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Showing posts from March, 2016

The next step...

Day seven of Erik not living at home. We've been through the gamut of emotions, but I think things are starting to settle down just a little bit.

The Grumpy Old Man and I went and saw a lawyer yesterday, just to be clear on our right and responsibilities in a situation where we are no longer our son's carers, but are still his guardians. I'm sure in his head, this is just about him moving out to get more freedom of choice - ironically, at least as far as school goes, the choices are still not his and not his carer's either - but the ripple effect here at home is huge.

I have just submitted the intermission application form to the university with the permission of my supervisors. So, my degree has been suspended. We need to contact the school and let them know Erik is no longer living with us, and that we can no longer afford to pay his school fees since losing the family tax benefit - they will need to make arrangements with his new carer. We will likely give our permi…

Hello again 3am...

Another sleepless night and I'm having to admit defeat. Tomorrow (well, later today), I'm going to apply for another intermission of my PhD. I can't do this thing where I'm supposed to function like everything is normal, everything is all right. It's not. I'm terribly worried about the Grumpy Old Man, he is so upset, so hurt, and of course he's just trying to hold it all in because he's afraid of what might happen if he lets it all out. I admit, that thought scares me, too.

I can't see how I can go to uni every day and do research and writing and leave him at home with his thoughts and three kids, it won't be fair to him and it definitely would not be fair to the boys.

And then there is the thing where I'm just not getting any sleep.

Today I found out Erik has himself a new phone, an iPhone 6s, and a new number. I know this because he added it to his Apple ID account. I guess he's determined to cut contact with us. I don't know how h…

What kind of person...

I can't sleep again. The stress is too much.

I need to know.

What kind of person helps a sixteen year old pack up their bedroom and move out of their parents' house in the middle of the night, claiming later it was so the child had a 'safe place to go'?

This person obviously believed the child was going to run off and live on the streets, but never spoke to the child's parents, never spoke to their school, never contacted the Department of Children's Services, just drove a child away from his home in the dead of night without a word to anyone, and then believes herself to be a hero?

The police said it was bizarre.

The child is happy as Larry because, well, he wasn't getting what he wanted at home. He wanted to do VCE subjects in year 10 when he'd failed them in year 9 when he refused to attend classes because he couldn't 'see the point'. He didn't have his parents' permission, which to him was intolerable. His girlfriend's mother…

Shattering...

Sorry peoples, this is going to be another vague post, so if that sort of thing bores you to tears, feel free to skip it. I just need to get some stuff out that has been swimming around in my head for a couple of days now.

A couple of days ago our household woke up to some shocking news. At one point or another, I think, we've all had a little cry to ourselves, a couple of us a much bigger cry (it won't surprise you to hear the couple of us are Bryn and me). Ari has been off the planet, so we're just trying to be patient with him.

With a couple of days under our belt we're starting to emerge from the shock and trying to find a path through the chaos.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about how you can do your best, you can try to do everything 'right' and still bad stuff happens. I've questioned myself, my actions, was there more I could have done, but search as I might, I just can't see what.

In the wake of this world rocking event I've been sad,…

Regret...

On the bus on the way to uni this morning, I found myself listening to a song about regret. It is on my walking playlist and so I listen to this song all the time, but this morning it really affected me. Suddenly, I was overcome by a crashing wave of regret. Not for any one thing in particular, but for so many little things. We were passing the boys' first primary school and I wished things had turned out differently. Then I started to think about all the other things I wish had turned out differently and how I regret so much of my own attitudes and actions that played into how things eventually came to be.

It's funny, it must be an age thing. In my past I've felt strongly that I regretted nothing in my life because my life as it was had led me to the place in time that I was when I was not regretting anything. That last bit hasn't changed much. I am still satisfied with where I am in my life. I have so much of everything I ever wanted - I would not risk losing any of …

In the background...

I usually mourn the end of summer. This year I'm not so sad. It has nothing to do with summer being too hot. For me, this summer was pretty mild. I think I'm just in a better frame of mind at the moment. Maybe also because while summer wasn't too hot for me, it has been too hot to walk Harlem home in the afternoons, and well, I kind of miss my afternoon walks. Cooler weather will mean being able to get in two walks a day, which is good for my mental well being.

I think the antidepressants are helping as well. Certainly, I haven't been having the horrible lows I was sinking into in December and January. A lot of people don't like the idea of chemically treating depression or anxiety but I really do find it works for me. I did really well without the ADs for a long while there - three years, I think, but something changed last year. I don't really know what it was - I'd say stress, certainly the seizure is put down to stress, but I've had very high amount…

Journalling, abstracts, and privacy...

I'm trying to write an abstract for my thesis. This is often done once the thesis is written, but I've been asked to do it now to help me distill the framework and methodology of my project in my own mind. I'm aiming for about 350 words, I think, and have been googling the writing of abstracts all morning. There are more science based approaches which include background statements, aim, methods, results, limitations, and further research suggestions - these broad areas could quite easily be applied to my creative work as well. Then there are more loose approaches where you outline the nature, scope, and intent, and show how the creative artefact is linked to the exegesis. I guess this is not that different, only maybe a little more fluid?

Anyway, I've started writing, and in doing so I've realised that I haven't actually addressed a major part of my framework. I've written about narrative identity and able flash fiction and how it mimics the nature of memor…

The clock struck two...

I can't sleep. Aaaargh! I've taken all the medications that usually knock me out and I still can't sleep.

I've done some maths - you'd think that would work right? Counting words instead of sheep, trying to work out how many words of my creative artefact I've written so far... 38 066. As it is flash fiction - which compresses the narrative similarly to poetry, we're working with a 7:10 ratio, so that every seven words I write in flash equates to ten words in prose forms such as a short story or a novel. With that equation, I've written equal to 54 380 words. I only need 60 000, so I'll well cross that line as I have another 66 flashes to write (which, averaged out to 250 words each would brings me to 54 566 net, or 77 951 gross), just scraping in under the upper limit.

But I still can't sleep.

Together with the introduction and the 75% of chapter one that I've written, I have a total net words of 47 414, or 59.2% of the minimum 80 000. If I…

On having no edges...

I had a journal send me a friend request on Facebook the other day. I always find it odd when journals send friend requests. Why do they do that? Are they really interested in what my kids said over the weekend, or that I'm having an anxiety attack over the state of the car, or that my spirit animal is a cow?

I'd understand sending an invite to like their page. But friend requests are so reciprocal, I look into their 'life' and they look into my life. Strange for a journal, don't you think?

Anyway, I accepted the friend request (more because it was funny to me than anything else), and then I felt 'watched' (though, I'm sure they probably unfollowed me immediately, it was more a what if they actually read my page? sort of thing). What if they were actually checking me out to see if my writing was good enough, hip enough (does anyone use 'hip' anymore?), edgy enough?

A lot of journals these days publish edgy, gritty, raw fiction. Fiction about peo…