I hate feeling like this. It really kicked in late last night.

I’d taken my children out for the day. Although I didn’t get to do exactly what I’d planned to do when we left in the morning, we still got to see a lot of things and the kids got home exhausted and they even thanked me a number of times for a great day out. I knew I must have done something right, as they rarely thank me without being prompted to do so.

But then the guilt hit and I have felt horrible since.

I don’t want to be the “goodie” who goes against the other parent, I want to be a good wife, a good mum, a good influence and someone that is to be respected.
However I do want to show the kids how I used to have fun as a child, I want them to see that they don’t need all the latest technological devices to enjoy life and have things to talk about amongst their friends.
I may have a number of health issues that stop me from doing everything I want to do a lot of the time, but when I feel ok, I want the kids to realise that I can get out there and have as much fun as they do.

I guess when I came home last night I was on a high from the day’s outings. I’d driven over 300kms and we’d stopped at 4 places throughout the day to sight-see, play, eat, experience and love.

It’s like I should feel disgusted with myself as today I hoped to have a family day out but feared it would turn into the opposite, a day stuck at home where the kids quarrel and argue, tears flow, people get hurts, voices are raised and quite simply, the day turns to shit.

Today was almost one of those days- I guess the best bit about it was that some of the chores got done. The lawns got mowed, some gardening got done, the laundry was washed and dried.

I should be happy, but what upsets me is that the kids fought over silly little things, or they did thoughtless things which hurt their siblings.
I guess I felt that if I had’ve had them out somewhere, then maybe, the hurt would not have happened.
I hate seeing my kids hurt and upset. I don’t want them turning into little brats who get their own way all the time, but I don’t feel there’s a need for children to be upset each day.

Just because I had a fair bit of sadness in my life as a child, it doesn’t mean my own children need to experience it too.

Today I felt empty.
Empty because I feel I don’t make my husband happy anymore.
Empty because I feel my children only acknowledge me and respect me if I’m the only adult around them at the time.
Empty because I think I have lost all my self esteem, all my self worth.

During the recent times when I was pretty much housebound due to my back, I slipped back into having suicidal thoughts again. I haven’t been that way for about 18 years or so. It scared me, it honestly did.
I think it may have even been a reason why it took me so long to start driving again.
Yes, I was worried about if I would have 100% control of the car, but I think it was also because I couldn’t completely trust myself. What if I had’ve driven over the speed limit and then not been careful as I came to a dangerous section of road?
I would not have wanted to put anyone else’s lives at risk, but I didn’t care for myself either.

The thing that stopped me was fear. Fear of not succeeding.

If I had’ve hurt myself and lived to tell the tale, how would I explain myself?
I would have been to scared to admit anything to my husband or other close family and friends. I would have been ashamed.

If I had’ve succeeded, then I would have left those I love the most behind. They would most likely be forever trying to work out why.

I guess I have felt empty because I don’t know how or what to feel.

It truly tears me apart inside but I try to not show it.
I try to be strong and act as though everything is fine.

It’s too hard to explain…..

Fussy? Not me, I’m just selective.

I wouldn’t say I was a fussy eater, I guess I’m just selective.

I think one thing I used to have with almost every meal growing up was tomato sauce.
I’d smother mashed potato in margarine and tomato sauce until it was almost bright red, I still enjoy sliced tomato and tomato sauce sandwiches as well as tomato sauce on tinned tuna, ham or chicken roll sandwiches, I have to have a heap of tomato sauce on meat pies or sausage rolls when I have them.

Toasted cheese, tuna & tomato sauce sandwiches taste lovely.

I don’t see these as quirks though, it’s just what I enjoy.

As a child I hated most vegetables with a passion. I remember enjoying mashed potato, tinned beetroot, tomato, lettuce and tinned corn- the rest I was quite unsure of.
These days however, now that I have matured (I think) and now have a family of my own, I do eat a much larger variety of foods to what I did growing up.

Something that I am quite against eating would have to be oysters, tripe and mushrooms. They’re three foods I have never ever had an inclination to eat, or even try.
I grew up with my grandparents loving tripe and mushrooms and it would often be cooked. While I don’t find the smell nauseating or sickening, their aroma while being cooked is one I won’t forget.


Can we ever have too much?

“Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.” – Edna Ferber

I’m not so sure about that.

I believe that a living thing (person, animal or plant), can never be shown too much love, care or friendship.

A loveless childhood can be very damaging for scores of years after the damage has been done.

Food can be a problem though. The wrong type, too much or too little of it can have a negative effect on a person/thing.
I believe in moderation and common sense.

Things that one can have too much of include hurt, betrayal, pain, medical conditions…
Sometimes getting hurt or sick can teach us a lesson but when it strongly affects our lives in a negative manner, that’s when things aren’t fair.
I wish I had a spell that could eradicate cancer and other detrimental diseases.

I do believe in survival of the fittest and natural selection, but that shouldn’t mean anyone should suffer and be in pain for long periods of time.


Ten minutes of randomness

Writing for exactly ten minutes sounds very easy, doesn’t it?

The thing that one has to think about though, is WHAT to write about. The topic needs to be interesting enough to keep the reader interested, yet not too deep as the writer will get drawn into the moment and end up writing well beyond the ten minute allowed time frame.

I was watching a cooking show tonight on TV with my young daughter and we watched pancakes being made with yoghurt as one of the main ingredients. I’ve never heard of a yoghurt based pikelet before, but it looked very tasty so I am sure that it will be tried and tested as school holidays are just around the corner (which in turn means the kids will all of a sudden be saying “Mum, I’m bored” most of the day/night).

Logging onto Facebook the first thing to pop up in my newsfeed was a quiz that a friend of mine had done. It was about riddles. I thought I’d have a go myself and although there wasn’t a definite result at the end of it, I think I got 100%. I have always enjoyed riddles, both those that have been passed down through generations as well as those found in joke books and told by friends in primary school.

It’s after midnight as I write this and I have the TV on as background noise more than anything. I couldn’t help but look up as I just saw an advertisement for Barbie dolls. What business does Mattel have putting Barbie ads on at this hour? Shouldn’t they be aired at a more child-friendly hour? Something like 4-8pm maybe??

Well, time does fly as the saying goes and this task was for me to write for ten minutes… not a minute more… nor a minute less.
I’m not sure if I’m typing much slower or faster than I usually do, but I have surprised myself…

That was ten minutes…

Common sense? What’s that!?!?!?

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein

I honestly do believe that common sense is very rare these days.

It seems that every other person is now wearing hi-visibility shirts or vests, even some work vehicles are now sporting hi-vis coloured paint jobs.

There are signs warning us about signs that may be ahead.

Even our food has warnings on it. A bag of salted peanuts contains a warning that “This product contains peanuts”- well, I bloody hope so as that’s why I bought it!

I think the world has gone cotton wool crazy. Everyone seems to think that they have to wrap each other up in cotton wool for fear that something may possibly go wrong. No one wants to do, say or offer anyone anything in case it is taken the wrong way or unintentionally hurts someone.

I’m by no means old, but I don’t call myself young either- but I remember being little and going outside and playing.
If I fell over and skinned my knee, no body got sued, I simply got up and brushed myself off and continued to play (or go home to get it fixed up if it really hurt).
I was able to go to a friends house and eat their food, likewise I was able to have friends over at my house and they’d have snacks or meals without any worries.

My favourite lunchbox item was my peanut butter sandwich. I could eat lollies without worrying about how much sugar was in it as I would burn it off as most of my days was spent outside doing some form of exercise (It was called PLAYING!)

Even TV was easier to watch, there were kids shows, family shows and Adults Only shows (or those shows where you had to go to bed when you were told and then sneak into the lounge room and hide behind the lounge to sneakily watch the show your parents wanted to watch after your bedtime).
These days there are shows for general viewing, babies/toddlers shows, shows for primary aged kids, tweens, teens, young adults….. And not to mention all the other codes that let you know about the themes within the program.

Some days I wish things were so much simpler.
Maybe I was born into the wrong generation? Maybe I am simply being unrealistic (I’m sure there’s a warning sign for that somewhere)?

Unfortunately, common sense just isn’t so common anymore… it’s actually a novelty in some places/cases.

Damn you Insomnia!

It’s just after 4am and I still can’t get tired enough to fall asleep.

The laughter of Kookaburras can already be heard even though the sun isn’t expected to come up for about another 2 hours yet.

I have the TV on quietly to help buffer the ringing, the shrilling in my ears that is my constant companion- Tinnitus.
When it is at it’s worst, like now- I am almost too scared to think about sleeping. The thought of laying with my head on the pillow worries me. I hate having to listening to deafening silence. Well, there’s not actually any silence at all,  not even when everything in the house has been turned off.. I doubt I will ever be able to turn off the squealing in my ears.

I know I should try get some sleep as I have a family to look after, but I seem to be wired, unable to get to sleep.
I do not know if it is due to the tinnitus or if it is something else.
I have spoken to my GP about being unable to sleep at night, but so far they don’t seem to be concerned.

I just wish I had answers.

Staying up all night makes me feel like not only a bad Mum but also a bad wife.
It is like I am living a separate life to the rest of my family.
That’s NOT what I want.

I just want things to sort themselves out…

Sleep would be nice…

…if I knew how to.

I’ve fallen into the deepest depths.

And just like that- the black dog bites again.

Well, it didn’t bite that suddenly, I’ve felt like crap for quite some time now… I mean I’ve had feelings of worthlessness my whole life and the depression has been with me, I mean REALLY WITH ME for over 11 1/2 years now.
I guess it has just slumped to a new low over the past couple of months- since I got sick with the bad bug going around and then hurting my back twice in 4 days right as I was starting to get better from the initial illness that made me feel horrible.

It’s hard talking about it, especially to people who haven’t experienced it themselves. I am happy to talk about how I feel, but I am usually left made to feel that I am just trying to get attention, made to feel that I’m a spoilt brat who has a hissy fit if I don’t get my way. Others seem to get upset and angry with me when I don’t “just snap out of it”.

I wish I could snap out of it and grow up a bit.
I really do. It would make life so much easier.
You know what?! If I could choose to snap in or out of my depression and anxiety just like that- I’d choose not to be bloody depressed or anything to start with!!!!!

Happiness surrounds my life. I’m constantly seeing strangers, friends and family members enjoying themselves. I mean really enjoying themselves. They look so full of life and so happy.

I want to be happy. There are things in life that I used to thoroughly enjoy, I still enjoy doing them, but I just can’t seem to be happy or show how glad I am anymore.

It makes me feel like a heartless bitch. I hate that word, I really do. But it’s how I feel about myself.

Since I hurt my back and it resulted in me being “stuck” in bed for a length of time I have been able to complete a number of needlework tapestries.
I guess when I do tapestry, it’s a form of meditation for me. It could be the repetition of feeding the needle and thread up and down through the holes in the canvas that I find relaxing. It’s almost hypnotic I guess. I wouldn’t say I go into a trance when stitching, but I do find it helpful a lot of the time. It allows me to forget about my troubles and pain to an extent, it keeps my mind busy as I think about where the needle will next go.
The worst thing though, is that I feel hopeless to an extent, it is as though I am being excessively selfish, greedy and thoughtless towards my husband and children and the extended family.

I grew up with my Mum doing a lot of crafts… I guess she spent much of her time doing craft and buying me supplies to do various crafts too that I just assumed it was a normal part of everyday life. That is one thing I do give my Mum credit for. Not stopping me from doing creative things.
She may not have had the best mothering skills, but she did buy me a lot of things, she kept me clothed in clothes I was happy to wear, she was always buying me craft supplies for the new craft ideas and plans I had and she’d keep me well supplied with junk food… Looking back on it now, I wish she had’ve been a bit stricter there, but she ate a lot of rubbish herself so I guess it was just a case of monkey see monkey do.
By what I can remember, Mum used to buy me all those things because she’d say she really did love me and would prove it that way- by buying me materialistic things to make up for all the times she’d yell at me saying that I should never had been born, how I was an accident, how she wished I never existed, saying that my father was scum (I’ve never met him and nothing was really said about him so how was I to know if he was a good or bad man?), the gifts also made up for all the other hurtful things I had to listen to, for the times she smacked me for doing something she didn’t think was right, for the times she ignored me in front of her other friends because I had the hide to speak up and tell her not to drink or smoke (She was never a drinker or smoker, but her “friends” pretty much made her drink and smoke when she was around them), for the times she raised a hand at me, threatened me…
I think the reason why I didn’t really say anything was because I was an only child and knew it was my fault… well, I assumed it was my fault as I had no one else around me who could have caused all that. My Nan and Pop had taught me good manners, I knew not to talk back to my elders (well, except for those times Mum made me snap when she was doing what I thought was wrong things), surely Mum wouldn’t have said all those nasty things if they were lies…

Maybe that’s why my anxiety is now at an all time high when I go to visit Nan and Mum. Mum still snaps, but these days I am a grown adult with my own children and I feel that I have to stand up for my kids and not let them be treated the same way that Mum behaved around me. Mum still yells at us, she greets us at the door with an “Oh, It’s you- you won’t be here long will you?”, she tells my kids to “Go play on the freeway” or if she’s having a bad day, any of us will be told to simply “Fuck Off!” although that is usually muttered under her breath but loud enough for us all to hear it.
I do try to visit Nan when Mum’s gone out, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

I’m sure Mum needs help, I’m sure she has some Mental Health issues going on too- I’m sure she’s undiagnosed but unfortunately it’s a very taboo topic at Nan’s house. If anything is even subtly mentioned about Mum going to see a decent doctor, Nan says “You know your Mum gets a bit nervy and such, you’ve just got to give her room, give her space and ignore her until she’s come to her senses again”.

As easy as it would be to turn my back on her, she’s still my Mum.
Some days I do think it would be easier if she wasn’t around but she’s my Mum and I guess I just have to make do with who she is and hope I don’t see her too much on her bad days.

I want to be the best Mum I can possibly be for my kids (and the best wife I can be for my hubby) but with the flashbacks I almost constantly have from my childhood, I am often left doubting myself, scared I am turning into my own mother- the person who I was often scared of back then, and even now- I don’t like being around her too much for fear of being put down or having her say bad things about me to my kids.

I know I need more help myself, but I just don’t know how much more I can take. I have a number of “Invisible illnesses/issues” that affect me quite a bit on a daily level, but because no one else can see them, I am made to feel that I am faking it.

That is what hurts the most- to think that those who I love, think I am faking my problems.

When explaining why I am afraid to do certain things is due to flashbacks makes me feel like I am worthless and selfish- that’s what hurts and cuts deep. It is worse than rubbing salt into a wound.

Some days I wonder if everyone would be better off without me around. I could easily disappear and I am sure no one would miss me.
The only thing stopping me doing that though is me. I am too scared of the consequences. What would happen to those I leave behind?

And just like that… it was done!

My TO-DO List:

1- Say what I actually believe in, stand up for myself & be confident.
2- Prove to myself that I CAN successfully follow my dreams.
3- Stop with the “what if’s” and start DOING STUFF!
4- Sell the majority of my “stuff”- the items I never use and will never miss.
5- Travel to the places I always said I’d like to go to.

That was then…………
Fast forward to now…………

I don’t know why I hesitated for so long.
Looking back on things- I think I was just stalling.

Was I scared of not knowing how things would turn out?
Was I listening too much to all those people that kept telling me my dreams were impossible and I would never be able to achieve them?

Look at me now!
I’ve got far less possessions to what I had back then (but my bank balance is now looking much better and allowing me to do this), I’m on the road chasing my dreams, spending my days and nights exploring this great land of ours and informing the world of my experiences and teaching them about lesser known facts along the way.

Thousands are following my journey of a lifetime, a journey that will hopefully last for the rest of my lifetime.
Thousands upon thousands have the opportunity to share my experiences through my artworks, through my writing.

This is who I am now.

Gone is the scared, suicidal teen who was certain her life was one huge mistake.
She has been replaced with a much more confident and experienced woman who has many life experiences that she now utilises to help others.
She shares her stories with those who ask about them, she shares her knowledge with those who want to learn.

She is capable of all this thanks to being able to see the light at the tunnel and start believing in herself.
It all started with a To Do List.

A simple to do list that ANYBODY can create, anyone can tailor a to do list to their requirements and if followed, it WILL change your life as it has changed mine.

The Stranger who changed my life.

“Excuse me, could you tell me your name? I’m waiting for someone fitting your description.”
“Kate, my name’s Kate” I reply to the stranger. I don’t know why I exposed my identity, I guess it was just gut instinct that the person hunched over me was trustworthy enough to let them know who I was. I mean, they said I fit the description of the person they were waiting for.

“I’ve been looking for you”

And with that, I had company at my table..

I sat silently, continuing with my lunch. This was one of my favourite meals- a delicious filling meal of mouth watering delicate grilled fish with a colourful and tasty garden salad on the side. Over the past few years I had lost interest in hot potato chips, but this day they were on the plate with my meal as well- they were thickly cut and had a lovely seasoning on them. I was reliving my childhood while enjoying my lunch and savouring the moment- wishing it wouldn’t end.

“So, I guess you’re wondering who I am and why I am here” the stranger stated. I acknowledged his question by nodding as I had my mouth full of food.
He continued on “I have learnt that we may be related. I heard you have been looking for me.”
He placed a piece of paper on the table in front of me and without saying anything else, he got up and left.

Once he had left the café, I opened the piece of folded paper up to find a hand written note.

It read:
For many years I have thought about you, you will always hold a special place in my heart. I am glad to know that you are alive and well.
Maybe one day we can start to get to know each other…
Your Father

His name and contact details were also noted down on the bottom of the paper.
The ball was now in my court.

First and foremost I had to take it all in. I had never met this man before in my life and today we met for the first time, over 3 decades from when he first met my Mum.
It was only a brief encounter, but enough for the both of us to know we existed.

Now it was my turn to arrange the next encounter.
I had to think… there was so much I had to consider…

I did not know where to start, should I chase him out the door and ask him to come back?
I could not move though- I guess it was the shock of everything that had just happened.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy, thrilled even as I never imagined this would have ever happened to me. I thought the idea of ever finding my Dad was just a dream- but here it was. He was alive, he was happy to know I was alive too and best of all, he seemed more than willing to get to know me, his daughter.

I tried to process what had just happened as it still seemed so surreal.
I could see the similarities between he and I. We looked alike, we had solid builds, were tanned with fair hair and matching eyes.

I think it could take a while to take the next step, but I didn’t want to leave it too long as I didn’t want to come across as uninterested.

This really was a life changing moment.

Is knowing what the future holds really a good thing?

The Advantage of Foresight can be either a positive or negative aspect of life, depending on how often that power is used and the information that is sought.

Being granted the power to predict the future could quite possibly be a great power to possess BUT how would you use it?
How often should you use it, if at all?
Do you make it known that you have this ability in order to be able to make money from it or allow others to gain insight into their futures at your expense?

Losing a day of your life each time you use this newly found power doesn’t seem like much of a deal, but what if you only had days, weeks or months left to live? That would be quite a serious situation to put yourself in.

I’m not sure if I’d even want such a power. I think it would actually cause more problems than what it would solve- in my situation anyway.

I have a number of dreams floating around in my head as well as occasionally making it onto paper or typed into the memory of a computer or put online somewhere. Do I want to find out the future of these dreams? I guess it would be good, but if it wasn’t the outcome I hope it to be, I would be bitterly disappointed and then that one lost day of my life would be the least of my worries- if I had no dreams to cling to, I would feel that my life was no longer worth living.

Having the ability to foresee the future is a very dangerous thing and I don’t think I would wish it upon anybody- regardless of the consequences.