Today

I don’t know what to write about today, so I’ll just let the line flow along the page, let the words flow. Perhaps someone can find meaning in it. Perhaps I can. The act of writing is an act both of release and of taking control.

I only have any control over my life because I believe that I do, and because I think I can roll with whatever gets thrown at me. But there are days when the grief, the dismay gets too much and I wonder how we will ever get through this, how there can possibly ever be a good place on the far side. I have lived in a nightmare and I want it to end, but how to wake up?

Then I think back to the person I was a year ago, so lost and wounded, carrying the weight of blame for too many things, my soul shattered. A year of singing back the missing parts of myself. A year spent learning to trust again, to open, and to heal. I have a way to go yet.

But I am not yet free of the past. Last night’s accusation, about how I irritate and grate, how I am constantly attacking and bringing up problems still echoes in my ears. And yet, my perception is so very different, that I am quiet and keep my head down and try not to make a fuss unless something really matters. I am so grateful for the people who believe in me, who offer back reflections that do not make me look like a monster.

Today I weep for the past and the things I have been through. I have confessed the worst of it to my family, and there was some relief in that. And they step in, trying to help, to support me, and I feel so guilty that I cannot manage all these things myself, I feel so useless, letting them down, too pathetic. And I cried, and they told me it was ok, and that they would help me through. Burdens of responsibility lifted from my shoulders. I have carried so much, and so far, and thought myself weak and insufficient for all the things I could not do, but my family, are not blaming me for being soul tired and distressed. They just want to help.

I wish I had been able to speak sooner. I wish I had known how to say that I was fearful and in pain, that I could not cope. For a long time, I have needed someone to step up and help me fix things, but how could I admit that? I expected blame for shortcomings, not kindness. I am still shocked by kindness. I lived with so little of it for so long. I lived on crumbs, telling myself it was a feast, and the fault lay with me if I was still hungry. Too greedy. But they were crumbs, and I was starving to death, heart and soul.

It was a slow erosion of self, slow enough that I did not see it, until there was almost nothing left in me. I don’t know how a person guards against that. I can’t much offer advice for how not to go there. I know this. Just keep talking. Trust people. More than one person. Tell the stories of your life and make sure they seem ok to someone else, and listen if they say otherwise. It was the silence that undid me, the carrying that great, unspoken weight, and never giving anyone the chance to tell me to run, never giving anyone opportunity to come in and rescue me. Not for too long. I thank the gods there is Tom, and that he helped me feel safe to talk, and told me none of what had happened was ok, or my fault. Today, my mother’s words echo his. Terrible. And not my fault.

I am breathing very slowly. I am typing, because I can. I have spent a lot of time holding my child. I will get through this, somehow. But today hurts, and I can see no way forwards, even though I think there must be a lot. If you can spare a prayer or a little magic for James, Tom and I, we’d be glad of it. And spare a moment for anyone else around you who is in pain, or in crisis. So many folks are. Life is hard enough without people undertaking to make it worse for each other.

8 thoughts on “Today”

  1. Oh Bryn, this makes sad, sad reading. I am holding you all in my prayers, especially James. He must be bewildered and hurt. I am so, so glad that you have the support of your family. You WILL come through this. You are strong, although you probably don’t feel it at the moment. This too WILL pass.

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  2. When we first met, we were very young children, not knowing anything other than playing in your gran’s garden, and folk club nights where we stayed awake late listening to music until we fell asleep in our parent’s arms.

    When we next spent time together, it was through the haze of self-centred teenage years; all the angst, forlorn love, hurt, and hugely important issues that can’t be remembered now. I owe you an apology for the person I was then; I was not a pleasant person to be around due to my own unvocalised pain, and I know I caused bruises I regret now.

    In recent years I have started to learn about you anew from your stories, blogs, and other writing. I see a woman of depth and strength, with great empathy and capacity to love. I see someone who has found a route to travel that isn’t easy, but who has studied and learnt and found herself where she least expected to.

    You have the courage to face this, and you are not alone Bryn. I wish I had been more of a friend to you before, so I could be of some help to you now when you are in need. Don’t be ashamed of needing to spread your burden. Those who love you will find it an easy load, because it will bring you relief.

    Just a thought for you to consider: Neither of us use the names our parents gave us now. Did we rebirth ourselves to affirm the people we wanted to become? You will come through this and be stronger and wiser on the other side. It will end, I promise x

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  3. I was an awkward, introverted sort of a teen Cat, and I know things were tricky, but I can think of nothing about who you were then that needs apologising for, any more than anyone needs to apologise for the insanity that is the teenage years. I admired you hugely as I was growing up. Don’t know you so well these days, but your words always touch me and are much valued.

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  4. What a lovely thing to say Bryn. And pretty humbling, I have never considered myself as worth admiring, least of all when I was a horrible teenager!

    I really hope that your situation resolves happily soon. Until it does, lean on your friends and family for support. You don’t have to feel alone x

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