I am lazy, obese, uncooperative, irresponsible, a typical workshy NEETS (Not in Employment Education Training or Studying). I am sure that’s what my GP thinks. He won’t consider looking at my mental health until I comply and take medication for an underactive thyroid. Like most adults he doesn’t listen and I don’t trust the medical profession anyway because I believe they are to blame I became orphaned at 18.
I will always remember the night before saying to her “you want me to be a girly girl like Hannah Montana but I am more a tomboy like Lily” and she smiled, she looked happy. My mum was funny. She smoked a fair bit but drank rarely. She always wanted me to tickle and massage her feet. My dad always blamed me if something went wrong and she wouldn’t argue with him, she would just calmly stick up for me. I think she had been a grave digger at one point. She loved the Bay City Rollers and Priscilla Queen of the desert.
I woke up to the sound of my half-brother screaming my mums’ name. She had complained to the doctors that she had pins and needles down one side and they did lots of test and scans but I don’t think they took it seriously. She had a brain haemorrhage at 5am in the morning in the bathroom in front of the sink. We waited for the ambulance and for dad to return from work, and we just knew that nothing was ever going to be OK. I don’t really know what happened after that. Mum was my safety and now it was all gone one November day.
All these people coming round saying I am so sorry, staying for a bit and then leaving again. I was in a terrible state, everything bubbled up. I just remember sitting there numb, staring into empty space. I remember constantly having these vivid dreams my mum coming back to live again, then not knowing where she worry when she would die again. It’s been nearly 10 years now and not much has changed.
My dad was a lot different afterwards. We all were. He pottered on but drank a lot more. He already had an operation for throat cancer but then it came back with other cancers. He died within a couple of weeks of diagnosis and I don’t know who was there when he died. I went to see him but I couldn’t say goodbye to him. Later I went into my bedroom and I scraped my wrist for ages, it was just a way of bringing me back to reality and help me deal with my anger and sadness. The scar reminds me that whatever I am going through now can’t possibly be as bad as then.
To me, life is an endless stream of dealing with loss. Yes, endless: I had a 50/50 chance of surviving at birth, then my jealous half-sister put a pillow over my face when I was a few months old, my step-brother sexually molested me when I was 3 until my early teens, my mother died when I was 15 and my dad four years later but it didn’t stop there, my auntie, my cat. I know it sounds silly but the reason why I got the cat was to help me cope, and it died too of anti-freeze poisoning.
Shortly after that I started to attend Arty-Folks with a friend. I was living at the YMCA and I had made some good friends by then. Since then, I think I have been doing alright-ish, considering. I might have to get used to living with these feelings but I can’t. I hate it. I want it all to go back to normal. I am still not over losing mum, let alone losing my dad. I have tried different counselling but I struggled to find the right words. I can’t just chat about the past, I need some direction.
Sometimes I can still have a laugh and joke but as soon as it’s gone it’s back to feeling crap, nothing stays. I had the support from so many agencies and so many opportunities put my way but nothing seems to warm my soul, not even God. I am trying to let him in but I also need some answers!
I always had an interest in art and I used to like watching the crafty shopping channel. I quite like to learn how to do things. At Arty-Folks I got so disheartened and frustrated because I just couldn’t ever finish a project. My mentor explained to me that it’s not my lack of abilities or willpower. I feel so low and it’s draining me. And I am so angry with GP’s, with God, and I can’t quite accept that things just happen for no rhyme or reason. I am scared when something good happens or when I am happy because I am convinced something bad will follow.
I don’t self-harm, I don’t take drugs, I don’t drink or get drunk very often, I am not addicted to social media, gambling, or gaming, and I am looking for a job working with animals. That’s why my GP thinks I am fine and doesn’t take how I feel seriously. It’s all down to my thyroid and medication will sort it out. So I put on a fake mask and I get on with it.