Inspirational Woman of the year award

Monday, 26 March 2018

I don't care!

Radio interview again, same shit different day! 

"Is it going to be a healing process for survivors in Ireland when  the pope comes to  visit them"?


"Isn't he trying to make changes in the church?" 


"What changes would YOU like to see?"

Do  you know what? I don't  care! 

I am sick of being asked "don't  I think the pope is now listening to survivors?"" isn't he ashamed of the church's past?", "isn't he a breath of fresh air?"

Is he f...k! No No No!

He is as narcissistic as the last one, and the one before that and the one before that. He is the smily PR face of a corrupt and abusive regime.

And do you know what-  I don't care!!
If catholic parents are stupid enough, after everything that has been spotlighted,  to allow their children to be anywhere near these creeps then it is not my job to try and persuade them! They do not listen! They are so obsessed with this ridiculous man and his entourage, with fear of hell and damnation, and like all brainwashed people they haven't a clue that they are under their corrupt influence.

I care ONLY about the victims and survivors of these perverts, I really couldn't care less about the future of the church, unless it is to cheer when it is taken down brick by brick! 

Sunday, 25 March 2018

I want to be like you!

  I want to be that person!

I want to be the person on my timeline who is a celebrity hairdresser and cuts the hair of the homeless people near him, because he wanted to do something to "payback" in  his addiction recovery.

I want to be the person who quietly gets on with helping any addict that crosses his path.

I want to be like Big Kev, who is taking his real life message into schools and prisons in Scotland.

I want to be the person who thought up the idea of planting edible plants for people to help themselves to at the Town House in Kirkcaldy.

I want to be the person who created the "pay it forward"  scheme in the cafe. 

I want to be the person in the flower shop in Barnsley who thought of asking people to "pay it forward" so that people without money could send flowers to the  funeral of someone they loved.

I want to be one of the marathon runners that are running for their favourite causes.

The person who has their head  shaved for a friend going through chemotherapy.

The person who donates a kidney to their brother or sister.

I want to be the member of AA who makes it part of their recovery to do a good turn for someone every day without being  found out

I want to be one of the prison officers who have their legs waxed to raise funds for a colleague who has been attacked and injured.

I want to be like my husband who will go and spend a day doing a watercolour workshop for the patients in a hospice.

I want to be the woman who bakes  cakes for cancer research

The one who knits endless squares for blankets .

I want to be the one who collects money so that young girls with no money can have sanitary protection, and regain their dignity.

I want to be like my daughter who organised 200 big strong builders to write messages of encouragement behind the plasterboards in the operating theatre they were building in the Marsden cancer hospital. And then continued to  raise money for that hospital.

I want to be the humanist who is simply being good without god!

I want to be one of these wonderful, inspirational generous, humble people that I meet or teach every day.

   I want to be like you!

Monday, 5 March 2018

While going through all my old blogs, the ones that were seemingly "lost" I have realised that over seven years of writing them, I have changed my mind about so many things! 

I  believe that is exactly how it should be, as we grow and learn, we often need to discard old firmly held opinions! (what do they say about opinions and a...holes? everyone has got one!) 

 There are a few  things however, that I still feel as strongly about, so I will properly archive those, and very deftly draw a line under the ones that now make me cringe! It is a bit like discovering your old teenage diaries! 

So there are now 247 of the damn things! archived by  "years" on the right of this blog! I didn't realise I'd had so much to spout about! 

Recovery is still my absolute passion, from addiction, from abuse, in fact from all traumas, including indoctrination and brainwashing from the catholic church! No matter how much I learn or how old I have got, that is an absolute constant!

And it has been good for me to  look at the subject of change, I am always a little wary of it. 

I recently had cause to see  photograph of someone I knew many years ago, who had a real "bad boy" reputation, (and it was well deserved!) However, this recent photograph of him is of a rather benign looking elderly gentleman, surrounded by his smiling grandchildren! Couldn't have looked or sounded less like his younger self.

Which gives me some hope! I guess that during my years of being mentally  and emotionally disturbed, and through the "drinking" years, I was a pretty sick ticket! 
I would hope that anyone who shudders at that memory would see a huge change in me too! 

Nothing stays the same.

January 28th 2018

Today would have been my Nick's fiftieth birthday, but as you know he died ten days before his twentieth.

I am quite sure he would have been by now surrounded by his own children(he adored children) maybe even grandchildren! But for us he will be forever nineteen, handsome, kind, complex, naughty, funny irreverent! I won't say happy birthday, that would be ridiculous, but I will say I love you Nick, and miss you desperately.
I was going to put all this in a blog, but I can't get into my blogger account (I blame the bloody vatican!) So I will write it here instead.
I always try and help where I can, I have a few favourite charities , as I am sure you all do.
Once in a while one really resonates with me, and this has happened with one of my dear FB friend's Susan's foundation.
It is called "Malcolm Childrens' Foundation." and the link is here.
I cannot bear to think of these mother's pain, knowing that their babies will not survive because they live in a part of the world where lifesaving treatment is not available.Also knowing that if they lived elsewhere they could be having life saving, but to us routine surgery.
Nick would have felt heartbroken too, so in his name I will be supporting my friend Susan and this foundation.Could any of you do the same? you Mums must only be able to imagine what this is like. Can we Mums get involved? And everyone else too. (April this sounds like one for you!)
Nick would have been the first one wanting to help.

2018 archive

Just for today



Just for today I don't give a flying f... about anything.

I don't care if I pay my income tax, or if the carpet needs cleaning, the garden needs tending, the food needs buying, the bills need paying.

I don't care about my health, my addictions, my past, my abuses, my advocacy, my activism, my writing, my work. 

I don't care if I eat or not.
I don't care what I look like.Or even get dressed.
I don't care if it is raining, cold, miserable. 

I don't care if the pope still exists or the narcissistic church is still abusive, 
I don't even care that I was one of their victims.

I don't care what day it is or even if it is.

Because today is the day thirty years ago that my wonderful son Nick was killed, and there is NOTHING in comparison to the pain of losing a child, and living a life without them.

It has been thirty years of grief.

When you first lose someone, your grief is obvious to everyone, you cannot hide it. Thereafter it continues , just as painfully but more invisibly.It is still there, but you have to navigate around it in order to function.

And it unfolds over time, the initial devastation is replaced every day with new senses of loss. Stuff I couldn't have envisaged, the fact that he didn't get to his siblings graduations, weddings, he never met their partners, his niece or nephews, I didn't get to see him settled and happily married with his own children around him.

Every milestone in all of our lives,  no matter how joyous reminds us that there is one of us missing.

And grief changes you, I am a different person to the one I was before Nick died. His death made me into  somebody, something else.
Someone he probably wouldn't even recognise.

He was only 19 , and this year we would have been celebrating his 50th birthday.
So forgive me if today I just can't care about anything else. Tomorrow I no doubt will put my facade back on and best foot forward, but today I just don't care.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Damned if you do!


I went to a funeral yesterday, I nearly didn't go, in fact it got down to the last minute and Gez tossing a coin for me! Heads I went tails, I didn't = I lost!

No "biggy" going to a funeral you would think, she was my father's youngest sister, had a full life and was 90. I hadn't seen her for years but always had nice memories of her and that side of the family.

My Dad's side of the family the "Paines" were actually all very nice people, very kind always and all of them had nice kids and grandkids etc. 
Problem for me is, they are VERY catholic! Not in the same bigoted manner of my mother's family, in fact very much the opposite, genuine and  simple, if not somewhat  naive. Walking their walk, while my mother talked a good talk!

And they don't know about me!

They do not, as far as I am aware, have any knowledge of my abuses, or the role I have played in trying to bring their dreadful church down!
They live a long way from me, we tend only to meet up at funerals, and that has been my doing really. I have always felt it was better to be thought badly of than be exposed.

 They could have seen me on the television I suppose, but I do really think they are the sort of people who simply would not watch that stuff, and might even have turned it off if the subject came up at all. My surname  wouldn't automatically have registered.

This  has  always been my  dilemma, and ultimately my dreadful burden, this terrible secret I had to keep at all costs.

When my mother caught the abusive priest and did nothing, although I never trusted her again, and my life spiralled out of control, I still had a strange desire to protect  her secret too! 
When  trying to talk to a cousin once, I lied and said my Mum didn't know, because I knew it would have hurt her!!  

There always seemed to be someone who's  hurt would be far greater than mine if I told than if I kept it all inside. This is surely one of the things that wretched church relies upon, they fuel our guilt from birth, and being abused compounds that guilt, so we are always ready to "take the hit"

That isn't a quality, I take no credit for this, in fact  it has been a curse, and even yesterday, sitting with all of the "Paine family" I felt I had to be someone I wasn't, because to show them my damage would have caused so many problems for them. Opened up a can of worms, and not helped anyone.

It has always been a very painful  impasse, damned if you do- damned if you don't.

Which is why I have chosen to just have an arms length relationship with everyone, despite in many ways wishing it could be different.
I have often talked about feeling like an alien in the world I so badly wanted to belong in, and once again that was the raw reality.

The other problem of course was the requiem mass!( I avoid churches like the plague!)  Having to sit in the church for over an hour, being triggered right left and centre by the familiar hymns, and the rituals, and worse than that , it was in the church where my parents were married, where I was baptised, and where I married to my first very unpleasant and violent husband! 

The churchyard is full of reminders, Grandparents graves, a stained glass window to an uncle who died in the war, the dreaded confession box where the grooming still goes on.
The arrogant, didactic, priest spouting lies and more lies, to these very nice people who hung on his every word.Obsequiously grovelling his thanks as they gave him "offerings" at the end. It was hideous!

I met a  distant "cousin" who I had never met because after my father died, my mother wouldn't have anything to do with her mother because she had married a non-catholic vicar! 
The cousin was very nice, and so pleased to chat, telling me all about her happy childhood with her vicar father and she asked me if I had a happy life? What do you say to that sort of question? Well I did what I always do, laughed  and said "It certainly has had it's moments!"

We all left swearing that we would keep in touch more, but of course that is not going to happen.

It left me feeling sad and tired and a bit more battered, but over all I am glad I went.
The church is just bricks and mortar, the priest a twat, the words I know to be nonsense, but  I felt I had gone to honour my father who died when I was twelve, and his family who have never hurt me.

And among my Aunt's photographs they had found a really old photograph of my Dad,
Lewis,  in his early flying days aged about 30. I had never seen it before, so it had all been worth it just for that!

I cannot help feeling that had he lived, my life and that of my own family would have been very much different. I have never missed him so much.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A meaningful New Year!

I woke up this morning ready for the new year at work, but with an overwhelming need to do something MEANINGFUL! 

Of course, I do see my work as meaningful, and my support of survivors, the writing I do, my family,  etc. But this is something different!

I can't explain it specifically, but it is a very strong FEELING!

I don't want to wash the net curtains, or paint the bathroom, neither do I want to watch the television or read a trashy magazine, or go and have a facial or window shop -  

So I am asking you all if you have a meaningful cause that you think I could contribute to in some way (I don't have any spare money though I hasten to add!) Then please do let me know about it!

This is almost certainly a "selfish" request, there's no doubt that  as human beings we are all a lot happier when we are making a useful contribution, I know I am! 

Many of you are passionate about a variety of commitments, perhaps I could make a small difference  to some of them! Please let me know!
A very Happy and Meaningful New year to you all

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The measure of the church!

I  have heard it so often said that the way to judge a  society is in the way it treats it's weakest members ,  it's vulnerable people, the elderly, the children the  mentally ill.
The lovely Michele Obama added her voice to that concept.
I would extend that further to suggest that the way we should measure religion, any religion, is in the  way it creates victims of  abuse, and the subsequent  treatment of survivors of that abuse. Apply that rule of thumb to all of them and you will see, there is not ONE religion that would pass that test, not one of them that has got it anywhere near right!
None of them!
 They all play the same game, it begins with denial, "It didn't happen" "Those stories are all anecdotal" "And if they  didhappen , it is not like that in OUR religion ", "It has all changed now" "its a long time ago"  blah blah blah.
Then they love to  move  on to "victim blaming"  
 "They probably asked for it", "seduced the priest", "were promiscuous" etc" "Are just looking for compensation"!!
Then swiftly on to prevarication, "We are forming a focus group, commission, inquiry, fact finding body, etc" " we have made significant changes" (absolute rubbish, but has got to enable  another few years avoidance!) 
Then come the obsequious,  meaningless "apologies" dragged  screaming out of them ,and utterly condescending.
Then the "horror" when survivors not only dare NOT to accept their grovelling apologies, but are unashamed at their refusal to grant them "forgiveness"! (Back to blaming the victim!) 
If they do accept any blame for any of their millions of abuses, they have no comprehension of the severity of that damage, nor do they care.
They do a nice line in kicking survivors  when they are down. They offer pathetically inadequate amends, preferring to do as little as they can possibly get away with rather than as MUCH as they can do!
It is a great dance, this dance with  the devil, round and round and round we all go, in this ridiculous merry go round.
Then as we are getting old, and some of us are dying off (Thanks to the damage done by our abuses) the whole bloody dance will start again, with new partners,  new victims.
When are we going to get off this ride? stop the dance?  the feeding of the narcissists? When will we start to apply that rule of thumb to each one of these man made organisations? 
Get out our measuring stick,  because there isn't one that won't be found woefully lacking.

To hell with the focus groups, inquiries, fact finding missions! They are getting us nowhere, and these churches, these purveyors of lies so incapable of change,  can  have no place in   the solutions, THEY are the bloody problem!
They do NOT measure up!

2017 archive

Seventh anniversary!


Can it really be seven years today that Survivors Voice Europe was born in Rome?
 It has gone so quickly!
And we have been doing so much, many other gatherings in Rome ,Verona, London, and Poland. Three times to the UN in Geneva, many conferences and rallies  and still our preference is  to support and care for each other.
We have never felt that our mission was to chase errant priests, we know the whole catholic organisation to be  corrupt and abusive, so  there is no use in keeping  on telling ourselves that!
We all have our own priorities, and we only have so much energy, so we must each use that precious and finite commodity in the best way possible.
So we have concentrated on what matters to us,  and that has always been  Survivors themselves. 
We won't become a self serving charity that spends all it's time fund raising, how much money do you need to offer compassion and support to your fellow survivor? 
Ours has always been a labour of love, and I am pleased that we still feel the same today.
We are getting older, and inevitably will die, no doubt our demise hastened by the abuses we have suffered, and no doubt also keenly awaited by those who are still heading this abusive cult. So we are trying to make sure we leave something for the next generation of clergy abuse survivors,so they don't have to start again from scratch,  and there WILL be a next generation I am afraid, narcissists don't change, so this narcissistic organisation will remain the same, already spreading it's insidious  tentacles further, to Africa, Asia and South America, many thousands more vulnerable people. 
But today I want to send love and gratitude to all my fellow survivors, who made that life changing event seven years ago possible.
I hope you are as ready as I am  to make more memories in the next seven years!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Holy Shits!

I have sent this letter today to the UN committee, please do pass it on to anyone and everyone, the vatican  cannot be above the law!

Warwickshire U.K.
6th September 2017

I am once again writing to you in my capacity as co founder of Survivors Voice Europe regarding the 2014 complaint made by us against the Holy See to the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child.

After hearing  our evidence, and that of other NGO’s, and investigating further, the committee found the Holy See were very definitely in breach of several articles of the Rights of the Child over many decades,  and clear directives were given for specific and robust  changes to be made in the safeguarding children,  the treatment of abuse survivors, the protection of offenders, the holding on to incriminating documents, moving offending priests from parish to parish, and the covering up of crimes. 

Those changes were to be completed and a report given to the UN committee by September 1st 2017.

No such changes have been made, and no report has been submitted.

The reality is that in the three years since we gave evidence, the  incidences of child sexual abuse by clergy has escalated and we are still seeing no changes made by the vatican.
We only have to consider the enormous complaints  in Guam, and also in Australia and Ireland, to be clear that these violent crime against children continue unchallenged.

Our own experiences of victims coming forward worldwide is continuing  to rise at a disturbing rate. 

The arrests made, and the further complaints are being summarily dismissed by the vatican who still feel they are above the law and  seemingly above the directions made to them by the UN committees.

(After our further deposition, they were further found in breach of the articles of the UN Committee against torture) 

The  formation of the dysfunctional papal “commission” is typical of the lip service being paid to the charges against them. It has shown a consistent disregard for survivors .Pope Frances’ declaration that he would have “zero tolerance” for bishops who protect pedophile priests and vigorously penalise them, has been meaningless window dressing.

It is our firmly held opinion that the vatican are incapable of policing themselves, nor should they be allowed to do so.

It seems they have a low opinion of the intelligence of survivors groups, and indeed of the UN, to imagine that we don’t view this impotent commission as a cynical PR exercise, which shows nothing but contempt for  those of us who have suffered at their hands..

The Royal Commission in Australia  has shown determination in trying to bring criminal priests to justice, to the extent of arresting one of the the most prominent cardinals.(Pell).

But I doubt that the vatican will attempt to comply with any of their recommendations for safeguarding or submitting themselves to further  scrutiny. 

The British Independent Committee which is about to examine the conduct of the catholic  church next year, will I know, after hearing individual and organisational evidence be made aware of many  outrageous incidences of clergy abuse, cover ups ,regular shipping of errant clergy to overseas parishes where they inevitably continued their abuses. 

They will find the church here inadequate,evasive, and defensive ,following the same rhetoric churned out by the vatican. What we feel sure they won’t achieve is any kind of change from the vatican, or the catholic church here in Britain. 

On a personal note, I have to say that my colleague Ton Leershcool from the Netherlands and I, who came to Geneva to give evidence, at great personal cost , were so encouraged by the committee’s willingness to listen and show their determination to help put a stop to decades of violent sexual  abuses against children by catholic clergy, after we had been so frustrated in the past by many attempts to shine a spotlight the catholic church’s crimes .

So we gritted our teeth,and sat in the same room as the vatican representatives and listened for six hours to the vatican’s response to those accusations as they lied,and contradicted themselves, and even at one point laughed. 
It was quite an ordeal.

We were therefore then quite elated when the ruling came from the committee recognising and highlighting those breaches, and  making their recommendations. 

So it is deeply disappointing to us that these directives have been ignored, although we do see the church’s disregarding of them to be  consistent with their contempt for others, flaunting this, and most other laws of the land, and therefore  comes as no surprise.

Our suspicion is also that the vatican is once again playing for time, seeing those of us who have been active in this battle against them for so long are an aging population, and relying on us to  die. Then the next  group of child clergy abuse victims (and there WILL be more) will  have to begin the fight again, which will take just as long.
It will always be passionate survivors who champion this cause. 

I would now like to add, from our lawyer David Greenwood, a renouned specialist Child abuse lawyer,specific  information about catholic “secret courts”

 We have seen that the Roman Catholic Church has a clear set of rules administered centrally with which all members must comply. The Crimen decree from the Vatican dated 16 March 1962 required investigation in secrecy was reinforced by the letter written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on 18May 2001, endorsing the maintenance of secrecy and that no report should be made to the civil authorities such as the police after the child has reached the age of 28 (most cases). This 2001 letter is known as “De Delictis Gravioribus” letter. A copy of the “Crimen” document can be found at the Vatican’s website  . The De Delictis letter can be found at a website which operates to record church abuse  . This means Catholic law requires their Bishops to deal with cases in house and not to refer them to the police of social services.
Despite the United Nations Committee of the Rights of the Child looking into the Holy See and denouncing its policies on allowing paedophiles to remain within its organisation, neither spokespersons nor the Pope have taken constructive measures to implement the UN’s recommendations  . It is of real concern that this global organisation maintains its dangerous policies in many parts of the world. The reality is that even in developed countries Catholic priests are held in such high esteem that their crimes are often overlooked. The level of secrecy operated by the Catholic Church means that figures on its effectiveness in repelling allegations are not available
The process of taking action against a priest is extremely convoluted and openly favours the accused. It can only be used where there is good evidence (to be determined by the Bishop), the whole procedure is kept secret, there is no jury, any appeal automatically suspends the penalty, no adverse inference can be drawn from a cleric’s silence, the accused is the only person at the hearing allowed to give evidence free from being under oath, and a final decision is made with a standard of proof known as “moral certitude”which seems to suggest the Bishop can essentially decide for himself whether it is “fair”to impose a sanction. The sanctions themselves as we know bear no relation to those found in the secular justice system. The most grievous sanction is excommunication, hardly a serious penalty for very serious crimes against children.
For more detail the Catholic procedures are set out as an information sheet entitled Disciplinary Penal Process for Clerics at section 5 at this website

We would charge  the UN committee to act swiftly and robustly to challenge the Holy See in this matter.

I believe you have a unique  opportunity now to show the rest of the world, and other official bodies, your contempt for the holy see’s flagrant disregard of this process.

Until somebody takes some concrete punitive action against them, the children of the world remain  at great risk.

Sue Cox
Survivors Voice Europe.
Avon Cottage,
Banbury Road,
CV35 0HG

David Greenwood 
Director & Solicitor, Head of Child Abuse Department
Switalskis Solicitors

You can see our original deposition here:

    In response, we were then invited to a pre-sessional meeting in Geneva in June, where we gave evidence to support our accusations, made a further presentation, and answered questions to the committee for three hours.
This was what we presented: CRC Introduction – Sue Cox

The CRC made subsequent requests, which we replied to and these can all be found  and they can be found on our website :

Our submission to the UN.Committee against torture can be found here:

Sue Cox  Lic Ac.M.B.Ac.C.
Survivors Voice Europe
01926 640525
0781 3808026

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Happy Seventieth!


Today my husband is 70!! He says he never thought he would make it past nineteen!

I am so glad he did, we all would be a lot poorer without his presence.

Apart from being an amazing artist, an extraordinary drummer and a brilliant cook,this is the man who took me on board, with six children and more baggage than Piccadilly's lost luggage dept.!

When we first met, and were "going out" as they say, he very often asked me "out for a drink", and of course I don't drink! He wanted to know why? and at that point I didn't think it was any of his business!

But as we got more involved, and it was clear that something was happening between us, I thought I had better tell him all about me! I thought if he was going to get involved with me he should have all the chances in the world to walk away.

So one night I sat him down, and gave him the lot, all the drinking , all the chemicals, all the shit! I think I probably laid it on a bit so he had absolutely no illusions!

It took a good three hours, and his face steadily became more and more serious.
When I had finished, waiting for a "walk out" he just said:

" Thank fuck for that ! I thought you were going to tell me you are gay!
That is the man who I have been  married to for 28 years, and who is still making me laugh!
                  Happy Birthday Gez XXXXX

Friday, 4 August 2017

INFORMED? I don't think so!

On the radio today I was asked what I thought about the statute of limitation applied to survivors of childhood sexual abuse desiring to bring a complaint?

Well it is quite clear what I think- it is quite appalling! When you consider that sometimes it takes a victims fifty years before they are able to talk about what happened to them, let alone bring themselves to go as far as a court case, then to put any kind of limitation on these crimes is nonsense.

There is no time limit for murder, and I make no excuses for suggesting that these crimes should be seen as comparable.

I was then asked what I thought about the Criminal Injury board denying claims for compensation for victims, regardless of the fact that there had ben a guilty verdict for their perpetrators, because some of the victims had subsequently been convicted themselves for other offenses! 

How bloody judgemental can you get! These victims had their lives turned completely upside down when they were vulnerable children, in the worst way possible, and put on an entirely different and lonely path, hardly surprising that they turn to drugs and drink and maybe crime!

Then they are obviously considered "less worthy" of compensation than other victims of crimes-Disgraceful.

I was then asked how I felt about it being said that some victims of exploitation "consented" to their abuse! WTF!

Everything I know about healthcare(and that is my job) tells me that to ascertain consent from another person  for anything, the criteria must always be that it  is "Informed consent" as the dictionary has it:

"An informed consent can be said to have been  given based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications,and consequences of an action"

So apart from the fact that they are children! 
Are the victims of sexual abuse told of those consequences? 
Are they "informed" of the implications? That what is happening to them may cause them brain damage, damage to their immune systems,shortened life span, rob them of their potential, give them higher incidences of addictions,(abuse victims are 4,600  times more likely to be addicted than the rest of the population!) mental health problems, and suicide???

Of course they are NOT!
So how the f... can they possibly be said to have "consented" 

It is hardly surprising that survivors of childhood sexual abuse feel that the system is stacked against them...because it is! 

Sunday, 30 July 2017


After finishing a conversation on the phone with someone who wanted me to teach a four day course in one day! I find myself pondering her question:
 "Why do you need to give that  amount of information?"

And indeed WHY?  should  always be the question! But NOT in this context!  

I do get really fed up with skimming the "surface" training, treatments and interventions, doing as little as necessary rather than as much as possible.Trying something randomly to see if it works, like throwing mud at a wall to see if it sticks!

Also I get fed up with people keeping hold of knowledge, that would profoundly help others, creating a sort of "elitism" and disempowering people further.

Many  want to keep the "magic" to themselves, so that others are bound to seek their help, and become dependent.They know that  often people are  looking for  a "magic bullet", a one off fix that will make everything alright, and every time something seemingly new comes along they will cling to it for dear life. 

They will soon realise, of course,that there is no such thing, and if there were any kind of magic wand we would all be waving it and every one would live happily ever after! Would that were so.

That is the reason we have always gone into everything we teach in great depth, We are not "training"  performing seals, we teach adults with many existing skills, who really do need to know WHY we do what we do.The skills we teach are not  party tricks, but valuable adjunctive treatments, so we should not only be clear about their efficacy, but also be able to  explain exactly WHY. 

When we teach it shouldn't be to hear the sound of our own voices, but because we understand and can evidence WHY we are saying what we say.

More importantly, we CARE very deeply about the eventual recipients of our teaching,the addicts, people dealing with a mental health issue, and survivors of sexual abuse, all very close to my heart. They deserve the very BEST, not  "that will do".

Survivors of abuse already have difficulties surrounding self worth, having had their self esteem destroyed by their criminal abusers. So they will often settle for second best, grateful for any small crumb thrown at them, all of those meaningless "apologies", the derisive compensation, because they feel that is all they deserve. NONSENSE !  They deserve the very BEST. 

Addicts and people with mental health conditions already feel lower than a snake's belly in the grass, the very last thing they need is to be made to feel less important than those helping them!

These damaged wonderful people are increasingly seen as a commodity, a "cash cow" , a never ending supply of vulnerable people to be used by organisations to keep those organisations in work!

There's no doubt it certainly would be easier to just show people "how" to do something rather than tell them WHY they are doing it! But it would be  exploitative and lacking in integrity, and MY students, their clients, and MY fellow addicts and survivors of abuse must  not to be disempowered any further.

Knowledge needs to be shared properly otherwise we create that dreadful "elitism" that for me has no place in this area of work.  
So although we welcome, these days the media talking more about "statistical propensities" "Vulnerability to damaged immune systems" and "shortened life spans", it simply is NOT enough.  

We will always go a bit deeper, as deep as we can, to explain exactly what happens physically to make these stats a reality  and teach exactly WHY!?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Out Of The Shadows

I don't watch this very often, because it still makes me cry when I see my beautiful friends heartbreak.But someone asked me to send it to them, and I had to watch it.I decided to post it to send my love to the people in it and so that I can keep these crimes in the minds of everyone in the present and so that these crimes are not forgotten.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Today is the day!

My adopted Mother didn't ever say anything much of any great wisdom, in fact I could count on one hand anything of real value! She did have  a wealth of clever sayings though, thrown out on a regular basis, usually religious in nature, but nothing of real consequence.

One thing that she always did say, whenever things went wrong was "In a hundred years from now it won't matter to anyone!" It used to infuriate the fuck out of me when things felt as if they were disastrous!

Now however,  looking at the length of time it has taken to charge people like Pell, and at the way the catholic church has dealt with, (or rather avoided dealing with) childhood clergy sexual abuse  for decades, I am  wondering if they all have mothers who have been telling them the same thing!

I can't help feeling that they are "playing for time", waiting for those of us who have been fighting them to die, (we are all getting older!) and then this duplicitous narcissistic church will be able to re-write history, in their usual deceitful manner!

I remember going to Rome for the first SV occasion in 2010, there were many of us there, some of us still pretty vibrant, some of course older, but most of us "able bodied" to a degree!

The following year, at our meeting, there were more walking sticks and walking frames visible among us! We were still full of the joy of being together and although we could still dance in the shadow of the vatican, a lot of us found it harder.

The year after it was apparent that some of us were missing, and a few of us could no longer actually dance, march or even walk!

The following year I nearly passed out because of the heat at our meeting in Verona, and only managed half the event.

Last year I didn't make the journey at all because of being unwell. (I am much better, so I will be back soon!) Not everyone will be able to be back unfortunately.
They have shortened our life spans already by their abuses, then cynically exploit  our shortened longevity and vulnerability to further delay their  responsibilities! 

They see us an an "irritant",and they KNOW we will spend even more of our shortened lives trying to get justice for ourselves and future generations.

This is what happens, we are only here for such a short time, and It will always have to be people with passion that are able to continue the a fight.

That is  why NOW is so important, to hell with these "commissions" and "investigation panels", they are just designed to delay!

It is why we need to perpetuate our experiences with things that will last long beyond our shortened days.

It is why films like "Spotlight" and Gary's film "Basta" and even our own "Out of the shadows"  are so important, they are solid testimonies, and will last longer than we will.
Some of us also are able to ,write about our experiences, these are all crucial,to create an archive of facts and warnings, in the same way as testimonies of slavery and genocide.  

Otherwise the next generation of abuse victims, (and of course there WILL be  a next generation, while ever this narcissistic power hungry predatory church exists) may have to start re-inventing the wheel, and so it goes on and on.

I suppose I am so conscious of all of this, having reached (amazingly) my seventies, and with a myriad of health issues. So my legacy will be my writing, if I manage to stay around to actually finish my book!
The point is that there is no time to hang around! It suits a narcissist so well, as we continue to feed their insatiable ego! and then one by one we die trying to bring them to book! 

So if we feel we may have something to contribute, Don't delay! "BASTA" is the word and TODAY is the DAY! 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Pell charged!

I knew something pretty big had happened in Australia when I looked at my FB page this morning and saw about fifty notifications all from "Down Under" !

Pell charged- with multiple historic sexual abuse charges!!!

Now we have to just hope that the police have done all their homework properly to make those charges watertight!

This breakthrough is,  I am sure, very much due to the fierce warrior survivors in Australia! They have never stopped their fight.
They are EPIC!

Now I don't want to hear any sanctimonious bullshit about "witchhunts" and the like! These bastards have been getting away with their crimes for years!

Here is the thing! They just simply do NOT care! they don't give a shit about how many people's lives have been destroyed, they pose for the cameras  and squirm with obsequious and meaningless apologies, and even then have the sheer audacity  to trivialise the damage and devastation caused.

So Thank you all you warrior survivor "Beauts" in Australia! 

Perhaps we might possibly even dare to hope that Francis will be the next to be charged with the appalling cover ups he was responsible for in Argentina!

It is high time this  dreadful criminal religion is consigned to the history books! 

Nobody says it better than Tim Minchin! 

Monday, 19 June 2017

Happy Ever After!

 was talking to someone who was interviewing me about childhood clergy sexual abuse. That is something I have done a lot, ever since I "came out" as it were, it was a choice I made.

I knew that to stay silent wasn't working for me, and it occurred to me that I may help others if I spoke out.
That was a long time ago, and a story often told. I don't care for doing it, but sometimes it is necessary. 

But I was overwhelmed with this particular  interviewer's naiveté and his complete missing of the point!
He was very quick to keep pointing out that after everything I told him that "I was alright now" that everything was "now ok" and there was a "happy  ending". Wasn't I "lucky"? This was  of course, a religious interviewer! 

I am seventy now, and while it is perfectly true that I have a very different and fulfilling life now, and I am grateful for that, I am, like many others like me, mystified why these people do not recognise the LOST years, the ones we cannot have back!

The early teens when we should have been forming friendships and alliances instead of hiding away our "secrets", sabotaging relationships rather than showing our wounds.
Instead of being able to talk to our peers about our blossoming womanhood, we could not allow anyone to see the sordid reality of our lives.

These early years are so important, you can't "catch up" you cannot go back to being ten again and start over!
When other girls were dreaming of Elvis Presley, I was having nightmares about a fat drunken smelly pedophile in a cleric's collar, and fearing he may come after me again. I can't recapture  those times, and make them rainbows and buttercups!

I cannot go back and be a better parent to my children, instead of a clueless one!
I cannot "undrink" all the booze or "untake" the drugs!!

The inadequate pedophile and his narcissistic church  took away my PRIME years, as a teenager and a young woman and I cannot have them back.

I was damaged, abused, alone, afraid, mentally and emotionally disturbed. It was only sheer bloody mindedness that I survived at all!
And now I am in the "twighlight" years, and I am very happy in my personal life,   my default position is still unworthiness and guilt, and despite any of my successes, I still consider myself to be an alien in this beautiful world.

That's what a "happy ending" looks like you stupid sanctimonious   prick!  

Sunday, 18 June 2017


I have been teaching now in the substance misuse field for 23 years, and have personally taught 15,000 health care workers. I have taught in 128 UK prisons, as well as the Health service, community drug and alcohol services, mental health services and military mental health.

I don't go to conferences, I don't advertise, I don't "sell" my ideas,  because I just simply want to do the work!

My main loyalty is not anything to do with   kudos, acupuncture, or anything other than  the very BEST authentic treatment for addicts, like me, and survivors of abuse, also like me. I am also committed to the people I have taught and continue to teach, they have in truth taughtme so much!

When I hear of things  being done badly or in a mediocre way, or to make money, using addicts or abuse survivors  as a commodity, I feel something akin to a "primal scream" It is physical, it hurts, it could be me!

I got upset recently when I heard of something that smacks of exploitation, and I turned to one of my very wise friends and fellow "travellers" who gave me his very sage wisdom "F... them" he said, "don't let people live rent free in your head"! "Just do what you have always done , keep your side of the street clean, always do the next right thing and let everyone else get on with it"!

Of course he was right, which is why I always turn to him in times of turmoil! Thankyou (again) Richard Kingdon!

Mine isn't just a job, it is a passion! And when I think it might be threatened I feel very unsettled.

Throughout my life though, it has always been people of passion that have helped me most, helped me get sober, helped me through enormous difficulties, held my hand in times of despair, because it also mattered to them, It has not been any  "words of wisdom" from people who relish the chance to spout, or feel they have superior knowledge, but the fellow "travellers"with their simple but very profound wisdom.

Their lessons are in compassion and honesty.
My wish is to  be more like them! 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Label with Love

Not all labels are bad! I don't mind being labelled "Wife" "Mother" "Grandmother" "Activist" "Teacher" etc. 
(I even think that some people should come with a "warning label"! ) 
I am a recovered "Addict". 
Now I am sure many of you will say that particular label isn't a good thing, that it is "negative",  but I really don't mind the label! I don't need to go on about it, or dwell on it,  but it keeps my feet firmly on the ground, and reminds me how bad it was, and could be again if I choose to go along that path! (even 40 years down the line!)
But please stop calling me, and those like me,  "sick". I am not "broken" or "defective", I don't have an "illness"nor am I "emotionally immature" or "weak willed", or "weak intellect", I am simply wired in a different way!! We are each of us, after all, a sum total of our genetic blueprint and our life experience.
If I had been around a few hundred years ago, my "different" wiring would have been very valuable in our society. Because I would have been the one who was always dissatisfied, underwhelmed, have a perpetual feeling of "ennui",  and would be off hunting the fattest boar, the biggest kill, always seeking and trying to get the biggest, best, most, because I simply would not have been  satisfied with the apple tree in the garden! We have very often been referred to as "creatures of excess".
This isn't greed or ingratitude, it is simply a matter of having evolved a biological advantage, which in our modern society is no longer as valuable a trait! We no longer need those who would go out for the biggest kill, the best, the most, but some of us have still got that hard wiring! We are still the greatest seekers of "MORE" and unfortunately we often found that  in mood altering chemicals!
We simply don't feel  pleasure in the same way, or as easily  as others, this is because we have less availability of  particular receptor sites in the reward pathway of the brain, and need  greater stimulation to feel the same reward.
BUT, we are very driven people! and when we are able to get away from the chemicals that were killing us, that incredible drive can be transformed into something really quite awesome! 
It is very simple, if I take mood altering chemicals it brings out the very worst in me! If I keep away from them, and find my passions elsewhere I can be the BEST I can be.
The key words PASSION and PURPOSE,  finding something that gives us the greatest pleasure and meaning without chemicals!
For some that is sport, maybe even scuba diving or belly dancing, a new career, become an activist in something we feel strongly about, rekindling an old interest, rearing a family, learning a new skill, fulfilling long held dreams, everyone will have different drives, but it has to be something meaningful that we feel passionate about, it can't be anything mediocre, otherwise pretty soon we would be off looking for something bigger, better,  MORE!
I have six children! (That is quite excessive!) they have been the biggest most exciting of  joys, three grandchildren too! 
I feel absolutely, obsessively, passionate about the treatment of other addicts and survivors of abuse.
I want only the absolute BEST for them! Not just a "that will do" approach. 
I have my work! and that is the biggest Buzz anyone could ever have, and the longer I continue, the more passionate I feel about it. I have treated thousands of people, and I have personally taught fifteen thousand healthcare workers!
So the label I like most is "Luckiest and most grateful person on the planet!"
Still driven for MORE!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

After The flood!

This week I have been reminded almost daily about "milestones" and "watersheds" and the difference between them.
The milestones have been each  small step to recovery. The first few hours, the first reduction in painkillers, the getting rid of the oxygen mask,the first wash,  the first time being able to get out of bed on my own, the first bowel opening(Not to put too fine a point on it!) the first time I could walk unaided!
Lying around trying to recover from my surgery is giving me a a lot of  time to think! I don't usually like too much "thinking time, one of my survival techniques has always been to keep busy!and to avoid ruminating at all costs! 
But this is different somehow, I am dwelling on what I love about my life, how fortunate I am to be so well looked after, and how very much I am missing  my work!
I sometimes have to pinch myself when I realise how many people I have taught, (15,000!!!) and how precious they all have been, how many have become close friends, and how much I miss going out and meeting new ones.
So I think this spinal surgery experience has been a "watershed" a time of change, reviewing what is important and determining to give fresh impetus to those things, and disregard the trivia!

 When I was a little girl, I was in the dreadful 1953 flood on the East coast. It was a very tragic event, many people died, and we were all of us traumatised in one way or another. I was  six at the time, and we had six feet of sea water in our house, resulting in the pneumonia which almost killed me. 
That flood was a big turning point in our town, in fact ever since that time everything was defined as either being "before the flood" or "after the flood"!
Over the years there have been many more defining moments," before I was married", "after the kids", "after Nick died", after this before that , etc etc.
But the single most defining moment was when I stopped drinking and using mind altering chemicals! "Before and after" getting clean and sober was THE real "flood" measurement! There could be nothing to compare to the two eras.The thirty years before, have no bearing on the forty years after! The kind of watershed moment that I should and could never forget or underestimate.
 This recovery phase won't be long I know, and  this enforced restriction has not been as bad as I thought it would be, because I am able to think about the next phase of my life. It does feel though that  it might be another "flood" moment!
I will be seventy next week! "Before sobriety" , and abusing my body the way I did, I would never have believed that it was possible to live that long! "After" I cannot believe how quickly it has gone and how much I have been able to do! I also can't believe how much more I want to do and how having this operation will make it all more possible! 
I have been talking about having this surgery for so long that I perhaps have forgotten why I was having it! The idea that after it I would be so much better! more able to walk and in so much less pain, making everything I do more possible! So bring on the next few milestones, get to the other side of this particular real watershed!
What an exciting time ahead!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Love The NHS!

This is a quick scribble due to my feeling like I have been kicked by a very large and very pissed off donkey!

The spinal surgery all went well, I had an eminent  neurosurgeon and his team working on my back for 5 and a half hours! (He said "it was very difficult, it was extremely tight in there")
Then I was taken to a special unit because of my sleep apnoea and asthma, where over three days, I was not left alone for one minute! I was given a cocktail of pain killers, (I can't have morphine also because of the sleep apnoea) and I didn't have to ask for one thing, the nurses anticipated my every need , and made me so comfortable. I even had three of them around my bed, holding my hand  because I had witnessed someone die in the opposite bed to mine, and they telephoned my husband to come and visit earlier in case I was upset. 
I was looked after by nurses and doctors from all over the world, The Philippines, The Gambia, India, Ireland, England Malaysia, Eastern Europe. They all had one thing in common-- They were wonderful! Caring, Compassionate, professional.
I left hospital in a wheelchair with a bag full of medication, lots of instructions and even several pairs of those awful DVT stockings! 
And all of this, cost me NOTHING! Of course I have made National Insurance contributions over the years, but even if I hadn't , my care would have been the same -and cost me NOTHING!
We HAVE to cherish and preserve our NHS it is second to none in the World.
Feeling very sore, but extremely grateful.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Every Easter I thank the universe, reason and sanity that I have escaped, and no longer have to be a part of the wretched narcissistic catholic church with  all it's cruelty. 
I dreaded,  as a child those endless Easter rituals, fasting, rosary,  stations of the cross etc.etc. a colossal  waste of time spent perpetually  on our knees!
When my adopted Mother got old, and she became even more of a bully, it was very hard to take. But  for some reason I had this silly glimmer of an idea that maybe I could look after her, as she became more dependant, I suppose I thought we might be able to find some sort of connection in her last years. She was, after all the only "family" I had known, and I felt a duty towards her despite her cruelty and neglect. 
But as always, she wanted to do that on her terms, she wanted to come to my home, and take control, dominate my  children, dictate on everything, decide on every aspect of my life, despite the fact that I had been alone (and with no help) for quite a few years with my six children!  She even suggested we should sleep together for “warmth”, she and her tightly bonded sisters had always slept in each other's beds. As a child I often had one of them in my bed too, I never knew who would come to stay next, and my bedroom was never my own. I thought the idea hideous!
It didn’t ever happen, I am grateful to say,  I soon realised  it would have been disastrous!But fate took it out of her hands anyway,  she unfortunately had a fall, broke her hip, and ultimately  went quite senile.  
I  brought her to a nursing home near to me so that I could keep an eye on her. She was quite oblivious to who anyone was, but when she saw my face it always triggered her angrily barking out instructions! that was of course what she had always done! And she often talked about me - to me - even describing how she had “lost a grandson” I felt even more  hurt all the time.
However, when she was very ill and clearly nearing the end of her life, I thought, because of her faith, (although it stuck in my throat,) I should send for a priest. It was, after all what she would want. 
He came to see her, and he was a young Vietnamese man, she had never met him, but as soon as he entered the room, with his clerical dog collar, her face lit up in what can only be described as “rapture”, and her  head went automatically into that sickly  beatific pose “Yes Father , no Father , I am not worthy Father, Thankyou Father” and she rattled off all of the prayers, along with him.
He smiled and condescendingly  said to me “that just shows a lifetime of prayer” in an attempt to comfort me I suppose.

But I know it was just long term potentiation, and came actually from   a lifetime of indoctrination, bigotry, cruelty and abuse, and an absolute waste.