art, Forgotten Australians, memories, poetry, Stolen Generations

Raped and bashed

by Rhonda Trivett (guest author) on 25 May, 2010

Rhonda shares one of poems about life as a teenager, in the adult maximum security ward (Osler House) in Wolston Park Hospital, Queensland.

Raped and Bashed, Now D Day, It’s Time to Fight Back, you Hurt Me and Made Me this Way

I live in fear of what you did to me
You made me cry you hurt and bashed me
I thought I was going to die many times
In the dark I’m scarred for life
And I kicked and I stirred
But no-one heard me and no-one cared
And it’s hard but I tried to be strong
you done this deed why me I was just a child
I did nothing for this hell treatment
I was a lost child wanting her mother
and I stole a push bike and That was my only crime
what a price I paid what really did I do
I don’t understand and I never will
With a label I try to survive, which I can’t
stop the label then I will be able, OK

I’ve been silent too long, no more playing the nice life games
You hurt me too many times, made me like a wounded animal
Just waiting for my next feed to come along
Stripped of everything and without a choice
I used to be clean now just dirty and unclean
bad and just a piece of rubbish
the guilt is just killing me in so many ways
no-one ever listened it was very wrong
Just looked me up with a needle, stripped me of my clothes
I’m still to this day confused getting silly as ever
With a hurtful rage of hate just waiting to explode
Wanting to hurt back with all I’ve got waiting for the kill
I didn’t start this, but I can assure you all that I will finish it
I’ve, now, got nothing to lose so it’s time to gain
I’ve been waiting for this moment every day of my life
I’m on my own, it’s time to pay,
it’s time for sorry Rhonda all the way.

Blood on the bathroom wall at Osler House

The next stanza in Rhonda’s poem explicitly describes an act of serious assault.

1 thought on “Raped and bashed”

  1. If I had one wish tonight
    I fear it would not be granted
    Just to be at home by firelight
    A simple wish enchanted.

    Naked in a naked room
    A windowless airless capsule
    Bound by timelessness and months
    Unseen passing like autumn leaves
    Falling to the earth’s open grave
    Sprawled vulnerably like this mass
    That is the skin bag in which I exist
    Hemmed in by walls sewn around
    This naked body that sits stunned
    Naked in a naked room
    Dehumanizing Treatment

    Naked in the face of inhumane treatment
    She sat naked in a naked room
    No window no thing naked she sat
    In the limbs of Being
    No external object no material subject
    To distract or occupy the mind
    Naked she sat in a skin bag a body within
    Four naked walls on naked body on a naked floor
    Naked walls naked floor naked body and knew
    The existence of degrees of choice in nothingness
    And the nakedness of timelessness
    In the moments in which I am
    Not conscious
    I am confined by the will
    Of another to be
    Brutalized in the absence
    Of my consciousness
    Through the haze I struggle
    In my nakedness to free myself
    Torn from clothes by jailers
    Pinning me down on the floor
    For nor reason other than cruel
    Violence masked when you visit.

    You almost frightened me
    From where I sat concealed
    In the dark of night listening
    To the insane gibberish howling
    From the warmly lit windows
    Looking up through your limbs
    Reaching out into the darkness
    Of the black November night
    Far beyond this place this space
    Where my insignificant being
    Is confined by razor wire fences
    Red brick lock and key mortar
    Set against the soul like hell
    Gates slammed shut by the cruel
    Hand of the liar ruling unjustly
    Your trunk moving through the path
    Towards your untimely death.

    Rain falls heavily
    Above me
    About me
    Deafening rain falls
    Raises a chorus
    Beats against the tin
    Stretched out
    Beneath the dismal day
    Deafening rain falling
    Above the squeak
    Of machinery the hum
    Of the conveyor belt
    The clinking of scales
    Caught up
    In the deafening rain
    An ultimate silence

    Awaiting an unknown destiny
    Time of departure unknown
    Who sits in the waiting room
    We, destined like de Sade die
    On the page like ink spilled cry
    To be anywhere but here away
    From the cruel jailer’s hand
    Turning heads we smile and cry
    While the screw gives the nod heeded
    By the majority who have waited all week
    For the dance the highlight of this life
    Skipping round in the Pride of Erin
    Smiling clown like whizzing by
    “Get up and dance! It’s a dance!
    No pens at the dance! No writing!”
    She squeals fumbling for the cell key
    “You can go and put those pens away”
    “It’s a dance – get up and dance or…”
    “Or what?”
    ”Or you can stay in your cell.”
    “I don’t dance…I’m watching”
    “Lock her up!”
    Cigarette butts strewn still burning
    Lie discarded on the rubbery floor
    Where countless people have fallen
    Dragged screaming from the table
    At breakfast lunch or dinner
    We never know who or when will strike
    Next or what the issue will be the excuse
    To bash a prisoner here unseen hidden
    Locked up and set down for ‘treatment’
    You are on mouthpieces today”
    “God I hate making mouthpieces knowing
    They are going to be forced into the mouths
    Of people struggling beneath the weight of
    Cruel hands on the ECT bench in a cell
    Where electrodes are sparked on brains
    Punishment designed to control behavior
    Of women and men who object to be raped
    Bashed drugged and locked up here
    In Queensland’s mental asylum
    “You should never have been sent here
    You’re not psychotic you’re not neurotic
    There’s nothing wrong with you…”
    I feel sick at the privilege of being locked
    Here where I am forced to witness first hand
    Unspeakable cruelty silencing the oppressed
    The lumpen proletariat
    Here where I am forced to be an accomplice
    Shove your fucking mouthpieces designed
    To gag immobilized people drugged and bashed
    Pinned down like moths on tables fighting to
    Free themselves from your cruel minds
    “Set the table for ECT! We have six today!”
    Two tables are dragged from the dining room
    Where I met you when you were a Uni student
    Into the dark passageway where I like others
    Slumped and moaned and groaned passing out
    White sheets tossed neatly over tabletops
    Side plates cups and saucers two teapots
    Sugar milk and rock cakes the asylum specialty
    Post shock treatment drifting along the passage
    From the cell around the corner to the table lead
    By the torturer to the table his job completed now
    His appetite appeased like an orgasm dying
    Red-eyed and blurry she sits at the table
    Of her immediate surroundings or even her own
    Existence nor my presence meant to meet her
    My task now is to try to feed this poor soul
    “Hi …I’ve made a nice cup of tea
    For you…”
    What else can I do?
    Go outside and leave them to a worse fate?
    She tries to speak but cannot
    Another floating down the hall looks at me
    With a slight recognition before lapsing again
    Into controlled silence walking unconscious
    I feel sick again and again and again
    “Hi … You won’t be bashing me again
    “I’ve made you a cup of tea and there is cake
    Try to eat something…”
    You won’t be bashing me again but…
    There is no justification for this ‘treatment’
    This 17th century horror designed to harm
    Fiduciary care does not exist here in this place
    Where the consequences of the impact is dire
    I only know that it could have been me
    In the extreme attempt to control behavior
    To have power over the Other it could be me!
    I don’t want the fucking rock cake she screams
    Angrily throwing the hot milky tea in my face
    “Thanks. I wanted a cup of tea”
    Tomorrow I will shower and dress her again
    “Let’s try again – do you want a cup of tea?”
    She sits in electric silence while I pour the tea
    Drop in the sugar stir it and give her a rock cake
    If she had a tongue she would tell me she is going
    To kill me. I smile.
    Instead her mother comes to visit and I watch them
    Bring in visitors from outside to abuse me
    Etched on my memory I go through each cruel year
    Why should I forgive such cruel abusers, would you?
    Blood stretched in clots from beginning to end.

    The night air chills the air minds frozen in hell
    Music screams in insane waves tossed recklessly
    Onto shores of some barren birthplace remnants
    of life scattered in fragments like random words
    Staining the rags of Marquis dancing on the table
    Being chased by bulls of terror intent on mutilating
    Beauty breaking into a gallop freely dancing
    Beating organ rolling from eyes passionately
    Desiring the inscription life an epigraph wrenching
    At the gut of the reader who passing bows to read
    Headstones sobbing in the heart of the earth ‘s bed
    The sound of a dull beating tom-tom pounding
    Like blood through my veins pushed by the heart
    Into fierce jungles sobbing muffled runs wildly
    Screams piercing the night wrenching my gut
    Until the voices are ‘put out like dying lights
    A sign of ‘a quiet day tomorrow’

    In the heat of the summer’s longing
    Drawn to a close in the moment
    As autumn approaches preparing
    To greet the cold dead of winter
    Like a guard handing over the keys
    On a new change of shift
    Drawn to a close in the moment
    When autumn approaches preparing
    To greet the cold dead of winter
    On a new change of shift
    Drawn to a close in the moment
    In the heart of the summer’s longing

    I am the calm in the midst of the torrent
    Waiting for the stream to clear
    Ooo ‘Eva Trout’
    B.H. Shrink
    The moon disk
    As the sun disk
    The moon disk
    Rises again
    Veiling part of
    What I see
    Veiling part of
    What is not
    The night blanket
    As the moth spreads
    Wings in pursuit
    Of light.

    Empty husks lay strewn upon
    A burnished parched land
    In another orange day people
    Crazed rush in the merry-go-round

    I wander in the bowels
    In the womb of life
    Existence alone being
    Futile in the sweating
    Of this society structured
    Abnormally without
    A foundation or values
    To uphold shaky grounds
    As if someone has bivouac’d
    The brain to set up camp
    Leaving me to touch upon
    The nakedness of raw life

    The woman’s scream pierces the my soul
    Burns ripping at my gut as I am swayed by
    Nausea swelling to that familiar sound of cruel
    Terror screaming through dull passages forms
    A sharp blade tearing through my hearts pieces
    Dripping fingers dripping blood onto the lino
    Floor trapped between the heavily closed door
    While she was locked out on the other side
    ‘Well don’t just stand there! Get a mop!’
    The screw bawls at me stunned by the act
    I feel faint as if I want to pass out on the floor
    And fall into the pool of blood with the sight
    Of detached fingers like a Godfather movie
    In the making I freeze I want to run away
    From here from the violence thrust upon me
    I had never before known prior to coming here
    Unable to move I stood like a mullet pinned to
    The end of a jetty pulled from the calm sea
    By the mean hook of someone’s evil will
    Staring I tried to say ‘I can’t…’ no words
    She struck the match And ran returning
    She began mopping the blood
    The woman’s fingers cut in the closed door
    ‘How can you do that?’ I asked wide-eyed
    My stomach in my mouth swooning I cried
    Quietly she replied as if numbed and not seeing
    Somebody has to do it. You won’t’
    The woman was ‘found dead’
    ‘Suffocated herself with a pillow’
    I saw her being carried out on a green stretcher
    ‘I don’t know why they use green they’re dead’
    Do your murderers hear your screams and pleas?
    Ringing in their ears
    Does every knotted sheet remind them?
    Does his last leak in the toilet he died in
    Sting your nostrils beyond the B-B-Q grill

    The short Asian body hobbles past
    Stops a moment and acknowledges me
    With every effort she can muster she stands
    A challenge that you and I take for granted
    Shakily she wobbles on the walking frame
    Then tried again and again to form words
    To speak and manages a sound without words
    And a smile as if she knew she had succeeded
    She could say no other and I laughed I grin
    She knows she has not only succeed in making
    A sound she has communicated something to me

    A spark of love ignites within my heart as I
    Pour confidence into her and encourage her on
    To walk some more and make some more sounds
    ‘Shut up’ Turning to me they tell me to
    ‘Shut her up for God’s sake. That noise drives
    Me mad.’
    ‘Drives you mad?’ The irony of it all I smile
    At my jailer sitting on the verandah bored
    Within the enrichening palette of life and death
    Here in the State Asylum
    ‘If she was an animal they would put her down’
    Here we go again I think Here we go again.
    So many lessons of unconditional love in here
    Here comes my would be murderer rushing at me
    ‘What now …? I ask as she rushes at me
    Intending again to murder me on the spot
    She stops on a rare occasion of satori I watch
    The fleshy dark pinkish-red of the inside of
    Her mouth as it opens in my face I was wrong
    ‘Oh My Goddddddddd!’
    She screams her hot stinking breath in my face
    Grabbing my hair ripping it out by the roots
    Clenching the mass in her huge hand she punches
    Laying the boot in my head as I roll on the around
    On the ground screaming in chains
    Of terror striking my heart and soul as screws
    Who ‘suled’ her on to me decide ‘that’s enough’
    This stony cruel yard a death chamber steaming
    In the midst of bored lives assuming the role of
    ‘Carer’ more rightly termed ‘Abuser’ ‘Murderer’
    ‘Rapist’ ‘Instigator’ ‘Antagonist’
    I recognize people by their feet scraping around
    Remember how I came to be here
    My head trying to drag my assailant from me
    With my hair in her clenched fists she is joined
    To me yelling insanely ‘I’m gonna murder you!’
    ‘I’m gonna murrrrrrrder you!’
    Again and again.
    Someone jabs her ass with a syringe she falls
    From me her grip releasing my hair that falls
    To the ground like weeds in the wind landing
    After eight years of this terror the doctors urge
    ‘Fight back!’ demanding to know ‘Why don’t you
    Fight back Fight back. You know she intends killing
    It’s been happening for so long now it’s a wonder
    I’m not dead.
    ‘It’s been happening for so long it’s a wonder
    you’re not dead.’
    We said, ‘It’s been happening for so long its’ a
    You’re not dead.’
    ‘I know.’

    Endless days moments in time
    Form greater concepts
    Time passing through
    Days and weeks and years
    Months spent walking
    The narrow winding path
    That runs up and down
    The yard where I fall
    Into a pseudo daily routine
    As if my body willing moves
    Controlling movement I walk
    Towards the private recesses
    Of prayer reflecting the nature
    Of existence love extended
    From other hearts other minds
    His purpose in my suffering
    Made clearer with every step.

    Eating lunch
    Are twenty-three numbers
    Digits and
    Blank faces on timeless clocks
    Pain the irony
    Curdles in my gut
    Looking back at me
    Eating lunch.
    Pheasant Feather
    A pheasants’ feather
    Gently touches my lips
    A smile a tear mingled
    Like two willows spread
    Shading a running stream
    An emu eating startled
    By swallows in flight
    Black Peter stuffing
    A broken tennis raquet
    Into a brown paper bag
    These orchids a reminder
    Of loss and gain living
    In the hearts of survivors
    The grass sparse and dry
    Blades trodden down
    By anxious feet pacing
    The perimeter hoping
    For life beyond bars
    And barbed wire rolled
    Around fence tops

    Copyright (Australia)”Survivor of the horror” Not to be reproduced in any form.

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