Even Good Things can Turn Bad

November 22, 2016


I’m thinking about my childhood, sort of. More skittering away from nasty parts of my childhood, and so not really thinking about it at all. There is a lot of talk about child sexual abuse lately, with the Royal Commission and so on. I can read about it and not feel touched at all because my sexual abuse as a child wasn’t like that at all. I wasn’t in an institute being abused by a priest or a teacher.

But abuse is abuse. Nasty adult things being done to a very young child is evil, no matter who is doing it. My mind tries to pretend it has nothing to do with me, but of course, even if I can say my abuse was not that abuse, I am a member of Australian society and these things affect us all. It’s the people who refuse to have anything to do with things, and ignore things that are also complicit in the abuse to some extent.

I feel I have played a small part in raising awareness about child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, through my writing of the Poetry Collection that has the same name as this blogsite. I wrote the poems, I collected them together, I paid for the printing of the book, and I did a little bit about marketing the book.

The book was published quite a few years ago now though around the beginning of the 21st century. My little book hasn’t stopped anyone from being abused, it hasn’t lead to the arrest and charging of any sex abusers. I don’t think it was ever really going to do those things anyway. My abuser died many, many years ago, with no-one ever knowing of his abuse apart from me.

I’m OK, I’m living a good life, with a good marriage and a fine son. I can pretend I was never abused. Well I could, but of course some things just stay there, in your head, in your life, even though they may not be the main thing. I’m no super dooper book seller, but this little Poetry Collection “damaged children, Precious Gems” is for sale in a cafe I spend a lot of time in. I’ve spoken to various people there, about sexual abuse, and signed and sold copies of the book.

At the cafe there is a group that meets once a week. We are all women who have been damaged in some ways in our past by men. This group, called Precious Gems, don’t talk about the bad things, but the good things that are happening now. Being with these wonderful women is a wonderful thing, and I’m so glad that we have come together to offer support to each other. Things like this add shiny places to my life, to lighten the dark places that lurk there behind me.

I’m glad people are getting into trouble for the terrible things they have done to those who don’t deserve it. I just wish there was a way to make it end now and forever. But I know it won’t …

 

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I was reading today about the death of a South Australian man, one previously convicted of child sexual abuse charges. This issue touches me closely, have been a victim, many, many years ago, as a child. I have no idea how I would have felt if my abuser had been murdered. I do admit that I’m glad he’s now dead, and has been for many years.

Child abuse is such a sensitive issue. There are many people who have suffered from this terrible crime, many who have yet to find a peaceful place in their hearts and minds. These victims, quite rightly want to see justice for themselves. So often though there is no justice available.

So do I feel the murder of this man can be justified if it was done in response to his previous abuses? No, I don’t think that. The man was charged, and he did what our justice system said he had to do. He was on a good behaviour bond. I’m not sure about that, I don’t know enough about his case.

He’s dead now. I’m sorry for his family, particularly his sister who found him dead …


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.

 

 


I often feel I have taken on too many new things. I get enthusiastic about something, then let it go. I’ve finally realised that is the way I am.

I love new things, creative things. Getting something new up and running excites me and gives me energy. Then the pace slows down, the new thing becomes old and I feel like it’s time to move on to something else.

This blog though will be something different. This blog is about something that’s been with me for as long as I can remember. This blog is about me, what has happened to me and how I’ve come to accept what has happened. This blog is about a lifelong journey.

The journey from victim to survivor is not an easy one, but it’s the journey I realise I was taking, helped along by my creative writing. The human mind is an amazing thing. It works away in our subconscious mind, fixing us but damaging us too.

I began writing creatively at school, not a lot, but every now and then I’d explore something with words. I remember I had a diary when I was about 14 or 15. That diary was where I worked out some things that were worrying me. I wrote some very personal things in that diary.

Then my life moved on, I got a job, began new things and forgot about my diary. I kept the diary though. I felt OK with having the diary there as a reminder. But about 20 years ago, I destroyed that diary, that record of my most personal thoughts. I had a sudden fear that my most loved one may find the diary and feel less of me.

I took the diary outside and burned it. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. Now of course, I realise it wasn’t such a great idea. Yes, I was safe from the danger of those words being read by someone else, but I no longer feared that part of me being known by others. I was finally living in a safe place, with the man I will love for the rest of my life. Things happened to me when I was younger, things happen to all people. I’ve finally realised things have to happen so that we can learn about ourselves.

My creative writing increased once I had given up paid work and taken on the wonderful task of being a mother. With more time for contemplation, in between feeds and washing nappies, a new theme appeared in my fiction. I began fictionalising things, thinking about things, changing them around and considering the results.

From that period of time I have some short stories that were unlike anything I’d written before. Strong things, dealing with child sexual abuse, and written fearlessly. I have two stories where the victim becomes strong, and deals with the abuser in a way I never could or would have. It felt good to be able to get my revenge in this way, and I feel writing those two stories was an important stage in my journey from being a victim of child sexual abuse to becoming a survivor of child sexual abuse.

Now, I’m many stages further on from then, I feel strong and in charge of my life. I’ve taken control of my life, and when things go the wrong way, I’m able to deal with it in ways that strengthen me. One of the things gone wrong was my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis last year. It changed my life around again, but my life is now feeling better and better.

Yes, I have a chronic illness, but I’m still me and I’m still able to do what I want to do. I realised last year that what I most wanted to do for now was to put together a collection of my poetry for the first time. But I wanted to do more than just that. I wanted this poetry collection to have a greater purpose. I wanted to use it to help other people struggling with their past.

This blog has been created to let the world know about my poetry collection, and about the terrible things that are done to children every single day of the year. What happened to me was nothing compared to the painful degradation so many children are forced to put up with.

Child sexual abuse should never be accepted in any society and the fact that it still happens in a civilised country like Australia sickens me. There are so many damaged children out there, so many adults still trying to come to terms with their damage.

I want all of the damage to be healed, so we can all be shiny and new, so we can all be Precious Gems.