My Post Abuse Handbook

I think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim of sexual abuse but it was a process to reach that personal status I can tell you.

 

The complex emotions experienced by a victim are wearing to the individuals’ spirit; thinking too much about an incident can cause discomfort and distress, panic attacks, distractions, difficulty focusing on one thing. When you must return to the scene of a crime it is good to use different ways to remember details in a safe way, a way that gives you some distance from the immediacy of any trauma.

Taking someone on the journey with you is helpful. You can create the maps you will need to bring someone on the journey. What do you need a map of? Where is this map? Why would you need this map? How does this map help?

You can slow an incident down in time and place, moment by moment just the way a film plays in slow motion. If you can see three things in one place that you remember it is a great idea to draw them down, write them down.

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You can mark significant events on a calendar as signposts; birthdays, holidays, weekend activities, the movie you saw at the cinema, the drive in, the sporting event you saw, a change of style in your appearance like a haircut or needing glasses.

If you saw a movie or a band or some kind of entertainment you may as well go to the State Library and check if they have copies of the newspapers that advertised the event. I once found an exact weekend by checking the date a film played in a cinema which was very helpful.

During the process of giving evidence I realised I needed to pin point times, dates and events as closely as possible for the Police. I quickly discovered that after blocking certain things out of my mind for a long time, not dealing with them, I had made it difficult to simply recall some things.

Once I applied a few strategies of recalling things that were very helpful for me, I thought it would be useful to write these things down, make them available to other people who are dealing with the same or similar circumstances. I want to give it away, not make money out of it.

Here is an ANZ account where anyone can make a direct bank donation to my Post Abuse Handbook:

BSB: 015 354

ACCOUNT # 392747882

Please include a return email so I can send you a reward and copy of the book once produced, which, if I reach target, should be before the end of 2015.

Many thanks for any and all donations; I am due to have some surgery over the next day or so. This means I will not be posting again until the middle of next week I expect. Thanks again.

 

DPJ

 

My Post Abuse Handbook

Healing

I have had a lot of surgery on my face over the past two years; most recently only weeks ago. While I have been healing these past few weeks I have spent some time taking photographs and writing a little. I have been building a bit of a profile at ABC Open

Morning hijinks
Morning hijinks

I have placed a few of my images there… and here.

Freedom
Freedom
Snapped
Snapped
Singing
Singing
Magpie
Magpie
Healing

To start with..

My Post Abuse Handbook.

To start with..

Something bad happened to me.

I made a big effort to make it seem like the bad thing never happened.

If you are about to run a race when you accidentally twist your ankle, you may decide to pretend you are okay and still run the race. While you are running you may forget about the pain your ankle is feeling because you want your chance to win the race. As you run along ignoring this pain in your ankle the very same pain has an opportunity to divert your attention as other lasting damage is happening you do not even know about.

Something bad happened to me and I thought it was wrong when it happened. There are times when something bad happens, like the time I failed my Math test for example. It felt wrong to fail but the score of the test was not wrong.

The time something bad happened to me; when I thought it was wrong, I believed it was wrong because someone asked me to touch a part of their body we usually do not touch. When they asked me to do it I did say I thought it was a wrong thing to do, but the person assured me it was not wrong under these circumstances. Their explanation convinced me I would be right to do what I was told. I felt uncomfortable to begin with because I thought it was wrong but when I was assured it was not wrong I did what I was told.

Time passed a little way. At the time the passing feels much slower and days feel long. Months spread out for weeks and school holidays in the summer seem endless.

Something so bad happened to me; really bad, the whole thing was a secret. This was a very complicated secret that would cause a lot of problems if everybody knew. This was such a bad thing I could not tell anyone about it at all and it hurt. When it happened I decided I had to change my life and get away from the secret that was spinning like a spider’s web around me.

When this happened, before I grew up, it changed the way I thought about people. It changed the way I thought about myself. It changed the way I felt about things in a way that made me worried and cautious all the time. Feeling worried and cautious all the time can feel very poorly.

People say it is best to look on the bright side and not to dwell on the past. I took that advice from what I knew and decided it was best to forget about the bad things that happened. In time everything heals.

I made a big effort to make it seem like the bad thing never happened. The effort I made was so good I did not even know I had made it. I gave up thinking about it for a few years and I ignored the pain I was feeling.

 

To be continued…

Image by DPJ2015
Image by DPJ2015
To start with..

The Post Abuse Handbook #Crowdfunding 34 hours to go…

I think of myself as a survivor rather than a victim of sexual abuse but it was a process to reach that personal status I can tell you.

During the process of giving evidence I realised I needed to pinpoint times, dates and events as closely as possible for the Police. I quickly discovered that after blocking certain things out of my mind for a long time, not dealing with them, I had made it difficult to simply recall some things.

Once I applied a few strategies of recalling things that were very helpful for me, I thought it would be useful to write these things down, make them available to other people who are dealing with the same or similar circumstances. I want to give it away, not make money out of it.

DarkHouse1 DarkHouse2 DarkHouse3 DarkHouse4

The complex emotions of a victim are wearing to the spirit; thinking too much about an incident can cause you great discomfort and distress.

It is good to bring yourself back to places in a broader way, a way that gives you some distance from the immediacy of any traumatic event.

Think of the maps you would need to identify places. What would you need a map of? Where would you need the map of? Why would you need each map? How would each of them help?

You can break a journey down to time and place, moment by moment. You can mark significant events as signposts; birthdays, holidays, weekend activities, the movie you saw at the cinema, the drive in, the sporting event you saw, a change of style in your appearance like a haircut or needing glasses.

Here is an ANZ Bank account where anyone can make a direct donation to this project. The money raised will produce an accessible resource for people attempting to recall evidence of sexual assault:
BSB: 015 354
ACCOUNT # 392747882

Please include a return email so I can send you a reward and copy of the book once produced, which, if I reach target, should be before the end of 2015.

The Post Abuse Handbook #Crowdfunding 34 hours to go…

Black Diggers

Black Diggers
By Tom Wright
Directed by Wesley Enoch

This story addresses the horrors of war, the damage it does to men, their families and communities.  At face value we are seeing how indigenous characters responded to call to arms and how it impacted on their lives at a time when they were not even counted as Australian citizens.

These indigenous men all experience discrimination, race hatred and confusion at the white lies they are told by most of the men they encounter outside of their kin. People are damaged by war. Men are especially damaged by war; first to go and die in it. Some survive, many do not. The First World War was a numbers war. Strategies based on outnumbering the enemy; flooding as many soldiers in as possible. This is some of the most inhuman human behaviour drawing on belonging and ownership. People fight for their land and freedom upon it in differing ways; historically the Australian First Peoples were not a war like race so the moral compass gets a battering when young indigenous lads rush off to play their part in what is sold as a big adventure.

Many white Australian lads went off to the First World War pretending they were older (and wiser) than what they actually were; so why would it be different for young indigenous men? There is a hard wired desire to identify and conquer something grand in young men be it breaking the wildness out of a Brumby or crossing the sea to vanquish an unknown enemy.

Generations after this war it is still celebrated and many of the individuals have been lifted to the status of hero but indigenous men who fought in the First World War have not been lauded. They have received treatment more like the Australian’s who fought in Vietnam. They return damaged to a community that simply is not prepared or equipped to entirely deal with the transformed soldier; the broken men, the spirit stripped back, the grief on the surface. There are many little moments in this play that highlight the ironies and contradictions of serving the King. Overall the production is very good and brings a lot of emotionally challenging issues up for the audience to absorb.

I felt there were problems with the production of Tom Wright’s Black Diggers on opening night in Adelaide. I put it down to a cast and crew moving into a new venue as they tour this production. I wondered if they may have been feeling challenged by the very old size and shape of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and that it is not the ideal venue for their show; I certainly did. Sightlines, sound levels and awkward blocking distracted from the core action at times and made some scenes very difficult to follow.

Structurally the play flounders toward the end as Wright attempts to sign off on the story of each character he has introduced; this dragged at times. There is little joy for any returned soldiers, a lot of pain; in this case having so many scenes that seem like they are wrapping things up becomes frustrating. It felt like the stage is only a temporary space for this story; that the writer is thinking about the screen. I may be wrong about the writer’s intention but it gave me a strong impression that this is his ultimate goal, to see this story on the screen where a broader visual brush can illustrate the many resolutions. It is an important story; acknowledging the indigenous boys who served for King and Country, even though they mostly had little idea what they were getting into beyond the promised adventure.

The set, and the relationship the actors have with it evokes a strong Brechtian style: significant dates names and words are drawn onto the massive dark walls that entomb the action (only to whitewashed over later). The script bulges with poetic prose that sometimes requires less emphasis; it is a very thin line between sounding poetic and being poetic. It would be very easy to say it is a great production simply because it is an all indigenous cast and they work extremely well as an ensemble often hitting the beats in a scene like clockwork; it is a very good production but it didn’t rise to greatness for me because of technical failures. Songs sung early on were drowned out by the amplified backing music. Much of the direction has actors facing the audience and playing scenes out into the auditorium which stylistically feels awkward beside ensemble scenes where physicality and movement create atmosphere and flashes of stark light cast effective shadows.

There are deeply moving scenes of a young lad who comes home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that hit the nail on the head with hardly a word spoken; completely profound.

The cast switch from one character to another with simple costume changes and slight physical alterations proving that they have everything it takes to lift this production up but when you are struggling to understand what is being said their hard work doesn’t always reach the heights you know it could. I found this shortcoming disappointing, and I imagine it will be corrected before the play is presented again at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

There were curious local landmarks thrown in here and there to connect characters to our metropolitan area which seemed a little unnecessary and strained; characters saying they came from Thebarton and other local areas was a little odd and although it may have hit the right buttons for some locals it didn’t quite sit right with me, it seemed to be there for effect rather than authenticity. Maybe there were indigenous men from the inner city suburbs of Adelaide who served in the First World War, I have not noticed any in the research I have done but I am willing to be corrected here because this is very new territory. I am mostly aware of Saunders, the indigenous officer who served in the Second World War, another unsung hero of his day.

The nasty treatment of the indigenous men by the majority of white men back at home after the war is not really new information but it is obviously necessary to show, land grabs by Government and misunderstandings of motive by blood community are sad historic realities. Have things changed? Yes they have, but not as much as one would expect, and these experiences felt by the indigenous soldiers are not so divorced from the experiences of white men. It is the telling of the story and the demonstration of those very personal experiences that really touched me. The very basic human elements that show we are all essentially the same and equal in how we think, experience and feel.

There are lots of audience members who will not have had a clue of these First World War veterans and will have gained a much greater insight after seeing this play. It is a valuable story for us all and I encourage anyone who enjoys a good dramatic night in the theatre to go along but try to get seats in the middle of the row if you want a good a view of everything. Sitting in the first eight or nine seats cuts off some of the sightlines and may leave you wondering what just happened here and there.

I’m glad I saw this production; heartened to see such a wide range of indigenous actors doing fine work. I walked away feeling there was something missing from the text. I noticed the characters referred to themselves as a range of slang words including coon and darkie but I don’t recall ever hearing any of them speak about being a human. Again I may have missed this because there seemed to be some head mics working well and others simply not picking up what was being said, but it started a conversation between my brother and I as we left the theatre.

I’m not trying to say that all wrapped up in a neat little package, “this production is a conversation starter,” that would only be one part of what it is; there are a lot of really potent human moments that illustrate how we are actually all the same despite our differences. As constructs that are devised by greater controlling forces such as governments and monarchs impose inequality do they also teach inequality only to eventually steep the human spirit in righteousness? This is what I took away from Black Diggers.

 

Branco GarciaPhoto Credit: Branco Gaica

Black Diggers

Food Booze Sex Dance #ADLfringe #RedFezConcepts

Red Fez Concepts present

Food Booze Sex Dance

Well the title says it all really, except there is no actual sex taking place. This is a great night out for adults who enjoy burlesque. It is in a back room at the Crown and Sceptre Hotel in King William Street. Café tables, white tablecloths, live man on the electric piano and outstanding value for money.

cheesy2

I attended alone sans raincoat. Because I was alone I was ushered to the bachelor’s table which was the first highlight of the evening because as soon as a pair of unaccompanied women came in they were sent to join me. With another single fellow who attended solo we made up one of those ‘fun night out’ groups of random strangers who end up chatting and having a laugh together. We at the bachelor table came from all around the country; Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide. It was pretty amazing and fully unexpected to have such a diverse little group at one table.

The show was great. For such a small space Fez Concepts managed to cover every corner of the burlesque compass with aplomb. Some very rigorous pole dancing, a giant champagne glass complete with splashes that did not hit the audience – some excellent choreography meant we got to watch the spray not wear it.

Featuring lots of scantily clad women each of whom looked authentic and certainly kept it real all through the show. Nothing particularly lurid or nasty happened at all, which is good. I wondered about the title when I first saw it on my invitation list; do I really want to go out and see… sex? No, not really. I was in luck.

The added bonus is you get a great feed as part of the show. Hostess for the evening was the deliciously feminine Eva Marie Sinner who explains the etiquette and warms the audience up with a few insights rousing the animal instinct refreshingly. Sinner is assisted by her piano man and co-host JJPF Le Coq, a smooth charmer with a fine voice and fun personality.

caitlin

Sirena del Rossa is a lithe and long limbed lass who bubbles with enthusiasm as she cavorts in a champagne glass with elfish style. Her act toasts the show from the top. Stiletto Star and Moisty Magic’s act gets about as creamy as possible without putting anyone off side; in fact the audience participation was the cherry on top of a flirty flourish from these two star performers.

Pixie Piper adorned with massive horns grips a pole and works it until the crowd go wild, then opens up and invites a couple of her kinetically charmed kittens to create a visually spectacular finish.

All the while there are set changes and breaks so we can wrap our lips around a range of delicious edibles. The food is basically burlesque friendly, the shapes and sizes of things that are destined to end up in your mouth do not require knives and forks, but you can use utensils if you like.

Sweet and savoury are balanced just as well as Pixie Piper is on top of her game. Eva Marie Sinner presses you to hold on as long as you can so that when it comes to gobbling things up there’s a good reason to do it together, but it you have to gorge on ahead she doesn’t dampen things down.

Obviously this is an adult show, but it isn’t nasty, it is actually very tasty and the final dish is smooth, light and a very just dessert. You’ll be so glad you came I imagine plenty will want to come again.

The size of the room is just right to feel like you’re in a packed house and it was good to see everyone enjoying themselves, their food and the captivating cast. I haven’t mentioned Buff Lightyear the trim and charming fellow who accompanies Stiletto Star and Moisty Magic for their final act but he is a real charmer and something special for the ladies; no, he doesn’t look like he has overdosed on steroids or fallen off the last float in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, he looks like your average handsome fellow, with a few extras, but again, nothing nasty.

All in all Food Booze Sex Dance is a fine night out; the food is fresh and flavoursome, the booze is wet, the dance is delightful and the sex is all in your head but don’t let that stop you from coming.

 

More details HERE

 

singers

 

 

Food Booze Sex Dance #ADLfringe #RedFezConcepts