Two Years Later.

I cannot believe that next month makes two years since i last saw my dad. These last two years are not treated me well. There were times when thing felt like they were getting better, but then it all shifts back.

I have been on and off anti-depressants and in and out of psychology but every time I feel like I’m back on my feet, something knocks them from beneath me.

We have moved house. It breaks my heart not to live at home anymore. There have been so many amazing memories in that house, its where most of my memories with dad are. Mum wanted a fresh start, to get away from the memories and create new, less painful ones. Thats probably the one way that I’m different from her, she needs to run from the memories and i want them wrapped around me like a blanket.

For the longest time I was so angry at her for making us move, for not listening to my needs and opinions. Seeing how much of a difference this move has made for her warms my heart though. I am still adjusting to this new life but seeing her happy and closer to her normal self makes me happy beyond words.

I’ve done a lot in the last two years, I’ve also done nothing. I was studying business at a private college in the city, but my mental health issues made me quit. After that I did nothing for 12 months. I then started a baking course, I enjoy baking but for some reason the thought of going to class gave me panic attacks and made me want to curl in a ball and cry all day. So you guessed it I quit that course too.

Things started to look up last October when I got a job working in a Government call centre. I would be working with the homeless and disadvantaged, trying to help them gain a greater quality of life.

For the first few months this job was everything I needed. I had a routine, a purpose. I was getting out of the house and meeting new people. I was good at this job and progressed to more meaningful projects.

For the majority of my time there I made outbound calls. While I still heard a lot of disturbing things and got abused a fair few times, I was able to control the conversation, I could handle it.  I then got moved to answering calls and things took a sharp turn. All of a sudden I was listening to stories of rape, suicide, death poor children left without a home. It was all too much and I was not dealing with it.

As a result my anxiety and depression came back with no warning but stronger than ever. I started calling in sick to work a lot, I wasn’t sleeping, thoughts of hurting myself were always in my head. Lucky I had a very understanding manager and she and I decided it would be best if i quit my job and focused on me.

So thats what I’ve been doing, for the last few months I don’t sleep until 4 in the morning, sometimes not at all. I sleep all day and when I am awake I lay on the lounge and hate myself and everything my life has become.

I am trying to get out of this mind frame. To try and get my sleeping back to normal but its just so hard. I have no motivation to do anything and everyday that I don’t feel better I feel worse.

My psychologist thought it might be a good idea for me to write. To get my thoughts out of my head and maybe say some of the things I am unwilling to say to her. So I’m trying this again.

Fingers crossed this helps, somethings got to.

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One Month Later

I am always thinking how time goes to fast and that I wish my life would slow down. Well this past month has been the longest month of my life. The first month that I had to spend without dad.

I go to his grave often.I find it soothing to know that I can go and visit him and talk to him whenever I need to. I miss him so much and everyday having to wake up and remember it all over again feels like hearing the news for the first time. Everyday my heart breaks a little more and I know that there is nothing I can do to stop it happening.

People keep telling me that it will get easier with time. That it will all get easier with time. And then there are people who tell me to hold onto my grief for as long as I can as it is what keeps me close and connected with dad. I don’t know which I would rather but I do know that I want it all to go away.

This is just a short update but I wanted to just put some thoughts down. Hopefully I can look back on it one day when I am having a hard time and it might make me realise that what I am feeling is not as bad as what I was feeling when I wrote this. Then I will have some proof that it is getting easier.

All I can do is wait.

Twenty-Two Days Later

I feel that after the long space of time since my last post that I have finally formed some full thoughts that I want to get out. It has been hard to make sense of a lot that is happening and having a clear head in the moment is something so small, but I miss it so much.

Distractions are good. And I have a lot of them. I have to study for my HSC exams and I have 4 beautiful nieces and 1 nephew to help look after. All this keeps me busy, and while I’m busy its not as hard. As soon as the distractions go away thats when it all hits again and everything gets a little to real.

I have always been a very worrying and paranoid person. The recent changes in my life is making this hard to deal with. This is meant to be one of the biggest and most exciting turning points of my life. I have just graduated from high school and am in the process of applying for university and planning the beginning of the rest of my life. Im not enjoying any of it though. Dad didn’t get to see me graduate, he won’t see me get into uni, graduate uni, get a job, get a house… the list goes on and on for all the important and special moments for the rest of my life and its making these exciting thing be something painful rather than enjoyable.

I don’t deal with change very well. I am a bit of a hoarder and I am a very emotional person. So much change all at once is too much for me to handle and I have found myself having panic attacks when I sit down and think about it all for a minute. I just can’t deal with it and everything is worrying me.

We had dads funeral on Friday. Over 500 people turned up. I knew that he impacted upon a lot of people but I didn’t realise the extend until that day. God he was an amazing man. Nearly everyone I talked to told me that he was like a father to them and changed their lives in amazing ways.

I am not a religious person so I am sorry to any one reading this who is religious and may find offence to what I am about to say. I do not understand why a God that is meant to love and protect us would take someone who is of so much worth. He was too young. He had so much to give and when people try to comfort me by saying “It was just his time and God has better plans for him”. Im sorry but screw you. There is no good reason to take him. There are no better plans for him when he was leading such an extraordinary life and was giving back so much. He is the most generous and kind hearted person I have had the pleasure of knowing, and lucky for me I had the honour of calling him my father. There is nothing that we wouldn’t do for you, even if he had just met you and could see that you need help. He would not stop until you were living a happy and healthy life. Why would you take that away from us. I just don’t understand it. And to those people who find comfort in knowing that, I have no problem with that being you way of coping and I’m glad that it helps but please leave me out of it.

Dads funeral was beautiful. It was in a beautiful garden and it was perfect weather. Everyone spoke beautifully and it was a perfect day. He would have loved it and would have been so proud of how mum, myself and my siblings all came together to organise a send off fit for a king. I am so happy with how the day went and as far as funerals go, it was lovely.

The funeral has made all of this feel more real and it has kind of smacked me in the face a little. Everything hurts and people keep telling me that with time it will get better. I really hope so, and I hope its soon.

Five Days Later

Five days have passed and what they say is true; it gets worse before it gets better. Much worse.

The love and support we have been shown is amazing and we have enough flowers that my house can be declared the new botanic gardens. But all the support and flowers are just a constant reminder that mu dad is never coming back. Every time that door bell rings with another visitor or another flower delivery its like a slap in the face.

How do you politely ask someone to please leave you alone and let you have time with you family, alone, to process and grieve. I know I shouldn’t be selfish because dad would love that everyone he loves are coming together to look after one and other, and that they have to give too, but I just need some time.

I left the house for the first time in five days today and it was so strange. I was exhausted within an hour of leaving and everything just felt so small. Things that could ruin my day before like bad traffic or not being able to find a arching spot and driving around for 20 minutes before finding one didn’t bother me. I just sat there patient and watched all the little things.

They say that traumatising events can change a person and I believe that is true. I know it has only been five days but I am already having a change of perspective towards everything. I am learning to hold the people I love close to me. I am learning to cherish the little moments because in the end they mean the most. I am learning not to hold grudges and get upset so easily because life is short and too much time is spent being negative.

I have been trying to find a way to describe my dad and apart from the obvious things like strong, caring, funny, smart, passionate and all the good things, there is more to my dad. He was such a special man, a one of a kind and there is no way that I could ever some him up into a few words.

Until.

I was looking through some of his stuff in the study and I found this poem. I remember him sitting with his computer on his lap and reading this poem that someone had emailed to him. He was infatuated with it, so he printed it out and put it on the wall. Although a lot of people knew my dad well I believe that everyone should know him. This poem does an amazing job of describing my dad. There are so many other things about my dad that are amazing and I could go on about how special he is all day. Instead I’m going to put this poem here and let that do the talking for me.

If—

BY RUDYARD KIPLING

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

On Sunday I Lost My Father

On Sunday I lost my father.

He was the most amazing man in my life and I cannot every imagine a world without him. But things all changed in one small moment. Im not writing this post for attention, I don’t even care if no one ever reads this, I just need somewhere to talk. A place to speak about how amazing my dad is, tell stories and share my experiences.

I don’t mean to be morbid or depressing in what I write here. I am only telling the truth. This is not an easy transition for an 18 year old to make, but I have no choice but to make it. So if no one ever sees this, thats fine, but if someone does maybe it will help someone else who is experiencing the same things as I am to see  that they are not alone.

Four weeks ago my dad was in a motorbike accident. He suffered from many injuries and went on to spend what would be his last days laying in a bed. We were told that none of his injuries were life threatening and that with a few surgeries and a long recovery period, he would be okay. Heres where all that changes. My dad has a gene called Factor 5. This means that his blood easily clots and this can prove to be a life threatening thing. On Sunday a blood clot traveled to my dads heart and he had a heart attack. Despite the amazing hospital workers and their hard work, they could not save him.

This was by far the worst news I have ever received.

I cannot begin to imagine a life that does not involve my father. A life where he will never find out whether I will get accepted into university, or where he will never be there to walk me down the isle or meet my children. I do not want to imagine a life where my mum has to grow old, alone.

This news completely tore me apart. My first instinct was to scream, and then cry, and then throw up. It has been three days and everything I have eaten for the last three days, I have thrown back up. Today was the first day that did not happen.

I don’t know if you know the feeling of losing someone you love. Its hard. But losing a parent is pain like you have never experienced before. My family is very unfortunate in the sense that there is a lot of illness and health conditions that run in the family and in my 18 years of living I have been to 7 funerals. I know of people my age that have been to none.

With being to my fare share of funerals and experiencing the death of a family member 7 (now 8) times, I thought that I was learning how to grieve and what to expect, but this is something that no amount of experience can prepare you for. I feel that it has been harder to accept because it was so unexpected, we were told he would make a full recovery and then this happens and we had no time to prepare ourselves for this.

I am extremely lucky that i have such a large network of family and friends that are giving me 110% of their love and support, but sometimes you just need time alone. Although the support is fantastic I need alone time with my mum and my siblings to process and grieve without having to try and socialise and be stared at with that sympathetic look. You know the look, where they stare into your eyes and furrow their eye brows and purse their lips and you can see in their eyes that they are thinking “this poor girl 18 years old and no father” and then they hug you and say “I’m sorry for your loss”. I am sick of people telling me how sorry they are, I why they say it, its because there is noting else to say, but it just makes me feel even worse than I did before.

Here comes the part where I talk about my mental health, so if anyone is actually reading this, it may be a trigger and if you feel it may be in any way please do not feel obliged to continue reading, but thank you for taking the time to read this far.

The gene that my father has, I am also a carrier of. This scares the life out of me. I have suffered from anxiety for the last 3-4 years and this is making it all come alive like never before. I cannot get to sleep at night because I create this idea in my head that somehow there is a blood clot in my system and if I go to sleep tonight I might not wake up. I don’t know about the rest of the world but death scares the shit out of me.

Im not going to lie in the first day after we were given the news I thought about hurting myself. Create a distraction and try to show myself that maybe something could feel worse than what I am experiencing. But then I thought of my dad and how he would be so disappointed if I did that, and because of him. He would hate that. So I pushed the thought out of my mind and tried to focus on different things, which didn’t work to well because I ended up throwing up again.

I went to beyond blue thinking that someone there would help me and talk to me for a little bit about what I was experiencing but instead I was given a few links to other sites and told to try them. Is it that they are not able to help people suffering with anxiety and these thoughts or was she just trying to get me to leave the sight so she could pack up and go home. Either way I decided maybe it would be better if I could just talk, say all the things I want to say and if someone wants to listen then thats fantastic, and as I said before if no one ever knows that this exists then it will not bother me at all.

Im not sure how to deal with the fact that I will never walk down the stairs in the morning and see him sitting in his chair watching the Today show in his boxers with his computer on his lap ever again. Or that I will never get to taste his exquisite cooking again, or that I am going to go the rest of my life without sitting on his lap while he cuddles me only the way that he can.

This is true pain.

Im scared of a lot of things. One thing I am so scared of to the point of panic attacks are ghosts and spirits and although the idea of his watching over me is nice, it scares the life out of me and I don’t really want that. It seems morbid but that is another reason that I am up at 12:20 and writing this, because the rest of my world is asleep and my mind is racing at a million miles an hour.

I may not keep this blog going or I may be great at posting regularly but either way, sitting here and writing this out tonight has helped me to calm down a little and allowed me to vent, so for now its done its job.

If you actually read this than thank you. If no one read this then hello future me reading this over and over again because I know I will.

I love you daddy xxx