Tag Archives: personal

Heartache and suicide

It’s taken me some time to write this. I’ve written, re-written, held onto it…but I’m hoping it’ll feel better to get it out into the world, to push it away, to say it all.

Back in January, my friend Ryan Rogers was killed by a train in Stonehouse. We thought it was an accident; I originally thought that he collapsed on the crossing. We slowly learned bits and pieces, but it’s hard when all the evidence is being collated and no-one’s entirely sure. So we were waiting for the inquest to hear everything together, and that was in May.

He stepped out in front of the train. It’s a matter of public record, now; it’s pretty clear what the train driver saw even if there’s no video of it. He’d left his rucksack tucked by the bridge, too…I don’t entirely know what to believe, but on balance of probability, I have to go with what was said. There wasn’t anyone else involved. There aren’t any other factors we can point to. I’m still wavering, but I have accepted the verdict.

I saw him that morning; we’d had an awesome game the night before, and a good morning watching Ghibli films. I dropped him home. He was last recorded in the pub in Cirencester at about 2pm, and then he went to meet someone. Then it was 6.20 pm, and he was in Stonehouse. That’s it.

I’ve got two options.

Either; something happened between 2pm and 6.20. We don’t know where he went; we don’t know who he saw.  We don’t know why he was in Stonehouse. We don’t know what method he used to get there, or when he arrived. But something happened that made him decide to not want to live any more, and I don’t know what it was; only that it would have to have been something big, something hurtful, to turn him from the person who smiled as me as he got out of the car to the person who walked out in front of a train, five minutes’ walk from a place that was a second home and a sanctuary for him, where he knew we’d be waiting with hugs and acceptance, whatever the circumstances.

Or; he was lying to me. I don’t know how long for. We were good friends. We spoke honestly and often about mental health, and suicide, and the honest reality of what it means to live with a brain that tells you life is shit. If he was thinking of suicide before that day, then it means he was lying to me when he said he would see me next week, and when he said he did have things to live for, even if life was a struggle at times. It means he was lying to us all when he seemed happier, more stable, more optimistic. It means I can’t trust any of my relationship with him, because I don’t know how much of it was a facade. But it also means that he didn’t trust me, and that almost hurts more.

I don’t know which option to believe, or if it’s a mix of the two.

We don’t have his notebook; he always carried one, and it wasn’t in his bag. He didn’t leave messages for anyone.

We don’t know.

In many ways I’ve made my peace with it – I accepted it back in January, in the few horrible days after I first heard. I don’t have any answers. I can’t talk to him, or yell at him, or hug him. I won’t ever know. And I’m ok with that, because it’s not something I can change.

But it still hurts like fuck.

This is the reality of those left behind when someone commits suicide. It’s a way out, and believe me, I entirely understand the temptation. Life sucks, the world sucks, and no one cares; it’s a way out of the pain and it’s a way of removing yourself from the lives of people you’re just a burden to.

Except you’re not.

You leave behind so many unanswered questions and so many holes in hearts. You rip apart relationships and families, and you won’t ever be forgotten.

I’m not sure, if I ever did see Ryan again, if I’d punch him or hug him first. Probably both, which could be awkward.

This will fade, and this will heal.

But I will always have the scar. And I will always have, buried somewhere in the depths of my heart, that tiny list of questions, that frustration that we don’t have answers, and that little nagging doubt.

Could I have done anything to stop this?

An update from the start of June

isle of wightAh’m on holiday!

Only for a long weekend, but still. Holiday! Sea, sand…occasional sun…wind…a dog who smells rather of pondweed thanks to an impromptu play in the ditch yesterday…and no ice cream yet, but that may happen today – so not too bad overall!

I’m on the Isle of Wight for a few days with my family, so it’s nice to get away for a bit. Unfortunately it’s not all relaxation; I’ve got a stack of paid-editing to do, Terra Nullius stories to edit, websites to update, stories to finish. If I get my editing done, I’m going to finish editing Book 7 of GreenSky and then start working again on Book 10. I’ve also started work on No Man’s Sky again, as I had some inspiration while driving here, so that’s good.

Beyond that – books to read, family to talk to, walks to have. I’m just about to take one of the dogs and trundle round the River Yar while there’s some sunshine, so writing can wait!

5 Happy Things – May 2017

Idea entirely stolen from Pastry & Purls! (Who is fab, by the way. Go and read her for knitting, books and allotment adventures).

Languages; I’ve installed Duolingo and I’m brushing up on my French for ten minutes (aka. my morning commute) every day. So far I’m still just brushing the dust off my memory, but I’ve been doing it for two weeks and it reckons I’m 22% fluent, so not too bad! I estimate I’ll hit 50% before I start learning new stuff, as I did AS Level French so all the tenses are in there someplace…but it’s a really good feeling to be doing something productive.

Pearl barley; I know it sounds ridiculous but I love the stuff! You can put so many options with it, and I’ve been having it for lunch for the last few weeks. It’s a small thing but it does make me happy.

Wonderful friends;  recent highlights have been Portal earrings, stupid cat pictures, Pikachu hugs, some lovely meals out…I’m leaning a lot on a few people who are being absolutely lovely and very patient with me, and it’s really nice to be able to just contact them and know they’re there. Everyone I’ve spoken to recently has been wonderful (thank you Facebook people!) and I’m super appreciating it.

New writing; I can’t say much about it (it’s erotica!) but I’m definitely enjoying it. The couple is mega fun to write and I keep giggling to myself. I’ve had a short story in the series accepted (yay!) so currently expanding it into novellas – more work, but I love it!

And finally, a new tune that I’m loving – Dan Auerbach’s Shine On Me.

Derpy McDerpFace

I’ve got a friend watching over me at work now…

Derpy toy

I still miss him. I talk to him every day – my commute takes me past the railway bridge, and I always say hello, or call him an idiot, or just smile. I write something I think he’d enjoy, or glance at my phone to see if I’ve got a message, or think of something I want to put in a game.

His favourite was Pinkie Pie, but I never entirely understood that, because he didn’t seem like a Pinkie Pie. He was either Twilight Sparkle, or more frequently – when he’d just drilled through a pipe, or tripped over nothing, or nearly dropped the tea, or done something stupid in-game – Derpy. And so it felt entirely fitting to have a small smiling Derpy sitting on my desk to remind me that my friend will always be around; it’s nice to have the memory just there. It’s also helping me when  I think of him – it means I’m not dwelling on the memories, as I can just attach them to something and then move on. It’s been really hard recently, and I’ve hated having time alone to think (despite time with people being equally hard) so I’m hoping this will help.

I’m learning more about him too, which makes me miss him all the more – I wanted to discover the things with him, and have that beaming smile. He could shoot well, had his own airsoft pistol, and enjoyed doing it – something I wouldn’t have expected from the Ryan I knew. I can see facets of his personality in his interactions with others; his profile picture with his brother always makes me blink, because they’re both pulling faces – that was the Ryan I knew, but it’s just a reminder that I only knew a slice of him, and he relaxed so much with others, too.

bunny toyI do also have another friend at work…he was left behind by one of my colleagues’ daughters, and so he’s been helping me with my anxiety days! He now has a post-it on saying “Free for bunny hugs” as I don’t want anyone to think he’s just mine. Everyone was incredibly chilled at the fact I was hugging a bunny for most of a day last week, which is brilliant. I think one of the major facets of making people in general more aware of mental health is just normalising the coping mechanisms. If I need to go for a walk or hug a bunny, then hey, that’s fine – and I really hope that’ll extend to anyone else in the office who needs the same thing for any reason.

And there’s the puppies, of course, who are always up for hugs – or pulling the head off a stuffed cow, whichever one seems more exciting. Both come with equal amounts of slobber!

A visit to Eden

I was lucky enough to get to go to the Eden Project this weekend with two amazing friends (and their cameras). Let’s just say straight off – I spent most of the weekend being a packmule and waiting for them while they took photos of EVERYTHING. This was usually my view…

But then I knew they were going to do that, so I just found a bench and got to appreciate everything 😀 and they did get some amazingly arty shots! (The ones here are all mine – they haven’t sorted through theirs yet).

We saw birds, and a lizard (who was SUCH a poser) and lots of trees, and plants, and rocks, and sculpture…we did all spend quite a bit of time going “what’s that? It looks like an X but not. Hmmm.” And then the photographers would take a picture of it with artistic raindrops and I’d just wander along with my rucksack, appreciating the sculpture and plants and landscaping and thinking how bloody weird it was to be in the middle of the Mediterranean while someplace in a quarry in Cornwall.

I didn’t get many pictures – weirdly, I didn’t really think of it – but my favourite thing was the Rainforest Biome, because they have a rope bridge! I loved it. And I liked the secret garden too, because it had a willow arch. We got to feed a robin, and eat ice cream, and sing in an echo chamber, and see a lot of aloe plants, and just wander. I went on the zipwire (“Hell NO I am NOT going on that thing! Feet firmly on the ground, thank you!” from the photographers) so that was cool, and the food was really good too. We stayed in the YHA which has shipping containers for bedrooms – apparently people make entire houses in them? I could actually cope with that, I think. It was a lot more spacious than I’d expected, and the bed was really comfy. We were intending to do the Lost Gardens of Heligan on the Sunday, but ended up stopping early on the Saturday and having an early night with Chinese takeaway, and then going back to Eden on Sunday. I’m really glad we did, as it made everything a lot more relaxed, and we got to visit favourite spots again. It was awesome, and really quiet – and we got a nice mix of weather, so it felt nice being outside in the sun and breeze and then retreating to the rainforest when we got the proper English summertime back again! (aka. it tipped it down).

I had Monday off (hence no post – I did intend to write this one and then fell asleep) and then went to see Emma Newman at the Bristol Fringe, which was fab. I haven’t yet read Planetfall and After Atlas, but having heard an extract from After Atlas, they’re both on the top of my list!

So that was my weekend. Back to normal life now…