Part 1: My Story | Part 2: Grieving

Part #1 My Story

My brother passed away from cancer at age 27 in 2003. It was a long time ago. I get it. Why would I bring it up now all these years later? Why drag shit up from the past. Well because I have to. I have to because I have never actually moved very far forward. I have carried this hard and awkward grieving process with me this entire time which, I realise, is too long and to move on I need to let go. Not of my brother but of my grief story.

The final stage of my brothers life was during a time that I was facing difficulties in my first marriage. We were partying too hard, hating each other too much and trying to raise two and a half kids on a very tight budget and in a house that was falling apart. Life was, to say the very least, shit. 

But my brother was dying and there was nothing harder and nothing that could prepare me for it. He was dying but he had overcome his first cancer diagnosis at age 14 so I kept telling myself that he would be fine, that he would bounce back, that I had more time to be better. In his final days, watching his shallow, slow breathing, I remember thinking that he would, still at some stage, jump out of bed and say “Just joking!” He was the family jokester after all. But he didn’t.

When he finally passed away in the early hours of the morning of the 28th September I wasn’t there. I had gone home to have a shower. I was 28 weeks pregnant. I had, that very same week that he’d been placed into palliative care, gone into early labour and been admitted to hospital. I was embarrassed that my body let me down and had made this traumatic time in my families life all about me and so after my shower I remember sitting on the edge of my bed. It was 5am. I just sat there and cried. I cried for my family. I cried for my brother. I cried for my baby who was hanging in there and I cried because I didn’t no what else to do with all these emotions I had. I remember, after allowing the tears to flow for awhile, that I took the deepest breath in and pulled my shoulders back. It was a very deliberate move physically to get myself prepared for the next part of the day. It was time to get back to the hospital. Look strong. Be ok. Be supportive. Be good for once in my fucking life. It was time to get back to the hospital because I didn’t want to miss his last breath.

But I did.

He died a few minutes before I arrived. My other brothers face said it all as he stood on the other side of the hospitals palliative glass door to let me in. His red blood shot eyes. His head slightly shaking. The look of despair on his face. I had missed my dying brothers final moment and to me this was the catalyst into my guilt. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t a good sister, a good daughter, a good person. I left at the most significant moment in my families life – the last breath of our brother, their son. Our family, the only one I’d ever known, was no longer six, well at least not on Earth together and the realisation of this was soul destroying.

My story began to unravel from here. Guilt ridden for not being there, for not being a better sister, for being admitted to hospital the same week as him – like an attention seeker would – guilt ridden because I didn’t actually, at any point really think he would die. But he did.

At the time I really did expect the world to stop. I expected my friends lives to stop. I expected people to understand what was happening to me when most around me had never been through anything like this before. But their lives continued on as normal. Which to me, back then, told me I was shit. I was nobody worth caring about.

And so the spiralling of my story continued. I remember at my brothers graveside funeral that I chose to move as far away as I could once the ceremony was done. I stood in the corner of the garden bed because deep down I didn’t want anyone to hug me. To say they were sorry for me. To give me any comfort. I didn’t want it because I felt I didn’t deserve it.

At his wake my friends asked me if I would like to join them in giving Reiki to a girlfriend going through a hard time – a nasty marriage separation. I was so hurt and it reaffirmed to me that my pain was insignificant. I remember thinking that this friends pain was more momentous than mine because those I loved only saw the importance of healing her wounds whereas my pain wasn’t worth healing.

I began to withdraw from here on in and then the final nail on my grief stricken coffin was two weeks after my brothers death. A friend came to give me a “talk” and told me that I needed to make more of an effort in the friendship, that it was time to get over it and that I wasn’t the only one grieving and that she, too, was grieving him. Again, I didn’t understand. Was I supposed to help her through this difficult time when he was my brother and she had only spent a short amount of time knowing him. Was I doing this grieving thing wrong? Was I selfish and unworthy of these feelings I was having because I hadn’t been a good enough sister? Were these feelings even real? Didn’t I have any right to be sad?

It was all a very confusing time for me. So confusing that it has stuck with me for over a decade. There were so many other moments to my story that confirmed my feelings of guilt, unworthiness and shame over the months and now years. I’ve become like a snow globe where the confused feelings would settle for awhile yet they are always there and it only takes something minor to shake all those feelings up again. Something big gets them going real crazy and crazy is the only word that can describe it. It makes me feel like I did something wrong in my grieving. That I am going crazy to think that I actually had the right to be upset during that time of my life.

But this has just been my story. A story that hasn’t served me well at all. It is a story that has extended my grief beyond belief and one that holds me back in life and relationships because of the anger, guilt and confusion. Letting go of my story is not easy when I feel so much injustice was done to me at the time. Then I feel guilt for having had any expectations on other people. Then I feel stupid and unworthy for being all high and mighty thinking others might care the way that I do.

As I come through a challenging year now, I feel that it is time to let go of my story. It is time to let go so I can heal. It doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen or that I didn’t have the right to feel the way I did at that time in my life but at some point you have to grow and move forward – don’t you? I’m really unsure of the process but by acknowledging that I’ve had enough of the pain I carry, the guilt I burden myself with and the frustration I feel towards it may just be the first steps in my own healing.

Part #2 Grieving

In telling my story I want to finish with something useful. Something that may help others when someone they know is grieving. There are so many cliches that people say. Most come across as hollow and insensitive. So I want to share, from my experience, what you should refrain from saying and of course what you could say – but it is really all about how you say it. The words won’t always be right because for everyone the grieving process is different but I can guarantee if you come from a place of love and a place where you aren’t trying to fix them then you are in the right place to be there for them.

Things you don’t need to say to someone grieving…

* What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger: no this is not true and is genuinely insensitive. When your heart is breaking into a million little pieces you are already dying on the inside and being stronger because your loved one has died is not a comfort nor a support.

* Everything happens for a reason: whether it does or it doesn’t this is not the time to tell someone that the death of their loved one is for a higher or greater good because right now in their pain all they feel is … oh yes that’s it pain!

* Only the good die young: well bring him back then! We’d rather he be ‘bad’ and still alive then good and dead! Someone grieving is missing their loved one – good or bad. The good die at any age. My Nana died in her 80’s which is, to me, a ripe old age but she was good… It’s a cliche don’t say it.

* Cheer up. He/she wouldn’t want to see you sad: we know, or at least we hope, they are up there somewhere looking down on us but for right now, in our pain, the last thing we need is a guilt trip. We miss them, we are heartbroken and we are entitled to feel sad.

* They are in a better place: Really? Because last we checked that better place was here in our arms. We have no idea what Heaven or the afterlife is like but don’t tell me at this stage of my grieving that there is a better place than on earth with us.

* At least they are no longer suffering: yes we are aware of that but please don’t place that heavy weight on our shoulders. Seeing a loved one suffer for years is painful enough. All the “what if’s”, “if only I’s” has placed enough guilt in our hearts. The younger they are the more questions you have and the unfairness of suffering and death.

* Be strong: we can’t. We do not feel strong and why do we need to be. Our insides are crumbling, every core of our being misses them and being strong is not high on our list right now. These are people who we’ve known all our lives who are no longer walking through our front door, sitting at the dinner table at Christmas and celebrating another birthday. When someone passes away we always feel like something is missing… because there is.

* You need to move on: no. No we don’t. Our grief does not have a time frame. It does not say 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. It says there is a hole in your heart where a person once lived. A person you miss with every fibre of your being. A person whose memory will have you heartbroken and crying one minute and laughing like a crazy woman the next. Grief has no rules, timeframes or explanations and you have no right to place them on someone.

Well then Superwoman what can I say? Why are you creating a dictatorship on what’s right or wrong? I’m not and there isn’t. This is just advice from someone whose been there. Who has felt additional pain from insensitive moments and I’m just giving a heads up.

Things you could say instead…

* I’m so sorry for your loss: yes it’s not much when you want to say more and it is also said a lot but there is a difference when it is just words said and when it is FELT. So feel it when you say it. Hand on your heart feel it.

* I am here for you: Like, right here for you any time of the day or night… BUT only say it if you really mean it because when you try to reach out to someone and that first person you try isn’t there then you rarely try someone else.

* I am here to listen: And then listen! Listen with ears and hearts open. Laugh at the funny memories, grieve with them during the painful ones, hold their hand, pass them a tissue and hug them when that moment is all over. Listening is the greatest skill human beings can acquire and we all can do it better.

* I wish I had the right words. Just know that I love you. Own it. We know you aren’t mind readers to be able to deliver the right words but the pain you go through when someone dies is immeasurable and love is the only thing that gets us through. So love us through it ok?!

* I remember when…: share your favourite memory of their loved one. A happy one. One that will remind them of love, laughter, happiness. Don’t force it. Don’t pretend. Just remember their loved one with tenderness so that moment of happiness fills their heart with joy for a little while.

* Say nothing. It is golden. Saying nothing but a gentle squeeze, a loving touch. But saying nothing doesn’t mean avoid at all costs. Saying nothing doesn’t mean pretending it never happened. There is a difference between a heart felt nothing and a I-can’t-deal-with-this nothing. Always lead from your heart.

REMEMBER: You can’t fix it. You cannot take away their grief or put a timeline on it. Everyone grieves differently and just because you see them laughing, momentarily, a week from death doesn’t mean they aren’t crying, in solitude, for the next 12 months. You cannot put your own grief on top of someone elses. You do not have the right. And remember… Grief is a process. There are many stages of grief and none of them can be solved with a cliche life quote from Pinterest.

Only support can help the process.

Only love can help heal the pain.

Much love.

DRK xxx

*** Aside from some editing this was written in 2013. It has sat unpublished because I wasn’t ready to let go of it. I wanted to so bad but I didn’t understand how to or even why I should have to. But I understand now. I understand that holding on and not forgiving people only hurts me. Only holds ME back and only makes my pain last longer and feel harder than it needs to – than it needed to be. 

I post it today not to cause trouble. Not to make people feel bad. Not to get responses. I post it because after much growth and self awareness I realise my story is just that. I’ve carried guilt and shame around with me for so long and it has affected me in ways that you can not believe. My Mum has her own guilt as I found out yesterday. My Dad, I’m sure has his too. But I don’t  know why because to me they were amazing parents who did everything in their power to help him. To prolong his life and to make the life he had safe, fun and as carefree as possible. It is clear that we all have our own versions of guilt and who hurt us during this time. 

I post my experience for others who feel the same because if I could just help one person grieving let go of the guilt, the injustice, the anger. To forgive quicker, to feel normal and comforted in their grief and to not allow these parts of our stories to hold them back for as long as I have then I’ve done something good with my life ~ one love, DRK xxx *** 

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When Bigger IS Better

Bigger is better when your first glass of wine was served by some tigharse douche canoe in a standardised sippy cup BUT thankfully on your next trek to the bar, a mouthful later, you get the cute little bar man who gives it to you with a wink and in a pint. #dontcarehowidrinkmywine

Bigger is better when you go to the ATM expecting to only see $25.00 but on the balance on the screeen shows $250! Woohoo! #hitthejackpot

Bigger is better when you are in a weight loss competition… Seriously the bigger guys always win! #moretolose

But bigger is not better if “it’s” as big as this guys forearm coz then that pounding he’s about to unleash isn’t going to be fun for us… And that’s coming from a mother of five watermelons… Ahem I mean children. #itcantfitinthere

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My husband would definitely say bigger boobs and a bigger arse are better but that’s no surprise coz he is a boob and arse man after all … #arenttheyall

My girlfriends and I would agree a bigger coffee is better than a teeny tiny cup of espresso… I mean did someone invite Barbie?! #dontmakemekillyou

Bigger is certainly better when you are on your free-eating day and you order cake. Sorry I said I wanted cake, as in a whole cake not a lady sized slice! #mmmmcake

Bigger is better when you are signing up for the internet – coz seriously being slowed to dial up speed is up there with the old telephone rotary dials #dialupisso90s

Bigger is better when you need space to be alone #ahhhh #air

Bigger is better when you open your parachute after jumping out of a perfectly good plane because those small emergency fuckers can’t be good for much. #saynotosmallfuckers

Bigger is better for carting shit across the seas and by shit I mean my online shopping. Imagine not having those big cargo ships?! It would take a decade for me to swim over and get them and then it would have been in and out of fashion twice already! #onlineshoppinggonebad

A bigger table is better for sharing stories at. A bigger car is better for my monstrous family. A bigger bag is great for all the crap I have to carry and a bigger slice of pepperoni pizza when you can only have one is, well, it’s a fucking free-food-day god send!

A bigger day time nap for my three year means a better quality of life – quality for me and life for him. A bigger hug from friends when you’re down is better than the kind of hug hugaphobic people give you… You know the ones? When that hugaphobe barely embraces you just in case your love is infectious… a slight tilt forward and slap on the back is all you get. #imnotchokingfucktard #hugsaregood

And bigger is better when we are talking all that lovey dovey and mushy stuff. The bigger the love, the bigger the heart then the better all our lives will be. #someonegetmeabucket #butimeanit

#biggerisbetter

One love

DRK xxx

Knight In Shining Armour AKA Superwoman Cape & Trackies

I haven’t had the best week of my life.

I have been an absolute mess actually. Not because of one major life changing ‘thing’. Not because of something big enough that changes a life in an instant. No cancer diagnosis. No major car accident. No loss of life.

Just lots and lots of small things all stacked up. All precariously sitting on top of each other swaying. Threatening to tumble. Competing with gravity.

And gravity won.

Gravity always wins. I should know that by now.

And so, predictably, with gravity they all came crashing down. And by ‘they’ I mean me.

I haven’t cried like that in a long time. I haven’t prayed so hard to whoever it is out there since I was a young confused teen. I haven’t felt so desperate for a reprieve since … well since I can ever remember.

It was a deep, sobbing crying. Not a self pity cry.

A cry of really truly having had enough. A cry that was possibly a pivotal moment in my life … But I’m not sure on that one – it’s too early to tell.

On Sunday my Mum found me hiding out in the laundry deeply sobbing to myself. Hiding in the laundry to keep my sobbing from my two little boys a secret.

“What’s wrong?” She asked before all the words started tumbling out of my mouth. Short, sharp statements that weren’t really the reason for the intensity I was exhibiting.

She took me and wrapped me in a cuddle. Like my knight in shining armour. Except she was in trackies – which she totally pulls off by the way.

We talked. I cried. She advised. I cried some more. Then she took control. She put her foot down and gave me firm directions for how the rest of my day was about to play out. I was to 1) Call a friend. 2) Make a dinner date. 3) Let her take the kids. 4) Go out, drink some wine and feel like an adult.

And so I did. I took my swollen leaky nose, puffy red rimmed eyes out on a Sunday night with my friend.

My friend, who also jumped at the chance to get out on a Sunday night for some adulting, is someone who makes me laugh. She’s relaxed and calm and she’s pretty bloody good at being genuine too. I chose her because I knew she’d accept me in my state and be happy to be seen with my puffy eyes in public too.

I don’t know how to explain how lucky I am to have lost it like that and had someone there for me. I know how lucky I am and that alone should bring me out of my state. I am surrounded by these supportive people on a daily basis and if they are not beside me they are only ever a phone call away.

I have the kind of mother so many people would dream about. I have the kind of mother I hope to be one day. But for now she has her shit sorted while I’m still trying to put all my shit together.  And for this I am so thankful.

I love you Mum xx

One love

DRK xxx

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Life is Short

“Life is Short”

I say this often, mostly to myself, but I’m not sure if I’m living it in the right context.

This saying first came about for me, cementing itself into my world when my brother passed away from cancer. I was around the age of 24 with two children, a third on the way and in a complicated marriage. I don’t remember being particularly mature for my age even with 2-point-5 children and a marriage under my belt. I was still making bad decisions and still very unhappy within myself for many different reasons.

When my brother died of cancer I was shattered. I was full of grief but also full of guilt and regret. Why hadn’t I told him I loved him? Why didn’t I spend more time with him? Why didn’t I realise how short life was. Especially once it’s up. Once it’s up that’s it. There’s no more of that person in your life. No more chances to say “I love you”. To hug them. To tell them who they are to you. I regretted not telling my brother I loved him for a long time. I know now that I was scared to tell him because I thought if I did then it would be an admission that things weren’t good. That he wasn’t going to make it. I honestly believed he would just jump out of bed one day and yell “Just joking! I’m all good! Tricked you all!”

I was wrong.

Love

Recently, in November 2015 my Pop became ill. I made a pact with myself to spend as much time with him as possible. I didn’t want him to feel alone. I wanted him to feel safe in the last few weeks/days of his life here on Earth. I told him I loved him. I said goodbye. I was there as he passed. I have no regrets.

7 weeks later as my Nana quickly deteriorated. I made sure I stroked her hair, held her hand, put my hand on her heart to immerse its beating in my own and looked her in the eyes when telling her I loved her. I loved that she still managed to say it back to me, I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget the sparkle in her eyes. She wasn’t scared. I hadn’t frightened her with my words. She just felt loved. A few days later she passed away too. My heart broke but I have no regrets – she knew I loved her.

Then only a few weeks later we lost our neighbour to cancer. Our neighbourhood isn’t just a regular neighbourhood we are all close and his loss is deafening. When I’m hanging out my washing or playing with my kids he is no longer in his backyard talking to his “girls” (his chickens) or fluffing about in the garden. He is no longer climbing over the fence to have a beer with my parents. He is no longer on the other end of the computer two doors up asking me for help on some internet issues always with his bad grammar and no use of capitals. I was going to see him the night before he died but he was already in bed so I didn’t. He was gone from this life the next day. On my daughters 18th birthday. I told him in one of our last Facebook messages that I loved him. No regrets.

I started writing this blog a few days ago but I was struggling to find the words. Then I’ve been hit today, like a slap of pin-pricked realities in the face, by two friends. One on a fucked up cancer journey and the other just about to have her 11th wedding anniversary except without her husband by her earthly side as he died 5 years ago. Both of their status’s to the world were different and unique to them but both of them had the same underlining content. Gratitude.

BE FUCKING GRATEFUL PEOPLE.

Grateful you have a partner to annoy you and leave his socks at the front door. Grateful that you have a headache you can fix with a glass of water and some panadol. Grateful that even though the kids are driving you crazy and the clean house is now a mess that you have healthy, active kids who love your love and presence… And fuck the house. This gratitude doesn’t mean guilt either. It doesn’t mean you should feel guilty for being frustrated or pissed off at these things from time to time. This is life and this is living after all but we should be grateful more of the time than we are pissed.

“Life is Short” can be summarised just with this one word. Gratitude. Being grateful. Being thankful. Looking for the good in what you have in your life and being thankful for it. Showing those you love in your life that you actually do love them. That they are your living, breathing world. Life is short because once it’s over it’s over. There are no second chances. But there can be regrets, which will for some turn into lessons. I spent 10 years regretting my brothers passing – regretting the lack of love I showed him. But I learnt from that never to do it again.

“Life is Short” has a new meaning for me today because when I first adopted the popular quote into my life I did so in a negative way but today it means gratitude. Happiness. Laughter. Love. Presence. It means saying it and feeling it and not being scared of it. It means showing my kids more presence and honesty. It means listening to my husband and learning more about him and what he needs. It’s about being there for people who need a part of me that I am capable of giving – love translated in any way, shape or form. I’m not perfect and I’m not going to ride the perfect bandwagon from here on in but I am going to give more of myself. More of the ‘me’ that is truly me. The heartfelt, sensitive me who loves deeply but has always carried a barrier for protection.

My protection is removed but perfection is not my status either.

To my family and my friends – I LOVE YOU! To all the people who have come into my life in a positive way, I love each and every one of you. You have touched me. You have honoured who I am. You have left an imprint on my life and in my heart and I am forever grateful for that. I love you. I really, really do.

My heart hurts today and my tears are flowing. Sadness? Still some regret? Missing those I love? Guilt? I’m not sure. Maybe just a heartache.

One love,

DRK xxx

Please don’t forget to tell those you love just how much they mean to you. Show them. This is the message my friend wants you to hear. To really hear. The message we all need to hear. Often.

Read her amazing, raw and honest post here on her Facebook page…. You’ll need to find the post “Water your own F**king Lawn!” Thank you Kym xx

 

Joie de Vivre

I had this tattoo imprinted on my right arm to always remind me of my mortality. It was a tattoo in honour of my brother. I have had it a few years now and become ‘used’ to it rather than moved by it. But it will now again remind me. “Joie de Vivre” ~ French; exuberant enjoyment of life

 

 

Parenting Like a Bitch

Becoming a Mummy is one of the most exciting and scary things to do in the world. Exciting because you are combining magic beans with magic cuddles and creating a magic mini human – with many other exciting ways to become a mummy too I know. And it’s scary because well, because you’ve seen it go pear shaped for many – especially those irresponsible mummies with their uncontrollable children in the supermarket. Right? 

Wrong….

Shall we take off our rose coloured glasses and get real here…. Yes, let’s do that.

Parenting is going to suck big time some days!

We’ve all had visions of the type of Mum we would be. We’ve also thought long and hard about how cute and agreeable our children would be and then … Well, then we actually become real life parents.

What we all need to know on those days where it sucks harder than a baby on a cracked nipple is that we are ok and it is ok to feel like we suck at this.

This post is for the days when being a Mum feels like it’s the hardest, most unrewarding and frustrating thing in the world to do. This is your virtual hug from one mumma to another.

SOME DAYS

Some days your mini-human will sleep for a total of 5 hours in a 24 hour period and it is not in one block of blissful sleep but broken into many much smaller-sized portions and always when you have shit to do.

Some days you will be puked on, peed on and pooped on a million times before you have even walked out the door and it’ll be the first time since your bundle arrived that you’re actually out of your PJ’S before lunchtime and you’ve even managed to do your hair and make-up… Sort of… It’s just not until later you realise you didn’t wash the conditioner out of your hair and you only put mascara on your left eye. Just rock it. Own it.

Some days you will post a cute pic of your baby on Facebook with hashtags like: #havenofuckstogive #luckythiskidiscute and you will mean it …. In an endearing way of course.

Some days the mini human is going to tear apart your soul while tearing up the supermarket aisle and you will be the poor mummy copping the stares from the very judgemental supermarket people. Supermarket people really are judgemental bastards aren’t they?! While we are talking supermarkets let me have a word with their marketing teams on behalf of all parents – why must you put everything we don’t want our children to have or eat at their eye level?! Why not hide that shit elsewhere and let everyone keep their sanity and shop in peace!

THE IDEAL

You may have in your mind a perfect picture but please know perfection is an expectation that you should wipe off your list right now – along with the perfect birth plan, the perfect sleep routine, the perfect child. You are giving birth to a human. A human who comes with their own needs, wants, personality and sometimes they’re even upgraded and come with devil horns… Doesn’t matter if you asked for the upgrade or not there are no refunds here! There is also no manual and the sooner you realise perfection is not in your control the sooner you will really enjoy parenthood… And it should be enjoyed. Imperfections and all.

“Perfection is an expectation that you should wipe off your list right now…” ~ Superwoman & Her Dirty Red Knickers

SCRAP IT

If you’ve pictured bliss – scrap it.

If you’ve pictured perfect Mummy, perfect Baby – scrap it. Delete it out of your mind now and forever.

If you’ve pictured only homemade organic food – scrap it. There will be days where preparation of organic food will be as hard and as overrated as the first crap you dared to push out after delivering that organic baby and tearing from one end to the other. 

If you’ve pictures breast feeding bliss and naturalness – some of us need to scrap it. There will be cracked nipples for many new mummies and as natural as breastfeeding is it is still not the easiest thing in the world to do for a lot of women. Totally ok. You are not a failure.

PARENTING LIKE A BITCH

Parenting like a bitch means that you ask for help when you need it. There is nothing weak about asking others for help.

Parenting like a bitch means before you go to bed in the evening when you’ve had one of those days look in the mirror and deep into your bloodshot eyeballs and say to yourself out loud like a crazy bitch “IT’S OK. I. AM. OK!”

Parenting like a bitch means you offer support to all those other mums doing it tough. Give them a hand when you are capable of giving it.

Parenting like a bitch means that after offering support which will be politely declined coz we are all so stubborn that you open your arms and your hearts to the troubles and tribulations of every other parent out there. You don’t have to take on their shit and you don’t have to save the world but being a good listener is heart healing. Trust me.

Parenting like a bitch means dropping the judgement. Dropping the anger, dropping the comparisons and choosing to just be real. Understand that every child and every child-parent relationship is different. Heck, I have five kids but only three of them toe the line most of the time! All five of them have been brought up the same. Same morals, same values and protocols for surviving. Yet two of them live by their own rules. It is what it is.

Parenting like a bitch means there will be moments in your life when you just want to pack up and walk the fuck out. Hell, you don’t even care for packing up – you’re done with that too! But generally once you’re at breaking point magic happens. The baby rolls over for the first time. Or the teenager randomly does the dishes. Or the non-verbal two-year-old drops his toy and clearly says his first word “Fuck.” It’s moments like these you look away, your once tense shoulders start shaking violently while you try to restrain yourself from wetting your pants in laughter … Oops pelvic floors. Wetting your pants is optional… Sometimes… Ok its not optional. You are a grown woman wetting her pants while laughing at her two-year-old son swearing.

From one Mummy to another – are you doing ok?

One Love,

DRK xxx

If you or anyone you know is suffering from Post-Natal Depression please contact your local GP, or someone you trust to talk with and get help. You can also visit PANDA.

Here’s some information from their website on PND:

The signs and symptoms of postnatal anxiety and depression can vary and may include:

  • Panic attacks (a racing heart, palpitations, shortness of breath, shaking or feeling physically detached from your surroundings)
  • Persistent, generalised worry, often focused on fears for the health or wellbeing of baby
  • The development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours
  • Increased sensitivity to noise or touch
  • Changes in appetite: under or overeating
  • Sleep problems unrelated to the baby’s needs
  • Extreme lethargy: a feeling of being physically or emotionally overwhelmed and unable to cope with the demands of chores and looking after baby

When Offspring Fly

The wings I’ve helped shape for the past 18 years have opened up and flown the coop. To say I’m feeling pretty tragic is on target. And to say I am shocked that I even feel this way is a huge understatement.

Only 1 month short of my 18th birthday I found out I was pregnant with my girl. I had organised a pub crawl, yes I’m a class A bogan through and through, to celebrate my legal stance in the community. But instead of getting totally plastered I ended up legal and totally sober. Everyone on board my bus had a ripper of a night- me not so much.

Four nights ago I celebrated my daughters 18th and partied like it was mine… again… except this time I was 100% not pregnant. I celebrated because I’d made it! She’d made it! It felt like a victory! A bloody fucking marvellous victory! I sucked back copious amounts of jelly shots that I had prepared earlier – I had made two different versions, apparently, strong and extra fucking strong. I guzzled strawberry daiquiris like lolly water and finished off with vodka and soda – which by that stage tasted like water and it was probably water that the bar staff were charging me $10 for!

I crawled into bed at 3am. Something I haven’t done since I was in my 20’s and I’ve suffered for it every day since. But oh what a night! What a memory! What an achievement! 

One child down four to go! I can only hope and pray that they all fly the coop with their heads on their shoulders, confident and happy little birdies like their big sister. But something tells me I’m not going to get it that easy… I think it’s karma 😬

One love,

DRK xx

This was written back in February 2016 – it’s been hiding in my drafts since then. Perhaps I couldn’t face that it actually happened but then again I obviously wrote it during my hangover so I probably forgot I’d even written it!

Oh and for the record my speech that I had planned in my head turned out to be a very shortened, powerful version of my actual speech. Here it is: “She’s not pregnant!” To which everyone cheered of course! Thankfully she’s not much like her mum! X


This was my offspring begging me to go to the pub with her and her friends … and leave behind my house full of guests … who were there to celebrate HER birthday … at 9:30!

Marriage, Sex and a Genie: Part 2

I recently blogged about sex and how it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be, especially in long term relationships. There is not always passionate sex and equal libidos…

Not all of the time.

Not for all couples. 

The original post came with a warning to NOT read it if you were sensitive to dirty words or lacked a sense of humour… But sometimes people, lovely special people, don’t heed the warnings. And so these people – after reading my sarcastic, crude, tongue-in-cheek and well-warned post – decided to offer their advice to me about me and my “bratty western woman” behaviour. I really, truly value their opinion. Honestly, truly valued – thank you xx. In their opinions, I shouldn’t be married to anyone … ever, I really don’t deserve my husband, I’m a terrible, terrible wife and that, well, that I’m a disgusting human being … simply because I don’t want sex every day – sheesh I thought my average of three times a week was quite sufficient.

I’m smart enough to know that “some people” (you know who you are) get all defensive about these types of things (hmmm again the warning was there people) and it seems everyone takes everything personally these days. But all that really concerned me before I hit the “publish” button were the thoughts and feelings of the people who I actually have real feelings towards like my husband, my immediate family members and my good friends. So with this is the forefront of my mind I aired my naughtiest post ever! But in baby steps.

Step 1: I let my husband read it. Verdict: he has a sense of humour. He didn’t take it personally because he knew it was a collaboration of conversations with girlfriends over many years. His only concern was that our 18-year-old daughter might read it. She hasn’t and she doesn’t want to but she also wanted me to go ahead with Step 5 coz she, like me, was also born with a sense of humour. Gifted, all of us I tell you!

Step 2: I posted it privately and sent the link and password (it was ‘headache’ by the way which I thought was a nice touch) to a few of my closest friends. I sent it to them because we actually talk about this stuff – hell this is where I get most of my crude material from? Also, I wanted to gauge their reactions. Their reactions: Laughter, agreeability and support. Agreeability is such a nice word isn’t it but what they really said was “Fuck yeah!!! That is hilarious!! I totally get it! You need to share this!!!!” Yes, they said all that with all those exclamation marks too!

Step 3: I posted it publicly to my few hundred followers who initially at whatever stage followed me coz they ‘got’ me to a certain extent. They ‘got’ my dry and dirty sense of humour and could relate to my stories to some degree BUT I was prepared to delete if necessary. Their reactions: Again laughter, agreeability and support. In fact, I received many private messages and emails saying ‘thank you’. Thank you because nobody ever talks about this stuff and we feel we must pretend everything is perfect all of the time because our marriages are doomed, apparently, if we don’t feel like bonking our partners all day every day. If we don’t enjoy it, desire it, initiate it.

Step 4: I gave myself a pep talk… Well, actually I listened to an audible book by a successful writer who speaks about writing simply because you love to write. She speaks about writing for yourself not for others. She says when you write you have to do it with the realisation that you cannot, you will not be able to control anybody’s reaction to what you have written. That reaction belongs to them. My reaction to her talking about reactions: was to be brave. Marriage, Sex & a Genie was written lightheartedly and exaggeration was obvious (wasn’t it). My husband didn’t take it personally because a) it wasn’t and b) he’s married to me so he knows the truth about our sessions AND c) again … he has a sense of humour – which kinda seems to be an important missing ingredient here for some of you.

Step 5: Accept a ‘viral’ opportunity from a big blogging site (aka Huff Post <3) who are happy to post the risky but honest, albeit sarcastic-for-humour-purposes, post. Wow, thank god someone has a sense of humour in this world! Reaction: some crazy, aggressive, mother-fuckers!

For people who don’t know me, my husband or our relationship they’ve certainly been quick to judge which is fair game I suppose. But is it necessary to label me and call me names? They have even given my husband a permanent hall pass – he’s stoked thanks guys – and I was told by some lovely fellow, whom is probably very single, that I should stop breathing…. Yeow that was a bit harsh buddy – is Mrs Palmer cramping up? Oh and here’s a personal message just for you from me and the gorgeous Megan Fox…

While to me this all seems a little bit of an overreaction (or to those that wrote the comments, fair) there is a choice here for me. I can dwell on it, cry, beat myself up coz people don’t like me which, if I’m honest, I was tempted to do because that’s been ‘my thing’ all my life. You know, live in fear of not being liked and trying to keep everyone happy. OR my other option is that I can take it and leave it. This is what I have chosen to do. It’s that simple really. Read, delete, repeat.

I’ve learnt five things in this critical process:

1) a dry sense of humour is not shared by all.

2) people take shit really, really personally.

3) from a 980+ word “story” people think they know all there is to know about you and your relationship and whether you should live and breath or not.

4) you cannot control how other people react.

5) you are braver than you think. Even if it hurts.

I’m not going to apologise to the keyboard judge and jury – again you were warned not to continue reading. This type of shaming is why women or men – remember all relationships will suffer from some kind of libido imbalance at times, feel like they can’t talk about ‘it’. That they can’t talk about their low libidos or heavens-to-Betsy have a joke about their husbands persistently high libido. Shamed because people are quick to label us selfish, dud roots (yes someone actually called me that – someone who has never actually rooted me), terrible wives and to tell us our marriages are doomed. But that’s their opinion.

We are always, always on demand whether it’s the five hundred kids we have (see how I exaggerated there?), their billion teachers and sports coach appointments (and again), our never-ending household needs (dramatising), and most importantly our husbands. Sometimes we feel like we are always in demand. Kissing sore knees, wiping away sad tears, fixing, cleaning, sucking dick… So for us to want our bodies, our minds to ourselves for an hour, a day we are seen as selfish, spoilt brats? Really?!

Well to those on the same wavelength as me (I think there are a couple of you out there … Oh yes I see you.. Hi there!), to those that feel like they’d like a little “this-is-my-body-and-I’d-like-no-invasion-of-a-peen-today” let me support you. Ignore my hateful commentators (I have – they’ve been deleted) that try to make us feel ashamed for not feeling like getting down and dirty with sexy time all the time

Here’s to not feeling like a ‘happy ending’ each and every night – oh unless that happy ending is watching your own TV show in peace while snacking on chocolate.

Here’s to the effort that we do make even when we don’t feel like it. 

Here’s to “obligation sex” when hubbies flying out to his week-on shift, or flying in. 

Here’s to being able to laugh about it with your girlfriends and to people with a sense of humour. 

And finally here’s to feeling normal and not awful for having a headache, occasionally. And no aspirin will not fix it but a cuddle will. Just don’t poke me in the back with that ‘thing’, ok?

#findyoursenseofhumourdotcom #nexttimereadthewarning #yourreactionsucksdicks #hallpassesallround

One love,

DRK xxx