There were many parts of Rosa that acted outside of her direct control and she would watch from somewhere above or outside while they got on with it. Most of the time they just responded to whoever was in the room, but occasionally one took the initiative and went out on a limb, so to speak.
Part of the current Mash Stories competition, Control contains the three necessary key words, ankle, fashion, and criminal, and opens a small window on the world of a woman or girl victim of abuse. The story draws on recent events in Yorkshire, UK where child victims of sexual exploitation were sometimes themselves criminalised and returned to their abusers, and reflects the dissociative impact of sustained trauma such that the prose is also detached and relies on implication and inference for its impact.
Probably not a story to enjoy, as such, but I hope it has meaning and does not betray the victims of this appalling crime.
Lovely Girls is a story about the dismal and abusive life of a woman admitted as a young girl to a large institution in the early 20th century. It was first published in 2011 by The Other Room Journal which has now ceased operations and finally removed its archives. Here it is re homed to This Personal Space.
Writing is writing, right? Someone in ‘Good Will Hunting’ said that, if you can do it, you should, on behalf of all those who can’t. Well this link to my other blog, my other life, is my writerly way of speaking for those who can’t. Others have done the same. Journalists have made erudite comment. The BBC gave us the material. But we all knew it was happening, somewhere in our souls, our collective psyche. We knew that we could not always trust humans to act with humanity, or decency, or even just plain neglectfully. We knew that some would see an opportunity for self aggrandisement, satisfaction, ego inflation. But as long as there were systems in place to inspect and regulate, it was not our business.
Well, maybe it is our business. Maybe, since we pay the regulators and the professionals and the carers, we have not just a right but a duty to take a look from time to time. To poke our real-world noses into systems and say that we don’t care what boxes are ticked, this doesn’t smell right. Maybe we should all make friends with our local care homes, nursing homes, and community hostels and offer some home-baked perspective and reality.