Isolation; it is a word that is thrown around a lot. It is a word that is hard to define. How do you know if you are truly isolated? In the dictionary it is defined as a person who is shy or lacking social skills. It is someone who avoids the company of others. It makes it sound like a choice. In my case, it is not.
I would define isolation in a different way. It is much more than someone who is shy. It is having no one to turn to in your hour of need. It is staying at home, too scared to venture out into the big dark world. It is having nothing to get out of bed for in the mornings. That is isolation. My name is Elizabeth Tyler and my life is full of isolation.
I didn’t choose the life of isolation, it was thrust upon me. When I was twelve, my parents were brutally murdered at our home in Cambridge. I was staying with my aunt and uncle for the weekend. I often do. I’m really close to them. While I was a baby my parents had to work a lot of the time so my aunt and uncle would look after me.
When I came back on this particular occasion, I found them lying on the floor. Dead. My jaw dropped. Splatters of blood covered the walls and floor. I was shaking uncontrollably. I found myself holding my mum in my arms, rocking her back and forth. It was like I was the parent and she was the child. I kept wishing this was all a nightmare and telling myself I would wake up in a minute and I would be back in their arms. I didn’t.
Before my parents’ death, I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be popular more than anything. I had many friends and I was in with ‘the cool kids’. That all changed after that tragic day. It’s like they see me as a disease; a walking disease. As they walk past me they glare. Now, all I can do is be alone, be isolated.
I am currently living with my aunt and uncle. Even though I have many happy memories in this house, it feels empty, sad and unloved. That is how I feel. I have no siblings so I have no one to talk to. No one knows how I feel.
My parents’ death haunts me. Images of them on the cold floor flash in my mind. Every night I wake up shaking violently, sweat streaming down my face and soaking my bed and clothes. I guess this is what the rest of my life is going to be like.
My aunt and uncle are lovely people. But they don’t feel my pain, my suffering. Every time I think about that day, a part of me dies inside. I feel so insignificant in the world. No one notices me. Not even at school. Since the death of my parents I am an outcast. My friends don’t talk to me. They don’t want to know me anymore. I am truly alone.
No one tries to approach me. People at school walk past me; they don’t make eye contact. I feel like a ghost. I want desperately to talk to someone, to cry out, just for someone to notice me. I want to tell someone how I feel. I just want some normality in my life.
My family don’t even talk to me. After the funeral I’ve had no contact with them. My grandparents don’t want to know me. I know they blame me. Maybe if I had been at home I could have done something to stop them. But I was only twelve. I’m not a fighter and I probably would have ended up dead too. But in their minds I was the key to a solution.
As the months go by I find myself thinking of that day. It is constantly on my mind. I know I should focus on other things, like my aunt says, but I can’t. The human mind is a complex thing and our thoughts cannot be explained. No one knows why we do something irrational. It is just in our nature. But am I really being irrational?
Today, I have decided to visit my parents’ graves. It is the first time I have gathered the strength to do this. Since the funeral, I haven’t visited their graves. Not out of disrespect, but out of fear; pure fear.
I can feel the anxiety build up inside of me. After every step I stop for a second to get myself together. I try to distract myself, to stop myself running as far away as possible from here. I think about the day Dad took me to the cinema for the first time and the day Mum bought me a new doll. I especially remember every night my parents tucked me in and kissed my cheek. Someone took this away from me. They ruined my childhood, no my life.
I will never forgive them.