So this blog post has been sitting in my drafts for some time. I’ve had a few more moments of fear and anxiety since I wrote this reflective piece but things are definitely looking up! I think I finally feel brave enough to actually post this…
This week will mark six months since we returned home from our four months on the road. Master 14 is now Master 15 and Miss 6 is now Miss 7 and me? Well I’ve had a birthday and started my 39th year with a steely determination not to let others take me for granted and to keep investing in solid time and adventure with my two munchkins (albeit the biggest munchkin now stands taller than me!).
While we’ve taken the camper out for a couple of short trips, most of our journeys of late have been of the figurative type. I’ve started a new job and moved the kids and I into our own home complete with furkid and a new paintjob throughout.
This should be a time of great joy and excitement for all of us. I’m lucky my new job is great and I get to work (again) with a great group of like-minded yet diverse people and so far, it’s keeping me challenged and content.
After two years living with my very generous dad (minus the four months we spent on the road in our trusty camper) with the furkid taken in by mum – we’re finally all together in our own home where the kids can paint their rooms any colour they like and I can hang as many pictures on the wall as I like. Needless to say, Master 15 went with a lovely shade of blue (convenient as it was already that shade when we moved in) and Miss 7 selected ‘leopard print’. She compromised and went with some leopard print decals to stick to the wall.
We’ve been in the house one week now and for the past few months as we packed and planned, the excitement has been building and we were all rapt when we finally moved in (especially mum and dad I think!). After the first five nights the kids went to their dad’s for their time with him and I was left alone in the house, just me, my thoughts and my furkid.
The excitement seemed to wear off when nightfall came and I’d realise I was alone and slightly afraid – not very kick-arse at all. My closest friends and family know that on NYE of 2015/16 I was assaulted and though I recovered from my physical injuries after about a month, the emotional scars have taken far longer to heal.
Travelling around Australia with my two favourite people (and meeting some new friends along the way) was arguably the best therapy anyone could ask for. If I wasn’t immersing myself in the rugged and remote beauty of our wonderful country or laughing, playing and singing with the kids, I was driving. Driving sometimes five hours with the stunning scenery surroundng us and the view in the rearview mirror reminding me just how far I’d come.
Coming back to Melbourne was hard (life on the road is AWESOME) but I seemed to settle in ok and get on with life determined also, to leave that earlier chapter of my life far behind me. The kids had been going to stay with their dad every fortnight since we got back but I always had dad home with me when I lay my head on the pillow and that was reassuring. More reassuring than I’d realised it seems.
My first few kid-free nights in our new home soon turned from excitement to a sense of overwhelming emotion and tears. At first I thought I was just super tired but I soon realised that having my dad there each night had made me feel safer than I cared to admit and that being alone now was hard. Just over a year after my ordeal and I thought I’d largely gotten over it but it seems there’s still a long way to go on my personal journey. A journey I’m still determined to make, surrounded only by people who love, support and most importantly respect me.
While I still feel let down by the person who hurt me I feel perhaps just as disappointingly, let down by a system that is supposed to keep people safe. It’s definitely been a journey and one that I’m still on but as long as I keep looking forward and only glance in that rearview occasionally to see how far I’ve come, it will be an adventure.
Writing this blog was not only a great way to document our adventures around Oz but a cathartic exercise for me in my own personal journey. I’m not ready to close the chapter on the kickarse mum and with a few small trips with the two kids and camper on the horizen I reckon I’ll start this baby back up again. Safe travels everyone and we hope to see you on the road soon!