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Welcome

Writer. Mother. Cancer Survivor.

Coffee drinker, animal lover, beach bum.

Contains sex, frequent coarse language and adult themes :P

Leave your judgement at the door thanks.

Ashx

Hey guys, seems time for a life update yeah?

So, you’ll never guess what. I’m still off mainstream treatment, and still holding steady. I have good days (like yesterday) and very flat days (like today). I’ve lost some weight (I needed to, and should keep dropping naturally I hope) and my cycle is slowly becoming regular. My skin is looking better, I haven’t needed a nap in the afternoon in ages, and I’ve slowly started riding again :)

My best mate lives with us now, it’s awesome. Saved my ass financially too. And sometimes, she makes my bed <3

Everything is so up in the air but I’m fighting in the only ways I can to keep our house and lifestyle, and that’s that. Underneath that, I’m stable. I have shitty horrible days but I’m ok. I know myself. I’m single and actually good with that to the point of wanting to stay that way. Bailey is just a livewire, bright and happy. He’s developed a real sense of humour (god knows he’ll need it) and his creativity has been shining through. We’re still ‘homeschooling’ (legally, though truth be told we tend to edge more toward unschooling these days, not that we try to fit into any particular category) and I can’t see us re-entering mainstream education any time soon. It just works for us. I regret putting him into school in the first place, I had that spot in my tummy where you know something’s not right but I just I don’t know? Wanted us to fit in? I guess school is just the thing to do, and there aren’t a lot of options here.

Everything is geared towards people entering the mainstream education system. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just not for everyone I guess. 

So yeah, that’s us. There’s been a lot of friend drama, house drama, financial drama but I feel removed from it all most of the time. It doesn’t matter. It’s highly likely I’ll end up walking out of this house with nothing to show for it but that’s ok. If I’m here for one year or ten before starting over I’m just going to make the best of it. We like it here. It’s cruisy and I have the best work and friends, but I find gorgeous people anywhere i go and Bailey seems the same. I want to stay here as long as possible, because we’re set but when it’s time to go, I won’t grieve. 

Sunsets and stars. Bonfires. Hugs and true friends and the smell of rain. I can have the important things anywhere we go.

x

 

‘Who knows, and does it matter?’ I scratched a pattern on the sheet. ‘I don’t think I need to define it. I’ve been there. Straight. I’m straight. But then I’m not.’

She yawned, luxuriously, not bothering to cover herself as she stretched. ‘Maybe it doesn’t matter. I just think that I deserve to know. Is this real?’

‘It’s as real as anything else.’

*******

All of my relationships have been with men. Nice, not so nice, tall, blonde, funny, smart, but all of them men. Writers and labourers and dealers and doctors. So would you assume I’m ‘straight’? Does it matter?

All of that, relationships and rules and limits, seems so far away now, almost alien. 

It took me so long to drop the labels. I wish they didn’t exist. Sexuality, to me, is gorgeous and intrinsic and can be so, I don’t know, fluid? It’s so hard to put what I’m trying to say into writing. I wish no-one had to ‘come out’, and we would just love who we love and that’s it. Isn’t it odd to have all these expectations and boxes and contracts. I understand the level of relief some people must feel when their sexuality has a name and is accepted. I’ve just always felt sort of…straight-jacketed, I guess… by labels, but it seems like society is so uncomfortable and overly invested in people not having one, and I’m insecure enough to let that bother me still.

Some experiences just are what they are, whether it’s a lasting enduring love, a passing attraction, or one intense night with someone. I don’t want to over-think and label everything. It truly doesn’t matter, and life is swirly and confusing and connections with people are special. 

I still can’t touch what I’m saying. I’ve slept with people I’ve loved and disliked and felt ambivalence towards. I change. It changes. Needs and wants change. Can your sexuality change? I don’t know. Do people have a true base sexuality that fits into one of five (? that I can think of) categories and are the layers on top a nature vs nurture type deal? Why does it matter? People do care who you sleep with. No one ‘comes out’ as straight. 

Freedom in all ways can be so intoxicating, and sometimes it seems like there’s no rules left. 

So beautiful.

x

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I feel like I repeat this to myself 100, 400, 56000 times a day. It is what it is what it is what it is. It helps me keep my shit together. Life is frantic, like a drug trip, and excrutiatingly slow all at once. Nothing matters right now and every minute detail feels significant.

Some days I wake up and it’s like, oh fuck another one again really? So soon? Then there’s music and coffee and sun streaming through hayrolls and the funniest 7 year old in the world. And it’s ok. I think. I don’t even know any more.

If it’s not, it will be, it has to be, it will be.

Lightning struck my tree. It was awesome, so loud. I put my hands on it the next day and there was all this energy. I felt sad that so much bark got blown off it and some of it twisted and landed in a perfect cross and even the neighbours and friends all came to see and it seemed bizarre, but it happens every day I suppose. My computer broke along with the rest of the house, and all I could afford was this HP thing and of course nothing I own is compatible, but if I can figure it out I’ll add photos.

When my divorce happens – which could be close to 2 years – I’m going to have the biggest fuckton bonfire you ever saw. With dancing and beating drums and flower chains. Maybe that’s in poor taste and I’ll change my mind but for now it feels good. Everyone who likes me can come. That was hard to write d i v o r c e. Because we chose each other and we chose wrong. But it’s not wrong because Bailey, so does that mean we just took a wrong turn? Or does nothing mean anything and there is no right and wrong, just varying shades of grey. It is what it is. Out of my hands completely at this point, and that’s challenging.

Maybe there’s just all these people spinning around and we flit in and out of each other existences and that’s all anything is. Luck and chance and hope for a connection. 

x

 

On Divorce

I’m guessing it’ll happen fairly soon, but I still, stupidly, stubbornly, want him to initiate it. This doesn’t seem so much to ask, really. 

I now have a lawyer and a financial advisor and some other woman. I’m quietly devastated. It’s rare to need legal help, rarer to have to request court hearings and ask people to write character references, here. We are starting to pick apart each others lives, to discredit each other, and it kills me. I didn’t want this. I don’t want this. But I want my house and I need my son and we deserve to not live in poverty. Bailey deserves to have a mother at home most of the time and some consistency.

He claims my mental health is a problem, I think him being an asshole hinders him as a parent. I’m too free and easy, he’s rigid, unsympathetic, and detached. Bman’s friends are comfortable here (giggling from the bunk bed as I write) and I know their parents and we’re part of the community, Craig lives with his family and is 10 minutes from his cousins. I rant about chemicals in the water and marijuana prohibition and our failing eduction system, he works a government job. 

I miss the good times so much it’s hard to breathe. I swear he was a good person and we loved each other, and Bailey.

Life changes, and people change with it.

 

Keepsake

 

I’m struggling, badly.

I hate writing these posts, but I hate not writing them more. I’m doing nothing with my life, I feel genuinely incapable of letting go of objects, people, and situations that I know are weighing me down. I’m fairly sure I’ve become symptomatic, some days.

I still have good days, a few in a row, and it’s them that keep me going and striving towards some kind of life. Ironically, my cancer count has continued to fall after stopping mainstream medication and there’s something that makes me think I won’t have cancer forever, that I will reach full remission. I can’t describe what that ‘something’ is but it just feels like something I know, like the sun will set tonight, a deep faith. I’m not religious, but if I was, I would think that God is looking after me in this way, and that everything is going to be ok.

Being in the middle still sucks though. Some days I even consider sending Bailey to school, just to give myself a break, but when my brain fog clears I know we’d both be worse off. I’ve grown more and more disenchanted with our education system, and more distrustful of government systems in general – I think having so much go wrong medically, learning about treatments available elsewhere that are illegal here, seeing a close friend being treated incredibly poorly by the Education Department, having my privacy severely compromised more than once has all taken its toll. Being screwed financially over and over doesn’t help either.

It’s alienating, feeling at odds with society in general, but also strangely freeing. Not my circus, not my monkeys – and all that.

I try not to write about Craig much anymore, but let’s just say he’s a letdown as a father and a human being. On the same day he told me that Bailey hasn’t been doing swimming lessons because of ‘too many bills’, he bragged about his new motorbike. It was Bailey’s birthday a couple of weekends ago and he was so slack. I have protected Bailey’s feelings more and more but unfortunately I can’t keep lying for and making excuses for him.

It’s a horrible lesson to learn that your parents aren’t who you want them to be, but unfortunately I think Bailey will have to start seeing Craig for how he is now, and that’s going to hurt both of us.

We’ll be ok though, we always are.

Ash x

 

(again)

 

Up the hill.

Sometimes it seems like it’s either fucking cold or really fucking hot, but we have been having some in-between weather lately and I’m grateful for that. And rain. On my tin roof. Small things matter.

I live in a town that seems further than the hour, or roughly 70kms, that it stands from Perth. Our house is ‘in town’, on a few acres. It’s usually pretty quiet. We’re walking distance to the Primary School, playground, bakery, post office, real estate etc.

I like so many things about living here. Actual seasons, spring especially is amazing. Seeing hayrolls and tractors and lambs. It’s a horse-orientated area and that can be good and not so good. I have some awesome, amazing, wonderful friends. It’s low crime, people look out for each other, kids play outside and get dirty.

We have horses, dogs, chickens, a cat and a rabbit.

If someone wants to make your life hell though, it’s pretty easy to do. If you are ‘different’, people notice. Not much stays private. If you are ‘interesting’ or ‘unusual’, people will discuss your life like it’s a TV show, and then pretend they don’t know you at the next get-together.

The good outweighs the bad, usually. It turns out people are actually pretty protective of Bailey and I here, and rather than being given the cold shoulder when we came back like I half expected, most people were just glad to see that we’re ok.

Sure, people think I’m left-centre, but in a likable way I guess.

I don’t have many recent photos, and my house resembles a construction zone right now anyway, but here’s a few old ones, mostly of Bailey here.

014 157 107 102 125 131 149 153 157 009 236 237 240 245

Ash x

 

Hi. How are you guys? I’ve been ok. Making some (more) life changes, so I thought I’d write an update post.

Bailey’s sitting next to me doing a workbook, chatting away. We went to work this morning, fed the horses. He likes to come on the quad bike, and to help out with the trucks in the shed. ‘It seems like we never went to have holidays at the beach’ he said, while the stallion nuzzled his hair.

Life is good at the moment, really. I’m settling down, I think. I get anxiety a lot, but I can cope with it. I’ve realised diet plays a huge role in that, and for me vegetarianism feels right. Living out of alignment with your morals to please other people is rarely worth it, and I’m only just grasping that now. I’m trying to redo my house, make it more ‘us’. I get the feeling it’ll never be ‘done’, and that’s great. I don’t have to be hardcore intense all the time with everything. It’s ok to be vegetarian but not vegan. It’s ok to homeschool without being an advocate and opposing the mainstream school system. It’s ok to just be friendly with people, and to turn down invitations.

It’s ok to look after myself rather than everyone else.

I’ve dropped mainstream treatment. Completely. I get my bloods done every three weeks and if something changes I’ll re-assess. Long term low dose chemo has never done enough for me medically to make the side effects feel worth it. I will most likely consider high dose chemo if the time comes but for now I am just continuing to reduce toxins, nourishing my body and mind, and using some alternative therapies. I feel good about it. Right.

Reading back, this all sounds a lot lighter and happier than it has been. The anxiety, depression and ‘what if’s feel debilitating some days. I had a really rough fortnight where I didn’t see any friends, couldn’t deal with facebook, shops, anything much. That happens occasionally. Less as time goes on, I’m hoping. There’s just been so ‘much’ that sometimes my mind doesn’t cope. I know that now, and I know it will pass, even when I’m in the middle.

I read a post recently (I can’t remember who’s it was, so if it’s yours or you know who I’m talking about, shout out :) ) where the writer had decided on a ‘word’ for this year. It rolled around in my head for a few days, and I ‘tried out’ various words. Truth was a good one. Whole was another.

Authenticity. That’s my word :)

Ash x

Image

Just a random snap – pony reunion!

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