Still trying to figure out who I am and what i’m​ doing?- #Shithappens

Well, I have figured out I am still **cking useless at technology, and I still need to figure out how to use this computer! The writing Saturday went out of the window, I broke my alcohol ban on the Friday evening, had a few beers a glass of wine, and boy did i know about it all day Saturday. So much so i am learning that I would much rather stay AF so i can write than suffer all day. Sunday came, I still felt shit, but I was on a roll, I stomped through the dull headache, the writing, memories flowed I had been reflecting about my teens…

I really started to play up in my teens, looking back I now realise at the time that I had put my mother, ada through hell, but at the time I couldn’t see it, but at the same time, it felt that they never see the real me! I had many friends growing up, I would go through phases where I might try and reinvent myself, I could go for a while being well behaved, but it never lasted long. I found I was good at making friends, but only friends by association, but not any real friends, not a best friend I could actually call my own, someone who I could really trust, someone who was there all the time, I would often envy people at school who had formed closed bonds, friendships that lasted, throughout primary and into secondary school, I was popular, but yet felt like the most unpopular person I knew. 

Then I get a notification in the corner of my screen -For months I had been being stalked, prompted on numerous occasions by my laptop to install and update this app (or whatever it was) I finally decided to take the plunge and do it! I figured it wouldn’t be asking me to do so, unless it was important! RIGHT? I started the download thinking it would take 5 mins but after precisely 38 minutes my screen finally booted up again, but it looked completely different and my desktop was bare, the family picture was there, but that was it, it was blank, nothing, no folders, no documents, no chapters, no journal (i mean my personal journal which comprised of over 75, 000 words, thoughts, memories emotions?) It had all gone…

So what was supposed to be a chilled day, writing, offloading turned out to be one of the worst Sunday afternoons in history? I called myself all the **cking names under the sun, I was the thickest, most stupid person I knew, I mean who does that! I knew deep in my gut, that there was a reason I had ignored the request for months, but I had ignored my gut instinct and listened to a **cking computer, I starred at the picture I had recently purchased, it sit in front of me, a picture that inspires me, I looked at all the positive affirmations that surrounded my work desk, my draft index, content for the book and could have nearly cried at the thought of starting all over again.

My insides were in turmoil, it would take months to rewrite the chapters I had lost, I didn’t honestly think I had it in me to start all over again, that work contained memories, emotions that quite frankly I didn’t want to have to revisit again, I had already made my amends, I didn’t want to have to do it all again, I cannot remember that last time I felt this gutted, lost. there would have been a time, when i would have thrown the towel in gone into “Fuck it” mode, given in, but I having achieved so much over the past few months, not just on paper but in myself, i decided that i needed to take my own advice and #Haveawordwimesen

I took a step back from the computer, stopped looking at the screen, to detach myself away from the angry and negative emotions. I took some deep breaths and every negative comment that went around my head, I replaced with a compassionate reply to myself

“I can’t do it?” – yes you can, ok it might take a while and yes you are angry, but you will do it, you can do it, who knows the second time around it might even be better?

“I don’t know how?” – Ok you might need to take some training, some lessons, but you will learn, you will get it, you know people who can help, reach out and ask?

Pat called me, from downstairs unaware of my latest crisis, I came downstairs ate my lunch in silence, reassuring myself that it would be all ok, even though it certainly didn’t feel like that. After lunch i washed the pots, I wasn’t in any rush to go back up to my room, after a while I took some deep breaths and ascended the stairs, back to me room of doom and that **cking computer.

Searching my history, i managed to retrieve some work I had been recently working on, I also, remembered I had stored some of the chapters on Trello (again a system where your work is floating about somewhere, **ck knows where) but I had only stored 4 chapters! I needed the other 6.

Then I remembered that there was something called i Cloud, its an invisible place (fuck knows where) where all your pictures, writing is stored, I was hoping and praying that I might have managed to save something on there, if not I was truly screwed. after what seemed like forever I found it, my Desktop files, where right there, I clicked to down load them, so I didn’t lose them again. I have them back and a degree of my sanity too, it’s safe to say that is three hours of my life i wont ever get back, but at least I have the days, months worth of work back where it belongs.

Now I need to get me sen someone who knows what the **ck they are doing with computers, with websites and show me how NOT to make the same mistake again, if tha know’s anyone, hit me up – God I feel better after that rant

Dont ​let the bastards grind you down

Society, anxiety

I have been shying away as much as I can from the news of late, but it’s hard to escape, where ever you go, you see it, the person sat begging, the person stood waiting around the corner, waiting for them to earn enough to score! I’ve watched the debates and part of me dies, I despair, I despise the rooms full of people making decisions that affect our lives. I can watch no more, a room full of egos, each trying and vying for public applause. “I’m right!” No “your wrong” I can no longer relate to those who debate, those are supposed to have our best interest at heart!

When it It feels like they are tearing this country apart. 

A nation divided, angry and broken, Its everywhere, I see it every day,  and its bleak, on the streets, in our communities, all over on social media and on every fucking tweet!

I have switched off, I no longer care, just make up your fucking minds and show us you really care. You were voted in to represent us, the working class, the under class, those without a voice, single parents, broken families to the teenager on the street, who carries a weapon, to protect him from being beat! It feels like the hunger games, the lack of trust, lack of transparency, people literally fighting for survival! Begging on the streets going to food banks just so they can eat, is it’s no wonder people drown their sorrows in drink and they feel defeat!

So fuck you, you twats, you don’t speak my language, you don’t represent me, so I’ll go back to what I know, working alongside the unsung heroes, those in the know. You sit in your chambers and continue to spout, I am proud, I am alive, and stand with the many still trying to survive, I live it, I feel it, I see it every day, people out there making a difference, with no pats on the back, doing it because its right, because life is cruel, because life is unfair, but because it’s the right thing to do!

I still have my own voice, you won’t shut me up, speaking up for the underdog, for those who feel silenced, who lost their cause,  lost their way or have been led astray, by the illusion that life should be perfect, trust me  perfection it doesn’t exist, but you still have a voice and we all have still have a choice! Life can be shit! That much is true, I still count and so do you! 

Please don’t despair, people really still do care, switch off the news and take a look around, talk to neighbours, talk to friend’s, talk to a stranger on the street, we all have our own problems but will not be defeat. It’s not over yet, we still have our community spirit, the flame is alive and we will continue to strive, the best we can, it might not be the best, but we have each others back so go fuck the rest! 

Take a deep breath, and step outside your door, don’t let the bastards grind you down, step outside and see what life has in store!  

And on that note, I feel a lot better now I got that off me chest, have a good day, whatever you are doing 

Love Fordy x

#Haveawordwitheesen – Tha cant help everyone​ if tha can’t help ya sen

So what’s the point to all this writing, I often ask myself? Where does this desire come from? I came across this post earlier and it got me thinking…

You’re not stuck 
You are committed to certain patterns of behaviour because they have helped you in the past.
Now those behaviours have become more harmful than helpful.
The reason what you cannot move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life.
Change the formula get a different result.

For me writing, making time for ME has helped me recognize old patterns of thoughts, that often instigate or trigger feelings, that then impact on how I react (behave) in certain situations. I thought that once I understood how and why my addiction brought me to my knees, to the point of no return, that I would be ok? but it’s not that simple, we are not that simple? we are all complex beings, each unique.

Ok I might have changed my old coping strategies (which was using drugs),  but what I recognized last year, that afternoon sat with my old friend and confidant Mick Holmes is that I had kinda got complacent, there was a time, years ago, when I would make time for me, think about me, #Haveawordwimesen, I would put me first, I knew what made me tick but somewhere along the line, I had stopped thinking about me and started spending too much time thinking and focusing on others, wanting to “help everyone above everything else” putting others first, deluding myself that I was doing ok? When deep down I didn’t really ever really feel that I “was ok” There were many a time I would tell myself at work “I’m a fraud, I’m just winging it,” and that I would get somehow “found out”. And trust me I am not the only person who coins the phrase “I’m just winging it” or “sometimes I wonder if I’ll get caught out as being a fraud?” 

Over the recent months, sharing and baring my soul, my highs my low’s on here has been my way of trying to identify those often subtle, unseen old patterns of thoughts, feeling and consequently behaviours and reactions to everyday situations I face now, but the main lesson I am learning to come to terms with is that “I cannot save every fucker

I now can actually pinpoint the time I stopped working on myself and it was during the time I was caring for dad, when the alcoholism took a hold constantly reacting to his addictive demands, the constant emotional blackmail, fuck me I didn’t have the time (or should I say make the time) for me at the time, i even neglected my own family, but now recognize that when dad did finally pass, instead of going back to working on me, I didn’t stop, I continued wanting to rescue and help others. Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing? “is it fuck,” we all need people that care and I do still care, but in order to care for others we MUST look after ourselves FIRST!

Did you know that there is something called vicarious trauma? (Perlman & Saakvitne, 1995), sometimes also called compassion fatigue, is the latest term that describes the phenomenon generally associated with the “cost of caring” for others (Figley, 1982), Click on the link, if you work or volunteer in a caring role we are all at risk from suffering it, its the next step up from “burnout”. I wonder how many people there are working, operating in this way and don’t even realize it?

So what am I learning? whats all this #Havingawordwitheesen all about?

As a direct consequence of making time for me, making time to learn to understand myself I am slowly learning to unpick some of those limiting beliefs that have built over time. Now this isn’t to say that I will ever get to unpick or lose all those limiting beliefs that have held me back from being my true self, or becoming “normal” whatever the FUCK that means. But what I am becoming is a braver version of me, I am more confident in certain situations, I am less frightened or concerned about being judged because my opinion “might offend or upset the stars quo,” I am less concerned about being ridiculed or judged when I post or share poetry, for example, I mean Fordy doing poetry? “What the fuck is that all about? “I even hear myself say…. But more importantly, (as I said before) I am learning that I cannot save everyone.

I have desperately wanted to write about my own personal experiences about how I dealt with not just my addiction but dads, in the hope that the lessons I learned might help “just one person” for years, and I have realized that the only person, thing that was holding me back was me, all those limiting beliefs, I had allowed myself to procrastinate I had allowed the self-doubt, the same self doubt, that I kept hidden within me, hidden from the outside world, just masking the daily negative narrative that I had almost become accustomed to, I had come to accept that this was who I was, this was my lot!

Nah Fuck that!

That day with Mick, I shared about feeling sick of the pretence, sick of feeling like I didn’t have a voice or a choice, when I knew deep down that I did, but that I WOULD HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  It turns out that it would have to be me no-one else, me. Because lets be reet

I am the only person that really knows me. 
I am the only person that hears the negative narrative that I carry around.
I am the only persons that can work on changing that negative narrative.
I am the only person that can challenge myself, question myself when the self doubt kicks in.
Thats why when you might hear me say “tha needs to have a word wi thee sen” I literally do mean it!

If you are in a caring role, if you are a worker, friend, relative, volunteer it doesn’t really matter, but if you are helping others, I urge you to save some of that caring back for YOU

Right I’m off, got work to do and shit loads of people to rescue (Joke), what ever you are doing, look after you

love Fordy x

Ps – if tha wants to hear more shit, you can leave ya email to get some more daily words of wisdom, just go to the home page x

That elusive “Window of opportunity”

Working with people in crisis, you will often hear the phrase “window of opportunity” what this means is that every so often that person that you are trying to support has come to accept something needs to change, they are receptive to take a risk and make some changes. 

After working in this field for over 20+ years, every day my peers, colleagues, from drugs, housing services or the voluntary organising offing drop in’s, offering respite from the cold,  or who provide free food, hot drinks, or replenish clothing are there constantly knocking on these peoples windows, trying to engage, hoping that one day, they will open their window and let them in and when that time arises they all will and do go above and beyond to help that person. 

However, the real challenge is once the window is open, it’s keeping it open, and let me be clear, that the person who first opened that window, has to help keep the window open too.

Familiy members, friends, staff or volunteers cannot force the windows from outside, as they have to be opened from within.  There are many reasons why people might decide to bolt their windows shut or refuse to open them, this could be fear, a lifetime of rejection, a cycle of addiction that has become someones comfort blanket what ever the reason, its reason enough for them to lock out the world. 

For those who dare open their windows, it might be they are sick of the cold, they are sick of their addictions, they are sick of causing harm or distress to others, they are sick of prison, or they are just sick of the cycle, the lifestyle that has become their life, what ever the reason, it doesn’t really matter, but what does matters is that they are receptive to taking a risk, trusting the staff but more importantly themselves. 

I feel privileged to be able to work alongside some amazing people, who themselves were locked in their own prisons, but who took the courage to open their windows and keep them open, the same people that are there day in a day out reaching out, knocking on other peoples windows hoping that one day, that person might let them in or to all the others, who want to help, because they simplly care.

Some days are tough when someone’s window that was once opened, has closed and this is a tough pill to swallow for those people trying to help.

To all my peers, colleagues, too all the families who’s mission in life is to help others or a loved one , I just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for never giving up and never give in.

Ready, steady, go, go go

Every day

Every second, minute, hour

Never quite sure what life has in store today

Never sure what shit may be thrown our way

Our past’s act as our guide

We have learned when we need to either stand up or hide

Our thoughts our memories take a hold 

Playing a toying with us 

Sometimes losing control 

We are all creatures of habit 

But habits can be changed 

Exploring the old beliefs and values 

The same that bind us 

The very same that keep us in those invisable chains 

Our past has brought us here

Every memory… 

Every thought…

Every fear… 

But what if we were wrong? Imagine that?

What if we could be the person we truly aspire to be? 

To have the courage to stand tall

Let go of the shame 

Have the courage to start over again?

Be brave be bold

Don’t let those old thoughts and feelings take a hold 

Take a risk

Try something new 

Chip away at those chains 

To find the real you

We all have choices 

What will be yours?

You can stay the same 

You can make the most of what you have got

But remember, be warned 

You only get one shot 


But we are all winners

There’s no second or third place

So take your position and get ready to race

Love Fordy xxxx

Wedding, Tantrums and Tiaras, Oh and a New Brother

I have managed to cover quite a bit of the book this weekend, which I am well chuffed wi me sen about. Christ, I am onto chapter 11 well over 10, 000, which just show’s. showing up, doing a bit when you can, does pay dividends. I didn’t particularly want to write about this part of my life, but in order to understand the relationship between me and dad, I have to give some history, some context before I get into my own personal experience with a shitty relationship, with drugs and then being there when dad was on his knee’s. It was around this time that I went from being a kid, without a care in the world and started morphing into an adolescent monster. So here goes –

Chapter 9

Ada had proposed to mom not long after moving to Gleadless Valley,  the romantic sod had bent down on one knee in what was once the hole in the road a precinct in the town center and declared his undying love before presenting her with a beautiful engagement ring. Mom had never had an engagement ring before, Christ she didn’t even have any wedding pictures!

It was around that time that I learned Ada had actually been married before and was also divorced there were no kids, no ties and to be honest it was never talked about. So now mom had gotten her divorce papers through they were both  free to wed again.

They had booked a date for the wedding, it would take place on the 15th of May 1982, I would have been twelve at the time, I didn’t have a problem at all with mom getting married, after all she was the happiest I had seen her in my young years, Ada was a nice bloke, he might be strict but he wasn’t a bad guy. Nan was ecstatic, you would have thought it was the friggin royal wedding the way she talked about it, but I think she was more ecstatic about the fact that mom had finally met a normal bloke (what ever that is) Ada didn’t go to the pub all the time like dad, Ada was a family man unlike dad, Ada earned an honest living, unlike dad. 

Because mom and ada both felt that this was the real deal they opted for a church wedding. The wedding would take place at the local church, called the Holy Cross, which was on the other side of the Valley. It was a new modern looking church that sat behind The Wyvern Pub, the same one dad would sometimes frequent and wasn’t that far from where Dad was living with Pat and her boys. 

The only issue I did have with the wedding was the church, but because mom and Ada were  both divorcees we “as a family” would have to start attending church regularly before the vicar would agree to marry them! I couldn’t get my head around the injustice, having to pray for a guy I had never metwhat a load of hypocritical bollox!

Oh and I fucking hated it, how could I hide the fact I would be going to church every Sunday, the church sat bang in the middle of the friggin estate I grew up in for gods sake! some of me mates lived near by and even though no-one said it, they might have started to refer to me as one of them bible bashers, no one  else I knew went to church, well apart from a couple of geeky kids from our year, and if they thought that I was going to be their new bessie mate they were sadly mistaken! There was only one other mate from school who’s family were religious, not that you would know it, he came from a family of devote Jehovas witnesses, the attended the Kingdom Hall, around the back of the church, but no one would ever have taken the piss, nor did they, because Rob was built like John Coffey from the film Green Mile! It was an absolute joke that we would have to go along with the pretence that we believed in god, just so mom and ada could get married under their roof! 

It was also agreed that me, Sarah and my two cousins Linda and Debbie would be bridesmaids, moms best mate would be maid of honour, you can imagine my delight at the though of having to wear a frigging dress. Money was tight, so all the dresses were handmade, mom would be walking down the aisle in a white lace number and we would be following her, carrying our bouquets dresses head to toes in lilac. So the wedding was booked, the dresses were being made, we would be attending church pretending to be whiter than white and then BOOM mom finds out she’s pregnant. 

Ada had never made it a secret that whilst he loved me and Sarah and took us on as his own, he always wanted his own kid, so the news that mom was pregnant didn’t come as a surprise. And whilst I was pleased and happy for mom and Ada, I did chuckle to myself, not only was mom having to attend church months before she was married to prove she was pure after her divorce, but how could she be pure when she already had two kids and now she would be walking down the aisle preggers! Isn’t it a sin to have sex before marriage? So after many readjustments to mother’s wedding dress, the day finally came around when she would be wedded to Ada, but this also meant that after this I would never have to attend church again, Praise the lord – A fucking men and all that bollox!

I have many memories of the day, but the one that sticks out is those of my cousin Linda, a year older than me, Linda was the daughter of moms oldest sister Auntie Glenda. To be fair she wasn’t first in the line when god or whoever it dished out looks or personality, in fact, she was the most awkward contrary kid I knew. I remember she had been stuffing her face all morning with sweets whilst we were getting ready,  but then started complaining that she felt unwell she moaned all day, she wouldn’t smile for the cameras, her face looked like she was permanently constipated throughout the whole friggin morning of the ceremony and to be fair she probably was!,

As the ceremony started , I had a vision of dad turning up just as the vicar askIf any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together? let them speak now or forever hold their peace” thank the lord or whoever that he never showed up. Despite having his own woman, or women during his and moms relationship, he still kinda felt that she was his first, he was the father of her two first born and even though they were long separated, divorced he would always be there, he would always be our dad and not ada, I recall there was a time, I onto remember if it was before or after the wedding dissatisfied with the UK mom and Ada explored the possibilities of emigrating to Australia or New Zealand at one point, but dad kiboshed that idea even though he saw us sporadically and didn’t seem to care, when he heard about that, he asserted his rights as a dad, claiming he would never allow mom to take us to another country, anyway back to the wedding.

Grandad was our designated driver and minder for the day for us bridesmaids and wasn’t impressed in the slightest about her complaints of wanting to be sick on the journey to the celebratory meal from the church grandad had to stop the car twice to allow her to be sick. I was laughing my head off because granddad was sooo angry with her and her whining, up until then she had moaned just about all the friggin day. I’m too hot, my dress is too tight, I feel sick, her whining was never ending, Auntie Glenda ran and fussed around her like she was a princess who could do no wrong, but not granddad. Whilst she was voming outside of the car, grandad was pacing up and down truntering to himself then giving her the third degree about eating too many sweets, he turned to me and whispering under is breath he mouthed  “thank god you are not like her Tatey”. Yep grandad don’t you worry I wont let you down. At the meal Lindas demands continued as she refused to eat her wedding meal without ketchup, she had ketchup on everything and today was no exception, I remember grandads disgust when Auntie Glenda came rushing over to the table and produced a bottle of Henze tomatoe ketchup out of her hand bag, satisfied Linda then proceeded to cover her entire plate and I mean her entire plate in red gloopy sauce. It wasn’t long into the meal that, that said same gloopy sauce ended up all over her bridesmaid dress after she spewed all her dinner back up again, right there at the dinner table. I couldn’t help but laugh at granddads face, Lindas face and watching auntie Glenda running around like a demented moron trying to clean up the mess, which quite frankly looked like a blood bath. 

The meal was over and more people, some I had never seen before, started to descend on the venue to help mom and ada celebrate their prenuptial’s.  The DJ took his place and asked for silence, before requesting that mom and Ada take their place in the centre of the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. Mom was no longer Dads wife she would no longer be referred to as Mrs Ford, she was now officially Mrs Flude and with that they took to the dance floor and danced for the first time as husband and wife. I recall thinking how happy mom looked that day, how content she seemed to be marrying the man of her dreams and now carrying his child. There were many speculative debates in the house as to wether mom was carrying a boy or a girl, personally I longed for a little boy, boys were easier, boys didn’t bitch or fall out with each other every five minutes and deep down I knew that Ada did too. 

On the 6th of October that year, my new baby brother was born, you couldn’t help but fall in love at first sight with Mark, his blond whispery hair, the blue eyes, he was perfect, after bringing him home, after what had apparently been a traumatizing birth for mom, the house was filled with visitors bringing gifts and wanting a cuddle with the new arrival. One of the most frequent visitors was my nan, in-fact she came around even more after Mark was born in fact she was completely obsessed “The golden child” as he would later be referred to, and it wasnt just me, other family members noticed her obsession too. She was present at his birth, but the way she went off you would have thought that she’d given friggin birth herself, you would have thought Mark was her son and not mom and ada’s

She was like an itch that wouldn’t go away, always there, always having an opinion, don’t do this, don’t do that! But despite her presence, I did love having mark around, I loved the permanent smell of babies that would hit you as you walked in the house, our Sarah loved caring for our mark, wanting to help out, feeding or bathing him, taking him for walks in his pushchair, to her he was like her new doll, she was a natural, whereas I preferred playing and cooing with him and couldn’t wait until he started to crawl, walk and develop his own little personality, he’s going to kill me but I don’t care, but when he was about eighteen months he was fixated with his todger, willy, nob or penis, (whatever you call it) he would be told to leave it alone, “it will fall off” mom would say but he was obsessed, In fact sometimes I’d find him, hiding behind the sofa secretly playing with it! Much to the dismay of Nan, which would only make me encourage him more, just to piss her off.

Understanding Trauma – learning to understand me

I was fortunate enough to have gotten a place on some training called “Trauma-Informed Care” I attended the one day course this week and quite frankly I could do more training on it. When I thought about the word trauma, I would always associate it with something bad, like abuse, rape or neglect something I personally haven’t experienced, but with the client group I work with I was keen to learn more, little did i realise that from that one day training I would come to learn more about myself.

Definition of trauma

‘Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that it has lasting long term effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being

(SAMHSA, 2012)

In fact what I learned from the training was that there are different degrees of trauma and that you didn’t have to have been raped, attacked or neglected, there are many other subtle forms of trauma that can build over time from childhood that can affect, shape how you perceive your own world and how you react to certain situations in later on in life.

We covered (not in enough detail though, hence my desire to learn more) different theories, attachment, insecure attachment, adverse childhood experiences, how this can affect the brain, how this affects and impacts on our levels of tolerance and resilience, something I have spoken about in previous posts we all get stretched emotionally and have even snapped at some point in our lives. The fact is that some people are more flexible and adaptable to change in certain circumstances than others (and that’s not a negative neither) that not all of us are the same, take two people and one experience they will both respond and react differently and that’s OK!

Attending the training served to affirm my existing belief that we are all unique, never one the same, whilst there will always be similarities, some stronger than other’s we are ALL uniquely our own person and whilst we all need a shoulder to rely on, some guidance from others who may have walked on the same path as us, we all wear our own shoes and you and I have to work out our own shit for ourselves – whether we like it or not.

Some people don’t like this statement “We are responsible for our own feelings and emotions”, it is so easy to blame someone else, but in order to take responsibility, we have to learn to firstly understand why and how we tend to deal with certain situations in our lives and ask ourselves and explore the why’s?

Why did I turn to drugs?

hy did I depend on unhealthy relationships?

Why did I act up as a kid?

Why do I doubt myself?

Why do i have a tendancy to procrastinate?

Until we understand the why’s, can we then start to accept and come to terms with who we have become and start working on who we want to be?

Right that’s enough refelction for one day 🙂

Love Fordy

The experts are the people we are trying to help

I was in London yesterday at a national meeting to discuss how using diverted giving schemes could help reduce homelessness. I left the meeting feeling uneasy, frustrated so much so here i am still sat reflecting. There were many around the table who were pretty well educated, but only two including myself who had any actual REAL life LIVED experience. I get it that services need money to operate in order to deliver some essential services, but what really gets my goat is sometimes there is a view that more resources = more results, conversations focused on if we

Provide a roof over their heads, then we can get them off the streets!

Provide them with scripts then we can get them off drugs !

Provide them with training, we can get them jobs!

A lot of these people who are vulnerable who we are talking about have developed coping strategies that don’t quite fit nicely with the social norm, they have developed coping strategies based on past personal experiences. They take drugs to block shit out, they prefer the streets than the prospect of dealing with the responsibility of managing a tenancy, they resist help because they have been let down before, whether that be by the system, families, their up bringing, the coping strategies that they had developed have been developed over years and sometimes will not be resolved by providing a roof over their head, getting them clean from drugs or getting them a fucking job.

People talked about diverted giving campaigns ya know like sponsor a donkey, pay five pounds per month and you can get regular updates on how your donkey is getting on, are people actually going to go down that route!!! I mean are people seriously considering this option? a marketing ploy to get donations out of people to fund essential services? isnt that just another word for BEGGING?

Adopt or sponsor a rough sleeper?, adopt or sponsor a drug addict? REALLY?

What these people really need is time, a safe space away from all the external shit and time to almost deprogram themselves, with guidance, of course, but this is a longer-term strategy the government are fucking deluded if they think by throwing 40 million amount of funding to local areas is going to eradicate people sleeping rough by 2027. now i am not saying it wont help, don’t get me wrong, but its gonna take more than money to help our societies most vulnerable, we need a change in attitude.

Some of those sat around the table yesterday was essentially marketers using the meeting as an opportuntiy to sell their own products and ideas, with claims that their way will attract funding to solve the problem. If someone helps get someone off the streets ‘they have succeeded’ if someone gets someone off drugs “they have succeeded” if someone gets someone a job “they have succeeded” but it’s not the charities who have succeeded or who can claim the success stories, it’s the fucking people themselves! 

People aren’t fucking robots, they are complex beings with their own unique varying challenges and to for some individuals to make claims assume that one person or one organization can solve all the issues and problems of some of the societies most vulnerable individuals are fucking deluded. 

No-one except myself is ever going to make a claim to my “success” or my “achievements” YES there were some people who helped and guided me along the way, they were vital, but ultimately it was me who took a risk and made the change’s and no one will take that away from me. 

So you can fuck off with your degrees and research projects, you are fucking playing at it, people will always respond better when they are listened to when they feel heard when people make time for them, no amount of scripts, roofs or jobs can replace human connection, however human connection takes time and 8 years ain’t long enough in my humble opinion.

Rant over, offload over, reflection time over, grounding myself in what i believe achieved, for today at least

Jealousy ain’t Pretty

Off to London today, and I thought i would share an excerpt from the book with you..

We didn’t have any regular contact arrangements with Dad and Pat his new bird, I remember we occasionally we would have tea around at hers, dad wasn’t always there, I always felt unwelcome, like a spare part, in her home, even though she never gave any real cause to feel uncomfortable and was always nice to me and my sister, it was always there. And when dad was around he always seemed to favor and fuss over her sons rather than us (I supposed they were the sons he never had!). Dad was hard to talk to, he wasn’t interested in us, he took no interest in how school was going? precious our lives in general, always leaving me feeling like we were never enough, always feeling that we were just two annoying kids that got in the way. He’d talk and have banter with the boys about football and girls, laughing at their latest antics, but never interested in what me and Sarah had been up to. It got too disheartening at times, my heart would sometimes physically ache for the same kind of attention that was always reserved for Pat and her boys. 

There was one time that me and Sarah had sleep over at Pats house. We had been at her house hanging around with the local kids all day one evening Dad and Pat were going out to the local pub leaving me, Sarah and Stephen in the maisonette alone, we were playing darts on dads darts board in the dining room. There was music on in the background and the night was going great until Stephen dropped the bombshell that Dad was planning on taking him, his brother and his mother away on holiday abroad later that year. Like what the fuck!

I remember feeling extremely jealous, after all the furthest I had ever been on holiday was to the coast to Cleethorpse or Skeg Vegas on a caravan holiday with mom and adrian, (not that I was ungrateful or anything) but I already envied all my friends who went abroad for their summer holidays and now I was being told Dad was taking them away, it didn’t help neither that dad had NEVER taken us away before and now he was talking another woman kids? I felt the rage and feelings of hurt engulf me as Stephen bragged about where they were going, what they would be doing, the water parks, the sun, of course I made out I wasn’t bothered, but he was on a roll (he probably didn’t realise it was such a big deal) and he wouldn’t shut up rubbing it in, it felt like salt was being rubbed into an open wound! Like an elastic band being stretched to its full capacity, I snapped and in one split second I had gone from having a friendly game of darts to stabbing him on the top of his arm with one of me dads darts! I didn’t know where it came from, (well I did) I had never felt the need to use a weapon before other than my fist, all I know is that it worked, (well it shut him up bragging about the holiday at least). Our Sarah just stood there stunned, speechless as he fled the room crying, heading straight to the phone at the bottom of the stairs to call his mom at the pub to snitch on me. 

At the time I didn’t feel sorry for him at all, in fact, all I could think was ahhhh sharrap ya little puff He got off the phone to his mom, who must have told him to go straight to his room and wait there until her and dad came home, he placed the receiver on the phone and in between his sobbing and climbing the stairs, he shouted behind him “I would never be welcome in his house after this”. I felt no guilt at all about my violent outburst, I mean the dart didn’t even really go that deep, it wasn’t like he was losing blood or owt, it was a fucking pin prick for crying out loud! If I could have gone home then I would have, but it was too late for us to be going home (I did briefly consider running away, but decided I had best stay put and await my fate) so me and Sarah went to bed and waited until dad and pat came home.

They couldn’t have come home straight away, because I had felt asleep, into a deep sleep, I remember being woken by lots of shouting and screaming, at first I thought I was back at home, but then I heard  Stephen crying in the background and remembered where I was, I had flash backs to what I had done earlier, now wincing to myself acknowledging that perhaps I might have gone too far this time?

I heard someone coming up the stairs, I was shitting myself, fuck me I was in for it now, I lay in bed waiting to get a pasting of a life time, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Dad came into the room and said to me “what’s gone off?”  I remember bursting into tears, but trying at the same time to compose myself (as dad didn’t do crying) I was scared shitless that I was going to feel the wrath of dad, dad had never hit me before, he never had too, his angry voice alone sent shivers throughout my body and just the thought of those hands like shovels giving me a pasting could send me into meltdown. I told dad what had happened and why I had stabbed Pats precious son and tried justifying myself saying it was only a pin pick, it’s not like he needed stitches or owt! 

Rather than get angry, give me a slap, or shout dad calmly said to melisten, ignore what he said about the holiday he then chuckled telling me “not to worry about it and to go back to sleep, he’d sort it” For one moment it seemed like he was actually proud of me opposed to being angry, which was a first! He then stroked my head, before turning to leave the bedroom, silently closing the door behind him. I can still recall the relief that washed over me as I laid in bed, but what I remember more is the feeling that I had done dad proud.

I listened as dad descended the stairs, then I heard Stephen climbing back up them sobbing quietly before going into his bedroom and closing his door. There were a few raised muffed voices between Dad and Pat, and then the front door slammed and then there was nothing, just a deathly silence. 

The next morning when I woke, I was not looking forward to going downstairs meeting last nights victim nor his mother Pat, who would surely hate me after this! And there was nothing to say that dad might have had a change of heart once he’d sobered up from the night before, so I knew I wasn’t out off the woods just yet! I recall the moment I walked into the dining room, Pat was sat there at the table alone with her back to me, (I was already dressed and ready to leave)  but I knew I would have to apologise first and even try and explain my actions, after all she had never done anything wrong to me (well, apart from shagging me dad) and it wasn’t her fault her son was a puff! I did wonder if after my actions whether or not she might never let me in the house again and if she didn’t, I couldn’t have really blamed her, but it would mean that I would see less of dad.

She was sat wrapped in her dressing gown, having a fag,  upon hearing the door she turned her head slightly,  saying “good morning?” Nice as pie, as if nothing had ever happened the night before, she didn’t seem angry at all, in fact she was quite the opposite, her tone was really friendly. I took this as a good sign and went to take the seat next to her to try and explain why I really stabbed her son, would she understand that it wasn’t because I hated him,? it was because I was jealous? Dad had never taken us on holiday? Would she understand? 

As I took my seat and Pat lifted her face, I had only seen one side, when she turned full on the other side of her face, was black and swollen, the bridge of her nose which was once small and petite was now swollen beyond recognition, her nose looked broken, there were remnants of blood from the night before encrusted on the inside of her nostrils. I was stunned, speechless, I didn’t know what to say apart from “god what happened?” She tried telling me that she had fallen coming up the stairwell the night before, but it wasn’t anything to worry about “Actually it looked worse than it was”  Now where had I heard that line before? 

I remember thinking, nothing to fucking worry about? Pat, you look friggin deformed! Have you seen your face? She didn’t mention anything about what happened between me and her son Stephen the previous night, it was like nothing had never happened, it was weird, she was weird, her face was disfigured, her once pretty face was deformed and would take weeks to heal. I instinctively knew in the pit of my stomach that dad had done this! Then the guilt quickly engulfed me. This was my fault, this was because of what I did last night? Dad you didn’t have to hit her for fuck’s sake! It was only a pin prick and it was her son, not her? She hadn’t done anything wrong. 

So why had dad hit her?

It’s ok to do you

Hi, guys, it’s been a while – its the end of a full week of being back at work today, I am feeling a lot better physicallu and mentally health wise, i have been writing a lot, which has been cathartic but also requires a lot of reflection and more importantly making time for good honest quality refection time. I am pleased to announce that after sharing my first four chapters of the book with two people who I had entrusted them to, I got my first ever feedback and critique on the book to date. 

This was a BIG deal for me, especially as one of them is already a successful published author and it wasn’t as bad as I first thought it would be. I am feeling pretty chuffed as I have downloaded this chart that helps you map your daily writing, I have transferred all my chapters to date onto an online site called Trello that sets out each chapter, including a heading and a summary of the content. I am now working on chapter 8 – Exploring the Valley (as in Gleadless Valley, the estate I grew up in)

So here’s todays refelctions taken from my personal diary

It’s not a secret that I am pretty opinionated, particularly when I comes to how we as individuals have to take total responsibility for our own lives this includes our own feelings, how we act or  how we react, the decisions we make, the directions we chose to take which ultimately (fingers crossed) carry us to our final destination or goal what ever that may be. 

For me, the destination the goal that I strive for or I would even goes a far to say “crave for” is not all about the destination, but more about the journey. I have written about this previously, about easy it can be soooo easy to lose our footing, to lose that sense of wellbeing, that feeling of contentment, that feeling of being satisfied, satisfied with our lot (what ever that looks like for each of us). 

When starting out this page, blog I genuinely had no aspirations other than to use this as a platform to off load my thoughts, observations on life, someone asked the other day “How many people do you have subscribed to your site” and my simple answer was “I don’t care about how many people see my blogs/post/rants/offloads because this isn’t about anyone else, this is about ME I keep a personal journal and I could choose to keep all of the nonsense shit that goes through my head private, but by keeping it private or feeling ashamed to share only serves to reinforce the narrative out there in society that its not ok to not be ok!” And that my friend is what I passionately believe is wrong and unjust!

Because it IS ok to have a shit day at work, it is ok that you don’t feel 100% ALL of the time, it is ok that we sometimes feel crap about ourselves, question ourselves, doubt ourselves, it’s ok that sometimes we might get frustrated or angry #Shithappens

Sometimes I might not get involved in things I do care about because I recognise that simply caring about something, caring about someone else for example doesn’t mean I can always make a difference or change and thats ok too.

It’s ok not to get involved in all the debates about the injustices that take place across the world every friggin second of the day, 24 hours, 7 days a week, 360 days a year, because if I got involved in EVERYTHING I do care about, I run the risk of caring too much “does that make sense?” If I focused too much on the things I cannot change I would feel very sad, feel permanently defeated, feel permanently deflated and generally not a happy person. I am slowly learning on this journey I call life that giving and caring too much about things you cannot change can inadvertently hurt you more. 

SO going back to my original as of November 2018, it was estimated that there are over 7.7 Billion humans currently living on this planet, thats not including animals, now thats a lot of fucking caring.

So just for today I chose to care about me and I’m not ashamed to own that statement I chose to not be ashamed or admitting that I cannot change everything or others around me, I am not ashamed to say that sometimes I fail at not caring about myself as much as I could, because it’s 

It’s ok to not be ok

It’s ok to say “I’m doing me” 

It’s ok to say no