This week I thought we could just leave it as an open introduction.
My blog has slowly evolved over the last three years from a page where I was essentially journalling my recovery from a fairly spectacular breakdown for mostly friends (with the occasional family member who read it). Into something where I am using it for me. To get some of my demons out, to be a shameless truth teller. The truth is that I have been hiding from my demons all my life which essentially helped me fall down the looking glass, so unless I am prepared to be honest and face up to those things as hard as they may be then all the therapy is really a pointless process.
So who am I? I am Catherine, I like to be called Cat or Cath but honestly I answer to any derivative of Catherine. I am the eldest child and only daughter to Jim & Sue. My Mum was only 17 when she married, my dad 24 (you join those dots!) My parents met in Canberra when Mum was working in the typing pool at Department of Defence and my Dad was a Corporal in the Army during his National Service time in 1970. By late September they were married and early May 1971 I had joined them. Dad was discharged from the Army just before I was born.
Mum & Dad moved back to the Sutherland Shire for Dad to return to his position at the Bank of NSW. This was a difficult time for Mum because not only was she a first time mother but she had also moved from Canberra to Sydney away from her family and thrust into an area surrounded by her in-laws. In 1973 my little brother joined our family and that made us complete! For a period of time we lived in Melbourne with Dad’s role in the Bank and in 1981 we moved to Suva, Fiji for two years while Dad computerised Westpac in Fiji and built the Data Centre.
1983 was really probably the turning point in my life. I started High School back in Australia. I spent most of that year isolated with very few friends and really not understanding why or how to make them. I know that there were times in that first year of high school where I was constantly letting someone down be it my parents or my teachers because I wasn’t working to my potential or myself because I was just so desperate to have friends and be liked. I can remember going to the corner shop on the way to school and buying huge bags of chocolate buds, white chocolate buds, caramel buds and freckles in the despairing hope that I could buy my way to friendships. To this day I honestly don’t know if that really worked.
I know that I probably did the lolly thing for a good couple of years. I am really not sure. When it wasn’t lollies I was trying to be the class clown to take attention off the fact that I was quite clever (generally I found it was really hard to make friends if you were clever – unless you made friends with the really nerdy girls.) Given that I pretty much had no friends anyway sitting in the library by myself at lunchtimes was preferable than being labelled a nerd and being even more of a target.
All of this set up a really unhealthy cycle where I will even still today go out of my way to people please anyway I possibly can for fear that if I don’t then I will be flicked. That if I don’t take a perfect cake along I won’t be invited back, that if I don’t write something totally amazing you will all discover that I am really just a huge fraud who has made some massive mistakes (that I really didn’t mean to) and some incredibly bad life choices (that I certainly did mean to at the time) just to fit in.
In addition to being an insecure 11yr old living inside a 47yr old body. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, aunty, niece, cousin, devoted friend and kind of widow (long complicated story for another time.) But most of all when I look in the mirror I see a fraud, a frightened little girl who is not really sure of her place in the world. I am working really hard on changing the image that stares back at me in the mirror but it is scary and very hard to leave behind the little girl who has been so much a part of my life. Who has defined so many of my life choices I am not really sure how to let her go.
I live in a northern suburb of Wollongong with my husband, my teenage son, my identical twin daughters (that at 13 I still can’t tell apart with any great certainty!), two white fluff ball dogs Obi (Obi Wan Kenobi) and Chewy (Chewbacca).
I lived the first 30 years of my life in the Sutherland Shire (you can take the girl out of the Shire but never the Shire out of the girl), so yes I was VERY EXCITED when the Cronulla Sharks won the Grand Final!!
The house we live in now is the home we bought to move into when we discovered we were having our son. We were living with my parents almost up to the birth of our son. So yes I was a Gen Y before my time! I was 30, married and pregnant before I left home! And that first night when I waved my parents away, even though I was seeing them the next day I stood on my front lawn and cried! It is the home that all three of our children came home to, the home that I have built with my family. I have dreams and desires of a new bigger more modern house but I just can’t even imagine leaving this home ever.
All three of our children have been born prematurely. Healthy but early! Our son 9 weeks early and our daughters 6 weeks early. As far as being a mother goes I have an even longer list about how I am certain I have stuffed up their lives! And most of the time I am pretty sure my hubby is out looking for someone else (not because he does anything at all to make me think this or believe that he ever would actually do it but because I don’t believe I deserve him, this is far more about my insecurities and nothing to do with him – again not because he is a saint just because I don’t deserve anything good!)
I love to knit, bake, crochet, write, hang out with friends, entertaining, gift giving and much more.
This is a little snippet of me. Please don’t leave me hanging. I am looking forward to reading about you.