Thursday, May 30, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013


I watched part of the debate about the Marriage Equality Bill in Parliament today. A bill that might mean homosexual people are treated equally under the law. I am not naive enough to think it will change peoples bigotries.  As I watched I listend to all sorts of reasons why I should not be treated as fully human, and why some people, like religious people, should be allowed to continue to treat me as sub human, how teachers woulds till be allowed to teach children that same sex love is wrong, that no registrars will be forced to marry homosexual people. The exclusions grew. I realised with mounting rage that this is not going to be a law making us equal in law at all. It is merely going to be window dressing, a appeasement. No such conscience clauses are given to racists, to those who oppose inter faith and inter race marriage, to those who think people of differing races are less than equal. It is not legal to bar blacks, irish, Gypsies etc from hotels because of conscience. But it is going to be allowed if the matter of conscience is against me and my kind. You know a woman recently wrote to me angry that i was upset with 'normal' [people for thinking this way. she has the nerve to still touch me at shows, as if I think well of her or am such a wimp I need her fucking approval.

I got so angry whilst watching and listening and then it hit me...I am HURT and I am tired. From the day i was born I knew I was not acceptable. My father made that very clear. Only I didn't know why until I was 16. Yes I finally realised that those evil people they kept on about was ME! I then spent far too many years believing I was the one at fault.

Not any more. No. Those who know me well know when the change happened. 
I don't really know how I can ignore this. I don't know how I can continue to read and hear injustice and not react. Not just the injustice toward me and my brothers and sisters but toward others too. i juts read of a woman who lost her children, by order of a judge, because she wasn't going to bring them up fundamentalist!

I cannot live like this, enraged at the cruelty all around me. The mean spiritedness. The shit flung at me day in and day out. Seeing how people treat other people, how women are treated, how children, mostly children, are treated. the casual way people refer to immigrants as if they are not human, calling them names, blaming them for our lot. 

It sickens me. It truly does. I do not know HOW people can be so cruel, can think so poorly. Even those I know and love are guilty of seeing people as disposable, as different, as to blame. 
It frightens me. The atmosphere around now is how I understand it was like in 30's Germany. It led to the Holocaust. I imagined those MPs who spoke so eloquently and cruelly about me in Parliament today being no different to those who spoke the same way about those who were different back in Nazi Germany. i hear friends today call others 'filth' and it cuts like a blade and sends a chill through me because I know that come the crunch they will either too late see their error or they will turn their back.
I am totally at a loss. I think I have to immerse myself in fiction books, my knitting, my dyeing, my dogs, light films, comedies and push ti all out and away from me. But if I do that I fear i won't hear the jackboots as they stop at our door.

I lived in fear as a child with good reason. It was violent. I've spent my life trying to assuage that fear, to find somewhere safe. To feel safe. Physically removing myself from the childhood situation has not altered that fear one bit.  I now know it wasn't just my family. Opening my eyes to them opened my eyes to rest of this world. There is no safety. No peace. People don't want that. They prefer to hate. I won't join the hate club. I am so glad today that i never fitted in. 
One day that long sleep will come and perhaps safety too.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

MAX (socks)

MAX-my latest pair of socks. I always have a pair on the needles as they are so easily portable. They are far easier to take than an aran sweater for example. The yarn is an impulse buy I could not resist. A sock yarn by Wendy. It split rather easily but I still like the colourway and the handle.

I utilized my own Andersson Toe Up Method and the Andersson Heal Mach II.

I used 2.25mm circular needles, one for each sock, knitted simultaneously. The brand was Karbonz by Knit Pro. I find them a good needle though my favourite sock sized needles are still Chiao Goo.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


I frequently receive emails from people who read my blog telling me their stories and how much solace they get from what I write. I have recently had a couple that address the subject of bipolar disorder.

Most of the time I completely forget that I have bipolar disorder. I am quite certain I forget this  because it suits me to.

I stopped taking medication for bipolar disorder about 10 years ago if not a little longer. One of the things that I hated about the medication was how flat it made me feel.

Most importantly having done the work I needed to do with regard to my life of abuse my mood swings became much less extreme. I say my life of abuse because to say that I was abused only as a child is not at all true. I consider my time spent in psych wards as abuse. Yes, the stories you hear about abusive staff are certainly true.  Back in the 80s I was called to give evidence about one of the hospitals I was in and the questioning psychiatrist asked me why I said nothing at the time. I looked at him squarely in the eye and I said to him: I was locked up in a mental hospital. I was being abused by the staff in that hospital. Why do you think I did not complain? Honestly what a stupid question to have asked me!

I still have the mood swings. It is just that they are not very noticeable now. However in times of stress they do become much more volatile. Last year was a good example of this. With all the stress of the house remodelling and our wedding I started to become really quite hyper and then the Jimmy Savile affair hit the news and I crashed but I kept this all to myself and I did not go to my GP. My illness had really taken over at this point and I had become paranoid. I was frightened that if I said anything to her that I would be locked up again. In the end I had no choice but call a locum in the middle of the night. I knew of course that this would be reported to my GP although I was not conscious of the fact at that particular time. I realise now that I called the locum knowing full well that he would have to tell my GP and that was my way of letting her know that I was in trouble. As a result of this we had a very good conversation and she made me a solemn promise that she would never ever do anything without my consent and she also did not think that I needed such treatment anyway. She made me feel very much better by letting me know that I was not the only person so badly affected by the Jimmy Savile affair and she had also told me several times previously that the house alterations and our wedding were very stressful occasions for people in general not just to me but given my added complications she is surprised I handled it all so well.

I guess the whole point of this is to remind myself of how far I really have come but also to remind myself that it has not gone away completely and it is never likely to. Everything that I write about myself and my disease and how I have coped is purely personal and if it helps other people I am very glad. I have no intention of getting involved in the argument of whether this is a purely biological disease. I personally do not think it is or at least if it is, it does not mean that therapy cannot help it. I can only speak from my own experience which has seen a huge lessening of the bipolar effects as I came to terms with myself and my past.

Who knows what the future may hold.  Considering just how stressful last year was, the bipolar affective disorder could have been very much stronger in reaction to all that stress. The fact that it was not I believe is down to be years of work I put in upon myself. However the way that it still presented itself and took hold of me is still frightening particularly the paranoia that I felt which kept me from seeking help or at least telling somebody.

I know that I am quite hard upon myself and yet when I write a post like this I amaze myself. I am truly astonished at the journey I have taken and if the feelings were not so clear I would find it hard to believe that the man writing this is the same man who went through all this. If I have a regret about my writing it's that I do not have talent enough to convey the sheer horror of it all so that people can really see what I used to be like compared to what I am like now. I so want to convey the message that healing is possible that no matter how bad the situation is it really can be bettered. Yes, there are a lot of battles to be fought along the way not least of which will be against loved ones and medicos who will wrongly feel that they know best. At least that was so in my case. I was very lucky that I always had John on my side and after his first experiences with the medicos in relation to my treatment he very quickly learned what I was up against and he supported me in searching out alternate avenues for my recovery.

These alternate avenues did involve a lot of new-age hokey pokey and treatments but I soon saw through those as well.

In the end the two things that really set me on the road to real recovery were this; reading books by a woman called Dorothy Rowe and finding a therapist who was a survivor of abuse himself and therefore knew what I was going through. He also never once told me there was something wrong with me and he never once diagnosed me. He never once let me down either. Even when I went into a full-blown mania as was likely to happen when I started to deal with the pain of sexual abuse. He did not leave my side.  He kept his word.

Some of you will have read my comments regarding my memories and how I can't look back over my life and see anything other than blackness and pain. Perhaps the above goes some way to explaining what I mean.

The last seven years have truly been the best of my life. They have not been without their difficulties and as I have already described last year was challenging to say the least but the good of the last seven years far outweighs the bad. For the first time in my life I am able to look back over a period longer than a few weeks and say that it was good.