Monday, July 10, 2006


Only a few days after the 7th last year I knew I would feel the need to be back in London to mark the anniversary, I just wasn’t sure how. However on the evening of the 6th I felt I should make my way to Kings Cross the following morning. So 3 of us who left our hostel the same morning a year ago made our way to Kings Cross, however this time we went from Angel as opposed to Barbican to avoid making an exact repeat journey. We decided to use the tube, perhaps it was a show of resolve, but it was probably most likely out of laziness. We had already commented how the Underground was bound to have undercover officers all over the network, I actually felt quite safe and I was impressed and pleased that everyone seemed to be commuting as normal.

There was a large police presence underneath Kings Cross, and I made my way up to the station the same route we were evacuated. We met other fellow passengers who also felt they should be here on this day and at 8.50 we said a few words to remember those who never completed their journey and had a quiet moment of reflection. After spending a short time at St Pancras church where some of the other passengers laid flowers we broke away and continued with our day.

We then spent the day on Oxford , Regent and Carnaby Street, only stopping to mark the 2 mins silence by standing at Oxford Circus. My phone was going off all day as I received texts from friends wishing me well, bad things bring out kindness in people.

In the evening we met up with others in Islington and headed over to Soho. Obviously I knew the way, so I led us to Piccadilly Circus via Kings Cross. We had to run for the Piccadilly Line connection which meant I had no choice of carriage/ position/ not standing next to a someone with a stupidly massive rucksack, and we ended up in the middle of the first carriage. Once on the train I pointed at the floor and gestured that it was here where it happened and I pointed out the eastbound tunnel junction out the window on the right hand side (you see the wall disappear), the exact point where it happened.

I was ok until 11.30pm when I completely broke down in a bar in Soho, the day had finally caught up with me. All the pretending that it was “just another day” and trying to distract myself was futile. I have been the same all weekend, before, I was able to speak about it without feeling anything, now every time I do so I want to cry. It is the sheer violence and senseless waste of life which is hitting me.

I came home to find many kind messages left for me on here. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. Once again, this has shown me that bad things bring out kindness in people.

Monday, July 03, 2006

It's hit me.

I can’t sleep, partly because it is just too hot, but partly because I think the “anniversary affect” has finally hit me.

Damn! I thought it was going to bypass me.

It’s not just the anniversary which has brought things back to me, tomorrow I have my 5th counselling session and last week was the toughest yet. The first few sessions I just skirted the subject and talked about what I wanted from counselling and what periods I found the hardest over the last year. But last week I finally talked about IT. I stopped speaking about it months ago, at which point it became a script of an event that had happened to someone, not necessarily me, and only an outline of images, sounds and smells. When I talk about it with my counsellor she asks me what I saw, what I was thinking and my emotion at that moment, because I haven’t spoken about it for so long I have to engage with it, think about it and put myself back there. I have to mentally go back and forth to reassemble it all and put it back into place. It’s not easy, nobody has ever asked me what it felt like to be there, but now I am forcing myself to remember.

The emotional part has been the stumbling block for me, and is still proving the hardest part to overcome. For the past year I have done things which would have made me happy before last July, but I don’t feel happy doing them. And some sad and tragic things have happened also, yet I don’t feel sad. I have spent 12 months for the most part feeling just average, never high, never low and I’m slowly breaking this barrier down.

I know that later today I will sit in a room and talk mostly about how I waited to die on a near pitch black train for 40 min’s almost exactly a year ago. My counsellor remarked: “that’s a long time to wait to die”. Yes, it is. It is that feeling that I was convinced I was going to perish there and then, no question, which made me want to vomit on a train last week. Suddenly I feel this emotion at the strangest of times, but at least I am feeling something for a change! When it happened I thought I was dead, it went black, silent and everything stopped, for a few seconds I was knocked out. When I realised I wasn’t dead, but instead in a train filling with smoke from a fireball which was about to consume us, I waited to be burned alive. When I realised it wasn’t a fire I waited to suffocate, and when I realised I wouldn’t suffocate I still thought I would be maimed or killed by another train as it sped down the tunnel. Either way I was convinced I would never see daylight again.

I did, however, and I know I’m lucky. But I feel so guilty, guilty that I not only walked off that train without helping anyone, but stood there for 40 minutes only metres from people who needed help, yet I did nothing, I couldn’t see them. I feel guilty I am not making the most of life, and am still wallowing in all this, when people don‘t have the opportunity. I feel guilty for moaning about how I feel, and how I’m struggling, so many people came off worse, so many people lost loved ones. And not only in London last year, but anywhere this happens, and keeps happening.

I have just caught a repeat of Live8, the weather is hot and muggy and on Thursday I catch the train into London to go to the same exhibition I was exhibiting at last year, with the same friends and staying in the same student halls. It feels strange. I will be in London for the anniversary, but will do little to mark it, I’m not sure what I want to do on that day, if anything. I wish it was just another day… but it wont be… whatever I do that day I know my thoughts will only be on one thing.