Insensitive and Inappropriate to say the Least...

A recent incident with one member of the Squatters Run body corporate has left me quite shaken.

It is difficult to explain the impact that one small act can have unless you have been through something similar yourself.

To try to explain the effect of this incident I give you the following two scenarios to consider.

Scenario 1:
A teacher presents a student with a certificate congratulating the student for work well done. You may say how kind the teacher is in encouraging the student. The student throws the certificate to the ground and runs away. You may think that the student is ill and needs help for this display of poor behaviour.

Scenario 2:
An office manager brings out a birthday cake with candles for an office worker's birthday. You may say how generous and caring the office manager is. The office worker buries her head in her hands, her body shakes as she sobs uncontrollably. You may think that the office worker is ill and needs help.

Now reconsider the above scenarios knowing that the student has been abused by the teacher for more than 2 years and that the office manager has been bullying the office worker for more than 2 years. All is not necessarily as it appears on the surface.

These examples may seem extreme compared to what happened to me but the effect is still the same.

So what happened to me? After a family tragedy last November one of the Squatters Run body corporate council members and spouse sent me a sympathy card. It made me feel ill and I couldn't sleep for days wondering why, regardless of their intentions, they could have the gall to stick their nose into my very private grief, when the body corporate won't even acknowledge let alone answer any of my business emails. Their act was insensitive and very inappropriate.

Even after being told by a third party how insensitive that act was and told that they should not mention it again, I was again approached by the same council member who again raised the issue of my personal anguish. This second invasion of my personal life left my body shaking for hours.

Now I'm sure these people will tell you that the problem is me, that I'm ill and that I need help but given the 3 cases above who is the ill person that needs help?

When a person or persons have control over one of more parts of your life, the power they can wield and how they wield it can have truly traumatic effects. The perpetrators may well believe that they have never done anything wrong but that just makes the abuse worse.

To all and sundry looking on, the behaviour of the victims may certainly look as though there is something wrong with them. Can you even begin to imagine how it feels when people tell you that you "need help" when the problem stems from people with the power to control your life.

Whether it be soldiers, police or paramedics with PTSD or victims of schoolyard or workplace bullying, being told that "you are the problem" and that "you are not well" is as much a punch in the face as the actual trauma or bullying itself. Without those in authority acknowledging and understanding what they are doing to those they claim are "ill and need help" there will be no resolution to the problems they control.

Airing my personal grief and distress like this is harder than most of you can ever imagine but I will not be silenced and I assure you all that there is a lot more still to come. It's just that I have been slowed down somewhat due to the circumstances I have unexpectedly found myself in these past months.