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A new stance, for adults only, Thailand, sorting out problems, holidays, bullying, rape, NHS, family issues, relationships and mock exams

*This is for adults only to read – it could be triggering* Before I start, I would like you to know that I have not written this article to gain sympathy, or as an excuse for doing less – my reasons are totally sincere and I feel I would like to share some of my thoughts now…

As some of you may know I have been away for three weeks in Thailand (care of Chris) – the place I spent much time when I was young; the place where I felt really at home… Fifteen years later, it was different, but same, same. As with anywhere, buildings go up, trees are cut down, MacDonalds and Burger King pop up and Starbucks appear, but essentially the people and culture hasn’t changed much. I certainly realised I had changed though and I was constantly reminded of my affairs with men of the world, including Thai’s. I think it was the sight of older European men with young Thai girls on their arms absolutely everywhere that got me going. As I remarked on how I felt it was a shame that girls had to become prostitutes, and the risk of HIV etc that could be brought back to the UK to us women, by those British men, I realised. I had to stop myself and admit that I, yes I, had been a promiscuous young woman – I had taken risks galore sleeping with men in and from many countries. I had been the young girl in Thailand with Thai men on my arm – albeit I didn’t pay for them! It made me feel ashamed and I wondered if all these reminders of my previous sexual encounters were responsible for causing my current problems …

The trip to Thailand was also a test on my ability for ‘change’. I still have issues with change, but those issues are usually only associated with changes that are surprising and out of my control – caused by others. They cause me stress.

I coped with Bangkok, with its extreme heat, pollution and mass of people and cars. I coped with changes in plans due to disliking a place. I coped with moving around, staying in six different places in the three weeks, travelling a lot too. I coped with the excitement of white water rafting 10KM down a river surrounded by jungle sights and sounds. I even coped when we had an accident on our moped. I barely got a scratch, but Chris got a sprained ankle and some pretty severe 4cm grazes which swelled up and got infected. Our holiday was put on hold. I even coped with that change well. I looked after him as best I could – bandages, resting up, ice packs, taking responsibility for him there and when we got home. That was all good.  I dread to think how I would have reacted a couple of years ago when under the spell of my mental illness – not good!  But it made me realise just how far I have come in my recovery.  I am different now.

However, whilst away, bar reading two books, which is great for me showing better concentration, my personal issues took no time at all to enter my resting mind! I began having my bad dreams again which still haven’t stopped now I am home, twiddling my hair, waking stressed, getting angry over thoughts going over and over in my head.

You see, although my book may seem like a complete life story, it isn’t. There’s no way anyone can get their entire life into one single book. I took out of my life everything relevant to show how mental illness forms, how it feels, how I overcame it and how stigma is damaging to sufferers. Every book has to have a focus and that was mine. Although there is so much more to my life…

Some people have already asked me if there will be a sequel to my memoir – like a ‘what happened next after mental health recovery’ or to fill in the gaps. Well, I don’t know if I will release one or not at this time. I would like to.

But, what I am trying to get at is that my remaining issues are still haunting me. These things are not in my book, but I was raped when I was 32. It was bad enough to require doctors, hospital, injections and uncomfortable examinations, and it left me with an ailment that I don’t expect will ever leave me alone now. And every time that ailment flares up, I think of him, the perpetrator (not even mentioned in my book) and I fill up with resentment and hate. I had a flare up of the ailment on holiday and the same happened. I need to deal with this issue for my own benefit.

Family issues are another thing that I have not really covered in my memoir – bar my mum and dad. But, there are many issues within our tiny family group. It has left me communicating with hardly any of them now. The most recent two break ups have been very distressing and although I may have blamed myself in the past due to my mental health problems, I know this time that these issues were not my fault and I am left confused, upset and angry. Another resentment.

My family consists of three brothers and a mum and dad, essentially.  They all know I have written my memoir – not one of them has read it, asked much about it or congratulated me on its publication.  It is hard to bear for someone like me, who has low self esteem most times, but proves to me that it is partly because of them that I am like I am.  That does not mean that I blame them – not at all – but I understand how invalidation as a child and adult can lead to low self esteem for some people with high emotions, like me, and many others.  I feel saddened that they do not wish to read about my life, my thoughts, my fears, when they have been a part of my life for 38 years – and they have indeed been a big part of my life until recently.  My dad asked the name of the book – I told him.  They all know it’s under a pseudonym to protect them (not me by the way as I am not ashamed) but they don’t even ask the name of the pseudonym, simply because they do not want to read it.  Therefore, forgive me for saying this, but I rely on people like you to read it, to live it with me, to understand, to tell me your thoughts, because no-one close to me wants to.

And one of those people in my family also bullied me as a child – pouring boiling water on me when I was about 9 (yes I have the scar on my bosom to prove it), throwing darts into my feet for fun, and hitting me whilst telling me not to tell my mum and dad or I would ‘get it worse’. I texted him once to ask if he remembered bullying me and he didn’t reply. I have not mentioned it since and it is something my mum and dad will probably never believe occurred (yes I did mention it to them a couple of years ago) since he is a ‘blue eyed boy’, but for me, I know it was real and I need to deal with it so that it doesn’t haunt and anger me anymore.

Those of you who follow my ongoing story, will know that I have had stressful problems with the NHS (SEE MY ARTICLE HERE) and I have come back from holiday knowing that I do not currently have a doctor (GP) due to my GP telling me I must go elsewhere. I also need to get involved now in the process of complaining about the NHS service I have endured since I was 15 years old. These issues also haunted me whilst away on holiday.

I started two college courses before I went away and was getting on really well with them. I went back to the counselling course yesterday and loved it just as much, albeit I am still under the spell of ‘jetlag’. Then I listened to the message on my mobile from my Psychology tutor. ‘We are having a mock exam on Wednesday evening’ she said. I got that message on Friday on my return, and have stressed ever since, thinking that I must give the course up. I realised today when I woke that it was because of the ‘change’ she had made. We were due to have mock exams in December before our January real exam, and she had changed it. I am not ready to be tested, since I missed a few weeks’ lessons, and we only began in September this year, so it is no wonder I am worried. My fear of failure came into play. Funny thing was I was the ‘client’ in my role play in counselling class yesterday so I decided to talk about the Psychology issue. And just talking about it helped me. Pretty funny huh, one course helping me with the other? Particularly since I do not currently have a therapist and really want one.

I digress.

I also hope I have not bored you with my woes, but the reason I am sharing them is because I now realise that I have some pretty big issues left that I must deal with and I need time to process them. Therefore, I have decided that, although I will be on Twitter, facebook etc, I will not be doing quite as much as usual. I need to take time out to deal with my remaining issues as I don’t want them haunting me anymore.

I also hope to sort out my personal relationship with Chris too – to be or not to be!

And I do hope to sell my memoir to more people to spread the word about mental illness, how it feels and how damaging stigma can be!

VIEW IT ON AMAZON HERE

VIEW IT ON AMAZON UK HERE

Keep up all the good work with spreading awareness of mental illness – take care all!

Amanda 🙂

 

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2 comments to A new stance, for adults only, Thailand, sorting out problems, holidays, bullying, rape, NHS, family issues, relationships and mock exams

  • David Prosser

    I’m sorry that things in Thailand didn’t bring you to a state of relaxation and allow you to work through some of your issues. I’m sure the writing of your book has helped resolve quite a few of them, often the sheer relief of having them in the open is theraputic. I’m sorry though that you seem unsure whether the relationship with Chris will survive as it sounds like he’s done a lot to help you come to terms with yourself, show you that you can be loved and maybe started you down the road to loving yourself.
    Don’t give up the course ! You may be anxious that the rules have changed and worried about the mocks but these things are to help you, not to test you. You’ll see how to cope with the real exams and the practice will help with that. I’m sure the tutor will understand that you’ve missed a fair bit and will offer any help needed. The one thing you need to worry about is getting a doctor and a therapist. Write to the local health authority and they’ll appoint a doctors surgery for you and that’s the first step. Whoever that may be can help with the therapy provided you try to be even tempered if they don’t seem to understand your situation. Remember they don’t all face problems of this kind so have no experience.
    I just tweeted the book. I wish you great success with it and huge success in creating a content life for yourself despite the past.
    Regards
    David

    • amandagreenauthor

      Hi David, thank you very much firstly for reading my post and for replying too – it is much appreciated!

      Yes, writing my book was ultimately therapeutic and was a main contributor to my recovery. Of course some things were not dealt with in the book and therefore remain in my head as problems. I have tried to get therapy for them all this year but my psychiatrist is unavailable to see me and he needs to see me to give me the referral – a catch 22 as it were. I am seeing him in January but have not seen him since last January despite my numerous desperate phone calls and visits.

      I am not going to go to the mock exam tonight as I do not feel ready for it, having missed nearly half of the subject matter (theories) in the exam. I will catch up in my own time with my books and continue lessons next week. I will not give up.

      Thanks so much for tweeting my book! I guess you have read it if you know about Chris… I also wish you continued success in writing and selling your books. How you came to write by sending a diary to a friend who encouraged you is really cool and great to hear – some things are meant to be – like fate.

      Kind Regards,

      Amanda 🙂

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