“I’m trying to make you proud
Do everything you did
I hope you’re up there with God saying “That’s my kid!”
I still look for your face in the crowd
Oh if you could see me now
Would you stand in disgrace or take a bow
If you could see me now would you recognize me?
Would you pat me on the back or would you criticize me?
Would you follow every line on my tear-stained face
Put your hand on a heart that was as cold
As the day you were taken away?”
This song has been in my head – my life – for a couple of weeks. My soul screaming at me to somehow acknowledge and reference it, to get it out on page in some way. To send it out into the void that this song is now yours. Today, I was walking and I saw this hat – so similar to the one you owned – and I had to take a photograph of it.
I now have the perfect image to go along with this song that I so badly need to reference.
( https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/script/ifyoucouldseemenow.html )
The Script – If You Could See Me Now.
Image used: Original image take by ‘Just Me’.
The first time I watched this film was in 2004, I was 13 years old. As a child, horror films never bothered me. I wasn’t often scared or afraid when it came to even the worst of horror films.
I then re-watched Stigmata as an adult and found myself feeling extremely on edge. Unsure and afraid that something like this might be a possibility.
I was a fan of Patricia Arquette before I even knew who she was. This film was my introduction to her and I was immediately taken by her.
As someone who has flittered in and out of religion, I found it fascinating. As an adult, I had access to the internet and found myself using Google to find out if this ‘Stigmata’ was an actual thing that people may have experienced before.
Is it real? Is it psychosis? Is it hoax? It then brought about the questions regarding whether the stigmata should appear on the palms or through the wrists…
I think out of all the scary parts of this film, the part that terrified me the most was the unknown. Putting myself in her shoes and not knowing what is happening to me or how to control or stop it… horrifying.
Today as I watch it, I don’t feel scared. I watch it and I don’t believe it to be the greatest film ever made but it is worth re-watching. The history behind Stigmata still interests me, the history behind religion itself has always interested me.
I believe in what I see, I believe in science. I also believe in God, I have an immense amount of faith.
I am a contradiction.
In 2012, I was one of your students. I spent 2 months sitting in the back of your classroom, shyly taking in every word. I slowly became in awe and appreciative of your work ethic. When another student touched me inappropriately I had no idea how to react and was worried that I had somehow encouraged him. It wasn’t something that I was wanting to acknowledge or to confide in any one that it had happened. Then one day you asked me how I was and even when I said I was ‘okay’, you still enquired again. I was a very shy, sheltered young woman who was not used to being in such an environment as college. The experience was an overwhelming one, it lead me to leave my media course, the friends I had made and the choice to carry on regardless. I ran away.
Since then, I have come a long way. I tried to get a job, it didn’t go well but I persevered. I enrolled into college to take my GCSE’s and did a BTEC, that did go well and I walked away proud. I spent a year hopping from work experience, to volunteering, to traineeships and had many different valuable experiences. You have always flittered in and out of my thoughts and I wonder if you would recognise me now.
Your positive, honest attitude and brilliant work ethic is something that I have been silently trying to aim for within myself. You appeared to be such an independent strong woman – it seemed to be the perfect aspiration.
It can be amazing, to think of the people who stay with you, who make a large impression upon you. The people who are most likely unaware that they have made such an impression.
If my memory serves me correctly, you teach English. I wonder what your opinion would be on the things that I have penned. I wonder if I shall have the courage to send this to you or if I shall just post it into the void that is the internet.
Whichever happens, I hope this brings a smile to your face. To know that you do have a positive impact on your students and that they go on to carry it with them long after they leave your classroom.
It is important to avoid triggers. To not actively seek them out. Anxiety, panic disorder, depression, bipolar, an eating disorder… each carries its own triggers.
What if you are the trigger?
What if your brain knows just what images to conjure up to set your world spinning on a dizzying uncontrollable excursion…?
What if your brain yells at you all of the things that scare you? All your insecurities that only you know you struggle with.
All the negative comments and statements you don’t need to hear get screamed at you as your brain declares war against all practical thought…
I am in the middle of a war between the practical and the irrational.
With nothing to do but fight. I have no armour. I will win, no matter the scars I may accumulate. My soul speaks louder than everything else.
A childlike dream of what career you want to have when you grow up.
I have often thought of what it would be like to be a journalist. To travel and meet all kinds of different unique people. I would love to have the kind of creative and active mind that asks all of the questions that never get asked. Questions on every day small, seemingly insignificant things. The small things that make a difference in people’s lives, the people that make a difference.
I don’t think it was a good idea, but maybe it was. I was meant to be taking photographs – “our official church photographer.” I did indeed get the job done, but mostly I sat there in awe. The service was beautiful and it was a ceremony I had not borne witness to before. In the moments of silence; silence that I usually draw strength and peace from – I struggled.
On this day, instead of finding peace, I found panic. I flashed back to my Grandfather’s coffin, to the flowers and the despair.
On this day, I felt depressive. My friend is dying and for all the prayers that I could send her way, I don’t imagine the outcome will differ.
I don’t think it was a good idea, but maybe it was. I struggled but I remained calm. I got through all the negative thoughts and connotations and did what I had set out to do. I spoke with my community and socialised with my peers. I did all of this by myself, for myself. I am proud of the small achievements, of staying in a situation, of speaking with individuals that I do not know well and of trusting myself in those desperate moments of panic.
I try not to put people on pedestals
Then I find this note
You describe me as ‘brave’.
It makes it hard
Hard not to see you as a positive light
In a dark world – you shine
It is funny how much you can desperately need something and feel so deeply about it to make a promise to yourself that you will continue to seek it out.
And then, suddenly, time runs away from you and you have not missed it. The sanctuary you found still exists, however, you have no need to seek it out.
Is this somehow an improvement? That the sanctuary and peace you craved and found is no longer needed. That your soul no longer needs it so desperately.
All these days where you got up and went to work and carried on despite wanting to stay secluded, did it somehow heal a part of you?
Have I started healing without any knowledge of it?
There is no good news where this illness is concerned.
I often wonder if there are people who have as little information as I, who are too scared to Google but still want to know.
I have spent some time today looking through a reliable website, gathering the basics.
For the me from a decade ago, here you are. There is no good news, there is no preparation – there is only ever this day.
One day at a time, my love. Just one day at a time.
You can have more than one type of Dementia at a time (mixed Dementia).
The most common – usually develops over several years. Some of the early symptoms may include;
- Trouble remembering recent events, familiar faces and names
- Frequently asking the same question repeatedly
- Misplacing items or putting them in an odd place
- Being uncertain about the date and time
- Being unsure of where they are and getting lost
- Not being able to find the right words
- Having a low mood, feeling anxious and irritable. Losing interest and self confidence
Symptoms later on may include;
- A larger decline in remembering things and having trouble making decisions
- Communication and language skills become worse
- Trouble recognising household appliances and familiar faces
- Day to day routines get harder to complete
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Possible hallucinations
- May become unsteady on their feet
The second most common type of Dementia – caused when blood flow to the brain is restricted. Possibly by a stroke or several miniature strokes over time. Symptoms may include;
- Trouble with their thinking skills – struggling to process information, planning, reasoning and poor attention skills
- Personality changes – depression, perhaps becoming more emotional than ‘normal’ and becoming less interested in things
- Problems with their movements
- Bladder problems – most common in the elderly
In later stages, people may need help with eating, dressing and toileting.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies
This type of Dementia is caused by small round clumps of protein building up into nerve cells in the brain. Some of the symptoms can also be found in Parkinson’s Dementia. Symptoms can include;
- Change in alertness, attention, confusion
- Change in behaviour, very unpredictable and can change from hour to hour
- Slow movements, muscle stiffness, tremors
- Frequent visual hallucinations that are very well formed and realistic.
- Sleep disturbances
- Fainting, unsteadiness and possible higher risk for falls
In later stages people may need help with dressing, eating, moving and toileting.
Spotlight Church abuse report
As I sit and watch the 2015 movie ‘Spotlight’, I wonder about the story behind it… it truly is devastating to read about how such abuse was given free reign by people in a position of power.