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Writing Challenge 1: Write a short autobiography

I was trying to figure out where to start this one and a line from one of my favourite poems kept popping into my head


 I was six when I first saw kittens drown. Dan Taggart pitched them, 'the scraggy wee shits', Into a bucket; a frail metal sound, ... Seamus Heaney, The Early Purges


Now I'll be honest with you, I don't recall ever seeing kittens drown,
I remember seeing puppies being drowned, It was an on a neighbours farm and very much a thing of being in the 
wrong place at the wrong time. It was a dreadful sight and a horrible memory ever after.
I know that The Early Purges is a poem describing a traumatic childhood event and as Freudian as it may seem that it was the first thing that came into my head when I tried to think of my youth, I must say that I didn't really mind my younger years.
Some of my favourite memories are from that time. Going to stay with my Granny and Grandad during the summer and being allowed to "help" with the hay. I loved those summer holidays! Though my aunts were terrors for playing tricks on me. I remember one summer we went to visit Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara (where my Grandmother lives) and my aunts locked me out on the turret. They told me that the turrets were haunted before locking me out so you can understand why I panicked. I can only imagine that I made a sound similar to the banshee before they let me back in!


They also told me that the cobblestones in the castle's courtyard were booby trapped. Apparently if I were to stand on the wrong stone I would end up in the dungeons of the castle never to escape. I can honestly say - hand on my heart - that I had actually memorized a "safe" sequence of steps, just to be sure!


Horror stories aside, some of my fondest memories are from this time. And I don't doubt that my aunts have very many memories of that time that would mortify me if I were to hear them now!


I didn't like my teenage years, I was headstrong. Rebellious. Awkward. Silly at times.
But like every other adult I got through them glad that life move forwards not backwards.


I went to University in Galway. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I made some life long friends, fell fabulously in love and experienced a life outside the little town where I grew up.
To use the old cliche, I spread my wings.


Things went terribly askew however at the age of twenty.
My sister died, my family got divided through grief, and pretty soon after I learnt that a person's first love isn't necessarily the love of their life.
Three very harsh lessons to be forced to learn over a very short time.


I had to grow up very quickly at that time. This is a short autobiography so I'm not even going to attempt to go into the details of it all, nor do I feel that this is an appropriate outlet for such things. But I had to become a rock of support for an awful lot of people so much so that I think I damaged a bit of myself at the time. Thankfully they say that time heals all wounds. I found that travel did. I spent three years of my life worrying about other people. My brother, my mum, my dad. I refused to worry about myself which backfired completely as it lead to a period of about 24 months where most of my actions and thoughts were complete irrational! At the time they felt justified. Now, in hindsight I'm slightly mortified!


Then it all ended. The court case finished and my sister's memory was allowed to rest in peace. More importantly, my family received the answers they needed and were able to move forward. What did I do? I booked a one way ticket to Europe!


My travels were amazing. I think it was the first time in four years that I regained my identity. For the first time in four years I didn't get recognised as "The sister". It was the first time in four years that nobody knew anything about me. And it allowed me to heal.


Don't get me wrong. I'm not ashamed of who I am, who my family are or what my family has gone through, Not at all. If I hadn't gone through all that I wouldn't be who I am today, with the man I am with today, or with all the 
friends that I have today. But I needed to escape. I needed to run away. 


My Dad's reaction to my leaving is one that always makes me smile .
We were travelling in the car to Shannon airport where I was catching a plane to Trieste and he said "Watch yourself, if you get kidnapped, I won't be able to afford a big ransom" Talk about a beautiful send off!


While away, I met James. We both met with a lot of baggage on our backs. We always say that we were broken spirits when we met, and built ourselves up off the other's strengths. I guess that is why we are so similar. 
Our chance meeting in Lithuania, and the insistence of a lovely man named Greig that we could be soul mates led to one of the best journeys of my life.
And the best part of it is that the journey is still continuing! In a few months we will be beginning the next stage of our adventure and I can't wait. The last three years since I met James have flown, thankfully we've taken time to stop and enjoy the show a little.


I feel the need to do a shout out here. To all those who I trampled on in those two tough years, I send you my deepest apologies, to all of you who helped me through them,  I owe you more than words can ever express.
Without you, I wouldn't be able to sit and write this little note. Thank you. 


I think the beautiful Marilyn Monroe sums up my life quite well..


"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." 

Comments

  1. wow lu! what a heartfelt and lovely post! i am so glad to know YOU. you make my heart happy and warm. i'm also glad you went on that trip to europe. for if you hadn't, we would never have met. now, i know james was the ideal treat from that trip. the main souvenir. but c'mon! i'm a gem, eh? ;) love you. and your story. and your soul!

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