Tuesday, 28 April 2015

"To the artist ... and to those who have forgotten that they are so."

"To the ones who choose to feel
though at times it may tear them apart ..
feel the things that everybody else is afraid to feel.
To those who paint the darkness
so that the darkness
Does not paint them.
To the discarded
and the disregarded
To the Kurt Cobain singer
Van Gough painter
Robin Williams actor
Sylvia Plath poet to the ..
tortured soul.
With the blistered feet.
To the artist.
To those who have never belonged
we say
Welcome home."




Wow.

One of Australia's leading performance poets Joel McKerrow launches his debut album in Melbourne in a few days. What a gift to stumble across his first music video today, he is INCREDIBLE. (I was full-blown weeping by the end.)

“I have heard it said that the best way to destroy a people is to take away their stories. To make them forget. Get lost in the smallness of their own predicament. Like a child who cannot find their way home. It was Milan Kundera who said, ‘The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. To destroy its books, its culture, its history.’ If this is the case, that the first step in the destruction of a people is to take away their stories, then surely it is true that the first step in the restoring of a people is the restoration of their stories. As a poet, this is what I do. This is why I do what I do.” - Joel McKerrow

Monday, 27 April 2015

World's Okayest Mum!

Exactly seven years ago I had my hair done before Rocco was born because it'd be a while before I'd be able to get my hair done again.



Max and Crash Bandicoot could not WAIT for that baby to come out!


Oh that baby. Wow. He operated in a sleep-deprived haze, so did I. We slogged it through, somehow. Day after day of routine and cleaning and washing and cooking. Being a stepmum to older kids and their dad was going through chemo for cancer and constantly fronting up to do everything that needed to be done was challenging. It wasn't much fun, most of the time. Rocco didn't sleep and cried so much. Nothing seemed wrong - he just cried. And cried. And cried. And I had to walk away, many times. Outside into that freezing winter and I'd look up crying tears of frustration and exhaustion, wondering what was going to happen. When would it get better?

Those early days are over so now I can totally romanticise them and wish them back and marvel at how exquisite and tiny my children were. And then I look at them and they still are. And we've moved on and shifted and the world turns and I constantly tell them stories of funny things they used to do when they were babies. I wonder how their parents separation is affecting them. We've talked about it. They're affected, of course they are. I miss them so intensely when I'm not with them that I can barely stand it. I worry. I'm doing the best that I can ... and to fall short of that and have days where I kind of hardly get by? Sucks. Blows. I've always been a fucking amazing mother. A really bloody good one, defending and loving and giving to all my kids fiercely. I teach them stuff I think they should know about the world, kind of brainwash them a bit.

"One of the most important things you guys have to do in the world is help other people when they need help. Always look around, make sure everybody around you is ok."

My kids have felt me pull away since the death of my brother and everything that's happened after. I dropped the ball, really. Have been sitting on the benches for a while, watching them play.

Brutal, loving them so deeply while having an incredibly tired spirit. I blinked and Max is inches from being taller than me, asking if he can please watch Breaking Bad?

"NO!!"

"Oh come on mum!"

No bloody way are you serious? What do you mean you're too old to play handball at lunch anymore? Why is your voice so deep? You sure you don't want me to come to the movies with you?


"I'm sure mum. I'll be fine."

And he is. He is a FINE young man. They both are. There's only a limited amount of time left for me to mother these two beautiful, healthy, naughty, caring, outrageous, stinky little men. I got work to do and I better hurry if I want to be remembered as one of the most biggest influencers of their lives. I want everything for them. Everything. Even though nobody gets everything. They'll go through their own turmoils and hard times ..  I want them to open their eyes and hearts to the world and people around them. Can a flawed woman raise mighty warriors? I think yes. Flawed women are extraordinary fighters.



Maybe the biggest thing I'll teach all of my kids is to not ever give up. Keep going after the world keeps burning down around you. Keep striding, guys. Take a rest. Get back up. Again. You got this. I know it you do. I believe in you. You are amazing. Get up.

I'll never be the best most caring amazing selfless stunning homemaking crafting intelligent super-incredible mother of all time but I can be a mostly okay mother. We all fuck our kids up. Yes even you. I just hope I don't fuck mine up too much. Wish there was a book called "On Hopefully Not Fucking Ones Kids Up Too Much."

I'd buy it.

I can make my boys laugh, teach them rap and the importance of words, kneel down on the floor in front of them so they look down on me for a change. I can listen to their hearts, show them how to take care of themselves, and throw as much armour and love onto them before they walk out into the arena of a world I do not understand. Everybody meets the world sooner or later, ready or not.

It is beautiful. But fuck this world. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Just keep going, keep loving. Stupid beautiful fucking world.

::

Hey do you want to come to this?


Brisbane, 20th June. Come. I'll be doing a presentation on motherhood unlike anything you've ever seen .. may need to break out the big guns hoodie for it.

I love Brisbane, so much warmer than the Blue Mountains why can't I live there every winter. I'll be skimping on a hotel and crashing at Megan's house. Megan told me the other day "You can sleep on the mattress in the toyroom and smell Rocco's wee." The last night we slept there at christmas, Rocco did probably the hugest wee in the world. Not just a tribute - the hugest wee in the world. Our taxi was there and I was kind of laughing and we dragged it out to the sunlight and I grabbed a measuring tape - that circle of wee on Megan's toyroom mattress had a circumference of 80cm. Already has a man bladder, just like his mum.

I'll never forget the shock on her face as I said goodbye. Megan I am so, so sorry about that huge wee.

"EIGHTY CENTIMETRES EDEN!"



The Empowering Women Conference is put on by Kristy Valley from The Imperfect Mum. I love Kristy - she's so down to earth and real and wise. AND REAL. Like how you eat a real strawberry and you pause and honour that strawberry, it tastes so good.

"Hey wait man - this strawberry is REAL. Wow."

As real as the struggle.

If you come, please say hi. Tell me you sometimes suck as a mother too. Let's swap secrets and laugh and make each other feel better about how huge this motherhood gig is.

So much expectation, so little cake.

(BYO cake. Unless Kristy has organised cake .. hey Kristy will there be cake or do we bring our own?)


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

I've Waited Long Enough.




Shun fame. Confuse people. Keep going.

Ripped off? Give more. Punched and bleeding? Give again. For it is in giving, we will lose and win. Do it. For give.

Unkill yourself. You can't call this a comeback if you've never left.

Use everything you were never given to defeat everything trying to destroy you. If you are a person of pure intent this world will want you gone. Acknowledge nothing. Play it easy. Get away with it. Get on with it. Go hard. Go home. (The only home you ever have is in your own heart. Best not get too attached to things.)

Has anybody seen my brother? I left him here by the side of the road, told him I'd be back. Came back. He's gone. Hopefully we'll see him in the nether. I always saw him. Never mind.

Sure I became a mother but that's motherfucker to you, sir. Say it again. Sing it louder. Love your children. Harder. Let the salt faded on your lips be instrumental in keeping you going. Be the instrument.

The Creator stepped back and watched as the creation created. In awe.

And it was good.




Be the leper, the Jesus, the Judas the priest.
The Roman, the Emperor ... the jailer the thief.

Don't complain. Never explain.

Be your own new song, to carrion. {watch this space}

Monday, 6 April 2015

Oh, So Quiet.

I was so shy as a kid that I could hardly look people in the eye when they talked to me. Sometimes my face would go the deepest shade of crimson that kids would laugh and laugh. "Your face is as red as your hair!" 

Fuck those kids. Fuck people who go out of their way to make other people feel bad. I watched a group of young women wearing hardly anything laugh at a homeless man. Who laughs at a homeless man? I guess I must have missed the punchline but I sure as hell wanted to punch some empathy into them which is a total contradiction.

Those girls skirts were so high it was embarrassing - sweetheart, you just ain't got it. In laughing at the homeless man you're actually laughing at yourselves but you're nowhere near understanding that concept. Yet.

Maybe one day when life starts sinking its teeth into them, bleeding, wrestling them around in the dirty water like a crocodile and they're gasping for air saying "I get it! I get it now!"

The hardest lessons make the strongest motherfuckers.

Yeah I been quiet. I always go quiet when there's too much to say. There's always way too much to say I usually say it anyway despite and in spite but I don't have much time for spite these days. Too busy trying to get things down before it's too late. No time for crying just trying to create.

The last time I ever saw my real father I was eleven years old and I was so nervous because I hadn't seen him for years and I always wondered what it would be like to talk to him. I look exactly like him. Before he came to visit his kids I ran upstairs and grabbed my coin collection, a huge hexagonal glass case. And when he arrived I sat on the couch being quiet so quiet and waited very patiently until I realised. He didn't have anything to say to me. I never showed him my coin collection. I never saw him again.

Years after he died I had a dream he was on a train that I was chasing and I was still holding that hexagonal box and as I ran I wasn't timid anymore I was furious and just as the train carrying him sped off without me I threw that fucking box at the glass aimed it directly at his head and yelled out THERE'S MY FUCKING COIN COLLECTION.

I never turn crimson anymore. And I've never really liked objects.

So yeah I been going through stuff. Who hasn't? I don't do surface level. Some things can't be written about. They just have to be felt. Acknowledged. Let go. I don't understand so many things but where is it written that I even have to?

My words are currently being poured into the shape of a memoir. Wordsmithing. Banging and hammering the letters and sentences and secrets and structures and lessons into the right mold with every tool I have. I start with scaffolding. Soon I'll be wrapping the meat around the skeleton. It's easy to write. It's hard to let go and trust that it will be set in the right incarnation before I let it go.

If my sons had coin collections I would sit while they described every single coin back and front. It would take hours and I'd probably be bored shitless but I wouldn't show it I'd just marvel at the curve of their lips and the memory of their feet kicking me from the inside. I constantly tell them I love them with my whole heart and pray that that's enough.

I feel all of my life. It's hard and necessary. Just do my best. Wash the dishes.

::


My Rocco loves to explore everything. So curious. I love watching him explore everything.

He picked up this magnificent stick and straight away knew it was something special.

"Mum, I'm going to keep this stick always. So when I'm an old man I can have all the memories of my life."

When he spoke those words to me, I felt like everything was going to be ok.

Perhaps everything always has been.



Friday, 27 March 2015

In Letting Him Go, I Get To Keep Him. (528 days)

This is a post I thought I would never write. Ever.

Ever.

Ever.

Ever.

Ever. But here it is, straight off the presses. I need to write this post. The quality of the rest of my life and possibly my children's lives depend on the ability and courage and pain it's going to take to write this post.

So imma write this motherfucking post. And I'll keep it is as sharp as succinct and straight to the jugular as I can. Hey now there's a good writers tip. "Aim for the jugular. And when your readers bleed out and slip down in their seats from sheer ferocious truth, you'll know you've done your job properly."

I just googled the days between October 15th 2013 and March 27th 2015 and it's only 528 days? THAT'S NOTHING! NO WONDER! WHAT!

But who here is a liiiiiitle bit thinking Eden, really hon, I love you but you got to start moving. Forward. On. Together. Something. I know I have, I feel it like I'm reading a book too close to the fire and the pages are starting to curl up from the heat.

Man that furnace must have been hot to burn a body as strong as his.

Truth? I'm still not entirely sure a lot of people grasp the complete desperation and hopelessness and devastation my brother Cam left inside me when he took himself away that day in October. Ending years of fighting, giving up, fighting, resilience, torment, anger, abandonment, pain. And is that not what humans feel anyway? What the hell did he think - life is a bed of roses for the the rest of us? Actually there was a moment a few months ago and I had just yelled at everybody in the entire family and the house was a mess and I was transferring piss sheets to the washing machine and then the load in the dryer fell out on top of my head and the boys were shouting and we were late and I just stopped. And laughed, so, so hard. Yelling at my dead brother now like I do sometimes.

"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T WANT TO BE HERE CAM? LIFE IS FUCKING AWESOME CAN'T YOU SEE WHAT YOU'RE MISSING OUT ON?"

And here's the part where I'm supposed to say all these platitudes about life worth living anyway and seeing the wildflowers in the cracks of the pavement where the grass grows and the simple joy I find in amazing moments and oh my god, I am just so incredibly lucky and thrilled to be here.

Nuh.

I don't say shit that's not true for me and that shit's not true for me. It never will be. I will drag my sorry arse around the earth until I die from something but until then I have every right to feel whatever the godddamn hell I'm gonna feel. As do you. Right or wrong. We feel what we feel.

My brother didn't die once. He died 528 days straight, in my eyes - and counting. Every day is another day further from those eyes, that wit, that SOMETHING that I wanted to force down his throat so he could live life but he just couldn't. For a myriad, a plantation, a clusterfuck, an amalgamation of reasons.

I caught myself sipping a cup of tea looking out the window last week thinking, "Good on you mate." And it took me by surprise, this teeny pocket of acceptance around what he has done. He has fucked with  my entire belief system about every construct I ever built up about the world with my bare hands. He ripped god from the sky and angels from heavens and left me with nothing. But that's the thing - he didn't leave ME. He was not MY POSSESSION. I have claimed ownership over him and his death like some really fucked up thing but the truth is, Cameron belonged to Cameron. His whole life. Sure he changed my entire world when he was born and love flooded into my heart for the first time ever but that wasn't his fault and it wasn't mine. It just happened.

Somebody incredibly well-meaning once told me that I am having an abnormal grief reaction and at first I was offended but now I agree. Because when he was born, I had an abnormal love reaction. Due to circumstance. And when you really think about it, is not all love abnormal I mean WHY would we choose to put our hearts on the line like that, when it can be wrenched away? It's why I hardly have, for my entire life. For fear of being ripped open.

The death, THE DEATH of my brother has irrevocably changed me and I will never be the same again. I will never be the same again. 528 days of not being the same Eden - a weeping Eden, bleeding Eden, once a little girl who loved her brother so much she thought her heart would explode from love.

And that got taken away. And I have seen and felt some stuff but you guys? Never. Nothing. No adjectives. I still find it hard to believe that there are other people in the world who could possibly come close to the loss and depth of pain I feel after losing someone you love. I guess that's why it's good to talk about it, let it out, purge, let people in, cry. Bono says a friend is someone who lets you help. I've let a few in, this past year and a bit. Let them see me at my worst. They still stuck around.

I have written off entire relationships because of what has happened. I have had gifts, from Cams death. Which are painful because I don't want gifts but there they are, shining, rising, waiting to be opened. I am free. I am truly free in a way I have never been before. All bets are off. Everything got thrown up into the air. I almost died, a few times. I left my marriage. I decided to become a slam poet in honour of him and every single stage I stand and every single page I fill I do it because I would not have done it if he had not have died. And if my words, my grief, this strange outpouring of emotion on a website can make somebody out there feel a teeny less alone? That's from Cam. I've given out gifts and money to the people in this world on behalf of my brother. God I've had to hold on like nothing ever before. No safety harness. Just keep climbing. In awe of how hideous it is.

Grief rhymes with thief. And it is - oh it's stolen so much of me. Some parts never to be returned. Some parts of me got burnt in his cremation with him and the world will never see those parts of me ever again. They don't deserve to. My guy is gone.

But what the world WILL see, is a person who has faced intense, immense pressure to cave.

I know a few of you know how close I came to caving. But I didn't I just got caved in and now it's time to unearth myself because sometimes? I watch a slam poem on You Tube and my hairs stand on end the words get me so deeply and I want to do that, be that. I want the hairs on strangers arms to stand up when I talk. How do you do that? With truth. Recognition. Reassurance. Remembering ... we're all in it together. I'm in this together with you, you guys. In time from now somebody will find my website and my words and pore over every blogpost I pored over when I wrote out my grief. And they will find comfort. And because it's been 528 days ... I got a few breadcrumbs to spare, to show them the way out of the pain of the pain.

One day I want more than breadcrumbs. I want to own a bread factory and just bomb people houses, the people who sit inside weeping and keening for their lost ones and how do they go on?

They do. You do. I do. I will. I have decided to. I have decided to, from now on, when I write and think and talk about my brother Cameron - to honour him with memories of his warmth and love and humour and wit and intelligence and love - oh, his love. He had too much of it to give and he hardly got enough of it himself. Either did I - I always thought he'd make it through because - I just did. Because *I* did. But he was a white alpha male being played by "the patriarchy" in the same way we all are.

I wish he chose life. Wishes can blow me.

So my sweetheart I have started to worry that I have been tethering you to the earth with my pain and I don't want that for you my first guyo. Soar. Be free. Go. I'm cool. I got this. Maybe I am as strong as you said in your note - but maybe being strong is admitting how utterly scared and human and afraid you are. You did kind of cheat a bit and missed the ending of your own life so for all I know you've already been born again into a different family. May that family love every inch of who you are. And may you have a little freckle-faced red-haired LITTLE sister who YOU feel responsible for and every so often you look over and get the most peculiar sense of deja vu. May you look after her and love her like I loved you.

Nothing lasts forever. Not you, not me ... maybe our love. Our love came from somewhere nether.



You will teach me things for the rest of my life and I promise I will be open enough to learn from them. 528 days is NOTHING. You were alive for more than TWELVE THOUSAND DAYS. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being you even though you hated yourself so much. I need to let go of you a little bit, so I can survive. There will always be days for the rest of my life when I will keel over suddenly and keen and keen and keen and keen for you. You deserve it. Fuck I loved you with the very most purest parts of my heart. Always will.

So I don't know what I'll metamorphosis into next - but it will be for you. And for my other boys. But you were the first. You kept me alive. You showed me what love was by your mere existence.

I want you to know that I understand. I'm so proud of you. I'm letting you go so I can keep you. It doesn't make sense. Life is stupid - we both knew that.

For the rest of my life I want to find ways to celebrate your life, do things I never would have done if you had not killed yourself. I wish you didn't kill yourself. But you did. And I need to accept that to go on living.

I need to let you go. I love you so much, my Bam-Bam ... that I let you go.

Be free. Be free for me. Hell - be free for you. I have a feeling I will never see you again. That's ok. You just do what you need to do for you. That's all. That's all.



Thursday, 19 March 2015

Driving Down To Sydney To Go On The Morning Show Thinking "I CAN'T GO ON THE MORNING SHOW" But I Went On The Morning Show Because I Can Do Big Things. Just Like You.



I had to wear my BIG TOUGH cowboy boots for this one. In the car on the way there I played Sarah Blasko then some Lil Wayne even though he annoys me a bit but I had to toughen up. For someone so strong, I'm so very weak. Contradiction in all that I do.

If you already sponsor a child - through World Vision or anywhere else, if you walk past charity buckets in the mall and chuck coins in, if you donate online on a whim to some cause that caught your eye .... you are saving peoples lives. Fact.

Working with the people from World Vision - letting them take me across the world far away from crazy neurotic Western culture to places where people are too busy surviving to get caught up in much else - is singularly the most rewarding, incredible, soul-enriching thing I've ever done. It was worth building a blog out of embarrassing and dark stories to be able to help make a sliver of a difference. And it all came from attending a "Social Media for Social Good" Panel at the Problogger Event a few years ago where I went up after the WV presentation and said, "How can I help? A blog badge in my sidebar?" (Thanks to Mr Problogger - Darren Rowse. You beautiful soul, I owe you.)

Tickets to the next Problogger event go on sale TODAY!

I was raging with panic and anxiety in this interview but you can't tell. So many of us, walking around, hiding it, doing things that need doing. I miss my brother I miss him so bad but you gotta keep keeping on. You do. I do. Some of us don't and I'm understanding that more and more but we gotta do what we can in this life to help out our peers on the planet otherwise what's the use? Diving into our buckets of money and belongings like Scrooge McDuck in his treasure cave?

No. That's not the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to PUT some meaning in your life. It's hard and painful. The best most rewarding things always are.

On the drive on the way back I said out loud in the car to my dead brother "Well Cam, that was from the both of us. Whatever I do I do for the both of us." I hope he heard me. He went missing and took a piece of me with him. Good.

I thanked Kayla and Jon from World Vision who I met just that day and I thanked them, for working with me. Told them that World Vision save thousands (millions?) of people all over the world and I said "You guys, World Vision has played a huge role in saving mine too. Thank you  more than you'll ever know." And I cried and hugged them even though I'd only met them that day but who cares if you cry and hug. I vote for more indiscriminate crying and hugging!

World Vision Australia
World Vision Twitter
World Vision Facebook
World Vision Instagram






MY WORLD VISION PEEPS! Me, Kelly, Misho, Sam, Carly, and Joy. What happened in the dungeon stays in the dungeon you guys. 


This is a photo of me waiting at the airport to go home at the end of the trip .... split into three different incarnations of myself: Tired, Old, and Wise. 






Monday, 16 March 2015

Hell. Met.

On Saturday night I was cooking what were going to be the worlds best hamburgers for my boys when my 13-year old son Max came off his skateboard just up the road from my house. Badly. Wearing no helmet. I heard him crying in his bedroom and went in. Took in the badly skinned knees and elbows. But when I saw the size of that bruised and bloodied lump on his temple? And the way he was shaking and crying and his friend told me Max had been knocked unconscious .... calmness set in in the way it only does in an extreme emergency. All boys into the car. All I could think about was how I had been HARANGUING him all day to put his helmet on.

"Yeah yeah."

Yeah. I put my brown workboots on with my tracksuit pants and cracked Roccos shins so hard against the car lifting him up he started crying too and then I couldn't find my car keys so I ran around the house shouting CAR KEYS CAR KEYS and called an ambulance and got through but she told me she wasn't sure whether it would just be quicker if I drove him the five minutes up to the hospital anyway. I found my keys and hung up on her and got into the car and said over and over, "Everything is going to be ok." 

Not believing it for a second. I think we got there in there in three minutes. Max was getting wobbly, could hardly walk, I parked illegally, and rushed to the front of reception at emergency and shouted MY SON FELL OFF HIS SKATEBOARD NO HELMET HE NEEDS A DOCTOR RIGHT NOW. And they sent him and his friend and a still-crying Rocco inside while I filled out paperwork while presumably my sons brain was being filled up with fluid oh god this is why you should never love it all just gets taken away.

Medicare card, health insurance, forms - finally they let me in and he was just LYING there in bed, in pain, nobody really paying attention. Squeaky wheel gets the most oil? I was a terrified angry bulldozer.

"HELLO CAN SOMEONE COME AND SEE MY SON HE HAD NO HELMET ON HE WANTS TO VOMIT THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE."

I don't go to places in my head where something happens to my kids anymore, too awful to contemplate explicitly because of the shocking suicide of my brother which has ripped me up into tiny pieces.

I grabbed a nurse, begging her, he needs a doctor NOW this happened to a friend of mine and her son almost died and needed a craniotomy and was in a coma. I grabbed her hand, turned away, "His brain could be filling up with fluid right now every second please help us." And she was SO LOVELY like most nurses always are and she grabbed me back and said "This is exactly how I would be reacting too. The doctors are on their way right now. He looks stable. We will do everything we can. Now go and sit next to him and hold his hand."

So I did. Made the exact same murmuring noises like when he was a baby and he still is, always will be, my baby. The love I have for my sons is all I have left. Flurry of nurses and doctors and Max falling asleep and nearly vomiting and all this happening while two people were being scheduled for the mental health ward, shouting, laughing, crying right in the room next to us. It was too much for my six-year old Roccos curiosity he HAD to know what "those crazy people were doing mum" and went to have a look but came back really pissed off.

"The security guard just told me to get out of the way."

One of the nurses said above the noise of the people with the pain in their brain that at least this was better than TV.

Almost told her it used to be me.

They gave Max panadol, did neurological tests every half hour. He passed. His responses and answers and pupils were good. We had to wait there for four hours and if there was the slightest change it'd be straight down to the Nepean Hospital Neurology and I remember wondering if they would helicopter him there. It would be quicker. Helicopters could help stall a young boys brain from filling up with fluid, surely.

Things became quieter, more calm. The only person whose phone didn't go through to messagebank was my friend Megans and we NEVER phone each other because we both hate it so she answered with "Are you ok?" And I said no Max came off his skateboard and I was just cooking fucking burgers Megan and we have to wait and when I rang the ambulance a SPIDER crawled on my shoulder and my Megan, she knows loss and she knows panic and I wish I were part of her blood family because as I was telling her all this in a rush yet calmly I simply said "Megan. If anything happens to my boys. If one thing happens ....."

She cut in she's a bossy librarian she does that thank god and she told me that Max would be FINE he would be fine Eden she sees things like this happen all the time at school where was the lump, how many hours had it been, he is in safe hands. And she knew too, the stakes of something happening to one of my boys were just to big to even think of because of every other thing that has happened until that point. She calmed me. Max increasingly became more alert and stopped crying and got EVERY card right and pointed at his nose and back super quick and he had full-function of his body and at the very moment I realised he might be ok, I got my period and almost fainted.

Eventually, years later we got home and my son and his friend ate cold hamburgers and dissected what happened. "You weren't even going that fast - there was a dip in the road! You didn't even know who I was!" And they continued the sleepover, watched the horror movie and ate lollies while I tucked Rocco up in bed so late but it didn't matter.

Nothing matters in times like that. Not people you loved using your own mental health against you, not splitting up a marriage, not one thing you yourself are feeling or going through or growing through. Not the stupidly dramatic huge anxiety attack I had in the middle of the night the other week. Nothing matters, nothing matters but my boys. And it's up to me to teach them the things they need to know before I go but it's also up to them to stick around so I can make it so.


I've lost too much. They cannot go.

I got home and even though today is Monday, I think I'm still in shock and it it hasn't hit me yet. I am AWESOME in a crisis. But give me a fairweather day where I feel uselessness beyond anything you can imagine and I fall apart at the seams over and over and over again.

For a few weeks now, everything has caught up with me and I've felt so scared, confused, misunderstood. There's about seventeen highly demanding and taxing things happening at once, too big to write. I have wondered, where does strength come from? After you run out? Because I ran out of strength. I've also been betrayed, falsely accused, double-crossed, and been made out to be crazy. Probably because I am - we all are to some extent. But I love my boys. To the brim. And I'll fight so much that I've had to let go of pursuing truth in order to keep them.

My brother died. I fell apart. Excuse me while I sit on the fucking floor for a while, yes, STILL .... because people who do not not know the hell of the well where true grief lies, clawing at your heart every second? There's no point in trying to make them understand anymore.

I let a lot of people go. I'm angry, sometimes lost, always that bit broken. But I realised it just in one second finally - I choose strength. It doesn't come to me from some mystical place that I bow down to or crawl on my hands and knees. I choose to be the strong. Sometimes I look around and I'm the strongest person I know. Sometimes I'm in Uganda for World Vision and I'm shocked at such intense strength of other humans and it makes me feel feelings I can't even name. Seeing other people be strong. Gives me hope. I've known my whole life I had to take care of myself.

Held him close and told him calmly the next day that if I EVER see him not wearing a helmet again I will destroy his scooter, skateboard AND bike. He knows I'm not joking. 

So we'll see what happens next. I'm getting through the old cliched one day at a time. Just this one day I concentrate on. The utter freedom of honestly not caring what anybody thinks of me anymore is one of the most liberating things I have ever felt. I don't care what or who you think I am or what you think I've done because I know the truth and that's good enough for me.

I've slept on a mattress on the floor in my sons bedroom at night since it happened. My boys sleep together on the bed. I'm freezing - still no proper heater or internet or television in this new house. I wish more people cared about their jobs like nurses did.

But I had a heater in the bedroom and I could hear both my boys breathing in and out and that's all that mattered.

For a while now I can't sleep, eat, do much. I missed a few days at college but I'll catch up. I'm learning extraordinary things and I'll just go with it, tell myself of COURSE I can do assessments! My class is full of amazing, worthwhile, caring people. Some are annoying. I'm sure I'm annoying to some.

On our first week there we had to pick a postcard and correlate it to why we chose to study Community Services and when it came to my turn I showed the class my card of a woman on fire and I said REALLY loudly,

"I'm here to fuck shit up."

And I am. Inside every single person is something buried deep within us that is so extraordinary. Most people don't dig hard enough. Or give up. Or pretend it's not there. But it's there. And even while battling so much shit right now I'm getting my stuff out, in whatever way I can, while I can.

And as I listened to my sons breathing and coughing in that bed I thanked whoever the fuck was in charge even though I do believe in random things for no reason at all - I said thank you anyway. Asked for protection and care with complete abandon. My sons brain is healing and he will be fine. I still got stuff to do. And I finally listened to every bit of this song. I'm very particular about my musical experiences so it had to be the acoustic version backstage.

Hozier is right - we were born sick.




"No Masters or Kings 
When the Ritual begins 
There is no sweeter innocence 
than our gentle sin 

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene 
Only then I am Human 
Only then I am Clean 
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. 
Take me to church I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies 
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife 
Offer me that deathless death Good God, let me give you my life."

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