Sunday, February 26, 2006


Well since my last post, I am still having the same feelings. Feel like pulling away but knowing that is not the answer. Wanting to find that switch that turns it all off but know I am the only one that can work through this in my head.

I went out to dinner with two female friends on Thursday night. We are trying to make this a regular occurance, as we have been friends over here for so long but don't meet up with eachother enough. Had a great dinner as we always do, chatting, laughing, never a moments silence. One of them just got engaged so of course we were 3 excited woman chatting about dresses, weddings and rings. Dinner finished and one of the friends B decided she wanted another drink so her and I headed over to the pub. Well I now find out that was under pretence.

She got me a bit more merry and then hit with the question 'how am I feeling?' B says she has been worried about me and believes I am not facing my feelings. I saw her the day after July 7th and I didn't realise but I apparently told her that whole story that day, what went on down in that dark tunnel. I thought I hadn't told anyone. And she has saved it all in her head, everything I have ever said since and how I have been since. It amazed me. How can this one person, who I know is my friend, have so much worry and feeling for me? I was shocked. She wants me to tell my story to her again and talk to her anytime. How can I? Why do people want to know? I know the answer, she is a great friend and is worried about me. Actually I would almost consider her my best friend over here now after Thursday. (I never thought I had one here, thought they were back in Australia) I know I can trust her and I know I should open up but it's so hard and very emotional. I started crying over our drinks and said I didn't want to talk about it anymore. I'm sick of talking about it, but yet it goes on.

I told my psychologist this on Friday and she seems to think it would be good to chat to someone about it that is outside my bubble - KCU, psychologist, M. I would like to and maybe I will sometime soon but when the time is right. I guess it is hard opening up to someone when everyone outside of KCU hasn't known how to handle it or what to say. M in particular still finds it hard but I know he tries to listen, it's hard for him. He told me while he was very drunk on Friday night that 'he wasn't there to protect me, that he would do anything to stop me from getting hurt!' I know this to be true but I wish he would let go off his guilt - he says he isn't guilty but I know sometimes he wishes he had been on the train with me - what could he have done?? God so many thoughts and feeling there I could go on for hours. We have both come a long way in the last few months.

On Friday night I also had a work buddy tell me 'that he believes I should concentrate on getting better'. Said he knows I am still not over it but in time things will heal.
Oh god where has this all come from? The last person at work I expect to say something but he comes out with this.

How do I feel now when two people in two days say 'they know I am not coping, and should open up more to deal with it?' Well sad as I thought I was doing well but happy to know that people are thinking of me when I thought no one was.
As I look out the window I imagine little me, alone in this big wide world. But I know I am not, even though people don't say it every day I now know I have huge support from my friends.
How lucky I am and I will thank God every day for these kind souls.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

How do I feel today

Today I am not sure how I feel. I have had such a mixture of emotions the last week. It all started with a play I went and saw last week on July 7th. I am still not sure how I feel about that play. Then I got sick and then on the weekend I spent pretty much on my own as M was working - relaxing, getting my hair done, checking out the gyms. Work has been getting more stressful this week, but then this morning I got on the tube and at the next stop a fellow traveller from July 7th, Holly, hoped on. And tonight, yes finally M and I are joining the gym! yes you read it here folks BumbleBee is going to get fit - well at least try ;-)
This morning was such a strange journey. I was so glad to see her as I always look out for her as she is the one I mention in my story of July 7th. The tall girl that can't see anything!! It was lovely to be together and chat but strange as we both made a conscious effort not to mention 'last time we were together on the tube ......' When we left Kings Cross silence fell on our conversation, what could we say but sit there together. I was shaking once I got out at my stop, glad to have finally finished that journey together but strange as it was done just like that. I sent her a text when I got out and we have been emailing eachother today and it's all I have been thinking about.
I am not sure where I am heading with this post. I think what I am trying to say is that in the last week I have thought about pulling away. As in stopping my meetings with my pyschologist, stopping reading the bbc website looking for more information on July 7th, stop reading my fellow KCU member blogs every day and stop reading our KCU emails. I think I've had enough of it all but I know so many others feel the same too. I guess I have to take it day by day, but last night was the first time in weeks that I have sat down and sobbed about it again. I'm not sure where all these feelings are coming from as I thought I was doing so well, laughing, seeing friends again and building my relationship back up with my husband.
But I guess as they say we will have highs and lows and this is just another low and it has hit hard because I haven't been here in awhile. And I know pulling away is not the answer as I will miss my new found friends.
I found this today and I like it:

Trials give you strength, sorrows give understanding and wisdom.
Chuck T. Falcon

hmm everything in life happens for a reason I say, this is my learning experience.

Monday, February 20, 2006

July 7th through my eye's

Here is my account of the day. It's a bit long. I have tried to shorten it and take out bits but I thought best to leave as a full story, right from the start till the time I went to bed. It all has meaning to me. Hopefully this is another stepping stone in my road to recovery, I am feeling much better after finally writing it only a few weeks ago. Thanks to Holly for the encouragement, made a great difference.
By the way - Holly is the tall lady I mention while on the tube!!

Well it was a normal July morning. I don’t remember getting ready that morning. I do remember what I was wearing. My favourite pin-striped trousers at the time and my favourite new knitted purple top - a top I have not worn again since that day. I stare at it many times now when I open the cupboard (almost every time), what will it mean if I wear it again? Will I ever throw it out or keep it for memory? Anyway I took my black jacket in case it’s cold. My husband (M) and I get outside, it’s cold so I put my jacket on as we walk up the street. We get to Turnpike Lane tube and there are people all around the turnstiles. Crap, have the tubes stopped? Why are people everywhere? I hear something about a defective train at Caledonian Road. They had actually closed the line but have just re-opened it. So only one turnstile is now open. I grab a copy of the metro and we slowly we get through and down the escalator, we get down to the platform and I see it’s packed.
Only a few weeks before I used to always get on the front of the second carriage or back of the first as that is where the exit is at Holborn. M then started saying lets get on the end of the train as there are less people and we are more likely to get seats. We had some arguments about it as I am lazy but I do it to save more arguments and also because I don’t have to stand in a crowded carriage anymore. Anyway on this day I was about to turn and say lets get on the front as it’s going to be crowded wherever we get on. Thank god something stopped me from saying this as it haunts me to this day. What would off happened if I did? M says he wouldn’t off done it but what if he hadn’t been with me that day?
Well we get down the end of the platform it’s hot so I take off my jacket. We read the front page of the Metro it’s splashed with the Olympic win from the day before. We read it together and discuss how London will cope with the crowds of people. It’s stuffed to the brim already! We wait ages for a train; 10-15min. Finally it arrives. From memory it wasn’t really that packed. I do remember getting on the front single door of carriage six as I always do and turning to the seats and seeing so many men in suits (were one of these the ones that bravely took control?). Something I found strange then and something I find strange now for remembering (as you will read on you will realise some important things I can’t remember but this I do! It’s so funny how the mind works). I stand between the suited men seating, M stands near the interconnecting doors, and so we travel like that till Finsbury Park where I finally get a seat.
And so I read my metro, or try to. There is a man standing in front of me with a backpack on that keeps hitting my paper and getting in the way. I don’t say anything though and try to hold it close to me to read. I do notice though when I look up every so often how full the train is getting as I cannot see M anymore. We finally get to Kings Cross and I look up to say goodbye to M, we always say goodbye and give each other a kiss, but today I can’t even see him. I don’t like not even saying goodbye as I don’t feel it is a good way to start the day. I always think you never know what might happen. How did I know what was going to happen in the next few minutes??
So he leaves the train and I get back to my metro as the train gets full again. I don’t even know how far in the tunnel we were when IT happened. The noise, the bang, the confusion, the smoke!! There it was, down in the dark, dusty filled tunnel some person in the middle of carriage one lets a bomb go. I cannot remember the bang, I have only heard it once since in my nightmares. All I remember at that moment, that instance is thinking we have just run over something or something electric has blown and it was right behind me, right at my carriage in the tunnel as the noise was so loud and as the blast came in my hair flew in front of my face. What happened exactly after? Confusion? Silence? I swear the tube kept going for a bit as I thought we must still be heading onto Russell Square. (This to me feels like a minute, now I realise it must have only been seconds). However it then finally comes to a halt and the lights go out, or were they already? Silence and confusion again. Then the smoke starts, slowly if fills the carriage and then more heavily. The silence I think is then broken by the screams of ‘open the vents’, ‘no close the vents, the smoke is coming in from there’, ‘open the interconnecting window’, ‘no there might be smoke’. I turn to my left where a lady says she was going to get off at Kings Cross too.
I am still confused about what exactly happened next. At first I think I was in shock about what was going on, thinking this is not really happening and that the driver will come through the speaker any second saying everything is ok and we will be moving. Then I must have thought I must do something as I got up to try and help some lady try to open the windows behind the seats. They weren’t budging at all! I see the men are trying to open the doors, they are not budging either. Everyone is still screaming orders at each other. The men around me seem to have taken charge and trying to work out what to do. There is one lady with long brown hair and dressed in a nice suit, she has stood on the chairs and is telling everyone to keep calm, that we will be ok and passing messages up and down the carriage.
Then one of the men starts swinging from the bars above the doors and starts kicking in the windows in the door. Yes a way out, some air and then the glass finally splits I realise just how close we are to the tunnel. Oh god, I can’t fit out there, none of us can. I then just sit down and start to cry, I can’t die not like this I have so much to live for. I have only been married for 9mths and have just moved into a new flat. How can I go like this, my family, my husband they won’t know how I feel about them. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to M. No this isn’t fair I’m only 27. What will M do without me? We still have so much to do together, oh god!!
Still crying a guy starts to comfort me and tell me that everything will be ok. He tells me to use my jacket to breath into as it’s getting harder to breath and my eyes are stinging and I can't hardly see anything. Nothing seems to be happening there is no way out of this tube. The men in charge tell others down the end of the carriage the only out is through the back, WE MUST leave there. No they scream back, it’s not safe, there is fire out there, the tracks might be live. We scream back it’s our only way, open the back door. I then see a flash in my mind of us all passing out and dying on top of eachother and not getting saved. I then hear myself screaming at the top of my lungs ‘we need to get out of this f**ken train so open the back door!’ God where did that come from? I am now hysterical and shaking, no I am not passing out. The guy keeps comforting me and giving me hugs. We then hear we are going out through carriage 5 but no one moves. What is going on? Then we are told we are leaving out the back, again no one moves. Oh I really can’t take much more of this I can barely keep my eyes open. I look up and ask a tall lady standing ‘can you see what is going on down there’ she replies no and I think you’re tall why not? Then finally she says they are moving. Oh God finally. I am really shaking now and so scared, I just want to get out and cannot think of anything else now. It takes another few minutes before we move.
I get to the end of the carriage and walk through the drivers compartment, there are two policemen on the track helping us down and directing us back up to Kings Cross. I hug one of them and say ‘thank you, thank you for rescuing us.’ They tell us to stay on the middle of the track and walk a few minutes back to Kings Cross where we will be helped back up onto the platform. So we all walk up the tunnel, following the person in front. The kind guy (Tom) is behind me and still asking if I am ok. We round the bend and there is the westbound Piccadilly line platform of Kings Cross. I think to myself what a strange angle to see it from, the tracks in the tunnel, hopefully I will never see it from this view again. We get to the platform and there are tube staff helping us up on the platform. How will he lift me up but he does. There are also staff handing us out water. There aren’t much left so Tom and I share a bottle. What do we do? What has just happened? I see people with sooty faces and crying coming from the eastbound platform, where have they come from? Again what has just happened?
So we head up the escalators where there are more people just like us. What do we do now? I just want to get out and call M. So we go to leave and there are tube staff saying we must give our details to them before we leave. So I do and they just ignore Tom. I have already called M in hysterics, he is still at Kings Cross I must see him. I tell Tom I will wait for him up the top of the stairs outside I must see M. I get to the top and another tube staffer is there telling me I must leave, I cannot stand near the tube but I am waiting for Tom. No she says I have to get out of the area. And so I have to leave and ring M again. I am so hysterical I can’t understand really where he is but then have a moment of clarity. Other people that have been evacuated from other parts of the station are just looking at me and saying what happened. I don’t know but whatever it is, it is not good. A man gives me a tissue and another lady says she will stay with me till I find M. He is out front of Burger King, I see him and just run across the road. I call out to him as he is walking away, he looks up and I just fall into his arms. Oh god, thank you for letting me be with him again. I just sob and tell him I thought I would never see him again. Poor M what must he be thinking. He then sees the soot on my face and then on many others behind me. He realises I wasn’t just a stuck tube, something bad happened.
We then don’t know what to do. M says I have to get checked out and find out what happened. By this stage there is a cordon around Kings Cross and there are ambulances arriving. I still have a bottle of water with me and try to get all the soot out of my mouth and throat. I can’t breath properly and keep coughing. What is this that I have breathed in? So we ask paramedics ‘can they check me over, what have I breathed in, am I ok?’ but they kept saying they can’t and that there is something else they need to see to. I had no idea what tragedy they were going to, if only I knew I would have stopped pestering them. Were these the paramedics that saved lives, where these the ones that had to leave people behind, were these the ones now living with the pictures of that carriage?
While I am waiting a journalist comes and asks me if I was on the tube and if I would do an interview. I wasn’t really thinking. So I said yes. It took a very long time for him to get through to his colleagues in the studio and he kept staying right next to me while I am trying to get help. A policeman then finally comes over and we ask what has happened. He said IT has happened elsewhere, a lot more trains and some buses. God what is going on? He then says we should go over and get on the buses that are going to the hospital. The journalist follows and just before I get on the bus he shoves the phone in my face. And so I have an interview with BBC News 24. Little did I know this interview would make it all the way to TV in Australia for M’s family to see but also to my mum’s local paper in Hobart, Tasmania. And so interview over we go to get on the bus and as I look down the bus I see a man with a head wound with some girls tending to him. To this day I cannot remember exactly what he looked like but I know I didn’t like what I saw and immediately turned around and told M this is not the bus for me and got off. So what do we do now? By this stage (maybe 1hr) I wanted to go home I was so tired and so me, like many others start to walk home. We met a foreign girl who had no idea where she was going or how to get home, I think Kentish Town. We had no idea and I couldn’t help her, I was so confused myself and had no idea which direction we were headed. I feel so bad for leaving her. I hope she is ok and made it home safely, why didn’t I walk with her? And so we walked north. I stopped about 15min up the road, no cabs, no transport and utterly exhausted. M kept saying we have to keep going, it’s the only way. So I get up and we walk, seeing many others just like me with sooty faces. Finally we get to Caledonian Road (I found this out later when I went pass once on the bus) and try a mini cab office. No luck they say – 1hr for a cab. Then I see a black cab let some people out. I run up and ask him can he take us. No he first says. I plead that I have just been on the train at Kings Cross and need to get to the nearest hospital. Ok he reluctantly says and takes us to the Royal Free at Hampstead. Lots of traffic around and while sitting in the cab I finally try to get in contact with friends, family and work but no luck – the signal is down. We get a text come through from work though, to all engineers, telling them not to use public transport and stay where we are. I think to myself, too late for me! And so we finally get to hospital. I must have been one of the first in as there were so many nurses etc around. I give my details and get assigned an area and nurse. They ask what happened and then say they are going to do some tests to check my lungs etc. One of the tests is a arterial blood test to test blood gas level. My god never felt so much pain. M couldn’t handle looking at me like that. I sit and wait on the bed, still wondering what has gone on and really cannot believe where I am. Tests back and I have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide (?) in my blood but am fine and they should go down in a few days. I just need to drink lots and breath in fresh air.
So we leave the hospital and as we do I pass a room with a patient being looked at by many doctors/nurses. I can see his legs, no shoes, dirty feet and his clothes blown off. Then we pass a room with the TV going and the news on, oh my god! London has finally been hit and I was caught up in it.
Outside while working out how to get home buses and police vans with more victims, all looking as shocked and scared as me. We walk down the road and find a bus going to Camden. For some reason I am not scared to get on it, I just want to get home. We get off at Camden and wait and wait for another bus but the traffic heading out of the city is ridiculous. I don’t think I have the energy to walk home. Then a black cab comes along and for some reason I can’t take my eye of it and then see a colleague of ours is in it and she only lives down the road from us. And so off I run through the traffic to get in. She is shocked to see us; she has come all the way from Victoria. On the way home it starts to rain.
I finally get in the door and can’t wait to take my clothes off. I want to get rid of the smell and have a shower. But first we ring our parents. I finally sit and sob for the first time since I got off the tube and saw M to my mum. She tells me she thought that she was going to have to come over to collect my body. Oh god! She was so worried as knew that was my line and the time I go to work. By this time it was over 5hrs since the bomb had gone off. My eldest sister then calls and again we sob. I finally have a shower and wash all the soot come out of my hair and skin. It took a few days to finally get all the soot out of my hair. We watched the news all afternoon and had a few friends pop round to see me. This time they cry and I can’t – shock had really finally set in. I finally go to bed about 11pm I think and try to forget about how that day had started.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wishing my life away

I didn't realise till today that I have been wishing my life away. A colleague just pointed it out to me. Whether it be wishing to forget about July 7th and get over it, to wishing the working week over or to wishing August was here so I would be heading back home to Australia.
I was telling my colleague what I have been up to this week and how tired I am feeling and how I can't wait for Saturday for a sleep in. Her reply, 'You seem to be wishing your life away!'
And it's true, I am 27, recently married, living in a lovely flat on the other side of the world. I should appreciate each day and wake up with zest.
Yet I hear the alarm the go off and my thought is 'oh just another half hour!' I am sure there are many out there like this, we all hear the alarm and wish it wasn't true. I have to say though in the last 7mths it has gotten much worse. And a fellow tube passenger on July 7th said today she has felt that she has been dragging herself through each day with no spring in her step. Yes that is me too. So without further excuses (they have been money and laziness) I am joining the gym this weekend. I have to otherwise I will become an overweight, house bound 28 year old.
Also when we leave to go home at the end of the year we will be traveling for about 2 -3 mths. With the way I feel now there is now way I could keep up with the traveling every day for that long. I also need to write out an eating plan and stick to it. I'm not that bad but the picking at work in the afternoon and the takeaways are not good. Making my lunch each day will be a huge achievement.
So it has to be done, it's this weekend! I will even tell my psychologist this Friday as I feel so guilty when I go back to her the next week and haven't done a task we have set for me. It's time to start feeling better again and enjoy the end of my OE.
I will let you know how it goes, and now that I have written it here, I have to do it. Right? :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My First Blog

I have been encouraged to write a blog by a fellow 7/7 passenger. I have wanted to for so long but felt I would never have anything profound to say or say anything in the write way. 'It doesn't matter' she says. 'It's very therapeutic and it's your own thoughts'.
So here I am. I don't think it will have a consistent view, just mainly how I have changed since being caught up in the bombings on 7/7 and what my views are now on the world and the people that inhabit it.
I have spent a relaxing weekend not doing much at all. Slept in yesterday while my husband went off to work (poor thing), then met up with a friend for a late lunch. She is always makes me laugh and makes me see things from a different perspective. Then I relaxed at home with my man and now we are about to head off to meet up with another couple, very close friends of ours for lunch at a local pub.
One thing I have realised since 7/7 is how many special friends I have and how much I mean to my husband and family. I have made a new bunch of friends since 7/7 - they are my fellow tube travellers from that day. They are now my inspiration and the bestest friends I will ever have!
This blog is for them. x