Inspirational Woman of the year award

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Licking my Wounds!

If there is one image I refuse to have it is that of  victim! I won't give the bastard narcissistic church that satisfaction!

However, today I added another condition to my list of "ills", it seems that all the medications  that I have had to take have now pushed me into steroid induced diabetes!14 conditions  in all now, life threatening, or life limiting!
I say "list" because usually that is how I see them! I don't dwell on them, I manage them, and I view them with an academic eye, fascinated by how this all occurs!

My colleague, Kim (who is probably the cleverest neuroscientist on the planet!) and I, study this stuff, we have talked for hours and hours figuring it all out, especially on our very long car journeys travelling up and down the country teaching!

I can usually be quite dispassionate about it, actually fascinated as I learn more, and becoming even more determined to pass that knowlege on to others.  I do, however,  get very angry when all of the life damaging effects of childhood abuse are so underestimated, and even dismissed. 

Recently, I seem to be getting more an more "friend requests"  from other survivors of abuse, which is  lovely. Perhaps they are surprised that I don't seem to spend  lot of time talking about  that particular issue, choosing instead to contribute in my own way.  

It is quite understandable , how survivors of abuse, in fact people in recovery from all sorts of  traumatic life events, can focus on what happened to them, going over  the events, telling their story, debating  who did what to whom. I certainly have been there too!

We mostly have wanted understanding, justice, revenge, compassion, contrition,  compensation, and we sometimes use up all our very depleted energy chasing after the narcissists that have destroyed so much of our lives. Once again, done that too!

And it has been so necessary for groups of brave and dogged survivors to go into battle with the criminals that continue to evade justice while wearing their hypocritical  sanctimonious masks. We have sometimes been at the forefront of those battles, and we owe a lot to those who still make that battle their mission.

But for me there is still a gaping hole in the knowlege of what that actually means to survivors, the real consequences of those criminal acts, and the severity of damage done. How people who have been abused have those "lists".

I am sometimes accused of going into it all in too much depth! 
When we teach our "Battle of the abused brain " workshop, we go into the damage done to the brain, and to the immune system, and  even how, through epigenetic changes  that damage can be passed on to the next generation and the next...
I always want to know WHY things happen!
because  it is only with a full knowlege of something that we can look for effective solutions. So I make no apology for those depths!

As I continue to "collect" conditions to add to my "list", and  at other survivors who are battling life threatening illnesses, I can see the patterns so much more clearly, why the early onset of conditions, why the cancers, the MS, the chronic pain, the addictions,   the shortened life span. And it can  break my heart to think that damage done to us, could  be passed on to our children and grandchildren, even when "watered down" by their other genetic influences, and in my case, the diligence of my daughters making sure their children are thriving and protected.

To spotlight this severity has become my mission and my passion. I can  very easily  get  excited when we explore  even more! I feel less like a victim, and more empowered, like a prize fighter!

But sometimes, I am ashamed to admit, I feel a little sorry for myself! like today, as I contemplate the next medication, the  changes I must make It feels  like what I actually want is for someone to wrap a metaphoric warm blanket around me and say "There there, you will be alright " ! 

So  if you can send me lots of virtual  hugs I will be ok!  I am feeling a bit vulnerable, in need a lot of TLC and kindness, (but maybe not chocolate !) and then with renewed determination, I can dust myself off and go back into battle, in my own way,  against the evil bastards who have caused so much destruction.


Saturday, 16 March 2019

Sticks and wheelchairs

I have never considered myself to be anything vaguely like Pollyanna, if anyone had ever suggested the "glad game" I would probably have throttled them!

But I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude at the moment, almost like I am surrounded by a warm fuzzy pink cloud!

It is all to do with kindness, tenderness, gentleness and humility,  and it is making my heart sing.

I  have not been  well  for a while now, as I am sure you have heard me moaning! 
But actually I have been registered disabled for quite along time. 

I didn't really talk about it much, because I didn't want to be seen as "unable"! I love my work so much and it energises me and sustains me, and I am so lucky to have a family that looks after me!
So I avoided my sticks, dismissed any wheelchair offers, and hobbled around hurting like fuck and being too proud, or whatever to show my vulnerability.

There has come a time now though that I can't get away with it! I can't walk without my sticks, go round the supermarket without a scooter, cope without the occasional  wheelchair, fly without "special assistance" and use my blue badge!!
It has been a big learning for me! and since I threw the towel in and accepted help, I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been!

Being seen now to be disabled has been the most amazing experience! 
It brings out such absolute inherent amazing bloody kindness in people, it makes me quite tearful!

The lovely people who I teach, who ply me with cups of tea and won't let me carry anything!

The hotel staff who gently take everything off me make everything accessible  and make my stays so comfortable, the other guests and travellers who open doors for me. or ask if I am ok, or even just smile. 
The prisoners who, seeing me struggle, look after me and make me feel so safe and valued.  
My patients, who coming to see me for their own health, spend as much time being concerned about mine!
The other shoppers who ask if they can reach something for me, or help me, the airline staff who treat me like a special guest, even the security  officers who ask me if I am in pain before they very gently search me! 

I watched with such sadness the people who were being  carried to hospital after the dreadful tragedy in New Zealand,  seeing the tenderness in the faces of the paramedics and the compassion that was so apparent, was so  humbling.

I remember watching the doctors and nurses running out of the London hospital to Westminster bridge, with no thought for themselves, the people helping kids  away from the bombs at concerts and rescuing others from earthquakes, automatically reaching out  to the person next to them. 

People really are very very kind! We are truly  a benevolent species, but  most of the time we do focus on the bad stuff and forget to see all of decency around us,  I am so thankful for that lesson.
So I will wear my disability with a different guise  now! 
It is making me aware  that perhaps we all have "sticks and wheelchairs" of some kind, even if they are invisible, and I suspect we all need to feel the same care and compassion that I am experiencing from my fellow travellers.
I may look like a doddery old lady, but because of all the love I get, in my heart I can still run, and  I can still dance!  

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Sugar and Spice and all things nice!

It is perhaps  with a little bit of embarrassment that I still keep the "Blog picture" above, as the one that is of me receiving "Inspirational Woman of the Year" award! I was shocked to get it, and am still a little  dumbstruck! 
But it is So meaningful, when I consider my journey as a woman, and  where I came from.   So please do forgive my showing off!
One of the cruellest legacies that comes along with the results of childhood clergy abuse is the isolation. 
As I get further away from it, I can look back and am more acutely aware of the subtle, less obvious damage caused. 

One of the  things that was very difficult as a girl growing up with "dirty secrets" was the isolation from other girls!

As a survivor of clergy abuse, my world was very secretive and hidden, mine wasn't a story you could could talk about round the camp  fire as a Brownie! It wasn't the sort of thing you could giggle about with your friends while having a "sleepover " when thy were discussing their first kisses and  flirting. 

My secrets had to be kept at all costs, it was an imperative, and so I got very good at "making things up! I reinvented myself on a regular basis!

When others were bonding, forming life long friendships, I was like an alien looking in at a world I badly wanted to belong to.

By the age of fifteen I was already a drinking alcoholic, mentally and emotionally disturbed and really quite crackers! 
Not for me was the "occasional glass of Babycham" I was mostly smashed out of my face, didn't know where I had been or who with, and certainly not "best friend" material.

I guess I always felt ashamed  at the side of other girls, I think I envied their "niceness" their femininity, I was usually full of rage.

So in my recovery (from so many things!) One of the most precious possessions  I have these days is a connection with wonderful women!

I cannot begin to tell you how much they mean to me! 

My two beautiful daughters, accomplished and grounded, both wonderful Mothers!

My amazing daughter in law, battling a terrible condition with dignity and humour. 

My delightful granddaughter poised on her new career and  marriage, my recovery friends, all having emerged from such a dark place. My survivor friends, who know just how I m feeling without words. The most amazing women I have the privilege of teaching, the humour, the compassion, the commitments I witness.The Humanist women who have taught me so much, and the women I have met at the conferences and rallies who have marched beside me, and shared their stories too.

The brilliant and beautiful Annie who keeps me on the straight and narrow in the office!

The lovely women who are my next door neighbours (on both sides!!) and their daughters! 
My lovely Scottish, Irish,Welsh, American, Dutch, Italian, French, Australian, Canadian, Polish, Nepali sisters who give me such joy! 
I treasure the mimosas that have been given to me in Italy as I have been there on two occasions for the  "Fiesta della donna"   what a delightful tradition! So I am sending ALL of my sisters these  mimosas, with  love and solidarity and gratitude!! 
A Very Happy International Women's day!