Letters to Luke

She has severe depression, relying on bands to get through the pain. He’s in a world famous punk-rock band, he’s her hero. She writes him letters to help cope with the hurt, hoping he’ll understand, hoping he’ll someday reply.

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2. Letter One - 15th of May 2014

Dear Luke,

My name’s Bridie, I’m 17, live in Hawke’s Bay NZ and I am a HUGE fan of your band. You don’t understand how much your music helps me on a daily basis. I suffer from severe clinical depression. I honestly don’t think I’m sane but the doctor says it’s not as bad as I think it is. He says it’s all in my head and I beginning to question his diploma or whatever qualification he has…

 

You probably get millions of letters and I honestly doubt you’ll ever see this but I feel so much… better? Is that the right word to use? It just feels like a weight has been lifted off my chest writing to you about my feelings and my life hoping you might actually care… unlike my therapist…

 

I think I’m going to start from the beginning. Hopefully I make enough sense for you to understand what it’s like for me.

I was born on the 31st of July 1996 to an average working class family in Auckland. Things were pretty ordinary until I was 13. We’d just moved to Dunedin when things went pear-shaped. Mum got transferred to the local hospital and dad wasn’t too happy to have left Auckland. He grew hostile and when he was in a bad mood he’d yell. He had to quit his job in Auckland and when we arrived in Dunedin he couldn’t find any work. Because he couldn’t find any work he turned to alcohol and drugs. Sometimes growing his own marijuana in the back shed where he’d spend most of his time.

 

It wasn’t until I was 13 when he started getting abusive. If you did something wrong there was no warning. You’d just get hit. Sometimes I thought even if I just breathed wrong he’d strike. I was terrified of him.

I’m the youngest child of 3. My older sisters took care of me when mum wasn’t there to protect me from dad. Mum never noticed the physical abuse us kids were getting until she noticed the bruises scattered across my body. She knew he drank, she knew he got high but he never knew he’d gone too far until she came home from work one night to find my oldest sister, Antonia battered and bruised lying face down on the ground. She wasn't breathing.

 

Two days after Antonia was found dad was in jail. Hopefully he’s stuck in there for life. It would have been better if he got sentenced to death. Over the next month, we planned a funeral, attended a funeral, mum filed for divorce, got divorced, and took full care of myself and Melanie aka the middle child. It was a pretty emotional month and no one in our family has been the same since.

 

So that’s how the depression started. After that I was terrified of all men I saw. I barely left my room let alone the house. I feel like it’s my fault that Antonia was killed. She always defended me whether I was in the wrong or not. I don’t sleep much. When I turn the lights off at night I lie there blaming myself. I don’t eat much; I don’t really see the point in food. I know it’s not good for me but I don’t seem to have an appetite anymore.

 

The therapist mum sends me to, is supposed to ‘help’ but after each session I feel worse. He’s supposed to help me feel better and he’s doing the opposite. He makes me feel guilty and after every session when mum picks me up I’m forced to lie to her in the car saying Dr David is helping me on my ‘road to recovery’. According to the therapist my condition is slowly improving. I think the only reason my condition is improving is because of you. You help me so much, your songs make me happy, and your stupid little videos make me laugh. So thank you Luke and thank you to Calum, Michael and Ashton as well. You’re my heroes and I wouldn't be here without you.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Bridie Kershaw x

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