Friday, October 23, 2009

National Carers Week 18- 24 Oct, 2009

I am a carer. Actually, I am a mother and a carer. My oldest child was diagnosed with a form of autism spectrum disorder: PDD-NOS; at 4 years of age. Diagnosis was changed to Asperger Syndrome at age 7. He will be 12 in January. Over the years we have intensely accessed speech therapy, occupational therapy, physio therapy, psychologists, paediatricians, osteopaths, homeopaths, and many other groups and therapies. We have employed teacher aides and social skills teachers. Our lives have been moulded around him, and his needs.

Someone commented to me yesterday, a diagnosis or illness or disability not only affects the patient or person, it is of a huge consequence to the whole family. Such truer words have never been spoken. Next week I am off to school camp with him. No other parents are going as their child's carer, only me. Luckily it is a joint grade camp and Boy 2 is also attending. Happily, he is as excited as his brother to have mum on school camp, to him it is a bonus not a detriment.

I do not know what I am aiming for with this post. National Carer Week is over, life goes on, no-one in our lives even acknowledged it.

But to all out their who do care for family members, or friends, or partners: you are wonderful, loving, very special unique people, and from one carer to any other, I applaud you!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Small Town Life

Bemuses me. I think some have too much time on their hands and very vivid imaginations. The he said/she said, he did/she did machinations have totally confuddled me yet again. Apparently I have done something to someone. This time I honestly have no idea what, when or where, and to be honest, do not have the time or the energy to worry about it. If people are true friends they would come and say: "Hey, I have a problem with your actions, can we talk." Instead they fester and dwell, and blame. For what dastardly misdeed, I have no idea.

I had noticed the chill, but didn't realise it was an arctic freeze. So much for loyalty and honesty, just can't be bothered anymore. Even if I asked I am sure it would never be answered. *Sigh*. Not my concept of how friends behave.

No wonder Boy 1 gets confused, I don't have ASD and I'm confused. Small town politics.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It is not the best time...

as I am totally exhausted after my 3am start, but I am bemused by a conversation I have just had. Why do people take what I write and make it all about them? In honesty, it has nothing to do with the 2 people who have messaged me, or the person the phone call referred to. Talk about paranoia! Wow, must be some chip you guys are carrying, getting tired yet, cause I sure am!

Have to laugh, after being confuddled for a while, lol.

Autism Inspiration

I have found a wonderfully positive blog by a writer/mother. I have become a follower, but wished to post the link for those of us on the ASD journey. It is well worth your time having a look.

I know I should be sleeping, but reading this blog has started my mind ticking over not slowing down. I was only thinking yesterday, on my drive home from work, about what messages I want my choices to give my sons. Yes, I am jumping back a couple of posts to the roller derby stuff. I guess part of the reason I am seriously pondering the offer is to send my kids a strong message: You can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. Let's face it, here I am around 30 kilos overweight, nearly 46 years of age, two young kids, one of whom has Asperger Syndrome, and I think I may well become a roller derby girl! Come on - who could have thought that was a possibility or even within the realms of the possible? I certainly didn't, even the 16 year old who still lives on deep inside me did not consider it. It is all about looking at the positives, not the negatives, and hope. Dare to dream, dare to believe in the good not the bad, dare to see the miracles not just the disasters.

Dare to soar.

And watch out for me and my wheels as I zoom past! See boys, if Mumma can skate, you two can move mountains!

In The Wee Hours of The Morning

  • I have finally found and corrected the time setting in my blog!
  • I realise my life is pretty good. Manic, but good.
  • I fantasise about a career change to roller derby. Madmother is still an available name on the register. Hehehehehe...
  • I am not happy that although he woke me with his coughing, Boy 1 never actually woke and is now sleeping soundly. Good for him, bad for me.
  • I am wondering why people feel the need to play mind games. Be honest, if a friendship has past its use-by date just let it go. I have.
  • I am thinking about how another friend is, and hoping tomorrow brings help and answers.
  • I am acknowledging, yet again, that I truly chose the wrong career. I hate spreadsheets.
  • I am hoping if I go back to bed and read for a bit, I can manage a little more sleep. 5am is fine, 3am will not allow brain to work clearly tomorrow.
  • I am wondering how many of said spreadsheets I have stuffed at this hour.
  • I am hoping to find time to work on my other blogs, but they require a lot more thought so must be clearheaded!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Madmother: Queen of the Roller Derby

Yesterday, my ego swelled to mammoth proportions. No jokes about it matching the size of my arse please readers, I am well aware of my blatently bountiful butt buns, now back to my gloating. Our family has been roller skating every couple of weeks for the last few months, a love I was ecstatic to return to, and even happier to share with B1 and B2. Boy 1 does not enjoy most sports. Not only does he suffer from low muscle tone, as does his brother, he finds the intricacies of the rules, noise, and team dynamics just too distressing. To find something he enjoys, albeit with ear plugs in place, is a blessing. To find a sport we all enjoy as a family, even better. Boy 2 is mini me in personality, he puts on those blades and takes off like a rocket, weaving forwards and backwards, pushing his limits. Boy 1 slowly meanders around the rink, keeping in perfect sync to the muted beat. Calmly, happily, methodically perfecting his technique.

Usually we take extra's along. Friends now clamour to be included. The boys love showing off their nearly honed skills, and enjoy helping friends learn the art of rolling. But back to me. Skating was my first love. At twelve I was given a pair of those old rattley tie-on skates, at fourteen, joy of joys, a roller skating rink opened. By fifteen I was working there, and the coolest girl skater on the scene. My love was speed skating, followed closely by roller hockey. I was kicked out of figure skating as the old duck teaching demanded I give up the speed and hockey, as they could never be pursued in conjunction with the grace of figure. Ah, no, not going to happen!

So here I was, the only girl allowed to skate in the boy's skate (very sexist back in the 70's), the one they all called "snowy" due to my burgeoning figure (size 8, 10C if you get the idea), the one whose name was broadcast all the time over the microphone, teased, taunted, worshipped. Very in. The running joke was that my skill and speed in skating backwards was related to the unique advantage of my bust size. Ballast, they called it. And yes, no boy could out speed me in a backwards speed skate! For my sixteenth birthday my not well-off parents scrimped and saved and bought me the finest pair of figure skates they could afford. In 1979 $140 was a lot of money. My pride and joy, I cleaned, polished, pulled apart, serviced and maintained these leather topped white obsessions. In a few weeks, these skates, which are still in very good condition - money well spent mother - will be thirty years old. I disguarded the speed skates many years back, they were only an after thought, a few years later than my figures, never captured my heart in the way my true and trusted italian leather tight trucked beauties have.
And EVEN THOSE beauties sat in my cupboard for over ten years, probably closer to fifteen if I am honest. Pulled out once or twice, cleaned, even serviced by a professional once, then put back amongst the dusty relics of youth.

Until now. The last few months have been fun. Some days I feel really comfortable, and in the zone. Others, I feel every inch of my nearly 46 years. Yesterday was a good day. Voltaren on weak knee, brace on, skates ready.

We arrive to bedlam. This day the Sun State Roller Girls are doing a promotion at the rink. They train here every week, and I have been to one of their bouts. They are cool, sexy and yes, the queens of the rink. My old title. The four boys were ecstatic - wow! Roller Derby Girls! They were on a recruitment and fundraising drive, and the rink was three times as crowded as a normal Saturday. Lots of little goth wanna be's, trying to be noticed, large numbers of the fresh meat brigade, t-shirts intact, attempting to show off.

A few glance askance at my glaringly white boots with faded yellow wheels. A few more giggle at the old girl with the cluster of kids actually thinking she could put a pair of old figures on and dare to give it a go. I organised the kids, three could skate, one boy a first timer. Remained with him calmy talking him through the basics, building confidence on the carpet until I felt he was centered, balanced and ready to tackle the small rink. Walked him around, reassuring, until he was safe, stable and gradually mastering the techniques. Boy 1 came and helped, these two have been best friends since they were 3 years of age. All happy, AC/DC "Thunderstruck" comes on loud and pulsating, I need to skate. Now, all this time roller derby girls and wanna be's have come past, some smile, some smirk, some just show outright shock at an old girl, as old as their mother, on wheels. Then I hit the floor. The music lifts me and I gradually warm up, muscles loosen, I begin to fly. Jaws drop, people take notice.

The session goes on, the usual games, me juggling boy demands, keep my eyes on all 4 as they hit various corners of the rink. Due to it being a special day they decide to throw in a speed skate. Cool - I am happy to go in with the beginners, for my skills are not near what they once were. At this point my thoughts were merely: don't write off someone due to age, I can still find joy in motion.

So off I went, couple of the new recruits jump on, forwards, backwards, I fly. I feel alive, especially with 4 little men cheering me on. Coming off, the rink owner, who I chat with frequently, grabs my arm, turns, shocked and states: "I had NO idea you could skate like that! Get back out there for the experienced skate!" I pause, look to the floor, group of derby girls and blading boys, but not really that daunting. And turn and sprint back into the group. Exhilarating! Not the fastest, but certainly not the slowest, smooth, sure, pushing my speed up until I am flying. Forwards, backwards, come off when they turn to figure eights, not that insane.

Slawter Dawter approaches me, the first of three conversations, lobbying, requesting, asking: would I be interested in joining the SSRG? Pushing harder, telling me I am exactly what they are looking for, brushing aside my protestations of unfit, overweight, old injuries. I compromised, will work on my fitness, and have my knee surgery, and assess again in the New Year. She asks me if I will guarantee joining up then, no, I cannot until I feel I am ready and can give it my all.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Early Morning Rambling

It has been a lovely few days. I spent most of Thursday with my Mum. Well in reality I have spent most of Sunday, Monday and Thursday with my Mum, and to able to say that makes my heart overflow with gratitude, love and joy. She turned 90 last Monday. This time 1 year ago she was in hospital, had yet another fracture in her vertebrae, and the bladder tumour had just been found. And the powers that be (we now know them as the powers that be so wrong) decided she was inoperable. Not the tumour, my mother. She was sent home to die slowly, inch by inch, each day losing a little more of herself, until in February she had a massive bleed, rushed off in ambulance to closer hospital, new specialist, new hope, and now renewed life. Cancer free. I am deliriously happy to be with her, to be able to be with her and not crying, leaning over a plot in the ground. She is a pure bright joyous light in my life.

So after a Mum week, a friend came over on Friday to give me a wonderful massage and some interesting conversation. She had given me the voucher for my birthday last year, but had to also give me a swift kick up the backside to get me organised. I always feel guilty taking time for myself when there is so much that needs to be done. But it was absolutely fantastic! And interesting to hear someone else's opinions on certain situations. I have finally learnt my lesson, I did not instigate or open up any of the doors to the disappointments of the last few months, I merely listened. And felt such relief that I am not alone in my perception of some as having no ability to keep confidences, and their desperation to be liked by all and be a part of the "cool gang". Phew. It is obvious to others, and they too shake their heads at her lack of discretion. Thank God.

And now we have a manic weekend hitting. Off to get groceries this morning, ready for DH's BBQ tonight, then off to skating this afternoon, and then soccer presentation in the morning and off down the coast tomorrow afternoon! Catching up with an old schoolfriend I haven't seen in about 5 years. Better than the last gap, that was 20 years, lol. Life is busy. Life is good. I can float to the surface now the dead weights have been cut away. No more frantically gasping for air.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Little Laughter for Melissa.

One of my friends needs a little laughter in her life. This is for her.

What did one ocean say to the other ocean?

Nothing, they just waved.

What do you call a dog with no hind legs and steel testicles?


What do you call a man who has lost 99% of his brain?

A widower.

How do you make a handkerchief dance?

Put a little boogie in it.

What do you call a guy who sticks his right arm in a shark's mouth?


How does a high school boy propose marriage?

"You're having a what?!?"

Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshiper?

He sold his soul to Santa!

How are a chicken and a grape alike?

They are both purple... except for the chicken.

Yes, they are bad and sad, and hopefully made you giggle. Just a little.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bringing back the sun.

Glitter and be gay
That's the part I play.
Here I am, unhappy chance.
Forced to bend my soul
To a sordid role,
Victimized by bitter, bitter circumstance.
Richard Wilbur

I do not remember the day fun left. I certainly cannot recall at what time laughter ceased resonating through this house. When did we stop laughing at life, choosing instead to entangle ourselves in the politics and drama of other peoples' trivia? There are so many suffering real hardship, it is quite embarrassing to admit to being caught up in what amounts to a high school popularity contest. And grounding when you look around at those friends struggling yet still managing to retain wit and whimsy. For all my flaws, a lack of humour was never before one of them.

It was not so very long ago I was running around after my little boys, giggling hysterically being the Mummy Monster holding the secret smelly sock weapon. Now all I seem to do is nag, lecture and worry what actions others are plotting. But I made a decision today: I am going to take back control and relaunch our life of laughter. I am walking away from the small town trash and embracing all that is good in my life. My children, my husband, my mother and my wonderful friends. Be they old or new or, as someone I adore said, imaginary internet friends, I am very grateful to have them in my life. So, to all of you out there in interweb land, I send you wishes of joy.

Oh, and bring back the smiles, I sure as hell intend to. Or at least die trying.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I am sitting here, sobbing my eyes out after watching a comedy: The Boat That Rocked. The boat sank and they were alone. I am alone.

Irrational, I know, but right now in the dark, lonely place I lurk, it is entirely logical to me. I give friendship easily, I love to envelope, nurture, hold, feel. Trust is slower. Trust is deeper. So when not once, but twice it is hurled back into my face as ME betraying them, it hurts. I NEVER, even after someone cuts me to the heart, will betray their trust. It is not the way I work. But I hate it.

I hate the paranoia it creates, I hate the lying, the games, the way I question EVERYTHING in my life. And at this point, I am so scared if what is happening to me is serious, I hate the way the people who were meant to be there for my kids will let them down the way they have let me down, and will shape them.

Oh God, my oldest has come so far, I want him to have the emotional, nuturing, mummy parachute that maybe I will not provide. I am probably being stupid. But know that people who are supposedly friends in my life do not believe that the test results show nothing and yet I throw up blood. But both my children and my husband have witnessed it. Fuck. Maybe I am the internal Jesus. I so wanted it to be an ulcer. I want answers.

Dear God, why do they not see?
I am always the strong one for them - do they not see my Achilles heel? I hate people sometimes.