Travelling to meet my new niece

I am sitting in the airport in Frankfurt reflecting on the last few days here. There were times when I found it tricky, but for the most part spending time with my sister and my little niece was pretty relaxed. It’s always challenging for me when I’m away from home. Less so when I have…

Family: Old and new

At the moment, I’ve got one tiny new family member, and a very frail old one who are both very much on my mind. Neither of them is closely connected to the emotional difficulties I have with my family (least of all the new little one), so I find it easier to feel caring towards…

Is unconditional love a myth?

It’s amazing how fast I can get used to doing nothing. I thought that not having to work would make time move more slowly this week, but it actually hasn’t been too bad. Perhaps I really did need to take the time off, because I haven’t been bored. Having nothing to do has felt OK….

The truth hit me like a truck

A painful clarity emerged for me recently, and it’s been too hard to write about it. The strange thing is that some part of me has known this truth for a long time, but I’ve been fighting against it. I get so angry about all the denial in my family, but I realise now that…

Another painful birthday

How is it that a date can trigger so much distress? It’s just a day, like any other in the year. But today is a day that brings to mind so many things I would rather forget. I struggle to refer to my brother’s child as my nephew, just as I struggle to refer to…

Why am I trying to belong?

I knew I was going to find my dad’s birthday tricky. Any sort of anniversary tends to churn things up for me, not least the ones connected with my family. I didn’t want to have to talk to him, or give him any sort of special attention, because our relationship is not in a good…

Art became rage

I got home from work at lunchtime in a shitty mood. I knew I had an empty afternoon ahead and I was fantasising about the destructive ways I could fill it. I sat for an hour or so thinking about the options and formulating dangerous plans. After a while sitting with the exhilerating thought of…

Not quite a holiday

Right now I am in the middle of what has turned out to be a very challenging ‘holiday’. I used the inverted commas, because although I am in another country, and not at work, I don’t feel at all relaxed. Almost a year ago, my sister moved to Germany. We’ve kept in touch on Skype,…

The verdict

My wife’s uncle was convicted of child sexual abuse this week. He was tried on three counts and convicted on two of them. Yesterday he was sent to prison for 6 years. I didn’t know him well. He’s a reclusive alcoholic and I first met him when he was critically ill in intensive care. Everyone…

Can I wait?

Today I am the eye of the storm. A powerful whirlwind of debris and chaos circumvents me. And I am stood, motionless in the middle. I’m planted in this place of inert observation. It’s not possible to stop the force, and I hold myself back from stepping into it. With my feet planted firmly on…

Therapy resumed and everything got worse

I wrote a few days ago about the crushing sense of overwhelm I’m feeling at the moment. My wife and I went away for a few days at the weekend, which was much needed. We just headed down to the coast and camped for a few days. It was hot and sunny and the camp…

I am sinking

I’m approaching breaking point. I need to write. To share. To feel heard and held. I am so full of everything, there is hardly any space left for air to get into my lungs. I don’t want this sensation. I have this odd sense that if I vomited I would feel better. There’s a toxic…