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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.

Life -unbitten by bitterness

Don’t let life, and how other people treat you to allow you to become bitter. Don’t expect people who keep the same company to be on the same level as you. Be a good person.

Remain honest, full of heart and genuine.

You do not owe anything to anyone who chooses to disrespect you or your values.

Remember – we all have our own way of coming to a conclusive thought or opinion. We are human and we feel and it’s okay to talk about our feelings and thoughts.

People are influenced by the company they keep (an observation).

Protect yourself, keep yourself safe -especially when you are a person who has a lot of empathy, and time for others.

Let other people talk, critique, gossip about you. It doesn’t matter what people do or don’t say who isn’t in your life.

Remember who you are.

We learn every day of our life.

Stay around people who ask how you are, who cares, who stick up for you. Forget about those who don’t.

Give people the benefit of the doubt but don’t ever allow anyone to disrespect you or bring you down. Or make you feel that your values are being disregarded.

Don’t hate. Let people find their own path.

Lessons I’ve learned lately. Opinion is not always the truth. I can’t be responsible for what a person understands.

Copyrighted Natasha bodley

Words are my moonshine

When you  feel you’re hanging on the vine,

Remember- a seed push forth a mighty sign.

You must  take the sunbeams and treasure what’s thine

Wild Kansas City is but one destination on the sign.

Take hope, light and lose the animosity,

for inside  you, there is no monstrosity

Get caught speeding in high velocity.

It’s not a train smash —  nor a catastrophe.

When you’re stuck in the middle of time.

Jump off the fence ‘cos that’s doing yourself a crime.

Don’t you let commoners  think your words cannot define,

Your value, worth and dreams are not benign.

Take it from the apple tree

He allows fruit to aid in his victory.

Oh don’t, hide like a willow tree

Cry, but remember you have a destiny.

Everything will start to — lookup —  allow the clouds to throw some shapes.

Open  them wide , mind expand — understand the lessons from life’s true greats.

You’re already one them-slightly chipped — still most valuable of porcelain plates.

Never doubt  what you can do —   take a leaf from natures golden ratio

You radiate when you guide the fates.

Lets’ lasso this  up and keep your spirit wild

Grow tall — never lose your inner child.

A silly poem  to spread to the crowd

Accept her quirks  — light-hearted, silly sap —  never lose a day when she has smiled.

*I Iwas inspired by the song ‘This little light of mine’. live, love, don’t hold as grudge. Remain true to who you are and you won’t stand alone for long.

 

 

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Pluck my feathers.Watch me fly.

Life is not a list to check off.

Have goals .

Have dreams.

Don’t allow bitterness and the pursuit of wealth or  the desire to look like a touched up picture of a model detract from  the meaning and the true purpose of  your life.

Easy to do. I do it too.

Figure out your purpose.

If you are not dead yet  and have tried killing yourself many times.

You have a purpose.

 

Life is a gift and a curse and today and tomorrow may not ever be the same.

One moment, one word, one test result, one decision can shake your core and world from the inside out.

A  Career- is doing something I love.

Money is a means to an end.

I can’t take all my material belongings with me to another world.

Stuff is just stuff.

Everything is replaceable except for a life and your health. Houses are demolished by hurricanes, weather freaks of nature every day.

Happiness is….. whatever the fuck you make it.

Make each day count. my Uncle taught me that saying. 

If money is your God. Make sure you have a good deal with the money God or make sure you are that God.

Chances are you won’t permanently succeed    over toppling that son of a biaatch.

Happiness -now that is a choice.

Choices are hard to make at times. We can convince ourselves we have no choice.

See this world through  the eyes of  a child, an elderly person or someone who is ill or someone who is grateful to have a bed  to sleep on.

To  the person who told me all homeless  people are homeless because they are drug addicts or alcoholics.

WOW!

I recall a time when said person was made homeless because  they couldn’t pay their rent. No drug issues apart from an Eating disorder, diet pills and codeine and junk food and an illness and no support from anyone to help her.

I was 5 years old and I came home from school,I was told to sit on the step while I watched 2/3  men throwing our stuff out.

Literally throwing our stuff out the window.

The weekend before it was beautiful sunny day. I swam and we  sat around the swimming  pool. I don’t know how I knew or who told me that the landlord was going to throw  us out.

I left said person to sunbathe and I decided to fight for our home.

I’ve always been a trouble maker. Some one who has the audacity to challenge people bigger than me.

I don’t shut up.

 

My Mother made sure I knew how to write my name and read before I was in kindergarten. She taught me how to read and write.

I wrote him a letter and posted it to him.

I asked him to not throw us out. Give us more time. We promise we will pay the rent.

 

I guess we can all be  dickheads and worry about money and looks.

YUP- they are and will fade. 

I’ve seen people I love become millionaires then become paupers over night and then millionaires again  and die with nothing.

Not even their dignity. A papers funeral.

Money and looks are in a constant state of flux

Make sure you have character to back you up. HarDships make character – It’s easy to be bitter, its easy to be hard and emotionless.

Its easy to moan because I walked in the rain (again)  in england.

I decided to put my face to the sky ,watch  the birds fly and allow the rain to  soak face and hair.

I smiled and smiled – in spite of not having cent to buy food or anything until next Thursday.

I’m not a fool.

I looked like one walking in the  the rain with a  grin on my embracing the rain and the cold.

Just like I did when I was a child.

Not comforming to  looking downwards ,scowling  -at the damn British  weather.

Look for signs of life. Flowers are blooming again.

I’m scared.

I have to have hope.

Hope is the only thing that keeps me going.

My mother refuses to tell me she loves me. We argue. She’s ill.

I tell her I love her no matter what.

LOVE BEAUTIFUL SOULS, FLAWED SOULS. Help those who can’t see past a dollar bill or the next selfie or the this day to get through life. YOU WILL NEVER LOOK OR BE AS GOOD AND BEAUTIFUL AS YOU ARE TODAY. 

Don’t let the bastards whether family, friends or foe blame you for their problems  and for making mistakes.

We are all human.

I don’t need a God to pray to for strength .I have love in my heart and I don’t give up on the people I love. I include my Dad in that.

These are my words

The ‘if you need a new perspective’ post

So, I ended 2015 in a state of stupefied drunk despair. Regretting every action I committed on New years eve. Just over one month has passed. I’ve kept far away from the alcohol. I had my dip with my Anorexia. February life has started to pick up where I left it in December. 

Waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care! 

I’m gaining my self-confidence back. My diary is filling up – idle hands all that jazz. The wedding is coming together. I’m am delighted and a tad ‘on edge’ at the same time. 

Positive people are gravitating toward me again. To say I have to peel myself from the roof is an understatement. Lionel Richie and me are busting out some moves on the ceiling. Oh yeah, baby. Has anyone ever seen him being interviewed? He is such a dick head! There is no way someone like him could write such beautiful songs. Who remembers ‘Ballerina girl’ ? Google him in an interview and then you will get it.

 

 I am doing my -co-production awareness training workshop on the 16/02. All of these workshops brings me closer to getting the Eating disorder recovery group up and running. As a person in active recovery from an Eating disorder, to be able to realise this and watch it germinate and blossom like a flower 😀 and be a huge part of the process off it-is like -not being God- no, I am not Kanye Wet ( Yes, I will keep that last spelling error) delusional.  It’s more self-validating. What I mean by that is, it shows I am on a good path. A well-lit path. Like this dude. There is light in my hands I am responsible for keeping that light going and I am in charge of where I end up. Does that make sense? 

 I’ve recently posted some seriously depressing posts and I will continue to share my past with you; but their needs to be some writing room to rollick in the present. I need to  feel the quiver of fluttering,

the beating of butterfly wings, reminding myself I am indeed alive and have purpose. I think my posts need a bit of balance. I don’t know if I am the only person -I suspect I  am not. I sometimes finish writing posts that send me lunging backwards to my past and I am reaching out for the Diazepam- I can have full-blown panic attack.

The cure?    ( Great band. wrong context- or is it?)

Stop writing Daisy. 

No! I won’t!

I have a purpose.

I am a human being.

 I have a story to tell.

A past, a me right now and a bright and vibrant future.

Without me trying to get all Disney ‘Lion King’ on you  (cue African music that makes the heart swell); I believe our lives and experiences are full circles. Sometimes you are at the top and then inevitably you need to go round that circle. Of course, there will be many times when you are at the bottom. I always say

‘Look for the silver lining’.

 

That is my way of saying: I and you will come full circle again (eventually) . We all will get to the top of that circle of life again. The only thing I can’t tell predict is how long it will take to come full circle.

I have this belief, that if I use my time at the bottom of the circle, productively and push ahead and not do too much damage interfering with the flow. Then, I won’t slow down the time scale it takes to get back to the top again. I need to learn the lesson, feel the pain or whatever happens but I must move on. Easy words to type. Harder to put in action. However, it is possible. 

Possible is all  I  need to hold onto and go and do great things.. 

To get off the whole philosophy bandwagon. My man and his rumbustious friends 😉 are coming round to ours for ‘SUPER BOWL 2016’ night. It is a tradition in our home. I don’t want to watch a bunch of dudes watching another bunch  of dudes ‘tackling’ and touching up one another. I DO want to know who is doing half time this year. 

I don’t know if anyone saw Katy Perry and her foam mascot sharks last year?  

PURE COMEDY GOLD

So here is to a fresh new week. (Great shit is happening. Everything is coming together, not at the pace or even exactly how I plan it to go, but that’s cool with me. Stuff is getting done! 

My mantra, I have used for a few months now is working. Mantras work!  Mine is:

‘I am a success in everything I do’ –

I’m fulfilling my thoughts- the ‘mini-like prayers’ that I tell myself. Find one that resonates with you. It works! I am the most analytical person I know – I wouldn’t lie to you .

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Time to buzz off and get reading some of your awesome blogs and thoughts. Word reader is a bit crap. I don’t ever get to see all the posts that I follow. I don’t know if anyone else has the same problem but I will read as many as I can. 

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Namaste, Soca, peace, light and love until next time.