I have never been one who likes to disappoint, confront, upset or challenge other people ... be it the person who 'accidentally' pushes in the queue, or the wanker screaming profanities from the sideline.
THEN....I had children, or matured/ had children and I seemed to develop a generous sense of belonging and confidence in my convictions for some reason. Perhaps it is the incessant questioning from (them).
"Why?" "Why do I have to do that?", "Why can't I have that?" and I answer "Because I bloody said so!!!".. .and that seems to settle it, conversation over, and I feel totally self-assured! (Wait till they get a bit older and then I will be floored once again!)
Perhaps this was the catalyst for change, perhaps not, but it surely helped me to, as my eldest son has coined the phrase ... 'Release the Kracken'.
Now there are differing theories on what this actually means .... for some to let the monster out, for others, my son included .... to release the big smelly evil monster that inhabits your lower intestine and inevitably emerges whilst sitting on one's head. For me, slightly different again - not smelly, possibly monstrous, and definitely powerful!
I decided to look at the social problems in my surrounding neighborhood with less disenchantment and seek more rationale and understanding. There is huge stress on a daily basis, there is little or no formal education, there is a long history of religious belief intertwined in an ancient culture with a chaotic foreign impression being made on the doorstep!
Still, people are people and I believe we are born with an innate sense of what is appropriate and what is not! If it don't feel right, why are you doing it?
My wonderful Nepalese friend who brings me giant loca (marrow type vegetable) from her garden is being beaten regularly or threatened with divorce (which means certain poverty and segregation from the community) as she 'whines and moans' about having no food or soap to wash her already dilapidated clothing.
I tried to remain neutral in my advice and suggested she found a job outside of the home to enable more independence and give some show of support to her assumingly stressed husband...
Turns out he is from Germany, living the life of riley on his monthly stipend from the German government, eating his 3 meals a day at local restaurants and spending the rest on his daily 'ganja' intake. He returns home when it suits him for a change of clothes and some Nepali subserviency.
2 days later he has choked her and slapped her black and blue. She comes for 'better' advice!
I haven't known this woman for long but somehow her hapless figure seemed to represent all that was innocent, all that was lost and in fear. I have never felt so powerful ... I reached for my Kenyan Maasai stick and with her and my 3 kids trailing behind decided to confront this 'man?'
I can't fully recall what words shot from my mouth, perhaps more of a squealing roar, but it came quick and fast and besides most of it being absolute bullshit about my connections with police, immigration, social services, western union....the 'Kracken was released!
He dwarfed me with his tall, lean but aging frame and I lifted my hands and hit him very hard in his chest and sent him backwards. He was more stunned than anything but as I raised the stick high above my head he took a seat and lit a spliff and decided he might listen for a bit!
What has concluded from that event remains to be seen as I have been away soaking up some Thai sunshine, but word spreads quickly in a small community and recent emails suggest a group of women wanting to start a group .... combat aerobics anyone?
As for the kids, slightly inappropriate behaviour on my part, but they hugged me warmly and apologised for their morning disobedience and asked if they could help with anything around the house ... nice one!
And as I explained to E. later that day ... the greatest power comes only from truth and that is what gives us strength to tackle anything that attempts to undermine who we are and what we stand for on this earth.