The fight for answers for Tim got made harder this week on Thursday I met with our solicitor to sign and complete my compiled witness Statement and when got their she informed me article 2 was turned down by the coroner, The local council involved in my brother’s care who had no involvement with us as a family since his death an became persons of interest at this late stage an handed their submissions in late stage have come in an took temporarily control. I ask myself why an how can they do this how can one small loophole have that decision potentially took of the table, what is they are preventing not get out, what is they’re wanting to hide, I’ve asked myself do local councils have some form of power an influence over them an can they control what coroner’s can an can not do. I was hurt an angry and livid inside more so till a plan of action was formulated on how solicitor an barrister could address to not tell my mum, That was hard not telling her as after all were fighting for answers for my brother, her son. It was hard not going to her because I was upset and wanted her tell me all would be ockay and the solicitor was asking me wait so when came up with a plan of action would make it all ok. Losing article 2 means we’ve not lost means we’ve got to fight that bit harder and as a family just wanting answers it’s not fair made to fight to get that because we are not able to mourn, to grieve, inquests are lengthy, drawn out and not easy face an 14 months on it’s still been thought out what kind of inquest will be an what scope an what will be disclosed it’s not fair on families and parties of interest should always be thinking of the families but in our situation I’ve learned they don’t nor make the process easier, I have trust in our solicitor an barrister that what they’re planning to do should get the decision overturned and I’m sorry god I handed it over to you I won’t be this time in my prayers and look what’s happened my family still no were near finding peace, I will however continue have faith in our legal team as they know what they’re doing, they too believe in our families fight for answers if not for them we wouldn’t be at this point we’d, have probably given up let those with the Power an answers win and my brother’s failings. Be swept under the carpet but because we’ve a good Team we’re not well use our upset, our hurt and anger to come out fighting once more an we put that hope an faith in the legal team supporting us do that and the local council may have this round but their is a long way to go and decisions can be changed and hoping that it’s changed again soon. For families in similar situations to mine my heart goes out to you because it is hard an we don’t have anywhere go to, turn to we just have to try best fight on an carry on and it’s not easy but we do because the loved one we lost was a live that mattered something the coroner an other representatives an parties of interest seem to forget.
Their are times I don’t agree with certain social media movement #tags their are times do and #me too is one of those that do people been empowered to speak out say me too if been a victim of sexual assault or harassment. Anyone regardless of age, sex, sexuality,race,faith,disability is at risk at sometime in their live at risk off.
I have varying Mental Health Diagnosis an all of which I have no choice but self maintain because they are the result of the trauma of been a childhood sexual abuse victim it’s taken me a long time too no longer be ashamed of myself, to no longer feel dirty, to no longer hate myself, I had to learn to love myself see the good in me to be able let my family in to let them love me an me be deserving of that love an me love them back and to trust them let them be apart of my life trust they’ll protect be and be their, I tested them, pushed them away took the pain an anger I felt out on them it took them to say you scare us when you get angry but we know your hurting it’s ok was the big breakthrough needed I didn’t want no longer take my pain out on me and nor them either, I didn’t blame them.
I once got the opportunity to film a portrait of my life sadly my old trust didn’t air or broadcast but that doesn’t bother me because my mum whose also been hurt in the past got to watch and got to see and the girl on the screen me got to tell her I didn’t ever blame you an never did.
Been a victim of childhood sexual abuse continues to impact my life also does my 3 1/2 year old sons life if people pass comment about him, parents judge his behaviour and tell him off have been known turn me from calm mum to psycho mum because in my eyes I perceive as my child’s at risk from harm risk of been hurt the child abuse victim in me goes into survival self destruct and attack mode it’s not nice for me nor people around me experience and in instances I flee just scoop my son up and go but fleeing does me then a greater harm because I then internalise all the anger an frustration onto myself the childhood abuse victim inside me turns on me I’m a coward, why did you run, challenges me and can make me feel then very intimidated and in cases be paranoid and intimidated by others.
As my son gets older he’ll get used to how I am an he’ll get used see how get and he too is at risk of unnecessarily learning survival mode Behaviour I can’t help how I get nor can I help my son learning the person who hurt me though he’s too blame he preyed on me, groomed me an manipulated me destroyed me for a time an my family he’s too blame. Everytime I go into survival mode it’s because I was vulnerable, a child, I couldn’t protect myself, keep myself safe my control was took away and to an extent my abuser still has a hold on me still has some power over me.
Speaking out though gives me some control, some power, gives me strength to speak out and say Me Too and I don’t do for pity I do because I want others that maybe not yet spoken out feel that they can do too because the more people say Me Too the more control and power we can reclaim back, people that have victims can become surviviours no longer blame themselves an be ashamed.
I recently chatted with someone about my abuse they asked me because I’m a Christian does it mean I’ve to forgive my abuser an I told them no it dosent it’s ok to be rightouse about my anger towards my abuser in time I may want to work towards forgiving him but at the moment I don’t as would mean overcoming an working through that trauma an at the moment trying pretend is not their and boxing up is easier, I did tell them though I have had to work on forgiving myself an forgiving myself for the hatred had towards myself, the child abuse victim inside me has had learn to forgive me because a part inside me blamed her but she was defenceless an I see now I couldn’t prevent what happened I can just protect that part now as I do my son, I’ve had to forgive myself for blaming myself, holding myself responsible and for been ashamed of myself and even allowing myself be further sexually exploited when put myself at unnecessary risk from harm when behaved in promiscuous ways because hated myself that much.
Saying Me too and speaking out means I too can take off that burden of shame held onto and used against me an now let go off.
I hope people reading and Too been victims can find strength say Me Too as you’ll see not alone x x x Time to Take your Power Back x x
Mental Health Positive Practice Awards the biggest insult to individuals an families affected by especially to loved ones who’ve lost a loved one due failings in services and are having to fight for answers why, one of this years shortlisted entrants at her old trust did great things but is know at a new trust been their just over a year started a few weeks after my loved ones passing that trust have never behaved in away that’s worthy of positive practice towards my brother or my family but yet celebrated in the accoloade of the nomination they were a trust that demonstrated positive practice, I’d like ask then is positive practice sending a stranger to someone’s home no involvement in the care of the person who coming say sorry for their death is positive practice, is giving a grieving mother an siblings a book about bereavement positive practice is telling them the trusts going to carry out a serious incident review but I’m not involved in positive practice, Is positive practice telling a grieving mum who trying fit the pieces of a jigsaw together to find answers why that she can’t have her dead son’s medical notes because she didn’t have power of Attorney positive practice, is not having no direct contact or email address an having ring every dept within your trust to find the named professional handling the serious incident review positive practice, is it positive practice to then get handle the families complaint as well as the incident review, is it positive practice to give to someone who new post the task for them to meet the family but then decide can’t do and ok pass someone else, is it then ok then that person rush do an compile an apparently get loads of changes made coincidently the month report compiled an no family involvement positive practice and then except a mum say’s ok but yet not gone an discussed with her just sent her an her advocate through the post positive practice, is positive practice having a complaint drag on not resolved one that didn’t need be made if supported an work with the mother and family through their grieve an give them answers looking for positive practice. The nominee maybe worthy of their award but please don’t let the trust be part of that accolade and say their a trust that demonstrates positive practice because that just causes further hurt an pain an upset to families like mine especially when complaints still ongoing, answers still not given an now in the legal domain an why not named the trust that’s going to take credit for been a positive practice provider an I’ve to sit bite my tounge an stay stronger even pray an hand that upset to god an ask for peace in hope my mum gets the answers looking for so she can one day be able start to mourn an grieve her son but the why’s and how could happen and why not helped put the brick wall up an barrier to mourning up because till you can comprehend the why it’s a case then you can’t and I hate seeing my mum have to fight try be strong an worry about her not been able mourn an what will happen when she gets the answers is that positive practice have a family stuck in their grief unable mourn especially when you hold that power to answer but choose not to because saying sorry for the failings means accepting accountability positive practice. It’s also to individuals that live with mental health an access services an insult them theirs positive practice awards you shouldn’t need awards to make your staff be compassionate, challenge the way things work, initiatives should come from wanting to do through Listening an working with individuals an common sense not coproduction an through caring an isn’t caring why you signed up to the job, to make a difference an isn’t it what your their supposed to do anyway an what to your fellow colleagues an departments who want do great an positive things but are hit by staff shortages, high demands to access services, working out on the margins when hit by service cut right back an try make a difference an to them positive practice is risking burnout as they go extra mile supporting someone with complex needs go unnoticed acceptable not really because what they do goes over looked by things like positive practice awards but yet shouldn’t and they don’t care don’t get credit they’re just doing what signed up for their job, To all at the positive practice awards enjoy but to the trusts going share in ask do you really dare share in that accolade and also ask yourselves if it’s prestige an awards and accolades your driving force to ensure you get job done ask yourselves why, and remind yourselves individuals and families expect to be treat with care, with dignity, be listened to with compassion they’re not desirable criteria for positive practice it’s why you should be doing the job and providing the service you provide.
The buzz word in Mental Health Stigma, we must speak out, we must were it label it lovely smiley faces on twitter at the moment I have Mental Health its ok say have , it’s ok you get help. I salute you for being proud, I salute your optimism, I used be loud, be proud open about my experiences was told was inspiring it boosted my confidence, lifted my self esteem a short lived adrenaline buzz but sadly no changes came were made, society gets an understands stigma are open to help they just don’t know we’re go, were access and get doors opened to care, Joe bloggs on the street does care, does understand I usually knows someone or even they themselves affected by. I don’t engage as much now with speaking out campaigns, wear my label on my sleeve now because I lost my brother to a preventable suicide he had both Mental Health and Substance Misuse he didn’t face stigma from his family or friends it was from the services that were meant to support him those that are now behind twitter campaigns like #I have Mental Health, I saw my brother at times at crisis took him to A and E be told he’s to ask for help is not sat in A n E over 8 hours in height of crisis not asking for help, when did ask for got turned away past from pillar to post, Even when stopped taking drugs was always told “it’s the drugs” it’s the drugs. Never asked him why he ever became an addict, Never explored his childhood upbringing, never asked Why if did ask Why they’d have seen then yes it was because of the Mental Health but they never did they stigmatised because of the substance misuse. My brother was stigmatised because of a Dx he was given Anti Social Personality Disorder the condition shut doors to access to recovery, was probably why assessments for suspected learning disability got passed up, passed up not just one professional that suspected was most who came into contact with him, why did you not do when came to you when spoke out said I’m here I need help, his protector Dennis a doll became his tormentor took his identity offer, the doll got into his head told Tim what do we his family asked for help knew he possibly wasn’t mentally ok even asked for support an help but got turned away. I do have Mental Health needs myself an manage I recognised certain things in my brother, Hearing Voices, Dissociative Identity, Depression, Obsessive an Compulsive Behaviour, self harming because he’d felt lost control needed help was not helped he openly said had but didn’t get so is why know I struggle support an engage with #IhaveMentalHealth. I’m only doing this blog because need rant get my upset, anger, frustrations out I’ve to do that to manage mine so don’t obsess about, get worked up about, have it bring me down and me turn on myself internalise and berate myself for not speaking out an challenging the #IhaveMentalHealth. The angry voice inside me wants say it’s patronising, that those that failed in my brother’s care murdered my brother they didn’t carry it out but nor did they step in an prevent it’s too late now for sorry. Campaigns like #I have Mental health are belittling to individuals and families affected an they’re belittled by the association of the unnecessary use of the word stigma, we must talk about yes stigma led to my brother doing what did but it wasn’t because of lack of understanding but care for all those professionals sharing their photos, retweeting posts ask yourselves why are you sharing, retweeting are you actually as a result of that post go out make a direct action, something that does get help, get changes made and actually stand up make a difference it’s time moved on from speaking out an do for those brave enough do, speak out, do for those who ask for help and on my post look at the photo and do for my brother Tim someone who said #IhaveMentalHealth help me the person whose voice not heard and do for my mum, my siblings an our children who have to live with his loss, live with pain knowing asked for help and enough not done because we don’t want people going through what we are.
I was once optimistic Services would improve and improve for the better initiatives an policies around crisis care, no decisions about me made without me were made the NHS an services were to be Liberated the Recovery Bus, Coproduction Bus and Person Centred Care Bus rolled up into town. Did they make a difference, Did they leave people liberated and will the new 5 year forward initiative make a lasting impact I’m sceptical it won’t because I once believed that Services Could Change Improve Lives, Help individuals Regain Control and put the person an those close to them at the centre and provide a whole person approach attitude to care. I was wrong and my optimism that Services Could do that proved to be fatal. In the last few weeks the media has been highlighting cases were deaths are been investigated and a trust is to be investigated in one case. I’ve discovered that my family is not alone as we too are fighting for answers to how our loved one could have lost his life he did not lose his life however in an inpatient setting he lost his in a transitional housing unit a unit that’s supposed to provide care for vulnerable adults who were in crisis, needed mh support, support with homelessness an substance misuse. We put our loved ones care in the trust of services an the local authority that they would ensure an provide the care an support he needed.
We sadly got it wrong we like many other families now are fighting for answers we’ve had reach out too advocacy support, lodge formal NHS complaints, left outside the serious incident review process yet had our hearts ripped wide opened when had the people running come visit us at my mums family home but yet still no answers no been asked did we want input nor told what they will learn or put in place been sent a document though however that supposedly has in can we sign off on it. How can we if you’ve not sat gone through it with us or had us been involved in any of the process no one can make a decision on something not involved in but shouldn’t we have been after all we’re searching for answers to why, why our loved ones death was not prevented. We had to reach out to a charity Inquest because we didn’t know anything about what to expect, how to be involved the types of inquests and if not for them we wouldn’t have been put in touch with a solicitor an barrister but we’ve had to meet criteria for Legal Aid an that only covered representation to help prepare the case for inquest we then had to apply for separate funding for a grant to have barrister representation at the inquest but yet the Services who failed automatically have the money behind them to represent them but for families they have to search an find that help an that’s sad it’s also sad we don’t get automatically represented as do the services as it’s a live been lost here a life that mattered and a death that should be held accountable for and answers need to be answered how could it have happened and why and was enough done theirs also issue you had a duty of care an families put that trust in you and that is why then you become accountable because that trust was put in you. As a family member I witnessed my loved one passed from pillar to post, told to ask for help an when did told couldn’t help so why tell him ask for, I saw pleas from my family ignored, I saw my loved one slowly become even more invisible, dehumanised, made feel unworthy an in end not listened too, not cared for or supported that’s hard to face an accept especiallly when don’t expect from services that were supposed to be their an provide that. Sadly my loved ones passing won’t be the last an that too is hard to accept because you then wonder what will they learn from the incident report carried out an what will they learn from the impending inquest because sadly my brother won’t be last. I also suspect under the area he came under he was sadly not the only individual failed and probably other families going through what we are too. Whilst awaiting I see initiatives around patient safety, suicide prevention an the new buzz one 5 year forward. Will they make a difference I suspect not it’s just a recycled blue print that for last few years keep rewording add a few more charts an statistics an wow a new policy or charter to follow sadly not worth paper printed out on because sadly lives are continuously been failed, no one been held accountable, no lessons been learned from, their lives not mattering. Services are still been under funded, cuts still been made, workforces at breaking point, charity sector organisations stepping up and lifting the burden from you holding you up their the ones trying the best but are not given the credit for nor do you liase with them and assist in supporting someone you just quickly like pass someone on so not on your case load yet you need to work with them they can’t do it all alone but yet as with families you isolate them too. Crisis Care is shocking too the crisis care concordat act did that make a difference if did my brother would not have been turned away twice an also got in housing were living, but sadly their isn’t enough beds in or out of are, not enough home intervention teams and respite places available an thing we’re my brother lived is only 8 crisis beds available. Wasn’t the crisis care concordat act supposed to address that. Vulnerable individuals languish in police cell’s awaiting mh assessment some end up in the prison system locked up unfairly because at crisis committed offences but because not enough beds professionals say can see unwell but doesn’t warrant admission an so under public nuisance an anti social activity get imprisoned as well as many other offences during my brother’s care that too happened just impeded him further. It makes you wonder why as a society are we allowing that to happen why is the police and judiciary system allowing that are they powerless to act against the services can’t they enforce services to act especially when they clearly know difference between a vulnerable an mentally unwell person an hardened criminal. Why is it that over the years what’s published, guidelines not implemented you’ll tweet about, talk about have development meetings about but not implement, no changes be made and very little service improvement. Yet you market yourselves, give fancy awards, and too have buzz weeks fab change week the latest so what will you do what change an implement will you make what will you do to prevent lives been lost, Will you make your services inclusive to all, stop cutting services that matter, work with organisations lifting you up, will you stop labelling an stigmatising people under your care, will you stop turning people away because don’t fit your Dx an recovery models more importantly support loved ones who’ve lost someone under your care. Families shouldn’t have to fight for answers, set up justice groups an campaigns and have to search an fight for the answers because they need compassion an care an time to grieve they don’t just deserve empathy but also deserve be treated with dignity, respect and upmost of all they need the answers so can grief, hate say have closure an make pretending moving on with life’s easier. It’s also now time ask why in this day an age why are services still continuing to fail an sadly lives been lost.
Every year I’ve sat back watched friends share their children’s first day at school nursery, reception an high school photos an every year I’ve smiled and liked an commented an wished good luck an every year my heart’s been tugged with sadness an Jealousy as I pictured what my little girl Marybeth would have looked like, I’d picture her with a smiley face, pig tails in her hair and in pinafore dress and chunky buckle shoes like I’d used to wear. I’d imagine her been excited lively and extra bouncy, I’d imagine waving her off on her first day and lining up with her class an waving me off going in. It’s always been something hard try share in because it’s a milestone we never had a moment never experienced and another slap in face never got to watch her grow up.
Today my 3 1/2 year old son had his first day at school nursery we woke up early we watched morning cartoons, I made him jam toasted on bagels as a sweet treat breakfast, he noticed the sweets I’d had last night so I said since your first day before you get ready you can have one, we didn’t stress or worry was nice we took our time. We chatted as we washed are hands an faces at the sink brushed our teeth together and my son asked me do his reminded me my eager big boy needed me.
It was a surreal experience dressing him in his uniform putting on his new school shoes, and brushing his hair ready and packing his school bag I’d waited so long for this moment so it was a moment I’d wanted savour. It was a moment I’d always imagined have with Marybeth but today was a real blessing share with my son I couldn’t be sad with him when messing about when trying take that first day photo nor did I try pressurise him have as we was sharing this moment together and that was far more perfect than the photo, watching him dance around parading about in his uniform was fun seeing him jumping up and down exercising because he liked the loud noise his shoes made, made me laugh, he chose dinosaurs on his shoes to remind him of his old nursery and specifically Sheryn and he hoped he’d see Sheryn an him watch build a tower I didn’t want spoil that moment so I nodded my head and said maybe, he was looking forward to seeing his new classroom an making friends and was been a good boy and know grown in short time had uniform on he was getting to big for it made me smile,
Driving up to school we chatted about the things he saw outside the window and was his cousins at his school I said no they’d started their schools and he said they’ll be their, their schools were broken I chuckled at how his thinking worked, we arrived at school did try get one more perfect photo but wasn’t meant be we walked down hand in hand I was so proud he pressed the bell to the nursery door as he waited to be let in he saw trains an was so excited, the door was opened we went in found his peg and bag he has a spider picture on his name space I smiled it was like Nanna 2’s imaginary spider we put his things in his bag and went in to class he handed over his water bottle and put his name on the pear tree he gave me a kiss and held his teacher and casually walked off hand in hand, a lump in my throat wellled my lil man was growing up and I was so very proud and forever I will treasure this moment and wish could bottle up and keep the emotions and feelings and drink when having a bad day,
I messaged photos to siblings and grandparents and thought of my brother Tim my sons god parent an uncle an in that moment our first day was tinged with sadness but not because of Marybeth but because my son missed out sharing today with him as I’d known he’d have been proud as punch as moment he was born my brother was eternally proud I’d been blessed with a child of my own so on his fb page was only fitting shared them their an say hope you watching down from heaven am keeping him safe in class.
My sister Nat phoned me her kids went into reception no problems didn’t look back an so therefore she wasn’t gonna feel guilty missing them, My sis Robynn messaged Logan was fine she was the blubbering mess pregnancy hormones though probably didn’t help, I’m blessed that me an my sisters have shared our children’s first days together this week an can continually share many Milestones together as that makes sharing first days extra special an today was very much well worth the wait.
Last year at 9am my world was destroyed my heart was broken beyond repair, at 9am my Nanna phoned an for my Nanna to phone me that’s unusual to start with, when I answered I strangely braced myself that she was going to tell me my grandad was not ok as he was a very poorly man an he did sadly pass away in February this year but nope she didn’t tell me that but what she did tell me made my heart completely shatter, she told me my brother him had died and how he died I had ask her 3x just to be sure and still it hadn’t sunk in.
Dazed and confused I somehow managed to sort my son out, get ready sort childcare an do the mad dash and make my way to be with my mum, On the train I hid in a corner in the bicycle rack so no one could see my tears kept looking at my phone going into my contacts scrolling down getting to Tim’s name wanting to ring him but then words Nanna said flooded me police, mum, found , dead Tim hit. ” Why didn’t I answer my phone to him yesterday” , Why did my son have be restless night before, “why did I not phone him back, Why was this happening, Was it even real, I got off the train in autopilot mode I made my way to nearest taxi rank and got in the taxi too Mum’s.
Knocking on the door going through the hallway seeing mum on phone to Robynn, Jay an Nat heads down redness under eyes reality hit it was true, you had gone, never would I see you, chat to you see you smile, never would I hate say grumble about you, never would I know you ok, it hit you were gone, it hit bomb felt like a nuclear bomb went off in my heart.
I consoled mum told her through gritted teeth and sad eyes all will be ok, I knew though all would not be ok, because losing a child is never ok you never get other an I too knew we’d never get over losing you, life would have to go on but we’d have no choice, we hate it going on without you, we all wish when at mums doorbell rings twice something we used dread when you weren’t ok know something because know we won’t see you we dread know even more when rings twice as not you at the door,
As I type I’m sat in Mum’s kitchen she’s trying potter about keep busy, I’m sat typing away strangely awaiting the door ring twice my heart breaking inside knowing it won’t I wish it would, I wish I’d see you walk in and that really this last year was a blur a haze and not real woken up from a bad dream, in keeping busy it’s time go going to do the mundane of shops and trying keep busy trying make Life go on an try get through the weekend best can.