This Royal Commission is bringing out so many stories of abuse in Australia, and I hope there is healing for the now adults who were victims of Child Abuse in institutions. Schools and teachers would be the place where children learn the things they should know to move on in life, toward adulthood.

Learning about sex and self-hatred, abuse of office and the ripping up of usual cultural norms of protecting children, these are not things children should be learning at school. When those ‘in charge’ are involved in abuse, both physical abuse, mental abuse, and sexual abuse, then the lessons learned by students are not the lessons set out in the school curriculum.

It was a brave thing for the then Prime Minister of Australia to do, but Julia Gillard did it, and many victims are now able to gain a forum to finally tell their story and have actions taken against the ones who abused them. This ‘telling their story’ issue is an important one. Many children who have been abused have tried to tell of their abuse, but been ignored, or called liars. To finally be able to speak out, to those who will listen and take action when and if necessary can be a wonderful thing.

When an adult has had such terrible things done to them, things that those in charge should have a role in protecting them from, but in fact do the complete opposite thing, that can be an emotionally crippling thing. Speaking out is a fine thing, but there can be costs there too. Speaking out can bring back to mind things that have been hidden away, and these things can certainly hurt.

Speaking out or writing about these things can be the only thing that can help an abuse person. I have found the writing of poetry and ‘fiction’ has been useful to me. Being able to write down some of the many issues abuse can bring with it ways to ‘deal with’ things, when before, the one abused felt absolutely unable to do anything at all. The writing of my poetry collection ‘Damaged Children Precious Gems’ was a positive step for me from being a victim of child abuse, to being a survivor. Sharing this book with others has brought some relief and understanding for them too.

I hope there are adequate avenues for the further protection of all of these brave people who are stepping up and telling their stories. The website for the Royal Commission has links to appropriate groups. If you are suffering and need help because of these issues, please seek the help you need.

A first avenue for the seeking of help may be something as simple as talking to other people about it. This can be confronting, but I know from personal experience that the relief from finally talking about this abuse can have good and healing effects. Hiding dark things inside yourself is not a good thing to do. Please find ways to talk with others who care and can help you, whether simply by listening as you talk, or by helping you to take further action.

There are people in the world who care about you. Please always believe that.

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http://www.theage.com.au/national/told-id-grow-out-of-it-sodomised-boy-punished-by-court-now-seeks-pardon-as-a-man-20120124-1qesc.html

 

In this case, a 14 year old boy in 1977 was charged with sodomy and dealt with in a way which makes me shudder with disbelief. When I read this story, I realised we may have become more thoughtful and caring, but we still have a long way to go.

I hope this case is dealt with in a healing way for the man involved, and I further hope the people who deal with such crimes never treat a child as this man was treated when he was so young.

The laws against sodomy have been repealed in all Australian states, with Tasmania being the last state to do so.  That is a step forward, and if it had been the case back in 1977, the young Tom Anderson would never have received such a stupid charge, but even so, the idea of charging the victim in a case such as this is terrible.

Victims of crimes are still being targeted and blamed for what happens to them. I hope our society may soon realise the stupidity and inhumanity of these actions.

 


Tomorrow I’m going to have my first ‘gig’ reading from my poetry collection since it was launched a couple of months ago. It was an interesting experience going through to very personal poems that make up this collection.

I had to examine each poem objectively – was this suitable for the probable audience, was it relevant to the event, would it be understood. I’ve picked out ten poems that I feel will work, and now I just have to get there tomorrow, remembering to bring my copy of my collection with the tags inside, and a copy of the sheet I’ve typed with page numbers and poem titles listed.

The event I’m going to tomorrow afternoon is the Night Voices “Extravaganza” The event will start at 1pm and will be held at Marion RSL Hall Norfolk Road. I’m looking forward to having a great day tomorrow of poetry, love and friendship!

This is being held as a fundraiser in tribute of “Forget-me-knot Day” For Adults Surviving child abuse and neglect. There will be words and music, dancing and friendship. Add to that guest speakers and a sausage sizzle and you have a fun afternoon!

I’m feeling nervous and excited in good ways. I feel like this is going to open up even more doors, taking me closer to what I want to do in my life.

 

 

My Damaged Child Story

October 22, 2011


I’m heartened by the kind regards from people who have read my poetry collection. I am glad they have been helped by reading my words.

I wish to eventually take my poetry to other troubled people in the hope of helping them find a more peaceful place to be. Being abused is a terrible thing, but being abused by people who should be taking care of you is surely one of the most awful things that can happen to a young person.

I’m lucky in that the man who abused me when I was a child wasn’t actually a relative. I called him uncle, as all of the children who knew him did, but he was simply a man who boarded with my grandmother. I found some peace when I first wrote a poem about my experience, and named him.

He is long gone now, and I certainly don’t mourn him. I suspect there was  no-one much at all who was sorry when this man died. He had been a drinker at his local hotel, but I think that was the extent of his socialising, apart from taking part in family things my grandmother held or attended.

I disliked the man, and I know my mother didn’t like him either. She told me recently that she thought my female cousins may have had something not nice happen with Les as well, but she wasn’t sure about the details.

I know this man was estranged from his family. He was a help to my grandmother, doing handyman type things when he wasn’t at the hotel drinking. I have no idea whether my grandmother had any idea about these nasty things her boarder did. It’s too late now, he’s dead, she’s dead.

I’m a survivor, and I wish the same for other victims of child sexual abuse. I firmly believe creative writing made all the difference for me. I am available to assist others who wish to explore this.

email me.   jeebers@bigpond.com

Stages in the Journey

August 4, 2011


I’ve been thinking about stages in Life Journeys recently. Putting together my poetry collection, ‘damaged children Precious Gems’ was an exercise in plotting my linear journey, and writing the poems that make up the collection made me consider stages I was at before and where I was later.

I think this may be like the stages in grief – with grief you go through – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance http://grief.com/the-five-stages-of-grief/

This makes interesting reading, and if you’re facing the death of someone important to you, reading the words may help you. Each person goes through these stages if they are to reach some kind of peaceful place. We all go through the stages in our own way though and at our own pace.

The same could be said of dealing with any bad major life experience. Child abuse is certainly one of those. The thing that prompted this blog post was me thinking about two short stories I wrote many, many years ago. I wrote the first of these stories in a huge rush and once I was finished and re-read my words, I could hardly believe I had written the story. ‘Georgie Porgie’ is no sweet nursery rhyme, it’s a tale of child abuse and death. Not nice. Writing the words though, that was so cathartic!

I’d finally been able to write out words where the abused child gets revenge on the abuser. The child was the winner! The story outlines the price to be paid though, there’s always a price to be paid. In the story, the price was worth it.

The other story was written more recently, but still more than six years ago. In this story, ‘Real Life’, the protagonist is a teenager on the run from the law. She has dealt with her boss, a man who sexually abused her. The story doesn’t spell out exactly how she actually ‘dealt with’ the man, but it’s obvious it wasn’t pretty!

Thinking about the two stories now, I can see when I wrote them I was at a stage in my journey where I was playing with the idea of revenge. Both of the stories are about dealing with the ‘bad guy’ in quite vicious ways. I am not a vicious person, but writing the stories gave me a huge amount of joy. I think these two stories are good stories – one of them was awarded a prize in a short story competition, and the other one made a huge impression on the only person I’ve shared it with.

I wouldn’t write these stories now though. I am at a quite different stage now. I’ve gone past anger, bargaining, depression. I am now in the acceptance stage, acceptance and also reaching out to help others. My creative writing has been good for me, my life now is calm and I feel at peace with the things life has given to me.

I may publish these stories on this website it anyone indicates they would like to read them.

I hope people who read these words are able to make their own way through the stages, and arrive at a serene stage of their personal journey.