I published my last blog in June, just after I had been released from PA Hospital. Today, Monday 6 October 2014, is 4 months since I left BIRU, went home to Inala, and later moved to my current home at Woody Point. Just after getting home I remember that I had paid the entry for the International Women's Liberation Summit, before I went into hospital. I figured it was time for me to speak.
I contacted Kat, one of the organisers, and met her at SouthBank. She read my writing and agreed that it was okay for me to talk. This would be a first - ever - talk to any group about all my history. I practiced what I had written many nights, floundering about whether or not I could remember it - the language - when the whole history was inside my brain.
My stroke has aggravated me quite a lot since I left PA Hospital and have had speech pathology both in PA and Redcliffe. I felt pretty silly, forgetting words - any words. I could remember the history but I couldn't remember the words. My talk was written in every word I needed, but even reading it I would fall over a word, forget how to say it, read it differently.
Coming so very close to the IWLS weekend, I read the speech to Redcliffe speech pathologists. My first time was pretty good, reminded me of how to action the words. My second time I pulled away in tears. My third time I read the speech to some CBRT people who reacted okay with me after that. I felt pretty strong, able to stand in front of the IWLS and not lose myself.
It's 40 years since I was raped, 20 years since I remembered everything and couldn't not remember it, 13 years since I've had rape crisis meetings, 3 years since a good Australian therapist, and only one year since I was CT'd with my brain aneurysm and subsequently fired (after 7 years as employee!). I have had so many rages, so many times, and no-one was really able to or wished to help me. Even the Aus therapist was only able to deal with me at government assistance.
Today I got to the third day of the IWLS event and I spoke. I am so very grateful to two helpers who held me while I was in tears, and I have had such a lot of wonderful comments from IWLS attendees. I cried early in my speech, telling a large group of people about my history - 40, 20, 13, 3, 1 years - and I loved the excellent people who listened to me.
That's something I would never have done, but perhaps, this time, my stroke has sent me forward. Perhaps, this time, my stroke is also due to my gratuitous future.
Don't feel unliked, don't feel aggrieved, don't feel sad from your own history. Right now, please, just feel good about people who will offer to help you.