Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Getting back to my level(s) of normality- and never being too far away from the truth

After a couple of housebound hianus days (thanks to 'joys of womanhood'),decided to venture to the local shops yesterday.

That was after sticking tv on in bedroom, whilst having a look round, blogland and watching an American programme about 'environmental health'. There is an English version, where you get to see the states some people's homes are in. Wasn't uplifting stuff to watch, particularly as one story was about a woman who had died and, due to no contactable relatives, her neighbour had to identify the body and help organise her funeral (3 people attended..the neighbour and 2 members of religeous congregation). The other was about a woman whose whole appartment was jam packed full of stuff. The outcome of that was a punch up between the cleaning company man and the appartment supervisor. Hmmmmmmm

It did make me assess my own living situation.... I looked at my bedroom and realised that I am a 'clutterer'. Not so much a magpie as I let things 'go' too easy and decided some instant action was necessary. Both my normal dustbin and recycle dustbins are now full but need to stick to the mission to minimalise my sleeping space. Note to self: put dusbtin bags on interent shopping order.

Anyway, chivvied on by doing something slightly useful decided to take a walk to the shops and for being a brave bunny, popped into the chippy. Whilst waiting for chips to be cooked, I had a look at the Dunstable Gazette.

The story of Em's step mum's best friend's stabbing, and subsquent death, was front page news. The stabbing took place in a private care home in 2007 (where she worked as a carer) and the court case has been going on for a few weeks.

The man who stabbed her has been transferred to Rampton High Security unit for an indefinate period and the judge asked some pertinent questions, such as why someone with such a severe and uncontrollable illness was allowed to go into a home, which had the primary function of caring for people with brain injuries and learning difficulties. He is seeking an independant inquiry. I am not sure if he will get it but I think it warrants that.

Whatever happens it won't bring Cathy back but perhaps some justice can be done by working out where the problems were (although, they seem a bit too evident to me).... As in why the decisions to place the man in the care home were made and what can be done to ensure that people who are a threat to others (and themselves) are placed in situations where they can and do kill people.

I understand we all have the ability to kill other people but most of us, even those of us with illness, are able to appreciate other people's rights to life and respect that, along with comprehending the impact of someone's death on their families. However, there are some people that can't or won't (some people don't have those values) and for some of them that is because their illness is too severe and 'support services' either can't provide the right treatment or the treatment doesn't work.

In the main, I don't like compulsory treatment orders, and particularly in the community, as I have yet to have proof that they work but when a person is known to be dangerous and non responsive to treatment then I see no option but for them to be placed in secure units. It kinda goes against the grain but I think Cathy would still be here if a more appopriate environment had been found for the person who killed her.

I saw Em yesterday and it all seemed more poignant (and not just because of the emotional issues for her step mum) as Em is doing Criminology at uni and wants to do her dissitation on Criminal Law and Mental Health. Of late we have been talking about this and she is going to be looking at the statistics first of in how many people in prison are diagnosed with mental illness (I have my view on statistics but you gotta start somwhere) and why that is. We think she will have to narrow her dissitation to a specific but at the moment she is thinking of the sort of research she wants to do and will look at case studies. She will be visiting people in prison this year, and wondering how many of those have MH problems??? I think it will be quite a challenge for her and is early days so she might change her in the specific she picks but... she has been allocated a professor who specialises in MH to help her. Is of mega interest to me but more importantly I hope what she learns helps her in the future vocation.

On a smaller scale, we visited Dad who was pretty fired up about his care. Usually, he has this detached view of he isn't really participating in anything to do with his life but he was really angry. He feels like he is being bullied and bullshitted. Due to my own concerns in regards to the role I play in this, and month on month of trying to help him get what I think he needs,I said that he needs to express this with members of his care team. He said he didn't want to go to the next care review meeting because it won't help him. I said if that is his view then is up to him. For sure I can see that if he doesn't go, certain supports can be removed and for all his moaning, he moans more when his support worker or care co-ordinator don't turn up or help him, or when his meds don't arrrive or his hot meal isn't there.

I would actually prefer it if he did have a more pro-active approach to his care and put some of that frustration (the energy behind it) into doing things with the supports that are in place for him...but I sense we are in another cycle that will lead back to him slumping and all his anger yesterday will be replaced with the internal punishing and external..well... not much happening.

Ultimately, if he is consistent enough to make a choice, or choices, and stick by them..and dependant on what they are I might need to make some new choices for myself. I might actually take myself out of the equation for a while, not to prove a point as to take the bloody pressure off me. Most of the time all I am getting is caught in the middle and being hammered by all sides!!!

Anyway, is Sunday. Day of rest and am going to spend some of it in the garden. Have been making more progress with cards and think will allocate myself a cutty out corner with nature.


  1. Hi Mandy, so the spring clean bug has bitten has it? There's something in this time of year that brings out the organiser in us. I spent most of yesterday putting the contents of my mother's bedroom into boxes and then came home and sorted out my own space. If the weather stays good then getting in the garden is ideal. Sounds like you could do with a 'crafting shed' to use as an outlet for creativity in the summer months. I haven't made a card in ages though I should, just because I can't stand to be indoors when the sun is shining.

    Much to pass comment on but don't think my input would be of any help. When Winwick and Rainhill hopsitals were closed here years ago all those people who had been institutionalised for years suddenly found themselves coping pretty much alone in the 'community'. I could do a huge rant in agreement with your thoughts on care in light of the lack of support, but we know first hand that it's shite so....

    Take care of yourself and lets see those fab cards when they're finished pls?

  2. We're spring cleaning too - moving boys to our room, us to spare room, all the crap to boys exroom. It's working, sort of.

  3. Hi CC

    Certainly, overall, my mood is better now spring has arrived and I feel more inclined to do much so that I mowed the front lawn yesterday.

    Am glad that doing that hasn't aggrevated dry discs. Actually, it doesn't seem to matter what I do (except heavy lifting) the discs seem to play up randomly. As in when they hurt they hurt and when they don't they dont. Have learnt that when they are playing up all I can do is lie down and pray for sleep.

    Know what you mean when you write you could do a big rant....because I am prone to ranting myself. :>)

    And thanks for interest in putting some up in a minute.

  4. Hi Dave

    Good luck with all the movings around.

    I know that what I really need to do is move all the card making stuff from the front room to the shed (brill idea of Coffecups)...only probby is that means sorting out the shed..and is like Steptoe and Sons back yard in there.