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 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 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!)


Relationship Counselling, Heartbreak & Hiccups (3-9 March)

Monday 3/2/86

He said hello to me today!! I walked Fi to art the auditorium way and said goodbye, starting off down the walkway to my room. He & Mark W were walking up to theirs. As we passed I looked at him – HE SMILED & SAID HELLO and I had to smile & say hi, too (And I felt so happy after that) I’m sure (?) he likes me. Positive – must be (?) Otherwise I’ve been eating & farting a lot and it hasn’t been hot. The nights are even cool (last night had my bedspread right up all night) Beka rang – we talked. She’s fine. Are gonna go to town Fri. night. MUM HAD A CAR CRASH. Yank drove into her ($1500 damage) Carless for at least one week now. [It wouldn’t’ve surprised me if Mum was uninsured: comprehensive car insurance would be another expense she wouldn’t be able to afford on the income she earnt.] SHIT. Yank’s getting charged tho’ – driving on his US License is illegal!! [I’m not entirely sure this was true. It certainly isn’t now, unless there are extenuating circumstances.] Is 9:31 Don’t think Mima’s very happy with me for some reason. (think it might be about Jarrad)

Tuesday 4/2/86 A Life in Words

Him? Oh, “He’s” madly in love with Sharon W. [Uh oh] I hate him (but I lie) I’m quite upset (disturbed; not crying or angry) I found out before school, so it “wrecked” my day – made me depressed. And Cameron’s Fi’s property almost well-and-truly so there’s only Mark left and I don’t think he likes me much. But I think he’s such a hunk… Beka rang again, about town & told me she had no way  to get to the carnival. I rang Justine (talked) and she said she’d try. Rang mima to see what to wear – she said we could take Beka too. Rang Beka told her she could come. Rang Fi to check if she could take us all home & see what she’d wear. FINE! Rained on my ride home today. Cool!! Got my periods. Poop. Tomorrow’ll be FUN! It’s 9:39. I’m tired. Have giant black circles under my eyes.

Wednesday 5/2/86

Carnival was terrific!! In the sense that it was exciting (the atmosphere) and fantastic but nothing good happened to me. When we went to town after school, (mima got her legs waxed wasn’t as bad as she thought it’d be [in terms of pain, my guess]) we saw Brent & Steven talking to Robert D… about … Sharon. It’s confirmed. He’s nuts about her. It’s not fair. No one (I like) likes me. Actually, today was a pretty “down” day. I’m not feeling too happy lately (a lot to do with boy-business) mostly from school, too. I mean, subject classes etc. And friends. Can’t explain – too tired & don’t have enough space. Riding again tomorrow – whatever the weather. Goody Goody Goody. Hafta It’s 10:51. Done no HW today – funny how you get a lot [of homework] on the days that you’re busy.

Thursday 6/2/86

Periods are a pain in the TIT. So are farts (I just did one) Art excursion was boring. Blech. Packed day today. Mostly with other people’s problems. [Relationship counselling at age 15½….that’s impressive] Cameron & Fiona: Cameron thought Fi was angry with him for not talking to her at the carnival. I said no, she had some problems (big mouth) he wanted to know what (I couldn’t tell him – it was up to Fi) she doesn’t like him enough. Pity, huh?? And mima’s “in love” with Kye (a yr 12 who also likes her) she doesn’t know whether to drop Brent (again) or not and is consequently (thru’ brent’s eyes) acting wierd. While they were at gym, he rang me asking if I knew what was wrong. I hate lying. Also rang Beka – had a long talk – fun. I like Mark. for Biology, we’re swimming tomorrow – practise with snorkels for Tues at Fitzroy. HOT. Fast riding. Nite is 9:36 did no (very little) HW again. Then again, got very little. Runny (-ish) nose

Friday 7/2/86

Didn’t do swimming in Biology – the pool was closed cos’ they’re doing pipework (very) near it. I am tired. It’s 12:21. the movies were not too good.A Life in Words “Summer Rental” was OK, but the other one was pits blood-thristy, made me sick. You see, Beka came home on our bus, got ready at my place & we caught the bus into town (as planned) but we went to see mima and she asked us to come to the movies. I was allowed Beka wasn’t. Her mum came & picked her up (almost) straight away. That’s terrible – she invited me out & ended up going straight home again while I stayed to see a movie. I’m disgusted with myself. [For abandoning my friend] I heard a mention that Sharon doesn’t like Steven very much. Don’t get your hopes up, Liss. He says hello & goodbye a lot more now !!!! Got hiccups in art with Sandy (B) she thinks it was cos we inhaled too many glue fumes! HaHa!

Saturday 8/2/86

Mum woke me at 7:15. I was tired & very cranky. Didn’t want to go to dad’s for the weekend, but she ignored me. I watched TV till dad came. He & I went to work. [I wonder where my sister was?] I cleaned 49 [drums] & did 4½hrs work. ($30.25 total) Got home at 7:00. Big dinner. I am still tired. Haven’t started any HW yet. I want dad to take me home early tomorrow (not too early – I mean, when he’s ready) Kept thinking about Steven B. Tried to see him last night, but didn’t. I’m glad he says hello a lot. I like him. Not “love”. Just fondness – but you never know. God, I’m tired. It’s 10:38. “Star Trek” is on TV tonight. I half watched (watching it) & reading a magazine. Think I’ll knock off soon. Hope I don’t miss out on much this weekend, i.e. I keep feeling mima would’ve invited me out, had I been home. [This was a feeling that pervaded most of my teenage years. It’s the reason that comes to mind when trying to explain why I never cared to spend time at Dad’s. I don’t think I’m a very ‘familial’ person – unlike my sister & mother – and have always viewed my father as such: a kind of socialite, whom I assumed I took after. I hated “missing out” on anything.]

Sunday 9/2/86

Woke around 5:00 first – it was still a bit dark – went to the loo then slept again. Woke 7:30, then 8:30, then 9:15. I slept well, I think! Almost 10 hrs sleep. Today, I did HW, after finally waking up (messing around abit) I started at 12:30 and went right thru till 5:30. Chemistry, Maths & Biology. A Life in WordsWent home at 6:00 Mum & Geoff arrived home at 20 past. Chicken sandwich for tea (that’s 8½ pieces of bread today + heaps soda streams) [UGH! Oh my God, that concept is repulsive to me now. I don’t want to imagine the damage that kind of consumption would have done.] It’s 10:22. Movie is “Hanover Street” my favourite…. well not really. I just remembered it from years ago and loved it. am missing it at the moment. my weekend was very dull. Sleepy? Kinda. Wished my weekend was better. Thinking a lot about Steven & strangely Jarrad. [When you’re feeling lonely…desperation can set in…]

Popped Collars, Lemon Juice & Sarah Jessica Parker (17-23 February)

Monday 17/2/86

I Heard a lot about Anne-Marie’s party today. It sounded rough (or WILD) Steven B & Mark W are disgusting. They were blind, apparently. [Another display of Innocence] Pity. I liked them both. [At this point I have omitted a statement about others, which is not my place to make public.] Like Neville!! It’s 9:12. Don’t want a late night (Dave Allen is on now – finishing soon) Went to town this afternoon (Rang mum) Was good – Ate a fair bit. Looked in some clothes shops and got a passport application form for mima (she is (if 14 other people do) going to Japan in September) Am a little disappointed now. About the guys at CHS, I mean. Would there be any “nice” ones?? [So I have always had ‘high standards’. But fear not, I am human and definitely ‘slipped-up’ in succeeding years! But that’s Life isn’t it? One big Learning Curve, littered with Ups and Downs…] Oooohh. Poop. I wanna sleep late. Riding tomorrow for carnival. Leaving later at 8:00 so can sleep till 7:00-7:15. Great!!! Did no HW!

Tuesday 18/2/86

SWIMMING CARNIVAL was fun. Nothing special – just fun. Had 1 compliment (from a girl, though) about my figure. [Er, I clearly didn’t know then that compliments from girls are generally more ‘valid’ (sincere) than from guys. Or was it actually different in the 80’s?] A Life in WordsSo many little things happened; I can’t remember them or fit them all in. We rode – was good. Rode home to mima’s and watched the video “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” [Now THAT’s how I think of Sarah Jessica Parker] Is unreal! Novelties were fun at the carnival (we won (Bruce) the 16yrs raft race, but got 3rd for the pyjama race – Tully cheated) Tully won overall, then Collins and Bruce and O’Keefe last. Funny really!! Got burnt Wore glasses and red’n’white shirt with collar up. [Think ‘popped’ collar – it was actually cool in the 80’s – that’s why it’s not cool now!] Groovy! But still got extra burnt. Gonna fail maths test tomorrow. Did only Bio tonight (but also wrote out some all Maths rules.) will learn & try examples tomorrow. Have only Bio, art & maths tomorrow anyway. Is 8:35. Wasn’t humid. Hot – not too humid.

Wednesday 19/2/86

Happy (-ish) day today. Lunch was a good one again (talking to the (with the) guys again – but outside the room) I love when we do that. Didn’t go to the dance. Jemima was grounded. Her mum found out that she had planned to go to Mark’s  party on Sat. Grounded for only Wed. night. Problem was; Brent’s going away  for Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun. She had invited him to it. She wanted Fi & I to go, but stupid me didn’t want to, so Fi thought I hated her. Talked about it all after speech* and later on the phone with Fi. We (after my soppy crying) [I’m very non-confrontational, so found it hard to control my emotions when I had to face off with people. I’m quite sure I’m not the super-sensitive cry-baby anymore but I haven’t really been tested for quite some time.] told each other all the things we’d hidden over the past 3 years – my jealousies etc. Her thoughts & feeling too. Actually, am glad to get it all out once and for all. [No wonder I’ve always believed “better out than in”] Maths test was ……!! (Is 8:50) *First day of speech for 1986. Mim & I 2gether. Wed’s 5-5:45. Was good. Decided which exams we’re working for. etc!!!!!! Got 9½hrs sleep last night!!

Thursday 20/2/86

I think I am deeply infatuated with Steven B. Actually, I don’t know why I said that. It’s a funny kind of attraction – there’s nothing super about him (awful teeth) but he’s a spunk… He’s also a bastard, too. [Well, that’s what I ‘deduced’ from gossip & rumours] What a pity. Today, Astia, Sandra & I almost wagged religion but Ms Marsland caught us. We only had 20 mins of it, but the bad bit was coming in [late] SHame! Boring lunch hour today (probably cos’ Brent’s gone …Mima’s going with [dating, not going away with] him, now!) Hard riding today Lotsa head-wind. On way home, was abit easier – beat CHS bus home – not Smith. tho’. Lotta HW. Got all done tho. Late nite, too. (it’s 9:46 now) Most people said Dance was good – “great”. [There’s a good chance I’d’ve felt a wee jealous – or more rueful that I’d not gone.] There was even a bomb scare, too!! I’m in a ‘funny’ mood cranky, happy, tired all at once (lotsa other things, too) Art Excursion 2morrow… goody!! Mima going with Brent as of last night. [“Going with” was the term back then for ‘dating’.]

Friday 21/2/86

Not a good day. Not too bad, but not good. Excursion was fun (went to 3 art displays – had lunches in Mellick Centre and junk from Great Aust. Ice Creamery YUM YUM! Got back to school 5 mins before end of period 6. Had been gone since 11:15 (little lunch)) [What kid doesn’t love a reason to miss lessons?] BAD NEWS was my haircut. A bit too short. Got upset about it after, but am a little more composed now. I know exactly what I want now. Long. Fringe & everything the same (long-ish) length. Also burnt my fingers from kettle steam and felt generally sad in arvy [oh them raging’ teen hormones!] – also did no HW. GOOD NEWS. Mima rang – we’re going on their yacht to Green Island on Sunday. Can’t wait!! (It’s 10:55) Today thought a motion mima made might’ve meant Steven likes me – just my imagination. A Life in Words

Saturday 22/2/86

After that late night, I still managed 8-8½hrs sleep! I did all my set HW today, now and then. Otherwise, I was listening to the radio, snoozing, reading the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird”, trying out hairstyles, eating or drawing. I actually like my hair now. I suppose it’s very rare for anyone to be happy with a cut from the beginning. [Or just me…] I sunbaked (got a burnt tummy) and also tried to bleach my hair (while baking I put fresh lemon juice through the dark bits.) [The old lemon juice in the hair trick. I don’t know how well it worked, but it was something I’ve employed a number of times throughout my life.] Mrs B came round too, to talk with mum. I’m staying at mime’s tonight – there’s a video night (it’s 6:33pm) and it’ll end late so I may as well stay over (cos also hafta leave for Green Is at 7am anyway) Will be a late nite! Haven’t had tea yet!! Nana came over today. WHOOP! Nah! [It’s a tad painful seeing these kinds of comments about my grandmother. Granted, she and I never really saw eye to eye, but had I known she had only about 18 months left to live, perhaps I mightn’t’ve taken her visits for granted? Cest la vie, I guess.] Leaving for mima’s soon!  A Life in Words

Sunday 23/2/86

A Life in Words
Leaving Green Island (in the background) I sure love that Reef Oil Tanning Lotion bottle, don’t I?

I am “burned” thoroughly. [Oh, good. And apparently all the damage is done in these ‘formative years’…] And tired. Movies were slack so watched “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” twice and otherwise mucked around. Got 5 hours sleep. Woke 6:00. Was soo tired. (Still am!!) Was TERRIFIC today!! Getting over there was slow – there was no wind. Used the outboard mostly. But once there, it was terrific!! Fantastic!! [I have always loved the ocean – at least, the calm waters of the Coral Sea.] We got there 11:30 (Left wharf at 8:00!!) Swam to shore, got an ice block, and spent about 1½ hours jumping off (& tanning or burning) on the jetty. Saw Fishers with Skinners, too skint!! And Donna B & Suzelle R Went back to yacht at 1:30. Had lunch and went home about 2:00. Got home 5:30 (Home home at 6:15) Saw lotsa dolphins jellyfish, crabs & manta-rays and a baby shark!! Am burnt pretty “good“! All over – but not sore Looks good!! [See… how do Skin Cancer campaigners compete with Vanity?] Is 8:43 Nite!