Sunday, 24 April 2016

Two Sacred Scars.

Just went into a service station and the sight of the killer python lollies on the counter made me completely lose it. Walked back and got into the car very silent but I told my friend Anna who was driving that I had to tell her something. She’s the kind of person I can have a breakdown in front of and sob loudly about killer pythons and she didn’t bat an eyelid. Just listened, driving her big white van back up the mountain.

“Well it’s just .. this kind of shit happens all the time and I usually hold it in. But I just saw the killer pythons on the counter when I was paying for my water and nearly every time me and the boys would go to Civic Video we’d always get a killer python each because we love them and that will never happen again Anna. I will never go to a video shop with my boys and buy killer pythons together ever ever again because everything’s all changed and got fucked up and it just hurts SO BAD. It hurts so bad!” 

Sat in her car weeping like a willow, weeping and weeping and it wasn’t about the killer pythons. It had nothing to do with the killer pythons really it’s just that a particular era of my mothering has unceremoniously finished and it burns. So bad. And yesterday was changeover day so I come back to an empty place and even though I’m minding a cockatiel at the moment I have this empty nest that I never prepared for.

The last few years .. the fuck just happened? I crumble without my boys I crumble a LOT but mostly about my boys. My boys are not mine, we don’t own our children but I’ve got two caesarean scars on my lower stomach. Two - one for each son. The other night I was telling Rocco about the two scars, how the doctor wouldn’t cut over Max’s scar so when I had Rocco they cut me a new scar.

“I got my own scar?” 
“Yes.” 
“Is it on top of Max’s?” 
“Yes.” 
FISTPUMP. 
“MY SCAR WINS!!” 

Tattoos are scars. I got plenty of tatts and they all mean something but nothing ever comes close to these two scars. It’s amazing how little they are. (Literally just measured them with a ruler - nine centimetres long.)

Anna said all the right things for me to calm down. Helped me look at things just that little bit differently. I don’t have many friends I can cry about killer pythons to. Can’t remember what words she used but they were all wise and true and soothing. In the end she said that one day she’ll probably be wailing about the Kinder surprises she buys her son and we laughed so hard. I’m not Robinson Fucken Crusoe with my feelings. There is a time for pythons, a time for Kinder toys, and a time to let life take its course even when things don’t go the way you thought.

I’m home now, writing this and the cocktail keeps singing the Darth Vader tune over and over so I just told him to shut the fuck up. I’m a monster.

Woke up at 7am this morning and got up to greet the day. Went back to bed at 7.10am this morning with the day ungreeten. You know how mornings are hard, days are hard, nights are hard, and all the hard in-between? #hard

Anna text me at 11am to see if I was still coming and I said fine but I haven’t had a shower. She told me to put some comfy clothes on and just get my arse to her place. Which I did and then we drove to Cabramatta.

I thought I would never go back to Cabra ever again. It had a bad name in the nineties but it doesn’t anymore, I was tagging along with Anna because she gets all her fresh produce there. She cooks THE BEST ASIAN FOOD and has a long-standing love affair with Vietnam.

Let’s go to Vietnam together, I say. Of course, she says. 

My whole day turned around. People and colour and smells and crazy little shops and the FOOD. But mostly I was hanging with strong decent women with good values and hearts and that shit rubs off like osmosis.

We had Vietnamese coffee. Anna just ordered it willy nilly and I joked that it would be iced - she said it was iced. I’ve never had nor desired an ice coffee in my life until today. I’m open to new things. We only live seventeen thousand four hundred and fifty three times so we may as well grab life by the balls while we still can amirite?

Kylie, Anna, and 'Ole Sad-Eyes. Drinking and enjoying a fucking iced coffee.

I got really excited and wanted to experience everything and buy everything and explore everything. For example this knife - I almost bought this knife simply because it was the biggest Uncle Chop-Chop knife I’ve ever seen in my life oh it felt powerful to hold.


Didn’t buy it. I sleep with a handmade machete I bought in Niger a few years back. I bought two - one for each of my caesarean scars to give to them when they’re 18. Rocco always plays with his when he comes over.

So I greeted the day after all, at about 4pm. Least it got eventually gret. Some days I never greet the day. Operate on autopilot, doing things, pine for dusk.

All I bought today was some kitchen wipes, bobby pins, a packet of cotton buds, and three pairs of mens socks for a dollar each.

Today I did not do what my head kept telling me to do which was to stay in bed and cry and be morose and hide. I hide a lot. Grocery shopping can be terrifying. I happen to unfortunately have a head that wants to kill me, keep me isolated, tell me lies, and frankly is just out to get me.

For some reason I thought of my brother Cam a lot today and wondered what his birthday is going to feel like this year. And his suicidaversary .. will that just gradually ease as time moves on? Only time will tell even though I don’t believe in time. I believe in Jesus and have been praying a lot lately, usually prayers of “please” or “help” or “thank you.” Lately I’m a one-word pray person. God’s cool with that. Rocco looked at my framed Jesus picture on the wall and asked why Jesus had a hamburger heart? I said mate that’s His sacred heart.

“Looks like a burger to me.”

Laughed so much I cried. Cam would have laughed too. Cam had the best laugh. I miss it.  I miss so many things!

Found a photo of my grandmother and put it on my fridge. Spoke to her too .. speaking to a lot of dead people lately which is good it must mean my belief is coming back. Today in Cabramatta for a few hours I forgot all about dead brothers and missing sons and time and family break-ups and angry burger hearts. I just found joy in weird fruit.


“Anna, do custard apples taste like custard? Anna all of the shoes in the shoe shop are too small. Anna I DON’T DO iced coffees! Anna is this real chill or sweet chilli because I fucken hate sweet chilli ANNA THESE ARE THE BEST WONTONS IN THE WORLD CAN I COME BACK WITH YOU NEXT WEEK."


It started raining so we left. I took a photo of my starsign in the fish shop near the car park. Then we drove back up the mountains, stopping only for petrol and killer python breakdowns. Got through it, you guys. I didn’t do anything bad or wrong or fucked up or vicious, just did the day. Which also gives me a fighting chance of being able to do tomorrow too which means you can too but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’m alone tonight. Except for a noisy cockatiel. I have the fire on. My boys might not ever come to the video shop with me again maybe I can deal with that. (Actually my fines are about $150 so I’ll never go there again anyway what am I complaining about.)

Max and Rocco came from my belly I got the scars to prove it. I got scars everywhere, we all do. And you can’t put a scar on a scar. A scar isn’t just for christmas, it’s for life. I can choose to pick the killer python scars and make them bleed or I can accept them, maybe let them go. What other choice do I have - kill myself? OH I DON'T THINK SO.

Letting go.

Letting go just means deciding what to hold on to.


::

(I've another two posts coming up ready to go. They're Too Big. Which means they're perfect. Thank you .. for reading. And giving. Thank you so much.)







Friday, 15 April 2016

There Was Blood On My Face.

I’m onstage knees weak arms are heavy, struck by having absolutely nothing to say.

I can’t think of anything inspirational or incredible at all so I may as well tell you the Shaggy Dog Toothbrush story. One day when I was in year two at St Cecilia’s Primary School Balgowlah the teacher Mrs Walsh casually announced to us that the next day a dentist would be visiting each classroom to talk about teeth and oral hygiene.

Class, please bring in all of your toothbrushes because he’s going to inspect them. And there better not be any shaggy dogs!” We filed out of class and I felt this sinking feeling. As soon as I got home I went to the bathroom and sure enough, I picked up my toothbrush and it was a shaggy dog. The bristles were like the parting on the back of an Old English Sheep Dog.

I HAD A SHAGGY DOG TOOTHBRUSH AND A DENTIST WAS GOING TO INSPECT IT TOMORROW IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE CLASS AND I WAS GOING TO GET INTO SO MUCH TROUBLE EVERYBODY WOULD PROBABLY LAUGH AND MRS WALSH WOULD BE FURIOUS.

The whole afternoon and night it consumed me. Wracked with worry and fear and utter dread. I went to bed and just lay there petrified looking up at the ceiling. I had a shaggy dog toothbrush. It was the worst thing in the entire world. I hardly slept, got up the next morning, shamefully put my shaggy dog in my schoolbag and off I went. That morning was excruciating. Finally after recess the dentist walked into our classroom. He spoke for a while but I didn’t hear anything. He told us to all line up with our toothbrushes.

Oh my god. I stood in line, hearing him check out the other kids brushes. “Fine. Yes. Very good.” Then it was my turn and I could do nothing but hold up my toothbrush to him. Waiting for the onslaught. “Oh, looks like somebody needs a new toothbrush.” Very kindly, the dentist gave me a new one out of his dentist bag, smiled at me, and I walked off. Clutcing a new goddamn toothbrush. The sky did not fall. Everything was ok, nobody laughed and I didn’t get in trouble. I’ll never forget this shaggy dog story .. many times I've wondered why I didn’t just NOT take my toothbrush to school, tell the dentist I forgot.

Years later I was reading this little set of board books to Max when he was about four years old. “Angry” “Sad” “Scared” “Happy.” These little books blew my mind. I was an adult learning about feelings at the exact same time my young sons was learning about feelings? I’d gone all these years without really thinking about what I was feeling and why. Kind of important.

Maybe long division and calculus and a bit of the boring bits of geography can be pushed aside in schools and replaced with things like family dynamics, mental health, learning about money .. and strong feelings? I’ve had vicious anxiety my entire life. Crippling, mainly first thing in the morning when I wake up. At the moment it is quite annihilating and debilitating. I don’t leave my house much. I do meetings and go to doctors appointments and the mechanics but scurry home to coffee sachets and mindless episodes of Supernatural. Currently reading a book called “Chicken Soup For The Womens Soul.” Struggling to do my washing and when I do make it to the supermarket I scurry down aisles so fast throwing easy meals in my basket so quick. Self-service check-outs are perfect for terrified introverts. Sometimes I do the old trick of pretending to be on my phone - it’s always best to turn it off first so it doesn’t randomly ring in my ear.

It’s hard to even answer the phone. I’m on a retreat inside myself. It happens from time-to-time. I’ll come up for air soon. Always do. I feel terrified and overwhelmed with sorrow. Not grief - I asked my mum if she’d like me to send my brothers wallet to her. I don’t want it anymore. I might give it to her in person instead, it’s kind of hard to look at Cam's cards in there because most of them are still valid. His drivers license expires on Rocco’s eighth birthday.

All of my focus and attention and energy are being geared towards my boys.

I knew separation and living apart from my children would be hard but I never expected this. It’s horrendous and the reason why I run through supermarkets is because I used to push a trolley around and fill it to the brim of groceries for a large family. It burns. I wear sunglasses to hide my sad.

So. All of these feelings and undercurrents and doubts and I am FUCKED. UP. Religiously taking my meds. If I don’t take something to help me sleep I just do not sleep. I ran out of anti-depressants last week and haven’t refilled them yet so I’ll talk to the Professor of the Black Dog next week about it. Getting all the help does not mean we are magically cured. Shit’s still hard.



I need to say thank you, a huge deep thank you to every single person who donated through my PayPal button. I cried. And cried, at the generosity and the BELIEF you have in me .. makes me believe in me. Cannot thank you enough. I was able to pay a months rent, my gas bill, my overdue phone bill, and register my car. Thank you so so so much. Writing is the only thing I’ve done consistently all these years and it helps and heals me and I can always tell when I’ve written an inappropriate post because I wake up in the morning thinking “EDEN YOU CANNOT WRITE SHIT LIKE THAT.” But I have and I did and there it is. And the comments and love and emails I receive mean that I am not alone which means you are not alone.

So this blog entry was about how I can’t write a blog entry because I’m paralysed by merely existing. I’m trying so hard to finally love and give myself some respect for the first time in my life. In the face of a lot of turned backs. Mostly my fault, possibly probably who knows. My friend tells me to do the next right thing, go for walks, eat well. And when I do those things my god - who knew?! I have a group of beautiful friends. I turned to my friend Elizabeth the other day and said hey guess what - I just realised that the logo for Target is actually a target! She laughed so hard. It’s good to laugh. I like admitting things I don’t know like that time I was on a boat in some river in Uganda and somebody said the Nile and I was all OMG ARE WE ON THE RIVER NILE? And all the German tourists looked at me like, wow. Didn’t care. Just put my hand in the water and trickled it down my head and turned to my friend Lou: “Just baptised myself in the River Nile.” She didn’t bat an eyelid. So. there you have it. I promised Big Writing here and I don’t quite feel I’m up to form today so guess what I just found something I wrote last December. I’ve started writing a memoir so many times .. there’s random beginnings in my computer all over the place. And you don’t even have to start at the beginning, some of the best stories start at the end and make their way backwards. No rules, man.

In conclusion I’m an emotional wreck but I refuse to crumble like a sack of shit; I’ve been meeting up with rich and beautiful women like my friend Carla and her friend Tess and Anna gave me frozen dinners and my friend Darren happened to be in Katoomba and this amazing serendipitous thing happened. My neighbour Jeff and I have our last photoshoot soon for the Head On Festival .. as soon as we find someone to make me some antlers.

Here's a piece I wrote about the first night of entering the worst rehab facility ever last June. It’s only a few paragraphs, all entirely true. Thank you again. for believing in me. Thank you for helping me feel like I’m worth something. You’re worth a hell of a lot too .. it’s so hard for some of us to accept that. See you soon, Computer. I love you .. I honestly love you.

::

There was blood all over my face. Which isn’t that shocking when you think about it because most of us get born with somebody else’s blood on our faces. Kicking and screaming oh god NO not this world! Put me back deep inside my mother where it’s dark and safe. 

I did not order this light at the end of the tunnel. 

Some of us die with blood on our faces but that’s not the point. The point here is that there was blood accidentally all over my face. Dark crimson. My own blood.  Unexpectedly I had gotten my period. You’d think that at 43 years of age a woman knows when her period is due however I’m not great with clocks and numbers and times. I’m a more moon whimsy messy warrior type of female. A warrior - YES. That’s it. I had blood all over my face because I was a warrior. Does that not make perfect sense? Is perfect sense like perfect science? Why do women bleed, Iggy. 

As I’d pulled down my underpants my fingers slipped and menstrual blood flicked upwards straight onto my face. So shocked I didn’t even wipe it away, turning around to the mirror. It was like a perfect axe wound, a literal bloodline placed across from my forehead right down to my top lip. Diagonally. It looked like I’d been in battle … which in essence I had because I was standing in a small bathroom which smelt of damp in one of Australia's alleged top psychiatric facilities. It had taken my whole life to lead up until this very moment. 

Do you ever think that when something happens? You’re standing holding a vomiting child in a carpark or you start weeping in the movies because of one sentence one character says or you’re in the middle of a sex act that goes desperately wrong and you just think, “Wow. It’s taken my whole life to lead to this very moment.” A nurse suddenly burst into the unlocked bathroom because as a brand new patient I was on Category Three which meant constant surveillance and as I turned from the mirror to the nurse I had a a strong desire to turn back to the mirror again because MAN did I look fucking cool with deep red warrior blood diagonally across my face. The nurse didn’t know what to do and in retrospect, neither did I. I can’t recall her name but it was of a flower … Poppy? Marigold? Daisy? 

She just gasped out loud, a real gasp and stood as frozen as me and all she had to say was: 

“Oh Eden. What have you done?” 

 I was already thinking the very same thing since I’d arrived about half an hour before. 

Oh Eden .. what have you done? What have you done?









Friday, 8 April 2016

There's More Than One Way To Lose Your Virginity.

                                              Image: Jeff Davies Photographer

As a young girl I used to roller skate around my street in red and white boot lace-ups oh they were so cool. After school I zoomed so fast furiously and dangerously around corners, down hills in front of cars. I'd skate from house to house, opening mailboxes, knocking on doors, making dogs bark, swearing at the local boys.

I've always been strange.

Once I swallowed a little gold cross that my grandmother gave me for my First Holy Communion and for a few days I felt so incredibly special and holy because JESUS WAS IN ME. Then - well, nature took its course. I won't say what I did exactly but I ended up soaking that gold cross in laundry detergent and putting it back on my chain. In church I'd sit uncomfortably with God's eyes upon me because He knew a gold cross had passed through my whole body. Which is quite weird and disgusting.

I was a weird and disgusting, odd little girl. When I was little I'd tell myself over and over to never, ever forget what it was like to be a kid. A plea to my future self - "Don't ever forget what it feels like to be young!" Why would I tell myself that, over and over? (I never did forget.)

And so .. here's this website called Edenland I've been writing on for ten years. I've written some pearlers on here you guys. Things I'm probably not supposed to write but I did anyway, faced down my shame, owned my stories by telling them.

Presently living in a flat in Katoomba Street right near the police station which keeps me honest AND safe. I'm scrambling emotionally, legally, financially, mentally. Somebody who was once very close to me told me that the one thing he was amazed about me was that I keep getting back up. It was a huge and rare compliment.

I'm working on myself every day. Start with a new counsellor soon. I don't write here how I howl on my haunches on the kitchen floor for at least an hour at a time. Road's been tough, especially this past year oh glory. And I've mostly swallowed it all and risen above but it's hard.

Demons and angels. Rising and falling down. All of it, out to play. I get strange looks whenever I walk around town, in Sydney too. So, maybe I'm ready for this next bit. I have nothing to hide and my story isn't finished. I'm writing like I've got nothing to lose because I've got nothing left to lose.

A few times I've attempted to make money on this website. I even had an agent for a bit EARN MILLIONS BLOGGING ASK ME HOW. It failed dismally because I write about mental health, breakdowns, the deaths, the suicide of my brother, the pain of recovery, a messy divorce, mothering my boys through a horrendous family breakdown.

For the next little bit - maybe a month, maybe more .. every blog post entry you read here will be set on fire. Written the hell out of, carefully crafted, sometimes shocking, always true and real. The stuff we don't see on people's social media showreels. This'll be more like a showreal pass the popcorn and move over on the couch you guys - the HELL is going to happen next?

The next entries on Edenland are going to be unlike any other. A culmination. Perhaps the peak of my career? I guarantee it'll be the best writing I've ever done in my life. That's a big call. My self-loathing is disastrous but I *know* I can write. Feet fail me not. Are you in? Are you ready? Keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Such writing includes but is not limited to:

Losing my virginity at nineteen years old. Six moths later I was working in my first brothel.

Taking red wine in a plastic drink bottle to primary school and charge my friends for sips.

Last year between the months of February and May I lost my mind and soul. I was getting blackmailed. Pure evil. Never been so close to death before.

One week I was at Kirribilli House interviewing the Prime Minister than I interviewed a prostitute called Honey in Kings Cross then I appeared on The Project that night and the week after all that I was in the local nuthouse section of the hospital Eden what is *wrong* with you?!

Once when I was about ten years old I took my tan-coloured doona cover off my bed, washed it in the washing machine, hung it on the pool fence and when I walked outside to get it off IT WAS BRIGHT BLUE. It was blue. It was beautiful.

The reason I stick up for people who can't stick up themselves and do charity work for World Vision and give homeless people money is because I was relentlessly and systematically bullied throughout my childhood all the way through to adulthood. I'm no saint, but I am the family scapegoat. My brother Cam was too. He's dead now. Lucky I'm an escapegoat too.

Domestic violence has been present my whole life. It's confusing, am I not a tough tough woman who takes no shit?

You know how you get through? By acknowledging things are ungetthroughable. Doesn't make sense.

I've saved my best stories for last. For you, always for you! My writing chops are hungry and I don't have time to sign up to a book deal I need to do it now. It's urgent and imperative and about time. I forgot that I always used to write Big.  I'm writing Big, again. A memoir, written in real-time. Are you in? Ready to step into this?

Because here's where a kind of barter system comes in. I've given myself away here for free for so many years now. Connecting with you has been the best and biggest reward. I fail at most all other things in life but I dig writing because I dig up the right words to write with. Hammering vowels and consonants out on an anvil of wordsmithery.

So, I need a big favour ... up goes a PayPal button. In my sidebar and at the end of every upcoming blog post. Ugh do you hate me now? I'm so sorry. I'm not doing this lightly I kind of need to do this. I hope it doesn't offend people and I hope you understand as I don't ask this lightly. Coercion, things are uncertain. I need to pay my rent so I have a place for my boys to stay.

I am working at jobs in real life but I need things like food, electricity, gas, medications. The odd coffee sachet. In Cheryl Strayed's words, I am about to "Write like a motherfucker." It's going to be relieving and revealing and cathartic and embarrassing and I'll go way too far YOU CANNOT WRITE THAT EDEN. But for the next few months I will write Big for whoever needs to read it. If anything it will be fascinating as I'll be completely transparent. It's like a writing experiment. To write, hopefully earn enough to keep writing and also keep a roof over my head until I am financially stable enough to do it on my own. Then at the end I can cement them all together into an e-book or something.

So there it is. Mortifying, really. Also fascinating? I've got no goods or services to offer you ... just my words, my heart, my truth and my life. Lately I've had to try to convince others that I'm worth something but you can't convince goddamn anyone of your worth. We have to believe it ourselves. I  like to think I'm worth something.

For a taste, a teaser in no particular order ..  here's some writing I've prepared earlier which I've written the hell out of. Dangerous writing, man. The best kind.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD?
Talking to invisible people in New York City.

GOD IS A BLOGGER
The original and the best.

WE ARE ALL MADE OF STARS
One of my favourite ever blog posts. I've never forgotten this guy. And I still can't believe I didn't piss my pants all over my car.

THE FORCE OF WHAT'S ATTACKING US
Haters on the internet .. one of my favourite posts.

EVERY LITTLE THING
I was chosen to read this blog post out at BlogHer in the USA. I'm so tricking proud of what we did. (Hey Vee xxx)

HOW TO BLOG
This post is - funnily enough, on how to blog.

THE WOMEN AND THE COLOURS
Incredible women I met when I went to India for World Vision.

CAMBO. MY LITTLE BAM-BAM.
The first time I ever wrote about my brother online. It was hard to write about him knowing how depressed and suicidal he was. Now he's gone, taken by depression and suicide.

I AM MUMMYBLOGGER
Call me mummyblogger again, I double-dare ya.

THE 360 DEGREES OF A CIRCLE
When my mum Sue and I went to the U2 concert together.


AWAKE AT A WAKE
Why we should all live as if we've just been to a funeral.

IF ONE WOMAN WERE TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT HER LIFE .. THE WORLD WOULD SPLIT OPEN.
Setting myself on fire every day.

NATHAN.
I still think of him.

TEN LATE NEWS. AND CATMAN.
The ongoing-saga of my relationship with Julia Gillard.

DRIVE
My husband had never met his father. So I found him and they met.

HOW TO LIVE
(Yeah because I'm a total expert on this.)

THIS IS THE ONLY BLOG POST I CAME TO INDIA TO WRITE
A World Vision.

THE LESSON OF JOE HOCKEY AND THE TELL-ALL RECEPTIONIST
This is actually an article on the Financial Review about a blog post I wrote about how Joe Hockey pissed me off when I was a receptionist. Lol.

TELL ME YOUR FUNERAL SONG
No seriously, tell me your funeral song.

BROTHERHOOD
My boys. My boys.

So there's some light reading. And here's a PayPal button if you happen to like what I write. And if you are interested to see what I write next .. because I got some doozies. Come - it's going to be an awfully big adventure. xx





Friday, 1 April 2016

Parable Of The Stupid Fucking Whitegoods.

I broke my tooth on a fucking vanilla slice. Walking up Katoomba Street with a hundred cares in the world and CRUNCH. I felt something hard in my smooth smooth vanilla slice, spat it out and thought jeez, that bit of hard icing looks exactly like a piece of my tooth! And I threw it in the gutter and kept eating and when I was almost at the top of Katoomba Street something was very, very wrong. Half of my bottom left tooth next to my vampire incisor was GONE. Do I go back and fish it out of the gutter?

No. Keep walking. You've spent enough time in the gutter. 

It's fixed now. But tender. Will always be half broken, underneath.

Anyway boring check this out:




One washing machine, front loader, hardly used. I had it in storage last year for six months with the rest of my furniture. Unfortunately when it was put into storage it still had a load of washed clothes in it - you know how you forget about clothes in the machine and you put more powder in and wash it again and then forget then put more powder in and wash it again and then forget? No? Well basically I forgot about the washed load of clothes in there and when I remembered I thought jesus fuck I've got a clothes donut going on in there. WHY AM I SO UNORGANISED. WHO DOES THIS SHIT?

Anyway fast-forward the washing machine has sat in my current flat for three months. Broken - it stopped working. My brother Cam bought this washing machine the same year he died and rang me up proudly and said, "Eed - whitegoods. I bought whitegoods!" Told him I was so impressed at his commitment and the whitewoods meant he was going to stay in the world. "Yep!"

For anybody who rolled their eyes and thought oh here she goes again talking about her brother .. yes. I'm going to talk about my brother. But not in the usual wailing, inherently agonising vicious helpless victimy grief. Differently. It got different.

Cam is fading from my memory. The pain of his life and suicide is abating. I don't see him in every stranger on the street. I don't sit for an hour straight crying red raw until there's no more tears. He doesn't consume my entire being anymore. This is not called getting over it because there's no such thing after we lose a truly loved person. But I am getting on with it. Getting through it. Shifting. I didn't expect to feel like this ever. But it's true ... life goes on. Who knew? Not the fuck me. This time last year I was in the middle of a horrendous drug-fuelled breakdown which I thought I'd never survive. Didn't want to and I almost didn't. I let evil into my life and I got taken advantage of and I'd walk Sydney streets at 2am sometimes, barefoot and crying, looking for my brother.

Hey so guess what I never found him, and I never joined him. So now I'm back again. Slowly - after a few hiccups .. the rest of my life has come into focus so strongly over the past month it's excruciating to see the damaged turbulence I've brought to my kids lives - all of my kids. And their dad. And my mum. And my confused friends who still continue to care regardless. (Megan and Mary. One day I will pay you back your love and energy in big fierce ways.)

My kids, man. My kids. I entered treatment. For my kids. I went on mental health meds .. for my kids. So hard and so quickly I had to FIX EVERYTHING STRAIGHT AWAY. 

Impossible. Cut a long story short I got rid of that stupid fucking washing machine that I've clung on to like a klingon because Cam bought it and Cam Cam here and a Cam Cam there. Everything a Cam Cam. (Sometimes I write his name but it comes out as "Can" and I think, no, he couldn't.)

I talk about him less. I don't love him less, though I've been really quite angry, sometimes. Life's hard for everyone, CAM. Why did you give me all those fucking instructions in your stupid long suicide note upon which you referenced your own fathers suicide note? Like a suicide note inception. I became obsessed with suicide notes - googled them, looked for books on them, watched slam poems about them. For the most part of my life since 15th October 2013 it's been all here's a suicide, there's a suicide, everything's a suicide.

I'm sitting in the library writing this and laughing out loud and replacing nursery rhymes with the word suicide why? Because it's not funny. Most dark things aren't funny but if we don't laugh at the black black what are we gonna do? Lose our minds and kids too busy walking Sydney streets barefoot? Now I'm laughing at me laughing out loud at the word-suicide replacement situation. It's not fucking funny Eden what is wrong with you?!

A lot. There's a lot wrong with me. I wake up in balls of anxiety and my heart pumps out of my chest before I even put my feet on the wooden floorboards in my bedroom in the flat where I live alone. Lonely. Lonesome. Not relying on anybody else for comfort just me in my room painted lilac, whispering to myself that I'm ok I'll get through this I'm ok push forward you're a tough cunt come on. I'm reaching out because I wasn't waving I was drowning. (Anna Messyfish .. thank you.)

Anyway so I took a photo of Cam's washing machine and put it up on an internet garage sale, said it was broken but if someone came and picked it up I'm sure it can be fixed have it for free just take it off my hands. Can't handle it. In a few hours this guy arrived to pick it up. He ran his hands all the way over the copper pipes until he came to some taps and he turned them on and by jingo by crikey the washing machine worked. He immediately told me to keep it. I said no .. take it. His wife had emailed me that their washing machine was so old and leaky and the guy was a hard-working tradie and I told him to take it. And I threw in the bar fridge too because I have no use for it I also have no finances which is why I started selling my stuff but then I ended up giving my shit away because other people needed it more than I did.

This guy thanked me so much. I don't talk about Cam anymore but I relented. "Look, this machine was bought by my brother. He died, it's hardly been used ... but I just need to give it away, you know? It's time to let go of things."

And the guy knew what I meant because he was 48 and when you get to that age you've gone through life and felt a thing or too. Unless you numb it. Which never works .. it never works it gets worse. 

So he's wheeling the fucker out and then on the floor underneath the annoyingly symbolic whitegoods that my brother bought because he was going to stay in the world .. on the floor was a photo of me and Cam. That photo I've posted here a few times but I just can't be bothered looking for it and post it again. (Wow.) It's the pic of me and him sitting on the chair in my kitchen in my family home that's now rented out to strangers. It's the pic I cropped his pimple out of, the pic I took AFTER we'd been talking for four hours non-stop and there it is .. the light in his eyes. Often - most times - I'd talk to him until the light came back in his eyes.

I said to the guy oh hey there's a photo of my brother there. You get Cameron's washing machine .. it'll bide you well.

And he left and I didn't cry in a heap. I didn't cry at all. In fact, I threw out Cam's egg flip. Straight into the otto bin, cast asunder. Fuck that flip ... and it was a great flip, really big could flip big things but every time I used it I thought of him and I'm thinking egg flips hold energy because it was a total bummer, standing alone in my flat cooking using my brothers stupid fucking flip. Not that I cook much these days. I used to cook roast dinners and lamb shank pies and slow-cooked casseroles and Norms chicken schnitty with mashed potato and I never peeled the potatoes beforehand. I mashed the potatoes skin on and said I read somewhere that potato skins were really healthy but probably in the real reality I was cutting a corner. Maybe I was cooking a batch of lemon puddings for dessert I used to cook. I'd sometimes vacuum crumbs off the bread board which is quite disgusting when you think about it but for many years for a whole family I would cook!

Last week I sat on the back verandah thingo with my neighbour Jeff. I was eating cold numberghetti out of a can. "Living the dream, Jeff. Living the fucking dream."

I better end this post soon. I vaguely remember what's in my previous blog post and I stand by all the things I wrote in it and have full intention doing but MAN if anybody wants to know what manic mania a manic-depressive has, check out the grandiosity of my last blog post. Actually don't ugh. I finally realised the trifecta of writing a successful blog:

1) Write well.
2) Keep shit interesting.
3) Be a legitimate utterly batshit crazy nutbag. Mental illness, man. Bloggers with mental illness get all the hits. Us crazies make other crazies feel normal and the normal people feel better about their lives. You're welcome.

So in conclusion, I wanted to bookmark and remember and document the giving away of the washing machine. I never, ever thought I'd be able to get over or live with the pain of my brothers death. And for a while there I took the easy option and I didn't. I screamed at someone in frustration, months ago: "I HATE WHAT CAMS DEATH HAS STOLEN FROM ME."

His death stole me. But I didn't die. Still haven't. The human will to survive is strong as fuck and suicide goes against all of the cells in our body but these people who do it - continually, tragically?

They don't die from suicide. They die from despair, they die from loneliness, worthlessness, they die from the acute pain of simply existing. You don't see "depression" listed as cause of death on the cheery certificates. You know what the very main thing I think should be written as the cause of death instead of the word suicide?

"Disconnection. This person died from the inherent, unfixable, and unwavering waves of feeling disconnected from humanity."

They died from feeling alone, unfixable, broken and useless. In short, they died from feeling. 

Feel. Say it five times. Weird fucken word. Every single person who asks me how I am gets an honest answer from me because fuck pretense.

"Hi Eden how are you?"
"Fucked UP. But I guess ok right here in this moment looking at you answering your question. How are you?"

It usually catches people offguard and they laugh with a glimmer of confusion but then they go on to tell me how they feel because I unashamedly just told them how I was feeling and I guess when you do that it relaxes people, makes us feel more at ease.

Feel. If you can't feel your pain you won't reach your joy blah - I know that because I've FELT true joy in my life. It's been a long, long time since I felt joy. Probably seven years. But I've felt it. And I want to feel it again. So to get to the point: the suicide of my brother didn't destroy me. My life has been fucked up. I am still here .. feeling. I want to feel goddamn joy again. I want to be a bit happy and content and able to live in my own skin. I want to keep going because it's basically hilarious that I'm still alive but I'm still alive and I want to be ALIVE, you know? Courtney's album after Kurt died was called Live Through This. I picked up my bro's aftershave last week and took a big long whiff. And then I put it back in the kitchen cupboard because where else do I keep it but next to the numberghetti. And I didn't cry. Walked off to do something and caught myself thinking wow, I didn't cry.

I want to do more than live through this .. I want to live the FUCK out this, now. To be there properly for my kids if they ever need me. All of them. That may take years but I want to be there. Proper. And motherfuck just because my particular brand of crazy goes hand-in-hand with alcohol and drug use to cope with the feelings ... well, it just doesn't work out well. It's horrendous and soul-destroying and embarrassing to talk about but there are so many people struggling with this stuff. I'm not the only one. Because we're goddamn connected.

I made up this new mantra in my head and have been saying it over and over in my head.

Let it in
Let it feel
Let it hurt
And let it go. 

Pretty sure I made it up. Unless I ripped it off from someone.

I want to fly to a country I've never been and not even book accommodation just LAND there and feel my way around with feelers not blinkers. I'm the kind of person who vacuums breadboards. I give away washing machines and lose my mind but every time I've lost it I get it back again. More worn but more wiser than before.

Ugh what the fuck have I written I have no idea and no time to go back and edit it. Frankly I don't want to read it. But you did, right to the very end. You read the whole thing. So now you have to do me a solid. Just tell me how you're feeling. I triple dog dare you. Let's all be risky and curious. I'll start: I feel relieved and purged after writing this. I feel proud about my brothers washing machine. I feel ashamed about what I have done and who I have hurt. I feel hopeful because I'm not dead yet.

Your go.

(PS I haven't thrown out Cam's chopsticks yet. A whole packet of them - unopened. Easy does it.)


Thursday, 24 March 2016

INDISPUTABLE.

Look. I don't think I'm supposed to write the following words but what does "supposed to" mean anyway? Surely we've all learned by now that the most dangerous writing is often the best kind of writing?

Years ago I wrote that my glass isn't half empty or half full .... my glass is one of those tiny paper cups on a train to Central and it's leaking piss all over my jeans.

But that's not a very helpful way of looking at the world is it Eden ok let's look at the world again. And again. There's many ways of looking at the world. This whole thing is a strange and crazy ride and DAMMIT if I haven't spent the last five hours shaking with panic under my bedclothes. Under the clothes for my bed, lol. My bed needs socks. Perhaps some pantaloons.

Speaking of loons, guess who's got two thumbs and caught a taxi home today after spending the week in the mental health ward of the local hospital after admitting herself because of breakdown #2347?

It is I ... the loon!

Maybe it's ok to admit that. Maybe, perhaps, it's ok to admit that I struggle through life just like most other people struggling through life and if you aren't struggling through life then you better check yourself before you wreck yourself because in my book life = struggle. We're all crazy. If you think you're not then you're in denial.

"If you are a well-adjusted member of society .. then you are sick. Because we live in a sick society." - I have no idea who said this but I like it very much.

Today I saw a photo in the news of a little non-white boy with a sad look in his eyes. Stranded in a refugee holding area in Greece, holding up a hand-drawn note on a piece of paper that read: "Sorry about Brussels." As if he himself had bombed the train station and killed the people. He's sorry for something that he had nothing to do with. Maybe he was taking responsibility for something that he knew his ilk will be blamed for - you know, because of the non-whiteness.

Shit I headed off on a political tangent again sorry for not writing about bedclothes and matching pillowcases sorry for not being sorry.

Anyway so back to my brief sojourn in the nuthouse - the strangest thing happened. The one time I admit MYSELF because I was perturbed about a whole lot of affairs and a ripe anguished head ... well, the nurses and psychiatrists all agreed that I wasn't crazy or mad or currently experiencing bipolar or any other acute mental health symptoms.

There's a hospital discharge summary form in my handbag. I don't know how to break this radical news but ... apparently I've come down with a raging case of being human. 

"Eden was admitted as a voluntary patient seeking support with thoughts of hopelessness and being overwhelmed by multiple psychosocial stressors. Currently displaying classic symptoms of high-level trauma due to prolonged and complicated grief disorder. However mainly her distress is due to not having regular access visits with her sons. PRINCIPAL DIAGNOSIS: Situational crisis."

I'm not rooted in the head this time guys I'm legit just a human feeling humany things. The one time I voluntarily stay in hospital because I think I'm bonafide crazy? I get let out after a short period of time because I am currently too legit to quit. Situational - not craziacal, which is a word I just made up because it would be absurdican to not break the rules after you've learned the rules.

The reason I am distressed is due to not having regular visits with my sons. That's my fault and my fault only. I have royally fucked up as a mother. Are not mothers supposed to be all-knowing all-loving nurturing forces of womanly soft love and light? Last year I made really, really awful and hurtful decisions. I was in a lot of pain and fear .. but there is nobody else to blame. I am responsible.

The Madonna/Whore complex is alive and well so I guess that makes me Mary Magdalene but in that case, isn't Madonna going through the same issues with her older child who is called Rocco? Is Madonna a good mother? Can all the Bad Mothers step to the left please no soup no bedtime stories no funny farts for you. Away with you.

The one thing I've hoped for fourteen years and three months is that one day, any and all children of mine will be able to grasp who I am, what I've been through, and why I've done the things I've done.

Today I didn't want to bother anybody so I caught a cab home from the nuthouse to my flat because doing things alone makes things that more sad and lonely, just ask my brother. (If you do you'll get no answer, I've tried for over two years now.) I still google chat him because after I tell him my current predicaments the same message always pops up. "Cameron is not online right now. He will see your message when he comes back online."

Like Pet Cemetery but for brothers that's not funny Eden don't write that. (Writes it anyway because she'd say anything to make her brother laugh.)

I'm going to wrap up this here blog post of mine but before I do I'd like to tell you a few things. The most important is that no matter WHAT you are feeling, it will pass. The feeling will pass. Even though in the moment the feeling may be excruciating and bring you to your knees and agonisingly unbearable - bear it anyway. Feelings drift away like slow-moving clouds that will ALWAYS reveal the sun. Until Armageddon.

I'd also like to point out that I haven't written quite like this for some time and I've kind of missed it, even though it's dreadfully embarrassing for people to know my innermost stuff. Who in their right mind would have such a personal website full of personal things? Face it, it's much more acceptable and prettier to have a fashion blog. (People I know in real life .. I'm sorry. I'm not ignoring you, it's just my Spirit is convalescing.)

I've written here like this for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes my ego. Sometimes a funny story. Or a serious calling of bullshit. To just show my humanity by saying "Hey guys I feel like x does anyone else feel like x or even xx or xy or xyz I failed algebra but is anybody out here feeling the same things as me?"

Sometimes I write because one time four years ago a scared and shaken blonde librarian hid under HER bedclothes after news so devastating. She was so sucker-punched she punched the words "suicide" "mental health" "fathers" into google and up came my blog and she read the entire thing from start to finish. She's now one of my fiercest and best friends and when we're together we laugh so hard and so dark and one day I'll live next to her in Brisbane and I swear I won't even care if she pops in unannounced. Big call.

IN CONCLUSION: I guess there's no other way to say it:

Things here in the country of Edenland are about to get a whole helluva lot interesting. Gather ye round, lovers and haters. Pull up a pew in my wordchurch.

Think clustertruths. A nom de plume. Some blatant inappropriate honesty.

You know I always used to rush out my blog posts because I wanted to get stuff written down before Armageddon. True story. Since I was born I've been waiting for the end of the world. What if it's already come and gone and we were too busy to notice .. left here living in remnants. Remnants - there's a word. Reminds me of the word garments, like the garments a Roman charlatan would wear, talking trivia at his crossroads.

Edenland is about to embark on something radical and don't worry because today in my possession I have a legit medical and legal document stating that I am not crazy. I'm just a human and I'll be back in a few days to kick things off. Ugh I'm nervous already what if my wacky hare-brained scheme fails? Well, at least my kids will have some answers they deserve.

I'm sorry for being all coy. You're all invited to my imminent wordchurch party bring giant cupcakes and backyard Buddhas and all the equators, every last one of them.

Such freedom in having nothing left to lose! Like Willy Wonka says "The suspense is killing me .. I hope it lasts!

Gene Wilder also utters one of my favourite lines from a film ever:



See you real soon, computer. REAL.




Monday, 21 March 2016

The Gift


I'm taking a break for a while. Laters. x

Saturday, 19 March 2016

A Picture Tells The Truth.







"If you're losing your Soul and you know it .. then you've still got a Soul left to lose." - Charles Bukowski


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