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A Introduction

Parenting is far from easy, this much is fact.  But then you add in complications.  That said I guess I will start at the beginning so you have a rough idea whom I am, my family is, n why this blog has come to me.

May 2012, yes that long ago I did a pregnancy test, I remember it vividly sat in the bathroom of a high street department store, peeing on a stick, and then waiting, the wait that appeared to take an eternity, whilst not the most glamorous of settings it served its intended purpose BUT their was a issue, I am legally blind, have been since March 2010.  I couldn’t see a line let alone two on said test, so ended up Whatsapping a photo of said test to a friend who knows whom she is and asking her what she could see!  The outcome being those 2 lines are now a human called Jemima who will be 6 years young in January.

That is the crux: now to the more complex aspects of why I have opted to set up a blog.

I am many things yet nothing, I am someone yet something, I live with and deal with a lot, far more than many actually could or try to comprehend and that impacts on every element of my being.

I am a solo parent, all be it dating an incredible human called Chris.  

I am a human of lived experience, which includes but doesn’t just include as to list all would bore you to tears n pain my hands to type:

Bipolar Disorder

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Fibromialgia

ME

and have I mentioned I am blind. 

Alongside all this I also happen to be Gender Fluid, Pansexual and Jewish.

Whilst this blog will cover a lot including my day to day life, it may also let you the reader into darker aspects of my being, as earlier this year I was raped twice in 6 days by someone whom was at the time a friend, his actions resulted in me loosing my Mental Wealth and ending up in a dark hole of Mental Illness once more.  I am now left failed by the system as have had the police tell me due too lack of witnesses and or CCTV they can’t take the case Luther, no support from the Community Mental Health Trust ie NHS I am having to self fund private Trauma Therapy – if you  can spare anything itd mean a lot https://www.gofundme.com/ysq7wx-trauma-therapy

So settle down, take a seat, and come on a journey as I attempt to process my head via the medium of blogging

Chris holding Jemima and then me next to them taken at The Deep during October 2018 Half Term
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School Runs – Love Hate?

Photo was taken this afternoon by my 5 year old on our walk home from school,I have my long cane in my hand and her book bag has been flumped on the path.

Love it or hate it school runs are one of those things as a parent at some point the majority of us find ourselves stuck with.

I am very fortunate that for the most part on a morning my dad will take Jemima for me, and on a afternoon my mum will collect her, thus saving me valuable spoons as her school is about a miles walk, yes their is a bus service but it is unreliable and cabs as a round trip just to get there and back let alone twice a day would be approx £10 so is financially not viable. It is times like this I despise being visually impaired as means I am unable to have the luxury of being able to drive a car.

On a Wednesday my parents aren’t around in the afternoon so it is down to me, so time to ensure I am adequately dressed so I don’t either over heat or freeze, gotta love auto immune systems that are defunct and fail to work on top.

I digress, I don’t like the school run as well a) getting to school means crossing a couple of major roads, yes their are crossings, but today for example some moron decided to wait till I was literally half way across the road and then sped up and got literally mm from my cane tip! Seriously sighted humans what is with the stupid? or are you just plain ignorant? b) I hate the making small talk with other parents, as they are all so cliquey, yes a few are tolerable but is that due to taking pity on me due to multiple disabilities or cos they give a shit? Example last year when I had a breakdown etal “let us know if you need anything” 30 people said it well families yet how many could I actually rely on? oh yeah the usual suspects of 4 different families, the rest you ask? full of excuses and abilst nonsense! So I quit asking as it saved the anxiety of will they actually do it out of pity or cos they want to do the right thing?! c) their is the waiting around as the class finishes 15:30 but can guarentee the teacher wont open the door till closer to 15:35 so I am stood wobbly legged leaning on my cane for support and praying I don’t go kersplat and make a dufus of myself once again.

On the other hand, I love the walk home with my daughter, listening to her day, her wisdom of “no don’t go that way some unkind human has left a bin in the way n you will walk into it”. A precious bit of time without technology and to talk, but also reminds me she is growing up rather quickly (she is 6 on the 26th of January) and to me she is still a newborn nestled against me seeking my breast to nourish on.

New Years

We had no plans for New Years so opted to go away for New Years. We went to The Dalmeany in Lytham St Annes, for a well deserved and much needed break and rest.

Chris and I both had a massage which was utter bliss and Jemima had a wonderful time in the kids club. So a relaxing time for us all. We failed at a walk on the promenade as it was rather cold and windy, so Chris and I had a impromptru date morning to Costa one of the mornings whilst Jemima enjoyed watching a film with other small humans.

I had a lovely swim whilst Chris had a sneaky nap and Jemima had more time with new friends playing with Hamma Beads for the first time, she made a beautiful butterfly which was in rainbow colours and is now probably buried in a suitcase that I am yet to unpack and wash the clothing within.

Jemima made us very proud on the 1st evening in the disco by preforming the dance she had learnt at school to Circle of Life, and was trying her hardest to teach the moves to a couple of other small humans.

It was beautiful to have a few days of family time, just to relax and do as we wanted with no pressure to be anywhere for a set time or do anything by a certain time.

It was a little frustrating that the New Years Eve Buffet was what appeared to be left overs from the previous night so wasn’t really anything special but we were put on a table with a little girl who Jemima had become friends with so the kids liked that they were allowed to sit together and talk as they ate.

Chris and I even managed to hit Happy Hour and have a couple of sneaky drinkies whilst Jemima had fun without us decorating cakes in the kids club.

Me and Jemima sat in 1 chair Chris sat in another on New Years EVe
Myself, Jemima and Chris sat in the Reception Lobby of the hotel on New Years Eve

How NOT To Remove Mental Staples

So last week I self injured, today I had to return to my GP’s to have the medical staples removed by the practice nurse, thankfully I am not foolish enough to go alone as know from years ago how insensitive and discriminatory these appointments all too often are, but had hoped given prior to this year it had been 13 n bit years since I had self injured times had changed. My previous injuries this year have been removed by the wonderful Harrogate hospital whom even give me Entenox when removing and work at a pace that works for me.

My friend Daniel was with me, as he has been for many appointments, the nurse asked him to sit down on a chair in one of those tones of voice that screamed school teacher, he refused and insisted on staying in reach so I could squeeze his hand which was much required and a blessing.

Daniel calmly informed the nurse, “Lea has Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder along with a host of other Mental Ill Health conditions before you even get to their physical health needs and being blind, informing you so that you are aware” nurse “that’s nice I have been doing this longer than you two have been alive kinda attitude. Instantly got both my back up and Daniels and she proceeded to take staples out.

General best practice would be count the staples and inform patient prior to removing each, so patient knows how many left etc, nope she failed to do this. I asked STOP as was being triggered, her reply “well make another appointment then I only have 10 minutes, I zoned out a little but was with it enough to detect her sinister tone and that me as the patient didn’t matter and she had a job to do and screw the impact on my already fragile health.

Again Daniel requested she stopped a moment, giving me time to breathe, she huffed and puffed at doing so, before trying to once more resume before we were ready and in a stable head space to allow her.

Once all staples out she went to find an adhesive dressing despite us stating clearly just melolin and micropore will be sufficient due to my allergies to adhesives. So we settled for nothing and redressed it once back at my home.

I did however fill out a complaint form about the nurse and her attitude and how it was going against everything the NICE Guidelines Into Self Harm set out to achieve when they were produced. In term of treating the patient as the expert in their own care and also giving them control to maintain dignity and respect. If by filling out the form of complaint ensures one person is treated with more empathy n dignity than I was shown today it would not have been filled out in vain.

New Hair – Self Care

An easy way those closest to me can generally work out how my head is to check how recently I have had my hair dyed.

Iv been partial to pinks, purples and blues for a couple of years now. Admittedly generally done at home but heyho.

As my hair also needed a cut and undercut reshaved I opted to go to a barbers in town.

Far too many spoons involved and exhausted now as one bod cut my hair, one dyed it, one washed it, another my undercut but after arriving at 9:30am I finally left at 14:10!

Here is a montage of images of different views of said new dye job and restyle on my undercut

Lots of vivid colour and I am in utter love with my undercuts pattern.

Self care is sometimes exhausting and today is one of those days.  Once the self care blues so to speak pass I will be able to enjoy my hair and the comments it will gain.

A Blog I Did As A Guest Blog Elsewhere

Last week I was asked via twitter if Id be interested in writing a Guest Blog, so I did, this is what I came out with, n as GUM ON MY SHOE posted it today I am posting it myself. Thank you GOMS for the opportunity to write for a different audience which ultimately was the kick up the ass to set up this blog:

MY JOURNEY TO RECLAIMING MY MENTAL WEALTH

It is only when we lose what we had that we realise just what we had. This is true in different elements of life. Sadly, this year it was true for me when it came to my Mental Wealth.

Between the ages of seven to twenty-two my Mental Wealth was lost, eaten alive and consumed by a range of people, from bullies at school, to the lack of trust shown by professionals who had the training to know better, and others. All this in addition to a rough deck of cards life had thrown my way.

Over those years, though, I was fortunate to spend a twenty-four week admission to The Crisis Recovery Unit, a specialist unit which was part of The Maudsley Hospital, which specialised in attempting to reach those for whom self-injury had become a coping mechanism.

I guess the best analogy I can make is that my body, my life, my experiences, my emotions were like an ostrich egg. The staff at the CRU chipped away slowly and methodically to break down the barriers I had put up as an act of self-protection. Once the external shell was cracked they chipped on until nothing remained of that egg. They then took the time and tenderness to build it back up, but equipped it with the skills and knowledge, not to mention self-confidence, that things can and will change, but that change has to come from within.

That was July 2001 through January 2002. For the first time my fears and my demons were not only heard, but they were held in mind whilst solutions – all of which I had to reach – were found and embraced. But this was not without many tears and setbacks as the journey to Mental Wealth began.

It worked. It lasted. Healthy coping mechanisms were adopted, psychiatry pushed to one side, a degree obtained, the loss of one of the few who gave unconditional love even whilst in my darkest of times, the birth of a child occurred, a divorce happened, a house move and more – all whilst maintaining that wealth.

But as is so often the case with these things, life had other ideas. In May of this year (2018) I was raped twice within six days by a so-called friend of over three years. He had methodically taken time to manipulate, use and lure me into a false sense of safety and trust. He had obtained power to know my buttons, how to push them and ultimately use them against me. I did the right thing and reported it to the police, but as all of this was going on the Mental Wealth I had gained rapidly disintegrated back to the crumbs and fragmented shell which the CRU had provided the skills and self-awareness to enable me to build back up.

Sanity fell. It fell like stale about-to-go-green-and-mouldy bread fed to ducks by children at the park. Any healthy ways to express emotion failed, and thirteen and a bit years of freedom and stability were lost. After caving in to self-destructions, and a psychiatric hospital stay, it is safe to say Mental Wealth was well and truly lost to the sink hole of life. Full blown Mental Illness had returned.

Last week the police informed me that they are unable to take the case forward to court due to lack of witnesses and/or CCTV, but who actually has these things when it comes to rape? A felt a sense of abandonment from the very agency which claims it is there to help and support, urging those who survive not to be silenced but with the emergence of the “Me Too” campaign to find their voice and speak their truth. I spoke mine, yet I am the one living with additional physical scars to layer on top of the mental and emotional ones he left as his legacy, whilst he walks the street continuing to spend his days oblivious to the damage and detrimental impact his actions have left behind.

In a vague attempt to self-soothe, self-manage – and self-sabotage if truth be known – self-injury has occurred once more, medical treatment obtained. The urges remain. The self-love for now is, temporarily I hope, on a shelf. I am trying to regain my grasp on it but it is hard. It is going to be a long journey to reclaim all I had.

If I know one thing it is that once this storm passes a butterfly will re-emerge. But it is hard to keep attuned to that vision when even as I write this I am in physical discomfort and pain following an episode of self-injury earlier this week which left my leg a mess. And I am mentally reliving all that he did those two days when he stole so much.

Asking for help is a hard yet brave step to take. I asked. I begged. I reached out. I cried. I screamed. Services were offered eventually but it took a breakdown to obtain a hospital stay. Services then deemed that due to their funding I had used my time and had to move on, although they acknowledged the distress I am living with on a daily basis. That was a sharp and bitter pill to swallow.

I am mindful that I am fortunate to have a private therapist trained in trauma who is enabling me to regrow and relearn and acknowledge and accept all that has occurred this year and its impact on me. After previous experience of being unreachable or untreatable by too many therapists my guard remains high. Nevertheless, she is thankfully equipped with the skills to see through the facade and get to my gut, to know what I need but may not want to hear, enabling me to try do things differently the next day.

So much has been lost, but I cling to the hope Mental Wealth will return some time soon. Until then all I can do is keep on as I am, vocalising when in distress, reaching out in the hope light will return, and pray no one else suffers in ways I have.

A Realisation Of Sorts

This blog may end up being deleted as it sure as hell is going to be a hard one to write, that is if I hit the “publish” button after I have out poured onto the screen.

My dad and I have always had a challenging relationship to say the least, he is short tempered and lacks patience, doesn’t express emotion towards me unless it is negative and has a guard up the vast majority of the time.

As a teen I can recall being sat in front of my then Psychiatrist, who was a wonderful kind woman but she would regularly despair as had no idea what to suggest to try reach me, to help me, to fix me. But anyways back to that meeting, I was about 13 sat colouring mindlessly as dad was having a rant about he saw no benefit of the family therapy sessions as I was “ignoring” and “daydreaming” “oblivious” to all being said n he was “loosing money” by not being at work, so why were we there in that room when it was surviving no positive purpose?

It is now with reflection a realisation dawned on me today, my dads mum whom whilst was present in my life for 21 years I know very little about, undoubtedly she lived with Holocaust survivors guilt and that resulted in what as a now 36 year old I can see how she saw and viewed and dealt with her world and no doubt reflected on her parenting of you and in turn some of that may have influenced you and how you choose to react to situations and or behaviours and parenting me as a whole. I do not blame you if it did, but a part of me longs for n wishes she had that daddy child relationship many friends had and do have, I crave it, I mourn for it, I need it even now as a adult, I am jealous of those whom have it as it something I have never had just seen others have and haliched for but never had despite my yearning for. And that is a hard and bitter pill to swallow

Fairly recently my brain is fog to when exactly you offered me a lift to the hospital following an episode of self injury, this was incredible, you had never not since my mid teens offered a lift, you sat there with me in the waiting room, you remained calm (I was confused as so unfamiliar with you calm) you just sat n read your kindle passing the odd comment to me, but that time was precious and I am cherishing, yes it was not the most ideal of settings, but it was quality time spent with you that was not confrontational and didn’t result in a argument or raised voices, by sitting their n waiting with me those few hours, you showed me love, you soothed part of me that craves your love, your affection and your care, but rarely had it as a child. Even now a a couple of months on from that it remains with me that you gave a shit to be there and wait with me and didn’t judge me based on my behaviour you just saw your child was injured and required medical assistance and you were able to give the comfort that I needed. Thank you. (yes I am crying and no I am not ashamed of that as I write this paragraph as in my teens when self injury was such a dominant force in my life, my dad would yell, hed scream, hed refuse to acknowledge the pain I was experiencing and the emotions that led to my behaviour instead just regard me as “attention seeking” or “if your gonna try kill yourself try harder” so to have unconditional support now as a adult meant then n even now means far more than I can put into words)

Yes we have our battles, but from now on I will pick them with more care as most are just not worth it..

Payback

A simple on the surface family activity, go to the Pantomime, it is that time of year, have fun, laugh, join in with the jest and be fortunate to go back stage afterwards and meet the stars of the show.

The reality for someone who is me, who lives with Fibromyalgia, ME, and other things today I have been exhausted, I am in radiating excruciating physical pain, I am lethargic, to the extent of I had a 3 hour sleep which is very rare for me this morning as I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.

It sucks, no two ways about it, being a parent is exhausting even those whom are mentally, emotionally and physically well tell me it is, but when you add in to the blend Chronic Illness and being an empath and in tune that my partner is also struggling the pain feels all consuming and crushing, yet somehow I find a way to voice it, to describe it and to keep on living it.  Every single part of my body is heavy and hurts, simple actions taking far longer than they should, yes medication has been taken, and CBD has been vaped, but the fatigue and physical exhaustion remain.

Just irks me that a simple family activity leaves me like this once more and causes me to question so much.  We will continue to make family memories, to have good times and enjoy ourselves, just frustrates me that it all comes at cost to my body and tries to over shadow the positives of what we experience.

But hey a distraction is good and here is a photo from yesterday of my world, Jemima and Chris and I.