On a sunny afternoon, mid conversation with my partner, my voice suddenly chokes. I am multitasking; reading The Saturday Paper while discussing the evening’s dinner plans. In between decisions about pasta sauces and red wines the written words have bitten bone deep: “the child enters a profound state of withdrawal and is unconscious or in a comatose state”. I work in mental health, sometimes in high-dependency wards. I cannot conceive the level of trauma required to induce such damage. It’s not the obvious brutalities of physical abuse but the far deeper psychological torture of intergenerational dehumanisation and absolute despair. This – that our own government continues to do this to children – causes the mind to reel away, to withdraw as so many of us do, with a sigh and a tear perhaps, back to our shopping lists and coffee cups. But not today, not before rage erupts from my subconscious and I know that given the opportunity I would murder the perpetrators of these crimes with my own hands. I would follow the chain of people from the camp to the cabinet and remove a hand from each and every one.
It’s not about revenge, though I can’t deny that’s there – it’s about preventing the next destruction of an entire, utterly innocent life. That’s our government: murdering minds and making a murderer out of a middle-aged woman over afternoon tea. Bravo.