Sunday, January 03, 2016


The first two days of this year haven't been very good.

I have been insensitive.

I have been trouble.

Looking back over my life, I can see I have always been trouble, right from the get go. I was trouble at birth and then I grew into a person who always caused trouble. People have tried to point this out to me, but I have never understood.

I think I understand now.

I've been trying to be someone all my life. I've been trying to be special. I didn't want to be special because of my low vision, so I've tried to be special in other ways. I've been desperate for people to notice me and that is how I've been trouble.

When I was very young, about four years of age, I did some - said something - that caused a big rift in my family. It caused a divide between my mum and her family. At school I wouldn't be quiet, and I wouldn't follow the rules. I was moved from one school to another, time and again because I was trouble. I didn't care, I had to have things my way because I was special, I was somebody.

At the first place I boarded for school, I was always in trouble. I chose friends who also caused trouble and then I willingly went along with everything they did, because I was special.

At the second place I boarded for school, I almost caused the lovely couple who were housing me to divorce. I put a lot of pressure on the family. I wanted to be part of their family, equal to the other children in the household - not a boarder. I wanted to be special and noticed and somebody.

When I was sixteen I got myself into trouble, I didn't tell anyone at the time, and nature took care of my problem for me. Later I told a friend, who told her father, who told just about everyone. I caused trouble for my mum, with her wayward teen child. I caused trouble for, by then, my ex boyfriend. I embarrassed everyone.

I then went on to be more trouble until, eventually at age eighteen, mum handed me over to dad. While living with dad, I when off the rails, though he wasn't aware of it, I don't think. I got pregnant again and this time booked in for a termination, but once again, nature took care of my trouble.

I went to uni, latched onto the first guy who came along and proceeded to be trouble in his life. I needed to be special, and I did everything I could to make him make me feel like I was someone. I drove him away.

He was not the first, and no where near the last person I drove away in my quest to be someone.

I had a good friend who, because of my insensitivity, cut all ties with me.

Since then I've had two other friends do the same thing. These were nice people. I was trouble.

At uni, I always had to be the exception. I always took double the time of other students to finish my degrees.

After I met the Grumpy Old Man, I brought trouble into his life as well. I had to have it my way. Marriage and a baby, and then another, and another, and another. I've always joked that he was very good at compromise, but in reality, I didn't leave him any options. I pressured him and pressured him, and he relented because he's a good man.

I did a grad. dip. ed. with the promise of work, but then I was too afraid to put myself 'out there' because I didn't want to find out that I wasn't special, I wasn't someone. So, I did a Masters of Education instead. I piled on the pressure having two babies while doing the Masters, all because of the admiration I received for being vision impaired and having two babies and doing a Masters degree. I felt like I was someone. I made the GOM suffer through this with me. I sent him out on a stormy day to hand in my final assignment. He had bronchitis when he left home and pnuemonia when he came back. He did this for me because I had to be special.

He told me I couldn't do any more study, it wasn't fair on the family. I didn't study for five years after that, but instead I forced him to move out of our comfortable, convenient, and cheap home into the country because I wanted to be a country town somebody. I forced him to commute four hours each day to and from work. And then I got sick and he had to take time off work to care for me, and we had to move back to Melbourne - to a much more inconvenient and expensive house. All the while I was pressuring him to have a third child.

He acquiesced to having our third, and then our fourth, at which stage I started a new degree, despite promising not to put the family through all that again. I didn't feel special enough just being a mum. Soon after our fourth was born and I was in the middle of my second masters, the GOM was made redundant. That put more pressure on the household, but I refused to relieve any of it by quitting my Masters. I had to be someone, whatever the cost.

All this time, if I didn't get what I wanted, I would rage and nag until I did get what I wanted, because I was someone, I was special - people just needed to accept that.

Finally, I signed up to do a PhD. This has put so much more pressure on the household. Our kids have all started to act out. The household is always in a state of tension and argument. And what for? Because I have to be someone? Because my ego is so inflated, it has it's own timezone.

The thing is, and it has taken me a very long while to acknowledge this, though I've known it all my life, I'm not special

When all the sums are tallied up, I'm just a woman with a vision impairment who had ruthlessly manipulated everyone in her path to feed her ego. And to what end? I won't ever work because people who employ people can see right through my facade. I'm nobody. I'm trouble.

The last two days have been awful as I've come to realise how much trouble I really am for everyone. The Grumpy Old Man tolerates me, and I'm sure, by now, he's wondering why he does that - I think it's for the kids, really. We were supposed to go on a family trip next week. Yesterday, the GOM said he wanted to go on his own, he needed alone time, to regroup. I raged because *I* wanted us to go on a family trip. I refused to see how he's suffered over the years, and how, finally, he just can't do it anymore.

Recently, Erik told me that he and Lukas couldn't wait to move out, to get out of this house.

I'm driving my family away.

I am not special. I am nobody.

My new years resolution for 2016 was going to be decluttering the house and putting a stop to my excessive consumerism. I will do those things, but I've decided I need to focus on being nobody. I need to let go of my ego, my need to be special. I need to put my family first. I'm not exactly sure how this will play out but I'll figure it out as I go along.

I'm hoping it's not too late, that I haven't already caused irreparable damage, but I suspect I have. I suspect I killed off any feelings the GOM had for me, years ago. I suspect he's just too good a dad to leave the kids with me, or to take them away from me. I'm hoping maybe I can repair my relationship with the older boys, and not make the same mistakes with the younger boys.

I have hurt so many people, thinking about it overwhelms me. If I could, I would not exist, not be born, not live a life of causing trouble. I can't take back the past now, though.


EvieK said...

Hi Sif, just wanted to let you know that this is an extremely well written blog post and I really feel what you are realising here. Maybe if you showed this to the GOM he would be able to see where you have been coming from and how you have realised where you have gone wrong?

It is so hard to not get what you want I know! I think by being humble and putting others first you can bring your family back together and be happier. From reading this for a long time I can tell you care so much about the well being of your family...and I'm sure teenagers are dramatic sometimes. I think my kids would also choose to get away from me if they could, the grass is always greener:)

Anyway I wanted to offer my support and I do believe you can turn this around.

Sif Dal said...

Thanks Evie, I wrote this in the middle of the night and having just scanned over it, I can hardly believe anyone would read through the whole thing!

I'm standing by all that I wrote in the wee hours, though obviously I was quite upset at the time of writing. Things are a lot better today, but I am still feeling that I've caused so much trouble for the people in my life, and I need to change that, especially with the GOM (I take him way too much for granted - it's all too easy because he's very kind (he's not perfect, he hates change, like all change, like the introduction of ATMs and mobile phones 25 years ago... He's still getting used to the idea)). I need to find ways to show him that I appreciate him as a person, not just as a kid taxi and dogs body at home.

But also, in all my other relationship - I can be very hard work. I have friends who will argue the point, but they're thick skinned and take as good as they give. The people I've driven away are far more sensitive, and well, the point is I can be rather insensitive, especially when I can't relate to their feelings.

Anyway, I guess crisis is usually the place where change is born.

Good Job!