At a crossroads

One of the last things my mother said to me before I left for Sydney was to ask me if I had my resume with me.

Hmm, huh? You know? Resume? When you apply for jobs?

Yeah, I know what a resume is and it’s on my flash drive, but, umm, why?

Something might take your fancy. You know what you’re like!

That conversation has been on my mind almost since I started driving south. Friend N asked if my mother had finally lost her mind. My brother laughed and wondered why she’d do that. Me? I think in her mind it would kill three birds with one stone. One, my brother has always complained that he has no family close by, except for his ex and his boys. Two, once my parents begin their travels I wouldn’t be left alone up in Queensland. And three, my son is in Sydney now, although the other side to where I’m staying.

I’ve never actually had any interest in living in Sydney. I’ve always enjoyed visiting, but live here? The thought of living here scares me half to death. It’s so Big. And seemingly randomly designed. Driving in Sydney is enough to send the anxiety levels sky-high, unless I know exactly where I’m going. My first drive in Sydney was commemorated with me reversing into a wall… and I hadn’t even left the carpark yet. Yep, my brother’s Patrol had a new dent, compliments of Mari. I did relax after that. It’s not as if I could do anything worse! You’d think I’d have lost my fear of driving in Sydney by now, considering how many times I’ve driven through the city in peak hour with the little truck, or the F250 with a trailer. Nope, stress still fills me every time.

I’m a Canberra girl at heart. Canberra is neat, tidy, organised… and small. We used to be able to drive from one end to the other in a little over an hour. Okay, not so small anymore, but it always had almost a small town mentality about it. People were friendly, once they knew you belonged, were local. Always polite, don’t get me wrong there, but for the nation’s capital it was small town, albeit pretty, with a lot of amenities. I know it’s changed a lot and many of my memories are still from way back. Geez, when I moved away from Canberra, Belconnen didn’t even have a McDonalds!

The coast was a couple of hours that way over the mountains. Shh, they’re mountains to us! The bush the other way. The snowy mountains within driving distance. Sydney with its myriad shops just a few hours away. Yes, Canberra still brings me that feeling of coming home every time I visit, although I can’t actually picture myself living there again.

So, my mother’s seed planting about the resume hasn’t had quite the outcome she probably hoped for. What it has done is make it clear to me that I have… choices. Lots of choices. I don’t have to stay on the Gold Coast, a place I’ve wanted to leave for years and couldn’t as my son didn’t want to leave his friends. Kind of ironic, really, considering all that’s happened.

Sydney is attractive, because my son is here. I can’t make a choice to live in a city because of my son, especially as he doesn’t want to see me. It is tempting though. Even though Canberra fills my heart with feelings of Home whenever I visit, the city isn’t home anymore. I’m not that girl anymore.

Here is my crossroads. I feel the crossroads deep inside, I have to make a decision about my future. I know that a decision isn’t carved in stone and where ever I do decide to go, even if it is to stay where I am, that I can move on later. But for now, I feel that change within already occurring… time to go.

But go where?

I have some thinking to do over the coming days. Do I reconsider Sydney and Canberra? And if not, then where? Or do I stay where I am? Definitely some thinking to do.

Impatient nature?

cross stitchI was sitting out on my brother’s balcony thinking about yesterday’s post and how I’d said I’m impatient by nature.

I was thinking about the pastels I did that hang on the walls of my ex-sister-in-law’s house and how I never wanted to paint. I hated waiting for paint to dry. Pastels are fast! Yep, I said to myself, I have an impatient nature.

Then I walked inside, saw this cross stitch and couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I made this for my brother one Christmas around 14 years ago. It’s about 8 inches tall… and this thing took me months to do!

Impatient nature? *rolls eyes*

A quick reminder about labelling myself. Life isn’t black or white, there’s a whole lot of grey that fits inbetween.

So, when I thought about long drives again… it’s not the slow speed I hate, but the lack of adrenaline that keeps me going. Driving overnight in my car (my favourite)… yeah, that keeps me going.

And in Sydney

*smiles* In Sydney and the laptop started up. I always wonder when I shut it down if it’s for the last time. My tech guys, who are no longer there, had said they didn’t want to repair anything else on it. As it is, it barely charges, so is constantly on power and has a separate little monitor attached since the screen died a year ago. She’s been hanging on for years now ūüėÄ

I’m exhausted. I drove until 3am, tried to sleep, gave it up around 6am and finished the drive. I love long drives. I always feel free, even if I do have somewhere to be. My friend N in country Victoria spent a good hour today trying to convince me to drive there, since I’m kind of half way there now anyway. Tempting, but I’m looking forward to this time with my brother. He and his ex-wife spent a few hours last night trying to remember the last time I’d been to Sydney for a ‘holiday’. For the last five years, I was here for events or just passing through. Nice to stop awhile this time. My older nephew told me I’m mad wanting to come to Sydney to do… touristy stuff! Teenagers, hahaha.

I logged on today and was moved to tears from the support in comments, emails and even twitter mails. It isn’t that I’d put out of my mind what I’d posted and scheduled before I left. It’s… I was on the road and I was free. Quick someone find a career where I can drive around randomly long distance… in a car not a truck. I used to hate driving trucks. No, not big trucks, little trucks, the type you drive on a normal licence. Part of my last job had me driving the little company truck to exhibitions. I hated that truck! Fully loaded… 80km/hr top speed, down hill with the wind behind me. Not many places on the highway that gave me that… loooong, slooooow, trips. I’m far too impatient by nature for that.

Anyway, this song is perfect for how I’m feeling *smiles*

Gyroscope – Baby, I’m Gettin’ Better

The nights are hardest

Yep, give this one a miss as well. As this posts I’ll be on the road, driving to Sydney to spend some time with my brother. I need some brother love in my life right now.

I’m finding the nights hardest right now. The bed has become my enemy and I tire of the war. Bed always wins. I’m always tired. Curled up in the darkness, in my own bed, I’m supposed to be resting, sleeping. I do sleep. Yet I wake only hours later my face, my pillow, wet with tears. I get up, turn on the light, look in the mirror and see the same story. Red, swollen eyes. Very Red and Very Swollen. That’s not just a few tears that does that. I woke with eyes like that after my cousin’s funeral. And couldn’t understand everyone’s concern, until I saw a mirror. You fool no one with eyes like that.

I don’t know what I hate more… the bed or the mirror.

I go to the fridge and pull out ‘the stuff’ and apply it around my eyes. It helps with the swelling. Next time I wake there won’t be tears. Next time I wake there will be barely any swelling and the redness will be gone. Next time I wake I’ll be able to smile.

I haven’t fooled anyone. I’m being sent on a ‘holiday’. To Sydney. To spend time with my brother. They think I’m “a little depressed”. Hmm, “a little depressed”? Maybe, a little, anyway.

It’s only at night that I cry. I can smile when the sun is shining. Crying while I sleep is easier.

It’s like my heart breaking, over and over and over again. I lay down and I feel it break, on the phone, out on the balcony, sitting here. At the beach crying, it splintered into a million pieces. Over and over. It doesn’t stop.

How much pain must I feel? How much pain before my heart really does break and stop beating? Is that possible?

There’s no bitch voice, no emotion pointed outwards, no memories, nothing except the pain of heartbreak.

I tell myself to feel it, that feeling this is good. The words taste like lies.

I wish I knew why I feel like this. Wouldn’t that make it easier? It’s heartbreak and it hurts. I thought I’d stopped telling myself things weren’t easy. Didn’t I?

All I can do is wait for the pain to stop and acceptance to take hold. This is grief. I can be happy for him and hope the best for them both… and still feel the loss of him. One day the pain will say enough and let go of me, or maybe I have that wrong and I have to say enough. I can’t think about that right now.

The days are easier. And tomorrow I’ll be with my brother.

Never to send

Mari sadness rating: HIGH. Might want to bypass this one, but I need to say it now.

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Talking about boundaries in the last post has given me the impetus to pull this out of my drafts. I’ve spoken about my son leaving, although I haven’t spoken about the things he did before he left and what has been happening since… or what has led to my almost silence in the last week.

I won’t talk about behaviours, or right and wrong. Boundaries. We all have a right to choose what kind of life we want to live. My son has gone and we are removing each other from our respective lives. Why? I can’t live with my heart wide open and let him put a knife in it every time his girlfriend gets upset with the world. He can’t live happily in his new life knowing I really don’t like his girlfriend’s behaviours.

Boundaries. We have both set our boundaries. I don’t want to live a life walking on eggshells wondering when the next bit of abuse comes. He doesn’t want anyone in his life who can’t love his girlfriend. Sadly, the number of people in his life is getting smaller and smaller.

I haven’t wanted to write about this. I suppose I’ve been feeling enough judgement from people around me, along with my own feelings of failure. Can I see the last almost 20 years as anything but a fail cake when at the end of it my son tells me he wants nothing to do with me and that I will never be a part of his child’s life? Yes, I’m to be a grandmother, at least technically. As a mother, I can’t help feeling a failure. I can’t help looking at myself strangely, as other people do, wondering what kind of monster I am that my son feels the way he does.

Acceptance be stuffed. Choices be stuffed. Being on our own paths be stuffed.

This hurts.

I miss my son and he’ll never know how heart-broken I am. That every child is a miracle and I would love his child as an extension of him. Maybe when he holds his child for the first time he’ll suspect how I feel, how his whole family feels. Maybe. For now, there’s nothing I can do..

I loved you from the moment I knew you were coming. I was frightened and unsure of what the future would bring. All I did know was… you mattered. You were a miracle. You I would keep safe. You I would love.

And love you I did. Love you I still do.

I sit here and try to imagine a life without you being a part of it and I can’t. You were always a part of my life, a part of my future.

Now you have a new family, a family you have chosen, a family you plan a future with. I wish I knew why you feel you can’t keep the family you had as well. The family who loved you from your first moments. The family who loves you still and grieves your leaving.

When you hold your child in your arms for the first time in September, know how I felt the first time I held you, know how your grandparents felt and know that I’ll love this child, you’ve said I’ll never see, as a part of you.

For now, I give you your wish and I’ll step away and let you live your new life with your new family. The door is always open.

Sigh. That’s for me, since I’ll never send it. It would just create problems.

I sometimes wonder how much pain that we call heartbreak do we need to feel before the heart really does stop? Somehow there has to be a reason to keep waking up, there has to be a reason for this pain. For now I suppose I should be happy that I can feel this pain. That gives me hope.

Fear and learning from the past

Dodging the bullet from the pastThis post ended up being a pain in the neck to write. Seriously. The feelings I could deal with. Mmm, so nice to be able to say that. It was the tangents my mind wanted to run off on. Snipped and snipped sooo many times. Then I deleted the lot and started over. Then I deleted it all again.

I’d been hit with a fear about being on display the other night. Something seriously wrong with that fear… I’m not looking for a relationship! It would be a complication in my life and as long as I see it as a complication, I’m far from ready. This I know. So there’s no risk of it happening. Still I felt the fear that night. Sure I get that it’s connected to the memories and feelings from the time after my son’s father, still I dislike feeling I’m taking steps back and that’s what it felt like.

I thought I’d dealt with my feelings from that time. Understood what I did and forgave myself. Really all I did was give myself a good kick… you suck! and locked it all away. I didn’t understand why I ended up in that relationship. I didn’t understand why I didn’t walk away earlier.

When I met my son’s father I had two main problems. Well, I’m not sure if it can only be called two. My own self-worth was skewed, so I had few boundaries. I was a pleaser by nature. If something was wrong, then I was the one at fault. I was the one who had to change to fix it.¬† That is what I believed.

When we have boundaries, we’re accepting that we’re human, that we’re all human. We’re not pretending to be super strong, or super brave and at the other end of the spectrum we’re not pretending that everyone else has the answers.

We can take an attitude of looking for the good in everyone and when it all goes belly up, we blame ourselves, we ask ourselves… why did that happen to me? Or we accept human frailty. None of us are perfect. That’s not to say we look for problems, it means we have our own eyes open. If something isn’t right, or doesn’t feel right, we can take appropriate action. In the case of my son’s father, I could have walked away before the universe put my back against the wall to make me listen.

When we set boundaries I think we’re saying… this is our worth. We allow ourselves to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. Having boundaries isn’t enough, more importantly… we need to act on them.

My lack of boundaries back then meant I walked into a relationship that wasn’t right for me. I stayed in a relationship that was toxic to me. I then blamed myself for this relationship when we both acted as our own inner programming told us we should. And because I didn’t really understand why I did the things I did… I spent the next 20 years detaching and hiding from the world to avoid doing the same things again.

That is the heart of my fear from the other night… lack of boundaries. Will I fall into a bad relationship? Unlikely. Will I see it if it is bad? Possibly. The fear is gone now, or at least I’ve been wearing jewellery everyday since without being hit with that fear. I’ll put the experience down as something that floated up from the memories and feelings from the past. Even though it’s a valid concern, I’m not that woman anymore. And I am working on my boundaries.

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Image: Boaz Yiftach / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On the bright side of moving

My chair!

MY pink chair!

Moving out some time in the forseeable future. Supposedly. No, no, no, think positively, Mari. Fiiine, definitely moving out some time in the forseeable future. Better? Yep.

Anyway, I was getting ready for bed the other night and thinking about the things I miss about living alone. Living alone suddenly became real in my mind. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m slow!

  1. There will still be milk in the fridge when I get up bleary eyed in the morning. I Can Not Drink Black Coffee In The Morning. And I’m not worth talking to until I’ve taken that first mouthful. And malfunctioning system doesn’t reboot until after the second cup. Third cup gives wings.
  2. I can buy Good Coffee without wondering if it will disappear from my ‘stash’ in 3 days.
  3. My itsy bitsy small tub of wicked triple choc ice cream will last a month. You know the stuff? Too rich to eat more than a spoonful standing at the freezer? *shivers at pleasure*
  4. Grain bread in the house without getting eyes rolling.
  5. Getting ready for bed I can just pile up those clothes in the order they come off, that bra can sit on top of that pile.
  6. Actually… I so miss sleeping naked.
  7. If I need to get up in the middle of the night I won’t have to get dressed, or worry about giving someone a shock.
  8. If the phone rings it might actually be for me.
  9. I can sit in my pink chair to watch tv. Seriously, that chair is never empty. Hmm, I’ll still have to push a cat over to sit.
  10. The stacker in the stereo will have my CDs in it.
  11. In an insomniac induced buzz I can clean in the middle of the night without anyone being disturbed. Disturbed in so many ways.