Friday, 23 December 2016

If #poetry




If forever is something
that I can explain
Will I trade you that knowledge
when you whisper my name
If confusion and desperation
are things I understand
Would healing come faster
from the warmth of my hand
If trust is a thing
that I cannot hold
Will our happiness be something
that’s never foretold
And if this is true
Can we feed on our insanity
And live in this world
of frustration and vanity
When that something inside you
decides to stop yearning
You’ll find me wherever
a fire is burning

Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

Christmas is coming...... I have always loved Christmas, the build up, the sharing, time with friends and family. Almost every year as an adult I end up depressed....



It has improved over the last few years. Acknowledging the fact it exists, and then sharing that knowledge is so important. I know now the reasons why I struggle over Christmas.. A need to please, wanting everything to go well, I plan and prepare and plot too much. The grandfather was born on Christmas Day... That used to really bug me. Gifts I received for Christmas used to vanish soon afterwards and I'd get the blame. In truth he sold them to pay for his Whisky habit...

I almost got into that "habit" myself as an adult. Drink was such an easy escape, then mornings came and feelings of guilt, shame and the hangover. I hid this for years. It was always worse at Christmas.

I spent a couple of Christmases totally alone, not seeing anyone. I hated it and now if I hear of anyone spending the day alone I invite them over. Christmas is no time to be alone.



‘Tis the season to be jolly..... Apparently December is not only the month where depression is most likely to hit you but it also has the highest rate of suicides. It’s the month where family and friends should be getting together, where you plan your Christmas and decorate the home etc.

Many things can trigger deeper depression in December...

Loneliness, bereavement and grieving, failed business or loss of a job. The breakup of a relationship. Ill health generally.  All likely to set you on the road to depression at any time, but worse at this time of year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) adds to the equation. The long nights and short days, the frequent lack of sunshine...

 I love the idea of Christmas but hate the commercialism that this celebration has been overtaken with.





It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Coping with depression is bad enough, but trying to do so when everyone else is extra happy makes it harder to reach out, to ask for help. We don't want to stand out from the crowd so instead we cut ourselves off. Not wanting to drag others down into our depression we stand alone, and watch from the sidelines.
Instances of depression are higher in those who have suffered trauma in their earlier lives. At a time of year where people are getting together to celebrate, those with depression are most likely to feel more isolated. Unable to join in, to embrace the season of good will, they sink further and further into a pit of gloom.

Alone in crowd. I have often felt most lonely when there are people hustling and bustling around me, laughing and joking. Not wanting to spoil their festive fun I would either paint a false smile on my face or just vanish into the shadows. Christmas can be a very stressful time for anyone. For those prone to depression it can be a nightmare.



Though there has been more publicity over the issue of Christmas depression in recent years, it is still not understood. The most important thing you can do is tell someone how you feel. Reach out before the season starts and share. Communication is much easier now. Social media and the internet generally helps bring people together. Telephone someone, talk to someone. See your Doctor or Priest, just don't sit at home alone. There is no shame in admitting that you get depressed and you may be suprised to find others feeling the same way. All to often those who find themselves getting depressed do nothing about it.

Depression can deeply affect your life. It can sneak up and disrupt your work, your home life, your health generally and can lead you to neglect those around you that need you well. Grab a hold of the problem and do something about it.The most important thing is to reach out, ask for help, talk to someone.



Don't let depression destroy your Christmas or that of those around you. The power to do something about it is in your hands. Do you want to become another statistic? Please remember there is no shame in asking for help. This is the season of goodwill to all men and if Scrooge can do it then so can you. 

If you are prone to Christmas depression then reach out, tell someone. Seek help if needs be.
If you know someone who appears to be slipping into a depression or who always gets the winter blues reach out to them. It won't kill you and you might just save a life.

Be nice to yourself, be kind to yourself. The greatest gift is that of love so remember to love yourself too.


To finish.. A little message from me!


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Midnight Waltz #Halloween




                                               A midnight waltz with a fallen angel
And your dreams will be fulfilled

The stars will twinkle with the beat

Of knowledge for which some have killed
Behind the curtain of darkness
Lies a single ray of light
Shadows of the past at your heels
A pain that holds you tight
I come to you with a simple offer
A dance to meet your every goal
I'll give you your dreams on a burning plate
But in return, in return, I want your soul
My enchanting tune will lure you in
And test the power of your will
While a breeze of suppression hides the truth
My intent is purely ill
I'll take the form of anything
To beguile you with my charm
Don't worry! It's just a little dance
How could it bring you harm?
A moonlit dance with destiny
Will cure you of all your ills
Will you be able to withstand the temptation
Or will you submit to a midnight waltz?



Sunday, 2 October 2016

You Deserve Your Own Love by Patricia Singleton via @patriciasinglet

This is a reblog from a few years ago. It's message is so important I wanted to share it again.

I would like to introduce you to a shining light, a lady in every sense of the word. I feel so fortunate that she has written this for my guest slot. Knowing her is both a privilege and an honour.

I will let Patricia introduce herself further in her own words.




I have been on a spiritual path my entire life but only in the last 12 years have I known what that entailed. My spiritual beliefs are taken from varied religions and my inner knowing. On my fireplace mantle, you will find pictures of American Indians, wolves, buffaloes, and eagles. You will find feathers, stones, crystals, essential oils, and candles. You will find pictures of Jesus, Mother Mary, Krishna, Ganesh and Sai Baba. I believe in all of them. The more I grow spiritually, the more expansive the Universe and my God become. I have been to India three times to visit Sai Baba. I was told to go home and worship the God of my understanding and to pay more attention to my own inner teacher. My stories are just a point of reference for who I am today. I don't go around identifying myself as all of my experiences. Before I started blogging, I had even stopped calling myself an Incest Survivor because that wasn't who I was any longer. I only do it now as a point of reference to offer what I have learned about myself because of the incest to others who might need the hope and love that I have learned. We are all so much more than our experiences can define us as.



You Deserve Your Own Love

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." Buddha

If you asked me what had the greatest effect on my healing from incest, I would tell you learning to love myself brought about the best changes in my life. The book Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-Worth written by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse helped me to begin to love myself.

Another book that helped me was Compassion and Self-Hate: An Alternative to Despair written by Theodore I. Rubin. Before I could love myself, I first needed to accept that I hated myself. I grew up hating myself because I believed all of the lies that my abusers told me. I believed that some part of me was so bad that I kept attracting new abusers into my life. Also, I believed that I was so bad that even God wouldn't love and protect me or hear my cries.

Some of the things that loving myself taught me were:

1. Love doesn't hurt and doesn't lie.
2. Love and fear don't live in the same house.
3. Loving myself means liking who I am, faults and all. I don't have to be perfect to be loved. Incest happened to me. Incest is not me.
4. Loving myself gave me the right to have needs and wants.
5. Putting up healthy boundaries was part of loving myself. Those boundaries protected me from being abused again.
6. I have choices. I will make mistakes and that is okay. Mistakes are just lessons to be learned from. I am not a mistake. With my choices, I began to trust myself.
7. I am worthy just as I am. I am always enough just as I am. I can feel confident in who I am and in what I can accomplish.
8. Loving myself gives me the ability to truly love others. Real love is unconditional.
9. My value comes from who I am, not from what I do. I have value just because I was born into this world.
10. Loving myself means feeling all of my feelings and reconnecting with my body and my spirituality.

Some people teach you that loving yourself is selfish. Abusers and controllers especially do not want you to love yourself. If you love yourself, you are not easily controlled or abused. Abusers don't pick children who are likely to tell their nasty secrets. So nurture and love yourself so that you can teach your children to love themselves. You often teach more by your actions than you do by your words.

Meditations to Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California, 1994, page 252-253:

"I am comfortable with my self-worth.
I can do it.
The more I support myself with love and acceptance, the more worthy I feel. As I feel worthy, I feel better. In fact, I feel really good. I begin to let good things happen to me. I begin to see opportunities that I never saw before. I let life take me in new and interesting directions. I let my mind go beyond what I thought was possible. I become worthy of the totality of possibilities, and life suddenly becomes very exciting. I realize that I have a right to have the life that I want. I might have to shift this or that, scrap an old belief, let go of an old limitation, but I can do it. YES! I am worthy. I am deserving of ALL GOOD!"

Patricia Singleton
Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker
http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Childhood Sexual Abuse in British Schools. #childabuse

Over the 5-6 years that I have been blogging I have seen, heard and read many shocking cases of abuse. What I think stuns me the most is those cases where the perpetrator is caught but the events are hushed up and the teacher is sent packing to another school. The perpetrator then starts their little "games" again and more innocent lives are destroyed. Why? To save the blushes of those in charge and to avoid a public scandal..

The people who allow this to happen may as well be abusers themselves. They have no interest in protecting children and care only about themselves and their reputations.

I have seen this in all forms of schools, public, private, primary and secondary.

PERHAPS there is more awareness today and PERHAPS this does not happen anymore. There is no guarantee however.

What breaks me heart is hearing a survivor of such abuse state something like "If I had spoken up then maybe other children would have been spared" etc. Blaming yourself for not speaking up is exactly what the perpetrator hopes for. They feel invincible because who would believe a child over an adult..

I have also read cases where the powers that be have blamed the children for sexualising the adult!

If you have been affected by abuse in your school please speak out. Name and shame those involved, the school and the local authority.

I am very interested in hearing from anyone who suffered abuse whilst in the following schools during the late 60s through to the early 80s.

Bengeo Primary School - Hertfordshire
Longlands Primary School - Hertfordshire
King College Choir School - Cambridge

Further reading:-

A secret history of child abuse

Abuse in Britains boarding schools

Sexual abuse in schools


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Secret Garden Of My Fears #poetry #depression

Here I am again, alone
under the pensive moonlight
painting the leaves with
silent songs of sadness.

The rainbow of my moods, crushed,
to a single dreary hue.
The womb of my longings, gutted,
coloring the carpet of withered blooms.

No more summer blue skies ...
Just wintry nights ...

The safety of my innocence, picked,
my intellect, raped,
the river of my thoughts, sullied,
My heart, stilled.

I walk through my secret garden,
the secret garden of my fears.
Alone.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

The Voice Of Silence #childabuse #poetry

Listen the voice of my Silence
My words travel without sound
I met a fallen star on my way
It told me I should open up and cry
I told myself I don't go there anymore

The moon lights the full dew fields
She's filled with beauty and so bright,
but so sad and alone, all stars wish upon her
But her pride keeps her higher
I wanted to reach her by a jump
I needed her light to find my way out

When hearts sleep and souls dream
She's still there in the starry sky
Condemned to be beautiful, yet alone

The light so warm and golden will light the way
And the morning sky will sweep away the stars
That happily lie on a black blanket
The hearts wake up again, a day is come
The flash of a blood-stained sun covers
My eyes, and the way I will not find anymore

And I will wander again without directions
Watching faces both weeping and joyful
That mix in my dead and lonely mind
I will wander looking for this warm light
That comforted me in the cold night
But I know I will find nothing
And so I will stop another time,

Listen to the voice of my silence
The Words do flow like a river
And I will wait for the return of my Moon
Bringing with her a light so bright and sweet
No confusion, she will take me on my way
We will dance and talk all night
When Hearts and Souls dream tender


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Demons Of Despair

The world is crashing down
Just a few days ago I was happy as a clown.
I wandered this earth in the security of a love bubble
Laughing away problems with the ease of a chuckle.

The bubble has been shattered
My bloated body lay battered.
An army of demons demolished my happiness
And doomed me to live an eternity in loneliness.

My self belief has vanished
My dignity has been banished.
My heart is shattered, my mind in turmoil
A simple thought of my reality sends the blood to boil.

I have nothing left
Because of this theft;
My dreams are gone
So I am forced to await the dawn.

Hoping that with the coming of the new day,
A sign will come that everything will be okay.
Desperately I wait, like a dying patient for a cure,
The coming of a new life, pristine and pure.

I hope with this new life, There will be no strife.
My heart will begin repair, Ridding itself of despair,
Regaining its capacity
to care.

The dust in my mind will begin to settle,
Blood will no longer boil like a tea kettle.
Happiness will reign again like a king on his throne,
All that is left of my former life is a pile of rotting bones.

For a new day has dawned,
A new life has spawned.
Time will heal all wounds love can cause;
Yet fate has its claws,

Deep within me.
Love is the key, to survival,
Life without love is no life at all.
Though love is the demon known to maul

Anyone that touches it or gets too close by;
Leaving the desperate for love, to suffer, and die.....
I smile to myself. It feels familiar. 
It's time to go. My horns need polishing.

The Despairing Man


A heaviness weighs upon me, crushing my spirit with an uncaring ease
This rollercoaster no fairground ride, more a living hell, why do I struggle
A day of feeling unworthy, a day where the silver lining is soiled and peeling
Why should I bother when for each step forward I am kicked back three.

To reach this point has been no easy task, the decision to go on based more
On the needs of others, not my own. I feel unable to do this just for me.
Not yet, not now. Later. Those damn tears threaten to break free, but
They remain trapped in a time now long past, yet as fresh as yesterday.

Trying do do right, I appear to be doing opposite. This cloud of despair renewed
Though I thought it dissipating. No. To truely be free of my demons might be
one step that I am not able to make. Not yet, one day, perhaps. We'll see.
A heaviness weighs upon me, I have not the strength to resist.

Aug 19 2011

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Let's see if gingers can fly.. via @bethevans1775 @poblcymru #mentalhealth #heroes



Let's see if gingers can fly......

I will be doing a tandem skydive for POBL Cymru because It is a wonderful charity which helps so many.

I have decided to confront my biggest fear (trust me..just ask anyone who has flown with me) and raise money for an incredible cause that is very close to my heart.  Please give as much or as little as you can afford. It will be very gratefully received and will benefit so many people. Thank you xxxx




POBL Cymru


POBL is a new Mental Health charity based in Wales that aims to educate the public and the business community around issues concerning Mental Health.We are a charity that will provide mobile support and assistance to people throughout Wales taking our road show to the communities who need us most.

Donate HERE!!!!
Follow Beth HERE

Follow Pobl Cymru HERE

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Request to Male Survivors of #childabuse for "Coping Mechanisms" by @tracyblack05

OK guys, lets help this lady out and get our own points across. I should have posted this a few weeks ago but I got a little lost and caught up with events in my own life.



Hello to all male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I am sending out a call for help! I am also a survivor of CSA and I am in the process of writing a book about triggers, flashbacks and how, as adults, we cope with them. We are aware that CSA is not gender specific therefore I would like to include stories from men. The book, Coping Mechanisms currently has seven female stories, all contributions are anonymous. I have selected my story to give you an idea of wat I am looking for. There is no restriction on word count, it can be as short as you want or longer than mine. I would like to thank Ján for giving me a spot on his blog. And I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my request!


TRACY




My name is Tracy Black, my age is, well let’s say I’m in my very early fifties and I am a mother of two boys. I have three grandchildren and hope to meet a lot more in the future.
I have been living in Spain for several years now. In fact, I have spent most of my life travelling. My father was in the British Armed Forces, and as a family, we went with him to all his postings. We have travelled to Singapore, Malta, Germany and Northern Ireland to name but a few. Sounds great doesn’t it? It should have been but I dreaded each move.
My father started abusing me when I was five; we were living in Germany at the time. At first, it involved me touching him, then vice-versa. The abuse I suffered was both physical and sexual. He didn’t only groom me for himself he  groomed me for his friends.
With each new posting, he upped his game. I was a child and thought that’s what dads did. He isolated me from any friends I made and he kept me behind closed doors at every opportunity.
Abusers are good liars and they are exceptional when it comes to convincing others. He told me if I dared tell anyone my mother would die, plain and simple. She would literally be struck down where she stood. I persevered because I didn’t want my mother to die and I certainly didn’t relish the responsibility he put on me. I kept quiet for the sake of my mother.
Growing up was like living in another world, a dark and lonely place, but for me it was normal. By the time I reached 11 years of age I realised that what he was doing wasn’t right. However, I still believed that if I told anyone my mother would die, he had instilled that belief in me and had secured my silence. I knew I needed to tell someone, anyone because the older I became the more horrific his advances. Who would believe me anyway? After all, he was a hero wasn’t he? He was a man wearing an army uniform, there to serve and protect everyone.
At twelve, I became out of control. I was fighting in and out of school, thieving from shops and aggravating grown-ups. I did all I could to get noticed by the Military Police. I stupidly thought that if I became so out of control, someone would ask me why I was behaving so badly. Nobody asked. All the Army did was assign me to a Social Worker and they monitored my behaviour at school.
Things didn’t get any better and one night I ran away. The Military Police eventually found me and I refused to be taken back home. I told them everything. They didn’t believe me. The following morning they decided that I was to be sent away to a Boarding School until I was old enough to leave and make my own way in the world.
At the age of 15, I left Boarding School, and headed to the UK and began to make my own way in life. It was easier said than done. By the time I was 21 years old I was a single parent with two boys.
I remember one particular flashback that was a horrible and unpleasant experience. Prior to this, I’d had little things that reminded me of my childhood abuse, but nothing I couldn’t handle – I pushed them aside in my own way. None of them had shoved me over the top until the Old Spice incident.
The offensive trigger was the smell of Old Spice aftershave. When it happened I was sitting on a bus on my way to work. Like every other morning it was busy with workers and shoppers. I was lucky enough to find a seat near the rear, but after that, it was standing room only.
As more people clambered on the standing passengers had to move further up to the back. Suddenly, I got a whiff of something that sent a shockwave of emotions running through me.
Some guy, not too far from me, was wearing Old Spice aftershave. I found the source of the smell and he looked at me and gave me a smile. I panicked, in my mind I was a child again and all I saw in front of me was my father standing grinning and beckoning with his finger as he used to do.
In that moment, time stood still for me and I felt terrified. Even though it was wintertime sweat ran down my face and neck. My stomach was doing summersaults.
A woman sitting beside me gave me a nudge and asked who was going to hurt me and was I okay. It dawned on me that I must have been mumbling out loud. My only thought was to run, run as far away as possible from the smell of Old Spice aftershave. But to do that, I would have had to shove and fight my way through the throng of passengers and it meant passing by him too.
The thought of moving from my seat panicked me even more, without warning my stomach heaved and I vomited all over the floor of the bus. Standing passengers moved aside for fear of me being sick over them. I saw my chance and darted down the aisle and off the bus. It took a few hours for me to feel ‘normal’ again.
I stayed off work for the rest of the week because I was so scared in case the man with the aftershave was on my bus. A friend was worried about me, although she had no idea about my childhood sexual abuse. At her insistence I went to the doctor’s surgery because the work had requested a sick note. To my surprise, I ended up telling him about the abuse I had suffered at the hands of my father and the incident on the bus.
I was glad I went, he was sympathetic and understanding. It was then I found out I had had an ‘episode.’ The doctor explained about triggers and flashbacks. He discussed ‘grounding’ with me and suggested I used it if I ever had another one and it would help me through it.
I never did come across anyone else who wore Old Spice, new scents came out and men moved onto the newer products. It didn’t mean the end of my triggers though because soon after I took an aversion to the smell of lavender, be it flowers, sweets or perfumes. When I was a child, my mother used to fill my room with soap ornaments from Avon and they were always lavender scented.
A friend used to come to my house and she always had lavender perfume on. The smell overpowered me and it took me by surprise because it was her usual perfume and it hadn’t bothered me before. I was able to put the grounding technique to the test.
I left my friend in another room and went into my kitchen. I thought about painting it, cleaning out the fridge and cupboards. Keeping my mind occupied was my main objective and after a couple of minutes I was fine. It didn’t make the flashback disappear but it blurred the visions. The distraction and ‘grounding’ worked for me.
After that incident, I bought incense candles and still do to this day. My house always smelled of vanilla incense and it masked my friend’s perfume whenever she came to visit.
Even to this day, I avoid garden areas or places where I know there are lavender shrubs. I’m glad to say I can put up with the smell now without having a flashback surfacing. Although the odour still makes me nauseous but I think it is all in my imagination and my mind is playing tricks on me.
* * *

Endorsed by Lesley Hayes

Now retired from practice, Lesley Hayes worked for over twenty years as a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist, a UKRC registered Counsellor, and an accredited Full Member of AHPP, the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.
I have read Tracy Black’s book Coping Mechanisms with great interest, and value the way she has approached the subject. For so many years sexual abuse has been shrouded in shame and silence, and it’s encouraging to see how the tide has turned in recent years and survivors are finding their voice and standing by their right to be heard.
The difference between Coping Mechanisms and some other books I've seen written by survivors is that it shares the insights gained by the writer rather than just the story, and aims to put the reader confidently back in the driving seat, rather than simply describing the road crash of their experience. There is sound advice here as well as some harrowing descriptions of what led to survivors losing control of their lives.
It is a book written with compassion rather than anger, by someone who has worked diligently to move beyond her own experience of childhood abuse. If you have been drawn to this book because the title and description resonates in some way with your own experience, then feel heartened. You have come to the right place. Tracy Black is the acclaimed author of several works of fiction that explore the subject, as well as her own autobiography. She is offering you here the wisdom gained from her journey out of pain and powerlessness into a place of health and optimism. Lesley Hayes



Contact Tracy via this blog, or her Twitter @TracyBlack05

Email tracyblack05@gmail.com



Friday, 11 March 2016

Love Is..

I started this blog back in 2010 before the child abuse memory tsunami hit me. My world was good. I had achieved my ultimate goal and was a success (or what I had spent my adult life believing to be what a success was). I had worked hard and had pushed my way up the corporate ladder. I had bought out my employer in a million pound plus deal and was worth several million more on paper. Life was good, yes?

No.

As I have mentioned in the past, I was taunted whilst growing up that I would amount to nothing. That I would never be successful, I would never know happiness. I was told that I was a freak and that I would end up either dead on the streets or in a "lunatic asylum". Why? Because I was different.

I spent almost two decades working myself to a frazzle, going years on end without taking holidays and even working over Christmas and New Year. I did it because I had to prove them wrong. I had lived on the streets for several months in my late teens, I had all but lost my mind, and I had been a drunken and selfish layabout. I had tried hard to be a studious student at college and university. When my second parent fell foul to cancer I too fell foul. I gave up. I threw in the towel. I decided to no longer be what I was expected to be. I would be me.

Why was I different you may ask? The abusers were torn. Some saw me as a Christ like figure and others as an Anti Christ. A light shone out of me. I stood out in a crowd. No matter what they did, I mostly looked inwards and smiled to myself. I forgave them as and when they molested me. I tolerated their pathetic and mindless perversions. They were base, stupid and twisted by their inherent perversions whilst I always seemed to know deep inside that I would endure. I would live. I would survive and one day I would expose not only them but all that they stood for. I knew that one day I would thrive.

Like all "Super Heroes" I had a weakness. Love. This blogs url is "whatislove". What Is Love?

That was the question I asked myself back six years ago.

Love in itself is not a weakness. It is a force almost as old as time. Love is the glue that holds humanity together. Well.. That is in theory anyway. Love can become twisted, distorted, can be controlling and it can be used as a tool and a means to an end. I am not that sort of love. Yes, you read that correctly. I just defined myself as LOVE.

"May the force be with you"... The force in question is one of good, one of love, one of tolerance, one of peace and harmony.

I was born out of love. I was born despite the fact that my mother was given the option of chemotherapy or to have her child. She chose that I should live. She ultimately sacrificed herself that I should live.

I consider myself, and have often been told by others, that I am strongly empathic. I seem to be able to read feelings and emotions as if they were written on a poster above a persons head. Not always, I am not a supreme being after all. I am, but me.

Six years ago I thought I had achieved over and above what my earlier life detractors had said I could or would not. In most part I had. Where I had let myself down was that I had not found that ultimate goal. Personal joy.

Much water has passed under the bridge since then. I had a full on nervous breakdown in 2011 which is when the past came back to literally haunt me. I survived both the past and also the re-enactment. I am indeed still standing.

I have opened up my life, ripped apart my heart and exposed my inner self to all. Why do such an extreme  and foolish thing?

I wanted and needed to be heard. I had lived too long in silence, pretending that I was able and strong.

I needed to fall to little pieces so that given time I could rebuild and reinforce what and who I was.

I am love.

Love need not be perfect, which I am not. Love need not be beautiful and breathtaking which I certainly am not. Love just needs to be open, true, loyal and steadfast. Love needs to be nurtured. Love needs to be given openly and freely and received in abundance. Love is not a one way street. Love is neither a game nor a legal contract. Love is the ultimate gift. Love is love.

Love can be a roller coaster ride. Indeed I think it needs to be. The ups, the downs, the gasps and the shrieks if shared openly, honestly and with integrity are all part of the wonderful, multifaceted and amazing thing that love should be. To fully appreciate the ride one must give all and trust all to the other. No subject should be taboo. No games should be played.

Many will mock my ideals and I have no problem with that.

So many people have written about love over the centuries. So many opinions and yes, this is just my opinion. Well.. actually this is more than just an opinion, this is in fact a statement of personal requirement. Love takes many forms. I should know. I need love. I need understanding and harmony. Many have tried to extinguish my spark. From this day forth I intend to set the world on fire.

I often consider myself in phoenix terms. A phoenix can rise and fall and rise again many times. So have I.

I have seen the damage that "love" can do when not applied in the appropriate manner. I have suffered at the hands of those who claimed to love me and also, a step or two away, by the love others had shown those I love. To be a victim of both first and second hand damaged love is most unfortunate indeed. Yet I still believe in it. I still believe that love can conquer all.

I find myself almost laughing at my own words. I have been called obsessive, delusional, nonsensical and weak because of what I believe. So be it.

Love is good, love is kind, love does no harm and love can help us grow and prosper as individuals and better still as couples.

Let love in, do not mock it. Do not shun it. Return it with the intensity that is received. Do not try and stifle or control it.

Love is pure and positive energy. Love is life. Love is a force of nature. Love is...

Everything.













Perfectly Broken #mentalhealth #life

Define perfection for me...

I am far from perfect, in fact I would say I am quite imperfect in most ways.
  
I don't have an ego, let alone a big one most of the time. I am simply everything... I use the word ego loosely. I have self worth so therefore have a sense of ego. It is rarely, but can be, over inflated. Learning to accept that "I" was enough took a long time, even if I was the only one who thought so. 

I have fought to stand up for myself in this imperfect little world. I have learnt that I do have some value despite the efforts of so many in the past to totally erase any such thoughts. Having some realisation of self worth is important. I am a stubborn bull too.. I have taken a long time to use my voice and I am not easily silenced these days. Truth be told, I am far more dangerous when forced into silence than if I am allowed to express myself. If I feel slighted or aggrieved it is far better to hear me out than to let my volcanic juices simmer into boiling point. I am fair, I am kind, I will listen to others points of view. With regards my stubborn bull, you have to remember that I have fought hard to become who I am. I may well often be wrong but I retain the right to express my opinion and to be heard. In circumstances where I feel I am being ignored or squashed I will eventually explode and quite possibly cut off my own nose to spite my face. This is a fault of mine. It all comes down to priorities.

I have never claimed sanity amongst the few values I do attribute to myself. Sanity is purely a state of mind and that state has different levels of socially acceptable norm in different cultures.  I am broken, however that has made me stronger and possibly even better than I would have been. This reminds me of the Japanese art of Kintsukori, which means "to repair with gold". It is the art of repairing pottery with gold or another precious metal and understanding that the piece is both more beautiful and valuable for having been broken.

I have many broken friends, and the broken in me bows to the broken in them.

I do believe in loyalty and standing by those that we love. At any cost. I believe that long term personal relationships (romantic love) should become before family and friends as long as the relationship is not suffocating or controlling. Again there will be differences in what each party will consider to be controlling behaviour and such should be worked out without confrontation and hopefully with give and take from both sides. I consider myself to be loyal and true, a good person. I know I have faults, many of them, but disloyalty or betrayal is not amongst them. Insecurity is something that I have always suffered with. I was so brow beaten into believing I would amount to nothing as a child and young adult. Some family members betrayed me and were disloyal to me. It caused a number of trust issues, many of which I have overcome. Many I have not. Some of my reactions to events might seem over the top to a lot of people, to me they make sense. I do not trust easily and if my trust is broken the consequences can be far reaching. One particular family member hounded me for most of my life. Karma has dealt with them. 

Being "broken" has it's up and downsides in the present day. Some things have made me more resilient whilst others have left me with people issues. I think I am a pretty good judge of character, I observe a great deal. I am slow to get to know new people and do sometimes even then make mistakes. I am human after all. I hate it when a reaction I may have which is quite normal to most people is seen or defined as "because of the past" or because I have insecurities. I hate being walked over, my worries and concerns ignored or put down to my being not quite right in the head. In love I need to be told often that I am important, that I am loved. I need my feelings to be considered and even if it means a sacrifice, I need that sacrifice to be performed. This is only ever over major issues, major to me anyway. 

I can put up with a lot of pain from people, I have a thick skin. The problem is that if I have let you through to my inner world and you then hurt me it will take a lot of effort from you to put that right. The inner me is gentle and easily hurt.  That does not mean I am weak. 

I believe in an eye for an eye. The exceptions are when no harm was intended. Again the act of what harms one might be something that would not harm another. If that is the case I believe in forgiveness. I would not expect that harm to be replicated in the future however. If you know something offends or harms someone you should do all possible to ensure that possible future instances of that harm is minimalised. Understanding that we are not all the same, that we all have different triggers and tastes will hopefully lead to a more stable and mutually beneficial state of being. Never underestimate me. 

I have experienced life on many levels. I have lived and have a lot more living to do.Life is a journey and we are not given a road map. We may, if lucky, be given pointers but for the most part we must work our own way through life. Many of us may be fortunate enough to meet someone who can walk with us, at whatever stage we are at. Someone who we can trust with our very being. Life is short, no matter what your belief in afterlife, rebirth, or returning to cosmic dust or electron particles. Make the most of it.






Sunday, 14 February 2016

Complications #love #valentines

Complications

This world has turned
too complicated,
and we hardly seem able
to do things that matter
in simple, beautiful, ways.
There are a million customs,
thousands of possible rituals,
endless unfathomable mixtures
of customary practices,
merged, evolved, melded,
in infinitely complicated ways,
as chaotic patterns,
that defy proper response,
defy reasonable prediction
as to course of action.
The world has turned
too complicated
and we hardly seem able
to do things that matter
in simple, beautiful, ways,
and that is part of the reason
why it is so difficult
to find even on effective way
to say to a beloved other,
that one truly loves,
for it always seems lost
in the noise of it all,
among customary practices,
among a million rituals,
an endless compilation
of complications,
until it is the hardest thing
to find one effective way
to say to a beloved other,
that one truly loves,
the hardest thing to say
I love you, truly I love you,
and find one has response
that is simple, beautiful,
instead of all lost
in the endless dark abyss
of human culture
with its confrontations,
its meldings, mergings,
its confoundings,
its compoundings
of conflicted ways,
and what now do I do
to tell my beloved other
that I love you,
when a world turns
ever so complicated
that hardly anything is heard
and ever less is believed
of anything as can be said
in simple, beautiful ways?
My beloved, tell me,
what can I do,
what can I say,
how might I convince you
in simple, beautiful ways?

Thursday, 28 January 2016

POBL Cymru - Mental Health Charity with a cwtch! @POBLCymru


POBL (meaning PEOPLE in our Welsh language) is a new and fresh mental health charity that has been formed to make a difference to the people of Wales and their families, who are either now, or will at some future point, find themselves suffering from a mental health condition. We are called POBL because that’s exactly what we are all about. People helping people! We aim to be as bi-lingual as possible in all of our dealings, as we feel that this is of vital importance to be able to discuss issues in your native tongue if that assists you better.
We are not about big strategies and grandiose ideas. We are about providing real ‘hands on’ advice and support at grassroots level to the ordinary man and woman in their own communities. We will primarily do this via education, workshops and support groups. This is where we feel help is most needed.
It is a well publicised fact that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental distress. This can range from post natal depression, stress and even to terrifying bouts of paranoid schizophrenia. We think this figure is inaccurate because it does not take into account the wider circle of people around the sufferer. Their wives, husbands, children and wider network of friends often go through the bouts of illness with them, often not understanding it and certainly not knowing where to turn to for straightforward, jargon free friendly advice. This is what we aim provide at POBL.
Many of our workers have had direct experience of the issues and problems that you face and therefore, can understand you better than anyone else. Nothing beats peer to peer support. Our simple aim is to get you back out there fighting as best you can, knowing that we are behind you every step of the way to catch you if you fall.
We have been there, we know how lonely and dark it can be, but crucially, we know the way to lead you back out there on the road to enjoying life again.
We educate businesses on their legal obligations in the area of managing and handling stress at work and providing adequate support, working with the employers with the wider Mental Health issues that employees may suffer from.
Above all, we campaign and fundraise tirelessly to ensure that as many people as possible know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope, and we will do all we can to lead you there.

Our Patron – Ruby Wax



Ruby Wax is probably best known for her T.V. documentaries and interviews. She was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for 5 years, and has been script editor for many shows including all series of Absolutely Fabulous. Previously Ruby studied psychology at the University of Berkeley, California and obtained a Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counselling from Regent’s College, London. Recently Ruby obtained a Master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford University.
In spring 2014, Ruby Wax – comedian, writer, mental health campaigner began touring the UK with her one-woman show RUBY WAX: SANE NEW WORLD-THE TOUR. Ruby has based this new show on her No. 1 bestselling book Sane New World: Taming the Mind, which has enjoyed worldwide success since publication in 2013.
Sane New World helps us understand why we sabotage our own sanity and provides a manual on how to survive the 21st century. Ruby uses knowledge from her recent Masters Degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy at Oxford University spiked with comedy.
In the Summer of 2012 she presented her talk ‘What’s so funny about mental illness?” at TedGlobal and in 2011 launched a website called Blackdogtribe.com which helps sufferers to get help, information, to communicate with each other and to break the stigma of mental illness.

Contact POBL on
Twitter @PoblCymru
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/POBLcymru/
WWW http://www.pobl.org.uk/
p.s

Welsh word for an affectionate hug. There's no literal English translation, but its nearest equivlent is "safe place". So if you give someone a cwtch, you're giving them a "safe place". 

It can also be used as a place to store things safely (usually a cupboard under a staircase)
"Give me a cwtch" 

"Put your jacket in the cwtch"

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Resolving Conflict #Relationships

Our relationships are like reflections of our inner soul.

As we learn more about who we are, through interaction with others, triggers go off deep within. Similar to cleaning a dusty mirror for the first time, we begin to see ourselves with more clarity and we often don’t like what we are seeing and feeling.
Other people reflect love and hate and we then choose to absorb whatever we believe we deserve. When we have low self-esteem we allow and accept negative and toxic behaviour as we feel that it is justified.
We hurt others because we are hurt. The weapons we choose are usually the ones that we know will inflict the most damage.
When we hurt someone we love we are emotionally self-harming. Hurting others always end up with us hurting ourselves more in the process. When we love and value ourselves, we are far less likely to engage in destructive behaviours and form painful dynamics.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” 
 Buddha

When two people love one another, but can’t see a way out of causing wounds either emotionally or physically, it is likely that the relationship will go from bad to so much worse. When we learn what causes this behaviour and become aware of the part we are playing, we can begin to move positively towards a resolve.
We aren’t perfect and it is unlikely we will have entirely conflict-free lives. But there is a big difference between healthy conflict and destructive conflict.
Most of us want to change, but quite simply, don’t always know how. Here are a few of the reasons we choose to hurt those we love:

Negative attention is still attention. When we behave in a way that ignites a reaction, we are suddenly getting the other person’s full focus, albeit a negatively. We need to turn this back around to love. Find a way back to loving and creating a flow of good energy and we will be far less likely to crave the bad.
Convenience. The ones we love are conveniently around us more. When we are angry or aggressive, it seems easier to vent to whoever is closest.
Release. It is like we pass on our anger, we don’t want it, so we try to make someone else feel bad and then we think we will feel much better! The trouble is, we don’t, we may have relieved the aggression and anger temporarily, however, we are now left with other emotions as we witness the person we love become fuelled. And now, there is the likelihood they will take the anger back out on us. A vicious, vicious circle.
Trust. Sometimes we trust that those we love the most will never leave us or abandon us despite our negative behaviour. We believe in our own minds that we truly must be worth loving if we can behave terribly and still, the other person stays around. We are worth loving. Exactly as we are now. And we make it far easier for other people to love us fully when we behave in a loving manner towards ourselves and also to them.
Boundaries. We push, and push and we push, trying to fathom where the boundaries lie. This can cause us to push the person we love further away. Good honest communication will allow both parties to be fully aware of how each person feels, without the desire to try to see how far we can go with little tests. Don’t push to breaking point, because, once that destination is reached, it can very often signal the end.
To force change. We foolishly believe that by hurting someone with words or actions, we can try to change them or make them see things differently. We can only change ourself, real change can never be forced.
Intention. Sometimes we hurt one another without any intention meant. Sometimes through the course of our daily life, little things we say or do can hurt the ones closest to us. Remembering that just because we are feeling hurt it doesn’t mean the other person meant to hurt us and this can help to alleviate the situation. A little bit of forgiveness, understanding and compassion can repair these kinds of thoughtless behaviours in no time at all.
Expectations. We can have unrealistic and way too high expectations of the ones we love. When they fail to reach our standards, we can take this as a personal insult and feel hurt. Accepting people for what they are and allowing for mistakes will lessen the pain. We are all human and we will all mess up from time to time.
Avoiding intimacy. We very often distance ourselves and sabotage our relationships to avoid getting too intimate. We are so afraid of getting hurt, that we hurt others in order to avoid this. All we are doing is hurting ourselves and avoiding the one thing we want most.
It isn’t always personal. It is quite often more about the person who is dishing out the hurt that the person who is receiving. It is our own issues that cause us to hurt those around us. We should never allow another person’s behaviours to affect how we feel about ourselves.

Chaos and Drama. The more drama and chaos that has been in our life, the more comfortable we feel alongside it. Like a habit, as we let go of it and reduce or eradicate it completely, it will feel like a stranger to us and we will feel awkward and uncomfortable around it and far less likely to engage in it.
Forgive. We often hurt the ones we love because we are still angry and resentful for something they previously did to hurt us. Forgiveness is not always easy, and it doesn’t mean that you accept or justify their actions. We need to let go of the belief that we are punishing the other person by not forgiving them. The only one we are punishing is our self. Letting go of anger
The first step towards change of any kind is awareness. Awareness is like a light, as it brightens we begin to see more clearly. We can be afraid of being lit up inside as it shows us the parts to ourselves we would rather not see.
If both parties are willing, it can be very healing to work together to understand what causes the triggers and why we react in the way we do. Trust in one another and share our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and find ways to deal with the emotions that arise from them. Talk openly and let each other know that from this point onwards you no longer want to interact destructively towards one another. Do not expect miracles, change and behavioural habits take time.
Be patient. Be loving.
Work on being mindful, living in the present moment. When we do this we immediately see things clearer and will have a greater level of compassion towards the ones we love and also to ourselves.
We have to remember we cannot change the other person. We can only change ourselves. We must do our own inner work and heal and step back and allow the other person to do the same, if they wish to. Personal journeys cannot be forced. We each have to go at our own pace to fully learn all the lessons that are being brought to us.
Even in a close relationship, no two people will have exactly the same life lesson at the same time. As we move and grow through our own understandings we will notice small changes taking place within. This then may, or may not, have an effect on the other person causing changes in their behaviour too.
The most important thing is to self-focus. We cannot fix anyone else. As we work on our selves and change, others around us will very likely change too. And if they choose not to, we may find that we are no longer willing to role-play in their destructive games and behaviours.
When we are in pain and feel the need to inflict these emotions onto someone else, this is the moment we need to take responsibility and figure out what is causing the pain in the first place. We have all the answers we need within ourselves. Paying attention to our thoughts and actions can uncover all we need to know.
Self-love, self-acceptance and awareness are all tools that will assist us when we slip down destructive paths. It will happen, we all make mistakes, but, when we take a step back and refuse to engage negatively we will very quickly see the huge impact that has on our daily interactions with the ones we love most.
Then, we can focus on using all of our energy to love rather than allowing it to to be used as a weapon of destruction.


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