Sunday, 29 July 2018

Go to your room!

my Dad, a selfie
When I was about age 10 or 11 I started to question my Dad and defy his judgements if I thought they didn't make sense.  For example, I wanted a pet rat but he said I couldn't have one because they were smelly.  I said: well so are you! Go to your room! 

[most of the photos taken by my Dad, not sure about the one of me aged 3 or 4, who took that one, and the one of my wee sister Eva taken c1969 at photographer's in Perth]

I spent some time in my room at that age, looking out the 4th floor Pomarium Perth flats window at the wasteground outside (before the Bus Station was built), watching my friends playing and climbing trees.  It was a fitting punishment because I liked to be outside playing better than anything else at that age.  However it didn't stop me on occasion speaking out to my Father if I thought his decisions didn't sound right.

My sister Frances who was 9yrs younger would eventually be asking my Mother where her room was because it was only a 2 bedroom flat and we'd be sharing a room by then.  My Mum told this story later on as she did other stories of our childhood which I'm very grateful for, her sense of humour and love for her family.  Another story was of when we used to stay in Dunsinane Drive, Letham, Perth, 1950's, a council housing scheme, and the Dobie brothers bullied me when playing out in the street, and I'd go running in the house, greetin (crying).

me aged 3 or 4 in kilt
I'd be about 4 years old so don't remember this.  My Mother said that my Dad taught me to box so as to defend myself from the bully boys and after this they ran in greetin tae their Maw.  And then she complained to my Mum about me bullying them.  She was very proud of my ability to stand up to the bully boys and to girls who would challenge me to fight in the Caley (Caledonian) Road Primary School girls playground.  This happened a few times and I had a seconder, a friend who stood with me, but the challenger never turned up to fight.

I was thinking of the 'Go to your room' scenario in relation to what's happened regarding the DClinPsy programmes at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities.  In effect I've been sent to my room, banished, silenced, for speaking my mind and defying the patriarchy.  With Glasgow it was because I left the CUSP user/carer group end of December 2014 after being bullied, ganged up on by members when Gumley wasn't there, and complained about it.  
me aged 10

me with favourite comic at the time
Gumley spoke about this on 4 July 2017 in his office at the MH & Wellbeing Unit, how it was very difficult after I left CUSP.  I had said to him that he shouldn't infantilise the members or trainees.  This is a problem, assuming that DClinPsy students and people with "lived experience" of MH challenges, don't have full capacity.  Since then he has stopped speaking to me and Prof McLeod has banished me from any involvement in their DClinPsy programme.  Sent to my room permanently for having an opinion and not putting up with infantilisation.

As for Edinburgh DClinPsy, I'd left the user/carer group APEX early 2015 and had complained about it on twitter, the facilitation by the men at the top, the misogyny.  Inbetween times I tried to do a PhD Clinical Psychology at Edinburgh but that fell through, my unconditional offer withdrawn after I rejected the supervision by Prof Schwannauer which was both unsupportive and undermining.  I was set up to fail.  Formal mentor Gumley did not help the situation and it was after this that he raised a complaint which resulted in my banishment. 
me eating an orange before playing outside

I returned to Edinburgh DClinPsy APEX after this but it wasn't a positive experience.  Again I was being silenced at meetings, there was a resistance to my independent, survivor Mother voice, and a preference for dominant males having their say, as before.  (they seem to prefer victims)  So I retired to my room before being sent there.  Clinical Psychology academics and practitioners prefer to work with people who have reduced capacity and don't challenge the status quo.  In my experience they are not able to work on a level playing field with people who have survived psychiatric treatment and are independent thinkers.

I was very fortunate to have a good Father who wasn't heavy handed, I didn't stay in my room for long, had many opportunities for play before puberty set in and I grew into a woman, in my own time.  Memories of my childhood are happy ones, adventures and games with friends who were boys and girls.  I remember it as being free to explore and to develop a curious mind, open to learning and self-expression, returning to the safety and security of a loving home.

my lovely Mother Anne Patterson [1929-1998]
me with Mum Anne and Dad William Patterson 1953 at Kingswell Terrace, Perth
from Jeff Hawke facebook page

link to Amazon page Overlord

wee sister Eva c1969 when she was 3
My mum took my sister Eva to a photographer for this photo since there weren't any photos of her as a baby as by this time my Dad was stuck in London after his Jeff Hawke contract was terminated by Daily Express.  Eva's wearing a dress made by our Mother, in either blue or pink, she had two of them in that style, as I remember.  My Mum was a skilled seamstress.

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