Archive

Monthly Archives: October 2012

This is for all my friends, I’m really very grateful for all of you during what has been a spectacularly boring few weeks. People tell you to enjoy the peace and quiet while you can, but what with finishing uni in July, I’ve just about had all the peace and quiet I can stand. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my own company, but after about twelve weeks together at home, myself and I are heading for a fall-out. Struggling with not studying/working, it’s easy to lose a sense of yourself and in a way I was almost grateful for the opportunity to be a help to family during difficult times over the summer. It was good to be needed and in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with being up the duff.

It’s strange how once you tell some people, they only ever talk to you about your pregnancy from that point on. The same happened when I wrote my first blog post, after that some people will only ever think of you in a particular way – a victim, fragile, depressed. I may a sentimental divvy capable of producing tears at the drop of a hat, but I’m none of those things, at least not anymore, and I haven’t been for a long time. The best reaction I got was from friends who read it, were glad for me that I’d written it, and then continued to treat me in exactly the same way as they always had.

The same folk have been, and I don’t say this lightly, FUCKING VITAL to me over the past few months. I have very little to say, but continue to witter on regardless, and I’ve been more grateful than you might think to trade jokes, pictures, gossip, stupid voices and the like and be involved in discussions about the Olympics, feminism, politics, Andy Carroll’s hair and how much women love eating salad. A lot of my friends live far away, some of the most inconsiderate have actually moved abroad – the bastards – and while I’m in good contact with all those people who are important to me, I don’t have a lot of friends locally, and miss out on more spontaneous contact. Now that I’m struggling to get about, I’ve become one of those particularly pathetic people, eagerly awaiting the home time and weekends of another person so I don’t have to be on my own any longer.

You guys have totally bridged that gap, and helped me through days when I’ve just sat on my own and wept with loneliness, frustration or sheer boredom. A few of you were my friends already, some I met through these friends, and others I have never, or may never meet. Thank you Karen, Lucy, Selina, Steph, Andrea, Vicky, Emma, Lizzie, Natalie, Sam, Sharmila, Augusta, Hannah(s), Mhairi, Eliza, Kathryn, Mik, Carrie, Joanna, John and Matthew, to name the people who first spring to mind, and to all the rest of my Twitter buddies. Please do continue not to ask me if there’s ‘any news?’, to bear with me being hugely uninteresting at the moment, to treat me as a person with interests outside of my uterus and to be patient with me if I’m incredibly crap at maintaining contact over the next little while – I haven’t got a fucking clue how it’s all going to work. Anyways, I think you’re all ace, and I’ll be the prick emailing you at four in the morning. Much love xxx

Advertisements

I talked earlier on Twitter about how angry it makes me when something happens to a child and instead of focusing on how sad it is that they are missing, people focus in on seemingly irrelevant issues, like why the child was playing unsupervised. “These questions should be asked”, I’ve heard. Should they? Really? Even if you that were true, I’m pretty sure that they don’t need to be asked by you, or me, or anyone else not appointed to rule on this matter. I’m also sure that when these pictures, descriptions and phone numbers were put together and sent round, the only purpose of it was to inform us, to ask for our help, to make sure we know who we are looking for and what to do if we think we see her.

Focusing on whether this child should have been outside or not is not very helpful at all. Firstly, because no-one needs to hear people judging them and their actions when they’re having what may well be the worst time of their lives. Secondly, because when this sort of niggling, over-the-fence gossipy malice starts, it builds and builds until it becomes accepted as a train of thought, and before you know it some newspaper that we all abhor is doing a think-piece on the perils of certain parenting styles and asking if this sort of thing could be prevented. Thirdly, and most importantly to my mind, it completely detracts away from the criminal element. If no-one wanted to do any harm, if there was no cretin in a van with an agenda, then all that would have existed would be a small child, playing outside. It really doesn’t matter what your moral judgement is on that or whether you think it’s appropriate or not – a child was playing outside.

When you question whether this girl should have been in that place, at that time, whether you know you are doing it or not, you’re saying that it was avoidable. That different actions could have produced different results. It brings up half-formed wisps of ideas that maybe there was fault here outside of the perpetrator. It conveys the horrible notion that perhaps you think this was in some small way ‘asked for’, or that a small piece of blame can be attached to the victims of this crime.

Please don’t do this. It really hurts to hear it, whatever you’re the victim of. Without the kidnapper, you just have a child playing outside. Without a rapist, you just have a girl in a dress in a club. No-one ever asks for anything horrible to happen to them, ever. We love to use that cliché that we could be ‘hit by a bus tomorrow’, but I wouldn’t want it to stop anyone from crossing a road, or leaving their house, or wearing a dark-coloured coat at night, or being a bit drunk and unobservant and other such gallopingly high-risk behaviour. There will, I imagine, ultimately only be one person to be judged in this whole matter, and even that’s not our job. For those whose job it is, it would be nice if they weren’t detracted from the matter by the discussion of whether even a small part of blame should be attributed to anyone else.