Sweet Dream Believer

Welcome to The Lounge.  If you’re new to this part of the blogosphere then please check out the Facebook Page or the page I have on here.  This week the theme is keyword which means your post just has to contain the word DREAM.

endless_dream_by_supcowpur-d4bbmj6She woke with a thud, the wind knocked out of her chest.  She lay still, trying to catch her breath, her night dress was plastered to her skin with sweat.  The dream had haunted her sleep again, every night it was the same.

Her days had been starting earlier and earlier each day, her mind plagued by the nightmare making it impossible to fall asleep.  She was sure her mind was playing dirty tricks on her.  The more she tried to create a space of harmony, the faster the dream plagued her thoughts.  She had begun to accept it as part of her nights, resigned to the idea that her sleep would always be interrupted by the horrifying images.

The nightmare had started over a month ago.  She knew it was her subconscious trying to work through the stress, she knew that it was trying to tell her that the facade of ‘I’m fine’ couldn’t last forever.  People had already begun to question her work, noticing the dark circles that overshadowed her vibrant blue eyes.

She had been to a dream interpreter, hoping that they could help her to stop the nightmares.  There had to be something she could change in her life that would stop the midnight wakings.  The woman she visited had been perplexed by the messages, a dream that told the story of life and death colliding.  A nightmare that pushed the life out of her every night, filled with messages from the other side.  Someone was haunting her.

She had a good idea who that someone was, but she refused to divulge the information to the dream interpreter.  She knew that this woman would judge her, see her as a victim, a label she had fought her whole life to avoid.  The people in her new life knew nothing of her past, she felt it was better that way.  She hated seeing the change in someone’s face as she told the story and so she had resolved to make a new start.

This had been her sixth move in 7 years.  She had hoped it would be different this time, her past wouldn’t catch up with her.  She had changed her name, wore coloured contacts and gotten plastic surgery to alter her face.  This had been the longest she had been able to stay in one place and she had made a lot of friends.  Her friends had no idea about her history, and she intended to keep it that way.  She knew it could change at any moment but she was optimistic this time.

She walked out to the lounge room and turned the television on.  There was a news bulletin blaring through the silence of the room.  Her father’s picture flashed on to the screen and she felt her breath catch.  This was exactly what she was trying to avoid in her nightmares, running from him as he chased her through the dense woods.

Today was the anniversary of the night he tried to kill her.  He had been abusing her for years, the bruises on show for all who cared enough to look.  No one ever did.  She had taken things into her own hands and called the police one night after a particularly bad beating.  They had turned up, looked around and decided she was lying.  He was a well known man in town, a man who everyone loved.  He was not a man who hurt his daughter according to them.

After he had apologised to the police for wasting their time, he closed the door and stared at her.  She knew that she needed to get out of the house, he would kill her if she didn’t.  She ran out the back door, through the garden and over the back fence.  She felt like she was running on air, she didn’t dare to look back.  Their house was surrounded by woods, she knew that in order get somewhere safe she needed to head for the main road.

She had made it to the road just as she felt his hand grab the back of her shirt.  She pushed her body forward, determined that he wouldn’t win.  The weight of his body caused her trip and fall onto the road, her face hitting the gravel road.  She curled into a ball and prepared herself for the first blow.  She felt the thud of his boot as he connected with her back, the pain radiated through her body but she steeled herself, she knew she couldn’t let him win.  He kicked her again and again, the pain getting worse each time, she refused to give him the satisfaction of hearing her yell out, instead biting down on her hand until she could taste blood.

When she thought she couldn’t possibly take another blow, lights blared down the road towards her.  The driver’s voice could be heard in the distance yelling at her father to stop, she didn’t know how faraway they were.  She heard his boots turn in the gravel but it was too late, they had seen everything.  Despite her pain, she felt a smile cross her face, finally it would be over.

Her father was arrested, their faces splashed over the local and national news programs.  She still felt a prisoner despite him receiving the maximum penalty for his crimes against her and the ones they had discovered after his arrest.  She knew that she had to move to get away from the staring faces, the faces that haunted her dreams.  People cared now, and she couldn’t take it, she couldn’t take their pity.

Later today he would be released from prison.  She had gone to his last parole hearing but her victim statement had fallen on deaf ears.  She knew that this day was coming, his face had haunted her dreams for the last month.  She had to do something, she couldn’t be a victim anymore.  It was only a matter of time until he used his contacts to find her.  She wouldn’t let them, she was going to find him.

She was going to make sure she won for good this time.  He would be a missing man, that no one missed at all.


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I am..

I’ve been having a bit of a ‘where do I fit in’ crisis lately.  The world seems to be passing me by while I am here in my rut, watching it all pass.  I’m living just below the surface, not happy, not sad, just a seemingly never ending state of listlessness.  I need to scrape back the noise, get back to basics and realise who I am.

I am…more than my mental illness.  I have Depression and Borderline, they do not define me as a person.

I am…a mother who is doing her best.  I might not live up to the text book version of what I *should* be doing, but my child is happy and healthy and that is all that matters.

I am…more than my physical appearance.  How I present myself to the world does not dictate who I am or how I should act.  I am free to be myself, regardless of my appearance.

I am…a good friend.  Maybe I don’t catch up as often as I should, or keep in contact as much as I should but I care deeply for the people that I love.  I may be awkward in my communication but please know that you are on my mind often.

I am…doing ok, all things considered.  It’s so easy for me to feel like the world is falling down around me, but I am 20 steps ahead of where I was 6 years ago.

I am…my own advocate.  One of the upsides of having less than stellar psychiatric treatment at times is that I have learned to be my own advocate.  I have learned that no one else is going to speak up for me, that only I know what is best for my own health.  I know that there are professionals out there who do care, who do see me as more than a diagnosis.

I am…doing good things for the reduction of stigma.  I enjoy receiving messages from you, my readers.  I love that you feel comfortable enough to share your experiences in the space here.  I hope that I can continue to educate and create a community of mutual sharing.

I am…a kick arse person.  I may not be everyone’s flavour and that is ok because that’s part of life.  The fun part about life is finding our tribe, the people who know all about our quirks and accept them warts and all.

What are the parts that make you, you?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT

Shopping Tales

shopping with kidsI must confess that I kind of enjoy going grocery shopping with Mr 4.  Now before you completely write me off as gone round the bend let me explain.

I receive my centrelink payments on a Friday (I have them staggered so I receive a payment each week instead of each fortnight) and Mr 4 goes to daycare on a Friday so I do have the opportunity to do the shopping on my own, I just choose not to.  I usually do my shopping on a Sunday afternoon or a Monday, with Mr 4 along for the ride.

I don’t have a license so we take a taxi to the shopping centre.  Mr 4 talks about the trucks and different cars we see on the way.  He gets well on his way to the average 400 questions a 4 year old asks in one day.  We usually head over around lunch time and he is happy with the promise of a hotdog after the groceries are finished.

Our first stop is to get a trolley, my number one tool in keeping the grocery trip stress level to a minimum.  Mr 4 is too big for the seat up front, believe me we’ve tried and the result would have been comical if it happened to someone else.  So he sits in the main area of the trolley, he takes up most of it but it keeps everyone happy.

The part of the grocery shopping that I love the most is involving Mr 4 in the process of picking the food.  We go through each section talking about the different foods and how we use them.  I let him pick the things he has for his snacks, offering a choice between two things so that he doesn’t become overwhelmed.

I love talking about the different fresh produce and how we can use them in our meals.  It doesn’t always mean that he will eat the things that we talk about but it means that he is aware of them and the part they play in the food I make.  I also usually buy something easy for dinner the night I do the groceries so I involve him in picking what we have.

I enjoy the time we spend together, him learning and me teaching.  I enjoy this time when I am the smartest person he knows, because before long he will be telling me that he learned these things all on his own.  He may drive me up the wall a lot of the time, but I love him and I love his quirky ways of thinking.

We finish off our grocery trip with sushi for me and a hotdog for him.  A trip home in the taxi and carrying all the bags in, in one trip because 2nd trips are for losers ;)

Do you enjoy shopping with your kids?  What do you do to help make the trip a little be easier for everyone involved?

Linking up with Kirsty for I Must Confess.

Autumn Rain: Para’Kito Giveaway

*I received 2 arm bands and 2 Mosquito Protection Clips from Para’Kito.  All opinions are my own*

I live in what is considered the tropics so mosquitoes are a given.  Add in 500mm of rain over 48 hours and you have the little blighters in plague proportions.  Even in the middle of the day they are swarming around.

Mosquitoes love me, they always have.  In summer my mum used to wrap my legs in bandages to try and stop me from itching at night.  Right now my legs look like I’ve had a fight with a bitumen highway.  No one has to worry about getting bitten when I’m around because they flock my way.

The trouble with a lot of bug sprays are that they smell gross, feel greasy and are as expensive as hell.  Especially when it’s so hot you have to keep reapplying because you keep sweating it off.  I seem to always forget to take it with us when we go out too.  They aren’t much use sitting on the kitchen bench at home!

When I read about the products from Para’Kito I was excited to try them out.  They promised to provide an organic solution to those itchy critters.  Paro’Kito’s products are safe for all members of the family as there is no direct contact with the skin.  So no need to worry about skin irritation in little babes or the effects on your unborn child.

para'kito productEach polymer pellet contains a blend of 7 essential oils including lavender, geranium, citronella, pine tree, patchouli, clove and peppermint.  Paro’Kito boasts that together, these ingredients mask a person’s natural scent for up to 15 days, making them invisible to mosquitoes.  The products also work in water which is perfect for the Australian lifestyle.

Mr 4 and I trialled these products in the afternoon, when the mosquitoes are at their worst and I was happy with the results.  I did notice the mosquitoes buzzing around but I wasn’t being bitten anywhere near as much.  I think that I must just be especially susceptible because Mr 4 didn’t get bitten at all.  The smell was a little overpowering at first but it was a pleasant smell so it didn’t take long to get used to.

The arm band was great for Mr 4 because it was easy to put on his arm and let him go on his way.  Anyone with lively 4 year olds know how hard it is to pin them down long enough to spray some insect repellant on.  There is also a clip on available which is great for attaching to the pram, a back pack or the loop on your pants.  The little pellet just slips into the netted compartment and you are good to go!

The awesome people at Para’Kito also have a pack available for one lucky reader.  I have up for grabs a pack including:

2 x Para’Kito wrist bands (with two refills) – $24.95                                                                                      1 x Para’Kito clip (with two refills) – $24.95 each                                                                                           1 x Para’Kito refill pack – $15.95 each                                                                                                      Total value: $90.80

All you have to do to be in the running to win the pack is leave a blog post answering the following question:  “What outdoor activity would the Para’Kito make easier?”  

Remember to make your answers creative because the most creative wins!  Entries close at 10pm on the 29th of April.

Terms and Conditions.

  1. The competition begins on Tuesday the 15th day of April 2014 and closes at 10pm on the 29th day of April 2014.
  2. All decisions made are final.
  3. The winner has 48 hours after being contacted by email to answer, or the prize will be redrawn.
  4. The competition is open to Australian Residents only.
  5. Entrants must answer the question ‘“What outdoor activity would the Para’Kito make easier?”’ in order to be eligible to win the prize.
  6. The winner will receive one prize pack from Para’Kito to the value of $90.80.
  7. One entry per household. 

Linking up with Jess for IBOT.



Borderline Personality Disorder Myths

Image credit

Image credit

I was first made aware of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) 11 years ago.  It gets a bad rap in the media, community and the health profession.  I want to help dispel a few myths that I have encountered.

  1. People with BPD have split personalities.  No, multiple personality disorder is a completely different psychiatric diagnosis.  People with BPD often experience mood instability which can give people the impression that they have different personalities.
  2. People with BPD are manipulative attention seekers.  Some of the behaviour exhibited by those with BPD can come across as attention seeking, but that is because they need attention.  Borderline often develops after childhood trauma (although genetic links are also being explored) and it becomes ingrained that they only way to receive the help they need is to act out.
  3. People with BPD are a lost cause. I have encountered this from the health profession.  BPD are often put in the too hard basket, that they are treatment resistant and if ignored they will go away.
  4. People with BPD are bunny boilers and you should avoid a relationship with them.  One of the symptoms of BPD is unstable interpersonal relationships.  Often their fear of being left overrides their rational thinking and they subconsciously push the person away.  With the right support and the right partner a person with BPD can be a part of a loving relationship.  I have seen plenty of sane people turn into ‘psycho girlfriends’ so really a diagnosis means nothing.
  5. People with BPD are selfish. No mental illness is selfish.  Borderline is no different.  Without treatment, and insight the worst features of Borderline come to the fore.  This is why it is so important that more specialised treatment is available.  It’s hard when you reach out for help and get knocked back, told that you are too hard to treat.

I have reached out for help in the past only to be met with fear and resentment.  I was told I was taking up space that someone who was ‘really sick’ could use.  This is not something that is only experienced by people with Borderline of course, but it is still something that needs to be addressed.  People with Borderline are not all monsters.  There are those of us out there who are working hard to be able to function in the everyday world.  I don’t want to discount the experiences of those who have dealt with someone who is Borderline, but I simply ask that you get to know the person behind the diagnosis before you pass judgement.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT.