I am Woman

international womens day

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought about what this day means, and I do wholeheartedly celebrate all the women that have strived and succeeded in giving women a voice and the same opportunities as our male counterparts to have and enjoy the same choices.

So many lives have changed for the better due to those women who have stood up been counted and delivered across many cultural divides and given us more than a glimpse at women who literally have no choice, who sadly aren’t even second, third, or even fourth class within their own family construct and therefore the wider community of women.

The #me too movement I feel really only addresses women that are successful and powerful in their own way the reality women down the ages can also say #me too even if they didn’t have the understanding that what women have faced and will continue to face, why because even in some society’s right now in 2018 women aren’t important.

This brings my own life into focus especially in the way we are indoctrinated from an early age to be nurturer, to keep the home fires burning as well as holding down jobs contributing to the household, raising children, all to be done without a fuss because that’s your job.

My parents divorced when I was 3, he disappeared from our lives, and my mother was left to cope alone there certainly wasn’t all the different agencies around then to help ease the load, you were left alone to cope.

I’ve been told many times I was brought up by a “Strong Independent Woman” well the reality was she wasn’t, she had been left to cope, and she did sometimes badly that is not a criticism it was the reality of our life after years of struggling and coping there was light at the end of the tunnel, however those years in-between were fraught with their own dangers.

Lets give the men a mention here, I’m not bashing men there are so many good men out there, I’m talking about those who see your vulnerable and take advantage or try to, the husbands of friends who would suddenly appear wanting to do “favours for favours” friendships destroyed because other women didn’t want to believe that their husbands would take advantage.( see the skewed thinking it’s your fault)

Employers who feel that it’s okay to threaten you with your job, because you have family commitments ie a sick child, the general consensus that women are fair game, and for you to complain, would mean ridicule or losing your job, that threat is far reaching, no job means no money, possible loss of home or in the worse case scenario losing your children the daily struggle of being a woman is real.

Sexual harassment is a living breathing thing and yet still women are still facing this and yet still it’s not always taken as seriously as it should be, most work places have a policy about harassment in all it’s forms, however if your going to talk the talk as an employer you have to be prepared to walk the walk it could all to easily be you next time.

I can’t say that every allegation of sexual and or bullying misconduct has merit, though we now live in a different time and we must recognised that not all would be rapists sneak in through an open window, it can happen within marriage whilst your children sleep next door, bullying is a stealthy insidious entity, you may not even fully realise what you’re dealing with until your at it’s epicenter with no idea what to do next.

Anyone who has been bullied knows that feeling of powerlessness also the effect it has on your mental well being even worse those who stand and watch purely because they are scared of the same happening to them.

If women are to be empowered we must stand together, not as a group to rise up against men, but as body to show other women “we support you” to be a little controversial here in my opinion I find that women do not support women, not because they don’t believe it goes back to the way we were taught “ssh don’t rock the boat” women and men should indeed rock the boat, there is no place for this caveman type thinking, why because it continues.

As for myself I thought I was a strong independent woman until life taught me otherwise, I try to stand up and be counted because I’m very stubborn like that, I’ve also learned to choose my battles I lose many, but always wiser for the next time.

I think for me being a woman is a wonderful experience, I’ve been up and down, however I’m always willing to learn, and be part of the dialogue which shows a woman’s worth not only to herself  also to those who don’t have a voice.

Posted in Blogs, Compassion, Culture, Depression, Humanity, Mental Health, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Invisible Humans

Crisis UK Homeless Charity video made by the Crisis Choir featuring Annie Lennox

Thinking about life and my continued good fortune in no longer being homeless, I have to spare a thought of those who are and is there a light at the end of the tunnel.

I can sit here and give the statisitics which never really give the full story, which only serves as a reminder of what it is like to be invisible.

In the UK presently homelessness has reached epidemic proportions, you just have to look at the news to see most if not every major city in this country to see that homelessness and destitution has spilled out into every area of public life.

To try to give a glimpse of what your life is worth when you don’t have a roof over your head, in a nutshell, it’s worth as much as the generosity you are given at a moments whim.

No matter your gender your vulnerable, from ridicule to sexual attacks, freezing to death, dying of hunger, murder, imagine that, those are your choices each and every day this is what you have to face.

There are different types of homelessness, you can sofa surf(which  I did for 4 yrs until all options were exhausted and ended up sleeping on a shop floor where I volunteered)) or street homeless neither has a humanising effect on your self worth.

The reports since winter have set in on the street deaths rises each year, which I find to be incomprehensible, this is not the dark ages where there were no resources, we have them however the powers that be do not want to distribute them in a way that can help people make their lives better, we have properties all over the country that stand empty, with investment can be made into homes, it appears thats too easy.

We have hundreds of charities with little or no funding desperately trying to make a difference though they’re not even near the tip of this gigantic gaping hole within our society, I salute these men and women who try to do something within their communities to help, oh yeah local politicians pat them on the back etc, but nothing real that can be measured is done, lip service I think it’s called.

When you sleep on someone’s sofa, it’s ok until they decide you can’t and that can be when you return that night, or in the middle of the night, even worse when the “boyfriend” of your friend tries his luck, which of course its your fault and you have to go.

There are those who offer  a sofa comes with conditions, like doing housework etc which can pretty turn into “if you don’t help” you can’t stay I’ve always been more than willing to “help” but not to be enslaved, there again it goes back to the choices you don’t have.

There will be times when you’re so desperate that you will literally do anything to survive, and to outsider you become the architect of your own downfall, it’s just not that simple even the worst option is the best option when your faced with the devil and the deep blue sea.

Mental Health becomes a moot point, you have disappeared so far into yourself, that you cannot think let alone allow yourself to feel anything, you live moment by moment hoping that cracks won’t show for today anyway.

I will say that 18 months on there is always that fear that this won’t last I try not to give into those feeling however there are days when it consumes me, I think the darkest days are behind me, though I still remember what it feels like to be invisible.

Posted in Blogs, Depression, Homelessness, Humanity, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Little Voice Inside…


It’s been so long I feel as though I’m at Blogger Anonymous “Hello I’m cay and it’s been 8 months since my last blog post”!

It’s comforting that I can come and go knowing that there is support there should I need it’s never been about hundreds of followers more that I have a place where my voice doesn’t seem so little.

I forgot my manners Hi, and nice to be amongst you all again and thank you for taking the time to share my thoughts, I warn you thay’ll be a bit jumbled (I’ve suddenly forgot how to write) however I shall plough on.

My thoughts over the last few days have been about my eternal inner dialogue which is a 24/7 affair and I’m afraid it often ebbs more than it flows, though I think there has been more clarity of late, of which I’m always thankful.

Lets go back a little I have been in the throes of a new relationship which started back in December, sadly it was not meant to be, it ended a few months ago, now normally I would be devastated by this and I mean that in the way of, I feel that I’m not good at relationships of the heart or any close relationships I think I’m to blame as I don’t really have trust in people.

It comes to something when you realise that at 53yrs making relationships sustainable require quite a lot of work, which I’m prepared to put in, however my need for everything to be perfect is self sabotageing(I know) but am unable to stop the constant anxiety that I’m trying to hard therfore doing everything wrong, sounds mad but I hope makes sense.

Back to the man friend, he is a really nice guy, though I discovered he had a few problems of his own which he wasn’t prepared to open about, which is ok, though it did put a big strain on our relationship, eventually I had to be clear and basically told him that I couldn’t relly help him even though he will have my support in terms of he can pick up the phone anytime(which he has) but I have to deal with my own crap first.

My first foray into putting myself first, made me feel pretty crap, though it had to be done and I do feel lighter for it, there just wasn’t room for me to immerse myself into anothers problems which I’d always done in the past thusily leaving me a little emptier each time.

I’m not sure if this is a sign of strength or cowardice I dwell on it often, no answers yet, the sky hasn’t fallen it so I think it’s ok.

It’s been 17 months since I’ve been living in my flat, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t manage after 4 yrs being homeless therefore invisible, and I have to say what an absolute joy it is to come home each day, tinged with sadness as homelessness in the UK has soared and resoureces have stretched to breaking point, the cold weather plummets seeing more men and women sleeping rough, there isn’t a day goes by with a report of a homeless sleeper found dead.

I do volunteer at shelters etc, but it’s really just putting a bandaid on a bigger problem, I do feel guilty at times, I overcame and many of these men and women have not or have not yet got themselves in front of the right organisation to give them the help and support they need.

I walked outof my job 8wks ago,I finally had enough, I refuse to work in a toxic enviroment, where disrepesct is the order of the day, I only did minimal hours with the help of benefits, I don’t think my mental health could have taken anymore, it was the right decsion I know now that the mind and spirit are fragile, also I can no longer allow my mental health to be comprimised in anyway I don’t think I would survive the alternative again.

I’ve also joined the local gym, and have been doing really well, it’s been years since I exercised and to use Aretha Franklin’s qoute : “I’d become entirely too fat” I know some of this was stress weight, so far so good I go 4-5  times per week I’ve lost a dress size it also gives me a couple of blank hours per day which keeps the negative thoughts at bay.

All in all eveything seems ok depression is pretty low although anxiety spikes often, the main thing being it’s not engulfing me as before and that’s progress,

I still may refer back to (Mind-mental health service) as there are still some unresolved issues that I need to deal with as always I feel that I have to be aware and be in a position where I can ask for help and not feel ashamed for doing so, as we all know the stigma around mental health is prevelant, so it’s important to remember were not alone, especially this time of year when emotions can run high and isolate us even more.







Posted in Anxiety, Blogs, Depression, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I Am Me







Someday’s when the tears fall I’m left feeling bereft, grieving for the person that I was, unable to bridge the gap between who I am now.

The grief really begins with, the idea that I’ve always seemed to a be a woman of all seasons a chameleon if you will, I seemingly have the ability to be whomever anyone wants me to be when really I want to be just me.

A conversation I had last week brought home that others seem to put me in a box, I might add I jumped into happily,  in which I felt trapped and any thoughts of escape are met with a skepticism that I wouldn’t survive outside of this perception.

I work with such a person, who is actually strong willed, basically good very deep down, though has this tendance to be “Honest” in her quest to be “honest” she is actually very hurtful, brutally so, and lacks the self-awareness of how her honest words can hurt.

I’ve seen in others the pain of her self-proclaimed expertise on every subject under the sun, she speaks loudly at you and over you, a bully if  truth be told, it appears that because I won’t bend to her will, I become a target from time to time which of course brings back deep-seated anxieties to the fore.

You see, she realises that I see through her, which makes her angry, I can deal with that, but cannot allow her to diminish the progress I’ve made over the last year, she is unaware of my story and the journey I’ve undertaken to become whole, frankly she lacks the empathy to understand that people break for many reasons, other that indulgence.

This really isn’t about her, it’s about me and how I deal with the ups and downs of everyday life, which many of you know can be a challenge, my moods are going in a downward spiral and I’m fighting hard with what I’ve learned to reverse the trend as it were, though sometimes I just feel so lonely and wonder if it’s all worth the effort.

This has been a bit rambling, I’m at cross roads yet again, “I just want to be me” with all my flaws, they’re mine I earned them, just as I have every wrinkle, grey hair, they prove that I’ve lived and overcome, for so long I lived with the idea that being perfect was everything and regularly went 15 rounds with myself on a daily basis when it wasn’t I have the scars to prove it! my imperfections are perfect!

I don’t want to be anyone else, just me, it’s enough.

Posted in Anxiety, Blogs, Depression, Mental Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments