The arguments with mum were becoming more frequent at this stage. It was hard to tell what mood she would be in from one moment to the next. She had these strange moods which we could only refer to as her “weird mood”. Mim and I spent many a night in our rooms talking, and eating dry mini wheats. I liked to think of them as safe, but my mind got the better of me, and no sooner were they down the toilet. One night Mim taught me how to play the guitar. After that she couldn’t get me off the guitar for the rest of the night. When we were a few years younger we spent hours playing music and singing. Mim played the guitar and I played the keyboard and we sang in harmony with each other. Sometimes mum sat and listened to us for ages and requested songs such as “The Lonely Goatherd” from the Sound Of Music, or “The Rose”. That was a beautiful song, and I admit in vain that we sounded beautiful. One of my favourite songs was “Mister Sandman”. I had my own style of singing this with a very unique voice and manner of which I played. It was a song I could only sing to people who knew the humorous side of me. Others wouldn’t understand or even suspect that I had it in me. At Christmas times in previous years Mim and I used to give little concerts for mum, where we dressed up as little green elves. We often dreamed about being a famous duo, knowing in reality we would never get there. But, there was no harm in pretending. Music has always been an interest of mine however. Once in a while when I was younger I tried writing music. I was uneducated at that stage in my life (10 - 11yrs old) on exact notation, rhythm and how to form bars in writing music. I give myself ten points for trying. What I did was listen to a song, for example, the theme music for the show “Punky Brewster”. I then went to my keyboard with the melody fresh in my mind, then play it out as I thought it sounded. I had no idea of the length of notes, so I just scribbled dots onto manuscript that I had ruled up myself. I wrote the words at the end of the music. I was quite proud of myself thinking I was some amazing musician. As I entered high school I was taught how to write music properly. It was even more enjoyable to play then because I knew what I was doing. In year 11 I applied for a bursary at the Regional Conservatorium of Music to learn violin there. Surprisingly I got it. This meant I could have lessons there from a proper violin teacher at a cheaper rate. It also involved completing a grade in musicianship. This happened on Monday nights, so I tried my best to avoid eating much dinner before hand telling mum I didn’t have much time.
The vocal group at school was progressing to a great degree. I usually sang the harmony line in vocal group, just like I did with Mim. There were many nights where we would have to perform at some function somewhere. We performed at primary school choral concerts, or at opening events, and eisteddfods. The most devastating time was when the vocal group was going to Narrabri for an eisteddfod. I became extremely sick almost losing my voice, therefore being unable to go along. The thing I was annoyed at the most was missing out on the fun that everyone else would be having. I actually felt I belonged in this group and wasn’t just an alto voice who stood up the back. I resented mum for not allowing me to go. Even if I wasn’t able to sing I still desired to go just to be with the group. Another time I missed out on was for a concert called “Artsmix”. The weekend before it was the orchestra tour to Coffs Harbour. I was watching more of what I ate at this stage, or should I say didn’t eat. I know Mrs Robertson was keeping a close eye on me (and I later found out that mum had discussed my weight with her and requested her to watch me closely), so I had bits to eat here and there when she was looking. On the bus trip home I experienced
the most agonising pain in my stomach imaginable. It was that bad it was making my hair stand on end and giving me tingles. It came on and off for the rest of the night until we arrived home. I went straight to bed when I got to my house hoping I would feel better the next day. Unfortunately I didn’t, and I was sick for at least three days. The doctor had to come out to see me because there was no possible way I could move anywhere. He was concerned I may have had appendicitis, but was unsure. Instead he gave me a needle to take away the nauseous feeling, which ended up making me worse. As a result of being this sick, I couldn’t go anywhere, hence the reason for missing out on “Artsmix”.
My 17th birthday this year was fantastic. Mum and Mim held a surprise party for me. Most of the girls from my group came along, and we had heaps of fun. It’s the fact of not knowing about these things and then being so surprised that makes them so special. Mim had even baked a cake for me in the shape of a violin, and took a lot of care to ice it for me. My three closer friends at the time had all pitched in to buy me the BonJovi music video. I cherished this video and the thought that they put so much thought into it. I liked to think I really did mean something to them.
Towards the end of the year I was beginning to feel more distant from my group. I was in fact distancing myself from them. I guess I was withdrawing into myself in some ways. I was afraid of people disliking me, so instead I moved away from them and stopped including myself. I considered my self a burden on the group, and just wanted to whither away at times so they wouldn’t have to worry about including me in anything. There were just a few I would talk to but it was only ever superficial talk, nothing of great importance. I often preferred spending my time in the music room writing music, or simply studying. I was relieved when the school year was over and I didn’t have to face them for the next few weeks.
The school holidays were relatively quiet on the social side of things. I still did a fair amount of cooking. Mum and I sometimes cooked together which I really valued. We didn’t spend time together like this very often so it was very special .it was kind of weird because sometimes I didn’t know what we should talk about. But at least we had fun.
During the holidays Mim got a job at the local video store. It was only down the road from us. Julie worked there too at times, so she helped Mim get the job. Mum was happy about this because it meant Mim would be getting out more. Mim enjoyed the job, so that was good. I often went down to visit her after school was over. That was a bad move because I ended up eating the different flavoured ice creams that were there. As soon as I arrived home those ice creams were out of me. Mum didn’t suspect a thing because she didn’t even know I was eating them. I felt like such a pig.
I wasn’t looking forward to going back to school this year. I didn’t see my friends much during the school holidays. We had one social get together for a friend who was leaving town. There was food at this party and I used all my will power not to touch it. I didn’t care if I was the only one not eating. I just knew that as soon as I tasted anything I would have wanted more. It was a relief when the party was over.