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Sorry. February 13, 2008

Posted by Mistress B in Community, Family.

When Miss Lou was 9, we had a very nasty situation develop over custody. Some very nasty allegations were made. So nasty that a certain government department got involved and took our children for a nearly a week. The allegations were false, we hadn’t done anything wrong except for trusting in the system that our government put in place. A system that seems to regularly remove children from good homes and fail the children that desperately do need to be saved.

We knew where they were, and could “visit” with them but that didn’t make it right, it didn’t make it any easier.

We couldn’t breathe, we couldn’t function, we couldn’t think straight until we got them back. After, it took us months before we could leave them with a family member for even half an hour, it nearly a full year before I could bring myself to leave them to go away for a weekend. It brings tears to my eyes just to think about it and it’s been nearly 5 years since this happened to us.

And still, there is the slight fear in the back of my mind that it could happen again, because it’s already happened once when it shouldn’t have. My trust in our government and the policies or processes that it’s departments enforce is completely broken. It will never be restored.

But, we are white people with no stigma of race, with an understanding of the system, access to legal counsel and professional advice. We got our children back.

We are not second class citizens at the mercy of our government’s policy making whims like the aboriginal people to whom these great wrongs were done, who had their rights denied because of their race, no understanding of the system, no means of legal recourse and no professionals to advise them. Most of them did not get their children back.

I couldn’t begin to imagine not getting my children back. I couldn’t begin to imagine not knowing where they were, not knowing who was taking care of them, not knowing if they are OK.

I still feel broken from having mine taken from me for mere days. I cannot begin to imagine the pain, the suffering, the heartbreak of having them taken for good. I couldn’t imagine then still having to submit to a government that had torn my children from me and inflicted that much pain on my family.

“For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.”

“To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.”

“And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.”

And while some things can never be fixed, I pray that the words spoken and the sentiments expressed this day may start to heal some of the pain and start a shift in our cultural attitudes that will never allow these kinds of wrong doings to happen again.

Thank you Mr Rudd. It was about time.



1. Anja - February 13, 2008

*hugs* Beautifully said.

2. jeanie - February 13, 2008

I so agree. There are many sad stories out there, where people were given pain, taken away from pain, left with pain.

While every story is sad, this sorry is not about every little pain but the whole mess that was created – and I am also sorry for that.

Hugs for your situation – I can’t begin to imagine how horrible it must have been.

3. cerebralmum - February 13, 2008

I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for you. I can’t bear the thought of it even without having had the experience. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, that you have to continue to live with what happened. No, it won’t ever be restored. Just as the events of today cannot undo the damage that was done to the Stolen Generations.

But like you I say, “Thank you, Mr Rudd”. It needed to be said. And it was about time.

4. Leigh - February 13, 2008

That must have been so terrible, I am so sorry that happened to you *hugs*

I watched it with tears in my eyes today, and for the rest of the day was thinking how I would really feel if something like that had happened to me.

I have been a little upset by discussion of a small few who are against the apology all together, I just don’t understand how someone could not want to say sorry for something so terrible?

5. Casdok - February 13, 2008

This post moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for saying what needed to be said.

6. Guera - February 14, 2008

I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I feel sick at the thought of it, and can’t imagine how bad the reality and the memory of it must be. The apology today was so symbolically important and hopefully a good start on the reconciliation road. I have shed quite a few tears today hearing of people’s stories, including yours.I am happy yours had a happy outcome.

7. An Apology a Long Time Coming: Australia Says Sorry. | The Cerebral Mum - February 14, 2008

[…] Dances To The Beet Of Her Own Drum: Sorry […]

8. SnakyPoet - February 14, 2008

Sad and scary stuff! Thank you for sharing this story. It somehow makes it easier to put oneself in others’ shoes when there is a single, personal story to relate to. And of course, for everyone to whom this wicked injustice happened, it was their single, personal story.

9. SnakyPoet - February 14, 2008

Sad and scary stuff! Thank you for sharing this story. It somehow makes it easier to put oneself in others’ shoes when there is a single, personal story to relate to. And of course, for everyone to whom this wicked injustice happened, it was their singular, personal story.

10. SnakyPoet - February 14, 2008

Oh, sorry – please prefer second version.

11. magneto bold too - February 14, 2008

Hugs babe. And then there are people that are OBVIOUSLY mistreating their children but nothing is done….. sigh.

And as for the rest. Sing it sista!

12. Cathy (Scrap4U) - February 15, 2008

Well written! I’m sorry for the pain you went through, but it has certainly provided a unique perspective. I think more people need to put themselves in the shoes of the Aboriginal generation that was torn apart and really feel what they went through. I have been a bit slack and not updated my blog this week so I have yet to write about the speech – but every blog I’ve come across has been filled with words of hope for the future.

13. Veronica - February 15, 2008

Wonderful post.

14. Smiley Saturday « Dances to the beet of her own drum - February 16, 2008

[…] already blogged about a few of those things in my Sorry post and The Journey […]

15. FreeFromItAll - February 17, 2008

I don’t know who Mr Rudd is, but I sure would like to se an apology from our govenment. What a mess.

16. Bettina - February 17, 2008

He’s our prime minister hon (equivilant of your president)

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