Happy Mothers Day to the Damaged Ones


Mothers Day can remind us of the times in our lives when we wanted a loving mother to hold us and comfort us, but she wasn’t there for us. Whether the reason was because she was no longer in your life, or her ‘motherly ways’ were not in evidence, your mother was unable to give us the mothering we needed when we were damaged by our abuser/s.

But even though your mother wasn’t there then, I hope you are now in a better position with your mother, or with your thoughts on how she gave you new skills, how your own abilities increased, or how other people came into your life to give you some solace in your mother’s absence. If you are a mother yourself, you know how damned hard it can be at times.

Mothers live with the pain, the panic, the joys that pregnancy and then bringing a new person into the world. Sometimes though, the joys can take a very long time to arrive, and the pain and panic seem to rule our world. I hope that you are always able to find other people who truly understand what you are going through, and who can hold you so that the crumbled pieces of yourself stay together, until the internal glue of the love you feel for your child manages to stick your pieces firmly together.

safetalk

This process can take so long at times. I know I was a mother for nearly five years before I began to feel I really was nearly the mother I’d told myself I would be, while I was pregnant. I was going to be the best mother in the world. Instead, I’m a ‘near enough is good enough’ mother, and nearly twenty-five years after my son’s birth, that’s all I have to be. Perfection is overrated, and no-one can be a perfect mother, the creature doesn’t exist, I don’t think.

If we didn’t have a good, or good enough mother, that can make the whole ‘becoming a mother’ process harder, because you can’t follow what she showed you, because she didn’t herself know how to do it. If that’s the case, I hope you can find others who can show you, through how they deal with their own children, a good way to go with your own child, knowing though that each child is unique.

Loving your child, and yourself, doing the best you can, and seeking and accepting help, these things can help all of us mothers. We can join together in a band of motherhood, and be forces for good, because no-one does ‘good’ as well as a good mother does!

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This is Heartbreaking


The ABC have put out a story on their ABC  News channel, and as I was reading it, I was remembering certain things from my past, back when I too, was a young woman, trying to negotiate the twisting path of having a life, having a fun time, and being safe. The story had so many echoes happening in my mind, and it made me think, and I’ve decided to help spread the word, in the hope that good things may still come from this awful thing.

This could have been me, or you, or you. The story told here is a story no-one would ever want to be able to tell, but so many women, and some men too, could tell a similar story. Being drunk and doing reckless things are no reason you should be abused. The young man had also been drinking, that is no excuse for his behaviour, as being drunk was no excuse for hers. Being drunk may be the reason, but it isn’t an excuse.

Thinking about how this young person, Saxon Mullins, was treated, raped, it makes my heart break a little, but I am so glad that she seemingly is now seeing this as an opportunity to do some good. I’ve also been hearing on the news today that this issue of ‘consent’ is going to be looked into further and possibly be legislated on. Saxon Miullins did not consent to having sex with her abuser, she was raped. If a woman isn’t obviously keen to having sex with you, and you have sex with her anyway, you could well be raping her.

How many cases of rape are there that go unreported? Many. many more than you may realise. And never forget that a child is unable to give consent to a sexual act with an adult, no matter how keen they may be on the thought of it. Children must be protected, from others and from themselves, because that is what a good society is there to do.

This is a sad story, as I said. Please make it become a better story …

Healing the Damaged Ones


We can be damaged in our lives in many, many different ways. Sometimes the damage is external, sometimes it is internal. Nature can damage us, the crazy thoughts we have can damage us by making us not take adequate of ourselves, or convince us to damage ourselves in other ways. Other people can damage us, on purpose or accidentally.

We fall over, catch diseases, have car accidents, get sporting injuries, so many ways to be damaged. Getting over the damage, any damage, can take time. And sometimes we may not realise there is psychological damage there too, that gets missed as we concentrate on healing our physical damage. If you are healed of the physical, but are still feeling low, you must certainly look at any other ways you may be hurting.

Visiting your medical advisor is always a good idea it you are hurt. They heal our physical aches and pains, and they can point us toward the other medical people available, the ones who cure our mental ills, or at least try to. When all of this is happening, there are ways we can help ourselves, ways that are not instead of the ways provided by others, but things we can do at home, by ourselves, if and when we have quiet times.

write yourself well flyerI’m speaking here of Narrative Therapy, where we can try to write out way to wellness. I have been involved in presenting workshops in this method, as well as applying these ideas to my own mental aches and pains. I have two blogs that refer in part to some of these ideas, the first is this blog, where I refer to sexual abuse and healing from it, the second is another blog of mine, which refers to Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic illness I was diagnosed with back in 2010.

Writing Ideas & Journal Prompts

The following ideas and writing prompts are great ways to continue your journaling practice or to get yourself “unstuck” if you’re not sure what to write about next.

For instance, you could try the five writing exercises from this website

  1. Writing a letter to yourself
  2. Writing letters to others
  3. Writing a poem
  4. Free writing (just writing everything that comes to mind)
  5. Mind mapping (drawing mind maps with your main problem in the middle and branches representing different aspects of your problem)

 

Some of my own ideas, which I have done myself, and felt good from include simply writing a list of the things I am grateful for, every day, for a while. This makes me pay better attention to my life, and opens my eyes to the good things that are out there, waiting for me to see them.

Another idea I’ve had, that I haven’t actually used yet, but am a little bit excited about, is the idea of writing a shopping list for the things I want or need for a better life. This list can be a list of real things that you can buy in a shop, like chocolate, or new curtains, or it can be a list of more metaphysical things, including perhaps ‘better ideas’, smiles from strangers, or a bank balance that never gets to zero.

Exercises like these can help us, maybe not in ways that are immediately obvious, but it ways that can assist in shifting our thoughts from constantly gloomy ones, on to more positive thoughts. What do you think? I am hoping to be working with people on these kinds of things, with the intent of helping them, as I have in the past. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them, leave a message!

Sharing Our Stories


I ran a beautiful poetry workshop today, one where stories were told, possibly for the first time, and fine poetry was written as well. I ran this workshop, based on the idea of using the poetry of other poets, as inspriration for our own poetry, in a variety of different ways.

picture jen 013_edited

This image is from the front cover of my first poetry collection, and it was a book that promoted the talk of child sexual abuse. The collection is the same name as this blog site. Talking about these things can help to bring healing to people, in knowing that are not alone in their lives, and other people have been through these kinds of terrible things too.

There were happier things talked and written about today, happy times, happy memories. It was a great session, and in the future I can see myself talking to a diverse range of people, using poetry to help people to connect more deeply with a variety of things in their lives. Creative writing brings much good!

At the session, some poets changed a few words to come up with completely different poems, some used the other poems to inspire there own poem on a similar theme, and other ways to use the words of another poet. This is certainly a workshop I would like to run again, somewhere, sometime. Prompting poetry from new poets, or new poetic forms from poets who only use only the one form, these are exciting things!

Tomorrow I’m heading off to a brand new poetry group that is being run by a friend, and that excites me too. Poetry is a fine way of connecting to hidden parts of the brain, and can create amazing things. I have been so happy to have worked with the women I was working today, and on Monday last week, and I hope we can maintain this relationship in other places soon, or the same place perhaps next year.

I strongly believe that writing about troubling things can help people who suffer, and that writing can help you to find ease in tiomes when you feel troubled. Indeed, one of the people there today spoke about this, and was glad that she has creative writing, in particular poetry to help her to get noxious thoughts out of her head.

If talk on these subjects hurts you, I sincerely hope you have people who can be there if and when you need them. Talking helps, silence or blaming from others hurts. Please seek help if you need it, no-one should suffer any further than they already have.

 

Stories Shared


I shared the poetry collection that gives this blog its name last week, and I feel humbled and proud by the way my poetry touched the person I loaned my book too. Remembering the time when I collated and published this poetry collection brought back the happy and proud memories, that I was able to produce such a intimate and personal collection at a time when I was actually learning how to live with a new chronic illness, Multiple Sclerosis. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

At the time, I was unable to easily get out and about much, and in fact struggling from one end of the house (where my bedroom is), to the other end of the house, (where the family room and computer are). But struggle I did, using the walls and a walking stick to make the distance, and possibly leaving finger marks along the way …

Sharing this story, and thinking on my journey from a victim to a survinver and now a person who is thriving, is certainly something to be proud of, and I am proud of that. Being able to share can help others to also share their story, with other victims, knowing they will understand, when others might not.

This sharing can help to raise the profile of sexual abuse, and perhaps help those who have not found the courage to tell yet. My hope is that abusers may meet the law and get the treatment they deserve, through getting caught, and being jailed. Sexual abuse is an incidious crime, where victims so often get blamed for the awful things done to them. This further victimisation, ‘victim blaming’ makes me furious, and I would love the practise to stop. Victims deserve our kindness, not our further abuse.

Not Their Fault


I’ve almost finished reading an article I found on the internet today, and I felt compelled to write something about it. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to write, but first up, I say thank you, and I urge other people coming to this blog to take a look at the article too. This is an article which on the face of it, is about a book for young adult readers, but it is about so much more than that.

As a person who has been up close and all too personal with sexual abuse, I can feel the shame of others who have been raped. The should haves, and could haves, and the would haves can tie us up into knots, and then nothing at all might happen to try to make anything at all better. I am certainly living a much better life now, a more ordered life, a safer life, and I feel safe and loved. I am grateful of this fact, but I am all too aware of how that could so easily go wrong.

If I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, then I could become a rape victim, again. And where could the wrong place, and when could the wrong time be? Well they could be anywhere, and any time. It could be the next time I go out at night by myself, or with others, it could be at home at night, in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon. Every time I am out, I could become a victim of rape. And I could be a victim of rape in my own home too, any of us could, man, woman or child.

And of course the latter two, child or woman are the more vulnerable to attack, simply because they are weaker. But more than that, they are both sexualised and desired as objects, when we’re living in a society (in the western world) where being able to get what you want is what we are trained to believe in as our divine right. Well, not all of us feel like that, but certainly a large proportion of the those in society do.

I’m not pointing the finger at any particular group, you can do that yourself. Well I will point the finger, actually, because it’s obvious to me that it’s privileged people who most strongly believe they have the right to get all they desire, and the most privileged people in western world are of course white men. Not every white man is a rapist or even a potential rapist, but they are more often the perpetrators of this crime. And yes, men get raped too, but are more likely to be by another man, although sometimes by a woman. This is not something I know about personally, that is not what I know enough to write about.

And as soon as a woman stands up and says she was raped, many people, white people of either gender, will tut tut at what she was wearing, question her wisdom in being where she was, wherever she was, and for whatever reason she was there. The truth is, women should be where there want to be, and should be safe while they’re there doing whatever they want to be doing.

If I could do one thing in my life, I would like to say to all people who have been raped that it was not their fault, it was the fault of their rapist. Please dob’t ever believe you deserved this.

 

 

 

Feeling Proud


When I think about some of the things I’ve done in my life, I cringe, and could be sad. But then I think about some of the other things I’ve done in my live and I am proud, and being able to be proud of things I’ve done makes me very happy indeed!

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes sometimes. We get in contact with people who do bad things to us, or maybe lead us astray. All we can do is to keep trying to remember ourselves when we are doing good things, feeling happy, and not at odds with our wants and needs. And surely we all want to be able to be proud of ourselves, every now and then, if not all of the time. Remembering my early years, there are things there no-one should be proud of, but I have matured, and I hope become a better person than I could have been.

Today I have done two things, both of them related to each other. I’m very proud of myself for one of those things, but I’m not proud of myself for the other one. Some people would downplay their pride for the good thing they did, but get stuck into themselves for the other thing, the one they’re certainly not proud of. Not me though.

I am the editor of a monthly newsletter, the Mallala Crossroad Chronicle. I am in charge of putting it together, sending it off to be printed, and then distributing it. Today I finished doing the February issue of the Chronicle, and sent it off to be printed, early, and looking great, if I do say so myself! So yes, I’m definitely proud of myself for this.

The Chronicle started in 2004, when I was working for the Mallala Economic Development Board. This was the first newsletter I’d ever been involved in producing, and even though I was working on it with someone else, I could see we were doing good work. The Chronicle was two pieces of paper back then, printed on both sides, and distributed to various places in the town of Mallala.

These many years later, I’m the person doing this job, with many people providing material to me, via email, or from me finding or writing up things I feel the people of Mallala might be interested in. It’S a volunteer job, done in a professional manner, most of the time. Today though, after sending off the Chronicle, I received the email that could have cut me down again, if I’d let it. I was alerted to an article that was sent to me at the end of January, that was intended to go into the February issue of the Chronicle.

I checked my emails, and yes, there it was, sitting there waiting for me … Oh, dear, what to do? Well what could I do, it was too late to stop the presses, so I immediately sent a message to this person, whose assistance I value, a email apologising for my error in leaving this article out. I didn’t tell myself off, too much, but I did chide myself a little, and I hope this incident will help to encourage me to be more careful about checking my emails in the future.

So yes, I am human, I make mistakes, but I never try to blame other people, simply accept that I have erred, and apologise, as anyone surely should do. And I am able to forgive myself for my error, and hope the other person will forgive me too.checkered stobey

To Forgive is Divine?


Some things may seem unforgivable, until you talk to the wrongdoer. Other things are easy to forgive, because we’ve done the same kind of thing ourselves. Do I believe to forgive is divine? Well no, I can’t do that, not in the strictest sense of the word divine. I don’t believe there is a God, or there are more than one God. I don’t believe there is any God, and the word divine, in the original sense means ‘from God’, or ‘relating to God’.

I do believe that it is important to carefully consider the things that happen, whether good things or bad things, and think further on the intention of the relevant person, and why they did something that impacted strongly on you. Some people may do unexpected good or nice things for you, but they have an ulterior motive for doing so. That would mean you shouldn’t be too grateful to them, if they benefit from the thing too.

And if someone does something that harms you, that can be even harder to forgive someone for. But of course, if the wrongdoer is or at least appears to you to be sorry, well then if you can find it within yourself to forgive them, it’s a good idea to do it. Carrying the burden on not liking someone because ‘they done you wrong’, can be a heavy burden to carry, whether you realise it or not. I know from my personal experience, finding the ability to forgive in the past has eased my mind.

clover burrs

(not sure if I can forgive these clover burrs! haha)

Forgiving is one thing, but forgetting can be exactly the wrong thing to do. I will never forget, but in remembering, I will also remember the circumstances, and the reason why and how I was able to find the strength to forgive. I certainly feel morally better for being able to find that forgiveness, and I feel better about myself too. Holding onto the feelings of outrage over this thing was actually causing me stress, which I hadn’t realised until that forgiveness occurred, and I felt hugely relieved. That was a strong lesson to me indeed.

When a person has a chronic illness, stress can be even worse for them than it can be for other people. I know I don’t cope well with stress, and will try hard to keep my life a stress free one. That doesn’t mean I won’t do things that may be difficult, or new, or even a bit worrying, no, it just means I will find ways to make it easier for myself, and have others involved who know what’s happening too, just in case. Having people around who I know I can rely on is one of my important guards in my life. Friends, family, others who know me and my limitations, that makes my life easier, and so more enjoyable for all.

So if I get overexcited and say or do the wrong thing, I hope others will try to forgive me, and I would try to forgive them, for the betterment of all!

Brand New Poem


picture jen 013_edited

I wrote a new poem today, something that has been sitting around the back of my head for quite some time, I suspect. I’ve been a poet for some time now, and I know that some poems can emerge into the world quite quickly, while others take some time, and the right circumstances to come to fruition. This poem of today, is one of those poems that come into the world only after much churning through my subconscious mind.

It was triggered by a conversation on Facebook with one of my dearest friends, and I and very glad her words and my own have combined to assist with the birth of this poem. I hope others like it as much as I do. I love it when something I write seems true and good to me almost straight away, although, I also love the fact I can go back and edit it if I feel I need to! Haha

This is the poem, and the subject matter that begins the poem (sexual abuse) is certainly not something to laugh at. There is certainly a good ending though. Good friends can make good ends for most things …

 

When I Burned My Teen-aged Thoughts

 

When I burnt my diary, I burned and destroyed

The truth, or parts of my truth, the things

That made up a part of who I was, thinking

That ‘who’ wasn’t the ‘who’ I wanted to be

 

The diary contained things no-one, surely

Would want to share, the shameful things

Done to me, and or by me, who can tell which?

But at the time, I felt the fire cleansed me

 

I wasn’t that soiled, stupid young woman

Trying to understand the confusing things

That had happened, I was a mother now

And making sense of it, to set myself free

 

But these many years on, a deeper maturity

Has come, and in sharing with others, wisdom.

I sense a wrong & understand, the ‘cleansing ritual’

Hid away the many things others couldn’t see …

 

People aren’t all good, clean, pure, nearly saintly

They’re also bad, vile, & dirty callous things

As well – hiding from that showed my ignorance –

They were the price to pay, & I’d paid my fee

 

I’ve joined a supportive posse now, a glorious group

Of wonderful women, sharing wise thoughts & things

We share meals, & show our scars, lessons, & truths,

We hug & laugh & we all suit each other down to a tee!

The Day #MeToo Arrived


I’ve been commenting, reading, thinking, remembering, trying to forget, offering ideas, support, thinking, thinking and thinking. Life is a crazy jumble of things both good and bad, and current thing is one that I feel I have to get a handle on, so I can reach out and take a strong hold on myself, and my own story.

When I feel like I have to properly understand who I feel about something, often poetry is my easiest and best way to do it. So today, as things are swirling around on Facebook, Twitter and inside my head, I have written a poem. I’m not saying this is a fantastic poem, but I hope people reading it may get a bit of an idea on what my thoughts have been, and where they may be taking me.

So, this is the new poem, please read it and think on the things that may have gone into the writing of it. Anger rather than shame is the emotion that made me write it. I didn’t deserve the bad things that have happened to me, and if you’re a woman or an abused vulnerable boy or man, you probably didn’t deserve it either.

 

Me Too – Some of My Ideas

 

When I was young and felt his tongue

Pushing down my throat

I didn’t like it, no not at all

That stupid randy old goat

 

The ‘he’ here covers many men

From family to friends and more

Born a girl, it goes with the turf

But I didn’t know what was in store …

 

I don’t know names of all the men

Who’ve invaded my personal space

I’ve tried to forget the details too

To disappear without a trace …

 

But yesterday ‘Me Too’ arrived

And I realised anger’s an emotion too

I’ve decided to ditch the word ashamed

And hope my sistas can too

 

We didn’t ask to be assaulted,

Felt up, abused or raped

Having tits and a vagina though

It’s how our life journey is shaped …

 

© Carolyn Cordon 2017