Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Changing the Bad.

This year has been tough. I just weighed it up .. it could even possibly be my third-hardest year ever. I've lived 39 years and a lot has happened .. third-hardest is pretty hard. If all my years were at an Olympic Medal ceremony, this year would be up on the podium clutching a posy of flowers and tearfully accepting bronze.

I always wanted to be a journalist, but like most of the intentions and dreams in my life, it didn't pan out. And yet, having a personal blog is like being a journalist for yourself. Reporting your own life to the world.

I have to hold back a lot, lately. Things have gone from bad to ok to bad to worse to HELL to back to just being plain bad. I've been putting up with bad for so long, I actually became used to it.

Change the bad - that's what I did. Finally put my hand up and said, "Enough. I have had enough." And really mean it, you know?

Things have been TOUGH. Even my suspected aneurysm has taken a back seat. I've hardly thought of it ... I can't even feel it anymore. At this rate, a hospital stay would be warmly welcomed. Nobody to expect anything from me. I told Dave I would love a buzzer, for cups of tea.


On Saturday, I drove with Rocco in the car to a recovery meeting. It does not matter what I am recovering from .. we are all recovering from something, trust me.

My sister was minding Max and I drove to the meeting, woke a cranky Rocco up, strapped him into his stroller, turns out the meeting wasn't there anyway. Put him back in the car, fold up the stroller, etc.

All the stupid boring frustrating bullshit minutae of life. I got the correct address and turned on my GPS navigation, which told me to go around and around in circles. It's not possible to punch a disembodied voice. I tried. Tears of anger are always the hottest.

Finally we made it, late and flustered. Rocco ran around spilling water and complaining about the teacake and distracting the hell out of me. I was asked to share and I did ... halfway through, the chairperson rudely asked me to stop sharing so he could ask somebody else before the meeting finished.

In all my years of meetings, this has never happened. You're not SUPPOSED to do that. My anger was beautifully justified, because this guy was so clearly in the wrong. I have been to meetings where a person has droned on for twenty minutes. Instead of judging, I try to use the opportunity to practice my tolerance. And goddamn patience.

I packed up Rocco and left in a huff. FURIOUS.

A guy ran out after me and talked me off the ledge. There are many ledges in my life. Thankfully, many ledgetalkers also.

Sadly, Rocco destroyed my new L'Oreal lipstick, caking it all over both hands and his face. But that's all that was destroyed - nothing else. Not even myself. That is called "a good day."

Drove to my sister at the holiday house, and sat there fuming and introducing myself to her friends as the true batshit crazy fucker I am. The pop of the champagne bottle signified my time to leave. One bottle between four people? Pussies. What's the point of even having one if you can't have twenty? You social drinkers do my head in. There's something wrong with you.

I drove off with Rocco, and immediately got flagged down by a heavily pregnant and distressed woman with her two children. Carrying very heavy groceries and hopelessly lost ... been in the mountains for just one day and they needed help finding where they were staying.

The twelve-year old boy ... I'll call him Louis. Louis translated English back and forth between his mother and I. They were from South America. He handed me a card with their address on it, in big letters it said "DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER."

The voice in my head said, "Eden, you thought YOU were having a hard day.

I felt chastened and grateful and sad and selfish and spoilt. I helped all three of them into their seatbelts, the three-year old girl smiling shyly at my three-year old Rocco. I assured Louis and his mother that my son didn't have a contagious skin condition, it was just smeared lipstick. They were relieved.

Their tiny unit was on kind of a compound, all joined up by a kids play centre in the middle of the commons. The mother didn't want me to leave. She was so tired. Her eyes held her pain. I said to her ... you have been through a lot, haven't you? She nodded yes - she could understand English, just not speak it. I told her I had been through a lot too. And that she would be ok and she was safe. Louis was the man and put all their shopping away. I asked him if he needed anything - he said, some DVD's would be great.

On a mission, I took Rocco and went and bought them new toys, a football, clothes, five DVD's. I looked around, anxious to buy them the whole world and fix everything. Instead of the KMart Wishing Tree Appeal this year, I'd do this. I spent hundreds of dollars that I didn't have and I didn't care. What *does* a family on the run want from the shops? If I were a non-English speaking pregnant woman with nothing, escaping my violent partner .. what new shit would I like? I decided new clothes. And a doll for the sweet girl. (Parents of girls everywhere, how do you not kill yourselves in the Barbie Doll aisle?)

Finally I found a brunette doll with green eyes.

Doing this does not make me a good person. I'm a complete arsehole - truly, I am. I'M A COCK. Doing this appeased my guilt, and made me feel like I could show a vulnerable family that people cared.

I went back and handed all the bags to Louis and he very officially accepted them all. Very matter-of-factly, showing no surprise.

I drove home, and noticed the break in the weather. My outlook and perspective on where I was at in my life had been turned upside down and inside out. One day, years from now, those kids will be grown up and living lives of their own and making their own choices. They'll probably never remember me. And I will never forget them.

(I know, right? Big things happen to me all the time. But that's it - the big thing wasn't happening to me. It was happening to them.)



  1. Awe Eden. Something must be in retrograde or something. Maybe it is the butterfly effect gone bad. My son is in Juvenile detention, something went down bad with his Father, who he lives with. Unfortunately. He was supposed to be here for our thanksgiving. There are a bunch of us grabbing on the the beauty while we simultaneously have shit going down the tubes. I don't know... is there some sort of Universal balance thing going on? I say yes. I will say a little prayer-thing for your DV family. Most people would have driven on by, so I will say a little prayer thing for how thankful I am that there is you.

    Lipstick is over rated.

  2. Oh my god, Eden. I am in tears writing this. I could tell you've been having a fucker of a time, especially lately, through you're posts.
    Somehow, through all the shittiness, you manage to make me laugh, cry & look at the world with absolute wonder - usually at the same time. You have a true gift, my friend, and the world is SUCH a better place because you're in it.
    Those kids will remember you, believe me. Kindness like that is treasured and grows into something amazing that they will pass on to their kids.
    I'm so glad I found your blog, thanks for being real, man.

  3. I hope your rough patch smoothes soon. Just because someone might have it harder doesn't mean that your life isn't hard. That way of thinking only leads to further self-flagellation. Can you perhaps think of how good it is that you stop to help people, when everyone else walks on by? Or how you spend money you don't have to help people you don't know? Guilt? OK. But maybe you're just a good person at heart. That's what I think, anyway.

  4. If ever you need to come to Bondi and sit on my dirty white couch and let the kids run wild, you're welcome.

    Everyone is recovering from something (so true) and I'm always here to help you recover from the recovering. Because it's exhausting. xx

  5. Perspective is so interesting. Once we flew out on a cloudy day and as the plane rose above all the clouds and rain we were able see a magnificently sunny sky. You would have never known it was up there. From the ground it seemed like there were clouds all the way to outter space.

    Those people might never remember you (I bet they probably will) but their lives are forever changed by your actions.

  6. Piss on you girl because you are not a cock. You are a wonderful person who has been going through some apparently really shitty times this past year. Even if you did do that amazingly wonderful thing for that family to appease your guilt you still did it and I have no doubt that showing them that sort of kindness will have a ripple effect.
    *rant over* :)

  7. I just bawled my eyes out. And I am at work. Aw-kward.

    I don't care how many times you say that it's not true - you are a good person. You have an amazing heart. And I will continue to come here and remind you of that, until you have to take out a restraining order.


  8. Eden you are the bravest person....I know.

    This post and the other one when you talked to the bum that called you a slut....are the ones that release my tears for all the crap and lonely scary things that happen in life.

    And I always want to Kill my self in the barbie doll isle...ALWAYS. IT's a croc of princess shit...


  9. You need to get your pretty, guilty white arse to my house where I will give a bell. You can ring it whenever you want tea. For reals. Thinking of you mate x

  10. I can 100% guarantee that those children WILL remember you. But you know what makes you great? That you don't care if they don't! I am sorry that it has been such a rotten year, but I hope you know that the light you bring into the world far surpasses any darkness that could possibly enter your life. Thanks for sharing so candidly--you make the world a better place with your honesty and wisdom!

  11. That family will say prayers for you and Rocco long after the kids have outgrown the toys. This I promise you. Doing good like that creates a space in the world for all goodness, ours and others’ too.

    I wish you a calm season and a future filled with karma repayments coming your way: you put it out there, it comes back to you.

  12. Hi Eden, don't know what to say but big hugs and hopefully things get better for you soon xx

  13. Perspective is so powerful...a simple change of perspective can change everything.

    What you did, no matter why you did it, was amazing. You were there for that family in a very real, very needed way. That is something big, E.

    Much love to you...

  14. Man I feel like such whinger now. I'm definitely the arsehole!

    You look after yourself and I wish you that tea buzzer, you deserve it.

    Much love to you. xxx

  15. Man, it seems we all have piles of shit we are working on. to compare would do ourselves a great deal of injustice.

    you are remarkable.xoxoxoo

  16. I'll bring you tea. all the way from Wentworth Falls. fo.sho. X

  17. I have driven by...I have been like all those other people that already had driven by that family...I see a man who routinely visits the garden he has lovingly created at the roadside where his son a cyclist was killed...he brings his own water to lavish on the flowers...I have always wanted to stop and say can I help ? can I bring water too? can I help if you cant make it sometime? I never have...but stopping just once will be the start of something else..thanks for stopping Eden, I will too x

  18. Your posts are always so honest and real, and if I lived anywhere near Australia I would add to the offers of bells and tea :) I haven't been reading your blog long enough to know the full extent of what you've been going through, but you have small kids and in my books that's already enough to do anyone's head in any day.

    Well done you for helping someone in real need, and if it made you feel better to do it, so much the better - win-win situation! And as someone else already said, don't assume that your own problems are insignificant just because someone else's are worse. Coping with the minutiae of life is Just.So.Hard., and when you described the whole stroller & car & wrong destination incident I totally recognized the rage and the tears, and felt for you so much. Many times I've reached Core Meltdown just because the bloody minutiae keep piling up and piling up until I just can't breathe any more (check out this post of mine if you're interested:

    Meanwhile, if any of those lovely ladies offering a spot on their couch and a cuppa live anywhere near you, take them up on their offer. I am 100% sure they are only too happy to help, and we mums have to let ourselves be helped more often.

  19. Eden, I know you didn't write this to hear this, but you ARE wonderful.

    Just by being so open and honest you inspire others.

    But... I suppose it would be politically incorrect for me to track down the idiot chairperson and punch him in the nose?

  20. you are a great cock. just sayin'.


  21. O.M.F.G. - you are amazing, all the shit you got goin on in your life and you do that - fuck ME you are a hell of a generous, loving, beautiful person. You are NOT a cock!

    PS. Thanks for the loving care package you sent me - I SO need a laugh right now and I think you picked up on my VIBE xx

    Love you man
    Leigh-Leighs xxx

  22. Sometimes I laugh manicly wondering who's idea of a big joke this life is.
    That it can be like quicksand and the harder you try to make things work the deeper you sink. Even when you think you've hit rock bottom a whole new chasm opens beneth you and you start the furious struggle again.

    Do NOT ever dwell on how others have it Eden.
    The fact that you are makes you more of a superstar than you realise. It is not easy to think of others when you're riding your own wave from hell, and yet you were able to.

    Do you not see how thoughtful that is. To spend money you don't have, on things for people you don't know?

    I am sorry you have reached out and people have failed you. You were right, it was rude to be interrupted, especially because you were going there for help.
    You are tired. And it's ok to be tired. Take some time off for you, whatever that means, but time for you to recharge, and fill up your tank. It's ok to need help and need time away. You aren't failing anyone in admitting that or asking for it.
    Dave sounds like a wonderful man who would give you the world and then some if you asked. So ask!

  23. You stopped because you are Eden and you are AMAZING. Please come to me. I make lovely tea x

  24. 1. You are a good person.

    2. You are loved.

    3. You love.

    The end.


  25. I have big and deep and rambling thoughts on this post that I'm too scared to go into so instead I'll tell you that the Barbie aisle is THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.

    xoxo much love babe

  26. Sometimes life is richer for that little gift of perspective. Even though the reasons for your crappy day might still be there, you have made a difference is someones life today. Love this post, LOVE what you did. Kia Kaha.

  27. I want a recovery meeting. The funding ran out for ours. It was a different kind of recovery, maybe. For women. Do women count as much as they should in our society?

    It was a great thing you did for that woman. Thank you....

    I'm sorry you feel like you do. I'm sorry anyone has to feel this sort of pain. I used to think it was just me.

    You make me feel normal, Eden, because I keep thinking I'm the only one that hurts and can't find a way to stop hurting. I feel guilty for continually hurting, even though, on the surface, I don't have a reason to hurt.

    And I think you're extraordinary. Why is it that we can't see this about ourselves?

  28. For what it's worth I think You are an amazing young woman for being able to see beyond your own pain and help someone in need. I doubt that Louis ever forgets the day the redhead stopped and helped his family. Butterfly effect indeed. A Redhead butterfly.
    I hope the bad in your life turns around. Sooner rather than later.

  29. Sorry you are going through such a hard time! What you did for those people though was sooooooooooo thoughtful. I bet you they remember you for the rest of their lives!! You came out of nowhere and rescued them from a very shitty day they were having.

  30. I hope you find the extra strength you are looking for, Eden. Although I think you are an awesomely strong woman already.

  31. Wow. Imagine if more people having Bronze Medal crappy years did things like you do. What a different place we'd all be in. You are not bronze, you are gold.
    --signed, a humble reader who mostly lurks but always love your style.



    D was here.

  33. And this is why I come here every day.

    I'm sorry it has been such a shit year Eden but I love how you write and I love how you think and I can't help but think that your writing has to be one of the truly great gifts that comes from all of this grief. I'm so glad that you blog. Please don't ever stop.

    By the way. I made my first ever vlog and it was truly shit. OMG - so so bad.

    I don't think those kids are going to forget you in a hurry.

  34. Addiction SUCKS!!

    Recovery is HARD!!

    And right now, coming off of one of my best and worst years simultaneously all I have to offer you are the words that you are not alone and a hug. A giant cyber hug from me. {{Hugs}} I hope it helps, even just a teeny, tiny bit.

  35. Who in the hell interupts someone at a meeting? I've been in my fair share of na one has permission to do that. Even when sometimes I'm pretty sure the person sharing is USING and making no sense.

    I'm sorry. You are always welcome to my meeting. :) LOve you!

  36. You're such an amazing person; you say cock but I say inspiration to try and be better and more compassionate. Big things do happen a lot; they are happening to everyone all the time, but most of us are too busy with our heads up our arses to see x

  37. I was a kid once. I remember a sack of potatoes magically appearing on our door step. I remember the person who stoked the fire when it was just me and my sister home. I remember the folded washing and the stew.

    I wish I could forget the hell that os a barbie aisle.

    Don't sell yourself short. Trust me, that family will remember you.

  38. Omg Eden, you are such a beautiful person inside & out! Do u know how many people would have stopped for that pregnant lady or that nurse holding up all the traffic or the bum that called u a slut? Well I don't know how many either. It doesn't matter! YOU stopped to help that pregnant mum & her kids. Omg they will never forget u 4 sure babe! Everyone has bad days, but u sure as shit have some good days coming to u, ur owed a couple, big time babe. Believe babe, good things come to those who wait!
    love from me, Alsa xxxxxxxxx

  39. You are amazing!
    That is all.

  40. I totally fucking love you at this moment Eden. You are the most courageous person I've ever read. You will always have a friend here in Canada.

  41. Eden, you have nothing to feel guilty for. You didn't create the situation that that family was in. We each of us have our own life to live. Good or bad, what we relate to most, is what is going on in our own life. Don't make yourself a bad guy because that's what you were doing.(just like every other person on the planet) You are one of those rare people who can see beyond themselves, even when things are tough. Who when she saw someone in genuine need. Did what was in her power to do, to make things better for them. Not many people would do the same.

    I doubt those children will ever forget that kind lady who brought them gifts when they most needed some kindness.

    Now, all you need to do. Is learn how to be kind to yourself.

  42. Eden, you are truly amazing and I love you.

  43. And I thought *I* was having a bad day. I feel like a jerk for thinking my day was tough at home with a 1 and 3 year old who have conspired to do me in this week.

    I'm sorry you're hurting and thanks for your post. You're a really good person and you should believe that about yourself once in awhile.

    Oh, and I fucking HATE getting lost. I feel you.

  44. Aww shucks. I don't know what to say.

  45. What can I say? You went and did what many of us (me) says they would like to do when they see someone in trouble. Even when you needed your own Eden to help you. Keep doing what you do, you do it so well. From a wannabe journo and Barbie isle horror victim. xx

  46. And here you are again. In an endless sea of words on the web, you're an island, Eden. Far out. Even that statement I just made makes perfect synchronistic sense. Of course you're name's Eden. Man... and stop calling yourself shitty names, will you? Bugs me xxxx I LOVE YOU

    p.s. True story: I was in the Barbie aisle once, buying a doll for a 2yo (as a good deed, but not anywhere near as good as yours) not more than 3 months after my daughter died. It *almost* made my brain split. Deeply profound day that was.

  47. I also wanted to be a journalist. I'm glad the day turned around. I cannot believe the guy cut you off during your sharing.

    I am sure the mother will always remember you. Maybe the little boy will too. You appeared at a dark moment for them, lost, in a language they didn't completely understand. You remember people who help you in times like that.

  48. I got a nice big bitch-slap of perspective lately too. Twice. But still. Shit's hard. Much love x

  49. Jung used to say that the best cure for all neuroses was helping others.

    Even he understood how we are wired.

  50. I've only been reading your blog for a little while but I've fallen in love with your bravery committment and honesty. Hugs to a beautiful lady xx

  51. You never cease to amaze me Eden. I feel the ache of your every word - a sure sign of a brilliant writer.

    So happy someone was there to talk you off the edge, and I bet the family you helped were so relieved someone rescued them from their ledge.

  52. Ditto to what everyone else here has said.
    I love ya sisterman xx

  53. Eden,
    They may not remember your name or face but they might remember the halo of red hair and will definitely remember what it feels like to have a person stop and care.
    Your act of caring is just as important to them as it is good for you and your battered and bruised soul. You may not be in a crisis shelter but your very being is also seeking refuge and bruised by the outer world and also by what you do to yourself.. I hope you begin to love yourself more Eden and be gentle to yourself - you are much loved by others and also by the invisible support group here - we are all holding hands for you and would keep you safe and loved if we could.

  54. One little girl knew she was getting nothing for Christmas and somebody kind gave her a doll and and it made her feel love and valued and worthwhile. That one action changed her life. Her name was OPRAH..... You did good.

  55. Ah, perspective is a bitch. Good for you for taking control of the bad and turning it on its head. And what you did? Just amazing.

  56. I think those children will remember that - in a world where not much kindness has come their way, someone was kind, generous and thoughtful. I think that will be memorable.


  57. You've got a great big heart of gold, you do.
    Loved this.

  58. You're not a cock, you've got a good heart. And I relate. Bless you.

  59. I love you heart Eden. You are a good person. xx

  60. you are not a cock! you are so much more then that.

  61. Oh my goodness. This is just so sad and so beautiful.

    You are not a cock. You are a beautiful and wonderful person. You are so right ... we all have baggage (sometimes mine feels like it could fill a container ship) and things just get us down (these last 2 years have been the worst I have ever known) .. but that was just so beautiful how you could work past your hurt and help that family out.

  62. I don't think those kids will forget you - the mother won't let them. x

  63. There is a saying that goes along the lines of "people never remember what you say but will never forget how you made them feel"'s so true.....that family especially the mum, will remember the red head who first helped them, because it made them feel good....a side bonus is that it made you feel better too.

  64. Best post ever. You have such a way with words. Everyone else has said it all. So, so glad I didn't miss this post. Totally turned my own perspective around.

  65. You brought me to tears. I don't know why you think you're a cock, but that gesture you did for that family was completely non-cock-like. Shamefully, I don't know if I would have even stopped for that little family. You went above and beyond.

    As for your sharing getting interupted... I'm dumbfounded. I've sat through many meetings as a D&A worker and have never seen that either. So much for support. I'm glad someone had the sense to run after you.

    There's still time for journalism yet. You're practically there already xxx

  66. You sparkle, Eden. I'm sorry you are hurting. x

  67. You see all these lovely ladies telling you that you are not a cock and how wonderful you are?
    They come here because of you. Because of who YOU are.
    Eden, there is very few people in this world who choose to live honestly, without the little white lies to save the hurt they may cause. You don't. And that's a good thing.
    Feel the love Eden.

  68. Eden thank you for always sharing so openly, you reminded me of how lucky I am again.

    It's a shame that with your love of life, your hearty laugh and joy you bring to others you call yourself a cock.

    A cock would have looked at that sad trio and walked on by, or pretended to have child with a rash so they didn't have to deal with it while pretending they couldn't understand them.

    Instead you stepped outside of yourself to give to others when you didn't feel you had the resources to do so. That is strength, love and humanity right there my friend.

    Inspiring and changing the world. They will remember you.

  69. thank you, that's about all I can muster tonight, thank you for being that person without even thinking about it.


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...