Friday, December 23, 2011

Perfect or honest?

I don't have a perfect relationship with my children. Its hard to have a perfect relationship with anyone when you live with a mental illness (PTSD and Acute Anxiety Disorder) is there really such a thing as a perfect relationship anyway? But I know unequivocally that I have an honest one with my children. For me that is far more important then "perfect".

One thing that I have told Laura and Nathan (and will do for Aston) is that if they ever find themselves in a situation where they or a friend need help - be it because of anything - drug, alcohol, sex, anything - and they need an adult, that they come to me, and we will work it out together. No judgement, just support, and hopefully resolution.

Laura has come to me several times. The latest this week. I got a phone call from her on Sunday. A friend that she works with had done a pregnancy test, and it was positive. This young woman, K, has only recently turned 17. She was afraid, and feeling very very lonely. I asked her about her own mother. This was a definite no go zone. Her mother goes through her things, recently found tampons, and wanted to know what sleazy people K had been hanging around! K was adamant that if her mother found out that she was pregnant she would get kicked out of home.

As the week progressed, and I took her to the doctors, held her hand and told her to breathe while she had blood tests and ultrasounds, my heart became sadder and sadder. We spoke a lot. She talked about her relationship with her mother. I talked about what was going on with her body, and how important it was to know and understand her body. I talked about taking care of herself, of making sure she doesn't find herself in this position again, about what her options were. I talked about actions and consequences.

I was very careful not to be derogorative about her mother in anyway, saying instead that I know without a doubt that her mother loves her, that being a parent is hard, and her parenting choices will no doubt have been informed by how she was parented growing up. Inside I was wondering why she had created a relationship with her daughter that was based on fear, and lies.

There are people (as I'm sure there will be people who read this) that think I should not have gotten involved. That it was none of my business. And that is true, it is none of my business. But having been a young woman who felt unheard, unseen and afraid, I refuse to let anyone go through something so definitive alone if I am able to be beside them. It cost me nothing, and I am hopeful that K has learnt a lot from the experience. I know I have.

I'm thankful that I have an honest relationship with my children. They know - no matter what - that they can come to me and that I will love them unconditionally. Its not perfect... But its honest.

(The universe intervened, and K miscarried. Regardless of how or what the outcome, at least she wasn't alone.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I read my stars this morning and it described so perfectly how I have been feeling ... "adrift on the ocean". I have been frantically looking for shore, scrambling from side to side of this little boat that I'm in. Its been dipping wildly, taking on water, starting to limp... and the ocean isn't even turbulent. I'm creating my own waves, rocking my own boat...

Its time to be still. All my needs can be taken care of in this boat. Lie back, look at the stars, the moon. Make shapes, animals, fantasies in the clouds. Watch the lightening in the distance. Listen to the gentle lapping of the water on the hull. The sea is calm, there is no storm. Just the one inside my mind. Shift the focus from inside your head, and let the elements wash over you, soothe you.

Its OK to be adrift. When you stop fighting it, eventually you hit landfall. Enjoy the ride on the way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

tears, accomplishments and the black dog

I got into the car, and tears came unbidden. I struggled to keep them from overflowing. I looked out the window, and tried to surreptitiously wipe them away, desperately hoping that she, or anyone else for that matter, would not notice.


A few days before, Nathan had asked me what was my greatest accomplishment. Without even thinking about it, my answer was, "You guys, my children."

"Oh." was his response.

Then I added "And putting John in jail. But having you three - that's my greatest accomplishment."

The question came out of nowhere. We were discussing accomplishments or achievements, he just randomly - or so it appeared - asked. When I questioned him where it had come from, his answer, "was no where, I was just wondering." OK - thanks for clearing that one up Nat.

But of course it has rattled around in my head now for days.

A few days before that conversation, I had a conversation with my sister. I was practising "grace" - trying to extend grace to her, in spite of her behaviours, in spite of her denial that she suffers from something far greater then depression. So I called her when I had received a text from her. The conversation with her was pretty much the way most of the conversations with her are - either manic, or black. This one was manic. She was racing. I could have put the phone down, walked away, came back 5 minutes later, and she would have been none the wiser.

During the conversation she mentioned the "blow out" that her and our mother had had recently. She alluded to the fact that our mother had "vomited" stuff at her when she had arrived at her place to stay. Vomited stuff about me. I should have known better. I shouldn't have pushed to know. But I did. I've taken advantage of her, I do things to suit myself, if I'm not careful Aston will be a bigger brat then Beth (my sister's daughter) ever was... I should have known better then to expect that my mother could do anything for me unconditionally.

But of course that too has rattled around in my head now for days.


Laura came home for a visit this weekend just gone. She arrived Friday night, and I took her back to her other home last night. In the 96 hours she was on the Sunshine coast, 52 of them she spent with us, 21 of them awake.... what does it matter? I know. I'm being pathetic. 21 hours is better then none at all... I guess I'm feeling greedy. I wanted more... more time. more of .... what?

Maybe what I really wanted was to rewind time.

Nothing like wishing for the impossible is there? Kind of like putting someone in a round room and telling them to sit in the corner....


The further down the road I travelled the heavier and tighter my chest felt. The black dog dug in deep, and settled firmly on my heart. The harder it began to hide the tears. Snide remarks were exchanged between us. I didn't want it to end this way. Why could I just not keep my mouth shut?

Nathan had made an interesting observation. That she was different towards me, then she is towards her father. That she speaks to him, their father, and their father's girlfriend,  kindly, conversationally when they are at their father's. Here she speaks to him rudely. Here she speaks to me rudely. There is no respect.

How did we get here? Where did it all go so horribly wrong?

More to the point,can it be fixed?

So much for my greatest accomplishment........

Even the cat senses something amiss....


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