Celebrity Sexual Abuse

Celebrity sex abuse trials are igniting painful memories for many, memories which have been buried for many, many years. It is in your face stuff for those who have kept their sexual abuse hidden away. It can only be hoped that the high profile people of late who are being made accountable for what may have been frivolous actions, (or not) at the time, are helping these people feel less ashamed and fearful about what they experienced. It would appear there is no ‘use by date’ that is relevant when it comes to being ‘outed’ by someone years later for placing hands, fingers and other parts of the anatomy where they shouldn’t have all those years ago.child

The Catholic church, religious or government run orphanages and schools, homes for wayward girls awaiting the birth of babies, are now on record for sexual abuse claims from generations of young boys and girls whose care was compromised by those in authority. Other institutions are not getting away with inappropriate sexual behaviour either. The Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, swimming coaches, the Navy, to name a few. What about the counsellors, Doctors and even a male massage therapist recently.

It makes me wonder just how many older men are squirming in their seats and worried that their inappropriate sexual behaviour ‘way back when’ may indeed raise its ugly head and have them being made accountable for their actions. That is, if they even deem their actions were misplaced in the first place.

sexual abuse For the most part, many women, myself included, have put inappropriate sexual experiences by men old enough to know better, behind them and got on with living. I would not go so far as to say these experiences are forgotten, but why let the abusive action of another define who you are as an adult?

Many go through years of coping (or denial) they tell no one, not even their partners in marriage. They feel really ashamed, dirty, worthless, no good, and very likely abandoned at some level. They never told anyone as a child because they did not think they would be believed, or could not trust that they would be heard.

In the current climate the trigger for someone who has been sexually abused to speak out is likely to be a high-profile abuse case. These cases cast an element of safety from which to speak out, when you see another had the fortitude to do so and was heard. As a child it is likely you would never have had the courage to talk to anyone about sexual abuse, especially as abusers usually scare you into keeping the ‘ secret ’ or have you believe they would ‘ kill ’ you if you told anyone.

It cannot be easy for those who decide to speak out. Historic sexual abuse cases would have some pretty tough cross examination, I would think. Relying on ones memory for something that occurred years before is likely to be ridiculed by the Defence. The thing is, even if one’s memory is not time specific but action specific, in other words, if what was experienced at the hands of a perpetrator is recounted, even if not in a linear time frame, it still makes what took place damning.

I can’t help thinking if you are male and anywhere between 60 and 90 years old and acted sexually inappropriately back in your heyday, beware, someone, somewhere may gather the courage to speak out and then what? Nowhere to hide anymore.

Winter Reading

There is nothing better than snuggling up on a chilly evening either in bed or in front of the fire in dressing gown and slippers and settling in for a good read. So here’s a couple of books you may be interested in reading.

Some years ago I attended a Freefall Writing Workshop in Byron Bay.  It was run by a Canadian woman Barbara Turner-Vesselago.  We attendees were a great mix of people, in that some of us had never given ourselves permission to really get into a mode of writing that allowed the words to come pouring out onto the page and others were more familiar with the written word.

the-lost-child For one woman, who since has become a dear friend, it was the beginning of what was to become her first novel. Suzanne McCourt’s The Lost Child was published a few months back.  It is a searingly bittersweet story about Sylvie who from the age of five, struggles to make sense of her life in a small fishing village on the southern coast of Australia.  Filled with humour, alongside intensely sad and tragic moments, Sylvie’s resilience and incredible spirit keeps you turning the pages as you follow the highs and lows of her complex childhood. Believe me, the story will stay with you long after you have read the last page.

After the passing of Maya Angelou I find myself once again engrossed in her autobiographical ” I know why the Caged Bird sings”  Maya’s story as a southern black child in the USA, is certainly thought provoking, especially to those of us living in such a different part of the world.  Confronting racism, abandonment, loneliness, sexual abuse and violence this little girl becomes an incredibly strong young woman in her own right.  Her life from the age of 3 to 16 as outlined in this book certainly paved the way for Maya becoming the amazing, confident, graceful woman many of us came to know and adore through her writings and poetry. A great read.

Then there is another book that I bought recently whilst in Sydney.  finding-meI found a bookstore with a cafe as I was wandering through Darlinghurst, when I came across the book by Michelle Knight called Finding Me.  A friend had mentioned this book a few weeks before, so I purchased it and had it half finished before I left!  The next day whilst basking in brilliant sunlight and birdsong in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney, I finished it. Wow!  Another book that stayed with me for days after I read the last page.  Michelle was the first girl kidnapped and held prisoner in the Cleveland, Ohio kidnappings.  It is not a book I would normally read, I have to admit, however I must say it was well written ( the author was Michelle Burford). Enough detail to really allow the reader to understand the inhumane treatment and conditions Michelle went through.  If you read this book, I dare you to take the life you live for granted afterward.  Can you imagine not cleaning your teeth or having a shower for over 12 months? How she survived is beyond comprehension. It was her little boy, who she was going to meet up with the day she was taken, that kept her will to live uppermost in her heart and mind.  She is an amazing, exceptional young woman. She is one whose message of forgiveness, may leave you astonished, but what a powerful ending to such a heinous experience.

9-11-and-the-art-of-happinessLastly, I saw an interview of Simon Kennedy, an Australian,  who had written a book about the loss of his mother in the aircraft that hit the Pentagon on 9/11.  Again, I would not normally read a book that rehashes the events of that awful day in history.  However, there was something (integrity, sincerity) that touched me in that interview which prompted me to purchase the book.  It is called 9/11 and the Art of Happiness.  I found many subtle and profound messages in this book.  I love that the author made no attempt to hide any of his off-hand ways of dealing with his grief and the impact on those closest to him. His unique perspective of 9/11 is certainly food for thought.

His most powerful message is forgiveness. I love that with consideration and humour Simon never jumped on the hate and fear bandwagon. Well worth reading this one.

Let me know what you think about these books.

Older Ladies

This speaks for itself!  Wahooo!!!!  

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RIP Maya Angelou

No introduction needed.  This amazing woman, Maya Angelou has now entered the non physical realm.  She leaves this planet with those of us remaining all the richer for her poems and books.  Her autobiography released in 1969 , ‘ I know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ was acclaimed worldwide. As appalling as some of her […]

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CSG Win for Bentley

Bentley gas free

You know there comes a time, when the voice of the people is heard loud and clear and does make a difference.  Living in the Northern Rivers means that communities are more likely to stick together and support each other, rather than separate and move against each other.  We also have the density of population […]

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The Slave Woman Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman

Sarah Baartman

Until today, I had never heard of this woman. In recent months I have found myself haunted by the eyes of refugees, and have felt my discomfort, my helplessness around the country l live in and their inhumane treatment of them, no matter whether from an African nation or the Middle East. Today, I was […]

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In the Public Eye and Fat?

It was with delight I read this anchor woman’s response to an email sent to her, regarding her weight.  I often wonder who we think we are when criticising others.  Who are we to make derogatory remarks about another?  Whose business is it anyway?  What  gives us the right to publicly denounce another?  Yes, yes, […]

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FREE Online Event – EFT and TAPPING

Nick Ortner and Wayne Dyer

Have you seen Wayne Dyer’s video yet about the incredible power of forgiveness and the tool that can help you create a more fulfilled life? If you missed it you can watch it by clicking here. Wayne Dyer recently sat down with Nick Ortner, a noted tapping expert and author of the New York Times […]

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Integrity in Politics

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It is interesting to see over the weekend that Tony Abbott had his You Tube channel shut down for misleading and deceptive content!!! This is the video that caused the stir and forced You Tube to stand by their guidelines and show integrity.     This is going to happen more and more often in […]

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Happy New Year 2014

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December 31, 2013 by Paulo Coelho (One of my favourite authors…what a great message for this New Year…how about it?) No one can go back, but everyone can go forward. And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourselves is: I am going to think of this day as the first […]

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