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artivism ~ for her, and me, and them

All my life, well 41 years of it anyway, I’ve had to defend myself. Unfortunately, the form of defense that I have employed has usually, also been to my detriment. In that, I have hidden, run, anesthetized, gone silent…held my breath…to maintain my survival.

And this is the aftermath and ongoing cruelty of infant or child sexual assault, for its victim. It’s no longer some pervert cunt whose trying to get into your tiny panties…its the continuous hiding from the possibility of impending assault. It’s Us; still trying to defend ourselves from those prying fingers.

But those fingers don’t exist in the here and now anymore. Just in the senses…in the dreams…in the reminders…in the head…in the heart…and they are more than enough to terrify an avid horror film buff.

And as I wake this morning, to the realization that I have been my own worst number 2 enemy…as number 1 is lost somewhere in the open world…I wonder; am I going to defend myself differently? What does that differently look like?

I think it would look like what I do for; have done for my kids. It would look scary and fierce. It would be quiet, but firm…unyielding. It would defend and die for the life of…the growth of…the success of. It wouldn’t take any shit and wouldn’t take No for an excuse or an answer.

So if that is my new truth…that I; the person who hid, survived but died inside every day…if I; am truly worth fighting for…then today must be the day that happens.

I have listened and remained silent to the uneducated and unlearned and uncompassionate taunts of “get over it all ready … stop using it as an excuse … that was years ago … you’re so unaffectionate … you’re not better, your worse … you need to forgive … you need to move on”. And my defense, or best defense, has been an argument. Has been a plea, really.

To listen, to understand…let me educate you so that you will understand. Let me beg, plead and cry so that you will understand. Let me share my horrors with you so that you will understand.

Not realizing, they don’t want to understand…they just want me to be different. Not such an unwelcome truth.

So, for her, and me…I’ll keep talking the unwelcome truth…the mundane horrors…not just to educate; but to defend my position; my truth; my battle; my scars; my reality; my healing; my moving on and growing up.

I’ll also speak for all of those that didn’t make it out of that little dark room with prying fingers and filthy deeds. ALL those little people who never got the chance to get out, grow up, get a job and a family. For all those little people, just like me…who grew into big people, and have rocked in the corner, for far to fucking long.

First Published on: Mar 2, 2016 @ 07:04 ❤

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activism ~ redefining beauty standards

Traditionally women have been expected to meet a certain standard of ‘beautiful’. That standard would usually see them as objects of desire rather than free beings, comfortable in their own skin. In this era, that misogynistic attitude is being slaughtered again, by women brave enough to break those moulds and ‘Do Their Thang’.

Reference: Top Knot Media/News/Publishing

just listen

just listen for a minute

it’s not that they don’t listen…that annoys you. It’s that it’s all hush-hush type non listening. We talk about all sorts of trauma all over the place…in a loud voice…through print…through voice…and the public outcry is loud in response. But this type of thing is whispered about…and tip toed around. That annoys you. Annoys the living shit out of you. That if it was seemingly actually important, wouldn’t it be more acknowledged…openly.

do you think they are trying to be polite…not for the persons sake…but for events sake? To detach from it?

like have a conversation about ‘the body’, ‘the child’, ‘the victim’ so as not to acknowledge the elephant…obvious thing in the room…the broken, bleeding, sticky event itself?

it seems so obvious to you…but its your chink.

you’ll find a way to scream out and be heard.

until then…fix your wounds, so you can yell louder…and make sure your heard. Not just for you, but for the tens of millions of babies in the same position as you were…that are still there.

First Publish on: Aug 12, 2015 @ 13:04 ❤

I am

I am cello tone

I am dark sun

I am minor note

I am stretched out

I am native tongue

I am pale grey

I am deeper depth

I am fringes of

I am moving through

I am, I am

 

I am long neck

I am straight back

I am flowing arms

I am green eyes

I am olive skin

I am heavy legs

I am swaying hips

I am whistling feet

I am coffee hair

I am, I am

 

I am you

I am them

I am they

I am right

I am left

I am forward

I am backward

I am upwards

I am me

I am, I am

.

First Published on: Jul 20, 2015 @ 13:05 ❤

an interesting conversation was held today …

Me and the partner.

Turns out he’s learnt a lot over the last 13 or so years (yep, kinda lost count now lol). And I love him for it.

Here is what ensued … and it’ll get capped off with a bit of a question / query for feedback.

As the last few months have unfolded, especially concentrating on the death of my sister in October of last year, and the ‘reconnection’ with my father … there has been more than one conversation had, that have seen Me completely infuriated and bewildered. I’ve written about this at length, trying to process and make sense of whats going on … within the ‘relationship’ and the, ‘what the fuck am I supposed to do with that’ thought process. I get that, if my sister hadn’t died, Me and the father would still be having the once a year ‘message’ relationship, that I had grown quite accustomed too. I also get that, somewhere in amongst everything, the father is probably grieving. I also get that, I don’t know him very well … and he doesn’t know Me. I get that this whole ‘getting the land back’ has more to do with him and him wanting to feel like he’s done something substantial for his offspring.

I get this shit. I don’t think he does though.

And thats fine.

Moving on.

After every conversation we have had I am left feeling angry and confused (which by the way, takes quite abit of energy to recognise). Today was no different; but I did wonder whilst talking to him, if he was suffering from some kind of dementia.

This thought sent Me to the partner for advice. I know right lol.

Now this little meme sums Me up quite nicely. And it’s not just a Facebook thing, its a Life thing 😉

Whats interesting though, is I don’t actively think about Not offending anyone, or, offending anyone. It’s not till afterwards (conversation / meeting / introductions etc) that I am aware there is a mess but I’m uncertain how it got to be that way or if it’s even my problem.

Now I wasn’t always ‘say it as I see it’ person. I had other shit going on and survival mode included inward analysis; not discussion with others. But as I move through my ‘reconciliation’ process, I am vividly aware that I am missing some pieces. This is hell’ah evident after my conversations with the father.

I do not understand him. But this is not a new experience for Me. There have been a shittonne of people I don’t understand … and it usually comes down to this:

What is coming out of their mouths doesn’t make any sense to Me.

Now I’m a smart woman … this much is true. But there are certain things I really Do.Not.Understand.

The question posed to the partner was this:

“What the fuck is happening?”

He in turns grins, and asks me define what I’m asking, lol, like I said, he’s come along way!

A couple of conversations ago, with the father, he was going on about the land … again … and how he wanted Me to be a trustee etc and I had said ‘Hell No’ … and then, out of nowhere, he says”

“Have you seen a car?”

Huh?

The partner was listening to this conversation and smiling the entire time. I was looking at him slightly bewildered.

So my answer to the “Have you seen a car?” question, was “Yes”. And thats it. In my head I was thinking … “of course I’ve seen a fucking car; I’m staring at ours sitting in the drive way right now”; but all that I said was “yes” and then silence.

The father continues with … “I need a car … have you seen one I can buy?”; to which I replied, “No”. Then he asks if there are any cars for sale where I live, to which I ask a clarifying question: “How much do you want to pay for  it?” … and he says, “Ummm 2 dollars”. Me: “Well No then”.

Then he starts rambling off onto something else that I wasn’t really listening too. I was still stuck on … “What The Fuck?”. All the while the partner is still grinning.

That conversation ended and I got off the phone angry and frustrated … again.

So today, when I asked the partner … ‘what the fuck is going on’, he recounted the ‘Have you seen a car?’ conversation, and explained thusly :

“Dear, you are literal. Very literal. Your father was hinting for us to pick him up from the airport.”

Huh?

“Todays conversation, your father was hinting for you to pick up the lazyboy chair he has purchased and deliver it to him.”

Huh?

And mine and the partners conversation progressed from there.

I don’t understand hints. Not because I’m stupid, but because I don’t understand them. Period.

To Me, the father should have just asked for a ride or for us to pick up his chair, if thats what he meant. To go on about buying cars or seeing cars, or in the instance of todays conversation – that he sleeps in a lazy boy recliner chair and the road is closed – does not make a shred of sense to Me.

It’s taken the partner all these years to figure out that I’m not being obstinate or annoying when I seek clarification. And that when I answer a question literally I won’t go into long explanations. It just is what it is.

I understand, or can ‘feel’ intent, but that has more to do with ‘evil’ intent. I know when someone is fishing for information for exploitation or trying to manipulate me into a corner. I can feel that in the tightening of my stomach and chest.

Hints – not so much. Maybe because they seem like the amateurs version of manipulation.

But as I’m asking the partner to explain what happened and I’m obviously not getting it; he flips the script for Me.

If this was him having the ‘car’ conversation with my father, he would have asked him if he wanted to be picked up from the airport; which is his version of seeking clarification. For Me, that is annoying hard work. I don’t think it’s my job to figure out what he’s trying to say. The partner would have asked whether the father wanted the chair delivered to him. I didn’t.

And I don’t get how the partner gets the underlining conversation thats not being had!

But technically, it means that the partner is listening and then asking what isn’t being said to get to the ‘un-said’ outcome. Fucks sakes … thats exhausting!

Most of the time I feel like Sheldon or that dude off Guardians Of The Galaxy, whose people are literal … and I really don’t understand what is being said when people won’t say what they mean. And then I realised the multitudes of times in my life that I’ve gotten into trouble or been blamed or shamed for being annoying, acting dumb, being ignorant or rebellious, for being this way. The partner reckons, other people don’t get Me just as much as I don’t get them.

So, I guess, after all the dribbling on, my question is:

Why don’t people say what they mean?????

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he infuriates Me more than most …

I conversed, sort of, with my father this evening. I knew about 6 minutes in, that it was a bad idea.

A really bad idea.

He is back in the country and is getting himself sorted for his big ‘move’ back onto his land on the coast.

Now I’ve talked about this quite bit in other places so won’t rehash all those details. But just to highlight:

  • I’ve told him I won’t be part of any Land Trust he sets up.
  • I support his cause as part of his own journey of self discovery.
  • I’ve told him he can’t tell Me what to do.
  • I’ve told him he doesn’t know who I am.

If you’ve read anything about how I feel about colonisation and results of it in this country; or how I feel about being cornered or manipulated; or how I feel about racism, sexism, homophobia or any cocked eyed view like those; or how I feel about having my choices made for me … if you’ve read anything about that … then you’ll know it’s shit I’m pretty passionate about. I believe peeps are welcome to their differing views, in their own corner of the universe. But Do Not slam dunk those views in my hoop.

My father breaks all rules of engagement for Me. In fact he reminds Me of an internet troll that just doesn’t let up. He’s ignorant; a know it all; a racist; a ‘phobic’ and narrow minded twat. He believes he is right and won’t hear any one elses view or opinion … including mine.

I’ve explained to him why I won’t do a Land Trust; be part of it, run it, sign up to it … I’ve explained to him that if that is what he wants to do with his parents land, then all good, that is his right and his journey … I’ll support that for him … it’s not my view or belief, but thats OK. But I won’t ever sign up to something I do not support.

So what has he done:

Thats right – he put my name on the Land Trust as a trustee and shareholder.

Oh my fuck.

Now I can overlook the fact that he doesn’t know the ‘real’ history of his people or his country; that it is probably way to fucking late to teach him or for him to even hear any of it. I can also overlook the fact that he is a perfect product of his generations colonial programming. He believes Maori are lazy, useless, uneducated and can’t get by without the governments help. He believes that we can only move forward if we become ‘white’, literally. He believes our cultural heritage is backward and uncivilised. While it revolts the living fuck out of Me, I get it, and can overlook it.

But to pull the old ‘I’m your father, you shall obey Me’ card is way beyond my overlooking capabilities.

As he was telling Me that he had signed Me up, I could feel my blood boiling. I tried to compose myself and respectfully say that I wasn’t interested in doing that, as he well knew.  He asked Why. For fucks sakes. I just repeated that he already knew why and shouldn’t have signed Me up to anything as I wouldn’t be doing it, at all. And he wouldn’t hear Me. He tried the convincing routine and the guilt routine and the ‘this is for the good of the whole family’ routine. Get fucked!

In the end, my partner pulled the wifi cable out and the call went dead! LOL … just as well! But it has grated Me something fierce. And what fucks Me off more, is that he fucks Me off!!!

Selfish cunt asked how I was and when I told him about the brother in law passing, he flipped that conversation around and back to himself and his land. I know, if he was someone I had just met (which he is really), I wouldn’t continue a conversation, let alone a relationship with him.

Which brings Me to this:

Do I cut him off completely? I don’t know if I have the patience or love for him, to continue trying to form some sort of relationship or lame ass bond with him.

I’ve managed quite well without him, so what do I have to lose.

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artivism ~ the process-ing

its not something i could

explain.

just

do;

the response

thats unfolds,

and the sections

that get sliced

the making

the processing,

that happens

physically;

and mentally.

its forms change,

as it’s colours change.

it develops into something

completely different.

it’s layers and shapes

take on another dimension.

and in that process,

i find another side.

another place,

another form.

although it looks mis-shapen

and distorted,

to the naked eye;

it’s beauty

is infinite,

to Me.

back to the land of the living

funny thing with being ‘bilocational’; i can feel both … the land of the living and the land of the dead. weird as it may seem its completely plausible for someone like Me. not sure when or how it ended up like this, but i know i’m not the only one, which makes Me feel a little more comfortable in my oddity.

sleeping on the death thoughts made Me awaken with a sense of life. hence the land of the living.

you know the dead don’t care ay. they’re dead; as we all will be one day. it’s the fore runner foray. the prelude to it. and if that death is sudden then the prelude smashes headlong into the present, causing shock. that sucks.

but i wonder how on earth we all ended up being so devoid of the thought that is the inevitable plight of death.

back in the day, my ancestors – both white and brown – had an uncanny knack for embracing both the living and the dead. my Nan would say they are always around Us. they never leave. and with that thought, one would wonder what the angst is for. that we won’t be able to SEE them with our eyes anymore? TOUCH them with our hands anymore?

when did we stop seeing with more than those senses?

when we became separated from the land? from life? from those cycles?

or when we decided that earning $ is more important than those around us; those we love?

their essence … never leaves. they live within us … around us … along side us … through us. they can never be separated from us, because they are part of us.

its that simple.

 

whats real?

“Oh, Your Not A Real [ insert ] Though”

A real what?

Woman?

Maori?

Activist?

Pakeha?

Define REAL for me please?

Oh, thats YOUR definition

isn’t it.

ME … I

Don’t need to define shit to or for you.

I am what I am.

And it is a sad sad day

That sees the brothers and sisters

From other Indigenous Mothers

Dare to question authenticity,

of any Indigenous / Coloured peep.

Don’t we have enough of that

from White Privileged People

Already?

I am what I am.

I am a Woman.

I am Tangata Whenua – Maori.

I am Pakeha.

I am a Grandmother.

I am angry about the injustices our people

MY people, YOUR People

Suffered historically,

and the bullshit they still endure.

Don’t ask me to justify who I am

or what I do.

You just do you.

And stay out of my way.

#anindigenouswomanresponding

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Princess…1973

So I have more information now, pieces to add to my story and fill in the gaps. I think sometimes it’s easy to tell yourself a narrative that isn’t exactly exact. You tend to fill in the missing pieces with other bits of missing pieces. Finding out the context of an environment or situation seems to just make it all slot together to make a whole, a whole lot better.

Turns out we are not a family huge on talking even though we talk plenty! Seems like I missed a few important details…good details…and not so nice details, which make the picture a bit more robust.

I was born at 8pm. Apparently my Nan was a 10 month carrier so my ‘lateness’ to arrive on the scene was actually right on time, well right on time for our gene pool lol! My Mama says she began labour “exactly 24 hrs earlier. Long hard labour”. She says she “didn’t know what was normal for a labour so just went with it as you do :)”. As it turned out I was coming chin/face first & had to be turned with forceps. It was very painful for her. But she says it was “so worth it.” For Me it makes sense that I don’t sleep at night well…I’m a night baby! :), so I think I’ll stop fighting it and just roll with it…if I’m awake I’m awake, if I’m tired I’ll go to sleep. Sorted! Well that was a whole lot easier than stressing over not sleeping! And it go figures that I’m stilling arriving at a destination or situation, chin and face first lol! Apparently I’m designed to do just that! Make a pain staking but memorable entrance lol, sorry Mama 😉

But most importantly, I found out, I was in fact, wanted…very very much wanted.

Mama says’ “Oh you were so looked forward to. I’m so sorry you were wounded from this. I actually went to bed two weeks early in my pregnancy because I was going to lose you, and I didn’t want to lose you. I was at home then with Nana & Grandad. When I first found I was pregnant, I’m not sure if your father knew or not then, but I went…to look for work. I was staying in a dive in town while I looked. I remember buying wool and starting to knit for you. Later when I went back” home “(I worked…for a month or so in a Rest Home for the elderly) I recall folding and refolding your clothes every day. Decorating your bassinette with lace & frills. Knitting and sewing more clothes. Buying a pram. I was seeing your father & we were looking for a house to live in when I was around 6 months pregnant. I wanted to end our relationship as I sensed it wasn’t going to work & wasn’t really happy with him. But…I wasn’t happy anyway in myself & never had been….I spent a lot of my youth not wanting to live. It was too painful. But yes, you were very much wanted. Abortion was NEVER a consideration. (And not to condemn any who choose that route but I just never considered it). When you were born it was the most wonderful experience … I would gaze at you every day in your crib in wonderment at your perfection. I loved you dearly. You were perfect. I talked to you constantly … breast fed you for 8 months … tried my very best to be a good mum. I think somewhere along the line as life seemed to get harder (as it does in a relationship of any sort let alone an abusive one) I had less & less to give out to you. I was trying to make sense of life and what to do. This was my only reason for wanting to end my life. It was never you. I suppose I’d reached a place where I wanted to back up and opt out… however I’d made decisions I couldn’t back up on and one was, I now had another life in my womb to consider. Bear in mind too, back then it was unheard of to go to a counselor. There weren’t any. It wasn’t on anybody’s radar. You just figured stuff out for yourself. A family Doctor was the nearest thing you’d get to that … a 5 minute chat. This would’ve been the period when I was late in pregnancy, and living with your father…It was very hard. An abusive partner, me lost, the big responsibility of parenthood looming and not knowing what to do.

When your father’s father died I was just then contemplating separating but I didn’t have the heart to leave him right then so went to the taangi. It was there I” became a Christian, I “urged…to get married. And we did. But things just got worse.” 

It was accurate that my father was cruel to my mother, violent to be truthful. Apparently an abusive man at the time; jealous and possessive; a drunk and violent person, who threw around ridiculous accusations of unfaithfulness and spent more time at the pub than with his family. My mother was afraid of him, and rightly so by the sounds of her recollections of him. She recalled ‘being hit occasionally and having a black eye once’…one too many I think! My Grandfather was protective of my mother and me. Apparently my Grandfather was kind toward my father when we were not living with them, but this changed when he knew what my father was doing. Thank you Grandad! My mother went back to my father when I was 18 months old, but my father had impregnated someone else and he chose that family. I didn’t hear from or see him until I was 7.

I also found out I was called a ‘Princess’ by my paternal family.

That we did indeed come from a long line of revolutionists, with my “Great great great Grandad, on my granddad’s side, fighting for our lands with one of the greatest warriors of his era, Titokowaru”.

I also remember having what I thought was a dream in later years. It was of sitting on a seat of some kind and moving across a road. It was big with metal sides. The whole road was moving and there were cracks in the road. Years later I was telling my mother this and she told me that she had taken me on the first Hikoi, with Whena Cooper. That moving road was the Auckland Harbour Bridge and I was in a push chair. It swayed as we crossed over it. Apparently it had been shut down to traffic while we all crossed. Years later I took my own daughters to the second Hikoi, to parliament, in protest of the foreshore and seabed legislation. A few years afer that, I went with my youngest daughter to the last of these Hikoi’s which was wahangu…silent. It was a powerful time. What an amazing legacy in all that other shit 😉

I know we lived in my home town on and off, in and out, over these young years. We lived on the East coast for awhile too, before my mother left my father. And I think we ‘travelled’ around abit, sometimes I stayed with my Grandparents.

There was another man around at this time, my brothers ‘would be’ father at that stage. I don’t think I liked him much.  I didn’t like how he made my mother feel.

At 3 years old, there are vivid memories of being frightened and having nightmares/terrors. I remember hiding in big boxes downstairs…playing. But I was frightened. I remember this because I remember the house we lived in at the time.

I also learnt hat my maternal Grandfathers Grandfather was Scottish and his father was French-Canadian.

My maternal Grandmothers parents came from a small west coast town and then moved to my Grandfathers place of birth in their later years. Both of them were English. My Great grandfather was from London, and my Great-grandmother was from south London. My Nan was treated unfairly her entire life; apparently she was supposed to be a boy…thank the heavens she wasn’t ay Nan 😉

My Uncle was super talented; a beautiful man as I remember, he was also tortured soul…he ended his life when I was 7. He was my first dead body. I thought he was going to wake up, but he didn’t, and he never came home. I loved him; I still do. I am glad that I knew him.

So I end this segment knowing that while our family was dysfunctional as such, it was also enormously resourceful, talented and abounding in love and sacrifice. It knew culture and diversity; it embraced grief and loss; it dealt with war and violence….and it survived, and became stronger. It left strong, solid and hopeful roots. I was loved and I was wanted. I am now forever grateful and forever in awe of the history that is mine.

Lots of light and love and fluffy stuff, to me, as I unravel even more 😉

https://meptsdandallthefuckedupshitinbetween.wordpress.com/2015/12/13/the-first-time-ever-i-saw-your-face/

(First published 5th May 2015 @ 2319 … Hollah 😉 )