turn your lights down low ~ bob marley ft. lauryn hill, 1999 (original 1977)
spin one ~ che fu featuring aaradhna, 2006
hay ~ crucial conflict, 1996
lost ~ frank ocean, 2012
respectable ~ mel & kim, 1987
This started as a long ass post … but honestly I can’t be bothered rambling on, let alone making it painful for someone else to read lol. This is a subject I approach with little reverence and question unmerciful-lessly.
I’ve decided that some of it is a ‘cultural’ thing; well perceived from a monocultural perspective. Like a shit tonne of other stuff really.
In our old language, the closest thing to being ‘mentally ill’, was ‘porangi’. We’ve whitened it up since then and given the title a maori name. But in all reality, we didn’t have a word for being mentally ill.
The word Porangi was a verb, and meant “to search for, seek.”
And when someone was in a state of ‘searching and seeking’, they were cared for by those that loved them. This would take as long as it took. Period.
Does the medication work? I think it’s designed to ‘normalise’ Us. But again, I ask, who decides what Normal is? Is normal more about being a contributing, tax paying member of society? Or appearances? Or Both.
Because it sure as shit aint about what is best for Us.
I think diagnoses and labels are developed to silence and produce a paying customer.
Slap a label on that bitch. Medicate that bitch. Silence that bitch.
Is any of this really helpful?
In my 40 odd years, I think I may have met (in person) a couple (meaning TWO) of people that this system has worked for. But I’ve met a shit tonne more, that have been ‘searching’ and have ‘come right’ with nothing but love, rest, understanding and time.
To sum up – fuck mental health; fuck diagnoses; fuck professionals who think they’re helping and they’re not; fuck medication; fuck misunderstanding.
Fuck it all.
rock da spot ~ redman, 1996
coming undone ~ korn, 2005
Although I’m not a hoarder by nature, and tend to gangstah lean toward the minimalistic slant on life, there is one thing that I do, unintentionally, hoard.
Sexual assault memories.
Now I don’t hoard them on purpose; they’ve just made their way into my basement and that’s where they stay. However, they do make uninvited appearances whenever they feel like it.
While I’m asleep.
While I’m awake.
When something smells familiar.
When something sounds familiar.
Otherwise known as Flashbacks: Or ‘Fuck-off Flashbacks’ as I like to call them; until recently, I thought everyone had this phenomenon happen to them. I figured though, that if their lives had been full of beautiful, picturesque, cheesy moments, then the emergence of any said basement memories, must be a pleasant, rather than horrific, occurrence. How sweet does that sound!.
Turns out, flashbacks come with pts(d) aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; they’re not an everyday thing for everyday peeps. Although an ever popular title at the moment, the first time I can remember this title being used to describe ‘Me’, was in the late 90s. But that was it. No further explanation, or plan, or treatment, or anything. Just a wave of the psychological hand as I was ushered out the door with the recommendation that I take anti-depression medication. I argued vehemently that I wasn’t ‘depressed’ per se, but having to figure this shit out was wearing Me the fuck out; is that the same thing as a ‘Depressive Episode’? I think Not.
I dodged the system there after. I threw myself into motherhood and studying and working. By 2006 I had nearly completed my studies and was moving into a new job.
By 2008 I was getting physically sick. I couldn’t hold food down; I was covered in an irritating rash; my hair was falling out; my head was always sore; my heart was always racing; my stomach was always turning. A raft of medical tests showed up nuddah. Instead the ‘professionals’ prescribed antidepressants; which I didn’t take. Again citing that I wasn’t ‘unhappy’, but I was losing weight faster than I could keep it on: and, oh by the way – “can y’all fuckers help Me or not?”
By 2010 I was medically discharged from my job and shit was declining rapidly. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t hold a conversation, couldn’t drive, couldn’t make sense of much. The ‘professionals’, once again, prescribed antidepressants; the kick ass, make yah dribble, kind. Along with a few other strains of pharmacology – just for good measure. This time, I didn’t argue. I took them.
By 2013 I couldn’t leave the house. I still couldn’t drive. I was fat. I was tired. I was drained. I was broke.
So we did what any normal human would do, and we moved to the beach.
From then till now I have had an ongoing battle with ACC, to get assistance. Any assistance. The last assessment was done in August of this year; 3 years after asking for the initial one; 8 years after the one I should have had in 2009; one year after making a long ass complaint with ACC and them apologising for ‘the delay’.
In May of this year, I knew the battle with them was wearing Me thin (not literally – I wish!). The infrequent interaction with them and the long delays in between were adding to the anxiety and making me feel ‘sicker’, which was actually impeding any progress I had made from 2013 to the present.
But: Theres always a But –
I persisted with them. Believing they were my only resource or course of action. I thought I needed more money; more counselling; more help – of which I was actually entitled too, but felt like I was begging for. I really just wanted my life back and I wanted them to assist; just a tinsy winsy little bit!
But gnawing away in my gutt, was a very clear voice:
“Girlfriend … They can’t give You what You need”.
I could feel the unbalance settling in as the father issue got thrown in there. But I persisted. With the father and with ACC. Because that’s what I do.
So on a particularly bleak ‘soldier on, even though I am nearly worn the fuck out’ day, I was trolling through my Twitter feed, and stumbled upon the Podcast of one very righteous drag queen who goes by the name of LaQuisha. Her Podcast was aptly named for my very situation: “Breaking Up With The NZ Mental Health System”.
Within the first 5 minutes, I had big girl tears in my eyes.
Sometimes … just sometimes … there is huge relief in knowing your not alone in something … that you’re not the first person to experience whats going on around you.
I felt relieved. She described her struggle; similar to what I was currently having with ‘the system’. She likened their neglect as similar to what she had experienced as a young person and within her family of origin. And I had a lightbulb moment.
I could see it falling into place. The father issues … the resounding silence … the blaming … the abuse.
I got it. Hallelu-Jah, I finally got it.
Or so I thought.
So Me and my newly enlightened self, wrote a quick post about it, so I wouldn’t forget and because that’s what I do. I saved the podcast for later perusal and thusly celebrated my Aha Moment.
That was 5 months ago.
And that’s right. I forgot everything I had just learned and I got further weighted down. Actually, I continued to let myself be weighted down. I analysed the fuck out of all sides of the issues, both ACC and father. I flipped it, responded to it, dropped the anti-anxiety meds, I talked it out, cried it out, blogged some more and then some more; I raged, I painted, I tried to remember the good things, I listened to soothing music, I tried more photography … oh, and I minimised and minimised the fuck out of everything. And yesterday, as I was on another rampant minimising mission, and was deleting shit off my computer, I came across – that’s right:
A little surprised it was sitting there, just looking at Me, I decided to re-listen to it. And Yes, that’s right; 5 minutes in, and I was in big girl tears. A-Gain. So I paused LaQuisha – made Me a very delicious coffee – and came back to gaze at the screen for a just a little while longer, before un-pausing and re-listening.
Yes, that shit dawned on Me long and hard for quite an embarrassing length of time.
I had the answers to my conundrum 5 months ago, and for whatever fucked up, deep-seated psychologically mind numbing reason – I freudian-ly, chose to ignore it. I knew 5 months ago what I should do. What I already knew in my gutt, instinctually, 5 months before that. That there was No help in the system for Me and that my father and his bullshit, needed to Get Gone.
So I am now on a break up with ACC. I figure I need them like I need a hole in the head. I’ve done the assessment and gotten sweet fuck all from them. Will I get anything else out of them? Not without applying a shit tonne of pressure. And I do not have the energy for that, and actually, I don’t want to waste anymore of my time and precious resources on hitting my head against the proverbial brick wall. In the new year I may apply for more EMDR if I feel I need it; but that will be done on My terms.
Am I breaking up with my father? Definitely. I’ve deleted him completely from my life – Again. I don’t need his bullshit. And I never needed anything he had to offer; which was next to nothing anyway.
I’m now talking with my Mama about getting my name changed back to my maternal family name. We’re going to take a trip up the River, where our tipuna came from, to find the burial sites of my Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother.
The thought of that stirs my spirit.
This is about finding where I belong. Who I belong too. Who loved Me long before I was born. That is where My healing is at and that is where my strength lies.
It’s not in what I’ve lost, or what I haven’t got, or what I can’t get. It’s in what ‘else’ I am, what else I can be and what else is waiting for Me.
royalty ~ gang starr, 1998
another one bites the dust ~ queen, 1980
I always knew I’d respond, but was not sure what that would look like. And trying to recover from all the shit that comes with the heaviness of all that shit in the first place, has been somewhat of a full time fucking job.
It’s taken along long time to sift through what is mine, whats others, what are misperceptions, what are guilt shit trips, what are passive aggressive silencing techniques …. the ptsd shit list goes on.
But after sifting and re sifting for a rather long time … i see a little light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Sexual assault of any description, dumped on anybody, is fucked…to say the least. It would be nice, pleasantly twinkly, to have a world where that type of assault; that type of action, was never even in any type of vocabulary. But thats not the case.
Now, I’m pretty sure I get the technicalities for the ‘why’ it happens, and the ‘who’ it happens too, by the ‘what type’ of person does a fucked up thing like that … and my over intelligent answer is … why – because; who – anyone; what type – anyone.
There are no definates…there are no absolutes … there are summations and theories and best guesses…and these are stupid, but should be employed for a long range look at the subject. But there is NO definite quantifiable causes and effects. There are things that may minimise the chance of it occurring, but overall, it is some shit ass luck really.
And that might sound a bit blazay … but this is my topic, and I’m beginning to really understand that there is no-one else that knows this shit like me…because it is mine … it is my story. I can add to it with other peoples perspectives and learnings, as they can do with my stuff … but I am the expert on my shit, no-one else.
So with that knowledge, slowly seeping in and out of my pores, I am finding myself at a bit of a turning point.
How to respond.
I feel like, up until now anyway, that I have always been on the back foot…struggling with shame, then stubbornness, then determination, then anger, then nightmares, then anxiety, then more shame, then blame …. and so it goes on and on and on.
In amongst all that there are the external voices of well meaning but ignorant assholes who think its something that should be forgotten, forgiven, not dwelled on, left in the past, let go of … which, it turns out, is more to do with their discomfort than it has to do with mine.
And then add to that whole cocktail the additives of PTSD, personality disorder, OCD, OTT syndrome (made that one up – over the top syndrome lol), addiction …. blah blah blah …. and there is a small lifetime of crap to sort through. As we all get caught up in the ‘whats wrong with me’ cry … and the ‘please fix me’ cry … which are all relevant … we are all diverted away from the crux of the actual fucking issue!
You see, when my daughter was sexually assaulted, I didn’t have a full deck to play with really … as in, I had my own issues with the whole subject, I had issues with mothering … but when this happened to my baby girl … two very distinct things happened for me, and to my thought process.
- What and how do I help my baby girl NOW
- I’ll kill the cunt that did this to her
I didn’t know, without a shadow of a doubt, what exactly to do in response to number 1. But I knew she needed time … lots of time…to talk … cry … come to her own realisations … she needed to know that it was by no means her fault and she didn’t cause it in anyway shape or form … i knew i needed to undo, if i could, the thinking that had been embedded into her so that this act could happen … i knew she needed love … lots and lots of love … to respond as she needed too … without being wrong or right … just to be.
Number 2 was easy … I just had to figure the logistics of it.
Never, not once, did I think that she may have caused this … because of the length of her skirt … by her little giggle that she does … because she is caring and compassionate and likes to listen … because she is beautiful and intelligent … none of that was the point …
The point, which I knew unreservedly, was the cunt that had assaulted her had done so because he could … he had the opportunity and the perverted and distorted thinking to act on that opportunity. This wouldn’t have been his first time and it wouldn’t be his last.
But, with what I knew … I knew I wanted to protect, heal, hold, love … her. That was my mummy reaction to the beautiful baby girl that I gave birth too … I wanted to take away all the bad.
As a society however … we like to think we would do that in response to learning that someone … a child, or an adult … has been sexually assaulted. But we don’t. We become uncomfortable … start asking how and why could that happen .. was it dark, were they alone, was no-one watching, I bet they were all drunk, was it a stranger … and those are questions from the inquisitive. More often than not, there is an uncomfortable silence. Followed by more silence.
For an adult surviving sexual assault as an infant, there is not much compassion or understanding, just blame and shame. Theres a lot of ‘moving on’ talk and awkward silence followed by more ‘letting go’ and forgiveness talk.
But what we really are all forgetting, is that sexual assault of an infant/child, is an epidemic … of greater proportion than global fucking warming or sex trafficking or drugs …. stats back in the day were 1 in 4 girls by the age of 7 … those are now, i believe, 1 in 2 and do not account for under or not reporting. It used to be 1 in 7 boys by 7, and those have increased to about 1 in 3 or 4, again not accounting for under or not reporting. The average pedo in a 40-50 year life span has a conservative number of between 60-200 victims. It doesn’t take a math-me-fucking-tician to figure out those are some fucking disgusting numbers.
Knowing what we know about the effects of sexual assault on an infant/child and the issues that they have growing up … you would think there would be more of an outcry to eradicate sexual violence, in particular sexual violence and assault against an infant/child.
And if compassion doesn’t work, then look at the monetary cost that this shit has on the whole of society … medicating, locking up, counselling, insurances, institutionalising …. a good business model would see that we are not getting the best value for our dollar here …
Wake the fuck up world … if you fuck kids over … if you stand by and watch … if you don’t intervene … they will eventually grow up and bite the fuck back!
My point to my response though … is that in amongst this whole entanglement of shit, we forget that the person that should be taking responsibility .. the person to point the finger at … the person to shame … to despise and humiliate … is the perp-per-fucking-trator! Plain and simple.
We need to refocus and stop blaming the kid that got fucked over .. blame the fucktard that did it!! And then do something about it instead of burying our heads in the fucking sand dunes!
And this is the beginning of my response …
psycho killer – talking heads, 1982
chain swang ~ goodie mob, 1999
move closer ~ phyllis nelson, 1984
game of life – maisey rika, 2009
Westernised society, has this fucked up need to explain everything … with words … backed up with documented proof.
Google it. I’m not wrong.
Indigenous societies, felt no such ‘need’. They relied on instinct, intuition, oral histories, their ancestors. All that is ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’.
Google that. I’m not wrong.
As my pts(d) journey has gone along, and I feel as if I’m ‘healing’ (*makes vomit face*) … another train of thought has come up.
…… I’m over explaining or trying to express things with words.
While words are good & I’m good at words, sometimes there’s some things that cannot be expressed with words.
They are the things deep down … the screams … the pictures … the indignation … the fear …
I’m an artist.
Always have been.
I’m the kid that got picked last for the baseball team, because I didn’t like the grass, the ball, the interaction, the sweat.
But I was also the kid that could tell you (if anyone had ever cared to ask); what happened to ‘that girl’ over there last night … what was going on at home that she didn’t tell anyone about.
I could see it, feel it … on her. I could see it in her body shift and shrinking motions. I could see it in her darkening eyes. I could feel it in her demeanour.
There are no real words for that.
And whatever that is; that ability to ‘see’ what isn’t expressed through words; has haunted me forever.
I stopped looking at people’s eyes; or taking notice of how they moved.
What I haven’t understood until recently though, is that is who I am. It is what makes me ME.
While the ‘experts’ say it’s all pts(d); there has never really been a ‘prior too’ pts(d) for me. It has always been ‘me and ptsd’. It is my norm. And while I’m down for overcoming being an anxious fuck … some of what I am, how I am … is what it is … it is just me.
Does that make ‘others’ feel uncomfortable?
But they were not around when I was little so in all reality, they don’t get a say in what i am now.
are you gonna go my way ~ lenny kravitz, 1993
As a general rule I don’t do private messaging or email contact. Theres a few sound reasons for this and whilst I don’t feel the need to give explanations, this little lesson, I thought would be more helpful Said, than left unsaid.
I’ve spoken previously about remaining anonymous which at it’s core had more to do with the perpetrators children and grandchildren not knowing what he is. He doesn’t have contact with them so at this stage they are safe. One day they will know, but at this stage of the game, it’s not necessary for them to know. But, I wouldn’t like them to find out through a Blog. That’s a face to face conversation that we’ll get to have at a later date.
The side reasons for remaining anonymous have to do with Safety.
This is also the reason for not engaging in private messaging or emails.
Now I’ve broken my own rules on 3 occasions. But that was after a very very long time of getting to know peeps on this platform. So far, I haven’t regretted breaking my rules.
So, the other week I received a comment on one of my posts. The post had to do with sexual assault, as a lot of them do. I usually welcome discussion on the topic. But this comment set my ‘alarm bells’ ringing.
It wasn’t so much what was said, but how it was said. And that in itself is a hard thing to describe. All I know, is when you’ve been ‘at this’ sexual assault topic for as long as I have, there is a certain familiar nauseous feeling that happens in the pit of your gutt, and you know something is ‘off’. Now by enlarge, we are trained to ignore our gutt instincts: not just sexual assault recipients, but society as a whole. We want proof, scientific proof preferably. But when I listen to my instincts, they have never failed Me.
So as I read this comment and my alarm bells were going off, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that was making Me uneasy. I checked the email address of the comment-ter, and while it was definitely odd and couldn’t be tracked easily, it still left no definite proof that what I was feeling was right.
Instead of answering their question, which was inadvertently asking for ‘more details’ of the assault in a round about way – I asked them what we’re usually told is ‘rude’ to ask, and that is ‘Why do you want details?’.
Note: sometimes the most obvious remedy is the most obvious remedy.
I did this for 2 reasons.
- If the question they were posing, was indeed ‘innocent’ and possibly ‘lost in translation’, then a further explanation should clear that up.
- If the question they were posing, wasn’t innocent, then their answer would probably be complimentary and evasive.
The reply I got was the latter.
While compliments are nice to receive and are usually innocent and meant with the best intentions; there are those that use them as a grooming tactic. By way of nice words they are trying to feed what they believe we lack – self-esteem; and are trying to form a bond with us.
The reply I got, complimented my astute awareness of ‘safety’ and anonymity. It then went into how they too believed in such things. Then they asked that I flag those things for the good of ‘information sharing’.
I made it clear that I wouldn’t be doing that. I advised them to go to the front ‘about & disclaimer page’ to read what this blog was about. They did. They then decided that that front page had answered all their questions and ‘thank you for your time’.
Now, whilst appearing reasonably innocent, this is not your average troll.
This is a troll looking for specific information. Details.
And trolls who are looking for details only have a couple of motives.
I believe this troll was the latter.
So the purpose of this post?
Be careful. Not just on this platform, but also in the real world and other social media platforms.
Always ask questions and always listen to your gutt.
We are not un-trusting suspicious feminists for asking questions. We don’t need compliments for approval. We certainly don’t need more freaks prying into our lives.