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When murder is awaiting in the next bedroom - a true story



How are you doing this week?

I came across this in a folder recently, which I'd forgotten about. It's likely based on a real news story. I'm sure you can work out what it's about.

Not fallen. Merely forgotten.


Lost, somewhere

In no man’s territory

Where man and woman reside

Apparent dust

On an already

Uneven surface.


Slipped through the cracks

They said

Yet there are no chasms

That snatch people from their homes.


They do more than walk amongst us

They are us.


Unsightly, unsavoury

But not unseen.


We remove our gaze

As it’s easier to convince ourselves

It’s someone else’s problem.


Professionals sign away a chemical release

As there’s always others to attend to

And no one wants to make the big call

As rights weigh more than sense.


So when sixty eight year old daddy

Is carved up in his loungeroom

By child number two

It’s simpler to pinpoint the devil

Than the details

And blame it on the Abyss.

I won't patronise you by 'explaining' it. But there was a time in the nineties in Australia when many large mental health hospitals were closed down by governments. Some cited abuse as the cause but what has followed in the intervening years is surely worse. It was simply cost cutting.  Young people were placed into closed off sections in nursing homes. I saw one first hand in a nursing home I worked in. I didn't see it as a better solution than a hospital. Staff are not trained for it nor is it the right environment. 50 year olds with serious mental illness in public areas with frail 90 year olds. There were incidents. It's not right. 

Many others are out on the street who are not able to look after themselves. There's a whole big discussion here but many horrific situations like the one above have taken place as a result, often with family members as the first in line to take the fall.

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