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It's been a week since I last blogged. I have had a lot of paperwork to do, and documents to sign. As many of you know, it is one of those 'up in the air' kind of times at the moment and Jason and I have a lot of decisions to make and at the moment things are going pretty slow, as they have been for many many months. We don't have much of a social life presently and only see people when we are able, which at the moment is little and not often.
02 November 2015
It's 3.45pm on Sunday 8 November 2015. I am blogging, whilst watching 'Dallas' on CBS Drama. It is towards the end of Dallas, when JR is being taken back over his life and wondering 'What If!. It has made me think myself. As Dallas drew to a close during the early 1990's, I was at my happiest in life. I was working for the Civil Service, in a good job. I had a small select group of friends around me and a future, a good future ahead of me, I hadn't had the time come to terms with my sexuality and there the problem lies.
I miss the innocent times of the early 1990's, before coming to University in Southampton. Stepping out in the World on my own was hard enough, without the times I grew up in. The legalities around homosexuality were still skewed against the gay community and in all honesty, if I could change my life and could have been born straight, I would jump at the chance.
The only saving grace in my life is of course my partner Jason. Through all the turmoil and upset over the years having the person you love by your side is the only important thing, no matter who you are. Even if you have little or no feelings, to feel the love of another is the most important thing in the world.
As we approach the end of 2015, Jason and I are entering the end of our present life. There really is no other way of saying it. Our life has changed many times over the years we have been together, but somehow this time feels different. Remember one thing, both Jason and I are honest and can hold our head up high, facing anything thrown at us. It is sad when you have to admit, that not everyone acts and behaves like you. Most of those we have dealt with, this year at least have been the worst people in the world. I don't think I can remember a time that I have had to deal with so many liars and rotten people, during the course of my whole lifetime. When you actually tell people the truth of your life, show them the evidence or indeed just explain why you have ended up the way you have done, most people disbelieve what you say. That is of course most people, but those you are close too, understand fully and are always aware just what you have and are going through!
I will be writing my final dedications soon, when I get the time to do so, but at present I have a lot to do, to set up a new web site, as well as dealing with the more challenging aspects of life at the moment. Here's hoping that things change relatively quickly and everyone's lives can just get back to normal!
It is nearly 7am on Tuesday, five days after I began writing the final entries, dedicated to friends and family, in my current blog. Bipolarcoaster, Over the next few weeks, I will be transferring all further muses over to a new, linked site, called ' Forever enduring cycles'. It was only fitting to end this first part of my Blog, at a time, when I am coming out of one severe episode and rapidly moving into a more positive but equally important time of change and much happier outlook on life. I will add to Bipolarcoaster, as and when I feel it is necessary, but for me, closure is important and a clear defined line of finality will be drawn. I will continue to add quotes and photographs, but essentially the blog itself will have reached its conclusion. I have a few last names, of friends to add to the total of those who were of importance and who will always remain testimony to a rather strange, difficult, funny and painful period of my life. New cycles deserve renewed importance and a formal ending, in which to build upon and channel my future energies into. Renewal, in all aspects of life is important, it gives credentials and structure, to the next phase of ones life and offers the privilege of restructure and a renewed impetuous to do better next time! Thanks to all those who read my ramblings and I hope you continue to play a part in 'Forever Enduring Cycles!'
Peace and love always!
Well I never thought I would be writing about what is left of my family, with thanks and gratitude, but for reasons I will explain, they all deserve to be included, in my list of thank you's. When I say them, I really mean a very small number of close family members, who saw past the stigma of mental illness, and offered their love, in a way families should. Essentially I am talking about my Cousins Rachel and Emmy, Ruby, who I adore and of course Aunty Lipstick. These are my only family, that I hold in any regard and as such deserve my thanks for all their support.
The family issue, has always been a difficult one for me to reconcile. I always had the belief that at times of adversity, families pull together and do everything they can to help their kin folk through, whatever troubles lie ahead. When you choose to bring children into this World, that responsibility remains for life, not until such a time, that things get a little rough, or doesn't quite fit into your middle class ideals. Mental illness and all the challenges that come with it are real, painful, physical and remain with many of those who suffer it, for a lifetime. It is not about shaking yourself out of it and bucking your ideas up. It is about a chemical imbalance in the brain, that can take many years to medicate successfully. I keep telling myself, it is a generational response to the modern day term of Bipolar, but really there are no excuses I can make. It is for others to explain their failings, not I.
In all honesty, my family have always been an odd lot. Socialist ideals and values, yet little understanding of a condition, that tends to perpetuate the class divide, to the extreme. When you have little resources to fund your own treatment, you can be at the mercy of the NHS for extreme lengths of time, whilst waiting for appointments, from the poorest resourced area of health care in this Country. The resulting damage, can be catastrophic and a lot of the time, you only endure the added pain, through luck. When you do actually get to see someone, the treatment and care is second to none. I can't fault it!
For a family, that was at one stage the biggest in Hampshire, a fact I discovered whilst researching my family tree, their inability to be there when it counts is truly damning. To empathise with your family members at least, should be part of the course, but then as a family we have always been more or less emotionless. I did what I had to. I moved on, the rest is history.
I have always regarded Rachel and Emmy as sisters and in many respects we are all rather similar. We know we are there for each other, if needed, yet our respect for one anothers space and not wanting to interfere in each others lives has always been paramount. None of us are really close to one another, mainly in large part, due to my reluctance to become so, If I do, I become open to being hurt in the future. That is a sad thing to admit, and I am not suggesting that they would ever hurt me, it is about me, they way my mind works and being a product of past experiences, so I just carry on doing, what I have continued to do over the years. The situation is not ideal, but it kind of works. As a family group, we have had our moments of closeness, but another Bipolar cycle tends to pop in, just when you don't need it and my personality changes again. Bipolar, Manic Depression and more bloody pain and anguish, that bloody bane of my life, for so long.
I am sure, if I had allowed the special people into my life, in its entirety, things could have been very different, but no one wants their nearest and dearest see them deteriorate and become a shadow of their former self. It is a hard thing to do and we all have our own lives to lead. Over the last year, I did become very close to Aunty Lipstick, who, although not a blood relative, has shown me more love and happiness than she had too. She has got me through some rough times, just by being who she is. She is my family and I cherish her, as I would a real Aunt. She is one of a kind and her ability to make me smile is second to none.
Rachel and Emmy are very special to me. They came to my house, spent quality time with myself and Jason and were there at happy times. Always honest, speak their mind but offer me the love I so needed, as families should. These times are short lived, as I have said before, illness has prevented much, that I so aspired too and that will always be a cross I will have to bare.
When it mattered most, you three and my dearest, dearest Ruby were there at our Wedding, flying the remains of my family flag as high as you could, in a way, only Pompey girls know how too. Outspoken, loud and as we three spoke about, when we left the Wedding ceremony and walked together to The London Hotel, difficult, very difficult people to love, as all us Lights have always been. It is in our nature, to be stubborn at the worst of times, but it has also been our saving grace, when there is a fight to be fought. When we know we are right, we will fight to the bitter end until we achieve closure. Funny old lot we are!
Ruby, who calls both Jason and I Uncle, was just so adorable at the Wedding. If we were not in ear shot, she would hunt us down for another cuddle and showed me, just what family bonds mean. That gorgeous little girl, gave me back something I had lost and for that, I will always be grateful. I love her and you all tremendously and where ever my illness takes me in future, just remember those words. This is the time, I speak the truth and am finally strong enough to deal with my emotions. I may never say them again and at least, like so many others, you can remind me when you need too.
We are not sure where our lives are heading now, but wherever that journey takes us, we would hope to have you, firmly a part of it, all of you. You are the only family I have left, the only ones I need and although we don't see each other as often as we should, I want those bonds, not only to remain, but also grow over the years we all have left. Lets hope I practice what I preach, at least the intention was there, even if it only sticks in my head for brief period.
Cousin Rachel, Emmy, Ruby and Aunty Lipstick, the only family ties that matter now, thanks for all your love and support!
Had a bit of a heart to heart with Jay Greaves this morning, though he probably wont remember, due to his drunkenness and broken finger, still he means the Wold to me, and it was a conversation that needed to happen. These words bring me nicely onto my next person, to whom I would like to offer my sincere thanks too, Natalee Michelle. I don't see her as often as I used to these days, but as I have grown stronger and Natalee's job becomes more demanding, it is only right that she should take a well earned rest from my problems. She works damn hard and needs to have more time for herself.
I met Nat, through Jay over a year ago now, on a drunken night at Isobar and instantly felt comfortable in her company. Our lives were very different back then and now the roles have reversed completely. It really is funny what life throws our way at times, but this was a meeting, that only fate could have arranged. It was important that we met each other and I know just how different my life would have been, had I not.
When I relapsed for the first time in Easter, despite only knowing Natalee for a short while, she became the most important person in my life, after Jason. Despite studying at University and holding down three jobs, she was there for us, completely. Her University work did suffer and although I feel terribly guilty over this, I can safely say, this showed Natalee for the caring, selfless person, I had already began to see she was. After my arrest, next to Jason, hers was the first face I saw, when I was released. At that stage, I was more manic than I had ever been. I was dangerously ill and still on the verge of suicide, through trauma and relapse, she coped tremendously well. She stopped me leaving the house as I waited for emergency medication, shouted at me, In a way I actually took notice of and became a figure of authority, when I needed it most.
The effects of my condition are well documented on this blog and for me, I am still unable to read those entries that deeply disturb me and those around me. They are a record of Bipolar, relapse and illness, that were so deeply upsetting and dangerous, that only those who lived through it with me, can fully understand. Natalee took the full brunt of the consequences, from a time when neglect, falsehoods and lack of hope played the biggest part in my collapse, not once, or twice, but on three separate occasions. Smoke screens and mirrors were the order of the day and Natalee saw this. She experienced the suffering, constantly and like us became angry and concerned at what others had done to me. At times, her voice was stronger than mine and her support through being witness to the destruction that was being caused was so loud, even I can remember it.
The Post Traumatic Stress I suffered, not only affected me and will last a life time, but it also scared those close to us. That is a terrible thing to put those you love through, but with no help from anyone else, I had no option, I had to accept the inevitability, that I could not cope alone. Natalee shouldered much of that responsibility and I am grateful for that, She was incensed that this was allowed to happen, when just a few adjustments would have prevented this crisis. This fact, is something, I will never come to terms with and the strength I now have, in bucket loads, just serves to make me more angry each day. People like Nat see this everyday. Recently Natalee wrote her thoughts down for me, I believe the writing is extensive and when I am able, will accept them from her and publish them in this blog. Mistakes this serious, that cause ripples through out the lives of a whole network of friends and family are without doubt, the worst I have ever experienced. These facts will live with all of us, for many years to come.
Myself and Natalee's relationship has gained in strength, day after day. She has become another part of my diverse family, the daughter I should have had and the rock I relied on, Despite her own battles, she shared mine, with me and like all those I have written about become the stable force. needed for recovery. She gave me away at our Wedding, as an honour to her commitment and love at a time, when most would have ran for the hills.
Through all these words, I am writing about the great and good in my life, you can now of course see a pattern forming, can't you? I have gained so many close friendships, that I feel truly blessed. I wasn't alone, but rather surrounded by so much care and support, that until recently, I still couldn't quite believe. Through disgust and revulsion, others attempted to compensate for the out of control situation and all of them did mighty well. Natalee went through more than most, because once again in my then state of mind, familiarity breeds contempt and you do tend to take it out on those closest.
Natalee will always be in my thoughts. I think about what she did for me every day. My life has become far richer from knowing her and her acts of kindness are second to none. She remains a constant in my life, though now she has to start living hers, so I can finally try and rebuild mine, based in large part on the results of her actions towards me. The happiest moment for me, was when she decided to become a carer, based on all she did for me, that is a great achievement for her and makes all I went through, worth it, Cheers Natalee, I am forever in your debt. Love always!
I have promised to arrange a 40th Birthday bash for Mr Hick on 13th January 2016, here in Southampton, possibly at Gay Capri, but at this point I have no idea where we will be living, so it could be a plush hotel somewhere, I know many of you who know him read this blog, so if you would like to play a part in the old girls resurrection please message me with your thoughts and I will put pen to paper as soon as I have numbers! Much love x
Darren Vranjes, 43 years old, gay, partnered 20 years. Living in Southampton UK. Bipolar!