My First… Blogging Challenge #3

This week’s topic is My First Obsession. You can find Kerri’s post here.

I had the usual pre-pubescent obsessions with horses but living in a flat in Bondi meant I never owned my own horse and after a few school holiday horse riding camps my equine obsession faded and was replaced with possibly my life obsession: boys.

Representing the beginning of this journey is Leif Garrett.

Leif 1


Leif 2


Surfin’ USA came out in 1977 when I was 9 years old so more than likely I simultaneously loved horses and boys.

Just like today when young girls fall madly (and totally inexplicably) in love with Justin Bieber, One Direction and their annoying ilk, I fell madly (and totally inexplicably) in love with young Leif and his cohorts Shaun Cassidy, his (more mature) brother David Cassidy, The Bay City Rollers, the embarrasing list goes on and on.

I listened to their awful “original” songs and their slightly less awful covers (which at the time I did not know were covers because young girls are idiots) on constant rotation. The cassette tapes played and rewound and played and rewound.

I thought they were the most wonderful humans on the planet: beautiful, talented, smart (!!) and just a gift to all us mere mortals. What I wouldn’t have done to somehow fall into their orbit… goodness only knows what I would have done should I have been granted my pathetic wish.

So this early obsession has led to a lifelong obsession with boys and music… I’m a lot older now but quite obviously not a lot wiser.

My First… Blogging Challenge #1

Kerri over at Life & Other Crises has started a blogging challenge which I think will be quite interesting and I certainly need some motivation to get blogging again.

Here is her post about the challenge and her first act of rebellion.

Here is mine…My First Act of Rebellion:

I was such a goody goody in primary school I’m fairly sure there were no open acts of rebellion until high school but something happened in Year 7… I like to call it hormones… which turned me from the aforementioned goody goody into a full on, snarling, manic rebel.

Apart from the hormones I think just annoying my parents would have been a major motivation for my oppositional behaviour. I probably didn’t think about it like that at the time but I certainly see it pretty clearly with the benefit of hindsight.

1980: Year 7, Term 3 I moved from St Catherine’s (a private C of E Girls’ School in the Eastern Suburbs, where I attended for two terms due to a scholarship) to Malvina High School in Ryde (a very much public school known affectionately as Molevina). This was the start of the what I now know to be the best years of my life.

I met my soon to be best friends A and F and we plunged head first into the world of subcultures. This is probably what I consider my first act of rebellion.

Our first forray into pissing off our parents by dressing “differently” was what I call the Rocky Horror phase. It wasn’t a true subculture but it had all the makings of one. Specific clothes, a group of people who identified with each other, music, “style”.

My memory of this time was dressing in a black tutu with leggings (one leg black, one leg red), a stripey red and white t-shirt, very vintage very pointy shoes and a giant bow in my extra frizzy hair (arrived at by braiding wet hair overnight into a 100 tiny plaits). We hung out at the newly opened Hoyts Cinema in George Street with the older Rocky Horror crowd – we loved the movie though we had never been to the midnight screenings ourselves, being only 12-13 at the time.

Our crowd was gay boys and slightly creepy (in hindsight) older men – I clearly remember a 30 year old sailor. (I now ask myself, why the fuck were these people hanging out with barely teenage girls.)

I felt at my most rebelious during this time sitting in the cafe at Hoyts, smoking a cigarette (how I hated smoking but how I loved the idea of how cool it made me look – ha ha) and sipping a cappucino… waiting for whoever would drop by to hang out on any particular Saturday afternoon.

If our parents were confused and upset by this phase it was just the entree… soon enough the Konaraki boys came to our school and introduced us to the world of punk and it became much worse very quickly on the rebellion front.

The hardest part


Because every day is getting a little easier I wanted to take a moment to note what has probably been the hardest part of this process of loss and grief. It’s what I’m calling the “phantom limb phenomenon”.

You know when people have a limb amputated they often complain of still needing to scratch an itch on the missing body part. Well I am experiencing a similar issue. My brain knows that the husband formerly known as Big Jay (McNulty for future reference – for those who know The Wire) is no longer there, both physically and mentally. I know this fact because a part of my brain keeps an almost constant monologue going on this topic, despite my best intentions.

Knowing that he’s gone doesn’t stop me forgetting. Numerous times each day something will occur which makes me remember that I’ve forgotten. I’ll be in the kitchen making school lunches when I’ll think of something that he needs to do and I’ll go to call out to him and think “Doh!”; or a school meeting pops up and I’ll automatically agree to attend before I realise that I no longer have a live-in childminder for such occasions.

I guess this is a very natural and understandable part of the process. When you’ve been with someone for so many years their presence becomes something similar to that of oxygen. Utterly important yet utterly invisble; totally taken for granted. Unlike oxygen I will not die without his presence. But like a newly missing limb my body and brain are learning every day to live without, to compensate, to adjust, to find ways to fill the holes. This is not as painful as it may sound, at least not for me. But it is certainly an adjustment period that I am very consciously living through right now.

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

It is really bloody hard to write those words about the man you have spent almost twenty one years of your life with; the man you saw as your life partner, the father of your children, the one with whom you have shared the ups and downs for as far back as you can remember and the one you had hoped you would share the future with.

If you’ve been wondering why Deep Kick Girl has been silent of late it’s because she’s been busy watching her marriage and, to some degree, her life shatter with absolutely no prior warning.

I don’t need to go into details, not because I am shy about publicly sharing the hard truths of my life but because for some reason I want to protect the dignity of the husband formerly known as Big Jay. I could probably argue that his dignity is not worth protecting but I know within myself that there is nothing to be gained from putting all the gory details out into the cyberworld for all eternity.

The bottom line is he has chosen to walk away from our marriage, our family and our future to chase a mirage. I have lost all my respect for the man I loved so dearly not so very long ago. It is a surreal feeling. I do not recognise him when I look at him and currently I am avoiding looking at him because the sense of loss and disbelief is overwhelming.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for the past five weeks but I have stepped off now and gradually things are coming back into focus. I no longer feel like I have been punched in the stomach every waking moment. I no longer have the words “how” and “why” and “no” doing a non-stop conga line around my brain. I am no longed wrecked with constant anxiety about how we will cope financially, about how the kids will cope with not having their father around every day and about how I will manage to put on the bloody huge king sized quilt cover without another set of helping hands.

My predominant emotions right now are indignant anger (the physical need to send text message along the lines of “you f*&king useless c^%t… how dare you do this to us you complete f@#king imbecile” is quite gut wrenching at times) and also a sense of hope and optimism. Every day I feel stronger, clearer, more confident and more excited about the future.

It is unbearably painful to realise that the man you thought was your life partner doesn’t love you any more and doesn’t even like you enough to treat you with some respect. But it is also incredibly empowering to know that you can and will survive. It is painfully wonderful to realise that you are surrounded by people who truly do love you and will support you and your children through thick and thin. It is this outpouring of love and kindness which has made me cry the hardest during these past weeks.

I have been down but I am certainly not out. The kids are doing well and they are really awesome little people who make me swallow any thoughts or words of the “I have wasted the last twenty years” variety.

There is now less than five weeks until I fly out to New York with my little posse of middle aged women gone mild. When this first went down the thought of this trip made me sick – how could I go and in any way enjoy this holiday when my life was in ruins? But now I feel crazy with excitement; my sister awaits, my besties by my side… how can I not look forward to what will be ten days of fun and great memories in the making?

There is a red hot coal of sadness inside me which will take a very long time to exhtinguish but it is now becoming insulated by layers of anger, optimism, hope, happiness, excitement and love. There is no underestimating how much of a healer time is, I am experiencing that magic every single day at the moment.

I will always choose to count my blessings and keep the events of my life in perspective and I will always choose to celebrate life rather than wallow in fear, anxiety or self pity. That is my revenge.

Hop hop hopping to Kangaroo Island

Sorry… lame, I know. Sorry. Sometimes it’s hard to resist playing the corny card.

You may remember I recently got the opportunity to explore South Australia’s Kangaroo Island for (see my article here).

It was a wonderful experience, without a doubt. Who could complain about a no-expense weekend away in such a beautiful, unique location?

Going away on my own, sans kidlets and husband, is strange. It highlights the two-sides-of-the-coin way I look at myself as a wife and mother. I am so often overwhelmed, angered, exhausted, exasperated by parenthood and coupledom. The urge to claw my way out into open space and fresh air can be all consuming… but only ever temporarily. Because as soon as an opportunity arrives to be just me for a brief period of time I immediately miss my little tribe of crazies. Patty Hearst Syndrome perhaps.

This time I psyched myself up for this inevitable feeling of loss and dedicated myself to the experience. For the first time I was able to almost wholly put my real life aside and be this other me for 60 hours.

As I drove around KI, in a car with lovely people who were just not as keen on constantly chatting as I tend to be, I was forced inside myself to some degree. Into the terrifying and liberating silence of my own head space. In that silence I was able to really see the scenery and experience Kangaroo Island for what I think it is. An idyllic speck of natural beauty where the noise and distractions of everyday life can be put aside and the mind really cleared.

I didn’t really think of anything profound; I just realised how noisy my brain really is and how much external stimulus is attacking my central nervous system every minute of every day. It is relentless and the quiet is actually painful to start with. It is a readjustment to be within myself, peacefully, without the bombardment of distraction which I am obviously addicted to.

And I had my photo taken with George Calombaris.


Yes, I am that shallow. The end.