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There comes a time when reality hurts

He is so special that it hurts me to think I can do nothing more than I am …. the system is taking over. I should not have to protect him that’s what parents do, obviously I have screwed up as a father, and my son has failed, albeit in adulthood.

I am sitting in Costas in Portsmouth crying and crying I see no solution to our grandson being fostered or adopted. He will be gone from our life forever.

My son and his partner have apparently been unable to care for him and someone has contacted social services. It’s right and proper to protect him but it hurts and hurts – every time I stop thinking the pain returns and twists me over.

Last Friday my partner was collecting him for a stay over, very normal, could be one night, could be two nights, it matters not. The police either arrived or where there questioning his mum and dad. Social services had been informed by someone that they were not good parents. There may have been cause for concern that our son had fallen backwards down the stairs after our grandson was being cross with being taken out of the bath.

He is bright and very active and he keeps us busy. He is inquisitive, he is able to draw pieces of information together to check things with question, in much the same way he builds towers with tubes. He is able to reuse things he has been told. He understands and recognises sadness and knows he can help to make people feel better. What else is there for a boy of a month away from three years of age?

Drugs were searched for and found. Our sons partner kicked off big time and had to be restrained.

One of the policemen recognised my partner as being one of two (me the other) that collected our grandson when a similar event occurred. I imagined he checked and she and our grandson were allowed to leave.

My partner and I

We have cried together, we have laid awake and talked at three and four o’clock in the morning. We just don’t know what to do. We have two sons in difficult relationships.

We do not think we have been bad parents: there are always things that could be done differently, but nothing major.

It might sound harsh, and I want to say we fully support our sons, their partners and their children, but it is the two young ladies who have both had very difficult and different upbringings that are a cause for concern.

We can only support all of them, and not interfere.  They are our family!

The PIP process

This form is a nightmare.  It has been written in a pathetic style that is designed to fit everyone.  Bearing in mind it is to be completed by a range of people from physically disabled people to people with mental health issues it is based upon differences since the last time it was completed.  For many people remembering exactly how they were the last time the form was completed is impossible.

Life for this young lady has been dogged with past memories that cause great pain when relived, self harm has been done, abusive relationships lived through, with violent physical abuse received along with mental abuse.

Confidence is zero: self esteem is zero, self loathing is there and the vision that she has absolutely no future and is never listened to and even less understood are her daily thoughts and isolation through music blots out memories and the passage of time.

A wish not to affect her young child with negative attitudes has been the one constant wish, but, sadly is failing.

With this as the backdrop completing the form became a mountain to climb. Three or four evenings were spent with her partner trying to complete the form, but to no real avail.

I previously mentioned a one-size fits all questionnaire: the questions all read the same apart from the intent. In essence it is about the difference between two years ago and now. No real records existed for reference purposes and the pain of time means last weeks memory is a long time ago and incomplete.

I have known this lady for the last two years and I have witnessed a total decline of the persons mental health. I sat with this lady and had to search her thoughts and feelings to get the correct information – not my interpretation of her words, but her words.

Several times I would turn back to write and she would be gone to refuge. Occasionally she would return I and want to engage but with difficulty. I had to leave to return the next evening.

The allotted date arrived and it was not complete. I had arranged to visit her during the afternoon and phone the people, but much to my pleasure and surprise she had called them and an extension was offered.

More talking …

The sessions I had with the therapist were strange to start with. Never in my life had I ever spoken so openly to anyone about me.

She listened and showed only empathy.  Occasionally asking questions that took me in a parallel direction but allowed my concentration to pick up on buried experiences in depths of my mind.  I was never questioned in a way that appeared to apportion blame or cast doubt

I’ll say now, at every session I cried.  I did not feel embarrassed at all, and not any better for doing so either.  Even now the closest I can get to for trigger moments is my total disgust with myself for my inability in times of need not to be able help others.

I could not help at the train crash or the suicide, so I became a victim of circumstance; which I could not accept but also could not reduce the anguish I felt.

I fear blood. I pass out and end up having to receive help.

So a double hit for my emotions and feelings: can’t help BUT BUT BUT I must.

Our discussion first had to workout which was my biggest concern, the train crash or the suicide.

Both events were as vivid today as if it had happened yesterday.  I had had longer to stew on the train accident and it was this event that gave me the greatest torment.

During the last year – Talking Theories

Late in publishing

Roundabout this time last year (2016) I was anxious as to what to expect from counselling.  I was open minded in as much I accepted I had to have help.  But unsure as to how my mind would be prepared to give up what it was hiding from me let alone to a stranger.

I had had one session and felt very comfortable in the presence of the lady therapist.  I was given straightforward guidance:  I hold the answer, I will be lead, not pushed and on the whole I will set the pace. I was happy with this.  I should expect to dig deep into my past.  I was reassuring and said I would be open and honest.

We talked about were I was, what triggered my actions and how those actions were played out.  Even now I do not like my self for responding how I did, but …

In short and mentioned in previous pages; when purposely provoked I would have great problems containing my emotions and let rip taking no prisoners.  Afterwards I would inwardly brew and beat my self up.  The pain of this never dissipated it just accumulated with the last and I know the next.

The therapist asked about people who I admired and could draw inspiration from when needed at a time of provocation.  It took a little time (two, three weeks) and I chose Gandalf, Schindler and Banardo.

Gandalf for his ability to always have a great grasp of the issues, an answer and present his case in a calm and compassionate way while listening to others point of views.

Schindler for his true compassion and not wanting or expecting anything in return.

Banardo for his wish to help children who in their formative years need love and compassion in a safe environment and again with no personal benefit.

This idea brings forward the expectation that I can take inspiration from them and act according to good role models that come with my very own recommendations.

The problem is the short fuse I have.  I have a firework rocket in one hand and a lite match in the other … it does not take long to … it’s a shorter time than it is divert my attention with an intervention.

I am not unique

Reading other people’s blogs who were sharing their mental health issue was mind-calming to me, and I am sorry for being trite, showed me that I am not as unique as I thought I was.

I follow other people and organisation with #tags relating to mental health and such, and find them supportive in a personal way. However, I cannot, yet, declare my identity as I don’t feel safe.

This is contrary to the in vogue message of promoting mental health issues wherever in the workplace etc.

The Future is Bright, the Future is Mental Health.

This was me (below) but life has moved on. Counselling showed me I was not to blame and I can change my perspective on the past and remember it.  It is okay, safe and not disloyal to others to remember what happened without the negative effect that came to drive my life.

You don’t need me to tell you how mental health has come to the fore but this blog has evolved for me, as mental health issues are affecting every part of my family and family life.  It is as though from nowhere we are all involved at a deep routed profound level of existence.

I have now given myself a wider remit as I want to record what is happening as, to be honest, I can’t believe what we are going through. I thought we were a normal family and if everyone is as normal as we are it is a rum life we have.

This was me: A confused person suffering with PTSD.  Confused as I feel a fraud. People I know still see the old me, old because I know I have changed, and I feel cannot understand what I am going through on the inside.  I would consider myself a mild sufferer as I don’t exhibit every PTSD trait.

Why don’t I write more?

My life has drastically changed over the last two to three years, mostly for the better, but I cannot see how the grief I have has come my way.  I am not an innocent bystander, I am a bit-part player in other people’s lives, all be it sometimes unwittingly.

I have not been asleep and missed things.  I have not stumbled blindly into situations.  The signals and signs have been there but the onslaught has been relentless and in some cases simply overwhelming.

Well, why don’t I write more?  A simple question, but a complex answer is needed.

I enjoy writing; I like the discipline of being thorough, accurate and ordered. I want to be factually correct, concise, fluent and chronological.

These factors are like the sword of Damocles for me.

For me writing is painfully slow and the end result must be balanced and fully reflect my meaning and sentiment as defending self-contractions in future times is painful.  It could also generate distrust by others.

The problem I see is only I know the facts of my life and this is my perspective.  This is my bubble.  Due to my anonymity no one else can check the facts. My facts may come across as opinions, which can be questioned but are not wrong!  So on I go …

I want to write more often, but the rigorous process stifles me, and stops spontaneity; so I must change.

I plan to write non-chronologically which means I might have to use sign posts to past entries and sign post to future entries which may take a time to be written.  This may mean it looks or feels jumbled but it will aid my desire to write more.

Success will tell when I reflect, in say a years time.

Reflection …

Just remembered an experience – perhaps 55 years ago.  While a young child, I had what people now say are out-of-body experiences.  I would be above me while I was asleep in my bed. Looking down and around, no noise, no panic. I was aware I existed twice.

This is now a reflective comment: during the EMDR sessions I felt involved with the event in a way that my thoughts had barred me from.

In a strange and reflective way this is how I responded when under the influence of the bilateral simulation of EMDR. The emotional feelings were mine but their impact was not present.

Prior to counselling I would cry when recalling either of the two major events I had been through. I don’t now. I would describe my feelings and emotions as being mournful and respectful. However I must not forget!

I am not saying there is a meta-physical connection but a coincidence is present.

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