Sunday, 30 August 2020

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Face the Music; facing up to reality

 My oldest son's Music Therapy business in Dundee:

Face the Music website



Since 2015 I've been facing up to the reality of the damage done by psychiatric treatment/abuse and no justice, after winning the Ombudsman case against NHS Fife for "unreasonable treatment", when staff abused my youngest son who had a broken hand, locked in their seclusion room with no toilet, light or water.  Facing up to the consequences of psychiatric treatment/abuse perpetrated on my family since I was a child.  The unfairness of it, no justice.

I've had to go back over the years, remembering and writing about it, to get it out of my system, for healing and wellbeing.  Going back to 2002 when my two older sons took me into Lomond Ward, Stratheden psychiatric Hospital for respite/coercive drug treatment.  A very risky ward, particularly for me as I'd raised complaints about my oldest son's inpatient treatment there in 1996.  I needed help so phoned my ex-husband from the ward and remarried him on our 30th anniversary 4 July 2002.  Well done to Ted for agreeing!



Our marriage lasted this time around until the summer of 2011 when he left our house although we hadn't been getting on for a few years since I made a full recovery from mental illness/psychiatric abuse and got back to full time paid work  in 2006, plus two other part-time jobs, doing another postgrad qualification at the same time, a TQFE in Care subjects at Stirling University.  He ended the marriage with his behaviour and I forgave him, understood why he did it.  We had difficulties seeing our grandchildren and I think he blamed me for it.  He said after we split that he had given up hope of seeing the grandchildren.

I've got broad shoulders.  Easier to blame, take it out on me than others.  That's what statutory agencies in Fife tried to do in 2012 after Nurses abused my son, using the Schizoaffective Disorder label/diagnosis pinned on me by Dr Carey in 2002 after the drugs didn't work.  I didn't have a mental disorder or a lifelong mental illness and had to take charge of my own mental health so as to make a full recovery.

We had moved to the Cupar area of Fife in 1990 to be near my middle sister who was in an abusive marriage with an alcoholic man, originally from Perth, as she was pregnant with her first child and I thought she would need my support, and she did, moving in with us when her son was a toddler.  Eventually she got housed by Fife Council, divorced him, bought another house, was a music teacher, married a good man in 1999 and settled in his home town of Dysart.  I am pleased for her, we haven't spoken in many years but I sent her handmade socks recently on her birthday.

I moved my Mother to Cupar in 1993 after helping her buy a flat in the Bonnygate, she paid cash, and then supported her until her death, 19 March 1998. I wanted to get her a good gravestone as she wanted buried so I asked her to transfer me money to cover this before she died as I never had the funds to do so.  I researched gravestones in Cupar cemetery before ordering and submitting a design to a Leven sculptor who was recommended, deciding on black marble with Celtic stone knotwork, designed by my oldest son.


My Mum's headstone has withstood the test of time which I'm grateful for and plan to move her grave to Dundee after we move there, whenever I can afford to.  It's important for me to remember my wonderful Mother in stories and by keeping her grave planted with flowers, keeping her memory alive.  She was a great example to me of being a good Mother and of surviving psychiatric treatment/abuse, living a productive life for as long as possible and supporting her 3 daughters to the best of her abilities.  

I will return to this topic in future blog posts and on social networks, to make sense of it and to tell my story.



Morning Glory - James & Bobby Purify

Monday, 24 August 2020

Dundee Courier, arch detail (from 5 photos) #DanielMuirhead3D




Well done Daniel Son!

After waking this morning I was thinking of my youngest son Daniel and how proud I am of who he is and all he has achieved, in particular since the systematic psychiatric abuse in 2012 when he didn't retaliate despite being assaulted by a mental health nurse, face down restrained twice, at risk of his life (prone to collapsed lungs), and locked in a seclusion room with no toilet, light or water, for hours at a time unobserved, then punished.  

Well done Son!

Link to Daniel's Sketchfab

Daniel graduated with an Honours Degree in Sociology 2014 from Abertay University after studying part-time over many years, and I helped mentor and scribe for him after the February 2012 systematic abuses in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital, sitting in on classes.  Daniel left Bell Baxter High in Cupar, 2002, where he did very well, was a Prefect, in the orchestra, achieving 5 Highers and taking up a place at Edinburgh University, studying Psychology then transferring to Philosophy, in Edinburgh then closer to home in Dundee.

However in 2003 my son experienced the first of his pneumothorax (collapsed lungs) which was misdiagnosed by Cupar GP then eventually treated at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, leading to 3 operations over a period of time, finally glueing his lung.  These were very painful procedures causing post traumatic stress and in 2007 Daniel had appendicitis, again misdiagnosed by GP as a urinary infection, eventually operated on in Ninewells Hospital, and we were sent for through the night, as it was so serious.  Because of the misdiagnosis his ruptured appendix was welded to his bowel by the time they operated and recovery was long and painful. 

At the same time Daniel was receiving treatment for his post traumatic stress caused by physical ill health and operations, with occasional stays in Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, in 2005, 2008 and 2010, where it was the culture to make people into revolving door patients, keeping nurses in a job for life.  Nurses would tell long stay patients that they couldn't manage "in the community" and they even said this to me about their rehab ward patients when I dropped off Peer Support Fife leaflets in 2008/9.  I also heard stories from Mothers of long stay patients about how they weren't supported after discharge and ended up back in Stratheden, worse than before.

That's enough about the negative culture and treatment at Stratheden Hospital which I've spoken out about, long and loud since 2012, especially after winning the Ombudsman complaint against NHS Fife for "unreasonable treatment" when I went into more detail about the abuses perpetrated by nurses.  It was a sub-human culture which dehumanised staff and patients alike.  I expect it will have changed and improved since my complaints, whistleblowing and campaigning, and my son Daniel's sufferings.  

It's been a very challenging 8 years (another collapsed lung for Daniel in 2017) and we are still sharing a house together in Springfield, looking for a move to Dundee council house accommodation.  For 3 years I didn't have a car, from the end of December 2015, during which time my bladder prolapse (thought it was a tumour August 2015, after a complete breakdown due to years of campaigning) was diagnosed in the March 2016.  I managed it by exercise until 2019 when I had to get a pessary fitted.  Fortunately I have no incontinence, most likely because I'm so fit.

I hope it won't be too long until we get a move to Dundee which I've wanted since 2012 and tried to bring about but it was impossible, no help from others to do so and I'm financially poor, in terms of buying property or a car nowadays, aged 68 next month, having been on a basic State Pension since age 62.  There's no money in being a family Carer and I made very little money from 2008 after getting involved in the work of the Scottish Recovery Network, setting up Peer Support Fife.  In fact it was very costly for me.  SRN didn't support me and neither did others.  I suppose it prepared me for the social isolation and singlehanded caring and campaigning in 2012 and onwards.  

I am looking forward to a fresh start and a new life in Dundee, for both my son and I.  We deserve it!  

Friday, 21 August 2020

recent hand knit socks

swimming pools re-opening from 31 August - hooray!

I was very glad yesterday to hear the news from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the Coronavirus briefing at Scottish Parliament that swimming pools and gyms can re-open from 31 August.  I've really missed water therapy for keeping fit and relaxing sore muscles, especially since knee injury end of May, torn ligament, still some pain and stiffness.

Swimming was very useful for healing after injuring my hamstring, falling off my folding bike at Haymarket September 2016, having been at a Mental Health Strategy meeting at COSLA organised by Scottish Government.  I was very tired, had attended 3 of these meetings to speak out, the others in Aberdeen and Glasgow.  Then again in the summer of 2018 I got back to swimming in the Olympia most days when experiencing a sore back from carrying rucksack, visiting castles on buses, trains, walking up hills.  

At various times over the last 30 years since moving to Fife I've taken up daily swimming for fitness and health, in a range of pools here in Fife, and in Perth and Dundee.  I've also tried out other Scottish swimming pools when visiting cities for MH meetings, including Glasgow Tollcross and Whitehill, Leith Victoria and Royal Commonwealth, Dollan Acqua at East Kilbride.  When in London for MH meetings 2015/6 I swam at the Olympic pool, Stratford, the London Fields Lido open air pool and Kensington Leisure Centre pool.

Here is a selection photos from these swimming pool exploits which I enjoyed very much, experiencing the culture, helping me to recover from the trauma of being a mental health human rights whistleblower, Carer and campaigner:

Dundee Olympia January 2019

December 2015 Burntisland pool

December 2015 Glasgow Tollcross pool
November 2015 Leith Victoria pool
July 2016 after swim at London Fields Lido
November 2015 London Olympic pool entrance, Stratford

November 2016 London Kensington Leisure Centre pool
Nov16 near London Kensington Leisure Centre, Gravity/Levity Sculpture, Nigel Hall
November 2018 after swimming at Dollan Aqua East Kilbride


I swam daily in my 40's plus 3 times a week at the gym, lifting weights, and I think this has helped me now, 68 years old next month, to keep fit despite 6in titanium plate right fibula after 3 fractures in March 2005 and a bladder prolapse from 2015 when experiencing a total breakdown after years of campaigning for justice and caring singlehandedly for my son.  

I remember swimming often as a child in Perth, lessons at Caledonian Road Primary School, competing in swimming galas, walking up by the Lade to the Dunkeld Road pools from our flat at Pomarium.  Achieving the Lifesaving Certificate when at Perth Academy.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

staying well after psychosis (psychiatric abuse) in a safe house

Yes we did it.

No help from services.  [in fact they tried to blame me for psychiatric abuse]

No Empower App.  [I applied for the post, never even got an interview]

Stuck in Springfield, the Stratheden psychiatric Hospital village, for 8 years, despite wanting a move to Dundee since February 2012.

Didn't we do well?