3 Quotes in 3 Days Challenge -Day 2

Well. With such a huge choice at my fingertips I was torn as to which one to choose for today. I don’t know if like me you have a folder full of quotes to lift your spirits, reassure you or push you on to greater things. Most are gathered from facebook pages throughout the daily onslaught there and many which hit the nail on the head. 

Will it be inspiring or push someone to do something they might be doubting their ability to do? Is it time for me to become a leader for a moment after all I was taught to lead by example?

Well, actually not today Thanks. 

I know that for some a tough week is governed by their workload where as for others it is governed by their health. Sometimes physical and mental. This week for me it has been the latter so although I would normally relish the chance to encourage others. The challenge I thought may shake me up and encourage a change in mood but I find that this is leading me in it’s own direction. Maybe I will re-do this challenge at a later date when in a different frame of mind, but for now it’s one day at a time. Meanwhile Thankyou again to my nominee http://www.TrulyUnplugged.com

I begrudgingly returned South again last week which has left me rather blue and craving the place we have just left. The sanctuary removed I have been on alert again and feeling very unsettled. Hoping for changes for the better to come here and bless us with their presence and at times feeling rather broken and emotional.

This quote by Jamie Lee Logan’s page Princess Sassy Pants & Co is another good place to look. I find that she combines her artwork with quite often just the right thing to say. This reminder came when I needed it. 

Summer Reflection

Well, as the warmer weather is still with us and we have sunny days, isn’t it technically still Summer, after all the clocks haven’t gone forward yet, casting us into darkness mid-afternoon.

But I am taking the time now to reflect upon the Summer, which this year should have been great, but really wasn’t.

The past two months have been harder than I ever thought possible and at the moment there is no let up, no sign of Hope, (she is still firmly under the tarpaulin and again has not been driven) whilst these shenanigans continue. But hoping that things will change is clearly not enough to make that happen. I have pulled myself every which way to try and make things better.

In my mind at the beginning of Summer, I was looking forward to the Sunshine and making things happen, plans for the future. I was going to finish my book, publish it, write another or at least a large chunk of it. My mind was working, I was inspired by things around me, open to opportunities and new experiences. I was looking forward to a great future and felt that I had been able to let go of the past which had haunted me for so long. I had turned a corner. I have a family who love me. We would go to Scotland and spend some time there for the first time in months. Walk my Beloved Boy on the beaches and in the forests nearby and also enjoy some of the sunshine here before we went. Once there, I would make repairs to the cottage and try and fix it up a bit, to halt the decay slightly, I might even get the log burner fitted before winter and stop the damp from a leaky roof. I would also apply for work and see if I could get myself another job to cover the bills for when I came home.
I was out taking photographs again, enjoying the space around here and time with family, I even got some shots that I was pretty happy with and was looking forward to getting a whole lot more of them.

I had spent time getting the garden here under control, watered and it was thriving, rewarding me with beautiful flowers and plants and a peaceful place in which we could all relax and enjoy the nature around us. I love getting my hands dirty and awaiting the outcome of my labours out there. Here it is only a small garden, so easy to maintain and shows quick results in whatever work you put in. It gives my mind time to unravel anything which is complicating it, that it doesn’t understand or just needs time to digest and I am not sitting around doing nothing.

Doesn’t that sound simple and idyllic?
I only wish it had panned out that way….

In July, I had applied for some really good jobs my fate was in their hands, they were all ones which I could have done easily, some of which I would have really enjoyed. I was also writing daily at least something, a lot of poetry and other things too. Not all of it posted here, some was for the book of Poetry, some for another book I was working on and I was trying to expand a website which had lain dormant for too long, to turn it into a more of a lifestyle website. I was feeling hopeful about the future and finished my book of poetry in early July, the Blog here was gathering momentum and followers and I was generally happy in my little life. We were looking forward to the rest of Summer and our lives and thought about different options going ahead, what we would change and what that would bring. All positive things, Life was mostly feeling good.

And then….

Suddenly our world was turned upside down.

Alas just as the good things were supposed to happen life went more wrong than any of us could have expected. And, what is worse is that I haven’t been able to put it right yet.

For those who are wondering what on earth I am talking about although it is covered in my previous posts. In short there have been problems with a neighbour who has made threats to our lives, attempts upon them and the loss of our beloved boy through sudden illness caused by poisoning as it turned out, oh and I also had a brief time in Hospital and a long recovery, which continues. Although we have tried to, we have not been able to shake off the doom whilst we remain at our home here in the South and we have had the getaways, but it has not been safe for us to decamp in case the man concerned decides to carry out the other threats upon our property whilst we are gone. The pressure of having to search for work was taken away by a 13 week respite due the accident and recovery and because of what has been happening here, right when I needed to be away to get through the trauma of what has happened, I cannot. I needed rest and recuperation, but have been unable to have either, unable to sleep and in fear of my life. So instead the onslaught continues.

Although I am working on that, they say that the pen is mightier than the sword….
I hope that they are right, I have been corresponding with so many departments that my head is in a spin and I can only hope that my call to action has been heard. It was all quiet on the western front up until last week, but finally it seems that they have taken on board what has happened. All the police reports and maybe some of the other neighbours have also decided to speak about what has been happening here. I wrote a letter to my neighbours last week, explaining what had happened here, asking them to be vigilant and to report any issues to the authorities. They should not be living in fear caused by one or two people who have chosen to terrorise the neighbourhood. From it all, the neighbours have actually been more friendly towards us, stopping to talk and attempting to be supportive.

We are adamant that we will get away to Scotland at least for a small break, I have four weeks until I am expected back to look for work, yes a whole nine weeks have been wasted of this time, which could have been spent somewhere beautiful, pulling our lives back together. Not spent looking over our shoulder every time we leave the house. Not having to fit CCTV to our house to protect it, not having to visit the shrine of our boy every morning in tears wondering why this happened and if someone will have desecrated it again. Not having to follow each other like sheep, to watch each other‘s back so that this one person can take a run at us and stab us.
We have been kidding ourselves that it will make a difference that we are in pairs, he knows that he is invincible, in his head he can do what he likes, the police in general remain powerless, they can only take him away and incarcerate him for short periods, then he is back. Looking for the next opportunity, we are not safe outside of our home and the stress this has caused has affected the health of both of us, in mind and body over the past two months.

So Meanwhile our lives have been put on hold, the things that we would normally be doing around here, have not been done. Our time is spent with the authorities, giving statements and having meetings about what he has chosen to do to us. We are told not to speak to him, meanwhile at will he can stand across the street yelling all kinds of verbal abuse, making all kinds of threats and we are expected to do nothing at all in response, to just walk away and ignore him.
For the first few times this happens, you can ignore him, not take it seriously, but when he runs at you with a knife and you realise that it isn’t just the rantings of a disturbed human, he actually means to cause you harm. Well then that puts a different light on things. Your own instincts for self-preservation kick in, if you haven’t run off, on your “In flight” mode. You try and stand your ground, which is rather difficult if you are told not to speak to him. Yes, we cannot antagonise him by retaliating to this onslaught.
In days gone by, if someone said something to you, or verbally abused you, you could shout back, tell them what you thought of them, even tell them to shut up and go away. But now, well we are told not to respond in any way and it has made it worse. It has made me angry that what little power I have to cope has been taken away from me and the calm and peaceful home has become somewhere that neither of us want to be, both trying to deal with things in a way which is so different to how we are used to and it doesn‘t suit us at all!

If as a naughty child, you did something wrong and someone tells you off, then when I was growing up that was generally enough to make you pack it in. But not this one. I guess there was very little discipline as a child, his Mother grew her own Monster and he has behaving just as he likes ever since. The way that he speaks to her is atrocious and she lets him. Her “child” is now heading to 50 years old.

Yesterday, I had some supportive emails arrive, finally from the people I have been rallying in the past few weeks, they have responded to let me know that things ARE being done, to warn me that it is a slow process, but the situation should be improved soon. They cannot tell me any more than that at this point. But at least my actions have not been in vain and importantly for me, my voice has been heard, by someone, somewhere.

I only hope that their action comes before his does. That he does not get his own way and finish us off, before skipping off to the nearest facility for a little break before being released to do exactly as he pleases again. As they say sometimes, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN THE CURE.

I kind of like having a life, in particular, the one I have had for the past few years, despite its ups and downs and I don’t want someone to take it away from me. As a kind lady reassured me a couple of weeks ago…

I still have things to do on this earth and my time is not up.

The Daily Post – Fragile

The Frustration in Fighting for Peace and Justice.

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Try as I may, I am bundled up with frustration at the situation which we currently face.
Following on from the incidents of this week, as mentioned in my previous post The art of holding it together…. Or keeping calm in a crisis.(which is a bit of a long read)

I have been told that the man who tried to come and kill me has been released, whilst I was being told this, he arrived back to his own home opposite mine, at about 11pm shouting that he was back. I told this to the Police officer who was informing me, she sighed and said, “so he is already kicking off then.”

It is the sort of response that I would expect from a friend of family member, but again it seems the police are actually powerless to deal with this. They know exactly what they are dealing with here and yet they had to let him go on bail, because he said that he didn’t do it! As my friend put it quite succinctly, did they expect him to say, “Yes Officer, I am a complete arse, I cannot live or function in Society”

I found out yesterday, that he told the officer who questioned him that he had never spoken to me before, which was a complete lie but thus admitting in theory at least that he did on this occasion. They said that there was not enough evidence. I am pretty sure that in the three hours it took the police to actually find him and arrest him, he was able to return the knife he was carrying back into the kitchen drawer, only to remove it and come back over the road carrying it a further twice, but there was plenty of time.
They released him on bail, but did not apply any bail conditions, like staying away from me or my partner. I questioned this, since I had been told that he had been told not to come near or speak to either of us. The police officer said that he would have been told that, but it was not an actual condition of his bail. My question, “So there’s nothing to actually stop him doing that then” “No,” he replied.

The officer came to gather more information for the Crown Prosecution Service, who are now trying to build a case against him. The two witness statements given and a verbal statement to another officer were simply not enough for them. I offered two letters from a former neighbour which mention that he was taken into custody some time ago by riot squad for using knives, and had returned to his old ways he told me that they were not useful to this investigation. I was confused as they showed a previous history of violent behaviour involving knives from a further independent witness. I also mentioned the neighbour who confirmed for the policemen who attended that he had been throwing knives about whilst she had a conversation with us and shouting abuse at us, just after he attempted to run my partner down, just 2 weeks earlier.

The police officer forgot something when he left and returned moments later to collect it to find this man standing at our front gate, yelling abuse at my partner. Clearly the neighbour did not expect him to return. He searched him and cautioned him again and sent him back to his house telling him to stay on his side of the street and not come near this property. The ranting went on for a large part of the afternoon. I stayed indoors.

Yesterday early evening he was in his front garden, yelling across the street again and mimicking my partner walking about. Then standing in front of the house menacingly. He certainly had some acting skills, that man and seems to love a camera, he was acting up for it. He was also wearing a white chefs jacket in his new cunning disguise. Pieces of a puzzle, why would he have chefs whites you may ask, well if he was out of his garden with another kitchen knife, someone might mistake him for a chef.

Thankfully since he seems to have the thought pattern of a 17 year old and you can watch the cogs whirring, we are able to see things coming to a certain extent, but basically think of a set of circumstances put together with childlike thought and remain one step ahead at all times.

I again notified the council of this incident who I would have hoped had not got their hands firmly in their pockets on this occasion. However it seems that the fence they are sitting on is so far up their backsides that you cannot even see it. A local councillor who had previously promised to deal with the matter as mediator and to lend it some weight when this first began some seven weeks ago, has done nothing not been to see other victims and now feels he’d like to go and visit the man himself for a chat, telling me that there is compassionate feeling for his circumstances. In seven weeks, no-one has visited him yet and there is clearly absolutely no compassion for mine, or the other neighbours whom he has terrorised during this time or beforehand Well, I hope that the dear councillor takes a stab vest with him and I am sure that the neighbour will have his carer present, or perhaps the barrister that his mother provided to remove him from custody the other day. Most certainly he will play his part of meek and mild to the hilt, he will probably take his medication that day, wear smart clothes and wait until the councillor leaves the house and then he will go back to being the monster he has become. I only hope that they are not fooled for a minute, but fear that they will be completely taken in by the charade.

For him it is a fine game, which can be played day in, day out, night and day endlessly for as long as it takes by someone with far to much time on their hands. Meanwhile we cannot continue with our lives or get anything done. No preparation for a trip we were due to take in July and have yet to, since our days are taken up with dealing with the circumstances of his play, or the fallout from it. Does it all boil down to politics at the end of the day, since he is Special Needs. The response which I received from the councillor certainly led me to believe that.

The frustration I feel right now is so intense that I am wound like a clock. Suffering with Hypertension, you tend to know when you are about to become ill and I am about one step away. I am not sleeping properly, I am jumpy and cannot relax, my chest is fluttering and pounding and my heart rate is ten beats more than usual. I know this since the Dr asked me to check it before I left the surgery the other day. She is concerned and has prescribed me medication for acute anxiety. Although I would love the release of forgetting about what has happened and being able to relax. I cannot afford to let my guard down outside of the home. I am on higher alert than I was three days ago, when he was away. I am looking over my shoulder as I walk accompanied down the road. I would rather not leave the house at all, I only feel safe out in the car, to a certain level.

My home here is no longer a place of safety where I can sleep, relax and enjoy being. I crave the sanctuary of the Hill, somewhere I can take us both off to recharge our batteries and forget about the Trauma caused by this  Summer’s events. Or at least can gather my own thoughts into some semblance of order once again, without the domination of this person. I have the getaways so badly that I can taste it, but am powerless to get there. I have the offer to stay with friends, but a night away, would bring fear of what may have happened by my return, so I have declined thus far.

The other day, I was feeling an inner strength which I know is still deep down. I am digging deeply for it at the moment, trying to be strong and remembering that I have a voice and to make it heard. Surely one man cannot chase off a whole bunch of neighbours, well he has managed to terrorise them for months now. I do want to move, but I don’t want to be seen off and leave the other people around here to try and deal with it. They haven’t been able to before, if I have become a kind of ambassador for the local neighbours, then that may not be such a bad thing. To have someone fighting their corner for a change. We all want to be safe in our homes.

A couple of weeks ago, I repainted a bench in our garden.  It is there as a reminder, during the times when it feels so dark. It also sends a message to the whole neighbourhood. #LoveisStrongerthanHate Although I am finding it hard to love this particular neighbour after what he has inflicted upon us as a family, which is pain so deep and personal in a barrage of unprovoked attacks, by sharing some love amongst the rest of the community, we will become stronger.

I thought about asking my current landlords about moving me to another property as they did when I moved in here following a burglary carried out by my next door neighbour. But since this man’s mother has friends in high places who are giving her information, I know that I would not be safe there either, if he was not held in a secure unit he would come and find me, since he is not giving up. Also, I have asked myself the question who would want to move in here, I would have a duty to them to tell them that there was an issue with one or two of the neighbours, so who in their right mind would want to move to a place like this at the moment? Part of me would see this as defeat if I moved. Meanwhile, the torrent of foul abuse is launched upon me whenever I step out of the front door.

I don’t have the answer, I am begging them for something to be done. For this horror story to finish so that we can all get on with our lives, but at the moment I am stuck in limbo. I am unable to proceed and certainly not wanting to retreat. If I can hold my ground, I am in with a chance of survival.

The Daily Post – Recharge

The art of holding it together…. Or keeping calm in a crisis.

I don’t know what it is, but since I was a teenager and someone walked calmly up to our front door with a two foot long knife inside his jacket and pointed it at me when I opened the front door with my 18 month old sister around my legs, I have seemed to have remained calm in a crisis. It was my first experience of the police.

My Dad had just gone to get his toolbox out of the car for the night and was tidying his car up on the driveway, when there was a knock at the door. I was thirteen years old. I opened the door. A man was standing there, his knife pointing towards my stomach. I looked down at it and calmly told my little sister to go indoors, pushing her away before she could see what was happening. He asked me if there was a lady here, I do not recall her name. I told him that he was mistaken and he had the wrong address, he then asked for my neighbour’s Geoff and Anne by name. My father walking back down the pathway brightly said, “No, they live next door”. The man Thanked him and putting the knife back out of sight under his jacket he turned to walk past my Dad on the pathway, he was not ranting or shouting at this point. My Dad came inside and the next thing we heard from the adjoining hallway, was an almighty crash as he smashed his way through next door’s front door glass, to let himself in, there was a scream, then another then children began to cry and he yelled that he was going to kill the bitch….

Our telephone was in the hallway at the time and I grabbed it and called 999, explaining what was happening and they should get someone there quickly. I then explained what he had done at our doorstep. I didn’t know if he had actually managed to get to her, but he was inside the house.

Police arrived on the scene and disarmed him, the family next door along with their friend had locked themselves in the bathroom I think, while he went on the rampage.
Later the police came to me and took a statement, they told me that I had been very brave not to have screamed and had acted very calmly. It was a huge risk to take but as I explained my prime consideration was to protect and not to alarm my younger sister at my side, so I had to remain calm. I also did not want him to know exactly where the lady was that he was looking for. In truth I couldn’t scream if I had wanted to, a consequence of previous childhood trauma.

I think this experience gave me the ability to take things in my stride when they are happening. From then on, when faced with a situation, an accident or altercation, I handle it at the time as though somehow detached from out as an observer. I am able to deal with it calmly and effectively and retain the ability to keep it together when others might not be able to. Afterwards is when it hits me, some might have a stiff drink at this point, I do not. It just seeps in, I shake for a while try to figure it out and if I acted in the best way and then calm down. Only many years later , after receiving counselling for Trauma and opening up to my counsellor about things, have I start to question what happens to the body and mind after such trauma. You know, when the shock kicks in after everything has calmed down and you are alone with your thoughts. I find myself asking, if only there was a way to conquer that down time so that I do not then become a gibbering shaking wreckage of whatever has happened. I berate myself for not being strong enough to handle it.

Yesterday, after threat upon threat of the past few weeks and a couple of attempts on my partner’s life, our psychotic neighbour who has threatened both my partner and I in the past few weeks, decided to carry out his threat upon me. Being a friendly and approachable person in the community, who has worked voluntarily to get things done with the local authority has its drawbacks. You might wonder how a passing Hello to a friendly neighbourhood PCSO or visiting Councillor and members of the local authority would make you a police officer and a grass, by association this might be a little far fetched. But then if you throw a violent paranoid schizophrenic into the mix, who does not take his medication on time, drinks alcohol and whose paranoia and habits are being fed by the drug dealer next door it all starts to make a little bit more sense as to someone like that this deluded outlook on things might seem real. Unfortunately, what has happened IS very real.
So, having yelled out across the street the day before to my partner that “she was going to get it” and that he was going to kill both of us. In the past fortnight when these threats have escalated to a now daily occurrence, combined with terrorising us with motorbikes, threatening behaviour with weapons and other abuse. I have been rather nervous to go out alone and have stayed inside, barely venturing into the front garden, which is crying out for some attention. But since I had a Drs appointment yesterday morning I did just that, in a bid for freedom and a short time away from this madness I went out in the car. I was alright once I was away from the house, but drove with the windows barely open and the doors locked, just in case he followed me on any of his motorbikes.

When I returned later in the afternoon, I was told that for several hours he had been circling up and down outside the house, revving the machines up to a deafening volume, whilst his mother, (his principal carer) and a social worker were waiting outside with a video camera at the ready  for my partner to confront him, so that they could get any altercation on film. Thankfully, despite it all my partner saw it was an ambush and stayed inside and their plan was foiled, although several of the other neighbours were alarmed he almost ran one of them over with her dog and she rushed back inside, others came outside to observe and later said that it was a terrible row. Clearly none decided to call the police though. Later on in the early evening, my partner was speaking to some of the neighbours on the pathway in the front garden and once they had left went to come back inside. As he did so the man from over the road was shouting again, had begun to walk out of his gate and across the grass stepping on to the road, he was holding what could only be a knife. It was small like a kitchen knife, but I clearly saw the light glint on the blade. My partner called me and asked if I had my mobile and could take a photo since he had a knife, I said it wouldn’t come out from that distance, but I held up the mobile as though to take a photo, which seemed to put him off and he tucked it into his pocket and walked back towards his gate. He yelled again that he was going to kill me. For a moment, we stood there and looked at him. He then headed back across the road again and I asked my partner to come inside quickly.

We were actually considering going out for a walk to calm down. But I asked, what if he came back? My partner told me to call the police. I dialled 999 and called them explaining what had happened and they said they were sending someone. 45 minutes later a tactical squad turned up to arrest him as we were waiting, it occurred to me that had we not seen him coming and he had been able to carry out his threat then we would have been dead. I thought that he was in the house, but it turned out that he had slipped out whilst I was not looking out of the window. We think he may have hidden out in his next door neighbours house.

The Squad which came tried to get in, and eventually got the neighbour to let them in and searched the place, since they did not find him and we all believed that he was out on one of his motorbikes, they asked me to call them if we saw him return. Lo and behold within 5 minutes he was back. My partner had just gone to lock the front gate after the police had left and saw him skulking around the front garden and heading back across the road again towards our place again with his shiny knife. He virtually ran back inside telling me to call 999 again NOW! I did so and 15 minutes later the squad returned and arrested him, searched his house and took him away. At just before 1am officers came to take a statement from me until 2.30am this morning. They asked if I would attend court to give evidence against him. I said yes, since he has already decided I was the problem and it was personal I have a duty to see it through to justice. So that he will not be able to do it to someone else. To destroy, or maim or kill someone else’s life as he has tried to with ours.  I was hopeful of some sleep knowing that he was safely locked up and could not harm us.

Sleep was fitful, this morning I am shaking and a little jumpy. The aftermath of an actual attempt upon my life, a threat made time and again in the past few weeks which he intended to carry out. The reality that it was not just threats. That actually has been planning, waiting for his moment. I have seen him plotting it, as though the cogs of his evil mind are on view, you can almost tell what he is thinking and I have learned to follow my gut instinct, whenever in the past few weeks I have sensed that he is about to do something, it has not let me down. I am on constant alert and aware. I told the Dr what had been happening lately, she was horrified and told me to keep calling the police. I do not want to take the pills which my Doctor prescribed for acute anxiety yesterday morning, as I do not want to miss any of the signals, it is my only way of protecting us, to keep my wits about me. Yes I am afraid to go out alone until this man is brought under control and kept secure, I hope that they also find time to deal with the puppet master who pulls his strings. Meanwhile, my partner is watching my back and I am watching his. My gut instinct has kept us here for the past few weeks and long may it continue to do so.

I cannot brush this under the carpet. I felt the need to write about it, I can’t keep it coped up in my head. This is my cling mechanism. It will stop me falling apart when it’s all too much.

The Daily Post – Crisis

Emotional Blackmail, via email or a Lesson to be Learned.

It’s strange how one quick scan through looking at your email can give you the familiar guilty feelings and bring all your worries to the fore.  These are mailing lists which you sign up for, when you are feeling that you need a bit of help, some guidance in your life, or are curious as to whether you are doing any of it right.  Never underestimate the effect that this can have on someone who is depressed.  I have found that reading emails and seeking out self-help guides is a way to reassure yourself, that others are going through it to, there must be help out there, someone may have the answer as to how to fix that and sometimes they will even share it.  (Darn that practical thinking once again!) A quick scroll through however, will sadly reaffirm all your worst fears, that you aren’t doing enough, or doing it right, your body is not slim enough, your mind is not tuned in to what it should be, your business is not working the way it should be, you can re-set your thinking and your whole world will just drop into place again. There are “coaches” who will be behind you every step of the way.

IF ONLY!    Of course if you would just send them some more of your hard earned, or non existent cash.  They would be able to help you achieve more, worry less, be slim, be strong, help others or the very next best thing would be on it’s way to you by some secret or celestial force.

It is very difficult when you are going through a dark place, not to pick up things along the way, which sit in the back of your mind and eat away at your sub-conscious.   Some months ago, I was desperate for help to ease my worried mind.  I wanted so badly for things in my life to change for the better, that for a moment I believed the hype….  That some complete stranger could show me the way out of this mess I was in.  That’s the trouble when your mental health takes a swan dive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some Life Coaches who hit the nail on the head and whom you actually feel can help and there are people who do.  It isn’t all doom and gloom.

At the time though, I received an email, telling me that I had a Guardian Angel, who was watching over me and who could guide me, they might even be able to tell me where I had been going wrong all this time, or how to avoid any future pitfalls.  For a small fee, they would offer help,  a reading or perform some mystical thing which would set me back on track on the original path from which I had clearly deviated.

At the time, I had funds.  So,  what had I got to lose?  I thought, I paid a small fee, for him to work his magic, (Yes I do believe in Magic but that is a subject for another day) he sent me something to download and follow which would bring me celestial assistance. (Or Not)  Someone I could call upon in times of difficulty who would be there.  (Isn’t that what my partner is for?)  Little did I know that I would be bombarded for months with emails which would send me on a huge guilt trip.   It promised that I would come into some money, which when you are broke is always a bit of a carrot to entice you. Furthermore that on a certain date, games of luck would go my way.  It is very easy to hope that someone is right when you are feeling low, it would have been so easy to spend a fortune on Lottery Tickets and this person’s “Help” and where would it have got me? On a couple of occasions I gambled.  Those “special dates in my charts, the stars etc ” came and went and needless to say, there was no change in my finances.  My natural cynicism must have overtaken the good stuff and Lo another date was mentioned.

As a pretty sensitive person, on the other occasions where I did not even have enough money to buy food or pay the bills, I received the emails which told me off for not having parted with yet more funds told me that time was running out, it would all go wrong for me if I did not take this offer up. I felt the guilt, thought about if I could scrape together just a bit more money, it might make the difference…  Of course I didn’t and it didn’t, then having been berated, a few days later despite me not taking the offer up, I would receive another one, with a different name of something that I would surely need in my life and a new date.

Instead having been on the hook for a very short time, so I thought, When things just got steadily worse and worse, I faced facts.  I had given it a go, but accepted that it wasn’t to be. Perhaps this person’s insight had been off-kilter and wasn’t meant for me at all.   At this point it would also have been very easy to think, hang it all that they were right, “there is some dark, evil force hanging over me, which I need to rid myself of”.  Yes, this was actually the content of one of the emails I received.  But instead, a part of the old me re-appeared the stubborn me and I thought, I’ll show them, I will do it.  I will not be beaten.

Last week, I woke up one morning to be met with another such email.  I suddenly decided to cull the email inbox, it was time. I removed myself from this regular onslaught upon my sense of wellbeing and the threat of a cloud lifted almost immediately.  I really should keep going and get rid of some of the other emails too but hey, one step at a time….

Things started to feel better, day to day and the future.  If the days were meant to go well, then they would. I handed my future back to fate pleased that it would be in her hands for a while, that I cannot push in a direction that I may not be able to go.  I can only do what I do, if I do it well, then life will reward me. If I do not, then Karma will give me that kick up the backside, which I will probably deserve.

And that brings me to my #LessonsLearned:

Fate has always served me rather well that along with my intuition, whom I should follow much more carefully in the future. I believe in Magic, it presents itself in so many ways.  I have my very own Guardian Angel looking out for me all along, he is living, breathing and beside me every day.

The Daily Post – Underestimate

 

 

 

 

 

Sheet Music and Musical Events.

I remember that I am sitting in my Grandmother’s house, at the time when I was learning to play the recorder. I had to learn how to read music. It was the only way I would progress and be able to play in the school orchestra. As a small child, I did not have the lungpower for a proper wind instrument. I had only a small voice and couldn’t quite muster enough puff to play for any length of time. However, my Grandmother persisted with me. She would always help you if you were willing to be taught, laughing as I write this as the reality dawns that I am exactly the same in that respect. You shouldn’t waste your time on people with no wish to learn. If only I had remembered that in the training sessions of my later employ, when others who did not wish to partake, sat looking blankly on, saying that they just, didn’t “get it.”

I remember her running through the notes with me, singing which were which and explaining each one of them to me and where they would be within the piece of music.
Gone with the mists of time I now do not recall any of the knowledge behind it, I remember that I like the treble clef with it’s artistic swirl at the beginning of a piece. Whether it will return or be dragged from my mind kicking and screaming remains to be seen. I had decided that I wanted to learn a musical instrument. The recorder was a cheap instrument for my parents to buy, they couldn’t afford a trumpet, my hands were so small that I probably in truth couldn’t hold one. I could barely reach the bottom hole on the recorder. I had a Hohner recorder, it was black with a cream line around each section where it screwed together and you could dismantle it for cleaning, along with a plastic cleaner like a large needle and a piece of fabric threaded through the top. You pulled it through the instrument to remove saliva deposits so that it didn’t sound like you were just blowing bubbles. I also had a bamboo recorder, which had been acquired from goodness knows where, but my mother deemed unhygienic and spirited away. I think that one had come from one of the jumble sales. My Grandmother For the classes at school, I was required to learn to read music, so that we could play whatever was required for assembly or the forthcoming concerts.

Although I have a love of music, playing an instrument did not come easily to me, around the same time, my parents decided to play and sing together in a band. My father on guitar and them both vocalising, my mother also had a tambourine to accompany them. They enjoyed themselves and would take us along to visit other churches, parties at houses of the people in the church and various places, the songs were religious and they were part of the local Baptist church congregation. They would take my brother and I along. I played a tambourine to join in but I think my brother just sat it out, he wasn‘t one for singing or musical instruments. It was at this time, that I recall they played at an asylum, it happened more than once, but I remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable being there. There were patients milling around and a few “orderlies” standing around listening to them in a room. It seemed to go on forever and as small children do from time to time, I needed to go to the bathroom. They hadn’t finished their song, but I couldn’t wait, so telling my Mother where I was going, they continued to sing and play. I remember walking along the corridor to the toilet, I saw a man was coming the other way. I looked at my feet, attempting not to make eye contact and attempted to walk on past, he suddenly veered towards me and I looked up, at that point the man shrieked at me and clasped his hands to his head, then went off to bang his head against the wall. I ran away as he laughed manically. There was a room with people in further down , a lady screamed out, someone told her to calm down and not to fuss, what on earth were they doing to her in there?

It was quite some distance from the room where my parents were, to the visitors toilets. I don’t think that the organisers had put much thought into it putting us in a lounge away from the usual visitor area. I didn’t like the place, it made me so terribly sad to be there. In this huge and beautiful old building, on a bright sunny day with a wonderful wide expanse of garden outside, where no-one was allowed to play and where supervised people shuffled along the pathways, unable to walk on the grass. A place where despite the singing and praising the Lord, all I could hear was screams and cries. I went to the bathroom and despite my fear of being locked into places, I locked that door. I did not want anyone to come and get me, besides I had to pull together enough courage to make it back along the corridors.

I ran back to the room, clattering along the corridors, I saw a lady curled up in a corner, two nurses were trying to get her back into her room, she clearly did not want to go, she wrestled with them. They asked me what I was doing in that part of the hospital on my own, I shouldn’t be there. I explained that I was going to the toilet. Keep going they urged me and don’t stop to talk. I flew along the corridors and crashed back into the room, the parents were still playing, surrounded by inmates who were now singing along in their own way, rocking back and forth, emitting strange noises. I’m not sure, but think that it did them some good,. I was quiet on the way home. I asked later told my parents that I didn‘t want to have to go back there. I was scared of the people there, they were in the process of telling me that I shouldn‘t worry they were only people who were sick, that we were trying to help. But I was adamant that I did not want to return and told them what had happened when I needed to go to the toilet. My mother berated me for not taking my (older) brother with me when I went. I said, he wouldn’t be allowed in the girls toilet. So after that they agreed that it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to go again. On going to school, the next day I was asked in class what we did at the weekend. I told the teacher, she did not believe that I could possibly have been there, why would a child go to such a place. Surely I had made it up, some of the children decided to be cruel, chanting that I had been to the “nut house” and that my parents must have taken me there because I needed to see a Doctor, and I should have been left there. My sleep was disturbed for some time afterwards, I regularly had nightmares about the place.

I think that after that, my love of learning music waned. I do not remember continuing and being a part of the Orchestra for the school concert. Later I looked at learning the piano, but my parents would not entertain it. It’s a shame since in my earlier years, we actually had a piano. I did teach myself “Do Re Mi” from the Sound of Music on the piano which was held in a room at a church we later attended, it was a beautiful grand piano which had rolls of music which could play fantastic pieces, if you wound it up, I would spend hours in there just listening to it. Someone had donated it to them and it was kept in a room there. I always snuck in there to play it whenever I had the chance. Most people learned chopsticks, I was different. Looking at a page of music, I now only see notes and not a way to play them, maybe I have blocked it all out

Years later, my friend was stationed at the same hospital for part of her nurse training, I stayed well away from the building but did visit her in the nurses quarters on a few occasions.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I saw on Twitter yesterday, I think that is why this particular memory came back to me. At eight years old I decided that I never wanted to be put in one of “those places“, who knows what happened there, but the people were so very broken, they would never be the same again. I did not know, nor was it pointed out to me that sometimes people actually recovered from mental illness. No-one thought to explain what mental illness was or that it affects people in varying degrees and takes on many different forms. For many years, I had one view of it, I thought that it was where people “ended up” since there was often talk of suicides there and I certainly did not want to go there or join that club. To this day, I struggle with seeing people rocking, it takes me right back to that time. I do want to try and help, to hold them close, take away their pain and stop them from doing it. Seeing that person rocking years ago, throwing their body into the wall, faster and faster has stayed with me. I did not understand the relief that could possibly be gained from literally banging your head against the wall, later I figured it was as they tried to escape from themselves and the pain that they were in. I have always tried to avoid doing the headbanging, it tends to be a more subliminal thing with me. Years ago, I watched the film One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Jack Nicholson. Although I could appreciate the acting in it was brilliant, I found it one of the most disturbing films that I have ever seen, it brought back so many of the images from those visits to the hospital which had lain buried for years. There is a stigma, no one wants to be thought of as unstable, deranged or messed up. We all have our moments, some last longer than others. Some feel as though they are insurmountable. Some get help and iron out the crumpled bits, living to fight another day. Some fight their own battles for years, denying they even exist then life slams your head into that wall and you get a wake up call.