Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I Have Absolutely No Clue What to Call This Post

Sometimes I get so stuck in life and it takes a lot of shedding and peeling back the layers to become myself again. And I go to write a blog post about it but freeze ... why do I think I'm so special that I need to tell the world what's up in my life? Blogging is indeed a strange thing, can mean so many different things depending on the mood or circumstance.

I've avoided Dave's phonecalls for days. I'm ridiculously stubborn. He has hurt my feelings so much lately that I've just shut down, for a while. It's very, very easy for me to do this to people ... except the two that matter most. My two boys, my sons. (I have sons!?)

Watching Rachel's Getting Married yesterday, I wept. Such a brilliant portrayal, I would be surprised if the writer of that film is not an addict. Remembering my sister Linda's wedding, when I was fresh out of rehab and my whole extended family was there and I squirmed in my white Lisa Ho dress with the silver shoes. Everybody knew my business. I was beneath everyone, and felt alternate bursts of Fuck You, Straighties! to Oh My God everyone is better than Meeeeeee.

Honoured to be bridesmaid, but I was the bad bridesmaid. A raging egomaniac with the worst inferiority complex ever. So fucking self-obsessed it was ridiculous. A few short months later I was to relapse again and my sisters and I stopped all communication, for a while. It hurt like a bitch. Simultaneously fucking up my life, yet truly had enough of being the family's scapegoat, who carried all the shame and pain. I stopped my role in the family, forcing the others to either change or resolutely remain the same.

If you'd told me back then I would have the relationship with both of my sisters I have now, I would have spat out my coffee. But I do - we do. One of the biggest gifts of recovery is my two big sisters. Our blood is thick. We see everything that happened, in each others eyes ... like Vietnam Vets we laugh and rage about it together, stuck like glue, a sense of "You were there, too, huh. You saw it and lived it." Not how children are supposed to be brought up. We were dragged up ... often, by our hair.

I talk to them on the phone, and listen to them struggle too. Always about the same thing ... parenting, the challenges that arise from trying so desperately to parent your children the exact opposite you yourself were raised. The Anger is in all three of us. I secretly think it is in me the most, but that could just be my ego talking. My sisters are wonderful mothers. They come back to the page, time and time again, always striving to be better, stronger, compassionate. We all don't want to crush our children's spirits, the way ours were crushed. We try to be good mothers. And when we fuck up, we apologise. Max always accepts my apology very gravely, in this knowing way. Like he understands the struggle. Having parents who looked through you .... were burdened by you, who hated you. Leaves a fucking cavern, that's for sure.

Max knows there was a lot amiss, in my childhood. I can't lie, he is so in tune it's breathtaking. For a few days lately it has just been Max and I, reconnecting again, for the first time in over a year. He is on school holidays - the bliss of not rushing around every morning getting him to school on time. Told me he had never seen Men in Black, so we quickly rectified that. I bought the family edition of Trivial Pursuit, with kids cards and adults cards. He has won both times. Finally, somebody to play board games with! (Dave hates board games, because I always win. Because I am smarter. Whoopsies, did I just blog that out loud??) I'm taking Max down to KFC tomorrow, beause he forlornly tells me he has never been, in his whole life.

He has had recurring dreams that an owl pecks him on the head. I look it up in my dream book and it means "death, something grave will happen. Foreboding. Enemies approaching." Freaked the shit out of me. If anything happens to my kids, I swear to God I would slit my throat rather than live without them.


I think the events of the past year have marked me even more. Maybe in a good way, maybe made me more fucked up. Who knows. I guess I struggle through life .... just like everybody else.

The other night Max was chatting away, about the difference between adults and kids.

I said "You know what, mate? I'll tell you the secret about adults."

His eyes lit up and he looked at me half smiling, half smugly, because he was about to be told a secret.

"Yes? What secret?"

"Well, the secret is .... you never actually feel like a grown up. Every single adult just feels like a kid inside."

It was like I told him who shot JFK.

"Oh my GOD MUM. Wow. So we are all the same."

"Yes my sweet baby guy. We are all the same."

He thought for a while.

"Are you going to call me your sweet baby guy when I am 37 and you are 67?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

Wow. It's like, my neck is a treetrunk.


  1. And I'm gonna call The Little Guy "Winkie" til I'm terribly old and he is too.

    I remember the recovery days Eden, those days where everyone else is simultaneously weird and straight and superior but fucked up in a different way all the same.

    And might I say, do forgive Dave. I'll make you a deal - I'll be nicer to my husband (even when he's being a dick) if you forgive yours.

  2. I love how you describe your relationships, particularly your relationship with Max. He really is your best friend, isn't he?

  3. I love you too.

    I love that you get it.

    I love that you are not ashamed to write about it all.. including your neck.
    I think you are a wonderful mother and I could learn a thing or two from you.

  4. Eden, thanks for writing about the shedding and peeling. Thanks for blogging past the freeze. Reading you helps me to thaw out a little bit more each time.

    I was just thinking that I wanted to watch Rachel Getting Married again - I wept watching it, too. Even though my addictions have not been to drugs or alcohol, there was so much there that I related to. And not just her, but the whole family. It was so beautifully done - how much sorrow and heartbreak and shame can exist around such love and compassion and tenderness.

    I was just wondering the other day - what is your favourite colour to wear? I need to know.

  5. Your Max is such a sweetheart!

  6. Your relationship with Max is awesome. What an amazing kid, and what a phenomenal mom!!!

  7. You're such a great mom. Reading how you and Max interact gives me something to strive for with my daughter, you know, once she's old enough to communicate through words rather than cries.

  8. I am so glad you have relationships with your sisters. Nobody can ever understand what you all went through and why you are the way your are like siblings. Some siblings turn that against each other. It's wonderful that you guys bond over it.

  9. I love Max! I hope Zilla grows up to be just like Max! Although, I think he won't. I think that's Nae's job, to be wiser beyond her years.
    I hope Max's dreams go away and you all are feeling very peaceful, soon!

  10. Eden you are the BEST mum! Max & Rocco are very lucky to have you.

    Remember life is too short.

  11. That is a beautiful picture. That boy KNOWS his mother loves him with everything she's got. It is written all over his face! :-) And that comment about your neck almost made me spit out my water!

    Hugs, to you E. I wish I could open that head of yours and fill it with all the love in the world. There is so much there to love! I'll keep telling you, because we all need to hear it more, that you are a very special person and the world is a MUCH better place because you are in it. Much better.

  12. What an inspiring post. There are so many times that I feel totally fucked up by my mom and her damn religion. I wonder I could be if I had ever been taught to believe in myself and to live each day with happiness in the now and not always looking for what will come later. I want desperately to be able to raise a strong self aware child should I ever be given the chance. I have some relationship with my sister but what is probably stupid fear has built a wall to me pursuing things further and it drives me nuts sometimes.
    I love how you told Max that grown ups feel like kids still. I always imagined that when I became an adult I'd feel so much different from what I had felt as a child or young adult or something and sometimes it makes me crazy that I still have no fucking idea what I should do.

  13. What is this "Rachel's Getting Married"? Sounds like something I need to see.

    One of the 9's that I've yet to do stems from my sole experience as a Best Man. I got so out of control that I ended up holed up in a kid's treehouse before puking in the bride's mum's rose bushes.

    Good times.

  14. I love you. I wish you didn't carry the PTSD you do; it seems incredibly unfair that you got shit on so much as a child. I wish I had the power to rewind time and change that for you. You're doing beautifully with your life now, though. You're lining all the blackness with silver and making a such a good life for your boys. It will never be that bad again. Find rest in the knowledge that you're not the scapegoat anymore; you're strong, redeemed and beautiful. You're without price, twice alive. And very, very loved.



Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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