A Must Read!
Interviews With People came from my 2013 New Years Resolution to ‘get to know everyone well’. We're only up to interviewee 5, which means I have to get to know another 7,097,000,000 people before the job is done.
At this point I want to say thank you. I've been awed and humbled by the generosity and honesty of the people I have interviewed so far.
This week I got to know Alisha, about her views on family and friendships in the modern world, her experience on death and loss, and how a bad experience in cyberspace led her to true love ~ RD.
Getting To Know Alisha
My name is Alisha. The picture below is of the birth of our first son. I thought about attaching the other three birth pics, but didn’t want to break the rules.
I have done the things which I have wanted to do. I'm at that awesome phase of my life where I'm just happy being. If anything I thought I'd have more Mummy friends.
The news upsets me. The cruel things that people do to each other, and especially to children. If I watch the news, I find myself unable to focus on anything positive, so I've given it up.
That person I love so much is my husband Chris. He's hilarious, strong and gets me. He's happy to let me drive, but he won’t eat celery... not even a tiny bit. I love that he loves me. He's a great dad. He channel Jimmy Barnes and sings to me. He's just great.
I've had so many highs. All my personal highs, I guess, started by being saved from Indian creeps in a chat room. My lowest point, without a doubt was seeing my Nanny the morning of her death. The noise, smell, and seeing her like that will haunt me forever.
Getting To Know Alisha Well
RD: There is no way of escaping the message that humans are impacting on the planet in a negative way. The decision to have multiple children today is being seen by some as ‘selfish’. When considering whether to have more children should we let the message about ‘overpopulation’ affect our decision?
Alisha: Having four children, within 5 years brings about many negative comments. Strangers think they are qualified to tell me I'm "insane", "selfish" and once, someone said that "Australia should adopt the One Child Policy because of people like you". While comments like this don't play on my mind, the environmental impact of having a large family does.
Being a former Geography and SOSE teacher, my passion for the environment came before my passion for my children. In our house, we recycle, we (attempt) to grow our own veggies, we have chooks to eat our half eaten vegemite sandwiches, and apple cores. We walk to the shops and to kindy, we don't fly on fuel guzzling jumbo jets (or any jets). But do you know what? These things might be good for the environment, but they are mostly just good for our budget.
Overpopulation is such a global issue, and one which, honestly, I don't really care about. We didn't start our family thinking about it, we didn't continue making our family thinking about it. We wanted happy, we wanted special, we wanted fun... to do this we have to be economical, which also happens to be environmental. This also happens to make me feel good about raising children, who are aware that their lives impact the way we can all live now, and tomorrow. I think there are worse things than that.
RD: I’m interested in the fact that you thought you’d have ‘more Mummy friends.’ When you think on it, why haven’t you made more Mummy friends? What are you missing out on because of this?
Alisha: I'm a really crappy friend. I'm not a back stabber, I'm not a bitch, but I am so lazy keeping in touch with people.
When we had our first son, Andy, I went to play groups, and met other mothers, and tried to make friends. The Mummies and I spoke about poo, routine, sleep (or lack thereof). When Andy was 17months old, we had Joey, and things got hectic. I stopped calling, they stopped calling, we stopped bonding over a dirty nappy. Then I was pregnant with the twins, and I just couldn't be bothered. I cut myself off from people, and made excuses not to visit. People, but especially mothers, became too much effort.
I've often joked, with a few close friends, that I'm a great facebook friend. I do care about your stories, and your problems, and if I can get to them in my own time, I will do my best to help. But if you call me at seven o'clock, I'm just not interested. Online friendships become really easy for a busy person. I started a blog, and "met" some lovely women who I can ask advice on how to increase a low libido, to cures for nappy rash. We're there for each other... but only when we've got that spare minute to sit in front of our screens. I don't think it's me who is missing out, because I feel I'm satisfied with my online support network, but I do think my kids are missing out. The social aspect, they get from Kindy, but having friend that you've grown up with, is such a lovely thing for kids to have.
RD: Would you rather have heard about your Nanny’s death, instead of being there that morning? How has that very sensory experience affected other more pleasant memories you have of her? What can you do you to move past this?
Alisha: I was 17, and my Nanny (maternal grandmother) was diagnosed with Cancer. That same year, my younger brothers and I were going on our first over seas holiday to visit my Dad's family in New Zealand. Before we left, she was weak, but still herself. She was such a glamorous woman, and she was looking a little dishevelled, so the day before we left, I did her hair and her nails. While we were in New Zealand, Nanny had a fall because of the brain tumour, which was the beginning of the end. Mum, who was still in Australia and Dad, who had come with us, had to make the hard decision whether to bring us home early. It was decided to leave us there to finish our holiday, and Dad went home early.
No one thought that she would survive until we got home.
But, she liked to go against the grain, so she did. We were picked up from the airport, and taken straight down to see her.
We saw her last smile, got her last hug, and while she couldn't speak, she listened to our holiday stories. She still had her nails painted.
Over night, she left us. She didn't die, but she wasn't there really. My brothers stayed at home, and Mum and I went down to see her. The memories are so vivid. The smell, the sound she was making, the sombre atmosphere. Everything had changed. I really tried to be ok with it, but in the end, Mum took me home.
Only a few hours later, she passed away.
Over the 10 years she has gone, I have worked hard to come to terms with the morning of her death. I wish I hadn't seen it, but I'm glad I did in some ways. I saw the best and the worst. It was her time to go, no matter what we wanted, and this realisation is made easier, because I saw what condition she was in. No one would want that prolonged for a loved one.
RD: Tell me more about the creeps in the chat room. How did you come to be a member of this chat room? What were the creeps doing that required you to be saved? Who saved you? How did this kick-start you towards the ‘personal highs’ in you life?
Alisha: The year was 2005. I was ready for a relationship. Internet dating was becoming in vogue, and I thought I'd give it a try. I signed up to a few different sites, and went on a few dates, but mostly they ended in an awkward hand shake goodbye.
In 2005, Yahoo chat was full of bots, spammers and creepers. I have no idea why I thought to chat that night, but I'm glad I did. I signed into the "Australia" chat room, and was bombarded with PMs (private messages), asking for pictures of my boobs, asking if I wanted to see their man junk, or asking for my bank details. I worked out how to stop them, and started to chat in the main room. We all a/s/led (age/ sex/ locationed), and I had started to chat to a few Indian men, and an Aussie. About 15 minutes into the conversation, one of the Indian men told me, in the main chat room, that he had hacked my computer, and was getting my personal information.
Laxman83, the Aussie chatter, quickly told me to turn my computer off, and gave me his phone number. I wasn't sure if I should text Laxman, I didn't even know his real name and decided not to.
After speaking to my nerd brother, he told me that I was stupid, and that they couldn't hack me from yahoo, so I logged back on, to give the troll an ear/text full.
Laxman was still on, and after talking to him for a week via email and msn (oh those were the days) we decided to meet. I think I loved him while we were talking online... I defiantly loved him when we met, and I've loved him ever since. He's my knight in Times New Roman.
We have always had the same ideas about what we want, and when. We moved out, got engaged and had our kids. The highest moments in my life- the birth of our babies. I couldn't have done it without him.
RD: When you think of your life with Chris so far what memory first comes to mind? (It’d be great if you could ask him that question as well and share it with me.)
Alisha: I mentioned my first memory of Chris in question 4 so I've held a gun to Chris' head, and he's going to tell you about his first memory of me…
Chris: Alisha had invaded my mind before I even met her. I thought about her all the time. I was at a NUFAN (No Use For A Name) concert the night before our first date, and I don't remember a lick of it, I spent the whole time thinking about this girl I'd spoken to for a week online, and saw via a grainy webcam. Things like this only happen in the movies.
I was late to our first date. I already knew she hated this, but I really wanted to get her a rose. Turns out, the best I could do was a plastic one from a servo. I got chicken, and didn't end up bringing it with me. Alisha was standing there, tapping her foot and looking at her watch. I thought about walking back to the car, and contracting meningococcal... but I braved it. Best decision ever.
Alisha's Blog - Hands Are Full Hearts Are Full
Follow Alisha on Facebook
If you'd like to be an RD Interviewee for 2013 read this post and follow the directions.