Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Not Your Body, Not Any of Your Business

Here is my opinion, as both an employed person and as someone who receives part welfare payments, on the 'No Contraception, No Dole' discussion.

I get why people are in support of the whole idea. On the surface, it might appear to be a reasonable solution to the way things are happening with regards to welfare recipients.
However, as I read the comments on the Facebook post, all I felt was despair, because it felt that people were 'liking' the concept without considering the depths. Some people on the Facebook posts even went so far as to suggest sterilisation for these people.

People choose, or choose not to, access contraception for their own reasons. The choice to do so, or not, is their business alone. To force them to use it would be to violate their freedom to choose. Their reasons might be moral, religious, health or a variety of others that they shouldn't have to justify to anyone else.

It is also not unrealistic to anticipate that, despite the most stringent use of contraceptives by both parties, might still result in a pregnancy. If that were to happen, what new 'choice' would the unemployed mother (because, let's face it, women will be targeted the most at this point) be forced to make under this idea? Adopt it out or abort? Would they be allowed to keep their child if they did everything they were supposed to do by someone else's decree?

On to the topic of females being targeted in this plan, let's look at what people would be asked to provide to either Centrelink or their job networks. Most contraceptives that involve a doctor's visit are more likely to be used by a female than a male.

I feel like this also is a very dismissive plan, which with that statement 'no contraceptives, no dole', omits those people in same sex relationships, while practicing safe sex, would not be accessing contraceptive items for the 'birth control' aspects.

Let's also recognise that people would just say that they use it, have all the right documentation to get their payments, but then forget all about it unless called in to question about it.

These are, at best, my concerns in this plan. Agree with them, or do not, but consider them and consider also what you would do if someone in an office, which is not a medical professional, were to ask you what form of birth control you use. I know if someone in either Centrelink or my job network were to ask me this: it is none of their fucking business. It is not for us to try to control the actions of others, to dictate what they choose to do with their own bodies. It isn't any of our business.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hard to breathe... A Commentary

Warning: Here lies darkness...

We get so down on people who are depressed and suicidal for not asking for help, but when it comes to it, do we realise just how hard it is to say those three words?
Do people who have never been there know how those words get stuck in your throat, unable to move and making it impossible to breath?
Do they know the pain of reaching out, only to be made to feel as if you were a burden for speaking of these horrible dark things and ruining their day?
Do they know that you feel selfish for asking them to hear, really hear, what you have you say?
Do they know that really you're just waiting for them to notice how you are not dealing with life?
Do they know the pain of having your every effort dismissed as if it were worthless, making it even hard to open your mouth and tell them the pain they are (likely without meaning to) causing you?
Do they just assume you are cold and distant because you have nothing to say, not realising that if maybe they asked you why, you might tell the truth instead of just saying that you're fine?
Depression chokes us. It tells us the lie that we are a burden on the world, that we are being selfish for wanting to talk about it out loud with someone, that what we are doing is making their lives that little bit darker and harder yo deal with. Depression shows us for who we are, and those vulnerabilities and truth make other people afraid of us.
One day a year we ask people if they are ok... Maybe we should ask more than that and actually listen to everything they are communicating with us, from their words, to the non verbal communication.
Because it is so easy to say that we are fine, that we are okay when people ask us, because our depression allows us to shape those lies, because it knows that people will accept them at face value,
The real fight is to go beyond the choking sensation and look someone in the eye and tell them that no, you are not okay and if they can/will listen, you might be able to fight your inner demons long enough to express the words that you need to say.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sneak peek of upcoming project


We were taken on a tour of the facility.

We saw the rows of beds where participants were bound to as their bodies adjusted to the hardware. The stench of fear was overpowering, smelling akin to human bodily waste. The sheets on the bed were messed, as if the facility had been abandoned on that last day.

We went to the Procedure Chamber, where our looks of revulsion were barely mirrored in those horrible shiny blue tiles that were cracked under their film of mildew. The smell of excrement was strong in this room, wafting to out nostrils from the rotting, sodden mattress on the bed in the middle of that room. A dish of lights to shine down on people hung from an angle in the ceiling. Several of those globes were cracked or completely missing. The dish itself was tarnished.

This was not a space to linger in.


(C) Patricia Kekewick 2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014

On the train ride home...

It was the jewel that got my attention first, not the silver lacework setting or the long chain that it hung on. I only had eyes for that large, red, multi-faceted stone.
I told myself that it had to be a fake stone. I thought that no one would wear something like that in a town like this if it was real.
Then, to distract myself, I looked closer at the setting. I really paid attention to that silver, metal lacework. It was an unusual design, a unique one. One such as only few people ever wear it.
Whoever this woman was, she was either a brave sort of stupid or someone very dangerous.
It couldn't be, I told myself, forcing my eyes to the phone in my hands. I lifted it as if checking a message and snapped a photo of her to show my friends.
Then I dropped the phone back into my bag and went to looking out the train window as if I thought the back yards we passed by were utterly compelling.
I couldn't wait to show my friends that I had finally seen one of Them.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On you marks, get set...

It's almost Camp NaNoWriMo time and because I am super organised, sometimes, I am getting my ideas together so that I can add another 35 000 words to Dark Destiny, bringing it to almost 80 000 words.
I am getting my picture prompts, one sentence ideas and character sketches ready.
So much busy.
So many words.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's the end of the year as I know it...

2013 is drawing to a close and I thought I'd share some of my personal milestones with you all (both major and minor)...
* read over 25o individual books
* submitted manuscripts to publishers
* participated in Nanowrimo 2nd year in a row, getting to the 50000 word point
Holding 3 jobs at the one time, one for more than a year!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back To Where It Feels Bad

How do you explain to someone that the reason you're there is because you feared being there in the first place?
I am in the process of signing up with the job network again (3rd time's a charm apparently) and one of the first questions they will ask, before begrudging my educational background, is why I flunked my last interview. It's a valid question and it has a simple answer: I was anxious about ending up in the very place that I inevitably ended up. I knew it was a possibility that I might end up back in the system and so I was plagued by that insecurity. How can you perform well, knowing that you will end up in a place where your mental health is treated like a child's plaything or is analysed by people with no more psychological insights than your average Dr Philip viewer? It is all a little too much. The fact that after I interviewed so badly, I went back and performed the same job that I'd interviewed for was a hard task, but I am a professional, so that is what I did. Same as when I have been called in to fill in for someone in the same role since. I bear no grudges to my interviewers. It isn't their fault I lack the capability to speak positively about myself or represent myself confidently.
So, that's where I am, back to where it just feels bad.