Thin line

I dumped my brain on here the last few days. I haven’t done that in a while, I try not to. It makes people feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel weird.

I want people to understand that the little things each day shit me just like the next person but I also want none of us to forget that while we bitch about picking the slow queue again in the post office or the idiot driver who pulls left to turn right (what the FUCK is wrong with people) there are so many bigger fish to fry.

Sure, I spend a large portion of my day trying to ignore the worries and stresses I have about Oscar.

Sure I, as a mother, spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about my boys, particularly Felix as he hits high school and enters a decade of becoming a man all while negotiating puberty, school work, who he wants to be, believing in himself, becoming more responsible, comprehending consequences on a far grander scale that what happens if you flog your brother again, having fun.

I didn’t really have fun as a teenager, my life was a pretty intense one with mum working her arse off and dad being absent but expectant all at the same time. When it all went pear shaped one of my aunts told me I had to grow up now, be responsible for mum, to be sensible and to help. Having fun and being a ‘typical teenager’ doesn’t really come into action when someone says that to you when you’re 11. I was the good Christian Girl going to not one but THREE youth fellowships (really covering all bases) and while it truly did get me through a lot of my teenage rage the pay off was guilt. I look back and think much of my adolescence was spent holding my breath. For the next bad thing to happen, for not being good enough, for letting people down.

Where do these emotions come from? I think they largely come from self, I can see it in Felix, but they are then compounded by external factors.

Fast forward a few years.

Fast forward to now.

I just can’t shake this feeling that I have done it all wrong. I mean, who the hell at almost 40 lives with their mother? Who at almost 40 has to ask for a hand-out from their in-laws to pay for car repairs? Who at almost 40 reduces three of their children’s bank accounts to zero to pay for car registration?


I’m doing it all wrong.


Where did I imagine my life to be at this stage?

Well, not living rent-free with my mother for one.

Not living pay-packet to pay-packet for another.

Not having to accept charity from friends.


Someone said to me the other day that accepting charity from others, help from people is about being humble and that having humility is the hardest virtue to learn.


In the last two weeks people have:

– looked after and cared for my children unconditionally

– picked up my kids from school and pre-school and looked after them for me without question

– texted me to say they’re having my kid over for a play, no discussion entered into (so so good)

– dropped off food parcels for my family including homemade dessert

– dropped off food parcels for me, to me, in the hospital

– brought me chai lattes at the hospital and hung out to talk shit and make me laugh

– taken my kids to and from footy practice

– dropped off a toiletries and cleaning products care package – anonymously. With one of those double Cadbury Family chocolate blocks in it. That I’ve hidden. And won’t be sharing. Maybe.

– sent us a crate of Gourmet Dinner Service meals that I keep looking at and bursting into spontaneous tears over. Because re-entry into family life after 12 days at hospital is just as hard, in some respects, as 12 days in hospital.

– sent me texts and tweets and Facebook shout-outs telling me you’re thinking of us, willing us a swift trip home


I have been humbled by all of it. Blown Away. Driven to tears at people’s love for us, for me. Bolstered by people’s generosity of heart and spirit.

I know we are blessed, that I am blessed to have a world so full of love and friendship. Plenty have pointed out to me they wish they had family and friends to help them out in times of need (subtext I am so lucky) and they need not fear me not realising, appreciating and being infinitely grateful to have so many holding on tight to the safety net under me, ready to catch me as I fall.

I know everyone has wanted to do this because I know when I see a friend struggling I want to do something, anything to ease their burden just a little.  Sometimes it’s words, sometimes something I’ve made, sometimes my hilarious company. (Remember when I was funny?)


So why is it sitting so uncomfortably with me?

Somehow all this makes me feel like I’ve failed.

Having to accept help is about having failed, of not being able to manage, of not coping.

I feel I’ve let everyone down.

That I have done it all wrong.

There are so SO many should haves swirling around in my head.


We have some family friends who are the most beautiful people in the world, but bad things happen to them all the time – a child off the rails, poor health, financial stress. There is always a feeling of unfairness when they are talked about, that they don’t deserve all this, why does it happen to them?

I do NOT want to be that family people talk about.

And yet I totally know we are.

I DO NOT want to be the sympathy card. The “Poor Kim”.

SO I just want you all to know I won’t let you down.

I will try harder.

You will not have to keep picking me up  or carrying me.

I will not let you down.

I will not fail.





You know those people that can only do a poo in their own toilet? Well the Shit Fairy has clearly found her home at our place…

I really REALLY hate it when my blog starts reading like one of those blogs. You know the ones, where it’s all doom and gloom and bitching and woe and wailing and gnashing of teeth. The ones you stop reading because you reach saturation point. It’s too depressing, too relentless, too incredulous that life could be that hard for one person and their family so often or so regularly.


Let me share with you a scene from our house this morning:

Yes, that would be a shitload* of ambulance officers down our side path at about 8.40 this morning. If you look closely, you can see the ambo in the front of the picture is kneeling tending to someone on the ground.

That would be my mother. You know my Mum, she of two hip replacements, one of which her body is rejecting. She of increasingly severe arthritis. She of the CHRONIC.BAD.BACK.

I mentioned yesterday that it was still raining here, which is coming up to about almost three weeks of really really wet weather. Mum slipped over on one of the ramps we built for Oscar’s wheelchair when she was taking her last little bit of rubbish out to the bins before the garbo came.

 As she lay on the freezing, wet pathway shaking violently from shock we had one of those weird role reversals where you become like the parent reassuring the frightened and in pain child. Our neighbour, Felix and I held umbrellas over her, tried to shove some towels under her to get her off the cold wet ground and covered her in a blanket. A rapid response vehicle came first, quickly followed by not one but two, TWO ambulances.

I mean seriously, if it hadn’t been quite obvious Grandmama was in a great deal of pain and being taken away these scenes basically make up my toddlers’ idea of BEST THING EVAH.
Several hours later, some xrays, diazepan, paracetamol and ibuprofen later we’re home. Nothing is broken. She is in a great deal of pain. 
I must confess I did have a bit of a sob on the shoulder of our neighbour after the ambulance left this morning and another near cry when my Dad and stepmother rang for a chat and I was sitting in the emergency department waiting room. 
I mean, far fucking out. Enough already. 
But as Mum said, well, the only thing for it now is to get better. 
Onward. Albeit wearily. 
* technical term for more than one ambulance officer.

So you see

there was this woman, who was kinda crazy, and pregnant, and stressed off her nut, eating badly, sleeping worse, crying all the time and so on and so forth.
then the youngest kid got sick and so did she, but thankfully it didn’t last long.
but the side-effects of the new drugs she was taking for her crazy did.
making her feel rolling waves of nauseousness and a heightened feeling of tension and anxiety.
which is great for someone already feeling on the edge, to feel more tense.
but she kept going.
because, you know, three kids, a husband, a job, multiple deadlines, an impressive tendency to martyrdom and a healthy obsessive compulsive demeanor do that.
and then, with a drug dosage variation things improve on that front, very very slightly.
but you have numerous colleagues off work.
and then your youngest kid decides to projectile vomit.
in the car.
about two blocks from home.
at 7.45 at night.
and continues to do so – or try to do so, with just the dry-wretching wracking his poor little frame until 1am.
then at 1.30 he wants a drink.
and keeps it down.
then he wants a slice of toast.
with vegemite.
at 4.30am.
and keeps that down.
and while you’re really pleased, and that it means you don’t need to go to the hospital, it still takes about another 12 hours for him to do a wee.
and you think maybe you should have taken him to the hospital.
and you have to work from home.
with three children.
and a mother.
and it is the big deadline day for the major project you work on.
and you’ve had 3.5 hours of broken pieced-together sleep.
and you just kinda feel really really really fragile.
and you end up sitting here, typing something to show everyone you still care, eating boysenberries out of a can.