For a place and for a time.

Maybe it’s because tomorrow I have my first exam since my GCSEs.

And I feel clueless and like I’m fifteen again.

[Only that time, I was too ill for school, I was right to be nervous and afraid of my exams.  I came back that day to quietness.  God knows what was happening to me.  Ten years later and I still don’t know.  I managed a few months, here and there, once got applause when I came in, 90 minutes late, but I did. I took a proud bow.  By that time they had stopped chastising me, and my name no longer adorned most columns of the school’s late book in the secretary’s office.  I didn’t need notes from my mum anymore. Just showing up once in a while was good enough.  Eventually, everybody stops asking.  You hear from the lower forms you’ve slipped into mythology without even realising it].

And it’s too quiet here, in my adult life, with my dad dead now and my mum very quiet on the phone.  I miss the sound of them fighting.

Upstairs’ television blaring down fills me with nostalgia. Except it used to be downstairs blaring up.

Exams were the times when there was hot tea on the fire place in the morning.

I know I have family here in London.  Robert and the cats are my family, too.

Robert introduced me to his grandparents over the weekend.  I was in a family photo, looking more adult than I have ever done.  I want to introduce him to my granny, she’s the only one left.  And she’s brilliant.  At daddy’s funeral, at his graveside, she asked me if I believed in god.  I told her honestly no.  She told me she didn’t either but she hoped there was a hell so Iain Paisley would burn in it.

I know I tell that story a lot, but it says all you need to know about my granny.  That, and when I went to hospital a year or two ago, we traipsed the ward with our cold coffee to visit her in intensive care after a major operation.  She wasn’t there; we thought the worst.  We had tears ready to ambush the poor nurse.  But she’d been moved- two days in, not weeks- to the normal ward, and was sitting up.

But I miss my mum and my brother and sisters.

I haven’t seen them in ages because I couldn’t get home for Christmas.  How can Belfast feel like the other side of the world sometimes?  How can fifteen seem so present when there is nothing in my earthly possession but my nervousness and faulting memory that is from the years?

I miss my dad.  I miss his grave, and like missing him when he was alive, I’m afraid to go home and see it in case its in an even worse state than when I saw it last.

I'm the wreck here! Face sponsored by Olanzapine.

I miss home!

Tender and tired.  Goodnight.

11 Responses

  1. I fear I may have to stroke that phrase of your Gran’s for many a future discussion. She sounds splendid.

    As for the rest – I could lie and say I empathise, but I don’t because other than my Mum, I’m not close to any of my living family. I still grieve for my grandfather, who was more of a father than the one who actually impregnated my mother, but that’s all. Sometimes I miss the idea of a ‘proper’ family, but then I’d only feel the longing that you now do, so that wouldn’t be a barrel of laughs either.

    So in short – sending you lots of Norn Iron-ish leek good wishes, and hoping the nostalgia can become fond rather than sad very quickly.


    • It’s mostly fond, I just miss my family sometimes. I miss the idea of a proper family to, by which I mean one without a dead alcoholic daddy and a mum with some sense in her brain and without all the crap growing up, that they put us through and I put them through. I still get shocked that people went on family holidays together, I just remember my dad coming on the last days to Carnlough, not allowed in the car, like some sort of wet dog.

      But if I could substitute a proper family for a family were my parents were happy, I’d do that instead. Your parents aren’t supposed to be sad. So I can’t feel sad because it isn’t my sadness. I like them anyway. x

      • Yeah, I can definitely understand that. I’ve found being in my 20s such a weird thing – I see many of my peers getting married and/or having children, and I now see how things are from the adult perspective, rather than the child’s one that I was simple fact. It makes me question a lot.

        Anyway, I’ll stop blathering and go to bed. Lots and lots of luck from the exam – given how well you’ve done in the course to date, I’m sure you’ll ace it.

        Take care xxx

  2. I miss my childhood quite often. Even the terrible bits when I was filled with fear and the sleepless nights listening to drunken fights.

    Good luck with your exams, love. x

  3. Good Luck with your exams, Mrs. Nothing else to be said, other than that. Take Care xx

  4. I miss my childhood too. It seems like such an easier time.

    On another note, I enjoy how personal your blog is. The photos and anecdotes make everything so real. Thankyou, it makes me feel less alone 🙂

  5. Your grandmother sounds cool. 😀

    Best of luck with your exams.

  6. Do you miss the land? In that one picture, it’s so green and different than anything I’ve ever seen.

  7. Aww. This is a really sweet post. I suspect it is your exams making you nostalgic like this.

    I miss being 15 a little too. Life was a lot more exciting for me back then.

    It’s sad you didn’t make it home for Christmas. I hope you can get back there soon.


  8. Hello!

    I’m so happy I’ve found this blog – I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 quite recently, and am finding things a bit hard-going at the moment, so it’s nice to feel less alone 🙂

    I sympathise with the far-away Norn-Ironess also – my family live in Cookstown and I live in Kent, and I realised the other day that it’s going to take me longer to get home for Easter than it took my friend to get back to Kent from Singapore! I am taking the cheapo coach up to Stranraer though 8l

    Look forward to reading more, you’ve inspired me to start writing my own blog now xxx

  9. […] For a place and for a time. Maybe it’s because tomorrow I have my first exam since my GCSEs. And I feel clueless and like I’m fifteen again. [Only that time, I was too ill for school, I was right to be nervous and afraid of my exams.  I came back that day to quietness.  […] Read More […]

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