PROLOGUE Irony, Ignorance and Lessons Learned. A tale of loss, sorrow and hope.
Some of the finer details of past happenings are a little vague, there are some definite grey areas; but I simply can't forget how things felt and I am still somewhat burdened by the damage. My recollection of how things were for us both, especially for my sister Tracey, is raw and it is real. My story will make challenging reading for those whom it involves should they ever pluck up the courage to read it. At this point, I doubt they ever will. They have no interest in me and they certainly don't care what I think.
Why write about it? Why not leave those 'old skeletons' to gather dust in an old cupboard? A cupboard that no-one else can open because they are not here. Why, why do it Sharon? I question myself like a naughty girl. I am being scolded again for daring to out it, feeling guilty again for wanting to expose it all, desperate to unveil the truth that only the 'naughty children' mutter. The reason why is simple; it is because I can. It has been bothering me for so long, I feel I must. My story might help someone somewhere change something which in turn could change or even save life. My story is true, the consequences are sadly common, the outcome devastating.
The thing is I feel guilty. I feel guilty for remembering things, guilty for making sense of it all and for analysing certain events. Guilty for understanding what went wrong, guilty for not being able to change things and I feel that unless there is a radical change within society, stigma will prevail and more lives will be lost. And on it will continue, more families destroyed, more hearts broken, more pain.
The tale I have to tell is important. It involves my parents, two innocent bullies. They do not mean to bully. They do not realise they do it. They think they are OK. What is 'normal' to them is their OK. They could never have done anything to have contributed to their child's death, could they?
The sickening truth is, they did. And their demeanour still impacts the daughter they have left. She struggles to want to stay alive and struggles daily to survive, indirectly but ultimately because of them. Their attitudes, their ignorance, their spitefulness, their bigotry and their sheer bloody ignorance..... Their attitudes among other contributory factors, led to the misadventure and death of their youngest daughter, they are still silently and slowly killing their eldest.
This book challenges attitudes, it will challenge unhelpful opinions and I hope it will raise awareness; thus contributing to eventually abolishing stigma. I will quote my parents and I will illustrate how negativity and poor mental health can create dellusions in people; delusions which protect them whilst they damage and hurt those they chose to bring into the world. I will question the hearts and minds of those that chose to bring me into the world to satisfy their own weaknesses, to fulfill their fantasies and to secure their relationship in a traditional sense. I will challenge the maternal parent for her infamous 'back handed' comments and the paternal parent for his ignorance. These parents succeeded in creating little people who were often unhappy, at times anti-social, generally misunderstood, physically and mentally sick. These two children needed guidance and support from wherever they could obtain it. Most importantly, these children needed to belong and needed to feel loved, and neither did; and the consquences have carved scars so deep for the writer..... that she hopes this book provides for her some kind of emotional healing.
These parents lost one daughter to suicide and have a surviving daughter whom now, as a result of their dislike of her, has no contact with them. The eldest child echoes the words of her youngest sibling, feeling that she too, should never have been born to them..... and sadly they both agree.