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!