Monday, 21 July 2014

I Gotta Owie.

Three years ago, I stood on a wharf near my Uncle Petes' boat down at Killcare and watched some fishermen descale, behead, and gut their fish. Rocco was three, walking behind me. Just as I thought I should stop him so he wouldn't see the bloody scene, he clocked it and RAN up. I distinctly remember thinking well, it's Rocco. I'm sure he'll be fine about the gore.

From a teeny tot, Rocco has always been the toughest, most hardcore motherfucker I've ever met. If anybody hurts themselves to warrant a bandaid: "SHOW ME THE BLOOD!" If he accidentally sees something on TV he's not supposed to: "LET ME WATCH!" He only ever cries if he's really hurt. Once when he was about six months old, he got so pissed off about lying down in the middle of a nappy change that he pulled up to a sitting position using only his abs. Pretty sure he is actually a superhero.

We did IVF to make him and I think we fucked with nature. Daves' strongest genes + my strongest genes = Rocco. I picture him swimming around the petri dish with the other eight embryos, punching them out of the way so he got chosen.

At one point I made him wear one of those backpack monkey things with the long strap like a leash. Yes, I walked my kid down the street like a dog. Because he kept running into traffic and I was already in full-blown PTSD from other things. He HATED it. We'd fight, in the middle of the sidewalk. The most headstrong child I have ever known ... you know how we compromised? He held his own leash. He walked his self down the street slowly, and never ran into traffic again.

Anyway so three years ago I took these snaps of those fishermen with their carnage. Because I'm a weirdo who takes photos of strange things, but also because one day I want to remind Rocco of what he said afterwards.

My three-year old Rocco, my gorgeous, beautiful blonde champion, stood there taking in the scene, completely unfazed and transfixed. Finally he just said:

"Those fish have gotta owie."

Understatement of the year. I'll never forget his innocence - the fish were actually fillets by this stage. They all had a big, very huge owie.

Sometimes when I'm in a lot of pain, I think to myself "It's ok. You just gotta owie."

Some days I walk around the world with a big slit up my centre and my guts are falling out and I keep slipping on the blood from my intestines and people ask how I am and I say I'm ok.

I'm not. I gotta owie. It's hard to focus on my blessings all the time, even though I am very grateful that I have a beautiful family and nobody is dying (well hopefully) and we have a roof over our heads. I'm not in Gaza or the Ukraine or on a boat seeking asylum from cold hearted politicians.

But life is still hard and I really need to ask you guys for a favour today - how you deal with your owies? What do you say to yourself, what do you do? Do you even lift, Computer?

Do you use cognitive dissonance or do you feel all your shit? Do you think you're better than everybody else? Worse? Medium? I'll go first - I watch TV, bake cakes, remind myself this will all end one day, go for walks, (even when it's really hard) get onto my childrens level, (that one helps a lot) do recovery meetings, mindlessly surf the internet for stupid things like the EXACT part of the Daffy Duck cartoon I was looking for. Also write poetry with kerosene words. And cry a lot.

Let's put our owie cards on the table. Maybe if the people who think they're the only ones struggling can talk about how they're the only ones struggling - well, then they won't be the only ones struggling? MATHS.

How the hell do you get through?

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

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