Full Circle

5546845675_89246e2931_o[(Awarded 1st Place) Great Grandmother by SFC Lance Widner – Division 1 (Active Duty Military) CC by 2.0]

The light weighs no more than seven pounds or one hundred,

fuses the two in joint weightlessness,

gifts a vision, transcendent,

reveals what was and is and a voice says, Come.

Question is not asked nor answer given though it hangs

on pillows and white cotton,

a wondering, hopeful question,

am I thus renewed

and the light blinks,

bats eyes in coy allusion,

it is not mine to tell

but lift, with me, this easy burden,

bring your child home.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Photo Challenge #92 and Haddon Musings’ Senior Salon #3. For some reason, best known to my Kindle browser upgrade, I can’t copy and paste the links. I’ll do that when I fire up my laptop tomorrow – well, today, but I’m going to sleep now. Hope I wake! I hate an unfinished job.

Woke, worked, shopped, still doing, Merry Christmas, not wrapped yet but got the links updated. I call that a score. 😉

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Child’s Day

No tears on waking,

one to keep

from words of love still running deep,

Two or more shall still be shed 

upon this day and those ahead

for mum-shaped love departed.

Daughter still,

though only name,

when both have gone, it’s not the same

Love shaped, parent-hearted.

I’ll never be an adult till

I forget, don’t miss them still,

Child-shaped, broken-hearted.

A rose or two I’ll lay today,

My children with me as I say

Goodbye, again,

Love and miss you always,

tears now started.

Funny how

the years betray

the child inside us, come what may,

 Children all, though parted.

Some tears I’ll spread for kids around,

some for others lost but bound

to heaven’s home where still they be

parents always to childlike me.

As children, how we started.

Today is Mother’s Day in the UK. To all children and parents, children still, for the love you have and give, be blessed.

Surcease

Wonder,

in the shadow of the moonlight,

calls you near me,

child bereft of toy and worldly joy,

hearkening to music in the starlight,

cherubic voices promising, as a chorus,

a sweeter love,

all moments to enjoy

an earthbound pleasure,

in the joy of angels,

a muted fear,

trumpet blast to ease,

seclusion,

in the bosom of all music,

oblivion, in harmony,

surcease.

The Circle

I have been reading a number of posts on abuse and bullying. There has been some coverage on TV about the same. The impact of child abuse or bullying on the child and the later adult may never be fully understood. One such post I read had a huge impact on me. The author speaks of her own experiences as a survivor. http://nae50.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/might-have-could-have-was-abuse/  And links to a video and song ‘Committing Slow Suicide’ by Scott Stapp from the group Creed. The video is harrowing to watch. It may even have been taken down by now.

The levels of abuse and types suffered by children enrage me. I cannot thole bullying in any form. My reactions are visceral when I read or hear of it. I was bullied by someone as a child. I stopped it. No one else. I took control. But. It left its imprint. I will not and cannot tolerate any sort of control of myself. And view others who seek to exert control as similar to monsters. My experience, however, was as nothing compared to the suffering of others. If people suffer more, they hurt more, it takes longer to heal. And their methods may be quite different and not always effective. The struggles of survivors to heal and find understanding and reasons for the actions of others leave a lifelong mark. And it may break them or make them stronger. Those I have been reading are among some of the strongest people I have ever encountered.

I’m drawn to hurt like moth to flame,

Others’ pain fills me with shame

That angsts I feel, though deep and wounding,

Hold no candle to some depths of hurting.

 

Mind sets, altered in early days,

Fight with nature’s inherent ways.

A struggle then, a lifelong one,

To come to terms with what was done.

 

Comprehension and forgiveness

Demand some reasons, any answers.

Dependence on an earthly crutch

May transfer or hide so much.

 

Seeking some oblivion

From hurts performed by some or one.

That child of then exists right now,

Trapped in time, until somehow

 

Someone, you, maybe another

Comforts, absolves, helps uncover

What was hidden or openly done,

Unobserved or viewed by some.

 

Abuse of child in any form

Is not so rare but is not the norm.

Many kinds or types there be

Killing, suffocating, we

 

Who know the hurt a bully causes,

Inflicting pain, causing losses

Of memories of childhood pleasure,

A time when all should build as treasure.

 

But stolen by the hands of one,

Abandoned then to struggle on

In adult life with child inside

Who seeks still love, approval, pride

 

In being who they ought to be

Not discredited and forced to flee

From inner mind where sanctuary

Sublimates or sets them free.

 

Acknowledgement of all who hurt

From childhood trauma. Not your fault!

Beating, words or actions done

By other must be owned by one

 

Who perpetrated such a crime,

Robbed innocence, God’s divine

Gift to child and all the world

To view with wonder when beheld.

 

Those who steal such gift away

Will answer, surely, come the day

When asked, ‘How did you fill your life?’

To answer, ‘I killed a child, as if with knife,

 

By stabbing at the hearts of pure.’

No one escapes! But some endure

An endless query. Why me? Why then?

To ask those words again, again.

 

No answers here, I cannot claim,

But trust that love always reclaims

The heart of child for loving much

Is what they do so well, with such

 

Belief in trust. May, then,

Trust and love, regrow again.

And pain depart or recognise

That no guilt attaches in your eyes.

Dancing Daughter

Picture perfect,

Pointed toes,

She moves with sheer delight.

Twirling, whirling princess –

Sings and dances

With all her might.

A voice raised true

And arms out flung,

She does not have a care.

Her heart extols her virtue

No audience is there:

Except for me, a smiling mum

Watching through the glass.

Wishing childlike confidence

Might last when youth has passed.

Reaching out to Mum

Right. This is just getting ridiculous.

Let me state quite clearly…….. I did not come onto this site to be everyone’s mum.

OK?

Got that?

I am not your mum.

I love you.

I care about you.

I want you to happy.

I want you to be comfortable in your own soul.

I hurt if you hurt.

I feel what you feel.

I want to soothe your ailments.

Does that make me your Mum?

No. It makes me human.

Your mum is already out there..

Maybe she needs you to reach out to her?

I don’t know.

I really, really don’t know.

No kidding.

But.

If your mum, for whatever reason (And it better be a really good reason. Don’t give me any crap about how hard she is on you, or how she makes you do chores. Sob. Sob.), really is not there for you then, OK, I give in.

I don’t seriously need any more children. Really, I don’t. Although a gorgeous little baby would not be unwelcome. (Don’t go there. You’re too old. Stop it. Be a granny. Eventually.)

I hurt.

I mean. I really hurt.

I cannot bear the pain that children experience, without wanting, in some way, to alleviate it.

But. I am not your Mum. She is out there. Somewhere. Probably wondering about you.

Reach out.

Too often the child is forced to be the adult. But, sometimes, it is worth it.

Reach out.

In my belief, it is a rare woman who is not moved by their own child.

I qualify.

It is a rare parent who is not moved by their own child.

I either have been very lucky or very blessed to have the love of a good man. (And I use ‘good’ selectively).

So many hurts. So much suffering.

Seriously, I did not enrol to embrace what I encounter daily.

But.

But.

But.

I will never turn my back on a soul that is suffering.

Please, I beg you, find another way. A better way.

Leave me out of this equation if you can.

But.

But.

But.

If you exhaust all, and I mean all, avenues for comfort and understanding, I will not turn my back on you.

I made  that promise to myself a long time ago.

And it holds good.

Seriously, I did not come here for this.

I do not want this.

I want to explore me. Not you. Not you and your problems.

But, I promise you, if you have exhausted all avenues before you, I will not ignore you.

Please try, on your own terms, first.

Please.

We are all souls looking to be understood.

And everything I said I qualify with the right you have to seek help where you can find it. And the duty I have to provide it where I can.

First, turn to mum.

If that fails, I humbly ask you to accept that I will stand in her stead until she is in a position to hold you and comfort you as all mothers should.x

Bullying.

I apologise for the length of this post in advance. But it is a subject that riles me so much that I find it difficult to be too precise.

http://zanyzacreviews.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/a-note-on-bullying/

and

http://lesbianlove97.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/why-must-people-judge-love-is-love-right/

I cannot agree that there is an instinctive sadistic urge in us all.

I do agree that there are many people who have a distorted perception of the world. Their inability to empathise or, at the very least, sympathise with differing human conditions still manages to shock me to the core.

I see bullying in my workplace. Children on children, adults on adults, adults on children.

Thankfully, among the adults it is more rare. You expect ‘grown-ups’ to know better. Although that is not always the case.

I always, without exception, act on bullying that I am made aware of. And try to put preventative measures in place even where no bullying,apparently,exists.

Teaching young people to ‘walk in another’s shoes’ is one of the most valuable lessons I can give the children in my care.

I have questioned the need that some people seem to have for bullying another and, over the years, I have come to one or two conclusions.

Firstly, let me say, it is never acceptable. Never.

However, understanding motives behind actions does help to go some way in being able to effectively redress those actions.

In many cases, those bullied have been victims themselves, not necessarily in the same environment in which they perpetrate their crime.

Disclosure of facts by children and other bodies leads me to believe that many children are bullied at home. Sometimes by other siblings, sometimes by parents. Strict authoritarian rule, without the ability to negotiate anything and absolute adherence to the rules regardless of how ill-conceived they may be, can lead to rebellion. If unable to express it at home, it can become manifest in other areas of life.

The desire to exert control or power over someone else, when you have none yourself, is strong.

Seeing one parent bullying another is also too often the scenario children bear witness to on a day to day basis.

I have first-hand dealings with children whose inability to control temper is beyond description here. In most cases, it has eventually been revealed that their own home life experiences are a replica. They know no better example.

There are then children who ‘rule the roost’ at home. In these cases it is too little parental authority that is the root of the problem. They are given license to be as obnoxious as they wish. It is not what they need. It is not even what they want. They need boundaries. These children want boundaries to show that someone cares enough to exert them. There is, sometimes, on the part of a parent, the desire to instil so much confidence in their children, that they forget a couple of other life lessons. Like how to treat other people.

It’s a tough job but parents have got to do it.

I have heard,  more times than I care to think about, vitriolic comments that do not come from the school environment. These children are being taught, systematically or accidentally, to hate and ridicule in the same ignorant fashion as their parents. Football teams, religion and colour are usually high on the agenda.

Yes, and maybe- just maybe- there are some who are plain bad. I, personally, do not accept this as a generality. Dig deep enough and you will find the reasons.

Unfortunately, this all seems like little help to anyone being bullied. What does understanding motive have to do with dealing with the problem? How can knowing the possible or probable whys help with the very pressing hows? How to stop it? How to prevent it?

I am no expert on this subject. And there are behavioural psychologists out there who will have better advice to give on the subject of the whys and the hows.

But.

I deal with children every day. I have taught for over thirty years. I have seven children of my own. One or two of them have been bullied at some point. I have been bullied in my life.

My advice to stop someone bullying you?

First, accept that this is not your fault. That’s right.

You do not deserve this.

You have not done anything to warrant being bullied.

Not your ears, not your eyes, not your nose, not your glasses, not your skin colour, not your religion, not your sexuality, not your geekiness, not your introversion, not your weight, not your intelligence, not your clothes, not because you play chess.

Nothing.

You do not deserve to be bullied.

By anyone.

So get that in your head, first of all. Bullying is not on.

Secondly, recognise, and I mean really recognise, that the bully is the one with the true problem here. True, as in psychologically disturbed.

Perceiving the world as they do is not considered normal by many, many people.

Now, how do you get them to stop?

Well, once you’ve acknowledged the first two and accepted them as fact, do this.

Lift your head up. Square your shoulders. Look straight ahead. Practise this first in front of a mirror, by all means. Now say,

‘I am God’s creation. Creation is beautiful. God does not make rubbish. I am His beautiful creation.’

And do you know what? You are. Whether you believe this or not. You absolutely are. Say it enough times. And stop criticising your own nose/spots/glasses/hair/weight/height/colour/whatever.

I really mean that. Stop it! And stop it now.

Walking about dejectedly, feeling ugly, not loving yourself can make you a target. You’re vulnerable.

What do bullies do? They pick on the most vulnerable. Or, at least, who they perceive to be vulnerable. Don’t make yourself a bullseye.

Now this is not a criticism of people who are bullied. It is merely an acknowledgement that those most likely to be bullied are those who appear to be the most vulnerable. Easy pickings, they think. A lot of bullies are cowards. They don’t want the challenge.

Paedophiles, questioned on how they picked their victims, responded that they could spot a target in a crowded room. Body language speaks volumes.

Get your head back up. You are not that person.

You are God’s beautiful creation. What are you?

‘I am God’s beautiful creation.’

Now shout it out loudly, somewhere, anywhere.

‘I AM GOD’S BEAUTIFUL CREATION!’

Belt it out!

Now some practical tips.

If someone says something to you, turn it back on them as a question.

It doesn’t have to be smart or witty or even sensible. It helps. But it doesn’t have to be.

Examples:

Bully: Does your mother let you walk about looking like that?

You: Do you want to ask her yourself?

Bully: Are you trying to be funny?

You: Is it working?

Bully: I’ll waste you.

You: Would you like me to give you something else to waste?

Now, as I said, it doesn’t have to be smart or witty or even sensible. Just answer back with a question.

A question turns the tables and often leaves the bully too perturbed to know what exactly to do next.

And sometimes, the bully may come at you, fists flying.

My advice? Go mental back at them. You might not win this time but they will think again before tackling you if you have given as good as you got.

As a rule, I do not, absolutely do not, advocate violence. But. And, it’s a big but, sometimes it is your only tool.

All of the above can work for adults as well as for children.

Think about it.

You are in your workplace and someone – boss/colleague/bully is about to give you a hard time. Ask a question.

Boss: Have you finished that report yet?

You: Was it urgent?

Boss: Duhh, I needed it yesterday.

You: Would you like me to get on to it straight away or stay at this meeting?

Boss: Well, I need you here. So it will have to wait.

You: So, it’s not that urgent?

Have a retort ready. Anything.

When one of my children was being bullied I did not know. After I found out, I was devastated to think I had so badly misjudged his poor behaviour at home. I accused him of having no patience/control of his temper/consideration for others.

When I found out, through my daughter, that he was being bullied, my reaction was typical of most mothers.

I wanted to go up to that school and rip the neck off of the child/ren that was the source of my son’s unhappiness.

How dare they? How absolutely-fucking-dare they?

I’ll eat them alive.

You know? A measured approach.

I didn’t.

I would have lost my job/been arrested/restrained in a white jacket.

After all, I was the adult.

So, what did I do?

I listened.

I asked questions.

I got the whole story.

I thought.

I read up on bullying.

I studied it.

I swotted.

Obviously, this is the responsible human equivalent of ripping someone’s neck out.

Then.

Oh, then.

I put my son through a course on bullying.

We practised retorts and comebacks.

Sometimes, I was the bully and he had to give the retorts. Sometimes, he was the bully and I got to think up all the fabulous things I would say.

My daughter joined in.

She said she actually like when people came onto her because she never knew what she was going to say until she opened her mouth and was invariably delighted at her sarcastic wit. (She always has had a smart mouth on her.)

I am not trying to be flippant on a subject that is capable of making me imagine violence.

I have read posts on this site, too many posts, where young adults and older adults alike, suffer at the hands of people who amuse themselves with exerting power over others.

This subject gets to me in a way that a few others do. I imagine violence. Then I try to think smart.

Bullying is never, ever, ever acceptable.

Bullying is a way some people try to control their environment or people within it.

It affects children and adults.

We can choose how we react to their behaviour.

I choose never to accept it. I choose to always fight it with whatever means are at my disposal. I choose to bleed sometimes. I choose not to be a victim.

What do you choose?

And what are you going to do about it?

This Child

This child who looks so deeply

And intently into my eyes

Is lent to me for a brief time.

A life spent loving her will never be enough

But I will try

In the time I have

To love and guide her

And set her path.

She will stray

And I will wrong

But I’ll try.

We will grow together

And fall apart together

But we’ll try.

Strength is required and guidance and grace.

I will harness all sources and shower her with God’s gifts.

He will bless her and keep her in His cares when mine fail.

But I’ll try.

(3-3-05)