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I was a scared, skinny, desperate kid. My skin felt like ants were crawling on it and my teeth hurt from being clenched together. 

My stomach was always doing cart-wheels, I felt sick all day, every day. I couldn’t concentrate on much because I expect things to go horribly wrong and I was right to think they would because they always did. I felt it all, every flawed thought, every mischievous act, every consequence my parents dodge, and I carried. 

While other kids grew up in a garden of love, I wilted in a weeded field from humiliation. Lessons are easy to learn in catastrophe and chaos. Life lived with downhearted dickheads showed me who not to be. My parents were uninspiring, hurtful and self-serving, all exaggerated by endless booze and prescription drugs. 

To become a decent person, all I needed to do was the complete opposite of everything they did. And I did just that. If you drown in hate; you learn soon enough that love and kindness will rescue you.    

That’s the way things work out when your job is to keep a bunch of losers under control. It was an impossible task for a kid, much like herding seagulls: a lot of work and no chance of winning.

About The Author

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They say you can take the girl out of Mt Druitt but you can never take Mt Druitt out of the girl. Perhaps they’re right. 

Resilience was easy to develop in 1960s Sydney. Under the baking sun, the violent summer storms and the frigid winters, we worked out who we were, without the input of our parents.   

Terri now runs a business with her husband Matt. She has Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in Psychology. She is a Life Coach, mentor to young artists, and a writer for local publications. Terri lives south of Sydney, on a beautiful strip of coast called the Grand Pacific Drive. She shares her home with her Husband, a lifetime collection of books, musical instruments, art and a dog named Suki. 

Terri has two daughters and two grandchildren. If she is not spending time with them, she is in her studio, painting, writing or sitting quietly watching the horizon as she lets her unburdened child’s mind imagine all sorts of wonderful things.

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