April 25, 2011

The Search for Truth - consequence

I am no stranger to being "told" to prove myself or my accusations. It goes hand in hand with being a survivor of child sex abuse. 

For me, I first had to prove it to a doctor who physically examined me as a 10 year old. My first step into being believed was counter-attacked by my subsequent suspension from the Catholic boarding school I attended at the time - guess there is nothing "god-like" about my telling them my darkest secrets. So yeah, even at 10, I knew there were "consequences" for speaking out and I also realised the only one that was going to be paying for those consequences, was me. 

My second attempt to speak out was the initial police report I filed in 1984. I was no longer in danger but I feared for the siblings that remained with my offender. Upshot was the entire family, for one reason or another, hurdled themselves around the offender and the offender, himself, called me to say "I brought you into this world, I can take you out." I was left with no alternative but to flee New Zealand. In the process, I lost my family, my sense of belonging, and to a certain extent - myself. 

I look back to that time and think "What on earth was I thinking?" I mean, there I was with a one-way ticket to London. I knew no one, had nowhere to stay, and yet all that unknown was nothing compared to my life back home. Some times people make decisions based on which fear is easier to deal with and all the horror movies of being kidnapped, raped, or even murdered didn't phase me. I was free from the past. That's all that mattered. 

In 1992, I dared to return to NZ. I missed my big brother, my sister, my family. Yet within 24 hours of arriving, I was in A&E, beaten to a pulp by a family member because of "me and my big mouth." Truth be known, I was planning to marry someone I met in the UK and I refused to invite my offender, play happy families as it were - consequence. 

The Police, at the time, advised me to return to the UK, marry... move on. I did just that. 

A few years on, I was notified about subsequent victims. Same offender. And yes, that sent me down a spiral path I would not wish on my worse enemy. I felt like I had failed - it was my fault. And I had such anger towards the NZ Police for not "truly" investigating that I thought I would explode. I naively thought they were about Prevention rather than cure... I have since become more sympathetic to their ways. 

I had, up until then, managed to maintain a normal existence - until my daughter was born and then... lord help me...the sight of that poor vulnerable being, totally at my mercy, dragged so much pain up inside of me I felt like I just couldn't keep it together any more. Now, more than ever, I wanted/needed my mother, my family, my sisters and brothers.... I separated and returned to NZ.

Those subsequent victims now wish to prosecute. Those same siblings I had begged for help from, now want me (big mouth, troublemaker) to help them, and two years ago, I filed my statement.  

I can pull my head out of the clouds long enough to see just what the Police need from me in order to have a solid case. But there "handling" of me was worlds apart from the handling I received from ACC.

The Police investigate. They don't offer counselling. So their advice to get some from ACC to "help me" during the process was something I didn't think too untoward. But here's the difference: both the Police and ACC want the same thing - proof. 

Police picked me up from my home. They had support people for me. They videoed the interview. Constantly asked if I needed a break. They took their guidance from me and from my support person. Yes, they asked for graphic detail. They asked for me to call a spade a spade. They asked me to relive every single detail and understood I could not just tell me story - I had to relive it. Afterwards, I sat with the support person for hours, bawling like a child (I'd been reduced to one) and later, they drove me home and checked in with me every day to see how I was doing. 

From ACC, I got a letter. Meet this strange woman I'd never met at an address, 70kms from my home. I did. Again, she (just like the Police) wanted graphic details - exact details. Unlike the Police, there was no support person. The assessor had a flight in two hours; we were pushed for time. Afterwards, she thanked me and left the office. I, on the other hand, sat outside the office for three hours trying to figure out how on earth I was even going to get home. I had my daughter with me - figuring in childcare to meet with ACC demands just isn't an issue. And afterwards? Nothing! Not for months. At least the Police provided me with a transcript of my interview - which, I still haven't had the balls to read. From ACC, it took seven months of nagging before I even got a wee snippet of the initial assessors report - and that, in itself, did nothing but leave questions.  

The months after the ACC assessment, I went from bad to worse. I don't think I would have classed myself as depressed before - sure, I'd had bad days but they were just "days" - this latest "episode" was something out of even my control. I fell in love with my couch. It was my haven. I couldn't even summon up the energy to even think about a shower let alone have one and in all honesty, both my child and I lived like pigs. I never left the house. I felt so exposed and so vulnerable - what with the Court case pending and my inability to even sleep - I was loosing it, big time. 

My lowest was a feeble attempt to kill myself. I didn't have any pills or anything cause - catch 22 - I wasn't registered with a Doctor who could prescribe any and could never get an appointment to even see one. My last attempt to do just that, meant $92.00 just for them to put me on their books!... the walls were closing in. 

I took to blogging. It's what saved my life - just 15 wee friends all chatting. I didn't even have to leave me couch! I admit, it was naive to think that anything I said couldn't reach a wider audience but, truth be told, I'd practically told everyone who was in a position to help, that I needed help and they couldn't give a toss... so I never thought anything I said mattered anyhow. Least of all the copious emails I sent to ACC.

From behind that blog, I grew stronger. I showered. I did some dishes. I listened and called in frequently to the Nutter's Club. My blogging friends encouraged me to leave my current situation.... up sticks and move on.... and I did. 

I am now gainfully employed. Off the hamster wheel of WINZ. I'm finding my feet again. My kid is happy. I can pay for new school shoes. We're on a winner... onwards and upwards...

.... and then... Dr Jansen comes at me with a two-by-four. 

Consequence. One thing I learned in 40 years of consequence is this: I ain't taken it any more! I'm sick and tired of running and I'm damned if I will sit and be bullied. Enough is enough. It's someone else's turn to learn the true meaning of "consequence."


In other words: "Whakapuakina te pono!"  


21 comments:

  1. Briliant Jax, utterly brilliant. And I guess pretty painful to relate, but in doing so you are exorcising demons. And if (and when) Jansen reads this, maybe a hint of remorse on his behalf. Did I really say that? We all thank you for being a part of our lives.

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  2. And I thank you for being one of those that saved mine... xx

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  3. You are amazing and have come so far. I cried reading that thinking about those caring, unethical interviews that ACC have been putting claimants through and then have them hanging for months waiting for a decision.

    I do wonder if they are expecting people to give up before they get to that point.... much like people do when faced with the police and Court process.

    Anyway, know you are not alone and many including myself, will stand beside you in Court.

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  4. Gosh i can so relate to why you started blogging. I didn't even have 15 friends that read mine when i started it. It was just my tool to vent and let out everything that i was feeling at the time.

    It didn't matter to me if no one read it - i had promised myself to always live a life that i was proud of from not long after i started it. I forced myself to write about everything that i was feeling...even the things that i was so ashamed of...because i had to get rid of that shame SOMEHOW. I hated writing about things that i was ashamed of so my blog helped me and encouraged me to live a life that i was proud of because being ashamed really sucked.

    I guess it was my way of showing the world that i was getting better - even if no one cared. haha

    Good on you Jax. Stay strong and don't let the 2 x 4 that is Dr Peter Jansen or ACC undo anything that you have accomplished thus far.

    x

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  5. The pen is mightier than the sword but the first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers.

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  6. I can relate to your experiences with the Police versus the ACC interviews. When I approached the Police about a breach to my Protection Order, the young male officer was polite, respectful and very aware of my distress. He asked if I wanted to call someone; whether I wanted a female officer to either take the interview, or be present; whether I needed a lift home; he quickly showed me my statement and let me take my time to ensure it was correct. He was exactly what I needed at the time... a professional doing their job to the best of their ability.

    In contrast, my ACC assessor turned up to the appointment late, grilled me for two hours and then left the building in the rush that comes with finishing the assessment after 5pm. I walked to the car in a daze and started swallowing anxiety meds in a vain attempt to quieten what had been stirred up. When I finally got a copy of the report, it was so inaccurate that some of the events were impossibilities.

    I'm sorry for what you have gone through Jax. Based on what you describe here, it sounds as if you tried your best to warn others of your abusers ways and the threat they posed. You did what you can, and tried to ensure your own, and your daughters, safety. That took courage. Saying that, I know the feeling when you find out an abuser has gone on to hurt others. It's an indescribable feeling. But you did speak out, what others did with that information is beyond your control. You spoke out, and that took courage.

    I'm glad you're still standing up for yourself... it's comfortable on the couch, but the sun is beautiful and warm.

    Take care,
    CG

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  7. Hi Castorgirl... we meet again... thank you for your kind respects to my blog writing...

    I admire those "on the couch" and there are days I yearn to retrieve back to that.. but I can't. I have my feet firmly set in concrete... those, of my age, have retirement funds to peruse over, a house of their own, some funds to leave their kids.... I have nothing but what I earn now...

    Not wishing to sound like a victim here, cause... well.... I had the opportunity (with ex husband) to rack in that dosh... just wasn't in a mindset to do it....

    However, this is the first time, someone (like Jansen) has threatened my lifestyle, my livelihood.My very FIRST opportunity to become somebody, let alone get off welfare and provide for my child.. is that NOT what ACC wants from their clients?

    And yet this... I'll be buggered if someone us going to throw a lasso around legs that have only just started to learn how to walk!

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  8. Hi Jax

    Good on ya girl! I hope that Peter Jensen will read this and get some idea of what you have had to deal with all your life and all you want is to get some counselling. Far out!!! Its so unjust. I'm wondering if you shouldn't have this published as is so that all of New Zealand can see how unjust and crazy it is. Far out I feel so angry with all this bullshit. I just wish that we could do something to help you and for all those who have been or are in similar situations as you. You keep strong girl - Your an inspiration to us all.

    Kia Kaha Wahine Toa
    Arohanui

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  9. This has me angry. What you have been through is so awful and you to go through more traumatic pain just trying to be heard, validated, helped...
    ACC have a lot to answer for. I'd like to shake the living shit out of them for what they have put me through. I'll never forget. They should be deep shit for re-traumatising clients.

    There are so many cases similar. So many. They need to be held accountable, and if this guy who is suing you is a person who works in that department...it makes no sense to me why he would do that. None.
    that peter dude... he angers me. So...did he google his name to find this blog of 15 followers? Cos that is really dumb!

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  10. I just read this... Fantastic. Don't know what to say in response except keep blogging cos you are fantastic at it and it has kept us going too. Your blogs show strength Jax. Awesometastical. ♥ x

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  11. Up in there ivory towers, drinking from there gilded coffee cups.
    Who knew there really is a Dr Jensen / Mr Hyde.
    Got a doctorate in Victimising victims for being victims.
    Experts in twisting it so you become grateful for the time they spend on not helping.
    And now you have bruised his little ego, and he has shown his true incompetence, and his fear that someone isn’t happy just to be a number and a brown manila folder on someone’s desk, how dare you want answers.
    Your awesome Jax, you have shown you can stand up to a government paid thug.
    Darryl Smith
    HBC

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  12. HBC... LOL... Got to love it..and THAT was born out of all this crap... just goes to show, it's true: What comes from the heart, goes to the heart, xx

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  13. Fuck you Jansen!

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  14. In my honest opinion, Dr Jackass Jansen remains an incompetent prick ...oops sorry, person.

    Stay strong Jax.

    Sending you warmth and love

    "RACHEL"

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  15. Thank you for sharing your life with us Jax. The saddest part is I've heard it before, I've read it before and I've listened to it before, but most of all, I've lived it before, too.

    Your story is all to familiar to so many of us victims of sexual abuse. The worst part is that as long as pricks like Dr Jansen continue to make this about 'them', as long as governments continue to make it about 'policy' and 'money', and as long as people continue to find a way of deflecting from the truth of what has happened, and is still happening to children, your story and my story will continue to be experienced by innocent victims.

    Damn you to hell Dr Jansen, because what you are doing is not just against one woman brave enough to speak out, it's against all victims of sexual abuse, past, present and future. Your greed and selfishness is stopping the real issues, the truth, from being told and until it is known, a solution can never be found.

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  16. You did it Jax, you faced your fears, dealt with the emotional upheaval, now stand tall in your own right and you now know where you are in the scheme of things.
    You faced and overcame all your demons, so walk forward into the sunshine and leave all the disbelievers and abusers behind.
    Like the song says, 'when you walk through a storm, hold your head up high'.
    Kia kaha.

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  17. i feel so very blessed to have heard you on the radio, and seen you via TNC, you inspire me and i thank you for that.

    xx

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  18. Hey Jax. Thanks heaps for sharing your story.Unfortunately it just once again proves that those who are victims often get re-abused by The System. I am inspired by you and your courage and have considered more fully whether to share my story with my siblings, and whether to report my abuser. Thankyou so much; you are an incredible woman.xx

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  19. Your strength continues to amaze me hot stuff.

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  20. Hmmm...there seem to be a reasonable number of us who can relate to the ACC treatment. It's all just soooo familiar.

    Blessings Jax,
    S.Beast

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