144 days to Antarctica... "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"...The Rolling Stones


Approximately 17 minutes reading time

As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.” – Vincent Van Gogh


Hello, I hope that you are well and have had a good week. Thank you for joining me.

Satisfaction, not entirely, not yet, but I'm working on it and I know that I will feel it in its entirety, once again, eventually. Regularly and intermittently I do find and enjoy satisfaction, for which I am grateful. This keeps me going through all the turmoil and the anguish that currently floods my life. I cannot wait for my Satisfaction of going home and being settled so that Schrodie and I can begin to recover and move into the next and better chapter of our lives. I will feel satisfaction when I reach Antarctica and return home. Without leaving behind the great and wonderful experiences and people who have shared our lives over the last two years. We have enjoyed much happiness and joy as well, which is surprising and cannot be overlooked. I hope you enjoy this week’s song. I love the sentiment, the sex appeal, the rawness, the energy and power of this song. It’s great and irresistible music. I love this song and The Rolling Stones.

Living in the present is what matters to me and always has as I know that all we ever have is the present. To live well in the present I must also be aware of my future and protecting myself, to keep happy, well and safe. I do not believe that these two things are mutually exclusive but complementary with each acting as a foundation for the other.

A few days ago, my sister said something to the children that struck me hard and surprisingly, that I don’t like discomfort. I never thought about this but it is true. I have been forced to deal with and overcome immeasurable discomfort in my life. Although I have managed to do this successfully, I hate feeling discomfort and all that comes with it, so I actively choose to keep unnecessary discomfort at bay and out of my life. In particular, I do this when there is no benefit in feeling or working through this discomfort. When the discomfort is important or matters, because it relates to someone or something important in my life, I confront and fight the discomfort as it is critical to personal and rewarding growth and achievement. At the moment I do not have the energy or inclination to waste my important resources on anything futile. I do not anticipate this changing in the future.

Earlier in the week, upon returning home, as I was running out of Insulin, I was in bed reading and felt a couple of spots behind my ear. I brushed it off as an insect bite, probably mosquito bite. The next day I was in the shower and noticed what looked like scratches on my chest and I did not understand why or how this had happened and did not think upon it further. While drying myself, I noticed some spots on my torso and legs. Then standing in front of the mirror I noticed more red spots over my back, legs arms and torso. I became concerned and wondered if I might have acquired chicken pox or measles. I had suffered both these infections as a child so this was completely unexpected. My compromised immunity seemed to make acquiring these infections a possibility. I started ringing everyone I had been in contact with over the last two weeks to see if they had any spots or symptoms. Everyone was fine, for which I was grateful. I called my friend to arrange for Schrodie to stay with her in case I was infectious and had something contagious. I needed to keep him safe. Last time this happened was when I was Cytotoxic from the Cyclophosphamide Chemotherapy late last year after leaving hospital. I called the Doctor and made an appointment, which was to be in about three hours. I dropped Schrodie at my friend’s house, talked to her from a distance and proceeded to see the Doctor. To my relief, he did not believe it to be either chicken pox or measles but Psoriasis. I told him about my increasing cough over the last few weeks, my fatigue, sore throat and swollen uvula last week and the week before and he though I might have a Strep throat infection. How I caught it bewilders me. It looks like I developed a Guttate Psoriasis brought on by the infection and stress. The incredible stress under which I have been living has taken its toll on me in yet another way, triggering the psoriasis. Thankfully the psoriasis is mild. I wonder if the swelling in my ankles and joint pain is also exacerbated by psoriasis. I had actually by chance, been reading about these conditions the night before and was flawed when the doctor made his diagnosis. The doctor also believe that my weaning off the steroid, Prednisone, is a factor causing the psoriasis. I will know in a week, the swab results. I am on antibiotics. Since Schrodie is not here I miss him terribly, constantly. I feel his energy about, everywhere and want him near me. I considered bringing him home but decided that a holiday with his other mum and brother from another mother are good for him while I am unwell. I know that he is happy, safe, well and having fun. I get photographs showing me, which make me happy.

This scenario and the possibility of having caught measles reminds me of my friend who managed to catch measles years ago. Upon learning that she had acquired Measles, she was outraged and flummoxed asking the doctor how this was possible. “I don’t know any children, I am not around any children, I don’t like children” she exclaimed to him then to me. It turned out that she had picked the disease up at the gym. The equipment had not been wiped down and somebody did not use a towel. My friend is now the proud and happy mother of two sons. I had at first wondered if I had acquired the infection at my Physiotherapist, although I thought this unlikely as I know she is meticulous with hygiene and cares, wiping everything thoroughly between appointments and I ALWAYS use a towel.

On Thursday I had my second ZOOM meeting about my Podcast Series with a potential interviewee, who agreed to allow me to interview her for her perspective as a frontline worker helping the community recover from Bushfire devastation and tragedy. I am getting the most wonderful feedback and comments from people about myself and what I am working to achieve. I am humbled. I don’t really know how to do this but am working towards structuring the Pilot three to five interviews and finding people representing a cross-section of the community from different villages. I am trying to decide whether to only interview the victims of direct loss and devastation or a combination of these people and various frontline workers. I am working on interview questions and this is not easy. Also, knowing that these interviews will be filmed makes me nervous as I have realised that the experiences and wounds that I carry from living through the last two years have left me with insecurities. Before this happened to me, I had been completely secure within myself and my life. This insecurity causes me great discomfort. My current insecure life, living conditions and situation are the biggest factors causing me to feel insecure. At least I look alive now, and not sickly and dying but I don’t look as I did and facing the world is scary and nerve wracking. I hope that this Podcast is good and worthwhile. Another reason this makes me nervous is that this is important to me and hopefully to others. The aim is to expand this and support my blog. The aim is to start local and take it to the world including survivors of other natural disasters, challenges and adversity including trauma. I will put out a casting call for interviewees as soon as I am ready.

My focus is more to help other people through their journeys, to overcome challenges, adversity, trauma, fear and sadness by inspiring and motivating them, starting with sharing my story. This is what I have been advised countless times, to do in order to help others. To help inspire people to solve the problems that they face, including surviving natural disasters, illness, relationship breakdown, job loss, losing loved ones, lockdown and Covid-19 challenges and associated traumas and grief, financial ruin, and every other possible type of trauma, no matter how terrible. The principles for dealing with trauma, working towards recovery and healing are always the same. Trauma is trauma. The degrees may vary.

For me, it seems that Trauma, Loss, Grief and Love are the great human levellers in life.  These are what connect us as a foundation to and within our Humanity. I believe that this needs not be overlooked.

Solving problems is one of my Superpowers and I want to use this along with my unique experience and capacity to deal with everything to help others beat whatever they are facing to live their best life and make their dreams come true.

I’ve been told that countless times that I have an amazing and unique capacity to help others. In particular, I’ve been told that I can help women. I want to be a role model for little girls and young women and boys and young men, as well by changing the narrative, focussing not on what we can’t do but everything we can, within our limitations. To do this effectively I need to build a platform from scratch. Again not easy. More people continue to tell me that this work which I have undertaken is critically important to help others after random conversations relating to different topics and life in general. I am so very humbled by this all and hope that this Social Experiment proves successful and beneficial as a resource for those who need it now and in the future.

I am grateful and astonished at how many of you are finding my blog as I learn and fly under the radar, trying to build something useful and interesting. Thank you for your company and support. I look forward to our community growing and becoming more useful to more people. Social Media does not interest me at a personal level but it is important in creating a platform and unlocking the greatest value and benefit to others. In order to do this I would love your help. Please feel free to direct anyone you think might benefit from my blog in any way. Feel free to leave me comments and ask questions. I will reply as best I can to help you.

As for my new home, the bushfire rebuild, the Building Site Manager rang me to tell me that the bricklayer was on site, finally. This has taken about six weeks, at least. The slab was poured in the middle of June. I was asked if I had chosen a particular colour for my mortar. YES, absolutely and painstakingly. They were going to use white. I did not want white. I had travelled to look at houses using my chosen bricks and various mortar colours before I made the important colour selection as part of their process, completing various documents and signing them for inclusion as part of my building contract. I told him that I had selected the light grey mortar, NATURAL NOT WHITE. I was glad that he had called to check. He was at the hardware store organising to change the white mortar to the natural which I had selected. I told him that I am glad he checked. I had emailed the Area Manager the day before after a friend told me that they had driven past my home and that no one was onsite and no bricks had been laid. He did not reply to me. This was after he had previously emailed me, telling me to ask him any questions or for any information. Once again, an indication of the incompetence and lack of responsibility and accountability infecting this process. I am relieved that the building of my home has started. I was told that the bricklayer would be finished in about two weeks. I think this means the build will be at the lock-up stage, finally. I cannot wait. As soon as this happens I need to call and arrange the Septic System installation. I am nervous and once again excited. One breath at a time. One step at a time.

I felt inspired throughout my ZOOM meeting and afterwards. Then I had an appointment with my Therapist which was positive and helpful. Our relationship has improved and strengthened, for which I am grateful. I was told that I am handling everything unbelievably well and to be kinder and gentler with myself. This is a weakness for me and something I work on constantly. Not easy. I explained to her my deep and ever present Melancholy which swallows me whole, starting randomly when I am feeling fine and even happy. I was told that this is Trauma and given everything I am dealing with, more than understandable. I know that I have changed as have my relationships. I have realised that I have developed an insecurity within myself and around my life. This insecurity is what drove me to push away the most important people in my life last March. In effect, I did not know how to deal with people loving me, caring about me and wanting to support me through my devastation. It scared me as I have always fended for myself. Seeing and feeling inconsistencies in people’s words and actions was too terrifying to bear. Constancy, consistency, certainty and steadfastness have always mattered to me, but never more than over these last two years. People have proven to me that no matter how much they love me or care about me, I am on my own. Relationships, for me, have changed. I am now more prickly than I have ever been before. I seem to stab myself, constantly as my skin thickens in a new way. My saving grace is that I am used to this way of life and this is how I function best. I feel for others who are not so confident and comfortable on their own and fending for themselves. I told my Therapist that I hope this insecurity is temporary and will be gone once I go home. I hope that this will stop once I start to feel secure in my life, able to once again control what happens in my life and the people who are allowed into my life. I hope and believe that going home will stop me unravelling and allow me to once again feel comfortable with the choices that I want to make in my life, not need to make, in reaction to the impact of others and my situation. I hope that I can once again start to feel safe and secure within myself and about my life. My Therapist agreed that this will happen. Apparently the melancholy and ongoing tsunami of emotions engulfing me are Trauma. This is how trauma works. PTSD is another complication but I have been told that I am doing everything right to work through it and recover. At times, it feels crippling and I feel like I’m crumbling. Like Samson in the old Testament of “The Bible”, I fight to keep my strength. Unlike Samson, I have more than one Delilah after me, who I need to keep at bay in order for me to stay safe. The complication for me is the ongoing trauma and constant new traumas. I know that this will end eventually. Strangely, the experiences of the last two years have made me both stronger and more vulnerable in new and unexpected ways. I am glad and grateful, always, that I am still surrounded by wonderful people who check on me, care about me and love me. We laugh regularly and often. My melancholy and sadness have not gripped me entirely as my life is still wonderful, joyful and happy, in balance even though my equilibrium is not yet stable, it improves. I know that I am a better version of who I was before, even as I continue my transformation and rebirth.

My other main concern and point of discussion with my Therapist was my scheduled meeting with the Store Manager where I worked. My returning to work was to be the conversation. I had been told that the manager was keen to arrange my upcoming shifts as she was scheduled to hire staff for Christmas. I had inadvertently learned through a friend that this hiring was already complete and my friend was already training the new staff. Although I had wanted to return to my job because I wanted to prove to myself that I was still capable, even though this would be incredibly emotionally, mentally and physically arduous and taxing for me. After not having worked for almost two years and with Covid-19 running rampant in our communities, hence the strict lockdown returning to work was dangerous for me as well as challenging. This meeting did not bode well. The original offer of returning to work for one hour a week until I could maintain my roster of twelve hours a week was unlikely. My friend had just returned to work after six weeks of recovery after Carpal Tunnel Surgery for work related RSI and was working five hours a day for three days as her return to work schedule. I was anticipating something similar and changes to my shifts in an attempt to make me leave. I did not feel that there was anything good for me to return. 

I don't want bad energy from anyone especially with hatred and jealousy. Like the vile, insecure woman who had pushed her way into my life to get the man I love because he loved me. Getting her away from me and out of my life while she was insinuating herself further into my life, was critical for me and one of the reasons I pushed him away. I don’t want people like that anywhere near me. These people presented and continue to show false fronts to the world about who they are and this along with their insecurity, jealousy and hatred, is to me, dangerous. They are dishonest about who they are and pretend that they are kind, caring, generous and saintly but they are deceitful. This is how they manipulate others. Not me. I see what lurks beneath, the darkness, hard as this is, I am glad for this gift. I warn others to be careful of the exterior of others they meet and know, no matter how pretty or beautiful, in case it is false and darkness and emptiness and danger lurk beneath. 

Stay open, warm and loving but be careful who you let into your life and lose them if they insinuate themselves and are not good people. Cut them out of your life as these people are like a Cancer that will infect, hurt and destroy you. My experience is that people only do this deception when they have ulterior and negative motives, whatever their focus. Whoever you are, be authentic, embrace who you are, don’t lie about it and hurt other people. If you don’t like who you are, do everything you can to make decisions that will make you the person you want to be, for yourself, no one else. If you need help, reach out and get help. I’ve been living in the worst kind of Horror Film and I am not making it consciously worse. More challenging and important than this is that I will be haunted by too many ghosts and this I cannot bear. I don’t believe that I will be happy or safe going back. I am not the same, the world has changed, the job has changed and I don’t believe that work will be fun or make me happy.

Going backwards is not a good or right thing to do. I hear mummy telling me “...when one door closes a new door opens”. I don’t want to but I feel that resigning, closing this door despite being sad and scared is necessary for my happiness. Nostalgia consumes me but I must let go. In a week it will be my eight year Anniversary of work. I do not believe that I will ever work in Retail again. I am saddened that when I evacuated my home, I took my work uniforms in lieu of important possessions and for no reason, as it has evolved. I was dreading a difficult conversation with the Manager, regardless of her seemingly pleasant demeanour. I knew she wanted me gone. My Therapist told me that there was no need to endure a meeting, to not put myself through this unnecessary anguish. I was told to send a resignation email instead. I had not even considered this option. It felt like a cop-out but still the better choice for me. I was overcome with such sadness at these realisations and acceptance that even after I sent the email early next morning, I could not stop crying. I knew, as always, that I would be okay from a work and financial perspective, even if not yet sure how this would happen. This was not the first time in my life that I had taken such a risk and leap into the unknown. I also feel a great sense of relief since resigning from this job. I feel lighter and more free. I no longer need to look outside my door or window and see this place of employment which has caused me so much angst since I lost everything last year and Fate brought me to live across the road from where I had worked. This is the irony of ironies to live across the road from my workplace and not be able to work. The stress of this all, was too much. This is now over for me and I am glad for this new reality.

I had not accepted the manager's meeting invitation. I informed my three friends that worked there of my resignation. I was outside talking to neigbours for an impromptu conversation which cheered me up temporarily and missed the Manager’s calls for the meeting. She sent me a text to say that she had just found my email and resignation and that she would waive my notice period making the termination immediate. I replied a few hours later when I felt able, explained that I had every intention of returning to work but that morning realised that the dangers were too great and that this was not possible for me. I explained that my sadness had left me unable to join her in the meeting. I thanked her and once again wished her the best. I was so sad and couldn’t stop crying. It wasn’t just about the job, it was so much more complicated than that although I was grateful that this job had helped me through incredibly challenging times, the cost of working there had been great but balanced with wonderful people and experiences. That door was now firmly closed as new doors have opened and I step through them tentatively and excitedly into my future, whatever it may bring.

Throughout our conversation, my Therapist challenged me, which makes me happy, as we discussed what I was dealing with and she told me that it was “Bullshit” that I couldn’t handle it. We laughed a lot during our conversation. I was asked if I would be bored once these dramas and nightmare ended, as she though I might. NO! I exclaimed emphatically. I want a simple, peaceful life albeit vibrant and busy doing what makes me happy, proud and useful leaving a Legacy that matters and makes a difference in this world. I want to relax, laugh and have fun without unnecessary emotional turmoil. A few days earlier, when I had told my sister, that I wanted a simple life as I am a simple person. My nephew laughed and retorted that there is nothing simple about me. “You do everything you want to do, you get what you want, you ride roller coasters, zipline and parachute, there’s nothing simple about you”. I was taken aback and grateful for the compliment which is profound, especially for an eight year old. My Therapist assessment was similar.  Humbling for me indeed and welcome reassurance. All everyone says to me, including lawyers is that “You are doing everything right” and “ You got this!”. I am surprised and grateful for the votes of confidence and re-assurance.

Sadly, my guitar lessons will be no more as the venue will probably be closing down because of Covid-19’s deadly impact on their business. I am sad. Johnny and I will continue what we know and look to online lessons and another teacher later, when the world opens up again. I am resting until I feel better, stronger and finish my antibiotics. I’m not walking without Schrodie. I am glad that my friends keep me company. I am still doing writing courses and a friend sent me details of a Social Media course he found and thought might be helpful to me. I am flat out busy with so much to do every day.

I watched the most beautiful film, which I had avoided as I thought it might be lame. The children wanted to share a film they love, with me, “My Octopus Teacher”. I found it lovely, inspired, inspiring and beautiful. Such a wonderful story and it made me cry, multiple times. No matter the naysayers and critics it is a beautiful, emotive and touching story. I related to the man and where he was in his life. This film surprised me in the most wonderful way. I also laughed so hard watching a film “The Best Men” which is now a firm favourite, not surprisingly as it is made by the same team who made the original, English film “ Death At A Funeral”. A go to film for me after a hard day, always makes me laugh with it’s great writing and dark humour. After it’s release I gave a DVD of the film to both my sister’s and their families. They all hated the film. I love it!  “The Best Men” is hilarious, side-splitting and very Aussie. It might offend some people but it’s not meant to and if you can overlook any discomfort it will make you roar with laughter. I have watched a few other shows as well. I’ve been watching the series “Ramy” on Stan. I like it. It’s interesting and good but I can’t stand the insipid, spineless excuse for a man that is Ramy. I find him repulsive. I like his family. It’s worth watching and gives an insight into being a Muslim in 2020 America.

It has stopped raining and has been cold. I am getting hungry. I have made a quick, simple, easy and cheap meal today. A yummy, warming, comforting one pot mac ’n cheese of my own recipe. It smells delicious and I think it will make me feel better and cheer me up.

These are the highlights of this week. I hope that you have a good week. Thank you for joining me again today and I hope that you leave feeling a bit better than you arrived. Whatever you are going through, hang in there, things will improve. Remember to do one thing every day, no matter how small, to make you happy. I hope that you find my posts and pages inspiring and interesting and what I share helps you or someone you know. Please refer anyone you think might find something of interest or helpful or valuable to my blog. Feel free to leave a comment, ask me any questions, let me know what might be of interest or helpful to you. I look forward to your continued company every Wednesday and Friday when I put up my pages and Sunday when I share my post. My apologies if I am a little late with my posts as sometimes life gets in the way but I will post as soon as possible if I am late. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Bye for now, take care, stay safe, happy and well.

Watch this space...






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