Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Silent Scream

Today I sat by my keyboard and felt tears welling up as I read a blog of a girl /lady who wrote of her two children that had died. When people asked her if she had kids, she would hesitate to answer, as what or how do you say afterwards anything that is less than trite?.. She had a baby that died of meningitis when he was almost two years old, and then later, many years later, her surviving son was killed in an Army accident. So, yes she had the children, but they were taken away without her consent.. but the loss was there in the words, in the silent scream that she held in whilst she relived the events so long ago, that had no end, no conclusion , no reasons why..

It got me thinking, just how many of us are locked in that silent scream syndrome.. where we have the grief that has no end, where the depth of it is so severe that if you really did stand and take stock, the screaming would never never end?..

During my younger days, in my marriage that I saw was falling apart but I had no stop button to press, I would stand at the checkout waiting to get my items scanned, watching the other families who all seemed to be so happy and together and wander why I had failed so badly that I couldn't deal with and sort out matters to make it all better. I had my five children to consider when I thought about running away... I could not do it, because life had to go on and they had school to attend... I could not see a way to break through the routines and get us all free, and maybe make him see what destruction he was wreaking, and maybe, just maybe, he could get help and be the nice person he once had been when we first had met.. But of course it was not to be. That young man who had been so full of life and light and enthusiasm had become bound by life supporting a growing family, trying to get qualified in order to get better paid jobs, and he felt totally wiped out emotionally and physically and thought that drink might plug the gaps and make it feasible... but of course the drink didn't plug the gaps, it widened it until it could no longer hold together and the family fell apart.

Grief is all around us.. not just in people dying, but in lost ideas, causes, marriages that no longer work under pressure.. its not to say that the grief is anything like as terrible as that of lost children or people, but it is a grief no less.

For years I grieved for the loss of a lovely man who had disappeared into an abusing, shouting person that I didn't know how to treat or make better. That the father I gave my children was so damaged from his life at home as a child and adolescent, that he could never be the person they needed. The lack of being able to offer them a safe home, without shouting and fear of how each evening or day he would be.. Some days when I cowered inside waiting for his return, he would be the nicest of all, gentle and playful with the kids and really a nice person.. Another time without warning he would turn into a demon mostly after he had had a bad day at work, and stopped off on the way home..

 All these things led to my grief of trying to pretend that he was a great person, and a marvellous dad- which he was at times, but not enough times for it to be the norm.

I remember seeing on TV many years ago an interview with survivors of a terrible event in Russia during the second world war. The ladies, now old, had all had children who they had taken with them on the terrible long march to safety.. Many of the children had died en route, and when they asked one lady, rather cruelly, that she had still been a young woman when she had reached safety, why hadn't she tried to have more children, she said, that having seen four die she had no wish to see any other children die as life was too precarious in that land. Her quiet dignity despite her poverty made the interviewer gasp.. but obviously her grief was so deep it had been carried inside her for over 40 years, another member of the silent scream people.

There is no one person living who at some point in time, doesn't have a reason to scream out loud for grief or annoyance.. but all of us have to try and get along with it, and somehow damp it down until it becomes livable with.. For some that cannot be. Only this week in the UK an inquest being held was told that the lady who had just committed suicide, had had  terrible losses to bear over the years.. First her daughters died over 30 years ago in car accidents, then her husband died soon after with a heart attack... later, having a new partner, he died of cancer... she carried on bravely, finding another husband to love her and care for her, then this year, her last surviving child, a son, had been killed in a motor cycle accident, and as her husband said, it was the final straw, and this brave lady who had carried her silent screams all those years, had taken her own life.

So, is the answer to stop hiding the grief, let it pour out until it fades away, then despite the hole in your heart, you can manage to cope and carry on? or to suffer and say nothing until it just overwhelms you and you lie down and give in and die? 

I think on reflection that letting it out is best, that talking or writing it down, is a very valuable tool and it helps you sort out your griefs and file away, which is why blogging is the next best thing..  You can talk to yourself on line, and put it out there where others can read and share, and maybe just doing this, lightens the load..and is enough to give you energy to carry on.

  I am sure that this is why blogging is such a route for many cancer or other deadly diseases sufferers. They  do use this way of communication and it helps them sort out matters in their minds. It has been a valuable tool for them, despite if, in the end they die, and their partners have to finish the blog.. It is a way of being heard, of not being silent and suffering in pain and worry.

 Even if, your writing does nothing but clear your mind, it is so valuable a tool. I am glad that we are all sharing, even our most inner thoughts, because in doing so, we can download our fears and avoid being part of the Silent Scream syndrome...

Monday, 22 October 2012


I didn't start the day feeling tearful, but I am now. You see I had to write a sort of time line about the operation/s and so forth for the solicitor who is seeking to find out whether it is worthwhile chasing the hospital and the specialists, who have left me in this condition Cauda Equina. I originally had the operation because I was really plagued by pain of sciatica down my right leg. ~After the operation, I still had discomfort in the leg, but this time was caused by paralysis and numbness, weakness and pins and needles., plus added to that dysfunction in bowel and bladder and other major parts down below.

Its not having any choices any more, I have to manage my self all day and each day.. and together with the natural effects of getting older, stiffer and more rheumatic, life just ain't a bundle of joy and that's the truth... However I still carry on and try and smile all the time and take each day by itself, but writing that letter made all the pains come back and the deep feeling of loss of control over my life.

Its not been the easiest of lives either, but I had got it almost on to an even keel and then this has happened and its turned to shite! Most days I am able to shrug it off and get on with things... but today writing that letter has left me with tears that will not go away and I feel really wretched.. Of course its not helped by the weather outside being grey, cold and damp and raining, but that's to be expected at the end of the October month..

 wow, if only if only... I think I would have preferred to delay that op at least until I had explored more of the options... I did try the epidural injection which made the pain go away so completely that I almost cancelled the op I was feeling so good... But then it came back after three weeks, so I went ahead with the op..

 I had another friend who also had the op, but hers turned out so well, she has enjoyed a much better life afterwards!  I was very very scared of having it done, as a cousin had had the op going wrong for her and she was left like me with Cauda Equina Syndrome... I thought that lightening would be unlikely to strike twice in one family... how wrong I was...

But yet, when I read all the blogs about people who have such suffering in their lives, and their struggles to get better, it feels so mean to allow myself to get into this sad weepy way.... I think if I go and lie on my bed and calm myself listening to the radio, I shall get enough strength to try and feel more optimistic again.. so I'll be off now, sorry to load on you world, but I am feeling so shitty right now and I want to scream in anger at the damage that I got &&....................

Friday, 19 October 2012


Its been some time since I last wrote and I am sitting here trying to express the reasons why I feel so anxious. My youngest child John arrived out of the blue late afternoon today. He is enjoying a long holiday weekend and is planning to drive all over to see old friends, meet up with his father and together they will visit his sister in Oxford. I feel a low hum of anxiety because of really silly things that just fill me with unease. My kids are all loving and caring and I get along with them really well but they do like to have a drink to relax. As I have no wish to drink much at all these days, it means that sometimes they carry on talking and laughing late into the night. My husband has no idea that I feel anxious at all and is happy to join in or go to bed as it gets later.

 I have been sitting here trying to analyse why this feeling is present at all.
My first husband drank a lot each evening and used it as a self- medicant to help him with his own worries and fears. However it inevitably led to long hours of talk that turned into a one way track which got him more and more exasperated that I could not obviously understand what he was explaining to me.. Believe me these sessions often lasted well into the night.

Now my children are all adults and behave in adult ways and are unaware how any drinking in evenings leave me screwed up inside. The last time my son stayed over, he got hungry in the night and went to cook himself something to eat, and of course let the dog out who came rushing up to my bedroom and woke me up and it was 2am in the morning.. I know its silly to think that such an episode would cause me concern, but I think it is making me feel different and uneasy.. Of course it is probably unlikely to happen at all, and even if it did, what harm... but the kids now being adult are not under my command where I could see them all safe away in bed until the morning, and they do expect to relax well in family company..   I think its just a hangover from all the nights I had with their father.. I just wish I could dispel the feelings..

Its not even that my kids over- do the drinking either...

 and it doesn't apply just to them...

 When my daughter celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary- we held  the celebrations at our house, and since it was summer, many family members came, and I have never seen so much booze bought in !!!!...

And I hovered moving around with such a dreadful feelings, it was hard to enjoy the time..
 Of course everyone behaved well, had a great drinking time and every thing was marvellous, but I just could not relax knowing how much booze was being drunk... It must be programmed into me now, but I do wish I could get rid of the unease..

At this moment he is visiting an old friend and expects to return here later this evening to stay overnight and then tomorrow will meet up with his dad to start the next part of his long weekend. He didn't ask for the door key, so I am again fretting , worrying what time he will  come and return.. which means I have to wait up as John will take himself off to bed when he gets tired, and I will have to be around to open the front door.....

 #what a worry wart I am turning into!!

... but I think that I am right in thinking all these emotions are a throw back from dealing with my first husband for so many years.. 

Ah well, in another 50 years it won't matter and no one will know or care to know how anxious I feel this evening..So I am stopping here as it is just not productive to keep on tapping on these keys!!