Archive for the ‘ceimh’ Category

How Janie is experienced….

October 18, 2013

Please fill in our ‘Polldaddy’ survey re Bipolar/Manic Depression and Anxiety/Depression levels of experience. There will be prizes for the  respondent who provides contact details, completes the survey questionnaire and offers the best idea for a short, catchy slogan to be attached to the relaunched identity of MissionMiraculus and Miss Miracle’s MIC

….by her loved ones…

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!ound all their alarm bells.

It’s a bipolar relevant matter. My bf (boyfriend) and bf (best friend), my elder daughter and, to be fair, no one else who has expressed concern, have jointly and separately provided a wake-up call for me during the last three weeks. It hasn’t been that I have performed the constant nightmare role in their lives but that I was slipping into something that reminds them of trips to the nuthouse and this has been quite sufficient to unnerve them.

There are, of course, reasons for this instability. Last night I opened up my floodgates of grief re my Dad’s departure for unknown territory a year ago and this has been grounding for both me and my sister and, moving forwards, for those in my world who I love and who love me.

It’s all about ‘early warning signs’ of course – but unless you have an accurate map based on an accurate understanding of causes and pathways then the ‘EWS’ work will be entirely futile. As it has been over and again during years gone by.

This time the medication routine is nailed into the strategy (not necessarily forever but certainly til we get to safe ground) and I am continuing to listen to trusted others.

I am also mindful of anxiety levels around me and mindful to examine the flow of fear that moves across the networks of my friends and families in relation to my social conduct and expressive behaviour.

Just as laughter is poised on the interface of pleasure and pain, so hypomania is poised on the interface of psychic-emotional pain and pleasure – it is that critical point of meeting where fear in the form of anxiety enters the system as adrenalin and begins to flood the body. The body doesn’t have a clear ‘knowledge’ of the meaning of this tidal wave and it moves obediently in accordance with the instructions of the conscious and subconscious mind.

To come to rest the body needs to discharge this adrenalin in a manner that does not merely excite further outflows from the adrenals.

Consequently the ill-advised approaches are:- 1. enter a state of conflict or anger; 2. To be controlled by the adrenalin fuelled state as distinct from remaining mindful of the fact of this flooded condition; 3. To allow the adrenalin flow to go unimpeded.

Due to the pleasurable experience of high adrenalin flow in the body providing that it is linked with excitement rather than fear, the experiencer can be or become inclined to indulge in the flow and to resist external attempts to bring it under control.

Due to the body state – flooded with adrenalin – the very worst move by friends, relatives or mental health services would be to attempt to intervene abruptly and from ‘above’ to bring this condition to a halt. In the vast majority of cases this would be experienced as threatening and frightening by the possessor of the condition and the overwhelmingly likely reaction/response will be resistance. THE RESISTANCE WILL BE IN PROPORTION TO THE FORCE BROUGHT TO THE CONDITION.

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Remember always: adrenalin, at an evolutionary level, is the body’s device for commanding extraordinary levels of emergency mental, emotional and physical energy. The ‘sufferer’ will be in an ‘enhanced state of consciousness’ and an ’emergency-alert body state’.

Where the discharge of the adrenalin is directed toward creative or academic pursuits the results may be surprising in their levels of achievement. Where the discharge is directed toward sporting expressions, similarly, the achievements may be untypical of what would be predictable by the person in their ‘normal’ state. Sport is an excellent vehicle for discharging adrenalin since it clears the body of those poisonous chemicals associated with adrenalin which will collect in the body and harm it whenever it is simply left to fester undischarged.

This of course, is a level of understanding that remains light years away in any NHS psychiatric hospital. It is also why MissionMiraculus has a strategic interest in creating a service that will compete with the NHS for such patients and holds high hopes that it’s bench marked and staticised and published results of the first 2 years of business in this regard will demonstrate that its ‘shared humanness’ ethos and its translated from theory treatment plans outstrip the NHS success stories hands down.

Which is why, if you take an interest in bi-polar/manic depression and/or depression & anxiety, you should link across to Facebook MissionMiraculus page right now and ‘like’ our page there. While you’re at it track the life of Arrabbella Faith on Facebook and sign up to see the ‘Laughing for a Change’. Its Headline act is the well known ‘Barbara Nice’ – well known in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Less well known are a group of ‘new and developing comic artists’ amongst which will be Arrabbella. Only £5 a ticket from the Box Office at the Birmingham Rep and on a Sunday night beginning at 7pm – so it won’t be a late one.

It will, however, be a fun one.  Please fill in the poll questionnaire and take note of the contact details for this site, below. The 1st, 10th, 25th, and 100th person to fill in the questionnaire will win a gift from the Company ‘Miss Miracle’s MIC’ upon providing your email address or mobile telephone number and name. Candidates for a prize should nominate their preference for a gift leaning into the following fields of preference: a book; a gift leaning to nature; a gift from the domain of ‘art and culture’; ‘surprise me’.  The 1st and 1000th respondent will receive a special invitation to the first formal meeting of MissionMiraculus re-launched, a three-course meal with its core team members and the chance to take the stage on the day if they so wish.  The RRP of the gifts are range from £50 to £500 in today’s values. They are forecast to rise in value over the next five years to an exponential degree, ie way out of proportion to the UK annual inflation rate. These gifts, therefore, are recommended for investment purposes as well as for pleasure.

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Hello, Good Evening and Welcome once again ;-)

October 1, 2013
Oasis at the University of Birmingham -

Oasis at the University of Birmingham –

NB ALL NAMES IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ENTRY ON THIS SITE ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CONTENTS HEREIN. GLORY SHOULD BE DIRECTED TOWARD THEM, ANY RAGE PLEASE SEND MY WAY (VIRTUALLY ONLY. IF YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICALLY ENRAGED REACTIONS PLEASE SIT QUIETLY IN YOUR BEDROOM TIL IT PASSES. A VALIUM MIGHT HELP.)

Yes: after a detour into the world of F(ine)Art, its heroes and demons, we return to the sunny climes of the Midlands, focus on the University of Birmingham (though I’ve never actually run a group in or at the clock itself it remains a handy focal point) and the topic of ‘Mental Distress’.I say ‘Mental Distress’ in preference to the normative heading of ‘Mental Health’… After all – does one go to work in a department titled ‘Blood Health’ when one is researching causes of Diabetes? Wouldn’t that be kind of… weird….?

Or would it? In fact maybe such projects SHOULD be called ‘Blood Health’ to assist the focus into how to bring bodies into alignment with healthful balance? I suspect that with Diabetes there are some unsurprising ‘discoveries’ in that direction, though not in the official language, which remains driven by DISease and INbalance and ILL health.

Be that as it may, I am primarily addressing the delightful students I met yesterday and today in one of the science blocks, working with Maureen Smojkis in delivering learning around families and solutions focussed approaches within Social Work practice.

Those of you who have seen us working together know that we have developed our act over the last three or four years (or more) and have now got to the stage where we accidentally lead the way in adult (and child) learning, since we are a ‘force to be reckoned with’…. we don’t talk at people, if we can manage it we don’t talk too much at all; when we do talk Maureen is the straight guy, I am the fall guy and everyone ends up having the minimum of a chuckle.

Is this naughty I hear you asking… Is this something the chancellor in his huge office; his vast piles of paperwork; his ambiance set, doubtless, by paintings, portraits of ex-chancellors etc, and luxury wallpapers with a vast and imposing work table (better known as an executive desk); with his secretary in her own outer office gatekeeping on his behalf and a further office of administrators busily ensuring that the central core of the university is all run according to ‘high academic and social standards’, ‘appropriate protocols’ and ‘unwritten rules’ – would be likely to welcome or abhor?

I couldn’t tell you. I’ve never had a tete a tete with the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, although I’d love to have a coffee and chat with him, for some reason best known only to himself, he’s never rung to invite me.

To be utterly frank, I think I do know the answer to this mystery. It’s less a mystery than an entirely predictable state of affairs. He has never heard of me. He doesn’t know my name; he doesn’t know I work at the University; he doesn’t know what I look like, sound like, or teach like. He doesn’t know my history, my ‘track record’ or my ambitions. He doesn’t know my age, my gender or my height.

I tend to doubt that I am a detail he has ever needed to take any cognizance of.

I may leave it like that.

Then again…. I may alter that… it depends on what I find out about him. So far nothing. He could be a her or a pekingese dog for all I know, though to be fair if he proves to be a small dog I shall be asking serious questions – like – who put him in there? does anyone take him out for poos? does anyone make sure he doesn’t wee on the paperwork – it may sound unlikely, but my benjii frequently sits on a kitchen chair before I get home so I can admire how humanoid he’s becoming…

And – if the top dog of the University of Birmingham is reading this now and is thinking ‘what a delightful person this appears to be, I must contact him/her and invite h for a coffee: please don’t act yet. I need to find out what kind of animal you are first.

Anyhoo… I’ve written this in the hope that the students: Alix, Paul, Dave, Lucy, (I’m running out of remembered names guys, sorry), will get onto this blog and get commenting and opening conversations.. I’m so keen to shift this ‘blog’ from a ‘broadcast’ to a ‘conversation’ (albeit with me having the editor’s pen in my hand at all times and pushing out long monologues when the fancy takes me) –

And I ‘should’ write tons more ‘scintillating’ and ‘profound’ text to send you to sleep with…but I’m almost asleep already…so….

What kind of prize would tempt you to help me out? 🙂 ??

Love and Hugs,

Janie

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome! (‘taking tips from walter benjamin’)

September 5, 2013
ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

…deary me, am I being possessed by David Frost? Please, no, his jacket’s wouldn’t fit me… my shoulders are straight, straight like my mother’s, they look wide and also strong… no there I’m wrong – she looks strong, I’m fragile to gaze at…  lucky me, full of vulnerability – I couldn’t be more pleased… tragedy lies in the line of solid strength, storms will break the impermeable oak; while the willow bends its face beneath the water then,….. sways up again as healthy as before…

What happens when I let my mind wander… (‘loosening of association’)

so – not Seamus Heaney either….
Who else has died this week?
Who’s been born?
Who’s lurking in the shadows,
Scared to be seen?
Who’s losing hope and tiptoe-ing out of the room?
Who’s timidly hiding and slightly showing,
And wishing, someone would lift her to the light?

Who’s visibly playing, playfully dancing,
in this completely heavenly life?
:- Even if moaning at times and crying,
Even if coping badly,
Even if attracting disgrace?
Come out to the playground,

Stop watching the others
Stop thinking that someone wants to hurt you,
Stop counting yourself out of the human race,
By definition you have a full place –
Relax now, get out to enjoy it…
…it’s merely a game away.

Copyright Janie Greville, 11.15pm Sept.5th,2013, All rights reserved.

ooh dear, whoopsy a daisy – just a bit of a loop there, quite forgot what I was supposed to be doing.. remembered tea, got that in the oven, am noticing the strange disconnect between just talking and then suddenly posing as a ‘serious poet’ and a ‘successful one’ (with some conviction) …. deary deary me….

I must put a little hand on that watch…..

I have so very very much to tell you I don’t know where to start….
Let’s call this the introduction, to a book called ‘And the Spark Finally Glides Back into View’ – or some equally enticing title that is both quirky and interesting and – true to the soul of its contents.

I wrote a poem back in the nineties – around 1994 I’d say, thou I’m not sure, which began ‘There’s something in the air’ … I wonder what was going on unbeknownst to me in my district then? I wonder who moved into the atmosphere?

I still don’t know the answer to this question/these questions. It might matter, it might not.

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole... is it safe?

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole… is it safe?

What I do know is that this piece, amongst others written in the 1990’s was the flowering of all my hopes in the form of words. This poem was almost certainly much more significant in the light of subsequent events and processes in my life than it could possibly have appeared back then….

I shall be offering ‘the world’ an analysis of the young artist ‘amelia greville’ (yes – very much a relation) in due course. Her work during the last year has been quite mind blowing for me personally as I’m sitting here, it’s been a labour of sporadic obsession for her, and part of a healing journey to boot – miraculously I am looking at something – it is most telling, most extraordinary, most common, seldom noticed: my children brought me up, stayed near while I suffered and have now moved off into their own lives in such a manner that their going-whilst-staying-near has worked upon me as an aesthetic triumph of healing for me too.

When Jesus said ‘suffer little children to come unto me’ I don’t think people have quite understood what he meant:
he was calling ‘send your little children to me, I am vulnerable, I need their loving hearts, I can’t cope with your abrasive strengths’.

Just a thought.

If so I’m with Jesus all the way – he and I are twins at root, just as are all we who cannot cope with the abrasiveness of adult insensitivity.

Of course – don’t think I’m meaning you if all your sensitivity enables is YOU feeling hurt about YOU. If your boundaries are that strong and tight you’re just the one whose being cuts my spirit down a little – I know you don’t want to, I know you don’t mean any harm – it’s not your fault, you’re just not yet able to see me as just another you. You see – I crave ‘connectedness’ – I don’t want to become you, I don’t want to ‘merge’ with you and I don’t want to ‘take you over’. I just like to feel connected.

Just thought I’d mention..

that I’m just too tired to carry on…. I need to go…

I hope you enjoyed that ‘introduction’. I think it is an exemplary model of ‘realism’ in writing. It is other things, – be patient: I’ve only just begun…

Born at last, after birth cleaned off, birthing suite under repairs

August 11, 2013

 

What a Perfect Summer for it! 🙂

Saturday with Friends and Family  028

Saturday with Friends and Family 028 (Photo credit: -DjD-)

For some reason it seems that everyone I know who has reached true maturity has had to enter some kind of extremely painful, frightening journey in their lives that has retrospectively appeared to be like a ‘rebirth’ because of the gifts it reaps once the shit has settled.

I wonder why the well-intentioned control freaks in the mental health services provision or in any other ‘caring’ contexts will insist on trying to anaesthetise this unbearable pain and distress?

Could it be that these are the people who simply can’t bear to think about inner pain, let alone see it? So much pain that no cognitive coherence is possible and the outer appearance is hysteria, or extreme autism or incomprehensible pattern devoid of apparent rationality or appropriacy.  That they are filled with terror in the face of pain or anything that they don’t understand? That they take refuge in the fields of explanation that omit of the possibility that the apparent extreme, dangerous, intense and mystifying behaviour is a developmental urge of the soul which is reaching for more of life, more joy, more pleasure, more fulfilment, more love, more beauty, more opportunity, more hope?

Perhaps it is time that the position of being a practising psychiatrist should enter DSM : mental disorder: asocial personality disorder is a person who exhibits an over attachment to rules and other aspects of systems and an under acknowledgement or interest in fellow persons. In consequence such a person when relating or encountering a fellow human will not be at all observant in relation to who is in front of her/him. S/he will scan the person and their behaviour through his/her rule books and guidelines and make rapid judgements about who s/he is ‘with’ that have nothing to do with the person she/he is with. In day to day life you can spot such people by their level of social discriminations, religious and political discriminations etc etc. In a professional such as a psychiatrist the disorder is evidenced by the manner in which he/she scans the patient for descriptions to be found in disorder texts and dsm manual of ‘disorders’ and ‘symptoms’.

To be fair the simplest test with everyone you meet is: do they think for themselves? If they do you can be pretty sure they are either under 7 or a mature adult. Some adults mature very young. Some are still in the ‘gang age’ when they die, alone, at 92.

Interesting Laing failed to break psychiatry and the ‘madness industry’ not because his arguments were poor but because they could be politically challenged and attacked and were vulnerable to the breezes of fashion especially if the breeze grew strong. The arrival of a Britiain weary of Callaghan as well as Heath meant that the culture swung to the right. Laing’s decline became inevitable, part of the ‘hippy 60’s’ ’70’s decay’ once Thatcherism got a hold.

Nothing to worry about – as you’ve seen I have discovered a way to highlight the conceptual frame for contemporary and 19th C Psychiatry that secures everyone, gradually – hopefully if you all find 5 people to share this posting with and ensure that they do the same thing, the sharing will be rapid. By next Saturday the paradigm shift in this zone of ‘science’ will have been noticed and there will be an article in the Independent on Saturday and something related to that but asking more probing questions, will be in the Observer on Sunday lol

Well that was a ‘hypo-manic’ paragraph in its optimism and sweeping generalisation. Still…. it remains disappointing that I have fewer companions for uprooting this 150 year old bind weed – we’re more than a mere handful, but we’re being held back by the obsequious and the opportunistic, not to mention the socially compliant which leads, lets face it, to obsequiousness anyway. Oh I do wish people valued themselves more and began to think for themselves!

Of course – earning the label consultant psychiatrist doesn’t exclude that person from being someone who fully listens to and observes an acutely distressed human being. It is simply that the entire training as a psychiatrist is the same as that of a GP and both are trained to see the body as so many working, or not working, or struggling, parts. It includes diagrams and demonstrations of how these different parts relate to each other. It doesn’t, however, have an integrated sense or concept of the whole person being greater than the sum of its parts – in a way that a lawn mower doesn’t, or a jaguar doesn’t, for example.

Now – Do an Amelia Greville – and spread the news lmao

Toodle Pip, From your every loving

Miss Miracle (in August)

Passing Strangers

February 1, 2013
Mr Fox

Mr Fox

Started this entry and lost three paragraphs immediately. How infuriating is that!!

Well, as I was starting – I met with Nicola Bate today for the last time.

As the woman who has worked with me for two years to adjust my identity toward self acceptance, embrace of my womanhood, ego-stabilisation and recognition that ‘no man is an island – nor is any woman’ and, even, that this was a lesson I needed to learn: it was not an occasion I necessarily looked forward to. She has become my ‘internalised mother figure’ and it’s always nice if you have an external figure to attach to your internal registers.

Still, I have memorised her image quite well, I doubt I’ll ever forget her face or her gait, indeed, I’ll never forget anything much about her. To her I owe my entirely novel state of wellbeing.

It is an achievement that would not have been possible, however, without an entire network of friends and associates in my life echoing her acceptance and positive regard.

Is this the point at which I list all of the people I regard as contributing to my recovery, indeed, not mere recovery but progress toward what Mike Smith and Marion Aslan define as ‘Thriving’?

Is it too soon to make such an announcement? After all, I’m sitting in a kitchen that defies description in any civilised terminology – my entire home is reminiscent of anyone’s concept of ‘hell on earth’ – boxes, bin bags full of books and clothes, portfolios, canvases, ‘people’ every inch of the place – it’s barely safe to walk to the front door, so likely is it that I’ll fall over something leaning in my way. Loft insulation wonderful, preparation for it – nightmare!

But also – preparation for it: miraculous: down fell so much art work I thought I’d binned many years ago.. Of course the larger part was binned and this is merely the smaller stuff the ephemeral stuff that was easy to chuck above myself out of sight. Still, it’s been a treasure of wonder to me that I can only feel deeply grateful for. How to proceed from here, though, is another question. My father’s will to furnish me with sufficient fund’s to see me out of financial distress after his death was an unexpected privilege I still haven’t got over, any more than I will ever get over, past, or want to move from his words and look on the last day I spent with him, five days before his death. The cash is not in sight as yet, however, and won’t be for some time. The house needs to be cleared, cleaned and repaired before that can occur.

I’m still accepting incapacity benefit/esa and ‘therapeutic earnings”supervised’ by a woman who seldom offers any supervision, and I remain in the dark regarding how or when a more dignified alternative to this plight will arise as an unmissable opportunity.

Yet, such an opportunity is what I have some sense is absolutely predictable for me within the year.

So, again – is now the time to announce my transition to health or is now the time to remain a little wary of such open optimism?

On balance I’ll stick with just a little wariness. Whilst also thinking it’s high time I thanked endless characters from the University of Birmingham – Jerry, Maureen, Kris, Ann & Alex, Dee, and from MHRN, Sonia, and Paul McDonald, for a culture of acceptance and tolerance in relation to me that has made a big difference to my life in recent years. To Paul Roberts and Gordon Parsons, Becky and Bella I owe my sense of security in possessing a local friendship circle and to Glenn Miranda I am ever grateful for his unswervable faith in MissionMiraculus. He, I and Gordon alone, I suspect, remain enthusiastic adherents to the mission and values informing that eccentric little group. It’s never been smaller or less active, officially than it is today – other than that ’til 2009 it had remained effectively a concept in my head and a few bits of paper since 2000 – so it’s made progress since then.

It surfaced in my mind today after seeing Nicola and having my eyebrows threaded (not simultaneously). I sauntered into Cafe Nero, my favourite Redditch coffee bar (there’s a really cute little girl who works there, same age as my own daughters, and I tend to buy her a chocolate each time I go there, though today, after the expense of the threading, she had to go without). I sat down and within minutes the owner of the cola on the table I was at appeared and sat beside me. His name was Mr Fox and he was 26 years old and he suffered from the kind of restless, nervous leg movements that aren’t unusual amongst young men. It transpired that he has suffered from mental health distress and that he attended Kings Norton Boys School. I add in these details because, if anyone recognises this description I’d like you to urge him to come along to Suresearch and find some peer support in Birmingham. In the absence of any organised peer support in Redditch it seems the best thing to do.

Suresearch has a website and the address and directions to arrive at the right destination will be on the site. I go to these meetings so he won’t arrive and find himself isolated in any way.

It made me think. Maybe I need to localise some of my energies and organise some kind of peer support group in Redditch that isn’t paternalistic and boring as hell but appeals to young people being casually written off by a cynical social infrastructure.

That’s it for now.

I need to brush my hair and dash along to Birmingham to get another hepatitis jab for my honorary research contract.

Toodle Pip,

Janie

The Collaborative Learning Initiative

January 17, 2013
Oasis at the University of Birmingham -

Oasis at the University of Birmingham –

at the University of Birmingham is an annual season of teaching and learning that crosses professional boundaries to bring together training psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses – but sadly this year no occupational therapists.

It also brings together a group of people who have long standing experience of using the mental health services as a patient or as the carer of someone suffering mental health distress.

And, of course teaching staff at the university covering the disciplines mentioned, barring always that no-one teaches ‘life’s hard knocks’ so there isn’t a tutor actually paid to proliferate and skill up patients and carers. Lol.

Although: I believe that the very concept of ‘narrative medicine’ which is at the heart of the presence of we ‘service users’ and ‘carers’ in teaching positions contains a kernal of conviction that we would be very careless to ignore.

This kernal is the conviction that first hand experience stands as valid knowledge and that ignoring first hand experience is to imperil all knowledge and activity relating to anyone being ignored.

This may yet prove to be a difficult nut for the health professions and the academic professions to swallow, let alone digest. Tokenism becomes impossible once the ramifications and logical consequences of such a statement are thought through.

Yet again I have begun a talk in mind of narrating a tale and instead issuing a sermon and an advertisement. If you hadn’t noticed the advert – worry not – it’s coming up next.

The ‘shared humanness model’ provided by Tracey Holley sets parameters within which the knowledge of first hand experience may begin to be positioned within the nexus of medical theory. And social theory. And educational theory. And much else.

Human Aesthetics is my particular additional contribution to this model. It is not yet developed to a hybrid model, nor an integral model of both theories.

Human Aesthetics refer to those parts of our appearance and behaviour which we apply the greatest of detailed care to, in refining and polishing our skills of interaction.

Human interaction is seldom seen as in need of such attention.

I beg to differ. I believe it is the primary purpose of our living. After all – if we lived alone on an island like Swift’s Robinson Crusoe we’d yearn most desperately to find a Man Friday to save our bacon: I know I would. So if our very survival depends on each other and our capacity to co-operate for common good, isn’t it incumbent upon us to take the matter of social skills more seriously than we do?

The history of mental health services and the tragedies within its sagas is a trail of social skills problems. It begins with distress becoming distressing and it ends with abuse traumatising someone already distressed. It would be hilarious if there weren’t so many lost lives involved in it.

Fortunately the times they are a changing. Be the light of change and the changes will settle more quickly and easily for everyone.

PEER SUPPORT

December 20, 2012

All Kinds of Roads Lead to Love

Peer Support has a strong following.

At its most normative it is the fellowship of members of a suffering group.

Frankly the suffering can be at any level. Mothers at a baby and toddlers group; men at the pub chewing over grudges in the office over a couple of pints and a lot of disassociation and a tendency to dissociate from problems and an equivalent tendency to ‘boast’ about capacities and ‘gains’ – sexual, ….mainly sexual… linked in with self representations as ’empowered’ despite underlying ‘power’ issues…

Those ‘peer support’ groups which lean toward such as mental health survivor groups (/service user groups etc) possess an almost beautiful tendency to accommodate feelings of vulnerability, of failure, of anxiety, of underlying fear.

It is not that we would want anyone to embrace fear.

It is the reverse of what anyone should embrace.

However.

To embrace the honesty of the experience indicates an HONESTY.

Apparently ‘honesty’ is easier to embrace if one is a woman.

Women find it easier to confide in each other about their fears of failure – failing to be the ‘perfect mother’; ‘perfect homemaker’; ‘perfect earner’; ‘perfect body’; ‘perfect face’; ‘perfect lover’; ‘perfect all-rounder’…

It makes it much easier for us. By seeing ourselves as imperfect everywhere we have so much less pressure weighing down upon us…

By having so much less pressure weighing upon us we have a greater chance of achieving anything at all…

Is that a possibility?

What is ‘woman’s priority’? On the whole, by the time most women get to 30 or 35 (more likely 25 maximum as a median average) they have already chosen that the care of their children counts as top priority.

This subsumes their identity to another(s).

Meanwhile men, on the whole, are stifled by this commitment, since their commitment is predominantly still to themselves. On the whole – if a problem arises in their relationship with a female, even their parenthood will prevent them from continuing as a committed partner. Or parent. Their focus remains upon themselves.

This has multiple consequences. Although it has apparent unfortunate indications for women who are trapped by their emotional social commitments of minors depending upon them, thus tending toward lower incomes to support them: they tend to have strong friendships with fellow women including family members, and a very strong sense of purpose.

Men on the other hand are weak by comparison. Why are they weak? Because of their solitary commitments and because of their fear of confessing or showing weakness.

Perhaps where they are able to declare their victimisation at the hands of one woman they may be able to ‘buy in’ to another woman’s sympathetic loving commitment. Indeed, I’m sure we are all keenly aware of one or two men whose social (and sometimes financial) ‘salvation’ is gained this way.

How long will this last once the perpetrator of male misery has paled from view, however?

No – let’s return again to the strength of woman to woman solidarity and what it can teach men, and men and women.

A woman who tends to the misery of man to the exclusion of her own woes is as a mother to a son. A man who does similarly is as a father to a child.

The strong ‘peer support movement’ between members of the ‘mental health service users and survivors movement’ is one which can withstand strong challenges from both strength and weakness because of the empathy that holds between members.

If we forget this side of the movement and simply focus upon ‘professional commitments’ of ‘research’, ‘committees’ and ‘meetings’ – we have lost the war. Never mind the battle. Just de-frock and go home. The strength is surging through the feminine in a manner that has nothing to do with ‘feminism’ or ‘being a woman’.

It’s all about ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. I haven’t a clue which is who. But I do know that femininity needs to surge in order that humanity survive.

Amen to that.

Merry Christmas and an Aborted Old Year !

December 10, 2012

228483_10150573506395514_893365513_18705285_5857753_n sisters

Like my style? 😉

Abortion.

What might we like to abort today?

Justice? Barely.

Injustice? Possibly.

Abortion is a sensitive, delicate subject.

..It is particularly delicate and sensitive for me.

Every Christmas since December 30th 1994 I have approached Christmas with an intent to please and make everything lovely.

And then completely ruined it.

Well – actually – I managed Christmas 94, 95, 96 just about Ok.

Probably the first because I hadn’t quite hit the wall.

Probably 95 because, well, I’d convinced myself that silence really was the way forward; false smiles the cheer of the good.

’96… 96 I was fraying within. Reaching the end of my personal, fragile weave…

’97 I’d already tipped over to the point where I’d so successfully repressed my pain and its source that I didn’t even have a conscious awareness that this… This.. THIS was the cause of my unbearable trauma.

This year I’m determined to focus on this earth, this blessing, these blessings, the beauty of all that is and all that can be.

I refuse to bleed my griefs into the fabric of the season.

Were I a good Catholic girl I would find myself in commune with those who understand my undying pain.

http://https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSpl-CyZl-kqZAvxp2-B8pj1QXRbWNMzekp2T4iULAq_BFdrpqA

But I’m not even a Catholic, let alone a good one.

By culture I’m a Scandinavian-Germanic-(Celtic) Calvinist who happens to abhor abortion simply because in my own bizarre, no doubt, eyes, every conception is, at the very instant of it – a miraculous wonder of life burgeoning: a ‘god given blessing’ to share this earth with a new innocent emerging..

http://http://uploads5.wikipaintings.org/images/sandro-botticelli/the-birth-of-venus-1485(1).jpg

My husband-of-the-time, who had announced, most decisively from my point of view (‘shared values’ etc) that he ‘wanted at least 4 or 5 children’ ordered me to have an abortion in early? mid? December 1994.

The Doctor I visited in the fervent hope and belief he would refuse such a crime on the grounds of inappropriacy and unsuitability simply reached for his form and sent me to the hospital for a scan and abort.

Question asked: ‘Why do you want an abortion?’ Question answered, in a hesitant, reluctant and reticent form as a quotation as required ‘because my husband and I think our family is complete’. Response: reach for form. Eye contact: Nil.

My husband-of-the-time came with me for the hospital appointment. He would. He’d want to ensure I went through with it.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRlo0Bb1QTHMQ5epqLduUqoJRv7J98SqKluDEjj1m7G6biY5neZyQegB2Fp9g

I sat in the waiting area after the scan to assess age of gestation. I sobbed. Then sobbed. Then sobbed some more. I begged my H-of-the-time not to make me kill my baby.

He sat beside me watching some tv screen ahead and above him as if I weren’t there. He didn’t say a word to me. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t give a shit how I felt.

When we were called in the sister/nurse did give a shit. She took my right hand in hers, or both my hands, can’t be quite sure, and she showed caring. It was a caring I hadn’t experienced in a long while.

She told me that she had something to tell me that, under the circumstances maybe was a good thing.

The foetus, as she named it, had died within me a fortnight before. It had been poisoning my body as a result of not naturally aborting (as a ‘miscarriage’) and so if I hadn’t come for this scan I could have died.

I saw this as my baby giving up on life in the belief that I didn’t love him/her enough.

I suffered years of flashbacks and dreams about my lost baby. I imagined the nurse having been bribed to tell me this and that my baby wasn’t dead but was killed because I believed the lie.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRVQPaXhwOHBOpuaWOahhbDANuiFfMIUAf58yRH18Tn32ep1cG_Bg

However absurd the idea of that :- my sense of myself as a murderer of my longed-for baby sat in my ‘god shaped hole’ for years. And years. And years.

It spilled out one day in 2009 in a preceptorship course session. Not very neat. Not very tidy. Not well handled (by me, I mean).

It made one of the students cry.

I shouldn’t have been glad.

But I was glad.

Especially perhaps, because it was a male student. He healed my total loss of trust in men (apart from my father and my grandfather.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT6Zocgu_fSgcFTNzGStQTbCqHamNVYe3ZSqOS2_suVHb8Z0uU7kw
(I use an ‘in-service soldier’ image because – I believe that mental health practitioners need to realise that – that’s what they have to have the courage to be in order to do their job well)

Only now do I look back with shame as I realise –

I was glad.

At last I had shared a bit of my pain.

(But shouldn’t have got such a healing from the comfort of strangers… sadly no comfort had come from anywhere else..)(Not that it had had a chance – I’d shared it with no-one else.)

It must have lessened it.

Because in 2012 I sit here writing these words: sure – I’ve cried a river as I’ve written this, have had to stop, at times, just to protect the keyboard and find a way to carry on.

But until 2009 I was driven by my unconscious and my sleeping nightmares.

I had spent a full 11 years or more, by that time, attempting to live with an unbearable reality.

It had driven me round the bend.

Not so crazy that I so lost the plot that I didn’t know the difference between truth and reality.

I was very clear on that.

Some bits in the middle were not so easy to determine.

I must say though.

I only have and would only ever publish what I know.

I know that you visit. I know that you skim through to see what you find interesting.

I have no idea what you think.

On this particular entry: I would love to hear from you.

I imagine that most of you probably come from a pro-abortion background and may feel offended.

Please don’t.

Try to imagine that for ME PERSONALLY pregnancy in my body is always experienced as an existence of 2 in 1.

I don’t assume or judge others for having different views.

Who am I to judge?

I do judge internally and very rarely, openly – those who act to transgress my essential identity and values. Identity and values that, as it happens, are entirely legal. I don’t judge others in this value/view: I can imagine that experiences outside of mine could lead me to hold different views. But I haven’t had them. So I don’t.

Especially where I been explicit and honest about them. I used ‘the pill’ a few times. Probably about 3 months in the whole of my life. I doubt it was that long. Actually I used the ‘rhythm method’. Oh – and celibacy.

I didn’t mean to be a catholic.

It was the way I was brought up.

It was the way my heart beat.

It was where the stars were placed on the instant of my birth.

It was the result of my father’s piano playing.

It derived from my adoration of babies..

From my yearning to share the joy of living

From my wishful conviction in the multiplication of love

From my conviction that the world is always as big as the heart

….

..or as small…

Tell me.

What do YOU think? 🙂

It never rains but…

October 18, 2012
Snowed Under

Snowed Under

…listen dear reader: I know you don’t want to read about my life; I know that you want some continuity between pieces, some grace of flow. Listen until the last piece has been published and then decide.

Am up to my eyes and beyond in practical family entanglements and I’m tangled as hell can be. I’ll be back as soon as I’ve sorted the knots.

It’s all in the words.

Harrassment Alert

March 4, 2012
Strength Battered By Brutality

Strength Battered by Brutality

Today we wish to draw your attention to a case being brought by the police against a citizen of Birmingham.

The person in question is a member of the Suresearch group in Birmingham. Suresearch is a service user peer support and research group that also includes and involves friends and allies amongst professional academics at the University (where it is hosted) – and other groups and individuals championing the cause of human rights and, i.e., improved treatment of sufferers of acute and/or enduring mental health distress by both provided services and surrounding communities.

He is an active citizen who is committed to offering his time and energies to the service of others by providing information and links to members of the suresearch group and to other groups of which he is either a member or an actively interested visitor.

One of these other groups is ‘Pink Shield’, a gay community group. At meetings of this group a police contingent is present to represent and to learn about the threats faced by this community group and to respond appropriately to its needs.

Our Suresearch member made a link with one of these police officers and added her to his email list for relevant communications. In addition, where he deemed it appropriate, he sent her specific communications to alert her to matters he considered relevant and significant for police notice.

Around about the time of the August riots last year, he noticed that the police officer concerned possessed a facebook page that clearly identified both her occupation and her private living whereabouts. In an act of protective alert, he sent her an email to caution her about this, explaining the potentially vulnerable position she was placing herself in.

He was arrested on January 17th this year and held, first in a police cell, then at a remand centre, for 8 days and nights. He was allowed no visitors or phone calls, and the letter sent to him by his brother mysteriously ‘disappeared’ – at any rate, he didn’t receive it until he returned home and could read the copy of it his brother had wisely made.

He has appeared in court and has been given an adjourned date of 26th April, 2012 for the hearing.

We will be obtaining the time and the address of the magistrates court where this hearing will take place and we will be calling for visible support for this maligned citizen.

Thank you for your time and support of this case.

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