On Friday, I went out to go to the cemetery with my mum. It would've been my Dad's 70th, but he passed away from a brain tumour at the age of 49, a month before my third birthday.
We picked up some flowers on the way. The cemetery is just down the road from my house, and I should really go more often than I do.
Most of my family is there. The only living family I have left are my mum, my brother, and my Great Aunt. I do have aunts and uncles and cousins, but I've never really known them. I could walk past my mum's brother and not know him from a perfect stranger.
We visited Dad's grave first. Mum wiped the dirt and dust from the headstone and plucked a few weeds peeking out. My earliest memory is throwing sand into the grave at his funeral.
Then we walked over a few rows to where my Grandma and Pa are buried. She died not long before my Dad, and my Pa joined her 8 years ago this Christmas. Christmas was always made special because of Pa, and losing him the day after Christmas changed the holiday forever. I hadn't been back to the cemetery since his funeral.
My Great Uncle, who has always been more like a grandfather to me and a father to my mum as she lost both parents before reaching adulthood, passed away in March of this year. I was quite sick with pneumonia at the time, and put off the inevitable hospital admission in hopes of attending his funeral. That morning, however, I was simply in too much pain to even move, and spent the day alone in the same hospital my Great Uncle had only just left.
His grave is on the other side of a very large cemetery, and I was planning to walk. But already in tears, and knowing it would only get worse, I took up mum's offer to drive around instead.
Usually I have trouble spotting the headstones until I'm right in front of them, but Uncle's jumped out at me from several rows away.
I started bawling and gasping for air. Missing the funeral left a sort of hole in the grieving process for me, and this made it all come rushing in. Mum placed her hand on my back, but I jumped away.
I feel a sort of hatred with regards to my Dad's untimely death. Not toward him, but toward the tides of fate. It was the start of an unfortunate series of events that have led to me being the wreck I am now. Mainly, I believe that if he hadn't died, I wouldn't have been abused as a child. He would've been there to protect me. If I wasn't abused as a child, I wouldn't have let it happen again as a teenager. I wouldn't have had to go through a lot of things, and I wouldn't have developed the mental health issues I have now.
Not long after getting back to the Clinic, I saw my psychiatrist, which was just a blur. I wanted to go home for a little while to get an idea of how I'd cope with discharge, and we decided I'd go on leave for a few hours at 5pm and come home later in the night.
Billy was so happy to see me. He ran around and jumped up and kept bringing me socks from around the house. He loves socks. He'll pull them from your feet if you give him the chance.
Misty took a while longer, as she was out lurking in the yard. When she first saw me from across the kitchen, her back arched and her eyes widened, but she still let me pick her up for cuddles and we had a good 'meow' chat.
After that, it all went down hill. As soon as I'd said hello to them, I cracked a bottle of wine, which technically I'm not allowed to do, but I didn't really care if they found out and discharged me.
I took five oxazepam at once, breaking another rule. I hit my head against the wall and drove a cigarette into my arm while I had the chance. So far no one's noticed the lumps or blisters.
I got back to the Clinic right on 10pm, the latest I could stay out. I'd had nearly a bottle and a half of wine and too many oxazepam. I stumbled once in my heels, just a tiny bit, after the nurse let me in He commented, asking if I was feeling a bit unsteady, but I just brushed it off. I was in tears from the emotionally exhausting day, so they didn't push it.
I barely slept that night. My head was a mess and my stomach was in knots. I spent most of the night up between vomiting and slugging down Coke Zero. I don't know how no one noticed I'd been drinking. Considering they know I drink a few times a week at home, I thought my stumbling and vomiting would've made them break out the breathalyzer.
It was hard being back home. It'll be no different when I go home than it was before my admission, if not worse. Home does not feel like home. I feel like a stranger, and not a particularly welcome one at that.
I went on leave the next day to go home again, which was even more of a disaster, but I still haven't processed it, so for now I'll leave it here.
“There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes and see you looking back”