Friday, 27 March 2015

In Letting Him Go, I Get To Keep Him. (528 days)

This is a post I thought I would never write. Ever.




Ever. But here it is, straight off the presses. I need to write this post. The quality of the rest of my life and possibly my children's lives depend on the ability and courage and pain it's going to take to write this post.

So imma write this motherfucking post. And I'll keep it is as sharp as succinct and straight to the jugular as I can. Hey now there's a good writers tip. "Aim for the jugular. And when your readers bleed out and slip down in their seats from sheer ferocious truth, you'll know you've done your job properly."

I just googled the days between October 15th 2013 and March 27th 2015 and it's only 528 days? THAT'S NOTHING! NO WONDER! WHAT!

But who here is a liiiiiitle bit thinking Eden, really hon, I love you but you got to start moving. Forward. On. Together. Something. I know I have, I feel it like I'm reading a book too close to the fire and the pages are starting to curl up from the heat.

Man that furnace must have been hot to burn a body as strong as his.

Truth? I'm still not entirely sure a lot of people grasp the complete desperation and hopelessness and devastation my brother Cam left inside me when he took himself away that day in October. Ending years of fighting, giving up, fighting, resilience, torment, anger, abandonment, pain. And is that not what humans feel anyway? What the hell did he think - life is a bed of roses for the the rest of us? Actually there was a moment a few months ago and I had just yelled at everybody in the entire family and the house was a mess and I was transferring piss sheets to the washing machine and then the load in the dryer fell out on top of my head and the boys were shouting and we were late and I just stopped. And laughed, so, so hard. Yelling at my dead brother now like I do sometimes.


And here's the part where I'm supposed to say all these platitudes about life worth living anyway and seeing the wildflowers in the cracks of the pavement where the grass grows and the simple joy I find in amazing moments and oh my god, I am just so incredibly lucky and thrilled to be here.


I don't say shit that's not true for me and that shit's not true for me. It never will be. I will drag my sorry arse around the earth until I die from something but until then I have every right to feel whatever the godddamn hell I'm gonna feel. As do you. Right or wrong. We feel what we feel.

My brother didn't die once. He died 528 days straight, in my eyes - and counting. Every day is another day further from those eyes, that wit, that SOMETHING that I wanted to force down his throat so he could live life but he just couldn't. For a myriad, a plantation, a clusterfuck, an amalgamation of reasons.

I caught myself sipping a cup of tea looking out the window last week thinking, "Good on you mate." And it took me by surprise, this teeny pocket of acceptance around what he has done. He has fucked with  my entire belief system about every construct I ever built up about the world with my bare hands. He ripped god from the sky and angels from heavens and left me with nothing. But that's the thing - he didn't leave ME. He was not MY POSSESSION. I have claimed ownership over him and his death like some really fucked up thing but the truth is, Cameron belonged to Cameron. His whole life. Sure he changed my entire world when he was born and love flooded into my heart for the first time ever but that wasn't his fault and it wasn't mine. It just happened.

Somebody incredibly well-meaning once told me that I am having an abnormal grief reaction and at first I was offended but now I agree. Because when he was born, I had an abnormal love reaction. Due to circumstance. And when you really think about it, is not all love abnormal I mean WHY would we choose to put our hearts on the line like that, when it can be wrenched away? It's why I hardly have, for my entire life. For fear of being ripped open.

The death, THE DEATH of my brother has irrevocably changed me and I will never be the same again. I will never be the same again. 528 days of not being the same Eden - a weeping Eden, bleeding Eden, once a little girl who loved her brother so much she thought her heart would explode from love.

And that got taken away. And I have seen and felt some stuff but you guys? Never. Nothing. No adjectives. I still find it hard to believe that there are other people in the world who could possibly come close to the loss and depth of pain I feel after losing someone you love. I guess that's why it's good to talk about it, let it out, purge, let people in, cry. Bono says a friend is someone who lets you help. I've let a few in, this past year and a bit. Let them see me at my worst. They still stuck around.

I have written off entire relationships because of what has happened. I have had gifts, from Cams death. Which are painful because I don't want gifts but there they are, shining, rising, waiting to be opened. I am free. I am truly free in a way I have never been before. All bets are off. Everything got thrown up into the air. I almost died, a few times. I left my marriage. I decided to become a slam poet in honour of him and every single stage I stand and every single page I fill I do it because I would not have done it if he had not have died. And if my words, my grief, this strange outpouring of emotion on a website can make somebody out there feel a teeny less alone? That's from Cam. I've given out gifts and money to the people in this world on behalf of my brother. God I've had to hold on like nothing ever before. No safety harness. Just keep climbing. In awe of how hideous it is.

Grief rhymes with thief. And it is - oh it's stolen so much of me. Some parts never to be returned. Some parts of me got burnt in his cremation with him and the world will never see those parts of me ever again. They don't deserve to. My guy is gone.

But what the world WILL see, is a person who has faced intense, immense pressure to cave.

I know a few of you know how close I came to caving. But I didn't I just got caved in and now it's time to unearth myself because sometimes? I watch a slam poem on You Tube and my hairs stand on end the words get me so deeply and I want to do that, be that. I want the hairs on strangers arms to stand up when I talk. How do you do that? With truth. Recognition. Reassurance. Remembering ... we're all in it together. I'm in this together with you, you guys. In time from now somebody will find my website and my words and pore over every blogpost I pored over when I wrote out my grief. And they will find comfort. And because it's been 528 days ... I got a few breadcrumbs to spare, to show them the way out of the pain of the pain.

One day I want more than breadcrumbs. I want to own a bread factory and just bomb people houses, the people who sit inside weeping and keening for their lost ones and how do they go on?

They do. You do. I do. I will. I have decided to. I have decided to, from now on, when I write and think and talk about my brother Cameron - to honour him with memories of his warmth and love and humour and wit and intelligence and love - oh, his love. He had too much of it to give and he hardly got enough of it himself. Either did I - I always thought he'd make it through because - I just did. Because *I* did. But he was a white alpha male being played by "the patriarchy" in the same way we all are.

I wish he chose life. Wishes can blow me.

So my sweetheart I have started to worry that I have been tethering you to the earth with my pain and I don't want that for you my first guyo. Soar. Be free. Go. I'm cool. I got this. Maybe I am as strong as you said in your note - but maybe being strong is admitting how utterly scared and human and afraid you are. You did kind of cheat a bit and missed the ending of your own life so for all I know you've already been born again into a different family. May that family love every inch of who you are. And may you have a little freckle-faced red-haired LITTLE sister who YOU feel responsible for and every so often you look over and get the most peculiar sense of deja vu. May you look after her and love her like I loved you.

Nothing lasts forever. Not you, not me ... maybe our love. Our love came from somewhere nether.

You will teach me things for the rest of my life and I promise I will be open enough to learn from them. 528 days is NOTHING. You were alive for more than TWELVE THOUSAND DAYS. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being you even though you hated yourself so much. I need to let go of you a little bit, so I can survive. There will always be days for the rest of my life when I will keel over suddenly and keen and keen and keen and keen for you. You deserve it. Fuck I loved you with the very most purest parts of my heart. Always will.

So I don't know what I'll metamorphosis into next - but it will be for you. And for my other boys. But you were the first. You kept me alive. You showed me what love was by your mere existence.

I want you to know that I understand. I'm so proud of you. I'm letting you go so I can keep you. It doesn't make sense. Life is stupid - we both knew that.

For the rest of my life I want to find ways to celebrate your life, do things I never would have done if you had not killed yourself. I wish you didn't kill yourself. But you did. And I need to accept that to go on living.

I need to let you go. I love you so much, my Bam-Bam ... that I let you go.

Be free. Be free for me. Hell - be free for you. I have a feeling I will never see you again. That's ok. You just do what you need to do for you. That's all. That's all.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Driving Down To Sydney To Go On The Morning Show Thinking "I CAN'T GO ON THE MORNING SHOW" But I Went On The Morning Show Because I Can Do Big Things. Just Like You.

I had to wear my BIG TOUGH cowboy boots for this one. In the car on the way there I played Sarah Blasko then some Lil Wayne even though he annoys me a bit but I had to toughen up. For someone so strong, I'm so very weak. Contradiction in all that I do.

If you already sponsor a child - through World Vision or anywhere else, if you walk past charity buckets in the mall and chuck coins in, if you donate online on a whim to some cause that caught your eye .... you are saving peoples lives. Fact.

Working with the people from World Vision - letting them take me across the world far away from crazy neurotic Western culture to places where people are too busy surviving to get caught up in much else - is singularly the most rewarding, incredible, soul-enriching thing I've ever done. It was worth building a blog out of embarrassing and dark stories to be able to help make a sliver of a difference. And it all came from attending a "Social Media for Social Good" Panel at the Problogger Event a few years ago where I went up after the WV presentation and said, "How can I help? A blog badge in my sidebar?" (Thanks to Mr Problogger - Darren Rowse. You beautiful soul, I owe you.)

Tickets to the next Problogger event go on sale TODAY!

I was raging with panic and anxiety in this interview but you can't tell. So many of us, walking around, hiding it, doing things that need doing. I miss my brother I miss him so bad but you gotta keep keeping on. You do. I do. Some of us don't and I'm understanding that more and more but we gotta do what we can in this life to help out our peers on the planet otherwise what's the use? Diving into our buckets of money and belongings like Scrooge McDuck in his treasure cave?

No. That's not the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to PUT some meaning in your life. It's hard and painful. The best most rewarding things always are.

On the drive on the way back I said out loud in the car to my dead brother "Well Cam, that was from the both of us. Whatever I do I do for the both of us." I hope he heard me. He went missing and took a piece of me with him. Good.

I thanked Kayla and Jon from World Vision who I met just that day and I thanked them, for working with me. Told them that World Vision save thousands (millions?) of people all over the world and I said "You guys, World Vision has played a huge role in saving mine too. Thank you  more than you'll ever know." And I cried and hugged them even though I'd only met them that day but who cares if you cry and hug. I vote for more indiscriminate crying and hugging!

World Vision Australia
World Vision Twitter
World Vision Facebook
World Vision Instagram

MY WORLD VISION PEEPS! Me, Kelly, Misho, Sam, Carly, and Joy. What happened in the dungeon stays in the dungeon you guys. 

This is a photo of me waiting at the airport to go home at the end of the trip .... split into three different incarnations of myself: Tired, Old, and Wise. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hell. Met.

On Saturday night I was cooking what were going to be the worlds best hamburgers for my boys when my 13-year old son Max came off his skateboard just up the road from my house. Badly. Wearing no helmet. I heard him crying in his bedroom and went in. Took in the badly skinned knees and elbows. But when I saw the size of that bruised and bloodied lump on his temple? And the way he was shaking and crying and his friend told me Max had been knocked unconscious .... calmness set in in the way it only does in an extreme emergency. All boys into the car. All I could think about was how I had been HARANGUING him all day to put his helmet on.

"Yeah yeah."

Yeah. I put my brown workboots on with my tracksuit pants and cracked Roccos shins so hard against the car lifting him up he started crying too and then I couldn't find my car keys so I ran around the house shouting CAR KEYS CAR KEYS and called an ambulance and got through but she told me she wasn't sure whether it would just be quicker if I drove him the five minutes up to the hospital anyway. I found my keys and hung up on her and got into the car and said over and over, "Everything is going to be ok." 

Not believing it for a second. I think we got there in there in three minutes. Max was getting wobbly, could hardly walk, I parked illegally, and rushed to the front of reception at emergency and shouted MY SON FELL OFF HIS SKATEBOARD NO HELMET HE NEEDS A DOCTOR RIGHT NOW. And they sent him and his friend and a still-crying Rocco inside while I filled out paperwork while presumably my sons brain was being filled up with fluid oh god this is why you should never love it all just gets taken away.

Medicare card, health insurance, forms - finally they let me in and he was just LYING there in bed, in pain, nobody really paying attention. Squeaky wheel gets the most oil? I was a terrified angry bulldozer.


I don't go to places in my head where something happens to my kids anymore, too awful to contemplate explicitly because of the shocking suicide of my brother which has ripped me up into tiny pieces.

I grabbed a nurse, begging her, he needs a doctor NOW this happened to a friend of mine and her son almost died and needed a craniotomy and was in a coma. I grabbed her hand, turned away, "His brain could be filling up with fluid right now every second please help us." And she was SO LOVELY like most nurses always are and she grabbed me back and said "This is exactly how I would be reacting too. The doctors are on their way right now. He looks stable. We will do everything we can. Now go and sit next to him and hold his hand."

So I did. Made the exact same murmuring noises like when he was a baby and he still is, always will be, my baby. The love I have for my sons is all I have left. Flurry of nurses and doctors and Max falling asleep and nearly vomiting and all this happening while two people were being scheduled for the mental health ward, shouting, laughing, crying right in the room next to us. It was too much for my six-year old Roccos curiosity he HAD to know what "those crazy people were doing mum" and went to have a look but came back really pissed off.

"The security guard just told me to get out of the way."

One of the nurses said above the noise of the people with the pain in their brain that at least this was better than TV.

Almost told her it used to be me.

They gave Max panadol, did neurological tests every half hour. He passed. His responses and answers and pupils were good. We had to wait there for four hours and if there was the slightest change it'd be straight down to the Nepean Hospital Neurology and I remember wondering if they would helicopter him there. It would be quicker. Helicopters could help stall a young boys brain from filling up with fluid, surely.

Things became quieter, more calm. The only person whose phone didn't go through to messagebank was my friend Megans and we NEVER phone each other because we both hate it so she answered with "Are you ok?" And I said no Max came off his skateboard and I was just cooking fucking burgers Megan and we have to wait and when I rang the ambulance a SPIDER crawled on my shoulder and my Megan, she knows loss and she knows panic and I wish I were part of her blood family because as I was telling her all this in a rush yet calmly I simply said "Megan. If anything happens to my boys. If one thing happens ....."

She cut in she's a bossy librarian she does that thank god and she told me that Max would be FINE he would be fine Eden she sees things like this happen all the time at school where was the lump, how many hours had it been, he is in safe hands. And she knew too, the stakes of something happening to one of my boys were just to big to even think of because of every other thing that has happened until that point. She calmed me. Max increasingly became more alert and stopped crying and got EVERY card right and pointed at his nose and back super quick and he had full-function of his body and at the very moment I realised he might be ok, I got my period and almost fainted.

Eventually, years later we got home and my son and his friend ate cold hamburgers and dissected what happened. "You weren't even going that fast - there was a dip in the road! You didn't even know who I was!" And they continued the sleepover, watched the horror movie and ate lollies while I tucked Rocco up in bed so late but it didn't matter.

Nothing matters in times like that. Not people you loved using your own mental health against you, not splitting up a marriage, not one thing you yourself are feeling or going through or growing through. Not the stupidly dramatic huge anxiety attack I had in the middle of the night the other week. Nothing matters, nothing matters but my boys. And it's up to me to teach them the things they need to know before I go but it's also up to them to stick around so I can make it so.

I've lost too much. They cannot go.

I got home and even though today is Monday, I think I'm still in shock and it it hasn't hit me yet. I am AWESOME in a crisis. But give me a fairweather day where I feel uselessness beyond anything you can imagine and I fall apart at the seams over and over and over again.

For a few weeks now, everything has caught up with me and I've felt so scared, confused, misunderstood. There's about seventeen highly demanding and taxing things happening at once, too big to write. I have wondered, where does strength come from? After you run out? Because I ran out of strength. I've also been betrayed, falsely accused, double-crossed, and been made out to be crazy. Probably because I am - we all are to some extent. But I love my boys. To the brim. And I'll fight so much that I've had to let go of pursuing truth in order to keep them.

My brother died. I fell apart. Excuse me while I sit on the fucking floor for a while, yes, STILL .... because people who do not not know the hell of the well where true grief lies, clawing at your heart every second? There's no point in trying to make them understand anymore.

I let a lot of people go. I'm angry, sometimes lost, always that bit broken. But I realised it just in one second finally - I choose strength. It doesn't come to me from some mystical place that I bow down to or crawl on my hands and knees. I choose to be the strong. Sometimes I look around and I'm the strongest person I know. Sometimes I'm in Uganda for World Vision and I'm shocked at such intense strength of other humans and it makes me feel feelings I can't even name. Seeing other people be strong. Gives me hope. I've known my whole life I had to take care of myself.

Held him close and told him calmly the next day that if I EVER see him not wearing a helmet again I will destroy his scooter, skateboard AND bike. He knows I'm not joking. 

So we'll see what happens next. I'm getting through the old cliched one day at a time. Just this one day I concentrate on. The utter freedom of honestly not caring what anybody thinks of me anymore is one of the most liberating things I have ever felt. I don't care what or who you think I am or what you think I've done because I know the truth and that's good enough for me.

I've slept on a mattress on the floor in my sons bedroom at night since it happened. My boys sleep together on the bed. I'm freezing - still no proper heater or internet or television in this new house. I wish more people cared about their jobs like nurses did.

But I had a heater in the bedroom and I could hear both my boys breathing in and out and that's all that mattered.

For a while now I can't sleep, eat, do much. I missed a few days at college but I'll catch up. I'm learning extraordinary things and I'll just go with it, tell myself of COURSE I can do assessments! My class is full of amazing, worthwhile, caring people. Some are annoying. I'm sure I'm annoying to some.

On our first week there we had to pick a postcard and correlate it to why we chose to study Community Services and when it came to my turn I showed the class my card of a woman on fire and I said REALLY loudly,

"I'm here to fuck shit up."

And I am. Inside every single person is something buried deep within us that is so extraordinary. Most people don't dig hard enough. Or give up. Or pretend it's not there. But it's there. And even while battling so much shit right now I'm getting my stuff out, in whatever way I can, while I can.

And as I listened to my sons breathing and coughing in that bed I thanked whoever the fuck was in charge even though I do believe in random things for no reason at all - I said thank you anyway. Asked for protection and care with complete abandon. My sons brain is healing and he will be fine. I still got stuff to do. And I finally listened to every bit of this song. I'm very particular about my musical experiences so it had to be the acoustic version backstage.

Hozier is right - we were born sick.

"No Masters or Kings 
When the Ritual begins 
There is no sweeter innocence 
than our gentle sin 

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene 
Only then I am Human 
Only then I am Clean 
Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. 
Take me to church I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies 
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife 
Offer me that deathless death Good God, let me give you my life."

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Hit Her With Your Best Shot.

Two years ago on International Womens Day I interviewed then-Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard at Kirribilli House. I never thought much of her until she reached out and wanted to meet Australian women using the online space.

I used to watch her on the tv and think "SPEAK NORMALLY" because she was so monotone and boring. And I didn't understand how she became Prime Minister.

So we met a few times. And I discovered she was extraordinary. She was real, she was smart, and I've no doubt she would still be the Australian Prime Minister if she were a man. The more I got to know her and actually tuned in to her policies, the more I realised she could have been one of the best leaders this country has ever had.

One night she tweeted me "It was so nice to catch up, Eden. We must do it again sometime." And I'm sitting there at a school concert surreally tweeting her back. And you know what happened? A pile-on. Of grubby, disgusting tweets all from men turning our twitter exchange into something sexual (what a surprise.) I sat there reading these replies and my FACE went red and god I hoped she wasn't reading them.

"Yeah, knew you were a lesbo."
"Fucken Juliar and her clones I bet you had a great root."

And a lot more, especially about the matching colour of our hair. Down there.

It was the first time I fully realised the filth that the online world can bring out. But don't you dare play that gender card, Julia! (Where does one BUY a set of gender cards?) She copped it the whole time she was in Parliament. Especially from other members in Parliament. The press. Absolutely disgusting. She was just coming into her own on the world stage, before she got dumped.

Anyway so I had half an hour to film an interview with her for a bloggers conference and I could ask her ANYTHING I wanted. By that time I'd already banged on to her about foreign aid, refugees, womens shelters. So I kind of just chatted. I asked her anything. And she answered. There's no big great dramatic reveal in the interview except for the fact that I was so paranoid about the press calling me a Julia clone I put my hair up in the STUPIDEST ponytail quickly in the car, to try and look different from her because by that time I'd been immortalised in a political cartoon. It looks ridiculous  - worst my hair has ever looked, there to see forever.

The more Julia Gillard got bashed and attacked in the press, the more I went in to bat for her. Because hardly anybody else was. Inexcusable. There's name-calling, and then there's systematic sexualised and degrading bullying.

The interview was pretty cool. I was SO NERVOUS, casually asking questions sipping tea out of fine bone china cups with sweaty man hands thinking oh my lord if only she knew the crap I have done in my life. Everybody who has ever watched that interview said wow, she just seems so .... normal/nice/different/smart. Yep. Real. She was real.

Being Australia's first female Prime Minister is a pretty big deal. To reach those ranks? Wow. She pointed to my tattoos once and said "But WHY would you do that to yourself Eden?" And I scrunched my face up and answered "Because it just feels so GOOD, Julia."

She didn't understand my tattoos and I didn't understand how one woman - one PERSON - could be so articulate, focused, accomplished, ambitious. Julia got shit done. And I hope whoever is the next female Australian Prime Minister gets all of the respect that Julia never did, but so desperately deserved.

Oh my god I just read all of the You Tube comments for the first time and deleted about ten. I've left a few up. Luke K are you flirting?

She never wanted to say "that speech." I asked her. It was completely off the cuff and she'd had enough and just got furious. I love it when a woman gets furious because my lord there are SO MANY THINGS for women to get furious about. So many. (And men, too.)

The patriarchy reminds me of those Palmolive ads in the eighties - it affects both genders but we have no idea exactly just how much we're soaking in it.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Not Even The King.

I don't care about a lot of "stuff." I'd be happy with one small house and fresh food and board games (YES REALLY) and talking to each other instead of watching television.

I used to only ever wanted to be happy - but happiness is not a given. We are not owed happiness in life. Took me years to work that out. And these days, all I want to feel is ok. That's all.

I don't feel ok very often.

The response to my post yesterday overwhelmed me deeply and just thank you so much - for your kindness and truth. This whole thing has really sent me into quite a bad spin and I've been grappling with it, trying to make it go away in my mind. Writing about it yesterday helped a whole lot, and that's what I wish for everyone - the freedom of expression in all forms, without the fear of judgement and criticism and hate and HOW DARE YOU DO THAT.

I had a strange few days last week - ended up in Sydney for a few days, completely unplanned. I just got given an opportunity and took it. Why not. I walked around a lot - SO many memories there for me, mostly bad. But when I scuttled back to my hotel late at night with my Coke Zero and pretzels, looking forward to watching TV shows all night because THAT definitely makes me happy .... I noticed all the tents set up up in parks?


Homelessness in Sydney was never that bad in the nineties. I talked to a lot of people - it's just what I do. I'm a curious cat.

I just care. I think the answer to life is not gold or riches or possessions or showing off or being perfect. It's to give - and give, and give, to others. As much as you can. That's the answer.

So while I'm trying to "get on" with things including the recent separation with my husband after fifteen years, moving into a new house, trying to study - I'll give. Because I'm selfish and giving makes me feel good.

I'm hoping to get through the next bit ok. Don't know. Things have been extraordinary hard, but I'm trying to step up.

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Dark Side Of Blogging.

                                                        photo credit - me!

A few years ago I received an email from a chick who worked nightshift at a rehab - I think it was part of a hospital. Anyway, she contacted me out of the blue, told me every week she'd sit down with the patients and read out my blog posts to them. I was amazed, gobsmacked. Obviously the posts I've written on this blog about being an addict/alcoholic would have struck a chord with them, but she read all my other ones out too - random ones I write, ones I can't remember now. I don't often go back and read old posts because I sound like a fucking idiot.

It just meant so much to me. I was so touched, that she was sharing my words with people who were in a bit of a pickle (nobody ever ends up in rehab getting dropped off in a limo) ... I felt really, really honoured.

Her name was Cherie and I eventually met her. She's beautiful inside and out. I thanked her, for doing what she did. She has her own blog - well, she HAD her own blog. Another blogger hounded off the internet. Because why? Sharing her life and taking photos of her kids and just writing stuff about what she thinks and feels? She has a beautiful husband and two children. She had a really hard start to life and man do I admire her so much for the way she turned out. But she was gossiped about, told her kid was ugly and snotty, some crap about her husband, accused of having a party JUST to blog about it. She started getting called a c*nt in her comments section. She had a whole thread dedicated to her on a website where people talk shit about other bloggers. When you have your own thread you have hit the big-time of hatedom. Every single little thing you say, write, instagram, tweet - gets mulled over and pulled to pieces and twisted apart.

I've seen this happen to many bloggers. It gets too much so they stop blogging.

There are bloggers out there who I cannot stand. Especially the materialistic, vain, self-obsessed ones. Not all people who blog are lovely people. They can be manipulative, mean, show-offs, complete arseholes. And if you're a blogger who starts to get a little bit of traction, a bit of attention and comments and people who connect with you? It's .... odd. It can play with your head. I went through it. I can't BELIEVE how my blog got "big." Thing about me is, I don't give a shit how many readers I have or my stats or what my next topic should be. I write when I feel like it - and jesus do I write some stuff here. I can't help it, I just write things that I should probably keep to myself like everybody else. I don't write for fame or glory and FUCK KNOWS I do not write for money. I tried that - total disaster. Greedy, greedy people. You can't monetise writing about a life like mine, it doesn't work. I haven't blogged half the stuff I've done in my life anyway. No way.

So there's this whole bunch of people out there who write shit either in bloggers comments sections or on very public, very well-known websites. Who claim to just want bloggers to be "accountable." And you know what? A lot of what is said by these people is TRUE. Some bloggers have their head stuck so far up their arse they need a goddamn wrench to get it out.

But a lot of this running commentary, this vicious hate spewed towards certain bloggers is UNDESERVED AND WRONG. Mean, spiteful, awful, vicious attacks on peoples children, families, lifestyles, weight, looks. It's getting worse. And it's hurting a lot of people. Long ago I stopped reading stuff people were writing about me because there was no point. I had no right of reply because if I did go in and defend myself - against blatant LIES about me and my family - I would just be annihilated further.

So bloggers get told to have a thick skin, toughen up, "don't put it all out there if you don't want to be criticised." But if I had a thick skin, I wouldn't be able to reach my heart so easily.

Why do I blog? Why on EARTH would I write the things I've written here? For you. No - not you, arseholes. For the silent people who will never comment. For the people who had shit go on in their lives and they see me still going so maybe they can too. I blog for fun, for stupidity, for having a laugh because god knows this life is hard to live. I have had emails from people who say that I've saved their lives, just for that one day. I've had emails from people who have seen the worst of humanity but want to thank me for being so honest. I've had gorgeous emails from people who have had near-perfect lives who read me and it makes them understand a bunch of stuff they never would have.

Nothing is black and white. I like to think deeply and I like it when others think deeply too.

I keep blogging for all of the people who could never blog, never say out loud what they're feeling inside. That makes me sound like a wanker - I am! I am a fucking idiot wanker but I'm going to keep writing anyway.

Writing on this website has been one of the biggest gifts in my life because I found me. How stupid that sounds but it's true - I found myself. I wrote myself into existence over a period of eight years and here I am, doing a whole lot of things I never, ever would have done. I filmed a TV piece for World Vision last week and when I was saying goodbye to them I cried. Told them that they save millions of peoples lives all over the world ... and I'm pretty sure they have saved my life too. I got to see people and places and countries I NEVER would have seen. They trusted me enough to tell my stories about the work they do in my own words. ME - somebody who used to be a useless fuckup who NOBODY BELIEVED IN. At least until I got my shit together and started making something of myself. THEN I was worthy and accepted.

Writing things out on this site has told me who I am and what I am doing in my life. I know its weird - I know! I have been WAY TOO OPEN - jesus I get embarrassed buying milk from the shop these days. I had a lineup of school mums wanted to talk to me about my Peaches overdose post when I picked Rocco up from school one day and though I have severe anxiety issues and actually do find it hard to talk to people - and I was MORTIFIED that the school mums knew "who I really was" ... they were lovely. Most of them found my piece through facebook and just wanted to chat.

My friends get torn to shreds on some forums. By people who have no idea who they're actually tearing apart because mostly what you see on a blog is a persons sanitised view of themselves, right? Well, sometimes not. Sometimes people dare to be honest and open and heaven forbid even complain that life is a bit hard and BAM. HOW DARE THEY.

I'm not perfect. I'm not always right. I can be an arrogant dickhead. But I'm allowed to write a website on the internet. I'm allowed to have a voice - and it's grown into a big one. Sorry. Sorry I write stuff that resonates. Sorry I got popular. Sorry I'm bold and brash and swear and speak my mind. SORRY!

So here's the thing, the crux of this whole post that I never, ever wanted to write because I've never wanted to acknowledge the hate.

I always know when I've been horribly written about somewhere because I either get texts saying "Are you ok? Don't worry what they're saying!" From well-meaning people. Or I get google alerts. Or people actually TELL me what's being said and I just don't want to know.

I'm tough. I'm also very sensitive. I dare to be bold in a world where bold women are shut up very quickly. I can handle mean stuff being written about me - whatever.

But a few weeks ago, something was written about me that absolutely shattered me. You people, who write your flippant words off the cuff, judging somebodies whole life in a sentence. You people have the power to really fuck a person up. And it fucked me up. Still has. Always will. Always. I will never forget what that person wrote about me on a stupid fucking forum. Thing is, I don't care what you write about me but I care that a whole bunch of other people are reading this shit thinking it's true. It's not. It's like being at school and there's this big billboard where people get written about daily and everybody in the school reads it but you can't because you know it's about you and you know it will probably hurt. And bloggers put themselves out there, it's our own fault, right?

But to you - and I know you will read this post, whoever the fuck you are. When you wrote on a very widely-read internet forum that "Eden can't have been that close to her brother because she didn't even know where he lived when he died."

Yeah. That was a beauty. You got me GOOD. I was fucking devastated. I cried for days. Crying about it right now.

There's a black notebook in my bookcase that my brother bought when he was house-hunting in September 2013 to find a flat to kill himself in. There's a lot of addresses in there - it took him a while to find a place! So he moved in. And did not tell ANYBODY where he lived - as if he would. He moved around a lot - he was only living in that place for a matter of weeks before he was gone forever so you're right, internet forum person. It's the truth, and that's what hurts the most - I didn't know where my brother was living when he killed himself.

I begged him to tell me his address. I rang his friends, knowing he would be SO pissed off that I rang his friends. I told my therapist and case worker and shrink at the time - I think my brother is going to kill himself and he won't tell me where he lives. They were giving me so much advice. If I knew where he lived I would have gotten him committed because somebody told me he HAD something in his flat to do it. I told his friends that too but Cam - man he was a smooth talker.

I would have gotten him committed and he would have got out and he would have killed himself anyway. But at least I would have known that I did EVERYTHING I could to try stop it. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. His death has almost completely destroyed me and it was only until last week when my friend Megan said:

"Eden, you're going to hate me for saying this but it's time you stop pulling the scab off your grief for Cam." Wow. She was right. And she was allowed to say that to me because her brother killed himself too so she knows her shit.

So I'm trying. It feels like there's a lot of people waiting with popcorn for me to implode or fuck up or really mess up.

Fuck you. Fuck you for writing shit about me that isn't true but the people who read it might think it is. Fuck you for fucking with my head. Fuck you for making me feel the lowest I have felt in a very, very long time. I asked my therapist - why would people write such things? And he said that some of you probably will never experience the extreme, unconditional depth of love I have for my brother. So you don't understand, can't even comprehend my words. You just pass judgement.

I used to hold that tiny baby so tight, many many moons ago. And he grew up bigger and taller and more beautiful than I can imagine and he couldn't deal with his issues because he didn't even know what they were. Generations of bullshit, all twisted inside his heart that he couldn't articulate. He thought there was something wrong with HIM. There wasn't. There's something wrong with the world.

Congratulations, internet forum person. You hurt me very, very deeply. I would have done anything to save my brother. Sometimes I feel like I murdered him but I didn't turn the gas on, he did. His decision. He's gone. And every day is a day further from seeing his face and remembering all the potential he had. The fucking arsehole.

So. This was longer than I thought I would write. I just wanted to address it - this goes beyond online bullying. I don't want or need to know what is being said about me anymore so please don't tell me. I can't handle it. It almost brought me undone and if you people keep going the way you are? You WILL bring somebody undone.

And their blood will be on your hands. Because sometimes words are so powerful, they can kill a person.

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