Thursday, 2 January 2020

Write Here. Write Now.

There’s so much more to share with you but it’s inappropriate to talk about myself while Australia is burning. We’re on fire. Thousands of people, thousands of hectares, millions of animals, entire towns are gone. The death toll is rising. So what does our Prime Minister Scott Morrison do? Swans away to a holiday to Hawaii until he was shamed into coming back home. Pretty sure he’s banned climate change protests? Last year was the hottest year Australia has ever had. Climate change is REAL. Arsonists should be charged with attempted murder. Our firefighters all deserve Order of Australia medals ... thank you, fireys. You are our heroes.

Greta Thunberg is a hero too. You’ve probably all seen her speech to world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit  ..... check this out. Right here. Right now.

(PS My mammogram results came back clear. CLEAR. I do not have breast cancer. The lumps were cysts, my lymph node is enlarged just because it wants to be, apparently. Stop being so dramatic, LYMPH NODE. Settle.)

I’m still yet to reply to your comments here and on facebook. You made me cry. You made me remember who I am. You didn’t forget me .... and gave me so much love. I’ve missed love. I love you more no returns. Thank you. So much.



Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Well *Technically* I Wasn’t Dead.

Look. I’m incredibly sorry for leaving you like this, but I can explain.

I never ever did it for the fame anyway but my people (my real people you know who you are) .... I’ve missed you. So much. I hope you’re going ok? I have not been going ok. At all so it’s time to spill it grab your cup of tea I’m sick of holding it so hold on.

Early last year I got involved with a guy who ended up trying to kill me. Too dangerous for my sons so they had to stay at their fathers house for way too long for my heart to handle but they come first. Always.

This piece of shit stole my jewellery, my money, and any faith in humans I had left. He landed in jail, I landed in homeless town because I got evicted for being behind in rent.

All of my belongings waited in a shipping container. I waited in a run-down hotel for emergency housing. It took over two months to secure a house. I had a car crash, fractured my foot in two places and needed crutches and a moon boot. Top tip: don’t put your foot up on the dashboard when you’re the passenger. My car got written off, wasn’t insured.

A close family member did something absolutely horrific to me. I can’t tell anybody which lost me people. I hardly have any people left ... some of them can go suck a dick, some I miss terribly. Terrible thing, this head of mine. It wants me dead. I don’t want me dead ... Rocco said “Mum you’re living until you’re 100 so you’re halfway through life.” I adore that boy. I adore my other boy - who is now 18. Wow.

Thought it was a great idea to go off all my mental health medications resulting in being catatonic for two months. Bugs and caterpillars started to creep inside my house and I didn’t know if they were real or if I was real or if I was dead? I hardly left the house except to pick Rocco up from school every second week. When he’s here we eat veggies and steak and talk deep while I dig deep to be present and take him places and have sleepovers. Sleepovers are the best - especially eleven year old boys who are still earnest and haven’t realised a few things about the world yet.

I have a huge basal cell carcinoma on the back of my shoulder which is getting cut out next week. I’ve ignored it for about a year because I haven’t been looking after myself. Had a mammogram on Christmas Eve and still waiting for the results but everything’s shut. Playing a waiting game with that one .... bit of a lump near an enlarged lymph node.

What else um I’ve been pretending and lying to people about pretty much everything because I haven’t been living just existing but they knew anyway. I can’t live like this anymore so I won’t. Nobody deserves this type of suffering. I’ve been so ashamed. And small - I haven’t felt this small since I was a kid trying to survive.

I joined a womens group which got me out of the house and talked to lovely people and got a new therapist. Who is incredible and doesn’t eat popcorn when I unfurl my life. Crying and crying. Ten tissues at a time. Learning that some of us can relive trauma again and again. She’s really actually helping. Society and advertising tell people like me to “get help.” Getting help is hard when you can’t find your socks or keys or wallet or hope or people to help you get help. THIS is the crux of all this mental health awareness suicide prevention RUOK R2D2.

I miss my brother. I miss my brother. I miss my brother. I miss my brother. Sometimes it all comes back. Took me a while to realise how much I blame myself and nobody can say platitudes to make me change my mind.

Ok so that’s me how you doing? Are you ok ... really really? I hope you are, Computer. I have missed you bad. You know this writing on this website is a part of me but I couldn’t write my way through last year like I usually do.

I actually broke. My life was scattered everywhere around me and I was drowning.

Someone came into my life and is actually helping me. Bono says a friend is someone who lets you help. I`m not used to accepting help but I couldn’t do this by myself anymore. There are still good, true people in the world. Literally thank God for that.

I couldn’t go to the U2 concert. I couldn’t go to the Eminem concert. I could hardly get up off the couch to go to the fucking dunny can.

That’s all gone. Twenty twenty vision now. I have visions, hope, a pocket of old fashioned caramels that remind me of my grandfather. He fought in WW2 ..... this fight the world is having now? It’s a spiritual fight. We need to help each more than ever. I will not crumble like this ever, ever again.

See you tomorrow, lovers.

(Oh and by the way if you live in my town and have heard gossip about me? Just letting you know it’s not true .... the truth has been much worse ok great chat.)


Friday, 4 January 2019

A Couple of Days Into New Year Already

Well hey now so I haven't been arrested this year at a ALL! No sirree. No shitfights, *no* mental institution intakes (both voluntary or scheduled) ... haven't bought something fashiony online that I know I will look fantastic in (but just never, ever does.) Haven't needed to scrub the toilets once not even after a new years eve party with the really spicy meatballs.

Haven't yelled at my kids to get off Fortnight ... (yet). New Years Day is the day where you can write resolutions for the upcoming year with the best of intentions that are paved with Oreo COOKIES.a

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

I Am The One Who Knocks. (I Mean Cries ... I Am The One Who Cries.)

I'n my lifetime I've cried an entire ocean so deeply that mapmakers need to change their maps to add a new ocean called "Ocean of Eden's Tears." Hey what's the difference between an ocean and a sea? Sounds like a joke but it's not .. I really don't know.

Reminds me of that time I was on a boat with my friend Lou after an intensive World Vision trip in Uganda .. we took time out to visit a safari place afterwards and on this boat I asked "So what's this lake called?" And Lou kind of slowly answered because she thought I might be joking. "Umm, it's the River Nile?" and I was all NO FRICKING WAY I THOUGHT THE RIVER NILE WAS IN EGYPT. Lou said the River Nile started in Egypt (I think I can't remember) ... I said something about how we were in Africa so how could the Nile be in Africa and when Lou said that Egypt was a part of Africa I nearly fell off the boat.

Egypt is part of Africa. Wow. I love admitting how dumb I am because it's funny to be so dumb and so smart at the same time. There's no such thing as a stupid question like once I was with my Uncle Stevie at Bakers Delight and we asked for some BAP rolls and then I said to the lady "What does BAP stand for?" And she said in all of her years of working there she'd never been asked that question. And she didn't know what BAP rolls stood for but the next time I came in to ask her again because she was curious now too.

Curiosity is underrated.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life but every day is the first day of the rest of your life. Happy new year, every body. Every Soul. It's always "Happy" new year. Not shit new year or half-hearted new year or manageable new year or ok new year .. it's always happy. One of my life lessons to date is that we are not guaranteed happiness. It's important to feel all the other emotions too. When my son Max was four years old I bought him a book on feelings and as I read it to him I learnt it at the same time as he did. In parenting him, I parented me. Max has had a rough go with a mother like me but the upside is ... he thinks deeply. And differently. He is so intelligent it blows me away.

As for the past christmas? Here's a photo that speaks volumes:


My two sisters and I. I asked their permission to post it and they said yes and I promised I wouldn't make grand statements about it. It would be very hard to have a sister like me. I'm so grateful for grace ... and I am so, so happy that my mum had her remaining children together on Christmas Day for the first time since ... since our brother died.

I love my sisters in a Viking way and I would kill for them. They are blood. They've known me my whole life. Often when a family member dies, existing and previous fractures are brought to the surface and the family implodes sometimes for the rest of their lives.

That's not going to happen, now. The word "gratitude" doesn't even cover it. Right in the Saint Nick of time this Christmas proved good, and gentle, and accepting. I could not have endured another Christmas in the fetal position on my couch alone ... the Universe must've known that. Our grandparents long gone must have known that too. I believe our loved ones who have passed help us through. I really do.

So. Here we are, my beautiful people. I wish we could all meet and have a day together ... oh that's right, we are! I need to meet you and maybe you'd like to meet me too. Is it crazy I'm such a hermit that I'll just give out my home address and see who shows up? BYOD ...Bring Your Own Doona. I want to see who helped me. I'd like to meet the people who (embarrassingly) helped me pay my rent and buy food for my boys and paid my gas bill and helped me with my christmas presents.

How could I POSSIBLY pay that back? I've searched inside myself so hard about how you opened your hearts to me a few months back and I honestly am unsure why. I felt so unworthy and I just didn't understand?

Maybe it's because you've read me so much you know me inside out because my honesty here is real. I'm real. I stay on the internet for a reason, I open myself up for a reason, I don't want you to feel alone for a reason, I am no saint but I'm also not a bathroom renovation blogger from Utah who's Mormon with a kajillion followers and children with immaculate everything. (Not bagging those people out, I just am not one. At all.)

Just want you to know I was on a horrific darkest path of my life last year pretty much ever and you saved me. I will tell you about it sometime I promise it's just that I have sons who I need to tell first. I owe them that. And hey guess what- all the pain of them being held for ransom, all the wailing, all the thinking that maybe I should move away to spare them even more pain?

It's all gone. Because I persevered. Because I forgot I am Eden Fucking Riley and when I got to the depth of the bottom quite recently I thought ... well. So what do I do now?

The only thing I now what to do, the only thing I taught myself, the only thing I do better than most people I know (I'm allowed to write that, my self-esteem is at an all-time low but I'm working on it.)

.... I rise up. Again. And again, and again, and again. My strength is proportionate to my pain I mean fuck me dead I woke up this morning weeping. Loudly. Again. Because I was having a dream that I pretty much had my shit together and I was leading these people and then bam I woke up and remembered that my lease has not been renewed and I love this house but I gotta go and I've started packing for a place I don't know where I will live and why is life so bullshit?

It's not bullshit at all. My glass may be half full or half empty but either way there's water in it. I have a lot more than people in this hard fallen world have.

Stay with me, you there. We're in it together, remember? See you tomorrow.

xxxxx

If you ever like/enjoy/resonate with/cry at my writing ... my Paypal account is: edenriley@gmail.com

Thank you doesn't cover it. One day I won't have to put my Paypal details there. That day will be such a relief of joy.

PS I still don't know what a BAP roll is.


Friday, 7 December 2018

"It's Often the Last Key in the Bunch That Opens the Lock."

Hey you guys I'm really sorry it's just I've been really, really scared. Fear eats us from the inside and I'm not just tired but soultired and sweaty from going from one place to another (like, the living room to the bathroom.) Maybe the sweaty is from menopause I'm not sure.

One thing's for sure is that I owe you my words and my worlds and my swirls but - I can't write what's happening until it's over. (It's not over, for the everlasting gobstopper of hell.)

Hey you know how I was brought up strict Catholic like eating the jesus wafers and everything .. well yesterday morning I was so abjectly terrified. (ABJECT - such a dramatic word!!) I was near-hyperventilating because I couldn't pray. It's hard to explain ... at the risk of sounding entirely nutsack crazy (TOO LATE) ... I felt like I was being prevented from praying properly? Or my prayer wasn't strong enough? Or have I prayed too stupidly that I'm pushed to the back of the prayer queue I don't know. I know that prayer is powerful. I also know that prayer is especially powerful when one is strong, and righteous. I'm currently a meek sheep who wouldn't say boo to a goose. I've also been facing lengthy hospitalisation for a few errant brain malfunctions lately but finally what I've been saying for years is true: they ran out of label makers for all of my labels. (The latest being Borderline Personality Disorder and I really, really didn't want that one UGH!)

FUCK. Why can't I just BE BETTER and be done with it and then talk about it freely in public discourse. You know - all that suicide awareness bullshit. I could tag my coattails onto that lucrative business. Government grants for mental health initiatives are BOOMING! I'll talk about it once I've come good! I'd be onstage with shiny sleek hair, my words punctuated by meaningful gestures, tissues at the ready. Finally able to walk in stilettos! A little like how Biggest Loser Trainer Michelle Bridges is an Ambassador for the Black Dog Institute ... one day last year she was going to a fancy black tie dinner event to promote the cause. She instagrammed a photo of herself with the caption "I just LOVE having conversations about mental health!" Then in her post she tagged the boutiques and brands of the beautiful dress and shoes and jewellery and makeup she was wearing. Feeling particularly trollish I commented on her pic with "Hi Michelle, you look really stunning. I was just wondering what kinds of conversations you love having about mental health? I'd be really interested. Unfortunately my brother died from suicide, I'd really love for these dreadful Aussie suicide statistics to improve."

I never got a response from Michelle. In another magazine she was talking about the huge benefits of exercise when you're feeling depressed, how you just "get up and do it!" I had to turn my phone off lest I unabashedly unleashed on her account.

Ok where was I? I didn't know I was going to write about that, best laid plans, etc. Hey - can I just say I feel better already, just writing to you? I really do feel less alone, like we're all in this together. Which we are. And I feel fiercely protective of you, reading this. You are the readers, which makes me the readee? I don't know. I just adore you people and I really am holding a get-together in the shiny new year, before we've made any fuckups yet. I'm thinking the location will be on the rug on my living room floor SURELY it can fit us all on? It's magic.

Oh crap hang on I almost forgot to finish my story. I had to call a taxi yesterday to take me to the mechanics to pick my car up .. for the past two weeks the front passenger rear mirror was just all broken and hanging from its cord. Finally it was fixed yesterday (I HATE being female in these situations #markup)

So grateful to be able to afford getting my mirror fixed ... especially grateful I could get a cab to take me there so I could pick up my son from school. I paid the cabbie then he looks embarrassed but said it anyway. "Eden - wow, great name - so Eden sometimes I pray with my customers. Do you mind if we have a quick prayer together?" I said of course, inwardly I was gobsmacked. The cabbie's name is Grahame and his prayer was so good and short and uncomfortable but WAY COOL. We said amen at the same time.

When I got out of the cab we said our goodbyes ... and now I know how to pray again. And this is how the world works if you are brave to get messily honest enough. People crop up right when you need them. Things happen at the EXACT right time. You get a funny tingly feeling. Life shouldn't be centred around not feeling fear but what we can do in spite of it. Despite it.

AMEN!!!

(Sorry I can't remember why I called this post why I did but I kind of like it? I'll be back real soon. Nite you guys xxxxx)


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

You Never Know.



Somebody stuck a "BROKE" sticker on this Royal typewriter and put it up for sale for four dollars.

I took it home like a lost puppy. She was ceremoniously placed on my sideboard - that's not my sideboard in the photo that's the blanket box in the laundry that I emergencially dumped her on after I dropped her on my foot I KNEW words were heavy.

By the way just like boats, typewriters are female. (I just made that up but it seems true don't you think?)

It's not broke it's just not working at the moment .. imagine what's already been typed on it ever, in its lifetime? Newspaper articles by a top reporter. Dictation by an angry silent secretary dreaming of bigger things. Earnest writings by Ernest himself .. you never know! Rejection letters by publishing houses. Maybe nothing was ever typed on her at all, she just sat on the desk of a Very Distinctive Person who used it as a talking piece or just to look good. Probably the latter.

LETTERS oh my what if beautiful dreamy descriptive love letters were typed on this very Royal by maybe even a Royal. You never know. Imagine all the letters that have been typed on this beauty ... letters that still exist to this day, tucked inside old envelopes in the back of an old dresser that will eventually be thrown away by some, kept as priceless mementos by us more sentimental ones.

I've been thinking lately about how it's not other peoples duty to stay in connection with broken people .. especially the very very broken and lost and hurt and sad. It's hard work. Maybe people cut themselves off because it's too taxing or draining for them .. maybe that's ok and it's up to us broken to "find our own tribe" or some such shit. It must feel warm to be in a tribe I want to be in a tribe so what's that saying - build it yourself? I'll try. Broken people trying is the biggest trying of all especially when we pull it off and think to ourselves ha, who's broken now?

Before I start a tribe I want to get this typewriter fixed back to her original glory, considering all she's been through. What if her keys are keys to words not written yet?

GOD I hope I get her fixed. I'm a bit wobbly all over the place lately so I probably just need to believe in the typewriter if I can't believe in myself enough. If typewriters think then she'd be having a field day. "Oh hello what do we have here? A broken human pfffft .. no such thing!" Imagine how relieved she felt when I pulled her stickers off.

What of the fact that maybe her greatest works haven't been written yet?

Wow. You never know.




Sunday, 25 November 2018

One Fine Day.


Today we went to Echo Point in Katoomba with about a thousand tourists. My photos are very blurry lately .. but we're not. We're really clear. I took him to probably my favourite tree in the world .. it just holds on no matter what.



I walked until my hips weren't achy anymore. He ran, hid, hopped, said he needed sunglasses, got thirsty, and laughed a lot. We went with one of his mates who had a sleepover last night .. this morning they woke at 6am. And they were LOUD. And having the best time. Tomorrow is changeover days .. we don't like changeover days. I worry that going back and forth between two houses every second week is damaging him. I worry too much but I swear this is true: it's easier when they are babies. You have more control. You always know where they are. They don't know what the internet is. It's hard work but as they approach adulthood holy hell you're in for a bumpy ride. Make sure your arms and legs stay inside the carriage at all times.


I'll be his pillow. I'll be whatever he needs me to be. Same with Max. With six years between them the age difference is really obvious but as they grow up together I think they'll be best mates. They've been through a hell of a lot together. Siblings are special like that .. they have the unique bond of growing up together. My two have had to sometimes be soldiers and just push through when it got too hard. Neither have middle names but if they did they'd both have the same one: grit.


Everything we do starts with that first step. Sometimes we're lucky enough to have some do-over steps and get to start afresh in the morning. I wasn't anxious or jumpy or scared or anything yucky today! At all! I credit you guys. And my two guys who both grew in my BELLY like that is INSANE when you think about it! Our wombs are time-travelling portals, delivering humans from one dimension to the next.

I think weird.

For the two hours we were there Rocco BEGGED me to climb over the fence so he could walk on the "proper side." Oh my boys are shining lights. Doesn't matter where we live, we're each others home.

I never thought I could have children. I can't imagine my life without them. I'm raising two thoughtful, kind, empathetic, incredibly capable males who respect themselves, other people, their possessions. Most of all - women. I'm a loud-mouth opinionated dangerous chick who has seen and done some STUFF! #stillhere #proudmama

This wasn't the post I expected to write today but it wasn't the day I expected to have today. It ended in a whopper roast lamb stuffed with garlic cloves slow-cooked in the oven. It's demolished. Rocco asked for the chicken bone. Max was HANGRY while carving it. (Rocco has gone one step further than angry. He calls it "sangry" ... sad because he's angry and hungry.)

My sons make up words .. I started teaching them young that they're allowed to do much more than they get told they can. It's hard for them to have me as their mum, I know that. I also know they're strong enough to handle it.

Love you my Max and Rocco - hey never forget that love is real. It's REAL.


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