My Aunty Helen (left) with my big sister, Linda, on Linda's wedding day, 2014
babble, mental health, photos, story of my life

In Which I’m Grieving The Loss Of A Family Member

This is not the greatest start to 2018. Not by a long shot. Please bear in mind that I’m still grieving my cat, Twig.

I was getting ready to go back to college this morning. Had an appointment at physiotherapy to see what they could do to help my knees (stretches and exercises to strengthen the knee joint, and help improve muscle mass and flexibility – I can’t remember if it’s the VMU or VLU muscle that’s apparently weak. The one on the inside of the leg.) so I got to have a lie-in, and got up, and before I’d even gone to the bathroom to pee, my Mum turned to me (their computer room is next to my bedroom, and both Mum and Dad tend to spend an hour or so in the morning on the computer doing stuff before going about their daily routine) and said:

“Helen’s dead.”

My Aunty Helen (left) with my big sister, Linda, on Linda's wedding day, 2014
My Aunty Helen (left) with my big sister, Linda, on Linda’s wedding day, 2014

Family History

When I was younger – I’m talking 20-odd years ago – I got into a fight in school with a friend. Someone told me that she’d been spreading rumours that I’d been sexually assaulted when I was in Primary School. Turns out that the rumour that she’d been spreading rumours wasn’t true, but the fact that I’d been sexually assaulted obviously was. I still don’t know who told who, or why the rumours started, but that was the truth. My Uncle Thomas – my Mum’s youngest brother – sexually abused me and my sister over the span of almost a decade. I told my parents, we got the police involved, someone fucked up, and he was free to live his happy life, marry, and have kids. We had to live with the scars of it, including the fact that, despite his admittance of guilt to the police when he was taken in, he got off scot-free. My mother’s side of the family also stood by him, despite his admittance of guilt and the fact that my Mum’s Dad was also more than a little abusive to his kids and his wife.

My Aunty Helen started talking us again a few years later. I still can’t remember how or why, but the fact remains that Helen is the only sibling my mother talks to.

You Can’t Choose Your Family (but if I did, I wouldn’t have chosen these assholes)

My Aunty Helen’s husband, Uncle Robert, died in 2001, and was buried on my 18th birthday. My big sister, Linda, attended the funeral, but none of the rest of us did. The rest of Mum’s siblings were going to be there, and I was terrified about facing Thomas King for the first time since I was about 11.

Of course, Mum’s siblings are also going to be there at Aunty Helen’s funeral, whenever it happens – they’re doing a post-mortem, so it might take a week or two? IDK. I’ve luckily not had to sort out a funeral for a human thus far. I will be attending my Aunty Helen’s funeral. I will have to try my hardest to not launch an all-out tirade at the dickless wonders who call themselves the Kings and their significant others and offspring. IT’S MY GODDAMN AUNT’S FUNERAL.

Eating My Feelings

This is the problem: I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m upset. I eat when I’m grieving. I eat when I’m mourning. I eat when I’m numb.

I’m currently in the “numb” stage. I broke down crying on the way to physio this morning. I emailed my lecturers and told them I wouldn’t be coming in this week. I’m sitting here and I feel like I can’t feel anything, like maybe it’s a nightmare I’ll wake up from in a few hours’ time.

It’s not.

When I came out of physio this morning, I went to Sainsbury’s to get food. I got food at the café and then realised that I’d probably get home around lunchtime, so went into the store and bought new socks in the sale (unicorns, and rainbows, and a pair of musical Santa slipper socks) and two slices of cheesecake and clotted cream and a tube of Pringles.

Mum ate the other slice of cheesecake (café latte flavour; not coffee-ish enough for our liking, but the cheesecake was half decent), and I ate the tub of Pringles in a single sitting, not even paying attention to them. A tub of Pringles has about 1000 calories in it.

I’m just counting my lucky stars that that’s all I brought home. It could have been worse.

It didn’t make me feel any better. My Aunt is still dead. We’re still grieving.

There’s no waking up from that.