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Thoughts about Social services & Justice

*First posted 2015

Content: How I got my daughter back-  and issues of control/being out of control

This morning I woke up with a feeling of loss and  a heavy anchor weighing me down. I should have been buzzing. I was three hours away from meeting up with a girl who works with a mental health charity and to work together on a one off workshop to close the stigma between the volunteers and the people they help. Below is all I had to type this morning: warning alert: very woe! woe! woe is me !and not WOW WOW look at me go.  

THIS IS WHAT I MANAGED TO WRITE  YESTERDAY MORNING :

Why do I only see ugly? What is wrong with me.I can’t love my cat or daughter or partner cos I have trouble accepting me? Why is outer beauty so important to have when I see the beauty of people in all their different guises? My heart has been rung out . The salty ness stings increasingly as it courses through my veins. Pumping –you are ugly  you are not good enough.Why now? Why these feelings now? My next challenge — like a bull waiting , snorting – A Red mist descends. Red mist that at the end will be.

  I had writers block I couldn’t think of anything poetic to say. All words seemed shit and I felt shit. 

So let me get real and tell you what is really on my mind My head has been doing 360 degree turns lately like that possessed chick in every movie about hauntings and possession.  Except it has been me not some movie.  My weight has been going up and  up – I have had no control. Even with me eating healthily. The numbers have  kept on  going up. I have been getting a  daily beasting from the  Goddess of hard core exercises -Jillian Michael. No bullshit. No pansy-ing about. No quitting. I am no quitter.Not a sinker. No Titanic. Why is this fucker in my head fucking with me now? I’m finally getting somewhere with myself and what I want to invest all my working time in.

Yup, so I have really been struggling with my mind for a few months Isn’t that crazy? Me wanting to help people who are struggling? I’m struggling.

I had to let go of the figures on the scale. I’ve never done that. How did I  do it?  Well,  I decided  I like eating (yes, Anorexics can like eating)  and I eat healthily  already so, I was not about  to go hungry and become ill again. No, this is my time. I wasn’t going to start taking overdoses to cope with the madness inside me — skewered. Grilling me .It was bedlam in my head. True bedlam.

I stopped weighing myself every day. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER.  I carried on with 40 minutes of  an intense cardio workout . I didn’t carry on doing 3-4 hour workouts like I have done previously. I did not start monitoring my fluid intake.  In fact I did the opposite and btw  my skin looks the best it ever has. I had to get moving. Get out the house and live.  The critters inside jittering and chattering and  fluttering  chaotically in my mind could carry on.I  carried on with life.

I got out there and I followed through on my next goal. I have my daughter back . I’m already a student with full BA(hons) in Arts and the humanities. I’ve booked our wedding for next year. The one I was never ever going to have. I am finally in a place to help people.

I don’t care if I don’t get paid I’m getting so much back from this.

You know what is even more chaotic than my recent state of mind?  Okay -ready?  The training I have been put on to do, is all stuff I worked out on my own and with my family when social services wanted to put my daughter up for adoption.

Why didn’t they get HOME-START in first?

Or THE FAMILY INTERVENTION TEAM?

How come they didn’t tell me about a 12 week course called called WRAP ( WELLNESS RECOVERY ACTION PLAN)  that helps a person put together a support package if a person’s  health starts to get distressed?

This is not some new concept or specialised training. It’s been going on for years and being taught in prisons and schools today. Why didn’t any of the social workers I know signpost me in these  directions?

I stayed up into   the early hours of the morning for weeks. Researching online to find an answer to convince  social services that I could be a mom and  have times when my mental health isn’t all that cracking.  In my research I came across something called ‘ the circle of protection’ (very Lion king – the zulu bit -you know what I’m on about?) An epiphany or something.

Why had none of these highly qualified social workers, guardians of the court, these professionals but myself thought to put a contingency plan in place?

When my daughter  was put under an interim care order. Obviously, I  attended court. The letter for the court date arrived days after the court hearing. I was lucky that I had my family to give me the heads up. I didn’t know that the  alleged assault charges against me , that had been dropped (because their was no physical evidence to suggest that I shook my 12 week old daughter) was only the beginning of  an incredibly long f*ck*ng journey home. I was like Hercules and his 12 labours.

Back to the morning of 14/12-Confused, in a state of panic-The former manager of social services – I like to call her Miss Hannigan-you know from ‘Annie’ the movie?  I swear she looks and acts like Miss Hannigan – every professional I described her too-could not keep a straight face.

They knew exactly who I was on about. Anyway, so after court, the wooly and rather snivel  cardigan came into view-like a red flag. Her voice was the second thing I noticed ,she sounded like one of Marge’s sisters from the Simpsons.

I was like : Where is my daughter going? You can’t just take her from me!

She spluttered in that voice.  

Stop the drink-stop the shit and sort your life out . I wish she could take her own advice.

I found out about a 12 week group called the  FREEDOM PROJECT that was running in my neck of the woods. In a nutshell it is a 12 weak group that helps women understand why we  enter and stay in abusive relationships. I took Miss Hannigans advice  and self-referred myself to my   LOCAL SUBSTANCE MISUSE TEAM and  I  engaged with a wonderful woman to work out what my drink issues were and how I could manage them. We tried various plans until we  both agreed  that whilst all this was going on, drinking was probably not going to be drunk for the ‘right reasons’.

I went to every mother-baby group I could could go to.

 I could only see my daughter 10  hours per week. I missed 7 contact sessions in 12 months. There was  a local contact centre only 5 minutes up the street from where I lived. I had no problems with anybody in that contact centre. Lots of positive feedback.  The contact worker who had become emotionally involved told us she had been taken off  as  our contact worker. Social services and my ex felt that the contact worker was being biased. It is not my fault that every other person who met him thinks the same thing. Whatever that may be.

A new contact lady comes on the scene. We did not mix well. It happens in life. I can’t love everyone.

Next thing I know and I was now taking  two buses to go and see my child — in a contact centre monitored by cctv like a criminal. This is how the dynamics of our relationship went. If I got on with spending time with my child and didn’t talk much with the contact worker-she said I was being hostile. If I did chat with her-she said I was distracted and not mentally focused on my child.

This contact person has no mental health qualification. Her job  is to collect children from carers/family homes and take them to  a ‘neutral’ meeting/contact centre and to make sure the child or children get back home safely. She is a chuffing human. All her notes ( she was a fan of all the Disney songs — those notes were just as agonising to hear)  were being gurned  into the social workers reports.This is one opinion from someone who was not even qualified. It felt like she was there to prod and provoke a reaction out of me.

I asked the court to authorise  a hair strand test for alcohol and drugs  to be done. The test was only done 7-8 months after my baby was taken into foster care.  It came back negative that I was an alcoholic and drug taker. I am on prescription meds  so that obviously came up.  The non alcoholic levels  of drinking found in my hair proved to them I had drunk alcohol but not at the levels they were making out.From  the period  I decided  to go teetotal the levels had reduced even more.  It all  came back negative.

I was in a very violent and manipulative relationship. This  ahem… man treat me like something he found in the gutter. He warped my mind.  My mental health was exacerbated in that relationship. I dealt with this issue and I don’t want to say more on here out of respect for my daughter. He walked away when he lost control. When my daughter is at an age she can make and formulate her own opinions  that will be the time I decide to give her the information about her paternal father and seek him out and ask him whatever questions she wishes too.

I paid nearly £400 to do a parenting course online because social services stated I could not do a certain group because my ex was attending it and my daughter had to be over 5 years of age.  He got on it because he has two sons under 18. I got my daughter back under a  full care order-on the 28/04/2013 .  She was not even three  years old and all of a sudden I could attend this 12 week government funded parenting course for free. I had THIS IRO ‘professional’ come into my home and threaten me. She tried to wind me up because I made a comment about her not even having met my daughter and she was the person to ratify the adoption plan. She sat on my living room suite and re-iterated that it was her that ratified the adoption plan and still held that view.  If I had a problem with her then I could change  IRO’s.

I looked her straight in the eyes and I said ‘NO, you and me are going to see this through to the end.-It was like something out of a western movie. Eyeballing one another.

‘Yes. we will’, she puffed out her chest and chuckled to her ‘henchman’ .The person she brought with her to intimidate me. What makes me want to poke out her eyehole is at the final LAC review meeting she was hugging me and saying I had taught her something about people with mental health issues and  she realised how ignorant she had been. This woman works with dozens of cases like mine everyday. Mental health is not a new endemic in society. I hope ,you the reader can see why I am ranting at this…

I always say ‘I hold up my hands  I am far from being perfect‘. I would actually like this to be engraved on my grave. I have said the phrase so many times.  The thing is  I put in the effort in and they did not want to own up that they screwed up and I wasn’t what they read on paper and what they thought I would be like. ALL PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE DELUDED RIGHT? HAVE NO SENSE OF REALITY

Here is my point, It didn’t have to go straight to adoption but it was easy for them to place  my innocent  12 week year old child. Blue eyed  with blonde hair and  not soiled and tainted from being ragged around a defunct system.  No behaviour issues. An easy adoption case. They call it ‘twin tracking’

Ha , you should have seen the  guardian’s face when I told her that the chances of my daughter being adopted after being told that mental health issues run in her paternal and or maternal family drops. She was 25% less likely to get adopted.  Oh they loved me. My legal team were ace. I communicated and I asked questions and I researched.

As a volunteer I have a ticket to go to this PARENTING AND MENTAL HEALTH CONFERENCE

I hope a few social workers will be there to learn something about mental health .

I’m not angry. I finally know why I went through all this shit. Now I  can do the professional training and help other people.  I’m not bitter- AM I F*bitter-F*CK? 

 Thank you social services for giving me such a hard time. It has led me to take the actions to   where I am in this new chapter in my life. I am strong and empowered and passionate and every time I have fallen in my life,  I get up.

 Every time.

These other less invasive  helpful  services should  be taken into account and be brought to the attention of a person before they start taking kids off their parents and family without the full facts. I’m not talking about the families where abuse goes on. I’m telling you what I have experienced  There is so much wrong with the system. I’m gonna volunteer my heart out.

Thank  fuck for silver linings.

I not only have my daughter and my partner and my beautiful  family and friends  to live for but I have been given a gift of knowledge and I will be trained to help people who need some support and advice. I must share this knowledge of how I got my baby girl back and how much I have changed and how  exhilarating and terrifying   it is but it is worth the fight. I’m not the only one. There are so many more who are terrified to talk because they feel threatened and bullied by social services.

CHANGE  must happen and I will do anything I can to be a part of that.  If you have read this far. Thank You. Never give up your right to speak . I had a  ‘gagging order’ imposed upon  me when my child was a ward of the courts( This is the law in England) . I don’t anymore and I am well within my legal rights to post this.  I want to use my skills and my creativity in writing and acting to help people remember  how to communicate again and it is a right of theirs to have a voice…

P.S. I still am partial to a cocktail or two  when I’m not looking after my health  for one thing or another-usually for a dress to fit in to  go somewhere.

P.P.S. I have written a stage play inspired by these events with a Brecht like influence. I wrote it for my final end of module assignment for my degree at the Open university and I got a 1st for it.  I might put it up sometime . I might not.

Passed Humanities degree

I’ve finally received my results for my 1st year, doing my Masters, in Creative writing.

Drum rolls.

PASS-with merit. I officially can use more random letters after my name — ha ha!

I  am now in possession of a post-graduate certificate in the Arts and Humanities!

Wow! Amazing.

How’s this going to help me with what I won’t do?

I have a dream.

I do. 😀

One of my goals is to move back to France. They love people with diplomas. I hope to get a well paid job there. I need to book a trip to The French embassy later on this year. My husband has decided he is going to take on my surname and become a French national.  He’s English!

He’s not only English, he is  Northern, from  West Yorkshire.

 

 

I feel so uneasy about my family not having a passport. My entire life, It was drummed into me to always have my passport (in date)in case, we moved countries.

Which we did- a lot!

Moving on . ( pun unintentionally intended  :D)

What’s  happening in my life?

Loads of shit- ha ha! as usual.

I’m doing better –  I keep making a come back.  Oh, life – you little tease!

Dare me to live.

 Dare me to succeed!

Challenge accepted.

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH UPDATE

Yeah, it’s been.

up and down,

down ,

down ,

down –

up again ,

very up –

insanely manic,

toxic,

low,

not quite sure

,emotional ,

aargh why did that and that and that and ..

did I do that?

Those kind of moments, really.

Surely someone can relate?

Not happy about a medication increase in my anti depressant.

I don’t of any person who is on  (high/ highest legal doses) of

Two antidepressants

Two anti psychotics

Two anti anxiety tablets,

and sleeping medication.

I know  my health posse want the best for me.

I don’t bullshit them.

I tell if I’ve been using shit coping mechanisms, good ones. Thoughts ,feelings…

I made my psychiatrist laugh.

Go me!

He offered me psychology therapy — again .

I was like:

‘Look Dr J, seriously every time I sign up to a pyschologist , they leave!’

 All my psychologists have left me half way through  doing whatever new pycho babble, current trend treatment , is used, to deal with folk such as myself.

One dude, fell asleep in a couple of our sessions.

So, I was like

‘ Listen, I know how to use CBT/DBT, I know how to communicate and talk. I know what keeps me well . I just want a cure’

Another laugh escapes from Dr J.

He is a legend.

A legend ? yes, but not a wizard 😦

He totally gets me and I feel I have a choice in medication changes etc..

I’ve asked to come off one of my meds because I don’t see the point of being on it. It hasn’t helped me.

These meds have affected my memory. I’m terrified of getting Dementia. I’ve been on (legal) tablets since I was 13/14 and I’ve never been off medication.

Never!

Talking about memory.

I’m using my creative outlets to start getting into the open mic poetry scene .

I love performing but my memory is really rubbish. I’m going to brave it by doing more live poetry next week. I’m excited. Nervous.  It’s all good.

I have my final year of my MA to keep me — super  occupied.  There is a lot of work to do. For part of my thesis ( check me out)

I’m thinking of using my blog to interview creative folk who live in my community to talk about, their work,  (durr!)  Creativity and their mental health. My photographer mate is on board to take pictures. Some people have shown interest — yeah!

My heads occupied which is good.

Fab!

Awesome!

How will doing this  help me with my thesis and final work?

Well, I am going to use this year of discovery and research on the link between mental health and creativity as an alternative form of therapy to cope with life’s unpredictable moments.

Then I  will have loads of inspiration to write a film script (120 minutes) on a character ,who , is thrown back into society after a long stint in mental /prison  institutions , and who is looking to find him/herself  and another way of being  and expressing him/herself  positively, in society.

The opening scene will kind of look like this

I have an ending – (a bit abstract at the moment) – saying there words:

‘I look around for the first time with clarity. And see I’m exactly where I need to be. Around the misfits. The beautiful misfits just like me.’

DAISY’S UN NAMED CHARACTER

It’s all early days and I still have  4 scripts to write, a critique and a character  analysis on a famous playwright to do before the final chapter.

All in all. I’m alive, optimistic-ish, full of emotion, drive, passion , a pain in the ass but just doing my thing. 

All terribly boring really… 😀 

So, I am back!

I can’t commit daily to blogging but I have joined a group on Facebook.  

Shout out to Gary @ fiction is food  for adding me.

It’s a website for us!

BIG UP YOUR BLOG!

Bloggers.

 I’m  a newbie, its good be around other bloggers again. I’m hoping it will keep me  off Facebook and keep me connecting with people like yourself. People who use their time more productively. Doh, oh the irony.

One rant before I go :   I wish people would stop leaving public posts about my appearance on my Facebook.

If you ever happen to read this

I know you are having a shit time dealing with your own weight issues. I’m well aware of mine. Please take a look at yourself. Look after yourself first. If you don’t – FUCK OFF! 

 

That is a wrap.  I know. Hilarious! ha ha!

Thank you so much for reading

Time to step out and live real life..

Catch up soon!

What’s everyone else doing with life?  Blogging?

I’m genuinely curious to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The power of choice

*Life is busy again -I choose to post this 10 days before I am “supposed” to because I think our MENTAL HEALTH needs care and attention every single day*

Inspired by taking a head ache tablet and the film ‘the Matrix’

It’s a bit abstract and simple at the same time.

Using the matrix as a metaphor to raise MENTAL HEALTH awareness and reduce stigma

What if I asked you This?

What pill will you choose?

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Remain ignorant about mental health issues ,or acknowledge and seek to educate yourself?

If you believe you have a brain and a body -then it makes sense that you have Mental health and Physical health. Both exist. Both can fluctuate along a spectrum of Good- Bad.

Yes. I am aware that the picture shows only one tablet. Think of this one tablet as how  the status quo deal with Mental health -good and bad.

I’m not saying there hasn’t been progress. There has. We have a long way to go still.

Society wants to understand IT and at the same time ignore that IT exsists.

We can’t have both.

 In my opinion,

to think you can live with both:

understanding and ignorance  is INSANITY.

This is what keeps us from understanding and evolving into the mental well being matrix system. 😉

‘ the body cannot live without the mind’

Morpheus from ‘the matrix’

Here is a link to world mental health U.K. website –

it has articles, blog stories and loads of information on MENTAL WELLBEING -good and bad.

I live in West Yorkshire, U.K.

support links for people in my community here

its OK to talk

Hope Mental health charity- Calderdale  recovery college.

Healthy minds  Calderdale services

Wellness

Recovery

Action

Plan

Information in the U.K.

I have done the 5 day  co facilliator  W.RA.P.  and I’ve done the 12 week  program.

I’ve been involved with many of these services  or know people who have in some different capacities and reasons.

I BELIEVE ENGAGING AND REACHING OUT WORKS.

I FIND WRAP HAS HELPED ME.

Invest time in learning about the Wellness Recovery Action Program 5 core values.

What is your understanding  of these values? Click on each underlined link to read another person’s definition of WRAPS core values

  1. HOPE

  2. EDUCATION

  3. PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY

  4. SUPPORT

  5. SELF ADVOCACY   – (it took me a long time to understand this)

SHORT INTRODUCTION TO WRAP

 

My premature message for #WORLDMENTALHEALTHDAY 10TH OCTOBER 2017

 

Unhelpful Prohibition ban

When in doubt or clouded by fear, I communicate.

How you communicate is less important – write, talk, draw, paint, act, dance, create, do anything to express yourself in a way that promotes a healthy mind and your well being.

Heard of the saying: Write to recover?  I do this all the time.

This is how I dealt with today’s unhelpful thoughts and emotions this morning.

I feel you looking at my face, wanting to see it crumple – leave a salty distaste.

I feel you making a mockery of me by playing on my fears, wanting to swallow me whole-see my goals run into arrears.

I feel your idle bones creep and finger down my spine, wanting me to body jump, do justice to my shadow self -engage with a sardonic crime.

I feel you urging me to split in an 180-degree motion, wanting to leave your signature in the air. apocalypse 2017 style,  obtuse firework display.

Future appropriated by an indent eerily hanging in a feckless grin scented with rotting seaside -once a place of value in its prime.

These are my goals, my dreams, my choices. You can continue to dance in ritual, with odd bones, contrast black disguised in a beastly carcas- throwing out chanting voices.

I will cross from the stark white to contrast black. I know that gray matters vigilante’s courage will aid me in reaching the other side of the fog-drenched in echoed noises.

Mist, hurricane winds, cows moo-ing past in circles, the pressure to unveil my true self is marked down in these words I type in small spaces.

Don’t forget to inhale and exhale, life can’t move if forever enclosed in the darkest, somber of places. 

Doubt, Overthink, Overanalyze.

I think therefore I am? 

Scrambled, boiled, poached, deep fried, my mind waits in watch for its own demise -it will overthrow itself, find itself sunny side up. A successful conclusion and coup with my own prohibition ban.

I did it!

 I have expressed myself – in a way,  I feel less unsure of myself. I have released toxic energy from my mind to allow me to break through the fear and move on with my goals- Ongoing and new ones.

Fear or Goals.

I can only have one.

I choose my goals.

Objectives to reach my goals:

  • Continue taking responsibility for my physical and mental health. I’ve reached out to my doctor and asked to be put on extra supplements to make sure I’m feeding my brain and body.

  • Continue to be a mother to my daughter, I am not her friend- I am her mother, She needs me to encourage her to try out new experiences- starting this week. We have ongoing goals to persist with to help her become the best person she can be.

  • Continue to challenge myself, educate myself and learn new skills and techniques for my work life, volunteering life and my academic studies.  ( I’ve already written three drafts of 3 completely different fiction pieces for my TMA 2)

  • Pursue and engage with my goal to do an 8-week Drama workshop because I know what I will get out of it. 

  • Take time to have fun and laugh and do things that don’t involve me working all the time. Socialise, plan time out with my husband and friends, blog and connect with others. 

  • Take a break from social media.

  • What other people think of me is not my concern, unless I have a direct effect or influence on these people. Other people are not allowed to take my energy. I will not give thoughts or energy to those I can not and will not help.  I’ve already committed my time, thoughts, feelings to projects I want to.

That is it for today.

I have a new keyboard so I can finally type and write and blog and comment on blogs -YAY!

 

 

 

ALL CLOWNS MATTER

Check my inbox – still not got no mail.

Maybe I should give up , hit the bathroom, slap some  moisturized bomb  on my dial –   infused with extra kale .

Deadlines looming. Anxiety arrest my mint breath – Tutors marking red rings – imagination has let go that last hope of zest.

All I wanna do is huff and puff out smoke circles  made out of vape- limited edition premium  flavors  is the best.

It’s Sunday morning – no time for me to matter,

I might just believe in God for one day – 7th  day of rest appeals to my shape – Sundays is cool to be flatter.

As long as I’m  still breathing ,make no mistake when working out the coordinates, I’m  not one Dimensional .

Four sides to this mind –   you are dealing with a time bomb expert in trying out new shit – I’m moving in , check me get all  professional!

It’s all a bit of fun    – it’s not like I’m knocking back generously measured out   continental  mojitos in the sun .

Hungover,just  waiting for an answer to hear about my education.

No God- I decide when it’s time to snooze – this missus here has to work  , to make sure the bills come in and get Santa.coms attention.

Living my life grateful for my humble maison,

 Can’t help being a high achiever with ambition – I got a daughter who is already  in the game of life – she needs me to pass my learned lessons  on .

The ball is our orbit -we move in harmonic beats, Is okay .

Gravity got ya – he never let you down,

not like a slick rick who made a play for you  on your own turf ,after ya necked a drink -and you felt the earth sway.

Trust in issues that deal with the heart,

jump -lead my thoughts to make sure it plays some part.

Controversy – Black lives matter ,

Hell, all lives   should be treated like they could at any moment shatter.

Fragile,

Controversy?  black lives exist?

Can we agree on the  starting benchmark at being civil ?

Right, let’s  try it and persist.

Equality is for everyone – except for the one with the guns protesting – that ain’t what they been minding.

Learned this from Micheal Che – he has epic comic timing.

All I want for Xmas is a t-shirt -slogan  9/11 – all buildings matter – it’s a matter of principled data.

Hit the refresh button – still  no mail – time to make some bills  and scatter.

 Make sure the curves on a graph go up  to make sure happiness hits the spot when it all goes down ,

we see the true  hearts stay and fight for change without the need for another disenfranchised  collective we now call the clown.

* Credit to  this dude – MICHEAL CHE  for  inspiring material

Two facts 

  • I will be getting that T- shirt made.

  • I never trusted clowns- even as a lightie.

The other side of Fear.

Top of the morning to  you all!

WOW!

It feels good to be able to type away with no  worrying about any trains or buses or rides to catch.

This weekend I get to catch up on reading your blogs -YAY!

I have missed you all so much. I can’t wait to throw myself into my  Masters.

I always feel  I come across so smug when I say it or type that word but I have worked my ass off to get to this point.

Proper catch up with as many of you as possible this weekend.

For those who know -I DID IT!

giphy.gif

I am now able to officially and skillfully co -facilitate WRAP groups(  wellness recovery action plan program) to help people who have mental and physical issues or have had at one point,to  manage their lives- holistically.

It’s not a therapeutic based program. It’s truly a chance to revolutionize the way we  deal with our health in the current Diagnostic,clinical, prescriptive , doctor is always right  model we use.

erm.. I nearly didn’t do this program because I felt I wasn’t in a good place mentally or physically, however by going back to my own WRAP plan  ,

I remembered a few of my own wellness tools ( things that keep me well) . To share a few:

giphy-2

  • educating myself

  • putting myself out of my comfort zone ( public speaking alert/thinking on my feet/making myself vulnerable to empower others)

  •  volunteering my time to skill up and be a person who is an active part of my community and who is wanting to share my knowledge/experiences and pass information along with others.

     So, pushing myself by doing the WRAP facilitating mental health  recovery  program,  using the key concepts and ethics to show that  people who experience mental health( good and bad),  with support and  without judgement,  can find new ways of coping with life and their issues that empower and give them back the responsibility for their own mental/physical health.

    If that is what they want.

It is possible. I’ve seen it work over and over again. I work it.

It was heavy going. I was thinking on my feet a lot, not much time to prepare things ,put on the spot, practicing presenting skills, facilitating skills, listening skills.  There is so much I could put down.

truth

I lost a lot of my self-confidence -3 months ago. On a positive note,by pushing myself and challenging myself to do this program at the next level, it has helped me find my inner confidence again, I’ve started to believe in myself again, I remember how far I have come. The future has  so much in store for me because I choose it to be that way.

I want this to be a really positive post.  I have these lyrics in my head: ‘don’t be negative (negative) just be positive (positive)’

  ha ha! How am I doing?

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 Tbh. I am relieved the training is over. I can now concentrate on my next goal – my MA in creative writing. EEEK!

Then, I can start using extra hours in my Life to  help form a WRAP  community in Calderdale, U.K. ( which is where I currently live).

This is the wonderful group of individuals I had the opportunity to work with.  I have had their permission to put this pic up on my blog.

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 Here is me with a bunch daisies I found in the garden .

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I am going to end it on a  high.

I’m going to be  a bit selfish.

 Yesterday, we  (including the WRAP training facilitators who run the group) each  had a turn to write down our thoughts about each person we have worked with on the five-day training course, using strength-based feedback.

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It’s not as cheesy as it sounds because I know I am my own worst critic and I know I am not alone in that.

This morning, I have read the comments people wrote on my name tent.  I’ve decided to reinforce these comments in my mind, by typing them into this post.

Yes, yes I am bigging myself up – no one else is going to do it.  My husband says  I need to blow my own trumpet. In his Yorkshire accent, he goes :

” Ya bloody earnt it.”  ha ha!

Here they are:

‘Tasha, you have a passion for growing and will be great helping others’

‘vulnerable but strong,empathetic,powerful,enthuisiatic,’

‘Tasha, you are an absolute star! Your openness and insight are inspiring. I feel priviliged to know you.x’

‘You are an inspiration to us all- your story is one of Strength and Hope. It has been a real pleasure working with you this week. Thank you x’

‘Tasha, your courage and Strength has been a shining light in this group.I have seen you listen, learn and grow.’

‘Tasha, you have shown strength and individuality. Keep on going’

‘Great to meet you, warm and friendly person’

‘Well done Tasha, for having the courage and Strength to complete the training course. You will be an asset to any facilliator team. Share yourself and your journey so far.’

‘You are a genuine individual. Never change x’

‘Natasha, I know you have had it hard.You are one strong, beautiful lady. Please look after yourself.x’

‘Tasha, your capacity to grow and learn means you are definitely   going too be a great facilliator. Your empathy stands out like a light’

‘Tasha, what a journey you have been on and I only know snippets. It’s clear to me you are a strong woman. I love your vibrancy and individuality.I also thought we made an awesome team x’

”Natasha, Don’t change who you are! Don’t doubt yourself ever again. You’ve shown kindess,compassion and consideration to everyone this week.I would love to stay in touch and see you again in the future.Girl done Good!. x 

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HAVE A FAB WEEKEND! 

LOVE DAISY XOXO

Truth Terrorism

Symbols Giants

Why so many myths about giants?

What do they represent to us symbolically? When we are children the first giants we meet are usually our parents.  I can remember how terrified I was when my Mom got angry. She wasn’t being cruel but her anger was volumized because of her physical body and presence. People who get attacked or raped usually describe their attackers as bigger than they are in real life ( if they get caught)

Giants are always in a shit mood. All those anger issues  -Sheesh. So uncontrolled, so …. uncivilised. They intimidate with their brute force. Giants are not usually seen to be as the smartest of creatures. Famous myths usually depict Heroes like David in ‘‘DAVID AND GOLIATH’ and Odyssey’s little meeting with CYCLOPS, as only being able to defeat these creatures by using their wits. Thinking on their feet literally.

 

David has his slingshot and Odysseys?  well he gets a  rather hospitable greeting with Polyphemus- the Cyclops- throwing rocks at him!

How uncouth ;).

What does our hero do to the one-eyed monster? He jabs him in the eye and then flees with his crewmates. One step closer to being reunited with his dutiful and faithful Penelope- who also has had to use her wits in the many years her husband has been sparring at sea.  but that is a whole other post and story.

 So do GIANTS show us that Wisdom always overcomes Ignorance?  Harry potter didn’t do so bad. What does this say about huge multi corporation industries(oil, guns trade, drugs trade, most governments)  who in ignorance will do anything to protect their own agenda and interests – bullying, control, destroy the earth even? These are the giant monster of today. I don’t see anyone hero coming to our home to rescue it and us; but us folk who stand together and use our wits, can bring down the biggest and scariest of monsters. We just need to overcome our fear.

(IMAGES SOURCED FROM GOOGLE)

 

That’s for my mini me.

Eating at the table- as you do. My four year old starts talking about the end of the ‘skeleton dance’ . She has just got back from school. Concerned? just a tad. 

The Spanish inquisitor comes out in me and I realise she is telling me that Spring is coming.

ME: Oh yes, I can’t wait for Spring! Hate this weather

MINI ME: Mommy you are just going to have to be patient.

Well, what if I don’t want to be patient?  Little Miss smart ass.  

ME: Honey you know those monsters I said were not allowed in this house? well……………………

FREEDOM PROGRAMME

If you haven’t heard of it, then make sure you read this:  MILLION WOMEN RISE If you can’t make the date then help some one else who can but who doesn’t have the money to go. In my own journey on my path in Life-I don’t think I have met one person who doesn’t know someone or hasn’t themselves  been affected by Domestic/ Gender violence, usually perpetrated by men. There is a discussion and place to study increasing reports of violence being perpetrated by women to men. This post is not the place.However, I’m do acknowledge that this is happening . It has been quite hard for me to think about what I am going to put down in this post. I think I am so hesitant: is because I’m scared people don’t want  to hear another sob story of another woman who goes on about her woes with living or experiencing violence with a man.

 

I have just re- read what I have just typed. That is the exact kind of thinking that keeps the cycle of abuse continuing. This has made my mind up to tell you a part of my experiences  with Domestic violence in all it’s shapes and forms. My story is not a sob story and neither is any other woman’s. My story is another to  add to the brewing pot. Millions of pounds has been spent on Domestic violence in the U.K and a portion of that  has been spent on domestic violence campaigns in the place I live. I know this because I have seen the slick posters  stuck to the back of door in public toilet cubicles in my community. This sounds grim and it is. I don’t see great changes in attitudes from the people  employed by the government to look after a community.

I became a target of Gender violence and instead of getting the support I needed. I was questioned by local authorities. The police treat my case like it was a bunch of kids causing havoc in a sweet shop. ‘Just move along. nothing to see here.’ 

No! This is not enough. There is never an excuse to abuse a woman. Never.

I grew up wanting a different kind of relationship. The first time I was abused by a man was when I was 3-5 years old. Was I to blame for leading on a man with my obvious coquettish behaviour? ( heavy sarcasm here) No, I was innocent not playing a girl trying to be innocent !

In my teens, I  always attracted boys and men who demeaned me. It could be as subtle as saying they want one thing and then doing another. One example one man thought was acceptable was to dump me repeatedly and then ring me or text me – harass me with his drunk talk about wanting to get back together with me. Effectively playing mind games with me and my emotions.

Another man I went out with tried to control me with money. He was a mild meek man. He did not look at all like your ‘average ‘woman beater. Here is  the news we all should know by now,they don’t have one look and they don’t need to inflict visible bruises or marks.  I think a lot of people still  have this attitude of  ‘well it can’t be that bad cos she stays with him’. Or  ‘what has she said or done to deserve the black eyes?’  as way of summing up Gender Violence.

Women  survivors of Gender violence are vulnerable and they can learn to switch on their bullshit /bad guy radar. Organisations that facilitate groups like THE FREEDOM PROGRAMME (click on the link to find out more) deserve more airtime than it gets.

I always told myself that if I ever found myself in a relationship and a man hit me I would walk away. I was quite firm and adamant with my stance on this subject.

Until of course, a man did hit me. We had an argument. He felt challenged and proceeded to punch me several times in the face. Yes, I looked a mess.

What did I actually do when he assaulted me?

I ran after him. He  ran up the stairs dived into bed refusing to look at me. He cried and I consoled him and told him we could work it out. It would all be okay.  I was unknowingly  pregnant that night – 7 weeks gone- pregnant. This did not stop him from punching me in the stomach when I was seven months pregnant. It seemed to add fuel to his agenda.

I suppose I acted this way because I didn’t see the early warning signs for what they were for. I didn’t see the subtle manipulation for what it was. I didn’t see his sulky moods,when  I wanted to go  out and make friends at uni, were his way of isolating me.  I didn’t  see the impact the small comments  had on me,that slowly chinked away at my already vulnerable self esteem. – ‘Elephant feet’.   ( this is a perfect example. Most people who read this might  not think this is an insult. I’m being  far too sensitive). Yes,  I am sensitive. Let me tell you what you don’t know.  He also knew I had a severe Eating disorder. Sensitive?  I don’t need a reason to be sensitive. I do expect love and respect form a man/partner.

I didn’t think I could be sexually abused and assaulted by someone I chose to be with. Yes. It does happen. A lot.

I didn’t see how intricate his web was until I was too tangled in it. I had lost all perspective.  He was so strategic in his method of abuse. Sometimes when I think about that relationship I am repulsed by the thought that went into his many ways of degrading me.

I left the relationship. with nowhere to live, no friends, fed up family members and a daughter in care, with a self-esteem in the minus deficit column, more than it ever had been.  I was in crisis mode with my mental health. I used alcohol and overdosing on prescription medication to self medicate.

The small intricacies of my story is not the aim I am getting at in this post. I’m giving you insight into a few of my experiences. I stumbled upon empowering groups like the freedom program and found myself again. I learned how to make myself less vulnerable. I learned from my experience. Every child/women should be able to access support for any length of time that it takes them to reclaim their  true selves.

Save the date – every year. 5 th March  MILLION WOMEN RISE wear red and unite. 2016 will be no different.

This year My local women centre have organised a coach to go from a very small town where I live -to London, U.K. to stand amongst thousands of  other women and say NO MORE!  no excuses. GENDER VIOLENCE IS unacceptable . no buts…

Not everyone can afford to pay the £10 to get on the coach and that is why I’m writing this post. I’m not going to ask you. I think you already know what needs to be done – I’ve booked my seat and paid for another lady who can’t. I don’t know her name or what she looks like because the only thing I think is relevant is that we all bleed the same colour and that is what counts. This is a global event. What are you going to do on the 5 th march 2016? Where are you going to be?  I know where I am going to be.

this is what is happening in my local area  

What is happening in yours? Nothing -will be inspired and get something going. The Million women rise website has loads of ideas to get involved. Get something going in your area. Wherever you live. Whatever continent. whatever city.

Do something ‘crazy’ ! Something you have never done before. Make the leap.