Posts tagged ‘nightmares’

LOVE IS WATCHING SOMEONE DIE. 

We are through the first half of 2017, and almost halfway through July now as well. I made it through the 14th anniversary of Daughter Number One’s murder but only just, regular viewers, only just. I am still here, still breathing, still putting one foot in front of the other. 

I don’t try to pretend it is easy. It really hasn’t been. During the first five months of this year two beautiful souls I had the privilege of connecting with died and in June another, most precious, followed. On top of my own personal grief, watching people I love in pain is almost more than I can bear. I say almost because there isn’t a choice. I love them and they are in pain. If the most I can do is bear witness then it needs to be done. But I have been so sad. For me, for them. It all hurts so much. My body hurts, my soul hurts and oh, I’m so tired. So very, very tired. 

In the week before the anniversary of Daughter Number One’s murder we had the bombing in Manchester, at Ariana Grande’s concert. An attack on children. An attack on music. Shortly after came the London Bridge attack, again involving young people on a night out and shortly after that came the Grenfell Tower disaster. Babies and children, whole families, living their lives, losing their lives and all of these events in quick succession hit me like a ton of bricks. The weight of it, mixed with the other losses in my own life. The pointless waste of snuffed out potential. The reinforcement of how tenuous our grip on life is. How quickly everything we have and know and hold dear can be gone. It was crushing. 

As always, during these times, we were offered the very best and the very worst of humanity. Stories of homeless men running to give aid and strangers holding children, comforting them as they died. But the overwhelming aftertaste was of man’s inhumanity to man. These are the things I try not to hold onto. I really try. Consciously. I choose to look for the good and to be better, not bitter. But every ‘Missing! Hasn’t been heard from’ photo on facebook and each confirmed fatality, each snatched glimpse of footage showing billowing smoke and bereft people before I quickly changed the channel, took me back to a policeman’s face and the sound of his voice saying “There is nothing to identify. We’ll have to use dental records”. Over and over and over again. 

I am still sad. I am still scared. I am scared because at some point, in some way, love will equal loss, because that is the deal. And I choose to keep loving. Is it better to have loved and lost? Still, yes, I guess. For me at least. But the loss bit is just so very hard. 

Still, I get up in the morning and I put one foot in front of the other. Some days are slower than others, but I try and I try because the best way I know to honour the dead is by living. All the dear ones I have loved and lost, none of them would want me to not live my life. It would not give them back theirs. 

I have spoken before of the privilege of being adopted by a network of ex servicemen and women of all designations; military, police, fire and ambulance: Their support and generosity of spirit are second to none. A friend wrote recently to share his positive experience with a new medication he was trialling. Traditionally a blood pressure medication, it is said to have the bonus side effect of getting rid of ptsd related nightmares. As someone who routinely screams herself awake this sounded almost miraculous. In truth, after all these years I cannot imagine what life might be like without them. I just know it sounds good to me. 

After using antidepressants for over ten years I stopped taking them four years ago. A doctor said to me that she didn’t think my depression was biologically based, rather a reaction to events. I thought ‘Abso- fucking- lutely’ and at that moment there didn’t seem to be much point in continuing to take them. I only speak for myself. I don’t make judgements about what does and doesn’t work for anyone else. I was under medical supervision. But for me, I have not had any more bad days or anymore good days since I stopped taking them. That’s what I know. 

Four years down the track from that decision, hearing about a medication that specifically targets the nightmares was pretty exciting! So I made an appointment with a gp and asked. The Dr I was seeing had never heard of using this particular medication in that way so she rang a registrar for more information. She confirmed what my friend had been so generous to share. So, I got my prescription. And I don’t know that it will work for me but I don’t know that it won’t. And hope is a fine thing! 

One foot in front of the other until you get to the other side, while sirens in the distance have me listening for the voice that will never come. 

Safe onward travel to all my lovelies, wherever you are and wherever you are headed x 

Oh yeah, life goes on.

The nightmares that I am having each night exhaust me. I wake up in the midst of panic attacks a couple of times a night. Then, when I wake in the morning, memories both good and bad flood in and I know that the nightmare continues.

That’s not to say I am not trying to find the beauty in life. I really enjoyed dinner with my friend last night. Listening to her speak and reflecting with her on the positives of the city we were in made me acknowledge afresh the things I love about it. Clearly one thing I loved about it has gone but much remains as does the opportunity to enjoy and explore.

On another note the Aged Care Facility that houses my Nana rang this morning. She is barely eating and losing weight. I am looking forward to tying up the loose ends that will enable me to go and see her.

One step at a time x

To sleep, perchance to dream…..

Here I am, still bobbing. I had another night of nightmares. To give myself credit these ones were quite spectacular. One featured the end of the world. It is getting kind of old now though. I am over waking up feeling like a truck has hit me.

 

On a positive note I have hot water again. We have been without hot water for two days and bathing has required many kettles and saucepan fulls to be boiled. I was over that too, so to have a long long hot hot shower this afternoon was blissful. I am really not a roughing it type. If I had been born in an earlier time I would not have survived. Actually that is probably literally true, as I was six weeks premature at birth. However, I meant that I like toilets and toilet paper, and hot water and refrigeration, airconditioning, the internet etc etc etc. I don’t do camping. I am not a getting back to nature girl. But I have my hot water now, and I am counting my blessings.

 

I am also counting the days until I get to see my current person of interest again. There are five sleeps to go. While we are together we get to celebrate his birthday, which will be very cool, and from my perspective certainly a day worth celebrating!

I tell myself it’s just a blue day…

I am just kind of bobbing along in a sea of grey at the moment. The nightmares and headaches are a constant and the effort required to do anything is huge. I literally feel heavy, in my limbs and my head. My whole body feels bruised. Things seem to be whizzing around me while I move in slow motion. I know that the anniversary of Daughter Number One’s death is looming. Although I am trying not think about it I feel it’s approach constantly. Trying not to think of it saps my already drained mental energy. My grasp on things is not so good and simple things confuse and challenge me. I am holding myself together so tightly that other things are slipping.

 

The day before yesterday was a really bad day. The nightmares I had eroded my self worth in my sleep and I woke up feeling toxic and damaging to everything and everyone. I received a good morning text from my current person of interest. Usually this brightens my day, but on this particular day I just felt undeserving. 

  

At the moment my mantra is ‘don’t think, don’t feel’. Don’t try this at home, kids! I don’t recommend it as a long term strategy. I am just scared that if I open up a little bit right now then all the black sadness inside me will escape and swallow me whole. As it is I can feel it burrowing to the surface, gnawing at my innards and leaving me hollow. I feel the need to maintain some kind of control because three little lives depend on me, and I have responsibilities to meet, to my kids, to my Nana still settling into her Aged Care Facility. So, I can’t completely fall apart.  This has been a blessing, in that I would not have made it this far without knowing  my surviving children needed me. But it is hard all the time. Right now, it is very hard.

One recent night while we were having our usual telephone call my current person of interest started to say ‘You are ………’ and I tensed as I waited for that word, but he continued ‘…..I was going to say strong but I’ll say resilient’. I let go of my breath and felt relief. Because I am not strong, not at all. It is still such a struggle to get through each day. To bend under the weight of my grief but not let it break me. To not give in, to not give up. I am not strong at all. All I have done is outlive my daughter and that is just timing, not skill.

Just another day in paradise

 

I awoke today feeling pretty crappy. I had been having nightmares about having nightmares. I am particularly talented that way. My mood was pretty dark, as are the skies here. It is raining. So I made myself some tea and fruit loaf toast and turned on the computer.

 

Waiting for me I found a  message from a friend, one of my oldest friends actually. I also found alot to amuse me on twitter including a reply to something I’d said and a fab quote from the magnificent Katharine Hepburn

“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving. ”

 

Unlike Forrest Gump I’m not sure I know what love is. I know what it is to me, I just get confused about what it means to others. To me, it is as Ms. Hepburn says. What I am learning is to be loving towards myself as well.

 

Today though I am feeling the love from my wider world via the World Wide Web. I am really glad you are out there! Now that my mood is a little calmer I can reflect on my blessings of which there are many. My thoughts are with some friends who are having an embryo transfer today. Also with the lovely Katyboo http://katyboo1.wordpress.com/ who has some tough things going on. My beautiful children, my wonderful friends, my family of choice, music, chocolate, Monty Python- and I think to myself what a wonderful world!

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