Category Archives: rants

We aren’t on the playground ( part 2)

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It’s not up to me to tell people how to tweet , but …..
I’ve said it before and I will say it again , because I can ,
We are not in the playground , we aren’t children and twitter is not meant for bullying and nastiness.
I’ve not been bullied , and actually nobody has been nasty to me on twitter but every so often twitter takes a nasty turn.
There’s nothing wrong with having a disagreement or a debate , can you imagine how boring it would be if we all just agreed with each other but why do things have to get nasty.
Why not take your disagreement out of the glare of twitter and settle it privately or just unfollow each other and be done with it.
Why the name calling and subtweeting and involving others.
If you don’t like someone on twitter don’t follow them , block them , report them , whatever ….
If you don’t agree with someone but can’t make your point in a civil manner maybe just block them and eat some cake or something. If somebody offends you maybe they aren’t somebody you should be following.
Twitter is not the be all and end all of everything.
It’s just twitter. Use it , don’t use it , whatever …. Just maybe don’t use it to be nasty. Buy a punch bag , meditate , find something else to do with your anger. Something less angry. And don’t snipe at people just because it’s safe behind your keyboard , before you tweet perhaps ask yourself if you speak to someone like that in real life.
If you would then maybe social networking isn’t for you.

Anyway , twitter is a bit rubbish tonight so I’m going to put my phone down and read a chapter of my book.
Because I can , because if twitter is being rubbish and snipey I can just put it down.

Peace y’all !

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Why I won’t find out what my Tourette’s name is.

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It’s possible that I’m about to be entirely over reacting in this blog post , I’m not well and I’m tired and feeling a bit off but something has really annoyed me today.
I don’t generally get ‘ outraged’ I don’t have the time or the energy to be continually outraged …. But on Facebook this evening I saw one of them posts that everyone shares and everyone finds hilarious , you know the type , find your elf name , find your porn star name , this one is find your tourrettes name.
And I don’t find it even one little bit funny.
My 18 year old has Tourette’s and my 9 year old has been diagnosed with tics. They are becoming more frequent and there are more and more of them , so he will most likely be diagnosed with Tourette’s .
My 18 year old mostly has very frequent motor tics which are very sudden large jerky movements involving his neck , shoulders , back , arms , hands and legs , often all at once.
They are usually painful and they are very frustrating for him.
They also add to his anxiety.
My 9 year old has a growing number of tics , at present mostly vocal.
Although the motor tics are getting more frequent.
He shouts out noises , words and phrases , they often come out in a sing-song voice.
He can’t stop them and doesn’t know what he will say until it comes out of his mouth.
At the moment he’s most frequent ones are ” what-you-say-that-to Me-for ” and “MERRY CHRISTMOOOOSE ”
He also has a spitting tic.
He’s spits , involuntarily , constantly through the day.
He has to have a bowl and a towel with him to catch his spit , I’m forever cleaning up spit. It makes him thirsty and frustrates him very much.
His tics also add to his anxiety as in school he was often told off for shouting out and other kids would copy him.
Tourette’s isn’t about shouting out funny words , random swear words , it’s relentless , uncomfortable , frustrating , tiring , often painful and cause a great deal of anxiety .
So excuse me if I don’t like or share the ‘ find your Tourette’s name ” posts
And I won’t be finding out what my Tourette’s name is because things like this contribute to the misconceptions about Tourette’s and it’s really not a joke

Person under train

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I’m not sure of the figures but my attempts at googling suggest there are around at least 50 incidents of suicide on the London Underground per year.
And every time it happens a quick look at twitter fills me with dismay at the attitudes of so many people.

Today a person committed suicide on the Victoria line and once again there was a deluge of tweets calling the person selfish. And suggesting that If you want to commit suicide do it somewhere that doesn’t disrupt others.
Now I’ve never been in the position where I have been driven to the point of wanting to throw myself under a train and I don’t know goes through somebody’s mind at that point but I’m absolutely sure that it’s not a desire to cause disruption or to annoy commuters.
Nobody decides to commit suicide just to piss people off. To come to a point where you want to end your life your mind ( I imagine) is not in a rational place.
It’s obviously very inconvenient if your journey is delayed by a person under a train , people will be late for work , school , meetings , appointments , but a Person has been in such a dark place that they have ended their life in a horrific manner. Surely that’s the most important thing. Somebody’s son or daughter. Somebody’s loved one.
It’s a tragedy , for the person under the train , and for their family and friends , for everybody else it is an inconvenience.
I have endless sympathy for all people involved such as the emergency service men and women and station staff who have to witness and deal with the terrible aftermath , as well as the train driver , and anyone who witnesses the incident , I imagine it’s something that stays with them and in most cases I’m sure has a profound effect.
But those people who are inconvenienced by delays , they will get where they are going eventually , meetings and appointments can be rearranged , the repercussions probably won’t last and when all is said and done they will get home.
The person under the train will never get home.

The dark side of charity …

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I was going out tonight , for the first time since August , I only go out when my best friend is down from Yorkshire around three times a year.
I’d had a long day , in fact I’d had a long week / month/ year and I was really happy to be getting a couple of hours out.
I wasn’t going out to splash the cash , I had £25 …..
I walked up the road to my friends mums house and waited outside her block for her , a group of doorstep charity collectors were around. One of them , a man , approached me and asked how I feel about charity.
I told him I give to charity every month by direct debit. He asked which ones and being polite I told him Macmillan , dogs trust and the Red Cross.
He asked me why I * don’t care* about children with learning disabilities.
I told him I have two children with autism , tourrettes , OCD etc and that if I could afford to give anymore to charity I would.
I wanted him to go so I told him I was on my way out and just waiting for someone.
He told me that instead of going out I could be donating to charity.
This man , a charity collector , supposedly doing good , made me feel like shit !
He doesn’t know that I’m trying to bring up 7 kids alone on benefits , or that I care for two disabled children 24 hours a day.
Or that I spend every spare moment I have blogging about autism trying to raise understanding.
He doesn’t know that I organised my own sponsored walk last year for the national autistic society and that I’m planning another walk for Easter.
How dare he !

I’m a sucker for charity. If I have anything I give it. To whatever charity I come across.
I buy pins, trolley coins , ribbons and put my change into charity tins , Because that’s all I can do , I care. I care a lot. But I just don’t have anything to give.

It’s people like this that give charities a bad name. Approaching someone on the street at 8:30 pm accusing them of not caring.
It’s bad enough when you can’t get them off your doorstep. It’s intimidating and unpleasant.
I will continue to give what I can when I can and I will forever be a supporter of charities such as the national autistic society but I will do so on my own terms , not because someone tried to intimidate me.
And next time one of these doorstep knockers comes around my house I won’t even give them the polite 5 minutes I usually do.

Get over your ‘elves

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Christmas Is certainly getting people riled up this year , certainly on my twitter feed and the blogs I read. It seems the elf on the shelf has caused some controversy as well as igniting the question of Christmas being too competitive.

calm down everyone , it’s not good for your ‘elf * cue canned laughter)
( see what I did there )

What is all the fuss about ?

I dont have an elf on the shelf , id never heard of it till last year and by then my lot were too big to appreciate it, but I probably would have had one.

Mine wouldn’t have been reporting back to Santa but he would have been watching the festivities and perhaps playing some elf pranks.

I’m sure I would have taken photos , he would have been the star of Instagram and I’m sure my elf would have featured in my fb and tweeter feeds …… But the thing is …. If I’d had an elf you wouldn’t HAVE to look at my photos or read about him.
It’s not the law.

All the folk moaning about the elf on the shelf you don’t have to look , you don’t have to read.
If it really bothers you and I can’t see why a bit of festive fun would , then delete , block , mute , scroll past , whatever.

Just dont take the shine off someone else’s happiness just because you don’t do elf on the shelf.

Everyone has different traditions.
That’s a part of what makes Christmas interesting.
And I think that most people when posting their Christmas pics are doing it in the spirit of Christmas.
Not to be competetive.
Just to show how they do Christmas.
Although actually if we’re honest dont most of us have a bit of a competitive streak even if it’s well hidden.
Don’t we all ( just a little bit) kind of want our tree to look the best and our wrapping paper to be the nicest ?

Just me ??? …… I’ll get my coat.

I enjoy looking at all the Christmas posts and pics on fb twitter and Instagram. And If I don’t want to see them I won’t look.

I may not agree with or understand everyone’s traditions but I can still look at their pics and be happy for them that they are happy.

Wether you have an elf on the shelf , or not , a 10ft tree or a 2ft tree , white tree lights or twinkling rainbow lights , wether you like tinsel hung from every available space or you prefer something a bit more subtle and classy it’s up to you it’s your Christmas , do it your way

Do it your way and let other people just get over them ‘elves *cue canned laughter part 2 *

Bus stop madness

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I don’t do this very often so forgive me ….. Today I’m writing a ranty post about something that is guaranteed to leave me in a seething rage every time.

I live in London. I love living in London. I’ve always lived here , in the same area apart from the 2 years I lived in Wales ( which I hated , sorry welsh readers)

London is full of people and busy , but luckily enough our buses are actually not bad. Where I live I’m lucky enough to be able to catch a whole load of different buses so I can get almost anywhere from here without too much difficulty. There’s usually not more than ten minutes between buses and you can even text a number on the bus stop to see when the bus is due.
Travelling on busy buses is something you get used to in London.
Often not getting a seat , standing like sardines , but one thing I just can’t ever get used to is the utter rudeness of people at bus stops

I’ve taught my kids to queue and get on buses politely , I always do , I let the elderly and people with buggies in front of me.

But most people seem to lose any manners or decency completely when they queue at a bus stop.

As an example , I popped to asda yesterday.
Got to the bus stop which was empty so I must have just missed the bus , within minutes there was quite a crowd , it was a good ten minutes till the bus came and as soon as it approached the bus stop everyone seemed to take on the mentality that they were getting on that bus first no matter what. I stood by the doors with a couple of carrier bags of shopping and at least 15 people pushed and shoved past me , some of them had only just got to the bus stop.
It wasn’t just me , they also pushed past elderly ladies and a lady with a buggy.

I cannot stand this behaviour.
Yes we are all in a hurry and all need to get where we are going but is there any need for the large majority of people to turn into pushing shoving animals with no manners.

A few years ago we lived a little further from the primary school. I was taking 7 kids on the bus every morning , with a buggy , always against the clock , yet we never pushed or shoved our way on. We waited our turn.

A couple of weeks ago my son was waiting for a bus , he was first at the bus stop but was pushed and shoved past so much that of the 3 buses that arrived at once he wasn’t able to get on any of them. He has ASD and social anxiety. It was very very distressing for him.
When people are behaving this way does it not cross thier minds that it could be someone’s granny or grandpa they are pushing past , or a pregnant woman or someone with a disability , it could be a child they are trampling just to get on the bus first.
It could be their granny , mum, child , etc being pushed and shoved.

chill out people
It’s only a bus
Remember your manners

if this one is full there will be another along in a minute.

We aren’t in the playground anymore ….

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I’m not a judgemental person , or at least I try very hard not to be.
And it’s not my place to tell people how to do twitter.
But there is something that I see more and more of on twitter and I don’t like it.
For me twitter is a place where I can chat , vent , get support , have a laugh , and it’s also my main source of news.
I don’t buy the papers and I don’t always like to have the news on when the younger ones are around.
I would think that this is the same for many others.
Sometimes you need to chat to someone that isn’t a child.
Sometimes you need to let out some frustration , knowing that someone will respond with a kind word.
This is all lovely. It’s what makes twitter a good place.
But lately I see so much sniping, arguing, bitchiness , people sticking their oar in to disagreements only to make things worse.
I’ve seen people genuinely upset by the words of others on twitter. Sometimes it becomes like the playground. With people taking sides.
It’s not pleasant to watch !
I just don’t understand the need for this.
Personally I’ve not experienced this.
Only once have I been genuinely upset by someone on twitter.
I unfollowed them and got on with my life.
I didn’t see a need for anything more than that.
Twitter is my escape.
Not where I come to be stressed.

It’s inevitable that from time to time you will come across someone you don’t like.
The thing is ….. Don’t follow them.
Block them if you feel it’s necessary.

Disagreements ….. They are going to happen. We all have our views and opinions. We are all different. There’s nothing at all wrong with a bit of healthy debate , discussion.
It would be boring if we all just agreed with eachother.
It’s twitter , not the nodding dog society.
But , there’s no need to take a debate and make it personal.
To my mind there are 3 ways to deal with a debate that gets a little heated. ( and none of them include nastiness)
Either discuss the matter privately , by dm , email , whatever ,
Or agree to respectfully disagree
Or unfollow because you feel so differently about something that you no longer wish to be connected.
No big twitter row , no abuse , no upset.
Isn’t that all just …. Nicer ?

There’s something else that bothers me also …..
The spelling police / the grammar police ….

Some people can’t spell.
That’s a fact.
When you have a dig at someone about spelling or grammar you may be having a dig at somebody with a learning disability.
Or someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language.
….. Or someone who doesn’t care if they make a mistake here and there because it’s twitter , not an English exam.
I don’t enjoy seeing tweets get retweeted just so people can laugh at the mistakes.
I unfollow people for doing this.
It’s just not necessary.

It’s up to you how you use twitter , what you use it for , what you get out of it.

But isn’t it just a nicer place when people tweet without any intention to cause anybody any hurt.

Teacher bashing

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I’ve seen ALOT of tweets moaning about teachers and school this week ,
Now I could moan about teachers and schools , I have two sons who frankly have been let down by their schools when they have needed help for special needs , I’ve been cross with teachers and cross with the schools because they are who I deal with on a daily basis.
But even I realise that it isn’t actually the teachers fault or in fact the schools fault if they can’t deal with special needs adequately.
It’s the fault of the government for failing to provide enough funding , training and for not having systems in place that work.
I’m sure that most schools and teachers do the best they can with what they have and what they know .
As in every other walk of life I’ve come across teachers that I didn’t like or didn’t feel were doing a great job but I’ve also come across many teachers that I feel have done their best for my children and many great teachers that have been above and beyond supportive.
I think there needs to be better special education needs provisions , better understanding of special education needs and I’d also like more control over what I put in my kids lunch boxes and better school dinners , but it’s the government and the local education authorities who are responsible for these things.
I’d like to be able to afford to take the kids on holiday during school holidays but it isn’t the fault of schools that holiday companies take advantage of families. Or that the government wants to fine people for taking term time holidays
Yes teachers get long holidays but I’d like to believe that because they work such long hours and work so hard to educate our kids that they deserve these holidays. Also teachers don’t get to go on holiday during term time.
I’m all for highlighting the failings of our education system but I think it’s the government that needs bashing not teachers.
And this is coming from someone who leaves the school at pick up time full of anger and frustration every day.

Reality

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This post may come across as self pitying , it’s not meant to. I don’t like pity , It’s just reality. My reality right now.

O is still no closer to getting a formal diagnosis. School still can’t cope with him. He’s still part time. And even then I often have to go and collect him early,
at the drop of a hat when I get a phone call. The PRU isnt even working out for him ,Everyday is full of meetings and appointments with different people that have different opinions of O’s needs , CAMHS do not reply to any contact from any of the people involved with O.
Which leads me onto CAMHS and the 7 year battle I’ve already had with them so far get only minimal help and support for my teenager. Because he had no support he wasnt able to finish school.He also wasn’t able to cope with college. He’s not atall independent. I am his carer. Trying to care for him With no support.
Because of CAMHS who saw him once in the past 7 months and caught him on a rare good day he may lose his DLA when it needs to be renewed in a couple of months.
His support worker , my parent support worker and our gp agree that he isn’t well and still needs medication and support. Aswell as everything else his phobias and anxieties are getting worse. He is also becoming more obsessive compulsive.
When I’m not dealing with O I’m trying to find the help my 17 year old needs.
But this obviously isn’t enough stress.
That would all just be too easy for me wouldn’t it.
If my 17 year olds DLA isn’t renewed my benefits will be capped this month , even if it is renewed my benefits will be capped in December when he turns 18.
Because although I’m his carer and he is completely dependent , he won’t be a dependent.
So this leaves me with the very real reality that before the end of this year my benefit changes will mean that after I’ve paid my rent I will be left with exactly £50 a month.
£50 A MONTH.
To live on for all of us.
Not just £50 for food or £50 for bills. £50 a month to live on.
We don’t live in a big lavish house. It’s actually a run down house where everything in the bathroom leaks and the kitchen floor is 40 year old Lino, on an estate that’s well known for being rough.
We don’t have any flashy stuff.
And I scrimp and save for everything.

I worked full time until I had two kids. My husband had a full time job and we payed our own way for the ten years we were married. But our marriage broke down.
I didn’t want to be raising my kids on benefits. But that’s what happened.
I’ve done a good job , my eldest is at uni doing physics , my 16 year old is going to college to do plumbing and my 15 year old is on track to get great gcse results. She wants to go into law or forensic psychology. I haven’t raised spongers , I’ve raised bright people who want to make something of themselves.
But the reality of it all is that I’ve been let down by schools who didnt provide adequate support , a mental health system that doesn’t work and now the government expects me to live on £50 a month.
Someone told me to just move.
Just move ?
I live in London in an area with a huge lack of social housing and where rents are all sky high.
Where will I find a home that I can afford at the drop of a hat. For all of us.
Am I supposed to let my family become homeless with two children with mental health issues. Are they supposed to cope with the uncertainty of where we will live.
I’m also dealing with psoriatic arthritis and IBS. I take ALOT of strong medication. One if which is a low dose chemo drug. I’m often very unwell and in huge amounts of pain.
So while our government and all those that look down on benefit claimants as scum who don’t deserve any help are sleeping well in their beds every night I will be laying awake tossing and turning while I try and figure out a way to get my family through the next few months.
This is my reality.
It’s also what reality looks like to all too many other families.

One people.

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“it takes a village to raise a child “ that’s an old quote. I don’t know who said it but somebody did.
It’s a nice idea isn’t it.
Everyone helping out , chipping in , caring.
I don’t know if times were ever like this , but they sure as heck aren’t now.
The “village” are too busy wheeling themselves to hell in a hand cart to be chipping in with anything.
What’s going on ?
What is happening?
When did humanity decide to take a headlong dive straight down the pan ?
Or was it always like this ?
Everywhere I look , the news , the papers , twitter , all around me it’s all going wrong. Time is moving on but we aren’t progressing.
It’s 2013

Racism , homophobia , discrimination, poverty , greed , violence , hatred.
The people running countries are running them into the ground.
The systems that are supposed to help people don’t work.
The law often seems to be more on the side of the perpetrator than the victim
It’s all just wrong
Where does it go from here ?
What next ?
It’s not the dark ages anymore. We have ways and means to educate ourselves.
To learn to behave differently.
To learn to understand.
I know kindness and understanding is out there.
I know it is.
I see it.
I see it on twitter.
People coming together to encourage and support each other.
People helping each other.
I’ve been on the receiving end of lots of twitter kindness!
But there’s just not enough of it.
Out there , in the world.
Why does it matter about the colour of a persons skin or their sexual orientation ?
Why are the disabled held up as a burden on society?
Why are the poor kicked when they are down?
Why is religion a reason to hate ?

We are all human beings , all sharing the same planet.

One people , one planet.

We need to fight for each other , for humanity , for the future.
We need to take a stand , speak out , against the wrongs that are all around us. Support one another. Look out for one another.
Educate ourselves and each other.
No longer tolerate harm and hatred . Stand shoulder to shoulder.
Not with violence and anger , there’s too much of that.
But with small things that become big things.
Things that spread and grow.
Love . Kindness. Understanding.

An act of kindness is an act of love.
And from love grows more love.
An act of kindness is a small thing
That can make big things happen.

We are all one people.
On one planet.

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It has to start somewhere , surely kindness is a good place to start.