Down

for those that are waiting for the rest of our holiday … I’m sorry, I just can’t manage much of anything at the moment.

I came home and felt unwell pretty quickly. I had a fever and just felt exhausted. I started sleeping (well after experiencing real restorative sleep while on sleeping medication I use the term very loosely) 14-16 hours a day. Then I stopped going out. Then I stopped getting dressed. Now I can’t manage more than lying in bed staring at the ceiling. I am still seeing my psychologist (and she is getting me some referrals to a psychiatrist to review my medication and for someone to give me a proper explanation as to why I can’t use the sleeping medication longer term) but she goes on maternity leave next month. I haven’t stopped taking any medication.

I did go on a three day carb and sugar binge in the hopes the sugar would perk me up. Didn’t work (but I think I knew it wouldn’t).

That’s all I can manage now.

project:girl

 

The Holiday: Part 1

We are back…have been home since Saturday at lunchtime. Despite all my fears I actually had a great time. The house was still standing when we got home, tiger flights all went super smoothly, money was tight – but not too tight, I was mostly better by the time we left and I slept a little most nights.

We headed off to the airport on Tuesday and by 6pm (our flight got in early) we were in a taxi and on our way to our hotel. It wasn’t some fantastic five star establishment, but it was in our budget, slept six people and wasn’t a backpackers. There was a woolworths up the street allowing us to eat very cheaply (the kids ate noodles, cereal & sandwiches and ate lots of microwaved vege & tins of salmon). To be honest it was the highlight of my whole holiday. I know we homeschool and have our kids with us 24/7, but having us all in the one room (not off in our separate corners as we often are at home) and all to myself (rather than having to share them with sports, friends, playdates & excursions) was just so lovely. One of the twins ended up sharing my bed (I had a melt down prior to leaving and spilled my guts to hubby who made sure he slept elsewhere the whole trip) in Sydney and listening to them snore lightly next to me was just so precious. The girls have always had their own beds (we never co-slept, even when they were babies) but I can definitely see the appeal of co-sleeping now.

The weather was PERFECT! It was sunny and 22 degrees when we headed to circular quay on Wednesday. We walked from Potts Point (where our hotel was) through the domain and met my Nan & Uncle before jumping on a ferry over to Taronga. Our Sydney trip was made much more affordable thanks to the presents my nan got the girls for xmas –  Zoos Victoria & Museums Victoria memberships. This ended up giving us free entry into Taronga and all the Sydney museums. The girls had a great day and it was so lovely to spend the day with my Nana and my Uncle and have them meet the twins as bigger people (my nan last saw them when they were two & my Uncle had never met them). They did seem more interested in wanting to have photos taken with every animal statue at the zoo (this continued everywhere we went all holiday) than the animals, but at least they had fun right?

We ended up spending about seven hours at the zoo and after not sleeping the night before I was looking forward to getting into bed. We walked back to the hotel again and I got to remember just how hilly Sydney is (Melbourne is crazy flat in comparison).

Day two saw us taking things a bit slower. We were barely out of the hotel by 11am. We walked to Kings Cross station to catch a train into the city (Being that my Sydney personality had come back I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to walk). Walking along I got the opportunity to explain to my daughters what strippers were thanks to every second store being a strip club…that was awesome (note the sarcasm). We got off at town hall and walked over the Pyrmont Bridge to our first stop of the day – The National Maritime Museum. The girls didn’t seem too fussed on this one, but I found it fascinating. We opted not to worry about paying extra to see the big boats as we had already visited the Endeavour when it came to Melbourne and we had just been to HMAS Castlemaine – which was a WWII navy ship similar to the one they had. They may have liked the submarine but we decided to spend our money somewhere better that night. After about an hour the girls were well and truly over that place so we walked down to the Powerhouse museum. This was one of my favourite places to come as a girl. I spent a lot of time there dragging either my poor nan along or being dragged along from one exhibit to another by my dad (my dad is really into science). We headed straight to the playground as the two elder girls had been talking non-stop about it since we visited during the Harry Potter Exhibit. It was also the right time for a lunch break.

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking around the powerhouse and I think we all ended up most getting into the Eco exhibit. As we had been putting a lot of the practices into place lately (trying to recycle more, moving away from disposable drink bottles and using a food host/buying local in season produce) it was great for the girls to be able to see just what impact that has on the environment. They also had a mini exhibit there of photographs of items in the powerhouse taken by a very old large format camera – which of course totally tickled my fancy. After another play on the playground we headed off to catch a tram (sorry “lightrail”) to the casino for our super special treat Adrian Zumbos Desert Train.

We happened to arrive during “happy hour” too which meant all the pink & white plates were $4. I decided to eat as close to normal while on holiday as I was only just recovering from being sick so I stuck to watching the girls deliberate and eat choosing instead one small peach iced tea zumbaroon afterwards.

Day three saw us pack our bags & check out of the hotel and start walking towards the Australian Museum. Another favourite place of mine when I was little (I have always been a total history & science nerd my kids are the same). IIt was this time Sydney choose to change the weather up providing us with a massive windstorm. Our suitcases where not wheeled behind us – instead they sort of floated the wind was that strong. As we were just leaving kings cross a lovely trans “lady of the night” wearing the most awesome silver sequinned dress and red fishnet stockings stopped us to ask if the kids where all ours. She proceeded to tell us how we looked like the brady bunch then high fived hubby while calling him a rabbit. It was awesome (take note there is no sarcasm this time)

It was then I realised how much I had really missed Sydney. My gran did almost all her costume jewellery shopping in drag shops. I saw my first drag show we I was just 5. I grew up with gay uncles. I spent a lot of time hanging out with my grandmas friends who mostly lived in kings cross and I loved it there. It’s just a bit more “colourful” than my life in the Melbourne suburbs. But I digress…

My Nan & Uncle again came in to meet us at the Museum. Just as well as it turns out I totally forgot to get a photo of them with the kids. We had a nice look around and the kids seemed more into this place than any other we visited in Sydney. We were about half way through the mineral exhibit when a little boy walked past me crying. He would have been about three. I could just tell he was lost…he looked petrified. I asked him if he was lost, he nodded then started screaming and facing the wall. I tried to get a name, but at that point it wasn’t going to happen. I scooped him up to head down towards the museums counter but he promptly kicked me (fair enough). So instead I sent hubby off to find a staff member. I sat with him until the staff came but as he still wouldn’t give his name they just sent his description around. Two minutes later his dad came along and as he threw himself into his dads arms he sobbed “I thought you left me all alone”. Poor little guy. The museum staff seemed to think we had done something extraordinary…which just makes me wonder how many other people ignore kids who seem lost? I would damn well hope someone would do it for my girls and I didn’t see the big deal. Once he went off with his dad we kept going on our merry way.

Apart from Miss 12s freak out in regards to the dinosaur room (she is petrified of dinosaurs, especially anamatronic ones) – which I skipped with her the day was over pretty quickly. At 1pm we walked across the park and jumped on a train to the airport.

It was time to say goodbye to Sydney. Our plane took off on time (which is impressive given the issues all the planes were having with the wind) but it was certainly a bumpy take off. Just sitting on the tarmac (while still attached to the areobridge) the plane was rocking furiously. Taking off was like a roller coaster, we dipped from side to side and had that falling feeling a lot in the first few minutes, but soon we were above the weather and we touched down on the Gold Coast (early again – Go Tiger!) and were on a bus pretty quickly. The 702 bus (a regular pt service…not a specific shuttle bus) took us to the corner where our hotel was.

The only major panic I had during the whole trip was now as we looked at a very locked up reception and the sign that pointed out reception closes at 4:30pm. I was almost crying at this point as no where on the website or the booking form mentioned it. He called the number I had which rang out. We had rang the bell which said after hours but no answer. Then a few minutes later someone came through the intercom and asked for our names. We were told the code to the gate and the mini safe behind which had our keys ready and waiting for us to check in after hours. We went straight up to our apartment (which was GORGEOUS) and got the girls settled in, bought some fish & chips for dinner and then had an early night.

and here ends part 1 – stay tuned for poolside relaxing, beach side fun & roller coasters galore.

project:girl

stressed

I am suppose to be looking forward to my holiday (two more sleeps…but more likely 1 as it;s 3:30am and I am still awake) but the reality is I am just not. I am ridiculously stressed and I need to brain dump in order to hopefully get some sleep. Why am I stressed about a holiday? Read on.

  1. I have been sick. Not the usual run down-ness that I always seem to have, but incredibly unwell. I have problems with my digestion so it goes in waves…I get really backed up…then everything comes out both ends. Aren’t you glad I shared? So I got so backed up I was throwing anything I ate back up. Then everything came out. Then I got a migraine. Then another. I started getting feeling back in my left hand on day 3 (I get stroke symptoms during my migraines…including loss of feeling down one side of my body) only to have yet another one on day 4. I realised on all the days I had a migraine I had also had cheese. I forgot about that link and today had some of the vege bake I made the kids (with cheese sauce) and got hit with the beginnings of another one. I have had the flu. I have had aching joints. I haven’t been able to be away from my bed and my bathroom for almost three weeks. The thought of not being better by tomorrow makes me even more stressed, which has made me spend half of today throwing up. Awesome. As I have been so sick I haven’t been able to exercise at all.
  2. My sleeping medication runs out the day I leave and my doctor has decided that’s all I can have. I don’t have time to see another doctor. So I am looking at an entire holiday where I am unlikely to sleep. Especially as I don’t sleep well anywhere other than my bed, with my sheets, and my pillows. Ad in strange noises and the fact that in Sydney we are all in the one hotel room (on the gold coast we have an apartment) and I know I am not going to sleep. Me knowing I am not going to sleep is going to stress me out…so there will be no chance of sleep.
  3. We booked with Tiger. I know we shouldn’t have but the $10 flights were too hard to resist. Now I am convinced our flights will be cancelled and we will be stranded somewhere. I flew tiger years ago with no issues (before they were grounded) but now I wish we had paid the extra and gone with someone else. Of course had we done that we wouldn’t have been able to afford to go at all.
  4. My family. Grrrr. I have a large extended family in Sydney who haven’t seen the twins since they were two (they are now eight). They have been asking forever for us to visit. We are now coming and suddenly they are all busy. I have also been lectured in the past for my spontaneous trips and for not giving them enough notice. This time I let them know we would be coming back in Feb. Then we let them know when we booked the tickets. Followed up 3 weeks ago, then two weeks ago, then one week ago and again today. They still don’t know what they are doing. Had I known this I would have just gone straight to the Gold Coast.
  5. The thought of being touched by my husband makes me feel ill. It has for a few months now. At home he sleeps on the lounge. In a hotel in Sydney we are going to have to share a bed. To say this is freaking me out is an understatement. I am making myself sick over it. Seeing as how we are barely speaking I can’t even find the words to vocalise that.
  6. Two weeks without therapy. I clearly have a lot of work to do with my psych and this holiday is interfering with that as I am just getting started with her. Then I only have four weeks before she goes on maternity leave.
  7. Loud Noise. People. Commitments. The kids are looking forward to theme parks and zoos and I can’t just postpone it if I don’t feel up to it. I can’t let them down when they are so looking forward to it all. The thought that I might let them down is stressing me completely.
  8. Public Transport. I know the pt system in Melbourne. I know the pt system in Sydney. But on the Gold Coast I have no freakin idea. I have printed out bus timetables and maps and will have the internet on my phone…but the whole thing stresses me out. There is nothing I hate more than getting on a bus and not knowing exactly what stop is mine. Thankfully our hotel is 400m from a shopping centre and the bus stop is at the shopping centre. But still it is one more thing to freak me out.
  9. The house. I am completely stressed our house will burn down or be robbed while we are gone. We have only been robbed once but that time they backed a truck up to our house and took everything (including furniture and my make up case). More than anything I am worried about loosing our books. We have spent the last few years building our library from a handful of picture books to over 600 books ranging from classic novels, shakespeare and poetry to kids novels to encyclopedias and reference books (mainly on history and science as that is what the kids – and me – are into). Not to mention the thousands of dollars worth of homeschool curriculum on our shelves. I know these things are unlikely to be stolen…but if our house burns down we will loose them all. I am more stressed about the books than things like photos (my work as a photographer means I always kept a set of hard drives “offsite” and still do to this day).
  10. Money. We don’t have a credit card. We don’t have any savings. We have a small amount put away for this holiday. But if anything goes wrong I am not sure what we should do. But if we had waited til we had more money we would never go. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.
  11. My mum. She lives just five hours south of the gold coast. If she decides to call me and realises I am there she will invite herself along. She is the person that most stresses me out in the entire world. She hasn’t called me in at least 5 months so hopefully I am safe. But if my brother doesn’t keep his mouth shut then she will show up and no doubt ruin our holiday. She also apparently has a new number which I don’t have so no way of effectively screening her. Then even if we do avoid her I won’t hear the end of it for years.

As you can see travelling when you have anxiety issues is just massively fun. Wish me luck and we will be back in a few weeks.

project:girl

scared, trapped & feeling awfully small

The good news to the fact that I am spirally down again is the fact that I have a new psychologist to help me deal with it. The bad news it will be 3 weeks til I can see her again because of the holiday.

total spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the movie…

Today I watched “the Duchess” (Keira Knightly) and was left feeling more depressed than ever. Toward the end I think I started to have a panic attack as it felt completely overwhelmingly oppressing. The movie is about a young girl who becomes a dutchess. Her husband has no interest in her beyond her baring him a son. Along the way he takes a mistress (who had happened to be her best friend). When she tries to leave he gives her no access to her children. Eventually giving up a man who actually loves her to be with her children. She then finds out she is pregnant by the other man. Forced into the same situation again…give up her baby so she can continue to stay with her children. All while he former best friend remained living essentially as a second wife. In the end she goes back into society knowing she has no escape at all.

It is rare I have such a strong reaction to a movie like that. Of course as a feminist I get frustrated that women were (and in some countries are) treated that way. But I think it had an effect on me because of how things currently are. My husband and I never got to counselling (he swore black and blue he would if I took him back this time). He has also stopped sleeping in my bed again. We barely talk at all. We don’t spend any time in the same room.

I watched my mother go from one abusive relationship after another. Always telling me she couldn’t leave as she would be alone and this is the best she can get. I always swore I would never “stay for the kids” or allow myself to stay with someone out of fear. But here I am.

I am too scared to leave having been told numerous times I would not be able to manage the kids on my own and I am not leaving without the kids. I can’t even say the words “l love you” in print. I couldn’t write it on his birthday card (I haven’t been able to say them to him in months). My skin crawls at the thought of him touching me. But it’s not like he ever does. We haven’t had sex in two months … I was so excited at the time (spontaneous shower sex …. at a time we were barely speaking) think maybe things changed. But when it was over he left the room and didn’t come back to bed. It had been months before that too. There is no longer hugging. No holding hands. I find his endless prattle obnoxious.

At a time when I have been so level headed and sleeping well and so happy….I just ignored it all and that movie left me sobbing hysterically as I felt the walls crushing in on me.

I’m scared to be alone. I am scared that my girls will grown up thinking if you get a man you have to stay with them even if they make you feel this way. I worry about how many years it will be before the kids all leave. Then what? alone in a house with someone who has little to no regard for me and someone I am starting to hate?

today I am scared. I feel small. I feel cornered. I dread the fact that I will be spending 12 days on holiday with him.Our sydney room we will have no choice but to share a bed. I am fearing that more than anything at the moment.

today I feel the opposite of perfect. Today I had to get it out or I might cry myself to sleep. Today you get far from perfect me.

project:girl