Archive for January, 2014


Glyn y Mul Farm

22 months ago I was on Glyn y Mul Farm campsite for a week, in Aberdulais near Neath in Wales.  It was only a week because it went badly wrong.  I had hoped it was going to be OK, it seemed as if it might be.  I was on my own.  The first night I slept in the cabin where the staff work because I didn’t have a tent until it was delivered, then they lent me a tent which I used for a few days.  The staff seemed friendly enough, except for the fact that one of them, Mark, every time he appeared, was effing and blinding in front of me.  The old man touched me.  I kept quiet about it at first, because I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or not.  Also, there was a washroom which was open to the outside in that it had nothing up at the window to shield users from people walking past, and several times when I was using it the men found a reason to walk past.

Eventually I got my tent and one of the staff put it up for me.  He was an eastern European, I can’t remember where from.  But I found at bedtime that I couldn’t zip up the flap and it was frosty, and because I didn’t want to bother anyone with it late in the evening it stayed open all night and the frost got inside.  I had a very cold night’s sleep.

When I emerged the next day I met Ian, the campsite owner, in the kitchen, and he asked me if everything was all right.  I said no, I couldn’t zip my tent up, and also told him that Ted, the old man, had touched me.  His response was that if I was saying that, I should leave as soon as possible.  I didn’t realise he meant immediately until he snatched my tea out of my hand and started forcing me off the stool I was sat on.  I had thought he might mean in a couple of days, to at least give me time to sort myself out.  I had bought a fair bit of camping equipment a day or two before and I had no transport of my own.  But he grabbed me by the arm and started forcing me out of the kitchen and into Ted, who was standing there, and he fell over.  Ian started accusing me of pushing him down, I said I had been pushed into him, Ian said he had 3 people there who had seen nothing.  He kept pushing and pulling at me, calling me a disgraceful woman and telling me not to go back there.  He said I was now homeless and owned nothing.  The things I had bought I had bought with money my uncle had lent me.

I went to the police (Ian is an ex-policeman) and they kept me ages.  All the time I was giving a statement they were talking and jeering in the next room.  I had gone to the wrong area and they found a hotel for me overnight and told me to go back to Neath the next day.  I can’t remember, I don’t think I did, not to the police station anyway.  I was too intimidated.  Ian’s handling of me left a big bruise on the inside of my forearm which took 3 weeks to fade.  I emailed them twice about my belongings but they didn’t reply.  When I called it theft to the police they said that technically it wasn’t theft.  Regardless of police technicalities, of course it was theft.  They deprived me of all my belongings which I had had with me at the time – clothes, mobile phone, books, food, all my camping equipment – because I, a woman on my own and vulnerable, told an ex-policeman that one of his staff had touched me and I had expected proper treatment instead of what I got.  That was a bent copper.  Also it was an appalling way for a commercial enterprise to deal with any complaint, let alone one of this nature.  They will have other women and children there, yet they dealt with me like this.

Frozen Shoulder 2

I went to see my new GP this morning, as arranged for me by Enright Close.  I told him I had frozen shoulder and told him I had read that it had been helped by HRT.  He said he hadn’t heard of that and wouldn’t want to start me on HRT for that reason, but he could give me steroid injections.  I don’t like injections so I was terrified, but when he offered me one immediately I said yes, just to see how far I could get with allowing it.  I asked him how much of the needle went in and he must have shown me an inch or 2.  I was ready for something so excruciating that I wouldn’t be able to bear it, but he said ‘sharp scratch’ and all I felt was the needle on the surface of my skin, as I do for my depot injection.  I couldn’t tell at all that there was any depth to it, it was really easy.  He said the important thing was to do exercises to mobilise the shoulder, and he gave me co codamol to help with the pain involved in movement.   The painlessness of the injection was a very pleasant surprise after reading about excruciating treatment.  I hardly felt anything.  He told me there were not many pain receptors in the shoulder.

So that was the first of a few injections.  My GP told me it speeds things up.  At the moment there is no change in the way my arm feels, and the sort of movements he wants me to perform with my arm are still very painful.  He wants me to put my hand behind my head and behind my back and I find both movements difficult, behind my back is harder than behind my head.  My fear is that if I can’t cope with the exercises my frozen shoulder is not going to clear up, and that it will always hurt too much to do the exercises properly.  I can’t imagine a freed up shoulder that doesn’t hurt.  The lady I read about who said HRT helped her shoulder seemed to know what she was talking about.  I had been told that steroid injections might or might not help.  Obviously I hope they will help.

Medication

I have become acquiescent with medication, it seems to be OK.  But things here are generally peaceful, so there’s not much provocation to make me feel really bad about anything.  The door slamming gets to me, but there isn’t much else.

I don’t know how most of my readers and followers feel about the things I have said, I don’t often get comments.  I suppose I can see the position of psychiatry in saying that people who don’t know they need medication still have a right to it, and detention makes sure that right is received.  I suppose the view is that we still have the right to treatment no matter how cruel and provocative some of the staff are, at least on an acute ward.

My position has been that the cruelty creates the illness and disturbance.  I don’t know, it is hard to say what the position of the staff actually is when they are cruel and harassing and angry.  I still wake up burning with anger and feeling upset at some of the things I remember.

Happy New Year

Some people don’t mark the New Year, but I think it’s a good thing to do.  It introduces hope and expectation if we mean what we say.  It’s putting the old behind and opening up to the new.  How simple is it?  Is it about forgiveness and dropping offenses?  Can and should that be done?  Forgiving people means not demanding a price from them, so I’ve been told.  Yet I have plenty of complaints and would even like to sue for damages.  It sounds as if ‘Happy New Year’ should be a clean slate.  That might lead to less overcrowding of the prison system.

In the Bible there is the concept of a Year of Jubilee every 50 years, where land is restored to its original owners, and all debts were forgiven.  I wonder if and how that was enforced, if people were reluctant?

The Bible says ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’.  It doesn’t say only to others who have not damaged or offended you.  I was thinking about it the other day, that doing as you would have done is making a statement about yourself, it is living out of your own value system, and that has to make you an easier and happier person, over all, if you do as you would have done.  I passed some lads on the street the other day and one of them wished me a happy new year.  I just answered ‘thank you, the same to you’.  He answered back ‘yeah, and a happy Christmas’.  I wasn’t sure how sincere he was, he was a bit rowdy, but I felt better that I had answered his words as I would have wanted mine to be answered rather than dismissing him altogether in the first place.  Everyone needs a blessing.

I have wondered if my blogging is just slander of people who have hurt me.  Slander can be true as well as false.  If it is slander it seems to me I should stop blogging about the hurts and atrocities I have encountered in the mental health system and in my neighbourhoods and in the church.  The problem is, I feel so despised by these people, especially in Church, that I have felt as if making it public has been the only realistic way forward.  I was at Talbot Street when David Shearman was preaching.  Before he got up to preach he turned and stared at me.  I have thought that I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, if I was supposed to go to him at that point or not, what did he want his staring at me to achieve?  He got up and preached and at the end he waved a hand in my direction and said ‘you won’t be getting any of it’.  I’ve had that before from other church leaders.  All I know for sure is that it showed something about his thoughts, feelings and attitudes towards me, it wasn’t a reflection on me as a person, it revealed more about David.  Certainly at that point he was not doing as he wished to be done to him.

I’ve grown up believing in heaven and hell, and I fear that I am going to hell sometimes, because of this treatment I get.  Other times I think I could and should just dismiss all thoughts of heaven and hell from my thinking in relation to the church and just count on God’s mercy, if there is a God and if there is mercy, and if there is a heaven and hell.  I have experienced physical healing instantaneously in response to the prayer of another, I can’t just dismiss that from my experience.  New Age people say we all have the ability to heal, it is not exclusive to Christianity.  Pentecostal Christianity says that healing in other religions is from a demonic source.  Certainly I find myself more at ease with Buddhist meditation music than Christian music.  Christian music for me opens up hope and pain, whereas Buddhist meditation music seems to minister peace and healing for my mind and emotions.  It makes me hopeful about myself and my own abilities, rather than about others who can and do hurt me.

I started off saying Happy New Year, and I wasn’t going to go into church stuff again, but I have.  I feel I could and should trust them, but I know they disappoint me.  They want to be over me, they want power over me, they don’t want a conversation of equals.  They don’t want me to see myself as an equal, and they want me to be in the hands of the mental health services and really believe the mental health services can help, according to a conversation I had with Pat Hopewell at Talbot Street.  She said no to everything I asked and said and told me to stay away from the Shearmans.  If that ‘no’ is coming from the Shearmans I think they are lying.  That is why I am afraid of them.  It’s a cloak of religion over actual facts, it’s like a secret society to which I have no admittance with my needs and experience, unless I go crawling and begging and using the language they like to hear.  Their power over me comes from my entanglement with the mental health system, and that’s where they want to leave me, in spite of all its cruelty and abuses.  They see this as being in the hands of the tormentors until I pay every last penny or forgive.  It is a way of rejecting me.  Those are my fears, I believe they are true.

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