October 28, 2012
I simply can not write a new blog without mentioning the previous one. So this is just a little blog as a response to that blog. The one just before this one that I’m typing right now. The ‘Some thoughts on Jimmy Savile, and being a Survivor‘ one.
It was a blog I wrote in reply to several weeks of press coverage, and several weeks of intense conversations with people, all over the place, from work to queues to twitter to all over.
It was a blog I wrote in the space of an hour, after several days of ‘attempting’ to put something into a coherent piece of writing. And then, all of a sudden, after being out and about one day, having a flu jab, meeting a friend for coffee, I got home, turned on the computer and there it was. In my head. And I just typed. My thoughts. On the Jimmy Savile eruption and being a survivor.
I pressed send, and as per usual tweeted that I had blogged.
Within the space of an hour, the blog had been RT’d (retweeted – for those not on twitter this means re posted by a twitter user so their followers can see it) by many people. And it continued in that way. So that by the next evening, 24 hours later that post had had more people read it than my whole site has ever since I very first started this site.
It was immense. I had emails, messages, tweets, RT’s, texts, and it continued to be passed around the blogosphere and twittersphere. I never could have imagined how many people would end up reading it. How many people are reading it. Even now, every day I get a regular stream of people coming by to Fragmentz to read that post.
I was also very honoured to have it included on the www.threadsuk.com site, which is a great space for articles written by twenty something christians on a really wide and varied range of topics so its definitely worth checking out sometime.
I never thought my little post, my little blog, my little piece of writing with some thoughts from ‘just me’, an unknown person who just tries to make a little dent in the world she lives in, would be so popular.
I also never thought the response would be so immense. That I would feel so overwhelmed by it. But it was. I did.
And so, I’d like to say thank you.
To every person who read it.
To every person who Rt’d, or emailed it, or passed it on to someone else for them to read.
Thank you to every single who took the time to engage with what I had written. Who responded. Who contacted me. Who texted me, emailed me, tweeted me. From the people who mean so much to me and have played/do play such a huge part in my life, to the people I have never connected with before and everyone in between.
Thank you to everyone who has been incredibly kind and supportive. To those on a deep and personal level and to those who have connected in other ways. I know there are some amazing people that surround me, that I could simply not do life without. So, again, thank you to you.
There have been several times when I have just cried from the simple emotional of feeling so valued and listened to. Because ingrained into the way I think about myself is that I am of no value and not worth listening to what so ever. Which on a rational level I know is not true, but programming your mind to totally think something completely opposite to what you have grown up with can be a challenge sometimes.
But I am growing, learning that is not true, developing and starting to raise my voice more and more. Over the years, as I have grown, been nurtured, been loved and supported and continue to be so, I have found that voice. My voice. The voice that is able to speak out, type out, talk out about my experiences.
And if by using the voice I now have, and am learning to use more and more, I can connect with people, raise awareness of the issues that are relevant to me, and so many other people then its worth it. Worth being vocal. Worth the emotional cost that can occur when you spend hours in a day talking about such emotive topics.
I have had the huge privilege of being able to connect with people who have contacted me over the last few months, and the last few weeks in response to things I have written here. Its an immense honour to be able to chat with them, have coffee, email, and talk with them. About the issues that effect them. Issues that have also affected me. And although I can offer no professional help, and don’t ever suggest I can, I can offer an ear. A tissue. I can walk along side their journey just like I have had and do have people who walk along side me in mine.
I have also had the huge privilege to have been contacted by/and to connect with people who have read my blog and have been challenged on their views of survivors/mental health issues and how society and the christian church responds to them.
And that is why I write. That is why ‘www.fragmentz.org’ exists.
If one person can feel less alone because of something they have read here, or because they have been able to connect with someone else who has been abused, and survived, who has tried to die, but survived, who has depression but is surviving, then deep down in my heart it makes me realise that good IS starting to be weaved out of some of the most traumatic events in my life. If one person has been challenged and is able to go away and then start speaking out themselves, and raising awareness of the issues then that IS good starting to be weaved out of the traumatic too.
I do not believe for one moment, any more, that God intended/created it all to happen so something good could come out of it. Not at all. BUT I do believe that out of chaos, deep deep pain, black living and darkness, God will eventually weave it together and bring something good out of it. And I cling on to that. That hope.
And so that is my hope with this whole blog space. That is/was my hope with the blog about being a survivor and the Jimmy Savile thing. That by writing and sharing, something, however big or small would come out of it. And it feels like it has.
So, to everyone who has contributed to sharing it, so that people have found it who have in turn then felt less alone or been able to start raising awareness of these topics themselves, Thank you.
October 13, 2012
The most talked about topic of discussion in my work place for the last few weeks has been Jimmy Savile. In fact, the most talked about ‘current affairs’ topic I have talked about full stop has been Jimmy Savile. It is what everyone is talking about. Even sat waiting in the Dr’s surgery earlier for my flu jab, were two little ladies sat discussing it. Discussing the ‘story’. The accusations. The revelations of the alleged, but now as the Met seem to suggest, not so alleged abuse. And those revelations have been coming out, thick and fast and as the days go by they seem to increase. So I thought I would try and coherently type out a few thoughts. I have had some passionate online conversation in various places, including Twitter, and have heard many many views/opinions spoken. Some sensible ones, some sad ones, some shocking ones and some unbelievable ones. But opinions never the less.
As always, when I write, I will say I am not an expert. Because I am not. Nor am I anyone who many people take any notice of. I am just a little drop in a big ocean who is finding her way through life and who likes to write as a way to process and say what I am thinking. What I have to say on this issue may not be relevant to anyone/anything. In fact it is most likely not to be. That is fine.
As said above, I’m not an expert. And thats true. And I start with saying that, but I don’t always start with what I am. And what I am is a survivor. A survivor of childhood abuse, from people within my family, and people around me. I was seriously bullied at secondary school at the same time as trying to deal with being abused as a primary school aged child. As a teen I was also, on top of the other abuse as a younger child and bullying, physically (violently) abused by another member of family. So I am a survivor. I am also a survivor of a totally unrelated ‘assault’ as an adult, one day whilst walking down a street I often walked down, in daylight.
I am a survivor of ‘trying to die’ because roughly 5 years ago life was so hard and tough that I felt there was no other option or way out. I am a survivor of hard knocks. I am a survivor who is learning to live again, learning to laugh again, learning to love again. And learning to be loved. Its a long process and I am always and forever grateful to those people who are in my life/choose to stay in my life and continue the process with me. Its not an easy one sometimes.
I am learning to live in hope. I am also learning that I can be a voice. Someone who can speak out. Someone who can tweet, write, talk, share and hopefully raise an awareness of what ‘surviving’ is like, whether that is surviving abuse, or surviving mental health illness. And as I continue to learn to keep growing as a person, and keep living in hope, I am learning to use the voice that I have. To speak out, to be that person who can potentially make a difference to someone, anyone (this is why I am not so worried about blog ‘stats’ – because if one person feels they are not alone by my sharing on here, then it is worth it). I am learning to, want to and try to be someone who IS able to speak out, on behalf of those who are not. And those who are not able to are many. More than you can ever imagine. And I used to be one of them.
One of the main reasons I got to the point of being suicidal (aside from the abuse) was the fact that I was unable to talk. To speak to anyone. To let anyone know the pain I was in. The hurt. The anger. The shame. The guilt. How could I possibly sit in front of someone, who would potentially judge, potentially tell me not to be silly, potentially tell me to ‘not worry about it’, to ‘get over it’, to ‘forget about it’. How could I, as a child possibly tell the people around me what was being done to me. The very person who was hurting me was an ‘outstanding member of the community, with an exemplary military service record and so on …’.
So, it has been interesting, and quite hard at times to hear peoples views of the victims of Jimmy Savile. The Jimmy Savile who for years was ‘held in high esteem’ for his charity work, his brilliant television career and other things. (If you have no idea who I am actually on about, and the kind’s of work/volunteer/fundraising stuff he did, google him). The Met Police released a statement in the last few days calling him a predatory child abuser. That gives the impression that there is no doubt that he carried out these alleged crimes. I can not possibly write all the accusations that have been revealed. The fine details of the case. But if you want to know more, just google, or go to one of the UK’s newspaper sites. Or the BBC. Its all there. The whole story gets more and more shocking and sadder as the days go by.
There has been much conversation about the ‘insitutions’ that Jimmy Savile was involved with. For example his involvement and work for the BBC. The hospitals, and schools that he fundraised for/volunteered with on his days off. Much of the earlier conversations I was involved with/heard was a conversation of disbelief. ‘What? Jimmy Savile? No! Don’t be silly. Not Jimmy Savile. Not the children’s/teen’s programme presenter. Not the fundraiser. Not the charity worker. Don’t be silly. Anyway, even if he did do something ‘dubious’ they (the victims) probably asked for it anyway’.
When I first, very first heard this break, I was horrified. Shocked, in a non shocked way. Shocked, because as a child, I idolised Jimmy Savile. The weird guy who wore odd shell suits, on TV, fixing up the world for children. I idolised him, and what he did. I wanted to write to him. For him to come and ‘fix’ my world for me. To ‘fix’ my problems. To ‘fix’ anything I wanted. I wanted him to be my second Grandad. He was amazing. As I grew up, got older, I became aware of him being an eccentric old man. I would never have thought ‘Jimmy Savile’ and ‘child abuser’ in the same sentence. Never in a million years. Yet, when I heard the news, at the same time as being shocked, I was not shocked. Because it is all so plausible. All so real. All so credible. And whats more, people who abuse can be anyone. Absolutely anyone. Including the powerful, rich and famous. In fact, those people are able to better disguise what they are doing. Better able to keep it away from the public, from prying eyes, and much more able to ‘pay people off’ if anything ever was muttered that was not favourable to them.
So, I fully believe it. I fully believe the victims. Because they need believing. They need, for once, at last, someone to say ‘yes, we will stand with you’.
Two of the ‘views’ I have heard a lot of this week have been ‘well why didn’t they report it back then’. ‘Why didn’t they just say ‘no”.
Because as the case has continued on, it would appear that some of these people were braver than I ever was as a child. They did report it. And yet were still ignored. The power and money of Jimmy Savile proved more than anyone was able to contend with. So what does that say to the others? Those who were unable to (understandably) find that voice to speak out, what does that say to them? Nothing whatsoever encouraged those who were unable to initally speak out, then to do so.
As for the second point. Anyone who utters the words ‘why didn’t they just say no’ truly does not have any understanding of how abuse works. Its not so easy as ‘just saying no’. ‘No’ does not work. ‘No’ has no power when you are being raped.
I have been quite shocked at times to hear the vitriol towards the victims. Another question thrown out a lot has been ‘well why did they wait until he was dead’.
My response? – They didn’t. There are records, investigations, programmes made that were shelved. Police starting to look into things and then mysteriously stopping. They did not ‘just wait until he was dead’. Many of them tried to speak out before he was dead.
From what I have read and seen, and understand, Mark Williams Thomas who is a child protection expert, and private investigator was the guy who ‘heard a rumour’ soon after JS’s death, and began to look into it. He then made a documentary, after speaking to one person he knew of. That then led him to the many other woman. My understanding, of the moment, in the documentary where he said ‘he then was lead to other victims’ suggests that he dug. He approached people. He made it clear what he was doing. And this gave courage and power to those people who have been victims of JS.
Imagine you are sitting in your school class, and you get called out by your head teacher. There is someone well known in the town, lets say the Mayor for example, who just happens to be rich, famous, and very well known and popular. They take you in to a room, and rape you. Abuse you. They are twice the size of you, and although you do say no, you scream, you kick, you try to get away they are able to overpower you. Hold you down. And they tell you that if you ever utter a word to anyone, you and your family will be made to suffer. Killed. Or you will be ignored. Not believed, and your life will be hell. They tell you that you are a slut, you asked for it, and deserve it. They tell you that is what people will say and think if you breathe a word. Imagine being so traumatised by what has happened, and so scared of it happening again that you have to do what they say. You have no choice. You are so ashamed of yourself, you spend your evenings scrubbing your skin, trying to get the dirt out of your body, carving your body to release some of the feelings inside of you. Your life is never going to be the same again. You turn on the television, and on the news there you see your head teacher and the Mayor. The Mayor has just fundraised and donated millions of pounds for a new tech facility at the school. The crowds are there. Its amazing. Everyone is talking about how fantastic these two people are. But you, you know different. You know what they did to you. But who do you tell? What will they do to you if they find out? Who is going to believe you? You have no idea that they are doing this to several girls in your class. Because, they like you, fear these two big powerful men. They too, like you dare not speak a word, because, hey, who would believe a 14 year old teenager who has been in a little trouble, like any teenager.
So you don’t say anything. Neither do the other girls. No one does. They get away with it for years, while you some how have to work out how to live. You get a job, start a family, live life. But the memories never go away. And then one day, in the paper you find out the Mayor has died (the Head teacher did years back). And you hear a little rumour that someone is talking about … apparently they used to rape young people. And then you realise this thing is so much bigger than anything you ever realised. And as an adult, who now has a voice, who now has nothing to fear because they are dead are able to, for the first time in your life speak out.
You realise there are many more people out there like you. More victims. And you are able to find courage to say what happened to you. To back others up. To add to the chorus of people speaking out, raising awareness.
Imagine that is you.
Would you have acted any differently?
I dont know if you would have.
I dont know if I would have.
But I certainly don’t blame or think that the victims were wrong to not be able to speak out back then.
And we must remember those who did. And who were ignored.
Which is what I think this current investigation will start revealing more information on.
WHY were those people who did speak out ignored?
WHY were people who were in positions of authority back then, and then continued to be in high powered places not say anything.
WHY was this allowed to happen?
So many questions. So many thoughts. So many views and opinions and so so much more that I could write about. Discuss. Talk about. Mention.
But what I would like to end with, for now, as I may well come back to this again sometime, is please don’t forget the victims. In all of the talk, the chit chat, please don’t forget that out there are people, woman, and maybe men who are victims.
People who have had what can only be described as the worse possibly life changing abuse perpetrated against them.
Whether we think they ‘should have spoken out sooner’ or whether we accept that they were unable to for the various reasons outlined roughly above, and the many other reasons that I probably have not even touched upon, whether we think they are ‘out for the money (which incidentally is going to be extraordinarily hard and very doubtful for them to get) or whether we think they are very brave people who have found strength because of circumstance, because of the fact that they are no longer afraid, and because other people are speaking out they are able to voice their experiences, please remember they are the victims.
They are the victims who, at the time and most likely for many years after felt so alone, now have found out they are with others. Others are with them. They are not alone.
Let us stand and let them know that. Because being a survivor can be a very lonely place to be.
My friend, Concetta who is an amazing Mosaic artist has a wonderful website at glitteringshards.com and she also wrote a blog on this, which was very moving, tear inducing and beautiful. Please read it heres if you have the chance.
Please know, if you are a survivor, you are not alone. You are not guilty. It was not your fault.
June 18, 2012
‘Happy Fathers Day Dads! AND to all those who take on the role. Have a fab day x’
‘My biological father was and probably still is (who knows) a violently abusive person, and the kind that makes me pleased divorce exists.’
May 6, 2012
Spent some time last night reading my old blogs, something I do occasionally. And I also read an old journal, that I kept, mostly in 2008, and around the months when I was at the bottom of the bottom. Below is an entry I found and read. I spent a long time chatting to my beautiful Godfather on the phone yesterday, and he is only one of two people I know in my life now, who knew/knows my biological father. Its always thought provoking to discuss my biological father. Below is an entry I wrote, in 2008 about an incident when I was young. In fact, one of the tamer times really. My father was an abusive bully, who ultimately broke the lives of the people around him, and the lives of his children. Sadly my brother was to then take on the traits of him, as he grew up, and only knew how to deal with the pain with anger himself. That left me being being in the position of being abused by father, many different times, and in very many different ways, but then as I grew up, also by my brother.
Life really is like a box of chocolates isn’t it? You never know what your going to get, or be given.
Most of the time we were at house ‘on holiday’. I dont really remember exactly how old we were but one week we spent most of the time in the garage with the babysitter, playing games. Or my stepmm would look after us. I think I was perhaps 10 years old and remember missing my mum so much. We were the other side of the country from her. I would cry. At some point I must have done this in front of my step mum, for her to simply say ‘wait until your Dad gets homes’.
When he got home, I was hiding upstairs. I dont know where my brother was. I remember him shouting my name whilst he sat on the the double bed in the spare room. He has taken off his belt and shoes, and I knew I had to go and endure the beating. It was better to go, and get it over with then endure ‘the chase’ so to speak, because then it would only have been worse.
Apparently I had upset my stepmum and disrespected her by missing my real mum. While being beaten reasonably black and blue with his belt and steel capped military shoes he kept telling me to never dare to cry again.
Maybe thats why over the years, crying became such a problem. I never dared to cry in front of them again, and in fact for many years never dared to cry again in front of anyone. In fact I never really cried at all full stop.
That same week my brother and I went skating around the base my father lived on. At the top of this huge hill were the armed guarded gates, and we’d always go to the top to say hello to the soldiers and show off our passes that said we were allowed to be on the site. Maybe we broke the boredom in their day, I hope so, but I know we enjoyed those moments. We would then skate down the hill as fast as we possibly could. Being a child at the time, the hill felt huge (it probably wasnt that good) and it was great fun.
Except for this one time, when I fell. Just by accident, it was no ones fault. Least of all my brothers. But he got the blame. He was made to sit on a chair, when we got back home, in the middle of garden whilst my father towered over him, shouting and berating him. This huge man standing over a very young, skinny, pale faced and scared child. I remember watching what happened, and yelling at the window, even banging at it. But I had been locked inside the house. What could I do? I dont know, but I should have done something.
I had dinner with my mum tonight, and during the conversation I asked her if my Dad had ever hit her. She said no. So I asked her why she thought he did us. Her reply was ‘because you couldn’t hit back’.
I believe my father did what he did to us, because exactly as my mum said, we couldnt fight back. Whatever he did to us, whatever type of abuse he endured on us, he was always the stronger person.
But I am an adult now too. And I can have the ability to be strong too. I loved a quote by Gibbs from NCIS the other night where someone said ‘I am not a victim’, he replied ‘No, your not, Your a survivor’.
And so through it all, I am starting to learn and believe that actually, despite his abuse, the bullying at school, the pain inflicted on my by my brother, the subsequents depression/selfharm and pain I inflicted on myself and then the assault in London which finally finished me off and led to what some would say a bit of a breakdown, that I am surviving. And I can survive.
One of the most important lessons over the last few years I have learned, with regards to faith and God, was given to me by someone who I love dearly, and whose family have accepted me, and love me as I am. Not long after trying to kill myself, I spent some time staying with them, and we sat in the garden one evening and their garden table, talking about the universe. I was so so angry with everything and everyone, and my view at that point of God was that he was a sadistic Nazi (I know I know, I was very angry at that time!) … and I was also frustrated and fed up with people/Christians who would say ‘well, you know God has intended all of this for good to come out of it’. Honestly? Well if you look at it that way, or think off it that way, then how can you not think God is cruel? He isnt this kind loving thing if he deliberately causes alsorts of unknown pain on someone just so good can eventually come out of it can he.
Anyway, Andrew told me this … God never intended the bad to happen. It was not His plan. In the world, or in people lives. But what He can do, and does so is somehow weave the chaos and the hurt, and eventually make something good out of it.
I was so profoundly affected by that, and its stayed with me for a long time, and been a huge part in bringing me back to a real sense of God in my life.
When I first started blogging, years and years ago, my very first blog was quite a faith blinded one. So full of life and a love for God – who was to know at that point my world would be turned upside down, and the very things then I knew i believe in would be broken. I for sure didnt.
But right now, it feels like I’m coming back full circle, but as a very different person. My faith is growing. Deepening. Through it all, even the times when I could barely utter a word to God, or when I did they were just screaming profanities, I never didnt believe in God.
So here I am. A survivor. A survivor who can now cry (a lot at times) but who is learning to live and love life, and God, again.
March 15, 2012
Just a little poem of sorts, written as my own thoughts to the #ididnotreport hashtag and tweets that flooded twitter a few days ago. Some incredibly brave tweeters, and a beautiful (but incredibly sad) thing to see so many people finding a voice.
My own response is about being abused as a child, teenager, and then as an adult in an event that was totally seperate to any of the stuff i’d experienced as a young person.
(its probably not the most poetically grammatically correct btw)
so here we are, my little poem
#ididnotreport because who would have heard?
#ididnotreport because who would believe?
#ididnotreport because i could not utter a single word …
#ididnotreport because it meant more punishment i’d receive.
#ididnotreport as I got older, for what would be the reason?
#ididnotreport as things moved on, but the memories remain,
#ididnotreport as years went by, and life moved into a new season,
#ididnotreport as i always felt i deserved the pain.
#ididnotreport because i had nothing left worth trying to save
#ididnotreport because nothing mattered to me any more
#ididnotreport because i could never be that brave
#ididnotreport because even when i tried, someone always closed that door.
#ididnotreport for it had all gone plus more
#ididnotreport for everything i had left was taken
#ididnotreport for I had been shaken to the very core,
#ididnotreport for my whole life had been broken.
#ididnotreport but sometimes I wish I had.
March 1, 2011
I have been reading an old hand written diary. One I wrote roughly three years ago. In about 6 weeks time, I will be celebrating a 3 year milestone in my life, and so I thought it time to read back at how life was three years ago. How I felt, and what I was writing. Three years ago, I was a mess. A bigger one than I sometimes am now! Life was a big struggle, in fact, everything had collapsed. The letter below, I wrote, to my biological father. I wrote it the same weekend I decided I couldn’t live any more. Its very poignant to read back. To read this back. Its also poignant for me to publish it. For some of you to read. Because it signifies moving on. For me anyway. A couple of years ago, about a year or so after I wrote this, I met him. For the first time in many years. It was an incredibly emotional experience. However everything I’ve written below still stands. I never sent the letter. He has never read it. Maybe if I was to write another one now, it would be a little different. Life has changed over three years, however the hurts are often still around somewhere nearby. They never go far.
I have so much inside of me, that is never going to be said to you. So much that I want to say and so much that I just want to put at your feet. But I never will. I will probably never let you know how much you hurt me when you walked out that day. When you left that day, I was only young. A small child, but do you what one of my earliest chilldhood memories was? You. Walking out. I even remember which way your huge motorbike turned as you went out of the driveway. I have never been able to admit out loud, in voice how much that actually hurts. How much it hurts to have no happy memories of you. The summer holidays we had to endure with you were hell. Did you know that? Did you know that when you were beating me that day, in that room, my brother, your son was learning from you. Do you know that he then went on to copy you? When you were not there. Do you know that? Do you give a damn? I think not. Do you know how every word you spoke made me cry inside. Every single nasty word. Yeah, I smiled, at you and everyone else, laughed it off. Promised to try and change. Be a better, different person. But I did wonder whether even being a different little girl would have made you happy. I tried so hard to be everything you wanted me to be but every time I reached a goal you would knock it down. And how do you still have the ability to do that? Even now? Even now, while I am an adult you have this power to knock me down to the ground with your words. Do you know how much my heart used to cry because you were not there? And then how much my heart used to cry when you were there, for those 2 weeks of the year because of your behaviour and action. Did it ever occur to you how much harm it did for me to stand at that window that day while you had my brother in the garden? Did it occur to you what you were doing to my brother and I? I doubt it. How could you.
Will you ever know how much pain I then had to endure with my brother? My darling brother. Who couldnt cope with your behaviour towards him. Who turned to drink and drugs to blot out the memories of you. Who do you then think took the blows when his anger let out? That would have been me. So, I was at school, and being bullied there, and then I would go home and be bullied there too. Bullied at home is probably a tame way of saying what happened. Bruised, beaten and hurt are prbably the words that describe it best. Will you ever know how hard it was to live at home, taking it from my brother, as he let rip? And where do you think he learnt/got that from? Where did he learn to hit, smack, punch, burn, taunt and spit out words that will probably never go away from my memory?
Do you know how hard I tried to please you? How hard I tried to please everyone? And did it ever work? You will never know that as I sit writing this, the tears fall. The tears I have never cried. The tears you believe show weakness. I have spent so long being strong, not crying, because what would it do? Change everything? Make it all better? I doubt that very much. But does anyone care? Do you? Again, I think not. I usually doubt you even loved us at all. Maybe we just an inconvenience.
I dont know what it is I have to do to make you proud. To make you love me. Sometimes I ask myself why it even matters. Why you even matter. And I wish I knew. I wish I could explain.
I have never said this to anyone, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to say it to your face, but do you know how angry and frustrated I sometimes feel. Sad, angry and hurt with you, at you and your behaviour. Why couldn’t you or don’t you love us? I know I am not good enough but isn’t a fathers love suppose to not be about that? Were you not supposed to love us no matter what? Why do you disappear from my life for months on end, and then when I am finally coming to terms with you not being in contact you ring or email. Sometimes I long and long to hear from you, but then when I do I cry.