Saturday, May 09, 2009

#127: Suffer Little Children

Be warned, the following contains some very strong language and adult themes and shouldn’t be read until after 9:30pm.

Now that that’s out of the way I have a few questions to ask people, the first and foremost amongst them is a simple one: what the fuck is wrong with some people? And you know full well who I’m talking about. I mean, Jesus Fucking H Christ on a bloody bike!!

I recently had to allocate a property out at a group of units. I grabbed the file and drove out, found the units and outside was a child waiting. The child greeted me and I asked, “So, where is Blankety Blank?” The child laughed and said, “I’m Blankety Blank.” I almost fell over with shock and surprise. I’ve seen some odd things in my time but this was very strange indeed – the child was just past the age of being able to legally vote and looked four years younger. I wanted to ask the question, “Where are your parents?” but refrained as I knew the answer wouldn’t be a good one. I've learnt that lesson very well.

We went inside, did the paperwork and I did my usual spiel and asked, “Now, do you have any questions?” She looked down and quietly said, “Well, yes. I don’t know how to get the electricity connected.” I went through the process, made a phone call and managed to get it all sorted out for her and spent a good hour explaining how to cope with living in a flat for the first time, what to expect, what to avoid and that, if assistance was required, to contact us or the cops, depending on what was happening. In effect I went above and beyond my usual role to give this kid a crash course on how to set the place up with the essential services that she'd need. It's one of those things that any number of us will stop and do, although certain Media Queens will insist that we don't, but hey, there you go. It's not in the J&P, it's called being human, having compassion and caring. Insane.

Once back in the office I had a read of the paperwork. I’d like to think that what I subsequently read was an aberration, but, unfortunately, to use the cliché, it’s a typical story, sad but true. Here’s the breakdown: parents get divorced. So what? Mine got divorced. I can’t think of too many people who didn’t get divorced. In this case the evil Step-Parent Syndrome reared it's ugly head, walked up to the plate and began made life not difficult, because that'd be easy, but downright impossible. With the step-father it was a case of borderline sexual assault, resulting in the child complaining to the mother only to be kicked out of the property post-haste. Yep, you did read that right - the step-father attempted to rape the child, more than once, and the mother blamed the kid. Not to mention the beatings. The child then went to live with the father, who, amazingly enough, also began to beat the child and make advances whilst drunk because the child looked like the mother. Thus the two places that should have been the safest havens of them all were violated to the point of being utterly inappropriate, both personally and in relation to housing.

It didn’t get better. From there the child moved in with her boyfriend only to suffer a sexual assault from his father. It was all downhill, couch surfing, borderline street sleeping. Thank the maker that she didn't go down the road of prostitution, or sought solace in drugs like so many do. Once it was all brought to our attention we stepped in provided the one thing we can do in this situations – provide safe and secure housing. I hope that from now on life will look up and things will improve, but it’s hard for a young one out on their own, trying to make a life at an age when they should be looking at better and brighter things.

So who do I blame in all of this? Sorry, but I blame the piss weak excuses of parents. No matter how difficult things get I cannot understand why a parent would chose a new partner, or anyone for that matter, over their own child. It's an utterly alien concept to me. No matter how dysfunctional my own family might be (and we did put the dys into functional) if I ever needed help, or a place to stay, I could call any of them and crash out for as long as I needed to. All I can say is that such parents need to be assessed before being allowed to breed once more. And to those idiots out there who’ll say that there’s always two sides to any story, in this case there’s not. Not when you’re faced with a quiet, inoffensive child, scared yet brave enough to move onwards and leave the crap behind and forge ahead with a new life. There’s no two sides to that story, just one side – the child coming up as the winner. If there is another side it’s equally as simple – the parents are the absolute scum of the earth. Those are the sort of people who'll blame society and the world for their own flaws and leech off the system. Those are the ones who complain the loudest. I guess if they can deflect the attention from their own failings as humans no-one will notice them. Keep dreaming...

To paraphrase John Grisham, via Samuel L Jackson, “Yes they deserve to die and I hope they rot in Hell!” Arseholes.

Closing note. Walk to a property, go up the drive. Walk to the door and KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!! Sounds of scurrying. Wait for a second. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
ME: “Hello?? Anyone home??” No answer. So I look through the window and spy a newspaper, a piece of toast and a cup of coffee steaming away on a table. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
ME: ‘HELLO!! OPEN THE DOOR!” More scurrying, but no answer. Wait for five minutes. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
ME: “MATE!! HELLO?? YOUR BREAKFAST IS GETTING COLD!!!” KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Ok, so he didn’t answer, but at least he wasted a slice of bread and hopefully his last cuppa.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You should see the hoops you have to jump thru to adopt a child. Means test, House inspection, psychological testing, police reports, you name it. There should be some kind of licence and testing you should undergo before your aloud to breed. Of course the baby bonus doesn't help. IMO you should have to pay $5k to get a licence to have a child to discourage all the people who shouldn’t be having them, not pay people to have them. If $5k is a lot of cash to you then you should not be having a child. Then maybe give tax cuts to the working people who have children.
I was reading a magazine a wile ago where a couple went to the doc's for their first ultrasound. It cost $300 or something. They were quoted as saying "wow, we never knew having a baby would cost so much" I was thinking to myself, If you guys think $300 is a lot, your going to have a big surprise for the next 19 years.
That’s enough of my ranting tho.
The big problem is this kind of parenting will create more parents like the last. Like people being abused often (not always) abuse their children. Mothers who are hit have daughters who end up with abusive partners etc.
I hope she makes it and doesn't end up with someone like her father figures. It's a far to familiar story.
Good job and well done for giving her a hand. Sometimes it’s the smallest leg up that makes all the difference.

Anonymous said...

Money makes no difference. My family were quite well off & I was kicked, hit, puched, threatened, etc.

Anonymous said...

Most family stress is from money and that often gets taken out on the children. If you pay to have a child then there is a good chance you really want one, therefore may be less likely to beat them. This is not true in all cases but certainly there is a much higher instance of child abuse amongst the poor and disadvantaged.
There are jerks at every level of life and income bracket so this would not solve the problem, but it may help. Not that this would ever happen as it would also infringe on human rights. I think the point is to help children from these kinds of backgrounds as much as possible to try and break the cycle. It is unfortunately a loosing battle.

Cam.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, can't agree there, I think it's a stereotype to assume that parents abuse because they're stressed about money. Comes back to a lot more than that. At my private school, there were an awful amount of kids who had the crap beaten out of them, or were mentally abused (often because they couldn't reach the lofty standards their parents set). It's just that it's a lot more obvious in other wage brackets - the rich hide it better.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to offend anyone or take away from the fact that people from all walks of life are capable of child abuse. It is a real problem for a lot of children in wealth families as well as poor.
I have however many years of experience working in Child Safety for the Queensland government. The number one influencing factor for risk of child abuse is income followed by substance abuse and then domestic violence (spousal abuse). It is also much much higher in disadvantaged communities than wealthy ones.
I was not trying to say that children from wealth families don’t get abused. I have experience dealing with plenty I assure you. The instances of child abuse are just a lot higher in poor communities.

Cam.

Anonymous said...

There's no need to bludgeon me with experience and qualifications - for the last 15 years I've been working for the government with kids, too. I just think it's sad that the world is reduced to the almighty dollar as an excuse for behaviour developing an us vs them attitude. Somehow we've all developed an attitude of blaming others for our own behaviour rather than taking any personal responsibility. Not to mention the loss of "community" over the years, where we don't know our neighbours, don't care if we hear them beating their family members, etc.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't trying to "Bludgeon" you or offend you. And I am sorry to hear about your childhood.
I think this will be my last post.
All the best.
Cam.