Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Journey

For Today's Talk About Tuesday I thought I'd talk about my journey as a person with disabilities. More Talk About Tuesday posts can be found here.

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't be afraid to go after what you want to do, and what you want to be.
But don't be afraid to be willing to pay the price."
Lane Frost

These quotes have me thinking today. What is the price of the inner peace I crave? Will I ever find it? One day but until then I must remember that Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile (from an email).
In particular, the quote from Lane Frost relates to the way I see myself and my journey with my disabilities. I have to work harder than many people to get to wear I am today but I am not afraid of that but I wonder sometimes at what cost I have done that and to whom that cost was? Myself or society? Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off if I had bowed to societies’ expectations that I can’t do anything because of my disabilities or that I should/could use my disabilities as an excuse to do as little as I can. But then, I think about the opportunities I have had either because of the fact that I see myself as ‘normal’ and try to act (and be treated that way) as much as possible, or things that I have gotten to do as a direct result of my disabilities, and I realise how lucky I am.

Some of my experiences have happened later in life than they do for other people but they happen anyway and I guess they are more special because I have had to wait.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Echoing Footsteps

I have been working on several writing projects over the last few months, two of which are rapidly becoming novels. I thought I'd post the prologue of one just to see if anyone reading the blog likes it and once to read more. If you do I might post a chapter a week or something.

Echoing Footsteps.


Footsteps echo in the hallway. A door slams and a car kicks over gently. As the car backs down the driveway I emerge from my hiding place and go to my little sister. Her tears begin to fall just like they always do and just like I have every Friday night for the past few years I take her into my arms and hold her. I tell her that it will be all right and I tell myself this time it has to be. I have to do something to make it ok. Comforted by my words she becomes quiet. I lead her to her room where she lays on her bed and hugs Fred. Fred is her teddy bear and her only other friend.

I go in search of my Mother and find her cleaning the kitchen. The wall has been splattered with a roast I know she has slaved over for hours and there are pieces of the broken plate everywhere. Mother looks up and I see she will have another shiner which will have to be explained away once again. Maybe she had better have tripped over the cat this time, no one could be stupid enough to walk into a door every week. She looks at me and starts to cry. I hold her for a while and whisper words of reassurance. “I’m sorry” is all she says. Rage boils inside me like lava. “Don’t worry. He won’t hurt you again. I won’t let him” I say, before leaving her.

I walk into my room and close the door. My hands shake as I open my bedside cupboard. I no longer shake with fear, just anticipation. The cold metal of the gun empowers me. I am now strong enough and know enough to use it. Dad never should have taught me how to shoot. Next Friday I will be ready for him.
(c) Karen Peatt 2009

Please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reading recommendations

I've ran out of reading material for the MS Readathon. Do you have any suggestions of books I should read? I'll read anything except horror and Mills and Boon novels. What's your favourite novel and why?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ms Readathon

For today’s Talk about Tuesday I thought I’d talk about the MS Readathon and why I decided to do it. The Ms Readathon raises money for people who have Multiple Sclerosis an unpredictable and mysterious disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)
Our central nervous system contains nerve fibres that help send information to and from different parts of our body. A substance called myelin coats the nerve fibres, like insulation around an electric cable.
The healthy body's immune system normally defends the body from attack by viruses or bacteria. However, in the case of MS, the body's immune system attacks its own myelin, causing disruption to messages being sent to and from the brain.
The myelin becomes scarred and the damaged areas are called "sclerosis". As they appear in "multiple" places within the central nervous system, the disease is called Multiple Sclerosis.
Some facts about MS:
• MS affects over 16,000 Australians and more than 2,500,000 people around the world, and is most common in young adults.
• It's usually diagnosed between 20 and 50 years of age.
• Almost three times as many women as men have MS.
• It is more common in cooler climates.
• MS is not contagious.
• Symptoms can be mild or severe and come and go unpredictably.
• It affects each person differently.
• The cause and cure of MS is unknown.
How the MS Readathon works

The MS Readathon is organised by MS Australia. Now in its 30th year, the MS Readathon is Australia’s principal literacy and fundraising program.
The MS Readathon encourages children to improve their reading skills, as well as teaching them the value of giving to others, by supporting Australians living with MS.
Last year more than 46,000 Australian kids joined in the fun by reading more than one million books and raising over $3.5 million.

Getting started
Simply register your child for the 2009 MS Readathon and get them ‘reading for a reason’. Once your child is registered we will send a Starter Pack in the mail containing all the information needed to have a successful MS Readathon.
Your child can then approach family and friends for sponsorship support that can be either a flat donation or sponsorship for the number of books, and amount of time, they read in the month of June.
Kids can read books, magazines, newspapers and website content of their choice. They can also count books that they read for school, making the classroom a very rewarding experience.
Every child who completes the MS Readathon receives a certificate and reading rewards to say ‘thank you’ for their role in changing the lives of Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis.

I did the MS Readathon almost every year while at school and this year I realised adults can do the readathon too. MS is a disease that I feel needs more research into and I am happy to do anything that I can to help people with MS have a better life. Plus anything that allows me to embrace my love of reading is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

So far I’ve read for 151 hours and read 22 books. I’ve only raised $30 dollars so far and am hoping to read and raise a lot more. If anyone is able to sponsor me please click here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

another poem I wrote

She walks a fine line,
Between the edge & normality,
So over life, yet still alive,
Something inside her breaks.

She’s forgotten how to smile,
How to love,
Even how to care,
So broken that parts of her soul aren’t even there.

No one notices cos’ she’s gotten so good,
At pretending all is fine,
That she’s happy inside,
That she fits in society.

Sometimes she wishes,
That somebody cared,
Enough to see all that she really is.

So broken, lost & alone,
A butterfly without wings,
A moon with no stars,
A shell of a life.

(c) Karen Peatt 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have been given extra funding for respite carers and as a result will have carers 5 days a week plus extra time for outings such as ten pin bowling. I am not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, the carers allow me independence from my parents and gives me the opportunity to do stuff that I might not always be able to do otherwise.

On the other hand, having the carers come in each day means I am stuck waiting for carers to arrive before I can truly begin my day and what the routine will be depends on who my carers will be each day as there are certain tasks that only certain carers will do. I will have no day to sleep in or do whatever I want when I want in the mornings.

Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the carers and the opportunities they give me but I do miss the freedom of my life before carers. It's a fine line and one that I'm still struggling to walk.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Shake it off and step up

Shake it off and step up...

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had an old mule. The mule fell into a deep dry well and began to cry loudly. Hearing his mule cry, the farmer came over and assessed the situation. The well was deep and the mule was heavy. He knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the animal out.

Because the mule was old and the well was dry, the farmer decided to bury the animal in the well. In this way he could solve two problems: put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled.

He called upon his neighbors to help him and they agreed to help. To work they went. Shovel full of dirt after shovel full of dirt began to fall on the mule’s back. He became hysterical. Then all of a sudden an idea came to the mule. Each time they would throw a shovel full of dirt on his back he could shake it off and step up. Shovel full after shovel full, the mule would shake it off and step up. Now exhausted and dirty, but quite alive, the mule stepped over the top of the well and walked through the crowd.

A great attitude. A great way to approach life. Shake it off and step up. Too often we hold on to what has happened to us.

We hold on to it for a week, a month, even years. We cannot shake it loose from our memory. It eats away at us and steals our joy, happiness and peace of mind. The past hurt can create feelings of bitterness, resentment, anger and revenge.

We keep allowing these emotions to be thrown on our backs and if we do nothing, we will be buried deep in the well. Walls will be built in our relationships. We will avoid each other and the cold war begins.

But, we have a choice: keep it inside and embrace the hurt or shake it off and step up. Give it a try. Shake it off and step up. Words that have been said or actions that have been done, shake it off and step up. Let it go. Whatever it is: a rude comment, a past mistake, being ignored, we can stew over it all week. It occupies us all the time.

Too often we nurse hurts, we keep them alive inside and go over them time and time again; not only stewing from them, but now chewing them over and over until it gets us sick. Too often we rehearse hurts, tell everyone what has happened to us.

The cure is to accept what has happened, try to make sense out of it, learn from it, then shake it off and step up. When you let it go you feel free and you are no longer buried in the well. Once you are on your feet again you can take some action. You decide where you want to grow in life, the direction you want your life to take. You decide whether you will allow the hurt to make you a bitter or a better person. Learn from it. Emerge stronger.

THAT'S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity...THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US!

Remember that FORGIVENESS

--FAITH--PRAYER-- PRAISE and HOPE...all are excellent ways to "SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP" out of the wells in which we find ourselves!
By Joseph Sica

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Comfort Zone.

he Comfort Zone.

About 10 years ago, I started a job as a trainer for a Telemarketing agency. In one of my first classes the head trainer told a very motivating story that I would like to share with you.

He began by drawing a diagram of a stick man standing in the middle of a circle. To make it more interesting, he drew things like a house, a car, and a few friends inside the circle.

He asked the question "Can anyone tell me what this is?" In a long silence, one guy decided to throw out "the world?" The trainer said "That's close, this is your Comfort Zone. Inside your circle you have all the things that are important to you. Your home, your family, your friends, and your job. People feel that inside this circle they are safe from any danger or conflict.

"Can anyone tell me what happens when you step out of this circle?" A strong silence came over the room. The same eager guy abruptly announced "You are afraid". Another guy said "You make mistakes". The silence continued and the trainer smiled and said "When you make mistakes what can the result be?" The first guy shouts "You learn something."

"Exactly, you are learning." The trainer turned to the board and drew an arrow pointing from the stick man directly to the outside of the circle. He proceeded to say "When you leave your Comfort Zone you put yourself out there, in front of the world to be in a situations that you are not comfortable with. The end result is that you have learned something that you did not already know, you expand your knowledge to become a better person." He turned again to the board and drew a bigger circle around the original circle, and added a few new things like more friends, a bigger house etc.

"The moral of the story is that if you stay inside your Comfort Zone you will never be able to expand your horizons and learn. When you step out of your Comfort Zone you will eventually make your circle bigger, to challenge your mind and grow to be stronger, and all in all a better person."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where I've been

I bet that no one even reads this blog anymore or at the very least you all thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth. No I have just been crazy busy with law school, fulfilling a life long dream yo visit QLD and the crazy roller coaster ride that is my health these days. Now that things have calmed down a bit I'll be back blogging regularly.