Well that didn’t quite go how I thought it would

So dudes, I’m alive! I made it to Christmas! To BEYOND Christmas!

Christmas Eve saw a phone call derail proceedings somewhat, reassuring me that whatever water has passed under the bridge of my parents is not enough.

Surprisingly 3/4 bottle of champagne did not dull the depression and anger that triggered in me.

Neither did eating my bodyweight on Christmas Day or drinking another whole bottle of sparkling shiraz.

Neither did having chocolate for breakfast three days in a row.

Or reintroducing butter to my diet.

Or making my own mayonnaise, eating potato salad, or baking – and eating – bread.

Curiously, the volume and interactions between four over-tired, cranky, hyped, poorly-fed boys did little to improve my mindset.

Surprisingly, Chef being ill throughout the whole period and basically in bed for the two days off he had over Christmas did little to alleviate my stress.

You can see where this is heading.

Today featured a lot of hovering by mum as she sensed my parlous state – but of course her ‘helping’ was not seen be me as such.

Today featured the boys being particularly fractious (it was unseasonably cold and wet today) with myriad fights and spats and all the rest.

It all came to a head as Chef arrived home from work and Oscar and Grover came barrelling into my room with Oscar claiming Grover had weed on his (as in Oscar’s) bed. Indeed he had.


OH.MY.GOD. The screaming that came forth from my being.

Something along the lines of it being bad enough I had parents incapable of treating each other nicely despite having 26 years to heal the wounds but that I had bred four children incapable of being nice to each other was beyond the pale. (or pail? That’s making my neck itch right there.) Something something something this has been the worst three days of my life in quite some time something something something selfish, ungrateful, mean-spirited varmints something something something



I sat on the beach. In the howling wind and rain. I ran in the soft sand until my heart hurt and I couldn’t get a breath. I sat on the beach some more. I thought a lot about ending it because this will always be a part of my life and that is just not acceptable or bearable. It’s not a phase. It too will not pass. At least not until my parents are in the grave. I sat on the beach some more. Ran some more. And finally cried. Big heaving howling sobs. For about a minute. And then it was gone.

I came up off the beach and sheltered in a little nook of the surf club out of the wind, slumped against the wall and watched as some guys came in from kite surfing, totally pumped and exhilarated from their wild ride out in squally seas.

I eventually walked home and slunk off to our bedroom both embarrassed about my behaviour and not ready to face the boys. I listened as they had their showers and baths and went to bed WITHOUT A PROTEST OR A PEEP for Chef. AT 8 PM.

And here I sit. 10pm. The Perfect Storm playing out on the TV and absolutely none the wiser as to how to deal with/react/resolve/accept the situation as it is. I’m doing a fair deal of catastrophising and grand-standing but I know nothing good will come of that.

But there is absolutely nothing to come of discussing this with either my mother or father. I understand both of their positions. And here I am. Stuck in the middle again.

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  • Fe

    Oh Kim.. I’m so sorry. I’m bawling my eyes out just reading this.

    I don’t want to do that to my boys. Ever. Although I know that, as they have parents who only speak through lawyers they mst feel that way every day.

    Good on you for sitting on the beach. And forgive yourself for your outburst. We ALL do it, with less reason than you had.

    Fe recently posted..Happy Christmas…

    • You know, I kinda think being right at the end of the spectrum would be better than this false pretence of ‘all getting on’ until someone presumes something and undoes the other. With me in the middle.

  • Anon

    I must say, I am so relieved that my father went back to where he came from, namely a country far, far away very, very soon after my parents split when I was just a toddler. Though, it took till I was 32 years and masses of sessions with an outstanding counsellor to be able to deal with the aftermath. Sending you many hugs. xx

    • It is making the idea of an overseas relocate very very enticing. Then I need never ever worry again about having them both in the same place at the same time.

  • I’m not sure what to say Kim other than hugs to you and look after YOU. Xxx

  • Of course I send you a big hug. BIG.
    But I also wonder why this is your burden to carry.
    Must you make it right?
    blackbird recently posted..the day after

    • No, it is not me who must make it right, although I will try to.
      It is an Eton Mess of trying to be the dutiful daughter, of sheer frustration at a parent hanging on to so many slights done to them so long ago, of complete bewilderment at a parent so oblivious (or unwilling) to the damage they caused, of living with one so thereby creating situations where they are forced together and so on it goes.

  • ssheers

    I have no advice, just commiseration. And I can help with the neck itch: it’s “Beyond the pale.”

  • Let’s not get carried away – you don’t need to go OS, MELBOURNE is far enough! Whilst planning your relocation, I completely agree with blackbird that if I was you (which I’m not so I don’t know anything and you can tell me to shut up, you know you want to) I’d be doing my best to get out of the middle. This is not about you, your role as daughter or anything else. They have to own their own stuff, just like you own your stuff and eventually your kids will own their stuff. I feel for you mate but the sad reality is that we each choose our own paths and there’s little you can do to divert someone else from theirs. And also stop slagging yourself off, walk away from THAT path too. You do a terrific job the vast majority of the time and we all fuck up at times. Say sorry and move on. To Melbourne. Xxxx

    • Ahh I needed these voices of reason and calm. I’ve had my moment of melodrama and despair, the boys have all had full and long deep sleeps AND a breakfast of homemade bread, toasted, as opposed to more chocolate. I realize this is not mine to fix, mediate or counsel. I think the reason it threw me so hard and fast was it was just so vehement and also that we haven’t had an incident like that for quite some time.

      And you know, Melbourne has always had pull for us.

  • Paola

    Kim, focus on your sons, not your parents. I am with Bb (I am ALWAYS with Bb). You’re such a wonderful mother and should just do THAT.
    And keep the bed shark calm and fed.

    • Ahh my beautiful Paola, you speak the clean and simple truth.

  • edenland

    MATE. Wow. I hope your big howl on the beach was as soul cleansing as kiteriding. Love to you XOX

    • You know, it was the start. Having children who have slept well and eaten a proper breakfast has also helped enormously!

  • You’d be surprised at how many other families deal with stuff like this, even if they don’t celebrate Chrismas. Ahem. I would put it down to part of the craziness of the season and the family-togetherness-bullshit it brings with it.

    Lower your expectations (even if it means digging a hole to get that low) and whatever you do PLEASE realise that the situation is normal and your reaction to it is normal. It’s just a day in the life, not a symbol or harbinger of bad news.

    Best thing is the boys getting ready for bed without a peep. For me, the best part of having a hissy fit with my family is lying in bed after and hearing them behaving like angels.

    E xxxx
    Eleanor recently posted..Teenagers get a bad rap

  • Kim! What a shocker! You poor thing. I am glad the boys pulled their heads in and gave you the space you needed and I’m sorry there’s still crap swirling around from your parent’s splitting up even though that was eons ago. And, you know what? I bet Kill suggests moving to the country every time this happens 🙂
    Sunshine today, I hope it makes all the difference to you, I think it will to me. xx
    Amelia recently posted..December 23rd

  • Kids are always that bit better after a good sleep. Hugs Kim
    rachelmp recently posted..Our Christmas

  • and Ballarat has even cheaper housing than Melbourne and the locals are really friendly….
    It has a lovely climate, none of that horrid humidity of sydney….
    and I spent decades right where you are in the middle as they sashayed in and out of a shitty destructive relationship. In truth it only ended when my father died.
    I hope that today is more settled.
    jodie recently posted..Im going to miss Cecilia

  • ah yes..xmas brings out the best in people………NOT.
    It is such a stressful time for many of us and it hits hard.
    Good on you for doing your block and walking off….sometimes it all needs to be brought out and dealt with.
    Im glad the boys behaved for you afterwards…..
    massive hugs
    Pixie recently posted..Xmas 2010

  • Di

    Every family has some skeletons somewhere in the closet, that come out and rattle themselves in your face at some time. You are not alone there, even if you feel isolated and alone in dealing with your particular family skeletons at the moment.
    All that anyone of us can do, is to help where we can, and to accept where we cannot help, leaving others to deal with their own shit, even if we don’t like the way they’re going about it.
    Hang in there.
    Di recently posted..Things Im filling my time with

  • If I didn’t know better, we are from the same parent! After 10 yrs of estrangement from my mother (long story, but I had to sever contact for my own mental health!), I wrote her a letter only 2 months ago requesting she stop sending me letters filled with vitriol and slander against members of my family (all her perceived hurts, still being carried even after some of those people are dead and she has been divorced for over 20 years). It’s hard. I really feel for you, because some things will never change, as you say. Only *we* can change, or otherwise decide, what we will no longer put up with.
    Kirrily recently posted..The new Mothers Anthem