• It Was Necessary
  • Intention
  • Introduction—Ringa Ringa Rosies
  • Shame
  • A Level of Insight


  • The Fog
  •  The Hidden Room
  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • Trapped Without Light


  1. Facing the Beast
  2. Rewilding the Narrative
  3. When the Gaoler Has Gone
  4. Invisibility
  5. The Power of One


  1. The Program—Chink




I’ll start.

When I was forty-one, Pyewacket (woman cat) gave birth to her fourth litter. I have lived long enough, and through a specific and derogatory series of violations enough, to understand that no one really wants to hear about our distress, as humans. Not unless we can allow them to be heroes. Not without that vulnerability somehow affecting the opinion, and hence any long-term association. It can also get a person beaten, dismissed, ignored, abandoned or trapped even tighter into a cycle of non-escape that becomes hypervigilance or our choice of death. I had learned that, as a woman raising three kids alone and being a public figure, I had to utterly occult any vulnerability. Display confidence and capability. Keep the respect vital. Prevent questions. Not care about money. Be capable. So I told no one that I was too poor to pay a vet the cost of a hysterectomy for said woman cat. The panic was real, but I had no insight on how to kill something so small. Retrospectively I should have snapped their necks but that seemed so violent.

I half-filled a bathtub with tepid water and tried to drown them. Unaware that the gentle temperature and mother cat’s amniotic fluid, the same warmth. It took ages for them to die and their suffering and struggle was shocking. I told no one. When the kids asked to see the kittens I lied. I said they were stillborn and I’d already buried them. Pyewacket was kept indoors until I could save enough to have her spayed. I have never told anyone. Is this a big secret? All shame is big. And all shames build one prison door after the other. Going deeper into lightlessness. Hidden by fog. But they do not go away.

What I do know is that none are comparable. Just like pain. Just like being silenced.

SEA OF SILENCE is akin to Fight Club[1]. The first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club. So I’m about to break that rule. Because… There are not, really, any rules, only consequences relative to actions. That’s the secret of coercion and the drip drip drip of the water torture of invisibility for those who live with secrets that can cripple and eventually cause disease. Caging us into anonymity, even with our own families.


Image Adam Martinakis

Let us speak and let us be loud. Then let us write so no one misrepresents us.


I have asked hundreds of people what Ringa Ringa Rosie means and they inevitably suggest the Black Plague. How can a ditty recall such tragedy after so long? Because we, as humans, are by nature a creature of repetition-awareness. We speak of what we are taught. People say Oh. My. God and don’t even realize the words have a distinct meaning, like a spell. Like an enchantment. We do not experience shame or resentment out of the air. We are taught these things. All the biases, all the ideas of so-called right and wrong, without realizing the furnace in which these dualisms are forged. That right is right handed; that until recently a child would be beaten—called evil—if they were left handed. That sinister means left handed.

Time to rend the circus tent; time to be the thunder, to split the canvas and remember we were born free.

My mother lived from the age of 17 to her near death at 72 with my father’s name buried from others’ awareness. She raised five offspring and a. none knew of me, b. none knew of Edward, her lover at aged sixteen. She kept this in a cage of repercussive fear until she and I eventually and tragically met. How can a person live with something like that? On the off chance they would experience reunion with the bastard they gave birth to, but who was removed from them without any knowledge of the consequence?

What about the woman who died without ever telling her son she’d been the mistress of the Butcher of Riga; all the corroborating diaries hidden in the ceiling?

The mother of two adult offspring, who thought she had shielded them from her terrible and often life-threatening abuse so they would experience a childhood without that embarrassment? They knew, of course, but she kept the beatings, the broken bones, the hospitalisations, silent until she sat with me and it all came out. After that cruel thirty-five-year long farce of a relationship, called marriage.


This SEA OF SILENCE is thick with the corpses of dead ideologies. And shame. And rejection by authorities, of a man glassed in the face by a partner because the law favours a woman’s word over that of the child or children’s father, mostly, and he had his own troubles of identity. Hiding as much from the kids, to his own detriment, so they would not question too much. Hiding himself. Not wanting to lose what dignity remained. Him not knowing why he was different to other men who are okay in life. That peculiar eerie FOG again.

The lad coming home from serving in some coward-behind-a-desk’s war. Secreting what he had seen, what he had done. How it broke him. Pretending until he could get his next meds. Pretending. Until he could kill himself.

Being told to never speak of Thảm sát Mỹ Lai. Or footrot. Or the nightmares. Or wetting the bed. Or what he’d been coerced, even flattered, into agreeing to. What had been done to him. Or her. Them. Of cowardice that wasn’t. Courage that wasn’t. Of wanting to shoot again and again and again until all the school children are dead. All concerned, still living, wounded beyond ever recovering. Drunk and rotting in an imposed poison. Of being ashamed and confused by loving war and not knowing how to pretend, once home[2].

Until recently (and often still) the horror of a person who never spoke of the number of people they fucked, had been rejected by, of admitting that of an abortion, or that a child had been taken and she had been convinced of her complicity in the conception. That to name the man or boy who inseminated her was to ruin his career. What the nuns did. The maw of eerie lack at the dark-skinned child in the generations-old family photograph who no one was allowed to ever mention. Please help me. Fill in your own gaps.

Of the man arrested recently in Lebanon for stealing a packet of nappies from a 7-Eleven[3] because the war had taken everything and his infant was in need. That he once wore a suit but probably never would again, because “nobody loves you, when you’re down and out.” (John Lennon, ’74)


Image Ignatio Ruzzi

What’s interesting about becoming an elder is that the blanket of smother has abated completely and I, just me, and the density of confusion—the lack of insight—has gone away. Dead-skin, five days after an extreme sunburn. Peeling it off in strips. Only after it settles down can the damage be seen. Only after years and years do the never-healed wounds and the hypervigilance appear where the burning took place. Because a person that has not bred does not understand the process of parenting. It’s all made up. They pretend to know what to do.

For now, the greatest impact for the future are our stories.




I grew up not knowing I’d been trafficked. Bought by strangers. The confusion of not looking even remotely like the people who called themselves *my mother and *my father. Facts never explained. Lies stacked on top of lies, I developed a physical trait of being in a constant state of guilt. Shamed for something. What am I doing wrong? Why am I ignored? I am bad. I must comply. What do I have to do to get attention? Succeed. Do not EVER succeed.

I was clever (autism not recognised in the day, and never for females), and my owners detested, and were confused, by that. My job was to entertain, not be smart. To be smart evoked isolation. The insult of being hissed at; called a know-it-all. And threat, that always manifested into a reality of hurt. The resulting abuse constant. Sending you back, I was warned. Back where? In later years the threat was “girls’ home”. Away.

Now that I am old, and I have dug up this corpse, I know there was no ‘back’ because these people were charlatans. They were not family, the pretence farcical and dangerous. I didn’t know where “back was but it could not have been a nice place.

Being intelligent was punishable. I didn’t know I was that. No one knew of neurodiversity, let alone what “high functioning” could both create and destroy. I didn’t know that learning to read by myself, at aged three, was an insult to the woman who owned me because she couldn’t. I didn’t know that leaving kindergarten and finding my own way to where I lived was so unacceptable. When I was uniformed, and returned with my head bowed, confusion as thick as custard, the next morning, I didn’t know I was lied to when the head mistress threatened me. She said trained attack dogs now patrolled the outside of the school and that I’d be torn to pieces if I tried to leave without permission.

I also didn’t know I must have smelled. Of a born-with terror. No one appreciates a timid dog. We must cede to the master. We must roll on our backs and expose our bellies and throats. We must appear submissive. I didn’t know that being precocious and calling out the spelling answers from the veranda of the older kids’ classroom would get me expelled. From kindergarten. But it did.

It got worse.

The point is that even (as I was informed by some know-it-all outsider punk) now that I am old, and speak out, some fucker is going to inform me I am wrong. That having my identity erased by the so-called benign act of adoption is not child trafficking. That our mothers were defined by the title “unwed” as though this was a perversity. Fallen women, although from what cliff or parapet we were not informed. Even when they were only twelve or fifteen. From around eight I had no idea about sex except that it was a vaginal fist and the arrogance of an old man informing me it was for the best. For my future husband. And not to tell or I’d be given to his Friday night poker buddies.

THE FOG, like the hooves severed from dead horses, made into kiddie glue, is what we swim through first. It is suffocating. It is cloying and the source of its thickness a justification of acceptability. How long does that take? Not long. How long for you? Mine thinned, to expose patches of possible day, around my first suicide attempt. I was fifteen. A bottle of Valium. But because that didn’t work, and I had my stomach pumped, I was informed that killing myself was a mortal sin, because some invisible deity that I now realise is a fallacy, was the only creature with the grace to take a life. I wondered about war, then. But I’d learned not to speak. That I’d go to hell if I succeeded and therefore, because I was still alive, I felt a failure. The second time—a few weeks, maybe months later—I was institutionalised because I tried again; that was bad. A second bottle of Valium. I was considered uncontrollable. I was informed I was possessed of an Artistic Personality Disorder. That was reassigned as Hysterical Personality Disorder, I suppose because doctors like to have their own personal opinions (this was before the era of litigation when they protect each other no matter the thalidomide). Like possessing was something I chose, or an attack by incubi. Of course I know, now, neither are anything. Just made up to shut me up, or down, or in, or out. Or off. But no one asked where I got the two bottles of Valium I had consumed and I never thought to tell them it had been the acne doctor. The psychiatrist at the institution merely asked, at the start of the one and only consultation I was meant to have with him regularly, what I felt about my father. When I’d replied, in teenage words of mumbled contempt, that I didn’t have one, I was shown the door.

And not invited back.


Where do we put ourselves when we know we cannot explain that they haven’t done us a favour and that rehoming, like puppies when their mother cannot cope, is beyond communication? We put the real us into intentional solitary confinement. In the hidden room of an inner landscape. The unfulfilled grail chapel in the basement of the mansion. It all goes there. Every confusion, every attack—either verbal or physical—at the hands of these utter strangers pretending to be parents, or friends, or advisors, or superiors but that will, and can, never be?

About now the question arises, “what happened to you?” but we’ll save that for when we are together. Because…

Then the door gets locked. The slot where slivers of understanding can, when appropriate, get posted through, is the only access to the outside or the inside. Many of us understand that closed door. It is the only thing that allows us the identity we clothe our confounding in. So. Then we must create. An alternate self. One that belongs. That functions. That seems, to predators, acquiescent and somewhat normal. Although, we don’t and will never know what normal is. Who really knows what normal is? It’s a construct. Who decided? It’s a controlling ideology.


We mask with agreement. A gag over our faces. We smile. We tap-dance to some koyaanisqatsi parody of Oh Mammy Blue for decades, often. We pretend to forget the closed door. We cease to ask. We reinvent ourselves. Funny, or odd, somehow, because there is nobody to reinvent. Who is my family? Did I ever even have one? Are these people really them? Stop thinking. Stop thinking. Keep the fucking door closed. Forget the fucking hidden room.

It’s a bit like having scars on my back, from a lash made of a discipline of ignorance. As long as I don’t have mirrors that mirror each other, I can pretend to be free of mutilation, can you? Just be a good girl to the owners. A good boy to the abusers. There has to be love after all, somewhere in the picture, doesn’t there?

But that was the biggest lie. And I was never held. Bad girl. Bad bad bad. Hell awaits this wickedness.

Love, a Little Golden Book obfuscation; a mind-control of expectation that cannot be fulfilled, is not possible. Ever. Blaming you when the ending is deemed fault. Naming the completion, a failure because, of course, the prince could not be a reason, now, could he?

Disney can’t be wrong. Can it?

It must have been that you didn’t try hard enough.


Without knowing the facts, we can become trapped inside ourselves. I did not, as a child, an adolescent or a young adult, even consider that I was owned. I did not question the owners. I did not look at them. I did not look to them for anything. I was inside myself. Broody, introspective, darkly poetic, self-deceptive and close to an edge that threatened death or annihilation daily. I even continued the process after my association with them was severed. Why? I didn’t know what I was doing.

Was I ever happy? I don’t understand what that means. Was I ever loved? I don’t know what love is. Was I an appropriate parent when I had children that I actually gave birth to? There was no tool of navigation, so I winged it.

See what I’m doing? I am not taking blame upon myself. In language. Are guilt and shame in the narrative? They have their own padded rooms. They are fed on bread and water because to feed them anything of me would be to relapse.

And you? They don’t deserve you because you didn’t do anything to invite them. We had them forced down dry throats for too long.




How old were you?

I birthed three human beings. And I didn’t kill them despite the nuns. These offspring never knew I was not who I professed to be; thought I had created so adeptly a persona that I was beyond the Quiet Room. The Sea of Silence between me and the events that altered everything I thought. Was this protection? No. I did not recall that infinitesimally small scream that plagued me like a mozzie in the night but that I never saw if I switched on the light. It was Friday syndrome. You know it. You get toothache at 6 p.m. on a Friday evening so there will be no immediate help because the dentist will be on his jet ski proving what a competent man he is to his admiring onlookers. Or else weekending with his nitrous. I did not lie, I merely only said what I thought would prove less embarrassing than the consequence of an unobtainable abortion.

I have called all of them—those who vilified me—Trickster. As though that character, present in most (if not all) indigenous legend, moves from person to person, fattening us up for its next trick. Giving us a day, sometimes two, of eventful relief that preceded any kind of fuckening that it can evoke from nightmare.

Me? I’ve asked the air, am I cursed? Is there a pheromone exuded by the unclaimed? The expedient purchase or acquisition? Is rejection a scent?

I should have been/should be grateful.


Well, I have changed the snapshots, as sparse as fresh water in a bombed out city, that pretended to condemn me to ineptitude.

I have vomited shame. I have fucked my way through guilt until it was rammed earth. Then I have inked an identity into my skin. Amazingly liberating, is indigenous or purposeful self-adornment.

I have never known pain as cruel as enforced, or sanctified, silence.

All of you know what I mean.

All of you.

You need not die with that silence as your shroud. Is that a demand? No. It is a statement. That’s the last thing this is about. You have had enough of demand. By you yourself, by your parents, the aggressor, some smartarse presenting themselves as an authority (when, ultimately, beyond the dogmas and the falsehoods, all of us are mere carbon-based lifeforms in a sea of seemingly-infinite space); they who deny you, those from whom you hide, those who would criticise your cage, demand you pay their price, or die simply for the relief of not living another day.


Image Frédéric Roullet

That subheading I stole. It relates to a documentary I watched decades ago about the Western Sioux, of the Black Hills of Dakota. A story that has its mirror here, in many many places, one being Utopia.

I stand with my traditional custodians of this continent who have lived for an estimated 70,000 uninterrupted years only to have an intruder force them to comply with every facet of the intrusion, drink the rum, smoke the cigarettes, consume the sugar and the white flour, or perish. That last bit has been systemic and corrosive, as much today in the twenty first century as ever. Merely hidden behind the blahblah of media, populism of government, churches, their puppet institutions and the do-goodism of the very same religions that destroyed language, family, dignity, nourishment, culture and tradition, and who smiled so sweetly at the shelling, the hanging, the imprisonment, the torture and the genocide.

But some of us are palefaces. Our tribal confederacies decimated over thousands of generations. Almost obliterated. So we are not heard. Unless we fit some paradigm of media acceptance. Unless we fit the current hip and bespoke politikspeak.


Maybe this would be better titled ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST PART 105, and we can get on with the work of liberating those with flesh yet to burn over some cruel bastard’s egoic fire of contempt and disregard.


If we don’t, if we are generic—invisible—nothing we say will be taken seriously at any bureaucratic level. I have often wondered why, when I was younger, denied the breast of any human warmth, in the fog, in the box, hunted by the beast, suffering the concrete boots of Stockholm Syndrome; desperate to speak the truth, terrified of my own voice and the consequences of being cast out, or worse, dismissed as mad or just plain disregarded entirely; that I, quietly—a spy, a mole, a resistance fighter—in a war of shadows, scaled the fortress walls of mediocrity, leaped the drawbridge and spied the intention. Self-aggrandizement. Oh, and the money.

I screamed HEAR ME.

I screamed that, in a sea of silence and apathy for twenty two years. I am not done being denied, condescended to, ignored or looked at askance only now, occasionally, someone else screams just as loudly.

Or whispers. Yes, just enough for some of us, who understand and deny dismissal, to listen. Bear witness. Acknowledge. Believe.

That’s how apartheid died. That’s how the slave trade was seemingly abolished. Except for us. Except for the benign cunning of misrepresentation. The deceit of niceness. By our owners. By our abusers. The next generation.

By those who want us shut up, shut down, shut in or shut out.

Or off.

Silenced by other two-legged mammals.


I inked the number 1 into an index finger. Because of apartheid. Because of bigotry. Because of what happens when 1 becomes 10, becomes 100, becomes 10,000 and a Berlin Wall falls. To know where to start. To remind me of the power of speaking out.

Now it’s your turn.



See that little bit of light through the chink in the door? That’s a start. That’s the point.

SEA OF SILENCE is a not-for-profit gig with no agenda and nothing to gain.

Based on the Kalahari elder mapping initiative of Deep Listening, our sole purpose is to hear you. To listen to your deepest secret and, with few exceptions, make no comment. We are not professing to heal you and we do not claim any sense of righteousness. If your secret is criminal and you have perpetrated illegal harm, we will not sit with you. It is innocence we seek to liberate by no longer perpetrating the delusion of shame that has been forced into an equation of your life, based on some ideologically—morality—and invented notion of sin or the equivalent thereof. An investment in derision.

Notoriously worn as chain and mask by women, more so but not exclusive to women, this program invites anyone, of any age and any story to tell and, to a degree, liberate.

Lore de Angeles Whitehorse, the architect of this initiative, has heard most every perpetrated horror over a forty-five-year career as an adept of tarot. An author. A medicine woman.

A listener.

A keeper of secrets and forensic language practitioner.

In the privacy of her rooms she has heard traumas of brutality, slavery, confusion, spurious spiritual claims that have crippled, destroyed and mutilated, based on gender, race, skin colour, religious interference, and medical negligence. And more. She has read for cops and bishops. Sex workers and politicians, millionaires and those who were only able to bring their empty hands.

SEA OF SILENCE will not provide anyone with an excuse, will neither agree with nor deride, actually will have no opinion other than to hear you. We will, however, either agree to your shame or explain how it was enforced. The spectre that haunts you will be banished. Because to name a thing, to give breath to the suffocation of shame, to understand when you were victimized, how, why, and who benefits, is rarely provided with such depths of compassion and clarity of insight.

These sessions can be recorded, filmed, worked in absolute privacy. There will always be two people in the room. Whitehorse both understands the necessity, as in legend, for a witness, and also for protection.

On the whole, and at your request, all devices can be switched off as we are all aware that key words can be picked up by such and your information and data is gone, utterly, once spoken, unless you are an integral part of the documentary of the same name.

The aim of the SEA OF SILENCE is the grail of heresy (the right to choose). Anarchy (no leaders). The experiences of the person sitting next to you on the plane, the tram, driving the Uber, delivering your pizza may not be anyone’s business, but what if they are dying? What if they are desperate? What if they, too, hold a secret that, if spoken and revealed, could lift that monstrous rock of despair and feelings of ineptitude and inadequacy, smothering them by careless (or sometimes deliberate) cruelty or apathy? Hindering their ability to live in joy?

SEA OF SILENCE has no religious affiliation. No agency affiliation and will not be suppressed by the politics and ideology of any medium whatsoever. Lore de Angeles Whitehorse is a wordsith with a post-graduate degree in professional writing from Deakin University, not gained, through the enforced belief in a scholastic ineptitude that was that silent sea—an inevitable death-by-denial—for almost the entirety of a lifetime. Until at 60 years old Pandora’s locked box was jimmied open. She has many books in print, is a trained martial artist, is a high-functioning, late-diagnosis autistic and is indigenous to overwhelmed Celtic countries. She was owned until 1 December 2020.


Lore de Angeles Whitehorse
+6 1 401 563 920


[1] Fight Club is a 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Originally published 17 August 1996