The last couple of blogs may have felt like nothing much was happening, that’s because it wasn’t. We had a limited time left with our mother and it was ‘the calm before the storm’. The beginning of this blog will feel the same. I am so grateful for the down time, it was necessary.
I, again, need to say that I often lose the order of what happens leading up to these memories, often if the memory is traumatic so forgive me for jumping from one memory to the next quite fast. I feel that they are important to share anyway so that as close as I can get to my full story is out.
After my first boyfriend and I broke up, I was surprised to find other boys were taking interest in me. This was odd to me as I’d never felt like the pretty one. I’d always felt like the stupid one who made weird faces and didn’t quite fit in.
On reflection, I did ask stupid questions and didn’t have as much common knowledge as my friends. This was partly because I’d never really had an adult around permanently that I wanted to ask certain questions. I grew up with strangers a lot of the time and who wants to look daft in-front of strangers who appeared to be designing your fate?!
Another part of it was people listened when I spoke, they found me funny. I knew that they were often laughing at me but I didn’t feel bullied at all. I felt like people liked me and they liked me to be a certain way. I never acted as if I knew less than I did but I also didn’t hold back on asking questions and making statements that I probably didn’t need to make. In short, I was being inauthentic because I believed it was the way to keep my friends. FYI: it wasn’t.
While I was being chased by boys, my eldest sister fell pregnant with her partner and my mother met someone not long after! Cupid well and truly had his arrows out. My eldest sisters partner (let’s call him B for brother in law) moved in with us for a while until they had a house to move in to. This was great fun, it added something different to the house and he became part of the family immediately. I missed them both so much when they moved out but had my own life going on with GCSE’s approaching and parties/ camping every weekend.
Everything was great, we had a new baby on the way to the family – a nephew born on the day of my friends 16th birthday party.
My 16th was not long after and was very eventful, my mother was away for the weekend with her boyfriend so I had a house party. Of course I did! We invited some boys from the year above and managed to get hold of quite a bit of booze, everyone managed to get absolutely wrecked (which made church very interesting for me the next day- I still went quite a few times a week); there were girls crying, boys trying to pull- some succeeding and parents being ‘fooled’ when they picked their teens up. It was great fun!
Christmas was not so great that year though- my mother had started drinking quite heavily a few months before after being caught up in the whirlwind of new love. This didn’t really have an effect until Christmas Eve when she went out for cigarettes and disappeared, we spent Christmas Day without her and Boxing Day too, I think. She was found in a hospital, it turns out she had collapsed on the road side on the way to the garage. It was so cold that she stayed asleep for quite a while. She was very lucky physically but mentally was severely unwell and spent a few weeks in hospital again. That Christmas was the first time we thought it was possible she was dead. She hadn’t disappeared like that before. She was spiralling again but her starting place was a lot lower.
After that, the promise we had always had from her that she wouldn’t kill herself felt a bit empty. We all knew deep down that she wanted out. I thought I’d known the true meaning of fear but until this point in time, I’d had no idea.