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.

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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.)


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