TE Scores, Life Purpose & A Line is Crossed (21-27 December)

Monday 21/12/87

[This post carries over from my previous post: I’d attended a party on the Sunday night, so continued diarising into Monday’s allotted space] [I was] extremely blind drunk. I don’t know why it happened- why I went to Freshwater School with [privacy omission]; I didn’t know what was happening, but the fact was, it did. A Life in WordsI remember crying after it. saying “what am I going to do?” He said “nobody can know about this”. I really don’t remember very much. [But I did recover ‘snippets’ of memory perhaps after the alcohol – or shock? – wore off…] He escorted me home I vaguely remember showering before jumping into bed totally naked. Woke this morning- Julia said “Chris & Cameron are here” & they came in the room. (I lay under the doona) SO EMBARRASSING! [um, yes…] They stayed for awhile: cooked their own brekkys. Watched TV ..Brent rang & the mailman came at the same time. I got 870!! [TE (tertiary entrance) score] Cool! [Privacy omission: here I’d listed some friends’ scores…] Then they left & I did nothing all day – except get extremely hyper [worked up] about the events of last nite. I rang Jo to talk & she helped me a bit. I feel terrible I regret the whole night so much & I feel sick when I think about it. So I tried to think of Jim. [What? Why?] Fi came round & I told her. I hope [privacy omission] doesn’t tell anyone: [well if you had to talk about it – and it IS essential for emotional health – you can’t expect him to remain silent. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.] it’ll be bad enough facing mark about just getting with [privacy omission] to start with let alone him discovering what “else” happened. Fiona sympathized: you just can’t trust your friends even, these days. But, oh shit, she left & I had tea & a bath & [then she came back and collected me and] we went driving for 2 hours: was good – has gotten my mind quite off it now (I WANT JIM C) [This sentiment was a product of my immediate state of mental health: desperate for distraction. KurandaI couldn’t want Mark under the current circumstances… I ‘needed’ something/someone unrelated…] we even went to Kuranda NITE.

[I didn’t realise at the time – nor for very many years after – that what happened to me on that night constituted rape. Back in those days rape was commonly defined by violence, not simply ‘non-consensual’ relations. So, for a long time, I simply considered what happened a breach of trust: a friend taking advantage of me. But I was torn, because I didn’t feel entirely innocent: I had kissed him first, earlier in the night. I had led him on, hadn’t I? Did I invite it? Did I deserve it? Absolutely not …because I didn’t ask for it; I wasn’t given a choice. There was no consensus, let alone consent. I was in a completely defenseless state. We know these days – it’s understood and accepted – that ‘provocative’ behaviour (like clothing) does not – not ever – constitute an excuse to ‘proceed’. It is not an ‘unconditional’ green light. I had only ever kissed the guys I “got with” – I’d never gone any further with anyone, other than my boyfriend. When fragments of my memory returned, I recalled crying silent tears as it happened (not just afterwards, as I’d diarised) and the word “no” scrolling through my mind …but does “No mean No” if it’s a mere thought, not spoken word? Of course it does. I didn’t want it to happen. I didn’t enjoy it. A Life in WordsBut I was too legless to resist, to even realise fully what was happening. The fact that I felt betrayed, that someone I thought was a friend had taken advantage of me in my compromised state, affirms a line was crossed. Whilst I have long since processed the incident, freeing myself from any negative mental or emotional consequences and forgiving the individual concerned, I will never condone his actions nor attitude in this ordeal and fully support the desperate need for change in societal gender issues.]

Tuesday 22/12/87

Well I slept right in today: even past the mailman’s delivery (early today!) Got papa’s Xmas prezzy $20. An electrician was here, putting in a ceiling fan in our living room – Uncle Mike’s present to us for Xmas!! It’s so unreal – cools right down. [I can’t believe we’d lived in that house for three (?) years previously without any fans. These days airconditioning is pretty much standard in FNQ dwellings…] So I bludged all morning – T.V. till went shopping with mum and julia. A Life in WordsBut of course, I didn’t get any personal Xmas shopping done. We got home before 5:00 & I read Dolly all arvy & nite: [privacy omission] rang after dinner. .around 8:00, said he’d come over [privacy omission]– after 10:00. I got nervous sounded like, well, I thought he sounded like he wanted a relationship to arise…[?] thank god it wasn’t that. At first (he came round 10:30) we only talked generally. Actually, that’s all we did, besides slotting in the subject now & then. [Uh, yes, because …it was an extremely uncomfortable, difficult topic for both of us to broach…] He said he doesn’t want me to tell him [my boyfriend] – if he has to know, he wants to be the one to tell him. I don’t know. [Yep, back then I sure didn’t know …didn’t know much at all. I didn’t know that this uncertainty was my Gut trying futilely to override my fearful Mind, to insist that I be the one to tell him. Because, in the adult world, the responsibility lies with the partner – not the ‘buddy’ – due to a thing called Intimacy. In a normal, healthy relationship, there shouldn’t be anyone closer to your partner than you. I had to be the one to open up because I was (or should have been) closer to Mark than his friend. There’s also the fact that whomever doesn’t own up, potentially appears more guilty…] I’m just glad it’s over. [oh Liss, it so isn’t over..] He won’t tell anybody & neither will I. Depending on how Mark & I are when he gets back .. speaking of whom […and here I mentioned his and yet more others’ TE scores…] It’s 1:20!!

Wednesday 23/12/87

I went to town with Jo on the 11:00 bus. Before-hand, Mr B rang and told me Mark was accepted into the B. Business [privacy omission] so that’s good, I guess. I barely got anything done: Joannah did. Saw Jeffrey M & hid. [Wuss] Saw Fi, too! I got Julia’s, Fi’s & Jo’s [christmas presents]. Didn’t get mum’s. Found out Jo’s sister’s best friend bought the shoes I wanted to buy mum. So we caught the 5:20 bus home : and after a long time, got to Ingrid’s (CAD I & II) party just before 8:00. A Life in WordsWas O.K. Not great. Had to borrow $10 from Jude (Mars) to get taxi home. Got ready (pretty drunk) and Fi took us there. No q’s getting in. Just got in the door & stopped there – so many people! Jim included. I thought ‘WOW!’ cause he was talking to Fi & kind of hanging around as a group. But it wore on. Phillip C was there. And Jim told Fiona he likes me (So Peter H told me too) I got to talk to Jim, but he went off with (??) outside Smithy’s & I heard he was talking to Fiona. Great. He likes her. I was kinda down→

Thursday 24/12/87

→for the rest of the night (seemed quite a few people knew I liked Jim) so we left around 2:30, 3:00. Fiona said he liked Belinda, (K). Dean had said to me “he dumped Fiona for Belinda”. Great. That virtually proved it (that it was Fiona above me, anyway, disregarding Belinda) [Ego, Ego, Ego…] Fiona verbally didn’t agree. Anyway, I woke rather late. . . spent the day worrying about what to do for the rest of my life. I have no idea. [This feeling/issue has pervaded my life ever since. It morphed into the larger, more intimidating fear – lack of purpose. A Life  in WordsThis has been the bedrock of my life’s depressions and I am only now – in my mid forties – learning that Life Purpose is a construct: it’s not necessary …and in fact, is not necessarily real.] SHIT Fiona came down. Then mum & I went to town – I got Sharon & Nigel’s prezzy’s; met Jo & took her home – Fiona, me & her all gave each other our prezzies & Nigel came over & gave us his. When everyone left, I got ready. Fi came around 8:30 – Sharon late. After KFC, picked up Sue. The party was full of rev-heads. So went with Wade & Co to Coppelode (I felt so down – out of place) Back to the party to check it out – none other than Jim (& Trevor & Robert M…) & NIGEL! so a convoy of us raced out to Holloways (no party as they said) Jim talking to Fiona. I felt down again. All drove (actually just got Jim’s & Fi’s cars – lost Nigel & Wade) around dropping people home. There ended up Robert Jim & David (J)

Friday 25/12/87 XMAS DAY

A Life in Words
my spunky drop-waisted acid-wash denim skirt

→In jim’s car & Sharon, Fi & I in her car. We decided on swimming at Freshwater Creek. As soon as we got there – Richard O’S & Stewart & Co turned up. Swimming was beautifully cool (cold!) + scary! Got out & all mucked round (laughed so much!) dropped Sharon home around 3:00. And at Holloways, we played Hide’n’seek. Jim & Robert against Fi & I, Stewart & Praybon against Richard & David So I got home 4:45. I had a great time, but I was down inside: Fiona. god she irritated me. I made [tried to make?] her guilty saying things, […which only makes you look like a miserable sook…] but she still stood near him, flirted with him (maybe she didn’t know it, but it hurt me) So I was down. Mum woke me at 8:30. Jodie & Mike gave me a cute denim skirt! [See right. Cute maybe in the 80’s… but downright ugly now.] (At dad’s I got $100 voucher for GOOD TIME) Home again- I nearly fell asleep before Mike & Cynthia came. Ate so much today (Piggy) Fell asleep in afternoon. Rang Fi, Sharon & Jo . . . none of them were home. Uneventful Christmas day really although I’ve made some good (well, pleasing or interesting to me) career decisions And I’ve decided on newspaper or TV (maybe radio?!) primarily Cairns, then Brisbane. Also get a folio of photos – send to a photographic modeling agency!! [Well well well. I didn’t know I’d considered modelling at this point in my life… other than as one of the tools we’d tried (unsuccessfully) to utilise in my compensations claim after the bus accident…]

Saturday 26/12/87

Well what a day! I spent most of the morning in bed – got up round 10:00. Rang Fiona – she said at Sue’s last nite, Geoffrey, Dean & Trevor rang them & asked them to come out. She said to me that they didn’t. A Life in WordsI did ironing after that (previously swimming in the Fishers pool & etc) & Jo came & we went to see her off. She [Fiona?] was there (of course) and told me that the Xmas Eve party was PRIVATE. Back to Jo’s saw Jim & his car was in a deep ditch. Philip N, Trevor & Dean were in a crash. We stayed round Jeffrey’s, talking to them all arvy found out they’d been at Fiona’s beforehand- I feel so betrayed (by her) & sue (cos’ I asked about the Xmas Eve party & Phil & Jim said “No! It’s open!”) WHY? Why did they do it to me? What’ve I ever done to Fiona? […apart from being a whingey bitch?] Let alone Sue? Anyway, Philip seemed to be taking an interest in me (ha, ha!) & he’s going to beach nite! I got home round 6:00→ Sharon & I went to town→got

Sunday 27/12/87

→Bailey’s & milk then went to Playpen. I am still pretty drunk (may tell by the writing) […actually, my handwriting wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been at other times…] Was unreal. Cute Clinton & I talked to Jeffrey M’s friend Heiffer for ages, just before we left. He’s so nice!!!! Now it’s 2:30. Don’t forget Sharon owes me $12.00. [That equated to three or four drinks back then…] Ok? Nite! ∏ Well I woke to the phone, before 10:00. (Angela M – wanting to know if I wanted to go to Magnetic Island on Mon. Tues & Wed) and wasted the whole day. I really wanted to sleep, but couldn’t. A Life in WordsWatched TV (cricket) and finally slept in the afternoon, Sharon ringing at 5:30 to say she didn’t want to go out (sore throat) I didn’t mind (I just hope Philip didn’t go .. cause of me) Fat chance, huh?! Jo & I had a long phone talk during the day (’bout Jim, Fiona & everything else) Otherwise – it was sleep & TV. Boring!! So hot! (But rained all day) Just realized there’s just over one week till Mark gets back … And I haven’t changed one bit like I said I would→ I’m fatter than I was when he left, my wonderful tan has faded (& the rain won’t help me get it back) oh dear! Cannot wait till New Years!! What’ll I do tomorrow? I think I should clean out my bedroom it’s 10:10

 

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My Learner’s License, Senior Certificate & Mum’s Broken Toe (30 November-6 December)

Monday 30/11/87

I woke to a few phonecalls, ignored them and kept sleeping. Around 11:00 – jemima saw me open my eyes.. I felt terrible…they’d all been up for ages. [This is pretty much ‘unheard of’ for me.. I was usually unable to sleep in – and was often the first one awake – at sleepovers…] and Fi was there (had been for an hour!) so we went (via my place to get money & change of clothes & take my pill) & got 2 videos & lotsa food [that is, junk… stuff I wouldn’t class as ‘food’ these days]. A Life in WordsFinally at mima’s, we watched LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (newer one) […I’m assuming by “newer one” I meant the 1986 production as opposed to the original 1960’s version] – Funny!! Then Playing Beattie Bow through which Joannah arrived (Peter & Edward M already there) After that (not-so-good) video – talked about the party … Fi dropped me home Mum wasn’t extremely happy. She’s getting really ‘uppity’ about the amount of time I spend at home (“very little”) but I’m YOUNG and I’ve just finished SCHOOL! I need to get out and make friends & have fun!! [Ha! Dad would abruptly counter this attitude with “No, you need to get a job and start paying your way” (justified!) but mum wasn’t quite as direct as he, and I’m certain that for her it was more personal: apart from possibly feeling like she was being taken for granted (in her care-giver role) she would also have been simply missing me. I’ve always been more social than my mother & sister (this I inherit from my dad) so our motivation and understanding of each other in this respect was ‘misaligned’. Even in my later years, when I’d moved to the Gold Coast, she (& my sister) whinged about the amount of time I didn’t spend ‘at home’ when I came to visit them, but I understand that it’s fundamentally derivative of their love for me. I can certainly see however the selfishness and immaturity in my teenaged attitude now…] Anyway I nearly went to sleep around 6:00, but got up & had a shower – I knew I had to ring Crabbie. Jo & mima weren’t home. Couldn’t tell [him] much. Got Jo & mima later – they’ve no definite plans yet either so all plan-making will be done 2morrow (last minute – as usual) I [← I have no idea what this marking actually was – whether it was a capital ‘I’ or the number ‘1’ – nor, of course, why it was there: had I meant to begin another sentence or was I simply going to record the time?]

Tuesday 1/12/87

Disappointment! The party was cancelled and I only found out as I was ready to leave. Today I stayed home – sunbaked (& got a bit burnt) in the morning, as well as writing to mark (but what’s the point?)A Life in Words [The point most likely being no address to send it to? I’m not sure why else I’d consider it pointless…] and spent the afternoon unpicking [the stitching of] an old dress of mums. (I have heaps of old clothes & material to make clothes – no time & patience, though) [surprise, surprise] Jo rang a number of times during the day (Wayne did [only once] too, to say he wasn’t coming) so I started to get ready around 5:15 (and of course couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear) so finally ready at 6:50.. rang Fi to tell her I’m coming & sorry I’m late, but she still wasn’t home, so I rang mima “Oh, sorry, didn’t anyone tell you it’s been cancelled?” I must’ve shown my disappointment more than I thought cos when Fi rang, she noticed. So I stayed home – watched TV, during big thunder-/rain storms. Now is about 9:30. Early nite for once???!

Wednesday 2/12/87

10:34 – yet another night at home. But a busy day! This morning I woke around 8:00 (woke a fair bit last nite – felt still very tired & weak this morning) and Jemima rang around 9:30. We finally left for town around 11:00 (Deanne rang me beforehand, too!) I tried to ring Jo, but phone was engaged. So, met Seigi & Colleen & Danaë and Jude in town . . told us the party (ended up at Mulgrave Rd) was excellent (Great) [←Can you feel the disappointment oozing from this solitary sarcastic comment?] so I got a pair of $47 black on white (stripes) bikinis (finally!) then we all went to the beach – not many people at all! Dropped Jude & Danaë off (fi dropped off Colleen) then went around town trying to find the (indoor) soccer team etc… watched indoor soccer (Fi told me a deep secret and I feel priveleged – finally find out something about her (her love for…..)) [I have no absolutely NO recollection of the identity represented by these dots now] at home 7:30 (BIG STORMS tonite!) (No letter from Mark yet) So, a nite at home yet again. A Life in WordsMum told me at 9:30 that Jo rang so I couldn’t ring her back.. […because one of our house rules was no phone calls after 8pm …a guideline I still follow now. In fact, these days I rarely make, and sometimes choose not to answer, phone calls at all after dusk!]  GREAT!!!

Thursday 3/12/87

Well, less than a month left of this horrible revolting worst-year-of-my-life year. [This is so interesting, because unbeknownst to me, the coming year (1988) was to prove quite difficult for me as well (nothing as traumatic as the bus accident though of course) and for many, many years to follow, I despised it more than 1987. In fact, pretty much up until I began this blog, I actually considered 1987 (coupled with ’86) the best year(s) of my life. Much of this I think related to my burgeoning social and love lives, as well as the freedom of responsibility of childhood/school-life entwined with the imminent privileges of adulthood. Thankfully this very blogging process has released me from that limiting belief: whilst I’m re-living my past in detail, I’m also an observer and this has perfectly unlocked whatever deep, powerful connection I had to these times in my life (for which I am still grateful nonetheless, for the lessons they have individually and collectively presented to me). It’s truly liberating.] Thank God! But what’ll I do now? For the rest of my life? It’s a worry. [See my line of thought? Responsibility = Worry. Much of the time these are directly proportional to one another…] I spent the (nearly the) whole day at home …sewing!! (I’m making things out of mum’s old clothes – chop, chop!) Wrote a bit more to Mark, and in the mail, got a note to pick up a parcel at Freshwater P.O. .. it was my (very battered and carelessly handled) [art] folio So, I didn’t get an interview, nor a note ..so Kelvin Grove .. UP YOURS!! A Life in WordsI’ll just have to do something totally different to Uni career [one rejection and “it’s all over”…] – other apprenticeships like hairdressing, nursing & journalist cadetship on a magazine, till Jo, Jude & I open our boutique. [The flights of fancy we kiddies have/had! I’m fairly sure nursing required formal study even back then, and as for the magazine cadetship… ha! I think that Hollywood & the media in general might have ‘duped’ me there. As for the boutique with my friends… well, I’d forgotten all about that and in fact, didn’t realise I was still considering a fashion career at this stage…] Anyway Fi came down & took me and I GOT MY LEARNERS (FINALLY!) and my hair show ticket. [Another hair show? There was one just last week…] Home again, but she took me late nite shopping. No cuties [read: no ‘talent’ to perve on] was fun with CB, Glyn, Anna, Colleen LAUGH! Saw John C – not so stunningly gorgeous as he used to be – but I still wouldn’t mind him falling for me (laugh in a million) [self deprecating humour] Went to KFC after (Jeff, Cam, Glyn, CB, Anna, Fi Col & me) [Jesus, again? You might as well have lived there…]

Friday 4/12/87

Today, I stayed home (yet again!) Wasn’t too occupied: I mean, in the morning I went to school briefly to pick up my report (senior certificate) I got VH for eng! WOW! Sounds for maths & chem and highs for biol & arts.. [To this day, it amazes me that English was my best subject, considering the very reason I moved to Cairns High in the first place was for the CAD Art ‘School of Excellence’ course. I remember feeling disappointed (and even embarrassed) with myself for not attaining the same (top) achievement level in my art subjects. But Liss, it’s not like you put a great deal of time & effort into your schoolwork in order to realise those preferred results, yes? There’s no room for your perfectionism now; too little, too late!] Ms Forbes said I’ll get in 800’s, could even possibly get 880!!! wow, cool! [Cool, but not cool enough for the institutions and courses that were my first preferences…] Rang Kelvin Grove while I was there – about my interview – they said “no offer”. (REJECTION! Great) So at home, I made a skirt out of one of mum’s old daggy skirts.. and I wore it out tonight .. with Fi’s white shirt .. got asked for I.D. showed my ‘melted’ false I.D. and was allowed! [That scenario these days? Not. A. Chance!] (But privacy omission], Colleen Anna & Fi got in no q’s) Anyway, overall was a pretty cool nite! Slow to start with.. but Geoffry M, Jim C and a few others provided drool materialA Life in Words . . got fairly drunk (won bottle of bubbly with Marney & Joyce & Colleen & [privacy omission]) Saw lotsa older people – Rodney B etc (all college, uni people: Tanya!) Left around 2:00 or so . .. I got home 2:30 to sleep. Jo rang tonite. She told me she talked to [privacy omission]: she’s screwed Steven & Mark . that’s all. But she said Mark saw a bit of [her] before he left. -ie. sunday nite. She said they just talked, I don’t know if so… but I’m angry cos he lied to me…. (WHAT’S NEW??)→ can only be expected of him – he’ll never change

Saturday 5/12/87

WORKED! Dad let me drive to the Red Beret and I did quite well! Nearly knocked over a bicyclist and missed the gates to the Red Beret and almost took out a tree. Apart from that, I was good! […well, at least I’m remaining positive…] Did barely any work at work: talked to Jenny mostly about Julia & mainly my career …she’s pushing me to be a nurse. [Dad on the other hand wanted me to join the Armed Forces: it would have been the ideal situation; discipline, commitment and (the big bonus for him) paid education.] But I still got $10 for the day…and a big healthy yummy lunch. Rush to get ready – were heaps of people. I felt ‘out of it’ to start with – wearing not black & white, but khaki & white. [So it was evidently a Black & White themed hair show…] Anyway, my view position was good, but bad at the same time – I was seated, behind Jim C but much some of my vision obscured. It was pretty good: altogether, as a show, unco-ordinated but some individual salon productions were excellent (All amateurish) after, tried to find the party- traipsed all over town looking. Playpen Hill & party & nest. I was so pissed off with [privacy omission]. Stewart was there outside Nest one stage & [she] was being slimy and she knew I was there (she thought I was in a bad mood with her, so I’m sure she did it on purpose. [No Liss, you can’t ever be sure…] Even if not, she knows the way I feel about him) Eventually (saw Phil C. Jim C. at show) Sue, Fi & I grabbed food from a 24hr→

Sunday 6/12/87

→shop & (I rang mum) we stayed at Fi’s. A Life in WordsI got a bit emotional (worried) about Mark, but we got to sleep around 3:00 I’d say. ..Woken around 9:00-9:30 by Banks’s cat (all over us) After brekky etc, went (picked up my gear) to Palm Cove; about 11:30. Got there & engine was overheating (radiator we filled last nite at Alison’s) It was empty again. Idsteins helped us out – we went to Bitter Creek [ummm, I have NO memory of knowledge of this place in the Cairns region, at all. Can anyone fill me in?] & they fixed pipe connection (radiator thermostat corroder) […er, whatever that is…] for us. At beach (after lunch (saw tanya!)) baked (and now I’m mostly brown – bit red) saw Jo & on our way home noticed overheating again. Back to Bitter Creek. they said a whole lot of things were going wrong.. water in oil feul filter melted (hole) but mainly water reservoir not full enough. We attempted getting back to Cairns – having to stop every 100m or so to let it cool down (useless) about Kewarra, a guy helped us ..said H2O reservoir needed to be EMPTY so radiator H2O vapour could go there.. [he] was right – perfect all the way to D’s newsagency. car overheatingLeft the car there – Sue went with her parents home. Fi & I drove round – got a pizza (for tea) & had a talk… got home 6:40 .. watched TV listened to Take 40 is now 11:30 & I’m buggared. *Mum has suspected broken (little) toe: cos I rang 2:00 in the morning to tell her where I was; she kicked it hard. MY FAULT. [This exact incident occurred years later as well. Mum had established a Trust system with me when my social life began to ‘intensify’ (read: basically when I began attending nightclubs) that allowed me a generous amount of freedom in exchange for honesty and ‘accountability’. In other words, she just wanted to know my plans, my whereabouts and if they changed to inform her as soon as possible “no matter what time of the night …or day”. So, whilst I felt terrible both times she ‘ran’ for the phone in the middle of the night kicking and breaking toes on the way, I consoled myself in the knowledge that I was doing as she asked, that I had done ‘the Right Thing’…]

The Exhibiton, Its Aftermath & New Aqua High-Tops (2-8 November)

Monday 2/11/87

It’s 2:03 and I’m still drunk. Guess what I did tonite? I paid [privacy omission] back! I got with her boyfriend Stuart! [Just to clarify, my definition of ‘getting with’ is just kissing. I didn’t pass ‘First Base’ with anyone outside of a formal relationship. Well, not for some time…] Ha, ha, ha Bitch. Got you back! [Because that’s what Life’s about, isn’t it? Revenge, getting even? This is Tunnel Vision at its best: whether you believe in karma or not, vengeance will never truly deliver satisfaction, let alone ‘justice’…] Stewart nor Phillip were there (that I saw) I spent the whole day at home, sewing [and] preparing for the fashion parade. A Life in Words[The CAD Art Exhibition & Fashion Parade opening. What other reason would I be so intoxicated on a Monday, a school night? The funny thing is, I can’t recall at what point in the night I began imbibing enough to land me in this state. Check out my handwriting sample in the pic on the right. Hilarious.] At 7:55 I finally left home (everything was OK before then- but at the last minute we found the dress was too tight. I was  so   nervous before, [and] during [the] fash. parade. Saw Mark & Phillip N that was it. I think I have blisters. Wow, I’m drunk. Thought Adam was trying to crack onto me – but Stuart & I got together after visiting Scandals & the 24hr service stn then going to the beach. Stu & I stayed in the car. Uh-oh! What’ll tomorrow be like? [Well, that’s unusual: people don’t often consider the results of their actions while they are still intoxicated. I think we can put that down to my innate tendency to over-think. Hello additional Stress…] Uh-oh! Hell! I’d better be careful. [How exactly?] Must ring Jo early to see how she’s getting there. [“There” being a sort of exhibition-opening-after-party-come-Melbourne-Cup shindig at one of our art teachers’ houses.] God, I’m drunk. Feel so GOOD! […for now…] Jo told me she ran into Wayne C & he said Alan T likes me. Oh dear. [Oh well, you will run around kissing boys when you’re drunk…]

Tuesday 3/11/87

A Life in Words
That’s me in the flash spot, queueing up to model our Cup hat creations. Picture courtesy of a school friend whose photos were trapped behind glass; apologies for the quality!

Embarrassment! Skint! I didn’t think it would be like it was: I was too “ashamed” to look at him [Stuart] even (let alone talk to him- tho’ it looked like he wanted to at some stages) He spent most of the day with [privacy omission] anyway which was good. I shouldn’t feel bad- she did it to me. (I guess I’m “lowering to her level”) (Apparently Jenny M. also knows about Jeff & I that nite, too, now.) [Talk about hot water. You’re really starting to boil your own bathwater now Liss, arncha?!] Jo picked me up around 9:30- got to town at 9:50- Jo bought shoes then, after some trouble locating it, got to Pugh’s… watching the exhib. video – up to Fash. parade. Jo had to leave to model. Jude & I made our hats : judging after the Melbourne Cup- I got 3rd! WOW! Jude & I watched the rest of the video + the CAD party video. Then went down[stairs] with “the guys” to make videos! FUNNY. Left around 5:00, as [we were] watching the day’s [as in, this very party we were leaving’s] video. . and Stuart was on the phone- I glanced – & he smiled & waved. So did I and I felt quite relieved after that. I think AM likes me. I think Elliot’s cute. Found out I have a chem. exam tomorrow – no study – I’ve failed! [Pessimism, or realism?] Dunno what it is about Stuart & decided it must be his smile. Lights his whole face up.

Wednesday 4/11/87

..But the saga continues! Today, Stuart came up (behind me) at little lunch (I was in the Yr 11 area with Jude) and talked to me! Then in 4th & 5th (I skipped english- 6th & 7th) we talked more. He does really (kind of) affectionate things – he came up behind me and grabbed (but gently) my shoulders; at big lunch in the art room, he did something to the collar of my shirt (for “no reason”) – his smile is so cute. [I’m a sucker for affection…] On the Mark front – I talked in biol. this morning, but that was it – I barely made the effort. It made me a bit sick [jealousy] to see Mark & Nicole…but, I don’t know, I’m getting used to it. [Drifting away?] Stuart said [privacy omission] was “a bit ripped up” about me & him & he told me how she told him about Mark & her & me (how many – lots-of times she got with him while we were going out.) So I don’t know if it’s worth going back to Mark. [Food for thought…] So many people say I’m better off without him. . but like Fi said – it’s so hard when he says nice things about me & looks at me all the time. (That made me feel better) And Stuart, by the looks of it, is at least a bit attracted to me (!!) [Ha! The modesty’s kinda cute …but on the flipside, demonstrates some lack of self worth.] He said today (& it shocked me) He thinks [privacy omission] are wierd. Went into town – saw Jeff & Jenny – Megan said she thinks he likes me – wish that was true. Jenny knows about me & Jeff now [Yes. You said that yesterday. It does occasionally happen: forgetting I’ve already mentioned something.]

Thursday 5/11/87

…And still it continues! Stuart broke up with [privacy omission] today. But he didn’t talk to me at all. Jude (& Jo, I think) heard Miss Marsland at lunchtime today, with [privacy omission] a whole  lot of people, say “why did elissa give Stuart those things on his neck?” (lovebites) Shit, I never saw them. So many people must hate me now. […this thought alone would be terrifying… for lil ol’ me who needs to be liked by everyone…] Mark said something about it this morning – [privacy omission] told him & he said “was it to get her back?” He was being rather nice this afternoon. But the strange thing is, he didn’t really turn me on. I hope Stuart was just in a bad mood like Jude said, and not hurt because someone said I’d used him to get back at [privacy omission]. I can understand how much that would hurt him, because it even hurts me. I really do like him. […despite the drunken spiel in the heat of the moment on Monday night, I never seek revenge. It’s just not in me. This was an authentic ‘co-incidence’ whether or not you believe it.] I’m so confused. I rang Sharon & asked her to ring Stewart & find out what he’s on about. [No contact = pretty obvious to me…] And Megan’s scheming about Phillip for me. [scheming? That doesn’t sound so good…] And Mark still loves me – but is such a bastard – A Life in WordsGod I’m so confused. All these damned guys in my life. [Life’s tough, hey? But you shouldn’t really be complaining considering how many years you spent wanting a love life. Wish granted! What’s that saying: “It never rains, but it pours”?] I need to talk to someone & strangely I’d like it to be Stuart (W) Hope he talks to me tomorrow. PS: got my formal photos. Someone rang this arvy but hung up before I could answer. wonder who?? [maybe just a wrong number… who knows? Does such an insignificant thing have to matter so much?]

Friday 6/11/87

Tonite is the first night in (the first Friday night in) approx. 5 weeks that I have not gone out. [I’m specifically talking about clubbing…. or somewhere that involves the consumption of alcohol…] Now I have the feeling that I’m missing something (like last nite- the first Thursday in approx. 5 or 6 weeks that I didn’t go late nite shopping!) [Interestingly, this feeling permeated my life pretty much right up until I moved away from Cairns in my early thirties. It wasn’t always present (there were definitely periods in which I enjoyed a quiet social life) but I’ve certainly had difficulty at times being content to stay home and ‘do nothing’. That’s certainly NOT the case now: I’m  a confirmed homebody – perhaps to a fault…] Too bad. Today was a downer. I didn’t talk to Mark at all (but that’s not the reason) A Life in WordsStuart still didn’t talk to me & even seemed to be avoiding me. It’s not fair- there’s something about him I like so much. I think about him more than I do Mark. That’s amazing! Jo & I went to see La Bamba tonite. Thorstein Darren & Alan D etc were there. After, went to Trinity Wharf, walked round Hilton till had to pick up Robbie from air cadets. Is approx 10:45 now. I’m tired – hope tomorrow nite’s party is “worthwhile” ie: Stewart or Stuart or Phillip. Maybe even Mark. Dunno. Got my deadly new aqua gym boots- [not actually Converse brand, but definitely replicas. Colourful sneakers were just coming into fashion in the mid 80’s in Cairns, at least…]  A Life in Wordsbit small… cause little “hurty” [I had a tendency to wear shoes a bit too small for me because I somehow had it in my mind that my feet were too big. Turns out, they’re actually a tad small in relation to my height. So all that cramping later resulted in a Morton’s neuroma in my right foot and bursitis in my left. Well done, Liss. A ‘win’ for Vanity…] Exhibition officially pulled down. Boring day really. Hope everything (or something) is sorted out 2morrow nite at the party – I’m a  confused little girl. The dream I had about MW yest. morn. I had one about Stew & Phil this morn. FREAKY. [Freaky just because all of my ‘love interests’ were appearing in my dreams: it wasn’t the case that I happened to be having the exact dream, with different characters. I’d imagine the chances of that happening would be pretty slim….]

A Life in Words
Cairns’ original railway station on McLeod Street was demolished in 1996 for the shopping complex Cairns Central, which houses the current station at its rear (Bunda Street)

Saturday 7/11/87

Boring. No, not at all, really! After seeing Ross & Thelma off at the train station (7:15 -erk! I was dead tired) went to Rusty’s Bazaar & guess who! Phillip C was there! YUM, YUM, YUM! Didn’t have time to stop & talk , but I sure made a point of saying hi. He is so gorgeous! At home, I set out to do study, but never got anything done. [Surprise, surprise] Tried to make a white skirt to wear out but it stuffed up around 5:00- too late to start again. phone calls all day. I went to Fi’s and got her black shirt. Seeing as I had nothing to wear (I thought a denim skirt would be ace!) Rang Jude. She had one (rather large for me, tho! Just like Monique’s. I got to Judes just after 9:00, and we waited outside till, get this: 10:15. Finally, at the party (we drank goon) [For those who aren’t acquainted with this alcoholic beverage, it’s simply slang term for cheap cask wine.] there weren’t many people there – Mark was & Stewart P. I was shy to talk to mark & also to Stewart at first, but then I avoided him – I was angry – hurt from what he’s done to me. […or hasn’t done, more specifically; no contact] (PS: Sharon still hasn’t talked to him I don’t think. What the hell is this guy on about??) [With hindsight (& some life experience) the answer is obvious: he’s just not that into you.] Anyway Mark came up to me because I didn’t go up to him. He said he was angry I was avoiding him & I said I was too shy we talked a bit … mucked around mostly. Just as (Jo’s) Mark (B) was about to take us to the Hill, he said he wanted to talk to→[next page…]

Sunday 8/11/87

→me. But we didn’t because I would’ve missed the others. He said “another time”. I worried briefly about what it possibly was that he had to say to me, but forgot at the Hill. Jude & I stayed there. A.M. & Gemila get there not long after us. Stewart was with Jay & Anna etc. and went home nearly straight away. He said hello at one stage, but I made it clear I wasn’t going to be a conversationalist. [Oooh big word! But in other words, you snobbed him…] They left. Adam M turned up & I remember talking to him about Stuart W., but can’t remember what I said. [oh dear…] Hope it wasn’t anything I’ll regret! (Jude & I had an EXPLOSION each -& were spinning) A.M., Jude & I decided on the playpen. Got a taxi to pick up AM’s car – got in thru’ Sequils for free. OK! danced a lot ..group of mods there (the ones who are always at the Hill on Fri. nites – Helen, Phillip) [a different Phillip to the other two I found so appealing…]+ 2 guys purity cute! [I meant ‘pretty cute’, but because I wanted to emphasise the word pretty (through a kind of drawl) my phonetic attempt resulted in a word meaning innocent, clean, fresh. Writing ‘perr-itt-eee’ would’ve worked better…] I ended up dancing with them (at different stages) The one in the white shirt was cute James. Steve ..I talked to & eventually got with. A Life in WordsAM dropped me home around 5:10, Mum was awake. Got up around 10:00. Got folio prepared all day – Did nothing else. SLACK. went to mima’s to take photo of Fat Ladies [artwork of mine her mother had bought at the CAD exhibition] – talked to her a while. Jo’s place later on in arvy – take photos of her work for her. […as well as some silly ones of ourselves – see pic] Big talk there, too. Late now. 11:40!! Been doing art dress (silver one) So glad only 2 weeks [of school?] left! Ring M. today – talk 2morrow at school →was a really great phonecall actually. Mima told me Steve the guy I got with (works at International Hostel – from Melbourne – finished Yr12 in 1986) is one Juliet likes. SKINT!! Wonder what Nicole did Sat. nite? Did Mark go over & visit her? Who gives a ___ if he did?. [The fact that you’ve bothered to write this proves that you were thinking about it, so YOU probably give at least a smidge of a “___”. But, it’s a valiant attempt to shift your attention from potentially morose thoughts…]

A Bleeding Mole, a Prudent Prescription & the Show (13-19 July)

Monday 13/7/87

Ugh! I hate school. It’s so boring & ….. boring!! Rebecca G’s back in Cairns – at school. But that doesn’t really bother me – she doesn’t talk anyway (to me) We’re back in F block for maths. Wowee. How boring. Mark came late, but smiled at me when I saw him. A Life in WordsWe barely talked at all (end of recess, in biol & after school). Most of it was stirring anyway. On the way home we honked the horn & I gave him the forks – he rang me tonight & everything seemed much better (even though we were still joking around). I think he got off his “high horse” (maybe?) – realised what he was doing. Anyway was really cool today & is cool tonite. Spent the lunch hour on the oval in the sun. There’s a mole on stomach- bleeding. [Well aren’t these back-to-back sentences pretty much ‘oxymoronic’? The sun + bleeding moles = ?!?!] Worrying me a bit. [Really?] Hope its not cancerous. [In all fairness, the lunchtime sun-soak wouldn’t’ve registered to me at all because we didn’t know back then that skin cancers (esp. melanoma) can ‘originate’ in places never seen by the sun…] Talked to mum tonight about the pill – she’s not really impressed, but she knows its for the best [What mama is ever truly happy about her girl reaching this rite-of-passage? (I don’t even have to mention Dads!) I imagine it’s more just a sign of her baby growing up too fast…] Watching mini series again tonight. Finished 11:30 last nite. Same tonite???

Tuesday 14/7/87

10:30 it finished last night & 10:30 again tonite. Gosh it’s cool! Beautiful weather Just right. I’d love summers like this – imagine, then, the winters! [Hmmm, my attitude towards the seasons has pretty much reversed over the years…] Today was O.K. seemed to go rather fast. Rang Mark tonight, briefly.A Life in Words I went to see Mrs E this afternoon – for a dress fitting – she’s only just begun the lining! Hope it gets finished! Then I went to the doctor to see about this bleeding mole- he said it’s “malignant” (whatever that means) [“not good”] & he ripped it off. [..which I find confusing. If it was truly malignant, there should have been further testing. If I had misunderstood the doctor, and he was simply intimating that it may become malignant – removal without follow up could be expected. But if there was minimal chance of it being a threat (and I have realised many ‘mole-morphing’ experiences over the years) the removal may have been some sadistic power-play?!!] Now I’ve got a kind of scab. I also asked (shame!) [shame because it’s an ‘admission’!] about the pill – he wrote a prescription out, but said to start first pack after next period; even then, must wait until I’ve finished that pack (of approx. 21 or 28 pills) before it becomes effective.A Life in Words So it’ll be a while yet. Did barely any homework. am so tired. Riding tomorrow 1st dance practise tomorrow night but Mark doesn’t want to go: State of Origin III match is on. mini-series ended tonite – was fantastic!!! Busy day tomorrow (I think!) SHOW!!! [Oh how I loved the Show back then. I think it stemmed from my social nature: as a younger teen it was the most ‘popular’ event I could ever attend… I used to get excited wondering how many people I would run into in the crowd of strangers…]

Wednesday 15/7/87

All these late nights!! It’s almost 11:00 now. Today was O.K. I thought I’d missed mima & fiona, but they were just a little late. Dad stopped us around Suicide Bend [a severe curve in the road between Stratford and Aeroglen at which a number of historic fatalities occurred. The road is now known as the Stratford Connection Road but we certainly didn’t know it by that name back in the 80’s …I just can’t remember what it was: Aeroglen Drive or Kamerunga Road? …Anyone?] and, get this, gave me $40 (for Jules & I for the show) can you believe it? We didn’t even have to ask! Wow!! A Life in Words[As often happens with split homes, one parent ends up dishing out more money than the other in the rearing of offspring. I think it’s unavoidable even in the most amicable of relationships disintegrations. Living with mum meant she bore the financial brunt of our upbringing. Rather than Dad being a conscious miser, I believe things simply just ‘didn’t occur’ to him. It fits with the adage “out of sight, out of mind”.] Did biol. HW at school. Got on really well with mark today- I mean we didn’t talk too much more than usual, but we were in better spirits (I think) – he seemed much nicer; a little more affectionate (although he wasn’t) [what the?! …he was but he wasn’t?] Don’t worry – I can’t explain. [obviously] At lunchtime (after) Mima, Fi, Polly, Anna, Joannah, Myuko & I went to Fi’s shop to miss athletics tryouts. Talked, laughed ate. After 3:00, got our bikes & (after mima’s dress fitting) rode home really fast! (Pushing my leg to its limit! Ha, ha) Late nite was v. unsuccessful – nothing at all, I really like. At home watched TV & got bag from mima’s. OW! Bit my gum this arvy – its sore now. my stomach mole’s O.K now. Mum’s pushing me about the pill “Are you sure about Mark? I want you to be absolutely sure about him…” etc [Well, this is truly an eye-opener for me. Aside from mum’s innate parental concern for her daughter, this is the first moment I have realised that she perhaps didn’t overly approve of my boyfriend. In her defense, it would have been crystal clear how affected I was by him; my moods and reactions relative to the relationship highs and lows. I mean, if I as an adult now cringe at what I allowed myself to experience, I can imagine how it could have felt for my loving mother to watch…] Had to pay for painting stretcher today (out of my $20 for the show – now I have only $14 left. Great)

Thursday 16/7/87A Life in Words

Great day! I’m in a really good mood! Only one problem – Fi’s sick .. but if she rests tomorrow all day she should be O.K (I hope so) for it. School was boring, of course .. the Canadian marching band did a display this morning after parade, so that shortened our lessons. (It was really good!) I rode by myself. to school (wondering at the time why I possibly did) but on the way home I enjoyed it. We got ready, took Amanda & Jules to the show then went to Earlville. I was almost giving up hope when, wait for it, we went in to ROCKMANS & I found some black pants!! WOW! Then I purchased” a red shaker-knit cotton jumper (men’s) so I was in a good mood – watched the model search thingy (with mima, Pol, anna, danae, colleen, juliet, nina …so on) _both heats (Tricia was in the last one – my God – I would never dream of doing that if I was her (if I was me, anyway!)) [Such high and rigid expectations of Beauty thanks to the Media and my own low Self Esteem..] VOMIT! [Harsh reactions again hint at Insecurity… and perhaps Jealousy: that she had the self confidence/esteem/love to have a go in the first place. We often attack or lash out when coming from a place of Fear…] went home with Brewers .. mima & I decided to ride to the beach tomorrow morning – At home I rang Mark straight away – but I’m going to ring again tomorrow. Still not sure exactly what the plans are for tomorrow (night) – after the show, too (the [House on the] Hill, [that is, Crocodile Rock nightclub] staying at Fi’s.) Hafta work it all out.

Friday 17/7/87

Didn’t ride to the beach-mima had to stay to meet her granny. I “wasted” the morning – watching TV, weaving (for art).  A Life in WordsDid a little exercise→ rode to the shop for mum. Rang mima & fi & got “plans” sorted out; got ready around 3:30→ went to Fi’s at 4:20 – finished getting ready, before walking to mima’s. Picked up Jo & Geoff. M too . . got there around 5:45 – got to the Big Ferris wheel [the ‘meeting point’] around 6:03, I reckon. Mark showed up at 6:15- had been waiting at the little Ferris wheel. But, he went again to the pub. Met him at 7:00 – he was teasing me about Phil C (was there with P. N. & some others) YUM, YUM. I did end up talking to him, too; he has changed- is much, much less shy than last year. I think he’d be a really cool friend to have. I went on 1 ride spent a record minimum (less than $5 I’m sure) this year. Mark was away most the time – at the end I felt I was being ignored/avoided. IT HURTS so much. Around 11:30 went to the Hill. I got in no sweat (no questions . nothing!! WOWEE) Was good, except was hot & smoky inside. But I wasn’t exactly happy. I felt, especially towards the end, very unloved, boring, sad, lonely, depressed & a bit pissed off. […anything else?…] Why does Mark treat me the way he does? God it hurts so much. [No…why do you put up with the ‘treatment’? You have a choice. It’s nothing to do with him …but everything to do with You…] But I can’t say anything- he’ll only confirm his beliefs that I’m a weak, boring sook. (whinger, complainer) Pretty well bombed at Fi’s, around 3:30. Cold!!! left around 8:30 – Fi’d already gone to work, mima home. Jo & I cleaned up, then walked to bus stop sat until she caught bus to Redlynch – I walked home. Spent the day lying, resting, reading thinking= being depressed. [Allowing the Mind to replay the Past, re-tell its Stories to keep you Down…] “Well I’ll see you when I see you” he said. Jesus that hurt. Maybe I’m just going through an extremely sensitive period or something but I can’t help it; A Life in WordsI’m feeling down today & I can’t change it. [You can. But sometimes you’re not meant to…] Had a short sleep (about 1-1½hrs) after 3:00→ rang Fi & Sharon after (both weren’t home) Mark rang me. I felt a little better (he made the effort to ring me, after all) & we decided to go to the movies (he didn’t want to go to the party) Got calls from Beka & Sharon after. Got to odeon just before him. Lethal Weapon again. He appeared very quiet – uncomfortable (moody) but relaxed a bit after. (We walked around→ to Pacific & had a cocktail – Pink Blonde YUMMY) Left odeon after ringing mum (him→Sandra) & getting himself a steakburger .. I was a little pissed off again. . . .→

Sunday 19/7/87

→ no kiss again→ I knew it – it had to do with what I’d said last  Saturday night – about never kissing him again. I’d said to forget it & he said he did, but no→ he has to carry it on – that’s what upsets me the way he carries things on, for days, weeks. I hate it – it hurts. It makes me afraid to say anything to him now in case he carries it on. [And this is a perfect example of how fears develop into life-long instinctive reactions or habits. “Avoid Confrontation at all costs, Liss” the Mind says…] So he laughed as we drove away. At home I watched TV, right up untill 1:15 or so. I bombed and woke this morning at about 9:30→ really dead! (Mum painting the entrance room) Amanda left around 11:00 (she stayed last night) God, it depresses me to think about Mark→why does he do it? Deliberately to provoke me; make me sulk. [Maybe? Maybe trying to push you away? Or maybe he has no intention at all. The thing is, you can never really know …which means it’s beyond your Control …which means ya gotta… Let. It. Go.] I can’t stand it. formal dancingAfter wasting the day (totally) Beka picked me up: at dance practise I got a very mixed feeling about him. He seemed O.K. (nice) now & then – but sometimes he was very “stiff” as if he wished he didn’t go. Kept calling me a Sook. I can see he doesn’t like me (being a “Sook”) But I can’t convince him when I’m not sulking. DON’T HURT ME ANYMORE. PLEASE forget all this shit. After it I had a terribly sore throat – hard to swallow, yawn & speak. God it’s killing me. Mark wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was sore – just said “sook

More Trauma, More Surgery, More Drugs… (23 February-1 March)

Monday 23/2/87

Shit. I slept well last night…ready to finally go home..had shower, then the nurse took off my dressing for the doctors. They came, Talked. Then looked. MY STITCHES BURST, I HAVE TO HAVE A SKIN GRAFT ON WEDNESDAY. [In other words, I had to go under the knife again: to have the procedure I was meant to have in the first place. Not just insensitive & arrogant, but also incompetent surgeons?] I couldn’t stop crying when they left – mum & Kerri the social worker were with me. A Life in WordsI didn’t realise just how much I was looking forward to going home, till I couldn’t. Bastard. Bitch. I hate my leg… I’m going to have the biggest scars & a totally deformed thigh. it’s not fair. I’ll miss out on the carnival.. wednesday night. I hate my leg, I hate that bus, I hate life. Everything’s going wrong – my health, my “love-life” (Mark), my schoolwork. [Because I was so distraught about ‘everything’ by the end of the day, I failed to mention the tortuous consequence of the failed surgery; the removal of the stitches. It was horrendous, quite possibly the most physically painful experience in my life to date. At least I was in shock whilst pinned under the bus. I was given no local anaesthetic, no heavy-duty painkillers… just a couple of pills (‘digesics’) before the nurse began tugging (albeit as gently as possible) at the sutures stuck in the raw flesh around the entire circumference of the hole in my leg. You have NO idea…] I had a few visitors ..Justine & Angela & their mums, Yru & Mr Gordon & Dad came. [Dad] Got back from Adelaide today. God, I’m hot. And pissed off & depressed. Oh life’s a shit, a bitch. Imagine my scars .. to think I would’ve liked to do modelling [I’m not sure that I had ever really desired that myself: I think this was more of a notion inserted into my consciousness by others…] Everybody’s telling me it mightn’t (most likely it won’t) be bad… [being optimistic for me] They’ll disappear/fade with time. But I haven’t got lots of that. [? What did I mean by this?] It’s not fair. And Mark…that’s not fair, either.. we need to get on better.. I want to walk & go out …SHIT I’ll be here at least another week, I’ll bet. Not fair.

Tuesday 24/2/87

I was thrown into depression again, today. After showering I went with Kerri down to her office We had a talk about the crash etc. Fiona & her mum were waiting for me outside ..walked back to my bed.. A Life in Wordsmum came with the letter from Mark. It said “goodbye” & envelope contained the necklace which he “washed”. [Thanks for the ‘double whammy’, Universe. Talk about Murphy’s Law…] He was really angry about me sending him away. I got rather upset. Fi read it … I wrote a note for her to give to him & the photo of us… I was so upset. The rest of the day went slowly. I watched TV but wasn’t ‘there’. This arvy Miss Stephenson & Mrs Connors came & talked. Mark came up, while they were here. I had a heart attack – honestly, I thought you could see my chest pounding. When they left, we (or I) talked (mostly) He’s coming back tomorrow. We have quite a bit of sorting out to do. He can’t understand that I “don’t trust him”- ANYBODY. I’ve got to explain, but I’m afraid he won’t understand & will say goodbye for good. [Actually, I’m not even sure now what my reasoning was…] Had lots of visitors tonight. Is 9:30. Big day tomorrow – skin graft. Huh. Great. And bloody carnival I’ll miss out on.

Wednesday 25/2/87

A Life in Words
I’ve no idea why I decided I needed to keep this bottle of ‘Hibiclens’ pre-op soap…

I am rather ‘happy’ compared to yesterday & Monday. I slept badly last night – I mean, I couldn’t get to sleep to start with. This morning I had my pre-op soap shower & put on my lingerie (ha, ha!) (op. costume) about 10:00 I think, they started wheeling me away – but I stopped them: I wanted my pre-op needle!! [Junkie!] I got it. Waited less time this time, outside. [By now an old-hat with the pre-op experience, I had decided it was time to try to fight the grogginess and remember everything I could.  The wardsmen had stationed me right beside a tropical fish tank in the surgical waiting area and with my head lolling to the left for better focus on the aquatic life, I remember thinking “gotta count the fish”. Did I remember how many there were? LOL] At 10:55 they knocked me out totally. I remember being put back into bed.. When I woke, Mark was here, with Jules, Leanne (J) & mum. We talked well. He came up during lunch. .spent rest of the arvy with me. said he’s coming tomorrow too! YAHOO! He left me a letter, you see, telling me just how much he loves me. It is a gorgeous letter. Few more visitors today. (Jaque & Trina!!) BLOODY SWIMMING CARNIVAL on TONIGHT I’M MISSING IT. SHIT. NOT FAIR. I’ll be laid up in bed for “about 5 days”. Great. Huh. Little hot. I come out of anaesthetics pretty well, pretty quickly. [Like I said, I was a professional by now…] Am feeling slightly more confident about my scars now. Have a feeling I’ll get rid of them rather quickly! [Hmmm, seems I still didn’t understand the extent of my injury?] Hope so. Damn missing the carnival. Damn. G’night!

Thursday 26/2/87

Mark didn’t come up today. But I wrote a letter for him this morning. Numbness of my leg wore off at 2:00 this morning – I woke – my leg was ‘burning’ – stinging so much it felt on fire. I got a needle & my leg hasn’t hurt too much since. I wrote a letter to Roger [my cousin]. Got a letter from Lucy- she’s coming up at Easter. Nothing much happened … Keith came up! So did some others – mima – told me about some notes [privacy omission] had written in [privacy omission]‘s biology book – something like “I heard Elissa & Mark have broken up- I feel guilty but I’m so happy.” Ha, ha! He loves me! She’s skint! I gave Julia my letter to give to him tomorrow. I wish he’d come up today. I might be out Monday according to the doctors & “how I feel” A Life in Wordsso hot ..have to have washes in bed ..no more showers – & bloody bedpans – I did a poop tonight – hate doing ’em in bedpans. SKINT [privacy omission]! mark – I love you!! Conversation mostly about carnival- I missed one hell of a night DAMMIT!!

Friday 27/2/87

He came this afternoon ..no kisses, but holding hands.. yum, yum, yum ..I’m in love! Julia said she gave the letter to Lynette C to give to him & Sharon told me he got it. (Mima, fi, justine, megan, sharon came at lunchtime) I did a little bit of work today, listened to music, watched TV … all the same boring stuff. Oh, he’s coming tomorrow, too. Can’t wait till I’m out of here. Longing. A longing to be with him as much as possible. My leg’s annoying. Needed a needle last night again . . woke 1st – got digesics (??) [oral painkillers] 2nd time given the needle. Wowee! Police Academy’s on TV now UNREAL!! ♥ Mark. Trina visited. I’m getting used to the food – I eat most of it now that’s how long I’ve been in hospital. Oh dear. All I can think about is Mark. I’ll bet he liked the letter. I hope. YUMMY – hot afternoon. Pain-in-the-arse leg. Oh, I wish time would fly. Am sleeping badly. Lucy’s coming for Easter hol’s – so are Jodie & Michael & A. Hilary & Delanie should have moved back up here my then too! WOW!

Saturday 28/2/87

mark spent about 3½-4 hrs with me this arvy- left at 5:30. (Although Andrew J & Martin J interrupted for about ½ hr – I think I gave them the hint … I didn’t know what to talk about – so didn’t say much… Mark mucked around with the stuff on my bedside table!) [How completely uncomfortable, but inexcusably rude. I am retrospectively embarrassed.] It was funny… affection now & then, (no kisses, though … not even goodbye) but mostly “buddies” …Crabby came up tonight and, believe it or not, Marney & Nola R! But I kept talking to Wayne I don’t believe how well we get on! He gave me a goodbye kiss, cos it’d be the last time I see him for a long time. They’re leaving for their leadership camp tomorrow afternoon. I want to go home Monday, for sure. I want to get better really quickly so I can walk & dance, at least. Even if it’s a limp. I want to go out & get with Mark; something I haven’t down for nearly a month now. I think, in a strange, twisted sort of) way, this crash has made me more “well known”….people being more friendly ..and perhaps (guys) noticing me. But I’m for Mark. I know how [privacy omission] feels now .. heaps of guys you’d love to flirt with, get with for a night – but the one guy you love and want forever. No one will ever replace mark. I wish we could have a future together – I mean life-long, you know. But it won’t happen … I’m sure. [A fairly safe prediction, that one: teenage romances burgeoning into lifelong partnerships are as rare as hens’ teeth] HOT again. Can’t wait to have a proper shower again!

A Life in WordsThe diary I used in 1987 was a generic one (not specific to the year) so it had a page for 29 February (perchance the owner happened to use it in one of those). Since ’87 wasn’t a leap year, I had extra space to write for Saturday… but underneath this very important notation:

Sunday 1/3/87

He didn’t come up today. In fact, besides Justin, Mr McKenzie & his family and  (of course) mum & jules, no one did. Boring! I watched TV, read magazines .. that’s about it. God, I hope this is my last night here. I really don’t think I could stand much longer – one more night. NO! I need to get out ..get better quickly.. I’m dying to go out & do things again. I wonder when I’ll see Mark again . . . would he come to our house? I wonder! Talked about the crash with Justin- I’d love to find out what happened- when. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put back the hands of time. But, no, I shouldn’t think that. What’s done, is done. [Nice little hint of Wisdom there] I hope it doesn’t hurt me to walk on crutches again… I want to be able to do it so I can get out. God, I want to go. I’m still in a bit of pain… but not near as bad as thursday  I still need tablets (digesics) but I can roll over at night again. I’m looking forward to a shower again, too (wash my hair!)

 

Surgery, Seat Belts & the Birth of my Spiritual Belief System (16-22 February)

Monday 16/2/87

Feeling still very depressed. The doctors caught up with me today. (Dining room for breakfast & lunch. were late for brekky …squashy next to 2 black guys ..PAINFUL) [I’m quite certain this was a statement of discomfort rather than racist ‘slur’, for those who may be wondering…] After my shower they came back. Wasn’t too painful… they took out the drains. Redressed  my leg after a while. 2 dressings a day now… this arvy, mima was with me. Fi came in, too. Mark didn’t come today- I knew he wouldn’t. Probably won’t tomorrow, too. But he should come before 3 weeks. See, I’m going to surgery (skin graft for the big hole, stitch up the little hole) on Wed, then I’ll be in about a week after that. Then Drs say I have to spend at least 2 weeks at home. No I won’t. [Um, if the doctors say so…] I’m missing too much schoolwork. & friends. Dad told me yesterday: Jenny & him are getting married in May. I was shocked, but hid the surprise good as possible. Jacque visited. A Life in WordsBoring, depressed.. my  leg feels like no progress still hurts as much to stand now as it did when I first did – I’m not getting used to the blood rushing down, thru’ the sore. Painful, still. Tania gave me a big photo frame with photo of me, moni, fi, sharon &  mima taken end of last year, It’s beautiful. Monique is beautiful. ♥ her 4eva.

Tuesday 17/2/87

I went to the Valentine’s Dance! On crutches!! Tania drove me. I’d had painkillers – walking, sitting etc was a breeze!! [I found another notation elsewhere that also mentioned I got in for free!] Felt so good today… I mean tonight … walking, etc.. I’ve improved heaps – can lift my leg straight, in the air. Just finished dressing …did it when I came back.. (while after) about 9:00. surgery tomorrow. very few visitors. Oh, I’m tired. Sleep well. Ha! Mark wasn’t there tonight, but he’s going to the swim. carnival tomorrow – I won’t be allowed. Have to stay flat in bed for 3 days…will be murder getting on crutches again. The “report” on the bus accident on the Today Show was disappointing. Not much about the actual crash.

A Life in Words
How would seat belts have saved lives in this wreckage?

[Of course by this time there were preliminary investigations under way but very little had been published, since a formal inquiry was to be held at a future date. Naturally there was media & public speculation about the cause of the accident and associated discussions about prevention. The most prevalent opinion was that wearing seat belts would have saved lives. Absolute RUBBISH. One look at the bus wreckage should be totally explanatory. Interestingly enough, there was an article in the Cairns Post on this topic (not however in the manner of my specific argument) on Friday 20 (see below). I’m not against seat belts at all (if it’s even possible – per the article) but if WE had been strapped into our seats when that bus roof sheared off & seats were ripped from their places, the death toll would’ve been much higher…] Oh, I’m upset..Tania said to me tonight – talking to [privacy omission] he said something about Mark wanting to _ _ _ _ me She said they were pretty close… I’m upset; is that all Mark wants?? [Well, he’s a teenaged boy…?] I like him so much.. so very much… Oh, I’m so worried. . . . Too bad if I forgot anything – I’m so tired. Night. . . painful leg – skin graft oooh It’s 10:30

Wednesday 18/2/87

I was late – I mean THEY were [for surgery]. I was s’posed to go in at 8:00, but I got my pre-op(eration) needle at 8:30, and was taken up awhile after that. A Life in WordsI waited for ages, up there, dozing & finally around 10:00 I think I was rolled in & soon after, given the “knock-out” needle. When I woke, drowsy, really drowsy I was in heaps of pain. Finally got back down here around 11:45. Crying & whinging in pain. [I don’t seem to have diarised anything about this but sometimes the nurses would administer needles for pain relief, rather than just oral pills. I can’t recall the name of the drug, but I do remember asking for it on a few occasions. I can imagine this would be one of the moments they would not have denied me.] It soon settled. Spent the rest of the day lazing . . dozed a little around 5:00. Mark came up today – but to see Trina he reckoned. I think he’s shitty with me. (Oh, my leg’s so itchy) Doctor told me I didn’t have a skin graft after all – GREAT, HUH?! The flesh repairing was so elastic they could just stitch it up!! No major scars! Great! [Oh how the tables turned in just a few days’ time…and months later I begged my mother to try to recall whether she had signed any consent forms that specifically outlined the surgeons’ original intentions…] No major visitors (‘cept Mark) …I mean very few but the ones who came were nice. A case of quality, not quantity. [Of course ALL of my visitors were ‘nice’!] Another school kid’s bus crash in N.Z. about 5 people killed… not nearly as badly smashed as our bus, was their’s. [Competitive? Sheesh. Trying to source information about this accident was almost as difficult as it is to find information about ours on the net. This article celebrates the growth & success of one of the survivors of the Woodford House girl’s school bus accident which killed two students, two teachers & the driver. The victim doesn’t recall anything of the accident, waking up with  permanent paraplegia two weeks later in hospital.] It’s just after 9:00. I may be going home soon. Keep thinking about mark.. he wouldn’t be after “one thing”.. he writes too much caring stuff. He doesn’t intend to ever hurt me

A Life in Words
Before I was “reduced to square one -again”

Thursday 19/2/87

A “down’ Day, definitely: few visitors, pain in my leg. Hurts to walk: put it this way…I can’t anymore… I can’t straighten my leg and find it easier to ‘hop’ on my left leg, keeping the right foot totally off the ground. But tonight, after doing my teeth I kept up [stayed up] & went for exercise walk …keeping foot on floor, stretching & bending knee as much as possible. [In hindsight, this makes me cringe.] mima, Fi, Brent, Jason came up at lunchtime – Mark was at school. . he didn’t come up here. I think I should’ve written a note for mim to give to him for me. Of course I care that he doesn’t visit me… I care a lot. Am getting anxious… hope Trish doesn’t get hooks into him. (Tania visited this morning…had to work rest of the day.. BOOHOO! She’s leaving tomorrow-MISS HER! Hope I can get out to see her off – have a prezzy for her silver bracelet (sterling.)) My leg- how can it be – I walk fine Tues. & after an operation am reduced to square one -again: A veggie? Is 9:30. Try to get to sleep. Ate little (cos too lazy to go to dining room for meals – too sore.)

Friday 20/2/87

* Another down day. Still painful…worse to walk. Trina left this arvy, around 2:00 I think. This morning, the doctors came- but not all of them… thanks to the charge sister, Lisa, they decided to take my dressing off  On the way, he [one of them?] called me a sook. Bastard. It stuck a bit & it hurts so much. [I still cannot grasp the insensitivity of these medical ‘professionals’…] So, after, I waited about ½hr before someone redressed it, then, too late to have a shower, I dressed & mum took me to see Tania off. No tears shed. But I’ll miss her. Another friend gone. [Developing a life ‘theme’?] Showered after I got back (had lunch – a pie – got some food) Few visitors .. Mrs McI gave me a beautiful book (for end of 9 yrs of speech-huh? That’s not right…yep! it is!) Mr Paddy & Yru (came seperately, but) talked in depth about the crash..esp. Mr Paddy …he helped me understand/accept death etc .. It’s still scary to me…but I’m sure it’s  a big step to recovery of shock. [I’d never had anything to do with Mr ‘Paddy’ (I got his surname wrong) since he was a Music teacher, but this conversation had an incredibly massive impact upon me. I believe it was the catalyst for the development of my entire spiritual belief system, for life. All he did was offer his ideas about ‘what happens’ after we ‘pass over’ but it put me at ease by intimating that death is not ‘The End’. So I came to believe in reincarnation or at least, endurance of Spirit. One particular suggestion he made actually came to pass just a few months later; it was an indisputable experience and perhaps this is what irrevocably cemented my belief, and therefore eternal gratitude, love & respect for him.] Mark didn’t come. I’m really worried. [Privacy omission] mentioned something about sex today, too… it would absolutely break me if that’s all he wanted – I know it’s not ..I think …some little doubt in side …well, my mind’s made up.. he’s not going to get it, ever . . till I’m ready -and that’ll be ages. [He] told me he did to [privacy omission]..didnt really surprise me much 8:55

A Life in Words
In case you’re unable to decipher the fine print, the article basically discusses the impracticality of seat belt installation from an engineering point of view. While there is no reference to our bus’s detached roof, the displaced seats are mentioned.

Saturday 21/2/87

They told me I could go home today. But I didn’t. I wanted to stay in til Monday. Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy- I s’pose I am – but I’m smart; I’ll stay in just to be sure -no infections. [If there was ever a point in my life up till then that I should have respected myself for heeding my ‘Gut’, this was it…] And besides; my visitors have to be told!! [oh you Social Butterfly you!] On Monday I’d also like to see the physio & drs before I go They took out the drain this morning- my leg’s quite a bit better! Walking a bit easier!! Except for Mark’s visit, today was an “up” day.. he came – we got on alright…but he left the same way he did the  last 2 times..without saying goodbye…just walking off in a shit..I’d said something about him being mean to me [and then] “well you can leave” … [so he answered] “alright I will” ..he walked off & didn’t come back. That upset me. I really am worried about if he does like me. (God it’s hot.) he’s so moody; impatient I can’t understand him. We really need a good talk.. it’ll be a long time though.. you can’t really talk well in a hospital..or even at school. Oh, I’ve a headache… feel hot..feel terrible. Can’t sleep very well. Quite a few visitors..very lazy day.     Oh . . . I fell terrible. Must try to sleep.

Sunday 22/2/87

What a waste of a day. Here I was thinking I’d get hoardes of visitors:- mum, the McKenzies (principal), Justin F & Wayne C. That’s it. Leg’s O.K. I get pain “jabs” – throbbing now & then…but noticed walking is getting a bit better. Totally boring day… so sleepy, but couldn’t sleep. Thinking about mark…. I thought maybe that I’d changed & he’d changed (y’know – from the crash’n’everything) and we just don’t “click” anymore. Oh I wish everything was “normal” again.  home tomorrow – I have mixed feelings about that, too. . . good cos’ I’ll get work done (less visitors) & be able to exercise my leg – go for walks (crutches!) BUT – I’m apprehensive – haven’t been home since before the camp – before the crash that’s 3 weeks exactly…the memories – it’s going to be different – “overwhelming” is the word I think of. [Wow, well said.] Oh dear… Hot (-ish) today. Didn’t see Jules. Mike B went to see her this arvy, mum said. Wo, Jules!! ♥ mark – u poop! DAMN YOU

An Anaesthetic Hangover & Getting Out of Bed (7-8 February)

[Having gotten no further than the 6th February in my scrapbook, we now return to simply my diary entries, so here I have included the weekend and as of Monday 9th, posts will revert to weekly publishing again.]

Saturday 7/2/87

I saw Mark for about one minute today. He wasn’t very happy – looked stiff, like in a lot of discomfort. [I can’t imagine sitting upright in a wheelchair with a punctured lung would be terribly comfortable.] This was about 1:30 today. I wish we could’ve had more time and privacy. Gave me a pink teddy (I’ve called Yowie) and a cute little bunch of dried flowers with one red rose. (and said simply “Elissa, get well soon babe, Lots of Love, Mark.” I am really tired now. I went into surgery about 9:00, came out at 10:00 but didn’t wake til about 12:30. [Apparently this surgery was merely a dressing change, on my right leg’s injury. Because it was the first one since my ‘scrub’ surgery when I was first admitted (on Wednesday evening) I have assumed that the medics needed to assess the state of the wound, without the added complication of my ‘response’ in the conscious state. I could of course be completely mistaken…] A Life in WordsCrabbe (Wayne) was here again. Rebecca P even came in too. The effect of the anaesthetic hasn’t worn off all day – been dopey etc. [The state of my handwriting attests to this… see the picture] My drip was changed back to my right arm – now its so painful. There is much less dressing on my left knee – can move quite well still. Gordon C & Clayton E came in today too. Had quite a few visitors again. Slept badly.. woke early again cos of restlessness- inability to move during sleep.

Sunday 8/2/87

A Life in Words
In my hospital bed, with my fav teddies Monique & Yowie

I was in the best of spirits today- my left leg is so mobile!! I can even (with a lot of effort) lift it off the bed!! Slept badly last night – waking up in pain from my drip. [Good god, if it’s not one thing, it’s another…] Moved it again in the morning to my left (elbow) again .. then took it out for good!! I got in a wheelchair & had a shower & washed my hair for the first time in one week!! Then I felt so great & comfortable that the nurses let me go down & see Mark!! We sat – didn’t say much at all. Wondering if he’s shitty with me cause everybody else says he natters away when they’re with him. [Believe it or not, it actually crossed my mind that he might have been ‘shitty’ because I didn’t get Erica off him while trapped under the bus. This is, of course, ridiculous. But it’s the kind of paranoid imaginings a young girl with shaky self confidence and a kind of inferiority complex can have…] Anyway Sandra took me to see Melinda B after. We laughed so much. I felt really great today – no pain when I coughed or laughed. [I was completely unaware that I’d felt any pain of that kind, but I realise it’s almost to be expected: being thrown around like a rag doll is bound to affect thoracic musculature…] magic. more patients came later in the arvy – VISITORS, I mean!! [hasn’t that anaesthetic worn off yet?] I’m pooped now. Just realised how this thing has changed my life – the crash that is. [I’d love to know exactly what I meant by this, what my specific thoughts were. It’s an ambivalent statement, a tease if you will: what Change was my imagination envisaging precisely? I wish I had had the diary space (or merely inclination?) to provide more detail.] I’m not looking forward to the next 14 days – the doctors this morning reckon I’ll be in for another fortnight. SHIT. I don’t know if I will be able to cope with the pain of physio & “dressing changing” tomorrow. [I must have had ESP…] I ♥ u Mark. It’s about 8:50 now I think.