This is really just a place for me to put all of my musings and mutterings. G is trying to get me to set up my own website but I wanted to see how this goes first. I don't want to open myself up to the world before I'm happy with how I come across I guess.
So that's my Title...it came to me last night while I was lying in bed. I told G I needed to have pen and paper by the bed so I could get my thoughts out before they disappeared. The following also came to me;
I thought my own mother had done a terrible job bringing me up. I felt she was always cranky, impatient, mean, unfair. The usual teenage angst and thoughts that other kids' parent's were so much nicer, fair, had more time/love/money. I hoarded that resentment like gold and rejected everything my parents tried to teach me. I wanted to live my life. It's funny how things turn out.....
I made some spectacularly bad decisions with my life in an attempt to prove something to myself. A boyfriend once said to me that nothing ever fazed me. I wonder if I just was so numb that nothing could shock me anymore.
I worked hard to support myself, I barely made ends meet but I was happy to be out on my own. When an opportunity came up to start stripping I grabbed at it. It seemed perfect, I didn't have to work as hard but I made alot of money. I didn't realise that I was going to have to pay emotionally and work incredibly hard to ever move past the mentality it created within me.
At first it was exciting, all the attention I'd ever craved. I was with a man who made me feel as though my worth was measured by my sexuality and that I was lacking even in that. So my job became central to my sense of self-worth and for a long time my moods rose and fell with the amount of money I earnt - it literally was what I was worth.
Too late I realised how entangled I was in my job, how shallow and heartbroken it made me. I couldn't leave, I'd forgotten how to live and work 'normally'.
I fooled myself that the casual sex I had was my choice and something that made me a strong, independant woman. I pasted over the holes it caused to my soul and deadened my feelings with nights of alcohol induced 'fun'. This was the life I chose and the values I lived by....as far removed from my parents' as could be.
I'm sure these years caused my parents immeasurable pain. They must have wondered what they had done wrong as parents when all along the problem lay within me.
I eventually shunned the lifestyle and spent time re-evaluating my life and priorities. I spent quiet evenings with a friend and remembered how it felt to live gently. It was then I met my husband, Garth.
It was a day like every other, it started with tea and toast and I went to work as usual. Some guys I knew came in and introduced me to this tall, good-looking guy with an amazing accent. He was sat across the table from me and all I could think was 'think of something, anything to say, Vicki!!'. I just wanted to hear that accent!! He smelt great as well, and I flirted with him by leaning against his back while smelling his neck. Being close to him was intoxicating and exciting so I accepted when he invited me out for dinner the next night.
Dinner was nice, but odd. I felt comfortable in that I was relaxed and open about who I was, but there was still the space that strangers have between us. In hindsight it seemed that all along there was this feeling that I knew, I didn't need to try to impress, that he would love me - it was predestined. We just had to get to know each other was all.
He kissed me after dinner and invited me back to his hotel room for coffee. I laughed and told him I was sure he didn't have any coffee, and I turned down his offer of a second date. He was leaving to go back to the UK in less than a week, it seemed there was no future for us.
He came down to work the next afternoon, and I was having an incredibly bad day. I asked him to take me out for a drink, and he jumped at the offer. Perhaps it seems inevitable - I stayed the night in his hotel room.
I showed him some of the sights and spent another night with him, but without enthusiasm. I made little effort with my appearance and was relaxed in my attitude. Apparently this was very different to the usual girls he met, and was therefore captivating, fascinating and attractive.
The night before he left he changed my attitude in a way I never expected. After dinner he asked me to come back to his room - he had a gift for me. I didn't open it until I'd gotten home and was sat with a friend. She asked me if I loved him, because he was in love with me based on the gift. I answered that no-one could be in love after such a short amount of time, but deep within myself something was stirring. Something I hadn't felt in a long while and a feeling I refused to acknowledge. I had seen so much of the negative and dark side to men that I feared I'd never trust one ever again. To have let myself fall for him was a slip on my behalf and a road I stepped cautiously upon.
I was in Thailand the week after we met, I saw the most amazing and heartbreaking sights. And I thought about him. It was a surreal time in my life. I thought about the possibility of seeing him again and realised it was something I wanted.
I called him when I returned from overseas. We emailed such sweet, hopeful things, so cheerful and cheeky. He sent me pictures of his local pub and Taz, his dog. He let me into his life so casually but I suppose with intent. Because really, what were we thinking about, when we lived on opposite sides of the world??
Very quickly we became close, we spoke at the beginning and end of each day. I became rather bad at my job. How could I pretend to find anyone else interesting when all my thoughts were of this wonderful man?? I would find strength in his texts or emails but it faded so quickly, dancing for another man made a mockery of what I felt.
We had met on the 26th of July and by the 25th of October I was on the plane in a frenzy of excitement on my way to see him.
I came through the gate and saw him - My God he was beautiful. Bigger than I remembered and the look on his face.....hope, excitement, fear. He gave me a bunch of pink roses and kissed me, so chastely considering our time apart. We got into the car feeling like strangers and I could barely take my eyes off him for the hour's drive. It was the start of one of our "Us'isms"; at every red light we would kiss. I can even remember the intersection where a lorry-driver tooted his horn at us and waved.
I met Taz and had a shower - I fully expected G to walk in the whole time and wasn't sure what to think about that, but he didn't. We went into the park and there began my love affair, with the man and the city. I walked in Roundhay Park every day I was there; I saw it's seasons and delighted in them. That first day it was dull and grey but it was everything I had expected and more.
On our walk we held hands and laughed together. I felt us warm towards each other again and when he kissed me I told him I was ready. We went back home and melted into each other. Afterwards we ate at the White House (local pub) and I needed to sleep. Deep in the night I woke to find him beside me and we made love again. It was more than I could have hoped for, but everything I had dreamed of.
What followed were the most wonderful, perfect 2 weeks of my life. We went to the Lakes and stayed in lovely cottage with Taz. It was so cold but it made sitting by the window looking out on the grey skies all the more romantic and cosy. We found a tiny pub tucked out of the way on a little alley, we sat in front of an open fire and talked for hours. He danced with me to the songs I put on the jukebox and life was perfect, our love was perfect.
I danced for him one night - he told me he wanted to be the only one, that I never danced for another again. I was still, thinking about the implication, and answered that he couldn't ask me to make a promise I wouldn't be able to keep. It was then he told me that he wanted to marry me, I was all there was for him. He took the ring from his pinky, his mother's original wedding band, and asked me to wear it. I put it on with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.
Of course it came to an end, early one cold, grey morning. We drove to the airport in almost complete silence, broken only by our disbelief our time together had ended so soon. We could barely stand to be parted, and he sat with me at the entrance to the terminal holding back his tears. When we parted we did it quickly, hiding our pain from each other to spare the other the sight of it. Once through the gates I went to the nearest toilets and ran to a cubicle; I slammed the door shut and slid down the wall in floods of tears.
The flight passed in a blur. I had a stop-over in Kuala Lumpur and had to put one of G's t-shirts over a pillow and hold it to go to sleep even though I was exhausted.
We couldn't function without each other and I upon arriving back home I immediately put into action my plans of moving to the UK. Three weeks later I was 'home'.
At first I found it hard to get my bearings, my life had been a whirlwind for the last few months. I found myself washed up in a new land, stranger to all around me, my true North was the man I loved and I built my life around that truth.
He kissed me every morning when he left for work, it felt so decadent to stay in bed and sleep on after he left. I would wander the house until he returned at lunch time and I would sit on his lap just to be close to him. I remember warm, sunny days where we made love on the floor with the breeze blowing over our sweaty skin. There were days we didn't even make it to the floor.
We led a very insular life, it revolved around our love for each other and the family we created with Taz. Being alone together was just the way we liked it.
I would keep him up until the early hours, wanting to talk to him until I could barely speak anymore. We would lay in our bed, the dark somehow making it easier to say the things we'd never said to anyone else. When we finally admitted defeat to slumber, we would curl around each other, legs entwined, and drift away together.
We had bad times, I believe though that our strength as a couple lies in those low points, we shared our souls and struggled, we made it through together.
The first time I saw Garth cry was when we lost Taz to cancer. Taz was my baby, we spent every day together and I suspected something was wrong but he was so stoic that it was far too late by the time he showed us. It happened so fast, and he was such a part of the family that it seemed impossible he would leave us that we were stunned when he died.
That NYE we sat in a quiet pub and looked back on our year. We talked about the bad times and the good, and we celebrated that we'd made it through still as in love as before. Later on that night, sat in a room full of friends and family but not wanting to be anywhere but with him, I turned to him and said with a smile, 'Let's get married'.
We starting planning straight away. Garth had already asked my father for his blessing a full year before, so our intentions had been clear, however we were congratulated when we made it official.
I'd picked out a ring and I knew G had bought it - I was terribly impatient for him to give it to me but I also wanted the moment to be right, as he did. That moment came one grey, rainy day in March 2002.
I wonder how it would have gone if I hadn't picked up on the unspoken signals and orchestrated it for him, it makes me smile to think about how in tune we must be for it to have gone so smoothly. So it was I who suggested that we go for a walk in the Park even though it was drizzling. We put on rain jackets and set off into the cold day. At the end of our usual path I suggested we walk up to a particular vantage point, as an old timesake. On one of my first trips to the Park we stood there and looked over the Park covered in snow and I said I would love to be married there. It was in that spot that Garth fell to one knee and proposed. He told me that he loved me, that he wanted to live the rest of his life with me and asked me to marry him. I was stood there with the rain falling around me, looking at the tears in his eyes and thinking that perhaps I'd never really been so happy in my life, and I said yes.
We planned our wedding and came across the usual issues. Family was making their opinions known and having been used to having our own privacy, we found it intrusive into our special day. We decided that to keep the special quality we wanted our day to have, we'd elope secretly and then just have the church service to please the families.
So I bought a dress, arranged our best friends to be witnesses and booked a table at our favourite restaurant for lunch afterwards. Garth arranged a weekend away in the Lakes and booked the date. Two days before he told me I'd be getting married that weekend.
I got up that morning with a sense of excitement, I couldn't wait to see G. A fancy car arrived for me and as we drove away from the house I had a moment of panic, the magnitude of what I was doing hit me all of a sudden. I was getting married!! The thought 'take me back home' passed fleetingly through my mind before I reined my panic in and settled back in the seat.
As we pulled up I saw Garth waiting for me. I had another moment of pure astonishment that I had found such a gorgeous man - my heart stopped momentarily. He opened my door and gave me a devastating smile. We were ready.
We may have been ready but the Magistrate wasn't. After a 5 minute wait and a quick check of my vows to make sure they didn't mention God (they didn't - just my Mother - who by the way is second only to the Big Guy) we walked down the aisle together. The rest I'd have to watch the video to remember, the only thing that kept me together was my notes and G's blue eyes.
We had a lovely meal afterwards and left soon afterwards for the Lakes. I slept with my head on G's lap and woke to enjoy the final 30 minutes. We checked into the most amazing room; four poster bed, Italian marble fireplace and spa. I barely had time to notice any of it before G gathered me into him and took me to bed.
We had an amazing weekend, we walked, took trips on the lake, played mini-golf and spent our evenings in cosy, quiet pubs. We made the most of our time, it was one of the best weekends of my life.
A couple of weeks later I made an extravagant meal for a couple we were friends with but when I sat down to eat I couldn't enjoy the food. I felt generally out of sorts the next day and put it down to a stomach bug going around. When I realised later that week that my period hadn't come neither of us were terribly concerned, to be cautious though G told me to take a HPT. I took the bus down to my local Tesco and picked up a few groceries as well as the test. At the bus stop I stood with my knees shaking thinking, 'oh please God, let me not be pregnant and I'll be so careful in the future!'.
I was sat on the toilet, apple in hand munching away, as I watched the blue line come up strong and clear. I couldn't help it, I started to giggle. I ran downstairs laughing to call G but couldn't convince him I was being serious. My opening words were; 'Baby, your baby is going to have a baby!!'....followed by more giggling. When I finally sobered myself, I was stunned. We were going to have a baby. Holy. Crap.
My Mum was going to kill me.
G had promised to come home if the HPT was positive, I'm sure with no expectation it would be. So we both had an hour with our own thoughts and time to process them. We alternated between hysteria and shock, our conversation about what we should do was full of 'I don't know, what do you think?' and smothered laughing.
It came down to three facts; He would support my decision whatever it was, he had no reason to not have the baby and I just couldn't imagine having an abortion.
I was excited. I felt sick, but I was excited.
We told our families, and cancelled the wedding, no-one was pleased. Everyone was supportive and said the right things, to us. But it was obvious that everyone was disappointed they'd missed being a part of our day. It was such a fleeting issue, there were far more important things to focus on, I was pregnant!!
I have such wonderful memories of that pregnancy, it was like being in a golden cocoon, safe and calm. I spent days on the couch watching tv, or walking in the park with the dog. I slept late every day, curled around my ever expanding tummy. I delighted in my cravings, moods, tummy and especially the baby moving.
As terrified as I'd originally been about labour, I embraced the thought of meeting my child and ended up excited about it all. I couldn't wait for the momentous occasion.
It came early one morning, my tummy ached but I ignored it and slept for the 15 minutes between contractions. When I got up we went about life as usual, breakfast and a walk in the park. I honestly don't remember much else about that day, it passed in a blur. It was 6:30pm before I went to hospital and was told I was 3cm. Who could have believed it had taken me 12 bloody hours to only get 3cms!!!
After a rather embarrassing go at gas&air, in which I started laughing and then crying, I had a very young looking Dr come and give me an epidural. I dozed on and off for a few hours more, time had no meaning and words even less. I felt as though I was dreaming - conscious of what was going on around me but unable to contribute.
As my epi started wearing off I began tensing with each contraction, it eased the pain slightly. When the MW came in I told her and she checked me to find I was 10cm, and told me I could push if I liked. I ended up with numerous MWs and a Dr staring at my privates as if the sun really did shine out of my ***, but no baby came out. They thoughtfully had decided to let the epi wear off so I would know how and when to push, probably not suspecting it would take me so long, and so I was in agony after an hour and a half. A more experienced Dr came into the room and immediately moved things along while balling out the current Dr for letting me push for so long with no progress. At this stage I was slamming my foot into the end of the bed to keep myself centered.
The wonderful epi-man dosed me up some more and in a dream-like state I signed the forms to have a c-section should a ventouse not work. They whisked me away to a theatre and attempted a spinal block. The poor Dr was stood beside me asking if I could feel anything at certain points on my leg and stomach, unfortunately for him I was still in my lovely cocoon and couldn't answer. He ended up bringing G in to talk to me, and between them decided that I couldn't feel anything below the waist.
There was alot of bustling around and soon I was told to push. I pushed a number of times and then without warning they placed this baby across my stomach. I was stunned, was this *my* baby?? The nurses took her away and suctioned her. It was around this time we thought to ask the sex, and they told us she was a girl. Zoe Ann was here.
I was laying on the table with people bustling around me, still not in the real world yet when they told us her weight. 11 pounds!!!! No wonder I struggled to get her out on my own!!
Neither G or I remember how we got back to the room, I think I had Zoe wrapped up beside me on the bed. I was sick and exhausted, as much as I wanted to look at her I just couldn't hold her for very long. My parents came into the room and fussed over our new bundle of joy. It was wonderful having them there to share such a special moment with.
The hospital stay was short as per my wishes and was a blur. The subsequent weeks were the same, I loved watching and touching Zoe but the endless, sleepless nights were exhausting. By the time she was 6 weeks old we had packed up our belongings and moved to the other side of the world. And PPD had entered my life, which would never be the same again.
I must get this down before I forget it all....so I think I'll most likely keep pushing it down as I continue my story.
Today I swam with sharks. Holy. Crap.
My IL's arrived a week and a half ago and we've been incredibly busy doing all of the touristy things Brisvegas has to offer. We went up Mt Cootha, wandered Indro, went into the city and rode a citycat, did the B gardens, went to Noosa and finally today we went to Mooloolaba. G had been saying for ages that he was going to dive again and that P would go as well, but it wasn't until we were all sat round talking about it this week that I mentioned I had wanted to go. G seemed very surprised but keen that I should do it too, ummmm......I really should think before I speak!! I had been having a dig at him and it went sooooo the wrong way!!
I honestly sat and thought of every excuse under the sun why I shouldn't do it, even though I knew I was doing it I couldn't stop. I made myself so angry that I could be so chicken!! So today, even though I was absolutely crapping myself, I swam with sharks.
Sharks smarks. I couldn't have cared less about the sharks themselves, it was the scuba dive that had me scared. It had excited me before but the thought of all of that water above my head freaked me out for some reason. I was determined though, I would do it and do it well.
We got changed into our swimmers and my tummy was doing somersaults. It reminded me of that scene in Armaggedon where they're in the rocket about to take off and that blonde guy is talking about 90% excitement and 10% fear..... I wasn't sure which was higher either!!
After an amusing episode of getting into our wetsuits, we tanked up and got into the practice pool. I could barely walk with the tank and weights on, so the climb in was difficult but I was having fun. Practicing our breathing was scary and weird - I felt like I wanted to vomit because of the mouthpiece but I focused on the pool floor and it passed quickly. I was excited and nervous about going to the bottom but before i knew it we were down there and it felt normal.
We walked over to the aquarium and all got in. I had a slight problem with overbalancing and almost fell straight in but the guys were great and looked after me the whole way. It was so surreal being in the tank, almost immediately this shark glided past my head - while I wasn't afraid as such, there was this thought of 'what if' in my head. It was like patting a tiger, you never really relax!
We had about 25 minutes in the pool, the guys got some great photos and I loved watching all the fish swim so close to me. On the way back out I even got knocked in the head by one of the shark's fins!! I had no idea it was swimming past me because of the tunnel vision the goggles give, until it touched me. I froze and stopped breathing until it passed. When we got out of the pool we were all so high and exuberant.
I am so proud of myself for doing it in the face of my fears. It's not very often I get to push myself past my comfort zone and when I do it's the most amazing rush. Sometimes I feel boring and predictable, it's nice to feel excitement and those butterflies - it reminds me I'm still a person independant from being a Mummy.
So we went to the park yesterday - Zoe, Sasha and I. We chose this particular park because we thought there would be none of the large ugly birds that Zoe has developed a dislike of. Wishful thinking!
Almost as soon as we sat down and started eating about 4 of these birds came over. Honestly, it's like a light goes on somewhere when we're outdoors and eating - these birds appear from nowhere!! Zoe immediately started crying and screaming at me to make them go away. Being the loving Mother that I am, I make a fool of myself chasing these birds away.....in the hope that if they believed I was going to hurt them they might realise being near the psychotic woman wasn't a good idea. This wishful thinking is becoming a common theme here, right?
So I try the old 'But look at Sasha, she's just a baby and she's not scared of them!' trick. Zoe looks over at her sister, happily on my hip and gazing over my shoulder. I suddenly feel Sasha's body stiffen and she grabs onto me, she starts crying loudly in that 'Mummy listen to me or suffer the consequences' tone. I look over my should to see one of the damn birds right behind me. Crap.
I have boycotted all parks until this bird phobia has passed or Garth can come dressed as a scarecrow.
Isn't it funny. You think you can't get up off the floor but life keeps going on - and you keep moving with it.
Surely the wind must stop blowing the trees, and the sun stop shining. The sounds should stop so the silence echos in your ears the way it echos in your heart.
It doesn't though. I can hear the cars on the road, of busy people going on with their lives. I can hear someone cleaning their floor, as if it were important somehow.
I can hear my baby calling me - her cry tugging at my frozen heart.....it hurts when feeling resumes.