10 years is a long time (scientifically speaking). 120 months, 520 weeks, (roughly) 3,650 days, 91,250 hours and 5,475,000 minutes. That’s how much time has passed, between now and then. Yet I still remember that morning (9th July 2008), as if it were yesterday.
After starting my blog, I knew this day would come. The day I’ve been dreading for a while now. Not only to open up and write about my dad and his death. But to accept that ten 10 years have passed, I’ve grown up and he’s missed out on so much. When certain things happen in my life, I don’t really think about it in the moment. But just like everyone else, I have my days. Days where something will trigger my memory, a sound, a smell or a deja vu moment. I’ve become a bit of an expert at hiding my emotions, I put up a front and paint on a smile. Most people see me as a happy and life loving young woman. Which I am, most of the time. Other times I’m lost in my thoughts, which isn’t always a good thing.
Time fly’s by so fast, yet when I stop and think, it feels like a lifetime ago. It’s difficult writing about my Dad once more, nevertheless today marks 10 years. A milestone, a decade, and whole lot of f*cking time since he decided to take his own life, leaving me and my mum behind. At just 14 years of age, my life came crashing down without me even realising. Looking back now, I thought I knew everything. In fact, I could’ve probably made more sense of life then, than I can now in my 20’s.
” Just to clarify, I’m not writing this post for sympathy, I’m far past that now. “
I’ve learnt to cope and I’m still figuring out how to deal with my demons every single day. I’m writing this, not only because it’s the anniversary of my dad’s death. But, because I feel more young people, who have been affected by suicide need to reach out and seek support from one another. I’ve never really spoken about how my dad passed or how his death affected me growing up. I guess I didn’t really understand it all back then.
Most people would assume it was cancer or heart failure or some other life threatening illness. Which is still correct, so to speak. It was a life threatening illness, one he couldn’t escape. If anyone asked, I would freeze and painfully whisperer under my breath “he took his own life” or say I didn’t want to talk about it. Nine times out of ten, after you utter the words “suicide“. Most people don’t tend to ask questions, and/or feel slightly terrible inside for even asking in the first place. Well you shouldn’t, not with me anyway. I don’t want to hear your apologies, or how sorry you are for my loss. Just be there for me, listen when I speak, hold me when I cry and leave me alone when I ask for my space.
” Over time I’ve become OK with it and I’m such an open book these days, it takes a lot to knock me down. “
However, that’s not to say everyone else is the same. We need to speak up more often and talk about our feelings. To ensure we are stable adults for the future. Like I said, I thought I knew it all back then. I ignored the fact he was gone and refused to talk about it. Which resulted in a ‘quarter-life’ crisis aged 19, 21 and again at 22. So many un-solved puzzles, unanswered questions and life altering ‘why’s?‘ floating around in my head. Things I couldn’t make sense of, stuff I was scared to share. Afraid of being judged, isolated or worse, admit to myself (and others) I was damaged. A never ending spiral staircase, I couldn’t find my way out of and probably never will in the grand scheme of life.
” It’s hard moving on from such a traumatic event. “
That being said, I will forever love and miss my dad. Yet still, after 10 years can’t bring myself to forgive him. For leaving the way he did, without a goodbye, a final word or explanation. For years I blamed myself and never understood his reasons. Since then, I’ve felt his pain and know how overwhelmed he must have felt. Having been in the dark, cold corner we call depression. Feeling so alone, with nowhere to turn. It’s taken time and a whole lot of self-destructive behaviour to accept his choice. I just wish he could have resolved his issues differently.
As more and more people come forward and speak about their mental health issues, it’s changing the world and how we perceive one another. If only it was the same 10 years ago, maybe, just maybe my Dad would still be with me. I know can’t hold onto that thought, I’m moving forward and into the light. Learning to talk to others, especially in my relationships. It’s the reason certain things haven’t worked out in the past. Always hung up on the thought of being left, so much so, I would find excuses to end it. Even if everything was good, that way I felt more in control. I wasn’t prepared to wait around, only to be pushed aside. I never wanted to feel the pain of being abandoned again. But I can’t go on living my life like that, it’ll get me nowhere.
Not really sure how to end this post, as I could probably ramble on for hours. So I’ll say sorry for the hard hitting post, I just had a lot on my mind. And on that note, I’ll leave you all with this… I couldn’t put it better myself!