Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Flashback & Guardian Article

My brain says it was a Thursday but it was 14 years ago so I can't be sure. It was my Mum, her boyfriend and myself driving home from our trip to the pub down our road. She was plastered which was normal. I don't remember him being drunk but I don't know. We lived in a maisonette which from the outside looks like any normal semi-detached house except we lived in the upstairs flat. Next to our home was a driveway leading to all the garages for all the flats.We stopped on the drive. I got out with my Mum and I watched her lift her right leg over the small dividing wall. There was a slight difference in height between the drive and the path leading to the front doors but she had done this step down hundreds of times. She seemed as drunk as she normally was. Yet tonight, she clips her foot and falls.
Read my story in The Guardian
Linked below
The true sign of an alcoholic, she manages to get a hand out in front of her despite her angered drunken state. It doesn't stop her fall though and she lands forehead first on the edge of our concrete front door step. At the age of 12 my reaction was not to scream and cry. If I remembered correctly I took her keys, allowed myself in and went to get towels to stem the bleeding. I remember tutting and mumbling like I still do when annoyed. In the end, an ambulance was called. I don't remember the boyfriend being in the hospital with me whilst she was cleaned up. I don't remember anyone asking why a 12 year old was caring for a 46 year old drunk with head wounds either but I guess in 2002 less 'shits' were given. I have no memory of how we got home but I do remember going to bed thinking that there was no way I intend to get up in time for school.

This was the flashback I kept experiencing over the last weekend. My Nan (Mum's Mum) is the last grandparent I have left. When I was a child I used to spend the weekends at their house - as I got older it was some escape from my home life. Yet as the years continue to pass I find myself increasingly looking after her. I've been calling the council to get her hot water sorted and on Friday took her to A & E after swelling on her arm meant she couldn't get up from her sofa.
See me in panto this weekend! More info below...

Her memory is also starting to play tricks on us although sometimes I doubt her recent memory and find out it is 100% true. It's scary. Sometimes I catch myself and realise that her symptoms or behavior are like my Mother - her daughter. I am so thankful for having an Aunt and cousins who can pop in during the week as I don't think I could risk looking after her more than the 24-48 hours I already do. Reading this it sounds so lazy or inconsiderate but sat in A&E with her having repeating conversations and acting as a translator between medical staff and my Nan just put me back to that incident all those years ago. I don't care for myself properly yet I feel I need to help my Nan.

My Nan is feeling much better xx
Those flashbacks along with fear for my future, my Nan and some silly triggers with people in my life lead me to misbehave. I can't remember the last time I took a blade to my skin yet I had to do it this week. I keep having intrusive thoughts too as I reside to the fact that my suicide is slowly becoming the best way to solve my problems and seek justice and absolution.

That is just a glimpse at my mind and my childhood and I've never complained or bragged about my childhood - I have good memories too including drinking 'Hooch' in Spain with my Dad and Stepmum - yet in hindsight I can see the "Childhood Trauma" my NHS report talks about. This is something that I discussed with journalist Elena Cresci in an article for The Guardian newspaper called "The NHS (and playing a panto dame) helped me recover after suicide attempt". Perhaps I have been lucky, but I look at my blog and my journey and think how much worse it could have been. Don't get me wrong, it could of been better. With the right support from my employer (as required under the Equality Act and the Health and Safety at Work Act) I don't think I would be here today. In last week's blog I spoke about my visit to LBC and my latest YouTube video in which try to explain what stigma means to mental health. If it wasn't for the staff in the NHS, I am sure this country would be in a much more crippled state and not just in terms of health as it would disable our economy too. We have fantastic staff who would ridiculously long hours for no where near enough pay or respect. I feel the NHS mental health services are overloaded and collapsing with the coin counters ignoring the true 'KPIs' (Key Performance Indicators); a person kills him/herself in the UK every TWO hours.
"But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself."
-Albert Camus
If you have a moment please do read and share the article in The Guardian and perhaps you could even comment or tweet on this blog. At this moment I am feeling a little low but this week begins my two weeks of pantomime performances and as that article highlights; this club is really important to me and my mental health.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. xx




Our annual fundraising pantomime starts with two shows this Saturday (30th)! For the latest news, to get your amazing...
Posted by Iver Heath Drama Club on Saturday, 23 January 2016