MY MAN DIED ON 21 JUNE 2014. RAN OFF INTO THE FOREST ON HIS MORNING RUN AND NEVER CAME HOME AGAIN.
In 1988 , I was in the Half way House at Bondi up until October. It was a wonderful time. I got a job down atg Bondi Beach at Adeles selling souvenirs and beachwear in Hall Street and I had a lover who drove fancy cars. I was a Meetings fanatic and swam, tanned ate out and general;y healed from the harsh years. Then in October, the Kids were returned to me and I took a small flat in South Bondi. They went to Wellington Street School and life burst into Colour. Tough times and extreme poverty but quite wonderful. I was clean and sober.
The worst and the best. In 1987 , my addiction stepped up and fell down bigtime. It was the year of what I was to come know as rockbottom. Quite unable to go on any further. In the August of 1987, I gave in – lost everything including the Kids and my Mind and LEFT. Went to Sydney on my 9th wedding anniversary on the Red Rattler overnight train. I was picked up by my brother and the baddest man in the world and dropped at the McKinnon Unit of Rozelle Mental Hospital into what I now know was a detox unit.
Then life began again. A clean and sober life and a transformation. In 1987 I went to DETOUR, a women’s halfway house, into the Langton Drug and Alcohol Unit in Surry Hills and then into my own Silver Lining at Bondi. Cliffhangers – where I began to get well in Meetings.
Things began to change around about this time. I went to AA for the first time. I became more and more physically ill from drug and alcohol abuse. I had a hysterectomy in Port Macquarie Hospital and I went on methadone not long before that. Seemed to be the worst of times.
Another year which I do not recall. It could have been the year we separated for a time. The year that I took a dingy flat on the Western Side of the Urunga Railway Line. It could be 1984.
I have no idea what happened in 1983. Perhaps we went to live in Delray. Perhaps many things. Certainly the fights and drinking continued. Certainly the children grew and were beautiful. I stayed in Urunga. That much I do know.
Jim developed into a very funny baby boy. He could always make people laugh and did a good Chad Morgan impersonation. We went camping one night in 1982. Perhaps 2 nights, Once to Digger’s Camp on the Clarence and once to South West Rocks. We didn’t do very well either time and almost stabbed one another with the tent poles. The Picture on the tent bag showed a smiling happy family erecting the tent easily but we didn’t manage to do that. It was more like spears.
On the second camping occasion a wild wind hit and the children almost blew away in the tent. We gathered coins and retreated to a motel for the night.
We moved into a wee house in Urunga. A little old yellow cottage. Cass and Kate grew more and more into being twin cousins and we laughed and played while the men went to work on the Railways and RTA. Once a month my parents travelled to Sydney where my father was employed by Neeta Homes.
I have included this shot even though I think its 1980 because its one of the family legendary shots take in the yard of my sister’s home in Urunga. My parents, my sister’s family and me and mine.
In 1981 Jim was born. A quick birth like his sister’s but moreso. He was a character as a baby and he has remained a character and a joy. We moved in from the farmhouse to a unit in the block of units where my parents lived. Tambar Court opposite the Caravan Park in town and close to the shops and the waterfront. I won’t be writing much about 1981.
These years of the early 80s are painful years for me to write about and so I shan’t. Years filled with bright promise and hope which were consumed by the Monster.