All content contained within should be restricted to those over-age. Occasionally, suicide and self-harm are mentioned and readers should take care to ensure they are in a safe place - emotionally and physically - before reading. Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31 Tweets to Mark Butler - revision :-)

Well, this is my last day of "31 tweets to Mark Butler".  I've missed some days, and made up for it on others.  I've written some heartfelt tweets, and some I've just made up out of desperation to complete my task.  At the beginning, I had the chance to blog along with tweeting, however as I needed to be there for my family for various reasons, time alone to write became scarce (plus I had a few tummy bugs, the details of which you'll be glad I do not share).

I have had a few people join me on my quest to tweet every day for a month, and I thank them, for the journey (such as it was), was all the better for their company.

Here are my tweets to Mark Butler for the last 31 days.  I am not overly proud of what I've accomplished, mainly for my obvious lack of literary skills, however I set myself a challenge, and did my best to meet it without giving up.  Which is a hard thing to do, especially given that there is neither feedback, nor any apparent effect from my efforts.  Still - I have to do "something" - I have to "try".  I don't want to look back in five years time and think "oh, I should have done that.  If only I wasn't so scared".  I'm proud for not being scared.  I'm proud for trying.  I'm proud for trying something, instead of falsely assuming the world will right itself without my help or input.

Linda Wemyss

Welcome to 2012 :) Apologies - seems I made it this far after all *big grin* ... enjoy...

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

Day Four. "Predictable". And with that - I'm off for some quality kid time :) Happy Wednesday Mark!

Linda Wemyss

Dear - blog is a little late today. Hope you've had a good one.

Linda Wemyss

Just in time for Day 5 - e-Mental Health - friend or foe?

Linda Wemyss

This time with link lol Just in time for Day 5- e-Mental Health - friend or foe?

Linda Wemyss

I'm tired today, so a standard "bite me" will have to suffice :-D

Linda Wemyss

Mental health nurses and rural mental health. Your #7 blog

Linda Wemyss

Hope you've had a good weekend. Many haven't - stressed over having to ration sessions for the next year!

Linda Wemyss

- Just in case you've forgotten :-P I did a blog, but it's not all that relevant to BA - it was about floods.

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

Tweet 11 - Did a blog, but it's not a BA one. Had too good a day and don't want to spoil my mood thinking about BA future!

Linda Wemyss

provides people with the right help at the right time - and not according to bureaucracy or "boxes" per se.

Linda Wemyss

I'm hoping this wasn't an intentional effect... and I hope that people are OK :(

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

Hey See the beautiful future of our mental health here... c/-

Linda Wemyss

Found out that my MI has cost me relationship with my extended family. can help others not exp this situation.

Linda Wemyss

Will ATAPS provide specialist counseling to new and old migrants to Oz? can!!!

Linda Wemyss

. Oh there you go again... You know a really good way way of doing that? Stop discriminating in mental illness funding!

Linda Wemyss

Dear Sorry,but you shall henceforth be known to me in my head as "Meatloaf".It's just gonna stick.I apologise!

Linda Wemyss

This week,2 young Aussies suicidal.1 received media attention.Other didn't.Headspace would only help 1-which 1 do u think?

Linda Wemyss

Cutting is bad for people. So do something about it, would you please?

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

Linda Wemyss

. Time for your daily dose of me. Save and help get us back on our feet!

Linda Wemyss

"Lessons" Sort of the beginning of how I came to be a current pain the arse :)

Linda Wemyss

"Please do not underestimate the effects of on mental health." Geralyn Datz

Linda Wemyss

. There's so much pain in the world. Do we really need to add to it by cutting ?

Linda Wemyss

. I believe in your ability to find a way to make it work. Australians need you to stand up for and

Linda Wemyss

. 87000 Australians discriminated against for having 'wrong' mental illness or living rurally

Linda Wemyss

. It's my birthday today. Just saying...

Linda Wemyss

. Politics should be about helping people, not organisations that have little interest in the people.

Linda Wemyss

Everyone should have to mental health care that is right for their circumstances, not just some tokenism.

Linda Wemyss

. Time for revision :) Hope you've had a good month :)
31 Jan

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sigh... FFS, not again...

I'm clammy.  And hot, even though the air conditioner is on.  I have a massive headache, though that's nothing new.  Chest pains, can't breathe - you'd think I was having a heart attack, though we all know better.

And after hours of this...

I want to live.  I want to travel.  I want to play on the beach with my kids.  I want to watch them grow up, and take care of them while they do.  I want to tend my house, and play the 50's housewife while kicking the arse of anyone who tells me I should because I'm a woman.  I want to play sport, and go on bushwalks, and climb rocks.  I want to read books, and listen to music and write.  I want to show my kids the world, even if it's just the world in our little town.  I want to work and I want to play and I want to LIVE.

And I want to die.  Right fucking now.

Hope is what gets us through.  It is what we hold on to in desperation, when things get bad.  Hope that tomorrow (figuratively speaking) will be better.

But my tomorrow won't be better.  Indeed, my tomorrow is going to be worse.  And the day after that, and the day after that.  The things that concern me - the things that get me "down" - the things that I can't live with - they are all here to stay.  It's no longer a case of hanging around until the solution dawns upon thee - but of having to choose - live like this, or die.

I don't think I ask too much.  A little compassion.  A little respect.  Enough money for a roof over my head, food, health care.  I live in one of the most prosperous countries on Earth, or I wouldn't be arrogant enough to ask for this much.  Every day I have been able to, I've worked, and when I haven't been able to find employment, I've done volunteer work.  I've done the best I can.  I've been the best person I can.  I've stuffed up sure, but I've always apologised.  Made amends.  Done the best I can.

I TRIED.  I tried fuck it.  It's not like I didn't bust my arse, trying to make it work.

I can't do this any more.  Because deep down I'm still tortured by the past.  One liners that speak to forgetting the past are crap - it's not memories that you have to worry about.  It's the physical consequences.  And anyone who doesn't know what they are should just shut the fuck up about it.  Because one liners tend to lead to us feeling like crap for not being a fucking superhero and "getting over it".

I want life.  Just not this one.  Thanks, but this one is broken, and after 20ish years, I've realised that it just can't be repaired..  I'll be taking the refund.  There are no exchanges here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Once Upon A Time... (SBS)

I missed "Once Upon A Time In Cabramatta" last week (a three part series shown on the SBS - the first episode can be found here for a limited time).  It is about the "drug war" in Cabramatta - and of course, the Vietnamese Australians who live there.

As I was looking at Twitter during the advertising, I noticed one unremarkable twit's comment which had been retweeted by another:

"I don't feel sorry for the parents when couldn't be bothered to learn English in 30 yrs they lived here"

OK - to be fair - I was brought up with this attitude.  Then for a while, I decided that it was racist, but as I didn't know why I thought it was racist, I just tried not to have an attitude at all.

Then I moved to a country where I knew not one word of their language, and I lived there for eighteen months.  And I can tell you a few things about that.

For starters - I doubt these parents do not know "any" English, but for sure I don't blame them one iota for not wanting to speak in English on television.  I know that if I had continued to live in Japan, there would never ever come a day when I would feel comfortable speaking in public in a language that was not my first.  It would just never happen.  Thus, I don't presume to know whether or not they speak English.  It's entirely possible they do.

In keeping with this twit's comment however, I'll move on as though they don't.

Language acquisition is a funny thing.  Most people do not understand that language is not learned by memory.  Language is learned in the first ten years of life, mostly in the first few years.  After THAT, language acquisition is memory.  Feel free to Google it to look up the specifics if you're interested.

This means that while it takes children a few years to learn a new language - they are essentially cheating.  Learning a new language is much harder for adults as we have to rely on memory to do so (at least, until we've practised enough to form new synapses from what I understand).  Each and every adult has a different memory capability.  My own memory can be clinically described as "up the fucking shit".  Which explains why in 18 months, despite buying a tonne of books and practising whenever I could, I learned no more Japanese than it took to get the very basic of basics (and not be swatted by taxi drivers intent on proper formalities - never again shall I say the shortened form of "thank you" to someone I am not familiar with).

And all that is without the added drama of wrapping your head around the fact that it's not just the different words - it's the different grammar!!!  It's not just replacing one word with a different word, but learning how to speak from scratch.

In other words - it's fucking hard if you are not that way inclined.

Thus, one issue with learning English once migrants arrive in Australia is one of technical capability - it is possible that no matter how hard they try, they will simply never acquire conversational English, let alone enough English to feel comfortable speaking in public in the language.

The other issue is one of morality.  I have been finding that white Australians bleat on about "multiculturalism" when in fact, what they want is "white culturalism, but I don't care if your skin is a different colour".

See, I see multiculturalism as being - you live the way you want to and I'll live the way I want to, and we'll visit each other and have fun learning about each other.  Perhaps I'll take some part of your culture into mine and perhaps you'll take some part of mine into yours, but what-the-fuck-ever-works.  In this definition, what language each person is speaking is not important.  Trust me - so long as you've got please and thank-you down pat - you can get by on the universal sign language of facial expressions and general gesture.

This twit has never met these people - so who the fuck cares what language they speak?  What is it to her?  For fucks sake, is compassion and empathy such a limited commodity, that regardless of what language they speak, a little can't be spared for parents whose son turned to drugs and dealing in order to escape a gut-wrenching poverty?

That, my dear, is racist.  Pure, simple, right down the line.  And THAT is at the heart, I imagine, of why such sad stories exist in this country.  It's not a drug problem - that is just the consequence.  It's a fucking racist problem.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I paint...

Yes, I paint - badly.  And not often.  I suspect the two are related, though not necessarily.  Perhaps I would suck even with practice.

In any event, I like to paint.  It's relaxing, while at the same time, eventually, you get to accomplish something you can hold in your hand.

I have included pictures of two works in progress.  I'm not sure what to do about either of them.  The first one has an accident in the middle lol - and the second one is just - bleugh for now.  I think it has potential, but it needs something more and I'm not sure what.

Actually the first one needs something more too, but I think that one is something I have to figure out for myself...

Having a hobby such as this is good for mental health.  So is therapy.  And not necessarily art therapy :-P  That depends on the person!

Don't we all have the right to make the most of our lives?  To be given the tools to make the most of our lives, even if illness strikes us down and lays us flat out in a field of emptiness?  To have help, when we need it?

Linda Wemyss

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Floods - our story

Here are a few before and after shots of the flood - just to give an idea of the visual we faced...

 At the height of the flood, the water was a bit higher than these photo's suggest.

Gympie floods a lot.  Having been born here, I know that.  I knew that when we bought this house.  I knew that it would flood, at least once, in the house, and I knew that we couldn't get insurance to cover for it.  My story isn't remarkable - my story is not the point to this blog.

Given that Gympie had flooded a few times in the months leading up to January 2011, we "knew" it was coming.  We just "knew" it.  Although I've spent a fair whack of time living in Gympie, and my extended family has always lived here, I hadn't actually been in town for a big flood before this.  So for each of these smaller floods, I kept asking my husband "do we move the office stuff upstairs yet?"  His office was in a room downstairs, along with my desk and university stuff, and storage boxes.  My husband kept laughing at me - "nup, not this time".

When he came to wake me up that Sunday morning it felt surreal - "Sweetie, it's time to pack up downstairs now".

Holy fuck!!!  OK then.

So I got up, and we packed up.  He dragged everything upstairs except for the big furniture - we piled that with the more expensive pieces sitting atop the crap - the forecast was that water would come in around a foot or so sometime Monday night.  So the more expensive furniture should be safe.  We'd lose the rest though.  Chipboard doesn't fare too well in water.....

The boys toy room was now a storage room, and we had bookcases and books and boxes and computers and all sorts of shit just wherever we could put them.

During the day, I called the SES, to find out what we could do should the rain not stop, and we had to evacuate.  The guy I talked to just kept asking if we needed a boat - no, we don't yet thanks, but what is the protocol for when we do?  Are there any places we can stay?  What help is available?

Turns out no help was available.  We were on our own.  We found out later that the council had set up an evacuation centre in town, but by the time we realised we needed one, it was too late - we couldn't get there.

There is a service station and a couple of motels up the hill from where we live.  One of the motel managers came in while I was getting some milk Sunday night, and I asked if there were any rooms available.  Sure, he said - how many of you are there?  I told him there was myself, my husband and our two kids.  He replied that he only had rooms with a double bed - no beds for the kids.  No worries I said, I had some blow up mattresses.  Nope, he said, regulations wouldn't allow that.

What the fuck?????  My house looks like being flooded, we live on a sewage line with an access point in our backyard, so the water is going to be contaminated, I have two kids with immune issues, and you're saying no due to fucking regulations???  What are the regulations on sleeping in your car you fuckwit???

I walked home in tears, and rang the other motel - thankfully, not only did they have room, but the manager there said that we could bring our cats if it came to that!!!  Thank goodness, because our kittens were also a worry for us.

So Monday, the kids and I packed up and went and stayed at the motel.  The water was expected to peak during the night, and I wasn't about to go trampling through slush in the middle of the night with a five and just turned two year old.

While we were at the motel, I saw the news - and witnessed footage of Toowoomba, and heard the warnings for Grantham and Gatton.  My husbands parents live in Gatton, and his sister at Grantham, so I raced home and started making phone calls.  No one could get through to his sister, but his parents were safe and well.  It was another day before we heard that his sister was OK.  His other sister lives in Brisbane, and lost her house bar the shell.  They are still rebuilding it now.  They had insurance, but it was the wrong sort of flood.

I would have thought water was water - it's either wet or it's not - but there you go.

The water here was slow moving - there was no flash flooding.  It didn't end up in the house - though the backyard flooded.  My kids and pets were safe.

So I don't know why really, that I have flashback nightmares.  Nightmares where it's flooded and my kids are on the other side of the water.  Nightmares where the water is gushing, and I have to save my kids.  I don't know why I'm having them.  I don't know why when I go outside at night, I can see the reflection of the lights on the water - even though there's no water there any more.  I don't know why.

And I can't imagine what the people who went through so much worse must be going through.  People who lost every possession they own - and people who lost their entire families.

They lost their entire families.

I can't imagine.

My thoughts go out to them.  My love goes out to them.  Because I lied.  Because I CAN imagine, but I choose not to.  Because I don't want to.  Because the nightmares are bad enough.  I get that choice.  I'm lucky.  But my thoughts and my love goes out to them.

This tragedy is still going on.  Today, and in the future, this still affects the people who went through it.  Not me, other than the nightmares, because I'm lucky, but for so many others.  They are still rebuilding.  Still grieving.  Some are still in shock even, that it happened at all.  If you can, spare some love for these people.  Don't forget them.  Don't assume that it's over, and don't assume that you are no longer needed to help.  They still need help.  Some still need supplies.  Others need someone to talk to.  A few may just require some validation that what they went through was horrific. 

Spare them a thought, some love, and some time.  Tell them you care.  If you can, offer to help.  But please don't forget them.  They need you.