So, it’s been a while! I was – if you remember my first blog on Aussie Wire – going to write to you all a week later and fill you in on some of the examples of news reports from legacy media over the last three years and why they can’t be trusted to provide news content ‘on its merits’, without their own hidden biases. That blog never came, nor did any others in the weeks that followed. I would love to say it was because I was lounging around with Ketut on a beach in Bali, but alas it was not sipping Pina Colada’s and foot massages that kept me from writing, it was my mental health. I am still not okay.
I am still not okay with what we endured these last several years. I am still angry, frustrated,
despondent at times, apathetic in others, and drinking more than I ever did before Covid. [Edit note – whenever I say ‘Covid’ what I really mean is “the Government’s response to Covid”, but if I write that each time I mean it, well that turns this blog into an essay, that few have the time or inclination to read!]. I have some great moments, the occasional good day, but mostly I have dread, sadness, a feeling of hopelessness and a weary tiredness that has nothing to do with how much sleep or exercise I’ve had. I’m not firing on all cylinders, and I feel like it is taking me too damn long to restart my plucky ‘whatever-it-takes’ engine.
When Topher invited me to write a blog for Aussie Wire, I was initially thrilled with the idea of
contributing to alternative media, but then worry set in as I wondered; What on earth could I say that would be positive, uplifting, motivating or inspiring to others, when I feel so adrift myself? There is already so much negativity in news and online content, surely my voice would only contribute to that – I’m not yet strong enough to be a voice, and certainly not the right voice when people need to hear something positive and encouraging.
Then I began to think about the voice I had already given, and ‘what good that did’ [insert sarcasm here]. What’s the point, I grumbled? People didn’t listen and certainly enough didn’t stand up when it mattered, so what on earth could you possibly have to say to people now that everything has gone back to relative normality (for the vaccinated)? And why should you? You’ve said your piece, you took your stand, you made your sacrifice, and for what? What did you achieve? You still live in Labor loving Victoria where the people gave the same tyrant who ruined our lives for two years, another four year crack to really seal our fates.
You’ve still quit the ONE THING that had been your constant safety-net in life, and taken you from literal poverty to respected copper, university graduate and damn good at your job. You were still relegated to an unemployed trope meme on social media, with a mountain of abuse sprinkled on top for the extra kicker.
“Who cares what the haters gunna say” right? Sticks and stones may break my bones? Well, words can break your spirit, and collective ignorance & brain washed masses can kill your soul.
Do you see now why I didn’t write another blog?! That negative headspace alone, not to mention the daily trials and tribulations of life, was enough for me to step back and just take a minute. In fact, I took several minutes, but I didn’t land on some enlightened viewpoint that got me to write this today. In fact, if I am being honest, I really don’t feel much different.
But of all things, a random tweet really hit home for me today. It was a comment by someone, I don’t even remember who, as I scrolled past so quickly and can’t find it now. It was their summation of something that Jordan B Peterson had said in the documentary ‘What is a Woman?’, and their summation essentially was that whether through action, or inaction, you still may not be okay; so, you may as well try.
For my own situation I took that to mean that if I say and do nothing about the last two years, I’m still not okay, and nothing changes. Or, I do say something, I do contribute, and even still, if nothing changes, well at least I stood for something and that is something in of itself. But also, you don’t know the future and something might actually change, and if you don’t say something while it still matters and you haven’t contributed, how okay will you feel that change happened for the better, and you played no part in it?
And then I had a lightbulb moment.
I remembered who I AM.
I remembered what I’ve been through and that if young Krystle could see adult Krystle now, she would be giving me a kick up the backside and telling me to get on with it – “We’ve been through worse and you damn well know it”.
Some of you know my background if you have followed any of my content and stories during 2021. I wrote an article for the Spectator about my upbringing here, and shared some more personal aspects of my backstory live on CPAC here.
For those who haven’t seen or read the above; I grew up as a ‘ward of the state’ from the age of 3, living in a, ‘home for boys and girls’, before deciding that my best bet was to go it alone at 16, finding homelessness, drugs, abusers and everything in between along the way. Trying about a hundred different jobs before finding my home and career in Victoria Police – a job that provided me with more stability, safety and consistency than I had ever known in my life, as well as injustices, bullying, sexual harassment and soft corruption (but I digress into the darkness!)… Back to my lightbulb moment.
When I was in Grade 5, a new boy came to the live in the home. Our ‘care home’ had initially been intended for kids that were never going to go back to their birth-parents, so we had more stability than short-stay ‘resi-care’ homes. He was from a violent background and we were told he had been ‘placed’ with us in hope that it would help him to settle down and see what a ‘good and stable family unit’ looked like. The Department didn’t give a shit that he was violent, that he was a rapist in the making, or that he was an animal abuser. They didn’t give a shit that he did all those things to us in the home, and to our house cats Jemma & Sebby. Well, I guess they gave a little shit, because we had someone come and talk to us about the issues we were facing.
‘The Government’ sent a therapist to the home to talk to me and the younger boy there, abou t‘what to do when A’… becomes violent and hits us’.
Their method was to first justify A’s violent and explosive behaviour and then to advise us to “Curl up into a ball to protect yourself and call out until an adult comes to help you”. That was it. This was their sage (and likely expensive tax-payer funded) advice to primary-school aged children who the Department KNEW were being physically and violently assaulted in the very home that was supposed to be keeping them safe.
To add more injury to injury, they sent this troubled man-child to my primary school, he was in the tail end of grade 6, but as I think about it now as an adult, given how much he towered over everyone there, and even some teachers, he had probably been kept back several years. On lunch breaks regularly the other kids would come running up to me, “Krystle!A’…. is bashing (insert today’s chosen victim)”. I was expected to do something about it, because the teachers (even back then) were too afraid to physically restrain a child, and `A’ and I were of the same ‘cloth’ (the home with the kids that nobody wanted) (well at least that was the chant of some of the meaner school children as we walked to school).
What was I supposed to do? Tell the kids getting bashed to curl up into a ball and wait for some non-existent adult to come and save them? This was apparently what I was supposed to do in the home.
Scrawny, below-average-height-and-build Krystle did not think that was right. It’s not right to beat up on others weaker than you. It is not right to start a physical fight with someone you disagree with. It’s not right that he should cause pain to others who have done nothing wrong and are too weak to stand up for themselves.
He may well have been older than me, he was certainly bigger and stronger than me, but he would NEVER be as angered by injustice as I was. I used that anger as my fuel to jump on that son-of-a-bitch and pound and pound and pound him until he stopped beating on the other kids and focused his attention on me.
Now I knew I was going to be punched. I knew he was going to kick me like his favourite characters in the game `Street Fighter’ and I knew it was going to hurt. But I didn’t crawl into a ball. I didn’t wait for someone to come and “save” me. I didn’t give up, even though I knew I would come out bloodied and bruised. Why? Well, in my 12 year old head, my justification was this;
He might beat me, he might come out on top – he is bigger, he is stronger, and that’s just life.
But if I can just get one left hook (yes, I’m a lefty) into that son-of-a-bitch’s face and make him cry out, that’s all the win I need’.
And I did. Every single time he beat up a kid at school, or when he beat up the younger boy in the home, or when he started something with me – I fought back. And I got my punch, and I took my victory.
I’m still not okay with what happened to us the last two years, and I’m still not okay with the
seeming indifference to it all that a large proportion of our population displayed. But in the spirit of the random Twitter summary of Jordan B Peterson’s words, I may as well as jump in now; because either way, I’m not okay. I’m not okay if I stay silent and say nothing, knowing that speaking the truth – the objective truth – is the right thing to do, and I’m still not okay if I speak out and nothing changes. But the latter sits more comfortably with my moral compass.
And so, I will continue to speak.
I will endeavour to speak truth to you in this blog and in any other forum I choose to speak out. I might not be okay as I am doing it. I might stumble in my words and it might feel uncomfortable, anxiety filled, or stressful. But I’ve felt worse, and I’ve been under far more threatening environments than speaking in public.
I can do this! I will be steely focused, harness my anger towards the injustice of it all, and no matter the outcome, I will take my little victory. I WILL land that left hook. It will be a victory that we can all share.
Until next time, practise your hook. I think we’re all going to need it.