The Story Behind the Story
3 October 2013
It is so nice to be home. Back to the chilly Central Highlands and out of the heat of Central Australia. It is such a beautiful thing to come home, it is the best thing about a trip away, I think. To feel safe, loved and comfortable.
I have thought about writing this blog post since we got home, whether or not I should. Perhaps I should just put up another recipe, I HAVE made a killer pear and chocolate crepe creation lately. So good. But I thought I need to write this post. The post about WHY I took my girls to the middle of nowhere, in a car that probably should not have left the street, let alone civilisation!
It is a post about being a mum. And trusting that innate mum gut feeling.
In May this year my ‘mum gut’ told me there was something happening in my kids life. They were acting differently, they were angry and my youngest had started to suck her thumb, at the age of 4, it was an odd thing for her to begin. As the month went on they became more withdrawn and eventually my eldest daughter confided in a close friend and the flood gates opened. It was possibly one if the worst things a mum can hear. That their kids have been hurt.
These are the moments in life that define you. That steer your ship in a new direction.
I knew I needed to do something. But at the same time I questioned myself. Was I making this something bigger than it was? What if there was a perfectly good explanation? What if it is all just a crazy misunderstanding?
The following month was spent in and out of police stations, court rooms, lawyers offices and community help groups. All of them telling me, I was doing the right thing, but still I questioned myself. This couldn’t be happening. Not to us. This happens to other people (you know, the usual response people have to major shit things that happen in their lives).
Every time I looked at my kids I could have broken down. Just knowing that I had let them down, not been there for them, when they really needed me. Seeing how broken they were. How sad, confused and scared they had become. Instead of being normal kids, talking about poo and farts. I couldn’t even leave the room without them panicking thinking I wasn’t going to come back. It was tough. It was shit. I wish I could have a collective hug with all the other mums that have had to go through the same thing. There really is nothing more painful than knowing your kids have been hurt and that you were not there to protect them.
One night I was flicking through instagram in bed and saw someone had posted a pic of Uluru. I turned to my guy and said “I’m going to drive the girls and Crystal to Uluru.” I am not sure if I really meant it at the time. I lay there playing out how I thought the trip would go. Lots of cinematic images went through my head. I imagined it would be like Thelma and Louise, but without Brad Pitt or dying.
It was going to be a challenge, something we would do together and something we would remember for the rest of our lives.
The biggest challenge I faced during this time was fighting with my gut feeling. Talking myself in circles and not trusting myself. I want other mums to know that your ‘mum gut feeling’ is nothing to be ignored and something that should be trusted and listened to. Mums are amazing things. x