Time for a fresh brew, and name

For the longest time I can recall not liking my name, Bryan. My own spelling is the less common, most spell it with an “i”, thus colour me surprised should anyone spell it correctly. I think another reason I have a negative association with my birth name was all the years of bullying, it’s hard for me to separate the two. 

Ever since the upper high school in the late 1980s I had been thinking about my name and perhaps changing it. It was at this time I had discovered my grandfather had changed our family name at request of his wife to be. In the early 1990s I reversed that family name change, for me it actually meant something. At the time I considered changing my name too but chickened out doing so, I wasn’t ready. 

The loss of my brother recently has made me step back and think about things, my name being one of these. For years I have used my preferred name on forums, or if I didn’t want to give my real name to someone, this my decision to change this past weekend seemed natural. 

My decision to change made I changed my name on Facebook and made a post with one of those new colourful backgrounds. Generally most were supportive, while some expressed support but said they liked the old. 

Changing things at work was interesting, at present of course it’s just a ‘preferred name’ rather than by deed poll, but thankfully our systems support this kind of change. Having been at my employer so long I qualify for archival, I am quite well known by many people, thus adopting a new name may lead people to thinking I’ve left when I don’t come up in their searches. Or, as one staff member queried yesterday, asking whether the name change was all that was changing. Indeed the name is as far as this journey goes, but his asking made me laugh.

Suddenly I find myself the subject of curiosity in the office, and people tripping over the old name worried about getting it wrong. Some don’t yet know, so my supervisor is to send a tongue-in-cheek email shortly that tells people I’ve undergone a rebranding, I loved the suggestion. 

My journey begins anew. Hi! I’m Corin 🙂

Time to talk

I’ve always been a loner, very much a case of growing up intensely bullied and either no choice or a coping mechanism. Despite the bullying ending once my high school days were over my being a loner did not, I am very much the introvert and do not enjoy social situations greatly. 

In my teen years, and again for a short period in my mid-20s I saw psychologists to help with problems and suicidal thoughts associated with what people had done to me, but never found them of great help. Ultimately I ended up walking away from their sitting in the chair writing and nodding and collecting their fee as I felt like I got nowhere fast. I moved past those thoughts and twenty years on I think I proved I am stronger for it, though I still suffer for my school years and fight against depressive thoughts. 

Sadly, depression runs through my mothers family like diarrhoea, and a bad case of it too. At the start of April I lost my little brother to it, ever since I have been riding a roller coaster of emotions trying to cope with losing him. I had thought I’d gotten to a place where I was ‘okay’ but then my father criticising me for not making a video for his wake (I had no content!), and discovering my brother had been suicidal for three years and no one told me hurt deeply. 

Yesterday, at my regular doctor’s appointment, I just broke down. She’s a great doctor, insisted on time off and using my workplace’s employee assistance program to get help. So back I go, in hopes that these psychologists will be different to those many years ago, engaged not passive, and help me find a way forward. 

Sometimes, arrgggh!

Having lost my brother to suicide, just over a month ago now, it has been a difficult month. I had been somewhat estranged from him for a few years, not by choice, thus had no idea he was even depressed, let alone suicidally so. 

At the family-only wake recently I was to hear for the past three years he’d been suicidal and researching methods for taking his life. He had made several failed attempts, none of which I had heard of, it’s hard not to resent the total exclusion as it prevented my making any attempts to help him. I don’t know of course had I have known and helped whether he might still have been here, but not being allowed to try makes me so angry. 

Another wake is to occur this week, for friends of the brother lost and the one he lived with; we have been invited with them conveniently informed we were estranged in the invite, so it feels daggered. My other brother had approached me to make a video for the day, which I’d agreed to do, however needed help as I didn’t know events; also I may have compatibility issues with windows media files given I’m a Mac user. I was not given the files in the end, they went to my sister. Tonight my father decided to try guilting me from the other side of the country for not making the video, I am so pissed off I’ve deleted Facebook Messenger so I don’t have to hear from him any longer. 

My world for a large lotto win that I could dump my life here and move overseas for good. Over it!

First day back

After weeks off since my brother was lost, plus annual leave for Easter/ANZAC Day too, today was my first day back in the office. It was with some apprehension I padded into the office and walked in, just two of the three usual early birds, phew. As expected they offered condolences and asked how I was, initially I was okay, however as I turned for my desk it did start to hit me; deep breaths. 

I typically buy bananas to eat during the week, as I had the week my brother took his life, these were still in my cabinet three weeks later, along with little bugs and a stench I’d rather not have met; I had also left my lunch in the fridge and needed to dispose of that too, thankfully no bugs though. 

My fruit bowl and lunchbox now clean I could finally sit down to enjoy the cappuccino I’d purchased at Aroma; another breath. My supervisor arrived. He’d called me the day I’d had to go to the morgue with my mother and identify my brother, I was slightly a mess as you might expect. He asked me into a small meeting room to have a chat about things, but also to advise of an office global email that’d gone out outlining what’d happened and that I would be away for a prolonged period. Naturally he, and our manager, were concerned as to my reaction at people knowing what had occurred, the email wasn’t meant to include that; I was fine with that as conversely it actually saved me from having to tell people if they asked why I was away. 

My friend Vicki kindly took me to lunch and for a chat, it was nice to get out just for half an hour and talk. It has been funny, I thought coming into this week I was in a different head space, however it shows me it’s going to take a while to deal with Haydn’s loss, thankfully I have a lot of kind and supportive people around. 

Lost my bro

I woke yesterday morning as I always do, turned over the iPhone and noticed my Aunt Janice had tried to call me, twice. Strange, I rarely hear from her. 

Picked up my laptop and as am starting to surf the Internet mum sends through an iMessage text to contact her; at 6 am that’s strange, something must be up, so I respond. “Call me, it’s urgent!”

It was in the next minute I learned my little brother had decided it was all too much and had taken his own life. It was all a little to surreal, I hoped I had heard wrongly, but no, I had not. I later talked to Aunt Janice and learned he’d ended his life with a gun; I have no idea where he got it, access to these being controlled here. 

It makes me sad to know we won’t see him again, he was just 32 years old. Depression is such an unforgiving beast, all consuming and overwhelming at times. 

Sadly my other brother whom he lives with doesn’t know this has occurred, he took a new job on a remote farm with no mobile reception and only returns on the weekends. It is going to hit him so hard once he finally gets the texts, discovering his brother, mate and housemate is now lost. 

RIP Haydn (Dinno)

Cancer claims another in my family

The past six months I have lost a number of my family. It all started in September when my godmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, then just two weeks later she was gone. The following month my Dad’s sister passed, thankfully not from illness.

In December, Aunt Bev passed following a several year battle with ovarian cancer. Her long battle was a painful one, it was such a cruel way for her to die. Whilst she was battling her own cancer, her husband, my dad’s brother was diagnosed with a tumour. Despite several operations his outcome was terminal, and sadly today he too passed just two months after losing his wife. 

Cancer is such a dreadful way to pass. I am grateful my godmother Margaret’s suffering was brief, barely knowing she had it before she was gone. Unfortunately Bev and John endured prolonged periods, but thankfully had good support networks to ensure they were cared for. 

All are missed, hopefully one day cancer diagnoses will be a thing of the past or easily cured. 

Ovarian cancer

I last saw my Aunt Bev back in the mid-1980’s when a teenager, so I didn’t really know her any my Uncle John terribly well. A few years ago, in her early 70s, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, which sadly today claimed her life at the age of 75.

It is so sad that you live a long life not to pass in your sleep from old age, but in pain from this horrid disease. I lost my God Mother a few months ago to Pancreatic Cancer just 2 weeks after her diagnosis, the only good thing for her was not suffering a protracted battle like Bev.

My step-mother, Joy, has since Bev’s diagnosis posted daily posts of roses on Facebook to try boost her spirits as best she might from hundreds of kilometres away. Bev often commented how much the gesture meant to her.

Let’s hope that a cure for this and other cancers is not too far off, it would be nice to know that a diagnosis is no longer met with fear but the knowledge we can cure it. RIP Aunt Bev.