Timeline: Kathleen Folbigg diary entries

Timeline: Kathleen Folbigg diary entries

Source: When the Bough Breaks - Matthew Benns

February 20 1989 2am (night of Caleb's death)

Finally asleep!

June 3 1990

This was the day that Patrick Allen David was born. I had mixed feelings this day whether or not I was going to cope as a mother and whether I was going to get stressed out like I did last time. I often regret Caleb and Patrick only because your life changes so much and maybe I'm not a person who likes change, but we will see.

June 18 1996

I'm ready this time and I know I'll have help and support this time. When I think I'm going to lose control like last time I'll just hand baby over to someone else. Not feel totally alone. Getting back into my exercise after will help my state of mind and sleeping, wherever possible as well. I have learned my lesson this time.

June 22 1996

I watched a movie today about schizophrenia. Wonder if I have a mild curse of that? I change moods really quickly. In my most dangerous mood I'm not nice to be around and always want to be anywhere but where I am.

July 16 1996

Sometimes I feel life is a film scene, just practiced and rehearsed, each actor perfect and surreal, times I don't fit in the play, have never fit, but keep attempting to anyway for fear of being isolated and alone. Times - I feel alone anyway no matter who I'm with. 

July 21 1996

Stressed a little now, probably because it will be a couple of more months before I'm pregnant. Pretty sure I'm not now. Having, or had, what I think is a period. God, I hope so, or these tablets will cause brain damage. Probably just desserts for me, considering, but not fair to Craig at all. I would feel like a failure and couldn't cope at all. Can't be dwelling on what ifs. I truly deserve anything life throws at me, so my philosophy is whatever happens happens and it's the way it shall be. I'm going to try my hardest this time. If anything does happen, I'll just leave and try to let Craig go in peace and start again. No I wouldn't. I'm not that brave. Really, I depend on people and other people's help too much.

July 25 1996

Did miss him in bed though. Just the comfort that someone else was going to be there. Like, I know that it would be me who would hear a break-in first, not him, but at least if I screamed loud enough he'd hear me.

August 9 1996

Been feeling weird lately - depressed, indecisive, etc. Not my usual self. Can't seem to put my finger on what's wrong... Feeling lonely! I know that's silly because I have friends I can see but I suppose it's because I want friends that will come to see me and want to be with me. I usually feel that I'm intruding or pushing my way onto people. Okay, enough self analysing. It's my ego and weight problem that's giving me a bashing. Rang to go back to JIC - they haven't bothered to return to call. Feeling left out, taken for granted, unattractive and self centred. There I've purged myself. Now to change all this, is up to me - as usual.

August 26 1996

Went to clairvoyant last week. So did Craig. I always believe there is more going on than just human nature. I seem content now because I now know that even though I'm responsible it's all right. She accepts and is happy there. I've always felt her strongly and now I know why. She is with me. I think my mother is too.

September 8 1996

Feel now is the time for us to have another baby. Have finally realised it's the right time for me. I have Craig and he wants a child that I can give him and I have enough friends now not to lose it like before.

September 11 1996

Feeling inferior doesn't help. Feeling inadequate because I'm not pregnant yet. Feel as though it's my fault. Think it's deserved. After everything that's happened. I suppose I deserve to never have kids again. I am just so depressed. Don't know what to do. Feel like taking the rest of the week off. But know my pay will be grossly affected if I do.

October 14 1996

Children thing isn't happening. Thinking of forgetting the idea. Nature, fate and the man upstairs have decided I don't get a fourth chance and rightly so, I suppose. I would like to make all my mistakes and terrible thinking be corrected and mean something though. Plus I'm ready to continue my family time now. Obviously I am my father's daughter. But I think losing my temper stage and being frustrated with everything has passed. I now just let things happen and go with the flow, an attitude I should have had with all my children. If given the chance, I'll have it with the next one.

October 30 1996

I worry that my next child will suffer my psychological mood swings like the others did. I pray I'm prepared and read, mindwise, for this next one. Maybe nature has decided I never will be and it will never happen. 

November 13 1996

Not sure why I'm so depressed lately. Seem to be suffering mood swings. I also have no energy lately either... Why is family so important to me? I now have the start of my very own, but it doesn't seem good enough. I know Craig doesn't understand. He has the knowledge of stability and love from siblings and parents even if he chooses to ignore them. Me - I have no one but him. It seems to affect me so - why should it matter? It shouldn't

December 4 1996

I'm ready this time, but have already decided if I get any feelings of jealousy or anger too much I will leave Craig and baby rather than answer being as before. Silly, but will be the only way I will cope. I think support and not being afraid to ask for it will be a major plus. Also, I have and will change my attitude and try earnestly not to let anything stress me to the max. I will do things to pamper myself regularly and just deal with things. If I have a clingy baby, then so be it, a catnapper, so be it. That will be when I will ask for help and sleep whenever I can to keep myself in a decent mood. I know now that battling wills and sleep deprivation were the causes last time.

January 1 1997

Another year gone and what a year to come. I have a baby on the way which means major personal sacrifice for both of us, but I feel confident about it all going well this time. I'm going to call for help this time and not attempt to do everything by myself anymore. I know that was the main reason for all my stress before and stress made me do terrible things. Had a talk with Craig while in the bath tonight, our favourite talking spot. Haven't really cleared anything, just told him how I feel and what vibes I'm received from him.

January 14 1997

Not happy with myself lately. Finally starting to physically show that I'm pregnant. Doesn't do much for the self esteem. Don't get me wrong. I couldn't be happier - it's just Craig's roving eye will always be of concern for me. I suppose this is a concept known by all women. We are vulnerable emotionally at time stage. So, everything is exaggerated tenfold. Well, best go. Time to return to bed and see if I can get some sleep. I'm sure this is training for when the baby arrives. That's okay. I'm pretty sure this time I'll handle it better. Hope so. 

February 4 1997

Still can't sleep. Seem to be thinking of Patrick and Sarah and Caleb. Makes me seriously wonder whether I'm stupid or doing the right thing having this baby. My guilt for how responsible I feel for them all haunts me. My fear of it happening again haunts me. My fear of Craig and I surviving, if I did, haunts me as well. I wonder whether having this one wasn't just a determination on my behalf to get it right and not be defeated by my total inadequate feelings about myself. What sort of mother am I? I have been a terrible one, that's what it boils down to. That's how I feel and that is what I think I'm trying to conquer with this baby, to prove that there is nothing wrong with me. If other women can do it, so can I. Is that the wrong reason to have a baby? Yes, I think so, but it's too late to realise now. I'm sure with the support I'm going to ask for, I'll get through. What scares me most will be when I'm alone with baby. How do I overcome that? Defeat that?

February 17 1997

Found Craig's jealous already of bub. He says he only has six months left to be with me and for me. Hopefully I've explained that's not true. He should be for me, forever. Just because a baby is entering out lives makes no difference really. One day it will leave. But this one's not going in the same fashion. This time I'm prepared and know what signals to watch out for in myself, changes in mood etc. Help I will get, if need be. I also know that my lethargy and tiredness and continued rejection of him had a bad effect. 

April 28 1997

I think this baby deserves everything I can give her, considering I really gave nothing to the others. I think even my feelings towards this one are already deeper. Shame, but that's the way it is. I think it's because I'm 30 now and time to settle and bring up a child. Obviously I wasn't ready before all that. 

May 16 1997

I think she will be a great help in preventing me from stressing out as much as I have done in the past. Night time and early mornings, such as these, will be the worst for me. That's when wishing someone else awake with me will matter, purely because of what happened before. Craig says he will stress and worry, but he still seems to sleep okay every night and did with Sarah. I really needed him to take over from me. This time I've already decided if I ever feel that way again I'm going to wake him up. 

May 29 1997

Need new diary soon. I've actually nearly filled up this one. Think it has helped writing my thoughts and feelings down regularly. Felt as though it's become a friend that I can off-load on and it doesn't... answer me. That's the best thing. Laugh at stupid things I have written in the past, but they were important to me back then, as this is now. 

May 30 1997

Got myself in quite an emotional state last night... Felt, feeling very alone, unattractive and now uncomfortable with the many thoughts that are running through my mind about the stability of our relationship. This is not the time to be upset and stressing over everything. He pulls away from me if I touch him in any other way than comforting. Feel as though I've lost him, that his feelings for me aren't the same any more. Never felt so alone in all my life. 

June 6 1997

From now on though I'm sure Craig's attention and focus will change from me to his child and so it should. I couldn't see that before. I was very selfish when it came to Craig's attention. Hopefully this time we have both learned how to share it but still manage to keep a little something aside for just each other. We will see... maybe then he will see when stress of it all is getting to be too much and save me from ever feeling like I did before, during my dark moods. Hopefully preparing myself will mean the end of my dark moods, or at least the ability to see it coming and say to him or someone, hey, help I'm getting overwhelmed here, help me out. That will be the key to this baby's survival. It surely will.

June 11 1997

If it wasn't for my baby coming soon, I'd sit and wonder again what I was put on this earth for, what contribution have I made to anyone's life? Only person I think I've made a difference to is Craig. And at times like this, I can't do anything for him so I fail there as well. 30 years, first five I don't really remember, rest I don't choose to remember, last 10-11 have been filled with trauma, tragedy, happiness, mixed emotions of all desires. Maybe from now on I'll be able to settle a little. But no. Immediate future brings turmoil happiness, sad memories, happy ones, depression, great pride and it goes on... life sux. You can never figure it out - is anyone meant to?

Don't think I'll suffer Alzheimer's disease. My brain has too much happening, unstored and unrecalled memories, just waiting. Heaven help the day they surface and I recall. That will be the day to lock me up and throw away the key, something I'm sure will happen one day. 

June 26 1997

This time I'm positive, with support from friends et cetera and Craig, this time everything will work out fine and the sight and visions of the future I've been having will come true this time. With the other three I never bothered to think of school and teenage years, maybe because I always knew they'd never get there. But this one I see myself taking her to school and Craig doing homework et cetera with her. Therefore, I assume I'm actually ready for the family life now, where I wasn't before. Feeling secure, loved, successful and wanted by Craig has helped me and, to a degree, the fact that I don't wish to die with no one really knowing I was here. At last, now I know my daughter will. If God or that elusive higher power doesn't take her away from me once she is older to punish me. I'm trying to do this right. I hope that is received and understood. 

July 6 1997

Maybe then he will see, when stress of it all is getting to be too much, and saves me from feeling like I did before, during my dark moods. Hopefully, preparing myself will mean the end of my dark moods, or at least the ability to see it coming, and say to him or someone, 'Hey, help. I'm getting overwhelmed here. Help me out.' That will be the key to this baby's survival. It surely will. But enough dwelling. Things are different this time. It will all work out for sure. 

July 1997 (undated)

I accept that my identity as a person starts with me. I've decided that's the way that it must be. I have no past, no relatives to remind me, and I am it, so therefore, the choice of this baby was to extend me, natural, and one I've made happily and wholeheartedly, and would make again, I'm sure. Problem was with the other three kids felt I didn't deserve to be extended, and that I was condemning them to life with me. That feeling has changed, so this time all is well and well it will go.  

August 25 1997

Scary feelings. I've realised I actually love her and have bonded with her. Wish to protect her etcetera. Maternal instinct is what they call it. I now know I never had that with the others. Monitor is a good idea. Nothing can happen without the monitor knowing and since I'm not game enough to not plug it in because they'd want to know why I hadn't, everything will be fine this time.

September 20 1997

Sleep. Who needs it? Yes, I'm getting a little bit irritable now. This is my punishment for the others, to be continually woken up, because this time we know that we have a child with a sleeping disorder. Even though I'm sure they are all false alarms, the thought is still scary. am getting very stressed because I can't depend on Craig for any real support or help. He doesn't hear her or the alarms. How dare he complain to me about lack of sleep? What the fuck would he know? Think he'll have to sleep in the other room, just so he's not disturbed. Selfish prick. Well now I know where I stand. Craig is refusing to help and hasn't even attempted to in any way. Just wants me to bear all the stress so he can keep selling his cars and making money. I suppose the stress of having to provide for us is real, but it's nothing compared to this.

I can't even trust or depend on him to look after her properly. He refuses to bother to learn anything about her. He doesn't pay attention when feeding her, hasn't changed a nappy, doesn't do washing or ironing, only washes up once in a while. His life continues as normal. Work, come home and I look after him. He doesn't even cook tea every now and then unless I ask him to. And then it is begrudgingly. What do I do? The only break I get is when I go to aerobics three half hours a week. But these are times is not enough. I know, my feelings are normal - I'm just venting. But at the moment I wish I hadn't made the decision to have her, but then all I have to do is look at her and all that melts away. Well, I just pissed Craig off, he's up and out of bed now. Complaining he can't sleep. 

October 25 1997

Just watched video of Sarah. Little upsetting but she did some funny things. Made us laugh. Think John [Craig's brother] was a little upset but he hid it well. I looked at it but have to be honest and say I cherish Laura more. I miss her, yes, but I'm not sad that Laura is here and she isn't. Is that a bad way to think? Don't know. I think I am more patient with Laura. I take the time to figure what is wrong now, instead of just snapping my cog. Also, she is a far more agreeable child and is easy most of the time. Not sure how Craig feels about Sarah now. Know that even though he tried, he loves Sarah just as hard and wasn't prepared for that. I thought he could remain standoffish, but couldn't I think Laura is beautiful compared to Sarah. She was cute, but Laura has a special look about her. Her slight difference in looks gives her a beautiful face, not just pretty, cute and cuddly, gorgeous and beautiful. Well, so far anyway. Looking at the video, Sarah was boyish looking. Laura has definitely feminine features. They are chalk and cheese, and truthfully, just as well. Wouldn't have handled about one like Sarah. She saved her life by being different. 

November 3 1997

Why is it when I'm so tired, I'm feeling sick, shitty, I can't sleep, very depressed with myself at the moment, feeling deprived of my freedom. I know that's the price that you pay for having a baby, but I'd not be human if it didn't get me down a little every now and then. It's because my release and enjoyment of the gym's been taken away. I have to take her with me most times now, which means I can't enjoy myself and turn off like I usually do because she's there and I worry about her. Someone's awake. Got to go. Lost it with her earlier. Left her crying in the bedroom and had to walk out. That feeling was happening and I think it was because I had to clear my head and prioritise as I've done in her now. I love her, I really do. I don't want anything to happen.

November 9 1997

Craig was pretty drunk Friday night. In his drunken stupor he admitted he is not really happy. There's a problem with his security level with me and he has a morbid fear about Laura. He - well I know there's nothing wrong with her, nothing out of the ordinary anyway. Because it was me, not them. Think I handle her fits of crying better than I did with Sarah. I've learned to, once getting to me, to walk away and breathe in for a while myself. It helps me cope and figure out how to help me. With Sarah all I wanted was her to shut up and one day she did. 

December 8 1997

Had a bad day today. Lost it with Laura a couple of times. She cried most of the day. Why do I do that? Must learn to read her better. She is pretty straightforward. She either wants to sleep or doesn't. Got to stop placing so much importance on myself. Must try to release my stress somehow. I'm starting to take it out on her. Bad move. Bad things and thoughts happen when that happens. It will never happen again.

December 15 1997

Kaz sent a beautiful angel and teddy for Laura. Both her and Craig are convinced that Laura's soul is not her now. By the looks of it. Me, well, I'm sure she met everyone and they've told her 'don't be a bad or sickly kid. Mum may, you know, crack it'. They've warned her. Good. But she is still her own little person and will always be. Must stop calling her Sarah. She's most definitely not her. 

December 31 1997

Getting Laura to be [one] next year ought to be fun. She'll realise a party is going on and that will be it. Wonder if the battle of wills will start with her and I then? We'll actually get to see. She is a fairly good-natured baby. Thank goodness. It will save her from the fate of her siblings. I think she was warned. 

January 16 1998

Been daydreaming again about life on my own. Wild, highly exaggerated as if I could or really want to. Always seem to when not really happy. Sorry to say I don't get excited anymore. Craig just doesn't do it for me anymore. Has to be because of this last pregnancy, plus I'm tired all the time. Want to do nothing but sleep. It's not Craig, it's me. Plus we don't get to go out to dinner or dancing together anymore. There isn't much - well, there's no romance between us any more. It's all let's make money and raise Laura. We've forgotten ourselves in the process. Sad how that happens. One of my problems is I've lost me again. I'm just Mrs Craig Folbigg. No I'm just Laura's mother as well. Where's Kath gone, a person in her own right who needs to have writing lessons, but probably better if I don't. Then no one, not even me, will be able to read this when I'm gone.

January 20 1998

Very depressed with myself, angry and upset. I've done it. I've lost it with her. I yelled at her so angry that it scared her. She hasn't stopped crying. Got so bad I nearly purposely dropped her on the floor and left her. I was restrained enough to walk away. Went to my room and left her to cry. Was gone only five minutes, but it seemed like a lifetime. I feel like the worst mother in the earth. Scared that she'll leave me now like Sarah did. I know I was short-tempered and cruel sometimes to her and she left with a bit of help. I don't want that to ever happen again. I actually seem to have a bond with Laura. It can't happen again. I'm ashamed of myself. I can't tell Craig about it because he'll worry about leaving her with me. Only seems to happen if I'm too tired. Her moaning, bored whingey sound drives me up the wall. I truly can't wait until she's old enough to tell me what she wants.  

January 20 1998

The gym was a pivotal part of me and now, because I can't go without taking Laura, it's put a damper on everything. I've had my one and only escape taken away from me.

January 28 1998

Scared that she'll leave me now like Sarah did. I knew I was short tempered and cruel sometimes to her and she left with a little bit of help. I don't want that to ever happen again. I actually seem to have a bond with Laura. It can't happen again.

March 6 1998

Laura not well. Really got on my nerves today. Snapped and got really angry, but not nearly as bad as I was to get. 

March 13 1998

Feeling very dissatisfied tonight. With myself, my life, Craig. What can I do... I need him to take some of the stress of looking after her off me. He seems to be failing lately.  


Episode Forty: Jennifer Kesse

Episode Forty: Jennifer Kesse

Episode Thirty-Nine: Kathleen Folbigg

Episode Thirty-Nine: Kathleen Folbigg