Tag Archive: Confusion


Meanderings

I haven’t written a blog entry for a while so I thought I would sit down and write one.  I have no settled subject in mind so I’ve called it ‘Meanderings’, because that is what it will be.

I’ve just read something that was on Freshly Pressed a few days ago, about a kiss on television in America between a sportsman and his male lover.  It was calling people who had a problem with it bigoted.  I read the comments section and there was a smattering of people who said God and the Bible were against it.  I am someone who was brought up in Church to believe that.  You can’t just ditch your beliefs, no matter how many people call them bigoted.

When I was 17 I had a relationship with another woman which featured sex quite a lot.  This woman was about 36, and she had been one of my teachers in secondary school.  The balance of power was on her side and although I loved her, I was also frightened of her.  Sometimes I felt the way she turned her anger on me was sick.  I remember once she cooked a stew and the meat wasn’t properly cooked, but she told me to eat it or she would rub it in my hair.  When Lord Mountbatten was killed by the IRA she said she would hang them upside down and flay them alive, and before they fainted she would cut their testicles off.  I felt sick at what I was hearing.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, she was affectionate, and I liked those times.  They were times when I felt really close to her and safe.  But at the same time I was aware that I was a disappointment to her in many ways, including socially, she used to lecture me a lot.

At the end of the relationship, which lasted 2 years, through my sixth form college time, I started to be attracted back to church.  I had left because, as I told God at the time, it wasn’t working for me and it couldn’t be working for Him either, so I was getting out for a while.  That while lasted 2 years and at the end of it I believed myself to be an atheist.  I was devastated at the end of the relationship.  She told me I didn’t need her anymore.  I’m wondering if she despised my mother but was more intimidated by the people I was then lodging with, because it was when I went into lodgings with a middle class family that she backed off.  I don’t know, I’ve only just thought about it after all these years.

Before I started to be attracted back to church and at the end of the relationship I still had feelings that I would like to have another relationship with a woman.  I think I was aware for about 3 weeks of a group where I could meet other gay women, but for those 3 weeks I kept failing to go.  And then I started to be attracted back to church.

To cut a long story short, knowing that homosexuality was against the teaching of the church I had been involved with, I inwardly cried out to God to deliver me from feelings towards other women and I believed that He did.  To me that was a great relief.

While writing this I have found myself thinking that maybe I should seek a relationship with another woman.  At the moment I don’t have any romantic relationship with anyone.  You could say I’m a bit confused.  I have had sexual encounters down the years, mostly when I have been vulnerable and I have felt taken advantage of.  Those encounters have all been with men.  I have not sought encounters with women.  As a Christian (and these are not the feelings of all Christians) I sometimes feel anger and great opposition towards homosexuality, because the Bible says it is wrong and I believe people know that and practise it anyway, in rebellion.  Of course that isn’t the whole truth, for many people it is just the way they are and they have been brought up to believe it is OK.

My feelings for myself are ambivalent.  I think I wouldn’t want a relationship with a campaigner, for instance.  I wouldn’t want a stereotyped relationship either, if I were to have a relationship with another woman.  I don’t know what I want.  I’ve not allowed myself to think about it for some time and I think this is the first time I have really written about it.  I would like a relationship.  The person would have to be a non-smoker, since I hate the smell of smoke.  I’m 53, I feel it is a bit late for me to be thinking about a normal relationship with a man, I can’t have children anymore.  I don’t want to fall into the arms of any of the men I see around me at the moment.  I haven’t been to church properly for quite a while now.  I have been taught that is where to find someone suitable.  I don’t feel the part anymore, but I still believe it is right.  Maybe I would be more at home in a gay-friendly church.  I don’t know where I am with my own sexuality at the moment.

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Update 02.11.13 Housing

I have had a letter back from the housing association I registered with and because the council hasn’t accepted me as their responsibility I have only been allocated 45 points instead of 1,545 which I could have.  1000 would come from the council accepting me as statutory homeless, and another 500 would come from where I am now at the hospital if I had provided proof, but proof wasn’t asked for, as far as I remember.  My CPN has said that she will try to get the council to write a letter saying that I am homeless but not their responsibility , that would get me 1000 points.  When I first came to Nottingham I was their responsibility because I had an uncle and a sister in the area, but they have since changed their rules so that you have to have lived in the area for three out of five years to qualify for their help.

The housing association I registered with covers a lot of areas in the north and in the midlands, and I have asked for my 6 areas to be expanded so that I can be offered anything anywhere.  Really I want to move back to London or somewhere like Cornwall, Dorset or Devon, but there aren’t a lot of housing associations which, like this one, you can use independently of the council points system and bidding.  Most of them are linked to the bidding system, so I’m going to have to do some research.

Apparently I can get help with a bond and the first month’s rent if I go private.  I read today that it might be social services’ responsibility to offer me help, but I don’t know what is meant by help.  Maybe I am getting all the help they can give me at the moment.  I am in touch with a team from Framework, my CPN is trying to help me.  I’m not sure what else I could or should expect, or how quickly.  I am in hospital, but it seems it is being treated as temporary accommodation.  Although it is shared bungalows it is still hospital and I would have hoped things might go a bit faster.  I am not eligible to bid anywhere at the moment.  The charity/housing association has said it will not be in touch again unless it can offer accommodation, and that if it can’t offer anything within 6 months I’ll be asked if I want to stay on their list. Obviously I’m hoping to be housed before then.

By deciding to see my problems in the community as completely a product of mental illness the authorities have taken away the home that I had as emergency housing with Nottingham City Council and I now have to start all over again, not eligible to bid anywhere.  In the meantime I am still having to pay £140 every 4 weeks to keep my belongings in storage.  I wish now that I had just let my belongings go, it has cost me so much already and I don’t know if I am going to get a big enough place to accommodate them all.  I asked customer services if I could apply for a house or bungalow with two bedrooms, on the basis of a very small flat I saw in Nottingham, nothing like the one I had in London, and they told me I could if I was prepared to pay the extra.  But the letter I have had from them says I qualify for a one bedroom property and doesn’t even acknowledge the covering letter I sent with my application, so I’m not sure what is happening.

Mish-Mash Musings 2

In my last post I wrote about how the Church, during the Inquisition, used to ‘relax’ people into the hands of the state so they could be burnt, and wrote about the parallel drawn by Thomas Szasz between this and the mental health movement.  He said that in a religious age ‘heretics’ were ‘relaxed’ into the hands of the state, but in the so-called enlightened age the parallel is that society turns to the mental health movement for the upholding of the dominant culture.  However, the Church is part of the society which does this, and does it itself.  So for the mental patient who is also a Christian, there is no ‘comfort’ for them in religion.  The mental health system is part of the new way of dealing with ‘heretics’ for the church.  The church believes in this, or says it does, and largely it accords the mental health system the same authority as the rest of society does, except for some people.  It might decide that some people are really not mentally ill and try to help them, but on the whole it validates the mental health system and its ideas.  So someone like me can become very isolated since the Church refers me back to the mental health services.  Admittedly I have not been to every existing church, but the ones that have been part of my life to date have all said the same thing, that they believe I am mentally ill, so accepting the categorisation in the first place.  Many other religious bodies do the same thing.  Scientology does not.  I have only recently discovered that Thomas Szasz had links with Scientology.  For some people this will put them off him, but there are others who hold the some of same views who do not have those links, the writers and editors of This Is Madness, for instance, and Foucault, and R D Laing.  R D Laing was ridiculed for turning to Buddhism, apparently.  I was told this by one of the nurses on Rowan 2, I think, and they said how ironic it was that the psychiatric system is itself now looking towards things like mindfulness as a way of raising people’s consciousness.  They wouldn’t call it raising people’s consciousness, but essentially that is what it is.

I’m not on Rowan 2 at the moment, I was transferred to Newark on Friday night. It is a place like Macmillan Close, complete with door slamming!  I’m not sure how I feel and I hope it is not a matter of my choice, because there are pros and cons with both.  I was told at 6.30 pm on Friday evening that the transfer was going to be made and that I had no right to refuse.  Steve, who was on duty, told me it was only temporary and that I am expected to go back some time this week, citing my housing situation and residence in Nottingham a a reason for me going back.  However, the staff in Newark are under the impression that I am here long term and that housing can be dealt with from here.  I’m confused and feel very disorientated.  I said I didn’t want to come because I don’t know Newark, and that seems to me a good reason at the moment.  I have been homeless 2 years now, Friday was the anniversary, and it can’t be good for me to keep being so uprooted.

Can’t Be Bothered

I can’t be bothered keeping up with everything, everything is too much of an effort.  I’m not helping myself, possibly, assuming that no one would want to be my friend.  I’m realising, I think and hope, that I have had plenty of opportunities to make friends away from the hospital with people who stop and talk to me, but I am afraid for when it goes further and gets complicated, not to mention even the first risks, because I feel as if I am unsure what being and having a friend is these days.  I’m not watching TV so it almost feels as if the things I have believed to be happening aren’t anymore because I’m not watching to see it.  Enough.

Josh T Pearson

I’ve been listening to Josh T Pearson, Last of the Country Gentlemen.  I first heard him sing ‘Sweetheart I Ain’t Your Christ’ on the Robert Elms Show, then later the same week on the Jools Holland Show.  Where it talks about trying to make him suck out some disease he can’t even begin to see, and teach him how to speak in the hope that it would break some curse, I thought a lot about Tommy Boyd and how I ‘related’ to him.  He could have written it for me but he didn’t, he wrote it about his own relationship.  It made me think so much about Tommy Boyd I even took down my page with his name as the title.

I think there are Christians who would be offended by the lyrics, as I am sometimes.  But it communicates pain and confusion so effectively I can’t be offended by it overall, when I listen.

Gawdon Bennett . . .

WE ARE THE POWERLESS!!!!!!!

If people who are afraid in circumstances from which they cannot extricate themselves because the authorities won’t let them (ie authorities are irresponsible in their positions) get angry and start slamming doors, while it is uncomfortable for the rest of us, that doesn’t mean they are mentally ill. If they are afraid to speak about what is happening or about what they are feeling, for fear it will make things worse for them in terms of deepening their diagnosis, the professionals need to be the first ones to come out explicitly and say they have the same awareness of things happening outside of our control.

I can remember when it first started happening to me.  I would shout and scream and hit my door with my umbrella because in my fear and anger I felt I had no other outlet.

It needs to be explicit, otherwise if people are not willing to respond in an attempt at psychodrama they can be left with an added burden of guilt feelings towards the initiator.  As much as we might like them, that isn’t fair.  It is engaging our emotions in what, for us, is a non-consenting situation which is not required by law because we are children to be taught or prisoners to be punished or rehabilitated.

My Imaginary Friend

I have a friend, at least in my imagination, that I always want to contact with sensitive and intimate information.

On Friday I was walking along Queensway/Bayswater Road and for some reason I was remembering the time when an old lady died who had always been in Church, never said much, or anything at all, that I remember hearing, but always, without fail, had a smile on her face.  I thought she was lovely and beautiful and serene.  I know nothing about her life.

I was remembering that, when I heard she had died, I went back to my grandparents’ house crying my eyes out.  When they asked me why I was crying and I told them, one of them said ‘what are you crying for?  She wasn’t family’.

I can’t remember who it was so no one can be betrayed by me saying so.  I can’t remember if and how I answered the question.  I know my feelings and crying were not affirmed.  For a moment in Queensway I felt the pain and the emotion again, and I wanted to write and tell my imaginary friend.

I believe my imaginary friend reads my blog.  Imaginary because we have never had a close up relationship, and imaginary because, except for when things seem very simple and obvious in his favour, I feel and believe and know that things are far too complicated.  It is imaginary because I am in denial, even having it as imaginary.

But there is pain in my heart as I am writing this, and it is always him that comes to mind when this kind of thing comes up and I want to tell him.  I used to write to him a lot.  Almost always, as soon as I started, I had to push through my ambivalence and anger to do so.  He knew that, I told him so.

I once heard him saying, in answer to someone’s question, that if someone attacked him (or something like that) he would hold them in a bear hug.  On my side there is often so much resentment, and on his there must be some exceptions, that even if no attack was involved not everyone would be treated equally.  Even if there are no exceptions for him, I think, apart from my imagination which tells me I am wrong in the strongest possible terms, that I would find it awkward and difficult.

 

 

“Punch Drunk”

Read here.  Tagged “women” but not appearing.  Since posting it I have read something that suggested, so it seemed to me, that Plovdiv was a victim of communism, so my thoughts and understanding might be at least a bit wrong.  I’m not sure, my situation isn’t simple.

His name is Esteban.

(Copy with some tags I had to exclude.  First published 11.08 am Bulgarian time.)

I watched the recording last night of last week’s sermon by Kristian Lythe.  I had forgotten his name, I’ve not seen or heard of him for ages.  But Kristian mentioned him in his sermon, he had made a traffic lights illustration.  He was saying something about red lights, among other things.  I don’t know how much of the sermon I would need to talk about to have you understand.  It can be found at http://www.kt.org/media. (note: please don’t be distracted by the shouting and his insistence on having the word of the Lord or anything else you see and hear.  If any of it is true [how much of it can be?] it is still not the point).

I don’t know how they get hold of information like this about people in my life, but it particularly concerns me that they have sufficient information about this man, Dr Gallo, to use a lookalike of him. Maybe my concern and the way I am handling it are stupid, selfish, treacherous and ungrateful.  I was assuming that they had the information through having had direct communication with Dr Gallo, but that might not be true.   But if it is true, although personally and emotionally I would like to come out and patch things up, I really think there is cause for concern here.  They had told me to leave the church.  I haven’t been there for over a decade.

What are they doing with something like this, it is none of their business, and neither Dr Gallo nor anyone else has ever brought this connection up with me. I’ve known for ages they do the same things with close family and past friends and acquaintances.  As I have said before, I do feel love and I do feel loyalty, but this is stalking, in a way the psychiatric team has told me doesn’t happen, or at least, isn’t happening to me, and they have partly based their diagnosis on my insistence that it does and is.

My Christian response is my biggest felt response, but also I need to keep identification with others in the psychiatric patient community (excuse terminology, maybe I should talk more in terms of mathematical sets, for which being a part of one doesn’t necessarily imply relationship)  and recognise that this is stalking, it is a step, or more like several steps, too far in ruling a church and church discipline and discipleship, I need to employ the term ‘heavy shepherding’ because people recognise it, and recognise myself that this is what is happening in this situation.

They and other churches I’ve been involved with have been challenged many, many times by me about this, in emails, through my blog, and emails are not answered and no conversation entered into through my blog.  David Shearman’s church bounces my emails back to me, whether I have mentioned his name or not in the address or body of my email (I no longer send them and have assigned any responses to ones I do send to the spam folder) saying david.shearman@christian-centre.org is not a valid email address.  If this is supposed to be heart talk for please come home, then I am sorry, and it is probably my loss.  That email address used to be valid, I don’t know if it is only me that gets that kind of response, or used to until I stopped emailing.

I’m very, very sorry, but this is awful.  I feel awful for handling it this way.  I’m not even fully convinced that they are wrong to do this anymore, and that is one of the reasons I need feedback and help from people in whom I have expressed trust who might be more convinced than I am.  I am too emotionally caught up to fight, and the way my readers distance me, on the whole, makes that worse. These people know who they are, and some of them know I love them because I believe they are the sort of people who would want to help and not cause injury.

I might be mistaken in my assessment, in fact at the moment I would like to cause injury myself and have obviously felt that way for ages.  I don’t think in a situation like this that makes me nuts or dangerous, even if under extreme provocation and in distress I even employ gestures to demonstrate how I feel when everything else is ignored.  When I was a kid ‘I’ll kill you’ meant ‘you have gone too far’, not ‘you’d better take steps to separate yourself from me and protect yourself’.  It might be crass and it might not be used in the kindest of relationships, but that is still the way it is for plenty of people who are not considered to be in need of incarceration.  I had it said to me plenty of times.  I’ve never thought of considering that anyone who said it should be locked up.  But maybe I should, on hindsight.  It is emotional thuggery if nothing else.

Ps I have heard Christian leaders involved in this say ‘prove it’.  In something like this that is neither honorable nor Christian.  Robb Thompson was one of them.  He might have been talking about something else.

Tommy, I really do believe this is something that needs to be dealt with, not only for my sake, but for that of others as well.  You have taught me well on that and I’m grateful (even if I don’t always feel I like you very much).  It is as close as a church can get to kidnap.  I know even this gesture towards you rather than coming to you directly is enough to break trust.  I feel that and it feels irrevocable. Partly I feel I’m disempowering myself in any way I could relate to you, and I believe you also need me to be empowered in any relationship we might have, as I need it myself.  So maybe this is just useless empty gesture time again.  I am implicating you, but I’m implicating you to try to empower you, if you think that is something I’m capable of.

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