broken (haibun)

 

(c)Clr'16
(c)Clr’16

waning moon
like broken souls of broods
kiss the darkness
daunting clouds still hover
robbing them of their youth

Walking home with heavy heart she thinks of her long shift. So much suffering, such turmoil, youths turning 14 going on 40…all the tears and moans linger in her heart.

(c) Tournesol’16

Daily Moments October 20  2016  Broken

You are stunning!

I looked at the clock and noticed there was an hour left on my shift. It was a busy evening alright. But I like that because time passes quickly.  I had done two hours of Live Chat and I was now back on the phones after my dinner break. It is odd to call our breaks anything but “breaks” because we can have lunch at 2p.m. and dinner/supper at 10 p.m. depending on the shifts we work and how we have arranged to make sure the service is adequately covered.

The phone rang…

“Hello, you’ve reach a counsellor.”  I could hear faint sobbing, soft whimpering…

“Take your time, it’s okay; just take all the time you need…are you safe?”

I hear a weak “yes” and she tells me her story. She was just discharged from hospital for her eating disorder. She weighed well under 100 pounds…I winced at the thought of her wasting away and thanked the Great Spirit that she was, in fact, alive. “They fattened me up so much I can’t stand it!” she wailed.

The change for her was difficult to bear. She needed support in slowly accepting her “healthy” body.  We talked a bit about what she could do to distract her thoughts and then she shared some sad stories of her past. Such sadness I choose not to share here, but this is what I wanted to remember …  her fight to live even if for a brief dangerous time in her life and how she tried to become invisible…literally.

We explored her passions.  She was an artist and singer/song writer. I was blessed hearing her sing briefly and for a fleeting moment, I could hear her smile…what an angelic voice…such beauty, it managed to transcend through the wires of telecommunication.  She promised to try to focus on her beauty…voice, passions, art, inner and outer beauty and would call back if she felt overwhelmed.

When got I home late that night,  I could not help but imagine this beautiful person and wrote a brief message I imagined sending to her:

Image source: Thestir.cafemom.com

Do you know that you are stunning?

the last few years, I could barely see you

so frail were you, hugging seemed daunting

what if I’d crushed your bones,

you were really so very tiny;

I remember seeing you back then…

the wind was blowing and I could swear

it was pushing you farther from where

I was sitting on the park bench waiting

watching, silently observing you wasting

away and praying for a miracle.

 

That was a while ago my friend,

now the miracle did transcend

you are beautiful just as you are.

Pity you don’t yet see that far long

but hopefully in due time

with your gifts of beauty and song

you will sing the words that rhyme

and you will finally see

what’s so clear to me.

I pray someday your insight

will see your beauty transcend

as well as in the light

of day…blessings, my dear friend.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

 Inspired by my original post at StopTheStigma You’re Beautiful

Witness of their pain

Do you remember January 1st, 2000?  I remember looking up into the sky at those fireworks, at 00:01 standing on Front Street in Toronto.  Many people worldwide wondered if our computers would crash and what the future held for us. I knew I had a passion to reach out and help.  In July  I crossed a major threshold in my counselling career by joining Kids Help Phone.  This would be my career of the new millennium!  I’d won the Lottery!  

Who knew, crossing that line,  my life would change forever?  I had joined an agency that offers a unique service to youths in “their” mode of comfort, in their style, in their time, from the comfort of their own place.  I was hooked for good! 

Like so many people who work at Kids Help Phone, either behind the scenes fund raising, spending tireless hours promoting this unique service or the endless hours listening, counselling, responding to on-line messages or chatting on Live-Chat…I fell in love with this amazing family who cares about reaching out to youths across this vast country, reaching out to cities, towns and more isolated regions where help and hope are often scarce. 

The uniqueness is the availability, the free access and more notably the anonymity of this service.  Finally a safe place for youths to reach out and not feel judged; youths, who sometimes are sharing for the first time, exploring their options and feeling a sense of empowerment because THEY are in charge of their call.  Some youths may have been robbed of this privilege by abuse or neglect; here they are heard, respected and believed.  As a counsellor, I do feel privileged accompanying a youth on their journey. I take the lead from the expert…the youth on the other end of the line or the other side of the screen.   

Most youths who call are looking for some direction and may not know where to turn. Most do have good caring supports but don’t want to worry their family or friends.  And then there are some who don’t have this…

 

Witness 

Sometimes I hear

or read on-line

from far and near

their storyline

truths that need

and must be heard,

my role to heed

bear witness

to their pain.

I may appease

but must refrain

from judgement

and rather aim

solution focus

actively  listening;

compassion’s key

and soothes gently.

 

they won’t divulge

they want to spare

their loved ones

for whom they care

still…

they just want

to unburden

confidentially

and safely…

feeling unlaboured

a weight off

their shoulder…

sense of reprieve

in total anonymity!

they are relieved

and finally believed!

 

And so I listen…

 

I hold their stories

gently in my heart

listen with my soul

witness with my ears

their pain I hear

catch their tears

embrace with my mind

their stories

one of a kind…

always unique

in their distinct tale

of deception

and betrayal

of violent nature

appalling misuse

of human behaviour

alas!… child abuse.

 

Cheryl-Lynn, Counsellor – Witness 2014/03/11

Criticism (haibun)

“Hello, you’ve reached a counsellor. How can I help you tonight?” I waited.  I heard soft sobs; he spoke so fast, I could not decipher his story. “Are you safe right now?  Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am safe. I’m at home alone.  My parents are at my school meeting teachers. It’s the parent-teacher meeting tonight. They are going to kill me when they get home!” His voice reached a high note and he sounded more like a young, scared child…not his fifteen years.

He called out of helplessness…a last resort.  Wishing to protect his family as youths usually do, he needed to get this off his chest for the first time.  Tonight, he wept on the phone for the first time a practice he was accustomed doing privately … his nightly lullaby.

He was worried about his parents’ reaction on their return. He had an  82% average and usually he got 90+  He talked about his listlessness and difficulty concentrating lately, his insomnia, his depression…

“I can’t remember a night I have not cried myself to sleep since I was 11. My  parents say I exaggerate and that I’m just going through adolescence.”

We talked about  these “depressed” thoughts and I suggested a doctor could help to ensure he had a proper diagnosis and address his melancholy and  his insomnia;  I asked him to describe what  it was like for him to feel sad every day, how did he interact with friends, was he involved in sports.  He said he wore a mask at school.  He quickly added his parents were not abusive and  supportive. “They always tell me they love me and want me to go to them if I need help.” He broke down sobbing again.

I asked him what he was thinking…I wondered what triggered the sobs. He hesitated,  “Well, I know my parents mean well but they always criticize me and tell me it’s for my own good. But I am so tired of hearing them talk to me like that…it hurts so much.” He sobbed softly.

He told me what his parents often add to their supportive messages, my mouth dropped as I heard it, “We love you, we care, what are you STUPID?!”  I was silent.  I felt like I’d been kicked me in the belly. I could not imagine how hurtful it must feel hearing such  “criticism” day after day, for so many years.

We explored which trusted adult he could ask for support. Someone who  might be able to help his parents understand how he feels. He thought of a family friend, his father’s best friend.  I asked him if he would consider seeing his family doctor.  He seemed wary about seeing his doctor without his parents knowing even if he was permitted at his age but would consider emailing his father’s best friend after our phone call.

He sighed and said he was very tired now but would call us again. “It feels good finally getting this off my chest. Thank you.”

(Hiaku)

True criticism

appraise and appreciate

does NOT denigrate.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/17

Photo credits: Psychology and Astrology

Something about Criticism.

Exploiting for ratings!

me sideways

This man has a degree,
of a higher level decree
yet he’s slipped in the arms of fame
money may also have been his claim.

How does one get caught in such games
and losing integrity for a bit of cash
to show melodrama and T.V. trash
exploiting the pain and suffering
of people who are actually struggling?

They are all human interest shows
but must they always air their woes
in front of a huge live audience?
on occasion there’s no public appearance
just the camera and this host with a Ph.D.
Global home viewers don’t count as a presence?
I find his approach an atrocity
he makes a long process look way too easy
when we all know counselling is a long journey.

He may give the impression of informing
or a pretense of educating?
Well, I beg to differ.
why exploit those who suffer?
that’s what I see when pain is publicized
this exploitation is really insulting
and it should be criticized
rather than be glorified.

So that’s me diffusing, my heart spills
after watching a few minutes of Dr. Phil.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

This is just my opinion on some exploiting the suffering of folks; On Christmas Day an old September episode of Dr. Phil interviewing a grieving mother was aired.   He went through details of the last moments she spoke with her daughter as she took her life. 10 minutes of this was enough for me to change channel but I felt sad 1) for having this poor mother feel her guilt, as if it was not bad enough  for her to process the grief she was living 2) for showing such an episode on Christmas Day when there are so many vulnerable and suffering on this day. So I decided to voice my frustrations on shows like this.   Cheryl-Lynn

Victim No More

(c)Clr’16

 

I don’t want to write about hate
I just need to have a witness
to how I feel about their unfair fate
when some adults  trespass
fathers, mothers , uncles, aunties too
on their youths who become lost
sons, daughters, nephews, nieces too
in such chaos and betrayal!
search for answers at all cost
broken, fragile and frail;
some turn out promiscuous
or conduct quite outlandish
self-harming although atrocious
it may help them  cope
finding a sort of self-control
even for a moment…gives them hope;
they search blindly, their new role
getting lost in booze and dope,
being victims and incest survivors.
some just give in to submission
sinking low into depression.
grown-ups …pseudo humanoids
possessed by demons of some sort
world should make them void
acting on perverted urges they cavort
young innocent girls and boys, ‘tis all the same
accounting for all the casualties’ names;
Boy, girl? they suffer and rarely ever claim
nor report their abuser
unfortunately,  they happen to be
trusted adults,
persons to whom they have affection
they dare not show signs of deception
even though these monsters
performed the worse
such a breach of trust,
acting on their abuse of power
youths dislike feeling forced
disclosing facts of sexual exploitation;
they would rather forget it ever transpired;
they prefer to have their memory obliterated
never to be reminded of their nightmare
victims to their mothers, uncles,
aunties and grand-parents too,
lest we forget cousins, neighbours, strangers too.
A youth tells me, “But I love my dad! I don’t want him to die in jail!”
another youth says, “But she’s family and all I have left!”

Dear men, women, pseudo humanoids,
who exploit children and youths
umpteen ways  yo u exploit and trick
any child. Shame on you! how dare you pick
your children, other children, any children!
How dare you feed on your perverted lust?
knowing you are wrong, still you feel you must
satiate your desires; choose to break their trust
yield to narcissistic needs and no respect
robbed of their dignity, powerless to reject
your urges.
If only you’d have turned
to professionals to help you spurn
those urges… you could finally
STOP abusing
START respecting,
START deflecting
STOP reflecting
ONLY on your own unspeakable wants.

Shame on you for acting
on these impulses … reacting
in the most selfish and egocentric
behaviour,  ‘tis the most barbaric
in human nature…you look like humanoids
but rodents, killer insects or snakes
are more humane than you could ever be.

The Great Spirit is kinder than me
for I still must dig deep to find empathy
that I reserve solely for the victims
and survivors of such distressing whims.

I forgive you but
cannot forget
they may forgive you in time
but cannot forget
they may heal in time
and carry their scar… an aide-mémoire
like a soldier, their badge of honour
Victim turning to Victor, a Survivor
… victim no more.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts,  originally written October 1, 2013 edited Sept 15, 2018

Photo credit: Google Image.

Brainchild cure

My heart goes out to them,

for those who truly can’t stop

Yet they try real hard

and are so misunderstood

I wish I could invent a cure

for those who feel such pain

I’d call it my “brainchild”cure

and give away the services

And never ever sell my patent

especially to drug companies

those selfish greedy cretins

who care not for cures but money

Money is all they want.

So BrainChild cure would devote

Its time to help  all the folks

who suffer and self-harm;

Each person, once cured,

would have 3 powers

to share to anyone who self-harms;

So each person cured multiplied

by 3 multiplied by all the sufferers

of this condition and then delete

all such afflictions eventually, it

would certainly put a huge DENT

in rendering Self-Harm obsolete.

by Cheryl-Lynn, a humble stab at writing

(Never EVER give up on yourself and never give up on dreams)

 © Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, Originally written August 20, 2013