Remembering LeKZ

For those who haven’t read the backlog, our best friend LeKZ died a few weeks ago, after a long and distressing illness.

For all the antagonism between some of us and them, those of us who knew them and loved them find ourselves missing them more each day. Too many times does one of us think “must tell LeKZ about that”, and then get that sinking feeling when we realise we won’t be having that conversation, ever. It’s not getting easier, but harder. We’re finding ourselves having conversations with them in our head, and we knew them so well that we can easily respond as they would. It almost feels like they’re on the verge of being introjected, but we won’t let that happen. That would be too much, too painful, too wrong for us.

But it’s so hard to let go. Even harder when you know that we’re the executor of the will, and have a room full of their belongings in our house. Constant reminders. It’s heartbreaking to go through her things, stuff that meant something to her, and have to decide what to keep and what to give to charity. The sad remnants of someone’s life, sat in boxes and bags, all there is to show that they were here. Apart from memories, of course. Lots of memories.

The only person/s who knew them, as they were, all of them as individuals, was us. Their names, their personalities, their quirks, loves and hates, habits, voices, nobody knew except us. So it’s down to us to remember them all. We didn’t just lose a friend, we lost so many friends. It kind of feels like a natural disaster wiped out a couple of hundred, and we knew them all.

“There’s just some things that time cannot erase” – Evanescence

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The black dog

So, the black dog is here. For those that don’t know, black dog is a euphemism for depression. Ours has made itself at home for the winter, and seems content to snooze by the fireside. No amount of chasing has convinced it to go outside in the cold.

It’s become almost impossible to stay downstairs with P in the evenings. The overwhelming urge to be upstairs in bed hits us at about 8pm, and we can only fight it off for so long. By 9pm, we’re upstairs. We have a computer, telly and DVD player in the bedroom, so we’re quite cumfy up there, but we’re alone. P sleeps downstairs because of our pain issues and broken sleep patterns. So our bedroom is our safe haven, ours alone, quiet and peaceful and calming. No disturbances, unless it’s P bringing us a cup of tea and checking we’re ok. He’s really good like that. Or it’s Teenage Son coming in for a chat. Yes, we have a 15 year old son who still wants to chat with his Mum! So, maybe not completely alone, but not downstairs in the hub of family life. We miss that.

And we feel so guilty about buggering off upstairs and leaving P to look after Youngest Son. It makes us feel like a shite parent, and that’s something our Mum instilled in us from the moment TS was born. Everything we did was wrong, every decision we made was wrong, our routine was wrong, the clothes we put him in were wrong, the foods we fed him were wrong. And of course, she was right, and if we didn’t do everything her way, we were a crap parent. She did this for TS, for YS, and she still does it now. Subtle, and not-so-subtle, undermining of us at every turn. Intellectually, we know we’re a good parent. Our kids tell us we’re the best Mum in the world. P knows we’re a good parent, and doesn’t mind us going upstairs when we need to. But we still feel the guilt. Our Mum did a good job on us over the years *sigh*

Come to think of it, she’s undermined and dissed every choice we’ve made in our life. Nice.

Anyways, back to the depression. It’s sucking the life out of us. We just feel so blah all the time. Everything’s an effort, too much effort, can’t we just stay in bed and not have to think about stuff? No, we can’t. Nor do we really want to, we’d be missing out on so much life, time with the kids, time with P. But still, there’s the urge to hide away.

Did I mention, we have a kicking case of PTSD about being stuck in bed? Lovely contradiction of wants and needs and trauma and flashbacks. Sometimes we can’t win for losing.

*sigh*

Tony

Samhainn and Hallowe’en

We had a good Samhainn this year. We lit our candle, and thought of those who have gone before, and told them we loved them and wished them peace and love and happiness. It was very uplifting, and calm, and full of love.

Inside, we had huge roaring bonfires, and everyone walked between them to cleanse themselves. The kids Inside went trick or treating, and got tons of sweets and chocolate! There were turnip lanterns, coz we’re traditional that way, and warm cakes, and treacle tarts, and cinder toffee, and the adults drank honey mead and warmed cider. We put out offerings of food and drink in thanks for the harvest, and for the spirits of those gone before. The celebrations, if that’s the right word, went on through the 1st, and the whole day was warm and comforting and filled with peace and a sense of community. We ended the day with a feast of epic proportions, with tables and benches in the streets, and everyone contributed something, and there was much feasting and raising of glasses and merriment!

Outside, on the 31st, we watched Boo, Halloween 4 and Halloween 5! Nothing like a good horror movie marathon on Hallowe’en!

We manage to celebrate both holidays, without blurring the meanings of either one. Samhainn is for remembrance and reflection, of giving thanks, of meditating on the year gone by, and of those who are no longer with us. A time for community and closeness. Hallowe’en is for fun and sweets and the laughter of kids, and of movie marathons and popcorn. Both have their place in today’s world.

-Bethanie

interacting is so hard sometimes

some days, it’s so hard to interact with the outside world.

we can read, and we do, but when we try to interact, to post, to respond, it’s like having a handful of sand.

every little grain of sand is a word, a thought, a feeling, but we can’t hold on to any of them, they just slip through our fingers.

life goes on inside, but the world outside of the body seems ephemeral, out of reach.

we sit and stare at the walls, at the computer screen, nobody really fronting, just drifting.

we write blog posts, long intense emails, but somewhere between the brain and the keyboard, they get lost.

we are not disconnected from each other, but we are from the outside world.

Life is hard. Dissociation is easy.

days like this don’t scare us. it’s peaceful. just drifting.

It cannot last though. We must reconnect. We must find our anchors again.

We always do.

But never think that we don’t care. We care a lot. It’s just sometimes we have a hard time saying so.

forgive us? we are sorry.

So, we’re getting older

It’s our birthday on Friday. We’re being spoilt that day. We’re going for McDonalds breakfast with our friends, and out to dinner in our fave restaurant in the evening with mum, dad, Paul and the kids. It’s going to be exhausting, but in a good way!

It’s a milestone birthday this year, and that makes ua think of all the things we haven’t done with our life, and all the things we wish we could do. We see friends from school, who weren’t as bright as us, and they’ve got great jobs and lots of money and go away on these amazing holidays all the time. And then there’s us, who live on benefits, are disabled, crippled, and haven’t had a holiday in 20 years. It’s depressing at times. There are so many things we used to be able to do. We’ve been a pre-school teaching assistant, a gold dealer, a pawnbroker, a shop manager,  a motorbike mechanic, run our own milk delivery round, and when we had to stop working, we were a double glazing company appointments and personnel manager. So much potential for a rich and varied life, and it’s all gone.

It hurts to feel your life is passing you by, and big birthdays like this one just rub salt in the wounds.

Still, we’re alive, and that counts for something! We have a wonderful fiancé, gorgeous kids, a family we’ve built and wouldn’t change for the world. And we might not have had all of that if we’d been healthy and circumstances had been different. We’d have been different. So I guess life has compensated us for all the things we’ve lost, by giving us what we have now. And we should try and take some measure of comfort in that.

We’ve also got a safe, stable and loving world inside, where people are generally happy and content. Sure we have our problems, but overall, we’re good. And that’s something else to cherish.

So, it’s our birthday on Friday. And we’ll celebrate! And eat! And we’ll enjoy it as best we can!

Nick