End of Chapter 2014

Good

It has been 3406 days that have passed since the day that changed me and my life forever, 756 days since that soul destroying day when tragedy struck again. 239 days since I began to glue my life back together, 203 days since I visited the graveside of my three boys, a place I still cannot bare, nor can I take comfort from. It has been 189 days since my final counselling sessions and 127 days since my last blog.

It has also been 231 days since Stephen Sutton passed away in his sleep after battling the horrific disease, Cancer. He is an inspirational young man who spoke, lived, and sadly died by the below quote…

“I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference”

Stephen Sutton – http://www.stephensstory.co.uk/

This young man, heroic without knowing, made such an impact on so many people’s lives with his amazing up beat nature and constant positive attitude, and at 19 years young he touched the hearts of thousands, and the day he died, I shed tears for a young man that I had never met.

It is a heart-breaking, life changing misfortune that my twins ‘Louis and Corey’ lived and breathed, but never got to  live a life of achievements or create a lifeline of memories, it is unbelievably cruel and punishing to think that this disastrous event would happen again 7 years later.

The time elapsing between Louis Corey and Elliot’s births, deaths and today, after a low ebb where solace could only be found in the darkest depths of alcohol and drugs, a pitiful attempt to forget and to numb the pain of guilt, but after plenty of help, plenty of healing, plenty of support from good friends and family my life has found perspective, and some of us are given far shorter lives than others.

I mean; who are we to dictate how long we get to spend walking our paths on this earth?

Who knows when your time is up?

Who gets to say how much time should be spent with our loved ones, children, parents, friends and family alike?

One truly important thing I have realised through all this pain, and one thing I will try to continue to remember, is we shouldn’t dwell, or reside in a pit of bitterness, immersed in sorrow, engulfed with guilt, or whatever emotion is controlling your mind at the time of deep unhappiness. For these emotions consume so much of our negative energy it prevents us from being truly happy and stops us from properly “living”!

It isn’t what we are born with, nor is it what happens to you in life that determines your destiny, it is the choices that we make along the way, it is not our actions that define our person, but it’s how we recover from them.

Your past is part of your present and it shapes your future, it makes you, you! Life can be cruel and I have felt its brutal force, look at it as part of your adventure, that writes the book of your life, we all have a story to be told and the pages of our futures are unwritten, so fill them with memories of happiness, fill them with your story, the good the bad and the ugly but never forgetting that with every bad thing that happens, something good can be found if you look hard enough.

RIP Stephen Sutton, May you rest with the many other young and brave, whose lives have been stolen far too soon, you taught the whole world a valuable lesson.

RIP Louis, Corey, and Elliot Harris you taught me valuable lessons, how to be strong, and never give up, you taught me love like no other love, and you taught me forgiveness. I will for eternity wish that things were different, but I will always be grateful for having had you, held you and loved you and no matter how painful this journey has been, it will be one I will remember with bittersweet memories.

2015 is nearly here and I am looking forward to the future, this is my final post of 2014 and in simple terms When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” I encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity.

Life-Gives-Lemons-6X10-Hoop

Happy New Year.

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New Beginning….

crossroad
I haven’t blogged since October 2013 and I don’t know why today is any different, my head hurts, my hands are trembling, my eyes are red and my throat stings as I fight the urge to scream and cry at the same time. Since October I have started a new job, my marriage has broken down and my ex husband and I are strangers to each other, it would of been Elliot’s 1st birthday, it would of been his first Christmas, its was our first Christmas as a broken family, and I have entered in 2014 feeling …. totally broken!

Living in my head feels very messy and cluttered lately, I can’t seem to think straight or rationalise anything properly any more, a new wave of emotions swamp my very muddled mind. Anger, confusion, sadness that cuts so deep I fear nothing will repair my damaged soul!

I’m more lost then I was a year ago, I’m less of woman, less of friend and mother, and the reflection I see in the mirror is staring back at me and I look terrified that I’m out of control, I feel like I am standing at a crossroads with no idea where to go, so now I have to make some choices, some life changing choices to change this destructive path I am stumbling down, but how do you begin to help yourself when you don’t even know where to start. “At the beginning” I hear you say, for if only it was that simple….

Beginning of what? Again and again I have started over, picked myself up, brushed myself down, painted on the lippy and brushed on the mascara, and with a fine set of heels I put my best foot forward and’ keep on keepin on’ only to be thrown off the path again and again. I am left feeling hopeless and utterly overwhelmed about my future. My mind has overheated and I am having real difficulties in communicating what I want to do and how I want to fix myself.

There are obvious times when we consider grief to be a natural reaction to life circumstances like when someone has died or moved away or when an important job or possession is lost or a marriage or relationship breaks down. But grief is not only stimulated by losing someone, grief is also an emotion we feel when someone loses a way of living or a way of looking at themselves which had been a way of life for them. My life has changed so dramatically in such a short time its very hard to come to terms with, and acceptance for what has happened seems like “forever away”.

I have embarked on a journey of counselling and its shaken everything up – my beliefs, my personality, and my sense of reality. After a couple of sessions, it appears I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, this shocked me and naively it was completely unexpected. ME!!! I was always the strong person, the person people come to for help and advice, the fighter, the good time gal that REFUSES to sink….. so I feel weak, downtrodden and defeated.

So I ask myself WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS TITLE I HAVE BEEN given….. I always wanted letters after my name but PTSD was not the sort of letters I was imagining….

I begin to look into this a bit deeper to get an idea of my new “label” and try and work out where this “beginning” is?

My findings were scarily accurate I find myself ticking yes to a lot of boxes and realising the counsellor woman I was so terrified of seeing could be right!!! So do I have vivid flashbacks and a feeling that the trauma is happening all over again…. YES I do… and I fear that it will happen again to my living children.

I cant get the image of Louis, Corey and Elliot out of my head, the image of them and their last moments of life haunt my mind daily, every day I relive the days all three died, when my mind isn’t busy, and I have time to reflect those days are relived and every painful memory is replayed in my head again and again, so I guess that’s why I fill my day with task after task and chore after chore.
Do I have intrusive thoughts and images in my head – another YES, the image of my dead children, is a an image that won’t leave. I see myself as the third person in my head, and I am holding Elliot in my arms as he lays lifeless, kissing his face and sobbing. I’m holding Corey and his tiny premature body so fragile and he bleeds from his nose and mouth and I am sobbing, feeling helpless. The final image is Louis and his last tiny breath he took in my arms and the feeling of utter shock and devastation.

I avoid almost everything about them by keeping busy, avoiding situations that remind me of the days my life changed forever. I feel detached from my emotions that surround the losses of my baby boys, I feel numb and I feel its affected the way I parent my living children. I don’t plan anything too far ahead, my opinion of my future doesn’t feel like it used to, it feels bleak.

I am angry a lot of the time, irritable and often feel aggressive, my concentration is poor and I have become so forgetful, I leave myself notes to remind me of the notes I have already wrote, and I laugh about it thinking to myself ….. AM I UTTERLY INSANE!!! My sleeping pattern is diabolical and I’m awake more than I sleep, but I am tired, I am so tired…. tired of feeling this way.

So I guess this is the beginning….. beginning of a new journey!

The Music of my Life

darknes
I like listening to music; I am often in my car driving back and forth from my children’s school, taking them to afterschool clubs and various trips to supermarkets, the music is always playing in my car and the only way to listen to music in your car is LOUD!! Even my children now holler at me to turn it up if the volume isn’t above 25, My eldest daughter often sings along with me holding her hand to mimick a microphone, often putting in her requests prior to me even starting the car, my son is like a stuck record often repeating over and over the need for another replay of “Gangnam Style” or “My Heart Skips a Beat” by Olly Murrs, and my little Isla who is saying a few words even lalalaaas along to the “Diamonds” song by Rhianna…. The power of music is already visible as the smiles on there faces light up my morning when a song comes on that they like, equally the way they screw up their faces like someone’s wiped ‘dog poo’ underneath their noses if its song they don’t like. So its seems even at the tender ages of 2, 5, and 6 music has the ability to enhance your emotional state.

Music is a medium that can touch your heart and soul, and when you listen to a song and the words just seem as if they were wrote and sung just for you. It’s a special moment finding a song that you can relate to in that way. Does it give you an escape? Create an outlet for your emotions? Make you smile? Or Make you Cry? … for me its ALL of the above and listening to this song by Rhianna this morning in my car oober LOUD, singing along to it on my journey home has inspired me to write this blog and see if me and my followers can compile a music library of songs with a story!!!!!

This is SO where I am right now, listening to words of this song IM TELLING THIS WAS WROTE FOR ME….. Thank you Rhianna…

What Now – By Rhianna

I’ve been ignoring this big lump in my throat
I shouldn’t be crying, tears were for the weaker days
I’m stronger, now what, so I say
But something’s missing

Whatever it is, it feels like
It’s laughing at me through the glass of a two-sided mirror
Whatever it is, it’s just laughing at me
And I just wanna scream

What now? I just can’t figure it out
What now? I guess I’ll just wait it out
What now? Whoa, what now?

I found the one, he changed my life
But was it me that changed
And he just happened to come at the right time
I’m supposed to be in love
But I’m numb again

Whatever it is, it feels like
It’s laughing at me through the glass of a two-sided mirror
Whatever it is, it’s just sitting there laughing at me
And I just wanna scream

What now? I just can’t figure it out
What now? I guess I’ll just wait it out
What now? Please tell me
What now?

There’s no one to call cause I’m just playing games with them all
The more I swear I’m happy, the more that I’m feeling alone
Cause I spent every hour just going through the motions
I can’t even get the emotions to come out
Dry as a bone, but I just wanna shout

What now? I just can’t figure it out
What now? I guess I’ll just wait it out (wait it out)
What now? Somebody tell me
What now?

I don’t know where to go
I don’t know what to feel
I don’t know how to cry
I don’t know ow ow why
I don’t know where to go
I don’t know what to feel
I don’t know how to cry
I don’t know ow ow why
I don’t know where to go
I don’t know what to feel
I don’t know how to cry
I don’t know ow ow why

So what now?………………

I feel strangely empowered by this song, when I close my eyes I feel my energy renewing and gather my strength to get through another day.
These other two songs that touch my heart but for a completely different reason are Fix You by Cold Play and Small Bump by Ed Sheerin.

Louis and Corey my twin boys died in 2005, if you follow my blog you may of ready their story https://3littlestars.wordpress.com/louis-and-coreys-story/ Fix You was played at their funeral on the 19th September.

This song was in the charts early on in my pregnancy with Louis and Corey and I instantly LOVED it … played it loud, windows open and the words touched the very depths of my soul even then. I had an attraction to this song in a way it haunted me, Id get in the car and itr would be the very next song on the radio, if I was shopping for my groceries it would be the song being played throughout the store. So when it came to choosing music to be played at Louis and Corey’s Funeral it was a clear choice because now not only did I love the song but the song now had hidden meaning and each word had a edge of pain to it because the words of the song are poignant and moving and remind me of how I feel when I think of the days when I was watching my babies fight for their tiny lives.

Fix You – by Coldplay

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

My final addition to this song blog is Small Bump by Ed Sheerin. I still cant bring myself to listen to this song in its entirety as it is just too painful, opposite to other songs when this comes on I instantly turn it off to fight away the unwelcomed feelings that come with it.

This was played at Elliot’s funeral, https://3littlestars.wordpress.com/elliots-story/
Although this song is clearly about a little baby born far sooner that my Elliot is still is a song that I can empathize and resonate with the verse says “I’ll whisper quietly, and give you nothing but truth, If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you” breaks my heart because I spent all night whispering in the ear of my still born son and felt that I would of done anything in those moments for him to breath and if that meant putting my future in to him, relinquishing my life for his than I would of done that in those haunting and unforgettable moments of extreme sadness following his birth, through that night when darkness fell like a dark blanket and the stars twinkled and had more life in them that my stillborn little boy this song was already going through my head and I new already this was Elliot’s song.

The eerie truth behind this story is that even throughout my pregnancy while I was carrying Elliot if this song came on the radio I would turn it off then too, the words to painful to listen to even then. Elliot was alive and kicking life cursing through his veins so WHY? Would this song have such an effect on me then…

Small Bump – By Ed Sheeran

You’re just a small bump unborn, in four months you’re brought to life,
You might be left with my hair, but you’ll have your mother’s eyes,
I’ll hold your body in my hands, be as gentle as I can, but for now your scan of my unmade plans,
A small bump in four months, you’re brought to life

I’ll whisper quietly, and give you nothing but truth,
If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you

You are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
Oh, you are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
And you’ll be alright.

You’re just a small bump unknown, you’ll grow into your skin.
With a smile like hers and a dimple beneath your chin.
Finger nails the size of a half grain of rice,
And eyelids closed to be soon opened wide
A small bump, in four months you’ll open your eyes.

And I’ll hold you tightly, and give you nothing but truth,
If you’re not inside me, I’ll put my future in you

You are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
Oh, you are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
And you’ll be alright.

You can lie with me,
With your tiny feet
When you’re half asleep,
I’ll leave you be.
Right in front of me
For a couple weeks
So I can keep you safe.

‘Cause you are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
You are my one and only.
You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight.
And you’ll be alright.

You were just a small bump unborn for four months then torn from life.
Maybe you were needed up there but we’re still unaware as why.

So here are my songs… share yours too if you wish…..

My New Found Escape

Jogging

When times are hard and life gets you down it’s all to easy to become disheartened at the smallest of obstacles. Life becomes an everyday battle. An uphill struggle and you begin soul searching in attempt to remedy the hazy horizons before you.

People have often spoke about exercise to me and if I am honest I thought they were insane, what good can possibly come out of me exerting myself to within an inch of my life, breathing so hard I think I might die, getting so hot I might combust, working so hard every muscle feels its been pulled around the earths equator and released like a bungee rope….How in the hell can that make me feel good?

It was nearing the time of New Years resolutions and a good friend said to me, “Kelly, please join this ‘Couch to 5K’ http://cnycap.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Couch-to-5k.pdf programme and I will run it too to show you some support and we will get you running 5k in 9 weeks.” my initial reaction “I cant bloody walk 5k let alone run the damn thing, are you trying to kill me” and then she said something that totally struck a chord with me and found myself enrolling immediately… she simply said “I think it will be good for you mind, body and soul” so I approached the idea of running in new way and thought if this running could be my outlet for ‘headspace’ and freedom from my thoughts, then I’m in and so the 9 week programme began.

Spurred on with this thought of escapism from reality I found myself running in minus weather conditions, snow, sleet, rain and wind. No-one was more surprised than I!!! Initially it was very easy to follow the programme as it had been designed as a platform for people that have barely lifted a cheek from their sofas since the first airing of Eastenders. Week one involved literally running for 1 minute and then walking for 90 seconds…. Totally elated, with red cheeks and a sweaty forehead half an hour later, on my new found high “Yay I can run” and I began to believe I could actually achieve this and running, 1 minute isn’t a lot of running UNTIL YOU actually RUN IT…

Gradually week by week the programme increased by small increments steadily building on your stamina, I will never be a marathon runner nor will I be giving Usain Bolt a run for his money anytime soon, nevertheless I try and when I try to do something I will apply 100% of what ever it is I have got to give …. “All or Nothing” a motto I stand firm to.

My Monday evening jogging with my friends became a necessary outlet for me, daily my mind was a wash with a mushy mish mash of everything, a constant image reel of Elliot’s, Louis and Corey’s faces in my mind, flashing round and round like they are on a repetitive slideshow. Ill never forget them but I need space from them and space from this life without them in it. I found running gave me this. From the minute I began the steady ‘plod’ …… I smile from ear to ear when typing the word ‘plod’ as this was a term used to describe our running in the early weeks, described by my faithful friend Lisa… anyway back to the plodding… From the minute I began the steady plod around the jolly heights of Leighton Buzzard I found my mind was clear, clear from almost everything, another huge benefit of jogging. Allowing you the time to think about life’s problems or time to escape them for awhile, tension easily flies by the wayside. Speed runs are great for tearing through aggression and anger. Focus all that emotion into a few sprints and you’ll feel better in no time. I say the word ‘Speed’ loosely for many could briskly walk quicker than my sprint but in my head I was at least levelling and on par with our great Dame Kelly Holmes…. Weren’t I?

Week 9 came very quickly and I was nervous anxious and excited to participate my first ever 5K run…. I ‘plodded’ around the 5K route and completed my circuit in 36 minutes. Mission Accomplished.

So from being a couch potato I now run 5k 2-3 times a week and I am proud to say I DON’T ENJOY IT… If I’m honest while I’m running I don’t particularly enjoy it but at the end of the run or ‘plod’, that’s when I am awash with a great sense of achievement and that buzz people have hyped on at me about for years and years, and I have to agree with them it feels SHAMAZING! On these days accomplishment reins over sorrow and grief is placed to a compartment at the back of my mind because when I run, I run for peace, I run to escape the self persecution and self blame I have become all too familiar with, I run to numb my reality and be ‘Kelly’ NOT Lilly-Ella Toby and Isla’s mummy, NOT Robs Wife or the Bereaved Mother of Three…. I run for ME!

So I am eternally thankful to Lisa for offering me a direction and an outlet for soul searching and a shoulder to snuffle on (On THAT day) and I thank her whole heartedly for her continual support along the way and through her I am pleased to of met Laura a likeminded female with an amazing ‘minimum effort – maximum output’ type of run that I am yet to master and without forgetting the one and only Jayne, my fellow ‘stealthy remedial runner’ whom I have ran alongside and together we joked, laughed and breathed heavier than prank caller but together the team of us amazingly great women have jogged villages and countryside far and wide as a quartet of insignificant hobbits….