Tag Archives: run

When You Stop Running…

There are many reasons why people run away.
It’s important to have someone to come back to.

when-you-stop-running-the-last-krystallos-titleThe UK police receive more than 100,000 missing adults reports a year. Up to 80 per cent of these adults have mental health issues, and a significant number have experience of domestic violence, financial problems, family conflict, or alcohol problems. It is difficult to find statistics of those who return, but missingpeople.org.uk say few of them receive support to tackle the problems that caused them to go missing in the first place. The police are responsible for undertaking a “Safe and Well Check” soon after a missing person returns to find out where they have been, if they suffered harm, and to provide an opportunity to disclose any offending by or against them. However, following a Safe and Well Check, most adults do not get offered a proper assessment of their health and support needs, or help to get their life back on track, and consequently many go missing again.

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

It’s important to have someone to come back to, someone who will offer support and any help that is necessary. I’ve written about Running Away and how important it is to have someone to come back to…so maybe I should illuminate how I discovered this during a major depressive episode:

I woke empty. My tears were dry though my heart drowned and I moved through the early hours in automaton. I dropped the children at school then returned home. I pulled clothes from my cupboards and zipped up my bag. My heart thumped within the restrictive bounds of my chest, but I refused to allow emotions to surface. My hands shook as I drove. My eyes flicked to and fro like a frightened rabbit and blood pounded through my veins.

I drove. I drove miles and miles…and then kept driving. My hands gripped the wheel and my mind, still empty, focussed on nothing but the road.

I had no idea how far I drove, I just hit the motorway and kept going. Almost two hours later, about to cross the Severn Bridge and a single thought invaded, I had no money and if I crossed the bridge I wouldn’t be able to pay the toll to return.

For a few wild moments I toyed with continuing to drive, but my hands ignored me and pulled into the services. There, in a far corner of the car park, I let the tears fall and they fell until there was nothing left and emptiness filled my heart again.

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

I sat in my car for hours unable and unwilling to allow rational thought inside my head, until an alarm sounded. I automatically checked my phone but it was quiet. I tended to get caught up in writing at home and had an alarm that gave me fifteen minutes grace before leaving to collect the children from school.

No alarm had gone off, except the natural alarm within my head. Now thoughts of my children waiting for me at school, waiting for a mother who failed to return filled my mind. Those thoughts swarmed and turned to my husband and I imagined the school trying to contact him when I didn’t turn up. He would find calls queueing on his phone and worry. He would hurry to collect the children with thoughts of his errant wife in the back of his head…or maybe the fore front of his mind.

He’d return with the children to an empty home.

My mind played out the entire week and finally a flicker in my heart lit and fear ignited. The fear of leaving, the fear of being permanently lost overwhelmed me. Now the only thought in my head was home.

I drove those one hundred miles with a hammering heart and a depth I didn’t know I had.

My fifteen minute alarm went off half an hour from home. I was late picking up my children. Reality kicked back in as I got home. My children never noticed the extra bag I carried as they took their own school bags inside and they didn’t see my red eyes, and my empty heart kept well hidden.

Nobody knew about my bid for escape. Nobody knew for a long time.

try not to run away from those you nee let them be there for you, try not to run away, those who care, running away, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

I ran more than once. I ran in different directions. Sometimes I walked out of an empty home, sometimes I left people behind. But, and it’s an important but, when I walked away from family, they kept calling, they left messages, they texted…and when I was ready I returned.

There was always someone there who cared. There was always someone to go home to.

It doesn’t always work out, I know sometimes people run and they don’t come back, but sometimes they do.

And sometimes they don’t run too far or too long. I’m lucky that there is always someone to return to, and that they care enough to support and offer help when I need it.

In Beneath the Old Oak Meg’s mother goes missing due to mental health issues. Meg and her father go through the process of reporting a missing person and the stress, strain and heartbreak that goes with it. The important thing is, no matter what happens to Meg’s mother, her family remain hopeful.

missing persons, missing people, runaways, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

I cannot imagine the heartbreak of having someone you love go missing. If you run, please consider letting your family know you’re okay. The police have a duty of care and will be able to pass on a message and allow you to stay missing if that’s what you want. If you want to return home, again the police and charities they work with can help facilitate and get you home again.

116 000 is the number to call or text for a free and confidential 24 hour service from missingpeople.org.uk or contact your local police station. These links can help to report a missing person: missingpeople.org.uk and gov.uk.

Try not to run, but if you do, always remember those you can trust,
those who love you, those who need you.

Thank goodness for those you can come back to.

BeneathOldOak_Cover_Amazon-(1)-Low-Res-245kbTo read more of running away in ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ the book is available in paperback and eBook on Amazon and Etsy.

‘Turn those dreams of escape into hope…’
Meg thinks her mother is broken. Is she broken too? Meg’s life spirals out of control, and when she mirrors her Mum’s erratic behaviour, she’s terrified she’ll inherit her mother’s sins. Seeking refuge and escape, she finds solace beneath a huge, old oak. A storm descends, and Meg needs to survive devastating losses.

Flash! Friday: The Ending

1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.

1896 Olympic marathon. Public domain photo by Burton Holmes.

Mama told me to come away, to come back inside, but I couldn’t.

The first ones ran.

I stared, from my perch on the broken fence, as they hurried past, their concentration on the dusty road and their footfalls, not on me, a grubby child by the wayside. They ran so fast even my blistered legs curved below my torn skirts failed to move them. I winced as I changed position.

There were more, still running, always running, kicking up dirt and ash in clouds behind them as they hastened on. Then they slowed and I stared. Sunken cheeks, dull eyes, scorched rags, and blistered skin…like mine.

He was one of the last, walking, dragging, mumbling and stinking of anguished sweat. I backed away as he reached my fence, and I stared with mistrust in my eyes and escape in my legs.

“War is over,” he slurred. “War is over, my child…”

Tears streamed as my eyes met his. “Papa?”

(160 Words)

0. Flash! FridayFlash! Friday…150 give or take 10 words on the prompt photo above including the word War…some of these are brilliant!

Blues Buster: Run

I struggled with conflicting ideas for this week’s Blues Buster over at The Tsuruoka Files. In the end I went with a rewrite of a scene from last year’s NaNoWriMo…which fit the song so perfectly for me. The song, a classic from Amy Winehouse “You Know I’m No Good.” This version of the scene may find its way into the manuscript… (I’ll keep my second story for another day!)
Photograph by Bekah Shambrook (please do not use)
Run

Dad’s days had turned into marathon internet searches and desperate attempts to scroll through his wife’s social media, page after page, looking for clues. Hours of reading online blogs and lengthy research into the reasons why women run. His fingers ran through his unwashed hair and his three-day-old shirt creased like his forehead.
Meg perched on the edge of the sofa debating lunch, which was, as she stared at the clock, rapidly turning into dinner. She shook her head, even if she made food, he’d just refuse it. She glanced at Dad, her eyes roving across the room, taking in the photographs on the mantle, happy family pictures, smiling at the world. Her hands clenched in her lap, and she fought the tears that welled behind her eyes. Her heart thudded and her bottom lip wobbled.
“Am I like Mum?” Meg released her question.
Dad turned to her. “Why do you ask?”
“Because she’s broken, and I might be too…are we both no good?”
Dad slumped at his computer, and Meg spoke anxiously rising from the sofa, “Dad?” Her words no more than a whisper but filled with a hopeful plea of desperation. “Dad, if I ever run away, will you come and find me?”
Tears illuminated his red, swollen eyes and a quivering sigh escaped his lips as he swung his chair round and took Meg in his arms. He crushed his daughter to his broken heart. “Sweetheart, if you ever run away and you want me to find you, no matter how far or how long it takes I will find you, I’ll walk every road and sail every sea until you’re back in my arms, I will find you, I’ll always find you.”
She tightened her arms around him, there was no need to worry, no matter how much she wanted to run, to run until her feet were sore, until her legs could barely carry her, she would never hurt her father.
She was not her mother.

(331 Words)

Monday Mixer: Rogue

I’m jumping back into the Flash Fiction saddle with a Monday Mixer at The Latinum Vault. Write a piece in exactly 150 words using at least three of the nine prompts: a place, a thing and an adjective. Once more I’m going for Overachiever as I’ve used six of the prompt words. I also really wanted to use the word: crepuscular, but it just didn’t fit with the narrative!

I saw him coming, like a dervish on a racetrack, yelling and cursing, and I cowered behind the kirkyard’s plumes of pampas grass.
When he dropped beside me, panting hard, his sky-blue eyes met mine. He clapped his rough hand over my mouth, and I didn’t understand a word he uttered as he pulled me close.  His stubble chafed my cheek as I melted into his intoxicating scent of sweat and aftershave.
He peered beyond the razor-sharp leaves.
“Ye okay lassie?” he asked, “Sorry…” and then he was on his feet and gone.
Weak-kneed, I staggered from the hideaway and leaned against the cold, stone wall. When the Copper, truncheon raised, bowled round the corner, a smile played on my lips and sedition brewed in my heart. “That way!” I pointed, breathless.
Then I ran, the opposite way, after the Scottish rogue who’d woken a wild paroxysm in my soul.

(150 Words)