Monthly Archives: December 2017

Memories of Christmas Past

Christmas is over, the presents given and opened, the food and the cheer shared. The Christmas candle burned so brightly this year as we all joined together for a very hot fuss free day.  I am truly blessed to have a roof over my head, food on the table and my children around me for this time of year (even if we fuss and fight).

We reminisced about past Christmas times, what were the best and the worst over the years. Every one had different ideas of what was good and what was bad. What presents suck and what rocked.

My Eldest remembers the big Christmas’s in Hervey Bay, both grandparents alive, playing with her cousins, the huge gathering, everyone bringing a plate all day food and fun and lying under the mango trees if you got tired.

For me those Christmases we magical, as a Kid I used to love going to midnight mass (still do), then waking up  in the morning with my siblings and cousins, running around playing with toys, helping with the table and all day family coming and going, guitars in the afternoon and of course the obligatory swim.

Second daughter loved Christmas in Hervey Bay, with her Pop and all the family, quiet morning at home, Christmas lunch and then the afternoon filled with cousins aunts and uncles, she loved it.

Third daughter loved Christmas at Poppy house, going to evening Mass and being a part of it, especially the year she was the, as she puts it ‘Head Angel’, in the Children’s Mass. The fun of those services, kids dressing up and recreating the Nativity. opening presents after Midnight Mass, or Children’s Mass when younger  and in the morning opening the rest, playing games with Poppy and going for a walk in the afternoon with him.

My Son hates Christmas, he always has, so this year he was actually in a good mood, there was no all sitting around together to open presents and no one was to wake anyone up so they could raid the tree. Yes for him, sleeping in until 12 wandering out and opening presents, no small talk, suited him.

There was no competition for worst Christmas, they seemed to involve being away from home and hearth and spending holidays with the father. These irregular times when their father would make an effort, had a huge toll on the kids. Funny that he lived in near us for a couple of years and never bothered with seeing his kids, until the son wanted to live there. But that is a story for another day, let us continue with our Christmases.

The only agreement on these times were that things we better when they got to see their grandfather, they love him (He is a good man, I respect him a lot). When he was there, even if he didn’t spend much time with them, he made them feel loved and welcome. They always wanted more time with him.

The only other worst Christmas was when I was really sick, we had no tree, because of immunity issues, so we used the hat tree. We weren’t expecting much of a feast, thanks to some good friends they brought around food and all the Christmassy stuff you could ask for. It was the worst but for me it was very special, because it was supposed to be my last Christmas.

 

We laughed about how when 2nd daughter, cried with joy at a little unicorn box given to me, she cried and thanked everyone, kissed everyone and sat down hugging it, needless to say, the little box became hers and she still has it.  The never-ending times that batteries didn’t fit or we ran out was always a problem as they have all at times played non stop with a particular toy, I think most parents can understand that problem.

 

One Christmas holidays 2nd daughter and son spent with their father, they came home with gift cards for all. The littlest childs gift cards in an envelope and card.  My Son said father said they can spend them in Brisbane, better variety of stores than Alice Springs, which was true there was only a Kmart in town for things like that.

The gift cards were for Target and Big W (at the time neither store was in Alice Springs at the time).  A day later I take the kids to do their Christmas shopping. The kids spent ages trying to pick out what to buy, then we all went to the check out, The boy tried to pay for items, but the card had no money on it. I assumed he has spent it in Alice and forgot. 2nd daughter tried to buy  her items, same problem. Card wouldn’t work. The littlest one came forth with her card, still attached to the original tag, her card was unusable as well.

We had a big problem, no card would work. I tried another card they had that could be used there. Nothing. I told the kids, there must be a mix up and we will go to the other department store and try the cards from that shop. I didn’t let the kids  pick out toys, I went to the information desk and asked if they could check the cards given to the kids. All cards had been used. I asked when the cards had been activated and used, no surprises the cards were used before my kids even went to visit their father.

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My Mental Health Journey

It’s been a tough couple of months I have been struggling to get by and I have been struggling mentally. I reached a low, I couldn’t be bothered. Why on earth am I here against the odds? What is the purpose of God or the universe to save from death just to make me struggle so much, to never have peace? I have had surgeries and have had to try to find a way to pay for them, money is a constant torment to me, I am always in fear of being evicted for not paying the rent. I worry that the electricity will get cut off one day, I always contact the company before due date and start paying off the electricity, but my bill is huge. Why? Well I have teens or rather young adults, and that has added to the problems. My kids are not pulling their weight.

I have a child who has been affected by depression since the age of 14. That child had been suffering and having a bad time for a couple of months and that put a lot of pressure on me. As a sole parent, I am the one that has to do the work of two. I am always the blame, the one to take your frustrations on. (Strange that absent, abusive, not interested parents get way with so much and they are the cause of so many problems, but the responsible, good parent has to suffer the anger of the child.)

This child is so draining on me, he is like a washita always needing more and more, and I could not give any more. But that didn’t stop the jungerrie from still wanting, wanting, wanting. Always taking and never replacing, never helping, never a kind word.

I also had my youngest suffering with a lot of pain, in and out of hospital while they tried to work out what was the problem.  She, was not an easy patient. This luckily has been sorted. Again, it is the sole parent who has to be there at every doctor and hospital appointment. The sole parent ensuring that while the child is going through all this that the child, gets school work done. She is/was in year 12, as any parent of a daughter knows the last semester of year 12 is drama filled with exams, parties, formal, graduation, awards and of course schoolies.

I have tried to be there for those who have no one, helping others find the help they need, access services. This was another burden to me, I say burden because that is what it felt like at the time. I couldn’t let down people, as it is their lives, health, both physical and mental at risk. Doing this takes time, it is work that organisations get funded for, but obviously don’t do right, otherwise there would not be so many Indigenous people contacting me for help.

It just got way too much for me, always struggling and trying hard, for what? Just to have life kick me in the teeth again?  I am starting to see an end to the problems, or rather I should say a way of not letting it all overwhelm me. I have a new doctor, who straight away, started running tests. She isn’t satisfied with the old prognosis of I faint and black out because of stress and the brain tumour don’t like stress. She is looking at other avenues to help with the prognosis, she is finding out how stress and brain tumours react. She is looking for the links of the jaw problems. She is overhauling the medications. I’m very happy about that. I told her how I was feeling and agreed with me I need some help with my mental health.

So while I wait to see what happens with that, I at least feel that some of the burden is lifted and that, I could be turning the corner.