Posted in About Me, Mental Health

The memory of a child and how it had an impact on my life.

I remember a lot from when I was younger, but there are two distinct memories that are embedded in my mind, I did not know it at the time, but these memories played a part in mapping out my future.

The first memory involves me being in a car, I was being told if I cried and said I did not want to go and see my dad just say so and I could go to McDonalds. I was young and did not understand what was going on- I thought my father was mean and that I shouldn’t go near him. I liked McDonalds, so I cried….

I do not remember if a mobile phone was involved or if I was taken into a building or left in the car, that part is a blank. I remember if I cried I got McDonalds.

The second memory I am a bit older and I remember being told I could not go to my father’s funeral because of a few reasons, one being “there will be too many men there” so I did not go to my father’s funeral. At that point in life I didn’t really know about cremation, I presumed everyone was buried-I had only been to one funeral before, my Grandads’ and he was buried. I presumed that if I had no choice over going to the funeral it would be ok because there would be a grave I could go to. It turns out this was not the case either as my father was cremated and his ashes scattered.

I have been told that I am a liar and these memories are imaginary because they did not happen, but I remember them clearly, I can see them if I close my eyes. I may forget what I went upstairs for but these two memories I remember clearly.

What I did not know was that me being in the car that day, was because I was due to see someone (I don’t know if it was a judge or social services) however I know that this one decision had an impact on who ‘won’ custody of me. Of course I had a lot of good things happen to me growing up, I have four younger siblings that I love, but if I could go back to this day I would not have cried for that McDonalds and I would have gone to my Dads’ funeral. Judge me if you want but I was young and knowing what I know now, my father was not “dirty”, “bad” or “nasty” – he was my dad and he loved me.

The same goes for the second memory, apparently it did not happen and I was given a choice, but if that as the case I would never have missed my father’s funeral. These days I get very emotional surrounding death that I believe comes from having a lack of control at a young age when I lost a parent. Yes, I did not see him for about 8 years until he was in hospice care and yes, the parent I lived with got remarried and I have an amazing step Dad, but I still had another father. I have two dads (not in the sense of same sex parents) but my biological dad and my step dad (although I do not like the phrase step dad, he is my dad too).

As a child/young person, we aren’t always given freedom or choice, perhaps it is for protection or to maintain our innocence, but I draw the line on decisions being made for a child on the opinions of the decision maker-they should be made for the best of the child.

My bereavement for the loss of my father has only just begun recently and it has been 15 years. I never grieved, I didn’t want to, I was scared and did not want to show emotion in front of a certain person.

I have not forgiven myself for not standing up for myself, for not giving evidence in a custody battle, or going to that funeral and I don’t think I ever will. My life would have been so different if I stood up for myself.

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Posted in Life, Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Letters – 6th May 2018

As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.

Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!

Letter 6 – To the Teacher that changed my life.

Not many people say they loved ‘Religious’ classes at school, but I did – actually I Loved them!! Apart from the negative aspects of secondary school like bullying, I loved going to school. Many of my teachers I looked up to but there was one teacher that really inspired and helped me –  if that teacher was still here today I would thank her for saving my life.

If you spoke to anyone that knew Miss Bedwyr they would say she was an amazing and inspiring person and that she was a great teacher who really loved helping others, as well as keeping fit running, skiing and I believe she did marathons also. There was also many fantastic outfits and several brightly coloured and patterned pairs of tights.

Not many people, if anyone, knew about the help I received from Miss Bedwyr. Miss Bedwyr knew about my bullies, my eating disorders and knew about some of the events and abuse that I had been through in my life. Even though I denied self-harm, she knew I had self-harmed in the past (cannot really hide scars!!) and knew what to say. Miss B (as we called her) provided advice, guidance and support as well as giving me career advice and suggested reading for pursuing Religious Education. I remember visiting the University in West Wales and listening to stories about where Miss B lived during her studies and spending the day on campus discussing Religious and Theological Studies.

Unfortunately, Miss Bedwyr passed away on August 4th, 2009 due to an accident in Cardiff. I think I would have pursued my career in Religious Education if this had not happened, although I do still enjoy learning about Religion, it hurt too much to actually study and pursue full time. Miss Bedwyr was the type of person that would be proud and enthusiastic, no matter the outcome.

It has been nearly 9 years since Miss B’s passing but thank you for helping me and giving me life-changing support and guidance. Thank You for helping me to see me and look past my circumstances. Thank You for being that person to speak to, even if it meant us eating lunch in your classroom or skipping lunch all together!! You were such a kind and inspiring person. Without your support I may have ended my life before the age of 18.

Diolch / Thank You

Posted in About Me, Mental Health

I am only 27….

I am only 27 years old (or young!) and I have lived through

  • Emotional Abuse and Bullying

  • Physical Abuse and Bullying

  • Self Harm

  • Anorexia

  • Bulimia

  • Binge Eating Disorders

  • Suicidal Thoughts

  • Loss of a Parent

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

And you know what? I am still here!! Mental Illness is a difficult, harsh and life changing problem.

But

You can do it!! We are here for each other, if you are having a bad time, speak to someone – You can do it!!

Posted in Books, TV, News and Social Media, Mental Health

Casualty – Crying over Glen

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 17.47.23
Copyright © 2018 BBC. Screenshot Taken from BBC Website.

Series 32 : Episode 30 – If you have not seen this episode then click back now: SPOILER ALERT (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!)

Just when you think that Robyn will have a happy ending…. BOOM!! The plot thickens.

What got to me in this episode was the circumstances surrounding how Glen passed away, it reminded me of losing people in my life. I am a big believer when it comes to people having a choice in where they die, although I fully understand it is not always possible. I admire the BBC for how they portrayed Glens’ death; they made the room special, a little family together in the room in their pyjamas and dressing gowns. I cried inside and almost outside, but I do not like crying in front of people so managed to hold it back. I would have loved the chance to say goodbye to those I lost and be there for their last moments. It hurts me so much that I did not get that final ‘Goodbye’, this is why the episode meant so much to me.

I thank Owain Arthur (Glen Thomas) and Amanda Henderson (Robyn Miller) along with the BBC for the way the story was presented.

Posted in Mental Health

Sertraline oh Sertraline….

So having spent the last two days in the bed I have got myself up and retreated to the sofa to watch tv with my pooch and wife.

So I have not left the house but it is cold and the effort to get dressed is too much.

I have been thinking about my Sertraline, whilst there have been several days or events I have attended and I am less anxious or OCD symptoms have subsided- I find myself having more bad days and a cycle or really happy days where the world is my oyster, I can sign up for races and challenges and do loads of Uni work along with extra courses and enquiring about new courses to do. But then everything comes crashing down, sometimes for no reason at all and a couple of times something has triggered a downward spiral.

I saw the CMHT and have been discharged from their service after the assessment for re-referral from the GP if I need them. Although they have suggested some treatment but no point referring until I have moved as it is different health trusts. They have also suggested my medication is changed- saw a GP but not my usual Doctor as she wasn’t working but my dose has been increased to the max dose of 200mg to try and if then there is no improvement then we will need to switch medications. I had over two months worth of tablets here so I would rather try the high dose rather than waste the tablets by returning them to be destroyed by the pharmacy.

I am really weary and nervous about switching do a different medication because I don’t know what to expect. I am scared to side effects like my hair breaking and falling out that Citalopram caused. I’m scared it will affect my work, relationship or driving, along with fertility and weight. I am just scared.

I am positive about the work I am doing to secure a future in Mental Health for myself but I feel my own mental health is an unsolved mystery and I don’t want to live like this anymore. I want to be happy and I want to teach; stand up in a room and present, attend parties without heart palpitations and sweating like I have had a bucket of water thrown over me. I want to get up and get out and not hide in the house and do nothing, or think about ways to hurt myself or force weight off or even give up and pile weight on.

Although on a positive note I start bereavement counselling this month. After so many losses in the past 14 years and not grieving or speaking about them I think it is the right time to start healing those wounds. But only time will tell.