November 2010

Christmas Day

November 30, 2010

It is Christmas morning and I am in my early thirties. I am at home in my house and the phone rings. It is my mother and she says with some urgency in her voice, “Your sister’s coming over. They’ll be here in half an hour. Come quickly.” For the previous five years, my sister, […]

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The truth

November 28, 2010

It is hard to tell the truth. Really hard. Not the regular day-to-day truth, but truth that has been hidden away for decades. Even now, every time I post a piece of my history on my blog, I do not sleep well because I worry that people I do not know have access to my […]

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Purpose in life

November 28, 2010

I am back in Sydney again, living in my own apartment. I am 19 years old and have a job as a junior copywriter in an advertising agency where the culture is just like the television series, Mad Men. This is the perfect job for me. I love to play with words and can do […]

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The beginning and end of everything

November 27, 2010

One evening several weeks later, when I am seventeen and at the bar in a ski lodge high in the mountains, a man old enough to be my father makes lewd, suggestive comments to me about my looks and his desire to have sex with me. I cut him to ribbons by attacking his masculinity […]

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Breaking away

November 26, 2010

Of all the places my mother could have sent me to live between the time I have to start school back in Melbourne and when she and my father move back from Sydney three months later, she chooses the Young Women’s Christian Association Hostel in South Yarra. By now, she is ashamed of me because […]

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Moving north

November 25, 2010

My first boyfriend, Will, was tall, strong and certain of himself. He was funny and moody and kind and sensitive and his certainty of himself allowed me to be certain of myself. I loved him and he loved me. His family was kind to me and invited me to stay with them at their beautiful […]

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If you can’t stand the heat…

November 25, 2010

I do not know how old I am, probably five or six. I just know I cannot reach my mother’s mouth with a dessertspoon full of sugar while she is leaning against the kitchen counter, not yet at the stage where she can no longer stand up. I pull a kitchen chair over to her […]

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No help

November 23, 2010

When I was 13 and my sister was 16, we teamed together to try and force my mother to see someone about her diabetes and her unhappiness. We knew my mother was impressed by Ainslie Meares, an Australian psychiatrist well-known then for his down-to-earth approach to illness and his ideas about health and nutrition. My […]

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Blind, deaf and dumb

November 21, 2010

For a few years when we lived in Blackburn, we were invited over to the “deaf, dumb and blind home” as it was called euphemistically for their Christmas party and variety show. I remember getting dressed up and going across the street with my parents and next-door neighbors who were also dressed up to the […]

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Life as usual

November 17, 2010

For all the sad craziness going on in our family, we somehow managed to live and laugh and look for fun and light-hearted events to balance and hide everything else. My mother honed her sense of the absurd and, when she burst into laughter about something silly and spontaneous, we would all dissolve into laughter […]

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