I Must Have Too Much Time On My Hands…Part 4

Well, I’ve been avoiding this for some time, but I guess it’s only fair. I’ve told you about some amazing people I know, and have deliberately neglected to say very much about myself. So, it’s only fair to my friends that I turn my analysis skills on myself and reveal something about me. *I actually wasn’t going to post this, at all. I had changed my mind about allowing people to learn more about me. But then I thought it was really easy for me to chicken out again. So, here it is.*

Clearly I have way too much time on my hands, as I’m about to actually write something about me. Ironically, as someone who loves to write and wants to be published, I’m not that fond of attention, and I’ve always preferred to just slip under the radar, unnoticed, silently going about my business. Of course, on the other hand, I’d being lying if I said I didn’t like the fact that people read my bloggy thing. So, I guess I’ll just throw some stuff out there. Here we go . . .

Firstly, by rights, I really shouldn’t be here. My older brother was born with right side paralysis, and my parents weren’t planning on having any other kids as a result of this. I know, because I asked, that I was a mistake. Ah, don’t get me wrong, I was not an unloved child. I was just a surprise. I was born two weeks early. Had I not been induced when I was, my mum wouldn’t be here, and neither would I. Once again, I shouldn’t be here, as I was a lovely shade of dark blue and needed a large amount of encouragement to breathe.

Twice, when I was little, my brother electrocuted me. The first time, I think I must have been four or five, and my brother handed me a piece of cord and told me to lick it. I did, not knowing what the cord was, or that it was plugged in to a power point and the power point was turned on. He wanted to see what would happen. The second time, I was angry with him and went in to his bedroom to reclaim my tape player. I think I was about ten. He promised me that the power cord was not plugged in or turned on. I had somewhat learnt from the first time. I assumed that my brother was not a liar. Unfortunately, I assumed wrong. As I pulled the power cord from behind his cabinet, my thumb covered over the plug and connected the circuit. I was severely electrocuted that time. My brother thought it was funny. I never trusted him again.

When I was nine, I contracted viral pneumonia. I missed school for about fourteen days. At this point, we discovered two things: 1) I don’t deal well with banana flavoured cough medication; and 2) I’m terribly allergic to a form of penicillin called Amoxyl. I probably should wear a MedicAlert bracelet for the penicillin allergy, but I don’t. I hate getting sick, but with my job, I get sick a lot.

Three things scare the crap out of me. I’m terribly arachnophobic. I hate all spiders. I don’t care how big or small they are, I hate them. The next two are, well, strange. Like a number of other people I have discovered, since finding a name for it, I’m megalophobic. Things such as planes, ships, huge waves, anything that’s really large freaks me out, including whales and icebergs. Buildings I’m fine with, but if I had to see a plane that I’m boarding, I’d never get on it. And the third one is really weird. It’s called pediophobia, which technically refers to the fear of dolls. Now, dolls don’t bother me in the slightest. Recently, the description of pediophobia has been broadened to include a fear of depictions of sentient beings, for example, robots and mannequins. I have no problem with robots. Robots are cool. Mannequins on the other hand, I have a very strong dislike of them. Okay, I hate mannequins. They freak me out big time.

One of the last times I cried was when my mum was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. That was nearly ten years ago. It was a hard day.

My Biological Male Unit (BMU) or Sperm Donor (SD) as I refer to him, you may use the words dad or father, is an alcoholic who needs a kidney transplant. I haven’t spoken to him in about eight and a half years. Ten years ago, I inadvertently discovered he was cheating on my mum. I packed his stuff up and tossed it out on the driveway. Guess who he suggested should donate a kidney to him? Guess who told him where to go, in response? Once, he tried to introduce my face to a dining room wall because I stepped in to stop him throttling my mum, while my older and much taller brother stood by and watched. I don’t actually recognise the SD anymore when we pass in the street. People think I’ll regret the fact that I will not be attending his funeral when he dies. I don’t. When I was a kid, I always hoped that my parents would divorce. I didn’t understand why at the time, now I do.

The last time I saw my brother, he threatened to punch me in the face. He even got so far as to putting his fist against my jaw in an attempt to intimidate me. He’s about six feet tall. I’m five feet four inches. I told him to punch me just so I could call the police. When he realised I wasn’t going to back down, he did. If he’d hit me, it wouldn’t have been the first time I’d called the police to have him removed from the premises, but nearer the fourth or fifth. I don’t speak to or see him any more either. I don’t have any time for sons who threaten, or actuate, violence against their mothers. Most people think, from our behaviour, that I am older than my brother, when in fact, he is my senior by five years.

I legally changed my name a number of years ago, in order to separate myself from the SD’s side of the family. My current surname was once my middle name, which, as a child, I hated. Funny how things turn out – I much prefer my middle name now that it’s my surname.

I love giving compliments, but I am terrible at accepting them. Apparently, I’m good at accepting and acting on constructive criticism. If ten people read a piece of my work and nine say it was awesome, but one says there was something wrong with it, I’ll remember the one who said it was rubbish over the nine who said it was good. And then I’ll stress about it.

About ten years ago, when I left teaching for the first time, I had to seek the assistance of a psychologist to deal with the stuff that had been happening to me at work. One of those things was having a mother of a fourteen year old boy I had in my English class attempt to assault me. She didn’t appreciate me telling her son not to bully another student. I know, people seem to want to hit me.

When I was attending counselling for depression and the, hmm, well it was a breakdown, plain and simple, I came to realise that I set impossibly high standards that are completely unattainable. I can’t ever reach my own standards, and neither can anyone else that I know. And yet, despite the fact that I know I’m lining myself up for disappointment, I still keep setting the bar impossibly high. I’m also a perfectionist.

I can’t, and don’t, tolerate bullying, victimisation or harassment of any sort. I don’t understand why injustice occurs. Naïvely, I can’t fathom things such as racism, sexism, or homophobia. I also don’t understand religious zealots, or extremists. In fact, I just don’t get religion at all. That’s not to say that I’m opposed to people believing in God, or Allah, or Buddha, whoever your deity is. I say, go for it, and more power to you. It’s just not my thing.

After I left teaching all those years ago, having had three months off to recover I went back to work . . . ironically, at a liquor store. I was promoted to part-time employee within a few months of starting as a casual. Then, what came as a shock to me, I was elevated from part-time to manager of one of the local stores. As a result, I am a credited holder of an Australian liquor licence, and I got my forklift driver’s ticket as well.

Rather painfully, a few years ago, I ruptured my L5 and crushed my L4 disc. I was playing football with some six and seven year old boys at the school I work at. I didn’t realise the extent of the damage that I’d done to my back until a week later when I couldn’t get out of bed, or stand up, or sit down, or walk. It took seven weeks until the swelling receded, and I was able to make my way into my chiropractor’s office. I was consuming somewhere in the vicinity of sixteen painkillers a day just to function, and I was still going to work as a relief/substitute teacher. Apparently, I looked like death warmed over. Despite consuming so many painkillers everyday, I actually have a high tolerance for pain. Currently, my discs are still healing. My chiropractor told me I was one of the worst cases of rupture that she’d seen in her twenty odd years of treating people.

My mother was born in Germany, and her parents are Polish/Ukrainian. The SD’s side of the family is British, and allegedly related to King Harold. He was shot through the eye with an arrow . . . that’s got to be the reason I’m short-sighted, right? Genetics!

I have two university degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in Education, and a Bachelor of Education. The parchments are shoved away in my bookcase and very rarely see the light of day. Sometimes, I don’t act very intelligent . . . usually on purpose. I like to say dumb things, just so people don’t particularly focus on me. It helps me to fly under the radar.

If I wrote my autobiography, it would be called Almost, But Not Quite because most of my life, I’ve almost been successful at things, but not quite.

People seem to think I’m funny. I don’t. The times when I do consciously utilise humour, I’m using it as a defence and coping mechanism. I do sarcasm and cynicism quite well, and I do anger really well. I think I’m more serious and moody, and vaguely intelligent on occasion. I feel guilty a hell of a lot, as well. Oh, and I apologise a lot . . . sorry. And why is it that nobody believes that I’m naturally shy and reserved, and socially awkward?

As I’ve mentioned in another post, I have absolutely no intention of ever being a mother. So, could everyone who knows my mum, please stop asking her when I’m getting married and having kids. Neither of those things is ever likely to happen. But, if they do, please slap me very hard and remind me of what I wrote here.

And there you have it . . . some stuff about me. Of course, there’s a lot more that you don’t know about me, and there’s probably stuff you think you’ve been able to figure out of your own accord. But, I can almost guarantee, that you’ve only ever seen exactly what I want you to see. After all, I am a Drama teacher by trade, and if I can’t act well, what good am I?


About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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10 Responses to I Must Have Too Much Time On My Hands…Part 4

  1. Hello Dani, I respect and admire your courage by allowing your friends/readers a window into your life. You have endeared yourself to me, as a genuine person of delightful wit, admirable candour and honest character. Many people sail through their lives seemingly trouble free. It is people like you whose experiences have shaped you into the wondrous person we are fortunate enough to know today. In your eyes, you may not think you are a success–I disagree, you most definitely are. Kudos to you Dani.

    Thank you for sharing my dear friend. Best always, Stuart

  2. Gosh – that was candid. Interesting to get a glimpse of the person behind @22DanielleM on Twitter. You are a very witty lady whatever the real reason for the humour.

  3. QT_4U says:

    I tot the only bad thing abt ur story is SD & ur bully of a brother… he ought to take on someone his size! Other than that, I respect ur bravery & honesty – not everyone wld be willing to share their story. Almost but not quite a normal person! I feel very normal reading ur story : ))

  4. Wacu says:

    Can i just say that am your kenyan sister for life?

    All of this is bluntly candid.

  5. Wow. What a tough life. But you know, we all have “stuff” to deal with. I often wonder, as I pass someone on the street, what burdens they carry around. I think that your writing about all of this is helpful, because it allows you to get it “off your chest”and by sharing with all of us, it forms a bond, even though we are not all physically connected. You are very brave to write this post. Love to you. molly

  6. Jesilea says:

    It must have taken a lot of courage for an introvert to be able to share so much of yourself with the world. We all have fears and heartache. Hearing the stories of others’ helps us to know that we are not alone.

  7. Lovely post. We seem to have had the same brother 😦

  8. Pingback: Beat Alcoholism 101

  9. Andy Bryant says:

    Thank you for sharing, I can only imagine that each word was considered carefully and planned as an author will do. But writing aside I appreciate your being open and truthful with us, the readers as we were allowed to peer into your life and what makes-up your character in our world. Your post proves one thing I have suspected for along time, that we all have things to remember and forget, and that none of us are alone. Thank you again for sharing.

    Twitter ID _andybryant

  10. Lisa McCallum says:

    Hey Dani,
    Just wanted to say – Ross and I are thinking of you and know there is warmth between us.
    Have a lovely day 🙂 Lis

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