Archive for September, 2014


Bad Experiences

I was 11 when my father died at his own hands.  I don’t really know if it was suicide, it might have been a call for help and attention that backfired.  I know it left me without a strong hand at home.  The family fell to pieces.  I stopped going to school because I thought, ‘I don’t want to go so I’m not going’, and no one challenged that strongly enough.  My mother didn’t have enough authority to get me to go, and I was being bullied at school, so I lay in bed reading mainly Christian paperbacks.

My first experience of a Pentecostal church came when I was about 12 or 13.  A van with a megaphone came round my street advertising a crusade, and I decided to go.  It was an odd experience, with people saying loud ‘hallelujahs’ and ‘praise the Lords’ while a person on the platform was speaking.  I thought it was rude.

Eventually a man came to my attention who was the same age as my father and was also musical, as my father had been, and I used to watch him as he played a Hawaiian guitar.  I used to want to be a part of his family.  I let it be known that I liked him, and eventually one of the leaders or the leader’s wife told me that he thought I was just a silly little girl, as if I was sexually motivated (bearing in mind he was 38 and I was 12 or 13).

Very soon after this they decided I was demon possessed because I stared too much.  One week they told me I wasn’t welcome unless I wanted help, and that I was to go away and only come back when I wanted help.  I went back the next week, and they prayed for me to cast demons out,  It wasn’t pleasant, they found fault with me for praying a prayer that I had practised.  The man I liked was one of the people praying for me, another male leader was another,  They told me the demons had gone into a mouse they had seen but I hadn’t.  They left me afraid and traumatised.  I used to look into my own eyes in the mirror and think that I could see something evil in them.  I kept praying that God wouldn’t let me become demon possessed again, because I believed the things they had said to me.  I just needed a father figure, and I was completely misunderstood.

I’ve never really recovered from that time, the pain has never really gone away.  There was a woman at Talbot Street, where I ended up going shortly after David Shearman came to the church I’ve been talking about, who said I had caused problems in Andrew and David Shearman’s marriages.  When I told David that he said she wasn’t doing God’s work.  I don’t remember that he denied what she had said though.

In London the teaching I received about demons was that they attach when people are vulnerable, as in infancy or at a time of trauma, and that a simple prayer of deliverance was what was needed to remedy the situation, and also prayer for healing and filling with the Holy Spirit in place of the demons.  I believed this teaching.  Some people would say that what some people call demons is actually psychological or psychiatric.  People talk about coming to terms with their demons, not recognising a need or possibility of deliverance, and not talking about real demons in the first place.  The Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions believe and recognise that demonisation and deliverance are real, and these have been my background since I was 12 years old, the background I am now estranged from.  Over the last 20 years I have been accused of witchcraft by other Christians on many occasions.  That’s where I will leave this entry.  It’s all very painful and sore.

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Beginnings and Endings

Tomorrow my tenancy starts in my new home, but I won’t be moving in immediately.  I still need to decorate and I’m going to see if I can get some volunteers for that, but I’ve never decorated and have no idea about things like how many pots of paint I am going to need.  I have been awarded 45 points by the council to buy decorating stuff with, but their colours are very limited and a bit boring (I love the way the WordPress site puts a squiggly red line under ‘colours’ spelt the English way! It doesn’t like ‘spelt’ either!)

The idea is that I should erect a shed in the garden to store the stuff that won’t fit inside my bungalow.  It would be a metal shed, which is both cheaper and more secure than wooden, apparently, but it will still be very expensive and security will be a constant worry.  I had wasps in my kitchen last week, they were coming down the boiler flue, and the man who came round to sort them out commented that the back was open to intruders, being on the corner with nothing beside.  I’ve been in that situation before, before the new houses were built next door to me in London, and I was burgled several times.  It’s not a nice feeling.  I woke up one morning to find someone in my bedroom.  But he broke in through the front door.

I’m looking forward to moving in now, but the shortage of money makes it a time of great anxiety for me.  If it weren’t for the fact that I need to buy a shed I would be OK, but I’m just short of what it is estimated I will need for that.  At the moment I am waiting for the outcome of a budgeting loan application, and I expect that to take another 3 weeks to come through.  In the meantime I have a discharge meeting on Tuesday, and I’m hoping they will give me longer than just two weeks to move in.

I’ve called this post ‘Beginnings and Endings’.  Obviously it will be a new beginning in the bungalow, and an end to nearly two years and five months in hospital, and an end on three years homeless, but that wasn’t what I had in mind when I named my post.

By endings I was thinking about the end of life.  I’m 53, which isn’t old, but it is still the wrong side of half way through my life.  I’ve been thinking I don’t want to grow old alone.  I have no partner, I have no children.  My mother has arthritis and uses a wheelchair.  Apart from her shopper and her cleaner I am the only person she sees, every two weeks, which is how she wants it.  I’ve been thinking about suicide as an alternative to getting very old and dragging myself around lonely and in pain. Lately I’ve been thinking about Dignitas.  I’ve been thinking about them because I wouldn’t know how to commit suicide myself, I wouldn’t have the tablets and I can’t see me hanging myself, I don’t think I’d do a good job of ending my life.  I’ve also thought how unnatural it seems to me that an organisation like Dignitas exists to help people to die.  I don’t know if they exist for anything else.

I’m a bit confused.   I’ve been seeing old people out and about and they seem OK, talking to each other on the bus.  Many of them seem mobile enough.  But I feel a general despair because I don’t think I have any friends and I don’t think that, at my age, I can make the kind of friends who would be able to stand in for lifetime friends, of which I have none.  I think my last years will be very, very lonely.  I don’t have much hope at the moment about anything.  I think boredom is going to be a longstanding problem for me, and I can’t see the point of hanging around for that.  I also don’t fancy the idea of a care home, which might be a necessity later on.  Ever since the mental health services got involved in my life I have felt insecure and that I have no reliable freedom, I don’t want to end my days in care.  I don’t want to drag my way through the last years of my life subject to situations I don’t want to be in.

I’m not planning to do anything at the moment.  I was thinking maybe some time in my 60s.  I’m not sure if I could if it actually came down to it, but I’m not so afraid of the idea of ending my life as I once was.  I am afraid of the possibility  of vandalism and intrusion in my new home and whatever future home I establish, thinking of Bulgaria.  I don’t want to live out my life subject to those things, I don’t want to be in fear of things being spoilt all the time, and mental health teams and police refusing to take it seriously.  Saying I’m having auditory hallucinations rather than acknowledge something real and not OK is being done to me.

The End.

 

 

Doing Something Different

Today I am doing something I haven’t done in a while – I am sitting in a pub using The Cloud to download.  I have been limiting myself to what my dongle can do, which isn’t very much and is very slow and hit and miss.  Last night I tried to download some Decameron, a folk group, and only one track downloaded successfully.  I have now managed to download the whole album.  Really I wanted Parabola Road from way back, but it isn’t on Napster anymore, which is a pain.  What made me come over was wanting to download some Noam Chomsky, one of his latest lectures, When Elites Fail.  As he says, the easy answer is just get rid of them, but the working answer is harder.  I look forward to listening to this when I go back to my bedroom.

I have a move in date for my bungalow now, it is 15th September.  Unfortunately part of the flooring has been pulled up.  They say it was probably dangerous but it looked fine to me.  I’m going to need some time to be able to replace it, so I hope they are not in a hurry to get rid of me at Broomhill House.  My CPN Jennie Wainwright is looking into a charity for me, and I am going to make another application for a budgeting loan.

There are some great blogs that I am following, they make me feel really boring in the way I write.  I just read an entry from Beyond Meds, about the Red Tent groups.  I wonder if they have them in the UK.  She also talked about yoga and ecstatic dancing groups, as alternatives to clinical approaches to mental health.  I am very much in favour of this approach.  She talked about sound healing as well.  Michael Mish is into that, he studied something called Tama Do.  I miss him.  I had an email correspondence with him for about a year but he broke it off.  He felt I had tricked him.  He said sometimes you try to help people but it goes wrong.  I still listen to his music, I often play I Can Heal to fall asleep to.  I love all his music.  I wish he would get back in touch.  The latest I knew he was trying to sell his house so he could go on the road.  Funny, here’s me needing a home and him trying to get rid of one.  He says on the road you realise how nice people can be.

I’m seeing an Assertive Outreach worker on Tuesday about getting a shed.  He used to work in a place that does them and we are going there.  I have no idea how much they would charge to erect it.  I saw a company that gives an inclusive price for erecting a wooden one, but not a metal one.  This might turn out to be more expensive than I can handle.   I am anxious to get my stuff out of storage, as the part I am thinking about costs me £96 every 4 weeks, and I can’t afford to be leaking that at the moment.  I have thought about getting it out and storing it in the bungalow until I can get the shed, but then heavy and awkward stuff will have to transferred to the shed and it will need 2 men to do it.  I think it is best to do it while the removals people are actually there and available.  My mum is lending me some money for the move but it still isn’t enough.  It would be far easier if I didn’t have my own stuff to move in and get out of storage.  It would be easier if the bungalow were bigger as well, then I wouldn’t need a shed.  I have got used to the idea of living there, it’s not impossible, but there is so much expense associated with it. I need a letter from the council for Housing Benefit, stating address, date of moving and amount of rent, and I don’t think they have given it to me.  They have given me a couple of folders with contracts, but that isn’t what Housing Benefit asks for.

There is one more thing – my self care isn’t good, I feel tired and overwhelmed and incapable.  Every so often they prompt me to have a shower, and last time they said I couldn’t use the kitchen unless I had a shower, so I was two days not allowed in the kitchen.  Last time the person who told me was angry with me, although it is supposed to be a symptom of schizophrenia, so her anger didn’t make much sense, from that perspective.  She also told me there was a conversation documented from that weekend that I had been asked to have a shower, but although the conversation was documented, no such conversation took place.  So if they are lying about things like that, what other lies are in my notes?

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