Friday, January 28, 2011

FYBF - Reserved...

I had something light and fluffy planned, amongst the regular mentioning of Auction for Lori. I had some trivial, funny post in the back of my mind. Then I read Lori's latest and all the meaningless drivel vanished. How could I post anything inane when this brave, incredible woman is baring her soul in her darkest moments, helping rip the covers from the hidden, secret, tragic depths of mental illness and depression, and even more confronting, throwing out the taboo of mentioning suicide.

And so it is a very different post I will be adding to FYBF.

Many know I lost my sister, the flame-haired hellion, to asthma at age 19. What you do not know is we nearly lost her at 15. My sister was always a passionate creature, fiery rages one minute, heartbreaking tears the next. She loved quickly and deeply, and her series of serious boyfriends started at 13.

One such boy I still consider the love of her life. He was a nice boy, lived with his grandmother, was polite and friendly and open. Calm and confident, a perfect foil for FHH. Good looking too, and rode a motorbike. They had been going steady for nearly two years when his best mate was killed in a motorbike accident. It was an emotional, grief-filled, raw time for this young man, and to be honest, the trivial hystrionics from the red head became too much. I think if this tragedy had not occurred, they would have grown up and matured together, and still be in a relationship.

But it did. And my sister was heartbroken. Six months later she had tentatively accepted it was over and had begun dating again. She was seeing another boy, a bad boy this time. He seemed to thrive on and provoke the dramatic arguments. Then one day my sister and I were home, Grumblebum was up in his shed, Wise Woman was out. I was 12. My sister shut me out of her room, a normal occurance. The phone rang, and as she did not re-appear to answer it as she usually would, I did. The new boy. He asked for her. I went, knocked on her door, slowly opened it quietly calling her name. She lay sleeping on her bed.

I went back to the phone and told him she was sleeping. He insisted I wake her, "oh great" I thought.

The images still run like a slow motion picture through my mind. I put the receiver down once more. Go to her door, open it calling louder. No answer. I figured she is playing possum just to annoy me. Move to side of bed, shake her. Nothing. Screw this for a game, I give her a shove then pull open one eyelid.

And scream as her eye rolls back into her head. I run back to the phone crying "I can't wake her, I can't wake her."

"Get your PARENTS now!" I hang up.

I run out the back door screaming for Dad. He comes down and within minutes we have the ambulance and doctors trying to rouse her, checking her vitals. Thank God for living next door to a private hospital, thank God for the ambulance station round the corner.

She remained in a coma for many days, as we scoured the house to find the pills of death she had overdosed on. All because of a boy. Not the new one, no. The old one. He had a new girlfriend we later found out.

After being hospitalised for nearly two weeks she came home.

Attempted suicide. The scars burn deep. Especially for those around the victim. That is why what Lori is doing is important. Spreading awareness by sharing her pain. As we all should, for it is the unspoken that can kill. Looking back the signs were there. Feint, but there. Hindsight is 20/20 vision, and if it were not for the timing of one phone call I would have lost my sister that day.

I had four and a half more years with her; important, precious time for our whole family.
Please, please talk to people if you are feeling desperate. I know it is not easy, but death is final and the pain can never be healed.
This is my FYBF - God bless you Lori for removing the veil.


Wanderlust said...

Is this part of your holding-out-until-the-end strategy?

Waiting with baited breath...

Melissa *Suger Coat It* said...

An amazing post. So true. Our lives are touched, scarred by these moments. I know your post will make a difference.

Kate said...

Just beautiful, Tanya - I know we can't turn back the clock, but how I wish I understood life at 15 and was able to be there for you. I've also been reading some of Lori's posts, and you are both incredibly courageous and precious women.

E. said...

Thank you for posting. I know it gave me the kick to actually post something I had written.

I hope that Lori and Fmaily's tragedy makes people more aware of suicide and it's impact on those left behind.

Glowless @ Where's My Glow said...

Suicide is ugly but needs to be talked about. Thank you for sharing this with us all, I'm so glad you got that phonecall.

Torkona said...

this was a great read :-)

(comment from mysterious Torkona award reviewer) hehehe