abuse full stop

This post is about child grooming ( child sex abuse) and as such may not be suitable for everyone. It isn’t graphic or violent, but still… hence my notice.

Welcome to the world my child,

Don’t be afraid of the wicked

we have confined them into a prison of scorn and contempt,

from where’ll they’ll never escape,

Frances Bebey : A Forest Nativity.

The recent high profile arrest, “suicide” and Netflix documentary about Jeffrey Epstein and G Maxwell has bought the issue of child abuse and sex trafficking into focus for those of us watching. When you factor in Prince Andrew and his childish rebuttals to very credible evidence in abundance, (not to mention Jimmy Saville, good friend to Prince Charles, Cyril Smith and Edward Heath, and on and on) the pattern of high profile politicians and entertainers, royalty and business men defended and protected while the victims are disbelieved and discredited has been rampant, each decade has bought with it different layers of accusation and rebuttal. There seems to be a veritable avalanche of testimony, credible and compelling, corroborating and crushing, a tidal wave of abuse victims and the reckoning with the pedo-criminals, and other wild abusers is seemingly coming to pass. An avalanche of trauma coming of age, refusing to be vilified any more. We can only hope this is true.

I have been binge watching on You Tube the alternative podcasts and news outlets focussing on both Epstein and the victims who bravely won’t give up (Shaun Attwood, ex con, Jon Wedger Ex detective with the MET, Carine Hutsebaut a therapist with over 30 years experience of child killers and victims.)

So, for a start, why? At first it was click bait mania, but I realised listening to hours of testimony of victims that I resonated with the stories of these girls and boys, rolling my eyes at the lame, creepy justifications and excuses of abusers and their apologisers, protectors and cohorts. I wasn’t one of the unbelievers. But it was only after hearing story after story of the targeted attempts of paedophiles and abusers to pick on children who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, their modus operandi, the burgeoning sexual desires and need to escape something, at home, or school or wherever of the children involved that it dawned on me that I was one of those children….I had never seen myself as vulnerable or a victim so this was quite an epiphany. It was the loyalty to the groomers which really ripped a veil off my experience from the testimonies of children groomed by older men.

The internal personal subjective dictionary that every human has, of approximately 25- 35000 words and if you ask 10 people what the word child means to them they will give you a wide variety of answers, from a little baby to an adolescent teenager. And this is where “society” seems to have fallen into a hole, prepubescent and adolescent girls are seen as game, almost a woman, close enough.

Where is that prison of scorn and contempt for the contemptible and shameless.

There’s an internal personal subjective experience, there’s not negotiation, it’s you, and when you have to navigate with other people you can quickly learn to project your experience in a deceptive way. Did I know I was being groomed? well no, because to me it was as if this was the seam of life that I had found myself in, there were other adults, including my family, neighbours and such, so I never felt unsafe, or that was happening was inappropriate. Did they know they were grooming me? At the time obviously I didn’t think so and vehemently defended them if the issue ever arose, twice as I recall, once by my brother who saw a man in Jag drop me off at 11.00 at night, and ran out to confront him.

Grown men hanging out with young girls, with easy access to alcohol, flats, cars and money. It started to involve more friends, girls of 11 and 12. I remember an image of me at 12, in a grown mans flat with a few other men, people I perceived as friends, as we did other things together ( participated in plays at a local theatre centre and met up local family parties of mixed ages, pretty much like a church functions, children play, women cook and men drink beer… )

So there I was whisky in hand, sitting in between the legs of a 38 yr. old local businessman, a friend of my mother, well at least known to her, with his hand tucked in on the inside of my jeans at the front, not quite touching my vagina but just there. My Saturday job was cleaning this guy’s flat; he would pick me up and drop me off, his “cover” for our acquaintance. Once when I was cleaning his bedroom I found a cache of orgy photos, with two of my “men friends” and two of my close girlfriends, school friends, 12, 13, something like that, and remember a pang of jealousy that I hadn’t been picked, or chosen, or whatever it was; my older brothers and family a bit too problematic, more likely to be rumbled, not vulnerable enough like these other two, but I only see that now. I was also sexually confused. Up to that point I had not seen it as real, as if what we were doing was role play, playacting being a woman, like the stage shows we put on… but the visceral shock of the photos disabused me of that innocent notion.

From that point on I understood this was part of an underworld of lies and secrecy that all double lives lead onto: tunnelling to gods knows where, the never ending spectrum of wrongness. It never occurred to child me to question if it was was wrong on any moral or ethical, societal level, secret yes, but not wrong. There were many other sexual snogs and gropes and titillation, “would I honour a man (28) and his girlfriend (16) with a threesome, to express what close friends we all were, sharing in this intimate act with them?” At 13. I didn’t, no. In part held back by fear of my older siblings finding out I think now!

My family broken down by the time I was 11, dad gone, poverty arrived, two older brothers running wild, my mother busy, how could I not be drawn to the attention and benefits which were being offered. Twice at age 12 and then 13 I was picked up in a Jag Christmas morning to go to an Xmas day party, with a 38 year old man, giving me a huge vintage teddy one year and a large stuffed lion the next and expensive perfume, L’air du temp, I still remember the shape of the bottle and an exquisite, sophisticated, grown up feeling it bestowed on me. I was special… however the following year at 14 he had started favouring my best friend, and I was hurt and rejected and internalised it as not being good enough, I had really thought I was the chosen one. Chosen for what I wasn’t quite sure, having no sexual experience to speak of (I was 11 at the start, but soon found out from her.) They stayed as a “couple” until she was 20. Hard to believe now when I think about it…so what harm eh?

(When I think about these guys turning up at adult parties with me on Xmas day or any other times for that matter, as an adult I am gobsmacked, and yet I still remember the child me in that environment feeling completely at ease and normal, downing glasses of egg nog ((blurgh)) cuddling my new stuffed toy).

At the theatre centre where all this was seeded another rival group of adults began bandying around words like statutory rape… however  they didn’t talk to me but sent a letter saying I was banned from the theatre unless I contacted them to discuss my behaviour as I was perceived as a ring leader, gobby and acting out. I was summarily advised by the “male friends” not to engage with them and ignore it. I never went back. A place that I had been attending since I was 6 or 7, putting on plays and shows and it being like a second home really, my social hub. I was the only person ever banned from that place, and by not sticking up for myself but walking away with my “pride” , head held high, whatever the cost, became a feature too of my life, even though it wasn’t in my interests, or my idea, and I lost a huge amount in terms of friendships and opportunities, and was solely to protect the agenda of those contemptible men. To prove my loyalty and therefore my value.

So ended my sojourn into paedophilia. Phew.

For many girls and boys this sadly can end with finding themselves in places where any notion of choice or complicity is gone. There but by the grace of god go I. The extent of this and its development globally is really a concern for everyone.

I spoke to my friend recently, and she said” I often think the historic sex abuse cases coming up now are the same as what we went thru'” with no sense of irony. Almost as if she were still looking at it from the point of view that we had been  making equal choices like the men. This burden of responsibility for sexual assault, rape or child abuse put on the victims by perpetrators and their protectors is reinforced in most institutions in society.

A common significant feature of a victim’s outlook is personal responsibility, as if it is your fault, so what’s to complain about? Fail safe. I needed some attention, some companionship, a gang. I didn’t feel like a victim, (I was tough, a leader, I was 12.) So how could I be. Me at 12 “allowing myself” to be sexually fondled and groomed for god knows what, but I’ll tell you one thing… it wasn’t done with my well being in mind.

Was I raped? honestly I don’t think so, but there was plenty alcohol, so maybe? Was I was trafficked, kidnapped, sold in to SRA. No. Maybe we were the first round, did they carry on after we left with other groups of girls? In the swathes of True Crime I’ve been listening to for a couple of years now victims not coming forth to report abuses allowed serial rapists, killers and pedo-criminals to avoid detection and suspicion for years. I received an email from a man at another local theatre in 2007, saying he had heard what a goer I was back in the day, meaning he was talking to these men in 2007, I had no idea how he had found my email either and joking about me as a “goer” . Bare in mind I was 14 when I left. I asked him did he take his 11, 12 or 13 year old children to the centre. I was going thru a very hard time then with various problems and didn’t pick up the ball, as I wish I had, I remember filing it for another day, I was angry and humiliated that my reputation was so tarnished.

Is it the opaque, black and white decisions and experiences which “maketh the man (sic)” or the subtle and transparent, invisible internalisations, based on feelings of self worth and value which build character and empathy. I became more internally passive, and outwardly loud. If intimate love and interest knocked on my door so be it, but would I fight for it? No way. I looked down on women who laid their desire out to see, chasing men at parties, opening up themselves, to be rejected or accepted, I never saw the importance of letting someone know they were wanted….. Inevitably I ended up alone.

My feelings about that time, with many other factors, are less important than the understanding that what they did was criminal. I have taken my childish groomed loyalty and culpability and stomped it into dust. Thanking my Goddess self for strong mental health and steel wired vulnerability. A beautiful paradox. Energetic transformation over action. But hey I am 5 decades in now.

I’m pretty sure like the #metoo movement and the current child abuse victims speaking out with horrendous experiences, that most people reading will have had some similar or worse stories, and acknowledgement of that is in and of itself a good thing, shedding light on secrets covering shame and self worth, and exposes the methods employed to abuse with impunity .

Peace and love to all the light workers, you know who you are!

Coronaaaaa arrrrgggghhh arrhh umm sigh

Speechless or voiceless

Nothing is without its influence ( Nothing was….)

It’s not so much the virus ( unflinching public compliance )

submit ( no question….)

this blog is dead (for now). Till now

Voiceless or Speechless ( clever, but meaningless)

I tried , really I did.

I am writing a blog post proper now, but I didn’t want to waste the images…..

Inception

Yoga Zoom Portugal Berlin North Wales My bedroom

I am beginning to realise that my memories are not wholly my own as I share them on this blog, extruded into the biosphere I am reminded of details I had forgotten or mislaid, or filed under NOT currently important, sometimes “no it wasn’t like that, it was like this”. This has been a welcome poke, and an irritating incursion into my version of my reality, (paradox alert). When I am inspired to write a post it is usually one tiny fragment of memory , a fleeting glimmer in the minds eye of an experience I had, while jaunting around life. Then like an old fashioned pink sugar floss spinner I whirligig it up on a stick to go.

When I go on to explore it further I’m always surprised at where it takes me. A completely holistic account is undesirable, like a literal truth, as I am chasing moods and feelings which are picked from the smorgasbord of my own making to express something truly my own . Other peoples memories of the experiences shared with me are solely theirs. Gosh this sounds like a bit of a moan…but…no I like all the feedback, what ever it makes me feel, the twisting and reflection it can cause is healthy and welcome, so thanks one and all, but it leads on to another similar dynamic.

it reminds me that when listening to others the/my ego just can’t help but insert itself; try to muscle in and take over (instead of being an exploration of the storytellers experience, it veers off too soon to the “listener “… )

A poignant example is in my parenti role, my child would be expressing their self, often unhappily, and I would leap up to “Dial that down to Perfect“, all in the blink of an eye. Result; boy shut down, the feeling he was so tenderly trying to express trampled in motherly love, protection and guilt? No question about it. Self serving Motherfucking guilt. I feared hearing his words. Those little drops of magical nectar which recalibrate relationships, soak into the psyche, refreshing healing old wounds and fears and incursions. From our narcissistic child selves to emotionally intelligent light beings all in the blink of an eye.

(Turned out I needn’t have worried tho’ he thinks I did a great job)

self-consciousness

peek a boo

it used to be that I was slightly self conscious about people always seeing me on the sofa asleep, or just doing stuff. I live in a bungalow and the living room feels like a fish bowl, as nightfall came I was always in a rush to close the curtains as it got darker and so easier to see in. Sometimes I would be on the sofa watching T.V. or whatever and would glance up and see someone in the opposite house or walking by eye to eye. As if they had just walked in, almost.

It was a moment that irked me, or possibly in some way embarrassed me. My embarrassment stemmed from the fact that I was always doing the same thing, or so I thought, think, and definitely not doing enough, as a disabled, chronically ill person who always comparing herself to the old one, who had legs to get back and forth easily and arms to carry heavy loads, now I shuffle about, and drop cups or spoons like they’re too much for me, or possibly the fact I might see them in the morning and then again at night, and I would be in the same place and position Oh the shame.

peacock with nothing to prove

After the first week of being grounded, I realised I no longer felt any sense of self consciousness. Watching and feeling everyone I had been living around recently going thru’ the self same expressions and averted glances, that then became nods, and then smiles as we all succumb to the business of what to do when you can’t go out. I don’t even close the curtains anymore. Literally can’t remember why it used to bother me so much.

Also…I have accepted a bit more that I’m quite active in some sense, slow, but active. Lots of balls in the air, juggling like a pro, and choosing activity based solely on my whim. One thing sit, one thing stand, mindless activity -v-academic rigour. Tick Tock, Left Right.

Prior to the Big C being a human being just wasn’t enough through all the baggage and pressure to really sit with the knowledge we are all each one fragment of a collective experience, no differences that matter; blood and bone. In port or at sea. But the whole world… everywhere feeling this, about that.

please remember that it would be heart warming to hear from the people who have subscribed, read or followed this site. Any comments or likes are slavishly drooled over, and even tho’ I can see how many people may have read these missives, it would be great to know more about you. Or not, enjoy anyway.

Open

I was open then. Literally living on a whim. All my clothes were homemade. Scotland. Living on a peace camp. In a caravan on the side of the road. Physically I would go anywhere. More or less with anyone. To do anything. I hitch hiked up and down the UK. Drove to Europe. Flew to the America’s. In my 20’s that is how I expressed my need for freedom. The open road. A long and winding journey with no end save an imaginary convergence of place, relationship and peace.
The emotional connections I had weighed heavy on me. Family friends and place. So I was never really free. Always swinging back that way, to be drawn in by some “solid” solidifying conundrum. What stopped me was a broken betrayed heart. I wished it had catapulted me away instead of sucking me down. My whimsical fancy now took a different focus; trying to fit in, catch up, try something different, albeit trying to be the same.

I began to follow and acquiesce instead of lead. My confidence battered I forgot I knew what was best for me. Maybe this is the same road of self discovery that many of us take, different details and names but loss and suffering. Compromises and eventually a path that is comfortable. The tension of harnessing wildness in a bubble. Not the caged animal in a zoo relentlessly pacing up and down but light bouncing off the walls creating Northern Lights of the soul.

Context

is it just me or is The Big C no longer cancer, which I always found incredibly annoying anyway: the illness hierarchy! the adverts; mothers on the warpath in pink t-shirts showing the kids how you beat up your opponents, surely not the playground motto I hope, for the innocent parent who even suggested that maybe there was some evidence that perhaps… bash, bash , bash, we gonna beat cancer, fisti cuffs up, snarls and menacing growls. Noooo we need expensive research and drugs and we need them nowwwww. Honestly I do get it, I’m no friend of the old Big C, but now everyone and their grandmothers are out buying CBD oils, so where the Bash Street Gang at now… who fucking cares quite honestly, tackling Coronavirus, policing the naysayers and such?

Well jumping on the band wagon is an important part of information dissemination, opening the doors of possibility, not everyone can be driving the first stagecoach, leading round and round in a circle. Within the circle of wagons lies context.

I have been stuck inside for a long ol’ while now, due to illness and self protection, energy too. My world hasn’t shrunk much at all, and what I found most trying and challenging was the loss of where to place myself psychologically. Where did I now fit really, where was my personal meaning and fulfilment, stripped, as I felt I was by so much that defined me. Ha, what a high falutin’ notion, but as I wake up on week three of what has now become an enforced lockdown with my son, who at 19 was in the middle of a first year at University I am feeling the gentle and corrosive shift of context in the air, the holiday charade is over, the dust has settled, literally in our case as I abhor hoovering, the what now’s and what thens and what if’s.

Stripped of the world of work and shops and study, coffee shops and eateries, and hobbies and human interactions the insecurities and transparencies of the human psyche begin to throb. Thankfully so too does empathy and creativity, self worth and importance. That’s how we survive.

There are those out there whose lives are built on fashion and cooking shows who are desperately posting images and alternative ways to continue their status in society on maintaining “the importance of being dressed right”, and “it has to be left for at least two hours to rest”, when PJ’s and a tin of beans standing at the open fridge door is perfectly apropos a la Nigella the Diabetes Goddess, or the mushrooming of online exercise classes, when your 10000 steps means walking up and down the living room, every day, all day. The novel fun factor only lasted a couple of weeks, the enthusiasm is grating and the reality of empty streets and faces looking blankly out of windows is frankly dispiriting.

There is one group of people though who are genuinely in it for the long haul, and by that I mean were before and will be after, people who if anything have found their professions cut through the lockdowns. I personally know of maybe 10 people who are out there like its 1994; talking therapy counsellors, online, on skype, in prisons, caring , helping professions, and food shop everythings, refuse collections, the whole of the health service workers, delivery drivers, postal services, well that’s my little world done.

so surely at this time and surely in the months to come, the question of the society we made and its efficacy, coronavirus notwithstanding, will be more and more laid open to scrutiny, was the intention ever to be a good quality of life for the people on earth, or was the intention always one of personal survival, not even at any cost, but always at any cost. Instead of being told what to think, politically we are experiencing what it all means.

Those 8 people who hold in trust (sic) all the 236 trillion, half of it actually holed up in their possession, (see my recent post https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/returnfromthebewilderness.com/384) might well be thinking to themselves “hell son, me an’ mines aight“. I mean if I was sitting in my house with the rest of almost nearly all the 7 billion people on the planet, which I am, I’d pretty much be doing all I could to sort this mess out, along with all the other messes, instead of beautiful bill gates going online to smile inanely and talk about fleecing yet more money from the impoverished 80% to “find a cure goddamnit” and pretend that they are all bound by the same rules as the rest of us. Too expensive to test everyone, HA, is it? Define expensive.

so 236 trillion ( the worlds supposed total wealth) is held in personal control by 8 people

Excuse me can I get 118 to go please, trillion that is. With sprinkles on top purleeze.

12 Years a Chronic

oh yes I did…

Twelve new projects I did to stop chronic illness overwhelm, ennui, deterioration.

#1 Foundation in Art and Design, Camberwell College of Art, full of young people and me super ill, really didn’t cope well. # 2 Complementary Medicine Practitioner (Swedish massage) In deepest Kent, Snodland…..they all thought I was right up my own arse, proper special, and yes I was. #3 Nutrition Course which after a couple of months and two brilliant essays submitted the college was disbanded! Honouring the leftover students, but hey who wants qualifications from a defunct college. #4 Jewellery. This was a big event, my living room covered in beads and silver wire for years.

Made in Wales 2016

#5 Painting again

first oil painting 2009

#6 AAT (Accounts Technician) Surprising really that I really enjoyed it, it was very difficult and a massive challenge.#7 Attempted Parliamentary Candidate for Local Labour Party 2017 (4th out of 4) so not very successful. It was a glorious shit show of self interested power hungry malevolence. (sour grapes anyone?) The person they picked walked out and was never seen again… and then the next one lost the GE with a glorious 19000ish deficit. #8 Cooking. Always and Ever was it so….#9 Sewing. I tried to make bags, purses, jewellery, all sorts of stuff. #10 Reading, #11 Parenting ;that word sounds like its being shared. Parenti might work, I parenti.

Dream Team 2011

(Oh lets not forget#1 basket making, not even finished one, but I have plenty of bamboo cane.) there are many more little projects, but ya know… those are what came to mind.

a flat…basket

#? and now my latest, a new course, signed up in the middle of the coronavirus and personal palliative endgame, which shall remain private for some time. I did think perhaps I was being a little impulsive, reckless even; 12 months? Would I make it to that hallowed end?

Imagination is a curious and powerful multi-faceted tool, like a Swiss army knife, which has my past , present and future all wrapped up in it, so if I make it so, prepare and plan, work and scramble for I may create something that is strong enough to pull me up out of the sick bed should the need arise. My son does that but just as old age inevitably leads to death, nature abhors a vacuum, so I will not give it one to suck me out of.

Stay In

A&E 26th Feb 2020

and so it begins, my personal experience of life now writ large. Stay in, be aware of catching any germs. Instead of being a voluntary outcast, the lonely other, I am the experienced traveller in these troubling times, an expert in overcoming whatever comes @ home. Its been an accelerated learning curve for most, I had years to work out what to do.

About a month ago, I was in hospital with, well just the usual, high pulse rate, low oxygen saturation and fever, not too high (see picture above). The hospital had been my (not) happy place, but I was always grateful they could stem the flow of infection. Nothings really changed for me…..

…..except I feel a unity and sense of purpose in the atmosphere, that life matters, all the kindnesses I was used to receiving from people, my dependency on others to have a decent life has been stretched out across the world and a significant majority of people are caring and experiencing dependency. Consciously.

It certainly stripped me (and continues to…) of inauthenticity. I have to laugh (and cry) sometimes at the stuff I deemed important.

So I feed the mind; first and foremost, check my attitude, and Sapere Aude, Latin for, well look it up if you don’t know.

# No.1 Reflections again

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So where do we go from here? After a couple of months of blogging (as predicted) I’ve reached the end of my long moan about the hard times, difficulties and challenges, and apart from banging on about my domestic trouble and strife I’m going to have to find the reason I’m doing this again.

At its core was the need to respect and revere my self, my story. Being chronically ill and feeling I had no value and processing the whole new world of debilitating illness had made me realise how little self esteem I had to start with. I was still a mum, social justice cheerleader, artist, cook, life long learner, so where did the lurking sense of failure come from. Somewhere deep that’s for sure, so I went there, and came back, a Return from the Bewilderness no less.

(Write , write what you know they advise. Well what I didn’t know is how I, a chronically sick, disabled woman , mother, sister, daughter , aunty and global citizen fit in to the grander scheme of things.)

As I get to know other chronic bloggers I slowly see their intentions and underlying interests, be it churchy, or cathartic, or prescriptive and helpful, money makers too and so I guess mine is in modern parlance, gender bias, which is appropriate considering the heavy burdens all humans endure whatever their sexual roles within a society supported by social institutions which support irrational human behaviour. Phew that was a long sentence.

So Fun Fact . Eight people control over half the accumulated money, (wealth, capital ) shared by the rest of the seven billion people with whom they share the planet…in our capitalist economic system money talks, and if one of the eight farts in their luxurious easy living space it can cause a fucking tsunami on the other side the world.

Now that kind of makes sense when you see the untold poverty at one end of the spectrum and rich lives at the other. I’ve always found great comfort in the irrefutables in life, and one we really can’t refute anymore is that if 80% of the world, that huge global ball we all share with equal rights and claim just by being born on it surely, live on less than $10 a day and the 20% left (yes that’s us folks) the trans-national middle classes of the world, then something has gone very, very wrong.

Look at this and weep. Total world wealth is estimated to be 236 trillion. All but controlled by 8 people.

So my question is, who does all this misery and suffering and starvation and climate catastrophe, and inter-generational malnutrition and poor mental health serve? Sure as shit ain’t me or anyone I know, and that’s including the fact that just by living in the UK I am part of the 20%, competition is fierce, especially at the virtual borders, where people know they can be sucked down in to the 80% or zoom up, you just have to put your head down and do what it takes.

I have no interest in personal attacks and when venture capital demands open unregulated access to all the worlds resources at any cost its about good business sense under the current model, getting a decent return on investment. Even petty criminal Joe Bloggs down the pub gets that. Duh!

So from whatever standpoint you have personally taken to assimilate the truth that eight people ensure their survival by any means necessary, causing the completely unnecessary darkness in most peoples lives, and by most I mean all of us, including them, you have to admit that they tied it all up pretty darn tight. Touché, Kudos or whatever and far from being complacent about how it’s gods will (really?) or individual personal responsibility(ha!!) perhaps we could start seeing what is and how it really could be quite easily turned around.

Man made structures and systems can be dismantled as easily as mantled, and put back together to work for all, or well most, or at least with some compassion.

We are all magic, we are all giants, we come in pieces… Julia (yes me)

saviours

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

Growing up in a Christian country and family I am pretty cynical about the notion of saviours, but I’ve been realising lately that all the heroic big myths and motifs of life are possibly only the quotidian mortal efforts of humans writ large for effect. Most people I know can retell an event, or act, and embellish it beyond recognition, but still carrying the essence of its original truth.

The act of being a saviour can really be quite mundane, depending on the circumstances, however the effect of a kindness is as powerful, life changing and enhancing as the most famous sacrifices of any hallowed worshipped deity. Give your life for me?… how about just drop over a fresh batch of fairy cakes, or frozen lasagnes, a phone call to ask how you’re doing?

In the course of my life I have both been a sacrificing saviour to people in need and a bewildered grateful recipient of freely given help and support. Society doesn’t seem to respect this fundamental enough, because we have developed a system which rewards and aspires to perfection, independence, and solitary successes. I’m alright Jack attitudes, money for everything. Go large or go home.

The devastating effect on societies that don’t recognise community and free exchanges, social activism to safe guard against govt. and corporate irrationality, but instead replace them with exploitation and slavery is mirrored in the secret lives exposed by journalists and victims/survivors, whistle blowers and the brave. I’m disappeared, hidden almost underground, made into a dependent of business : Carers and NHS drugs.

Since becoming chronically ill I have come to feel the ethereal and spiritual essence of such acts of kindness on a regular and almost daily basis. It literally keeps me alive. My situation as bad as it may be is nothing when compared to other people, and at the same time is so much more than some, but these links to lives still being lived by others reminds me of the worth of my own life yet to live.

The psychological fear of annihilation, of whether you actually exist, whether any thing is real, the motivation behind eating, going out, talking to people is alleviated by the acts of recognition that I am a human, and someone, with a full life of their own, gets up, bakes cakes, or whatever and reaches out to me. Psychological and physical isolation acerbates these fears, and every article or medical assessment acknowledges that.

I recently listened to a podcast of person who developed DID (multiple personality disorder) after severe child abuse, and I began to understand how the extreme experiences of others can be more bio-available and assimilated into the everyday of my mortal human existence. She said that surviving her abuse and working it out with counselling and support has made her feel like she possessed a super power which is switched to good and she certainly has used it!

I have split myself into various roles, to a much lesser degree, but learned from her how the mind and body move in to protect and help you, she talked about one personality that would come in to do exams for her, as she was a perfectionist, and driven ‘A’ student, and then retreat.

Being a mother is real me, my earthly saviour, I recognise her face in the mirror, and the others I sometimes glimpse are caught up in my perception of the cycle of abuse, survival and victimhood which is how I think I became ill. Although I don’t feel able to halt the tide on my disease the deeper understanding of what is real; the on going exchange of my authentic being (not the damaged half wraiths who protect me) with my son, and others, is leading me back into the light, religious metaphors intended.

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Advocating for Autoimmune fighters, their carers and supporters. - We are also on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram

Womenwithgifts.org

We are changing the world one woman at a time-#womenwithgifts

VINAZINE

Stories and advice from the Hey! VINA community to live your best life.

Lily Hamilton

Fantasy Fiction writer