Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sick and tired

Tomorrow quite a few of us are going to give evidence at the London Assembly to the July 7th Review Committee. We will travel down together and stay with each other all day. I am off work today, feeling ill. I have a streaming cold and my chest hurts when I cough, my glands are swollen. I am going to see the doctor later this afternoon, and I am going to ask for some time off work.

Most people took a lot more time off work than I did after 7th July. My way of dealing with it has been to come back to work, and to fight, fight, fight to get my life back, better than before. And rather than be crushed by the experience, to try to get something positive out of it: Kings Cross United, writing, sharing the experience with others. Recently, as I have become more tired, more stressed, I have become more angry. I have never been angry with the bombers - they are dead - and I have never met a survivor who is angry with the bombers. But I am angry and weepy.

I try to use the anger as energy. Asking for a *public enquiry ( *you can sign the petition for one here) Because we need to improve response to atrocities, aftercare, communication. There are so many July 7th questions that still haunt victims.

And, weary of endless personal attacks, I have been taking on the irritating bloody conspiracy theorists who sit and discuss me for pages and pages on their forums, wondering whether I am a counterintelligence agent, accusing me of hacking their silly websites, calling me a liar and a shill. They sit there twisting the words of survivors to make out there is some Grand Conspiracy going on, the bombs were under the trains, the Leeds 4 bombers were innocent, Israel was tipped off, it is a Zionist plot blah, blah, blah. I know they read my blog and I wish they would just piss off: few things irritate me more than armchair ghouls and their anti-semitic paranoic imaginings and their anonymous comments, which I now delete. Bring on the public enquiry, bring on the 'official narrative' even, bring on something to shut them up, please. Please. Why should I spend my time engaging with these people?*headesk*

Because there is still no official version, still no answers, so they are free to wander the internet, visit my blog and other survivors' blogs, writing lies about us. Let there be some closure, some ending, to these questions, the endless stories in the media, the endless media requests, the endless, endless shadow of July 7th. It is blighting my life. There is no escape from it. Ever. It goes on every hour of every day, and when I sleep, I am back on the train, hearing the screams.

I am absolutely bone-weary. It takes all my energy to keep going, keep at it, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I don't sleep properly. When I do sleep, I hear screaming. I am guilt-ridden because I did not stay in the tunnel, in the station with the dying, though there was nothing I could have done. My immune system is weak, I go down with every bug around. I feel fragile and sick and sad, so sad. And so angry; angry with those who let the bombs happen, angry with the political capital made out of the bombs, angry that though the Government talks of their 'concern' for victims and families and passes draconioan laws citing how 'we' need them, yet I have never heard of one member of Parliament visiting or writing to a victim of July 7th to ask how they are and to express sympathy.(And if you are a victim of terrorism abroad, you are left even more hung out to dry.)

All this stuff, this has been me trying to keep the feelings of July 7th at bay. The anger, the politics, the setting up a survivor network, the writing, the endless running to stand still. But it is not working anymore.

I still cannot listen to music without weeping. I still cannot stop and stand still without my eyes filling up with tears. Anything can set me off now; a story, a look on someone's face, a line of a poem, the sun on my face...

When I turn round and face this, properly, I think my heart will break with it and my soul will scream and not stop screaming. I have been too frightened to stop and let July 7th hit me properly; I have fought it and fought it and fought it with every trick and tool that I had.

I can't do it anymore. It is making me ill, it is no kind of a life. I just have to get through the London Assembly hearing tomorrow, then, enough.

Time out.

14 Comments:

Blogger Gamba said...

Rachel, your strength and presence of mind is an inspiration. I don't know how you manage it. For every loony conspiracy theorist there must be a thousand or more people who admire what you are doing.
I hope tomorrow goes well for you, and that after that, you can get some good down time. Take care of yourself.

March 22, 2006 10:08 am  
Anonymous Shadowfox said...

When you read those conspiracy theorists the best thing to do is laugh, for they are sad pathetic little individuals who sit in their darkenened rooms too scared to go out and face the real world. You though have had to face what has happened and that makes you stronger then they will ever be.
Its an old cliche that life goes on. Trite perhaps but true. What matters is what lies ahead. The past will always be there but we all have this individual to move forward in our own way.
Rachel, none of us who read your blog will never truly know what it was like to be there, and we only admire you for coming on here and telling the truth of what occured and its aftermath. But there will come a time when you will be able to separate July 7 from you as an individual. To do that maybe crying and screaming is needed. But in the end what lies ahead in the road is your life and all the happiness that it will bring you. That ultimately is the future. your future

March 22, 2006 10:48 am  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

oh honey...i think it's a big step that you are finally accepting this. we can only do this in our own time and this is your time to take a break and heal your soul.

tomorrow is a good turning point i think...time for us all to step back a bit....see you then hxx

March 22, 2006 11:48 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you xxx

It is time to admit that my current battle strategies are not working. But hey, that is no bad thing. I want to come out the other side: hopefully some tiem off will allow me to do that.

xx

March 22, 2006 12:16 pm  
Blogger Bumble Bee said...

Hey Rach,
I am so glad you are finally taking this step and realising you need a break. It is hard to admit it but you deserve it.
You are lovely person who has given so much inspiration and support to others. It is now our time to give it back to you and help you through.
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and giving you a hug.
We will come out the end misses and be so much better and stronger!
xx

March 22, 2006 1:31 pm  
Blogger steve said...

Rachel,

as you know I'm feeling very similar at the moment. There is just too much to contend with, the politics, the nutters, the trauma etc etc, and at the same time maintain some sort of normal life, not easy. In fact it's impossible to keep it up forever. I admire you for trying!

In many ways I wish I could go back to being apathetic pre-7/7 Steve, I'm jealous of my friends who have little to worry about. It's not fair that this has intruded on our lives.

I've often thought you have been doing too much, have a break and enjoy it. You can still care passionately about all the politics and everything, maybe just keep it to drunken pub debates for a while. Again I admire you so much for your efforts to be heard, but there comes a point when it's just too much, there is only so much stamping of feet you I or anyone can do.

And as for the guilt, I feel the same, I did stay in the train and was no doubt only a couple of feet from someone who needed help, but I did nothing. Presented with that I would probably have gone into shock and done more harm than good.

As I've said before, it is ok to be selfish! Look after yourself, you've done enough looking after others, you deserve it. Good luck tomorrow!

Steve

March 22, 2006 2:21 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

You could always sue...

Take a time out. Go on a long holiday. Come back refreshed - or quit this blogging lark altogether, as it can't be healthy to dwell on it. You'd be missed, but you've got to do what's best for you.

And now I'll stop, lest I utterly destroy my cynical, heartless persona...

March 22, 2006 3:05 pm  
Blogger Ally said...

Just to let you know I'm thinking about you - take care of yourself x.

March 22, 2006 3:16 pm  
Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

@ Nosemonkey :

For many of us who have only the internet within which to discuss freely our views and opinions on any issue, not just the events of 9/11 or July 7th, this is a worrying development. To use libel laws against individuals/forums/blogs will not only stifle debate but further erode the very few civil liberties we have left. The most important of all, in my opinion, is that of free speech and the freedom to have ideas and opinions that run contrary to the main stream. The internet offers an obvious threat to the main stream media and those that would wish to control what we can say/think/do, and governements/states would relish the chance to exert more control over it.

I would urge Rachel to think long and hard about the consequences of any action, as a blogger herself, she should cherish the right to say whatever she thinks without fear of legal action or state intervention.

March 24, 2006 2:15 pm  
Anonymous concerned said...

Now, for many of us who have only the internet within which to discuss freely our views and opinions on any issue, not just the events of 9/11 or July 7th, this is a worrying development. To use libel laws against individuals/forums/blogs will not only stifle debate but further erode the very few civil liberties we have left. The most important of all, in my opinion, is that of free speech and the freedom to have ideas and opinions that run contrary to the main stream. The internet offers an obvious threat to the main stream media and those that would wish to control what we can say/think/do, and governements/states would relish the chance to exert more control over it.

I would urge Rachel to think long and hard about the consequences of any action, as a blogger herself, she should cherish the right to say whatever she thinks without fear of legal action or state intervention.

March 24, 2006 2:16 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh, look, it is 'concerned', aka the lovely Bridget Donne, conspiracy theorist extraordinaire. Hello Bridget! 'Prole' by name!.. I wonder whether you are ready to have the good grace to apologise for repeated smears that I am the 'sole voice of the survivors' yet? As you clearly read this blog, you might want to pop over to the left and view the eight other survior blogs clearly visible? And perhaps you'd like to turn on the TV or open the newspaper and see lots of survivors making their points about 7th July yesterday? You may also wish to consider whether your pious little point about free speech can be communicated back to the administrators of your beloved 'nineeleven truth' forum, where I note that I have been banned from contributing to and defending myself in a poisonous thread about me and who I am and what I believe. You know, the one where I am called a 'liar' and a 'shill' and an 'M15 disinformation agent'? Yes, you do know, Bridget 'concerned' Prole because you are a regular contributor to said thread making points like this:

'Whether Rachel wittingly or un-wittingly co-operates in what is a racist media is her choice.'

'So KCU could be construed as a way of making sure everyone has got their story straight?'

'I must say that I get very fed up with the arrogance of the white middle-class voices that purport to understand what drives young British-born Muslim men into becoming alleged suicide bombers.'

'The very busy Rachel North, or should that be the only voice of the survivors of July 7th?, seems to have had quite a week'

'...Rachel will really have served her purpose for the State. There are advantages to having 'only one voice' of the survivors of July 7th, it can then be the 'voice' that says the things the State wants us all to hear'


Indeed,Bridget, heaven forbid that a survivor should have a contribution to a thread about 7/7, and heaven forbid that she should speak out against your brainwashed orthodoxy that It Is All A Giant Conspiracy and The Government Did It. What a little charmer you are.And good luck to you.

March 24, 2006 4:37 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you everyone else, for your supportive comments, as always, I am very grateful to have such lovely readers. And comment moderation was a great idea! The loons can't get on and leave racist messages anymore, though I may let the odd one thorugh in order that we can all have a laugh.

March 24, 2006 4:39 pm  
Blogger LottieP said...

Rachel

I've just read this satire on conspiracy theorists from The Onion:
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/46228

Says it all really!

L

March 31, 2006 6:52 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Ha, that's excellent, Lottie! Thanks!

March 31, 2006 7:54 am  

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