Buckle up beeeaaaatches ………… public service announcement

I had a car accident last on the 12 February 2016 {listen I cannot even make this stuff up} …. its like karma is telling me I had it too good at some point, and now it is coming over to just show me how bad it can actually get.

Oh karma, no one wants you here — now go away.

I had just dropped the kids off at school, and I was driving on the same road I have driven for 9 years (so far – several more to go, lucky me).

Good weather conditions. Good visibility. I was no distracted. I was driving along as I do.  No rush, I was heading home to work.

The car in front of me had stopped to turn right (it was a dual road) – she was waiting on the on-coming traffic to clear so she could turn.

She was in the right place, she was indicating, she was doing nothing wrong.

The road is wide enough so that if someone is waiting to turn right, you have enough space to veer to the left of them and pass them without much issue (assuming no one is cycling or running on the side of the road) – its all very orderly and safe.

I do it every day – some days I drive this road 4 times, so I am well versed in how the traffic flows and how the road works.

For reasons I cannot explain – I just did not see her.

Fortunately the road climbs up a bit and there is a slight turn and there is a set of robots at the top of the hill (sort of thing) – so you are not bearing down at full speed, so are probably puttering along at maybe 40 km/h or slower depending on the morning traffic.

I saw the car in front of me when I hit her.

It was such a surreal moment.  I was driving.  Then my car sort of stopped. I felt my seat belt (thank fek I always wear a seat belt) pull me back – everything went in slow motion.

Stuff flew around the inside of the car.

I felt my head get pulled back, and my hair did that curtain thing on the side as my hair continued at the original speed I was moving at.  But in slow enough motion that I thought “mmm strange my hair looks like Sia’s in that video… – actually more the dancer when she is wearing the wig and dancing and her hair keeps swishing past her face..”  … the crazy shit you have time to think about when you are not flying through your windscreen.

2015GrammyAwards_Sia

Earlier in the morning, my daughter had sat in the front seat and had knocked my makeup box open, so my makeup had opened and was on the floor. I had picked up a few items and put them on the seat next to me, and was going to deal with the rest when I got home.

One of the foundations squirted onto the window – no idea how that happened.

Clearly strange strange things happen when a moving vehicle hits a stationary one.

Neither of us was hurt – I was a bit bruised and my neck was a bit sore, but it was muscular, nothing more.

My car bonnet (with the engine) looks like a tent.  I don’t think they are designed to do that.  I hit her at full speed front on (me) – her at full force almost full back/back passenger side.

It was not even a “shit …..” brake, skid and then hit someone, I skipped that entire part.

Celeste-Damage02

The car had to be taken away with a flat bed truck – it was not in a good condition, it was not going to be driven anywhere.

The other driver was able to drive away, her car was very damaged – but she was so very nice about it.  There was not the expected screaming and hitting me with a dull metal tool she found in her boot – she was very concerned for my well being and she was just very nice about the whole thing.

When clearly I was the “doos” who just wrecked her car.

No one was hurt.

I am pretty sure that my insurance (lets all fall on the floor in thanks for insurance) is going to scrap the car — I think the damage of the car is just to severe for it to be repaired (based on it’s book value and all the other things that statistical analysts use to make up probability theories and such stuff — clearly I have no idea how the magic works behind the scenes)

Okay, that’s my story.

If there is a lesson to learn here it is — wear your FUCKING SEAT BELT!!! Kids in the car should be buckled up.  If I had a child standing behind my seat between the two front seats (as I so often see on the morning and evening drive to collect and drop off kids) that child would have been head first straight through my windscreen.

Buckle up bitches!!

 

Image source:  http://nme.assets.ipccdn.co.uk/images/2015GrammyAwards_Sia_Getty463027570_10090215.article_x4.jpg

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Is it me or do things just feel a bit f*cked up as of late … ?

Apologise if you have been “double clicking” on this site and wondering why it does not refresh with a new blog post.

Yes, about that.

I have had so much in my head, but really have sat here rather wordless and unable to get anything to fall out of my mouth or head that makes any sense, or could be construed as vaguely nonsensical, so there has just been no blogging going on.

My head, it is safe to say, is a bit of a mucked up place right now.  Four seasons in a day ….. or something of that nature.

I read this post by Laura over at Harrassed Mom earlier this week about perspective, and how we get swept up in all our kak, and often we are unable to look around and really appreciate what we have, or where we are in our lives.

{puts up hand to indicate guilt}

This post really struck a nerve with me — especially when Laura listed all the “not so great things” that she sees, and then she compares them with her home situation and goes “actually my shit ain’t so bad …..”

{I am ad libbing but you get the idea right?}

I hate this time of year – so much to do, and try to finish, and there just not seem to be enough time in the day.   And enough money in the bank or my wallet.

I am not a fan of Xmas in a good year — there is just a lot of pressure to be happy, joyful and think appreciative thoughts.  And say “ho ho ho” and then there is Boney M and “The Little Drummer Boy” playing ….. and that scary sensation that sooner or later you are going to hear Mariah Carey doing a song, about Xmas or some shit.

I will happily do Boney before I do Mariah.  And I mean that in all the ways that that sentence could be interpreted.

This year is my first Xmas AD *after divorce* and well it is a bit uncertain, and it is making me feel weird, and strange, and quite stressed.

I am sure it will be fine.

I am sure it will not be too weird, but it will be a bit weird, but this is life.  I need to get my big girl panties on, possibly by stained, but still well fitting bra, and just get my shit together.

Kennith and I need to work out where the kids will be, who will have them for Xmas eve and who will have them for Xmas day …… and then there is the fucking Xmas tree to put up.

That is traditionally Kennith’s job —- to be honest, I am not sure who got the existing tree in the divorce settlement, it might actually not be an issue, because it might be up at Kennith’s house.

See the stuff that runs in my head?  The way I solve it is just not to go and look for the tree …..I just delay going to figure out if is it there or not.  All pretty helpful and possibly not so sane.

Okay, back to Laura and her well timed and well written post.

I really would like to ignore the mounting bills, the financial uncertainty.  The odd summons for late payment and the other things that are going on that probably are really not a big deal in the greater scheme of things, but impact my life and day in a rather profound and deeply unsettling and stressful manner.

I would like to take my stuff that seems to big to me, but really is just a tiny inconsequential blip on the greater scheme of things.

Today for a few hours,  my attention was well and truly diverted as I considered a few things happening not to far from where any of us live.

This morning I woke up to three stories — they made me step back and rethink that no matter how complicated, a bit screwed up and maybe not quite the picture of normality my life is …. maybe, just maybe it is not so bad.

{look at me and my shiny optimistic fucking attitude…}

There are three families out in the world who have far more to deal with than I could ever begin to grasp, understand or appreciate.

No matter how I try to paint my day as being difficult, challenging and sometimes worthy of an afternoon lie down.  On the floor.  Behind the door.  Clutching a make-do Linus blanket.

It does not even begin to hold a candle to what other people are going through.

Lisa-Marie Watling lost her husband, Travers, this week.  Suddenly, without warning.  Her life changed for ever as the love of her life was ripped from her.  It has been all over Facebook and social media.  I think that there are hundreds if not thousands of people who collectively shed a tear, and felt such a weight of sadness. loss, shock, and a thousand other painful emotions for Lisa-Marie and her Isabella.  The world became a significantly sadder place this week.  Nothing I can say can even hint or fully comprehending what Lisa-Marie must be feeling.  How does one “get over this” without shaking your fist to the sky and screaming all sorts of obscenities?

No, I don’t know either.

Today on KFM, on the Grant a Wish segment there was a story about Caitlin, who had drowned in her family’s pool about 5 weeks ago.  A tragic accident.

We all know how difficult it is to come to terms with a sudden accident… especially when it involves a child. Madeline wrote to us about her friends Traci and Justin, and their 22 month old daughter Caitlin. Last month, Caitlin managed to venture out of the house on her own… and fell into the swimming pool at their home. Traci, her husband and her mom were inside the house at the time. When they found Caitlin, she hadn’t been breathing for 7 minutes. Caitlin’s father Justin managed to resuscitate her, and rushed to Hospital. Caitlin was put into an induced coma for a week – before doctors gradually brought her out of the coma so that they could assess the damage. The damage on Caitlin’s brain is irreparable… Earlier this month Caitlin underwent her 1st operation to insert a tube into her stomach to feed her. On top of this, she still faces months in a rehabilitation centre. Medical bills are piling up for the treatment… and on top of this Caitlin now needs a special chair so that they can move her around. She has lost all her movement… and can’t even lift head.

I listened to the story and wept as I drove.

As parents we are constantly vigilant, and always trying to ensure our children’s safety.  As a parent, can I say that I have not taken my eye off the ball, for what ever reason, for 10 minutes or more?  No.

Traci and Justin, and Caitlin’s lives have changed in an instant. In an instant.  How is that right?

How does that make sense?

Earlier today I read the newspaper and sort of skimmed over what is happening in the world.

6 year old girl was discovered being raped by a 13 year old boy. A close family friend.  It appears this has been going on for some time. George has been arrested.  6 year old girl is upset because she can’t understand why George has been taken away – she things she is his girlfriend.  Where where where on this greenish blue earth can you begin to understand what happened in that home.

How it happened, why it happened, and how this family and this 6 year old girl will ever live a “normal” life after this.  The girl is also now HIV positive ….. anyone want to explain to me how this is all part of a plan, some great mystical plan that makes sense, or is for the best or part of something we mere mortals don’t understand ……

Anyone?

I know there must be a thousand other stories that happened this week – but these are the three that reminded me that “no matter how smelly your shit is, when that shit is put in a brown bag and thrown in the air, you want to pray to catch your own shit and not anyone else’s when those bags fall down again” ……. granted not quite Chinese Proverb stuff, but still rather apt and wise.

Is it me or do things just feel a bit fucked up as of late …?

141126_deeply fucked up
On a non related note, Georgia held a sea shell up to her ear today and said “I can hear an owl….” {still not the strangest thing she has said today}

Car accidents and anxiety attacks ….

Monday was a bit of a right off, for all the reasons that would be good reasons when you start the day with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet.

Can’t really comment more on that one.

I slept until about 1pm and then had an appointment to get to, and the rest of the day was the usual blur of fetching and carrying kids and eating toast.

I met my (not so new) new psychiatrist and he gave me a new brown pharmacy bag of medication.  I was
not overly emotionally committed to the first bag, so I am okay with change.

I am still getting used to new side effects, so a few more is not really going to change my world right now.  But let’s see how that fares.

I decided that I needed a Mental Health Day on Tuesday – and asked Kennith if he could please stop and get bread on the way home and also take the kids to school on Tuesday morning as I could then hide under my duvet for a bit longer.

He said yes he would get bread, yes he would take the kids to school.

I thought, great.

Made some tea, stared at my reflection in the kitchen window.

Phone rang again – Kennith.

My first thought was “Seriously can you not go to the shop and make a decision without having to ask me three questions.  You have an MBA, work the bread aisle out!”

I answer the phone: ‘Yesssssss” I drawl, slightly irritated.

Kennith – with the background sound of traffic…”I have been in a car accident…”

Me – I felt my adrenal glands compress and push adrenaline through my blood.

I felt my hippocampus start screaming.  I felt my heart start to beat a bit faster to allow my lungs more oxygen to allow for the anxiety attack that was coming….. I thought about my kids and which one was dead.  Which one was injured, and if one of them was dead, who I would “be able to deal” with better.

I thought of my tea and that I might not be able to drink it.   I thought that I probably will not be able to function moving forward.  I might need to go and live with my mom.  I probably will never recover.  Teh entire universe suddenly became me-my cup of tea-my reflection in the kitchen window-and Kennith’s voice on the phone.

I started to realise that Kennith’s voice was still talking ….as he had not paused for breath from his first statement to his second…”I am fine, the car is damaged, I am fine!”

I knew I had just put the kids in bed.  I know logically they could not be in the car with Kennith.  I had just put them into bed – myself!

However that did not stop my brain from telling my brain  that my kids were possibly dead on the N1.

I had already worked out a loose funeral plan and what I might wear.

Kennith repeated: “I am fine, I can’t drive me car.  I need you to come and fetch me, I am at ……
and can you arrange a tow truck …. call DAL’S …….they are really good ….I am fine!”

I got my bag, asked Pepe to watch the kids.

I stopped and looked in each of their rooms  to make sure they were there and unharmed and had were really not in the car with Kennith.

I went to fetch Kennith next to the N1.

Kennith was/is fine.

Kennith’s car is not.

DAL’s tow service sent over a truck to pick the car up.  I had to phone my friend David to help me make the call, as I could not even remember Kennith’s cell phone number at that  point, let alone arrange a tow truck.

Kennith filled in the forms on the side of the N1.

I stared blankly at the road.

DAL’s took the car, in a very efficient and friendly manner.

Kennith got into my car and I drove us home.  I stared rather blankly out the window as I drove us home.  We had to stop for milk (and chocolate spread).

I am traumatised.

It is Kennith’s accident and I am traumatised.

Kennith’s neck is a bit sore and he really should go to a  chiropractor.  I think he might need a trauma counsellor – I am not being flippant.  I think he is very shaken —  I really think he needs to speak to someone.

That someone cannot be me.

I took a sleeping pill on Monday night – I woke up at 4am on Tuesday morning and stared at the ceiling worrying about every possible permutation of what “could have been..”

Tuesday I did not go to work.. I took a mental health day …I need a mental health week.

I can’t actually sit with Kennith and talk to him about the trauma and the effect of the “car accident” on him and how he saw his life flash before his eyes because I am ….

I am angry.

I am scared.

I am disappointed.

I am afraid.

I am petrified.

I am terrified.

I am panicked.

I am anxious.

I can’t help him with the oxygen bag in the plane, as for fk  sake I can’t get mine on, and the plane is nose diving at a bit of a rate.

I woke up this morning just before 5am and stared at the ceiling and worried some more (that is with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet).

Kennith needs support, and I can barely stand …….  I can’t help him because I can’t help myself right now.

My Big Black Dog …..

I know you want to talk about the colour of babies poo and what my kids are eating for breakfast, but unfortunately that is not what we are doing today.

Today is “Talk about my Depression and find a Therapist Day.”

Unofficial day of course, but I figure if enough of us get behind it we can have it declared a public holiday with the requisite president’s speech and youth parade at Soccer City.

I know that I am fortunate to be living in an age where we can talk about depression and medication with only a certain measure of shame and embarrassment.

I know there are folks who are embarrassed to admit that they pop the odd Prozac or shoot back a handful of Zoloft with their glass of wine, but I am not them folks.

I spent much of my teens and twenties realising that I was clearly certifiable insane and just wondering how long I could keep this secret until someone found out.  I did not realise I was depressed.  I did realise I was a very sad girl with some happy moments, but I accepted this as being “just the way things are.”

When I had Connor my wheels well and truly came off, then I really got afraid.  Of me.  For me.

I thought THEY would find out and take him away from me.  I became (more) paranoid and anxious and when something happened, it was not that he was going to get hurt, it was that he was going to die.  He was never going to get lost at the mall, he was going to be stolen.  (To be honest I have not outgrown that, I have just learnt to play it down.  Kennith insists I remain in reality as much as possible.)

Initially I did not really tell anyone about my little internal battle with my black dog of depression.  I really do not bring it up as a key part of conversation, it is a bit of a buzz killer I am afraid.

It is much easier to tell people who ask you “How are you?” to answer “I am fine….” because any deviation from this “party line” does make people feel a bit uncomfortable and then the conversation gets awkward.

People say ‘depression’  in a whisper like the way your grandparents say “cancer.”

Unfortunately the most common reaction from Joe Public when they hear the term ‘depression’ is to go “aw, sorry you are feeling a bit blue, I am sure tomorrow you will wake up and feel happy.’

Sweet but misguided.  Actually a bit annoying, but one smiles and nods, and sometimes waves as you flee the scene.

I did feel that admitting to it and if I ticked the block for “mental disorder” on the form (depression = mental illness/disorder on most forms) that it might be a problem for me when I changed medical aids.  It also might be a hinderance if I wanted to qualify as a pilot or apply to be a meals-on-wheels lady.

At some point I realised, agh, sod it, pilots are over rated and meals-on-wheels declined my application any way.

The thing that burns my arse about depression, is I barely understand it.  It is something about the chemicals in your brain being out of whack – for what ever reason, and the result is that you cannot actually “decide to be happy and then you will be …”  You seem to lack the chemicals to keep you or make you happy or smile or have a “normal” reaction.

Being me is not fun, not for me, and not for my family and for most people who know me.

Being happy is a chore, so right now I aim to be mildly content.  Mildly content is  a bit of an aim high achievement at the moment.

I am going for sort of content, some of the time.

I do however have faking content down pat, but the mask does slip off quite regularly, and some times I do not give a sh*t about keeping it up. (this week is that week)

My mate told me about a reference in Marian Keyes Newsletter about depression where she describes it as:-

“Wave after wave of black agony has been rolling up from my gut and bursting in my head and I’ve been powerless to stop it. I’ve heard people describe depression as feeling like they’re living behind glass, of being
numb and unable to experience anything, but for me, it has been totally different. It has been like being poisoned, it’s felt like my brain is squirting out terrible, black, toxic chemicals that poison any good thoughts. I’m well aware that I have an enviable life and there are bound to be people who think, “What the hell has she got to be depressed about?” But whatever has been wrong with me isn’t fixable by an attitude shift. Believe me I’ve tried (Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, gratitude lists…)”

That is probably the most apt description I have read for some time.

I am at that point – and granted I have been here for a bit, where I no longer care about the how and the what, I just want it to go away.  I want to be happy people.  Okay I do not want to be happy people.  Happy people (and clowns) scare me a bit.

I want to just be mildly content people who appear mildly content for the majority of the day.

I do not want to feel like I am carrying the world’s sh*t around with me.

What I want to do today (and for the last two weeks or so) is curl up in a ball  and then sob some more – which is fabulous, because I am not even sure exactly what I am sad about.

If I am done crying then I want to sleep – because sleep is about as close to feeling dead as you can get.  And that right now is quite an attractive feeling.  (sorry no fairies and unicorn stories for you today – insert sad smiley face icon here)

Unfortunately in my neck of the woods, pity parties are not really catered for.

I get up, put on my furry slippers, my grubby blue bathrobe, get kids ready, get myself ready, drag myself to work, try to really try to be productive, and then go home, get kids into bed, and find the quickest way I can get into bed and fall asleep.

And tomorrow repeat the cycle.

Last night on the drive home, I considered if I had a wee little car accident it might get me 3 – 8 days lying in a hospital bed and drinking luke warm milky tea and sleeping.

Then I thought with my luck, the car would be totalled and I would walk away totally unscathed and then have explain why I am a tosser driver, and well there is the insurance excess to consider and …..  lots of logistics, so maybe that was not my best idea of the day.

Just too complicated, and way too many things that could go wrong on that one.

It really is about as much fun as it sounds, really – I am not leaving out any of the really cool parts here.

I have made an appointment with a doctor who specialises in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

I plan to arrive with a list of issues and ask if he can make them each go away individually with what ever he does.  I clearly have no idea how it works, but right now I would pay for shinola if it made some of my sh&t go away.

I also think I am kidding myself – but delusions are part of it I guess.

I have also made an appointment with a pill doctor who has a large white script that he can write my name on in big block letters and write something along the lines of  Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Ambien, Valium or what ever else they are dishing out now a days …. I really do not care at this point.

The first appoinment I could get was in August!!  AUGUST? August!  “B&tch, do you realise how close I am to going off my frink’n head over here!!” …… The receptionist did not quite get my sense of humour and did not take to my tone of voice ….. or being called a bitch ….. …. but did bump me up to the 12 July and kept telling me how lucky I was ….. repeatedly.

Yep, I am feeling pretty darn lucky right now.

Sorry there is nothing funny on this post today.  Not feeling so funny today.

But that does lead me to the fact that you might need a bit of upliftment after this rather somber and (excuse the term) depressing post.

I seldom come across depression jokes, but I saw a few recently that made me snort a little bit:-

Q What’s good about depression?
A You always have your funeral planned in advance,

Q  What’s an advantage to Major Depression?
A  You never have to make your bed, since you’re always in it.

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline. They’ve got a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Okay, that’s all I got ………………

(Illustrations credited to Matthew Johnstone)

Deeply embarrassed and shamed …

So bookclub has had a few issues for me for a bit.  Small stuff really, but it has been niggling at me.  I felt I would feel better addressing the issues and resolving them, because they were niggling me.

Good plan.

Not a good plan when you feel a bit emotional, and have had about 3 glasses too many, and then decide to address something that really should be a one-on-one problem solving exercise, and decide instead to do it in front of the entire group.

I am mortified that I am such a total douche-bag!

There I sat and I vented and emotionally vomited in front of 7 rather startled looking people.

I really would love to say that I carried it off with aplomb and made my point succinctly – but unfortunately the opposite is true.

I totally offended anyone who breathed.

I went off like a deranged lunatic, and I managed to alienate everyone in the room – and at the time I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but felt, at the time, that I knew exactly what I was doing – and quite vindicated in my stand point (at the time).

However retrospect is a wonder in itself – and when I had time to calm “the f&ck down” – as I like to say – I was able to look back and realize the absolute devastation I had caused and more importantly  “what the hell was I thinking”.

What a total f*ck up – total.

So Thursday morning had me feeling so embarrassed and shamed – not ashamed, but SHAMED.   I was mortified that I had sat and felt that what I was saying was correct and appropriate, and justified. 

My brain, and my mouth, and my logic had disengaged totally, and I am so embarrassed.

Fabulous.

Not.

So there we are – I have managed in one foul swoop to become a total tosser (listen I always was, but I managed to sort of keep it mildly under wraps until now). 

Yesterday I felt more terrible that I have in a very long time.

I know the thing we would tell our kids is “go and apologise, and say you are sorry, and there is nothing more you can do …”

Hmm, good advise.

I have apologized for my outburst, but it is a bit like it has been said and it can’t be unsaid, so I sort of slink away very embarrassed.

Today I feel a little bit better – not absolutely better  – but at least I do not feel so ill as I did yesterday.  

Do you realize that you can actually feel violently physical ill from embarrassment and shame? I managed to feel that way the whole of yesterday – I was shaking and had a few crying jags just for fun!

Then I went to lie on my bed, not to sleep, but to close my eyes in the hope I might be swallowed up by the earth …. unfortunately it did not happen, no matter how hard you wish it – and I opened my eyes and it was still me staring back at me.

I still feel crap, and horrible, and embarrassed and shamed.

I f&cked up on a monumental scale, and that it can’t be undone –but there it is.

On the other side of rather unfortunate week I have also managed to:

  1. Lose my wedding ring – and I cannot locate it, and I am actually very upset and worried and upset.
  2. I mentioned before that I am attending a 7 week intensive work shop/group work – and for 2 hours a week I get to cry and unpack some stuff that I have been resisting for a long time with a group of similar minded girls.
  3. Watching the “La Viva V.ulv.a” DVD had a profound effect on me.  It has made me question how I view myself, why I view myself as I do – and as importantly what messages I am passing on to my daughters.  I feel that there has been this mental shift ….and it has left me feeling very uncomfortable and at the same time forcing me to relook at myself….which is not keeping me in my happy (and ignorant) space.
  4. I have realized – rather uncomfortably – that I have got exceedingly judgmental person and am really hating that quality about myself.  At the same time am a bit stuck as to how to make me “less judgmental.”
  5. I was wondering if I could find a support group for Alcoholics Anonymous (who still drink) who specialize in Verbal Diarrhea with a minor in Shame and Embarrassment.  I am looking for that sort of support group, so if you can recommend anything, please let me know.
  6. I feel emotionally exhausted and just drained at the moment – and I do not know what I need to remedy me.
  7. And I am still a total douche bag!