I know I keep blabbing on about this book and who knows if I will do it. Sometimes I feel like an idiot for starting it, sometimes I’m really positive. Sometimes I just want to do it for me, sometimes I just want to do it for everyone else.
All I know is the book will more than likely be a narcissist’s dream. Anyway, Here is something I wrote exclusively for the book but decided to post because I wanted to show you that I am at least trying to make it a bit more well written than my blog.
It’s late October. This year two of my grandparents have died, honestly, I never thought I would lose two grandparents in one year. I knew they would die, but I never imagined it would be like this. But, that’s life I guess, unpredictable.
Its been a shit year, a year of death and me trying to fix myself. I have spent years not fixing myself and I just sailed through life. The minute I started trying to fix my life, referring myself to mental health services, everything goes into overdrive and my problems multiply tenfold.
It was February the 6th when my Grandma died. It was an awful shock, but not unexpected. The highlights of the night. Include my least favourite Aunt burrowing my face into her chest and dramatically telling me “don’t look” as they removed my Grandma’s body from the house in a body bag. My Mum forcing me to go and see my Grandma’s body and telling me to touch her. Having my uncle and aunt “whisper” to each other like my Grandma was just sleeping in the next room and having a 7 foot tall, handlebar moustached policeman walk through the front door to make sure nobody had murdered my Grandma.
After my Grandma’s body had been removed and most of my family had left, the only people left at my Grandad’s house was my Mum, Dad and I. After making sure my Grandad was ok, well as ok as he was going to be, we went home. I don’t remember what happened next, but I remember being horrified when I realised I still had another week off of work (As I was on holiday for two weeks at the time) and was going to have to spend time with my Mum whilst she was mourning.
I didn’t really know what to do, usually I would tell two of my closest friends what had happened immediately in our group message. But, we had just been out for one of their birthdays that night. His birthday was that very day, I didn’t want to ruin it. So I avoided talking about it, I wanted to write my Grandma a long, significant eulogy on facebook, but my cousin was on holiday and I didn’t know if he knew yet so I waited for someone else in my family to post “RIP Grandma” So I knew it was safe.
I did not sleep well, the only thing that stopped me from shaking uncontrollably was the body heat I was stealing from my bedmate. I sat rigidly in bed, staring blankly ahead. And then at some point I fell asleep.
Three days later I went to the town centre to get away from my house and my Mum, and her insistence of reliving the event over and over. I found myself at work, doing the same awkward “I need to talk to you” thing I did when my Grandad died.
The sympathy was overshadowed by my ability to pretend everything is ok. And so everyone pretended I was. Which was fine, but I know I’m not ok and its not until something stupid and insignificant happens that I flip. I get into an argument with someone I care about and I flip, score my arm with a craft knife and seethe at how blunt the knife is and how frugality has stereotypically rubbed off on me making it impossible for me to buy new blades.
They say time is a great healer, but so is avoiding your problems. Avoidance is much easier and less time consuming then waiting. So avoidance it is.
My year hasn’t exactly got any better and after a steady stream of shit, my nan passed away after a brief illness.
Unlike my grandma, my Nan died in hospital, meaning I wasn’t subjected to being smothered by anyone’s breasts or having to touch a dead person. I wasn’t subjected to hugging anyone anyone or having to talk to anyone. So, I didn’t have to do anything and after meeting everyone at my Nan’s house I announced I would be going to work, much to the exasperation of my Dad.
This time I didn’t need to do my awkward “I need to talk to you” thing, I just said; “my Nan died”. Then I cried. Which was weird because, Im not sure why I was crying, I didn’t feel anything and I’ve been struggling to cry this year. I was offered the opportunity to go home, but I didn’t want to go home, I wanted to be away from the situation.
I’ve been struggling with dissociation a lot this year, and that’s not something I have realised or maybe didnt want to admit. I’ve been struggling to cry because nothing seems real, I’m not sure if I am real, sometimes I hope I am in a coma or that this has all been some kind of awful fever dream.
One time when I was very drunk, slightly sedated and incredibly low, I became convinced that my life was like the Truman Show. I thought that my entire life was being filmed. Nothing was real. I was convinced that all the times people gave me funny looks was because they were starstruck, not because I looked like I hadn’t been near a shower or hairbrush for a week. I was convinced that everyone around me was pretending, people were acting out a scenario for other peoples entertainment and the joke was on me.
I’ve joked about the scenario with new friends recently. About how I balled my eyes out as I told my ex boyfriend about my fears, and he laughed hysterically like I was being an idiot.
But sometimes those feelings creep back up on me, because that’s what dissociation feels like. It feels like nothing is real, like everything is a set scenario and soon this story arc will be over and a new arc will begin. Most of the time I don’t feel real. My grandparents deaths don’t seem real. It’s almost November, and I still keep thinking I’m going to see them every weekend, and everytime my bus passes my Nans bus stop and I see someone vaguely the same shape from a distance, I think “shit, Nan’s getting on the bus, look normal” And it’s never my Nan, because my Nan is of course dead.
Every Sunday I used to visit both sets of grandparents, and I used to hate it. I used to feel bored and I would want to be at home and do nothing. Sunday never felt like the day of rest it was supposed to be, I wanted nothing more than to be at home. It felt like an extra day of work. I feel guilty for feeling that way but I’m not a sociable person so it wasn’t anything personal. Now I visit my Grandad, the only remaining grandparent. And I still often feel that this is a chore. Which is awful but again, its nothing personal. I just hate being in confined spaces with people, especially confined spaces I don’t feel like I can be the centre of attention.
My Sundays at my Grandads consist of me either reading on my Ipad or writing, my Grandad and my Mum reliving the day my Grandma died in great detail (the same things are said each week). Talking about the things she said how my Grandad asked if my Grandma wanted my Mum there (she said no) or if she wanted a doctor. (she said no)
I should probably clarify that centre of attention thing, I don’t mean that in a “look at me!” way, its more of a draw attention away from me thing. Like “Listen to this disgusting/graphic/way too much information joke I have made about my sex life, now everyone laugh and/or be disgusted and ignore the fact that I hate myself and want to die.” I can’t do this around my Grandad, or my Mum. Talking about my sex life is not really appropriate in this scenario.
I would love to say I have learnt something from all of this death, I wish I had some earth shattering life lessons to tell. I don’t. Your born and then you die. That is the nature of life and an unfortunate progression. All we can do is wait for death whilst we go about our trivial routines.
The Elephant in the Room