Someone fuzzy to watch over me

48 hours in bed.

Blinding headache. Sinus pain. Sore throat. Zero energy. It hurt to open my eyes. But when I did …


I realised that no matter how long I had been asleep for, there was always someone fuzzy watching over me.

Lucky me.

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It made my ovaries hurt

Love Bug and I met a friend’s gorgeous new baby boy. To say Love Bug was mesmerised would be an understatement.

She asked to hold him almost as soon as we got there. She sat and held him with such confidence, as if it were second nature to her.

I reached for him when he started to cry but she wouldn’t have a bar of it. Instead she held him a little tighter, gave him a kiss then gently patted his cheek. Looking very proud of herself 30 seconds later she smiled at us he’s stopped crying now

 It made my ovaries hurt 
Watching her holding him made my ovaries hurt and wish I’d been able to give her a sibling of her own. As we were getting in the car to leave she said I wish we could have a bubba, mumma.

Twinge went my ovaries again. 

She has an instant photo of the two of us with the bubba that has taken pride of place on her bedside table. Each night so far she has told me how much she wishes we could have a bubba like that. Twinge twinge twinge.

I wish we could have too Love Bug.

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Day 1

Just as an aside before I start on today’s topic, in WordPress edit mode {where I am right now} the tech gremlins have made the top of the page a rainbow. Love it! #LoveWins

So I’m doing it again. I’m cleansing. Today is Day 1.

I can’t believe it’s almost two years since I did it last time. The far reaching benefits of that cleanse and the change in my eating habits lasted for so long post-cleanse, but over the past few months I’ve been eating my emotions {apparently, they are very sweet!} and, like all good addicts, have become a little too fond of sugar once more.

I feel like crap. I literally felt nauseous the other night from eating too much sugar in a day. And I’ve really been noticing the effect dairy has on my tummy when I eat it. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat, right?

So I had my last chocolate {like all good addicts: needed one last hit!}, my last coffee, my last glass of Pinot and my last hot chip. The good thing about having done this cleanse before is that although I know I’ll be very happy to have a Pinot at the end of the month, it will probably be quite a while before I crave the other three.

I’m tired. I don’t have much energy. I have been through the emotional wringer of late. So it’s time to help my body change for the better again … from the inside out.

Day 1

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What Ricky said

 

I believe the greatest privilege in this world is to use your freedom of speech for those who have no voice. Ricky Gervais, June 2015

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Love Wins

I’m going to join the millions writing about and sharing today’s US Supreme Court Ruling to legalise gay marriage in all States.

Congratulations for recognising that you fall in love with who you fall in love with – and if you are lucky enough to find that person, you should hold onto them with all your might and be legally recognised as a couple no matter your sexual persuasion, race or religion.

#LoveWins

To my own Australian government: our legal stance on marriage equality is antiquated, utterly ridiculous and shameful. #AustraliaItsTime #LoveIsLove #LoveWins

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Predators are not always strangers: a family’s journey

Trigger warningThis story deals with child sex abuse.

Note: The author of this piece needs to remain anonymous. For legal reasons, the child must remain anonymous. They have shared their story with us to empower other families. If you do know this family, please respect their privacy and withhold any reference to names or specific location.

Have you ever dropped your child off at daycare? Handed their lunch and drink bottle to the Carer you have known and trusted for a long time? Given your little one a cuddle and a kiss before heading to the car and driving to work?

Felt that daily sigh of relief that your child was being loved and cared for by another family or carer?

Did you give your 2, 3, 4 or 5 year olds personal safety a second thought during the day? Feel that they would be exposed to anything other than structured play, fun activities and constant supervision? Probably not.

Did you return after work to pick them up – let’s say around 5pm – and thank the Carer for looking after your child? If in Family Daycare, did you smile kindly at their husband, son or friend who had become a trusted presence and simply happened to be home at pick up time, hanging out with the kids, or watching television in the lounge room?

Have you ever waved goodbye to that family, hopped in the car, clicked the seatbelt on your child’s seat and driven that short drive home to make a quick family dinner before a story and bedtime?

This is normal, everyday life for a working parent with a child in daycare.

And sadly, heart-breakingly, you’re about to read the true story of one family. And they need you to know what happened.

Victim2

A SYDNEY FAMILY’S STORY…
{At the request of the family, the Author must remain anonymous}

We arrived home on Wednesday 18 December 2013, my child’s last day of care before starting our Christmas wind down. My child checked and checked whether it was their last day of care. Looking for constant reassurance that they were never going back there. Ever.

And then my child started talking.

“He touched me”. “We were watching TV and I started to fall asleep. It woke me up”. “When he did it, it hurt and there were tears streaming down my face”. “I tried to kick him away”. “I said don’t do it and he kept saying Come on, Come on”, “He better not do this to the other babies”. “I was left alone in the room with him”. “I was so scared”. “He tried to do it again”. “One, two, three, four, five times”. “Mummy, Daddy, why did he do this to me?”.

We were stunned.

“Thank you for telling us Darling”. “You did the right thing”. “Are you OK”? “I’m so proud of you for being so brave”. “Mummy and Daddy love you so much”.

Tears streamed down my face.

Until my child revealed this information, we did not suspect a thing.

Not. A. Thing.

These are the words you should never, ever have to hear from your child. It’s what nightmares are made of. Surely this can’t be reality? Not in our neighbourhood, not within our daycare system?

Not to my child. MY child.

But it did happen.

It happened to my beautiful, funny, innocent, sweet, happy child. It happened to my family. A family just like yours who thought that as parents we were doing OK.

There were no strangers involved. It wasn’t random attack. Our child wasn’t lured into a van or taken from a park. I didn’t lose sight of them or feel like I was putting them in a harmful situation.

This assault was at a trusted person’s home and carried out by someone close to our family and child. He was a known and respected adult friend whose wife was paid to look after my little one.

What if my child didn’t speak up and the daycare service was still in operation?

Think about it.

Your child may have been placed there next and you would have been none the wiser. Your son or daughter could have been next.

Many little children have not yet found their voice. They don’t know that it’s wrong.

The day our child spoke up became the proudest and most heartbreaking day of our lives.

Shock, numbness, disbelief, and fear. We were devastated, heart-broken, angry, helpless, and felt like we had failed as parents. That it was our fault for not seeing the signs. That we had failed to protect our child.

But our child was so courageous, so strong, and so brave to speak up.

So we pushed through our emotional turmoil and made the necessary calls the following morning. We were determined to have this man charged, help our child feel safe again, and begin the long and painful journey that would eventually lead to our road to recovery.

The accused child sex offender, 59 year old Fijian born Talemo Tikomaimaleya was arrested by a Child Abuse Squad Detective on Christmas Eve 2013 and later released on bail.

Soon after, despite being advised by his own legal team to plead guilty given the amount of evidence against him, the accused chose to take this case to trial.

This meant our child would need to be present at the trial via CCTV, cross-examined by a legal team, and need to watch their Police disclosure video reminding them of every single detail they had been counseled for and begun to recover from over a year later.

This would be a difficult decision for any parent to put their child through but our child was determined to “do their job”, “protect other children”, and hoped to never have to see him again. And we wanted our child to know that we did everything we could to fight for them.

And with the support of the Bankstown Child Abuse Squad, a Senior Social Worker and the DPP (Department of Public Prosecutions), giving up was never an option for us.

My child’s only request was that I didn’t look at him in the Court Room. So that my eyes didn’t have to see or feel the pain that Talemo Tikomaimaleya had already inflicted onto my child.

The five-day trial date was set for Monday 23 February 2015.

After fourteen long months filled with visits to Solicitors, recording of conversations, and counseling sessions in preparation for a gruelling, emotional five days in Court, on 27 February 2015 the accused child sex offender was convicted by a Jury of 11 people for the most serious crime of Sexual Intercourse with a person under the age of 10 years (which as of Wednesday 24 June incurred a maximum sentence of life in prison, previously 25 years).

The now convicted Pedophile, Talemo Tikomaimaleya, was immediately granted bail until the proposed Sentencing on 10 April 2015 to ‘take care of his affairs’ by a Sydney Judge.

Yes, you read that right, we sat there and watched as this convicted child sex offender was read their ‘bail conditions’ and allowed to freely walk the streets of Sydney.

In the days following the conviction, the DPP lodged an application to have his bail revoked and finally on Thursday 26 March 2015 he was handcuffed and taken to Silverwater Jail.

Seeing him in handcuffs being led away by Police was a vision we will never forget and are grateful to have had. It confirmed that our heartbreaking journey had been worth it, and that his punishment had finally began.

And as we were shouted at by one of his family members when leaving the court that day, it made me feel that ‘at last’ they have shown that this experience has and will affect him. We had seen no reaction, affect or remorse from him or his family which was so hard when it’s had such a huge impact on ours.

The Sentencing was on Thursday 18 June 2015.

You can read my child’s Victim Impact Statement here.

And before handing down Talemo Tikomaimaleya’s sentence, the Judge acknowledged “The emotional and psychological consequences for a five-year-old cannot be underestimated”.

He was then sentenced to 9 years in prison, 6 years non-parole.

What happened to my sweet, loving, beautiful child cannot be undone and the road to recovery will be a long one. But thanks to an incredibly dedicated team of law enforcers and the bravery of my child, Talemo Tikomaimaleya is now in prison and will not be a threat to any other children.

Now we live in hope that for the sake of our child whose innocence was torn from them in the most devastating of ways, we can help prevent this from happening to another beautiful child and another family.

Please share this story. Please empower every parent you know. We fought hard as a family and now this journey is over and our road to recovery begins we hope to bring knowledge and power to other families and children, just like ours.

{Reprinted with KIDsize Living express permission}

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Guilty

I’m so glad you’re home.

The doona exploded.

It tore a hole right through the cover.

Inside stuff went everywhere.

Aren’t you glad I was here to protect Bella?

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