Blog Archives

Always look up-

‘Always look up wherever you go – those who walk with there eyes to the floor miss out on so much of life’ 

 

If you have followed my previous posts on from the start of doing my MA,  you will know it has been an ocean of tidal waves and tsunamis and, high tides and low tides.

These still waters of mine run deep.

My First TMA (tutor marked assignment)   Act one of a stage script about a homeless couple received a CLEAR PASS  of 62%

There were tears, miscommunication, fallouts, despair and I lost confidence in my writing abilities.

TMA 2 ( my second genre -Fiction writing)  I wrote a supernatural piece about a girl who (accidentally) commits suicide.

Lat night, my tutor emailed me to say she was having an issue submitting my marks via the online system and she didn’t want me to start worrying, so, she copy and pasted all the feedback and my mark into an email.

She gave me useful and extensive advice on what I propose to write for my EMA ( end of module assignment due in May 2017)

The second act to the homeless couple script.

Eeeeek! 

I do feel more supported, understood, challenged and more confident in achieving what I want to do with my writing for this piece.

Oh, the results for my TMA 2

82%   a HIGH MERIT.

I’m back to the marks I was getting when I was doing the final year of my BA in the Art and humanities.

I need to keep this momentum going. I don’t want to find myself under merit territory again.

348ecd3239a4328facae3c75fce9f32d

I invest a lot of time in people and the things and causes I dedicate my time to.

 

DAISY DOES VOLUNTEERING:

One thing I have had to put on the back burner is helping to  co-facilitate 12 weeks of WRAP (wellness recovery action plan self-management program) with the EIP   ( early intervention prevention ) team for people diagnosed with at least one episode a psychotic episode

I’m gutted. There were many issues that led me to distance myself from this.

Two beings:

Issues of funding and logistics.

I enjoyed meeting up the people I was going to work with. I loved their energy and enthusiasm.

A lot was promised and then not delivered.

 I felt the need to email my colleagues and tell them what I thought about how the course was put together- I was my usual blunt self and not very diplomatic.  Ooops…

I feel that if the NHS ( national health system) in the U.K. expects results from a new therapy or a new way of self-help/lifestyle and illness management program, then scrimping on pounds is not helping promote or inspire that WRAP works.

In the long term WRAP  (run properly) will most likely save the NHS money.

As far as I’m aware- nobody knows what is going on with this current  WRAP workshop. I haven’t fallen out with anyone. I can’t give all my energy into something if everyone doesn’t have the same vision.

For me, it needs more planning and preparation and I’m not going to be that person who just turns up to volunteer at a workshop to go –

‘Oh look at me, I’m making a difference’ – when I know, in my heart, the results this particular workshop can have on people’s lives if  it is implemented properly.

giphy (7).gif

 

I’m currently putting my energy into other charities I work with to see how I can help them.

DAISY GOES TO HER FIRST SESSION AT THE  ACTING PROGRAMME WORKSHOP :

I wasn’t nervous until I got to the place. I arrived early. It was bitterly cold and I hate the cold.

It turned out to be incredible.

We did a few  Actor warm-up activities such as being aware of filling the space and being aware of other Actors around us.

We did some improvisation and using our body exercises to convey emotion.  Loads of fun!

What a lovely bunch of people. I am definitely going to the next session next week. We all seem to have common goals and everyone is so unique and interesting.

66749847

UNEXPECTED SURPRISE ALERT:

There is a possibility we may (or may not) put together a little something to perform to students at the university after the 8 weeks.  How awesome is that?

I do try and keep up with you all on here. It has been difficult but the more knowledge and confidence I gain in the above  areas of my life – the more time I will  get to have fun- one being reading blogs and blogging random stuff

DAISY LIFE UPDATE:

 It was my husbands birthday on Valentine’s day. We have a sleigh bed!

hi ho!  hi ho! it’s off to bed I go – ha ha! It’s massive – king size!

 

After the mid-term school holidays in February, my Bella – my daughter will be joining Year one ( she is in reception at the moment)  for her reading and writing class.

She has two mates with her who are excelling just like her and she is a bit of a whizz kid at Maths.

DAISY’S MENTAL HEALTH UPDATE:

Long story short. Pushing other people’s buttons to get an honest answer has been difficult -emotionally- to sit with – without trying to avoid the emotions by self-medicating.

I’ve been angry at myself for nearly destroying the best thing  I have in my life- my family – because, I believed ( with help) that someone cared more about me than they actually did.I put a lot of my energy into helping a person when they had a meltdown last year. It all got thrown back in my face.

f4ff4defe40bdb17c4930c4f297d4e0b

I finally know the truth. That is all I ever wanted. Now, it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie.

That’s it – all very boring but it’s all happening

Physically. I’m eating better and I have more energy. I haven’t lost weight which is something that terrifies me equally as putting on weight does.

 

36186390-368-k525336

 

Make believe.

Local community update – The Freedom programme

I am doing this post for my local community. Specifically, for the women in my community who every second as I type and  every word you read, are  being abused.

People get frustrated wondering why women don’t leave  or  won’t leave abusive relationships.

‘If it is so bad just leave’– is still a mind set of many.

  I have decided to waiver my anonymity and tell anyone who cares to hear my story and experience with ‘The freedom programme; because I want to reach out to those who are  affected by an abusive relationship.

I also  want raise awareness to those who  care  or know about some one  in an abusive relationship.

I want to emphasise what I gained from reaching out and doing something  that I saw as bat shit scary.

First of all,

WHAT IS THE FREEDOM PROGRAMME? Please take the time to read the blurb bit .

The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by Pat Craven who holds the copyright (all rights reserved) and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence. We provide information, not therapy.

The Programme was primarily designed for women as victims of domestic violence, since research shows that in the vast majority of cases of serious abuse are male on female. However, the programme, when provided as an intensive two day course, is also suitable for men, whether abusive and wishing to change their attitudes and behaviour or whether victims of domestic abuse themselves.

The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.

http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/index.php

CLICK HERE  to find out about the referral process.

* THE CALDER DALE AND KIRKLEES GROUP HAS STARTED ALREADY. I AM WAITING ON CONFIRMATION FOR  WHEN   THE NEXT ONE STARTS LATER ON THIS YEAR 2016 *

Read more about what you will cover  HERE

MY STORY:

This is the short version.

was in a high risk abusive relationship for four years. I became pregnant and because of the medication I was on , the state of my mental health and the relationship I was in I had an abortion. I regretted the abortion even though I still believe it was the right thing to do and I  hit the bottle hard. Me and the ex were always having bust ups – sometimes daily.

We were meant to have split up but I felt I couldn’t live without him. The only way I knew to please him was sexually so less than a month after the abortion I fell pregnant again .

I couldn’t go through another abortion. I was on a different medication that was not as toxic to a growing child in the womb and very quickly social services became involved.

The reason. I ticked all the boxes for high risk harm to  myself and to my un born child.

THE TOXIC THREE

  1. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

  2. SELF MEDICATING /SUBSTANCE/ALCOHOL/SELF HARM  ABUSE

  3. INCREASING CHANCE OF DETERIORATING MENTAL HEALTH

I couldn’t walk away from my ex, as many times as I tried. He couldn’t walk away from me. He was and most likely still is a very damaged individual.  We were told that if we wanted to keep our child  and be in a relationship together,then my ex would have to engage in another project called MAZE

The Maze Project supports people to make positive change. It works with women who are affected by Domestic Violence, their partners and their children, who are not accessing services that could make a difference to their lives.

The service has a male worker so that the service can work with couples who are choosing to remain together; the male worker works with the male partner alongside a female colleague working with the female partner.

http://womencentre.org.uk/maze/

The ex was not happy to accept this new label of his but he agreed to do it. For the following  reasons that didn’t transpire.

I will never know why he did what he did and why it seemed like if he couldn’t have me and our daughter then he would make sure I wouldn’t have her at all.

People who know my story will know that I ended up fighting social services and my ex  for 16 months to stop my 12 week (and growing) daughter from being put up for adoption.

I am not going into how lacking in resources the local authority is, but many mistakes were made. I acknowledge that people were trying to protect my child but even professionals can make mistakes.

We did not end up doing the Maze project because my daughter  was taken from me at 12 weeks old.  finally ,that bright light came on –

My daughter  became my life .

I had to jump through so many hoops. I know people reading and connecting with  this, will get what I am saying about never seeming to be able to do enough for social services.

I was told I needed to sort my shit out.

I was not given any advice on how to do this so ,I stumbled about my community grabbing onto every thing I could find to help me.

Luckily because my ex and I  were already enrolled to start the Maze programme , I explained my new single status and they offered me a 12 week placement on the Freedom programme.

I sat in the room that first  Wednesday  evening wondering what the hell I was doing here. All I saw around me was shattered fragments of human beings.

Abuse?

What did I know about abuse?

I listened to others experiences . It was emotional and painful.

The parts of the session that  really hit home for me  is when we  focused on working on each topic/type of abuser  identified in  the programme and its opposite..

This is when it hit me how numb and manipulated I had become by the situation I found myself in.

This is  not a programme about blame.

 It is about recognising the different  types of abusers and abuse that happens and how they  can over lap. It also taught me what a non abusive man is like because there are many men out there who are not abusers.

mr-right-mr-wrong.png

It is also about empowering women to educate themselves and hopefully get to a point where we question ourselves

WHY  DO WE ATTRACT ABUSIVE PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES? 

It is hard work but once I began questioning why , things started to make sense and I was re born.

 I began to see  how  hard wired in  my brain that the idea   ‘abuse was almost normal ‘.

WHY?

 because I was a  second generation survivor  in the  cycle of Domestic violence abuse. Family members being abused was  something I experienced as a part of life.

The freedom programme helped me  to decide I was going to stop the cycle,

Make  a clear break  for me – for my daughter  and for her life. I finally  had the understanding and knowledge and I would have been a fool to ignore it.

This helped me  access all other kinds of projects and community organisations that could help me with the other parts of my life had become unmanageable.

Two being: excessive drinking and over dosing.

A lot of the people accessing the Freedom programme around the U.K. have usually had  social services involved in some form.

Accessing this programme was my light house. It was showing me I had a chance of making it back to shore. I would have to navigate the logistics but there was hope and that is all I needed.

I don’t want to go on too much about my story.

It is a happy ending as many of you know.

What have I learned and gained

  • Self respect

  • respect of nd for  others

  • respect of my health and the health of others

  • independence

  • success

  • confidence

  • a sense of some kind of belonging

  •  acceptance in the community

  • a place of safety

  • friendships

  • the value of privacy

  • the responsibility that comes with being a parent

  • I don’t take shit off anyone – not just men .

  • my mental health has improved

  • I use healthier coping strategies

For any readers who think they may benefit from ‘the Freedom programme’ but can’t find a free group to go to where ever it is that  you live. You can do the programme on-line.

Here are the details 

I have done the on-line one too – to refresh my memory. There is a one off fee of £10. I have nothing to do with the monies and costings. I am merely here to give you information.

I have done both and I would always recommend doing it the group way but for whatever reasons, I  do ‘get it ‘ that it may not always be  possible.

It is better to do it than not at all.

This has turned into a longer post than I intended. That is the way it has to go sometimes.

If anyone wants to ask me any questions. I will try and answer as sincerely and in a way that I hope may help you or some one you know.

If you wish to contact me privately you may do so HERE

 

 

 

WEEK 8 WRAP

Morning all fellow bloggers and wrappers.

Week 8 down!  Here is the link to the all the other weeks covered so far. CLICK HERE  I’ve learned so much. I hope that you have got or will get as much as I’m getting out of doing this course. This week one of our highly valued groupies could not make the group so we decided to put the second part  of Action planning our triggers on hold, until next week. We focused on Early warning signs. These can be rather subtle or they can blast up seemingly from nowhere. If you have been doing this course over the weeks. You will know  that Early warning signs can and often are linked with our triggers. Sometimes in life there may be many indicators that things are not going so well, perhaps you are not coping or managing your thoughts and feelings so well.  Identifying your Early warning signs can help you from going into full crisis mode.

I found this session tough as I have never really looked at my early warning signs that may off set my mental health- negatively. If you have one or two supportive friends or family members, they can help you identify you EWS. Sometimes another persons perspective and how they experience your mental health- good and bad is something you can’t identify because you are in the ‘thick of it’ so to speak. Their view is external to your own. So it might just be worth asking someone what they think are your EWS.

EWS are  usually thoughts and emotions that are going on inside. They are internal and seem to have nothing to do with a distressing  situation. Here is a good way to see how EWS are related. Imagine that your mind is a bucket.  From day to day you will come across many different stressful situations that fill your bucket.

So as an example: Your car breaks down- the bucket fills up a bit. You have a bad day at work, the stress bucket fills even more. Your child’s school call you in to discuss behaviour issues. The bucket is nearly brimming full. Then your partner accidentally breaks your favourite coffee mug. You bucket over flows. You then  go crazy at your partner. Perhaps you shout at  him or her and break down crying. It can seem like the coffee mug is the one thing that tips you into a negative mind state/crisis mode but as the diagram shows; it is an accumulation of events that fills up the bucket,  until it is so full, that it seems something quite small can tip you over. This is why it is always important to recognize your Early warning signs. You can put in place a tap to drain the water (an action plan) so that your bucket (stress levels) never reach that tipping point.

Solution+Focussed+Stress+Bucket


 MY LIST OF EARLY WARNING SIGNS

  1. I stay up until the birds are tweeting working on projects
  2. I get irritable
  3. I become overly obsessive with cleaning, my weight, everything.
  4. I miss taking my medication or stop using it 
  5. I cut down on my food/fluid intake
  6. I over exercise
  7. I’m unable to see anything else that is going on around me that is outside of my own problems
  8. Avoidance- people, places, things. emotions
  9. I go onto auto pilot- I can’t stay in the present moment. I look to the past or to the future. I  find it difficult to be in the present
  10. I isolate myself from people even family and lose friends
  11. I’m not able to give my full attention to my family
  12. I become focused on de cluttering my home (even thought it isn’t)
  13. I lose my sense of humour
  14. I’m resistant to all affection
  15. I focus on the negatives in my life. My ‘silver lining’ mantra disappears
  16. I trawl through social media websites comparing my entire life with the lives of what social media website users choose to present to the world and how they wish to be portrayed. I lose sight that this is only one dimension to their lives. 

 Brilliant!  What  do I  do now? Unlike triggers, where I would need to make an action plan for each one. When it comes to action planning for my EWS I only need one plan. So here is a comprehensive list of what I must do if I do start to experience any EWS. It would be a good idea to go back to  your WELLNESS TOOL BOX  and try any other techniques that I/ you have learned over these two months. download (6)

Here is my list

  1.  not over blog/write
  2. Disconnect from all technology
  3. carry on volunteering/working
  4. enjoy and give my full attention to ‘Date nights’ with my partner
  5. Spend more time with family/ friends-especially my daughter 
  6. Book to go do something I enjoy. It could be something as simple as watching stand up comics at home or  going to the theatre, cinema etc.
  7. Meet up for coffee with family and friends
  8. Exercise for no more than  an hour and a half
  9. Lay back and chill and listen to my favourite music
  10. Communicate or at least try to communicate my thoughts and feelings no matter how jumbled they may come out 
  11. have a clear out at home- don’t go over board
  12. face the day
  13. Keep in contact with my C.P.N.
  14. Use mantra’s and positive affirmations
  15. tell myself that ‘whatever happens I can handle it’
  16. Look for my silver lining
  17. Be kind to myself- a bit of TLC – go for a manicure, facial, massage
  18. RING MY LOCAL SAMARITANS      if I feel there is no one else I can speak with 
  19. A great technique to use is to alter my physical space which automatically alters my head space- it can be a simple as getting out of bed.
  20. Be creative- read books, write, paint, draw, do crafts
  21. Try the technique I describe in my video clip of week 8.
  22. Another good technique is this:

If you have a negative thought. Here is an example.

‘ I cannot cope.’

Write that thought down.

‘I cannot cope’

Notice that you have written done the thought

‘ I cannot cope’

The aim of this technique is that by writing the thought down you create a mental distance from it. It becomes not a fact but just a thought. 

Finally I would just like to add and remind people of the 5 key concepts of WRAP. Another exercise you can do is based around these 5 key concepts. 

HOPE. – write down  one experience from your life that gives you hope for the future.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY -Write down one way that you take personal responsibility for your life.

EDUCATION- Write down something you have learnt about yourself on this journey.

SELF ADVOCACY- Write down one area of your life or situation where you would like to assert yourself more and a step you could take to achieve this. 

 SUPPORT- write down the name of one person who supports you and how they d that. 

If you feel this is a tricky  exercise and need an example. I will gladly use my examples. All you have to do is comment ‘EXAMPLE’ 

That is it for week 8. Go away and feel empowered. You are creating a powerful plan to help you in every life situation you face.