Sunday, May 15, 2011

Squiggly Sunday - Part 3

In case you have no idea what I am talking about with my Squiggly Sunday stories - take a look here for part 1 and here for part 2

I also have a call out for anyone that would like to do a guest post on a Squiggly Sunday - I know alot of you reading have your own blogs - if there is a story you would like to share - let me know.


Part 3 

Half way through Grade 5 we landed in a small South Gippsland town in country Victoria.  My Grandparents had moved here a few years before and we were able to live in their home until Mum found a house.  He had stopped showing up as often, I can only recall once or twice.

School was unsettling - it was my third school that year.  I was a prissy girl from the 'city' as these country people called it.  My shy self did not feel like I fit in until many years later in high school.

We continued to visit my Father every second weekend.  My life was exciting when I visited him - trips to Melbourne, shopping, going out to many places.  Time at home with Mum was settled - not exciting.  I suppose that was the extreme from the 'Disneyland Dad' to a normal home life.

The usual growing up stuff was happening - the onset of pubescence - shifts in friendships that I had not really even established.  Only two of my friends I made that year in Grade 5 stayed with me through to the end of high school.  I really wish we had kept in touch more once high school finished.  It's never too late is it?

I was very shy of boys - I suppose with my family history it was not any wonder.  I remember my first kiss (or    'getting on' as we called it).  My God is was horrible.  Complete peer pressure and I dumped him after that.  I had many a crush - a few special ones - but never said a thing!  I would dream of one day having someone love me - it was not my thing to be bold and hop from boyfriend to boyfriend.

Around about the age of 14 I began to remember all the comments my Father had made about my weight.  I was never a plump girl, just a tad of extra meat - and I mean a tad.  I began to be careful about what I ate.  By the age of 15 I was eating very little and very healthy.  All I could see in the mirror was FAT.  

I was academically bright and still quite shy - not very cool at all.  By the time Year 10 came around - things picked up in the popularity stakes and by no means was I ever in the cool wanna-be surf chick group - but I think we all gained quite alot of respect for each other.  It was no longer so bad to be the smart and quiet one.  I was chosen to be a Rotary exchange student whilst I was in Year 10 - I remember the day my Mum popped in to school to tell me. Three of my friends held my hand and skipped around school with me - so excited.  One gave me a surprise going away party before I left to begin Year 11 abroad.  You know I never knew how much any of my school mates valued me.  For the first time since I started school with this group in Grade 5 did I actually feel valued and liked.  It was something I will never forget.  Thank you Smelly.

This shot was taken just before I left for Canada, standing with the Brazilian exchange student who lived in our  Australian town.  At the age of 16 and 13 days I left for a year in Canada as a Rotary exchange student.  I could not wait to leave and felt this was the freedom I had needed for so long.  A time to be myself - I felt I did not have to be such a people pleaser.  It was a clean slate - not that I had a dirty one - but you know what I mean!  I began my year away the size in the picture above and after the first month in Canada I gained 16 kilograms.  I probably needed to do it.  But again, another situation arose that made me feel insecure.

I loved, loved, loved my year away.  No regrets at all.  I met so many wonderful people my age from all over the world.  I lived with four different families for three months at a time and attended school.  I had my first real boyfriend and then another - nothing serious - but worth a mention.  

About half way through the year I tried to purchase some diet pills from a teen magazine.  For the money I sent off in the post, all they sent in return was a healthy eating book.  I began to binge on chocolate and packets of powdered soup.  I then began to make myself sick.  I would sleep all summer through to about 2pm, eat little, binge and make myself vomit.  I was bulimic.  My host father noticed something was not right and sent me to the doctor - but as we all know - rarely does one with an eating disorder openly admit that they have one.  

This year abroad enabled me to become myself.  No body knew my family - they were not a part of me where I was in Canada.  People were interested to get to know me and that felt pretty special.  I felt special for the first time in many, many years.  Three out of four of my families were Christians and that was a wonderful thing for me.  I felt safe and nurtured.  We traveled a little, but only within British Colombia and a quick Rotary trip to California doing the real Disneyland thing.  I cannot imagine allowing my children to be overseas at that age for a whole year.  I was however quite responsible, albeit my first real boyfriends and drunken experience.

It was the age of snail mail back then and I regularly received letters from my parents and friends.  It was exciting and I did miss them all.  I found it really difficult to leave Canada - my new home it felt to me.  So much had happened and I had changed so much.  

I returned to Australia to begin my final year of secondary school and I had just turned 17.  I had a lovely New Year in Canada - I remember watching the squirrels at my friends host-parents house eating on the window sill.  My New Year Resolution that year was that I wanted to meet the man I was going to marry.  I suppose it was also my prayer.  By this time, my eating habits had resolved of making myself sick.  I no longer went to that length, but did always watch what I ate very closely.  My mother was on to me by then.  

I am struggling to find some good pictures to show you all - they are all in the garage and it's too cold to go digging.  Here is one I found of our Year 12 Formal, I'm in the centre in a black dress.  It feels like just yesterday and I wish I'd been able to keep in touch with some of this folk a bit better.

I don't know what my school mates thought of me once I returned, but things were different.  There were less than twenty of us and we became a really close group.  Our final year of high school was one of the best years I had had - even today I think it was pretty wonderful.  Remember I loved to study and we got up to some great lunchtime and study time shenanigans.  I was also the winner of the tallied 'dumb' comments and received a teacher's award for being gullible.

My New Years Prayer came to fruition in the March of that year when I met my Mister Dream Come True.
 The funny thing was - he was not what I expected!!  He had a name that often girls are called and his hair was as white as Miss G's is now and he was the same height as me I swear.  He is now taller - and we have grown up.  This new chapter of my life was blessed and coming of age.  Looking at photo's there are so many thoughts and memories that I have forgotten.  I just remembered all I consumed the day of this picture was watered down Milo - so I did not look fat.  Oh so sad.

Weren't we spring chickens!  This was at Mister Dream Come True's Year 12 Formal.  One week after we met Mister Dream Come True's mum passed away from cancer - I met his whole family at her funeral.  Our first year together in was pretty intense emotionally for him.  He told me when he met me his Mother had told him to never marry a girl who had divorced parents.  Funny thing was he told me he would marry me the first night we met!


Please let me know if you would like to guest blog on a Squiggly Sunday.

Much Love Rach xo


  1. Your honesty is stunning, and also the clarity in which you express your feelings.
    Your story is different from mine, but many feelings are the same.
    Every time that I read a bit of your story I cry.

  2. It's so moving to read your words and I agree with aracne: I admire the clarity of your words and I can relate to your feelings a lot remembering my own.

  3. you are beautiful, friend. thank you for sharing your story with us. xo

  4. so much sadness in this beauty darling made my heart ache but also I feel privileged that you have shared thi part of you with me....TK xx

  5. I was so happy to see that photo of you and your Mr DCT... I can see the two of you in the faces of your beautiful children. You're a special person Rach - you've learnt and grown through all of this trauma and that is a credit to your character. x S

  6. Well you have floored me ! I was one who considered you to be my best friend, how could I not know how you felt.

    As you have just finished saying to me its a shame that you felt like that because that is definatly not the way that we felt about you.

    That night of your going away party, I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was one of the best nights of my life. The best was when some spunky boys (one of which was my BF at the time) picked you up and threw you fully clothed into our pool. Your face was priceless.

    Maybe I should go hunting for some of the BEST year photos to post.

    It's never too late and isnt it quite funny that it doesn't matter how long in years its been when you pick up that phone and start talking its just like yesterday.

    Love you to bits and have never stopped its just that our lives as mums are so hectic.

    Yes we should definatly make more time. XXX



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