Grief – it’s a word we can all relate to, if we have ever suffered the pain of losing someone close to us. It’s a word that is associated with love, the empty feeling it leaves behind as the bottom of our world falls out. It’s a word that is associated with death, as we try to move on in our lives without that special person. Buts death has many guises. So what relevance has it here? Let’s explore that question together. To my mind there are so many other things that we grieve for. The loss of that prefect job, the reposition of your home, bankruptcy, these and more are all relevant points if we take the time to look- grief wears many hats. This was a lesson that I had to learn, in which I would receive an A star plus for effort on my road to recovery. If we were to think of our lives and the passing of the years as building blocks that forge us as we grow, any block removed would have a major effect on us. We need to fully understand, that this also includes the bad as well as the good. They define who we are, a jigsaw with all the pieces in place. If we are to give any credence to the above statement, it becomes very easy to recognise the relevance. However much we would like it not to be. The abuse we have suffered plays its part, that loss is also felt fully. So how can that be true when everything surrounding that passage of time was so very painful? Rightly or wrongly it has become a part of you. Many years may have passed for some me included, where abuse was a constant part of our lives. The fact that we find the courage to change; to remove those blocks will almost defiantly create a hole that will need to be addressed. We grieve for the loss of time within our lives; a feeling that is somewhat uncomfortable. Emotions are being removed healed one by one, emotions that seemed to have become part of our DNA. The kicker is that leaving anything behind us has an effect; it’s a shift in time of which you have no control over. For many years of my life, healing involved the comfort of a support group. I was in a bubble of safety. Unburdening all those issues that I had to carry alone for so many years; someone was now in place taking some of the weight from me. They helped me to fill the void that was being created, by the very act of being there. I came to rely on that comfort and never envisaged that at some point it would be removed. But the reality is that it was only ever going to be there for a short period in time. Once more we grieve the loss of that guiding hand in the right direction; the stark reality is that we now have to take control of the reins alone. It’s true to say that from that moment on looking to the future, the blocks being put in place will be of your own making, but there will never be a stronger foundation………..

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.