Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How I Am

A little guilty about how rarely I blog nowadays, actually. But aside from that...

Our holiday was great. Just a week by the beach - we played in the surf, built sandcastles, cruised second hand bookshops and rose dodgem cars. Simple but good.

I really needed that holdiday. Things have been a bit tough here:

(1) My mother lost her disability pension under a new governnment policy. I was dismayed by how badly it affected her. Basically, she has been an exceptionally hard working medical professional all her life. Then a work-related injury ruined her career. After ten years of continual attempts to retrain and/or rehabilitate, she finally retired on a pension and moved to life next to us.

It hurt me to watch her deflate so pitifully as she read the letters from the government cancelling her pension. She has always been a positive and resilient person, and she suddenly seemed... smaller. She literally shrank before my eyes, as the tears ran down her face and she told me about the endless series of humiliations she experienced at work, knowing she had just become a liability to her workplace. Somehow she couldn't seem to take in the details of how to appeal, how to respond. She didn't have any energy to fight it. Since the Little Dude was born, we have all called her "grandma" and teased her about her age, but she suddenly really looked old.

It's taken hours of my time, but I finally managed to get her a decent lawyer for her appeal process and a lower level of pension has been re-granted to her. But the whole process has been exhausting - physically, mentally, emotionally. Most of all, her lack of resilience and general air of giving up really worry me.

(2) I work in an area that relates to foreign policy and overseas aid. One of our overseas staff was accused of corruption and we had to investigate it. This created a diplomatic incident that it has taken months to half-resolve. I think this one is finally almost over, but really, it has taken quite a lot of the shine off my new job. I was, frankly, pissed by the general lack of support from other countries for resolving the issue, their frequent criticisms of my country's "insensitivity" in pursuing the investigation, and the general air of entitlement they had about Australia's continuing support for them via taxpayers' money and aid. I think some of these people are about to get a big shock as support for overseas aid dries up as the economy declines here.

(3) The Big Dude is in a big health slump. It started in September and just never seems to end. No sex since August and no prospect of any, either.

(4) My friend Pat is doing fertility treatment to have another baby. In my honest opinion, a woman still suffering so badly from post-natal depression and trauma, and living alone with a baby who is only one year old, who she can't support financially and who she can only look after with help, should not be even considering another baby. As her friend, I feel I should basically try to listen and support her and not give her advice, support her in the decisions she takes, but, truly, I am worried about her and about the welfare of the daughter she already has. I just don't know what I should say to her.

(5)I still don't know if my dad is even alive. I worry about him, but I'm afraid of re-establishing contact with him. Generally with him, no news is good news. Maybe one parent to take care of is enough?

(6) This is my last month of freedom before starting IVF again. Almost every woman in my fertility support group is actually pregnant now, except me. That's very, very irritating. I'm NOT looking forward to the next cycle.

But wierdly, none of this seems to be getting me down too much. In the last few months, I have improved my fitness and eating habits and I'm surprised by how much difference this has made to my state of mind and general wellbeing. I feel stronger. I can feel the extra reserve of energy. I feel younger and healthier and more optimistic.

So, I'm basically okay. And how about you?


Blogger Sailor said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom; it's rough, when that type of thing happens. Seems like too many places, US especially, tend to overlook the people that should be taken care of, after they've taken care of business for so long.

I'm glad you're overall feeling up, despite IVF and group irritations, and all- and I hope Big Dude feels better soon, and that your treatments are successful.

Glad to see you back, too!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Fusion said...

That's disappointing to hear about your mum, I always thought Australia took better care of their retired folk... Guess it's the same around the world, glad she got some of it back...

1:01 AM  

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