thank you sisters

March 27, 2012

last week i suffered an ever so slight 1950’s moment, i’ll call it.  it’s actually been the case for the majority of women for the majority of history, and persists for many today.

tally took my wallet off for a play and rummage one morning.  when i retrieved it i could not find my bank key card.  little bugger, no cash in the wallet anyways and now an annoying trip to the bank to cancel the card and get a new one, with the associated wait of easily over a week for a PIN to be posted to me.  i would be dependant on paul to dole out the money to me.  akin to a goodie wife i must wait meekly my master’s hand outs.  tho, you understand, it’s not like that in our household anyways.  paul trusts me completely and wouldn’t require me to account for every penny spent.  as it turned out i did find my bank card after diligently searching the entire house and trying to think like a two and half year old- “where would i hide something small, within reach?”  he hadn’t hidden it at all really; it was tucked in behind another card in my wallet.  oops!  should have searched harder the first time.

i did start to think about all the freedoms and equalities that women enjoy now.  i know there are many more yet to achieve and around the world even the simplest are out of reach for too, too many women.  however for what has been achieved and for what men and women continue to fight for; thank you.

to all the sisters who have ever sat down, stood up, lain down or got chained up for a right or a cause, thank you.  to the women who have bought a corset or burnt a bra, filled in a form, refused to tick a box, written a letter, learnt to write, spoken up, remained silent, been labeled, pointed fingers, marched in the pouring rain, refused to get out of a warm bed, held their head high, met the gaze, run away, taken a bullet (particularly literally) stood firm, joined together, remained apart, shouted from roof tops, negotiated behind closed doors, banged drums, banged heads, held hands, held guns, or did any large or small thing that has made my life freer and easier, thank you.

to the men and women who continue to strive, to the suffragettes and the sufferers, i bow my humble head and offer thanks.

alternative focii

March 19, 2012

is that a word?  focii?  as opposed to “focuses”?

on the importance of an alternative area for focus in your life.

discuss.  (well, not really, i’m just going to expound.)

it is important for every person to have a range of interests or pursuits or hobbies or jobs or things of interest or call it whatever you will, for them to switch their focus between.  unless you are totally driven and fulfilled by one thing.  then, i suppose you won’t be sent mad by doing nothing but that thing, constantly.

spread the burden of occupying your mind amongst a few things.  they don’t all have to be gob-smackingly amazing.  i don’t encourage you to cure cancer and establish world peace all at the same time.  my mind occupying burden is spread amongst relatively simple things- reading, blogging, house designing, caring for my children, enjoying my friends, re-establishing a liveable garden here in loves ave, o bay.  one of the other things that gets a degree of focus, while at the same time remaining mostly thought-free is cleaning and housework.  it allows time to pass in a fog.  sometimes a nice thing.  i find i clean when my head is in a mess.  when i can’t think straight or don’t know what to do to achieve what i want; i clean.  it’s a bit ocd, and settling.  repeatively doing something (vaccuuming, washing dishes, ironing, etc.) returns me to a placid state.  with the bonus of being able to look around me and feel “well, i can’t seem to sort that out, but look- i can achieve something!”  there’s no more snot on the kids clothes and we have clean dishes to eat from.  that sort of thing.

it’s perhaps telling that when paul and i fight, he goes off to work for his alternative focii and i stay home and clean.  seems the bigger the fight and cleaner the house.  the house is moderate to quite clean today.

breaking the cycle

March 8, 2012

apparently the likelihood of abused children growing-up and becoming abusive parents is very high.  higher than 50%.  that’s a horrid statistic.  and one i query.

i must first point out that i in no way condone or excuse abusive behaviour.  it’s evil and nasty and under-mining and un-ending in its effect.  abusers are, in my opinion and understanding, hurting and hurtful people that have either disdained or dismissed the opportunity to be bigger and better.  and the opportunity is there for everyone.  even the most addicted, wretched, hopeless person has the ability, at some time, even if only for short times, to think.

i query the statistic and the affirmed fact that victims are more likely than not, to turn into perpertrators.  of the many (unfortunately) abused as children people i know, not a single one, NOT A SINGLE ONE, would repeat the behaviours visited on them.  they would also not abuse by a different method either.  why am i so sure of this?  because i see it and i speak about it.  people have relayed to me their harrowing tales and i see the love and determination in their relationships with their children.  i’ve been into their homes and i feel confident that they are not abusers.  true, i’m not there 24/7 and god know abusers are great at tricking others, either intentionally or subconsciously, into believing love and light is all that happens in their home.  but i just can’t believe such a huge percentage of victims go on to be abusers.  i know men and women now that were beaten and molested and neglected as children, share anxious days, nights, weeks, months and years trying to concieve a child, birth and raise that child and never let that child have even an inkling that they are anything less than entirely safe and loved immeasureably all their life.  these people have broken the labeled ‘cycle of abuse.’

i know supposedly it is those people, already behind the eight ball, that have heaped disadvantages, that make it into the statistics and are the easiest to study, are probably not the people that i, in my cushy, white-bread, middle-class, easy suburban life do not have much, if any, contact with.  the people i do meet, associate with and become friends with, are predominantly tertiary educated, white-collar workers.  they have the brains, the means and the wherewithal to recognise problems and solve them.  they can pay for, access and continue counselling.  they can call on support from friends, family, paid-for professionals and government agencies.  they can understand life can be different and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

perhaps i just don’t understand how different and difficult life can be for the badly marginalised?  i’ve read that most of our prison population were abused as children.  it’s easy to study prisoners, they’re not going anywhere and answering the questions of some arts student is time away from washing dishes and being locked in a cell.  not very representative tho.

my journey out of my parents home, to independance and now into a type of dependance again was relatively easy.  (the dependance i feel now is actually on my children.  it’s an intrinsic and hard to explain need i have for them to be in my life.  i depend on them not to do anything or to provide me with anything, just to be there.  it’s going to take a separate exploration/post to make myself clear…)  i saw no long life for me in my parents home and left it shortly after my sixteenth birthday.  i had the advantage of living in a rural town where rent is cheap and boredom unmitigatable (word?)  i could complete high school at liberty and provided i stole a portion of my needs got by.

 

this has been a difficult post to write.  odd, that after twent years i need to remind myself that the unhealthy behaviour that was modeled to me in my parents house is not something i need to let affect me now.  i want to congratulate all the broken children, that by whatever means you used, you healed yourself and are now a bigger and better adult.  you’ve taken your broken self and broken a cycle.

 

percy is doing brilliantly at school.  i think she has settled into kindergarten very well.

she has made friends and we’ve got a couple of lovely families that live one minute around the corner that we walk to/from school with every day.  so many families are popping up so close to us- how come we’ve missed them the past two years?

percy’s teacher is mrs stevenson, who appears very professional and caring.  it’s a large class she’s in.  there are three kindergarten classes at oyster bay primary this year.  each class has 23 kids in it.  apparently if there had been just one more enrollment, the school could have made four kindergarten classes.  oh well.  i think it does percy a world of good not to be the centre of the universe all the time.  i have noticed her temperament, behaviour, consideration, vocabulary, sharing, thoughfulness and general maturity are all changing and improving.  it’s nice.  yeah, we still have disagreements and altercations but not as many and not as fierce.  (i wonder how much this has to do with me being home full-time, also?  there’s no non-stop rush to be out the door at 7:20am every day now.  in fact percy is occasionally still asleep at 7:20am!)

she has already attended her first school friend birthday party, has invited seven friends to her own and has an invitation to another.  i predict a busy year of recycling gifts!  oooh, that’s a bit bad of me, isn’t it?  by way of explaination/apology, i haven’t a clue what present to give percy, let alone another five year old child.

percy is reading her “reader” (a simple book, for all those non-school attending people) every nite with paul.  he has far more patience to sound out the words with her than i do.  she is enjoying mathletics (an online maths teaching program), playing outside when the weather permits, taking things in to talk about for news day (mondays) and otherwise not telling much about it at all.  which apparently is typical.

i’m concerned her reading ability is behind that of her peers. i haven’t much proof of this and i do remind myself that she is not yet five years old while some in her class are nearly six.  we have been advised to give her time and plenty of encouragement and soon enough the “light-bulb” moment will happen when she “gets” reading and then there’ll be no stopping her.  if i was the praying type, that’s the day i would pray for.  if all four us could be curled up on the day bed together, each reading our own book with a gentle breeze and a pleasant sun, i’d be in heaven.

speaking of praying… percy attended scripture class yesterday.  needless to say i was ropable!!  this morning it got worse.  a class mate’s mum and i both approached mrs stevenson to voice our displeasure.  mrs stevenson will do more to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  however the other mum told me her daughter came home to her with this message “the scripture teacher told me to tell you that i should be doing scripture.”  WTFFFFFF!!!!  it’s sometimes lucky that percy doesn’t communicate much about school with me because if she had said that to me i would be demanding to know the name, telephone number and home address of the scripture teacher so i could give her a taste of hell before she gets there in the natural course of events.  they have next week to get things right before they get a letter from my lawyer!

oyster bay public school is split over two campuses.  there about 200m apart along the same road.  one site is the k-2, the other the 3-6.  except this year because the year one student body is so large, as is the kindergarten intake, the year 2’s have been booted up to the 3-6 campus, as space is at a premium on the kindy site.  it makes for a rather sweet, small school with just the kindies and year one kids together.  the new kindergarten kids get teamed up with a buddy from both year one and year six (tho with only one year six class, the year fives have ben drafted in to be buddies too this year.)  i don’t know who are percy’s buddies yet, they may not have been paired up yet.  percy has been down to the 2-6 campus for an official tour, plus that’s where we go on weekends to practice bike and scooter riding on a flat surface.  so when she moves up there i don’t think it will be a big transition.  it is a shame that she’ll be on a different campus by the time tally starts kindergarten.

i made the mistake of only buying one uniform dress and three shirt and short sets.  of course, she only wants to wear the dress.  which she does, four days running until sports day on friday which is a different uniform.  oh well.

i’m waiting for a call back from the principal… about the scripture attendance…