Australia Day / Invasion Day???

Imagine you are getting the kids ready for school. TV is on in the background while they finish their breakfast. Your mind is already mentally sorting through the things you know need doing at work. You only just hear and register the sudden change on the TV to a breaking news story – saying foreign troops are flooding into the capital cities in their thousands, killing any resistors and taking prisoners to use as slaves. Confused, you wonder if this is some kind of hoax, but the vision being shown looks realistic enough….a bit of fear starts to creep in just as you become aware of the sound of planes – hundreds of planes. You rush to the window and see the skies filled with planes, and parachutes, and there are soldiers landing. Now terrified you scream for your kids and you take them and run into your bedroom, closing the curtains, knowing it’s futile but not knowing what else to do. 

Within a short time the soldiers reach your house and don’t even pretend to acknowledge they are coming into your home – they simply break your locks and let themselves in. They start going through your things, your families things, taking what they want, discarding what they don’t. You hear shots being fired, screams, you know people that you know are dying and you are terrified beyond belief for your family, what’s going to happen next? Do you fight? Do you give up and hope you’ll be spared? 

Fast forward 5 years. Your home is no longer yours but was taken by a foreign family. You live in a block of apartments with all the survivors from your neighbourhood. The new Australians don’t trust you, generally speaking. You got a new job but it’s basically only the lowest tasks that you’re allowed to do, for a minimum wage. Every day you walk past your old house and see the strangers living there not caring that it was yours, not really even giving a thought to it. They love Australia and feel lucky to be there. But they look through you when they see you as if, by not really acknowledging your existence, it somehow erases the fact they are here at your expense. That they didn’t join the community. They invaded it. They took it. And don’t seem to comprehend that it was someone else’s first.

You wonder how it’s possible that someone can live in your house, sleep in your bed, drive your car and yet not care about the fact that they belong to another person? A person who was simply forced to give them up and now lives elsewhere, trading a 4 bedroom house with 2 bathrooms and a decent backyard for a 1 bedroom apartment in an old, smelly block of apartments. How can the ‘new’ family simply ignore this fact?

Then, as the next anniversary of the invasion rolls around, the New Australians decide to hold a parade and street party to celebrate 6 years in the beautiful country they are now so proud to call home. You are invited to the street party but, horrified, decline. When questioned, you say ‘Why would I want to celebrate the day when you, strangers from another country, came into my home and took everything I had from me, for yourselves? Why would I celebrate the death of so many I knew, killed just for standing up for themselves and trying to protect their families and homes? How could I celebrate that?’

They don’t understand. They shrug and say ‘Well you have to move on, some time. The past can’t be changed – and, you know, I only got here 2 years ago. It wasn’t me who did that so…. I think you people just need to accept and move forward so we can all get along.’

And the party happens. And every year it happens and gets bigger and bigger. And every year you get angrier and more sad and wonder how you are supposed to ever be at peace with these people who won’t even genuinely own the fact that they stole what was yours – disrupted and ruined your life – killed so many innocent people – changed life forever for a whole country of people, for no more reason than they wanted Australia for their own and you lot were in the way. 

And so, I think about the two sides of January 26. I get that some Aussies want to celebrate Australia on this day. The beautiful country. Our freedom. Our strengths as a nation. I do too. I love this country and I’m so grateful I was lucky enough to have been born here.

But I also understand that some Aussies view January 26 with sadness and pain and frank disbelief, even. I get that

I’m not saying don’t celebrate Australia. We definitely should. 

Just maybe we could, as a loving and kind and genuine people, be sensitive and real  and acknowledge the reality of what did happen for so many Australians on this day in 1788, and that its not really something to celebrate. And move the date on which we honour this beautiful nation. A simple thing. But perhaps a huge gesture of recognition. 

Just a thought. 

The Slaying of Amber Sherlock

amber

I am sad today. And, refreshingly [god I feel awful saying it but its true], the sadness is not abnormal or about me. Its about Amber Sherlock.

You’ve probably seen the video going mad on social media. Amber and 2 colleagues, getting ready for a segment on some TV show they’re on.  If you haven’t seen it – in a nutshell all three women are wearing white and Amber [who is leading the segment] is cranky at one of the other women who she says [in the video] she had asked two and a half hours previously to change or put a different coloured jacket on.  That woman did not, for whatever reason, and suddenly, five minutes to show time she comes on screen and Amber is clearly annoyed and frustrated and demands she puts a jacket on. At one point she says, “Wardrobe will go mental if we are all wearing white!” which indicates that her motivation is not personal but rather, professional.  And, as pointed out in this opinion piece, if all three women had gone on air in white, the public would have crucified them.

But now – some website has taken the off air footage, done some editing and shared it on facebook with the lovely tagline:

Channel Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock has epic diva meltdown over a presenter wearing the same colour DRESS as her
.
so called “professional journalists”
Please share the shit out of this to “attempt” and make this sheila embarrassed !

I am so sad.

The vitriol that has been directed at Amber is depressing and hateful. The comments are mean, unfair, downright wrong, cruel, unnecessary…. I could go on.

Some really smart, loving women I know have shared this video, thus promoting the hatred and meanness and online keyboard warrior bullying and I am shocked.  I just don’t understand it?

The situation is that two professional women butted heads at work and someone saw it as an opportunity to ‘go viral’, get their 15 minutes of fame. Never mind the hurtful, hateful things that would be written about the human being in the video. Her feelings don’t matter, she’s a princess, she’s on TV so she’s fair game, who cares, right?

Wrong. We should be focusing on shaming people who are actually doing something wrong. Criminals. Sexual Predators. Those exploiting the elderly and the vulnerable. Spend your energy on sharing those videos, shaming those people, raising awareness of those actions.  Get passionate about children dying, communities being destroyed. Bombs falling on hospitals.  Women dying in childbirth. Men committing suicide at higher rates than ever before. Cancer killing tiny, helpless babies.  That is the shit that really matters!

And as for Amber…

Realise that Amber Sherlock is an actual, real person. She could be your sister / wife / girlfriend / mother.  Would you be ok with people saying such hateful, cruel shit about her just based on an edited, 3 minute video that deliberately portrays her poorly?  If you wouldn’t like that – then why would you do it to someone elses sister / wife / girlfriend / mother?

Could she have handled it better? Possibly.  Is it really any of our business? Nope. Are we all so fucking perfect that we have any right to publicly judge another human the way this woman is being judged? I don’t fucking think so.

Are we, as a society, so shallow, petty, careless and heartless that we are ok with hurting others for nothing more than 30 seconds of amusement?

It makes me sad. We are better than this people. At least, I hope we are.

 

The good days make the bad ones worse

I’ve had a couple of good days lately. I can feel my sense of humour lurking beneath and propping up my frustration; I can be in the middle of a meltdown moment but have comfort in surety that ‘this too shall pass’; I can see and acknowledge  little wins and can prioritise my daily tasks in a healthy way. Good days.

Not great, but hey, it’s better than bad so I’ll take it, with gratitude. 

Problem is I’m finding that the good days I have give me hope, and then the bad days return and it’s like a sucker punch right on my solar plexus. It rocks me. I feel robbed, defeated, scared, sad. It’s like reaching the top of the staircase only to realise you’re in one of those M.C. Escher illustrations and what you thought was progress is suddenly not. Sigh. 

Take today….my 7mo is sick and clingy. My 2.5yo is wanting attention. My house is not clean.  My attempt at cornbread produced a big, solid, crunchy corn biscuit. My fifo husband is home but has taken himself to the gym so it’s me on duty, alone, again. 

Yet I’m fine. I am balanced, calm, patient, content. I’m normal. It gives me hope that I’m beating this depressive time. 

I feel relief.

Then a bad day hits, and another. Three, five in a row. And I feel dread. What I’m doing isn’t working. I’m not healing. I can’t beat this. Maybe misery is my new normal….the thoughts swirl, bringing me down, and are so, so hard to counter.

I need this reminder then. That there will be good days. That maybe I do need more help to beat this, but that is ok. That there is an alternative ‘normal’, and that it’s a really nice place to be, and I should do whatever needs to be done to get back there.

To not view my good days as a cruel reminder of what could be, but rather as a golden promise of what will be, my normal, soon.