The saddest thing in the world to me at this time in our lives as Kanaka Maoli, is that we have yet to realize that it is now our generationʻs “turn” to create great change in our lives, specifically for Na Wahine….we need no more leis floating on the ocean…not one more…
I make it no secret – I am a survivor of Domestic Violence.
I do not only recognize this month as the time of the year that we will raise awareness. When you are someone who has been there, done that and knows that you busted your okole just to get to safety, the last person who anyone wants to take to task is that person, that expert and as that expert and someone who raises awareness, I get a bit… nuha… about things.
Yeah…unfortunately, I Am a Domestic Violence expert, and the way that I got to be this was experience as someoneʻs victim. While I cannot state that the reason he abused me for almost three decades was that he was haole because not all haoles are evil. My ex was entitled, a spoiled brat, a person who liked things to look like they were lovely and quiet and idyllic, but things were anything but that. They were ugly, and that experience traumatized me. People in my extended family started talking stink about me, saying that I must like the dirty leekenz, making jokes at my expense and making my already shattered state at the time that much worse.
My life partner now, whose name is David, is not Maoli, but, in his heart and soul, he is every bit the guy who my mom would want me to have in my life.
For one good reason – David is not violent, at all.
He loves me.
He tells me this everyday of my life, and yeah, because he is not Maoli – of course he does not realize that pineapples are not indigenous to Hawaii. I was born here on #TheRockin9th….meaning that in the “where were ya born, mang?” sense of things, technically I am also not indigenous to the mother land, even though my roots are.
He calls me Pineapple… and it is fine that he does.
The reason being…???
The man has never raised his hand to me, and like all men, has raised his voice once or twice but, typically, he remembers that I am human and that even I, no matter how much he loves me, knows that I am not perfect…no one is perfect, and it usually is over something that might have offended him, or more – hurt him, something I said that triggered him, because he has been through what I have been through.
#IPV also is a guy thing, and one that a whole lot of men have gone through.
Women, I will agree, do things from an emotional place….it does not excuse it, but, it gives you a clue as to what happened to anyone when they were kids….yes, even men, and yes, in every way that a hurtful woman can hurt a man.
I am not the hurting sort, and he is well aware of this.
I Am Hawaiian.
We are raised to speak Aloha fluently, to live in the Love and Light that is Aloha.
It is my duty as part of that energy to do as I teach others, which is to remain in the Spirit that is ALOHA.
Sometimes, I will admit, I let my podaghee moutʻ get a bit on the waha side and when that happens, it is done so in writing, just like this is being done, right this minute.
Anʻ I tell you folks what….I Am very GOOD at getting real, real….Wild Auntie….about things, but truly, dearly and definitely when it comes to our place in this world as Wahine but more, that our places in the world in the literal sense are free from abuse.
In another writing, I let it be known that this is a very bad thing…and what is making it worse are television shows where the “stars” allow it that their abusers be allowed to come back into the home. And in that instance, as with many of them that we hear so much about – children are present.
I am writing today on behalf of us all….even the guys….it is not that I am only addressing the issue that we are continually turning a blind eye to – #IPV, also known as Domestic Abuse …but more, that we have, all us sistahs, without our realizing it, become da Aunties of da world ….and on behalf of all of us, I have a lot to say today, namely to the women who comprise the Aunties of the world, but more, about the idea that it is ours, now, to help stop this other… disease…. this scourge called Intimate Partner Violence….Intimate Partner Violence….
So, yesterday, I wrote about #DomesticViolence, and how my kids and I were able, after a very, very long set of years, to make OUR abuser be gone from our lives. Currently, there is a court order – a few of them – that our abuser violated, and likely at the behest of a group of other abusers I know very well.
Wherever they are, those particular abusers, right this moment, to me, does not matter.
I am one of those people who believes what her mother told her and that is that “we ye sow, so shall we reap.”
And in my own language….anʻ harm ye none, do what ye will….
While I know that this is not our Ancient language, the meaning behind it is the same….do whatever you like do, but, no hurt anyone, yeah? (I Am from Los Angeles, and we have to adapt the things that we learned from our parents, the majority of them from that side of the water – I take the Wiccan Rede to be one of the most important pieces of literature for ALL humans to read and to adhere to…please….kokua me and keep reading….mahalo )
So, imagine what it must be like to hear that on both sides of the ocean, there is another “disease” that takes us out of life as does all the others that for generations, we have heard about and at least where I Am and some of my cousins are concerned, we have made it so that we are more aware of our health as being ours to take care of. Included in that “taking care of our health,” is keeping ourselves safe from harm. When the harm lives in your house, it is not easy to get away from.
Earlier I was asked about a couple of things, and one of those things was what it is that I have an opinion about in regards to how long it will be before there are new, unspoken rules, and when will it happen that those unspoken rules will become what we live by, and most importantly, when are the Aunties going to change it all up?
To which I only have to state to the women in my culture who are almost 50….sistahs – WE ARE THE AUNTIES NOW, meaning that we have some pull in terms of what is and what is no longer acceptable for the future of our people. The one thing that is MOST unacceptable to a whole lot of us is NOT floating leis on the ocean, but, floating leis on the ocean which memorialize one naddah sistah whose life was taken by someone else, taken through means of violence…
I Am made sick by the stories, stories of my cousins being in comas, fighting for their life, and tired of knowing that for a long time, my brilliant, multi-lingual cousin, and one who is in charge of the lives of others in terms of keeping families safe….also, in the emotional, psychological sense, as well as another who was swept away to the windy city, for as long as I was gone from what I knew to be real – to be and to have what every mother wants for her kids, but specifically her daughters, to have in their lives as the marriages that were our parentsʻ and marriages that to this day, have lived on and at this point for several decades.
Truly being “until death do we part…”
We are now the Aunties
We are now that group of women who, when we were children, were like our other moms – my life was rife with Aunties, and in my life, I can only recall my Auntie Liz and my Auntie Kalei and all the ones who were their Aunties and how much I loved those women, lots more than I knew I did.
They were who taught me that there is nothing more important than to Love other than to be safe. They were also who taught me that no matter what, as long as I knew myself, as long as I was a good kid, that one day, I would be rewarded for it all. This was my first lesson about Karma, about sowing what we reap.
You cannot imagine, like I cannot imagine, what must have gone through their heads when they learned of the uninvited energy that was violence against me, that was what I never saw, at least by my father to my mother.
I never thought that I would be an abused woman, but I was, and I never thought that what I saw others go through would also be what I would have to go through…yes – have to….because no one I knew or who knew me went through this.
If they did, they did a very good job hiding it.
My fatherʻs mother hid it, but we all knew Waltah was abusive, was a drunk, was someone who no mother of any daughter would want as their son-in-law. I recognized it after it was happening to me, and I was very vigilant in making that old man know that without a doubt, while many in the family knew and did not say anything about it to him, I did. And I did not care that that old fucker hated me for it, did not mind that I was that one who bothered to take it as a slight when I was told by a few people that I ought to just take his shit because that is how things were done – we let abusers abuse while we look away and no one will think that that shit exists in our family.
My grandmother hid the abuse as best she could, but I always knew.
When she fell ill after Waltah died is when, through her fading short term memory but her memories that made her flinch when someone was arguing, the way that she hid in her room when someone told her that my dad was going to be home…she went and hid in her room, sometimes crying could be heard through the door. I had no idea that what she was experiencing was her memories, and memories that were sparked by hearing me and my ex exchanging heated ill feelings for each other.
I never hid it.
Hiding it is not going to help stop the leis from being floated on the Pacific. Hiding it is not going to make it go away. Hiding it is not going to make abusers stop abusing.
Hiding is only going to make it grow moʻ big, because as a planting people, we know that Pō is the darkness, and in the darkness is when things germinate and grow and we also all know that eventually Ao will be what happens – the light will come and will show, through that light, the truth of things.
I made it known, and folks donʻt realize that I left more times than they knew I did, and that when I called on them, it was the last thing, and they were the last people who I wanted knowing, and it was because of my history with THEM excusing the abuse for the entirety of my life, and abuse that is now central to my research in the Psychology of Abuse, abuse which is the thing that fuels me, every single day of my life, to make it known to the world that we are pissed and we are no longer willing to be placed in memoriam, to be represented by a lei floating effortlessly on the Pacific Ocean.
The Truth of Things
The truth of things is that our women are dying at the hands of the people they chose to love. The truth of things is that our younger women are trying hard to not accept this happening but what they do not understand is that it is they who will stop it from happening to themselves, but for the rest of us, it will be Ka lahui wahine….all us Aunties who are now here and ready to tell all those younger women that they do not have to stay in the violence, that they are not meant to be targeted by anyone, and that most of all, we are here to listen to you, to help you, even if we are way over here on this side of the water.
It is, in my opinion, our duty as these women in the collective lives of Maoli women everywhere to make them all know that the rules are being rewritten in terms of safety, in terms of good leekenz and when it is appropriate, of everything that we saw and felt was wrong but had to accept because it was our lives and our lives, at those times, as keikihine, were rife with abuse.
No one can tell me otherwise, and no one will make me believe anything else.
We have a very real problem with abuse in our culture, and for generations it has been ignored or worse – called discipline and either way, it was through those energies that abuse on women and children was made culturally acceptable.
It is so not.
Since when was it okay to make it appear that a woman or a child was somehow meant to be “disciplined” in the “old Hawaiian way,” and a way that keeps the elders in the family worshiped rather than honored ?
When was it okay that beyond reason, we are here to take more and more abuse, more and more people shaming us, teaching us how to hate those who are not Maoli, but at the same time expected to respect ourselves, and how can we do that when the elders in our lives helped promote the abuse, helped make it a joke, that thing called “Dirty Leekenz witʻ da mud on top” ?
When are we going to make it that, as Ka Poʻe Aloha – the People of Aloha – we are the representatives of that in action as much as in our words, in our promises, in the way that we honor the lives of those who taught us, perhaps unwittingly, that corporal punishment is still acceptable, is still the way that people are made to respect others and when is it that we will no longer be who has decided for ourselves and the future that we do not accept this way anymore…that we never believed that in order for us to be good Hawaiians, we had to deal with really, really bad ones?
You can get okole sore all you like but you cannot get away from the facts.
And you can sit there stating publicly or to yourself that I have been brainwashed by the smog and the hippies here in Southern California, can make this be one of those things where an entire whole of us will deny me what far too many of us agree on and that is that the time for dirty leekenz has truly come to its end. When the thing that kills women faster than will anything hereditary can, and when it is that entire families are still calling abuse – no matter what kind – discipline ….it means that the new generation of Aunties needs to now come to the forefront of these issues that are not just global, but, also is unfortunately part of our world as Maoli people.
Hui !! Sistahs…Hoʻonāna … please kokua me and pay attention…
Because we have each and all reached “Auntie Age” it is now upon us not only to preserve the things that make us be the people we are meant to be, Ka Poʻe Aloha…The Aloha People ….it is our kuleana to now take up the reigns and take all our behbehs into the future…for #AllUsGuys….so that those kids who call us Auntie, Mom, Tutu….so that those kids will know that they were born out of Love, that they are here for a reason and that reason is for them, not for someone else to decide. When was it ever a good thing that a child believes that he is the reason why his mom or dad or auntie or unko is behaving like a dickhead, and when was it that we, ourselves, ever thought that we were lolo and was it okay that we would be these people who those people, some of them, would take it upon themselves to carry on the tradition of violence at home?
This is ours, Sistahs, to make it our rallying call, our Kahea to the world that tells everyone living on it hoʻonānā and hoʻolohemai…. to pay attention and to listen… PLEASE LISTEN and KOKUA!
We are dying, you folks, everyday. Sometimes it is from illnesses that are hereditary, sometimes it is from an actual accident, and sometimes it is from the worst possible thing to have to live through…and sadly, we donʻt all live to tell the secrets we hold on to, out of shame, out of disbelief, out of the idea that our families will tell us that we deserved it, returning us back to those times when we were little kids and those same people blamed us for an adult going straight up pupule on a child, who beats that kidʻs ass with the family telling the kid that they should have behaved because if the kid would have behaved, the kid would not have gotten his or her ass kicked.
Granted, some kids get leekenz because I am certain that no one who has been told to not play with matches and then the house is set on fire is not directly related to it….even I do not have THAT much faith in people. THAT is different, but even THAT does not warrant an ass kicking that no one who is an adult can recover from, let alone a kid….my question there is who left the damned matches where he could get to them, and why is it that every time a kid fucks up, even setting the house on fire, that kid is a bad kid for the rest of his life? I was that kid…no one believes me. It was not my parents, but the assumption made by the conglomerate I called my family that opened the door for it to be normal to me…how many times has any one of us heard, in our lifetimes, and how many of us hear it in our sleep….”Hit first. Ask questions later” ?
…and more…how many times did your auntie or your unko or your tutu or even one of your parents show you that it was their truth, that they were violent, and how many times did your family laugh, stating that that person was just like that?
How many times was it that you hid away in silence, tears rolling from your eyes, and how many times did you say you were sorry for pissing some adult off, and how many times did you hear the story about your evil deed as that child being repeated to the rest of the adults in your family….and more….how many times did your own parents just excuse the violence because for them, the violence was a normal everyday part of life and even though no one would say it – it was also, because of cultural norms that we now have the right, the power and the Kuleana – the DUTY – to change, not only for ourselves, but for the future generations of Maoli people the world over?
How many times…???
A lot…that is how many…a whole fuckinʻ lot….
On the whole we are a culture whose time has come where we have to stop this unneeded violence placed on to the women and the children of our people, of ALL people.
We have to #UnSilenceTheViolence, make it known that the days of unwarranted, and even warranted, Dirty Leekenz, needs to be made real. We no longer have to live in the energy that is the shame from the past.
We are the Aunties….and we need to change our world….
#UnSilenceTheViolence #NoMoreFloatingLeis #KaLahuiWahine #LiveALOHA #LosAngelesKahunaRox #StopTheViolence #NCADV #SouthernCalifornia #LosAngeles #Hawaii #Maoli #Samoa #Tonga #NewZealand #AllUsGuys