A Most Difficult Post

{ Trigger warning : Injury, Death, Bereavement, Funerals }

 

 

 

 

This is one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever had to write, and quite frankly I don’t really know where to begin. I just know that for my own benefit, over all others, I need to put something down about my thoughts.

At the end of November 2017 My Father, a fun loving 71 year old, was involved in a road traffic accident. He was the front passenger in a car that was struck by a trailer that became detached from a vehicle travelling on the opposite side of the road.  The driver attempted to swerve to avoid the obstacle but only succeeded in striking it side on resulting in my father taking the full force of the impact.

Dad was rushed to the “nearby” hospital (some 50 miles away) with serious injuries but was soon transferred to a larger hospital 85 miles to the north.  There they attempted to operate on Dad’s injuries but he crashed on the operating table and they aborted the operation.  It was at this point my Mother telephoned me in London and I travelled the 435 miles north to Glasgow.

I didn’t know it at the time but this would be my first trip of many that winter.

Dad was in a medically induced coma and was non responsive when I got to the hospital. I stayed up there for a week while they operated and kept him stable in A&E. it was a very stressful and worrying time. However, on a plus side he seemed to be making small improvements.

I returned to London and my work hopeful of a full recovery. Alas, this was not to be and at the start of December I received another telephone call to inform me that my dad had succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

This required a second trip north to arrange the funeral.

However due to the nature of the accident and the on-going police investigation we were delayed in making arrangements until a post mortem (autopsy) could be carried out and the police report had been read by the top department in Scottish Law.

This meant we couldn’t arrange the funeral, we couldn’t grieve properly and we couldn’t say goodbye correctly. More holding on, more waiting and more stress. I returned home yet again as I had to return to work.

Christmas drew near but I had zero motivation for festive joviality.

More time passed and I then received the third and final call. My father was to be buried just after Christmas. Unfortunately by this time all trains, flights and car hire places were either not running or booked solid due to the holidays.

We managed to wrangle a very expensive flight and travel up for the final process. We arrived on the evening prior to the funeral and went over the preparations.

The following morning, I stood at the front door of the church and did the masking performance of my life as I shook the hands of everyone who attended the funeral. The whole process was deeply overwhelming in both an emotional and sensory manner.

As oldest son, I was expected to lead the service, Be at the door to greet mourners, be first to the grave side to lower my Dad into the grave and thank people for attending the wake afterwards.

The following day I travelled back to London once more.

It was then when everything came crashing down around my ears. I’d been masking and successfully putting on a Neurotypical version of grief. I’d been staying calm and collected but all the while bottling up my internal autistic stress and aspie angst. I’d never come out to my parents about my diagnosis and this was not the time to make this sort of announcement.

I pretty much went into a vegetative state. My aspie side could not adequately cope nor process the pent up emotions bottled up over the previous month and a half. I shut down completely.

I knew I had to go back to work, I knew I had to get on with my life. But I lacked any internal resources to allow me to continue. I was shattered physically, emotionally and mentally. I’d not just run out of spoons but all cutlery, the entire kitchen and the house that contained it.

Just when I was at my lowest ebb and thought it couldn’t get any worse, I received an ill conceived and ill thought email from a “friend” complaining about my purchasing him a gift and telling me to keep it. He’d over thought the friendly (or so I thought) banter regarding the gift on Twitter beforehand and called me up on it. This was the straw that broke this “usually calm” camel’s back.  I quite emphatically ended our many year friendship in a veritable storm of four letter expletives.

The worst bit was the breakdown of trust. I don’t blame him for his thoughtlessness. I blame Twitter for it’s lack of clarity. Sometimes a joke in your head doesn’t come across when transcribed into 140..(or 280 is it now?) characters. Meaning and intention is lost or obscured. However, this was someone who SUPPOSEDLY knew me. Who KNEW my nature, That akin to a court jester laughing at the world. Never serious, never cruel, never harmful nor spiteful. And yet, he knowingly wrote to me and took me to task , knowingly on the day I returned from my father’s funeral, and KNOWING FULL WELL it could jeopardise our friendship (as those were the opening words to his email) and yet, knowing ALL THAT.. continued to send the email regardless. I don’t blame him but in all good conscience I cannot forgive him either.

I honestly say this was just the icing on a particularly large and unpalatable cake. I’m now so deeply entrenched in my depression I can no longer see any way out of it. I’ve cut myself off from my twitter support group and closed my account. I can no longer deal with a service that allows these toxic landmines of communication to exist.

Perhaps the responsibility lies with the authors? Perhaps. But with such little leeway it’s often hard to put a complex point across .. or perhaps I should pen every tweet in the manner of dialogue from a book? “Of course that would be ridiculous” Pete said, rolling his eyes scornfully. Perhaps twitter, Facebook and the such need a disclaimer stating that “All opinions posted herein may be subject to interpretation and may not adequately express the authors true views or opinions”

Perhaps my previous opinion was correct.

Either way.. I’m out.

Twitter for me is no more. It’s too dangerous a minefield for me to navigate at the best of times, let alone when crippled and emotionally blinded by grief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Replies to “A Most Difficult Post”

  1. I’m so sorry you lost your father. So much pressure to perform while devastated is ridiculous. I’m in awe you pulled it off. What an incredible feat of strength. I’d very much like to give you some chocolate, as I think it’s an appropriate indulgence whenever anyone successfully achieves such a feat.

    I’d be surprised if you weren’t depressed. I’m thinking of you and hope you recover. I also abandoned Twitter, and wonder in hindsight what I was thinking by joining in the first place. Know you’re not alone while you recover from this trauma. I have a contact form on my blog where you can email me anytime. I’ve lost close family members, including parents, and have an idea how much it yanks the rug from beneath our feet and knocks us down. I’m interested if you’d like to tell me about your father, anytime. Also, if you just want to connect. 💜

    1. Thank you, it was very difficult to get through particularly because I’ve never informed my family about my diagnosis. So all the masking I had to do left me drained beyond belief. All I wanted to do was sit in the corner and rock.

      However, I got through it but I won’t say unscarred. I’ve got battle wounds that no one can see but I feel them daily. Deep psychological cuts than will take years to heal.

      I’m getting on, working, eating, even going to the cinema but part of me isn’t in it. I’m not a whole person at the moment.

      But comments like yours give me immense strength. I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about my dad yet other than to say he was a much loved person in the town and a remarkable man. But I really REALLY appreciate the offer.

      Thank you. x

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