Almost two weeks have gone by since I stood and watched my house burn and my life go up in smoke. Two weeks of stumbling my way through long and short days, two weeks of losing time only to have it suddenly hang as I watch the clock stop and wonder how.
I'm so filled with rage. At other times I'm so full of grief I could just turn away from the world, away from everything and everyone and give up. Some days I am so numb I can't feel. Can't feel anything. Other days, the pain of everything rushes in and the slightest remark or touch can lead to an agony of knowing that what happened can't be undone. Can never be undone.
I'm terrified of fire. I've always been terrified of fire. Respectful and careful with it, knowing what it is capable of doing. I know the utter destruction that comes from fire. I know how fire can completely undo you, can erase you from the world, can consume and burn you. I'm thankful to fire for warmth and cooking and utterly terrified of it at the same time.
Not a day goes by since that awful few moments when I lost who I had been when I don't fear fire. In whatever form it may take. I obsessively walk around the house I'm currently living in, checking to make power points are switched off. Checking electrical appliances, if not in use, are switched off and unplugged. I've been so insanely careful, my laptop recharger (even though it's brand new) gets put in a safe dry place outside the house when not in use. I can't leave the house without double and triple checking. I get ten minutes down the road and I've convinced myself I've left the heating on so I race back to check only to find, of course, that I switched it off...
I wait for the inevitable outcome of total loss and destruction. I wait for my sanity to return. While everyone around me goes back to their safe, comfortable lives, I struggle with grief and pain and loss. Nothing will ever be the same again for me. Nothing. My life has gone. Everything has gone. I am not allowed back to the house until it is released to me and I can try and salvage anything worth salvaging. I am grateful to the firies and the demolition crew who managed to drag out stuff before the roof and chimneys were collapsed into the gutted gaping black hole that was my beautiful home.
In the week following the fire, there was an outpouring of help and offers of support but I couldn't take much of it. I had so many things that only I could do; I had somewhere fully furnished to live; I had food and essential things and I had to wait until the insurance companies sorted out what would happen to me. My hands were tied. I was in limbo. The people who understood, who helped me by bringing me clothing and food, solace and understanding, hugs and simple comfort I am so grateful for. Those who understood my need for solitude and space, I thank you. All the people who have kindly and generously donated money and other important stuff - I'm overcome with thankfulness.
But now things are coming to an end and I need support. I need help. There is nowhere for me to turn. The offers of help and support have trickled away as people move on with their own lives (understandably) and forget... but I can't forget and I am struggling with the heavy burden of loss. My old shoulders just can't take any more. In no way do I mean to disparage or disrespect those who have offered and helped and are still doing so. I know how hard it is and how helpless one can feel knowing that there's nothing one can do to ease the suffering of another. I just need to write it all out.
I will ask again soon. I will ask for the things I need to rebuild my life. I will ask for stuff, although it will never replace what took me a lifetime to collect and build. I will ask for support, in whatever shape necessary. I will ask for compassion and consideration for my mental state. I only hope that I get what I need, what I ask for.
I stand on the brink of the abyss and it is looking back into me.
But I'm not afraid of the abyss. I'm afraid of the fire.