Wednesday, 16 November 2016

number 9

So we the numbers one to eight have given up our place as focus of attention to number nine. Number nine, you may remember, is our body and numbers one to eight are the shadow voices. Shadows of long gone personalities.

For the last 4.5 years numbers one to eight have rightly had the focus. They have needed it. Talk therapy has been the required space for them all to unwind and have space. We have become friends and learn to respect each other for the different qualities everyone has.

About a year ago we came to a quiet dramatic realisation that there was another thing, not a voice but a sense of something being there. Over the months we all realised that we had killed number nine. As therapy went on we all reached out to number nine and we were utterly mortified that she had been eliminated by us.

So out of respect we all agreed to sit back and allow number nine to tell her story. We have started body psychotherapy. Body psychotherapy involves touch. It became apparent pretty quickly that number nine was no easy character.

You see number nine is probably not even the age of nine yet. She is so young she has very little understanding of anything, she is innocent and trusting. When she speaks its with such joy and hope. So why is it so hard. Imagine you had a young child who was all the above and you had to give her to the big and the bad. Imagine how it would feel to leave something so innocent with something that you knew was only going to cause pain and when that pain had passed there would only be more and more pain until there was nothing left. No shadow no nothing. Nine was going to die.

We the eight have been so angry this week and everyone is in upheaval. This being the third session in body therapy, number nine has been seen or at least is being seen but she's being seen before it all goes wrong before we have to abandon her. Its like watching a disaster in slow motion or a horror movie.

  • We want to change the script! 
  • We want her to live! 
  • We are doing this so she can live and feel! 
  • We want to not have to leave this time! 
  • We want to stay whole and protect her! 

It was impossible before. So starts this new journey. Number nine, we eight make you a promise we couldn't keep all those years ago. We know what is ahead but we will use all we have learnt to help you process. We are older now  and have older skills; and we are so so sorry we couldn't have done this sooner.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Communication and Multi-tasking

As my two kids approach 10 and 12yrs of age it is becoming apparent that I need to learn some new coping skills. As I have discussed, in previous blogs, as babies and young children I communicated by using a language I had made up. It's been quite incredible to witness how much you can communicate by 'babbling' the emotional content and using hand / eye movements to direct a young child.

It has all worked very nicely, my oldest is fully fluent in understanding my language and my youngest can even speak it back to me breathing her emotions into the various sounds she creates.

As you can imagine it's all very simple to understand, it basic life. Often my children know our routines so well that we don't even have to speak to each other. We can just show our enjoyment of being with each other through silent practical ways that give each other joy Lining up and organising a bedrooms shelves, producing a still warm soft blanket out of the tumble dryer at TV time,  and counting out 'Snack a Jacks' in a pack even though we know it says 12 on the side. One of my favourites I like to do it is find a new plug in smell that makes the flat feel cuddly or change all their sheets and make the bed beautifully into 'nests' and you can't wait to jump in.

However as I have said this is all fairly basic calm life, it's not lives multi tasking over several levels; it's more of a being together rhythmic stream.

So whats wrong? It all works very well?Well it has done up until now, I acknowledge that now is the time my kids quite rightly want to become less dependent on me and my hubby. They over these next 10yrs will want to grow and grow into their own identities with their own plans and adventures.

In short our home is morphing from a singular to a multiple existence. As my kids voice and act upon their needs and wants our lives intertwine even further with friends staying over, going out, interactions and plan making with other parents etc. You know what I mean, the list goes on...

These other streams of life do not know my language and I in turn struggle to navigate in theirs. They don't 'get it' when I disappear to my room or put my headphones in and wander out into the garden. My kids know to look for the intent behind what I say, not literally interpret my words. 
  • That shiny pole = the hat stand
  • can you put your clobber in the brown tub = can you bring me ur washing from your room, and put it on the washing pile in the kitchen.
  • have you got your pots on = have you got your shoes on.

All my life what has come out of my mouth has never made literal picture sense (unless I'm working my way through a monologue on a subject that I'm passionate about) and the other poor person is just left listening.

Other streams of life they do not know:-
  • That,standing to close to me can make me panic
  • That, tapping my arm to get my attention is unbelievably hard to deal with for me.
  • My inability to unravel an argument over a game, as three 'streams' tell me their point of view at once.
  • I learn people don't do what they say eg "I come at 'about' 8pm" and then don't turn up till 9pm, leaving me working through possible solutions and scenarios whilst being frozen in the 'Unknown of what on earth 'about' might mean. 
  • Other streams arrive with, socks that are not pulled over their feet properly, causing them to flop around as a Wii game is conquered.  
  • They sit were I usually sit (not knowing that having people sit on both sides of my is just to overwhelming). 
  • They don't know that phones in our flat are never held to your ear they are only ever talked to on loud speaker, if answered at all.
  • Other streams I struggle to use a knife and fork so spoons are often used due to total lack of food to mouth co ordination.
  • Also 'other streams ' are often shocked as 'Carwen / mum' always has several micro naps throughout the day leaving the kids always have first dibs on the lounge.

I wish this blog was an amazing poem cause I'd want to end it like this.

against the 'other streams' I have nothing,
Except a want to work out how to love em,
For on this journey I'm bound
 to let my little ones identities be found
And as they swop and wobble
My freak outs I will nobble
Cause I want to stay in the pack
Even if I have a rainbow on my back.

Thank you to all who walk with us in all their beautifully stream uniqueness. 

Monday, 25 July 2016

Written in September 2014

The pattern of "Sorry"!!!!!


From pretty early on I learnt the word 'sorry'. In my younger years it was my violent behaviour that made me say it but even back then I used to feel extremely frustrated at people not understanding why I had flown off the handle.  To be totally honest I didn't understand either as was too young and used to believe I was an awful individual.

 An example of the build up to 'loosing it' would be a sound or a feeling that would overwhelm me. 
Unable to process the invading stress would result in me launching myself at whoever or whatever was creating the problem and attacking it. 

By the age of four I had scarred my sisters face and thrown her down the stairs and, quite rightly, both my sisters we're scared of me and kept their distance. Now I'm not talking about obvious stresses that everyone can understand creating this behaviour; my stresses, built out of nothing, escalated rapidly and left all involved in shock. let me give another example.  Once aged five I had been put to bed excited, my mum had told me she was going to the shops to buy us all new pillows and was leaving us in the care of my dad. This you must understand was extremely rare, I felt scared in the dark and she would not be there. I also wanted a new pillow. So I started to act up and in the end my mum came into the room I shared with my little sister. She said "If your not asleep when I'm  back then you won't get a pillow".  I cried more, the threat, my brain processed it as an unsolvable problem. "If I sleep, how will I know when you come back to get the pillow???". So I tried holding my breath to look asleep which also failed and gradually the dispare gremlins arrived playing in my head with no ability to get out of the loop, couldn't get to a new view or thought that I could get my reward the next day. Neither did I believe that the situat could ever be ok as it seemed impossible to be asleep and awake at the same time. I took my mums words literally. My brain even at that age was over thinking and became overwhelmed by all the possibilities It came up with to solve its predicament. My body got wound up and full of anger as each thought or action failed.

The next day it was questioned as to weather my behaviour had been 'good' enough to have my pillow. I remember getting even angrier at myself and everyone else, because as it turned out, I had been asleep when she returned home,\ so in my eyes I had done what was required even though it had been really hard to achieve and still made no sense. I remember thinking "you should be calling me a good girl". 

My head interpreted the whole thing as, "you all lie, you are all unsafe, cannot be trusted and you are confusing". This view point extended to not just me but all the people around me.

Now I'm not trying to justify my behaviour or blame anyone. As soon as I was old enough to I completely detested my actions and their consequences. I hated being around people and always 'let myself down'. Being on my own was the only time i felt 'safe'. (I often wonder if it was that hatred for myself that created the first episodes of disassociation as a way of coping). 

The golden word 'sorry' I pretty quickly learnt made every thing ok. I learnt that if you say sorry bad situations can end and essentially 'sorry' with looking sorry can pretty much stop anything. I also learnt that you must appear remorseful for a period of time to complete the process.

Back to present day and one thing that has remained as a permanent  thread through my life is the problem of understanding others. What are they saying? What do they mean? I look at their mouths moving like a babbling water. I know that if I can find the process of behaviour they are talking about, I can see were they are going. This ability people actually find very helpful. Quite often I hear the words "Carwen your so clever", it makes me smile because to me its not being clever and still don't understand why the clear patterns are unseen by others. I think, "but it's logical, if this happens it will lead to that. That will produce this outcome! Logical". 

Along with the good also remains some problems, what if you are given a situation that is new? or no logical process can found for? or if my vision of the situation is blurred by wrong reflection?  So the struggle with overwhelmed and  frustration remain.

 Frustration that still boils over far too often; now older I am happy to say I no longer get physical. 
I mostly swear or touch things because there potential 'feel' intoxicating. I repeat sounds people make or cant cope with certain sounds peoples body movements make and comment on them at the wrong times. I still, up until recently, would after being inappropriate (usually verbally) look all confident on the outside but inside be in bewilderment and just immediately say "sorry" thinking "I'll try to work out what had happened later". I learnt by giving an apology first and assuming I had got it wrong 'again' was the safest most socially acceptable way to deal with things.

Looking back does that mean all the saying 'sorrys' were lies. Not at all! Under the behaviour, the loosing it, the jumbled words and swearing; I hope those that know me know I am not someone who enjoys causing problems. I'm not someone who can bear having any kind of relational issues with anyone.

It would be great at this point to move swiftly on to a lovely ending, but that would make this blog a half truth. I must point out that being someone who can't instantly interpret situations and can 'appear to acting badly', also left me vulnerable to influence. Not all the world is kind and forgiving. Without having a proper understanding of of peoples intent I ended up in quite a few situations that I should never have been in. The habit of assuming I must be in the wrong meant people could easily manipulate me. The years were unsafe and at times incredibly painful. However it is also in dealing with the repercussions of those years that I have been able to understand and to learn to trust humanity again. To see not all people are not dangerous; controlling or full of bad intent. For the first time in my life I can now look at people with less fear than I ever have done and enjoy more connection to relationships than originally thought possible.

Most people just need to know you struggle and then they are very accommodating. There are and always will be those who just think you are badly behaved or unequal to them but for those that stumble with me through the maze of complicated human interactions, I find it all rather rewarding and very much like being part of the weave of human existence . Thank you to all my friends, you know who you are!

And to my sisters I love you very much and look forward to seeing you both at little mans birthday in couple of weeks.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


The Heaviness is back, I am upset it is summer. The garden is full of lovely little rewarding jobs. The sun is shining. Yet it seems to me to be a million miles away. Hearing is hard work seeing is hard work, moving just seems an impossible dream. Then there's the guilt the heavy uneasy guilt. My kids are watching TV, I want energy I want to be outside showing them things. I want to be riding my bike with them or cutting the last two cauliflowers they have grown for tea.

It all seems impossible. I am full, every sense is 50% over its ability to function. My brain is so mashed with sounds voices and banging. The thought of having a conversation, seeing someone makes me want to cry there's nothing left to produce any words. Sitting static and bewildered in my bed I congratulate myself for even sitting up. Writing this blog is helping. It helps to start the process of unpicking enough to at least move.

I will move, I will make it to the garden bench. Soon.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

I don't know why?

I am in one of the happiest places, I'm on holiday. The same hotel complex we have visited for the last six years. We are recognised by the staff and we all in turn know thier names. They have watched my children grow over the years from buggies to the now confident key caring independent selves.

It is a safe place. We all know what we can eat and where, what pool is what temperature and what restaurant plays the football. Yet amazingly there are still incredible things to be discovered, first times that neither I nor Zippy thought would happen.

Example 1.
Zippy and I are sharing a bedroom for the first time, not just sharing a room but we have zipped our single beds together! Zippy and I have swapped places - he has lost three stone and now does not snore and I have started to snore (LOL - I'm getting my own back).

Example 2.
I am wearing 'just a swimming costume!'. For those of you, who have been on holiday with me, will know I usually wear at least one pair of cycling shorts, one costume and a knee length dress.

It all amazing!!! It's all victories and moving forward moments. BUT! I need to be truthful to myself and have a blog rant to get tensions OUT!!!. Also because I can't be bothered to drink to relax as my liver hurts. Yes my liver is protesting or maybe it's my gallbladder (humph) so I need another way to go RAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! SO here goes!

I love swimming and playing catch with the kids. Finding myself switching ages, I get caught in different memories. Wearing Just a swimming costume, something I have not done since childhood, also messes with all my senses. I love it and feel free, the wind hugs you and the sun strokes you (body memories start to fight); Ages switch and flip through my brain and body.  

Back to the present those are my children, I am not a child. I organise everything, fold all the towels, make the bed, and clean the kitchen; my age returns. Then fear creeps around and I realise I have no control over my food but this year there is an abundance in our fridge, thanks to the lovely Mrs P, and we have food vouchers. I switch ages again and talk to all my selves reminding them we are all safe and will not go hungry. Coming back to 2016 I try to remeber what my children have eaten, what they might need to eat, whether thier behaviours are hunger based, over stimulated based or sleep needing. 

It would be lovely to get rid of all this ridiculous worry by having a pint of a large bicardi and coke, as this option is not available I leave you with the following;

What about sun screen?
When did we last all use sunscreen?
Check, check no one is burnt...
How many calories have we consumed?
What's the time?
Where in the day are we?
Who is with me now?
How old are you?
Where did you go?
Is there anything I can do to help you?

Climb back, climb back.... Don't run from each other, if we run we will just keep colliding, Who are you? Where are you from? How can I help you? Would you walk with me? Can I introduce you to my own children? Who are you? Where are you from? ...... Roll over!...... Oh it's just Zippy. That body heat is not a threat. That breathing is not going to kill you. In fact the heat is OK too. It's not going to be something you have to endure and survive... Walk with me my ages... Walk with me.... Let me walk with you in the heat that is to be enjoyed and celebrated and maybe I say thank you to me clever liver for helping us all dance through our panic and fear. All my ages, all my voices - we are safe! Let's rebuild and keep mapping a new memory path whilst respecting and grieving the old.

Thursday, 31 March 2016


Your so brave!
Your doing so well!
You've come a long way!
Keep going!

People often say these things, but what they don't know is that inside there is very little feeling. Days are some times broken down into moments or hours, and hours into minutes. Process and patterns are the slides which keep you moving. Process and patterns become the tried and tested formulas for being 'appropriate'.  If a situation or an event occurs once the correct pattern of behaviour / speech is found and matched, it is then employed and that apparently means you are doing well?

Sometimes the formulas let you down and you miss what is meant or a trigger can send you spiralling into uncontrolled panic. Then there's the fall back position of frozen silence. Silence is something very few understand but silence has been my friend since I can remember.  Silence is always filled by other people as people like filling the gap.

"Your so brave, look how far you've come"

"I'm actually a lot further behind than you see my friend"

What it's actually about is trust. Trust is being able to let your guard down and know that your safe. I get scared at the reality of how little trust their is inside me. But my real goal is not to be what looks right to others; my real aim is to feel trust. 

Sometimes I look at my children and I hurt inside as they have trust naturally there. I look at people around me and they have this beautiful 'trust'. I can't remember anyone that I had to trust until I was in my mid twenties and  it has taken me until now (aged 39) to realise that my trusting is still only functioning at about 30% (but at least its now there). I'm not ashamed of this or even care what happens next. Maybe 30% will be all it ever gets to but at least I know know what it is.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The most radical thing I can do today is....

The most radical thing I can do today will not be painting the other half of the bedroom that Zippy and I are making, as my temptation suggests.

Nor will it be:
  • Drilling seven new cupboards to the kitchen wall
  • Moving all my art things out of storage
  • Taking all and everything we don't need in the flat to charity shop or recycling center
  • Putting a tarpaulin on the lawn and digging out all the garden waste and making a new pallet compost bin
Temptation!  Suggestion! Frustration! 
Temptation!  Suggestion! Frustration! 
Temptation!  Suggestion! Frustration!
'I am more important!!" 
"no I am more important!!!!"
 "achieve me and I will be the answer!" 
" no I'm the answer!!"
Run freeze run freeze run freeze run freeze run freeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It will not be:
  • Clearing out my daughters room and scrubbing the paint off her window
  • Painting four pine wardrobes, five chest of draws and four side tables
  • Hoovering the flat to within and inch of its life
  • Cooking mushy peas from scratch
  • Painting the floor blue
  • Swapping all the mattresses around

  • It will not be giving into all the voices dancing and colliding as they shout and whisper what "should be done?". 
  • It will not be giving into the frustration of the looping 'One Direction - Story of My Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiife'! Stupid Unfinished song line that I woke up and that is presently is trying to knock Kate Bush (CBE) of her perch. 
  • It will not be giving into the need to hide in bed and lock the door and wish the day away, whilst simultaneously thinking I actually have enough energy to run twenty marathons and cook dinner for half of London.

Actually the most radical thing I can do today seems harder than all those things.  
Today I need to have a shower and wash my hair.