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Reflections in the sunshine

Whilst writing my memoir #TheSuitcase I was able to reflect on all the parts that make up the sum of me. Many years ago there was not the support or understanding of the effects domestic violence had on women and children. Even today I am not sure we have progressed very far.

I often look back at this stage of my life with a certain fondness, as strange as it sounds it was a liberating time in my life . This is a small condensed extract from a chapter in my book where I reflect on this time . These days I have learnt to take time out for me and value self care, the importance of the effect of mental health on domestic violence survivors still needs a lot of research and support , I quietly advocate for compassion and understanding for those in this situation daily.


My love affair with madness was not being helped by the heat of the January sun, my newfound desire of a gin and tonic with a dash of lemon and my new collection of assorted “friends” who were happy to join in my ‘fuck it all’ theory on life.

The children were becoming concerned at this new mum approach to life where there were no rules. However, in the early days of my madness they took full advantage of it. Jas wanted a caravan in the back yard – why not, let’s have a teenage party house, Dee wanted penguins living in her bedroom, why not they are cute, and Marty played basketball at 11 o’clock at night, why not indeed.

Who needs rules and order? I had spent the past 10 years living by them and where had that got me.

I began to spend summer mornings swimming at the beach, hidden behind the craggy rock face I would splash in the ocean naked. Returning to the sand I would drink gin and tonics and brunch on salmon and cheese platters, falling asleep in the hot sun. Balmy evenings would be spent singing and dancing around the fire pit, smoking dope and drinking with my new-found friends. These were all the things the sensible adult in me had warned my children against.

It was the best of worst times my glorious descent into madness, my escape from reality, from responsibility. How I indulged myself.

Days would be filled on long meaningless walks lost in the bush, I would always have Evie by my side, my beautiful dog, my best friend. Other times I refused to get dressed and would spend days on end in my pyjamas and enjoyed the irony as my new friends would join me for pyjama parties.

When this madness took hold the colour of life drained from my being. It is the little things that send you there, to the madness. The whispered voice, forgetting to eat, running out of milk, the sideways glance, the rustle of the trees, the bang of a gate. The awareness, the paranoia, I was so right – I was convinced of it. As the colour left my world the darkness came, but with it a delicious freedom of insanity. I welcomed it, I embraced it. I loved it. I enjoyed its chaotic freedom as I spiraled into all its nonsense.I was going deliciously bonkers.

I thought I had all the answers during this wonderful madness, but as the mad season ended winter would come and with it change.

These days I have learnt to be still and breathe - thanks to meditation hill at The Golden Door

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