I’ve had a bit of a random day, just for a change. I was supposed to have lectures this afternoon but after speaking to my care co-ordinator this morning I was feeling drained and tired, and with at least two 15 hour days planned between now and the weekend, I decided to take a day off. I felt emotionally exhausted and knew if I pushed it, there’d be trouble. If I stayed at home, I could do things to deal with my emotions constructively.
And I did. I wanted to go back to bed after my care co-ordinator had left but I was aware that if I did that, I’d just stay in bed, fall down the depression hole, and be a wreck for the rest of the week. So, although I pretty much hear my bed calling for me (and my body calling for it!) I made a cup of tea, switched on my laptop, and did some pre-reading for the lecture I was going to miss.
Once bored out of my mind, I listened to music. Emailed a few friends. Dealt with the backlog of emails that has left me lying awake. The emails are dealt with. Halle-bloody-lujah.
I could feel my mood slipping though. I was at crash point, and knew I needed to do something if I was going to crash in a somehow helpful manner. (I know, dichotomy much).
So, whilst I’ve jumped on the “speaking out” wagon, I decided to make a speaking out video, which is me speaking out as an abuse survivor…and telling the world it was not my fault, I will not stay silent, and it is never a victim’s fault.
This took a surprisingly long time. I’m not sure how it took so long. But somehow, it did. I don’t know if I just took longer over it because I was thinking about what I was writing, and having to check that I definitely meant it. Once satisfied that I did, I went ahead. A few technology glitches, and I’m a total technophobe, so that bit was amusing and thankfully there were no witnesses around to watch me fail with a video selfie.
Once this was done, I felt a bit better. I’d spoken out just a little bit more. A little bit of control regained. A fraction of my lost twenty years snatched back, thank you very much.
But, as is always the case when I do something like that, grief stuck its ugly head around the corner not long after…and I ended up sitting outside looking down from the hill to the town, crying. Talk about high to low.
I was crying for my babies and the children, but also more for Holly today. It’s weird with grief…I don’t know if I’ve just lost too many, but I can’t have an equal amount of pain for them all at any one time. One day I am distraught and choking with grief for my babies, the next for the children, and the next for Holly. I can’t manage all of it at once. So although I felt the pain for my babies and the children today, the crippling pain that had me gasping through tears was for Holly.
She should have had a chance to speak out, about her sick uncle and emotionally f*cked up parents. We should be doing this together, and still be together as was the plan. We would be spending the evenings either cuddled up on the sofa or – more likely – writing songs, singing, and having fun. We’d be helping each other with projects, and I wouldn’t be doing this speaking out shazzam on my own. We would have made the video together. She’d have giggled hysterically as she held the camera and I messed up, or I broke the camera, or I tripped over…or at whatever other daft thing I did. We’d both be speaking out for other children and teenagers who need someone to shout for them. Then we’d have gone out for a walk by the river, armed with a guitar and our voices, and lazed around all evening…
Instead, she’s not here. Somehow the stronger one of us didn’t make it. Somehow too much pain broke her, and I of course hate that the trigger…the thing that started the ball of pain rolling…was me. I can’t help wondering if things would have been different had I gone about things differently. Yes I know what ifs are pointless. But it’s also hopelessly hard to not have the annoying what ifs cross one’s mind…
So today I cried for her, and for the injustice, and for the fact I still think she died knowing I hated her, and that she never got a chance to sing to the world and bring a smile to everyone. Her wonderful dreams are just hanging in the air, waiting mournfully for someone to pursue them. It’s not fair.
Can you see me Hol? Can you see what I’m doing? I’ve found my voice…I so wish I could sing with you…I so wish I could hold your hand whilst we did this together… My hands were resting on my knees, and my tears splashing onto them. I wish I knew that you were okay…are you okay? Are you safe up there? Are you playing with my babies and the children…do you know the truth now? More tears… I hope you’re okay. I miss you…
All of a sudden, the most beautiful butterfly darted in front of my face. I smiled a little. Holly adored butterflies. Like, to the point of obsessed. Like, I teased her endlessly about them. There was nearly always some butterfly accessory on her….ring, or bracelet, or hair grip…anything. The butterfly didn’t fly off, but amazingly…flew lower and then settled on the end of my fingers, which were hanging over the edge of my knee.
I couldn’t breathe. I’m not one for all spiritual signs lalalalalaaaa but I hoped this was somehow Holly telling me she was okay. The butterfly moved it’s wings so slowly that I had to focus hard to see the movement. My tears stopped; I was scared of frightening it away. It’s wings slowed until it was perfectly and beautifully still.
It stayed on my fingers for maybe a minute, so light I could barely feel it, and then it fluttered off. I whispered thank you…and watched it until I couldn’t see it anymore. Then, the tears came thick and fast. But not out of pain now. It was just some emotional release. Somehow, I knew Holly was okay. I felt some inner peace.
She’s okay. Which means I can continue doing what I’m doing, and feel guided by her somehow. Now whenever I see a butterfly I’ll think of her.
Miss you Hol…