Saturday, May 04, 2013

So I wore my puffy orange today.



























I need to get a better pic, or at least one with a femme instead of an homme.

Or should that be puffy Orange? It seems it needs a capital. I had a quick coffee meeting with my business partner, in a cafe about half-way between our houses. She squeezed me in between basketball practices and I squeezed her in between dropping Princess over at her grandmother's to go to the opera and me cleaning the house in a frenzy.

No reason for the cleaning, apart from the house being a fucking brothel of mess and clutter and even, yes even dirt that has somehow blown in through the windows and coated the window sills.

I'm not a house-wifely person. Some are and that's fine, but I'm just not. I put it off as long as possible: I light scented candles, move piles around rooms, pick dog hair and human hair off my socks while sitting on the couch until just the day before my period is due I go into a frenzy. it's like I think I'm going to have a baby or something and I have to nest. The cleaning (and the resentment I feel against any and all who live in this house with me) feeds my hormone-rage until I'm in a state, saying fuck a lot in my head, having whole conversations where I blast someone, and then I have to take myself to bed to have a lie-down and read, and then drink wine far too early. And probably eat a whole bowl of chips (but not the whole packet: see, I've left some in the bottom - this is how I let myself off.) This is if this occurs on a Saturday, say. Like today.

I have no publishing news. I have no news about anything other than I dashed off a short story yesterday and am working on revising others. There are some writerly deadlines coming up for writing things that I would like to submit for. Teaching is going well. Home life is fine. I'm a bit overwhelmed with reading options at the moment. Probably because I keep buying books and then can't decide and then skip around and can't settle.

So. That's about it. I hope I bleed soon, I'm feeling rawther rotten. Bluddy hormones.

38 comments:

suze2000 said...

OMG you clean like me. My husband's messiness drives me INSANE. The thing is, he's no more messy than me, he's just NOT ME. AND HE'S LEAVING HIS SHIT EVERYWHERE. In fact, the whole house is so full of his crap that we need an entire new house to fit it in. Well, not really, but we are moving because we need more space for all our stuff. But I contend that most of it is his. Speaking of moving, I want to own this house:

http://www.domain.com.au/Property/For-Sale/House/VIC/Alphington/?adid=2010395628

I went to the auction today, just to see how much it goes for and it was passed in at $1.15M. I expect it will fetch 1.2, but the owners wanted 1.3M, which is what I would have been willing to pay for it, had we actually had 1.3M. *sigh*

If we had a bigger house, then all his shit would hopefully be in his own spaces and I wouldn't have to see it piled up everywhere in the shared parts of the house.

Send me good vibes; I want a house like that, in a similar location, but under 900K, please. Or we will rent, I guess, because we can't afford to buy it.

sarah toa said...

Oh darling ... I know that interior monologue of utter rage. It's getting worse as I age :~)
That lack of book news must be driving you slightly crazy too. It must be a good thing they are taking so bloody long! My Aunty had her doctorate passed today. It took them four and a half months. A few tantrums, she said. Too cruel.
On the bleeding thing, you know it already I am sure but evening primrose is just so good. I start taking it about two weeks previous to the implosion - and I know all about it if I forget. It really works, for me anyway.

jo_blue said...

I think your puffy orange needs two capitals and be known as the Puffy Orange! It looks oh so nice and I just love the colour. Orange is my favourite.

And I know that rage too, though I don't get it like I used to thanks to the wonderful words of Eckhart Tolle. I sympathise...in-head rage is not a good things for our souls, but can be useful for getting things done and it's a great excuse to lie down and read...and drink and eat chocolate.

Alex said...

I think your puffy orange needs two capitals and be known as the Puffy Orange!

Maybe three capitals: "The Puffy Orange!!!" (with triple exclamation!)

Bluddy hormones.

It can be a bit annoying going through the same ups and downs month after month like that. On the bright side, maybe not for much longer, eh? On the down side, how are you going to get your place cleaned after that? I've got my house work ingrained in my (previously mentioned) weekly schedule, so I get the satisfaction of achievement every time I cross it off (I have to take satisfaction in the small victories).

But I recognise the feeling one gets of cleaning up after people who would otherwise just live in filth. I don't think I could go back to a shared living arrangement. Not easily, anyway.

Melba said...

Sorry to say Suze if you had a bigger house, you'd just have more shit to spread. Trust me, I know. It's mostly my shit in this house I have to say, and I struggle to keep on top of it. But I am running a business from here, as well as writing several Great Australian Novels you know, so things are pretty tight.

Thanks Sarah, it is an age thing but I am already on a herbal thing. I was on another herbal thing which my store now doesn't have for some reason, and I'm on something similar but I'm not feeling as good. I also halved my VitD intake and am starting to feel stiff and sore again in the mornings getting out of bed, tired again. When I was on 6000Iuds of VitD I was just fantastic. And yes it gets worse as get older but have had it under control the last few years and been feeling much better. Thanks for your suggestion. And yes the publisher thing is dragging out. I know it's not THAT long but I think we would have had news before now if there wasn't some sort of 'internal thing' going on - obviously everything is held up. But they haven't passed so there's always hope. It's also with another publisher, expect to hear back in a quick yes or no fashion in another week or so.

Thanks too Jo. Yes I think the Puffy Orange or as Alex says: The Puffy Orange!!! is best and shall be used here-forthwith (?).

Alex on the hormones, I'm not like this every month, most months are smooth around period time, but sometimes about every three, four, five cycles I get a doozy. And so, the Rage. I don't know how long it will take to go through meno, but I think I'm still at the peri- stage (this is what I'd like to believe, anyway). And even though I'm messy and slack it is always me who eventually pulls out my finger and tidies and cleans properly and it just shits me. But at least now the house is clean and I've had a productive two days: three brand-new short stories, redrafted a couple of times. Pretty happy.

Melba said...

Good luck Suze with the house hunting. It's a horrible task and often disappointing. We just gave up and rented.

Melba said...

Sorry to say Suze if you had a bigger house, you'd just have more shit to spread. Trust me, I know. It's mostly my shit in this house I have to say, and I struggle to keep on top of it. But I am running a business from here, as well as writing several Great Australian Novels you know, so things are pretty tight.

Thanks Sarah, it is an age thing but I am already on a herbal thing. I was on another herbal thing which my store now doesn't have for some reason, and I'm on something similar but I'm not feeling as good. I also halved my VitD intake and am starting to feel stiff and sore again in the mornings getting out of bed, tired again. When I was on 6000Iuds of VitD I was just fantastic. And yes it gets worse as get older but have had it under control the last few years and been feeling much better. Thanks for your suggestion. And yes the publisher thing is dragging out. I know it's not THAT long but I think we would have had news before now if there wasn't some sort of 'internal thing' going on - obviously everything is held up. But they haven't passed so there's always hope. It's also with another publisher, expect to hear back in a quick yes or no fashion in another week or so.

Thanks too Jo. Yes I think the Puffy Orange or as Alex says: The Puffy Orange!!! is best and shall be used here-forthwith (?).

Alex on the hormones, I'm not like this every month, most months are smooth around period time, but sometimes about every three, four, five cycles I get a doozy. And so, the Rage. I don't know how long it will take to go through meno, but I think I'm still at the peri- stage (this is what I'd like to believe, anyway). And even though I'm messy and slack it is always me who eventually pulls out my finger and tidies and cleans properly and it just shits me. But at least now the house is clean and I've had a productive two days: three brand-new short stories, redrafted a couple of times. Pretty happy.

Alex said...

So, how come you cut your vitamin D intake in half? I know bugger all about nutrition and supplements and stuff, but I've been buying the "extra calcium & vitamin D" milk for a while now. I figure I don't get enough sun and quite a few of the women in my family ended up with osteo.

Melba said...

Because something the GP made me think I shouldn't stay at that rate for so long but really, I felt so much better. Might go and ask someone else, but where? What I should do is blood tests, I'm about due, see what the VitD levels are. Seriously, what your intake is with the special milk will be negligible. If you have blood tests at all ask for VitD. If you are low, and most adults are low, get some supplements. I had a really bad shoulder and had tried everything except surgery. The surgeon had told me that usually those things right themselves (a 'between you and me' exchange) but my mum had been nagging me to get onto the Vit D. So I did more to shut her up than anything else but my shoulder righted, and I found I wasn't stiff and sore in the mornings, had AMAZING energy and so so positive mentally. It's kind of shifted again now that I went from 6 tablets to 3 a night. So I'm thinking to up it again. The GP was miffed when I said I was on them and said 'well, they can have side effects' and I said 'I thought it was very very difficult to overdose on Vitamin D, ie impossible' and she said in a shitty voice 'well, they can cause fits. You don't want that, do you?' She said it all in a very supercilious way, and this was a person I respected and who I thought was a reliable doctor, who valued my input and wouldn't treat me like a child. So. I won't see her again - shame. I really think we know our own bodies better than any doctor; they just don't listen if it's something outside what they see for you. Don't you think? Or they are closed to it.

With osteo, excercise is really important especially weight bearing exercise, and you're doing that aren't you Alex? yoghurt rather than milk, nuts and that stuff. And Vit D tabs. Also I'm on the herby hormone stuff too. Just the two things and together they worked really well.

Alex said...

We talked about docs once before on TSFKA. I've seen some really terrible doctors out in the bush. Ones that completely mis-diagnosed simple things or botched treatments. The worst was a religious dickhead who performed a bloody exorcism on someone. Also, since my dad is a war vet, I sometimes spend time with him helping other returned servicemen (service-people?) getting services and treatment and such. I've seen some pretty bad stuff there too, with doctors not reading reports or mis-interpreting x-rays and so forth.

So, while I don't necessarily agree that we always know our own bodies best, I don't automatically trust doctors either.

My experience with city doctors has been a little better. However, a few years ago I went to see if I could get some blood tests done, just to see if everything was at the right levels and such. The doctor (more or less) told me that if I wasn't sick I should piss off and stop wasting other people's time. I should have gone to see someone else, but never bothered.

I do a reasonable amount of weight-bearing exercise, I think. I usually manage at least a couple hundred push-ups in an evening session. And I usually do other stuff too, time permitting (I always feel shitty when I don't exercise). I shouldn't need much more, right?

Why is yogurt better than milk?

Maybe I should look at taking vitD. I take fish oil for some reason I can't remember. I think I was put onto it by the same doc who recommended the Xanax. I also drink a shit-load of green tea, but that's because it became my "thing" when I gave up the booze. It'll be a cold day in hell when I give up my green tea.

Alex said...

Also, there's a computer security expert with an internet radio show that I listen to (he's in his 50s, I think) who's been raving about how AMAZING he feels since he started taking VD (isn't the best acronym, is it?). That's had me wondering too.

Melba said...

Um yoghurt is good for people who are lactose-intolerant or who have dairy intolerances: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/
Also there are theories that humans shouldn't be drinking cow milk because we're not designed for it. Or something.

Also Vit D affects calcium absorption, and there's something about magnesium and calcium needing to be taken at different times of the day because of absorption.

Sounds like you're doing heaps of weight-bearing stuff, but what would I know?

Xanax? We've had that conversation elsewhere, you know how I feel about it and what my doctor said about it when I asked about it for someone else.

When I said we know our bodies best I want to clarify - I don't mean we know more than doctors just that we know when we are feeling good, and bad, and when something's changed, or could be better.

Green tea is great. Fish oil is good for hair and teeth and also brain.

When I was on 6 VitDs a night I felt AMAZING and was raving about it to everyone and anyone.

Blood tests every year after a certain age - why not? Fuck that doctor who blew you off. They check a whole lot of stuff. (You have to ask for VitD to be done, though.)Doctors often just want to wait for symptoms and then only prescribe something to treat the symptom. I'm more interested in prophylactic behaviour or adjustments or supplements, and if there are symptoms of something, finding the cause and trying to do something about it.

We should just sit though and wait for AOF to swing by. She knows all this stuff professionally - I'm just bleating about what I've picked up and my memory isn't always the best for this kind of thing.

Alex said...

I thought that was about what you meant when you said about knowing your body and that, but I still don't necessarily agree. I mean, I agree that we know better than anyone how we feel, but I don't think what feels good is always necessarily good for us. Going back to my dad's veteran mates, I've known a few who basically destroyed themselves with opioids (codeine, etc) because it made them feel better to continuously take more and more, and terrible to take less. And on a lesser note, I've had my own problems with alcohol and poor lifestyle and I didn't get that way by habitually doing things that felt bad for me. On the contrary, a lot of that behaviour felt very good at the time. I'm sure it wasn't good for my body though. Then there's those people who get into the hippy stuff, which makes them feel better (sometimes simply due to the placebo effect) but doesn't help with whatever illness they have (often cancer).

None of this is really applicable to the vD discussion. I'm not trying to say there's anything wrong with 6 tabs of vD a day, or equate vD with codeine or alcohol or anything like that. It's just a wider general point.

I gave up on the Xanax rather smartly and have not regretted it.

I think prophylactic behaviour is a great idea (why wait until you're crook, right?), but on the flip side, you can go too far into hypochondriac territory, denying yourself every little pleasure, making yourself sick by worrying about getting sick and spending a fortune on crap you don't need (multivitamins, etc). The trick is staying somewhere in that middle ground.

It wouldn't surprise me that we're not designed for cow's milk, but I can't imagine we're designed for a lot of the crap we eat today. I've heard theories that we still haven't evolved to deal with most grains properly. Still, it's interesting to know if I ever develop a problem with lactose.

I probably should follow up on the blood test thing. I had to have some tests done after that collapse I had last year. I should have asked for vD testing then.

Is AOF a doc?

Melba said...

Let me break it down, and respond to each paragraph:

Par 1 - I think you've made a jump between what I was saying and what I was meaning. It was in the context of when a patient tells a doctor something doesn't feel right (and conversely, something DOES feel right) doctors often don't give a shit or disbelieve. They might think you're malingering in the former eg or a woo-woo-nutter in the second eg. They often don't want to hear about supplements. Probably because they don't get any kick-backs/benefits because they aren't prescribed as medication. Anyone can go into a health food shop and be proactive with this stuff. So I wasn't talking about what *feels good* necessarily, because alcohol, drugs etc might be not good for us as you've said. I was more about how our bodies feel when we are doing something good & healthy for them. I know overdosing on VitD is not healthy, but as I understand it it's hard to reach toxic levels and VitD loading is something that people do. Doesn't mean it's right, but it's happening. If it's something that I can do safely and it makes such a difference to my energy levels, body feel-good and mental well-being, then I think I'd be an idiot not to consider it. Re certain drugs, we know what's healthy (what I meant by good) and what's not, don't we? Nobody can argue that taking opioids is good for you? Unless it's under medical supervision, not self-medicating.

I feel like I'm digging a hole here, really Alex, we need face to face on some of these convos!

Par 2 - right

Par 3 - good

Par 4 - You don't need to worry about ME being a hypo, but I know some people are. But they would be the people at the GP every week, asking about anti-biotics and annoying the doc. that way. I don't deny myself pleasure. Really. I'm not on a health kick just 'making adjustments' that I see as sustainable. Agree about heaps of multivitamins and doing too much of this stuff - it's expensive and I don't really know the benefits. But VitD and my herbal woman-stuff - that's all I need so far.

Par 5 - of course, there are other foods we supposedly haven't evolved for and you're right about grains. A dentist once told me the hardest food on our teeth is wheat. 'Even when it's soft, in bread?' I said. 'Yes' he said. Also, you can have intolerances and not know.

Par 6 - yeah get them done and then let's compare results!

Par 7 - no, she's a naturopath. Doctors usually don't know or care about this stuff. It's unusual that a GP will consider combining conventional medicine with some alternative stuff. Often they don't even talk about diet or preventative stuff. But remember, they don't make money if people are well. So if they can treat symptoms and not causes, then they're guaranteed incomes. 'Cause no harm' does not equal 'do everything you can to fix'

Alex said...

Re certain drugs, we know what's healthy (what I meant by good) and what's not, don't we?

Well, yes, we know that certain things (drugs, minerals, fats, other things, whatever) are outright bad; but most things seem to be fine and/or necessary in certain doses but bad if you have too much or too little in your system. And that's what we're talking about right? Knowing how much of whatever it is (again, not talking specifically about vD here) you should have and whether or not you can always judge that on how you feel.

I feel like I'm digging a hole here, really Alex

Mmm, yeah, sorry about that.

That hypo para, that wasn't aimed at you either.

And I agree, there probably are a lot of doctors out there who are dealing with bias, egotism and self-interest, possibly on top of general incompetence.

Melba said...

But I think you're mixing nutritional supplements and vitamins and minerals with illicit drugs or 'bad things' eg opioids (are they the same as opiates?) - weren't you?

I don't think anyone would equate Vitamin C use with codeine use (addiction). Maybe that's the line - is Vitamin D addictive? I don't think so but you could become reliant on it making you feel not-stiff, not-tired and not-depressed but it's different to using say heroin to achieve those effects. Isn't it?

Melba said...

This is different but related, read this the other day. She's a well known Australian novelist, I love her stuff. She recently announced she's got MS, and in this article talks about how another writer suggested a brain enhancer medication you can buy online from overseas. I know it seems fraught but if I had MS I'd consider doing likewise.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/03/brain-enhancing-drugs-mj-hyland

Alex said...

Yes, I'm throwing all the things that we consume into the one basket, and no, I'm not sure how different they are except in degrees of severity. The point you make on reliance is pretty much what I'm talking about. Most of the guys I've known with opioid problems (from memory, an opiate is something derived from opium, while an opioid is anything that acts like opium (binds to the same receptors) including synthetics) started off with, say, some shrapnel or a crushed spinal disc or something for which they were prescribed pain killers. Sometimes complications would arise just from taking it for a long period of time. Sometimes the dosage would creep up as the drugs became less effective. Sometimes the doctors would willingly write them larger prescriptions and sometimes, if they wouldn't, they'd just say "fuck-you" to the doctor and go find one who would.

Could vD be the same but on a smaller scale of severity? I have no clue. I've never heard of anyone having too much or been warned about it, like, say, with vA or calcium (stones), etc. I'll be interested to hear what AOF has to say.

Alex said...

Interesting article. I think the biggest risk in that story is the lack of quality control on the drugs you're getting.

... However ...

... to bring it back to what we're discussing: There's a chance that you could do something similar to the person who wrote the article with some drug/supplement/whatever. You might experiment with dosage until you find the quantity that works best for you, and it might go fine and you get awesome results and feel great for five years. Then, you might start to feel some pain and sickness and go to the doctor and find out your liver is horribly damaged because you've taken substance-X at a slightly higher dose than one (important) part of your body could handle for that period of time.

That's more or less what I'm getting at.

Melba said...

Yes I agree with that Alex and I see what you're saying. Hmmm. There would be social differences in perception of the different substances but there might not be differences in terms of potential damage? Or that damage can occur?



Alex said...

Well, your insides aren't going to care about the social standing of a substance or if you got it from a doctor/supermarket/internet. All they see is a bunch of dissolved molecules. And almost anything can do damage in sufficient quantities. Even water can cause fatal brain swelling if you drink enough of it. It's all about knowing where that limit is. Which can be difficult if you have a bunch of self-interested sources giving you conflicting info.

Melba said...

Yes. But don't you think perceived benefits ie 'feeling better' are worth striving for, in a reasoned way? If so, what would be your process of working stuff out?

Alex said...

don't you think perceived benefits ie 'feeling better' are worth striving for

Absolutely. I want to feel the absolute best I can all of the time, if possible. I just want to minimise the risk of inadvertently harming myself in the process (physically, but also mentally and financially. That's what the hypochondria bit was about; I didn't mean I think that's where you're headed).

what would be your process of working stuff out?

Therein lies the challenge, don't it? My best guess at a method for working stuff out is accumulating knowledge, avoiding confirmation bias, and staying curious and open minded while also trying to be reasoned and critical; which is itself a balancing act, I suppose. Of course, some people seem to lead wonderful lives by just barreling along and trusting their instincts, so really, how much do I know?

Melba said...

I guess that's all anyone can do, just as you said. Well good luck with it and let me know how you go. Hopefully AOF will find this thread and throw some info in.

Alex said...

Cheers, Melbs. At the very least, I think we managed to dig our way out of that hole.

And if you do start seeing a different doctor, and you end up asking them about vitamin D, do let us know what they say, won't you?

Melba said...

Will do. My mum gave me details for her doctor today, a GP who asked her about VitD and said for her to take three tabs a night because her levels aren't too low. She's been on VitD for quite a while. So I'll see him, get bloods done and see what he says. At least he's not averse to suggesting it!

Alex said...

Oh bloody hell.

I've got some down time at the moment, so I decided to catch up on the news. I know you don't, and I shouldn't, and you've warned me, etc; but have you seen this Cleveland kidnapping thing?

Remember when we had that discussion about using the term evil? Look, to some degree I kind of get those Boston bomber pricks; frustrated, idealistic youth who think they're fighting a war. I can even kind of get it that sometimes people completely go off the rails and start shooting people. But this? Fuck this. This is evil.

Melba said...

Yes, I have seen the Cleveland thing. It's so great they've escaped, so great for them and their families but I worry that there are people like those men doing this sort of thing. I mean, what woman steals males and keeps them prisoners as sex slaves? For ten fucking years? Even for half an hour? What the fuck is wrong with us?

But I still have trouble attributing the word 'evil' to it and I think it's because the word has been hijacked by moralist and religionists. But yes, if there is something that's evil then it's something like that I suppose but I'm still not happy with that word. Maybe I just don't think it's the best word we have for those people. 'Abominable' seems better in some way. I don't use the word myself but if 'evil' describes the worst of human behaviour, then that's pretty close. I don't want to get into degrees of badness.

Yeah, when you have some downtime, don't watch the fucking news. Read a book, do some drawing. A movie even. Sheesh.

Alex said...

Adorable little scamps (I'm guessing these were youngsters and not older kids?). I've never really gotten the thing about being offended by swear words. Maybe it's because I grew up around shearing sheds, where everyone and everything was a cunt and levels of intended offensiveness had to be inferred through context and intonation. Having said all that though, I really don't like the word "pussy". I don't know why. It just seems so bloody ... American.

Yes, the fact that there are men like that in the world is scary as fuck. I worry those poor lassies are going to be badly damaged by what they've been through and that this is probably never going to be over for them. They've probably got a lifetime of PTSD to look forward to - nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks; possibly alcohol and drug abuse. What support would there be for them in the USA (financial or otherwise) if they have trouble adjusting? What support do we have here? Are their families just expected to support them?

I cried when I saw that photo of the one in the hospital, smiling with her daughter. That poor little girl, being born into that. No matter where she goes to school, the other kids will know who her dad was; and kids are so fucking cruel.

Fuck that fucking fucker. Fucking, fucking fucker. I might have to dig up some old Punisher comics to see if I can vicariously work-off some of this vigilante-type rage. It doesn't seem to be subsiding on its own.

Melba said...

Hey yeah, they were Year 5 so what's that, 9 or 10. It's happened before in the class in front of the classroom teacher but never at a parent thing. Nice.

I worry about increased reporting (so it seems) of men trying to grab children and young women and put them in their cars. There seems to be a lot of it in Melbourne and surrounds at the moment. Article in paper yesterday about a 6 year old whose mother is getting her self defence classes. I worry about my girls and their friends... I worry about my boy but in a different way. He's got a work experience week coming up and he is just so kind of small and quiet and comes across as w/ no confidence. All it would take is some crafty skilled adult to mess with him. That photo of the girl in hospital was terrible but also so joyous. I saw the joy, and the strength. She has her daughter, she obviously loves her daughter even though the father was so bad. Apparently in that cropped photo the daughter is smiling so broadly, so happy to see her mother smiling. We have to focus on the joy and happiness and strength and family healing that will happen. Yes, she'd need ongoing assistance and support and once all the fervour of reunion has worn off, she'll be very alone. But she's free and she's alive. I guess everyone would deal w something like that differently. There's a book called Room by Emma Donohoue. It's a novel and bloddy hell it's grim but it explores human's capacity for survival and to keep going.

And the little girl can go to school and the other kids not know. That's easy as long as she doesn't tell, has different name etc. That must happen all the time, children of horrible people managing to go undetected.

Alex said...

Most other kids with horrible parents don't have this much sensation and media attention surrounding them, with pictures strewn all over the internet (forevermore). And we're now living in the age of Facebook gossip. It'll only take one parent or teacher. No, wherever she ends up, the other kids will find out.

I think I've said before, I don't reckon girls learning self-defence is a bad thing. Until we can make the world perfect, it doesn't hurt to equip yourself for living in an imperfect world. I can only imagine what it must be like sending teenage daughters out into the world. And I can see why teenage sons would be a worry too. At least every six months I hear something about dangerous hazing, bullying and bastardisation of apprentices, trainees and work-experience students. I hope the young bloke isn't too quiet and defensive at home too, because then it'd be hard to spot if something was wrong.

Melba said...

So their pictures are over the internet? At least the girl will grow up and not look the same. I don't know, maybe it would be a big problem for them but at least they are out and alive and safe now? You have to agree that's good?

The boy is is quite quiet and presents in a shy, not confident way. He's also very tiny (not short but really thin) but he's more chatty open with his feelings than his older sister. You wouldn't know with her whether anything was wrong, she keeps a happy face on. It is a worry. Girls learning self defence is really good I think; not sure what a 6 year old could do but in the article it said she could twist her wrist to break a hold and wriggle down and out from a hold around her chest. So that's pretty good. It might make her scared, though, doing such training in case someone tries to grab her. I think kids get scared; my 16 year old is very aware and has been for years of her physical space and how she walks on the street. Nothing's happened beyond the usual looks/check outs/maybe a few comments but they did a poem about rape in English a couple of weeks ago and she came home quite disturbed by it. Also she'd just read Lovely Bones which is disturbing. (At least with the book she said 'even though she's dead and you know from the beginning she's dead, she's ok and she's safe' which I thought was a good comment.) So we talked about rape and assault; it's a really hard convo to have with a loved child. She told me if anything like that happened to her she probably wouldn't tell me for a while. Eventually she would, but after a while. 'How could I say the words, mum?' she said. And she wouldn't want to be seen as a victim. Would want things to just go on as normal. She said once people know, they treat you different. I don't know how she knows these things but it makes sense to me.

Wow heavy.

Hard.

Melba said...

Yes I don't think he would have a problem with being out and alcohol and getting into fights. But I can see him being bullied in the workplace. Luckily I don't think he'll end up in the blokey apprentice or hospitality world. He seems headed for uni and a desk job, which will be safer you'd think.

Alex said...

You're right, it is a wonderful thing that they are free and alive and I do have to look on the bright side as well as the bad.

I was talking to someone who did a year at a desk in a realestate company just recently, and they reckon it was worse than anything they saw in five years in hospitality. They were pressuring the young workers to do hours of unpayed overtime and even invest their pay back into the firm with promises of riches down the line. So I guess you have to watch yourself anywhere.

A six year old probably wouldn't be able to do too much, but even if she's drilled to fight back and yell for help, that is good. However, if she starts at six and stays at it, she might have a good chance of stunning an attacker by the time she's ten or so. So yes, depending on what she's doing, it could be well worth it (of course, some self-defence instructers will take your money and teach you nothing of any use).

She told me if anything like that happened to her she probably wouldn't tell me for a while. Eventually she would, but after a while. 'How could I say the words, mum?' she said. And she wouldn't want to be seen as a victim. Would want things to just go on as normal. She said once people know, they treat you different.

See, I reckon this is a bit of a problem, because that's how abusers get away with stuff. Having the massive extended family, we've had our share of scandals, but most of them have been the older generations coming out about stuff that happened decades ago. And then you find out that great uncle such-and-such, who everyone thought was a good bloke, molested three of his daughters and fathered one of his own grandchildren, and aunt so-and-so got shit on by everyone for being a trollop who got knocked up by a ringer who shot through. And that gives you (me) this nagging feeling of "well, what if there's stuff like that going on now and the girls are too ashamed to say anything?".

I'm not a professional, but I'd advise your girls that if something happens that they can't talk about, they write it down and give it to you in a letter or something.

Alex said...

Actually, that goes for the boy too. It might happen less to blokes, but it still happens.

Melba said...

I know Alex that's what I was thinking. I don't know that she meant she couldn't verbalise but she could write them. But if it comes up again I'll ask her that. And I know that sly predatory dicks and even slightly predatory opportunists out at the pub or even whoever might assault someone, even if they don't think consciously that the culture is that people keep secrets and don't talk, it is a culture that is in their interests; that people feel such shame - and probably shock - that they immobilise. I think my daughter - and other daughters - would worry about their parents' reactions too. That fathers might go and hurt the person, that mothers will get involved and 'make it all worse' (say the person was known, which in most cases, it is). They probably want to just go on, denial can be a very strong survivor mechanism.

When she talks like that it makes me wonder if anything *has* ever happened to her. I've asked straight out but she's said no. I reassure her that she can tell me anything and if she ever really was in crisis I think she would, but she might go to friends first and I've told her that's fine. That she has to work out how she does things. She's sixteen, I have to move more into the background for a lot of things and leave things up to her. It's a matter of getting out of their faces, especially mothers and daughters. We can think their lives are our lives, but they're not at all.

Melba said...

And on the real estate thing, yeah I get that but it's different to an apprentice plumber being tied up and forced to drink piss or something. Or any other choice activity that idiots can come up that I've heard of. There was a case in Melbourne, a young girl who jumped off a car park and killed herself because she was being bullied at work - at a cafe. I think hospitality is bad (chefs are some of the most horrible people ever) and trade industries are bad too.

Alex said...

I see your point about letting them do things on their own and sort things out for themselves. I suppose I've kept a lot of stuff from my folks over the years (I think, mostly because I want them to be happy and not worry). I've never talked to them about relationships or introduced them to any fellas or anything. That's probably why whenever any of the gay rellies come up in conversation, Dad will say something like "Oh, you know it took such-and-such a long time to be open about it, but there's no shame in it, y'know?". But on the other hand, you don't want your daughter or niece or cousin's kid to be the one throwing themselves off the roof of that car park. Very hard.

I did some labouring work back when I lived out bush, and don't remember having too many problems - maybe the odd dickhead here or there. But some of the stories I've heard from the city are pretty bad. I've been told that quite a few bosses openly push amphetamines on their workers to keep them going. A bit like truckies, I guess.

The chefs, I think I've said before that I know a few, and I think I was a bit surprised initially at how rough and - I dunno, dirty - kitchen work can be. I had a young male apprentice tell me once that he hated working for poofs. I asked him why, and he said that he'd worked for two gay men in the past and both of them had kept touching him and rubbing up against him and grabbing his arse and talking dirty to him and stuff. I asked him if he reckoned all gay blokes are like that, and he said he reckoned ALL MEN are like that, but having a gay boss meant that he was the one copping it, rather than than the female staff who usually had to. That was a pretty crushing conversation.