Forgiveness is Divine?


Forgiveness is Divine? Really? When you are wronged by another, sure, we’re supposed to forgive and forget, but that idea is one that can never come easily, especially when the one who offended against you, is getting away with horrendous behaviour.

This article talks about the concept, and explains how the concept of forgiving, especially forgiving by women of the men. The women are labelled, shamed, and spoken of in derogatory ways, because of the fact they haven’t seen to do the ‘correct thing’ and forgive those wrongdoer/s.

The Bible contains much on the idea of forgiveness, with much of it talking about God forgiving us of our sins, if we can forgive those who sin against us. This is a long row to hoe, in my opinion, but further study has indicated what forgiveness doesn’t entail, and that made it all seem a little easier to swallow.

Forgiveness of the one who acted against you, doesn’t mean condoning their behaviour. In Judaism there is talk of no need for forgiveness if there is no repentance shown by the offender. I’m OK with that idea, because I think that trying to forgive someone who shows no repentance would feel, does feel, impossible

I am appalled at the way that women have been labelled as crazy, a bitch, for failing to forgive those who ‘sin’ against them. To do that takes an enormous level of faith that God will ultimately make it all good, forgiving your sins if you forgive the sins of others. This is all very well for those people who deeply believe in God, and feel that God will deal with those awful ones who have done terrible things. The idea is irrelevant to those who don’t believe in God, of course.

When considering this thing from the Stoic point of view, then you should automatically give forgiveness, in this case, whether there is any repentance or not, because obviously the wrongdoer is lacking in enough wisdom to realise their error. And the gaining of wisdom, is up to the person themselves, not to you. Move on from them, after forgiving them, and continue with your life, leaving anger and other negative emotions behind.

I am new to the ideas of Stoicism, and will think about this idea of forgiveness, as it applies to me, but I realise that I cannot tell others how they should act, what they should do. It is up to all to decide on how to act when important issues are at hand. I will endeavour to act in the way that most follows Stoic thought, but as I indicated, I am new to all of this ‘Stoic stuff’ …

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Who Will Protect the Vulnerable?


When I heard of the killing of a young woman in Victoria today, I was sad, but when I further read that it appears she was the fourth such victim there recently, I began to get angry. This young woman,  Courtney Herron, has had a tough life, but that doesn’t mean she deserves what happened to her. No-one deserves to be brutally beaten to death. The fact that she appears not to have been sexually abused does not make her death “ok”, it is still a terrible tragedy.

Living away from a safe and steady home is an unsafe life. This seems to have been Ms Herron’s situation, but this still does not mean her murder was less tragic than the murder of anyone else. All people deserve to be well treated in their lives, men, women and children, from all ‘classes’ life.

Homelessness is an ongoing issue – homes are left unlived in, rents rise, and benefits for society’s most vulnerable people stay low, so the housing that is there and available, remains out of their reach. Society is failing vulnerable people in many ways, and not enough is being done to remedy these issues.

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I am simply one person, not on any formal position, but a person still who cares, and is able to raise concerns, in the hope that my words may be read, thought on, and reacted to. Women and children are abused, men also get bashed and killed, this is a fact, but just because it is a fact, that doesn’t mean we can shrug our shoulders.

One day, will people be safe to be outside at night, or will we always be at risk? To say a woman shouldn’t be out at night is a nonsense, if you have no home to go to, how on earth does a woman stay out of sight? And if anyone feels it’s the woman’s fault for being out, I say NO! It is the fault of the person who brutally bashed the woman, there are no excuses ever.

 

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Attacks such as this one, go well beyond anyone could ever claim was ‘self defense’, and is far more likely to have been committed by a man and not a woman, although the fact of no sexual abuse may negate that thought. I don’t know the truth of all of what happened on this occasion, the police have the evidence and expertise, not me.

I am just sad to see yet another person die, someone who has suffered in life, and suffered even more in death. To say her suffering is over now means nothing, because now that she is dead, she will never have the chance to begin to live a better life, to meet or even to think about, any possible higher goals.

I am a deep believer in the idea that all of us are on a life-journey to live the best life possible to us, and seeing people who are unable to even begin to think on such thoughts saddens me. Having the gift of life, living in this wonderful country of Australia, these mean much is possible to us, but these can so easily be wasted, by our own inaction, or brutally trashed by the actions of others.

Is this a feminist issue? Should anyone who calls themselves a feminist sleep easy, knowing another woman has been the victim, seemingly, of the violence of a man? Gendered crime is a real thing, the beating to death of a woman, was that an angry act against feminism? Men who feel woman are nothing, and it’s alright to beat them to death, these are the kinds of people unlikely to ever think feminism is anything to celebrate.

 

What can be done to connect with such people? Can their minds be turned around, so they feel differently, and begin to value the lives of all? I hope so, but need to know more. Am I merely a lone voice, lamenting such matters? I hope not. Will you join me, and share your words and thoughts about these tragic events? Hope you might …

This is Molly, a Story …


I had an idea yesterday, and I’m exploring it a little further, looking for the best place and way to best use that story. I suddenly realised, just now, that this website might be the most suitable place to use the idea.

I hope that once I finish this story of Molly, it will have a happy ending, but for many vulnerable people, women and girls like Molly, there is no happy ending for them, even in death. Dying is never a happy ending, and surely in a society with as many resources as we have in Australia, and other, similar countries, people like Molly should be able to get the help they need?

 

If you know why Molly doesn’t smile, and are living the same sad and dangerous life that Molly lives, please seek help. The numbers here are a good place to go for help. No-one should have to live with abuse, not at home, not when out.

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I have done a few “This is Molly” pieces, and put the first two on my writer website/blog. Feel free to have a look, and leave a comment there, or here if you wish to. I can’t help financially, but I will read what you write, and will respond thoughtfully.

No-one should ever have to live through terrible things, and not have anyone who will at least be there to hear their story, and respond with compassion, empathy, and belief. Listening with empathy, responding with belief and compassion, these are abilities of most people, if they think properly about the person who is talking to them.

 

Many Kinds of Violence


I was reading this article

‘It’s a man’s problem’: Patrick Stewart and the men fighting to end domestic violence

today, and it got me thinking, again, on the subject of violence to vulnerable others. It isn’t always men who are attacking, raping, killing, but it is certainly men acting in these  ways more often than women.

Women do attack others, physically, emotionally, financially, yes, but the truth is that both physical and other forms of violence are more often committed by men. If you’re a man, and have been attacked by a woman, I am sorry for you. I wish no-one ever experienced violence of any kind.

It is a fact of life though, that those with power will always attack the vulnerable, and the ‘vulnerable’ are more likely to be women and children. Men tend to be the ones more ‘in power’ over the weaker people in the world.

If you experience any violence from someone then you must find a way to find help. Talk to others you trust, go to the police (if it is safe to do so), find help wherever you can. If you witness this kind of violence, offer help to the person being attacked, merely being there can help. Keep yourself safe, though.

Of course, young children can be victims of abuse, whether physically, emotionally, or sexually, abused. This is a terrible thing that our society must fight against, and we must be prepared to help if and when it happens and we hear about it. If a person knows but does nothing, they are throwing the abused person to the wolves, and surely no-one wants to do that.

 

Damage Takes Many Forms


In Australia at the moment, there has been a lot of talk about sexual abuse, particularly abuse by a high-profile religious person, Cardinal George Pell. The abuse happened many years ago, but the repercussions of that abuse are still happening. A man has had details of the abuse done to him put ‘out there’ in public, another man has committed suicide.

Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has had a higher profile in Australia and beyond, since the Gillard government held a royal commission into this in 2012. Many politicians gave support to this and many stories were shared, perhaps for the first time, for many.

To have these kinds of things in the media again, will bring out more stories, more memories for those who have been victims of sexual abuse, whether as a child, or adult, and whether in an institution, or somewhere else. Sex abuse is one of the most profound abuses a person can receive, when their own body is invaded against their will …

I feel for all of us who are thinking about, or struggling not to think about our own circumstances. These things cause trauma to our bodies, stresses from what has happened, and what else could possibly happen cause further damage, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), is a not an unusual result.

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May there be blue skies, and flowers for every victim, and may their life become a flourishing happy space to be in.

I have found happiness, in a successful marriage of over thirty years, and in the various connections I have made with many wonderful people through some of the things I am involved with, out in my various communities. I don’t hide away from the bad that has been in my life, instead I have shared my tale, but it has taken me all of my married years and the years before that, to get to my level of peace.

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Books and writing have certainly helped me through the saddest parts of my life, and I am still finding good things in my life, through the written word, in my published books, and the books I am continuing to write, and I hope, have published. Life is a journey, with many roads and paths, some good roads, some dead ends, some paths leading to beautiful places. I take many roads, and have seen many lovely things!

When Those We Trusted Went Bad


Sexual abuse of children by adults has happened many times, probably always. But certainly these days, society makes an effort to try to keep children safe from those who would cause them sexual harm.

Today, a man who many people trusted, has been charged for actions he took many years ago, that broke that trust. Cardinal Pell, of the Catholic Church, is in the process of getting he deserved, for going evil things to boys who certainly did not deserve to be shamefully treated the way they were.

The person whose words I heard spoken earlier today, apparently is still a believer in God, and is still a member of the Catholic Church, not blaming that church for what happened, but blaming just the person who was the one who did the acts, from which he still suffers. Having your trust broken, can do untold psychological damage, and also physiological damage …

Children should always be allowed to grow, undamaged, and with every possible effort given, to assist them so they can reach their full potential. I wonder how many such damaged people there are, out there in the world, still trying to find ways to live a good and decent life, after having had unspeakable things done to them, when they were far too young to be able to help themselves, and recover. And how many abusers are out there, who will never be found, so never receive the punishment they deserve.

I am not a religious person, but even so, I can see that religious people certainly put their trust in the people who lead them, and to have that trust broken, that must surely hurt? I hope that everyone involved in this, can find helpful ways to get through it all, I really do.

Ways We Harm Children


  • Every time we tell a child to sit down and wait, and then ignore them, we are damaging that child.
  • Every time we promise a child something we know we cannot give them we are damaging that child.
  • Every time we favour our own wants over those of a child, we are damaging that child.
  • Every time we favour someone else’s child over our own, we are damaging that child.
  • Every time we leave our child with someone else when we go to something interesting, that they would have been capable of doing, viewing, seeing, too, we are damaging that child.
  • There are other ways, but I expect you have understood what I am saying here – our children deserve every good experience we can give them, so they can grow and learn to be good and resilient people. Because no parent is perfect, no matter how hard they try, but working through their imperfect upbringing is one of the tools our children can and will use, to become that resilient we want them to be, for their own good, for all of us who will ever come into contact with that child, all through their life.

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Because you know what, it’s true – Those damaged children can still learn, and grow, and become fine people, if they can get the love and attention they need, sometimes, from someone. If you are a parent, and you want your child to be the best they can be, for themselves, and yes, and for you, their parent too, do them a favour, do society a favour, and pay attention to your child, as much and as often as you can.

Children learn things in a vast number of different ways. They learn by seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting, but also but less obvious ways, and they are sensing things and learning things, every single day. They copy, they try things out, they practice, they experiment – if they see you doing something, you’d do best to make sure it’s something you’ll feel OK if they do the same thing, because they will do it.

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Can you blame them? Parents and other relevant adults in a child’s life are those they will learn from, as well of course as television and other forms of media, and from their friends, and everyone else they see. If you want your child to read books, make sure they see you reading books, read to them, give them books, take them to libraries! If you want them to eat good food, do the same yourself, and have good and nutritious food available for them.

Take your child for walks, visit museums and art galleries, try out things with your child – horse riding, kite flying, gardening, mountain climbing, watching sport, taking part in sport, everything and anything, if you do it with your child, they will learn as you both learn, strengthening themselves as you strengthen your relationship with your child.

Women and Children, Potential Victims …


I am finding these kinds of thoughts come to my mind often, these days, and today wrote a poem about problems women may face when a man decides to do the ‘wrong thing’. I am writing a poem a day, every day, for all of February, and a surprising range of subject matter is coming out of my brain!

So the poem written today, which is here, is only related in a sideways kind of way to the subject of child abuse, but really, sexual abuse, no matter the age or gender, is still an awful thing. Abuse is abuse, and it is always wrong.

I find writing poetry helps me to feel a level of control over my life, and I enjoy looking at what I think, after I have written a new poem, sometimes I even impress myself, which is always a lovely thing to do, if things have been going not so well, as can happen sometimes.

Dogs, disability, friendship, plants, Nature, pop culture, children, eating good food, community, and even more things, I can write about them all!

If these issues are of interest to you, please feel free to go to the other blog site, and perhaps take a look at the other things I’ve been writing poetry about – my topics of interest are wide and varied, happy, sad, good, and bad …

Pedophiles Back in the News


So thanks to a couple of Australian politicians, Peter Dutton and Derryn Hinch, pedophiles are back in the news, with many people demanding something gets done about this terrible thing to do. Children are precious citizens, and possible world leaders in the making. Ill treatment when young though, can cause PTSD, which can cause many different problems for the entire life of the victim. These problems can be physical or mental, or both, and can be further unwelcome reminders about what happened to them earlier.

There are many who say the actions suggest by the politicians are nowhere near as effective as is being suggested. I am no expert in these things, I am a victim of a pedophile though. If it had been known that the man who abused me was liable to do such things, I certainly hope the adults in charge of my welfare would have taken action to prevent it from happening.

So is that the kind of thing adults who care for children, parents, guardians, teachers need to know about? Postcodes of sexual abusers of children, that are know about by the authorities. Postcodes cover quite large areas sometimes, and knowing there are X number of pedophiles in a particular area could be quite meaningless, in reality. Quite frightening too, and on a financial basis, bad for property values, to be totally realistic.

Something I do know, is that the talk about these kinds of things bring back memories, awful memories, of things an abused person doesn’t want to remember. And of course there are so many abusers out there who are doing their terrible things inside their own family home, completely unknown to the authorities. This ‘newsworthiness’ may possibly encourage victims to come to those authorities, and possibly bring the abusers to justice.

But one thing that is far more likely to happen is that victims are going to go on facing the reality of what has been done to them, long after the abuse, so it can feel like the pain and hurt just keep on going, with no end in sight.

 

A Life Mission?


I am a simple person, but I have some big ideas. I have the feeling I can help other people, indeed, I feel I must do work that helps others. I am community minded, and take good things from the works I do that connect with other people in ways that are helpful.

I am not a saint, by any means, although have a silly idea that I may one day become a secular saint, I know I don’t really believe I could do that, it’s just for a bit of a giggle really. Having a silly giggle every now and then adds fun times to life, don’t they? Life can get almost unbearably serious at times …

But life is serious at times, and another of my ‘things I’d like to do’ is to become a public speaker, and one of the things I feel I must speak out about is domestic violence, and sexual violence in general. I have my own story, which I have worked through via poetry, as a form of narrative therapy.
My poetry collection with the same name as this blog haleped me to come to terms with the sexual abuse I received from men known to me, when I was much younger. No-one should ever face that, it is as close to evil as things can get, I feel. I went for some years in my life when I didn’t write much poetry at all, but I am certainly writing a lot more these days.

If I can share my poetry, and make connections to other people who have suffered in some of the ways I have, and I can show to them, through my life which is going along well, that thngs can get better, I would be so glad … I know sharing my own story brought me a sense of understanding and a level of peace. I hope others can find the same.
We all have our own unique story, with some matching connections. The poem below talks of this, and I hope others can find a sense of ease through the reading of this poem. Being able to be heard is a wonderful thing when you have been told to keep quiet the awful things you have faced in life.
Telling Their Stories …

If you wait for that time when, finally
After years of silence, you will be able to do it,
Speak with an unshaken voice, unblock words
that stick in your throat so you choke, barely able
To utter sound without giving in to the shaky voice
You fear will take away the true meaning
Of what you have to say. This will ensure
Your words remain unspoken, you want to
Speak, but don’t. I give no blame, many others
Suffer too in silence. Yes, silent when they have
Much to say, but, but, always but … they want
To sound firm, in charge, strong. Not a girl,
Shaky-voiced, but a strong-voiced woman, one
with a story that needs to be told, & told again
& again – a story that must to be heard. Know this –
That strong-voiced woman standing proud
And strong, telling the story of her troubled life,
Found her strength, in the telling of her tale,
In blessings given, in tears shared, in hugs
From grateful others, those with voices
That shake, with truth, with pain, with hate,
With love, & with hope. May they too, one day,
Tell their stories, & find their strong voice,
In telling stories, they too have, waiting to be told …

If this poem speaks to you, please find people who will be there with you and for you if and when you need them. I have some wonderful friends, each of us damaged in ways that should never have happened, but all of us wearing our scars proudly, and still going on with our lives, and loving our connection with each other.