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

Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

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.

Advertisements

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!

Thank you Mum, sob, sob!

I was delighted to find that The Chuckle had nominated me for this award so here it is, in all its glory. Here, also are ‘the rules’. I’m afraid though that I will have to give this a bit more thought, so let me get back to you on my nominees at a slightly later date.

1. Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.

2. Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog by so everyone can view it.

3. Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.

4. The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the“Arte y pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5. Please post these rules.

A quick update? Kitty (now named Merlin) has discovered the great game of hiding underneath the piles of cushions on the sofa, as we speak. He is fantastic fun, and an exemplary kitten in every way. Photos on the way!

I saw my son on Saturday. He is in long-term foster care, because I could not, in the end, cope as a single mother. Seeing him once every two months for ‘contact’ is a privilege I am thankful for but it is also terribly emotional. I had been worried that I was just too depressed to deal with it, but in the end we had a great time together, just the two of us. He was on great form, he was absolutely charming, engaging and great company from start to finish.

He gave me a really long tight hug when we said goodbye. I was beginning to cry but managed to get away before I really broke down.

Part of why I was so sad was that I had been expecting to see him again at the Looked After Child Review meeting next Monday. But apparently it is going to be held at his foster home, to which I am not allowed to come. I already missed the last one, in April, because I didn’t have the date written in my diary and no-one thought to remind me or mention it to me. It just really hurts that I am, as it were, ‘out of the loop’ in this way.

I tried to get the Reviewing Officer to change her mind today but she wasn’t having any. My son’s social worker is at fault, for not making the position clear to me when I saw him a few weeks ago. My son gets on very well with Robert, he is a genuinely nice guy. Maybe too nice to be a Children and Families social worker. As part of the job you have to do a lot of stuff that just isn’t nice, no matter what spin you put on it. I think he finds it hard to say the tough things that have to be said.

So yeah, I’ve been gutted today, but I was gutted at work and managed to do a fair bit of revision for my Learn Direct test tomorrow ( on Powerpoint Presentations). Then after I had my dinner and some kitten therapy I had an hour-long chat on the phone to my friend which did lift my mood.

Oh peeps. That’s all I can tell you for now. Sorrow looms very large in my life right now and I am often only just holding back the tide of grief enough to keep functioning.

But I am delighted to have readers, stats and comments! Very pleased with the move to WordPress…after months in the Blogger wilderness! And you are all so great. Take care all, and I will try and make my nominations for my Fab Five soon!

http://lifeofchuckles.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/awinnarisme1.jpg

Making bloggie friends.

Hi peeps. It is always nice when I get…out of the blue…an unexpected comment, and then take a little virtual trip over to their corner of Blogland and have a nose around. It has only dawned on me relatively recently that the best way to get your blog read is, first to link to other people as much as poss, both in the text and in the blogroll (frankly I still don’t quite understand how they manage to link back to you but they do), second to read other people’s blogs and comment, comment, comment.

You can lurk as much and as admiringly as you like around other people’s blogs but you will only count as a faceless ‘stat’ unless you establish a presence there by commenting, if possible, on a regular basis. It helps if the blogs you go to are based around the same ‘niche’ or area of interest as your own, because in this way you become a part of an online community; become known to the other bloggers and regular commenters within it and get a feel for who among them particularly interests you.

As I’ve always said I am still very much a novice at the art of blogging. I am quite in awe of the many, brilliant young women bloggers there are… Dumped by a Hallucination and her many cohorts for instance but they have essentially grown up in a different world to the one I did. But I am loving the learning process, I have to say, and if I still have few comments, the kind Zania has helped me to understand that it is not necessarily a direct reflection on my general rubbishness.

It is true that it is indeed difficult to know what to say to someone who is going through extreme mental distress: that is one factor that might influence a lack of comments on depression blogs in general. But in my case there are other factors at work as well. I do need to be more blog-sociable, cross-reference more, link more, comment more, and as for the world of tagging and key words, that is still a complete mystery to me, but I’m confident I will get there in the end!

But the essential thing to remember in all this is that I love blogging. I blog because I thoroughly enjoy it, because I think the Internet in general and blogging in particular is one of the very best things about living in these times, and we might as make the most of it. I don’t blog entirely in the hope of having an appreciative audience, although naturally, that would greatly add to the satisfaction. I blog for the sheer joy of blogging and because now I’ve started, I really, really don’t want to stop.

Take care all!

Still out for the count

I’ve been ill with the flu and more or less out of action all week, any plans scuppered. Am hoping to get to Bonkersfest on Saturday, at Camberwell Green, South London, though. Anyway I’ve been interwebbing away today, hardly commenting or writing anything, just reading and imbibing others’ wisdom. Been at SF Jane’s for the last couple of hours, she is really something else. I am impressed by her to the point of paralysis. She is so alive, so intelligent and articulate. And the way she delivers the videos as well as the writing. And her story. OK, I’m just gushing now.

It may be partly the depression but I don’t have a lot of self-confidence or esteem right now. I don’t rate my abilities highly. I feel a little bit brain dead. Reading a lot of other people’s blogs is good but there comes a point where I need to start doing something myself. Finding a way to frame my own thoughts.

I am still gutted that I had to go back on meds because I had a recurrence of mania. I suppose I felt that I would have to stay on them forever and that meant giving up hope of recovering by other means.

You know what? I don’t know any of this. I don’t know what the future holds. I feel too confused, ill and fog-brained right now to come to any clear conclusions. For me God or a Higher Power seems to be something I need in my life to have any sense of security, peace or equanimity. Chaos and mental torment have ravaged me of late. I still don’t have my feet on solid ground.

Take care though…