Sunday, May 5, 2013

Entry from the inside.

My name is Heather and I'm currently an inpatient at an open ward psychiatric clinic.
Yes, your plucky young heroine is currently being treated for PTSD.
My first few days here were terrifing, I lived in a perpetuel cycle of fear, shame and well mostly shame.
How could I have let things get this far? wasn't hospital the last resort for sociopaths like Lisa in Girl Interuppted?
I saw myself as someone who had let anxiety turn me into a sick, frightened animal cowering in the darkness. How could I have become something so dark? so terrified?
I was unable to sleep or eat properly and I found myself fighting the constant urge to flee.
My relationship with my husband had come to an end, he was with another woman and I was  alone.
I was also suffering  the aftermath of something rather bleak and personal that some of my readers already know about.
However, out of respect for my husband I will not mention it.
This had all come to a head after spending years with an abusive brother while pushing aside all my feelings.
Seven days have passed and I believe I'm finally lucid enough to write about the hospital.
It's not entirely terrible but it is a hospital, theres no wifi and we all have to share two computers. I share a room with a russian woman who speaks no english and we share our shower with three other flats.
We have a schedule that we're expected to stick to that involves occupational therapy, regular therapy amoungst others.
Is the therapy working? perhaps.
I feel very raw, fragile and scrubbed clean.
The thing is I don't think I could feel any worse.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The girl with the crooked nose

It was Hank Scorpio who once said that “you cant ignore the little things, it’s the little things that make up life”. It would be nice to think that it’s the overwhelming life events such as marriage, death, children and careers that shape who we are. But, in my case it was something as small as a sibling fight that set my life on a very different path.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saying farewell to a companion, The Angels Take Manhattan

The angels take Manhattan

In which I say goodbye to a companion.

One of the things a true Doctor Who fan girl fears most of all is saying goodbye to a companion. Especially since Russell T Davis had a terrible habit of shunting off or in some  killing off companions in brutal tragic ways. In the past all  New Who! companions who left the doctor were given a second life as a consolation prize.
Rose got a Doctor Clone, Martha in a case of racial profiling married Mickey and Donna forgot several years of her life!
Only Captain Jack with Torchwood, and Sarah Jane with her son were given lives that were “better” then their adventures in the Tardis.

Spoilers beyond the jump sweeties...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Portrait of Joachim, the rugged metrosexual

Those of you who have known me for he past twenty years know that I am above everything else a  creative sort. One of my earliest memories involved drawing princess dresses at preschool, my best friend cried when I made her gown forest green instead of pink.
However all of you have noticed that I only ever draw women. There is a reason for this, and no to answer that girl in year nine i'm not a lesbian.
I just love dresses.
I love lush fabrics, intricate bead work and eye baffling colours.
I love jewels and surreal Lady Gaga hair styles.
Men rarely dress or accessorise like this, I have no points of reference when it comes to drawing crazy colourful outfits apart from David Bowie.
I was however forced to confront my fears when illustrating a character design for the book  I'm writing.
Joachim Murat was a dashing soldier I'm napoleons regiment who would or day become King of Italy. He was well known for designing his own uniforms in shades of pink and daffodil yellow with lavish plumes.

Some may say my fear of drawing men can stem from my fear of confronting gender norms. I didn't particularly want to draw rugged cowboys in shapeless layers of brown. On the other hand I didn't want to sketch Andrej Pejic. Joachim seemed like my perfect muse. Joachim lived during a time where pink was hardcore, men slit throats while wearing feathers and fashion was everything.
So, here he is the first male I have ever attempted to draw seriously.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Luke Kepreotis

Luke Kepreotis died almost three months after I married my husband. Before I met Mike Luke was the first, and most likely only man to ever love the real me.
I added him to this list because more then anything I wanted to thank him for loving a big old mess like me, for loving a girl who was being abused by her brother, for showing patience and kindness.
Of course I loved Luke but as I said in my past post I was also a deeply terrified person.
Luke was more then my boyfriend, he was also one of my best friends.
The first time I noticed him was when he read a poem about an operation he had to remove a series of tumors from his back.
I saw this honest, mature and profound boy sitting in a class where another guy composed a poem about his girlfriends chewing gum.
Needless to say I developed a  huge crush on him.
Our first year together was pure fun, dates at our favorite geeky movies like School of Rock, a first kiss the moment I stepped off our train, a birthday present in the form of a cartoon.
One not so very special day Luke and I went to the Glebe Markets to find his mother a birthday present.
 While he was preoccupied looking for a necklace I saw a tarot reader, a ridicules woman in her forties with a frizzy inch of regrowth who stunk of cigarettes.
Everything she said was vaguely idiotic, according to her by now I should have three blond babies, I should be married to a motor cycle driver an working as a photographer!
Instead I'm an english teacher in germany married to another english teacher and my uterus is pristine and brand new!
But, and this was the big but.
She told me one of my "boyfriends" would die young.
Before then I refused to think about Luke's past, it was just part of him like my stuffed up broken nose or my mothers skin allergies.
Thinking about the scars on his back would force me to think about sickly cells mutating and growing back.
It would force me to face the idea that my very dear friend would die young.

We trundled on, happy but me slightly angry and tense until the summer my grandmother’s cancer came back.
Although my grandmother and I only saw each other a few times a year we were incredibly close. I remember her singing me songs about birds in the garden and pretending her dog Phoebe could talk. As we grew older she taught me how to draw and cook, giving me her recipe for egg nog. That summer was one of the best we ever had. I remember she decided she was going to start swimming and together we went to Putty Beach every morning floating in the waves. We spent summer afternoons at the Avoca Beach Art Gallery and at one point we watched Dracula together, she was horrified and entranced.
After three weeks I discovered my grandmother had a brain tumor.
Suddenly as I lay on her bed with her cat April my thoughts turned to my boyfriend and I realized that although I could see the immediate future I couldn’t see anything else.
There was no wedding, no children, just a stretch of darkness with the hint of his illness returning.
We broke up three months later.
For years I felt a deep sense of guilt whenever I thought of Luke, by throwing away an important friendship out of fear of losing him I'd lost anyway. I'd lost the person who cheered me up by giving me kitten posters, who remembered all my girlfriends names as well as their in-depth personal history. 
After Luke I dated a series of jerks and it was three years before our paths crossed again. I found him via a "people you may know" add on. I was happy to see there was another girl he liked, that he was enjoying his writing and traveling to Japan.
My best friend Lisa assured me that he was still the kind, thoughtful young man I once fell in love with.
By the time I married my husband I knew the psychic was a silly old woman, that Luke was going to live a happy and fulfilling life.
My mother called me two months after my wedding with the news.

Luke was one of those rare, almost "extinct" good guys like my husband, like my male in-laws or my dear friend Arion.
He treated everyone he met with the upmost respect and dignity, from a university professor to a crazy homeless man we once ran into while walking down china town.
Luke also had absolute conviction and faith in his abilities, he never gave up on his dream of one day becoming a fantasy writer and video game composer.
Today I want to thank him for being my friend, for loving me that way even when I saw myself as worthless.
I also want to say how sorry I am that I let me fear break our relationship and ultimately our relationship.
Last night I had a dream I made all these friends at a glass making  work shop. When I realised I was dreaming I grew sad knowing they would die when I awoke. I ran to the ocean which was black as pitch and began to throw myself into the waves. My new friends pulled me from the water and said "you will never loose us, we may look like people but really we are neurons in your brain glowing like fire works, we will never leave you".
Luke is now a million fire works in the minds of every person he has ever encountered.

Luke, you and I both know that death isn't the end.
Good night and good luck.

*This man is designing a video game based on Luke’s life!

Carpe de blog

First of all it's important to establish that I am not dying. There are some unlucky people in this world like my grandmother who are struck suddenly with grim and horrific illness. I am not one of them, rather I am the Kitty Bennet of the world, constantly plagued by colds, flues and allergies but never anything life threatening.
The worst you can say about me is that I have type 2 diabetes and to be fair that happened because I binge ate chocolate while I had glandular fever.

So, why a bucket list blog then? because as the epic and much studied Australian film strictly ballroom said " a life lived in  fear is a life half lived".
Once, a long time ago I was the fearless little girl everyone knew. No, I'm not talking about doing reckless dangerous things like juggling appliances or starting fires.
That isn't fearless, that's just foolishness.
Rather I was the little girl who never let any ones opinion stop me from doing anything.
Of course this drove everyone crazy, by the time I was two my mother had enrolled me in twenty different classes to preserve her sanity.
By the time I was ten my schedule was packed with singing, dancing and acting classes. In the summer I drew pictures and attended exhibits of ancient mummies.
Above everything else I dreamed of being the C S Lewis of my generation.

Then, one day my brother started yelling at me. To be fair we always screamed at each other but when I was fifteen and he hit puberty the words changed.  Shut up became "shut up bitch", " go away" became " I'm going to fucking kill you" the weekly screaming matches became daily until I couldn't remember a time when I wasn't called fat, stupid, or the holy trio of "fat stupid bitch".
But this isn't about those dark days.

Almost anyone can find themselves waking up one morning in a call centre, staring at a screen while a hysterical lunatic screeches about things that never mattered.
You awake with true surprise when a co-worker notices something tiny, you can draw.
Why wouldn't they know that? why would people you spend every day with know nothing about your talents and passions?

You realise that you are terrified.
Terrified of rejection.
Terrified of hate.
Terrified of being that stupid fat bitch you always secretly thought you were.

Which is lets face it idiotic, giving into that sort of attitude allows the nasty people of the world to continue with their unpleasant and some what cruel behaviour.

I suppose this is an attempt to stop being scared little Heather even if I end up coming across as narcissistic and obnoxious.
Do I expect this to become a huge success which will change my life and become a Hollywood film? well that would be nice.
But no.
Rather this is to prove I can be the person I was.