Archive for December 20th, 2010



December 20, 2010

Leafy Sea-Dragon


The neighbours of my childhood were a German family; grandparents, their daughter and her three children. The story went that they left everything behind when they fled Hitler’s Germany and started over from scratch in the rather down-at-heel, redneck, working-class suburb of Reservoir.

They lived in a gingerbread house, with a beautiful front garden that many local girls had their wedding photos taken in, and fruit trees and vegetables out the back, with a cellar in with to make wine from their home-grown grapes.

They were really nice people; sophisticated, cultured, and more tolerant than my German-hating English father (whose own father had been mustard-gassed in WWI). 

Such was the stew of bigotry and racial prejudice I was raised in.  Such were the attitudes I didn’t question as a child.

My father had a talent for alienating and pissing off the very people who were the most compassionate towards his predicament of being a migrant, with no family, in a strange country a long long way from home – and with a psychotic suicidal wife.

Stupid is as stupid does.

These neighbours would have their Christmas on Christmas Eve and as a young child (before my father banned me from talking to them), I spent a lot of time with the grandparents and something must have rubbed off. 

Christkindl Carousels

This year I discovered that in the 1960s and 1970s I was deemed a child ‘at extreme risk’ and should have been removed from my parent’s care and placed in State Welfare.

It has been quite the revelation that the root of my Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia does not lie in the fact I was in-and-out of foster home situations the first 9 years of my life;  but that my parents kept taking me back and my father isolated us from all community and medical support because he so greatly feared I would be removed.

It has been quite the year of deep healing on  mind-body-soul dimensions. Of liberating myself from the inherited doubts, anxieties and fears of the adults who were part of my childhood memoryscape – their crab mentality.  In hindsight, the Zech and Enzinger families were the only kind, sane and joyous people I knew as a child.  And they lived next-door ~ how lucky was I?

It has been an interesting year.