As the sun broke through painted skies the chill of winters dawn sent icy shivers coursing down our spine. Once again we knew that the world would change for us tomorrow, if it would be a little or a lot, it still remained to be seen but we knew that everything would be looked at through a new lens of ‘what if’s’, ‘but’s’ and maybe’s. Everything that surrounded this event should probably be making us all excited and hopeful yet somehow we felt like the weight of the earth was upon us.
Different shades of excitement, grief and fear, the obligation of living up to exceptions we didn’t know or understand is not something we are strangers too but it never stops hurting. Then there was the underlying question of how and why on earth this was happening at all.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to real people. Yet it was happening to us.
Maybe we could accept one bizarre thing in a lifetime or even two, but not the countless incidence of unusual and trying experiences, over and over and over again. It isn’t possible. We wrote a book about all the crazy things that had happened to us years ago and it already sounded like a work of fiction at that time and now there have been a million more ridiculous oddities occur. It doesn’t make sense.
So. Many. things. It never ends. The wonderful and exciting, the horrific and downright frightening then of course the everyday boring. We all share a body, I can almost accept that now, and we all experience the world in different ways, that too I can grasp when scientifically repeated to me with enough evidence, but damn if it doesn’t feel like every possible unique and crazy experience that may have come to us should we have been born individually has just been thrown at us anyway. It’s too much.
It can’t be real. We cannot be real. It doesn’t make sense. I cannot be real. None of this can possibly be real, why do they try to convince me otherwise, why do they try to involve me in more and more bullshit? Haven’t they had their fun? I don’t want to play this game anymore, I don’t want to be burdened by having to try and live in and understand what can only logically be an imagined reality.
We did the thing, it was yesterday now, there were TV camera’s and questions and so much emotional exposure I was not ready for nor able to take. It’s not really even our story, or mine, it’s my fathers, but they wanted me there and I suppose I wanted to be there in some ways too. I wanted to understand more, to listen, to find out about these strangers across the world who’s blood runs through our veins.
But when they spoke of such nurturing, love and authenticity from the 98yr old grandmother we’d never get to meet a cacophony of feelings avalanched and it was too hard, too much.
Sometimes sharing a body is a good thing, sometimes it means you can just leave and nobody has to know you ever went, it means someone without the emotional investment can take your place and smile and nod and say all the right things and act all the right ways so you can stay hidden and cry without being seen. I’m grateful for that.
I’m so sick of this, sick of myself, sick of being sick. I can’t live this way.
Going to have to take a break for a bit, this old rose don’t smell so sweet anymore.
Love all of you.
Time passes as the daylight finally gives up on trying to peek beyond the tightly pulled curtains and disappears below the horizon for another day.
Wind howls outside and it seems nothing is still but the shattered beat of our broken heart as we lay wet cheeked in the comforting swathes of our old blankets and unwashed sheets.
It’s been week of all too familiar goodbyes as one by one it seemed everything was being taken from us, but like it always seems to do, life goes on around us as though they were unimportant or as if they had never existed at all. It has always intrigued and saddened me just how quickly experiences and entire lives become nothing but a vague memory as they silently fade into that fluid mosaic of time.
It’s for our survival, perhaps.
Chaos had reigned supreme here for just a minute, a home that was bursting at the seams already but also bursting with love, was suddenly set to take another into the fold.
S was with us again, it was to be for a few weeks officially until they found her a place in residential care, but we knew we wouldn’t ever let that happen- she could stay with us, while questions of ‘how would we cope’ were to be put off until another day; we would make it work, somehow, but she absolutely wasn’t going there.
Then the other morning we woke up and discovered after nearly a decade of never having a problem a Fox (or several) had come under the cover of night, found a patch of rusted wire we didn’t know about and taken all of our ducks, our 9yr old Rooster (although he was rather unpleasant) my gorgeous powder puff silkie chickens and left us with just one very lonely, very traumatised hen.
It was devastating.
Later that day we returned from work to find our beautiful hand reared parrot Rosie had passed away too – for no apparent reason what so ever, she was only young, perfectly healthy and had been absolutely fine that morning.
And then just like that it was suddenly over for our time with S too.
The need to ‘fix it all’ was suddenly gone, they’d found her a real placement, a family, this tale had suddenly ended and with what should by all means be considered a perfect happily ever after.
Now normalcy would return for our home, hopefully a newfound sense of stability for S and yet instead of the joy we should have felt, only the emptiness found us.
We wanted to be the ones to fix it, my parts and I, we wanted to to help her, protect her, prevent any more bad things from ever happening to her and while we acknowledge that deep down it is perhaps in fact about saving a former self that nobody else was there for, we feel as though now we’ve lost something so very precious and irreplaceable to us.
We sheltered ourselves from the heartache of the week as best we could, as we always do.
We had only buried our dead a few days ago and now once again we were forced to swallow our tears as we waved goodbye again this morning, this time to S, a reflection of the self we couldn’t save and a wonderful child whom we have so much hope for, we prayed to the God we don’t believe in that perhaps this time, finally, someone will weather the storms born from her traumas and hold her hand through these treacherous years of life and onto a path of love and stability.
We said our farewells in our own ways as we always have, some as though grieving for a lost friend and some as if reading out the news, but always outwardly stoic, our tears may only be permitted to flow when silent and hidden. We told S she’s always welcome to visit with us and that we were so very proud of her.
Then the car drove away and the phone rang, the emails came in and the world kept on turning anyway. The minutes had turned to hours and time had begun to blend already, now I fear that the days weeks and months will once again evaporate before us as they always seem to and all of these precious moments and experiences will be lost like so many others have.
As the sun sets on this day, I hope so much that one day we will be able to remember more than we forget.
Growing up was hard for a variety of reasons, my mental and emotional health has been questionable for most of my life, even as a little kid my peers found me unpredictable and annoying, their parents felt I was a bad influence, then I got fat and socially unacceptable to be around so I really struggled to find a place where I felt accepted or ‘good enough’.
I don’t remember how old I was when I first started learning how to swim, between 4 & 6 I think, but I believe lessons began shortly after my mother, who was talking to her friend one day, didn’t notice that I had fallen into the rather deep lake alongside the park we were at.
Luckily I was fished out by a stranger who’d witnessed my failed attempt to show off my not so great balancing skills along the top of the concrete edging and had dived in and pulled me out from the murky depths and deposited me to the relative safety of my shocked mother who was wondering why on earth I was suddenly all wet.
I was left feeling extremely embarrassed and to this day I can’t stand the smell of lake water, but otherwise I was unharmed and my mother promptly enrolled me in swimming lessons.
At some point we realised I had found my niche and for a long time swimming became my outlet, I wasn’t too bad at it either and eventually got accepted into a local squad then as the years passed I was even head hunted into a state squad, we trained several nights during the week, had 5am starts on a Saturday morning and regular competitions. I wasn’t Olympic material, but I often won ribbons and medals and it was the only part of myself I felt truly proud of.
Unfortunately, despite my love of swimming and the regular squad training, as I grew up my penchant for McDonalds as a tasty snack and handy emotional crutch meant I also grew out and my tweenage physique was not exactly flattered by a swimsuit.
While my team mates never made mention of my weight (probably because I was faster than most of them) eventually the teasing from perfect strangers around the pool started and just kept coming, the pool, my place of safety, was no longer a welcoming home away from home and eventually I heard the word ‘whale’ one too many times and humiliated I hung up my goggles for good.
Over 20yrs and an eating disorder later and I can still count the times we have been in a swimming pool since on one hand, unfortunately we still can’t let it go, not even for the sake of the children which is a shame for several reasons, not least of all because there was something about swimming that just felt right to me.
The harshness of the world had disappeared under the silent comforting blanket of the water, it was the one place I could actually feel like I was good at something, I felt weightless, like I finally had some sort of control over something in my life, I was free.
Did you have a place or activity that made you feel safe or free from the troubles of the world when you were a kid?
And she’s so excited by the “amazing advancement in technology” (I swear she’s 60yrs old sometimes) that I thought I’d embarrass all of us by uploading this video of her trying to use the Clips app to the interwebs for all eternity.
It’s extra funny to me because we have the same app on our phone and computer which she uses all the time and yet she’s apparently never noticed!
So, remember that little passive aggressive tweet to the bank I mentioned in my last post? Well apparently it caused a flood of panic for them and their little anti law suit brigade which resulted in me receiving a “welfare” check from our little village police man. (as in the village is little, not the cop – he’s actually rather imposing..)
Now I know the Sarge because he’s a local, his kids go to the village school, he’s very nice, about as Aussie as you get and we chat about random things while waiting in line at the servo or doling out soft drinks to sugar high 7yr olds at community sausage sizzles.
However, other than the odd 7am random breath test where we joke about how putting vodka on cornflakes might help us start the day, on a professional level, our paths had not really crossed; until yesterday.
You see, somehow I have avoided being flagged as any sort of risk to the local constabulary, information that was supposed to be passed on, wasn’t, I talk my way out of situations quite well, paperwork gets lost or not filed, the last one is evidenced by the fact that I still held a gun licence for several years after being hospitalised for multiple suicide attempts.
So anyway, Officer Gaz rocked up in my driveway at the same time as hubby came home from work yesterday afternoon, luckily I’d already had a sobbing hissy fit to hubby over the phone prior to their arrival so he didn’t have to guess too hard that the reason for the police being at our home may have been that I’d opened my big fat trap to the wrong person and they’d instigated this little visit from the authorities.
Hubby walked into our messy bedroom where he found me wearing my at home “I hate myself outfit” which involves no bra, a baggy, old, stained t shirt and leggings (yes as pants… oh the shame) with a hole in the bottom while hiding my tear soaked cheeks under the covers and posting that last blog post, he looked me up and down awkwardly for a sec and announced that Officer Gaz was also here…
My first comment was “OMG NO!” actually, thats a lie, it was “fucking bank!!” Quickly followed by “OMG No! Holy crap I’m not exactly looking sane here, don’t you dare let him in!!” To which hubby replied “Uhhh… he’s already in the living room” So I hissed back “Well let me get dressed first then!” Hubby nodded awkwardly and walked out again. He puts up with so much from me.
After quickly surveying the room and realising jumping out the window and running away was less than practical and probably wouldn’t end well for me, I decided to play it cool, pulled on semi respectable clothing in two-seconds flat and tried to rub the $2-hooker-esque mascara tear stains off my cheeks while walking out saying “Hello Gary how are you, wanna take a walk?” In my most non-chalant ‘I’m not crazy’ voice.
Apparently I had caused quite a stir back at bank headquarters and Gas explained that he had to “come and do a welfare check, mate” after stifling an inappropriate giggle because one of my inner devils made a dark humour comment about the term ‘check mate’ being used in these circumstances, I convinced Officer Gaz (with minimal crying) that I was just having a bad week and was disgruntled about my customer service experience and had expressed my frustrations in a rather poorly thought out manner and was not an immediate threat to self or others.
He eventually got on his radio and called off the ambulance and hospital who were apparently on standby to come tackle me to the ground and lock me away again for a while.
Now note that I live on the fringes of a teeny tiny town where stigma is rife and gossip is life blood, everyone knows everyone and therefore everyone knows everything about everyone. I had thus far somehow managed to keep my mental illnesses under wraps and I was NOT under any circumstances about to let myself be dragged back to hospital alive at the risk of being spotted. (Yes, I am being overly dramatic and yes, I was smart enough not to say that out loud!)
That’s one good thing about country cops, they are bound by law not to gossip about this kind of thing and they’ll be more inclined to let it pass with a cuppa and a quick chat, they also know the social repercussions of people finding out about this sort of thing probably ends in my having to move house so if possible it’s better to forgo the mandatory handcuffs and psych eval you would get in the city.
After our little chat Gaz commented that he felt comfortable leaving me as I had “no history of self harm or mental health issues” which nearly made me bite my tongue off before finally deciding to be honest with him and fess up that I did actually have quite a history but that didn’t mean I wasn’t ‘safe’ now.
He seemed to understand that my honesty about this was an unspoken trust pact between the two of us. He won’t use my history against me today and I won’t do anything to make him regret that choice today.
I figured being honest was a safer bet than have him get back to the station and pull a file on me somewhere that exposed the several months worth of previous non-voluntary hospital holidays I’d had and get suspicious that I may in fact be lying to him about my sanity status and change his mind.
It’s funny how people can beg for help and nobody will give two hoots and yet you can make a misguided off the cuff comment and all hell breaks loose as you find yourself desperately trying to prove that you are safe to be among civilisation.
– Note that next time you want help for suicidal ideation and the medical system isn’t interested, just call your local bank instead! *eye roll*
So, Officer Gaz left me with my family and I made an awkward explanation to my children about how making rash statements on social media is not advisable because this can happen, but the police are still doing a good job by checking that people are okay.
I also spoke to the bank again on Twitter and told them I was okay and apologised for scaring their lawyers them because, I have been on the other side of a suicidal telephone call a number of times when I worked for that un-namable government organisation – given the statistical unhappiness of the population I dealt with, calls can sometimes end in them receiving welfare checks rather than welfare cheques but the person in the call centre never gets to any outcome resolution and that can be hard to deal with.
I fear there’s only one sure answer to that question I keep asking myself. “Will this ever get better? Will I ever get better?”
My first world problems are overwhelming my feeble little mind right now. The others seem to have abandoned me in my hour of need and I’m desperately wanting / expecting Suzi to come galloping in on a white horse and save me from this, save us from me. She always manages to keep so calm, the little things slide off her like water off a ducks back and yet the same things drown me.
I’m having problems with impulsive suicidality again, after a hellish Thursday I thought I was actually improving because yesterday I felt pretty good, my car even decided to breakdown and it was still fine, I don’t even remember feeling upset or bothered at all, I don’t remember much at all actually, in hindsight maybe it wasn’t really me in the drivers seat- I’m vaguely aware of seeing my parents and borrowing Dads car but that’s about it for my recall of yesterday.
Today the plan was dropping 16 off at work and doing the groceries, so got ready, even put on makeup (it’s been a while) I dropped him off and checked my banking app to move grocery money only to find the app wasn’t working and it wanted me to call the bank for further information, so I did – and that’s when everything fell apart and I spiralled instantly back into “what the fuck is the point of living”.
When I rang the girl was lovely at first & said it’s prob just the app and I might need to reinstall it but she’d check quickly anyway. Then suddenly her whole attitude changed and she got all stern and said I’d need to go into a branch and show 100points of ID, I asked if there was an issue and she just repeated that I’d have to go to the branch.
I said that’s fine but were they open today being a Saturday? She asked for my location and the nearest open branch was over 200km away which I obviously couldn’t get to.
I started getting worried and told her I didn’t have enough fuel to get home and could she at least tell me if my bank card would still work or not despite not being able to log into the app and then she just started repeating that for ‘my privacy’ I’d have to go in to the branch today for any more information – which we had already established was impossible given it was already 11:55am (they closed at 2pm) and over 200km from me… I asked ‘generic’ questions that wouldn’t be privacy issues but she just kept saying over and over that I had to go into the branch. At this point I was triggered and in tears. She kept repeating it like a robot and rudely at that, so I ended up hanging up on her because I felt stupid, embarrassed and defeated.
Why this? Why now?
I couldn’t risk the embarrassment of filling up fuel and then my card not working, luckily one of the kids had some cash on him to cover me because by now I was crying so much I could barely drive home.
So now I won’t know until Monday WTF is going on, is my money still there? Is it safe? Has my identity been compromised? My business is attached to that account too – is its money safe? I don’t know anything and they refused to tell me any basic information.
You see, this hurts extra hard because I had a similar thing happen around a decade ago, a company made a mistake that caused me to have my name incorrectly flagged as a ‘fraud’ risk and it caused extreme emotional pain because of the severe impact it had on my credit rating that affected my ability to refinance my house and even buy a mobile phone I was totally ‘locked out’ and despite the fact I was never rude to them (directly, I was plenty angry in private) they refused to give a reason for why they wouldn’t talk to me the wouldn’t escalate my issue to a manager and most would hang up on me as soon as I gave my account number – In the end it took over 4years to fix THEIR mistake. That was so hellish and humiliating and this persons refusal to speak to me today took me right back to that heartache.
The trouble with me being in this fragile state right now is I feel ok for a bit and lull myself into a false sense of security because I somehow forget what ‘this’ feels like and I will leave the house to grocery shop or similar then a tiny trigger will just snap me back into instant crushing suicidal depression and I dissolve into a blubbering mess and forget what any other emotion even feels like.
I know this is my issue, not that of the person pulling the semi invisible hair trigger, they’re just doing what they have been instructed to do by their management- however I can’t help but think a more empathetic attitude from a phone banking customer service rep today could have saved a whole lot of heart ache even if she couldn’t have helped me.
The two reasons that I didn’t give up and commit suicide right then were I had my children in the car and it wasn’t my car because I was of course borrowing my fathers. Same thing having happened when I was on my own and I would have given up right then and there. I kind of did give up, just drove home on autopilot sobbing my heart out and climbed into bed posting an unnecessary passive aggressive tweet at the bank in question and instantly regretting it when they responded.
I have an appointment with M next week, Hubby’s on his way home so I’m ‘safe’ I am just so sick and tired of things getting difficult and once again I’m devolving into this singular option mindset. It’s just so exhausting
Here to inspire and motivate you all!
Mental Health Blogs
Thrills, Spills, and just a dash of Romance
we are not alone
It's named what it's named because it does what it does. And it does what it does because it's named what it's named!
Deep Down Inside...
the secrets we wish we could tell you...
obsessively suicidal, compulsively blogging
I used to drink and now I don't
A Hub where we discuss Psychiatry and everything mental health related!
A BLOG ABOUT BEING PAINFULLY HUMAN
Struggling with mental health, I was sat on a psych ward and inspired to start my very own blog! So here we are, welcome to life’s in the eyes of lauren where I’ll be tackling difficult topics and sharing my personal experiences, mainly focusing on mental health but also social services, the care system, living away from my biological family, school struggles and just life in general! i am writing to help poeple, if that means ive helped one person, ive achieved my goal. I hope you enjoy reading, Good Vibes Only xoxo
A Journey of discovery and self love.
The blog of an eclectic & eccentric woman
Mental health, Coffee & Books