God I Love My Life
Chapter Three Excerpt - Continued
... this was a photo Christabelle took of me in Balmain just before I flew to London …I was about 28 ..so two years after the accident
I've learnt overnearly thirty years how to cope….like...if I wanted to locate a memory about a friend from six years ago. . . .sometimes I would go back to the very first time we met (maybe twelve years ago )and work my way forward in time. . . . . but it was a struggle finding those new pathways. . . . sometimes I would work back over the last six years to find in that maze of shuffled events and pictures the time my friends were so easily accessing . . . . .well.. we were 'all there' . . . .we were all present when the event took place. . . . . . .my personal computer hard drive has 'glitches' and theirs didn't. . . . . . . and I still looked the same . . to all the world I was that same young beautiful talented woman I was beforethat huge lump of 4 by 2 timber struck me in the side of the head. . . . . .leaving me lying on the grass at a markets with temporary blindness . I got my sight back , and after a while I got up and went home. . . . .
. .to a world that for the most part was 'gone' for me . . . . . . . My past was gone . . . . the future I dreamed of was 'gone' and fate had given me the most almighty gift . . . . the only thing I really had with any degree ofsolidity was my present moment. . . . . . . .this moment . . . .. . this nano second. . . . . . and I've lived twenty eight years of NOW moments ever since .. . . . . .. . BLESSING. . . . .too right it was. . . . . . .Did I know it at the time. . . . . too right I didn't !
I wanted to remember my boyfriend's birthday [ I just need to say . .. How powerful . .we all are at getting what we ask for . .. …. Because . . . I wanted to remember my boyfriend‘s birthday. .. . I in point of fact . .. . Married a man born on the 10th of April. . .same day as ME . .. .. Only not . . in the same year as me . . .COOL EH !!],or where the hell I parked the car . .[sorted that one TOO!. . Now I don’t have a car !] . . . .I still would like to remember . .. .how to access my internet banking and every time I go back to Australia I have to set it up all over again because I forgot some sequence or used an old one . . .because I forgot I got a new one . . .. . . I lost a four digit pin number for my business account I'd used most days for seven years . . . .one day. . . .gone . . . . couldn't find the little bugger anywhere in my memory mind field. . . . . . searched high and low. . . . . vaporised. . . . . . What can you do ? . . . . .you look perfectly normal . . . . . you try to explain to the people in the bank . . . . But in those days . .. I had ’FORGOTTEN’ . . .I've had a head injury. . . . . . . It's kinda easier now that I am older , some of my slightly older friends go "Oh yeah , I'm the same can't remember more and more things as I get older !" . .. . .. . .. .but it's 'not' actually the same . . . . . . . I've lived with this 'since' I was twenty six years young .
this photo was taken around the time I had the head injury …before ? after ? Definitely ,months either side of… I know that ..because the boyfriend I had at the time of this photo shoot was the same man who drove me home from the markets after the whispering winds of change blew into my world …and gave me an invisible brain tattoo ..
Though I have to confess in case any of you are starting to do that sympathy thingo that . .. .. .. .. you know. .. It really DOES .. . it gives me the shudders. . . . . .I've actually gotten better as I've gotten older. . . . .I have learnt a lot of tricks to COPE ! . . . .like at my vintage clothes shop and I'd see a regular customer coming towards the shop and I knew that they had laybyed a red velvet skirt , but , you guessed it ! I couldn't pull up their name on my computer screen . . . . so I would duck around behind the screen , to the laybye section on the rack. . . .find said skirt. . . . .and locate the name and amount owing or whatever relevant details they might ask. . . . . . I would saunter back around the screen . . .. " Hi Lizzy ! blah blah . . . . . and almost everyone became sweetheart or babe or darling ,not a bad affirmation even if it was born out of an offbeat necessity .
But ,no I would never have been able to write this book if it hadn't been for the work most recently. . . . . . .. the day I started this book , a newer friend. . . . .who is a chinese Doctor . . .. .she's been giving me acupuncture for months. . . .for different health problems . .and then because she sees me as old like most of the rest of Asia. . . . . . .she put two in the top of my head to ward off Alzheimer’s Disease. . . .
I still am aware I function in this world very differently to most people.
. . . .and I KNOW THIS . .. Because for 26 years I WAS
“normal ”.. ..
I have a very clear (at times) and vivid UNDERSTANDING .. Of who I WAS . . . What is NORMAL and the vast difference I experience as the person . . .I became . .. after the head injury .. … .. . I still have a very strong ability to DISCERN . . . . .the before and after .
I don't know how much of l , me , myself ,JULIANNA . . .. . Will ever alignwith the normal world. . . . . I am not the person I was . . . .. .I WASa very mentally able person .. . . .NOW , I have very LITTLE ability to do time line things . . . . .to know what I did yesterday.? . . . .. or how many days it is since I have seen someone ?. . . ..or what year I was in Paris. . . ?. . .
I have to work very hard and climb thru the maze if I am asked questions of that ilk. . . . . .I'm sure my friends are all well aware of the sometimeshuge spaces in time between when they ask me something . . .. and when I am able to answer. . . . . .and If I am with a person who always needs to have voids in any conversation filled. . . .completely filled up with words . .. .. . .well they will never get to know me. . . . . .. . If their patience is thin on the ground . . . . .or they think I'm trying to fabricate something . . .or just not that interested in replying. . . . . . then I am often subjected to a monologue of their story. . . . . their opinion. . . . . their adventures . . . . their dreams . . . and they will never be privy to mine . . . .because I have to actually put on a wetsuit and go diving in the dark. . . .not scary ....but a certainly hard to navigate sea of my past or my future. . . well not so much my future . . . that often doesn't exist accept as a creative expression of what IFS.. ???,,or perhaps !!!, maybe ???, hope so !!,
doubt it ?. .. . Then GONE
So ask me abouthow my NOW is . .. .. .and I can probably shoot you an answer pretty much straight away . .. .. pretty honestly. . . .. . .that’s the place I have learnt to live . . . . . .. . kicking and screaming. . . .. .at first . . . .. . but over the years . . . . . .years I knew if I did not drink up this wonderful moment , this happy event , this delicious feeling , this beautiful scenery. . . . . . .well unlike others,.. I may never get to see it again. . .. . . . not as a memory. . . . .. . not as a person in a list of . . .. How ever many past loves I could easily pull up. . . . . . not as the number of times I've had Roti Cani. . . . . . . not as how many bottles of perfume I have on my dresser or what they are. . .. take two away and I couldn't tell you what they were. . . . . No. ..it has been, and still is. .. . .. ' now or never ' for me a lot of the time . . . . . . .so yeah ! I grab those moments with both hands and I savour them. . . . the present is all too quickly the past for me. . . . . and as you know my theory about regrets. . . . . . .I don't want to say. . . . .oh yeah it was really beautiful but I didn't notice it till it was over . . . . . . or I didn't notice it till I left there . . . . . . .or YOU WILL NEVER HEAR ME SAY . .“my daughter's wedding was great but I was too busy worrying I didn't have the right shoes to wear that day.” . . . [and yes. .for you keen vintage people … they are . . The REAL DEAL . Original vintage HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLE BOOTS !]
(*Photo of Fleur and I dancing on her wedding day)
FOLKS TRUST ME !. . .I definitely won't be worrying I don’t have the RIGHT shoes to wear in three weeks time when my little girl marries the man of her dreams. . . . . . .. .no I'm going to be this . . . .bliss bomb mother of the bride who will be soaking up each and every precious moment. . . . . .. .cause I won’t know what will be 'left' in my box of random pickings when . . .. .or if I do try to 'revisit' that day . She will probably understand. . .. . . if I am a tad 'too' emotional , the “proudest mother”. . on the planet, second to none,. . . . . . with the most beautiful little bride walking down that red carpet . No . . . . .my little girl will understand . . . . . . .she's had to grow up with a mother who . . .. was different to the other mothers. . . . ....but I know . .. .she probably never understood . . . why Tuck shop was too hard for me , and remembering to get to parent / teacher nights . . .. . .without her constant and elegantly timed reminders . .
God I Love My Life
Excerpt - Chapter 5
Now when you have had a head injury like mine it is very important to choose the people you surround yourself with very carefully . . . . .well, because they become the 'KEEPERS OF YOUR MEMORIES'. . . .. . . . .and if they don't show up in your life like an honest healthy functioning mind would . . . . . . .it can reek havoc on one such as me !
I live much of my life in my present moment ,my mind has taken a lot of other options from me .
So if I am with a friend and they say" Oh ! you talk too much. . . . . .you are always talking about your life !" and if by chance I had just been talking about my life , wellI would take it as truth . . . go home and try to not talk so much about me in future. " And then the next timeif someone says to me " Oh ! you are so boring , you just sit there and never contribute to the conversation. . . . . . . I've been carrying this whole session over coffee and I'M tired of your lack of input" and if by chance in the last 30seconds I had infact been silent . . . .. . guess what .. . . . . .I have to go away and beat myself up or into alignment of the persons feedback I have entrusted . .. … . .. .. . to hold my memories of our moments together. . . .. . . . . . .I don't have access to an overview of who I AM to counter ANY attacks on my behavior. . . . . . .notimmediately . . . . . . . . .it takes me a lot of effort and diving into that place I have to go and grope around in the dark to find out if what someone has just said about me is in fact true .And non of us want to be the contributing cause of damaging a relationship. . . . ..so for a lot of my adult life I've been bounced by what people have accused me of !
I had a flash on a situation that occurred in my daughters last year at high school. . . . . . .. . .a young friend when I asked her to loan me something or do something ???. . .. .. .. .responded by saying that actually she was tired of me always calling on her for help and me not being there when she needed me .. . . .Ouch ! so I was giving myself such a hard time in my own little tormented searching mind. . . . . . .I don't think I was ever the kind of mother who dragged my daughter into too much of this kind of personal bullshit that I dealt with [however you would have to ask her ! and she will tell the truth !. . . I totally trust my daughter to speak to me the truth about anything. . . . . .she is not someone who carries malice or hidden agendas and it would be presented to me kindly. . even , if it was not something pleasant she would want me to have to face .] So for some reason I mentioned to her what this very close friend to both of us had said which was troubling me so deeply , I felt wretched like I must be the most terrible person in the worldand not even realising what I was doing. . . . .. .to be behaving in such a way to someone I did and still do care very much about . And when someone . . . I TRUST tells me something like the above . . . I take it as truth. . . .. and then I look around and SEE that I MUST BE DOING THAT TO EVERYONE . . . because what you focus on you will get. . .. and remember I DON’T HAVE A PAST TO GIVE ME ANY SORT OF COMFORT . . .like.. “ oooh maybe I blew it withmy friend xyzbdhfhf !. … .. .. .but on Saturday Idid this for ..and in 1998 I was givenan award for my contribution to. .. .. .. .and NATASHA said . .I was . . .Ab Fab ..the best #* ! ”
And you want to know the image I just saw. . .. .. I AM LIKE A BABY FUR SEAL BEING SLAYN. .. .. . in those times . . . . . .by one comment by someone I trust and then when Ilook. . because it is always easy to find proof of what you are 'looking for 'after you have had it established as' TRUTH' BY SOMEONE YOU TRUST ……because I never ever since 26 had a past to prove any allegations against me wrong . . . .if it was an opinion based . . .or even a fact based was still hard for me to counter its blows. . . .hard years !!!!. . . .pull one card out that was holding up my self confidence . . .and the whole house of cards would fall and I would be on my knees whipping myself for the terrible person I didn't realise I was and I was hurting people I loved and abusing their friendship because I was a worthless selfish BLIND person …
My daughter is highly intelligent , both her parents were. . . . .well her dad still is . . . . .. I just lose my database from time to time . . . like every eight seconds ! So quick as a flash like the best personal secretary . . . keeper of events. . . . filer of facts. . . . rememberer of the past. . . . . "But mum the last three times we have been with them it has been to support them , the exhibition opening at the gallery last week. . ..the. . . .the. . . ." SSSSSSSSSSo
Fucking easy when you have a normal mind , a healthy mind ! And from that second I could let it go . . . …..she must have been having a bad day,…she did a bit of a vent . . .she's probably over it now ! BUT
MAYTE , MATEY , MATE. . .. .. spare me that crap!!!!! . .. .. It is so hard for me to defend myself. . .
. . . . . . .I have no past to refer to !!!!!!!!! …well ,not easily ..definitely NOT instantly …and probably not in anysequential order…. Does anyone get that !
. it's so hard for me to take on people who have amazing memories and are 'selective' as to how they present MY PAST. . . . . . .you want to know how to FUCK with someone’s head. . . . . . someone with a mind like mine that has very little past instant recall to defend itself with. . . . . . . . But I'M ALREADY DIFFERENT. . . .. . . .I was contemplating an attempt to rebook my ticket home early if I finish this book soon. . . .and the AIR ASIA office has computers there for clients to use. . . but there are often QUES waiting to use these computers. . .that's pressure for me . . . . . .. . and my ticket because it was booked over the internet can by the rules only be changed over the internet . . . . . . . . ..I can do it . . .have done it before ..alone at home on my laptop with two hours to spare. . . .but like so many things like that in my life it's like I have to re-learn how to do it again from scratch. . . . . . stuff like that is like “ groundhog day ” for me . . . . .. clean slate . . .nothing. . . . . it's like being a new born foal on shaky legs . . and getting up and finally taking those first steps . . . . .. go away . . . .come back . . . . . . being born again . . .and I have to do the whole process over and over again . . . . .and it doesn't STAY. . . . . .I’M NOT stupid. . . . . .IT WILL NOT STAY. . . . my brain does not have the ability to retain certain technical orders. . . .or to give you an example….
Today I realised every time I use the gas cooker Ifeel like it is the first time I have flicked the gas and igniter thing . . . .and if it doesn't come on the first time . . . I get scared . . .the second time in a row with the gas pouring out. . (.to my first time user memory mind ). . .and by the third time I turn the knob to ignite it I KNOW IT WILL EITHER LIGHT OR BLOW ME UP. . .. . . I AM LIKE A VERY SCARED 7 year old child who needs to do this for mummy but Iam scared because I don't really know the proper safe way . . .. . .. . . .. and I HAVE USED THAT COOKER 10 OR15 TIMES A DAY FOR 5 WEEKS NOW and it is like the first time every time . . . . every time I experience the possibility I am about to find MY MAKERS ADDRESS. . . .. and this is a classic . . . . .after it lights and the kettle is on and I look at it . . .I can say to myself.. “NAR !. . . I don't know why you get nervous it always does that and you have to remember that next time ”. . .. . .. . . .next time .. . . I am back to the 7 year old scared and . . . on and on it goes . . . .. .
so please don't try to teach me certain things because you would have to be stupid to not remember or
get it right . . I AM NOT YOU . . . .. . .MY MIND IS NOT YOUR MIND . . . . . .DO NOT INSULT PEOPLE LIKE ME BY REFERENCING OUR ABILITY TO FUNCTION . . . . . . WITH YOUR FUNCTIONING CAPACITY. . . . . . . .
.I DO NOT LIVE MY LIFE FROM A STANDPOINT OF COMPETITION . . .. .
AND WINNERS AND LOSERS . . . . .
I AM DIFFERENT TO YOU . …
.NOT LESS THAN. .