Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Unreal days

I am feeling somewhat detached from life at the moment. I can hardly believe the anniversary of the bombings is upon us, yet at the same time it seems like a lifetime ago. It is summer again and there are new triggers which I had forgotten. Hot, airless tubes are the worst. They take me straight back to that day. Having thought I had conquered my terror on the underground, I had to get off twice the other day. I cannot get into a hot, crowded tube, I just can't do it. I know I am not going backwards in my recovery, I just have new memories to deal with, but it sure feels as if I am.

I am keeping myself too busy. Exactly as I did immediately after the bombings. It is a subconscious need to keep your mind away from thoughts which petrify you. I am out every night and if I don't go away at the week end I fill my garden with friends and throw meat on the BBQ to keep them fed.

And then there's the media. I am doing too much, but I feel I almost have a responsibility to tell my story. I want people to know what we have been through, I want to raise awareness of mental illness. Just because an injury is not visible doesn't mean it is not life threatening. Most of all I want to try and help those still suffering alone. An article I was interviewed for has resulted in 6 new people getting in touch with Kings Cross United. They introduce themselves with that now familiar air of overwhelming relief to have found us. I was quoted in the interview as saying that as I had been on the back of the train (in the carriage furthest from the bomb) I felt unworthy of being traumatised. Others have come forward from my carriage saying that was what inspired them to join, they felt the same. I keep telling myself 'enough, no more media, just look after yourself'. Then something like this happens and it all feels worth it. Another journalist calls and I say 'yes' again.

I am not sure if it is good for me. Perhaps it is. I tell the story over and over, now it has become meaningless. It is just words. The same anecdotes, the same stories, I have spoken them so many times I feel as if I read them in a book. I talk about the fact that I was there but I don't really believe it. I just can't stop. Not only do I feel the need to help other survivors I also want the government to listen. I want them to stop covering their backsides and lying to us. I want them to sort out the situation in Iraq, help rebuild the country instead of killing its citizens. I want to know what was really known about the bombers. I want to understand why those four men did what they did. I want to forge links with the Muslim community and help us to all understand each other better. I want to know the TRUTH, I want the lies to stop. I want the powers that be to learn everything they possibly can from what happened both before, on and after 7th July 2005. I want us all to learn and work together to do our utmost to prevent this from ever happening again. And if this is too tall an order then at least to ensure that next time it happens we do it better. We have to learn, and in order to do this we need to understand. We can only understand if we know the truth and the truth will only be uncovered by an independent enquiry.

The Government are all too busy trying to hold onto their jobs. Increasingly their coherence is crumbling and fingers are being pointed between once loyal friends. This is not an environment in which to uncover the root of this evil, this can only be achieved through clean, fresh eyes and ears and above all by someone with nothing to lose.

So on and on I go, talking and writing, and in between I go out, and drink. On the surface I am coping, possibly deep down I am too, but I have learnt that you can never really know that. I have learnt respect for my mind over these last 12 months. I know it could throw anything at me with out me being the least bit prepared. Let's hope it doesn't. Let's hope all this therapy has helped and I am strong enough to get through the next week and a half. Then I am going to stop. No more journalists, no more photographers, no more strangers invading my life. I will still write, I will still campaign for truth and democracy, but I will need to look after my precious mind as well. It has had a tough year and it needs a break.