Archives for January, 2011
I read this article on bullying last week. The journalist called for people affected, both the bullied and the bullies, to be part of a documentary series by the ABC. I have emailed the journalist and applied to be part of this documentary. My story is quite different from the average norm of girl-on-girl bullying. My story enters the realm of same-sex sexual assault. Not something I hear a lot about. Today it would make news headlines, if not the international news but back in 1975 it barely caused a ripple because I was so ashamed and guilt-filled by what happened I could not bring myself to tell another adult. My parents had decided it was my fault and punished me for it. Thirty six years on it's difficult to describe without it triggering off a harrowing reaction from me. Female bullying is usually something underground and subtle with snotty putdowns and social isolation, something if you were to describe what was going on and how you felt, you would be met with quizzical cynicism because each incident on its own could easily be explained away but add them all up and you’re looking at eating disorders and suicide ideation.
Recently I had to rearrange my headspace and lifestyle because I was getting bent out of shape because of what someone else was doing. I wasn’t happy with the information I was receiving and it was causing untold grief and obsession within my life. Luckily for me I was reading “Destructive Emotions,” a dialogue with the Dalai Llama narrated by Daniel Goleman, one of my three favourite Daniels (Stern and Siegel being the other two). According to the book, when you have had enough of the shit in your life you can do one of three things:
It took a lot of mindfulness and mental strength to get through December 2010. Christmas and the New Year are incredibly stressful times for some. In Australia it is hot, so we have the heat to contend with, but cooking all day in a stifling kitchen with inadequate air conditioning is not part of my challenge of the season. Organizing who goes where on what day, getting the tree up, buying the presents, posting the cards, making the Christmas cake, food shopping, wrapping the presents and decking the halls with boughs of holly is the easiest part in the world. What is not so simple is coming to terms with the fact that we do not see certain family members because of a major fallout fifteen years ago. One could very easily blame my mental health issues for this and sometimes when I feel kicked and down I do blame myself. But relationships are never quite that black and white.