Archive for November, 2012

Love Never Fails

So… it’s been 2 years and a day since Lacey took her life.

It feels like just yesterday we were all on Skype and yet it also feels like a lifetime has passed. I remember finding out and not believing it at all! I remember the shock that followed and resulted in me almost withdrawing from social media forever. I remember the comfort I found talking to Chrisselle about it and being able to go through all of the steps of grieving including anger, without feeling guilty. I remember the first time I felt like I could smile again when someone mentioned her name. I remember when I could finally watch Lacey’s videos on YouTube without completely breaking down. I remember when Chrisselle first suggested Don’t Lose Your Grip and I finally had something proactive I could do to find a way to deal with this loss.

See, loosing someone you love is always hard but when you lose them to suicide it is so much harder to deal with. Are you allowed to feel guilty about not being able to save them? Are you allowed to be angry because they left you? Are you allowed to feel sad when society judges them as cowards? Are you allowed to celebrate their life, when the world only sees how it came to an end? Are you allowed to bargain for a life that was not yours? Do you deny the way it ended or do you accept it? With all death: there are no real rules and with suicide you also have all of these unwritten rules that are based on ignorance and stigmas and you have to fight through all of that pain and sorrow just to get to a point where you can breathe again. To me, that is exactly what Don’t lose Your Grip is.

You have to make a choice to remember the person that you knew and not allow the world to force you to only see them for the last decision they ever made. You have to stand up for them and defend the person that you loved without others thinking that you are promoting suicide. You have to find a way to help others understand something that you barely do… Two years later, I still do not have all of the answers. I don’t think I ever will but in the meantime, there are people out there who have the same passions that Lacey did; there are people out there who share her amazing laugh and there are people out there who are also feeling the pain she did and too scared to talk about it or ask for help because of the fear that they might be judged or cast out. And that hurt me almost as much as loosing Lacey. The fact that someone out there could use a friend or just someone who is willing to listen and here I am, able to do both, yet I’d rather sulk and feel sorry for myself? That was not acceptable to me. Lacey would not approve.

I truly believe that all of us are capable of changing the world and ending the stigmas surrounding mental health, all we have to do is open up. Every conversation we are willing to have about our experiences, brings us one step closer to a world that we can actually be proud of.

So, if you’ve lost someone to suicide then you will understand that it is not easy and that final act does not take away from all of the amazing moments you shared with that person. It does not suddenly destroy your love for them or diminish the effect they had on your life. Remembering the person is not always easy when all society wants you to remember is that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” clichés do not always bring comfort and time does not always heal, sometimes you need to share and talk about it… And that is exactly what Don’t Lose Your Grip is: a massive support group where you can talk about your experiences without worrying that you’ll be judged.

We have the power to change the way people remember our friends and our family members who forgot for one moment in time that Love Never Fails… And all we have to do is talk about it.

Love Never Fails

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Mother to Daughter

It’s not a secret that I have some mommy issues… Most days I think that it’s sort of pathetic and childish. But other days I remember why I put up that barrier between me and my mother.

I know we all have our family dysfunction and that affects our relationships but mine wasn’t always like that. My mom always wanted to be my friend but I just wanted her to be my mother. We had our fair share of fights – mostly involving my hair but we found a way around it. And there was this little thing that happened when I was 4 that pretty much meant I became the adult in our relationship but all of that was normal to me.

The trouble only really started when I was 20 and my mom kept something from me. I know that she had her reasons for it and I know that I chose to believe the lie rather than believe that she could lie to me but the fact that she told everyone else the truth – including my cousins’ flat mates, 5min after we met them – that hurt me most. It also destroyed my trust and 5years later I have not really recovered yet. But that’s not the thing that’s bothering me or the reason I break out in a cold sweat every time I even think about talking to her.

The day before my 21st birthday, my mother had a fight with her boyfriend and during that fight I experienced two very different but incredibly significant moments. The first was my proudest moment ever: to make a long story short, I told them both to stop acting like little kids and bestowed some wisdom on them. The second moment had somewhat less of a positive effect on my self-worth. In the middle of my mother’s silly but explosive fight with her new boyfriend – actually the first and only one she has had since my dad passed away – tempers were high and she tried to use me as leverage. Firstly this bugged me because this was the first time I’d met this man (9 months after they started seeing each other) and also because I do not like being used as anyone’s emotional pawn. My mother threatened her boyfriend that she would tell me some deep dark secret that happened when I was 2 years old.

Now that just blew my mind! How could my mother tell a ‘complete stranger’ about something that affected my life? Why would she bring it up in the middle of the night right before my Birthday? Why would he care about hurting my feelings when he doesn’t even know me? Why would my mother stoop to such low levels to win a fight at the cost of her only child’s sanity? And then the question that has plagued me ever since: what is the secret?

I remember something… something that happened when I was little and I remember being scared and hurt and angry but by the time I was 4, I had convinced myself that it was a figment of my imagination that I created to make my life seem more interesting. So basically my mind is a blank. I have no idea what my mother is hiding from me. I have no idea what her boyfriend knows about me that I do not remember. I have no idea what could be so bad that my mother has refused to tell me about. And that sucks…

Not a week goes by that I do not wonder what happened. What did my dad do that was so bad that my mom cannot talk to me about it? Why can’t I remember? Do I even want to remember? Will knowing help me or just haunt me more? I don’t have answers to these questions but I’m trying to not allow them to affect my life.

And yesterday I think I succeeded… well, for a little bit. I WhatsApped my mother for most of the day. We talked about sport and about the family and about politics and about future plans and about our work and the people in our lives. It was great. OK, I have to admit that as soon as we finished, I was over thinking it and really freaked out and emotional but at least I am trying and I take comfort in that. I guess practice makes perfect, so I need to practice talking to my mother like normal families do. Holding on to those little moments of joy before the emotional turmoil, is a starting point…

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