No time to scratch.


I  learnt that a friend lined up for quite some time in her bank, and became exasperated. “Finally!” she thought, when she got to the teller. Only, it wasn’t her bank. I decided she and I must be separated at birth. That is something I would do (have done). I want to let you into my world. A world filled with flitting around like a disoriented moth, a world of silliness and walking into glass doors.

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A lady I know invited me over to her place a few months ago. She divulged that she was worried about her job security and was wondering what I thought of an idea she had. She was thinking of importing a certain type of 19 inch doll. Now, when she said 19 inch, she did so with her index fingers raised, as though she were captioning this important measurement. I thought to myself, ‘its not my cup of tea, but I will encourage her.’ I thought about a lady on my street who owns an online store, selling all kinds of racy things. When I went to her house and looked on her computer, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I suggested this woman get in touch with my entrepreneurial neighbour, and then went into a spiel about what she sold. The woman’s eyes widened in horror, and she exclaimed, “I was talking about a child’s toy, that you might find at Toys ‘R Us!” Awkward silence ensued. That’s me. I get carried away. Full of good intentions.

The past fortnight, I have been racing around, flitting from project to project, without time to scratch myself, literally. My beautiful friend Cherie is a beautician, and owns her own holistic salon, The Yewen Clinic. She is graceful and all things ladylike.

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She came to pick up my daughter and I for singing practice, and once we had parked, she looked intently at my blonde hair. “Bugs are attracted to you,” she smiled, as she grabbed a black item from my head. We went inside, and as the girls were singing, she grabbed another bug, then another. Intrigued, she checked my scalp. Yes, I had head lice. “Werent you itchy?” she asked. “I haven’t had time to scratch myself!” I replied mortified. It was true. I literally haven’t had time to scratch myself. I was so glad it was my beautiful friend who uncovered my nits. Being into all things metaphysical, she looked up why I might have contracted them. People getting under my skin, too many commitments. Spot on! $50 and a thorough wash of all linen and towels, the nits have left the building. I literally had to be sent a plague. These are but two examples of awkward encounters and happenings in my world. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

White Ribbon Day, 2014.


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Today is White Ribbon Day. I was planning on going to a function today, but instead I am in bed, in agony. I took my daughter to a Katy Perry concert last night, and the only tickets I could get were in General Admission. I stood for several hours, yet it was necessary. This lady leant my daughter the encouragement to find her voice, not only as a singer but as a little girl. I had to take her. There was no option.I am not in agony because of the concert. I am in agony because I was thrown off a building at fifteen. I have known violence. I have a scar running the length of my left index finger. I have never had (nor will I), a knife block in my kitchen. These were weapons, not cooking implements. As a matter of fact,  I have no sharp knives.

Katy Perry's Prism Tour
Katy Perry’s Prism Tour

Today I raise a toast to all the beautiful girls and women I have known. Here’s to those who rapped on my door, children in tow. Here’s to those who bravely let me photograph their bruises and cuts. Here’s to those who released  the contents of the fetid garbage they were trying to contain behind closed doors. Here’s to those too ashamed to let anyone know what was going on. I understand. Here’s to those who did. I think of those who tried to defend their abuser, as the truth at that time was too horrible to bear. I commend you on facing the agonizing truth; that he wouldn’t change and you had to leave. I am honoured to have my story told in White Ribbon Writing 2014, under the title, A Scarred Butterfly. This e-book is available from Amazon and all proceeds go to the White Ribbon Foundation. I am so proud of the White Ribbon Foundation. Their sponsors, Suzanne Grae, dressed me for my book launch, an ambassador spoke with heartfelt passion in front of the guests, and more people are taking the pledge to stamp out violence against women each day. There is no more hiding. No more excuses. It has to stop, and we are the one’s to do it.

White Ribbon Writing, 2014
White Ribbon Writing, 2014

 

 

One Lovely Blog Award.


One Lovely Blog Award
One Lovely Blog Award

Chasing my Halo has gifted me the honour of a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award. Thankyou so much, my beautiful friend! The Rules:  -Display the award logo at the top of your post. -You must thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog in your post. – You must add these set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do. -You must add 7 facts about yourself into the post. -You must nominate 7 other blogs and leave links to each of them in your post. -You must let the people you have nominated know that they have been nominated. Seven Fun Facts About Me! 1. I am a vegetarian. I decided not to eat meat as a toddler, and nobody could dissuade me! 2. I love birds and guinea pigs. 3. I love Ripley’s Odditoreum and find it moving. I visit whenever I am on the Gold Coast. 4. I can’t stand mean people and want to (gently) whack them with a fairy wand. 5. I believe in fairies and magic and kindness. 6. I am an insomniac, who reads most of the night. 7. I have learnt that dreams come true! I dreamed of a book being published, and having a little girl, and both came to life! My Nominees. This was incredibly hard, as I admire all the blogs I follow, and wanted to include them all! Anastasia Amour  Her blog is centred around empowering women, and encouraging us to re-evaluate what we believe. She is a dear friend. Cauldrons and Cupcakes Her blog is sublime. Touched by fairies, and beautifully photographed and written. Princess Burlap Her writing is honest and raw. She is a talented writer. (A Day in the Life) UN GIORNO NELLA VITA She can lift my spirits with her posts and quotes. Beautifully presented. A Day in the Life A cornucopia of beauty, with an array of topics. My Midlife Mayhem Funny and accurate! Healing Grief Profound on so many levels. This lady is wise, and lucky us, she shares her wisdom and encouragement! Love to you all. I hope to pass on more love to all the blogs soon!

Letting my daughter work towards her destiny.


IMG_3526 Children are such a wonderful  mixture of curiosity, bravado and determination. If they want to do something,  they will find a way. That is, until someone tells them  that they don’t have a strong enough voice, for instance. When my daughter was three years old, she wanted to sing Over the Rainbow on stage at a talent quest. She dressed as Dorothy, and listened respectfully as older children performed before her. “Are you sure you want to do this sweetheart?” I asked. She nodded “yes!” I was worried that she would burst into tears up there, that she would be afraid. Shame on me. She didn’t remember all the words, but she hid her discomfort by twirling around. She was a hit. From that moment on, she wanted to become a performer. This Christmas, she will be singing with a group of her friends in front of 10,000 people at our local carols. She was sure could she sing in front of people, at three years of age, and she was right!

Three years old, singing Over the Rainbow
Three years old, singing Over the Rainbow
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Acrobatics.

She also loves gymnastics and acrobatics. My stomach used to twist into knots when she was younger, and I would see her ascend to the top of climbing frames, and show off by releasing her hands. I was sometimes lectured by passers-by on the importance of keeping her on the ground, of keeping her safe. “She and I know her capabilities,” I would reply. “She is safer up there, secure in herself.” It was true, she was. IMG_3485 IMG_3482 As I watch her climb to the top of trees, I have the usual motherly reactions, such as the fear of her falling. I fell, and it hurt! My child isn’t going to fall, there is nobody behind her ready to push. She’s got this. I have to be calm and watch, ready to applaud her efforts. This world has already run some commentary around my daughter, as it does every child. Commentary as to what they are capable of, what they should fear, the dangers and pain that await. She shall never get it from me. IMG_3527 Perhaps she will be an artist/rigger/acrobatic performer? I love watching her evolve into who she is destined to be. She is gathering all the corners, and making herself a parachute of dreams and hopes. She will not fall. IMG_3465

PTSD in the Police Force.


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I have just watched a story on PTSD regarding the police force on Sunday Night
I thought about every police officer who came into my life as a child. The ones who took weapons off my brother and escorted him to psychiatric hospitals, who entered the family home to encounter blood, shattered glass and screaming. The ones who took me in their arms, and comforted me. The ones who tried to make it all better. They attended our home over fifty times. I think of the Sergeant who found me the night I was pushed. I was broken, in and out of consciousness and spitting up blood. He knelt beside me, stroking my hair. As the paramedics assembled the spinal board, he wept. I tried to comfort him, this beautiful bear of a man. He stayed by my side in emergency. My parents weren’t there, this angel was. He tried everything in his power to get the monster immediately charged in a bedside hearing. What has become of all these men and women who stepped into such violent and horrific scenes, not only in my life, but so many others? I think of them often, pray for them, and hope that they are still intact, in spite of it all.

I have PTSD, and when it is active, it is a living hell. Months can pass and all will be well, but then a newspaper article, song or harmless comment will open the gates. The sooner you get proper help, the better your outcome. I wasn’t allowed to talk about what went on in the year I was away from home. I was told to “forget about it.” The worst advice you can ever receive. You shut down, and try to drown out the memories in any way possible. This entices the memories to fight for breath, becoming more determined. These officers need immediate assistance, not to be stalled by red tape. Insurance companies dealing with their claims need a complete overhaul. Financial help needs to be offered immediately. It is long overdue. It is time. To be demeaned, and have your distress questioned is obscene. These officers see more during a shift than most people would in their lifetime. Give them what they are due, and do it now.

Grandparents Day.


Grandparents Day.
Grandparents Day.

Each year at school, we have gone through a ritual called Grandparents Day. I remember when my little girl was in kindergarten, my heart sank when I retrieved the handwritten invitation from her schoolbag. It was assumed that all the kids had grandparents, active in their lives. Last year, there was a huge sign in the doorway to the classroom. This year, an invite was again sent home, and it was made clear that it was for grandparents only. I know many children whose grandparents have passed away, live overseas, are unwell, or are not in their grandchildren’s lives by way of necessary estrangement. Every year my child asks questions and as the day approaches, the pain escalates. They learn songs and dances to perform for the visitors. Each year, we run away with a group of kids and parents who want to shield their sons and daughters from the pain of exclusion. I wish it was termed Family and Friends day, but it’s not, and the thought of my child alone at her desk, watching grandparents fawn over their grandkids is intolerable. This year we went to a beautiful spot, a short ferry ride from Circular Quay.

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Munchkin travelled in with her preschool friend, and they argued  as to why they weren’t like brother and sister as the mother’s laughed. Both stubborn, feisty, full of energy with a love of daring feats and water. Begrudgingly they were heard to admit that they liked each other’s company. We watched them play at the Bath’s whilst we ate hot chips sprinkled with paprika. More mums and kids joined us, and we were all glad to have an alternative to the festivities at school. Some things you can’t shield your child from, no matter how much you want to. Occasions like this, you can.

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We devoured white mulberries, shaken out of my friend’s tree that morning, and finished with gelato. The kids took turns playing games on the ferry on the way home. I have been shut out of a school formal, and celebrations marking milestones. I know the sting of exclusion. I have learnt to look for alternatives when that feeling comes.

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White Mulberries.

These children felt a part of a community, as did the mothers. I love the saying, ‘Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.’ We did just that.

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Fishers Ghost Parade.


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We have a remarkable teacher at school, Lucette. She is five foot nothing, and never sleeps. I gasped when I first entered her classroom. A cornucopia of wondrous delights. Art filling every crevice, wall and space on the ceiling. It was beautiful. Each year, she asks for participants for  the Fishers Ghost Parade. Last year, I went as a Scottish wench, and my daughter as a Highland dancer.

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You are required to go for fittings, the classroom now teaming with clothing racks filled with the most remarkable costumes. It is great fun, and you get to know other families getting into the spirit of the cultural event. She seeks out kids with a bit of spunk, and she seeks out kids who may be normally overlooked. I love her for that. It is always blisteringly hot the day of the parade, and as we stand waiting to take our place in the merciless sun, we try our best not to pass out. As soon as we start our march through the crowds, the discomfort is forgotten.

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We look out at the crowds, whom have been waiting for hours, seated on folding chairs and are touched. I heard that quite a few in the crowd cant afford the rides of the carnival to follow, and have built traditions within their families of taking them to the parade. That moves me. The theme this year was the melding of cultures. Ours was Japan and Scotland. My little girl was the Queen of the Thistles.

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She was so eager to be a part of it again this year, and I love that this event gets everyone so enthused. My friend Karen, looked a vision in her kimono, and as she passed an elderly Japanese lady, she bowed very low as a sign of respect. She was approached later and told how much that had meant. Lucette is throwing a Christmas party for the participants soon, and we look forward to being reunited with everyone. She is a weaver of people, art and pageantry, bringing it all together. What a gift to have!

The story behind my book…


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Lived to Tell is now available as an ebook. How it came to be is extraordinary, as is the story behind it. I sought refuge in writing, from the time I was a child. When I was eleven, I wrote a story about being thrown through the air, a bad man behind the plunge. I would have nightmares about being pushed off ledges and balconies, and resolved that I simply must avoid both. On school excursions, I refused to walk on the footbridge on The Harbor Bridge. The same applied to Darling Harbour. I was cautious to the extreme, and yet I still fell. I was put in harm’s way at fourteen years of age. I had been drugged, and suffered life-threatening complications as a result. By fourteen, I was tired. I had seen too much, and lost a litany of loved ones, both young and old. I reached out for help, and it was not forthcoming. I couldn’t figure out why nobody wanted to help a kid who was willing to save herself. I watched a documentary on hummingbird’s, and was impressed by their spirit. Tiny creatures flitting from one nectar feast to another, too small and flighty to be caught by predators. That is why this blog is called HummingBird Redemption.

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I was badly beaten, and ran away from home. I ran to my best friend’s house. Her parents took me to the authorities, who opened a  file, and assured me the nightmare was close to ending. My parents saw a lawyer, and he suggested handing me over to a private clinic. They would be my guardians and thus they could demand the file be closed. Perfect solution! I was admitted to this $500 a day facility, the youngest in there. I wondered what the heck I was there for. When you put a child into a place with hundreds of adults, disaster is bound to occur. Inevitable. A drug dealer took a shine to me, though it was not reciprocated. I was degraded, threatened and pinned like a butterfly in a museum. Months passed, and I ran away, and was brought back. I turned fifteen. When all my efforts to survive seemed futile, I tried to take my life with over ninety pills. I was in ICU, teetering on the precipice of life and death. I survived. I did get away from this creature, though it took being thrown off a building. My spine was smashed, though astonishingly, my will was intact. I tell you this from my heart; whatever this world and some of its inhabitants do to you, if you hold onto yourself, and believe in your worth, you will survive too. It helps being stubborn and rebellious. I was thrown out of a strict and odd cult-like Christian School at fourteen, because I questioned whether God did in fact say what they said he did. I refused to believe he did.

The book is named Lived to Tell after this Madonna song. It gave me hope and strength at the time, still does.

 

 

For twenty years, I have lived in the shadows, my name changed. I have had death threats. Menacing people have been on the periphery, letting me know they are still there. Having my book published has made me brave, and helped me reclaim all the parts of my psyche that were blown to the four wind’s. It is my story of how I survived, written as I was enduring it. I am proud of it, and the gifts it has given me are immeasurable. If you read my book, please think of yourself  as being the heroine or hero. You are a survivor too! xxx

Lived to Tell.

 

 

General Thinker


Paddington
Paddington

I took my daughter to Paddington Saturday afternoon. She loves the vibrancy of the bustling city area; art and colour bursting out of shop windows, the pavement and passers-by. When I had deep purple hair, nobody seemed to notice here, as they are soaked in colour; blasé as only those spoilt by rainbows can be.

Sweet Art.
Sweet Art.

We wandered around as I explained to her how I adored Oxford St as a teenager. I came here on a walking frame, in body braces and casts. I would have crawled here to soak in its magic. A man named Remo had a wonderful shop on the corner of Crown and Oxford streets, REMO General Store. How I loved this place! There was a 5 metre long window on Crown St, in which designs such as the iconic Eternity by Martin Sharp were proudly displayed. Remo sold the most extraordinary items; it was the ultimate emporium. I lost myself in the store. I was no longer a patient, in pain, on borrowed time. I was limitless. I told my child all this as we strolled to  Ariel Booksellers for Remo’s General Thinker book launch. Remo has always been ahead of his time. He has been Licensee and Director for TEDx since 2009. The TEDx  mission is to propagate Ideas Worth Spreading: to inform and inspire.

Munchkin couldn't wait to get Remo to sign her book!
Munchkin couldn’t wait to get Remo to sign her book!

Remo was extremely gracious when my daughter approached. She was confident at first, though when it was time to talk, she became tongue-tied. I helped her out, though I was rather overwhelmed myself! You have to read this remarkable and beautifully designed book to appreciate what a pioneer this fellow is, and how he paved the way for every dreamer who aspires to do good in this world.

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To order this amazing book, go to General Thinker.