Thursday, 12 November 2015

From eight to nine

I've not blogged for a while, not because I haven't wanted to but because I've been learning. For those of you that know me, I love to learn. Sadly however I have had to come to a realisation that no matter how much you "know" or can understand whats "happening" knowledge itself will only get you so far. It can give meaning, help you express and communicate, it can even give you confidence, but there are some things knowledge can't do.

It can't stop your over wrought nervous system shaking when something spontaneous happens, it can't get rid of emotional pain trapped inside you, it can't help explain fear even if the logical explanation might help comfort "it" a little.

So as those of you who read my last post have realised, I have got to a stage where I am ready to introduce my mind to my body. "What?" you may ask "your attached to your body, what on earth do you mean?".

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Please dear head let body be found.

I have a very powerful head
It helps keep my body in check

But the time has come no longer can we share
This power distribution of dominate  head down fear

Head you must back off and let body be
For it to has a right to feel

It has a right to have its space
Although it may need your help to get to this place

So dear head would you please be less arrogant and proud
Please dear head allow body to be found.

Let me tell you about body my dear mind
It took the physical brunt of a lot of unkind

And yes I know you intentions were good
You cut body off because a plate of pain is not good food

But brain you are strong you have looked after us well
It's time dear brain to let body also dwell.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Speech and communication

"Can you put the peanut butter in the box please?"
Interpretation, "Can you put the butter away in the fridge?"

"I've made a rose pot last night"
Interpretation, "look I designed some rose patterns on a wooden vase last night (art)."

"Can you put the sandwiches in the boot?"
Interpretation, "Is the food in the car?"

Those of you that know me on a day to day have got used to my inability to consistently communicate. Some days I am able to speak consistently and coherently but other days it all just comes out wrong. Sometimes this misattunement can go even further and I find myself unable to speak at all. I know exactly what I want to say, have the words in my mind but they just won't come out. If I manage to force them out it will be because who ever I'm talking to has waited (sometimes up to a minute) for me to rally round and find a way.


I find conversations extremely hard. On a one to one there is often no problem, but put me in a group and its extremely stressful. Then put that group in a restaurant or a bar and I will openly admit to often resorting to alcohol to keep me relaxed enough to have any hope of surviving.

Recently I was reminded of the basics. When you have a brain that is hard wired to constantly scan for danger it is impossible to function efficiently if you feel unsafe. When under threat or perceived threat your pre frontal cortex (the logical bit) is switched on and off. Chemicals produced during this process such as cortisol and adrenaline can remain floating in your system in debilitating amounts for up to four hours after being released in enough amount to help you lift a car (pass the wine please or can I go to bed now).  

Add to that the unsafety of not being in total control of your inner world, I often have looping lines of songs that haunt me for days, ringing in my ears, banging in one ear and voices arguing or interrupting my thoughts. The voices may be commenting directly on the situation or giving me advice about the person Im speaking to, sometimes they just challenge me to swear F***k OFF!!!!!, they loop often saying the same thing over and over whilst getting louder which will invariably bring out maybe another two / three voices to argue back or endorse whats going on. (I ask for more wine to numb things,"I need to go to my room").

Part of my healing journey has been to acknowledge that there are very few spaces I feel safe in. I carry within in me enough to make the safest place unsafe. I feel like a walking sabotage. I have had to learn that this sabotage is not a direct reflection of my character but it is an addon to my fragmented identity. In the past I have thought I was just a very bad person rotten to the core. In those days my lack of understanding would result in distruction of some kind which would then just confirm to me my horridness.

But I have learnt other things aswell. I have learnt that to try and deny the voices, the need to sleep, the banging, looping, swearing and inability to communicate only makes it all worse. I have learnt that to try and constantly "make myself like look like everyone else" also makes things worse. We live in a new era of understanding and tolerance where expression is allowed and I want to say thank you to all my friends and family who make me feel safe and normal by letting me be and do what is "my normal".


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Multi-tasking

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This morning I tried to brush my teeth at the kitchen sink whilst waiting for spotify to download and pick cabbage out the plug hole from last night's dinner. One voice was shouting "do one thing at at time", another "no she won't" and another "you must be more efficient!" and yet another " leave her alone" "give up give up"everyone was arguing and trying to get their point over as the winner of the situation.

Then like a blinding moment I travel back to boarding school and it was Wednesday. On Wednesday we had to change our sheets on our beds. We all panicked on a Wednesday morning 5:30am rushing to add an extra job into our already tight schedules.

Each dormitory had about thirty iron beds in it. In the mornings we used to take a quick walk to the toilets and back again (running forbidden and toilets being outside at the end of the dormitory blocks) then we would quickly march back to make beds with perfect hospital corners (exact floor to top of counter pain height). The fold under our pillows a certain depth and our pillows evenly plum flat on the lumpy mattresses. After that we had to dress perfectly in our uniforms. Socks were folded three times down our legs to create the perfect ankle and  shoes had to be shining collars folded at the right height at our necks. Our legs and arms had to be creamed to stop dry skin and our hair brushed so as to not let any touch our collars. After that our lockers and foot chests had to be pristine and neat. We would all then stand at the foot of the bed and wait for inspections. 


Now the hard thing about inspection was two fold. One was the ability to hear he matrons working there way through the other dormitories dolling out the daily punishments and ridiculing those who had not met expectation or had wet the bed. The other was the absolute panic to have your own dormitory ready. Did you risk helping those that were slower or unable to get the sheets flat and folded and be found away from your area. Did you try and help someone who clearly had hair loose, after all we did not have individual mirrors we only had a small 12x10inch mirror situated at the furthest end of the long rectangular room.

Then there were Wednesday when not only did you have to cope with all the above but you also had

to strip the bed and change the sheet. As  I have said before the majority of us struggled with Wednesdays. This morning however as I tried to be an octopus, getting cross with the toothpaste I had swallowed and the sliminess of the cabbage making (its so hard to grip), I realised what drove so much of the panic. I realised that although our whole day at boarding school relied on time; being on time, doing things in time, waiting for time to be over or a new part of the timed day to start. Nowhere do I ever remember seeing a clock except in the prep room and school hall, everything else was communicated by bell. I realised how much power that lack of clocks gave the teachers and matrons. After all what better way to put the fear of God into several hundred 5-11 year olds than to hold them accountable to something that they have no ability to manage. It meant that we never stopped working towards the aimed piece of everyday and if you did take a breath or had a little day dream it could come back and mean horrible consequences.

So back to the present day I say to myself it's now ok to do one thing at a time. Brush your teeth then get the cabbage out the sink and then download the album you want to hear. Nothing is chasing you anymore. You are now aloud to know time, manage time and plan in time.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Festival

IHere I sit in external overwhelme
The forces that permeate me are not of my doing
They are safe
They are the bass
They are the deep bass
They are fire smoke and lights
They are mud they are all the extremes
Bass bass bass drown me bass bass bass hold my frame
This world is not a real world
It's temporary songs from the old songs from the new
Buts it's All in the All-ness sense nothing left out
I'm aloud everything to relax
I lie in the light
Carry my soul on the bass
I feel the sun the rain the wind the darkness and the light to hold me
I am at a festival
I relax because it is all bigger than a the multi big parts of me could ever be 
Extreme..... Change your mind look around you, change your mind it will astound you .
I NEED YOUR LOVING LIKE THE SUNSHINE!!!!!! XXXX 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Regulation

I asked a friend last night to write a blog as she hadn't in a long time and now take my own advice. As I'm sure the whole country knows, we have just had the summer holidays. Now I enjoy my kids being off,  enjoy being able to travel, love seeing friends and sitting in the sun. I relish experiencing new things as the kids get older and this year we have reached a stage where we can all ride a bike on the road.

But as someone who also struggles with my brain the summer holidays present another challenge. My therapist is on holiday to which means the ability to upload offload discuss how situations can or are being handled is not there. I usually see this as a chance to put into practise all the things I have  learnt over the previous months, I see it as a marker as to how well me myself and my others are getting on and co operating with each other. I like to see how well we can remain in the present and not be swallowed by past flashbacks or future anxiety.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Films one and two.

 One year a very important event happened. I think I was about nine. Our church farm was going to be sent two films. Naturally we were all excited! We were one of the fortunate families in Zimbabwe to have a Betamax video and occasionally we would go to drive in movies. These films however were going to be for everybody. Even better than that these films were apparently going to

help save people. Now you didn't have to go a hundred metres to realise that there was a lot of saving to be done. As a country we were three years into a six years drought and our dam was drying up, the crops needed rain, people were getting extremely thin and our cows were being rationed for their dried husks.

I was so excited we were taken to our church building on town after dark and the little hall became rammed. The Pilgrims Progress began. However as Christine stumbled through his journey I didn't understand it at all and it just became more and more upsetting; he was having a horrible time and even when he was doing things that he thought would make him happy - they even end up hurting him. My stomach twisted more and more and I cried. It was a horrible film! I couldn't understand how on earth it was going to help anyone.

Monday, 27 July 2015

You could do with loosing some weight Ms Colour!

It was time to sign up with yet another new doctors surgery. Carwen opened the aluminium frosted door and made her way  over to the reception desk. "I have an appointment with the nurse" I asked. "Right" said what appeared to be a prepubesent member of staff "take a seat".

Twenty minutes later having been summoned to an overly bright practically empty room, Carwen sat staring at the blue lino and watched it glisten as she answered the routine barrage of questions.

Where do you live?
What medication are you on?
How old are you?
Is there a history of diabetes in your family? 
Are you allergic to anything?
When was your last tetanus?
Do you smoke? etc, etc

Then it came the moment she had really been dreading! "Ms Colour lets pop you on the scales". Having done the walk of shame several times over the past years, Carwen got up (silently pondering on whether to bother taking her shoes off or not). It wasn't a case of the outcome of the weight that worried her it was whether her feet might smell or leave a damp residue on top of the machine.  Her mind then flipped a little turn as she wondered if others had left their damp residue of skins cells on the rubbery surface and indeed how many?   Looking up briefly to at the nurse Carwen considered how the question "when was the last time these scales were cleaned and was a cheap W5 cleaning brand or a 99.9% antibacterial used?" would be received; she decided against making an issue.

Stepping on the plate as the digital dial whizzed upwards and ever upwards Carwen stared ahead in ambivalence. She knew exactly how much she weighed. Her brain triggered by the experience and she was zapped back to when she used to weigh herself four five six times a day. The days where going to the toilet or drinking out of and unknown teacup would require a 'check'. Indeed as she thought of the notebook after notebook she had kept over the years she probably had enough weights to plot a fairly impressive line graph on excel.

"Don't worry Ms Colour, worst is over now" smiled the nurse, "we  do need to just find out where you are on the BMI chart though so lets 'pop' you against the wall and get a height". Again silently Carwen moved towards the giraffe badly painted on the far wall, noting with irritation that it had been painted slightly lop sided. "shoes of please Ms Colour, there's quite a heel on those (pause) boots".

Sighing internally Carwen decided that the floor probably had a better chance of being clean than the scales and removed her shoes. She fixed her eye on the furthest wall so as to be most compliant in removing the nurse from personal space as soon as possible.

Height taken and back to sitting at the desk. "Right" said the nurse "you are..." she groaned and let out a breath whilst leaning over the wall chart to the right of her desk. "You are.... (yet more groans as her finger kept moving on deeper and deeper into the chart) "You are... right um well Ms Colour I'm afraid your right on the edge of overweight to obese".

Carwen smiled graciously, "yes". She thought again how over the years she had been on a roller coaster ride of BMI's . Times when she used to have to put a towel in the bottom of the bath so she could sit without hurting her coxic. When sleeping at night required a soft mattress and leaning on any type of wall or hard surface could only be momentary because it would make your bones ache.

"Would you say you had a lot of fats and sugar in your diet Ms Colour?" asked the nurse.

Carwen thought about this question. She thought about all the binges she had once rampaged through all the things she had consumed and then thrown up. She thought about how many rules she had impressed upon herself over the years:

No sugar
No Fat
No complex carbohydrate
Only green vegetables aloud
No artificial sweeteners
No sweetened juices
Only eat nuts 
Only eat salads
Never eat bread
Flour is of the devil it went on and on.

She thought now how she was at present living without any of those rules and how hard she had worked to break each fear down. Grinning and thinking of the doughnut she had shared with her children only last week (unthinkable a year ago) Carwen replied triumphantly " Yes I do have some sugars and fats in my diet". "ok well we will have to keep an eye on those won't we" said the nurse encouragingly,  "you have no idea of how much I will" thought Carwen.

"And would you say you drank as much water Ms Colour currently as the government recommends we should be drinking, eight large glasses a day". "Mmmmmmm" thought Carwen. She thought of how she used to go to Tesco once a week and fill a shopping trolley with 28 bottles of water making sure she drank four litres a day when in loosing weight mode and allowing herself to only have to drink 2litres on a maintenance  day as a treat to herself. She remembered days when the water drinking had been pushed to 5/6 litres and how that had ended up with her face and right arm going numb. Those days where it literally felt as if her body had internally drowned itself. "I drink the right amount of water now" she replied.

"Right I think Ms Colour that with the right amount of exercise and a healthy diet we should be aiming to get a couple of stone of you, If you can manage that then your risk of heart disease (amongst other things) will be greatly reduced."  Leaning back on her chair as if pleased with her synopsis the nurse gently brought the subject to a close by adding "is that something you feel you could achieve Ms Colour and do you have any questions?"

Carwen glanced at the wonky giraffe and tried to stop herself judging the exact angle it would require to put it right. Turning back towards the nurse her thoughts listed themselves into order. She knew she had come to her current weight because of an undiognosis under-active thyroid, all the yo yo dieting, plus a couple of pregnancies and after which she had refused to fall into old bad habits; she knew if she put her mind to it she could loose weight but that would mean letting all those rules back into her life. It was more important now to her that her children had a stable mum setting good examples. Over the last year she knew through the constant daily monitoring that she had not gained or lost any weight for almost six months. That for the first time since she could remember she was not on the treadmill of loosing or gaining. Carwen contemplated how although closer to possible heart disease, her brain stomach and intestines could now tolerate potatoes, starch and chocolate (wheat was still a demon).

Watching as the nurse tapped away on her computer Carwen congratulated herself on no longer using several chemists on a well thought out pattern so as to not be visited to often securing a constant supply of sypositries and laxatives, and replied "No I don't have any questions".

"Ok right then Ms Colour goodbye!". 

"Mmmmmmm" thought Carwen "goodbye". 


Friday, 24 July 2015

Air Zimbabwe advert.

I remember when this advert came out. It was the first air Zimbabwe campaign. We had just got a TV. Whenever the advert came on I would cry because I knew it was true. I knew that if you took all the awfulness and all the pain out of Africa, what was left was a beautiful incredible place. Forgive me this 80's indulgence.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Sticking out

I once watched a series of you tube videos looking at how different communities embrace harsh experiences. For example if a whole set of people have experienced an earthquake then they journey together in the path to processing that experience and coming to terms with it. Everyone in the same boat wobbling along together, everyone having and giving support in the most basic form by just knowing what the other has experienced the same experience.

Similarly we at the moment in the UK have just been through the last few years of our banking system collapsing. Everyone has an opinion on it and has or knows someone that has been affected by the capital fear. Its a journey we as a country have travelled together and are still travelling together.

We have friends that work in the village in Romania (near the old orphanage which made us shudder on early 90s news headlines) and although divided in its opinions there is an understanding for those who grew up in the orphanage, there is a massive amount of unsaid communication as to what and why those individuals are the way they are. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Boarding school.

I have had this blog in me me for a long time. This blog is about one of the schools I went to for about two years from around 8 and a half nine years old.

It was a boarding school in Zimbabwe.

It was the place that finally broke my anger.

It was a place that made me understand in the face absolute brokeness people can have no mercy.

It is a place that leaves me so silent, I cant ever imagine being able to explain.

That thick silence of unbelief swallows me now. So I  plant this seed of voice in this the smallest blog.
.......................................................
Part two

Boarding school Food

We had our food shared out by our dormitory prefect.To those who were favored much was given to those who were not our plates were not full.

Our parents were told we would be given snacks of two cups of milk a day and a piece of fruit and a sandwich in between meals. The reality was 1/4 of and inch of milk in the bottom of a mug twice a day, a quarter or sometimes half an orange, and a quarter or sometimes a half a jam sandwhich.

Being one of the unfavored a meal times ment I learnt like the other few to pick up the orange peels left on the ground and eat them. In school hours a major part of my thinking was taken up anticipating the humbling experience of begging food from the day scholars lunch boxes.

In the evenings I would hide in my bed and eat my toothpaste trying to create enough self control so as to leave enough for my teeth and not get found out. 

I was once asked were you greedy or hungry, the honest reply is I was probably comforting myself and hungry.

......................
Part three

Boarding school discipline.

Ours was a progressive school in that it did not constantly beat its children. Instead we were put into stress positions that would put fire through our bodies. This would always be done infront of the class. I was never sure which was more awful watching or being watched.

Recently I saw army prisoners in some of the positions we were put in. I bravely looked it up and found that these methods are used pre interigation to break a persons spirit.

...............................

Boarding school Conclusion

There is a understanding in me of something very deep. Some sort of fatalistic acceptance of disempowerment. Of knowing that there will be no mercy, that ur body must/ has to just get through it.

 Knowing that you will not get to leave, you will not get to run anywhere safe, that everyone you know has agreed this is the best place for you to be, and that you will be taken back. In that acceptance a part of you the hope part of you that believes anyone will rescue you or show compassion towards you dies and you just get on with it. you accept it.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Trigger Warning Shame.

 

What do you do if your world view is lived through spectacles of fear. Some one might say, "do you remember that holiday?" and the memory  leaps into your mind as, "DO YOU REMEMBER THAT HOLIDAY!!!" or a comment "What a lovely sunny day" and you interpret it as, "UNKNOWN SUNNY DAY!!!". Here another classic "we are going out today" and you spiral out of control "WHAT?  WHY?  WHERE? WHEN???".

As I have discussed in previous blogs my world view only came mostly from one point of origin  FEAR! and I want to break another littlle chunk of that " fear off" so here goes.

I first met frog face through a girl on the school bus. Two other girls and myself would go to smoke at her house. I was 13 and the others where 11. Soon frog face used to ask us to go and collect more cigarettes from different mens houses off the estate. The men would ask us to sit on their laps and watch TV with them, in return we would have earn our own packet of fags. Over a few months things escalated and frog face started to send my friends on thier own to collect cigeretts (and now money to).

I, having already developed a pretty soild freeze response to threat became pretty useless on these "collecting missions". I still have incredible memories of beiing frozen sat at certain tables unable to move whilst smelling and listening to noise. Often the noise would be my friend laughing and giggling, deep inside me these noise's would cut thru me like ice. I knew things where not right. The smells were wrong!

Soon frog face would not even send me, instead she would do what was called the "staring game".  You see frog face had another power she practiced white witchcraft and claimed to be psychic. Frog face introduced me to smoking skunk with her, I felt guilty but important. She would draw pictures with me and make me dinner at the weekends, she would meet me straight of the school bus and take me to the chip shop.

As you know I came from a strict brethren  type back ground. I was not just smoking but smoking drugs, I was listening to music and enjoying it!. I new my friends were in trouble but I couldn't help no matter how much I prayed and I knew this was because God was angry with me. I was selfish so my prayers ment nothing. To top it all my new friend was into whitch craft. The shame was over whelming. The serect grew and grew. So to did my thinking that frog face really cared for me. She would stare into my eyes and claim to have read my toughts. I knew my thoughts were of how sinful I truly was, how evil I had become. So Pretty early on I cried and frog face would hug me. Not just a quick hug but a hug that felt like it would never end, she would stroke my head and until my tears dried up and I felt safe.

I dont need to write what happen in the months after as Im sure you all understand, and this blog is not about that its about sticking my fingers up at shame! 

 Back then in that religous world there was only black and white, there were leaders, elders, prophets, and their judgement it absolute. Often their understanding was fairly flawed. Having already got  a  reputation of unruly angry behavior from about the age of two, I was in the dog house with the majority of most people's thinking. I already hated myself and my reactions. It came as no suprise to me that I had "fallen way beyond" the point of grace. 

I decided that God had given me a way to redeem myself, that because me body was alredy filthy it could be used until such times as frog face joined the church. I decied that this must be Gods way of saving frog face and if I could just hold out she would have a damacas experience and everything would be ok. We could then just be friends she wouldn't  need to do thoes things to me any more and I would have helped save her, bring her to the narrow path.

Frog face played on this she stole bibles and but them under her bed, she put a picture of Jesus on her bedroom door and kissed it regulary, she would cry and say how awful she was but that the devil had her in his grip. 
 
After a while I gave up, my spirit broke as her "rituals" started leaving marks on my body. It was as if she never left me not even at school. I bunked PE because I could no longer get changed. One day I got  of the school bus two stops after mine so frog face would think I was not on it. I sneaked home. I realised I was going to have to hide and let God down. I couldn't  wait for her to be saved any longer.

So the shame grew. I had now let God down again! the one chance I had to redeam myself gone. I hated myself, I was thoroughly  disgusting. Frog face continued to stalk me for six years until I moved to Nottingham. My only way to try and fight back was to sneak out in the middle of the night. I took the dog and a knife to try and kill her. So the shame grew I was now lusting after murder, there was no goodness left, my heart must be black. To counter act this horrendous realisation I decided it would be best if I could get raped. I knew people got help and understanding and forgiveness from the church if you got raped.  I would be able to keep frog face a secret but get forgiveness. All my behavior would be understood and I would be acceptable again. So I now wandered at night into every dodgy palce I could find, and I would cry because I was to dirty to even be raped no one came near me. God must be so cross with me. So the shame grew.

I write this now because as I said I want to stick two fingers up to shame, I still sometimes have the thought as people compliment me, but what if people found out you tried to kill? (although I now know that it wasnt my fault),  Well  to you horrid untruth, I stick two fingers up! because now everyone knows!  


Friday, 1 May 2015

Parents

I am going to give myself only thirty minutes to write this. Already I have many voices shouting, talking calmly, being indignant, being well being what (we /they) generally all are a little individually  disjointed. I have learnt that they all represent a 'real' side. They all have a good piont to make. They/we all matter. In this Blogg  I am going to try and rally the facts and not get entrenched in emotion so as to take the wind out of most of the conversational sails. Using the facts you can make your own conclusions.

 I have mentioned  in earlier bloggs my parents had in the early days a very strong 'brethren type ' faith. This life was a life of rules personal sacrifice and very strict black and white thinking. Men the absolute unquestionable leaders, most of the women were the cake making, sewing ladies group, dinner on the table types.

Children were there as gifts to be moulded and protected from the "dangerous world" of sin and unholiness. Children were to be kept in strict discipline so as to remain as pure as possible and make less mistakes than thier peers or predecessors thus  keeping  family purity.

(Eek, The thirty minutes is almost gone). 

Im not going to reflect on all the things relating to me and my sisters. I just want to point out rightly or wrongly the pressure my parents were under. This impossible pressure to carry the fate of the world literally on thier shoulders, whilst relinquishing  all personal self rights or care. Their battle to bring light to all things dark and sinful certainly had some interesting results.

Over the years my dad has had numerous tropical diseases including, malaria and typhoid. He has had two mental breakdowns and been sucidal. He has suffered with ME, cronic fatigue, anger, headaches and isolation.  I  think most the major joints in his body have at one piont or another been inflamed broken iced or injected with painkillers.

My mum has two faces her 'public face' and her 'real face' my sisters and I are privileged to know her 'Real face'. We are some of her best friends. She has suffered with major bouts of 'not being seen/depression' and has constantly struggled with digestive and breathing  issues.

I look at all five of us and we each have a deep thick story. Somehow we all ended up managing our stories through the soup of black and white religion. We all have chapters and paragraphs that should have never happened or at least interpreted better. 

As a family we all find ourselves alive and still here in 2015. Each year as the black and white layers are revealed and shed, we are getting to know each other as honest people with all our flaws. I count myself blessed to be able to have not just second chances but first chances.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

From the valleys to the extreme heat

Quite frankly I have reached a stage where writing anything makes me sick with worry. So why write? Well I am also aware that part of the root of the worms living in my stomach is fear. Fear of writing the wrong thing, fear of hurting people, fear of creating conflict, fear of just mucking up without realising till its too late.

On reflection comes the realisation that these are the very fears that have often got me into so many pickles. So I want to push through.

 I was brought up in a "strongly faithed' family although not strict brethren we were a sort of off shoot 'radical type' style of brethren. Women adhered to the submission of men in a classic sense. Women wore head coverings and dressed in simple fashion. Main stream life/music/dress were seen as wrong and sinful  "of the world".

The men in our lives were strong larger than life dominate characters who took the younger men under their wing. Teaching them the same radical strengths they believed would  help build a more forgiven, holy cleaner world.

Now at this point the worms have wriggled into my core. You see I still have a very strong faith but only as a result of rejecting most of what I was brought up to believe. In fact I imagine if I were to sit down with any of those from my childhood, many would shake their heads at the way I have been 'polluted'. 

But I can honestly say my Faith is at peace now.

As a child my impression (rightly or wrongly) from an early age was of a danger, the world  simply being split between Good and Evil. The scary devil and the loving God. As a child my physical and emotional world views were full of extreme things, extreme situations, extreme environments, extreme beliefs and extreme change. No grey areas. 
The first environmentally extreme change came between the ages of four and five.

I had been born in a Welsh farm cottage in the middle of a valley, the world was mine I would wander and roam the fields and woods unhindered, it was often said that if you couldn't fine Carwen she would be at the bottom of the lane sitting in the big puddle, or watching snails gliding across  the wet garden stones (a pastime that is still well loved today).  On a Wednesday my mum would drive us to a village playgroup and then to a market for food, food that would last till the following Wednesday. That was pretty much how life ticked over. Simple, calm, isolated at peace. Very few people were around for the first four years of my life.

Then my dad decided to build himself a house from scratch in the village. We moved from the cottage and I started to attend the local village school. Only having 14 pupils it was small, but I remember grappling the mixed feelings of overwhelm, unwanted confinement, people and restriction. I would wet myself almost daily and once soiled myself which led to being teased for the first time. I was frightened by the girl who was rumoured to have a witch as a mum and scared of the boys who found it funny to run at me and shout 'boo' in my face to make me cry. I can remember the panic of watching the window getting darker and darker,  thinking it was late but I wasn't in bed? (winter evenings).

Then as I reached four and half my dad decided to sell his business. 

He brought  a Peuoght 505 estate, we travelled the country saying good bye to people and moved  into the hub of church life in a busy five storey victorian house. The house was in yet another foreign world (the middle of Toxteth Liverpool). 

For a few months my sisters  and I were put into a school full of more kids than we had ever seen.
Dad packed up two containers with tractors, wood work machinery and the newly brought car.
We said more goodbyes and were prayed for and we got on a plane.

Overnight (the length of the plane journey) our worlds changed completely and utterly forever. We woke  to a world that we niether recognised and I never made peace with. We had landed in the newly independant Zimbabwe. We were going to be missionaries!

To be continued......

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Trigger warning! The gates of Mordor.

Sometimes I shut my eyes and see myself stood at the foot of a towering black gate. Its menacing just by its presents. Like something out of Lord of the Rings. I can be in two places. 

Standing at the bottom of the gate marvelling at its great width. I stand alone, singular, in the dry dusty desert one hand feeling the warm of the wood. The sun has heated and weathered the rough oak timbers  over time. This is my entrance to Mordor.

Whistfuly I find myself hovering somehow now miles in the air and I look over the gate. On the other side is mayhem. Orcs everywhere, slimy, ugly, angry. On the other side is noisy and intent on a fight.

 I hate what I see, I can't distinguish the noise of all the rabble. They are whipped into frenzy by thier own encouragement, I am scared of them.

Back down again at the bottom of the gate my heart pumps. looking  at the doors they are  tall, wide, huge, strong. For them to hold and 'contain' is easy. I reach my hand out again and feel the tar stained hulks of timber.

Then I realise that when the inhabitants of that world are pumped enough, the gates with be opened. My wants will mean nothing. Just like the film they will creak open, lumbering outwards to release a torrent of destruction, reaction. I will not be able to breath through the fear, I will be trampled without ever having been seen.

So to be asked "why dont you just face your fears?", makes me run. To be asked "why do you drink?", makes me fold in shame. To be asked anything without the speakers understanding hurts, I must hide. I will hide , I want to protect myself. I know the logic, I know the reasons to the gate, but nothing ever prepares you for how the stampede 'feels'.

Feelings eradicate logic, eradicate 'being sensible', eradicate who you really want to be. Brain triggered frontal cortex lame and useless. We must protect we must survive. That great gate crashes in an instance, the Orcs are free.





Monday, 2 March 2015

I Painted A Wall

This post will have spelling mistakes. This post will have bad grammer. But I write in desperation to get some of these words and thoughts out of my head, I am not in a place where it will make sense, so I will not try to.

Right now there is a consuming energy  trapped in my body like a crazy wooshing wirlpool. Its wirled through me over the last week building momentum and swirling relentlessly. Now my body is exhausted, so the energy has arrrived in my head. My body has given up. I try to filter and make sense, but its like holding back a crashing wave in a gale.

So how did I get here, what path has brought this 'manic crazieness' on me. What is it that now has voice after voice shouting at me, that has created suggestion after relentless suggestion. Why for split moments do I believe I could literaly create and do massive  crazy tasks, why am I told they would be so easy to achieve "just get started". Why when the enegry rams itself through my neck and swirls into my body, do I feel it kicking at me to try and get my exhausted frame to "stand up" and "get on" I feel shaky and bruised. Every now and then it finds a place to try and gather energy. In bed my feet twitch my arms stiffen, I find it lurking in my back and legs , making them stiff. In the end it gives up and travels back to my head.

It morphs once again into voices, sugesting advising, "they" now try to trick me, "They" make smaller demands in unison, smaller requests and we dive into the world of small of minute micro perfection. I react knowing they just want to trap me there so they can build back up to "being" and demanding the BIG. I give up, Ears ringing, thoughts flying voices shouting, songs looping over and over, "anything can happen" "anything can happen". I will not give my head over, I feel physically sick. It's such a fight. I will not move for fear to "creating a start". I freeze myself in self preservation.

So I come back to the question how did this start? How did I miss how on earth I got here. The answer, I decided I might be strong enough to paint a wall.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Hope pills

I just want everything to be alright! I want the effort of the fight to stop!! I want all those tired of the monotony of the struggle to have rest!!

I  sometimes get tired of taking the next weary step. I look to thoes who are equally as weary, in solidarity. I am grateful not to be walking alone.

We stumble, bump, hobble, forwards, sometimes with a smile sometimes with a tear.

But looping again I say. What I really want is for it all to be at peace. Those trapped, those struggling, those who just need to have a hope pill every day!!!

Yes a bucket of hope be poured on us all!! A bucket of joy drench and renew us!!! We walk, we walk, we walk, we carry, we walk, we walk, we carry, we walk, we walk, we walk!!!!

Thank you to all who walk and carry me, I love you, I appreciate you from, twitter to Face Book, from drinking tea in my kitchen to eating biscuits in yours!!! From north to south, Australia to Newcastle.. Hope be on you, joy be in you!!! Xxx

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Circles V springs. (tiny poem).

Sometimes it can feel you go round and round.
You hit the scenarios again and again, no ending to be found.

Round and round and round in circles trapped.
The same problems the same feelings The same crap.


No begin no ending, hang on a minute but what's that?
Time ticks on, moves you forward "oh I've been such a pratt!".

It was all a lie, a circle it never was, 
It was actually a spring
as time ticks forward; upward I cling.

Each time I face the same old same old. 
I face them anew!
With a days new safety in my belt and more knowledge like a welcome home brew.

don't forget the circles a lie!
It's in the spring of life you reside
Each time the same old problem comes around it's further up that coiled spring your bound.

You've moved another coil, 
meet the same old friend or foe.

Time can make the coils feel wide 
or squashed together 
But remember my friend in a circle you are not trapped! Not ever!....
 
Keep climbing. Keep moving.