Saturday, 28 April 2018

telling the truth, exposing psychiatric abuse results in banishment from DClinPsy

Speaking truthfully at DClinPsy meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow wasn't allowed, it has to be said.  I only once got to teach a class in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Unit, Gartnavel, 8 May 2017, as part of the Psychosis module [Surviving Psychosis/Psychiatry: Resilience, Resistance, Recovery; Rescue, Respite, Risk, Renewal], filling in for Prof Andy Gumley who didn't stay around, rather he went to Edinburgh on Project Soothe business, which is about looking at nice pictures to make you feel better, I think.

There's no room in Clinical Psychology training programmes for survivor Mothers who speak honestly about their experiences in psychiatric settings.  It seems they prefer bad mothers who failed their children or took to drink and drugs to cope.  Or mothers who themselves had bad mothers, mental illness in the womb, "slumbering time bomb" according to Gumley's colleague Schwannauer.  These highly paid academics shore up biological psychiatry, using attachment theory to situate problems in families.

There's no money to be made or jobs to be had if you are a whistleblower about systematic abuse in mental health settings.  It's not a good career move and won't make you any friends in academia.  Rather they will set you up to fail and poke fun at your straightforward ways and plain speaking.  They will assume the high ground with you and take every opportunity to manipulate, undermine and make out that you are "less than".  Then it will be all your fault.

I'm just glad that I was 55yrs old in 2008 when coming into mental health matters from the "lived experience" perspective, otherwise I wouldn't have survived the onslaught of exclusions, bullying and personal attacks.  It's been vicious, the worst of it being the psychological manipulation although even then I learnt from the experience and it has made me stronger.  But that's no excuse.  Raising expectations then dashing them is very cruel.  It demonstrates a lack of compassion.

I've had to come to terms with the feelings of betrayal and attempts to "shrink" me, for no-one likes to think they are worthless.  It's been a battle and has required externalising on social networks so as not to let it affect my emotional wellbeing.  Even that was used against me in a bullying letter from McLeod, Programme Director at Glasgow DClinPsy.  He was probably getting back at me for criticising his Anhedonia and Metacognition work.  That doesn't make it ok.  I'm an unwaged Carer, pensioner of 65, psychiatric survivor Mother.  We are not equals in status or money, so he was out of order.  

Recently I was engaging with Dr Crichton, Chair Royal College of Psychiatrists Scotland, about "truth and reconciliation":

Then yesterday I had a positive meeting in Dundee with another NHS Health Scotland lead where I was treated like a fellow human being, with respect, shared information and experiences.  Community education a common denominator.  No clinical gaze or diagnostic lens.  What a difference it makes to be on a level playing field.

Macmanus Galleries Dundee 27Apr18
on Commercial Street, Dundee, after meeting, 27Apr18

Friday, 27 April 2018

the benefits of having a good Mother with a Schizophrenia diagnosis

my Mum & me 1953 Perth
A wee blog post in praise of my Mum, Anne Patterson, who was a fine example to me in so many ways.  Not least her managing to live productively on a Depixol 3wkly injection and the stigmatising discrimination of a Schizophrenia diagnosis when she didn't hear voices and wasn't a threat to anyone.  I couldn't have done it, put up with the continual constraint of neurotoxins going through my body.

I knew aged 14 in 1966 or so, after my youngest sister's birth, that my Mother was having another nervous breakdown, wasn't sleeping, and needed support, for we lived in a 4th floor flat, in the town of Perth.  She didn't want to go into Murray Royal Hospital, cried, saying that my Dad just wanted rid of her.  He asked me what we should do and I made the decision for her to go.  Where she would be forcibly shocked and drugged until compliant, ready for discharge, home again.  I didn't know that, then.

By 1969 my Father was permanently living in London, having lost his job with
Overlord Jeff Hawke
the Daily Express, writing Jeff Hawke, didn't come back home to Perth.  Then in 1970 my Mother had another nervous breakdown, summer holiday time, ending up in the mental hospital, and I visited Kinnoull locked women's ward, we both cried, another mother was in there, had killed her child.  Psychiatrists, men, said I had an old head on young shoulders. 

I never thought that I'd have a nervous breakdown, was a resilient, happy child, well adjusted, sporty, did well at school, had many friends, different ones at different times.  It was painful, induced childbirths which led to me experiencing psychoses, and voluntarily entering Hartwoodhill psychiatric ward, to be forcibly treated because I resisted just like my Mother.  And I was able to resist lifelong mental illness because of my Mother, seeing what she went through.  I did this 3 times in 3 decades, latterly coming off a drug cocktail of Risperidone, max dose Venlafaxine and Lithium, 800mgs/day, self managed, resisting negative prognoses.  It wasn't easy.  Family helped, as ever, and I've helped my sons when they experienced psychosis/psychiatry, when they asked me to.

My Mother had a good death in Adamson Hospital, Cupar, March 1998, didn't have much pain, was at peace, we had time to say our goodbyes.  I wasn't a writer then, was on a postgraduate Community Education course at Northern College, Dundee, graduated in the July.  We moved into this Springfield council house after my Mother died, having brought her out of Adamson in the car to see the house, first buying her an ice cream cone out of Luvian's, Cupar.  She wanted buried, this was in her Will, her Father's family, Dewars, came from this area, latterly living in Auchtermuchty, on Newburgh Road.  So, in a sense, it was a homecoming.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

befriending, mentoring, peer support [episode 1]

Hartwoodhill Hospital
It was 40 years ago when I was first a mental patient in Hartwoodhill, Lanarkshire, voluntarily going in with "puerperal psychosis".  The psychiatrists said it was due to "hormone imbalance" however it was more about painful, induced childbirth, insufficient pain relief, and the fact that we were living with inlaws on their farm, in a room, with our two sons.  My Mother-in-law was next door, had taken to her bed with depression after mania, wasn't eating or drinking.  This had happened before (in 1972 that I knew of) and I think the root cause was bereavement at losing babies for she spoke of this to me when unwell.

I was fortunate to have a good Mother who had survived psychosis/psychiatry on many occasions and in 1970 aged 17 had visited her in the locked Kinnoull ward at Murray Royal Hospital Perth, in the summer holidays, seeing what it was like for mentally distressed women, one of whom had killed their child.  This caused my Mother more distress and I would come away from visiting also crying.  My Granny had died in the July and my Aunt had called in the Social Work for help, arranging for my younger sisters to be fostered, without consulting me.  My Aunt told the story of her Mother, my Granny, saying that she'd never get the Social Work involved in our family, using the phrase "over my dead body" and so it was.

from Myra
I couldn't see the benefits of psychiatric treatment and became personally aware of this for myself in September 1978.  Forcibly injected with Chlorpromazine because I resisted it, had insight, didn't want to be drugged, escaping ECT by running out of the ward in pyjamas (clothes were locked away), supported by my husband.  Had to go back in, again voluntarily, due to muscle spasms from suddenly coming off the high dose of antipsychotic.  Very risky business on neurotoxins.  I learnt from this experience.  They bound my breasts to stop the milk, my second son about 3mths old, I very much resented this but said nothing to the Nurses.

I also learnt not to say very much to the psychiatrist and it was a matter of trying to be patient regarding discharge, not to show restlessness even though antipsychotics cause agitation.  It was a cruel regime and patients stuck together, against the system.  We'd call it mental health peer support today, I suppose, although back then it was more about survival.  It was in my mind to get off the drugs within the year, just Chlorpromazine and a side effects pill, which was reduced by psychiatrist from 4x100mgs to 4x25mgs after about 6mths maybe.  So it was easy for me to come off the antipsychotic when I felt more in control and there was light at the
end of the tunnel.  For many months it felt like everything was grey, I was clinically depressed on the meds, low motivation, had to watch out for sunburn.  Then I went through the same thing again, one week after the birth of my third son in November 1984, forcibly internally examined then injected until compliant.  Supported by fellow patient Myra in the ward, we were friends after discharge, for years.

I had been married aged 19 on 4 July 1972 in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, and helped out on my inlaws farm, in holidays from Aberdeen University, milking the cows, mucking out the byre, driving the tractor, lambing sheep, shearing wool, singling turnips, eventually selling hogs with lambs at foot, Lanark Market, by the late 1970's.  Was a Mother at 24 with my first son in 1976, 26 with my second in July 1978.  Then in 1980 I got on to the Krypton Factor, Granada TV, Manchester, as a "Shepherdess", from around 10,000 applications, 500 interviews (mine was at STV Cowcaddens, Glasgow), then 32 of us in 8 x 4 heats, including my cousin Hazel who lived in Chester.  

My sister-in-law Vanessa had put my name down, sent off for the application form, encouraged me to go in for it.  She helped me train for the assault course and took this photo wearing the Krypton Factor Tshirt (it was too small, wasn't keen on wearing it!).  Vanessa had supported me after Hartwoodhill discharge in 1978, we were friends, it was mutual, and I did the same for her over the years we lived on the farm and at Rigside, Lanark, involved together in community work with children and through the church, running playschemes and taking part in Gala Days.  

my boys 1987 taken in Perth
These years on the farm and in the ex-mining community of Rigside (and Douglas Water) together with surviving psychosis and psychiatry twice were a great grounding in grassroots collective action, solidarity and the fellowship of Mothers, sisters and women of substance.  I had become a Christian in 1981 at my birthday in September and joined the local Church of Scotland which had a new evangelical Minister, many of us got busy in various missionary activities, and for a while it seemed that we were on the crest of a wave.  However soon there were difficulties and scandal, resulting in the Minister leaving after just 3 years, for another charge in Tongue.  I believe he should have taken a sabbatical, to reflect, consider his behaviour.  The damage done to the church and the community because of what he did.  It was a betrayal of trust.

After my husband was made redundant from the Milk Marketing Board we moved to the Cupar area in 1990 to be near my middle sister who was expecting her first baby.

[to be continued ...] 

Sunday, 22 April 2018

respect for our elders

A wee blog post about how difficult it's been these last 10yrs not being treated with respect in Scotland's mental health world for my age and experience, qualifications, skills, abilities, and surviving psychosis/psychiatry.  It began quite quickly in 2008 at Scottish Recovery Network events and then continued on in DClinPsy settings by academics.  It felt like I was always up against it, particularly after Feb12 human rights abuses perpetrated upon my son in Stratheden IPCU locked seclusion room.

In 2008 aged 55 after setting up Peer Support Fife and Chrys Muirhead
Peer Support Fife
it was like stepping into an alternative universe where my life experience and qualifications were as nothing.  I was continually treated as "less than" in Scotland's mental health world, DClinPsy academia since 2009 at Glasgow, and expected to do as I was told, without question, by people who weren't skilled facilitators or educators.  I'd been
Chrys Muirhead Associates
used to working in a variety of settings since 1980 and to setting up, managing and leading community projects, with all ages of people, latterly in an FE college, gaining lecturing qualifications and experience.

At the same time I've witnessed elderly female neighbours in the village where I live not being supported by Fife Social Work Services when they have become housebound or developed mental health issues after bereavement and left living alone, isolated.  Women and mothers who were physically active when I first knew them, worked all their lives, paid taxes, then left alone, at risk, family not so near at hand.  Now in Homes.  

I find this very sad, the lack of support for our elders, Mothers, Grandmothers.  Then recently I was disrespected by an old age Psychiatrist and had to raise a complaint, not just on my behalf but for the sake of others.  Wouldn't want any other elder in Cupar to go through similar.  It was most unpleasant.

Fortunately I've got over the feelings of betrayal, hurt, anger at how I was treated by DClinPsy Professors.  Expectations raised then dashed, being set up to fail.  I think they didn't have faith.  In Safe Houses for Psychosis becoming a reality.  In psychosis as a journey, transition, escape, becoming stronger because of the experience.  In people having the resources to come through.  In themselves as therapists and worthwhile companions, seeing it through to the end.  Or maybe they just didn't care.  Enough.  We're not family.

As a Mother and Grandmother I care. 

Angus & Edwin
Daniel & Edwin
me & 3 sons at sister's wedding 1999
Grandchildren 😍

Saturday, 21 April 2018

is @EMPOWER_EWS App about adherence?

Tweets this morning about the Empower Project, University of Glasgow, which came to mind after seeing slides on tweets from Trinity College Dublin conference I should have been attending on Internet Interventions #ESRII2018. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

#HistoryBeyondTrauma "It could be said that speaking to oneself is where literature begins"

Tweeting about History Beyond Trauma late evening 16Apr16 from Ch2.3:

History Beyond Trauma

In Praise of… Comics Writer William (Willie) Patterson: @johnfreeman_DTT

'In Praise of… Comics Writer William (Willie) Patterson' by John Freeman on 

Thanks to John for promoting my blog post 'in recognition of my Dad Willie Patterson; scriptwriter of Jeff Hawke; Daily Express & Titan Books' and adding more information about his 1960's comic strip writing which I didn't know about.

Here are some excerpts, additions to my post:

"Sydney Jordan is widely recognised as the creator of the critically-acclaimed “Jeff Hawke” newspaper strip first published in the Daily Express. However, it’s also generally felt that the strips written by William (Willie) Patterson through the 1960s – including those collected in the past by Titan Books (such as “Overlord” and “Wondrous Lamp”) as well as The Jeff Hawke Club and several Italian publishers – show the long-running series its best. 

Here, Willie’s daughter Chrys Muirhead pays tribute to her father, the man behind those acclaimed credits, revealing the family man behind those fondly-remembered stories.

We are grateful to her for letting us post this tribute to an author whose life has been little documented, but whose work played such a significant part in the development of a much-loved comic character worldwide…"

screenshot from

"Some of father’s “Jeff Hawke” scripts have been republished twice by Titan Books. Originally working on the Children’s Encyclopedia for Amalgamated Press, according to strip creator Sydney Jordan, my Dad started as script writer with the Daily Express in 1956. Alongside his work on “Jeff Hawke” for the Express, he also wrote “Caroline Baker – Barrister at Law“, drawn by Jose Moya Ortiz.

He also wrote other stories for Fleetway Publications, including war stories, strips for Tiger and is credited as the writer of one Dan Dare story, “Mission to the Stars”, drawn by Don Harley, published in the Sunday People in 1964, collected in The Dan Dare Dossier, published by Hawk Books."

"Chrys would welcome memories of her father. Visit her blog for more about her own work and writing, most recently as a mental health writer, activist and human rights campaigner, whistleblowing about locked seclusion room abuses in Stratheden Hospital, NHS Fife, winning an Ombudsman complaint in September 2014 and a written apology from Fife Health Board"

Finally, screenshots and excerpts from including new information about my Father's work which I wasn't aware of, very interesting to see it:

Jeff Hawke

Widely considered one of the most important science fiction comic strips ever published, Jeff Hawke is a benchmark in intelligent, adult-oriented storytelling and he is not your average space-hero. Focused on reasoning, diplomacy and moral virtues instead of brute force, he is frequently forced to be the ambassador – rather than the saviour – of mankind!

His universe is populated with alien species that meet humankind by accident or for commerce, but hardly ever for invasion. Willie Patterson’s subtle wit makes the strip’s plots and characters as fascinating as they are amusing, and Jordan’s highly expressive style fully captures the strangeness of the weird and wonderful aliens of Jeff’s universe!

The Jeff Hawke stories were published in the Daily Express, launching on 15th February 1955 and ending on 18th April 1974. There were a total of 69 stories, with an average of 94 daily strips in each story.

Willie Patterson began to contribute ideas for stories and co-wrote on an ad hoc basis from 1956 onwards but by 1960, he was a full-time scriptwriter for the feature, until 1969. Chrys outlines her understanding of his departure above.
Syd and Willie’s partnership developed an in-joke by creating two characters to introduce each story, taking on the shapes of Mephisto (Willie) and the Troll (Sydney).

“Jeff Hawke was a science-fiction strip designed to emphasise if not pacifism, then the most principled of restraint matched with the most rigorous of thought,” notes Colin Smith in article for Sequart in 2012. “And for all that Hawke might seem to the casual glance to be an entirely familiar fighting lead, he was actually the exact opposite to the breed. In that, he was the rarest of science-fiction types; the diplomat as hero, the peace-maker as protagonist, the man of ideals and science who really would rather rely upon his conscience and his mind before reaching for a conveniently big gun.”

The British Jeff Hawke Club began reprinting Jeff Hawke in its journal, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos, in 2003. Each issue includes story notes on the science featured in the story, and commentary on the origins of the tales from creator Sydney Jordan. In addition to the regular magazine, several special editions have also been published.

Jeff Hawke Stories by Willie Patterson

• Sanctuary (co-writer)
Published – 1956-06-26 – 1956-10-27 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos, Volume 2 Number 2

 • Unquiet Island
Published – 1956-10-29 – 1957-03-16 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 1
• The Castaway
Published – 1957-03-18 – 1957-10-03 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 2
• Poles Apart (co-writer)
Published – 1958-09-24 – 1959-03-13 Reprinted in Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 3 Number 2

• Overlord
Published – 1960-02-10 – 1960-06-20 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3

• Survival
Published – 1960-06-21 – 1960-09-12 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 1
• Wondrous Lamp
Published – 1960-09-13 – 1961-03-11 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 6 Number 2
• Counsel For The Defense
Published – 1961-03-13 – 1961-08-02 Reprinted in Titan Book 1, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 2
• Pastmaster
Published – 1961-08-03 – 1961-10-18 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos: Lunar 10
• Immortal Toys
Published – 1961-10-19 – 1962-04-05 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3

• The Ambassadors
Published – 1962-04-06 – 1962-07-13 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 7 Number 3
• The Gamesman
Published – 1962-07-14 – 1962-09-23 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 3 Number 3
• A Test Case
Published – 1962-09-24 – 1963-01-02 Reprinted in Titan Book 2, Jeff Hawke’s Cosmos,Volume 4 Number 1

• Find out more at

Titan Books published two collections, firstly in 1985, plans for a third dropped due to disappointing sales. The collections were republished in 2008.

Jeff Hawke: Overlord 
Jeff Hawke: Overlord

Author: Willie Patterson
Artist: Sydney Jordan
Cover: Brian Bolland
Publisher: Titan Books, 2008
ISBN: 9781845765972

Collects “Overlord”, “Survival”, “Wondrous Lamp” and “Counsel for the Defence”

“Willie Patterson [joins] artist Sydney Jordan for some remarkably inventive and clever tales of alien law and morality. The art’s a downright treat.” – Hipster Dad

Jeff Hawke: The Ambassadors 
Jeff Hawke: The Ambassadors
Author: Willie Patterson
Artist: Sydney Jordan
Cover: Brian Bolland
Publisher: Titan Books, 2008
ISBN: 9781845765989

Collects “The Ambassadors”, “Pastmaster”, “The Immortal Toys”, “The Gamesman” and “A Test Case”

“Patterson and Jordan’s solutions to the very unusual challenges are reasoned and rational, with very little violence or wild action, leading to very entertaining stories with unexpected resolutions. Jordan’s artwork is gorgeously detailed, with a believable and consistent design for the far-flung future of the 1990s.” – Hipster Dad 

The 1986 Jeff Hawke Book One 1986 featured “Overlord”, “Survival” and Wondrous Lamp and the 1987 Jeff Hawke Book Two featured “Counsel For The Defence”, “Pastmaster” and “Immortal Toys”)

There’s a complete list of “Jeff Hawke” strips including writer credits on Wikipedia

 Phantom Patrol

“Phantom Patrol” was first published in Swift, companion paper to Eagle, between the issues cover dated 3rd February – 14th July 1963. Written by Willie Patterson and drawn by Gerry Embleton, it was reprinted several times, including in WHAM! (as “Ghost Patrol”) and 2000AD and Starlord annuals.

The story told the adventures of Sergeant Joe Trimm and his platoon who discover a crashed UFO on the island of Crete in 1941. Pinned down by the Nazis, they escape by means of a time-travel device purloined from the flying saucer. With a tank, a landing craft, a handful of guns and a captured Nazi, the British infantry unit find themselves in the midst of the Trojan Wars – and a series of further bizarre adventures, joined by robot dog Fergus and future cop Cornelius Kerrigan along the way.

Sadly, this strip has never been collected, although Steve Holland did nearly manage it back in 2009, commissioning a stunning cover by Chris Weston.

Boy’s World

Launched by Odhams Press in January 1963, Willie Patterson was one of the writers for this title, alongside Harry Harrison, Michael Moorcock and Tom Tully. Artists included Frank Bellamy, Luis Bermejo, Harry Bishop, John M. Burns, Ron and his brother Gerry Embleton, Gerald Haylock, Frank Langford and Brian Lewis.

Willie’s known credits are as follows…

“What Would You Do” cover feature issues V1N1 – V1N6 + V1N10 (Jan to Mar 1963) with art by Brian Lewis, Gerry Embleton & Harry Winslade

“Mini Mystery” feature issue V1N7 (Mar 1963) with art by Harry Lindfield

“What’s In A Name / Do You Know Your Name” feature issues V1N1 – V1N6 (Jan to Mar 1963) with art by James McConnell

“John Brody” (strip) issues V1N1-V1N23 “What Is Exhibit X?” full 1st story (Jan – June 1963) with art by Colin Andrew

“Wrath Of The Gods” (strip) all issues V1N1 to V2N40 Jan 1963 to Oct 1964) with art by Ron Embleton and John M Burns

“What Is My Name?” (strip) issues V2N22 to V2N40 (May – Oct 1964)  with art by Colin Andrew

• Steve Holland has told the story of Boy’s World in the thoroughly recommended book Boy’s World – Ticket to Adventure!

 Examples of “Caroline Baker – Barrister at Law”, written by Willie Patterson, drawn by Jose Ortiz. Via Bear Alley © Daily Express

Caroline Baker, Barrister at Law

Published in the Daily Express from 1962, Steve Holland has featured a number of “Caroline Baker, Barrister at Law”, written by Willie Patterson and drawn by Jose Ortiz on Bear Alley.

“Mission to the Stars”, a Dan Dare strip written by Willie Patterson, drawn by Don Harley for the Sunday People. Via the Jeff Hawke Club

Dan Dare

Willie wrote one Dan Dare story, “Mission to the Stars”, drawn by Don Harley, published in the Sunday People in 1964, collected in The Dan Dare Dossier, published by Hawk Books.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

my family are special 😍

[the same goes for other families]

I just wanted to sing the praises of my family, how special we all are, not least because 8 of us, that I know of, have survived psychosis/psychiatry and have been/are being productive in our lives.  That's something to be very proud of,  in my opinion, and I'm entitled to say what I think regardless of well paid academics taking a potshot at me because of it.  πŸ˜’

So many achievements along the way: my two wee sisters at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) 1970's/80's, studying woodwind instruments (clarinet, oboe), singing, piano, after my youngest sister a boarder at St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh, funded by Perth & Kinross Social Work; my Mother coming through various psychiatric treatments (ECT, neurotoxins) working FT at Babygro factory in North Muirton, Perth on a Depixol depot injection; my Father writing Jeff Hawke sci-fi daily comic strip in the Daily Express from 1956-69, for many of these years the one in charge, directing, producing; my sons carrying on the family tradition of psychiatric engagement, music, educational achievements, working in various settings, procreative, humorous, caring, compassionate.  😊

Here is a flavour of our lives in pictures, with comments alongside (will update later):

my Mum & me with Teddy 1953 on back step of Granny's house Kingswell Terr, Perth

Notice my Mother's lovely dress and cardi, her makeup and tidy hairdo, her care of me, holding my pink Teddy, smiling for the camera. Juxtaposed with the mop against the wall next to back door which is needing a coat of paint.

me aged about 4, rumpled kilt & socks, blonde hair tied back, knitted cardi, smiling

Not sure who took this photo, probably an Auntie, flat roofed house in background probably my Granny and Grandpa's at Kingswell Terrace, Perth, maybe after we had all moved to Dunsinane Drive, Letham, Perth, into two council flats, numbers 81 and 57.

my Mum's photo, she typed Rare Birds on it, taken outside Pomarium Flats c1972

My Mother had this photo pinned on the wall at her Pomarium Flat number 70 and then it was in her possessions after she died on 19 March 1998 which I inherited.  Me with my two wee sisters before they went into foster care when my Mum had another nervous breakdown.  

my oldest 2 sons Angus on left, Edwin on right, on inlaws farm, having fun

We lived in a residential caravan on my husband's folks' farm for about 18mths before getting a council house in Rigside, Lanarkshire.  I had my first puerperal psychosis about 3mths after Angus was born, went voluntarily into Hartwoodhill psychiatric hospital to be forcibly injected with Chlorpromazine and threatened with ECT.  Fortunately I was able to take charge of my own mental health, come off the neurotoxins and make a full recovery, supported by my husband.

youngest son Daniel in 1985, I was on Chlorpromazine again, 4x100mgs
I was drugged up when this photo was taken, on neurotoxins, it felt like being in a dark tunnel with no light at the end.  This was due to the antipsychotics which depressed me.  My husband supported me in and out of hospital.  Again the neurotoxins had been forced in but by 1984 they weren't giving Mothers with puerperal psychosis ECT, or at least they didn't try to threaten me with it in Hartwoodhill.  I managed to get off the drugs within the year again and make a full recovery.

July 1998 with my 3 sons, in Cupar photographer's studio
I'm wearing my Mother's watch and butterfly necklace which was in her possessions, a gift from New Zealand, unworn, in a box.  My oldest son had recently graduated with a First in Mechanical Engineering from Abertay University, Dundee, having survived psychosis/psychiatry episode, Stratheden Hospital, including a critical incident with ECT, in 1995/6.  I supported him in/out of hospital.  1998 I also graduated, with a Postgrad Diploma in Community Education from Northern College, Dundee.

with oldest son Edwin July 1998, graduates, son 1st class Hon Mech Eng
middle sister's wedding 1999
with grandson Edinburgh Xmas time 2006 😍
grandchildren in our house 2010
Grandson Callum 2015
Callum 8Aug18