Mind My Mind for our true bliss
This is my rock bottom shipwreck moment that changed my life.
I’m the eldest of five boys and two half sisters. My two youngest brothers are twins.
My parents were going through a hard time when I was young and it continued for several years.
My mother tried to keep as much of their arguments away from my brothers and me.
When I was about 9/10 years old an ambulance turned up at our house to take my dad away to hospital because he had taken an overdoes of tablets. The ambulance men could hardly carry him down the stairs as he was a bit overweight and had a rugby type build. I will always remember the vomit dribbling out of his mouth as his head swayed from side to side as he was carried down the stairs. My mother told me to go in the lounge so I was out of the way.
At 16/17 years old, I left home and went in to lodgings. I had a moped to get me to work and friends. My life was depressing at times. I was getting agro from work and my family. I was so angry one day that I felt suicidal I was driving my moped along a busy road, I could see a lamp post in front of me on the other side of a major road and started charging towards it. I could feel the wind rushing passed me and the vibration of the moped became more intense. In a flash I realised what I was doing and slammed the brakes on with only yards to spare. I told myself off and said don’t be so f**king stupid.
Living alone, I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about what was going on in my life at that time. I realised that the stress I was under made me feel like a pressure cooker waiting to explode.
My father took several overdoses he was going in and out of hospital for depression and schizophrenia. He was given Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT).
He accumulated several tablets over a period of time. He was able to do this by not taking his medication when he was released for short periods of time from the hospital to try and integrate him back in to the community. He would stay at his mothers home as it was close to the hospital.
My Grandmother had to move to sheltered accommodation due to her age and the landlord wanting to refurbish the house. My Nan asked me not to tell my Dad that she had moved as she wanted a rest from all the stress she had been under. Unfortunately my Dad went to his mothers home and found it empty. He must have assumed that his mother had died.
From what I understand he went back to his home, had a bath and shave put on a very smart suit, then hung himself in the window of the lounge facing the back garden. The neighbour upstairs noticed him hanging there when she went to put her washing out on the washing line.
It was down to me to let my Nan know what had happened. I was dreading it, she was already quite frail because of looking after my dad, moving and her age.
My uncle agreed to pick her up to take her for lunch at his home, I was there with my aunty waiting for them to arrive. I’m not sure if my nan knew I would be there it was such a blur. She came in and settled down. Then we told her without the gory details. There was the initial shock at what had happened. She started saying it’s not right I’m supposed to go first not him. We comforted her as best we could. Later that day she turned round and said I know this will sound horrible but I’m relieved he has gone, don’t get me wrong you know I love him, he is my son but he was such a burden to me. The overdoses and his mental illness. I’m sorry but I had to say it, I’m so bloody angry with him. To tell the truth I was thinking exactly the same for my nan and my family. Looking back I think my dad was attention seeking to the extreme and it went on for years. When he hung himself it was planned with a very serious intention to end his life. He must have thought that everyone in the family didn’t care about him because they never told him what had really happened and he assumed his mother had died so took his own life.
The drive was unreal feeling detached from the real world. The thoughts going through my mind, hoping it won’t be him but knowing it was. I have never seen a dead body before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We arrived at the hospital and was taken directly to the chapel of rest. The door opened and we walked in to the room. A calmness wafted over me like there was a presence in the room.
Geoffrey’s body laid covered in front of us under a dark velvet red sheet. His arms and legs were bent and contorted. Not inline with his body, I suddenly realised it was the rig-amortise. The way they found him.
The reality started to kick in about what we had to do. The person looking after us asked if we was prepared for him to show Geoffrey’s face to us, we said yes.I’m not sure what I was going to see or how I would react. We looked at him and said that’s Geoffrey. His face was peaceful with very pale skin and blueish lips. It was almost like he was going to open his eyes and say “Gotcha” as some kind of sick joke. Looking back it was my wishful thinking that this event had never happened.
We then had to travel up the A10 to my mother who lived in a village called Westmill. As we drove up the road I notice the bright yellow fields of oil seed rape, it made a poignant moment for me as a marker for his death. Every time I see those fields I will always remember Geoffrey.
The hardest part of all was telling my mother. We arrived at her home to find she wasn’t there. I phoned her sister who lived across the road and asked if she would let my mother know I was at her house. My brother agreed to stay out of view from the window so that she didn’t get upset outside as she might have drawn conclusions. It was very unusual for us both to be there at the same time.
She walked up the path to her home looking very happy on a beautiful sunny day. She walked in to the kitchen said hello and then noticed my brother was with me. She could tell from the sad looks on our faces that we had bad news. Her happy face aged ten years as she collapsed in my arms. I felt so weak and feeble trying to find the strength to hold her, she then started to pass out so we sat her on the sofa as she went unconscious for however long it was. Looking back probable less than five minutes.
When she came round, she was asking questions. I tried to prepare her by saying what you want to know is not very nice and I tried to be as delicate as I could based on the information we was given.
We told her that the police was called to a river that runs by the industrial area in Hertford. There is a basin of water to one side that is surrounded by reeds at the side of the access road for the factory units. Geoffrey chained himself to his motorbike using padlocks and drove his bike in to the river. We was told that the river isn’t very deep and the bike took some time to sink in to the mud. This meant that it took a while for Geoffrey to drown.
Some fishermen arrived and sat fishing for several hours not knowing Geoffrey was just under the water. As the sun moved round the light shone on his crash helmet alerting the fishermen that something was wrong.. The police were called and the underwater rescue team lifted Geoffrey out of the river.
In between Geoffrey’s death and his funeral, my mother had already agreed to move to Stevenage through a house exchange, all the papers had been signed.
I’m not sure how I managed to do it. But I moved my mothers home making several trips using a large transit van from work. This took a few days. I also had to deal with the funeral , Geoffrey’s possessions, work and support my mother.
At the inquest we listened to the evidence and the events that took place. The hearing was formal but very caring. This helped with the closure of Geoffrey’s death. Soon after I had to go to a police station. I don’t know which one it was, I was in a daze to collect Geoffrey’s belongings including his motorbike. The police officers that helped me were as upset as me. They helped me lift the motorbike in to the van.
The upsetting parts of this was the river water inside the headlamp. It was the only evidence that the bike had been in the river. I was given the chains he used with the padlocks attached with the keys still in the padlocks. This meant he could have freed himself if he wanted to.
Looking back all the demands placed upon me helped me cope with his death and how he did it.
My values changed considerably about everything in my life. Some were made harsher. I became more angry if people let me down. I would tell them how I felt and stuff the consequences. I lost good friends.
I became more relaxed and often philosophical letting what I would kick off about go by. The anger must have subsided over the years.
My Dad and Brother’s death has made me more grounded making me realise I only have one life so live it and don’t be a Lemming.
My life is how I want it right now.
All of a sudden…..
I realised after my brothers funeral that this could happen to me.
I looked back at the sadness my brother had created (unintentionally I know) and thought this can’t be right. A person takes their life because he was unable to mind his mind. Family pressures and failing medication lead him to his decision to end his life.
From that moment on I went on a quest to find a solution. I didn’t want to be the next lemming in my family and become shipwrecked.
I have so much more to live for and love to give to others.
Now that I have discovered this new understanding I have a greater clarity of mind and see more clearly what is going on, always looking forward to the next happy event in my life and be better prepared for any challenges that come my way. This opportunity is yours right now!!
Now you’r in this situation and need to make a choice.