A couple of nights ago Son Number Two woke me in the early hours of the morning. I had been having a nightmare that something was coming at me out of the dark and, in my dream, I had been screaming his name. He said, in real life, that he couldn’t understand what I was crying out, but that I was clearly distressed, so he woke me up. It wasn’t the first time, it will not be the last. He wakes me up and talks to me for a couple of minutes as I reorient myself and then he goes back to bed. And in the morning he gets up and goes off to school. 

Last Wednesday was Son Number Two’s eighteenth birthday. That seems incredible to me but there you have it. My beautiful Daughter Number One died when he was four years old and he has very few memories of her. Life ‘After’ is life as he knows it. I wanted his birthday to be all about him and I think, I hope, that he felt that it was. The birthday video I made to post to facebook had only one photo of him with each sibling; the rest of an increasingly good looking boy across the years. So many memories as I trawled through photos to pick the best ones. 

And I got things together and I organised his birthday dinner but by the big day I was exhausted from the effort of containing the unfairness of his big sister not being here to celebrate this milestone with him and the brutality of the knowledge that she never got to see her eighteenth birthday. Or any birthday after she turned fourteen. Each night this week brought a nightmare that didn’t really stop when I awoke. 
On his birthday Son Number Two went off to school and I attended to the last few details. I went to visit a friend and while they were sweeping outside I stood in their kitchen with music on full blast and sobbed the kind of heaving, full bodied sobs that leave you unsure if you are going to vomit and bring you literally to your knees – and they did, and they did. But before my friend came inside I had wiped off my face and regained my composure and the day wore on. 

I came home to my Son and one friend, followed by another, then another. We all got ready to go out for his birthday dinner and there were many laughs. The general consensus amongst his friends seems to be that I am cool, as parents go. But they have no idea of how hard my Son’s life has been at times. We have had some adventures though, he and I, and I guess we have both made it this far. That’s saying something in itself even if I’m not sure what that is. What I do know is that he has a solid group of friends who, like him, are loyal smart arses for the most part. But funny as fuck. 
We all prepared to go out and I sent them off to the bus stop and waited for my own lift at the top of my drive way and with their laughter travelling around the corner to me I felt the tightness in my chest and the change in my breathing as the grip I held so tightly once again started to slip. I sent an emergency text to one of my oldest, dearest friends and then my other lovely friends picked me up to go to the restaurant. 

The birthday dinner was a good night out and a jolly good time was had by all. I limped through the rest of the week and here we are, on Father’s Day. 

Once again I feel for my son and all that was stolen from him but more than that, I am so grateful. I am grateful beyond measure for the truly good men who have been in his life. The ones who came to his birthday dinner and clapped him on the back, shook his hand and hugged him goodbye. I am grateful for all of those men who have spent time with him over his life and who have cared enough to make the effort. I am thankful for the beautiful men and fathers I have the privilege of knowing, the true good guys that mean I continue to have hope. Lastly, I am grateful for my Son, who he is and who he is becoming. 

Safe onward travel x 


Father’s Day

Today has been a crap day. It started out pretty well but slid downhill fast. Baby Daddy saw Daughter Number Two yesterday, so I did not have to manage that today. It was beautiful weather and I spoke to the Current Person of Interest this morning.


It all came apart spectacularly when my Dad dropped in so we could wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Son Number Two had had a restless night and had been short tempered all day. Son Number One was his usual testing self. Literally two minutes after my Dad and his wife walked in Son Number Two exploded in a ball of rage at Son Number One which involved lots of swearing and door slamming. And went on, and on, and on. Probably for only half an hour but it felt like FOREVER.


I don’t imagine Father’s Day is much fun when your Father killed himself. Especially if he murdered your big sister at the same time. While I never deny my Son’s their memories of their father and their grief at his loss it is quite a different scenario from a Father’s Day with an absentee father, or one who has passed away. I can only presume it raises conflicting emotions for them, it certainly does for me. While I understand  all that, part of me screams why oh why couldn’t the major meltdown have happened after my father’s visit?


I am just so tired. I have a two day Autism workshop thingy that I’m sure would be worthwhile if I didn’t feel such a mess but as it is, it is another thing on the long list of things I have to manage and leaving Daughter Number Two for two days to attend is making me anxious like you wouldn’t believe. She is being minded at home which is the best scenario but I’m still finding it difficult. I’m finding everything difficult.


In the news over the past week there were two stories that resonated with me. One involved a murder/suicide in which a father drove his two young children into a tree. The other was a step father killing his step daughter, after it is thought she woke up while he was assaulting her. These stories are a physical blow to me, that knock me down. And it is so hard to keep on getting back up.


This is the best I can do. I can’t do anymore. And it sucks to realise it doesn’t seem good enough.