One person that has never faltered in their love and support of me has always been there for a hug or at the end of the phone for support or to talk me out of a dark, depressed mood or forever apologise for all the hard, traumatic and deeply painful tragedies my life has endured.
She doesn’t understand my illness, and she doesn’t pretend to understand it either. She has for many years tried to explain my father’s lack of interest in me. She will tell me that it is her fault that he just can’t be what I wanted him to be. Her protection of me and my siblings has been fierce. Her anger at the asshole that held a gun at my head, or the prick that thought it his right to touch me. She came up with the perfect solution to being a pregnant teenager but had to pick up the pieces after I was stripped of my right to a decision that would change my life forever. She has been there always been there for me. She would often advise me to scream ‘sod off’ to take all my anger and pain and throw it to the wind with the simple “sod off”, if only saying “‘sod off’ bipolar disorder !” would work she would be a bazillionaire.
She was the person I wanted to spend all my time with when I was young. She always had time for me, as long as I fitted into her schedule over the weekend. Saturday was bingo night and we would stay up late watching all the soaps she had taped over the week on her tiny TV on a wall mount in the corner of the bedroom. I would wake up on the massive waterbed and read stories out of the pile of Readers Digest magazines next to the bed.
Grandma would be cooking a lovely late breakfast with Granddad at the head of the table. He would be reading the biggest newspaper I had even seen and he would give me the best gift the 2 pages of kids puzzles and comics it made me feel so special. Grandma’s breakfasts taught me how a real English brekkie should be; Bacon, Eggs, Sausage or Black pudding, and tinned spaghetti, I never had baked beans to this day they still make me gag. EEEWWWWWW
She taught me the best way around the kitchen and her specialty traditional pommy cooking. I owe my cooking to colour to her and the dash here splodge there. She could make a toasted cheese sandwich taste gourmet. She has a special ingredient and I have tested it out food tastes better with it. (I must advise you reader, my mums taught me to cook bolognaise and it’s a standard weekly meal in my house). Grandma will still insist on putting up morning tea when I visit and even if I say I’m bringing something. She really loves the entertainment factor food brings.
When I’m on the downhill slide my bipolar depression has me on I will shut myself off from everyone including Grandma. I ignore the phone, and will read messages but not reply; I peruse Facebook and look at all those happy people out there. How many of those happy people give a shit about me and whether I am even alive. Then out of the blue, Grandma Messenger messages me. YEP she has tracked me down and become all technical. Dam I can no longer hide. I call her as per all my calls to her they are directly after the Bold and the Beautiful. I have been watching this show with her forever it is usually my 30 minute reprieve from life.
She answers, she knows it’s me, I remember what feeling loved feels like, and she makes me feel her unconditional love and those 5 minutes on the phone take me back to a long time ago when I was safe, happy and the most special person in the world. Those 5 minutes I’m not sick, I don’t have to take pills to stay sane, be at war with my mind and struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Thank goodness I still have those 5 minutes.