gone blank

GONE BLANK

stock-footage-man-breaking-up-with-woman-heartbreak-concept

From what I’ve seen in movies and read in books, its usually a powerful, moving, unforgettable or defining moment in your life, like a near-death experience, that motivates you to wake up and smell the coffee and make the most of your life before you cark it. So I’m not entirely sure a screaming match with my man (which could have ended in a boxing match) counts as a ‘defining moment, seeing this has only taken place like a zillion times.

Guy gets drunk, and suddenly the ‘feelings’ come out. Starts ranting about how much I don’t ‘respect’ him , and tells me, yet again, to fuck off. Girl reacts by throwing butter at his head, which conveniently misses its target and ends up splattered all over the wall. Guy picks up whats left over of the butter and flings it back at girl, and what do you know, girl gets remaining butter splattered all over arm. Guy wakes up the next morning, apologetic, sorry, remorseful – and says the words that girl has heard about, oh, only a thousand times – ‘i didn’t mean it.’ Girl doesn’t talk to him, and three days later, guy is probably beginning to feel like casper the ghost.

Edited PG version of the events, by the way. Girl still can’t believe that, after all these years, she is still putting up with this shit. She just can’t seem to leave this fella alone, even though its pretty obvious to kingdom come and beyond that the dude brings out the worst in her. And that it is never going to change.

 “Girl still can’t believe that, after all these years, she is still putting up with this shit. She just can’t seem to leave this fella alone, even though its pretty obvious to kingdom come and beyond that the dude brings out the worst in her.”

Yes I’m talking about us – again. The other morning, still hurting from the nasty words that spill from the mans mouth after hes gotta few in him, I caught myself in the the mirror as I was getting dressed for work, and automatically started singing the tin man’s song – ‘if I only had a braaaaain.’ Because for real life, where is my brain at?? Why do I believe after thirteen long years that this will ‘never happen again?’ Why do I get lulled back into a false sense of security, only to be let down yet again. Darks aint a bad guy. Let me just state that as fact. Hes an awesome dad and a good provider. But like every other tom dick and harry, and contrary to what others believe, he DOES have a bad side. And that bad side coaxes the evil out of me easily…too easily!

I don’t like the person I become when I’m angry. Shes bad-ass, and not in a good way. And I’m not just talking about throwing butter either. Ever seen a butterfly??? Ahahaha. But seriously, I’m talking about words. Once you throw those out, they can never be taken back, and karma has probably got something in store for me in that regard. Words have always had the potential to hurt me worse than a punch to the dome. But even worse is my mouth because, when it gets going, it can be just as bad as a punch to the dome too. At times I think its a miracle that me and Darks are still together after all the nasty shit that we have said to each other. But I guess thats just how relationships roll.

 “Deep down in my heart of hearts, I already knew, and probably have known for a long time – that there was nothing to talk about. There was nothing that we would have said or discussed or compromised that we hadn’t of already said, discussed or compromised a thousand times before.”

Following these bust ups, I become the ultimate evil personified.  I purposely become nit-picky, snarky, bitchy, and downright difficult because that has always been my way of punishing Darks after he goes off on a drunken rant.  But it was different this time.  Three days passed and even though you could have sworn it was just me and baby in the house, and Darks really was Casper the ghost, I just…well, simply put, I just didn’t care.  On the third day, I found I’d gone totally blank. I approached Dark when he got home from work the other day and was all ‘how was your day’ as if I didn’t throw butter at his head or treated him as if he didn’t exist for three whole days in a row. He responded with a ‘good, mubs, how was yours and babies day?’ and that was that. Over with. Life carried on as per usual. I was waiting for the ‘we should talk about this’ topic to come up…but it didnt. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I already knew, and probably have known for a long time – that there was nothing to talk about. There was nothing that we would have said or discussed or compromised that we hadn’t of already said, discussed or compromised a thousand times before. It would have been like playing a scratched record. I felt so blank it was weird. Not entirely sure whats up with that?

Its like I’m not worried about fixing us anymore, and if that ain’t a defining moment, I dunno what it is.

Gone blank. Completely blank. Honest…there’s just….nothing…???

Anxiety Attacks – I’m gonna fucking get you…

Every once in a blue moon, I go against my loner/weirdo status and brainwash myself into thinking I totally rock in social situations. Recently I found out the hard way (and probably for the kazillionth time) that this is, unfortunately, not true. Social awkwardness is one of my most undesirable assets, and is as much a part of my being as my useless hearing ability. I know this. I’ve known this since forever, and yet I still go through the motions where I deny it, the result being that I put myself in the firing line for all and sundry to be witness to the bumbling mess that is me sometimes.

Like I did on Sunday. It was cockiness that done it. One entire week without a single puff of a cigarette had me convinced that I was invincible. Giving up the smokes had me drawing on every ounce of discipline and sheer determination I possessed. It was far from easy. The whole time, it was like a storm was going off inside of me and I couldn’t stop it. I kept myself locked up. I hyperventilated and got the shakes just about every day. I cried over spilled milk. I wrote endlessly. I even scared the shit out of myself by thinking unthinkable, murderous thoughts about Darks.

Side effects, you see. But after seven long days, and by the time Sunday rolled around, the nasty storm inside of me had abated, the sun had come out, and the worst was seemingly over

I awoke on Sunday brimming with success and armed with an “I AM” attitude. Fuck, if I could do that, I could do ANYTHING. I felt on top of the world! Like nothing could stop me, and I could do whatever the hell I wanted to do and be whoever the hell I wanted to be!

It was Fathers Day, and going anywhere wasnt part of the agenda. At first. The original plan was to just stay home, drink some beers with our nephew and let baby run a muck around the house. In the oven, I had pork, potatoes and pumpkins roasting. Stuffing and pasta and vegies on the side. A coffee cake for later on. Smirnoff going down nicely, and a few more chilling in the fridge. And the best thing of all, my nicotine cravings were very low. I was a week smokefree for the first time ever since I took up the disgusting habit, fifteen odd years ago.

It was the perfect Sunday!

And then Darks waltzes into the kitchen while I am poking potatoes, “Mubs, is it alright if we go to BJ’s for a beer?”

I’m sure my face fell ten feet. “But…I’ve made you’s a dinner?”

“I know, mubs. I’m sorry. We can still have dinner…when we get back?”

I shrug. I’m no good at pretending when I’m displeased about something, but that’s just me.

A while later, Becks arrives to pick up the passengers. Becks and BJ are friends of our cousins, and they have been around for a coffee once or twice. They hail from New Zealand too, and have been in Australia for eight years. Just another Maori couple trying to get ahead for their family, and wise enough to know that it’s just not going to happen in New Zealand.

My nephew and Darks are out the door and in the car in a shot. Sullenly, I trod back into the house. I resign myself to drinking all by lonesome, staring at the walls and listening to Beyonce songs. Not to mention the Fathers Day memories of my own two dads, floating around in my house and in my brain. One father dead, and the other I havent talked to in years.

Tragic. So much for “I AM…”

I’m about to take a long swig of my Smirnoff when Becks pops her head back in and is all “Why don’t you come?”

That doesn’t sound too bad, actually. But…”Um…I would. But the roast is on in the oven.”

“I can come back and pick you up in an hour if you like?”

So…approximately an hour later, “I AM.” Meaning I am sitting amongst a group of people I know, but don’t really know, getting pleasantly drunk and playing the role of a social butterfly to perfection. Guitars and trumpets and harmonicas are being skilfully played. Rowdiness, loud drunken banter and cigarette smoke is in the air. And the roast, pasta, stuffing, vegies and coffee cake, which I spent all morning lovingly preparing, has been deserted at home.

“Awwww. Your baby is so cute,” Becks comments. She is downing Tooheys. I wonder if I could ever warm to her. She is very friendly, and has the smiliest pair of eyes I’ve ever looked into.

“Shes a cutie, aye.” I agree, keeping my eyes on my baby pottering around and wondering what kind of havoc she was gonna cause here. I could see potential for her to cause destruction everywhere. Guitars and trumpets sat on the outdoor seats. She was eating chips out of a glass bowl. Any second, she could just drop that. She could pull the blinds down? She could, in one swift movement, knock all those bottles off the table, send some smashing to the ground even…

“How old is she again?” Becks butts in to my thoughts.

“Two and a half. Shes gonna be three in December.”

“Awwww.”

“How many kids do you have?” I ask.

“Just the one, Jamie.”

“Oh, so the boys belong to him?”

She nods. “Jamie was three when I met him.”

Now its my turn to be all “Awwwww. Do you guys plan on having anymore?”

“Absolutely not!” she says, and we both laugh. “What about you?”

“Yup. When babies five and when I’m thirty-five. Thats when she’s getting her brother.”

“Awwww. You’ve got it all sussed out then?”

“I hope so.” I say.

To be honest, I’m having a marvellous time. It feels good being out of the confines of my claustrophobic house and just mingling with people. I sing. I smile. I drink. When baby drops the glass bowl, as I predicted she would, and glass shatters everywhere, Becks shoo’s away my frantic apologies and forces me to sit down while she cleans it up.

“Hold the baby,” she orders. “And don’t look so guttered. It was only from the two dollar shop.”

I smile gratefully. And then Becks husband is calling out to me from across the table. “I think I know someone your dad might know,” BJ yells out. BJ hails from Te Teko, New Zealand, which has got to be some kind of coincidence, as that is where my biological family come from. I wonder if he’s yelling because he knows I’m deaf, or if he is drunk. Either way, I’m just glad I don’t have to ask him to repeat himself.

“Whose that?”

“A Douglas? He was this big dude,” he puffs his arms out. “And black. And scary.”

“That sounds like my Dads brother, Douglas.”

“He’s about…sixteen, seventeen?”

“Oh nah, that’s too young.” I say.

“I think his name was Douglas. Did your Dad have much brothers?”

“Shes adopted, bro,” Darks butts in. Unnecessarily “She was brought up with another family.”

“Oh true.” BJ nods and everyone looks at me as if I am from Mars. Except for Darks, whose looking at me with…pride? But I could have got that wrong.

I wanna kick him in the toe. But he’s sitting way across the other side. I smile in a way that’s meant to appear benign to everyone else, but threatening to him. “Fostered, actually. My real mother dropped me on my head. Thats why I’m fucked. Ha ha ha.”

And no-one laughed. Well, they laughed, but it wasnt genuine laughter. It was the kind of laughter that is meant to humour somebody else, in this case me. Not because it was funny but because it was, well, the opposite of funny. It was unfunny. But what of it. I’m use to that. I let out another mirthless laugh, and tug at babies clothes as if to straighten them. Trying to detract the attention away from myself before I make things worse.

And then it happened. Things did get worse. It swooped down on me so suddenly, I literally gasp out loud. Luckily Becks was too busy sweeping up broken glass to notice, and everybody else was fully immersed in singing a rendition of The Eagles ‘Hotel California.’

I smile at the sea of faces. I mime the words to Hotel California, and clink my bottle against Becks when she returns to her seat. I engage in conversation automatically. Meanwhile, my insides are slowly, but surely, turning to shit. My vision blurs. My pulse quickens. My heart begins to thump away like a bongo drum in my chest. After a few minutes, the rowdiness becomes faint, and the only sound I can hear is the trombone-like sound going off in my ears.

Actually, it’s the worst anxiety attack I’ve had in years. Many years.

I turn to Becks and, without thinking, I say, “Can I have a smoke please?”

She raises an eyebrow. “I thought you’d given up?”

“I have. But…one won’t hurt.”

And she gives me a lecture about how I’ve done so well, and how I don’t really want a smoke, and is all encouraging and telling me to be strong. She can’t see that I am gasping for a breath and near ready to tell her to shove her lecture and just give me a fucking smoke before I kill her. But that would be unfair. And so out of line.

I just manage an exasperated, “Ohhh…alright then.” Then I add, “Is it ok if I feed baby? She must be hungry now.” We look over at my girl, who is staring with fascination at one of the Koro’s.  He is strumming the guitar, singing, and playing the harmonica all at the same time. She is jacked up on chips and chocolate and looks anything but hungry.

Becks looks at me oddly. “She’s ok, doll. Here. Have another beer.”

“Umm I think I’ll feed baby first. Is that ok?” I squeak. I sound desperate and out of breath.

Becks just nods. Its begun. Shes looking at me sideways. “Ok, doll. Help yourself.”

“Thanks!”

In the kitchen, I dish baby some food into a plate, all the while trying to catch my breath. I wipe at my forehead, and realise that I’m dripping sweat. My heart is racing at a hundred kilometers an hour, and it feels like an invisible hand is squeezing at my throat. I have to fight back the urge to burst into tears. I dump baby at the table, dump her plate in front of her, then make a big show of feeding her, even though she’s perfectly capable of feeding herself.

I cant believe this is happening to me. I don’t know why this happening to me. It must have been the lack of nicotine in my body that brought it on. All I know is that I havent felt it this badly in years. My throat is dry as paper and aches. Tears are bursting out of my eyelids disobediently, and rolling down my cheeks. I angrily wipe them away. I take my time feeding my girl because I cannot fathom going back out again. I cannot face anybody. I just want to go home. Back to my four walls. Back to my claustrophobic house. Back to being a loner/weirdo with bugger all friends.

Back to the only place I feel safe. So much for the I AM. I am nowhere near a social butterfly. I must have been dreaming. Cant say I didn’t know though. Temporary amnesia. It happens all the time.

I look down at my baby. She chews her food silently, staring up at me, wisdom in her big brown eyes, as if she knows. And so she should. She is pretty much the only one besides God who ever witnesses me in these sorry states.

In the end, I ditch Darks, who is away with the fairies anyway and doesn’t even notice me leave. My cousin takes me and my baby home. On the way, I blabber on nonsensical to her just to keep myself from falling apart. Cant even remember what I talked about, to be honest. All I remember was wanting to get the hell home so this grip on my throat could loosen, and this ridiculousness could come to an end.

Which it did. Eventually. And later on, when I was over it, I didn’t go crawling back into my hole, like I normally do after these anxiety attacks hit. Nor did I make excuses. Nor did I feel sorry for myself. Nor did I say to myself that I was never putting myself through that again. When it was over and my breathing had returned to normal, I jumped on the internet and began looking it up.

It was the look in my babies eyes that did it, when I was feeding her at Becks. That was a defining moment for me. I want her to be a strong, confident woman, and its pretty obvious she’s not going to be one if I continue to let her see me in all my anxiety-ridden glory.

Knowledge is key – that’s how I gave up smoking. I’ve come to a few conclusions about my anxiety attacks, but nothing definite yet.

As I said in my previous post – there’s no room for excuses anymore. I intend to control as much of my life as possible, and not the other way around. Being a loner is one thing. Being angst-ridden is another. I’ve got this. As surely as I got the nicotine, I’ll get the anxiety too.

Another thing to add to my ‘to-do’ list.

I’M GONNA GET YOU!

 

In the wardrobe

Jenny stepped outside, shutting the front door firmly behind her.  Overcast day, and yet not a slight breeze blowing in the air.  The little bit of sun that peeked through the clouds tickled its rays upon her face as she trudged down the driveway and paddled down the street.  In the distance she could hear the sounds of laughter and yelling.  Other kids, making their way to school, probably.

God, please make them leave me alone.  Just until I get down to the river.  Please, Lord.

She inhaled long and deep, then exhaled loudly as if to release the tension that was building inside of her body.  It had nothing to do with facing those kids and their mean, vicious taunts she listened to on an almost daily basis.  She was accustomed to that, although not having to deal with it for one day would be marvellous.  But no.  Bullies was the last thing on her mind right now.  She had far more pressing matters to deal to.  Such as dodging school for the first time in her entire life to get out of running the dreaded Cross Country which she absolutely detested.

Although I could do with some exercise.  God knows my size eighteen frame needs it.  But the pain.  The taunts.  No way.  No way in hell…

She dragged her feet, her heart beginning to pound more rapidly at the thought of it.  She was going to wag school.  Dodge.  Commit truancy.  An image of her father’s face flashed before her eyes.  He was frowning and solemn, his eyes laced with disappointment.  But he was dead now, deader than a doornail.  Had been for a year, so what did it matter?  She pushed the image back, way back into the darkest corners of her brain.

She approached the roundabout and crossed the road.

I’m gonna do it.  I’m really gonna do it.  I’m gonna dodge school.  I’m gonna go through with the plan!

Thinking this to herself.  Encouraging herself.  Telling herself that she can do it.

She paddled on.  Eyes downcast.  She only lifted her head when she heard a familiar voice, and as soon as she laid eyes on the lanky boy with the ginger hair, she cringed, her insides shrivelling up, the plan momentarily forgotten.  He was up ahead of her, fooling around with his cronies.  Jenny lugged back, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t turn his head and see her.  No such luck.  She lifted her head even higher and walked forward nonchalantly, feigning ignorance as the boy whooped loudly and stopped up ahead to wait for her.

How unlucky could you get?  Seriously?

“Whoooa….is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No…ITS AN EARTHQUAKE!!!  Hang on for your life everyone, its Earthquake Jennnnnaaaaay!”

The entire reason why she didn’t want to run Cross Country.  Because then this is what she’d be listening to all day.  And not just from him either.  Jenny stared at him in what she hoped was a menacing glare.  She walked past the lot of them, nose still in the air, looking for all the world as if she didn’t care one bit.  Inside, she just wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

The story of her life really.

After they ran ahead, still laughing and warning the other kids walking to school about the upcoming ‘Earthquake’ Jenny spotted the opening that led into the river bank.  She doodled, pulled back, allowing other students to pass her by.  She waited.  Then when she was certain that no-one was looking, she slipped away.  Unseen.

So far, so good.

She’d been here plenty of times before.  And she knew exactly where she was going to hide.  She trudged on and on, through long blades of grass until she came to the river bank.  She climbed up, ran down the little hill and made her way towards the tall, magnificent willow tree perched on the edge of Sullivan’s lake.  Its branches were perfect for concealing herself from prying eyes.  Not that very many people came down here, but still.  It was better that she was safe, rather than sorry

That’s why I have to pull this off.  I’ve got to make sure this plan runs – flawlessly.

She sat near the water, concealed with willow branches, keeping an eye out now and then.  She glanced at her watch.  8.25am.  Her mother was still at home, but in two more hours, she’d be sitting in the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, answering calls.  Jenny decided to wait where she was until ten.  She stood, glanced around again, then pulled her t-shirt and Billabong shorts out of her bag.  First things first.  Get out of her uniform.  Inconspicuous was the key.  If she was spotted walking the streets, during school hours, with her uniform on, anyone would be able to tell she was playing hooky. .  She couldn’t afford to be spotted, couldn’t afford for her mother to get the phone call that she – the supposedly good daughter who practically had no friends, yet managed to acquire A grades in spite of this – was dodging off school.  Disappointing her mother was the last thing she wanted to do.  The very last thing.

The minutes dragged.  And dragged.  She stood, sat, threw gravel dirt in the water.  She must have pulled out one thousand blades of grass and glanced at her watch a million times.  She sat, stood, did a jig by the river pretending to be Scary Spice from the Spice Girls.  Sat, stood, and softly started humming the tune to Karen Carpenters song ‘Goodbye to Love’ wondering to herself how it was that some beloved superstar from America could know the feeling of thinking that nobody loved her.  And the world, they loved her more than she ever knew.  Then the nostalgic came and wrapped her up in its arms and suddenly she was crying.  For her dad.  For her mum.  For herself.  Then her mind focusing on that ginger headed-boy, wanting to shoot him, wanting to know why he was so mean to her, why they were all so mean to her.  Of course, it was probably the fact that she resembled an over-sized whale.  What else could it be?  But still, that was no reason to taunt somebody, didn’t they have a heart, didn’t they care what she would be feeling?  Thinking thoughts about starving herself.  That’ll show them. And the silence, growing louder and more deafening as the minutes passed.

Then finally, mercilessly, after what seemed like a decade, her watch read 9.50.

Close enough.  Time to go home.

It didn’t take her long to reach home.  She had been on edge the whole time.  Every car that passed made her jump.  What if it was one the school teachers?  What if they recognized her?  What if they dragged her by the ear and back to school?  She’d have to run the Cross Country after all.

Groundless fears.  As soon as she spied her house, minus her mother’s car parked in the driveway, she felt herself drowning with relief.  She did it.  She wasn’t going to get caught after all.  Her mother finished at The Bureau at four.  She’d get home, and Jenny would have the house spic and span,  dinner ready on the table, and her mother wouldn’t even suspect a thing.

She was just about to climb the porch steps when, out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed the familiar grey bonnet turning into her driveway.  Her sister’s car.  What?  Quick as a flash, she bounded into the house, the relief turning to overwhelming panic.  Without even thinking, she ran into her bedroom and shoved herself in her wardrobe.  She could barely fit in there. Desperately and with almighty effort, she pushed her large frame back, back amongst the mattresses and boxes, grunting and groaning and shoving so she could pull the door shut.  Her heart was in over-drive, drumming rapidly and loudly, like a bongo drum against her chest.

She listened.  The horn beeped.  Then it beeped again.  Jenny closed her eyes.  She prayed, fervently hoping that her sister wouldn’t come into the house and make herself at home.  Jenny would have to resign herself to sitting in the wardrobe all day otherwise, and she could barely fit in there, let alone breathe.  She strained her ears to listen, then let out a huge sigh of relief when she heard the car start-up and drive away.  She reached for the handle.  Or at least where the door handle should have been.  She felt around in the dark, blindly searching.  Confused.

It took a few seconds before it dawned upon her.  The realization.  That there was no door handle.  Well not on the inside, anyway.

Dear God, she was locked in!

Dumbfounded.  She was dumbfounded.  She didn’t get it.  She put all her weight on the door, pushed and shoved, but to no avail.  Searched again for the non-existent door handle, telling herself it had to be there.  But it wasn’t.  And then the reality hit her even harder than the first time.  She knew without a doubt now.  She was locked in!  Locked in her own wardrobe.  In her own house.

Oh my god, oh my god.  OH MY GOD!

Panic flooded her body. She stood there in the dark, squashed up against the clutter, disbelieving what had just happened.  She’d lived in this house since she was a toddler. Twelve years later, and she was only just finding out that her own wardrobe had no door handle on the inside.  What the…?  She couldn’t believe it.  Didn’t wanna believe it.

And yet, it was happening.  She was shoved in there, tight as sardines in a can.  It was stuffy and claustrophobic.  Not to mention dusty.  The dust and the smell of staleness filled her nostrils, and the only air coming in was from the tiny crack at the bottom of the door.

I could die of suffocation in here…good god…

At the thought of death, logic and reasoning fled her body.  She began to cry, softly at first, then louder and louder until she was screaming and banging her fists on the door, begging and pleading for someone, anyone, to hear her, and let her out.  Like an animal gone wild, she pounded and screamed.  But she was in a wardrobe, her screams only whispers in the wind to the outside world.  She wailed loudly, her chest rising and falling with her sobs.

When she realized that no-one was coming to her rescue, her arms went limp.  Her voice faded until it was a soft whimper.  She was so exhausted she wanted to sink to the floor, but the lack of space plus her giant frame wouldn’t allow it.  Her nose was almost touching the door.  But with some more shoving and pushing, she did manage to jam the mattresses right back up against the wall, thus allowing her to sink to the floor, curled up.  Her knees pushed against the protruding rolls in her gut, almost cutting off her air supply.  But she didn’t care to stand.  Didn’t care to do anything except sit there, and wait for Fate to decide what was to become of her.

Time ticked by.  Endlessly.  She’d given up looking at her watch at 12.00pm.  Tidbits of her life flashed before her eyes.  Her mind went back to happier days, the days when her dad was still alive.  Zooming around the paddock on his two-wheeler motorbike.  Fishing and camping trips.  An image of her parents hugging and kissing while a younger Jenny chased seagulls and frolicked in the sea.  Then the darkness came.  The police at her front door, bringing the news of the car crash that killed her dad

And her mothers howls that day.  If Jenny ever lived to be a hundred (which was looking unlikely) she didn’t think that she’d ever forget that sound.  The sound of anguish and despair.  It resounded in her head as if it happened yesterday.  Thats when everything had changed.  When her dad died.  The bullies, the over-eating, a depressed mother who could barely see to herself, let alone a grieving daughter.

Why hadn’t I seen this before?  Why hadn’t I known?

Not that it mattered anymore.

Sleepy.  She was getting sleepy, her mind fuzzy, disoriented.  She wasnt aware that she was no longer gasping for air, she was only aware that she was drifting, seemingly drifting like a lost boat on a calm sea.  She wondered if her father would show up to take her to the other side, and imagined what he’d say upon setting eyes on her.  “My girl, what the hell have you been eating?”  Making her giggle on the inside. She felt tingly all over.  Unreal.  Even as her eyelids grew heavier and heavier, the boat drifting out farther and farther away…until…

BANG!

Her mother was home.  Her mother was home.  Overwhelming relief washed through her body, making her want to burst into tears.  Yet, she couldn’t move.  Why couldn’t she move?  Why were things so drowsy?  Almost unconsciously, she weakly lifted her hand and knocked on her door.  Softly, repetitively, and over and over and over again.

The door suddenly swung open, and Jenny tumbled from the darkness, into the light, falling into a heap on her bedroom floor.  Her mother looked down at her daughter in complete shock.  She was red as a tomato and seemed on the verge of unconsciousness,  her arms shielding her face as if the light hurt her eyes.  And Jenny remembered saying one thing before darkness engulfed her.

“Sorry mum…sorry daddy…”

***

“Oh my God, this is so embarrassing.”

Jenny sat up in her hospital bed, her mind flitting through the last few hours.  She’d very nearly died in the wardrobe.  If her mother had decided to come home any later, she would have died.  Suffocated to death.  Now that she was on the mend and thinking straight, all she could think was just how much of a laughing-stock that would have been.

Girl suffocates to death in her own wardrobe.

It didn’t bear thinking about.

“It’s alright,” her mum soothed, her voice a hell of a lot softer than what it normally was.  “Your alive, and that’s the main thing.”

Jenny looked at her mother closely.  She looked so old.  And so tired.  It tugged at Jenny’s heartstrings.

“Mum, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, love.  I’m just thankful that your still alive.”

“I just…I hate school, mum.  People pick on me all the time.”

Her mother peered at her daughter in the dim light.  This was a surprise.

“Pick on you?”

Jenny nodded.  Maybe it was her near-death experience.  Maybe it was her mothers tiredness.  Whatever it was, everything came bursting out, like a dam gushing forth.  Her dad, her bullies, the ginger headed boy who made her life hell on a daily basis.  Everything, that is, except the main reason she dodged school that day.

It seemed so pathetic now.  Whats the point of telling her that?

They talked for a long time.  Mainly about dad.  They held hands and cried, letting out things that should have been let out a long time ago.  Her mum stated that she was going down to see the principal first thing in the morning about the bullying, and promised to help Jenny overcome it.  And she also spoke about life.  And it being what you make it.  Jenny didn’t need to be told twice.  She understood exactly what her mum was saying.  She knew she had to get her health, and her weight, back on track.

It was pretty late when they finished.  Jenny got the feeling that something had been sorted out.  That after wallowing in their own pools of grief, they were now swimming in it together.  And maybe, just maybe, everything was going to be ok.  Even so, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something she hadn’t noticed before.  The window was wet.  “Is it raining?” she asked.

Her mum nodded.  “Its been raining all day, love.  Apparently, they had to postpone some big event at the school.  Its been held next week.  You should be fine to go to school by then.  I’ve already rung your teacher.”

Jenny let out a long, collective sigh.  After all that had happened, it looked like she’d be running The Cross Country after all.  Seriously.  How unlucky could you get?

The Alphabet Guide to Being a Good Girlfriend…(from my point of view, anyway)

Appreciate the little things – so he’s not the most romantic dude on the planet, nor does he rock your world in the bedroom department.  But appreciate the things he DOES do.  (e.g works hard to provide for his family, comes home to you every night, gets your favourite chocolate when he makes a trip to town etc.)

Blowjobs are gold to men – make sure you give him plenty, and you’ll have him wrapped around your little finger.

Compliment him often.  Not only will this boost his ego, but you may find him returning the favour – tenfold.

Dinner on the table EVERY NIGHT – especially if he works hard.

Encourage him in whatever he does.

Focus on the good things about your man, forget about the bad (unless he’s beating you or cheating on you left, right and centre.  Then, honey, your just being a dumb ass by staying.)  The more you focus on the good, the more of that good you will get back.

Give, give, give and you will receive.

Just like my Darks.

Have a break from him at least once a week.  Do something with a friend, go see a movie, go out and get on the piss.  It is important to keep your own identity in a relationship and prevent yourself from becoming too clingy.  Clinginess can be annoying to some men.  And it makes woman look weak.

Initiate SEX often.  There will be no need for your man to stray if you can keep him happy in between the sheets.

Jealousy is a relationship killer.  Seriously.  Let it go.

KNOW WHO YOU ARE.  BE CONFIDENT IN WHO YOU ARE.  And never, ever let a relationship compromise that.  Confidence in woman is very sexy to men.

Loyalty – one loyal girlfriend is worth more than a hundred hoes.

“It’s not the good times that make a couple stronger, but how they carry each other through the bad times.”

Mind games is another relationship killer.  Mind games is a sign of WEAKNESS and INSECURITY.  LEAVE IT OUT.

Never try to change your man.  This mostly ALWAYS backfires.

Openly communicate with your man.  The Silent Treatment (when a woman goes quiet because she’s pissed off) is a woman’s most over-used reverse psychological tactic.  It is also the weakest tactic.  Men are not mind readers.  Never have been.  Never will be.  Be straight up with your man.

Pride in your appearance.  A man likes for his lady to dress up to the nines now and then.

Quit asking so many questions.  If you persist on constantly nagging about where he’s been, what he’s been up to, who he’s been with etc, etc, then you will either drive him away, or your relationship will be fraught with tension and mistrust – and that sucks!

Respect and a mutual understanding of each other.

Space – one of the most important things a man needs.  The more you let him go, the more he will come back to you

TRUST!  One of the biggest assets on which to build any relationship.

UNDERSTAND that men will always be men.  It is in a man’s nature to look at other woman, and it is in a woman’s nature to find this threatening.  Unless your man’s eyes are absolutely bulging, his tongue is hanging out, and he has a visible hard-on while ogling another woman, then leave him alone. Feeling anger at your man for staring at other girls says something about YOU not him.

Visit his mother.  A bit off track, I know, but if you can get on reasonably civil terms with the dreaded mother-in-law, then he’s going to love you for that one!

Words – most men totally suck when it comes to telling you all the things you want to hear.  Keep an eye on his actions – that s what tells you whether he’s worth holding onto or not.

XXX – and again, I emphasise, lots and lots of hot and heavy SEX!

YOU ARE WORTH IT!  Make sure that your man is treating you like a QUEEN before you treat him like a king.

ZEAL FOR YOU RELATIONSHIP – KEEP IT ALIVE AND KEEP IT HONEST

True Story.

It could all be gone like THAT! (snaps fingers)…WAKE UP YA’LL

It’s has been a shit week,  a real shit week.  So shitty that I don’t even feel the need to apologise for being absent from my blog for three whole days, nor am I even sure if anyone even cares.  I’m not even sure if I care that anyone cares.  I checked out my site stats and today was the first time I’ve had no hits on my blog, and all I recall doing was just emitting a long, loud sigh.

But yeah…it has been one of those weeks.  If you have read and know anything at all about Murphy’s Law, then you would know exactly the kind of week I am talking about.  Its been one of those weeks where drama’s have been unfolding, one after the other, which is the main reason why I have avoided my laptop and haven’t posted up until thus far.  Life, death, hospitals and a sick baby have demanded my complete and undivided attention.  I’ve been busy.  Very, very busy.  Everything that could go wrong, has definitely been going wrong, and its been a struggle to hold fast to hope during a time where everything seems to be effortlessly turning to custard.

Thats the way things roll in the game of life, I guess.  It can be such a cunt when it wants to be, and when it hits you it seems to strike in three’s, and when you least expect it.  One minute, things are going so swell… then BAM!  It began with a death on Monday.  My partner’s brother’s son, who was seventeen and had his whole life up ahead of him, suddenly died of an asthma attack back in our homeland New Zealand.  When I first heard the news, I immediately began wondering what I would do if that happened to me and it really doesn’t even bear thinking about.  My heart bled for his mother, his father and his brothers.  His father was over here in Australia when it happened, and we spent the whole day with him, just lending some comfort and support before he flew back to New Zealand to bury his own son.

The very next day, Darks was admitted to Perth Royal Hospital because the holes in his teeth were being  bastards (or so that was Darks assumption) and causing one side of his face to blow up so he looked kind of like a crooked balloon.  Yesterday was a day of uncertainty and misunderstandings, which escalated out of control after Darks sent me a text from the Emergency Waiting room, saying the doctor had just finished doing a CT scan.  All I could think was cancer.  Or a tumour.  And death. And a miserable, unbearable life without Darks.  With baby running a muck in the hospital, and the death of our nephew fresh in my mind, I managed to work myself up into a great pitch of unnecessary (and foolish, I might add) panic.

Turns out it wasn’t all that serious.  It was just his saliva glands being incompetent fools, which could be corrected with surgery, no problem.  Nothing big.  I went home yesterday, a little bit shaken, but otherwise very relieved.  The relief didn’t last very long.  Amongst all the flurry, I hadn’t been keeping a close on baby, and she ended up being sick all through the night.  Coughing, spewing, fevers and phlegm – all the signs and symptoms of another fucking ear infection I bet.  So now shes sick, Darks is back, and off work, and I have two patients that I am going to have to nurse back to health.

Busy week alright, and there’s still Friday, Saturday and Sunday to go.  Yee-haa!  The worst is over, and I’m ready to fight back, like the unbeatable bitch that I am!  And yet, after all the commotion, after all the ups and downs, after all was said and done, I came through it thinking only one thing in particular.  And that was knowing that my family was going to be ok, and for that, I am so unbelievably thankful.  Because I’ve been thinking about my nephew a lot, and the gaping hole his death has probably left in the hearts of all that loved him.  Losing your child is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody.  Not even on my worst enemy.

Oh yeah, this week has been shitty – but it is also teaching me some big lessons I hope I never, ever forget, the utmost important one being APPRECIATING WHAT YOU HAVE BEFORE IT IS GONE.  A quote thrown around in the world so carelessly, and yet not heeded often enough, not even by me.  But I sincerely hope that will change.  Baby will get better and thrive once she is well again.  Darks will heal in no time and be back at work as if nothing happened.  The show must go on.  Life must go on.

But for some…life will never, ever be the same again.

THE ALPHABET OF LIFE

Its all about…

Being YOU

CHOICES.  CREATING THE LIFE YOU WANT

Determination

Education

Forgiveness

Goals

Imperfection – nobody is PERFECT

JUST DO IT

Keep the faith

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE

Making memories

Not giving up

Overcoming obstacles

Pushing yourself when things get TOUGH

Quiet, yet solid self-CONFIDENCE

Risk-taking

STRIVING for what you want

Taking each day as it comes

Understanding and empathy for others

Visualizing

XTERMINATING NEGATIVITY!

YOUR CHOICE!

Zest for living!

Depression and Me – a jumbled rant I’m pretty sure doesn’t make sense…but oh well…

I love rainy days, now and then.  They totally agree with me, especially during the times when all I want to do is chill right out and not have to worry about catching a bus into town to sort out the seemingly never-ending tasks that need sorting out.  There’s no pressure to deal with copious amounts of washing, and when you look out the window and see its raining for the hundredth day in a row, you don’t feel so guilty that your lawns are starting to resemble a jungle fit for monkeys.  You let your baby take charge of the DVD, the house, and let her run rampant while you crank up the heater and snuggle under the blanket with a book and a plate of oreo’s.  Its beautiful.  Marvellous.  I love rainy days.  Now and then.

NOW AND THEN being the operative word.  Because, come on.  Even you gotta admit that being stuck indoors, day in and day out, and day in and day out, and day fucking in and out, is enough to drive you craaaaazy. (Which I already am, but that is well and truly BESIDES the point.)

Yesterday was the third rainy day in a row.  I woke as usual to baby slapping my head and yelling at me to get up.  After peeking out the curtain – and then holding back the urge to shout ‘FUCK’ – I force myself to the kitchen, have a coffee, give Her Majesty weetbix for breakfast, then dump her in front of the TV.  I then proceed to perform all housewife and motherly duties with about the same enthusiasm as a zombie.  I mope.  I drag my feet as I vacuum the house.  I don’t even bother yelling at baby when I snap her pulling the AV cords out of the TV, then inserting them back in the wrong holes.  I just stare at her and sigh. I feel bored out of my brain cells.  The mundaness of everyday life and having no job – as well as being stuck within the confines of four brick walls thanks to shitty weather – AS WELL as having no human interaction with anybody else besides my baby and two men who are too tired to entertain me when they get home from work – all of it is well and truly getting to me.

And then my cousin showed up, with the niece in tow.  I pounced upon them as if it had been a year since I had last seen a human.  When I saw them walking through the front door, I was all “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii,” and sounded as high pitched and as squeaky as a mouse.  Probably desperate too. I was so happy to see them.  Beyond happy.  I couldn’t have been happier if it was Beyonce that walked in.  But then, on second thoughts…that is actually a very outrageous lie. Haha.

So I spent a good hour yarning to my cuz over coffee and hundreds of smokes, and I am aware I am talking way too much and way too fast.  It strikes me that we are yarning about some very sensitive topics – but it also strikes me that I don’t care.  I was just glad to be talking to somebody.  I was glad that she had come over.  Glad to feel not so isolated from the world. My cousin, she is easy to talk to.  A beautiful person, inside and out.  She’s one of those girls you’d want as your best friends and if I wasn’t so into myself and up my own arse, she would probably be one of my best friends by now.

Anyway, when they left, I felt pretty good.  For about a good hour or so.  I was washing dishes and staring out at nothing but grey when I felt the blues coming on.  And I’m not talking about the rainy day blues either, but the other blues, the kind that use to chew me up and swallow me whole. Maybe it was my cousins visit that emphasised just how lonely I really was.  Maybe it was the fact that my baby was hanging off the edge of the couch, chocolate smeared all over her face and clothes.  Maybe it was the silence that engulfed me as I washed the dishes.  Either way, I didn’t see it coming.  I never do.  It creeps up on me silently, like a stealth cat, then pounces and grips my throat, squeezing tighter and tighter, until I can’t breathe.

This is…a thing that I go through now and then, especially on days I don’t feel so good. I don’t think its depression anymore.  More like low-level anxiety and a kind of ominous sadness.  Back in the day, I believe it was fully blown depression, and I was pretty good for letting it get the best of me.  Swimming around in a pool of self-pity and walking around with all these fucked up thoughts in my head, convinced that there was no-one on this earth that loved me, that was the norm for me.  I could spend days on end locked up in the room, crying, writing, hyperventilating, yearning for mum, hating the world, feeling sorry for myself and just basically wondering if I’d be better off dead.

But that was THEN.  Things are very different now. Sometimes, I still get accused of looking back too much.  One of my sisters, who shall remain nameless unless she decides to out herself, is constantly telling me to get over the past.  What she doesn’t know is that I was over it a long time ago.  ‘The past’ and ‘depression’ are two very different things.  And if you have never been through depression, then you can never understand what it is like.  It pisses me off when people say things like “you think too much” or “you dwell on the past too much” or “just get over it, Freda, its all in your head.”  I don’t dwell on the past, but I don’t deny it either.  To deny it will be to deny a big part of who I am, and that’s crazy.  Whats even more crazy is YOU telling people like ME that I need to get over myself, and that’s just not fair.  People with depression don’t need to hear that shit, man.  They already know what they need to do, and when some asshole is always on your case, trying to ‘snap you out of it’ that just makes things worse

I’m not perfect, and neither are you.  I don’t berate you for your shortcomings, so there’s no need for you to berate me for mine.

Arrrgh.  Time to STOP I think.  So anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, things are very different now.  Very different.  I’m a bit more settled, and a hundred times more happier, and I have a family that needs me. But I’m aware that I have to be very careful of myself these days because my brain, its kind of set in its ways now.  So when I felt those ‘blues’ coming on this morning, I dealt with it on the spot.  To drive away the silence that can sometimes be as deafening as a trumpet in my ear, I went around turning all the TV’S on, plugged in my laptop and played my music on full blast.  So if you have ever come over to my house, and wondered why all the electronics are blaring – well now you know why.  Silence is golden, or say they say.  But to me, silence is an opportunity for those ‘blues’ to grow into a big fat avalanche.  Silence is a trap.  And one that I have no intention of falling into ever again.

Ever.

My writing, that helps too.  Aside from writing all sorts of ramblings on this blog, I am also writing a book, so that keeps my mind occupied.  But more than anything, its my baby that keeps me on the straight and narrow. Me and her, we did some Pilates together not long after my cousin left, and I had to chuckle to myself as I watched her struggle to perform the moves, seeking out my approval now and then with her big brown eyes.  After that, I chucked on her High Five, and sang and danced with her to the song Robot Number one, and we frolicked on the floor and I let her jump all over me, all twenty plus kg’s of her, and in no time at all I was laughing and happy again and the sadness that had engulfed me a couple of hours before just slipped away. And, you know, even though it was still ugly and grey outside, suddenly it wasn’t such a big deal anymore.  Because once you can find that light inside yourself – it doesn’t matter how dark it is on the outside.

And YOU can find it too.  YES YOU, reading this post.  If you have read up to HERE, then I’m either a fucking great writer, or you are possibly going through the same thing.  Either way, I’m going to end this post by leaving you with this – that you can overcome it, just like I continue to overcome it everyday.  That you can find answers too.  Not in the world.  Not in some six hundred page book written by some lady with a PhD.  Not even your shrink can give you what you’re looking for.  It’s all within yourself.  Thats where it all begins.  Have a look there.  You might be surprised what you find.