Friday, 31 August 2012

Bl**dy 'ell........

sorry to the two friends I was meant to be seeing this morning, I really can't make it. Last night I had a seizure, though the MOMD said it didn't last very long, it has left me exhausted, with every muscle and joint aching. Not sure I need to take up the Government recommended exercise for each week, not sure I need to join a gym.....
Epilepsy has always been a pretty uncool condition to have. Mine started after damage to my brain when I was seventeen. Nothing exciting about it, just a really nasty road traffic accident which bashed my head around, left a scar on my brain which short circuits the normal electrical pulses. Now under control due to medication, the seizures/fits only happen at night, just as I am drifting off to sleep. Grand Mal epilepsy... every muscle used to its extreme, every joint used repeatedly.. not cool at all. Not cool to watch either, MOMD making me safe, timing the seizure. After three minutes, there is a care plan which he has to follow, to phone 999, paramedics come out, make sure I am ok, insert suppositories of something serious which makes me sleep, stay until I am OK, or take me off to hospital if I am not. Then there is caring for him when I have had a fit, he is scared, uncertain if he has done the right thing, frightened for me...not good for him, I wish it would stop, go away and leave us alone. But not to be OH POOR ME about it, I will have a good day, just a bit quieter than I would have hoped! Thank goodness for the big cook yesterday, means I don't have to worry about it today.
Will be having another EEG soon, this records electrical activity in my brain. It requires tiny metal plates to be super glued to the scalp, lots of them...quite a fiddly business (I've got very long hair!), these are then attached to wires, which in turn are attached to what looks like a Sony Walkman, for those of you old enough to remember! It literally records what the brain is doing, and I have to make a record of what I am doing... so eight thirty til nine drinking inky black cofee with mega caffeine while watching BBC news,  nine til nine thirty writing my blog etc etc... bit of a drag, but only have to do it for twenty four hours, of what is meant to be an normal day, but hell, what would my neurologist think of my 'normal day', dull to be honest, so spice it up with a few exciting moments, rescued orphans from house fire, fought dragon, kayaked through rapids, just a few things to keep him interested.
But on a more serious note, it is a condition I could do without, but it isn't a biggy. There are other things I could do without as well... there are mice in the flat, I could do without them, I have too many mugs, I could do without them, none of them biggys either. Infact, I am very lucky, I have a lovely flat, a very cute Dave the Rabbit, a whole load of lovely friends, and of course the MOMD. I have a fridge full of food, electricity to keep the lights working, gas to keep the cooker working, a hanging rail of clothes to keep me warm. Hellfire, I got it all... Now to sleep on comfortable sofa with grumpy Dave the Rabbit, who I caught under the bed, making a nest of some of the most important, and now shredded paperwork I own!
Much love x

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Froogal sucess....

Well, this is the steak and errr, um, let's call it the meat pie! It is made with puff pastry (not cooked yet) as the MOMD doesn't like shortcrust... oh well, just call me the worlds best girlfriend, but all thanks to Froogs whose recipes this week are going to save me some much needed pennies.  I have also made the fagotts, and to round off the day made a green thai curry, which always goes down well. Think I have done enough domesticity for the day so am off to see lovely friend, for good long chat, to sort the world out etc.
Many thanks to you all for your continued support. I have had to disable 'instant' comments, as some comments which have been posted, I have had to remove, were not words for the world to read, they were personal problems which I will try to help with, but certainly there are times when the professionals must be called.... I know not everyone has access to a Nick (CPN), but I am pretty sure most major towns and cities have access to a mental health call line. Though I am flattered that you think I can help, I am not the right person to ask. I have experience of mental illness, but have not yet found my way out of it, so am sure that I do not have any intelligent answers for anyone else!
But as always, much love x

The start of a busy day....

or at least I am going to make sure it is so that I have no time to think...
Phone call from Oliver Colviles office at first light, no that wasn't what I was thinking of filling my day with, I was trying not to think about that. However, the date for the meeting has now been set....I need to drag all the files and folders back out from under the bed where I hid them, so as not to remind myself of it, and hope that Dave the Rabbit hasn't decided to eat them all.
Well instead of sitting here navel gazing I am cooking all the lovely foods from Froogs page yesterday and having a lovely time, Radio Four in the background talking to me, the sun is out and Nick is due in an hour. (For goodness sake, don't tell the MOMD that steak and kidney pie has got kidney in it, he wont eat it just because of the biological function of kidneys, if we don't mention it he will eat it). I am hoping to see lovely friend this afternoon, and happy happy happy, a great friend is coming down from London on Monday, so that will be fab'.
Well, I am off to chop liver, and hide it in the faggot mix, as I am sure MOMD wont eat those either.....
Much love x

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Whooop...Whoooop.......!

ok... yes, I have posted four times today, yes, I can get a little over excited at times, but hey, I have a lot to tell you!
Not only have I now got assurance that I will be involved writing the local policy on the 136 unit..... but it looks like a date for getting it sorted is nearly upon me!
ALSO....Whooop...Whoop... the marvellous Oliver Colvile MP has sorted out a meeting with myself, him and a Police Officer from the local station where they do the ABE interviews to go forward judicially with the case against the person who hurt me.... to be honest I don't really know what is wrong with me, I should be cracking open champagne, pulling party poppers, but instead I am sat here, laptop on knees, with tears rolling down my face, snot everywhere, and I don't feel happy at all... not sure what this feeling is, must look it up in my therapy notes. But maybe it is a form of happiness, or relief, or something good, after all it can't be anything bad can it?

Please click the link to stop this discrimination now...

A police officer, but not a juror. An employee, but not a director. A voter, but not an MP. The law currently says that it’s ok to discriminate against people affected by mental illness. That’s one in four of the population being denied opportunities to contribute to these areas of society.
We don’t think this is right. We believe that changing this law will send a clear message that mental health stigma in our society is wrong and won’t be tolerated.

This is our chance to end mental health discrimination in the law!

In just over two weeks’ time MPs will have the opportunity to vote to change outdated legislation that says someone with mental illness can’t serve on a jury, can’t be a company director or an MP.
MentalHealthDiscrimination_email.png

Gavin Barwell MP is taking forward the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill on 14 September. We need at least 100 MP votes in support of the Bill for it to be passed. We need you to ask your MP to support the Bill – the more people who do this, the more likely that the Bill will be passed!

Send an Email to your MP to stop this discrimination now (please)

Hmmm....another duvet day?

the news brings more terrifying images of yet another 'escaped' feline, this time a large black cat, probably another photoshop illusion, but hey, it could be a reason to have another duvet day... Unfortunately I have run out of electricity so will have to get up and go to shop to top up electric key. Presumably by now huge black cat will be back at home, normal size and eating its kitty kat, no normal cat would be out today, the rain is torrential.
Had an email from Oliver Colvile, the health reporter from local newspaper has not been in touch with him. I will email her in a minute, my concern is that she has decided not to go forward with the article, I guess if she has I will have to take my concerns to a different way of publicising the need for both the crisis house and for the 136 Unit to be re-opened...but it does concern me. Maybe a naked protest through the city centre would do it.... I could contact other people like me and we could set out naked across the city, a few placards and banners, and obviously welly boots, it really is very rainy today, proclaiming the need for these resources.
I cannot complain about my treatment. Secondary mental health services in the city are excellent. But they fall down when they are not supported by these resources which are needed in times of crisis. Please note that Plymouth City Council were prepared to buy into the local football team, but when the airport needed funding, they were no where to be seen. Hmm... prioritisation of funding?  Right now I am doing ok, but the other one in four of us out there in the city might not be, and I pray that we can do something to support them when/if they need additional support in times of crisis.

Thank you friend...


let's make sure we keep in touch x

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

This morning...

have woken up cross and with what MOMD calls my 'grumpy pants' on. I do not want to get out of bed, and convince myself that as there is a lion on the loose, it is better not to get up, but just to stay here and not encounter the lion of Essex, realising of course that Essex is many hundreds of miles away, but better safe than sorry. Gloom, on reading the news to discover that the lion of Essex turned out to be a large ginger tom cat and that all is well. Try to find other reasons not to get up... I know that the reason I really don't want to get up is that I have to go to heart and soul bearing therapy, and that I really don't want to go... have stern word with myself, and carefully remove foot from under warm and cuddly quilt to see if it is warm enough to get up....bahhh... it is, and I scoot to kitchen to make strong coffee and make pot noodle for breakfast. Ha, the flippin' sun is shining, well that might tempt me out, but still not sure about therapy. It is the last one of the compassionate mind therapies today. I have bought a card for the pyschologists who are running it, but feel I should go buy flowers or something. Then argue that this is their job so why should I? Guess they might expect me to say thank you with flowers and card and end up in muddle. Take coffee and pot noodle back to bed... stuff the sunshine, I am staying here.
Dream of living on a deserted island, just me and endless beaches... but no kettle, no coffee and no pot noodles, huh... dream turns into nightmare, and I decide to arise from from my pit.
Stuff countless pills in mouth and swallow with strong espresso, wait for things to seem better... no, not working.... hmm, maybe if I go and sit on step and have a quick fag, things will appear better, but cigarette makes me feel sick...back to bed, swallow sleeping tablets and give up....there is no pit, there are no dragons, but maybe the most compassionate thing to do is just to give today a miss and wake up tomorrow.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Therapy......

having posted yesterday on the pros and cons of medication (my point of view), I thought today I would write about the pros and cons of therapy, but given the therapies I have taken part in are so focused on what has happened to me in the past, I don't think it would be helpful or interesting to read.
Instead I could reel off the things I have done today, another muggy, yukky day in Plymouth, but a list of housework, and clearing up after the rabbit is also not a helpful or interesting read! I think some days are just ho hum days and there is nothing to be said at all.
Except this interesting paragraph I found in a book review, and one which if taken at face value is both helpful and interesting;

     "You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one -
      Move on
      To re-tell is to re-live and that's not always helpful
      Write stuff down. It de-clutters your mind".

I think these points relate clearly to my experience of therapy. In some cases of relating past experiences, the trauma of having to 're-live' these brings me into a crisis, see previous post on assessment with Women's Aid. It is too much for the poor old brain to do again, and it takes a very experienced psychologist or psychiatrist to be able to do this safely so that everything is closed down and put away at the end of a session.
I also think that regurgitating/re-living/re-telling what has happened,the past, and the re-living of it, prevents not only being able to healthily move forward, it prevent healing of past wounds, it is like scratching the top of a scab, preventing the wound from healing.... what has happened has happened, can't change that, but can look forward and make healthy plans for the future.
Writing stuff down, well helloooooooo, here I am, writing it down....! yes, in the past I have written a few books, and stuck them under the bed. Publishers have been interested, but I have never had the confidence to go forward and get them published, but the blog is different. It is dynamic, changing, changing with the comments from readers, changing with the weather some days! 
My therapy finishes tomorrow. I have been going to Compassionate Mind Therapy for twelve weeks. It is based on the book by Paul Gilbert of the same name, you can pick it up from Amazon for about a fiver for a used version. This therapy is being used to give me the skills to deal with the trauma and pain the next type of therapy is likely to bring...hmmm.... and strangely enough that makes me not want to do the "next type of therapy"!
After all, to re-tell is to re-live, it nearly killed me the first time round, sure as hell don't want to do it again.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Medication.. the pros and cons

....before I begin, please please remember this is my point of view. I have no medical qualifications, and speak only as a user of medication, not a prescriber, or anyone who has any knowledge of pills and potions, only my own thoughts.
I take a variety of tablets each day. One anti-depressant, one beta-blocker, three anti spasmodics (for epilepsy) two to four sleeping tablets, and I have a variety of pills to take when things get a bit tricky and I feel awfully awful.
If you read back a while in the Blog, you will see the post where I decided to stop taking all of them. I did this as a reaction to an assault, which I can't speak of, as what I say becomes both evidential and possibly libellous. I stopped taking the medication as after the assault, I had a conversation in my brain, to work out what had just happened and that it wasn't with my consent. The conversation was a long one, which afterwards I realised I had little, to no control of what my brain was doing, which at the time, wasn't much.
So, I stopped taking them and for about three weeks, everything was great. I felt euphoric, well, in control of me, and actually happy. I thought of the medication I had been taking as actually a big con', it hadn't made me well, it had just numbed me, maybe prevented me from being well, of repairing properly, it was just just an anaesthetic.
Then the sh*t hit the fan, overdose, cutting, being detained by the Police, and I wanted to go back onto them, the realisation that I really wasn't very well, and that the medication had been prescribed for a reason. Of course the reason I had been so well for those three weeks afterwards is the 'half-life' of the pills, the time the medication is still in the blood, although I wasn't taking it.
Of course there are huge drawbacks with the medication I have. First, I really really can't drink, secondly they make me hugely hungry and therefore I have put on a vast amount of weight. Thirdly, I can't quite get the amount of tablets to take at night quite right. The anti-spasmodics make me sleepy, and so do the sleeping tablets. Sometimes, the following day I really can't wake up properly all day, not good. I have a  rash of tiny blisters on my pulse points, this is probably a side effect of the beta blockers. I get incredibly hot, this could be a reaction to the tablets, or it could be the early onset of menopause! I could go on, but the main thing is that it has been  twenty four days without self harm and nine days without vodka, so I think I will keep on keeping on with the pills and potions, they must be working!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Today...

errrrrr...... technical hitch, I managed, whilst wrestling with Dave the Rabbit, to spill coffee over my keyboard. So I have just returned from PC World with a wired keyboard, which is now precariously balanced on top of my laptop.... hmmm... that flippin' bunny.
Today Plymouth is experiencing biblical rain, one which makes me think that journey later would be better taken by Ark, rather than Tallulah the truck. However, as I am lacking an ark, I will put four wheel drive on and brave the flooded roads.
Last night was spent in the company of very good friends. I had a lovely time. One friend was discussing his recovery from mental illness, and how he found it on his own, without the help of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapy, medication etc etc.... It has set me to thinking that if I could think in the same way as him, that I would be well. However, I have asked for further clarification via email, so that I can work out if I can!

Friday, 24 August 2012

The walled garden of doom.....

Ha... I escaped from it, and not through the use of the usual concoction of drink, drugs, slicing and dicing etc.. but this time with the support of others, a shower, and a dial for delivery pizza! My Mum used to say that everything seemed better with a hot bath and a full tummy, and blow me down she was right. 
Today the South West of England is surrounded by thick, damp, gloomy fog, and is the perfect setting for another awful day, but I am too busy to have one of those. I have the world to change, cushion covers to make, flat to clean.... I am sure the pit or garden of doom will reappear, but will do my utmost not to sink into its willing grasp, there are dragons to slay on a day like today... and I am ready for them. Bring it dragons...

Thursday, 23 August 2012

sorry to say...

today has been horrid, torrid, and yet hopefully some good will come of it. I have failed to be assessed by the local 'womens aid', or whatever they are now called, as the assessment raised too many questions, which I am not well enough to be able to respond to without falling into crisis, which I have. Looking for comfort from MOMD, have met with blank resistance, that my behaviour is unacceptable, and therefore he doesn't want it around him, but that is another story all together....... was then rescued by wonderful CPN, Nick. Wonderful man, don't know how I managed before he was here to make things cope able.
Have had some lovely phone calls from AMAZING friends, which reassure me that humanity is not dead, but I have to say that today is over, and has been over for some hours, I have taken the cop out route, hell, sometimes, even one dragon a day is too much.
But, some good news, and some that I know will be good for you to hear, is that the health reporter, who I mentioned in my last post has spoken to me, and seems keen to take on the fight with me, so here's to things being better in this city for others like me, who are ill, really pretty ill tonight, and who deserve to be looked after better... maybe she can take up the reins and I could have a few more days of oblivion.
Much love x
P.S. MOMD = Man Of My Dreams

Response from Oliver Colvile MP......

yesterday I had a phone call from Mia Rees, PA to Oliver Colvile, and then an email from him!
He has spoken to Theresa May, the Home Secretary regarding the situation in Plymouth,  re: lack of crisis house and the unit for 136 detainees being closed, and also about what happened to me. I am not sure what her response was as yet, but we have a meeting soon, so I am sure that I will be updated then. He is seeing Andrew Bickley, the Chief Superintendent of Police for Charles Cross on Friday, and will discuss with him, my experiences in the cells! The meeting with Tony Hogg is set up for the 11th October, and after conversation with Mary Embleton, is going to talk to Twelves Company, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre.
I must chase up the Health Reporter from the local newspaper, as she was meant to call me regarding positive publicity for the need for a crisis home... glad that he reminded me about that.
So, all good news. I must say that I had never thought of going to my MP before, and when I did, I was surprised by not only how seriously I was taken, but also the positive actions which have come from that meeting. I recommend it to you all dear readers, if you have a fight, take it to Parliament!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Anti-Wedding Anniversary Day......

Today would have been my 26th wedding anniversary.I didn't make it that far, I ran away. Today brings mixed feelings, huge grief for what I have lost, and massive strength from what I have gained.
I cannot bring myself to think about the losses, therapy, psychology etc. etc. cannot bring me to discuss or think about them, I know where I go when the losses come to me, and it is not a good, safe place to be, you know where I go, Police cell, hospital bed, the depths of the pit of doom.
But, what have I gained? I guess that now, when I can combat the internal battle, that I am safe now. I choose my friends carefully, will be more carefully after I have been on the course the Police have got planned for me, I can't remember what it is called, but it is to make me more aware of abusive behaviours, what is right, what isn't right within a relationship, friendship, lovers etc., so that I can see who is being abusive before it becomes a criminal offence I guess.. Oh it is called 'Pattern Changing', and will apparently make me have more self esteem and confidence, rock on that sounds good.
So, today is full of mixed emotions. Have decided that instead of having another rotten day, I will make today my 'anti-anniversary day', and go and have fun. The sun is sunny, the bunny is happy, I will go to the Barbican and have a womble around the charity shops and find some fabric to make an anti-anniversary patchwork cushion. Nikkinoccynoo has lent me her sewing machine, so I will have a go, and make something positive and punchable! Heh heh heh, oh yes, punchable!

Dave the Rabbit......

Dave, or as he was known then, Poppy arrived into my life May of last year. He/she was born in Cornwall and is a Mini Lop. He/she has remarkably long and velvety ears and is the cutest.
When he/she was born, he/she was taken to a vets and sexed, definately a female says the vet, and six weeks later she/he is ready to come and live in the pink cottage we had made for her/him.
Poppy/Dave was very tiny, and cute, and has the biggest personality! I didn't realise that such a small fluffy bundle could bring so much change, and love in my life. 
Poppy/Dave runs around me in constant circles, buzzing... a weird noise, a bit like a bee in a jar. She/he has to sit beside me, or on my lap with her/head stuck in my armpit. She/he seems to enjoy watching tv, which she/he does while I am cleaning up or cooking. She/he prefers green foods and is not that keen on carrots, though if you julienne cut them, she/he will have a sniff and a cursory crunch on them. I read on the Internet about the running around in circles and buzzing behaviours, and was assured that Poppy/Dave does this because she/he loves me.... ahhhh cute... but there was additional information, this was generally associated with male behaviour, I did not take this bait, after all she/he had been sexed by a vet.
After a year Poppy/Dave was now living in a much bigger house, though during the day she/he is a house rabbit, at night she/he gets put away into a rabbit house, and locked in for the night. I had to do this as Poppy/Dave will jump into bed with me and bite my hair, according to the Internet, she/he does this as she/he is concerned that I am dead, and it what she/he does to check that I am not. Very cute, but it does not aid the eight hours of sleep which I need! Anyway, after a year, I went to her/his house to let her/him out for the day, and Poppy/Dave was VERY excited to see me... It became apparent that Poppy was infact Dave.... hmm... I felt very strange about this change of gender. I felt almost as if a predatory male had made his way into my life, in the guise a girly bunny, made me love him/her and I really struggled with this. My CPN was concerned and found that the NHS do not do gender reassignment surgery for bunnies, so I was stuck with Dave.. It took me about five minutes to make this ok, and Dave and I have happily lived together since.
Dave has a harness and lead so I can take him outside to eat real grass, he comes camping with me, and enjoys being in the countryside, though he struggles slightly with the beach. He eats well and sleeps a little more now, mostly flat on his tummy with arms and legs splayed out, he watches a lot more tv now, mostly Emmerdale and Coronation Street, though he does like Country File. I can't imagine my life without Dave, he is my responsibility, he knows when I am not well, we play together, sulk together, he hugs me when I am sad... He can be terribly naughty though, and will eat any paperwork, more particularly any paperwork which is really important, and I know the old, 'my dog ate my homework' routine, but honestly, my rabbit really did eat that form the DWP want me to return!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Detox Day Three....

slept well, so well that getting head off pillow was difficult. Feel like I have been sedated, except for my tummy which is violently upset, and makes me bolt for the loo frequently. Well, it is a detox, guess the 'tox has to come out somewhere... yuk
Day feels empty, the brief numbness which alcohol provided me before, has been replaced by a day long numbness from not having it... odd. Try to think of something which is worth doing today, but brain is in neutral. But, one day at a time, and today, being in Numbville, is pretty good!

Monday.....

Booo, the sunshine has gone again. Had lovely walk yesterday, through the woods, past the lake and then to the sea. Didn't realise just how warm the sun was, at least maybe I had forgotten how warm the sun is! So pleased that Spain and France are having a super hot summer (not!) while we are sat in this muggy, sweaty heat, under cloud and frequent rain..... humph... wish for some money so that I can go to sunny place and decide to buy lottery ticket.
Monday is a funny day, a bit of an anti-climax after the weekend, I look around for a useful job to do, but I did them all yesterday. Flat is spotless, Dave the Rabbit is cleaned out, fed and watered, so I think today I will draw.
I am very lucky, I have a lovely little flat, a gorgeous Dave Rabbit, everything that I need, and most of all, some amazing friends. I shan't name them, they know who they are, but sometimes I feel very aware of how lucky I am to have them.
I guess I am a hard work friend to have. First of all I need constant reminders that they love me, and they haven't forgotten about me, and that I am good enough.... then they are there when I am in crisis, to double those reminders and also to tell me that everything is ok and that I am safe. Then they have to cope with me chopping myself up, overdosing etc etc..... that has got to be hard, they put in all the time, effort and love for me, and then I sabotage it all. So I don't just have friends, I have AMAZING FRIENDS.
Froogs once told me of a quote from Marilyn Monroe, "If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best". I like that, but it is a little arrogant for me to say the same. However, I have not self harmed for eighteen days, I am on day three of detox and everything is good. Finish this off with another quote from Marilyn.... "Sometimes things have to fall apart, so that better things can fall together".
Much love x

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Detox day two....

again, not much sleep, many lucid dreams. Dreams of things I don't want to remember, dreams of the past.... Woke really hot, drenched in sweat... but hey, still here!
Making the best of another hot overcast and rainy day by clearing out bathroom. Have washed down walls, tiles, skirting boards and floor. Polished mirror, cleaned shower tray. Scrubbed around seals of shower doors and cleaned both the outside and inside of the glass doors. Cleared through old makeup, odd bottles, of what seemed like a good idea at the time body lotions and hair serums and have decided that I do not need quite as many bottles of mascarra, have now cut down to three. Scrubbed loo until it is too good to use, might have to pee behind bush in backyard now. Motivated by this triumph, and a lovely smelling bathroom, decided to take on the kitchen.... second load of washing in, feeling good, though still desperately hot... think I will look up on Internet about detoxing at home...then clean kitchen cupboards etc....
Read up on detoxing at home, and after looking at three or four sites, consider rushing out to buy demon vodka and give up trying to do this on my own. Withdrawal can cause seizures, coma etc etc. Should only be done under medical supervision, they give you drugs to make this easy... but then read that first forty eight hours is the worst, and I have done that already.... struggle with thought that I could easily excuse myself for drinking tonight, as medical advice is against doing detox at home, but decide that keeping driving licence wins hands down, so keep on... decide to clean entire flat and not find any excuse to go out and find myself buying alcohol......

Yesterday....

By about five oclock, I realised that sitting in, hiding from dragons would not feed me, and that I would have to face Sainsburys. Having made it to Marsh Mills roundabout, most of the lanes were solid with traffic as our amazing Police Force had decided to stop an overstuffed Volvo, with about a million children in the back and poor mum and dad, looking sunburned (heaven knows how) and very stressed, on the roundabout. Poor mum and dad, at the back of the Volvo, which was stuffed with deckchairs, windbreaks, towels, wet dogs, picnic boxes, were remonstrating in a half hearted demonstration of road worthiness with the Police Officers and the kids were kicking off in the back seat. Other drivers hooted mercilessly at them. I however, had realised that as the Police had now blocked the roundabout and were busy harassing tourists that I might be able to get round Sainsburys without getting detained for having the potential to shoplift. So I parked, raced around the shop, back to the truck and shot swiftly down the Embankment, and out to see the sea..... five minutes with the sea was all I wanted, just five minutes solitude, watching the waves, listening to the waves. I parked up in a deserted car park, at last I thought, five minutes to chill, with my favourite place,the sea. Radio four in the background, the shipping forecast, perfect....... Out of the sea, like one of those monsters from Dr Who came this thing, a black shape, barely human form.. no face, tubes coming from all over the monster... I froze (think I could have been disassociating at this point) The monster walked towards the truck and stopped. I, horrified, could not move, and was frozen in my seat. the monster moved closer and took off its face.... 'eh up', it said, 'art that the shippin forcast?', 'Yup' I mumbled, trying to work out what to do, trying to get a grip on reality... the monster then told me he was diver from Leicester, 'you've swum a long way', I glibly retorted, but alas, he really was from Leicester and was staying in Scout Hut in Plympton with some other divers. We talked about the visibility, which for Plymouth was fog patches, moderate to poor, and then I left. I could not think of anywhere else I could go by the sea to have my five minutes, and unfortunately it messed up my head for a few hours. But hey, I made it out alive, sea monster turned out to be a skinny bloke from Leicester.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Follow up letter to MP

                                                                                                                     

Dear Mr. Colvile
Thank you for our meeting of the 9th August 2012. I know it has been over a week since we spoke, but I just wanted to clarify a few points, so that I am prepared for the plans we have made.
Firstly I have contacted             and spoken to him about my experiences. He feels that I would be better served speaking to                     the Health Reporter, and I am expecting to hear from her soon.
I understand that you are writing to the Home Secretary to ask about other Crisis Homes, where they are and how they operate. Also, that you would be visiting a crisis home in Exeter.  I have had a response from Steve Waite, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Healthcare, regarding the Crisis House, he has asked for twenty one days to respond!
Steve Waite has also responded  regarding the unit for people held under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act at Glenbourne. Apparently, this unit has been closed, as it was manned by using a nurse from the Glenbourne unit for the necessary assessment of people detained. As this nurse was then then withdrawn from Glenbourne, there was an impact on service in this acute ward. Therefore the unit was shut. It will however be reopened at the beginning of the next financial year, when more appropriately, a nurse will be recruited to man this unit at all times. However, my concern remains the human cost of this decision, and that even I, can see many ways in which this unit could be manned in times of crisis immediately.
You said that you would arrange to meet with Mary Embleton, the lead mental health commissioner for Plymouth to discuss my experiences.
You said that you would be meeting with Andrew Bickley, Chief Superintendent of Police regarding my experience of being detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act in a Police cell within Charles Cross Police Station. You also mentioned that Charles Cross Police Station was the busiest within the country, and had problems within the custody area with detainees having drug and alcohol problems and was an area where there was significant abuse of Police Officers. I feel this does not make this area a place of safety within the Mental Health Act.
You said that you would arrange a meeting with myself, David Carney Heworth, a Sergeant at Devonport Police Station, and yourself, to discuss my experiences of domestic abuse and a way forward in terms of the judicial process.
You also said that you would arrange a meeting of yourself, myself and Tony Hogg, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, to discuss the lack of crisis house, and the closed unit for Section 136 detainees.
I understand that you have a lot to organise, and a lot of people to speak to. However, I would like an idea of when the meetings you have arranged for me to be present at will be, and what sort of response you have had from Chief Superintendent Andrew Bickley, the Home Office and Mary Embleton.

Many thanks,
Isabelle Nuts




Alcohol, numbness and the dragon......

PTSD and abuse of alcohol go hand in hand states a government report. Up to 75% of people who have been involved in a traumatic, life threatening events will go on to abuse alcohol, or other drugs. The reason for this is the numbness and anaesthetic effects that, for me, alcohol brings. I no longer have the battle between the petulant and persistent threat system which tells me that I am not safe, and the healthier me that knows that everything is pretty much ok. There is no battle, no winner, no loser, just no battle. Having no battle is great, there are no feelings, no exhausting mental play of what could happen next and what has already happened, just numbness.
Physically I have been checked to make sure that my liver and blood count are ok, and I am doing just fine. I have strongly defined rules for my drinking, I drink between seven oclock in the evening until nine oclock in the evening, that means, using the the formulae of units and time to process those units, I am fit to drive early the following day. Mentally, alcohol is a depressant, and the following day can bring some very low times... but alcohol, or vodka in my case, bring blessed sleep, and escape from it all. Without vodka equals no sleep, even with sleeping tablets, no sleep.
But this vodka dragon has to be slayed, I don't really want to slay it, as I can't see an alternative, but it has to go.
Why....? Well my drinking has to be logged this week, each milli unit of vodka, logged. If my drinking doesn't come within, what I guess are acceptable parameters, then I will be reported to the DVLA as having a drinking problem. The result of which I guess is removing my driving licence and that, I promise you isn't going to happen.
This does make me very angry. I do not drink and drive. But the threat is removal of my driving licence unless I stop drinking (and yet, my alcohol use is defined by the medical profession as self medication).  Well, I had  better be locked up now, as I am going to have to go food shopping later, and I might shoplift something, that is as unlikely as me drink driving, but hell, I have already been  locked me up for five hours in a Police cell when I had done nothing wrong, so I don't know why I am looking for any kind of bloody logic.
So, last night I did not sleep.... that's ok, not a problem, no vodka = no sleep. Today, feeling ok, just tired. Lack of motivation to slay the washing up dragon, the washing machine dragon, and the hoover dragon, but I will just sit and watch rubbish on the tv. I don't think I will risk going to Sainsburys and buying any food, just in case the Police feel the need to lock me up for potentially being capable of shoplifting.....grrrr..... bring it vodka dragon, you are nearly slain, and that only by own anger at this bizarre society we call humanity.

Friday, 17 August 2012



Well, I have contacted Steve Waite, and said that I would be happy to help him with his operational policy for the unit for people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
It has been a week since I spoke to Oliver Colvile MP and think it is time to remind him of his promises... I know, only a week, but I want it all done, and achieved yesterday!
Am climbing back out of the pit of doom, not easy, especially as the weather is sooo awful, and there is little to keep busy brain busy when it is torrential rain, and strong wind outside. Oh for the power to stop thinking, that would be good!
Will write reminder email to MP, try to get brain thinking about positive plan to get things rolling with the crisis house and get back to you later!
Much love x

Thursday, 16 August 2012

kerplunk........

it's Thursday, nothing has changed, except that without warning, I have landed back at the bottom of the pit. It doesn't help that I feel physically ill again, but no, back at the bottom. Perhaps that's not fair, after all, I have not chopped myself up, overdosed, planned to die, and I am not sat in a cell in a Police Station, I have not been detained, so perhaps I am only half way down, oh joy, that means it could be worse. Or perhaps not, maybe I could get some climbing gear on, and climb back up, but I can't today. It isn't a raw feeling, just an over all sad and incapable one. One of those times where sitting staring into nothing at nothing seems like the best, if not only option. My CPN will be here in about an hour, he is great, but there isn't an answer to this, no magic fairy dust, no elephant pill, no cure for this, it just is what it is.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Hands together please.....

and a standing ovation for me, as I have driven to and from Liskeard, negotiating right hand turns and roundabouts (both absolute phobias of mine), without incident, and without tears.... ta daaaaaaa.....!
Last time I had to drive any distance, and we are only talking driving up to the service station at Exeter, about forty miles away, I sobbed for the entire drive,  navigating Haldon Hill with buckets of tears and snotty hankies piling up, I am surprised I made it at all. But that time I took Dave the house rabbit with me, so I had to drive carefully. Poor Dave, all of a sudden he is bundled up into his carry box, strapped onto the passenger seat and driven up the A38 and M5 to meet a Police Officer, who also thought the arrangement slightly odd, but was pleased to meet him. This time, as Froogs and I were doing the ladies who lunch and womble day, it was unfair to cart him off and leave him in the truck for hours so I drove on my own. I was accompanied by Radio Four with a stern female voice who I could imagine telling me to pull myself together and get on with it, so I did.
The day has been great, lovely to meet up with Froogs and gossip and shop and lunch. Great to have completed the drives there and back without bumping into anyone or anything, and so great to do it all and feel competent and well... hooorrrraaayyyyy!

oh my....

everything is still alright. Had a huge panic attack last night about nothing, which was concerning, but oh wow, things are still good. Think that today I shall not tiptoe through life, trying to make sure that I don't lose this feeling, but try to be more robust and see if it stays even when I am ignoring it, after all it is just a feeling, an emotion, it isn't a delicate crystal glass.... well we will see.
Am off to Liskeard, to womble with Froogs again today, which will be great fun. Made some uber cool cushions with some pillow cases I picked up with her last week. They have fab retro 70's pink flowers on and look great, I am pretty proud of my needle work, as I don't have a sewing machine!  then later will watch day two of the British firework competition, which was pretty spectacular last night.
Fingers crossed, and keep on keeping on.
Much love x

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Coming up for air......

Recently, well, to be more precise over the last week, but not Sunday, Sunday was awful, but that is over now thankfully, I have felt a new feeling. The feeling doesn’t last for very long, and I don’t think I have felt it before, but it is good. I can’t describe it as ‘peace of mind’, that doesn’t explain it properly; it is more like a feeling of total well being.
There is a battle in my head. On one hand there is me, grown up, successful, caring and in control of me, versus, a little girl who is frightened, lonely, unsafe and has no control of herself or anything. The problem has always been that the little girl me, is much much stronger than the grown up version, so she wins. Her vulnerability, her inability to manage a grown up world, her absolute need for love and acceptance, at whatever cost, have always been stronger than the grown up version, who can actually do ok.
The little girl knows that her writing is rubbish. If you really knew her you wouldn’t like her. If you knew her you would push her away and not accept or love her. That no place is safe. That little me has been kept strong by abuse, and  by others reinforcing those beliefs.
The grown up me is not strong, it hasn’t practised enough how to manage, how to cope, how to deal with every day life, it hasn’t been fed, made robust, It has no resilience.
The grown up me knows that actually everything is ok, that I am safe, warm, clothed, have food in the cupboards, fuel in my car, some pennies in my purse, and that right now, I am ok. But the stronger persona, the little me, is jumping up and down, shouting that everything isn’t ok at all, that everything is really scary, that I can’t cope, that I must keep the curtains shut, mustn’t go out, must stay inside…. The little me wants to phone everyone and make sure that they still love me… the little me is sure that no one does, so it hurts itself.
So, why do I have a feeling of total well being sometimes now? I guess that the voice of the little me is getting drowned out by the support I have been receiving through my blog. That maybe I can write well, that may be people really do care about me, that actually though I do struggle, it is ok… other people who may or may not suffer in the same way empathise, sympathise and give a shit….  there is becoming a balance of those personas, maybe the support for me is strengthening the grown up me, and maybe, just maybe…everything will be ok.
Much love x

Monday, 13 August 2012

Ooooooeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr............

I feel really really poorly.  Poorly in the body, not the confused brain. Simply have no energy, finding it hard to stay awake at all,  and getting unbearably hot. Have managed to sleep through daytime tv til 1pm, which isn’t too difficult on a normal day, but today eeeeeeeeewwww…. Horrid.
Felt I needed to post, to put yesterdays post into perspective, if you see what I mean.
When I emailed Oliver Colvile and Steve Waite, Oliver Colvile arranged a meeting with me, and I posted about what happened there. But I had heard nothing from Steve Waite at all, until Friday, when I was lying in the sun on the boat, with no access to the Internet, and obviously my email!
My previous post was two emails which must be from him, via admin, I guess. Interesting stuff, at least the second one was, and when I keep my eyes open for longer than two minutes,  I will respond to accept proposal that I help with the policy.
In the meantime, I think I will not attempt more than staying horizontal, drinking nothing stronger than coffee, and try to sleep off whatever bug this is.
Much love x

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Response from, well...

not really sure who, but as I sent the email to Steve Waite, guess it must be someone concerned with  him....

Dear Nutter (no, it didn't really say that...!)
I am very sorry to learn of your concerns in your email.
Your email has been forwarded to our Locality Manager for comment about Crisis Homes in Plymouth.
Please note we are not able to answer any concerns about how the police dealt with you following this incident, you would need to take this up directly with them.
I would anticipate that we will be able to answer your concerns within the next 21 working days.
The response will be emailed to you at this email address.
I trust this is agreeable to you.
Yours sincerely
then... later that day.....
Further to my earlier email today, I have now been provided with the following response from our Locality Manager who has responsibility for 136 suite place of safety. I hope you will find this helpful:
" Thank you for raising your concerns in regard to the availability of a 136 suite (Place of Safety). I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments in terms of the need to provide this service for vulnerable individuals. Your feedback is both compelling and moving and emphasises the need to resolve this. I can advise you however that the reason that it is currently not available is not linked to savings. Although the building was funded initially, no extra money was made available to pay for additional staff to facilitate assessments. Initially staff were provided from the Glenbourne unit, however, this is a busy acute inpatient service and not resourced to release staff to undertake unplanned assessments. The consequence is that the care of individuals on the wards suffers.
We have however agreed a plan with our Commissioners that will mean that those resources will be made available. We are aiming for this to be in place by next April.
I would like to thank you for your kind feedback about our staff who work with you.
We would welcome your involvement and support in shaping the operational policy for the suite in the future and will contact you once this work has commenced if agreeable to you.
With best wishes"
If this is something you would like to become involved with please email me back and I will arrange this for you.
Yours sincerely
................................................................................

Hmmmm.... Ok, I'll think about that and get back to you....... do I want to write your operational policy for section 136, ah well it will keep me busy!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pheew....

Been a long week.. going to spend weekend having a think about where to go from here. Many thanks to you all..... back on Monday x

Friday, 10 August 2012

Well, it went something like this.....


After having posted yesterday morning, I began to feel really, really bad, massive panic attack which just wouldn't go away, tried drugs, nope, tried calming breathing, nope, tried going for walk, nope, tried driving to Sainsburys buying cheap bottle of pink wine, drinking large glass, yup, that worked...
Ho hum... wish it wasn't alcohol that makes the feelings go away, but at the moment, it'll have to do.  

Nikkinokkinoo, a great friend from school arrived at 2pm, with the epilator, so with as much physical effort as it takes to trim a garden hedge, I removed offending hairy areas from legs!

Thank goodness she was there... not only did I not drink the entire bottle of pink wine (which would have caused me to be calmer, but less eloquent at forthcoming meeting!), but she put together a plan of what I wanted to achieve from the meeting.  Nikki and I have known each other since I was twelve, and I think she truely knows me (she is also a teacher, so a few teachery looks from her, and I did behave, drank a glass of water, instead of the rest of the bottle!). Having a written 'plan of attack' made me feel much more in control of what I had to do, I kind of had an idea in my head of what I wanted, but having it written down made much more sense.

So, aim one for him to understand and support the need for a crisis house in Plymouth, and to work towards having one in place for people who need support in times of mental health crisis.
Aim two, to understand that the unit for people detained under section 136 of the mental health act to be reopened without delay.
Aim three, to agree to use publicity, ie local press to promote the positive impact of how aims one and two would impact on the city
Aim four, to agree an action plan towards the above goals with a timeline, and to define my own role within the project.
Aim five, to take me seriously or I would burn down his office.

I had printed some of the blog, and he had obviously read the letter which is one of the previous posts, letter to Oliver Colvile.... I also printed a copy of a summary of a CICA tribunal which has awarded me 100% compensation for abuse suffered in a previous relationship, my entire teaching portfolio, which shows where I was when I was well, plus a copy of my care plan written by my CPN, so we had enough information to go forwards.
   
Well..... not only did he take me very seriously, and listened to what I had to say, agreed with my ideas and said that he would support them, he also raised other points.
He has given me the name of a journalist who I could work with to raise awareness of mental health issues within the city.
He will be meeting with the Police Superintendent to speak to him about the way in which I was dealt with, refer back to post on being detained under section 136 of mental health act in a Police cell for five hours, plus the strip and internal searches of my body. He will be writing to the Home Office regarding this also.
He is going to speak to Steve Waite, Chief Exec of Plymouth Mental Health to find out why funding was withdrawn from Section 136 unit.
But most of all, for a reason I didn't even go to see him about, but had included the paperwork in my bundle of what my life was like before I got totally nutty, he and I are going to have a meeting with a senior Police Officer in the next two weeks about how we can take forward and bring to justice someone who must remain nameless, but who so deserves to face what he has done to me, and the judicial consequences of them........
Much love x

Before I begin......

I have to tell you what a massive impact having all of your support has had on me and how I am. Your amazing comments, the number of hits my blog got yesterday alone (two thousand, five hundred and twenty nine, that is 2529!) is astonishing, massive, huge.... and makes my writing, not only cathartic, but now healing. Your comments leave me feeling pretty huge about myself, sometimes tearful, but always supported and now, never alone... so many thanks to you all, how can I not get better now!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Bllimey...........

at this point, all I can say is that the meeting went very well. Oliver Colvile has agreed with my plans and propositions, and had many more positive points and ideas of his own to add.
I need time to assimilate all the information and what has happened, but I am really pleased. I feel that I was taken very seriously, dealt with carefully and compassionately.
But my brain feels completely numb and I need time to think.
Much love x

Last night.....

zzzzz.......
Usually getting to sleep involves a great concoction of vodka, sleeping tablets and meditation (then giving up and watching endless CSI, NCIS etc, whatever 5USA has to offer) But last night, after having over 1750 hits on my blog, and the amazing supportive comments, I was asleep by eleven, vodka untouched, meditations not needed, slept like a baby, with a feeling I haven't had for years.... peace of mind.
THANK YOU ALL
I feel as if I am doing and have done, something that really matters, and something I feel I have your support with. I no longer feel alone, yes I might feel lonely, but that is different.
I approach today with a new vigour, perhaps wrong word, resolution, that it really will be ok (soon), and ....... my lovely mate Nikki is bringing her epilator round at 2pm so I can wear my skirt without having spider legs growing from them!
Without sounding melodramatic guys and girls, thank you, your support has and is making such a difference to the way I am feeling about myself..... can't say more than that.
BUT will later when I have met the MP chap