrifice that day, and we will never forget him for it.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Toddlerhood.

Not-So-Baby A.B has recently decided to wake up between 3 and 4 every day and then stay awake, unless I lie down next to her for the rest of the night. This is infuriating and has the effect of making me so angry that tonight I found myself shouting at her, shouting at Mr A, shouting into my hands. Nothing will get her back to sleep except over an hour of lying perfectly still beside her. Now, under normal circumstances, this would be fine. Where else would I be at 3am except in bed? Except that HER sleeping badly makes ME sleep badly, so I HAVEN'T been in bed, or capable of going to sleep earlier (and even if I was tired, by the time I've done even 20 minutes of the 'make mummy pretend she's a statue' game, I'm so wound up and irate that I have no hope of sleeping) so right now, we're both pretty miserable.

I know you shouldn't wish stages of your childs life away, but I really can't wait til she can talk. It's so frustrating just not knowing what the fuck she WANTS. I'm tearing my hair out because she can't just tell me what's wrong so instead we're both upset and crying and tired beyond words.

It's 5:30am now, she's upstairs crying while her dad tries to get her to sleep, and has been for almost an hour, and I was upstairs trying to get her to sleep for at least 40 minutes before that. It's ridiculous. What's the problem? What's the matter? Why won't she just SLEEP.

I have no wisdom, no wit, no insight into the depths of mental health problems tonight. Tonight everything is fucked and I'm tired and I don't know what's wrong with my child and I just want it to stop.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

To 350D or not to 350D, that is the question.

When I was a teenager, I was a member over at My fellow London members were my only real friends. They were the group I hung out with and we had a circle of people that was just like a 'real life' circle of friends, except instead of meeting at school or whatever, we originally met online.
Within this circle, photographers made up the bulk of the artists. This meant we spent a lot of time talking technicalities. A lot of time. I soon learned to covet certain camera's, and among them was the Canon EOS 350D. I wanted a DSLR so bad. It pulled at my soul and everytime I'd fiddle with one of the boys' camera I'd practically salivate. I never got my DSLR from my parents, because the thought (fairly, to be honest) that I wasn't responsible with my belongings. I would have been with a DSLR, but I don't blame them for not trusting me.
A couple of years ago I was at a family event for my husband's family, and I wandered off with one of my father-in-law's millions of camera's to take pictures of horses and avoid the awkward lull in conversation that developed whenever I came near. I fell in love all over again. I took some absolutely stunning pictures despite not knowing a thing about the camera I was using. It was amazing, and I went home feeling a bit sad I had to leave it where it was. But DSLR's are expensive. I knew I'd never afford one, I just let it go.

Last christmas, I didn't really get any presents. We didn't have any money, and there wasn't anything I wanted. We kept saying we'd put it off til I found something I wanted. My birthday came round and it was much the same thing. Not much money, nothing I wanted. I was supposed to go to a comedy show with Mr A but A.B was refusing to drink anything and we couldn't leave her for long enough and we very unhappily had to cancel. For this Christmas just passed, I was supposed to be getting a backpiece tattoo as a BIG present for all the presents I'd missed out on. Then we realised that because of my moles, I'm going to need to have my back examined for changes fairly regularly and covering up a bunch of marks with a tattoo is not conducive to appropriate and regular checks of mole size. Damnit. So I started thinking of what else I could get. Mr A had vaguely suggested the idea of getting me a new digital camera as a smaller present before christmas, but I'd dismissed the idea. But slowly last night, I came around.

And so I did it. I 350D'd.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Yes. It all seems to have gone wrong there a bit, didn't it?
I'm still alive. I'm alright, although Christmas was stressful. I've just been struggling to cope with some things.
I had a bit of a freak out about some upcoming tests for possible gynae issues. I pretty much convinced myself I had cancer, and I didn't want to talk about it, because I felt stupid, and with so many friends who've lost people or had cancer themselves, I felt ridiculous. How on earth could I sit there and bitch and moan about being scared of MAYBE having cancer when other people actually DO have it?
My first test came back clear, which is good, but means that problems I've been experiencing are still a mystery.

I had my first hydrotherapy appointment and it went well. I have another one next week. I'm not too keen on sharing my therapist with another person in a small pool during sessions, but whatever. Limited resources and all that, it makes sense I guess. And I don't have to like it, I'm not paying for it, so I should be grateful I can have it at all.

I had quite a bad downward turn after my last entry, and was very very down for a couple of weeks. About mid-december suddenly the depressive episode was over and since then I've been clawing my house back from the wilderness that had taken over it. My husband has also been home a lot of the time (only been at work two days since December 10th) so I've been trying to not only get some time to myself, but fix my sleeping habits, get quality time with Mr A and also do a fair amount of housework. Unfortunately the problem is the more cleaning and housework you do, the more you feel you need to keep it up. And the worse it looks when it gets the slightest bit messy. I've yet to train Mr A to 'tidy as he goes' which is a bit infuriating when I go up for a bath and come back after only an hour to a destroyed living room. He also seems to be allergic to the dishwasher.

I don't really know what's going on with my life right now. I feel more directionless than usual, except before I was directionless and stagnant, now I seem to be moving forward but just in no direction, which almost seems worse. It scares me that a whole year went by and I don't have a single thing to show for it. Nothing happened. Nothing changed. Nothing was achieved. And that I have nothing planned for the next year. Nothing will be achieved, nothing will be changed (except a move of house). I feel like I'm just going through the motions and I honestly don't feel like anything will change until we move country in 2012. I feel like I'm halfway through a 3 year pause, and nothing can happen until I get off that plane and unpause. Then I can start my life again.

Honestly, I'm not happy, and haven't been for so long. I'm STILL waiting to hear about councelling, my doctor has tried to chase it up twice to no avail. At this point I'm 3 months away from moving, and once I move house I'll have to go onto a new waiting list in my new area. It's doubtful I'll receive any help in the next 6 months and I know my next GP will try to encourage my onto medication before councelling. I feel like I've fallen into a gap.