i had a birthday since the last time i did a proper update... i'm now 34 years old. I had a rostered day off on the actual day, and spent it at home, on my own, under a doona on the couch with my cat, and then went to guitar class in the evening... twas perfect :)

Soooo... thirty four and what do i have to show for it? Not much really, but that's ok. On the usual swings and roundabouts of my life the desperate depression of a month ago has abated somewhat now, and I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about life.
this post contains vague optimism, some frustration, lots of rambling, and more ellipses than you can poke a stick at! )
I finished my beginners guitar course Monday before last... it was good, although I want to be lots better than I currently am because I am impatient, I now know enough to be able to read tabs online and figure out how to play songs on my own, which is very cool... I spent a bit of time over the Easter weekend on Jolene (because Dolly is awesome and Jolene is the easiest of her songs to play) and have had a stab at many others as well... I totally can't sing and play at the same time, I completely lose my strumming rhythm whenever I try and do that, but I'll get there eventually and then be able to TORTURE everyone by playing and singing daggy classic rock ballads (Every Rose Has It's Thorn anyone??) :) Also, thanks to an incredibly kind and generous and lovely someone** I am now booked in for the intermediate course which begins on 3rd May and runs for another 8 weeks, so that will no doubt help me improve even more :) I love my guitar, I love having the ability to make something that sounds like music again :) i love chordie.com and hunting for songs I can play and fiddling around until what I'm playing resembles the soundtrack in my head, it's very cool :)

** Not sure if it's ok to mention who, so anonymity reigns, but they know who they are and, again, thank you so much!!

Work is insane at the moment, we move to the new building next Monday, which means that there is absolute chaos in the current building as people try and pack and organise and keep doing work at the same time. While the new building is brand new and spiffy and lovely, I am dreading the move because my "manager" will be sharing the office with us and I seriously do not know how I am going to cope with that. The woman manages to consistently push every single button I have, and I find it really hard to not react. So yeah, that will be interesting. It's also going to be interesting in that all of population health , ie all the inpatient AND outpatient services for Drug & Alcohol, Mental Health & Community Health will be in one building... which is going to make for a very interesting concentration of clients in one area. Also, the building has not really been designed with security in mind, which will add to the level of interesting once everyone is in and all services are operating fully from there. We do have two full time security staff just for our building, which is a good thing.

My mum was in town last week and came over to my place for lunch on Sunday... she spent a lot of time autowittering on about my brothers pregnant wife, seems they're still together at the moment, dumb girl. My mum is very excited having another grandchild and had clearly spent a lot of time with them on this visit, so yeah, that was pretty much all she had to talk about... she even brought along the blanket she's embroidered for the baby, and clothes she's bought to show me... I was very well behaved and kept my mouth shut, and I even managed to not cry until after she'd left. None of it was helped by rampaging hormones of course, but yeah... aside from hating my brother and not being remotely interested in hearing my mother sing his praises every fucking time I see her, I want to have a baby, and I'm really unhappy about the reality that I probably won't ever have the chance to have kids, and it makes me furious that that fucking asshole is having another one.

Aaaaanyhow.

After the doctor told me last month that my womens troubles were psychological, I thought "right, well then, in that case i am deciding that henceforth I will have normal, regular periods". Bugger me if it didn't work... exactly one month since the last one, this one turned up and only tried to kill me for two days and then became civilised (well, as much as bleeding from the hoohoo can be) and is now almost gone. Most normal period I've had in... oh... YEARS...

I've been intensely antisocial recently... well.. not that I don't WANT to see people, I just... find it... hard. It's odd, I'm doing the thing I do when my anxiety is really bad, wanting to just be at home on my own, living in my own little world with as little external interaction and stimulation as possible... in the past when I've been like this it's been accompanied by intense anxiety when I have to leave the safety of home and my own world, and i don't have that the moment, I'm just... happier when I'm disconnected.

I think maybe I'm a bit depressed. I think I need to take care of myself as though I am and see if things improve.

Hmmm...

Anyhow... off for limited social contact with best boy and then home. And hopefully an early night... very tired.
I woke up yesterday morning and opened my blinds to see unremittingly gray skies and drizzling rain. NOOOOO!!!! There was much praying to the weather gods for it to clear by afternoon, and fortunately they listened!
dad's wedding )
Last weekend was lovely... I met up with best boy for a leisurely brunch at Deus Ex Machina on Saturday morning and gave him the rest of his christmas present finally, and got the pleasure of giving an awesome gift which is loved by the recipient... one of the happiest feelings in the world :) After foods we drooled on the motorbikes for a bit and then wandered outside and across the road to their quarterly bicycle swap meet. There were lots of pretty, old, rusty cogs I wanted to buy for creative/artistic/crafty purposes but I resisted. After that we decided we needed another beverage and went back into the cafe for another hour or two of chatting... decadent luxury of lingering long :) From there i headed home, did a little shopping, and spent the rest of the arvo and evening with the awesome neighbour flatmate, which pretty much made Saturday entirely perfect :)

Sunday I was up early (for a Sunday) and off into Newtown for brunch with Donkey, who was down from Brisbane for just the weekend. That was a delightful treat to get to catch up with her, we brunched, and chatted, and wandered King St a little, and stopped in at Max Brenner where I discovered the peanut butter iced chockie... Oh. My. God. Mouthgasm.

Sunday arvo I went to Dad's wedding rehearsal. It's at Evatt Park in Lugarno, which made me giggle when Dad told me... my memories of that park exclusively involve adolescent drunkening, and sexing on the cricket pitch at 2 in the morning... not that I told Dad that :) Anyhow, Dad, Dolores (his wife), her four kids, me, my brother's ex, and the grandkids all converged on Evatt Park, where we met up with the celebrant and wandered around to find the perfect wedding spot, which we all agreed was on teh far side of the pond under the trees. Note to self, wear mozzie repellent on the day. We ran through the order of service, who's doing what and when, got it all sorted and then headed back to Dad and Dolores' for a BBQ... it was a really nice afternoon/evening actually, it always is when it's just the immediate family and not all the extended mob. I don't think I've noted on here that Dad rang me a few weeks ago, and asked if I would give him away at his wedding... I cried a little, which was embarrassing because I was on the train on my way to work, but I was surprisingly touched and suddenly emotional. And yes, I know it's not traditional to give the groom away, but that's what we're doing and I feel ridiculously honoured to be doing it... and let's face it, it's not like Dad's ever going to get the chance to give ME away at a wedding...

So now I just have to come up with something to wear. There is NOTHING in shops at the moment I would consider wearing, Ange suggested my black fancy frock, but after now seeing the brides frock and the bridesmaid's frock, my black fancy frock is fancier than both of them, so that won't do at all. I have an idea in my head for a frock to make, just need to find the time to execute it, I have just over a week. EEP!

In less fabulous family news, while chatting to mum on the phone last Friday evening, she casually dropped into the conversation "oh you're going to be an Auntie again". My initial impulse was to respond with "no I'm not, that person is dead to me"... I opted instead for the adage she drummed into me as a child, "If you can't say something nice then don't say anything at all"... cue big awkward silence, eventually broken by me asking what she had planned for the weekend. I'm a little ashamed to admit i was a bit spiteful when she asked my weekend plans, i told her I was going to Dad's wedding rehearsal. I know she hates me mentioning Dad, and I generally go out of my way to avoid it, but she knows I hate her mentioning her son and still persists in doing it. Maybe if I start countering every mention of my ex-brother with news of her ex-husband she'll finally understand and stop doing it.
In my teens and twenties I was fairly adamant that I would never have children. Didn't want them, didn't like them, couldn't stand being around them, and certainly couldn't understand my friends for whom "having babies" was an integral part of their life plan. My mother, and other older women, would listen to my anti-baby rants and nod sagely and tell me that I would change my mind. This unfailingly caused further ranting on the abhorrence of children, the selfishness and irresponsibility of people bringing children into an already over-populated and unstable world, the misogynistic assumption that women are biologically compelled to breed and the presumption that there is something wrong, unnatural even, about women who do not coo with delight at the little squirmy things that eat and poop and shriek and vomit.

No thank you. Not me.

Much to my surprise, and a little dismay, it turns out that, for me at least, those older women were right. I have changed my mind. I do still strongly believe that it is perfectly natural for women to not want to have babies, and there is nothing wrong with those women at all. I do still believe that there is a large element of selfishness in bringing more children into this world. But since turning thirty I have been aware of a quiet ticking gradually increasing in volume, of vague longings steadily coalescing into a desire for that thing I thought I'd never want. A baby.

I have trouble admitting it, even to myself. And spending time near screaming feral 2 foot tall monsters in shopping centers does wonders in reasserting some reality in my rosy imaginings, sufficiently so at times to return me to my previous sense of horror at the prospect of motherhood. But then days like Saturday happen and I find myself understanding that feeling other women have described, that longing to be a mother.

My dad had a BBQ for his birthday on Saturday, and his sister-in-law Leanne was there with her two children which she adopted after fostering them both long term (one is now 10, the other 9), and two very small babies she is fostering currently. Delaney is 4.5 months old, and was removed from her mother two weeks ago due to severe neglect. She is baby number 7 for her mum, all seven children have been removed, four previously, and two others at the same time as Delaney. She has severe eczema, which at the time she was removed was so bad that she was covered in great big scabs, due to being fed solely with cows milk from birth. At four and a half months old, she has barely more neck control thn a new born baby, due most likely to being left lying in her crib almost constantly. And she doesn't cry. She barely grizzles. It's as though she knows there is no point. In the two weeks that Leanne has had her, her eczema has improved dramatically, there are obvious red and dry patches all over her, but they are healing. And she is the sweetest little thing, she responds with smiles when you play with her, and she was just adorable. George is four weeks old, he was removed from his mother two days after his birth, there was a notification and removal order prior to his birth so once he was born she was not even allowed to be alone with him. He is her 6th child, all of whom have been removed. George is almost as big as Delaney, who is three and a half months older than him. George was lucky. I spent several solid hours on Saturday holding one or the other of these little bundles, mostly George. I changed his nappy, fed him, played with him, changed him into his pj's, and rocked him to sleep. And I ached with wanting.

A huge part of it is of course just wanting to rescue these babies, and the countless ones like them, who are removed from parents who are unable or unwilling to look after them, yet keep on having them. It angers me beyond belief that these women just keep having babies. I find myself thinking that enforced chemical sterilisation might not be such a bad thing. If courts can order mental health patients to attend for their weekly medication injection, why can they not order compulsive breeders who have had multiple children removed to attend for their three monthly contraceptive injection?

I admire people who foster children so very much. I'm not sure I could do it. I get too easily attached and I think my heart would break, particularly if the baby or child I had cared for from an abusive or neglectful home was then sent back to that parent. That aside, I am a single woman, who has never had kids, and who works full time. I'm not a foster candidate.

But following that time with the babies, the ticking of my biological clock is loud and relentless. And I find myself calculating the odds. The odds that I will find someone to be in a long-term, secure, stable relationship with. Ever. The odds that they will want children. The odds that it would be possible to get pregnant. The odds that we would be able to afford it. The odds that all of those things will happen before I am past the age where I would consider it reasonable to have a baby. The odds aren't in my favour. So I find myself having only quite recently admitting to myself that this is something I want, already resigning myself to the idea that I probably won't ever have it.

If it doesn't happen, I know that I will regret not having had a child. But even knowing that, I also know that I will not embark on motherhood selfishly and recklessly, in a situation where I cannot give that child a reasonable life. Getting pregnant is possible now, raising a child isn't.

There is still hope, but it's small, and I am doing my best not to nurture it too greatly. But sometimes, I ache for motherhood.
quiregrrl: (BoUnCy!)
I got a bit worried on Friday when mum emailed me and asked what my weekend plans were, because that's very out of character for her... I thought "oh, she's suspicious and fishing", so I replied and blithely lied with weekend commitments...

Flew down early on Saturday morning, and was met at the airport by her husband (who I call Roger, even though his name is Silvio). He had told mum he was going fishing, and got friends of theirs in on it as well to further allay suspicion, so when Michelle called mum for their weekly gossip on Friday she casually threw in "Greg wants to know what time Silvio is picking him up tomorrow to go fishing?"... it's a good hour and a bit drive from Launceston to thier place, so we got home about lunch time, and Roger went in first and called out "Come see what I caught"... mum had absolutely NO idea, not even a smidge of suspicion... she came out into the hallway and I sooooooooo wish I'd had a camera to get a pic of her face, it was absolutely priceless! She started crying and ran down the hallway and hugged me so hard I thought I was gonna pop! She spent the next hour in almost constant contact with me, hugging me, holding my hand, patting my head, kissing me, and saying over and over "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it". YAY!!!!!! I'm so impressed that we managed to surprise her, mum is notoriously nosy and switched on and suspicious!!

The weekend was quite lovely, we didn't do much really, hung out on Saturday afternoon/evening, chatting and baking cookies, and playing scrabble... Sunday we went to Penguin for the markets, and had lunch in a lovely cafe right on the water, and mum bought me some fabulous fabric from the markets (bright pink fluffy fleecy with elephants all over for $2/m huzzah!) and we went home and I sewed new jarmies (ooohhhh the luxury of sewing with an overlocker!). Monday we had a look at the house mum wants to buy if she sells hers in time, hung out in Sheffield (her nearest town), did some errands, and then drove over to Launceston for more errands and stuff, checked in for my flight and found out it was delayed, went for dinner, went back to airport and found it was delayed even further, hung out at the airport, eventually the plane turned up, mum and roger went home, I got on it and came home... very laid back weekend, but it was nice, she only drove me a little bit mad right towards the very end, and it was all totally worth it to give her such a good surprise... it makes me very happy to have made her so happy :)
I went to visit my new niece again last night, there were SO many people there though, the room was chockers (between Ally's visitors and the great big italian family celebrating the new arrival situated in the bed next to Ally's) I didn't get to hold her this time, but I did manage to snap a pic on my phone camera (forgot to take my proper camera...idjit!). It's amazing how much she has changed even in a day, her cheeks have puffed out and she's had a bath now and is much redder now she's not covered in that bluish stuff they're covered in at birth... I bumped into mum downstairs on my way into the hospital and as we were heading up to the ward she told me everyone who had been to visit that day had said how much she looks like my brother, and she does, but mum said she's the spitting image of me when I was a baby and I have to get my baby photos out and bring one next time for comparison... Poor Ally looked completely exhausted and there were SO many people there that I only stayed about 20 minutes but they should be going home today and I will go visit them on the weekend when I can spend some more time and it won't be as crowded or overwhelming for Ally... My mum has gone mad with buying pink things, she even bought a teeny gold id bracelet with pink crystals set into it and had Tameeka's name engraved on it... this is going to be one spoilt little girl! I'm going shopping for presents on the weekend.. I am NOT buying her anything baby-pink!! With my brother as her dad, she's more than likely going to be a complete tomboy anyhow!
I am seriously cranky... taking an extra five minutes on top of the 10 minutes I spent eating lunch at my desk to vent... My plan for tonight was to have dinner with a friend for her birthday which was last week, and then write the story that's been bouncing around my head since I woke up this morning.... now, I get to rush home from work and madly clean and tidy my place, pick my mother's husband up from the train station (compromise, she wanted me to pick him up from the airport at 6pm, I finish work at 5:30 an hour out from the airport...), have dinner with him, and then let him sleep on my futon couch tonight, before taking him to the airport by 6am tomorrow morning... why am I doing this??? Because as usual my shithole brother made plans and promises and then weaseled out of delivering at the very last minute and I'm a doormat to my mother...
grrrrrrrr......

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quiregrrl

April 2014

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