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

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

Mother’s Day every day

My Mum and Dad in Queen St, Auckland 1956

I walk down the aisle

my eyes passing over cards

words springing out

about Mum going

the whole nine yards

And I stop to read a few

The words just seem

insipid

when I think of you,

Mum

A journey into the intrepid

Four babies later

and over 60 years married

Through wars, tonsillitis,

tears and love you tarried

Now here I am

a mother too

And these words I say: “I love you”

Have also come

from my son’s mouth

and heart

But to say them to you

doesn’t even begin to start

to express what a fantastic Mum you’ve been

You’ve done a good job,

I’m a good human being

So I tell you you’re an amazing Mum

and people are proud of the job you’ve done!

© Kait King, 2015

Anyway, Any way

Anyway Any way

I so wish

I could have

been a better mum

But he still loves me

anyway

I see the photo

next to me

Colors blue and grey

you and I

Not much to spend

but time

and he still loves me

anyway

I feel I may have

failed you in

too many ways

to count

In spite of that

you are a beautiful

soul

and you still love me,

anyway

Kait King 16/7/2018

 

 

 

Blink of an Eye

Domestic violence

that Evil Beast

Thriving on hurt

when all you want

is Peace

Insecure person

always comparing in loss

Punching out your feeble Anger

But your Family pays the cost

Vulnerable? Were you

beaten yourself?

Shouldn’t you know better

than to put them through

this Hell?

Poor little person…

Is that what you want

them to think?

So here you stand at

a Crossroad

You can change all of this

in a Blink

Kait King 2017

And there he was…

Jay n me on beach newcastle june2016 2

It hadn’t been a long time – only a matter of months, you could count them in days if you had to. But it felt like centuries. I missed my boy – he was loud and large in my little cottage, but now everything seems too large, too empty and way too quiet!

So landing in Sydney I couldn’t wait to see him and get a giant bear hug – his hugs are the only ones that are like that for me. It’s something very definable, tangible. Anyone else could give me a giant hug but they will never measure up to my son’s loving arms. I have never been a “clasp-hugger”, y’know, brief – per-functionary. There is no point in displaying affection if you don’t mean it. So yes, maybe he has only known how to hug like that – I love that about him. A helluva lot can be said in a hug. And hugging my son at the airport for the first time in ages was like a relief almost…a sigh of thank you Universe – he really is all good! He looked and felt healthy, his hair had grown even longer and his smile beamed across the crowd of anxious collectors. He stood out as if he was the only one in colour and everyone else was black and white.

I know I maybe could be describing everything else – and I’m sure it will come out, but my holiday was really about filling up my soul as a Mum. Spending time with that beautiful little spirit I had nursed, guided and shoved into this lovely young man in front of me, that I am so proud to call My Son.

  Another song for Jay

Jay in school (8yrs)

There’s a part of me

that will always go on

I’ve shared this with our Mother Earth

She called him my son

There’s nothing so wild

as the ride that we’re on

mother and child a bond

we hold on

And there you were

with paintbrush eyelashes

A baby blue blanket

and everything about you was so small

And here you are

with a shy tattoo on you

An eye, ear, lip piercing

And everything about you now is tall

There’s all of you

that makes me smile

When you hug me so big and

hang around for a while

There’s you and me and then

everybody else

I never knew that it would be you

to teach me about myself

© Kait King, 2015

I love you Jay 🙂 xxx

Boy

Boy (Jay)

I watch you grow in

the sunshine of my love

with raindrops of pure joy

you fall around me

endlessly

In the deepest, darkest shadows

You shine your brightest light

every day

every night

My baby boy

you turn my life around

Baby boy

you turn my life upside down

As the seconds with you turn into years

your fearless journey with

true innocence moves away

suddenly you’re a schoolboy

with a schoolbag

who won’t hold my hand anyway

My baby boy

you turn my life around

Beautiful boy

you turn life upside down

Strong enough to climb

the tallest tree

your big brown eyes smile down

your laughter falling like autumn

leaves

fall to cover me

© Kait King, 2015