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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Paddle in the sea.

DSCF0934As the mid-way point of yet another Bank holiday has passed and the rush to the coast to enjoy the good weather, judging by the lack of traffic on the roads here, I have allowed a small smile to cross my lips at my choice to go a walking barefoot earlier in the week.

The weather forecast was for a sunny day, but to honest I have not been to the sea since last time I wrote, so being able to go, I would have gone regardless. There is a peace wandering down a near empty beach, the sound of the waves being the main auditory input.

Once, there was a feeling , nay, a longing, that the sea gave me, a draw unto itself if you will. I felt I understood what it was that made the first people venture forth unto the unknown toward a new destiny, the very sound of the waves calming the spirit whilst enthralling it . I revisit the coast now to try and rekindle the feeling. Walking with the hot sand enveloping my toes, a thought came to mind.

Do the people, who may have never even seen the beach, fleeing their country due to war get that same feeling?

I was a toddler when first introduced to the sea, so the memory of seeing this great expanse of water for the first time is lost. Did the sense of wonderment gradually build up, or has it always been there? Does the sea have a subconscious connection with the human brain? The sea has claimed many a life, by being what it is, no emotional drive or impulse, so we should fear it as we fear all things that can cause harm. But as a species we are drawn to it, why? It goes beyond gathering resources and materials, there is an affinity with it.

I pondered this a I wandered, my body taking its own path, no real destination for either, when suddenly I was bought back to the now with a wave splashing up my thigh. I had inadvertently been paddling in the sea, not much excitement in that statement I grant you, but I, over half a lifetime ago, stopped paddling, because the sea was too cold. And here I was knee deep in the sea and not minding the temperature one bit nor caring how long I had been in it.

The inadvertent paddle left me with a sense of familiarity and memories locked away from my childhood Holidays came trickling back, times of hours spent in rock pools catching shrimp or gathering molluscs. The feeling that the sea used to give me may have faded, replaced by a small spark of hope; hope that nature will ultimately be my guide to where I need to be, or at least the path I need to be on.

A thought also goes out to all that embark on the journey across the sea, may your journey be a safe one.

A crossroads reached.

DSCF0966Perception.

Perception is a curious thing, it taints all we see or it reveals, it all depends on your view point. Perception is individual and yet it is, for all under a psychiatrist, supposed to be what someone else has perceived to be normal. And not all the people who wrote the book come across as what would be perceived in this ‘modern’ world as ethically correct. Case in point would be John Broads Watson, the ‘Father’ of behaviourism and the ‘little Albert’ experiment, an experiment on a nine month old infant to condition a phobia.

If you take 100 people off the streets today, ask them all the same 100 questions, on a scale of 1 to 10, then take the average from all the results; how many would be normal? A Mathematician does not think like an Artist who does not think like a Writer, and yet there is art in all three. A flower will still be a flower when all three perceptions put there respective art onto paper as their representation of  the said flower. Not all will be understood by all viewing, but that by no right makes one  perspective wrong. As long as there is no harm done, that pretty much is universal.

Mental Illness has a mask, a false projection, not only to others but also to the sufferer. Perception of ones self is not what you would expect, many a reflection is of a stranger, coping well, whilst failing. Being asked the same questions over and over, on  a scale of 1 to 10. Never wanting to answer truthfully if experiencing a really bad patch, for the fear of being put back into ‘Hospital’ is a real one. A Hospital where the beds can be broken and should have been thrown out ages ago. The last one I slept in I had to put a folded blanket under the mattress to fill the hole in the bed itself. Not to mention the negative stigma that would come from ‘another’ stay in ‘the’ Hospital.

And when did someone come up with the idea that a person with a Mental health problem has the perception to answer the questions correctly when it has already been perceived that they do not have the mental perception that they are ill in the first place. A drunk will never perceive the level of drunkenness they are at, so asking them to rate their drunken state on a scale of 1 to 10 is pointless.

If by now you are wondering if I have a pet peeve with the forms resembling a customer satisfaction survey, Yes I have.

But if the system is not there to help one recover, rebuild and remove ‘shackles’ from the past if necessary, then what is the point of the system. When it feels like you have been drugged up and shipped out to pasture, is that the time to question the process? What if the drugs are making you ill? Or there is the chance they are making you ill, don’t you have the right to be told?

Imagine breaking a leg, being told you have broke your leg, given pain killers at varying strengths until the pain is blocked, told you have to accept that your leg is broken and all that can be done is to monitor the pain killer strength (the side effects of the pain killer include pain), ignoring the techniques are out there to mend the broken leg.

Wouldn’t happen would it?

Unfortunately it happens at a regular rate when the mind breaks.

Time with Dad

DSCF0960I don’t have many happy childhood memories of my Dad, at least ones that don’t involve work. Many a memory is linked to the allotment, repairing cars, coupon rounds and even working together for too many years. Try as I may, I cannot recall ‘playing’ memories, just Dad and me.

He taught me how to fish at Talybont – that memory is gone.

He taught me how to use my first woodworking set, a set I can still recall today — also gone is building things with him.

My first go-cart was built by him — but not played on with him.

Bike riding — gone.

Sledging — gone.

Some memories have remained from holidays, teaching how-to and catching shrimps, cooking them along with other collected shellfish, but after a while it was more of sending me to get them. Getting nearly stuck in a cave trying to free some crystals is a good memory. But I don’t have the same type of memories at home.

This has led to some strange looks in therapy, so It must not be the norm. Often leading my thinking toward  ‘I missed out on something.’

Now he is old and hard work, some of the time; no, most of the time if truth be told. Heads are butted often, especially over the computer; it has now become the laptop so he can’t break it as easy. My stubborn streak is defiantly from him. And still I work on the bloody allotment.

And this is where we have just come back from. Dad has been for a number of years, ill, but he managed to keep his hobbies going. The allotment and beekeeping, sadly last year he had to give up the beekeeping as he has become allergic to bee venom, so the allotment is the only thing left, and that is now under threat. I have made some, not too radical, changes to his plot; three raised beds so he can sit and garden and one bed raised not as high as a trial. This has upset the bloke running the site, it’s not 1950s enough.

Trepidation of the change is to be expected and I have talked him trough the whole process, but he has been told no to helping himself to wood on the site, twice, and he has taken offence and is trying to start a smear campaign against Dad. But stuff him ,back to me and Dad.

Today was the third time Dad has been able to get up to the plot this year due to time spent in hospital, and the first time he has been able to plant. The long hard slog of  removing the rotten old beds and placing the raised ones on there new home, then filling each with a trailer of  horse manure and compost, eight trailers worth, is over and now there has been a reward for me. Dad managed to plant without getting on his knees and without pain, And he looked happy doing it. We came back laughing and smiling.

I may not want my son to have the same type of memories as I have of my Dad about me, and I defiantly tell him I love him,  but at the end of the day, we know we both love each other no matter the faults. It’s just done a different way is all.