conditioned #refrain

so many are abused on a daily basis
physically, mentally, verbally debased
if we come from a family
who specialised in that

we’ve grown to expect nothing more
so bereft we are emotionally poor

not directly sexual or battered
innuendo, grabbing, shoving
disempowered, overlooked
no respect, paid less, never heard

conditioned to less, expecting nothing more
we’ve been robbed and are emotionally poor

the inner sanctum of entitlement
ensures generational malcontent
perpetual insidious emotional battering
lack of respect erodes our self-worth

life taught us to expect nothing more
so disempowered, emotionally poor

to stop this endless vicious cycle
changes to societal norms is vital
clear boundaries a vital mainstay
enabling vulnerable to step away

we’ve grown to expect nothing more
so bereft we are emotionally poor

revamp a legal system that lacks justice
provide us with some common ground
entitlement levelled for equity
educate children about ‘consent’

conditioned to less, expecting nothing more
we’ve been robbed and are emotionally poor

obliterates our input
respect a crucial key

 

NB inspired by a documentary on DV, domestic family violence …
and ongoing protests – my photo of Lismore street art

31 comments

  1. So powerful and absolutely true. We discovered when were parents at a CHildren’s HOme, that too many kids became conditioned to their situations. Respect, communication, understanding, listening, compassion..all are so important.

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  2. Words that hit us hard and having such a strong impact while advocating for solutions to tackle injustice or what is socially wrong in our society. Challenging notions matter of we want to not only address things and tackle what is wrong, Kathy!

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  3. Education and support for the victims. Institutionally mandated accountability that is enforced with incarceration and education while incarcerated would be good starts. How it is now is not acceptable. Your poem lays that out very well, Kate.

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  4. Superiority/inferiority complex runs in families. Females not been in outside world never get chance to stand either for themselves or others. It’s sad and each one should get chance to break free.

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  5. While much abuse can be seen, there is much that cannot. Emotional disorientation takes a long time to overcome when one had not had support. May we continue to reach all those in need with equal justice.

    One rule I grew up with that I disliked was “Do as I say, not as I do.” As if those words were enough to ease the guilt of the person who attempted to teach right from wrong but still did the wrong thing. I did not use that rule with my own – We (Hubby and I) taught by example of doing the right things. Far from perfect – I think in the end the lessons of value were prized and internalized.

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  6. It’s so true, Kate, we are conditioned from birth to accept all these different types of abuse, even when our families don’t specialise in any of them, and you’ve explored our condition so well in this poem.

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  7. The street art is very powerful and we have to end all this violence that is driving our society to rob the poor and drive them up to more poverty. Hope we could as One World stop domestic violence which is everywhere and in every house. Lovely and much appreciated poem, Kate.

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  8. This hits home Kate. I once asked a therapist what the point was of counselling when everything seemed to repeat itself. She responded that each generation, willing to make a conscious effort, helps the family evolve.

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    • she was right, and the best way to cope with our challenges is to try to help others … it distracts us from the reruns and boosts us in more ways than we can imagine VJ

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  9. “….conditioned to less, expecting nothing more
    we’ve been robbed and are emotionally poor…”

    These lines are powerful and they certainly hit the nail on the head, Kate!

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  10. That street art is powerful! As is your poem, SweetKate!
    You’ve expressed all of this so well. Too many HAVE, and too many STILL, deal with abuse, neglect, violence, etc. And it has a negative impact the rest of life.
    With understanding and help that impact can change…gain some positivity as those who have experienced it can reach out to help others.
    (((HUGS))) ❤

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  11. ‘to stop this endless vicious cycle
    changes to societal norms is vital’
    Indeed and with effect from now. As the time is moving fast, so much has been destroyed and the younger generation is accepting less of words more of what media shows. So many factors are debasing humanity.
    Thank you for the motivating words. We need to work towards it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! This poem pulls no punches! You have laid it out and in a wonderful poem to boot. When you know nothing else it seems normal… we need to support those in abusive situations and model healthy relationships and teach boundary setting!!

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  13. We’ve all been conditioned from birth, in one way or another, whether we realise it or not , but sadly far too many suffer so many traumas that they know nothing else. You’ve penned this so articulately and powerfully Kate. May awareness change the way we live and make the future a kinder place. 🙏

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