OJ Spews, ‘Approximate Exactitude’ & Relief for Nana (10-16 August)

Monday 10/8/87

Felt a bit down again this morning. I can’t get over the time he spent with her. All night they talked – all night I believe nothing happened. I really do, but it still hurts to think he spent 5 odd hours talking to her.. alone, without getting bored. He would never do that with me. Can you understand? [Oh I understand something completely different…] It makes me feel really down- [like] I bore him or something. Anyway I perked up around lunchtime (incidentally I don’t like Angela’s hair black, at all) See, it is jealousy – I’m jealous that she can keep him interested, that he would talk with her alone all night without getting bored. […and my opinion about her new hair colour would most likely have been a little tainted by this jealousy…] God it hurts so much. It’s pointless me trying to let him know. I’ve tried in the past to talk & explain – its useless – he doesn’t hear me. [Soooo… maybe don’t try ..and save some of your precious energy?] What am I doing here, then? [Exactly.] Did some HW tonight. I resent any talk about that night. [Privacy omission] said “as a joke” something to Nicole about Mark wanting to fuck her. THAT IS REALLY SICK. A Life in Words[What I’m unable to illustrate – due to the limitations of computer text options – is how heavily I had underlined the word ‘really’ (see pic). Not once, but four times. I evidently felt strongly about this…] another late night.

Tuesday 11/8/87

Strangely, we’ve been getting on pretty well over the past few days. Wonder why? [Now the positives induce suspicion.. this isn’t ‘healthy’.] It’s wierd. [and I continue to spell ‘weird’ incorrectly…] A Life in WordsAnyway I woke this morning with a sore throat, from all my coughing & I felt a little sick in a wierd way. I was also v. tired. I went to school anyway, thinking it was over-fatigue, but at school it got worse (on & off) By the end of lunchtime I had the biggest headache so Jason drove me home. I bombed out and slept till about 3:19 [LOL. “about” 3:19? What, was it 3:18 and 54 seconds… or a few milliseconds after 3:19? Approximate exactitude is oxymoronic!] (heard the answering machine), then till about 3:45 when mum & Jules arrived home. I slept the rest of the afternoon (after some chips) my throat is dry & a bit sore from all the coughing & my headache is horrible. I had some fish for tea: not much + pineapple (sickly) Dozed in front of T.V. till mum “dragged” me to bed about 8:00-8:30. [One of the sweeter, long-lost memories of my mum’s expression of love for me: I can hear her in my groggy stupor murmuring my name, gently shaking, then trying to lift me up from whatever position I’d languished in. And when I acquiesced, she’d’ve escorted my aimless body all the way to my bed.] Hope I get better for Friday – baseball & Sat nite-Nigel’s party. Was going to ring Mark, but headache was too bad & I was too weak to bother

Wednesday 12/8/87

Really restless sleep last night – about 11:30 I woke…and vomited (chips, fish & orange juice) [oh, the burn! OJ is possibly the worst thing to regurgitate I think…] A Life in Wordsstayed home today (for sure!) Mark didn’t ring & I couldn’t be bothered to ring him. Fiona, Jason & Anna dropped round after school sometime, for a short while. My headache disappeared this morning – today I had fever (temp.) cough and sinus blockage and was very tired and weak. Is about 9:00 or so now. Auntie Ruth [my mum’s aunt – one of my grandmother’s (many) sisters] arrived around 7:45 tonight. Read my novel all day. Ate 3 mandarins & an orange .. lots of vitamin C. Am taking tomorrow off as well, to make sure I’m better for the weekend. [Because my social life was always first priority…] Did no work & I have an english assignment due on Friday + a biol test on Tuesday. Heavens above! (←ha!) [I’m probably laughing at myself using such ‘dated’ – and semi-religious – terminology here.]

Thursday 13/8/87

A Life in Words
The earliest photo (in my possession) of Nana & me, at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. There’s no date on it but judging by the size of me, it would have to be 1971-72

Slept very restlessly last night; woke nearly every hour, I think. I heard the phone ring around 6:00 this morning. Nana died. [Clearly my great-aunt Ruth arrived just in time for her sister’s passing, but I’m not sure whether she actually got to visit her.] I didn’t cry when mum told me & I don’t think I really will cry over the fact that she’s dead → I’m so glad she’s out of her misery – she was in a lot of it. [And that was it. I think, having personally met with Death in such an intense and unique way just six months earlier myself, I was somewhat prepared emotionally – and spiritually – for this moment, which is evident in my reasoning. I still believe – in fact more now than ever – that ‘wherever’ we ‘go’ when we pass is ‘better’. At this point in time, I was comforted by the ‘knowledge’ that leaving her gnarled body, Nana was now free of the insufferable rheumatoid arthritic pain. And to be brutally honest, since I wasn’t terribly close to her (we ‘clashed’ a lot in my early teens) I wasn’t going to miss her presence on a daily basis as I did Monique’s…] I spent the day reading again.. no fever – am just very tired & have the cough & nasal congestion still, but I feel (and Auntie Ruth agrees) that after tonight’s sleep I’ll be fine. I hope so. I rang Mark tonight .. cos it didn’t look like he was going to ring me. He was at Earlville with Terry ..so rang back. The phone did not stop ringing tonite – Keith & Jemima also rang me. My eyes are stinging – I need sleep to get better. I had 4 (or 5??) mandarins today! (+ dinner – veges) so I should have the vitamins required to boost my energy level tomorrow. [See? Even back then I was acquiring and demonstrating basic nutrition knowledge, hinting at my innate passion for the subject!] Haven’t done english assignment. Too bad. I’ll come late to school: miss double english. Is 9:45 …To sleep!!!

Friday 14/8/87

I’m feeling quite a bit better now. See, this morning I woke – feeling absolutely normal .. until I got up. The cough was persistent and even got worse early tonight, and my tiredness, fatigue & weak feelings plagued me (Making my joints feel heavy, and ache) I went to school anyway – it was a total waste. At little lunch (I went to school during 3rd period) I had to go up to Mark. He said one or two things & that was it. Didn’t even turn to face me, or offer to make room for me to sit down. So I went & sat on my own, practically, he walked past & did nothing. He walked to art ahead of me. Love the concern he shows for me. (He doesn’t – that’s just it, elissa – you should know by now it’s the way he is.) [ …if that’s so, and you aren’t happy, why persist?] so I was really depressed & mum picked me up at big lunch. I dozed at home. Mike & Cynthia bought over dinner – Golden Rooster. Couldn’t eat too much my stomach has shrunk. Is 9:30. I had a lemon & honey drink (YUK) as a last resort. A Life in Words[And I bloody-well love those things now… with ginger and turmeric added as well. Here’s a link to the recipe on my food blog, Food Fervour] Good sleep tonite & hopefully I’ll be fine for the party. Mark really gets to me. [You “let” him. No one is put on this Earth to either elate nor annoy You.] Hey! I’m not coughing!!! (Yet – touch wood!)

Saturday 15/8/87

I woke this morning – coughing. [I obviously didn’t touch any wood?] Alas & alack! But it was easier for me to stand etc. I still get times when my joints (limbs) ache & feel weak, but not as much, and not as bad, as before. We went to the doctor & got amoxyl (penecillan) & cough tablets. [So it obviously wasn’t a flu or viral infection after all?] I’ve been resting a fair bit today, in preparation for the party. (I’m going- there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to sit down if I need it, mima said) Mark hasn’t rung. I’ve been thinking alot while lying down today… nothing’s the same anymore. We need the biggest, longest talk. There’s a lot of sorting out to do. A lot. [Talking… sorting out… it’s pointless when only one party is ‘interested’…] I’m not exactly “elated” in this relationship. [You don’t say?] A Life in WordsHe doesn’t make me feel like the ‘princess’ I used to be. [*NB: back in the 80’s being a ‘princess’ didn’t have the negative connotations that it can these days.] But that’s not all. [….well, what?] It’s almost 6:00. Am going around 8:30. [There was no mark in my diary to indicate I’d finished the earlier segment of my entry, but from here on in I’m clearly writing at a later point in time (most likely when I got home) describing my night:] It [the party] wasn’t that good. In fact, a waste of time. Only having tea when Jemima, Brent & Fi arrived ..at Nigel’s  it was boring. No one there. saw Mark & Keith once, they came back & went again. I went and lay down in Nigel’s room (feeling ill) Jemima, Brent, Jason & Fi talking to me. Mark told Sue he didn’t think I liked him. He thought I didn’t like him. (How?) went downstairs & Keith was there – took us to the other party everyone was raving about, At Toogood Road. TONNES, & I mean TONNES of people there→

Sunday 16/8/87

I was bored: Feeling ill, I needed to sit down all the time + problem of Mark – I asked him about it, but he seemed reluctant to talk so left him alone all night. I asked him to take me home, but I went with Brett instead (Cameron too). Just dropped cameron off – in Collins Ave. Brett stopped & I was sick (O.J.) At home I bombed out & I didn’t wake till around 10:00-10:30 this morning. Party was the pits. I asked nearly everyone if they knew what was up with Mark, [oh Elissa!] No one did tho’. Watched TV, rested today. Mark & Keith came over around 3:00 in the afternoon. Left soon after. I asked Mark to come around again tonight. A Life in WordsWe went to the park.. bit hard to get started talking, straight away, and the talk was not quite what I expected it to be. It’s really strange. This week, Mark was, apparently, really insecure – thought I was going to end the relationship. I can tell he still feels different, in a way. But it mattered a lot to him. And after that party I realised it. He not only loves me, he’s devoted, too. [You can’t be serious?] He left around 9:00. I watched mini-series show. Is now 10:40. Clean my teeth & off to bed.

Cardiovascular Conditioning & Sizzling My Scar (27 April-3 May)

Monday 27/4/87A Life in Words

Periods are a pain in the arse. Bella was at school today – for a visit; I didn’t quite know what to say to her ..it was embarrassing. [I’m not exactly sure what I meant by this.. perhaps that, outside of our shared injuries/hospital experience I didn’t really know her, so didn’t know how to comfortably converse with her?] Also Mark gave back  my necklace – has a rash on his neck & it’s irritating (wonder if it caused it ..or if that’s a subtle hint) [paranoia or gut feeling?] HOT (not really just warmer than usual – & sunnier most of the day!) Of all the people I told (about last night’s freaky experience.). they were all “shocked” except Mark- I thought so .. he doesn’t believe in that stuff, I gather. My day O.K. got on O.K. little lunch (end of) + what. I saw of him in big lunch & then in bio, I took his chair away from him & he hit the floor (then me, of course) But got shitty (muck ’round) & wouldn’t talk to me. I got worried of course ..when I rang him tonight, he sounded very bored ..vague disinterested said he hurt his leg again ..nothing to do with me – “don’t be silly” (I’ll bet it is though) Late night. Mark is so moody. . sometimes I really feel I don’t care. (But I always do, underneath, tho.) 10:50. HOT! Rushed art for nothing – found out I needn’t have handed in any if I chose! […part of the ‘Special Consideration’ I received due to the accident and its aftermath. Because I was absent from school for six weeks, my first term was effectively ‘wiped’ with respect to my final senior grading. In fact, my entire first semester was taken into account and bore less weight than the second in the end.] so 4/7 [pieces] ain’t bad!!

Tuesday 28/4/87

Went to see Kerri again this week..this arvy Just me..mum & Julia outside. I talked about how I understand my life situation and am going to tackle it ..front on..Kerri said I am a strong person [as have many others since] – she’s going to try & build up my confidence. Well, I felt sick this morning- it ended up being worry over Mark ..I still haven’t adjusted to his moods & sarcastic behaviour. A Life in WordsBarely talked all day (even thru’ bio prac.. rat dissection!) till big lunch.. had a talk.. I felt a little better. have worked out yet another thing (we only solve things bit by bit in dribs & drabs) he is not ever bored with me – when I’m round, he is just so relaxed that he feels he doesn’t need to say anything. See? mmm, well.. told Mr Patty quickly today about Sun. night..he seems pleased (& believes) it happened. [Mr Patty was the teacher whose talk with me in hospital soon after the accident struck a chord, easing my mind and creating the basis of my spiritual belief system for Life. (Go to this post to revisit this experience). He’d said he believed that deceased loved ones will send you a message or some kind of sign that they’re there and are okay some time after they pass. Monique certainly did that for me, unequivocally.] I am for sure. I’m also excited again- I’m interested in school… but esp. social life .. I do more with Fi & Mima now …and of course still there’s Mark .. so I’m happy (also that Monique is there with me!) Can’t wait for Terry’s party this weekend. Fi & I (get Sharon to, too) wanna go. (I haven’t gotten “happy” for ages it seems!) [Rather than “not miserable” that “happy” actually refers to being “tiddly-drunk”…] Life has new meaning!!! Skin is clearing up. I’m Getting fatter argh!

Wednesday 29/4/87

10:30. 3rd night in a row – I can’t handle these late nights. Good day today. Bella was at school- in our bio. class. [I’m obviously more comfortable with her by now?] (my skin’s clearing up!) Caught the bus to school .. Mark talking (mostly about the starsign book – all day really) to me before school..during bio…little lunch… and big lunch.. cutey!!! In fact, a happy day all over! Recreation – aerobics; we were late (the Northland Buses forgot to come-that’d be right) [Northland were the owners of our ill-fated bus and I wasn’t a fan of them, understandably. Since initial police investigations implied that brake failure was the cause of the accident, there wasn’t a positive feeing toward them by the community in general either. I believe they ended up liquidating at some point after all the legalities (formal inquiries and trial) were finished…]  A Life in WordsAerobics was hard … the hardest part mainly was the running & jumping exercises – the cardio-vascular work-out I couldn’t bear that too much. [Wimp! To be fair, I didn’t know how to breathe back then. Oh to have known the things I do now! At least I never wore the high cut G-string leotards & leg warmers! (see pic)] Realised so how much out of condition I am. [Um, were you ever IN condition?!] Wanna start riding to school again soon. Mark does weight training while we do aerobics (skint!) But I didn’t see him at all really. Julia said she did & that he sometimes looked at me Skint! [GAWD I hate that word! When the hell did I grow out of it?] Mr Grossetti took Fi & I home.. so I got home v. early.. read Dolly all arvy & tonite wrote out ‘Taurus Male-Cancer female’ essay for Mark for 2morrow. [Priorities? Messed. Up. Can’t do an english assignment overnight to save yourself but no problems writing one out for your boyfriend.] mm… I’m happy. or pleased. Today was nice, indeed. Even though it was bloody hot (esp. during aerobics!) Did no HW – argh! (FAT!)

Thursday 30/4/87

Another good day. (Asked “officially” to go to Terry’s party! Am going – you bet!) Talked quite a bit! (But today he was more crazy than ever.. acting wierd & silly) Then, we went late night shopping tonight, just the two of us – Jemima [privacy omission], Brent working (visited him) so Fi decided to leave us alone. It was good tonight – I asked him to the formal- he is my partner for sure & we’re wearing black & electric blue (& white – for his shirt) Unreal!! When talking to Brent he mentioned he was saving to take mima on a holiday at the end of the yearA Life in Words..suggested Mark & I come with them to an island resort (Mark wants to go to the Gold Coast [Schoolies? It wasn’t quite the massive event back in the 80’s as it is now. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed…] (well, not really: wanted to go overseas, but had to settle for Gold Coast)) would be good if I could spend it with him. That’d be unreal. (Little worried before we went -when I’d rung him (after several ‘engaged’ attempts) said he’d been on the phone to Tricia.. what about? Scary.. but I soon forgot. He loves me.) Cannot wait for Saturday night!!! COOL! Is 10:10. Am buggared. Good ideas what to get Mark 4 Birthday! Sleep now… must sleep (saw Kylie – his old flame tonite – she’s short[interesting choice of criticism…]

Friday 1/5/87

Mark is such a cutey! Came late today and I only got to talk to him at big lunch – he left ½-¾ way through it – was very tired & bored.. (Seemed a little shitty at little lunch- with Steven – not me) so I had another good day. Cannot wait for Terry’s party -Fi’s going & Justine (lots of people are!) I tried to ring Sharon but no answer (about 8:30) so will ring tomorrow. Went into town with Jules & mum… just little things… tried on my formal dress again- will need to lose weight for it- off the stomach only, really.A Life in Words [Also clearly didn’t know back then that you “can’t spot-reduce”] I love it!! Get it made in blue for Mark. Oh, I can’t wait Got my new camera working tonight! (Got it last nite at Earlville-it’s beaut!) [If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it was a funky red thing…] Am gonna take it tomorrow night (& lock it in Brent’s car when I’m finished with it.) Cannot wait! When I got home .. there were about 3 messages – all from Mark on the machine (what a cutie!) I’d wanted an early night. Fat chance it’s 10:35. Still too warm- when will winter hit us?!?

Saturday 2/5/87

Woke about 7:00- angry… I couldn’t sleep in longer.. today I did my crash scrapbook all day (almost)… well .. sticking in cards, that is .. I got them in order & began sticking them a few in.. cause there were so many interruptions… I went in to town to buy fixative [an art product] and, Ross & Thelma came over (leaving tomorrow I think) for a while. I tried to ring Sharon all day… only got onto her mum around 5:00- she couldn’t come. Just fuckin’ great. So I rang Fi & we decided when Brent went to pick up them, they’d come here & we could take Justine. So, finally at about 10:00 they came (I was so tense!) Brent & Fi went to pick up Thorstein..we stopped at a bottle shop.. at the party (heaps of people compared to last year) found Mark – drank my 3 Westcoasts (well, 2½).. was boring really. I was tired .. police came around so everyone had to go (about 11:30) I stayed sitting with Mark for ages … then I left around 1:00. Boring. Was an excellent start. Oh! Robbie was there & I said hello when I was talking to Maureen (she was looking for him at one stage) she said he said something (good) about me: wonder what? She was laughing about the fact that I got with him… [1987 witnessed my first ever ‘obligatory’ New Year’s Kiss… even though I wasn’t actually searching for it. This post will fill you in…] why did he blab? [Oh who knows, and what does it matter, Liss, really? The over-analytical mind feeds paranoid thought patterns…] Boring

Sunday 3/5/87

Got up around 9:00. so tired! Did nothing today – tried to do english but just couldn’t. [Ha. See?!] Nana came over today & Ross & Thelma too.. to see her before they left. Otherwise that was it. A Life in WordsI sunbaked around 3:00-4:00…my scars (the white parts – I put zinc on the tender red bits-) are now pink & that will (hopefully) go brown. [Oh dear, I hope I didn’t actually do more damage. The aim was concealment: my idea was that by tanning the paler skin, the red keloid scarring would be less conspicuous.] Mark rang while I was in the shower, so rang back about 10/15 mins later. Talking cute. God, he’s gorgeous. I love him so much. (Realised it’s been a week tonight since Monique dropped “Walk Like An Egyptian” on the floor, for me to see – everybody I’ve told (& there were quite a few!) seems to believe!) [The message from my deceased friend was, and remains, one of the most impressive & unforgettable experiences in my life to date. Go to my previous week’s post for the details of the ‘occurrence’.] I’m seeing Mark tomorrow hopefully. Must do my assignment tomorrow or I’ll be in deep shit. Watched the movie- is now 10:40. Am so tired (Mark got ‘hit’ last night – there was a fight ‘tween Patrick O’S & PP – Patrick missed Peter twice – got Terry & Mark.) Poor Baby. Am gonna ask dad if Mark can come to Port Douglas for the wedding. [his marriage to my stepmother Jenny] Hope so. So much. Fete this Friday – cool!! NIGHT!

Emotional Depths & A Message From Monique (20-26 April)

Monday 20/4/87

Um, was woken early by the others getting ready to go to Green Island… we dropped them off, went to the dump &, at home mum cleaned the car.. went to pick up the Dandos (remember them? John & Christine – – not the kids) [I am of course, asking to myself this question; not expecting you readers to know who these people were… Oh, and the answer is yes, I do remember them.] they stayed a while. All I did was finish covering my books & write out my chem. notes…no assignments done at all. SHIT. (all day!) The others came back around 4:00 (I cut mag. pictures & decorated my diary) After roast dinner (early) . . went to Nana’s (6:30) time flew . . at 7:30 I wanted to go ..slowly, so bloody slowly we finally got home 8:00. [I was too young and self-centred to realise that this was the last visit my aunt who lived interstate would have with her mother (Nana) before they left Cairns tomorrow. So very selfish, in hindsight…] I rang him as soon as I got in the door… cutie (short -10 min) phone call, just to hear his voice before school. A Life in WordsAfter shower, watching NORTH & SOUTH & fucking mother turned it off & made us “have an early night” …it’s fuckin 9:40.. thats not fuckin early …what’s the fuckin point? It’s shit. She’s so dumb I’m not gonna get up at 5:00. . I can get ready in  10 minutes → we’re leaving 6:15 … I’m getting up at 6:00. FUCK YOU. [Well there’s a dummy-spit and a half! Kids really don’t like Discipline do they?!]

Tuesday 21/4/87

[My cousin wrote “Bye Lis ♥ Jo xox” on the first line of this page] I was cranky at being woken at 5:45… but, once they were gone (it was freezing at the airport!) [Really? Freezing in Cairns?] I was feeling better [hmm, that doesn’t sound very nice, but I’m quite sure it wasn’t anything personal toward my cousins; I would’ve meant that my crankiness dissipated by the time they left]. .a bit nervous going to school again… dunno why .. perhaps that I wasn’t wearing the bandage? Well, that wasn’t bad at all .. most people didn’t notice (well, didn’t stare when I looked at ’em – I didn’t notice anyone noticing) [Strangely, my self consciousness about my scar had a direct effect on my courage: not typically one to make eye contact with strangers, I brazenly held my gaze upon those who noticed it, as most of them would eventually look up from leg to my face. (To assign identity? Or search for a clue in the owner’s face of the story behind the deformity?) Having grown up believing it was rude to stare, there may have been a certain self-righteousness driving my courage: by catching them gawking was I hoping to embarrass them for their overt curiosity?] s’posed to be 19º tonite YAY!! Mark & I got on v. well!! A Life in WordsSpending lotsa time together (argh – mozzies.) Had a biro fight in biology ..almost serious (was saying to Fi . . I think we can sense (well I do) when our “picking” is getting too close to a fight & thus “back off” at least a little! now Cool, great!) He rang me this arvy – wowee!!! We are becoming slightly more openly affectionate (ie: at school etc in public) Almost had a blue on the phone tonite ..but solved again! I wanna serious talk to him soon.. ask him how I’m going… whether I’m doing anything now that bugs him (I’m doing everything else he asked … talking to him – going up to him – relaxing (I think!)) [OMG, who IS this person?! The proverbial doormat? Why so eager to please, to change, for one person? Even if you’re not one to believe in Karmic debts or patterns, it’s obvious that he was an important ‘teacher’ and that this relationship presented me with some significant life lessons, for which I can only be grateful.] Walked to shop this arvy…got mima & fiona easter goodies. Am getting so fat. . . I think it may be my Freddy soon, that’s the prob! [For those that mightn’t have heard of it before, ‘Freddy’ was (yet another) slang term for menstruation…] Early! Is only 8:55 & I’m ready 4 bed!

Wednesday 22/4/87

I’m really scared. I mean really scared.. about my future. My life. These horrible feelings I have…that life is pointless [uh-huh! here it is..]. .and it all has mainly to do with Mark [oh, no, not what I was thinking…]…he is very bored (I rang him briefly tonight) with life and (we nearly had a big fight tonight) it is getting me… I feel it, too [but Elissa, you are very sensitive and often subject to the moods of others…] and it scares me.. A Life in Wordswe are too young to be sick of life already … and another thought.. no matter how I try, I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone the way I love Mark [well, to begin with, you can’t TRY to love people…] ..even when I go to Brisbane ..I’ll always have him on my mind. That’s scary, too, to think I love him so much, when I haven’t loved a guy before. [There’s always a first, for every one, in every thing…] I am capable of very deep love .. but incapable of getting over a broken love (as deep as that) I’m sure I know what’ll happen – he’ll find someone for himself, who he’ll love more than me & want to marry & I’ll still love him because I can’t get him out of my mind or heart, to love another guy… Or try to. [Good news, people; my pessimistic predictions were wrong… I didn’t suffer a loveless life. What a tragic-romantic!] Boring day. School always is … Life is. I did HW tonight. It rained today. A Life in WordsI got my senior badge. Went grocery shopping with mum after school. Ate a lot of junk. [….and THAT would’ve helped your mood. Not.]

Thursday 23/4/87

I felt kind of happy today. I still felt depressed & scared this morning.. I said I wished I’d died in the crash and so mum made an appointment with kerri [the social worker from my hospital stay, with whom I’d had the best connection] for after school. I actually hung around Mark less today..and I think it made me feel better for it …before school a little, during bio, a little of recess, a little at big lunch (was with Fi, Seigi, Nicole, Juliet the rest _ _ he missed me too: looking for me!) & minute after school. So I was happy when I went to see Kerri.. but talking brought up all my fears, worries & depression. I realised, however, that Kerri was right- I’m depending on Mark only (that’s too much for him) …I know what I need ..spend more time with Fiona, Mima, Sharon .. do the things I used to do…go out, to parties etc.. without Mark .. to free him & get some excitement or change of scene for me.. then I’ll enjoy other things more! [Hallelujah. Yes, Be Your Own Person: Life Lesson 101!] Rainy – pouring late this arvy & tonight. 9:34. A Life in WordsI must have a positive outlook to make me feel better Pessimism always nags me, tho’. I actually started some art today! Getting fat (& periods)

Friday 24/4/87

It’s raining – I love rain at night. Today was good, indeed. I didn’t talk before school & very little at little lunch ..when we did see each other at big lunch & after school.. we were happier ..for sure (well I was!) I think  the less time we spend together ..the more sacred & exciting our time together becomes. And that’s what I need; excitement .. I am seeing a difference in my life .. I’ve acquired a primarily positive outlook! [Wow, that was quick, like the flick of  switch? At risk of sounding like the pessimist I can be, let’s see how long it lasts…] Lotsa HW this weekend..english assignment & art contract due Monday. Went home in Brewer’s combi – Brent drove it to school- stopped at Kentucky Fried! Mark rang – said he’s working 1pm-9pm Sat. night – can’t go bowling (with me, mim, Brent, Fi ..) but we’ll get around that, we decided (HOW? Well, that we didn’t decide)A Life in Words went to see PLATOON Gory – gruesome. Brent, Steven & Keith were there too. (M&I walked around town first- met Gordon C. & Clayton E. & Russell C.) Dropped Keith home as well as Mark. Mark is being so much nicer lately. . .  I have 2 theories as to why ..either it’s because I feel happier that he is, or appears to me to be, [well hello! here’s a hint of the Law of Attraction] OR he has hi’s & lo’s in his personality depending on moods & he just happens to be in a good one

Saturday 25/4/87

I woke around 9:20!! Wow! Watched TV & listened to music & doing (little) homework all day… rang mima twice, Sharon once. She rang me once again & I rang Mark & he rang me. Well, I had a shower etc when mima fi & Brent came, Sharon was late. Off to Kentucky Fried (yummy! laughs!) Bowling was fun! I came last in the 1st game, but 2nd in the 2nd! Big jump! .. I needed to warm up first, that’s why I did badly 1st game. [Also, I’ve never been a star athlete… but if I try my hand at something I can usually master it, over time.] Well I rang Mark from the alley to say we’d be a little longer. It was O.K. . he’d only just got home. (Found out I’d forgotten to change before I left home..thought all night I’d leak ..but was so surprised when I got home .. NOTHING at all!!! Only night 3, too!) [I guess there’s no need to explain what that was all about?] Picked Mark up . . party boring, very boring at first ..but soon we started holding hands etc. almost got ‘there’ [no, still not what y’all think!] but this guy came up & talked to him for ages..so I had to go.. he came to say goodbye. . only 1 big kiss Poopy! said he’d ring me tomorrow (rainy weather still!) Oh, I wish (!!) Fi & I once on our way home realised (we both had wanted to stay!) we had enough $ between us, to get a taxi home. TOO LATE!

Sunday 26/4/87

Today was boring, but something very freaky happened tonight. I woke just before 9:00 & spent (what time I did) the day doing my art.. have 3 left to do. . . argh! (Mucking around, otherwise) Mark rang me during my dinner ..at work (he was) talked briefly- a customer came in. Oh well .. I was doing my work, listening to the radio [via my walkman, so I had headphones on] (at the dining room table – Julia in her armchair) I heard a “thump” [it wasn’t loud, I saw something out of the corner of my eye…] ..looked at a 45″ record (single) on the floor. Took little notice for a few seconds ..How did it get there, from being wedged in the mantelpiece thingy? Turned off my radio [removed my headphones] & bent down to pick it up. A Life in WordsGuess what it was .. Walk Like An Egyptian… the only 45″ we own, that was one of Moni’s favourite songs. I was a little frightened, but mostly bewildered & shocked. FREAKY ..or just coincidence? Wow. when I told Jules, I could tell she was scared (not very scared.. just shaken up.) [We put the record on, to ‘acknowledge’ her…] Anyway, I feel spooked a bit, thinking about it..but I’m not scared.. If it was Monique .. I’m glad she let me know she’s there. [There’s no doubt in my mind that it was Monique. I analysed the situation over and over and there’s NO other explanation. The windows were closed so there was no air movement. And our numerous 45″ records were firmly wedged by a basketful of cassettes into a recess (shelf) in “the mantelpiece thingy” (which was directly behind me as I worked at the dining room table). Further inspection revealed that the shelf inclined towards the front (opening) so anything rolling forward out of it would defy laws of Physics. What are the chances? What are the chances that of all the singles records we owned, the one that meant the most to Monique, rolled out of its cover, forward out of an up-slanting shelf, to land right-side up, by my feet? I’m sorry if you’re a skeptic, but that shit doesn’t just happen. That’s WAY beyond coincidence.]

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

Life is a Creek

A Life in Words

Life is  a Creek. There are countless analogies out there but one of my clients mentioned it last week and it really stuck with me.

You see, I’ve had a pretty interesting few months. For someone who likes to think she “gets it”, who has perfect faith in her spiritual/philosophical belief system, I’ve had one hell of a big Awakening.

It started with a physical ailment; some serious back pain. It’s not like I’ve never had ‘serious back pain’ before: this was different. This didn’t actually involve the disc bulges or neural pinches I’ve typically experienced in the past. No, this was just plain old muscular seizure. My physio was a bit puzzled. My yoga teacher wasn’t.

I was aware enough to recognise it was due to Stress. Work stress. I’d taken on a fourth job… for a variety of reasons, but in all honesty, money was the ‘deep’ motivation. I thought this opportunity might also lead me in a new direction, widen my scope for ‘Success’ because it involved one of my passions.

Suffice to say, I was wrong. I’d had what I thought were rose-coloured glasses on. I’d ‘pushed’ myself under the belief that I was being pro-active, but I came to realise, I was actually being driven by a deep-seated ‘desperation’. As always happens, the awakening came in a series of realisations.

Firstly, on the physical level, I realised the culprit muscles seizing in my back were only doing what they were ‘taught’: in the Past, the physical treatment for my injuries/pain required me to be in a specific postural position for relief, release & recovery. Five or so years of this particular ‘rehab’ position had trained certain muscles to respond (that is, created a new pattern or ‘habit’) to any Stress, by immediately contracting to ‘protect’ that area that I had led myself to believe was inherently weak.

I knew what I had to do; from my philosophical/spiritual point of view (to which neuroscience is now alluding also, incidentally) it was simply Common Sense. My Yoga teacher didn’t really have to tell me. I knew it. And my Physio agreed. I had to Stop. Rest. Meditate. As much as possible. So relaxation/healing meditations were added to my daily routine.

When the root of my Stress was elicited by my acupuncturist (he didn’t actually have to dig it out of me – it seemed to be a case of just being ‘the right time’ for the words to spill out of my mouth) he gave me some more focus for my meditations and breathing that addressed my physical as well as emotional pain. And I practiced.

I had also been reading a book recommended to me by my yoga teacher (even better; she had presented it to me in a pile of books and I had been the one to choose it from the stack… another perfect example of “cosmic timing”) It had taken me awhile to get through because I simply had so much other stuff to attend to, but I had caught glimpses of clarity as I worked my way through it.

The kicker came towards the end of the book.

Dammit, I know this stuff. I’ve read heaps of ‘new age’ literature and it all makes perfect sense to me. How could I not have seen this and more importantly lived it until now?

The author – himself a yogi – wrote of his own ‘Illumination’ and his three simple words struck a huge chord with me.

“I don’t know.”

What? This:

My whole life has been plagued by these words, with respect to ‘Purpose’. What Am I Here For?A Life in Words

I have struggled with this forever. It’s the deepest source of my Depression.

Describing the weight that lifted from him when he spoke those words out loud to no one in particular, and moreover, the revelation that it didn’t matter – none of it mattered – Blew. Me. Away. Forget the light bulb, I had a hundred floodlights in my face.

The source of my deepest struggle instantly dried up.

I always knew I was the master of my life: heck, I have read enough to know that. But to strike at the heart of one of your most dominant Concerns is totally liberating.

I can fully practice what I have learnt now. In one fell swoop, my Fear of the Future has gone.

So now I’m focusing on being a Leaf.

As my client put it, if Life is a creek and we are all fallen leaves being freely carried by its running waters, we are bound to be washed up against debris, pooled & eddied. Most of us get stuck: trying to fight, resist or control. What leaf ever moved a rock or fallen tree trunk out of its path? These struggles and challenges are an absolute and unavoidable part of Life. I’m ready to let go of resistance, to let the waters carry me where I’m meant to go.

I am finally ready to really Trust.

I have found renewed Faith. And god, it feels amazing!