Ten Ways to Tell that You’ve Had a Successful Summer Recess

You know you’ve had a successful summer recess when:

1. You spent less time in the emergency room this year than last year
2. Your house looks like Genghis Khan rode through
3. You have bright, shiny new graffiti on your walls
4. Your laundry is threatening to break out of the laundry room
5. You still can’t find where that smell is coming from
6. Your cupboards are bare
7. Your neighbours are still talking to you
8. You managed to put together an acceptable school uniform
9. You opened your last jar of coffee on the day they went back to school
10. And despite all that, all you can think about is going back to bed to catch up on some sleep!

Congratulations. You’re a survivor.

Long Lonely Road

So far have we come, but so far yet to go

A road, Oh so lonely, that very few know

The challenges faced when you’re searching inside

Where so many others their painful lives hide


Afraid to be thinking, their lives filled with sound

To smother the mem’ries, that inside abound

They try to forget all the troubles they’ve faced

E’en though all the turmoil is etched on their face


They cannot abide seeing others distressed

It only reminds them how their lives are messed

And so, they give up, leaving suff’rers alone

With no one to comfort or give them a home


A child that’s in need is a poor lonely soul

With nothing to live for, a life with no goal

Till in steps a carer who’ll give of their best

To give them a place where they’ll find peace and rest


The challenge is facing your own distant past

To give the poor children a love that will last

A love that will conquer the pain and the hurt

The lack of attention, the hunger, the dirt


Deep into their conscience the carer must dig

To battle their fears that the task is too big

To deal with their own long held issues and pain

To stop them from rising again and again


A long, lonely road that so few can travel

To help these young ones as their lives unravel

So few can make it, despite all the beauty

A long, lonely road that is not just duty


Fighting the system, even fighting their friends

The work of a child advocate never ends

The dangers and threats may seem never-ending

Often it seems that the rules just need bending


For Mother and Father are just facts of life

If babies are loved or their lives filed with strife

But Mum and Dad titles, they have to be earned

By love and by courage that will not be turned


So search deep inside. Find the courage to act

Make love for your children a matter of fact

And if you do care for a child not your own

Remember, this road you don’t travel alone

What Did You Construct


What did you construct?
Was it a wall to keep me out?
Or a castle to keep me in?
Or a drawbridge to keep us connected?

Was it a fantasy?
Or was it a folly?
Was it a tower with a secret trap door?
Or was it your vanity that kept me away?

Safe behind your walled construction
Safe within your castle closure
Safe within your locked tower
Leave the drawbridge lowered for me

Let us build our own walls
Let us build our own castle
Let us build our own drawbridge
Let us build our own tower

Or is it fantasy?
Or is it folly?
Am I forever to be outcast?
Kept at a distance?

By you
And your walls of pain




WARNING: Contains material that may cause distress

It’s not the things you said to me,
It’s not the things you did,
It’s not the things you asked of me,
Or things you did and hid

It’s not the way you treated me
Nor things you made me do
It’s not the things you showed to me
Or made me show to you

It’s not the way you came to me
The middle of the night
Pretending you were comforting
You never saw my fright

It’s not the hurtful memories
That make me feel so sad
It’s that I used to trust you
It’s that you were my dad

But now that life is over
And I can start to heal
And put away those memories
And get a chance to feel

Saved from your evil clutches
I’m starting life again
And maybe I’ll be normal
Before I get to ten

No, dad, I won’t forget you
Or things that you once did
But all those crazy memories
I’ve put away and hid

It isn’t easy for a child
For one as young as me
To leave behind those hurtful thoughts
And hurtful memories

But now I live with Grandma
And she knows what to do
And Grandpa’s gentle, loving voice
Will help me to get through

They have such kind expressions
With loving, gentle care
They give me lots of cuddles
When hurtful thoughts are there

They put up with my whining
And crying in the night
They take away the nasty thoughts
That often cause me fright

They’re such a calming presence
At times when I think back
They fill my days with wonder
E’en when my mood is black

And someday I’ll repay them
For all the love they’ve shown
For giving me the kind of life
I’ll treasure as my own

And now those distant mem’ries
Are fading out of sight
Despite the fact they sometimes come
The middle of the night

No longer am I worried
That you will come to me
Like when you were my daddy
And I was only three

For now that life is over
A new life has begun
A life that’s new each morning
A bright new, shining sun

And I can now move forward
Forgetting all your lust
Because I have new parents
And these I know I trust


Someone asked me, recently, why I’ve been so quiet lately. This poem has been bubbling around for months. It’s a tribute to all the survivors, and to all who help them survive.