Family Law Reform Coalition – Press Release for 01.02.2016 “Australia’s Family Courts on Trial.” A must read for everyone!!
I received a phone call this morning from a young woman who asked me to check my email. She had sent me a copy of Family Law Reform Coalition press release. I was impressed because in her little corner of her world, where much of life passes her by on a regular basis, she was awake enough to care about what is on her plate. She is not likely ever going to be anyone that the world will know, but with each event in her life, she is waking up, paying attention and engaging. I admire her for that.
An overhaul of Family Court is due in most countries. The only people who do not understand the need for this, are those who have never had to use it.
Family court, unlike any of the other courts, makes allowance for people’s emotions during a difficult time, which is the only excuse I come up for as to why they do not enforce the basic rules and codes of conduct that are upheld in the other courts. The most blatant of which is the amount of lying that goes on. People lie in their affidavits. They lie to the court ordered psychologists and psychiatrists. They lie in their testimony. They lie for themselves. They lie for their families and friends. And those lies are often proven during the course of the case that is being decided, and NOTHING is done about it.
By nothing, I mean I have never heard anyone being charged with perjury, despite the same wording being on everything people sign regarding swearing that you are telling the truth and it being a criminal offense to lie.
The problem with this is that it leads to people lying to the Police, to Social Services, and to Maintenance. In some instances it is even teaching the children involved how to lie and that our courts do not deserve respect. Making you swear to tell the whole truth doesn’t actually mean the “true truth.” Based on these lies people’s lives are ruined, their wages are being garnisheed and charges and judgments are placed against them. Continue reading Fighting for Families, The End of Family Courts.
This is supposed to be the point in my life where I look at the long winding road that has lead me here and consider the successes, the failures, and consider my regrets.
Is it rude to say I don’t have any?
It isn’t that I think I am perfect because I am so far from that I laugh to think I ever allowed myself to live trying to achieve that, and then cried when I fell short. It isn’t that I cannot see or feel the pain, the heartache, the darkness, the problems all around me. I am not living with some rose coloured glasses on pretending the world is all beer and skittles. I recognize that every detail of my life’s journey is shaded many colours both dark and light and I am grateful for the ability I gained to use it all to grow and learn.
I don’t even miss people or places. I love that some people and places touched me on such a level that I only have to close my eyes and I am there again. I can feel them to the point that I give away my present moments to their honour. What a gift to have had those types of experiences. Even the painful ones, that are so sharp they can make me bleed, remind me that I will not repeat the actions that placed me there. They are jewels of a different kind. But I don’t wish that they were here or that I could go back because you can’t go back to anything. Even if some miracle could transport you, how would you recognize anything? You are not that person any more. Continue reading Sometimes The Longest Journey.
We went to visit some people once. I don’t know why. If you knew someone years ago and never stayed in touch, I don’t get why people think it is a good thing to renew things. Like maybe the people were doing you a favour and keeping Uncle Herman from eating another one of their good friends? Maybe the people never liked you in the first place and they are just too polite to tell you that “no, they really have no interest in seeing you again.” Maybe they only are having you over because they can’t remember who you are and have you confused with someone they actually like. Or maybe, they forgot all about you and they hate to miss out on an opportunity to rub it in someone’s face that they hit the big times.
Oh ya I know, maybe they really missed you too and are dying to have you come over.
Get real, and stop reading my blogs ok?
We went to visit people that were from “way back” to my grandparents. We drove for what seemed like 3 weeks to get there but any time confined in small places with my grandparents made time stand still so it might have only been 3 minutes, I don’t know. When we got there everyone hugged and we were introduced and pushed into place and head patted until the adults went off to have coffee and left us with their absolute little snotball of a daughter – so we could “play” together and not be bothered with all the grownup talk that would probably “bore us to death.” Continue reading When Memories Fail Us.
The grass was over grown, perhaps the lawnmower had broken down, or perhaps her parents were just too busy with preparations for Christmas, but the little red haired girl appeared not to notice a thing amiss as she strode purposefully into the midst of the grass that was almost as tall as she was. She had that very busy look about her, like nothing would deter her from her very important appointment with her back yard.
Today’s look was a sort of fairy-cowboy-Barbie. She had her wings hanging off one arm and dragging in the grass and her fairy skirt. She had on cowboy boots and a straw cowboy hat with a dangling red whistle under her chin. And she had a pink Barbie t-shirt on- inside out for her own stamp of individualism and a political statement about how Barbie lives in all of us and it is our inner barbie we needed to cultivate and express!! I guess you could call it a”fairboybie” look. I loved it and immediately felt bad that I had not thought to bring a cowboy hat with me from Canada. I tugged at my own fairy wings as I watched her through the window … Continue reading Lessons From The Little Red Haired Girl Next Door. The UnMowed Lawn.
“You have changed!”
People say that to me with an accusatory tone. I am not sure how they expect me to respond.
If I have not changed in a year, in 10 years, I would be sadly disappointed in myself. I work hard on making sure I have changed. I spend time with myself. I put effort into learning. I ask questions. I research. I listen. I pay attention. The call is always to deepen my understanding, to push beyond the comfortable, to not be satisfied with status quo.
I find out over and over again that my understanding was limited, superficial, and even completely wrong. That inspires me to dig. I cannot continue to say and do the things I used to say and do when I know that they no longer serve me because I have found so much more. It will mean that I may not be on the same page with people that I once was.
Of course I have changed. Continue reading Response to a Friend. Yes, I Have Changed.
This year I returned to Canada. I had been going back once, twice a year, for awhile but once my mother in law became ill, and our daughter here was having problems, we found ourselves landlocked for almost 3 years.
Moving to a new country set off an emotional conflict within. Where is home? I am living here in Australia but am not connected to it or people in the way I was once connected to Canada. Yet, I am no longer in Canada and people move on without me and I have been making my own journey that has led me far from what was once so familiar.
I felt guilt that returning to Canada leaves me with more and more apprehension while returning to Australia feels more and more like a home coming. I felt that on the very first journey here. It was like my soul had come home to a place where it belonged. I had never truly felt “at home” anywhere, but one visit to Australia changed that. It was the feeling, a generalized, non specific feeling not attached to anything, or even logic. It just occupied my heart and nurtured it in a way I had never known before. I felt my soul letting out a long and deep sigh. I settled in, and I never wanted to leave. Continue reading Going Home
This is your Uncle Andrew. He is famous.
The phrase “hung out to dry” came from him. Wikipedia does not fully understand what it was like to have Uncle Andrew in the family. We did not “abandon him when he was in danger or in need of help.” That may be what other people mean when they “hang someone out to dry,” but I have already taught you that other people don’t know anything.
We were helping him.
That there is compassion in action. NOT abandonment.
We hung him out and hosed him off because he used bacon grease to try and make war paint. He was never good at colouring in the lines and he basically painted his entire upper body with the stuff. The dogs were trying to eat him. So we hung him up for his own protection because Uncle Andrew was a little shit. In addition to the dogs who were trying to eat him, several of the adults wanted to demonstrate corporal punishment techniques and the neighbourhood children had taken out a hit list against him. Some kittens had mobbed together because they were sick of him trying to set them on fire. They wanted to punch him.
We were bully proofing him by putting him out of reach.
Sometimes your parents may “hang you out to dry.” It will be for your own protection. You should thank them. Your Uncle Andrew is still alive because we cared. You should be so lucky as to survive your childhood.
People make a big deal about this like we were bad parents. Notice that if you leave a kid by the side of the road, meaning someone really abandons him, no-one comes up with some nifty little saying to torture you with for eternity. We hung Uncle Andrew out to dry and now it is used as the poster phrase for abandoning someone in need of help. Boo hoo. They don’t even ask you what happened to Little Brian. BTW you had another uncle named Brian too. Don’t really know what ever happened to him. We lost sight of him in the dust as we sped away.
I escaped over the past few months. I slipped off the restraints and ran naked into the night.
Ok that sounds a lot more poetic than it actually was. I packed and drove to the airport. Then I came back, only I had a bunch of shit to do and ya … Christmas . . .
Anyway I am sure many of you are lying on your death beds waiting for some word that I have returned so consider yourself worded. I have returned.
Running away used to be fun. First there was that panic in the adults voice if you disappeared because they were still so sleep deprived and possibly on post natal drugs, that they believed you were some angelic being that transformed their life into little shimmering lights of meaning. Of course I am talking pre-teething and pre-two-year-old. Continue reading The Reason for the Season And Why You Thought I Died.
Dialogue is the substance of effective problem solving. A topic alone can be too broad and ends up with people on opposing sides shouting rhetoric at one another that does not even remotely resemble the give and take of meaningful discussion. People come to these situations with a suitcase full of catchy phrases and half stated facts from half read articles that came to them on Facebook during one evening commute home on the train. The object of the exchange seems to be to unpack that suitcase as quickly as one can, flinging the phrases with all the strength you can muster, and then to grab the empty suitcase and head home. Continue reading Immunization The Debate That Never Ends
“One thing I have learned with certainty is not to stand in connection with those who diminish me. This is particularly difficult when family is involved, because we have a vested interest in perpetuating the family system for all kinds of different reasons. I don’t believe one should endure abuse no matter how attached they are to an idea of family. There are many families (read: soulpod) waiting for us just outside our habitual awareness. We are not responsible for those who diminish us. We really have to get that. We can be compassionate and we can certainly understand where their abusiveness comes from, but understanding the origins does not mean we have to endure it. It’s not our cross to bear.” Jeff Brown
We live our lives and reach out to those around us that we feel a connection with. Sometimes that connection comes from a sense of duty, sometimes it is from a shared activity, sometimes we are moved by compassion. There are times when we share interests with people or just connect on a number of levels and enjoy their company. In addition to all of those, we often make extended efforts with members of our own family because the loss of family can seem so alien to everything we know and have been taught. Families are supposed to be forever. They are the ones that are always supposed to have your backs. Continue reading Reflection 2015