Okay, so I’m not into huge political debates and the like, simply because I think most politicians are overpaid dimwits. I also don’t profess to know anything about the political system in theUnited States, but I do have some amount of common sense.
A friend of mine, Alistair Jameson, has started an initiative called A Mother of a Ride where he and a number of other cyclists will be covering over 6000 Km across South Africa (about 10000 miles) on bicycles to make people aware of domestic violence, and what can be done to break the silence against it. He posted this article (if you can call it that) on Facebook this morning and after I had read it, a myriad of emotions went through me – the biggest one being anger, quickly followed by mouth-agape-disbelief.
What on God’s green earth is this Senator thinking? Or wait, let me rephrase that – did he have a bowl of stupid for breakfast, with a dash of the dark ages on the side? He has never been married (I wonder why), nor has he had kids. What does he honestly hope to achieve with this legislation?
I would like to pose some simple-common-sense questions to him, as he obviously can’t think further than his nose.
- By effectively “penalizing” single mothers (note, not single fathers), you are stating that it is better for a woman, and her child, to stay in a (possibly) abusive relationship. So, as long as the family is a nuclear unit, to hell with what the long term consequences might be. Is that right?
- You mention unwed, single mothers – what about mothers in common-law marriages, effectively they are unwed. Or doesn’t that matter, because there is a man in the equation?
- How will your legislation impact single mothers, who have become “unwed” by losing their husband to death? How long will they be “allowed” to be single mothers before they too are penalized, or are you expecting them to be in front of the altar with another man before their husband is even cold in the ground?
- What of mothers who become single through divorce? Even more so, what of mothers who become single through divorce because their husbands filed the suit?
Let me tell you something Senator – I was raised by a single, unwed mother for a great deal of my formative years. My biological father was a drunk, gambling, pot addict, who would often disappear for weeks on end when the mood grabbed him. He abused my mother physically and emotionally and he abused me (and some other young girls) sexually. It was my mother who sold up and left, who saw to it that I was well looked after, while she often went without. She eventually married a wonderful man, who treated me like his own flesh and blood – but that very easily could not have happened.
One thing I’m quite sure of – no woman wants to be a single mother – it’s hard, it’s demanding and sometimes disheartening, but she will if it means she can give her child a better life. I’m sure too, if my mother had to do it again, she would.
Maybe if you had children of your own, you’d understand.
Oh, and one more thing – when you sit down to have breakfast tomorrow, try a bowl of reality with a dash of empathy. It’s way better than a bowl of stupid…
Many of you who read my blog know this already, but for those of you who don’t. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I was abused by my biological father, who, if I had to see him in the street, I probably wouldn’t recognize, and, if I did, I would probably spit on him and carry on walking. As far as I’m concerned, he’s dead. I locked the horrors away in the dark recesses of my mind for years and, it was only in high school, that something triggered the memories. Whether or not there has been a complete healing process, I don’t think so. I have problems with certain intimacies and at a certain point in some intimate situations, my brain totally shuts the rest of my body off and I just can’t carry on. Needless to say, this doesn’t exactly bode well for my sexual relationships. A close friend of mine has recommended hypnosis, but part of me is too scared at just what I might remember.
So, when I heard this on the radio this afternoon, I was immediately heartbroken. What drives men to steal a child’s innocence.
Tears of anger and heartache sprang into my eyes as I listened – and then I got to thinking, “If this man molested his own daughter, the likelihood of her letting her own daughters near him would be nil, so he must be the father of the children’s father. Kudos to the courts for convicting him. Now sentencing awaits…although whatever faces him in prison will be some kind of justice. The stories one hears of what happens to child molesters in South African prisons is enough to give you sleepless nights.
One thing I wonder about though, is, after not seeing my father for 21 years (we left him when I was 9) and still harbouring resentment towards him, how are these people going to feel towards the man (their father(in-law)) stealing their daughters’ innocence. All I can do is pray for the family – while the scars the children have might not be so visible now, they will be as soon as these young girls start forming relationships with members of the opposite sex. It’s the sad reality of cases like this.
I wrote this poem in the car, once I’d finally managed to stop the flood of tears. If you are sensitive, you might want to stop reading now.
The image is courtesy of tclj.toasted-cheese.com
My eyes see the pretty flowers
But here, I can’t see, I don’t want to watch!
But you make me look at “your power”
My ears hear the birds outside
But here, I can’t hear, I don’t want to listen!
But you whisper “secrets” in my ear
My legs run on the playground
But here, I’m paralysed, I can’t move!
But you make me open them so you can touch my “womanhood”
My little body shivers when it rains
But here, I’m frozen, I’m dead
You cover my body with yours to “warm me from the inside”
I don’t understand
You’re not a monster like those in my storybooks
Everybody likes you, Mommy loves you…
Do they know the truth?
I’m not blind
But instead of seeing pretty flowers outside
All I see around me is hurt
“Your power” has harmed me
I’m not deaf
But instead of the hearing the singing birds outside
All I hear is heartbroken cries
Your “secrets” have made me hateful
I’m not numb
But instead of running on the playground
I run away from people who want to love me properly
My “womanhood” is tainted
I’m not cold
My body is warm to a touch
But then the fire goes out
Your “warming me from the inside” has turned me cold
I don’t understand
You are the monster in my dreams
The truth is out, you’re shunned and unloved
Yet I struggle to be free…
*Note that this post may contain some swearing*
I have only been awake 7 hours and already I have experienced a flood of emotions:
I seldom watch the news – there is inevitably something depressing to be heard, but I do follow certain columnists on the net, like my good friend Simon Williamson who is a freelance writer currently living in Hong Kong. This morning when I was reading his latest column on News24.com I found a number of links on the same page pertaining to child abuse and/or rape. Wanting to include something like this in my novel, I decided (against my better judgement) to read the articles (on an empty stomach). Pardon my language, but WHAT THE FUCK is going on in this country, particularly in Kwa Zulu Natal?
The police shoot a man in the leg (again, WTF!?) after catching him in the act of raping a 7 year old little girl. They should have shot the fucking piece of shit dead! What kind of life is that little girl going to have. She is going to be traumatized for life. Therapy can only help so much.
Another story tells of a nanny who raped the 5-year old little boy in her care! She has finally been sentenced to life imprisonment (which our taxes are paying for!) after she was arrested for this crime a year ago.
And the last one I could handle before I totally lost it was the story of a stepfather who is now on the run (fucking coward!) after being caught red-handed by his wife raping his 10 year old stepdaughter in the bed he and her mother share.
Dinner last night was fabulous! Despite it being a week night, my guests only left at a quarter to midnight! Everyone was very impressed with the food 🙂 which I was thrilled about (although I must admit that I nearly cremated the bruschetta! Thank goodness I had enough French loaf left to make more). There was quite a bit of chicken and couscous left over, so I have dinner for tonight too 🙂 The Italian kisses went down well, although I somehow managed to give Elizabeth only vanilla ones. I don’t know how that happened. Must have been all the wine I drank 😉
It was Greg’s memorial service today, and while I only got to meet him briefly some years back, I went to the church service – Elizabeth was quite broken, but putting up a tough exterior. Another friend of hers and Greg’s came all the way from Phalaborwa, along with a number of his military colleagues for the burial and the service. Even though I didn’t know him that well, I got a huge lump in my throat when his colleagues did their eulogies. Greg was only 40 and died of a heart attack. The minister gave a comforting message, but even so, it is evident that he will be missed by many. I can’t begin to imagine the heartache and pain his parents are going through. The circle of life is meant to work that children bury their parents, not so? Steph has also been dead for 7 months already 😦 Life is truly so short 😦
Jay has asked me not to blog about him or discussions between us, which I have not, out of respect for his wishes. But I feel like a right royal doos – he sent me an email last night and I over-reacted to something he said and immediately sent back a bitchy, uncalled-for reply. I don’t know what the hell came over me. My conscience was still plaguing me way after midnight that I eventually got out of bed and mailed him an apology. Fortunately Jay has accepted my apology, but it doesn’t make me feel any less of a doos.
On a happier note, it’s one of my closest friends, Kelly’s birthday today. We have been friends since 1993 when we in Standard 6 together. Even though we live in different parts of the country, we are still close and talk often.
Kelly Darling, here is wishing you a wonderful day and a new life year that only offers the best of the best! Remember that life is short, so savour every moment. Remember the good, forget the bad and keep whatever makes your heart smile. I love you lots!
Tonight I am going to Elizabeth – she asked me to come around; in actual fact she didn’t give me much of a choice:
“Are you coming to visit tonight? Yes you are. Okay, see you later…”
I think it is going to be another late night – the only real cure for a sad heart is your friends, wine and hope that tomorrow will hold better things.