Thursday, 27 November 2008


A couple evenings ago I went to a support group for people with dead babies. I have never been able to do that before because of living abroad. It isn't easy for me to go even now that I'm back in England. I had to drive a long way and go into a city which I don't know. I was on my own and it was dark. I'm not good with cars, maps, that sort of thing. I spent hours driving around the city, lost and increasingly desperate. But all the while this lovely woman called Cathy (who runs the support group) was sending me texts and trying to help me get there. Eventually I got there. A community centre in some back street in the middle of nowhere. And there was Cathy - on her own. She usually has more people turning up but that night she didn't. She always sits there all evening anyway just in case someone shows up. She's a tall, thin woman, with lovely long black hair. Dignified, resolute and calm. I was just so moved by her and by what she's doing. There she was, on her own, in that middle of nowhere place. There to help women who've lost babies - despite the fact that she has the most God awful story to tell herself. There waving a flag for the bereaved - which is something that very, very few people do. She said to me that she set up the group because she felt she owed it to her lost son Adam to help other parents .... Very modestly, she added that she feels that she's done Adam proud. Well, let me tell you, Cathy. You have. You really have.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

What does the damage?

A while ago I saw a television interview with a man who had been the victim of a serious assault and who had later had a nervous breakdown. Let's call this man John, for the sake of argument. John explained that the attack had happened in broad day light. He was driving along a road when another car pushed him into the verge. A man jumped out and beat John savagely. John then lay on the side of the road, bleeding badly, for about half an hour. During that time about twelve cars drove past but they didn't stop. John explained that it wasn't the attack which caused his nervous breakdown. He understood that to be the work of a random lunatic and so attached no wider signficance to it. It was the cars which drove past which caused his breakdown. They changed his view of the world. He thought that he was living in a caring society and he found out that he wasn't. Now none of the things which have happened to me are anything like as bad as that attack ..... But nonetheless, as I listened to John speak, I understood his point entirely.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Dropping things ....

For the past few months, every day has been full to the brim because of moving. That has suited me. No time to think. And the days are still very full ..... But I'm not coping with all this any more. Today I burst into tears four of five times. Each time it's because of something stupid. The fire won't light because the logs are wet, a drawer jams and I start thumping it wildly to force it shut, I try to lift something down from a shelf and a load of other things fall down on top of me .... and then I start crying. I have to stop this because of my son. He's lovely to me, full of cuddles and hugs but it is really, really wrong that a six year old should have to provide comfort to an adult. My husband is in the house but he tries to ignore what is happening. The other problem is that I have no manual dexterity at all. I drop and break everything. I trap my hands in doors, I cut my hands while chopping vegetables, I burn my hands taking food out of the oven, I drop food on the floor, things slip through my hands ..... I just tried to wash my son's hair and I smeared shampoo all over his face. Knowing that I was about to start crying, he bravely said that it didn't get shampoo in his eyes and that it didn't sting one bit .... I wasn't aware that extreme clumsiness is a sign that you're losing your mind but clearly it is. A large part of the problem is that I'm trying to do everything far too fast. I some how need to slow down but I just can't do that. Maybe tomorrow will be better. I just hope so. I worry most for my son. I want so much to give him a wonderful childhood. He's all that I've got. But most of the time I just see him as someone who has spread LEGO all over the floor. And if I have to tidy up any more LEGO then I'll go out of my mind ... if I haven't already.