LOSING SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

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More loss! How much more? It seems like an endless stream of significant other people in my life have departed or are leaving me. I am devastated and heartbroken. I don’t cope well with what feels like abandonment, especially as someone who has BPD or EID (Emotional Intensity Disorder) where this and rejection constantly loom like some ogre behind my shoulder, threatening to suffocate me.

I very recently lost my Mum (as some of you will know). This bereavement came five years after losing my Father. You could say that I should have expected these losses at some time, given that both my parents were in their eighties. However, this is always a major blow even after taking that into consideration.

Now, other important people in my life are leaving, and it’s beginning to get too much to bear. One of my two main Carers left last week, taking early retirement. Now, Helen, my P.A. and Support Worker is moving on after fifteen years with me. She is taking a different career path, and I will be acutely aware of her absence in my life.

Then, finally (at least for the time being) a very close friend announced yesterday that she was moving to the coast, eighty miles away to be nearer her daughter (we have known each other for nearly thirty years). We’ve had many happy times visiting places of interest, chatting over cups of coffee, pouring our hearts out to one another, and in general, putting the world to rights. We can phone or write, but with neither of us having transport or good health, it is unlikely that we will see each other again.

It’s all beginning to get a bit much, I’m lonely and am fighting hard not to fall into a pit of despair and depression. The friends that I do have seem to be mostly cyber-friends, either on Facebook, Twitter or WordPress. At least, in social media, I could put out some ‘friend requests’, but in real life, it’s not quite as easy as that. I guess if I reach the bottom, the only way to go is up, so I’ll try to hang on to that for the time being. Please, bear with me a little longer.

THE BUSYNESS OF GRIEF

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The funeral was beautiful in as far as a funeral can be thought of as ‘beautiful’. White poppies adorned the wicker casket which was interwoven with daisies and wildflowers and not the sombre, traditional dark wooden coffin that many people have. Mum was a great lover of flowers and plants, and she tended her little patch of garden so carefully over her 86 years. It’s sad to think of it being so neglected now as is the old and empty house which was my home for many decades.

It’s been six weeks since my precious Mum passed away. The sadness and loss will never leave us all, but it’s strange how people differ so much in their ways of dealing with grief. My youngest sister is very tearful and is deeply mourning the loss of my Mum. She’s unable to concentrate on her studies, nor cope with her part-time job. My other sister has travelled home again and has thrown herself into her work. However, she is frequently prone to breaking down in racking sobs and is in need of much consolation from her colleagues.

As for me, it’s as if nothing has happened. I think, if anything, I only feel numb and apart from weeping briefly at the first news of my Mum’s death (and I haven’t cried since that day), I am carrying on with life much as usual. I’m keeping myself very occupied and haven’t really stopped since the funeral. My life is as busy as ever and with assistance, I’ve been concentrating on sorting my house out as much as I physically can.

In fact, over the last two weeks, the whole of the downstairs of my house has been decorated. The builders have only just left and there is a huge mountain of mess to clear up. The smell of paint is lingering and I haven’t quite got used the new colour scheme yet. The new curtains are being put up tomorrow along with the new ceiling lights. It’s been ‘all go’ for a few weeks now and I’ve felt quite excited by it all but somehow, also exhausted in equal measure.

I know in my heart that my frantic busyness is just a way of coping, or perhaps, rather a way of not coping or not wanting to face reality because it is all too painful. However, reality has a way of kicking us in the ribs when we try to avoid it. There are Mum’s possessions to deal with and the house to sell. There is so much of everything to be sorted into heaps of ‘deal with now’ or ‘deal with later’.

There are so many practical issues to deal with that I haven’t had time for emotions. Emotions are something of which I’ve had far too many of in my life and I’m not welcoming these new and painful feeling that are threatening to engulf me. I have been fighting them off for weeks but I know, or at least I think I know that as soon as I stop rushing around, those emotions will not only wash over me but quite possibly drown me.

Frighteningly, this seems a distinct possibility and I find myself desperately looking for the person that can ‘save’ me. But then, I realise that very person is the one no longer with me other than in spirit and spirit doesn’t seem enough now. I’m not a child anymore and yet right now, I need my Mum more than ever and she isn’t there, and I have to face the painful fact that she will never be here again. Rest in Peace, Mum. Rest in Peace.

 

 

 

DEATH IN THE FAMILY

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t been able to post anything on my blog these last few weeks and probably won’t for a couple more weeks at least, as very sadly, my Mother, who was very sick, passed away last week. I am devastated as I’m sure you can imagine. I hope to be back when everything has settled down. Thank you for your understanding. Ellie x  😥

GRIEF WITHOUT DEATH

I miss my Mum. I miss her so much.  A death you would think.  No, my Mum hasn’t passed away, but she’s had a severe stroke and has been in the hospital for nearly three months now. I miss her presence in my life – she was always there to talk to when I had problems with my children growing up and always in these later years when I’ve been battling with my mental heath.

She used to support me through everything and as the years ticked by, I was the one supporting her (and rightly so). We would talk on the phone for many hours, putting the world to rights and putting each other to rights. We rarely had a cross word.

I have to confess, there have been times when it’s felt a bit of a chore to have to phone my Mum every day, sometimes twice a day in more recent years.  I would, perhaps, think, “I want to spend more time with friends” on that particular night or “I’d like to spend the time writing my blog”.  Worse still, I’d be keen to text a good friend for a heart-to-heart or get that email written that I’ve been meaning to do for days.

Now, the evenings come, and I find myself thinking,  “I’ll just phone to see how ……….” – My sentence is cut short by the stark realisation that my Mum is not occupying the same space as she used to do. Something else is in her place – a horrible silence broken only by memories of how our relationship used to be.

Gone are our chats, our shared laughter and our mutual support. There are no long discussions about what she had planted in her garden that day with the full expectation of seeing her little seedlings and shoots develop into strong, tall plants. She’d tell me how she’d tied them up with green, garden twine against bamboo canes and watch them develop and bloom.

She won’t go back to that house again, nor her beloved garden that was her sanctuary, her escape from the world when life got difficult – not now. She could never manage the stairs, feed herself or live without 24-hour care and yet she’d managed independently since her separation from my father. She had lived in our family home for over sixty years. And to think the grass was being cut by her only two weeks before she had her stroke.

The damage to her brain is so extensive that she’s still unable to communicate verbally or in any other way,  and any hope of further improvements is met with serious doubt by the doctors and consultants.  The physios, the OTs and the speech and language therapists are not hopeful either.  I try to talk to her on the phone when I can’t get there – hoping to get a response but my questions always have the same replies – nothing – it’s heartbreaking.

I’m still travelling up to the City by train to see her at least once a week. The journey is always tough, fraught with difficulties and exhausting but I need to be there. I need to retain that little bit of hope. However, she isn’t even able to acknowledge that I’m there and I wonder where she has gone inside that broken shell of a body.

I feel I should not be grieving as she is still present with me. But I am – I’m grieving the loss of the person that my Mum once was; her presence in my life, her faded personality and her love, care and affection. She is no longer there.  But grieving when she is still alive; is that right? Is that acceptable? It is simply grief without death.

ANGRY – I’M DEAD IN THE WATER / I’M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD (VIDEOS)

Often lately, I have been thinking that for how much my children care or rather do not care about me, I may just as well be dead in the water, as the song says. Would I missed? No, I think not. At least, not by them. I know I have some good friends and I appreciate that so much but it doesn’t take the pain away. Am I angry? Yes, I am. I am angry at my children for depriving me of my grandchildren.

I’m angry with my care agency for not doing their job properly, not my carers (they are all great). It’s the bloody management who don’t bloody well look after their staff so their staff are all leaving in droves and I can’t say I blame them!

I’m angry with my church for not even noticing that I haven’t been there for the last six weeks, and now; now that I’ve let on (I thought, confidentially) to someone that I was leaving as I’ve found a much more supportive church; now, the phone rings at 7.15pm. I can see that it’s my church but I don’t pick up. The Minister has left a message saying she just wanted to talk to me about something and she wondered how I was…NOW? 

I am just so angry….I’m angry with life in general. I’m angry at the world! I’m not feeling sorry for myself…I’m just feeling utterly and thoroughly pissed off by everything in my life! I’m so angry that I’m in the state of mind that I don’t really care whether I’m here (as in alive and breathing), or not. In fact the idea of being ‘dead in the water’ quite appeals at this current moment.

I think I’m going slightly mad! I feel like an unexploded time-bomb, detonated and primed to off at any minute….any minute now. What do you do with yourself when yo feel like this? Answers on a postcard….

LEPER

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Today, I am hurting. I miss both my children who choose not to be part of my life….stigma left-over from my seriously bad mental health days and now my physical disability. Perhaps I’ve caused them pain in my illness.

My daughter, ‘Clare’ with my two young granddaughters will honour me with her presence, if I’m lucky, for a couple of hours around Christmas time. That’s it! Once! It hurts and I so miss my grandchildren who barely know me, and then only as a stranger. I know she doesn’t love me.

My son, ‘Tom’, my first-born, has opted out of my life altogether. I have a grandchild who is 18 months old who I’ve only seen once when she was born. A duty call, that’s all. Better than nothing, I know, but now….it is completely nothing. It is as if he doesn’t exist. I don’t exist on his planet and he has no love for me either.

I wrote a poem a few years back. I chanced sending it to both of them in the hope…..the vain hope……

Nothing. Deafening silence. Silhouettes on the horizon. This was the poem I wrote:

My child, why does it have to be this way?
When I love you so much, it hurts
And I miss you to the end of the Earth and back
And would give my eye-tooth to hold you again.

My heart is a jigsaw with a piece missing
And try as I might, I cannot find it
Where are you, my child, who are you now?
You are all but lost to me. Will you be forever?

I’ll never stop hoping, wishing, praying
That one day, you’ll come back into my life
But tell me if it’s a vain hope
As I suffer every minute without you here

I love you, my precious child
You doubt me, you mistrust me
You despise me and whatever I do or don’t do
It’s not enough to bring you back to me

I would give gold and silver and diamonds and more
For the want of you to be close to me again
But I am helpless to redeem myself
Though I try long and hard and try to hold on to hope

But the hope is diminishing as the days,
The hours, the minutes, the seconds go by
We are further apart than ships in the night
And the lighthouse is disappearing from sight

I offer only a forever kind of love for a lifetime
For the years together we’ve missed
Nothing fills the void, nothing will, nothing can
For the rest of my days on this Earth, I am sorry

If I could take your pain and carry it on my back for you
I would do so, willingly, my precious child
I only wish you joy, happiness, peace of mind
You have nothing to fear from me

I am no threat, nor wish to be. Can you forgive me?
In your heart of hearts, my child, could you?
You have done no wrong in my eyes
The eyes of a mother at the death of her child.

I LOVE YOU ALWAYS xxx

 

Still…..nothing…..absence…..isolation…..stranger…..leper.

I hurt.

 

 

A MUSEUM PIECE

I have said, on more than one occasion, that I will not let the fact that my two children choose to reject me, stop me living the best quality of life that I am able. I am mostly pretty successful at this, continuing to write, to read, to get out and take part in life in general. However, there are times when the pain just becomes too unbearable and no amount of ‘a better quality of life’ is enough to compensate for my despair and isolation.

A MUSEUM PIECE

Forgive me my fragility and indulgence
Of a few tears shed
Tumbling down my cheeks
As I think back on my life-time so far

This is not what I envisaged
That my life would be as such; not ever
Dreams shattered like broken glass
Trod carelessly, underfoot

What have I to show for my toil and trouble?
Two offspring who barely know I am here
I play no importance in their lives
And neither in that of my grandchildren

They grow faster and brighter
I grow older, greyer, and wiser
I am, to them, just a mere label
A being with a name but no face

Like some distant aunt who lives far away
In the eyes of the children
I am merely, decrepit, and distant
Akin to an object in a museum

To be peered at on occasional visits
I cannot play hide-and-seek with them
Or climb the stairs to see their shiny, new toys
Nor to be introduced to the latest gerbil

I am deeply saddened and wounded
By this state of affairs
My heart is breaking in two; yet my own
Children play no part in my restoration.

I don’t think my situation is helped any by the fact that I have only one ‘real-life friend to whom I am eternally grateful to as she has stuck by me through all my really despicable years since losing my children: Full of alcoholism, drugs, self harm, anorexia, frequent attempts at suicide etc, and has never given up on me. We see each for a couple of hours, once a week and I so treasure that time and feel is she like goldust to me. I have no other friends other than you, my virtual but valuable and appreciated friends on WordPress. So I thank you, my blogging friends for all your love, caring and support and hope I am able to give a little goldust to each of you at some time. Big Hugs from me, coming your way so watch out……….! xxx

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I would like to add that it has been some years since I have indulged in any of these reckless, self-harming activities although I still have issues with my eating sometimes. All the overdoses, drugs, alcohol, cutting etc have damaged my body permanently so if anyone is struggling with these issues, I do hope you are seeking/getting help and support xxx

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

Well….today is the last day that my sister will be here with us in England. She leaves my mum’s house at 1.30pm today, which is just over an hour from while I am writing this (although by the time I’ve finished this post, she will have gone). Her 28 hour flight takes off at 5.50pm, after which I shan’t see her for another 3-4 years :(( She phoned me this morning to say goodbye which is always hard. I so wish I could go to the airport with her and wave her off properly but I couldn’t manage the journey. Fortunately, my younger sister is going with her so she won’t be on her own. It’s always hard to let her go – we are such close sisters and I find missing her hard. Nevertheless, her life is out there in Australia and her husband and two almost grown-up children have missed her a lot while she’s been here so will be glad to have her home again.

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As we were growing up, we had our fair share of squabbles and ‘cat fights’ but never really fell out seriously nor hurt each other. She wasn’t abused by my father and finds it difficult to accept what I have said as being the truth. So, we’ve agreed to disagree on that one although it does hurt me to know that I don’t have her support. She got on with my dad really quite well and definitely without being abused. In fact, we ended up calling her “Daddy’s blue-eyed little girl”, which she was literally with her straight blond hair and beautiful blue eyes (taking after him), whereas I took after my mum with my common brown hair and brown eyes. But there was never any competition between us and I bore and bear no grudge that it was me who was the only child in our family who was abused.

Now she lives literally on the other side of the planet, the main differences between us are the obvious huge number of miles of land and sea between us and totally opposite time clocks and of course weather. Also she has two well-behaved teenagers who I hope to meet one day. I chat to them on the phone once in a while. My children are a ‘different kettle of fish’ altogether and hardly bear even mentioning, I am so angry with them because of how they treat me.

Well….it’s now 6.30pm, my time and she will be up in the air among the white and fluffy clouds and will soon be watching the sun go down, becoming just and orange glow.

The flight is with a ‘decent’ airline so the long journey (with two stopovers) shouldn’t be too unbearable although of course she will arrive home totally exhausted and it takes her days to recover from the jet-lag. Her family will be at the other end to greet as she gets off the plane and she will be happy to see them.

Farewell, my beloved sister. It was wonderful to be with you again and share an enormous hug. I’ll miss you so much but know that very soon we will be chatting on the phone as if we lived in the same street as the other! I love you so very much.

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I OUGHT TO BE OVER THE MOON BUT I’M NOT :(

Wednesday evening, 11 June 2014

9.10pm, on my way up to bed; the phone rings. “Who’s phoning at this time in the evening?”, I think. A hesitant voice then says, “Hello Mum”. It’s my son, much to my amazement! My first thought was that something awful had happened, maybe he was very ill; worse still, maybe if my little granddaughter had been badly hurt or had died. My mind raced at a million miles an hour along with my heartbeat. I was so surprised to hear his voice as I can’t even remember the last time he phoned me. It must have been when S. was born; she’s now one and a half and I have only seen her once which hurts so much, especially as I don’t see my daughter’s two little ones hardly at all either. I am a ‘Nanny’ and I’ve no idea how that feels….I’m not ‘in those shoes’, so to speak.

My son says, “I thought i’d tell you before it goes on Facebook that K. is pregnant, twelve weeks now!” I was really shocked…This is K. who can’t look after her first child, S, without her mother doing practically everything for her so how on Earth is she going to look after two little ones, I think? My son, T. says, Oh, K’s mum is going to give up work so that she can be with K. all the time! (And yes, maybe there is a bit of the green-eyed monster in the back of my head but nevertheless, my concern is genuine). I hear myself saying “Congratulations to you both”, In a shocked and half-hearted way.

What are the chances of seeing this new baby, this new life, my grandchild when I never see S.? Virtually nil, I imagine sadly. I am hurting. I hardly know what it means to be a ‘Nanny’ and the little ones barely know me. I am just a stranger to them.

I said something to T. about how much I’d welcome a visit from them and of course, to see S. Muttering about work commitments and such came back and I got nowhere. 

When I got off the phone, I didn’t feel the joy or excitement usually following such news. I felt flat, I felt nothing, empty, hurt. I certainly didn’t feel ‘over the moon’, as most people would do under normal circumstances.

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(photo credit: acclaim clip art)

A NOTE TO MY BLOGGING FRIENDS

In two days time, it will be the second anniversary of my father’s death…the father who sexually, emotionally and mentally abused me all through my childhood. This anniversary throws up so many connotations as i remember the last time i saw and spoke to him on his death-bed. only three hours before he died. I was the last one to see him before he died. Ironically, i could have said anything to hi during that last couple of hours and always thought that i would have ‘my say’ at last. But instead, i found myself holding his hands; the very hands that had abused me and ripped my virginity away at the tender age of four. I whispered “I forgive you, dad“, despite being alone with him and having the liberty to say whatever i wanted; in fact, all the words i’d always imagined i would say to him when he lay there so helpless. But no; i had to tell him i’d forgiven him as much for my own sake as his;  so i could finally let go of all the hurt and pain caused by him, and move on.

But , if only life was that simple. I am still haunted by nightmares and flashbacks, day in, day out, so why, what was the point?

 

I am feeling so vulnerable with the vivid memories of him abusing me flashing through my mind; this combined with memories of laying a red rose on his coffin as we all did, at his funeral and crying for the loss of another chance at life with him, ever, ever again.

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I was not mourning the loss of my father in the normal sense but rather mourning the loss of the father i always wanted but never had and mourning the loss of my entire childhood  which had consequences on every day of the rest of my life. Such loss. 

This is affecting me greatly right now so i wanted to apologize to all my blogging friends that if you don’t hear much from me in the next few days, be it posts, comments or likes etc., I am sorry but i will still be thinking of you all and will be back on here as soon a my head allows me to. I feel awful leaving you all in the lurch, knowing that many of you are going through such difficult times right now too and i am so sorry i can offer so little support over the next few days – i do hope you understand and forgive me.

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I love you all dearly and will be thinking of each one of you. Take great care of yourselves and stay safe till we next meet xxx ❤ 😦