New Years, 2011.

by Lori Dwyer on January 4, 2012 · 15 comments

“Can’t rain all the time.”
The Crow, 1994.

For three days I exist in a prison of my own making, my head tight and strung with panic and anxiety and pain. I cry another river of tears (“Mummy, are you crying? Is it because you miss my daddy still?”) to add to the piles of salt my being has already shed, pillars of pain that dot this past year… Regrets I dare not look back on, lest I turn to nothing but a pillar of salt myself.

I disrupt my children, again, as usual… Once I prided myself on them having structure and routine. I pick up the flailing threads of my self esteem by telling myself that they still have structure, a routine in place… Breakfast and teeth brushing, dinner and baths and books; that occurs far more frequently than the two of them being packed up and displaced to their grandparents for a night; or dragged along with a mother who is too afraid to go home, too afraid of what the voices will whisper to her (coward) when she is alone.

I am too afraid to go home, and that makes the anxiety worse, because there are things I should be doing, things the should be attended to… But they must wait, because a pulling, hysterical voice in my head is screaming an awful din, and I can just make out the words “You will be alone and lonely for the rest of your life!” somewhere underneath the sobbing declarations of bad parenthood, bad humanity and a vexed existence.

We camp out for hours at house of Emma Sbrain. The Chop and the Bump think it’s fabulous, a house full or cats and kids and new toys to play with.

Not to mention iPads.

Small children entertain themselves with iPads while one Mummy loses it and the other attempts to hold the first together. Definitely children of the iGeneration

The next night I leave my children in the care of my mother (bless her) and run again, to Auntie Mickey‘s house, and stay until it is late enough to go home and fall into bed. Late enough so maybe that hysterical voice will need to sleep to.

I have onion days, crying all the while. But the tears are mixed with the fervent heat of anxiety, sizzling like something acidic on my skin. I am unable to sit still. I pace the house, the yard. I ingest nothing a but Coca Cola and nicotine for hours, then binge on chocolate until I feel sick.

My house is filthy. There are Christmas decorations half repacked, almost but not quite frozen in suspended animation until December rolls around again. The Bump gets into my clothes drawers one morning while I am semi–comatose, attempting to stretch out the blackness of sleep for as long as I possibly can; and my bedroom floor is covered in underwear, socks and t-shirts. Small piles of child sized dirty clothes dot the lounge room floor, cups and bowls are piled in the sink. I have not the energy nor the inclination to pick up the mess, and that pulling anxiety won’t let me foucs long enough to start. (Another cigarette. Another cigarette and another wander round the garden, and then I will clean. up. this. mess.)

The children and animals are fed, watered and clean… But I am not.

I scare myself when I release I have been running hard on very little sustenance save the whirring, whizzing clogs of my overloaded sensory system for the better part of three days. I have not showered, checked my email, been grocery shopping. The past few days have been a laced together continuum of tears and heaving, whooping breaths, fear and frantic phone calls to people who love me, people who can handle me, people who can listen.

There is nothing anyone can say… I realized that almost a year ago, that there are no words that make this better. The only thing that helps is company, having people around me, just to take the sharp sad edge of the loneliness.

New Years Eve I wake up feeling… better, more like myself, though I’m not sure why.

I clean my house from top to bottom. I play with my kids. I shower, wash my hair, shave my legs, paint my toenails, kiss my children goodbye and thank my mother for taking them for the night. Then I put my happy party clothes on and head out for the night with my Emma, to a half empty pub where the music is too loud. We walk home before midnight, laughing, and we talk for hours about nothing afterwards.

And again I feel… better. I have no choice- 2011 has been the worst year of my life and you have to smile for the end of that. What other option is there, when I’ve spent so much time crying?

There is no guarantee, none at all, that 2012 will be any better… But you just can’t cry all the time. It just doesn’t work that way.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Livi January 6, 2012 at 6:12 am

*hugs* No you can't cry all the time, and thank heavens for that!

I don't know what else to say, but I love the new theme!


edenland January 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Anon, the words in this blog for most of 2011 *are* written in a foreign language. Lori has been living in a different country – planet to us. And she's making her way back in her own time.

That's all.

Lori this post left me in tears. Power and strength and love to you, hon.



Anonymous January 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

Sometimes i read this blog and wish i knew you better, to better understand you. But the emotions you feel, nearly everything you write about seems like its written in a foreign language, I get the gist, but cant understand how you get so far up shit creek with your emotions. You have the strength, you have all the paddles, you just need to choose to use them instead of chucking them at the current.


Melissa January 5, 2012 at 6:57 am

Thinking of you Lori. I was worried how difficult this time of year would be for you and I'm glad you are holding on. It sounds awful and I'm glad you have good people holding you up. Lots, lots, lots of love.


Bambi Kay January 5, 2012 at 1:40 am

sending love and hugs your way, Lori. You and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers. Remember, 'this too shall pass'.


Kelloggsville January 5, 2012 at 1:04 am

Another storm weathered. There will be so many more. Sometimes you must feel like the boat never stops tossing. Buckle up tight my love I'm guessing you are in the eye but the other side will be brighter. As always the offer is if your half of the world is asleep to you, I am awake and here xxx


Nicole McLachlan January 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Hi Lori, this is totally not "on point", but I just want to say that you are an incredible writer. And by that I mean not just a fantastic blogger (which derr, you are) but a truly great writer. xx


Laura a.k.a rah January 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Some time out with the girls is SO good for the soul :)
Lori, I know I don't comment much, but want you to know I think of you often and sending you all my hopes for a 2012 that brings you inner peace x


Denwise aka Denyse Whelan January 5, 2012 at 2:29 am

So good to know how you are…was very concerned last week..and of course coming up to The Day.. So love…much care and more sent your way..& thank god for mum, friends. Emma, Sarie & the kids..the cat too ;-)
Mwah. D xxx


THE Bird January 5, 2012 at 1:08 am

One whole year… Many more to come.

As a result of what you have been through and the way you have coped Albeit unwittingly, you are, THE most amazing mother any child can have.

Your pain, your love, your loyalty your guts, your raw honesty and your most amazing strength, all combined,will be the foundation from which your children will learn & grow.

You are amazing. Tony knew it, your children will thrive because of it (…and of course, so will you).

Lots of love & happiness from me, to you & your children..

HAPPY HAPPY new year Lori. xxxx


Cassie January 4, 2012 at 11:50 am

{Hugs} Depression/grief is a bit like the weather. Storms may come, heat waves may come, floods may come, bush fires may come… but they don't last forever. I hope for lots of blue sky for you. When it's not there, remember, it will be back.


Lipstick and Licorice January 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

I have an Emma too…how grateful I am as you must be that we were sent these amazing people to ease us along this path called life


Julia January 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

You've made it through the worst year of your life. "Well done" doesn't begin to describe the level of achievement. This anniversary to those of us who admire you, isn't one only of tragedy, mostly it's one of survival, achievement, strength, guts and determination.


Miss Pink January 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

Emma is a big slice of awesome isn't she?

Never feel bad about taking a break. So what if your house is dirty, the kids are fed, healthy and happy. I would rather you spent that energy on feeding you and looking after you than cleaning up.

2012 may not be better, but there's always another year. I am taking this year month by month. One month may be crap, but hopefully the next one will be better.


A Dose of Dannie January 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

Hugs xxx I cried after the first line i read (the crow) watched it last night and wow! I could not stop sobbing thought of you and my life .
It takes time lets hope 2012 is better a little bit for everyone xxx


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