What's in a Memory?

Date 20.10.2017

We’re constantly laying down memories. The rich experiences of our lives are stashed away in our minds in a seemingly impossible way. It’s so simple, so automatic, and so much! Recalling memories is where it gets complicated.

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the magical thinking of a child - hopes and wishes

Date 04.08.2017

I was determined my foot would survive and I’d walk again, but the medical prognoses were guarded. My unbudgable belief was simply the magical thinking of a child—but the magical thinking of a child can be powerful; it sustains hope against hope and without that we’re vulnerable to helplessness, despair and depression.

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The Accidental Social Worker

Date 28.07.2017

In my second last year of high school I met with a careers adviser. She wasn’t a lot of help—saying I could do anything I wanted.  I knew I couldn't. My doctor had put me on an invalid pension the year before and told me, as a result of an accident when I was eleven—when my foot went in a moving wheel of a train—I’d never have the physical capacity to work.

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farm view

Up on the Farm

Date 21.07.2017

I’m lucky. I can have my own personal Writer’s Retreat any time I like. Let me show you a place that’s very special to me.

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Feeling the Pain - Self-Forgiveness Part 2

Date 14.07.2017

I joined a room full of participants early on a Saturday morning in Sydney. Winter sun slanted through a bank of windows facing east. “Put up your hand if you’ve ever felt like killing someone.” A forest of hands filled the room. “Now put up your hand if you have.” All our arms stayed low. I looked around the room. Judging by the response to the first instruction, I was surrounded by people with homicidal and suicidal ideations. We’re here to share our deepest emotions over the next seven hours.

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Becoming a Patient - kids, trauma and 1960's hospitals part two

Date 12.07.2017

There are many ways to become a patient, trauma was mine. Spending months as a child in an adult surgical ward in the 1960s wasn’t life changing—like the train accident which landed me there—but it taught me many things; like how bureaucracy works, how it objectifies the powerless, and the importance of little acts of resistance.

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Becoming a Patient - kids, trauma and 1960's hospitals part one

Date 30.06.2017

Back then, things were different; registered nurses, or sisters, wore starched head gear like the Flying Nun, nurses lived onsite and trained in the wards, and patients knew their place. I was eleven and never sat still until my foot went in a moving train wheel. I was admitted to an adult ward with one hour visiting a day; no exceptions. Trauma can be compounded so easily, or so negligently.

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Living with phantoms part one - before surgery

Date 16.06.2017

In November 2011 I met with a physician specialising in amputee rehabilitation. I had two legs - I was contemplating a fifty percent reduction. My left foot was crushed and degloved in a moving wheel of a train in 1968. Escalating chronic infections and pain now governed my life. If my foot couldn’t carry on, I had to go on without it.

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