Saturday, 31 October 2009

Shoulders. (its a longish one)

Today has been brilliant.

At 12.30 I had an appointment with a psychiatrist to review my anti depressants, and if I'm honest I was pretty nervous. It went better than I could have hoped. The doctor was a lovely woman who, despite having never met me before, was able to tell me things about myself that made me smile, as well as challenge some of my perceptions. She helped put me at ease, and made me feel that finally someone was taking me seriously.
We've agreed to change my medication as Citalopram clearly isn't the right drug for me; the strange, vivid, movie-length dreams nigh on every night are exhausting. I have enough trouble getting to sleep as it is, but then when I am asleep my mind doesn't get a chance to switch off and rest. Admittedly, a part of me will probably miss these dreams when I'm not having them everynight, but hey, who wouldn't want to be a superhero after dark? But mainly it will be a welcome release, to be able to get a good nights sleep where my brain actually gets a rest.
It's not going to happen instantly I know that; I'm going down from 20mg a day to 10mg a day for 2 weeks, then 10mg every other day for two weeks to wean me off of them. I've been told to prepare myself for withdrawal symptoms such as mild fever, swinging temperature (yay, early menopause!) and changing moods, and being generally more irritable, though I've been told to watch the changes in temperature changes and fever and see the doctor if they get too bad as they'll need to keep an eye on my blood pressure. But then again, I might not experience any of these side effects. After the Citalopram is out of my system, we'll review how I'm doing and see whether or not I'll need to go on another different anti depressant. I have a feeling I will quite frankly. Some of the moods and feelings I've been experiencing recently, I've thought to myself, "Jesus, imagine how much worse I'd be handling this without the anti depressants buoying me up and helping me find a way to cope."

After my appointment my brother picked me up and I went back to his lovely house to play Resident Evil 5 on the XBox 360. I want one. Bless him, he's getting a bit bored of RE5 but I'm a gaming newbie and he's the typical older brother and wants to make me happy. Naww.

Mum came and picked me up later and we went to Wagamamas as dad had a meeting thingy or something or other, so we decided to have some mother-daughter time. To be honest, we couldn't talk too much in there as it was so busy and loud we could barely hear ourselves think! I did manage to tell her about my appointment and how it had gone though.
After Wagas we decided to go to the Beefeater to get a pudding and talk a bit more. Quite frankly, it was lovely. Mum and I opened up to each other a lot more, and really talked again for the first time in ages. Admittedly, a lot of it was about the situation with L, though not the whole 'relationship' (ha!) situation, there's no way I'm telling her about that! But about her wanting to press charges against her ex. I told mum how I felt and she understood. We both agreed that L and I need to talk properly about it, so I did text her suggesting we go out for a meal tomorrow evening and talk, but not heard back yet. Ah well.
Then we talked about me some more. More specifically, about my self harming. Give 'em their dues, my folks ain't stupid. They'd guessed I'd done it again, but tonight I was able to admit it to mum. I had more of a conversation about it with her than I ever have, down to the fact that as she told me, she understands a bit more about it now, so finds it easier to talk about. I'll be honest, it felt good to talk about it with my mum. No secrets anymore. Well, apart from one, but I think until I myself actually know what the fuck is going on with L in that respect, I think it's best if I leave it for now!

Eventually we both got a bit uncomfortable in the chairs in the Beefeater so went back home.
When we got there, mum started reading over something she'd written. Now, she'd told me that she'd written what was basically a long rant that she wished she could show the jury, on the weekend in between the trial, and I'd asked if she'd let me read it. She wasn't sure. She didn't want it to upset me, or make me angry, or bring it up again. So she gave it to me to take to bed and decide if there if I wanted to read it.

I'm in bed now.

I read it.

I've never loved my mum more.

What she wrote... I don't want to use the phrase 'heartwarming' because it's too clich├ęd, but I don't know how else to out it. Heart swelling? Mine certainly did. Part of why I wanted to read it was because I needed to know how she was feeling, though she's said herself and it's obvious that she's got more to say in light of the verdict, but she didn't feel able to sit and write that at the time. I think she would have punched through the keyboard quite frankly.
What she wrote... I just wanted to run downstairs, wake her up and tell her I love her. But I don't think that would go down too well, as we all three of us hadn't long actually been in bed as we'd been up talking. I guess that'll have to wait til tomorrow.

Anyway, I've jumped the chronological-ness. After she gave me what she'd written, dad came home not long after, and although he was tired mum and I kept him up talking for an hour or two, because we're nice like that.
I asked him what he thought of my feelings towards the L situation, and he also understood, as well as helping me realise a few more things that I'll want to say to her. He talks a lot of sense does my dad, when he's not playing silly beggars and messing around to amuse me.
Then I managed to take a huge step. That's not arrogance, it's the fucking truth.
Not only was I able to talk to mum AND dad, in the SAME room at the SAME time about my self harm, but eventually, after a lot of dithering and conflab, managed to show them.
When I was talking to mum while we were out she told me I shouldn't feel like I have to hide them, but as I told her, it's not quite as easy as that. I was worried for them, how they'd feel seeing it.
They did remind me that they have seen it before, but whenever they'd seen them in the pas they were a lot more healed and not as nasty looking. One arm currently is worse than the other, due to the one being more recent and, if I'm honest, deeper than I've ever gone before.
As I say, it took a while, but eventually I was able to show them. I had to close my eyes while I did, which gave them a minute to take it in. They both said that in a way they were relieved; they'd been expecting worse. Obviously they'd rather I didn't do it at all, but as we all agree if it's what I need to do from time to time, and as long as it doesn't get as bad as it was a few years ago when I was doing it more or leas every day, then they'd rather know when I've done it so they can help me.

So all in all, to be really rather honest, today has been a good day. I haven't had one of those in a while, and it's strange that such a good day has happened around what are some tricky topics. It shows though how much stronger this family has gotten over the past year, and shows me yet again, as if I needed another reminder, just how fantastic my family is. Sure we have our bad days, and we even have our REALLY, really bad days, and even the occaisional MEGA SHIT day, but overall, we're getting by, together.

H.x

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Holding on.

L left not long ago. I'd texted her before she got here saying we need to talk at some point, but as she wasn't here for very long we didn't really get to do that today. We were texting each other the whole time she was here though as usual, because we're cool like that, and did seem to make some inroads. Things are still tricky though. Part of me isn't fully ok with her still, and I expect part of her feels the same about me. Things feel a little strained, and there's obviously some tension between us as we haven't spoken yet. But the time and the place never seems quite right. More importantly though, and what was nice about her visit, was actually when she left. I walked her to the door, and as she went to leave she turned around and hugged me. Then after we stopped hugging, we said goodbye, stood and looked at each other, and then hugged again. It felt more like we were holding onto each other for dear life. We're both hurting, and both feeling a bit fucked up at the minute. I just hope that we can still hold on to each other, because I don't want to lose her.
Well blogwriter lite and Shozu seem to work ok, although I can't add tags from existing tags like I can in blogpress.
For now I'm sitting watching last nights episode of True Blood. I still can't decide if I like this show or not though. But I'll watch it for now. Then I'm going to have a shower and read some more. I'm still reading The Eye of the World but I'm also reading Guilty Pleasures, the first of the Anita Blake series. My driving instructor recommended it to me and seeing as I hope not to see him anymore as I'd like to pass this next driving test, he'd like to know what I think of it so I said I'd probably manage to read it before Monday. Anyway. I'm off.

Blogwriter lite

Testing this app too.

testing shozu

testing shozu's ability to actually post to my fucking blog.

Posted by ShoZu

Hmm.

Still don't know how I should be feeling. I know I'm supposed to be there for her but it's ... Oh fuck I don't know.
She hasn't handled it particularly sensitively or considered how I might be feeling, but I think that's just her way. But then maybe it isn't.
What hurts as well is that she didn't talk to me. Knowing I've been through the court process etc and she didn't talk to me. She tells me she knows she can talk to me and I'm one of the few people she'd trust with anything, and that she'd talk to me, and then she proves the opposite.
She was meant to be coming round for tea tonight after she finishes work. No doubt she will be in a bit of a mood with me (fair enough to some degree) at the moment and I don't know what to say to her, about anything, so who knows.
I certainly don't.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

What now.

L's just texted me to say that she's taking her ex boyfriend to court for raping her years ago. 
Now I know this might sound harsh considering it happened to me too, but I really don't think this is the right decision. 
She saw what I went through for the trial, and how I was when the verdict came back not guilty. And my case had more evidence than hers. Although she hasn't told me specifics, I don't think there were any witnesses and as it was a while ago there'll be no medical evidence. 
She's also just said that she just gave another statement today and that the police officer said it was one of the worst cases he'd heard and he truly believed he'd be found guilty. For me that's a double edged sword. On the one hand, the police were so confident the whole way through my case that he'd be convicted, and he wasn't. But also, and this is because of something she said after the trial too, it makes me feel like what happened to me wasn't as bad as what happened to her. 
And she's not exactly sounding sensitive or thinking how I might be taking what she's saying. 
I don't know what to say or do. 
You think you know someone...right?

Bye nan.

So today was my nan's funeral.
It really was a lovely service. I'm not going to go into the specifics, but suffice to say we are all agreed that nan would have thought it was done well, as well as being disappointed that she didn't get the last word!
The vicar did the service wearing his white trainers, as instructed. He first met nan when he was a fairly new priest and wore white trainers when he visited, and she used to find it hilarious, so we asked him if he'd do the service in them.
I did cry a lot, I think it really did hit me that she's gone now when I saw the coffin. That small coffin. We always used to call her 'short stuff' and by the end she really was. Pretty much all of the immediate family started crying a bit harder when the vicar read out what my sister had written, partly because it was so funny and nan would have loved it, and partly because I think a lot of us realised how much we are missing my sister too, and thinking how hard it must be dealing with this on her own out there in Oz.
After the service we left and lots of people came out and I honestly didn't know who half of them were. There weren't masses of people there, as unfortunately most of nan's relatives have passed away by now, but I suppose that's what happens when you live to 85, you outlive a lot of people!
It really was a lovely service, sad enough to know it was a funeral, but with the right amount of humour and celebration of life that nan would have wanted.
She's being cremated, as she wanted, and her ashes will be scattered where her first husband's (her true love and father of her children) ashes were also scattered. That won't be for a few days yet. The crematorium is actually only 5 minutes from where we live, and the plot isn't hard to find, so I think I might spend some time there in the future, at least in the near future, if it's not too hard.
I really will miss you nan.
Seeing that coffin as we pulled up behind the hearse really hit home, and I started crying as I got out of the car. From then on I didn't really stop for about an hour.
I'll miss you nan, but I'll never stop loving. As my cousin wrote on the card that went with your flowers, "Gone, but never forgotten. Always in our hearts."
Love you and miss you.

In other news, I was texting L today after she said she hoped today went as well as possible and I let her know how it went, and she randomly said "I was thinking I never want our friendship to be ruined." When asked what she meant she just said "I just dont want to ruin our friendship by saying anything we shouldn't." So yeah, I'm not really sure what to make of that. I said we'd talk some other time as I really wasn't up to it today. When she told me she had feelings for me, I said I didn't want anything to ruin our friendship, and she basically said that us being together wouldn't, and now it seems as though she's changing tack. So I'm inclined to think she's ending it before it began, as it were. Funtimes. So glad. Not.

So once more my head is all of a muddle.
But I've got a driving lesson later today and then only one more before my driving test, so I'm going to try my hardest to concentrate on that. L's working til Sunday anyway so unless she pops round I doubt I'll see/talk to her much before then.

I just really wish things would sort themselves out for me.

H.x





Monday, 26 October 2009

Trying out altBlogger

Right well Blogpost app decided that it wouldn't post properly, so knowing that BlogWriter is shit and not having £5.99 to spend on the blog app I can't remember the name of now I thought I'd try this one out. Shame though cos I now can't see what I'm typing. Hmm.

Posted with altBlogger.

Funtimes.

I'd managed to block tomorrow out, but I've just remembered that tomorrow is nan's funeral. I'm obviously not looking forwards to it.
Still none the wiser as to the situation with L, though she has invited me to go see Top Gear live with her at the end of November :) We've said we'll go up on the Friday morning then catch a show that evening before seeing Top Gear on the Saturday evening. It'll be nice to go away with her for a couple of days and she seems to like the idea too so maybe it'll be good. As long as, in the meantime I can forget about the silly little things I'm worrying about lol.
So yeah, just a quick post today.
The good news is that most of my books have arrived today :) the only one that hasn't arrived is the one coming via Royal Mail, of course :)
Anyway, that is all.




Friday, 23 October 2009

Wish; take two.

For fucks sakes. I wrote all this out once then blogpost crashed on me and didn't save it, so I'm going to have to try and remember everything I fucking said!

EDIT: I think I've managed to remember everything if said the first time round, but it might all seem a bit jumbled, just for a change.

Basically, I'm sitting in bed wishing L would text me or call me.
She just doesn't seem to talk to me about anything.
I haven't got a clue what's going on with her brother, with her and P, or even between her and I for that matter.
I think she's worked out that I struggle to be around when she's on the phone to P, but it seems like that annoys her more than anything. I kind of get that, as from the off she said that nothing would ever happen between them, but it's still no walk in the park.
Things just seem so strained between us. There's things I want to ask and say, but don't want to because I don't want to fuck things up. It's killing me that my falling for her may well cause me to lose her. I told her I don't ever want to lose her when she told me how she felt, and she simply said I wouldn't. I just can't be so sure.
I was round hers for a bit earlier and things just seemed so much more...awkward. We laughed and joked but then seemed to run out of steam and gave up, just sat there. Then she asked if I'd been cutting again. I lied of course, but she knew anyway. She said at one point; "I really wish you wouldn't." One minute I think she doesn't feel anything anymore and then she says things that confuse me. Then she asked me why. I couldn't tell her the whole truth. I couldn't tell her that I did it because I don't know where my head is going, or even IF it's going. That the situation with her, or lack of one or whatever, is driving me to distraction. That I'm not dealing with the verdict as well as I thought, or with losing nan. I told her that things just got too much for me again, which while true, still felt like a lie. I can't work out how she feels about it either, obviously she doesn't like it but I don't know if she's angry.
I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, probably because, as I've said before, I find this therapeutic.
I'm not ashamed that I'm an ex-self harmer, though I suppose I should lose the 'ex' there, because my scars make ne who I am. It's peoples reactions that get to me the most. 'Emo', 'attention seeking' and so on. Ignorant stupid reactions, and if there's one thing I hate it's ignorance. People don't understand it, but think they've got it sussed. And they haven't. At all.
When I cut again, it was the first time for roughly a year. To be honest I think I've done well to last as long as I have, but now I'm scared the floodgates will open up again and I won't be able to stop doing it again.
I guess it's just another battle.
It's the not knowing that's killing me.
If she does still have feelings for me, and wants something, then great. If she doesn't, then I need to know. Maybe I'll be able to go away for a bit with someone and sort my head out, try and get rid of any feelings so I can still be friends with her. Because romantic feelings aside, she is my best friends. She has been my rock this past year I've known her, and I just can't face losing her. When all my other friends fucked off, she stayed. I feel like I'm letting her down. She says she realised she had feelings for me around the time of my birthday, and that she was pretty much 'in love' with me not long after. But I'm not the same person as I was then. Im vastly overweight, have zero conficence and I'm a complete mess. Then again, that was all true when she told me how she felt, and when I said that she said she didn't care, it didn't matter.
The other issue is whether she does move away. I know she hasn't been overly happy here in Exeter for a while now, and I think visiting her friend up in Essex has only heightened any desire to move away. I know she's been looking at jobs up there. I've just got this gut wrenching image of her moving to Essex with P and living happily ever after with him, leaving me here on my own again. If she does go, I really will be on my own. But I don't think she'd stay for me.
I just need to know what's going on.
It's H's 18th birthday do tomorrow evening, and while I know a lot of undesirables will be there I said I'd pop in for a drink or two. L said she'd come too and then maybe we'd go somewhere after for something to eat. Maybe we'll talk then. Maybe she'll suggest or ask me to stay at hers so we can talk some more there on our own. I just don't know.
All I know is that at the minute I feel like I'm going insane again, like I need to start my life from scratch, somewhere else, as someone else. But unfortunately that's not really an option. In a few years maybe it would be, but I need a way out NOW.
I just want things to clear up, or fuck off. I've had enough of this year, of most years to be honest, but this one really takes the biscuit. At the minute, I don't see a future for me. I can't see anything, no success, no happiness, nothing. Literally nothing. I can't see how I can have a future now. Nothing feels right. It hasn't for years. I need a new body, a new mind that works how it's supposed to, and new heart, a new life. I just hate how things are. To put it bluntly, I hate myself most of the time, and I know the saying goes "no one can love you til you love yourself", but I just don't really feel worth it. I don't know.
I keep wishing, praying sometimes even, every night before I go to bed; "please let this day be easier. Give me a personality transplant. Make me happy. Let me wake up and realise this is all a nightmare. Let me wake up, slim, healthy, happy, and loved. Loved by me. Give me some sanity."
And every day? Nothing.
I'm just tired, so tired, and right now I don't see a way out.

Apologies for being so doom and gloom.
And don't worry, this isn't some suicide note, I'm too much of a coward for that. I think there is still some small, hidden facet of hope somewhere in me, that tells me I'm not going anywhere, not yet, and not by my own hand.
So I'll still be here tomorrow, trying to figure out a way forwards.

Wish me luck won't you?
And wish my wish with me.

H.x


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Too much.

Evening all.
Firstly I would like to say, before I get started on the meat of this post, a big thank you to all those people on Twitter who have been amazingly kind and supportive to me over the past month or so. It really hasn't been an easy time for me, but some of you in particular have been absolutely amazing.
I would also like to apologise to those same people on Twitter, and any other followers, who have had to put up with my erratic tweeting/moaning/general misery over said month. Once more, thank you.

So, it's been a while.
My last post was before the trial began, and also mentioned how L had said something that lead me to believe she had feelings for me.
First things first; the trial. It didn't exactly get off to a great start, thanks to the fuck-up that calls itself an 'organisation' (what a joke-as my auntie put it; "they couldn't organise a bunk up in a brothel) - the CPS. Long story short the trial either had to start from scratch with a new judge the next day, or wait until next fucking March; guess which option we went for? It was exhausting. Every day I geared myself up for the fact that I could be called any minute, and for the irate two days; nothing. I tell you, sitting around doing shit all in that environment really takes its toll. Eventually, on the Friday (when the trial was due to end, fat chance) I gave my evidence. I can't really explain how it felt, to have to stand up there and be cross examined. I'd told myself I wasn't going to cry, but I ended up in floods of tears. To stand up there, having to remember what happened that night, what he did to me, what he made me do to him, in front of everyone, and to be basically accused of lying by the defence barrister...there are no words. I felt...exposed. So entirely vulnerable, like my heart was being ripped out and my soul, my character, was out for all to see and examine. I practically broke down at one point. I'd been told I could stop at any point for a break, but I knew that if I left that room I wouldn't want to go back in. So I stood my ground, and told my side. At times I felt anger; anger that I had to remember that night, anger at the things this woman (the defence barrister) was implying, anger at the man who I thankfully couldn't see but knew was standing so close. Fury, at times, threatened to overwhelm me, but I knew I could not break, would not break. Besides the fact that getting angry and 'smart' with the defence wouldn't help at all, I just knew I could not let myself be broken like that. So instead, I spoke through gritted teeth when needed and through tears when I couldn't fight them anymore. When it was over, and I was dismissed, I felt drained. I cried and cried and cried. My SOLO, R, who was nothing short of amazing, a rock to me, throughout, had been allowed to sit behind me while I spoke, so was instantly on hand to get me out of there. We left and my parents enveloped me. We all cried. Then the court broke for a short while, and after that, L was up to give her evidence. I was outside having a cigarette and she came out 5minutes later. Neither of us were sure if we were now allowed to talk to each other. That moment then, me sitting there, her standing there, just looking at each other, me wanting to badly to just hug her, was horrendous. Finally we were told, yes, it's ok now, and I didn't want to let go. Having been through something all too similar years ago, I knew the process wouldn't have been fun for her, all the more considering her hints of feelings for me. To sum up the next period of time, I went to my brothers with him and stayed there til all my friends who were giving evidence had finished and then came round to his too. Eventually, the court day ended and we could all be together. That night L and I spoke properly, but that's for later.
When court broke for the weekend, and indeed, right up until the verdict, it all seemed to be going well. Our barrister seemed confident, and even the judge seemed to be leaning towards favouring the prosecution.
But it was all for nothing.
"They found the bastard innocent."
Those were the words my father said, and then he started crying. The moment he came in the room, the verdict was written all over his face, the pain, the anger, and the sorrow. My mother was crying, my brother was crying, my SOLO was crying, and L had gone outside to cry. I didn't. I couldn't. I just felt numb. It wasn't for a few more minutes that it swallowed me, but even then it wasn't sadness. It was anger. That fury, that rage that had held its hand over me while I stood in court, slammed down on me. But I had to reign it in. I don't think damaging court property and premises would have been a good way to end things. I needed to get out of there. Nobody knew what to say. I certainly didn't. Over the next few hours, when I had presumed I would go into 'shut down', I found myself able to claw my way out for breath. I would not close down. We went home, and over the next few hours gradually more and more people came to see me and say how sorry they were. There wasn't much I could say. At least it's over.
Even now, I'm not 100% sure how I feel. Angry? Yes. Sad? Yes. Relieved? Oddly, yes. At least it's over.
The system let me down.
Everyone, the police, the barrister, all my support workers, even the judge knew the right verdict, but the truth is, with rape cases, convictions are hard to get. At the moment the figures show that in rape cases, the prosecution level stands at 6 per cent. 6 PER CENT. Women are encouraged to come forward and report this abominable crime, but for what? For the hell of reliving it in a public arena, being called a liar, watching the hell their family goes through as they learn the details? The system is quite frankly BULLSHIT. That man's fate was in the hands of people who have no idea of the torment, the pain, the agony of living as a victim of rape, and they set him free, because there were doubts. I fully appreciate that the jury system may save countless innocent people from prison, but it's plain to see that it is riddled with failings. At the backs of the minds of every one of those jurors was the real possibility of sending a man to prison. How can you claim that would not have had an effect? Strangers cannot be impartial. Maybe there isn't a clear solution, but when only 6 per cent of these evil men are convicted, how can anyone say our justice system works? This 'justice' system hasn't only failed me, and rendered me scared to leave my house in the knowledge that he is still allowed to walk around, free and innocent in the eyes of the law, but it has failed hundreds of women, and will fail countless more. It makes me furious, it breaks my heart that anyone who goes through what I went through, which wasn't even as vicious as this crime can be, have such a small hope of justice. I am now supposed to move on with my life, build a future, but how? Everyone told me how I was right to take it to the police, that I was so brave to take it to court when so many wouldn't, but would I have simply saved myself the pain of those words: not guilty? Would it not be better for women everywhere to exact their own brand of justice on those bastards by having extensive counselling and building happy, successful lives? Of course it would, but it's not that easy. How easy would you find it if, as in my case, your virginity was ripped from you? That act of love, of giving yourself to someone so completely, with so much trust, that you had always warned the chance to give, was stolen from you? How easily could you move on, even if the bastard was incarcerated, let alone if he was allowed to walk away scot free? The justice system is a failure. Men who steal are convicted. Men who rape are not. Rape is stealing a woman’s right, rape is an evil act. The cunt who ruined me apparently considers rape to be 'when the man is violent and beats the woman up and stuff', according to his evidence. Is that not what rape will mean to too many more? The justice system FAILS US.
And I am lost for words.
What more can I say? What more can any one person do? One person who can't even leave the house and go into her local town centre because she knows HE lives nearby! Some small mercy, some small, small solace could, I suppose be found in that fact that his name was published, his address, his details. Anyone who reads the local paper and has the slightest bit of self respect wouldn't go near him. He will be the one who people know was accused, and I can only hope that others can see the truth, even if the court couldn't. I hold onto the conversation overhead by my mother in a local shop - on a day when the headline in the local paper read 'WOMEN WARNED AFTER TWO SEX ATTACKS IN TWO DAYS' my mother heard one woman say to another as they perused the headline; "well it's like that bloke who lives round here, they found him innocent but he was guilty as sin".
Small mercies, small hopes.
6 percent. Gone.

So now I have to move forwards.

My attempts to continue an education I desperately want but am unable to pursue in the full time manner due to previously mentioned inability to leave the house without feeling terrified, and my crippling body hang ups thanks to the weight that has piled on with the depression, have also been scuppered. The local college, that I did attend until it became impossible for me to do so, have the monopoly on local A Level evening classes...which you can only complete if you're aged 19 or over. What a joke. But I won't start on that now. Suffice to say we are battling on this one.

Battling. Constantly.
But there's one more battle that will not be fought anymore.
As some of you will know, over the last few months my grandmother has been in and out of hospital with various problems, and has been really very ill. As of last week, she had accepted she would not be able to return to her own home, and faced losing her leg. Then she lost the use of one of her hands. Then her kidneys packed in. Then she lost blood flow to her foot. Then the infection in her leg started spreading throughout the rest of her body. Then it was realised, that it simply wasn't fair to let her keep fighting, and in so much pain. The doctors and my family agreed it was best for her to simply make her comfortable. And then yesterday, she slipped away from us.
Fortunately, we all got to say goodbye. Mum, dad, brother and I all went to see her the day before. At that point she did still seem to know us. I sat with her, on my own as I had wanted, not knowing what to say. Seeing her like that...that wasn't my Nan lying there. That was an old woman, so small, and old. I held her hand, and she gripped so hard. I told her I love her, and would miss her, and would never forget her. I told her that I would always remember her whenever I eat Semolina and Ginger Nut biscuits, and said "na-night nanny nicely, bye nanny properly" for that last time, though I didn't know it. She wasn't fully with it, and kept saying "must be quick, must be quick", but when I said "I love you" she opened her eyes, looked at me and said "I love you too." When I left the room I turned and looked at her, and her arm was still stretching out to where I had just been sat. I'm crying now as I write this, and remember the last time I saw her alive. None of us actually thought she would go so fast, so it was still a bit of a shock. When mum and dad walked through the door while I was drying the dishes and L came down the stairs after her shower, I knew there was no other reason they would both be here, home at this time. It broke my heart seeing my dad like that. He cried on my shoulder, but I couldn't cry. I just felt so utterly numb. I think I barely blinked for the next few hours. I've never lost a relative before; I still don't know if I'm grieving right. When I was younger, my Nan was such a big part of my life. I'd spend weekends with her, go out on day trips with her, and spend New Years with her when my parents wanted to see their friends. I will hold so many good memories of her, but sadly, also many bad ones. I can't fully yet banish the images of her over the last few years, each time she was in hospital, each time she got ill again. I've never thought of her as old, but at 85, she had lived such a long life. A fighter through and through was my Nan, surviving wars, heart attacks, a stroke, cancer, nervous breakdowns...but she couldn't win every fight. She couldn't beat time. I still can't believe she's gone. Until now, I haven't cried much, I don't know why, but believe me I'm crying now. I'm going to miss her so much. She can't be gone. My Nan, the invincible woman, how can she be gone? My dad is being so amazing, he's lost his mother but he's staying as strong as he can. Sure, I've seen him cry more this past year that in all the rest of my life put together, but he's the strongest man I know. My sister, who's living in Australia, got to say goodbye to Nan when we did, albeit over the phone. Nan knew who she was talking to. She was so proud of my sister, so proud. I only recently found out that the last thing my Nan said to my sister before she moved away was "if you're going for 3 years I expect I'll never see you again." My sister really wanted to come home the day she said goodbye to Nan, but she's now decided to stay out there, which we all agree is the right thing for her to do. All this does make me miss my sister, which I haven't really done for a while. It's hard that he doesn't know everything that's gone on this year, but it's the right thing in the circumstances.

So as it stands, Nan’s funeral will be this Tuesday coming. I've never been to a funeral before, and in a way I think I hoped I never would. I don't want to have to say goodbye. But my Nan will live forever, where it really matters; in our hearts.

I'll always love you Nan, and I miss you more than words can say. I hope you're as proud of me as I am of you, proud I had you in my life, proud that I had you as my Nan. You will be my inspiration, to keep fighting, to keep living as I want to. I will not let this beat me, I will not. You never did. No matter what life did, you held your head high and carried on. You loved your boys, you loved their wives and you loved us, their children. You loved so much, and I will miss you so, so much. We all will. You kept fighting. Right til the very end when you still kept trying to take those bandages off! I will make you proud. I will. I love you Nan. I miss you. Please stay with me. Please help me live as you lived- with love and kindness, as I knew you. Na-night nanny nicely, goodbye nanny properly. You will NEVER be forgotten.

You can't see how much I'm crying right now. But I think I needed that. Writing that, and crying now, I need to cry. I haven't done enough of it recently really. Mum keeps telling me it's ok to cry, and I know it is, but I'm always afraid I won't be able to stop. This year has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst of my life. I won't be sorry to see the back of it...but I think I'll stay at home this New Year.

As for things with L...well...!
I feel tired and worn out now but I know how therapeutic writing is for me, and I know if I don't do this now I never will.
Basically, on the Saturday before the trial I think it was, L sent me a text that said something like "I love you more than you realise" so I replied with "Are you trying to tell me something?"
To be honest, I was mainly joking! I didn't think she would reply with "Well yes I am, but it's not the right time to tell you are it?” In the lead up to the trial, we didn't talk much about it, but apparently it was obvious to my SOLO and the other police officer in charge that something was going on! After Friday, L came home with us and stayed the night. I think we were all feeling on a bit of a strange high, I know I was. Having done my bit, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted, and we all relaxed with a few drinks. When we went up to bed conversation eventually came to what had been said in the texts the other night. Long story short (ha! I hear you cry!) she told me that she had feelings for me and wanted more than just friendship and I said I wasn't sure how I felt, but that I know I love her and she's my best friend and I don't ever want to lose her. The weekend was...interesting. There was a new level to our friendship that we both had to get used to, but it was nice. Flirtier jokes and comments, and texts between us that sometimes shocked me and made me grin a little at the same time. But it was nice. And after the trial, I came to realise that I did feel the same for her. I would be lying if I said that when I first met her I didn't find her attractive, but as I knew she had a boyfriend I pushed any feelings like that aside if ever they came up. She truly became my best friend, and life would seriously have been shit without her.
But then, after the verdict, things seemed to change.
I know it wasn't easy for her either, and she sat in for his evidence which undoubtedly brought back a lot of unpleasant memories. She went away the next weekend as she had already planned, for a friend’s house warming party, and when she left things didn't feel right. She said she needed some time to think and we'd talk when she got back. Only we didn't. And then she had to go back up to Essex to see him again. And then her closest brother was rushed into hospital, where, as far as I know as she isn't telling me much, he still is. There's also the matter of P, her brothers best friend who she had a thing with a while back, is really close to and is completely in love with her. And basically, it would seem she doesn't know how she feels. He knows about how she says she feels for me, and he was more than a little shocked apparently. Other than him, no one else knows. I just don't know what to do. She's obviously been spending a lot of time with P recently because of her brother, but it's hard. I'm trying to be understanding, and be there for her, but when she doesn't tell me what's going on and when she doesn’t talk to me, it's hard to know what to do. She keeps saying there's a couple of things she's wants to say to me but she also doesn't want to, and that if I push her she won't say anything. I also now know she spent the night with P last night, and whilst she says nothing happened, that he was just there to talk about her brother and then they had a fair few drinks and he just ended up staying, and while I believe her, I'm just struggling. They have a lot of history that I know about, and whilst she says she loves me and misses me when she's not with me, when she's on the phone to him or texting him I find it hard to even be in the same room. I haven't spoken to her about it, because with everything going on in both our lives I don't want to upset the balance, but I just don't know how much more I can take. I don't know what's going on between us, between her and P, I don't know how her brother is, and she won't talk to me. She's says she knows she can talk to me about anything and that I'm one of the few people she trusts, but then seems to be holding so much back from me. I don't think it’s just 'jealousy' but I don't know what to do. Blame it on my star sign Taurus or whatever, but when I fall for someone I fall hard. This is only the second time I've ever felt like this, and the other girl I badly fell in love with decided to cut me out of her life when she found out I liked her. I so don't want to lose L, but I don't know what to so.

Things are just stacking up again. When the trial ended, other than the feelings I had over the verdict, I also felt relieved it was over. But now, I think I'm not dealing with it as well as I thought, and now Nan’s gone and the situation with L is getting unbearably painful for me and with everything else, I'm just starting to feel overwhelmed again. I've already regrettably reverted to 'old habits' as it were once and I just don't know what I'm doing most of the time. I can't switch off, can't relax, can't breathe, can't sleep brilliantly again, despite this glorious new bed. Most days I'm walking round with my head working a mile a minute and freaking out. Mainly about L if I'm honest. I'm just worrying about everything. I don't think my medication is helping massively at the moment, and my psych nurse was planning to change my medication soon so I'm worrying about that too!
Part of me just wants to get fucked hammered and pass out, part of me wants to go and smash things, part of me wants to curl up in a ball and die, part of me wants to scream and shout and cry, but no one part of me can decide what I actually AM going to do.

So right now I'm lying awake crying, worried about L because she was going home tonight to meet with her brothers doctor to discuss his situation and I haven't heard from her, worried about mum and dad, worried about how my brother's coping with Nan being gone, worried about my sister on her own on the other side of the fucking world and wondering what the hell the last 3 months of this shitty year are going to throw at me now.

But other than all of that, everything is rosy in this Finch's garden.

Time to get some sleep now I think. Apologies for the length of this post again, as you can see a lot has been going on since my last post so it was sort of necessary. Thank you once more for your support. I just hope it can be enough.

H.x