Friday 6 April 2007

Downward spiral

For reasons best left alone, my son’s grandmother and I started to fall out with one another approximately two years after Sean’s death. During the third year it became clear to me that I could no longer stay in Newry. Because we had become extremely close to one another over the years we both found the break an unhappy and bitter one. I left my home, my furniture, most of my personal belongings and moved back to Dundalk, cutting off all ties. I moved into a rented house back in Blackrock in April and looked forward to a long peaceful summer with my son and my own family.

When I moved back home I had hoped to put a lot of my problems behind me, and for a short time it looked as if I did. But then, within a very short period of time, I fell out with three of my sisters, the very ones who had been a great support to me in the past. I couldn’t believe it. As sisters go, we were fairly close, so I knew something was very wrong. This was the last straw for me. I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t understand why these things were happening. I felt every crutch I had to support myself and my life had been kicked from under me. First Dave and my home in Dublin, then Sean, then Sean’s family, then my home in Newry, and now my own family.

Everything went into a spin. I found myself unable to trust my own judgement or instinct. Everything I touched seemed to crumble away. After one particularly bad falling out over the phone with a sister, I sat on my bed and cried and cried. I thought of all the people that I had been close to over the years and how almost every one, for different reasons, had let me down. I thought of the long life that I had in front of me, and the thoughts of going through it friendless and on my own horrified me. To have to go against my very nature and not trust people, to have to close ranks and shut people out, to harden myself as I had seen other people do seemed impossible. Yet the opposite of it was just as bad, to go through life continually leaving myself open to people, trusting them and being hurt and deceived again and again would be unbearable.

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