Living with CPTSD

Wondering sometimes if sharing so much of my own life and experience with this mental illness can cause some anxiety.
I ponder often if I just kept living my life in private would I be better off.

My answer is a resounding No.

I have not posted for a while and that is partly due to life, and more to do with not being so well. As for many people the holiday period can be unsettling. Yet mine personal experience has been more about what I have been hiding from myself.
I missed the time with people I care about and love, those I have welcomed into my life not necessarily those by birth. I do not celebrate ‘Christmas” the church holiday, nor am I a big fan of the commercialised concept.

After gorging on almost 3.5kg of Toblerone (darn supermarket had the huge huge blocks so cheap)plus a whole lot of other highly processed food. Over a couple of weeks, I realised I was not well. Yes physically but also mentally.

I had been with people on boxing day (26/12/2020) and it was really lovely.
Yet I had a dark area forming in my moods. I began to sink slowly not wanting to be but not really being able to stop. Feed my face feel angry, eat more, feel upset, eat more, yet no comfort did I feel from my emotional eating.

I feel my psychologist was aware that I might have been heading for a bit of a backstep. In combination with COvid and all the lockdowns seeing an increase in mental unwellness our Federal Government increased the number of visits to a psychologist/psychiatrist/counsellor you could have to 20 a year. Prior to this it was 6 having over the past few years gone from being 12 to 6. So I am seeing my psychologist more often.

Shortly into the new year I had my first appointment. I really did not want to do a zoom, or talk to her. In the morning as the approaching time came my neck began to itch unbearably. As our meeting began, it became to so extreme I could not talk all I could do was rub my neck, jawline and cheeks. I had welts and rash from this, and it just was so intensely and utterly uncontrollable I just had to scratch. She offered to reschedule but I knew I wanted, to no needed to talk about what ever this was.

As I began to talk I just let the words come and what I discovered was I really wanted to have people over, to decorate my home for Yuletide(even though here it is summer). I wanted to celebrate the season, to share in what is in the northern hemisphere the returning of the sun and longer days. (Maybe I need to look at celebrating it in winter down here..lol ). Now we can not celebrate sitting around a fire (total fire ban) and daylight goes until nearly 10pm. But..the idea of just being a group and yes of women friends. Sitting sharing and talking about their passions. Being thankful for all we have.

As I really thought about it, the itchy remained and I was scratching and rubbing. Very aware of it, but also of the feeling or overwhelming sadness. tears rolled down my face as I began to have memories of wonderful times at my grandparents home. 40dC/104dF the combustion (wood fired stove) going cooking Christmas lunch in a tiny 2 bedroom fibro house with 9 people inside around the fan and a water filled air conditioner.
It was not just about being with my grandparents. It was something more. It was not perfect. It was simple it was hard work for my grandmother and mother.
I think it was that my Grandparents had decorated their tiny home with so much delight. There was a real feeling of wonder.
Perhaps that is just a simplistic childlike memory of a better time in my childhood. Yet it is a deep memory that has come out and changed me.

It was not instantly. I did not toss or give away the remaining highly processed food, nor get immediately back on my routine. (Yes I was totally off every aspect of my routine). Are you sick of my routine yet?

I have been kind to myself. I have not punished myself, or done the negative self talk as much as possible. I have sat with the feelings, working through them now rather than emotionally eating in an attempt to keep what ever my mind and body needed me to get out. As small and simple as this new knowledge been to me as I worked through all that was happening internally and externally, yes the hives continued for a week even with anithistamines. I now know more about what I need for myself.

Pushing myself to talk and work through the incredible discomfort of this as with so many other times on my path towards managing and maybe healing my mental illness. Is hard, intense, extraordinarily emotional and confronting at times yet worth it. For me my life now is about living my best life. MY LIFE.

What my CPTSD has taught me so far is that as a child my brain was so incredible at creating ways to keep me safe and living by just pushing all the screwed up shit that was my childhood so often deep inside me. I lived two lives the one at home an the one at school, the one where I tried to make friends, to be a friend yet even as a small child I was filled with rage and anger at what had been done and was being done to me.

Finally I am really aware that I love being alive. Even on my really bad days. I love that I am moving through so much that has happened in my lifetime, but especially in my childhood and adolescence. As hard as draining and scary sometimes letting these hidden experiences feelings and emotions out is, the understanding that each time this happens is a step forward for me to BE ME. As corny as that sounds.

So yes I will keep sharing my personal journey. My life. Its warts and all that happens. I am currently a mature aged woman who has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who is not so afraid of the blackness as I was because I am learning that the blackness is all my trauma, all my fears, known and unknown. That part of my healing is working bloody hard to accept and let these fears,and emotions of my life experiences out. To just burp the bottle a bit at a time. Not every appointment with my psychologist is such. However for me it is the time after where I really develop understanding and can really explore what has happened in the appointment are where the biggest shifts in my life are. Where the new strength is and where my adult self is able to speak up. Say and do what I want not just need to live my life as I chose.

The other reason I keep sharing the good the bad and the unwell, is that not so many years ago the word Cancer was never said, then it was whispered about if someone had it as if it might be contagious. Well I see similarities with mental illness. As statistics say
•Mental illness is very common. One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year. The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder. These three types of mental illnesses often occur in combination. For example, a person with an anxiety disorder could also develop depression, or a person with depression might misuse alcohol or other drugs, in an effort to self-medicate. Of the 20% of Australians with a mental illness in any one year, 11.5% have one disorder and 8.5% have two or more disorders. Almost half (45%) Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime
. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra

By Rubina Kapil on February 6, 2019

Mental health and substance use challenges can take many forms. There’s depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction and the list goes on. Some of these challenges are more visible and you might recognize them immediately. Others can be harder to see when you’re not looking for them. But, they are still there.

These statistics provide a look at how many people face a mental health or substance use challenge, whether we see it or not:

  1. In the United States, almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
  2. 5 percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people.
  3. Of adults in the United States with any mental disorder in a one-year period, 14.4 percent have one disorder, 5.8 percent have two disorders and 6 percent have three or more.
  4. Half of all mental disorders begin by age 14 and three-quarters by age 24.
  5. In the United States, only 41 percent of the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.


So when you look at these figures my personal feelings are we need to be talking openly and honestly about our illnesses. This brings more understanding to others going through it, to family and friends of people who are dealing with CPTSD and PTSD. It makes the politicians more aware of the impacts on work experiences, prejudices of some employers, how difficult life really is, costs to individuals and families emotionally financially, more one on one services and packages for those of us unable to afford access to psychologists and psychiatrists. It may help to reduce suicide. Family issues. Our own issues. Employers/businesses will really understand why we might behave or respond in situations. Also Schools may begin to realise that so much of how and what they encourage as ‘normal’ is really not for everyone.



It may also help those younger folk who are not ‘fitting in’ to what society says is ‘normal life’ If I had known for me living out of town and not having heaps of social activities and lots of friends was perfectly normal and OK for me at a much younger age it may have been helpful.

blessings to You, Tazzie




Summer time on the Deck

It is a lovely summer day here in the Huon Valley Southern Tasmania. In the 20+ years I have lived in my home, I have only seen a snake 3 times in my surrounds. The first was a black snake, just slithering across the road as my dogs and I were going up the road for a walk. The second was last year I was watering the garden and one slithered rapidly away.

Today I went out onto my deck which is 1metre(3foot) off the ground. I was moving something, and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement, black and yellow stripes..slithering really fast, away it was not super close, about 1 meter from me it was a suprised by me, as I was by it.

It was a tiger snake. I had forgotten Tiger snakes can climb up human structures. There is so much bush around my home.

This image is not mine I apologise I am unable to locate whose it is. If it is yours I am happy to acknowledge it.

Tiger snakes in the wild have a broad diet that includes fish, frogs and tadpoles, lizards, birds and mammals, as well as carrion. As the size of the snake increases, so to does the average prey size, however this increase is achieved not by larger snakes giving up on small prey but by them taking more large prey. Tiger snakes are largely diurnal and hunt for prey during the daylight hours; however they will forage on warm evenings. They will readily search underwater and can stay under for at least 9 minutes. A bat was found in the stomach of one museum specimen, demonstrating the tiger snake’s ability to climb. Invertebrates have also been found in tiger snake stomachs however these could have been taken as part of carrion; other taxa such as grasshoppers and moths however may have been ingested as prey. Cannibalism amongst wild tiger snakes has also been reported. Prey items are grasped and subdued quickly by the powerful venom, with sometimes constriction being employed as well.

Available prey size is thought to play an important role in dictating the adult size of tiger snakes in some island populations. For example, on Chappell Island the snakes are typically very large and take advantage of the seasonal abundance of fat muttonbird chicks, whereas on Roxby Island where there are no nesting seabirds the dwarf population of snakes survive on mostly small skinks.
https://australian.museum/learn/animals/reptiles/tiger-snake/

There are three snakes found in Tasmania and all are venomous. Though one the white lipped snake has never had any recorded deaths from its bite.
Whilst my snake was easily to identify by its colours not all tiger snakes in Tasmania have such clear markings.

Fact, not fiction

  • The forked tongue is not venomous but is actually a chemical brush used to transfer molecules to the Jacobson’s organ in the roof of the mouth, where the snakes sense of taste and smell is located. A widely forked tongue increases the ability of a snake to track its prey.
  • Snakes do not have ears and cannot hear sound. Instead they detect sound by sensing vibrations passing through the ground.
  • Snakes’ skin is not slimy and normally it is dry.
  • Snakes are not attracted to milk beyond the fact that it is wet and easy to find by smell.
  • The venom toxicity of a juvenile snake is the same as that of an adult although they usually produce less venom.
  • Less than 10% of newborn snakes survive to adulthood. Most are eaten by predators, such as birds or feral cats, or are killed by humans.
  • In reality the danger presented by snakes is not nearly as great as perceived. Sporting accidents, dog attacks, lightning strikes and even peanuts cause more human deaths in Australia than snakebite.
  • In Tasmania the presence of the Blue-tongued skink (lizard) is no indication that snakes are absent.
  • Tasmanian snakes are unlikely to attack people unless they feel trapped or threatened. It is easy to mistake a snakes bluff or an attempt to reach shelter for an attack.
  • https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/wildlife-management/fauna-of-tasmania/reptiles-and-frogs/tasmanian-snakes


Southern Grass Skink | Department of Primary Industries ...
Photo from Department of Primary Industry and Environment Tasmania
  • This is a skink.
I am sorry I am not able tocredit the photographer for this photo.

This is an eastern blue tongue lizard.

I realise that on my deck are little frogs. So it may also have been after those. ​I also realised I was up really late this morning and normally I fill the large plant pot saucer of water I leave out for the echidna, the blue tongues and snakes. So this lovely guy/gal may have been looking for water too. All available on my deck.

So many people are terrified of snakes. Yet hop into their car every day with out thinking.
The last recorded death from snake bite in Tasmania up until January 2020 was in 1977. As sad and hard for the family of Mr Fish who died in 2020 Two deaths in 50 years makes snakes bite risk pretty good for humans.

Of course dogs and and other animals get bitten and some die. If your know your dog has been near a snake rather than wait to see if it has been bitten, take it to the vets. Waiting can cost the dog its life.

If your dog is barking at a snake get the hose, and direct it at the dog to force it away.. giving the snake time to flee.

As I live in a rural area I am fine having snakes about my home. They do not want to harm me as I do not want to harm them. During summer I usually do not let them out by themselves. But I do thump the ground when I walk and slam my front door. Since snakes react to vibration rather than noise.

My Grandfather my pop was a rabbiter , he raised his family in a tent in the Australian bush and he told me in regard to snakes that they do not want to use their venom on humans as it is how they kill their food. They are scared of humans so just walk away.

He also told us to respect them and look at their beauty. He also said not to remove one from our area if we have one as another will move in. The one you had knows your patterns and will try to stay out of your way. The new one wont.

I will be making more thumps when out on the deck and about the garden.

I do not fear snakes, I respect them keep my distance. I provide water for them so they do not have to come looking for it. I will not be leaving any of my doors open for the foreseeable future..

blessings to You, Tazzie





Summertime Veggie and fruit garden

Uncertainty is not a great thing in my life, it does tend to impact my CPTSD. I have not been in my beloved garden a huge amount in the last few weeks, and even so what I had put into it in Springtime is bobbing along slowly this year yet productively without me quite well. So I feel happy about that.


My tomatoes are very late in developing,

Lots of flowers on the first plant. quite a few on the next with some tomatoes forming on both and one tomato and a few fruits on the third.
In this bed I have two eggplant/aubergines I have one flower on one plant.

My peppers and capsicums are varied, the old pepper from last year is doing well, the capsicums are getting flowers and the peppers are I guess settling in.

I have more tomatoes vines in another bed, that does get 8 hours of sunshine but less than the first bed and these are really delayed. I thought they would be, and was just wanting to see if they would grow here.

Photo taken at 16:00 daylight saving time.

Miss Treacle and Busby enjoy being outside too.

Now for some reason I have planted pumpkins and zucchinis, along with the possibility of a cucumber or two in two beds. I lost all bar one label, and I had labelled the seedlings. I only know one variety of pumpkin that is Peter Cundall’s . Peter was a long time presenter on the Australian Broadcasting (ABC TV) Gardening Australia a weekly. If you are interested in knowing more about Australian Gardens and all sorts of things to do with gardening and veggie growing well worth checking out show (which still is running Gardening Australia now hosted by Costa). https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/ Peter hosted the show from 1989-2008 and as a fellow Tasmanian is an incredible gardener, who even now at 82 is enjoying his gardening and good health. He only gave up his weekly radio show a few years ago. His pumpkin variety is great faviourite in the taste test so I am told. Fingers crossed these plants will be much better producers than last years. Oh the memories not a zucchini and one tiny butternut.


Asparagus spears still shoot every so often, and I enjoy picking them and eating them right away. My jostaberries and red currants did well. I harvested very few, between the birds, wallabies possums and my chooks it was their year this year. I was also not up to canning or freezing any of them and realised that I am not a huge fan of the jostaberries. They really are only good stewed, made into a crumble or perhaps a sponge pudding and of course jam.

My blueberries are also being grabbed by by all the critters and again I feel blase about it. I still have a fair few in the freezer. I always have such plans of all I will do with them. I usually harvest them and then often end up not eating them even when frozen. So instead of pushing myself when I have not been firing on all cylinders, I have just accepted for many years of my life I had never tasted a blue berry, a jostaberry or a red currant. If I am being really honest the only one I feel I would plant again are the blue berries.

My peach tree is amazing now that is something I have been enjoying the last couple of days.

As you can see they are a good size this year and once ripe juicy and even a bit green so sweet Love the feeling of the juice running down my chin.
I did eat a few cherries off my trees. It has been a late beginning to the cherry season with the local orchards only opening full time this week.

My red crab apple does not have a lot of fruit on it sadly this year. I do recall there were not a lot of blossoms on it. Added to this the chooks had been dust bathing about its roots. (A job still in process excluding them from my doing this). I have managed to stop them from the espaliered apple by putting bike wheels about the root area.

The chooks had been laying really well and I was very happy to share with my neighbours. Sadly at the moment I am only averaging two eggs a day. I have not located a hidden nest anywhere as yet. I realised I may have been failing them in providing enough food for them. Though when I do provide seed they very rarely eat it all and usually pick the tastiest seeds out first. Grass is a bit in short supply so I have began to supplement their diet with pureed green vegies. They are on a free range 16%seed mix and have access to grubs and all sorts of things as they free range. I will be keeping an eye on them and fingers crossed the girls will be all laying again. Though the two -3 eggs I get are enough for just us. I did have hope to water glass enough for winter.

The Chook run has been slashed finally and the spiky native grass has been cut down. I am not sure the chooks appreciated that and so as their is not a lot of shade in their run at present they are free ranging and love hanging out under the jostaberries and my blackwoods. If they stayed there we would be living in harmony. I can only dream.

My thoughts are with those of you in areas where Covid continues to impact your lives, especially those of you overseas. I am so incredibly fortunate to have been born here in Australia and to live on the island state. where we have had no active cases of this illness for a few weeks now. My thoughts for those of you impacted by the bush fires in Western Australia.

I am thankful that I am coming out of a period of feeling out of control, I am thankful that I am again able to see the beauty of my home, and garden and how very fortunate I am. I am thankful for the clean water, clean air and abundance I have in my life. I am so very thankful for my dogs.

blessing to you. Tazzie

Living simply summertime chickens

My lovely white hen who is blind in one eye, is fit and healthy and has begun to lay eggs. She is now back out with the rest of my flock. Her name was going to be ‘Turunga Leela’. Though I have reconsidered as she is sweet and comes running to me as she is now the lowest hen in the pecking order. She is gentle and isolates, anxiety is high, since her time in the house in isolation, I feed her extra treats and ensure she gets food as she is hunted away by Roopert (Rooster) and several of the other hens.



She is now called Marshmellow. I love marshmallows and I have fallen in love with her.





Actually I love all my poultry.

I forgive Roopert all his crowing in the wee small hours . Right now dawn breaks very early, yet my neighbours (who say they do not mind his crowing) say he usually goes off between 2-3am . I am so fortunate that they put up with his crowing, or sometimes I get that self talk of oh they are trying to tell me that they are annoyed by it, that it is not good. It is one of those things that is so hard to know unless people are truthful and tell you it is pissing them off. They are lovely neighbours and I am sure they would tell me, when I said I was fed up a few weeks ago they were horrified that I might get rid of him. They will be getting hens soon.

As we head to the Summer Solstice 21-22/12/2020 (depending on which local site I peruse), we will have over 16 hours of sunlight. As they say all it will pass, these really early crowings as the seasons change.. Though he is great when it is a new moon peace until 4:30am when dawn breaks and how lovely is all the birds song then and I mean that sincerely. The darkness is great for all. I guess we all need to catch up on sleep at some point.


He is a lovable rooster.
Sitting here writing this today when the temperature is over 33 dC here which is really hot for Tasmania

I have given the chooks some watermelon which they are really enjoying. My dogs turned there noses up at it. So more for the chooks.

When it is a warmer night I leave the door open of there house home, so they can get more air circulation.

I love going in to see they are all settled and ensuring they have not knocked the water over. I see Roopert with his faviourite gals on the highest roost. The others all on the next one down. I know I would not be a happy hen living in that sort of hierarchy.

I am averaging 5 eggs a day now and occasionally six. I am inundated with eggs. Neither I or my dogs are complaining. I do share them with neighbours. Hmm the eggs count is fluctuating recently and I have a feeling that I will be discovering a nest of rotten eggs somewhere soon. Having so many eggs (which I do share with neighbours), I have decided to preserve some for winter. The dogs and I love them all year and well why not. I was thinking of water glassing though I believe there is a more modern alternative so will be You Tubing.

I have named all my hens now. Marshmellow because she is a mellow hen my one eyed girl she comes for a cuddle and is now sadly the lowest hen so I spoil her. She is the one I had to care for and we have a special bond.


The two brown gals who spend all their time together, and are Roopert’s gals now sharing the top roost position in the hen house. They have become Henny and Penny.


Then there are my two hens that are black with frizzle feathers on their heads and unusual combs. One is a big hen the other smaller. The big one is Frida, after the artist, and thus the little one is Kahlo. They are more timid.

Black Beauty, with her glossy green sheen on her feathers she is part Barnevelder


My last hen is a gorgeous black green tinged feathered girl. She is Beauty.

I really enjoy going to the hen house in the evening to ensure they are all inside, and have not knocked over their water. They usually will tick me off for disturbing them and shuffle and fluff their feathers. I say thank you for the eggs ladies, and shut them in (tuck them in for the night). I love it as I walk away and here their little chatter , peeps and settling back on the roosts for sleep.

In the morning it is even more interesting if I am later than they would like to be let out, even though they have food and water, Roopert will tick me off. I open the door and he jumps out first, waits and then Henny and Penny are next, Marshmellow waits until they move away and races out, Frida will go join Rooopert. Kahol is waiting usually she is found in one of the nesting boxes. I have to toss her out before I leave to get her share of breakfast.
Beauty is last and really she just regally hops out potters under the hen house then saunters over to the rest of the flock.


Of course there is the bickering and clucking of the girls when someone gets something one of the higher up the pecking order have not. Or when Roopert shows his Girls a special treat he has found for them. He also is a rooster and he does his roosterly duties, this will make a scene for the girls who do not want his advances. A run around the run occurs feathers and dust flowing.

Having chooks is not all happy life on the homestead, even when you only have hens fights occur.

I have been getting some double yolk eggs which takes me back to my childhood.

it is not hard caring for them, let them out in the morning feed them lovely food for great eggs, giving shell grit and ensuring they have little stones gravel for their gizzards. Keeping an eye on their feathers around their vents, and for any injuries or damage. Ensuring no mights. Fresh water and clean bedding regularly cool areas under trees. For such wonderful renumeration.


I have trimmed their wings to try and keep them in the run, but they still escape. It does look as if something untoward occurred there, and sounded like it as I left them in the hen house and grabbed each one to attend to their feathers. They still manage to get out. Sigh.

This was taken in September 2020 in the paddock area, not in the run. Still happening.

Free Range 100%.
There is something so beautiful about having hens in my life again. I really enjoy their antics most of the time. Even the crowing in the wee small hours. Good quality ear plugs.

One of my neighbours found three chicks when he went out to his run this morning they are so cute.
Another neighbour has bantams and has just got his gals a rooster.

Homesteading is all around me, summer is here and I am so thankful for my hens, my neighbours, eggs, and pretty full water tanks.

The end of a hot day and a warm night ahead, and all is settled, water bowls and bird baths all full for overnight visitors. A clear sky and stillness settling over my home.



blessings to You all Tazzie

Spirit of Christmas?

Possible triggers

It is the time of the year when it is very easy to become caught up in the crazy season. Here in Australia we are in the early days of Summer. Yet still most of our Christmas is based on a Winter theme. If you love the Christmas that is wonderful.
Here lights adorn homes, but it is still light here in Tasmania until after 21:00 so not really likely that the little ones will see them in their full glory. It is most likely going to be over 38dC/100dF if not hotter in many locations in Australia, most likely not here in Tasmania. Thankfully many people have given up the cooked roast and trimmings. Salads, seafood, BBQs, picnics, ice cream and pavlova. Are more the traditions here, cold stubbies(beer), icy cold soft drinks and wine, champagne or punch.

I look about me and see what almost seems like panic most definitely anxieties. Traffic increases, people stock up as if the shops will not be open for weeks. Instead of only usually 24 hours. Ridiculous amounts of money being spent. Many people go into debt for the ‘Spirit of Christmas’. Why?

Why do this to yourself. If you really love it great. Some folk do. My work life has seen the opposite side of this time of year.

My own mental illness sees me less interested in the media and advertising creation that has very little to do with reality.

It is the time of year for many who feel alone, who feel pressured to be what they think they should rather than be themselves. To be generous even when they are struggling financially. I guess after this crazy year and for many around the world where lock downs have been happening again. So thankful that Australia has no lock downs and our infection rates have become almost non existent.

For me I have no plans. I am content with that. There are possibilities.

I will see the lovely lights of the houses in parts of the Huon Valley that go all out and I smile as I drive by. I like seeing the Christmas trees with their lights glowing. I am not bah humbug really. I love fruit cake and fruit mince pies (as long as the pastry is wonderful). I love plum pudding and brandy custard. Many childhood Christmas’s spent in 40+dC with my Gran dparents, My Grandmother and Mother cooking the roast, steaming the plum pudding and making the custard. It was lovely but oh so hot. As the food was cooked on a wood stove, the water filled air conditioner struggling to keep any air cool. There always so much angst.
It all had to be perfect. It was, but at such a cost. Sigh.

I love that now I can do or not do what I want. For years I would travel to be with family. My hope was for the Christmas to be as I hoped. The advertised creation. Of course it never was. Stress angst and undertones, never arguments on Christmas Day.

Even with my wonderful partner I wanted a story book kind of Christmas when we first were living together. I wanted it to be perfect. He helped me move past that. It was wonderful. I stopped being stressed and buying gifts for everyone and just in case someone gave me something and I had nothing for them. I stopped sending cards to people I never heard from. In fact I send no cards, no gifts no emails. What joy. Does it make me an awful person..get real NO. It makes me a person who is taking control of what is right for me.

So if you are stressing, spending money you can not afford, please be honest with yourself. Be honest and say enough. I am not falling for the manufactured concept of Christmas. It is not the Merry or Happy time of Year for us all.

Do not get me wrong please I see getting together and sharing food with people who you want to be with is fantastic. I do enjoy it when there is no pressure, just bring a plate and liquid to share. To share conversations laughter and love. For those of you who are struggling to say No. Please be considerate of yourself. Do what you need to for yourself.

Blessings to You, Tazzie.





Springing into the Summer Garden;

I find that growing vegetables can be for me somewhat hit and miss. Last years crops well some were terrific, majority not so. I see it as always learning. Part of living I believe is to always learn new things.

The quality of my photos is not great so apologies.

The weather has been warm to hot here in Southern Tasmania. Not as hot as mainland Australia thankfully. Where many parts of the eastern seaboard had days over the weekend hitting
40dC /104dF. In my gorgeous valley we were fortunate hitting 30dC/86dF. Apparently the temperature average for November 2020, was higher than the average temperature for December 2019. No wonder everything is suddenly taking off.

I am not sure if it was a wallaby or a hen that flattened my garlic. The leaves as you will see are not great. I know there is garlic under there and at least one is a resonable size. I will have to buy garlic this year for the first time in almost 20 years. Very sad. At least I can get locally grown from organic garlic cloves. I will also have to buy enough to save cloves to plant in Autumn. My walking onions in the wheel barrow continue to grow with no real care apart from watering from me. Great greens and the tiny onions are lovely added to soups whole and stews. I even use them in toasted sandwiches. My Aspargus bed has given me enough nibbles over the last few months. I have left a lot just go to seed and to develop in the understanding the roots will grow and strengthen.


I planted out tomatoes, capsicums,eggplants/aubergines and chillis.

I purchased one Eggplant seedling which you can see in the photo on the bed. I had sown seeds for a long thin eggplant but no seed seemed to be germinating, when I purchased the large seedling. So I was pleasantly surprised that they have know germinated. They are tiny. There is room for them to grow. I put the eggplants in this bed protected. It is a corrugated bed quite deep. My only success with eggplants was growing them in the bed where my corriander is currently. It was stuck in the corner closest to where the sun hit the corrugated side for the highest number of hours. I have hopes for them this year.

I was amazed to have two chillis that survived hidden among the broad beans crop which I have harvested and obviously removed the stems. I have chopped and dropped them in the area and will add them to beds to compost down in place.

Chilli and Capsicum/Pepper bed, with the
Sea Holly (flowering )plant, a perennial (foreground).

I was able to get some sweet potato slips from a nursery. I had no luck with growing my own off sweet potatoes purchased in the fruit and vegetable shop. I believe it is most likely they are treated by Tasmania’s Quarantine Services rendering them sterile.
I love watching Youtube videos on growing sweet potatoes in a cooler climate. Of course I get sucked down into the wormhole of Youtube. Bringing myself back from the Youtube wormhole. I made sure my soil had what they like. The plot is in direct sunlight. I mounded them up and watered them in well. The slips had been growing well in their pots. They look good the next morning even though I had found one of my hens had got into the vegie garden. Fortunately doing no damage to any of my newly planted seedlings.

Sweet Potatoes

I am continuing to use my cheaper version of Ollas for helping to keep the soil moist. They worked well last year. They are really simple I was able to purchase terracotta pots and with no holes, the saucer is large enough to cover the top as the lid. See above photo . I have dug in one as the sweet potatoes 4 are on mounds I have to put the second one into the ground yet. I place them so the lip is just above the level the woodchips as a cover to help keep the moisture in the soil.


I had not been keeping an eye on the weather forecast. The last two days have been wild here with gale force wind, temps down to 10dC/50dF over night 16dC / and so far my seedlings including sweet potatoes are hanging in there literally!
Unfortunately the cooler weather with rain is forecast for the next week or so. Of course it is. I am not complaining about the rain. My water tanks (of which I am totally reliant for all my water needs) have plenty of room for it. Who knows what the seedlings will do. This is the nature of vegetable growing outside in the roaring forties and living in the region of Australia I do. I am wondering how bad it may get around the Summer Solstice as normally the wind is worse either side of that. You have to just go with the flow as they say.

As you can see in the above photos fruit and nuts are doing well. In my chicken run I have had white centred cherries on my tree for the first time ever and it has been years. It only had about seven and I managed to beat the birds to three of them one left today bright red and sweet.

My mood has lifted and I have also been walking with my dog/s in the morning. My big dog Busby has been bitten on one of his front paws toe, by a Jack Jumper ant and is suffering in pain. As I tried to see what was causing his pain for the first time ever in 5 years he growled at me. That is how much pain he is in. Having been bitten myself I totally understand and the pain

I have a sweet cherry and a morello cherry (this one is in a pot on the deck), Several more apples and plums in the paddock, the fig is growing but has no fruit for summer. I feel it is not getting enough sun where it is now the peach is so big. Plans to move it in winter remove it from its wine barrel.
I have two passionfruit seedlings to plant out yet. They are not keen on the wind so I am really happy I waited. There a couple of other fruit trees in the chook run that I had really thought had given up. I do not recall any of the fruit. None will bear this year.
Even though I have had a huge area of black berries removed; they are considered a weed in Australia and grow wild. I have a heap that grow on the easement that the council own on my boundary. They gave me wonderful berries last year.

So much more still to put into the vegetable garden this summer.

I am so thankful for being so fortunate to have so much potential bounty. I am also thankful for living in an area that is full of wonderfully local fresh fruit berries, meat, fish in the river..I may buy a rod soon as I love flathead and it is in the river.

I am so thankful that I am moving forward again in my managing my CPTSD and overcoming the reactions to triggers. Thank you for all the kind words. They mean so much to me.

blessing to You. Tazzie

Reality of Living with CPTSD Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and unexpected reaction.

Having a mental illness of any kind is so frustrating and hard at times. Even when as I have been feeling really well, and yes I would still say that I am pretty well in the mental states compared to where I have been even now. Yet this does not stop being hit hard, knowing that I need to fight with every tool I have learnt and utilised in my treatment of CPTSD management too remain moving forward no matter how miniscule that move is.

I am waiting for a colonoscopy. Here in Australia you will only have you have symptoms that may be indicative of problems or potential cancer concerns in your colon. I have been listed as a priority. Which means my symptoms are concerning enough that I need to be seen within a fast time frame. I have a friend who was told needed a colonoscopy. My friend has been placed on a lower level of priority and has up to 12 months to be on the waiting list. (It may be sooner it could be longer). Depending on lists and what happens to my friend’s symptoms.

I was a Registered Nurse and no that the majority of colonoscopies are benign. Yet even with this knowledge for me with my anxiety my mind catastrophises. Of course it will be bad, I am going to die.

I mention this as the trigger for my mental health decline. I have again resorted to sitting on the lounge, and eating comfort food. I have huge insight into this as being a starting point to heading towards the darkness and am struggling but fighting it. My house is going backwards, I have been driving my car and the dogs run ahead. Instead of walking them. All my normal reactions to things I can not handle. I am trying not to think about what is ahead. So loose myself in Youtube and games. All normal for my mental health illness. All symptoms of my illness flaring up.

I look about the house, garden and routine and am very aware that I am not following my routine. Which for anyone who has not read previous posts is pretty simple. Walk my dogs everyday. Have a shower every two days. Go to bed lights out 22:30. Do one thing in the house to improve it every day. Eat healthy. Be thankful.
nothing extreme in that list. Yet for me it is as if I am attempting to climb Mt Everest every day without oxygen.
How do you explain that to anyone who does not understand? Fortunately I do not have to explain it to anyone else. I no longer have to work due to my mental illness.

Yet this morning I woke after going to bed bye 22:30 and up after a good sleep, though I am sleep well most of the time. Once the dogs rose, I went and let out the chooks.

I decided to walk the dogs. I don’t walk them miles it is just up the road and back about 1km or a bit less. We did this, and as usual I felt so much better for doing it.
My well mind says this is so easy and has such benefit for you Tazzie. Then I hear other voices of my past and have to fight them. The berating of parents and teachers the pressure when I could not do what they expected. When I am unwell it is these voices and memories I struggle with. Along with if you lost weight you would be so pretty.. and you are lazy, you never finish anything, you are a slob, you don’t care, why cant you be more like your siblings if you had been the first there would have been no other children in this family, you were a lot of trouble before you were born and still are. I become their expectations. I hated myself and never felt a part or accepted. (that is a whole other story).
Even as I type these words, I have tears for the smaller me and for Who did defend herself and was beaten viciously and punished.

When I reread these words above I realise that I am falling under the battery of abusive demeaning words that were the background of my childhood. Along with other physical abuses. I continue to work constantly daily to let go of these and know that these words no longer have power over me. So it is hard to realise for last month or two this is playing over in my head again, “see you got what you deserved..you are all these things”. So subliminally along with the fear of what if I have cancer, no one for support, I am all alone (which is not fact) but reality and logic kind of go out the window here. Fear and tapes in my head are so detrimental and the response to withdraw and comfort eat, is my treatment.

Filling in the hospital paperwork, next of Kin? I do not have any next of Kin that I want contacted. I do not want anyone to know not because I am ashamed or embarrassed just because I do not. Privacy is important to me. I have told one or two people and here that is enough. Then who is going to pick me up and be present in my home overnight post the colonoscopy? Well I was going to drive myself but know that I can not rationally. (Thankfully a friend has offered to take me and bring me home.) No one will be with overnight. As No One comes inside my home.

These are things I believe that hospitals just do not understand. So I will probably be less than truthful about filling this in if I am not allowed to leave it blank. This is part of my mental illness that is difficult for even hospital administration to understand.

Just sharing this here, writing it all down has always assisted me to really see how my illness is the cause of my reactions and responses.

I have forgiven all the people (mostly family members) for the way I was treated and abused. Not for them and they are not aware of this fact. It was only ever for me. As I hated the anger that accompanied the tears and frustration of my triggers. The triggers still happen as I have documented and no matter where I am on being able to manage my responses to them. It is only with insight that I can process accept and move forward.

So my personal treatment plant of withdrawing and comfort eating, being aware that my routine is slipping but not gone are all OK and acceptable. I have not failed I have not fallen back into the deep hole I have been climbing out of. I have loved and soothed myself in perhaps not the best way, yet every day I have had insight and awareness that it will be OK, and I will be able to get back into the garden and connect again in ways that help me as seen by writing here again. Living with a mental illness is an ongoing thing.
Like being a diabetic if I can stick with my life time treatment plan medication, routine and utilising my management tools I will be living a great life for me. I know this from when I am even better than I am right now. It is worth it and for anyone who is finding the best medication, the psychologist, what works for them as an individual to live the life you want and no one else’s. It is a lot of effort and there will be I am sorry to say periods where you are not doing as well as you have.
You will have gained insight and know that you are unwell due to your illness and triggers, through no fault of your own. You will be able to move forward and live the life you want.

I have struggled for too many years attempting to fit into family, school, work, and community. Where I am accepted as I am is my community and when I go out into it when I choose is wonderful. When I withdraw they generally understand. I have people who check in on me, and wonderful unobtrusive neighbours.

I like who I am and am very proud of who I am. I am thankful that I am doing well even when it feels like I am not. When I read back my jottings over the years I see where I have been and where I am now. I love waking up each morning and going to sleep each night. I am thankful I did not kill myself when I tried. I am thankful for all I have. I am thankful to be able to share my life with my mental illness warts and all.


blessings to You, Tazzie

Oh my No we have worms!

G’day life here on my little acre in the Huon Valley on the island state of Australia, Tasmania is a sanctuary for me.. I love that I have wild animals wallabies, potaroos, possums, ring tail possums, quolls, amazing birds, bees bumble bees, insects, blue tongue lizard/s. geckos, tasmanian devils pass through and of course my echidna/s.
On the domestic side there are two dogs, six hens and a superb rooster (Roopert)

Roopert the Rooster


and yes the girls are getting names slowly as they become adults.
Sadly at the moment one of my hens my Australorpe has injured eye. I have been treating her for five days now, and she has been on antibiotic drops for three days now. She is eating now, scratching and drinking on her own (I was feeding her to begin with). The eye and her comb are not super hot now, so the antibiotics are doing something. I am very doubtful that the eye will recover. She is preening herself and active. It is hard when you are attached to your lovely egg laying hens. I am sad about it as she was laying and because I have used antibiotics I will have to wait for two weeks when she does begin to lay again I will have to dispose of the eggs. Ahh small price to pay for her to have no infection. I did try natural things comfrey and and eyes bright.

Now for the new critters at Echidna Home, I am raising meal worms. Meal worms are a great protein source for my hens. They are also great for fishing. Hmm something I am thinking about buying a rod to fish since I live so close to a river..lol.

The first photograph below is of the package of meal worms when I opened it. Being a complete beginner, and not doing due diligence before I bought them I was very unhappy to learn that what I thought were beetles are actually dead meal worms. There were quite a lot. Which means I did not get 100gms of meal worms alive.

Such an easy critter to care for. They do not smell, they are not really worms they become a pupae then pupate into a black beetle who then lays eggs which become meal worms.

The chooks love them. The minute I show them to Roopert, he calls his girls and they each get a couple as my chooks free range and get great seed mix.

My poor white hen also has been getting spoilt with meal worms, and a tonic mix which has an easy home made electrolyte mix added, a little sugar and salt in yogurt with an egg yolk mixed really well. I was hand feeding her with a syringe at first she was so unwell.

I am so thankful that my hen whilst her eye is not doing so well her physical health is much better.

Blessings to You, Tazzie

G’day!

As an Australian I have never ever said G’day mate in my general life. Perhaps for a tourist or mucking about. G’day a form of hello in vernacular Australia.
G’day, good day! G’day, gardening day…so as an Australian living in Tasmania in the southern most council region of Australia. I feel it fits my post today.
A lot has been happening about my little acre. Last summer I was getting frustrated with blackberries wildly growing along one of my boundary fence lines.
My plum trees seen in foreground of first photo below were becoming surrounded by shade and the black berries were heading towards them. A wonderful neighbour and his business partner gave me a quote which seemed huge originally and I needed to think about it. I ended up thinking about how my hazel nuts were impacted last summer too. It was a necessity for harvesting and survival of them. So I agreed. I am so incredibly happy with the result. Light streaming in, and whilst the plum trees are not going to give me plums this year I have hopes for next year. The hazelnuts are incredibly happy! Growing everyday.

The last two photgraphs from my vegetable garden shows the increasre in light and water that can be seen now. It may be an issue that wind will become a big issue now that the blackberries have gone. It will be interesting to see. For hazelnuts to pollinate it is done by the wind so for my trees this will enhance pollination.

The vegetable garden is looking different this year I have put in two new beds. Corrugated iron. I have been making soil for them over Autumn and winter. I have to plant a lot of vegetable seedlings this weekend. Tomatoes, chilies, capsicums(sweet peppers), zucchini, eggplant(aubergine), beans, pumpkins and a heap of others I can not recall at present ..oh cucumbers. My hope is that I will reap more than I did last year. lol. First row of photographs below.

Photos second row above are broad beans that are producing huge amounts and are delicous. The wind has been playing havoc with them as we have had very unusual spring wind coming from a southerly direction..I had not set the beans up for that direction. The last photo is of some of my garlic. I have not planted enough of them I realise, there is always next year. I am sure there will be a lot of local garlic available. In the background of the last photo is one of several foxgloves that self seed each year. This one in the last photo stands over 180cm/6ft.

The marigolds have flowered all year which has been terrific. The fruit trees are fruiting up beautiful peach, cherries sweet and morello, (my newly planted in a pot this winter) plums, apples. The jostaberries, red currants are loaded. Blue currants in the pots loaded, not as many on the two I planted into the ground.

I thought the double grafted (two variety) apple I had planted and am trying to espalier has one side that is loaded with leaves and a few apples. I thought that the other side had died. I was surprised and very happy to see leaves coming out this week. Other apples are doing well.

A busy weekend of planting seedlings and making structures to ensure things will have supports as required.

I am so hopeful for a good year of growing home grown vegetables, fruit and hazel nuts. I have been picking some asparagus, and lettuce, green onions, miners lettuce, I have been able to pick a couple of small cauliflowers. It is a learning curve always.

The wood chips I have been using in the vegetable garden are certainly holding moisture. Which is fantastic for summer. We have just had a 32dC/90dF already this week yet ten days ago the fire was lit. This is part of the reason I have yet to plant seedlings out. Old timers always say do not put tomatoes out until after show day, which is normally about the 17th November. A bit early but they need to go in.

Happy weekend everyone.

blessings to You,

Tazzie

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Me.

Even when life is so positive it can be quite a challenge when you have CPTSD or PTSD to manage when some bumps appear.

The difference for me now in my management and coping with my mental illness is I can usually work out or understand why behaviours and reactions occur and aspects of my life which had seemed under control, are obviously just under the surface and are ready to jump out and catch you when you are challenged.

I have to have a colonoscopy, and my GP rated it as urgent. Of course I read up on what and why I have had this rating. I find it very very interesting, and thankful that this is happening when I am so greatly improved and healthy mentally. Also having had some huge stress taken off my shoulders financially and dealing with Australian Government bureaucracy every fortnight to now not needing to do that.
I at least understand my instinctive reaction and am not dumping heaps of shit on my shoulders.

I have been working on emotional eating, and eating healthily. Unfortunately this situation has seen me comfort eating plus plus plus. Now I say that it is plus plus plus, when in actual fact for me what I am eating now is very different to what I would have been eating earlier this year. It is no where near the volume. Yet it is so much and of course with that the shame and frustration can begin to become an issue.

I have not let that happen. I acknowledge it is happening. I allow myself to eat and do what settles me right now. The difference is I am totally aware of everything I am eating. The best part is I begin to feel ill. Something in the past that did not happen. It is an acknowledgement that somewhere in my brain a part is aware this is too much. So instead of wolfing down 1 litre/2pints, of ice cream a huge packet of chips, and bags of lollies or biscuits I might eat 475ml/1pint of ice cream, half a pack or less of chips and maybe no biscuits or lollies, or just a handful. That is progress.. but most progress is I am aware of the whys, and understand the reason.

I am so anxious and frightened of what might be, even though my rational logical self which is very present knows it may be something or it may be only hemorrhoids or nothing really. It is a positive that I have chatted to my GP about it, it is a positive that the hospital has contacted me with forms to fill in.
My anxiety rose though as I filled in the forms. Next of Kin, I do not want to list any next of kin, I have to have someone pick me up. It is only a day procedure and probably only a couple of hours. The fact I have an hours drive after is the issue. I also have begun to be concerned for my dogs. Remember there is no date yet. Yet here I am my anxiety building. Deep breath.

Today I have thought about a few ways to manage this. My dogs can be left all day on their own at home. I have had to do it before. Non of us like it but…lol
I have to find someone who can bring me home, I am happy to catch a bus up to Hobart.
Or I put the dogs in a kennel overnight where I know they will be fine. I book into a hotel or bnb for the night after. Or see how much a taxi costs to bring me home post procedure it may be not a lot more expensive.lol

I feel it may be a huge step for me requiring me to ask for help. (memories of the last time I needed someone to help with taking me to my gp appointment when I had no car and no one would could help). A stranger ended up doing it for me. I was so touched.

The other part of the paperwork is the weight issue. I am morbidly obese I have no idea how much I way. I have lost a lot of inches over the last 12 months, which is great. threes sizes in chest and one in trousers blasted tummy.. and I was feeling so good. This requirement has me back in a place where I reach for comfort eating sigh. Like my depression I do not have any desire to go back there.

The overwhelming sense of dread, of firstly telling people that I need help, and secondly knowing that people will want to know the outcome. Deep breath.

The information wanted is too much for me. As I will not be having anyone in my home overnight, and I doubt I would need it…but they ask this question.
The next of kin stuff, and the person to pick up. Perhaps I will just advise them that I do not know at this point but will have someone on the day?

There really are so many assumptions made about people and the realities of people having others about them. Family, and close friends.

The weirder thing is I would be there for someone in a heart beat if I was up to it. To do it for someone else.

I just want to drive myself up and back.

See how someone with a mental illness like CPTSD thinks and looks at things. The reality of living with this illness for me.

This is just the filling in of the paperwork..lol I feel a call to my social worker next week is the logical thing.

I am trying very hard to keep moving forward, no matter how small. It is a struggle. But I am my routine a bit loose.. and the emotional eating. But again I am aware, I know why and what and will work through it.

As bad as this sounds. I am not so fearful of the end result it is as so often the not knowing. Since I saw my GP it is a bit like until I know my life is on hold in some manner. It isn’t totally I am doing some things, and am working in a manner to get my routine back on track.

I am fortunate in so many ways, thankful for all I have about me.

blessings to You all, Tazzie

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