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Topics - helene

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Sibling Loss / Lesley
« on: July 10, 2014, 04:33:30 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry I haven't been around for so long now. I've missed you all very much. I've been depressed and it's hard to stay in touch with people when you're depressed. At least I'm finding that out. Today marks four years since Lesley died. It's really hard to believe that but it's true. And I'm still not divorced. In fact the entire process is stalled.

I feel like my life is stalled. First there was the shock and grief of losing Lesley and then the betrayal of my husband for some internet prostitute and him driving me out of my own home.

Well, I am blessed with some very good friends in this town. And I know you're my friends here at Webhealing. So much of my life was tied up with Lesley and my ex-husband Barry. Now they're both gone. One is dead and the other is metaphorically dead to me. I know I'm better off without the latter, but I still suffer from the loss. And as for Lesley, I'll never get over losing her. How does one really? One just goes on living somehow.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing ok. I'm going to really try and keep in touch better here. I used to be such a good letter writer and good at staying in touch here too. And then my marriage exploded and I haven't really been the same since. Not having my own place to live really wears thin after  while too and it's been 8 months for me now. I find it difficult to learn how to live my own life because so much of it was tied up with him. We never had children, but it was still 27 years together. I also mourn my two cats because I never see them. I was visiting the house and the cats while he got out, but the place looks like hell (he's not keeping it up and the cats are suffering shell-shock) and it's just too depressing for me to go over there any more. He lives like a squatter in there, in a disgusting mess. No job. He just pisses around on the internet with his sex sites all day. It's absolutely repulsive.

Ok, I've gone on long enough. I'll shut up now.


Grief not related to deaths / A Dream
« on: February 05, 2014, 08:43:13 AM »
Hi Everyone,

I thought I'd share something else with you. Last night I dreamt about my ex. (I consider my 'husband' as being my ex at this point as I haven't lived with him since October of 2013 and I was away half of that month as well. Last night I had the following dream:

I was in a large room full of people. There was a real festive atmosphere and gradually I realized that these people were all of my friends, many from AA that I've met in the past year, but not all of them. We were all engaged in intense but fun conversations when suddenly my ex appeared at the door looking decidedly sullen. He was holding something in his hand. "I've got a bomb!", he declared glaring at everyone and especially at me, "You're all going to die!" At first I panicked but then I noticed that all my friends were exiting the room out of another door and they beckoned me to follow them. So I did leaving my ex standing alone in this large room with his bomb. That was my dream.


Grief not related to deaths / Poem to My Ex
« on: January 30, 2014, 11:32:40 AM »

I raise a metaphorical glass,
To my memory of you,
My karmic debt now paid,
My future stretched out like a giant cat,
Luring me away, forever away,
From you and your China-dream,
With passionate promises of my own chimeric alchemy,
Into someone you've never met,
Nor ever will.
Our years morphed into dissipation,
Mocking who we were and why,
Spewing forth surreal selves,
In separate stratospheric journeys,
Helpless to the wanton wailing of our fates,
Siren's soliloquy,
Bewitches and beguiles,
You to foreign shores and me to horizons yet unknown.
I bow to your faded sepia image,
Branded to my brain,
Tip my mad-hatter in final salute,
To a life I thought was forever,
Until time laughed it all away,
Play the Trumpet Voluntary to all that was,
Our loquacious ghosts still mingling,
While fate's far-reaching touch,
Lures us ever outwards,
Never to meet again.
Adieu! Adieu!

by Helene.
Written January 30, 2014

(First new poem written in over a year. Some of you may remember all the crazy poetry I've posted on here or at least some of it!)

Grief not related to deaths / Separation & Divorce
« on: January 16, 2014, 09:03:34 AM »
Hello Everyone. Sorry I haven't been here in awhile. Things have been nuts since last August when my marriage blew up and I found out that my husband was addicted to the internet and had traveled to China twice to meet a young woman (who could be his daughter and almost his granddaughter) he met on the internet. I haven't lived in my matrimonial home since the beginning of November because my ex became increasingly vitriolic and volatile towards me both verbally and physically culminating in an assault by him against me in mid November on a public street down town. I lived at my neighbor's place (given her $ as I'm not a free-loader) for November and most of December but things got tense with her as she become increasingly autocratic demanding 'progress reports' from me every day when I came back to her place from work to the point of me being filled with agitation. Then, I moved out of her place and house sat for a friend over the Christmas and New Year, storing six boxes of clothes, plus my 1792 Italian violin and private papers in the archives vault  - with a bank combination vault door - at work in the basement!). After the holidays I had no-where to go so I ended up at this woman's shelter downtown and was stuffed into a room with two other women, one of them a drug user and prostitute who tried to steal my purse forcing me to sleep with my purse under the blankets with me. I survived there a week becoming increasingly more and more distressed (this on top of a full time job) until another girlfriend took pity on me and I'm staying in her bachelorette apartment for January and hopefully for February and by then things will hopefully have moved on enough with the legalities of separation and divorce that I'll know better where I stand.

In the meantime I was scared for quite some time to even retain a lawyer because my ex threatened me not to. But I did retain one in late December and we had our first meeting on January 3 of this year. Her name is Jeanette and she's one tough and strong woman. (Wish I could be more like her!) She told me to do four things that freaked me out and I thought I could never find the courage to do them: a a) get 3 realtors to valuate our two properties (but how would I get my violent ex out of the house to do that?!), b) go to the police and file a report on what my ex did to me downtown (he chased me up the street, yelled "I'll kill  you!", backed me up in to someone's yard, grabbed me, shook  me, shoved me, threatened me some more etc). So file a report with the police and have the police officer visit my ex at the house and warn him not to see me in person unless accompanied by lawyers,  (and how could I ever do that?! Wouldn't that make him even more violent?!), c)  open two new bank  accounts of my own at a separate bank  and put most of our available home credit line into that account after clearing more of it out of our joint account (but how could I do that?! That will make my ex go really ballistic and make him potentially violent against me again! Even though he's already taken nearly $6,000 out of the credit line for this two trips to China), and d)  get my automatic pay check deposit diverted from the joint account with my ex to my own account at my own separate bank. (But again that will cause my ex to blow etc!)   I was really afraid to do all those things, but now I've  don't them all 'm tired of being afraid all the time and how crippling that is. So at this point all those things have been done and yesterday my lawyer sent a letter by courier to my ex at our house advising him that I've retained her and that he's got until January 29 to get himself a lawyer and fill out the necessary financial forms or do it on his own. She's also talking about doing a 'forensic audit' on him because I know he's taking at least $1,000 of our rental income for himself because I"ve done the math. I gave my ex two financial statements that I made up for Nov and Dec 2013 showing the shortfall of the $1,000 each month and he took the statement saying he'd get back to me and he never did. So it's via lawyers from here on in.

Needless to say I'm stressed. Have gone from a size 14 (that I was last spring) down to a size 8 and I'm 5'8" tall so I'm looking rather bean-pole-ish these days. I went through a lot of grief and feelings of loss during the summer months, the fall and through the Christmas holidays. But I've switched into 'kick-butt-mode at this point. I'm starting this course called 'Rebuilding When Your Relationship Ends' by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti that goes for 11 weeks every Thurs night from 6:30 to 9:00. This, on top of all the lawyer stuff, full-time work, moving around all over the place, and at least 5 AA meetings a week and keeping in close contact with my sponsor. I am blessed to have many new friends that I met in AA, some of them really close at this point. I never had women friends I could get together with and really talk with and share before AA.

Thanks for reading this long tome. I thought I better update folks here and get back on board keeping in touch with you all.


Sibling Loss / Separation & Divorce
« on: January 16, 2014, 08:35:06 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm sorry that I haven't posted here in a long time. My life has been nuts with this separation and divorce I'm going through. I probably should post in the 'other kinds of grief' area, but since I normally post here because I lost my sister Lesley back in July of 2010, I thought I'd start here mainly to say hello to everyone and to say that I'm still alive. I am definitely getting separated and divorced and I've read that on a stress and grief factor it's up there alongside of all other kinds of death. Although I am always loathe to compare when it comes to death and losing loved ones because no two situations are alike. Grief and sorrow is what we have in common and the struggle to go on living - with all that life throws at us, the good and the bad - without our dear sister or brother or uncle or father or child or friend etc in our lives. I know that Lesley would have been very supportive and loving towards me knowing that I'm going through such a horrible time and I miss her all the time! I am reminded of her every time I am downtown because that's where she lived and I used to see her all over the place and I still go to those places she used to go. Now that I'm separated from my ex husband and no longer living in the matrimonial home I have been suffering bouts of acute loneliness and feeling the loss of Lesley and my father before her and indeed the whole gamut of *LOSS-EMOTIONS*  - resulting in feelings of distress and acute disorientation. My life continues to be difficult in other words. But I do have good friends where I live and your friendship here. And I know all of you are dealing with loss and grief and all the pain that brings too.


Sibling Loss / One who was like my sister
« on: October 31, 2013, 06:49:12 AM »
Hi Everyone,

In the midst of feeling already shattered with all this impending separation and divorce stuff, I received news that my cousin-in-law, Connie from Newfoundland, Canada, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm on Tuesday of this week. She was my husband's cousin, but welcomed me into her family with open arms. We had many visits and many phone conversation over the past ten or so years. Connie was like a sister to me so that's why I think it's ok to post this here in the sibling section (where I usually post anyway). She was in her 70s but always seemed much younger because she was so full of life and fun. She was an earthy person who had a heart of gold. I last talked with her on Friday of last week, only days before she died. She sounded fine. Connie was very unhappy about what her cousin Barry (my husband) has done and the last words she said to me were : "He is not welcome here any more. Not until he shows some kind of remorse. But you, my dear, are FAMILY, and are welcome any time. You know that don't you." I told her I did. I'll never forget her welcoming me and loving me the way she did. I will not tell my husband what Connie said about him. There is no point now.

I found out about Connie's death right in the middle of my work day and was working on the main floor at reception. I was crying and crying and so I had to go down to the basement where the archives is (the other place I work here) so I could get away from everyone. I've been feeling very fragile - shaky - ever since. Am staying at my neighbor's place, Penny, because being around my husband is killing me. I remember the days when I would panic with loneliness whenever he went to Newfoundland to visit his relatives. Now I panic with loneliness when I'm around him and dream of the day when I can set up my own humble home on my own somewhere. But I have a rough road to travel until I get to that point.

Thank you all for *listening* to my woes. I am SO UPSET about losing Connie!! The suddenness of her passing reminds me terribly of how my sister Lesley died suddenly of  seizure in a bathroom. One day here. One day gone. I'm no I'm not the only one here to have suffered this kind of sudden loss of loved ones.


Sibling Loss / Impending separation and divorce
« on: October 24, 2013, 12:53:27 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I haven't been around much because I am heading into separation and divorce from my husband. There's no doubt he wants to marry this internet girl in China and dump me. I'm seeing a lawyer that I'll probably retain tomorrow. He'll not get his 'quicki' divorce from me! We have properties and finances to sort out. the absolutely WORST part of all of this is having to live in the same house with him. It's absolutely terrible. I don't feel safe in the same house any more with him as his moods are volatile and he's told me to f-off more than once. Yelling etc. I'm going to get legal advice about that as well.

I know this topic is not about losing a loved one, but actually it is. I lost my sister Lesley four years ago now and am still very much grieving her loss. Being in this perpetual state of grief makes it harder for me to deal with the horrible slings and arrows that life continues to throw me (and indeed, no-one is exempt from that of course). For me this is really bad - this break up of a 27 year marriage and having to live with a man I no longer know. I am suffering another kind of death - the death of a marriage. The death of love. The death of my trust for him. The death of my feeling safe with him. The death of having a real home to go to. The death of my life as I knew it. There's so many kinds of death so I hope you don't mind me writing about all of this.

I've missed you all!


Sibling Loss / Marriage on the Rocks
« on: September 04, 2013, 12:39:06 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I haven't been here for awhile because I've been through and am going through terrible stress and anguish. My marriage is falling apart. I am 8 months into recovery from alcoholism and things are going great there with me having a sponsor, lots of new friends, support, a good therapist etc. BUT my husband is now addicted to the internet - sex. In a desperate bid to have some time out from our marriage I suggested to him that he use some of our savings and take a trip to Europe. I know he's going to go. I don't feel that our marriage is going to make it. This is bringing on a different kind of grief for me which will go on for a long time no doubt. On the other hand...I do need to finally establish myself as an independent person and stop pouring all of myself into the bottomless pit that is, unfortunately, my husband. And he, in turn, needs to 'find himself' somehow.

Thanks for listening and I'll try to get back here more often because I miss you folks!

Your friend,


Sibling Loss / Trying to Cope
« on: June 28, 2013, 07:42:56 AM »
Hi Everyone. I haven't been here much and I regret that as all you folks here at Webhealing are part of a family that I have no-where else and you have helped pull me through many difficult times. Now I'm facing yet another crisis in my life!

I don't know if there is a place for posting about our dear friends who have died or ones who are critically ill. My dear friend Terry (Terence) had a cardiac arrest on Tuesday and crashed his car. He was clinically dead by the time they got him to intensive care but they managed to get his heart going again. Then they lowered his body temperature to 'rest' his heart but they didn't know if they'd be able to revive him or if he'd have permanent brain damage and be in a vegetative state. Terry has no next of kin so my husband and are 'it' for Terry. I have been full of despair as nurses warned me that he may not make it through this.

At this point he has woken up and seems to understand what happened to him, but he is very agitated to the point of the nurses having to restrain him and put him on sedatives. Plus his heart is in a very bad state and he will have to have a major operation. He may not make it.

I feel ragged as one minute I feel despair that we'll lose him, then I am given a ray of hope when he comes to, and then despair again when the nurses say he's still very critical and will remain that way for some time and that he may not make it through an operation etc.

So this is a very difficult time for me. Where can we post here about our dear friends who are dying, or have died or are in critical condition and may die? Terence is a wonderful man who is a real philanthropist and had given much in his community to charities for people and animals. He is feisty and kind and there is no other person like him in my life. I've been friends with him for 20 years and cannot imagine him not being in my life!!


Sibling Loss / Update
« on: May 23, 2013, 08:16:09 AM »
Hello Everyone,

I haven't been here for awhile because I've been so busy with my various 'healing' programs: AA, two therapists, a group dealing with Powerful Emotions, a Grief Group, plus my continued research and probing into my past and my family's past to find out what *really happened* to both Lesley and myself. All that on top of a full-time job and guests who are staying with my husband and I for two weeks.

This coming July will be four years since Lesley died and so the years are starting to pile up for me since she's been gone. Still can't believe that she's gone!! Will it ever SINK IN? I can't believe the way the seasons come and go, like time-lapse photography, without her here. I am working very hard on finding out what happened to Lesley when she was growing up and I'm getting more and more of the entire picture than ever before. I am creating a TIME-LINE of Lesley's life to try and piece together all the things that made her so ill and caused her death. Lesley had a terrible life and the people responsible for that are still alive. I shall never seek *traditional justice* with these two family members. Instead I'll let *karma* deal with them both.

I went to a six-week Grief Group with two faciliators and seven people. It was the first grief group that I have attended. Most of them had lost a spouse to cancer so Lesley's seizure in teh bathroom was rather different, but in the end, death is death. Anyhow, it was a good group. I shared some poems with them and the facilitators asked for my permission to use several of my poems in future grief groups and I said yes, they could. I am glad to see my poems help others who are suffereing from grief if possible.

I feel very tired all the time and missing Lesley is a state of being that I don't think I'll ever recover from. One doesn't ever 'get over' grief (contrary to those who have told me over the past nearly 4 years to just 'get over it' ). We just somehow try to learn how to live with 'it'...the grief. Our grief. My grief. A deep, profound sadness that permeates every breath I take. Grief is a sorrow that I am constantly  looking through, like a permanent veil over my face, at 'life' and is a dark, secret  place that I inhabit, alone with my memories of Lesley.


Sibling Loss / Testament to A Dissociative
« on: April 22, 2013, 07:55:19 AM »
I cannot take everything with me -
I cannot leave everything behind -
Yet my voice and thoughts -
Sounded in words -
Echo in a life's now replete empty cavern.
That chimera of sentience -
Lurks in an unanswering netherland -
I await for myself -
And for Thee.
Ah, exquisite tragedy!
Strangers to ourselves -
We find each other's strange familiar -
Through the mirrored pool -
The Isle of the Dead.
It is the most lucent understanding -
Where the vast solitudes of spirit -

Aloft! Aloft!
Higher than space or time!
Beyond the rushing streamers of stars -
The hidden realms of Light -
Fills the heart with fullness!
And the woman -
With many hands upraised -
Sinks to her knees in the gloom -
The twilight of her oasis -
Her life a half-wakened dream.

Forgive my lost days!
Bless me with your fathomless gaze -
And pain.


Sibling Loss / Nervous to Tell You
« on: March 15, 2013, 07:16:17 AM »
Hi Everyone.

Part of grieving for me is healing from my wounds of my childhood. It may sound like those two things wouldn't go together but they do. At least I'm finding it so. At the core of it, Lesley died from unresolved and unhealed psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical wounds from her childhood. She was a survivor but, because she didn't get the help she needed it killed her in the end. The medical profession, especially in the area where we live (lived), was not ready for what Lesley needed.

Lesley suffered from a slew of dissociative dissorders as I know I've talked about here before. I know that Lesley suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder (used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder) and with that went the entire rest of the Dissociative gamut, from Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue, and Psychogenic Seizures. Oh yes, I've read the books! Anything I can get my hands on to understand what really killed Lesley. These dissociative illnesses come from repeated or chronic psychological, physical and sexual abuse to young children of which Lesley suffered and eventually died from.

So, what about me then? Well, I drank for years to bury my own pain from my past. I have huge gaps in my memory that run right through my childhood, teenage years and through my adult years. These are memory gaps that happened long before I ever started drinking. Now that I've stopped drinking (since December) I am going to a new therapist where I live at this new facility called the Center for Childhood Trauma and Abuse. These therapists are specialists in what Lesley and I suffer(ed) from. This center was not inexistence when Lesley was alive as it just opened this year.

I have had three sessions with my new therapist Shawnida - ( a Welsh name prnounced "Shon - i- da" with the emphasis on 'Shon".) If I had kept drinking it would have killed me in the end and I would have ended up dying, like Lesley, from unresolved and buried dissociative complications from my past (of which addiction often is a huge part of the entire illness). My therapy with Shawnida is frightening but also amazing! My life and my identity as I thought I 'knew it' has been turned completely upside down.

I am not the person I thought I was. This is difficult to tell you all about and I can't even tell my husband or anyone else. During my last session, which just happened this Monday past, someone burst into tears and it wasn't me. Someone else told Shawnida that 'we don't know if we can trust her yet". I was there but I wasn't.

I can't say any more right now. I feel you all will think I'm crazy and that's how I feel: crazy, frightened and very confused.


Grief not related to deaths / Shock
« on: February 26, 2013, 02:24:37 PM »
Got home last night after work to a dark house. Turned on the kitchen light to see his note. Husband's gone away. Needs time. Says he'll call me when he knows where he is. Says he loves me and not to worry. It was the Full Snow Moon yesterday. Crazy moon. I feel relief to be alone yet full of grief. In so many ways we are dying to each other even while we're still alive. I know I'm supposed to be learning something from all this but I can't think. I'd just 'disappear' too if I could get away with it, but I seem to have a full-time job and not enough money. Anyway, thank you for letting me vent a bit here. I'm going home to watch a ghostly movie as it's still the full moon today.


Grief not related to deaths / Estrangement
« on: February 21, 2013, 08:11:46 AM »
Hi Folks,

Here I am in new territory, the 'Grief not related to deaths' area of our Webhealing family. I didn't know where else to go for what I'm about to write here and I've held off for fear of people thinking very ill of me. I write about estrangement, which definitely causes grief because estrangement between people is a kind of death - the death of a relationship that often ends with the actual physical death of one of the person's involved.

I am estranged from my mother and have been for around five years now. This is a long and complex story, but, in a nutshell, my mother is incapable of loving anyone. She can only do two things: 1) play the role and put up a convincing front in public of being a normal, social & successful person (and she's very good at that as she's had a super career as a concert pianist, professor, teacher and organist) and 2) abuse and mock those she knows intimately and privately. Being her daughter put me into catagory number 2 with my mother.

As a baby I looked too much like my Dad so she mocked me by calling me 'Randella' after his name 'Randall'. As a child I became her Cinderella, not just through house-hold chores, but mainly through being her 'emotional caretakeer' or a parent to my parent. Dad was away most of the time and that left me and my younger sister Julie. Julie was Mom's favorite and 'chosen one' and I was the black sheep. For all of my youth my mother's emotions were my oen. If she was upset, angry, flipped out, despairing, then I was too. Although, I didn't really get angry until later in my teens and in my early 20s. Mother clung to me, would wake me up all hours of the night in the midst of her foul depressions causing chronic insomnia that I suffer from to this day.

IF I ever tried to get away from her, dating boys was a no-no, and when I tried to leave home to strike out on my own she trheated to kill herself. I moved out anyway (out of desperation) and my mother remained very much alive. Then there came the many years of my marriage to Barry (we had no children) while my mother continued to tryanize my life. If I didn't see her two or three times a week and spend at least 1/2 of every weekend with her, she would give me the 'ice' treatment which really, really hurt. My mother could freeze a person with just one glance and I'm not kidding! Sort of like looking at Medussa or taking that fatal backwards glance at Soddem and Gemorrah.

Well, one day around five years ago I just snapped. My barrell was empty and I had no more to give to my insatiable mother who had nothing to give to me and everythng to take. She was barking orders over the phone to me, interrupting me at work, telling me what I HAD to do for her and being rude and obnoixious about it. Plus I know that what she was demanding of me didn't have to be done IMMEDIATELY either. I said that to her and that I was under a lot of pressure at work etc and I didn't have the time right away to see her.

My mother instantly becamse the raging ice=queen and called me everything horrible under the sun. I finally lost my temper with her and said to her, in my own ice-voice, deadly calm yet firm: "I don't expect you to love me mother, but I do expect RESPECT from you. Adult to adult. If you cannot or will not do that then we are through."  My mother slammed the phone down in my ear, another one of her tricks and that was it for me.

A few days went by. I ddin't call her. More days. No call from me. So finally she called me and demanded to know what the heck was 'wrong' with me anyway?! Why was I treating her like that? How DARE i?! Not much respect there so I didn't phone back.

Anyway, the years have piled up, and we do exchange Birthday and Christmas presents but otherwise we have nothing to do with each other. I did try phoning her a few times to suggest we might have lunch out together, my treat, but she salways claims that she does not think that would be 'appropriate' so I've given up.

Now she's 90, still drives. In fact, Barry saw her speeding along one of our city streets the other day in a new used car, tailgaiting as usual adn no doubt with one hand hovering over the horn in ever readiness to honk at some slow nitwitt of a driver in front of her. She still plays organ in a church every second Sunday and has to drive  a fifty mile round trip to get there, and is the official accompanist forthe Jubilate Singers in this town, plus makes regular trips to visit her 'real family' (as she once put it one year regarding my younger sister's family) who live around 300 miles from here.

So my mother will be 91 in June of this year. She can't go on forever. One of these days she's going to die and there's no way I can ever be a part of her life again while she's alive because she won't have it. And, to be frank, I don't think I want 'it' (whatever our 'relationship' once 'was') anyway.

But how to 'grieve' this? This loss that has so many layers already and will end soon in death. Someone's death, either hers or perhaps mine. How to grieve this?! I know I am grieving for the mother I never had and certainly do not have now. Guilt complicates my grief. Society's 'Norman Rockwell' concept of 'motherhood' complicates my grief. Other family members, especially my younger sister who thinks "Mom did her best" when 'raising' us. Lesley who died starving for a mother's love that would never be. My half brother Daniel, who is bitter to this day about our mother and who is also completely estranged from from her.

Some people say that 'estrangement' is some kind of 'closure', like the finality of death. In my case estrangement from my mother IS FINAL but there is certainly no closure (like physical death often brings no closure for some people). Estrangement is an open, gaping wound that sort of developes scars, but the scars are ripped and bleeding again just at the mere sight of the other person: walking down the street, driving her car, appearing at my desk at work like a ghost handing me a Christmas or birthday present with out a word, a stilted phone call where mother suddenly says to me after two year of no communicato: "Your sister is gone. Lesley is GONE!"

Estrangement. Grief not related to death. Or, is it?


PS: Please excuse typos!

Sibling Loss / Strange Dream
« on: February 12, 2013, 09:44:19 AM »
Last night I dreamt about Lesley again. I've been dreaming about her more and more lately. I was 'living' in an old, abandoned house. It was horrible but I could not seem to escape from it. It was my 'home'. The decrepid house had no heat, no electricity. The walls and floors were damp and mouldy. Wallpaper was peeling off the walls and there was tarpaper underneath. I could hear rats in the night but couldn't see them because there was no electricity in this house. I kept stumbling from room to room, falling over broken furniture and mangled carpets trying to find the door to the outside, trying to get away. But I couldn't find any doors. I was sealed in! It was cold in there. I could fee the winter wind blowing in through the busted windows. My throat filled with dust and I was coughing and crying. I fell down onto a dank, lumpy mattress that smelled of stale booze and urin. I could not move. I called out for Lesley to help me because she was my older sister and I was afraid. I had been in that abandoned house for a long, long time. As long as I could remember, like a long-lost prisoner in the dreaded Bastille Prison in France!

Suddenly a hand reached down to me in the dark, and in that murky dimness I could just make out Lesley's slim hand and arm but could not see her face. "Take my hand Helene!", Lesley whispered and I did! As soon as my cold hand slid into her warm one I saw her! We were both underwater and I could see Lesley floating in front of me with her long, dark brown wavy hair swirling all around her in the beautiful, turqouise water. She smiled at me and pointed upwards so I looked andhere, way above us, through the water and beyond our planet, was the moon, huge and full, shimmering in the night and lighting up our ocean with a mystical blue-white lgith. Dazzling me. I turned to look abck at Lesley and at that instant I woke up.

I felt filled with some kind of awe-filled peace and relief, like something terribly heavy had just been lifted from me.

Love from Helene.

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