sigh….

sigh

Sometimes I stare blankly at my computer screen, it gives me nothing back and I have nothing in my head. Yet it feels like something is very close…all I have to do is start. Just start somewhere…even if it’s exactly what is in my head – like “sigh”… They say writing is a discipline and this is very true for me. Even though once I’m actually writing I’m sucked into the void, it is sometimes a struggle to start. I love writing and get lost in the whirlwind of it all, and then wonder – why am I so resistant at times? Am I worried my words will get used up? I won’t have anything to write? And I have to mentally slap myself on the wrist – how shallow I am to think I would have experienced and felt everything there is to feel and experience so I could write about it.

The world and universe are far greater than the capacity my brain has to understand all things. I really am but a grain of sand in the big picture of things. We all are – but grains of sand make stunning beaches and pieces of paradise when put together….I wonder if there is something we should be learning from this? And who would’ve thought that a mere grain of sand on its’ own also had the power to change perspectives. That paradise beach is not so out of reach for the human race – if only we all stuck together to keep paradise a paradise…

Foot in mouth disease

foot in mouth

I loved university. I loved being up to my eyeballs in something I was fascinated with. The challenges and deadlines were all bonuses on top of the actual subject and I rose to greet each one. Anyway that’s by the by, so I’m in the lecture theater and the lecture is about to end. I know I’m getting a phone call very shortly so I excuse myself to go outside to wait for the call.

I get outside and there’s a kid doubled over, sitting pretty much folded over on the side bench. I wander to the bench, my phone out, texting and looking up as I walk. And I sit down on his right side. He shuffles over a little to make room. He is not moving much and my curiosity gets the better of me and I surreptitiously glance sideways at him. Yep, he is totally bent in half, but I do see his phone in his hand and he’s got his left hand side of his face plastered to his phone. Not the left hand side as in, his ear and talking, I mean like with his eye and not talking. Possibly taking a picture of his eye? Or the pupil of his eye? So without thinking for another second I pipe up with “I think you need glasses by the looks of things!” and chuckled a little, breaking the ice and everything. And this is my problem – my brain doesn’t engage with my mouth or vice versa – they work independently (against me!) so this is where I have ended up with this Foot in Mouth Disease – I’m a a frequent flyer.

Well, this kid looks up at me and one eye is covered with that cloud, the cloud that means that they can’t see much of anything out of that eye and the other one is scarred too.

He says, “It’s the only way I can see my texts – glasses won’t help…” I’m sitting there like an idiot. But I did what I usually do and chose not to ignore the elephant.

“So what happened to your eyes?” I asked.

He looked up from his phone again – well, as best as he could, and explained that he had been walking down Queen Street and it was winter. A super stormy day, and Queen Street can become like a wind tunnel on days like that. He had a jacket on that zipped up and as he grappled in the wind with it, the zip sliced across his eye, blinding him totally in his right eye and severely impinging on his sight in his left.

“I’m so sorry dude – really impressed you’re at university…I didn’t mean to be rude by the way….” I trailed off. He smiled, “It’s OK,” he says to me, ” at least you didn’t just walk away – that’s the worst. Everyone knows something’s up with my fricken vision. Lots of people don’t know what to do when they’re confronted with something unexpected…”

We were silent for a split second.

“I’m sorry this happened to you…. but I see in spite of a universal fuck-up in your life, you’re still here, still givin’ it all that!” he laughed at me and I laughed too.

“Often people so let the wrong things define who they are, or the worst things. The fact that you rise above this defines who you are.” He looked at me with a serious frown, somewhat created due to his lack of vision.

“Thank you for that, I needed to hear that right now…” he said.

I didn’t know his name but I did know much more about him than just some letters to identify him to his friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues. Not only that, but I found out even more about myself, or maybe about people. We all share commonalities – common likes, enemies, feelings, injustices etc. We all share bonds and those deeper threads of what make us who we are are far more interesting and important than your name, your clothes, your home, car, bank account…we truly are here to fill our souls and not our wallets. I take my soul with me when I go – I will leave my earthly belongings behind.

© Kait King, 2015

Thought # 1

thought 1

If you’re very rarely or never told “No” or don’t have to wait or work for anything, will it be a harder struggle to get on in the World? (This is based on most normal and reasonable of situations – single or separate parenting included and of course, on a continuum).

In the “Real World” no one else treats you the same way as your parents do. No one else cares the same way for you as your parents do. No one else in the World will give you the same leeway. Will one lack a certain resilience because one can’t deal with a No, or don’t understand why it’s a No?

Your Ego takes a beating, hearing all those ‘yeses’ and how wonderful you are at everything and then a No would just take the wind right out of your sails, it’s a shock. Is it about that resilience? Even against adversity and with all the curve balls life throws you, wouldn’t it be better to be able to face that adversity? I am not talking about being a nagging No Hound about everything – but I do think we need to prepare our children for “out there”! Just tell them the truth, make them stand for something, let them know what their strengths and weaknesses are and let them embrace them all and use them to their best advantage in this crazy Life.

If it is about resilience then we must give our children that strength and fight. They need these things to be able to survive – and not just survive but to live well.

Kait King 2017

A Mantra for those Suffering from Violence

a-nz-highest-rate of violence

You will never

have power over me

You’ve taken everything

that you can see

but you will never

have power over me

You will never

have my mind

You’ve beaten me black

held me behind

But I promise, you will never

have my mind

You will never

have my soul

You tell me I’m ugly

stupid and old

But I swear, you will never

have my soul

© Kait King, 2016

Horrocide

Horrocide

Death by fright

3 am in the night

when slimy things

crawl with evil

intention

where Coffin Flies fly

and the sky is a scar

that’s all you get to look at

not to mention

a stinking mattress and

a heavy clanking chain

she saw what he did to the other girls’ brain

A frantic

frenzied

desperate head

pleading, begging, wishing

to be dead

Haunting

hurting

watching eyes

that cut glass with spite

coming for you

strangling life

killing you with fright

© Kait King, 2015

Oh no, I can’t get over it…

Getting over it - whatever

Somehow you get through – it’s not even that you learn to live with these things – they stay in our lives forever as part of who we are. In fact these are the things that make us who we are. They used to say this kind of suffering was character building. That may or may not be so, for me, it allows great reflection and understanding of my capacity to love and give love and in turn what it means to lose that.

One of the annoying things friends and family expect, is for you to “get over it” after a certain amount of time – whatever that time is. But there is nothing to get over. You can’t just imagine it’s behind you – things are not behind us, they are all a part of us. We carry them with the sum of ourselves. Maybe by putting things behind us we let our guard down, we love too easily again, we get hurt so much more because of that. Taking the good and the bad experiences is what makes you the person you are. Are you a fighter? Do you run away? Are you persistent? Do you give up? Whatever you do, you have to live with it – you don’t learn to live with it – there is no manual. You have no choice, choice has been removed from this section of your life and a loss of some kind has left a crater and a giant rock in the same place. Luckily the giant rock plugs up a lot of the feelings for a while – this is often known as shock. Eventually the putridness of your trapped feelings in this hole in your heart starts building up a mass of toxic gasses which must be expelled. This build up, over any period of time (as long as it takes you), causes a massive explosion. The giant rock is blasted apart from the hole in your heart. The tiny splinters of angst, hurt, devotion, honor,disbelief, love and any other betrayed related feeling you can imagine, is dug deeply into your heart and mind. Each little splinter of that pain has barbs of doubt, guilt and confusion holding them in place in your heart. And we can’t let go or it can’t let go of us or we don’t give ourselves permission to keep moving forward even though we are cemented in that time of tragedy and know that’s impossible, isn’t it?

The hard part is learning to navigate around these losses, grievances and betrayals, eventually like a powerful river we keep flowing around these rocks of hurt that seem like they will never shift or move. But they do erode – the erosion is so subtle and slow we don’t even notice and so it is, I believe, with tragedy, loss and grief; be that for a living being or a relationship of any kind. Loss leaves a big hole and a giant rock that you drag around with you all the time. Afterwards we question everything said and done, what could have been different, the “if only’s” and the “what if’s” with hopeless, empty dreams. Nothing can be changed. It is what it is, but I know I fight against this too, even though I understand the futility of the fight!

I think only in time will I manage to erode down that rock of loss, will I be able to take the sharp edges off and flow a little easier around the things put in my way that I have no way of changing. Perhaps time won’t heal the wounds, but perhaps time allows my river of life to smooth the edges of hurt. Perhaps it lets me build up strength so that I can push past that hurt easier, every time I have to go past that hurt again. Because it doesn’t go away….

Fused, but not at the hip

Fused but not at the hip

I was standing at the front desk, chatting to another work colleague and an awkward scrawny middle-aged man came up to the counter. I was in the watch-house at the Police Station. Being closest, I turned to talk to him. Behind me, I could feel everyone else cringe. I wasn’t sure why, but it dawned on me as I chatted with him to find out what he was here for, why the audible intake of air from my colleagues. I was just in work zone and had been troubleshooting all day.

Let me start from the beginning. When I turned up for work that morning – it was like 4 am or something horrific, being shift work. Anyway, we had three women and a man in our team that night and as shift changed over everyone caught up and swapped information – did the hand over thing. Of course we all gossiped about things we had dealt with, seen or heard that day, what the constables had been up to, failed at, succeeded in catching, blah blah blah and of course, some real oddities and this was one of them.

A young detective came into the office after his shift to catch up with us. I must say, he looked a little green around the gills but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. He gathered those of us who wanted to see (only myself and the guy I worked with), some evidential photographs of a case of abuse. It took a couple of seconds for him to get his personal screen and files up. He knew I was interested in the abuse of the vulnerable, certainly children, but the animals, handicapped and elderly were all in my sights and desperately needed help. So the photos upload to his screen and I take a second to understand what I’m looking at. I thought a burnt body initially and then realised she was on a gurney in a hospital with tubes and an oxygen mask swallowing her “White-walker”-type face. I turned to the detective and with a rather incredulous tone asked him if she was actually alive.

“She is,” he said, “she’s still alive. This woman’s son was supposedly looking after her. Somebody who managed to finally get into the house found her and called an ambulance.”

“I just can’t believe someone so thin is still sucking in air! And how old is she?” Her dirty, mottled skin was just managing to cling to the bones of her body. She was filthy – hadn’t been washed properly in years.

“She’s 92. When we got to the hospital they told us that it was a miracle. I personally think maybe not – poor woman. Her son hadn’t fed her properly or washed her, medical needs ignored. She had maggots crawling around in her vagina…”

“What the fuck! Are you serious man!?” I was mortified.

“I knew you’d love this case Kait,” he said smiling up at me from the desk chair. ” Not only that but her toes had fused themselves together – there was green mould and a stink you would never believe possible. She smelt dead but was breathing – the living dead, literally!” he looked quite pleased with himself at the reality of his reference.

“I’m absolutely stunned! So what did her son say…has he been arrested then?” I ask.

“No, not yet anyway – he’s coming in to be assessed by the psyche team and questioned. Apparently he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong…whatever!”

“Good grief! Who’s he been sleeping with if he thinks it’s normal for flies to come out of a woman’s hoohaa!” We had a bit of a giggle – it’s like that in the face of horror. Apparently she had gangrene as well, on her fingers and other extremities. One of the worst abuse cases I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many of the police – even seasoned ones – felt that way too.

So the day carried on and we had all sorts of shit hitting the fan – parolees, detainees, people who had lost kids, found kids, P cooks, drunken idiots, abusive situations – just the usual crap.

So anyway here is this awkward guy in front of me. I am my usual helpful self and ask him what I can do. He tells me he’s here for an interview with a certain detective. I contact the right detective to come and get him from the watch-house, in the meanwhile I say “So are you having a good day?” just to be polite and make his wait in a police station a little less awkward. I had no idea what he was here for – he could be being interviewed as a witness for all I knew. Well this was a trigger question for him as he just spilled his guts to me about how he had hurt his mother even though he was trying to look after her. He told me about the maggots and the mould – as if I was giving him the interview. It only took him a few minutes to vent his story and he stood quietly with his head down in front of my counter.

“How come you didn’t clean her or help her to clean herself?” I asked cautiously, making eye contact with him.

“Well….I….I….” he bumbled along.

“It’s OK,” I said “you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to…” I trailed off.

He looked pleadingly up at me and I could see tears peeking out of the corners of his eyes.

“I want to.” he whispered.

I kept quiet.

He took a deep breath in and said “That’s my mum y’know ? I don’t want to wash her there or her top chest or anything! It’s not right…I’m her son – not even a daughter – I couldn’t do it!” The tears fell off his face. After initially feeling slightly ill talking to him, I found I was feeling sorry for him.

“Hell, I can understand that.” And I certainly could.

“So can you tell me why she’s so thin then? Why didn’t you feed her anything?” I pushed on through because there must be some accountability here. How can he get out of this one? Surely if he’d fed her she wouldn’t look like this. I tried to keep the picture of the poor old woman in my head, the decrepit, stinking semi-corpse that was his mother, to give her justice and keep a strong mind in this.

“I tried – I tried everything but she wouldn’t eat anything! I tried to force her but she choked so badly I was afraid to give her anything…I know now that this was wrong…” he looked down at his shoes, the tears still rolling off his nose and landing on the stations’ loud carpet. “She was my mum and she used to beat the crap outta me if I talked back or didn’t do as she bid. So I listened to her when she shook her head away from the spoon or growled at me, I left her alone….I was scared…” A slipknot of snot was making it’s way out of his nose and I tried desperately to keep a gag down. I managed. I passed him a box of tissues gingerly – not wanting to touch his skin at all.

Thankfully the detective who was going to do the interview arrived and took him through the security doors to an interview room. I stood there for a moment and realised where the blame lay in this. Society, society was to blame. Yes, he was at fault for not contacting the hospital or some sort of care for his mother, but he didn’t know anyone would help him. Surely if his neighbours had just said hello once in a while to the slightly, strange, creepy guy he might not be suffering endless guilt as it dawns on him in his slow mind what he has actually done. And his mother would not have had to suffer the enduring starvation and pain she had. It is about accountability – but who is accountable? We call ourselves a welfare state but whose welfare are we really caring for? I consider this man and his mother both victims in this instance and a severe failure on our many organisations parts. He was charged with numerous offences relating to the abuse of the elderly. I wondered if he wanted to lay charges against his mum for what she had done to him – for the monster she had created in him who would become her living nightmare.

What’s really sad is he will more than likely end up like his mum did….

© Kait King, 2015

I am a Winner

iamawinner

Everyone is so obsessed with winning at everything – work, sports, relationships – absolutely everything. I wonder if those people who are so focused on winning every argument, every game, every decision – have ever thought that they can let it go – like everybody’s a winner in the biggest race of all as far as I’m concerned. If you’ve been born then you have won the biggest race of all! You are a winner – the biggest winner out of millions of other sperm that were in a race for life – I am a winner – we won! Now let’s just succeed at being our own very best here instead of obsessing about being better than someone else’s best…

A Treasured Life

Me n my Dad

My Dad and Me

It was so sad

to watch you fade

your mind as sharp as a knife

It was so hard

to say goodbye

To such a treasured life

It made me smile

to think on you a while

and on how you loved

your wife

Your children given

all you had

you gave

a treasured life

It seems that you

are still here

although you can’t

be seen

I often talk to you

And not just

in my dreams

I hope I told you

I loved you enough

I hope you know

how much I cared

And I know

one day,

I’ll see you again

Somewhere over there…

© Kait King, 2015

Bully

bully

The words that fall off your fingers

as you tip tap text

to me

are untrue, hurtful

and dangerous

You’re acting like

a bully

I don’t want to do that

but you threaten

me with this

You lied and said I fucked him

when it was just a kiss

Why are you so

mean to me

What makes it ok

that you and

your so-called friends

hang me

and then

watch me sway

I couldn’t find anyone

I felt I could talk to

See everyone thought

it was true

But now I’m not here

any more –

I hope that’s better

for you…

© Kait King, 2015