Thursday, December 8, 2011

A new perspective...

I was mindlessly watching TV tonight, when I flicked onto ABC and got sucked in to a brilliant Australian film called 'Here I am.' Here's the trailer if you're interested.

It was a really thought-provoking film for me. I missed the beginning, but the basic gist of the storyline revolves around Karen, a mother who is just out of prison. She finds shelter at a place for women like herself. The story is about her long road towards reconnecting with her daughter, who is in the care of Karen's estranged mother. I won't give away too much, because it is really worth watching. But it got to me.

I think I've only ever really seen one side of the story when it comes to parents who lose custody of their children. My family fostered for a while when I was younger, and I have a friend who fosters. And I've just always found it very hard to understand how people could mistreat their children and lose them. I have had little empathy for those who abuse and abandon their children.

I judged.

But this story really made me look at it from the other side. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. But at the same time, I just really had my eyes opened to just how bad some people have had it. There are so many people who have been so damaged in this life. Words really cannot describe it. Some people do really get the shortest end of the stick. Every. single. time..... Life just seems to thrown them every curve ball it possible can.

And I am so damn blessed.

I never really thought of myself as being born with a silver spoon in my mouth. We never had a lot of money, and life was tough at times. But I was. I am educated, I have always had a roof over my head and food in my fridge. I have never been beaten or raped. And I was loved. So much. I was loved extravagantly. I am loved extravagantly. And that is everything.

I don't think that circumstances excuse people. We all make choices, and at some point we become responsible for them. There is only so much you can blame others for mistakes you've made. But I do wonder, if you gave all the broken people in this world the start that I was given, the family I had.... how broken would they be?

There but for the grace of God go I. 

I will probably still judge again. It's easy to do, and I am so very good at it. But I'm going to try really hard not to. I'm going to try to remember that so many times the people who are doing damage were once damaged themselves. I'm also going to try to remember that some of those who I judge are trying to pull themselves up...  And that is so hard to do. It's much easier to never fall than it is to fall and have to get back up again. I've just got a new perspective on things, and I'm going to try to hold on to it.

Linking up with Glowless for Flog Yo blog Friday.


  1. Very poignant post.
    I feel blessed with my parents too though they lived on a tight budget.
    My friend & her 3 siblings were removed from her mother (alcoholic) for 3 yrs she was 9, they were 7,4,2 - to a Children's home with pockets of home based fostering. I
    t was very traumatic for them all and the younger ones never recovered from the separation and family relationships were shattered.
    I will have to watch the show.
    I'd love to do some fostering. We also have an adopted son whose mother chose to relinquish him @ 10 months (and other children before him) because she felt she couldn't be a good enough parent.

  2. I forgot to add , our son's birth mother was fostered all her life from 18 months too and was in her own words 'mentally' abused by her foster mother. Who knows ? about her own birth mother.

  3. Excellent post.

    I agree that circumstances don't excuse people, but their surroundings make it difficult for them to make the right choices. They simply don't know any better.

    Like you, I grew up in a home filled with love and everything material we needed to get by. Not a lot, but we always had food on the table and the opportunity of formal education.

    I think the vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself in some, can only be broekn by few. It would take an incredibly strong young person to recognise their lot in life from a young enough age to make a concerted effort to get out.

    Stepping off my soapbox now ;)

  4. I agree, that was an excellent post. I'm going to watch that movie. My younger "brother" came into my family as a foster child when he was 12. He's 21 now and has just moved out of home from our Dad's and has set up independently. I am extremely proud of him for taking this step to independence and adulthood and think of him as much of a family member as my own biological brother is.

  5. Couple of things i want to say: firstly I was touched by what you said about being loved extravagantly. I never felt like i was loved that way by my parents. But what touched me was that I think my children can say that they are loved extravagantly. I like that.

    Then... Yes some people have had a hard time, dealt a shit hand. And are trying to get out of it. And I feel for them. And I try to help as much as I can.

    But there are those who had a fine start to life and CHOSE to take the wrong path. And choose to continue down that path. They get opportunity after opportunity. And screw it up. They lie, steal from their loved ones. Choose a selfish life for themselves when they have kids who need them.

    It's hard to feel empathy for those.


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