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Written by B   

'I wish things could have been different for us all'

Madness in mum, the Terror, Horror, the Shock & Anguish of Suicide in my family.

Pretty in Pink
Journal entry, a letter never sent.

Hi mum,
I wish things could have been different for us all, including starting with you. Your so lovely when your well and so mean when your not. I wish you were born well, and people could see who you really are. Dad sees it, we see it. But when your not well... all the things you say and do. So sad to watch, so painful to hear.

Mud sticks, and this sticks too. You burnt my clothes, you called me names. It was then you hated me, but you don't remember, I remember. I remember everything, and take it with me. All those years, all those relationships that have felt the impact of my pain, that I gave no name to the shame. I want to let it go mum. I forgave you along time ago. Now its time to forgive myself, no evil, not ashamed. But I wish it were different way back then, because it would be different now, and I mourn the loss of that life. I want the next 41 years to be different from the first 41.

(My mother has bipolar disease, she started a bonfire in the back yard once when I was 8, my little brother 6, and my big brother 9. She believed that all the books in the house were evil, and everything that was the colour pink was evil too. So the colour pink burnt, after a huge fight in my room with my mother, where everything in the house that was pink was stored. All my pink clothes, all my pink toys. I remember saying, begging 'please mummy don't take them I look so pretty in pink'.

I stored my 'hope chest' in the top cupboard of my room in our childhood home waiting for my grown up life. Our childhood home was brought by my little brother. That room later became he and his wife's bedroom. When he was taking equipment off the farm preparing for it to be sold he stored the guns off the farm there for a few days. His wife did not know they were there. He was diagnosed with bipolar disease about 18 months ago).

Journal entry

The phone rang.
I'd waited all day for the call.
I had felt it.
Knew it was coming.
I was afraid.

Dad My husband screams,
I know, I fall, I hear,
"This is the worst news I'll ever have to tell you. Your little brother has shot himself"
"But he's alright, He's still OK"
"No he's dead love, He shot himself in the head.
He's dead"
I cry, I scream,
"It's not"
How often do I repeat that I do not know.
Perhaps half an hour.
The children wake. They know.
I know, life will never be the same.
A part of my heart has died.
Life will never be the same.
"What time is it? 10:30 pm.
"What day?" Sunday 26.6.05
The day my life changed.
I changed
I do not sleep.
I cry from the soul.
Not real.
But it is real.

I talk to his wife in the morning 27.6.05
The farm is to be sold.
He is unhappy.
He came home after a 3 day fishing trip last night.
He rang mum about 7pm.
The voices in his head are back.
They are bothering him.
But he never wants to go back to a doctor again.
He calls each of the children one by one.
And says goodbye.
His wife sees his eyes theyv'e changed.
A glaze, a gun.
Only enough time to get the kids out of the house.
A shot.
A single shot.
His life is gone.
It can't be true!
But it is true.
He has no face, no head, no brain.
It is all over the hall, the couch.
Blood, brains.
The children hear.
They do not see.

I think, "How do I comfort?",
The children, how do they cope.
It can't be real.
I am in shock.
I fly home.

I arrive in time to help prepare for the funeral,
on 30.6.05, the day the farm is to be sold.
If only he knew how many people loved him.
Both families had lived in the community for over 100 years.
There were over 1000 people at the church.
As many people that were inside, there were outside.
Crying.... we were all crying.
At the graveside Elton John plays,
"Don't let the sun go down on me",
And of course I wear pink.
"I look so pretty in pink", or so I think.

Journal entry.

Grief is a curious thing.
When it happens unexpectedly.
It is as a bandaid being ripped away, taking the top layer off a family. The underbelly of a household is never pretty, ours no exception.

There should be a statue of limitations on grief. A rulebook that says it is alright to wake up crying.....but only for a month, or maybe two. That after 32 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing in panic as you remember the day.

That there will be no fine imposed on you if you have a good day. That it is OK to measure the time he has been gone (almost 1 month today), the way I once measured his birthday.

Journal entry, of a letter never sent.

Dear Da Da,
I've really missed you today. Your are the first person I think of in the day,
and the last.....before I go to sleep.
My heart is broken. It feels complete.
It has only been broken like this once before, it is his 47th birthday
today.....and you will never be 47.
Wish it weren't true.
Your big sis,

Journal entry.

The noise.
I can't stand the noise.
The boys are watching "The Last Samari".
I can't stant the noise.
The sound of fighting and dying.
Cutting vegies in the kitchen.
I feel panic, and annoyed.
Don't they know I cann't stand the noise anymore.
I can't stand watching the news, reading the papers,
and most of the evening TV dramas.
I need to be quite.
I need to be still.
Too many memories.
I don't want my mind filled.
I need to be still.
A quite space in which to find Grace......
Slow deep breaths,
but I still can't stand the noise.

Journal entry.

My grief feels complete.
Life goes on but,
I am alone.
Soccer carnival today.
Made me realise again,
that I have no real friends yet in my new town.
All the ladies took their kids to Maccas,
no one asked me to come.
On friday the girls at work were talking about their book club, no one asked me to join.
I feel so alone, magnified by the grief.
I don't want to set my heart to stone.
I cried at the playground,
I feel so alone, no one to talk to.
About my life, wish it were different.
Wish you were here now.
Miss you.


Jarvis Walker     Arlec

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Featured Articles

The 'Forgotten People'

by Anna Malbon from the Progress Press October 22, 1996

WHEN nine-year-old "Tom" was asked to draw a picture of himself with his mother be drew her trying to strangle him.

Tom entered the world of adults too early. If he was ever immune to the complications and pain of life that adults try to shelter from children, he says he can't remember.

Bulletin Board

I had to struggle extra hard

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I.

They only listened to her stories ”

“ I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know.”

Hi, I had a mentally ill mother. She passed away last year. I literally grew up hanging around mental hospitals because my Mom's condition was a cycle that always ends in a mental hospital. When I was younger, there was a long period when I cried my eyes out every time I was separated from my mentally ill mother because she had to stay in a mental hospital. After I grew older, my Mom's mental illness became impossible for me to bear.

Literally, my Mom's mental illness ruined my life. I think. I had to struggle extra hard for everything because of my big handicap at home. There was no support at all from anyone other than my father. Nobody else wanted to know about it. My mother's own cousin even said to my father not to bring my Mom to their place. I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know. My mother's own sister has been complaining since 2000 and her last complain was on 5 July 2014. This particular aunt keeps complaining about the same thing. That she had to take my Mom for her weekly injections and complained that my father and I was not around to do it. Then, she goes on to say that she saw my Mom beat me up with a cane. When she said that, I asked my Aunt, you saw my Mom beat me up with a cane? She said yes and than, she walked away.

I feel very sore with this aunt. Number one, the period she was complaining about was when I was still schooling and my father's and my mental health had deteriorated so badly that we had to leave the state for our own sanity. Before joining my father, I had to live alone with my Mom and my baby sister for almost a year. My aunt who lived a few minutes drive away did nothing when my Mom beat me up every day for months until my father managed to cut the red tape to remove me. My body was full of bruises and I was terrified to go home after school. Nobody helped. Not the neighbours who can hear all my mom's shouting at me, nor my aunt, nor my grandparents, nor my school's teachers. Someone should had intervened for a 12+ little girl. No adult helped. My father was trying his best to get me away to stay with him. Nobody helped him.

On XXXXXXXXXXXX, my Mom's sister let slip she saw my Mom beat me with a cane. And yet she did nothing! My aunt even had the cheek to say that my Mom beat me up because I said I wanted to go live with my father. The way my aunt said it was like the beatings were wholly my fault. What is wrong with the picture? You have a 12+ girl being beaten up daily, you are an aunt who knows something is going on and did nothing. Yet for years later you complain about having to take your own blood sister for her injections. And, I do not think she did it for longer than my own experiences. Probably only a few times because my father and I had to travel frequently to see to my mother. Due to the cyclic nature of her illness.

I have been going with my father when he took my mother for her weekly injections as a little girl, knee high, ever since I can remember. My own aunt is so calculative. There was a nurse that visits my Mom to give her her injections. But, the problem is my Mom will not let the nurse into her house that is why the intervention is needed. I have lost count on the number of times I had to go with my Mom for her injections as a little girl.

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I. They only listened to her stories and full stop. I think my Mom's doctors are the most heartless people I have ever met in my life. Until today, I do not like anyone who officially practices psychology because those doctors etc... contributed to my life being ruined. That is how I feel. I have been scolded by my Mom's medical team and they even dumped my Mom on me after I just turn 18 and there was no other adult around. And, they knew the situation. I was terrified because my Mom was a very violent. My Mom has pitched me, beaten me up, she has biten me with her teeth, she has smashed my head against the table and threatened to beat me with a piece of hard wood. I experienced all these as a little girl at the tender age of 12+ I had to learn karate to protect myself from her violent ways. And, when my Mom was home, I would lock my room's door and place a chair against it. I was that terrified of her.

All our belongings can go missing because my Mom is good at that sort of thing. You never know what is what with my Mom. It is like having a criminal live under the same roof as you.

My aunt kept repeating to me that on my mother's death anniversary I will have go visit her cemetery. I live in a different state from where my mother's cemetery is located. And, my aunt knows that very well. However she repeated her question to me until I said yes. I hate being forced to do something against my will because I have been forced to do things against my will my whole life.

My life is in ruins because of my mother's mental illness and people like my aunt is perpetuating the troubles for me after my mother's death. When I was 12+, my mother's mother said to me that it is my father's job to take care of my mother. In other words, my father's job and mine. And, they never lifted a finger to help. Just helping a little, my aunt has been complaining about the same thing for more than a decade. Unbelievable. Shameful.

Even though my father and I lived in a different state from my mother, we had to travel up and down every weekend because that is demanded of my mother. Sometimes, we had to travel after school and upon our arrival, she won't let us in and we had to travel all the way back. And, my father will not let me sleep at home as it is a school day, I had to go to school. My education was very important to my father. My mother could not be bothered if I succeeded or not.

I have seen more than any of my Mom's relatives have seen with regards her mental illness but people whom I just met behave like I have no idea about my Mom like they are the authority on her behaviour and her illness. Goodness gracious.

Despite this huge handicap in my life I persevered with my studies. My Mom did not give me any moral or emotional support at all. In fact her mental illness cycle will peak just or during my important exams. In other words, I had to deal with my exams and on top of them a mentally ill mother. By my final year in university, I could not take the pressure of exams and a mentally ill mother's break downs anymore.

When I was in my teenage years and early adult years, I was suicidal. I had to call Befrienders a lot. Thank God for Befrienders.

Before XXXXXXXXXXdate, I do not wish my experience to be experienced by anyone else because it is torture. However, after feeling how hard hearted my aunt is. A so called holy person, a church goer, rich person who has successful kids and grand kids. And, she can talk like it is my fault that my Mom beat me up and she (my aunt) had to take her (her own sister) for her injections when I was a kid. I really wish that my aunt must reincarnate as my father (a few lifes) so that she can eat her own words. If my aunt reincarnates and is put in my father's shoes, she would really deserve it. Hope she learns compassion through it all.

Why can't the world give children of the mentally ill a break? I am so fed up with all this troubles that stem from my mother's sister's attitude towards my father and I. After all shel lives a great lives. Rich live. What is wrong with these people? I really cannot stand them. This is my story.

After I wrote the above - I am more myself now, and I totally forgive my aunt and everybody who did nothing to help my father and I. And, everybody else who were heartless towards my father and I. However, I still think that by living a few life times as my father (my aunt) - would do her some good. But, knowing her character, she might become a psychopath and pose a threat to humanity. My father is a very, very kind soul. My aunt is a hard hearted, prejudiced, narrow minded, one tracked mind person.

How I cope? Trying my best to keep out of their way, and hang out with positive people. There are plenty of great people out there. Nnaami is included :)


South East Asia