Posts Tagged ‘coffee time’

What I’ve noticed – have you?

September 13, 2013
Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

What I’ve noticed is that there are several different adddresses to this blog – some to art lovers, some to mental health freaks, some to Janie Greville e

nthusiasts, some to poetry.

It’s hardly a focussed audience.

Needs some thinking through.

Any ideas?



Manna from Heaven

January 31, 2013
Hiding from the Wreck

Hiding from the Wreck

Or, rather, from my loft (same difference?)..

I very sensibly arranged to have my loft insulated lately and today is the day that the event will take place. Indeed, I am writing this just 40 minutes prior to men entering my home to find that preparation for their work has turned my home, which had lately begun to look quite civilised, into wreck of the hesperus – not that I’ve ever read that poem, but it’s entered daily parlance so I’m assuming that the overwhelming chaos in which I daily find myself is a fitting tribute to that concept.

Not that I had or have ever wished to make such tribute. It seems that my life has been predisposed to the matter. No sooner do I exert myself to the huge effort and commitment of a mega clear up than something comes along in my life that undoes all my good intentions and returns me to this whirling disorder.

I’m not, at the best of times, the most domesticated animal ever born, so maintaining simple dignity is a challenge even then, but when my life is turned upside down like this, it’s like beginning to drown in life’s drivel..

I maintain my sanity by ignoring it and sitting down to write. It hardly answers to the demands of the occasion but it answers to my need to hide from ugliness by living inside my mind.

It is, perhaps, one of my more crazy habits.

Still, in recent years my crazy habits have been very kindly tolerated and accommodated by an ever growing circle of true friends who seem to acknowledge, accommodate and forgive them all by focussing on what virtues I possess. If it weren’t for these dear friends I dare say I would still be living half my life in the loony bin, drugged up to my eyes on anti psychotics and hardly able to walk in a straight line, so deleterious are such drugs upon one’s co-ordination, hope factor and social opportunities.

I was reading a very interesting account by Jan Wallcraft in her recently initiated blog – I can’t recall it’s name now, which is infuriating – I’ll get back to you about that.. She was writing about ‘recovery’ and her attention was focussed on the use of that concept, and the bending of it, by psychiatry. Psychiatry has taken the concept of ‘recovery’ on board by emptying it of any meaningful content. They have to because, as dealers for pharmaceutical companies they must, perforce, continue to peddle the crappy idea that people who have intense life crises that see them ending up in front of a psychiatrist will probably need to be held down with drug addictions for the rest of their lives.

Jan has a very good point. The concept of ‘recovery’ has been utterly corrupted by these idiots. And around the country, certainly in Worcestershire, the regional mental health trusts are ‘leading by example’ of identical idiocy. Pernicious idiocy is what we’re talking about of course.

Still – there’s a case for re-claiming the proper meaning of the word. In the last couple of years I have been ‘reclaiming’ – and ‘recovering’ the identity of ‘Janie Greville’ as it had been ‘identified’ prior to `1997 when I fell foul of my ex husband’s good will and thus the mental health services.

Little by little I have noticed that I am addressed as an intelligent, creative, productive and affectionate if impulsive human being. This would fit nicely with the ‘Janie’ I was prior to meeting my ex-husband. I managed to sustain something of that identity even during much of my relationship with him. When it became impossible to ‘be myself’ with him I ended the marriage.. And apparently my entire edifice of being. His temporary blind rage ignited the mental health services in 1997 to an energy of purging. The intent, it would appear, was to purge me of my identity, my personality, my character, my aspirations, my earning power and my reputation. It all fitted in well with how my enraged ex-husband would like to see me punished for the crime of ending the marriage. It barely fitted in very well with my purpose of improving my – and my children’s – lives, however.

So I kept rebelling. Each time I rebelled I found myself back in hospital drugged to a state of bare consciousness. A steady stream of psychiatrists and cpn’s and one very silly social worker, ‘maintained’ this despicable culture. May I name a few people? I’d better not, I’m not wanting to excite trouble I can avoid.

I’ll name those who stand innocent of this fiasco, though. Verity and Fez, social worker and cpn respectively, who have intervened in my life in only beneficial ways.

There is a Dr Dhaya in the background, also, who doesn’t appear to have input much harm into the situation. He has stayed in the background, exactly where he belongs. To that extent he must be praised. It’s just a possibility that he is notably less dogmatic and arrogant than so many of his colleagues.

There is also a man called Dr King, now largely if not entirely retired now, I think, who ‘saw me’ in ways that were not merely hopeful but positively flattering. I like being flattered, don’t we all? Most of all, though, I like it when I am treated as a person I can recognise as me. He had that capacity. He occasionally addressed the part of me who saw me in my potential even hypothetical best possibilities. That tended to make me feel a bit nervous – I always fear disappointing others and prefer to underplay my abilities rather than the reverse, though at times I too see the possibilities, fear of failure has held me back.

But I support the attempt to paint my picture in as optimistic a light as possible – after all, it’s encouraging and hopeful. And a huge contrast to the kinds of portraits offered to me by his predecessor. I feel I owe him a tribute for this; partly because it held me for a few years in a state of survival instead of probable death; partly because he may in fact be somewhat a designing architect of the identity I now approach.

After all – we, none of us, are ‘islands’. This cliche needs to step out of its space as simple cliche. We are in fact less islands, or lands, than junctions into which and from which energies move and flow, or become stuck. Everything that encourages flow enhances the self, everything that inhibits flow or excites explosion, is to be condemned as destructive of the self. Every successful achievement is the achievement of a community of goodwill and support and input – even those achievements that appear to be the production of a single person are in fact the achievement of a community of this kind.

It is true, likewise for destructive as well as noble actions. None of us act alone however lonely we may feel at times. This knowledge tends to support the idea that we should choose our friends carefully for undoubtedly we shall in time become the measure of the friends we spend most time with and the values we nurture most in our minds.

Well! What a splendid way to avoid the clearing I need to do to turn my wreck back into a home, and the loft insulators are still not here, they were due 15 minutes ago – gosh I hope they haven’t forgotten!!!

By Janie Greville 2013.


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.


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.


March 24, 2012


I have come across one of my many starts at my life story – one that, obviously, has 97-2009 at it’s centre of drama, but that contextualises it more fully, and is written as a ‘writing for its own sake’ if you know what I mean…

I’m tempted to try a few pages out on you to get your reaction viz if you’d be likely to buy a book like it…


The CLI Presentation – Words for Now :-)

February 23, 2012

Tracey Holley's New Home 🙂

There’s no doubt about it: anyone finding themselves a patient on a psychiatric ward is in a vulnerable, distressed state. Whether or not hospitalisation has been necessary – or even helpful – is, in this sense, less important than recognising the vulnerability and distress of the person in question.

Whether desperately unhappy; enraged; disturbed or confused, patients are characteristically in a state of overwhelm on arrival; the more so where they have been forced into the context.

Thus the first duty of caring professionals = nursing; medical and other practitioners, is to acknowledge and respond sensitively to the emotive state of the patient at this point.

Sadly this has not been my experience most of the time: indeed, on the contrary, the insensitive, inobservant, arrogant and cavalier conduct of staff in the early years of my experience of mental health services created within me the mission I have had ever since to address it’s traumatising, wounding impacts – impacts that for many, are more violent and repressive than the contexts from which they were taken.

However, outstandingly compassionate and sensitive behaviours by four members of staff stand out from this mellais of disgrace.
The first came within a year of my request for an alternative psychiatrist from the one I had been ‘given’ in 1997 and whose arrogant, insensitive attitude and behaviour had driven me to 2 suicide attempts (none prior to meeting her, none even as a thought, before it).

The replacement psychiatrist was far from perfect (are any of us?) but what he did have going for him, certainly in relation to me, was a transparent humanity and quirkiness that warmed my heart and assisted me to feel as protective and concerned for his own wellbeing as he clearly felt for mine.

His name was John King. He recognised my intellectual restlessness and stretching inquisitiveness, he noticed my creative impulses and achievements; he marked my impassioned love for my children; he found it difficult to get his head around the abuse I had endured from various quarters leading up to and continuing in relation to my personal breakdowns and difficulties in recovering from these.

The second came from a nursing assistant who, by the time of this particular incident, I had met several times during ‘incarcerations’ at Hill Crest Hospital in Reddditch. I am racking my mind to remember her name, I feel dreadful that it isn’t at the tip of my tongue. I ran into her at a seminar only a year or so ago : she is attractive, 40-ish, with dark, curly long hair; vivacious and warm: the very epitome of the kind of nurse that anyone could wish for on a ward.

In 2003 she noticed the painfully distressed state I was in and within a few days she asked me if I would like help to have a bath. Her manner was non-patronising, tender and empathic. She had surmised that I was in serious need of nurture – she couldn’t have been more right. ‘Normally’ I am frighteningly shy and inhibited about my body, having suffered body dysmorphia and eating disorders from my early teens that had affected my growth so that in some respects I appeared barely adult: this was only too evident to me and I tended all my life to hide away from inspection, or indeed, even from being physically noticed.

With her maternal warmth and gentleness I allowed her to run a bath for me and to re-enter the room after I had undressed and got into the bath. She gently washed my back – a form of physical contact that I had not felt able to accept for so long I had no memory of it. Indeed, when I reflected upon it, I had not received such gentle contact from humanity since I was a tiny pre-school child, by one of my grandparents. It was a healing, nurturing contact that catalysed my recovery.

The third person to stand out from the crowd was another nursing assistant who was small, bubbly and loved by absolutely every patient. She worked with the hospital team to advocate for my needs to have contact with my children and she succeeded. She took me away from the hospital for coffee hours where we simply sat and chattered like girls with no reference to ‘heavy issues’: again, my recovery was catalysed.

Finally, I received memorable respect and kindness during my most extraordinary imprisonment last year. It was extraordinary because my distress had been caused directly and almost exclusively by malicious efforts by my ex-husband and his wife to malign me in order for my ex-husband to continue to conceal the truth about himself; plus, by the mental health service who once more, and this time indefensibly, leapt to his aid by ‘rounding me up’ after hot pursuit and declaring me insane for writing a blog and for being ‘over familiar’ with a nurse who I had known (to be ‘over familiar’ himself at Hill Crest where I had first met him) by trying to engage him in music session whilst he was (ininvitedly) in my home…..

…one of the nursing assistants (support workers, as they are now called) took to coming into see me in my room when the ward was quiet, simply to have a chat, to show me her publications, her poetry and to contextualise me in relation to the triggers for her work. This was respect, courtesy, warmth, acceptance, treating me in a manner I could recognise as fitting in relation to my identity..

I hope that this indicates to you the kinds of positive risks these intelligent and responsible and compassionate individuals took and the gains their risks achieved in the journey of one mental health patient. So very risky none of it was – but they took the ‘risk’ of ‘coming out from behind’ real or supposed masks of ‘expertise’ and ‘clinical’ (=cold and heartless and judgemental) reserves of ‘professional identity’ and related to me as fellow human beings disposed to assist me at a point of pain and difficulty in my life.

I hope that you, too, find the courage to work in the interests of ‘shared humanness’ regardless of those pressures you may find to be remote, ‘professionally detached’ and covertly judgemental. Active listening is probably the most important skill any mental health, or any other health, professional can acquire and use.

Rise Again

February 19, 2012
Thanks to sarahstitely

Sun Bejewells Water

Hoping for Glory

At a clear moment of a cloudy day
the sun shot beams of light across the water
like a child skimming stones.
Touching every ruffled movement
blades of brightness hurt watching eyes..

Soon clouds eclipsed the sharp light,
hazy greens and creams drifted about
on the pond.

I, too, would like to sparkle before I fade.


Tim Minchin Presents: ‘Prejudice’

January 27, 2012

– music so transforms and empowers truth – the pleasure principle works every time 🙂

Well, you’ve had a week off, working, playing, and:

January 26, 2012

Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

On you now have endless hours of pleasure watching a range of short films made by the MissionMiraculus Entertainments Team.

They are based on the MM party that took place last Saturday night and that included Arrabbella Faith as a guest; on the difficulties I ran into on Monday when a car tyre slash + a hormone riot + a hard day at the unit for the man who was going to mend my car… Plus some reflections on Love that I’ve actually got subtitles for (right term? not sure..)

(Thanks to flip share camcorder software – Flip Share rocks!!!)

I hooe you have a great weekend. I shall be starting early, working tomorrow, car at the garage, then home for a bath before I dress up for social fun and then stay in pointlessly lol 😉

Competition Terms of Entry.

January 24, 2012

Hurrah - the rules explained at last!!!!

Competition 1.Entrants are invited to think of a ‘catch phrase’ for one, other or both of the blogs : and
Three top prizes will be awarded to the winners of this prize: 1. The winner of the catchphrase award for silencelol.wordpress 2. The winner of the catchphrase award for the talkheals.wordpress 3. The winner of the catchphrase award for the amalgam blogs, incorporating an excellent marketing grasp of the power of the two together.

First prize for 1 and 2 will be £500. First prize for 3 will be £1000.

The catchphrases will be used for the year of 2012 on the blog and will be credited to the author of it.

Competition 2.

Entrants are invited to write an article in which the relationship between the two sites, and are examined and appreciated, much as one would appreciate a work of art.

The project of these blogs is to be thought of within a small number of reference points:-

A. Art – Form and Content
B. Art and Politics
C. Art in the 19th Century, Courbet to Manet
D. In relation to Rodchenko and the Constructivists
E. Women in Art
F. Art & Language (in both senses; of the group and the concept)
G.’Issue’ (Nottingham) and ‘Ratcatcher’ (Hull)
H. ‘History Painting’
I. ‘Fine Art’ and ‘Art Theory’
J. ‘Who the f**k does Janie Greville think she IS, anyway!?!?!’
K. Mental Health Narrative Practitioner Work.
L. Anti Stigma and Discrimination: Equality and Diversity Law. Theory into Practice.

There will be an award for each interesting and memorable entry into this competition. Intellectuals from a range of strands should find plenty to get their teeth into; Anti-Intellectuals can have a field day with option J.

The winning prize for this competition will be £1500 plus an invitation to join the board at MissionMiraculus as either an honorary member or an executive member at their own choosing. They will collect a 5% share of MM’s 2012 profits.

Get marketing you writers – this blog will make as much money as you provide it via your visits and recommendations. The more you engage, the richer it will get and the greater your stake in the company: MissionMiraculus!!! 😉

The end of entry date is not yet decided. Entries to be sent to the address as advertised yesterday and please ensure the fees are paid. £2.50 for Competition One, £4.50 for Competition 2.

Looking Forward to hearing from you. Let’s put the end of date at 31st March. CUT OFF DATE 31ST MARCH 2012. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS LATE APRIL 2012.

Address for entries is
for fees is MissionMiraculus; c/o 199 Easemore Road, Riverside, Redditch, Worcs., B98 8HF.


Competition Update

January 23, 2012

Have a coffee and get writing! 🙂

Ok. A lot of interest shown in the competition, so we’re thinking: A two tier competition level.

One competition will cost £4.50, this will be a simple competition and the top prize will be £500.

The second competition will be more creative and intellectual and will take a lot of effort. The top prize will be £1000 and the entry fee will be £2.50. An incentive then, for putting in the effort.

The valuable outcomes of both will be published on this or an associated site.

Address for entries and entry fees : MissionMiraculus, C/o 199 Easemore Road, Riverside, Redditch, Worcs., B98 8HF.
Email address for entries once fees collected –

Any queries please call Janie Greville, 07828777647
Exact terms of contest to be published later on today or tomorrow.

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