Category Archives: THIS IS LIFE

My experiences good and bad.

The life and celebration of one Bella Bee

It was 13/10/2011. Icelandic temperatures in the U.K. We had zero cash and I was not afraid. Everyone around me; My Nan, my Mom and my Aunt were giving me advice and asking me questions.

“Have a bath. Have sex. Have a curry. Have a bath. Have a … inundated with many opinions and suggestions

My daughter was still not due until a week later. In one week I had had three stretch and sweeps. My Nan had to give us money for fuel to get back to the hospital. After my lovely bath, I went to lie down but I felt rather contrary and decided to check back into the hospital. The midwives said I still had at least 5 cm to go.

So we trudged back into our car for the seemingly long journey home. 10 minutes into the drive home, I felt something that I thought could be a contraction. It wasn’t painful but it was consistent. and it was a real ‘feeling’. I turned to my Nan and said I think I may be contracting. The car swerved and headed back to the hospital. At the hospital, the contractions started to pick up in intensity (not sore just an ‘alien’ feeling). The nurses led me to a room and said they would be back with all their midwifery gear. My Mom and my Aunt arrived.

By this time I was going into panic mode because I didn’t know what to expect. I demanded my drugs and started hitting the gas and air (That was all I asked for). If only I knew how ill too much would make me. I sat on this massive pink blobby ball, bobbing up and down like a confused Buddha. Mom was massaging my shoulders like I was in the wrestler’s seat ready for round one in the ring. DING! DING! DING!

Out of nowhere, I had the urge to get to the toilet. I don’t want to be vulgar though the feminist in me wants to flip the bird and give all the gory details. We need to get over the fact that birth can be ugly.

Moving on. This immense pressure hit me and it felt like I needed a shit. REALITY PEOPLE! Though, it wasn’t the same feeling like the usual order of the bathroom purge. I ran/made a move to go to the toilet and I sat down on it. My mom followed suit and said to me,

” No grandchild of mine is going to be born on the toilet” so she and my aunt took an arm each and propped me up and headed in the direction of the bed.

I got on the bed and screamed out what I needed to do. I wanted to push.

“PUSH” they cried.

Okay…. so I pushed really hard. I heard my Mom say,

” I can see her shoulders, push! “

I gave one almighty push that started from my head (with thoughts of ‘ one more push’ ‘body will obey’) One more push and it was ‘SHOWTIME’, I felt her shoot out of me. A chill stirred by my snakelike placenta laying frigid in between my legs. No cry. The midwives burst in at this moment with a Spanish inquisition manner of urgency about them. All tooled up for their big moment.

“We need to pierce the placenta.”

My little girl was born in the full sac. My body didn’t even have enough time to send a message to tell my bodywaters you may now burst’.

Still no cry. Then a tiny mew of a cry and they placed her on my chest for a nanosecond and then took her away to make sure she was in top form. They took my girl to another ward to observe her breathing and to make sure the medication I take had not affected her in any way. The midwives broke my waters!

My Mom and Aunt were clapping like a bunch of sea lions and then kissed me on the top of my head and dashed out of the hospital to catch a bus to London! I almost looked around for any discarded popcorn.

I did grab for the gas and air because my daughter had torn me and I needed to be stitched all the way around like a hem of a skirt. I needed some post-labour-pain relief. The whole drive back to the hospital and the labour lasted less than three hours. My baby girl was born on the 13/10/2011 at 03:15 a.m.

All the other Mom’s were super jealous. The easiest birth ever. The worst part was actually having to go to the toilet and not scream out in pain when my stitches had been so cruelly awoken. She has never been a hassle from her birth right up to her fourth birthday. She is such

a placid kid, she is always smiling from morning till night. She tells people they are beautiful and she comments on what people are wearing. She sings and dances. She shares. She is so courageous. There is an old wives tale that children born in the placenta sac are ‘special’. Centuries ago men travelling at sea would wear a part of the sac around their neck as a talisman – it was thought that it would give them protection and stop them from drowning at sea.

So much has happened in my daughter’s 8 years on this planet. People expected you to act like some feral child but no you are the most chilled, charismatic, hilarious, intuitive and smart child I know. I see you blossom and I blossom too. When I hug you to my chest that connection. That surge of emotion puts everything in perspective.

I LOVE YOU!

Our pinkie promise: I promise to love you forever and ever and I will never stop loving you and you will always be my baby girl, pinkie promise.

I know a special girl whose heart is full of sunshine
She dances her way around the world to deliver her own special punchline

She laughs so distinctly that people cannot help but become infected
It is a sight to behold when this observation is detected

She is gracious and kind and is delicately inclined
the phrase 'she is an angel' are the only words that come to mind

Her name means beautiful-that  of body, mind and soul
and to have her touch so many lives confirms her title role

She is my modern day princess -so noble and full of grace
I love her with all my being and she is a person that I cannot replace 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet child. You are the true gift
I found it in your innocent eyes and that was the day my world truly began to shift

Neglect october domestic violence awareness month

 

There are many types of Child Abuse 

Emotional Abuse can be hard to spot and is easy to miss the signs. 

  • humiliating or constantly criticising a child-

 When my Mom was in a Domestic Violent Relationship with my ex step father he would constantly tell me I was chubby, too clingy.

  • threatening, shouting at a child or calling them names
  • making the child the subject of jokes, or using sarcasm to hurt a child
  • blaming and scapegoating

My ex -step father would shout at me for wanting to be close to my mom. He would drag me into my bedroom -my mom would stick up for me and she would get the brunt of my tantrums, clinginess, my eating issues.

  • making a child perform degrading acts
  • not recognising a child’s own individuality or trying to control their lives
  • pushing a child too hard or not recognising their limitations

My ex step father’s idea of teaching me how to swim was to grab hold go me, jump into the swimming pool and stay under the water until I thought I would pas out. He would do this as a joke in front of his friends and laugh at me for being so scared. I was 5 years old

  • exposing a child to upsetting events or situations, like domestic abuse or drug taking

My ex step father used to beat my mom up regularly because she dared to challenge him for cheating on her constantly ,for getting a 15 year old pregnant. He was always high and there were always parties going on with strange men and women around. I used to try and defend my mom until I became too afraid. I used to barricade myself in my bedroom. I would wait until he came home from work and hide under the bed. 

  • failing to promote a child’s social development
  • not allowing them to have friends
  • persistently ignoring them

I felt like my life was irrelevant. I wasn’t worth anything. I remember having an argument with my mom. She was struggling with her Mental health and the abuse. She came home from work when I was 5/6 years old. I was dressed up in her wedding dress and having fun. She screamed at me to get out her room .She was crying, I didn’t want to be away from her. She locked me out of the room because I started to have a tantrum. I went to the kitchen and got a knife out of the drawer and went to her bedroom door and yelled I was going to stab myself if she didn’t open the door. No reply. I heard her crying. I felt alone and that I couldn’t help her.

  • being absent

When I felt helpless and angry. I would act out. I would binge on food, wet the bed conrantly and go and sleep with the dogs in the kitchen. I recall one day feeling so worthless and useless that I couldn’t make my mom better or please my ex step father that I packed a suitcase falloff toys and clothes. I needed to get away. I walked down the driveway (to my child self -it looked like I was walking a long way from home),  When I reached the end of the driveway I looked left, right, I looked across the road and I thought to myself: What do I do now? I prayed that a car with two nice people would stop and pick me up and take me away from where I was. That didn’t happen. I had to accept my defeat and I walked back up the drive way angry. No body knew I had disappeared and I didn’t get the attention I wanted.

  • manipulating a child

Manipulation can be so subtle. I recall a time when my mom had found out about another affair that my ex stepfather had. He turned up from work with a puppy for me. I was over the moon. 

  • never saying anything kind, expressing positive feelings or congratulating a child on successes
  • never showing any emotions in interactions with a child, also known as emotional neglect.

SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN OLDER CHILDREN

  • use language you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
  • act in a way or know about things you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
  • struggle to control their emotions
  • have extreme outbursts
  • seem isolated from their parents
  • lack social skills
  • have few or no friends.

EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE

BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS

  • wanting attention or becoming clingy

I never wanted to leave my moms side. I refused to go to school. I would have tantrums and do anything to be heard.

  •    not caring how they act or what happens to them

I became a child who started walking home from school on my own from 5/6 years old. I remember a group of older boys pushing me about and touching my breasts and vagina. 

  • trying to make people dislike them

I didn’t feel very likeable or good about myself so I pushed people away from me. I didn’t feel Could trust people and even today I will show people the worst parts of me to protect myself.

  • developing risky behaviour, like stealing, bullying or running away.

The first time I stole anything was a 5 rand note from my mom so I could buy myself and people in my class sweets at the tuck shop. My ex step father refused to allow me to eat sweets because I was too ‘chubby’. I ran away from home many times as a teenager to get away from my mom when I was a teenager and my Nan and my Dad who refused to acknowledge me. I didn’t want my family to dictate to me. I didn’t want them to tell me they knew what was best for me. I wanted to escape and drugs and being around strange men seemed like the right answer.

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROBLEMS

  • feeling, expressing and controlling emotions
  • lacking confidence or causing anger problems
  • finding it difficult to make and maintain healthy relationships later in life
  • higher levels of depression and health problems as adults compared to those who experienced other types of child abuse.

MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

I went on to develop serious mental health issues. I developed social anxiety from a young age.  My first suicide attempt was at 12 years old

  • eating disorders

I became obsessed with my weight. I couldn’t deal with my weight issues and I started taking diet tablets at the age of 15 years old. I abused cocaine and mandrax and ecstasy -any drug to stop me from thinking about food. I used to demand my mother take me to doctors to prescribe diet pills for me even though I was thin. I had huge problems and I eventually developed Chromic anorexia. I was sectioned twice in the U.K.   In 2007 I develop Bradycardia. My BMI was 14. My weight was 39 kilograms. I wanted to die. 

I don’t know why I felt the need to cut my legs in my Nan’s kitchen when I was 12/13. I didn’t know how else to express myself. When I lost my virginity to a guy who had left his ex and promised to date me and be with me. The next night his ex, myself and him herein his car and he chose his ex over me. I flipped. I couldn’t deal with the pain, the headache and I cut myself with a bottle neck and became uncontrollable. 

  • language development
  • problems forming healthy relationships.

If you want to help some one who is being abused in all its forms or to help some one who is self harming. 

SELF HARM RESOURCES

WRAP Training reflection

 

 

Short reflection (First day down) onWRAP( wellness recovery action plan) facilitator training.

A stream of consciousness.

Heart beating, struggling to breathe, it’s my turn next to have a go honing in on my public speaking skills and being a co-facilitator, speaking about one core value and ethic of what the  WRAP self-management program means to me and why.

  • Breathe.

  • Make a few bullet point notes.

  • Listen to what others are saying. Listen……. 

  • Don’t pre-empt what I am going to say while listening to others.

  • Try and understand where that person who is currently in the hot seat, is coming from.

  • We are all nervous – we all have feelings.

  • Oooh, look!  A   squishy, colourful ball to play with,it lights up. I hope there is no one who is sensitive to flashing light in this room. Just Fucking do it. 

  • Remember, my reason for doing what I am doing.

  • This is not about what others think but about how I develop as a person and what it means to me, in my life – there is a bigger picture.

  • Smile.

  • wing it.

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  • Look people in the eyes when  I speak.

  • Acknowledge my nerves if need be.

  •  stick to the topic.

  • Believe in my own worth.

THE PRACTICAL EXERCISE:

Choose one out of the 15, WRAP ETHICS AND VALUES  that form the basis and success of the WRAP  self-management program, get into pairs to practice co-facilitating  (with someone I have never met before). Here is what I chose and what I had to say.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED – YOU SHOULD BE 😀

 

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HAHA!

 

 

 CHECK OUT THE CORE  VALUES AND ETHICS CHECKLIST THAT MAKE WRAP WHAT IT IS

HERE   ( there are 15)

  Here’s another link if you enjoyed what you read 😀

VALUES AND ETHICS -MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY

  MY CHOICE :

Difficult feelings and behaviors are seen as normal responses to traumatic circumstances viewed in the context of what is happening, not as symptoms or a diagnosis.

 

What I said: Three minutes starts now: tick tock

 

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MAKES MY OWN TICKER BEAT FASTER

 

 

“Long story short, I grew up in what is commonly referred to in society as a dysfunctional family and upbringing. Grew up around mental illness, addictions/people who used bad coping mechanisms.

I, family members of mine were Stigmatized because of that.

The global / U.K. NHS model for dealing with Mental health is not working.

Change is needed.

Labels and diagnoses should be a guideline -not something that you are stuck with for life.

We all have feelings – not all most feelings are irrational/impulsive.

Society is uncomfortable in dealing with other people’s feelings.

Feelings can’t be reduced to mere symptoms of illness 

We all have Mental health. We all have a mind and a body. 

We are all subject to episodes of good and bad MH on a  sliding scale spectrum.

People with Feelings should be encouraged to share them. 

We are all unique. 

We share many similar qualities and are complex beings.

Our narratives – our personal story.

how we came to be who we are today and who we will become should be determined by being able to express our feelings and thoughts without being labelled in jargony terms ( if we want it that way).

We are human.  Let’s stop hiding it and act like it.

There is no shame in being human and feeling happy/sad/ insert emotion.

I believe, there is this cultural mentality that people with Mental Health “issues”  ( every human being on this planet btw)  who have come out or indeed still continue to suffer in silence are deemed incapable of taking true, positive personal responsibility for our own health in an empowering manner.

I think We are afraid because we have been told we don’t have the mental capacity to manage ourselves in the current medical, prescribed model set- up that we rely on still to this day.

This links into another crucial value and ethic of WRAP  which is  what my co-facilitator will touch upon now”  

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CO -FACILITATOR’S  CHOICE AND TURN IN THE HOT SEAT.

Self-determination, personal responsibility, empowerment, and self-advocacy are key aspects of this program.

How I sum up what my three-minute co-facilitator said, in my own mind, is:

Understanding and wanting to understand how to manage your own issues in new ways – safe ways, different ways requires determination. One-step and that is already a person taking responsibility for their path – their mind /their body. 

The result – I have found, is usually empowering.

I can do this.

Why ?

I have just done it.

WOW! Fucking shit man….. 

Carry on working on ourselves and focusing on what makes us well, unwell, etc…. is a great prescription. Self-advocacy is a prescription a person gives themselves. 

WHY?

Because I know myself better than anyone. I don’t care who believes it or not. 

You know yourself better than any doctor, family member or friend. You live in your head and body.

I am the expert on me and I can be pretty fucking resourceful if I am pointed in the right direction.

That’s it.

I’m Knackered.

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My Bella Bee is back at school.  Missed her first day at  BIG  school. 😦

My GHD’s said a big F U  to me this morning ……

but…..

I did it.

I can’t even focus on the words on my MA in Creative writing on the Open University website that is finally open and we have full access to use.

Finally!

What do I want to write about?

Social issues/ issues that affect us as humans.

I do know that my first Tutor marked assignments  (TMA) is going to be an 18-minute play about a homeless person and how society and the community can succeed in aiding a vulnerable person to help him/herself.

Be kind to yourself.

Be kind and rewind. Remember that one?

 

 

Catch up soon!

Loads of shout outs as promised at the end of the week.

Can’t wait to explore all the new blogs and Bloggers in the Willows and beyond.

Good night!

Daisy ❤ ❤

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