Disaster Tragedy

Diminshed memories

Let’s Talk About Kasandra Perkins for a Change.
The man who abused her and killed her was a sports star, so she gets to be a bit player in her own death – a mere cipher to discuss him. It is not the same as he put her through – but it certainly is analogous. She deserves a voice in this story, as it is hers too. She suffered. Her baby is motherless, fatherless, and this is the legacy she has too. Her father is ‘mistaken’, a ‘victim of sports pressure’. There is even suggestions, hints, if not outright statements that somehow she is culpable.

She was only culpable for believing they could work it out. That the Counselling was helping. That he meant his promises of change. She wanted to believe it for her daughter. From the depths of her frequently cited (by those who bothered to seek) compassionate, warm, sympathetic heart, she wanted to believe for him, too. There is the same blinding heroism of the star athlete that has led to her diminishment in the story told, who knows what role that held in her optimism? He was such a ‘good guy’….

Too many abusers are seen that way. Too many victims are not believed because ‘he couldn’t be like that’. She must be mistaken, exaggerating, she must have earnt or deserved it. As if anyone deserves it. And it is worse for men – who can also be abused. More often (but not only) emotionally rather than physically abused, they are even more supposed to ‘man up’. As if a man could be broken by words. Huh. Anyone can be. Words can erode your sense of self, of worth. You become ‘lucky they will put up with you’, somehow deserving all the abusers because of your own faults. You become pathetically grateful for any small kindness. And it can all be masked behind makeup or smiles. People can never suspect.

I know all too well. I, like many others, have scars inside that won’t heal, and I am lucky, I escaped. With enough left to recover somewhat, become seemingly strong. I was lucky in my friends and family, they came put to save and support me. I will regret all my life the scars I thought I had protected my children from, that I thought I had hidden away from them. But children are wounded themselves, of not abided directly, from seeing some one they love suffer, and how confusing to have it be at the hands of the other person they love and trust.

So, it’s hard, and it hurts, but you can escape and rebuild. We do need better protection for men and women facing the most dangerous of abusers, the crazy violent stalkers. And we need to remember the victims matter.

Her friends called her Kasi.

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What is left after?

What happens to survivors of tragedies? I was the only one seriously injured in my accident – what about the other people, I have often wondered. The man who admitted the momentary distraction arguing with his teenager that caused it. The other woman, innocently driving and having my car flung into hers. All three cars written off – shock, fear, change, repercussion. The stone is flung and you cannot resume your previous course, the ripples from this heavy stone are too big. So what about epic tragedies of death and survival in furiously forbidding circumstances? The guilt of being one of the few, the relief, the memories…

Here is the story of a survivor and what it meant to him, as told through the eyes of his daughter.

Carol Shaben: What’s a life worth? | Life and style | The Guardian.

How to learn from a tragedy – 10yo girl suicides over bullying

And here is an endless grief story where nobody wins.

This poor little girl, suffering until driven to desperation.

Her traumatised family, asking themselves why they didn’t react sooner, why…

Little girls who, (like big ones), can be so cruel – but often don’t intend to be so cruel, they are just fitting in themselves, trying to work out the mores and ways of the culture they are in, a pecking order that all socialised creatures have. They will carry (except potentially in a few, sociopathic type cases) a dreadful guilt, learning too harsh a lesson.

If anything that we hope they would be, her teachers and prinicipal, wishing they had intervened earlier, not dismissed as ‘just kids’ scenario.

And all of us parents, the sad majority of which wince at recollections at how intensely felt the bullying was when we were recipients, (and shame if participants at the giving end), how we want to protect our kids, wondering how to do that without knee jerking into overprotectiveness so that our children are wrapped even further in paranoia and cotton wool, learning nothing but fear…

We need to ask if this is a big picture we are missing, or single incident? Media is of little help in this, the pedophile around every corner has gotten us terrified tolet our kids out to play, restricting their capacity to socialise independently with their peers in a way few groups have historically known.

And in the meantime, if you will excuse me, I am going to hug my 10yo daughter and 8yo son (and think about my other more grown daughters), and hope I know enough to have given them what they need to not face an abyss that this sad little girl could not get beyond.

Parents in a small town in Illinois suspect their young daughter took her own life after enduring years of bullying

via A 10-year-old’s ‘gut-wrenching’ suicide: Is bullying to blame? – The Week.

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Never fight a land war in central Asia…

Kabul Kids

Image by mknobil via Flickr

A quote form The Princess Bride that still resonates with truth. Maybe more politicians should have sene that classic and paid some attention.

The media has been engrossed in the saga of Qantas quite understandably – greedy execs! evil unions! country to hostage! weary travellers! sound bites! tension! outrage!

Perfect camera fodder.

There was, however, other main stories happening. One tragically huge one.
Three young men were gunned down, shot in the back by an Afghani soldier, someone they had treated as a comrade, someone who they believed they were helping train to defend his country. It sadly turned out his idea of that defence and theirs were polar opposites.

The lack of media involvement with this sad case, overwhelmed by the more media glamorous, and,  to be fair, quite genuine upset of the travellers, does question how much consideration was given to real victims of long term suffering, the families left behind by these latest deaths. And how many more families, and how much longer are we there for…isn’t it time we stopped berating yet another greedy CEO and ask these questions for a while? The CEOs will obligingly still be opportunistic parasites, and thus will be there after we have tried to find solutions to this particular disaster.

As we mourn the death of three young men and their wounded comrades, perhaps we should be spending more time reflecting on how and why it is that they won’t be coming home. Surely it’s as important as showing us a middle-aged man angrily waving a Qantas frequent flyer card and berating the fact that he’s suck in the Qantas Club at Bangkok airport for an extra day.

via When your journey’s not just disrupted, it’s ended – The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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Death of this innocent means death of social innocence?

Well, indeed…this one has torn me up. That poor child. But don’t we all feel a twinge before robustly denouncing the Chinese, before claiming it would never happen here, wherever our here may be? Can any of us be totally sure?

How can I be proud of my China if we are a nation of 1.4bn cold hearts?

The death of the two-year-old run over as passersby ignored her is symptomatic of a deepening moral crisis

via How can I be proud of my China if we are a nation of 1.4bn cold hearts? | Lijia Zhang | Comment is free | The Observer.

Japanese communities post Fukushima disaster may never be able to return.

An ongoing tragedy that should have more world attention.

Thousands of Japanese forced to evacuate their homes by the Fukushima nuclear disaster are facing the prospect of never being able to return.

via Japanese communities record Chernobyl-level radiation – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).