Wednesday, 30 December 2009

the sun is high in the sky in 2010

The shadow is only an absence of light. The brilliant light of 2010 will vanquish any traces of shadows.

I will continue my saga….

Giving more thought to all of this last night instead of sleeping (:S) i realised one more thing.

I mentioned that one of my significant friendships broke down. I realised last night that I had three very important friendships in my life. I already mentioned that one broke down. Another moved to Canberra - a long distance friendship is possible but hard to maintain - so that gradually lost its intensity. The last one reunited with her partner - and became smitten with him again, and whatever energy that she had available for me was seriously declined.

So - I was very very alone by the end of 2005. More alone then I realised. Sigh.

Alone and things that are already big look HUGE. Alone and problems become insurmountable. Doubt - my worst enemy was undermining me at every step. Others were undermining me too. My husband would say to me things like “no wonder the kids are so screwed up with you raising them”. I rail against these remarks but I have no comeback. In a sense he is right. Only because of my  utter indecision was making me weak - or appear weak at least. Its like the strong and vibrant me had been trapped inside. Trapped there with no way to make herself heard. She is looking out from behind my eyes and cannot believe what she sees.

Actually, I get to this point and I realise that I have reached the core of it. The whole basis of this thing.

I was isolated, and alone. I had to make lots of choices and decisions. Everything rested upon my shoulders. This was fine to start with, but as my support systems began dropping off, and my rocks began to crumble. When the weight I was carrying became heavier and harder to understand. I had no one to bounce anything off. I had no one to help me stand back up again when i was knocked over.

Maybe the very first panic attack, two hours out of Canberra, driving away from my last remaining rock, was what tipped me over the edge. I didn't think of it that way, and was excited for her and boost to her career that the move down there signified.

I wasn't worried about the driving either. I was an extremely confident driver and would drive anywhere in anything. I wasn't worried about Sydney traffic either.

I have been mystified ever since, what triggered that first attack.

hmmmm - well……. ok


how interesting.


So now I know. It feels right.  For whatever reason, I had to go through this period of time - this period where I was almost completely dismantled. I was able to function but was so stressed and uncertain that I allowed others to come in to my space and tear me to even more shreds.

I have risen above a lot of this already. My progress has been slow but steady. Hampered by my lack of confidence in my self - lack of conviction - and lack of support. I must learn to rely on no one. I must stop yearning for someone to stand by my side because it just isn't going to happen.

I have built a support system around me again. I have probably kept them a little at arms length though, because the ones that I have let all the way in have been taken from me, time and time again. So a support system of incredible women. Women who are goddesses in their own right. Women that I admire and respect enormously.

Women that I must learn from - as much as I can.

I know it probably seems too simple. An anticlimax maybe?? To me it is like a bolt from the blue.


First of all I must make sure it doesn't happen again.

Secondly I must take steps to build up my confidence.

But most of all - I need to find a way to get the communications through the fuzzy grey stuff between my daughters and myself.

Shine my light so brightly. 


Let that be the mantra of 2010.

Shining my light so brightly that there can be no shadows.

Blessed be


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Outrunning the shadow of 2005

A shadow. I only just realised it was there. Actually, more to the point, I knew ‘it’ was there, I just didn't know what ‘it’ was. It was a year that has changed my life irrevocably.  The effects have been felt right to my very core, slowly but surely it has seeped into every area of my life.

I am writing this for myself. To document it, to try and puzzle more sense, because while I try and explain it to you, it becomes clearer in my head as well. This post may appear a little whiny or ‘poor me’ at times - I wont apologise for that. I am not after sympathy - I am just trying to get it straight in my head. And then I can commence running - or turn around and face it. Whatever is more appropriate.

It could get long though. I hope you have time. Refer to warnings of Deep Vein Thrombosis for sitting still too long in one place - move around a bit if necessary. :)


What happened in 2005. Several things.

  • My youngest child started kindergarten and my eldest started high school. Three kids in three schools. This also led to pressure for me to start working more then the 4 hours a week I had been doing previously.
  • I took my kids to the first of the ‘me and them, no dad’ holidays. This was due to his work commitments at the time - but has become the norm since. I drove us to Canberra to stay for a week with two different friends that had recently moved down there.
  • On the way home we were to stop at my elder brothers home in western Sydney for a night.
  • I started having panic attacks during the trip between Canberra and Sydney. I didn't know what they were so totally fed it. It ended up being a MAJOR attack with shortness of breath, chest pain, woozy head and severely heightened anxiety. This attack ended up lasting over 16 hours - three of which were spent stuck in a traffic jam that saw us taking three hours to travel about ten kilometres.  I honestly thought I was going to die. For some reason, I kept it all to myself and suffered in agonised silence.
  • A long standing significant friendship broke down.
  • My mothers health deteriorated to the point where I thought she only had months, if not weeks, to live. (I might add she is still alive and kicking - well, not kicking exactly, but alive)
  • My eldest child started ‘hanging with wolves’. This was when the first of several friendships with much older girls began. These girls were not ‘nice’ girls and had quite significant behavioural issues. My daughter had always been the quiet and subdued girl in the background. Emotional bullying had been consistent and relentless over the previous three - four years and settled down once they went to high school. All of a sudden, she had girls up to four and five years older then her hanging around. This set a pattern that lasts to this day.

I think that's about it. There were lots of other smaller offshoots that were caused by the above points - but there are the basic issues.

Like ripples in a pond - slowly and surely I have allowed that annus horribilis to affect me.

I guess the biggest and most debilitating thing is the panic attacks. I suffered them in silence for quite a number of months, even years (?), before I was describing the feelings to Michelle and she gave a name to what it was I was feeling. I had suffered while driving, while in crowds, while shopping, during ‘intense’ conversations…. although they were lessening over time and becoming less and less intense. I was able to make sure I didn't get myself into situations where I knew I would have trouble. I would stand in the doorway of the hall during school assembly (on the odd occasion that I had to go), instead of sitting with the other parents in the chairs. White lighting myself helped, but had to be constantly visualised, the moment my attention lapsed, bang, back it would come.

These feelings of powerlessness and being out of control seriously undermined my self esteem (which was already on the shaky side), made me doubt myself in almost every area. I started second guessing myself, questioning my own decisions and ability to cope. My daughters, mainly the eldest, who was already beginning her ‘rebellious stage’ (she is still in this stage), sensed my indecision and pounced on any crack in my resolve and used it against me. A vicious circle of over reaction and badly handled tantrums ensued, and continued to wear away at whatever resolve I had. Gradually I started to regain control over myself and begin to mend the damage to our relationship, but I fear that full healing is a long way off yet. I cant get through to the eldest, and it seems that there is a permanent ‘fuzzy grey area’ between us, and any communications passing through this area get mixed up and mis-understood - offence is often taken where none is intended. Plus she has the horrendous bad attitude of a 17 year old.

Powerlessness is the key word here. Powerlessness and indecision.

I have spent some time talking to a psychologist about this. She explained to me the physical reasons for panic attacks. She also talked to me about how to prevent one from occurring and how to stop one if it starts. I can do all that now. The damage was done though. It was done during all that time that I was frightened and had no one to turn to. I was too afraid to go to my doctor, I hinted and touched on it with a couple of friends. I didn't tell the whole story to anyone though. I tried to tell my husband - he just scoffed at me and looked at me like I was an idiot. That didn't help. 

I think that is a big part of it too. I have no one that I can rely on. No one to help me when things get tough. Sure I have friends - but they are all going through their own shit and are all at some kind of ‘coal face’ themselves. What I mean about no support is this. My mother and mother in law are both too old to help. I have no other family here. I don't have a sister. My brother and his wife are too busy climbing the corporate ladder to worry about me, my other brother lives in another city. I have no aunts, or uncles and my cousins all live in other cities and states. Alone. No help - no one to come and watch the kids for me, or, more of a dream, to take them for the weekend to give me a bit of a break. I am not one to come forward and ask for help either. The harder things are for me, the more I isolate myself. This isn't a good thing really, but that's just how I am.

So here I am, alone and powerless. I feel myself sliding into the abyss and I don't know what to do about it. My husband decides that now is the time he would start to withdraw himself from me also. I cant explain it. Maybe he didn't know what to do - so he withdrew. This set his pattern that also continues to this day. A pattern that will culminate in my moving out soon and taking the kids with me. That's another story. My tenuous grip on controlling the wildly swinging teenage hormones is slipping and I sometimes resort to getting angry and yelling to try and stay in control. This fails miserably as we all know it does - however in the grip of it all, I cant think of anything else to do.

Time moves on and the kids grow older and their issues and situations grow with them. As they do.

I become involved in a group of very strong women who become one of my few remaining rocks. I wish from the start that they had known me before. I wish that they knew me when I was gutsy and strong. When I didn't take any shit from anyone and didn't care what anyone thought.  Well, within reason, you know. I was strong in my convictions, and my faith. I knew where I was coming from and embraced the mystery of what was to come. Don't get me wrong, I had lots of uncertain moments and made plenty of mistakes. I just didn't let them get me down and I learned from them. I wish you knew me then. Within that group I regrew some wings. Wings that were very different to the ones I had before, but wings nonetheless. Quietly and steadily I started to heal. Certain areas of my life I am very very strong. I have regained my faith in the universe and my own set of beliefs that take from and span almost every known creed in the universe. I am everything and I am nothing. So mote it be.

Other parts of me are way way less certain. I am ‘scratch and sniff’ emotions. They are so close to the surface 24/7 that it only took the slightest provocation and I would lose it. The camel was always one straw away from having a broken back. I was trapped in this dubious emotional state for at least  three years. To some extent it still haunts me. Although I am nowhere near as emotional I was before - thank the goddess - I am still far from where I was originally. I have always been a deep feeling person though. Even before I was a deep feeler and a deep thinker. This has been my undoing on numerous occasions. I have managed to drag myself away from the edge of that abyss so that I am not falling in with every slight and upset. Town crier - I have worn that badge for a while now. I guess I allowed myself to feel my feelings where I felt safe to do so - until I was told by one I trusted “oh stop crying, we are sick to death of it”. That snapped something in me - trust for one thing - and it made me keep it even further trapped indoors.


I am tired now - and I congratulate you if you have made it this far through this post. 

I will come back and finish it tomorrow. I promise.

There is so much more to tell. More to unravel. More to tie in.


The path to healing. That's how I see it. If I am to escape this shadow I must see it for what it truly is. old news.

I must get over it and move on.

Til tomorrow.


Sunday, 20 December 2009

bush challenge 2009!!!

This is our Christmas tree at nightIMG_4265

this is during the daylight hours




Saturday, 19 December 2009

today I am grateful for….

  • Hope. Hope and love. Hope that makes your heart swell with the promise of good things to come. I have been fortunate enough to be in the company of some lovely friends today - friends who we shared the gift of giving and hope for the future. Hope for a future that may not be as we all envisioned it a month ago, but one that will be wonderful nevertheless. I believe that hope is almost as important as faith. Mix it with love and you have a winning combination.
  • That my SPF shopping is done. totally done and dusted. All done, wrapped, and ready to go. So very good. It is amazing what a relief to know that I will not be sitting up at 2am on SPF morning, wrapping  - taking shortcuts with paper and tape. Very slack. Not this year - all done. Most excellent.
  • My sense of humour. This has seen me through some sticky situations.. a couple of which were today… it is amazing how  a laugh or even just a smile can diffuse a situation and make a very different outcome to where it was heading. Laughter certainly is a very powerful medicine.
  • These photos of Santa. Goodness me Santa, what a lovely body you have…. You would never have guessed that he had all this hiding beneath that red suit!! :) 

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Now that, ladies, is what it is all about….

Until tomorrow



Friday, 18 December 2009

Friday… faith

What a week it has been. What a couple of weeks really. There has been so much going on. So many words have been spoken.

There has been so much going on in my mind today. I think it might have been the coke I had to try and raise my energy levels - but truth be told, my mind us usually as busy any day. Some of the things I have been pondering today is about friendship. Friendship and loyalty. Understanding and looking at stuff from another's point of view. Also about expected outcomes - and how if an outcome ends up differently then we expected, then we twist the scenario to fit our expectation anyway. Very painful - but interesting in my study of human behaviour. Sometimes people that we love do some very unexpected and thoughtless things. I just wish that sometimes people would think before they spoke, acted, or hit the publish button. Sigh.

My north node in gemini in the sixth house is all about me looking at situations from the others point of view - so I guess it is second nature for me to try and understand the opinion of all involved.

Enough disappointment this week to last me a lifetime. Never mind. I will move on - and I am sure that the outcome will be greater then the sum of its parts.


I had a nice night at the Presentation Night for my middle daughters Collegiate on Wednesday night this week. She didn't get an award but she performed in the cheerleading group that she belongs to that I mentioned in a previous post. Here is a picture (thanks Nat!! - I forgot my camera) - she is the one furthest to the right hand side of the stage - partially obscured by the girl in front’s arm. They are used to performing on a full size gymnastics floor, and the stage the other night was about 6 times smaller. The area you can see in the photo is it - total floor space for performance. They did an awesome job though and showed what a professional unit they were in the face of adversity. Most excellent. I also had the pleasure of watching the daughters of some of my very dear friends getting academic awards - well done Caity and Kayla!!



I am going to enter the week before SPF with wishes and gratitude. My seven days of wishes :) -


Here is what I wish for myself.

I wish that my life is a bit boring. Boring as in - non drama. Boring as in not out of the ordinary in any way. I also wish that those that I share my life with, mainly the teenagers, have as many not scary, not anxious, not edgy moments as possible. And when they do get a hormonal rush that makes them lash out like a crazy woman, that they recognise this and work through it.

I wish for my life to be centred around Art. Art and Love. I wish for many many months of creating and that I not be pulled in many different directions at once, so lessening my chance to create.

I wish for whatever it takes to make my very dear friends happy. I wish that the angst that may reside within them be dissolved upon exposure to light. And I wish a very bright light to shine on them right now. I wish this also for myself.

I wish for peace. And let it begin with me.

Blessed be


Monday, 14 December 2009

I ♥ Faces - Pets

Pet Week this week at I ♥ Faces. I thought I might enter this picture of my kitty Kat - his name is Bilbo, but we all just call him Kitty.



Why not head on over and check out all the other entries in this weeks Pets Only challenge.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Friday evening…

What a week it has been. There has been soooo much emotion – expressed, implied and suppressed. An implosion was always on the cards.

Hopefully the cards have all fallen where they need to be. It will be plain to those involved – how they feel if it is right for them.

I have had a full on week in many ways. My relationships are all shifting – some good some bad. I have re connected with eldest daughter. Now it remains to be seen if we can maintain that connection. It doesn't help if you have her father driving a wedge in there where he can. Dickhead. How could he think that he could come between a mother and her daughter. Like i said – Dickhead. This is still quite volatile and unstable though. At this point in the proceedings I know that it would only take one wrong thing to bring it all crashing down again. I am determined however, and committed to making a difference. The cost would be too great not to.


Christmas coming. Or should I say SPF (Stolen Pagan Festival). I have a large bush in my living room. Complete with flashing lights and tinsel. Oh Joy. Have been out and spent a lot of money already, and with more to spend. Will be back out this weekend with aforementioned princess to try and finish off her gifts. that just leaves my boy. I have half done him. and most of the rellos. Sigh. At least i will have time to come back and sit in a corner and rock. Uninterrupted. Thank the goddess about that. And of course there is always Christmas Cheer – the bottled kind.

I have tried to contact my brother to see what is happening spf day, but he hasnt returned my call. how unusual. grrrrrr



back to in.

have a nice weekend

and dont go too crazy over the silly season.


love Jen


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Just one tiny pat

on the back for me. Just one. I had nightmare eldest daughter home this morning as she wasn't rostered on for work. As usual she was filled with bad manners and an even badder attitude. Usually this winds me up. Slowly but surely, as time goes on – and my wishes are ignored and scoffed at – I get more and more pissed off. Until I am at the point of explosion and let her have it. This happens regularly. Too regularly.

Today – I could feel the anxiety building inside me. Today I took deep breaths and tried to calm myself. I was in no way ‘calm’ or even close to it really, but i wasn't murderous. I was well away from the edge. I told her calmly and without getting angry what i expected from her.

End result. I kept my dignity – which i sometimes lose when I let my emotions overtake me.

I am happy with how that went.

I was able to get some things out that needed to be said.

Hopefully she will think about them.

Handed over to the Goddess.

Enjoy your day