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 …

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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!

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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Why Feminism is Relevant


No matter your gender or sexuality, Feminism matters. Woman, man, child, hetero, gay in between or over the edges, it is all relevant, and feminism is involved in them all. Where the power is, determines where the money is. In this time, the people with the power are still mostly white men is suits, usually at least publicly straight.

If you’re not of their cohort, you aren’t going to get the some money they’re getting. The gap between worker and boss, privileged and underprivileged grows ever wider, and the number of people clamping down on those who have little, grows. The ‘haves’ have more and more and more and the ‘have-not’s have less and less and less …The media often portrays the latter group as losers who should do more, while they may like to do more, but don’t have the skills and/or money to actually do it.

When one of the groups is women who have not, you know that Feminism still has a long way to go. Yes, there are now female CEOs of companies, and female politicians in the world, but the numbers are still massively low compared to males in the same roles. And please don’t tell be the men are better qualified than the women! When you see the huge messes man have done to people and to the world, you can see many men with their ‘qualifications’ weren’t worth a thing …

Women work fewer paid hours than men, but many more unpaid hours.  Parenting should be a shared occupation in a two parent family, but figures show that even in a household with the female parent working full time and the male parent not working, the female parent still does a lot of ‘parenting’, while if the genders are reversed, the male parent does barely any actual parenting in comparison to what the female parent would have done.

picture jen 013_edited

 

While these inequalities continue, you know that Feminists still have much work to do. Governments still have work to do, the people all have much more work to do. Women can do almost every job men can do, men can do almost every job women can do – why is that large gap between what the genders earn? Sexism may not be the only reason, but you can’t convince me it isn’t a major reason.

And this gap between the power levels between men and women is nothing compared to the healthy well off people and disabled people. Those ‘lucky’ enough to be eligible for the Disability Support pension get some assistance, and some are able to get paid work, but the situation can still be very bleak for many. When you add in vulnerable children and domestic violence, the scene becomes even bleaker.

Feminism, Ageism, Racism, Sexism, Abilitism, will those who claim to run this country do much to help with all of these problems? Or will it be left to the good people who get derided for being ‘Do-gooders’, as if doing good things for others is a bad thing. I am proud to do good things for people when I can. How about you? Are you also a proud Do-gooder?

How Damaged is Much Too Damaged?


How much damage? Any damage done to a vulnerable is too much damage. People make excuses, accuse children of things beyond their comprehension. Any sexual comment or action made by an adult to a child is far too much. Are their any exceptions? Only few, and only in certain circumstances.

A police officer asking a child things to ascertain the details of possible sexual abuse, if done appropriately, that’s understandable, as long as the officer is careful. A school teacher or other such adult in the same circumstances, yes, with appropriate parental presence if suitable.

There are probably other exceptions, but thinking too much along these lines is feeling like I’m heading down dangerous paths … The main thing is always to keep in mind that children are children. They are not mini-adults, no matter how they look or what they say. And also remember that some children, may have been groomed, made ready for an adult to perform unspeakable acts.

Never name a child as a slut, or say that they ‘deserved’ it. No child or otherwise vulnerable person deserves to be abused, sexually, emotionally or physically. And getting into the ‘game’ of “my abuse was more damaging than your abuse” is a pointless and offensive thing. Every person is a unique person, with different abilities, strengths and life experience.

What one person can cope with may be more that what you could cope with perhaps – that doesn’t mean their abuse was lesser than yours, and it doesn’t mean their actually OK – they may be hiding horrendous damage and are only just able to maintain the look of coping, and the veneer could crack at any time. Take care, for yourself and for other people, always. Never assume coping is a permanent thing.

Memories can reach up and bite you from many years in your past. Taking care, talking with others who truly understand, or who are willing to listen to try to understand, these are tools to help to keep those memories under control, but you just never know. Sexual abuse can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and can go on for the survivor’s entire life, if not treated properly …

This is the website for a well respected group who can help :- Blue Knot

Current Issues, Past Issues


Although the things that caused me hurt in my childhood are not directly relevant to the political hoo haa that’s eating up Twitter at the moment (Jamie Briggs – MP going way too far), the general idea of those in power doing the wrong thing to someone they have power over, is the same. The reason for the lapses in life’s niceties was the same – drunkenness. That wasn’t an excuse when I was a child, and it isn’t now. Drinking too much is a choice made by a person. No-one forced my abuser to drink too much and abuse me. He chose to get drunk, and did it.

No-one in these circumstances was forced to drink too much. There was the option to behave well instead of behaving like an animal. That option should always be the one adhered to especially when you are in a position of power over the one you are dealing with. And with sexual advances, overt acceptance is always required. If the other person isn’t obviously open to your advances, forget about it.

In my poetry collection “damaged children, Precious Gems”, I have a poem that looked at some of these themes. It is from the “Teenage Years” section of the collection, and the relevant poem is titled ‘bragging rights’, and it talks about the difference between how males and females are referred to by their peers where sex is concerned. The young men are heroes with their mates, the young women are labelled sluts by those same young men. Here are the relevant lines:

there’s a line between hero

and slut. It’s a fine line, a very fine line

and it’s gender specific

 

It certainly looks like the ‘hero’ label was placed on or sought by Briggs, in this instance, and I wonder whether the woman would have been labelled slut if the woman had done the same thing. Either way, it was inappropriate behaviour, and the most appropriate label for Briggs over this would be ‘zero not hero’. Let your brain do your thinking, and things will go much better. Dicks aren’t known for their thinking powers.

When I was a teenager, girls who ‘put out’ were labeled like this, and now, many years later they still are labeled in this way. The boys are heroes if they have a conquest, the girls sluts, and the issue of consent is largely irrelevant to some in society. Victim blaming is rampart, and abuse is ignored is down-played as ‘bad behaviour’.

This seems wrong to me, and is wrong in the law. Why are such things accepted by so many people? Is our society really that ignorant that sexual abuse can be accepted as ‘boys being boys’ and so is OK? I don’t think it is, and I think it should be treated as what it is, sexual abuse.

Thoughts from others on this matter are welcome, as always.

Sexual Abuse of Children – New Years Resolution


For 2015 I resolve to do all I can to help to stop the damage that is done to so many children, by others who abuse them. This is usually, but not always, done by adults, who most certainly should be the people nurturing and protecting children from harm.

Children will experiment, yes, but they should not be ‘initiated’ into such things by others with sordid reasons for their illegal actions. Children should be allowed to grow, unharmed to become the best people they can become, with no bad things being done to them to make them doubt their own worth.

I realise this is a huge job to do, but little by little, if more and more people foster similar resolutions, the good things done, can far outweigh the bad.

I know there are other people who have ideas like mine, and who are working hard to help children to get over the abuse they have experienced. One such group is this one. The Bravehearts group does much in many states, and a new group in South Australia is helping them, by raising money for Bravehearts so they can continue their good work.

I dream of a future where no child suffers, and all are allowed to be children, and only move toward adulthood unchallenged by sordid adult desires.