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waiting for the whoosh - badgergirl's journal

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  • My dad started the whole posing with fake animals photography nonsense - he bent over and put his bottom in front of a rhino's horn and had a huge grin plastered on his face. I've - somewhere - got a very oddly posed picture featuring me and a giant badger that best friend took and then sent to my father. Hilarity ensued.

    The abuse stuff - well, it does me good to get it off my chest. But what it all meant and whether blame should or should not be attached and to whom, I don't suppose a pat answer will ever present itself. That really is the story I never tell so just putting the words out there is something of a release.

    More adoption stories to come. They've been crafted over a number of years, but can bear the retelling I think. Also, husband makes a heroic cameo appearance.

    Albion - the poetic construct of Blighty. Nationhood expressed in art, letters and song. I was talking to husband and explaining that, to me, England has that extra dimension whereas Australia does not. I'm never reminded of a snatch of song or a line of poetry as I go about my day here; whereas at home it's a constant underlay, providing depth and texture underfoot. Crossing London Bridge? TS Eliot: 'A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many. I had not thought death had undone so many'. Walking along Bond St? Virginia Woolf: 'Mrs Dalloway decided to buy the flowers herself.' Travelling to the North on a train? George Orwell's The Road To Wigan Pier:
    The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow.

    I know the landscape as a tapestry of literary and historical allusions that is, to me, richer and more verdant than the geography. The whole country is like that from Hadrian's Wall all the way down to Freshwater Bay on the Iggles (home of Julia Margaret Cameron, photography pioneer and Virginia Woolf's great aunt).
    Last edited by badgergirl; 03-25-2013, 02:59 AM. Reason: commas
    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


    • Please tell Second 'thanks!' And also... yes, I am! Too much sometimes

      I'm planning a very exciting outing. FRANK TURNER is PLAYING LIVE in MELBOURNE...NEXT WEEK! My newest obsession, here. Life doesn't get any more amazing.

      ETA - and I am going. I have bought myself a ticket and I shall mosh along with the Melburnians. So, so, so very excited.
      Last edited by badgergirl; 03-24-2013, 08:57 PM.
      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


      • Map of Tassie

        What happened to that thread? Did it get expunged from the record? Ex-beauty therapist friend used to refer to 'a knicker moustache' I've always been rather fond of mine. Anyway, I wanted to add this to the discussion of personal grooming
        Last edited by badgergirl; 03-25-2013, 12:37 AM.
        I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


        • Meet the grandparents part deux

          I'm updating my moogie* with a ton of music - Frank Turner and Amanda Palmer, I know, right, shocked!

          *Moogie = MP3 player. They have a naming issue, no? Not as sexy and tongue-rollable as iPod. So. I helped. Boogie on the move = moogie. That's right, I'm changing the world one word at a time.

          It's taking an age because I'm maxed out at something like 3000 songs so I have to prune as I add. Sometimes the tech just lets you down, huh?

          Anyway. There's time for the second installment as things copy across.

          I touched on this with the 'you're not his' comment, but some of that afternoon avec les grands was spent looking at family albums. I cannot explain to people who grew up with blood family how very, very, very wrong it is to stare at photos of strangers who look like you. My birth mother and I are i.dentical. To the extent that close, close friends (because I don't show these photos** to anyone else) mistake us. It's surreal to see one's own face, which up to that point had been reasonably unique, staring out of the decades before one was born. I was freaked out on the chintz soft furnishings. There I am again suffering through a childhood that was clearly at the back of the queue when love was being handed out. And, look, there's uncle Clive.

          **my own collection arrived later and I've saved them for small boy, just in case.

          So. Grandparents. Mother who looks the spit and, apparently, had an immaculate conception. Uncle.

          Bad family.

          I wrote newsy, guarded letters once a year to the grandparents (incidentally they are the same age, thereabouts, as my [adopted, actual] parents). March madness. A birthday tax.

          Time passed. Jam and I broke up. Fast forward through seven years told in a precis that said nothing.

          I got married.

          I wrote a chatty, happy letter. Another due paid to genetic inheritance. I included photos, I felt they deserved them. Me: well, that's another story. Him: tall, dark, handsome. Guests: minimal. Location: Camden registry office. Virginia married Leonard Woolf there, I'm proud of the psychogeography; the Brompton Oratory can go whistle. But really, the wedding is not part of this story, which might explain what happened next.

          A letter arrived. I think the first full letter. I read a page and decided I needed tea before broaching the rest.

          You see they had been to their goddaughter's wedding. They were the guests of honour. It was a real wedding and a real marriage. Mine wasn't. They weren't there - my family, my blood (neither was his, really, but they didn't grasp that). And I didn't wear white (damn right, I didn't). That name? Not my real name (yeah, well, a name is just a squiggle in the sand, I've rubbed it out enough times to basically only answer to Badger anyway).

          That was the first page.

          There were more pages, but I didn't read them.

          I came back with my tea. 'Where's the letter?'

          Husband: 'I destroyed it.'

          Me: ???

          Husband: 'You don't need to read that. It was poison.'

          He sounded shell shocked. Horrified. But you see I was used to it, resigned. My loins were girded. I was ready to read their words. Thought, I suppose, it was a duty. I never believed them, but thought I should at least give them eye time. Husband thought different. Wanted to protect me, I think.

          I would never, ever countenance him doing that in any other circumstances, but just this once I was grateful that he made that decision for me.

          I wrote back. Of course I did. I've never met a boil I haven't lanced. I explained in intimate detail what family means = job description. How they quit the job before I was born. What marriage means: not a wedding, not a dress, not a name. I waxed lyrical about family and marriage.

          The letter was still in my drawer at work when I quit my job.

          Fuck them. I hope they die in a fire. They are the reason my birth mother was/is such a profound mess...which is another story for another day.

          I hope their dolls make them happy as they all go up in flames.
          Last edited by badgergirl; 03-25-2013, 02:09 PM. Reason: lack of punctuation
          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


          • Oh, wow. Two things:
            I think I love your husband.
            One million woo-hoos for you for not letting them do any more emotional damage.

            Okay, one more - a hug from me. You are doing great, badger. You know what? I think your householding stay away from Britain will be/is a very good thing to happen for you, although I suspect it will only be very clear to you in hindsight.
            I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


            • Badger - huge hugs coming your way.........................sent !
              "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

              ...small steps....


              • Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                Oh, wow. Two things:
                I think I love your husband.
                It's the 'tall, dark, handsome' bit, right? Yes, he gets a lot of admirers for that. He attracts a lot of men who like men, as well as the lady folks. Once he attracted a couple...which, had it been me on the receiving end, I would have gone for (as well you know), but as it was husband he shyly backed away and said thanks, but no thanks. Silly man.
                Last edited by badgergirl; 03-25-2013, 04:15 PM.
                I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                • Who's your daddy?

                  I wasn't altogether joking about the immaculate conception. As far as anyone other than birth mother knows (and who knows whether or not she knows) I have no (birth? conception?) father. No name on the birth certificate. Evidently, she never told the toxic grandparents a name either.

                  This has never especially bothered me. Sometimes I wonder about my skin tone, which veers towards the southern European. Sometimes - filling out medical forms - I wonder about the family illnesses of which I am blissfully ignorant. [REMIND ME TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE RELIGIOUS NURSE AT MY PREGNANCY BOOKING APPT]

                  Do men realise that in all likelihood there are strangers walking around who are their children? An occupational hazard for sperm donors, but most men have the potential to be sperm donors, wittingly or not. I could have passed him in the street and never known (stranger things have happened to me than this, so it seems feasible). He is a total blank, a painless amputation, a nullity. I'm okay with that. Particularly given how the less than total amputations worked out for me. Better a clean break than a festering wound.

                  Husband, however, remains curious.
                  I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                  • The possible stories multiply. Birth mother - there's a sack full of crazy just there. Or go back to leaving uni and moving to Greece. School bullies, oof, some lovely crystallised carbon: the banal commonplaces of the oppressed oppressing others. More on mothering - that which I received and that which I give. The love story that led to marriage and small boy - including the wedding story and a shop in Soho for crossdressers, dropped underwear and crippling depression, suicide attempts and requests for assisted dying (we really know how to be romantic). Why we left Blighty and what's happened since. I'm wondering at the utility of the stories. I'm trying to self therapy here, see connections and figure out a path through the mire.

                    Lying next to husband in bed last night, with a belly full of wine and a head full of Frank Turner lyrics, I raised the issue of polyamory. Life is very short and my heart is infinite. Where is the line? Is it sex or is it intimacy and emotional honesty? Neither, perhaps it is the combination. I'm not sure I agree with this concept of fidelity. Can I be faithful to our love for each other and equally faithful to other loves? Can he? I maintain the line is crossed by lying. Sins of omission. We've both been there.

                    I want to love people. I want to be surrounded by those I love. I need that easy intimacy of shared space. Breathing the same air, sharing the pure oxygen of thought. I haven't got anyone lined up, but I'm hungry for it. Husband and I fit together and we have a serious amount of life under our belts. We have a son we love. He and best friend know me like no one else, but it's not enough. Play me music, stroke my hair. Tell me stories. Feed me. Dance. Spin me until my heart is in my mouth and I fall. Read with me. Write with me. Tell me about the wattles and the honeyeaters. I'd like to feel at home here.

                    Position(s) vacant.
                    Last edited by badgergirl; 03-26-2013, 01:03 AM.
                    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                    • Creation and destruction

                      As ever, separate strands of disparate conversations become cat's cradled into a knot of thoughts and feelings in my mind.

                      Pops and I have been chatting about life choices. Safety over art, essentially. I made that decision, when? After university, perhaps. Certainly after Greece. At some point I chose food on the table and a roof over my head, conformity over a more difficult path. Not that conformity is easy or, necessarily, safe. I’m not sure that it was a conscious choice. I don’t think I understood that a different life was possible. Pops tells me that there’s no turning back now. Really?

                      Best friend and I are talking about what comes next and her profound grief at leaving her old life – of safety, love and comfort – behind. For what? Sex and danger? A little. A life uninsulated? Yes, I expect so. We're back to familiar images: raw flesh, exposed bones, bravery and blood. We are so similar and so different; the anorexic and the bulimic; the fundamentalist and the apologist; the emotionally astute and the abstract expressionist.

                      Husband and I have been talking of love and what shapes our lives take as dictated by our love. We’ve been talking about small boy and the limitations he places on us. In case you’re wondering, small boy’s needs always come first. And, perhaps I have not explained this, but our resources are profoundly limited – single income family with school fees. Husband wants me to write. I want to write, but the excuses pile up like dead kangaroos on the Australian roadside. Feel the fear and do it anyway? No. Not so much.

                      You and I have been chatting – and I’m sorry I’ve been dominating the conversation – about families and history and sex and relationships. And about how these factors interact with each other.

                      Best friend and I have also – we’re running two email threads at the same time, there is a degree of crossover – been talking Frank Turner and Amanda Palmer and how, sometimes, a new piece of music or a new friendship (and what are songs, but friends who see us through good times and bad) can come at just the perfect moment of aptness. I owe the discovery of Amanda Palmer to bacon man. So, thank you for that, a profound gift.

                      As ever, I was mulling things over as I walked through the park this morning. Having spent two days immersed in Frank Turner (oh. how. I. wish.), my moogie was set to listen to AP Goes Down Under and Who Killed AP. Most of these songs are not new to me as youtube has made me familiar with her back catalogue, but then something previously unheard reached my ears and, standing under the tall trees (I swear Australian trees are the tallest in the world – they grow to standard tree height and then somehow double) in the middle of the park with sandalled feet made wet by the morning dew, I was completely and utterly undone.

                      Am I always going to have to carry not only birth family, but the adopted family and now the in-laws (one day we will reach husband's stories, for they too shape our lives)? Do I really, truly get extra helpings of madness? I fear so.

                      And I am back in the 'mental wellbeing' nurse's office with her words repeating endlessly in my head. Later, several sheets to the wind, emailing best friend: I am broken, broken, broken.

                      Yes. I chose safety over art. I chose false security over creativity. I eat so that I don't think. I feel proud of holding it together - I work, I support my family, I'm not a terrible mother.

                      The therapist said one thing that stayed with me: you're self-aware, that makes a huge difference. Yes, I am all too aware of all the swirling eddies; the whirlpools of self-defeating behaviour; self-knowledge does not make it easier, self-knowledge prevents nothing.

                      And all of this is an elaborate, believable smoke screen.

                      I don't write because I'm scared it'll be terrible. I don't write because I'm not good enough. I don't write because I'm lazy. Substitute 'write' for any other word, the reasons are the same. I always take the path of least resistance and then I moan and gripe.

                      This is the life I chose. I don't like my choices. I despise my laziness.
                      Last edited by badgergirl; 03-26-2013, 08:39 PM.
                      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                      • Bedtime

                        We lie in bed and we talk. I cannot imagine a life without you, I say. You are the cliffs of granite to my tides. You are the unflinching wall I hurl myself against in the storm. You’re my safety, my borderland. He says, living with you is like being blasted with sand. You are relentless. And you always say something that completely knocks me flat. I don’t even know how you do it.

                        I don’t want to live like this, I say. Me neither, he says. We mull over what a different life would look like. I wonder if we’re seeing the same life and feel doubtful. He says, it’s the small boy, we can’t do anything while we need to be here for the boy. It’s this suburb, he says; this suburb is a wasteland, but there’s nowhere else we can live (money, commute, school bus). It’s you and me, I say. We don’t…we have these voids between us. You don’t allow me to express my spirituality, he says. You are such a nihilist. No, I say, you don’t understand that my spirituality is unconnected with a belief system that says we live on after death. I don’t care what you believe, I say, I’m not trying to convert you to atheism. Spiritual euphoria is important – I get mine from being in nature and movement (dance, walking, anything) to music – husband’s spirituality is more abstract and currently undernourished. We don’t understand or like each other’s art, I say. That’s a huge void, a source of sadness. We used to, he says. No, I reply, gently, that has always been lacking. We don’t stimulate each other intellectually; there is the chance that we might recover that, but it’s hard because husband devotes all of what little self he has to finding work and developing his game system (see my sig file).

                        This is what I don’t say, because the metaphor is a new one and unexplored. Husband has been my trampoline (and I have attempted to be his): a safe landing place, a leaping off point, a spring in each step. But what happens to trampolines? They get a pounding, don’t they? Never sure when the next impact will come, which flailing limb will hit first. What happens when we get tired of jumping and flailing? When leaping, no matter how well supported, is boring? What happens when the springs lose their elasticity and begin to rust, the canvas frays and the safety net tears?
                        Last edited by badgergirl; 03-27-2013, 05:08 PM.
                        I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                        • I'm listening to dance music (11 hours - Dominion) on the moogie (small boy is asleep) while reading the London Review of Books (birthday gift).

                          Suddenly the mind travels back.

                          I was 15. Six foot tall (there were heels of some kind). Slender as a reed. Tights, black velvet playsuit. Attitude. I made it in. Hallowed ground. Adulthood beckoned. Colonel Bogeys was, at that time, done out with life-size red-coat soldiers standing guard at the staircases separating the top bar and snog pits from the bottom bar, dance floor and raised snog corners. I danced and danced and danced.

                          There are only so many names in the world. The lad in question was the first, husband was the second (husband has a psycho English ex who bears my name - neither of us come to this new).

                          Boy kissed me. Love bites, hickeys? My neck was covered from collarbone to jaw, from vertebra to scalp.

                          I was vaguely revolted, vaguely fascinated, by his hunger. How far can I push this?

                          I was in trouble the next day. The differences in approach tell you much about my parents.

                          Mum: 'were you strangled?'
                          Me: '
                          Mum [said with absolute dripping venom]: 'he wanted to get inside you'
                          Me: [horror, creeping disgust]
                          Dad [wry chuckles]: 'did he stand on a ladder?'

                          Boy rang, wanting to date. I didn't quite know how to say no. Decided to let Mum do it for me. 'Mum? This is lovebite boy!' They spoke for a few minutes and we ended up dating for months...
                          Last edited by badgergirl; 03-28-2013, 01:56 AM.
                          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                          • Badgergirl - finally doing a fellow delurk

                            Loving the journal! You've got a great writing style - I wasn't surprised to see that you're a writer. Looking forward to seeing this published in memoir form

                            Looking forward to engaging (and "catching back" on all the entries I wasn't around for )

                            "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                            In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                            - Ray Peat


                            • Originally posted by YogaBare View Post
                              Badgergirl - finally doing a fellow delurk

                              Loving the journal! You've got a great writing style - I wasn't surprised to see that you're a writer. Looking forward to seeing this published in memoir form

                              Looking forward to engaging (and "catching back" on all the entries I wasn't around for )

                              I'm a writer? Oooof. That is both hard and thrilling to hear. I roll the words around in my mouth, breaking them into sounds for my ear to swallow, because my mouth cannot quite do the job. Eye. Am. Eye. Am. I write. Therefore I am. I am a writer. Who knew it was that straightforward.

                              I spoke to husband about this autobiography/autoerotica project. Husband is more linguistically squeamish than I am.

                              'But really, am I simply getting off on strangers fucking my stigmata? Come screw my bleeding holes...'

                              Another unwitting blast of sand scours off a layer of new-grown skin while husband contemplates me lifting my skirts again.

                              Last edited by badgergirl; 03-28-2013, 02:54 PM.
                              I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.


                              • A review of Shattered Moon

                                All those hours of labour (him and me). I'm very happy for him that this one is being well received.
                                I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.