When faced with my demons I clothe them and feed them…

Archive for November, 2008

Drizzling in my Heart…

It’s turned out a lovely sunny autumn afternoon. But I’m feeling a little flat. Drove down with partner at the weekend to see my Mum. We went for a walk along the coast  between Folkestone and Dover which turned into a hike, mostly in the dark along slippery and sometimes ill-defined paths, through what’s known as the Warren. The next day we drove out to a lovely old country pub (my Mum lives near the Kent coast) and had a very good vegetarian pub lunch.

All of which was fine enough. But I was aware of my mood slipping slowly downwards toward Sunday evening. That familiar sense of things not being quite as I want and/or need them to be. Rightly or wrongly I often think it’s about my partner and me. Or whoever else I happen to be around at the time. It’s hard to tell if that’s me projecting my malaise onto a convenient scapegoat.

Yesterday I had to stand in for my friend in leading our DRA (Dual Recovery Anonymous) meeting, as she is away with her partner in the Lake District. I felt nervous, though it was really no big deal. Afterwards some of us went for coffee.

In the evening my son called. He sounded on excellent form, and wanted to discuss birthday presents and such like, as he will be 13 soon. We had a lovely long chat and he was very chirpy and chatty, more than usual. I stayed in and didn’t go to my Arabic class, because I felt exhausted from that hike on Saturday plus all the travelling and missing out on some sleep.

And today I’m at work. Bit bored, bit low-key, feeling a little frustrated with life. But hell, that’s no big deal. As they say in AA, these are high class problems. Take care all. Love, Zoe.

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Haringey Social Services Not All Bad Shock

Hi Peeps. It’s an especially slow day at work today and I’ve used the time to catch up on other people’s blogs. Which often makes me think how little I have to say. I know, I already said that a couple of posts ago! I rest my case!

I think for instance of Seaneen, who has been writing, so beautifully, about how the Baby P case reflects on the state of Haringey Social Services. Well this would be a chance for me to leap in and start opining about, more particularly, their Children and Families Service. I could even be rubbing my hands with schadenfreude as someone who has suffered at their hands in the past.

But I’m not the sort to bear a grudge. I’ve moved on. My son is OK (that’s the bottom line), and things have worked out alright for us (not necessarily any thanks to Haringey). Now when I see the social workers who I was locked into such bitter combat with a few years ago, we smile and greet each other pleasantly.

And far from feeling much satisfaction at the drubbing they are receiving in the media, I just feel sad. It is truly terrible that after the most notorious child abuse case of recent times occurred here, with Victoria Climbie, that this could happen in our borough again. No area wants their name becoming synonymous with child abuse! It was tough enough for all concerned (especially the average conscientious, hard-working frontline social worker) in the aftermath of the Climbie case. Now it appears there MUST be some kind of systems failure in Haringey.

It is hard for Haringey to recruit social workers who want to stay in post. Post-Climbie, they were offering financial incentives to potential recruits. Now what will they do? Probably no-one wants ‘Haringey’ on their social work CV.

The morale of the local social services can only be guessed at or imagined. I am sorry for the truly needy kids in this borough. Sorry for the unsung efforts of all the good people that daily do their best in an often  thankless profession. Sorry for this, if not ‘broken’, then certainly hardly ‘whole and intact’ society in which tiny children can be tortured to death.

Excuse me for not making a lot of sense. I felt as a resident of Haringey (and ‘victim’ of Children’s Services here) I had to give my two penn’orth.

Another thing I hereby undertake to do ‘some time’ is talk about our local mental health services in more detail. Having read Seaneen on the ‘St Ann’s experience’ I must have right of reply! To say ‘By God you’re absolutely right, and what’s more…’

Take care dear peeps. Drop by to say hi even if you’ve nowt to say. I appreciate it, and often have precious little myself! Love, Zoe.

…and Friendship with Kittens…

Regarding kitties…thank you La, they are fine. Merlin the kitten is now about seven months old and is a fine physical specimen. He is also a good laugh. When I wake in the morning, around 7.30, he is there, sitting always bolt upright on the corner of the foot of my bed, to greet me. It’s a happy thing to have a soft, warm kitten to stroke and cuddle first thing in the morning.

The situation with my friend that I described in the last post is no longer playing on my mind. I managed to have a talk with her. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to say to anyone. I felt I was risking losing her friendship or alienating both of them for good. Sadly it would not have been the first time a friendship had gone down as a result of me speaking my mind.

But all that said I did feel it was something I had to do. And she took it incredibly well. Not, of course, that she was pleased and happy to hear my words of wisdom! More like shocked, upset and angry…which was entirely natural. But she said she would go away and think about it. In a way I must admit I almost did want to shock her, so as to shake her into waking up to what was happening. But I knew I was testing the friendship by saying this stuff, and it was excruciatingly hard for me to take that risk.

Anyway I saw her again yesterday and she was quite normal with me. Which was a huge relief.

Blogging from work. Not a very busy day in the office. OA this evening. Lots of love…Zoe.

A Little Bit of Soap…

Hi gang. Good to be back. There’s a nice, upbeat-possibly-teetering-on-the-verge-of-hypomanic opening. Hope I won’t be (as has happened in the past) looking back over this entry at any point, cringing with self-loathing, embarrassment and abject shame.

I do feel, this morning, almost a little too good. Luckily I am at work, which conspires to bring me down to earth, reminding me of my lowly position in life, as I (wo)man the reception desk and generally perform the tasks of chief file-maker, tea maker and errand-runner! I recommend it to all those with a tendency to grandiosity!

You will have noticed I’ve been away quite a while. Well haha, maybe you’ll have noticed. There I go again with my delusions of self-importance! Well perhaps it’s as well to take a break when you just don’t feel inspired to write. After all I do this for fun, not to prove anything or to achieve literary immortality. At least that way you can come back to things fresh and possibly with something to say as opposed to trying to force it. And it then turning into one more chore to cross off the list. Being a bit of a ‘listy’ person I have to watch this tendency.

Things continue swimmingly in my life. However I woke up a bit early for comfort this morning. Hence having to watch and monitor the mood. Boring isn’t it?

Have to say I had quite a bit on my tiny mind this morning. I am seriously concerned about a friend. She has got herself into a relationship which, to me, shows all the signs of being classically co-dependent. With a self-confessedly co-dependent man. I don’t believe that anyone in the know considers that co-dependency is any less of a damaging addiction than drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating disorders or any other compulsion. There is a fellowship just for that, Co-Dependents Anonymous, CoDa for short. Neither of them is showing any desire or inclination to attend it. Which might be no big deal, except they are both recovering addicts and supposedly practising the Twelve Steps.

I am obviously in quite a tricky position. I see this relationship draining the life out of my friend instead of enhancing it. I can’t sit by and watch that happen. I know her well enough and am around her more than some of her other friends. I also know her partner fairly well. I have to play it carefully. Exercise all my not-inconsiderable powers of diplomacy. Find the right time and the right place to talk to her about this. My friend would and has done the same for me. She was the one, not my partner, who spotted that I was manic and took me to hospital last time.

Anyone ever had to ‘blow the whistle’ or confront a friend about what you perceive as self-destructive behaviour? Difficult isn’t it? Would be glad to hear any of your experiences, if so.

To change the topic, my partner, my Mum and I drove down to see my son and take him out for the afternoon on Saturday. It was wonderful to see him, he was smiley and good-humoured (though as usual his attention span was not of the stretchiest) and let me cuddle him lots and hold his hand. We took him to Duxford Air Museum. It was a lovely, close, family contact despite the unpleasant weather. And my Mum stayed in my house for two nights, said she felt ‘cossetted’ and at the end thanked me for being ‘so caring’. I was very touched by that. The truth is, it wasn’t difficult for me at all this time. Mainly because I wasn’t depressed and stressed to the nines.

Also it says a lot about my Mum. She can recognise when I DO get something right and praise me accordingly. She is ready and willing to move on from the bad times we have had in the past and not to just assume that they have to be endlessly repeated. As am I.

Lots of love peeps. Everything in the Garden of Zoe is coming up roses, even in November!