Funny how one’s own mind can feel so detached and alien, almost hostile at times like some menacing crafty interloper; so familiar and yet so eerily uneasy at the same time.
All my life I had been convinced that this tiny Marian medal, which apparently I sported when my new foster family first laid eyes on me on the doorstep of that self built house in Canley Heights, had been pinned to my jumper by my natural mother.
I suppose I wanted to believe she had sent me off into the big bad world with Our Mother – while of course she herself would have sadly suspected she wouldn’t be seeing me ever again.
Years later, in a crowded pub in Balmain I was able to ask her myself. She studied the minuscule pin for while and then said, “No, I’ve never seen that before ..” So my guess is that someone employed at the doubtless very Catholic foster/adoption agency must have taken it upon themselves to pin the little trinket to my knitwear on the day I left their care. Suppose it couldn’t hurt .. Don’t think I ever told anyone this; not exactly an earth-shattering scoop, granted. Yet it brought back a lot of emotions, mixed in with a host of new pressures and anxiety-ridden frightmares. Not least the thought of my Mum in Holland, only so recently having moved into a home due to her advanced age as well as her worsening Alzheimer symptoms. Before she ever had a chance to settle in properly and get some relief from her angst and aggression at suddenly being confined, the global virus driven forced confinement measures meant my siblings for some time now haven’t even been able to see her and – all too momentarily – talk her back into a sense of some safety and vague familiarity. Personally quite poignant was hearing the medication my Mum ended up having administered (rather than prescribed, I imagine) was the exact same flawed chemical lifesaver I myself remember only too well. Here in Australia, it’s branded as Serenace. In Holland, it’s Haldol. I used to call it hell dog.. I found the little pin again the other day during one of a myriad of pitch-black low moments in the midst of an unwanted and inevitably protracted house move. One that could well yet see me rocking up at Royal North Shore psych ward/emergency department. *)
One last look around the house before we go .. Were it not for my astounding, miraculous special daughter Tiffany, herself quite a born survivor in her own right, and equally incapable of calling it quits where most others would – and indeed have – left the runaway train that is my wayward wondrous life miles ago, well Lord only knows. Yes, unfortunately I never give up. Meanwhile I wonder who Specialist no. 8 will be? My excellent new GP has already arranged for a first consultation locally. I have to say I did like my previous Neurologist. But time and time again I note this unsettling pattern with new acquaintances of any kind. No matter how sympatico one tends to feel towards me upon meeting me, and then learning a kernel or two of the strange saga my recent path has been presenting me with, there seems to be a very clear expiry date where my boyish charm is concerned. Which in turn now leads me to think I’d better not inflict that whole sorry dynamic on any new people gracing my path. Oh yeah, my cordial last Neurologist. I was told (a few months ago) that he’d gone on holiday. I heard the other day he was still on holiday. Well, I suppose he needs and deserves a break.
PS. Do feel completely and utterly free to make a donation to The Richard of Oz.
PPS. Should anyone living locally be interested in snapping up some of my larger items of furniture (most of which are less than a year old), just email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send you a list with pictures.
*) Not a trace of irony this time, I’m afraid.