Saturday, 9 October 2010
I need to get off my cross and build a bridge to get over myself. Or find myself. Know thyself? Or use the wood to club myself in the face repeatedly.
Out of my emotional league. Every day I have cried - usually sobbed. One morning I rang Dave and spoke evenly with him, then rang my brother and had a complete meltdown, right there in my delicious Balinese pancakes with sugar syrup.
I've walked for miles and miles, all around Monkey Forest Road, finally worked my burger flab off. Completely ditched the writers festival ..... one of the "helpers" spoke to me so rudely, put me on the spot in front of all the other white people next to me, I felt like a criminal. I was already self-conscious and anxiety-ridden anyway. I left the event - it was on Writing your Digital Future, about writing in the online world, what it means for information and media and blogs, etc.
So ashamed of myself, so stupid, so desperately missing my children and my family. Never, ever coming away by myself again. Last night I psyched myself into going to the Poety Slam, the one thing I really wanted to go to. I met a lady in my hotel who was going as well, so we shared a ride and ate dinner together. She was lovely, regaling me with tales of her travels in the early 70's. When Kuta itself was just a village. We ordered dinner and drinks - lemon squash for me, Kamikaze for her. She talked about the cocktails she has prepared before, asked me if I'd tried them, and I shook my head no. I imagined telling her the truth - Actually, my main reason to come here was not for the writers festival at all. It was to take some time out by myself and celebrate turning ten years clean and sober this month.
But I did not say that because there is so much involved in that statement I wouldn't know how to explain it. Ten years ago I was a different person than I am now. Change is possible. Recovery is real, it exists. Active alcoholism and addiction is a worldwide epidemic and getting worse, people think there is no way out. But there is, and myself and the boys I have brought into this world are living testaments to that.
Here I am in my luxury hotel, crying and sobbing over how low and lonely and terrible and guilty I feel. How DARE I come on a holiday by myself. A rich bitch. I am never doing this again. My driver asked why I was not going to the festival much - I said, I prefer the Balinese people more than the white people. He laughed and laughed. I asked him to drive me to a huge grocery store, where I bought a 25-kilo bag of rice and bulk cooking oil and noodles and cordial. And some brightly coloured balls and toys and wind-up airplanes. We drove an hour away, to an orphanage tucked away in a rural street. There are 126 abandoned kids here, between the ages of 8 and 14.
About twenty children were there when we drove up, my driver Wayan gave the lady in charge the food and I handed them out the toys. It was Christmas. I showed them how to play with the plastic bowling set and they laughed. Some boys about Max's age latched on to the soccer balls, headbutting them with skill. They had a swingset, in the middle of the dirt. They all looked clean and looked after. I hoped they were safe, and nobody preyed on them .... the lady was in her late sixties and was the only adult there.
Tomorrow I will go back, to take more rice and cereal and eggs. And books - the lady said no, they had books from the government .... but they were just maths and english books. I will hunt down some fun, bright interesting books with pictures. Maybe some of them will fall in love with books, like I did when I was a child. Maybe I will create my own writer and readers festival, in that very orphanage.
I will always visit there. If Dave and the boys and I come back at Christmastime, I will take them there - Dave can help advise the builders how to fix the place up. It's dreadful. My kids can learn about giving to other people, and how important it is. How lucky they are to live in a nice house with both parents.
Driving back, my driver said,
"Miss Eden, you are a good person, not many people do what you do."
I said no, I am selfish because it makes me feel better to give.
I am a selfish, anxiety-ridden arsehole middle-aged idiot who needs to get over herself.
My other driver, Eddy ... asked me where can he take me - the volcano? The beautiful mountains? There was only one place I want Eddy to take me - to see his brand new baby, born two days ago, still in hospital. He said OF COURSE! Beaming and proud. I have a teddy bear and a book for the baby, I need to get something else for the three-year old brother who may be feeling left out.
I have been feeling dangerous. So many people smoke here, I felt so lost and fucked-up. I sat at a ramshackle table with some really poor people. It stank like garbage and it was the most comfortable I have felt the whole time I have been here. I offered to pay 1000 rupiah for a cigarette off this guy, (10 cents) .... he gave me one. I haven't smoked in about seven years. Sometimes I'm so sick of being "good." I lit it, and bum puffed about half, not inhaling once. It was MENTHOL. (Thank you, Universe.)
I am a terrible bargainer. I hate haggling - haggle over something that will cost me $7 instead of $5? No. So all the ladies kind of smirk that they are pulling a swift one over the dumb western woman, but I let them. I won't need another summer dress for a very long time.
The only time I have felt ok is when I'm getting a massage. A two hour massage with hair cream treatment and facial, costs $60AUD. Only then do I feel better ... like, they are honouring me with their touch and it helps to honour myself. Have not felt such self-loathing in YEARS.
I have gone on motorbike rides, around town. It's fucking exhilerating ... of course I burn my leg on the exhaust pipe, so have been hobbling around with a pink and blistered mark.
Finally, I popped it today, Using the back of my earring, the yellow juice dripping down my leg. I'm sure it's symbolic - of something, I don't know what. Maybe my tattoo is wrong? Maybe I need to Know Thyself LESS. Forget myself, my stupid brain with its stupid thoughts. And stupid, ridiculously self-absorbed feelings that do no good whatsoever.
Eddy just rang, and is picking me up in ten minutes to go and see a healer.
Something tells me I need it.
For the first time, I'm not even editing a blog post. I apologise for the raw. Always with the raw.
Comments off here. Please go and show some love and support on one of my very first online-friends blogs. Louise. She died, from cancer. Leaving behind her one-year old daughter conceived through IVF, her beautiful stepchildren, and loving husband. Tomorrow I will light a candle and burn some incense, in her honour. Desperately sad for her family, the unfairness. I can't believe it.