#Me Too

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

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Exhibiting your Bench A piece to remember you by Art for Recovery Exhibit 2016 x

Today on my Facebook Timehop the pictures of your bench been exhibited at Leeds Art for Recovery Event popped up Tim, I remember during the time my grief felt raw an after I’d got to know Gary, Jon Swales an met your friend Kim at St George’s Crypt and the love she had for you an the journey you were on I knew as a family we had to honour that, recognise that an even say sorry that we didn’t take time see the Recovery Journey you were on, You were quiet, You loved helping make beds up in Crypt, helping out in the kitchen been one of the team, You too enjoyed blending in to the surroundings have a cuppa, meal read your paper you felt safe, welcomed even at home, we met Joe he told us what a good lad you were, wiped away my tears when the guilt hit why didn’t I get see this Tim, We heard all about TCV, Hollybush on clearing your things from that place you didn’t feel home or safe we found the files you kept certificates for various recovery courses, and your pride an Joy the Bench you’ld been working on it was beautiful. We got your Bench finished off a plaque put on, We framed some of your certificates sat them on the bench placed a cushion underneath to kneel on it would be a place sit an remember you by. I remember in my pain also feel excited about exhibiting for you, was nervous too, I remember anticipation Gary finding out if we could exhibit as subject was art for recovery and relief when said ok, I remember when I emailed your bench’s submission. A place to remember you by it honoured your journey, your fight for recovery an would now be a place we’d sit at talk to you as we worked through the devastation of your loss. I remember the day Gary collected for Mum’s I was nervous, prayed be safe in storage, be safe in transit hope people saw our sadness an pain but also our Joy for you, I hoped you’ld be watching down from heaven an beaming our Katie did good and she’s seen I did good too an hope you were smiling because you were an artist an one that was in recovery you were beating your addictions, you were giving something thing back, been a friend you were working your way back up, your Bench, your certificates they demonstrated that I just wished you were their with us as we celebrated and honoured that, I remember the day the exhibit arrived I was nervous, panicked an again excited worried would get their in time. Relieved my friend Gary from church was taking me across from Bradford to Leeds think in the car on the way over talked his head off don’t think he minded though, was lovely see my friend Sue from Church their too. I remember awaiting mum, Nat an Jay arrive was getting nervous would they make in time, also really wanted see your exhibit first before opened up to everyone but remember had wait whilst judging finished hoped they’d got your piece would see the love we had for you. I remember they opened up the exhibit their was a circus themed piece one were put heads in gaps an pic below pictured us do that, by your Bench their was a statue of a deer or horse facing your exhibit if you’ld have been their you’ld have attempted ride it, bargain for it probably would have found away have exhibited at home. I remember seeing your exhibit tucked in the corner , remember sitting an chatting with you couldn’t wait mum, nat an jay get their show them your spot when they came in their sadness an pain they were sombre nat had go early she’d let the guilt overwhelm her in wishing we’d seen your journey sooner and you should have been their wish I’d told her you wouldn’t want see her sad an you knew in your heart we were their and you understood, I wish could have told her felt same an that in away hoping entering your exhibit said that. I however though didn’t chase after her as thought would then be running out on you, your exhibit, your memory. I remember stood awaiting judging your category came up it didn’t win I felt crushed thought why didn’t they see the love for your journey your memory and felt sad for mum wanted floor swallow me up but then one of the judges said they had a prize for someone that epitomised why they were their, the reason why they put the exhibit on for, for the journey of recovery and you won the overall prize I wanted jump up and down scream yes you did it and know yes it was recognised, I remember showing you your certificate, your trophy an telling you wow you did it, I chatted to a few of the fellow artists remember mum n Gary an one of his colleagues an our jay stood chatting by your Bench an about you we all laughed and had same thought about the horse statue an in that moment I looked an smiled at your Bench because their we all were surrounding you an remembering you by. Your trophy know stands by your casket at Mums an your Bench has a place in my bedroom with your certificates on an your best shoes an cushions underneath like have a piece of you too at home with me and each night I tell you I miss you, I love you remind Myles it’s your Bench not his and laugh because your Bench really has become that place, that spot, that piece I will always have remember you by and I laugh because I know your laughing at the sentiment an I know you now know we were proud hope that when I talk to you, you look down and sit beside me and that your with me as I know begin recover from the pain of your passing, I love you forever an not a day goes by don’t miss you, I love you Tim.

Why are Mental Health Services Failing, Why are Lives been Lost.

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.

I was not depressed just a damaged broken heart.

Next week is depression awareness week people will describe as a genetic, clinical,faulty mind,health due hormones,thyroid affects of health, some like me will describe as the affects of live. 

I was abused as I grew up, I growing up moved a few times did stints in London n Bradford scattered round Leeds from nowells to bays waters, to eastdean drive that home hides the rooms were I experience the acts that are etched of a dark mind of a predator, too remember that person inflicted hurt on someone I have a love/hate relationship my mum. People a assume if mum tries meet someone I don’t like them they re partly true but its not them personally my mum knows why I,ve told her many times there’ll never be anyone good enough n that because my mum deserves someone who going to Knock through her barriers like I at times need people do me. , I lived Waterloo n swinnow too in those houses tthe memories of darkness are to etched in my mind. I went to our lady’s primary even sad home life school I loved Michelle’s birthday parties, trip Filey n pack ups in brown paper bags, Vanessa she was my bf I wonder where she is know n Peter too even Gemma n Anthony too. Sister Elizabeth she scared us all but she was actually nice, loved mrs Sweeney she gave me sweets after did school play n did swell in spelling tests. Father Michael was fun I later found out in high school he used to teach n taught the headmaster. I hated leave my friends not properly say goodtheir hated times hearing my mum crying alone too is only know homes have dissolved pain she’ll have felt too. 

I was an angry child most of my growing up but you prob be too I struggled make friends not due be shy but scared lose due move, I was a bully at times didnt know how express been hurt, feeling vulnerable, lost away from friends n places felt impulses of happy. Angry too felt bitter why me, angry too was what kept me strong. 

High school I part liked part hated loved mrs platt n rm 6 I used hide in their I lost my bf his bereavement broke my heart I envisaged he be one rescue me his fun n caring nature. I willed he’d recover pull through but the tumour came back. I remember seeing him before tumour came back he thought he maybe coming back school we sat on the radiator in the reception foyer he told me all ok n he’d be back n I loved that he never knew what going on home but his friendship n fun n smile they were what kept me strong. 

To be continued

The art of the human touch means more to me.

I’ve suffered pain live with the scars both physically n mentally etched in to my mind. 

Ive walked long n lonely corridors in my mind too in busy psych units pacing day in day out try understand why I felt lost n try plot my escapes out. 

Slamming doors, screams too pierce inside so to do the screams my inner child when I’m stuck in a freeze frame moment of my past, too when I’m hurting n in pain overcoming obstacles that try knock me off balance n want scream n shout n vent say someone please give me a break I don’t want to live a life were feel its a fight day in n out. 

 

Im my bf now somedays i feel am my only friend but that’s part off Me that’s usually having fire my belly n spur me on the survival part, there’s days I feel fulfilled content new friends n loves. 

 

Their are days I struggle on those days I actually don’t want told go to gp,crisis,a n e I know that n know that drill I’ve the own lived experience n too done that MH first aid training. 

Dont tell me use coping n distraction techniques I too have that n grounding n stay in the moment had that too programmed in me n I know complex the complexities off Katie I know too well is tell someone distraction n coping prompts just cop outs. 

When I share my upset, anger, pain I don’t want sympathy nor empathy, or advice I just want someone to listen the human touch been their, coffee n a chat a hug be their whilst I let my anger out but then when I collapse to a heap be their n hold me as that’s when I’m letting the tears of hurt out, be friend, dnt judge me nor expect me change link give respect n expect too I  give my heart to my friends so dnt break it. 

The human touch of friendship. love, kindness,encouragement n support knowing someone cared n not alone are what I felt needed the desire n lack of led me dwn my path if I’m stumbling is prob feel need these things in upset, anger ,crisis this is all need not gp,s meds, nor crisis n a n e nor therapy sometimes all I need is the human touch I think times were out of touch with that the human touch the art of listening,understanding,kindness,warmth, friendships n the art of that can go a long long way

The art of the human touch is needed more x