First blog post

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V bomb factory ww11

via Forest

Whilst living in a little corner of rural northern France, we were compelled to investigate our new surroundings.
Just outside a small village named La Bleu Mason was a Forest, where there were notices explaining the dangers of the wild boar and illegal truffle poaching.
I was terrified and strangely excited at the prospect of meeting a wild boar but my husband thought it best to stay on the outer edges of this beautiful wooded landscape, initially anyway.
We happened on an area of overgrown vines and undergrowth almost swallowing a chain link fence border, looking over the fence we could see an army vehicle practically buried in the forna.
With our curiosity heightened we gingerly scrabbled over the fence, ignoring the keep out! Private property! Signs.(well we couldn’t speak French yet, hmmm).
The vehicle was definitely an American staff car of sorts,we could also hear in the distance a war siren and tannoy alerts. We thought we had been transported back in time, it was eerie beyond belief.
We wandered down a track toward the sounds, half expecting to be arrested or even worse, shot! We arrived at a huge bunker that was obviously a museum, we saw half a dozen frothy mouthed Dobermans in a pen, and some visitors on a tour, more notably and deeply moving we came to a halt in front of a large stone column mossy with age, engraved in the memorial were the names of war prisoners, mostly polish and Italians, that laboured and perished for the German war machine. The bunker, hidden so well in the French countryside was to launch the v bombs over Britain.

Always a Rebel

parents always like to tell the most embarrassing stories about their children.

Mine liked to constantly remind me and anyone that would listen, of my rebellious nature through embellished stories.

like , when I was a toddler, if I was asked to sit, I would stand! Or vice Versa. If I was told to stay I would move, if only an inch. On a day referring to this impulsive need to do the opposite, I was told not to sit on my favourite site, the doorstep. Of course I sat on the step pleased as punch that I’d foiled the parent again! Until….. I felt a pain in my bum, I shot up from my seat, propelling myself forward and onto the small picket fence surrounding the flower bed which embedded into my forehead which then spouted blood when my Mother lifted me off, setting off my mother’s blood phobia causing her to feel dizzy and faint! Luckily the neighbour heard the screaming and jumped over the fence to save us. I found out later that the pain in my bum was from a bee that my Mother was going to move before I sat down. There are many stories of this nature and I’m sad to say I still have the impulse to go against the grain, but it does provide plenty of party material for my family.

Somewhere over the rainbow

My daughter is 15 and suffers with severe anxiety, social awkwardness and anxiety attacks, depression.

Symptoms: health and security worries, depression, isolation, recurrent illnesses. Thoughts of self harm and fleeting suicidal thoughts.

Treatment Available: six week mindfulness therapy.

School councillor 1/2 hr per week.

Reduced school timetable.

Cahms referral. Refused as non serious.

Self help: journals, music, creative writing, Art, self-help groups, talking openly with family members.

15 yr study.

As a baby: no problems.

As a toddler: tantrums, diet problems, food control.

Creative, excellent vocabulary, excellent learning skills.

Playgroup: No problems.

Primary school: Starting to show signs of being unhappy, academically good, friendship problems

High School. First 4 years, Academically good, friendship problems, isolation.

Year 10, severe anxiety, isolation,depression, high absence record, stress related illnesses.

As a parent I have encouraged my daughter to keep going to school, where in truth she has suffered and her mental health is now in danger of being a lifelong problem for her.

If I look at my 15 year analysis, the problems were quite clear in primary school and my dismissed worries may have been important to my daughters health and well being today.

My daughter was a normal little girl with a hungry enthusiasm for education, music and art, but she didn’t fit in. Following tradition we carried on, forcing her to go to school thinking it would get better. Instead we watched our lovely talented daughter being oppressed, forgotten and brushed under the carpet, by the very institution that should have highlighted her best points as well as her bad.

I look at her now and feel sad that I didn’t do something.

At primary school she learned to hate herself, think of herself as stupid worthless and ugly.

She is in fact none of these things.

What child is?

This is where I think that teachers of early years children should be educated to spot the obvious signs that lead to mental health problems.

The school environment should be a safe place, no judgements, no politics. In my experience I have witnessed teachers becoming embroiled within the social scene of parent cliques that determine the popular groups of children in school, which consciously or not affect the dynamics of friendship groups within the school. Most children can overcome this barrier but there are some that just can’t, it’s those children that become lost and isolated.

My intention in this blog is to follow my daughters progress, the good and the bad,and along the way maybe help others like her.