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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Sadly Elizabeth who has returned from a trip of a lifetime to Scotland, Europe and Australia is back on a local ward (Suffolk Ward) within Chase Farm Hospital.

 

I did not want my daughter to come back to this area (where I have lived all my life) because we have received the most dreadful treatment and bullying by members of staff who think they are truly above the law and above God.

 

I wanted better for her and when an opportunity of a lifetime came up through http://www.working to recovery I seized this opportunity to provide some happy and memorable experiences for Elizabeth.   Thanks to a team of MH professionals who take a very different approach she has travelled extensively and seen the most beautiful parts of the world – a far cry from the horrific institutions of the UK where she has sadly ended up.    For once, she received humane, decent care costing a fraction of the price of say Cygnet for instance at £12500 pw.

 

After what I have seen today on the ward slightly after visiting hours I would compare these sights to Winterbourne and I believe that any inspectors should come unannounced to wards such as where Elizabeth currently is  – Suffolk Ward Chase Farm Hospital, The Ridgeway, ENFIELD.    Elizabeth was transferred to this ward without hardly any notice from Cygnet Beckton – supposedly the “flagship” of Cygnet’s hospitals.  Security is tight under Cygnet Hospitals. Patients are restricted with regards to possessions they are allowed and visitors are not left alone.   Everything is watched and recorded just like prison.   In contrast wards at Enfield whilst they lack facilities compared to Cygnet who have a gym etc, possessions can go missing as patients come into each others rooms. Elizabeth has been very generous giving away her possessions and she shows her kindness towards everyone especially the weaker patients  Under section I doubt whether patients get much exercise and fresh air and Elizabeth has said it is stressful being on the ward cooped up it is certainly very noisy with people being locked in the seclusion room, banging on doors to let them out and shouting in distress.  A section is for assessment but pretty much used as an excuse for forced drugging.    Elizabeth has been forcibly injected today and looked very traumatised as if she has not already had  enough trauma caused by abuse suffered under care itself.

 

Going away and travelling with wonderful kind MH professionals showed Elizabeth there was kindness within this evil world where the disabled and so called “mentally ill” get treated like dirt by Government controlled “mainstream” so called care if you can call it this.  The disabled are treated like objects rather than people and there is much abuse going on within the system of mental health care –  I would call it abuse not care.  THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WINTERBOURNE.  Tonight as I had not heard from Elizabeth so I telephoned her – she has been drug free for four days and was doing OK but “professionals” nurses/doctors whoever couldn’t leave it this way as their policy is drugging – forced drugging and ECT is mentioned on the section papers.

On Suffolk Ward Chase Farm Hospital some time today Elizabeth was forcibly injected. 

I especially went up to the ward tonight as soon as I heard.   I work and do not get home until late I had previously been allowed to bring things up for Elizabeth slightly after visiting hours by some nice members of staff however what I saw tonight was absolute chaos with patients looking traumatised whilst staff – temporary bank staff  –  with rubber gloves were trying to deal with one traumatised patient who would not leave her position by the door.   I was really distressed to listen to what other patients had to say about their treatment and to see how upset everyone was.   I was not the only visitor slightly after hours on the ward to witness the shocking sights seen tonight where someone had to be dragged off and I could imagine what Elizabeth went through to be forcibly drugged, pinned down no doubt by members of “nursing” staff.      What degrading treatment. There were only about three members of staff on duty and another patient crying out for attention.  The other day I heard someone very distressed in the seclusion room.  Staff did not want me or the other visitors to witness what was going on tonight and we were ordered off the ward but first of all I wanted them to take a copy of the ADVANCED DECLARATION Elizabeth had signed some time ago.  No forced drugging – no experimentation.   A section is for an assessment but when Police are involved in an investigation right now I have specifically told them on Suffolk Ward Chase Farm that Elizabeth should NOT be drugged up.

 

When I got to the ward Elizabeth was standing there watching what was going in the corridor along with several other patients  –  I could not leave anyway because this other patient was right in front of the door.   Elizabeth like many other people that come under the shocking mental health care system of the UK have suffered extensive abuse or trauma and are simply not given the right kind of care.  I would describe the mental health care system in general as cruel and abusive.      Elizabeth looked so traumatised tonight by the degrading treatment she had been given today.   I was very upset to hear about this when I got home.   So this is what goes on in mental health institutions not just Suffolk Ward Chase Farm but all over the UK whether private or NHS but this is being kept quiet and not spoken about.

Elizabeth’s Responsible Clinician is Dr Kumal Choudhury who has not bothered to return my calls.

Perhaps by drugging Elizabeth they are trying to cover up things with the current Police investigation in order that she cannot talk to the Police.    Some very serious things happened to Elizabeth under the MOTI VILLA SCHEME based in one of the best parts of Enfield along the Ridgeway and I have the files to prove it.  It is only now after ten years and having received humane care that Elizabeth has started to talk about it.  HOW CONVENIENT TO DRUG HER UP RIGHT NOW.  Be sure though that there are enough witnesses who know about what happened there.    I am still waiting for you – the Police to come round to my house and show you the records I have kept.  You did not investigate properly did you?  Perhaps the view is why bother when this is only a MH patient – who is going to find out – lets cover it up or perhaps that person was so drugged up at the time and did not have the ability to talk effectively.  Perhaps this is the reason why Elizabeth is being forcibly drugged right now so as to cover up what happened to her under ENFIELD MENTAL HEALTH’S CARE.  

There was a ward meeting yesterday at Chase Farm SUFFOLK WARD,  including RC Dr K Choudhury and others including the same care coordinator who came into my home back in 2014 when Enfield deprived the Clozapine to Elizabeth.   This is the one who placed Elizabeth at a scheme at Mays Cottage where she was constantly locked out of her room due to a faulty lock and offered drugs.    Even care provider Craegmoor recognised she needed more care and support.  In other words Elizabeth was forever given the “cheapest option” when it came to care and that meant no therapy no appropriate care and there is nothing good like OPEN DIALOGUE under Enfield.  It is an area where there is no accountability and where plenty of money is spent in the wrong direction.  It should be going to improve the NHS care rather than in the hands of private sector.  It should be spent on care in the community to help people live independently but not under the CONTROL like Elizabeth was under being marched to constant safeguarding meetings where she was prompted to tick boxes stating that myself and others abused her by total strangers to the family.

I would describe the scenes I saw tonight as “hell on earth” and very upsetting.    I think it is extremely cruel that up and down the country behind the closed doors of institutions and care homes this cruelty is still going still since Winterbourne.

Yesterday’s hospital meeting was about placements for Elizabeth as none of us want her in this hospital for a long time – she had been doing OK drug free on the ward.   Elizabeth cried when she saw her father attend the meeting. She just looked numb tonight.  We all know now what happened under MOTI VILLA and now we cannot accept the diagnosis of Schizophrenia.    We believe the correct diagnosis to be PTSD and also there are other mentions of learning disability.  It is recommended for Elizabeth to have intensive trauma therapy but nothing like this has EVER been provided by this DREADFUL area of ENFIELD where I unfortunately live.

Politicians MUST know what is going on within these institutions – patients were locked up, not allowed out to exercise – nothing much to do all day – the environment itself is totally in-therapeutic.   Judging by the comments I heard tonight there needs to be inspectors visiting after hours and interviewing the patients on the wards regularly.  I am sure judging by what I heard tonight inspectors would hear a lot from some very distressed patients.

Elizabeth has gone from paradise to hell.  However hell was never that far away as she regained her memory 0f extensive abuse that she suffered back on 2010, after being drugged excessively under Enfield mh for so many years. Instead of receiving counselling, she has received drugs and excessive amounts of drugs on the shocking wards under ENFIELD MENTAL HEALTH.

 

May God judge this evil treatment of the weak and vulnerable throughout the UK that is being kept quiet.

 

I cant be bothered to pick up a newspaper these days.  You are more likely to hear the truth on a blog like this on the true reality of how disabled people are treated.    I bet when I post this to the leading politicians I get no response – just a wall of silence.

There are people earning a lot of money out of the likes of my daughter right now and instead of helping them they are making them ill and disabled.

Today i have written today to Maria Kane, Chief Executive Officer who in the past has responded that the care in Enfield is  “EXCELLENT” however she seems to have gone silent right now.  I have written to her copying in the DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF QUALITY MARGARETE SOUTH-COTE WANT who has done nothing to satisfy us with her response to our complaint.   When we read the shocking files full of defamatory comments against myself and others in the family and close friends we asked for an amendment in the files as this was very misleading but this could not be done so she wrote back offering these comments  “I do not agree that I am aggressive”.   I would have preferred an apology from the staff members themselves particularly those who tried to label me up as being mentally ill and in need of a MHA assessment.   In my local area of Enfield anything goes so it would seem.   They answer their own complaints.  They try to cover their backs in every way they can there is no accountability under ENFIELD MH.

We have a complaint going right the way back currently being dealt with by the PHSO LG Ombudsman.  The complaint is not just from myself but others in the family feel the same way particularly now we can see that the diagnosis for Elizabeth is INCORRECT –  a trauma victim who has suffered severe abuse under MOTI VILLA going back to 2010.

At yesterday’s meeting the rest of the family were told that the only way a placement would be given to Elizabeth would be if I was displaced as Next of Kin.  Here we go again – I am happy for Mr Bevis to be next of kin but I thought that under a Section it was NEAREST RELATIVE –  which happens to be me.    I just want Elizabeth out of Suffolk Ward where tonight I saw and heard the most terrible things.

Where I would like Elizabeth to go is somewhere where she gets the intensive trauma therapy and not just drugs.  It does say in a report she has PTSD and she is an abuse victim – abused by others under MOTI VILLA and now they want to drug her to cover up the evidence.   Don’t worry I have plenty of evidence to produce to the Police myself.

If huge sums of money were not being wasted then there would be more funds to help people in the community and I have no regrets at all on taking her away from an area where abuse is rife.  I am fed up with hearing that there is no money – need to raise council tax etc. etc. especially when in ENFIELD some of those at the top earn more than the Prime Minister so I have read.

There is only one who has more power –  that is God.    No politicians seem interested in mental health issues and it is near impossible to get justice for those who are being abused.

I am very pleased that I set up this blog to highlight the abusive treatment of MH patients and those with learning disability for all to see.    Judging by the responses I receive I am so happy.  I am sad that this abuse is so widespread and to hear how others have been affected.

I will visit Elizabeth tomorrow and I will inform you all whether she has been forcibly drugged again and I would like as many people as possible to know that my daughter is currently on SUFFOLK WARD CHASE FARM HOSPITAL THE RIDGEWAY ENFIELD MIDDX EN2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am sad to say my daughter Elizabeth is back in hospital- a locked acute ward which is far from therapeutic.  She had previously been in Cygnet in Stevenage and came out completely unstable barely able to walk as they had doubled the amount of drugs given to 20mg just prior to release.  She was not very well and could not go out and she suffered a severe adverse reaction to the drug Aripiprazole.  I was not impressed as Cygnet Stevenage did not do an assessment of other diagnoses she is documented as having.  She is said to have Schizophrenia PTSD and  Aspergers and MH professionals she has been staying with over the past four months identified her as having a learning/developmental disability. According to Cygnet’s Code of Practice no decisions should be taken in the absence of the RC but this is what was happening and took place at Cygnet Stevenage as the RC was on long term leave.  It is shocking to see a young man has died in this hospital.

Right now Elizabeth is at Cygnet Beckton (the Flagship of all Cygnets) visited not so long ago by Princess Anne.  It is a distance from where we live and awkward to get to.  I am not happy she is there.  She is on Section 2 and I want everyone to know where she is, because I do not want her to get “lost” in the system and be drugged to the hilt as I know what goes on in these institutions.   I do appreciate in such an environment there is the need to sedate at times but hospitals such as these go overboard.  They ignore evidence that someone like Elizabeth cannot metabolise the drugs as per the P45O liver enzyme tests.  Physical health is not considered in comparison to introducing all these different drugs which do nothing to solve the real issues.   Anti-psychotics such as Abilify can actually cause aggression and anxiety.  Elizabeth has not got on with this drug at all but Cygnet have ignored my emails when I requested she be taken off Abilify and tried with a mood stabiliser which I am told has less side effects.  She has been on Haloperidal before and I have heard this is a dreadful drug.  She has also been put on Clonazepam – that is three drugs so far being given in less than a week.

THE RESPONSIBLE CLINICIAN IS DR OCHATA WHO IS ABSENT FOR TWO WEEKS AND NOW ABSENT FOR THREE SO I HAVE BEEN TOLD TONIGHT?

CODE OF PRACTICE:

Responsible Clinician has overall responsibility for care and treatment for service users .  being assessed and treated under the Mental Health Act.  These responsibilities include:

  • Making decisions about treatment
  • Reviewing detentions
  • Assessing whether the criteria for renewing detention are met
  • Granting leave of absence for detained patients
  • Barring the Nearest Relative from discharging patient in specific situations
  • The Power of discharge from detention:   Although the Responsible Clinician has overall responsibility decisions about the service users care and treatment are made in discussion with the multi-disciplinary team.  (In Guardianship cases the Responsible Clinician has overall responsibility decisions about the service users care and treatment are made in discussion with the multi-disciplinary team.  In Guardianship cases the Responsible Clinician provides the medical recommendation for someone to be received into Guardianship by the Local Authority (rather than the hospital managers for other detentions)  They are responsible for reviewing the Guardianship with the MDT and can discharge it if it is no longer required.)

So the RC (Dr Ochata) is away for three weeks.  (I was told two weeks originally).  There is supposed to be a replacement RC but no one seems to know who this is.   The Consultant Psychiatrist is called Dr William.  I just spoke to a Senior Nurse who could not give any further details and the Ward Service Manager is called Emmanuel Nwanonyiri.

So doctors have quite a position of power .    I am so concerned for my daughter’s wellbeing right now.

I am so pleased that I gave my daughter the chance of freedom to get away from everything and all the painful memories she has from the local area of Enfield.  The most terrible things have happened to her and under their “care” too.    I have accumulated good records of everything going right back.  However when you dare to challenge you get the backlash and there is much bullying going on I can assure you.   I have already documented what happened in the 2014 Court of Protection case.  I have nothing but respect for the Court of Protection who helped me with my father who had Alzheimers.  All that happened was because professionals in a position of power wished to get rid of me as mother/NR to force return Elizabeth back to a care home “Phoenix House” Stepping Stones in  Northampton commissioned by my local area of ENFIELD costing £70000 per year.  Not on a section or CTO I welcomed Elizabeth back to the family home and was allowed to keep her for two glorious years.  Prior to this was a case I had to take out “Deprival of Medication Community Care”  –  has anyone else been deprived drugs to force return her to care where she was not treated well –  she had no food at the weekend and it is documented in the files I have.  Expected to manage on £30 per week.  Who says there is only one Winterbourne.  Take a look at the treatment of vulnerable people throughout the country – how many more cases like this.

I wanted to give my daughter Elizabeth the opportunity of a lifetime:

She was invited to stay with MH professionals in a beautiful location in Scotland.  She was taken on holiday to Spain – Santander, Bilbao, Carcasonne, Marseille, Lyon, Aix en Provence, Caen and Paris World Hearing Voices Congress.  From there back to Glasgow and onto Dubai and Australia.    I tried to set her free from the abuse going on to MH patients in the UK – long term incarceration, drugging to the hilt – total lack of care in the community and where is the money going but to institutions run by Cygnet, Cambion and other private healthcare providers instead of to NHS who need to improve their services.  Vast sums of money are being spent in this way in the UK and patients are being overdrugged as I am documenting.

My daughter for once had the chance to work with professionals who truly cared.  These professionals did not drug to the hilt but worked on the underlying issues.

Yes they identified the problem and this is not mental illness.   Suddenly Elizabeth on a low dosage of drugs started to open up and speak about what happened to her back in 2010.   According to my records the investigation was not done properly and now I want it looked at again.

Elizabeth is prone to adverse reactions to psychiatric drugs.  She has only been in Cygnet Beckton since last week and already they have introduced Clonazepam, despite a severe adverse reaction they have continued to give the drug Aripiprazole which I have complained about to Otsuka and the Regulators.  Mind you, this drug is only licensed for Schizophrenia and Bi Polar and I have pointed out to Cygnet Beckton plenty of times that my daughter suffered abuse at Moti Villa Scheme in the Community situated along The Ridgeway, Enfield EN2   back in 2010.  There are many witnesses to this fact and what Cygnet are doing seem to be doing is drug my daughter but I informed them that she should NOT be drugged as should be re-investigated.  There are plenty of witnesses to this fact.  I wonder how much it cost per week to send someone to Cygnet.  I thought Enfield were struggling financially but it appears I am wrong if they can afford to pay for this.

All that is needed is to take Elizabeth off the Abilify and try her on say, a mood stabiliser – get her stabilised and released as soon as possible but it is very profitable to keep someone a long time in such hospitals especially if ENFIELD are willing to pay.  What they should be paying for is an improvement in community care and encouraging peop0le like Elizabeth to manage their own budget to provide their own carers in the community. It should not all be about control.

Elizabeth was doing so well with the private MH professionals and they had no problems with her – environment did the trick not drugs.   A beautiful and peaceful environment with animals, fresh food, fresh air, healthy relaxing lifestyle.  Unfortunately coming back to the local without support has resulted in deterioration and has brought back the most painful memories and flashbacks to 2010.   Elizabeth has PTSD – not schizophrenia.

What I would like to see is for her to be released from this prison-environment and settled elsewhere where she can start life afresh but with some support .  Things like Care Farms, Camphill Community Trust, supported living in a with just one or two people with daily activities or near to somewhere like care farms or Camphill Community Trust rather than somewhere full of drink/drug addicts.  When she returned from Australia Elizabeth wanted a job, was doing so well – it was astonishing what the right care could achieve but this needs to be ongoing.

II have seen a shocking case where someone has died in CYGNET recently.  I would like my daughter out of there as soon as possible because all I see is one drug after another that has already been tried before and has not worked.  What she needs is therapy -not drugs.   You cannot deal with trauma in this way.  They are not helping my daughter by drugging her up like they are doing.

I am going to contact  the Court tomorrow with my concerns.

Elizabeth has been through enough and should be treated in a more humane manner, not excessively drugged.

The environment where she currently is I do not feel is therapeutic as it is not peaceful and she is not allowed out to get fresh air.

If there was a support network in the local area then Elizabeth would not have deteriorated and she should have had psychotherapy.  She had art therapy.  She had the chance to do many things and conquer her fears.  All the drugs do is suppress memory and are no cure whatsoever but now we are all witness to what happened back in 2010.  Elizabeth is a victim.

I have seen a really nice hospital situated in York called The Retreat set in beautiful grounds.  This is the kind of place where Elizabeth could get the right kind of support for her trauma and then move on to say the Amitola Community .  Id really like to see her move on to something like Camphill Community Trust where she could develop skills and have some level of support but most of all I would like her to be referred to The Retreat to get the underlying trauma dealt with in a proper way and not just by drugs.

MESSAGE TO CYGNET BECKTON HOOPERS WARD –  My daughter cannot metabolise the drugs.  She has test results stating this fact by way of P450 liver enzyme tests.  Unless you intend to reassess her as she is multiply diagnosed then I do not think she is in the right place.  I would like to know who the acting RC is in the absence of Dr Okatcha.

MESSAGE TO ENFIELD SOCIAL SERVICES

You have made countless attempts to displace me as NR but I am more than happy for other family members to take over this role if only Elizabeth can move away from this area that contains very unhappy memories that only recently Elizabeth has revealed to us all.

All I want is for Elizabeth to move on with her life and judging by the files and what I have read maybe she could make a fresh start as environment counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction By Susan Bevis

“I WANT TO BE FREE MUM”

Elizabeth was given the opportunity to get away from everything and stay with some MH professionals in a very different environment.   Elizabeth has in the past experienced care under institutions such as Bethlem Royal Hospital (Bedlam), Cambion and Cygnet Stevenage, various community schemes and she has lived at home for over two years without any problem.  The problem is that the “care” itself that does not address the underlying issues if someone has experienced severe trauma.   If underlying problems are suppressed by drugs and not dealt with then patients end up back on the wards time and time again hence the current bed crisis in hospitals.   Lack of care and support in the community is another reason why mental health care is failing but environment is so important too and Elizabeth has been in a peaceful environment, the opposite of where we live.    Elizabeth has been on huge levels of drugs yet was expected to do chores but could barely function on as much as 800mg Seroquel.  We have seen Elizabeth manage on a very low dosage of drugs but they are near impossible to come off as what is needed is the facility to do so and I am glad that Dr Joanna Moncrieff is doing research into this under the RADAR programme.    Stigma is rife under the MH system in the UK which forces people to take drugs long term but this just suppresses the trauma and abuse which may have been suffered by such patients.  Furthermore on wards in the UK patients can be  forcibly drugged and injected on they do not comply with “treatment”.   The MH professionals Elizabeth stayed with have proven that she could be talked through episodes of anxiety and she coped so well with so many changes and confronted her fears whilst away and I would consider talking through anxiety to be humane care as opposed to drugging someone forcibly.    There is no choice without the use of drugs to people under MH care system of the UK.  There is no facility for someone to go in and be maintained on the very minimal of medication and receive therapy in the UK.  Even in the community care is “controlled” under CTOs which is just another word for forced drugging.  I think this is very cruel and this system does not work. People do not get better.   I had been looking for something better for Elizabeth and found the right care under http://www.working-to-recovery.com.   A patient is known as a “student” and they are treated in a humane way. Professionals within this organisation take a very different approach and try to deal with the underlying issues and I have seen that this approach has produced startling results.  It is all too easy to drug someone to the hilt but they never get better this way.

Trip of a Lifetime:

It was August Bank Holiday 2016.  Elizabeth was invited to stay with some MH professionals in their family home in a very beautiful area.   She was meant to stay  two weeks but requested to stay longer.  At around 5.00 am on Saturday having spent the night at Kings X we boarded the train to Edinburgh.   We had watched Elizabeth going downhill locally. She was struggling to walk and struggled to go out to shopping centres, she was afraid to walk over bridges.  She had suffered a bad reaction to 20mg of the drug Aririprazole and I have reported this to the FDA.   The train ride was a lovely – Elizabeth had complained of bad toothache which we did not know about until the last minute.  I was worried that she would refuse to go but she didn’t and I promised this would be sorted out once there and it was by the wonderful professionals who took care of her.   Elizabeth was met by these professionals and I felt happy leaving her know she was safe and with good people.  For the first time I could relax and feel good that Elizabeth was going to have a wonderful experience and that I was setting her free.   I went on to Edinburgh Fringe Festival – my first time in Scotland and enjoyed it so much I missed my last train back home. I ended up in Doncaster having to stay overnight.    Elizabeth always said she wanted to be free and I felt happy to do so as there were lots of restrictions under the “controlled” care which is all that is on offer in the UK unfortunately.  Elizabeth’s life was not good – too ill to work – nothing much in her life, the local area did not contain happy memories.  There were meetings 9 professionals – 1 she had to attend and chores before and no review in medication in sight despite having a bad reaction to the drug and an email from Dr Moncrieff said this drug caused agitation and anxiety.  Elizabeth spent some restful time in a really relaxing environment and after two weeks being there Elizabeth was given another wonderful opportunity of a lifetime – a fascinating holiday.   Elizabeth will now write to tell you all about her experiences which I am very glad I provided for my daughter who complained that her life was ruined by the drug treatment she had received under MH care.  I never expected this would be a complete “cure” but when she first came back, it was like a miracle – we saw a very different person than we had ever seen before.    If you were to take someone off an acute ward and offer this experience instead of long term incarceration on wards and the drugging that is forced,  then that person would come back much improved and this shows how wrong everything is in the uk. However, such treatment needs to be ongoing as I have since found out.  There is a lack of the right kind of care and support in the UK that is for sure.

Dictated from Notes Elizabeth made:

30.08.16 – 05.10.16 My time away in Scotland, Spain, France to Australia

Before I went away I struggled to walk to places.  I was fearful walking over bridges, anything high up or shopping malls/airports.  I would avoid situations. Sometimes I felt so bad I would avoid going out altogether.  I had not been away on holiday for a long time as I had not felt well enough.  I said at first that I would not be going on holiday to France and Australia and I was given the choice to remain at the family home with professional staff provided.   My two weeks holiday was to be spent in a lovely peaceful and natural environment – there was a dog, pigs, chickens.  I had never been to this area before so I did not know what to expect.  I asked if there were takeaways where I was staying but was told no and that we would doing home cooking.  Once I had arrived the first thing sorted was a visit to the local dentist where I was relieved of my bad toothache I had suffered for a long time before.   At the scheme I was eating not the best of food and takeaways.  I was now having food that was fresh and organically grown.  There were some takeaways in the town but I was not going to them like before.   I remember the fish being so fresh, so much better than anything I had bought before.  I knew I would be working with a very different team  who offered a different approach.    One of my greatest fears was wide open spaces and heights. I felt challenged at first by being taken out on walks where land was uneven and I had to deal with my fears of heights as land was hilly and we were high up.   My memories include walking in fields full of cows/sheep, wild, unspoilt and beautiful countryside, lovely sunsets, seeing northern lights, feeding chickens and pigs, collecting eggs and of the family dog.   I remember visiting the lighthouse in very windy weather conditions.  When I first arrived and weather was OK  I went into the sea up to my waste but the water was freezing.  I was encouraged to face my fears and anxieties and I slowly built up confidence by going out  regularly. I was up around 8.00 am every day completing my work book, watching educational MH videos as well as Tai Chi.   There was another person staying at the house of around my age and we would go out shopping together.  I worked with an art therapist who taught me the technique of  “threading”.  I did painting and pottery and I have made two very nice scenic pictures using the threading technique.   I went to a local gym once a week and there was a nice swimming pool I visited.  We took it in turns to cook healthy meals.  One evening there was a cultural event – a “Bollywood night” in a local arts centre.  We watched an Indian film with sub-titles and afterwards there was dancing..  I really enjoyed it.  There was also a psychotherapist who stayed at the house with another professional which I found very helpful.  I visited the town for shopping with lovely views of the sea but was glad I did not have to depend upon buses which were not frequent as I am used to.  I remember a familiar well-known supermarket but lots of lovely individual shops.  I was only meant to go away for two weeks on holiday but wanted to stay longer and then I was invited to go on holiday.

I had the opportunity to travel all over Scotland visiting Inverness, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

6.10.16 – France and Spain

I can remember a long journey on the ferry to Santander – not too bad a crossing from Portsmouth to Santander, then being driven to Bilbao where we spent a night in a nice hotel.  Weather was hot.  We then travelled to Carcassone where we stayed about a week in a guest house.  I found this drastic change in environment quite a shock and hard to adapt to at first.  I suffered from bouts of anxiety and fear but instead of drugs the professionals dealt with this by talking therapy. Eventually I managed to settle down and venture out and I had learned a few words in French to buy nice food from the local boulangerie  just down the road where they had a fantastic selection of bread, cakes etc.  I was impressed by the local delicatessen nearby.  One day we hired bikes and went for a two hour bike ride beside a canal which was very challenging for me.  I had not been on a bike for a long time.

As we explored the town visiting the Medieval City I experienced difficulty in walking up hills –  I blame the medication for the way I have felt and I have been on large amounts of drugs in the past but was on less of the drug but it still gave me a feeling like you are like you are weightless, fearful of falling, sensation of feeling your head is going up to the sky and that you will lose balance but I was encouraged all the time to carry on. We visited La Cathedrale Saint Nazaire et Saint-Celse

We then went on to Marseille –  I enjoyed this very much as we went on a  boat trip to Frioul Island and Chateau d’if .  The weather was really hot.  You could go swimming off the boat and I also have good memories of fresh sea food at the beach.

From Marseille we travelled to aix en provence, Lyon then Paris where we attended the Intervoice/World Hearing Voices Congress.  At the Intervoice event I was invited out for dinner with four French MH professionals who made good effort in trying to speak to me in English –  I think one of them was a psychiatrist.  We stayed on a house boat in Paris close to transport and this was a wonderful experience for me.  At first I was afraid to go on the houseboat but it was quite comfortable and convenient to all the sights. I refused to go up the Eiffel Tower but stood nearby and then we returned to  Caen catching a flight to Glasgow and by this time I had gained confidence I would not have entered an airport let alone get on a flight but we took a flight to Glasgow and I had by this time agreed to go on to Australia for six weeks.  I will write about this later.

 

 

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