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What better place to exhume and transform the rancid, decaying core of humanity than the world famous 'healing' hub of beautiful Byron Bay; a place where equal measures of decadence, snake oil merchants and freedom gobble up lost souls and reflect the precarious and turbulent reality of contemporary culture...juxtiposed with the Central Coast community who are being slow boiled alive, to comfortable to care.


C H A P T E R   O N E  

   There was no saving Amy.

   I gagged when I first met her.  She smelled like death; rancid layers of dirty, stale sex and rotting dragonfruit.  Pungent.  Asphixiating.  Unforgettable.  A smell strangely imperceptible to those living large in the world where she thrives amongst clones; a world characterised by fast cars, glitz, glamour and fuelled by all kinds of drugs to chase the highs and alcohol to decrease the brain size.

   I came to understand it as the period before death; flesh and bones but the spirit had long since departed.  She was in the death throws drowning in an insatiable river of botox, implants, spray tans, reality tv shows, booze, cocaine, crystal meth and the sperm of numerous, nameless men all entombed in an impenetrable sarcophagus of delusion.

   Amy was fun and I needed that.  We could ignore our differences at first.  Me a clean freak and she a hoarder but the cracks that first appeared became chasms in a very short period of time.  

   She felt sorry for me she said as she slugged cheap wine straight from the bottle and racked up another line; one of her false eyelashes becoming unstuck and drooping onto her cheek, red lipstick smeared down her chin, dried cum on her faded black jeans that were two sizes too small.  I nodded in encouragement.

   Over the next three months, with an access all areas pass into her world and her mess, I became overwhelmed with a palpable, dense sense of death…of life, structures and systems corroding under the weight of their inevitable fallibility.  The world of smoke and mirrors claiming weak spirits who appear to be thriving but always reveal their shiny brokenness underneath.  Amy’s world is where addicts are kings and queens and their addictions rule…

   Amy was only one of many human relics of the dominant culture I met on my own healing journey in Byron Bay punch drunk but still standing…

   According to my ex there was quite a lot wrong with me.  His relentless but comparatively lightweight criticism was that I was emotionally unavailable.  

   “R-E-A-L-L-Y” I’d say in mock horror every time; the subtle innuendo lost in his over-inflated ego that made him deaf, blind and small.

   He wasn’t the first abuser I’d allowed into my world.  He wasn’t even the most famous.  That honour goes to Australia’s once legendary but now disgraced gardening guru Don Burke who had me all tied up in a terrorising psychological game of cat and mouse for seven and a half years.  The subsequent 20 years proved I hadn’t escaped scot-free and littered with insidious stories familiar to the 30 odd million (and counting) other women around the world that have recently stood up and said #metoo.

   Contained within my own story of abuse and healing and abuse and healing is untold practical wisdom and guidance for those who need to transcend that old story, that old paradigm now and walk a different path.


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