Surprise! I'm a single parent


the odds were in my favour from the start
October 15, 2010, 4:01 pm
Filed under: community

Not long after I split with my hubby I got asked to do some volunteer work working alongside prisoners. I thought I just wouldn’t have the time but the organiser kept bugging me and I thought it might be good to put soemting in to an area that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Besides I have been volunteering all my life and I’d dropped off since my youngest had gone to school and I was no longer on any creche committees.

I don’t know if I’ve had any long term effect on any prisoners lives but I sure have had the opportunity to contrast my life with theirs. Let me tell you – the odds were really in my favour right from the word go. Over and over again I have heard people in prisons talk about negligent and downright disfunctional parenting. If I had thought all that advertising about domestic violence was a bit overblown, when I started listening to women in prisons I wondered what had taken us so long to get awareness campaigns going.

One day a woman was talking. She said: You know what it’s like when you are driving and getting the bash? EVERYONE (except me) nodded!!!!!

Nobody else appeared to be marveling at it. Well, yeah I know its probably a cohort where you’d expect a lot of victims of abuse – but still – everyone! I think my Dad maybe smacked me three or four times growing up. I always felt safe. About a year into volunteering a woman got parole and she said she was a bit sorry to be leaving because it was the safest she had ever felt. Imagine that.

I keep going to prison and I keep parenting as consciously positively as I can. I feel really privileged to have such a window on the world.




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  1.    livelybrowsers 10.19.10 @ 11:38 am      

    Thanks for good stuff



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