Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back to the original Story

As it says above... I ended up being unable to work with the person who was "editing' my story, as what started out as editing became a take over and he began writing the book he thought should be written; I realised on Sunday when he spent the day at the computer reading over the whole of what we had worked upon, from about 7am till midnight most days for almost ten days. Each day I felt my energy getting less and less and he seemed to gain energy. On that Sunday I decided I didn't like what i was seeing on the screen so I printed the whole thing out. It had become a dog's breakfast of a story and the continuity was shit. The words I used, and which I seemed to have to argue over, again and again, even words such as "which" which he always replaced with "that" which made the work sound choppy...many of my softer words like precious became "hard' words as you might use in a text book. Its hard to explain here but I was reading someone elses version of my story.

This takeover seemed to seem reasonable in the beginning because I thought here is someone who knows what they are doing and I don't. So I gave way and many of the things I gave way on needed to go but just as many were fine.

After I printed it out and realised what a mess it had become, with whole paragraphs all in the wrong order, so much so that when i get back from my daughter's place I know it will take me days to untangle.

The shit hit the fan on Sunday night when as he was reading down through the day when Don was forced to sit up in the wheelchair for three hours although suffering, he turned to me and barked - and I mean barked - he's a big person - "Three hours! he sat up for three hours! I would have got him back to bed." This went on for about fifteen minutes with his barking at me what he would do and how he would do it, and all I could hear was "I, I, I". The meaning was clear as to why did I not do what he thought could be done although he tried to turn this around the next day. There was no other reason for such a verbal assault and tirade.

By the end I felt like I had been attacked which I was. I remember my eldest sister saying when her husband used to play mind games on her and bark about, that she would go very quiet and still - and feel herself shrinking so as to appear smaller. I felt like that. I have encountered many people in my life my being so very old, but never someone who could bully so effectively overriding everything he would not allow as possibility but there not being anything you could get a handle on - so it was hard to grab hold of something.

I am out of town and its very quiet here. That night I understood how people kill. I sat there copping this "wah wah wah I I I" and my heart felt black. I do not hold guilt about any aspect of my care of Don. I did my best, and I know Don knew/knows that. I am now at peace with what happened re how I acted.

So I finally stood up slowly and hand out in a stop, said quietly," I can't do this" (meaning his working on the story). I turned and went into my room and shut the door. I had been feeling as if my house had become not mine. When I stopped shaking and looked in the mirror I was shocked to see how large the pupils of my eyes were. People talk about "red rage", which I experienced many years ago - where your sight seems to have a red haze, but this was "black rage'.

I felt afraid/ threatened/ not physically but emotionally. I felt like I was in a state of shock that night. Something was very very wrong with him,

It was a strange night. I could hear him making himself a cup of tea and aware he was typing and finally I went to sleep. I got up early and ate the hugest plate of wheetbix because I felt shaky and empty. So when he came out later, I just told him much of the above, that my story no longer felt like mine etc and you know what his arrogant response to what he called my "feedback" how I hate when people talk like this - he said "Well I hit the right buttons" as if it was all a big game and somehow clever.

Why would someone want to do that to me or anyone? I don't understand that sort of cruelty. it was very cruel to imply that although I hadn't acted to ease Don's suffering "for three hours" he would have gone out to the street and got someone to help him get Don back to bed.

Then you realise that even someone who believes he sees and knows all is shockingly ignorant, practically, and emotionally.

The clue to the behaviour is, that i did not know what a strong background in Scientology he had. He claimed to no longer be a member, but if he mentioned once, he mentioned dozens of times how well Scientology trains your mind etc etc...shame about the heart I guess. He was only needing a couple of hours sleep a night and I was waking exhausted. I actually feel like he was draining my energy on some level

Lucky that I am going to see the girls on Thursday because physically I feel like I am back in the early days. My chest is so sore and I feel like I can't breathe.

In my whole life apart from the time before Don's death, i have never felt so out of control of my thoughts and actions and house, my story, everything. Has anyone else come across these people.

His attitude improved and he booked his train. I believe his intention was to help but his ego overrode that and he took control. Even things like my "australianisms' I was told to take out because others might not understand - the book will have most relevance to Australians and I don't think most of you have much trouble understanding my terminology.

Maybe its best to pay someone to do this stuff in a payment for hours deal rather than accept favours from aquaintances where you feel in their debt, which lessens your ability to pull them out when needed. So I guess I have learnt something at least.

Any hoo - its quiet here now. I am constantly seeing my old doggie in my mind's eye, but so pleased he is not suffering as he was.

Sorry for the rant...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Still Here!
I have been working 12 hours a day trying to edit down my book about Don's death as a result of medical mistakes. I am longing to check up on you all but as a long time friend is here from brisbane specifically to help me, I have to make use of this. We've been at it since last friday and I can tell you the advice of an editor is worth it. My book has goon in another direction completely and I feel now it will be a very powerful book which will change some things...many things I hope. Its been good having someone here since Thorn died, as its not so lonely. I hope all of you are going okay...

Friday, September 19, 2008

The lovely Thorn's special spot... he used to rolland scratch his back here and when the grass was too long he would hide from me, or think he was because i could always see his one ear sticking up - he didn't allow for that... I forget the name of the tree but it grows quickly and is a shade tree... if I am here long enough I will get to enjoy the tree but someone will if not me.

Look at the sunset Alison photographed the evening of the day we buried Thorn. It was spectacular.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

...and so to run in heavenly fields. The old doggie died here today while I was sitting with him on the floor. No vets or anything, just in his own dignified way and with little fuss. My daughter boarded the plane at about the same time he died, so she has yet to find out. She always rings me on connecting flights - in between and I can't pretend with her, so her next flight will be not very happy. We both prayed she would make it.

Last night I made a bed on the floor beside him and sat awake with him till 3am... as he seemed really concerned if he couldn't see me... he has been such a gentle dog, a funny dog, always starving, drooling at the sound of paper or plastic.

I have laid him in his leopard skincoloured bed and with his woolen Bilby. I made sure he looked as good as I could to lessen things for Alison as these two were inseparable for the first ten years... she always told him she'd get him back to the country and she did that. We were happy to have him and he came to us at a time when Don was getting sicker, and we needed his silliness, and has been my constant mate since Don died.

Don't tell me dogs don't have souls.
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm losing my lovely doggie
Thorn...the best mate ever.

The first photos were taken early this year...

there he was chipper and healthy apart fro a big lump on his shoulder (its not malignant)

In the past month I have realised he didn't seem to want to eat much nor drink

I needed to go and spend a few days with our eldest Melissa this week and left him with some really good people

they hand fed him... hand watered him...

But now he couldn't care less...and have been trying all day to coax him to eat a bit of chicken or whatever....

He's happy enough... not in pain as the vet told me the damage is spinal cord not spinal as in vertebrae, so no pain in the back legs where the problem is...He has a partial analysis of the throat because the non malignant lump on his shoulder is pressing on the nerve which this affects...

ah well...he's fourteen and making a choice that most of us humans are too cowardly to make...

but I am going to miss him so much and grieve for him. He has sat near my feet every night almost since Don died.

I have talked to him like he knew English and all of that...

What buggers me is that in an eighteen month period I lose my 20 year old cat that I loved dearly, my lovely husband that I loved even more and now my dog. I know its not much compared to most but I feel devastated watching him go, knowing too well that soon he will be just ...gone. I am not feeling sorry for myself but some people seem to have so much and be surrounded by family and kids and grand kids...but my only companion has to be taken...sorry people but it doesn't feel fair... i know life is not meant to be fair, usually quoted by those who have so much... but for some of us it seems too unfair.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My eldest turns 34!!!

I am off to Sydney for a few days, first to give a talk to a group interested in what happened to Don and after that to spend Melissa's 34th birthday with her. Its hard to credit that it was 34 years ago... thats getting to be some serious years. She's on the left. In a few weeks after that my youngest, Alison (right) turns 31 and I'll go down to Melbourne for her birthday as well. I was a child bride (blush). There was never one moment when I didn't enjoy being their mum. I had no great ambitions to travel or write war and peace.

And now she's 14 years older than what i was when I had her, and I thought I was so grown up at 20, and I was actually. We didn't have to be, but chose to be.

When I was 34 Melissa was 14 and had sparks in her eyes which had to be watched...she wanted to get out there in the world already. Those years between 14 and 17 were "interesting" as it was with Alison. But we all survived those years and they turned out okay. Sort of gave us grey hairs but kept us young... I think.

The funny thing is that I have no doubt that my own mother who died when I was 39, would have no doubt looked at photos as I do remembering all the years, not just seeing the present. I am sure when she considered all five of us her daughters she must have wondered how we all survived into adult hood and all the near misses we all had...

She was a wonderful mum and the girls remember her with much fondness. So much so that when they went to a concert in Melbourne which celebrated the life of Elvis with different impersonators (good ones) playing the parts of his life as he aged, they both got emotional when "Love Me Tender" came on, because if any song was Mum's that was it.

Mum was happy to have pictures of the sacred heart of Jesus and Mary (which I still have) hanging large right next to equal size ones of Elvis. She was a gently spoken woman, shy with outsiders, but full of fun and mimicry when she was among us.

This is a favourite photo taken of my Mum with Melissa and Alison about 2 years before she died. She's in my head today for whatever reason, but it feels good.
As an aside...seen any publicity about the fact that the Para Olympics is on at present? No front page news of medals won and lost? Apparently the Chinese put on a spectacular display at the beginning... seen any pictures in your papers, television coverage?
I haven't. Shows what matters to people. The efforts these people put in far outweighs the efforts of the some of the able bodied athletes...no slur on them. Try playing wheelchair basket ball for a challenge, using your shoulders to get you there. I guarantee that in about two minutes you'd be exhausted. And along with that there are many other issues to do with the injury which affect the body that unaffected people never consider. Most people seem to imagine you just get up in the morning and sit all day in comfort with no bodily functions and no pain...what an easy life???
So three big cheers for the athletes that few of the media are interested in and few of the people, because these guys have real courage and true spirit.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A bit of an edit to the book

A long time friend of Don and me has been reading through my book and began editing it...I'm still laughing at his advice to go through and take out all the words such as "scum", "Bastard mongrels" etc that i shot in as my fingies flew over the key board. It felt good at the time, but I guess I knew when i was writing it that there are more conventional ways of being insulting and that a cleverer use of the English language to imply "scum" or "bastard mongrel" might be more helpful in getting more people to read it. But I will leave in the odd scum and bastard mongrel, just for colour.

Don't know why I feel like falling about laughing over this - I was ever impulsive, and funny at 54 to be smacked across the knuckles again. Quite enjoyable really... nice to know that the crazy berserker I was a a kid still lurks and hasn't been consumed by the system.
I was always in trouble, but my intentions were always good, just could never handle taking shit from people