Monthly Archives: October 2011

Taking my sad out dancing.


Busy day today.

I met the lovely Carly Findlay for brunch – she is a melbourne blogger who bravely takes chronic illness in her stride. She is a little crackerjack!

Then I met my mum and sister for lunch. Smile and nod. Smile and nod.

I did some of the article. It is not finished yet. Writing is like (I would imagine) pushing a turd out against a haemorrhoid, sorry for the graphic analogy. It is overdue. Tomorrow/Tuesday…

I started packing today. I had known it would be hard, and sad. I sorted, I listened to music. I took a break, lying prone on the floor. Hey, it seemed like an appropriate thing to do.

I had been thinking about going to Salsa classes – I’ve actually been wanting to go for some years. I like most forms of dance. Come about 6:30, the inertia of being in tracksuit pants was great, and it was tempting to hunker down in front of the telly.

But, again, the times when we most want to curl into a little ball are probably those where we must absolutely get out. So I rocked up to a class at the Provincial Hotel in Fitzroy.

The thing with rocking up to these classes alone is that you can be who you want to be. A saucy minx, even.

Saucy minx has left the building for a little while. An earnestly, nervously smiling Cilla was there. I dressed fairly comfortably, not saucily.

There was no time to fortify myself with alcohol before, so I went in stone cold sober. Inside, there were ladies, mostly younger than me, quite a few made up to the nines, and dressed in attire so tight that one could see every cocopop they ate for breakfast. They had the bodies for it, though!

A few gentleman,  numbers approximately evenly matched with the ladies. Most were smiling nervously, some were not smiling at all, one had a smile on his face like a cheshire cat.

It was fun. It made me smile. Genuinely smile. It was an effort to keep my eyes off the floor (and, alternatively, off the instructor’s pert buttocks. Sorry. Ladette speaking).

An hour was enough. My sad, left at the front door, was there to greet me and walk me to my car. I went home, and on seeing the empty wall where I have taken down some pictures, I had a bit of a cry.

I can’t expect euphoria now. Just enough joy to get me through from day to day without going insane. I know, intellectually, things will get better. People have told me they will. It is hard to believe at the moment.

I will go to the class again. I will wear my strappy heels and lippy. A bit more minxy.

Things I wanna do


When the moving/ article business is over.

Get a facial
Get a pedicure
Go to Sydney – Go to Aria Restaurant, Get my photo done with Katie, See some friends
Buy Frankie Magazine
Take a weekend trip to the beach
Start doing long runs
Buy a bright summer dress to wear to aforementioned beach trip (saw some in shop- all in size 6-8 😦 )

I give in.


This week has been a bit of a struggle. I’ve got through, but it’s been tough.
I know what it is.
It is not acopia. (I’m coping)
It is not ungratefulness (I am grateful).
It is not being negative (I know my strengths).
It is not being weak (I am strong)

I have a big, fat sad.
The sad is a big blob. Sadness, with regret, guilt, loneliness and fear. It has a black dog on a leash with it too. The blob gets bigger and the dog growls in certain locations (certain thoughts and locations will bring things back acutely)
COMPLETELY understandable, given the circumstances.

It is very, very tempting to run from it. Indeed, I have tried to give it the slip, on a number of occasions.

What I need to do, though, is sit it down and say “look, I don’t like you, and you don’t like me, but we need to learn to live together.”

I need to hold it’s hand and walk it forward. Take it out to a movie #(which I did, yesterday) and to the Taco Truck* (which I did tonight)

#Joined a meetup group and went to a movie in the city after work.
*The taco truck was awesome. It stops around Brunswick and Northcote of a Thursday night. You order fresh tacos and sit on a lawn. I bought Candy, and she and I made some friends.

I may even have to gazette some appropriate time to curl up in a ball, stay in pyjamas and read trashy novels all day. I dare say it might even save further freakouts.
I still miss NBS.

Having confidence in my own confidence.


I am feeling a bit shattered at the moment, that much is clear. I am introspective – it is good, but I can get self-critical.

I feel get down on myself for feeling insecure (or, in other words, feeling insecure about feeling insecure). What the hell is that?

People say, “you have to build up your own confidence” and I wonder what to do in order to achieve this.

I am doing a lot of things, come to think of it.
– medical research, travel on own, running (plus a marathon), upsetting the apple cart re: an unhappy marriage. These things I never envisaged I would have the strength or ability to do, yet I am doing them.

By comparison, the other things I want to do, say, going to a music concert or salsa class or a good restaurant by myself, are relatively easy, come to think of it.
So I will go and do these things. AFTER I have finished my paper. And moved. Priorities.

Run – done. Thoroughly enjoyed it. So did the dog.

Goal update


No wine- epic fail. Cannot waste a bottle of good rose. There is always next week. Meanwhile, Cheers. Goes down brilliantly with a mcfeast, by the way.
Dressing nicely – absolutely
Itbs and hammies- did pilates for fist time in aaaages tonight. Awesome. Lots of muscles that I forgot about.
Run and article – tomorrow.
Salsa- tomorrow also.
Quality time with dog- yes. She is adorable.
Novel- yes. Downloaded. Is a Jeffrey Eugenides novel. I have in my possession the book “the slap”, but cannot bring myself to read it at the moment.

In other news-
– saw the little vietnamese fellow today, I was nervous before seeing him. He was lovely, though.
– talked with my phd supervisor today. It was a bit of “yes, the project is going ok, but I am absolutely struggling to get out of bed of a morning just to let you know”. He was great, bless him.
– I crave….I crave… know…..sigh. A brief hug with the man- cake in the lab simply fails to cut the mustard. Sigh. (patience, grasshopper……)

Goals for week.


Mondays are shit. Have currently got concentration span of a goldfish.
This blog is not private but I have been writing fairly personal stuff. I will give it a rest for today.

The goals are as follows:

– finish a paper I am trying to write
– spend plenty of quality time with the dog
– dress nicely every day
– go for 2 runs (they help)
– massage ITBs/ hips daily
– find a nice, light fluffy book and read it on iPad.
– Avoid alcohol while at home alone, minimal when out. The open bottle of wine in the fridge DOES NOT EXIST.
– book removalists
addit – have booked in salsa class 🙂

Oh, and BTW – I am finally a peer-reviewed author of a medical article. Go. Me.

Spring into Shape 2 – 8.4km. Plus other stuff (and more offensive language)


I was going to do the 12.7km event but I have not run anywhere near that distance, so I did the 8.4 instead. Some of the girls from my running group had arranged to meet for the 8.4km event. When it came time to wake up this morning, this was the only thing that got me out of bed. The mood I have been in, most fibres in my body were telling me to stay the fuck in bed and sleep all day.

I got to the event just in time, made sure to put my timing chip on my shoe (yessss) and lined up for the finish. No time for neurotic repeated bladder emptying like I usually do! No watch, no iPod. Just me. It was hard. It was humid. I tried to jolly myself along. You are doing great, I thought. Everything will be ok. You will be fine, It’s all about you etc etc.

Then I thought, fuckit. I cannot jolly myself along. I will embrace my pain. What do they call it? Mindfulness. Yeah, mindfulness.

So here was what was going on in my head from the start to 6km in the race:
It’s all gone to shit (but I’m here)
I don’t want to leave my dog (but I’m here)
I am so sorry it all ended (but I’m here)
I will be alone ALOOOONNNNNE (but I’m here)
I really don’t see the point in anything (but I’m here)
I am running past the spot on the yarra, in fed square, where we met and talked and kissed for hours and it huuuuurrrrts (but I’m here)
Fucking bastard (but I’m here)
I am so sad. So tired. (but I’m here)
It hurts so bad I want to fall off the face of the planet (but I’m here)
It’s too humid (but I’m here)

Then, THEN, I saw a girl struggling up the hill. I ran with her.
There was a tall bloke running with his girlfriend. I used him as my wind block.
Then a girl said to me, when I was walking through a drink stop “come on, we are doing this together”. We ran together for a bit, then her foot started hurting so I ran further.
I ran. I only walked through the drink stops. I did not run fast, but I ran.
I did a sprint finish, and the race caller called me by name.

The sun broke out. I felt….ok. Sad. Still, no worse than when I got up. Maybe a bit better. That girl that I was meant to meet with never showed up – she slept in. I did it for me, then.

The race itself – dunno what time I did it in. Think this one was about running with the pain. Not running away from it. Running WITH it. I am a little less afraid of it now, at the moment.

Other stuff. Not run related. You can tune out now if you like, this is some reflection/navel gazing. And possibly a bit rambly.

I have vacillated between self blame and blaming him. Severe anger and crushing guilt. Indignation and self-loathing. I shudder at some of the things I did wrong.
What is starting to emerge is that
– We were not bad to each other, but we were not good to each other. We were not there for each other in the way the other needed. Our worlds, once overlapping, had drifted apart (that sounds so wanky, but it’s true). We had less and less in common.
– It died. We are both responsible. We both made mistakes. Painful, painful lessons to learn.
– Neither of us had very good relationship/marriage role models.
– I really, really wish we had done something about it a while ago. Neither of us realised what was going on, though. I wish somebody had pulled us aside and had a quiet word with us. That is my biggest regret, and something I struggle with. I can’t change it though.
– I am OK with him being with another woman. Really. I have imagined them taking long romantic walks through the fields in Bittern (where she lives), looking into each other’s eyes, in bed together. A little twinge of pain, perhaps, but I am not jealous. I had imagined them together some time ago. I wish him the best – I really do. This is a telling sign.

The Jewish Barrister
– Being vulnerable really, really lowered my bargaining status! Further, it made me accept some things in him that I would normally not, because, I thought, hey, I’m fucked up too! Gotta accept other people with all their flaws.
– I went into it terrified. Terrified that I would fuck it up, like all the other things. I over-compensated. I saw the signs that it would go nowhere, but I thought I could fix it. I zeroed in on all the nice parts and magnified them. All good in retrospect.
– I am glad I had the courage to confront him, and not accept being one of God knows how many of his women. Some people wouldn’t do that. Still hurts though. I fell hard and fast.

On me. (The number one thing!)
– I have had all sorts of unhelpful things go through my head. Loose cannon. Train wreck. You deserve it, this is your punishment etc etc. Unhelpful.
– My number one fear is of being alone. Now I have to face it.
– There are other things I could work on. Patience. Bolstering my own self-esteem so that it does not rely on other people’s opinions to feed it. They are the two main things.
– I have many things – great job, exciting research, great friends. I am working on rebuilding the relationship with my family.
– I need to concentrate on these things first.

words from my mum.


Some wisdom from mum today. I saw her. I thought she would be all “I told you so” but she was good.
Her advice:
-sort yourself out first before being with anyone else
-forgive yourself and make peace with yourself
-you cannot do anything about the past
-concentrate on today
-build bridges
-be kind to yourself
-be kind to others

This one is for me.


The past few days have been tough. Tough tough tough. I have wanted to write about them. I have even drafted a few posts, but they sounded whingey, soft. Nobody would want to read them, I thought. I even toyed with the thought of making the blog private.

But, fuckit, it is my blog. I will write. Whether people want to read, comment – immaterial.

And the times when you want to hide under your doona, to crawl under a rock, to fall off the face of the earth, those are probably the times when you absolutely must not do that. Stand tall, proud, keep the head high.

The life I had before – married, expectation of getting pregnant, mortgage. It sucked the life from me, and I dreaded the future. Worse, I could not tell anybody about it. Yet it was familiar and, in a way, comfortable, as certain as anything could be.

So I made a decision, a brave decision. The reasoning, at the time, was solid. Subsequently, through marriage counselling, I found out that he was just as unhappy as I was, he just showed it by constantly being at work. Unlike me, he would never, ever have rocked the boat, preferring instead to carry on silently and miserably.

So it was the right decision. He is now seeing an old friend/colleague of his, and he is happy, they are probably much better suited to each other than what we were. I wish him well. It hurts, all the more for the fact that he saw fit to tell me via email while I was away, but it is for the best, I see that.

I tried to move on too. I wanted to feel alive. To feel some of the excitement and passion that I had not felt for some time – I was ashamed to admit it at the time. So I got on the internet, signed up with RSVP, went out dating. I was like a puppy let out of the laundry, doing happy laps. I got dates. It was easy.

I met some nice people. Some weird people. It never got past the first date, though. Either I didn’t like them, or they didn’t like me. After a very short while, it got really wearing. It was a bit of a waste of makeup. So I got ready to hunker down. There was just one more fellow, though. We had sent a few emails between us. He seemed very clever, very eloquent. We had a phone conversation, talked for ages. He had a sexy voice. I have a soft spot for sexy voices. So, I went out on a date with him.

At risk of sounding trite, we connected. Fast. We talked. I made eye contact, we ate. We kissed. Plans for a second date were made, then a third, then subsequent.

He was Jewish. I had always been a bit fascinated by that faith. I asked questions, and read up. He was far more Jewish than I am Christian. He went to a very religious Jewish school. I knew that they tend to like to keep to their own community, so I asked him, very early on, whether he was able to actually go out with a gentile. He never really answered that question. Just said he would want his children to go to a Jewish school, and that would require the mother to be Jewish.

We had wonderful times. We were that couple in the restaurant who I had always envied. We were the only two there. We held hands across the table. He sensed my emotions, he could read my face. He was physically affectionate, he played with my hair and I fiddled with the little curl at the front of his head. He would look at me and just smile. He saw and complimented me on my good points – that I was kind, intelligent, beautiful. Full of “vim and vigour”. I complimented him. I was very, very honest about what was going on. I opened my heart to him, in a way that I had not opened my heart to any man.

We did nice things for each other – he picked me up from a party after I drunk texted him. I picked him up from the airport. We talked most days, and messaged every day. We talked for hours, about everything and nothing. There were walks along the yarra, long kisses. He burnt me CDs from his collection. He was thoughtful.

I was so enamoured of it. Probably because it was everything that the relationship with my (ex-) husband wasn’t.

I liked him. Goddamn, I really liked him. And, rightly or wrongly, I thought he liked me, too. I thought, sweet! I am very, very lucky. I never thought I would meet anyone like him. Not now, probably not ever.

There were a few things that made me anxious, though. First, was his refusal to take his profile down from the site on which we had met. He would never really explain why. He told me that he would never introduce me to his family. Hey, no drama, it had not been going on for very long. That would change, I thought. He got very skittish when I asked him what his plans were, his intentions with me. What he wanted.

I got increasingly concerned – there was, from my point of view, an undeniable attraction. My feelings were strong. I got to the point where it made me more upset than happy. So I asked him.

He said what I put on my last blog post. “I really enjoy your company, but I don’t want a relationship, I don’t want to be your boyfriend.” He was very cold about it, almost hostile. The discussion was done in text messages – he would not talk to me, not see me. Not look me in the eye and tell me. I really did not think he was like that.

I said “well, it looks as though we have different expectations. Good luck with everything.” We hung up. Over. I cried all that day. That was a couple of days ago. He is back up on the dating site.

I had to face up to that. I had to face up to everything else, too. It all hit me, all at once.
I am alone. I will continue to be alone.
I have to move out, because I cannot afford to keep up the mortgage.
I will not get to keep the dog.
It is all my fault, if I had just kept quiet, about everything.
I deserve this, it is my punishment.

I lost faith in myself. I had always been optimistic that things would be ok, but, for the first time, I lost sight of that.

That night, I went out with a couple of my close girlfriends. They shouted me dinner, plied me with alcohol. They were wonderful.

Though the urge to stay in bed, under my doona, is strong, I have gotten up every day. I have dressed nicely. Groomed nicely. Gone to work. Treated the ill and frail with compassion and to the very best of my ability. Smiled, cracked jokes. Hugged my friends. I have been for a run! On the outside, all is well. Fake it till you make it, baby.

The inside – completely different. Completely. I forged quickly and strongly outside my comfort zone, and now I really don’t know where I am. All very well to be brave and honest and true to myself, but I don’t really see what the benefit of it is now, to be honest. I forge on regardless – people tell me it will get better. I hope so.

And, for the Jew. So many questions.
“Why could you not enjoy the company of somebody WHO IS A LITTLE MORE ROBUST THAN ME?”
“Why could you not be open about this, at the beginning?” (Perhaps it makes him uncomfortable to think he would be that sort of a guy)
“If you did not like me, why did you stick around?” (Did he like me? I thought so)
“Why, in the end, were you so unkind to me?”
And “If you want a Jewish girl, why are you bothering with Gentiles? We have hearts too.”


I feel better for writing all that. A bit relieved to get it all out- free therapy. If you have read this far, thankyou for sticking with it.
The thing I learned – never ever let things get so bad and not talk about them, or confront them. No matter how hard it is to do that.