Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I was a different person. If I was someone who was a round peg in a round hole. How it would be to grow up in the same area, to live and work in that area your whole life. What it would feel like to know the same people from childhood and to go through your adult life with them. How would it feel to have a sense of belonging.
I've never had that, a sense of belonging. It's driven me my whole life. I felt like an alien in my home town. I've moved a few times but always felt like I was just marking time until my real life began. When I was a child I used to dream that I was the only real person and that everyone I knew had been swapped with beasts overnight. I used to be afraid to look into a mirror in case I saw a family member as they actually were. You may have guessed that I didn't sleep a lot as a child or even now, dreams can be pretty scary.
I wrote, on paper or in my head, stories about real people living real lives. I waited for mine to begin. I felt a few times that it had but my self destructive streak always ensured that it ended.
Australia has never felt like home. The UK does, but since the UK now has one foot in the EU and one in the Commonwealth it has made living there almost impossible for even someone like me with a grandparent born there. Of course, if I had a truck load of cash in my back pocket the UK would welcome me with open arms. But I don't.
Living here has been a challenge with the culture and the language and the everyday difficulties these bring. The climate is so different - the heat is the same but the desert is the opposite to the tropical climate I am used to. Some days are harder than others. But then I knew that from the start, I expected the culture shock and the homesickness - even though Australia is not and never has been home to me. More than homesickness it's a human urge for the familiar.
I know I have to get past that and I will in time, I know that too. Days like today are hard but it's only a day and tomorrow will be better. Money is tight, and you all aren't buying enough copies of my book! I feel really strongly about that book you know - because of the message it contains as much as because earning money from it would make my life easier.
Children are so vulnerable, so trusting. To have an adult who is supposed to protect destroy that trust is psychologically damaging for decades. The child learns never to trust, never to believe in him or herself, never to think good things will happen or if they do the child will most likely sabotage them because of a lack of self worth. Not only that, but a child who has been betrayed by someone who was supposed to protect learns coping mechanisms. These help but in the long term they can cause problems as well. Things like burying feelings, becoming as invisible as possible, even acting out - these things stop a child from becoming the adult he or she has the potential to be.
Physical abuse is obvious, incest is newsworthy, but there are other forms of abuse that cause the same mental scars, that affect the child through life just as much. Those children grow up to feel that the abuse they suffered wasn't the 'same' or as 'bad' as other forms. But you know, it is, and those children should have a voice. I wrote that book to give those children a voice. It is a work of fiction, meant to entertain more than to educate. But the message is there and I dearly wish that the book would sell millions so that all the children who suffered this particular type of abuse can know they are not alone, and they have a voice, and yes this form of abuse is just as bad as any other type. Mental scars endure, left alone they fester.
A touch dark today, huh? It's not such a good day today for me, but tomorrow will be better :)