Clearer Days :)

I slept better last night and I have woken on a slightly warmer and pleasant spring morning.
I have been thinking about how I miss my dad.
I always miss my dad, just some days more than others. Today this feeling was brought into focus by a post that I read on facebook. Other people miss their parents. And I feel for them. If you read this and you miss your parents please accept a ruddy great big virtual hug from me.

And this got me to thinking about family and events past. I have spent some time thinking about my maternal grandparents, who were a bit potty but at the same time wonderful fun. I remember going on the train to the seaside with my little bro, my mum and my gran. Buckets and spades! I remember going to stay on a static caravan park with my gran and brother. Freedom to run everywhere and play games on the grass! I remember staying down near the Dymchurch railway and going on the small trains. I still love those train, took my own son their when he was small with my parents. These are all happy care-free childhood memories, where it’s sunny a lot and grown-ups are huge and sometimes strange things. But you are safe with them.

But as I grew older I started to struggle with depression. When you think about it, this is an inevitable progression for an abuse survivor, especially an survivor that had blocked all memories of the abuse. I had no idea why I felt the pain that I felt. All I know is that it got worse each time it hit me.

I’ve said it before but having lost a dear and still much missed friend to suicide, I made a promise to my family and friends that I would not do that after the depression episode that hit when I was 20 years old. And I have, and I intend to continue keeping that promise. So when the next depression hit at the beginning of the 90′s I had more things in place to keep me safe. For sure one thing I do is learn. Being honest during those dark days keeping living was the hardest thing to do. The desire for that pain to stop was immense and I so wanted to run away from it all. I have a memory that I keep coming back to of a day when my mum rang me and asked me to go and visit my grandparents who lived very close to where I was living as my great uncle was visiting and staying with them. I said I would try and try I did. I succeeded and later that day my mum rang to see how I was. During those days I frequently did not answer the phone when people rang – that’s one of the things I do – it’s self isolating behaviour – it’s both a good and a bad thing. Anyway I answered the phone and spoke to her and in the course of the conversation I said that my gran had cried when I was there and I was perplexed by this. My mum said it was because my gran had not realised just how ill I had become. I think about this nowadays and realise how hard my parents worked to look after me during those times. That they had no idea why I was like that, why their beautiful, bright daughter would just disappear into a vacuum of darkness. Now I really feel for them. It must be so bewildering. I know it still is for my mum. And I feel for her.   

But I am lucky to have people who care about and who totally believe in me and this has always provided me with the strength and determination to battle on and so battle on I did and eventually I came out of it.

I’ve said it before but I am going to say it again, what is happening with me now is simply a manifestation of the same problem. And I am feeling a lot better now but I am psychologically aware enough to know that if I just leave this it will happen again, and the next time It may well be even worse. So I went out of my way to fight my corner and obtain funding for the treatment that I require. To deal with this monster once and for all. 

And so then I got to thinking about mean girls.
Mean girls. We all know them. Big sigh. For many they are just a sad fact of life, little more than a pesky gnat. But for me, they are a trigger. I have had counselling in the past to try to deal with this issue and it was identified that this is partly because there is a sense that people try to take things away from me and that they do this because they think that I get things easily. Well they are incorrect because I don’t get things easily, so I am immediately guarded about such perceived thinking and behaviour. I am guarded about a lot of things, its a survival technique. And for all my perceived openness, I tell you all as much as I want you to know and I keep the rest to myself. 

But this morning I have made the connection as to why I find mean girls such a problem.
They share a personality trait that is present in paedophiles. And that is that they are extraordinarily manipulative.
They will frequently engage in furtive underhand passive-aggressive behaviour. Sometimes that behaviour is more visible than other times and some people are aware of it but at the same time others appear to be completely unaware that it is occurring right under their noses. And if you have been through something terrible that happened right underneath peoples noses, that they did not see, can you imagine what it feels like to be in the middle of that again at a later date? It creates stress, it feels over-whelming, nauseating and extremely anger provoking and then the fight and flight response kicks in. You either want to stand and fight or you want to run for the hills. And there is mope than one way to do either of those. Sometimes it just happens internally. 

So. just making that connection has really helped. It’s another piece of the jigsaw back in place and the more pieces that are back in place, the clearer the picture. And I find I like a clear picture. You know what you are dealing with. And I make another promise, deal I intend to do.

Please keep contacting me, I am coming back to you all.
And please enjoy the lovely clear day people. 

Much love 
xXx

My Life. My Voice

Going to warn you again. This contains triggers and you have a choice about whether to read it or not. If you are a teenager or a child it is most important that you understand that this is written to to explore a sense of overcoming obstacles and not drowning in the crap that life chucks at you. Because life does that, and sometimes its tough to see a way out, especially when you are young and have much to learn. 

So I’ve been thinking long and hard about this….. its tough to write but I think I have reached a point where I need to say what has been going on with me of late. 

So again I going to warn you before you go any further that this will contain triggers. You may well think I am wrong to write it publicly but I have warned you and you can turn around now. But I need to do this and I have to think about myself first and foremost. 

My brain imploded last year due due to all the multiple stresses that I have been through over a long, long period of time.
The stress of bringing up a child on my own, the stress of studying at Higher level for 5 years at the same time as bringing up that beautiful child on my own, the stress of working in an ever changing and incredibly stressful health field, and sadly the stress of holding an unknown secret.

That unknown to me secret, was that to all intents and purpose, that I am now an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  
I imagine its tough to read. it’s hard to believe at times. It’s tough to write it. Even tougher to have lived it. But it is what it is.
Not going to tell you any more than that, because you don’t need to know it and I don’t need to tell you.

But you know what? I am looking at my life and looking at what I have managed to do in spite of it. It turns out it is not unusual for women of my age who have experienced this kind of thing to unravel later in life. Its like having a huge piece of a jigsaw put into place. Once it is there everything becomes so much clearer. I find myself thinking ‘goodness me, that is so obvious now’ about all kinds of things. 

I have cried a lot as I have come to terms with what had happened to me, it has truthfully broken my heart and smashed all of me into tiny pieces. Everything that I understood about myself, everything I treasured in my life is all up for scrutiny now. This is clearly an ongoing process but I am now very much in the process of gathering all of me back together.

Of late, I have made myself laugh by watching my own reactions to events past and present. Back when I was 21 years old and life all got a bit to much for me, I unravelled slightly and my GP sent me to a locally newly created Community Mental Health Centre where I attended a relaxation course. The first thing I noticed when I did this was my reaction of ‘oh my goodness these people are so much worse than I am’, and I have done exactly the same thing recently when I recently joined an abuse  survivors website. And from this I find myself needing to acknowledge that I have a problem in being defined as being broken. I know I am lucky that I was able to escape and that I had a family that encouraged me in so many ways, who loved and supported me. At this point I have no idea who knew what or if they knew nothing of what went on. Not sure if I am ever going to have the answers to those questions. So I feel I need to make my own peace.   

The second thing that happened back then was that it planted the seed of training to my chosen career, it took a while to get there because of life’s twists and turns but I graduated back in the early 2000′s and I am now a qualified health professional. And because of this I am able to help others in helping themselves overcome disability, and all other events, that stop people from functioning properly. And lets be clear in doing this, I very much help myself. I gain so much by helping others. It is what is called in negotiation language a win/win situation. I am not going to apologise for that, it is this thinking and feeling that motivates many people into such a profession, that is probably why it is considered a vocation.

So regardless of what has happened in the past, I chose not to stay broken by it, to not be defined by it. I remain as ever a warrior of a woman, I will always be a defender of the weak, of people, of all animal species, of the environment. I will never stop questioning why those with the power to stop injustice choose not to, why such people are happy to exploit the perceived and actual weaknesses in others.

That is what defines me. Kindness and compassion. Along with beauty and happiness. :)    

 

 

 

        

Modern news reporting does my head in…

It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog. My last post, which I have not re-read, was written in September as I was starting to slide off the rails. I am not ready to read it at this point. I may never be ready to read it again. And truthfully even if and when I am, I think it can stay here and be a recording of how I was feeling at that point, for posterities sake.

So, today I am feeling a little physically unwell, bit of a head cold and all that, but it is a nice sunny spring day and I am currently feeling a little more calm and upbeat. It has been commented on over the last few weeks that I sound a little calmer now. Which is good. Today I have been doing things around the Little House and the Little Garden, enjoying the sun and the better weather.
And I am making the most of that calmness, as there is no guarantee it will last.  Recovery, is most definitely not a linear process and it is best to be aware of that.

So what has prompted this post?

Well, it is my reaction to the news-heavy reporting on paedophilia that is a constant occurrence in our lives nowadays.
To be honest, it has and is doing my head in. It makes me feel as though I am constantly being hit around the head with a brick.
I have my own reasons for feeling like that and I am choosing to keep that to myself.

So what is it that is about this issue that is bothering me enough to prompt me to put fingers to my keyboard today?
Lets be very, very clear, It’s not that this subject is being reported, I think it is good that it is being reported. It is how it is being reported.

But we hear next to nothing of what the survivors or victims of abuse are actually saying. What we are told is who has been charged and what with. And boy oh boy do we hear it if the alleged perpetrator happens to be a celebrity of some description or other. That criteria seems to make certain people very news worthy. We then get told that they are at court and the trials are reported. They may go into more detail then and there maybe a chance then for the survivors story to be heard but I switch off because I simply cannot cope with how they are being reported.

I find that I query why this issue is reported in this way. Who benefits from it?

What seems obvious to me is that there is little discussion about the impact of the abuse and how the lives of those making the allegations have been affected. There is no discussion about how difficult it would have been for the individuals to report these allegations. And of how the allegation are investigated. There is nothing of any substance about how the reports of abuse are being investigated and what the criminal justice system is doing with the results of all those investigations. There is nothing of how the criminal justice system makes a decision about what cases have sufficient evidence to proceed to court. What in fact is enough evidence?

This seems to me at it’s worst, to be gravelly wrong and at it’s very least, it totally misses the opportunity to have a grown up, sensible discussion about an issue that is simply just is not going to go away. And it won’t go away, no matter how much anyone wants it to.

So shall we all start thinking about how news is presented to us and look at how we react to news of any kind and think about how it affects us?  Does it make us feel shocked. Does it make us feel horrified. Does it make us feel shame. Do we feel bad that we did not see it. Do we want to carry on pretending that it does not happen. Do we not care. We can all feel any of these responses to any issue reported in the news. Actually stopping to think about how you as an individual feel in response to all these allegations and stories is the first thing that we as a society is the first step in dealing with any issue. And in particular this issue.

It is difficult for any of us to do.
But don’t we all owe it to those affected to do this?

Once we have an understanding of our own reactions, then we can we start to discuss what it is that has actually occurred.
And when we do that, we can start to talk about what we can do to improve the lives of those affected and what we can all do to change our society. Then we might actually be able to do something that does help to prevent it happening any more.

My head is starting to really hurt again. So that is enough for now.

And the roller coaster continues…but I’m on the flat right now.

Going back in time for this one…

Back when I was 19 years old I had glandular fever…. I was at art college in central London on a art design course training to be a window dresser… which by the way, I’m really good at… and on New Years eve I went out with some friends – male and female on a pub crawl in the town that we live in. Having not that long come out of a long term relationship that hadn’t ended well, I, like my friends was determined to have a good night out. New Years eve at that point in time was a significant point in the year, kind of set the tone for the coming year… it doesn’t work like that for me anymore…but anyway we decided to go on a pub crawl heading from one end of the town to the other …can’t remember which end we started but we ended up in the trusted Ivy House… our old beloved stomping ground. Not sure whose idea it was,…. just know it wasn’t mine…but we decided to snog unknown men on this pub crawl… seemed most amusing at the time…but I think I caught the illness that created Glandular fever by doing this and do you know what? It totally stopped me snogging unknown random men there after!!!  

Glandular fever made me really ill..initially 3 weeks of intense illness and then a good 6 months of reduced time college attendance and blood tests. It took 6 months for my white blood cell count to come back to normal parameters and I’ve never felt quite the same since I got it. Its Epstein Barr virus that causes Glandular Fever, I then had the misfortune of being infected by this virus again when i was around 24 years old…again it floored me, I tested positive for it in a blood test but my GP was adamant that I couldn’t have glandular fever again, that I had a different un-named illness, This is being looked into by my current GP… unfortunately, god that’s an understatement!, I fell into a black hole, a black hole of fatigue and depression. I lost the will to carry on living, I really did just want to curl up and cease to exist, everything hurt too much to be here.

Now I had experienced depression before, truthfully I’ve been dealing with it since I was a teenager… I have ups and downs… a senior practitioner at work commented on it a couple of years ago, not in a horrible way… more a ‘your quite up aren’t you, you are like that at times aren’t you?’ kind of way  … and I said yep, seems to be the way, some people might want to medicalise it … we looked at each other, turned our noses up, shook our heads and he said no, its just you.  I like him a lot for that. My ups and downs sit within a usually containable parameter, other people have far worse to deal with and that’s something I am very aware of. But it took me time to be like this about my mood changes, it was much harder when I was younger, I learn and although I learn quickly, it still took time . I’m very lucky that I am able to reflect and that I’m very psychologically minded. Because that is what has given me the edge on dealing with mood changes. But back in my early 20′s I was engulfed by low mood, it happened because of events in my life…nothing there that I actually want to share with you… enough to say I took an overdose and tried to cut my wrists, All contained within my family, friends and GP practice. What I learnt quickly was that my actions caused people that care about me hurt and I’d already lost a friend to self harm. I like some of you, lost a beautiful friend who was only 15 when she died, I refuse to call her death suicide because I do not believe she meant to die, I think her actions were someone calling out for help. And that is really what I was doing. I feel the loss of my friend each and every day and I knew back when I was 20 years old that I would do everything to never put other people who care about me through that again. The depression I went through after that second EB infection truly tested that resolve. Each and every day was a battle to remain here. It was the days before dosset boxes, tri-cyclic antidepressants were the only antidepressants available. So my GP asked me the question would you take these in one go. I said I would like to think not but I can’t say it for certain, I’d like the possibility of that taken away from me. She then contacted the chemist in the village I was living to ask if he would hold my prescription and provide me with 3 days anti-depressants at a time, she then had a row with him over his mercenary attitude that he could levy a prescription charge for every 3 days! Seriously you have to wonder about some people!! So anyway a chemist in Camden Road was a lot more helpful and they held my prescription until such time as it was safe for me to have more than 3 days supply of antidepressants. Truthfully it took me about 2 years for me to get truly better from the mental effects of this illness and that continues to reside within me… it is as I have said before likely that I have ME, my GP tells me that current thinking about Glandular Fever is that it never goes away and she like me thinks ME is a good fit to explain my ongoing fatigue and problematic immune system.

So I took antidepressants for a while and eventually my mood settled, can’t say if it was because I  took them or not but what I do know is that I don’t like them. They raise my anxiety levels expeditionary and I’ve just found out that they affect other responses, responses that I for one don’t want blunted, I’ll add the link if you are interested. I prefer to feel my emotions as they are, painful as that can be… that’s my  choice and I in no way seek to alter any of your own decisions about this matter. I prefer to seek out counselling and other cognitive ways of dealing with mood changes and in learning just who I am… It works for me… might be a bit painful for others to observe.. but that’s their issue  and not mine . I am truly not a fan of BIG PHARMA… they are mercenary and that aren’t interested in us, I take medication, I have to, ME and osteoarthritis mean I live with constant pain. So at the moment I take painkillers but I am working on other ways of dealing with pain cos I don’t like mediation…..I only recently clocked with the aid of a trusted work mate that I do actually have a very high pain threshold because of this constant pain… But bloody hell do I feel acute pain!!??!!  That is most probably because osteoarthritis alters your pain receptors and your perception of pain!  But I don’t take anti-depressants. 

here’s the promised link …. she’s very interesting… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ewvCNguug&feature=share

As a by the by, going back to the getting of Glandular Fever, the following New Year I went out with friends, not sure if we went on a pub crawl, suspect not due to energy reasons, but anyway a boy I know….  and as one of my good girl friends said to me recently, they are all still boys!! asked me for a kiss…. I was a little inebriated and said I couldn’t possibly do that, I might catch Aids… yep those were the early days of knowledge of HiV and Aids and yes those were my words…. Sorry!… He, not surprising was a little bit upset by my response… I for my part was just a little bit bewildered by his response. Later me and my pals left this pub to go somewhere, may well of been back to my parents house as they always used to go away for New Years and even though they used to tell me not to have people back, I always chose not to listen, but that’s me!! anyway where ever we were going I spoke to my girl friend about what had passed earlier, she had previously had a relationship with this particular boy, and I was astounded when she said ‘oh Debi, he really likes you’. Good lord I just had not seen it!!!

This people is a bit of a pattern, which I will explain further in a while. Oh goodness says me I had not realised. I still know this boy and he may read this, if so, I’d like to say I think we made our peace a long long time ago, cos I think your a great person, witty and intelligent,  but I find I kind of need to say it was never my intent to cause you harm or pain, I was just simply oblivious. And of course he had previously had a relationship with someone that I am friends with… its a bit of a no go area for me. Rarely break that one and if I have, I will be able to explain why if asked….           

So I am frequently obvious to how people react to me and I think there are two reasons for that, the first being I relate to people as people, gender simply isn’t a issue. I make decisions about people based on whether I like then as a person or not. I determine whether they are of interest, if they are trust worthy etc etc etc based on them and not whether they are male or female. Truthfully, it has historically got me into trouble on occasion. And again if I have ever turned down your advances, it was because I simply wasn’t on the page. and again I apologise if I was blase and maybe a little thoughtless as it is never really my intent to cause pain…. Okay that’s not always true, if I am proper nasty I’ve usually thought about it. I do have a razor sharp tongue and as my dear much missed pa used to say I don’t suffer fools gladly…. and don’t try to box me into a corner, I don’t like it. There is a second reason and probably a third but they can wait.   

Occasionally I meet people that I am instantly attracted to, but 9 times out of 10, I go very strange if this happens. I can’t look people in the eye, I turn away from away from them which is actually very clear none verbal communication!! and I will talk complete gibberish as I actively seek to get away from them. A male friend was once completely astounded to witness the ever confident Debi behave in this way… he really could not believe what he was watching and was a such slightly lost for words!! Its the sort of thing that just makes me laugh and shake my head!!! Its a moment where my inner normally well concealed anxieties show themselves!!!

But even rarer than that are the people that I am instantly attracted to who I can speak to, these people are rare and somewhat precious. I usually maintain friendships with people like this…. we may go through rocky periods to get to that point but that is usually the way it is. And I’m thankful for that.

So the roller-coaster continues,  I continue to have major trust issues but I’m working really hard on those. This most recent physical illness has affected my mental well-being, I can clearly see that and actually that has been a profound learning curve. I have reached out to a couple of trusted girlfriends and been very clear to state how I have been feeling. That is a major step. A step in the right direction. I’ve maintained contact with other friends, Again a major step. And again a step in the right direction. Running way from you all did not help. I’m back with you and I don’t intend to leave you anytime soon. 

But I am now going to go and work on some collages. I have  previously written about the therapeutic value of creativity and I will at some point soon share what I wrote. But simply at this point in time I find that it helps to contains a lot of my emotions… it does in fact help me to regulate my emotions.

So I’m off to be creative. Please take with you the thought that if you are my friend, and I will happily tell you if i see you as a friend, that you matter to me and that in some way or another you are in my heart.

As ever Love & Peace

xxx 

     

Life truly is a roller-coaster x

I’m not feeling at all well. Full on banging headache, feeling very hot in a temperature feverish way, aching bones, pain in my nose, throat, sinuses,.. pain everywhere actually.

Having both osteoarthritis and most probably ME/CFS … that’s a long story in itself which I will come back to at a later date… means I experience pain differently to people who don’t have these conditions. I am in fact very stoic about pain, because i live with constant pain I have a high pain threshold, I do however have to take painkillers on a regular daily basis…I watch research on osteoarthritis pain management like a hawk and feel confident things will change soon. Scientists are making hugh steps in unraveling how arthritis and other inflammatory diseases progress.

If anyone tells you osteoarthritis is wear and tear… send them in my direction, I will put them right. Its so much more, for a start its a genetically linked disease, if you don’t have the genes for it, you wont get it… it’s often triggered by bone trauma, For me that happened very young cos I had a congenital bone deformity, find it difficult to talk about the horrors of having that put right so think we will park that for now…. But because I follow the research I know that scientist’s have recently discovered the protein marker for the bone deposits which goes wrong and that they believe that this is actually a precursor to the cartilage thinning… it is that thinning that leaves you without a shock absorber between the end of the bones… add to the bone growth and then you start to understand the pain! They have also discovered that the inflammatory nature of the disease is far more important in its progression. There are 5 genes that code for osteoarthritis, and interestingly one of those also codes for weight gain… that’s what you’d call a double whammy and it might make you re-think everything that you have been told and what you think you know about weight gain and arthritis.       

So anyway i’m feeling rough… In pain and a little feverish. And that has totally brought my mood down. Some of you know I work in mental health services, lots of reasons why I do that. Probably the one’s you need to know are that firstly I’m not frightened of mental illness, we all have mental well-being and some of us have better well-being than others… but it’s not static and things can go wrong for anyone at any given time. If you assume an all jack attitude, that happens to someone else and never me, i’d say be careful… it may well sneak and bite you in the arse when you aren’t looking. None of us are immune.

Another reason that I am happy to tell you, is that I am a creative problem solver, you give a problem and I can’t help but try to work a way round it… I was once told in clinical supervision that I am observed with problems where my approach will be to work out how to go over, under, around a problem and if that fails I will blast it out of the way…. this wasn’t a criticism.. its a true and accurate observation of how I am. it got a bit lost over the last few years when life events swallowed me whole… but as I’ve said before I am feeling a lot better now and its all coming back.

The other thing that I will share is I know mood changes, I know depression, I know deep dark depression, the sort that stops from getting out of bed, from being contact with others, from shopping and completing activities of daily living. there’s my training…of eating, of putting make up on, of taking pleasure from music, art, books, films, the company of others in its many forms… you can make of that what you want. I found myself in that place after a nasty Epstein Barr virus illness, an illness that completely floored me for 3 weeks and left me in a truly terrible place afterwards…..  this is what we now think is the beginning of ME/CFS for me, it’s  still be confirmed but as my clinical lead said to me recently ‘self diagnosis Debi, its what everyone else does’…. my GP has said ‘it looks like a good fit’ … it would explain an awful lot… but again that’s a long story in itself and can wait for another day.

So I fought a hard battle to get better from that dark place. It tool several years and I have worked very hard to maintain my mental well being since. I’ve been through some terrible stuff and I’ve stayed strong. I’ve brought a child up on my own and look this week what a Consultant paediatrician said …he asked my 16 year old son who has a diagnosis of ME/CFS and who has been so unbelievably unwell how he had done in his GCSE’s… young son missed all of year 10 as he was too unwell to attend school and his school were unbelievably bad a t dealing with the problem… but he was eventually referred to the Health Needs School and has been tutored for up to 2 hours each day at home for year 11. So son said he had done okay, got a couple… didn’t elaborate. So I volunteered to information that he had passed maths and had got a B for Biology, a A for Physics and an A* for Chemistry, giving him an overall grade A for Science. that truly is an achievement.  The Consultant beamed and lent forward and shook young son’s hand, he said all power to you, that’s a real achievement and there’s a nod there to your mum. It was actually quite understated but extraordinarily powerful.

I discussed the fact that my GP is looking into the possibility that I have also had ME/CFS for more than 20 years, that I have been able to bring young son alone, that I have competed a Science HND and an Occupational Therapy (Honours) degree during that time. That’s not to sing my own trumpet, its to let young son know that all things are achievable, one way or another. That’s a clear don’t give up message. Life will probably knock you down, the getting back up and what you then do that matters in the long run. The Consultant is apparently married to an OT and he sang our professions praises… I kind of liked that… but that’s me. He was also very clear its not a psychiatric illness, its a an illness with a biological basis and I’ve been reading a lot on ME/CFS and current research and I believe this wholeheartedly and I will be dismissive of anyone who attempts to tell me otherwise.

So lets be honest the last couple of years have been extremely difficult… all areas of my life have hard… in simple terms, work, rest and play have all been affected. I don’t hide the fact that I had a breakdown at the end of 2011, 2012 I felt like I was underwater the whole time, I functioned but I wasn’t really with you. At the beginning of this year I could see I was heading for a second breakdown… it scared the crap out of me, if it happens again it will likely be worse and the first was enough thanks. So I’m determined not to go there. I was signed off for a while and I had some specific therapy whilst I had breathing space. Stepped away from the abyss and have been fighting to keep my sanity since. Not going into specifics about that at this moment in time.

I’m in a much better place now, but I know that I’m still very vulnerable. Stepping away from recent traumatic events has caused me psychological issues… but I’m dealing with these, i’m having some more therapy, which won’t need to go on forever, I’m very reflective and psychologically minded and I can bend and alter my behavior…. oh apart form the problem I have with being seen as weak and needy…. but this, writing like this is my way of trying to change that! I know that I have a tendency to over-think things… it causes me problems and that’s partly what I’m using this for.  

So my moods can still change very quickly…..they are generally more stable now… but what’s I’ve just discovered is that stress still has an effect on my physical health and physical illness has a profound effect on my mental well being.  So I’m feeling rather physically unwell and I’m struggling emotionally. And I’m telling you. That’s a big deal for me. If I’m choosing to share any of this with you on a one to one basis you are actually honoured cos I don’t trust people very much.  Why? Because I’m a sensitive person, don’t actually want to change that, there are lots of good things about that… but life has taught me that people will chew you up and spit you out, they shit on you from great heights.

I’m a fairly open person but I’m not an open book, there’s plenty you don’t know, cos I run deep. But what I do know and what I’m sharing is that I’m working hard to stop this happening to me any more, because I understand I have control of my own emotions. If people choose to behave badly around me, it’s their issue and it’s not necessarily anything to do with me, I just happen to be there. I’m not responsible for how other people choose to behave…but I am responsible for how I react. Difficult at the moment cos of where i am mentally but be assured I am an extremely strong and capable person and I will weather all storms and I always come out more informed and stronger. I will live to fight another day.

  On a final note several people over the last few years have asked me how they and I have got ourselves into bad situation, my response has always been it can happen to anyone, predatory damaged individuals can cause problems for the strongest of people because everyone has an Achilles heel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achilles’_heel ) and people have said you like me have been through loads of bad stuff and we didn’t break, why now? My answer? Everyone has a breaking point.

And you know what I’m stronger for knowing where my breaking point is. And I’m holding onto that. And as I said I will always be ready to fight another day.

If you are my friend, my true friend I want you to know, that I know who I can trust. That I am careful with who I trust. All I ask that you don’t misuse that trust. Because once its gone, its gone.  

Right I feel a bit better for that… physical illness appears to have become a bit cathartic. Going to rest now… will probably sleep now. So as ever… Peace and Love xxx 

Not so funny, it starts dark but gets lighter xxx

Okay so deep breath, its going to get a bit dark now. You are warned, turn back now if you don’t think you are up to it.

Way back when I was 19 years old I’d been out drinking with a girl friend….that’s a friend who happens to be a friend, in London. We had got onto the last train back from London. We sat down in an open carriage where there were a few other people. We were laughing and messing about and not  taking too much notice of other people. Once we had sat down we noticed that there were two men sitting opposite each other on the other side of the carriage. One of them got up and was sick out of the train door window, my friend and I looked at each other, raised an eyebrow each and mouthed nice at each other and then laughed. We looked away and settled into our seats. My friend pulled her coat up over herself and went to sleep. Sick man then disappeared. I curled up on the seat and out of the corner of my eye noticed the remaining man move. He took something out of a briefcase. I turned and looked and saw he had taken a magazine that porn out of his briefcase. I kind of laughed to myself and looked away. I was staring out of the window into the darkness outside. But of course what I could see was the reflection of everything on the train. And I noticed was that this man, henceforth known as Dodgy Pervert, was looking at porn and then pointedly looking at me. To say I felt uncomfortable is an understatement. To say from that point is a period of time that I bank in events that generally make me feel quite shit… shit about myself and then really fucking angry as I take a true sense of myself back. So he’s looking at me and I turn my head further round to look out of the window so that I can’t see him. He simply made his movements more obvious. looking at the porn, looking at me. So I I physically turned away further, twisting round in my seat to try to ignore him. But he obviously wasn’t happy with that, because he then stood up and started to undo his trousers. At which point I became so angry! Anger shot through my body from my feet! I stood up and shouted my friends name. She woke up immediately to find me standing in front of her shouting ‘There’s a Fucking Pervert on the train’. You have never seen person move a quick at Dodgy Pervert! I want to say he was gone in a flash but!! That’s me using humour to deal with my anger, horror and discomfort!

Anyway these events were discussed, it turned out Dodgy Pervert lived next door to some friends of mine and had previously exposed himself out of windows to them. See Dodgy Pervert! My friends mum and my dad wanted me to report this to the police. But I didn’t want to and I still think that the police in middle 1980′s would not have done much with this….I would have just had to relive it all and I didn’t want to. Because people knew who Dodgy Pervert was male friends offered to beat him up. Not on my account I said. But you know what one of my pals, one closest pals we took him on. We saw him in Tonbridge High Street one day and without any prior discussion we both turned round and shouted at the tops of our voices ‘There’s a fucking pervert’ as we pointed at him. He legged it. Some time later we saw him again and we repeated this. The third and final time we saw him, was in the petrol station, his wife was sat in their car and we did the same thing again. I feel a degree of sympathy for his wife, she looked shocked and horrified.

We never saw him again. We have surmised that he most probably moved away. I do feel a certain amount of guilt about not reporting him, based on the knowledge that predatory rapists behavior often starts with incidences of exposure. But then I know I am not responsible for this mans or any other mans bad behavior.

Some time later I had just finished college, I went to Art college in central London community London each day, enough to put me off working in London on a daily basis. I was working part time in a temporary job in the High Street where I live. So anyway I was 20 years old and I was minding my own business walking down the road to get to the town, this first thing in the morning when man drove past me, he tooted and waved…. now when you are a young women this shit happens a lot… personally found it best just to ignore or at the very least to just ignore it with a nod. So I nodded and carried on walking. I walked a little further and eventually the pavement was crossed by a road, his car was in my way and he was sat waiting. I was walking towards him because that was where the pavement took me, he then said ‘Great shape baby, do you want to go for a ride?’ I stared at him, shook my head and ‘No thanks’ and walked around his car to carry on my way. . Man in car henceforth now becomes known as Dodgy Weirdo in Car. Because he couldn’t just take the rejection, he kerb crawled me calling me such things as a slut and a whore. Yep that was nice. Not. I ignored him. I would not look at him and I did not respond. The only reason this stopped was because the road changed and suddenly the pavement was a  long way from the road. I had to stop and sit down on a wall to get my breath back. I was so fucking angry. I carried on walking to work and when I got there I told the women that I was working with what had happened. One of them was really empathetic and wanted to know what she could do to help. The other said ‘You should count yourself lucky’ ‘it wont happen when you get older’ ‘Thank god for that!’ says me. Seriously some women!!! Any way my dad said to me you should have taken his number plate… I was too stressed to think such things I said.. My dad hugged me. Nowadays you could take a photo or film such things on your phone camera’s. Please remember that young ladies, because truthfully no one should have to put up with this kind shit.

So some of you are aware that I am currently recovering from a breakdown created by events and an environment outside of my home and home life. Some of you will be aware that finally being away from the trauma of all this has brought a lot of prior trauma back up for me which I am currently dealing with. Some of you know that I was assaulted sexually when I was 16 years old, some of you bore witness to that, some of you have heard me talk about the facts of that event and very recently one or two of you have finally heard me talking about the emotional and psychological impact that has had on me. Some of you have absolutely no idea that this ever happened. It doesn’t matter either way, what matters is that I deal with it, in the way that is best for me and that I get to live the rest of my life with it being dealt with.

So what does this lead me too… some idiot once said something to me regarding these events and what I happen to look like. Well you know what? What I look has nothing to do with people behaving like this, its their problem, they need to own it, because no matter what you look like, you are not asking people to behave badly towards you. End of.

I have real problems dealing with what I look like, these problems pre-date all of the above shit. People frequently struggle to understand how I relate to myself. I can tell you very clearly my talking about this struggle is not attention seeking behavior because I struggle with attention over what I look like. It’s about me trying to make sense of lots of conflicting emotions and thinking patterns. Several years ago a male and female friend of mine where talking about me and when I appeared they said we don’t think you understand how attractive you are. I felt so defensive and on edge that its difficult to describe properly. I knew that they had the best of intentions in saying that but I could not move with it. Things like that make me feel like I can not breath, I do actually hold my breath. Now that’s something practicing Mindfulness has started to resolve.     

So anyway I am dealing with this crap and I’m picking and choosing the people I care to disclose information to. Now that might seem strange as this is a blog and it can be accessed by many many people. But do you know what, many people go through exactly the same shit… we live in a deeply misogynist world and many women have to endure the most horrific things….many man are powerless to stop stop such events … they are so powerless themselves that they seek to regain a sense of power by inflicting bad stuff on people who have even less power themselves….there are many men who have terrible things inflicted upon them,,, to me this is not a gender issue, it’s a people issue. Some people do bad things. They do them for all kinds of reasons. Some of them are very damaged and they simply are unable to reflect, let along change their behavior. being angry with them changes little and probably causes you harm. Better to take responsibility for your own behavior and hope to facilitate change in that way. Be nice. It will make a difference to some people. Think that’s as much as any of can hope for.

On Friday evening this week I went out with work colleagues old and new to wish a kind and gentle colleague a fond farewell as he fully retires and I was offered a lift by a lovely work mate. A lady that I find to be beautiful on the inside and out. And you know what that matters to me. And on the way home we are talking about some of this junk as she says to me Debi, you have beautiful eyes, you are so striking looking, you are beautiful and you deserve to be happy. And you know? I smiled and said ‘thank you’ because I know that I am beautiful. On the inside and the out. That’s a massive shift in thinking and feeling.

So to finish I can’t promise that that old defensive dismissive behavior won’t resurface, it’s been with me for a long time but I changing. I don’t need rescuing, i can do that myself. What I want and need is good people around me. I am lucky I have been loved all my life. I’ve been taken care of by my family, some of whom might drive me round the bend at times but know this I love them all loads. I have good friends, I have people that take the time to care and thankfully I know it. And I love them loads and I hope that they know it. I have a gorgeous son who is turning into a delightful young man, not saying that’s not without its problems but you know. I have my silly delightful kitty cats…. I’m still mourning the loss of Mojo cat but I know somewhere she’s with Storm cat and they are once more boxing. I miss my dad but I’m so glad he was my dad. I’m so glad that I got to tell him that I had always felt loved all my life before he died. I’m glad I could say please take some rest now and that my mum was with him when he died. I think that was what he would have wanted. And I feel him around me all the time. And I take comfort from that. And you know what my dad always told me I was beautiful, and clever and kind and thoughtful and funny. And you know what I do that to my son and to the children of those I love. And I do this to those I love and or even those that I just care about at any level.

I’ve thought long and hard about writing these blogs. And I’ve discussed self disclosure with more than one person over the past week. I found I liked people describing themselves as an open book. You may find this difficult reading but my intent is to share and help myself whilst helping others. For me life is easier without too many secrets.

So I have plenty to be glad about. And the baseline is I’m in a better place for sharing this.

And again as they say Peace and Love xxx

 

For all those that enjoy slightly off of central humour

50 Shades of Grey has been all over the media of late, so much that its become a popular reference point. Have I read it? No. Why? Because I think it will be badly written and I can’t bear to read badly written books, I think it will read like Dan Browns Da Vinci Code or one of the Larson books. All readable, all tell a story, just not very well written.

Sometimes I call myself a bit of a book snob, but I’m not, I’m someone who likes words, likes the twists and turns that language can take you to. I like clever plots that take you by surprise, that leave you gasping, wanting more. I like people that expand my thinking, I like people that can challenge me, I seek out the different and the beautiful. I can be kind to meritocracy but my interest lies elsewhere. This applies to the people I know as well as the books that I read, the art I like, the music I listen to. its key to the person I am.

So recently several people have mentioned 50 Shades to me and I’ve explained that I haven’t read it. This last Friday a colleague was telling me that she had been trying to read it for the past few months, she has taken it with her on plane journeys to another continent, more than once, she has read the first couple of pages and that’s as far as it goes. it remains unread.

So I said if you are interested in written erotica you should read Anais Nin…. Reader I’ll put a wiki link at the end for you ….. Anyway Anais was a sublime writer, her books are so glorious , she makes the most base of subject matters shine with beauty. So later that day I was walking past my colleagues office and several other lady colleagues were standing chatting and they called me back…. Debi, what was the name of the book you were talking about?  Ahh I said Anais Nin, she wrote in the 1930′s, examples would be Delta of Venus and Little Birds, both books a collection of short stories. Beautifully written, covers everything and I mean everything…necrophilia and bestiality included’ saying those words always creates a frisson so there was a small pause…. so I went on to say something along the lines of personally think it takes some kind of writing to make necrophilia look anything other than foul. But then we go to bestiality…and I’m pulling a face as I say that… because bestiality turns my stomach…..How can an animal that doesn’t speak the same language as you give consent? ……And to me consent is key to sexual behavior.  So then one of my colleagues mentions the Nancy Friday books and I say yep I’ve read them but my issue with them is that they are supposed to be a collection of individual reminiscences but they are so obviously not. My observation of the world is that people use different language to describe things, the use different language about activities of daily living, they use different language regarding sex, they use different words to describe parts of male and female anatomy and to describe sexual activities, so to me its painfully obvious that these are not a collection of different people retelling of their own stories. And then there is the issue that there was just too much sexual activity involving dogs. And quite frankly it makes me feel sick. I then went on to tell them about a very disturbing episode of Jerry Springer entitled ‘I married my horse’ that was apparently never shown in the states. Yep us poor Brits had to suffer it as one of those, lets look at these freaks kind of show. Trouble was once you started watching it you couldn’t look away!! Bit like that ghastly program about people that go dogging that was on a few months ago. Anyway in the Springer show, the man who had married his horse had actually been married to 3 different women in the past, he had adult children. On the face of it he seemed a little inadequate. He lived in a static caravan in the middle of the woods… so glad that hasn’t damaged my imaginary cabin in the woods that’s been my own personal bolt hole for the past 20 odd years. Anyway Mr I Married my Horse had loads of animals, many of whom he had sex with but he loved one particular horse so much that he married it. can’t find any words that I want to write about that. Could discuss it verbally at length but I’m not writing about it. Then the Springer show went on to interview a couple that lived elsewhere in America, I’ve decided it was Arkansas but I might have filled that memory. So anyway there are Mr Beardie Weirdie and his Round Wife, now they could be having sex together but no, he prefers to go out to the barn and shag the pony leaving her indoors to enjoy sexual relations with the German Shepard…. Seriously!!! I don’t think you could make this up.

Anyway whilst we are all laughing, we are all looking a little freaked out and probably feeling a bit disturbed when another colleague put her head round the door to speak to us. Now earlier in the day someone had left a cat in a basket and a load of personal possessions in the reception area downstairs and just disappeared. Many of the ladies I work with had offered to give the cat a home…. Many of love animals. So anyway our colleague puts her head round the door and says ‘I’m just going to go downstairs to check on the pussy’  To which we all roared with laughter, she stood there looking nonplussed and we pulled her into the room to explain why we were laughing so much!!! Bless her she went bright red. Then a big boss appeared and said oh my god thank goodness you are all laughing, I thought you were crying!  Crying with laughter yes!!! Anyway we told her what we were laughing about and laughed to!! Can I just say how much I love people who have this sense of humour!!!

So this story is now officially going into my memory of stories that  will always make laugh. They join the On Holiday story, the Mr W falling down the golf course embankment story, the Masturbating Monkey story and Mr C going off his nut and appearing to almost pull the handbrake off of his car story…. and yes I did laugh hysterically recalling that event only a matter of weeks ago!!! It was actually very scary at the time it happened … Oh and lets add Mr.C’s Glastonbury sodding yogurt concerns story to that pile.

Anyway that has all made me laugh… but this is going to take a bit of a dark turn now…so I will leave you with this and write the next bit in a separate post. 

As someone says Peace and Love xxx

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ana%C3%AFs_Nin

    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/anais_nin.html

Enjoy xxx