New Year’s Eve. 2012.

by Lori Dwyer on January 1, 2013 · 15 comments

(Hey jellybeans– Happy New Year. If you’ve been wondering where on Earth I have been… I took an impromptu holiday, otherwise known as #FuckOffAndRunAwayWeek. Read on.)

“’I don’t like walking around this old and empty house…’
’So hold my hand, I’ll walk with you my dear.’
The stairs creep, I should sleep, it’s keeping me awake.’
’It’s the house telling you to close your eyes.’
’Some days I can’t even trust myself.’
’It’s killing me to see you this way…’
’There’s an old voice in my head that’s holding me back.’
’Well, tell her that I miss our little talks…’”

I get to the point where I think I may just lose my mind. Where I go through motions, day after day, hours slipping through fingers as if they were ashes. Each day an accumulation of nothing much. I’m in a fog… it’s easier. Because I am exhausted. When you’ve examined your own mind so much that there just isn’t any stones left to turn over… what do you do then?

I need to get the f*ck out of here. Yesterday would have been too soon.

So, the way I do every now and then… I run.

It doesn’t really matter where, just as long as it’s not here. I book a flight to Melbourne, harass the Melbournians on Twitter until someone offers me a place to stay. I give myself twenty fours hours between when I book my ticket, and when my plane takes off… a ridiculous timeframe, really, not nearly enough minutes to squeeze in the things I need to do.

And I do not care. My house is disgustingly filthy. There are so many clothes piled up, waiting to be washed, that it’s much too much of a task to even begin and I resort to ruffling and rack using through a heaving basket of limp, warm clothes, pulling out only those things we will desperately, definitely need; I was them on the quickest cycle possible and wash and throw them in the clothes dryer despite the sunny humidity of the morning sun. My heartbeat repeats to me that I am ’selfish, selfish, selfish’, and I think that’s probably true. But what other way is there to be, when concept of a good mother is so far in my rear view I can’t even remember what it looks like anymore? When I’ve forgotten how to do this life-thing somewhere amongst the stealth, sneaky, silent months of a Christmas that didn’t feel like one at all? (”There are not enough presents”, I think to myself as I elf in the middle of the night. My wrapping duties once took days upon days and decades of wrapping paper… There are less people to gift, every year, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing at all.) A January, a new year, a tipping point that has crept it’s hands around the base of neck, thick wrists resting on my collarbone like a bad dream that’s just waiting for me fall asleep…?

I tell myself it’s for the good of everyone, running away when I need to… but the further I go into the After, the more that feels like an easy cop–out, a simplified excuse. Do I really still need to do this, let pressure off by acting like I’m sixteen again and running away from all my responsibilities? Or is it just that I enjoy it so much I’m happy to take it as a Get Out Of Jail Free card whenever I can, to the detriment of my kids and those people who are left picking up the slack of child–wrangling I’ve left behind?

I don’t know. But my children… they are sucking the very life from me. And I just cannot replenish it quickly enough.

I need to get the f*ck out of here.


Every time I go to Melbourne, I meet people I feel like I already know. I never really want to leave, never want to come home. In some parallel universe, I’ve been living there for years, basking daily in the people, greedily soaking up the infinite energy of the city.

In this Real Life, I eat and laugh and sleep and smile, listen to music and watch movies. I spend an afternoon wandering the Queen Victoria Markets by myself, watching people and just feeling… like myself. It’s been a twisted scarlet ribbon of time since I’ve felt like just me, and been happy and contented with being in my own skin, as opposed to trapped and ready to jump out of it.


I fly home again the night before New Years Eve, suddenly stricken with a funny woebegone homesickness for my own space.

I’m not sure how, but I’d forgotten what a f*cking disgusting my own space was. I begin to clean, to rearrange and resettle the house after the influx of new Christmas toys, the fluster of the Christmas tree. I complete tasks I’ve been procrastinating over for months… I even climb the small wooden ladder to the top shelf of my wardrobe and open Pandora’s Box. It’s a box of things from the Purple Before, and I can’t describe it’s contents to you, because I dared not look. I open the lid enough to put two things inside– photographs I’ve taken down from the walls because I just can’t walk past them every day anymore, and the baby blanket I bought the Bump home from the hospital in.

It’s as if there’s some venomous snake (rope) uncoiling itself within… I close the box with a snap, lest it bite me.

I spend New Years Eve and most of New Years Day Japanese–style, cleaning my house from top to bottom. Bunny refers to it as a ‘life clean’. Really, that seems to be the best phrase for it.


There are layers of shed shrouds around me, or so it feels– they whisper off my shoulders like ghosts, skimming away so silently I never even see it happen.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Griff March 27, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Aaah, fukkemall!
Griff recently posted…Some FNQ Images AgainMy Profile


Poppy January 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

Thinks Anonymous should grow up and not post as anonymous. Back your words you said them and should stand by them by showing how you are.

I to crave get the fuck out of here days, I honestly don't think their is a mother or father for that matter who does not wish for one. I love my four children to bits but I also know when I need time out and I take it and there is nothing wrong with it.


Lisa J January 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

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Lisa J January 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hello lovely Lori – I have been a long time lurker here, but never commented :-) I have followed you from the Before and through the After – crying with you and for you through your pain, and rejoicing every small step towards healing you have made. For idiot anonymous above to compare being a single mum to being a single mum who has endured your journey is nothing short of absolutely laughable – don't ever feel bad for doing what you need to!! In fact, next time you feel like buggering off to Victoria, feel free to come stay with me here in Ocean Grove! You can take my bike along the Bellarine Rail trail, or take the roof off my car and go cruising down the coast looking for places to explore :-) Offer is always there, and 100% real xx



Shelley in Canada January 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Anonymous, you're a fuckstick.


Amanda Hardy January 3, 2013 at 6:56 am

I know that no matter what now the only comment that's going to stick with you is the one from someone anonymous, because it's echoing your fears and the voice in your head that hates and hurts.

But it's not the one you should remember.

Put it in balance with four other people in the same moment who were moved enough by love for you to comment, for one who was moved by her own struggle to wish she was able to get out.

Whatever else you have *earned* your support system. When you reach breaking point, you have people who understand and will pick up that slack, because you didn't just wall yourself off when things got bad. You didn't take the easiest route, which is to stop talking to anyone, to spend all day in bed unable to move, leaving the kids watching tv.

And I know this, because I have been that Mum. The one who got so far down she couldn't move. Who hadn't made enough effort to keep up her friendships, who hadn't reached out when it was hard, and when it got to breaking there was nobody to reach for.

You earned your support network, by taking risks and showing your vulnerabilities and always being as honest as you could be, even when it meant tears streaming.

You are still here. You are still trying. And hell, now your house is clean. I'd count that as a fucking big win for the new year.

When you tell truths you leave yourself vulnerable for people to stab you in the stomach. And they will do that, without even letting you see their face.

If they aren't strong enough to even look you in the eye while they do it, they aren't worthy of being seen. xxx and happy new year hon.


Julia January 2, 2013 at 10:14 pm

With respect above Anonymous, you do not have any evidence toback your Harsh statement that Lori is doing 'untold damage' every time she seeks some time out from her single-parenting. Lori has a loving and supportive network that is therefor her and her kids and she is super lucky to have that so that she can try and keep on top of the stresses of her life. By realizing that she needs a break and taking it she is doing what she feels is best for her family and herself. Don't knock that – she obviously finds it hard and feels guilt about it, so how about lending some single- parent empathy rather than sweeping statements of damnation. I have utmost respect for both you and Lori and all single parents – you've got a tough job. But don't think that only the parents can provide support and love and guidance and security – family and friends and other adults who care can be an important part of a child's healthy care.


Anonymous January 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I enjoy your blog Lori and I get you but seriously you can be one self-indulgent cop out.
Single parenting is hard-I have 3 kids myself with no help whatsofuckingever,So i know first hand but for gods sake YOU chose to have them,they need you and you're doing untold damage by fucking off every time it gets a bit hard.

Grow up.


Bee February 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Better to go somewhere, Anonymous, to get some peace of mind and recoup than to suddenly break one day and cause true irreparable harm. Or be a self-righteous, sanctimonious asshole and play the martyr online.


edenland April 1, 2013 at 1:55 am

Yes Lori chose to have children …. Lori chose to have children with Tony.

I cannot imagine how hard it must be for her to keep living despite seeing what she saw only a few short years ago, one day in January.

Anon your comment is not fair and not cool.


A Daft Scots Lass January 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Happy 2013! May you be blessed with everything you wish for.


Spagsy January 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I love Melbourne, I think I may have stated that previously

if she were a thing I would wrap myself in her like a blanket. She is eclectic, acoustic and moody. She burns hot and fast in the summer and brightly like magnesium….and in the winter a shroud of melancholy that chills you to the core… she looks you in the eye, and strips away your sadness and the wind blows through you as you float around the city like a ghost….but you don't – you never disappear… you just give up your pain to the 'wind and rain' and it washes you clean…

We all strut – but we march to the beat of our own drum… and "you gotta love this city.."

I am glad you hear the beat, and just remember, you can take the girl out of Melbourne, but not the Melbourne out of the girl.

XX rah rah


Anonymous January 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Sorry about writing shat I realize in my first comment ever. Note to self – learn online etiquette Bel xx


Anonymous January 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Sh@t Lori sounds like you are having a really rough time (understatement?). I lurk never comment. When you feel dark and numb no fluffy words can help, even when you really, really want them to. I know. May 2013 give you a break and some healing xx. Bel


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